Shanks and kidneys
For the Week of June 3, 2019
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Shank's pledges are no more -- well, except for Willow's -- and Ryan has an opportunity to use his valuable kidneys to his advantage, but are our heroes and heroines truly victorious, or do our villains still have a few more tricks up their slippery little sleeves?

Well folks, it's over. Sam's con is finished, and everything went according to plan. At least, I think that Sam getting drugged, branded, and nearly raped was part of the plan. I don't know. She'd always been a bit vague on the details about what would transpire before Jason was expected to charge to the rescue and stop Shiloh from completing the disgusting final act of the ceremony. Regardless, Sam appears fine *coughs* and the pledges that weren't destroyed were returned to their rightful owners -- with the exception of Margaux's. Naturally, Jason sees another handy use for that little yoke around the D.A.'s neck.

Apparently, Jason and Sam are all about the victims, unless the victim is Margaux. I wonder if Jason and Sam realize that using the pledge against Margaux makes them no better than Shiloh. Yeah, I doubt it, too.

I loved it when Sam confronted Shiloh and told him how he had always made HER skin crawl, and I especially enjoyed Jason waving the results of Sam's drug test under Shiloh's hopefully broken nose. But the most satisfying part was the look on Shiloh's dirty, rotten face when he realized that they had him in checkmate. It was wonderful and everything that I'd been looking forward to -- until Jason and Sam had to ruin it by keeping Margaux's pledge.

Why not just do the right thing because being sucked into a cult is bad enough -- and likely to be the end of Margaux's career anyway. Let her have her pledge back so that she can pick up the pieces. I wonder if it ever crossed Jason and Sam's mind that giving Margaux that pledge -- unopened -- might have scored some huge points with her.

Better yet, help Margaux take down Shiloh and his cult, and perhaps give her an opportunity to save her career by arresting a cult leader who had drugged, raped, and branded women as part of an induction ceremony. Oh, and charged them $10,000 and blackmailed them with the pledges that they had offered. There were so many interesting ways that this could have gone, but Jason, Sam, and Sonny picking up where Shiloh left off was not one of them.

Of course, there's a better chance of a Triple Crown winner this year than that being the end of the pledges. Shiloh still has the recordings. I have no doubt about that. Why would Shiloh give up such a valuable piece of blackmail material when a recording and a signed pledge are so much better than one or the other? Shiloh is a liar, so anything that he says about the fate of those recordings must be taken with a grain of salt. Also, recordings can be copied, as can signed pledges. The original helps, but copies work fine when you have a signature.

After Jason and Sam dropped off Kristina and Willow's pledges, they celebrated their victory by taking their son out for a little birthday SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) then they made plans for Jason to move back in. Life is returning to normal, and all is well in their world.

But is it? Is it really?

What do you think is going to happen the first time that Sam goes to make love with Jason and that little tattoo makes its appearance? Remember all those terrible nightmares that she suffered after Franco abducted her?

It doesn't matter if Sam put herself in that situation or not, sexual assault is sexual assault. Make no mistake, Shiloh sexually assaulted Sam every bit as much as she accused Franco of doing when Franco drugged her then sprawled her out on the bed. The only difference was that Shiloh had carnal intentions, while Franco was all about the illusion and torturing Jason. However, the damage is exactly the same.

Plus, it's unlikely that Shiloh is just going to walk away from this. He believes a lot of the nonsense that he spouts.

Speaking of stupid things that people say, please explain what Sam was babbling about at the lighthouse when she told Jason, "I'm gonna be okay, Jason. I just -- I-I look at this table, and I thought I could fight him off, and I couldn't, and I just keep thinking about Kristina, and she -- she wouldn't have had anyone. I had you to come get me. And she would've been alone."

WHAT!?!

Jason rescued Kristina! He literally whisked her away just before Shiloh could brand and rape her. That's how Kristina got to the safehouse and began her exit therapy. The women that Sam should be concerned about are the women that Shiloh is going to bring into the Trust once he gets home from the hospital, or -- if by some bizarre random chance he does slink out of town -- the poor unsuspecting women in the town that he lands in. Who is going to save them?

That is why I think that Jason and Sam should have tried to work with Margaux to take Shiloh down. He's a sexual predator, and he won't stop until someone stops him.

Now, on to Kristina. The. Biggest. Coward. Ever.

I was so incredibly disappointed that Kristina took the easy way out and burned the pledge without coming clean to her victim. And that is exactly what Alexis is -- a victim. Alexis is the one who would have paid the price if that pledge had seen the light of day, and Alexis has far more at stake than Kristina, starting with Alexis' hard-fought sobriety and her law license. Alexis deserves the truth, and Kristina needs to stop acting like a child and be the adult that she claims to be.

The crux of my issue with Kristina is not that she got herself involved in a cult; it's that she threw her mother under the bus. She didn't share a secret about herself. No, she chose her mother. The one person that Kristina has always had the most contentious relationship with, which makes me think that part of Kristina's motivation when she gave that pledge was spite. All she had to do was share a secret about herself, but she saved herself and sacrificed her mother. I will never understand that.

It was subtle, but I saw the look of hurt on Alexis' face when she realized that her daughter had been willing to destroy her. Neil certainly has his work cut out, trying to fix this mess. It's going to take a lot of forgiveness from Alexis.

Kristina burned her pledge, but Willow foolishly tossed hers on her desk at school. If I were in Las Vegas, I'd be putting a stack of cash on the odds of that envelope landing in Nina's hot little mitts.

What kind of deep, dark secret could an innocent teenage virgin have had that would satisfy a deviant like Shiloh to accept it as entry into the Trust? I'm dying to find out. Did she kill someone? If she did, I'm certain that there were mitigating circumstances because Willow is as deadly as a newborn bunny.

It's not that I think that Willow is harmless. She can be feisty, and she has a temper and sharp tongue, but she's no Nelle Hayes. She's not ruthless or malicious.

I really do want Willow to be Nina's daughter because I can't wait to see the look on Nina's face when she realizes that the woman that she has spent months torturing with insults, outrageous accusations, and endless threats is the child who was stolen from Nina. I just know it would be every bit as good as when Bobbie learned that Carly was her daughter or when Alexis and Sam made the same explosive discovery. I pray that Michelle Stafford will still be in the role if and when that happens.

That is in no way a reflection on Cynthia Watros, because I think that she's going to be phenomenal as Nina, especially with leading men like James Patrick Stuart and Ingo Rademacher to work with, but Michelle's Nina is the one who has been on Willow like a hot, festering rash since the day they met, so she's the one that I want to see react to the news that she's been bullying her own precious child, especially after that nasty encounter during the Nurses Ball.

And to me, Nina is a bully, at least in regard to her interactions with other women. In fact, it's more than ironic that a woman who has zero female friendships -- outside of family members -- runs a fashion magazine for women. She's all about empowering women, yet she continually tears the women around her down. Lulu, Elizabeth, Willow, and pretty much anyone else who doesn't buy into Nina's own lofty view of herself.

I say this because it was painfully obvious during Nina's meeting with Jax that she has absolutely no business running Crimson. She was completely out of her depth, and it's a testament to Maxie's genius that the magazine hasn't gone under. Listening to Nina explain that she doesn't work Fridays -- unless absolutely necessary, and then only on a limited basis -- was embarrassing. Equally tragic was Nina's lack of knowledge on how to read spreadsheets. She's been running Crimson for a few years; she should have learned by now. I couldn't believe that she had the nerve to question Jax's experience, especially since he once owned Crimson. How could she not know the history of her own magazine?

I adore Nina, I do, but I have always felt that her role at Crimson was more about Nina playing independent career woman than her actually being one. I commend Jax for offering to teach Nina about spreadsheets rather than firing her on the spot, but it proved to me that Jax has an ulterior motive for wanting to work with Nina, and I'm not referring to the obvious attraction simmering between them. As he warned Nina, he did his homework. Jax always does his homework, which is why he's a successful corporate raider.

I'm looking forward to where this is headed because Jax -- and his nefarious brother Jerry -- has history with the Cassadines. Is Nina a pawn in a bigger game? Probably. However, Jax is also a gentleman, and it's in his nature to rescue the damsel in distress. Nina has far more to fear from Valentin than she does from Jax. Valentin is the one who orchestrated Sasha's deception.

Meanwhile, Ryan has joined the ranks of indestructible killers like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger. You can blow him up, drown him, chop off limbs, and stab him, but he just keeps coming back. Despite having a great big chef knife plunged into his back, Ryan lived to tell the tale. Not only that, he actually thought that he could buy his freedom with a kidney. Hahaha.

I was so happy that Curtis marched right back to Jordan's hospital room and filled both the mayor and his wife in on Ryan's ridiculous demand. Until that scene, I had worried that Curtis might have considered taking Ryan up on it. Hey, it's a soap opera, and I've seen some pretty crazy stuff over the years. Still, a sigh of relief that Curtis did the right thing.

The previews suggest that Curtis and Finn discuss making certain that Ryan doesn't wake up from surgery, but I suspect that is misleading. As tempting as it would be for everyone to let Ryan die, it would be next to impossible to commit murder in an operating room full of doctors and nurses, especially when an organ is being harvested for a transplant. Plus, Finn is not a killer; he's a healer.

Of course, someone could kill Ryan after the surgery. That won't be a difficult task since they have Barney Fife guarding him, letting whoever strolls by have a few minutes alone with the prisoner, including Ryan's victims. At one point, Curtis shook Ryan like a rag doll while Barney stood outside the hospital room, looking at everything except the prisoner. It's the perfect setup for a murder.

Although, kudos to Finn for that Jedi mind trick he pulled on Ryan to get Ryan to lower his expectations and focus on more practical needs. You could practically hear the wheels grinding as Ryan contemplated bargaining for a nice federal prison and luxury jail cell. Foolish man -- as if his future will last that long!

As for Kevin, I think that he should consider cutting his hair and maybe growing in some scruff for a little while. It might help him, and Ryan's victims, put some distance between themselves and that maniac.

It might also nip that little problem Kevin has growing with Ava in the bud. As long as Kevin looks like Ryan, Ava is going to see the man that she thought that Ryan was. It's not going to be easy for her to let that go when kindhearted Kevin is walking around wanting to atone for his brother's sins. I don't want Ava to try to seduce Kevin away from Laura because I actually like the idea of Ava and Laura being friends. I don't want a man to get in the way of that, especially Kevin.

Luckily, Ava has Julian, and he's one awesome big brother. That man is always there for his sister, and he proves time and again that he has a good heart. It's one of the reasons that I'm tired of Sam's attitude toward her father. She needs to get off her high horse and forgive him. Sam has no room to point fingers because, unlike Julian, she is running around with a known mobster. And Sam breaks the law more than her father does these days. That stunt that Sam pulled over at the DOD house was shady, at best, and more than likely felonious. If it wasn't, I know that conspiracy to blackmail the district attorney certainly is.

Finally, Drew and Kim decided to take their son's urn to Tanzania, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and sprinkle Oscar's ashes at the peak where Oscar had always dreamed of going. As this unfolded, real life was intruding with pictures and news reports of overcrowding on Mt. Everest that experts believe contributed -- at least in part -- to the deaths of numerous hikers. After reading several articles, I had a much more jaded view of Drew and Kim's quest.

I don't blame the writers because they had no way of knowing. However, it does make me wonder if the news might impact what we see. Will we be privy to the trek that Drew and Kim take, or will it all occur off-screen?

I'm also curious to see if this trip will change things between Drew and Kim, and if Drew will decide after this journey to seek out his past memories. I know that Drew doesn't want to risk losing his memories of Oscar, but we all know that the key to Shank's downfall is hidden in Drew's past. That's why Shank periodically tries to test Drew's memory. I find myself hoping that Drew will take a chance and work with Andre to become whole. I recall that it was what Oscar had wanted for his father long ago.

Random observations

I wonder if Harmony, whose name was Lorraine Miller before joining Dawn of Day, is related to Diane Miller. Could they be sisters? That would be a great twist.

I chuckled when Franco praised the staff of GH for knowing how to save Ryan's worthless life. I imagine that they are quite experienced with removing knives from people's backs around there.

Does Brad not get that he's one paternity test away from being exposed as a baby napper? The minute that Willow learns that Wiley is not Shiloh's son, she's going to start asking questions. If I were him, I'd be talking to an attorney, not Julian.

Reader feedback

Molly should be a featured character on this show. There's no one else who has her combination of youth, beauty, intelligence, and undeniable energy. She practically JUMPS off the screen! I was both shocked, and pleasantly surprised that TPTB remembered, much less acknowledged that Molly is a published author, AND an English Lit major. -- Scrimmage

The Ryan confrontation was very dissatisfying. They tried to make the excuse that Ryan wanted to make Kevin suffer through Laura's dying in an explosive fire, but that seemed pretty weak. And I'm sorry, but I really think most people (especially Laura) would try to fight back with a one handed psycho killer, instead of crouching and screaming. After all, we KNOW nothing good will come of his taking control. And OF COURSE the knots were loose...two adults were tied up by a one handed man! -- Kim LaSota

Didn't cha "love" the convenient attic exit that only Shiloh knew about? -- WideAwake in Sleepy Eye

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to drop me a line 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 soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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