Port Charles vs. Pikeman

For the Week of August 28, 2023
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Does it seem lately that all roads lead to Pikeman? As the game pieces move into place, alliances are shifting and danger looms. Is Valentin being blackmailed? Will Anna's search for the arsonist lead her to a surprising twist? It's Two Scoops of fun and games.

We had quite an exciting week, and there is a lot to cover -- but first, a gripe. I hate it when writers change things midstream.

Change can be good, and sometimes it's necessary and unavoidable. On a soap opera, so many things can suddenly impact a storyline -- casting shakeups, fan reaction, life events -- and force the writers to take things in a direction that they might not have intended when they first sat down and outlined their storyline idea. I never hold things like that against the writers, but when an important plot point is suddenly flipped around well into the storyline, I'm going to have a big issue with that. The rewrite that has me vexed is Austin and Mason's mystery boss going from a woman to a man.

Why was that changed? For months, the writers repeatedly had Mason warning Austin not to trigger the wrath of a woman in the shadows whose very mention invoked dread in Austin. Viewers spent endless hours speculating about who this mystery woman was and how she might be connected to the people in Port Charles and the Pikeman mercenary group. Names like Olivia Jerome, Cassandra Pierce, and Alex Marick were thrown into the ring as possible contenders, and some of us were really looking forward to finding out who she was. Except, we were all wrong, because the writers decided to pull a fast one on us by having Cyrus revealed to be the person behind the curtain.

How are we supposed to trust the clues that the writers sprinkle throughout a storyline full of secrets and intrigue if the rules are subject to changing in the middle of the game? It's frustrating and feels a bit like a slap in the face. The writers did all of us armchair sleuths dirty, and that is not cool. They do the same thing with paternity tests, and now most seasoned viewers don't believe the first round of paternity tests.

I love Jeff Kober, so I'm not complaining that Cyrus is the Boss of Pautauk, but I wish that the writers had started out with Cyrus in mind, because we wouldn't be looking at a few plot holes -- like why is Cyrus unprotected in Pentonville if he's running a criminal organization out of Pautauk that has designs on Sonny's association with Pikeman? Also, shouldn't Austin be aware that Cyrus is Nikolas' uncle and that keeping Nikolas stashed in a secret medical facility is a family matter, not just blackmail material against Ava? The Ava stuff is just an added bonus.

I do understand why the writers chose Cyrus. His connection to Nikolas does make things fit. I knew that whoever had ordered Mason to take Nikolas had to have had a personal connection to Nikolas, but I don't understand how Cyrus could claim to have found God, knowing how much pain he was putting his sister through by keeping her from her son when he was so gravely injured. That's cruel. What happened to the epiphany that Cyrus had when his little black heart tried to take him into that good night? He can give away all his money, but he can't tell Martin where to find their nephew?

Luckily, I have a feeling that it's a race between Nikolas and Lulu on who will wake up first. There has been quite a bit of mention of both Nikolas and Lulu lately, and the Beetlejuice effect is a real thing on soaps. I really hope that I'm right, because Laura doesn't deserve to have two kids in a coma and another who'd rather traipse around the world than visit his mother and sons.

Back to Pautauk and the little story that Austin told us about his childhood and how Cyrus would be the light in Austin's otherwise bleak life with a depressed mother whom Austin never seemed to be able to please. Austin described Cyrus' visits like Christmas morning, in part because it was the only time that Austin could remember his mother smiling rather than crying. Where was Jimmy Lee during these times? How does Austin's brother Jonah fit into all of this?

I have so many questions, starting with what Cyrus' connection to Charity is. Is it familial or romantic? I also want to know how Mason got involved in all of this and how exactly he's related to everyone in this sordid little saga. I know that some are speculating that Austin might be Cyrus' son, but I'm not so certain because I seem to recall Austin taking a DNA test to establish his claim to Jimmy Lee's portion of the Quartermaine family pie. If Cyrus has a son, my money is on Mason being his evil little spawn.

I get why someone like Cyrus is interested in Pikeman, but is Anna right about Valentin? Is Pikeman threatening Charlotte to force Valentin's compliance? The theory does have some merit, since Valentin seems content to leave Charlotte under Dante and Sam's roof for the foreseeable future. Valentin has always been the definition of overprotective papa, so for him to leave Charlotte with anyone else screams that there's danger all around him.

I don't want Valentin to slip back into old habits. The writers have done a fantastic job of redeeming him from the days when he shot Nikolas and tried to abduct Spencer. It would be a shame to undo all that good writing for an unnecessary plot twist. Blackmail is more than sufficient to get the job done without destroying years of growth. That's why I desperately want to believe that Anna is right about Valentin being forced to act as a liaison between Pikeman and Sonny and assisting with other nefarious Pikeman stuff.

I do think Anna is wrong about the shooting at Metro Court's pool being about her. I think the sniper had Sonny in their sights, and Curtis was collateral damage. The house fire was personal, and so was the spray-painted message on Anna's door. The shooting was business, and it was the second time a black op sniper took aim when Sonny was within range. According to Anna, the WSB wouldn't use the same means twice. That's why I suspect the WSB gun was misdirection to throw Sonny off track.

That kind of cunning is right up Cyrus' alley. Were the snipers hired by Cyrus in an attempt to cut Sonny out of the equation so Pikeman will be forced to turn to Cyrus and the Pautauk gang for assistance? That's my theory.

I think the arson at Anna's house, the message on her door, and the planted stories in the Sun are the work of her twin sister, Alex. What's happening to Anna is meant to humiliate and hurt her. Like I said, it feels personal. If Valentin looks guilty, then all the better. Alex would love nothing more than to drive a wedge between Anna and her lover.

As for Sonny's secret enemy, I can't entirely rule out Selina Wu as a wild card. She's been reckless for quite some time now, and she has all but guaranteed herself a showdown with Sonny by squeezing Sasha's fortune out of Gladys with one exorbitant loan after another. When Sonny learns of Selina's role in Sasha's horrific ordeal, he's going to be out for blood. Selina won't get out alive unless she does something big to atone for betrayal -- like free Sasha, return the money (with lots of interest), and hand over Montague and Gladys on a silver platter.

Oh, and run far, far away from Port Charles.

That brings me to Cody and his shenanigans. I was really starting to like him lately. He scored major points by seeing through Gladys' malarky and calling her out for choosing greed over Sasha's well-being. But I became very uncomfortable with his plan to pretend to have a psychotic break so that he could be committed to Ferncliff and rescue Sasha. The plan itself was not the issue; it was the execution that I took issue with. It made me uncomfortable because it felt disrespectful to anyone who struggles with their mental health.

Cody basically throwing a temper tantrum in the interrogation room seemed to trivialize things, as if that is all a nervous breakdown is. Begging to be arrested and locked up in Ferncliff -- a facility for the criminally insane -- is not a psychotic break, and neither is a manic episode that lasts a few minutes. I'm really hoping that Sam's agreement to help Cody means that she will offer a little better guidance in how to get Cody into Ferncliff. Truth be told, though, I'm still rooting for Sasha to save herself. The writers owe her and more.

If Cody wants to help Sasha, he should tell Sonny about Selina. The walls are definitely closing in on her. Marshall shut down her illegal card games, which means her cash flow will be significantly reduced. With Gladys growing increasingly desperate, there's a very good possibility that she will get sloppy, and it will be Sasha who pays the price. I definitely don't want to see that happen. Enough is enough.

With Selina losing control, Marshall should watch his back, too. I think he foolishly poked a viper with his little speech and finger snapping when he gave Selina the boot from the Savoy. It might have felt good in the moment, but Selina didn't get where she is by being intimidated by men. Selina has a small, deadly army, while Marshall has an old clarinet. He's no match for her.

Now, let's talk about Spencer.

Spencer is juggling dating Trina on the not-so downlow and playing house with Esme and Ace. What's a guy to do? Hire a nanny, that's what. If you have enough money not to work, then you have enough money to hire someone to help free up some time so you can take your lady love on a date without pesky interruptions from a scheming Esme. Also, what is this nonsense about Spencer's sad childhood?

Folks, I've been watching GH since before Spencer was a thought in the writers' imaginations. I watched his birth, Jax claiming to be his father, and Carly helping Jax raise Spencer for the first precious months of Spencer's life, and I saw how devoted Nikolas was when he was finally united with his beloved son. Spencer was loved, spoiled, and coddled. He didn't have a lot of friends because he was a little snob, not because Nikolas ignored him. Chandler was Spencer's best friend because Chandler was a cool guy who understood Spencer's quirks and kept the little guy safe -- mostly from Spencer's own machinations.

When Nikolas went on the run from the law and fled Port Charles, he had told Spencer about the plans to fake his death, and throughout that time, Nikolas had remained in contact with Spencer. Spencer acts like Nikolas chose to disappear from Spencer's life. He didn't. Valentin shot Nikolas in the chest, and Nikolas fell into the ocean. Victor rescued his great-nephew and spirited Nikolas away to nurse him back to health. All the while, Valentin remained very much a clear and present danger to Nikolas and Spencer because Nikolas was the true Cassadine heir. Staying dead and not revealing the codicil kept Spencer safe for a time.

After what Spencer did to Ava and unleashing Esme on his friends, Spencer really doesn't get to point fingers at anyone. By the way, Spencer did have friends his own age: Cameron, Josslyn, and Emma.

Admittedly, I'm a bit salty with Spencer at the moment because I fear that he's starting to fall under Esme's spell. It's like he's forgotten all about his mission to find evidence of her crimes, and he's ignoring the red flags of her manipulative ways, like when she brushed hair out of his eyes, constantly refers to them as a family unit -- especially around Trina -- and finds endless excuses to call him.

I haven't forgotten Esme's recent visit with Heather at Pentonville when Heather hinted that Esme had had a hand in her adoptive parents' deaths. It doesn't matter if Esme doesn't remember because we've seen signs in recent weeks that Esme's old patterns are starting to emerge. We heard her tell Ace that she wants to usurp Trina as Spencer's top priority, and she's not being subtle about her attraction to Spencer.

The old Esme is rearing her devious head, so I want Ace far away from her when she begins to go down that old familiar dark path. Nikolas can't wake up fast enough.

Random thoughts and observations

I'm impressed with Portia's ability to multitask. She's going through a huge crisis with Curtis, and her very marriage is on the line, yet she still finds time to meddle in Trina's relationship with Spencer. Portia could really take pointers from Ava on how to be a supportive mother.

I'm no germaphobe, but I was a bit grossed out when Sonny just reached for a French fry off a plate meant for a customer at Kelly's, and Carly pulled the plate away without replating with a fresh order of fries.

I loved the scene of the man with prosthetic legs reminding Curtis that life wasn't over just because Curtis couldn't walk. Curtis needs more conversations like that.

I'm thoroughly impressed with Cyrus' skill with a shiv, but I'm curious how Cyrus avoided being thrown into solitary for having illegal contraband. Did it escape the guard's notice that Cyrus went into the bathroom with long hair and walked out with freshly cut and styled short hair.

I'm happy that the writers addressed Monica's absence, but can they please have her take a nice long vacation instead of having her always working? I'd like to think of Monica enjoying her golden years globetrotting, not burning the candle at both ends.

Reader feedback

Does anyone think it's weird that when Nina drops by Willow's, Willow NEVER asks about her father and his relatives? Maybe they don't want to acknowledge that Silas was Willow & NELLE's father, as he was also KIKI's and Michael slept with all 3 of them.... kinda like his mom who slept with all 3 of Alan's sons - AJ, Jason & Drew..... LOL Also, you'd think Willow would want the info for medical reasons as both Wylie & Amelia (siblings and cousins LOL) have the same grandparents. -- Lucky Lady

The only person who cared for Drew as DREW was Franco. I wish they had had more of a relationship between Drew and Franco. I hated that everybody dropped Drew once Jason came back. It was ugly imo. -- evave2

I can't help thinking that if Epiphany were still alive, she wouldn't put up with Curtis' Pity Party. She would PERSONALLY see to it that all that crap would come to a sudden, and final end! I vividly remember how tough she was when she was Sonny's physical therapist, when he was similarly incapacitated. Curtis could do with a little less coddling, and a little more "tough love," Epiphany style! -- Scrimmage

What are your thoughts about what's going on on General Hospital? Do you agree or disagree with anything that I've shared in this week's column? I love hearing from everyone and reading your thoughts, so drop me a comment in the Comments section below. You can also join us over on the message boards for even more conversation!

Take care and happy viewing,
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 Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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