CRISIS: A time of intense difficulty or danger. For certain Genoa City families, that definitely described their current situations this week. Come to think of it, these families are perpetually in crisis, so I guess that pretty much sums up their entire existence.
Let's begin with the Winters clan.
When it came to receiving a slice of the blame pie for Neil's unplanned plop into a pile of snow, every Winters' family member, save Liv, found a portion on his or her plate. Dru for her inattention to the family birthday calendar, Devon for stomping off in a huff to the zoo over it and Lily for driving at highway speed for a curbside pickup. A slice also went to the parent who let Lily get behind the wheel and another for the one who didn't disagree. The remaining slab landed on Malcolm's plate for his playful antics which carried both brothers into the street in the first place. Through the long week that followed, along with slinging buckets of blame at each other, each member of the clan also freely faulted themselves. Oh what wringing of the hands and gnashing of the teeth ensued as all the Winters whimpered and wailed over their fallen father, husband, brother, clutching him and one another. Prayers were whispered, regrets were agonizingly aired and tears flowed like a bubbling brook. Poor Devon, a Winters by association only, was so filled with guilt he summarily summoned Mrs. Davis, begging to be sentenced to the punishing rigors and iron-fisted rule of the dreaded group home just so the Winters would never have to glimpse his guilty face again. Nick Newman even appeared, assuring Lily God had a plan for the amazing man who worked with him, not for him, and it didn't include taking him away to sing tenor in His celestial choir. I guess God was listening because, miracle of miracles, when the bleeding was banished, the sutures sown, it was announced the Winters patriarch would live to fight with his family for many more days to come.
But if you thought Neil's coming recovery meant the end of the crisis, you might as well slap your thinking cap right back on your head. Because another crushing calamity was already crouching in the corner. And the horrifying monster looks just like Phyllis.
Okay, pardon me fans, while I rant and rage with impotent ire about this meddling manipulator.
I remember a long ago time when I actually felt a measure of mild fondness for Miss Phyllis. On those rare occasions when a sliver of softness and vulnerability made it through her shellacked shell. Not when she was using every man, woman and child she could get her mitts on for use in her Danny mantrap. Not when she was altering records, blackmailing psychiatrists, kidnapping counselors, mowing down enemies, setting rooms (with a former best friend inside) aflame, helping Brittany pretend she'd bedded Billy and during all the many other monstrous moments recorded in her massive memory book. But as she struggled mightily to produce a little bunny for her Jackrabbit, I was the fan on the sidelines cheering madly for a medical miracle that might make her a Mom. When Gina nastily denied her even a look at a likeness of young Daniel, I found myself dabbing at the corners of my misty eyes for her obvious pain. And finally, if I could have reached through the screen and snatched Diane out of the picture when she was determinedly trying to destroy Phyllis and her marriage, I would have done so. I remember day after day, arguing Phyllis' case to my Mom. "Look at poor Phyllis," I would say. "See how she cries. Oh how my heart aches for poor, maligned Phyllis." My Mom would let out a quite ladylike snort. "I don't feel sorry for her at all," she would cackle. "She's no good and deserves every thing she gets." Well, as is often the case, Mother was right. She knew of what she spoke.
Is Phyliss' life so empty of excitement she must create some by constantly injecting her unwanted self in someone else's situation? Especially since she's got so many skeletons rattling around in her closet, it's a wonder there's any room at all for those revealing scraps of skimpy cloth she calls clothing. She has the colossal gall to talk to Dru about not living a lie. This from a woman whose entire life has been a series of lies. Guess that's a sure sign Phyllis is doing her job because I hate her and wish she would die. I know, that's a bit extreme, but darn it, I just can't help it. I'd like to beat her into the ground with her own stiletto heel. And boy, does she ever have a big set of brass cahones. I couldn't believe she actually dug in Dru's purse to check her incoming phone calls! Dru will lie, she tells Malcolm. Dru needs to control. Well, what about her manipulative, lying behind?
So what does she plan to do with the intercepted DNA results? Does she just want to be the bearer of good or bad news or is she planning to do what she does best? Something deceptive. Will she give Malcolm a daughter or take one away? And how stupid she sounded, comparing her situation with Malcolm's. Sure she played a part in Daniel's creation. But why? So when he grew up she could ignore him? As for feeling empty all the years they were apart, the only empty places in this cow is the space that should contain a caring heart and the hole that should have a brain in it that minds its own business. Which brings me to her latest deception. Pretending to be Dr. Winters. Not cool and not cute. Malcolm ought to cut her branch off his friendship tree for this one. And before I forget, a good hard whack with the stupid stick to the delivery company for handing over sensitive material to some strange woman with no ID proving she was who she said she was. As for Phyllis, curses to the bothersome, manipulative, middle aged meddler. May the demons of Hades pursue her relentlessly through all eternity.
Okay, I'm finished now. Whew! I feel so much better.
Just my opinion, but Malcolm's argument that he needs to know if he's leaving something behind in the world is weak. Why does he need to know? If he's no longer in the world, what difference does it make who he left behind? He should be content to know he would be leaving behind a brother who never knew of his back-stabbing, sofa bed betrayal. And buying into his new found need to play at Daddy-hood is proving impossible for this fan as well. Because Mr. Footloose and Fancy Free wasn't concerned about said possible daughter all these years. So I say, since he let sleeping dogs lie this long, there's no point in waking them up now just because he has a sudden hankering to play fetch the stick.
Being in crisis is certainly nothing new to the Hatfields and McCoys, more commonly known as the Abbotts and Newmans. But unlike the aforementioned feuding families, their Genoa City counterparts don't only limit their feud to family members of their enemy. Their battles within the ranks of their own clans are equally as bitter.
First, the Abbotts. Jack just never learns, does he? Despite knowing his Dad was adamantly against becoming a subsidiary of anyone, even CI, Jack plowed ahead anyway. I guess he's forgotten what happened when he went against John's advice not to take the company public, leaving the door open for Victor to buy up the stock. Wasn't that the start of Jabot's current quandary? And Jack, despite his good intention to "save" Jabot from Victor, is basically stealing from Chancellor for his own ends. Just because he thinks it's for the good of his family doesn't make him any better than the Elliott embezzler he replaced. Because he's going behind Kay's back to spend her money in a way he's almost sure she wouldn't approve of. As is his promise to place Jill in a position to lead Jabot into the next century even though never doing so was one of the strings Kay attached securely to his CI CEO seat. Another example of Jack's promises turning out to be nothing but hot and smelly air. And what of his father, his sister? When asking for a show of Board of Director's hands, I didn't see Jack dropping that little Jill to be in charge chunk of dog doo in the middle of the living room. That's because he knew John, Ashley, Brad and Nikki would never have cast their assenting votes if it meant eventually having to take orders from a woman who stole her way into the family company. I hope Kay finds out what Jack and Jill have been up to before it's too late and snatches that plump Jabot plum right out of Jill's greedy paws.
Next, the Newmans. The tug of war over Jabot took another ludicrous lurch this week. Putting his Daddy's hard-earned Newman company money where his mealy mouth was, Nick met with the three stooges, I mean the three bankers, and arranged to repay the moneylenders 100% of Jabot's gigantic debt. Flushed scarlet with victory, Nick triumphantly advised his father his days marching majestically through the halls of Jabot were numbered. Because Mommy needed her man trotting obediently behind her at home, he claimed. Of course, all he managed to accomplish by putting his inept paw prints on the Jabot foreclosure plan was to entrench his Daddy deeper in Jabot territory. But, refusing to be outdone by his dolt of a son, in return Victor flexed his own muscles, which turned out to be considerably bigger than Nick's, pledging a small portion of his own personal pocket change to pay off the loans. And after hemming and hawing a bit, inwardly weighing Victor's future clout against his son's, the bankers figuratively told the little Newman lad to go play in a sandbox somewhere while the grownups took care of grownup matters. "Foul, foul," young Master Newman almost cried, practically stomping his well-shod little foot in fury. "Well, I quit," he childishly continued, tossing the Newman CEO toy on the ground and kicking it across the room. "I don't want it no more," he wailed like a big, bearded baby. Yeah, like he's going to stick to that whining statement. Because if he did, Sharon would have to chew and swallow all those bitter barbs she recently flung at Victor. Speak up Sharon. I can't hear all your boastful words from here. What was that again about Victor standing in your way? I wish Victor would have accepted his resignation, but he didn't bother, probably knowing tomorrow would likely find him changing his petulant tune. But I admit, I take my pleasures where I can get them and it did my foolish heart good to see Nick get just a little of what I think he has coming to him. Victoria can't come home quick enough for me!
So, what happens next? Contrary to his own promised words, thanks to his birdbrain boy, Victor has now effectively taken over Jabot, making Jack's prediction a self-fulfilling prophecy. My stomach curdles just picturing Jack stomping pompously around, that supercilious smirk on his puss, crying "I told you so, I told you so." As always, for Jack, it's all Victor's doing. Oh, that recent conversation he had with Nick, the one where Nick made it clear he was up to no good? Yeah, I know, two treacherous minds toiling in tandem. "Oh that was nothing," I'm sure Jack would claim, in his haste to lay the cause for every calamity at Victor's feet. And what of Jack's plan to buy up 51% to give Jabot the funds to pay Victor off and send him packing? For my part, I pray his plan works so Victor would be forced to return to where I happen to think he belongs, at Newman.
I've come to believe that Nick, along with his good pal, Jack, reside in some alternate reality. Where the sky is green, the grass is blue, the stars glitter by day and the sun shines at night. How else to explain how everything is, without fail, always Victor's fault. Even when a plan they themselves put into motion goes awry, through their cloudy eyes, it still manages to somehow wind up Victor's fault. Do these pretend men ever take responsibility for their own bad ideas?
One thing can certainly be said about Nick Newman. It seems that in at least one area, he's been completely consistent. I haven't forgotten his many comments claiming Jack was much more father than the one God gave him. Well, he's proven to be an equal opportunity son because he's now bayoneted both fathers in the back. By the way where does Nick get off, accusing Ashley of crossing the line by hiring Victor? Since when did he become Jabot company policy police? Did God turn over running of the world to Nick when I wasn't paying attention? Or was He too busy to take care of GC, so delegated his duties to Nick?
And lastly, Nikki. For my part, I quite enjoyed GC's Romeo and Juliet's Valentine's Day date at the Newman Ranch on the Range. It was wonderful to see the magic of Nikki and Victor is still alive and flourishing. Dancing to an instrumental version of their song, those of us who still love this couple took a mental trip back, looking misty-eyed through the eyes of their long lasting love. For the others, it was likely fast-forward material or a moment to make a munchie march to the kitchen. But that was one magical night. The sun has now come up and Nikki's back to looking through the eyes of reality at her life. And she's made it clear she's quite unhappy with the picture she sees. I have to say it, if she's so darn unhappy, maybe it's time she just moved on. She's acting as if she just recently realized she's married to a workaholic. Enough of all that simpering at Bobby Marsino. "Victor doesn't pay me enough attention." Sniff, sniff, boo hoo. If she wants a kept man she can keep on a leash, I'm sure there are plenty for sale on the GC market. And for a man so allegedly in love with his child bride, Bobby sure looks at Nikki with admiring orbs of infatuation. Perhaps Mr. Marsino should take his wife's advice and leave the Newman premises before he participates in some love play he knows he shouldn't. He might find himself bricked up in the basement.
And for our final family in crisis, when it comes to dysfunction, no family does it better than the Fisher/Baldwin brothers and their money-grubbing Mama.
After being rejected by Mac and running to Gloria for comfort, I enjoyed seeing Kevin hold her accountable for once for her part in his flawed makeup. I know, I know, Kevin has done some horrendous things, but when he ran to Mommy, as if still hoping she could somehow make his owwee all better, I could almost see the lost little boy he must have been crying in that closet while his Mom was in some saloon slugging back shots and shooting pool with Terrible Tom.
Good for Kevin for his nonviolent reaction to Mac and J.T.'s date. With his track record, perhaps he ought to consider putting a big red X across Valentine's Day from now on. As for his therapy scenes, I loved them. I know from lurking on various message boards, that the consensus seems to be split about his session. Some hated the way it was filmed, while others loved it. The opinions seem to be those that hate Kevin, hated the sessions, those that love, like, or at least tolerate Kevin found them more interesting. I liked the way the constantly re-focusing camera seem to be attempting to show Kevin's pent-up rage, frustration, helplessness, nervousness and vulnerability. The shots of his hair sticking up, nervous hand motions, rapidly blinking eyes, pacing, the way he went step by step from practically being hysterical to an almost eerie calmness. I thought his acting was superb. Kudos to all who had a hand in this one. It definitely got my thumbs up.
I realize Kevin's past traumas do not excuse his present misbehavior, and I understand J.T.'s hatred of Kevin given what he tried to do to Colleen, but still J.T. has begun to try my nerves even though I still like him, though nowhere near as much as I did at one time. So you can probably guess I was thrusting my pom poms in the air for Michael's on target rebuttals to J.T.'s sarcastic statements. More and more the song lyrics "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with," fit the spoiled charmer like a latex glove. Being female seems to be his only requirement. Colleen, Anita, Brittany, Miss One Night I don't remember her name Stand and now Mac. J.T.'s feelings of love seem to change as often as the direction of the capricious Genoa City wind. Soon he will have sampled all the girls. Until recently, Mac hadn't even been a blip on his romance radar even after she laid that dry lip press on him at Colleen's birthday bash. Now he's all, you're so beautiful, here's a gift, now let me gaze with love and wonder into your eyes. So is this sudden attraction real, or just a little row boat to ride in until a bigger, better love boat sails into his harbor? Except for Brittany, J.T.'s broken all the other girls hearts. I hope Mac doesn't give away the key to hers too quickly.
Finally, since the week did contain Valentine's Day, I'm sending a bouquet of sympathetic flowers to Cupid. Because what with Lauren and Michael's interrupted date, Kevin and Mac's date that never was, J.T. and Mac's unimaginative match up, along with all the family feuding going on, poor Cupid had a hard time locating many cooing couples to pierce with his arrows. I'm sure he would have sent an arrow winging its way toward the young Newmans, but after hovering above their table, he obviously realized Nick was pouring on the blarney so thick any arrow he would have shot would only have gotten bogged down in the gooey mush without ever reaching its destination.
Wow! The fans had plenty to say about this week and as usual, they didn't bite their tongues one bit. So I'm opening up the floodgates and letting all they had to say pour out.