Oh Christmas tree, how twisted are your branches

For the Week of December 11, 2023
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Christmas trees, tearful plane rides, engagements, trials, and children's songs. It was a festive week on GH, although a bit confusing. Let's scratch our heads together in this week's Two Scoops.

Dear readers, I found it curious that everyone in Port Charles was picking out a Christmas tree on the exact same date, at the exact same time, and in the exact same tree lot. Maybe they should just pull a Peanuts and get one little tree to decorate together? But why should Christmas make sense in Port Charles? Nothing else does.

My friend and co-Scooper Liz posted a GIF of a crazy murder board this week about unraveling the many confusing storylines. She nailed it. We need push pins and twine and many brains adding clues to help this all make sense.

Take Cyrus, for instance. First off, Jeff Kober is a gem. His scenes with his sister Laura (the always spectacular Genie Francis) this week, tearfully pleading with her to see him as a changed man, were moving and poignant. I almost believed him.

Readers, I am so confused. I am unsure if the writers know what they want to do with Cyrus. Is he A) a Godly, reformed man who wants to be part of his family and humbly scrubs floors for a living or B) a ruthless killer who killed Austin, a man he had known since Austin was a child and in whose life he was involved enough to pay for Austin's medical school? Is he behind the scenes of Pikeman? Is he out for Sonny's territory? Does he really care about Spencer, or was that a tool to try to worm his way into Laura's heart? I don't know. You don't know. I doubt the writers have decided because all these plots are all over the place.

Brennan has an Australian accent. Is he a recast Jerry Jacks, since our beloved Sebastian Roché is off torturing Native American children in the Yellowstone prequel 1923? Is it like a Jason/Drew thing, where we will be asked to believe old Jerry had face-altering surgery? Or is he unrelated to the Jacks family at all, and his Australian accent is merely a coinky-dink?

Is Brennan a new love interest for Carly, since Cameron Matheson has been off the grid for a while? Carly is suspicious of him, but will that keep her from falling prey to his dashing good looks and charm? It never has before.

And what about Joss's anxiety-ridden classmate Adam? Is he the son of Lorenzo Alcazar, as rumors of Ted King returning to GH have been swirling about since October?

How do Pikeman, Alcazar, the WSB, Anna, Sonny, Cyrus, the Russians who are after Gloria Cerullo, the Gatlin cousins, Brennan, the deceased Forsyth dude whose body disappeared from Ernie Douglas' autopsy lab (or you may know him as Barry Livingston), and many other seemingly interwoven plots fit together? It makes my brain hurt trying to make it all make sense. If I did a shot every time I said, "Wait, what?" this week, I would be as drunk as I was on the cruise I just took with the unlimited cocktail package.

Also, I think the writers must have misheard us. We said we wanted to be rid of Mason Gatlin, not Austin Gatlin-Holt. Why on earth would GH get rid of an actor as beloved as Roger Howarth? I will never stop being mad that they killed off Franco to turn Roger into Austin with no clear plan for ending that storyline.

Initially, I thought it would be a lazy copy of Todd's OLTL story, where he became Victoria Lord's half-brother. I thought Austin Gatlin-Holt would become immersed in the Q family, but that never materialized. I am not sure why. I don't understand why they killed off Franco. I am not sure why they killed off Austin. I am not sure why Nikolas is not back yet. I am not sure why Molly and Kristina, who were rarely ever used on GH before, became front and center after they recast both roles.

I love GH. I will never stop watching it as long as it's on the air. But this week, some episodes seemed unnecessary and didn't move the plot forward. Even in those scenes, I found gems in the acting and writing. One was Marshall talking to his ex-ghost-wife and expressing his regret for leaving his family years ago. Robert Gossett did a tremendous job of emoting in those scenes and helping us feel his character's pain over all the time he lost with his family.

Another sweet scene was Spencer's tender goodbye to baby brother Ace as Esme moved out into her own place. Spencer had to come to terms with not having 24/7 access to his brother. Take a pin and hold on to this scene, so ten years from now, when they SORAS Ace and make Ace and Spencer rivals for Prince Nikolas' affection, you can remember how much Spencer treasured Ace once.

Some of you are livid that Laura is so nurturing to Esme, but I have enjoyed their relationship. Esme is the mother of Laura's grandchild. As far as we know now, there are zero indications that Esme ever got her memory back other than naming the baby Ace. In real life, Genie Francis and I are the same age. When you get to be our age, not much shocks you. I don't judge anyone because I did many stupid things throughout my life. If Laura looks back on her past, she can see a trail of mistakes and moments of bad judgment. Hence, things Esme did as a teenager and now doesn't even remember doing are not enough to make Laura abandon her.

Next up: Alexis Davis. Make her a lawyer again. I don't care if it makes sense. I don't care what ridiculous premise you create to make it happen; just set the world right. She still gives everyone legal advice and talks about how much she misses being a lawyer every day. Just get her back in the courtroom. Sure, we already have Diane, Scotty, and Martin, but there are so many criminals in Port Charles, four lawyers can all stay busy. Give the Invader to someone else in town, and bring back Jackie Templeton, an actual reporter and Chase's mom. Or, say it folded, I don't care. I just want my legal eagle Alexis back in action.

Speaking of Chase, his engagement to Brook Lynn is happy GH news. I love the two of them together, and they have waited a long time to get to this stage in their relationship. Having Lois in town made it even more special. I love Rena Sofer, and I hope she stays. I enjoyed the decorating scenes this week when Lois, Olivia, and Cody spruced up the Q mansion.

No offense to Olivia, but I will always be team Lois and Ned. I can't help it; they are burned into my heart with their wild escapades from the 1990s. I loved the scene where Lois and Ned talked about Lila, and Lois urging Ned to give Michael the benefit of the doubt and assume he was trying to help ELQ stay afloat, not hurt Ned. Imagine the two of them at Brook Lynn's wedding, thinking about their own magical wedding! I'm giddy thinking about it.

GH is overdue for a wedding, but like all GH weddings, I fear for what crisis will blow up in the middle of Brook Lynn and Chase's nuptials. Gregory collapsing? Finn getting hauled off in handcuffs after losing his lawsuit and continuing to practice medicine because he's just that arrogant? Charlotte torches the reception, all because Anna is at the punch bowl. It's hard to say.

I also fear what we know is coming up around the corner. Since Jackie Zeman's death, we have braced ourselves for the day that Bobbie's death happens in Port Charles, and I fear that day is here. Tracy going to sort out Luke's affairs with Bobbie off-screen indicated something was in motion. When I watched Tracy burst into tears in the previews, it made me tense up. I was sure this was going to be the way we found out Bobbie had died. But instead, on Friday's episode, Tracy was looking at photos of her and Luke on their wedding day and grieving over her deceased husband. I keep hoping Luke will be revealed to still be alive, but it doesn't seem like Tony Geary has any plans to leave his cozy home and come out of retirement. And really, could I blame him? Nope. I am retired, too, and I can't imagine what would convince me to return to work if I didn't have to. But since Tracy wasn't crying over Bobbie, I wonder what I'll do with that pile of Kleenex that Amazon will deliver on Monday? I'll hold on to them. I know it's coming.

Readers, seriously, can you fathom the audacity of Nina confronting Sonny about not telling her that Cyrus was after him? For the rest of time, Sonny has this perfect comeback to any pushback from Nina in his back pocket, "Oh, like when you didn't tell me you knew who I was when I had amnesia, and kept me from my family for a year? Is it worse than that?" Shut up, Nina.

I know there are many Sonny and Nina fans out there, but I am not one of them. Before you get all riled up, I am not saying Sonny should go back to Carly, either. Soaps ask us to suspend our disbelief a lot, and typically, I do it without hesitation. But if I woke up one day in some town and didn't recall who I was, and I had a husband, kids, grandkids, and friends at home mourning and weeping for me, I would never end up in a relationship with the liar who stayed silent and let my family suffer for months. I just can't suspend my disbelief that far.

Unlike Esme, Nina remembers precisely what she did and has not changed much. Nina still lies to Sonny and his family about her role in the SEC case. Esme is remorseful, knowing she caused people pain, even though she doesn't remember what she did. Nina isn't ashamed and is constantly justifying her actions to Ava because she's selfish and wants Sonny more than she wants to be a decent person.

When Sonny said, "The most important thing that happened in Nixon Falls is that we fell in love," I threw up a little in my mouth. No, Mike the bartender fell for Nina, not you, Sonny.

In addition, the stupid twist that Michael is using the info about Nina being the whistleblower who sent Drew to prison to control her instead of just telling his family what she did is maddening! So, when it all comes out, Michael will look like the bad guy, and Nina will get off scot-free again. Annoying.

I am equally distressed that Anna is crucifying herself over shooting Charlotte. Felicia tried her best to comfort Anna and absolve her of the guilt she was feeling, to no avail. Valentin's warning could have prepared Anna, and Charlotte probably would not have been shot. Valentin told Anna that he didn't tell her about Charlotte because he feared losing her, and he lost her, anyway.

The Valentin/Anna scenes on Friday were hard to watch. It took so many years for Anna and Valentin to end up together, and now their love affair is seemingly beyond repair. Charlotte still believes that Anna is dangerous, and Valentin and Anna can't escape this tragedy.

Is Victor still alive and sending her letters? Who knows? Looking at the canvas, I can't imagine another love interest for Anna or Valentin that would be as utterly delightful as they were together. Robert is with Diane, well, sort of. Nina is with Sonny for now, so unless Duke comes back from the dead, or if Faison finds religion and comes to make amends with Anna and asks for a real go of it, I can't imagine who they would use as a love interest for her. I hope that after Charlotte is deprogrammed from her Uncle Victor's brainwashing, Anna and Valentin can slowly find their way back to one another. But we have too much to discuss for me to keep speculating!

Kristina will be Molly and T.J.'s surrogate, and I am suspicious of the timing. Just as Kristina is starting a new relationship with Blaze, will they have her get pregnant with her sister's baby? Yikes. We have seen this story before, and Maxie tripped over a Christmas puppy and lost Lulu's baby. Beware of dogs, Kristina. In all these years, I swear the Davis sisters have never had as many scenes as they have since the recasts came. This is puzzling to me because Lexi Ainsworth was one of GH's best actors, but they rarely used her. But I digress... I feel like this is too easy. Kristina getting pregnant now makes me question how it will all blow up. Will she decide she doesn't want to give the baby to Molly and T.J. and keep it for herself? In nine months, Krissy and Blaze may be in a more committed relationship and decide they want a kid.

Or will she lose the baby and lie about it like Maxie? Or will we discover that Molly and T.J.'s first surrogate didn't really miscarry, and Molly and T.J. will be expecting two babies? Or will Molly return to being a nightmare, and T.J. and Kristina will fall for each other and dump Molly and Blaze, breaking their hearts as they run off together? I don't know, but I know it will be something.

While we are recalling Maxie's painful surrogate past, let's talk about her for a bit. She hasn't had a genuine love interest since Peter August, and I think it's time. I want her new love interest to be her old love interest. Why not have Georgie and Spinelli move into the new house Maxie bought to share expenses and childcare duties? Maxie seems overwhelmed at times, and her ex Spinelli is a doll who adores her, shares a child with her, and is mostly invisible. Then, once they live together in one big, happy family, they can reconnect and realize they were meant to be together all along.

Meanwhile, across town, Portia surprised Curtis by informing him that she had submitted his name to a medical trial for people with conditions like his that has been successful in some patients. Curtis was hesitant to be hopeful that he might be able to walk again. Portia managed his expectations and told him it wasn't a sure thing, but at least it was a chance. It's nice to see the writers giving Portia something meaningful to do instead of trying to break up Sprina.

Speaking of which, now that Esme has moved out, Trina and Spencer should have wide open space for their holiday romance scenes. I look forward to romantic Christmas and New Year's scenes with these two young lovebirds. I also hope Joss and Dex get to have a little alone time. If I were Joss, I would ask to move dorm rooms so Adam would stop showing up at my door, uninvited. I'm concerned with Adam because he strikes me as someone who will not take kindly the first time Joss tells him no.

Do you remember the day that Joss couldn't study with him, and he blew a gasket? I am afraid the writers intend to make him into a school shooter or something. Adam becomes more unhinged as his stress level grows, and I worry more about where this is headed. Joshua Benard is doing a fantastic job in this role, and he may have gotten in the door because of Maurice, but I believe he's stayed there based on his own merit and talent.

GH is lousy with talented kids. Hudson West had what I would call his first adult scenes this week with his mom, Liz, as she filled him in on Finn's malpractice suit. He has grown into such a handsome young man, and it's uncanny how much he looks like Steve Burton when he was younger. He's so believable as Jason and Liz's son. Scarlett Fernandez is doing fantastic work as Charlotte and is so convincing as a child terrified of Anna. She believes all the warnings from Uncle Victor, and her fear is palpable. Precious little Jophielle Love brings joy to every scene she is in, and the song she did with her Uncle Chase was so sweet.

I started this column by whining about unnecessary scenes, but that one made me smile and feel some holiday cheer, so I can't be mad about it.

Also, it was a joy to see Kin Shriner and Lynn Herring in scenes together this week. Watching the two of them walk down memory lane was very enjoyable. I liked them together back in the day, and it brought me smiles.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Brook Lynn sign Violet to a Kidz Bop record contract for a new Christmas album? Will Lois and Olivia start a new holiday design form called "Zias for Hire"? Will the undead Nikolas be stalking Esme and Ace at her new place? Will Finn get Liz a ring per Violet's suggestion, or will he be unemployed at Christmas after the malpractice trial that everyone says he can't win is completed? Will Marshall's ghost wife and Lenny, the ghost husband from Nixon Falls, cross paths on their way back and forth from heaven?

Will Brennan take a BLT to Heather? Might as well add one more crazy person to the mix. Will Liesl forgive Scott and feed him schnitzel for Christmas? Will Linc threaten to out Blaze if she doesn't give him a cut of her proceeds? Will Sonny have all his exes under one roof for Christmas? Carly, Sam, Ava, Alexis, and Nina? Maybe invite Brenda, too, just for kicks. Will Kevin Collins be booked for all of 2024 with trying to deprogram Charlotte, providing Tracy with grief counseling, helping Esme get her memory back, helping Spencer come to terms with being a brother instead of a dad, and helping Anna get over the trauma of shooting a child?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.

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