Breathe, they're not married yet

For the Week of July 9, 2018
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Jason is trying to help Carly... but will he AND Carly land in trouble?
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A sham wedding, an unwitting confession, a mystery patient, and a hidden body made for an explosive Fourth of July, but it's what's waiting in the wings that has our columnist on the edge of her seat.

Folks, Michael is a moron. I love him, but he's a bona fide idiot because only someone a few crayons short of a full box would think that marrying Nelle, under any circumstance, was a good idea. Nelle is definitely diabolical, and she is potentially lethal, so it's not going to end well when she finally realizes that he has played her. I know Michael was hoping to keep Nelle from growing suspicious that he was onto her, but he should have opted to romance her rather than marry her. I've had children, so I know firsthand just how hectic those weeks leading up to birth can be. A wedding is not needed to keep an expectant mother distracted.

Then again, this is a soap opera, so of course a trip down the aisle with a homicidal wackadoodle is on the agenda.

Despite my frustration with Michael, I am enjoying this storyline. Very much so. Nelle is deliciously bad and getting worse by the moment as she slowly loses the upper hand, and her web of lies begins to unravel.

One of my favorite scenes this week was when Nelle showed up at Ferncliff to mess with Carly. For once, Carly refused to rise to the bait, which clearly frustrated Nelle, but the pièce de résistance was Sonny busting Nelle in the act. The tables are turning on Nelle, and I love it.

Chase filled Jordan in on everything, including his certainty that Nelle killed Zach Grant. However, they both realize that nothing short of a confession will get Nelle for that crime because the investigation was tainted by Chase's sexual liaison with the murderer, so they opted for a Plan B. Jordan and Chase enlisted Michael to gaslight Nelle into believing that Michael was dead. I'm not sure how that is going to expose Nelle's evil machinations and vindicate Carly, but I'm eager to see it play out.

I even penciled in popcorn and butter on my grocery list because I want to be ready for Nelle's downfall. All signs point to it being an epic one.

I'm certain that Nelle planned every bit of what transpired at the top of the stairs with Carly. That's why she was sitting in the rocking chair when Carly entered the nursery. I re-watched that scene right before I wrote this column because I wanted to refresh my memory about what exactly transpired. It was downright eerie how Nelle had slowly rocked in a deliberate rhythm, almost as if she were psyching herself up for what was to come. The smile she flashed Carly when she turned to greet her was absolutely creepy and a clear indication that Nelle was up to no good.

Nelle lured Carly right to the top of the stairs, which she acknowledged when she talked to Ava on Friday. Even if falling down the stairs hadn't been part of the plan, the fact that she was willing to take that risk by having a tussle with Carly at the top of the stairs for the guests to witness says quite a bit about Nelle's maternal instinct -- or lack thereof.

Nelle talks to her baby like it's a willing accomplice to her shenanigans, but I don't see any genuine bonding on Nelle's part, and I didn't see any real concern for the baby's welfare at the hospital following the fall except when it was for Michael's benefit. When Ava first confronted Nelle with the blanket, Nelle wasn't traumatized about nearly losing her baby. She was furious that Ava had the blanket, and she wanted Ava to hand it over.

We should get some definitive answers soon about how far Nelle was willing to go to get what she wanted because it's been confirmed that Chloe Lanier will be exiting the show when her contract expires in the coming weeks. Sure, there's a chance that they will recast the role, but it doesn't appear it will happen anytime soon. As the story ramps up, and Nelle's veneer of civility slips, it seems clear that Nelle is headed for her own stint at Ferncliff -- or worse, which on a soap opera means nothing because anything can be undone, including death.

For the record, as much as I hate Nelle, I recognize that it's because of Chloe's incredible talent. She did a spectacular job of peeling back Nelle's layers from sweet ingenue to vengeful victim then misunderstood waif and finally treacherous viper. I don't blame her for wanting to spread her wings. She's young and way too gifted to stay in one place for long. I have a feeling we will be seeing more of her in the very near future.

I didn't think I was going to like the Ferncliff story with Carly, but the mystery unfolding in the room next door has definitely piqued my interest. Is it Ryan or is it Morgan? Ironically, both men were blown up -- Morgan in a car explosion and Ryan in blast at the fun house.

Did Kevin keep a secret about his brother's fate? Was his desire to research Faison's brain linked to Ryan? Did Kevin get rid of Jason because he was afraid Jason would find out -- or did Ryan once again switch places with his twin and is now trying to keep people from finding out that Kevin is the one locked in the room? So many wonderfully interesting possibilities.

On the other end of the spectrum is Peter's storyline, which has quickly faded from compelling to fevered prayers to the soap gods that someone soon sets Peter free. It's become torture watching Peter's torture.

The problem is that there is absolutely no forward movement of any kind with Peter's predicament. Nina and Liesl are having the same tired argument about what to do with him while Peter begs for his freedom in between hallucinations of Maxie. I love Liesl, but there is a much better use for her at the hospital than in a cabin in the woods.

I'd love to watch Dr. Bensch have to tangle with someone like Liesl, who would easily see through his slimy lies and push back twice as hard, than a faceless board member or pencil-pusher in the human resources department. I'm tired of Liesl playing with her food at the cabin, it's time for her to move on to some fresh meat -- Dr. Bensch.

By the way, congratulations, GH, for getting some national recognition for tackling this storyline. Everyone from the writers to the actors deserves the accolades.

In an interesting twist, Scott, who had reluctantly agreed to secretly help Kiki by taking David's case, found himself in the unenviable position of overhearing Kiki and Griffin discussing their one-night stand. Scott isn't a fool; he knows exactly what Ava is capable of and what learning of the illicit assignation would do to her. She's already conspiring with Franco and Scott to undermine David's case, which is unethical if not illegal. I know Scott would certainly land in some serious hot water, but since Ava and Franco didn't offer him money or favors, I'm not sure what charges they would face if their plot were to come to light.

It's not really a matter of if Ava will learn the truth -- of course she will -- but rather who is going to tell her. Will Scott do it, in the hopes that hearing it from a friend will soften the blow? Will Kiki and Griffin do the right thing and confess before it comes out in court? Or will Nelle find out and use it to eliminate Ava as a threat? I can't wait to find out.

The truth is, Ava shouldn't be too shocked that Griffin strayed because he's been unable to tell her that he loves her. That's significant because, if he's not feeling the love after all they've been through together and the months they've been a couple, it's a pretty good bet that he's never going to feel it, which means they are fated to end. Griffin cares about Ava, but she's his transition relationship -- the bridge from his old life to his new life. I think she knows that, too, which is the real reason that she's insecure about his commitment to her.

I'm afraid that Ava will focus her fury on Griffin rather than Kiki, since Kiki is her daughter. There's only so far Ava will go with Kiki because she loves her, but Griffin is another matter. I just pray that Ava doesn't go too far in her quest to lash out because I really do like the new, reformed Ava, especially when she's tangling with people like Nelle.

Hopefully, Bensch goes down before Ava gets wind of Kiki and Griffin's tryst. I want some good old-fashioned soap opera justice for Bensch. A nice little murder mystery to usher in the fall would be perfect.

What's no longer a mystery is what became of the body that Mike unearthed from Croton all those years ago. It turns out that he enlisted his buddy Charlie to help bury the body under the foundation of Charlie's brand-new pub. Yup, you guessed it, Charlie's Pub. No sooner did Sonny breathe a sigh of relief that the body is safely hidden than Julian announced plans to raze the bar and build a new one from the ground up. As the show ended, Jason and Sonny exchanged a look that did not bode well for Julian.

That brings me to Sam.

This week, Sam found out that her divorce had been finalized, and she was once again single. She cried and said all the right words to Drew then tried to return the wedding rings he gave her, but he insisted that she hold onto them for their daughter. However, despite the tears, I got the sense that Sam was relieved to have her marriage to Drew behind her because she's now officially free to pursue a relationship with Jason, her true love.

If Sam does choose to go down that road again, I don't ever want to hear her chastise or otherwise berate Alexis for still having feelings for Julian. In fact, Sam needs to lose her attitude toward her father altogether because she's in no position to judge anyone.

Sam is forever reminding her parents that Julian held a knife to Alexis' throat and threatened to kill her, yet she always conveniently forgets that there was a time when Jason had threatened to kill Sam if she ever went near Liz and the boys again. It was back in the days when Sam had watched a deranged woman kidnap baby Jake then kept quiet about where to find the infant. Sam also hired two armed thugs to terrorize Liz and the boys in the park.

Sam was at her absolute lowest back then, and she made awful choices. Choices that she later grew to deeply regret.

Jason eventually forgave Sam, much like she forgave Jason for threatening to kill her, and they went on to get married, have a child, and live happily ever after -- until Faison "killed" Jason.

My point is, why doesn't Julian deserve the same forgiveness, especially when it's clear that he's turned his life around and is trying to be a better person? I don't dispute that what Julian did was awful, but he's learned from his mistakes -- and more importantly, he's changed his life. Unlike Jason, Julian is out of the mob.

I hate Sam's double standards. She expects everyone, especially her mother, to accept and respect her choices, even the questionable ones, but Sam doesn't extend the same courtesy to Alexis or Julian.

Sam came across like a petulant child when Julian stopped by Lucas and Brad's table at Metro Court. It's time for her to practice some forgiveness and let go of the anger. These days, Julian is nearly as straight-arrow as Chase.

I know Julian once refused to bank his bone marrow for Danny, but I blame Sonny for that fiasco more than I do Julian because Sonny was the one who had escalated that situation. I don't know about anyone else, but if a mob boss threatened to kill me once I completed a task, I would do everything in my power not to complete that task.

Meanwhile, Franco confided to his father that Jim Harvey sexually abused him as a child. Franco didn't quite say it like that, but Scott understood what he meant. Naturally, Scott was shaken and didn't know what to say, but he hugged his son, and that was really all that Franco needed at that moment. It was a powerful scene, in large part because of what wasn't said, and it reminded me why Scott has to stick around. Franco needs his father now more than ever.

In another development this week, Franco's fears were eased when he returned home and met Liz's childhood friend Terry. Franco was delighted when he realized that Terry had transitioned to a woman because it meant that he didn't have to worry about his heterosexual fiancée rekindling a friendship with the first boy she had kissed.

My first impression of Dr. Terry Randolph (Cassandra James) is positive, so I look forward to seeing her at the hospital and learning more about her.

We were also treated to our first glimpse of the new Cameron Webber (Cade McWatt) when he bumped into Josslyn and Oscar in the park on the Fourth of July. Oscar immediately sensed there was more to Cam's feelings for Josslyn than friendship, but he played it cool. Such a refreshing change because teens tend to be depicted as horrid, mouthy, jealous, drama-seeking hellions on soap operas. Don't get me wrong! Teens can be exactly that, but having raised a few of my own, I also know that they can be smart, level-headed people with kind hearts, pure souls, and tremendous integrity.

That said, I fully expect things to start going south once Josslyn and Cam are working together at Lila's Kids while Oscar is interning at Aurora Media. They didn't give us a new and older Cam only to hide him in the background, so I know we are headed for a teen love triangle. We had all the foreshadowing I needed when Cam revealed that he and Josslyn had gotten married as small children. I just hope that things work out better for Cam than they did for his father, who ended up on the losing end of several infamous triangles of his own.

Once again, GH casting proved that they are the best in the business because my first impression of Cade is that he's the perfect blend of Liz and Zander. For those who might not know, Cam's dad was Zander Smith, a bad boy with a tragic past who always ended up on the losing side of things before his tragic last stand, which ended in suicide-by-cop. Cam was born months later and named after Zander's father, Dr. Cameron Lewis, who had also met an untimely end.

I'm happy that Cam is getting some attention because he's a true legacy character. His great-grandfather is Steve Hardy, and he was the only child that Lucky spent any significant time raising before taking off to parts unknown to search for his calling in life. I can't wait to see what kind of young man Cam has become.

I also can't help but wonder if Cam's cousin Spencer will soon be returning home along with their Grandma Laura. Surely, Spencer's broken legs have healed by now, and he's well into rehab and finally getting around under his own steam. It doesn't make sense for newlywed Laura to continue to be gone from her devoted husband months after Spencer was injured.

Random observations

Um, I adore George Hamilton, but what was the point of the Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial in the middle of our soap? It seemed -- odd -- especially all that hullabaloo about hiding the secret recipe. I feel like it would have been better to have had KFC sponsor the Port Charles Fourth of July event. There could have been banners integrated into the scenes and product placement dialouge that would have been more natural. That said, I'm happy that Maxie and Lulu have kissed and made up.

I wonder how long until Finn realizes that Anna has vanished and that Valentin was behind it. Emma and Robin exchange text messages with Finn all the time, so I kind of expected him to get concerned when neither mentioned seeing or talking to Anna a few hours after her flight would have landed.

What kind of asylum for the criminally insane allows visitors to wander the hallways and visit with patients in their rooms? I found it incredibly strange that both Sonny and Nelle were able to stroll into Carly's room as if she wasn't in the maximum-security wing of an institution for deranged criminals.

Hey, Kiki, here's a little advice. If you don't want anyone to know about your secret, don't discuss it with your accomplice in public places. Also, avoid repeating incriminating phrases like "we slept together."

Reader feedback

The tale getting lost in the weeds (or in a hole in the ground) is that of Mike and his decline. It was so real at first and now it's just bully Sonny trying to get Mike to remember where the dead body is. Once again, a great story about a person in decline, being portrayed in such an authentic way, is taken over by the resident crime lord. Sheesh. -- Kymba O

I sincerely hope that Morgan is not alive. Dead Morgan is a much better driver of stories than live Morgan ever was. The profound loss that a number of characters feel because of Morgan's death will resonate through the years. If they bring Morgan back, there'll be a week of celebration and then he'll go right back to not having any real story besides his bipolar condition and sniffing after Kiki. There are too many characters on the canvas already and there's no room for a character like Morgan who serves no real purpose. -- Daffy Sez

Been saying this for a while -- really hoping that Kevin is not really his brother, Ryan. I would hate it if they told us that he has been Ryan all this time and "Kevin" was dead...but there is definitely something weird going on with him -- Faison's brain and the same 'indefinable' thing Liz mentions. -- Andrew

I agree about plots. I would much rather see a realistic portrayal of Kiki and Dr. Bensch as well as Sonny and his father than some of the sillier, science fiction things they have dreamed up. -- Lisa Echerd

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

Take care and happy viewing,
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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