One particular harbor

For the Week of September 11, 2023
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While Sonny languishes in federal custody, Anna is on the hunt for answers, starting with what is really going on with Pikeman. Could Pikeman be Jerry Jacks or someone equally nefarious like Victor Cassadine? Let's find out what Liz Masters thinks in this week's Two Scoops.

I have no idea why there isn't a mini police station on Pier 52 because it seems that when anything of import and significance happens, it goes down on that pier in that particular harbor. People have been shot, kidnapped, and escaped from the law; they've had clandestine meetings -- often to conspire about illegal things -- and, of course, numerous warehouse raids have taken place there. There have also been a handful of explosions. It's a busy, busy little pier.

That's why I was shocked that Sonny was facilitating a shipment on the infamous pier. For the same reason that the police should set up shop there, Sonny should never, ever conduct his illegal activity there, especially out in the open for all to see. I have so many questions about that raid by the FBI, starting with how a random dock worker saw the Feds crawling all over the place, but none of Sonny's men -- whose job was to be on the lookout for such things -- did. Dex still has a lot to learn.

I'm also confused about what exactly went down on Pier 52. It was my understanding that Sonny planted false information on his computer for Betty to download in order to smoke out her boss. Mason was mighty excited about the evening's events, and Cyrus' little chat with Madame Warden suggested that the contents of Betty's flash drive provided the information the FBI had acted on. If that is the case, then what exactly does the FBI have on Sonny? The photos that Agent Voldemort (l have no idea what the bald agent's name was) looked at appeared to show empty boxes.

Is Dex right? Did the FBI retrieve the smashed flash drive from the Dumpster? It's doubtful because if they had, Dex would have been arrested, too. The Justice Department has a policy of offering leniency or immunity to the underlings so they turn on the ones higher up the chain. Dex was front and center during that initial shipment. If nothing else, someone needs to confirm to the FBI that the crates on the flash drive contained real guns, not a bunch of paint guns.

Naturally, Sonny's arrest rattled his family -- no one more than Nina, who is finally gaining insight into what it really means to have hitched her wagon to Sonny. Alexis and Olivia have each given her a dose of reality, by warning her that she -- along with Sonny's children -- was now vulnerable to his enemies, of which there are many. She was told not to count on the guards, either, because they were loyal to Sonny, not her, so she ran over to Kelly's to plead with Carly to resume the reins of Sonny's organization and make sure that everyone -- including Nina -- was safe. The unmitigated gall of the woman.

I don't know who annoyed me more, Nina or Kristina.

Kristina is supposed to be busy getting her charity center off the ground, yet she spends her days bouncing around town and sticking her nose into everyone's business. When she's not busy being intrusive and judgmental, she's playing the victim because Molly had the audacity to turn down her offer to donate an egg and be Molly and T.J.'s surrogate. How dare Molly not accept flighty Kristina's generous offer? *Rolling my eyes*

It's not about what's best for Molly and T.J. because if it was, then Kristina would understand that she really has no business being a surrogate. Kristina is emotionally unstable, and it wasn't that long ago that she had to be rescued from a cult and deprogrammed. She's also had a string of unhealthy romances, including an abusive ex-boyfriend. On top of that, Kristina has never had a child of her own, so the likelihood of her forming an attachment to the baby is off-the-chart high. That's why it's always recommended to select a surrogate who is in a stable relationship and has children of her own.

I can't see Kristina taking a step back and keeping her lips zipped if Molly and T.J. make choices for their child that she doesn't agree with. How do I know this? For weeks, I've been watching Kristina acting like a nosy busybody and painting others in the worst light possible -- except for Nina. Evidently, Kristina loves Nina and is Team Nina all the way.

That's why Kristina decided to insert herself into Michael's issues with Nina by trying to pressure him into letting go of his mother-in-law's past transgressions against his loved ones. Kristina seems to think that Michael should brush off that Nina had taken him to court several times to get her mitts on Wiley and that she had repeatedly ignored the boundaries that he set for her contact with his son. Kristina has no clue what it means to be a parent, but she wants Michael to bow to her wisdom because it's always about Kristina. She's an insecure mess, so she seeks validation through admiration.

Kristina wants to be the family peacemaker, the selfless sister who gave her sibling a baby, and the benevolent benefactor who started a charity to help disenfranchised and vulnerable youths. On paper, it all looks great, but in reality, Kristina is not a nice person. She's quick to think the worst of others, she doesn't respect boundaries, and she isn't interested in doing the work. For her, it's all about instant gratification, and when she doesn't get it, she throws a fit and storms off. In many ways, she's like a younger version of Nina.

Nina thinks that Michael should be over his grudge, too, even though she hasn't really done anything to help him get there. Is Nina humble? Is she trying to lay a foundation of respect and honesty so that she can make her confession and stop lying? Is she trying to atone for the terrible things that she said and did in her desperation to have a relationship with her grandson? No, no, and no. She's still scheming against Michael by passive-aggressively trash-talking him to anyone who will listen, emotionally manipulating him by invoking Willow's fragile recovery whenever possible, and having the audacity to ask him to make himself scarce when she visits Willow and Wiley.

After Nina's dirty little secret blows up in her face, I better see a scene where Kristina apologizes to her brother for demanding that he give Nina another chance.

Now, let's discuss the escape from Ferncliff. Oh, boy, do I have much to say.

Let me start with the writing for Cody. It was awful and cringey and incredibly insulting to anyone who struggles with their mental health. Watching Cody rant, pace, scream, and throw himself on the bed like a little boy having a tantrum wasn't compelling. It made me embarrassed for Josh Kelly. I do not blame Josh one iota because he was given a script and direction. I blame everyone who thought those scenes were okay and worthy of GH. They weren't. Do better.

I'm also disappointed that Sasha didn't get to rescue herself. It's 2023, so surely a woman can kick that slimy doctor's butt, steal a unform, and slip out of Ferncliff if all it took was for Cody to whisk Sasha out a door, down a ramp, and into a waiting car. That said, I am happy that the torture of Sasha has finally come to an end. She is out of Montague's reach, and she finally knows the truth about Gladys and Montague's disgusting scheme.

My hope is that both Montague and Gladys are promptly arrested, but I have a feeling that it's not going to be that easy. If Gladys has any sense of self-preservation, she will pack a small bag and get the heck out of Dodge before Sonny finds out what she did. Gladys is not going to be able to talk her way out of this one because she can't escape the fact that she told no one about what Montague was doing to Sasha, including Sonny, who would have made Montague disappear with the snap of his fingers. Selina should watch her back, too, because Sonny is certain to get out of jail, and when he does, he's going to want to know why she invited Gladys to the card games and why she allowed Gladys to siphon the money from Sasha's bank account and stocks.

Selina can't deny knowing what Gladys was doing, since Gladys didn't have two nickels to rub together, and it was public knowledge that Gladys was Sasha's guardian. As much as I enjoy Selina, I suspect that she was the one who arranged for Montague to be assigned to Sasha's case. My gut tells me that Montague was not acting independently. He certainly showed a disturbing delight in tormenting Sasha, but there had to be more to it. Everyone had to get a personal invite from Selina to play in her card games, so I'm curious to see how Montague got a seat at the table.

Now that Cody and Sasha have escaped, will they end up in the same woods that Nikolas is hiding out in?

I'm a Cassadine fan, and Nikolas has always been one of my favorites. I didn't much like the writing for him when Marcus Coloma was in the role, and I think it had a lot to do with why I couldn't get into the recast. You can't expect a hero's welcome when you behave like a villain, and that's what happened with Nikolas. He was written too dark, and he ended up boxed into a corner with no way out except an exit and reset.

Despite Austin giving Nikolas the fifth degree about why Nikolas hasn't returned to Port Charles, I don't think it's as easy as Austin seems to imply it is. Why would Cyrus and Mason let Nikolas walk away if they are using his "death" to blackmail Ava? They lose the advantage if Nikolas decides to resurface.

Not that Nikolas is likely to do that anytime soon, since the minute that Nikolas strolls into town, he will be arrested for kidnapping Esme and falsely imprisoning her. Ironic, when Esme's amnesia and giving birth have shielded her from being prosecuted for her many crimes, including the attempted murder of Oz Haggerty and framing Trina for revenge porn. Alas, a coma isn't going to earn Nikolas any get-out-of-jail-free points. What he needs is a good lawyer, but not Diane. Love the woman, but her clients have not fared well under her guidance lately.

I want Nikolas back in Port Charles soon because Laura shouldn't have to be traipsing around the world, looking for him. She should know that -- for a time at least -- he'd been in a coma. I also want Nikolas to stop acting like a spoiled little boy. I want my old prince back, the champion of the underdog, the charming, kind, and generous soul who was capable of heroic deeds and selfless acts. I know that he was never perfect because he's a Cassadine, but he was the best of the Cassadines because he was his mother's son.

Perhaps Great Uncle Valentin can give Nikolas a helping hand. I would love that.

I know Valentin looks guilty as sin right now because he lied to Anna. I have no idea who he was meeting at the house that Anna followed him to, but I do believe that he met with his Pikeman contact at the café because we know who turned Sonny in. It wasn't Pikeman; it was Cyrus. Ferris Bueller Devane should have asked herself how she managed to beat Valentin back to the hotel and have enough time to strip, throw on a robe, and wrap her hair in a towel if he'd had a head start on her and she didn't pass him along the way after leaving the house.

The writers have sprinkled enough breadcrumbs over the past few months to lead me to the conclusion that Valentin is being coerced into facilitating a business relationship between Pikeman and Sonny. I recall Cyrus talking about a West Coast threat to Sonny, but that was eons ago and seemingly a dropped thread. I think Pikeman is someone that Sonny knows, which is exactly why there's always an emissary sent to talk to Sonny rather than the head of the organization.

The man (or woman -- I'm not ruling anything out) behind Pikeman has to be powerful enough to pose a credible threat to Charlotte, since that is the only way that I can see Valentin being forced into compliance. Valentin was the man who made Helena quake in her heels, so he's not exactly a man to be toyed with. To me, all signs point to Jerry Jacks being the arms dealer. Jerry has a long and very contentious history with Sonny, but he also knows that he's never going to be able to move any arms along the East Coast without Sonny's help.

Jerry has also been known to use an alias (James Craig, anyone?) and to dabble in the international black-market trade. But I can't entirely discount Victor Cassadine, even though we saw him dead. Death means nothing to a Cassadine. They have more lives than a cat -- and access to latex masks that can fool lovers and family. A good mask or a shot to slow the heart rate is all it takes to fake a death on a soap opera.

Back to Jerry! My friend Vanessa and I were discussing the latest developments with Pikeman and my theory that it was Jerry. She decided to read up on Jerry, and she reminded me of something that I had quite forgotten. During the deadly toxin storyline, there were ties to One Life to Live, and we have Blair Cramer returning to Port Charles. Coincidence? Probably.

It's far more likely that Blair will be revealed to be Martin's ex-wife and Tracy's secret partner, but with Fall Sweeps around the corner and GH celebrating it's incredible 60-year history, Blair Cramer could be revealed to be the mastermind behind Pikeman. She was married to Todd Manning.

Random thoughts and observations

Why does Pikeman have their name stamped on the crates of their illegal shipments?

How did Nurse Janet know that Cody Bell was posing as Dr. Montague? She didn't even know who was walking out the door with Sasha. Also, if you are on the run and time is of the essence, would you take the time to buckle in your passenger and yourself before peeling out? Who knew Cody was such a sticker for driving safety.

Why is Lucy scheming to figure out what Tracy's evidence is? Shouldn't Jackson be handing that stuff over during the discovery phase?

Poor "Eddie." He went to a recording studio, but no one had ever heard of him. That's gotta sting, especially since he had a massive career back in the day. I wanted to hug him.

Reader feedback

Dex has now earned the Title of Worst Spy Of The Week! or maybe Captain Obvious. How could EvilNanny Betty not notice him tailing since he SPRINTED after her when she exited the MCPool? Joss acts just like a Junior High Mean Girl, as opposed to a Pre-Med Student. Violet is way more mature than Joss. -- Missez Premise

Esme is desperate for connection. She would have to be to take marching orders from sociopath Ryan. While Ryan may have sent her to Spencer, I think she thought she fell in love with him. Why frame Trina other than to keep her away from "her man." That certainly wasn't part of Ryan's plan. As for whether Esme is truly capable of love is to be determined. She loves her baby but love is more than just having strong emotions for someone. It's also about wanting what's best for them, letting them have their own lives & identity separate from you. -- Kathie

Does anybody else wonder if Curtis's shooting at the MetroCourt pool WASN'T accidental? I wouldn't put it past Selina Wu to hire somebody to take him out if he refused to sell The Savoy to her. -- WideAwake in Sleepy Eye

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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