Mayhem most foul, and other shenanigans and chicanery
For the Week of July 15, 2019
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Hayden returned with a big splash to celebrate her sister's wedding, but she appears to have misplaced something important -- her child. Meanwhile, someone shoved Liesl overboard, and the tides have turned against Shiloh as his most loyal sirens defect to the other side. Grab your life vests, folks -- we have rough seas ahead.

Hayden Barnes is back, and she made certain that everyone knew it with a divinely dramatic entrance worthy of a soap opera. Naturally, Hayden is full of secrets and interesting new connections. But let's start with the big one. What happened to Hayden's baby?

We know that Hayden didn't miscarry the baby as she had told Finn because we saw her leave that hotel room, very much pregnant, when she flew off to parts unknown. If the unthinkable had happened, and she had lost the baby later on in her pregnancy, then I don't see why Hayden wouldn't be willing to tell Finn about it. It would only be natural to share the loss of a child with the father, even if you had lied about the timing of that loss.

The very fact that Hayden isn't saying things like, "I had a boy/girl," "the baby is interred at...," or "I decided to honor you by naming him/her Shark/Charque Finn Berlin" tells me more than her silence or any lies ever could. I'm certain that baby Shark Finn is out there and with someone that Hayden trusts. If I had to guess, I would say Hayden's mother earned herself an early parole, and Naomi is currently caring for the baby in an undisclosed location, hoping to make up for all the times she let poor "Rachel" down.

It's also possible -- but admittedly a long shot -- that Hayden turned to Tracy Quartermaine for help, but I don't think that's a secret that Tracy would be able to keep from Finn for long. Tracy had a special place in her cold little heart for Finn, and she would have felt compelled to tell him about his child's existence within months.

What is clear is that Liz has no idea that she has a young nephew or niece out there, since she hasn't asked Hayden about the child. Luckily for Hayden, Liz is the very last person to ever judge anyone about paternity secrets, so Liz will be quick to forgive her sister and perhaps offer a few pointers on how to make amends and move forward.

By the way, are we to presume that Finn took care of Hayden's legal troubles when he bailed the hospital out of financial difficulties with the sale of his Blackwood's syndrome patent? I could have sworn that Hayden was facing some serious legal troubles because she had embezzled a small fortune from the hospital to pay her blackmailing ex-husband to keep quiet about her role in a drunk-driving accident that had left a young girl paralyzed and him serving time for Hayden's crime.

Not that it matters, because Hayden is going to have bigger fish to fry when she starts working with Nina, especially now that Valentin and Nina suspect that Jax is linked to Cassandra Pierce. Does this mean that Jerry is lurking in the wings? His name seems to be on a lot of lips these days.

I love Sebastian Roche, so I have no problem if Jerry rears his handsome head to stir up a bit of trouble for a few people, in particular Valentin. It's time for Valentin's lies to be exposed, at least the ones pertaining to Nina's daughter. Nina needs to be freed from that toxic relationship, but not necessarily so that she can fall into Jax's strong, tan arms. I'm not in a rush because Hayden and Jax could be interesting, too.

The truth is, I'm still getting to know the new Nina. She's the unknown factor in all of this, since she's the only character being played by a different actor, and while I'm definitely a fan of Cynthia Watros -- she's beautiful and very talented -- her version of Nina is very different from Michelle Stafford's broken Nina. New Nina seems stronger, more confident, even-keeled, and far less paranoid about the motivations of others.

Frankly, I don't mind these changes at all. I enjoyed Michelle Stafford's performances immensely, but that version of Nina was insecure around other women, a bully, and easily upset. She had shown very little growth in recent years, and I remarked on several occasions how ill-suited Nina had been as editor-in-chief of an elite fashion magazine. We've even had characters comment that Maxie was the driving force behind the magazine, so it was clearly intentional writing.

However, Cynthia's Nina appears more than capable of matching wits with Jax and going toe-to-toe against Hayden. There's been much-needed growth in Nina, and I want to see where it goes, but I also want to see elements of what I liked about Nina. Her sense of humor, her tenacity, and the special connection that she shares with certain people that she holds dear. So far, Cynthia has mainly shared scenes with Valentin and Jax, which is why I need more time to get to know her.

Moving on, who in the world allowed Oscar to believe that he could bequeath his shares of ELQ to anyone? Oscar was a minor when he died, so he had zero control of his shares. His parents were in charge of the stock until he came of age, since Oscar never went through with becoming emancipated. The idea that Oscar's will would go to probate is laughable. Again, he was a minor, so setting up charities and designating beneficiaries of his estate was not in his power without the consent of his primary guardian.

It genuinely baffled me that no one questioned how completely unsurprised Shiloh was by this little request of Oscar's. That could only mean that Shiloh had had a hand in Oscar's decision. Also, how could Oscar's attorney and the executor of his estate not know of Oscar's final wishes? I get that Jason might not be up to speed on all the changes, but didn't Alexis have to review it before filing it with the courts? It's also odd that it wasn't updated when Oscar asked Jason to set up the charity, even though Diane supposedly had started the ball rolling on things.

I have no problem suspending my disbelief for the sake of a good plot twist, but this nonsense takes it to a whole different level. Luckily, the writers saved the day by having Drew kick Shiloh's butt.

Once I realized that clobbering Shiloh was an unspoken town event that everyone was competing to participate in, I began to wonder if perhaps Michael, Drew, Lucas, Jason, and pretty much everyone else who crossed Shank's path and took a whack at him was being set up as a suspect in his murder. Then I reminded myself that the writers didn't kill off Heather, Nelle, or Ryan, so it's unlikely that Shank will meet a just end.

For whatever reason, the writers seem reluctant to kill off people who actually deserve it.

And what is with this sudden proclivity that people have with drugging then sexually assaulting their victims? First Shiloh does it to his initiates, and now Kim attempted to do it to Drew. It's unsettling and not something that I think should become a theme.

I was truly stunned when Kim lured Drew to the fuse box when the lights went out in the Haunted Star then she injected him with a sedative that dropped him to his knees in the blink of an eye. I couldn't believe it when I realized that she had planned to rape him while her date mingled with Liz and Franco's guests. What kind of plan is that?

The woman lost her mind, but I was so completely repulsed by what Kim had done that I couldn't find any sympathy for her plight. Nor did I have any when she faced Drew the following day and claimed to be prepared to face the consequences. If that were true, then she would have gone to the police station, not Oscar's meadow. I didn't believe her for a second. Kim knew that Drew would never turn her over to the police because that's not the kind of man that he is, and he wouldn't want to dishonor his son's memory by having Kim arrested.

Kim's grief was her get-out-of-jail-free card, and I feel that she took advantage of that. Not that I necessarily want Kim to go to jail, but I did expect her to check herself into a place like Shadybrook for treatment. Seeing a therapist daily isn't good enough. She's a danger to society right now, especially to Drew. I wouldn't feel the least bit safe if I were him. I also suspect that this incident will be the end of Julian and Kim. How can it not be? Kim was prepared to conceive a child with a man that she had drugged. She has no business being in any kind of relationship until she gets her head in order.

I admit that I'm a Julexis fan first and foremost, but that's not why I think it's time for Julian and Kim to call it quits. Unfortunately, Kim's background is a barren wasteland of nothingness, which makes her blah. Her son is dead, and Drew has no memory of Kim prior to her arrival, so she's as interesting as a blank piece of paper in the middle of a great novel. Seeing her attempt to rape Drew didn't help. Not. At. All.

Things appear to be heating up between Alexis and Neil, and Neil has grown on me. The more that I learn about his past, the less shady he seems. I think a love triangle between Neil, Alexis, and Julian has potential. I'd much rather see Julian having therapy sessions with Neil and Alexis than playing nursemaid to Kim. I know that Kim is a grieving parent, but that doesn't make sexual assault okay, so if I sound a bit heartless, that is why.

Elsewhere in Port Charles, Lulu paid Sonny a visit to ask him to help her track down her wayward husband because she's tired of waiting for Dante to deal with his post-traumatic stress. At the same time, Maxie and Peter were in Ithaca, catching up with the man of the hour, just as a shot rang out.

Did Dante do the shooting, or was he shot?

Previews suggest that Maxie wants the victim to be taken to GH, which means that it's probably Dante who needs medical attention. That would make sense because something needs to be done about Dante -- or more to the point, his ongoing absence.

Lulu's pretend date with Dustin Phillips was fraught with chemistry, and I would love to see that relationship explored between Lulu and the teacher if Dominic Zamprogna isn't interested in reprising the role.

Granted, a recast could be in the works, but if that were the case, then wouldn't they have made Mark Lawson the new Dante rather than the high school teacher who moonlights as an Uber driver and is no doubt going to have his hands full with a gaggle of teens in the fall? For those of you who didn't recognize Mark, he played always-a-groomsman-never-a-groom Brody Lovett on One Life to Live. I'm a fan, so I'm excited to see Mark on GH.

It's for that reason that I believe that Dante's fate will soon be determined one way or another. The odds are, Dante's days are numbered. A coma would keep Lulu in limbo, which defeats the purpose of tracking Dante down. Additionally, Dante's death would have a much greater impact now when Sonny and Carly are facing the possibility of their youngest being born with spina bifida. Plus, Olivia and Ned haven't had a storyline since Ned stepped down as mayor.

That brings me to Dev "Devon Corbin" Cerci.

It seems to me that it would be quite easy to drive a semitruck through the holes in Sonny's preposterous backstory for Dev about his distant cousin Bruno marrying a foreign woman then returning stateside where she gave birth to the child and raised him in Connecticut. Why not just create documents showing that Dev was born with dual citizenship to a parent on active duty for the military, who moved to the States when his mother died?

Sonny's story requires pictures, school records, friends, neighbors, and all the things that make up an American life in the 21st century, none of which exist because Dev spent his entire life in Turkey. Sonny might have gotten away with the story in 1980, but in 2019, ICE would be knocking down Sonny's door and taking Dev into custody before the ink dried on the phony documents that Brick had procured.

Beyond that, why has it not occurred to a single person that Dev might be a working for the World Security Bureau to help take down the great and powerful Sonny Corinthos once and for all? Isn't it the mission statement of the WSB to fight crime? I realize that it's easy to forget that Sonny is a criminal, but Sonny is a criminal. Not just any criminal, but a powerful one who practically runs Port Charles and controls the eastern seaboard. Why wouldn't the WSB enlist Dev's help to bring in El Corinthos?

Everything about Dev screams that there's more to his sudden appearance in Port Charles than meets the eye. For starters, his deep desire to ingratiate himself doesn't ring true for someone who is supposed to be streetwise and skilled at separating people from their valuables. Even Carly called Dev out on his over eagerness to please. As an "experienced" thief wise to the ways of people's natures, Dev should be much better at reading people and manipulation -- unless he feels desperate, like he has to get in good with Sonny or there will be consequences that he doesn't want to face.

Might there be a connection between Dev and the shooting that just occurred in Ithaca? And what about Robert's abrupt dismissal? If Frisco is the man in charge of the WSB, how can there be anyone much higher than him forcing Frisco's hand? And why would Frisco send his daughter to Ithaca when things weren't stable?

There are so many questions, and I find it astonishing that Sonny has asked none of them. Instead, he's moving the kid into his home without knowing a single thing about Dev's past -- other than that he saved Sonny -- or why the WSB would cut an illegal alien loose in the United States. It's a good thing that Jason was around to be the voice of reason because, as Friday's show drew to a close, Jason busted Dev trying to help himself to Laura's purse.

What part about keeping a low profile does Dev not grasp?

Despite my irritation with Dev, I did agree with his assessment that Josslyn was being a rotten friend to Cameron by refusing to attend Liz and Franco's wedding reception. Cam clearly had hoped for her support, but Josslyn selfishly made it all about her pain, even though poor Cam has dealt with violent bullies in the past over Franco. It's not like Cam was asking Josslyn to hold his hand at a school dance or something equally frivolous. He's been very vocal about how hard it's been for him to accept Franco in his life.

Thankfully, Trina picked up on Cam's need to have a friend at the reception, and like the caring and giving friend that she is, she came to his rescue. I think that's why I like her chemistry with Dev more than I do the predictable tripe that's brewing between Dev and Josslyn. Trina had Dev's number in two seconds flat, and she's not the least bit fooled by his game the way that Josslyn is. Dev's brief exchange with Trina was far more interesting than two teens bickering because they are crushing on each other.

Back to Cam, he's always been there for Josslyn, even to his own detriment. Heck, the only reason that Cam tried to buy the pot was to stop Oscar's nausea so that Josslyn would stop worrying about Oscar. The poor kid remains stuck in community service purgatory for that misguided stunt, and Josslyn only sees her miserable situation.

I will give Josslyn credit for coming to her senses in the end, thanks to her chat with Sasha. One more reason that I like Sasha. I just hate that the lie hovers over her head like a guillotine waiting to fall. Sasha is better than this, and I desperately want her to come clean before the blade makes it deadly descent and dooms her. If she isn't careful, she could lose Michael, especially with Willow in the picture.

It didn't escape my notice that Michael and Willow continue to be way too comfortable touching each other, especially when one is troubled. I don't think it's intentional, which makes it that much more dangerous, because there's a strong attraction simmering between the two despite the other people in their lives.

I love Michael, but I do have a bone to pick with him. I wish that he would just choose a name instead of changing it with the seasons. Preferably, I would like for Michael to be a Quartermaine because a Quartermaine should be running ELQ. It seems wrong for the name Corinthos to be attached to Edward's legacy. Plus, there's no one to carry on the name after Ned and Dillon, which is why it's imperative for Michael to be a Quartermaine.

Finally, who pushed Liesl overboard, and more importantly, why did they do it? Was it Brad hoping to silence her about Wiley's true birth parents? Was it Bobbie, who yells at Julian about sticking his nose where it doesn't belong then turns around and sticks her nose where it doesn't belong? Hayden was cleared of shoving Liesl into the big drink, but Valentin's time is still unaccounted for -- and he has a few reasons to want Tante Liesl dead.

However, Liesl's swim with the fishes was more of a crime of opportunity than a deadly plot, and Valentin is a man of calculation, not spontaneity. The odds were not in his favor that Liesl would drown in the harbor of a docked ship filled with partygoers wandering around on deck, so why take the risk?

I think it was Brad. Brad is desperate, and desperate people do stupid things. Given the litany of felonies that Brad will face once his lies are exposed, a little attempted murder will pale in comparison.

Random observations

Sorry, Jordan, but seeing Mac and Robert working together at the police station is just too wonderful. I don't want it to end. Please, keep this dynamic duo together fighting crime in Port Charles!

Why are Sam and Jason acting like they have a legal right to take witness statements and conduct interviews? Jason is a mob enforcer, and Sam never got her private investigator's license because of her criminal record. Zahra is going to have a field day in court when she challenges Harmony and Carol about their statements.

I squealed with delight when Felix revealed that he and Donny had recently broken up. I know that breaking up is hard to do, but this means that Felix will be around to help Lucas mend his broken heart! Soap wishes do come true.

Why didn't Sonny give Dev a job at Perks? It seems strange that he sees potential in the kid then sends him to work for Carly, who already has her hands full with Josslyn and a high-risk pregnancy. Way to reduce Carly's stress, Sonny.

Reader feedback

I am taking this Spina Bifida storyline to heart. You cannot wish it away with a magic wand. I should know, I was born with Spina Bifida 50 years ago when it was a fight for survival. The odds of survival were so much worse then! If not for strong parents and great medical care, I would not be here. (Carly and Sonny can afford to give this child the care he or she will need.) There is however now in utero fetal surgery to correct some if not most of the damage done from the birth defect. -- Leslie B

I've said before that Ava is EXACTLY the type of older woman -- rich, single, lonely, and troubled -- that Shank would target for the DoD. At one point, when Ava was hunting Ryan, I even speculated that she would be the one to kill Shank, mistaking him for the Serial Killer. Too bad THAT didn't work out. -- Scrimmage

I still think Sasha is a relative of possibly Liesl...I wonder how Valentin chose her to play this part. Something about that keeps me wondering. -- lovethosedimples

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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