Cats in the Cradle

For the Week of May 27, 2024
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It was a week of tragedy as one family lost their patriarch to a sudden death and another family is slowly losing theirs to his demons that are going unchecked. Will Finn's grief send him spiraling into destructive relapse and a breakup with Elizabeth? How far will Sonny spiral before someone saves him from his worst impulses? Let's find out in this week's Two Scoops of heartbreak and self-destruction.

We all knew it would happen -- sooner rather than later -- yet when Gregory passed away, it still hit hard. The truth is, there is no preparing for the death of a loved one, whether there's plenty of warning or it's sudden. The pain and grief are the same.

In Gregory's case, his death came after a day filled with love and joy as his son and new bride celebrated their wedding with friends and family. Gregory had the honor of officiating the marriage, he got to see his granddaughter perform a special song that she'd written for the newlyweds, and he even got to have a heart-to-heart talk with Finn and cleared the air about the ugly argument they'd had the night before the wedding. That is a lot more than many get, so I was happy that Gregory passed with a clear conscience.

My fear when Gregory began having breathing issues was that he would have a crisis, and no one would be around to help him. I definitely didn't want him to be alone and frightened when his time came, so I was very pleased that the writers gave him a peaceful death, complete with a touching montage of snapshots of Gregory's life through the years and snippets of poignant moments with the people he cherished. I was a weepy mess.

Then I got on social media, and my heart broke all over again. There were people who were actually angry that Gregory died in his sleep rather than by a slow progression of ALS or in a hail of gunfire meant for Sonny. Personally, I think it was perfect for Gregory. He was a gentle and kindhearted soul who'd already been dealt a rotten hand with a terminal diagnosis. I didn't need to see a realistic death from ALS because I've watched enough people in my life succumb to cancer and disease. What we saw was more than enough to show us what this awful disease does to a person.

Gregory's death hit Finn particularly hard because he and Gregory had only reconciled in recent years after being estranged for decades. Michael Easton has done a fantastic job conveying Finn's heartache over losing his beloved father. The minute that Gregory didn't reply, you could tell that Finn knew deep in his soul that his dad was gone. When he approached Gregory's bedroom door and hesitated to enter, I felt that to my core. For those brief few seconds, his dad was still a part of this world. There was still hope. Hope for another conversation, hope for another hug, hope for another day with the love and support of his dad.

Opening that door changed everything. Before long, Finn was reaching for a drink to help numb the pain of his loss. By the time Elizabeth showed up, Finn was into his second drink. Naturally, she was rattled when she saw the open bottle of bourbon on the table because this is familiar territory for her. Lucky struggled with addiction, too, and he put her young son Cameron in danger when his pills fell out of his pocket. I think that's why she was adamant that Violet leave with her. Violet is her niece, so she's extra protective of her.

I get that Finn was lashing out at Elizabeth because he was hurting, but it really bothered me that he actually insisted on keeping Violet there, knowing that he'd been drinking and making reckless choices. That was not cool, grief or no grief. Finn was -- until that point -- a recovering addict, and even though alcohol was never his drug of choice, it can be just as addictive and destructive as opiates.

I don't think that exchange will be the end for Finn and Elizabeth, but I suspect that Elizabeth's trust in Portia was misplaced. At some point, that is going to come back and bite her because Portia's expression suggested that she was concerned about Finn as both a friend and his boss. Truthfully, if that is the catalyst for Finn and Elizabeth breaking up, I'm okay with that because lately they seem more friends than lovers. I want more for Elizabeth than a safe and boring relationship.

It also didn't escape my notice that Finn didn't call Elizabeth to share the news with her. She had to hear it from Chase. I found that odd but quite telling.

Poor Chase is also reeling. He thought there would be more time. More time to say all those things he had wanted to say to his father but never quite get around to. He felt blindsided and regretted what was left unsaid, but the truth is, Chase and Gregory had a close and loving bond that had always been on rock solid ground. There was nothing left unsaid because Chase has always been an open book with his father. Gregory knew that Chase grew up feeling loved, happy, and supported. In the end, that is all that really matters to a parent. Gregory got to see Chase grow up and find the woman he loved, so there were no unresolved issues between Gregory and his youngest son.

Finn and Gregory were a slightly different story. Their recent exchange when Gregory -- in the heat of the moment -- threw Finn's betrayal with Jackie in Finn's face dredged up some ugly things for Finn. Gregory instantly regretted it, and he promised that he hadn't been holding onto old resentments, but it quickly became clear that Finn never quite made peace with that part of their past. His love for Gregory was real, but I think Finn never entirely forgave himself for how he chose to deal with his father's way of coping with grief.

We will find out in the coming weeks, but I have a feeling that things won't be as easy as Finn attending a meeting to regain his sobriety.

I want to take a moment to recognize the splendid job that Jophielle Love did in her scenes with Michael Easton when Finn broke the devastating news to Violet. Kids on soaps are generally little more than props. They are there for appearances and -- as a general rule -- are nothing like real children. They are neat little buggers who keep all their toys picked up, are wise beyond their years yet as innocent as the day is long, prefer the company of adults, have an uncanny ability to pick up on things that most kids wouldn't, and are unfazed by change, which is good because their parents seldom stay together.

It's a shame that the writing for soap kids isn't better because when it is, we get scenes like the ones that Violet had with Brook Lynn in Bobbie's. Jophielle did a fabulous job of conveying Violet's genuine fear that she might forget her grandfather. Earlier, when Finn first told Violet that Gregory had died in his sleep, she took me back to when I had to tell my own young children about their uncle's sudden passing in his sleep. Like Violet, my daughter had asked in the same frightened tone, "That can happen?" It gutted me then, and it did again when Violet asked it.

Elsewhere in Port Charles, Anna can't seem to make up her mind when it comes to Sonny. Does she want to take Sonny down or not? I have no clue, but she's giving me whiplash with all her back-and-forth. Case in point: Anna's talk with Dex when she told him that it might not be the right time to take down Sonny. What? People have been trying to take Sonny down for over two decades. When exactly is the right time? I love Anna, but she sounded like an idiot.

This redemption arc with Dex is just not resonating with me, mainly because he hasn't paid for any of the crimes he committed while working as Sonny's enforcer-in-training, and he acts like he's done nothing wrong except show loyalty to a bad guy. I also have an issue with Dex's attitude that he didn't betray Sonny, which is patently false. Dex was hired under false pretenses with the intention of taking Sonny down. Just because the mission changed midstream and he grew to like Sonny doesn't make his initial actions any less deceptive. I don't find Dex to be all that honorable because he seems to toggle between good and bad with incredible ease.

I'm not excusing what Sonny did, but Dex's hands aren't clean, either. Yes, Sonny gave the order to kill Cyrus, but Dex always had the option not to do it. Sonny would have been pissed and kicked him out of the organization, but Dex would have walked away alive without having committed murder. Instead, Dex gives the impression that he had no free will, while ignoring the fact that Sonny ultimately stopped him from killing Cyrus. Always getting a free pass from everyone irks me, too.

Josslyn, on the other hand, is scoring huge points with me lately. I loved what she said about not wanting to get stuck in a cycle of breaking up and getting back together with Dex because she has no desire to repeat Sonny and Carly's toxic history. Brava! She was also clear that love wasn't the issue; she broke up with Dex because he'd been willing to commit cold-blooded murder. I appreciate it when a character can recognize their own shortcomings and strive to do better. For quite some time, I've really disliked the young woman that Josslyn became, but in recent months, she has really grown as a person.

Then there's Kristina, who is in her thirties and acting like she hasn't had a front row seat to who her father is since at least 2010. As awful as that melee with Sonny, Dex, and Jason was, Kristina's pearl clutching seemed a little too much. Longtime viewers know better because we've seen Kristina deal with this very issue over the years and have some pretty hard conversations with her father. She has seen plenty of examples of Sonny's violent side, including when he shot Dante in the chest. She's also seen Sonny through several manic episodes caused by his bipolar disorder.

It's why it was so frustrating to me when Kristina would get worked up about people like Josslyn and T.J. calling Sonny out on his garbage. This new version of Kristina might have had blinders on, but the old Kristina most definitely didn't. She knew exactly who Sonny was -- and what he was capable of -- but she also knew there was another side of him. Like everyone in Port Charles, she just focused on the good side of Sonny because he's her dad and she loved him.

What mystifies me is that no one is questioning Sonny's medication, especially with Ava living under his roof. At this point, Sonny is practically walking around with a neon sign flashing that his bipolar disorder is going unchecked. He's irrational, paranoid, violent, and borderline delusional. He's acting exactly like Morgan did when Morgan was faithfully taking his placebos. Does Sonny need to blow up in a car for someone to realize that maybe history is repeating itself? I don't get it. Carly actually raised the idea that his meds might need adjusting and suggested he go get his blood tested, but she didn't follow up with him. I thought that's why she showed up at Sonny's penthouse to talk to him, but instead, she just stood there arguing with him and giving Ava more fodder to use against her. Grrr!

Ava is turning out to be quite the manipulator and secret schemer. Not only has she been playing with fire by exploiting Sonny's mental health crisis to her advantage, but it seems a few years back, she laid the groundwork for Alexis to have her law license revoked. It made me wonder, could there be more than meets the eye to what her real agenda is with Sonny? It never made sense to me that she would suddenly trash her friendship with Nina over a crush on Sonny. I get why Ava would want to be in Sonny's good graces, but wouldn't she garner more good will if she told him that an enemy had found a way to tamper with his medication?

I also can't quite understand why Ava would put Avery in such a precarious situation, knowing that Sonny was sliding further into the abyss of mental illness and becoming increasingly more volatile and dangerous. Why take such a risk, especially after losing her firstborn to a violent end?

However, the twist with Alexis got me to thinking. What if Ava's true mission is revenge. Could it be that Ava has been biding her time to get back at all of those who had wronged her? What Nina did to Ava when Avery was born was the stuff of nightmares and unforgiveable, yet Ava seemingly managed to get past it and strike up a friendship with Nina. Or did she? Did Nina's accusation a few weeks ago about Ava manipulating her into reporting Carly and Drew to the SEC have a kernel of truth to it? Was revenge the real reason that Ava sabotaged Nina's efforts at reconciliation with Sonny?

If so, then could the real reason that Ava is keeping Sonny in the dark about his meds be that she wants him to completely unravel and self-destruct as payback for years of hostility and killing Julian? I realize that Ava and Julian weren't on good terms when he died, but that doesn't mean that she didn't love him or that she was okay with Sonny shooting him just before that bridge collapsed.

Ava on a revenge tour makes so much more sense because it's completely in character to who she is.

That brings me to Alexis and her bid to get her law license reinstated. Before the hearing started, trouble slithered into the courtroom in the form of Neil Byrne's brother Fergus. Neil truly was the best of the bunch. Fergus is a bitter, unpleasant man who apparently didn't bother to read the police reports in the deaths of his brothers or keep up with the news.

Fergus sounded like a lunatic suggesting that both of his brothers would still be alive if not for Alexis. Utter nonsense. Harmony Miller murdered Neil because Neil was her psychiatrist, and he knew that she'd stolen Willow from Nina with Madeline Reeves's blessing. It had nothing to do with Alexis except that Harmony chose to kill Neil in Alexis' bed by injecting him with an overdose of heroin that Cyrus had been distributing throughout Port Charles at the time. When Brendan Byrne discovered Harmony's case file, he chose to blackmail her for money in exchange for his silence rather than report her to the police. For his trouble, he got in a scuffle with Harmony and ended up falling over the edge of a cliff to his death.

I want Martin Grey back. He was far more charming and a lot more grounded in reality.

Random thoughts and observations

I love the addition of Giovanni Mazza as Giovanni "Gio" Palimeri to the cast. He's clearly a gifted violinist, and I can't wait for more performances. I like his energy, too.

It didn't escape my notice that Blaze and Kristina were awfully comfortable referring to the baby as Kristina's rather than Molly and T.J.'s. This is such an awful storyline because Kristina is the one who badgered Molly and T.J. into agreeing to this arrangement, and now it's going to blow up in everyone's faces. I hope T.J. wins the custody battle.

Did I hear Tracy right? Stella -- a patient advocate -- practically runs the hospital. Is that why Felicia was scheduling the nurses' shifts a few weeks back?

If Anna wants to take Sonny down, she might want to reopen the investigation into Julian Jerome's death. I believe there was security footage of the events that unfolded on the bridge right before the collapse that showed Sonny shooting Julian.

Why was Sasha -- a recovering addict -- having a few glasses of wine with Cody before the wedding guests arrived for the after-party?

Reader feedback

Um, did anyone check that bouquet that Val sent Anna for a bug? Is Anna and Jason's entire conversation being recorded? -- Missez Premise

I like the direction the new writers are taking most of the characters. Laura not at all. To me she should be Lila. The wise mentor that encourages everyone. Her defense of Heather is not Laura that we have come to love! The writers are making it sound like Heather and her were friends growing up. They weren't. They were never in high school together. Heather started on the show as a nanny for Diana. She immediately set her sights on Jeff Weber who was married to Monica at the time. Laura was a high school student and had her own storyline. Technically, Heather became her aunt when she married Jeff. The two of them were never in the same scene together in the early days. I must say that a lot of Heather's escapades were when Laura was presumed dead or traveling with Luke. Please take Laura back to being wise. -- Terry

When a major character is "killed" off," and then returns after a few years, it's nearly impossible to come up with a plausible explanation for why they didn't get in touch with their families and friends to let them know they were alive, without making the character look bad. Such is the case with Jason's choice to protect Carly at the expense of his own family's grief. Sure, it seems out of character, or maybe not, but either way, I think we have to accept that Jason was in a no-win situation, and that he would've been criticized no matter WHAT choices he made. That's just the price these characters have to pay when they do things like come back from the dead. It shouldn't reflect poorly on them, since they're at the mercy of the writers to figure out the gory details of their lives, and their motives for doing whatever they did during their time away from the show. -- Scrimmage

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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