Tick-tock, time's up

For the Week of May 8, 2023
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Can Nina keep her promise to Willow and her explosive secret? Will Michael choose peace over revenge? Victor's evil plots were foiled, but will Spencer pay the ultimate price for playing the hero? Liz Masters is back with Two Scoops of dying wishes, toxic vendettas, and a clock ticking down to doomsday.

The Grim Reaper's dance card was full this week, between poor Willow battling end-stage cancer, Valentin fighting off a deadly pathogen, and Victor battling a merry band of heroes who were intent on stopping him from wiping out 80 percent of the earth's population. I'm not really sure why saving the planet required such a drastic action when it turned out that Victor also had a second weather machine, which could rapidly drop the temperature and make it snow in New York during May.

Imagine the possibilities if Victor had used that weather machine for good.

Oh, those dastardly Cassadines. Every morning they wake up and choose violence. Good for the viewers, but very bad for the good people in the world of soaps. The hijinks "somewhere in Greenland" is exactly why I love what the Cassadine family brings to the show. They are always full of surprises, and there are endless thrilling moments like when Laura did the unexpected and dropped that vial of deadly serum. Even though I was yelling, "Drop it!" to Laura, I didn't actually think she would. I was completely gobsmacked and proud at the same time. I loved that Laura decided that the needs of the many far outweighed those of the few. Of course, I'd utterly forgotten that the pathogen needed UV light to be activated until Victor ruined the moment by informing Laura of that. Still, go Laura! She turned out to be the key to saving the day, anyway.

Bravo to the writers for that twist dating back decades when Laura told Robert that the formula for carbonic snow was seared into her memory. I loved that flashback of Robert warning Laura about the ramifications if anyone found out.

Meanwhile, Spencer raced after Victor to stop Victor from unleashing Armageddon just as Robert -- with a late assist from Agent Hursley -- persuaded the WSB to focus the airstrike on the Haunted Star. Despite the reactions of both Trina and Laura, I have no concerns about Spencer's fate. If I had to guess, I'd say Spencer realized what was about to happen, so he sprinted to the deck and launched himself overboard seconds before the ship was blown to smithereens.

Victor was not as lucky. The previews indicate that a body is fished out of the water, and my money is on it being Victor. Victor was written into a corner, so I think this would be a fitting end for a man who turned out to be every bit as maniacal as his lunatic brothers. At least Helena won't be returning to hell empty-handed.

Helena's appearance was another exciting moment for me. I love Hells. Constance Towers is an amazing actress, and it's always a treat when she's on. Only Helena can say the most incredibly cruel things in the sweetest of tones with a wicked smile on her lips. Even in death, Helena revels in pain and chaos. The scenes with Valentin as he writhed in pain were exactly how I would imagine it would go if Helena had found Valentin in that predicament in real life. When she was alive, Helena feared Valentin above all others, and it turns out that she had very good reason -- a deep, dark secret.

Valentin despised Helena, and he would have killed her without thinking twice -- even faster if he'd discovered that she was his mother. There was no love lost between Valentin and Helena. Ever. In Valentin's darker days, he had no mercy.

Valentin was right. He has been redeemed, but I don't necessarily agree that Anna was responsible for the turnaround. That's not how I remember things going down. I recall Valentin trying to be a better man when he and Nina were building a life together, but he continually struggled. Valentin hit rock bottom when Nina dumped him for the final time and Nikolas unseated Valentin as Prince of the Cassadines.

Those things and learning that he was going to be a father again were the catalyst for Valentin's redemption. It was a journey, and finding love with Anna kept him on the right track because he didn't have to hide who he was with Anna. With Nina, Valentin only felt comfortable sharing the parts of himself that he thought Nina could accept. He doesn't have to do that with Anna because she's equally damaged. Valentin feels accepted -- and loved -- warts and all. It's a liberating feeling, and it's one of the reasons that I really like the romance between Vanna (Valentin and Anna). It was a powerful testament to their love that Anna was willing to risk her own life to be with Valentin in the end. Death was not going to part them.

Luckily, Holly arrived to save the day with a vial of the lifesaving elixir. I sure hope there's enough for three people, since Holly exposed herself to the lethal pathogen when she popped into the doorway to share her good news.

Meanwhile, back in Port Charles, snow fell on a warm May day, which made Portia, Jordan, and Elizabeth nostalgic about book reports and kids, a little break from sitting on pins and needles, waiting for word from the Port Charles Justice League. At no point -- or so it appears -- has Portia thought to call Taggert, and I'm not okay with that.

I get it. This is Curtis' chance to shine in Trina's eyes and to make Trina open to accepting Curtis as her biological father, but why does Taggert have to be cut out of it entirely? Why couldn't Taggert have been the one to hold Portia's hand while they waited for word about their daughter? Regardless of biology, Taggert will always be Trina's father. He's the one who loved her, who guided her, and who showed her what a good man looks like. It shouldn't be an either-or thing, and I feel like the writers are really missing the mark with this.

I would have much rather seen Taggert and Curtis work together to rescue Trina, to show her that she doesn't have to choose between the men because both would always be there for her. Curtis and Taggert are friends, and now they have an opportunity to build on that bond. What better way than helping Trina see that it's not about biology but love? Instead, I'm now hoping that a DNA test will reveal that Taggert is indeed Trina's father and that there was a DNA match between Trina and Stella because Taggert is the son of Stella's long-lost sister. I know it's not likely to happen, but it really would serve Curtis right because, through it all, he's been acting like a big baby.

Now, let's talk about Nina and Carly, and Willow's dying request.

When Nina told Ava about the tip to the SEC, Ava forced Nina to admit that Nina had been driven by revenge. I agree it was done out of vindictiveness because Nina had been bitter over Carly's role in Willow's wedding. Perfectly understandable. No mother wants to be excluded from her daughter's special day. When Nina realized that Drew was off searching for Liesl to save Willow, Nina began to feel guilty. Ava insisted that Nina did nothing wrong because Drew and Carly were the ones who broke the law.

Excuse me, Ava? Does the name Nikolas ring a bell for you? Neither Ava nor Nina has any moral high ground here. Nina is literally sleeping with the number one criminal in Port Charles. Heck, the entire eastern seaboard.

My friend Vanessa and I were talking about this the other day, and she said something that really struck a chord with me. Vanessa said, "I hate gaslighting, and once you're aware of it, you see it everywhere. So sick of Nina's gaslighting and refusal to walk in someone else's shoes. If she can't see anything from someone else's point of view or be honest with herself about how she's gotten in her own way, then she's loathsome."

I feel like Nina has been gaslighting me since Nixon Falls. She makes terrible choices --for selfish reasons -- while at the same time painting herself the victim. To hear Nina tell it, Carly has no reason to hate Nina. Nina has done nothing to Carly, while Carly not only kept the secret about Nelle being Nina's daughter -- which Carly learned after Nelle was dead -- but Carly also kept the secret about Willow for months. Nina continually complains that Carly gets away with everything and never pays a price, even though Carly caught Sonny and Nina in bed together, lost her half of the hotel, and lost a good chunk of her fortune. Also, Carly lost a child (Morgan) that she desperately loved, so Nina isn't the only grieving mother.

It was not Carly's secret to keep, but she owed the truth to Willow, not Nina. Nina likes to pretend that Willow would have had a different reaction to the revelation if Carly had told Willow sooner, but that's just magical thinking. Willow has known about Nina for months, and she has no desire to have a relationship with her. It's not because of Carly; it's because of how Nina treated Willow over the years, especially since Willow adopted Wiley. Unlike Nina, Carly had a good foundation with Willow, which made forgiveness easier. Nina does not, and I don't think it's going to get better anytime soon.

Willow made a dying request for Nina to drop the vendetta against Carly. Willow also added the caveat, "even if I live," so there's no wiggling out of this for Nina. We all know that the truth about what Nina did will come out because it's a soap, and Nina has everything to lose and nothing to gain when that bombshell drops. Will it be the end of her relationship with Sonny? If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said no. Now, I'm not so sure. Sonny is on the hunt for answers, and he's giving Godfather speeches about loyalty and how hurting one hurts all. None of that bodes well for Nina.

However, Sonny might have bigger problems to keep him occupied. Michael has the video recording that Dex made to send Sonny to jail for life. Will Michael use it? I've sensed a softening in Michael recently, especially when Michael learned what Sonny had done to help find Liesl. Sonny also scored points by helping Carly when the SEC came knocking. Also, Willow knows everything, and she has made it clear that she wants peace between Michael and Sonny. The odds are in Sonny's favor that Michael is going to delete the video.

If Michael opts not to use the recording, where does that leave Dex? It's not like Dex can simply walk away. Sonny is going to ask questions. If Dex is honest, Sonny will be furious -- for good reason. The last guy who betrayed him like that ended up with a bullet at point-blank range in his chest. It was a soap opera miracle that Dante lived.

Unlike Dante, who was an undercover cop, Dex is a hired gun. He's not the good guy. Dex committed crimes, including putting a photographer in the hospital. Sure, the guy was a sleaze, but it doesn't make what Dex did any less criminal. It bothers me that Dex is painted as the good guy when he made a living as a mercenary, and he worked his way up in Sonny's organization. If that is the direction the writers want to go, then they need to put in the work, and playing mattress tag with Josslyn every other scene isn't it.

I get it. Josslyn and Dex are a young couple enjoying themselves. I have no issue with love scenes or couples having sex, but so far, it's been all flash and very little substance. There's no real romance. I like couples that inspire each other to be better versions of themselves, couples who help each other grow and evolve. I don't see much of that between Josslyn and Dex, and as of now, I don't think Dex and Joss have what it takes to go the distance.

I see Dex more as a transitional guy. Joss is growing up and spreading her wings. She's learning what it means to be an adult. Soon, Joss will be in med school and pursuing her dreams of becoming a doctor. I want that for Joss, and I worry that Dex might hold her back, partly because I have no idea what Dex plans to do when he stops working for Sonny. Will he go back to being a mercenary?

Finally, I was shocked by the news that Kate Mansi will be taking over for Lexi Ainsworth as Kristina Corinthos-Davis. No word on what drove this shakeup, but I'm crushed. I love Lexi, and I'm going to miss her dearly. Lexi had such natural chemistry with all her cast mates, especially Maurice Benard. I never blame the actors for these things, especially the actor taking over the role.

I, for one, intend to keep an open mind and will give Kate time to get comfortable with the role. Kristina is a beloved character because of Lexi, so Kate has big shoes to fill. As for Lexi, I wish her nothing but the best. I hope this turns out to be a good thing for her and that she goes on to bigger and better things. She deserves it.

Random thoughts and observations

How do you prove insider trading in Drew and Carly's case? Couldn't Carly just say that she was investing in her son's company? The case against Drew seems even flimsier.

Doesn't Bobbie still own Kelly's? Why didn't Carly just put the bill on a tab if her credit card was declined. Better yet, why is the waitress charging the owner's daughter for a piece of pie? It seems odd, too, that Diane didn't tell Carly that the SEC had frozen all of Carly's assets, including her credit cards.

I don't know what they put in the I.V.s at GH, but Anna healed rather quickly for someone who was shot and nearly died just a few days earlier. I had oral surgery once, and I was useless for a week.

Why is Portia working? I would not want to have a doctor in charge of my care at a hospital when she's waiting for word that her husband and daughter are safe from an evil supervillain intent on killing off a good portion of mankind.

A big thank you to Steve for filling in for me a few weeks ago. I had a long overdue visit with my baby brother, his wife, and their two young children. It meant the world to me that I was able to focus on family, especially since it was my first time meeting my niece and nephew. If you didn't get a chance to read his column, be sure to check it out, here.

Reader feedback

I rediscovered GH back in the 80's during the Luke and Laura phenomenon, and over the years, I think I've learned a lot about the human condition from watching the show, and thinking about how I would deal with some of the situations these characters find themselves in. Thankfully, I've never run into an Evil Twin, or met an adult child I unknowingly fathered years ago, but I do have a greater appreciation for family and good friends than I think I would have if I had never watched the show. In the end, I guess that's what I love most about this crazy and unique fairy tale called General Hospital. -- Scrimmage

I also don't like Dex and he is definitely a liar and don't forget that Brando did not trust him. Looks like they started the Cody redemption by making him a sympathetic victim of Gladys' frame job. By the way, how did he get the bracelet off her wrist? They keep arresting people on flimsy circumstantial evidence but somehow Victor Cassadine and the like roam free. -- JDF

It's not Esme's memory -- or lack thereof -- that's concerning. Memory loss of people, places, things, events, etc. doesn't necessarily wipe out the muscle memory of bad character. -- alic

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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