Escape to Port Charles
For the Week of November 9, 2020
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You know you're in trouble when your only option is to escape to Port Charles, where mobsters mingle with superspies and reformed supervillains, candles can send you back in time, and the dead have a nasty habit of not remaining deceased. Fortunately, our columnist is here to guide everyone through all the action, intrigue, and time travel.

What a roller-coaster week -- and I'm not just talking about the US election!

Folks, things have been crazy in my house for the past few weeks. My son had a health crisis that required surgery, and the same week that my son recovered from his emergency, my daughter had a gothic Halloween wedding, complete with guests in costume. Thankfully, everything went according to plan, and my son even got to attend the festivities long enough to see his baby sister married.

Two days later, it was time for an anxiety-inducing election that had me stress-eating the leftover wedding cupcakes and cookies and eyeing the closet where the Christmas stuff is stored with longing. I love Christmas, but my husband would pop a vein if I dragged so much as a string of tinsel or festive bow out before Thanksgiving.

2020 has taught me some important lessons, including that I'm more grateful than ever for the blessed escape from reality that my beloved soap opera offers. I eagerly anticipate each episode because the writers have been keeping us on our toes, with exciting twists and turns. It's a wonderful time to be a GH fan. Even my son, who has been forced to spend most of his time resting on the living room recliner, has been paying attention, especially to Franco's plight and Anna's family drama.

Lately, the rule of thumb has been to expect the unexpected.

Franco's malignant brain tumor diagnosis was one of those surprises. Sure, there were subtle hints that something might be going on, like the vandalized portrait of Ava and how Franco had eagerly embraced the blackmail scheme to expose Nikolas and Ava's plots to drive each other to divorce, but until Franco collapsed in the Floating Rib, I really hadn't considered that his brain tumor might be back. I suspected someone might be stalking Franco or Ava and that Franco had thrown himself into the scheme because the plan had always been to rip up the checks.

I don't like the idea of Franco reverting to his old ways, and I think it's a mistake for him to keep Liz in the dark about the tumor, especially if he's approaching Jason with a request to kill him if Jason should see Franco's evil side emerging. It stunned me that Jason didn't ask more questions, because that was a rather bold request to make. At the very least, Jason should be wondering what had prompted such a request after Franco literally spent years insisting that he was a changed man since the removal of the first tumor.

I know that Franco hopes to spare Liz and the kids unnecessary pain, but imagine how they would feel if Franco were to suddenly vanish from their lives. Also, given Franco's history with the previous brain tumor, it's downright dangerous to not let those closest to him know that he might turn homicidal. The previous brain tumor drove Franco to be a serial killer, not a humanitarian. It's reckless to keep his loved ones in the dark.

For that reason, I questioned Terry honoring Franco's request not to tell Liz. Liz is Franco's wife, and she has a right to know that he might pose a danger to her and her children. Doesn't a doctor have an ethical obligation to speak up if a patient might endanger the lives of others? I love Terry, but I think keeping quiet about Franco's diagnosis is a grave error in judgment. I just hope that someone doesn't pay with their life before Franco can get treatment.

I'm not interested in Franco revisiting his serial killer days. It's not a storyline that I want to see explored because a brain tumor defense was barely plausible the first time. It will drift into the realm of absurd the second time around. Franco and Liz are one of my favorite couples, so I don't want to see this destroy them. It will if Franco kills someone. Liz can forgive a lot, but not that, especially if it could have been prevented if Franco had been honest with her from the start.

Now, time to discuss Alex's return.

It wasn't exactly unexpected, since both Anna and Valentin had mentioned the possibility on multiple occasions. However, it was definitely surprising -- and a bit shocking -- when Alex stormed into the living room in her black witch costume and knocked Anna out before Anna could do more than blink like a doe caught in the headlights.

However, I expected far more from Anna when she finally had the chance to turn the tables on her twin. James Bond (may Sean Connery rest in peace) would have taken that shot because, despite the pure evil that lurks inside Alex, she is not faster than a bullet. Twin or not, it doesn't make sense that Anna wouldn't end Alex's miserable life once and for all. Not only would it spare everyone unnecessary heartache, but it would likely save a few lives, to boot.

It's not as if Anna and Alex are close. Alex has made countless attempts on Anna's life through the years, which is why I'm equally disappointed in Alex, because if her intention had been to kill Anna to make it look as if Alex had died, why did she waste all that time tying Anna up in the basement? She is clearly flying by the seat of her pants, which brings me to Maxie's abduction.

First, I love how calm Maxie is. She has no idea that Alex wouldn't harm a hair on her head as long as Maxie was pregnant with Alex's grandchild, but Maxie has been down this road enough times to understand that a hostage is far more valuable alive than dead. Doubly so for a pregnant hostage who would have a small army of loved ones riding to her rescue, including Robert Scorpio.

I can't wait for the showdown on Monday. Bullets will be flying, and it's my hope that when the dust finally settles, Alex manages to escape. It's not that I want her to live to terrorize another day. No, I want Anna and Valentin to have a reason to team up again with the intention of having a final showdown with Alex.

I really enjoyed Anna and Valentin's scenes as they worked together to escape while the makeshift bomb ticked down. They have a long and complicated history and great chemistry, and they make an awesome team. Valentin and Nina are toxic, and despite their best intentions, every time they get together, it ends in complete and utter disaster. It's not healthy for anyone, least of all for Nina.

Then there's Finn and Jackie, who not only share a past, but I'm almost certain a child, as well. I want to see where their storyline goes, because I sense unresolved feelings. How can there not be when Finn literally ghosted Jackie and his family the day after he hit the sheets with his soon-to-be stepmother? It's the foundation for a juicy story, especially now that Jackie has revealed that she and her husband are calling it quits after decades of marriage.

With Finn in a fight for his life, will a medical crisis -- like the need for a life-saving transfusion of a rare blood type that neither Gregory nor Jackie has -- force Jackie to reveal a long-held secret? Is that at the root of Jackie and Gregory's divorce?

I have nothing but mad love for both Finola Hughes and Michael Easton, but Anna is more interesting with Valentin, and the same is true for Finn and Jackie.

If things don't work out with Jackie, Finn can keep himself busy helping Alexis navigate from her latest relapse to sobriety.

It's so easy to despise Alexis these days, which is the point. Alexis isn't drinking because it makes her feel good. She's drinking to numb herself from the self-loathing and feeling of worthlessness stemming from her profound guilt. Deep down inside, Alexis blames herself for not being able to save Neil. It's not just his brother's cruel accusations that she was to blame but the very fact that Neil died in her bed. He didn't overdose at home or at a party. He injected himself with the opioids in her bed that was still warm from their lovemaking.

Pushing her family away is easy because Alexis believes they are better off without her -- just as she believes Neil would have been. Sadly, I suspect that Alexis will continue to self-destruct. It's for that reason that I applaud Sam for drawing a line about the kids. Danny and Scout don't need to see Alexis spiraling.

Folks, I love Dante, and I'm rooting for him and Lulu, but I don't think he has any right to make any promises to Lulu, especially assuring her that "I'm not going anywhere." Not after he took off to chase a bad guy then ended up having to get intensive and extensive treatment for post-traumatic stress, during which he sent her divorce papers.

It's also petty, and a bit beneath Dante, to deliberately refer to Dustin by different names. Dustin was there for Lulu -- and Rocco, for that matter -- when Dante wasn't. He hasn't done anything wrong and doesn't deserve the kind of disrespect that Dante is showing him. I want Dante to stop the chest-thumping games. Just be open and honest with Lulu because it's clear each time she's near Dante that she wants that opportunity to see if things can be repaired between them.

Lulu's pretty transparent, and I've seen this particular dance between her and Dante before. The harder Lulu snaps at him, the more she wants him. She'll court danger and take risks, knowing that Dante will save her, and then the two will succumb to their passion.

I feel sorry for Dustin. He lost Lulu the minute that Dante turned up on her doorstep. Hopefully, Dustin will find someone who can appreciate him. Lulu was never really free to give her heart to Dustin or anyone else because it had always belonged to Dante.

Meanwhile, Dante's father had drinks with Taggert, who revealed that Julian had been on the piers with Nelle the night that Wiley was kidnapped. Julian's goose is cooked -- or is it?

Sonny, more than anyone, knows what Nelle was capable of. At one point, she even had Sonny believing that they had slept together, and she was a convicted murderer -- or is it murderess? I guess it doesn't matter because, either way, she was diabolical and dangerous.

Killing Julian wouldn't be easy because Taggert is aware of Julian's connection to Nelle and the kidnapping of Sonny's grandchild. Taggert is willing to look the other way when it comes to Cyrus, but I don't think he would be down for cold-blooded revenge killing. Turning Julian over to the police wouldn't be a good idea, either, because reopening Nelle's case might shine the spotlight on Carly again. Sonny will want to avoid that at all costs.

Like it or not, I think Sonny's hands are tied in regard to Julian. Not that Julian is completely in the clear. He did strike that devil's bargain with Cyrus to silence Ryan. Currently, Ryan is lingering in a coma from oxygen deprivation after the stabbing, but I've been watching GH long enough not to trust that diagnosis. I'm certain that Ryan is biding his time until he can find a way to escape.

I hate to say this, but Julian might be better off taking Ava's advice to escape Port Charles before it's too late.

Random observations

I loved the episode celebrating the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. I also enjoyed the nod to the soap Port Charles, with those special candles that had been packed away in the box labeled "Barrington." I adored wealthy (and very snobbish) Amanda Barrington (Anne Jeffreys) and her feisty granddaughter, Alison (Erin Hershey Presley), but I'm still bitter that GH brought Alison back only to kill her off then her son, Rafe Jr. (Jimmy Deshler). What a waste!

Didn't Patrick Drake remove Franco's first tumor from the very same spot that Terry is now suggesting is inoperable? Also, why would a doctor tell a patient that a tumor is malignant without first doing a biopsy and then suggest that it's inoperable without first consulting the doctor that removed the first tumor?

I'm tired of Peter whining that he fears he's his father's son and that being Anna's son is the only thing saving him from reverting to his wicked ways. It's hogwash. Not only has Peter not changed his ways, but genetics doesn't drive a person to make evil choices. Peter -- and only Peter -- is responsible for his actions.

Reader feedback

I have to take issue with the claims made about Neil. Do we KNOW he was an addict, that he lied to Alexis, that he brought drugs into her house, or anything else claimed here? Someone could have killed him and set it up to look like he OD'd. If I recall, there weren't any other needle mark's or evidence of prior use. The whole story started out oddly, and then just got placed on a shelf. -- Kim LaSota

You've got to admit, it's a lot easier to like Valentin now that we know he DIDN'T kill Nikolas, even though it's not like he didn't TRY. The fact that he failed probably shouldn't make any difference, but it does. -- Scrimmage

Multiple characters said that they were going to the morgue to identify Nelle's body but none of that was shown. I am reminded of the bit from Soapdish,, "he doesn't have a head!" so, even if they had done the scenes, it could still be walked back later on. -- Andrew

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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