Not-so-unsolved mysteries

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There's a lot of action in Port Charles these days, but have the writers taken all the mystery out of the stories? See what Liz Masters has to say about that in this week's Two Scoops

When I was a kid, I loved The Wizard of Oz. I even had dreams of growing up to become Glinda the Good Witch. Hey, I was a kid, and all things magical appealed to me. I also loved the whole aspect of the great and mysterious Oz. Everything about the journey to meet the wonderful Wizard of Oz was exciting and fun; there were lots of catchy tunes, a wicked witch and her flying monkeys, little Munchkins, and, of course, the company that Dorothy picked up along the way.

The only part of the story that fell flat was when the curtains were pulled back, and we discovered that Oz was just an ordinary man. Rather like biting into a sweet juicy apple only to find a worm squirming around in the center.

That's what the writers keep doing. They are sucking all the mystery -- and the joy of trying to figure out the clues -- out of most of the storylines.

Anna and Valentin are on the hunt for Peter August -- and Louise -- but we already know the fate of both. Peter is on ice in the bowels of GH, while Finn and Liz are brainstorming ways to get rid of the corpse. Does anyone seriously believe that Anna is going to arrest Finn or turn him over to the authorities for killing Peter? I sure don't, and I'm fairly certain that Valentin will not take action, either, because he's keener to get into Anna's good graces than to avenge that dirty, rotten scoundrel Peter.

We also know that Louise is safe in Brook Lynn's care, living as "Bailey." True, Valentin has bonded with the baby, but it's doubtful that he will be too hard on Brook Lynn and Maxie for their deception when that little truth bomb lands. He might be angry, but he will also consider it his penance for handing Peter over to Faison all those years ago when Peter was a wee babe like Louise.

There's also Charlotte. Valentin did far worse by keeping Charlotte from her mother, which had a profound effect on Charlotte, and it made the short time that she had with her mother bittersweet. Valentin is not without sin here, and I'm confident that if Anna doesn't point that out to him, then Brook Lynn will -- or Olivia. Possibly even Dante.

I see this storyline more as a vehicle to pave the way for Anna and Valentin as well as Finn and Liz to find romance rather than about Peter's demise or even the search for Louise. In fact, if anyone is going to uncover the truth about Louise, it's far more likely to be Austin, not Anna. It's for that reason that I'm even interested in this storyline.

I'm definitely on board to see things heat up between Anna and Valentin, but I have to be honest, it never occurred to me to pair Finn with Liz. Don't get me wrong; I see the chemistry now, and they are a beautiful couple. Plus, they both work at the hospital, and their kids are cousins, but I thought because of Hayden that they each considered the other off-limits. A silly thought, I now realize, especially for a soap opera couple. Hayden is exactly why Finn and Liz will end up a happy blended family unit. The only question will be when Hayden will show up on their doorstep.

With Shawn enlisting Sam to help search for the assassin hired to kill Hayden, I can't help but wonder if Shawn and Sam will follow the breadcrumbs straight to Hayden -- and possibly Drew. This is not a spoiler. I'm merely speculating based on news reports that Cameron Mathison is filming, and he's slated to be the new Drew. There are no reports that Rebecca Budig is reprising her role as Hayden Barnes, but with Shawn saying her name in every other sentence, and Rebecca's history with Cameron on All My Children when they played supercouple Greenlee Smythe and Ryan Lavery, I can't imagine the writers wouldn't want to try to recapture that magic.

Frankly, I will be quite salty if they don't.

I have no fear that Nikolas will go down for Hayden's attempted murder. First, the hit man would need to be found, and then Shawn would need to prove that the man fired the bullet that struck Hayden. It's been years, and I believe a professional killer is smart enough to dispose of incriminating weapons used in the course of a hit. If Shawn can't prove Nikolas was behind the hit, then he will be left with two options: take the law into his own hands (and risk his newfound freedom) or walk away. Shawn is a smart man, so I'm confident he will leave it to karma to catch up with Nikolas.

That brings me to the other anticlimactic storyline playing out -- Ava's stalker.

Once again, the viewers know all the pertinent information. Spencer is behind the ominous messages and threats, not because he means Ava harm but rather because he hopes to force Nikolas to divorce his beloved bride. Spencer is mighty proud of himself because his efforts paid off. Unfortunately, that smugness will also be his downfall because Spencer's lips are a tad too loose. He's incriminating himself right and left.

I really wish the writers had kept the identity of the stalker a secret, especially when they had plans to bring Ryan Chamberlain back. This storyline would have been so much juicer if viewers could have tried to suss out who the stalker is -- and whether the danger is real or just an illusion.

I don't know what the point of Ryan's return is, but I hope it's his last one. I love Jon Lindstrom, and Kevin Collins is one of my all-time favorite characters, but I hate when the writers give villains the Michael Meyers treatment by making them invincible. Ryan has worn out his welcome, and it doesn't make a lick of sense why he would be in a minimum-security prison.

Ryan is a serial killer who faked catatonia in the past. He belongs on a remote island in an iron mask, chained to the wall. Short of that, he should be tied to a bed in a prison for the criminally insane. Dare we hope that Alexis is working undercover to expose the truth about Ryan with a handy-dandy recording device hidden in that 20th century cast she's sporting on her arm? Probably not.

Now, let's talk about our young prince, the stalker.

Nicholas Chavez has stepped into the role of our newly SORAS'd (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) Spencer Cassadine. He's a handsome young man, and he seems confident in the role. He has captured Spencer's arrogance, entitlement, and spiteful natures quite nicely, all of which were on exhibit as he interacted with several people in the brief time Spencer has been out and about in Port Charles.

We even got a glimpse of Spencer's vulnerable side when he enjoyed a happy reunion with Britt. That was the scene I really looked forward to, and it didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the banter between Spencer and Britt, and I even chuckled when he tried to play matchmaker between her and his father. It was such a Spencer thing to do.

It's never easy to take over a role, especially one that was portrayed by a fan favorite like Nicolas Bechtel. Yet, in the case of soap opera children, it is inevitable. Few actors get an opportunity to grow up with the role like Kimberly McCullough did with Robin Scorpio. It's for that reason that I keep an open mind with all recasts, including this one. I give it time, until the actor is able to make the role their own. There will always be detractors, that's a given, but with luck and a whole lot of talent, there will be far more fans.

That is my hope for this new Spencer.

Unfortunately, I have concerns. Cameron and Josslyn just got together, and there's Spencer, poolside, winking at Josslyn and already pushing her buttons. She is her mother's daughter in every sense, meaning that she's predisposed to be drawn to what she can't have more than to what she can. Josslyn loves the chase and the challenge.

Where does that leave poor Trina with Spencer? I'm not sure, but I do know that I don't want Josslyn to be a part of that equation. Cameron deserves some happiness, and the poor boy has been mooning after Josslyn since she dated Oscar. I love Cameron, but I fear that nice guys finish last on soaps. It doesn't look good for him or for Trina.

So, how long before Chase finds out that Willow is sneaking off to hold pinkies with Michael? Will Brook Lynn spill the beans, or will he run in to show Willow that he can walk, only to stop short when he finds the star-crossed lovers in bed together?

My money is on the latter. Chase can stand, which means it's only a matter of time before he's walking and ready to woo his new bride. Too bad for Chase that his new bride only has eyes for Michael, which means that Chase might hold onto his disability under the misguided belief that keeping Willow close to his side will give them time to recapture what they had lost.

Then again, he might go the Alan Quartermaine route and plant a bomb. It could go either way.

The one guarantee is that it won't go well because Chase is in love with Willow. Having all his dreams ripped away with the knowledge that she married him out of pity is going to cut deeply, although a part of me feels that Chase is partly to blame for his current predicament.

I keep going back to the fact that Willow had told Chase that she had feelings for Michael, but she also felt that she owed it to herself to see if she and Chase were truly over. At that point, Willow did not lead Chase on. She was honest, and had he not collapsed, she would have ended things with Chase.

I think Willow should have been honest with Chase from the start. Yeah, it would have been awkward telling a guy suffering from a poison that made him delusional at one point, but saying, "I'm sorry, Chase, we aren't married," is not hard to say -- nor is it difficult to enlist his family's help to keep setting Chase straight. Had she done that, Chase might not have asked her to marry him when he thought he only had hours left to live.

Any empathy that I might have had for Willow's plight flew out the window when Chase recovered from the poison, and she still remained silent. If it sounds like I put all the blame on Willow, I don't. Michael supported her every step of the way, even when he disagreed with her choices. However, Willow is the one who made promises to Chase, not Michael, so she bears the brunt of the blame for the mess that she now finds herself in.

I just hope somehow Chase, Willow, and Michael find a way to break their toxic cycle of deception for the greater good. They are each nice people, but they make the most boneheaded choices. They really do.

Finally, this week, Nina returned to Nixon Falls when "Mike" called to tell her that Lenny has advanced pancreatic cancer. Nina promised to cover all the expenses for Lenny's treatment then took Wiley for an afternoon of swimming.

The frustration that I have with the Nixon Falls storyline is not the characters. I actually like both Phyllis and poor ill-fated Lenny. "Mike" is a watered-down version of Sonny, but also endearing, and while I don't agree with what Nina is doing, I do enjoy her. What bothers me about this storyline is that we all know how it's going to end already.

I'm not talking about Lenny's cancer, although, I had two relatives who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Both died within six months because usually, by the time you present symptoms -- in Lenny's case, he had abdominal pain -- it's too advanced.

There was the Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), who successfully battled pancreatic cancer in 2009. It would return a decade later, but she did beat it for a time. Sadly, I don't believe that Lenny will be as lucky. His conversation with Nina about helping Phyllis let go seemed more foreshadowing than request. More importantly, Sonny can't stay in Nixon Falls forever. Something has to send Sonny back to Port Charles, and I doubt it's going to be a wedding invitation from Jason and Carly.

The question is, will Sonny return in time to stop the wedding? I hope so, but I suspect not. That would be too easy for everyone.

Random observations

Well, that was quick. Last week, I mentioned that I hadn't seen Olivia working at Metro Court Restaurant in ages, and this week, guess who was head lady in charge? That said, I still stand behind what I said. I think Metro Court should belong to Carly, lock, stock, and barrel. Olivia should open up a shelter for fur babies.

Actually, Monica, you also have your love for Wiley. That makes three things -- not two -- that you have in common with Carly. I blame the writers, not Monica, for that slip, though, but I'm not too annoyed. The talk between Jason and Monica about A.J. was long overdue. I'm happy that Jason took some blame for all that craziness when Michael was a baby, but I hate that he keeps giving Carly cover.

Love the outdoor scenes. I know it's around the studio, which is in California not New York, but I don't care. I love seeing people in natural light when they are supposed to be outside. I also appreciate that we have a lot more sets in rotation, but I do miss the old haunts like Kelly's. I wouldn't mind seeing people lining up for one of Kelly's famous BLTs.

Reader feedback

I LOVE Spinelli!!! Who else wants to see a Maximista/Jackal Reunion? Not Really? Maybe? Same. I mean, I dunno. I think they should've brought Ellie back. If only to break up with Spinelli. Just because. I always thought that Spinelli was SO good for Maxie, but she always sabotaged herself. -- Missez Premise

I still don't understand why Maxie told Nina the truth but not Britt when she asked a couple weeks ago. At least Britt knew Maxie had a plan and would have totally kept her secret and quite frankly, is more stable than Nina. -- BCAD

Now, does this mean that Lenny has pancreatic cancer AND a serious heart condition? -- Mary Keeley

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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