A bridge over troubled water
For the Week of July 10, 2017
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It's a sizzling summer, but these days, it feels like the hotter stories are the behind-the-scenes shakeups as contract negotiations fall apart and familiar faces return. Swiftly changing tides could spell trouble for many in Port Charles but ratings gold for the show.

Before I get to this week's episodes, I must address the shocking bombshell that Steve Burton is returning. The details are sketchy about how he'll be written in, but we should expect to see him sooner rather than later.

This is a game-changer because currently there is a phenomenal actor named Billy Miller who is doing a superb job of portraying Jason Morgan. But why hire Steve if not to have him play the role that put him on the map and gave rise to not one but two very dedicated and passionate fanbases -- Jasam (Jason/Sam) and Liason (Liz/Jason)?

I completely agree with my esteemed colleague, Tamilu, who suggested in her column that Steve reprising his role as Jason Morgan would throw Port Charles into chaos. It certainly would, starting with Sam, who is already unraveling because of a persistent feeling of doom, an apparition of Sonny that puts dark thoughts in her head, and grisly fantasies of murder. The stage is set for Sam to go completely over the edge, which would be an opportune time to have her start seeing her husband, with his original face, lurking around every corner.

I also agree with Tamilu that Liz will drop Franco the instant word reaches her delicate ears that Jason 1.0 was back in action.

Truthfully, as much as I enjoy Franco and Liz together, my interest has waned. Roger Howarth has been conspicuously absent from our screens of late, despite renewing his contract back in May. With Franco M.I.A., his romance with Liz has been put on the backburner, which tends to be the kiss of death for most soap couples.

I want more for Liz than to have her checking patients' vitals and giving Jason pep talks. Becky Herbst is a wonderful actress, and her character has a long and rich history with the show. She deserves to have more than one or two storylines -- if that -- in a year.

As for Sam, I've received feedback from a few savvy viewers who suggested that Sam is slowly being poisoned by the one-cent coin Helena bequeathed to her, the theory being that Helena had the coin dipped in a slow-acting poison before passing it on to Sam. I love that idea. It's so deliciously soapy, and a brilliantly creative twist.

I have no idea what Sam would do if she learned that the man she's married to, and shares a child with, is not the man she thought he was. Had you asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said that she would drop fake-Jason nearly as fast as Liz would dump Franco, but Sam seems to genuinely love Jason 2.0. Their connection is undeniable, and they have a newborn daughter. Whether he's Jason or not, he is Scout's father, and that's not something that Sam will be able to walk away from.

Additionally, it's very clear that if Jason 2.0 is one of Helena's plants, then he's not an active participant in the deception because he truly believes that he's Jason. Why shouldn't he when he's experienced what he believes are flashbacks. Helena was quite adept at hypnosis and messing with people's minds, so planting false memories would be right up her alley and well within her capabilities.

I must admit that I'm very intrigued and eager to see how all of this will unfold. In fact, I haven't been this excited about a storyline since I learned that little Jake was alive.

Now, to the short but jam-packed week.

While Sam was having fantasies of stabbing Sonny to death, Ned and Olivia were gearing up for their Fourth of July wedding, complete with a dazzling display of fireworks that the wedding party and their guests watched from Metro Court Restaurant's terrace.

It was a sweet wedding, even if things got a bit kitschy with Olivia getting soused, mistaking a firefighter for a stripper, and being tossed in the slammer. What saved it, though, was the obvious fun everyone was having during those scenes.

Yeah, Olivia was a huge hypocrite by refusing to wear the wedding dress she tried to hoist on Connie all those years ago when Olivia first arrived in Port Charles, but I easily looked past that because the wedding dress that Monica dug up at Crimson was much more flattering, and Ned's touching speech about Olivia being the most beautiful woman in the room even if she wore a hotel robe down the aisle was perfection. The coup de grâce was when Ned channeled his inner Eddie Maine to serenade his new bride with a lovely ballad. It melted my heart.

The only real issue I had was with Dillon's toast to Ned the night before the wedding when Dillon announced that Ned and Olivia were now the head of the Quartermaine family.

Did something happen to Monica and Tracy that I'm unaware of?

Granted, Tracy is currently globetrotting with Luke, but Monica is right there in the family's ancestral home, spending her days with running a hospital and hanging out with her growing brood of grandchildren. Ned is a much-loved member of the clan, to be sure, but he's more like a senior cabinet member, not the head honcho. That title is reserved for Monica and Tracy.

Dillon is a sweet kid, but I wanted to send him to the corner to think about what he'd said.

Elsewhere in Metro Court, there was quite a bit of action in the restaurant. After Olivia got liquored up on four martinis in fifteen minutes and was taken to a hotel room to sleep it off, Stella had a very public confrontation with Curtis about dating Jordan. Curtis stood his ground by insisting that he and Jordan were happy together, but Stella countered with a quick pirouette before she collapsed from a stroke.

My father has congestive heart failure and lives with many challenges including a high risk for strokes. Subsequently, I've done quite a bit of research about strokes, how to spot the early signs, what to do, and how to prevent them. Certainly, keeping your stress down helps, but strokes are unpredictable. You can do everything right and still have one.

Regardless, it seems clear that Stella will do whatever she feels is necessary in the name of protecting Curtis, even if it means misleading him about her condition to get him to end things with Jordan. I don't think she's an evil woman, but I do think she's hard and unforgiving. Her stroke was real, but my gut tells me that she's going to use that to her advantage to pressure Curtis to give up Jordan.

Speaking of forgiveness, it doesn't look like Julian will get his redemption.

I was crushed when news hit that contract talks between William deVry and the show have broken down, and William might be exiting.

I hope there's an eleventh hour push to keep William because Julian was the guy I always rooted for, even when he'd backslide and do some pretty disturbing things. I cheered for him because he'd see the light, pick himself up, dust himself off, and try again to be a better person and change his ways. The idea that he might go to jail for his crimes, vanish, or die, breaks my heart because I think Julian is one of the things that is right about the show.

Letting William go doesn't make sense to me.

On the other hand, Rebecca Budig's exit is easier to understand because there never seemed to be a clear vision with Hayden. She was a bad girl with an agenda, then she was a lost soul from a rich and neglectful family, and then she became Jeff Webber's secret love child. I don't blame the writers entirely for what happened with Hayden because she was interesting with Nikolas. Alas, failed contract talks led to Nikolas being killed off, which left Hayden rudderless.

With William deVry out, I would love the show to bring on someone like Vincent Irizarry, who played Dr. David Hayward on All My Children. David is brilliant doctor with dastardly tendencies, a tragic backstory, endless charm, and an ex-wife named Anna Devane in Port Charles.

It would rock Anna's world if David were to pop up out of the blue, especially when she's about to embark on a little fun summer fling with Andre.

Sparks flew after Andre and Anna's passionate kiss, especially when Anna made it clear that she wanted more. I always liked the chemistry between Andre and Anna, so I'm very happy that they are being explored as more than just friends. It doesn't always have to be a grand love to be interesting, so I'm okay if Andre and Anna keep things simple and easy.

My greatest frustration this week was with Carly.

Carly spent months promising Josslyn that things were over with Sonny and going so far as to hire a lawyer and file for divorce. Carly sputtered with outrage when Sonny had Jax deported, and she repeatedly told anyone who would listen what a devastating impact Sonny's actions had on Josslyn. However, a quick trip to Sonny's island and a brush with death changed everything. Apparently, the relentless betrayal of the past few months is water under the bridge because Carly was ready to pack up and move back in with Sonny as soon as they landed.

Unfortunately for Carly, Josslyn is of a different mindset. Josslyn has no intention of forgiving Sonny anytime soon, and her anger is now compounded because she feels betrayed by her mother for giving Sonny another chance.

Instead of demanding that Sonny fix things so Jax will be allowed back into the country, Carly wants Josslyn to forgive Sonny and be happy for Carly.

Carly made no effort to help ease the transition by suggesting they go to family counseling or take the pressure off Josslyn by offering to let Josslyn live with Bobbie until things settled down and Josslyn's had time to get used to the idea of her mother calling off the divorce.

I want this issue resolved because deportation is a hot-button topic these days and not something that should be treated cavalierly. It's insensitive.

I'm a first-generation American on my father's side, so I grew up knowing that some of my family members could be deported if they violated the terms of their visas or green cards.

Luckily for Josslyn, she found a kindred spirit who empathizes with her plight. Oscar likes Josslyn, but he might not be quite the nice kid he appears to be at first glance. I say that because Oscar persuaded Josslyn to sneak out a day or two after she was busted throwing a party in her mother's home with minors and alcohol.

I think Josslyn is a good kid. She's not looking for trouble as much as she's looking for support. My heart broke for her when she talked to Jax on the phone and he told her that she couldn't live with him because he was stuck in Abu Dhabi on business for the next six months. Carly's comment to Sonny later, when she told him that she had sensed Jax's reluctance to be a full-time father just made it all the sadder.

There was a time when Carly moved heaven and earth to get pregnant with Josslyn, while Jax went to great lengths to save his daughter's life. It's downright tragic that Carly is putting her marriage with Sonny ahead of Josslyn and that Jax seems content to be a long-distant father.

That said, there is a teeny-tiny glimmer of hope on the horizon for Josslyn because Sonny has vowed to retire from the mob. Again. In the past, it was always a half-hearted effort or something that he did for show, but this time he seems determined to put his family first, which is nothing short of a miracle in and of itself.

It remains to be seen if Sonny can get out and, more importantly, stay out of the business. I'm keeping an open mind because I've waited decades to see this, but it's hard to trust Sonny when he has an agenda -- and that agenda is to woo Carly back at any cost.

Random observations
I'm beginning to suspect that Maxie's return is nothing more than a cruel lie. An Internet hoax. I need her to come home and save her husband from Amy's manipulative clutches.

I thought it was hilarious there was a rotary phone in The Hague's jail cell. I could think of at least three ways a mercenary spy like Valentin could have used that phone to disable a guard and escape. Instead, Valentin penned a goodbye letter to Nina after he just got done telling her that he had to cut off contact with her for her own safety.

I found it odd that Carly got a call about the fire department being sent to Ned's hotel room to put out a fire in a garbage can, but she appeared to have no idea that a customer had collapsed in the restaurant from an apparent stroke.

How did a news outlet get a closeup picture of Olivia behind bars, wearing a pink boa and novelty tiara, which was posted online with an article that had over half-a-million views? Never mind that I can't imagine anyone letting the press into lockup with cameras, but why exactly is Olivia so famous?

I howled with laughter when Josslyn mentioned to Oscar that there was a "big wedding" going on at Metro Court. I don't think there were a dozen people in attendance -- that's including Ned and Olivia.

Reader feedback
Nina has to be completely socially tone-deaf not to see that asking Kevin if she was being unfair to Valentin wasn't appropriate. Valentin shot Kevin and murdered his girlfriend's son. What makes her think Kevin would be a neutral sounding board for her pity party? -- Christina Brugger

The Garvey storyline (if we can call it that) was pointless...there was no real element of danger involved b/c we all knew Jason would get there in time, nobody was seriously injured and it was over before it started. -- lk

Isn't the risk of Josslyn's drinking enough (with one kidney) reason for her to have said "Hell, No" to her friends and their drinking party? Peer pressure is one thing, but people with transplants don't usually take their second chance so lightly. -- momosity

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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