Christmas in Port Charles-ville

For the Week of December 18, 2023
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As Christmas approaches, the good citizens of Port Charles -- young and old ­ are busy decorating their trees, wrapping presents, and preparing to join hands and feast, but there's always a grinch lurking, ready to steal all the joy. What is Brennan up to with Carly? Has Anna really rewritten her past? Is Ava right to suspect Nikolas of killing Austin? Let's discuss in this week's Two Scoops of holiday cheer and a little jeer.

Before I kick things off, I'd like to say how wonderful to was to see Leslie Charleson back as Monica. Back in the day, I was Team Lesley in the war for Rick Webber's affections, but that was long ago. Whatever dislike I had for Monica from that time has long since faded, and I've grown to love her in large part because Leslie Charleson is such a fabulous actress. It was a double treat to see her share scenes with Jane Elliott. Monica was deeply missed, but I confess I thought she was back for another reason.

It's been seven months since Jacklyn Zeman passed away, and here we are, still waiting for her death to be addressed on the show. Instead, the writers have Bobbie in Amsterdam, settling Luke's affairs, even though that was two years ago, it's Christmastime, and she wasn't the one who had been living with Luke. It makes no sense for Bobbie to be away from her family at this time of the year, especially with Tracy back home, presumably to collect the power of attorney that Luke had signed. Wouldn't he have done that in the Netherlands? Ever hear of a fax machine or overnight courier?

Now, I realize that the writers might not want to deal with Bobbie's passing around the holidays. I lost my dad two days before Christmas in 2019, and it was awful. However, Bobbie's passing should have happened long before now, and it's starting to feel like the writers are toying with us. The scene of Tracy during the flight home was so misleading, and it wasn't until she looked at the photo of her and Luke that it became clear that she was weeping over him, not her missing travel companion. Ditto with Tracy solemnly asking Monica if Monica was ready, as if they had to break some awful news -- like the death of a beloved friend -- to everyone.

There's never a good time to lose a mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. I understand that the writers' and actors' strikes might have delayed things, but that's been over for months. It's time to address it, and I hope the writers will do just that while Leslie Charleson is back.

Now, let's get to the week that was. Christmas is definitely in the air, and everyone is in the holiday spirit. Decorative garland, colorful bows, and twinkling lights are everywhere, and love seems to be, too. Robert and Diane are having fun under the mistletoe, acting like two giggly teens in the throes of first love, while things are quickly heating up between Blaze and Kristina. They've shared kisses and secrets, including Kristina's plans to help Molly, but can their budding romance survive the emotional roller coaster of a pregnancy?

I don't know, but this surrogacy decision has disaster written all over it, which is probably why the writers are going full steam ahead with the storyline. No one can dispute that Kristina's heart is in the right place, but Alexis has valid concerns. Kristina has no idea what it's like to carry a child, to feel it kick and move, to hear its heartbeat, and to spend nine months protecting it as it grows. She doesn't know the utter relief that washes over a mother when she hears her baby cry for the first time because it means her child was safely delivered. Kristina can't conceive of the emotions that run through a mother when she first holds her newborn or the deep love that fills her soul as she gazes into her child's eyes.

Kristina has never had a child before, which is exactly why it's recommended that a surrogate have at least one child and be in a stable relationship. Preferably, she is also done having children of her own. Even if the child isn't biologically hers -- in this case, Kristina will also be donating her egg -- it's hard. I know a woman who was a surrogate for two families, and we talked at length about this very topic because of Kristina. I think both Alexis and T.J. have every right to feel uneasy about what lies ahead because Kristina is incredibly mercurial and prone to poor decisions.

I can see Kristina getting emotionally attached to the baby -- especially if she's the egg donor -- and having a change of heart about handing it over to Molly and T.J. once the baby is born. Kristina is a in a good place now because she has a new apartment, a new love interest, and everyone's support, but we've seen time and again how self-destructive she gets when things don't go well for her. Dawn of Day ring any bells? Of the storylines heading into 2024, this is my least favorite because I can see the heartbreak from here.

Let's move on to Ava, who has now convinced herself that Nikolas shot Austin and is trying to frame her. I think Ava is way off base. Nikolas is definitely not the only person who would enjoy tormenting Ava and want to frame her for murder. There's Heather Webber, Olivia Jerome, all the people who knew Ava during her mob days, and Cyrus. Framing Ava for murder is exactly the kind of thing that Cyrus would do, and the man is a master at mind games. Heather is, too, for that matter. Sonny's Swiss cheese logic for excluding Cyrus as a suspect aside, I don't think it was Cyrus, either, because that would be too obvious and unimaginative.

But Nikolas is not a murderer, and Ava's blackmail theory is as weak as my willpower around sweets. Nikolas wouldn't care if Austin told everyone that he had nursed him back to health after Ava put him in a coma. It would blow back on Austin and Ava; Ava would be arrested for assault -- or worse -- and Austin might have faced charges, too, and possibly a suspension of his medical license. Nikolas had nothing to fear from Austin, since Nikolas was living in hiding in Europe. Speaking of which, how would Austin even get in touch with Nikolas to blackmail him? Are they Facebook friends?

I do fully expect Nikolas to resurface and return to Port Charles because I'm almost certain that he's the one who is trying to buy Wyndemere, but first, he has to deal with his own legal issues, so he's not going to waste time framing Ava for Austin's murder. If Ryan and Victor weren't dead, I'd say it was one of them. I don't have any suspects yet, but I seriously doubt that it's Nikolas.

Folks, I adore Violet, I truly do. She's a beautiful child, precocious, and has a big heart. She's never met a stranger, and I don't think she would know how to dislike someone if she tried. However, I do think she needs a few friends because that child is way too invested in grown-up business. It's cringy and not endearing. I certainly don't expect a realistic representation of children on soaps, but the writers are doing Violet a huge disservice by having her hyper-focused on Finn and Elizabeth's relationship, and now by pretty much pushing Chase and Brook Lynn to set a wedding date.

Violet is old enough to understand and respect boundaries. Maybe she can hang out with Donna, who hilariously asked her dad if he and Nina -- a woman in her 50s -- planned to have a baby. Donna, you have enough siblings to start your own village, why do you need another?

As for Finn and Elizabeth, while each seems to be in a better place emotionally, I'm just not feeling the passion. Their relationship reminds me of two close friends who made a pact to get married and have kids if they were single and childless by the time they reached a certain age. I want more for Elizabeth than a tepid romance.

That brings me to Dante and his mission to help his supposedly good friend Anna. I was a bit taken aback by the harsh things that Dante said about her when he told Sam about his discovery of Forsyth's box in the locker at the train station. I watched Anna in the 1980s, and the only rewriting of history that I've seen is by the writers. Anna was -- and still is -- one of the heroes of the show. She has done far more good in her lifetime than the whole town combined -- except for perhaps Robert and Laura. The suggestion that she somehow had to change her past to make her present more palatable is nonsense.

Sure, Anna has done some dark stuff, but that goes with the territory in the spy business. Robert doesn't have clean hands, either, but he and Anna saved the world too many times to count and have more than made up for any past sins that they might have committed. Anna explained that she had that trunk full of files as insurance in case someone tried to take her down -- like Brennan has been doing since he seized power at the WSB. For Dante to suggest that she might have intended to use all those incriminating files to blackmail powerful people for some kind of personal gain was ludicrous. Why wait 40 years?

Dante told Sam that he trusted Anna, but it sure didn't sound like that to me.

Meanwhile, Hal Linden look-alike Director Brennan is turning on the charm with Carly, hanging out in her diner and befriending her daughter. Carly can't stop smiling whenever she's around him, so it's clear that she's not immune to his silver fox good looks and magnetism. Drew who?

I know Brennan has an agenda -- and it's not good -- but he seems quite beguiled by Carly, who has been trying to listen to her better angels lately. Will he be caught in his own honeytrap? Possibly, but I want to know why he's targeting Carly, because she and Sonny are divorced. Carly is fiercely loyal to Sonny, which is why she refused to save herself by turning against him when the federal government offered her a deal. There's no way someone is going to romance any valuable information out of her. There are definitely sparks between Carly and Brennan, but I have no interest in the writers pursuing it unless Brennan is actually a good guy posing as a bad one -- or he can be redeemed.

Speaking of which, Ned agreed to keep Nina's secret in exchange for help finding out what exactly Drew and Michael were up to in regard to ELQ. In other words, he wants her to commit a little insider trading. Karma, Nina. Will Nina do it? At first, I thought that she might, but then I realized that she knows something that Ned doesn't -- Michael is fully aware of her role in Carly and Drew's legal troubles. That means Nina can go straight to Michael and ask him to help her, which would keep Ned off her back and put a bit more schmutz on Michael's hands.

My Christmas soapy wish is for everyone to learn the truth about what Nina did.

I am so sick of this long, drawn-out storyline. At this point, I don't even care if Nina is made to face the music for what she did because it's clear that she will never see that her actions were wrong. She feels completely justified in what she did, so she'll just play the victim, anyway. Willow is a forgiving soul, so she'll forgive Nina in time. Sonny will, too, so why continue to drag it out?

Random thoughts and observations

Donna is adorable, and I loved her Christmas wish, but all my germaphobe mind kept thinking when she picked up that hat from the bench and later gave it to Sonny is that it might have lice. Ick.

Shouldn't Dante at least have let Robert or Mac know about that evidence in the safe deposit box so it can be used down the road in a trial? I can't imagine any of it will be admissible in court now, especially that wallet that Sam handled.

It was quite bold of Brennan to have a tête-à-tête with Hume in Kelly's, knowing that Sonny could stroll in at any moment. Also, it's kind of amusing how many ex-spies live in Port Charles.

Reader feedback

How dumb is Dante supposed to be? Sonny tells him Austin's boss is Cyrus. The last time Dante saw Austin, Austin said if his boss finds out he talked to the police, he's dead. Austin is dead. Somehow Dante still needs Sonny to tell him that Cyrus might be a suspect? -- Lucky Lady

Ned wants his reputation back! He said that to Olivia, who instead of supporting her husband placed Sonny's happiness over her husband's rep, which has been sullied by the accusation for months! -- Humor Me

What a lovely scene between Lois and Ned today (Mon, Dec 4) where she says about Lila: "She said she looked for the good in everyone and she usually found it." Considering the backstory, the scene played especially meaningful -- and a lovely sentiment. -- Nancy Dillingham

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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