Friends and foes in low places
For the Week of July 31, 2017
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Has your friend, lover, or enemy been acting a bit peculiar of late? They could have a brain-eating parasite! There is a treatment, but in the meantime, you might want to stay away from abandoned buildings. You know, just to be safe. Fortunately, this week's Two Scoops is a safe place, so check out what our columnist has to say.

It was an action-packed week that kicked off with Sonny being lured to Black Duck Distillery by none other than Garvey, the mobster who had a score to settle with Sonny because one of Sonny's henchmen killed Garvey's brother.

It turns out that Garvey was the one who kidnapped Spencer to use him as bait to get to Sonny. It was a nice little twist but by no means the most shocking one. That was yet to come when Sam made an appearance after Sonny disarmed and shot Garvey. Garvey managed to slither away while Sam confronted Sonny about being a danger to her family -- especially to Jason -- and then announced her intention to eliminate the threat by killing Sonny.

Sonny, of course, didn't have the foggiest idea what was going on with Sam as she stood there, pointing a gun at him, and tearfully rambled that she needed to protect her family from his diabolical ways. I had to hand it to Sonny; he remained calm and talked Sam down to an extent, but her paranoia proved to be too great.

Whether it was intentional or not, the gun went off as Sam lowered it, and Sonny was struck in the thigh. Sam snapped out of her daze as Sonny whispered that he knew she hadn't meant to shoot him, and she advanced on him with menace. It was chilling.

Doubly so when Sam looked Sonny in the eye then coldly informed him that she had shot him on purpose. I don't know if that is necessarily true because it doesn't make sense to shoot him in the leg when she'd been close enough to fire a more lethal shot, but I guess it doesn't really matter because, accidental or not, she kicked him in the stomach with enough force that he went flying backwards down a shaft. He landed in a bloody heap at the bottom of a musty storage space where barrels of whiskey were kept while Sam wiped her prints off the gun then tossed it into a Dumpster before fleeing the scene.

I couldn't help but think that if Jeff Webber (Richard Dean Anderson) had been in that hole in the ground, he would have put the crates and his bulletproof vest to good use by building a gyrocopter, fueling it with whiskey, and flying to General Hospital. Sonny, on the other hand, found a stick, and made a tourniquet. It slowed the bleeding, but didn't stanch it.

Sonny tried his best to climb up the wooden boards lining the wall of his prison, but his leg was too badly injured, and he had suffered significant blood loss. Worse, his best hope of salvation vanished when Josslyn and Oscar explored the distillery, but Sonny failed to hear them running around because he was caught up in thoughts of his children.

Sonny talked about each of his children, their wonderful qualities, and how they were like him. Not surprisingly, we learned that Sonny would have passed his business to Michael -- if it wasn't a criminal empire and wouldn't have gotten Michael killed. Shockingly, Sonny believes that Kristina is most like him, not Michael, who I think mirrors Sonny in every way except Michael doesn't have bipolar disorder and therefore has a tad bit more self-control.

That said, I wonder how long it will take for Sonny to crack open one of those barrels of whiskey and have himself a little party while he waits for Valkyrie Carly or St. Jason to ride to the rescue. Plus, the alcohol will help kill any infection brewing in his leg because it's going to be awhile, since both Carly and Jason are currently at the hospital.

We finally have a diagnosis for what's been ailing Sam. She has toxoplasmosis, a parasite that is commonly found in cat excrement, which is why pregnant women are cautioned not to change litter boxes during pregnancy. It can also be found in undercooked contaminated meat.

However, that's not how Sam got it because, let's face it, besides a few horses at Wyndemere, a lizard at Finn's, and Monica's dog, there are no pets in Port Charles. None.

Confirmation, I believe, that the people of Port Charles were once invaded by body snatchers. This explains why they heal quickly, return from the dead, and never deal with pesky pregnancy pounds after giving birth to their pod-children who age at alarming rates.

But that's a discussion for another day.

Not surprisingly, Sam has an extreme case of toxoplasmosis, which is why she shot one of her friends-turned-imaginary-enemies in between feverish hallucinations and seizures until she lapsed into a coma. Meanwhile, Jason has decided that Sam picked up the illness the night she gave birth to Scout after being pushed off the bridge. Jason believes the snow-covered ground that Sam gave birth on was liberally sprinkled with contaminated bird feces. He also blames Julian for Sam's latest crisis, not Olivia Jerome -- the one who kidnapped Sam and shoved her off the bridge.

What I find puzzling is why it took so long for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with Sam. If I'm not mistaken, both Griffin and Dr. Bench ran blood tests on Sam, and toxoplasmosis is a common enough concern that doctors specifically caution pregnant women about it. I would think that it would be one of the first things that a doctor would check for when a new mother comes in presenting with symptoms like Sam's.

Admittedly, I'm a Julian fan, so I hate seeing him blamed for Sam's condition. Julian loves his children, and he would never wish this on his daughter. It's frustrating to see someone like Sonny continually held up as a paragon while Julian never catches a break. Unlike Sonny, Julian decided long ago that his family was more important than the fleeting power he held as a mobster, and he made the choice to pick love over power.

I don't blame Julian for caving to Olivia's demands because, when all was said and done, she did plant a bomb in his car with the intention of killing him, and she had no qualms about murdering his loved ones, so her threats had been real. Kristina can scoff all she wants, but she is dead wrong if she thinks Olivia wouldn't have killed Alexis to punish Julian.

I hope the powers that be come to their senses and re-sign William deVry before it's too late. I want Julian to make peace with his children and to have a relationship with his grandchildren because he was trying to get out of the mob when doing so was not the cool thing to do.

It's not Julian's fault that his parents saddled him with crazy siblings.

It's unlikely that Sam will die, but what she will be like when she wakes up from her coma remains a mystery. Truthfully, I thought Sam was quite fascinating to watch the last few weeks as her mind unraveled. She was more intense and edgier, which was refreshing to see because, until she started exhibiting signs that something was wrong, she'd been blending into the background since her pregnancy was announced.

I can't help but wonder if perhaps Sam will emerge from her coma a new person just in time to help pave the way for Steve Burton's return storyline. It would make sense for the writers to put some distance between Jason and Sam because, regardless of who Steve will portray -- Jason or someone else -- it will undoubtedly impact Sam.

I liked Sam standing up to Sonny and giving him the side eye whenever he stopped by to talk to Jason. It was fun to watch her give Sonny the cold shoulder and call him out on some of his garbage because too many overlook Sonny's selfishness, hypocrisy, and arrogance, which lurks just beneath the surface of his easy charm and flashy ways.

I imagine that when Sonny was young, he was a lot like Oscar.

Not that I think Sonny is Oscar's father -- a man that Oscar has never met. However, I do believe that Oscar's father is someone with connections to Port Charles because this is a soap opera, and Oscar's backstory practically screams it's a "Who's my daddy?" storyline in the making.

What we do know about Oscar is that he recently moved from Ohio to Port Charles with his mother. Based on a recent scene when Josslyn and Oscar were chatting on the phone, it appears that his mother works in a bar, so I suspect we will meet Oscar's mother in the very near future, tending bar at the Floating Rib.

It's too soon to tell who Oscar's father might be, but it's going to be a good bet that Sonny and Carly are not going to like him and will object to Josslyn hanging out with his son. That narrows down the field. My top picks are Johnny Zacchara and Franco Baldwin because Oscar plays the piano, and he likes to create things out of random objects that he finds, such as spent shell casings at a distillery.

This is a storyline that I am definitely going to stay tuned to.

Also this week, Spencer returned home safe and sound after escaping his captor, which was a good thing because when the show closed on Friday, Garvey was facing Carly's wrath. Poor Spencer would have been in serious trouble if he'd still been locked in that room without food or water.

Spencer sincerely believed that Valentin was behind the kidnapping, so he did his best to make certain that Valentin was charged with the crime. Fortunately for Valentin, Laura stepped in and reminded Spencer that there was a right way and a wrong way to do things, and she preferred to get justice for her son's murder the right way.

Valentin and Spencer's scenes are absolute gold. I imagine it took several attempts to get those scenes taped without someone succumbing to laughter because Spencer was hilarious. Nicolas Bechtel is incredibly talented and such a joy to watch. The overly dramatic way Spencer recounted his kidnapping, and Valentin's deadpan reactions were priceless. James Patrick Stuart and Nicolas have amazing chemistry, and I love their scenes.

I don't think any viewers really bought that Valentin kidnapped Spencer because the writers threw him out there as the prime suspect from the start. Seasoned soap opera viewers know that it's never, ever the obvious suspect in a Whodunit.

In Valentin's case, it quickly became clear that he was the prime suspect because it was a plot device to make Nina question her decision about keeping her distance from the man she loves but who is no good for her. While I do like them as a couple, my issues with Valentin haven't changed, so I would prefer not to have Nikolas' death hanging over Valentin's head if he's not responsible for it.

I can't un-see the scene of Valentin shooting Nikolas, so I need definitive proof that Nikolas is alive, and I would appreciate if they didn't throw Nikolas under the bus in the process because I refuse to believe that Nikolas would allow his mother and son to suffer needlessly.

Finally, Liesl enlisted Hayden's first husband, Jared, to help take Hayden down. It appears that Jared went to jail for Hayden because of something terrible that happened a year prior to Hayden's father being busted for running a Ponzi scheme. It's unclear what happened, but it had something to do with an argument between Jared and Hayden as they were leaving a country club.

If I had to guess, I'd say that Hayden was driving and hit someone, but Jared took the fall because she was drinking. That's usually how these things go.

Random observations
We saw Jason carry Sam out of the penthouse then arrive at the hospital with her in his arms, which begs the question -- did Jason carry Sam all the way to the hospital? I wouldn't put it past him.

I lost track, is Josslyn grounded or not? She keeps talking about it, but she also leaves whenever the mood strikes her.

Griffin and Finn working together is very reminiscent of the buddy chemistry between Doug Ross and Mark Greene from ER, which was one of my favorite medical dramas. Ever.

What exactly was the point of Maxie returning for one episode then jetting off to Paris? I feel cheated that we were teased with her return only to get more of the same when she kissed Nathan goodbye then left as if she hasn't been separated from her husband longer than she's been married to him.

Reader feedback

Laura is no longer in Luke's shadow, and even then, she's better equipped to deal with the Cassadines than Luke because to Luke it was often just a game of cat and mouse between him and Helena. Laura means business. -- Panic Moon

The best scenes of the week were between Laura and Valentin and Sam and Ava. I actually kind of liked Sam and wish she would keep this personality. Ava has done a lot of things but she's a long way off from catching up with Sonny. -- nancejib

I enjoyed the subliminal message of the post-its containing the names of "Frederick Douglass" & "Andrew Jackson." Well played, GH! -- Kymba O

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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