A new day in Port Charles, and a fresh start for all

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The writers are back to work, but is there a storyline or two that you hope will have found resolution -- or been forgotten -- when the show returns to the airwaves? Our columnist discusses the five storylines that, even with all the flashbacks in the world, still wouldn't make sense.

I'm baaack, and this time I'm going to address those storylines that just aren't gelling with me, despite the efforts of the writers to make things work. Storylines that are so convoluted and completely nonsensical that there is really nowhere to go except to give them a quick and merciful end.

I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that at the very tippy top of my list is the meandering and confusing mess that is the birth of Peter August, a.k.a. Henrik Faison.

Henrik was introduced as the son of Anna Devane and Cesar Faison. According to the original story, Anna was working undercover when she seduced Faison. To her surprise, she discovered that she was pregnant, so she decided to give birth in secret with only a midwife then handed the baby over to a waiting family without ever laying eyes on the tiny wailing infant. She didn't even know if her child had been a boy or a girl because she felt that it would be too painful for her to let go if she knew.

I had numerous problems with this story, starting with the fact that Faison spent decades stalking Anna and terrorizing her in the most heinous ways, so the idea that she had once seduced him for a secret mission made me want to vomit. In the #MeToo era, it was the wrong move, and it's clear that others agreed, because the writers reversed course by introducing the concept of twin memory transfer using a flash drive, injection, and a handy-dandy laptop equipped with electrodes that magically transferred information through wires attached to the patient's head with itty-bitty suction cups.

It turns out that Anna's twin, Alex Merrick, had volunteered for the controversial project. When Anna learned that she and her sister were Patient 1 and Patient 2, she deduced that Alex was the one who had seduced Faison and later given birth to his son, and the memory of the seduction and nine months of pregnancy were transferred to Anna. I'm not sure how Alex managed to avoid being referred to as Alex or how she was able to pretend to be Anna without consciously thinking about being Anna for those nine months, to avoid that portion of her memories transferring, but Anna believed for decades that she had seduced Faison and carried his child when, in fact, it was her twin, Alex.

I also don't understand why a man like Faison, who was suspicious of everything and everyone, didn't question Valentin Cassadine about the infant's mother, or why Faison didn't recall that a woman who looked exactly like his obsession had seduced him nine months before the appearance of the infant, but there you have it. Faison accepted the child with little question then proceeded to neglect Peter for the remainder of his childhood.

Anna opted not to get a blood test to confirm her theory that Alex was Peter's true biological mother because she believes that everyone is better off with Peter believing that Anna is his mother rather than him finding out that his real mother is nearly as bad as his father was.

I like Wes Ramsey, and I think he's a great addition to the show. I also applaud the writers for giving Faison a son, especially since both Faison and Helena Cassadine are now dead. It was a genius move. I'm a firm believer that every soap needs a nefarious villain or two as a protagonist to make the good guys look heroic, especially since most have their own dark moments and skeletons to deal with. Plus, bad guys -- and gals -- can be both fun and entertaining if written right.

The best villains are the ones that manage to do all their dastardly deeds without getting caught -- and when they do, they have enough money to buy their way out of a sticky situation or get a crafty lawyer to find a technicality or two to exploit to their benefit. Helena Cassadine is that platinum standard of soap villains. She was rich, elegant, unapologetically evil, intelligent, and charismatic. There was never any question that Helena was working an agenda, and if she ever did anything good or decent, it was for her own personal benefit.

That's why I find it impossible to believe that Peter was anything more than one of Helena's flying monkeys, despite his claims of being her partner during Jason and Drew's abductions. Why would Peter outrank his father in Helena's army? Helena only had one partner in crime, and that was Mikkos, and even that is up for debate because Mikkos was unfaithful to his wife throughout their marriage, which is how Alexis and her sister Kristina came to be.

Helena's death has left a vacuum that I've been waiting to see filled. The same is true for her favorite sidekick, Cesar Faison. I think Valentin and his protégé Peter are ideal for filling those vacant roles.

That brings me to Valentin's thirst for revenge.

If I understand Valentin's motivation correctly, Valentin hopes to punish everyone who had a hand in Nina's decision to jilt him at the altar. Frankly, it seems very shortsighted of Valentin because, eventually, everyone is going to know that he's been the one buying up the shares of ELQ, and he'll be the reason that Deception fails. What then? Does Valentin think that there won't be a cost to pay for destroying the life of a young woman that Nina obviously still cares about? Does he think Sonny will just shrug his shoulders when Michael loses ELQ? No, because Carly will make sure of it, and if I know her, she will also enlist Jax to help.

Then there is Charlotte. She already knows about Valentin's attempt to murder Ava -- and a host of other wicked deeds -- which nearly led to him giving Lulu full custody of their daughter then slinking out of town. How is continuing down on a path of vengeance going to help his already troubled daughter? What kind of message does that send Charlotte?

Valentin is supposed to be a smart man, but this whole plan is stupid and a complete waste of time. I'd much rather Valentin embrace his mother's dark legacy and focus on challenging Nikolas for the Cassadine empire. If Valentin wants to engage in petty revenge, then at least do so in a more imaginative way. Taking ELQ from Michael will sting Michael, but Michael has the Corinthos empire to back him up. Michael isn't going to suffer anything other than embarrassment, and even that is going to be mitigated because Ned will get the lion's share of the blame.

As for Sasha, Valentin will soon find out just how much Nina still cares when Nina figures out that Sasha is going down the path to addiction. Hasn't Valentin already hurt Nina enough? Why make Nina be the cause of him targeting two people for his own mistakes? After all, Michael and Sasha didn't make Valentin lie to Nina, he chose to do that all on his own.

I expect more from a man who is supposed to possess one of the greatest analytical minds ever.

Next up, Police Commissioner Jordan Ashford and her past with Cyrus Renault, a drug kingpin who had managed to evade doing anything illegal until Jordan and her undercover friends, including Marcus Taggert, framed the guy and sent him to jail.

From jail, Cyrus easily plotted hits, ordered his men to hijack shipments, kidnapped people, and intimidated witnesses until Jordan finally gave in to his blackmail by throwing her dead partners under the bus. Cyrus was released, and both Jordan's husband and the town's godfather know the truth about what Jordan did all those years ago. Yet, Jordan doesn't resign from the police force.

Not only does it take mental gymnastics to keep up with all of Jordan's justifications, but it's impossible to respect Jordan as a law enforcement officer or bastion of justice while she's getting away with her own crimes. The only way out that I can see is if Jordan does something heroic, resigns, and picks up the pieces with her husband.

For a long time now, I've felt that Jordan is better suited for a private investigation firm working with Curtis. They make a good team, and she could bend the law in her pursuit of justice without looking like a hypocrite. Sort of like a modern-day version of Nick and Nora Charles -- without a dog named Asta.

Next, there is Nelle Benson-Archer-Jerome.

Nelle is not a complicated character. In simple terms, she's a serial killer in the making, but she didn't start out that way. In the beginning, Nelle was a young student teacher whose kidney had saved Josslyn's life years earlier when Josslyn had developed kidney cancer. Without the kidney transplant, Josslyn would not have survived. However, it was soon revealed that Nelle was actually the daughter of Frank Benson and an unnamed woman that he had met after leaving Virginia Benson and their young adopted daughter, Carly. Nelle grew up angry and feeling like she had been cheated out of the finer things in life because Carly hadn't rescued Nelle from an impoverished life with Frank, who was unable to hold a job.

Nelle's animosity toward Carly only grew when Frank spirited his young daughter to a clinic, where she underwent surgery to remove her kidney. Nelle was furious that Carly had asked Frank for a kidney, but Carly had refused to lift her adopted father and stepsister out of their bleak existence. It was later revealed that Jax had paid Frank handsomely for the black market kidney, but Frank had squandered the money away. Additionally, Carly had known nothing about the illicit deal.

But wait, there's more to Nelle's tale of woe.

It seems, unbeknownst to Nelle, that she might actually be the daughter of Nina Reeves and Nina's first husband, the late Dr. Silas Clay. Confused? Yeah, so were we, but special ordered necklaces don't lie.

From what I can piece together, Nina's mother, Madeline Reeves, had lied about Nina miscarrying her unborn child when Madeline had injected Nina with an overdose of antidepressant that had left Nina in a coma for two decades. In truth, Nina had given birth to a baby girl, who was then given to Frank Benson. Frank Benson wasn't a stranger to black market adoptions, since he had obtained Carly on the black market for Virginia.

As confusing as all that might be, what truly makes this plot twist such a convoluted mess is that Nelle is not a sane woman. She murdered her first fiancé and she attempted to kill her second fiancé. Nelle is treacherous, manipulative, and a general menace to society. In other words, Nelle has been written into a corner. The only hope for a redemption is a brain tumor, life-changing blow to the head, or a session with Andre Maddox and a flash drive filled with someone else's memories.

I feel bad for Nina if Nelle is indeed her daughter because it can only end badly for Nina. I really hope that Willow Tate (the new Mrs. Michael Corinthos) is revealed to be the daughter that Nina gave up, because at least that will give Nina a real chance at a relationship and a future with the child that Nina had longed for since she woke up from a coma. The only upside to Nelle being Nina's daughter is that Jonah would be Nina's grandson.

Meanwhile, Nelle needs to meet her maker or be in the permanent care of a psychiatric facility.

Finally, Jason Morgan and Sam McCall's star-crossed love affair.

Jason and Sam have been together since 2004, except during the years when Sam believed that Jason had been dead. There had been a few breakups, but they never lasted long, and the two always found their way back to each other. Jason and Sam also share a son, and they were married until Jason was "killed" in 2012.

When Jason returned from the dead, Sam tried to make things work with Drew, but in the end, she couldn't because her heart belonged to Jason. In July 2018, Sam and Drew divorced, and Jason and Sam became a couple. Did they start planning a wedding? No, Sam decided to infiltrate Dawn of Day to rescue her sister from the clutches of a cult leader who liked to drug and sexually assault young women.

Once Sam succeeded in her quest of rescuing Kristina, Sam decided that she had to take Shiloh down. Eventually, Shiloh was sent to jail, and Jason and Sam were finally free to be together. Did they start planning a wedding? Nope. Almost immediately, Sam was pulled into a showdown with Shiloh, and she finally vanquished the cult leader by shooting him in the back with a flare gun as he prepared to bash Jason's brains in with a gaffing hook.

Sam was charged with murder (Peter tampered with evidence), and still Jason and Sam didn't decide to marry before she was shipped off to jail, even though that would have safeguarded the children's custody status while Sam was incarcerated. Things didn't improve when Sam got out of jail and was informed that she had to stay away from convicted felons, especially Jason.

Sam's parole officer doesn't have a problem with Sonny, the mob boss; his wife, Carly, who was convicted of shooting Tony Jones; Michael, who was convicted of covering up Claudia Zacchara's death; or any one of the other dozen or so ex-felons strolling the streets of Port Charles. It's only the father of her child that Sam is prohibited from associating with.

Naturally, that meant that Sam couldn't stay away from Jason, which resulted in months of clandestine meetings, longing looks, almost getting caught, and trying to take down the parole officer. That blew up in Sam's face when the parole officer caught Spinelli spying. Now, Jason has decided that it's safest for Sam and the children as long as Cyrus poses a threat.

Enough! Jason and Sam aren't a couple of teens hiding from their parents. They are grown adults with children, and it's time for them to act like it. More importantly, it's time for the writers to stop throwing silly obstacles in their way and let them be a couple -- a real couple -- or allow them to go their separate ways and find love elsewhere.

I'm hoping for the former, but I'm ready to accept the latter.

Random observations

A correction: In last week's teaser, I mentioned the Metro Court fire, except back when the fire swept through the hotel, it was known as the Port Charles Hotel. I can tell you how many times a character has been married or returned from the dead... but a building name somehow doesn't own property in my brain. My apologies for the error.

Flashbacks are unnecessary unless it's of something that we haven't seen. I hope the writers remember that when the show returns because I am so ready for new material. I miss GH.

Reader feedback

Sonny did not save the ship of fools. Michael was the hero. Sonny saved Michael by taking the bomb and jumping into the harbor. Sonny got all the credit including stealing the idea of a "get out of jail free" card from Dorian of OLTL by saving a relative of the governor -- Mary Keeley

I think they made Sonny bipolar so they could send him to the dark side every now and then by having him not take his pills, so it didn't count and explaining away his past behavior. Kind of like Franco's brain tumor. But shooting Dante in his own house and AJ was pretty sloppy for a supposedly smart criminal. -- JDF

Soap fans may not be able to tell you what they had for dinner last night, but they could tell you line for line what happened 25 years ago on their show. Details & history are important to viewers, it's part of what keeps you invested. -- Linda (via Twitter)

I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to leave a comment below or email me. 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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