It’s Halloween in Port Charles! We open on Nina, which is never a good sign for my enjoyment of an episode. She turns off the tv when Franco comes in, and he immediately accuses her of having started “Slaughter Fest” without him. Aw, he’s a former serial killer who enjoys watching slasher films! Isn’t that… sweet?
Nina wants to go over to the Haunted Star party. I mean, she is the main investor for Dillon’s movie, so I’m surprised she wasn’t already planning to be there. Franco very obviously does not want to leave the house, but they’re interrupted by Kiki’s drunken appearance.
Meanwhile Morgan and Darby — aka the living proof that it is possible for someone to have less charisma and acting ability than Kiki — are already at the party and awkwardly flirting. He’s dressed like Captain Morgan (GET IT?) and she is a “sexy” mummy. I do not understand any of the decisions that went into putting this character on my television screen, but whoever was involved with them should be shot.
Jake’s been blindfolded and led to the Floating Rib, where it’s revealed his kidnappers are Carly, Michael and Sam. A crowd of extras in the foreground are way too excited about the announcement that this is his bachelor party. Are we supposed to think that he actually knows these people or are they just weirdly over-invested in strangers?
Anna leaves a message for “Sloane” telling him they both know the body found in the harbor can’t be Carlos. She wants him to meet her on the pier, where everyone goes to have public conversations about secrets. At the Haunted Star party, Paul listens to the message and wishes he had an evil goatee to stroke.
Elsewhere at the party, Valerie tells Nathan he’s going to have to get used to dating a star. Given everything we’ve seen of Maxie’s acting so far, Valerie’s lying skills have really improved. She walks off to fix the zipper on her costume just as Dante walks in. Maxie immediately hits him up for money, which is kind of ballsy given the amount Lulu’s already donating to this train wreck of a movie.
In back, Lulu and Dillon decide to watch the behind the scenes footage. Since Valerie isn’t actually involved in the film in any capacity, I’m not sure what either of them expected this footage to be, but once it starts playing, Dillon immediately realizes what it is and slams the computer shut.
Morgan and Darby — who someone at ABC decided is a necessary addition to this bloated cast in lieu of Serena or Christina Baldwin, Brook Lynn Ashton, Sarah Webber, or literally ANY OTHER PERSON WE MIGHT ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT — are still being gross together when Molly and TJ arrive. Morgan questions how his underage cousin got in, even though Darby is supposed to be the same age as Molly. I mean, Molly and Morgan’s respective ages are already confusing, given she’s technically younger than Cameron, but it’s a little gross that Morgan is macking on someone her age, right? Especially since his last girlfriend was pushing 50.
Kiki has changed into a “costume,” which mainly involves some really terrible looking eye makeup and a sparkly headband. Franco confiscates her keys, and she reluctantly admits that she’s been put on a blacklist since puking in the back of Uber car. Okay, I admit it: Hayley Erin’s delivery on that one legitimately made me laugh. They’re interrupted by a knock at the door: it’s Ava and Avery, dressed as the most adorable little dimpled unicorn!
Dante tells Nathan that he told Sonny everything about the one night stand with Valerie, and he’s decided to tell Lulu the truth.
Andy, another exciting new character I can’t believe I’m now being expected to care about, has interrupted Dillon and Lulu. He confesses that he accidentally insulted Tracy’s outfit and Lulu takes off to do some damage control. As soon as she leaves the room, Dillon confronts Andy about his inclusion of what is OBVIOUSLY a private conversation in a reel of behind the scenes footage. Andy promises to destroy the footage after the party.
Paul walks up to Anna on the docks, wearing a skeleton mask. They go back in forth with a bit with him disingenuously pretending not to understand her hostility until finally he tells her straight out that he knows the truth about her killing Carlos and that he’s been protecting her by planting Carlos’ wallet on the body in the harbor.
Jake protests that he’s doesn’t need a bachelor party, just as Michael takes the stage to announce it’s karaoke time! Except — spoiler — no one will actually sing on screen in this episode, so never mind. I guess the music budget’s been slashed under the new regime. You know, along with the humor budget and the “being critical of Sonny” budget.
Patrick runs into Liz — literally — as she’s leaving the hospital with her shower gifts. He happens to have a package that was delivered for her from Audrey. Because I guess Audrey forgot her granddaughter’s home address? Liz explains that Grams twisted her ankle while on vacation in Vienna and can’t be here for the wedding. As excuses for out of character absences driven by backstage realities go, that’s a fairly decent one. But then we actually see Rachel Ames narrating the letter she wrote, so she was clearly available. I guess they just didn’t want to pay her for the multiple day fallout from this wedding?
Anyway, it’s a lovely letter, and it’s lovely to see Ames again, even if just for a few minutes. Liz gets a little teary reading it, and I get a little teary imagining how good this story might have been if she hadn’t been written like an crazy pod person for the last six months.
Maxie’s now hitting Morgan up for money, even though he hasn’t had a job since Michael fired him as a contractor for the brownstone renovation project that the writers have obviously forgotten about. Morgan agrees to ask his mom (LOL) for the money on the condition that he get a sex scene in the movie. Darby for some reason, thinks this is sexy. Everything about this conversation is nauseating.
Kiki rebuffs her mother, again, some more. Ava asks if she’d really prefer Avery be with Sonny than her, which I admit is a legitimately tough choice. But Kiki would prefer even Nina over Ava and says that she’s been more of a mother to her than Ava ever has. During the ensuing argument, she manages to pocket some car keys, so clearly this is heading for a drunken car wreck and probably the reveal that she’s actually Nina’s biological daughter after all.
Which would be soapy if anyone cared about any of these people, but can you honestly tell me that anyone does? STOP TRYING TO MAKE KIKI HAPPEN, SHOW. SHE’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
Over at the Floating Rib, Carly and the crowd of creepily over-invested extras peer pressure Jake into doing a number with Sam. Note to my friends: any surprise party you throw me that involves forced public performing will get you banned from my wedding.
Felix and Sabrina are chatting at the Haunted Star party. He intuits she’s not telling him something, and she finally confesses that Carlos, who has been dead since April, might be the father of the baby she just now realized she’s having. For those keeping track at home, the girl who was the top of her class in nursing school is now an unemployed nanny on her second unplanned pregnancy in as many years, and it somehow took her five months to realize she was even pregnant.
I realized that Theresa Castillo is pregnant in real life. And also that without unplanned pregnancies, at least half of all soap babies wouldn’t exist. But this just makes Sabrina look like an irresponsible idiot. Is this show allergic to hiding baby bumps behind large purses and billowy coats? Is that a thing that soaps just aren’t doing anymore? Because they should. I would have happily ignored any number of implausibly placed lamps in order to spare Michael and the next Quartermaine heir from being shackled to this limp noodle of a character.
But I digress! Sabrina tells Felix the whole story of her retconned one night stand with Carlos. He tells her to just not worry about it until she can do a paternity test. Great advice, Felix. Nailed it.
Grams has also sent Elizabeth a locket with both of their pictures in it, causing her to have what looks like a brief moment of sanity-induced panic attack. Patrick interprets this as cold feet about marrying Jake. Liz assures him that’s not it, but can’t say what’s really troubling her. I am seriously going to miss this relationship when Jason Thompson leaves. (SOB!)
After Kiki storms out, Ava asks Franco to convince her to testify on her behalf at the custody trial. Nina gives her attitude and Ava does not remind her of that time Nina drugged her to induce early labor and then kidnapped Avery after she was born with Franco’s assistance. I think we’re not supposed to remember that happened, actually, because I cannot ever see Ava willingly bringing Avery into either of their presences. (Hey, remember that time Franco almost murdered a completely innocent woman who happened to see them with the baby? No one else does!)
Morgan leads Darby off on a “tour” of the bedroom set on the Haunted Star. Molly tells TJ that they could leave as well and head back to Sam’s empty apartment. TJ wants to know if she’s sure. Um… have these two STILL not had sex? It has literally been years now since they were planning to rent a hotel room and do the deed. The metaphorical blue balls on both of them must be amazing.
Tracy and Lulu chat about how Dillon’s film career isn’t exactly what she envisioned for him. Tracy snarks that Lulu would feel the same if Rocco announced he wanted to be a poet. Lulu laughs at the idea of a poet named Rocco. Well, I hate to break it to you, Lulu, but Dr. Rocco sounds just as dumb. It’s okay, though, because poor, dumb Rocco can do whatever he wants; soon she’ll have a second child to pressure into a stable job!
Tracy is less than enthusiastic about the second baby plan, but Lulu promises that she and Dante’s relationship is more solid now that it ever has been.
Cut to: Dante running into Valerie while looking for Lulu. He’s about to tell her about his decision to tell Lulu the truth when Valerie announces she’s been accepted into the police academy. Dillon walks in on Dante fixing Valerie’s zipper followed by a hug and some misleading dialog about wanting them to have an “honest relationship”.
Kiki shows up, chugs two cocktails and asks Molly and TJ if they’ve seen Morgan… who is having sex with Darby in the back. Why is Morgan the person having 90% of the sex on this show? I mean, it’s nice that the other ten percent is Julian and Alexis, but still.
Anna asks Paul why he’d break the law to cover her crimes. He tells her that maybe some day she’ll be in a position to do the same for him. SUBTLE. After he leaves, she sees what looks like Carlos walking away in the shadows. Okay, is Carlos going to show up alive after all? Because I don’t see the point of this Sabrina thing if he isn’t. But seriously, at least one person who dies on camera on this show needs to actually stay dead.
Dillon announces it’s time to show the footage from the movie, but of course what he actually turns on is the footage of Valerie confessing about her night with Dante. Everyone watches with confusion, horror, or — in Kiki’s case — drunken interest.
Dillon pretends to be shocked as well, because he’s not only an asshole, but an cowardly asshole. After all, why privately break this horrible news to the woman you “love” when you can humiliate her in public in front of her customers, friends and family? But of course all he actually cares about is punishing his rival. Congratulations, writers! You’ve managed to make me violently dislike a legacy character whose return I’ve been wanting for years. BRAVO.
At the Floating Rib: Jake’s bachelor party breaks up. He marvels that a year ago he had no friends and family and now he has both. He thanks Sam for all her help and they share a hug.
Ellie has apparently hurt her ankle — lots of off screen ankle injuries going around in this episode — so Spinelli is rushing home to Portland. But he’s called Carly to meet him at the hospital in order to give her the computer running the facial recognition program, so that she can then give it to Sam. That is… a really unnecessarily convoluted way of ensuring Carly is the one to find out about Jake being Jason.
Kudos, ABC graphics department!
Also — and I say this as a person who has no use for Spinelli — it makes no sense to actually have Bradford Anderson on set and then send him off again before the big reveal. Like so many other casting decisions recently, this one really baffles me.
Anyway, as Spinelli leaves, we see the program complete and an actually well done morph of Billy Miller’s face into Steve Burton. GASP.