Shot through the heart, and you're to blame

For the Week of September 4, 2017
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GH Two Scoops: Shot through the heart, and you're to blame
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Jason threw himself in front of a bullet for love, Ava repressed her darker urges as her feelings for Griffin blossomed, and Michael trusted Nelle when he had no reason to. Affairs of the heart can be tricky, which is why only fools fall in love.

Well, fancy that, it was "lesbian night" at the Floating Rib -- just in time for Kristina to get her groove back on. I'm not sure what surprised me more, that Kristina hadn't found another woman that she was attracted to in all the months she's been back home or that it took Parker about ten minutes to meet someone. Clearly, there isn't a shortage of available ladies in Port Charles, since the bar was packed without seemingly any advertisement outside.

I deduced this from Valerie's reaction. She only realized what was going on when she noticed that there was nary a guy in sight.

Instead of writing an interesting story about Kristina being a more mature and confident young woman who was ready to meet Parker on even footing, Kristina drags her new best friend to the Floating Rib, where Valerie lays a scorching kiss on Kristina's lips to make Parker jealous. Mind you, Valerie very clearly and definitively stated that she was straight before the kiss that left Kristina breathless and Parker fuming.

As Valerie and Kristina talked, and Parker eyed them with jealousy, I heard the faint echoes of the impending train wreck of an ill-fated love triangle hurtling toward us, and I was not happy.

It's not that I don't think that people can't make new discoveries about their sexuality at any age, regardless of previous relationships; it's that I think this kind of story treads on dangerous ground with viewers because if it's not written well, then it ends up feeding into negative stereotypes.

Why insert Valerie into this storyline when she and Kristina barely know each other? What about Oscar's mother? She could easily be introduced as a lesbian who ends up feeling a connection to both Parker and Kristina. That would feel more genuine than plucking Valerie out of nowhere and plopping her in the middle of Parker and Kristina's dysfunction.

That brings me back to my main point about Kristina. She's not mature or emotionally stable enough to be in a relationship because she's not looking for love; she's looking for someone she knows her family would object to and who chooses her above all others. There's a reason that Kristina and Parker never worked out -- Parker never chose Kristina. And that is the very reason that Kristina remains fixated on Parker.

Sonny was right all those weeks ago when he was stuck in the hole; Kristina is most like him.

This week, Sonny announced his retirement to the Five Families. He also agreed to break up his criminal monopoly and parcel out his territory between the remaining mobsters if they all promised to leave him and those he holds near and dear alone -- and they continued to honor his rules of operation. If they broke any of his terms, then Sonny threatened to come out of retirement and punish them all.

Shockingly, not all were on board with this plan. The Russian guy decided to just kill Sonny and take over. Sonny's arrogance is that he never considered this to be a possibility, which is apparently why he only brought Jason and Max as backup.

Unfortunately, Jason was doomed because not only did Sonny take few safety precautions, but Sam still had a serious case of the jitters and went running and screaming into the warehouse during the deadly showdown. Petrov smiled wickedly as he aimed his gun at Sam, who stood frozen like a deer caught in the headlights, so Jason knocked her down and took the bullet for her.

It was one of several head-scratching moments this week, and like Sam, I wondered what had gotten into her. She claims that her new fears and insecurities are not a result of her recent illness, which can only mean one thing -- Helena's curse is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Oh, and Steve Burton's storyline is about to kick off. *shivers with anticipation*

I seriously doubt that Jason is about to die, mainly because of the callous way the doctor told Sam that he didn't expect Jason to wake up. It screams misdirection.

No doubt, come Monday, we will learn that the doctor meant that Jason wouldn't wake up until morning -- or something silly like that. Otherwise, the man should be fired because that was cold.

Meanwhile, Alexis is fighting her demons and doing her best not to succumb to temptation by numbing herself with booze after learning that Julian is going to spend the next 15-20 years in prison.

Everyone, except for Alexis, thinks that Julian got exactly what he deserved. Surprisingly, the only person to express any smidgen of compassion for Julian's plight was Sonny, but it's easy for victors to be magnanimous, even Sonny.

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Yes, Julian did wrong. He engaged in a slew of terrible crimes decades ago then he was shot, jailed, and put in Witness Protection. He returned and did more criminal things, but along the way, he found true love and a family. He tried to turn things around, but as Michael Corleone said in The Godfather Part III, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."

However, let's not pretend that Julian did anything worse than Sonny, Jason, or even Duke.

I dearly loved Duke Lavery, but Duke was a fool for getting back in the mob when he had a shot at true happiness and peace with the love of his life. He made the choice to take over for Sonny, and it broke my heart as much as it did Anna's.

I saw both Duke and Julian do awful things that I wish they hadn't. It was a cycle of violence that started long before either Duke or Julian arrived in town, and it became clear that it was not going to end until one of them was dead. I've seen it play out too often not to recognize the signs once Duke and Julian put hits on each other. There were no winners, just more vows of vengeance.

Enter Sonny, who always lists Duke's death among his litany of sins against Julian.

In the end, Julian took his licks, and off to jail he went. I suspect this was mostly dictated by the recent contract negotiations that ultimately ended with William deVry staying put, but a conviction and jail time is more than most get for their crimes on soaps.

Don't get me wrong, I get why Sonny hates Julian. It's mob stuff, including Morgan's death because the car bomb was intended for Julian. The argument that Julian wouldn't bank his bone marrow if Danny should ever get sick with cancer again is an excuse, but that's on Sonny more than Julian. Sonny repeatedly and quite clearly vowed to kill Julian as soon as the deed was done. That was usually preceded by accusations of Julian being a coward for hiding behind his grandson.

To be clear, Silas admitted that the procedure to freeze Julian's bone marrow for use at some undetermined date in the future was extremely experimental. There were no guarantees that, if Danny got sick again and they used the frozen bone marrow, it would work. It was, however, guaranteed the bone marrow would be available and viable if Julian was alive and his grandson should need it. Julian never once said that he wouldn't give more bone marrow to Danny if Danny got sick again.

Yes, Julian held a knife to Alexis' throat, but I know how much he loves her, so it's very easy for me to believe that he never intended to kill her. It's clear that Alexis agrees, which is why she's struggling with accepting that Julian is gone.

As I watched everyone's reactions to Julian's arrest, I wanted to scream at the hypocrisy. Sure, we see it often with Sonny and the gang, but it was frustrating because Sonny has ordered the deaths of countless men, and Jason carried out many of those murders.

Even Sam's judgemental attitude irked me. This is your father. He saved your son's life, and he risked his own by banking bone marrow despite Sonny's ongoing threats. I would have welcomed at least a pretense of sadness that her dad is essentially gone over the apathy that I saw.

I feel sorry for Alexis. Her daughters always demand that she support them, no matter what, yet they show very little empathy for her heartache. Sam fell in love with a mob enforcer, Kristina has had a string of unhealthy relationships with some pretty awful people, and Molly, too, has shown questionable choices by getting involved with a couple of bad boys. Luckily, T.J. turned his life around in spectacular fashion, but that's because he had the unconditional love and support of his father.

I think that's why I appreciated Diane's talk with Alexis as much as I did. Diane was the only one who responded with understanding and compassion to her friend's obvious pain.

Across the pond, in Marrakesh, we have a jewel thief afoot. Is it Valentin or Nelle?

If you recall, awhile back, Andre had mentioned that he knew Valentin as Theo Hart from the days when Theo was a mercenary, thief, arms dealer, and all-around bad guy. That is why Anna suspects that the diamond that Spencer put in Emma's keepsake was from a cache of diamonds he stole as Theo Hart.

If the stolen diamond from Raffaele -- who incidentally had loaned Nina the missing sapphire necklace -- can be traced back to Valentin, then Anna will basically be holding the key to Valentin's jail cell. That's strong motivation to get to the bottom of things.

On the other hand, Nelle could also be our sticky-fingered culprit because it turns out that she, too, has quite the checkered past that is ripped straight from the headlines. Felicia told Bobbie the story about Nelle's fiancé drowning in frigid temperatures while out kayaking in choppy waters because his kayak was missing a critical plug. That's exactly what happened to Vincent Viafore when he went kayaking on the Hudson River with his fiancée a couple of years ago. Angelika Graswald recently pleaded guilty to negligent homicide.

I was gobsmacked that Carly didn't go ballistic when Bobbie told her about Nelle's past. Nelle lied, schemed, ruined Carly's marriage, and seduced her son, yet Carly is willing to give Nelle the benefit of the doubt? Really?

Carly is the epitome of a mama bear. Unless someone slipped massive amounts of tranquilizers and some psychiatric medication into her coffee, there is no way that the Carly I've spent the last 20 years watching just sits on this information out of fear of upsetting Michael.

This is a woman who charges into a room, flinging insults and accusations the way most blow air kisses and flash smiles. I've grown to love that about Carly.

A person that I'm unlikely to ever grow to like, let alone love, is Amy.

Maxie quit her job and returned home to be with her husband, only to bust Nathan leaving a hotel suite with Amy. She was shocked, but she hung back to eavesdrop and hopefully find out why Nathan was suddenly hanging out with the town gossip and someone she doesn't have good history with. Maxie saw red, as in pure fury, when she overheard Amy tell Nathan that he and Amy made a great team, prompting Maxie to march up, slap Nathan, and then slap Amy for good measure.

It was a supremely satisfying if somewhat slightly baffling scene. Satisfying because Amy drives me crazy with her constant giggling and childish chatter, so to see her speechless was a delightful blessing, but it was also puzzling because this is Nathan we're talking about.

Besides the fact that Nathan is absolutely head over heels in love with his wife, Maxie, more than anyone, should appreciate that her husband is an honorable man who could never cheat on his wife because his guilty conscience would have him confessing before he'd ever act on his feelings for another woman. Having been a cuckold in the past makes it even less likely that he'd intentionally inflict that kind of pain and betrayal on another.

Also, Nathan's chemistry with his wife is off the charts, even after months of a long-distance marriage.

I was a bit disappointed that Maxie didn't have more faith in Nathan and that she let Amy off the hook so easily, because I still don't trust Amy's motives. It's obvious that she has a crush on Nathan, and she thinks he's too good for his wife. Also, he was a virtual stranger when she stole his picture to use for her blog, which still bothers me. Who does something like that, especially to a police detective?

A story that I'm beginning to get invested in is the romance between Griffin and Ava.

I like seeing Ava uncertain about herself and continually trying to do better. And it's getting old to have Griffin straddling the priest/doctor fence. If this story propels him to pick one or the other, then I'm all for it. I hope he chooses to be a doctor because being a priest on this show limits the character.

I adore Matt Cohen too much to see his character forever relegated to offering Sonny spiritual advice to help ease Sonny's guilty conscience.

I always found that the best romance stories are the ones where there's an unlikely and unexpected pairing, and both people help each other evolve and become better together than they were apart.

Random observations

We should all take a moment to reflect on the miracle that occurred this week when Max tossed Sonny a loaded gun, and Sonny managed to awkwardly catch it without shooting his eye out -- or worse.

Carly told Alexis that for all his faults, Sonny -- unlike Julian -- lives by a code of honor. Please, someone, explain to me what that code of honor is. Didn't he just spend months lying to his wife about an affair that ultimately didn't happen and keep an unnecessary secret from her about how he got shot?

What kind of detective is Felicia that she couldn't determine even the most basic thing about Nelle, her given name. It's Janelle Benson, and because Felicia didn't unearth that little nugget during her initial investigation, it took eons to discover that Janelle/Nelle has a salacious past.

I could have sworn that Nina has mentioned on several occasions that she was no longer married to Valentin and that the quickie divorce had gone through. Now, suddenly, the divorce was not finalized, and just like that, Valentin and Nina are married again. Why not have Valentin and Nina plan the wedding they should have had if they hadn't rushed to get hitched? It would have been more romantic than an afternoon delight reunion in a kitschy tent in Marrakesh.

Who is the boy in the photograph pictured with a young Franco? Dollars to doughnuts, the boy is the "imaginary friend" in Franco's painting, and he's somehow linked to the tale of two Jasons that's about to unfold. Could there be a kernel of truth to Franco's claims that he has a fraternal twin?

Reader feedback

Ava and the doctor? No, please. The character of Ava has no soul. Murder, attempted murder, general disregard for others. These are the characteristics of someone without a soul and people without a soul cannot love. Ava cannot be "redeemed" as her flaws are not just mistakes/errors in judgement. I don't understand why the message soaps send to the public is that true, committed love based on mutual respect, shared values, and desire to grow together is "boring." In my opinion, if the writers took the time to do it right, that kind of relationship makes for a very compelling storyline. - Izzy

I chuckled at the names of Valentin's rescued horses, which were really "meta" references to classic GH storylines from the distant past. "The Left-Handed Boy" was the quintessential Luke and Laura mystery/adventure from the early Eighties, but the REAL Easter Egg was the horse named "Lumina's Rock." Lumina was the home planet of the infamous Casey the Alien, who befriended a very young Robin, who helped him on his mission to find the missing part of a crystal from his planet (a "rock") that would send him back home. I never thought I'd hear THAT storyline ever mentioned on the show again! -- Scrimmage

I was already completely disinterested in this Sam/Sonny storyline and now that they are trying to cover it up, I have moved right past to fast-forward. It really makes no sense they are trying this hard because this was clearly a medical issue and nothing would have happened. All they have done is invite Dante to harass them more, especially with Jason getting rid of the gun. -- BCAD

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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