It was a shorter week than usual, but our favorite Genoa Citians still managed to keep multiple plot pots of trauma, intrigue, and trouble bubbling near the boiling point.
Victor Newman, much like an oversized spider would toy with his web-encased captives, had a hairy extension fiddling with the flames under so many pots on the eight-burner stove top, it was a wonder none of them boiled over and left him with second- or third-degree burns.
Like a master chessman, Victor slid a pawn in place here, inched a bishop there, parked a rook at the ready, and carefully nudged a knight nearer. And all of his careful maneuvering seemed to have one goal. To regain his king, Beauty of Nature, which had been checkmated and lost during a previous contest.
A benevolent smile creasing his face, Victor played fairy godmother to Cinderella Sharon all week. Perhaps as partial payback for standing silently on the sidelines while Sharon was incarcerated for a crime she hadn't committed, Victor promoted her to a position of potential power, spearheading a new cosmetic company, presumably to replace the one he lost mostly by outmaneuvering himself.
Helping Sharon, however, was only the first of Victor's undertakings during the week. Possibly still a wee bit vexed with Phyllis for the Sharon-skewering pieces she frequently published, Victor selected Nick to oversee Sharon, clearly pushing the two toward a corporate closeness certain to propel Phyllis into a fiery fit of jealous fury.
Nick, pointing a loyal finger at Phyllis, was adamantly opposed to Daddy's demands that he toil in tandem with Sharon. But, surprisingly, Victor barely blinked when Nick balked at his idea. And before long, it became crystal clear to the rest of us exactly why. Victor plays things so close to the vest, it's often near impossible to separate what he planned from what coincidentally occurred. For this fan, such was the case with Nick's abrupt about-face.
How could Victor possibly have predicted Adam would show up at the board meeting and utter the exact words capable of causing Nick to catapult himself onto the deck of the new venture? Apparently just the possibility his detestable brother might wind up at the helm was so hard for Nick to bear that he forgot his promise to Phyllis, giving no thought to the tongue-lashing he'd receive for aiding the enemy. I expect their coming confrontation will be ugly. Nick would do well to wear his fire-retardant suit that day, because Phyllis' wrath will likely be painfully scorching.
Like Adam, I'm searching front, back, and on each side for the string attached to Victor's seeming change of heart regarding his youngest son. Though one Genoa Citian after another has delivered a stinging snub to Adam after learning of his latest transgression, he has so far resisted returning to his darker side and continues to convince me of his sincerity. I'm not nearly so certain of Victor's motives, however, unable to tell at this moment whether he really intends to accept Adam's olive branch or is only pretending he has.
Victor's manipulations don't just involve his family members. Genevieve has also managed to get her name on his list, though I'm sure she doesn't know it yet. Instead of taking Victoria's warnings to heart, she nonchalantly brushed them aside, positive she's as much a match for Victor as she was for Colin. Methinks she will live to discover she's been sadly mistaken.
Victoria, too, may one day have a few regrets for hitching her horsy so hastily to Genevieve's carriage. Genevieve clearly has little respect for Victoria's corporate knowledge, and I can't believe she didn't quit on the spot when her new boss decided she'd rather take Victor's advice instead of her new CEO's. Genevieve's decision doesn't bode well for their future working relationship. I have to admit that as much as I enjoy seeing Victor occasionally come in second, Genevieve's arrogance has made me line up on his side.
When it comes to schemers, Lauren and Tucker were the next names to land on my list. Though each has their own extremely successful business to run, apparently that is not enough to keep them busy. Their mouths filled with the nasty taste of sour grapes after being outvoted, they just couldn't help putting their heads together to come up with a way to make their individual marks on Newman Enterprises too. My fingers are crossed that they have as much success as Genevieve in outfoxing the fox.
Surprisingly, while both Jack and Paul's attitude toward Adam is totally justified, the only emotion they managed to awaken in me was annoyance. First of all, it's difficult to feel much sympathy for Jack in his wheelchair-bound state, since I'm convinced he won't be seated long. Secondly, Jack has so much dirt under his carpet, it's a wonder his wheelchair can navigate the hills. Besides tricking his own mind-muddled father, he never paid a penny in penance for his part in the forged diary fiasco. And, before he found out Adam had sprung Patty, he was all set to make Adam his accessory in yet another attempt to make Victor pay. On top of all that, despite Victor bringing Patty and her new face to town, and Adam setting her free, the original sin rests right on Jack's doorstep for his long-ago decision to use Patty to get what he wanted, then toss her aside like a used Puff.
As for Paul, it's a little difficult to feel his pain now. Where was big brother when Patty was lost in cloud land being treated by Dr. Emily? How hard did Mr. Detective look that he couldn't find his sister living under her own name? Secondly, will Paul go after Victor the way he's going after Adam? Somehow, I doubt it.
Finally, when it comes to Patty, why just be mad at Adam when the poor, addled soul has been selfishly used for various purposes by Jack, Victor, Adam, Ricky, and Phyllis. Seems to me there is plenty of blame to go around.
Speaking of Adam, what fun he and Chelsea are turning out to be together! While I liked Adam and Sharon together, this coupling, with no unwieldy baggage to weigh it down, is refreshing. He's alone and tolerated on the edges of other people's lives and so is she. Chelsea's accepted by Victoria solely because of the Billy bun she carries in her oven, and after the way Nikki slashed her with that sharp, sarcastic tongue, she's lucky Chelsea didn't decide then and there to keep her child rather than expose it to a grandmother like Nikki.
As for Victoria, what is with her dictating who Chelsea can and cannot talk to? If Victoria hopes to get that baby, she might want to hold her tongue until after she has baby in hand.
The week wasn't a whole lot of fun for Nikki Newman. Already irritated to discover Victor still has that same soft spot for Sharon, despite her and Victoria's disapproval, she had to watch him share the birthday lunch she planned for him with Genevieve as well. Her best friend, Katherine, had little sympathy or patience with her Victor complaints. And finally, Victor cut her off before she could explain why she was temporarily leaving the ranch. Of course, we fans can see this is all a plot device to send Nikki racing to the side of Victor's worst enemy, Jack, perhaps right into his arms and eventually, his bed. In the meantime, her seeming abandonment will likely give Victor the excuse he needs to console himself with Genevieve.
It looks like there will be plenty of soapy stuff ahead while the competing cosmetic companies vie for Mitsukoshi. I can't wait.
Lastly, it looks like the gauntlet has been thrown to the ground and it is likely to be a colossal clash of the titans between Daisy and Phyllis. Round one goes to Daisy for outfoxing Phyllis, but we know the fight is far from over. And with Lauren carrying that gun in her handbag, this can only come to a very bad end.
Well, I've done what I came for, but, as always, am leaving you with a few opinions of your fellow soapies. Enjoy, and keep them opinions coming, fans!