Wooden spoons and things that go poke in the night

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Esme stirred the pot with Trina, Nina played with fire, things heated up on Cassadine Island, and trouble is brewing for Brook Lynn. Let's get cooking with Two Scoops -- and wooden spoons.

Esme played Josslyn like a fiddle, but she didn't count on Cam. If I didn't love Cam already, his talk with Josslyn when he sensed her hesitation to have sex would have sealed the deal. He was sweet, kind, and understanding, and he said all the right things. Hearing Cam assure Josslyn that she had the right to change her mind and that he had waited years to hold her hand, so he could wait a little longer for sex, shows that he respects women. That's the kind of partner all moms hope their children find.

I'd take Cam over Spencer any day of the week. Cam works hard, he's humble, and he's kind. Spencer, on the other hand, is a spoiled brat who has a lot of growing up to do -- and to be knocked down a peg or two along the way. I love Spencer, but I don't like him all that much, especially when I hear him whine about how humiliating it is to work at Kelly's for minimum wage. I understand that it's because Spencer was raised with wealth and privilege, but that doesn't make it okay.

I remember Spencer's mother. Courtney was a nice person, but she went through some dark stuff. There was a time that she stripped, married a mob enforcer, and briefly struggled with addiction. Some would say that she was born on the wrong side of the tracks, and she had a father with a very bad gambling addiction. Despite the challenges that she faced -- or to spite them -- Courtney strived to do better. Courtney was thrilled when she was hired at Kelly's, so I'm certain she would be deeply disappointed in Spencer's childish behavior.

It's really no wonder that Spencer is blind to the truth about Esme. He sees what he wants, and he clings to his resentments, even to his own detriment. That's why I actually enjoy seeing him stew in his own misery at Kelly's and pine for Trina from afar. First, I think Trina deserves better than a guy who is hooking up with one girl while thinking about another. Yuck. That's emotional cheating, even if it's Esme who is being cheated on. Second, Trina is living her best life, working a dream job and going to college. I really don't want Spencer's drama jeopardizing any of that.

At this point, even Esme has her act together more than Spencer does, and that girl is plotting bad things. If her bloody palm is any indication, she's also dealing with some serious rage issues. I can't blame Trina for laughing in Esme's face when Esme tried to set some boundaries for Trina's friendship with Spencer, but I have a feeling that Trina is going to pay a high price for crossing Esme like that.

Speaking of people playing with fire, Nina has decided to make Charlie's Pub her new watering hole, knowing that Sonny purchased it from Ava. Such a passive-aggressive move.

Naturally, Phyllis agreed to take over management of the pub. I hope Sonny at least had the courtesy to give Kristina a heads-up, since Kristina has been the one running things since even before Julian died. Poor Julian. I guess the police are just going to let his murder go unsolved, since no one seems even the least bit interested in talking to Sonny about those final minutes of Julian's life. Not even Ava has said a peep about it.

Back to Phyllis. With Phyllis serving up drinks at Charlie's, Nina is going to have a powerful ally to whisper in Sonny's ear.

Not that Sonny needs much persuasion when it comes to Nina. To say that he's sweet on her would be an understatement. Not only has he managed to keep Carly from going on the attack, but he expects everyone to give Nina a free pass for essentially the same thing that Brad did. Like Nina, Brad was grief-stricken when he kept Wiley from Michael, but unlike Nina, who had acted out of spite, Brad had been desperate and had a master manipulator whispering in his ear. Brad knew that the cost of telling could send him to jail and divorce court or worse -- death at Sonny's hands.

Had Nina told the truth in the very beginning, she would have been hailed a hero.

I have no doubt that if Sonny hadn't had a little dalliance with Nina in Nixon Falls, he would have gleefully gone along with Michael's scheme. Sonny's reluctance is all about his attraction to Nina, which is typical of Sonny. It's why I can't blame Nina for clinging to the delusional hope that she and Sonny could live the life they had envisioned in Nixon Falls. The fact that Sonny has remained silent about "Mike" and Nina's relationship, his unwillingness to see Nina punished for her lies, and even his secret collaboration with her during the sale of Charlie's are classic mixed signals.

Sonny's lips might say no to Nina, but his actions scream yes. I just don't want to see this dance continue. I have less desire to see the writers explore a relationship between Sonny and Nina than I did between Nina and "Mike." It was a train wreck then, and it would be worse the second time around.

I don't know about you, dear readers, but I'm having a really hard time forgiving Nina, mainly because she doesn't act like someone who regrets their actions. Instead, she behaves like someone who is only sorry that she got caught. It's really hard to believe someone who says that they regret all the pain they caused only for them to turn around and throw a gut punch by flirting with a married man who is trying to rebuild his life -- a life that Nina played a large role in wrecking.

How does Nina think Sonny's two young daughters will feel when their life is upended again because Sonny and Carly break up? Even if Sonny leaves Carly for Nina, as certain as the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, Sonny will make his way back to Carly. Just ask Brenda, Olivia, Claudia, Alexis, Sam, and all the other women who have watched Sonny walk out of their lives and straight into Carly's arms.

Plus, Sonny might be a softer version of himself, but he's still a mobster. Not even for Nina will that change. Between Nina batting her eyelashes at Sonny and her smiling like a lovesick loon whenever he says a kind word, it really astonishes me that those close to Sonny -- in particular Carly -- haven't figured out that he and Nina had been more than friends in Nixon Falls. Even Jax, who has zero loyalty to Sonny, hasn't slipped up.

Folks, I was stunned when news broke that Ingo Rademacher is out as Jasper Jacks. I have no idea if the role will be recast, but Ingo and GH have parted ways. I'm not going to wade into any of the explosive reasons for Ingo leaving because this is a column about GH. What I will say is that I'm saddened by the situation, but actions have consequences, especially when you put negative stuff out into the universe ­- or social media.

Everyone has the right to make whatever choice is right for them and to say whatever is on their mind -- good or bad -- but part of adulting means taking responsibility for those things. I wish Ingo well, but this is a mess of his own making. As someone who has been a public figure, he knows better. If he didn't before, then he does now.

Will Jax be missed? Certainly. Jax is Josslyn's father, and he has tremendous history with several key characters like Carly and Alexis. However, the most interesting thing about Jax in the last few years has been his connection to Jerry Jacks rather than anything Jax has done. Don't get me wrong -- I used to like Jax, especially back in the day when he and Sonny were locking horns over Brenda. However, for me, Jax's appeal began to wane when he defied Courtney's dying wishes by keeping Spencer from Nikolas.

I was never a fan of Carly and Jax's romance, mainly because I never expected it to last. Turns out that I was right. Carly was never able to stay away from Sonny and Jason, and the lengths that Jax went to in order to keep Carly further tarnished his white knight status, especially when Jax arranged for Sonny's plane to crash with Sonny in it.

Jax's knee-jerk reaction when he persuaded Carly to lie about the circumstances of Nelle's death set a horrible set of events into motion, and it's one of the reasons that Nina ultimately lied about where to find Sonny. The viewers saw that Carly had tried to save Nelle, but Nina only knows that Carly lied and covered up. It's because of Jax that Carly will always look guilty to Nina.

As I said earlier, Jerry is far more fascinating than Jax. I would love for Jerry to return to stir up trouble. Sebastian Roché is a fantastic actor, and he oozes chemistry with everyone. At the rate things are unfolding on Cassadine Island, dare we hope that Jerry pops up to clean house on Cassadine Island? I would love that.

Things are looking up for Britt, Jason, Drew, and Liesl, because Peter might have overplayed his hand when he dragged his sister to where Drew and Jason were chained up so he could do some showing off. With flashcards in hand, Peter used key phrases to activate and deactivate Drew at will, not realizing that he was handing Britt and Jason the key to neutralizing his most effective weapon.

As much as I enjoy all the action in Greece, things are starting to drag out. How is it possible for Peter and his men to be patrolling all over that island, but the WSB is completely oblivious that an unoccupied island is suddenly abuzz with activity? It doesn't make sense to me. Also, what is Peter going to do with all his prisoners? I thought his endgame was to find Louise and spirit mother and child (or children) to a secret lair to live in halcyon bliss until the end of days. Where does Peter's merry band of prisoners fit in with that plan?

Then there is Nikolas, who owns the island and employs the caretakers. Are we to believe that no one has alerted Nikolas that Peter is running amok on the island? With Victor out of commission, who exactly is bankrolling Peter's reign of terror and army of monkeys? Peter might be rich, but he doesn't have the level of wealth it takes to sustain an operation like his. He's a Faison, not a Corinthos, Cassadine, Quartermaine, or Jacks.

I want Drew back in Port Charles. I want him to learn about Franco's death, to reconnect with Scout, and to pay Monica a visit. I like Dante, but not with Sam, so I'm also rooting for Drew to rekindle things with Sam. As far as I'm concerned, Drew proved his worth to Sam when -- as Jason -- Drew walked away from the mob for his family. That should earn him a second chance, especially now that Sam seems to have Jason out of her system.

Most of all, I want poor Scotty to be reunited with his Schnitzel. Jason and Britt taking another stab at dating would be icing on the kuchen.

Now, let's talk about Brook Lynn's chickens, which are flocking home to roost as I type.

Gladys gave Austin just enough information for him to deduce that Brook Lynn is scamming Valentin. Austin wants Brook Lynn to have a taste of her own medicine, so he advised Valentin to have a chat with Gladys. It's Austin's hope that, after Valentin leaves Brook Lynn's life in ruins, he extends Austin's regards. I understand Austin's desire to lash out at Brook Lynn while righting a wrong along the way. Brook Lynn has been downright evil to Austin, but I don't think things are going to work out as Austin hopes.

I'm pretty sure that Valentin will give Brook Lynn a free pass on passing Louise off as "Bailey" because it was done with Maxie's knowledge, and it was truly the best way to keep Louise safe from Peter. However, Brook Lynn is not going to get off that easy for faking a pregnancy. That was a dirty trick, and it impacted Charlotte. Valentin won't let that go. He's an adult and fair game, but he takes overprotective papa to a whole different level.

It would serve Brook Lynn right if Valentin found a way to retain control of ELQ. It's not the worst thing that could happen. It seems everyone agreed that Valentin had done a great job, and I suspect Ned is going to be busy working on his marriage and helping both Leo and Olivia navigate a new path in life. Luckily for Brook Lynn and the rest of the Quartermaines, Anna is now in the picture. If anyone can pull Valentin back from the edge, it's Anna. She is the main reason that I want a quick resolution with Brook Lynn.

I can't wait to see what the writers have in store for Valentin and Anna -- and just in time for the holidays, too. It's practically made for Hallmark.

Finally, I have a little bone to pick with Portia. I love Portia. Brook Kerr is a wonderful actress and addition to the cast, she's incredibly beautiful, and Portia is a very likeable character. I also think she's really good for Curtis, but she's got secrets. I haven't forgotten that she vowed to tell Trina the truth about her father when Portia and Jordan were locked in the basement with a carbon monoxide leak. I have long suspected that Curtis, not Marcus, is Trina's biological father. Time will tell if I'm right, but that's not my issue with Portia at the moment.

No, my beef with the good doctor was Portia's little chat with Liz at the Savoy. What in the world was that all about?

To me, Liz looked like she was having a dandy time out on a date with a handsome doctor, sipping birthday Champagne and attending the hottest event in town. Why would Portia turn all Debbie Downer on Liz by bringing up Franco and then encouraging Liz to ditch Finn and go home if Liz felt even the tiniest bit uncomfortable. Not only did Portia not read the room, but her timing was awful.

I appreciate Portia's concern for her friend, but she should have saved that talk for when Liz wasn't at a concert, drinking and kicking up her heels. I hope Portia noticed that Liz stayed for the concert and that she and Finn were smiling and flirting. Finn is exactly the kind of man that Liz needs to help her move on from losing Franco. They have a nice chemistry, and their blended family would be perfect for Violet, who obviously already loves her aunt and cousins.

So, who is the mystery man who sent sleazy Linc Brown to the Savoy to save the day? My money is still on him being Curtis' dad. Curtis was just talking about deadbeat daddio, and the guy is clearly interested in all aspects of Curtis' life. Given his interest in music, he's clearly a musician himself. I just don't know why Curtis didn't recognize his dad in the photo, even if he hasn't seen him in a million years.

Then again, Curtis did say that the man in the sketch looked familiar. Perhaps on some level, Curtis did recognize his father. Will Papa mystery man be the catalyst for Portia to come clean to Trina? We will have to say tuned, but things are heating up.

Random observations

If Esme is from Europe, why does she have an American accent?

I love the idea of Alexis living with Molly, T.J., and Shawn. I hope the kids don't move out anytime soon because not only do I think Alexis could use the support, but with the holidays around the corner, it will be nice to see Alexis surrounded by family -- and possibly romance.

What kind of magic did Phyllis work at the Tan-O? Keeping people out? In total, I saw a handful of customers during Sonny's nine-month sojourn in Nixon Falls, and most of those patrons were Port Charles residents looking for Nina.

I want to learn more about Harmony. I really like her friendship with Alexis, and I hope Diane can be added to the mix. The three of them would be a hoot. Harmony needs some loosening up, and Alexis and Diane are absolute gold together.

Reader feedback

Liesl at least has a heart and does care for others. She has her good points and has legitimately become a much better person. Gladys has no redeeming value whatsoever. She only cares for herself and uses everyone around her. -- Mariko

I do not see how Shawn is a changed man. He took part of the "get Jason out of Jail free" scam by stabbing the man. This was working with mobsters. I don't see how a prisoner involved with a stabbing gets out right away. Shawn blabbers about "Justice for Hayden!" but what about justice for all the people hurt by the Balkan and Sonny? They get nothing. Yes Nik got away with attempted murder as did Sonny that same night. (Also Nik's hitman got away). I can't see why staying true to a murdering mobster is any more noble than not telling on any of the crimes that SO MANY on the show know about and don't tell. -- Mary Keeley

Apparently, faking one's own death is a ReCastidine family tradition. What I don't understand is why Victor helped his nephew plot and scheme against his own son? -- 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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