Strange bedfellows -- and what lies beneath
For the Week of October 26, 2020
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Two marriages of convenience arrived at a crossroads, an unexpected couple found comfort in each other's arms, and a secret hovered just out of reach as Carly struggled to figure out what her subconscious was trying to tell her about Nelle. It's time for two scoops of love in the afternoon with a side order of drama.

Folks, Carly is struggling, and she can't figure out why. She knows that there's a message behind all those nightmarish dreams and visions of Nelle, but she can't quite put her finger on what it is. I, on the other hand, have a fairly good idea what is troubling her.

This is merely a guess, but I suspect that Carly's subconscious recalls seeing the other half of Nelle's necklace that Nina is currently sporting around her neck like a beacon in the fog. Will finding the missing necklace among Avery's things spark the memory, and if so, what will Carly do with the information? Given all the seeds of doubt that Valentin planted when he told Nina that she was Jax's "plus one" and that Jax's first love would always be Carly, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Carly is going to run to Jax with her secret.

If Carly puts the pieces together, it's not really her responsibility to tell Nina the truth about Nelle's possible maternity. However, the same cannot be said for Jax. Jax is Nina's lover, and they are in a committed relationship. He knows how Nina feels about secrets, and even if knowing the truth about Nelle would cause Nina more pain, Jax is obligated to be honest with her. The problem is that Jax will always be loyal to Carly first because of Josslyn. It's a bond that supersedes any other that he might feel for a lover.

Jax will do anything to spare Josslyn any pain, and that means that he will do anything within his power to protect Carly. It doesn't take a crystal ball to know that Nina learning that Nelle was her daughter will send Nina on a mission to glean the truth about Nelle's final moments. If Nina should ever learn that Carly had been holding Nelle's hand as Nelle had dangled from the cliff, Nina will move heaven and earth to see that Carly is punished. It doesn't matter that Carly did her absolute best to save Nelle. In the world of soaps, the animus that Carly had for Nelle is all that is needed to send Carly to jail for murder.

Listening to Nina make excuses for Nelle is frustrating, in large part because Nina is speaking from a place of ignorance. She was acquainted with Nelle, but she didn't know her. She foolishly thinks that Nelle could have been saved if the right person had loved Nelle enough, but that is not true. Nina is romanticizing Nelle's story and ignoring the very real fact that Nelle was irrevocably damaged.

I don't think it was environment, even though, by all accounts, Frank Benson was a pretty miserable human being. I doubt Frank's treatment of Nelle helped, but Nelle was evil. A bad seed. Someone who was incapable of empathy, who viewed relationships as transactional, and someone whose definition of love was complete and undying loyalty to her and only her.

After all, Nelle had been given several clean slates during her time in Port Charles, yet each time, she readily squandered it by choosing to manipulate, scheme, and, at times, even plot murder.

It's not really surprising that Nina believes that Nelle could have been saved despite Nelle's murderous ways because Nina has a habit of justifying homicidal behavior when it comes to the ones she loves (Valentin, Liesl, and Franco). In so many ways, Nina is childlike in her thinking. She believes that love can conquer all and redeem anyone. Nina herself remains broken because of her mother's betrayal, so inspiring the kind of love that transforms someone evil into someone good and kind would give Nina the validation she deeply longs for that she's worthy of love.

I feel sorry for Nina because she's deluding herself about Nelle. That's why I am holding out hope for another twist. I really hope that we learn that Nelle was a twin, and that twin is with the mysterious Phyllis Caulfield. My working theory is that Harmony, a.k.a. Lorraine Miller, is the nurse that Nina is searching for. I realize that, at present, Willow and Nelle's ages don't match up (Willow was said to have been 18 when her father died in 2014), and Nelle's birthdate is listed as June 15, 1992, but that doesn't mean much, since it's not unheard of to tweak an age to fit a narrative.

Meanwhile, Valentin proved to be full of surprises, from his little tryst with Brook Lynn to his confession when he told her, "No, I was in love before Nina. I don't think I ever truly fell out of love with her, and I doubt I ever will."

Wow, I did not expect that. Does this mean that Anna, not Nina, is the true love of Valentin's life? If so, sign me up. I could definitely get behind Valentin making a play for Anna again. It's not that I don't like Anna and Finn, but they've been rather boring lately, and I have a feeling that Jackie is going to shake things up between the lovebirds. It's obvious that there's history between Finn and Jackie that goes beyond her merely being his stepmother.

I also think that Valentin and Anna are more suited for each other than Anna and Finn. Valentin understands the world that Anna lives and thrives in, and he's capable of dealing with all the dangers and pitfalls that comes with it. Valentin is determined to make better choices for Charlotte's sake. What better way to accomplish that goal than to save the world at Anna's side?

Until then, I'm perfectly content to watch Valentin and Brook Lynn enjoy each other's company.

I'd also like to see Valentin continue his friendship with Alexis. I realize that they aren't actually siblings, but they do share the same twisted background with the Cassadines. Alexis is going to need someone like Valentin in her corner as she continues to spiral.

Alexis has fallen off the wagon, and Sam is desperate to get her back on it as quickly as possible. Sam knows that's not really up to her, but she doesn't know what else to do for her mother other than to rally the troops. It's not in Sam's nature to do nothing when someone she loves is in trouble.

Addiction runs through my family, going back several generations, so I have lots of experience dealing with a family member in crisis. Technically, a person can be forced to get sober, whether it's through incarceration, court order, emotional blackmail, or some other means, but if the addict doesn't want to get clean then it's not going to stick. Eventually, when the opportunity presents itself, the addict will relapse. Even when the addict chooses to get clean, an emotional blow can send that person right back to their drug of choice, as we saw happen with Alexis.

Addiction is vicious, and the addict faces a constant battle to be clean. I've seen addicts who were clean for decades relapse, and I've known people who've fallen off the wagon repeatedly. Getting clean is an incredibly difficult and courageous thing to do because it requires a constant recommitment -- sometimes hour by hour -- and incredible strength to face one's demons. The work it takes to stay clean is hard, ongoing, and often painful.

It's easy to dislike Alexis right now because she's embracing her addiction with open arms, all because of the death of a man who doesn't really deserve that level of grief. Neil was a liar. He never told Alexis that he had shared the same struggle with addiction that she had. Neil kept that huge part of himself hidden from Alexis and everyone around him. Worse, he went to Alexis that night with drugs, and he stayed, knowing that he would use them while he was with her.

Alexis didn't call Neil or ask him to come over. It had been a complete surprise when he had shown up on her doorstep. I hate that Alexis is throwing away all of her hard work for someone who hadn't respected her enough to stay away from her while he was using.

Alexis lost a career that she loved almost as much as her children for a man who had selfishly and even callously deceived her, so I get why she feels defeated and has reached for the bottle. I just hope that she doesn't have to hit rock bottom to get sober again. If Finn can't get through to Alexis, I hope a family intervention where she sees all the people who love her there to support her, does.

Perhaps, in her quest to get sober again, Alexis can forge a new path as a drug counselor. Despite Neil's selfishness, he was a broken soul, so it would be a way for Alexis to make his tragic end count for something.

Well, folks, we have a mystery. Cyrus is interested in a 40-year-old murder case that was heavily redacted. That's around the time of several big storylines, including the death of David Hamilton in 1978.

Who is David Hamilton? I'm happy to fill you in.

David Hamilton (Jerry Ayres) was a college buddy of Laura's adoptive father, Rick Webber. David was a widower who had lost his wife and children in a horrific tragedy that had left him paralyzed. When Rick invited David to recuperate in his home, David jumped at the opportunity. David had faked his paralysis, and he had revenge on his mind, because David's deceased wife had been in love with Rick. David set out to seduce Rick's wife, Lesley, to punish Rick for something Rick had had no control over, but Lesley rejected David's advances.

Unfortunately, David became obsessed with Lesley, so to punish her for not reciprocating his twisted feelings, David decided to seduce her rebellious teenage daughter -- Laura.

Long story short, Laura fancied herself in love with David. She had dreams of running away with him and getting married, but he cruelly laughed at the idea and confessed that he had only used her. Laura snapped. In a fit of fury, she shoved David away from her as she tried to flee the apartment. To Laura's horror, David stumbled back and hit his head. He died instantly.

Later, Lesley discovered David's body, and realizing that Laura had killed him, Lesley decided to confess. A traumatized Laura blocked the incident out, but Rick put her in counseling. When Laura finally recalled the awful events leading to David's demise, she ran away. However, Scott and his friend managed to track Laura down and persuaded her to return. Laura confessed, and the charges against Lesley were dropped. Due to the circumstances -- David's inappropriate sexual relationship with Laura -- Laura was given probation and ordered to continue therapy.

I imagine that case would be heavily redacted, since Laura had been a minor at the time. It would certainly explain Cyrus' strange fascination with Laura, too. If Cyrus is indeed connected to David Hamilton, then my guess is that Cyrus was David's younger brother or possibly his son.

However, Cyrus is also a little too interested in buying Charlie's Pub from Julian. Not too long ago, there was another murder mystery that unfolded there when the skeleton of Sonny's first mob hit was discovered. Vincent Marino's case might also have been heavily redacted, because Margaux Dawson (Elizabeth Hendrickson) had taken steps to hide her mother's role in Joe Scully ordering the murder.

Cyrus being connected to Vincent Marino makes even more sense, given Cyrus' history and his interest in Mike Corbin.

Speaking of Mike, we learned this week that he had invested in a racehorse, which Sonny inherited. Will Sonny find a new passion, racing and breeding thoroughbreds? I've been advocating for Sonny to retire and find a new passion other than ruling the eastern seaboard with an iron fist for the sake of his daughters, so I hope so.

I also think it would be interesting to see what Sam would do if Jason were handed the reins to Sonny's empire. There was a time that I would have said she'd support him, but these days, I'm not so sure. Even Alexis sees the distance between Sam and Jason.

The same can't be said for two other couples who each found themselves at a crossroads in their relationships.

Michael and Willow realized that there's no longer any reason to stay married now that Nelle is dead. Willow can adopt Wiley without fear of Nelle creating waves, and they can get an annulment and find love with someone else, even though it's clear that each is hoping to do just that with the other.

I really have no idea why Michael and Willow are pretending that they haven't already shared a kiss or that Michael didn't overhear Willow confiding to Wiley that she was falling for Michael. It's silly. They are both adults, and they are married to each other. I really don't think that learning the truth about Chase and Sasha is going to change how Michael and Willow feel about each other because enough time has passed for each of them to get over the hurt of being cheated on and move on.

Even if it was for the greater good, Chase and Sasha lied, manipulated, and hurt Willow and Michael. That can be forgiven, but it's much harder to rebuild a relationship on such a damaged foundation. The trust was broken, and there are consequences for that. In this case, it paved the way for Michael and Willow to develop feelings for each other. The fact that they decided to enjoy their marriage until the annulment is granted says all we need to know about where they really stand with each other.

Nikolas and Ava know something about that, but Ava doesn't trust that Nikolas was being honest when he admitted that he had developed "inconvenient" feelings for his bride. Ava challenged Nikolas to put his money where his mouth is by giving her a divorce and everything her prenup had promised. It's not what Ava wants, but she has a bad habit of being her own worst enemy.

Lucky for Ava, Nikolas is not the type to give up without a fight. I can't wait to see what Nikolas has in store for her. I've been a Nava (Nikolas and Ava) fan ever since the two found themselves seated next to each other on a flight out of Port Charles. Ava is about to have a real prince sweep her off her feet. It's going to be glorious.

Random observations

It's sweet that Dustin offered to step aside if Lulu wanted to give Dante a second chance and that she promised him that she was over Dante. Too bad Lulu was lying to herself as much as she was to Dustin.

Be still my heart! Is it possible that Jerry Jacks is on his way to Port Charles? It's a well-known fact that there's a Beetlejuice effect that makes someone appear when their name is said three times. This is especially true if the aforementioned person is believed to be dead or hasn't been seen in a while. Britt and Jax said Jerry's name several times during their conversation on Friday, so I'm counting down the days. Plus, Jerry is exactly the kind of guy who would fake Holly's death and hold her captive.

I'm impressed that Brook Lynn's neck bandage survived not only a night of hot passion with Valentin but also a shower and a morning tumble.

I hate that Ned is lying to Olivia about his one-night stand with Alexis, but at the same time, I love Ned and Monica's scenes. They are a fun duo. It must be because they were once lovers.

Reader feedback

It's irksome that Mike was suddenly a saint in his last year when he was really a deadbeat dad who only showed up when he needed Sonny to give him money to pay gambling debts. If he hadn't had Alzheimer's would they still think he was so wonderful? -- Lynn

Of course it melds with Sonny being a wonderful son, a wonderful father, a wonderful person YUCK!!! Mike's awful background compared to killer Sonny -- makes Mike a saint. -- Lucky Lady

I don't know what Jason's has in mind for The Britch, but I think they look PERFECT together! It's so cool that Britt can stand toe-to-toe with Jason, and look him straight in the eyes, and that she's not the LEAST bit intimidated by him, physically OR personally. Instead, she gives him as good as she gets, she doesn't take any crap, and she's clearly enjoying herself! -- Scrimmage

I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to leave a comment below or email me. 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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