Port Charles is a GAMBLER’S kind of town…not that we’d know it by the empty hazard room of the Haunted Star. It’s a gambling town, and I’m not just talking about the floating casino. I’m talking about the gambles taken by its residents everyday.
Like Mike, Port Charlesians need to learn “when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” Also like Mike, when they fail to learn that, they end up losing their shirts in the gamble, and sometimes they lose something much more precious…
Like poker or roulette, Love is a gamble. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.
It wasn’t that long ago, that I wrote about Lucky wanting to believe in his and Elizabeth’s love story. Lucky believed the best of Elizabeth. Lucky believed in Elizabeth when he shouldn’t have believed a single word that came out of her lying mouth. Lucky believed that Elizabeth learned from her past mistakes and would never betray his trust or his love again. He held on when everyone else doubted him: Lulu, Nik, Luke. He held on when he doubted himself. He held on when even Elizabeth questioned his belief in her. He held on in spite of what seemed to be the glaring truth staring him in the face. He held on as he passed the flashing neon warning signs as big and flashy as the ones that light the Vegas Strip. Lucky gambled with his heart and soul, he went for broke…and that’s exactly what he got.
Nikolas took a gamble the day he kissed his sister-in-law, Liz , just to make Rebecca and Lucky jealous. That day, his gamble paid off. Lucky and Rebecca took notice. The payoff caused Nik and Liz to keep gambling, and before long, kisses turned into romps, hellos turned into Strip Poker, and supposedly, lust turned to love. Nikolas gambled with his brother’s love, trust and friendship over and over. He gambled knowing he could lose the one person that has been there and has had his back all along. Nik thinks he’s cut his losses and walked away, having lost only his heart, but not his brother. Wait ’til Lucky gets his payoff…
Elizabeth should not be allowed within a thousand feet of a gambling establishment, as she is the worst gambler ever. She has gambled with Lucky’s love before, and lost. Now she is gambling with the life and security she promised her boys; with their very future happiness and stability. After gambling with Jason and playing russian roulette with paternity, she asked him to make the impossible choice to walk away from his son, so that Jake could have the best life possible. Now she’s pooping all over that life. Listen, she’s a grown woman, and it’s her body and her conscience. She can gamble with pregnancy, STD’s, rugburn, ringworm or any of the other maladies that you risk when rolling all over the floor with your lover of choice. But she is gambling with so much more. Liz is betting her kids’ farm. It’s not hers to gamble with.
Sonny is a gambler by nature. A casino owner, a mob boss, a businessman with illegal business dealings…it’s the nature of his lifestyle to take gambles daily. The one thing Sonny didn’t ever want to gamble with was the future of his children. He always believed that he could keep the worst of his life separate from the lives of his children, but it was a gamble that couldn’t be avoided. Now Sonny is facing his worst fear: that Michael could end up paying the ultimate price for Sonny’s choices, and yes, gambles. How does Sonny decide to deal with this dilemma? By taking another gamble. This time with the dangerous Franco, and against Jason’s admonitions. Olivia offered different, but just as risky, advice: to know when to run. We’ll have to see what this latest gamble will cost Sonny in the end.
Dante has been gambling with his life since he took the oath to serve and defend the people, but the stakes were raised quite suddenly and dramatically when he “brought it” to Port Charles. Sonny has been “untouchable” throughout his lustrous career as a mobster, and people who betray him don’t usually live long enough to rethink their own gamble. However, Dante seems undaunted (Oooh! Dante-undaunted…funny!) by those odds. He believes he will be the one to bring Sonny down…once and for all. Problem is, Lulu is now part of the higher stakes, and Dante is NOT willing to gamble with her life. So, will he fold and walk away from his mission to bring Sonny down, or will he walk away from Lulu in order to protect her? Only time will tell.
Speaking of All of Sonny’s Children…Kristina concerns me. Not just because she wants to take up poker in a family of gamblers, but because she’s already gambling with her self-respect, her adolescence, her life. Kiefer Bauer is a scumbag. He’s abusive and intimidating, and a horny punk with one thing on his mind. By offering Kristina comps, such as that ridiculous necklace, which I’m sure he’s given to at least five other victims, he’s hoping to get her to keep betting on him. Jerk! I can’t wait ’til the House Goons “teach him a lesson.”
Jason is usually forced to play on blind bets alone. It’s a tough way to go, but he rarely has a choice. The aftermath of Claudia’s murder was a blind bet if I ever saw one. There was no way that Jason could’ve predicted in those few seconds he had to make a decision for everyone else, how it would all play out, but Jason was forced to place his bet anyway. In this game, Franco was a card shark. His arrival in Port Charles, the places he went and the things he saw, upped the ante. Jason’s professional poker face was lost, and every emotion Jason felt was on display for Franco to see, and sickly, enjoy. Franco also called Sonny’s bluff, and abducted Sam, Carly and Lulu as insurance. In the end, Sam says they should call it a draw…but don’t forget…Franco likes to play.
Sam is usually a gambler herself. She said it herself one sweet day in 2005 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odTif1xPWF8, Credit: kjewel13) She gambles with her life, with her well-being, and when it comes to Jason, she gambles with her heart wholeheartedly. She did it once, and it nearly destroyed her. I bet she thought she’d never gamble with her heart again, but she has. Sam believes in Jason when Jason can’t seem to believe in himself. Sam believes that he sometimes makes the wrong choice for the right reasons, and she accepts that he sometimes makes the right choice for the wrong reasons. In the game of Life and Love with Jason, Sam is a high roller. This time, I’m betting she hits the JACKPOT!
What are you placing YOUR bets on?
We’ll just have to see how this all PAYS OUT!