It's 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, and it is finally cool enough to sit at my computer and try to write something intelligent about last week's The Young and Restless, which boasted scenes that were as hot as my sidewalk in triple digit temperatures, so it is easy to imagine that there will be brokenhearted lovers as summer turns to fall in Genoa City!
Not only has composing this column been hampered by the heat, but President Obama had the nerve to preempt the last 30 minutes of Friday's episode with some silly press conference about problems in the Mideast. Blah! Blah! Blah! He couldn't wait 30 minutes and preempt the news? Isn't trouble in the Mideast news? Why eliminate the 30 most important minutes of the whole week on Y&R to show boring news?
Even if missiles, comets, aliens, or asteroids were about to rain down on me, I'd still rather see the last 30 minutes of a Friday episode than know such grim news. I can't do anything about those disasters, but I might have the satisfaction of finally learning an epic secret! Got that, Commander-in-Chief?
Fortunately, I was able to find the show at CBS.com, and although I had to watch a slew of commercials, I did finally get to see the last scenes of the week, so I haven't popped a gasket, missed my deadline, or written the White House a nasty note, signed, "Victor Newman," and postmarked "Genoa City."
I don't know about the rest of you, but NuNuBilly is much too smug for my taste. As Mr. Smug Billy prepared to blow up Stitch's world -- conveniently, just as Stitch learned that he had been named "Chief Resident" -- I really wanted to jump to Ben's defense. While I do believe that Ben should have told Victoria the entire truth when she asked if he had anything more to tell, I do not believe that Billy should be careening around making a shambles of Stitch's life without knowing all the facts. As Ben Rayburn, Stitch has obviously led an exemplary life for at last 16 years and has become a dedicated healer.
That should count for something to everyone, not only Billy, whose obvious jealousy and continuing inability to put Victoria first, as well as his dalliance with Chelsea, shows just exactly what a selfish narcissist Billy is. Despite Billy's taunt in the preview about Victor's reaction, I think Ben's accomplishments will matter to Victor, who will continue to find Ben-the-murderer much more preferable as a son-in-law than Billy-the-Boy Abbott.
When all is said and done, I think Ben will be vindicated. I believe that Ben's father was an abusive drunk that beat Ben's mother, and we will learn that Ben's mother killed her husband, and Ben took the blame to deflect suspicion from her when his father's death was ruled murder.
I also think that Ben had permission from Ben Rayburn's parents to use their son's name because they knew that Ben was innocent. If the crime happened when Ben was a juvenile, then those records should have been sealed, and Ben has not committed a felony by not revealing his past to the hospital, as Billy and Kevin allege.
We all know that soaps like to play fast and loose with timeframes, but Dylan said that Stitch had been in the Army for 8 years, and it takes a minimum of 8 years for college and med school, so that's 16 years. If Stitch was convicted of murder, then he must have spent some time in prison. What's the minimum for patricide these days? Five years with time off for good behavior? I lean toward a 16- or 17 year-old juvenile offender who was locked up until age 26, making Stitch a believable 42 years old. Nah!! Way too logical for a soap!
To paraphrase Shakespeare, Ben's fault lies in himself, not in his stars. If he really does love Victoria, then he should have leveled with her. She flat-out asked him if there was anything that she should know, and he lied, so I wouldn't trust him either. Victoria, on the other hand, is a good example of what it means to be in denial. She should have demanded the truth. Victoria has had more relationships than I can remember, and when she reminded Nick that she was his "older" sister, I thought, "How many times can this woman keep looking for love in all the wrong places?" What kind of woman doesn't question the man, who claims to love her and she claims to love, about his family, background, and the defining moments that make him "him?" That seems normal to me.
Maybe that's why none of my relationships succeeded; I wanted to know all that pesky stuff about parents, education, birthplace, last four numbers of their social -- a girl can't be too careful these days -- nor men, either -- what with all the grifters, con artists, and psychopaths mixed in with the innocuous, the boring, and that elusive Mr. (or Ms.) Right. Or perhaps the writers expect us to believe that a meaningful intimate love can be based on idle chit-chat, sex, and meaningless declarations of love.
I think that Victoria is definitely old enough to know better, and she is certainly having a miracle baby because at the fairly old age of late forties (Remember she's older than Nick who has a 25-year old son), not many women are able to conceive, let alone one who has been plagued with fertility problems her entire life. I don't see Victoria with Stitch, anyway, not ultimately. Stitch had so much more chemistry with Ashley, so much, in fact, that I needed a fan when they were in scenes together, and that was before I lost my AC.
I'm not anxious to see Kevin go to jail, but I think he's another one who should have to face the consequences of his actions. What he did may ruin Stitch's life and career, and to what end? Will the world be better? Will Victoria be safer? I think that one of the great tragedies of the human race is that panic causes us to rush to judgment and make decisions without hearing and examining all the facts. I think there is a reason for the expression, "Revenge is a dish best served cold." I believe that the same can be said for justice.
One good thing that I can say about Victoria is that at least she is keeping the baby's secret from everyone, not just the father. With Billy stalking her and Ben scanning her medical files, what's a poor girl to do? The more times Victoria tells the snarling swains how much they are stressing her out and that they are both responsible for her "Burning Heart," the more often they check on her. Victoria needs to hop on the Newman jet, use some of her $500 billion to rent a Swiss clinic where she could have round-the-clock care and privacy, not to mention satellite TV. She could take Johnny with her and ask Victor to help keep her hidden. Surely she could deliver the baby before Ben or Billy was any the wiser. Nah!! Way too logical for a soap!
Victoria is terrific at crying, so I predict that Victoria will have a few more trips to "Heartbreak Hotel," before she hangs up her ingénue shoes for the sensible shoes of middle age. Speaking of ingénues, Summer was quick to let everyone know that she had a "Bulletproof Heart." I thought that both Nikki and Victor took exactly the right tone with Summer and Austin. They gave their unconditional love and support to Summer while reserving their approval of Austin. Austin acted very maturely. I think that Victor will end up supporting him because Austin manned up and took responsibility for his actions, bone-headed and ill-advised as they were.
Say what you will about Victor, he can give you a stunning pearl necklace with one hand and bribe someone to begin a risky procedure on your mother with the other. Victor, Victor, Victor! Once again, you will end up smelling like a rose when Phyllis recovers and returns to Genoa City a changed woman. But will she remember the secret that you are so desperately trying to learn so that you can torpedo Nick's relationship with Sharon, or will it backfire on you?
Sharon is having flashbacks, and she remembered going into the lab, but what she doesn't remember is whether or not what she remembered was a hallucination. This has got to be a record or near record for longest, or at least most excruciating, secret on a soap. Summer mentioned that Phyllis had been in a coma for a year, and Nick reran the DNA test a few months before that, so, yes it has been a long, long -- did I say excruciating? -- time.
I still think that Sharon and Nick are a great couple, and I do not want to see them with "Achy Breaky" hearts. Keep them together, please. Let it all be a figment of Sharon's imagination and Phyllis' accident is just an accident. I can live with that. Sharon is going to have to contend with unexpected competition from Mariah, because it sure looks like Mariah is getting a big old puppy dog crush on Nick, unless Mariah has another agenda.
Even a puppy dog crush rates high on the "Ick" meter for me. Though Mariah is not related to Cassie and Cassie was not related to Nick, Nick viewed Cassie as a daughter. Mariah is not Cassie, but she looks just like her, and that is just too, too close for me. I would think that Nick would be equally repulsed.
Every time Kelly turns on the waterworks, I imagine her belting out "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart." She's still surprisingly angry about Ben and her father's death, and yet so conflicted and needy. What is it about people with emotional problems, especially insecurity or loneliness, that makes us want to hug them to our hearts until we finally figure out that what we want to be is an equal, not a parent?
Kelly did not do her brother any favors by moving to the same town. It almost seems as though Kelly still wants to ruin Ben's life, if only subconsciously. I can't help but think that she also suffered some form of abuse, perhaps in her marriage.
Jack's words to Kelly about love and closure with Phyllis were very poignant. I wonder if Jack is going to feel the same way when Phyllis wakes up, which has got to be very soon. The return of Phyllis will give Kelly even more reasons to burst into heartbroken tears. Y&R hasn't been this exciting or had this many good stories to follow in a long time, and while I still expect more from the number one soap, I'm really happy about the improvement.
Neil is about to have a "Total Eclipse of the Heart" when he learns that Hilary found out that Devon was "Irreplaceable." Hilary was heartsick as she started kissing Neil and saw Devon's face instead. How long before Neil knows? As we all said all along, Neil is too old for Hilary, but expect Hevon's secret love to last a while longer, especially if Hilary gets pregnant -- not too far-fetched, considering how randy, I mean, virile Neil is -- and we know that no one in Genoa City needs to use protection because no one in Genoa City has a sexually transmitted disease.
I did not think much of the actor that plays Devon until he started sharing scenes with Hilary (and I saw him lifting weights -- have I mentioned I'm shallow?). I like "Hevon" as a couple. I think that they are very interesting together, and I really enjoyed their conversation about the stars and the romantic dancing.
I had to swallow my disbelief that Hevon was somewhere that the phones didn't work -- come to think of it, that's heaven for me -- and that a super-duper car also conked out at the same time. (I can say that my car, now seven years old, has never conked out even one time. Maybe Devon should get a Kia.) However, that's a common plot device, so I can let it pass, because I am enjoying the acting and I don't care if "Hi-my-name-is-Neil -- Nice-to-meet-you. I'm-in-love. Want-to-get-married? - Winters" has to listen to Lily say, "I told you so." Just like Victoria, Neil is old enough to know better. After all, they were contemporaries and even engaged, once upon a time.
I can hardly wait to see Lily's reaction when she finds out that Devon and Hilary are attracted to each other and Cane knew but didn't tell. Trouble in paradise, perhaps, but at least the Ashbys do seem to love and support each other and take good care of their kids. I don't really want to see either of them get an "Arrow Through the Heart," but I sure would like to see them move to Paris, as long as it's not an insult to the French.
Nikki's favorite song seems to be "Unbreak My Heart," at least that's what it sounded like as she read from her diary and wondered if she would have had as wonderful a life if she had married Paul and raised Dylan, as she did with Victor
Perhaps instead of being married twelve times, giving birth to Nick and Victoria, and becoming enormously wealthy, while supposedly happy except during those rare bouts of alcoholism, drug abuse, and MS, Nikki could have had a whole passel of kids with Paul. Dylan could have been the first of several children that Nikki and Paul might have raised together until Nikki's alcoholism, drug addiction, and MS drove them apart, not to mention money issues, because I doubt that Paul would have ended up as chief of police had he married Nikki when she was sixteen, or even eighteen. They would have been far too busy trying to survive on minimum wage jobs just like every other couple that got married too young or had a nagging mother -- remember Mary?
And there is no guarantee that Nikki would not have become a stripper, met Victor, and divorced Paul. Dylan might have become the dysfunctional victim of a broken home, far worse off than he is now. Regretting past decisions seems pointless to me. There is no going back unless someone has a time machine that I don't know about -- and even then, who's to say that doing something different would have made any change at all.
I've found that it is the changes that one makes in one's self that matter, and as long as one is willing to keep changing the present then the future will change, too, just as it would if you could change the past. Best advice to Nikki: Forgive yourself in the present to change your life in the future. If that made as much sense to you as it did to me, then you've been spending too much time in Genoa City, or in a Buddhist monastery -- better yet, a Buddhist Monastery IN Genoa City.