In Genoa City this week, the theme running through everything was family. From the Abbotts to the Winterses, it was all about family togetherness and all over town, family members were loving, fighting and scheming with one another.
The Abbotts held their family reunion in New York. Beamed at benevolently from above, though none but Jack is able to see him, was former patriarch John, who was about to bust his buttons with pride that his four children were gathered together in harmony. Jack, the family scoundrel was, as usual, busily spinning a glistening web of lies and deceit around his three siblings. Because without RSM to distract him, Jack has returned to one of his two favorite quests - the winning back of Jabot. Although his history with Gloria should have taught him to fact-check every word that exits her mouth because she's definitely his match when it comes to web-spinning, he inexplicably swallowed without chewing her tall tale about tricking Kay out of some of her personal Jabot stock.
Obviously believing in killing two birds by hurling one big rock, Jack spent the rest of his time in New York in hot pursuit of the other of his life's passions - besting the black knight. Again, Jack has apparently failed to learn a thing from his countless other mistakes in the past and is putting himself in position to receive yet another thrashing at Victor's hands. I have to say, the man is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with this latest idiotic idea of his. I swear, each of his get Victor schemes is more improbable than the last. Does he actually believe forging a fake diary allegedly authored by Victor is going to work? And I wasn't the only one questioning the plausibility of this so-called plan. You could literally see the look of doubt and unease creeping across Adam's face as he listened to Jack's lies. Thankfully, Adam had just enough sense to bound from this barge before it sinks from the weight of sheer stupidity.
While the object of Jack's obsession was off in parts unknown presumably proceeding through the grieving process for his late wife and unborn child, his worried family was stepping carefully over the messes he'd left behind in the mansion. Nikki, at last behaving more like herself, has finally finished ranting and raving over Victor and has wisely advised her children to follow her example. With Sabrina out of the picture, it seems clear we've boarded a slow train that will eventually wend its way toward the reunion of GC's former Romeo and Juliet.
Although RSM is now solely owned by Nick, Phyllis remains obsessed with its former partners. Her feelings for Jack seem to change according to the day of the week. On Monday, she might be his friend, but Tuesday could find her badmouthing her ex like he's the enemy. But it's Jack's wife, the Phyllis-proclaimed hair chewing, lock twirling child bride of Jack, who seems to bring out the very worst in the feral feline. Sharon's name in her mouth more than Nick's, Phyllis twirls, twists and tugs at a hank of her own hair, as she jealously stabs at Sharon's character. And she proves she's no better than Jack as she too uses RSM's editorial space to sling some of the very mud she supposedly abhorred when Jack did it. But the fact remains, Jack's mudslinging caused RSM to grow wings and literally fly off the shelves into the waiting hands of panting smut perusers. At least according to Jack. Right or wrong, it's a formula that has worked in the past and Phyllis doesn't mind following it in the present. Especially if it has the additional bonus of causing Nick to look at Sharon in the same disapproving light that Phyllis views her.
Be careful what you wish for, someone should have cautioned Phyllis. Because though she's rid herself of the woman who'd become the bane of her existence, she wound up with Nikki in exchange. At first thrilled to be appointed interim Editor In Chief, this week Nikki is freezing her daughter-in-law with icy scorn, believing her interfering commit Victor advice to Nick tipped the scales and caused Victor to scurry out of reach of the clinging arms of his caring family. And, since you all know I wouldn't stop and offer Phyllis a drop of life-saving water from my overfull canteen if I stumbled across her parched and near expiration in the desert, Nikki's jabs at Phyllis have left me huffing in hilarity. Of course, I know Nikki's anger with Phyllis isn't likely to last much longer, so I'm going to wring every ounce of enjoyment from it while it does.
For the mother and son family twosome, Gloria and Kevin, it's also a return to what has worked in the past. Scheming and manipulation. Her crocodile tears and mournful monologue starring her dearly departed John having failed to move Katherine to part with a minute portion of her Jabot stock; Gloria has convinced Kevin to give it a shot. His staid existence as a reformed internet stalker married to a murderess turned goody two-shoes perhaps leaving something to be desired, Kevin jumped at the chance to do a bad deed or two for Mommy. And Katherine may unwittingly aid the Fisher-Bardwell duo with these increasingly frequent mind lapses of hers. As for the Bardwell marriage, the bloom seems to be off the rose and the once lusty love is nowhere in evidence. Gloria's back to lying through her teeth to Jeffrey, while he's returned to making vague and empty threats even Gloria doesn't believe anymore.
For the other branch on the Fisher-Bardwell-Baldwin family tree, there's turmoil of an entirely different kind. Lowell, now that he's wisely consented to his son's legal representation, is as good as free, though he'll likely remain incarcerated for the time it takes for Michael to yank a fluffy white rabbit from his magicians' top hat. And when he's not executing a legal sleight of hands, he'll be busy playing parent to his rebel little sis. Eden is quite the contradiction. Presumably having led a life of peace and joy while keeping one leap ahead of the law with her bail-jumping Pa, his go with the flow lifestyle apparently didn't rub off on his daughter. All snarling words and curling lip, life at the Ashram obviously wasn't all clean living and your body is a temple purity. Because she certainly didn't seem a stranger to belting down the beer. Lauren, who, by the way, no longer bears even the slightest resemblance to the snotty, snooty girl she used to be, is all oozing supportive sweetness and soothing light to her husband and new sis-in-law. I'd like to say she and Michael make me care about River and Eden, but alas I would be lying.
Lying is what Chloe continues to do, fluently and without a second's hesitation. And close association with her seems to be making Cane quite the little lying play actor too. What was all that fake lovey-dovey performance for Billy about? This is Genoa City, where not only does everybody know everybody else's name; they are also usually privy to everybody else's business as well. So, Billy will soon know the Ashby marriage is a sort of shotgun affair with the bride and groom longing and lusting for others. And now that Chloe has admitted to her mother she has no love for Cane, will someone please tell me what the point was? Chloe could just have easily shotgunned Billy, the man she allegedly loves, to the altar instead of Cane. Yes, I know, that would likely have made for much less riveting TV since it wouldn't have ripped Lily and Cane apart. Not to mention that Billy would probably have laughed himself silly at Chloe's idea that an impending birth would force him into matrimonial lockdown with some insane stalker chick.
Now, everyone knows I don't like Chloe, although she was surprisingly tolerable with Esther, once she got past the whole servant putdowns and actually talked and listened to her mother. But, I like Colleen even less so you can bet I was practically cheering Chloe on when she told Colleen what she really thought of her treatment of her supposed best bud. It was really quite refreshing to see Colleen searching desperately for an appropriately stinging comeback and coming up empty, in the end, reduced to strange mouth contortions as every one of Chloe's arrows struck their target. It does seem that Colleen desperately wants to live Lily's life, first second-sampling her ex-husband (a definitely no-no in the rule book of best friends) and now becoming the new sour, I mean, fresh face, of Jabot. What will she covet of Lily's discards next?
Now that Lily has left both the love of her life and the job she used to love behind, it's moving on time for her. And in Genoa City, moving on usually means someone new to love. Well, given Lily's less than stellar track record in that arena, I don't have much hope for happiness for her. Billy has clearly become an uncaring playboy, somewhat like the long-ago incarnation of his Uncle Jack. Though he's not nearly so charming or believable as Jack used to be. Unlike Jack, who often had his lady loves eating out of the palm of his hand, Billy's compliments seem blatantly insincere and his affections forced. I'm amazed that Amber is buying his mediocre bag of goods, but I guess she's taking what she needs from him, which is a warm body, since the one she admittedly continues to love is Daniel. I really would hate to see Lily become involved with yet another loser who will eventually leave her trying to glue back the pieces of her broken heart. Of course, there's always the chance a relationship with Lily will make Billy a better man. I know I'm not the only fan who finds this new and not improved player Billy a bit unbelievable. But I suppose the change in him could be chalked up to his heartbreak over loving and losing his cousin, Mac. Like Chloe, after supposedly having her heart broken by Billy, he, too, could have vowed to never suffer heartbreak again.
Maybe I'm just grasping at straws, but I certainly hope there's more to Billy than what we've seen so far. Because I side with other fans who think there are more than enough one-note villains in town. I don't mind him being a bad boy, but I hope the scribes have more in mind than that for him. It was interesting to note that Billy's own father admitted his son was not a man to be trusted, and would unhesitantly snap at the hand feeding him treats. Maybe I'm seeing things that aren't even there, but Billy seems to have as much of a yen for running Jabot as his mother, uncle, brother and former stepmama. So I imagine he has no qualms about conning both Jill and his newly-discovered half brother and likely wouldn't have to think too long or hard about stabbing Jack in the back should the choice present itself. But if he must be paired with Lily, I think a nice story could be told as bit by bit she drew out of him the extent of his pain for his failed romance with the one woman he really loved. Unfortunately, however, the way things stand now, eternal joy wouldn't seem to be in the cards for him and Lily with that baby probably belonging to Billy growing in Chloe's belly. Still, I could easily get behind a Lily and Billy hookup just to see Cane and Chloe's countenances turn a sickly pea green with envy and jealousy.
It's round number whatever for Neil and Karen, who has somewhat reluctantly, it seems, agreed to give living together another go. Neil shaved off a number of years along with his facial hair, and was looking rather appealing to this fan. I find him a much better match with Karen than I did with Tyra and hope there is some kind of interesting storyline in their future.
As to what else may be ahead, there are clear and definitive signs that at least one marriage might be about to hit a patch of bad road. Maybe it's only the view from my eyes, but Nick seems to be quite weary of all Phyllis' insecure and juvenile jabs at his ex. Even if he doesn't harbor any romantic feelings for Sharon, and I can't say that I see any indications of that yet, if there are ever to be any, she is still the mother of Noah, and that alone should mean something. I'm sure he could care less about Jack, but I doubt he'll be overly thrilled with Phyllis' decision to go behind his back to make Sharon the butt of one more of her bad jokes simply because she's insecure and feels threatened by Sharon's presence in Nick's life. Especially when she knew her husband was trying to put his own stamp on RSM and make it a refreshingly positive and hopefully classier mag than it had been before.
Even if the Nick/Phyllis marriage continues to limp along, I wonder how much longer the Abbott union will lumber on. Because Jack, for all his bellowing about honesty, obviously believes truth telling is a one way street only other people have to traverse. He, of course, is always allowed to lie, scheme and manipulate while taking the low and weed-choked road because he does it for a reason. And to him, what he wants always trumps the truth. Whether or not it puts her on a collision course with Nick, I would love to see Sharon give Jack and his excuses the big kiss off.
Well, I'm out of here for this week, leaving the rest of the column space for my fellow fans to talk about what's on their minds. See ya in a week.