Gone with the Port Charles wind

For the Week of July 31, 2023
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Life is hard in Port Charles these days. Will Carly get back what she lost? Can Sasha save herself from a maniacal doctor? What will Sonny and Ava's next move be to flush out Mason's boss? Stolen lives, shattered dreams, and explosive secrets are being served up in this week's Two Scoops with Liz Masters.

Nina is such a conniver. I genuinely believe that she simply can't help herself because scheming has become as second nature to her as breathing and blinking. Case in point, her little visit to Kelly's, where she ran into Carly. Their chat started out pleasant enough, with Nina congratulating Carly on being Kelly's new owner, but things quickly took a turn when Nina began to ramble about how great Willow looked and how wonderful it was to visit with Willow -- thanks to Carly. Naturally, Carly was surprised, so Nina was all too happy let Carly know that Willow had added Nina to the bubble of friends and family.

It felt like pettiness because Nina seemed to take particular delight in telling Carly something that Carly didn't know. Carly had no time for Nina's games, so she told Nina to get to the point. It quickly became clear that Nina's point was not to thank Carly for diddly squat, but rather to fish for information about where Carly stood in their vendetta war. It's frustrating because the only person that I see continually perpetuating the vendetta is Nina. Carly has been too busy picking up the pieces of her life and sorting out her legal issues to plot against Nina. I'm not saying that Carly wouldn't if the opportunity presented itself, but at the moment, Carly views Nina more as a nuisance than an obstacle.

Of course, that will change when Carly finds out that Nina was the snitch who ratted Carly and Drew out to the SEC. Nina defenders rightfully point out that Nina didn't do anything illegal because Carly and Drew were guilty of insider trading. I don't dispute that. Actually, I haven't seen anyone suggest that Carly and Drew were innocent of the charges. Some, like me, questioned the weight of the evidence, since it was circumstantial, but not the facts of the case. Carly and Drew broke the law, and I have no problem with them facing the consequences of their actions.

My issue is that Nina acted out of spite, not justice. She doesn't care that Carly and Drew broke the law. Why would she? The woman is engaged to a mobster who does far worse on a daily basis than Carly and Drew did in their misguided attempt to best Valentin and Ned. Reporting Carly and Drew was not about doing the right thing, so Nina has no moral high ground here. Her intentions were malicious, not noble.

Nina was angry and hurt because she'd been excluded from Willow's wedding, while Carly had played a pivotal role. So, in a moment of pure vindictiveness, Nina used Martin to blow up Carly's life. She didn't care about the collateral damage, including that Donna would lose her mother for a few years if Carly was convicted. Nina wanted Carly to pay for everything wrong in Nina's life; for not saving Nelle, for not immediately telling Nina about both Nelle and Willow, for not sharing Wiley, for acting like the mother of the bride at Willow's wedding, and even for the way the men in Carly's orbit always race to her rescue.

I was spitting nails when Nina had the unmitigated gall to ask Carly in an exasperated tone, "What have I taken from you this time, Carly?" I couldn't believe that she would even ask that, knowing she tipped off the SEC, yet there she was. I applauded Carly for replying, "You took my life, Nina." Unfortunately, that doesn't register to Nina because that's not how Nina sees it. Nina is always the victim in her own narrative.

Nina is great at apologizing, but it's always empty words. She views an apology as a magic wand that earns her instant forgiveness and a clean slate. It's why she gets frustrated when people throw her past in her face. She thinks that because she apologized, everyone should move on, but that's not how it works. Nina might move on, but her victims don't because they see that Nina is only sorry that she got caught rather that remorseful about the pain and damage she caused.

The thing is, Willow didn't tell Nina that both Nina and Carly had to agree to drop the vendetta in order for Nina to have a relationship with Willow. Willow said that Nina needed to drop the vendetta. When all of this blows up in Nina's face -- and I'm more certain than ever that is going to happen in the coming months when she and Sonny walk down the aisle -- Nina will only have herself to blame for the cost that she will pay. Even now, Nina can't seem to leave well enough alone. After just one visit with Willow, Nina is playing the mommy card and demanding that Michael vamoose during her visits with Willow because he's tainting things with his attitude. It's a classic passive-aggressive move to divide and conquer.

Today, it's about giving Nina, Willow, and Wiley space to build a relationship; tomorrow, she will be urging Willow to take the kids and leave Michael. Nina doesn't seem to care that Willow and Michael are a package deal, and I'm certain that Willow wouldn't be happy if she knew about Nina's visit and ridiculous request.

What Nina fails to grasp is that she has to do the work. Michael isn't the problem; Nina is. People don't trust Nina, and she can't bully or manipulate them into changing their minds. Nina will never have a good relationship with Willow and the kids if she tries to drive a wedge between Willow and Michael. Willow's life is with Michael and their children, not with Nina. The reason that Carly has such a good relationship with Willow is because Carly understands and respects that Willow and the kids come first with Michael -- as they should.

Nina is selfish, and that will be her undoing.

Now, let's discuss the nightmare at Ferncliff. To say that I hate Gladys and Montague would be a vast understatement. Hate is way too mild of a word for what I feel. I hate liver, tapioca pudding, and scrubbing toilets, but just looking at Gladys and Montague is a whole other level of loathing. It's rage mixed with a heavy dose of disgust and a generous sprinkling of outrage. I want Gladys and Montague dead. Not just dead but killed in a slow and painful way over a long period of time. Preferably at the hands of Sonny's knife guy.

Gladys has zero remorse for what she's done to Sasha. Oh, she pretends that she feels bad for Sasha's plight, but it's not genuine. Gladys is just trying not to look like the monster that she is by pretending to have human emotions. Anyone that can stand in a facility for the criminally insane and look at a terrified Sasha strapped to a bed -- knowing that Sasha is the victim of a nefarious doctor who essentially drugged her into a psychotic break -- and not put an immediate end to the farce has no shame. Gladys not only stood there, but she proceeded to gaslight Sasha right along with that twisted doctor with a creepy smile.

It was the final straw for me. I've hated this storyline from the very beginning, but to take it to this degree of torture is just plain disturbing. For the first time that I can remember, I find myself tempted to fast-forward the scenes, and it's only because I write a Two Scoops column that I haven't given in to the impulse. Watching Sasha tormented and abused like this is not entertaining. It's uncomfortable, and I'm a little troubled that anyone would think that daytime viewers want to watch this vile story.

I don't even think it's well written, because there are so many holes, starting with how gullible it made Sasha and her friends look. Yes, Gladys was nice enough to step up and help out when Sasha needed it, but no one -- most of all Brando -- ever trusted Gladys as far as they could throw her. Why would no one keep tabs on Gladys? Why wasn't Sasha keeping track of the banking accounts? It's my understanding that Sasha had a lot of money, so why weren't lawyers involved? I'm so disappointed that Sonny didn't make Gladys keep him updated on Sasha's finances.

Sonny knows how Gladys is, and he knows how she likes to spend money on stupid things like fur coats. He should have noticed that Gladys was living a bit too lavishly and asked questions. All of Sasha's friends should have. I also was annoyed that the writers made Sasha look like she has never attended a single Narcotics Anonymous meeting, let alone had two stints in rehab. The minute she heard Montague say "sedative," she should have run from his office and ditched the pills in the nearest trash can.

Don't get me started on the ridiculous writing where a woman who didn't have so much as a hearing was shipped off to Ferncliff within hours, despite both the district attorney and a top-notch legal eagle working together to get her the best treatment possible. Meanwhile, a devious shrew like Esme, who claimed amnesia and had a baby, practically got a limo ride to Spring Ridge.

I also don't understand what is driving Montague. Why is he helping Gladys? What's in it for him? We have no idea, because other than the fact that Montague knows Gladys through gambling at the Savoy, he offered to help her with Sasha, and he has no problem drugging and gaslighting patients, we know nothing about him. He's just a plot device.

On Twitter (or is it X?), I saw a really good theory that could explain Montague's agenda:

Did Selina also arrange for the judge to assign Dr. Montague to the case? I certainly wouldn't put it past her, and she has mentioned a judge or two playing in some of the games. From the very start, it was obvious that Selina had targeted Gladys, so there is some kind of master plan at work here. I don't know what it is, but Selina is a multifaceted woman. I wouldn't put it past her to be secretly working with someone trying to topple Sonny.

I would hate to see Selina go, but she can't honestly believe that Sonny is going to turn a blind eye to Selina's role in Sasha's horrific situation.

Sofia Mattsson has been flawless with the dreck that she's been given, but I really need this horrible storyline to wrap up quickly. I want Sasha to save herself. I appreciate that Cody is onto Gladys -- and he's definitely been far less annoying these days -- but Sasha needs to be the hero in her own story. It's the only way for the writers to have any hope of salvaging this mess.

Not everything was doom and gloom on the show this week. Mason's nasty nanny Betty overplayed her hand when she slapped Ava, so Ava decided to come clean to Sonny about everything, including what happened to Nikolas when he threatened to snatch Avery and run. I was thrilled. Maurice Benard and Maura West were phenomenal in the scenes, and everything from the dialogue to the performances was pitch perfect.

I'm tickled pink that Sonny has taken charge of Ava's dilemma because it means that we will finally get some answers. Based on the phone call that Sonny made when he left Spoon Island, I suspect that he thinks Nikolas is still alive and that Mason is hiding him.

There's a lot of speculation that Olivia Jerome is behind the shenanigans in Pautuck. It's definitely in her wheelhouse, but I can't imagine that a woman locked up behind bars would instill a whole lot of fear in someone like Mason unless she had a partner. The last time that Olivia wreaked havoc on Port Charles, Winston Rudge carried out her dirty deeds, so she is willing to outsource when necessary. Also, Olivia has a connection to Ava, which would give her motive for keeping Nikolas alive rather than taking what she needs and burying the body. But why Pautuck? It seems an odd place for Olivia to set up camp.

After talking to my friend Vanessa about all the possibilities, I decided that my frontrunner for the lady behind the veil in Pautuck is none other than Cassandra Pierce. Yeah, I know she was "killed" in a boat explosion when Valentin detonated a bomb remotely, but did they find a body? No, which means that Cassandra could have floated down the coast until she washed up in Pautuck, was nursed back to health by Austin, and promptly resumed her evil ways. She had the money, the connections, and a lot of scores to settle, starting with good ol' Prince Nikolas.

Also, Cassandra was obsessed with Valentin, so she might be inclined to try to ruin Anna's reputation with hit pieces in the Sun and having Mason spray-paint her door with an ominous message. Granted, there's no indication that Mason's mission and Anna's trouble are connected, but I can't rule it out if someone like Cassandra is pulling the levers in Pautuck.

Could Lulu be on her way back, too? There is hope because Dante took Charlotte for a visit with her mom, which is the first glimpse that we've had of Lulu since she was shipped off to a long-term care facility in 2020. My heart broke for Charlotte when she begged for her mother to wake up and admitted that she hadn't told her friends that Lulu was in a coma. Poor Charlotte has been bouncing around homes for a while now, and I would love to see her have some stability.

It's time for Lulu to wake up. Not just because Laura doesn't deserve to have two kids in a coma and another in the wind who hasn't visited his family or children since bringing Jake home to his mother, but because Lulu's return would shake things up. I'm not talking about Dante and Sam because I actually like them together, but in general.

Lulu is a legacy character and a force to be reckoned with. I could see her setting Tracy straight about using Brook Lynn as she did, Maxie could definitely use Lulu's guidance, and she has experience running businesses. Lulu and Carly would make great business partners, especially since Lulu and Nina have some rocky history because of Charlotte.

It's time to cut the dead weight -- Gladys, Montague, Mason, Betty, Esme -- and get some good characters back in circulation.

Finally, Portia is fighting to save her marriage, whether Curtis likes it or not. Curtis does not. He told Portia that he didn't need her pity. I imagine not because he seemed to have more than enough on his own without her contribution. Curtis was determined to push everyone away because he didn't want to be a "burden" to anyone or to tie them down with his care. Normally, I'd have nothing but empathy for someone in Curtis' situation, and I definitely wouldn't begrudge them for feeling sorry for themselves. It's a huge lifestyle change with plenty of challenges.

However, this is a soap opera. Over the years, I've seen plenty of people suffer paralysis. Some fell from buildings and some off of parapets, others were shot or had car accidents, and the list goes on. In each case, the person regained use of their legs and went on to enjoy a full recovery. Every. Single. Time.

Knowing that, it's hard to listen to Curtis carry on about his potential prognosis. He's been awake for two days, and he's decided that it's over for him, even though General Hospital has a 100% success rate in reversing paralysis. The most recent recipient of this miraculous treatment was Curtis' good buddy Sonny Corinthos, but is Curtis reaching out to him for advice? Nope, because Curtis is too busy searching the Internet for answers. Curtis didn't even wait for all the tests to come back before he decided that there was no hope and that it was time to cut his family loose.

I have no idea why Portia would want to stay married to such an impatient man-child, but I'm already over this story.

Random thoughts and observations

Yup, the old Esme is back. Not only does she think that she should rate equal in importance to Spencer as Ace, but she has decided that she needs to find a way to knock Trina from the top spot. Time for Nikolas to come home and get that child away from Esme.

I love Pentonville's new visitor area, but what is with prisoners being able to stroll up and chat to whatever visitor they like? Seems like a recipe for disaster, especially when that prisoner is Cyrus.

Remember when Carly had a nightclub in Kelly's basement called the Cellar? I wonder if she could repurpose the bar stools.

Why does Cody need to prove he's Leo Taub's son to get the Ice Princess necklace from the WSB? Leo's estate passed to Dominique when he died, and that was passed down to Serena. Both Cody and Serena have a legal claim to the necklace through Dominique.

Reader feedback

I agree 1000% about the writers' sadistic treatment of Sasha. She is one of my favorite characters and has done nothing to deserve the unending torture she has experienced over the past few years. Honestly, if TPTB can't figure out a humane way to work around Sofia Mattsson's pregnancies, I'd rather see the character written off. I would miss the oasis of genuine kindness she provides in the midst of far too many self-centered characters, but it would be better than having to witness her being subjected to any more cruelty! -- Antonia

I hope they bring more Pine Valley and Llanview people into the GH orbit, even if it's mundane cameos like Jackson or Nora for legal stuff. Sam needs to dig into the archives of The Banner and bring Viki on for a week. Pikeman has shady dealings with Buchanan Enterprises and get Clint, Kevin, or Joey on. Have Angie Hubbard consult on some medical matter etc. It's cool, ABC had a really good daytime block with an immersive universe that connected them. I was a huge OLTL fan and kinda rolled over to GH because they were on back to back when I got home from school. I miss Todd (even though I still get Roger Howarth), Bo, Nora, Christian, Viki, Antonio etc. So to see them from time to time is pretty awesome, so thanks Frank Valentini! -- Suge Benjamin

Is there something special in the anesthesia at GH that everyone having surgery will almost die, but gets to see their dead relatives? -- Lucky Lady

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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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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