Wedding bells ring on a bloody Valentine's Day

For the Week of February 18, 2019
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Liesl croons to a lonely hearts karaoke gathering
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As lovebirds exchanged vows and shared chocolates and flowers, visions of murder danced in Ryan's head. Love is definitely in the air, and an unexpected new life begins, but heartbreak and death are never far behind, especially in Port Charles.

My, my what a sad little depressing place the Floating Rib is on Valentine's Day. I loved it, especially Liesl serenading the lonely and depressed with one of her catchy little ditties.

Not that Sasha let the desolate vibes of the bar stop her from sashaying over to Griffin and cozying up to him as he appeared to be well on his way to drowning his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle.

Griffin is struggling. He's lost his faith because the love of his life was viciously snatched away from him at the hands of a homicidal maniac. Griffin doesn't understand how that can happen, and it has shaken his very belief in God. I can't help but question Griffin's fickle faith.

How many times has Griffin counseled the grieving, some of whose loved ones were murdered, with words of compassion and inspiration? Do those words suddenly lose all meaning because the shoe is on the other foot now that Griffin is the one who has lost a loved one to a senseless crime? And just how deep was Griffin's connection with Kiki when just weeks earlier, he was declaring his undying love for her mother?

I feel like the writers have no idea what to do with Griffin. He's got oodles of potential, but for whatever reason, no one has capitalized on it. I think the first mistake was in not making him Duke and Anna's son. Instead, Duke fathered Griffin with a nameless woman who raised her son in what seems like another, much earlier, era. It was also a huge blunder to keep him tied to his priestly robes for so long. He should have been having adventures and falling in love rather than listening to Sonny's confessions and offering absolution.

Instead, Griffin's isolated life and disastrous relationships have painted him into a corner. I hate to say it, but Griffin is a drama fiend, which was why he was drawn to a married parishioner (Claudette), the town pariah (Ava), and his ex-lover's daughter (Kiki). He wants what he shouldn't have, especially if it challenges his faith in God. I think that wallowing in grief is right up Griffin's alley because it feeds his need to punish himself for having impure thoughts. That is at the crux of Griffin's dysfunction, thanks in large part to a cold and pious mother.

That's why I wanted Anna to be Griffin's mother. I'm certain that Griffin would have had a completely different outlook on life if he had learned that Anna's genes were flowing through his veins, not the genes of a sad woman who had mourned a man who had never loved her.

I really don't mind if Griffin hooks up with Sasha. I think it would do him a world of good, because even though she's neck-deep in Valentin's mess, there's something about her that I like. She seems to genuinely care about Nina, and she's worried about Valentin's intentions. She's gotten to know Nina, and she understands how deep this betrayal will cut. Sure, conning a woman by pretending to be her long-lost daughter is an awful thing to do, but Sasha could start making amends by coming clean before it's too late and Maxie gets her mitts on Sasha's toenail clippings.

Nina deserves better than Valentin. She's been down this road so many times that it now qualifies as insanity. It never ends well for her, and the longer it drags on, the worse it will be.

Meanwhile, Franco is languishing in jail, desperate to get his legal troubles behind him so that he can get on with the business of enjoying his honeymoon, compliments of a quickie jailhouse wedding officiated by Drew. I. Feel. Cheated.

Franco and Liz, and we fans, deserved so much better than this.

Let's go back exactly 20 years to February 15/16, 1999, when Lucky and Liz exchanged vows in a little church on the one-year anniversary of her rape. As a Liz fan, I will never forget that beautiful, poignant moment because it was a major turning point in her life and her healing process.

Now, when Liz finally finds a man who makes her happy, who loves her boys unconditionally, whom she's built a life with, she gets a quickie wedding without even her boys present? Really? I'm thrilled that Franco and Liz are married, but they should have had a real wedding -- with her boys standing right next to her, sporting proud smiles. I expect a redo as soon a Franco's name is cleared.

Again, it's not like Franco is actually guilty of a crime. He was at a Paint the Pumpkin hospital party -- dressed as Willy Wonka -- when Mary Pat was murdered, and he would never kill Kiki. Even Ava doesn't believe that it's possible, and she's chomping at the bit to blame someone for her daughter's vicious murder.

The only good thing to come out of this fiasco is that Drew proved to be a true friend and defended Franco to Jordan by informing her that Franco couldn't even kill the man who had molested Franco as a child. Jordan finally realized that perhaps Franco had been framed -- much like Carly was for Mary Pat's murder and Griffin was for Kiki's death. As Friday's show ended, Jordan suggested to Franco that they work together to smoke out a killer. Will Franco do it? Probably, because he's a good guy now. But at what cost?

It seems likely that Jordan is going to ask Franco to confess, because she wants the killer to believe that he got away with framing Franco. Jordan probably hopes that Franco's downfall will draw the killer out, but I can't help but wonder how she expects that to go down? Does she not realize that the killer will emerge only to kill again?

I would think that Ryan would become suspicious if Franco were suddenly to confess to a bunch of murders that he didn't commit. Then again, Ryan is going to be a little busy torturing his brother because Ryan realizes that something was off about Laura's reaction to the prenuptial agreement. Will Laura follow Ryan to Ferncliff and catch him with Kevin? We can only hope, but it's unlikely.

I suspect that Ryan will get to fantasize about a couple's murder spree with Ava a little while longer.

Frankly, I thought that Carly's pregnancy announcement had been a fantasy, too. It was completely out of the blue, and Carly said it so calmly that it just didn't seem real. However, once Carly started talking about missed periods and pregnancy tests, I realized that she truly was pregnant.

There is so much to unpack with what Carly revealed, but I want to start with her casual revelation that she'd stopped taking the birth control pill without discussing it with her husband -- or her doctor, apparently. I say this because had Carly discussed it with her gynecologist, she would have been told that women Carly's age can and do get pregnant, provided that they are still ovulating. Clearly, Carly was.

It boggles my mind that a woman Carly's age can be so ignorant of a woman's reproductive system, especially when she's raising a daughter.

I was also a bit surprised at Sonny's reaction. Don't get me wrong, I understand his concern about Carly's health because her pregnancy with Josslyn wasn't easy, but he's also a Catholic. I would think that he would avoid talking about terminating the pregnancy, at least until Carly's seen a doctor and had a proper examination. Contrary to what Carly told him, women can produce the HCG hormone during the early stages of ovarian cancer and test positive for pregnancy. It's rare, but it can happen -- especially on a soap opera.

That is why you go to a doctor.

After the surprise of Carly's announcement wore off, the cynic in me wondered if the pregnancy was about the next chapter in Sonny and Carly's lives or if it was a plot device intended to drive an angsty wedge between them. It's not just Sonny's unenthusiastic reaction to the news but the fact that Carly didn't say anything to her husband until she had taken two pregnancy tests. They are not a newlywed couple starting out and living paycheck to paycheck. They've been married to each other six times, and they have a bottomless pit of money and several kids ranging from preschool to adult between them.

I can assure you that if I thought I was pregnant, the first person I would tell is my husband. He's my best friend and, more importantly, my port in a storm. An unplanned and potentially high-risk pregnancy in our 40s would certainly qualify as a storm -- of hurricane proportions.

Then I remembered that not too long ago, Carly was worried that Sonny might be starting something with Margaux, so Sonny and Carly's marriage isn't exactly on terra firma. I can't imagine that the stress of a risky pregnancy will help the situation.

Meanwhile, Sam and Jason are going strong and digging into Shiloh/Hank's past in Beechers Corners. Shank doesn't like it. Not one bit.

I'm a little disappointed that the writers didn't dangle the possibility that Shank is the genuine article a little longer, because the unknown made the story compelling. Also, I hate that Jason and Sam act like Sam is the only person capable of turning her life around. Everyone else is just a Liar McLiarson.

I have a big problem with Sam continually justifying her actions by insisting that she had used the money to pay for Danny's school. Oh, she says that she's not making excuses, but she always makes a point of reminding whoever she's telling her tale to that Danny flourished in the school for special needs. What Sam did was wrong, and Danny would have been just as happy living with Sam. Sam sent him to that expensive school because it allowed her to live as she pleased without feeling guilty.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you aren't capable of caring for someone with special needs. It's a difficult job, and not everyone is capable. I wish that Sam would just admit that she took the easy way out for herself and that the men she conned -- and their families -- did not deserve what she did to them. That's why I was rooting for Shiloh to be the real deal.

Alas, it appears that Jason and Sam were once again right, and Shank is just another Amelia Joffee. If there was any doubt, it was eradicated when Shank confronted Kristina about her jealousy when she saw him with Sam. Urging her to find a way to get more money so that she can attain a higher level of enlightenment revealed Shank's true colors and motivation.

Based on what Spinelli unearthed, I'm guessing that Shank is in town because his daddy left everything to Sam. Now, the question is how deep does this plot go? Jason's visit to Beechers Corners suggested that Day of Dawn's reach extends to law enforcement. Could it go further, like, say, to Alexis' new psychiatrist?

Did Alexis truly meet a stranger, or was it a setup? Neil did express an interest in Russian aristocracy, which means that he must have heard of the infamous Cassadines who had once tried to freeze the world with a very large diamond and diabolical ingenuity. If Daisy meeting Kristina was intentional, could Neil's encounter with Alexis be, as well?

My gut tells me that Neil is up to no good, mainly because he should have rejected Alexis as a patient the minute he realized that the woman he had asked out was his new patient. No good can come of treating a woman you were interested in dating -- unless you have dastardly intentions.

For that reason, I'm not ruling out the possibility that Neil is part of the DOD plot.

That brings me to Willow and the sneaking suspicion I have that Shiloh is her baby's daddy. Nothing on soaps is random, and Willow hasn't revealed much about the man who got her pregnant other than that he was her first and that they didn't stay together because he couldn't be in the picture for "all kinds of reasons."

Could those reasons be that he ran a cult and turned out to be not the wonderful, enlightened man that Willow believed him to be? Willow doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would sleep with a man that she didn't love, nor would she give up her child if she believed that she could provide him with a good life. A woman like Willow could only let her child go if she believed that she was protecting him.

It's food for thought. I'm curious to see if Willow has a reaction when she meets Shank. Until then, Brad should find a way to tell Lucas the truth because Willow sucks at hiding her interest in Wiley. It is only a matter of time before Chase puts the pieces together, and when he does, things are going to go from bad to worse really quickly, especially when a DNA tests reveals that Wiley is not Willow's child.

Folks, I owe everyone my sincerest apology. In my last column, I mentioned that Julian knew that Nelle was Wiley/Jonah's mother. That, as some kind readers pointed out, is not the case at all. Julian has no idea that Nelle gave her newborn to Brad. I have no idea why I had that in my head, but I have believed that to be the case ever since Wiley was diagnosed with his heart condition.

To tell the truth, I am overjoyed to learn that I am wrong, because it means that Julian is not as complicit in Brad's crimes as I had believed. Is Julian lying to Lucas? Yes, but I think that Lucas will understand why Julian believed that he was doing the right thing.

(Warning: Spoilers in the form of casting news discussed below. Skip if you don't wish to know.)

Finally, news broke that Dominic Zamprogna and Ingo Rademacher are on their way back to Port Charles. I'm delighted -- but also worried. I don't want Dante to return only to exit a few months later, leaving poor Lulu in limbo once again. That's not fair to Emme Rylan or her fans. As for Jax, I can't wait to see what trouble he stirs up for Sonny.

Random observations

Just curious, how many of you knock on someone's door then yell out something along the lines of, "Hey, it's me, (insert name)!" Me neither, yet for some odd reason, every single soap character ever does this. It's strange, and it needs to stop. That's what peepholes are for.

I'm in love with Jonah! He looks like a little old man, especially in those adorable suspenders and that red bowtie. I just want to grab him and smother him with smooches. Once again, GH casting knocks it out of the ballpark!

Who decorates for a Valentine's Day party without putting on some tunes to get everyone in the mood? Apparently, DOD does. I found it downright creepy that everyone was decorating without saying a peep, while Shank and Jason exchanged heated words. It screamed cult!

I'm always suspicious when a past character is mentioned. Was Jackie Templeton mentioned because Demi Moore is reprising the role? Doubtful, because news like that would spread like wildfire on the Internet. However, it did get me to thinking about which past character I would like to see the most. Paging Dr. Jeff Webber (Richard Dean Anderson), who is long overdue for a visit with his daughter.

Reader feedback

I'm enjoying the ride as Robert, Anna, and Finn walk us through this rather complicated plot involving Alex, and the mysterious Dr Cabot (who is apparently not yet cast), and his twin research. Not only are they asking the same questions I would be, like "What's the point of making twins go blind?" but as a bonus, the new comedy team of Finn and Scorpio comparing notes on Anna ("I can HEAR you! I'm standing right HERE!") is quickly becoming Must-See-TV! The show is FAR from perfect, but it's little moments like that that make tuning in every day worthwhile. -- Scrimmage

What I don't understand, nor like, was the switch from Sonny dumping the body to Sonny killing the guy, all within the space of a couple of months, without ANY explanation. I felt like the writers took me for a chump. They also further sullied Sonny's character for no reason at all; the change did not add to the story line. -- alic

After watching Thursdays' episode, I am convinced that the entire PCPD takes stupid lessons. Three murders and not a single clue but suddenly all sorts of clues that point to Franco. That alone should be suspicious. -- JDF

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to email me 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 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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