Killer instincts

For the Week of January 21, 2019
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Oscar embraced his bucket list, Ryan added to his, and Lulu found herself facing a killer in sheep's clothing. They say to trust your instincts because they are messages from your soul, but what if your instincts lead you astray or your soul is tainted?

Cliffhanger Friday left us with quite the dilemma when Ryan showed up at the Invader offices to deal with a little pest named Lulu. Lulu had been asking uncomfortable questions about the list of Ryan's victims that Laura had mentioned seeing a few weeks earlier in Kevin's office. Lulu was curious why there had been nine victims listed rather than seven. Who were Ryan's other victims, and why were they unknown to the media?

Lulu was not the least bit suspicious of "Kevin" when he showed up to discuss the list in question. She welcomed him into her office like a lamb leading itself to slaughter. Why Ryan feels threatened by Lulu is anyone's guess. He's certainly managed to talk himself out of far more incriminating situations than this. However, it's clear that he has deadly intentions -- and a knife to back them up. Will Lulu survive the attack?

All week, the promos warned viewers that time was up for one poor, unfortunate soul in Port Charles and that the attack would be violent when Ryan struck. Eager to see what the writers had in store for me, I braced myself for the worst as I tuned in on Friday. I couldn't wait to see who the victim would be. Would it be Laura, who keeps promising to investigate Ferncliff? Sonny and Carly, who refuse to let Avery go? Or would someone else catch the killer's attention? As the episode drew to a close and it became clear that Lulu had become the intended victim, I held my breath, even as the seconds ticked down to the end of the show.

But, nothing happened, except that Lulu greeted "Kevin" as he followed her into the office and shut the door. What?!?

This had better not be a repeat of Kiki's murder!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one for gratuitous violence, but all week long, I've been told to prepare myself for something shocking and violent that was going to happen, except nothing particularly violent or shocking transpired. Luckily, we still have Monday, which appears to be the episode that will have all of the action.

That said, I do not want Lulu to die. Yes, I realize that a few weeks ago, I said that important characters have to die in order for a serial killer storyline like this to have an emotional impact, but Lulu isn't just any character. She's a legacy character, and they are in a totally different category than the rest of the characters.

Legacy characters are sacred, especially ones like Lulu, whose families have such a long and rich history with the show. She is also the child of a legendary supercouple who had one of the highest-rated weddings in television history. For those reasons and more, Lulu can't be snuffed out easily. It's going to take more than Ryan to wipe Lulu off the canvas.

It's time for Ryan to make a misstep, and I suspect that this will be it. I have no idea what is going to unfold in that office on Monday, but I'm certain that Ryan will not walk away unscathed, and Lulu will, in one way or another, remain a thorn in his side and perhaps the key to his undoing.

I think that was why the writers made a point of having Dante tell Lulu that he will be out of touch for a while. If Lulu were murdered, there would be no stopping Dante from returning to Port Charles for his son. He might be undercover, but he's not on the moon. He has access to the Internet and the news in Port Charles.

Also, I haven't heard even a whisper of a hint of a rumor that Emme Rylan is leaving the show. If Lulu were being killed off, there would be talk. There's always talk.

Next week is shaping up to be quite the nail-biter because we also have things heating up with the Day of Dawn cult, the teens are plotting to explore the catacombs, Anna is hunting for answers about the virus she was exposed to, and Mike's dementia has taken a violent turn.

So, what are Shiloh and Daisy up to? Are they working together or independently? Did Daisy target Shiloh because of his indirect association to Sam?

My first impression was that Shiloh and Daisy were in cahoots because he's a cult leader and she appears to be a follower, but what if that is just a red herring? What if there's more to the story than meets the eye, and what's going on below the surface is far different than any of us could imagine?

My theory about Shiloh being a grifter out for revenge began to shift during Sam and Jason's confrontation with him on the docks. He readily answered their questions, and, to me at least, he sounded sincere. Sure, he could have anticipated Jason and Sam doing some digging and decided to gain their trust by admitting to what they could easily uncover, but it was Shiloh's reaction to Sam questioning him about Leland Powell's obituary that gave me pause. Shiloh appeared to be genuinely perplexed by the accusation.

That's when I started to wonder if perhaps Shiloh was the real deal. If he is, then that would mean that Daisy is working alone. Given Shiloh's connection to Sam, it made me wonder if perhaps Daisy had targeted Shiloh for the same reason that she had Sam.

Could Daisy be manipulating Shiloh and using him as a tool to get closer to Sam? Remember, Daisy is the one who initiated contact with Kristina, not Shiloh. True, Shiloh could have sent Daisy to strike up a friendship with Kristina, but he didn't know about the obituary. If Shiloh and Daisy were partners, then he would have known about that. If they aren't partners in whatever Daisy is cooking up, then it means that he had nothing to do with Daisy befriending Kristina.

Also, Daisy was the one who had invited Oscar to move in. In that case, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing because Oscar had learned just moments before from Alexis that he needed to find a place of his own in order to establish that he could take care of himself.

So far, it's Daisy who has been shown to be hiding things, not Shiloh. We know what Shiloh's connection to Sam and Drew is, but we don't yet know what Daisy's connection to everyone is. Until we do, she's far more suspicious to me than Shiloh is.

I'm also curious how Marcus and Yvonne fit into all of this. Was it just a coincidence that they are from the same town as Sam's ex? And why exactly is Marcus in Port Charles with Yvonne? Weren't there any good facilities that catered to Yvonne's needs closer to home? I had the impression that the town had been an upscale community, since it's where Sam had met her wealthy husband.

I have to say, I was surprised that Kristina talked about Kiefer and the abuse that she had suffered at his hands. It had been a powerful and gripping storyline that had ended with Alexis facing charges for killing Kiefer in a hit-and-run while she had raced her brutalized daughter to the hospital. I hated Kiefer, and I was glad that he'd been killed, but I never blamed Alexis for what had happened. She'd been driving distraught, yes, but she'd also been focused on getting her daughter to the hospital, not on exacting revenge.

The accident was tragic but never intentional.

Like Sam, it made me uncomfortable listening to Kristina recount being assaulted by Kiefer, but I was more curious about the technique that Shiloh had taught his followers to use to deal with those painful memories because I had hoped it would give me some insight into Shiloh. I wanted to strangle Sam for cutting the session short when Daisy pushed back at Kristina, especially when it was clear that Kristina wasn't half as upset about the exchange as Sam was.

Frankly, the more Sam behaves like that, the more I want Shiloh to be exactly who he claims to be. It's not that I want Sam to be wrong, but I hate the way she acts like she is the only person who is capable of turning their life around and finding redemption. That it's a feat too great for mere mortals like Julian, and now Shiloh, to achieve. It's completely hypocritical, especially when you take into account her relationship with Jason, a mob enforcer.

Speaking of Jason, I loved that Drew reached out to him for help with Josslyn. I'm happy that Jason and Drew are slowly forging a relationship. I do want them to be close because they are brothers and because there are children to consider. Danny and Scout are growing up together, so for their sake, it's important for their fathers to find a way to make things work. Plus, poor Drew is going to need all the support that he can get because he's facing every parent's worst nightmare -- losing a child.

I'm not sure how I feel about Oscar's prognosis. On the one hand, I think it's quite bold of the writers to go down this road. But Oscar does have his fans, and I can't imagine it will be easy saying goodbye, especially with a heart-wrenching story like this. I've been there a few times with characters like Nikolas, A.J., the Scorpio family, and Emily, to name a few. Sometimes they return, sometimes they don't. But, there's also a part of me that acknowledges that this is a soap opera, and on soap operas, miracles happen far more frequently than they do in real life.

Oscar had experimental treatment, which means that it can kick in at any time and save him from the very brink of death. Like I said, miracles happen. Half the population in Port Charles are proof of that.

By the way, I could have sworn that Cam and Josslyn had been to the catacombs several times during Spencer's reign on Spoon Island. I found it rather baffling that they entertained Oscar with stories of gorging on cookies from Eckert's and disappearing for hours on end (of which I have no memory), instead of sharing snippets of their very real shenanigans that we watched unfold through the years.

Meanwhile, the launch party for Lucy's new book, Travel Guide to Port Charles, was a very real stroll down memory lane. All of the passages that Lucy read were storylines that I had watched unfold. It made me smile, even as it infuriated Felicia and Bobbie. I couldn't blame the ladies, but it was rather typical of Lucy to gossip about everyone else's less-than-illustrious past while ignoring her own sins.

The only time that I didn't smile was when Lucy mentioned B.J. I thought it was in absolute bad form to insult Bobbie then exploit her worst pain like that. Bobbie showed far more restraint than I would have because I would have made a point of slapping Lucy on my way out.

Now, time for the mystery surrounding Anna's blindness. It turns out that it stemmed from a virus that had first been contracted by a man named Dr. Arthur Cabot. Anna recognized the name from her days with the DVX, which means that Anna was most likely exposed to the virus deliberately rather than randomly. Was it during her trip to Cuba to lure Liesl back or -- as I suspect -- in August 2018 when she was used as bait to capture Finn, so he could treat Cassandra?

Anna had undergone regular treatments as a prisoner of Cassandra's captors, during which time they could have slipped all manner of things into her system, including a virus. But why?

Who is behind this? An old foe like Jerry Jacks stepping into the vacuum left by Helena Cassadine and Cesar Faison? Why target Anna? Is it someone we know or someone we never heard of? And how does Cassandra factor into all of this, because if Anna was exposed to the virus during her captivity then it most definitely ties to Cassandra -- and Valentin.

It wasn't lost on me that Valentin was quite upset when he heard about what had happened to Anna. I have no doubt that he placed some calls and is now neck deep in all of this. Given how smoothly his reconciliation is going with Nina, it's a safe bet that this is all going to blow up in his face sooner rather than later.

I'm definitely intrigued.

Finally, I love what's happening at the Webber house. Franco is really stepping up as a father to all three of Liz's boys and impressing the heck out of me in the process. The way he picked up on Aiden's love for baking then fully embraced it and encouraged Aiden to explore it was wonderful. Even more touching was Cam reminding Jake to stick up for their little brother then later, Cam and Franco talking about how best to protect Aiden from further bullying.

I'm happy that Cam and Aiden have a real father figure in their lives. Jake was always close to Franco, and he has both Drew and Jason, but Cam and Aiden had no one. Lucky's video calls don't count. That's not parenting. Parenting is being there, baking cookies, encouraging passions, and bailing you out when you get into trouble. Franco has done all these things and more for Liz's boys, so he had earned the title of "dad."

I hope that Liz makes it legal when she and Franco get married. Speaking of which, shouldn't that be happening soon?

Random observations

I loved Nina's honesty when Maxie advised Nina to follow her heart. "Follow my heart. What? My heart is an idiot. If you opened up my chest, my heart would be wearing a dunce cap." So funny, and so true.

I find it odd that it hasn't snowed in Port Charles, New York, yet.

Who is supervising Cam while he's picking up trash for community service? I kept waiting for someone to yell at Cam to get back to work while he was sitting on the steps, chatting with Oscar and Josslyn, but no one did. One of the perks of your grandma being mayor?

Mac needs to start selling those specialty drinks commemorating Port Charles' history at the Floating Rib. I'd love to see a menu behind the bar with all of them listed.

Reader feedback

Mike has the most selective Alzheimer's memory loss I've ever heard of. How can he remember all kinds of stuff about Yvonne, EXCEPT that she's married? It's almost as if Mike doesn't WANT to remember that important little detail, until he HAS to. I don't think it works like that, but then again, I've never understood why TPTB decided to turn Mike's Alzheimer's story into a love triangle in the first place. -- Scrimmage

I'd love to see Liesl take down Valentin. She is the most likeable villain ever. Her "good" moments are sincere, while Valentin always seems fake. -- JDF

I found Shiloh more interesting when he was just an old friend of Drew's who he "used to know as Hank". Now that he's also Kristina's cult leader, I don't know how to feel about him. I mean he's still creepy, but I would have preferred to have spent more time knowing him as Hank before we learned he was Shiloh the cult guru. -- Marci Robin

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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