I love unexpected twists, and this week we had a great one when Lesley volunteered to marry Scotty and Laura after Mayor Lomax canceled out at the last minute. I know that there are a lot of disappointed Luke and Laura fans, but I'm happy that Laura married Scotty. Scotty is at least willing to give Laura what she wants, while Luke will always continue do to as he pleases. Case in point: Luke's conversation with Tracy when he told Tracy that he wanted Tracy to be his "true north."
Tracy hit the nail on the head when she told Luke that if he had it his way, she would exist solely for his comfort and convenience. Don't get me wrong, I love Luke and Tracy together, but it's become painfully clear that Luke has been backsliding to his old ways for some time now. It's not just his drinking. I kind of expected that to happen because he never really accepted that he was an alcoholic.
Luke stopped drinking to please others not because he acknowledged and accepted that he had a problem. Essentially, he was a dry-drunk, never a recovering alcoholic, which made it inevitable that he would pick up the bottle again.
Luke's backsliding started around the time that he went to Turkey to find out the truth about Duke. I think it reawakened a side of him that he had missed. Luke is, at his core, a thrill-seeker who prefers to live a nomad life and do as he pleases, damn the consequences. His drinking is so interwoven in that lifestyle that he is incapable of doing one without the other. However, there is a price to pay for that lifestyle; he has to walk that journey alone. In order to do that, he has to push everyone close to him away, whether it's consciously or subconsciously.
I think the reality of that undeniable truth hit home when Scotty told Luke that Luke was going to end up a lonely old man. Luke wants to live alone, but he doesn't want to die that way. I'm happy that Tracy is not willing to settle for crumbs from a man who loves her -- and I do think that Luke loves her. However, Luke's demons are in charge, not Luke, so Luke will not find happiness until he wakes up and gets a good whiff of Sonny's coffee.
Moving on, it's time for me to weigh in with my thoughts about the return of Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson, and Michael Easton. I tried to keep an open mind, sprinkled with a healthy dose of optimism, as the writers reintroduced Roger, Kristen, and Michael as three new, or maybe not so new, characters. I figured that a couple of weeks would be sufficient time for me to determine whether or not I liked the new characters and their storylines.
I was able to get past the whole appearance thing because I've been watching soaps long enough to have gotten used to seeing my favorites change faces -- literally -- overnight. Plus, I appreciated that GH was in an unprecedented predicament with three contract players whose characters couldn't be used for legal reasons. The writers had to come up with something -- and quick.
In all honesty, the solution was a mixed bag of hits and misses.
I'll start with Michael Easton, who is now playing Dr. Silas Clay. To me, this was the most believable storyline that the writers gave us. It provided us with a credible explanation for why Silas looked so much like Stephen and gave us a new doctor for the hospital, which is always a good thing in my book.
I also liked that the writers didn't resort to the whole "Do I know you from somewhere?" shtick that they used when Sam met John. Rather than an instant connection between Silas and Sam, we got a whole lot of distrust and apathy. A perfect setup for a great soap romance. The immediate attraction thing is cute, but very boring. It's far more interesting to watch an attraction grow organically between a couple who initially rub each other the wrong way like Silas and Sam do.
I'm far more intrigued by Silas and Sam's story than I was by John and Sam's romance.
Admittedly, part of the reason that I'm drawn to Silas' story is because of the mystery that surrounds him. Clearly, he's a respected doctor because Kevin instantly recognized the name. However, equally obvious is that there was a falling-out between Silas and his homicidal younger brother Steven at some point. I find myself wanting to know what happened and why Silas had such a strange reaction when Sam told him about Steven's death and Rafe's existence.
I see oodles of potential for Silas and think he's a great addition to the hospital, so this is a story and character that gets a double thumbs-up from me.
Next up, Lauren Katherine "Kiki" Jerome.
I never understood why soap opera writers have an almost obsessive compulsion to introduce characters in their late teens/early twenties as rebellious troubled brats who childishly stomp their feet and demand to be treated like adults. Frankly, it's unoriginal and the easiest way to turn me off from someone.
It doesn't matter that the writers absolved Kiki of any wrongdoing in regards to Morgan's gambling debt or that she's genuinely interested in Morgan. Her rotten attitude has made me dislike her so much that I have no desire to see her stick around, much less learn what makes her tick. Worse, she makes Morgan, who's pretty annoying on his own, downright intolerable when he's in scenes with Kiki.
My other issue with Kiki is that the writers are creating this creepy sexual chemistry between her and Michael. Why does it give me the heebie-jeebies? Because Michael and Kiki's fathers are half-brothers, which makes Michael and Kiki cousins. Cousins don't intentionally flash their goods at their cousins or make a point of playing tonsil hockey with someone whenever their cousins are in the room.
Not unless they live in a backwoods somewhere far away from civilization, spending their days cooking up moonshine.
The only good thing about Kiki is her mother, Ava, who is played by the stunning Ms. Maura West. Ms. West is a wonderful addition to the cast and someone that I was able to instantly warm to. Sure, she's selling her daughter's shares of ELQ to the highest bidder, has questionable taste in men, and can lie with ease, but she's charming and has vulnerability about her that I liked from the start. She also has great chemistry with the other actors.
Kiki is loud, brash, annoying, immature, demanding, and narcissistic. We already have someone like on the show. Her name is Carly.
As most of you know, I do not like Carly. However, this week, I cheered when Carly arrived on Michael's doorstep with a bag of doughnuts from Kelly's. Like Michael, I sat back to watch the fireworks when Carly met Kiki. Carly didn't disappoint. It cracked me up how Carly curled her hand into a tight fist to keep from yanking out Kiki's hair by its dyed roots after Kiki shoved her tongue down Morgan's throat and then suggestively announced that she was headed to the shower. Ms. Kiki better be careful because Carly doesn't play nice.
Unfortunately, Sonny and Carly both lost a few points when they foisted their troubled son, Morgan, off on Michael. I don't blame them for not wanting to deal with their idiot son, Morgan, who suffers from the delusion that he's a man now because the law says he's an adult. In Carly's shoes, I wouldn't want Morgan in my home, either, because she's raising a little girl. However, Sonny doesn't have the same excuse. Morgan should have moved into Greystone, not Michael's apartment. Morgan's problem is that his parents were absent from his life for an extended period of time, so it's not going to help if they continue to keep their distance.
That said, I'm still willing to give Morgan time to grow up and get his act together. I've known Morgan since his conception, so I'm not going to give up on him easily. Kiki is another matter. I don't know her, and I don't care to know her. As far as I'm concerned, Kiki and her storyline are a fail.
Finally, there's the mystery man played by Roger Howarth. I've seen all kinds of speculation about who he might be. Some have suggested that he's Franco, while others have wondered if he could be Alexis' evil half-brother, Valentine Cassadine. After Friday's episode, there's even a possibility, although highly remote, that he could be Jason.
I love a good mystery, so the writers have done a decent job of capturing my attention and keeping it with this storyline.
It would be a fantastic twist if Mystery Man turned out to be Valentine Cassadine because we need a diabolical Cassadine to stir up trouble and keep the good citizens of Port Chuck on their toes. However, I don't think that Mystery Man will turn out to be a Cassadine. The guest list alone suggests that he's connected to Jason, not Nikolas. My gut tells me that he's going to be Franco.
Keep in mind that after Jason supposedly shot his evil twin, Jason set fire to the studio, so there was no real proof that Franco had died. It makes sense that the writers would have Franco return if they have his ex-girlfriend and his daughter running around town. Plus, we've had several characters mention Franco in such a way that it smacked of foreshadowing. It could have been a red herring designed to throw us off track, but I doubt it.
The return of Franco has potential, depending on how the writers decide to go with the character. They could try a Todd-like redemption storyline, or they could give us an unexpected twist that somehow absolves Franco of any wrongdoing, especially in regards to the murders and Michael and Sam's rapes.
I've gotten to see the kind side of Mystery Man when he interacted with Lulu, and I liked it, so I'm really hoping that he's going to be written as someone that we can root for. He doesn't have to be good, but he does have to be likeable, so if he is Franco, the writers better have a darn good twist up their sleeves because I can't imagine how they could keep a crazy serial killer who had his own nephew raped around on a long-term basis.
So far, I think that Roger's return has been a success because his story captured my attention and made me want to know more. I can't wait for Mystery Man's identity to be revealed, so I will be there with bells on when everyone gathers at the Haunted Star for the party.
Folks, a couple of weeks ago I addressed the issue of T.J. and Molly's breakup. I received some feedback from viewers who were upset that I wasn't angry about what the writers were doing to T.J. Please, understand that it's not a matter of me not liking T.J. because the truth is that I do like him. However, I want the actor to have a storyline, and happily-ever-after is not a storyline on a soap. It's an intermission between storylines.
I think the writers are telling an important story here about young love and relationships. This storyline would have far less impact if Rafe were the one running around behaving like a jealous fool over Molly because he's not the one that she's committed to. I like that they showed Molly making it clear that she won't put up with T.J.'s violent outbursts and constant accusations. It's an empowering story for young girls because, sadly, too many girls put up with that kind of behavior from their boyfriends.
Look at what happened to Kristina when Kiefer started behaving like T.J. I'm not saying that T.J. is an abuser like Kiefer, but I think it's important to see how these things escalate. If T.J. isn't careful, he could be sucked into that unhealthy cycle without even realizing it.
T.J. needs to understand that even though Rafe is romantically interested in Molly, it's not an excuse for T.J. to behave badly. The thing is, Rafe can love Molly until the end of days, but it's not going to matter if Molly doesn't reciprocate those feelings.
I know there is a fear that if Molly ends up with Rafe then T.J. is going to disappear from our screens. This week seemed to suggest otherwise because there were some really great scenes between T.J. and his new friend, Felix, when Felix offered T.J. sage advice about Molly. I really like how the writers have a kid like T.J., who had a really difficult childhood, find two very different, but very strong, male role models to help guide him. It's refreshing to see men in the role of nurturer because that's so rare on television.
I have faith that T.J. will eventually find his way. With any luck, Molly will get some competition to make things interesting and to give both T.J. and Rafe a shot at a happy ending...for now.
Is anyone else confused about the financial state of McCall & Jackal Private Investigations? Months ago, we were told that it was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and that money was so tight that Spinelli had been forced to move into the office because he had lost his apartment. This week, Sam bragged to Silas that she made a perfectly good living on her own when he suggested that she had a nice place because her husband did all right. Later, Spinelli dashed off to use some state-of-the art equipment in their office to trace the text message that Mystery Man had sent from the closet ten feet from where Spinelli and Sam were standing. Yes, I'm still chuckling about that.
Of course money is a very relative thing in Port Charles. For example, Nikolas just dropped a cool million to buy proof of A.J.'s tryst with Carly. I'm assuming that Tracy's proof was some recorded conversations that she's had with A.J. about the matter because, to my knowledge, A.J. and Carly didn't have a camera perched at the foot of the bed when they hit the sheets.
Even though I'm Team A.J., I melt every time Nikolas declares his love for Liz. I feel like I'm the one caught in an illicit affair because I desperately want A.J. to come clean to Liz so they can take the next step in their relationship, yet I hold my breath every time she shares a scene with Nikolas because I want him to grab her and kiss her until her toes curl. I honestly believe that this is a triangle where no one really loses because Liz is in a situation where she can't make a bad choice.
Well, I guess choosing A.J. could be bad if he doesn't fess up about bumping uglies with Carly soon. I can't imagine Nikolas sitting on this information for very long.
Elsewhere in Port Chuck, Lulu finally decided to talk to a doctor about her amnesia. The truth is, I was happy that Lulu agreed to see Kevin because it meant that I wouldn't have to be subjected to one more scene of Dante trying to force Lulu to remember her past or asking her "What is it? Do you remember something?" every single time she blinked or twitched. Yeah, yeah, I know she's his wife and he loves her, but what's wrong with giving her some space? Look how well that worked for Milo, who was rewarded with a couple of kisses from Lulu.
Speaking of pressuring people, I was tickled pink when Britt's plan to manipulate her way into Patrick's home backfired. I could have kissed Sabrina when she invited Britt to stay with her. The look on Britt's face when Sabrina pointed out that Britt would have access to round-the-clock nursing care and wouldn't have to put up with a rambunctious child whom Britt didn't like was absolutely priceless. I loved seeing the rug pulled out from under Britt's machinations.
However, I found it rather interesting that awkward, bashful, nervous, innocent Sabrina suddenly didn't have a problem with Patrick walking up on her while she was changing out of her scrubs in the locker room. I was rather surprised when Sabrina stood there, wearing only a bra, as she greeted Patrick with a smile. I was also shocked when she perched herself on a bench in the bathroom while Patrick showered. True, she kept her eyes averted from his "assets," but she seemed mighty at ease chatting with him while he lathered up. They acted more like old lovers rather than two people who haven't even had a date yet.
Was there a love scene that I missed?
A few things that tickled my fancy
(Connie and Olivia decide to go to dinner)
Olivia: "So, you want to grab some dinner?"
Connie: "Oh, sure, as long as it's not pizza again."
Olivia: "Oh, no, no, no, no. We're going to a nice, relaxing dinner with table service and a nice bottle of wine..."
Olivia:" ...Where no one is being bound or gagged or held at gunpoint."
Connie: "Did you make reservations?"
\ (Michael introduces Carly to Kiki)
Michael: Hey, Mom. Uh, oh, meet Morgan's girlfriend, Kiki. They just had sex in my bed."
(Carly is curious if Morgan's new girlfriend was the one who roped him into gambling)
Kiki: [Extends hand] "Call me Kiki"
Carly: "Call a cab and put some clothes on, on your way out the door."
(Silas talks to Mystery Man about a murder on the pier)
Silas: "They tell me my brother killed her. Apparently, that was his thing -- killing people."
Mystery Man: "Cross him off your Christmas list."
Silas: "He's dead."
Mystery Man: "Oh, shame."
Until next time, dear readers, take care.