Bubbles and trouble, and Project Demeter

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Life isn't always Champagne and caviar, especially if you live in Port Charles. Things heated up on several fronts as alliances were forged, secrets spilled out, and tantalizing clues were dropped. It's time for Two Scoops of bubbles, trouble, and a little Greek mythology.

Oh, how I wanted Carly to clock Esme right in the kisser. I'm not a violent person, but Esme makes me want to break things. She's smirky, calculating, and completely lacking even a semblance of a conscience. My intense dislike of Esme is a testament to just how incredibly good Avery Kristen Pohl is as a treacherous femme fatale.

In so many ways, Esme reminds me of Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier). Both come from a twisted background, they take delight in the torment and misery of others, and they are driven by vengeance. The only person they ever feel sorry for is themselves because they have a completely narcissistic view of things.

I don't know who Esme's mother is. We have only been told that Esme is Ryan's daughter, but how that was established and how the two connected remains a mystery. Ryan was in a facility for 20 years, and during that time, he pretended to be in a catatonic state, so my guess is that Esme's mother was an aide, nurse, or doctor at the facility. Ryan usually preyed on weak and damaged people, so it's likely that Esme's mother was someone who was young, lonely, and a romantic at heart because she was clearly willing to take tremendous risks in the name of love.

I've seen some speculation that Esme might be Ryan and Felicia's daughter, but I really hope that's not the case. Ryan stalked and terrorized Felicia for years, so the idea that she had to deal with the trauma of having his baby in secret and giving her baby up for adoption doesn't sit well with me. It feels like just one more way Ryan victimized Felicia. Even if you don't like Felicia, she doesn't deserve to have one daughter taken by a serial killer and another daughter fathered by one. No one deserves that.

Despite the reunion between father and daughter, things are not all sunshine and lollipops between Ryan and Esme. Ryan is up to his old tricks -- this time with his own daughter -- making her grovel at his feet and desperate to prove her worth to him. The quasi-sexual tension between them is gross, but it underscores that both Ryan and Esme are dark and evil creatures. Ryan was driven to become a serial killer because of the sexual abuse his mother inflicted on him as a child, so it makes a sick kind of sense that he would treat his own child in similar manner, since that's all he knows of male/female familial relationships.

It's doubtful that Ryan loves Esme. He's incapable of it. At best, he's fond of her, mainly because he sees himself in her, but it's far more likely that to him, she's nothing more than a pawn. As for Esme, she's seeking her father's admiration, which to her is the equivalent of love, but I have little doubt that she would toss him to the wolves if it came down to a choice between her or him. I don't think Esme is any more capable of love than Ryan is, and I have a sneaking suspicion that she killed her adoptive parents.

Esme definitely doesn't love Spencer. It's the same kind of fixation that Ryan has with Ava. Spencer is a conquest, and she has no intention of losing him to anyone, especially someone who is the antithesis of her in every conceivable way. I hope Spencer's confrontation with Esme about the sex tape has finally opened his eyes. I get that he feels sorry for Esme because she doesn't have anyone else, but what she did to Cameron and Josslyn is unforgivable, and it's only going to get worse because Trina is going to take the fall, at least for a time.

In the real world, Esme planting that cloned phone in Trina's purse would be Esme's undoing. Let's start with the fact that it's a cloned phone, which means that a good forensics tech in a crime lab -- or Spinelli -- can find the footprints that it was cloned. Esme might have skills, but she doesn't have Spinelli skills with technology.

Now, let's talk about fingerprints and the normal wear and tear of a cell phone. I don't recall Esme having gloves on when she put that phone cover on the cloned cell phone or when she dropped it in Trina's purse, so Esme's fingerprints are all over that cloned cell phone. Presumably, the point of Esme calling in that anonymous tip (without so much as attempting to disguise her distinctive voice) is for Trina to get popped for posting revenge porn. That is a criminal offense, which means that the cloned cell phone is going to become evidence and be closely examined. There's a big difference between a brand-new cell phone that was only used once versus one owned by a teenager in college with a busy life and a job.

Even my cell phone has a few scratches and dings.

I hate that Trina has some difficult days ahead, but at the same time, I look forward to her finally getting a storyline. Sadly, Sydney Mikayla wrapped her time at GH just as things are getting good. She's a talented young lady, and I'm going to miss her, but I applaud her for putting her education first. I wish her nothing but the very best, and I'm grateful for the time that we've had her on the show.

As for Esme's plot to rid herself of a rival while at the same time fulfilling Ryan's wishes for her to drive Nikolas and Ava apart, I can't see this going well for anyone, least of all Esme. Seducing Nikolas would certainly create a rift between Nikolas and Ava, but it's unlikely that Nikolas would fall for Esme's advances because he's in love with Ava. Plus, Nikolas would never betray Spencer like that. That leaves only one option for Esme.

Esme will have to set Nikolas up to make it appear that he either sexually assaulted her or he tried to seduce her. Esme likes to play the victim, so it's far more likely that she'd opt for option A. Spencer might believe his father is capable of rape (I hope not), but I don't think Ava would. She knows Nikolas better than that, and she loves him. Esme's problem won't be Ava or even Spencer; it will be Victor. Victor won't allow Esme to rip apart his family.

That brings me to Sonny.

Sonny's life is in a shambles and he has no one to blame but himself. Okay, Nina bears some responsibility because of her lies, but mostly, it's on Sonny and all the bad choices he's made since returning from Nixon Falls. At the very top of the list is mixing alcohol with medication.

Sonny has finally realized that drinking away his problems while taking lithium is not helping his mental health or making his problems go away. It's making everything worse. I'm happy for him, but I am a tad bit annoyed that it was Nina rather than his doctor who helped Sonny see how damaging his drinking was. Shouldn't Sonny's doctor have talked to Sonny about his drinking and the impact even a small amount of alcohol might have on his medication, especially when they were trying to get Sonny back on a maintenance dosage?

Where is Dr. Maddox when you need him?

I'm hoping that with a little clarity, Sonny will finally realize how dirty he did Carly. I'm not talking about his tryst on the Haunted Star with Nina, but rather, how he blames Carly for the end of their marriage rather than taking ownership for all the things he did to push her to file for divorce. The truth is, Sonny didn't tell Carly about his feelings for Nina because he was afraid -- afraid of looking bad, afraid of Carly going on the warpath -- and I think he was even afraid that the truth would drive Carly into Jason's arms.

It's why Sonny is always quick to play the what-about-Jason card with Carly. I believe a part of Sonny wonders if Carly stayed out of love or out of duty. How could he not? Carly loved Jason long before she loved Sonny, and she and Jason always shared a special bond that often had Carly turning to Jason rather than Sonny when she was troubled. It's no secret that Jason was the only person that had the ability to get through to Carly even when Sonny couldn't.

Knowing that Jason and Carly had opened themselves to that love they had once shared and that they were fully committed to having a real marriage must have messed with Sonny's trust in Carly's love for him. Not that it excuses the choices that Sonny made, but it would certainly explain why he didn't want to risk telling Carly the truth about what really happened with Nina in Nixon Falls.

I don't feel sorry for Sonny. He made his bed, and he deserves to sleep alone in it.

Meanwhile, Carly is ready to get her groove back with Drew, and I'm okay with that. They look good together, there's definitely chemistry, and a fun fling would do them both a world of good. Sam has made her choice, so I don't want to see Drew pining for her. It would be a complete waste of a good character and Cameron Mathison's talent. I look forward to Carly helping Drew uncover what Victor is up to.

So, what is Project Demeter? I'm so intrigued.

In Greek mythology, Demeter (daughter of Cronus and Rhea) is the goddess of grain and agriculture, and she is one of the original twelve Olympians. She is also the mother of Persephone, who is the wife of Hades and the reason that we have winter. Additionally, Demeter is mother to Plutus, the god of wealth.

We know that the Ice Princess diamond, which is currently missing, has been used to control the weather. Most notably, it was used by Mikkos Cassadine to power the machine that had the ability to throw the planet into an instant ice age. Victor's encounter with Drew on the footbridge also revealed that Drew was somehow involved in Project Demeter during his Navy SEAL days, which indicates that it might be some kind of weapon.

Finally, we learned that Victor's followers believe they are working for a noble cause, one they are willing to die for.

Could Project Demeter be the Ice Princess' Achilles heel? Could whoever stole the Ice Princess be the danger that Victor has been warning his family about for months, and is Project Demeter the means to stop this person? So many questions, and so few answers. I'm so ready for this adventure to kick into high gear.

I know this might be a long shot, but I'm really hoping that Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roché) is somehow involved. Plot twists and mayhem are right up his alley, he was Helena's ally, and it's been quite some time since we've seen him. I'd love to see Victor and Jerry lock horns. I'm Team Cassadine, but Team Jacks will definitely make it interesting and give the Cassadines a run for their money -- literally.

Now, let's discuss what's going on with Willow.

Harmony snagged a forged birth certificate for Willow, and Willow's passport was fast-tracked. Michael and Willow were eager to jet off to Paris for a romantic getaway, but life took an ugly turn when a sleazy reporter dropped the bombshell on Michael that Josslyn had a sex tape. The guy said some pretty vile things about Josslyn and the video, which rather predictably ended with Michael knocking the guy's teeth out. A slight exaggeration, but I'm pretty sure one or two were loosened.

Jordan, who seems to spend more time roaming the hallways of the hospital than the police station, saw the altercation and promptly arrested Michael. Nina is going to love hearing that. But that wasn't the most surprising development. After Michael was hauled off to jail, Willow went into panic mode, called Carly, then passed out before she could tell Carly about the arrest.

When a woman on a soap opera faints, she's either pregnant or about to face a health crisis. It's seldom random. Willow is in a happy relationship with Michael, so I doubt that she's pregnant. No drama in that. Therefore, I suspect the fainting spell will be a health issue and a catalyst for Willow learning the truth about her biological mother.

The discovery that Phyllis and Lorraine Miller are old pals is just further confirmation that Nina will ultimately be revealed to be Willow's mother.

I don't think Harmony is evil or bad, but neither do I think she was an innocent bystander. She either put Nina's mother in touch with Frank Benson, or she pulled off a baby switch. I don't think Nina gave birth to twins because Phyllis would have known if Nina had been pregnant with twins. Madeline would have no reason to lie to Phyllis about twins, since Phyllis had already agreed to deliver one baby to Frank Benson.

The way things are moving, we should be getting answers soon.

Finally, Jake dropped a wonderful little bombshell this week that also had the added benefit of giving him an alibi for the night of the fire at Franco's studio. Jake is not Liz's stalker, but I never believed that he was. The disturbing things happening to Liz are not the work of a grieving teenager who is upset because his mom is dating again.

For Liz, that means that she's no closer to figuring out who is sending her the unsettling messages. Given the alternative -- that it was Jake -- I consider it more good news than bad.

Now, let's get to the juicy stuff.

Jake has been talking to his "Grandma Carolyn and Grandpa Jeff." It seems that his grandparents reached out to him by posting on his social media wall when Jason died. Liz has been going through a lot -- the death of her husband, a fire at his studio, the death of an ex-lover and the father of one her children, and of course, the stalker -- so I'm going to cut her some slack, but if Jeff and Carolyn contacted Jake through social media, then they weren't exactly going behind Liz's back. It was all on Jake's wall for Liz to read. I'm happy that Finn stuck up for Jake, and I'm really happy that Jake cleared the air about where he stands with Finn and Liz dating.

Fingers crossed, Liz and Finn push the start button again on their romance. She's going to need someone to help her deal with her parents.

If the soap gods answer my prayers, we will soon be seeing Jeff and Carolyn Webber. It's so long overdue, and Liz has good reason to be angry with her parents. Not once did they call or send flowers or even a greeting card during the decades that Liz has lived in Port Charles. If my teenage daughter had been raped, nothing short of a visit from the Grim Reaper would have kept me away from her. Jeff and Carolyn were radio silent, and they remained so throughout all the awful things that Liz has had to endure over the years, including heartbreaking miscarriages, brushes with death, and of course, the devastating loss of a child that she had to take off life support.

Yes, Jake was later revealed to be alive, but Liz didn't know that when she was signing paperwork to donate his organs and making funeral arrangements. That pain and grief were real, and her parents were nowhere to be seen. It's shameful, and I don't blame Liz for not throwing out a welcome mat now that they want to talk, especially since they aren't respecting her boundaries.

I get Liz's anger. You don't get to have a relationship with my minor child if you don't clear it with me first. It would be different if Jeff and Carolyn had reached out to Cameron. He's an adult. However, Jake is still a minor, and it's up to Liz to decide who gets to be a part of her child's life. Jeff and Carolyn were horrible parents to her, so she has no reason to think they would be any different as grandparents.

Talking to Jake without Liz's permission was sneaky and wrong. Grandparents have rights, but so do parents. Jeff and Carolyn abandoned their teenage daughter. If they want a relationship with her children, then they need to fix things with Liz.

I don't think Jeff and Carolyn are directly linked to Liz's stalker, but I do suspect that they will be the key to exposing the person responsible for sending Liz all those ominous messages. As I've said in previous columns, I think it's Heather, and if anyone can draw Heather out of hiding, it's her original obsession, Jeff Webber. Not to mention Carolyn. Imagine the hatred that Heather harbors for the woman who stole Jeff's heart and raised Steven Lars.

Jeff and Carolyn can't get to Port Charles fast enough.

Random observations

Monica has decided to have Jason legally declared dead, which can only mean that he's on his way back. Will he make a grand entrance at his memorial service? I would love that, especially for Britt.

I know that Selina is a mobster, but I really like her, and I was a tad disappointed that Curtis turned down her offer. I'd like to see more of Selina.

Yay! Someone liberated Brook Lynn from those hideous blazers. Here's hoping they all got lost in the move from Jax's house to the Q mansion.

Reader feedback

Okay, Portia is a successful doctor and already owns a home, so selling it will give them additional cash. Curtis just started a new business, even if he owned his loft outright (doubtful since he hasn't owned it for long), his cash is tied up in his business. So how are they able to buy a billionaire's lakefront mansion? And if it is a four-bedroom house, why was there no room for BLQ's extra stuff? -- Deffft

So if Courtney died in 2006, then Spenser just had his 16th birthday?? They needed to alter the date on the headstone to make Spenser at least a 19 year old college student. -- Cindi Ekberg

I was cheering when Willow finally showed some backbone, and stood up to Nina, who once again showed no respect for the fact that Willow was on her way to her nursing class and insisted that she stop to listen to her whine about seeing Wiley again. I've been waiting a long time for Willow to see the light when it comes to Nina. -- Scrimmage

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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