The way we were -- and could have been
For the Week of November 12, 2018
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Nina introduces Franco to her daughter, Sasha
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Misty water-colored memories shared between lovers and scattered pictures of a childhood built on lies left some feeling bittersweet about the past and others pondering if they had a chance to do it all again, would they? Could they?

Valentin, that bastard, lied. No, it was more than a lie. It was a betrayal of the worst kind.

Before I delve into my thoughts about Valentin, I want to take a moment to tip my hat to the writers. They definitely pulled a fast one on me.

I truly believed that Valentin had learned the error of his ways and was a genuinely reformed bad boy, but it turns out that neither is true. To be clear, I fully expected there to be missteps and bumps along the way -- he is a Cassadine -- but I thought he had turned a corner because his love for Nina was stronger than the pull to the dark side. I was wrong about everything. Valentin is a dirty rotten scoundrel, and he's fully aware that Sasha is a complete fraud because he's in on it. Why Valentin would do such a rotten thing to Nina remains to be seen, but it doesn't really matter because nothing can excuse him giving Nina fraudulent DNA test results -- twice -- and passing off an imposter as the child she longed for.

There is no endgame that can justify betraying a loved one like that.

Valentin is setting Nina up for the absolute worst kind of heartache imaginable. One that she's suffered repeatedly through the years. A loss that once drove her to snap and do the unimaginable by stealing a child straight from a mother's womb. It was horrific and one of the darkest moments in GH's history.

Seeing Nina's visit with Franco during Friday's episode was a reminder of just how fragile Nina is. Sure, she's quirky, but part of that stems from her precarious grasp on her sanity and her unfulfilled desire to be a mother. That's why Nina's observation about Franco raising three boys and her finally having a daughter of her own was so bittersweet. It nearly destroyed her when Franco refused to raise a family with her.

In hindsight, Sasha's ignorance about the necklace that Nina wears was significant. We now know that we should be looking for the girl with the other half of Nina's heart pendant.

Could that be the secret that Willow is hiding? Did her search for her birth mother lead her to the discovery that the woman who arranged her adoption -- Madeline Reeves --- had recently passed away? It's possible, but I have another theory.

I suspect that Willow is mourning the infant that she gave up for adoption.

As a teacher, Willow could have easily hidden an unplanned pregnancy then quietly given birth to a child over the summer without any nosy parents or coworkers being any the wiser. Having done everything in secret would limit who she could talk to about moving forward without her child, which might make group therapy for grieving parents look appealing.

There's a reason that Willow and Michael first met at group therapy. I'm certain that it's because she will be the key to Michael's reunion with Jonah.

I want this farce to end because I can't stand listening to Brad paint himself as the accidental accomplice in Nelle's nefarious scheme. Brad could have made things right up until the minute he entered the hospital with Jonah without suffering any consequences. Sure, Lucas would have been heartbroken over losing their adopted son, but Brad and Lucas could have worked through that grief and perhaps have emerged on the other side stronger and closer than ever.

I'm not sure if I saw sparks between Chase and Willow, but I definitely saw them between her and Michael. Frankly, I'm far more interested in Chase's relationship with Finn and finding out why Finn is so determined not to have any contact with Chase's mother.

It's almost as if Finn fears what the woman has to say. I'm intrigued with the endless possibilities that might explain Finn's strange behavior. Are Finn and his stepmother harboring a deep, dark secret? Most definitely, because this is a soap opera, and both Gregory and Chase seem genuinely mystified by what could have driven Finn away.

I'm sure most already know where I'm headed with this. It wouldn't shock me in the least if it was revealed that Chase was Finn's son, not his brother. To be honest, I like the idea of Chase being Finn's son. It's far more interesting than two estranged brothers overcoming the past, and it creates more challenges for both Finn and Chase. Also, an explosive paternity secret would certainly explain Finn's reluctance to have any contact with Chase's mother, his decision to sever ties with his family for decades, and Finn's rejection of Chase when Chase first turned up in Port Charles.

Chase had quite the busy week. Besides dealing with family drama and working up the nerve to ask a cute teacher out, he joined the hunt for Mary Pat's killer.

Chase and Jordan paid Franco a visit to get some insight into a killer's mind. Elizabeth, fearing that Franco was the prime suspect in Mary Pat's grisly murder, defended her boo, but Franco wasn't worried because he knew that he hadn't committed the horrific crime. He offered Jordan and Chase a glimpse into the mind of a killer then ominously warned them that the "Trick-or-treat Killer" would strike again.

While Jordan was hot on the trail of a killer, Spencer, that little scamp, decided to try his hand at election tampering by stacking the ballots in Laura's favor. He hoped to cheer her up after being abruptly dumped by "Kevin."

I'm not sure what I found more insulting: the idea that election tampering is presumably so easy that even a child can do it or the suggestion that a poll worker would let Curtis walk off with a handful of ballots to take to his girlfriend, the police commissioner.

I'm not an election expert by any stretch of the imagination, but even I know that there's a protocol in place if someone finds that one of the machines was tampered with -- and I'm pretty sure that it doesn't include permitting a non-election official traipsing off with rejected ballots. The storyline was absurd, and I questioned the wisdom of airing it on a day when millions of Americans were going to the polls to cast ballots amid fears of election meddling.

I adore Nicolas Bechtel, but was that really the best use of Spencer? When Spencer first popped up on Laura and Kevin's doorstep, I had hoped that he was there to help expose Ryan. I thought for sure that keen and observant Spencer would realize right away that something was very off with "Kevin." Yet, each encounter passed without Spencer noticing that Kevin was suddenly acting like a stranger.

I think it's such a huge missed opportunity to exclude Spencer from the Ryan storyline and a complete waste of Nicolas' talent.

Despite my disappointment, I took comfort in the knowledge that Laura was poised to rescue her husband from Ferncliff when she teamed up with Carly to investigate the asylum -- and learn more about the patient who'd been assigned to the room next to Carly's. I had such high hopes for this storyline until Jason and Sam hijacked it with their hijinks.

Don't get me wrong, I look forward to seeing Jason and Sam's story, but this isn't it. The adventure that rekindles their relationship should be about them and the challenges that they will face as a couple raising two children.

The scenes at Ferncliff were as preposterous as the election-tampering nonsense.

It's ludicrous to suggest that two leather-clad individuals skulking down the hallways of a facility for the criminally insane would go unnoticed. Never mind the security cameras that would be all over a place like Ferncliff, but what about the staff? Are we seriously expected to believe that Jason and Sam managed to avoid all the cameras and human eyes as they made their way through a high-security ward for the worst of the offenders?

And why exactly was Nelle put there?

As I recall, Nelle was found guilty of her crimes, but not by reason of insanity. Nelle has lost her edge if she believed that a stunt like that would get her an early release, because even if Nelle had suffered a breakdown in prison, she wouldn't have been granted parole once she recovered from the breakdown. Nelle would have simply been shipped back to Pentonville to finish serving out her sentence.

The only saving grace about Jason and Sam's danger-games at Ferncliff was that they didn't find Kevin, which means that Laura is still in a position to save the day. I just need Jason and Sam to stay out of Laura's way long enough to get the job done.

Well, folks, it looks like Daisy is indeed a cult recruiter. If she isn't, then she does a darn fine impression of one. First, Daisy saved the day when she jumped up to cure Oscar's brain tumor-induced migraine with a gentle head massage, a feat that she claimed all her "friends" could perform. Next, she handed Kristina a book titled Every Day is a New Dawn and promised that the book was transformative.

You could practically see the twinkle of fanaticism in Daisy's eyes as Kristina accepted the gift horse.

The writers have set things up perfectly because both Kristina and Oscar are two lost souls, and each is vulnerable to outside influences, especially when they promise the sun and the moon. Kim's head is going to explode when she realizes that she will have to fight a cult to save her son's soul and his very life.

Finally, Sonny exposed Jeanette's affair with Joe Scully. Margaux was heartbroken when Jeanette reluctantly -- then rather belligerently -- admitted that she'd been stuck in a loveless marriage until Joe came along and swept Jeanette off her lonely feet. After persuading Joe to get rid of the obstacle that stood in their way to happily ever after, Jeanette and Joe sat back and waited for Vincent's greenhorn killer to be caught and sent to jail for the murder. They never counted on Sonny, then Mike, hiding the body well enough to remain hidden for decades.

I have no idea why Sonny didn't skedaddle as soon as Margaux had given her mother the boot. It's not like Sonny owed Margaux anything at that point, but he stayed. While Sonny called to let Carly know that he wouldn't be home until morning, Margaux read her mother's illicit love letters and drank herself into oblivion until she passed out on the floor.

The show ended with Sonny helping Margaux to the sofa then covering her with a blanket before settling down in a chair to ponder what life would have been like if he'd made different choices.

I have no doubt that Monday's show will be interesting and compelling, but will it go beyond that one night? Is Sonny indulging in a bit of self-pity because he had a front row seat to the pain that he inflicted on one of his victim's children -- or is Sonny doing a bit of real soul-searching because he intends to make some changes in his life?

If I sound skeptical, it's because I feel that we've been down this road with Sonny before. He periodically grapples with his guilt and tries to dig deep to find what drives him, but inevitably, he manages to make excuses to mitigate the damage he's done before returning to business as usual.

As a viewer, I want to see more. I want these bouts of introspection to mean something other than an opportunity to shine the spotlight on an actor.

Additionally, I want this to be a turning point for Margaux. She needs to right some of her own wrongs, starting with Drew. I know Drew decided against using the flash drive to recover his memories, but there's always a chance that he will change his mind.

Random observations

Why isn't Mary Pat's replacement questioning why "Kevin" ordered that a patient -- who looks exactly like him -- be restrained and heavily sedated? If this is a new and better Ferncliff, then shouldn't she be wondering why Mr. Wilson could pass for Kevin's dead evil twin?

Hey, did Sam ever get her private investigator's license? She went into business with Spinelli because he was the one with the P.I.'s license. I just think the writers should fix a stupid plot device if they are going to have Sam working with Curtis.

Kiki has good reason to worry about Sasha, not because Sasha made a pass at Griffin, but rather because Griffin didn't push Sasha away. Ava's plan is brilliant because she doesn't have to lift a finger to lead Griffin astray. It's in his nature to want what he has no business desiring.

You Scoops: Reader feedback

Oscar is annoying the hell out of me right now. As a judge, I wouldn't emancipate him. Yes, I think he has the right to choose whether he does the trial or not, and not be forced into it. But while he keeps saying he wants to live the rest of his life his own way, other than not undergoing the trial, what does that entail? Oscar had dropped out of school, and if it wasn't for the desire to be emancipated, he wouldn't have looked for a job or went back to school, as per Julian's job condition. He was literally doing nothing except rage at his parents, mope around about having cancer, and use his cancer as an excuse for being a jerk. -- Marci Robin

Why doesn't somebody muzzle Kim long enough for Drew to talk some sense into Oscar? Every single time Kim sees Oscar, she starts screeching about the drug trial. How about trying to talk to him about ANYTHING else so you can reestablish a connection with him? Oscar is scared and angry and he's lashing out at his parents, but he desperately needs at least one of them to support and guide him. -- Daffy Seyz

If I was a customer at the MetroCourt, and I looked around and saw Sasha, Kiki, Griffin, Nina, Valentin, and even Ava (with her spiffy new haircut), sitting there, I'd think that the hotel was hosting a model convention, or something, and that I was in the wrong place. Talk about some Beautiful People! I had to watch those scenes with my sunglasses on, to keep from being blinded by their combined supernatural attractiveness! -- Scrimmage

Fridays episode was interesting. Sasha admits that she is not Nina's daughter to Valentin and he seems to know that as well. But, if he is connected to Sasha, why did he plead with her to stay in PC when she decided to leave at first?? Hard to believe Valentine could be fooled. I am also guessing that the DNA sample supplied to Curtis came from Madeline. -- JDF

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to email me or leave a comment below.

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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