What Happened: Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) is accused of killing Carlos Rivera because her prints are on Julian's murder weapon, A.K.A. the dagger Helena used to murder Alexis' mother (6/17). Julian (William Devry) wants her to stand trial, promising to get her off (6/20). Alexis teams up with the PCPD and wears a wire, hoping to coax a confession out of him in the homicides of Duke Lavery, Rivera and a court witness (7/6). Julian finds the wire, takes her to the docks and nearly slits her throat before Sonny rescues her and she's able to stab him (7/8). As a result of working in Julian's favor while she was Carlos' lawyer, Alexis is temporarily disbarred (8/17). Leading up to being a star witness for the prosecution in Julian's trial, she has hallucinations of him and ends up freaking out on the stand (9/15). This, coupled with Paul Hornsby doctoring documents so that the wire recording is inadmissible (Ava blackmailed him; she knew he was the hospital killer), sets Julian free (9/20). After all the distress and failing to rebound with her career, Alexis develops a dependency on alcohol (9/27). She blacks out while cookies are burning and Danny is in her care (11/8). While drunk, Alexis accidently hits Julian with her car and flees the scene (11/23). Desperate to reunite with her, sober her up and hide from the latest mysterious crime-lord stepping on his neck, Julian hangs the hit-and-run over Alexis' head to move into her house and force her to nurse him back to health (12/6). He is being controlled by the sister he thought he executed in 1990, Olivia Jerome (Tonja Walker; 1/17). Olivia made Julian carry out his 2016 misdeeds to avenge herself and Duke, whom she loved. She also wants the hospital building to be turned into condominiums. She threatens Julian's family to keep him in line. Tom Baker tried to sexually assault an intoxicated Alexis at knife point over Christmas, but she got away. She thinks she stabbed and killed him (1/9) until her full memory returns while talking to the police (1/30). Alexis joins Alcoholics Anonymous (1/11) and tells Sam what's been going on (1/24). Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) cheats on Aaron and has sex with Parker (Ashley Jones) when she reveals she may be getting a divorce (7/20). Sonny sees Kristina kissing Parker (7/22) and they have a heart-to-heart about her sexual orientation (7/26).When Alexis confronts and reminds Parker that she has no long-term intentions with Kristina (7/26), she sends a "Dear John" letter (7/28). Kristina blames Alexis for Parker's change of mind and throws Julian in her face (8/12). Parker tells Kristina she's going back to her wife, proving Alexis right (8/25). Molly (Haley Pullos) and TJ (Tequan Richmond) get a place together (6/16).
My Commentary: The downward spiral of 'JuLexis' was exciting, entertaining and fascinating, and anytime Grahn is given sordid material it's a good day because she slays it, but it was also another example of detrimental short-term writing. Julian was written into a such a hole, that it would be virtually impossible to get him out or restore the coupling in the way that wouldn't be utterly absurd. Take his trial verdict, for instance. Within the story, it's detestable and ludicrous that he got away with his crimes. Externally, however, he's a front-burner figure that's 1/2 of a popular pairing. There aren't a lot of viable options to keep him on-screen while serving an acceptable sentence. I knew whatever "fix" to reconcile Julian with Alexis wouldn't be justifiable, but geez, recycling Fluke was the best they could do? If Alexis doesn't turn him away for any other reason, it should be he's so easy to puppeteer. Many 'JuLexis' fans are criticized on social media for still wanting them together, but I understand their reasoning; they view the events of the past year as they are--the product of stunt scripting. I don't know if I agree with their assertions that Julian was pulled out of character, though. It was so aggravating to see so many in PC question and harshly chastise Alexis before and after her botched testimony, as if she didn't just have the most harrowing experience of her life and had the most to lose if Julian was found innocent. I knew what the jury outcome would be, but I was still shaking my head in disbelief. Grahn had me devastated and shocked with her. By the way, where the hell were the Davis girls and Diane then? I hate when necessary people are missing from important scenes. I very much enjoyed Carlos being some sort of morbid Jiminy Cricket (6/24); Jeffrey Vincent Parise is so fun and I miss him. It also made me smile watching Lucas (7/18) and Sam (8/5; 9/20) take turns disowning their father. I got my entire life when Julian used Danny yet again to manipulate to Sam, and not only did she let him know that Danny doesn't need his bone marrow anymore, but that she'd sic Jason on him or kill him herself. As I feared, Kristina's saga with Parker was summarized and cut short, but there was great beginning discussion about sexuality and heartfelt father/daughter action. Also, many points where Kristina was finally given the business by her mother and sister (i.e. Molly 8/17) for being so destructive, bratty and disrespectful. I jumped up and cheered when Alexis told her "You're not the only person with a problem here, so stop being so damn self-involved and grow up!" Of course, Alexis didn't do this without being reprimanded (8/24). *Rolls eyes* Is she ever allowed to parent?? I passed out when Parker cockily told Alexis she slept with her daughter (7/26). I thought "This is the wrong time to test this woman. Alexis' ability to take B.S. has diminished," haha. I love pissed-off Alexis. Why are Molly and TJ moving in together?! Why did no one object to this?! She's a college freshman! If it isn't having her off-screen most of the time, it's hurling her light-years ahead.
Paul, Sabrina & How It's Painfully Obvious the Writers Are Winging It
Soap-fans are used to a fair amount historical revisions and logic-defying tales, but rapid plot and characterization changes are happening so frequently now, consistency is non-existent and you're left wondering if the writers are fully mapping out concepts before they air. This was no more apparent than with the return of Paul Hornsby (Richard Burgi). First, he came to town wanting to take over Sonny's territory and use Ava Jerome as a lackey. Then, when the writers seemingly considered pairing him with Anna Devane, he was an undercover good guy that was trying to stop arms dealers. Though Paul took TJ hostage to bait and shoot Sonny (he was paralyzed and wheelchair bound for months after), this was never addressed. Finally, Paul was made the hospital serial killer, whose motive was to avenge his daughter's rape, with expectations she'll come out of her post-traumatic state. It was evident that he wasn't the intended culprit initially, as the attempted murders of Lucas Jones and Bobbie Spencer didn't fit into the payback score and were put on Heather Webber. Somehow, she quietly escaped a super-max prison with the goal of keeping suspicion off her son, Franco, and returned. It was more than a possibility that the murder mystery was just as whipped up as Paul's arc. I felt sorry for Burgi; it was such a hot mess and he ended up without a job. He went out swinging: his performances were so emotionally grabbing (especially on 9/27 and 9/28), that you had sympathy for Paul, even when he strangled sweet nurse Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) to death (9/14). He convincingly conveyed grief and ruefulness in Paul's final attack, as Sabrina was an inadvertent witness that had to be eliminated. The scenes were particularly hard to watch because she begged for her life for several minutes and was on the brink of rescue the whole time. At one point, she even pulled the blinds up on the medical room window and banged on it. As if that weren't agonizing enough, her best friend and boyfriend (i.e. Felix and Michael) giddily talked about an impending marriage proposal right outside the room where she lay dead. Then, in what felt like multiple episodes, we saw her pale corpse be photographed and grieved over before going to the morgue. Michael even put the (gorgeous and unique) engagement ring on her finger! The icing on the tear-jerking cake for me was when Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel) stopped the gurney for a last goodbye (9/16). His monologue closes with "I am going to miss you for the rest of my life," and a beautiful BFF montage played. I was done. Also, kudos to Sonya Eddy with Epiphany lamenting her treatment of Sabrina on 9/21. It was ridiculous that Felix, Epiphany and Lucy were all sitting on rows further back at her funeral, while Michael and both sides of his family were perched up front (9/23). Even her killer was front row! Her cousin Juan (who was on GH long before she was), Joe Rivera (Carlos' twin brother and Sabrina's ex), and other mentioned connections were absent. Sometimes they don't get this kind of thing right. Many of those that were aggrieved by Castillo's exit felt she and her character were never given proper wings to fly during her 4 year stint. Like Burgi, Castillo went out shining and showed what could have been. I discussed the lack of support I feel actors/characters are given on the series and how it affects the future here. On 10/3, Paul is taken down by Anna in front of Dillon before he can inject Tracy, who found out about the homicides, with a fatal syringe. It was a pretty tense and sad episode. I go on to pinpoint other chaotic and slapdash plots throughout this article.
What Happened: A year after finding out that Josslyn's kidney donor wasn't Jake Spencer, Carly starts a search for the real person (7/26). It turns out to be Nelle Hayes (Chloe Lanier; 8/8), a teacher who claims her parents took her kidney against her will when she was young for black market profit (8/16). Anxious to show gratitude and get acquainted, Carly invites her to stay a while. Nelle says she's lost her job, shortly before framing Avery's nanny for theft, giving way to Carly hiring her (8/22). She's later offered the position of personal assistant (9/9) and makes herself indispensable, raising the suspicions of Bobbie (10/28). Kiki (Hayley Erin) struggles to work out her feelings between Morgan and Dillon. Carly (Laura Wright) pushes her to make a decision, so a still-fragile Morgan (Bryan Craig) won't have another breakdown (6/30), and Kiki opts to set Dillon (Robert Palmer Watkins) aside. Ava (Maura West) replaces Morgan's bipolar medication with placebos, hoping his manic behavior will frighten Kiki away (8/16). Starting to spiral indeed, flub ups at work and school lead to him retreating to gambling, drinking and being dismissive to Kiki. Overwhelmed and still interested in Dillon, she plans to break it off with Morgan (10/6). Ava riles Morgan up by telling him Kiki and Dillon were hanging out (10/5). He goes to the Quartermaine mansion to find her, and mistakes the shadows of Ned and Olivia making love for Kiki and Dillon. He gets hammered at the bar, and when prevented from driving by TJ, he punches TJ out and steals Julian Jerome's car. Jason gets him to pull-over, but when Morgan gets out, a bomb explodes and kills him. His remains are not recovered (10/7). Given that Sonny (Maurice Benard) was in the process of calling off a hit on Julian that Carly begged him not to initiate in the first place, it's assumed he's responsible for Morgan's death. The Corinthos Clan is at odds and Kiki's guilt causes her to renege on being with Dillon, as she believes Morgan knew she was going to leave him (10/12). Lucy sees Ava dumping Morgan's pills, assumes they were having an affair and holds the threat to tattle over Ava's head (11/7). Sonny has visions of a post-accident Morgan telling him to commit suicide (10/31). Carly leans on Jax (Ingo Rademacher) and kisses him (11/21). Nelle pretends to accidentally spill the beans to a drunk and despondent Sonny, whom she drugs. She stages his bedroom to make him think they slept together (11/28). She records their various conversations about that night. At Morgan's funeral (11/11), Sonny turns himself into police for the bomb (11/14). In investigating why the hit wasn't called off, Jason finds that someone else planted the explosive (11/15). He doesn't have enough evidence to exonerate Sonny, who posts bail and has to wear a home ankle monitor. Carly and Sonny start to mend things around Christmas and New Years Eve, and Michael develops a crush on Nelle. Bobbie confronts Nelle after finding one of her pills in Sonny's bedroom, and warns her not to mess with her family (12/28). Nelle drops her sweet facade to throw Bobbie's past in her face, but it doesn't rattle her (1/10).
My Commentary: I had pity for both Morgan and Kiki during this period. Morgan was making strides, and the chain of events that led to him losing Kiki and his life wouldn't have happened if it weren't for Ava stealing his meds. It was heartbreaking to hear how confused and disenchanted he was in his recovery journals (11/4), trying to do everything by the book and still failing. I had my first real occurrences of compassion for Kiki, who expressed to both Franco (10/3) and Dillon (10/7) that she was losing sight of herself by constantly being on emotional eggshells with Morgan, tending to his needs while ignoring her own. I was impressed that the writers gave her enough self-awareness to acknowledge her revolving door dating patterns, but it was negated: as soon as she had this epiphany, she declared she was going to drop Morgan for Dillon (10/7). There was also great dialogue about Kiki and Morgan's dynamic (and Corinthos operanti in general) between Ava and Sonny on 6/8, where Ava called out Sonny and Carly's subconscious selfish motives for encouraging the young pair to remain entangled: "You want Kiki to make it her life's work...to be his caretaker the way that Carly is yours...It doesn't matter how crazy you get, she'll stay, but Kiki is a vulnerable young woman; she's still trying to find her way in life. She's not equipped to care for Morgan." Considering Ava's just and logical concerns that Kiki would be emotionally and/or physically hurt being around Morgan, it didn't make sense that she would leave Kiki susceptible to him unmedicated. Not to mention, Morgan could have harmed himself--he almost jumped off a roof a few months before. Plus, she'd absolutely lose her custody of Avery if she got caught. They continually have Ava taking extremely low blows that exceed delicious villan-ry (no, that's not a word, haha). If West wasn't such a marvelous actress, this character would be ruined already.
As for this Nelle business, I believe the plot is being put together as we speak, like the hospital murders.
A deceased Jake was supposed to be Josslyn's donor; Helena Cassadine staged the death and kidnapped the little boy (we still don't know what she did to him over the years he was with her). The obvious conclusion would be that Helena was behind Joss' black-market kidney, but the audience saw that there was a cover up to make it appear that way (I guess this was done because Helena is currently presumed dead). Then, we see Jax get all fidgety at the mention of the donation and make a suspicious phone call (8/16). He later admits to Alexis he bought the kidney (11/16). This doesn't add up because he thought Jake's organ was going to be used. Eventually, we hear Nelle repeatedly bring up having a hard-knock life, grumble under her breath about Carly, and set Sonny up. She has a baby rattle with "Caroline" engraved. On 12/13, she looks at her procedure scar and says something like "That still doesn't change what you did, Carly." She looks at a letter from her father before she cons Sonny, hinting that another party is involved. Again, 1+1 isn't equaling 2. Jossyln had an emergency surgery and there was an organ on tap, but Jax was interested and had time to order another and get it on the table before anyone could notice? The organ just so happened to come from a female child linked to Carly's adoptive family who now wants payback, despite the fact that Carly had no idea a shady exchange took place? The math's isn't computing because the malefactor and their motive have kept changing, and each time, there isn't proper shaping. After-shot stories can be difficult to contend with (this an effect of bringing Jake back to life), but there was a year before Carly searched for the truth. Why pick the ball back up if you're not ready to roll it? Anyway, I cackle every time Nelle has a run in with Bobbie!: "See, the problem is I'm a Spencer. You don't know what that means, but I won't let anyone harm my daughter or her family."
One last thing about this crew...I get that Carly's increasing misgivings about violence are a part of character maturation and there's this unspoken movement to depart from the mob era of the 2000's,
but let's face it: our sole existing patriarch, Sonny Corinthos, is a mobster, and he and Carly are the couple-face of this soap. Altering this equation in any way could be disastrous if not handled in the delicate manner that it should be, and frankly, I don't trust this regime to do that. I've used a lot of math jargon, huh?
What Happened: Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco (Roger Howarth) get closer and kiss for the first time on 6/22. Liz chooses to turn in Hayden's illegally-held diamonds. Heather tells Franco that she's been financially blackmailing Hayden's mother, Naomi, with the information that she had an affair with Jeff Webber and produced Hayden. This would make Hayden and Liz half-sisters. Worried that Liz may have seen him with a syringe, hospital serial killer Paul causes a power outage and pushes her down the stairs (8/29). Hayden (Rebecca Budig) finds her and searches for help, but a disoriented Liz thinks she did the deed (8/30), leading to her arrest (9/1). Curtis and Finn exonerate Hayden with a photo showing Paul's feet on Liz's phone (9/9). Liz is need of blood and has a rare blood type. Hayden donates in exchange for her diamonds (9/9), but Sabrina had already handed them over (9/13). Hayden ends up in cuffs again after finding out she and Liz are related on 9/14, but Naomi takes the rap (9/28). Hayden and Finn finally give into their feelings for each other and almost have sex (10/25). After learning that Finn (Michael Easton) has an incurable life-threatening disease, she and Tracy (Jane Elliott) work to find him foreign medicine to keep him alive (7/12). He ultimately gets help from the endlessly resourceful Sonny (7/18). Hayden contracts the illness after being exposed to a pathogen in Finn's lab (11/9). He successfully concocts a remedy, but it doesn't work on him (12/28). He evades Hayden's questions about his health. Liz gets a phone call that her rapist, Tom Baker, is up for parole (11/8). She writes a stirring letter to the board, hoping to steer their decision to no avail. Tom is released into his brother Seth's care, and Franco goes to threaten him away from Liz (11/16). Seeing Liz's pain moves Franco to approach Sam about making her think he raped her in 2011 (11/18). With the intent of making Tom violate his parole by missing an appointment, Franco puts him in a dog crate with a shocker attached to his neck when he tries to lure Kiki (12/12). When Franco goes to let him out, they tussle and Tom locks him in the crate. Franco has visions of his evil ego, Sam and Liz talking about his potential to be good (12/21). Tom Baker is stabbed on 12/28 by Seth, but Franco is the prime suspect. Franco gathers that Alexis might have actually done it, but is snatched by Seth and left in a storage unit (1/13). Trying to clear Franco and avoid hurting Alexis, Liz goes to Sam for help (1/19). Sam locates and frees Franco (1/27). Liz sees Seth to gather clues. She finds a creepy photo album, showing that Tom was still a predator. Seth confesses he snapped when he saw Tom harassing Alexis, and that he was tired of the turmoil (I kind of felt sorry for him). He corners Liz when she says she wants to show the album to the police, but Franco arrives before things escalate. Seth is apprehended by officers (1/30).
My Commentary: I wanted to love Hayden with Nikolas because the actors' chemistry was so steamy, but things were so speedily done and the logistics made the match unattainable. With Finn, the relationship simmered and blossomed more organically, which is refreshing in this "romantic musical chairs" climate on GH. It's been a 2-for-1 special too, as a ripened friendship with Tracy is a part of their package. The episode where a declining and delirious Hayden thought Finn and Tracy were her parents and she let out her childhood ghosts was incredibly touching (12/13). I suppose the writers wanted to expound on Hayden and Liz's amusing rivalry by making them sisters, but they evidently didn't marinate on what to do beyond that, so it was D.O.A. THEE Jeff Webber was made an adulterer for a haphazard idea; what a shame. I enjoyed Hayden pointing Liz on her hypocritical self-righteousness and how she plays innocent when they fought about Nikolas' death and the diamonds before slapping her: "...with your wide eyes and your baby voice; sweet little Elizabeth...I see you for the pathetic liar you are (8/29)."
Onto "Friz" (Franco and Liz)...This coupling has been a controversial one and with good reason. Critics found it unsettling, to say the least, that a character who's committed a sexual violation (and unpunished at that) would be put with a victim of rape. Some assumed that Tom Baker was reintroduced as a means of tackling (any maybe even rectifying, if possible) this, but inappropriate discourse and an imbalanced focus on Franco showed that GH hadn't learned from its ugly history of mishandling the topic of sexual assault and using it as a plot-device. It was so disconcerting that a pivotal story that hadn't been levered in almost 20 years was unearthed, not to serve the legacy figure/actress at the center of it, but to redeem and make a hero out of a newer character that had nothing to do with it. Outside of Liz writing her parole letter and telling Franco she was raped, it was all about Franco: his gallant efforts to protect the women he cares about and demonstrate that he's worthy of Liz, coming to grips with his past, controlling his impulses and whether there's such thing as criminal rehabilitation.
Franco was regularly in Sam's orbit. She was forced to share even more oxygen with Franco after he began dating Liz, and Liz was shockingly unaccommodating and unsympathetic. One viewer argued that Liz wouldn't care about Sam's incident because of their dynamic, but this was an experience Liz profoundly understood. A victim disenfranchising another?? Extra stunning, Liz went to Sam's house about Franco and Alexis' implication in Tom's murder and said "You need to help Franco." Help her attacker?! That line was so egregious, I was convinced it was a ploy to get Twitter thumbs moving. Like an awful infomercial, I had to wait because there was more. When Sam didn't budge, Liz pleads "...If she's [Alexis] the one who killed Tom, then I'm sure she suffered at his hands first. And if that's the case, then you and I both know what she's going through...if you can't bring yourself to intervene for Franco's sake, do it for your mother's." Now, they have a common horror? And was that common horror just used to get Sam to free the man (by extension) that executed said horror?! I shouldn't have been surprised, given Liz and Franco's problematic Halloween scene. Franco's already agitated demeanor became heated with jealousy from seeing Liz speak with Griffin. When Liz probed him about his attitude, he questioned whether or not their relationship was real because they hadn't slept together. Liz is thrown and asks "You're acting like a jerk because we haven't had sex yet?!," but quickly promises they will in due time. I was so bothered by this, I was moved to tweet a note to the official GH account.
If this excruciating part of Liz and Sam's lives was going to be drudged up, it should have been to tell an inspiring and insightful "life after" tale. Instead, it was exploited to create and bolster a breakthrough for an offender, while Liz and Sam were in the background. Franco received redemption before Sam got retribution. Yea, that seems just.
What Happened: In the wrong place at the wrong time, Jason (Billy Miller) is implicated in Nikolas' fake-murder that was set up for Hayden (6/3). Nikolas is spotted by Ava on a plane (6/14), who unknowingly is being tracked by a man looking to retrieve a family heirloom she bought on the black market (6/20). This man draws them to his estate and locks them in a room (6/17). They break out (6/23) and head to Cassadine Island. Jason and Sam track Ava and Nikolas down (7/6). Spencer (Nicolas Bechtel) tells Laura (Gene Francis) Nikolas is alive (7/11), and she goes to the island with Lulu, Dante and Kevin. Before they can all leave, they're taken hostage by Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart), an illegitimate son of Mikkos, who wanted payback for being ignored (7/15). Valentin forces Nikolas (played by Nick Stabile at this point) to sign over his inheritance and then shoots him dead, falling out of a window (7/19). The gang escapes the mansion (7/26) and gets off the island (8/2). Valentin is arrested and extradited after being stopped from harming Spencer by Jason and Sonny when he comes to PC (8/5). Sam (Kelly Monaco) discovers she's pregnant (8/8). Jason and Sam get engaged (8/16) and they marry on 9/2. Nina (Michelle Stafford) gets help from Curtis to do an under-the-table adoption (8/16). In a last ditch effort to have a biological child, Lulu (Emme Rylan) searches for her embryo taken by Stravos (8/29). Valentin returns to PC clear of charges and claims Wyndemere (10/28). He has a young daughter named Charlotte with Claudette Beaulieu (Bree Williamson; 11/4), who had a green-card marriage to Nathan (Ryan Paevey) before cheating on him with Griffin (Matt Cohen; 6/6). Claudette told both Nathan (9/28) and Griffin (10/19) they were Charlotte's father, explaining she was trying to protect Charlotte from the dangerous Valentin. Claudette leaves town for her life, but Valentin catches up with her (10/26). Later, her body is found in Canadian waters to look like a suicide (1/11). Valentin tells Lulu that Claudette was Charlotte's surrogate and that she's Charlotte's real mother (12/9). He alleges Helena used him to make another Cassadine heir with the embryo Stravos took. Lulu's full court press to take Charlotte home leads to the little girl disliking her (1/19) and Valentin petitioning for full custody. He marries Nina (12/28), whom he got close to after a one-night-stand in August. Valentin has a torrid WSB past with Anna Devane, whom he feels jilted him for his previous deformities (1/19, 1/23).
My Commentary: This section of the show was a mix of the writers improvising, modifying and just plain winging it (as I highlighted with Paul). The flips were understandable to an extent, but again, execution matters. Love is in the details. Nikolas' faux-death and the fiasco on Cassadine Island were on-the-spot to bridge the time Tyler Christopher was in contract negotiations, so I'm willing to look past that (his last appearance was 6/19). I can't judge them too harshly for the abrupt scraping of the Claudette story that just wasn't working either. I'll also throw in credit for trying to tinker with it first. However, the tinkering was really sloppy. In the blink of an eye, Claudette was obsessed with Nathan, obsessed with Griffin, had a secret child, was long-hunted by Valentin and ended up a dead surrogate. I was elated to see Williamson back in daytime, but she didn't stand a chance in this role. Valentin and his aims switched up quite a bit as well. He went from being an abuser of women and an estranged Cassadine that purportedly had Queen Helena shook, to a former hunchback and WSB agent whose kindness washed upon being spurned by Anna. Now, he's in this custody fight with Lulu that shouldn't be happening because, 1) the embryo robbery was in 2013 and Charlotte is way older than age 4, and 2) Stravos matched his sperm with Lulu's egg. Valentin would have no chance to be the biological father, but you know how they love to act like we don't watch this soap. I thought it was nuts they had Lulu on the adamant hunt for the specimen. It was obtained by appalling intrusion by the man who sexually accosted her mother (Nikolas was the product). Moreover, her child with Stravos would be both nephew and sibling to Nikolas. She wanted a bio-kid at any cost, and never once checked with Dante about his feelings. I thought the embryo would come back in a more creepy, The Omen kind of way. That could still happen, I guess, haha. While I hate to see Lulu barred from Charlotte, she's been acting very foolishly and selfishly at Charlotte's expense. Nina wasn't totally wrong when she accused Lulu of not putting Charlotte's emotions first. Speaking of Nina, I think it's out of character that she would so staunchly side with Valentin against Lulu, bearing in mind her own battles with fertility. To alleviate this dissonance, it should be underlined that Nina is skewing her beliefs and empathy to capture her family fairytale. Since they are finally trying to give her a story again, that angle might add some dimension. I almost cried for her Argentina (hey Evita fans!) when Ava busted up her near-successful adoption with an expectant mother in the park (9/2). The woman frantically ran away when Ava told her how Nina induced her labor to take Avery in 2014. When Ava touted that "actions have consequences," Nina questioned when she would pay for killing Connie, sexing troubled Morgan and breaking up her marriage to Silas years ago. It was a pretty terrific clip; I love watching West and Stafford go toe-to-toe. I have a million reasons why I miss Christopher; one of them is that I really wanted to see him and West tango some more. I think their chemistry might have rivaled his with Budig.
Wedding Bells: Hey, Brad and Lucas got married (6/13)! Too bad we didn't see them for months after that. How was the honeymoon? What did Lucas (Ryan Carnes) think about Julian's acquittal? Who knows?! It's not like this was monumental as GH's first gay wedding (which included a legacy character) or anything. The 'Naxie' (Nathan and Maxie) ceremony was so beautiful and sweet. So glad it finally happened (1/17).
TJ's DNA & 'JorTis': TJ found out that he was the result of his mother's infidelity and Shawn is his father (6/16). He confronted Jordan (Vinessa Antoine) on 7/1. Richmond always performs well when he gets some play; he should get more. What young actor gets just due on this show, though? Jordan and Curtis were about to do the dirty, but ended up just kissing (1/26). I get for show purposes, Curtis (Donnell Turner) and Jordan are circling each other, but it's a tad odd he'd be interested in the woman who cheated on his now deceased brother.
Spencer's Pain: It was awesome watching Sonny and Jason act like Batman and Robin again to take out Valentin and protect Spencer (8/5). Without saying much, Spencer figures out from Sonny that Nikolas is dead. Bechtel had me tearing up as he yelled "I'm gonna see my dad I again!"
Since these commentary pieces are called "Lunch in Port Charles," I usually close them with a cute GIF of characters munching or hanging out at Kelly's Diner. This time, I want to pay homage to Tyler Christopher by posting one that expresses just how I feel about him (sign my petition to get him back here):