Whoever said advancing age has been known to sometimes mellow a man definitely did not know Victor Newman, or McNasty, as I will refer to him occasionally in this week's column. He's disproved another adage as well. The one that says hate hurts the hater more than the hated. Because if any internal harm is being done to Victor as a result of his all-consuming loathing for Jack, I certainly can't tell it by any of his actions. And Jack isn't the only man to come under the evil fish eye of Victor. He's now been joined by both Adam and Brad. I can't help but have just a little sympathy for Victor's hated harem. Because we all know, the great and powerful McNasty never loses. That's not to say that two of Victor's victims are blameless and didn't deserve what he's dishing out. Unfortunately for Adam, he discovered that when he lay down next to the Jack mutt, he got up infested with a whole lot more than annoying fleas.
More often than not, Victor is a hard and hateful man. It didn't seem to bother him a bit to hear his son begging for mercy as he was carted away in chains. He just sat there wearing that carved-wood Grinch face, playing his usual role of judge, jury and sentence pronouncer. Of course, I'm not saying Adam didn't err in his bloodthirsty quest for revenge against Victor. Throwing his unfortunate lot in with Jack to help forge that murderous diary was a monumental moment of immense idiocy on Adam's part. But Victor acts as if Adam had no reason whatsoever for his rage or Newman disenchantment. It was one thing to kick him out of both the family and company for what he felt was Adam's less than mournful reaction to his supposed death and his dismissal of both Victoria and Neil. Although given their own treatment of him, I still think Neil and Victoria deserved what they got. But Victor went too far when he vindictively took away Adam's ability to work elsewhere. He and his bribery money had nothing to do with Adam clawing his way through College or making his way to manhood, yet he had no qualms in destroying everything Adam had so painstakingly built with his own sweat and tears and whatever paltry sum Hope was able to eke out from her meager farm budget. Victor may have found sending his son to prison gratifying and vindicating, but in my opinion it was far from his finest moment. And though, I know it's likely fruitless, I still harbor the futile hope that one day he will sorely regret what he's done to the son he can't convince me he ever really loved.
Oh sure, he lured him to Genoa City, waggling wads of cash like freshly picked carrots before a donkey's famished face. And though Adam's eyes widened with disbelief, he clearly wasn't immediately sold on double salary alone. So, Victor upped the ante, unhesitantly playing on the motherless man's still raw emotions. "I'm your father" he pontificated pompously. A powerful father that can boost your career beyond your wildest dreams, he added with another waggle or two of that stuffed bag of cash. He didn't stop, continually piling on the promises, until finally Adam took the bait.
Though Adam didn't know it, Daddy's actions were classic Victor Newman. A man who literally lives for the chase. It's been many moons since McNasty had to chase a woman down to get her to return his affections. Long gone are the star-studded spectacles of romantic rendezvous at the Colonnade Room, or private jet jaunts to some exotic locale. Other than Sabrina, there hasn't been a new woman in Victor's life for eons. He simply switches back and forth between the two women who will always love him, no matter how cavalierly he treats one while momentarily entranced with the other.
So, with no real need to woo the current woman in his life, the moneyed egomaniac needed something else to get his blood boiling in the morning. Like winning back not only his wayward children, but also the hearts of the children he couldn't be bothered to raise. Nick and Victoria are so desperate to have their father's affection; they're always willing to meet him more than halfway. So it took but a few warm hugs and a gruff "proud of you, m'boy", to herd them back into the family corral. Adam was a challenging new game for a very brief time, but once he'd been paid for, Victor realized he already had a model with a propensity for turning his father into the feds, so threw him out like a toy he'd tired of.
And now he's turned his attention to the buying of Abby Carlton. Although she's bat-blinded by love, as usual, Ashley should be sitting up and taking notice of everything McNasty has done. Even though she's seen for herself how cold Victor can become, she's still skipping merrily along the primrose path, eagerly thrusting her daughter before her. She saw how easily he tossed Adam to the slavering wolves, apparently without a qualm of unease. So if he will do that to his own son, why wouldn't Ashley fear he could sacrifice her or their test tube daughter just as easily if he thought they deserved such a fate?
Which is exactly what he's already in the process of doing. After years of allowing her adopted father to revel in the role alone, Victor has now decided Brad is redundant and he wants to be the only Daddy in Abby's life. And pampered princess Abby is apparently all for it. Her greedy eyes glinting at the opulent surroundings of the ranch, complete with a million dollar horse, servants at her beck and call and every overpriced toy she should happen to desire hers for the accepting, Brad's rather spacious home has suddenly become a humble hovel not nearly good enough for a princess like her. Unfortunately, Abby has grown from a sweet, though, precocious little girl to a rather unlikable young lady with no visible redeemable qualities. At least not yet. I guess time will tell if what we've seen is all that she is. One lesson she is likely to learn from Victor, though, is that nothing is free and every gift given by Victor comes with a long string of expectation.
As for Ashley's silly, simpering self, I stand ready to gloat, quite gleefully, I might add, when her day of reckoning arrives. Here she is, blithely believing herself, not Nikki, to be the true and final love of Victor's life. And all the while, he's loving her at night while, by day, repeatedly plunging a blade of betrayal in her back. Much like it was with Jack and Sharon, Victor's hatred for Jack far, far outweighs his so-called limitless love for Ashley. I know its mean, but I can't wait to see her crestfallen face when she realizes how he schemed with Jill and Gloria to once again rip ownership of Jabot out of Abbott hands. No matter how Victor rationalizes his actions, I can't imagine Ashley grinning, bearing it, and staying aboard McNasty's train after that. But then I could be way off the mark. After all, this is the same woman who so needed a piece of Victor in her life, she stooped to the unprecedented low of stealing his swimmers to make her dream come true. But that isn't the sole reason I have little respect for Ashley. Despite the fact that Brad hasn't been the most honorable man in town, he's been a decent Daddy to Abby and Ashley's too-quick readiness to replace him with Victor, Genoa City's worst example of a father, is reprehensible. It's only just begun and already I'm tired of listening to Ashley squawk about not allowing anyone to use "her" daughter, in a tug of war, as if Brad had little to do with her upbringing. Considering the changes in Abby since Ashley took over sole parenting, however, it seems Ashley's may not be much better at parenting than the man she's shacking with.
As much as I currently detest Victor, I must admit, the implacable man so many of us love to hate has returned with a vengeance. If nothing else has, this signals one aspect of a true return to the Young and the Restless of yesteryear. Woe is it to anyone foolish enough to somehow wind up on Victor's list of potential blackballees. Jack never leaves that list, of course. But Jack's like one of those kiddy cars that careen into walls, fall off countertops, tumble down stairs, flip end over end, yet still keep tooling along, with naught but a few scratches to show for it. But I suspect (and the rumors seem to confirm it) Brad will not prove to be nearly so indestructible. There are several rumors out there surrounding his departure. I guess it just remains to be seen which of them will be his swan song.
Speaking of Victor's "insta-family", I about fell on the floor with laughter when Victoria and Nikki were cattily discussing the Abbott-Carlton-Newman connection. See, you two, and you thought Sabrina was bad. Careful, careful, for what you wish because you just may get it. Until this union disintegrates, and you already know it eventually will, what's ahead is going to be a rough road for Victoria to travel, what with frequent sightings of Victor fawning over the new daughter in his life.
Victoria and Ashley won't be the only Genoa Citian attempting to navigate a rutted, rock-filled road. Jack is another resident with no idea of the size and breadth of the boulder blocking his way just around the bend. But that's for later. For now, Jack has barely missed a beat and is already on to his next scam, I mean challenge. Marital mourning mostly over, his next trick is convincing his sister to put him in charge of the family farm. But, while Ashley might be blind to Victor's faults, she has no problem recognizing every single one of her brother's and Jack didn't even come close to shifting her out of the CEO seat. Not that it matters, since Victor's offer to relieve Gloria of her stock is practically a done deal. Victor never loses, remember? So though Gloria hasn't yet said yes, it's pretty certain her answer will be in the affirmative. But if there is any justice in Genoa City, and I admit there often isn't, Kay will return in time to make any stock shenanigans null and void.
While I'm thinking of shenanigans, I continue to be somewhat baffled by those of Chloe and Billy. As they say, methinks at least one of this pair is protesting a bit too much to be completely believable. We already know where Chloe's heart really lies. If she suspected for one single second that Billy knew she was carrying his baby and that it might be enough to win him, she would drop Cane like the proverbial hot potato. But Billy's true desire is somewhat less clear. Because, despite his insistence that Lily is a keeper and he harbors no secret desire to re-entangle himself with Chloe, his actions don't exactly match the words that keep popping out of his mouth. The real test will come on delivery day when Billy has to watch, I suspect, with no small amount of jealousy, little Billie-ette being proudly cradled in faux father's arms.
As for that fake father, he really, truly is clearly and completely clueless isn't he? Even naÔve Lily, nearly as clueless as Cane, once she took a good long look at Chloe and Billy, was able to catch that slight scent of over familiarity between the two. Someone once remarked to me that you could tell without a doubt whether a man and woman have shared that special bond, you know the one I mean, if you just watch them relating together. That is apparently what Lily can sense, though she's still wide of the mark of their true relationship. But Cane is so self-absorbed, so convinced his life is so wonderful Billy can't help but prefer it to his own, he can't see nor hear the trumpeting elephant practically squeezing him out of his own living room.
Nikki is another clueless resident treading on my last and very fragile nerve. She's being so nasty, that had it been possible, I would have reached right through the screen, shaken her senseless and then snatched her bald since my hand was already in there, for her refusal to see who is directly in front of her. It would serve her right if, once the truth is out and the two women have become fast friends again, Kay ignores her needy behind when she comes seeking solace over some Victor slight or slap. In the meantime, that con radar Nikki insists is clanging a chorus inside her empty head? Well, I would suggest she take it right back to Radio Shark, Best Buy, or wherever the heck she bought it and demand a refund. Because it ain't working for heck!
I never thought I'd say these words, but thank goodness for Amber and her crew! For all she's doing and her loyal support of Katherine, especially when compared to the cold-hearted disbelief of Kay's so-called longtime friends and family, she deserves to keep every penny Kay willed to her. Katherine can count herself lucky to have friends like these four!
One thing you have to say about Phyllis, when it comes to staking her claim and holding on to her property, she's like a pit bull. And not only is she not all bark and no bite, she's got nerve enough for three people. After all but threatening Brad's life for ripping apart her manipulative scheme and showing all the tattered pieces to Nick, she didn't hesitate to call on him again. By trying to torpedo him into Sharon's lonely orbit again; did she think she was giving Brad a chance to make it up to her for his previous defection? Was that supposed to nullify her earlier implied threat? But for once, someone turned the tables on Phyllis, and I was out of my seat doing my whirling, twirling little happy dance as Brad set Phyllis up to be caught by the last person she'd want to know what no good she continued to be up to. Nick. And I can't wait to hear what holy heck he's going to give her in the coming week.
Though for the moment, Nick continues to do penance for his part in the Paris kiss, he's clearly growing weary of the constant reassurance and renewals of caring commitment Phyllis repeatedly requires from him. More and more, he's wearing that damned if I do, and equally damned if I don't expression. Is he finally beginning to see the real Phyllis and to wonder if there's any way out of the roaring lion's den he willingly walked into? He's obviously trying hard to accept the blame for her insecurity and understand her jealousy issues. After all, he did give her good reason to wonder whether he longed to return to his prior life and his previous wife. He knows Phyllis called it correctly when she said had Sharon not yanked the air brakes on that kiss, the one sentence song he would now be repeatedly playing would sound something like "it just happened". But guilt will only hold Nick in place temporarily. If Phyllis insists on continuing to stalk down the path of suspicion, accusing him of something every other minute or so, Nick will indeed begin the long trek to freedom, or at the very least, go ahead and enact and enjoy the very deed he's already being dammed for.
Now that I know he's on his way out, believe it or not, I've actually started to feel just a wee bit bad for Brad. He's hasn't had a job for months, hasn't had any loving for more than a year and now Victor wants to take both his board seat and his daughter. On top of that, his affiliation with Phyllis was finally the straw that broke the camel's back for Sharon, and now he's lost the only Genoa City friend he had. Just defending himself against Victor would have been enough to fill up his day. But now he'll also have a seriously p'd off Phyllis to contend with. In addition to the set of eyes facing forward, he'll need an additional pair in the back of his head to warn of coming attacks from these two. How far the once might has fallen. Except for his much bigger bank account, unfortunately it seems Brad just might exit this town much the way he arrived. Without a job or anyone to love.
One person I don't feel a bit bad for, though, is newly-loaded Esther. Because she's so determined not to learn from a single one of her past man mistakes, the only thing one can do is sit back and take cover so as to be out of the way when the hard, heavy chips start plummeting from the sky and falling where they may. Unfortunately, the cost for her man mistakes always seems to miss her and wind up being paid in full by some other hapless and innocent bystander. I doubt anyone will die this time, unless it turns out to be poor Murphy, which I certainly hope doesn't happen, but I'm certain this good deed of Chloe's will not go completely unpunished. If ever a person is a jinx, Esther would undoubtedly fit the bill.
And lastly, if anyone is going to sound the death knell to her own hopes, it could be Karen if she doesn't back up and stop pushing to adopt Ana. The only thing she may end up doing is pushing Neil right into Tyra's willing and waiting arms. And I say waiting, because despite her mad dash from those kisses she pressed on Neil's motionless mouth, wailing about how she was going to run away from Genoa City, we know needy Tyra is not going any damn where.
Well, that's about all I'm going to pass judgment on this week. Just as I never do, my fellow fans didn't hold back either when it came time to express their opinions about Genoa City doings. Enjoy!