Crimson Lights now the passé place to be, the new gathering ground for those aged 12 to 22 is the building many fans have caringly christened the "Wreck Center." Probably believing it will build character into the privileged spines of the prosperous princes and princesses who sporadically attend Walnut Grove, those choosing to spend their summer vacation voluntarily working for free will receive extra credit, as well as the chance to injure their arms patting themselves on the back for choosing to spend their summer pushing brooms across a filthy floor instead of coins across an immaculate Crimson counter. And swelling the already overloaded teen team roster, it appears Daniel will have no problem sliding seamlessly into position as yet another too-old looking seen it all and already bored with it, sarcasm saturated, sullen faced teen. Daniel is clearly poised to take over the role once jealously guarded by Billy Abbott, that of being the tenacious thorn in J.T.'s side, and also obviously desires to step into Billy's abandoned brogans as the adored object of older woman Mac's affection. J.T., with nothing but time on his hands now that Colleen's been banished from the city and the meteoric rise of his rock star career has waned, probably wouldn't have minded making another end run at winning Mac's heart once his own had mended, but Daniel is obviously going to be the immovable object that blocks his path.
Of course, Daniel will probably find his own road to Mac's heart filled with false trails, detours, and impassible passageways. Remember, our first glimpse of this advanced 16 year old showed him bouncing in the bedding with one of his buxom Swiss school mates. And since I doubt Mac's time away has changed her determination to begin her wedding night as pure as the proverbial driven snow, it's unlikely Daniel will be enjoying any of the amorous aerobics he's obviously accustomed to. J.T., on the other hand, has probably grown quite comfortable with the celibate life. Okay, I know the character of Daniel is still in outline form, being filled in daily right before our sometimes critical eyes, but if there is any softness and warmth in this young man, I haven't yet managed to catch a glimpse of it. Like his mother, so far I find him unlikably abrasive. But, as I said, it's early days yet; there is definitely much to learn about what cranks the cogs in his calculating cranium.
One longing look at Devon and every fleeting memory of her unsavory sofa sojourn with Kevin immediately flew from Lily's smitten mind like dry chaff in a strong wind. It seems she may not have learned much from her previous mistake. Because she obviously still believes it's better to be the pursuer rather than the pursued. And Devon, like Kevin before him, easily pulled the wool over her infatuated eyes, inventing on the spot the person he wished himself to be; painting a pretty picture of a private school preppie with a decorator mom, attorney dad and five siblings to fight lovingly with in a big old house on a hill instead of as an abandoned Group Home inhabitant with no family to call his own. And while it didn't take any time at all for Jamal to contradict most of what Devon had just told her, I doubt the knowledge will deter Lily in the slightest. At least the boy who's just put the gleam back in her eyes is closer to her age this time. Something that is fast becoming a rarity in this crazy city. Will Devon play an important role in anyone else's life currently residing in the City? Like Damon's perhaps?
Moving on to the trials and tribulations of the GC adults, scratching out a clear line firmly in the sand, Phyllis has flung down the gauntlet at Christine's interfering feet, indicating her intention to battle to the bitter end in order to carve out a corner of affection for herself in her son's hardened heart. I found it just a wee bit odd that Phyllis would choose to begin the hostilities with Christine, rather than Danny, but then I guess she realizes who really wields the wand of power in that particular pairing. Danny, as he has done from the beginning, is apparently going to sit ineffectively in the back seat while Christine does all the parental driving for him. But, did we really expect anything more from a pretend papa who has allowed his son to be raised on Switzerland's shores with his hands-on contributions consisting of punching the keys on a computer keyboard, the digits on a cordless phone, and scribbling his John Hancock on a monthly remittance check? No wonder he wound up with a bitter boy whose face seems more accustomed to scowling than smiling. I am one fan who is looking forward with much anticipation to the day the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the whole custody kit and caboodle is shouted from the rooftops.
And speaking of that truth finally coming out, I quite enjoyed listening to Phyllis taunt the pristine princess about playing house, issue the ultimatum to encourage a relationship between Daniel and his real mother or suffer the unsavory consequences, and then sashay sassily out of the restaurant. Of course, had it been up to me, Christine wouldn't even have received that courtesy warning because Danny has had more than enough time to come clean with the complicated tale. At 16 years old, it's way past time to put all the marked cards on the table and let Daniel decide who he wants to include at the next family dinner. How will Daniel react to learning none of Danny's wishy washy blood runs through his veins? Or to everything dastardly Phyllis did to steal a father for her son? As for Christine, well, she is Christine, so no matter the eventual outcome, I doubt anyone expects her to emerge from this skirmish smelling like anything except a pink, perfumed rose. Of course, what is life without hope so right at the very top of my personal wish list, is that just once, Christine would be the one left sorrowfully clutching the soiled end of a sharp short stick.
For fans like me who reside in certain portions of the Midwest, some inopportune pre-emptions cheated us of what was said to be some especially good scenes. And, since my internet access also relies on dial-up rather than high-speed, I couldn't even use one of the download services to watch what I missed. So I had to settle for recaps, secondhand board accounts, fan email and my vivid imagination to re-create Kevin's end of Monday's show escape from the cuckoo's nest. Wednesday's pre-emption left me with a mere 20 minutes to critique, which thankfully included Mommy Gloria's rather ragged rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle. Is it just me, or does this poor excuse for a mother look like she lives with constant, debilitating pain? Is she just nervous, or is she purposely trying to make us believe someone deranged is jerking her puppet strings? Of course, everyone who has read my opinionated writings knows that Kevin, even with all his faults, won me over a long time ago with his extraordinary acting abilities, which is saying a lot considering how thoroughly I once detested the internet creepy crawler. Now I freely admit his actions with too young silly Lily and his attempt to snuff out CC's life was wrong and shouldn't be glossed over. But I'm curious, for those fans who still hate Kevin with virulent viciousness and who have never ceased with their catcalls for his head on a hotplate, just how do you think he should pay for his dastardly deeds? Keep in mind all the many dirty deeds done by his fellow GC citizens (who didn't have the excuse of beginning and living a good part of their life as an abused child) which were never paid for either but were subsequently forgiven. I don't know how far out on the limb the scribes plan to crawl in exploring the subject of child abuse which is normally swept neatly under the family carpet, but I applaud their courage in addressing it even this far. As a way of redeeming a character that I never would have believed could be redeemed in a million years, it's working.
Those same pre-emptions meant I also missed the heated kiss between Bobby and Brittany and Raul's reaction to it, and a pretty fair chunk of Brittany and Raul's flight from the city. But I saw enough to be even surer than I was before that the closing tune has been crooned over the little that remains of the princess and her pauper's long-running romance. Even though their break-up has been spotted coming from miles away, I thought it was so sad to see Raul finally admit he had lost Brittany to Bobby. He was trying to be so brave about it, but when he started to cry, I admit I felt so sorry for him I wanted to cry right along with him. Of course, many fans believe their sad so long song has been sung the moment Brittany chose to shake her body suggestively in song and dance on Marsino's stage, but I suspect it really ended even before that, the day Bobby stepped into Lauren's little shop of trendy trinkets and caught sight of the bored blonde lounging within.
Completely captivated by the woman who effortlessly caused his bachelor heart to pound erratically with newfound love and caring, on behalf of his scarred songbird, Bobby sent word to Mr. Lewis through his obedient mob minions that the disfigurement marring half of his darling's lovely face would not be tolerated nor remain unavenged. Which left Mr. Lewis with not an iota of wiggle room. If Lewis wished to maintain his hold on and continue to receive the uncontested respect of his underworld underlings, he could not afford to show any mercy to Bobby for his daring defiance, which likely means Bobby's living and breathing days must immediately come to an abrupt halt. Well, that may have been Lewis' diabolical plan, but we can all be reasonably confident that won't be the way it will all play out. Because, in spite of how things might now appear, I know I'm not the only fan who took special notice of the second of Woeful Weber's last two incoming cell phone calls. Is anyone else forming their scrabble squares to spell out the word s-e-t-u-p? What message did Marsino relay to Weber in that mysterious call? Was Bobby wired for sound before he returned to Marilyn's for his unfriendly confrontation with Lewis and his beefy bouncer boys? Is Weber, along with a fully armed battalion of eager boys in blue, waiting outside in the shadows, ear mikes turned up to full volume, ready to swoop in and save the situation in the split second after Lewis self-incriminates himself for a bevy of committed crimes but just before issuing the order to put Bobby out of business forever? All the pieces are falling neatly into place because even as Bobby hoists his hammer to pound the finishing nails into the cell house carton he's constructing to confine Mr. Lewis & his accompanying cohorts in crime, cooling their heels in Weber's office is Paul and P.I. Prather, who was recently convinced to put fear aside and come clean with the real reason he retracted his surveillance report. And finally, since Weber ordered Michael followed, he has undoubtedly lead GC's finest right to Kevin, which means everyone should be right where they need to be in order to wrap this storybook up in pretty pastel paper with a big pink bow on top.
As for Brittany, my nickel says it won't be long before she lands smack in the middle of Bobby's bed. An outcome many fans have been anxiously awaiting, although I can't claim to be one of them. Not that I dislike Bobby; on the contrary I find the rough-edged rascal quite adorable (especially minus the hairy chin) but try as I might, seeing tiny, young, Brittany enclosed in his muscular, but middle aged arms still makes my tummy feel slightly queasy. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to gulp down a few swallows of pink Pepto and get over it.
When it comes to the Cameron Kirsten caper, things are not likely to go as smoothly or be wrapped up quite as quickly. For those fans who have wished for it, there is still plenty of intrigue that can be wrung from this constantly twisting tale. On one hand we'll probably witness Grace's slowly growing realization of the depth of the darkness in the soul of the monster she's been sleeping with. Hopefully, this fable will finish before she suffers the face-to-pulp beating Sharon was treated to in Denver. On the other hand, scorning the help of family or father, Nick wants to beat Cameron at his own game with nothing but the sometimes questionable tools of his own two hands and his one occasionally malfunctioning brain. Strain though I might, I can't quite see exactly how he plans to do that by working for the enemy, but hey, I'm willing to withhold my opinionated views and maintain a somewhat impatient wait and see attitude. Although I can understand Nick's need to be the lone knight on a white steed to avenge his damsel's honor, it would have been nice to see him team up with Victor to topple Cameron, or at least take him into his confidence about what he was trying to do instead of giving him more of his insolent attitude. Given Victor's desire to mend the broken bridge between them, I'm sure he would have been easily persuaded to stay out of the fray.
I hope Victor has more patience than I, because he's going to need it while waiting for Nick to pitch in and sit grandly at a desk beside his issuing instructions to one-name underage kids and young adults to realize a common goal of creating a community center for the underprivileged. By the way, I thought Victor insisted he was going to be doing more than simply penning his name onto checks written from his personal account. Well, I can't tell! Where is his hard hat, his steel toed boots, his construction worker gloves? And while I've got my finger on that particular page, I might as well point derisively at the questionable attire worn by the well-heeled Genoa City working boy and girl. Other than Sierra who was at least turned out in a smiley-faced cotton T-shirt and jeans, the others seemed dressed in wear more suited to a day of fun and frolic in the refrigerated air of Crimson instead of a dilapidated building filled with dust and discarded debris. But since Victor isn't going to dirty his digits toting and tossing tons of trash, I guess he can busy himself bolstering Devon's sagging self-esteem. What better way to keep Devon around his new moneyed acquaintances than to grant him the right to parade proudly through the hallowed halls of Walnut Grove through some kind of Newman-endowed scholarship?
Using Kyle as bait, Diane attempted to spring a cozy family trap for Jack which she'd buried deep in the sand of a Tahiti beach vacation. But while Jack wavered on whether the time was right to get away from it all, Mamie used her x-ray vision, saw straight through the happy family smoke Diane was blowing into Jack's sleep-deprived eyes and told Jack what he already knew. That his place right now was right in the trenches, fighting to keep Jabot from floating further from the shores of solvency. That's probably best because I'm guessing the coming week will find Ashley making good on her threat to pull the rank rug right out from under Jack's CEO feet and reinstate the so-called charismatic chemist. As for Dru, Ashley's been searching for a suitable excuse to seal this spokesperson's loose lips once and for all, but when all the chips have been chopped up and scattered on the ground I'm guessing Dru will be staying put, right alongside Damon.
As for what else might be in store for us in the coming week, we'll probably return to the Mansion and its inhabitants' battle to wrest the bottle from it's matriarch's shaking hands. And it's about time to return to the subject of what's to be done about Abby's other Daddy. There's so much drama going on in the City right now, I'm guessing that no matter where we look, we should find something to hold our interest.