The man in the mirror

For the Week of June 12, 2017
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GH Two Scoops: The man in the mirror
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It was an eventful week with rekindled love, broken hearts, unexpected visitors, and a dream come true, but is it a sign of things to come or just an illusion hiding recycled dysfunction?

The week was a mixed bag of nuts from the good to the bad to the, "How the blazes did this empty shell get in here?"

Let's start with Julian's walk of shame around town.

It began with Julian posting bail, which angered pretty much everyone except Alexis, who continues to bask in the afterglow of their lovemaking from a few months back. Or was it weeks? It's hard to keep track of these things when time is relative on soaps.

Julian faced the wrath of Diane, who gave him a blistering lashing then advised Jordan to seize his passport. It was a tad bit baffling why the courts didn't seize it when Julian was initially arrested while trying to flee the country, but the bigger question for me was why Diane didn't want Julian to sneak out of the country and go somewhere far, far away from Alexis, where they didn't have extradition to the United States.

My friends would have conked Julian on the head, hogtied him, then tossed him on the next freighter bound for Timbuktu.

After Julian left the police station, he made a beeline for the hospital to check in on his sister Ava. Ava languished in critical condition because of horrific burns that she sustained in a warehouse fire that she had set. Nelle thought it was karma, which I thought was bold talk from someone with a less-than-illustrious past, but I digress.

This is about Julian and the gauntlet of judgment he faced when he left jail.

Kiki was surprised but happy to see her uncle because it saved her from having to deal with her mother. For obvious reasons, Kiki was conflicted about Ava. She was furious that Ava had compromised Morgan's mental health, but Ava is her mother and is in a fight for her life. Julian's take-charge attitude gave Kiki a bit of a reprieve to get her thoughts together.

However, Dillon saw things differently. Dillon decided that Julian was out of line for not letting Kiki call all the shots, and Dillon was particularly offended that Julian had gone in to see Ava before Kiki had -- even though Kiki had assured Julian that it was fine. I honestly couldn't understand why Dillon seemed to be deliberately misinterpreting everything that Julian did. It was like Dillon was plucking excuses out of thin air in a desperate attempt to show Kiki that he could protect her. I was disappointed, but luckily Dillon redeemed himself the following day when he persuaded Kiki not to turn her back on her mother until Kiki was sure that she wouldn't regret her decision.

There was a ray of light for Julian when Alexis showed up at the hospital to check up on him. Alas, Alexis' eyes might have said, "Yes, yes, yes," but her lips said, "No, no, no." She was concerned about Julian but still very cautious and reserved around him. Julian loves Alexis, but he can't blame her for wanting to keep him at arm's length, so he respected her wishes to stay away, at least until he could pick up a huge bouquet of flowers and drop it off at the lake house.

It was at this point that Alexis asked the one question I desperately wanted an answer to -- will Julian go after Sonny to avenge Ava?

To my delight, Julian said no. Even more amazing, he conceded that Ava only had herself to blame for what had happened. Hallelujah! The blame game is strong in Port Charles, with everyone taking responsibility for everything under the sun -- except their own sins. It was truly refreshing to see someone see a situation for what it was and accept that sometimes no one is to blame for a tragedy. Judging by Alexis' expression, she was equally blown away that the voice of reason had prevailed.

Unfortunately, Julian's two grown children are completely unforgiving. They don't care that he's their father, or that he was blackmailed into cooperating. It doesn't matter to them that Julian would have died if Morgan hadn't stolen the car that fateful night, which reinforces Julian's fear that Olivia had no qualms about carrying out the murderous threats she'd lobbed at each of Julian's loved ones.

All Sam and Lucas care about is that their father lied, circumstances be damned.

I can understand why Lucas is a bit self-righteous because he's never really done any great wrong in his life. He's a good guy with a very strong moral compass. Sam, on the other hand, is far from a saint. She has an extensive criminal history, and she's wronged a lot of people. She's been in her father's shoes a time or two, seeking forgiveness from those she hurt and hoping to turn her life around.

It's frustrating that Sam is unable to show a little of the compassion and understanding that she was shown. I don't expect Sam to embrace her father and invite him over for Sunday family dinners, but it would be nice if she could stop hating him. After all, it's not like Sam is married to a saint. Jason was an enforcer for the mob not an accountant.

Julian continues to do penance as the town's pariah, and I'm okay with that. Justice comes in many creative forms on soap operas because we can't have characters actually going to jail for their crimes and transgressions. We'd be watching tumbleweeds drift through GH's corridors -- or Pentonville Hospital. Neither sounds appealing.

Elsewhere, Anna's view of Valentin has completely shifted. She no longer distrusts him nor is she obsessed with putting him behind bars. These days, she sees him as a misunderstood Lost Boy who was forced to harden his heart and embrace a life of crime to stay alive. Yes, he sold a deadly biotoxin to a super villain with aspirations of world domination, as well as the complete annihilation of Port Charles, but that's okay because he needed the money to fund a series of corrective surgeries that transformed him from Quasimodo to Prince Valliant.

This week, Anna was defending Valentin, taping his heart-rending farewell to Charlotte, and wiping away tears of regret because she'd been too young and stupid to appreciate his beautiful soul. Valentin's "Bye, Anna" as he was carted off to the ICC in The Hague seemed to convey far more than the obvious. Yes, he'll be back, because he can't be convicted of any crimes relating to the theft of the Chimera without Alex Merrick's testimony, and she's in the wind after escaping WSB custody.

If Nina hadn't handed Valentin divorce papers right before Anna arrived, I would have said Valentin was destined to reunite with his wife after the charges are dropped. That might still happen, but I have a strong feeling that the writers might try to explore a romance between Anna and Valentin.

Anything can happen at this point, because this week, we learned that soap scribe Jean Passanante will be exiting at the end of August when her contract expires and she retires. How that will impact the show remains to be seen, but experience has taught me not to get too invested in the stories because nothing is set in stone.

With Valentin's pesky international crimes effectively put in a box, tied up with a nice little bow, and shoved into the back of the closet, he's free to try to reclaim custody of Charlotte and blow Lulu's idyllic little family of four out of the water. The family court in Port Charles has an all-or-nothing policy when it comes to awarding custody of the children, and they don't hesitate to hold emergency hearings with only the non-custodial parent present to make radical changes to the custody agreement. Laws tend to be merely suggestions in Port Charles.

I would not be the least bit shocked if Valentin secures custody of Charlotte without Lulu being any the wiser that he's back in town.

I like Valentin, but I don't like how he tries to keep Charlotte away from Lulu. My gut tells me that, deep down inside, he's afraid that Charlotte will want to live with her mother rather than with him. A valid fear, to be sure, but that doesn't make it okay. If being with Lulu makes Charlotte happiest, then he should find a way to compromise. Heck, even Lulu has come to accept that Charlotte loves her papa.

I also think that Valentin should do a little penance for killing Nikolas in cold blood and for that kidnapping stunt to do heaven knows what to Spencer. Targeting children is a hard limit for me, so while I like Valentin, it is tempered with the knowledge that there are things he needs to atone for.

It's hard to feel bad for a guy who poses so great a threat to an orphaned child that the child must live an ocean away from his grandmother, aunt, and cousins for his own safety.

There are no winners in that scenario -- except for perhaps Cameron.

Speaking of a no-win situation, Sonny and Carly shared a moment on Friday's episode that led to a passionate kiss.

I'm not sure what Carly is thinking, but I do know that she's going to have one mighty big problem on her hands when Josslyn finds out. I won't be the least bit surprised if Josslyn announces that she wants to move to Australia to live with Jax if Carly decides to cancel the divorce and patch things up with Sonny.

I honestly wouldn't blame Josslyn for being furious. It's because of Sonny that Josslyn's father can't pop in for surprise visits, attend important milestones like her high school or college graduation, or be at her side in times of crisis or illness. Everyone was so quick to point out that Jax is rich and could meet Josslyn anywhere in the world for vacations, which is absolutely true, but there's so much more to being a parent than vacations.

Sam is getting a crash course in just how challenging parenthood can be. She's been wandering around like the walking dead, mixing up her children's names, and not eating or sleeping because all Scout does is sleep and eat between bouts of fussiness.

Did I miss something? Did Jason and Sam lose all their money to bad investments and take on full-time jobs?

I can't understand why Jason isn't helping Sam out more with the baby, since he doesn't have a job, or why he doesn't offer to hire a nanny to give Sam a break until she gets a handle on things. There's nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. Being worn out and stressed doesn't make you a better parent.

I have no idea if the warning Sam heard in her head about her family being in danger had something to do with the curse Helena had put on Sam, but I did sense that it was a premonition of sorts. I'm admittedly intrigued.

Finally, congratulations to Kimberly McCullough on the birth of her first child, a baby boy. I'm so happy for her and wish her family all the best.

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Random observations

If Ava is in critical condition in the burn unit, why are people free to walk in and out of her room without supervision?

"No, I don't want to go to a luxury day spa for a massage and facial," said no mother ever.

Will Nelle be living at Wyndemere alone now that Nina, Valentin, and Charlotte are gone?

I would not perpetuate a lie to protect the delicate feelings of someone who appeared to take delight in lambasting me. In Jordan's shoes, I would have told Aunt Stella that T.J. is Shawn's son and be done with the witch.

James DePaiva is making an appearance, but who he will play remains a mystery. My guess is he's Helena's accomplice. However, whether he will reprise his role as Max Holden (One Life To Live) or appear as a new Cassadine remains to be seen. I'm leaning toward a new Cassadine because I can't see Max Holden unleashing a deadly biotoxin.

Reader feedback
I was annoyed that I didn't hear any mention of Sabrina. I know she's gone and forgotten, but she did bring back the ball. Emma or Robin could have easily worked in a reference to Gabriel's mother in some way. -- Youth Worker

Apparently preventing Liesl Obrecht from singing has replaced Lucy in her undies as the standing joke of the Nurses Ball. What a stupid waste! Kathleen Gati can really sing and her past performances have been campy gems, so I don't care if nobody in Port Charles likes Liesl, LET HER SING! Let's start campaigning now #LetLieslSing! -- Daffy Sez

I agree 100% that the only one responsible for Morgan's death is Olivia Jerome. Morgan had stopped the car. He HAD a ride home and chose not to take it out of spite. That was a normal Morgan attitude not a manic one. -- Danielle

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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