Fear and loathing in Port Charles: Midnight In The Garden of Good and Ava
For the Week of July 29, 2019
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Midnight In The Garden of Good and Ava
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Two Scoops is an opinion column and the opinions expressed are solely those of the author. The views expressed do not represent the opinions of Soap Central, its partners, or its advertisers.
Could a prince be waiting in the wings to reclaim his throne? Jax and Hayden are on a mission, but what that is still remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Lulu is at a crossroads, and Shiloh is spiraling as his past slowly catches up with him. There's plenty of fear and loathing in Port Charles, and our columnist is eager to dish all about it.

Nikolas is alive!

(Disclaimer: That's an educated guess not a spoiler)

First, the door had always been left open for Nikolas to return because his body vanished after the shooting and his tumble over the balcony. No body, no real death. That's how it works in soap opera land. Our next big clue was Sibley's inability to locate Nikolas on "the other side," which should have been easy for someone who clearly has the gift. Finally, Hayden was asking all kinds of questions about Nikolas during her little tte--tte with Laura, which definitely was not random.

Hayden is exactly the kind of person that would help someone remain "dead." And I'm more than certain than ever that Nikolas is the link that binds Jax and Hayden. It was Ava's exchange with Jax that sealed the deal when she called the article exactly what it was -- revenge.

What -- or more precisely who -- do Jax and Hayden have in common that would inspire Jax to seek revenge? Spencer. Ava let Spencer down during the wrongful death lawsuit, and Valentin stole Spencer's birthright out from under him. Don't forget, Jax lied about Spencer's paternity to raise him as his own son when Spencer was first born. Jax will always love Spencer, even if he had to hand him over to his rightful father. The question, though, is why now?

It was Hayden's chat with Laura that supplied the answer -- Nikolas. Well, that and how excited Jax and Hayden were to get an invitation to Wyndemere. I'm pretty certain that Jax and Hayden are on the hunt for something that Nikolas has hidden in the castle.

I think another clue was Ava's warning to Nina about the long fall when you are sitting on top of the world. It sounded a lot like foreshadowing to me, and who has the power to take everything away from Nina and Valentin with the snap of his princely fingers? The true and undisputed Cassadine heir, that's who.

That brings me to the last time that we saw Cassandra. Our sleeping drug lord found herself in the back of a limousine with a mystery man wearing a signet ring bearing the Cassadine crest just minutes after she emerged from a coma. Could it have been Nikolas? She'd certainly be a valuable pawn to have in one's corner because she can also be wielded against Valentin -- and Nina. As we've been recently reminded in flashbacks, Valentin would do anything to protect Nina. I suspect that includes abdicating his throne without a fight.

We will have to stay tuned, but for the first time in years, I have genuine hope that my handsome dark prince is about to step forward and knock the usurper down a few pegs. I know that Nikolas had his own legal troubles at the time of his "death," but Nikolas wouldn't be preparing to step out of the shadows if he didn't have a plan of action to deal with those in quick fashion. Stefan taught Nikolas well in that regard. Plus, Nikolas will have Alexis in his corner, and she's one of the best.

Of course, if Nikolas returns, Spencer will, as well. With SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) sweeping through town, it's unlikely that Spencer will be spared. As I pointed out earlier, he's technically older than Josslyn, and both Josslyn and Cam have been aged. It sure seemed like Laura was preparing us for the possibility when she shared with Hayden how much Spencer had recently grown.

Lulu could use a little good news after being served with divorce papers during her nephew's birthday party. Thankfully, Rocco was home sick with a cold and didn't have to suffer the humiliation of watching his mother get divorce papers from his M.I.A. father.

I'm sorry, but I don't have a whole lot of empathy for Dante. I realize that he was brainwashed, and I saw the horrific scars on his back, but Dante deserted his family long before he went away for treatment.

I haven't forgotten how all of this started. Dante got word that Raj had surfaced, and without discussing it with his wife, he told the WSB that he would hunt the man down. Dante's mind was made up before he discussed anything with Lulu. All she was able to do was wish him luck before he was out the door.

That's not how a marriage works, and Dante is lucky that Lulu didn't file for divorce right then and there. Instead, she kept the home fires burning, and she waited for him. When he finally returned home, he barely stepped foot through the door when he turned around and did it again. He made an important decision without discussing it with his wife. Yes, Dante is suffering, but so is his family. They might not have post-traumatic stress, but Dante's choices have left their mark on both Lulu and Rocco.

I think a divorce is exactly what Lulu needs because it's abundantly clear that Dante does not want his family to be part of his treatment. Both Lulu and Rocco deserve better. It broke my heart when Rocco told Peter that he wanted to be brave, but the story that he asked Peter to read upset him because it was about a father who didn't know how to be a father. When Rocco asked if that was the reason that Dante left, I wanted to cry. No child should ever have to ask that about a parent.

The truth is, the real Dante would never have left his family to chase after Raj, because he would have been completely confident in his ability to protect his family right from the comfort of his own home and on his own turf. In fact, it would have given Dante the advantage because he would have had eyes and ears everywhere, thanks to all of his connections in Port Charles, including Sonny, Anna, and Jordan. Dante was always a devoted husband and father, first and foremost, but he was written out of character to give him a "plausible" exit. At this point, it's best to end this chapter and let Lulu move on.

Luckily, Lulu has a new man ready to step up to the plate.

Mark Lawson is as yummy as ever, and so far, Dustin seems like a really nice guy. He's a high school teacher who's ambitious enough to have a second job, and he likes the Floating Rib. Clearly a man of good taste. Also, he seems intuitive and compassionate. Jackpot! Lulu can definitely use a fun summer fling with a handsome guy. If it leads to more, great. If not, she has a handsome date for the next plus-one shindig that she's invited to.

Folks, Dev might have good looks and that bad-boy thing going for him, but Cameron is the prize. A boy that is willing to dive into the bottom of a nasty trash bin for the girl he likes, just to find a broken trinket that he inadvertently threw away, is exactly the kind of guy that I would want for my daughter. Not a punk looking for trouble who is too stupid to recognize a good thing when he has it. Guys like Dev are a dime a dozen. Cam is the gem.

Josslyn was right. There will come a time when Oscar won't be the first thing that she thinks about when she wakes up and the last thing on her mind as she closes her eyes. The shock will eventually fade, but never the pain. That will always remain, but people learn to live with it because life marches on, whether they like it or not. Josslyn will find love again, and by the looks of it, far sooner than later.

Dev joined Cam's quest to retrieve the padlock of love because he was bored, and it wasn't until they arrived at the site that Dev recalled his emotional encounter on the footbridge with Josslyn, so she was more like an afterthought to him.

I really don't know what to make of Dev. Obviously, I love Cam, but how could I not? I've watched him since infancy, and Cam has turned out to be a really great kid. He's kind, generous, talented, handsome, and everything that would make Steve Hardy proud. Then there's Dev. He's untrustworthy and prone to making poor choices. I don't like the idea of him being in the country illegally and acting like a criminal. My dad is an immigrant, and he entered this country legally then became a citizen, so I'm not keen on people taking shortcuts. It's not right, and it's not fair.

Dev is taking unnecessary risks, and he's illustrating time and again that he's terrible at being a pickpocket, thief, and decent houseguest. He's rude, he's foolish, and he acts like he's smarter than everyone around him. He's not. More often than not, he's in danger of throwing everyone who put their necks on the line for him under the bus. The writers are not making it easy to like Dev, and his backstory is absolutely preposterous. There is no way that a kid like that could not get caught in this day and age.

The only things that I do like about Dev at this point are his exchanges with Trina, but that's more a testament to Trina than to Dev. Trina makes Dev moderately tolerable because he doesn't act like a jerk to her. Unfortunately, it appears that the writers are set on Dev and Joss, and Cam will once again be relegated to best friend of the couple. Of course, there's Trina, who secretly carries a torch for Cam, but she deserves to be someone's first choice, which wouldn't be the case with Cam. Cam has loved Josslyn since they were little kids scampering around Spoon Island with Spencer.

Until Cam gets Joss out of his system, she will always be his first choice. That's how first love works.

Meanwhile, things are not going well for our resident evil villain, Shiloh. Daisy cleaned out her bank account to post his bail, Judge Walters dismissed the custody case, and Harmony is back to using the name Lorraine and singing like a canary. Also, Shank had quite an interesting flashback to his days when Drew looked like Jason.

To no one's surprise, I'm sure, Shiloh was every bit the piece of stinky feces after his brush with "death" that he was prior to it despite claims to the contrary in his book. Also, he was selling stolen fuel to insurgents and pocketing a hefty profit. How much do you want to bet that Shiloh was the one who turned Drew over to Faison? There were more than a million reasons that Shiloh would want Drew out of the way without any cloud of suspicion falling on him.

I'm a little perplexed as to why Shiloh hasn't secured a copy of the paternity test that Zahra ordered, but more on that later.

Shiloh's downfall has begun, and I'm enjoying it.

There's also a mystery unfolding with Franco, who has been given two warnings by two different psychics. Sibley warned Franco that he would soon not be feeling himself, and she also urged Liz to hold onto her husband, which implies that there might be something pulling Franco away from his new bride. The second psychic admitted that she didn't know anything about Sibley's predictions, but Chelsea cautioned Franco not to take "that drive." Franco was so freaked out that he insisted on walking when Liz invited him to lunch.

Whatever transpires with Franco will most likely start with a fateful drive. Ominous, given that Cam recently got a car, and Dev has been chomping at the bit to use his new driver's license that he didn't so much as take a written test for! The coming weeks are gearing up to be quite interesting, with all kinds of twists and turns ahead. Two psychics have warned us, and I'm eager to see what the writers have in store for us.

So, will Nelle tell Michael the truth about Jonah -- or will she cling to her lies just a tad bit longer?

I have no doubt that Nelle is worried that Jonah might end up with Shiloh, but no way do I think she has any intention of telling Michael. Nelle is diabolical, so she never acts on impulse. She'll play her games then call Brad to have a word with him. The only way that Nelle would come clean to Michael is if it's a very last resort. I think Nelle will do what she always does. She'll turn on the tears and dance around the topic, but in the end, Jonah will live another day as Wiley Cooper-Jones.

My money is on Shiloh learning the truth about Wiley before Michael does. I just hope that sweet little Jonah doesn't spend even a nanosecond in that sexual predator's care. Some lines should never be crossed, even on a soap opera. I don't care if Daisy is around as a buffer. I can barely stomach to look at Shiloh as it is, so I definitely don't want the image of him holding a child seared onto my retinas.

Now, the paternity test -- and Brad. If Brad had half a brain, he could fix all of his problems by changing the results of the paternity test to show that Shiloh is indeed Wiley's father. Sure, it will make a custody battle a bit more challenging, but it would also guarantee that his secret remained a secret, since everyone expects those results to confirm that Shiloh is the father.

Not that Brad is completely out of the woods. When he showed up in Liesl's hospital room, wielding a syringe and acting in a decidedly shifty manner, it was all the confirmation that I needed; he pushed Liesl. The photo only confirms it. Too bad for Brad, Chase is now on the hunt for him, and Chase is very good at connecting dots. If Brad were smart, he'd lay low, but that has never been Brad's style. He gets paranoid then starts making mistakes, and this time, Chase will be waiting.

Until then, Chase will be blissfully wallowing in the joys of new love. I'm happy for him because there was an awful moment when I was certain that Willow was going to tell Chase that she didn't feel the same. I felt bad enough for him because he just kind of randomly blurted it out in the middle of the restaurant then Willow froze like a deer in the headlights. It honestly could have gone either way from the look of panic that crossed Willow's expression, so I was immensely relieved when she returned Chase's declaration of love.

In the end, it was a sweet scene, but things are going entirely too well for Chase and Willow, and for Michael and Sasha. I don't trust all this happiness on a soap. It suggests that there's something bigger afoot, and given what I know about Wiley/Jonah, I suspect that both couples are in for some troubled times when that little bombshell drops.

Finally, one of the most powerful scenes in quite some time played out at the hospital when Sonny and Carly went for the ultrasound to find out just how bad their child's spina bifida is. Laura Wright sucked me in from the moment that she clutched Sonny's hand then took a deep breath as Dr. Navarro slid on the gloves.

Words were not needed. Sonny and Carly's anxious expressions, tear-filled eyes, and clenched jaws said it all.

I wasn't a fan of this storyline when it first began. I couldn't understand what the point of making Carly pregnant was. However, it took an unexpected direction, and I think it's an important and interesting story to tell. How many soap parents are raising a child with special needs?

These days, GH can brag that it is one of the most diversified casts ever on daytime, and that is nothing to sneeze at. Bravo, GH. You rock.

Random observations

Does anyone find it odd that Sonny and Carly know the gender of their baby, but they continue to refer to the baby in neutral terms even when they are talking to each other in private? It's my one pet peeves with this storyline. The other is the fact that Carly hasn't consulted the medical people in her life to get more information and maybe a specialist in the field.

Did anyone notice how thick the new issue of Crimson was? It was humongous, and it looked more like a phone book than a fashion magazine! It must have cost a fortune to print.

Who knew that Port Charles was a psychic hot spot with not one, but two very insightful psychics? We need a psychic showdown!

Reader feedback

Am I the only person kind of grossed out that they stick one prisoner in a cell while the other is leaving, and they don't even change the sheets?! -- Kim LaSota

Here's my thoughts on the Sasha/Michael/Willow/Chase matchups. I Think Willow and Chase make the perfect pair because they are sweet and loving and comfortable. I think Sasha and Michael make the perfect pair because they sizzle with chemistry and it's about time Michael had some fire in a relationship. -- Connie McKenzie

I hope it was Brad who pushed Liesl off the boat, he owed her one for pushing him off the parapet at Nikolas's house during Britt's engagement party. And if it was him and I don't get to hear him say the word "parapet" again I'm going to be deeply disappointed. -- peteena

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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