A martini without olives is just vodka and vermouth

For the Week of March 13, 2017
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GH Two Scoops: A martini without olives is just vodka and vermouth
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The week of March 13, 2017
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The week started out with promise as Olivia ran amok, Franco and Liz rescued Julian from a trunk, Duke made an appearance, and Jason and Sam got their happily-ever-after despite Jake's dire prediction. However, the week ended in disappointment, like a martini without olives, thanks to lackluster revelations and anticlimactic cliffhangers.

The highlight of the week for me was a visit from Nora Hanen-Gannon-Buchanan, who popped into town to represent Valentin at the custody hearing.

Before One Life to Live fans fire off emails and tweets, I remember Nora's brief misguided marriage to serial killer Daniel Colson, but I choose to ignore it because the marriage was built on lies -- and his last name doesn't rhyme with the rest.

I was excited to see Nora because Hillary B. Smith is a wonderful actress, and Nora is a smart, funny, and very interesting character. Nora and her husband, Bo, are a legendary couple, in the same league as Luke and Laura, Duke and Anna, and Sonny and Carly. Their romance was epic, with many ups and downs, but in the end, they were each other's lobster. (Shameless Friends reference)

I was eager for news about Bo, their son Mathew, their grandchild, Clint and Viki, and even Téa. I had hoped Nora would mention how Téa was doing after losing not one but two children when it was revealed that the baby she took home was Danny.

Alas, I didn't get any of that. I had a quick throwaway reference to the numerous ultimatums the Buchanans had bandied about over the years and how they had never ended well before she was back to business, trying to give Valentin pointers on how retain full custody of Charlotte.

It was hugely disappointing -- and a missed opportunity, because I know that there are many OLTL and AMC fans like me who still miss their stories.

When I first heard about Hillary's appearance on GH, I thought Nora might be the new mystery district attorney everyone has been talking about, but I quickly realized that was unlikely, since that would mean uprooting her husband, Bo. That's why I wasn't surprised to see her pop up as Valentin's attorney. I wasn't thrilled with the situation because I find it ridiculous that Valentin even has a case to keep Lulu out of Charlotte's life, but if that's what it took to get a little visit from Nora, then so be it.

The whole proceeding seemed off to me -- and somewhat tilted in Valentin's favor, which I couldn't understand. The judge was supposed to be impartial, and even though she gave Lulu an opportunity to make an opening statement, it seemed that was about all Lulu was allowed to say. The remainder of the focus was on Valentin and how wonderful he was as a parent. I applauded the judge's decision to have a professional talk to Charlotte -- mainly because I think both Valentin and Nina have passive-aggressively brainwashed Charlotte against Lulu. However, why did the judge not grant Lulu visitation with her daughter?

I find it ludicrous that a man who is married to a woman with Nina's mental health history would even have a shot at more than supervised visits. Lest we forget, Nina's obsessive desire to have a child led her to kidnap a very pregnant Ava, drug her, and steal her newborn baby. Why Nina's testimony held so much weight when none of those issues was addressed is a mystery to me. I'm also puzzled why Dante didn't get to make a statement. Does a police detective's testimony carry less weight than a fashion editor with a dubious history accumulated over a shockingly short period of time?

It's hard to take the custody hearing seriously when the writing is so heavy-handed. Unless the judge is in Valentin's pocket, there is no reason she should have dismissed Diane's argument that Valentin essentially kidnapped Charlotte as an embryo.

That is precisely what Valentin did.

I have yet to hear a single explanation from Valentin that justifies why he didn't immediately tell Lulu about the embryo once he secured it from Helena. Everything Valentin did has only benefited him, not Charlotte, and certainly not Lulu. Charlotte might know and love her father, but there is no reason that she shouldn't have had the same opportunity with her biological mother. In no way was Claudette a better option than Lulu, so Valentin can't even use that as an excuse.

I find it deplorable that the judge hasn't ordered Valentin to hand Charlotte over to her mother until the custody issue is settled because, regardless of the outcome, Charlotte has a right to know both her parents and to build a relationship with Lulu. To deny a child that opportunity is unconscionable.

That said, I'm looking forward to seeing more of Nora as things progress. I just hope that they stay true to character and have her sit Valentin down to try to talk some sense into him about Charlotte's custody. Nora was always a champion for children, so I don't want that changing because of Valentin.

This week, we also had a wonderful treat when Ian Buchanan reprised his role as Duke Lavery. Unfortunately, he was a hallucination of Olivia Jerome's mind after she foolishly thought she'd resurrected him by sacrificing his son in an Eastern mystical ritual. Olivia got sidetracked during the ceremony because Anna showed up to confront her nemesis and take Olivia down, which put a crimp in Olivia's nefarious plans.

Anna would not be stopped from making Olivia face justice, despite the numerous dire warnings from her doctors that she could bleed out and die if she were injured. Therefore, I fully expected Anna to collapse seconds after Olivia sliced Anna's hand open during their altercation. She didn't, though. Anna hung around for quite a while, even going so far as to join forces with Griffin to overpower Olivia and bind Olivia's hands.

Now, admittedly I have two parents who are on powerful blood thinners, and I've seen what happens when they suffer a simple cut chopping vegetables or something equally mundane. A person on blood thinners bleeds profusely and continuously. A cut like Anna's would have resulted in blood everywhere and the lab looking like a slaughterhouse within seconds. Also, Anna would have passed out in minutes if the cut hadn't been attended to.

The scene was completely unrealistic, as was Griffin suddenly turning into the Hulk and breaking free of the straps that had bound him to the gurney throughout Olivia's little games trying to bring Duke back to life.

Luckily, Finola Hughes and Tonja Walker are at the top of their game and absolutely dominated the scenes by making the most out of them, so it's easy to overlook the lackadaisical attention to continuity the writers seem have for everything.

The Anna and Olivia flashbacks from decades earlier were great because it allowed the writers to paint a vivid picture of Anna and Olivia's history and deep hatred of each other.

Tonja's return is exactly what the show -- and Anna -- needed to spice things up, and her recent scenes are definitely worthy of an Emmy, especially the ones with Anna. Anna is at her best when she's in kick-ass spy mode, and Olivia is the perfect adversary for Anna because Olivia is deliciously evil and as brilliant as she is insane. Throw Duke into the mix, and there's tons of potential for great storylines -- and a reason for Olivia to keep returning to stir up trouble.

Seeing Duke gives me hope that the writers will find some way to bring him back to life. Heck, if we are to believe that Olivia survived Julian's bullet, then Duke can be found in a freezer somewhere in Helena's secret underground lab.

By far, Jason's valiant rescue of Robin was the most cockamamie scene of the week. I'm not a bomb expert, by any means, but even I understood enough to know that a pressurized bomb means that it won't detonate as long as the weight on it remains consistent.

Yet Jason slipped behind Robin then slowly traded places with her -- one foot at a time. Even pregnant, Robin weighs far less than Jason, meaning the weight on the pressure plate had not remained consistent. Ergo, it should have gone boom.

If the solution had been as simple as putting a similar weight on the pressure plate, then why not fetch a heavy box to slide onto it as Robin stepped off?

By the way, did anyone else roll their eyes when they saw the bomb in the elevator? Given the political climate and tensions these days, I thought it was a bit in poor taste.

It was also unimaginative. It would have been far more thrilling -- and believable -- if an electrical fire had started in Helena's old lab. The hospital could have been evacuated while they raced to put out the fire and find Robin before she succumbed to smoke inhalation or worse.

One of my favorite scenes this week was Olivia's little visit with Ava. Finally.

The sisters met, and it was glorious. I saw instantly that these two women will never bond the way Ava and Julian did. Olivia is simply too unstable to feel a connection with anyone, let alone an illegitimate sister that she just met. I can't blame Olivia. Her family members try to kill her. Still, I noticed -- and liked -- the effort the writers made to show the similarities between the sisters.

Ava and Olivia may despise each other, but they will always share a love of martinis with olives.

Moving on, Jake told Franco that Helena had cursed Sam to never know happiness again. Granted, Helena didn't have magical powers, but her curses have been known to work a time or two, like when Nikolas had to save Emily by taking her to the Garden of Aphrodite for true love's kiss.

However, in this case, I don't give Helena's curse much credence because it seems like things have been going Sam's way ever since she found out that Jason was alive -- and Helena has been dead for months.

Folks, I'm sorry to say that I think Jason and Sam have become boring.

Yes, the baby's birth was a typical tension-fraught soap opera delivery, but ultimately everyone was fine, and Jason and Sam have a healthy little girl and the perfect family. They even named the baby after Jason's beloved sister, Emily. Sadly though, the birth of Emily Scout -- whom everyone seems to be referring to as Scout -- didn't stop Jason from hopping onto a bomb.

It's sad, but I didn't find Jason's act of heroism exciting because we all know that Jason isn't going to die. He's one of the stars of the show and, at this point, bomb- and bulletproof.

Now, I might have been nervous if Billy Miller's contract was up for renewal, but that isn't the case.

Meanwhile, Nelle had it out with Carly and Sonny -- a lethal mob boss whose marriage she imploded -- and she decided to stay in town rather than flee while the fleeing was good.

It was clear weeks ago when Nelle heard Carly talking about Frank Benson being a deadbeat adoptive father who had abandoned Carly and Virginia that Nelle was Frank's daughter, so I wasn't surprised in the least when Nelle confirmed it. I waited for Nelle to explain what was at the root of the vendetta against Carly, but sadly, Nelle's excuses were tissue-thin and borderline insane.

According to Nelle, Carly rejected Frank and refused to help him out financially until Carly needed a kidney for Josslyn, at which time Carly demanded that Frank fork over one of Nelle's organs.

I can believe a ten-year-old buying that story, but at some point, maturity and basic common sense kicks in as a person grows older. Nelle should have seen the glaring holes in Frank's story long ago.

To start with, it is common knowledge in all of Port Charles that everyone believed that Jake's kidney had been donated to Josslyn. If Nelle had any doubts, then she should have had a little chat with Liz, who would have shared every excruciating and agonizing detail of what it had been like to lose a toddler in a hit-and-run and make the decision to terminate life support. Liz would have told Nelle all about how Jason had asked Liz to donate Jake's kidney to Josslyn and how Liz had slapped his face. After Liz was done, Nelle wouldn't have had a single doubt that Carly truly believed that Jake's kidney had been given to Josslyn.

The incident had such a profound effect on Carly and Elizabeth that even now, knowing it hadn't been Jake's kidney, the once bitter rivals tolerate and even respect each other to a certain degree.

There's also the fact that Carly would have had no idea what Nelle's blood type was or if Nelle would have been a match to Josslyn when she made the demand. If I recall correctly, Josslyn was actually a rare blood type, so it had been difficult to find a match for her.

It's far more likely that Frank had heard about the search for a donor because Jax and Carly had spared no expense at getting the word out and having drives for people to be tested. Frank might have discovered by sheer luck that Nelle was a match for Josslyn.

The conspiracy theorist in me suspects that Frank was not Nelle's father -- Jerry Jacks is. That would explain why Nelle and Josslyn were a match.

I could live with the idea of Michael dating his sister's cousin, but the idea of him lusting after his mother's adopted sister -- legally his aunt -- and the woman who slept with his father just seems icky.

As it stands now, this storyline is a disaster, and the writers need to find a quick fix, wrap it up, and let everyone move on.

I want to forget about this aspect of the storyline and hopefully find a way to like Nelle again.

Finally, this week, news broke that Jane Elliot will soon be exiting as Tracy Quartermaine.

I have no idea what the details are, but my hope is that they leave the door wide open for Tracy to return -- even if it's just for the holidays and special occasions.

Initially, I was heartbroken because there are so few Quartermaines as it is, and Tracy is one of the more colorful ones and definitely a favorite. Michael simply isn't enough, nor are the occasional glimpses of Ned and Dillon. However, I recall that Jane has left before and returned. I have faith that she'll be back because GH is her home, and her fans would be crushed if she vanished, never to be seen again.

Random observations
You would think with all the terrible happenings over the years in the parking garage that General Hospital would have invested in security cameras and at least a guard or two.

Why did Alexis bring Sam a basket of food for a breastfeeding mother but later bottle feed newborn Emily Scout? I nursed each of my children, and it is critical in the first few days for a lactating mother to breastfeed her newborn because that's when she produces colostrum, which protects a newborn from infection. It also reduces the risk of the mother developing a painful condition known as mastitis.

Why did Jordan not call in SWAT and every other police agency available to her when she realized that Olivia was running around the hospital and potentially endangering everyone?

I'm thrilled that Robin and Patrick are having another baby and Anna will have a second grandchild. However, it's sad that we won't get to watch it all unfold.

Reader feedback

Finola's PSA's at the end of episodes this week about the disease is commendable. Robin's PSA about it, when she was talking to the officer stationed outside of Anna's room, was not. That entire speech about the disease to the officer was so out of place. Finola's PSA's were fine on their own. Anyone wanting additional information only has to hit the internet. I groaned the entire time Robin informed the officer of every little detail regarding the disease when he clearly hadn't asked her about all of that. -- Stacy Logan

Frankly, I am so sick of Sam telling everybody how she can take care of herself, only to find her always waiting for a hero to rescue her. It has been overdone to the point that I don't care if she never gets rescued! (It's gotten that redundant!) -- lovethosedimples
I've got some questions about that brass bathtub too, like how do you empty that thing? Even if it's got a drain hole, you can't pull the plug in the living room, and you can't carry a heavy tub full of water outside. I guess you'd have to do it one bucket at a time, which is pretty gross, not to mention tiring. -- Scrimmage

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts about the show. I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to email me or leave a comment below.

Until next time, 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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