Boy, what a bad week to be a member of the Newman family! Not only were Victor, Nick, and Victoria all outwitted, outplayed, and ousted from the family business by Jack Abbott, but then their ranch home went up in flames and burned to the ground. Talk about things going from bad to worse.
Let's first deal with the Newman Enterprise takeover. I'm still in the dark about exactly how Jack managed to pull this off. Yes, he made a deal with Adam and Tucker -- who somehow off-camera wriggled out of his SEC arrest! -- but wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that Jack was leveraged up to his eyeballs? Now he's suddenly the biggest stockholder in Newman Enterprises? How? Don't Nick, Victoria, Nikki, and Victoria own more stock than he does? And remember when Abby was buying up all the Newman stock…what about that? It sounded like she had made a killing. Hmm…could Abby be the key to Victor getting Newman Enterprises back?
Basically, I'm not buying this Abbott takeover just yet. As someone pointed out, Victor will be behind that desk in just a few weeks, and the portrait will be back on the wall. You watch. I wasn't convinced by his hospital speech that the company was Nick and Victoria's future, not his. Victor cannot lose to Jack. It's not in his DNA. Once he gets out of bed and puts his pants on again, he'll be fighting back, and Jack will wind up getting pulverized.
I was very pleased to see John Abbott's spirit appear and read Jack the riot act. Somebody had to do it, and Traci and Ashley aren't around anymore. Jack is simply out of control. Seriously, seriously off the rails, because this is just too much greed for one character. There was a time just a few months ago when all Jack wanted was to get Jabot back in the family. Then he got all obsessed with Beauty of Nature. Now he's dancing around like a kid with a new toy about having taken control of Newman Enterprises. Hey, Jack, how about actually running one of these businesses! This show is making it seem like the work happens on autopilot. It's ridiculous.
I see Victor plotting revenge. He could be playing possum and letting Jack do the Newman thing while Victor's buying up Jabot stock to swipe it out from under Jack. That's just as likely as anything else on this wacky soap when it comes to business. It's worse than Monopoly!
The war between Jack and Victor will continue as long as there is breath in both characters. However, the Newman ranch is not coming back as we knew it. That, folks, is a good thing! In fact, it's great. I have been so bored with the humble way Victor lives, the dull living room, the lack of glitz. He's a billionaire and should have a great-looking home. And that's what's going to happen.
In fact, did you notice on Friday that we saw -- for the first time ever, I think -- Avery's gorgeous apartment? Way to go, Jill Farren Phelps, the executive producer whom I assume approved the set, although Maria Arena Bell is still listed as Executive Producer. But that was such a great set and so exciting to see. Avery walked in, put on the stereo, checked her mail, took off her heels, and rubbed her feet…just like a real working woman! I was so impressed.
And the details in the set were terrific, too. Did you notice? Green apples in a bowl, real magazines on a rack, actual pots and pans in the kitchen, and a great patio with a table and chairs! I want to live in that set! I think the new look is the beginning of the end of the Maria Arena Bell era. It's like they're opening the windows and letting in fresh air. Burning the Newman ranch is part of the transformation.
As I said at the top, the Newman family had a bad week. There was Jack's happy dance in Victor's office, culminating with everyone getting fired. All right, Nikki wasn't fired, but then she wasn't on the payroll! Then Victor was diagnosed with double impact syndrome caused by those two concussions he had. And while he was unconscious and lying in a hospital bed, the most recent Mrs. Newman -- mad-as-a-hatter Sharon -- got drunk as a skunk and set fire to the curtains in her former home. Of course, answer me this: didn't Sharon pull down those curtains when she was redecorating the ranch? Perhaps they put the curtains back up, but make no mistake, Sharon really hates those drapes!
The Chelsea and Adam fans may kill me for saying this, but I love that Adam has leaped to Sharon's rescue. I truly believe that Adam loves Chelsea, but he feels responsible for Sharon's misery, and rightfully so. Adam contributed to Sharon's mental breakdown in a variety of ways, starting with his fake wedding to her when she was still on trial for killing Skye in Hawaii. Adam's been a good guy lately, but he's done terrible things in the past, and Sharon's often gotten the brunt of the blame. So, yes, Adam feels indebted to Sharon and wants to help her.
You could even say that by not sharing all this with Chelsea, he's trying to protect his wife. If Adam told Chelsea that he was going to cover up the fact that Sharon started the fire, Chelsea would be involved in a felony. Maybe Adam is thinking that Chelsea will be better off in the dark.
But, really, what's a little felony in Genoa City? Phyllis walked out of court without answering for any of the things she'd done to Chris and Paul. Her tampering with computers and moving a dead body and lying to the D.A. were never dealt with. She also paid off Tim, which was blackmail. That's a crime, friends. You can't do that and get away with it. But in Genoa City… I've never seen such a whitewash. That replacement judge was an idiot, and he made Michael look like a schlemiel for bringing the case to court.
I was more upset with Michael, however, when he confronted Ronan about his crimes. Instead of throwing the book at Ronan for destroying evidence, sending a witness on vacation, subverting justice, and lying about everything, Michael decided to look the other way. What? Michael chose to play judge and jury, to ignore the law, and to give Ronan a pass. How I wish someone -- like Christine -- had learned about that! It was a blatant act of breaking the law by two guys who've taken an oath to uphold the law. Michael is not destined to be interim D.A. much longer; he's a fraud, and he hates his job anyway.
Ronan is now free to continue being a cop, and Michael continues to be the D.A. They're supposedly the good guys. Meanwhile, a really good guy like Paul Williams -- who shot his son Ricky to save Eden -- is on trial for murder. How is that fair? Paul clearly acted in defense of Eden -- Michael's sister -- but Ronan and Michael are choosing to make Paul out to be a premeditated killer.
Never mind that it was Lauren's gun in Paul's hand. Never mind that Paul has been tortured by what he did. Never mind that the evidence shows that his shot sent Ricky out the window, which might have been the cause of the death. Did they ever say what killed Ricky? Was there an autopsy? Has anybody gone back to check on the gravesite with the flowers? Do I ask too many questions?
All right, I do. But here's another. All those clues in Eden's dream -- which may or may not lead to Ricky's video of his killing Rachel -- how will that film exonerate Paul? It'll show that Ricky was homicidal, but it doesn't clear Paul. That's why I'm convinced Chris will not find the tape on her California journey. I think she'll find Isabella. After all, Isabella has to be the mystery woman in the alley where the knife was found, right?
In other stories, the new Summer is an improvement over the old one, but I doubt Phyllis is going to win her daughter back any time soon. Phyllis is a dynamic character and determined to get what she wants, but this time she's gone too far. I think there will need to be another aging of Summer, another actress, before a mother and child reunion. Summer has good reason to hate Mom, and that's not going to change, even if Phyllis somehow manages to win Nick back.
If Nick takes Phyllis back again, I'm going to blow a gasket. As I've said in the past, Phyllis humiliated Nick. Her fake affair with Ronan turned into a real affair, and Nick was made to look like a fool. I think in the past, the word to describe a guy who's gone through what Nick has is cuckold. You hear it now and then in old movies. Basically it means that Nick's wife was cheating on him. How is Nick ever supposed to trust Phyllis again?
Avery is looking more and more like the new woman for Nick. That chess game they played at the Athletic Club was great. It reminded me of The Thomas Crown Affair, the Faye Dunaway-Steve McQueen version. They had a really sexy chess match in that movie, too. I liked the Nick-Avery scene a lot. It was smart and fun, and the information revealed about Avery's past was wonderful. Even though she's been on the show a while, everything about her background has revolved around Phyllis and their father. Avery's high school story about the inside-out skirt and the greasy pizza was just the kind of character detail you want to hear.
Finally, it looks like we're reaching some resolution in the Claude Shirl story, but I don't think I'm going to like it very much. Genevieve did not hire that impersonator, and Cane should know better. Genevieve would have nothing to gain by torturing Cane. This whole storyline has been an unruly ball of yarn. I'm tired of it, and I'm sure that once it ends, Genie Francis will be done with Y&R. Too bad. I still like Genevieve.
That's it for this week, fellow fans. So, till the next time, let's take a look at some letters from the mailbox. And remember to click here to send me your thoughts. They could very well appear in a future column!