Hook-tober creeps bring November sweeps

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Things are heating up in Port Charles, as Esme resurfaced and the hook-wielding killer struck again. Is Esme a killer or just diabolical? Will Nina follow through on her unspoken threat to Willow? With November sweeps around the corner, anything is possible, so brace yourself for Two Scoops of Hook-tober creeps.

You can tell November sweeps is around the corner because the drama is ramping up and explosive secrets are clamoring to break free. Things are getting frightfully good, starting at Pentonville.

Nothing spells trouble like Cyrus Renault riding to your rescue, which is exactly what happened to Spencer when he found himself confronted with a violent inmate whose nose was out of joint because rich boy Spencer got the coveted job in Pentonville's library. Honestly, I don't even know why a librarian is even needed. I have more books at my bedside than Pentonville does in its entire library.

I exaggerate, but not by much.

Cyrus has found religion, and he allegedly turned over a new leaf, but he continues to ooze evilness and talk in threats, even when he's offering his protection. I don't believe in Cyrus' reformation any more than I believe in the tooth fairy. Nope, Cyrus is still the slimy evildoer he's always been, and Spencer wisely turned Cyrus down. But I do have to question why it was even necessary.

Both Victor and Sonny have supposedly greased palms and made arrangements for Spencer to be guarded in Pentonville. Yes, they told Spencer to remain on guard at all times and to keep his head down, but they each assured Spencer their people would be looking out for him. Victor is an international supervillain who was once the head of the WSB -- the biggest spy agency in the world -- and Sonny is an infamous mob boss whose name strikes fear in the hearts of the most hardened criminals. Arguably, Victor and Sonny are two exceedingly powerful men in the underworld, so why would anyone with even a single brain cell make a play for someone as connected as Spencer?

It seems suicidal, especially when you take into account that Cyrus is Spencer's great-uncle. Cyrus is going to keep Spencer safe regardless, if only so he can rub Laura's nose in it. Spencer should be untouchable, yet not only was Spencer alone in the library, but an inmate with a known grudge was able to get to him. I couldn't help but wonder if Cyrus had set the whole thing up to lure Spencer into Cyrus' sticky web. I wouldn't put it past someone as manipulative as Cyrus. The man makes Machiavelli look like choir boy.

Folks, I love Spencer -- warts and all. He's a legacy kid who grew up before our eyes. I understand what makes him tick, and despite his arrogance, I know he's got a kind soul. It's why he didn't rat out his Uncle Victor for arranging the unauthorized day pass from Spring Ridge. I don't blame Spencer for being hurt by Nikolas' betrayal. It's not that Spencer cared about Esme -- I doubt he ever loved her -- it's that his father crossed a boundary that should never be crossed. It's going to take time and a lot of forgiveness to work past that kind of hurt, but it can happen if Nikolas is willing to put in the work.

What irks me is Spencer's continued chip on his shoulder about Ava. Whatever wrong Ava committed by not testifying against Valentin in the wrongful death civil suit was more than atoned for when Spencer and Esme spent months terrorizing Ava. Their vendetta endangered lives, and they dragged a child (Avery) into it. What Spencer and Esme did was far worse than Ava's decision to choose correcting her disfigurement over Spencer's need for revenge, especially since it turned out that Nikolas wasn't dead.

I don't want Trina with Spencer as long as he continues to cling to his hate for Ava. Trina deserves better than someone that petty. I don't have any illusions about Trina's relationship with Rory. It's nice and sweet, but it doesn't compare to what she so obviously feels for Spencer. Trina likes Rory because, on paper, he ticks all the boxes. He's handsome, he has a great job, he's kind, he's considerate, and he treats Trina with the utmost respect. However, there's no passion or sparks. Not even a warm ember.

I've seen some online speculation that Rory might be the Hook, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. I would love for Spencer to get out of jail a new man and for him and Trina to work together to solve the Hook murders. I say murders because I'm certain Oz won't be as lucky as Diane. Oz is expendable, but Diane was not. I'm thrilled that Diane will live to litigate another day.

The question is, was the woman Diane recalled seeing during the attack Esme or someone else? Was it even a woman, or did the trauma of the attack leave Diane confused?

Esme has resurfaced sporting dark clothing -- like the Hook -- and lurking in the shadows as she keeps close tabs on all her enemies. Is she the Hook? Ryan certainly thought so, but when he confronted Esme about the attack on Ava, Esme denied swinging the deadly hook. To my surprise, I'm tempted to believe her. I know, I know, I was certain Esme was the killer. For weeks, she's been my prime suspect, but I'm beginning to believe that's exactly what the writers intended.

From the start, this wonderfully written storyline has been filled with red herrings and misdirections.

I paid close attention during Esme and Ryan's scenes, and I didn't hear the clinking of jewelry that Brando, Josslyn, and Diane each described. In fact, I didn't see any jewelry on Esme. During Oz's attack, I noticed the arm and wrist wielding the poisonous hook wasn't as fine or delicate as Esme's bone structure. I got the distinct impression that it was a man's arm. Could it be Rory?

The problem with making Esme the Hook is that it limits her role on the show. There's only so much that Esme can get away with. Eventually, she would have to pay for her crimes, especially if she killed Brando. That can't go unanswered. Sonny wouldn't allow it, and more importantly, the viewing audience wouldn't like it.

I love a good villain, but that's with the understanding that they either pay for their crimes (Cyrus Renault), go on the lam for an extended period (where are you, Jerry Jacks?), or die for a period of time (looking at all of the Cassadines). It wouldn't pay to make Esme the Hook if the writers want to keep Avery Pohl around to stir up trouble, which she does quite well.

Justice must be served, even on a soap opera.

Now, let's talk about Nina. Nina has clearly never heard the expression about making assumptions because she is charging full steam ahead with the cockamamie idea that Willow is carrying on some kind of illicit affair with T.J. Nina bases this on a couple of isolated incidents when she witnessed an emotional Willow hugging T.J. Hugs. Between friends.

Nina seems to completely disregard the fact that Willow is pregnant with Michael's child; that T.J. has been in a happily committed relationship for years with his first love; that T.J. is Willow's doctor, coworker, and friend; and that Willow's pregnancy has been plagued with fainting spells and malaise. Nope, to Nina, two people sharing hugs in public places equals an affair. Such scandalous behavior.

It's absolutely ridiculous, and Nina is an idiot. When this blows up in her face -- and it will in spectacular fashion -- I'm going to laugh. She will deserve every miserable second, and more. Ideally, Sonny will also see just how vindictive and delusional Nina truly is. The projection is real here. Nina has behaved dishonorably by pursuing a married man who was trying to rebuild the family she shattered, and she slept with him at the first opportunity that presented itself. I don't blame Nina for Sonny being estranged from Michael or the divorce, but I do blame her for putting Sonny's kids through the pain of grieving for their father.

I've lost a parent. It's an awful feeling that I don't wish on anyone. Yes, we all expect to lose our parents -- as a parent, I wouldn't want to outlive my children -- but we hope for the end to happen when our parents have lived a long life, not for them to be cut down in their prime. Sonny had two young daughters who eventually lost their memories of their father during his absence from their lives. Nina did that, and she's never really shown remorse for any of it. Nina says the words, but then she mitigates the pain she caused by blaming Carly for emotionally breaking Nina by withholding the truth about Nelle.

It wouldn't have made a lick of difference. Nelle was dead when Carly learned that Nelle was Nina's daughter.

I hate that Carly hasn't told Willow about Nina. Carly doesn't owe Nina squat, but Willow is a different matter. Willow is Carly's daughter-in-law and the mother of Carly's grandchildren. If Willow decided not to tell Nina that she's Nina's daughter, that's on Willow. Willow is an adult, and she can decide who she wants in her life and what role she wants them to play. Nina has treated Willow horribly, and the fact that Nina would take delight in tormenting a pregnant woman only reinforces my belief that Nina is a rotten human being who doesn't deserve any grace.

Nina proves every day why Michael and Willow were wise to keep Wiley away from her. I know it's inevitable that the secret will come out, but I hope it doesn't earn Nina instant forgiveness. I would like to see some genuine character growth before Nina has a role in Willow's life, but that seems unlikely. Nina hasn't shown any kind of growth in eons.

So, any ideas what Carly's new surname will be when she drops the Corinthos name? If I had to guess, I'd say it's either going to be Spencer to honor her biological family or Morgan to honor both Morgan and Jason. Either way, I love that she's going to drop the Corinthos name and put some distance between her and Sonny.

What I don't like is Carly's edited history with Reese. Listening to Carly talk about the past, it almost sounds as if the story ended with Reese's accident. In fact, that was just the end of the first chapter. When Carly and Reese were in high school, Reese's legal name was Charlotte Reese Roberts, but everyone called her Carly Roberts. That's the name Caroline Benson adopted when she headed to Port Charles on a mission to ruin her birth mother's life by seducing Bobbie's husband away.

The real Carly Roberts took the name Reese Marshall after she recovered from the car accident and joined the FBI as an agent who specialized in the recovery of missing and exploited children. It eventually led Reese to Port Charles, where she promptly fell into bed with Sonny. Carly seems to be leaving out a whole chunk of her history with Reese. Not just the affair with Sonny but also all the drama that led to Carly's breakdown.

There was so much more to Carly and Reese's story, but it's not being acknowledged, which I find odd. Is history being rewritten? Why?

Finally, Dex escaped a torturous death at the hands of a henchman that Selina had loaned out to Sonny. Line of the week goes to Michael when Sonny arrived at Pozzulo's and found everyone waiting for him. "Hey, Dad, look what we found in your freezer," Michael said as he pointed in Dex's direction. It was amusing, and I couldn't help but laugh.

What wasn't entertaining is Josslyn's attitude. She despises Sonny because he hurt her mother and he's a criminal. I get that. I'd despise him, too. Sonny also has a long and sordid history with Josslyn's dad, so it makes perfect sense that Josslyn would not be a fan of Sonny's. Yet, when it benefits her, Josslyn is quick to use her connection to Sonny. She knows she's untouchable, and she wields that power like a sword against Sonny.

I also don't understand how Josslyn can be so wrapped up in Dex when -- to her knowledge -- he is content to work for Sonny. She was more bothered by Sonny issuing the order to beat up Felty in the stairwell than she was at Dex for carrying out the deed. I don't recall Dex being broken up about the assault, only about the possibility of it being reported to the police. How does that not bother Josslyn? Her double standards irk me, and I find myself growing more and more irritated when she goes on one of her rants about the evils of Sonny.

Sonny is no saint, but neither is Dex, as far as Josslyn knows.

Is Dex a good guy? I have no idea. Michael found Dex through a security firm, so it appears that Dex does have some form of training for what he's doing, but I don't trust Dex. I think he's more than a hired gun. I'm almost certain Dex is working an undercover mission, but whether it's for the police or a rival crime family remains to be seen.

My friend Vanessa has a theory that Dex might be in cahoots with Esme, and together, Esme and Dex are the Hook. Now, that would be an amazing twist!

Random observations

Why do people do all their nefarious plotting out in the open where anyone can eavesdrop? This week, it was Victor issuing threats if Nikolas didn't divorce Ava. I don't know what Victor is up to, but he's starting to look desperate. Something is afoot.

Are Esme's clothes made of an invisibility material? Suddenly, she's able to confidently slip in and out of Spring Ridge and gain access to Ryan without anyone noticing.

I love that Finn and Yuri bonded over bearded dragons. That was such a cute scene.

I really wish people would stop referring to Josslyn as Sonny's stepdaughter. Sonny and Carly are divorced, which means that Josslyn is nothing to Sonny and vice versa.

Reader feedback

I love when Sonny says things like "Nick is not a good guy," while he's got a guy hanging indefinitely in his stockroom. LOL -- Lucky Lady

Anna and Valentin's long awaited love scene was probably the hottest thing I've seen on GH since before the Covid pandemic! I thought their idea of foreplay -- talking about killing each other -- was more disturbing than sexy, but it seemed to do the trick, as far as getting them in the mood. -- Scrimmage

Drew should be the captain on the "Love Boat". -- JDF

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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