It's happy hour somewhere
For the Week of January 9, 2017
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Other Two Scoops for the week of January 9, 2017
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As 2017 kicks into gear, Julian takes a stand with Alexis, Franco uncovers an intriguing clue, and a mystery woman lurks in the wings, poised to make a spectacular return -- and blow a few minds in the process. It's a new year with new beginnings.

Folks, I confess that I'm excited as all get out that Tonja Walker is returning to the show. I just love her, whether she's playing Olivia Jerome, Alex Olanov, or Lizabeth Bachman. She's stunningly beautiful and talented, and she's what I consider soap royalty, since she's played key characters on several different soap operas over the years.

Mum's the word on who she will be playing, but the odds lean heavily toward Olivia Jerome -- sister to Julian Jerome and half-sister to Ava Jerome -- being resurrected from the grave. It makes the most sense, since Julian is currently having his strings pulled by a puppet master who hides in the shadows and uses Winston Rudge as her mouthpiece. Someone who also seems to have an intense dislike for Julian.

Not only did Olivia have a homicidal streak a mile wide, but she had good reason to despise Julian, since her beloved brother was the one who exacted revenge for her betrayal by shooting her in the head.

In real life, this would be a catastrophic if not fatal injury, but on a soap opera, it's just an opportunity for a long vacation.

In Olivia's case, we have a good dose of lunacy mixed in with vengeance, which makes for a lethal combination, especially if your name is Julian. Ruining his life, blowing him up, making him miserable every second of each day would be right up Olivia's alley.

If Tonja does return as Olivia, then I hope she stays because we desperately need someone to pick up the mantle left behind when Helena died.

I'm sorry to say that Valentin just isn't cutting it for me as the big, bad, scary Cassadine.

I had high hopes when Valentin first graced our screens that he'd be everything I had dreamed of and more, but his charm is exceedingly superficial, and everything about him feels a bit slimy. His smirks make me want to slap the smugness right out of him, and his manipulation of Nina is anything but romantic. I also find the ridiculous story of Helena's minion stealing Valentin's sperm to give a sterile Stavros a child with Lulu preposterous.

Helena was an elitist through and through. There is absolutely no way she would ever pass off her late husband's bastard's spawn as her grandchild just to appease Stavros. She'd sooner turn to Victor for help.

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Plus, Helena made it very clear on several occasions when she talked to Luke and to Nikolas that she was terrified of Valentin. Why remains a mystery to me, but that's what she said, and she seemed genuinely afraid at the mere mention of his name, so it makes no sense for her to try to steal his unfertilized child.

Besides, Helena had access to every kind of doctor imaginable from those who could raise her victims -- and several family members -- from the dead to those who nursed quite a few of her captives back from the brink of death. How hard would it have been for her to find someone who could manage to find a way to resurrect just one of Stavros' inert little swimmers for a Petri dish fertilization?

If nothing else, Helena could have cast one of her spells. She was that powerful.

I'm still rooting for the writers to reveal that Helena had done a littler switcheroo years back with Dante and Lulu's remaining frozen embryo, and that's who Charlotte really is, but until that happens, I'm all for Lulu getting custody of Charlotte and raising her with Dante.

Not only is Valentin just way too creepy, but I don't think he cares about Charlotte -- or Nina for that matter. He's had years to bond with Charlotte and has denied that child a relationship with her real mother for no other reason than that he doesn't want to share. That's not the act of a loving father, because Lulu isn't exactly a horrible mother. I also think he's playing Nina like a fiddle. He's using her naiveté and deep desire to be a mother to suck her into his life so when he enters the courtroom, it's with the best possible advantage -- a picture perfect family.

Except, there isn't a judge in their right mind who would agree to let a child live in a household with a woman who kidnapped a pregnant woman, cut her unborn child out of her womb, took off with it, suffered an overdose of LSD and a psychotic break, and has the mentality of a teenager.

Nina bragging about how she runs a successful fashion magazine is laughable because the lion's share of Crimson's success is due to Maxie's business and creative genius.

I realize that Nina proposed to Valentin, but I think that was just blind luck on his part, and he took full advantage of it because it saved him from having to try to persuade her to make their united front more legal for the court hearing.

Griffin and Anna both learned the hard way that Valentin is careful to craft the truth to fit the illusion he's trying to create.

And let's face it -- Nina was an easy target for a man like Valentin because she was putty in his hands from the second she laid eyes on Charlotte. He's been waving that child under Nina's nose like a fresh-baked apple pie to a starving person, so it was only a matter of time before Nina agreed to be Charlotte's mother.

And therein lies the rub because, as much as I like Nina, I hate her attitude toward Lulu. If anyone should empathize with Lulu's plight, it's Nina, yet Nina greedily covets Charlotte in a way that alarms me. It's not healthy, and I feel that Lulu's concerns about Charlotte are well founded because Valentin has no qualms about using Charlotte in his mind games with Lulu, while Nina is obsessive, desperate, and a bit unhinged when it comes to that poor little girl. There's no way those two dysfunctional people can provide Charlotte with a healthy environment to grow and thrive in.

Charlotte's bratty behavior toward Lulu is proof that neither Valentin nor Nina has that child's best interest in mind. They smile like Cheshire cats whenever Charlotte rejects Lulu.

I was happy that Dante finally told Lulu what I've been waiting to hear -- that he fully supports her decision to go for full custody. I was bummed that it took him time to come around, but what matters is that he did, and there was no hesitation in his tone once he made up his mind.

I want someone to best Valentin because frankly, he's been a disappointment.

That's why I was excited to see the article about Tyler Christopher's possible future with the show. I desperately want him to return, and the writers certainly left the door open, since his body was never recovered.

Nikolas grew up on that island, and there had to be an old servant or two who were still loyal to him. Perhaps one of them found him, hid him, and is currently nursing him back to health.

One can hope.

Speaking of health issues, Alexis has been giving her liver quite the workout over the past few months as she swills bottle after bottle of booze like a seasoned sailor with a hollow leg.

Unfortunately for everyone, Alexis is a mean drunk with a violent streak. She ran down and nearly killed Julian, and she might have been the one who dispatched Tom into the afterlife to truly pay for his sins.

Alexis recalls staggering out of the seedy bar and Tom following her to suggest they pick up where they left off at the motel across the street. Naturally, she was disgusted because she knew who Tom was and what he'd done. Now we know what Tom was capable of, so there is no doubt that things probably escalated and went very bad very quickly for Alexis, but more on that in a bit.

Ava asked a great question this week when she and Julian discussed Alexis' drinking problem. Ava wondered what horrible thing would it take to wake Alexis up to the truth about her alcoholism if nearly killing Julian while driving drunk hadn't been rock bottom. Tom's murder?

Tom was stabbed to death, which is an up close and personal kind of murder. If Alexis had killed Tom, then there would have been blood all over her, yet when she told Diane about her encounter with Tom, Alexis said that she'd woken up alone in her own bed the next morning. No mention of wearing bloody or torn clothing. If she was drunk, she wouldn't have thought to change and dispose of her clothing, but if something terrible happened -- like a rape -- that might be another story.

I'm curious to see what unfolds and how Franco handles it because it appears that he's hot on the trail of the truth, but things might not be as cut and dried as he expects.

That brings us to Julian and the hints that not all is as it seems when it comes to what transpired with Alexis back when he lost his mind and took her hostage.

I hope that's the case, because if Sonny can be forgiven for all the awful things he's done over the years, then Julian should certainly be entitled to another chance -- especially if he was trying to protect his family.

It will be all the sweeter if Jason and Curtis are the ones to exonerate Julian and prove that he'd just been a pawn in a game played by Winston and his femme fatale mystery boss. Jason's better-than-thou attitude toward Julian rubs me the wrong way because Jason hasn't exactly lived a sin-free life.

Moving on, this week we had a delightful treat with special guest Don Swayze , who played a character named Buzz. It turns out that Buzz was caught on surveillance footage and was promptly identified by the dishwasher as a homeless man who keeps to himself and frequents a particular soup kitchen.

Seeing Curtis -- and especially Jason -- working in a soup kitchen made me smile. I'm happy that Jason realized that he and Sam should volunteer more because they do live a very privileged life. I also loved Curtis talking about teaching Jason to pay it forward because I don't see Jason do much of that these days.

I liked Buzz the minute he revealed that he'd been tricked into planting the bomb when Rudge paid him $50 to put a tracking device under the car. It meant that Buzz was not a cold-blooded killer. I was also pleased that Buzz was furious when he learned the truth about the bomb and went to confront Rudge with no concern for his own safety. It showed that Buzz has a strong sense of right and wrong. Buzz is not a bad guy; he just happened to be a guy caught in bad circumstances.

In an interesting twist, Buzz revealed that he'd met Rudge's boss -- a terrifying mystery woman, which essentially clears Julian.

The strong resemblance between Don and his brother Patrick is eerie and bittersweet. I loved Patrick and one of my favorite movies was Dirty Dancing. Despite the pang of sadness I feel when I see Don, I really hope he sticks around as a recurring character. He represents a segment of our population -- the truly downtrodden -- that we seldom see on soaps, and it would be interesting to explore his story.

Finally, Sonny and Carly spent the holidays together, and by New Year's Eve, they were lovers once more. Things seemed to be progressing so quickly that even Carly became concerned and told Sonny that she wanted to slow down because their children would be watching them closely to see how they handled things. She admitted that she didn't want to move back in only for him to betray her again, because this time she would never be able to forgive him. Again.

Sonny thought about waking up in bed with Nelle, but he quickly assured Carly that she had nothing to worry about because there were no more secrets between them. Of course Carly believes him because that's the nature of their dysfunction. He will always lie, and she will always forgive him.

Nelle is not exactly a nice person these days because we know that she's scheming against Carly, who has been nothing but sweet and wonderful to her because Nelle was Josslyn's reluctant kidney donor. For that, Nelle will always have Carly's eternal gratitude, and Nelle intends to take full advantage of it.

I feel awful for Carly, but I don't have any sympathy for Sonny because even though it's unlikely he and Nelle actually had sexual relations, he continues to lie rather than prove to Carly that he really has changed by acknowledging his transgression and dealing with the fallout.

I have no doubt that Carly would be furious, but her wrath would be directed at Nelle rather than Sonny because Carly would see that Nelle had taken advantage of a drunk and grieving man. Not only is that exactly how it played out, but Carly is predisposed to always blame the woman any time she catches Sonny involved with another woman.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

Editing can be your friend or your enemy. This week, it was GH's enemy because we had a scene where Julian entered the living room and saw Alexis passed out on the sofa, and Sam was calling on the cell phone. The scene picks up after a commercial break with Julian waking Alexis up as Sam and Jason suddenly appear on the doorstep and knock.

Speaking of Jason and Sam, I found it interesting that after their 1:00 a.m. chat with Alexis on New Year's Eve they decided to return to Metro Court Restaurant rather than go home.

Did Nina really decline a shower after spending the night with her randy groom in a hotel room then don the clothes she'd worn the previous night and go to work? Yuck.

Could Anna and Valentin be siblings? Twins, to be exact? It was Anna's memory about the watch breaking at 11:05 on October 29th -- her birthday -- that made me wonder. It certainly would explain why he's both obsessed and resentful of Anna. Perhaps she's the twin who was raised by their mother, while he was shipped off to boarding school to be forgotten. The familiar lullaby is something their mother would sing to them that he uses to torment Anna.

READER FEEDBACK

One thing I really liked about GH was there seemed to be more of a focus on the hospital and on relationship drama instead of every storyline being dominated by the mob and mob violence. One thing that really bugged me about GH this year was this: storylines that don't have much of a lasting impact. -- lk

Ever since Jelly took over, I find the show mostly entertaining, and often compelling, with a lot fewer "WTF?" moments for sure, but there's still a lot of room for improvement. This past year, while the writing has at times suffered from tremendous inconsistency, the acting from this talented (if somewhat bloated) cast has been superb! -- Scrimmage

Good? On what planet? This show has sucked big time for a long time but now is totally unwatchable. Once again, Sonny is the misunderstood good "bad" guy and all will be well. Most of what happened this year, especially the totally distasteful Tom Baker/Liz/Franco story is atrocious. -- Eileen

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts about the show. I love hearing from readers so please feel free to email me or leave a comment below.

Until next time, take care.
Liz Masters

What are your thoughts on General Hospital? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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