I could be wrong, but in the case of the missing Casien, I think another piece of the puzzle depicting Brad as the brother was slipped into place during the week. When Brad said he was Cleveland-bound for business, the significance of the city sailed right over my head. But when he muttered to Nikki that he "hadn't been back to Cleveland in years" the flickering bulb in my brain suddenly blazed into steady brilliance, lighting up all the cobwebby corners of my cranium. For years, fans, along with his various wives and in-laws, have inquired in vain as to Brad's unseen and unsaid family roots. But he has been completely closemouthed, revealing little of whom and where he was before being hired as the Abbott hedge clipper. Brad's certainly come a long way since those hot days draping his short-shorts clad buff bod across the bushes for Jill and Traci's viewing pleasure, and except for a very brief side trip on Cassandra Rawlins' gravy train, most of his free ride has been provided courtesy of the Abbott daughters. But because of his adamant refusal to bow and scrape at the clay feet of Ashley's idol, Victor, his days dining at the Abbott table may be dwindling. Of course, since his sperm-snatching guttersnipe of a marriage mate has so alienated me with her self-serving, single-minded pursuit of Victor, in my opinion, Brad being released from Ashley's harness could only be a good thing.
From practically the moment Abby came into existence, Ashley has dismissively delegated her paltry parental duties, too busy floundering in perpetual pity puddles, muddling through maudlin mental malfunctions, or staring at nothing in a catatonic trance, to be bothered with mundane mothering matters. Except for the infrequent instances Brad stepped in to play proud Papa, Frances has been the Mommy on Board, SUV-ing the petite poppet everywhere from day care to doctor's offices. But suddenly, Abby has become Ashley's ever-present shadow, as Mommy uses every excuse imaginable to gallop gleefully after Victor. And while Ashley regularly shows the rest of the world her favorite parlor trick, twisting her dissatisfied mouth into an exact replica of a wrinkled old prune, Victor is always greeted with a grin so wide, it's a wonder her cement-like countenance doesn't collapse into countless cracks and crevices. Every day I think the annoying Ashley can sink no lower, but every day she proves me wrong.
I can't imagine what mind-altering brew Brad had imbibed to cause him to assume his inability to attend the horse and pony show at the Ranch would keep his Victor-besotted bride from going. When in reality, Ashley would probably rather see Jabot go under for the third and final time rather than miss a chance to blink rapidly at Victor. Has inhaling all those unsaleable Jabot scents in the lab addled what brain she has? She actually appeared amazed to learn Brad doesn't suddenly look upon Victor as his new bosom boyfriend. If I had any doubts, which I didn't, Ashley has now proven she's every bit as stupid as that often incomprehensible look on her fickle face makes her appear.
And so, Brad being an unimportant cog in the Victor wheel workings, Ashley gave Francis yet another day off and motored maniacally to Victor's home on the range. To my great glee, she only managed to aim a few blinks of bliss at Victor before her rosy picture of Mommy, Daughter and Sperm Donor Daddy was ripped beyond repair when Nikki, bearing horse riding attire gifts for Abby, broke through the colored construction paper. But my merriment at Ashley's expense didn't end there. I continued to giggle as Nikki picked up pin after pin and stuck it in the arrogant Ashley doll. Foiled at every turn, Ashley's air of excitement ebbed slowly out of her holes as Nikki blocked all her attempts to coo and bill at Victor.
In light of what happened next, I'm certain Miguel was in the kitchen muttering, "if you want something done right, leave it to the hired help" because mere moments after Victor accepted full responsibility for Abby's much anticipated horse ride, the great man returned bearing a limp, unconscious Abby, who had somehow taken a tumble from Starfire's back. This then, was the terrible tragedy that has been mumbled about for weeks, and like so many others I'm guessing in the end it too will prove to have been highly exaggerated.
What will happen next in the long-running stage play of Romeo and Juliet? Although Nikki appeared to be clambering aboard the Abby love boat, perhaps more to be a stick in Ashley's craw than anything else, could the final curtain call be close for these two? Having always been a faithful Nikki-Victor fan, I now have mixed feelings about them. Though the scribes tossed us a bone this week as Victor and Nikki shared a few romantic moments, constant turmoil between the two with very little displayed affection has taken all the fun out of this pairing and left those who once cared with little to cling to. The little softness that was in Victor's soul is apparently mostly reserved for Abby and her addle-brained mother and I've yet to hear from a fan who is glad to hear it. Because for many, Ashley has become one of the City's most universally scorned schemers, is regularly fast-forwarded the moment the camera zooms in on her sour, almost always petulant face, and is almost beyond redemption in many fans eyes. It seems to be becoming the consensus that should Victor and Ashley wind up together, it will be exactly what the other deserves. And I don't think they meant that in a good way.
Having once practically covered Noah's eyes for fear he'd be forever traumatized at the sight of a scantily clad Nicole posing suggestively in the family photo album, Sharon has now decided stripping and strip clubs are "romantic." How powerful and awesome Miss Air for Brains thinks it must be to strut across a spot-lit stage, slowly peeling off layers of her skimpy clothing for the panting pleasure of all with the price of admission. Should the further murdering of Sharon's once above reproach character take place, the question on the table is how her hubby will react. Well, remember, this is the man who regularly encourages his wife to dress as provocatively as possible so all can see for themselves what a hot woman he's married to, so it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it's all just fine and dandy with him. Although as a son, Nick, in his staunch support of his Mom this week, went a long way toward winning back my affection for him, he lost ground as a husband for his nonchalant reaction to Sharon's desire to get down and dirty on Marilyn's stage.
Britt's slightly catty comment about Nikki looking good for "someone her age" made me roll off the couch with cackling mirth. Newsflash, jumping beans for brains, Nikki's age is awfully darn close to your man's. More examples of why the mismatched pairing of May-December Britt and Bobby isn't working were on display this week. Britt's idea of a fun time was hanging out at a 20-something college bash with her 40-something beau, while Bobby's was your bedroom or mine. Crimson Lights was the apparent compromise and surrounded by companions half his age, Bobby looked a lot like a shark out of his salted sea habitat as he balanced carefully on a Crimson stool, hoping he looked like just one of the guys.
He didn't, judging by the Hodges parents' immediate air of disdain upon seeing him perched at the table with Brit, Mac and J.T.. After manfully swallowing his pride for as long as he could, one of the barrage of derogatory darts from the Hodges was finally one too many and Bobby blurted out who was really going to be the groom. Saying the parents were displeased would be putting things way too mildly. Fred Hodges was so incensed he reached to the very bottom of his bag of belittling barbs and accused Bobby of trolling the college campus in search of young dancers for his skin pit. Bobby didn't find that so funny but I laughed so hard my Pepsi went down the wrong pipe and I almost choked to death.
While I'm on the subject of romances that seem doomed from the start, I may as well move on to Jill and Elliott. Who is this woman and where did she hide her brains? No one is buying that Jill would be so hoodwinked by Elliott and so suddenly desirous of being a bride. We won't even talk about how boring he seems. In response to Elliott's easy dismissal of Jack's warnings as jealous sour grapes, Jack delivered a veiled threat to Elliott that there were those who lived to regret taking him lightly. Well, Jack might have managed to keep a straight face when he said that, but I didn't even try. Oh yeah, Jack, just who might those mystery persons be? Because I failed to come up with a single one.
So John and Gloria have done the sheet-tug deed. Maybe it was just me, but watching those two simper at one another brought my finger perilously close to the FF button. I have nothing against romance among the no longer young, but I confess John and Gloria lounging around the living room in their robes while Jack beamed approvingly on made me change my mind about raiding the cupboards for a soap-watching snack.
Okay, I know I'm not the only fan whose mouth dropped open in disbelief when Damon pulled out that tasseled sword. Like that wouldn't cause the alarm bells to clang in warning when he tried to shuffle through the metal detectors. Is he planning to revenge Elias' death on Halloween, disguised as an ancient Chinese Warrior, perhaps?
Finally, Neil uttered those famous words: "You're Fired," no longer able to tolerate the running insults and hand to hand combat of the comedic team of Dru and Phyllis. Next up, the stranded together in the elevator scenario where the ladies have a chance to get all close and chummy. Whatever!
Rumblings from the Rumor Mill: What delicious morsel will Malcolm be bringing to the Genoa City buffet table next month? Will he remember the traitorous bit part brother Neil played in his romantic epic with Alex? They say turnabout is fair play, revenge is sweet, etc., so might he be seeking to return the favor by inserting his handsome self between his brother and his bride? With Damon's descent into despair, will Phyllis tire of being Damon's soft shoulder and look for a new flavor for her coffee? Among the fan guesses, although a nameless scribe once insisted the question of Who's Really Lily's Daddy would never be revisited, some fans wonder whether that has changed. Another story iron in the gossiping fire is whether he might be related in a fatherly way to Devon. How long will he be in town? Some sources claim his return will be brief, but if we learned nothing else from watching the goings on in this City, we know never, ever, to believe the hype.