As expected, much of the week was consumed with the sad aftermath of Cassie's death. Black was the attire color of choice for both family members and all attendees. As I looked around at the somber faces at the sparsely attended memorial service, I found myself wondering whether it was possible I had been snoring lightly in the midst of a brief catnap when the Newman's announced Cassie's ceremony would be private. I do recall Nick angrily predicting they'd be practically overrun by scores of inquisitive citizens swooping around like vultures, supposedly ravenous to hear for themselves every choked-back sob and morbidly track the path of each solitary tear that trickled down a Newman's cheek. But it appears Nick's fears were groundless. If one had only the service to go by, it would certainly seem as if other than her family, Cassie was not going to be missed by many. After all, she's been attending Walnut Grove Academy for the rich and perhaps someday famous for quite a number of years. Yet, where were the crying classmates, the sober-toned teachers, the hush-voiced headmaster or mistress? For that matter, where were the employees of Crimson Lights? Sadly, even those supposedly sharing more than a nodding acquaintance with Cassie were conspicuously absent. Like Millie, Alice, Grace, Sierra, Devon, Lily and Mac, the latter so consumed with her panting pursuit of J.T., she wasn't even aware Cassie had taken her last labored breath.
While I buy that in real life Nick's solitary manner of not handling his grief is all too common (remember Damon?), something about using Cassie's death to create the fast-growing strain in the Newman marriage seems like an easy way out and doesn't quite ring true to me. Their anger and arguments seem to have begun a little too soon. Why is Sharon shoving so hard for Nick to weep inconsolably on her shoulder? He never has before. Obviously Cassie's death is going to be the wedge that divides them, though I have to confess Nick and Sharon not getting along for whatever reason doesn't hold much interest for me. Due to their extreme character changes over the past couple of years, they bear little resemblance to the cute couple I used to like, and I long ago ceased to care what happens to them. It's not as if anyone believes they'll actually reach and cross the line of divorce. So for me, all this new distance between them means is that I'll be spared their endless lust-a-thons. Just my opinion, but that's definitely a good thing.
What I am interested in is what will happen next at Newman Enterprises. I'm guessing Nick will spend so much time stoking his anger to white-hot proportions he probably won't have much left to micro manage his employees. So who will step in to overfill his small shoes? Neil is an obvious choice, but Victor or Victoria would be better ones. And just to add a little spice to the corporate pot, whichever Newman takes over could call on Brad for assistance as well. As long as a vengeful Nick is not calling the shots, Phyllis can probably count on keeping her web mistress position, at least for the foreseeable future.
By the way, what possessed rock hardhead Phyllis to don her black funeral wear and attend Cassie's service anyway? I realize Daniel's actions can't be attributed to her, but if she really wanted to pay her respects to the family, she could have fulfilled her debt by signing the guest book before the service when none of the family members were around. She should have expected every harsh word hothead Nick bit off and spat at her. And to say she wanted to represent her son! As far as the Newman's are concerned, Daniel's irresponsible behavior is the reason for their distress. They hardly need a representative in the form of Phyllis reminding them of that.
If I was a kinder, gentler soul, this would be the point in the column where I would proclaim my heart-felt empathy for Phyllis. I would say how beautifully she's playing the part of a mother eaten up with worry at her son's predicament. I would even go so far as to say how deeply I felt her pain. But I'm not saying any of those things. I guess I just don't like Phyllis because I wasn't the least bit moved by her fears and tears. If she hadn't insisted Daniel cut himself off so completely from Lily, not because she really feared his connection with Alex might be uncovered, but simply because she was the seed of hated Drucilla, Daniel would never have had a reason to drown his broken-hearted sorrow in not so strong drink.
It seems there's no end to the ripples caused by Cassie's untimely departure. Her jealousy apparently appeased by the severance of Victor and Abby's connection by way of the long-ago riding mishap, Nikki now suddenly wants to use Abby as a Bandaid to make Victor's Cassie-sized wound feel a bit better. Although considering who really seems to have the final say when it comes to when and where the little moppet comes and goes, perhaps her request should have been asked of Brad. Nikki wasn't the only one who wants Abby to fill some of their empty places. Ashley must finally consider herself mentally whole and is ready to ink her name in several free nights on Abby's calendar as well. But if she's going to get Brad to agree with her, she'll probably have to move out of the crowded Abbott Inn into one of her own. Or, at the very least, get some of the current occupants to vacate the premises.
Of course, if Gloria's haunting has its intended effect, the Inn will soon contain one less freeloader, I mean guest. Gloria is so focused on getting rid of Gitta, she hasn't noticed John isn't at all interested in Gitta, at least not in that way. On the other hand, Kevin is certainly reaping the benefits of Gloria's scare tactics. Allegedly lonely for a kind, sensitive man like the one before her, Gitta liberally ladled on the compliments and Kevin gobbled them up as quickly as he could. Unfortunately, for Kevin, he makes an excellent case for the saying, "lucky in cards, unlucky in love." Buying a winning lottery ticket was probably his one chance to soak in the warming sun. Since we know what he doesn't, that Gitta's interest in him is probably 99 and three quarters percent green card, I doubt that when it comes to he and love, the third time will be the charm. No, it's more likely that love or even strong liking is about to elude him yet again.
Okay, what DA or detective anywhere in any city takes such an interest in the whereabouts of an alleged criminal? It would be different if Daniel had already missed his court date, but it has yet to arrive. And while I'm on the subject of Daniel, I wish certain well-intentioned, but obviously uninformed, citizens would stop referring to Daniel as a fugitive Lily is helping to hide. He's not a fugitive ... yet. So Lily isn't breaking any laws ... yet, although that's probably about to change. Both Phyllis and Malcolm are convinced Lily knows where Daniel is hiding yet neither has thought to follow her. If they don't do so soon, it will probably be too late. Because I look for the infatuated teens to clean out every cent on their debit cards and take off for a place more distant than the edge of the Abbott compound.
Well, at least we know the words Cassie spoke before expiring. "It wasn't Daniel's fault, don't blame him." Call me overcritical, but that was easier than "I was driving!!??" Anyway, as expected, Nick misunderstood the words true meaning - as anyone would - and jumped to the erroneous conclusion that Daniel had somehow manipulated Cassie into lifting him off the hook. Ahh, what I wouldn't give for the CSI team. Or Perry Mason. Or even Columbo. Anyone but the two slow-moving brains inside Williams and Williams.
The mismatched Marsino's provided a little welcome hilarity during the week. Watching pregnant soap women always causes me to wonder from whom and what comedy show they received their inspiration. Waddling around and cradling her not all that big of a belly as if she's a day away from delivery. It ought to be a rule that any soap siren about to pretend a pregnancy is required to go and hang out with some actual pregnant women for a day to see how it's really done. Brittany was as annoying as always with her syrupy-sweet simpering. But Bobby was kind of cute pumping his fist in self-congratulation at the news they had a little Joshua bun in Brittany's oven.
But Bobby wasn't laughing at all a little later, however, when he learned of the arrival of the latest in the line of anonymous gifts. Now, I'll be the first to admit what I know about the mob wouldn't even fill the tip of a tiny thimble, but Bobby knows a whole lot more and he has to know dealing with them the way he's doing is just not done. At the rate he's going, little Joshua's going to wind up coming into the world a fatherless child.
Speaking of born, I wish Mackenzie Browning had never been. Who IS this woman anyway? She answers to Mackenzie's name, but that's about all she has in common with the previous occupants of Mac's body. In her zeal to be the next lucky lass to be able to utter, "my boyfriend," just prior to worshipfully whispering J.T.'s name, is she finally prepared to proffer that most precious of her bodily belongings, a prize she has carefully guarded for 20-some years, adamantly refusing to share it even with the alleged love of her life outside of a marital bed? Are we really supposed to buy that she's suddenly gung ho to loosen all the strings on her morality bag. Now she's gadding gaily about in as little as possible in a maddening "what you can do, I can do better" competition with J.T. in every known arena and playing peek-a-boo in a steam-filled men's sauna. Just to prove she can be both one of his boys and the wild woman of his dreams? She's one of those irritating women who insist their beau make the decision as to what to do on a date, and then proceeds to shoot down virtually every idea he comes up with. As I force myself through yet another of their rather repetitive encounters, my stomach pitching and roiling in protest, I find myself repeatedly mumbling: and how old are they supposed to be again? Just my opinion, but the scribes can supply all the mushy romantic music they want to accompany their silly scenes, but I'm not feeling a thing. On my scale of one to five, this couplet rates a big round zero.
Terrible Tom and Ashley. Now there's an unlikely link-up. I have to agree with Tara below. Not really believable that Ashley would be attracted to him. Off the subject, sort of, why exactly did Michael have to come bounding up to the bar of the Athletic Club in search of a bottle of water, when as we've plainly and repeatedly seen, there are always giant buckets of bottles on ice in the workout room. I don't know what Tom has planned for Ashley, but unless Michael is as tough as the threatening words he's spoken to Tom, what Tom might do to him will not be pleasant. Michael's dirty tricks are more suited to the courtroom; Tom may be much more than he can handle. Of course, I would be overjoyed if Michael proved he was match for Tom and then some. Time will, of course, tell.
Again this week, a lot of fans still had something to say about Cassie. Jessica gives us a view of Genoa City doings from the eyes of a teen. And to round things out Tara, well, you know Tara, she gives it to us as only she can. Enjoy!