It was a looong lead in, but the day of destruction in Clear Springs finally dawned. And I don't know about any other fan, but I found the opening moments quite impressive. Can't wait to see the coming week. Who will rise out of the ashes and who will not? Those in the know have been unusually closemouthed and few rumors are emerging about the possible fates of Genoa Citians and Clear Lake-ians. Of course, the two at the top of my wish list, David Chow, ahead by Amber by barely a nose, aren't likely to be on the expired list. I don't really foresee any major characters being written off as a result of the parking structure collapse; perhaps a few nameless construction workers, maybe even Joe Kickback, Construction Manager, but I'm guessing all others will eventually survive. With Victoria's real life maternity leave probably imminent, a suitable cover story will likely be concocted to explain her absence. What else could all those conversations she's carried on with everyone lately about her fears about her baby, her luck in love, etc., mean? I'm guessing that in some form or another, she'll be fighting for her life for awhile. That would allow for plenty of tearful bedside vigils and lots of acrimonious angst by her loved ones. Like J.T. and Brad, arguing over who's the daddy while anxiously awaiting the baby's arrival. Victor and Nikki, who it is presumed will momentarily shelve their current animosity, and temporarily bond over the fate of their daughter and grandchild. But probably not before hurling blades of blame at each other for the debacle Clear Springs is quickly becoming. We could also have Nick manfully fighting back tears as he recalls his sister's shared fears and scrolls through newly created memories of their childhood together. And, of course, all of the various and sundry friends and associates could parade in and out, supporting the Newman clan in yet another tragedy. Which would pretty much encompass all of the rest of the citizens in town.
But that's all for later and next column. For this one, I'll back up now and cover the rest of the week.
The prison scenes were for the most part, frivolous fluff and filler; their main purpose seemingly designed to inject Phyllis into the Genoa City doings from afar and a-phone. Thankfully, the prison set will probably soon be scuttled now that Phyllis has been granted her work release, being that she's so indispensable. After all, no one but Phyllis has the expertise to keep that Clear Springs website whirling the way it should! Although, with everything else that has gone wrong in that development, I can't imagine Clear Springs being one of the things rising out of the ashes. But, hey, what do I know? We're talking about Genoa City, where the most unlikely events are the norm. Without the prison, what will become of Jana? Will space in the Genoa Jail suddenly become available? Or will the free the tumor made her do it Jana petition shame the State of Wisconsin into dropping all charges against her? Who knows and quite frankly, who really cares?
As proof of the truth in the adage that if some folks didn't have bad luck, they wouldn't have any luck at all, I present poster child Jack Abbott. Even as he skirted carefully around the edges of one scandal, another one whipped around the corner and threatened to knock him flat on his keister. He didn't even have time to celebrate the ethics committee's decision to retreat from any further investigation of fraud, before being knocked off his stride by yet another looming investigation. This one surrounding his part in the death of JiMin. Like a bad, unwanted penny, Maggie Sullivan rolled onto Jack's doorstep, prattling about his dog's hair on JiMin's suit. Now considered a person of interest because of the dog hair, his persuasive conversation with JiMin, along with the fact that his visage was the last recorded image spotted by AC cameras exiting the room of the now deceased, Jack now has just a bit more to worry about than keeping his Senate seat. Like keeping his freedom! And, if it comes to that, who in the world will defend him? He certainly can't hire GC's busiest, perhaps only, legal eagle, who despises him and would like nothing more than to see him thrown in the hoosegow, with no way out. What is it with those AC cameras anyway? How is it that they manage to record the comings and goings of the innocent, but show nothing when the guilty come creeping down the corridor? Because, despite the not so all-seeing eye of the camera, we know Jack did not kill Ji Min. So how did the killer get past the glowing red eye of the camera? Did he or she float through the wall like the ghost of John Abbott? Or, perhaps, he or she was in the room next to JiMin's, and just happened to have the key to the locked door that connected the two? I still think JiMin's killer was David Chow. His close consort with Nikki having infected him with the same dreaded and incurable "I hate Jack" disease that she suffers from, he decided to frame Jack for a crime he committed. David seems an obvious choice and well equipped for such a crime. After all, isn't that exactly what he did to Dru for her alleged murder of Carmen? As a tenant in Dru's building, just as he now lives in the AC, he was apparently able to come and go in and out of the Winters' apartment, rearranging the knickknacks and such, with no one being one bit the wiser. And, given all the unseen criminal activities going on that the AC's cameras do not see, their security is clearly not what I would call, state of the art.
For instance, where were those cameras when Amber was setting fires then slinking out undetected? And why weren't they watching when she was slipping into the maintenance room retrieving the money she stole? Apparently, there is no need for big brother's camera to monitor the staff and whatever crimes they might be committing. And while I'm on the subject of Amber and that bulky bag of stolen currency, aren't those bills supposed to be marked? Yeah, yeah, I know. The case is closed because the money supposedly burned up. But the wheels of justice traditionally turn maddeningly slowly. Hard to believe in such government efficiency whereby the serial numbers would be deleted out of the federal data base. And if they aren't, wouldn't red flags be fluttering frantically, computer alarms blaring raucously the moment those bills start floating in to some bank's coffers? Yes, I know, I'm thinking way too deeply here. But what else do I have to do but think when it comes to Amber? I have to snatch my entertainment wherever I can find it. And I definitely don't find any just listening to Amber babble on and on about her singing and designing. Just wait till I turn into a famous warbler, she vowed. Cane'll be so sorry he booted my gold digging butt to the concrete curb. And I'll be wearing one of my very own wacky designs on stage too. That's sure to make him rue the day he kicked me off the couch. Well, I'm sure Cane has heard every tone in her repertoire, from her whispery baby doll seduction lisp all the way to her ear-splitting, glass shattering shriek. And he's seen her in everything from her birthday suit on up, but none of that disguises the fact that the bleached blonde bimbo is a lying, cheating, money grubbing skank without morals or an inch of integrity. I wonder, would Daniel be so quick to kiss her ... to be her best friend if he knew about her elaborate scheme to keep all the money for herself?
Looking for love in all the Genoa City places. Cane sure doesn't mind kissing the girls, does he? With a few charming words, and a couple of well-placed 100-watt, aw shucks, who me, grins, he had the stick up her spine, Heather, nibbling right out of the palm of his hand. But then, who wouldn't be swept off their feet, literally, by a man who effortlessly carries you around then rocks you to the core with a kiss, without being a bit out of breath? But, what is Cane up to? If it's Lily he desires, what's he doing locking lips with Heather and getting her heart all a-flutter? He's definitely a man who can blow first hot and then cool in a matter of moments. He seemed to deliberately set out to charm Heather out of her ... secrets, but when she eagerly came trotting back hoping to be fed a few more romantic tidbits, he seemed to look straight through her with little interest at all. By the way, how old is Heather supposed to be? Because I swear, after a kiss from Cane, she suddenly seemed to regress to about age 15, gushing like a school girl to Colleen about Cane's kiss. I know every fan doesn't agree with me, but I'm still rooting for a Lily and Cane pairing. Let Heather offer her need to be in complete control self to some other spineless suitor who doesn't mind being led around on her limiting tether.
One thing about Heather, however, has earned my respect. She knows how to keep her flap fastened when the occasion calls for it. Unlike her companion in prosecution, Maggie Motormouth. I like Maggie, but I'm beginning to believe she ought to be toiling in an entirely different occupation. It was bad enough when she was an accomplice by complicity in the cover-up of Paul's kidnapping of Sheila. The alleged officer of the law aided her boyfriend in breaking the law, then lied through her pretty white teeth about it. On top of that, in the short time she's been helping to combat Genoa City crime, she hasn't been correct yet about her conclusions and has repeatedly pursued the wrong perpetrator, just as she is this time. But the straw that finally bent the back of my personal camel, knocked him to his knees and made him refuse to carry my load one step further, was the way Maggie caved in to Jill and provided Jill with details she had no business being in possession of. By contrast, I couldn't help but note when Heather found herself in a similar situation with a persuasive, cajoling Cane; she stuck to her principles and told him nada.
And how, after all, did this new knowledge help Jill in her all-consuming and prolonged grief? A grief, that at the risk of sounding callous and uncaring, I have to admit I'm growing a little weary of. These days, Genoa Citians don't typically mourn their beloveds more than an episode or two. But that's beside the point. What I want to know is, did knowing of Jack's possible involvement stop the showing of the tragic Ji Min film clip Jill claims is scrolling through her skull 24/7? Or is Jill just searching for anything that might alleviate her own guilt. After all, JiMin's battered ego and manly pride had already taken repeated hits from Jack, Victor and Vic's hired henchman, Michael. Then Jill snatched back her love from the hapless businessman, and in order to prove he deserved to have it back, she practically demanded he stand on his head with one hand tied behind his back and perform an act of nature while whistling Dixie. As it turned out, his decision to jump through her hoops of flame cost him his life. So, perhaps, if Jill is determined to extend a trembling finger of fault at someone, she should start with herself. Because if not for her immense insecurity and need to be sure JiMin loved her and not her mother's money, the alleged love of her life would yet be alive today.
Whew, I think my fingers, my toes and my nose got frostbite from being too close to the screen when Victor chewed Nikki up and spat her out on the carpet. There she was, all stoked up and perfectly primed for reconciliation after taking Kay's little piece of marital advice and running right to Victor's office to show it to him. Unfortunately, the benign reaction of the mustached man smirking back at her from a painting on his office wall to her heartfelt words, was nothing like the one she received from the flesh and blood Victor who walked in and found her perched passively in his office. In fact, she never even got a chance to parrot the prepared apology she'd rehearsed with his painted likeness just seconds before, nor to offer the olive branch she had hidden behind her back. Roaring at her as he tore her pride to tatters; Victor ticked off one by one every business blunder she'd made since she decided to use her own brain for thinking instead of just letting his think for both of them. I'm sure it wasn't supposed to be a funny scene, but just the same, I cackled like a crazy woman when Victor called in her loan then screamed at her to get the hell out of his space. Needless to say, the poor woman got.
I guess you can tell I'm not feeling Nikki's pain much, if at all, can't you? And that's because long, long ago, when Victor was just beginning to shed his kinder, gentler persona, Nikki was on him like a rabid dog, poking him with her pointed stick, goading him, whispering. Saying things like: I want NVP. It's mine. And Jack took it. Snatched it from you like a sucker from a toddler. Played you like a piano. Tricked you like a flim flam man. And I know the great and powerful Victor Newman ain't about to let him get by with that, is he? Get him, Victor. Make that bad man pay. Oh yeah, things were fine and dandy back then, as the two busily concocted their diabolical and convoluted plan for Jack's eventual downfall and complete humiliation. Nikki was on the band wagon right behind Victor, screaming and thrusting her threadbare pom poms skyward for all she was worth. Until she decided she didn't want to play the payback game Victor's way after all. Suddenly she was tired of being just Victor's wife. No, she wanted to be a business woman in her own right. Heck, forget being just a business woman. She wanted to be Queen. I mean Senator. And then there was David and the kiss seen round the land. The first kiss seen round the land, I mean. Did Nikki really believe, especially knowing Victor the way she must, that there would be no painful price to be paid for her multiple betrayals? If she did, then I guess she's every bit the foolish woman Victor accuses her of being.
But, on the other hand ... it remains to be seen who will be laughing last and most uproariously when all the cement dust clears. Victor may be grinning now, savoring the taste of his victory over his soon to be ex wife, but that smirk may soon straighten out and flip downwards into a frown. Because someone is going to have to pay for the deaths, if any, and destruction at Clear Springs. But who? The construction crew under Chancellor's umbrella? NVP? Who, unless my recollection is fuzzy, also belongs to Chancellor? Or does Victor now own NVP? Everything's changed hands so many times; I can no longer say for sure who owns what. Who owns Clear Springs? Since Victor called in Nikki's loans, does that make him financially and legally responsible? What was the parking garage attached to? Jack's casino? So is he at fault? Oh well, unless all the injured are family members, there ought to be lawsuits aplenty. Enough for everyone involved. Lucky both Chancellor and Newman have practically bottomless pockets.
And finally, to my great surprise, Neil did not get banished to the drafty doghouse and a bed of flea-infested straw while the other mutts got to sleep on thick rugs in the warm house. I just knew, after Nick announced he was tired of just playing house with Phyllis and Summer and was ready to take back the reins of Newman, that Neil would once again be demoted to the doormat every Newman scuffs their shoes on. But for once, Victor fooled me. Perhaps having finally grown leery of his children who have been known to take a sabbatical whenever the mood happens to strike them, he's decided to cover all his bases and has also learned to appreciate a man who didn't even let Dru's disappearance keep him from work for more than a few days. By contrast, Nick has walked away from his Newman responsibilities on more than one occasion. And Victoria married a viper, then invited him to sink his poisonous fangs in anyone he felt like, Newmans and Winters, alike. But she was quick to turn the lion's share of the CEO duties over to the very man she once rudely snubbed when she wanted to step back and enjoy her pregnancy. Not to mention that half the time she's only got part of her mind on business, with the rest on text messages and lovey-dovey-ness with J.T..
So ... as the promos ask. Who will rise from the ashes? By the end of the week, I'm sure we will all know. That's all I'm saying this week. Here's what you had to say.
JM - Oh no! It seems there's an explosion ahead! Here we go with yet another criminal storyline. I think what bothers me most about Y&R these days is that there is so little character development. How many characters do we really CARE about? That is because so much focus is placed on some silly crime/murder (i.e. blackmailing, meat lockers, Carmen, Ji Min) and no focus on relationships and romance. I have watched this soap for over 30 years and loved it because it didn't have such silly spy/crime stuff like Days and other soaps. It seems that the dialogue has been replaced by some new whodunit. Also, I think it is insulting to viewers to have such complete unrealistic stuff, such as the prison scenes. The parade of characters, including Zapato, come and go at that jail as they please while Jana and Phyllis hang out like two girls in a high school lunchroom. I am hopeful that Lily and Cane will end up together. It would be refreshing to see a real romance develop on this show for a change.
POPPYCOCK - Well Nita, the madness continues. Now, the Red menace gets a work release? WTF! Who are these people sitting to conspire to get the one person who should stay permanently locked up (well, okay maybe Brad and the Gloworm should join her). Just when we thought we'd be getting a reprieve from Red's mug being thrown in jail - they parade her around with her new BFF Jana, the psycho, making Phyllis almost, almost worthy of my pity, not! These two twits belong together, but no, we have the tool named Nick, the co-CEO of Newman Enterprises, sitting in his office, drawing a Newman Rockwell style picture of his jailbird wife with BARS IN FRONT OF HER FACE! Can anyone else explain to me WHY would you put bars in front of her face? Oh right, gotta give Summer something to look at so she'll recognize Mommy. Maybe Nick doesn't deserve Sharon, she has certainly grown up, standing by her man, the crooked Senator Abbott. Does this guy have an abundance of dog hair on him that one just floated off to tell the tale of a dead man? Is this the lame piece of evidence the ever-so-sharp GC's detectives are gonna use against Jack? Okay, moving right along, when are we gonna get the break that we all have been waiting for and see Sharon and Nick finally letting down their guard for the inevitable love fest? I mean, when they are in a room together, does this guy not devour her with his eyes? Talk all you want about Cassie's challenge or Clear Springs or phantom dog hair, but give these two a break and just let them go at it! They belong together and no amount of plot twists is gonna change that one. Oh, and by the way, I might be the only one that doesn't buy Cane even remotely having interest in a hair twirling, adolescent, gum cracking, Gidget, this guy is way too suave for the likes of Lily. Heather may be a stuffed shirt, but I can see him using those Aussie charms to melt that one. Who knows, she may just spill some info during one of her passionate cries!
LEANNE - My guess is that Jeffrey's going to use his knowledge of Gloria's part in the face cream thing to blackmail her out of all that money she got from William, and not help the police. So, she will have to give up some bucks, but once again will avoid prosecution. I agree with you completely about the prison thing, but then I also think it's ridiculous to think that someone would really go to prison for what she did. I was also surprised to read Tanya's comments about there being no chemistry between Vicky and J.T.. I think there's a lot, and aren't they also married in real life?
CAROL - Love your column, Nita. I have a small comment. I seem to one of the few who does not like the Cane/Lily pairing. She is not a good actress with anyone. Also, I do not hear any outcry about age difference as there is/was regarding Nick and Phyllis. The usual thing, okay for older man, younger woman and not vice versa.
ANITA - Hey, Nita, love your column. You are so on. Looks like I am outnumbered on the Cane/Lily pairing. Can't stand either and fast forward when any of the Winters are on screen, actually. I am thinking Cane killed Ji Min anyway, as some shows back he was on the phone very mysteriously telling someone he was "in". Would like to see that addressed. But the Clear Springs story is starting now, and that should be great watching. Kudos to Y&R for giving us some action like this!
PAMELA - Now that Victor and Nikki have gone their separate ways, I would love for Y&R to bring back Signy Coleman as Hope. This was the one woman who actually brought out the best in Victor, his humanity and, dare I say it, compassion. And he actually respected Hope's wisdom. Normally, he treats women like acquisitions, wining and dining them, lavishing them with gifts when courting them, but then once he has his ring on the lady's finger, he dismisses her as if she's just another conquest. He did it with Diane, Leanna, Ashley, and with Nikki he's sunk to a new low. But Hope was his true equal, if not far better than he. She was a godly woman, a survivor, a woman of courage who would not allow him to look down on her. Only Hope was capable of putting Victor in his place, and boy, does he EVER need that now!