The Hook is on the loose, and love is in the air. Let's jump right in with my favorite scenes of the week -- Valentin and Anna kicking things up a notch in the boudoir.
Soap operas started out as melodramatic radio serials in the 1930s. They aired in the afternoons, and their target audience was housewives, so one of the hooks to keep the ladies tuning back in was romance. Sexual dramas, emotional conflicts, and moral dilemmas were the bread and butter of early soaps. Over the decades, things shifted and were refined to draw in a wider audience, but to this day, it's the romantic pairings that get viewers talking. Go to any message board, and you will see that the topics with the most activity and the most robust discussions are the ones about the various pairings, especially if there is a third party thrown into the mix.
For me, the biggest problem area on GH over the past few years has been the decidedly unromantic writing. The passion has mostly been missing, and happiness seems to be where relationships go to die. Until this week. James Patrick Stuart and Finola Hughes practically sent my television up in flames.
A glass of wine and a roaring fire had Valentin baring his soul and confessing his deepest regrets to Anna. He admitted that only Charlotte came before Anna, and he knew the same was true for Anna and her daughter and grandchildren. Raw, beautiful honesty. When they made it to the bedroom -- and Anna sensed Valentin's hesitation -- his confession that he wanted to take his time because he'd waited so long to make love to her made me swoon as much as it did Anna. It was so much better than any kind of flowery declaration of love because Valentin's words were from the heart.
Elizabeth Korte wrote those beautiful scenes, and Alison Reames Smith directed them. These two talented ladies gave GH a much-needed infusion of romance, and they need to work together again. Often.
It wasn't until the Vanna (Valentin and Anna) scenes that I realized how few and far between sizzling love scenes actually are. These days, they are generally comprised of a couple tepid kisses, a hug, and -- if we're lucky -- a few seconds of entangled limbs between the sheets. Smoldering glances, passionate caresses, and steamy kisses are as rare as an Ice Princess sighting.
Case in point: Chase and Brook Lynn, who locked lips at Chase's apartment when Brook Lynn found him bare-chested. After a smooch and a hug, Brook Lynn quickly put the kibosh on things because they had to get ready for his performance at the Savoy. The plan to take down Linc is ever on the forefront of Brook Lynn's mind.
Valentin would have skipped the restaurant and possibly been a no-show at the Savoy to be with Anna. He couldn't even resist holding Anna's hand when they bumped into Nina. No jealousy, no insecurity, and no childish games. Valentin and Anna act like two adults, and I love that.
We need more of that. A lot more. Not just with Vanna, but all the couples.
Next to clichéd plot twists - long-lost twins, back-from-the dead folks, villains in sophisticated masks, etc. -- I loathe lazy writing. As a viewer, I get way more invested in storylines that follow a natural progression. It has to make sense to me and not require me to suspend all disbelief. It's when things are forced or defy logic that I start rolling my eyes and quickly lose interest. Such is the case with the sudden conflict between Curtis and Trina.
Obviously, the friction between Curtis and Trina has been created as a way to ramp up the drama when Portia's little bombshell about Trina's paternity drops like napalm. The problem for me is how the writing has actually made Trina lose some personal growth as a character.
Eons ago, when Trina was still new to us, she and Curtis clashed because Trina blamed Curtis for Taggert's death. However, all that was resolved, and Trina even apologized for her hostile attitude when it was revealed that Taggert had faked his death to flush out an enemy. Curtis and Trina made peace and even forged a friendship by the time Curtis and Portia bought the house and moved in together. When Portia announced her engagement to Curtis, Trina was happy for her mother and celebrated the good news.
What happened to all that good will from a few weeks ago? Suddenly, Trina is full of sass and attitude over everything Curtis says, and she was even willing to throw away an incredible opportunity out of spite because he'd had a hand in Ava's securing the dream job at the museum for Trina. Trina quickly forgave Ava's meddling, but Curtis' was a bridge too far because Trina feels that Curtis treats her like a twelve-year-old. I just don't see that.
It's Portia -- not Curtis -- who treats Trina like a child. Portia is the one who has been a hot mess since before the trial started, constantly fussing over Trina as if Trina was made of glass, and Portia has been the one desperately trying to control every aspect of Trina's life. Curtis has actually been pretty cool to Trina, and instead of resenting Curtis for looking out for her well-being, Trina should be grateful he cares enough to be concerned.
The problem with this heavy-handed writing, besides how painfully transparent it is, is that it makes Trina look a bit childish. Trina's attitude toward Curtis seems petty and overblown. That's not who Trina is. She's a kind, intelligent, and open-minded person. Josslyn is the one who walks around with a chip on her shoulder, not Trina. Curtis isn't the villain here. If anyone is, it's Portia, but of course, Trina doesn't know that yet. That will soon change.
I had a huge issue with Portia storming into Jordan's office to confront Jordan about the divorce papers and demanding to know if Jordan wanted Curtis back. Who cares? Portia is engaged to Curtis, and it's what he wants that Portia should be concerned about -- not how Jordan feels. Jordan's wants and desires don't matter unless Curtis feels the same. It's Curtis who made a promise and commitment to Portia, not Jordan.
That said, I do agree with Jordan. Portia owes Curtis and Trina the truth. Portia has no right to build a life with Curtis, knowing that she's keeping him from being a father to possibly the only child he will ever have. It's cruel. If Portia truly loved Curtis, the guilt would be eating her alive. I don't see any sign of that. What I see is Portia acting like a jealous shrew and trying to justify her lies.
Portia is a coward. She keeps the truth from Curtis, Trina, and Taggert because she doesn't want to have to face the consequences of her choices. She doesn't want to deal with the anger and possibly losing Curtis. The irony of that is the longer she remains silent, the more likely Curtis will leave when he learns the truth.
I have zero empathy for Portia. She doesn't deserve Curtis, and lately, I've found myself kind of hoping that Jordan and Curtis get a second chance to save their marriage.
Carly is looking for a purpose in life, and a series of unfortunate events have led her to Jacksonville, Florida, where it all began for her. Her mission is to stop a plan to move the cemetery where her adoptive mother is buried to make way for a highway, but really, it's to find closure with her past. At least, that's the way I see this story.
Drew has joined Carly on the quest to save Virginia's final resting place from destruction because he's sweet on Carly, and he hopes to be a part of her future.
Folks, I love Cameron Mathison, but I really feel like the writers haven't capitalized on the opportunity to delve into what makes Drew tick or his past. Drew and Carly have great chemistry, and I don't mind seeing where things will lead, but why isn't Drew working with Valentin to take down Victor? Why isn't Drew giving Carly a little space to sort her stuff out while he works on keeping Port Charles safe from whatever nefarious plot Victor is cooking up on Spoon Island? Clingy is not a good look for Drew, and it's a waste of Cameron's talent.
Also, I'm not an expert, but you can't just move a cemetery. I learned that from Poltergeist. There are rules and laws that protect consecrated ground. Carly acts like they are going to chuck Virginia's casket into a Dumpster. Why doesn't she just have Virginia reinterred at the cemetery in Port Charles?
Carly can have Virginia buried next to Nelle. That would really have Nina spitting nails.
Spinelli came clean to Sam about his software for Society Setups. Apparently, the software is able to access every bit of cyber footprint of every person on the planet, including their grocery shopping habits. It made me wonder why Spinelli didn't use the program to dig up dirt on Esme when everyone was trying to clear Trina's name. Also, how does having Zelda as a figurehead hide Spinelli and Society Setups' software secrets?
This is one of those storylines that might have sounded good in theory, but in reality, it's just a great big nothing burger. I suspect it was intended as a lighthearted vehicle to bring Cody and Britt together, but since Kelly Thiebaud is exiting the role, that plan has been scrapped. It's time for this storyline to follow suit.
The real story is Spinelli winning back the heart of his one true love -- Maxie.
That was the only part of Spinelli's confession to Sam that I cared about. Spinelli finally admitted that he still has feelings for Maxie. I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual because I've seen some flashes of jealousy when Maxie thought Spinelli might be falling for Britt. I'm absolutely fine with Spinelli and Maxie finding their way back to each other because I loved them the first time around, and I'm definitely not interested in Maxie and Austin.
I don't think Austin is a bad guy, but I don't think he's the right one for Maxie.
Have you figured out who the killer is yet? Is it Esme or possibly Ryan slipping out of Spring Ridge at night?
We've been given a few clues. The killer is left-handed; is using a rare, slow-acting poison; and wears jewelry of some sort when they stalk their prey. Oh, and they really like that hook. The killer is evolving, and it appears they have access to poison and a place to lay low, suggesting financial independence through an inheritance, a job, or a great savings plan. Take your pick.
We also saw the killer at Brando's garage, so we know the person is slim and on the shorter side of average height.
Then there are the victims: Ava, Brando, and Diane in that order. Viewers saw that Josslyn had been the intended target when Brando had surprised the killer in the alley, so Brando had been a victim of opportunity. Ava, Josslyn, and Diane have several things in common, but at the top of that list is Trina. Ava is Trina's mentor, Josslyn is Trina's best friend, and Diane recently represented Trina in court against the crime Esme framed Trina for.
More and more, it looks like Trina is at the center of this crime spree, and Esme is wielding the deadly hook. If I'm right, the Hook will take another stab (I couldn't help it) at Josslyn or someone close to Trina, like Cameron or Portia.
I love this storyline. We are getting clues, the writers are tossing in a few red herrings along the way, and there have been some serious consequences. Brando dying was awful, but it served an important purpose because it allowed Finn to be prepared with an antiserum for the next victim. It just might save Diane's life.
That is my hope because I really do not want Diane to die. I adore her, and she's invaluable to the people of Port Charles. Without Diane, who is going to keep everyone out of jail? Martin has his hands full with Valentin, and Scotty has seemingly vanished into thin air.
So far, the pacing with this storyline has been great. Each week brings us closer to discovering the identity of the killer. I wish other storylines moved along as quickly -- and on a path that we can actually follow.
And that brings me to the tangled mess that is Elizabeth's traumatized past. I can't even pretend to know what is going on with this storyline. I. Am. Completely. Lost.
How much older than Liz is Finn if his wife Reiko had a relationship with Liz's father when Liz was a teenager? How does Finn not recognize Jeff's name if they were both working for Doctors Without Borders in the same remote area of the world? There are endless questions, but answers to those two would be a good start.
I was so excited when the writers started down this path a million years ago. Yes, I know it was only last year, but in soap years, that's an eternity. Most of the Cassadines have died and been resurrected in less time.
I've been waiting for Jeff Webber to return to GH for so long that I'm starting to get annoyed. What is the holdup? Stop teasing us and make it happen.
Elizabeth has been tortured by whatever happened to Reiko in that staircase long enough. It's time to get some answers, and the only person who can provide them is the man at the center of all of this -- Dr. Jeff Webber. Elizabeth needs to stop avoiding it because clearly, things are not getting better, and what little she does remember is both ominous and confusing.
I'm tired of having Jeff's return dangled. I want this story to kick into high gear because not only is it keeping Elizabeth and Finn in limbo with their relationship, but it also doesn't make a lick of sense. Fix it.
Finally, to our friends in Florida -- including our beloved Tamilu -- I'm sending my love, prayers, and positive light as the herculean task of clean-up begins. If you can, please consider donating to one of the many wonderful charitable organizations that help those affected by natural disasters pick up the pieces.
What is up with the garish wallpaper in Sasha's apartment and at the hotel in Florida where Carly is staying? It reminds me of the hideous stuff they used for accent walls when rattan furniture and glass tables were all the rage. I prefer neutral tones, natural light, and real plants, so bold prints are not my cup of tea.
I don't like Cody -- I think he's up to no good and looking for a secret stash of money -- but he was tolerable during the scenes with Mac, Felicia, and Maxie when Mac finally revealed that he might be Cody's father. Mac is so sweet. You can see how much he wants Cody to be his son. For Mac's sake, I want Cody to get his act together.
Not surprisingly, Selina was the best part of Monday's (and Friday's) episode. Madame Wu is always the most interesting part of any episode she's in. -- MissezPremise
Okay, we have TWO victims of the PC Hooker, and not ONE officer posted outside of either room?!! And even Sonny hasn't posted a guard for Brando, who obviously saw his attacker. COME ON! -- Kim LaSota
I am really happy to see Lexi Ainsworth as Kristina back on GH. She is a great actress and I hope she has lots of story coming up. I've always thought that she was the child most likely to take over Sonny's mob, so I wouldn't be mad if Mme. Wu recruited her and taught her a thing or two about running a mob. -- Trudy
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