Russian dolls, tarot cards, and Apollo's middle finger

For the Week of June 5, 2023
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Josslyn is on a mission, Nina has a plan, and Victor had a few parting shots. Will Valentin and Laura find Nikolas -- or Jason -- in Chechnya? Did someone tamper with Trina and Curtis' DNA test? It's time to check in with this week's Two Scoops of final requests and secret plots.

The road to Chechnya may be paved with good intentions, but will it lead to Nikolas? The last time that we saw the dark prince, he was in a coma at a private medical facility under Mason's care. Did Mason do some freelance work for Victor? Could Mason's lady boss and Victor have been in cahoots? Anything is possible, especially in Port Charles, where all super villains are connected to each other by one or two degrees.

I would love for Nikolas to return, but not as he was. Nothing against Marcus Coloma. He did his best with what he was given -- but that version was more Connor Bishop than Nikolas Cassadine. If Esme can get a reset with a bout of amnesia, then so can Nikolas. In Nikolas' case, he actually suffered a brain trauma that left him in a coma. What's good for the goose is certainly good for the gander.

I want my charming prince back -- the one who was there for his friends, who tried to do good, and who loved his son above everything. Nikolas and Spencer need to have an opportunity to repair their fractured relationship and get back to the close and loving bond they had. Both Nikolas and Spencer need it, and it would go a long way in knocking that chip off Spencer's shoulder. Although, to be fair, Trina's love has done a lot to soothe the hot-tempered beast that roars within Spencer. Still, there's plenty of room for improvement, and it's not really Trina's responsibility to fix Spencer. She has enough on her plate with school and her own family drama.

Also, I'm ready to find out what the heck Austin has been hiding all this time. Roger Howarth and Maura West have been wasted stuck in this holding pattern, so I was actually relieved to see Mason pop up during Friday's episode. With Nikolas in the mix, this story has a lot of potential for some exciting twists, and I'm eager to find out who Mason's mystery lady boss is. Is she linked to Victor? My prime suspect has been Olivia Jerome since she's Ava's evil sister and one of the few villainesses left alive who is capable of running a shadow enterprise from jail, but I can't rule out Austin's mother, since Austin never calls home to talk to Charity or check on his autistic brother. I find that strange.

Back to the Cassadine ancestral home in Chechnya and what might be waiting for Laura and Valentin when they set out on their mission to bring Nikolas home. While it's certainly possible that Mason had a little side hustle going with Victor, Nikolas isn't the only person connected to Victor who vanished without a trace. Back in 2021, Jason was presumed killed in a tunnel collapse during a shootout with Peter August on Cassadine Island. The tunnel had been thoroughly searched, but no sign of Jason was ever found.

Was Victor's gift to Sam -- tarot cards that she could one day use to make herself lucky in love -- a sign that Jason is alive? At the time of Jason's "death," many of us suspected that Victor had snatched an unconscious Jason out of the tunnels and spirited him away to a secret lair. It certainly was in Victor's wheelhouse, since he had essentially done the same thing with Nikolas a few years before that. Will Laura and Valentin find Nikolas -- or Jason -- when they reach their destination?

Like with Nikolas, I think it's time for Jason to return home. The walls are closing in on Sonny, and Carly is a hot mess. Jason has always had a way of cutting through all the nonsense, getting to the heart of the matter, and setting both Sonny and Carly back on track. I know there are those who can't see anyone other than Steve Burton in the role, but I'm not one of them. I loved Steve's version of Jason, but Billy Miller showed me that -- with good writing and the right actor -- the role can be successfully recast.

Soaps are about the stories and the characters, not the actors.

Hopefully, Anna will join in on the adventure now that she's been effectively canned from the WSB. I think it would be good for her, in part to show her that there can be a life after the spy business. Let's face it, how effective can Anna be in her job, given her reputation? Nearly the entire town of Port Charles has known for eons that she's a super spy and that she was married to Robert, who was once the director of the WSB. That's why I burst out laughing when Agent Hursley arrested Anna and questioned her about who might have blown her cover. What cover?

It seems that Victor's gift of "the truth" to Anna was an explosive newspaper article about Anna's days as a DVX agent. Except that was another open secret, thanks to Peter August, who made his way to Port Charles because he believed that Anna was his biological mother. It later turned out that it was her twin sister, Alex, but my point is that Anna's history with the DVX became known because of Peter, who was himself an ex-DVX agent.

I adore Anna, but it's time for her to retire and start a new chapter in her life.

Now, let's discuss Drew and Carly's legal troubles. Let me start by clearly stating that Drew and Carly are guilty of insider trading. I do not dispute that at all. However, I completely disagree with Diane about this being a strong case. The entire case is built on circumstantial evidence and an anonymous tip. I firmly believe that a good attorney could easily convince a jury that Carly had simply been investing in her new boyfriend's company because she was fresh off a divorce and looking to diversify her portfolio. Naturally, she'd invest in her boyfriend's company.

The burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defense.

If -- as Diane suggests -- it's just a ruse to get Carly to cut a deal with the Justice Department to hand Sonny over on a silver platter in exchange for Carly's freedom -- then it should be even easier for Diane to convince a jury that the SEC was not acting in good faith. I think the fact that Carly lost a bundle and her half of the hotel in the deal would go a long way in persuading a jury that Carly simply made a bad investment.

Yes, there was a discussion of a merger, but Drew's attorney could say that it was just that, a discussion. However, the cases are unlikely to make it to trial.

Instead, it appears that all of Carly's legal troubles are simply a plot device for Josslyn to get her mitts on the incriminating video of Sonny, so she can cut a deal with the Justice Department on behalf of Carly. It's a completely ludicrous idea for so many reasons, the least of which is that the same video that would take down Sonny would also take down Dex and Brick, since they were both standing next to Sonny during the illegal arms shipment.

Josslyn seems to forget that Dex is a mercenary -- a hired gun -- not an undercover cop. Just because Dex was working for Michael doesn't mean that the crimes that Dex committed while working for Sonny were somehow less criminal. Michael might be safe, since he can say that he paid Dex to spy on Sonny, not to join in on the mob fun.

The other issue is that Valentin told Sonny that the Pikeman shipment had been low-key sanctioned by the government, which means that Sonny could turn around and use that information against the Justice Department. Dex, not so much. Dex would be thrown to the wolves that Josslyn called in to take down Sonny. The Justice Department could also cut out the middle woman -- Josslyn -- by simply subpoenaing the footage. That's why you hire lawyers to handle these things, not 19-year-old pre-med students.

I hate how Josslyn has been written lately. I get it. She doesn't like Sonny because he hurt her mom, but Josslyn isn't ten. She's a grown woman with a life of her own. Carly has moved on, and even Michael has simmered down. Sonny promised that he wouldn't stop Dex from leaving the organization, so why this push to send Sonny to jail? If the recording is never used, Sonny will never know the real reason that Dex came to town.

I don't buy Josslyn's rants about the evils of Sonny's chosen profession, either, because as much as Josslyn hates Sonny, she idolized Jason with the same fervor. Plus, not too long ago, Carly was running the organization, and I don't recall Josslyn snarling at her or calling for Carly to go to jail for the rest of her days. Heck, the first time Josslyn met Dex, he was giving a sleazy photographer a beatdown so severe that he ended up in the ICU.

Josslyn blamed Sonny for giving the order, but she gave Dex a free pass for following it.

I think that Josslyn was mad that Sonny chose Nina over Carly, and her fury snowballed when she developed a crush on Dex. Her determination to send Sonny to jail is about protecting Dex, and Carly's situation is just another reason. It wasn't lost on me that Josslyn was pushing Michael to use the video the minute she discovered that he had it. She doesn't care that Carly refuses to let Sonny pay for her crime. For Josslyn, it's all about Dex and keeping him safe.

Does Josslyn believe that Dex will be safe from Sonny's wrath if Sonny is in jail? If so, she's an idiot. Sonny is a mob boss, and he has an army of loyal men who would carry out a hit if Sonny asked. Sending Sonny to jail will not save Dex if the truth about Dex's role in Sonny's downfall ever came out. Ironically, it's Sonny's love for Josslyn that will save Dex. Sadly, she's too blinded by hatred to see that.

To clarify, I'm not defending Sonny one iota. He is a criminal who has done terrible things that he's never paid for, but the show has written him as a Robin Hood type of character who does vague illegal things, kills bad guys, and doesn't deal in drugs. He has also spent years acting as a barrier between the good people of Port Charles and the truly evil elements like the Ruiz and Alcazar brothers, the Russian mob, and Cyrus Renault, to name a few.

I love Maurice Benard, but Sonny, not so much. Sonny lost me when he shot an undercover cop in the chest while the stood in Sonny's living room. That it turned out to be Sonny's own son, well, that was just karma, but it didn't make up for what Sonny had done. Good men don't do that. Also, it was a pretty stupid move, given that killing an undercover cop doesn't make the problem go away, since that undercover cop reports to other cops higher up in the chain of the command. A missing police officer is going to be noticed.

So, yes, Sonny deserves to go to jail, but will he? Perhaps for a few months and a juicy storyline, but Maurice is a popular leading actor on the show, so to expect him to go away forever is simply unrealistic. The same goes for Carly and Drew. Only characters like Cyrus, Ryan Chamberlain, and Heather Webber go to jail for their crimes, and often even they don't stay put.

In this case, it looks like the writers are setting things up for Josslyn to find Michael's flash drive and to march herself straight to the Justice Department. It's such a disappointing way to give Dex and Josslyn a storyline because she's throwing away all of her relationships for a guy that she's only known for a few months. If Dex truly is a good guy, then I need more than a besotted Josslyn telling me that. I need some character development and a real dive into Dex's past. I don't care if he knows how to make a decent pasta. Hannibal Lecter liked to cook, too.

Moving on, Trina received the results of the paternity test, and it was revealed that Curtis is her biological father. My heart broke for poor Taggert. I hate that the writers did this because Taggert didn't deserve it, and Curtis has been a huge jackass lately. Now, he's also a massive hypocrite.

Curtis walked out on his first marriage, and he practically left his second wife at the altar because each wife kept secrets from him. However, when he has a secret, well, that's a different story. I wanted to throw something at my television when Curtis had the audacity to not only tell Portia that he is ready to move in and work on their marriage, even though he'd been locking lips with Jordan hours earlier and telling her that he still had feelings for her.

I think Portia has the right to know about that kiss and that Curtis asked Jordan to give him more time to sort his feelings out. Curtis made it Portia's business when he moved back home, so Mr. Transparency has no excuse for keeping that bombshell to himself. I'm so proud of Jordan for telling him that two years was long enough to wait, and she was moving on. Brava, Jordan! You deserve better than a guy who would leave you over a secret only to ask you to be complicit in his.

I hope Jordan finds love and lives her best life without sparing Curtis a second thought.

I would also love it if he found out down the road that Selina had her insider at GH tamper with those test results to give Curtis a favorable outcome. I can't remember the last time there were accurate DNA test out of that lab, anyway. As far as I'm concerned, Taggert will always be Trina's father because he raised her. But I do want that biological link, too, because they have such a wonderful and special relationship. There was no reason for the writers to mess with that. None.

That scene with Taggert in the elevator when he pounded on the wall, broke down in tears, and slid to the floor was gut-wrenching to watch. I teared up because Trina is his whole world. I know that the genealogy site linked Stella and Trina, but that could easily be rectified by having it revealed that Stella and Marcus' mother are long-lost sisters. Bonus: Curtis will have an awesome cousin to hang out with who could help set him straight.

Trina was the center of another big development when she persuaded Spencer to use the key that Victor had left hidden in a small box that had been given to Spencer during the reading of Victor's will. Victor said it would help Spencer protect Ace. It turned out Victor had a safe deposit box filled with all the evidence needed to send Esme away. Nice, but what a jerk for not giving it to Spencer sooner.

Amnesia won't protect Esme from such damaging evidence, but will Spencer use it to send Esme to jail? I'm not so sure. It seems that he can get what he wants -- custody of Ace, and Esme out of his hair -- simply by threatening to go to the police with the evidence. Esme is good now, but a bout of amnesia does not change a person's nature.

Even now, Esme shows signs of her old self. She doesn't seem to have any shame about what she's done. Oh, she claims to be horrified, but I've seen very little compassion for her victims. You don't need your memory to have empathy. Another red flag is Esme's sense of entitlement. She wanted independence for her and Ace, but she had no plan on how to achieve that. It was as if she expected Laura to finance that independence. In fact, the only reason that Esme has a job is because Alexis offered her one, not because she looked for one.

I fully expect Esme to revert to her old self at some point in the next few months, and when that happens, I definitely don't want that poor child to be anywhere near her.

Finally, Nina has set a new course for herself. She's keeping her distance from Willow in the hopes of earning some good will and a chance for a relationship with Willow in the future. It's what Willow asked for, and what everyone has been trying to explain to Nina. Unfortunately, Nina can't leave it at that. Nope, she seems bound and determined to set herself up for failure. While everyone is lambasting Ned for being a lowdown dirty snitch, Nina is taking advantage of all the tension by sowing seeds of division between Carly and her support system.

I'm at the point where I just shake my head. Nina sees Carly as public enemy number one, but she's blind to the growing path of destruction that's being left in Nina's wake. Ned is taking the fall for what Nina did, Sonny's freedom has become a bargaining chip, and three little girls -- Scout, Avery, and Donna -- might end up losing one or both parents to the justice system. And for what? To clear the path to Willow?

It's never going to work because the problem has never been Carly. It's always been Nina. Willow doesn't like Nina, and she trusts her even less. Nina has to show Willow that she can respect Willow's boundaries and her family. All of them, not just Willow and the kids. Nina doesn't have to like Carly, but she needs to stop actively plotting against her.

Ava gave Nina terrible advice. Nina should have been honest from the start. She should have owned what she did and taken the hits. Sonny loves Nina, so I'm sure that he would have forgiven her. He knows that she was hurting. Willow might have taken a bit longer, but Willow is a kind person with a gentle nature. Unfortunately for Nina, that ship has sailed.

I have a feeling that Nina's wedding to Sonny is going to be memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Nina will only have herself to blame.

Random thoughts and observations

I was positively giddy to see that Llanview's Sun newspaper was still in business. Thank you for the nod to One Life to Live -- now, please bring it back.

It's great that Metro Court's pool area is open, but why is Josslyn there? I would think -- given the circumstances -- that she wouldn't want to patronize a place owned by Nina and where she's likely to bump into Sonny. Also, I could have sworn there was a pool at Carly's place.

I've grown to love Valentin, but I need to push back on what he said to Laura. He did not shoot Nikolas in self-defense. Nikolas was Valentin's hostage, and Valentin shot an unarmed Nikolas at point-blank range. It was an execution that luckily failed.

Reader feedback

I don't understand why Esme's lawyer hasn't tried to sue the Cassidine estate for support for Ace? It's a no brainer she is entitled to a lot of money. It makes no sense! -- disqus704a

I hate how the writers are deliberately setting Nina up so that her SEC reveal will be as crushingly devastating as possible, the latest being Sonny proposing to Nina. I'm NOT here for it all and won't be manipulated. We see what kind of mother that Nina would be by her relationship with Sasha, so all this "Nina thinks of Willow as a possession" is total garbage. She's desperate because she thinks her daughter is about to die. I'm sure if Willow was healthy and thriving, Nina would give her space. -- Dr.Tina

I don't understand why Cody needs to be Leopold Taub's child to be entitled to a share of the necklace but Serena being Dominique's daughter is enough for her to claim a share of the necklace. Cody and Serena have the same mother, who inherited the Ice Princess necklace when Taub died. Obviously the writers are doing this for the drama of it but it isn't logical, as usual. -- MelindaK

What are your thoughts about what's going on on General Hospital? Do you agree or disagree with anything that I've shared in this week's column? I love hearing from everyone and reading your thoughts, so drop me a comment in the Comments section below. You can also join us over on the message boards for even more conversation!

Take care and happy viewing,
Liz Masters

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