A masked affair
For the Week of October 2, 2017
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Masked men, women, affairs of the heart, and some answers to several mysteries kept viewers on their toes this week, but is everything living up to the hype, or is there room for improvement?

Well, I was wrong about Nikolas, but I feel vindicated because I was not alone. Even Ava thought the man in the Velcro mask was the cherished prince. I also felt better when Ava's theory pretty much matched my own, suggesting that perhaps Nikolas might be alive, after all.

It's clear that the writers wanted us to believe that Patient 6 was Nikolas, and I suspect that it was about more than just trying to psych us out. That's why I still firmly believe that Nikolas will be back sooner rather than later. It goes beyond what just transpired at the clinic or even Valentin's frequent suggestions that Nikolas is alive and living it up in hiding.

The main reason that I expect Nikolas to pop up from the dead is because there's been way too much talk about him for it to just be a coincidence or misdirection.

I love James Patrick Stuart's portrayal of Valentin because he plays him with a delicious blend of darkness, vulnerability, and diabolical cunning. He's the best kind of villain because he's complex and capable of genuine love. He's not evil to the core like Manny Ruiz or Stavros Cassadine; he's more like Lorenzo Alcazar or Johnny Zacchara.

Valentin is a tortured outcast and family pariah, but for good reason. He was a mercenary and a jewel thief, and there's no escaping the fact that he murdered Nikolas in cold blood. We also saw Valentin try to kidnap Spencer, and he robbed the orphan of his birthright. Those are some pretty significant strikes against him.

I also have an issue with how Valentin treats Lulu. If she had done to him what he did to her -- stealing the embryo, not telling him, finding a surrogate, then raising their child in secret without his knowledge -- I have no doubt that he would stop at nothing to annihilate her, especially if she had killed his beloved brother. Valentin robbed Lulu of the first years of Charlotte's life, and he's never expressed or shown a smidgen of remorse over that. I find that deplorable. It's not unforgivable, but combined with what he did to Nikolas and the way he treated Spencer, it will take quite a bit of redemption for me to root for him.

Until then, I will appreciate Valentin for the bad guy that he is.

As the week drew to a close, Franco, of all people, turned out to be a fount of wisdom for Griffin. Franco not only called Griffin out for having feelings for Ava -- "So, you and Ava, huh? Sitting in a tree?" -- but he gave Griffin something constructive to do other than mope around and fret about Ava. Thanks to Franco, Griffin is on his way to St. Petersburg to check the local hospitals for information about the Boronsky Clinic.

I was rather impressed that Griffin went from flat-out denial about his feelings for Ava to acknowledging that he did indeed feel something that he would need to sort out once Ava was safe. The truth is, I don't really consider Griffin to be a priest. I know that technically, he is one, but it's been ages since he was a practicing priest.

It's my understanding that Griffin took a sabbatical shortly after Nathan caught him in bed with Claudette. Claudette met Valentin right after her marriage fell apart, and that's when she agreed to be a surrogate. Charlotte is now in school, so it's been at least five years since Griffin was an active member of the priesthood.

It's clear that Griffin made his choice long ago, but he hasn't been able to muster up the courage to leave the church. I think it's about time that he did -- preferably before he gets involved with Ava because he needs to do it for himself, not for someone else.

It's a good thing that Dr. Klein managed to squeeze in the first phase of Ava's facial reconstruction surgery. He's quite the multi-tasker, since he was also busy drugging Jason every five minutes and making a bunch of calls. I was even more surprised that all Ava had to wear after the procedure was a thick gauze bandage.

Farewell, clear Phantom of the Opera mask.

Something has been bothering me about Ava and Jason. I realize that Ava arrived in Port Charles after Jason "died," but shouldn't she recognize him anyway? Are we seriously to believe that she never had a dossier on Sonny's infamous assassin? That she never saw one of the many shrines dedicated to Jason on practically every living room mantel in Port Charles?

For heaven's sake, Ava has been to the Quartermaine mansion a zillion times, and I'm quite sure there's an entire wing there, dedicated to Jason, lined with pictures from every stage of his life.

At the very least, I expected Ava to find something about the man's striking blue gaze familiar, since presumably his twin brother has the same exact gaze, which she's seen shoot daggers at her on countless occasions.

Now, as to why I'm certain that Steve Burton's character is the real Jason Morgan.

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First, there hasn't been any indication that the twin that Steve is playing suffered any kind of memory loss. On the contrary. Steve's character has been very clear that he has a family, but they have no idea where he is. Also, he knew Sonny's private number, and he seemed very confident that Sonny would know who he was based on Ava's description.

Second, Sonny, Carly, and even Sam have all recently talked about how "Jason" has been different since his return. I guess it's something that goes beyond anything that they can attribute to a traumatic head injury, being kept on ice for Lord knows how long, or having his mind hijacked by Helena when she and Dark Luke were pulling his strings. Additionally, the real Jason wouldn't have walked away from Sonny, no matter what. In fact, he would have worked harder to protect Sonny.

Third, there's the twin that Billy Miller is portraying. That twin just revealed that he had heard every word that was said to him while he languished in a coma, including Franco's plea for him to wake up if they were connected by blood because Franco needed to know who "Jason" was in order to figure out who he was. I had the distinct impression that something about Franco's painting of the two young boys spoke to Billy's character, which is why he called Franco. Is Billy's character Drew? Did seeing the painting trigger something deep in his psyche?

I can't wait for Monday so I can find out. If Billy's twin is indeed Drew, then his relationship with Sam is about to be tested in a very big way.

I was disappointed that Franco decided to lie to Elizabeth instead of sharing what Betsy had told him, but I also get why he did it. What good would it do anyone to learn that Jason had had a twin brother that no one knew about and that the twin had died decades ago from a heart defect? It would just cause unnecessary pain.

Then again, it's obvious that Betsy lied about the twin dying, since we know there are two Jasons currently running around. If Betsy lied about the twin dying, what else did she lie about, and, more importantly, why?

Last week, it seemed that Scott might have been in on whatever Betsy was hiding, but I changed my mind this week when he questioned Betsy's claims and suggested that she was still keeping secrets. A co-conspirator wouldn't have done that. Also, Scott is trying to turn over a new leaf to honor his father, Lee, which warms the cockles of my heart. It's a truly wonderful tribute to Peter Hansen as well as Lee Baldwin that Scott's character is profoundly affected by his father's passing.

It's true in life, so it's nice to see it carrying over into our soap.

In the end, I don't think the lie will be Franco and Liz's undoing. Liz will be disappointed and hurt that Franco didn't trust her enough to confide in her, but she loves him, and she'll realize that his intentions, while misguided, were good.

Meanwhile, Carly is on the hunt for the truth about Nelle, and I for one am quite grateful. Seriously, why would anyone discourage a mother from digging as deep as necessary if her child was involved with someone who'd been accused of murder? I couldn't understand why Sonny had objected to Carly talking to Sharon. Not only would I have expected him to encourage it, but I'm shocked that he didn't insist on sitting in on the meeting.

I believed everything that Sharon said about Nelle because she essentially lobbed the same accusations at Nelle when she confronted her brother's killer after the meeting with Carly. Nelle's reaction only reinforced my feelings that Nelle is guilty of something because she was hostile and combative, and she flat-out lied about the engagement ring.

That said, I don't think that Nelle plotted Zach's death. My guess is that the kayak's missing plug was an accident, but Nelle took advantage of the situation by doing nothing to save Zach from drowning. Why remains to be seen, but based on Nelle's history, it's likely that she saw herself as a victim, and she felt completely justified in letting Zach drown.

Is that illegal? Surprisingly, in some states, it's not.

I can't wait to see what Michael does now that he's caught Nelle in a bald-faced lie about the engagement ring. I'm certain that the ring he found hidden inside the book's secret compartment is the engagement ring that Sharon had asked for. No doubt, Nelle will have a perfectly plausible and tragic excuse for keeping it -- she always does -- but that's precisely why she shouldn't be believed. She has a gift for weaving a lie with just enough truth to make it sound reasonable, which she's done time and again since her arrival in Port Charles.

That's why Sharon's warning that Nelle's most dangerous trait was her gift for deceit rang true.

It's also why I'm growing so frustrated with Michael. He had a front row seat to Nelle's lies and how far she's willing to go to hurt someone, yet he foolishly puts blinders on and believes everything she says without question. It doesn't make any sense.

While we are on the topic of things that don't make sense, can someone please explain why Spinelli is hell-bent on exposing Nathan as a fraud?

I found it troubling that Spinelli not only had every intention of blowing Maxie's world apart in the middle of a party, but he was ready to do so without at least hearing Nathan out. Even more disconcerting, Spinelli refused to drop his hunt for answers even after Maxie made it clear that she knew exactly what was going on and didn't want him snooping any further. I hate to say it, but Spinelli needs to go back home to Portland.

Perhaps Spinelli can take Amy with him.

I wish the writers would stop trying to make Amy happen. She's a pointless character who drives me crazy with her constant giggling and passive-aggressive ways. I also think that her feelings for Nathan go well beyond friendship. She's very territorial, and her hurt over Nathan's decision to go along with Maxie's plan seemed more personal than professional. She wants Nathan to remain her beard because that allows them to remain connected.

Nathan needs to give Amy the boot and get her toxicity out of his marriage before she starts to poison it.

Finally, in Monaco, Anna is on a mission to get Cassandra Pierce to spill the dirt on Valentin. Finn is reluctantly along for the ride, but he's not enjoying a single second of the mad caper. Frankly, I think it's the best thing that could have happened to him because Finn needed a distraction from his heartbreak.

Finn might not realize it now, but I think Anna's adventure probably kept him from relapsing.

Random observations
I find it odd that Ava is in a Russian clinic yet I haven't heard anyone speak Russian. Not. A. Single. Nyet. Dr. Klein even spoke English when he instructed the presumably Russian orderlies to restrain Jason.

Speaking of the clinic, why are cell phones not allowed yet there are phones in the rooms?

Did anyone else think it was creepy that Andre secretly bought Franco's painting, despite Liz clearly telling him that Franco had no intention of selling it?

I can't wait until Sonny finds out that Jason owes Ava. Sonny and Carly's heads will explode. Please, please, pretty please, let Ava be the instrument that reunites Jason with his loved ones.

Reader feedback

Ava knew he was a priest so what did she expect when he befriended her? Until he leaves the priesthood it would be upsetting to many Catholic viewers to see him in a physical relationship. So, Griff, leave the priesthood and then get on with your life like Eric (DOOL). Also, when a show casts a "man of the cloth" like Griffin it is so much easier to cast an Episcopal/Anglican priest or a Protestant minister. Everyone is aware that Catholic priests still take a "vow of celibacy" and writers who might include Catholics should respect that. -- Dreyne Smythe

Jake Doe-[Jason] did have a DNA test done. Carly had her Metro-Court [regular patron] Dr. Archie Steinberg run the test shortly before Jake Doe & Elizabeth were due to be married. Carly had a car accident on her way to deliver the DNA news, [despite that, she did make it to the church on time to stop the wedding.] -- wide awake in sleepy eye

Michael should not be allowed to pick girls to get involved with. He's clearly no good at it. -- Jim Lewis

Didn't Billy's Jason have head x-rays that revealed the same scars as SB's x-rays had? How is that explained away? -- lovethosedimples

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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