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 Two Scoops: January 11, 2010 columns
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Caged heat
For the Week of January 11, 2010
You know a storyline is funny when even the stars are mocking it.
You know a storyline is funny when even the stars are mocking it. Here's a Tweet posted last night from Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) to Megan Ward (Kate). "Megan! James Franco called. He wants to know what size glass box to make for you."

Later Nancy Lee Grahn's daughter Kate posted "My friend and I are playing 'General Hospital.' I go behind the glass shower and scream for someone to let me out."

And, of course, all the GH fans on Twitter laughed hysterically because, let's face it, that's hilarious.

Famous artist/serial killer Franco has been a very busy guy this week. Apparently he spent hours, days, or weeks building a Plexiglas cage for Sam in which to blow her up. Poor Lulu only got a folding chair on which to blow up. I guess that's what happens when you sleep with a (supposed) low level thug instead of The Enforcer.

Franco also had time to enjoy a delightful dinner for one on New Year's Eve, get dragged off to see Sonny by Max and Milo, draw chalk outlines in various spots around town, paint graffiti on baby Josslyn's nursery walls, and kidnap Carly for a nanosecond. I wondered if Franco would play backgammon with Carly while he held her hostage like Lorenzo did a few years back, but she didn't stay kidnapped long enough for a rapport to build into Game Night.

There are two kinds of villains on soaps. 1) A person who has been wounded and is out for revenge. There is hope they can one day be redeemed. 2) A person who has no reasons or redeeming qualities and is just plain evil.

Up to this point, Franco appears to be villain type 2. When Franco first arrived, I thought he would end up being the relative of someone Jason killed who came back to even the score. But now, just a few days until his exit, and we have had no confession to indicate that's the case, which means he's just a freak. Franco, in a video confessional, told the camera that he was dead inside, and killing gave him a thrill. Franco believed Jason was the same, and that he had found a soul mate.

When Franco insisted that Jason reveal his soul to get the address of where Sam and Lulu were being held, I felt so sad for Jason having to relive all those choices and open old wounds to appease a madman. There's a line from an old Dan Fogelberg song called "Souvenirs" that says, "When faced with the past, the strongest man cries." And it certainly held true for Jason. Jason admitted that he had killed reluctantly and with regrets. He was good at killing, but took no pleasure in it. Franco was enraged by the truth, and felt Jason didn't "honor [his] gift."

James Franco and his freaky storyline have been Must See TV while he's been in town, not just for his own stellar acting abilities but for what he has been able to bring out in the other actors with whom he has performed. Seeing Jason as subservient, forced to back down and play Franco's game, showed vulnerability and fear that Steve Burton rarely gets to play while being Port Charles's resident macho hit man.

When Franco finally coughed up the two addresses, Jason called Dante, and the two men are both driving in opposite directions like maniacs trying to save their respective lady loves. The last flash of the clock left them only seconds before the bombs go off.

Dante has the easier task. He just has to get Lulu untied from a chair in eleven seconds. Jason, on the other hand, has to dismantle a giant Plexiglas cage. I feel confident in Jason's abilities, however, because I remember the time he made a tracheotomy tube out of a Bic pen when Nikolas was choking. Jason must have a little MacGyver in him. He will find a way to get Sam free from the glass box. Or she will blow up. One or the other.

After both of our damsels in distress are safe, I hope Jason gets to go back and pummel Franco and break his artist fingers. Franco's self confessional into the video camera, where he admitted he felt nothing and was basically an empty shell, left me screaming at my TV, because I was afraid that's how they were ending his storyline. But according to reports, his last air date is January 14, so I believe we should have a few more scenes.

Across town at the Jax household, our poor, tortured Michael was having a heart-to-heart talk with his new baby sister, Josslyn, which Carly overheard. Michael regretfully told his baby sister that he is a broken person who has made many bad choices and hopes he doesn't taint her life. Carly stepped in and reminded Michael that he saved her and his baby sister. But that's the thing when you kill someone--whether it's on purpose or an accident, it will haunt you forever. Michael can't shake it off, and he'll never be the same again.

I really hope GH explores counseling. Michael touched a bit on that this week; he finally broke down and admitted he was haunted by what happened, how it plays in his head in slow motion. Carly comforted him, but that's not enough. Maybe Lainey will make an appearance, or perhaps Michael will go see that priest they parade out once a year from the Queen of Angels Church.

Funniest line Carly said last week: "It seems like just yesterday Michael was a rambunctious little boy." Um, that's because he was. Last year he started out 12, and is suddenly 18.

Second funniest line Carly said last week, when Jax suggested Franco could come back and kidnap their kids: "Now you're trying to scare me!" Um, why wasn't she already scared? She had just been taken hostage that same day!

Funniest line Sonny said last weekL Sonny told Jason to get rid of Franco "because I am sick of that guy!" …Not because Sonny was worried about Sam, Lulu, or that Franco would turn in proof Michael murdered Claudia, just that Franco annoyed him? Hmmm.

Dear readers, this entire storyline has one moral…"Don't lie."

Look at the mayhem one little lie can cause. Imagine if Jerry had told Jax about Claudia putting the hit on Sonny before Michael got shot, if Jax had told Carly about Claudia's involvement in Michael's shooting, if Michael had confessed to accidentally killing Claudia the night of her death instead of the big cover -up--if any of the players in this drama had told the truth, none of this tragic fallout would have happened. Next time you're tempted to tell a lie, remember that.

On the other hand, lying has worked really well for Elizabeth. Lucky finally overheard Nikolas confessing his love for Elizabeth, but Lucky wandered off too soon. Since Lucky only heard one side of the conversation, Lizzy Liar Lips can continue to play the innocent victim! Once Liz learned that Lucky didn't hear her confession about sleeping with his brother, she decided to lie some more and pretend that Nikolas is in love with her through no fault of her own. Liz, for Pete's sake, just confess you sins already. You know Lucky is going to find out, especially since you didn't follow my rules and had your deeply secret and personal conversation behind an open doorway in a busy hospital corridor where literally anyone could walk by.

I'm a really horrible liar. I could not pull off the wide-eyed innocence that Liz was feigning when Lucky confronted her about the conversation he heard. I take after my mom. One time we went on a cruise. Mom played slot machines on the ship and my dad was a pastor who frowned on gambling. On the drive back from the ship to the house, Mom kept saying "Promise me that you won't tell Daddy I gambled." I promised. Two minutes inside the door, she blurted out "Jack, I know you'll be mad at me, but I gambled." She ratted herself out after she made me promise twelve times not to tell! That's the kind of liar I am, too. Liz could teach me a few things.

I'm sad for Lucky. I know he's going to find out the whole truth and I know it will wreck him and I know I will cry. Jonathan Jackson brings something so incredibly soulful to the role. With Jackson back in the role he created, I just find myself more emotionally engaged in Lucky's trials.

So far, I like new Lisa better than old Lisa merely because she has a personality that's a little livelier, but in truth, I don't like the fact that Lisa exists on the canvas at all.

If you had a chance to hear the pilot episode of the Soap Central Live radio show, you'll know we discussed this briefly, but in case you didn't - I think Robin and Patrick have plenty of material without bringing in a third character to shake up their marriage.

For starters, Robin is HIV positive and had a healthy baby, but the writers barely mention it. To me, that's the money story, and one that hasn't been told before. Next, Patrick and Matt have a troubled relationship with their dad, Noah Drake, that was left hanging. Robin has Anna and Robert out there somewhere and she could tell them all about the Brianna Hughes murder case she cracked. Patrick could injure his hand and be unable to perform brain surgery for a few months and have to reevaluate his life. But no, we're going with the "his old college girlfriend shows up in town out of the blue and causes problems" story.

I was delighted to read here on soapcentral.com that ABC is in talks with Genie Francis and Vanessa Marcil to return to the fold. We need them. First, Sonny needs a love interest in the worst way. Leave Olivia for Johnny and bring back Brenda. She was my all time favorite love match for Sonny. And the Spencer clan is in desperate need of Mama Laura, Lucky's life is about to implode, Nikolas and Lucky are poised to start the next generation of the Spencer/Cassadine feud, and Lulu is about to go up in smoke. Besides, I just want to watch Tracy's head explode if Laura comes home.

But other than that, I think GH should have a hiring freeze and not hire any more random new characters like Lisa until they fully use all the actors they already have on contract! For instance, Jason Cook has never had a storyline of his own and deserves one. Also, we've added the remarkable actor Scott Reeves, and I hope he will eventually have more to do than bicker with doctors in the corridors of GH.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Maxie continue to look for naughty photos of herself, oblivious to the fact she has two close friends in peril? Will Lucky "fake arrest" someone else just to mess with Mayor Floyd's head? Will Port Charles ever elect a new mayor who wasn't caught in a hotel room with a hooker? Will Lady Jane be waiting in vain at the airport for Jax's private jet to touch down in Australia? Will GH ever think to install metal detectors in the hospital, since people routinely bring weapons inside? Will Franco go back and try to blow up Mob Pasta? Will Homeland Security hire Max and Milo because they are obviously such great bodyguards?

Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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