Secret agent man

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Several have had their blinders ripped off, while others continue to cling to their rose-colored glasses. As alliances shift and battle lines are redrawn, the new writers set the stage to usher in a new era for the good people of Port Charles. Let's dive into this week's Two Scoops of spies, lies, and family ties.

Was Jason tasked with going undercover for John and infiltrating the organization that is trying to take out all the East Coast mobsters, including Terminator Sonny Corinthos? That's my best guess, but it's hard to tell. John seems like a good guy, but then he does something sleazy like try to interrogate Danny without so much as a "by your leave." I don't care that John was remorseful when he and Anna were crying in their whiskeys -- or whatever they were swilling back like two crusty sailors on shore leave -- it was a despicable thing to do and shouldn't have happened.

Then again, I've also seen good guys bend the rules when it comes to dealing with Sonny and Jason because those two are as slippery as two greased eels when it comes to wiggling out of criminal charges. It doesn't make it okay for a law enforcement officer to go rogue in their pursuit of justice, but I understand the frustration in trying to take down the Teflon Don and his sidekick St. Jason. I just can't see John gunning for Sonny and not giving Jason a heads-up about the plans, so the only thing that makes sense is that Jason was taking orders from someone else that night.

It was odd that Jason seemed genuinely surprised that Sonny was the target. If Jason has been gunning for mobsters, shouldn't he have expected to see his old friend in the middle of mob shenanigans on the piers? So many questions, too few answers. Meanwhile, John is determined to find Jason, but there's little concern about the man that Jason was with. If Hamish was one of John's agents, you'd think John would be equally eager to locate him, as well, since a dead FBI agent might raise questions John isn't ready to answer.

I can't make up my mind if John is on the hunt for Jason to help his secret agent or if he's desperate to cover his tracks now that Jason has been revealed to be alive. Also, who exactly is John answering to? He keeps saying that he's been tasked with keeping Sonny alive, but by whom, and why isn't he reporting back to that person? John is like an onion, with endless layers, so kudos to Adam Harrington for doing a masterful job of keeping me guessing. There are scenes when I'm certain that John is exactly who he presents himself to be -- a good guy trying to do the right thing -- only for him to turn around and do something shady while flashing that secret smile of his.

I want John to stick around, but I need some answers. We know that Sonny is somehow at the center of all this, but to what end? Why now? Why Jason? I hope the new scribes start addressing these things in the coming days. I'm hopeful because Jason has stepped out of the shadows and turned himself in with Diane at his side. The previews show John confronting Jason, which should be quite a revealing conversation.

I'm delighted that Anna has had an epiphany about Sonny. It was long overdue and should have happened back when she first took the job as the town's police commissioner. Props to the writers for correcting course in that area, but also a bit of side-eye that it took Dex's confession to make Anna realize that Sonny is really a villain. The final straw, I guess.

There's no disputing that Sonny has done great things in his lifetime, but he's also done evil, like when he executed Karpov on the pier. Sonny isn't licensed to kill; he's a mobster. He's ordered the murder of countless men and committed all manner of crimes and misdemeanors for over three decades, and -- as we were recently reminded about Karen -- he's been the ruin of several people. He likes to pretend that he's a modern-day Robin Hood, but he's not. He's a walking contradiction, both charming and cruel, a loving father whose lifestyle endangers his children, and a man who prays to God for mercy but breaks most of the commandments on a frequent basis. I love Maurice Benard, but Sonny, not so much.

While I'm happy with the shift in dynamics between Anna and Sonny, I took a little issue with her reasons for being Team Sonny for all these many years. I get mom guilt. I'm a mom, and even when your kids turn out perfect -- much like Robin did -- you still look back and wish that you had done things better. I think it's normal when you recognize your own flaws, which Anna has plenty of. She gave birth to Robin without even telling Robert that she was pregnant. It took seven years for him to find out that he had a daughter, and he didn't deserve that.

On top of that, Anna left her infant daughter in the care of family friend Filomena Soltini and passed herself off as Robin's aunt. Not even Robin knew the truth. Had Anna referred to all of that when she talked about her regrets and her gratitude for Sonny being there for Robin when Robin was dealing with the death of her first love and learning that she was HIV-positive, I would have understood. Instead, Anna lamented that she was "in the wind" during that awful time. However, it wasn't quite that simple. She and Robert weren't off galivanting and playing spy games. Anna had been kidnapped by Faison, and Robert had raced to her rescue. As they made their escape, a massive explosion rocked the ship, and both Robert and Anna were presumed killed.

Unfortunately, Robert and Anna were separated, and Anna washed up on shore with amnesia. She lived in relative isolation for ten years -- only recalling that she'd been escaping danger, but not what that danger was -- until her twin Alex Marick found her in Canada on the brink of death. Alex took Anna back to Pine Valley for treatment, but as soon as Anna's memories returned, danger followed. An assassin was sent to kill Anna, but instead, Gillian Andrassy -- the niece of Dimitri Marick, Alex's husband -- met her tragic end. It was during this time that Anna and Robin reunited, but Anna sent her daughter back to Paris to study medicine for fear that the next assassin would kill Robin.

It was out of Anna's hands, and of all the things that she had to feel guilty about, that was not one of them.

I can appreciate Anna's new understanding of Sonny, but it's Dex's motivation for going to her that left me a bit puzzled. What did he hope to gain? Confession might be good for the soul, but in Sonny's world, it's also a death sentence for the snitch. Did Dex think that dying a traitor's death would redeem him in Josslyn's eyes and restore the respect that she lost for him when she learned that he was willing to kill for Sonny? I thought Dex was packing to leave town and saying goodbye to Josslyn before Nina showed up to throw her truth grenade on the star-crossed lovers. Who cares if Josslyn thinks the worst of him? If anything, he should be grateful, because it might make it easier for her to move on.

Josslyn was equally confusing. I applaud her for drawing the line at murder, but at the same time, I had to wonder what exactly Josslyn thought working for a mobster entailed. Has she never Googled Sonny or Jason's names or watched an episode of The Sopranos? It seemed odd that she was so blindsided by the idea that Dex might kill someone while working for Sonny. That said, I did like her talk with Carly. It was long overdue, and I loved how Josslyn challenged Carly's excuses and stood her ground.

It was fascinating to listen to Carly's mental gymnastics as she tried to justify Jason killing people for Sonny. For the first time, I think Carly heard how ridiculous she sounded. While it's true that Sonny and Jason only target other mobsters, two wrongs don't make a right. Those mobsters wouldn't have been a threat to Sonny and Jason if they hadn't been neck-deep in criminal activity with themselves.

There are no good guys in organized crime. The worst part is that Sonny and Jason didn't need the money from their criminal enterprises because Corinthos Coffee had made them each millionaires many times over.

Change is afoot at the Invader offices, and I suspect that Valentin will soon be looking to fill two top-level positions. Alexis is off making plans to get her law license back (yay!), and Nina is mulling over a job offer from Drew. It seems that Drew hates losing money more than he hates Nina, so he wants her back at Crimson. The scenes between Drew and Nina were both frustrating -- Drew's anger and Nina's victimhood -- but also weirdly charged with sparks of something that I'm loathe to name. Dare I call it lust? I honestly don't know what to make of that, because in real life, I would see a relationship between the two as an absolute train wreck. However, on a soap, Drew and Nina could be good drama and each other's salvation.

Nina would have an opportunity to atone for how she wronged Drew by helping him overcome whatever is driving the rage that he's unable to suppress, while he could help Nina get over Sonny and maybe forge a better future. She can start by recognizing that she's the master of her own disasters and that people have a reason to treat her like a pariah. She has made poor choices and hurt a lot of people, and those people need more than an apology from her.

One of my biggest pet peeves with Nina is that she suffers from the mistaken belief that all she needs to do is apologize to be forgiven. When she doesn't get that instant absolution, she resents the people who refuse to give it. She's never willing to do the work. She acts like an apology is a magic wand that wipes her slate clean and restores trust and honor. Yet, heaven help the person who hurts or betrays her. Hell hath no fury like Nina scorned.

If things keep heating up between Ava and Sonny, Nina's capacity for forgiveness will soon be tested. Will Nina forgive her best friend for giving in to temptation? Unlikely, so we will have to get our popcorn ready because it's only a matter of time before these two ladies square off. The thing is, I don't feel a romantic vibe between Sonny and Ava. They have tons of chemistry, but it's more like friends with benefits. Kindred spirits who have the hots for each other.

Sonny's encounter with Natalia at Charlie's Pub was different. He was all charm, insightful, and supportive as he doled out sage advice to Natalia about loving and accepting Blaze (or do we call her Alison or Ali now?). I can't blame Natalia for being sucked in by those dimples, especially if she has no idea who Sonny is. However, I want her to stay far away from him because Sonny has a well-earned reputation for sleeping with all the new ladies in town and then breaking their hearts.

Valentin is single. Just saying.

Finally, I'm keeping an open mind with the new writers as they shake things up and pen some new storylines. If they need to jump a few sharks to get there, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief. Change can be good, especially on a soap opera, but respect for history and continuity are also important. There have been a few missteps this week, such as with Heather. The cobalt defense doesn't absolve Heather of all the crimes that she's committed dating back to when she first appeared on the show in the mid-1970s.

If Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte had wanted to get Heather off the hook (see what I did there?) for murdering Brando, Britt, and Oz -- and nearly killing Ava and Diane -- then they could have simply blamed it on Esme. Many of us suspected Esme of the slayings until Heather popped up out of nowhere.

I still recall how viewers reacted when it was revealed that Franco went on his crime spree because of a brain tumor. It was a disastrous storyline.

Random thoughts and observations

I love Valentin, but boy, did he lay it on heavy with Nina. Everything she touches turns to gold because she has gobs of money, and she's been lucky to be surrounded by competent people who continually bail her out.

Didn't Carly quit Crimson when Drew refused to stop going after Nina? That happened, right?

So, Dex steals a vial of Fentanyl from the hospital and not a peep about it, but Willow takes some antibiotics, and suddenly, Liz is scrambling to figure out what happened to the missing meds or face being fired?

Thank you for giving Maxie a makeover. She looked fabulous behind the desk at Deception. Gone are the moth-eaten sweaters and unflattering shirts and slacks. She's in love, she's glowing, and she finally looks like an executive of a competitive cosmetics company.

Reader feedback

(Re: HIPAA laws) Federal and State Laws? Port Chuck don't need no stinking Federal (and State) laws! I'm pretty sure Port Charles has their own Constitution. -- Missez Premise

Years ago someone made foam "bricks" covered in the logo of my favorite sports team to throw at the tv when they did something stupid. I need something with the Corinthos Coffee emblem on it. Maybe then I won't throw expensive crystal barware whenever Sonny opens his mouth these days. -- FleurdiLisa

I felt kind of a let down on everyone finding out Jason is alive. The only ones [that were] fun to watch were Spin/Ava, Dante and Carly. Sonny didn't seem astonished and most people found out offscreen? Thought people would be driving all over town telling each other, since they never use their phones for big news. Also, as sad as Jason was about Bobbie, will anyone tell him about Britt? I know coming back from the dead is pretty common in Port Charles, especially for Jason, but no one has a bigger reaction?? IF my relative or friend that was dead for over 2 years was alive, I'd faint!!!! -- Lucky Lady

What are your thoughts about what's going on 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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