Truth, consequences, and vendettas

For the Week of December 7, 2020
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Turning over a new leaf is never easy, but in Port Charles, the demons of the past tend to stick like glue, while vendettas never die. With Julian on the run, several feel the urge to unburden themselves of the secrets they've been carrying. Will the truth set them free, or will the consequences be too great?

Folks, I love that the writers are going waaay back in GH history to craft the mystery of who exactly Cyrus Renault is and why he's so gosh darn interested in Laura. I honestly don't understand why soap scribes don't do this more often because there is an endless supply of fascinating history to pull from -- and a few loose ends begging to be tied up.

This week, we learned that Laura's biological father, Gordon Grey, was married to a woman named Florence. Florence appears to be at the center of what is driving Cyrus' mission in Port Charles. Was/is she his mother, sister, or lover? We don't know yet, but we do know that Florence is important to Cyrus because he's taken great pains to hide his connection to her.

Lesley Webber's (Denise Alexander) affair with her mentor Gordon Grey was before my time, but from what I've read and what Laura told Curtis, it sounds like he was quite the piece of work. A man capable of telling his mistress that their child died -- then secretly adopting that child out -- is capable of all manner of deception and manipulation. Was Florence another victim of the diabolical Gordon Grey, who cheated on his wife by seducing his students? And how exactly does Martin fit into this family saga? Grey is a common enough name, true, but there is no such thing as coincidence in the land of soaps, which is exactly why my antennae went up the first time I heard his name. As a side note, Martin's last name was originally listed as Gray. So, was that a mistake? Did the writers make a change during the work stoppage and decide to link him to legacy characters with the last name Grey?

I've long wondered if there was a connection between Martin and Laura's biological father. Given Martin's age, might he be Gordon's eldest child? If Gordon was married, then it stands to reason that he had a child -- or two. Are Martin and Cyrus brothers?

It was Cyrus' reaction to Lulu's tragic fate that made me wonder. He seemed genuinely upset to hear that she had been one of the victims of the bombing, which didn't make sense unless there was some kind of personal connection. Men like Cyrus don't give a fig about collateral damage -- hence the use of weapons of mass destruction -- but it's a completely different matter when something they consider theirs is threatened. Could there be a family tie? I shudder at the thought because Cyrus is evil to the core, but nothing can be ruled out at this point.

My fervent hope is that Cyrus' only connection is to the mysterious Florence rather than her husband and that he was upset that Lulu had been injured because it meant that he couldn't use her as a pawn in whatever game he's playing.

That brings me to Lulu.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it. That was a craptastic exit, and I feel extremely cheated. What was the point of bringing Dante back if Lulu is not around? I understand why Dustin had to go, especially with Brook Lynn gone and possibly pregnant with Valentin's child, but I can't understand why Lulu was written out just as the path was cleared for her and Dante to reunite. More importantly, why was the door left wide open for Lulu to return sooner rather than later?

Was Emme Rylan let go to pave the way for someone else to take over the role? The only way that would be acceptable is if Julie Marie Berman returned to reprise the role. Anyone else would be an insult to Lante (Lulu and Dante) fans, and the actors caught in the middle.

No offense to Matt Trudeau, but I'm not happy that Ryan Carnes was replaced without explanation, so I don't want to see it happen again.

I also take great issue with none of Luke and Laura's children being on the canvas. If ever there's a time for Lucky to get his butt back home, it's now. Not only is his sister languishing in a coma, but his mother is brokenhearted, and his son's stepfather is dealing with a medical crisis. What kind of man stays away from his family when his presence is desperately needed?

Oh, yeah, Luke's son. They truly are two peas in a pod.

It's one of the reasons that I've always liked Nikolas more than Lucky. Yes, I know that Nikolas has faked his death a few times, but he's a Cassadine. It's what they do. At least, Nikolas shows up when it counts. Lucky has mourned Siobhan longer than he knew her. How is that fair to poor Aiden?

Meanwhile, Nikolas finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place. He's in love with his wife, but she gave succor to her brother, who went on the lam after planting the bomb that killed two and put Lulu in a coma. Ava's only saving grace is that she tried to put a quick and swift end to Julian's life when she realized that Sonny and Cyrus would soon be gunning for Julian. However, she didn't actually pull the trigger, and a part of me questions if she ever would have.

I do believe that Ava wanted to pull the trigger, but she also knew that the plunge from the turret where she took her brother was survivable. Case in point, Julian lived to make another enemy. Ava's tango with Ryan Chamberlain and Kiki's murder profoundly changed Ava. I do not think she's as bloodthirsty as she once was. More importantly, despite how angry and disgusted Ava was with Julian, she still loves her brother.

That love would have trumped a mercy murder.

I am intrigued by the photograph of Martin that Julian utilized to blackmail Martin. What could possibly interest Sonny enough to delay his execution of Julian, and why would Martin keep such an incriminating piece of evidence around for anyone to find rather than burn it?

Luckily for Julian, Sonny and Jason are after bigger fish, namely Cyrus, and they are willing to cut a deal with Julian to snag the lethal shark. I have no doubt that Julian will readily agree to help the enemy of his enemy, but whether or not he follows through is up for debate. If Cyrus and his henchmen don't kill him, Lucas just might.

As Friday drew to a close, Britt was doing her best to get Lucas to cut Brad some slack by revealing that Brad didn't act alone in keeping Wiley from his rightful father. I'm not at all surprised that Britt sees Brad as the victim because she was in a similar situation when she stole Dante and Lulu's embryo, had it implanted, and tried to pass the child off as hers and Patrick's. Rocco was also kept from his parents for the first year of his life, so Britt can't understand the pain that Lucas' family went through, believing that his great-nephew had died.

I do have a big problem with Britt acting like Julian's role in the switch somehow mitigates Brad's culpability. It doesn't. Brad was the one who let Lucas fall in love with a child that didn't belong to them. Julian didn't know the truth until well after the fact, and he was promptly blackmailed into dancing to Brad's tune because Brad knew that no one would believe Julian over Brad. It irks me that everyone is quick to give Julian a much bigger role in Brad's deception when the truth is that Brad used emotional blackmail then threats of certain death to force Julian to keep quiet.

Until recently, I loved Julian, despite all the stupid and sometimes wicked things he's done. Few soap characters are perfect, and most have done horrendous things. I tend to like darker characters because they are generally far more honest about who they are, and they are infinitely more complex and interesting than the saints of the show. William deVry's Julian Jerome was a prime example of that.

Julian did want to live a simpler life, and in time, he managed to do just that. Charlie's Pub was a perfect fit for him, and for a time, he truly was on the road to redemption.

Many will point to the fact that Julian refused to bank his bone marrow in the event that Danny needed another lifesaving transplant down the road as proof that Julian was a selfish and weak man, but I disagree. Sonny constantly threatening to kill Julian the moment the deed was done is what made Julian hesitate.

It's not like Sonny was just blowing off steam or making idle threats. Sonny meant what he said, and more importantly, he had the henchmen to carry out the death sentence.

I wasn't a big fan of Julian's romance with Kim Nero mainly because I was and will always be a Julexis (Julian and Alexis) fan. Julian and Alexis had mad chemistry, and when they were good, they were great. I hate that Julian holding a knife to Alexis' throat was their undoing because Julian should have known that it would be the hill their relationship died on.

Not that Alexis didn't do her fair share of horrible things, including running Julian down when she was drunk and leaving the scene before help arrived, but the knife to the throat was a hard limit. It was how her mother died, and she was tortured by the image for most of her life. Using the very knife that Helena had wielded to slay Alexis' mother was cruel beyond words, but I had hoped that time and seeing Julian keeping his nose clean might lead her to forgiveness.

That's why Julian's recent backslide from redemption was disappointing. Any fantasies of Julian helping Alexis through this latest relapse vanished when Julian reached out to Cyrus for help. That was the point of no return for Julian because he had made himself a pawn in Cyrus's war against Sonny. There had been so many times when being honest would have been the better and safer option than the cowardly path Julian chose. Foolishly planting a bomb in a crowded bar was the nail in Julian's coffin.

Julian was a mob boss, not a low-level flunky. He had to have known that calling that number after planting the bomb would trigger it. Even I knew that.

In a perfect world, Julian will carry out his deal with Sonny then leave town as part of the agreement. Sadly, I don't think that's how things will play out.

However, if Julian should die while helping Sonny, I do think there will be some ramifications for Jason. Sam already has reservations about the cost of being in Jason's orbit. Julian's demise -- even if it comes at the hands of Cyrus -- will only amplify the doubts and concerns that Sam is currently wrestling with. Sam might not have had much use for her father, but when all is said and done, Julian is her father and the grandfather of her children. Like it or not, Danny was once close to Julian, and his death is bound to hit Danny hard.

I don't blame Sam for having reservations about Jason's life now that she has faced the very real possibility of her eldest child nearly falling victim to his father's lifestyle. I'm just surprised that it took Sam this long to get here.

Sam talking to Carly about how uncomplicated her life was when she dated Patrick threw me off, though. Yes, Patrick was definitely far removed from mobsters, gunfire, and bombs, but it was Drew -- as Jason, I might add -- who walked away from the mob for Sam and the children. Drew was the one who recognized what working for Sonny meant that the ones he loved most would always be in danger, and that was not a price that Drew was willing to pay.

As Jason, Drew chose Sam and the children over Sonny and Carly. As Jason, Drew was happy to try a different path in life, and together, Sam and Drew started Aurora Media. Yes, Sam was happy with Patrick, but that couldn't touch the joy she found with Drew/Jason when they started their new life together, far removed from Sonny's world.

That is exactly why Drew needs to return.

I liked Sam so much more when she was with Drew because he challenged both himself and Sam to be better people. With Jason, Sam is once again his justifier in chief. She makes excuses for the unlawful things he does and the people he kills, as if Jason and Sonny have the right to be judge, jury, and executioner of their competition. She lies to herself and her children when she tells them that Jason can keep them safe when the reality is that there are always people around both Sonny and Jason who fall victim to violence.

People have been shot and kidnapped, they have ended up in comas, and even a few unfortunate souls paid with their lives because they were either targets or collateral damage to get to Sonny and/or Jason. Carly might not want to acknowledge it, but even Josslyn sees that there's a steep price to be paid for anyone to remain in the orbit of the mob, even if they aren't an active participant in the criminal wrongdoing.

Sam will always love Jason, but I think Drew was the man she would have found true happiness with. Jason's "death" gave Sam an opportunity to outgrow her life with Jason, and I suspect that she's just now starting to see that.

Finally, I have a confession to make. If I can't have Julexis, I want Nexis (Ned/Alexis). My hope is that Olivia learning about the one-night stand and walking out on Ned will be the catalyst that Alexis needs to get sober. I don't mind if she continues to drop her truth bombs on those around her, especially Sam, but I can't take any joy in knowing that it comes at the expense of Alexis' sobriety.

Let's be clear. Drinking daily, especially in large quantities, can take a toll on a person's body. Liver disease, certain cancers, and blood pressure issues are just some of the problems that arise because of excessive drinking. It's not a harmless indulgence because Alexis is not a social drinker. Her family has every right to be concerned and to make every effort to get her help. In the end, it does need to be Alexis' choice, but that doesn't mean that her family should give up.

Ned could be good for Alexis. They have a wonderful friendship, and I still see sparks between them. They can blame it on the alcohol, but I think Ned and Alexis ended up in bed together because there is also love.

I'm not worried about Olivia. Robert will help mend her broken heart -- until he learns that Holly is alive.

Random observations

High point of the week was Tracy's return! Jane Elliot is simply stunning, and Tracy's compassion for Laura was touching and beautiful. It's nice to see two incredible women on such good terms with each other after all they've been through with each other and with Luke.

Does Taggert sit in Kate/Connie's old mansion in the dark? Why is no one questioning the lights turning on at night in a mansion that's supposed to be empty?

Where was Rocco? I found it odd that Charlotte got to say goodbye to her mother, but Rocco was sheltered at the Quartermaine mansion with Nona Olivia and Leo.

Reader feedback

I'm genuinely confused about something - back when the Dumb Lie happened in the spring, I am certain that Carly figured it out then and congratulated Sasha. Was this " I only found out last week" a rewrite or another lie? -- Andrew

Isn't it amazing how much more likeable Valentin has become since we learned that he really DIDN'T kill Nikolas after all? Of course, it wasn't for lack of trying on Vlad's part. The fact that he failed shouldn't make that much difference, but it does. -- Scrimmage

Well, I do loathe the actions of Cyrus and the character, but I do enjoy him being on the show. The actor is so good, and the way Cyrus just pops up unexpectedly cracks me up because of the stunned looks of whoever is standing around. He has even made the mob bearable to me as a viewer because he behaves like a mobster -- amoral, ruthless, without any empathy, sociopathic. Even when he goes down (which he will have to) he will not be the least bit sorry for whatever he has done. Even Sonny seems a little in awe of him. -- Eileen

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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