The new normal
For the Week of May 8, 2017
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The Victator returned but was banished to the guest cottage. Nikki returned to the stage, but not as a stripper. Phyllis and Billy officially became Philly when they were caught kissing. Hear ye, hear ye, as we discuss the new normal in this week's Two Scoops.

Congratulations to Gina Tognoni on her Emmy win as Phyllis. She managed the very difficult task of making Phyllis her own and talked a bit about it on the Red Carpet with our Dan J Kroll. Good job! It's been amazing to watch, and I think that this next chapter -- as Phyllis and Billy become "Philly", or at least try -- will also be great, as far as the acting is concerned. Victoria is not going to give up easily, especially now that she has Billy in her sights again, so I expect that there will be some very intense confrontations between Phyllis and Victoria, who will not only be competing for Billy but for next year's Emmy as well.

I like Billy and Phyllis together. They light up the screen and are hot, hot, hot, but Victoria and Billy have history, not to mention children, and in the long run, that's what will matter most to both Victoria and Billy, who each have a family first policy. As much as Phyllis and Billy want to be a normal couple, I don't think that will happen because Jack will never accept Billy and Phyllis into the Abbott family, and even though Traci and Ashley are more than willing to accept Billy, I doubt that either woman will ever willingly accept Phyllis again.

The best that Billy and Phyllis can hope for is holidays with Summer or perhaps an invite to the Baldwin family dinners. So all you Phylly fans, enjoy it while you can! I know I will.

Cane is starting to get on my nerves. What a sneak, and a troublemaking backstabber to boot. I guess Cane never heard that old adage, "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." While Cane is busy doing everything in his power to make Billy look bad, he has conveniently forgotten that he has a secret, as well. And I am pretty sure that he would not want Lily to find out and be hurt in the same way that Victoria was. Cane didn't care about Victoria or anything else, except making Billy look bad. That is not nice. Shame on you, Cane, shame, shame, shame.

Cane's obsession is blinding him. Now that Cane has a new bromance with Jack -- shall we call them Jane? -- I can only imagine the creatively devious ways that Cane will undermine Billy. Besting Billy has become his driving force, and it will eventually drive Cane away from everything that he holds dear. It won't be long before those rocks he's heaving land on his own fragile castle, and his drunken night with Juliet is exposed. I can't say I'll be sorry. I may even get just the teensiest bit of enjoyment out of watching Cane swing in the wind!

Mariah also seems to be courting trouble by sticking it to Hilary every chance she gets. In her place, the rebound girl, I'd probably go a little easier on my rival, especially one who still has her hooks into the guy I'm into. Mariah, however, is no weak sister, and she can't resist twisting the knife whenever she gets the opportunity. I guess she'll have to face her karma just like Cane will. I would like to wish for Devon and Mariah to be happy together, but I think Devon's connection to Hilary is just too strong, and despite how horrible and selfish she can be, there is something fragile and vulnerable about Hilary that appeals to me and calls out to Devon.

Hilary demonstrated the reason you should not let yourself into your ex's place without permission; you may get an earful of something that you are not prepared to hear, and you will have to suffer the consequences of the new normal quietly. I don't think that anything could have been more devastating to Hilary than having to listen to Devon and Mariah make love, unless it was having to suffer it in silence. Hopefully Devon and Mariah will make it upstairs so Hilary can hotfoot it out the door.

Other couples who might be called the new normal are Jack and Gloria -- though I don't think for much longer -- and Ashley and Ravi. I really enjoyed the conversation between Gloria and Jack when they talked about their relationship, Bella, and Jack's mother. Gloria's comments were very insightful. I especially liked her comment, "You can't escape the past. It has this nasty little habit of becoming the present." Gloria's words were not only applicable to Kevin's situation, but Jack's and Ashley's, as well, and I liked how Y&R tied it together visually. I realized that while I still find Jack and Gloria's relationship repugnant, I'm beginning to warm up to Gloria's character and forgive her past sins. She has a droll sense of humor, and she's a survivor.

According to rumor, Jack is about to reconnect with someone from the past. I have a hunch that it might be an old love, which means that Jack and Gloria will be over soon. I do hope they remain friends, co-workers, and confidants. Judith Chapman is a terrific actress, and I'd love to see her stick around for a while, though I suspect she may leave around the time that Kevin does.

Ashley and Ravi? Not buying it. They make great friends and yoga buddies, but anything intimate? It would be the same as watching a 60-year-old man with a 30-year-old woman, too May-December for me to enjoy. I keep seeing cottage cheese thighs with smooth young skin, and it's not a pretty picture!

I loved the flashback of young Ashley and her mother, Dina. What a clever way to tell the backstory and give us Ashley's history, particularly the part about Ashley not being John Abbott's biological daughter. I have to hand it to Y&R's cinematography department -- that was extremely well done. It gave us history, reintroduced us to Dina, and showed us a very young Ashley. It made me wonder if Ravi would have been attracted to that woman or if it's the experience of life that he finds so attractive about 2017 Ashley. I also wonder if history will be rewritten and Dina will bring something to light that proves that Ashley is John Abbott's biological daughter, after all.

One way or another, it seems that this secret is about to come out. I wouldn't put it past Jack to use it to keep Ashley from taking over Jabot. Since his split with Phyllis, Jack has gotten harder and more Victor-like. He isn't giving up his vendettas against either Billy or Victor. They're simmering while Jack plots and regroups. Jack is also not letting go of anything he thinks of as his, and that definitely includes Jabot.

Victor got less than an enthusiastic welcome home and was summarily dismissed to the guest cottage -- how many houses does the ranch have? Any more, and they'll need a permit for a subdivision! -- by a no-nonsense Nikki. I think Nikki, Nick, and Victoria are the worst kind of hypocrites. They spurn Victor's actions, but not enough to turn him in. They convince themselves that it's for the family, but it's self-serving so that they can preserve their own lifestyle.

Loved the way that Victor's encounter with Chloe was told in flashback and in those grayish tones. It enhanced the feeling that the audience was viewing a memory, not real time. Again, hats off to cinematography, or whatever the equivalent is called for television! After 40 years, Y&R might have run out of new stories, but it still has visual tricks and techniques to spare. I don't know about the rest of you, but I suspect, that, like me, you are enjoying the feast of old clips that have been playing, not only on Y&R, but also in other parts of the soapiverse. They remind me that no matter how much things change, they stay the same!

The Victator has been unusually compliant with Nikki's demands. That won't continue. Victor is not the "suffer in silence" type, and despite how angry, Nikki, Nick, and Victoria are now, I can't see that lasting forever either. Over the years, the family and the fans have forgiven Victor for a whole lot worse than this. Victor is who he is, warts and all, just like the rest of us!

I prefer the Newmans as a united front, so I'm rooting for them to forgive and move on. I'm satisfied with the way Victor dealt with Chloe, but I would have preferred it if Chloe had been brought back to face the consequences, even if Victor and Nikki had faced charges as well.

ASIDE: That said, this way, with Chloe on the loose, there is now the definite possibility that Kevin will figure how to find Chloe and reunite. That would facilitate Greg Rikaart's exit -- say it ain't so -- so that Kevin and Bella could ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after with Kevin's soul mate, crazy Chloe. I will really miss Kevin.

Back to the Newmans, how can Victoria and Nick find love if they have to keep a ginormous secret hidden from their significant others? Although in Nick's case, since Chelsea is keeping a secret from him, maybe the secrets cancel each other out. Chelsea now has two secrets. Not only is she withholding knowledge of Christian's paternity, but she also concealed her con artist connection to Jordan when Nick asked. That will prove to be a big mistake, which will bite her in the butt at the most inconvenient time possible.

Jordan finally met the real Hilary, and it took some of the "bloom off the rose." He's not so starry-eyed now. I'm beginning to think that Jordan might still be a scam artist, and I have a feeling that we have not seen the last of those intimate shots that Jordan took of Hilary. I expect them to surface, either as blackmail or on the Internet. No doubt he will also have a shoulder waiting for Lily to cry on when she finds out that Cane slept with Juliet -- probably soon if Cane keeps reacting guiltily every time Tokyo is mentioned in the same breath as Juliet's name.

It does appear that Victoria will take Nick's advice and pursue Billy. She certainly has the right ammunition -- Johnny and Katie. She's already aimed Katie straight at Phyllis and scored a direct hit the first time out. Phyllis countered with a sexy negligee but Victoria has time and history on her side. Let the battle begin, ladies, but in the end, is Billy worth it? Is any man?

Nikki is back on stage, but not as a stripper. She played keyboard backup for Tessa at the Underground's Open Mic Night. Is this the beginning of a whole new career now that Nikki has felt the glow of audience appreciation once more? Will she, Tessa, and Reed form "The Newman Family Band" and take their show on the road? Will they become the first clients for Devon's new music-streaming service? Why not? And by the way, where was Reed for Open Mic Night? Did I miss something? Is he still sulking over the car, or maybe he's grounded. (More likely, Y&R's budget couldn't afford him that night!)

Seriously, that was a lovely song that Tessa and Nikki performed, and so appropriate. I think it would be great if Nikki started performing. I've attended and performed at many an open mic myself up until I was well into my 60s, and I'm still not done, so I know exactly the thrill of having someone appreciate your artistic efforts and the fact that you are willing to expose yourself to criticism and ridicule.

That leads me to this. I've recently published an eBook of old-school poetry -- Wordsworth meets Ginsberg might be an apt description. It's called The Pacifist's Guide to Revolution: philosophical verse and selected work. If you are interested, it's Kindle-formatted for tablet and phone. You can find it on Amazon.com by clicking here.

Like Victor, I'm a throwback, what can I say? Poets were the rock stars of the renaissance. This book is my attempt to honor that tradition. My writing is more akin to rap or hip-hop than to the styling of many modern poets. The philosophical work is left-leaning, so be warned, but the selected work includes humor, romance, heartbreak, and all the usual subject matter of angst-ridden poets. I would definitely appreciate feedback, even if you hate it, but especially if you find my decades-old poems still relevant! A longer paperback is in the works, including an eBook update.

Please attend the next Soap-aholics meeting at the Underground's Open Mic Night. Margaret Boone will be performing from her recently published poetry suite, The Pacifist's Guide to Revolution. The Newman Family Band will provide back-up music and vocals. As always, we welcome imaginary friends and reader comments.

What are your thoughts on The Young and the Restless? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts. You can leave your comments below in the comments section, you can click here to submit Feedback, or you can call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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