The Ice Princess Diaries

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Loved ones gathered on the Haunted Star to say goodbye to legendary Luke Spencer, but Helena Cassadine managed to get the last word, and the Ice Princess diamond made an appearance. Is it an ominous portent of what's to come? Liz Masters certainly hopes so, and she's here to explain why in this week's Two Scoops.

Whoever is in charge of selecting episodes for encore presentations, please put Friday's show at the tippy top of the list for the next time we have to watch a rerun. I loved it. It was sheer perfection and quite a good send-off for a legend. Everything from the boys brawling in Charlie's Pub to Tracy scattering Luke's ashes, which promptly flew into Scott's mouth on a powerful gust of wind, was a joy to watch.

Too bad I don't think Luke is really dead. If Luke had truly died, I would have expected at least one of his two sons to attend the memorial service. Lulu had a good excuse, but Lucky and Ethan, not so much. Also, did anyone else find it rather odd that not one single member of Tracy's family was in attendance? Not even Ned or Olivia. I don't care if Tracy asked them not to attend; you don't leave your mom alone on the day she's saying goodbye to the love of her life. Finally, Victor seems far too pleased with himself, which suggests there's more to the story than we've been told.

To me, it felt more like a preamble to a mystery adventure than a send-off for an icon like Luke. If Luke had actually been killed off, I would have expected poignant flashbacks and a lot more tears, not a fistfight in an empty bar -- although it was wildly entertaining. I loved how Victor was all too happy to tangle with Sonny, Scott, and Robert, and I'm impressed that he was still standing as the other men filed out as banged up as he was.

Charles Shaughnessy is absolutely fabulous as Victor Cassadine. Victor is handsome, funny, and debonair, and he has just the right amount of darkness to him to give him an edge of unpredictability that I find incredibly appealing. He's mischievous and mercurial, and he's a man who no longer has to live in the shadows of his diabolical brother and treacherous sister-in-law. I know that Victor has done bad things, but this incarnation of him has style and panache, and I can't help but be charmed, especially since he claims to be motivated by a desire to protect his family.

Victor is really no different than Sonny.

Sonny is just as much of a criminal as Victor is, and Sonny has killed and likely will kill again in the name of his business and his family. The only difference between the two men is that Victor has been held accountable for all of his crimes, at least as far as the WSB is concerned.

Back on the Haunted Star, Tracy gave a heartfelt little speech about Luke, scattered his ashes alone from the deck of the ship, and attended to one last task. She offered to return the infamous Ice Princess diamond to Laura, which, until then, had been in Luke's possession. Luke had kept it stored in a black velvet box.

For those who aren't familiar, the Ice Princess is an ugly chunk of diamond that at one time resembled a charcoal briquette mounted on a stick and small marble pedestal. Mikos Cassadine used it to power the contraption that he built to freeze the world, and Helena once wielded it to trigger Lucky Spencer's programming back when he returned from the dead. It made a few other appearances through the years, mostly as a harbinger of doom.

Laura was right when she told Tracy that the Ice Princess was bad news, but it's also very valuable. The appearance of the Ice Princess, Spencer's interest in the unlucky family heirloom, and Victor's constant warnings that something wicked this way comes tells me that we have set sail for stormy seas. Yay. I love these types of storylines, especially when many of my favorite characters are involved.

In fact, trouble is brewing on several fronts, including Sonny and Carly's once rock-solid marriage. Sonny is off his bipolar medication and growing increasingly erratic with each passing day, and Carly is spending time at the hotel as she tries to understand why Sonny isn't pissed at Nina for lying to him and pretty much torturing his entire family for nearly a year as they grieved for a man who wasn't actually dead. Carly also resents that she's been put into the position of villain if she in any way lashes out at Nina. Where is Sonny's loyalty to the woman that he claims to love above all others, including Nina?

Despite what Nina's friends and family tell her, she very much is the homewrecker in this situation. I hate it. It's not who Nina is, and I don't understand how she can even think that what she shares with Sonny is some kind of pure love. It's built on lies and hurts so many people. I'm so disappointed that Nina would even contemplate having a relationship with Sonny -- much less justify it by painting Carly as the bad guy and insisting that Carly has been duly warned.

I'm sorry, but to admit that you're going to do something wrong doesn't absolve you of wrongdoing. If you don't want to be a homewrecker, then don't sleep with a married man. I'm Team Carly. Carly is fighting to save her family, and Nina has practically declared war on her.

The worst part is that the writers have given Sonny a free pass of sorts if he and Nina should end up sleeping together. It's not right because even though I don't condone Nina's actions, Sonny is just as guilty. Sonny was on his meds while he was having whispered conversations and sharing secrets with Nina.

I've been watching how Sonny operates since he first appeared in 1993. He gets obsessed with a woman, sleeps with her, and then he slowly begins to lose interest. It's all about the chase and the conquest for him. That is how he has always been. Karen Wexler, Angel Ellis, Alexis Davis, Sam McCall, and the list goes on. The lucky ones escape relatively unscathed, others struggle with addition, get blown to smithereens in car bombs, or torture themselves with the mistaken belief that their love can reform him. Transform him. But they are wrong.

Carly has been the only woman to accept Sonny for who he is, and it's the reason that he's always gone back to her. Even Brenda Barrett was forced to accept defeat, and she was possibly the only woman besides Carly that he would have changed for if he could have. He can't.

What I'm curious to see is what Nina does once she realizes that Sonny is in the grips of a manic episode. Will she get him the help that he needs -- even if it means losing him to Carly? Sadly, I'm not so sure these days. Nina is firmly caught in the snare of her own delusions because she thinks that she and Sonny can actually have some kind of future together. Nina doesn't seem to understand that "Mike" was only a part of Sonny. The real Sonny is a far more complex and lethal creature than the good-natured bartender she knew in Nixon Falls.

Even if Carly walks away from the marriage, Nina is never going to be allowed near Donna, and Michael will be more determined than ever to find a way to keep Nina out of Wiley's life. Nina might have rights as a grandmother, but Michael will always be Wiley's father and Wiley's primary custodian. The strained relationships between Sonny and his family will eventually affect his relationship with Nina. Nina's other major obstacle will be Sonny's day job -- the mob.

Brick warned Sonny of a looming threat. Someone recently made a move against Sonny by taking out one of his suppliers on the West Coast, and Port Charles might be in their sights. An unmedicated Sonny is far more violent and deadly than the man that Nina has known so far. If she thought that Valentin at his worst was frightening, wait until she gets a gander at Sonny, in a manic episode, on the warpath.

Then again, there is Phyllis. I can't see Phyllis standing by while Sonny sinks deep into bipolar mania and depression. Hopefully, Phyllis saves the day sooner rather than later because I really want Nina free of this storyline. I hate how bad -- and desperate -- it makes her appear. Nina hides behind the veil of victim because she fell in love with a man she can't have, but she's the one who had acted out of spite, who lied to everyone, who went to great lengths to keep Sonny hidden in Nixon Falls, and who didn't stay away from Sonny when he returned home and made it very clear that he chose his wife.

Carly has every right to be hurt by the secrets and lies. She also made a very valid point that Sonny's loyalty to Nina is at the expense of his family who spent a year mourning his loss. Sonny has retaliated against people for far less than what Nina did to Carly and the family. Do I want Sonny to punish Nina? No, but he should be furious.

Now that I think about it, perhaps Sonny's lithium has been failing him for a while. Did his doctor get the dosage wrong when Sonny returned home from Nixon Falls? I guess it is possible. Time will tell.

Speaking of medications, Marshall had a medical emergency during his date with Epiphany. Marshall was rushed to the hospital, and it was determined that he had suffered a bout of high blood pressure due to an issue with his medication. The whole incident felt off to me, especially how Dr. Rose spoke to Epiphany when she questioned why Marshall hadn't been given ambulatory monitoring to rule out any underlying reasons for the spike in Marshall's blood pressure.

Folks, I can't stand Marshall. He's fifty shades of shady. It won't surprise me in the least if we were to learn down the road that the entire incident had been an elaborate ruse either to scare Curtis into cutting Marshall some slack or for some other nefarious reason. The man talks in vague circles and has a very manipulative personality. Plus, there was that sketchy phone call between Marshall and a mystery person not too long ago.

I'm sorry, but I don't think Curtis should feel guilted into giving Marshall a chance when Marshall hasn't done a single blessed thing to earn it. Nothing. In fact, he has completely disregarded Curtis' wishes, played the victim, and made some pretty bold demands for a man who let his son think he was dead for decades.

Instead of assuming that Marshall sacrificed himself to save his family from a mob reprisal by entering the Witness Protection Program, Curtis should be asking how Marshall is supporting himself and why it's safe for Marshall to live out loud under his real name in Port Charles, surrounded by family, but it's far too dangerous to tell Curtis about his past. Marshall can't have it both ways, yet he seems to demand it.

I also find Marshall's pursuit of Epiphany to be anything but romantic. He showers her with schmaltzy flattery and has no problem probing into her past, but he doesn't share anything about himself except whatever makes him look good or garners the most sympathy. He's not real with Epiphany, and he's not charming. He reminds me of a snake oil salesman.

I also suspect that Marshall is part of the threat that Brick was talking about. Hopefully, Curtis or Drew decides to follow the money. All good investigations start there.

The other big mystery unfolding revolves around Franco.

First, Liz's wedding ring, which she clearly put in the kitchen drawer on New Year's Eve, turned up in her locker at work. She has no idea how it got there. Next, Liz debated canceling her date with Finn because of an overwhelming sense of foreboding. It turns out it was well founded. The morning after her date with Finn, Dante delivered the news that Franco's studio had been destroyed in a fire. It was arson.

My initial reaction -- especially when Cameron told Liz that he thinks Franco would be happy for them -- is that Franco is alive and most definitely not happy that his family is moving on. Franco's name has been bandied about more than usual, which can indicate a return. However, I nixed that idea because there's no way that Franco would be able to stay away from Liz or the boys for any length of time if he was alive. Also, Franco wouldn't terrorize his family.

Sadly, I do believe that Franco remains as dead as a corpse can be on a soap. Plus, his death was one of the few that played out on-screen. I know, that means nothing in Port Zombie. Still, the possibility of Franco's reanimation is highly unlikely at this time.

Cameron's theory that Peter was behind the fire was a pretty good one. Like Dante, I gave it due consideration. True, Peter is spiteful and would relish the idea of tormenting Liz with Franco's memory as punishment for helping Finn, but that would mean that Peter could sneak in and out of the hospital at will. If Peter were able to come and go, he'd be long gone.

An accomplice other than Victor is also a possibility, but I can't imagine anyone hitching their wagon to Peter right now. Plus, he really doesn't have any means of conspiring with anyone, much less paying for dirty deeds to be carried out in his name. I'm not ruling Peter out entirely, but given that the events are all tied to Franco, we have to look closer to home -- or should I say D'Archam Asylum?

That's right, my prime suspect is Heather Webber, Franco's mad-as-a-hatter mother. Heather is exactly the sort of person who would not want Liz to move on with Finn and who would set fire to Franco's studio in a fit of rage because her son was murdered there. How did Heather know about the ring? Heather is the type who would snoop through drawers when no one is home. She also has a very long and sordid history of sneaking in and out of asylums and prisons.

We haven't heard from Heather since before Franco died, which raises all kinds of red flags to anyone who knows her. Until I learn otherwise, my money is on Heather being back in secret action. Will she be the one who ends Peter's miserable life?

I really hope so. Peter is the perfect murder victim for an exciting Whodunit. There certainly isn't a shortage of suspects, all with good reasons to want him dead. He's beyond redemption, and he practically begs for it with each word he utters.

One thing is for certain, Peter can never walk free again. He's far too evil and a menace. I don't want him to get away with Franco's murder, and he most definitely shouldn't escape justice for his international crimes. The evidence is overwhelming. Drew's testimony alone should be enough to earn Peter a lifetime in one of Steinmauer's dank little windowless cells.

I rather like the idea of Peter being handcuffed to his bed and defenseless as his murderer strikes. It would not only avenge Franco, but it would also free Louise from the constant threat of a deranged father. It's because of Louise that Peter needs to be vanquished in one way or another.

Random observations

Dear Scribes, I haven't forgotten how you teased us with Jeff Webber. Where is he?

Line of the week goes to Victor when he told Scott, "Oh, really? I heard you were as tight as a bad oyster with your money." I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while. It felt fabulous.

Any guesses who Terry is exchanging text messages with through the dating app? Is it someone we know? I am really looking forward to this storyline. I like Terry, and she deserves to be more than just Liz's bestie and sidekick.

Reader feedback

Either Sonny or the writers forgot or omitted that he was wearing a wedding band when he woke up on the shore. He told Carly he only had a watch. As bad as Nina was, Sonny never took the opportunity to find out who he was or why he had a wedding band. If Carly finds out he had his wedding band, her head will and should explode! -- Lucky Lady

What's REALLY bad is that Sonny's been so distracted by all the "Nina Drama," he hasn't gotten around to calling Madame Wu to find out why the hell Heiny is still BREATHING! Brad got his parole, with Sonny's help. When is she going to hold up her end of the deal? -- Scrimmage

I don't think Victor is holding Luke, I think he faked his death and Tracy knows it. The way she IMMEDIATELY dropped the grieving act and went after Brook Lynn once they were alone pretty much clinched it for me. I'm thinking he faked his death so he could stay one step ahead of the Cassadines. -- Mariko

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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