Since I've got your hooks in me

For the Week of October 17, 2022
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Nikolas turned the tables on Esme, but what's his next move? Could the sudden baby boom spell doom for one mother down the road? Oz is dead, but are we any closer to uncovering the identity of the killer? Let's get hooked on this week's Two Scoops of chills and thrills.

It's looking less and less likely that Esme is the Hook, despite the considerable circumstantial evidence to the contrary. We found out this week that Esme is with child. No faked pregnancy here. She happily lifted her shirt and gleefully let Nikolas feel the baby tumble in her tummy. Esme is roughly four-and-a-half months along and she has a nice-sized baby bump. I can see Esme sneaking into Spring Ridge and skulking in the shadows, but I just can't envision her running around town, slaughtering people with a poisoned hook. She's the right height, the right gender, but the wrong suspect.

Esme has other dirty deeds to attend to over at Wyndemere.

It's clear now, Esme told Ryan about her delicate condition and how she intends to use it against Nikolas -- and Ava. Evidently, neither Esme nor Ryan watches any news or reads the paper because neither seemed aware that Esme was in deep trouble. But when Nikolas caught Esme trying to break into Wyndemere's safe, he was more than happy to enlighten our little femme fatale that she was up to her wicked neck in legal hot water. Creating revenge porn, posting it online, and framing Trina were the least of Esme's problems because Esme is also facing an attempted murder charge for poisoning Oz Haggerty.

That explains why Esme tried to use her old key to walk through the front door of the castle and rob the joint instead of evading the law. Too bad for Esme, Oz's testimony was immortalized -- under oath and cross-examined -- during Trina's trial, so his death won't save Esme. At least, it shouldn't. Who knows how it works in the Port Charles judicial system.

I love that Esme is back, and I am even more excited that Nikolas has locked her up in an abandoned wing of Wyndemere -- a classic Cassadine move. Esme should have seen it coming, so I don't feel sorry for the manipulative shrew. After all, the only reason she isn't a murderer is because Curtis intervened, so Esme is no innocent. She is far more dangerous than even Nikolas knows because of her connection to Ryan, so putting her under lock and key was a wise move on Nikolas' part for many reasons.

I don't think Nikolas has any desire to kill Esme, especially since she's pregnant, but I do think he intends to hold her captive until he can come up with a plan. Despite what Esme might think, her pregnancy isn't her "get-out-of-jail-free" card because plenty of women give birth in prison, and it will make it much easier for Nikolas to secure full custody of the baby if it turns out he's the father.

A few months in jail for her crimes would do Esme good. Spencer went to jail for less.

Esme might not be wielding the poisonous hook, but the victims -- the killer was after Josslyn, not Brando, in that alley -- are all linked to Trina. I can't rule out Esme having an accomplice that she picked up during her brief sojourn to heal, since the attacks only started recently, but for the time being, Esme is very low on my list of suspects because of her pregnancy.

Will Ava stick around once she finds out Esme is pregnant? I'm torn because I think Nikolas was a complete cad for sleeping with Esme, and I have little doubt he's going to continue to lie to Ava because I don't see him telling Ava about his prisoner. He should, because I would rather see Nikolas and Ava team up to deal with Esme than for Nikolas to lie to Ava once again under the guise of protecting her. It shows such a fundamental lack of trust.

I'm so conflicted about Ava's relationship with Nikolas because I also think Ava fits in perfectly with the Cassadines. She's no wilting flower, and she can stand toe to toe with all the princes. Ava can be just as dark as, if not worse than, Nikolas. Need I remind everyone of Connie Falconeri/Kate Howard and A.J. Quartermaine?

If I were Esme, I'd be afraid of Ava. Very afraid.

I would be remiss if I talked about Esme's pregnancy and didn't mention Willow. It didn't escape my notice that both Esme and Willow are pregnant. On a soap opera, things like that are not random. It's a sign of foreboding. Doubly so when the pregnancies are close together like Esme and Willow's. Esme slept with Nikolas in early June, so she's approximately 18 weeks along. Willow found out she was pregnant at the end of June, putting her at roughly 14-16 weeks into her pregnancy.

How is Willow still in her first trimester?

It's time to move Willow's storyline along. She needs to tell Michael the truth, and she needs to make it clear that Nina should mind her own business. It's pretty clear the writers are setting things up for Nina to accuse Willow and T.J. of adultery -- in the most public and humiliating way possible -- and for Willow to blurt out something along the lines of, "No, Nina. I have cancer!" Regardless of how it comes out, Willow needs to start her treatment for cancer.

Maybe if Michael has something more important to focus on, he will give up his vendetta against Sonny.

If my calculations are right, the due date for each of the babies will be close to May Sweeps 2023. Is there an explosive baby switch in our future? I hope not. Not only would it be painfully predictable, but it would also be cruel. Willow already lost a baby, and Michael went through the nightmare of having his baby secretly switched with a dead child the first time around. No one deserves to go through that again, even on a soap opera.

Whether it's deadly hooks with poisoned tips or meat hooks in restaurant freezers, it's getting downright dangerous to be on the streets of Port Charles these days.

Folks, I'm trying to cut Josslyn some slack, but it's hard to do when she pounces on every excuse to beat a path to Dex's front door. I get it. Dex is the forbidden. He's older, good-looking, has manly mercenary muscles and a bad boy persona. Josslyn is drawn to Dex, and she has visions of saving him, but who asked her? Certainly not Dex.

Also, what about Cameron? Josslyn seems to have plenty of time on her hands to run all over town, looking for Dex, rescuing him from a freezer, and showing up on his doorstep every ten minutes, but she doesn't have time to have Cameron over to her place or squeeze in a lunch or dinner with him at Kelly's? It's not like Josslyn has a job on top of her classes. Josslyn is in a committed relationship with Cameron, but she hasn't been acting like it since she laid eyes on Dex beating the daylights out of a photographer.

I never expected Josslyn and Cameron to last forever, but I did expect her to treat him with respect. Keeping secrets, checking out of the relationship and not owning that, and having feelings for another guy is not cool. Be honest because Cameron deserves that. Yes, he kept Spencer's secret, but there were extenuating circumstances, and Josslyn forgave Cameron.

It's at times like this that I wish Emma Drake would transfer to Port Charles University. Josslyn needs some competition from someone who can appreciate what a wonderful catch Cameron truly is. I hate that he's going to have his heart broken.

I know some viewers are annoyed with Michael's attitude toward Sonny, but I'm not one of them. I understand where Michael is coming from. Michael hates the way Sonny added to everyone's pain by choosing Nina over the family time and again. Sonny raised his kids to honor family above everything, yet when push came to shove, Sonny turned out to be a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do guy. Michael feels betrayed, and it's the last straw for him.

During Michael and Sonny's exchange at Brando's funeral, Michael said, "This is about what you've done since you've been back. All your choices have led you here. Take ownership of that." Sonny's response? "No! Put yourself in my shoes. What if Wiley thought you screwed up and treated you the way you're treating me? Would you just give up on him?"

Sonny, you did screw up. Over and over again.

Sonny claims he's willing to do anything to fix things, but he refuses to take ownership of the choices that led Sonny to where he and Michael are. Sonny sees himself as the victim. In Sonny's eyes, he's done absolutely nothing wrong. He slept with Nina because Carly didn't show up on Sonny's timetable. He is also quick to remind everyone that Carly was the one who filed for divorce. Hilariously, Sonny wanted to work on the marriage, even though he had lied, kept secrets, and cheated.

The divorce isn't the only issue Michael has with Sonny. Sonny is a mobster, and Michael was reminded of that once again when Josslyn found Dex hanging from a meat hook in Pozzulo's freezer. In Michael's eyes, Sonny no longer has a code of honor, and Michael no longer recognizes the man he thought he knew. I can see where Michael is coming from because I barely recognize Sonny, either.

I thought it was incredibly low of Sonny to pull on Michael's heartstrings by invoking Morgan and Jonah's memories. I'm pretty sure Morgan would be Team Carly over the crazy woman who drugged Ava to induce labor and kidnap Morgan's newborn sister. Morgan made his fair share of questionable choices in the name of love, but he would not have been okay with how Sonny had hurt Carly. Morgan might not have been as angry as Michael, but he probably wouldn't push Michael to forgive Sonny as long as Sonny continued to play the victim.

I did take heart in hearing Michael tell Dex that it didn't matter if Sonny went to jail or left the country, as long as something changed. Sonny has a nice island in Puerto Rico he can take Nina to and lay low for a while. It's not out of the country, but it's far enough away. I'm sure Nina can run Metro Court remotely as easily as she runs her high-end fashion magazine part-time. (Insert eyeroll.) I could definitely use a break from both. I don't like who Sonny is with Nina, and I dislike Nina even more.

Speaking of breaks, has anyone noticed the sudden disappearance of Rory? He confessed his secret passion for drawing anime, and poof, he's gone. Is he busy hooking people -- avenging his new girlfriend and creating a situation where he is her safe place? Trina's conversation with Ava at Kelly's sounded very much like foreshadowing when Trina talked about how she couldn't be in safer hands with her police officer boyfriend while there's a serial killer on the loose. Yes, in real life, it would make sense for Trina to say that, but on a soap opera? It's a blinding red flag.

I have to be honest... the police are being made to look completely inept. It shouldn't have taken Oz's murder for Jordan to see the connection to Trina. Everyone acknowledges, and Brando confirmed, the killer had been after Josslyn until Brando had surprised the Hook in the alley. The worst part for me was Oz's crime scene. How is it possible that the police commissioner -- who was on duty and in her office -- was not apprised that the serial killer had struck again before the dead body was carted away? It took longer to kill Oz than it did to investigate his crime scene.

I love the mystery and all the clues being dropped, but I want the police to be more on the ball. This is a great storyline, and I love the pace so far, but Jordan needs to worry less about Curtis and Trina and focus more on catching a killer.

I love Trina and Ava's friendship, but is it necessary to continually remind us in every scene how much they love and respect each other? We get it. Ava sees Trina as more than a protégée; she's like a daughter to Ava, and Trina sees Ava as a second mother. It's a beautiful bond and special relationship that's easy to see in the way they talk to each other and trust each other with their secrets. Maura West and Tabyana Ali do a fantastic job showing us how close Ava and Trina are, so please give them something of more substance to talk about than their feelings for each other.

Sadly, Trina is going to need that friendship in the coming weeks because Jordan seems to be edging ever closer to telling Curtis about Trina's paternity. Jordan can't seem to let it go any more than Curtis can seem to move on from Jordan losing track of the first set of divorce papers. If I were Portia, that would bother me more than how Jordan might feel about Curtis. However, Portia lives in her own little delusional world, where she thinks she can marry a man without telling him that she had his baby and raised her as another man's daughter.

People might be able to get away with stuff like that in real life, but on soaps, it's not a matter of if but rather when a secret blows up in someone's face. I can't wait for the truth to come out. I'm sick of Portia's lies, and both Trina and Curtis have a right to know. Ironically, I think Taggert will be the one who will be most accepting. At least, I hope he will. I'd love to see Taggert broker peace between everyone.

Finally, I can't wait for Emma Samms return as Holly Sutton, and I'm so happy we will finally get some answers. I don't know the details of her storyline, but I'm certain it will be good, especially since Anna was just talking to Robert about how lonely his love life has been.

This story has been years in the making. When we last saw Holly, she was a prisoner of an unknown person, and her death had been faked. Many believe Victor has been holding her, but whether that's true remains to be seen.

Random observations

Did anyone else crack up when they saw the chalk outline for Oz? To me, it looked like the Hook had caught the Gingerbread man on the run. I couldn't stop giggling.

Is it me, or does the suite Esme is locked in look eerily similar to Helena's old bedroom on Cassadine Island?

Where does Johann sleep? Under Victor's bed?

Reader feedback

I was delighted to see Jeff Kober as Cyrus again. He still has all kinds of charisma on screen. Like Spencer, I have no doubt that Cyrus set up the altercation with "Book" in the Pentonville library. I was happy to see that Spencer has enough Cassadine smarts to see through the set up and reject Cyrus' help. But Cyrus will set up more altercations and Spencer may yet turn to him. -- Trudy

It is like they want to minimize the damage done by Sonny who I thought was going to clutch his pearls at the idea of a KNIFE! -- Mary Keeley

Hmm sounds like Esme denied that she was the Hook killer. Was she lying? Who knows? Hope it isn't her. Rather it be a "surprise" reveal. Also if it was Esme why didn't she go after the person she hates the most -- Trina -- rather than just characters around her? -- DREYNE SMYTHE

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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