Law & Order: Port Charles

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In the Port Charles criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: Police Commissioner Anna Devane and her detectives who investigate crimes, and the talented writers who pen them. These are their stories in this week's Two Scoops.

Dun-dun

We start somewhere on the back roads of Port Charles near Pentonville, where our new scribes decided to kick off Good Friday with a series of bombshells and revelations as ex-WSB Director Brennan arrived in a prison transport van for a meeting with one of the heads of Pikeman -- Valentin Cassadine! I'll give everyone a minute to pick their jaws up from the floor.

That's right folks, Valentin and Brennan have been in cahoots for years, running Pikeman together and gunning for Sonny. It turns out, the call was indeed coming from inside the house. Valentin and Brennan were behind the murders of a slew of mob bosses (including Olivia Jerome), the shooting at the warehouse, the attempt on Sonny's life at Metro Court's pool that put Curtis in a wheelchair, the sniper in Puerto Rico, and, of course, everything that went down at Selina Wu's warehouse. Hamish -- the man who shot Dante -- worked for Valentin.

But wait, there's more, because those of us who noticed a change in Sonny's behavior and his perception of reality had good reason to question those things. It seems Valentin is his parents' son because he connected with Sonny's online pharmacist and has been slowly lowering the dosage of Sonny's bipolar medication for quite some time. Valentin hopes to send Sonny spiraling into mental illness, so he makes reckless choices and lands himself in jail for crimes that would carry a lengthy prison sentence. Valentin believes that it would be the most efficient way of finally ridding himself of the thorn in his side named Sonny without firing another bullet. It's positively diabolical and something Valentin's mother Helena would heartily approve of.

I am blown away. Friday's episode was a wild ride from start to finish. I had been certain that Valentin was reformed, especially during his romance with Anna. We learned through his conversation with Brennan that that was the only thing that wasn't a lie. Valentin truly loved Anna, and he warned Brennan that she better never learn what he's been up to. Valentin even took the added step of arranging a deaf prison guard to transport Brennan, so no one could overhear their discussion. If Anna learns the truth, Valentin will know that it was from Brennan.

Let the games begin.

At Harborview Towers, things have taken a troubling turn, too. Sonny had an ugly confrontation with Michael, saying things that he's sure to regret later. After Jason was released on bail, he decided to pay Sonny a visit. Carly was already there, questioning how Sonny could doubt Jason after all these years of unwavering loyalty. Sonny was unmoved because he's convinced that everyone was against him and that his outrage was justified. He was unimpressed when Jason revealed that he'd been working undercover for the FBI, accusing both Jason and Carly of conspiring to take him out. The scenes were so hard to watch, knowing that his anger and paranoia stemmed from his bipolar disorder going unmedicated.

It's Morgan all over again, and for the first time in a very long time, I genuinely felt bad for Sonny.

Meanwhile, Ava stood on the sideline, watching everything unfold as Sonny pushed everyone away. After Sonny tossed Jason and Carly out on their ears, Ava cooed to Sonny that she was on his side. Sonny's circle of trust has been whittled down to her, but is she really on Sonny's side or another enemy within? I love Ava, but I also know that she has secrets. She tries to do good, but she can be bought. I still recall how she agreed to take Valentin's offer to fix her disfigured face in exchange for not testifying in the wrongful death lawsuit that Spencer filed against him.

After Sonny ducked out of the room, Ava heard his phone buzz with a text message letting him know that Dante was awake. Instead of immediately sharing the wonderful news with Sonny, she did something odd. When he returned, she told him that she had called the hospital and been told that Dante was awake, but he wasn't ready for visitors. Why would Ava do that? But then I remembered that Austin's killer had been trying to frame her for the murder. Did Valentin find a way to get to Ava again and threaten to turn over incriminating evidence to the police unless she helped undermine Sonny from within?

Had you asked me last week, I would have said absolutely not. However, today, I can't be certain because everything has changed. Heck, we even learned that Valentin had used the name "Stone" to rattle Sonny into thinking that someone from his past was trying to kill him.

I recall that Ava was shaken when she received those notes and found that gun. She was alone during those moments, so she had no reason to pretend to be frightened. No one could have ever predicted that Sonny would insist that she move in with him, not even criminal mastermind Valentin. If Ava is truly working with Valentin -- knowingly or unknowingly -- against Sonny, then the partnership had to have happened after she was under Sonny's roof. Did Valentin leave another ominous warning for Ava, but this time with instructions?

I really hope, for Avery's sake, that Ava isn't working against Sonny. What an awful thing to know that your mother used both your father and brother's bipolar disorder against them. If Sonny doesn't kill Ava, Nina will.

Dante waking up was good news for Jason because Dante was able to clarify that not only did Jason not shoot him, but Jason was the reason that Dante was still alive. Carly's prayers were answered, but I don't think she should be celebrating yet because Jason made it clear that he didn't know how long he would remain in town. In real life, we know that Steve will be around for a couple of years at least, but in Port Charles, John has been holding some charges over Jason's head. Jason claimed the charges were against him, but I don't think Jason was being fully truthful.

I suspect that John is holding criminal charges against both Jason and Carly from their time running the organization while Sonny was in Nixon Falls. Jason wouldn't have cooperated if he'd been threatened with jail, so it had to be someone that he cared about. There's also a possibility that John had Sonny in his sights for Julian Jerome's murder. No one ever followed up on the video footage recovered of what transpired on the bridge when Sonny shot Julian just before the bridge collapsed because Sonny was presumed killed, too. Did John use that to force Jason to comply? Jason would have no problem falling on the sword for Sonny.

We will have to stay tuned, but until then, I'm anxiously awaiting my Liason reunion. I've been an unabashed fan ever since Liz and Jason first laid eyes on each other. According to the previews, my wait will finally come to an end on Monday. From the snippets I saw, it's going to be filled with lots of big emotions, much like Jason's reunion with Sam was.

Even though I've never been a Jasam fan -- except when Billy Miller played Jason, and Jason chose his family over Sonny and Carly -- I was happy for their fanbase when Jason and Sam had their reunion, and what an explosive visit it was. I was riveted from the instant that Sam sat down, looked Jason dead in the eye, and asked if he had shot Dante. I was pleased that she believed him because she's one of the people who knows him best, and the writers respected that.

With that out of the way, Jason confessed that he'd gotten a helping hand from Danny and that he'd asked his son not to tell her. I loved seeing Sam go mama bear on him, warning him that he'd crossed a line by telling their son to keep secrets from her. "That's our baby," Sam cried with frustration. She pointed out that she'd been the one to pick up the pieces for Danny when Jason disappeared and that she'd been raising and protecting their son for most of Danny's life. I felt every bit of Sam's fury to my maternal core, but I give props to Jason for admitting that she was right.

I did get salty, though, when Brook Lynn arrived for a visit with Jason. It's not that I dislike Brook Lynn, but I had assumed -- wrongly -- that she was there to get some answers for Chase because he's been in a bad place ever since Dante was shot. However, the writers gave me an unexpected surprise when Brook Lynn revealed that she was there on behalf of Monica. And just like that, Brook Lynn's visit with Jason became the high point of the episode. Bravo, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte. Well played.

It was such a beautiful moment, and like Jason, I teared up when he read Monica's short but touching note assuring him that she believed in him and loved him. As Jason wiped away a tear and told Brook Lynn to let Monica know that he loved her, too, I realized that I like this new side of Jason. Has anyone else noticed that Jason seems less "Stone Cold" lately? He's shown more emotion in the last few weeks than he has in the past three decades combined. It feels a bit like growth.

Back in the day, I was Team Lesley in the war between Monica and Lesley for Rick Webber's heart, but Leslie Charleson eventually won me over, and I grew to love Monica dearly. It breaks my heart that Leslie has been dealing with health issues and is unable to film, but I'm so grateful that the writers found a way for Monica's voice to be heard in Jason's homecoming. It was such a poignant moment. Our new scribes did good.

That brings me to the shenanigans at the Quartermaine boathouse when Danny took a swing at Jake because Jake insisted that Jason was guilty of shooting Dante and undeserving of being given the benefit of the doubt. It was so sad to see Danny turn violent again and raise hands to his brother. Jake didn't deserve it when he caught Danny with a vape pen, and he didn't deserve it for speaking his truth about Jason. Jake has been hurting, too, and he feels betrayed because he can't understand why their father would stay away and let his sons grieve for him.

Unlike Danny, Jake has survived multiple traumas. He was nearly killed in a car accident as a toddler, and he was kidnapped. He was held captive for years on Cassadine Island, where he was subjected to Helena's mind control techniques and used as a pawn in a plot to unleash the deadly chimera bioweapon on Port Charles. He not only lost Jason in recent years, but also another beloved father figure when Franco died. Oh, and he was pretty heartbroken when he learned that Drew was his uncle, not his father. That's a lot, and he's entitled to his feelings as much as Danny is. The truth is, Danny has no idea who Jason really is.

It's like no one in Port Charles does even a basic Internet search on people, especially the infamous ones. How can Danny not know that Jason has a very shady past and deep ties to the underworld? I'm not saying that he should hate his father but idolizing him doesn't make much sense, either. Jason has done some very bad things, and there were times when he put Sonny ahead of Danny.

After that fight between Jake and Danny, someone suggested to me that the boys reminded her of Jason and A.J. in the early days following the car accident. I wanted to deny it, but it's hard to when I see Danny is exhibiting some of the same behaviors that I saw in A.J. He's resentful, self-destructive, and doing things like drinking, smoking, and sneaking out to find trouble. Jake is angry, too, but he's more stoic, has a strong sense of right from wrong, and is fiercely protective of his loved ones -- including Danny. I just hope that he can save his brother from following in their late uncle's footsteps. I adore Danny, and I don't want to see him flounder.

At the police station, Anna is on a mission to expand her police force, so she has extended a job offer to Dex. Please, make it make sense. Until a few weeks ago, Dex was happily embedded in Sonny's criminal organization, doing whatever it is that junior mobsters do working their way up the mob ladder of success. Anna's justification for such an outrageous hire is that ex-criminals make better cops because they know what it's like to succumb to the lure of the dark side. I guess she never heard that it also makes them susceptible to bribes -- like the moles she mentioned in her own police department that are on Sonny's payroll.

Folks, my brother is a detective, and I remember all the hoops that he had to jump through just to get into the police academy. One of the first things they did was run a background check on him because even a whiff of criminal activity would have disqualified him. I appreciate that the writers want to redeem Dex from being Sonny's enforcer-in-training, but I don't think this was the way to go. It would have been better if it had been revealed that Dex had been planted by John in the private security firm he'd been recruited from to keep an eye on Jason as Jason infiltrated the Pikeman organization as a mercenary. Michael's job offer to Dex could have just been a happy coincidence that worked in their favor.

It would have been a great twist and given Dex the reset that the writers had been hoping for. I'm willing to give the writers a pass on this one because they have been hard at work shuffling things around. Dex and Josslyn's relationship was always tainted by Josslyn's hypocrisy because, while she railed against Sonny and his countless sins, she was falling for a guy that she met in a stairwell, beating a sleazy reporter to a bloody pulp.

I applauded Josslyn when she ended things with Dex because he had crossed a hard line for her -- murder. The thing is, I don't see how becoming a cop changes that for Dex. If he'd been willing to kill for a mobster, what would he do in the pursuit of justice? That's another problem to consider when you hire criminals to safeguard the public. Of course, none of those things will matter to Josslyn because she will be able to rekindle things with Dex without feeling a smidgen of guilt. All's well that ends well.

I was also happy to see Josslyn and Trina mend fences. Trina has been struggling with depression, grief, and anger because Jason's loved ones had their prayers answered, but she did not. Hopefully, she only has a month or two more before she, too, gets her miracle. Someone has to expose Uncle Valentin's evil plot, especially since Nikolas is currently locked up in jail for the foreseeable future.

Random thoughts and observations

I hope Carly stocks up on plenty of humble pie at Bobbie's because Kristina is soon going to be eating a whole lot of it. Kristina's lectures about Jason's guilt to Molly and Josslyn reminded me of all the reasons that I just can't stand her these days.

It's time to wake up Lulu. Not just for Rocco, but for Charlotte, too. Eventually, Valentin's secrets will catch up with him, and I think Laura has her hands full raising Ace.

Has anyone else noticed that the brick wall by Bobbie's has suddenly been replaced by a bridge in the background? Is that the bridge that Jason jumped from?

Reader feedback

I hope Ava hooks up with Sonny and Nina loses her mind. I hope Nina forgets about Carly and goes after Ava. Ava will fight back. Then Carly can have a break. I used to enjoy watching Nina. She was the most interesting thing on the show sometimes, but I have to mute her now. I get sick of hearing her absolve herself and hold everyone else to higher standings. She even had the nerve to bring up Drew going to prison because of Carly even though it was Nina that helped put him there. -- Kasi Blake

NO, NO, NO, when it comes to Heather Webber. She was committing crimes and havoc for over 20 years before she got that hip replacement and it would have taken years for the hip replacement to start deteriorating. -- JDF

I thought it weird and strange and clumsy writing that Anna says her eyes are opened about Sonny when she heard he had changed his mind about a killing and stopped it. He stopped the murder order. How does that change her mind? Was she changed because of the Pikeman thing? Valentin was knee deep in that one. And Joss ignored that aspect of things too -- Katherine. Benson

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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