If you didn't notice, Diane Jenkins has been marked for death. Head writer Maria Arena Bell is killing off the character -- and actress Maura West is leaving the show -- so this past week was an exercise in seeing how many other characters could be set up to be prime suspects when Diane's body is found floating dead in the Genoa City Athletic Club swimming pool…or under a table at Crimson Lights covered in day-old coffee grinds and plastic stirrers. It was sort of typical for a soap, piling on the venom in a final round of antagonism so that when Diane finally is pronounced dead, we're going to have to wonder whodunit. And, as you saw, there will be more than the usual suspects.
Of course, I give credit to Ms. Bell for muddying the waters sufficiently so that I lost track of where Adam's plot began and where real suspects emerged. At what point is Diane actually going to discover that faking your death and being killed by an enemy is not the same thing. Let's review the situation, shall we? If we're to buy the plot hatched by Adam, Diane's death will be a fake-a-roo. After having done the same for Skye (the first time she croaked in the stables), and then for himself (remember when he was having cocktails on a beach), Adam is the man with the plan when it comes to making the authorities believe someone is six feet under.
However, after Diane was exposed as having made a deal with D.A. Walsh in which she sold Adam out for the Newman stock shenanigans, Adam told Diane their deal was over. If that was real, then Diane's lost her partner in crime for setting up the fake murder. Is she going to enlist another person to do what Adam was supposed to do? Is Adam going have a change of heart? Does Adam have a heart?
I think not; which means that good old Diane is flying solo. I could see her efforts to stage her death turn into the real thing. She's simply not crafty enough to pull it off, which is why she'll probably really wind up being killed. Will Phyllis be the killer? Jack? Victoria? Victor? Abby? Ashley? Tucker? Nikki? Think of all the people she's ticked off in just the past couple of weeks?
Diane looked like she had really lost it when she saw Phyllis doing the horizontal lambada with Nick. The way Diane attacked Phyllis was pure catfight. The only weakling in the bunch was Nick; couldn't he handle the women? It was funny to see how bent out of shape Diane was, but even funnier was Phyllis' reaction. She got a restraining order against Diane! Wow! Phyllis is one to talk…she's made just as many enemies as Diane in Genoa City, and yet she's running around without bodyguards. Phyllis is too self-righteous for my taste. And while we're mentioning Phyllis, where the hell is Lucy? She was so intent on getting Lucy away from Billy and Victoria, but now that she's got custody, she's never home with the baby. Really nice…and in the meantime, Billy's a wreck and Victoria's up to her neck in Newman Enterprises' business because her life is so empty. So much for happy family life.
The family angle was a particularly odd ploy for Diane to pull on Jack. Did she really think stripping in front of Jack was going to convince him that she was the perfect choice to be Mrs. Jack Abbott? I'm sure she's very seductive with her dress off, but just a day before, Diane was lying to him about Kyle's whereabouts and making Jack look like an idiot at Gloworm. Why would Jack suddenly go all weak in the knees to play house with Diane just because she's willing to make love on the living room sofa? Oh right, she also said she'd bring Kyle home.
Speaking of Kyle, I have a problem with this aspect of the story. Kyle's no dummy. He's a smart kid. Kyle should have told his mother to forget it when she handed him the fake passport and shipped him off to Switzerland. He could have easily turned to Victor or Jack to protect him from Diane. Even if the boy loves his mother, he knows that she's crazy and dangerous. He's been through complete hell with her. I would have believed it more if Kyle had refused to go. He's a pre-teenager. Do you know how hard it is to get kids to do what you want them to do? Kyle has a mind of his own, and he should have used it before boarding that plane.
Speaking of parent-child relationships, let's talk about two others on the show that are in serious trouble. What on earth could compel Kay to treat Tucker the way she is? Does she think that humiliating him before the judge, and plotting to end his marriage to Ashley, is going to convince her grown son to love her? For God's sake, Ashley and Tucker are well over 21 -- they know what they're doing. It's unbelievable that Kay would stick her nose in like that.
It's even more unbelievable that a Wisconsin judge would side with Kay against Tucker to keep her in charge of his corporation! Where was the medical testimony to back up her claim that he's mentally impaired? And while we're on the subject of brain power, what about Kay's mental capabilities? She's had multiple strokes! She's over 80 years old and has a history of health issues! What judge would think that she was competent enough to continue managing the company, independent of her son's wishes? It would make more sense to put Ashley in charge because she's not only Tucker's next of kin, as his wife, but she's also younger and just as experienced a businesswoman as Katherine. And, Maria, if Ashley were put in charge, that would have given Kay more motivation to have Tucker's marriage proved invalid!
I just don't get Kay. Why is she deep into Tucker's business when it's none of her affair? And where's Murphy to tell Kay that she's off the rails? He'd tell Kay that she was dead wrong to be treating her son the way she is, but he's apparently out fishing. Or the fish have eaten him. Anyway you slice it, Kay should not be calling the shots.
Parent-child relationship number two for examination is Billy and Delia. When are we going to stop beating up Billy? I'm so fed up with this storyline. It's completely one-note. Chloe calls Billy a danger to Delia, a horrible example of fatherhood, a papa presence that will harm Delia. Come on, are you kidding me? Chloe is coming off as a heartless, unfeeling and selfish bitch. Where's her love for Delia? Doesn't she want her daughter to have a father in her life? If she doesn't trust Billy, Chloe should arrange to be at the visits, but at least let Delia have her daddy. At least Kevin is the voice of sanity; he's definitely not in lockstep with Chloe. He knows too well that a child needs a father. …Of course, like Phyllis, he's completely forgotten about Lucy, the niece he was ready to adopt!
Sharon learned the truth about Adam this past week. What a slap in the face that was! After all she did for Adam, all the trouble she got into to save him, and he turned on her just like he's done everybody else in his life. So she had a thing with Sam, big deal. It's not like Sharon's never been with other men. And she did believe that she would never be returning to Genoa City at the time she and Sam finally became lovers. Sharon was betraying Adam as much as she was accepting the fact that she'd never see him again. But in Adam's eyes, it was betrayal, and he's out for vengeance.
So who was on the other end of the phone? Who was Adam talking to when he said the person had been spending too much money and had to "remain under the radar"? The logical answer is Skye, but if so, how did she survive the volcano? That would seem to eliminate Skye as a likely collaborator. Who else? Is there another mystery cohort out there who's plotting with Adam? Apparently there is -- so write me with your ideas.
It was a busy week for some other characters, too. Abby and Victoria were very sweet together with their collaboration for Beauty of Nature, but what really made the scene was getting Genevieve involved. She was dazzling. Honestly, I think Genie Francis has been amazing so far. I love Genevieve, even though I haven't figured her out. Is she playing Jabot against Beauty of Nature, or just looking for a spot to land? I'd believe that she's either interested in buying one of the companies or bringing in another competitor to take on the cosmetic giants.
While Genevieve is delightful, Sam is a dud. He's a good guy, but such a yawn. If he turns out to be Tucker's son, what's the plus? He's not into business; he's an animal doctor. If he's Victor's spawn, on the other hand, he'll be at odds with Nick and Adam and fit right in to the Newman ranch. And speaking of Victor, he walked right into Diane's trap at her hotel room. What was he thinking? Sure, he believes he's above the law, but come on. This was a really dumb move. At least he should have brought Michael along as a witness. Finally, a financial question. Why would Deacon sell the video-cam with Abby's confession to Diane for just one hundred bucks? A single c-note! Really? I could have bought it! Jeez, Deacon would have gotten more selling the camera to a tabloid…or Victoria…or Abby…or Ashley…or anybody who would like to keep it from being played on air. This made no sense and was an insult to the viewers.
That's it for now. I'm anxious to hear more from you all -- your theories are dynamite. And tell me about which characters you'd like to talk about in the Two Scoops! If you're not sure how to write me, click the Feedback option at the top of the page, the Email link at the footer of the column, or just click here. Till then, let's take a look at some letters from the mailbox: