Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

For the Week of January 6, 2014
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GH Two Scoops: Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
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The good -- and not so good -- people of Port Charles celebrated Christmas and rang in the New Year. Some made some major life changes, a few relocated for a short time, and others decided to kick off the holidays with a good old-fashioned shootout.

• Read Liz Masters' column for the Best and Worst of GH 2013.
• Read Tamilu's column for the Best and Worst of GH 2013.
• Listen to our special two-part year-end podcasts: The Best of 2013 and The Worst of 2013

It's a new year chock full of fresh starts and new beginnings for the people of Port Charles. Maxie decided to tear a page from Eat, Pray, Love by announcing that she was going to leave town for a spiritual journey of self-discovery, so she could put the past into perspective and hopefully learn from her mistakes.

In real life, Kirsten Storms and her husband, Brandon Barash (ex-Johnny Zacchara) are expecting their first child -- a daughter -- within the next few weeks, so the actress is going on maternity leave.

As temporary exits go, this one is well written and makes complete sense. It's long past time for Maxie to grow up. Granted, she will likely always struggle with her bad-girl tendencies, but this past year was a truly ugly one for Maxie, and it made me detest her on a level I hadn't felt since her days of stealing drugs, faking a pregnancy and an overdose, and seducing married man, Lucky.

I was really happy that Maxie decided that it was time to make some serious changes with her life and then took the time to pay Lulu a visit. I haven't been much of a Lulu fan, either, despite seeing Lulu's side in all of this. I feel Lulu was hurt most by everything that happened because she was not only deprived of her child, but she was betrayed by her best friend. Someone Lulu thought she could trust. However, Lulu did and said things that I found deplorable. I'm quicker to forgive Lulu, though, because she was lashing out in pain.

The visit between Maxie and Lulu was the first glimpse that I had in a very long time of why I ultimately have a special place in my heart for each of these ladies, warts and all. Their guards were down, and they were each raw and honest during that exchange.

I really got the sense from Maxie that she finally understood what she had done to Lulu. I absolutely believed Maxie when she admitted that losing baby Georgie to Spinelli had given her a glimmer of insight into Lulu's pain, and it made me realize that it was exactly what I had needed to see in order for me to start forgiving Maxie for what she did. It wasn't about Maxie being sorry. That had never been in question. For me, it was about Maxie realizing exactly what she had put Lulu through.

On a side note, I am beyond thrilled that Spinelli and Maxie finally named their daughter. I began to fear that it wouldn't happen. Not surprisingly, the little darling's name is Georgie. Truthfully, I was not really fond of Lulu and Dante's decision to name that poor child Connie. It seemed a little creepy to name a baby after a woman who was just murdered.

Sadly, while Maxie embarked on a journey of healing, Lulu's pain was far from over because hours after Maxie left, Lulu and Dante went to the hospital and learned that Lulu didn't have any viable eggs to harvest for another round of fertilization, so whatever chance Lulu had of mothering a biological child was shattered.

Britt suspected that Lulu's infertility stemmed from the trauma of being drugged and thrown into a deep freeze during Lulu's weeks as Stavros' captive on Cassadine Island. I imagine that being frozen would wreak havoc on one's already fragile ovaries, so it was completely plausible to me. Then again, miracle pregnancies are not exactly unheard of in Port Charles, so there's a slim chance that Lulu got pregnant when she slept with Dante the night before she walked out on him.

Ideally, Lulu will march straight to Wyndemere and perch herself on that sofa with Ben until someone notices that he looks more like Lulu's son than Britt's. However, I doubt that's going to happen, since even if Lulu did move in with her brother, Nik is too blinded by his love for the succubus known as Britt.

Sorry, folks, I just can't get into Nik and Britt's relationship because it's based on an endless string of lies. I will wash my hands of Nikolas if he forgives Britt for what she did to Lulu. As he told Silas, "Cassadines take care of their own." Even though Lulu isn't a Cassadine, she is Nik's sister.

I'm not sure when the truth will come out, but I'm certain that it will. Either Brad will spill the beans, or Ben will get sick with aplastic anemia, like Lulu had as a child, and need a bone marrow transplant. However the truth is revealed, I'm not sure that it will be in time to save Dante and Lulu's marriage. Lulu was in a very dark place when she walked out on Dante on New Year's Eve because she feels betrayed by the two people that she trusted most. Lulu tends to get a little reckless when she's in that frame of mind, so it is possible she might cross paths with a hunky new detective.

I think that Dante and Lulu's marriage can be saved, but Dante needs to do some serious work. I think Lulu forgot about her wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve because she hasn't felt like Dante's wife since the custody hearing. Perhaps even before because Dante seemed almost immediately resigned to handing the baby over, while Lulu wanted to fight.

I'm on Lulu's side with this one. Dante lies for Sonny, and pretty much everyone else in his family of misfits and ruffians, on a regular basis, so why he couldn't have told one little lie that might have secured custody of a baby girl that he claimed to love as his own is beyond me. If it was about doing the right thing by making sure little Georgie was returned to her rightful parents, as I hope Ben will be, then he should have put his foot down about going to court to seek custody. At least that way, she would have known where he stood instead of having her hopes crushed in court.

Despite everything, I do believe that Dante and Lulu truly love each other and that they would be wonderful parents to their son, so in a perfect world, they will not only get their son away from Britt, but a surprise pregnancy as well.

Meanwhile, Britt should book a seat next Maxie on that spiritual journey of self-discovery because Britt continues to live on borrowed time with Nikolas and at the hospital as a doctor.

I don't feel the least bit sorry for Britt because she started all of this with no regard to the baby that she was using. That she fell in love with Ben along the way is beside the point because he doesn't belong to her. She stole him. I relish the day it all comes crashing down on Britt. She's going to deserve every miserable second coming her way. Just ask Maxie how brutal karma can be.

Before leaving town, Maxie took the time to sublet her apartment to a sexy new detective named Nathan West, portrayed by the very handsome Ryan Paevey.

It's clear that Ryan Paevey is a newcomer to soaps, so I'm willing to cut him some slack until he's had some time to settle in. Contrary to popular belief, working on a soap opera is not for the faint of heart. It takes true talent, dedication, and hard work. Luckily, Paevey is surrounded by an amazing cast of talented actors who I'm sure will help him grow as an actor.

I must confess that I'm intrigued by the secret that Silas is keeping. With Ava involved, anything is possible. I like Silas, but I'm really hoping that whatever he's hiding will cost him the chief of staff position at the hospital because I want Monica to get her job back. The hospital needs to be run by a Quartermaine or a Hardy. Steven Lars is currently in jail, so that leaves Monica.

Ava spent the holidays spreading her special brand of holiday cheer by stopping off at the Quartermaine mansion to pay A.J. a visit. She used the flimsy excuse that she was dropping off presents for Kiki and Michael, even though neither Kiki nor Michael lived there. Ava's ulterior motives quickly became clear when she taunted A.J. about killing Connie and then twisted the knife by telling him that he had to live with the horror of knowing that he did it. She then shoved A.J. over the cliff by carefully setting a big tumbler of whiskey-flavored temptation on the table and then sauntered out of the room with a Cheshire cat grin of satisfaction. Not surprisingly, A.J. reached for that glass as soon as Ava cleared the doorway.

I love Ava because she is deliciously bad and never fails to disappoint. I'm not happy that A.J. is her target du jour, but at least it gives A.J. a storyline.

I feel bad for A.J. because it's clear that he did not kill Connie, but he isn't privy to what we are, so he doesn't realize that the real killer is his tormentor, Ava Jerome. Instead, he's struggling with the possibility that he killed a woman in a drunken rage that he blacked out. I know many would question why A.J. would then turn to alcohol when it was what had led to all of his troubles in the first place, but that's the pitfall of addiction. The thing that gives you the most pain also offers you temporary solace from that pain.

However, I can't fathom how it continues to escape everyone's notice that Connie might have been killed by someone else bearing the initials AJ, like Ava Jerome. It's driving me crazy that Anna appears to be so shortsighted that she hasn't considered the possibility that Ava might have killed Connie to protect Julian's secret. After all, Connie was killed in the office that Connie had shared with Derek Wells, a.k.a Julian Jerome, the man who has Connie's boyfriend firmly in his sights.

Some might feel that A.J. deserves to suffer whatever horrible thing happens to him because he escaped justice for his previous crimes by working out a deal with the prosecutor, but I don't hold that against A.J. any more than I do anyone else who avoided prosecution for a crime that they committed because of a technicality, a deal they worked out, or a cop turning a blind eye to their crime.

I hate that A.J. has relapsed and is now sneaking drinks and wallowing in self-pity, but I also see that in this case he has good reason to feel as broken as he does because he was framed by a master.

This is the ugly side of A.J. that I had really hoped was in the past. Perhaps it's a bit Pollyannaish of me, because soaps tend to be about people making bad choices and taking the wrong turns, but I had wanted more for A.J. at this point. Hopefully, Ron Carlivati will surprise me by having A.J. pull himself up by the bootstraps, dust himself off, and solve this mystery, at least enough to give A.J. some peace of mind.

Meanwhile, Morgan has finally realized that he's neck deep in stuff that he has no business being in, so he paid Julian a visit to inform the boss that he wants out. I'm not sure how someone like Morgan can possibly think that it would be as easy as saying "I want out," but then again, Morgan isn't exactly the brightest bulb in the package.

Right now, I'm hoping that Julian orders a couple of his men to break Morgan's kneecaps, because what little affection I had for Morgan fled when the little coward ran out of the warehouse, leaving Max to die. A real man would have stayed, damn the consequences. A real man wouldn't have tried to blame someone else, and a real man wouldn't have used his own father's mental issues to suggest that the shooting was a result of his father being off his meds. Morgan has a true talent for finding new personal lows.

Elsewhere in Port Charles, Patrick finally realized that his heart belonged to Robin, so he hightailed it over to Sabrina's to break up with her on Christmas Eve (ouch) before returning to the bosom of his family in time to slide some presents under the tree, including one from Sabrina.

I haven't decided if Emma innocently manages to make the most awkward requests or if she intentionally seeks ways to make the adults around her squirm. Christmas morning was a prime example of Emma's amazing ability to zero in on a person's greatest weakness when she opened a present from her mother and discovered that it was a stuffed koala bear, exactly like one that she already had. Never mind that there were a dozen other presents scattered all around her like confetti to be excited about; Emma found the time to show her disappointment to her mother and then promptly dove under the tree to retrieve the next gift, which just so happened to be from Sabrina.

Naturally, it was the one thing that Emma had wanted most in the whole wide world, a Dyna Girl Action set. Emma was so delighted by this gift that she asked her parents if they could all pay Sabrina a visit to thank her. Robin and Patrick managed not to gasp as they vaguely agreed and then tactfully changed the subject. The thing is, Emma is old enough to understand that daddy broke up with Sabrina and that Sabrina needs some space for a little while. Patrick should have explained that to Emma and then suggested that Emma write Sabrina a little thank you note for the gift, which they could send to Sabrina.

Then again, it's a moot issue, since Sabrina will forevermore be a permanent fixture in their lives because, like all good soap breakups, it ended with an unplanned pregnancy. I'm surprised that the Drakes didn't hear Felix's squeal of delight when he read the pregnancy test that confirmed that Sabrina was indeed pregnant with Patrick's child.

I adore Felix, and I understand that he adores Sabrina, but he's been an infuriatingly annoying friend since learning that Robin is back.

It's one thing to be Team Patrina, but what happened to being Team Sabrina first and foremost? To be honest, I don't think he's been that. Rather than help Sabrina to try to come to terms with the very real possibility that Patrick might choose the love of his life, wife, and mother of his child over a woman he allowed himself to fall in love with because his wife had died, Felix continually gave Sabrina false hope that Patrick would pick Sabrina.

It was a turn-off to see how Felix was positively giddy with joy at the prospect of how Sabrina's pregnancy might change things. It doesn't seem to matter to Felix that others might get hurt as long as Patrina are the endgame. I applauded Sabrina for pointing out that she was in the same position that Britt had been in when Patrick picked Sabrina. Only this time, it really is Patrick's baby.

If I remember correctly, Felix was one of the first to lead the charge against Britt by reminding everyone that Patrick wasn't obligated to be with Britt in order to be a father to the baby. That ideal appears to have flown out the window because his attitude suggests that he expects Patrick to do right by Sabrina and the baby by leaving his wife and daughter.

This storyline is going to take some time to play out because it's ultimately going to pave the way for Teresa Castillo's temporary exit when she goes on maternity leave in May.

Back to Felix. I have friends in my life who will tell me the truth even if it hurts. I value these people because I can count on them to not only have my back, but to help me through the difficult times.

If Sabrina had been my friend, I would have cursed the Fates that broke my friend's heart, but I wouldn't have spent endless hours giving her false hope about a relationship that was clearly over the minute Patrick saw Robin in the church and kissed her in front of God and everyone, including Sabrina.

I would have gotten Sabrina drunk -- on nonalcoholic champagne, since she's pregnant -- eaten ice cream with her until we were sick, watched chick flicks until we were blind, and talked smack about Patrick until the cows came home. After that, retail therapy and plenty of girls' nights out until the pain lessened. That's what friends do. They help you get through the bad times. They don't throw you into the fire for maximum damage.

That said, I was bothered by Sabrina's assumption that Patrick doesn't want their baby simply because it wasn't planned and he went back to Robin. Sabrina is using that excuse to justify not telling Patrick about the baby. Did Sabrina not want the baby because it wasn't planned? Clearly not, since she didn't considered having an abortion. So why assume that a man would feel differently than a woman about an unplanned pregnancy?

I love that Robin told Patrick that it wasn't the right time for them to expand their family because she needed time to acclimate herself and get her life back on track. I thought that the recommitment ceremony was a great idea, especially since they included their daughter. I don't necessarily believe in renewing vows because it's been my experience that more often than not, it's a last-ditch effort to save something that is broken beyond repair, but in this case, it made sense because part of the reason that they did it was to assure their daughter that they were a family again.

Across town, Rafe has decided to take drastic measures to secure a shot at a romantic relationship with Molly by revealing to Anna that T.J. witnessed the shootout at Sonny's coffee warehouse.

I like Molly, and I've grown to like T.J., but I have to say, as a mom, I would not want my daughter in a relationship like the one that Molly and T.J. have. Bear with me. I get that they are on a soap opera and that they will find themselves in situations that normal teens wouldn't be in, but I'm not referring to the shootout at Uncle Sonny's warehouse. My issues are with the jealousy, distrust, and games that they play with each other.

My daughter is sixteen, so when she began to date, we sat down and had a long talk about what each of our expectations were. I was gratified to learn that she understands that dating is supposed to be fun and not something that she should have to put a lot of work into, to keep it going. Not at this stage in her life.

I don't see that at all with Molly and T.J. mainly because Molly seems to be drawn to guys who need saving. She's drawn to them like a moth to a flame, a lot like her mother and sisters. I had hoped that Molly would be different, but at times she seems to be the worst of the lot because she seems to create a lot of these situations.

Finally, my favorite scene over the past couple of weeks was Kathleen Gati singing O Tannenbaum. She did an absolutely splendid job. Her rendition of the Christmas classic actually brought a tear to my eye because it took me back to when I was a little girl and celebrated Christmases in Germany.

For those of you who watch General Hospital online, you might want to check out Dan Kroll's story about the changes that ABC instituted for online viewing.

Also, a quick shout-out of gratitude to the genius who finally arranged for Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Bailey, Chandra Wilson, to visit the set of General Hospital. I'm a huge GREY'S fan, so this is exciting news, and my fingers are crossed that she either play Dr. Bailey or someone a lot like her.

A few things that tickled my fancy

Felix arrives home unexpectedly
Sabrina: [Chuckles nervously] Felix! You're home! I-I, um -- wow. I thought that you weren't gonna be back until next week.
Felix: "I just pulled off the greatest escape since Toto climbed out of Mrs. Gulch's bicycle basket. Taylor's still in the basket, but it was every DuBois for his or herself."
Felix returns with a pregnancy test for Sabrina
Felix:: "I have to admit, a pregnancy test is the last thing I thought I would ever buy. I even bought coffee filters and gum so it wouldn't be obvious."

Robert presents Emma with a gift that the adults immediately recognize as a didgeridoo
Anna: "Oh, no, Robert."
Duke: "Bad form, man."
Robert: "What?"
Robin: "You didgeri-didn't."
Robert [grins]: "I didgeri-did."

Maxie explains that she needs to leave town for a few months to deal with everything that has happened
Mac: "It seems like you've learned enough, sweetheart, without cutting yourself off from your whole family. We just got Robin back, and now you're leaving?"
Robin: "What Uncle Mac is trying to say [clears throat] is that...we love you so much, and we just selfishly would hope that you could find yourself a little closer to home."
Later, Mac grumbles to Felicia about Maxie's decision to leave town
Mac: "I still don't understand why she can't eat, pray, and love here. I mean, we have food, churches, and plenty of people to love in Port Charles."

Anna reads Duke an excerpt of an article about the shooting at the warehouse that appeared in the Port Charles Press
Anna: "'According to sources, the maladroit Mafia don was cleaning his weapon when the gun suddenly went off, accidentally plugging his doddering deputy in the chest.' [snorts] As if. 'The P.C.P.D. was forced to release Corinthos, as there were no formal charges being filed against the criminal butterfingers.' It's trash!"

Julian contemplates taking drastic action against anyone who can place him at the shootout at Sonny's warehouse
Ava: "Do you see how this adds up, Julian? If you set out to eliminate anyone who could possibly incriminate you, you'll have to bump off not only Morgan, but two children. One of them is your daughter's sister. I seriously doubt that will endear you to Sam."

Until next time, dear readers, take care.
Liz Masters

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

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