Ducks and diamonds

For the Week of April 17, 2023
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The Haunted Star set sail with exactly one person who wanted to be aboard and a host of hooligans and hostages. Port Charles's finest pooled their brains and resources to try to rescue Ace, Spencer, Liesl, and Trina. This and so much more to unpack in this week's Two Scoops.

Dear readers, as soon as I heard Jordan utter the phrase "ducks and diamonds," I knew that it had to be my title this week. I texted that decision to my beloved Soap Central guru Dan J Kroll, and we had a lively exchange about Scrooge McDuck. It's a good day when you can talk about Disney characters and soaps, n'est-ce pas? (You can see that the conversation also turned into the graphic for this week's column!)

But Jordan nailed it. Victor Cassadine got his ducks in a row -- baby Ace, Spencer, and Liesl -- and his diamonds, a little beauty called the Ice Princess. We finally know his diabolical plan -- he intends to poison everyone, save the Cassadine family, and ensure there are enough natural resources in the world for his bloodline to survive.

Um, okay...I suddenly got this vision of Pauly Shore saying "inbreeders" in Son in Law.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "That's dumb, and it doesn't make sense." And you'd be right. But let me tell you a secret about me, I love campy soap plots. I'm crazy for them. Casey from Lumina? Yes, please. Plane crashes and boat explosions where everyone survives? Bring it. Diving off a parapet while you're pregnant and falling to the rocks below with no harm to you or your baby and just a little memory loss? Consider my disbelief suspended.

I like soaps to be soapy. I like plots filled with adventure. I think we are embarking on one right now. Does Spencer and Trina's current storyline have undertones of Luke and Laura on the run in the past? Absolutely. I plan to drink in every delicious moment and ask no questions.

Okay, that part is not true. I will ask questions; you know me better than that. But I don't care if I get logical answers because I'm just looking forward to the ride.

First up, I was giddy when I realized Trina followed Spencer. Before she popped up, I felt a quiet anger burning in my chest. I was afraid Spencer was about to disappear. Trina would think he left on purpose, and they would be separated again. Just when I was getting ready to angrily Tweet, Trina's head poked out from behind the curtain, and I was delighted.

Is it unbelievable that a beautiful young woman in a fuchsia evening gown, stilettos, and a silver bedazzled bag can tiptoe around a heavily guarded ship unnoticed? Is it logical to think Trina would call her mother on the satellite phone instead of dialing 9-1-1? Is it reasonable to believe Victor is holding his prisoner with only a deadbolt that can be opened without a key from the outside? Does it make sense that Victor knew about Liesl's magic act with her grandkids and found a way to rig up the trap door of a magic box to kidnap her in the middle of the Nurses Ball? Is it reasonable to think the Haunted Star somehow has a Star Trek cloaking device and can't be seen by a drone or helicopter flying overhead? I mean, it's not a submarine. It's a floating casino.

Does it make sense to think Victor can blackmail Liesl into creating a vaccine for his family? What sort of leverage could he use against her? Victor has already admitted that he plans to poison the entire world, including anyone she cares about. If he promises to let her grandkids and Nina and Maxie take the immunity vaccine, too, would she be dumb enough to trust him? Does it make sense that Victor would trust any vaccine Obrecht created, knowing the depth of her loathing for him? My husband Jeff, who pretends he doesn't watch GH, said, "If Victor wants to poison everyone, why doesn't he call Jerry Jacks? Isn't that his thing?" How on earth would a man who doesn't watch GH even know Jerry Jacks's name?

The answer to all these questions is "No." None of it makes sense, and I absolutely do not care. Just keep this craziness coming. GH fun is much more fun than the craziness in the real world!

Those of us who have been impatiently waiting for Sprina are finally getting the kisses we have been craving. Nicholas Chavez and Tabyana Ali are just magical together. I hope they drag their adventures out all summer because I can't get enough of them together. Also, I am glad that Trina has witnessed everything between Uncle Victor and Spencer. Why? Because now she has a deeper understanding of why this poor boy is such a mess! He tries to do good, to be a better man, and he keeps getting pulled back into the insanity of his family.

In the future, when her pal Joss criticizes Spencer, Trina will have a deeper understanding of why he is how he is and how to help him navigate life, the way Emily helped Nikolas find happiness. I think Nicholas J Chavez has serious Tyler Christopher vibes. I wonder if he watched old Tyler scenes. He is doing a fantastic job being the tenderhearted but tortured prince. I just adore him. Where is Spencer's dad? We know Mason has Nikolas, but we still don't know the mysterious woman Mason calls the boss. Holly? Olivia Jerome? Helena? Two of those three are scheduled to return to Port Charles soon, so it's possible. Also, we don't know who Nikolas will be when he returns. I hope he returns as a hero who helped save the day and gets to skate on all his crimes. Esme can't remember what he did to her, anyway.

Another Cassadine that I'm soap in love with is Valentin. Valentin broke my heart a little more with every tear he shed over Anna until she finally opened her eyes. Their love story is so layered and nuanced -- we have the backstory of poor hunchback Valentin worshipping goddess Anna who was so far out of his league. Now, he is the man she adores and cherishes, and they trust each other completely. Finola Hughes and James Patrick Stuart are electric together. Another highlight of this story for me is the way all the people who used to hate or mistrust Valentin, like Felicia and Laura, have suddenly warmed to him and see the side of him that their friend loves.

I wanted to hug him when Valentin told Felicia that his family is toxic and kills anything it touches.

This week, we were introduced to Valentin's new beautiful SORAS'd (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) daughter, Charlotte, played by newcomer AnaSofia Bianchi. We have only seen her in a few scenes so far, but I'm excited to see how she makes the role of Charlotte her own. Her first few scenes were promising. I hope everyone will welcome her to our soapy little family and encourage her precious young heart.

Rumor has it that Charlotte may be a love interest for the very handsome Jake Webber, played by Hudson West. We last saw Jake at Cam's goodbye party, and now that Cam is away at Stanford, we may see more of Liz's other two sons. It stands to reason that an older Charlotte might end up in the orbit of Liz's middle son. Maybe they are old enough to volunteer for Lila's Kids this summer.

Strangely, Victor didn't bring Alexis along for the joyride. She is a living Cassadine relative, too, after all. Just as well, though, because now we can see her and Gregory trying to make peace. I am glad we had the scene of all the Chase men at the gym, because Gregory spelled out to his sons that his relationship with Alexis was not romantic. I needed that clarity. I was confused and asked myself, "Did they do it off-screen, and I missed it?" Apparently not.

The Chase men can't seem to seal the deal. Which is a shame, because they are all jars of golden honey. I got a little mesmerized by how blue Finn's (Michael Easton) eyes were, and I had to rewind because I lost track of the plot.

Finn's brother Chase has the hearing "today" (soap today) to determine whether he is back on the force, and my fingers are crossed. Gregory reminded Chase that, despite Brook Lynn's mistakes, she did the right thing and broke her NDA to call out Linc. Will Chase forgive her? I hope she scored some points showing up at the hearing. Linc is gone, and there is no reason for Chase to pretend to be a pop star anymore. But once he gets reinstated at the PCPD, he can sing at Willow's wedding... because everyone would have their ex-husband be the wedding singer at the wedding of the guy they cheated on him with, right?

The newly brunette Maxie is working on a one-day wedding. I really like the darker shade on her. I think she looks stunning! It made me think maybe I should dye my blonde hair dark and see what happens. But I just finally got the pink dye out that was supposed to come out after three washes from my Mardi Gras party, so I will let my poor hair rest for a while.

Across town, guess what? Sonny let Joss and Dex know that he was aware they had been dating for quite a while, and ... nothing happened. Sonny did not kill Dex for dating Joss, as Joss feared. Also, I suspect no one would care if they discovered that Drew and Carly were dating. I will say it until I am blue in the face, but Michael is Carly's son, so why would anyone assume her boyfriend gave her insider trading info and not her own child? Dumb.

Chad Duell and Katelyn MacMullen did some beautiful work this week. As the news spreads through town about the people Victor kidnapped, it becomes clear to Michael and Willow that her bone marrow transplant will not happen this week, as planned. Willow knows her days are numbered. She tried to put on a brave face for Michael, but the instant he was out of view, she wailed with total and utter despair. It was a gut-wrenching scene.

I watched The Young and Restless' 50th anniversary special; it was so much fun. One of the pieces of info that tickled me was when one of the actors said they get giddy when they find out their character is going to be in a coma because it means they don't have to come in at 5:00 a.m. to have their hair and makeup done. Their job is just to lay in a bed all day in pajamas. It made me howl. I wonder if Willow is digging the fact that she gets to just lay on the couch in sweats all day with no makeup and let Michael hold her? That is not a bad way to spend a workday, right?

I am ready for Michael to call off his quest to take down Sonny and to see father and son reunite. It's gone on way too long, and it's just dumb. Carly has moved on from Sonny, so Michael doesn't need to hold a grudge for Carly when she lets it go herself. When Sonny called Michael this week and just reached out, Michael wouldn't say, "Thanks, Dad," or anything resembling acceptance, but at least he said, "I hear you," so Sonny knows his kind offer to be there for Michael and Willow was heard. If I was Michael and I was facing all the things he and Willow were facing, I'd be asking anyone who could possibly help me to come to my aid. Sonny potentially has resources to help track down Obrecht -- Michael should say, "Dad, help us find Aunt Liesl so Willow can get this surgery and live!" but he's so angry and proud that it hasn't even crossed his mind.

The Sonny and Dante scenes have been so perfect lately. I realize there are some performers I don't shout out enough, and Dominic Zamprogna is one of them. He is so genuine in every scene with every actor. I never catch him acting, if you know what I mean. Some people are over the top, but Dom is very subtle, which makes him relatable and real. I think he and Maurice Benard have a real father-son vibe. I would love to know if they are friends in real life and how they relate to one another. I was a little misty when Dante reminded Sonny of how he cared for Mike and Stone until the very end. In fact, I have cried a few times this week. It's been an emotional ride!

This reminds me that if you love GH and don't watch Maurice Benard's State of Mind show on YouTube, you are missing out on some beautiful content. Dear readers, I don't know about you, but I have been through severe traumas, loss, and heartache.

I have had times when I thought I would lose my mind, trying to maneuver this world. And that is what they talk about on State of Mind. The people that Mr. Benard interviews are raw and honest. They talk freely about their mental and emotional health struggles and how they have overcome (or, in some cases, are still trying to overcome) them. It's magnificent. And no, I am not being paid to plug this show. I just really appreciate it.

The one thing I am sad about is that this storyline will not end well for Victor Cassadine, which means we will have to lose Charles Shaughnessy. I love him as Victor, even though he's a supervillain. Think about it. We have Laura, Scott, Jordan, Anna, Valentin, (probably Taggert), Robert, Diane, Sonny, Trina, Drew, Carly, Spencer, and probably a dozen others teaming up to find Victor and bring their loved ones home. He can't win. But I don't want him to die. I want him to end up in a cell in Steinmauer with Faison and return with all his supervillain pals in a year or two to wreak havoc again. How could I not want that? When Victor told Spencer that he wasn't doing this "to him, but for him" and that family love is everything to him, I think he really believes that. The poor dashing crazy guy doesn't know he's crazy.

Holly is coming back. Tracy is coming back. Helena is coming back. I hope in my heart of hearts this means Luke is also alive and coming back. But that's just a daydream. I am so excited to see how this all plays out.

Laura is doing triple duty -- trying to help catch Victor, consoling and supporting Esme, and that whole mayor thing. Also, since the Haunted Star was her wedding gift, she remembers how to use the controls on the cruise deck, even though I swear I have not seen her on that ship for years. Her memory at 60 must be better than my memory at 60. Also, I was over the moon about the flashback of Laura being kidnapped on that same ship, except it was the Titan back then. But it seems like it hasn't had a paint job on the deck in that time.

I know some of you vehemently disagree with me, but I love her relationship with Esme. If you don't know about Laura's past, she has been where Esme is. She lost her own baby to the Cassadines back in the day when they kept Nikolas from her. Laura knows the fear and longing Esme is experiencing worrying about Ace. Laura's sympathy and empathy for Esme come from a place of true-life experience.

Also, I do not believe that Esme is faking her amnesia. I have seen no evidence other than her naming the baby Ace. She does not remember anything from her past. Although she will eventually have to pay for the crimes that she committed, right now, the correct response is compassion for a young woman who has no memory and is just trying to take care of her newborn child. That being said, I am sure that when Esme's memory returns, she will milk it for as long as possible.

If you have read my column for any length of time, you know I adore Kathleen Gati. Liesl Obrecht is one of the most fantastic campy characters ever on soaps. When Liesl launched into a tirade listing all of Victor's evil plots and reminding me how they all failed miserably, I cheered and clapped. I was yelling at my TV and rooting for her to call him a Schwein. The thing about Ms. Gati is that Liesl could be a cartoon character, but she refuses to allow her to be. Kathleen Gati mixes humor, accents, and hilarious lines but also depth, heart, and genuine emotion, bringing Dr. O to life for us. If anyone takes Victor down for good, I hope it's her.

Next up, I like Brooke Kerr; she is a lovely actress, but I don't like how they have been writing Portia lately. She has had to whimper her lines with a trembling voice for months. She started out strong, and they have penned her so weak for so long. Trina is a fearless young woman. She had to learn that strength somewhere. Trina needs to have a Simba moment with her mother and say, "Mom, remember who you ARE." Even though I questioned the choice, I am glad Trina finally told her mom she loved her.

You also know I used to full-out hate Gladys. Then, when baby Liam died, she softened and got kinder, and I got sucked into thinking she had changed. I let myself like her. But now that she has framed Cody, I'm mad that I allowed myself to get bamboozled by her. I am enjoying Sasha and Cody together; I think something is there. I know some of you are not crazy about Cody's character. Still, I like the relationship he is forming with Mac, and I'm excited for the reveal that Mac is his dad. Also, I want to see Sasha happy again after losing the love of her life and her only child, so no hating on Cody, please. I was glad that he called Sam -- I can see the two of them getting along, as they both have shady pasts, but Cody is trying to be better. Who better to Yoda him than Sam?

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Linc try to recruit singers from the prison choir? Will anyone remember how much Uncle Cyrus loves Spencer and spring him out of prison to help get Victor? Will someone let Valentin dig the hole and bury Victor as he wished to do this week? Will Trina sneak Spencer half-eaten strawberries from Victor's stooge's plates? Will Trina find Aunt Liesl's room and see if they can team up?

Will Robert take Diane on a romantic date to thank her for her support when Anna was shot? Will we find out why Eddie Maine (a.k.a. Ned) didn't get to lend his golden voice to the Nurses Ball lineup? Will Michael and Willow's deathbed wedding be as good as Willow and Chase's deathbed wedding? Will anyone ever explain to my satisfaction why Robin didn't hop on a plane to Port Charles the instant she heard her mom was shot? Will Trina be able to walk the gangplank in those heels?

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 -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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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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