I know many fans have labeled Devon a lifelong lamenter, always whimpering about how he feels like a square peg trying to squash himself into a Winters family round hole. No matter how hard he tries, he just can't feel quite like one of the clan. But if you look at the past through my biased eyes, perhaps you might see that his thinking isn't really all that far off the mark. Because in Winters Wonderland, in the end, no matter what egregious situation any other family member might be suffering through, time after time it will always come back to being all about Lily. If you don't believe me, here's a brief summary to back up my belief.
When Dru schemed so mightily to trick her hesitant husband into accepting the little orphaned boy into their testy trio, Neil immediately marked his X in the heck no column, citing the necessity to continuously nurture the always emotionally needy Lily. After all, though it had been months and months in the past, little Lily had yet to recover from being ensnared in the gnarly net of cyber stalker, statutory rapist, STD transmitting Kevin Fisherman. Shortly after that, it became Alex who was to blame for the melancholy moue on Lily's down turned mouth. Eventually, though, Neil was persuaded to throw wide the family door so Devon could make them a fretting foursome. But for Devon, having been in a foster family place somewhat like this before, to disastrous results, he couldn't quite believe his good fortune and one forgotten birthday later, packed his duffel and departed. Which finally bought him his basking time in the sun during the two or three shows it took to find and fetch him from the lion's den. Of course, Lily, ever watchful for ways to keep the family lens focused firmly on herself, ineptly managed to mow down her daddy by SUV, instantly diverting the sideshow from her bewildered foster brother back to herself. Then, even as Daddy fought fiercely for his life, it continued to be about Lily as she, leaning heavily on Daniel's sympathetic shoulder, stumbled onto what she believed was the sordid truth surrounding her siring. Which, though she doesn't yet know it, wasn't the whole truth and nothing but. Sure there was that festive little impromptu belated surprise party for Devon's suddenly remembered birthday, but he hardly had time to draw a full breath of relieved hope that his family could now be just like the Cleavers. Because darn if that wasn't when Lily decided that in spite of her nightmarish experience with Kevin, forbidden love was still the only kind she was interested in. Which dragged the Winters (and unfortunately we fans right along with them) full circle. You know, back to everything being about Lily, who's now gone away without permission, managing yet again to make herself the focal point of every bit of her family's undivided attention.
In her absence, Devon, of course, has officially been appointed the family scapegoat, a convenient target at which both parents can aim their rants of disappointment and rage. So, keeping in mind all of the above, can you really blame Devon for suddenly longing for a real Mom of his own? Even one as dysfunctional and perhaps unfit as his has been described to be.
Moving on to another family who is also ever in one state or another of disarray or despair. Yes, that would be the Newmans. As Ma and Pa Newman wring their hands and endlessly discuss the terrible toll their stubborn son's thirst for vengeance is taking on their daughter-in-law and only remaining grandchild, said son continues to spontaneously erupt, spewing super-heated words and murderous intentions everywhere he goes. Consumed with his desire to snuff out the last breath of life from Daniel, the furthest thing from Nick's enraged mind is Newman Enterprises. So though he rudely declared on numerous occasions how little his father's help was needed or wanted, he recently began singing a slightly different tune titled "Daddy, Would You Do This?" And Daddy was lightning quick to croon right back: "He Most Certainly Would." Of course Nick was much too preoccupied to notice the tiny little string dangling from Victor's quick acquiescence. For although Victor's been called many derogatory things by former friends and vanquished foes, I don't believe stupid was ever one of them. And despite the tragic set of circumstances temporarily placing him in position to call the company shots, he refused to pass up what could be his only opportunity to rearrange a piece or two on the company game board.
So while Nick was determining how best to bring the back to justice marching band music directly to Daniel, Victor was offering a newly minted key to the CEO suite to Victoria. And although Victoria had just received another offer, second in command at Jabot, I presume she knew better than to repeat her past mistake and refuse Victor's second offer to run Newman Enterprises. Even though according to Jack, being second in command at Jabot was no heaping plate of chopped liver. I don't know about that but I do know that with Jill as the madwoman in charge, it's no sweet plump plum either. By the way, was Jack's tongue tucked firmly in his cheek or his fingers crossed behind his back when he told Victoria not to worry because "Jill answers to me?" I'm sure he didn't intend his boastful words to be funny but I sure hooted like a hysterical hyena. Because with Kay on her side Jill answers to no one. She never again needs to worry about not having eyes implanted in the back of her head to watch for betraying blades flying toward her back. Because Kay is doing an outstanding job as Seeing Eye dog. Sadly, Jack is apparently the last to know that when it comes to Jabot, he's become an ineffectual puppeteer with cut strings, a king without a kingdom so to speak.
But getting back to Newman, Nick isn't likely to appreciate Daddy giving away the store, even temporarily, but at the moment, there isn't room for more than one thought in his angry brain. And neither Victor nor Victoria is part or parcel of it. But once Daniel has been found and brought back to face the dum-dum-dum-dum-dum music (don't hold your breath fans, I doubt it will be anytime too soon), it's a given Nick will be none too pleased to find his sister in charge. And once planted it will be interesting to see how Nick will manage to uproot her. Because once Victoria has gotten one slender toe inserted in the door, she'll probably fight tooth and fingernail to keep Nick from kicking it aside to lock the door against her. Victor's given her a nibble and I'll bet she'll try to eat the whole enchilada.
Actually, Victor couldn't have picked a better point in which to inject Victoria into the business fray. What with Nick busily chucking poisonous revenge-filled spears at any shadow bearing even the remotest resemblance to Daniel, Sharon as the spokesperson who's yet to speak even once holding things together at the home front (you know by mostly delegating all the duties a non-working Mom would normally do to Miguel, Victoria or Nikki) because after all she's mired in mourning and can't possibly be expected to do it herself, Phyllis agonizing over her absent son, Dru diva-ing dramatically about in pursuit of her also absent seed, and Neil going about things in his usual by the book manner by calling in the law, it appears there's no one at Newman but the support staff. And without their bosses to issue them instructions, with the exception of loyal Connie, they're all probably lolling at their desks twiddling their thumbs and surfing the net.
Okay, it's time to ramble on a bit about the runaways. Judging from some of the fan comments recently, some fans are not taking a whole lot of pleasure in watching this pair's pitiful plight. As for me, I find them tolerable, although it's more than a bit unbelievable that this pampered prince and princess think they'd be able to live life on the lam. But I admit I'd watch them all hour if it saved me from having Mac and J.T. inflicted on my delicate sensibilities. Just a couple of things that made me go "Hmmm" once or twice. Like Paul picking this particular time to leave town. Since he was aware the two had skipped town, it seemed a very odd time for him to leave. And are there no phones where he is? Shouldn't he have immediately put those mysterious and extremely efficient "contacts" on alert the moment he learned the two had motored merrily away? To impart the usual instructions, you know, check out planes, trains and "leave the driving to us" Greyhound? Why, they would likely have had Lily and Daniel pinpointed before they even reached that rat's hole they decided to bed down in. Guess there were no Motel 6's on their route. So this situation has made poor Phyllis feel like the town Pariah. Hmmmm. And that's a new feeling for this mouthy misfit? By the way, I see the big freak was very glad to call on Kevin "little freak" Fisher for aid in tracking the teens. And lastly, in the column titled "Alrighty then," is listed this action. While hiding out at the playhouse, Daniel was concerned when Lily made one call to his cell. But what seemed to be mere moments away from Genoa City (though we're supposed to believe it was hours), he's pulling cash from his ATM? Knowing everyone would be on the lookout for any monetary transactions. Well, alrighty then. By the way, I'd sure like to see the balance in their debit accounts. Must be quite substantial since they're both acting as if they can live forever on whatever their parents have previously deposited.
All right. Enough about the children. Let's move on to a childlike adult. Like Ashley and her romance with the rough edged Terrible Tom, not his real last name, Callahan. No, I take that back. Bobby Marsino has rough edges; TT is more like one big, battered Brillo pad. Only a woman such as marshmallows for brain matter Ashley would find herself spellbound by this socially inept oaf. He tosses his outerwear atop the nearby exercise equipment and works out in his undershirt? And what man having reached Tom's advanced age wouldn't know his way around a hand weight? Then, without even a pretense of patting soap and water on his sweaty, stinky self, he puts his clothes right back on and proceeds to wine, down and shower Ashley with Gina gotten flowers! Oh sure, Ashley, that would impress me! And what about his angry over reaction to Ashley handling his phone? Anyone with sense would know that meant he must have something to hide. Oh, that's right we're still talking about Ashley here. Who has about as much sense as the Creator gave a mosquito. Why was helpful Hannah so determined to answer his phone anyway? Surely the sheltered one has heard of voice mail. But even after the flapping red flag of his out of proportion to the incident ire had left a mark on her flawless cheek, once Tom had groveled his way back into her good graces, Ashley still stumbled blindly along, accepting his apology that he'd never bite her head off again. According to Mr. Callahan, he's a wide open book with large, legible print inside. Yeah, as long as you only want to read the table of contents. I'm sure the book's chapters have print much too tiny to make out.
Ugh, ugh, and one more ugh for good measure. Mac and J.T. did it. And I sincerely thank all who were responsible for sparing me the sound and partial sight of it. I've droned on and on about what I think about this unpalatable pairing in previous columns, so won't bore you with a repeat. And no he didn't sing her a sappy song! I confess that was the point when all the stuff being poured into my personal goblet hit the rim and started spilling over. And I could no longer hold myself back. Yep. Me and my FF button shot right through it. And when they play it again this coming week, which my lurking tells me they are going to, I'm going to flash right past it again. Mac might want to hold tight to that afterglow feeling as long as she can because a little bird told me ... okay so it wasn't actually a little bird, just me perusing spoiler pages again, that there could be problems in their mutual admiration society paradise soon. But out of respect for the many of you who want to be surprised, I'm muzzling my mouth at this point.
The marital boat carrying Mommy, Daddy and Baby makes three Marsino seems to be springing a new leak just as fast as Papa can fix the current one. By the time this one is over, even adding in the requisite daily inflated interest, the mob will have spent much more money trying to intimidate Bobby, than he owes. So how will this one play out? It's doubtful Bobby will return to doing the mob's bidding. And while I can't quite see Brittany as a doting Mom, I also don't think a repeat of Robert Carleton's near term stillbirth is the way the scribes are planning to go either. The latest coffin gift will probably be enough to send Brittany packing, but will she return to the ranch, the loft or most unlikely of all, the protection of Ma and Pa Hodges? And will Bobby keep tending the home fires at their little apartment, or will he too be looking for a safer place to lay his head. Will Nikki figure in this mob madness (that mysterious flower delivery man lurking about during Brittany's recent ranch visit) says she might. My ears have been tilted skyward to catch all the whispers floating about, so I have some ideas on some things but am in the dark on others. Bobby's reported August departure leaves plenty of time for a lot to happen. I guess we'll have to watch and wait for further developments.
Everyone knows I'm an Ashley-Victor hater, but even with Ashley beaming benevolently from the couch, I still enjoyed Abby's reopening the door of her relationship with Victor. Of course, I doubt it will be nearly so enjoyable for Victoria who was obviously blindsided when Brad opened the burlap bag and showed her the Abby daddy news secreted inside. But I'm sure she'll come around once she's recovered from the shock of learning she's no longer Daddy's only little princess.
When it comes to Lauren and Michael, we all know Lauren's secrets, but does Michael? And is Lauren as happy to soon be wed as she's claimed? What was the real reason she secreted her ring on her recent buying trip? Or was that simply a scribe stall tactic to buy time so the terms of Sheila's rumored return can be hammered out and nailed down? Oh well, if Lauren doesn't want him, I'm sure Victoria will be glad to toss her beret back in the ring.
And lastly, while a lot of other Genoa City relationships are being tossed and buffeted on a rough Genoa City sea, for Gloria and John Abbott, things are looking a little firmer; I mean, UP, things are looking UP. In spite of Gitta's temporary presence and all Ashley's snide remarks, it certainly seems as if Gloria's place at the Inn is well on its way to becoming permanent. Since I've become a Gloria fan, I'm happy. But their repaired relationship can only signal one thing. That there will be trouble and dark days ahead. I'm sure Tom will see to that.
Okay fans, I'm listening intently and I swear I hear the wind whistling wildly through my cranium, which tells me I've about emptied my brain of all rational rhetoric. Which brings me to the point at which I let all of you have your say.