I could be wrong, but in the case of the missing Casien, I think another piece of the puzzle depicting Brad as the brother was slipped into place during the week. When Brad said he was Cleveland-bound for business, the significance of the city sailed right over my head. But when he muttered to Nikki that he "hadn't been back to Cleveland in years" the flickering bulb in my brain suddenly blazed into steady brilliance, lighting up all the cobwebby corners of my cranium. For years, fans, along with his various wives and in-laws, have inquired in vain as to Brad's unseen and unsaid family roots. But he has been completely closemouthed, revealing little of whom and where he was before being hired as the Abbott hedge clipper. Brad's certainly come a long way since those hot days draping his short-shorts clad buff bod across the bushes for Jill and Traci's viewing pleasure, and except for a very brief side trip on Cassandra Rawlins' gravy train, most of his free ride has been provided courtesy of the Abbott daughters. But because of his adamant refusal to bow and scrape at the clay feet of Ashley's idol, Victor, his days dining at the Abbott table may be dwindling. Of course, since his sperm-snatching guttersnipe of a marriage mate has so alienated me with her self-serving, single-minded pursuit of Victor, in my opinion, Brad being released from Ashley's harness could only be a good thing.
From practically the moment Abby came into existence, Ashley has dismissively delegated her paltry parental duties, too busy floundering in perpetual pity puddles, muddling through maudlin mental malfunctions, or staring at nothing in a catatonic trance, to be bothered with mundane mothering matters. Except for the infrequent instances Brad stepped in to play proud Papa, Frances has been the Mommy on Board, SUV-ing the petite poppet everywhere from day care to doctor's offices. But suddenly, Abby has become Ashley's ever-present shadow, as Mommy uses every excuse imaginable to gallop gleefully after Victor. And while Ashley regularly shows the rest of the world her favorite parlor trick, twisting her dissatisfied mouth into an exact replica of a wrinkled old prune, Victor is always greeted with a grin so wide, it's a wonder her cement-like countenance doesn't collapse into countless cracks and crevices. Every day I think the annoying Ashley can sink no lower, but every day she proves me wrong.
I can't imagine what mind-altering brew Brad had imbibed to cause him to assume his inability to attend the horse and pony show at the Ranch would keep his Victor-besotted bride from going. When in reality, Ashley would probably rather see Jabot go under for the third and final time rather than miss a chance to blink rapidly at Victor. Has inhaling all those unsaleable Jabot scents in the lab addled what brain she has? She actually appeared amazed to learn Brad doesn't suddenly look upon Victor as his new bosom boyfriend. If I had any doubts, which I didn't, Ashley has now proven she's every bit as stupid as that often incomprehensible look on her fickle face makes her appear.
And so, Brad being an unimportant cog in the Victor wheel workings, Ashley gave Francis yet another day off and motored maniacally to Victor's home on the range. To my great glee, she only managed to aim a few blinks of bliss at Victor before her rosy picture of Mommy, Daughter and Sperm Donor Daddy was ripped beyond repair when Nikki, bearing horse riding attire gifts for Abby, broke through the colored construction paper. But my merriment at Ashley's expense didn't end there. I continued to giggle as Nikki picked up pin after pin and stuck it in the arrogant Ashley doll. Foiled at every turn, Ashley's air of excitement ebbed slowly out of her holes as Nikki blocked all her attempts to coo and bill at Victor.
In light of what happened next, I'm certain Miguel was in the kitchen muttering, "if you want something done right, leave it to the hired help" because mere moments after Victor accepted full responsibility for Abby's much anticipated horse ride, the great man returned bearing a limp, unconscious Abby, who had somehow taken a tumble from Starfire's back. This then, was the terrible tragedy that has been mumbled about for weeks, and like so many others I'm guessing in the end it too will prove to have been highly exaggerated.
What will happen next in the long-running stage play of Romeo and Juliet? Although Nikki appeared to be clambering aboard the Abby love boat, perhaps more to be a stick in Ashley's craw than anything else, could the final curtain call be close for these two? Having always been a faithful Nikki-Victor fan, I now have mixed feelings about them. Though the scribes tossed us a bone this week as Victor and Nikki shared a few romantic moments, constant turmoil between the two with very little displayed affection has taken all the fun out of this pairing and left those who once cared with little to cling to. The little softness that was in Victor's soul is apparently mostly reserved for Abby and her addle-brained mother and I've yet to hear from a fan who is glad to hear it. Because for many, Ashley has become one of the City's most universally scorned schemers, is regularly fast-forwarded the moment the camera zooms in on her sour, almost always petulant face, and is almost beyond redemption in many fans eyes. It seems to be becoming the consensus that should Victor and Ashley wind up together, it will be exactly what the other deserves. And I don't think they meant that in a good way.
Having once practically covered Noah's eyes for fear he'd be forever traumatized at the sight of a scantily clad Nicole posing suggestively in the family photo album, Sharon has now decided stripping and strip clubs are "romantic." How powerful and awesome Miss Air for Brains thinks it must be to strut across a spot-lit stage, slowly peeling off layers of her skimpy clothing for the panting pleasure of all with the price of admission. Should the further murdering of Sharon's once above reproach character take place, the question on the table is how her hubby will react. Well, remember, this is the man who regularly encourages his wife to dress as provocatively as possible so all can see for themselves what a hot woman he's married to, so it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it's all just fine and dandy with him. Although as a son, Nick, in his staunch support of his Mom this week, went a long way toward winning back my affection for him, he lost ground as a husband for his nonchalant reaction to Sharon's desire to get down and dirty on Marilyn's stage.
Britt's slightly catty comment about Nikki looking good for "someone her age" made me roll off the couch with cackling mirth. Newsflash, jumping beans for brains, Nikki's age is awfully darn close to your man's. More examples of why the mismatched pairing of May-December Britt and Bobby isn't working were on display this week. Britt's idea of a fun time was hanging out at a 20-something college bash with her 40-something beau, while Bobby's was your bedroom or mine. Crimson Lights was the apparent compromise and surrounded by companions half his age, Bobby looked a lot like a shark out of his salted sea habitat as he balanced carefully on a Crimson stool, hoping he looked like just one of the guys.
He didn't, judging by the Hodges parents' immediate air of disdain upon seeing him perched at the table with Brit, Mac and J.T.. After manfully swallowing his pride for as long as he could, one of the barrage of derogatory darts from the Hodges was finally one too many and Bobby blurted out who was really going to be the groom. Saying the parents were displeased would be putting things way too mildly. Fred Hodges was so incensed he reached to the very bottom of his bag of belittling barbs and accused Bobby of trolling the college campus in search of young dancers for his skin pit. Bobby didn't find that so funny but I laughed so hard my Pepsi went down the wrong pipe and I almost choked to death.
While I'm on the subject of romances that seem doomed from the start, I may as well move on to Jill and Elliott. Who is this woman and where did she hide her brains? No one is buying that Jill would be so hoodwinked by Elliott and so suddenly desirous of being a bride. We won't even talk about how boring he seems. In response to Elliott's easy dismissal of Jack's warnings as jealous sour grapes, Jack delivered a veiled threat to Elliott that there were those who lived to regret taking him lightly. Well, Jack might have managed to keep a straight face when he said that, but I didn't even try. Oh yeah, Jack, just who might those mystery persons be? Because I failed to come up with a single one.
So John and Gloria have done the sheet-tug deed. Maybe it was just me, but watching those two simper at one another brought my finger perilously close to the FF button. I have nothing against romance among the no longer young, but I confess John and Gloria lounging around the living room in their robes while Jack beamed approvingly on made me change my mind about raiding the cupboards for a soap-watching snack.
Okay, I know I'm not the only fan whose mouth dropped open in disbelief when Damon pulled out that tasseled sword. Like that wouldn't cause the alarm bells to clang in warning when he tried to shuffle through the metal detectors. Is he planning to revenge Elias' death on Halloween, disguised as an ancient Chinese Warrior, perhaps?
Finally, Neil uttered those famous words: "You're Fired," no longer able to tolerate the running insults and hand to hand combat of the comedic team of Dru and Phyllis. Next up, the stranded together in the elevator scenario where the ladies have a chance to get all close and chummy. Whatever!
Rumblings from the Rumor Mill: What delicious morsel will Malcolm be bringing to the Genoa City buffet table next month? Will he remember the traitorous bit part brother Neil played in his romantic epic with Alex? They say turnabout is fair play, revenge is sweet, etc., so might he be seeking to return the favor by inserting his handsome self between his brother and his bride? With Damon's descent into despair, will Phyllis tire of being Damon's soft shoulder and look for a new flavor for her coffee? Among the fan guesses, although a nameless scribe once insisted the question of Who's Really Lily's Daddy would never be revisited, some fans wonder whether that has changed. Another story iron in the gossiping fire is whether he might be related in a fatherly way to Devon. How long will he be in town? Some sources claim his return will be brief, but if we learned nothing else from watching the goings on in this City, we know never, ever, to believe the hype.
Annie: "The Brad issue is interesting though I have always believed Nikki and Bobby would become involved. But all the other stupid storylines are so boring. Naturally Abby will take a fall from the horse so we can have more hand wringing and scripts that are a joke. Used to really like Y & R. Now except for Lauren and Michael and Nikki and Bobby not much else is of interest."
Evelyn: "Interesting concept: Jack being Abby's sperm daddy and not Victor. What a great way to resolve the neglected storyline of John Abbott not being Ashley's biological daddy. This would be a great new storyline and would involve John Abbott in something besides this Gloria thing. Get rid of her. I mean is rich and sophisticated John REALLY that dumb..... I agree with others - Michael and Lauren are great together.... lock up Kevin as it seems the writers have no intention of redeeming him. One more brief comment on couples -- I agree there's no chemistry between Bobby and Brit - get rid of that storyline and Phyllis belongs with Jack and I LOVE the change in Phyllis' character. Live and learn and change your live appropriately... Keep that line going. Jack had a wonder rapport with Danny Jr. when they met at lunch in the club. What a great family unit that could become."
Sandi: "I think that in the Katherine/Arthur/Esther thing, it is going to turn out that the stepson is mentally ill or revengeful. I thought for sure Esther would approach Paul at the dance and say something that one of the other women said in her comments -- it isn't that hard these days to look. I guess that would be too easy for GC. It is going to turn out that Arthur is just anxious to start his new life with Katherine. As for Jill and Elliot -- she deserves everything that he can dish out to her -- yes, he is robbing the company, that is a given. As for the Brittany/J.T./Fred/Anita thing, boring and unbelievable that Brit can pull the wool over her parents' eyes like that. And more unbelievable that Bobby stands for it and J.T. goes along with it. As for Chris and Paul -- boring. I too was taken aback and rewound the tape when Lauren said that to Brad about a 'man without a past. But I still think the brother is Bobby."
Linda: "Get rid of Gloria and John. Where's Gina, Michael and Lauren and get help for Kevin! Stop being a slut, Sharon and get out of your marriage if you are so bored with it. Umm, I can stay home with your Nick's body, stupid as he may be. I like the new Jack. Let Kay and Arthur be happy and the murder be untrue. Maybe the son did it. Esther, where's your daughter and go find your own man. Jill get your head out of your pants or his. Time for a Brittany and J.T. match. Maybe Abby is truly Christian's child and not really Victor's. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Brad deserves better than that "make him crazy Ashley."
Dannay: "Both Brad and Nikki get on my NERVES! At least Brad has a legitimate reason to be upset, although in my opinion he should direct those feelings SOLELY toward his wife, and not at Victor. But Nikki has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to be mad, hurt, or scared about. SHE HAS THE MAN!!! Why is she fretting over a little girl? If Nikki's insecure butt would play her cards right she'd have Victor eating out of her hands with Ashley on the outside looking in while Victor spends time with Abby and NIKKI."
Shen: "I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Michael and Lauren!! They sizzle together and I can't WAIT to see what happens next with them and the added Kevin element. I find his obsession disturbing, and I'm not sure where they can really take him now, but I'm thankful for Michael/Lauren. I hope they stay together for a good LONG time. They are so hot! And can they please throw Victor and Ashley into a vat of acid or something equally hideous? Those two are sickening. Why does all of Genoa City bow to the presence of that man? He is so obnoxious and full of himself, you have to wonder how he can even keep his head up without it toppling over. I wish someone, anyone, would teach that man a lesson. FREE Brad & Nikki! BUT, let them win. LOL! And I hope that Brad is actually the Casein brother, not Bobby! God, what a story that would be!"
Barbara: "Doesn't anyone but me think Elliott and Arthur are in cahoots to take over Chancellor Industries and leave Kay and Jill high and dry with not a dime?"
Linda C: "Can't stand Christine, or Gloria and Ashley makes my stomach turn. Can't they just kill these people off? Don't want Victor with Ashley he took too long getting Nikki back. And I want Sharon killed off too. The show is driving me crazy. And has everyone forgotten just what a ***** Lauren has always been? I don't care what Kevin does to her. Let him at her and I would have no sympathy. My dream come true would be for Heather Tom to come back and let Victoria and Michael live happily ever after. And as I viewed the show Thursday I saw both Nikki and Dru "leaving for the office" my mind went back in time and I wondered how the hell did they get there?"
Kathy: "Ok, I was way off; silly me thought that Nikki and Sharon would be going behind their hubby's backs to work at the club as hostess and dancer respectively. I think this is a whole new twist; the husbands supporting their wives in the stripping industry.... the possibilities are endless now... there is the potential for more clubs to open. How about a "Ladies Club" with strippers a la Chippendale with Victor running the joint and Nick as one of the strippers? And I admit I didn't watch the show much back then, but at the time that Nikki and Victor met at the club, was it really that easy going and carefree?? I think their memories, as always, are a bit hazy. It will be an interesting next few weeks on the club scene huh?"
Wanda: "Does the show have new writers or what? They seem to be writing the most staged and forced dialogue I have ever seen on the show. The talks between Victor, Ashley, and Abby are really childish and dumb. Enough of Brittany Hodges already! Where did they get the idea that she is the star of Y&R? She is a whiney, spoiled, brat. She is so one dimensional. No man like Bobby Marsino would really want to marry her. Now, Nikki might be a different story. Sharon Newman is more interesting than Brittany and that IS a slam. I can't wait to see how she justifies her "stripping" to the Newman clan. I can't wait for the return of Victoria!"
Janice: "This is a first for me. I have never written about any of the soaps. I started watching Y&R the first day it aired. This is the only soap I watch now as I thought it was the most intelligent. I realize this is entertainment but in the last month or so I now tape it and fast forward certain stores and actors. I completely agree with the comments made. I am so sick of Ashley and Victor - surely there are not as selfish people as they are. Brad stood by Ashley over and over again and quite frankly I can't stand watching her drool over Victor. I think they are both great actors but can't hack it anymore. I think as I have gotten older I don't have the patience the way they portray these characters - they are so stupid and selfish. Example: Neil was always a great guy - what is the purpose of making him out to be an unfeeling human being? This story about Sharon is so silly - they are changing her whole personality - people don't change that fast. I think the writers of these shows are going to have to rethink their storylines - we live in a different world now. Not everyone is rich - that's why I like Coronation Street (from England) they are real people. I am so disappointed in the direction of Y&R. Why can't they focus on Michael and have him in a relationship and settle down or Jack - why is it always on Victor? Honestly I wish they would just put Victor & Ashley on an island somewhere and forget about them. I notice the ratings are not so good for soaps - gee I wonder why. They treat their characters as bigoted, simple minded fools."
Kym: "I really like the blossoming romance developing between Michael and Lauren. I think they make a great couple. I enjoyed the story between Michael and Kevin, but think they are getting too far off base. I wish they would concentrate more on what really happened to Kevin when he was young. He needs psychiatric help for sure."
Kathi: "I totally agree with your comments on how they are letting a little girl call all the shots. My kids are grown now, but they didn't call the shots. Nor should they. Now because Brad isn't going to the "ranch" outing, he will be feeling guilty and blaming Ashley for Abby's injury. And Brittany and Bobby .. snoreville ... no chemistry at all."