The French lieutenant's woman

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Fake mustaches, bloody paintings, French Polynesia, stock sales, blackmail, and bombshells -- what a week it has been in Port Charles! Let's discuss in this week's Two Scoops

Dear readers, if you read my column regularly, you will know I have a severe soap crush on Valentin Cassadine. Sure, he's a fictional character, and he used to be a hunchback, and he's done some exceptionally shady things. Sure, his parents are the villainous Helena and Victor Cassadine, so maybe evil lurks in his DNA. But have you seen him speak French to Charlotte? Do you recall how he adored Nina #1 and the romantic version of "Book of Love" he sang to her at the Nurses Ball? How can I be expected not to be smitten by such a character?

I had been missing him, and my heart leaped with joy when he strode in with the uniform and the fake mustache. My little buddy Max from "Max updates GH" labeled him Valentin Stachedine. Let me tell you, I have been calling him that ever since, and every time I say it, my husband, who pretends he doesn't watch GH, laughs. So, good one, Max!

Is Valentin working with Victor? Is that why he has been unreachable and ignoring Anna's calls? What is this secret plan Uncle Victor keeps talking about, even trying to get Laura to team up with him? Why did Valentin hide the Ice Princess in Jennifer's safe? Dear Readers, let this be a cautionary tale for you. Never bring a stranger to your hotel room, and if you don't heed my warning, at least don't open your safe in front of them. How did Valentin know she would put her jewelry in the safe? Was that just dumb luck? What was his original plan?

But I digress... When Jennifer Smith showed up at Luke's memorial and then wasn't seen or heard from again, I thought it was merely a nod to the past from the writers. A little wink sent out to their longtime viewers and a reminder of Luke's crazy history. But I was wrong. Jennifer is very much still on the canvas -- and up to no good!

Is the Smith family about to make a resurgence on GH? Ms. Wu warned Sonny about a rival West Coast mobster making a play to move east. Then we cut to Jennifer talking about her West Coast interests. I like to think that Frank Smith and Luke are both still alive, and maybe Frank is the person who kidnapped Holly. I mean, Holly has been locked up for a long time now.

One question: how can we have an Ice Princess storyline without Robert Scorpio? I am a big GH nerd, and I have a giant GH encyclopedia. There is a quote from Tristan Rogers, where he says, "I must have done something right because the role of Robert Scorpio was only supposed to last for two days. I began during the craziness of the Ice Princess storyline, which was an adventure the likes of which daytime tv had never seen before! It's probably always going to be my favorite storyline."

So, having an Ice Princess storyline without Robert Scorpio front and center feels wrong to me. Or perhaps Robert is out there, in cahoots with Luke, and a new adventure is coming? I am hoping for that delicious scenario.

His friends are already there. Anna is there, looking spectacular as ever with her French Polynesian fashion statement. Felicia is dressed to the nines, looking very princessy for an auction that may never happen now that the WSB has possession of the diamond.

I am so thrilled that Kristina Wagner is back. I love the dynamic between Felicia and Anna, and their friendship on the screen brings me joy. Anna, the superspy, and Felicia, the golden goddess, finally bringing down Peter August! They are true soap heroines and endlessly entertaining. This is not true for all pairings on the current canvas.

For instance... (Wait, first a preface: This is an opinion column. When I express my opinion, I know people get all wound up, but remember, it's okay if I like something you hate. It's okay if I hate something you love.) All that buildup to say I find Michael and Willow boring. Their scenes together bore me. This is no slam on the actors involved; I enjoy Katelyn MacMullen and Chad Duell. I appreciate them in scenes with other people. I loved Willow with Chase, for instance. I loved Michael with Sabrina. But together, they don't have that spark for me. The day Willow found out her baby died and that Wiley was Noah, her performance brought me to tears. She was spectacular. So, to reiterate, this is no slam on either performer. I am just not digging their pairing. There, I said it.

Readers, that bombshell dropped on Friday's episode confirmed what we all suspected, Willow is indeed Nina's daughter! I am filled with anticipation to see this all blow up. Harmony is being blackmailed by Neil's creepy-ass brother Brendon. But the next bombshell is that Nina gave birth to twins in her coma, which means Willow and Nelle are sisters! I guess that settles the nature versus nurture debate. Nelle was a psychopath, and Willow was angelic. Willow being loved clearly made the difference.

Readers, I am very fond of Inga Cadrenal, even though Harmony made many bad decisions. (Can anyone say Dawn of Day?) I was rooting for Harmony to be redeemed -- right up until the minute we found out she was the one who killed Neil! Alexis has the worst luck. Julian didn't want to slit her throat, but he was being blackmailed by his insane sister. Harmony probably didn't want to kill Neil while Alexis was in bed with him. Still, she was perhaps sent by Cyrus or Shiloh or whatever madman she was following at the time. I saw Nancy Lee Grahn's post on social media about how sad she was to find out that Alexis didn't actually f*&% Neil to death, and it made me howl. She's a funny lady.

But still, I am rooting for Harmony to make the right choices moving forward. I hope that instead of letting creepy Brendon blackmail her, Harmony just goes to Willow and confesses. I hope Harmony won't sell out her only true friend, Alexis, or trade her adopted daughter's money to cover her lies. I hope that the next time Brendon tries to shake down Alexis, she informs him that Sonny Corinthos is her baby daddy. Sonny would not take kindly to Brendon harassing her. Like Esme, Brendon would probably pee his pants if Sonny picked him up for a ride.

This brings me to Esme, the lying, scheming daughter of a deranged serial killer that we all know and hate. But I love to hate her. Avery Pohl plays a fantastic villain, and hating her is fun. I am eagerly awaiting the day when Spencer finally sees her for who she is. I want him to realize Esme framed Trina. I want him to find out she is Ryan's daughter on a mission to break up Nik and Ava. I want to see it all blow up in her pretty face. But you know what I want next? Redemption. I see Esme's scenes with Laura, and I have hope for her. If Nikolas hadn't stormed in, Sonny had almost scared her into a confession. I think Esme is still reachable.

I also think the person who might be willing to give her a second chance and help her find her way would be Cameron (which would send Josslyn through the roof). Cameron has that sort of heart; he would be willing to let her try to be a better person and be her friend.

When I saw Ava go to Sonny to ask him to deal with Esme, I thought, "You know, I wouldn't mind an Ava and Sonny pairing." Consider this. If Esme succeeds in driving a wedge between Nik and Ava, and if Nina can't handle the upcoming mob war, it might make sense for Ava and Sonny to get closer. The two of them having another fling wouldn't make me mad. Thoughts?

My guess is that Esme is throwing herself at Nikolas so she can drug him and make it look like the two of them had sex. She is working on completing her mission for Daddy to blow up Nik and Ava's marriage. Will Spencer be okay with that? Will he be in on it? Or will that act be the thing that sends him running to Trina?

When I heard Trina tell Marshall that she might take the deal to protect her family from drama, I was screaming "NO!' at my TV. Please, please, Trina, do not do that! Tabyana Ali is making the role of Trina her own and is shining in every scene. While I was crushed when Sydney Mykala decided to leave, at least now I can breathe easier, knowing we won't lose our precious Trina. Tabyana is taking excellent care of her.

Readers, I enjoyed the scenes with Marshall and Trina this week. I still can't decide if Marshall is a misunderstood good guy or a shady, lousy guy masquerading as a good guy. But the scenes he has had with Epiphany and now these scenes with Trina make me think he might be a good guy. Also, I get the impression after the Aunt Stella panic attack incident that perhaps she is not related to Curtis. Marshall said something like, "They're more my family than they ever were yours," implying that she isn't their real family? Maybe she was their mom's friend instead of a sister? I don't know, but I've grown highly impatient with the big reveal, as I clarified in my last column.

A mystery that still intrigues me is the one involving Elizabeth. Is she being stalked, being haunted, or losing her mind? I can't decide. Is Jake right? Is Franco alive, and he's the shadowy figure from her dreams, painting "Don't forget me!" in bloody red paint on her canvas? Let's imagine that Franco somehow survived Peter's gunshot and is stalking Liz because his brain tumor is back. I'd take it if it meant we would get Friz and Franco back eventually. The most common guess is that Elizabeth has DID and suddenly has a split personality. That would be a delightful soapy scenario, too, but all in all, I'd still rather have Franco back.

Dear readers, Ms. Selena Wu is the best new mob boss in years. Period. I will fight you on this. She is stylish and seductive; she is fierce and intense. She is all about business but in a very cordial way. She is a force to be reckoned with but also reasonable. I know a showdown is coming. I just have this feeling that someone will be dealing drugs in Sonny's territory and that Ms. Wu and Sonny will rumble. Since Ms. Wu is so fond of Brick, maybe she will steal him from Sonny, and Jason will have to emerge from the rubble to take his rightful place at Sonny's side. If Steve Burton doesn't get the vaccine, try to lure Billy Miller back as a recast; he has already played Jason once. Lydia Look is spectacular, and I am very much enjoying Ms. Wu.

But what does she want with Deception? I have a sick feeling that Lucy, Sasha, and Brook Lynn are in for a shock. Their public stock offering got the eye of at least one mobster. I wonder who else bought shares in their company. If Sasha doesn't lay off the pills, she will OD, and Gladys will somehow con Brando out of her stocks to become a cosmetics mogul like Gloria on The Young and the Restless.

Readers, when will Brook Lynn and Chase finally stop dancing around and do it already? I am getting impatient about it. That two grown people can't say to one another anything as simple as, "I miss spending time with you. Do you want to grab dinner?" is just driving me nuts.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Smoltz's tell-all about Nina reveal that she gave birth to twins and that she is Willow's real mommy? Will Brendon dig up Neil's other files and blackmail more Port Charles residents with their secrets? Will we ever believe that when a shrink dies, his confidential medical files get turned over to his creepy relatives? Will Amy and Chase duet at the Deception bash? Will Laura get tired of being the mom of everyone in Port Charles and never have time for her mayoral duties?

Will Brad decide to take the thankless job of emptying bedpans at GH or opt to be a high-stakes poker dealer where he gets to dress snazzy and hobnob with wealthy patrons? Will Esme end up pregnant, after all, and will Uncle Victor invite her to tea at the top of the Quartermaines' spiral staircase? Will Finn drop Violet off with Chase and move in with Liz, or will Finn let Liz stay alone in a house where she's being stalked? Will Carly discover that she enjoys being single and swearing off men? Will sexy French Captain Francois and his stick-on 'stache make any further appearances, or was that a one-time thing?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.

What are your thoughts on General Hospital? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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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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