Much like they did when Damon was the new boy toy in the borough, the scribes seem determined to dip Malcolm into every plot pot simmering on the grease-spattered stove. As if he didn't have enough stuff boiling in his own pot, what with constantly stoking the fires of his burning bitterness against his back-stabbing brother, running round and round the mulberry bush trying to convince Dru he has no plans to demand a Mommy-daughter DNA deposit, not to mention exploring the romantic possibilities with a hotly pursuing Olivia, this man of the moment still has the time and energy to poke his nosy snout into Damon and Phyllis's plight.
Worried the extramarital sheet toss secret she's hidden so long in the darkness might somehow crawl out into the unforgiving bright light of day, much of Dru's immediate joy at Malcolm's miraculous resurrection seems to have ebbed away and if she had her way, Malcolm would probably be magically transported back to the jungles of Africa. Of course, if the rest of her family has their way, Dru's desire to rid the city and her life of Malcolm won't be fulfilled. With no love interest within 100 miles, sister Liv is embarrassingly eager to move Malcolm into the bedroom across the hall from hers, although she's proven much less amenable to restoring him as a father figure in her long missing son's life. Neil has used every emotional plea in his playbook trying to convince his brother to stay, and Lily has nearly drowned her uncle again, this time in the river of tears she's cried, but Malcolm seems determined to quit the Crimson Lights job he's held for all of two days, and shake the sandy soil of this city from his shoes. At least that's how he felt last week. Myself, I doubt he's going anywhere, at least not any time soon.
They say a leopard can't change its spots, so let's hope there's no polecat genes imbedded in Sharon's psyche because you know how she gets when a man pays her appreciative attention. And Brad has been gushingly complimentary. Many fans are already wondering whether something heated will ignite between Brad and Sharon somewhere down the pike while they're busily burning the midnight oil. Now that Nick has witnessed for himself how closely Brad and Sharon are likely to be working, he could have cause for concern. Because I'm sure he hasn't forgotten what happened when he and Grace were too close for celibacy co-workers.
Now that Nick has decided he wants his wife working at Newman, I wonder how long it will be before seeds of discontent sprout and begin to grow wild as weeds in the Newman family plot over Sharon's mouthpiece position. Should she continue to resist Nick's not so subtle demands to transfer her talents from Jabot to Newman, it should be interesting to see how long he'll be willing to pay her salary out of his own personal pocketbook, in essence footing the bill to help Jabot best Newman at the cosmetic game. Nick's probably beginning to realize that in trying to buy Sharon her employment dreams, he figuratively opened Pandora's Box. Now it will be nearly impossible to catch all the hissing snakes that escaped without losing face and favor with his bride. Because Sharon will rightly be livid should she discover that contrary to her proud belief, catching the brass ring on the Jabot merry-go-round had nothing to do with her skill, but was all because Nick paid the ride operator to place it well within her reach. And one last thing, wouldn't it be side-splittingly funny to see the new face of Newman plastered with Jabot cosmetics?
By the way, speaking of Sharon's salary, I would think Jabot had enough problematic portions on its corporate plate without adding a dollop of falsification of federal financial records. Or perhaps I'm being stupid by presuming Sharon's checks will be imprinted with Jabot's name even though they aren't the ones actually putting the pennies in her pocket. So will pretend state, federal and FICA also be deducted?
Of course, if Jack accepts the CI CEO seat Kay has offered, which he surely will, the question of who will pay Sharon's salary and many others will likely be answered. Because I could easily see Jack convincing Katherine to let him use CI to make Jabot financially solvent once and for all, if not through a low interest, long-running loan, than by buying it outright and dragging it out from under the black cloud of bankruptcy to nestle it safely beneath the umbrella of CI. Oh, the possibilities for problems are prolific with Jack in charge at Chancellor. For instance, when he uses CI to continue his campaign of controversy with Victor, which he surely will, what will happen to the close connection between Nikki and Katherine? And will Jack's highhanded control of her inheritance chafe Jill uncomfortably or will they still be able to be occasional bedfellows?
When it comes to the way things are being done these days at Newman, highhanded control would be an improvement. Now free to allow his banked embers of resentment at Daddy demoting him in favor of Neil to flicker into hot and devouring flames, revenge must have tasted especially sweet as Nick savored the satisfaction of knocking down a peg or two the man he would have had to call boss had he ever decided to put in a day's work. However, it looks like Nick has second guessed and undermined Neil for the very last time. And exactly like he did to Nick's father a bit more than a year ago, Neil has decided to desert the Newman ship. While he didn't choose the most professional method of dissolving his ties with Newman, I could hardly blame him for quitting without proper notice. Even though Dru, who apparently would rather be wed to a mouse instead of a man, doesn't feel the same, I felt a hot stab of pride when Neil finally gave the tiny-brained tyrant a piece of his mind along with his low opinion of his questionable talents. And leaving Nick to sink from the weight of his over inflated ego, Neil peeled himself from the carpeted floor, refusing to spend another second as a doormat for Nick's muddy paws. With Victor refusing to stick his knowledgeable nose in Newman matters for fear of again alienating his son and Neil no longer being content being the number two man to a knuckleheaded nitwit, there's now no one to help mop up any muddy messes Nick might make. But, if there is any justice in Genoa City, the day will soon come when this demanding little dictator falls flat on his scruffy chinned face.
Of course, considering the questionable talents she brings to the Newman table (former model, hair remover tester), Dru shouldn't be judged too harshly for worrying that with Neil out of the building, the lease might be up on her room at the Newman Inn as well. Since Sharon's already usurped her former motor mouth position, the next stop for both the Winters might be an office at Chancellor.
Things are looking pretty bleak at Jabot. A fire at the underinsured Bakersfield warehouse has pushed the financially floundering family firm even closer to tumbling into the abyss of bankruptcy. And, as usual, at least according to Brad and the Abbotts, this too, is somehow Victor's fault. John even took a rare breather from his breath of fresh air long enough to spew anti-Victor venom. Even Gloria took a break from racing through John's carefully hoarded funds as fast as she could long enough to calm her husband's end of his company concerns. One good thing for Gloria. Ashley's preoccupation with fixing Jabot's financial future will leave her little time to concern herself with unearthing the two sons skeletons rattling their bones in Gloria's past. As for me, I really couldn't summon up a shred of sympathy for this complaining crew. I remember Brad's arrogant stance as he stood right beside Ashley shoving Jack onto the barge that would float him down the river, the 75 million pieces of silver they'd sold him for jingling in their jeans. Where were all their cries for Jack to save them from themselves then? No, they chose to jettison Jack to lighten their financial load, now want someone to feel sorry while they weep over their unwise decision.
Oh, how the mighty will fall if you give them enough room to topple over. In her scorned woman persona, Ashley was cruel and uncaring, seeming to take definite delight in showing Victor his failure to pick her over Nikki had demolished any hope he'd foolishly had of having a relationship with Abby. Claiming to be too emotionally fragile to be a proper Mommy, she relinquished her adorable daughter to Brad, which virtually bolted the door she'd already slammed in Victor's face. Now she's had to undo the multiple locks and crawl to Victor begging him to allow her brother to save the company captained by people who hate him. And if mine were the only fan hands clapping with approval as Victor indifferently put Ashley in her place, pompously lecturing her about the failings of family companies, so be it. Although I confess I found Victor's price for allowing Jack to gallop in on his white steed like some Knight in Tarnished Armor in hopes of snatching Jabot's burning bacon from the fire - custody of Abby - more than a bit ridiculous. Ashley was right to demur and depart.
Of course, Victor might soon have cause to apply to himself the cutting words he hurled at Ashley about the best way to skipper a family clipper. Because if he allows Nick to continue unchecked on his current course, his incompetent son might run his carefully constructed company right into the ground and Victor may find Newman listed just a few names beneath Jabot on the auction block.
Moving away from business and deep within the personal, it seems the bloom may be completely off the rose for Damon and Phyllis. Using one ridiculous and implausible scenario after another, the scribes are determined to keep Phyllis ever before our horrified eyes. Like the Cameron Kirsten idiocy, the Dominic-Damon debacle continues to drag boringly on. Phyllis' thoughts outside the box led her straight into a somewhat manly disguise. And when an idle policeman spotted her weaving her two ton automobile drunkenly back and forth across the center line, he took her to jail, coincidentally just seconds before an arriving Dominic, without searching her, of course. While I admit Worm did an excellent job making Phyllis look like a man who'd tumbled down the rough side of a mountain, her imitation of an inebriated drunk trying to traverse a level floor was the very worst I've ever had the misfortune to witness. Worm's expertise, however, was not good enough to fool Dominic's sharp eyes, who saw through Phyllis' elaborate disguise, not surprising since she went from sloppy drunk to stone cold sober in 60 seconds, preventing her from getting him to incriminate himself on her pocket recorder.
Also like the convoluted Cameron conspiracy, this, too, is a storyline few admit to being intrigued by and while Dominic is a much more popular villain than Cameron, most want nothing more than for this to be over. And to that end, relief could be in sight. Now that Paul has tossed his helpful hat in the conspiracy ring, this one may be coming to a close. Because despite the Georgia prison's insistence no written or recorded record of Phyllis visit existed, obviously it did. And will soon be on its way. Presumably, Weber is about to pull out his knife and fork so he can eat with displeasure his ill-advised words to Phyllis. For Weber, as he prematurely claimed, this second time attempting to bring Phyllis to Genoa City justice will not be the charm. And exactly as she warned, he is about to wind up looking like a moron once again.
As for Damon and Phyllis, it seems a lifetime ago since she and her man muffin enjoyed that euphoric afterglow of shared affection. Her once mellow minded guru is now quite disgruntled with her. Because thanks to Phyllis' latest act of unthinking stupidity, Weber was forced to toss her co-conspirator, Damon, in jail. Unfortunately, unlike Phyllis, Damon does not get to pass Go by paying an exorbitant bond and may have to remain behind bars until such time as his counsel uncovers enough evidence to set him free. I wonder if he now wishes he'd listened more intently when everyone who knew Phyllis repeatedly warned him against linking his life to hers.
Having searched unsuccessfully for something or someone to make him return to a semblance of his former self, Victor returned from his sojourn of self-discovery with the same unanswered questions skittering inside his skull. But Nikki, apparently fed up to here with her husband's yearly solo jaunts, is refusing to melt like butter into Victor's arms. This time it's going to take more than a mouthful of Victor's gruff, mumbled words of long and enduring love to win her back for the hundredth time. With Nikki's claim to no longer let her love for Victor consume her, it might appear the final chapter of the allegedly greatest love story in Genoa City history is about to be written, but rumor has it a big romantic gesture may be just down the storyline road that could make everything right with the Newman's love world.
Turnabout, as they say, is fair play. Just as Victor gave Phyllis and her then surly son permission to reside temporarily at the ranch, now Nikki has bestowed upon Bobby and Brittany the same favor. For some Genoa Citians, especially those who move in with their more financially responsible fellow citizens, time has no real meaning because although Phyllis was invited to stay only until she found an appropriate place of her own, she has done nothing to make that happen, too busy entangling herself in Damon's problems to have time to so much as glance at the real estate section of the classifieds. And with Bobby's bank account so low the bank is probably threatening to close his account entirely and his child bride apparently having no intention of ever working again, there's no reason to believe the Marsino's stay will be brief.
By the way, if one is hoping to become gainfully employed in the field of home or office renovation, one might want to give the busy little burg of Genoa City a wide berth. Why Bobby would begin a renovation he was financially incapable of finishing is beyond me. And why can't the Marsino's do like most people who renovate - live in the part that's not being worked on? Guess that might be asking too much of the pampered little princess.
Of course, unlike the now stalled renovations at Bobby's condo and the half-finished work at Jabot, lack of finances cannot possibly be the reason for the holdup at Baldwin & Williams. Although it's been months, Paul's office burro remains incomplete, forcing him to continue to store his metal briefcase beneath Chris' desk. Although it is beyond the scope of my comprehension, the scribes must have a reason for the Williams' to continue to share this office box. I confess I really don't care enough to strain my brain wondering about it.
Poor Mackenzie. No longer able to stand the light of adoring devotion that shines brightly from J.T.'s eyes every time he turns his gaze on Brittany's blinding beauty, Mac decides to move back to the mansion. Even after learning the Marsino's have taken up residence under someone else's roof and no longer need to squeeze their belonging into Brittany's cramped room at the loft, Mac still refuses to return to her room next to J.T.'s. With little evidence of paid employment, it will be interesting to see how J.T. alone will be able to make a monthly rent that was once shared by four.
I still want Mac to find romance. I know she's developed a sweet tooth for J.T. but I still wouldn't mind a match-up between her and Kevin. Daniel can always set his Mac-disappointed sights on Colleen when she returns to the City, which would leave J.T. free to pick up the pieces if the ridiculous pairing of Bobby and his baby bride ever falls apart.
AND FINALLY, FANS, BEFORE I TURN IT OVER TO THOSE WHO WROTE, PLEASE KEEP YOUR OPINIONS OF 2004 COMING. THEY ARE HILARIOUS!