I knew what I wanted to title the column before Kyle made his kinda condescending comment (tone-wise) about Girl Power Management Style (could be a consulting company name, for sure, though). When he said it, I knew it was the right path to take, but I admit to ambivalence about how it is being handled.
As I watched this week, I found myself humming then watching the video for "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves," with Annie Lenox and Aretha Franklin (ahh, Aretha!) singing. I want a T-shirt with my favorite feminist phrase: Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. And therein lies my issue with this storyline, on both sides. Let's look at what happened through this non-radical feminist lens.
First, let me share that this was a tough week to watch The Young and the Restless. I wanted to watch to see what happened next, because the Sweeps-esque suspense was there. However, I watch in the Boston market, and there were a couple news events that kept interfering with Y&R. First, there was some baseball business that people were all worked up about, a World Series and a parade and all manner of hoopla around that. Then, there was what was only a blurb in other markets but was a big deal in Boston: Whitey Bulger's non-natural death in jail (he was a Boston mobster, so for many in the area, it was personal).
Our week started with Ashley taking the reins in her life and taking her patents with her to Paris. We knew she was leaving, so her departure wasn't shocking. There was a part of me that hoped she would give some of the products to her family's business or even that the family would challenge the legality of the document as it applied to everything that happened after Jabot went public, everything that happened when John wasn't around anymore, everything that happened when Jack owned the company, especially when Ashley had left and then returned. I would think that there were a lot of things that would interfere in her taking everything with her, so part of me was bothered by that alone. But then I realized that good soap -- and honestly, good drama -- comes when things go wrong and then the players pick up the pieces, only to have it all collapse again. Drama is boring if there aren't mountains to overcome, so I've accepted this. Even though I still think it isn't quite right legally.
Ashley left, she said her goodbyes, and it seemed there was some semblance of peace with her and Jack at moments, and Jack seemed at moments (throughout the week) to have shown growth. Yes, his ego thought he was the man to run Jabot, but when Phyllis won the vote, he conceded the victory to her, so good on him for that. Was it a way to gain her trust and undermine her? Maybe, but he didn't indicate that to anyone, so maybe he really has grown and wants to focus on family unity. Dad did ask him to take over for the family when he was 15, and maybe some of their dysfunction comes from being led by a child who had no business leading the family, and really not a lot of tools when he was just a kid himself.
Jack apologized to Ashley, especially for the blood Abbott clause (please, please let it rest in peace. Thank God I don't drink whenever I hear it… I'd be a hopeless alcoholic already), admitting he'd regret it for the rest of his life. He even told her she was a better CEO and outshined him, but he begged her to not hurt the company and the family. And she said she'd spent her life meeting the company's needs and needed to put herself first (which included breaking up with Neil over the phone). Did she spend her whole life working for the company? I looked up "her profile, because I thought not, and my memory wasn't as rusty as I feared (really, it was recent, too). There's definitely some Newman and Forrester in there. Ashley didn't stay in Genoa City, toiling away unendingly in her lab. Yes, she made many products, many fabulous, but it wasn't her whole life.
Ashley's departure was emotional, and you could tell Eileen Davidson was crying real tears. But there was a smugness, kind of a "screw you" attitude underlying it. I wanted Ashley to leave as a hero, to honor all her years of service to the soap, but I admit I didn't really like who she was when she left. And honestly, the flashback scenes, while well acted and very well cast, made me like her even less. First off, her father calling her "My Beauty," clearly cleary picking her as a favorite, was a little creepy and gave me that boundary-crossing vibe that made me wonder if Dad was going to replace Mom with little Ashley. It seems that didn't happen, thank God, because that's a hot mess the show likely wouldn't recover from, but it still felt a little dirty to me. And maybe I'm alone in that.
But because John called her My Beauty, Ashley thought she'd name her company that. Call me silly, but if I were Traci, that would be a slap in the face to me. Ashley is "My Beauty," Traci is "My Afterthought." The whole family dynamic seems so imbalanced. Traci told Ashley, "I love you and it's unconditional. But I think you're making a mistake and it's going to hurt all of us." Ashley responded with "I'm going to prove you wrong." But how? How is taking the company's lifeblood not going to hurt them? But maybe the issue was that Traci said "all," and Ashley's going to be just fine -- but I think she would have been, anyway. She's strong enough and smart enough to be a success most anywhere, in all honesty. But that leads us to the other big part of that drama.
Phyllis is CEO. When Jack met with Kerry Johnson, I knew already she was in cahoots with Phyllis. She was at least respectful to Jack. She was not to Billy, so that made it even clearer she'd been talking with Phyllis. When she brought Kerry in during the board meeting, after she'd asked Jack and Billy about their R&D plans, I was not shocked. So, she did political wheeling and dealing, and I know that happens all over the place. Doesn't mean I like it, but it happens, so that's not even an issue. Good on her for securing the talent and working to get herself elected. She proved herself the better campaigner.
The problem for me came after. I'm not sure Lauren is the best COO. She's still CEO of Fenmore's, right? So, she's doing two jobs, and when we're doing too much, we tend to not do a great job on one or more of the things we're doing. But even that wasn't the worst part. It's all political, and she and Lauren have backed each other before, so I get it.
The problem came after Billy grabbed the picture. (Thank God that is gone! But he shouldn't be keeping it, either. Temptation to gamble much?) Phyllis had him grab the family supplies (why did Ashley not take her award?), and Lauren asked Billy, whose hands were full, to close the door then said, "Thanks, sweetie." Really? So, the way to prove women are equal to men is to treat them with the same disdain with which they treated us forever? No, the powerful thing to do is have him leave, then close the door behind him. And no smirks. That ruined it for me. What could have been a powerful feminist victory ended up as a mean girls' club game. I felt more of a win-lose game situation than a situation involving competent leaders in that moment.
Kyle's attitude when he said "girl power management style" was something he should have been called on. Tell him it's a management style. "We happen to be female, but in this high-risk climate, we believe we are the best team to lead Jabot. Work with us, and together we'll make Jabot bigger and better than it ever was." But no, nobody was educated. It was a teachable moment that was missed. I am pleased Phyllis kept Billy and Kyle on staff, at least.
But then comes the biggest potential problem with CEO Phyllis: she is in the midst of robbing a grave of its body as part of the Fearsome Foursome. In a park. In a public area. Where… nobody has cameras? Seriously, why do these women keep returning to the park where they buried a body they believed to be dead. One positive? There was no body. One negative? There was no body.
So, what does that mean? Is J.T. not dead, as I have kind of hoped (for the drama, not because I like him), or did someone else move him. And the biggest question: why in the world do these women not turn to the master fixer, Victor. He is married to and in love with the actual killer (who did not kill for the first time, incidentally). But -- and I know I've said this before -- this likely would have been a justifiable homicide if they'd done the right thing and not listened to the genius of CEO Phyllis.
When I saw Phyllis, Nikki, and Victoria in their black masks and black clothes begin their digging, I can't lie. I laughed. Audibly. It woke up the dog who was sleeping beside me. Sharon showing up in the hockey mask, like some Jason Voorhees trick-or-treater, was hilarious. They're all on edge (more coffee, ladies?), so that was perfect. Nikki and Victoria returning and Victoria saying she felt someone was watching them? As my wise father used to say, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you."
Maybe it's just me, but I think if you're guilty of murder and disposing of a body that's gone missing, maybe, just maybe, you should not keep returning to the scene of the crime? Especially when ace detective Rey Rosales is on the case and is growing more and more suspicious of your alleged charity with all its urgent, last-minute emergency meetings and no anything to show for it -- no fund-raisers, no recipients, just meetings.
And that charity, women helping women through a clothing drive with clothes going to a bunch of different places did not sound convincing. Plus, where are the clothes? I don't think it convinced Rey, who's already pretty convinced they're complicit in J.T.'s disappearance. But is J.T. dead? It would be hilarious if he was the one who broke the pipe, which was my first thought when I heard about it.
Rey's note on Sharon, "seems anxious," was a bit silly. You need to write that down? You won't remember? And Sharon not wanting to ride with him then asking to ride with him seems suspicious. She is not good at covering up big lies from the police, it seems. She acts really weird around Rey, and while some might be some mutual attraction, that isn't the bulk of the weird.
I didn't think Phyllis' hair looked all that red. (I say this as a person with red hair, so perhaps I am biased?)
I like that Kyle and Billy are working together to reclaim Jabot but won't be doing anything dirty. Here's hoping they stick with that. And I'm glad Kyle apologized to Billy. That was the least he could do. Yes, Billy went astray, but Kyle bombarded him with temptation.
It was sad that letter-writing was a novelty for the Ashbys. We should all write a letter now and again! Even a not in a kid's lunchbox or backpack, a letter to mom or your kid or your neighbor or someone who made a difference in your life. Letters are lovely. They should not be a novelty. ("What is this 'stamp' of which you speak?")
I can't wait until everyone finds out Billy slept with Summer. ALL his relationships will change.
Tessa's treble clef tattoo was upside down. Maybe it was to make the fake heart shape when she and Mariah were together, but… it bothered me that it was upside down.
Sharon and Nikki's reactions when Phyllis said she was CEO of Jabot were hilarious. Nikki: "Well, God help Jabot." Sharon: "And all of their employees." And when Phyllis and Sharon needed to be reminded that even though they were outdoors, they needed to use indoor voices? Also amusing.
I am wondering when Rey and Sharon will hook up. It seems inevitable, but I could be wrong, with Rey's wife arriving soon.
Abby was certainly on target when she told Nick to step back and tried to inform him that stepping back is not the same as giving up. It will be a "massive, long-term endeavor," and in the real world, he likely would not succeed. But this is a soap. And it's Sharon and Nick.
Nick had a couple bandaged fingers this week, and I kept trying to see what was wrong. Maybe the ring finger knuckle was swollen? But I hope Joshua Morrow's injury heals quickly and fully!
Thank heavens Jill's sculpture was saved (not). What do you think? Precious artwork or tacky piece of tin (not the Hope Diamond)?
Lamest Moment of the Week:
So, I had to say I love you in a pumpkin. Or, I heart you. I am not into Tessa and Mariah because I do not trust Tessa. At all. So this "cute" gesture fell flat.
Lines of the Week:
Summer, to Kyle: "Nothing kills romance like a guy in a hair net."
Billy to Phyllis at the elevator before the vote: "You have a little snark right all over your face."
Jill to Billy at the Athletic Club bar: "Being your mother is the best job I ever had, and I will never quit."
The previews show J.T.'s watch turning up and Rey declaring a crime scene. I'm wondering who's watching it all unfold. I've speculated on Tessa before, but here's a thought. What if it's Victor?!? He could be upset with Nikki and Victoria for not cluing him in and asking for his help. He doesn't need the money, but it would get their attention. It could still be Tessa. It could be J.T. himself. I expect we'll know who it is before December!
Will the sisters keep doing it for themselves? Will the men and women learn to work together and treat each other as equals? We could sure use that model somewhere! Will the Fearsome Foursome ever face legal charges? Will Nick and Sharon reunite before or after each spends some time with other lovers, or are they really done for good? Will Faith's moping about not being a family end if her parents reunite, or will it just be replaced with anxiety? What other surprises will November Sweeps have for us? I can't wait to find out!
Until next time, here's hoping we're on the edges of our seats! I'll be right there, watching with you!
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.