Objects in the mirror may appear Sweeps-y

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Buckle up! May Sweeps is fast approaching, and things are gearing up to be quite bumpy for many of our favorites. Murderous mothers, duplicitous dads, troubled teens, and crashing cars are just a few of the things discussed in this week's Two Scoops of soapy shenanigans.

It's a well-known fact that no good ever comes of a soap character driving. If you see someone behind the wheel of a car, you can count on something awful happening. Ambush, accident, trip to another dimension -- driving on soaps is a dangerous endeavor, doubly so when it happens around Sweeps time.

The minute I saw Sasha stressed and shaking behind the wheel of a car and zooming down the highway with Gladys riding shotgun, I knew it would end badly. A crash seemed inevitable, but I didn't realize it would involve Harmony until Harmony fled into the woods after failing to murder both Carly and Alexis.

Let's face it, Harmony's plan was doomed from the start, mainly because Harmony was making things up as she went along, and her plan to use a rock on the accelerator to send Carly's car flying over the cliff at Rana Point was never going to fool anyone. The only real shock was the fact that Harmony survived the fateful collision.

I thought for sure Harmony was a goner, since she confessed to killing two men and Carly had found out that Willow was not Harmony's daughter. Turns out, I was wrong. Harmony survived her tango with Sasha's car long enough to be schlepped off to GH in critical condition. I can't imagine that the writers kept Harmony alive only to kill her off at the hospital, so they obviously have more planned for the homicidal "mother." Will Harmony shed more light on what exactly went down between her and Madeline Reeves when Madeline handed infant Willow to Lorraine Miller?

I have so many questions, like why was Nelle given a half of the heart pendant necklace but Willow wasn't, and why didn't Madeline give both twin girls to Harmony to raise instead of splitting them up and handing one to Frank Benson? I'm certain there is more to the story -- and more murders to be revealed.

The circumstances of Douglas Miller's death are eerily similar to Neil's, and Douglas must have known that Willow was not his biological daughter. Did Douglas threaten to tell Willow the truth if Harmony didn't let Willow leave Dawn of Day? As we've seen, Harmony's weapon of choice is a deadly syringe, and she's quite adept at making murder look like an accidental overdose. I also have my suspicions about Madeline's sudden death. It was ruled a heart attack, but there are drugs that can mimic a heart attack that someone with a medical background like Harmony's would know about.

Just a few days before Madeline's death, Madeline had revealed that Nina's baby with Silas hadn't died. Did Madeline reach out to Harmony to ask for a character witness at a parole hearing in exchange for her silence about Nina's babies? Madeline died in August 2018, which was before Harmony made her first appearance in Port Charles as a part of the Dawn of Day cult. A little blackmail was definitely in Madeline's wheelhouse, and Madeline was desperate to get out of jail.

Now, let's talk about Harmony's little attempted homicidal rampage at Rana Point.

I whooped with delight when Carly found a portion of Neil's report that revealed that Harmony had essentially stolen a baby and raised the child as her own. Carly already had a lot of questions because she recalled how Harmony had mentioned feeling indebted to Nina, and I thought for certain that Carly would quickly be able to connect the dots. She might have if Harmony hadn't returned to the living room with a syringe and plans to send Carly to her maker.

We later learned during Alexis' confrontation with Harmony at Rana Point that Harmony had killed Neil because he had decided to tell Michael the truth about Willow's birth. Evidently, Neil felt he had nothing to lose after having his medical license revoked, so he wanted to right a wrong, since he was no longer bound by doctor/patient confidentiality. What baffled me was why Neil would go to Michael instead of Willow with the truth.

Willow isn't a child. She's a grown woman who is perfectly capable of hearing the truth and deciding for herself what she wants to do with it. It's not like Willow and Harmony were particularly close. Willow has always kept Harmony at arm's length, not just because of Harmony's role in Shiloh's cult and his despicable crimes, but also because Willow was one of Harmony and Shiloh's victims, too. If anything, the truth would have set Willow free of Harmony more than it ever would have broken her heart. Either way, it wasn't Michael's place to decide how or if Willow was told.

That's why I didn't really feel all that sorry for Willow when she was carrying on to Michael in the chapel about Harmony. Once Willow finds out what Harmony had done and how she ended up in the path of Sasha's car, Willow is going to cut Harmony out of her life like a bad cancer. Yes, Willow will have questions about her biological parents, but she will be free of the yoke that is Harmony and the pressure Willow was made to feel to give the person who handed Willow over to a sexual predator a second chance.

Carly hasn't quite unraveled the mystery of Willow's connection to Nina, but it's only a matter of time until Carly does. She knows that Harmony isn't Willow's mother and that Harmony felt indebted to Nina for some unknown reason. Carly also knows -- thanks to Phyllis -- that Harmony knew Madeline during the time that Nina was pregnant with Nelle. It won't take long for Carly to start questioning if Nina might have been pregnant with twin girls, but what will Carly do once she figures things out?

I would absolutely love it if Carly dropped the bombshell on the witness stand during the visitation hearing, but I don't think Carly would be that cruel to Willow. Carly cares about Willow, and she will rightfully feel that Willow deserves the truth.

Back on Rana Point, I have to confess that the showdown between Alexis and Harmony fell a little flat with me, and I know I'm not alone. This tweet pretty much sums it up:

- Soap Central (@soapcentral) April 26, 2022

Nothing against Stephanie Erb, who temporarily stepped into the role of Alexis Davis. I do not blame her in any way for my disappointment with the scenes, nor do I blame Nancy Lee Gahn for taking time off to address a problem that was giving her tremendous pain. However, the timing couldn't have been worse for the storyline, and I wish the writers had found a way to work around Nancy's brief medical leave without resorting to a temporary recast just when things were reaching a climatic conclusion.

I wanted to see Nancy's Alexis in those scenes at Rana Point with Harmony and Carly. For months, we have watched pretty much every single person in Alexis' life warn her -- often to the point of nagging -- that Harmony was no good. Alexis continually defended Harmony, even when her relationships with her daughters became strained. I didn't blame Alexis for standing her ground back then because I saw the same thing in Harmony that Alexis did. Then it was revealed that Harmony murdered Neil, and not only did I feel terrible for Alexis that her friend had turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing, but I wanted Alexis to have a chance to confront her lover's killer.

Seeing a different actress, no matter how talented she is, reacting to the truth about Neil's death, teaming up with Carly to keep a homicidal Harmony at bay, and being checked out at the hospital while she explains everything to Sam just wasn't the same. It took all the wind out of the sails, and it made me feel like Nancy -- and the viewers -- had been cheated out of some really good scenes. The writers could have delayed Harmony's downfall just a little longer instead of having her turn on a dime and fly off the rails. Why would Harmony be tormented by Brendon's death when she didn't seem to have any issue covering up her role in Neil's murder?

In this case, a suspenseful buildup would have worked to the writers' advantage, especially as Alexis' suspicions about Harmony mounted. Neil's death was a catalyst for Alexis' losing everything -- her sobriety, her career, and even her freedom -- so Alexis learning the truth and receiving validation that her instincts about Neil's drug use had been correct was something I was really looking forward to.

It's for that reason I'm happy that Harmony is still alive. I hope we get a proper confrontation between Harmony and Alexis now that Nancy has resumed filming.

What caught me totally off guard about everything that transpired during the week was my reaction to Gladys.

Folks, I have despised Gladys from the moment she popped up in Port Charles with her hand out to Sonny. Learning that she lied by claiming her son had died because she was ashamed about Brando's addiction didn't endear her to me, either. Nothing did. If you look back on previous columns, I'm quite sure you will find a litany of unflattering things I've said about Gladys. Nothing would have made me happier than for Gladys to be given a one-way ticket on a slow boat to China.

Until this week.

There I was, rolling my eyes when Gladys complained about not being given stock shares to Deception when something quite unexpected happened. Gladys jumped out of the chair during the soiree at the Metro Court gardens and ran over to Sasha to give her daughter-in-law a genuinely warm -- dare I say even affectionate -- hug when she saw Sasha arrive. A few minutes later, Gladys stood up for Sasha when the photographer began to hound Sasha, and Gladys saved the day by snatching the man's memory card out of the camera. It didn't stop there. At the hospital, Gladys defended Sasha, and when Gladys seemed to have figured out that there was more to Sasha's behavior and the photographer's desperation to get his hands on the memory card, Gladys appeared to go into protect mode.

I actually found myself saying "Go, Gladys" more than once.

Gladys was even spot-on about the car accident. It was most definitely not Sasha's fault. That photographer should have been arrested on the scene, and I question Dante's skill as a detective. Not only was the photographer driving recklessly by speeding, tailgating, flashing his lights, and honking his horn, but he was also keeping Sasha from saving Harmony by snapping pictures and telling Sasha to look at the camera rather than focus on checking Harmony for injuries.

I get that it's easy to vilify the press. Most people do it, and to some degree, some journalists deserve the backlash. Smoltz and the photographer who was acting like a jerk at the gardens are not entertaining characters. They are annoying. I like interesting characters, not superficial caricatures.

Where are the good reporters like Jackie Templeton, who has seemingly vanished into thin air?

I hope Gladys continues to be the mama bear she should have been back when Brando needed one. I really love that she has Sasha's back, especially since Sasha doesn't have any family except Brando and Gladys.

Family drama was front and center this week for Sonny and Michael, too. Sonny went to the gatehouse to have a chat with Willow about Michael. Michael didn't take too kindly to that because Michael is still angry that Sonny kept secrets, broke Michael's mother's heart, choses Nina over his own family, and refuses to take responsibility for any of it. The most galling moment of Sonny and Michael's heated exchange was when Sonny told Michael that Michael would have to beg for Sonny's forgiveness.

Excuse me? Does Sonny live in an alternate reality where wrong is right and infidelity saves marriages?

My parents were married for over 30 years when my mom decided to divorce my dad, so I know from personal experience that even adult children are deeply impacted by divorce. As much as parents might try to insulate their kids from the problems that led to the end of the marriage, it affects everyone's life. Holiday visits, family celebrations, and even the way family news is shared suddenly changes because there are now two parental households and a completely different dynamic between the parents with the kids stuck right in the middle of that.

Eventually, my parents became the best of friends, and things became a lot easier, but it took a lot of work on their part and for each to take accountability for the pain and hurt they caused not just to each other but to their kids and grandkids.

Michael is an adult, but he's still a part of the family and hurt by the choices that Sonny made, including Sonny's decision to defend Nina. Nina filed a lawsuit to seek visitation with Wiley, even though she was instrumental in keeping Sonny away from his family and the breakdown of Sonny and Carly's marriage. She's also done some very questionable things over the years. Not just all that stuff with Avery, but she's been horrible to Willow, even getting her fired from her job at one point. Nina has shown herself to be vindictive, reckless, and unpredictable. I wouldn't want someone like that around my toddler, either.

Sonny really doesn't have a leg to stand on with Michael. The bottom line is that Sonny continues to live in a dangerous world. We were reminded of that when the gunman from the robbery at Charlie's showed up in the emergency room with a broken arm and missing tooth. Presumably, his partner in crime was taken on a one-way trip to the Pine Barrens at Sonny's order, and Eric was spared to send a message to Sonny's enemies. Sonny is no position to be making demands of Michael.

There's also an enemy on the West Coast, biding their time and plotting mayhem for Port Charles. Jennifer Smith's conversation with the unknown person made it very clear that Sonny is directly in the person's sights. Danger is all around Sonny, and it's only going to get worse, so Michael's estrangement from Sonny actually keeps Wiley far safer.

Now, let's talk about the haunting of Webber House. Is it a stalker, a ghost, or something else entirely?

To no one's surprise, I'm sure, the security tapes at Liz's house didn't capture the moment Chase was knocked unconscious because the cameras had been jammed. Jordan determined it was an intentional act, and she put her crime scene unit to work on figuring out what exactly happened. What we know about the incident is that all the doors were locked from the inside, and there was no sign of a break-in. The only other person in the house at the time Chase was clobbered from behind was Liz, but she was asleep in bed -- or was she?

Is Liz doing this to herself? It sure appears so. However, no one in Liz's life seems to be considering this possibility in the slightest. They suspected Peter; each of Liz's children, including the minors; Heather, of course; and even the ghost of Franco, but not Liz. Not even in passing, which seems pretty shortsighted of everyone, especially the police, including Dante who has had plenty of experience with an alter personality thanks to Connie Falconeri.

To be clear, I don't want Liz to have an alter personality. I'm not a big fan of DID storylines because the alters are always awful, destructive personalities, and it's been overdone to the point where it's not even shocking anymore when one pops up. Plus, Franco's murder was traumatic, but I can't imagine that moving on from that dark period by dating Finn would trigger an alter to surface.

My gut tells me that whatever is happening to Liz is more tied to Jeff and Carolyn Webber than it is to Franco's death. There might be repressed memories from childhood -- whatever drove Liz to run away to Port Charles -- that triggered sleepwalking episodes where Liz's subconscious tried to send her a message. I don't really see evidence of DID. Liz isn't complaining of missing blocks of time, nor is she disappearing without explanation. And nobody sees a different version of her when she's with them.

Ghost Franco also seems unlikely, even though it would be easy to do, since they have Roger Howarth on hand to film an apparition of Franco. Ghost or not, Franco would not want Liz to grieve endlessly for him, nor would he be scaring the bejeebus out of her. Franco loved Liz, and he would want her to move on, not mourn for him the rest of her life.

All these strange things started happening when Jeff reached out to Terry. The keys to unlocking this mystery are Liz's parents. Sweeps is around the corner, and hopefully, so is their arrival.

Finally, Marshall's secret has been revealed. Well, at least what led to him walking out on his family and never looking back until recently.

Curtis found out that his father was arrested during a protest and sent to a mental health facility for treatment. Why that would be sealed, I have no idea, but Marshall's nose got all out of joint over the "invasion" of privacy and he turned things around on Curtis by making Curtis the villain.

What is it with some of the fathers on this show?

Curtis had every right to search for answers. Marshall made Curtis think that Marshall had been a part of the Witness Protection Program, which means that at some point, there was enough danger around Marshall that the government provided him with a new name and life to safeguard him. Instead of giving Curtis some real answers, Marshall was evasive and played games, all the while expecting Curtis to welcome his father with open arms. It was completely one-sided, with Marshall getting a free pass on everything.

Not for a minute do I think we've seen the last of Marshall. We know from previous scenes that Marshall was reporting to a mystery person. We also know that Marshall seems to have an issue in particular with Sonny, which suggests that Marshall's mystery person is either the West Coast enemy or linked to them.

I have no idea why, but lately, I've been wondering where Ric Lansing has disappeared to. At one point, he lived on the West Coast, and his father once worked for the infamous mob boss and serial killer Anthony Zacchara.

Unfortunately for Curtis, Marshall isn't the only one keeping secrets. Portia is, too, and I'm getting pretty tired of listening to her lecture Curtis about including her and trusting her to help him with his problems when she doesn't do the same. Portia seems to have completely forgotten about what it felt like to face her own mortality and the regrets in her life. I know it's not a dropped plot twist because Trina's encounters with Marshall have seemed significant.

Yes, Trina has a lot going on right now with her court case, but Portia really shouldn't be complaining about Curtis when she has her own messy business hiding in the closet. I like Portia a lot, but she needs to spend a little less time on her high horse and more time practicing what she preaches.

Random observations

I love the two new sets. The nail salon and the patio dining in Metro Court's gardens are wonderful additions. They paint a more vivid picture of our beloved Port Charles, but I don't want everything to change. Kelly's is a landmark and needs to stay in the rotation of sets.

Why exactly does Esme not have a job? It's not like she spends all that much time at Spring Ridge, and regardless of whether or not she and Spencer are a couple, she should at the very least be buying her own toiletries, makeup, and snacks.

I have a bone to pick with Laura. A few weeks ago, Laura said that Trina would have an opportunity to prove her innocence in court. Madame Mayor, that's not how it works. It's the prosecutor's job to prove guilt. Trina is presumed innocent until that happens.

Reader feedback

It's almost like we are supposed to believe that neither Trina or Jordan remember seeing each other at the cemetery & that Spence is her only alibi. It's like how we were supposed to forget that Sonny was wearing a wedding ring as apparently, he forgot that, too. It's like how when Franco was framed for Kiki's murder, we all had to forget seeing him & Liz at Kelly's while Kiki was being murdered. -- Lucky Lady

Somebody ought to take Mayor Laura to task for all the open death traps in and around Port Charles... cliffs, canyons, and dangerous curves on dark roads, all with no guardrails to protect the unsuspecting citizens of PC from falling to their deaths, not to mention miles of unsupervised open docks without so much as a chain separating the local pedestrians from the water. -- Scrimmage

I just find Michael and Willow extremely hypocritical. Sonny and Carly are knee deep in mob stuff, and Nina poses a real danger to Wiley? I still maintain Nina telling Wiley that Willow wasn't Wiley's actual mother hurt Willow and Michael's feelings FAR more than anything it ever could've done to Wiley, and thus set them off. -- Mariko

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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