Ashley's like that poor unfortunate chick in those slasher flicks. Yes, the one that foolishly separates herself from her friends and manages to become the maniacal murderer's first victim. As Victor plots out his Jabot-snatching strategy, moving his fellow Genoa Citians around like pawns on a chessboard, I find myself wanting to scream at Ashley: "look out, look out, don't you see that brick wall dead ahead?" But instead all I do is sigh, because I already know that even if someone warns her, and Nikki repeatedly has, Ashley will continue believing the best of Victor, choosing instead to plug her ears and chant "na-na-na-na-na, I can't hear you." Right up until the second her poor love-sick face smacks right into the wall. On one hand, I can't help but look forward to her rude awakening, because she can be so superior and Miss Know-it-all-ish. But on the other hand, I could continue life just fine if I never had to witness yet another of Ashley's mental meltdowns. Watching an infuriated and finally finished with Victor Ashley, however, whether it's on her own behalf or Abby's, now that would be must-see TV. I would love to see how Victor would react to that!
It's a welcome change not seeing Nikki wringing her hands and all awash in salty tears over Victor and Ashley's latest ride on their gaily decorated merry-go- round. Though Ashley insists that what she has and what Nikki once had with Victor are like comparing apples and oranges, Nikki is right on target. He is indeed always going to remain cold and vindictive Victor, no matter which woman momentarily clings to his bulging bicep. Victor wants, and usually gets, exactly what he goes after. And right now, he wants Jack groveling in complete humiliation and Brad erased from Abby's canvas. But perhaps he knows Ashley much better than I do. Despite her decision to captain the Jabot ship, maybe her goal is to eventually turn it over to Billy so she can contentedly concoct perfume potions in the lab. Because she certainly doesn't seem to be spending much time on her CEO duties. How can she when she's either coming from or going a meal at the Club or dashing in and out of Victor's office, bearing sweet treats and syrupy smiles.
It's nice that Ashley is expressing concern for Abby's feelings when it comes to Victor's vow to publicly ruin and humiliate Brad if he refuses to relinquish his Board seat, but come on, we're talking about Abby here. The self-centered little princess seems to care more about what new toy Victor might buy her next than Brad's tender little feelings. This change in Abby, while plot workable, is rather sad. Because Abby used to be all about her dad Brad, with no desire to honor Victor with that same title. Obviously, the time spent in Ashley's care has changed her and it's not been for the better. Of course, for now I will give Abby the benefit of the doubt and a little more time to show what she's made of. After all, she's new to town and has only seen Victor's indulgent side. And with Victor, we know that particular honeymoon won't last forever. One thing I must admit. While Abby has been a bit obnoxious, with her sometimes somewhat snooty air, she could be a different character for Genoa City. Regardless of how she came to be, she does have Victor Newman's genes. She's rich, but I doubt anyone would ever describe her as a poor little rich girl. And while she has normal teen greed, accepting without question whatever monetary or other gifts her indulgent daddy uses to buy her affection, she doesn't seem to be exactly empty-headed. But once Ashley and Victor go poof, and you know they eventually will, where will that leave Abby in the family lineup? And when it's time for Abby to think of such things, where might she decide to cut her employment teeth? At Newman or Jabot? One thing is for certain. Victoria might have a few jealousy issues with this new Newman daughter, but I'm guessing Victor will demand she treat Abby with the respect and cordiality he didn't require on Adam's behalf. Should make for some interesting times ahead.
But that's for later. For now, its back to Brad and Victor. Fortunately for Victor, since we all know Brad's remaining days are now numbered in the single digits, there will be no need to do anything public about his board seat, or fight about whom can best play Daddy, where Abby should live or how many expensive trinkets Victor should or shouldn't buy her. It's not likely Abby will start refusing Victor's gifts or that rose lens-wearing Ashley would draw any lines in the sand. But, who knows how Brad's demise or disappearance might alter the situation for Abby.
Speaking of Brad's departure, I thought his send-off week was rather watch-worthy. His outing of Phyllis, those forgotten flashbacks of a young and tender Brad and Traci, and his farewell conversation with Sharon, was all quite enjoyable, though touched with sadness. I know Brad was practically painted into a corner with that poorly-thought out, reliquary rotgut, which made mincemeat of his admittedly sparse back story, but even with that, there were plenty of ways he could have been writer-redeemed. I'm surprised to realize, I'm going to miss old Bradley. Genoa City already has more unfulfilled maids than men to match them, so few that romance often resembles a game of musical chairs, with interchangeable women instead of empty chairs, so it made little sense to me to whittle even one away from an already inadequate number. But, that's just my opinion, and it and two cents would likely only buy me a licorice.
One good thing can be said about Brad's departure, though. At least it seems he gets to leave on a high, heroic note. Although, it also seems the rumors of his demise by taking a bullet shot by Phyllis and meant for Sharon were greatly exaggerated. Anyway, by the end of Brad's last conversation with her, If Sharon still wasn't convinced of his enduring love, I guess she will become so when she learns he was the mystery man who saved her son's life, perhaps at the cost of his own. I'm guessing she'll find herself quite haunted by Brad's last words that he'll love her until he dies. Of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't comment on some other, rather less believable words uttered during that conversation. Like the ones about never cheating on her if she was his girl. I mean, he is the married man who was cheating with Sharon on the woman he allegedly loved. Sharon couldn't have forgotten that. And though I don't know if Sharon ever knew it, Brad's also the very married man who cheated with Olivia while hitched to cancer-stricken Ashley. But who am I to doubt a man, whom, as it turns out was practically on his death bed? Perhaps his marriage to Sharon, should it have come about, would have been conducted in a cheat-free zone. It appears, we'll never know now.
I hope there's a bit of the cat in Noah Newman. The part that has the nine lives. Because if he continues to hang out with Eden, he's going to need every one of them. I'm all for young romance, and Noah has proven to be a sweet and forgiving young man, but Eden is another story. She's proving to be quite the scheming little serpent. In this instance, I don't blame Nick and Sharon one bit for wanting this girl to keep far from their impressionable and inexperienced son. It seems if given a choice, she'd almost always pick wrong over right. As much as she talks trash about her father, she's learned quite a lot from her fabricating father; the knack of on-her- feet embellishing of immensely believable fables. No little, stumbling white lies for this rebel. She spins a richly detailed, truth-free tale. And despite what she insists, she can't really care all that much for Noah. Because despite his telling of the Cassie story involving both lying and underage drinking, Eden didn't even think twice about embroiling Noah in adventures that involved both. And Lauren and Michael aren't much better. Why does Lauren keep saying Eden is not at fault or doing anything much wrong? When every time they turn around Eden is lying and sneaking around. She can't be trusted, yet they keep slapping her hand and trusting her anyway. And in return for their trust, she just tells them another lie. Maybe Michael is right to question whether he or Lauren is up to the task of managing a trouble-seeking teen. Perhaps the Baldwins might want to have a little chat with Abby because although she's been in town barely a week, she was able to instantly and accurately categorize Eden's character. And she's right, because every time something unfortunate has happened between Noah and Eden, it has always been one of Eden's lame adventures they were off on. Noah has simply been the infatuation-stricken follower, trailing Eden wherever she led.
And if anyone is harboring a hope that almost losing his life would cause Noah to rethink his attraction to Eden, it's probably futile. He will simply blame himself (and, since he was the one who went skating on ice he couldn't be sure was thick enough to hold him, even though it was Eden's adventure) he would probably be right to do so. The parents might as well accept the inevitable and let them be together openly. At least they'd have a better chance of keeping Noah safe. Speaking of Noah's close brush with the afterlife, Nick's hospital scenes with Noah were excellent. Nick is one of the best when it comes to making us believe his kids are really his and that he's truly terrified he could lose them. And I have to also give Nick his props for his graciousness and class in inviting Jack into Noah's hospital room. Victor would have banned Jack from the hospital. What was also interesting was how Phyllis turned to Jack and how quickly he responded and went running. Yes, it was partly about his relationship with Noah, but an equal part was likely his desire to support Phyllis. He can point to Sharon's lingering love for Nick all he wants as a partial reason for the end of his marriage, but it's also true he is no more over his ex than Sharon is over hers.
It was every bit as satisfying as I hoped it would be when Phyllis found herself snagged securely on one of the strands of the sticky web she'd spun to help Brad catch Sharon. It was lovely to see that finally Phyllis is being called on her actions. Just my opinion, but it seems as if Phyllis should be more concerned about Nick's affectionate ending to his fax than the one Sharon sent in reply admitting she was a little lonely. Although I could see why she used it, I didn't agree with Phyllis comparing her and Danny's parenting bond to Nick and Sharon's. The two were only happily married for about five minutes (yes, I'm exaggerating) just until Danny found out the depth of her duplicity, so there was no parenting bond to speak of, let alone a long history of up, downs, sickness, health, cheating, death of a child do us part, all that. On top of that, since she had been court-ordered out of Danny's life, she and Danny weren't in the habit of communicating, by phone, fax, e-mail or otherwise. Not to mention most of her relationship with Danny was based on DNA manipulation, thick smoke and large, reflective mirrors, at the time they didn't even have a cordial relationship, let alone one that would make Danny close a communication to her with her a word like love. In fact, she wasn't even in the picture until Daniel was nearly old enough to vote. Of course, none of that really has anything to do with Phyllis' current argument. I agree with her that Nick is too close for comfort to his ex-wife, and she to him. And given the cheating foundation that lead to her current cohabitation with Nick, Phyllis can't be faulted for fearing the past might become the present, or that lightning might strike the same cheating man twice.
Does all this mean a Sharon and Nick reunion are a done deal and that Phyllis and Nick's relationship is in its last gasp stage? I'm guessing, no on both counts, at least for now. There are likely still some miles yet to be logged on Phyllis and Nick's speedometer, although it's my completely uneducated guess, much as if I were blindfolded, spun around, and told to pin the tale precisely on the donkey's back parts, that Nick will eventually return to Sharon. For fans who don't want this outcome, thinking it would be just more been there, done that, I do think if it happens it will have a whole different flavor. They aren't the same people they were when they parted and Nick is a good enough actor that I believe he could convince us his resurrected love for Sharon is genuine. But, whatever happens, I doubt it is going to happen overnight, so Nick and Phyllis fans, I think you can continue to enjoy your fave couple. Of course, I must caution you (and Sharon/Nick fans as well), I know no more than any of you, which is what the rumors and spoilers tell me, so this one could go either way.
The thing that keeps me from feeling much sympathy for Nikki when Victor starts verbally abusing her is the fact that she so often brings it on herself. She's been repeatedly insisting she no longer cares what Victor is up to. So why, then, doesn't she just give him and those he momentarily loves or lusts after a wide berth? She knows by now Ashley will immediately refute anything she says, behaving much like those monkeys Phyllis once gave Nick, to see, hear, nor speak no evil of the great and powerful Victor. So does Nikki just do it so one day she can triumphantly trumpet: "I told your behind so?" As for Victor, as usual, he's a study in contrasts. One minute he's spitting at Nikki about her apparently ongoing running mouth problem, ripping her up one side and down the other. But when Nikki interrupts to share her Casey cancer news, he's all gruff helpfulness, his offer to fly in a specialist, whatever Nikki needs, the closest he'll come to a sort of apology. I can't wait to see Victor's reaction when he learns of Nikki's new relationship with Paul. Let's just see how detached and uncaring he'll be able to remain. Because a new man in Nikki's life has almost always been the direct catalyst that reawakens Victor's slumbering feelings for her.
Funniest line of the week that had me laughing so hard my sides ached and I could hardly catch my breath was when Michael and company were discussing Kay's attire for the upcoming meeting with Nelson the gems dealer. Murphy said something like: "Hey Marge, you want I should iron that bowling shirt Pearl gave you? You look pretty snappy in that." I get that Murphy is apparently supposed to be just a simple man, unsophisticated and plain speaking. But come on, would anyone really think that a bowling shirt would be impressive attire? Sometimes, all I can do is shake my head at some of the things he says. Com-e-dy! I love the old guy, and the way he's so protective of Kay, but I think they're piling on just a little bit much of the old country bumpkin persona. He acts as if he doesn't know a single thing about the outside world. And my amazement comes from the fact that he's able to utter some of this stuff with a completely straight face. I can't wait until Kay is back at the Mansion and Murphy and Jill get a chance to chat. I anticipate more laughter and aching sides.
I'm actually loving the dynamics of the just under or a hair or three over 30 quartet. The four have great chemistry. Kevin's always on point and perfect portrayal definitely raises the bar for the other three. I like the way he and Jana relate and the common thread that runs between the four that while they often strive to stay on the right side of the law, they don't beat themselves up overmuch, if at all, when they stumble and wind up on the lawbreaking side. Kevin and Amber have been good together all week and since all they are doing is trying to help Kay get her life back, how could I help but be on their side? Besides, Kevin can be such a believable and adorable penitent, no matter how serious his antics or crimes have been, I just want to hug him and laugh. Okay, the attempted murder and sexual manipulation parts didn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy toward him, but those are long in the past and why should I continue to hold those against him when the women he wronged have forgiven and forgotten?
As expected, Gloria accepted Victor's way over market price offer for her stock. Victor has learned over the years that if you add enough zeros, you're pretty much assured of buying what you can't get by hook or by crook. And, given her situation, there was no valid reason Gloria would prove to be the exception to that rule. Not that I blame her a bit for taking him up on his offer. Considering the fact that Jeff's the reason she's languishing behind bars, he should have known she'd never consent to sell even a bridge she didn't own to him. For her part, Jill has treated Gloria like stinky dog poo on the sole of her expensive shoe for months, so why would Gloria want to lift so much as a finger on her unmanicured hand to help Jill best Jack? As for Jack, well, as always, he's been his own worst enemy. Had he sprung Gloria when she asked, he wouldn't be walking around thinking he's soon to be in charge instead of having to answer to his baby brother at best, and Victor, at worst. Were I Gloria I, too, would have leapt at Victor's offer.
Covering all his bases, Victor obviously plans to undermine and destroy Jack from many positions of power. His chessboard is getting crowded with all the pieces he's lining up to checkmate Jack's queen. Even Billy has a place in Victor's diabolical plan. But even if it doesn't last, it was gratifying to see that Billy, far from being flattered or tongue-tied, saw right to the heart of Victor's interest in him and didn't hesitate to let him know it. I don't know how long he'll be able to hold out, however, but at least he wasn't swayed by Victor's insincere sweet talk. Too bad he can't teach that parlor trip to his sister. I was kind of disappointed that Billy didn't reveal to Jack, though, that he'd been summoned to an audience with the great and powerful one. Because even though he doesn't know it, he's helping Victor best his brother by keeping mum. When Victor finally strikes Jack with his poisonous bite, Jack won't have had any idea there was even a snake in the vicinity.
Was I the only fan chuckling when Lily talked about the desire to work someplace where nobody knows her name? Hasn't she figured out yet that no such place exists in Genoa City? And what are the odds that the one place she and Billy chose for anonymity purposes, would contain one of the two people she'd least like to serve, namely Cane? Not that you could tell she might feel that way by the way she and Cane giggled together while he coached her through her drink-making interview.
As more and more of Chloe and Billy's past is revealed, I'm beginning to feel quite confused. Billy has often spoken as if he and Chloe were little more than a one night stand, yet they seem to have had no end of memorable moments together. How long were these two together anyway? Did they live together, see each other 24/7 for a couple of weeks or were they just casually dating? And if they were so casual, how did he come to know her so well he could instantly gauge her mood by her nail nibbling?
Even if you don't want to, you almost have to feel sorry for someone as desperate and gullible as Esther. Not for her wasting any time worrying about whether Roger likes her for herself or simply because she's flush with Chancellor cash. She probably wouldn't care if the reason for her romance is for the latter, not the former, would just be happy a man wants her for any reason. But I can't help but think what a rude awakening she has coming, first realizing a man has once again just been conning her for her cash, and second, once she's gotten over the joy of Mrs. C's return, that she has to go back to wearing that maid's uniform and serving Jill, all the while listening to at least a daily chorus of Jill's I told you so's. By the way, NOW Cane gets a bad feeling about Roger?! Too bad that feeling didn't hit him upside his clueless noggin before he and Chloe set up Esther for a blind date. Seems like his con radar is just about as inaccurate as Nikki's.
And lastly, in answer to your question, fan TJ (below), since Nick left town with Summer's paternity results, then returned admitting he was the father, but showing no one the actual results, depending on who you're rooting for, many fans feel that left some wiggle room that one day Summer might prove to be Jack's.