In an instant, presto-chango, during a Jabot Board meeting, the notorious blood Abbott clause vanished into thin air and was finally gone. Hip, hip, hooray! That little business stipulation had turned the once vital Abbott family into a shell of its former self. That clause, single-handedly, stripped two of the most savvy business strategists of the power to keep Jabot running smoothly and efficiently. By taking the reins of the family company away from Jack and Ashley, Jabot could have become easy pickings for vultures like Victor. It's rather amazing the Mustache didn't take advantage of the golden opportunity while he had it. I guess it just wasn't as much fun for him to target Jabot without Jack at the helm.
But thank you, Traci, for finally laying to rest that stupid blood Abbott clause, which should never have existed in the first place. All it ever accomplished was to tear the family apart, leaving Jack and Ashley feeling like they were less than worthy to run the family business. That's ridiculous. John loved and raised them, and Jack and Ashley got their corporate know-how from their father. John Abbott would have been so proud of them both for all their past accomplishments.
With the blood Abbott clause in play, only Billy, a screw-up, and Traci, who had no interest in running Jabot, were left to carry on John's name and success -- or so they believed. But once the clause was zapped into eternity, Ashley was voted in to guide the family business into the future, only Ashley had resorted to deceit and treachery to get back what she felt was rightfully hers. Hmmm…that sounds somewhat like Victor, which shouldn't be that much of a surprise. After all, she was once married to the guy. Apparently, Ashley had learned from the best. Her dastardly deed, however, seemed to be paving her way right out of Genoa City. Since Eileen Davidson has opted to leave the show, Andrew appeared to be the one punching her ticket out of town.
I became especially intrigued when I learned that Andrew actually worked in a DNA lab at Memorial Hospital in Genoa City and was hopeful that the writers had found a way to right a wrong. Therefore, I was so relieved when Ashley said those sweet words to Jack, "You've been John Abbott's son all along." Ashley had paid Andrew to rig Jack's paternity test results, and looking back, it all makes so much sense. Ashley had certainly been furious with Jack for keeping her out as CEO at Jabot with the infamous blood Abbott clause, even if it had originally been meant for Phyllis. Ashley had every reason to want to get back at him, and what a perfect way to do so. If Jack suddenly became a nonblood Abbott, also, Ashley, with her brother at her side, had a better shot at vanquishing the clause from the family company forever. Jack had been her major obstacle in getting rid of the clause, so she had needed to find a way to neutralize him.
That would certainly explain why, after Jack had done paternity tests with practically every man Dina had known from the past at the time of his conception, he was unable to get any positive results. And with Dina's memory being so faulty, Ashley could easily have planted the notion that John Abbott was not Jack's father into her mother's mind. That would explain why Dina had been unable to recollect the name of the man from the hotel whom she had supposedly loved so dearly. It was because the man and the memory had never existed. It was brilliant!
But just think how cruel it was for Ashley to do that to Jack, to her own brother, when she constantly saw for herself how lost Jack felt once he believed he was not related to John. And she even had her beloved daughter unwittingly help in the cover-up. Abby will be crushed once she realizes that. Ashley watched as Jack struggled to find his identity, but she never batted an eye. He was tormented, yet she didn't seem to care. After he lost Phyllis, Jack still had his one big love, Jabot -- his father's precious company -- and Ashley stripped Jack of that, as well. It was rather ironic that Phyllis led the way for Jack to recover his entire being when she recognized Andrew and announced that he actually was a DNA lab rat. At least then, Ashley finally owned up to what she had done, but it didn't erase the cruelty of it all.
But since Ashley knew about the cover-up of Jack's paternity, it was shocking that she didn't name Kyle as COO to keep him loyal and true blue to her and also to stop him from investigating her. After all, she paid Andrew through a shell company, using Jabot funds. Why, Ashley was no better than Billy, using the family business money for her own personal benefit. And it staggers the mind that she would threaten Andrew with his job, since he was the one who held all the cards. Just by pulling his own secret rabbit out of a hat, the guy had the power to blow up her very existence at Jabot. Ashley finally got smart and generously paid Andrew to keep his lips sealed. Too bad it wasn't enough -- and that it was way too late.
Will the truth about what happened to J.T. ever come out? Honestly, that seems to be the biggest mystery of them all. The writers flirt with the idea and dangle the carrot in front of our noses, but then the notion goes poof into thin air, and we are left disappointed and disillusioned. Victoria received a mystifying letter in the mail. Oh, no, here we go again. Oh, wait...then came an even more baffling puzzle. When Victoria first took the message out of the envelope, the viewer could clearly see that it read, "I know what you did and I'm going to make you pay." However, when the camera zoomed close in on it, the note stated, "I know what you did, and I'm going to make you pay." What? Where did that comma suddenly come from, out of the blue? Has Victoria developed a new talent by honing her skills as a magician? Hey, I was truly impressed and amazed.
Even later, when she took the message out of her office bureau drawer, the letter was missing the comma again. Wow! One minute, the comma is there…the next, it's gone. How'd Victoria do that? Did she have a secret admirer, a magician, who used sleight of hand to swap out the comma and comma-less messages, sight unseen? Hey, that could be another stalker storyline. However, Nikki had other things to worry about besides quirky commas, since she had received a cryptic message, also. Only her message was never shown up close, so I don't know if she was fortunate enough to be graced with a comma or not. Later, Phyllis and Sharon received messages minus the comma, too, which makes the stalker idea even more plausible. But seriously, how did the four ladies ever believe, in their wildest dreams, that they would be able to move on without missing a beat after Nikki had clobbered J.T. to death? That's even more bewildering than the comma dilemma.
However, Sharon was less concerned about her dishonesty with Nick about J.T. than she was about Nick's lie regarding his one-night stand with Phyllis. But to be fair, he had cheated with the one woman who had become a major menace to Sharon throughout the years. (Although I find it hard to believe that Sharon would have been fine with Nick's tryst with any other woman, either.) But, never fear! Rey was there to comfort and advise Sharon at every turn. It's funny how that always happens when a man has his own interest in a betrayed woman. Good guy Rey to the rescue. It was just so easy for him to take advantage of the situation. But was he really interested in Sharon, or did he consider her to be the weak link in the fearsome foursome?
With Paul doing his own vanishing act, Rey was totally in charge, and he was going to get his man…uh, woman. The detective made it perfectly clear to all that he would find out what happened to J.T., which led to another enigma. Why did it take the ladies so long to suspect that Rey might be the author behind the strange anonymous messages to them? He would certainly want to smoke the women out to get the facts of that fateful night. And what a great way to "rattle" them to get them accusing each other of disloyalty and of being the weak link. I mean, it's not like they trust each other, anyway.
If Rey is the culprit sending the anonymous letters, I doubt if he was doing it for the money. He was all about solving the case, no matter what it took. And if Victor were suspicious of the four, it seems he would just ask Nikki and Victoria about their involvement in J.T.'s disappearance, point-blank. But honestly, with Victor, you never know what he's thinking. Phyllis and Victoria then each received another message saying, "If you don't want anyone to find out what you did, it will cost you." Phyllis' letter added, "The first digit is 2," and Victoria's ended, "The third digit is 0." It certainly sounded like it was a shake-down for cash, but who else, besides Rey, would suspect them of having any involvement with J.T's disappearance? (Although, by the way they've been acting, everyone in Genoa City should suspect them by now.)
I doubt if the sender was Nick, even if he did pretend to be J.T. I don't see him being that sneaky and mean to his mother, sister, ex-wife, and especially Sharon. There's no love lost between Abby and each of the other four. She could actually be a possibility, except she hasn't been angry at any of them for a while. Maybe Reed was sending the letters to try to finally get the truth out about what happened to his father. Mariah is always on the hunt for news, but I don't see her ever doing that to her mother. Mariah's not Hilary. Or could it even be Sharon? Maybe she was angry enough at Phyllis to get back at her in that way. I just hope that it's not someone we don't even know. That would be a total cop-out. And no, we are not going down the path that J.T. is still alive again. We've already taken that trip one too many times.
Seriously, why would anybody listen to anything Phyllis says these days? She was the biggest reason for both the one-night stand and the J.T. cover-up, which had the potential to ruin so many lives. When Nick wanted to tell Sharon about his brief liaison with his ex, our former Red selfishly talked him out of it, since she had no desire to come clean with Billy. It was no wonder why Sharon was seeing "red." I guess that'd be "blonde" now. (And how'd that work for you, Phyllis?) Plus, Phyllis was the main driving force behind hiding the truth about J.T.'s demise in the first place. The four forced comrades have been plagued with guilt and stress ever since.
What's the matter with Summer? Come on. She should have known that Billy only wanted to have sex with her to get even with her mother. It's called revenge sex, and who better than Summer for Billy to get his revenge on Phyllis with. Summer shouldn't have been the least bit surprised to wake up and see Billy gone the next morning. Was she delusional to think their fling would be more than that? Summer was playing way too many games, and if she didn't watch out, she would be the one losing out on love. Because, despite her many protests, Summer still appeared to carry a torch for Kyle. As much as she wanted to snuff it out, there was, at the very least, a small flame flickering whenever he was around.
More than likely, Summer just wanted to have her cake and to eat it, too. Or she was just fooling herself into believing she wanted Billy, when her heart's desire was actually Kyle. With Lola in the picture, Summer may have lost any chance she had of rekindling her romance with Kyle, though. Summer and Lola are pretty much opposites, but it was rather strange that Lola almost looked down on Summer for having a cushy office job. Or maybe it was the way Summer had gotten her job, since it had been due to her mother. One tends to appreciate a job more when it is awarded on the person's merits and skills, and even if Lola only had a hot, sweaty food truck, she had earned it. But Summer wouldn't understand that kind of accomplishment.
Lily was more than a little testy with Cane, but it had to be so annoying for Lily to hear from her husband about how everyday life continued outside of prison without her. She will surely regret all the time she's missing with Sam, who is growing like a weed every day. And she was tired of "acting upbeat and cheerful" around the twins, when her future behind bars was so bleak. Lily was weary of always wearing the fake smile, and Cane should understand that.
Even though Cane was concerned about ulterior motives, Lily's project sounded like a good distraction to keep her mind busy, since she had so much time to blame herself and to feel guilty. She could make a "real difference" to "real people with real problems." Lily was willing to pay the price for what she did, so why not help someone else while she was at it. Cane just needed to see that it would help Lily as much as the single mother that she wanted to assist. Lily was the one who had to survive her prison term in the best way she knew how.
Welcome back, Robert Adamson, as Noah Newman. Although it was a short visit, it was nice to see him again.
Hooray for Billy! I'm rather surprised but pleased that Billy kept his word and entered rehab. He really had hit rock bottom.
Neil was right in that Ashley did look "smoking hot" in her power suit. It's just a shame that her "filthy hands" spoiled the vision.
Summer was so generous, letting her dad off the hook for all future payments to keep her silence -- after the cat had already been let out of the bag. Summer seems to not have respect for any man in her life, even a father who has always loved her so dearly.
It was interesting to hear Sharon say, "Criminals always make mistakes," which seemed to lump the four ladies into that category. And it was also fascinating to note that Nikki, Victoria, and Phyllis did not disagree with her.
Until next time, please stay tuned -- and keep on buzzing.
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