Lights, camera, action! The 2023 Nurses Ball kicks off

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What was your favorite part about the 2023 Nurses Ball? Is it the entertainment on the stage, the red carpet fashion show, the intrigue behind the scenes, or the exciting twists and turns as old storylines wrap up and new ones begin? Let's discuss in Two Scoops.

The 2023 Nurses Ball kicked off with gorgeous sparkly gowns on the red carpet, and I loved each and every one. There's a reason no one has ever given me a Bedazzler. My house would shine bright like a diamond if I ever got my hands on one. Rumor has it there's a gypsy or two in my family tree, which makes sense, since both my mom and dad had grandparents and extended family from Bratislava, Pezinok, and the Carpathian Mountain region.

Back in Port Charles, all the ladies looked absolutely spectacular, but it was Jordan's dress that stood out the most. It was divine. I could never wear anything like that -- I'm 5'2" and lack Tanisha Harper's perfect curves -- but it was my favorite. Yowza. How is she still single?

It's time to give Jordan a romance. She's being wasted pining on the sidelines for Curtis. Curtis is cute and all that, but enough with all the women in his life begging for his forgiveness. If he keeps running into the same issue with women he falls in love with, perhaps he should ask himself if he might be part of the problem. Why do the women who profess to love him not trust him with their ugly truths? Regardless, I want Jordan free of Curtis and with someone who respects her boundaries and doesn't set her up to fail. Curtis needs to get his house in order.

After the parade of fabulous fashions, the Nurses Ball kicked off, and we had some musical surprises, including a romantic little diddy on a toy piano in front of a roaring fire. Additionally, Danielle Ponder was a musical guest, and while she has an incredible voice, I was disappointed that it wasn't Rick Springfield (Dr. Noah Drake), Jack Wagner (Frisco Jones), or John Stamos (Blackie Parish). Selfishly, I had hoped for a special appearance that gave a nod to GH's 60 years on television.

The musical numbers were entertaining, as was Milo showing up for the Magic Milo and the Magic Wands reunion. Trina and Josslyn singing "The Middle" was equally enjoyable to watch, but so far, my favorite act was Georgie and James performing magic with Oma Liesl. I love kids, and it's nice knowing that, despite Liesl's losses, she still has a close bond with James -- and apparently his siblings.

Unfortunately, Liesl was promptly abducted by Victor's goon Ambrose. I'm not worried about Liesl's fate, mainly because she is perfectly capable of holding her own against Victor. However, the abduction means that Willow's life-saving bone marrow transplant will be delayed. I'm no mathematician or time traveler, but I'm fairly certain that Willow is well past the "few weeks" timeline that Terry gave her to live.

I have nothing but compassion for those who have battled cancer. My husband is a cancer survivor, and I lost both my beloved mother-in-law and father-in-law to cancer. Sadly, I've known far too many people who have gone down this road, and I really have no desire to watch the slow torture with Willow. It's depressing and, frankly, a little unrealistic. In real life, people don't get last-minute saves, because end-stage cancer is brutal, relentless, and horrific as the body begins to shut down and the person becomes vulnerable to things like pneumonia, blood clots, and strokes.

I just don't get the point of this. It doesn't pull at my heartstrings to see Willow withering away and making dying requests. How many times do we have to hear Willow ask Michael to make peace with Sonny, only for Michael to arrange a clandestine meeting with Dex where they rehash their plans for the umpteenth time? In fact, Dex has been working for Michael for nearly a year now, and they are no closer to taking down Sonny than they were on day one.

The Pikeman deal clearly isn't what it seems, since Sonny has had an assassin sent to take him out. How is exposing that Sonny is being coerced into working with Pikeman going to be Sonny's downfall? Jordan is far more likely to work with Sonny to take down Pikeman, especially with Dante advocating a deal for his father. It just really irks me that Michael is still hellbent on this plan of action, even though the woman he claims to love is slowly dying before his eyes. Where are Michael's priorities, and how does he think Willow will feel if she lives and finds out what he was doing while she was fighting for her life and asking him to make peace with Sonny?

Dex is another issue. I don't like him. I don't know why, but it bothers me when he tells Josslyn things like "We can't be seen together" and then proceeds to caress her fingers in a very public venue. Dex also promised to stay away from Josslyn and not involve her in Michael's business. We see how that turned out. Dex has been around nearly a year, and all I know about the guy is that he is not a man of his word, he was kicked out of the Army, and he's pretty good at lying.

Dex's story about his abusive brothers was just that, a story. Even his love for cooking is a bit suspect, since it seemed to pop up out of nowhere -- and in a way that seemed calculated. Even Michael questioned if Dex claimed to enjoy cooking because Sonny had a passion for the culinary arts. I disagree with a lot that Spencer has been doing and saying lately, but his assessment of Dex I find is spot-on. I get the same vibe that Dex is not a good guy.

Back to Willow and her cancer saga. I'd rather see Willow and Nina navigate their new relationship. The writers should be focusing on that. Wasn't that the point of Willow being revealed to be Nelle's twin?

One of the best developments this week was the arrest of Linc the creep. I love a good soapy public humiliation, and the writers delivered big time when Brook Lynn and Blaze called Linc out for being a sexual predator on stage in front of the guests, with the cameras rolling. About time. It was confounding that a guy who was as blatant in his disgusting behavior as Linc was could get away with it as long as he had. It's not like Linc hid his deviant behavior. He was pretty bold in the way that he talked to women and violated their personal space.

Linc's attempt to lure Josslyn into the music industry was silly. Josslyn would have clocked anyone who had the audacity to touch her in such a fashion. Linc was broadcasting his lecherous intent loud and clear by stroking Josslyn's arm with his filthy paws. I was stunned he still had a mouth full of teeth when Brook Lynn intervened.

Even though Brook Lynn ultimately did the right thing, I'm no longer interested in Chase and Brook Lynn rekindling their romance. The writers ruined it for me. Brook Lynn is self-destructive, and she will inevitably screw up. Chase will be hurt and walk out, and Brook Lynn will be filled with excuses and regrets. No, thank you. I want off that toxic merry-go-round.

I prefer couples who remain united and strong in the face of adversity. Couples who trust each other with the truth -- no matter how ugly. Couples that I can root for, and who show each other not just love, but also respect. Valentin and Anna (Vanna) tick each of those boxes and more. They have what it takes to go the distance because they don't hide their true nature from each other.

Like all the other Nurses Balls, this year's festivities were the backdrop for a big storyline to kick into its final phase. I'm referring to Victor and the Case of the Ice Princess Mystery.

Victor finally got his greedy manicured mitts on the Ice Princess necklace, which means he has the coordinates to the mysterious place that is tied to Victor's mission to "save the world." Clearly, Victor is not on an altruistic mission. You don't kill and maim innocent people if you are on the side of good. Victor didn't just shoot Anna, but he kidnapped Liesl, Spencer, and Ace.

Victor is bad. Rotten to the core. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say Victor has a new weather machine, and he intends to use it to his advantage. There are reports that Constance Towers is bringing Helena Cassadine back in May, just in time for Sweeps, but there are no details how her return will impact Victor's story -- or Valentin's. As many of you will remember, Helena recorded a video for Luke's memorial service on January 21, 2022, but Laura turned it off because Helena had been gloating about Luke's death.

Some speculate that we will finally find out what the rest of the video is about. It's very possible, but I assumed that Constance filmed the video in its entirety back in 2022. I'm hoping that Helena either makes a ghostly appearance or she appears in an important flashback that will shed some light on what is going on now. I have no illusions that Helena is alive. She's not, and I wouldn't want her to be. Killing Helena off was the right call.

Helena was evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. She loved no one above herself, but the closest she ever got was Stavros. That was mainly because he was the heir apparent, not because she respected him. Stavros was a damaged man, and his flaws were always his undoing. Ironically, of her three sons, I do believe Helena respected Valentin the most. She feared his wrath, and she was awed by his cunning.

Helena deserved to die many times over, but I still loved her because she made everything infinitely more interesting. If there was a diabolical plot unfolding, and the heroes of the story were in a race against time, it was always more exciting if Helena was behind things because you knew to expect a nasty surprise or two before she was vanquished. She would say the most horrific things in the same polite tone that she would use when hosting a tea party. Only in Helena's case, the tea would likely be laced with arsenic.

I'm so excited about Helena's return, if only to find out what sticky web she spun before her death to trap her unwitting victims. I hope it's the key to taking down Victor -- and the jail cell where I'm sure Jason Morgan is being kept.

Charles Shaughnessy is by far my favorite version of Victor Cassadine, but he needs to be stopped. He has to pay a price for murdering Luke, Naomi Dreyfus (I haven't forgotten about her, and I'm still convinced that Victor took her life), and Eileen Ashby, and for kidnapping a small army of people, including two young children. Charlotte might not have been bound and gagged, but keeping her at a boarding school with little to no contact with her beloved father was still an abduction. Victor had no legal right to enroll Charlotte in a school without Valentin's consent.

I doubt that Anna is going to die, but Victor shot her in cold blood without batting an eye. He's not the man I had hoped he was. He has no conscience, and all he cares about is power. If Victor is going to follow in Helena's footsteps, then he needs to disappear for a while. Helena was an effective villainess because she always knew when to cut her losses and how to exploit -- often through greased palms -- the legal system to her advantage. Helena's superpower was her ability to rise from the ashes of the path of destruction she left behind.

We still have a few more weeks until Victor's storyline wraps up, but the end is in sight. Also in sight is Cody's confession to Mac.

Gladys' attempt to frame Cody for the stolen bracelet is going to blow up in her face and be the catalyst for Cody revealing that he's Mac's son. That's speculation, not a spoiler, but I've been watching long enough to recognize the signs. I'm happy about both developments because the writers have done a decent job of turning Cody around. I don't love him, but I don't despise him like I once did. With Sasha, Cody actually seems like a pretty decent guy, and I really hope that he realizes what Gladys did and tells Sasha everything.

I don't know why Gladys thought framing Cody was a good idea. It wasn't. Eventually, Sasha is going to learn the truth about what Gladys did because if Gladys gambled enough money away that the sale of a garage satisfied the debt, then it's clear that Gladys has a gambling problem, and she's pretty lousy at it.

I'm mighty disappointed in Gladys, though. She'd grown on me since stepping in as a mother figure to Sasha. That was until she decided to play with Sasha's money to deal with her grief. Framing Cody was cruel, not an act of desperation. She's not just smearing his name, she set him up for some serious time in jail, and for what? A few weeks more of keeping Sasha in the dark? Gladys has to know on some level that Sasha is going to get wind that Selina owns Brando's garage.

Will Sasha forgive Gladys? Yes, because Sasha is a forgiving person and because of Gladys' connection to Brando. However, I don't think the relationship will ever be the same. There is a possibility that Gladys will find a way to redeem herself, or she and Cody could sort things out, but I don't see that happening as long as Gladys is lying and misusing Sasha's money.

Gladys' bigger problem will be Sonny. He's going to be furious when he finds out what Gladys has done.

Random thoughts and observations

Thank you, Arlene S (a dear lady on Twitter), for pointing out to me that the lovely young lady who played the guitar during Chase and Blaze's performance at the Nurses Ball was Nancy Lee Grahn's daughter Kate. Kate was the highlight of that performance.

Does Victor know that the Haunted Star is owned by Lulu? How does he take up residence and commandeer the ship without Dante or Laura getting a phone call that someone is on Lulu's ship?

Not going to lie. A part of me is hoping that Esme wakes up with all of her memories intact. Goody two-shoes Esme is boring.

Reader feedback

I think perhaps TPTB are trying to make Spencer into the "New Dark Prince," since NotDeadNik is currently off camera for the foreseeable future. (Is Trina supposed to be the "New Emily?"? If so, her future would be Bleak!) -- Missez Premise

I love when people go to that bridge that I would never go on. Where do you park? Is it lit? How do you get up there at night without a flashlight? How funny that people only run into people they know on the bridge. There's never a stranger up there. -- Lucky Lady

Just a thought, but I question Ace's paternity. How do we really know he's a Cassadine? We certainly couldn't trust GH to give us valid DNA results. Esme could have slept with another character off screen, or she could have even used a sperm bank. Anything to carry out her plans. She is Ryan and Heather's child after all (maybe). -- Harper88

What are your thoughts about what's happening on General Hospital? Do you agree or disagree with anything that I've shared in this week's column? I love hearing from everyone and reading your thoughts, so drop me a comment in the Comments section below. You can also join us over on the message boards for even more conversation!

Take care and happy viewing,
Liz Masters

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