The 2017 Nurses Ball kicked off with wonderful and exciting red carpet fashions. It's always one of my favorite parts of the week-long extravaganza -- besides the performances and climatic twists and turns.
This year, we were lucky to get some significant movement in several storylines, so it was quite an eventful week. More on that later, though.
First, let's start with the fashion hits and misses because that's how the week began.
The men -- old and young alike -- looked quite dapper in their tuxedos. Then again, men's fashions have never really been an issue for the show. The guys generally tend to be well dressed, even when they are in T-shirts and jeans. There might be a random ugly sweater or tie, but it's rare.
The wardrobe department has far more difficulty with the ladies.
Thankfully, all the women looked fabulous for the Nurses Ball, with the sole exception of poor Lulu. I felt terrible for Emme Rylan, who had the misfortune of being put in a cumbersome Pepto Bismol pink monstrosity that made her look like she was helplessly trapped in a brocade circus tent. It was just awful -- and the worst possible way to hide her pregnancy.
By trying to hide Emme's pregnancy, the wardrobe department ended up drawing attention to it -- in spectacular fashion. They would have been far better off dressing her in something soft and flowy with an empire waist that complimented her pregnancy. It's not like we are going to lose our collective minds if we see Lulu looking as if she's about to give birth. I'm certain the vast majority of the viewing audience is capable of separating reality from fiction.
Those that can't probably shouldn't be watching soap operas.
I liked Charlotte's dress until I saw the mommy version of it on Lulu. After that, pink was not my thing.
Best dressed goes to Becky Herbst. She wore a black and white creation that hugged her in all the right places and hit all the right marks with glittering beads, high neckline, daring low back, and slightly flared skirt. Becky was perfection from her loose bun with curling wisps framing her face to her understated jewelry and minimal makeup.
A very close second was Kelly Monaco's silky gown of gold complimented by vibrant-colored accessories. It was surprising to see Sam in technicolor, but very welcome. They should have Sam step out of her monochromatic box more often. Kelly is gorgeous in jewel tones.
I also loved Laura's elegant dark blue gown and Valerie's sexy I've-moved-on-from-Curtis dress that would tempt a saint to sin.
Finally, Lucy -- as usual -- wore an array of gowns. Ironically, my two favorite were the first and last.
There were fifty shades of purple this year, but only two women wore red. Felicia's gown was pretty but rather forgettable in the sea of beautiful gowns on the red carpet. That's why Lucy's sleeveless silver-sequined bodice with candy apple red bell-skirt splashed with white won the red dress category hands down. It wasn't even a contest.
Lucy's silver-white mermaid gown with wide off-the-shoulder straps that she wore to meet her date at the end of the evening was simply spectacular. I kept thinking Lucy's date is going to feel like the luckiest man in the room when he sees her.
As an aside, I would like to take a moment to make a suggestion, and nominate soapcentral.com's very own soap guru extraordinaire, Dan J. Kroll, to host the 2018 Nurses Ball red carpet arrivals. Nothing against Mario Lopez, but Dan does this stuff in real life, and he's a huge fan of the show. Why not pluck someone from the soap opera community to do it?
I also think the powers that be should consider sprinkling the background on the red carpet with a few special fans -- maybe run a sweepstakes -- and members of the soap opera press corp. It would be a fabulous way to connect with the fans and generate more attention to a worthy cause.
Just food for thought. What do you think?
Now, back to our stories.
Hands down, the most ridiculous twist in ages was Sonny figuring out that Ava had tampered with Morgan's lithium. Talk about jumping the shark.
Let's take a minute to follow the history of Morgan's prescription bottle over the past few months.
It starts with Ava stealing the pills from Morgan's bedroom, finding a dark seedy alleyway far away from her stomping grounds, and tossing the bottle into a dumpster. Lucy found the bottle and held onto it for weeks until Scott managed to replace the placebo pills with lithium tablets. The bottle stayed buried for months until the night at the Floating Rib when Lucy exchanged it for a very valuable antiquity.
After that, Dante had the bottle itself tested for fingerprints and DNA in the police lab. He then turned it over to Sonny. Sonny handed the bottle of pills to Andre, who dumped them on his desk so he could verify the pill count matched what Morgan would have had if he'd been taking his meds as prescribed. Everything checked out, so off the bottle went to yet another lab to have the tablets tested.
Throughout all of this, people were taking the pills in and out of the bottle. Yet, miraculously, crumbled residue from a placebo tablet managed to valiantly cling to the bottom of the bottle until Sonny's eagle eye noticed it, tasted it, and determined that it was not lithium.
After all that, there was still enough residue left over for the lab to determine that it was the remnants of a placebo. The lab concluded this in a matter of hours, even though the hospital was operating with a skeleton crew because most of the staff was performing at the Nurses Ball.
As if the whole scene at Sonny's house wasn't ridiculous enough, it went to the absurd when Andre stood there, waiting with bated breath for Sonny to taste the mystery substance. Never mind that it could have been anything from an illegal drug to a deadly poison, but since when did Sonny become an expert on lithium?
I take a baby aspirin every day, but that doesn't make me an expert on all things aspirin.
I would have preferred for Sonny or Carly to have simply overheard Ava talking to Scott about what she did. That would have been more believable because no one in Port Charles has ever met a secret they didn't feel compelled to blab about whenever they were in public.
After Sonny marched over to the hotel to fill Carly in about Ava's secret, the two tracked Ava down to her gallery's warehouse, where she was in the process of grabbing a bag filled with passports, cash, and a gun to help her hightail it out of town and vanish. The confrontation was intense. I got chills when Sonny and Carly took turns reciting passages from Morgan's journal to drive home to Ava how lost and afraid Morgan had felt in those last days before his tragic death. It was powerful and gripping.
However, both Sonny and Carly lost me when they continually talked about Morgan as if he'd been a little boy. I realize that he was their child, but he was a grown man. He knew right from wrong, even in the grips of a manic episode. That's why he punched T.J. when T.J. tried to stop him from jumping into Julian's car. Morgan wanted to steal that car. Morgan made a conscious choice to take it despite having had a safer -- and legal -- alternative.
Ava isn't blameless, but neither is Morgan.
If Olivia Jerome hadn't planted the bomb in Julian's car, Morgan wouldn't have died that night. That is a fact, not an assumption or a theory.
Jason had gone after Morgan and successfully persuaded him to pull over and get out of the car. Morgan died opening the car door, not because he crashed.
What Ava did was wrong, but it's unlikely that she will ever do any time for tampering with Morgan's medication. The case against her is circumstantial. Even if Sonny and Carly had managed to record Ava's confession, it could easily be argued that she'd felt she had to make a false confession because her life was in imminent danger.
When the show ended Friday, Ava threw a hurricane lamp on the floor in a fit of fury and desperation. The smashed lamp created such a powerful blast that it threw Carly across the warehouse and knocked her out. It also ignited into a fireball.
Does anyone think Sonny, Carly, or Ava will die in a warehouse fire? I don't either.
This week also brought the Chimera Project storyline to a climax when Jake followed Helena's orders by taking steps to unleash the weapon of mass destruction.
It turns out the Chimera is a lethal hybrid biotoxin comprised of the deadliest viruses known to mankind. It was created over two decades ago by the WSB and kept on the shelf in Helena's supply closet, along with her other potions and potables, until she had it delivered to Jake on his birthday.
Jake made the mistake of showing the Chimera to Charlotte, who was like Gollum with the ring when she saw it. Her obsession only mounted when Jake warned her not to touch it because it had powerful magic.
I adore both Emma and Charlotte, but they were royal brats when they found out that Jake had canceled the magic act. I was really surprised when they went backstage to help themselves to Jake's magic case like it was a community prop.
Then again, Charlotte's sense of entitlement made a little more sense when I realized that Valentin had no intention of reminding his daughter that she didn't have a right to touch someone else's possessions without permission. Heck, it didn't even appear as if he thought Charlotte had done anything wrong because he sent the girls off to get a piece of chocolate cake. Rewarding poor behavior and not holding children accountable is a recipe for disaster in real life, so Valentin is lucky he has a soap-kid.
Lulu was the only one who recognized that the girls had ganged up against Jake, which made her the better parent, in my eyes. She scored major points when she asked if he was okay then took him to his mother.
Also, what a little tattletale Emma turned out to be. Yikes. I also noticed that she, too, tried to blame everything on Jake. I was very disappointed.
Despite debating what to do, in the end, Jake activated the Chimera as everyone suddenly realized what was about to happen. Valentin's expression of horror was rather rewarding after the dismissive way he continually told Anna that the Chimera was no longer a threat to anyone because Helena had died.
Never say never, especially on a soap opera.
In other news, Michael has completely forgiven Nelle, and he has Josslyn's blessing to court her. All it took was a bruised kidney.
I've seen people recover from organ transplants, brain surgery, and near-death experiences faster than it's taken Nelle to bounce back from her scuffle with a mugger. The damsel in distress scenario is a lazy plot device. I would have preferred that Michael give Nelle a second chance under more meaningful circumstances.
The focus should be on Nelle being redeemed not receiving instant forgiveness because she got hurt.
Elsewhere, Nathan and Amy are getting quite chummy. I suspected Amy of stealing the picture of Nathan because she had developed a crush on him -- and I'm not ruling that out -- but it turns out she used it as her byline picture for the advice column she's writing as a male columnist. I'm not sure why a giggling malicious gossip is a relationship expert, but so be it.
However, I do have an issue with Nathan befriending someone who admittedly dislikes his wife. Quite intensely at that.
I realize Nathan and Maxie are having issues right now, but he's married, and he shouldn't make things worse by confiding his marital woes to someone that he just met, especially if that person might have an agenda against his wife.
It's a recipe for disaster. I have a feeling Nathan is going to regret letting Amy into his life. I just hope he figures that out before he loses what he loves most.
In other couple news, Nina gave Valentin a second chance after he groveled, promised her the moon, and sang a very stirring rendition of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes." It melted Nina's heart as well as her resolve to cut her losses and salvage her self-respect.
I must say, James Patrick Stuart's performance was my favorite until the very end when the cast, led by ddy, gathered on the stage for "Hallelujah," with candles in hand, and a poignant video message from Robin. It gave me goosebumps.
I also loved Ned and Olivia singing George Michael's "Faith." It was fun. I was tapping my feet and clapping along with everyone on the show as Ned, Olivia, and their backup dancers rocked it. I really liked the choreography.
The whole cast did an outstanding job this year. Everyone deserves a great big hand.
Finally, congratulations to Kathleen Gati, who celebrated the birth of her first grandchild this week. With so many troubling headlines being thrown at us every day, it was nice to read some good news for a change.
What a difference a year makes. Michael didn't seem to give Sabrina, the woman he loved and wanted to marry, a single thought, despite attending the event that she was instrumental in reviving before her brutal murder last summer.
Why didn't Lucy let Liesl perform at the ball when Jake canceled? I feel cheated. I was looking forward to Liesl's performance.
Did Monica jet off to spend time with Tracy? I found it odd that the chief of staff was not present at a high-profile event hosted in part by her own hospital.
I'm not really sure Nina loves Valentin. I think Nina loves that she gets to be a mother to Charlotte and have a little family of her own. If Charlotte were not in the picture, I'm not convinced Nina would even be that into Valentin. -- lk
I definitely forgot about Valerie but I'm glad she's back to put Jordan in her place. Jordan irks me to the core and when Valerie walked in she had every right to be irritated with what she saw. I am convinced that Jordan was not warning Valerie about Curtis but trying to clear the path for herself -- moniemone1980
Huh? Are we REALLY supposed to believe that THIS weepy guy, the one begging his wife not to leave him, is the only person who has ever struck fear deep in the cockles of Helena's heart? I'm just not buying it. Anthony Zacharra, Jerry Jacks, and even Theo "The Balkan" [Hoffman] were MUCH scarier than Valentin. -- 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.
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