Charlotte's web of secrets

For the Week of November 6, 2023
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Friday's cliffhanger threw Anna and Valentin's story into very dark territory. Will Charlotte pay the ultimate price for her folly? Michael has kept Nina's secret, at what cost? Ava has a mysterious new buyer for Spoon Island, Josslyn's new friend has some red flags, and Finn is looking for some happiness. There's a lot of tangled web to unravel in this week's Two Scoops.

Before I begin, I want to take a moment to address the shocking news of Tyler Christopher's passing. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I cried. I have always been a Cassadine fan, and hands down, my favorite has been Nikolas, especially when Tyler Christopher was in the role. Nothing against the other actors who have stepped into the Dark Prince's shoes over the years, but Tyler was always the best version of Nikolas. He truly captured the spirit of the character and managed to play him with a vulnerability -- even in the worst of times -- that the others have lacked.

When Marcus Coloma exited, I was one of the legions of fans who had hoped that Tyler would return to the role. Unfortunately, he had his struggles -- which he was open about -- and that made it impossible. My heart breaks for Tyler's children and for those who loved him, including his co-stars, and my condolences go out to each of them.

I've seen some people on social media suggest that GH retire Nikolas by killing him off, but I seriously doubt that Tyler would want that. Nikolas was his legacy, and by all accounts, he had a special place in his heart for the character. If anything, I think GH should honor Tyler by recasting the role and returning Nikolas to what he once was before he faked his death, stayed away from his family, and chose a woman over his own son. The old Nikolas would have never done that.

That's why I have such a hard time listening to Spencer talk about what an awful father Nikolas was. That's not what we saw for all those years until Nikolas' fateful encounter with Valentin. Spencer gave Nikolas a reason to live when Nikolas' world was shattered by Emily Quartermaine's (ex-Natalia Livingston) murder. When Britt Westbourne (ex-Kelly Thiebaud) helped Spencer fake his own abduction, Nikolas ended things with her because his son was more important than anything in his life including the woman he intended to marry.

Honestly, I'd love for Nikolas to return home, even if it's only to release Spencer from Esme's orbit. Spencer needs to go out and do something with his life other than playing father to his little brother. I get that he's rich, but rich people need a purpose, too, and if the writers are committed to this new version of Esme, then Spencer has no reason to act like this. She should be allowed to raise her son without him breathing down her neck, acting like he knows better than she does.

Everyone seems to agree that Esme is doing a good job with Ace, so it's time for Spencer to back off and focus on his own future and Trina. At Spencer's age, Nikolas was running the Cassadine empire. Shouldn't Spencer at least learn how things are run in the likely event that he outlives his father?

That brings me to the other Cassadine heir -- Charlotte. Poor Charlotte has been making one bad decision after another. I refuse to believe that this is all a result of Victor's poison pen letter. Charlotte knew that Victor had kept her from her father for that year that she was in boarding school and that he was evil to the core and died trying to wipe out the world's population except for his chosen few, so why would she give anything in that letter any weight?

I'm certain that those tarot cards that Victor gifted Charlotte are the true root of what is driving Charlotte's actions, but I don't think all those actions against Anna were Charlotte's doing. Spray-painting Anna's door and messing up her hotel suite could definitely be the acts of a teenager, but not burning down Anna's house. Until I see definitive proof of Charlotte's guilt in the form of a flashback of Charlotte lighting the match, I refuse to believe that she is an arsonist.

Charlotte wasn't trashing Anna's apartment or spray-painting ominous messages on the bathroom mirror. She was snooping -- just as I suspect she had done in the past on those occasions when Anna noticed that her mail had been disturbed. I think that's what Charlotte was doing in Anna's suite before Anna and Valentin arrived and found it in shambles. My theory is that she had gone there to check Anna's mail, found the destruction, and quickly fled. Valentin and Nina would have seen that if they had bothered to watch the security footage in its entirety.

Even though the shooting was justified, I don't want Charlotte to die. She's just 15 years old, and she's had so much upheaval in her life over the last few years. She doesn't deserve a tragic ending like this, especially when there's a possibility that her mother might one day wake up from her coma. Killing off an adult character is one thing, but a child -- and a legacy one at that -- is a different beast entirely. Most of the viewers are parents, and we don't enjoy seeing children killed off for ratings unless there's a greater purpose to the death, like saving the life of another soap opera child.

Also -- I cannot stress this enough -- Scarlett Fernandez is an amazing young actress, and we are lucky to have her. She has done a fantastic job with this storyline, and I feel a bit like a proud mama bear that she not only rose to the challenge, but she also exceeded it.

Can Valentin and Anna do the same? I have no idea. How do you even begin to unpack your girlfriend accidently shooting your daughter who might have been stalking her? Then there's Anna, who will have to live with the knowledge that she shot a teenager -- a teenager that she knew and cared about. That's a heavy burden to carry, and then to have to look at Charlotte every day on top of it? I don't know if I could. There's also the matter of Charlotte's animosity toward Anna, which might run deeper than Victor's lies. Cassadines have been known to tinker with people's minds.

Now, let's talk about Finn and Liz. They took off for scenic Vermont, tapped maple trees, hit the sheets, picked apples, and hit the sheets some more, and Liz squeezed in some precious time to paint. They were blissfully happy in their little cabin in the woods, and I enjoyed the break from all the angst. When I posted on social media that I appreciated a good love scene, boy did I get some flak.

I sat in the cardiologist's office with my husband the next day, reading some of the more colorful comments to my husband and the nurse practitioner taking his vitals. They both agreed that soap viewers were a very passionate bunch. How right they are.

I love Liz, and I have since her days as a sassy teenager who was overshadowed by an older sister that seemingly could do no wrong. Through the years, Liz had romances with a variety of interesting men, some good and some not so good. Lucky Spencer, Jason Morgan, Zander Smith, Drew Cain (as Jason Morgan), Nikolas Cassadine, and, of course, Franco Baldwin were the most important. Finn and Liz never had the same spark and smolder that those romances had, but I did see chemistry between the two in the beginning.

The problem for me was the decision to pull Finn and Liz apart. It's a common soap tactic that usually ends with the couple coming out the other side, stronger than ever, but sometimes things go too far. It eventually happened with Valentin and Nina, Sonny and Carly, Jason and Britt, and Michael and Sasha, to name a few. In Finn and Liz's case, Liz suffered a childhood trauma that turned out to be more about Finn than her. It was terrible writing, and compounding the awfulness of the storyline was the long-awaited reunion between Liz and her parents -- Jeff Webber, in particular -- that lasted all of ten minutes, and then poof, they were gone. What we were left with was a controlling Finn who never met a boundary he didn't cross.

Fast-forward to now, and Finn has spent months doing the work and showing himself to be a better and enlightened version of his former self. At times, he even comes off as meek and subservient. Liz has decided to give him a second chance, but should we? I like Finn, and I do see a change in his character, but I don't know if it's sustainable. Has he changed for himself or for Liz? If you change for someone, it generally doesn't last. You have to do it for yourself.

I'm trying to keep an open mind with Finn and Liz for two reasons. The first is because the show films weeks in advance, so I hope what we get in the coming weeks is good stuff. I want the writers to go for it and give it their best, because if it doesn't work this time around, Liz can close that chapter for good. The other reason is because I miss having a hospital romance, and maybe some good drama. I never understood why the writers shied away from following the lead of shows like Grey's Anatomy, because I definitely think it would fill a niche in daytime.

As for Liz, I don't need for her to have a grand romance. She doesn't need a gallant knight to sweep her off her feet. She's in a different place in her life; she needs a companion who respects her and complements her life. Is that Finn? I guess we will see. More than anything, I want Liz to have some happiness -- and screentime. Becky Herbst is one of the best actresses on the show.

So, how far will Nina go to get out from under Michael's thumb? Will she come clean? Unlikely, because she knows that even though she didn't do anything legally wrong, she did a very bad thing. All she really needs to do is ride it out because Michael's expectation for her to keep her distance from Willow and Wiley unless he okayed it is an unreasonable one, since Willow can't seem to stay away from Nina these days. He can stop Nina from seeking out Willow, but he can't stop Willow from visiting Nina.

It's for that reason that I don't think Willow is going to be all that mad at Michael when she finds out what he did with the recording. It's not like he took away Willow's free will, because she's still free to see Nina whenever she likes. He has every right to be concerned about Nina, since her actions were guided by spite, not justice. If you hurt my mom, I'm not going to be happy, either. That said, I do think Michael is an idiot. He would get exactly what he wanted if he just played that audio for Willow. Willow had asked Nina to make peace with Carly. It wasn't contingent on Carly being nice to Nina, so Nina broke her word to Willow by making that call to Martin.

Unfortunately for Michael, by not doing the smart thing, he's going to risk Nina making a desperate move. If I had to guess, Nina might try to devise a plan to cut Michael out of Willow's life. I think she'll go that route because Nina is vindictive, impulsive, and dangerous when cornered. Martin said as much to Michael, and I think it was a bit of foreshadowing.

Finally, who is the buyer for Spoon Island? Is it Nikolas, Cyrus, or someone else? I want it to be Nikolas, because Spoon Island belongs to the Cassadine family. It would be just like Nikolas to use a holding company to buy the island because he knows darn well that Ava wouldn't sell it to him directly. However, what good is Spoon Island to Nikolas if he can't live there and enjoy it? Unless he finds a get-out-of-jail-free card, he can't return to Port Charles anytime soon.

Another possible contender is Cyrus. He gave away the money in the accounts that Martin knew of, but Sonny made a good point when he said that men like Cyrus had secret accounts where they kept the bulk of their fortune. The problem with Cyrus buying the island is that it wouldn't fit with his current narrative of being a changed man of little means who wants nothing more than forgiveness and a job making BLTs at Kelly's. That would be a hard sell to make when you take the launch to your island at the end of a long work day, slinging burgers and atoning for your sins.

There's always a possibility that Martin bought it to whisk his lady love Lucy to, but that would mean that Martin had $25,000,000, which I don't think he does.

The mystery buyer could be the shadowy person connected to Pikeman -- the person that I suspect is Lorenzo Alcazar. I'm not gonna lie -- I would love that. I'm more certain than ever that he's close by, and that Blaze might be his daughter with Skye Quartermaine. A few viewers have reminded me that Luke Spencer's nickname for Skye was "Blaze" because of Skye's red mane. Is that why we haven't heard Blaze's last name yet? Is her real name Lila Rae Alcazar?

Random thoughts and observations

Josslyn's friend Adam (Joshua Benard) is a walking red flag. He clearly has a mad crush on Josslyn, and his reaction to his less-than-perfect grade was very troubling.

Why doesn't Valentin have one of those family tracking apps on Charlotte's phone? You'd think -- given the circumstances -- that he'd try to covertly track her movements until he can figure out what's going on with her.

It's interesting to see that Carly has made peace with both Sam and Elizabeth. I remember the days when the three of them were bitter rivals. I like them being friendly to each other better.

Why does Esme not have a stroller for that baby? Dare we hope that someone gets her one for Christmas?

If Anna's building has security, how did Charlotte get in? Also, if Anna has a stalker, shouldn't she have been more concerned than she was about her keys suddenly vanishing?

Reader feedback

Who else is tired of Spencer going off on everyone about Ace? Okay, we KNOW he's your brother. Shadddaaaaap! Geez. Or maybe he's not....did anyone do a DNA test? -- MissezPremise

If Brook Lynn genuinely feels bad about deceiving her friends and colleagues at Deception; then she could rectify her mistakes by giving that company back to them. ~ (But will she do the right thing -- WideAwake In Sleepy Eye

Valentin said he was a fool to have entrusted Victor to look after Charlotte, but I was under the impression that he had essentially KIDNAPPED her, and sent her to the school in Switzerland where, for some reason, Valentin couldn't visit her, or bring her back. That never made much sense to me. If it was a real, legitimate school, there's no way they would deny a student's custodial parent, her father, the right to visit her, or take her out of school. Well, at least Laura smelled a Victor-sized rat in all these latest shenanigans. -- Scrimmage

What are your thoughts about what's happening 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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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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