A dark presence in Port Charles

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Liz met with a medium -- and a dark presence, Willow's life was turned upside down as Nina made plans to go for the jugular, and Ryan and Esme plotted against their enemies. A dark presence is in Port Charles, and lives are about to change.

Dear Nina, please see someone about your memory loss.

Michael is arrogant, a hypocrite on infinite levels, and a grudge holder, but he's also spot-on about Nina. Nina's penchant for rewriting history -- particularly anything that doesn't reflect well on her -- is downright impressive. Oh, she'll cop to her crimes when it benefits her and in a way that gives the impression that she's atoned for them, but she's always the true victim in her narrative, not the people she hurt. Nina spent time in a psychiatric facility, and she satisfied her legal obligation, but she's always hidden behind her tale of woe to shirk responsibility for the hurt and pain she inflicted on her victims, both direct and indirect.

Let's start with Nina's reaction to Ava rightfully reminding Nina about Avery's harrowing birth. Nina literally stole Avery out of Ava's womb, left Ava to die, and vanished with Ava's newborn infant. It was the stuff of nightmares, and Ava went through hell under the grips of the paralytic drug that Nina injected her with and fearing the worst about Avery's fate.

Did Nina apologize to Ava when Ava brought it up? Did she say anything along the lines of "What I put you through was horrific, and I will never be able to express to you how much I regret it and how much it means to me that you've forgiven me?" No. Nina got all teary-eyed and boo-hooed that it had been a different time, and Nina had been a different person. It was clear by Ava's expression that she noticed Nina's lack of accountability as much as I did.

Ava is a better person than I am because I would never have forgiven a woman who drugged me, forced me to give birth, and kidnapped my child. I'd hold a grudge the rest of my life, and I would do everything in my power to make sure that both my child and I never laid eyes on her again.

Nina's latest revisionist history is her petition for visitation with Wiley.

Nina insists that Michael and Willow gave her no choice except to file the petition when they enlisted Smoltz's help to get the word out about Nina's sordid past. That's just not true. Michael and Willow reached out to Smoltz after the petition was filed. Not only had Nina been making the threat to take Michael to court for access to Wiley since the day she found out Nelle was her daughter, but I distinctly recall an encounter between Nina and Willow at the hospital when Nina tried to pressure Willow into pleading Nina's case to Michael and, if necessary, going against Michael. When Willow refused, Nina threatened to take the fight to court.

I found Nina's chat with Nelle's headstone quite insightful. It's clear Nina intends to disregard Michael and Willow's wishes by keeping Nelle's memory alive. Not only that, but Nina wants Wiley to know a glorified version of Nelle, without all the ugly details about who Nelle actually was or her reign of terror. How can that possibly benefit Wiley? Building Nelle up in his mind will only set him up for greater disappointment when he learns the truth, and it will make him feel betrayed and deceived by those he loved and trusted most.

I'm not suggesting that Michael and Willow tell Wiley his mother was a bad person, but neither should they lie about her. Understandably, Michael and Willow agree that the less said about Nelle, the better. In time, when he's old enough to understand the evil that was Nelle, they intend to tell him everything. It's the 21st century, and as soon as Wiley is old enough to get his hands on a search engine, he'll find it on his own, anyway. Until then, Michael and Willow have the right to shield their son, and Nina's refusal to accept that is exactly why they don't want her around Wiley.

I'm sorry, but Nelle's was evil. She committed murder and mayhem, and she destroyed lives. She had some serious psychological issues and no desire to seek treatment or to redeem herself. It's unlikely treatment would have helped if she'd gone because Nelle was a narcissist who believed that all was fair in love and war as long as she got her way. Kind of like Nina, which is why I cheered when Willow called Nina out for being unable to compromise -- a truth bomb if ever I heard one.

Nina only wants things her way, and anything less is unacceptable. That is the real reason that Nina is going to court. She doesn't want to have to abide by Michael and Willow's terms. Nina wants unfettered access to Wiley, so she can spin a web of delusional lies about Nelle. All that matters to Nina is getting her way. Everyone else be damned, including Wiley.

Nina was the same way when the truth about Lulu being Charlotte's biological mother came out. Nina continually undermined Lulu in an attempt to keep Charlotte to herself and Valentin. However, Charlotte grew to love her mother. Nina only made peace with Lulu when it became clear that Nina couldn't change things.

Nina isn't the only one who infuriated me this week. I am so done with Sonny that I'm now actively rooting for Sonny and Nina to hop on the next freighter out of town and sail off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

For Sonny to encourage Nina to go for the jugular -- which, for the record, she had already decided to do when she talked to Scott at the nail salon -- was unforgiveable. What kind of father does that? I guess it shouldn't surprise me, since Sonny also expects Michael to grovel and beg for forgiveness for daring to be upset that his father broke his mother's heart and continually chooses his lover over his family. Sonny demands more loyalty from his family than he extends to them.

I'm not the least bit bothered by Michael's vow to take ownership of the Corinthos name and remove the stain of Sonny from it. Sonny is a mobster, and if Wiley is going to be stuck with the Corinthos name, I have no problem with Michael cleaning it up. It might be for all the wrong reasons -- revenge, punishment -- but it can only benefit Wiley down the road. I applaud Michael for cutting Sonny out of his life, too, because Sonny has been behaving like a jackass lately.

I have cut toxic family members out of my life when their behavior began to impact me negatively. I have no regrets. Being family doesn't entitle someone to bully me or make my life miserable.

As I said earlier, Nina made her intentions clear during her visit with Nelle's headstone, and those intentions benefit her, not Wiley. Nina sees Wiley as a possession more than a child who needs to be protected and raised surrounded by loving and supportive people. He most definitely doesn't need someone who would continually lie to him out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to a daughter who wouldn't have hesitated to plunge a knife in Nina's back if it had benefited Nelle.

Sonny and Nina weren't the only ones who had me spitting nails. Amy is back, and she's still annoying, whiny, opinionated, and possibly slightly more delusional than the pernicious lovers from Nixon Falls.

Amy had a bee in her bonnet because she got busted for lying!

I don't like Amy. I never have, and I likely never will. She's a pointless character who has zero entertainment value. Even during the Man Landers fiasco, Amy was merely a plot device. She didn't carry or drive the story. I have no idea why the writers are so intent on making Amy happen, but we are stuck having to suffer through her scenes. To be clear, this is not a reflection on Risa Dorken. My comments are strictly about the character and how Amy is written.

A perfect example of why I have such disdain for Nurse Amy Driscoll was the stunt she pulled with Portia. Amy claimed to be sick and asked to go home in the middle of a shift. It was a lie because Amy's first stop after leaving the hospital wasn't the drug store, doctor's office, or a holistic healer. It was the nail salon where -- instead of walking away when she saw one of her bosses -- Amy boldly entered and proceeded to tear into Terry for questioning why Amy wasn't at work where she was supposed to be.

Amy had the audacity to act like she was the wronged party, even though Amy was the one who had bailed on her coworkers to get her nails done. She's lucky Terry didn't write her up, because it would have served Amy right.

Amy's attitude toward Terry seems completely out of left field. Terry is easily the nicest person on the show. She treats everyone with kindness, she's an incredibly loyal and supportive friend, and she's obviously great at her job to be promoted to such a lofty position after just a few years working at the hospital. Terry has also shown an ability to compromise, which is why both Terry and Britt are working quite well together as co-chiefs of staff these days.

None of Amy's gripes about Terry jibe with what we've seen of Terry. Amy's scathing complaints and bitter tone suggest that her issue with Terry is more personal in nature than professional.

Given that Chet and Terry have hit it off, and they both are proceeding with caution, I suspect that Amy's animosity will factor into how things go with their budding romance. Amy is not going to be happy that her brother is dating her boss, and she's not going to hesitate to make those feelings known. Does Amy's hostility stem from Amy having a problem with Terry being a transgender woman? It certainly would be an interesting angle to explore, but if that's where this is headed, my dislike for Amy will ramp up considerably.

I adore Terry, and I'm already shipping her and Chet.

Now, let's talk about Liz. There's a lot to unpack. A shadowy figure, mixed messages from the other side, and even a few clues. I love this storyline so much. It's mysterious, it has endless possibilities, and it involves my favorite character -- Liz. Becky Herbst is such an incredibly talented and beautiful actress, and she has played Liz from the very beginning of the character's debut on August 1, 1997.

This story feels big and exciting. I'm also certain that somehow, someway, it will lead Liz to Jeff and Carolyn Webber. I've been waiting decades for that. I want to know why they left their young teenage daughter with family friends but sent Sarah to live with Audrey, and why they completely checked out as parents for most of Liz's life. There are so many things that need to be addressed between Liz and her parents, but first, let's start with all the juicy stuff that went down at the Webber house and the tantalizing clues we've been given.

We know that the incidents -- the fire at Franco's studio, the wedding ring popping up where it shouldn't, the torn wedding dress, the painting appearing on the mantel, and the message in red paint telling Liz, "Don't forget me" -- are all seemingly connected to Franco. Then there was the dream that Liz had of a tall, slim man in shadow. We don't know who he is, but the dream does appear to rule out a woman behind the recent ominous events.

For now, we can eliminate Heather (my top pick) and Hayden (a popular contender on social media) from the list of suspects haunting Liz.

According to Chelsea, the dark presence doesn't want Liz and the boys to move on and build a new family in the house. I'm with Liz. Franco loved Liz and the boys far too much to be that selfish in death. He would want them to be happy, and he definitely wouldn't terrorize Liz.

Liz might have briefly connected with Franco during the séance, but I don't think he's the dark presence that Chelsea referred to. Chelsea explained that a poltergeist could be a spirit or a psychic impression of someone still living. Chelsea went on to say that the dark presence in Liz's house was born out of torment and pain and that it was someone who had been abandoned by their family, but they had found a real family within the walls of the Webber home with Liz.

It sounds an awful lot like Chelsea might have been referring to Liz. Liz suffered trauma and pain several times throughout the years: a violent rape when she was a teen, two miscarriages, the heartbreak of losing her first love in a fire and later though a series of poor choices, and countless brushes with death. Also, Liz lost her son for a time. Yes, Jake returned to her alive a few years later, but it doesn't mitigate the devastation and grief she felt when she made the painful decision to take her young son off life support, bury him, and mourn his loss.

The house Liz lives in now was where she and Franco built a family. It's where she finally found joy and the sense of belonging that had always eluded her. All signs point to the dark presence being Liz. The night that Chase was attacked, she was the only other person in the house. However, I don't think Liz is the dark presence any more than I think Franco's spirit is.

Not only was there that odd moment during the séance when it appeared that someone had been standing outside Liz's house, watching her and Chelsea through the window, but I can't see Liz doing all of these things in some kind of altered state, having the ability to tamper with the security cameras that Chase had set up, and losing the know-how to do so upon waking up.

Could it be an ex-lover? Most of them were long dead. Zander Smith, Ewen Keenan, and A.J. Quartermaine died before Liz moved into her current home, while Jason Morgan's heart had been elsewhere when he was allegedly killed. Drew and Nikolas are around, but they have no reason to care if Liz moves on with Finn. That leaves Lucky Spencer, Liz's first love, and good ol' Ric Lansing.

There is news that GH has hired Josh Kelly for a hush-hush role, so it's possible that Lucky might be on his way back. The age is right, but Lucky would never torment Liz like that, nor would he need to go to such extremes to sabotage her relationship with Finn. Liz has always had a soft spot for Lucky, and she shares a son with him.

Lucky would seduce Liz, not torture her.

Something like this is definitely in Ric's wheelhouse. He's been low-key obsessed with Liz long after their split, but he hasn't been heard of in quite some time. I have no idea if he's even in the United States, much less Port Charles. Also, I don't think he ever set foot in that house.

I don't know who the dark presence is, but I'm almost certain that it's a person, not a spirit/poltergeist. Luckily, Sweeps is upon us, so we are likely to get more answers sooner rather than later. I can't wait to see how this all unfolds.

Back to Josh Kelly, I haven't seen any spoilers about who he will be playing or how he will be introduced, but I have my suspicions. Jason has been on quite a few minds. Not only has there been a lot of talk about Jason being legally declared dead and Monica's plans for a memorial service, but Jason's body was never recovered from the tunnel collapse. Not even a pinky or big toe.

The lack of a body in soap operas is practically proof of life.

I really do hope Josh is the new Jason -- not just for Jake and Danny's sakes, but there are so many great possibilities with both Carly and Britt being single; Sonny's life being in turmoil, both personally and professionally; and Jason's twin being back from the dead. Ideally, Valentin will be the key to Jason's return.

Valentin is up to something. He wouldn't have shipped Charlotte off to boarding school unless he felt it was the only way to keep her safe. Clearly, Valentin tracked down the Ice Princess diamond, since he's the one who framed Jennifer Smith, but how that transpired and why he set his sights on Jennifer remain unclear. I suspect that Valentin has been pretending to work with Victor in order to uncover what is really behind all of Victor's talk of the gloom and doom for the Cassadines. If that's the case, Valentin will not only be in a position to rescue Jason, but he might finally reveal who Victor's mystery captive is.

I've always suspected Victor of finding Jason's unconscious body and having it spirited away as a fallback plan if things with Drew didn't work out, and I haven't forgotten about the woman that Victor was holding during Drew's captivity or the fact that Holly Sutton was abducted and Hayden remains missing. There's also the unsolved murder of Hayden's mother, Naomi. I'm ready for this story to pick up steam. It's been building long enough.

Finally, Ryan gave his daughter a mission. Esme is to seduce Nikolas, and the way Nikolas has been behaving lately, her attempt will almost certainly succeed.

Nikolas has changed. He's always been arrogant and prone to self-destructive behavior, but he's never been stupid. Lately, he's been both stupid and blind, and I really don't get it. When did Nikolas go from being suspicious of Esme to believing every word she says, and more importantly, why? Does he not see the smirks, sneers, and calculation in her soulless beady eyes when she showers him with flattery? Has he not noticed that Spencer and Esme sleep in separate bedrooms? Why isn't Nikolas shipping Esme back to the mainland and saving his marriage?

None of this is making sense, and I find myself growing more and more frustrated with Nikolas. The idea of Esme seducing Nikolas nauseates me. The thought of Nikolas actually sleeping with her makes me want to scream. Esme is young enough to be his daughter, and she helped terrorize his wife. More than that, she was his son's first lover. It's wrong on so many levels, and all of them reflect worse on Nikolas than on Esme because he should know better. He should be better than that.

Ava isn't making an unreasonable request. She's not asking Nikolas to fling himself off the parapet to prove his love. She wants him to choose her. His wife. Nikolas can do that by simply evicting Esme. Yet he doesn't. Instead, he defends her. I no longer recognize Nikolas.

Random observations

If Nina was pregnant with twins, Phyllis would have seen it in Nina's medical records. How do I know? For the last 30 years or so, women have been having ultrasounds during their pregnancies to monitor the baby's growth and to check for possible abnormalities. Nina was in an ultra-modern, upscale medical facility that catered to the elite, and she was in a coma. She would have had multiple ultrasounds during her pregnancy. Phyllis already knew that Nina was pregnant, so why hide the fact that she was carrying twins?

Did Ryan give us a clue about Esme's mother when he revealed that she had a great sense of self-preservation and that he had learned not to turn his back on her? I hope the flashback of his showdown with Felicia wasn't foreshadowing, because I do not want to learn that -- on top of everything else Ryan did to terrorize Felicia -- she also gave birth to his evil spawn. It doesn't make sense because Felicia slept with Ryan in the very beginning when they had dated, which was the early 1990s. Esme's age means she was born a decade later in 2003/2004. Esme's mother could be someone he met during his days working for the DVX. Alex Merrick, perhaps? That would be a twist.

So, there's an argument about where to place Jason's memorial plaque? According to what Sonny told Laura, some want it in the Quartermaine crypt (no doubt all the Quartermaines are in that camp) and "others" want it in the cemetery next to Morgan. Hmm, I wonder who that could be? The gall of Sonny and Carly. Jason's plaque has always been placed in the family crypt with the rest of Qs, so this time shouldn't be any different. After all, it's clearly an important step in his resurrections.

Hey, Trina, if Spencer is your alibi, then so is Jordan because you talked to Jordan in the cemetery during your encounter with Spencer. Remember how he hid in the bushes? Also, how does being with someone prove you didn't post something online? All it takes is takes is a few clicks on your phone these days, as we saw when Esme uploaded it.

Reader feedback

Couldn't agree more about Gladys. I'm happy she's now using her powers of obnoxiousness for good in protecting Sasha, although why she wasn't the one driving remains a mystery. Even without the drugs, Sasha was in no state of mind to be driving. And I'm just going to ignore the lack of staff intervention at the MC--even if it wasn't mob-connected, no decent establishment would have allowed their patrons to be subject to that kind of behaviour. -- Deffft

(As a grandmother of nine myself), I thought Mac and Felicia's scenes would've been more realistic (and hilarious) if they would've found themselves exhausted after caring for baby Bailey. There is a reason why people have children while they're young and energetic! We love spending time with our grandkids but we're also grateful when it's time for them go home with their parents!🙃. -- WideAwake in Sleepy Eye

While I was in favor of the way they wrote Shawn off, by simply sending him out of town, I also approve of them letting Harmony go out in a "blaze of glory," instead of leaving her character to rot offscreen in prison for years, which was Shawn's fate before he finally got a reprieve. As crazy and as silly as this has been, it's also been fun and exciting to watch, while trying to guess what the increasingly unhinged Harmony would do next, but now there's nothing left for her TO do... -- 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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