With the new fall season of primetime television just a few weeks away, it looked like CBS was previewing the latest iteration of the CSI franchise -- CSI: Genoa City. All that was missing was Diane's corpse on display with super-graphic cameras showing us what was happening in her internal organs -- you know the blood and guts and gritty reality! Yech! Seriously, though, did you see that suspect board? It was like a scene out of another crime procedural, The Closer. Hmm…is someone on Maria Arena Bell's writing staff moonlighting on a cop show?
Just two weeks into Diane's murder mystery, we've been deluged with clues upon clues…missing cell phones, Harvard class rings (chipped and unchipped), acrylic nails, expensive watches, unknown keys…have I missed anything? Everybody, it seems, had motive, opportunity, and no watertight alibi.
Ronan must be the happiest cop in crime land! Talk about your shot at the big time. The man with the newly harvested hunk of liver walks out of the FBI and into the Genoa City Police Department with the chance to play Columbo. All he's missing is a raincoat and a cheap cigar. Actually, I jest, but Ronan really could use a sidekick. He's got nobody to talk to about the crime, nobody to bounce ideas off of. They keep sending in extras and day players to hand him reports and evidence. Where are his underlings? Why not put Paul in the room with him when he's analyzing the data? Where's Mauro? Are we budget cutting, CBS?
Ronan has sadly become a one-note character. He has no personal life. He has no home -- where does he sleep? What happened to the women in his life? And what about answering some of those questions about that liver transplant! What the hell? He's got half a liver and a lot of splainin' to do. Isn't it time for Heather to return? Isn't it time for Nina to sue him for fraud or misrepresentation? Didn't it seem like he committed a crime to get Chance's liver? So far, his answers to Kay and Nina's questions have been…chopped liver!
It's hard to talk about Diane's murder without feeling a little lost. I mean, we knew it was going to be like this. Diane had enemies everywhere. She cultivated them like other people cultivate flowers. Some of the prime suspects are just too obvious for me. Victor? I doubt it; he'd have thrown her out of the Newman jet rather than bash her head in with a rock. Jack? Well, he was angry; but he wouldn't have done that to Kyle. Adam? Really…I doubt it. He was too busy trying to fake her death to kill her. Adam has reverted to pure weasel, by the way? His using a one-night stand for an alibi was lame. That poor girl, she had no idea she was getting involved in a murder when Adam picked her up at the bar.
This past week, we had Phyllis looking mighty guilty. She had the nails of guilt, right? Isn't that the makings of an open-and-shut case? Phyllis really should have known better with her nails. All manicurists gossip in movies and TV! They're like Chatty Cathys, so why on earth would Phyllis be so blatant about needing an emergency appointment? I guess Madame Editor didn't realize that with her cruddy, muddy, ripped-up nails she might have been wiser to pull out the Sally Hansen and an emery board for a little do-it-yourself nail repair instead of going to the nail salon! If you were a potential murder suspect, would you trust a manicurist with your suspect nails?
Then we had the curious itch of Tucker McCall. Following a leaf stuck in his hair, this week we discovered Tucker scratching up a storm and pouring calamine lotion all over his wrist. Considering he's under doctor's care for a brain ailment, how did he figure out that he shouldn't tell the truth about catching poison sumac in the park? All he had to say is that he had a reaction to poison sumac; it didn't have to have been caught the night of Diane's murder. And yet in his twisted mind, he's lying to everyone about carpal tunnel syndrome. Hmm…for an executive like him who probably never types his own correspondence, how will he explain the CTS? Faulty golf swing? Too much texting? The CTS is more suspicious than poison sumac!
While I'm confused by Tucker's actions and his lies, I am more annoyed with Kay. I don't get her. What is she doing? She's 127 years old! Who cares if she owns Chancellor Industries again? All this plotting to steal Chancellor back from Tucker by taking advantage of his brain injury is just disgusting. She's his mother! Oh, wait, she's not really. She just gave birth to him. She's never been a real mother to him and at this rate, she never will be. She doesn't act like she loves him.
But here's why I'm so confused about this development for Kay. I thought she was a character who understood the priorities of life. After all her health issues and her bouts with addiction, she is supposed to be a wise old owl. Clearly, she's still a manipulative witch. She'd rather use Tucker to win her company back than actually have a relationship with him. You know what should happen? Brock should return to counsel his Duchess. Kay needs somebody to get her head out of the financial papers and back into real life. She's not going to live forever; does she want her last days on earth to be spent swindling her son out of his company?
Kay's not alone in needing some major time on the couch. Chloe is in desperate need of a shrink! She's so messed up and she's now hurting Delia with her mangled thought processes. Her hatred of Billy is completely misguided. Does she really hate him or does she still love him? Why was she so passionate about kicking him when he was already down? It wasn't enough that he lost Lucy, Chloe had to make sure that she kept Delia out of his life, too? Why isn't she thinking of what Delia's needs? Billy could have been trusted with supervised visits, especially if Chloe agreed to be the supervisor. Instead, she drove Billy out of the country by taking away his last reason for staying: his daughter. As for Chloe's relationship with Kevin, well, if you were him, would you have stayed? She was a broken record! She was a drama queen. He wanted a fun girlfriend, not an evil harpy who wouldn't shut up about her problems.
Oh, another point about Billy. He was wrong to leave Victoria the way he did. You don't make love to your estranged wife and then sneak out and fly to the Orient. I think that's in Emily Post. It's a no-no. But since this is a soap, how much do you bet that Victoria is going to find out that she's pregnant? It would be so soapy. But it would also be the way to bring Vic and Billy back together -- bonding over a child of their own.
What is it with the Abbotts? Billy's leaving Victoria was a breach of etiquette, and Ashley's dumping Tucker is just plain dumb. So he made love to Diane before he married Ashley. Big deal! Yes, he lied, but so has Ashley. Ashley has a long history of mendacity; she's a world-class liar. Why is she suddenly so high and mighty? Come on, after all, she and Tucker went through with the car accident; this Diane thing should not be the cause of their breakup.
Then we have Jack and Kyle. How on earth would a judge ever give custody to Victor over Jack? Even if Diane signed the document giving Victor custody, why would a judge not rule that a father's rights are more binding? And Kyle is not an infant; he's a teenager (or just about). He should be able to tell a judge that he wants to live with his dad. Clearly, since he stole his father's school ring to protect Jack, that's what he would want. Victor is a nice surrogate, but every kid wants his real parent. Hopefully, if this case goes to court, Jack will not ask Rafe to represent him. Rafe has already flopped with Billy's custody case, remember?
I think the luckiest character on the show is Sharon. She's having the time of her life in prison, and she looks fabulous. I guess they have a great colorist at the State Pen because her hair's never looked better. Sharon's not doing hard time at all. She's always in the visitor's room. Of course, Sam has no life. His farm is going to seed, but he's hanging out with the convicted killer who's been sentenced to 30 years behind bars without parole. Smart move, Doc!
By the way, have you noticed that Sam and Tucker are starting to look more and more alike? Maybe it's just the actors… Still, could it be that Sam is Tucker's missing son? What do you think?
I'm still loving Genevieve because she's a complete puzzle. What does she want? Who does she want? Has she gotten the revenge she sought on Colin for Samantha and turned the page? I kind of liked her flirting with Victor at the gym, but I didn't think it was very convincing the way she went after the heavy bag. Maybe if she had put on actual gym clothes. As for Victor, it's about time he tried a new woman instead of his usual harem. Sure, he loves Nikki, but who know when she's coming back. Maybe a fling with Genevieve is just the thing to shake things up…and one more element in the Jack and Victor feud.
So who killed Diane? Are Nick and Ashley really attracted to each other or are they just working together to cover their butts with the cops? And what the heck does Deacon really know? Right now, Deacon is setting himself up to be killed as surely as Diane did. Really, is he suicidal? Why was he taunting Abby and Phyllis? Whose face is he going to get into next week -- Victor, Jack? Like I said, he's cruising for a killing.
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 to 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: