Dorothy was once heard to whisper as she stared in wide-eyed wonder at the unfamiliar world a wayward wind had whirled her to: Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. Well, I can certainly identify with her disbelief because, fans, I'm beginning to feel like I'm not in Genoa City anymore.
There's not a dull moment to be found in these May days of unceasing drama. Twists and turns have my head swinging so swiftly, at times I fear it might rotate right off my shoulders. Secrets pop and crackle open like Orville's hot buttered best, but the scent these secrets exude do not make me hunger for a handful. Instead I sometimes find myself strangely unmoved by the tribes ups and downs and all lay arounds.
Though this picturesque little portion of the planet looks quite lovely on the surface, planted as it is with flowers of near perfect bodies and flawless faces; in reality the beauty is only skin deep, the ugliness hidden away, much like a woman might seek to cover her facial imperfections with multiple layers of flaw-forgiving foundation.
And as the week wore on, for this fan, at least, the ugliness emerged ever clearer, black mascara carving rivulets through cracking concealer, until I began to feel the need for a cleansing cloth to wash all the dirt away. And inwardly, at first, then out loud like a woman gone mad, I began to ask, is there any honor … left in anyone … anywhere … in this town?
So much darkness and deceit in so many people, I hardly know who to begin with.
So, out of hat filled with names, I randomly picked Michael Baldwin. I'm an officer of the court, he's been heard to bellow or bleat importantly on many occasions, waving his arms theatrically or digging his digits in his tousled 'do until tiny tufts stick up in every direction. Allegedly obligated by law to report illegal wrongdoing. Yet this court-sanctioned counselor has committed or covered up so many crimes he's become a disgrace to his profession and should hang his head in shame, not to mention be stripped of his legal right to twist the law into unrecognizable shapes. But no, instead, he has the nerve to self-righteously shake a condemning finger at the likes of Jack and Brad for their deceptions, while collaborating with convicted felon Victor to commit more crimes than those he accuses. Computer hacking, illegal video surveillance, assorted accessory after the fact criminal commissions, and much, much more, I'm sure, to come.
Then there is Mike's manipulative mommy. A woman so plastic she should squeak when you squeeze her. Her dollar sign shaped eyes ever on the monetary prize someone else has earned, her only goal in life seems to be how to get a free ticket for a lifelong ride on somebody's, anybody's, gravy train. Though she presumably is paid a more than livable wage for doing what appears to be absolutely nothing at all, it apparently isn't enough for this grimy gold-digger. For Gloria, truth not only isn't the last resort, it's not even on the list for consideration. Everything is fake with this woman. Home-cooked meals cooked on some other chef's stove. Supposed self-baked muffins from a bakery box. Pretend interests stolen from a dead woman's online bio. Self-sent flowers, tossed away cards, pretend bereavement for her dearly departed on a picked out of thin air date on the calendar, libido altering drugs, and the like. It seems our Gloria has yet to encounter a level too low for her to stoop to. With an uncanny ability to be in the exact right place at the worst possible time for her enemies, she has successfully completed countless coups. And proving there is truth in yet another adage, the one about the rotten apple never rolling far from the diseased tree, she is assisted in her unsavory endeavors by the two fruits of her loins, her law-bending boys. And recently, apparently eager to lower herself to her new family's unethical standards, daughter-in-law Lauren has added her name to this list of lawbreakers, declaring her all-consuming hatred of all things Jack for his secret ownership of Jabot and resistance to Gloria's poisonous infiltration of his family. Yet she unquestionably upholds the actions of the crime-ridden faction within her own clan. It will be interesting to see if her loyalty will waver now that she's inadvertently overheard Gloria's tainted cream confession. Of course, I won't hold my breath hoping this knowledge will cause Lauren to draw a line in the sand and position herself on the side opposite her family. Because given Gloria's perfected ability to paint herself as the perpetual victim of persecution, I'm sure she will convince Lauren that this too, can be laid squarely on Jack Abbott's front step.
Jack is the next resident's name pulled from the hat for the purpose of ridicule and reproach. Considering the secrets he's got buried, though not nearly as deep in the ground as he believes, he ought to be very selective when choosing the hapless human target at whom to hurl his bitter barbs. Like a petulant child, he whimpered and whined, yellow highlighter slashing to and fro as he angrily illuminated every incriminating passage in his new wife's manuscript of mistakes, a wife he was hell bent on wedding as quickly as possible. Liar, he now cries, bottom lip quivering, a shaking finger pointing out a secret here, a lie of omission there. But what of the book hidden beneath the false panel in the bottom drawer of his own desk? The one detailing his dishonest deeds, unscrupulous actions and untold secrets? Not to mention the secret in his heart hidden even deeper. The heart, in my opinion, that's still owned by Phyllis.
And there's no way I would ever overlook our Victoria. Poor, trodden across, cheated upon, Victoria. Unhappily wed to a man to whom cheating at least once is just part of the marital package. She was determined not to gaze goo-goo eyed at Brad without those rose-colored glasses, though even with them on his infatuation with Sharon was ridiculously clear. But, for me at least, Victoria has left herself no room to dismount from her steed of righteous wrath and injured indignation. I find it difficult to drum up much sympathy for a woman who even as she repeatedly rakes her hubby over the hot coals for his clandestine coupling, has sashayed out for a secret stroll down Avenue Adultery herself. With a man she's consoled herself with before. And while pregnant, at that. On the unofficial score card I keep, that comes close to making it a tie.
But while Victoria's extramarital meander might be considered near perfect payback for Brad, what her mother did to her comes closer to qualifying for unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness. And for that Victoria does deserve and willingly receives my sympathy. But I did deduct some points because of her unreasonable request that Neil get up and give her Mommy his board seat. Of course that was before she found out the blade in her back carried Nikki's fingerprints.
Once the face on the poster above the words Family First, Everything else Second, the new Nikki Newman is now a woman I wouldn't advice turning an unprotected back to. Unless you have a surgeon on standby ready to extricate the blade she might bury in your back if you have crossed her. Having memorized various pages ripped from Victor's playbook, Nikki is proving she can be as ruthless as the man she's married multiple times. Son, daughter, grandkids, business partners, ex-husbands, it's clear anyone standing between her and the Senator seat she covets will be sliced to slivers and thrown to a pack of wolves to be devoured. Her campaign posters should picture her with a wickedly sharp pitchfork clutched in one expertly manicured hand and a pair of stumpy red horns sticking out of her golden crown. With what she did to her daughter last week, Nikki earns the top spot on the lengthening list of those who vindictively do unto others the very things they cry foul about when someone else does them. How hypocritical and so Genoa Citian for Nikki to use the very same coercion/blackmail/extortion weapon against Brad she reprimanded Phyllis for wielding. And even as she condemned Sharon for undermining her daughter's marriage, she pronounced her own actions in her daughter's best interest. As always, in Genoa City, who needs enemies when friends and family are available to step in and rip your life apart?
For Phyllis fans, the week must have been near sublime. Because from Monday to Friday, Phyllis was front and center before us. It seemed there was little going on in Genoa City that didn't somehow relate to her. Wedding stuff, blackmail stuff, stubborn stepchild stuff, Nikki stuff, Vicky stuff, Sharon stuff, Nick stuff, Michael stuff, Lauren stuff. Every other scene it seemed there was Phyllis. Wringing her hands, biting her lips, worrying to Lauren, whimpering to Michael, it just went on and on and on. Poor Phyllis, she was getting it coming and going. But in spite of it all, the wedding happened and I'm sure I was not the only fan who knew that it would. Sure, thanks to Nikki and Brad, she was arrested for extortion immediately after saying I do, but with Superlawyer Baldwin on round-the-clock call, we all knew release would come practically within minutes. And we also know there's so much more to come. Like the chance that a Summer daughter will be ripped from her mommy's loving embrace. Not likely. Nikki already has and Jack is likely to be the next to turn his back on poor Phyllis. And Victor's recent vow to return NVP to the N and the V leads one to believe Phyllis is also about to become momentarily unemployed. But don't fret too much for Phyllis. She's proven to be a feline who can be tossed from a ten-story building and still land easily on all four paws. I don't imagine this time will be the exception. She'll get a little of the payback many feel she is due, and it all comes out to more air time for her. Sounds pretty close to a win-win situation to me.
With what seems like 90% of the City lying, cheating and backstabbing each other, who do you root for? When the soul of every citizen seems blackened beyond redemption, how do you pick a favorite? Who is there to care about?
For instance, Victor vs. Jack. Sure Jack was devious, but I find it hard to cheer any louder for Victor because in my mind, his long-running deception is no better than what Jack's done. Forget more further lawbreaking by the Baldwin-Fishers trying to prove Jack's duplicity. Victor should just confront him, make his accusations and demand NVP back. Stick a fork in it, it's done, move on to something else.
Nikki vs. Jack and the race for Senator. I wouldn't want either one of these two to represent my City. Despite the high horse she sits on to look down on the rest of the world, Nikki is right up there with Victor when it comes to lying and deceiving. Her vindictive streak runs wide and deep, and despite the brief lip service she gave about the issues that allegedly make up her platform, it's seems more about beating Jack and taking Clear Springs away from him than any concern she might have for her future constituents.
Gloria vs. Will. With all her manipulation, my wish for Gloria is for her to be alone and lonely. With Kevin as her constant companion, cracking sarcastic jokes at her expense.
Then there's the blindingly blonde Ambrosia, whose name should be spelled out in garish Las Vegas-like lights. When it comes to her, whether she lists her home address in Los Angeles or Wisconsin, once a gold-digger, apparently always one. There's no end to her tricks to figure out a way to reach the top of the money tree. Oh well, the whole porn thing with Daniel was distasteful, but when it comes to pulling the wool over the Chancellor family's eyes, it's hard to hate her too much. After all, it's not as if Kay and Jill will ever be able to spend all the gold coins at the end of their rainbows even if they were to live forever. Even Amber, living as lavishly as she is able, wouldn't make so much as a shallow dent in that massive fortune.
Ahhh, Cane. Obviously not just a pretty face with an empty head attached to it. His recent phone call to Langley sure makes it appear he's not the Chancellor heir after all. The signs are posted: Heartbreak ahead for Jill and Kay. As for Amber, guess it will probably be easy come, easier gone. She'd best be about the business of enjoying the affluent life until she's kicked out of it.
And lastly in the pile of Genoa City dirt and disorder, Jill and JiMin sparkle like a bright and shiny diamond. The two of them are like a pocket of clean, fresh air found unexpectedly in the middle of a mass of smelly smog. Finally, a romance I can root for. And also on my wish list for JiMin is a piece of the Jabot pie. With the upcoming ambush from Victor and Michael and Jack constantly nipping at his heels, the man has certainly paid his dues and should be rewarded.
That's it. That's all. The rest is up to you.