Maybe you thought it would be safe to live and love in Genoa City since the exits of homicidal Ricky and nefarious Daisy? Well, think again. Those two evildoers may be gone (we're still not one hundred percent sure about Daisy because her body hasn't been found), but trouble is still the watchword for this supposedly sweet Wisconsin city. You have the noose tightening around Phyllis' neck, Sharon poised to head down a path that will land her back in a mental hospital, Nikki tempting Victor one more time despite her premarital bliss with Jack, Paul suffering post-murder guilt, and Genevieve and Cane dazed and confused by the weird doings of a girl named Shirl!
Are we on the brink of a major explosion…or is this business as usual for Genoa City's leading townsfolk? To me, it's the calm before the storm. Or should I say storms, because there are multiple clouds on the horizon, and they're all filled with rain, thunder, and big-time trouble. For starters, there was that brief moment at the end of Friday's show when suddenly, out of the blue, Sharon was in a fancy boutique -- paying for her purchase -- when she inexplicably lifted a necklace for which she did not pay, and dropped it in her shopping bag. Clearly, this was a cry for help.
The facts are clear as a bell to me; she's sleeping with her former father-in-law, living like a paid escort, and watching four men whom she's loved -- Billy, Jack, Nick, and Adam -- all happily moving on with other women. It's driving Sharon crazy…right to kleptomania! Sharon is desperately unhappy in her relationship with Victor, and she knows it on some deep level. They do not have a true romantic connection, so she feels like a whore by sleeping with him. Yes, they care for each other, but in bed, it's just a sexual act, not an act of love. He doesn't cherish her; she doesn't yearn for him.
Therefore, playing pop psychologist here -- call me Dr. Ally -- I think Sharon wants a way out, a way to extricate herself from a morally bankrupt situation -- and she subconsciously took the necklace in hopes of being caught. It's only then that her real problems will be exposed and she'll get the help she needs. Somewhere deep in her soul, Sharon believes what Nikki said about her: that Sharon is not good enough for Victor, and she's just a cheap substitute for Nikki.
Of course, what has really complicated the matter is that Sharon would leave Victor in a heartbeat to be with Adam again -- if he wanted her. But Adam doesn't want Sharon back. He's in love with Chelsea. And unlike the time when he claimed to hate Sharon because she'd cheated on him with Sam, this time Adam is being honest. This isn't his anger talking. This time, Adam has really fallen in love with Chelsea. He's smitten with her and enjoys having an uncomplicated relationship. He doesn't want Sharon back.
I doubt Adam feels that crazy passion he shared with Sharon, but what a relief it must be for him that he doesn't have to second-guess Chelsea's feelings for him. With Sharon, Adam was always on guard that she'd run back to Nick.
That could happen again, you know… Nick is going to be facing some serious crossroads in the next few weeks. The blinders are coming off, and he will see Phyllis for the psycho-bitch-crazy-passionate-desperate-lovable creature she is. Will her good qualities be enough to keep Nick by her side, or will he think, "Enough is enough"? Frankly, I don't know. Were I to discover that my spouse once tried to run down another person with a rented car, then covered up the records and never paid for the crime, I think I'd be turned off. How can Nick ever trust Phyllis again? He's going to realize that she's capable of murder when provoked…and that's a pretty scary proposition with which to deal.
Phyllis is currently reacting to the allegations like a caged animal, ready to strike out to protect herself at any costs. She's acting guilty even as she proclaims her innocence. She believes in her heart that she was not really trying to hurt Christine (and Paul) that night in 1994. We may even see Avery craft a defense for her sister that will claim that the gas pedal stuck or that Phyllis missed the brake pedal. Maybe Phyllis will say she'd been trying in vain to stop the car?
Well, that's one way to twist the storyline, especially if Maria Arena Bell wants to rewrite the show's history and find a way to exonerate Phyllis. But do you really buy that? I don't. The flashbacks are straightforward, and if it was just an accident, why did Phyllis cover it up? Why was Phyllis stalking Christine? Why did she rent a car? Why, why, why? What was her plan?
And then there's the aftermath to consider. If she had simply done the right thing that night, she could claim her innocence today. That night after the accident, she could have gotten out of the car and tried to help Chris and Paul. She could have called the police. She could have told the cops that she knew Paul and Christine, and as she was driving toward them, she'd lost control of the vehicle. Then she might have had plausible deniability!
Instead, Phyllis drove away from the scene and left Paul and Christine to die in the street. She had no way of knowing that they'd survive. Furthermore, she covered up the evidence that she'd even been there and kept quiet about her role for 18 years. She even had the audacity to be bitchy and antagonistic to Christine every time she saw her, never once revealing any remorse for her actions. She even worked with Paul many, many times and never once was moved to apologize or acknowledge how her actions had physically damaged him.
It's time for the tables to turn. It's time for Phyllis to answer for all the terrible things she's done…and this case is the perfect way. Sure, Phyllis has been a cool character, fun and playful. But that doesn't change the fact that good needs to triumph over evil. Christine was an innocent victim, and Phyllis was a deadly viper. Case closed. By the way, kudos to Michelle Stafford. She is superb at playing both the good and evil in Phyllis. She's like Bette Davis in those great old Warner Brothers' movies like The Letter and A Stolen Life.
Getting back for a moment to the Victor-Nikki-Sharon-Jack situation, there's been a question gnawing at me for weeks. When Sharon and Victor decided to plunge into this sexual liaison, did either of them contemplate what the future might bring if the relationship didn't work out? Apparently not, because if they had, I think they would have both stopped it before it started.
There can be no good post-Victor/Sharon relationship. They cannot go back to the affectionate pseudo father/daughter dynamic they had, because sex got in the way. Alternately, suppose Sharon ends her relationship with Victor in a bad way -- let's say she cheats on him -- is she prepared to endure Victor's wrath? Who'd invite that? …So why did they risk a romance? It still doesn't make sense.
The bottom line is this: Victor is still in love with Nikki, and Nikki is still in love with Victor. Everything else is superfluous. Eventually, they will get back together…and hopefully stay together for the rest of their lives. But they're not there yet.
To any rational person, Nikki should be satisfied with her romance with Jack and anxious to marry him. However, while she acts the attentive fiancée, I think she's a fraud. Jack is a friend, a pal, a sympathetic shoulder to cry on, and someone whom she's supported through good times and bad. For many people, especially a couple over 40, that would be the perfect recipe for romance. Love in the autumn of your life, when you don't have to worry about kids and saving up for college funds and building your dreams. In every way, Jack and Nikki should be just right for each other at this stage of their lives.
But Maria insists on writing them as though they were young adults. Jack is still out to prove he's a better man than his father -- as well as Victor! So instead of being satisfied with either Jabot or Beauty of Nature, he wants it all. Meanwhile, Nikki should be grateful that after a precipitous fall off the wagon and nearly getting imprisoned for killing Diane Jenkins, she's back in control and doing well. But she's playing with fire. Her visit to Victor was a sure sign that she's itching for trouble.
There's likely nothing pleasant in Michael's future. Becoming interim D.A. might be his undoing. Those gun charges involving Lauren will resurface and he's going to be forced to prosecute Phyllis. Christine will not let him sidestep that case, even if he wants to. Conversely, I can't figure out why he's been so zealous about nailing Paul with Ricky's murder. The motive for Paul to have shot and killed his son is weak at best.
Paul wasn't angry with Ricky; he was afraid that Ricky would hurt someone and wanted to prevent that from happening. As for premeditation, Michael knows that Paul only had the unmarked gun because he took it from Lauren, so throw that idea that he purposely brought the gun to Ricky's room to kill him out the window (like Ricky's body).
By the way, there's another flaw in the murder theory. Ricky died from the fall, not the gunshot wound. Was that Paul's modus operandi -- to throw Ricky out of a third story window to kill him? Was the fall a guaranteed way to ensure he'd be dead? Suppose he'd survived and just suffered a back injury? This case is filled with holes. …And while we're on the subject, what happened to the knife? You saw it; I saw it. It was there, but now it's not… Why? That, to me, is crappy writing. There's no good reason for the knife to have disappeared after the crime.
In the meantime, Paul is overcome with grief. I believe he's sincere, but I don't believe it's warranted. Not every child of a neglectful parent winds up as a serial killer. Ricky was mentally defective. Had Paul been present in his life, day in and day out, Ricky would still have been sick. He probably was the kind of kid who caught small animals and tortured them. Paul should know better than anyone about mental disease because of Patty. No matter how Paul struggled to help his sister, she still went crazy and hurt people. Paul couldn't prevent Patty from being the way she is, any more than he could have prevented Ricky from turning out as he did.
Daniel needs a therapist, and he needs one badly. It was difficult enough for him to come to terms with fatherhood and being married to a woman he despised -- Daisy -- but he's now become aware of just how crazy his mother really is. Daniel always knew Phyllis was high-strung, temperamental, vindictive, and volatile, but he never thought she was violent. And although he's thrilled that she's out of his life, Daniel also is feeling awful about Daisy. Whenever he looks at Lucy, Daniel is guilt-ridden that her mother's been yanked out of her life…no matter how horrible a woman she was.
There's a mystery afoot with the Genevieve and Cane story. As others have speculated, it looks like Samantha is not really dead. Was that something Colin arranged -- a fake death -- to drive Genevieve mad? Was it something that Caleb might have done? We've been told that Caleb was insane, so it makes sense to blame him. The least obvious culprit, though, is Samantha. We don't know anything about her except that she was beloved by her family. Maybe she wanted out of the Atkinson crime family and staged her own death to escape? Or perhaps she wanted to punish both her parents for their dysfunctional relationship and how it scarred her and Cane?
In quick order, the Harmony and Neil romance has shifted gears. No longer in neutral, they'll soon to be cruising on the highway to love. Should I be happy about this? I'm not. I don't particularly like the chemistry between Neil and Harmony. He's way too forgiving of her past sins. If I were him, I'd be much more hesitant about moving forward. Oh, yes, Harmony is working the program and currently is clean as a whistle, but she still had an ill-advised one-nighter with Tucker that was destructive and selfish. She ruined his marriage and satisfied her desire for a hot, sexy time in the sack.
On the subject of hot and sexy, Abby will most assuredly be after Carmine in a carnal way very soon. She'll make the most of her opportunities to land the hunky Jersey guy. But when will Abby finally get smacked? She needs to be severely punished in a real way. Her antics were out of line, and all she's received are lectures, community service, and a fine. What has she learned from this experience? Nothing. She'll do it again when she feels like it.
I'm not looking forward to the Restless Style reality television show. That plot line leaves me cold. We have enough bad reality TV all over the dial; do we need another one during The Young and the Restless?
Finally, one last word about Tucker… I don't like that the character is losing most of his storylines. Stephen Nichols is too good an actor to be wallowing around with nothing to do. Since Eileen Davidson has exited as Ashley, why not allow Tucker to drift over to Sharon? She's in need of a new man. They had a moment together at Crimson Lights recently, and I liked their vibe. I also like him with Genie Francis' Genevieve, but I think Sharon needs him more. Tucker could be just the guy for Sharon, and he's a natural antagonist for Victor, Jack, Adam, and Nick, most of Sharon's former flames.
So, that's it for now. I'm anxious to hear more from you all. Please feel free to write me with your insights and thoughts. We love hearing from you -- and your comment might be posted in a future column!