Hostage crisis at Metro Court

For the Week of October 30, 2017
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GH Two Scoops: Hostage crisis at Metro Court
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Things heated up in Port Charles when Russians laid siege to Metro Court with guns blazing. Meanwhile, long-buried secrets are poised to be revealed, Valentin found himself the recipient of a little blackmail from the women in his past, and Nelle was left brokenhearted after one too many lies.

The week ended with a bang -- literally -- as Jason and Sam made their debut as media moguls, and Patient 6/the real Jason Morgan crashed the party. In all the mayhem, Liz was shot, and Monica and Carly got their first glimpse of Port Charles' beloved son as Jason raced to save the day and his favorite damsel in distress. It was all quite exciting, but more importantly, the lead-up to those scenes was equally thrilling, starting with when Sonny first came face to face with the man of the hour, Jason Morgan.

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day about the state of General Hospital, and how it's been lately versus six months ago. Like me, he's been watching for decades, so he's a true soap opera fan, and well acquainted with the characters and the storylines. We have some different likes and dislikes, but we both agree that over the last few months, things have felt sluggish, the stories have been unimaginative, and the payoffs disappointing and lackluster.

Rebecca Budig/Hayden Barnes was vastly underused, Brad and Lucas have all but vanished and been forgotten, and the stories overall have been a hot mess. The only memorable moment in Hayden's exit storyline was when it was revealed that she had lied to Finn about the baby dying.

Remember Tracy's convoluted swan song when she fell down a rabbit hole, chasing after a painting that her father had left to her? The story turned out to be a grand hoax perpetrated by Lord Ashton, which led Ned to disown his father and legally change his name to Quartermaine. Meanwhile, Tracy decided to bid farewell to Port Charles on a whim, so she could find herself somewhere out in the world. Yes, it was nice that she ran into Luke in Amsterdam just in time to save him from the mad barber that clearly hated him, but that was the highlight of a story -- a story that dragged out for an eternity.

And don't even get me started on the nonsense that is Man Landers. That is one story that needs to be dropped -- pronto.

However, both my friend and I heartily agree that over the last couple of weeks, things have really turned around and gotten good. Like, really, really good. We have both found ourselves eagerly looking forward to more episodes than not, which hasn't happened in forever.

Could it be the result of the new head writer, Chris Van Etten? The timing seems right, and I have definitely noticed a shift for the better since he's been at the helm.

One of my favorite scenes this week was when Sonny went to the safe house and saw Jason for the first time. I've been hard on Sonny for eons because of his choices, but that scene got to me. The friendship between Steve Burton and Maurice Benard is genuine and palpable. They have an undeniable chemistry that honestly seems more powerful than anything that they share with their leading ladies.

I teared up when Sonny looked at Jason with disbelief as Jason slowly made his way down the stairs and entered the living room. You could see it on Sonny's face. Jason had him at "Sonny." I was glued to the screen as Sonny poured them drinks then gave Jason the highlights of what Jason has missed over the last five years while he's been gone -- starting with Jake.

I can't wait until Jason shares a scene with his eldest son because of how brokenhearted he was when they believed that Jake had died. I just know I'm going to be a weepy mess, just like I was when Liz was reunited with Jake.

Back to the cabin in the woods and Sonny's reunion with Jason. Jason confirmed that he truly was Jason when he insisted that he wouldn't have walked away from Sonny to start a media company. The scorn in his tone was hilarious but a little sad because that doesn't bode well for his future with Sam.

Maybe if Sam only had herself and Danny to consider, she might have looked past Jason's obvious intention to stay right where he is -- chin deep in organized crime -- and tried to make things work. But things are different. Sam found love and happiness with Jason's twin, and she has a daughter with him. I don't think that Sam wants the same things that she did when she was with Jason because she now knows what it's like to have a guy who loves her and her children enough to walk away from the danger of a lifestyle that fits the real Jason like a worn leather jacket.

Sam has grown, and more importantly, she's lived her worst nightmare and gotten through it. Now, she has it all. I think she loves Billy's Jason, and the chemistry between the actors is every bit as real as the chemistry between the characters.

From a writer's perspective, keeping Sam with Jason's twin frees up Jason to be Robin to Sonny's Batman. It's a win/win all the way around, and it allows Steve to have a flexible shooting schedule, which I recall reading is one of the things that Steve wanted.

The big question is who is behind the Tale of Two Jasons and the abductions that landed Jason in a Russian clinic and his twin brother in a cryogenic chamber at Crichton-Clark. Obviously, Helena had a hand in it because the clinic was a secret Cassadine facility, and she was working with Victor for a time. But it's clear that someone else is pulling the strings because Helena and Victor are dead.

I recall Dr. Klein referring to his boss as "he," which narrows the field to a few dastardly people, including Cesar Faison, who remains on the lam with his daughter, Brit. It's also possible that Nikolas is indeed alive, and he picked up the family tradition of wreaking havoc on people's lives. Valentin has certainly hinted enough that Nikolas is alive for this to be a viable theory. However, I hope that isn't the case because I dearly love Nikolas. If he returns, I want him to save the day, not ruin it.

I'm looking forward to next week because I'm eager to know exactly how Andre fits into all of this.

I nearly fell off my sofa when Andre called Klein to alert him that Franco was closing in on the truth. It completely threw me for a loop because not in a million years had I seen that one coming. If there was any doubt about Dr. Maddox's shady ways, that was eradicated when Klein stopped by his office to give Andre a falsified death certificate for "Andrew Moore" to throw Franco off the scent. Later, Andre gave it to Franco, proving that Andre's intentions are not good.

It's going to be interesting to hear what Andre has to say for himself, but I fear that his days in Port Charles are numbered. He did work with the WSB at some point, so there is a remote possibility that he might be doing some double-agent stuff, but it's unlikely. Keeping Jason from his loved ones and messing with his patients' heads is not the act of a good doctor, even one working undercover as a bad guy.

I've also had a little change of heart about Ava and Griffin now that Griffin has stopped hiding from his feelings and is finally being honest with himself and with Ava.

I liked Ava and Griffin as a couple, but admittedly I thought that they were good for each other for the moment, not for the long run, because they are the definition of opposites. I hope I'm wrong, though, because this week I fell a little in love with them.

Griffin defending Ava when she flippantly asked why she should care if Klein's mercenaries posed a danger to Sonny by reminding her that she was a better person than that was sweet because he genuinely has faith in her. That faith appears to be well founded because when they saw those very same mercenaries at the launch party, they told Dante.

Ava did the right thing, and it was nice to see.

I adore Maura West. She's an incredible actress, so I'm rooting for Ava's redemption. I'm a sap for the underdog, and Ava is currently an underdog.

Speaking of romance and redemption, Michael redeemed himself by finally calling it quits with Nelle when he caught her in another lie.

I was seriously wondering if Michael was dropped on his head at some point because I couldn't understand how he could keep forgiving Nelle, lie after lie. Some of them were quite significant, like claiming that she was a poor swimmer when the opposite was true. I don't believe that nonsense about Nelle only being a good swimmer in a pool because she has lied about everything else.

I was pretty proud of Michael for realizing that Nelle had bought those theater tickets to manipulate him into choosing her over Jason and for calling her out on lying to Carly about them moving in together. I loved it when she denied it, only for Michael to remind her that she'd raised the issue with him earlier that morning.

Finally, this storyline is getting good because it's highly unlikely that Nelle is going to give up on Michael that easily. He's proven himself to be gullible to a degree, so now she's going to see it as a challenge to lure him back into her web of lies. I think the recent revelation about her stint in a psychiatric facility was more significant than simply being a salacious revelation. It's a soap opera. Nothing is ever that easy, especially when you're dealing with someone with Nelle's propensity for lying and deception. It's a safe bet that she didn't have a breakdown like she claimed.

There's a lot more to that story, and I can't wait to find out what it is.

Another interesting development this week was Cassandra's little chat with Valentin when she told him that she'd struck up a friendship with someone from his past -- Claudette.

The photograph of Claudette holding a newspaper dated October 27, 2017, vindicated Valentin of any foul play in her disappearance months earlier when she flew to Vancouver. Unfortunately for Valentin, Claudette is the one person he doesn't want anywhere near his perfect life with Nina, which makes him ripe for blackmail.

I don't know much about Cassandra beyond that she's a drug pusher and hypochondriac, but it's a good bet that she's also now Valentin's new archenemy. He doesn't strike me as the type that takes kindly to being blackmailed into doing something that might put his marriage to Nina at risk. Peddling drugs with Cassandra would certainly do that and then some.

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Random observations

Did anyone else find it odd that paramedics weren't called to the restaurant to treat Liz's gunshot wound and take her to the hospital? I would think that Jason carrying her around would do more harm than waiting for the paramedics to arrive.

I found it utterly fascinating to watch Sam during the abduction. It's a miracle that her neck wasn't broken while being dragged from the hotel to the piers in stiletto heels and drugged out of her gourd with whatever horse tranquilizer Klein put in that syringe.

Mac and Finn's exchange at the Floating Rib cracked me up:

Finn: "So, Mac, how did you get into the pig business?"
Mac: "Is that some kind of a joke? You do know that I used to be a cop, right?"
Finn: "Oh, no, I didn't. I didn't know that. It's an old joke..."

Is it me, or is General Hospital tackling real-life issues? This week they've touched on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and opioids. Good job, writers. I miss the days when soap operas dealt with controversial issues.

Reader feedback

I think Sharon orchestrated Zach's death because she believed she would inherit his money if he wasn't married to Nelle yet. -- Daffy Sez

Griffin and Ava should not [have] been together. Ava's past and Griffin being a newbie into this new foray will make him question himself in the worst way. Ava is not a good partner for Griffin. -- MRG

Has it REALLY been a whole year since Morgan went Boom-boom? I, for one, haven't missed him a bit! He certainly didn't leave much of a hole in the community behind. Perks is thriving, Kiki is happier than she's ever been, and Michael hasn't had to watch his back in a YEAR! If what Sonny and Carly said about the MC Foundation is true, then it's pretty clear that their youngest son accomplished more good by dying than he ever did (or would have) when he was alive. -- 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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