As one shocking truth after another buffeted the assembled cast of characters, it was a miracle that Kay was the only one to swoon under the weight of it all. For Lily, likely never having laid eyes on the third Phillip Chancellor, it must have seemed as if she'd mistakenly wandered into the middle of one of Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd scenarios. Unfortunately for her, Ashton never appeared and it was soon apparent what was unfolding before her was not even close to being a joke. Strangely, although I know Cane had coming every bit of the malice and acrimonious insults bombarding him from every direction, I still found myself feeling a little bit sorry for him anyway. Even stranger, discovering without a doubt that Cane wasn't the goody-goody guy he'd so long pretended to be made him much more interesting.
While I could understand Lily's rage and disillusionment, I could only laugh uproariously when Chloe and Billy stepped up to dig their sharp blades beneath the disgraced Cane's skin. There was Chloe, doing a wonderful imitation of a scarred skillet, giving the blackened Cane pot a scalding dressing down. Who is that lying, manipulating minx to look down her snout, hurling scorn-dipped syllables at Cane for being a liar? When she's a veritable poster child for fully-fleshed out deception. Billy still has no clue his entire relationship with Chloe has been a carefully orchestrated performance where everything was planned and nothing was left to chance. And she seems to have no qualms about using little Delia like a Vegas chip in a high stakes poker game, if it will win her Billy's heart.
Later in the week, my sympathies shifted a little from Cane after Lily made a good point. Now that we know Cane was aware almost from the beginning he could not possibly be Delia's Daddy, he did choose his secret over a life with Lily. But on the other hand, would it really have resulted in a different outcome had Cane come clean before he was caught red-handed, so to speak? Doubtful. Lily and everyone else still would have been shattered by the revelations and none would likely to have been filled with forgiveness just because Cane was confessing. I suspect Neil would still have shifted immediately into full Neanderthal mode forbidding Cane from coming within kissing distance of his beloved daughter and condemnation still would have come from every quarter. Who is Neil to point a fault-finding finger anyway? Mr. Breaker of Marriage Vows, in love one minute, out the next. I know he was just being a protective father, but he got on my nerves nonetheless. But, despite how bleak things appear at the moment, I don't think this means the absolute end for Lily and Cane's love story. Neil and Devon might have no love left for the Aussie, but I'm guessing he won't be so easy for Lily to forget once her rage subsides somewhat.
Phillip's tale of woe was interesting and did make an odd kind of sense, which, together with Cane's side of the story, managed to fill just about every hole his return had created in the fabric of the show's history. Maybe I'm easy, but I'm satisfied that things could have happened that way and it didn't take much more than a pinch or two of belief suspension. Having been a watching fan back then, Phillip sounded much like I remembered, and looked pretty much as I imagined he might after a 20-year absence. As always, Kay put in an awesomely powerful performance, and Jill and Nina easily held their own as well. Kay was poignant and believable in questioning whether she could get past all the pain created by Phillip's death and his attempt to rectify his mistake of the past by sending them a substitute son and grandson, but it had to be a relief for Kay to realize she wasn't some drunken baby dealer/stealer after all. And we all know that, despite her current doubts, Kay has a heart the size of Texas and eventually, she will indeed forgive Phillip for what he has done.
As for Nina, although I know scores of fans are thrilled her likeness has been repainted onto the GC canvas, I just wish she would tone it down a wee bit. Sure, her pit-bull determination got the job done, and all but Cane should be forever grateful to her because had she not bit down and held on so tight, Phillip might never have returned to his roots, but at the same time, she can be so in your face and thoroughly annoying with her belligerent tone and strident accusations. She was much the same in those long ago days and I really can't fault Phillip too much for wanting to run as far and as fast as he could to get away from her.
Of course, we now know Phillip's tender years wasn't the sole reason he wanted to put miles and years between him and Genoa City. Still reeling from the blows she had already received, the double whammy came when Phillip told Nina on top of everything else, he wasn't exactly the man she thought he was. Or, he was, but he was just not a man who had a liking for the ladies, if you will. For once, Nina was left speechless, and I was glad to hear her momentary silence.
Okay, call me callous, but was I ever glad little Summer woke up! Because I don't know how I could have stomached much more of the hospital vigil with Phyllis and her, my fault, my fault refrain and all the assorted family members trudging in and out, in and out. Don't get me wrong, what Mary Jane did was atrocious, even for a crazy woman, but I had a hard time feeling much of anything. Aged practically overnight from a toddler who barely talked to school age, Summer feels to me like a stranger who just showed up in town one day, and I don't feel any connection with her. Instead, the plot felt too contrived, and Nick being banned from Summer, because Phyllis was suspected of Munchenhausen seemed tossed in solely to ensure Nick remained glued to Phyllis' side.
Of course, I may as well get used to that, because after a two-week respite, all indications point to Nick and Phyllis going round and round again. Everyone knows I am thoroughly sick of this pairing and I was really looking forward to something else, even if it was a re-run of Nick and Sharon. Enough with the waffling. Just go ahead and park these two in front of a video game or send them to the bedroom and find Sharon someone else, who isn't named Jack. I know Jack and Sharon, or Shack as they have been message-board nicknamed, have their devoted followers, but just my worthless opinion, these two have never been a believable couple to me. Despite Jack's frequent avowals of loving Sharon like no other, it has never rung true to me. Their relationship still feels more father-daughter than husband-wife or lover-lover. Maybe because it has always seemed obvious that Sharon felt a fondness for him at most, even at the beginning. Like everyone else, Jack deserves a woman who loves only him, not just to be somebody's rebound. This is a painful pairing to watch and I was really hoping the agony would finally come to an end.
Speaking of Sharon, I know there's a method to the scribe's scribbled madness, but I still wanted to reach through the screen and throttle that woman for being blinded by the glow of the lightbulb that went off in her empty head the day she decided to name Jack as the father. Oh, I get that she's trying to be all self-sacrificial and such, but lying about your baby's daddy is just stupid. I guess that's how you know you're living in make believe land, because who does that for real? Like years later, Jack and Nick are going to thank her for ripping their hearts out, when one learns the daughter he loves isn't his, and the other finds out he was denied the chance to love her.
Of course, on the other hand, I can see the future storyline potential by having Sharon make this ridiculous sacrifice. It could go any number of ways. For instance, Jack Abbott raising a Newman heir, cheating Nick out of an early life with his daughter. And given the rapidity the children in this town age, perhaps her entire childhood. But if it turns out that Summer really belongs to Jack, a possibility many fans still cling hopefully to, it would be a sort of irony that Nick raises Jack's child, while Jack raises his. But there is also another possibility. Remember awhile back when scribe Bell promised the storyline surrounding Faith's paternity would begin a huge story arc that would last into the fall? Well, like fan Wanda below, I've been thinking about that and I too have a feeling of foreboding about where this is all going. Like the possibility that seems to be looming ever larger with Ashley's every mention about her and Sharon having similar due dates. I'm guessing a due date of perhaps November, but whenever it is, it is easy to imagine one of those coincidental rain/snow/ice storms which will conveniently trap both pregnant women at an otherwise deserted location, say the Newman ranch. Well, deserted, of course, by everyone except Dr. Taylor and Adam the baby killer. Can't you just close your eyes and see it all? Both women heavily sedated and completely insensible, the better for Dr. Taylor to substitute a dead fetus which he will, of course, have on hand, for Sharon, while baby Faith is deposited into the dysfunctional arms of Victor and Ashley. How very soap opera-ish, Victor raising his granddaughter while Ashley rears her niece. Sharon and Jack are left brokenhearted. Nick feels bad for Sharon, but will undoubtedly feel much worse if Sharon chooses that moment to tell him it was his baby after all. Nick won't be able to forgive her, of course, at least not until later, likely much later, when it will somehow come out that Faith is alive and living with grandpa.
Of course, if that's the way things play out, that means Adam and his manipulative reign of terror is not anywhere near the end. In fact, now that Mary Jane has made his acquaintance, things are likely to go from bad to a whole lot worse. Talk about two heads being better than one. Well, I don't know about them being better, but they'll definitely be crazier.
The slap heard round the town. Why is Phyllis the only woman who gets to slap the bearer of whatever bad news she doesn't want to hear? She did it to Jack, now she's delivered a stinging slap to Heather's cheek. Like a person can just slap the spit out of someone's mouth, an officer of the law, at that, and they will just let bygones be bygones. I say, get that violent-prone chick to court-ordered anger management classes pronto. Everybody else has to swallow the wrong that's been done to them without getting physical, but not Red. And while I'm on the subject of preferential treatment, when will Genoa City learn Sharon isn't the only lady with an unlocked chastity belt. Phyllis was so quick to out Sharon when she learned of her multiple mates. Why doesn't she turn up pregnant and have to live the shame of Nick learning their impending bundle of joy might be an Abbott? Would Noah still be so supportive if he learned Nick and Sharon aren't the only parents that don't know what the heck they're doing or who the heck they want to do it with? For fans who wonder why I am so hard on Phyllis, therein lies my biggest problem with her (the character, not the woman). She often sanctimoniously levels a finger at Sharon, but really she isn't much better. Sharon's misdeeds always come to light, which, going by my warped sense of fair play and soap justice, is as it should be. I just ask that the same transparency be applied to Phyllis' deeds. And before anyone reminds me, I know Phyllis has been found out before. But still, a lot of her dirt has remained hidden beneath the rug. And how often has she complained that all the men want to protect Sharon. Seems to me she has a pretty wide circle of protective knights in dented armor herself. Jack and Michael practically fall on their faces in their efforts to bend supportively over her. And Nick, Daniel and Noah are stepping on the back of their heels in their hurry to be of help as well. When you come right down to it, Phyllis is just as needy as she's always accusing Sharon of being.
Taking a detour down an entirely different road, what about Paul and those new glasses and slightly different do? Was I the only fan who did a double take, and an admiring, appreciative one at that? Maybe it was just me, but I thought the man looked rather sexy. He certainly didn't look like plain old dependable, predictable Paul. I thought his new look made him seem younger, but oddly, unfortunately it also made him seem less of a fit with Nikki than before. By the way, speaking of Nikki, it's been widely reported now that an agreement between the parties has been reached and Nikki will be with us for the foreseeable future. But, it's also been rumored that the writing penning her unfortunate and perhaps permanent demise had already been written on the wall and thus would play out as previously written. Could this be the 'death' many are murmuring about? For Nikki fans, myself included, her new contract is good news (except perhaps for Ashley down the road) and I look forward with interest to seeing how she gets done away with, especially knowing she'll eventually return.
That Victor really is a smelly old fish, isn't he? How can he stand there without so much as a squirm of guilt listening to Paul talk about the craziness of his own sister, knowing not only that he is responsible for bringing her into their lives, but worse, is a big part of the reason she's deteriorated further. I'm no fan of nutty Mary Jane, but what Victor's done is reprehensible. He has the nerve to lecture Nick about family, while having a hand in destroying parts of someone else's just because he hates Jack and couldn't figure out a way to get him on his own, so hid his treachery behind Mary's Jane's skirts. If Paul ever becomes a friend to him or does his bidding again after this, then that will prove Paul is as crazy as his sister. And what if Nick detects Victor's hand in the Mary Jane mess? A hand that was indirectly responsible for Summer's near death and possible medical repercussions. Seems like something like that would definitely put a crimp in father and son's renewed family relations.
How funny to hear Daniel waxing all poetic to Noah about Amber. Wasn't it only a few weeks ago when Amber was begging for marriage and Daniel was backpedaling as fast as his tightly-encased legs would let him, babbling all the while about his need to concentrate on his career instead of hitching his wedding wagon to Amber's donkey? Now, all of a sudden Amber is the best and most loyal, loving being that's ever stepped a high heel into his life.
Ahh, at last, a new face. Mr. Deacon Sharpe. He's gorgeous, sexy and extremely devious. In other words, a perfect addition to the Genoa City ranks. With Sharon hopping in and out of the beds of related parties, Jack rotating between Phyllis, Sharon and Mary Jane, and Nick flip-flopping between Sharon and Phyllis, Y&R sometimes gets quite an incestuous feel to its romances, though not nearly as bad as the too close for comfort sexcapades of the Bed Brooke Show, I mean the Bold and Beautiful. So I'm looking forward to watching all the mischief Deacon might get up to. I just hope he doesn't confine himself to dogged pursuit of Amber.
And finally … perhaps deciding to do it all at once and get the expected outrage over with, our favorite show is going like gangbusters down the gay boulevard. Fans continue to express their disapproval of Y&R's foray into homosexuality, many swearing they are through with Y&R forever. Others, however, welcome this new direction, or at least won't stop watching because of it. For myself, I'm into the romance side of soap relationships, and actually like it better if what soap couples do beneath their covers or atop their couches is left to my imagination. Regardless of what gender the participants are. Anyway, with Adam pretending to be gay to keep Rafe from blowing him and his malicious plan out of the water (oh dear, a pun really wasn't intended there), Y&R has clearly decided to throw caution to the wind and pen a homosexual tale or two. One good thing, I'm sure most watching fans would agree that our show is tops in soap stuff and often addresses many issues more tastefully or more interestingly than other soaps. So hopefully the scribes will use this opportunity to address this issue, not as a sexual thing to be salivated over in the most shocking manner possible, but from the viewpoint of a person who actually lives the life, with all its attendant problems and hostilities. Like it or not, there are a lot of families out there who have had to deal with the reality of a homosexual family member. The reaction of fans who are so enraged that they will boycott a make-believe show isn't really that surprising, given that people often react exactly the same way in the real world.
And that, as they say, is that. I've run off at the mouth long enough. Time to hop down and share the podium with the faithful fans. Have at it, ladies (and gentlemen). See you all in two weeks.