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Now that they have once again escaped death, are sonny and Brenda really free? Executive producer Wendy Riche says "Is Sonny's need to have the wedding as soon as possible an indication that there is more trouble ahead of them? On their wedding day, Sonny's love for Brenda is put to the true test when his past once again creates an obstacle to the peaceful life he promised her. This will have enormous impact on the lives of not only Sonny & Brenda, but Jax as well (why must he be involved in every S&B story??!!) Now that the charges against him are dropped, will Jax be able to shake V., or will she become more involved in his life? We will learn V's name shortly. Alexis continues her machinations to drive apart Stefan and Katherine, fearing Katherine may distract him from his ultimate goal. Alexis finally manages to convince Stefan that Katherine's tie to the Cassadines is much closer than he imagined; he vows to sever his ties to Katherine in order to maintain control of his empire. His feelings for her remain, however, and continue to be an obstacle. And now that Stefan's plans for the computer takeover were killed by Luke, how will Luke's return to town affect the power base in PC? Nikolas and Lucky both vie for Sarah's affections, and Elizabeth complicates the situation when she learns the Cassadine's role in the death of her grandfather, Steve Hardy. This new information jeopardizes Sarah's growing feelings for Nikolas, possibly opening the doors of her heart to Lucky. When A.J. remembers the night he spent with Carly, and is on to her lies, she is faced with an ultimatum and takes desperate measures to keep Tony from discovering the secret. Tony is so ecstatic at the prospect of having another child that Carly is able to pull the wool over his eyes. Not so, Bobbie, however, whose suspicions about Carly continue to grow. Monica leaves town; with no buffer for A.J., how will Alan exacerbate the situation? How is he going to deal with his drug problem, because we've got a doctor addicted to painkillers. Mac provides a shoulder to cry on for former fiancee Felicia who returns home after getting a "Dear Jane" letter from Tom. Maxie may hold the key to an adventure that may reunite Felicia and Mac romantically, but they will be the last to know it." _______________________________________________________________________ WHAT WE THINK (THEIR PREDICTIONS):

Alan goes off the deep end when Jason inherits Sonny's underworld empire. He starts washing down his pain pills with booze, and in a drunken state winds up and Rhonda Wexler's door. The two resume their close friendship, but this time they actually have an affair. Carly's desperate desire to keep Tony from finding out she slept with A.J. puts her on a collision course with a blackmailer. Stefan is devastated at the possibilty that Mikkos may be Katherine's father, but he can't stop himself from being with her. Alexis is so consumed with making sure Stefan and Katherine break up that her own developing romance with Ned takes a backseat. In their lonliness, Ned and Brenda turn to each other (YEAH RIGHT....NEVER HAPPEN!!!) She helps him revive his Eddie Maine career, and the two begin a concert tour that includes a stop in Bensonhurst. A medical emergency puts Nikolas life in jeopardy, and Laura returns home. Stefan is forced to reveal that he is Nikolas' father, and Luke tells Laura that this is one lie that he will never forgive.


This Week On General Hospital ...

Stefan gives Katherine a Cassadine heirloom locket, but she remains puzzled by his behavior.

AJ's memory of that fateful night returns.

Jax decides to go to Malibu to deal with his sadness after viewing a wedding invitation, and V appears on his doorstep.

Stefan and Alexis make a surprising discovery at the cemetery.

The upcoming Sonny & Brenda wedding sends Jax packing.

Swearing to help him, Alexis and Stefan question a government official about Katherine's past. Stefan decides to see for himself the only lasting proof that Natasha died years ago.

AJ admits to Keesha that he was set up by Carly.

Nikolas plays 20 questions with Elizabeth.

Tony agrees to elope with Carly.

Felicia declines Mac's offer.

Liz continues to keep Sarah from growing closer to Nikolas.

Though A.J. confronts Carly with everything he has uncovered, she denies doing anything to him, forcing him to find further proof.

Sonny and the Tin Man have one final, bloody confrontation.

Brenda's wedding plans upset Jax and he decides to leave town for a while.

Alexis warns Stefan not to share their suspicions with Katherine.

The teen brigade all enter Port Charles High. _____________________________________________________________________

Vanessa's Current GH Status

According to the new issue of SOM, VM has signed a 1 year contract with a six-month option to leave, meaning December. Rumors from sources close to the actress report that she will indeed leave before her wedding to Tyler (scheduled for 12/14/97). Maurice Benard is supposed to return in the next two months to wrap up the S&B storyline and facilitate VM's departure. MB responded to these rumors by stating : " Nothing is official, but yes, we have been discussing my returning as a guest stint. It may be that I return every so often. If they write it, I'd love to do so. Unless I 'm busy doing other things, I would never not want to return to GH."

Northwest Afternoon (NWA) showed an interview with VM last week, and she confirmed that her contract was for a year. She said that she has a deal with ABC same as last year, that will give her a pilot in the spring, and then depending on whether it is picked up or not, will determine if she stays on GH past next fall. The determination on what pilots are chosen is made in May. (her contract expires end of August). She said she would like to stay on GH and eventually transition into a prime time series. If she gets other projects she plans to do them along with GH. She said she was thinking of leaving last spring, but then after her pilot didn't get picked up, and the reality of planning her wedding hit her, she decided that she didn't want to make any more big life changes this year. I assume that is what she meant, when she said in her AOL chat that she was going to concentrate solely on GH for the next 6 months and not take outside projects during this time. Getting married is a big enough life change to deal with in one year. She also said that getting the role on GH was one of the best things that ever happened to her. That, just like Brenda, she didn't have very strong family ties when she started - but on GH she has found a group of people who she loves, and who love her and she is very happy there.

In The Aftermath Of Sonny's "Death"

Rena Sofer returns for a three day stint as Lois Cerullo Ashton on General Hospital starting September 30. Reports are Lois returns to console her heart broken friend Brenda.

Bob Guza Returns As Head Writer

Award-winning writer Bob Guza will return to General Hospital as Head Writer effective immediately. Bob received two Emmy Awards for his work on Santa Barbara and three Writers Guild Awards for Santa Barbara and Loving. He also received an Emmy nomination for his work on GH. As you know, Bob left GH when Sunset Beach was picked up since he was the creator and Head Writer of that show. Well, we're just tickled pink to have him back. According to Pat Fili-Krushel, President, ABC Daytime, "We are very pleased to have Bob Guza back on our team. His knowledge of the show, combined with his unique flair for writing, will allow us to continue with rich storylines without disrupting the integrity of our complex characters."

And, said GH executive producer Wendy Riche, "Bob has a unique and deep understanding for GH's history and characters. I am thrilled to have Bob back and cannot wait to begin working with him again."

Crystal Carson Returns To General Hospital

Several soap magazines, including SOW, have reported that Crystal Carson (ex-Julia Barrett) will be returning to General Hospital in October. This could well be the "brand new storyline" that is in the development for Vanessa Marcil. How she will blend into the current characters is as yet unknown, but there's already speculation of a possible Alexis/Ned/Julia triangle, in light of Julia and Ned's past. What might be more interesting is some sibling rivalry between Julia and Brenda over another man from the past: Jax.

Not Close Enough

Leslie Horan (ex-Miranda) was rumored as a consideration for the role of Victoria Newman Howard on Y&R, but Heather Tom will return on October 2 to play her original character. Maurice Benard To Star In Film

Maurice Benard will be starring in an independent film with Christopher Lambert called Splitville.

What's The Final Word On Vanessa Status?

Straight from the desk of Michael Kape, managing editor of SONow!: "Vanessa signed a one-year contract when she decided to stay with the show. GH is indeed supposed to be working on a brand new storyline for her. End of controversy."

Happy 1st Birthday!!!

Wally Kurth (Ned) and his real-life Rena Sofer will be celebrating the first birthday of their daughter, Rosabel Rosalind, on September 17.

The Secret Is Out

SOD has a section called the Greatest Stories Never Told. In it, they interview Leslie Horan's manager who explains that Miranda was supposed to be Helena's secret daughter. The story was supposed to transform Miranda into a mysterious spiderwoman with Russian heritage.

Second Rock From The Sun

Which appears to be the real name of Jax's new assistant, Ms. Ardanowski -- Venus. This tidbit was confirmed by Michael Kape in his 9/3/97 Peachtree Lounge chat.

Tighter Than A Zip Lock

Sometimes you withhold information for a reason, unbeknownst to the general public, and that appears to be the case with Michael Kape, managing editor of Soap Opera Now! Word is he nows the real identity of the mysterious Natasha but will not reveal it. However, he did confirm that is was not Brenda.

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