The fine line between love and hate
For the Week of April 17, 2017
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Love, betrayal, regret, and a return from the 'dead' made for an explosive week. As battle lines are drawn and plans are set into motion, our columnist ponders who will be left standing -- and who will fall -- once the clouds part and the dust settles.

Love and hate truly are two sides of the same coin, as evidenced by this week's episodes.

Valentin loved Anna dearly until she broke his heart and betrayed him. Love turned to hate, which he nursed for decades until a heartfelt apology and a peace offering turned things around. He doesn't trust her, but he no longer hates her. He accepted the watch and put it on without telling his wife that it was a gift from Anna. Instead, Valentin foolishly lied -- claiming he bought the watch online.

Nina is emotionally fragile, but she's not stupid. She loves her husband and the family he's given her, but she doesn't trust him. Not really. That's why she concluded his new watch was from Anna. It had nothing to do with finding the box it had arrived in and putting the pieces together by reading the letter. The thought had already been there, and seeing the box in the trash can forced her to face the truth that her husband had lied.

My favorite scene this week was Nina's confrontation with Anna. I cracked up when Nina tried to slap Anna and Anna's super secret-agent powers kicked in. Before Nina realized that Anna had moved, Anna had Nina pinned to the desk. It was hilarious. Like Anna, I too wondered what Nina had been thinking. It was nice to see Anna remind Nina that violence solves nothing -- and not to trifle with Anna.

I like Nina, but not with Valentin. The actors have chemistry, but I think Nina is too broken to be with someone like Valentin. It worked with Franco because Franco had the same childlike quality that Nina has, and he strived to be a better person. However, Valentin is dark, brooding, and sinister. He's not the least bit interested in being a better person because the façade is sufficient.

I can't forget how Valentin shot Nikolas. It was a scene that was shown to the viewers, so unless Nikolas returns from the dead, Valentin will always be a cold-blooded murderer to me. I loved Nikolas, so I just can't root for Valentin, knowing what I know. It's why I can totally understand Lulu's horror at the idea of her daughter being raised by a man capable of such callous violence.

It's also one of the reasons that I don't trust Valentin's declarations of love to Nina. I think he cares for her, and he loves her fierce loyalty and possessiveness, but somehow, his feelings for Anna seem far more intense.

I fear it's only a matter of time before Valentin grows weary of coddling Nina's delicate psyche, especially if he should end up losing custody of Charlotte. I've seen the glimmers of rage buried beneath the veneer of sophisticated charm that Valentin likes to project. He's fine as long as things go his way.

That might change soon because all it took was one visit with Lulu to win Charlotte over. Valentin practically popped a blood vessel when Charlotte admitted that she'd had fun with Lulu then asked him to add ten minutes to the next visit to make up for picking her up earlier. The request was all the sweeter knowing that Nina and Valentin had plucked an excuse out of thin air to justify crashing Lulu's time with Charlotte.

It astounds me that Nina can desire a child as deeply as she does yet not respect or honor the rights of a mother who's been denied her child for purely selfish reasons. I realize that Nina wants to see Lulu as the villain because it allows Nina to play mother to Charlotte, but denial can only take you so far. At some point, Charlotte's best interests should factor in.

As for Anna, I'm not sure what's going on with her. I'm completely confused about what she remembers and what really happened between her and Valentin all those years ago. It's also unclear if her mission to take down Valentin is sanctioned by the WSB or if she's gone rogue. It appears we are still missing a big chunk of the story, leaving us once again back at square one. It's a convoluted story that's getting messier by the day.

Speaking of messy, Nelle is running around town, making weepy confessions and trying to undo the havoc she's wreaked on the Corinthos clan, but Carly sees through Nelle's desire to make amends because she knows Nelle is motivated by desire for Michael rather than remorse for what she's done.

Carly also raised an excellent point when she questioned Nelle's latest version of events. While I don't think Nelle had sex with Sonny -- because she drugged him, and that would be rape -- it is rather convenient to claim there was no sex. How do you prove something no one can confirm?

It's to Nelle's benefit to deny having sex with Sonny because Michael wouldn't give Nelle a second glance -- or chance -- otherwise.

There was a time that I was intrigued with a romance between Michael and Nelle, but no more. I'm not bothered by what she did to Sonny because Sonny has gotten away with far worse over the years. I'm also not particularly bothered that Nelle targeted Carly. Like Sonny, Carly has done far worse than Nelle, so a little karma here and there keeps things in balance.

My issue with the pairing is that Michael is too much of a nice guy and Nelle has morphed into a boring and predictable character who cries. All. The. Time.

Michael always seems to end up with troubled women who are in constant need of a knight in shinning armor rather than a partner. I'd like to see Michael with a woman who has fire, strength, and independence, someone who can help him bear the burden of rescuing his family from one crisis after another rather than adding to his already cumbersome responsibilities.

Carly is right -- Nelle is just a younger version of her. The last thing Michael needs is another Carly in his life.

Sadly, Michael is already trying to find ways to give Nelle a second chance, so it's only a matter of time before Nelle is back to batting her tear-soaked lashes and making excuses for the awful things she does.

When it comes to awful things, Sonny was delighted to be able to scratch off sleeping with Nelle from his list of transgressions. He zoomed over to Carly's house to share the good news and tell her that their marriage might have some life left in it after all.

Sonny acknowledged that he'd lied -- and took full responsibility for it -- but the way he saw it, the original sin never happened, making everything that followed less significant. Of course, Carly -- still flushed from making love with Jax -- didn't quite agree with Sonny's assessment.

Sonny's hopes of a happy reconciliation were quickly dashed when Jax appeared at the top of staircase, pulling on a shirt and looking for the wine Carly had promised. Sonny's reaction was swift and volatile as he blasted Carly for jumping into bed with Jax less then 24 hours after walking out on Sonny.

Please don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge Sonny getting upset. It doesn't matter if Carly was free to do as she pleased, Sonny loves her, and finding out that she's moved on hurts. I also get why he yelled and told her that their marriage really was over this time, but he went too far when he accused her of being a "bad wife, but a great whore."

After everything Sonny put Carly through over the years -- cheating, lies, secrets, shooting her in the head, and the countless life-threatening situations she and her children endured because of his lifestyle -- he has no right to go there with her. None.

I also thought Sonny looked ridiculous confronting Jax about daring to offer someone money to help find a kidney donor for Josslyn. Sonny would do that and more if one of his children needed a life-saving organ. Jax is no more responsible for the choices Frank Benson made than Nelle is. In the end, Frank was Nelle's father, and he, along with Nelle's mother, were the only ones who could consent to Nelle having the surgery. The blame sits on Nelle's parents and no one else.

Sonny was looking for an excuse to fight Jax because he's angry and jealous and has the mentality of a caveman. This is all about saving face and posturing for Sonny because he hates feeling like a cuckold.

I think it's time for Sonny and Carly to go their separate ways. It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well, Sonny and Carly have married each other six times.

Meanwhile, Julian is alive and well -- at least I assume he's well, since he was able to slip into Alexis' house, skulk in park bushes, and sneak around town for weeks without being detected.

I didn't have any doubt that Julian had survived the fall into the river because the police were far too quick to decide that he was dead. It's never that easy. Ever. That rule is especially true for the cat-like Jeromes and their nine lives.

I'm happy for Alexis because, if nothing else, she needs a little closure with Julian so she can focus on her sobriety and work on getting her law license reinstated. I realize that she's still in love with Julian, but a romance can't be an option for them as long as he's facing legal troubles. Reluctant accomplice or not, he was an accessory to Olivia's crimes.

Finally, this week, Elizabeth asked Jason why Sam can be a part of the equation where Jake is concerned, but Franco can't. It was a bold and provocative question that went absolutely nowhere beyond Sam and Jason exchanging an "Oh, no she didn't" glance with each other.

I had touched on this very issue in one of my recent columns and received a bit of feedback about dredging up ancient history, so I was quite interested in hearing what Jason and Sam had to say on the subject.

I also received a few emails asking about Jake's custody. It seems there is a confusion about who Jake's legal father is.

Lucky was listed as Jake's father on the birth certificate, so he held certain rights as Jake's father until his marriage to Liz ended. There was a scene during the divorce when Alexis told Lucky that he was not Jake's legal father, and visitation would be up to Liz. It was around this time that Jake's last name was changed from Spencer to Webber.

To my knowledge, Liz has full custody of Jake. He's not Jake Morgan, so I'm not sure that anything was changed legally. However, Liz acknowledges that Jason is Jake's father, and he is taking an active role in his son's life. I have no idea how Lucky fits into the scheme of things these days, but it has been mentioned in the past that he frequently talks to Cameron, Jake, and Aiden on Skype.

Random Observations

I'm surprised Josslyn didn't hear the commotion in the living room when Sonny confronted her parents about sleeping together. For that matter, doesn't Bobbie live there too?

Do Charlotte and Rocco ever attend school? I would think both are old enough to at least be in kindergarten.

I know time is relative on a soap, but shouldn't Liz's children be aged a bit? Josslyn was once Cameron, Spencer, and Emma's age.

Reader feedback
Why do the writers insist on forcing "Amy" down our throats? Even the soap magazines keep featuring the actress as if she is a beloved character on GH. Get RID of AMY! -- tlFan

Really disturbing how Dante violates PCPD right and left to protect and assist his mobster dad, and how EVERYONE knows but there's no consequences. Plus, tie that into PCPD looking into how Sean's been in jail because the PCPD didn't run a check on the bullets. Two birds, one stone. -- ctshar

The only reason I want Sonny and Carly back together now is so we don't have to endure another divorce followed by a tortured 'we belong together' series of makeup scenes and yet another wedding. -- Lisa Echerd

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

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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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