If I could go back home
For the Week of October 19, 2020
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Clearly the travel bans have all been lifted in Port Charles, as Dante Falconeri and Jackie Templeton both flew the friendly skies back to Port Charles. Will they find what they are looking for? Let's discuss in this week's Two Scoops.

Dear readers, it's been an emotional week in Port Charles. We welcomed home our beloved hero Dante, but he didn't find precisely what he hoped for when Lulu's door opened.

There is a song by Elton John called "Home Again" that just makes me ugly cry every time I hear it. The chorus says:

"If I could go back home, if I could go back home.
If I'd never left, I'd never have known.
We all dream of leaving but wind up in the end
Spending all our time trying to get back home again."

Dante had a vision of what it would look like to go home and pick up right where he left off. But when he arrived home and saw Dustin, he realized his fantasy was not going to come true. Sad.

I don't think I realized just how much I missed Dominic Zamprogna until I saw his face again on my screen this week. It was like seeing a long-lost family member. I initially loved Dante and Lulu, but, just like Lulu, when he left Port Charles, I had to accept it and move on. If you tried to ask me if I was Team Dante or Team Dustin, I would yell "LANTE" before you even got Dustin's name out. I mean, he was a very handsome placeholder, but Dante and Lulu have history, and they belong together. Dustin can go back to Brook Lynn, and they can sing and write songs together, and he can become a Quartermaine. Brooke is looking or a place to live, and I bet Dusty has a spare room.

We also welcomed back a favorite character of days gone by, Jackie Templeton, with a new face. Not in the form of the original actress, Demi Moore, but with a familiar and welcome face to any AMC fans of a certain age who adored Greg and Jenny. Welcome to Port Charles, Kim Delaney! I was exceptionally delighted to see her beautiful face and hear her voice on my TV this week.

Kim's version of Jackie is just as feisty and bold as the Jackie of old. She had immediate chemistry with Robert, Chase, Peter, and everyone else she interacted with. This is going to be a great ride. I keep wondering how she fits into this. Will she bring down Cyrus, or Peter, or both? I'm excited to find out. I wonder if Jackie will rekindle her feelings for Robert (when they inevitably have to go on the run together) and if she will dump Chase's dad! I'm ready for anything, even a convoluted reason that Jackie has to work with Martin Gray...What mystery will her ace reporting uncover?

Our favorite maniacal serial killer, Ryan Chamberlain, also made an appearance this week, albeit behind glass. Ava's fear of him puzzles me a little. Ryan is only working with one hand, and he's locked up in Pentonville. Can't he be quickly neutralized? I am convinced that Ava and Julian still have friends on the inside who would be more than willing to do them a favor and put Ryan out of commission. (I miss Carlos. Anyone else?) Or, if not, perhaps they could bribe a guard. There are multiple shady (former) mob family solutions that Ava and Julian are overlooking. Ava still doesn't think straight around Ryan. Her guilt over Kiki's death and having fallen for Ryan still haunts her.

I hope that Ava values Julian's life more than she cares about Nikolas' money. Still, it's hard to say, since she valued her face scar removal over bringing Valentin to justice when it was assumed that he had murdered Nikolas. Ava's priorities are not always the best.

I like that Nikolas is worried about her. I like that he's feeling protective of her. I am happy that he confided to Alexis that he has developed genuine feelings for Ava. I want the two of them to fall madly in love and maybe even accidentally create a baby brother or sister for Spencer that will keep them entangled for life. Imagine a child descended from Helena Cassadine and Victor Jerome! So much evil DNA! Uber villain material.

Scott collected the blackmail checks and gave them to Liz and Franco. My brain said, "Wait, won't Ava get her returned check back and see that Liz and Franco signed it?" And then Liz and Franco ripped up the checks and left Nikolas Cassadine's very long signature in one piece on the floor for Ava to find. Will she assume he cheated on her? Ugh. I hope not. I know sometimes soaps have to slow the plot down and drag it out, but I want their romance to go faster than, say, Jason and Sam's turtle-paced reunion.

Let's get back to Ryan and his blackmail. He has Nelle's letter, and if Ava doesn't dance to his tune, he will ruin her brother's life. Readers, I am rarely a fan of blackmail storylines because I don't understand them. I'm a proponent of confession. If you keep a secret and it is clearly going to come out, just take your licks, admit it, and accept the consequences.

We all have secrets. I would venture a guess that every person reading this column has at least one thing about their life that they wouldn't want the world to know and judge them on. Some are big secrets, some are small. I used to work for a church, and the church had a rule that you couldn't be seen drinking in public. A dive bar across town regularly had church employees huddled in dark corners at happy hour. It was a dumb secret, they were all adults of legal age, enjoying a beer, but because it would have cost them their jobs, they hid. You know how I know that? I was also there drinking in the corner. We all keep secrets for all sorts of reasons.

Julian's reason is pretty compelling -- he thinks Sonny would kill him if he found out. But I feel like if he and Ava went to Sonny and said, "I didn't know from the start, but I did find out that Brad and Lucas' baby was Michael's and I didn't tell because I was trying to protect my son." Sonny would be pissed for life, but would he actually murder Julian over that? The Sonny of old definitely would have, no doubt. But the older, more mature Sonny, who just lost a parent, and who knows the lengths a man would go to to protect his children, might actually understand. All I have to say to Julian is sell the damned Corinthos Coffee and shut up.

Also, we forget the most significant piece of the puzzle here... You know who else knows this secret? Brad! Brad has been off the grid, as has Lucas, but someday, when Brad wants something, he will be blackmailing Julian. Let's not forget Brad's past -- he is the son of a mobster. Do you think Brad's mobster dad is happy about baby boy rotting in prison? I would love to see Brad's Daddy show up in Port Charles, ready to do battle with all the people who wronged his son. The point is that Julian's secret will come out eventually, anyway, so sending his sister to be bait for a serial killer isn't going to solve his problems.

But, for now, our mob rival du jour is Cyrus Renault. Jeff Kober is clearly doing a fabulous acting job with Cyrus because I hate him, which I am supposed to. He's an exceptionally smarmy villain. Cyrus always has the Grinch smile on when he gets something over on Jordan or antagonizes Lulu. He makes me want to slap him, although I have never hit anyone in my life. Although, I did push a kid off of my swing set and broke his arm once. But his mom was calling him, and he wouldn't go home, so...what was I to do? I digress...

The fact that Cyrus is alive is another reason I think Julian might get a pass. Sonny is a little busy right now, and Julian's sins are small compared to Cyrus'. He has made enemies of half of the town and most of the hospital staff. If he dies, there will be a long list of suspects questioned, starting with the police commissioner herself.

We have had so many rival mobs in the past. I am not sure I can remember all of them. Let's see... pre-Sonny, all the way back to Luke, there was Mr. Big (Burt Ramsey) and Frank Smith, then, post-Sonny, we have had Lorenzo and Luis Alcazar; the Five Families; Anthony, Claudia, and Johnny Zacchara; the Balkan; Faith Roscoe; Joe Scully... Readers, who am I forgetting? Is Cassandra Pierce a mobster or just a drug dealer? I don't know. Cyrus has an organization, so I think that makes him a mobster. If anyone is savvier to the inner workings of crime families, please school me. My Daddy was a pastor, so...my mob knowledge is limited.

However, my knowledge of maternal love is at a doctorate level. I was the only child my parents ever had, and they loved me as if I were the most precious object on the planet. So, after Olivia made the entire GH audience ugly cry, lying in front of Dante's door and getting no response, wasn't the payoff fantastic? Oh, my heart! He told her he would never have come back if it weren't for her. He said to her that her visit mattered. I was so moved by that scene. I feel as if the on-screen mother and son duo of Lisa LoCicero and Dom Zaprogna has a real-life connection. Their chemistry is so convincing, it's hard to imagine that they really aren't mother and son.

Now that Olivia has her son back, she will want to help Ned with Brook Lynn. Unless, of course, Brooke Lynn makes a beeline to Olivia to blurt out what she just heard, that her dad cheated with Alexis. Hey, Monica, your first foray at peacemaking failed!

I believe that the writers wanted me to be angry with Brook Lynn this week. She hatched her kooky Cyrano De Bergerac plot so Amy would sing the "Ruins, Ruins, Ruins" song in the open hallway. At the same time, Brooke Lynn lip-synched in another room... Amy even brought Brooke up to speed about Man Landers.

But you know who I was mad at instead? Lucy Coe! What kind of terrible boss would ask an employee to come to work and sing two weeks after having her throat slit? And then yell at her and fire her when she couldn't perform? Lucy, I am ashamed of you!

Back to Amy and BLQ... I love Risa Dorken, and I am pleased to see her back on the canvas. She has a lovely voice, her character is a true friend, and many people in Port Charles could use one. I think Felix could use a new bestie at the hospital, and Amy would fit the bill. They can keep an eye on the Britch together and practice dance moves.

Another character I am mad at is Dev. Dev is trying to tank the relationship between Cameron and Josslyn. The fake diary entry was the worst! Now, Cam will be self-conscious about kissing for the rest of his life. Here's the thing with those sorts of games -- they always fail. Eventually, Joss will confess her feelings for Cam, he will mention the journal, and Dev will be kicked out of the Corinthos B&B and on a flight back to Turkey.

But maybe that's on purpose. I just watched Ashton Arbab this week on a Netflix Halloween movie called Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting. I watched it solely because Soap Central reported that Ashton would be in it. His appearance was so different that I had to do a double-take to recognize it was him! He did a great job, and it was an enjoyable family movie. Perhaps he has more roles on the horizon, and that's why the writers are trying to make Dev a weasel.

Two people I would also place in the weasel category this week are Alexis and Ned. First off, I wonder where Alexis buys her Vodka Purse? I used to sneak a water bottle into the movie theatre in my purse, so I didn't have to pay $10 for a Dixie Cup of water at the movies. Still, my purse couldn't even disguise one lousy bottle of Evian without stretching the straps. So, how is it that Alexis has a bag that holds a gallon jug of Vodka without breaking? Man, that's one fantastic handbag.

I couldn't believe Ned blurted out a confession to Monica. Everyone knows the Q walls have ears. Also, fun fact, one of the people that Ned had an illicit affair with years ago was Monica. She should have said, "Here you go again!"

One more thing I want to address, and this is just a personal plea. John J. York. MORE, please. I get so happy any time he is in a scene. Why is he used so infrequently? Here are my reasons he needs more airtime. A) He's very handsome, and I like looking at him. I've been locked up for six months and need some handsome, charming men on my TV instead of screaming politicians. B) He's an excellent actor. Every scene he has ever been in during his entire time at GH, which started way back in 1991, has been believable and heartfelt. C) Storyline dictates it. Jordan made Mac the acting police chief when she was out of commission, and after she came back, he was supposed to stay on as an assistant. We have not seen him since.

Jordan is dealing with Cyrus and apparently only has Chase as a full-time detective and cousin Valerie as a part-timer who only works once a month. Mac needs to be brought into this storyline. Either he recognizes something is off about Jordan and thinks she is actually on Cyrus' payroll, or Curtis and Jordan invite Mac in and let him help. Also, with Robert back, I want more Scorpio brothers scenes. I could ramble on more, but I will stop. To recap -- more airtime for John J. York, please.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will the cop from Pennsylvania that questions Carly be named John McBain? Will Julian be smart and start brewing up Sonnybucks again? Will Finn agree to Awkward Family Dinner with Jackie, Chase, and Daddy? Will Anna gloat that her sister has arthritis and she doesn't? Will Spinelli be able to keep his...Spinelliness under control and fake liking Peter until he and Robert prove that Peter is a scoundrel? Will Maxie ever learn to trust her family when they warn her about inappropriate love interests? Will Brando be an excellent double agent, or will Gladys' loudmouth tendencies get him caught on the first day? Will Valentin and Anna apprehend Alex and celebrate with a gallon of liquor and a roll in the hay like Alexis and Ned did?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.

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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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