by Nita
For the Week of November 6, 2006
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Forget the one about a woman scorned. Jack might soon discover he should be more afraid, very much more afraid, in fact, of the wrath of a woman outfoxed.

Once again, fans, apologies are due you for the late posting of the column. Every time I think life can't get any more hectic, I discover I am mistaken. It can and often does. My life is a soap opera, loose ends, unresolved storylines, mis-casts, re-casts and all. The only thing missing is family discord of the Fisher/Baldwin kind. Thankfully.

Anyway, on to the real soap opera. I say again ... Meeee-owwww!

Forget the one about a woman scorned. I think Jack is about to discover he should be more afraid, very much more afraid, in fact, of the wrath of a woman outfoxed.

As in Nikki Newman. Mewl, mewl, whine, whine, goes Nikki, incessantly and insinuatingly crooning Jack's name in Victor's ears, carefully dribbling ever larger drops of fuel onto the Victor wood until she had him soaking nicely. Then, flopping down beside him, she gently shook his vial of epilepsy pills, bringing to my mind at least the ominous sound of a rattlesnake's pre-strike rattle, and casually struck and tossed a flickering match. "Now honey," she then murmured in pretended worry, her mouth forming a pouty little moue, "you aren't going to get all intense over this and let it consume you, are you?"

NOW, you ask him that Nikki? NOW, after you've crouched next to the fire and painstakingly added twig after twig until a roaring fire was burning. Of course, he will let it consume him. Consume, rather than Christian, should be Victor's middle name. After all, what else does he have to do now that his children, strike that plural and make it a singular, child, is holding the reins of Newman, leaving him only its much poorer relation, NVP, to play with.

I can't help but notice how eager Nikki is for her beloved to fix a toy that's not exactly broken, it's just not hers anymore. Apparently, she's put from her mind, though this fan hasn't, how ready she was to crowd next to her ungrateful urchins in order to get her painted talons on the dagger they were going to thrust right through Victor's heart from behind his back.

And all this rabid viciousness aimed at Jack. If you weren't watching back then, you would never know that Nikki and Jack were once in a loving marriage and mourned the loss of their child. Was anyone else just a bit taken aback, even given the situation, to see that self-satisfied smirk on Nikki's face when Victor promised to "bring Jack down?" It was wider than the grin on a satiated canary-eating cat. She enjoyed that tasty tidbit so much, I half expected her to burp, in a ladylike, well-bred way, of course.

Okay, I know many probably say Nikki's rage is justified. After all, Jack did have first refusal on the Spa idea, and he chose to turn a decisive thumbs down on the project for Jabot. So who can blame Nikki and Phyllis for being incensed that he's now taken it over and routinely bulldozes over them like the insignificant molehills they actually are? But, on the other hand, to be fair, it wasn't as if Jack went a-hunting for the Spas, stealthily sneaked up behind them and stole off with NVP while their heads were turned. No one knew, including Jack, that Victor was half off his rocker, and acting out of illness when he practically begged Jack to take over NVP, after having bought it for his petulant princess as casually as us not so well heeled mortals would purchase a new pair of pants. And Victor no more consulted Nikki or Phyllis about that decision than Jack does now when he makes an executive decision.

Now to Victor. Why is he so surprised to discover Jack is the same man he's always been? After all, Jack didn't suddenly get sick and befriend Victor. And Victor only befriended Jack because he was sick. He hasn't changed either. Sure he's not popping the veins in his neck with gritted-teeth sound bytes of finger-pointing "you got that's," but nothing has really changed. He still remains focused on his goal of bringing JackAbbott down, just as he's always been. When he was himself, that is. As soon as Victor got well, he reverted to his same old self, picking up the vendetta gauntlet where he last left it lying. If he was really a changed man, he would simply go to Jack, man to man, and call him on what he has done. Instead, he's choosing to play the game the way he always has. By sneaking up on Jack and walloping him before Jack even realizes he's been creeping forward. That's how he got his avaricious mitts on Jabot in the first place. Victor and Nikki know that Jack has always been all about Jabot and anything and anyone is just a minor distraction that can't completely remove his mind from his one and only truest love.

Interesting that Victor hazily recollects Jack advising him to quit taking his meds. The way I remember it, Victor was going to do it regardless of what Jack or anyone else advised. He wanted to keep those ghostly visits coming, wanted to continue oohing and aahing at the magnificently colored auras that only he could see hovering over the heads of his friends and family and wished to wander off in search of the real meaning of life instead of simply living it a day at a time.

Okay, once Victor beats Jack, because, of course, you know he will; he always does; then what? Phyllis is going to be too busy doting on her daughter to be bothered overmuch with NVP matters, and by that time, Nikki is sure to be busily poking her snooty snout into some new or resurrected family crisis that will surely keep her from NVP. I guess Victor, having been pushed out of his own company by a son that comes to work so seldom, the staff probably think he's taken early retirement, and it's a wonder the daughter ever gets any Newman business done since what she seems to do most is blather on and on about Bradgeorge-gate, will take over Jack's role, you know doing the real work, while Nikki and Phyllis make occasional appearances when it's time for accolade accepting.

Having said all that, though, there seems to be no end to Jack's shenanigans. With each of his fingers stuck in a different pie and with convoluted lies piled atop more convoluted lies, he will soon need a detailed road map to help him navigate safely through the tangled mess he's making of things. Like so many of his fellow Genoa Citi-ans, Jack is often his own worst enemy, and if given enough rope, will inevitably manage to hang himself with no one else's assistance.

Welcome to Child-Rearing 101. Or, Who Not To Ask for Child-rearing Advice. Hmmm, Gloria's child care philosophy leaves a little bit to be desired, don't you think? "Let 'em whimper and wail; ignore 'em because they're only trying to manipulate your emotions." Well, if that's the way she thinks, it's no wonder her boys turned out the way they did. I guess to Gloria, Kevin's screams to be released from the closet weren't because he was terrified of the dark and small, hot places, but just a dark and evil plan to manipulate her into being a Mother. Lucky for baby Fen, Lauren knows better than to act on anything the Mommy from Hades might advise. By the way, wasn't Lauren so believable as a harried and sleep-deprived new Mother? I bet more than a few Mommys commiserated with her as they remembered their own new baby days. And on top of a fretful, crying baby, little sleep, the my baby hates me thoughts, she has to contend with her multiple roommates.

Didn't Kevin and Gloria say they were moving out now that they are overpaid Jabot employees? I could understand such family togetherness if the Baldwins had an estate like the Abbotts. Then it would make sense that all those family members would be crowded under one roof. But this is a two bedroom apartment we're talking about, and a not all that spacious one at that. We can see that despite the fact that Sheila was once able to lurk practically in plain sight and Lauren's peripheral vision still couldn't manage to pick her up. But now it appears Gloria is staying and Kevin and Jana are looking for places together. Where, by the way, did that come from? Did they discuss living together and I missed it? Why doesn't Kevin just move into her trailer with the pink pelicans on the lawn?

Okay fans, I had to go and stick a red star for remembrance on November 2 on my calendar. I wanted to do something to commemorate the day I actually didn't dislike Gloria. I had already heard about Gloria's poignant little speech to John's pictured likeness on a few message boards prior to watching it myself. Some pronounced themselves quite touched by the moment, even felt near or outright teary-eyed at the hearing. I, of course, immediately scoffed to myself, positive I would feel so such tender feelings. But, surprisingly, I was wrong. And I like to give credit where it is due. Gloria was very believable and by the end of her brief monologue, although I wasn't wiping away tears of sympathetic sorrow, I was moved by the moment. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one going awwww, and nodding approvingly as Lauren gently transferred her warm bundle of joy into Gloria's arms. It was definitely a high point of the week.

From high to huh? I can always find a few of those during the week's watching.

For instance, just what jet was Neil having gassed up so as to be ready to roll down the runway at a moment's notice? (No fan, Carole, you didn't miss anything, and you remember right) Isn't this the same jet he told Victor he was selling to pay for Indigo? What? Were there no takers and he had to finance his new venture the old fashioned way, by borrowing from a bank?

Next, boy my head whipped around so hard it nearly fell off my neck when out of nowhere Will barked to Sharon in a definitely unfriendly and accusing tone: "Your husband left you for another woman didn't he?" And that has to do with what, exactly, Sharon should have said, but since she didn't I shouted the words for her. Following that line of thought, I'm surprised he didn't accuse her of killing Carmen, both for Dru and acting out against Carmen the rage she felt she couldn't direct at Phyllis.

And what was Nikki thinking when she asked her hubby: "Are the kids here yet?" First, because she was standing right there, a step away from Victor in the otherwise empty of humans room. Did she think they had come in when she went to the kitchen to badger Miguel and were now hiding behind the curtain waiting 'til she wasn't expecting it to jump out and shout, Boo? But that wasn't the part that made me go huh? Since she said 'kids" I stupidly assumed, okay, we're about to have a family dinner, you know with Victoria, Nick (the kids) and their respective spouses. But lo and behold, like sometimes is said to be the case when you ass-u-me. I was made one of when Vikki and Brad came waltzing in. So who was Nikki trying to fool, herself or us fans? Because Brad is so far from a kid it isn't even funny. Nikki was about to marry the man, who by my by unscientific estimate would be closer to 50 than 40, which means he surely left kidhood behind some 30 odd years ago, give or take a couple.

Speaking of couples, sort of, I finally realized what has been missing for me from these so-called love scenes and couplings. Well, beside this new propensity everyone has had lately of attempting to squeeze their not always sylph-like bodies onto a narrow couch to conduct their amorous activities, I mean. My problem is that they often seem to come out of nowhere and everyone acts as if they've been locked away from members of the opposite sex for years and are about to quench their insatiable appetites. Just my opinion, but it looks more silly than sexy. Whatever happened to tenderness, titillating, teasing flirtation? Where is the suspense, where is the longing looks, the long, slow tender kisses, the lead in that makes us care and keeps us coming back for more, on pins and needles to see what will happen next? Instead, what do we get? Two mouths smashing together with great force, while the participants squirm and rip at each other's clothes. Maybe it's just me, but that's not exactly reeling me in.

Then there was Jana and Kevin. As I watched in confusion their frenzied gropings before their countertop coupling, I was mouthing what the ... heck. Up 'til now I had the apparently erroneous impression they hadn't progressed much past somewhat affectionate friends. I thought they were only about up to deep and soulful lip locks, instead of a full body press. Next thing I know one quick kiss and she's locking the door so they can do it on the counter. And then they casually dress, announce that was fun and let's do it again? Oh and by the way, wanna live together?

And of course I can't leave out Colleen's kiss to Professor Korbel. Talk about coming out of left field! Up to now the girl has barely been able to utter a word to the man that hasn't come coated in thick, sarcastic syrup. Now she's kissing him? Where did that come from? What tender feelings did she have buried inside that abruptly came to the surface? She's only had eyes for J.T. since the second she set them on him. And now we're supposed to buy this sudden attraction for Korbel. And did any other fan have kind of an 'ewwww' moment when she grabbed up her phone and dialed up the Professor while still covered with J.T.'s ... blanket. Yeah, just what I feel like doing after enjoying a special moment with my mate. Call up another man.

For me, fan Allison below perfectly captured many of my thoughts. And she got her point across in a lot less than words than it would take me. If you are a fan of Lifetime movies, which you all know I must be since I mention them so often, you know that most of the time, watching one of them is like settling down with a good book. I already know just by seeing the previews that more often than not, I am in for two hours or so of pure escapism. If done right, in those first 15 minutes or so, I am going to be so drawn in to the characters and the story that if I'm watching in real time, cooking and household stuff, sometimes even increasingly necessary bathroom breaks get done only during commercial breaks (with the volume turned up to eardrum damaging levels to make certain I'll be able to hear when the commercial ends) and if, heaven forbid, I have to leave the house before the expected satisfying end, during one of the commercials you can believe I'll be rummaging for a VCR tape to record what I'm going to miss. That's what watching Y&R used to be like. Parking yourself in front of the TV and not moving one inch until the credits ran. I remember before I was hooked on the soaps I used to laugh at my friend and her husband who would race home from work, drop their stuff at the door and head straight for the couch to start watching their soap tape. Then for the next hour their eyes and 100% of their attention would be glued to that screen. The only talking that could be done was in quick bursts to discuss some plot point. Once the show was done, then the threads of life were picked up, dinner preparations were discussed and life as I knew it could resume. Who would have thought that years later, Y&R would turn me into them. That's what I miss about my favourite show.

But, as I'm so fond of saying, that was then, and this is today. When it's not quite the same. I'm still not ready to give up my addiction just yet, but who knows what the future will hold.

Okay, back to the story. Let's talk about Jana for a bit. I certainly enjoyed fan Betsy's epiphany about her (see below). Wouldn't it be something new and different if Jana really was no more than what she seems? An intelligent girl who has drifted from one vocation to another. I wish I had been keeping track of all the positions she claims to have held. If anyone has been, please let me know. I've already forgotten most of what she told Billy. Except that she allegedly lives in a trailer and devours glossy magazines detailing the lives and loves of the rich and famous. And that pre-GC, she was involved with some bloke in Chicago, I think it was, for a time. Who supposedly dumped her. As for what she's been doing for the past year, the only thing I can recall now is that she said she was an art student and just recently we found out she has also been an au pair and a morgue shutterbug.

But (because you knew that with me, there usually is one), though I like Betsy's idea, I still think Ms. Jana's up to something nefarious. There are all sorts of possibilities. Lauren has a brand new baby boy. Who better to call when you need a helping hand than one supposedly skilled in child care? Along with that, she's suddenly become bowled over and apparently so enchanted with Kevin's charms, they're already apartment hunting together. Perhaps Lauren's fears for her son are not nearly as groundless as it would seem. A coincidence? Maybe. Then we have that morgue photographer remark. Which makes most of us immediately recall that picture of a supposedly deceased Sheila with Phyllis' face. Yet another coincidence? I guess we will see.

Before I wrap it up for this week with the murder investigation, I have to take a moment to comment on this week's batch of the funny (read illogical, hypocritical) things they say and do. Victoria. As she chastised Brad, haranguing him about why he didn't just come clean with the police and be honest about his visit to Carmen, I couldn't help but notice she didn't volunteer one single syllable about how Carmen was practically blackmailing Newman into buying her contract on the outside chance she might have overheard that Brad isn't really Brad. Takes a dishonest liar to know one, huh Victoria. On the other hand, it took her all of two seconds to volunteer that Carmen is the reason Dru has nothing to do when she gets up in the morning except decide which scarf she will cover her two pigtails that day and which way she will tie it.

Joining her in that pot talking bad about the skillet category is Victoria's dear mother, Ms. Pursed Lips Newman. Well, she muttered, that nose inching ever higher upward, in that snooty tone she often adopts whenever she forgets she didn't come from the royalty she mostly acts as if she has. Dru has always been unbalanced. Okaaaay, Miss Nikki. And I suppose you were the epitome of tranquility and balance when you were pretending to be clinging with white-nailed fingertips to the very edge of death's door to keep your man from leaving you for Ashley. And how about all those wicked witch of Genoa City tales you used to spin about Ashley for young Victoria, probably giving the poor girl nightmares for years.

Lily: what if Mom was blackmailing Carmen? Say what? If that were the case, wouldn't Carmen not have been pressing charges and trying to put her under the jail?

In the made me giggle category, there was Devon (in answer to Michael's advice): Okay, we'll go get dressed up and get some candy and that will take care of everything.

And Kevin: I love you Mom, but I don't want to end up like Norman Bates.

But the funniest moment of the week and worth a few rewinds was Victor standing in the doorway, frightening Jack with that mask!

Lastly, I know in this column, what with me and all the fan comments, there's always plenty to peruse, but don't miss fan Aimee's quote of the day below. It was another funny.

And now, to the murder investigation.

Sometimes, Genoa City is such a small town. Though until Carmen wound up breathless in the alley, her coming trial shouldn't have been all that high profile, even in this sleepy town, Detective Maggie Go-get-em sure seemed to know all there was to know about all the minute details of Carmen's beef with Dru. For that matter, only in Genoa City would a DA be personally prosecuting what was basically a simple property destroying, relatively lightweight assault case, probation violation matter. It would have surely been handled by one of his assistant underlings. Oh, Will doesn't have any of those? Of course, being that real crime in this town happens so rarely, I guess the girls and boys in blue have little else to do but to pore over every scrap of paper that crosses anyone's desk. The alternative is to twiddle their thumbs, feet on the desk, and hear yet another re-telling of the time in the good old, crime-laden days when David Kimble got crunched in that trash compactor, or when Kay Chancellors' life and marriage was usurped by a look-alike, or about the time the rapist tunneled his way into Chris' apartment to hold her captive.

And, of course, since this is Genoa City, we know the law NEVER goes after the right person. We know well how this scenario usually plays out. The people hired by the accused (I presume in this, as has been the case in all others, that will be P.I. Paul and his sparse hair-faced young sidekick, Jeffery Todd) will wind up delivering the proper perpetrator on the usual silver platter. But think how wonderful it would be if just this once, there could really be more to this story, a real twist absolving the Winters early on and we could actually see them closing in on the real murderer. The new head honcho in charge has changed everything else in sight, it would be just our bad luck that this is the one thing she would leave exactly the same, you know, the law stupidly chasing after people we already know from the outset did not commit the crime culminating in Paul or his people riding in on one of their white steeds to save the day. Leaving the law, once again ruefully shaking their heads in stupefied disbelief, while wiping the egg yolk goo off their faces.

At least this time, instead of one wrong person's buns being perched on the hot seat, there are a whole host of them. Literally half of the buns of Genoa City high society, in fact.

So who killed Ms. Mesta:

Not any of the Winters is my guess. That was genuine alarm and surprise on all their faces, not even the slightest twitch or twinge of guilt crossed their countenances. Like the Winters would kill her and dump her in what amounted to their very own backyard.

Oh sure, Devon's the murderer, all right. Send in the deaf guy to do the murder. On foot, no less. What did he do? Kill her in the park, hide her body behind some bushes, and then come back and get her after dark, wrap her in garbage bags and duct tape, then toss her body over his insubstantial shoulders and lug her up and down sidewalks and through back alleys to the Indigo? Maybe Dru helped him. With a blend in the dark black kerchief tied around her tresses.

Or maybe it was Sharon. After all, we know she's good at killing and lugging bodies twice her size and weight around. Sure, Carmen was but a little slip of a thing, but dang, she'd still have been heck to haul.

Brad and Devon should be able to alibi each other since both were spotted lurking outside Carmen's door. Of course, the skewed way GC PD looks at things, Will will simply say they were only doing that because they knew they had killed her and just in case anyone was paying attention, they just wanted to look like they hadn't by appearing to be searching for her.

Likewise with Jack. He was only making those frantic, desperate sounding calls to Carmen to throw the law off the track.

Perhaps it was Brad. He could have squished the air out of her with, yes, you guessed it, his vise-like thighs.

Well, word is, we'll all get a chance to see all the ways each and every one of the suspects could have done away with Carmen on November 10. That's Friday, fans, so be sure not to miss it. Anyway, I don't know about any of you, but me, I haven't a clue who killed Carmen. It's supposed to be a closely guarded secret, and it must be true, because I haven't found a hint of it. And believe me, I've tried. But, like many of you, I can't wait to find out.

I'll close with some odds and ends:

So spoiled Billy is a gambling addict and a spendthrift in a Porsche. Perhaps he should sell that Porsche and pay off his obligations. Obviously, Billy is on his way out. Unfortunately, he made considerably less than an indelible impression on fans or seemingly any of the current storylines. With his departure, he can add his name to the lengthening list of recasts that failed dismally. I presume he will be the cable to jump start a new round of rancorous relations between Mother and Daughter Chancellor, if indeed that is what they are to continue to be. I saw it written somewhere that their relationship link was not going to be severed, but I've learned in this made-up town, one must always be leery not only of what they've read, but often, what they've seen with their very own eyes as well. Kay's having bad dreams, and since they seem to be tied to a wailing baby, what else could that mean but a hissing serpent, bent on destruction, slithering into the Chancellor family garden.

The week left me with many questions. Things like: Why did Mr. Kim say Carmen won't be a problem anymore? Why are Jack and Mr. Kim making their connection so obvious and public? Why did the Professor look strangely guilty when discussing Carmen's death with Colleen? What happened to Colleen's body-image insecurities?

Okay, before I turn it over to you ladies and gents, I want to take a second to thank fans Susan, Chrysa and Whowants2no, who all caught my unintentional gaffe last column when I referred to Daniel as baby Newman's Uncle instead of her half-brother. Color me gratefully corrected.

* * * * * * *

JINNIE - I think Carmen ran into Sheila (as Phyllis) and realized she was an imposter. I believe Sheila killed Carmen. Glad Carmen is gone. Now if only that could happen to Sheila.

MEGAN - Hey, lets just say about the WINTERS family: YEAH and give them their just deserved props. I think its been a long time coming. This family has finally come into their own. I love them all. As a long time viewer of lots of soaps it's a very refreshing change to the format. I agree with you that they are real and I don't think Dru is over the top at all. As a matter of fact I am just wondering why she didn't push her hair back with the vaseline and let Neil have it while tearing up Carmanstealer's clothes. I think her little scarf thingy was an ode to a mad black women behaving aptly. I love Dru and her onscreen believability with her children. I believe her love for Neil. She's not no victim but just a mom and wife who wants to protect her own. I adore Devon and Lily; they are great and certainly the best young people being portrayed on daytime TV.

BETSY - I was only down to reading SK's comments from this week - when I had a Y&R epiphany. Jana really hasn't done much in the scheme of soap life. Yeah, a little bit with the Alex-the-Thug scenario, a possible love interest for Kevin - but really not deeply involved in any specific storyline. What if ... she's just a regular member of the GC community like the rest of us are in our real lives? No nefarious background. No ulterior motives. Just a local. Period. Doin' her job. Getting to know her customers. Perhaps an avid reader. Definitely intelligent, well educated, nosy (who doesn't glance at the mags at the grocery store?) and can put 2-n-2 together. But, just ... uh ... dare I say it .. .she's just "normal?" It seems to me she's taken on a storyline of her own - through the internet. Maybe she's been provided as a tease for us long-time watchers who expect every new character to have a pivotal role. Look at how everyone is speculating on ALL the Y&R forums. (There are a lot of potential writers out there!) Maybe that's all the powers-that-be intended. To see how much attention one character could get on the internet - without really participating in any storyline. A background actor brought to the forefront. Even innocuous actions loom large on a soap ... but, maybe that's all they are! Okay, end of epiphany. I think she's tied to the Professor, too.

P.A. - Re: Curious George, er, Brad, er, George Discovers His Roots. Wouldn't this plot make more sense if Brad's lie was based on a lie? A lot of Nazis disguised themselves as Jews to escape being punished at the end of WWII. If Brad's mom had betrayed her former Third Reich allies, it would better explain why they are so heck-bent on finding her. Perhaps, if Don Diamont seemed to have trouble emoting, it was because he couldn't understand the plot, either. He would have more opportunity to show off his acting chops in a story that made more sense, LOL.

APRIL - It's not that Dru is getting sympathy, but that Carmen is getting hit with karma. In real life, Dru would not get jail time for her crimes. There is a little saying, "All is fair in love and war," and if Carmen is going to play with fire then get ready to get burned. Yeah, Dru has been over the top, but cat fights between women over men happen all the time on soaps without the police being involved. If I were Lauren I would keep a loaded pistol with me, and empty it into Sheila the next time she appears. At least that would spare the viewers another storyline with Sheila in it.

DEB - I can't wait to read your column each week. I have been a faithful reader for quite a while now. I too am a long time viewer of the show as well. Almost from day 1. I must say, though, reading your comments about the show are sometimes actually better than watching the show. I have become disappointed in Y&R for quite a while now. For me I think it started with the Nick and Phyllis pairing and the story about Brad/George. The Brad/George S/L is so farfetched. Such a disappointment. I do have hope that maybe, just maybe, the writers can pull off a good end to the Brad/George S/L. I actually stopped watching every day a couple of weeks ago when Nick and Phyllis started this whole wedding thing. I just can't stand them together. I do not see the chemistry, they make me cringe and look away when I have to see them kiss. I agree with reader Latoya ... women about to give birth don't feel that sexy and want sex all the time. I think that this is gross to watch and I too worry that the poor baby is going to be seasick. I will say, however, that the S/L about the murder of Carmen has me excited. I am so hoping the writers don't disappoint me. A great whodunit! I am thinking ... Devon. I like the new character of Mr. Kim. Maybe he did kill Carmen. I liked your scenario of why he possibly did it. I would go along with that. I read that Adrienne Frantz (Amber Moore) from B&B is going to be moving to GC. So I guess this is going to be Sheila?! Poor Lauren ... will Sheila ever die? That is the question!

KAMAL - I'm with you, Nita - Sheila Carter is not dead! The internet rumors have been saying for months that Sheila would turn out to be Phyllis, and lo and behold, there's a dead body with Phyllis' face. With Sheila's DNA. My questions is, are they sure the DNA they recovered in the plastic surgeon's office is Sheila's? I doubt they had a previous sample with which to compare. A dead body with DNA connections is a cakewalk for Sheila to pull-off. For Lauren and Michael to just take this as fact boggles my mind. Especially after the last incident with Sheila. If Sheila comes back, I'm placing my bet on Amber Moore from B&B. I must say I do love the Winters' solidarity (finally). While Neil was on my list for quite some time, I'm glad he's finally come around. I still don't buy Carmen as this evil villain. A skanky woman? Yes. Blackmailer? Uh, no. I really don't think anyone on canvas did her in. Someone from her shady past is the perpetrator. I just hope it is not Ji Min Kim. I see some sparks between him and Ashley and I'd love for him to stick around to see where it goes.

RUBY - I believe Sheila has made herself to look like Lauren. The Phyllis look-a-like is just to throw others off track and lull them into false security. Sheila plans to take over Lauren's life the hubby and baby by looking just like her. That's my opinion

JULIE - Nita, I really like your idea about Mr. Kim being connected to Carmen's death. Surely he is somehow connected considering all of his cryptic comments about Carmen not being a problem anymore. What an interesting twist it would be if Mr. Kim or some House of Kim executive was the man Carmen did the deed with. And surely the killer was not one of our main characters. It never is, although I suppose we could be surprised for once. Also I'm betting the envelope with Carmen's name on it that those geniuses Daniel, Lily, and Devon are holding onto has something to do with Carmen's murderer and clearing Dru's name. Duh. Keep up the good work on the column!

ELLEN - Okay, has Will Bardwell and everyone else at the GC police station taken a stupid pill? It could not be more obvious that someone is trying to set Dru up for murder. Let's see, supposedly Dru, knowing she would be the prime suspect, kills Carmen, leaves an incriminating note asking Carmen to meet her on the evening she is killed on Carmen's body, and decides to dump the body behind her husband's new club, yeah right! Also, I know there is a lot of Phyllis/Nick bashing partially due to Phyllis's giggly schoolgirl demeanor. Actually, that behavior seems right on the money to me. My guess would be that Phyllis was never the popular girl in school, never the head cheerleader, probably has had to fight for everything she has gotten (by any means whatsoever, true) so to have the BMOC Nick, the cute, cool, rich guy make all her dreams come true must be a first for Phyllis. Remember the scene at the Lake where Noah asked if they were getting married? Phyllis hadn't even allowed herself to dream that big and there was Nick saying, "yes, of course we are". My guess is Phyllis has never had a relationship where she didn't have to fight or scheme for a guy and I can see why she would revert to her present teenaged, girly behavior. Like or hate Nick and Phyllis, something had to be done as Nick and Sharon have gotten a little tired. I have no doubt they will eventually end up together again but after ten years they have pretty much exhausted most of their potential storylines. One can only watch so many affairs and reconciliations.

TAD - Will the real Victor Newman and Kay Chancellor please stand!! Victor has always lived by a double standard, and that characteristic in his personality is still very much a part of the shell of a man that is posing as The Mustache. Unfortunately, that seems to be the only characteristic of Victor Newman that I recognize these days, but in my opinion, recent events have really been a stretch for Mr. Newman. His comment to Neal about how outrageous Carmen was for turning Drucilla in for violating her restraining order was certainly evidence of the double standard that he lives by. How outrageous does he think his behavior was when he sold his wife's company to someone that has been a life long enemy? It was bad enough that he sold the company to Jack, but not to inform the woman that he claims to love more than anything seems outrageous. How outrageous was he to put Brad in a position to assume a NE board seat, when Brad has crossed him in business and personally on several occasions. He's giving new meaning to keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer. Meanwhile, he has a loyal employee who has always had his back; who has always been loyal; who Victor has promised so much to, yet has delivered so little to. How outrageous is that? Victor handing Jack a blank check for $250,000,000, with little accountability is another example of how outrageous the character of Victor Newman has been written. Victor gave Jack that $250MM after his successful surgery, so let's not blame it on the epilepsy. The decision to finance a venture that is extremely vague in content is as ridiculous an act as any of the prior ones. There's a big difference between being passive and being foolish. It really doesn't matter that Victor had been hoodwinked into believing he and Jack were bosom buddies. Business is business, and that's not how a successful businessman conducts himself. The characters of Victor and Kay have always come across as very shrewd, with a keen sense of being able to smell BS. Nothing less than a sophisticated covert operation of deception would convince me that these two could be played. How the hell did Carmen find her way into CI and Newman without raising red flags, given what has been revealed about her character? Either the writers did a poor job in developing the character of Carmen Mesta as the menace that she's turned out to be, or they have done a great job with having Victor and Kay look really incompetent, neither of which would be a compliment to the current writing staff. How is Gloria able to continue to manipulate Kay without her raising an eyebrow? Being stupid is generally not a good characteristic for being successful, and being stupid on several occasions (as we've seen with Victor and Kay) is the best way to find oneself bankrupt. Many of the long time Y&R viewers have voiced displeasure in the radical changes made to our soap. Why disrupt the consistency of what has worked for so many years, evidenced by the number one rating week after week, and year after year? The storylines have been written haphazardly, lacking credibility and completeness. I feel like these writers are handing me a Rolex watch, at least, that's what the fancy box says; however, when I flip the cover back, there rests a Timex. Now, there's nothing wrong with a Timex, but it ain't no Rolex, and the anticipation of getting a Rolex leaves me feeling nothing less than disappointment. As far as the characters are concerned, the lines between morality and immorality, as well as legality and illegality have clearly been blurred. What I find most disturbing is there seems to be an absence of justice for those who choose to do the wrong things on Y&R.

JACKIE - OMG, where do I begin? Hate Dru, get rid of her. Every time she enters a scene, I change the channel. Since when is it okay to physically intimidate a co-worker? She should have been fired on the spot. Yes, granted, Carmen is not innocent, but she has never assaulted anyone. Looking forward to the who-done-it trial. Let the trial bring out some hidden secrets, like Ashley not being John's daughter. I think that it is about time for that little piece of info to come out. I hope that Jana is connected to Michael, maybe a half-sister. Give Jill and Kay a good storyline again. They are both great actresses that are not being used enough. Glad to see this Billy leaving, he came across very spoiled and annoying. But could they also send Sharon with him? Does every day have to be gloom and doom? Another World had humor every now and then, and I loved it. Throw in Paul dressing up as a woman (like Cass did) to go undercover. Maybe a good ol' slip-in-the-mud, so-I-am-pulling-you-in-with-me scene? Could you imagine Gloria falling in a mud puddle and Ashley laughing until Gloria pulled her in?! Priceless.

CAROLE - Nita - love your comments - however I have a question. What is with Neil having the jet fired up? Have I missed something? Last I heard he was selling the jet to buy Indigo. Does anyone remember that? Do the writers remember that? Do the writers have amnesia? I must admit I don't follow the technical end of the show as much as some, so I don't know when writers change, but I really think they need some new ideas - and also to be consistent - and ... NO MORE SHEILA!

EVE - I'm sticking to my bet that Devon will prove to be the ruthless killer of Carmen Mess-ta, simply because he's the most expendable boy on the show. Would that it were J.T.. No, actually, I wish, wish, wish it were Bradski, but I know that's impossible. He hasn't slept his way through the entire harem of Genoa City yet. (Or has he?) Anyway, it's either Devon or Jack's front man. In either case, I'm finding the whole thing a yawn because I never cared about Carmen to begin with. On other fronts, I have to say I've never seen a college professor so quick off the lips before in my life: and I've been teaching for years. While this MIGHT have worked back in the 1960's, when it was often considered liberating to canoodle with your professor, these days most professors are all too well aware of the ramifications of sexual harassment lawsuits to even advise a student without witnesses, much less start smooching within days. But then no one in GC worries about sexual harassment lawsuits, do they? They don't worry about anything sexual, from STDs on. Jack's slept with Phyllis, Carmen, and Sharon within a highly indiscreet time range, and as we know, he didn't use condoms, which in the real world means more than a "who's the daddy" storyline. The last person to take an AIDS test was Victoria, back when she and Ryan first hooked up. Now she's going to have a baby with Brad, who just slept with Sharon, who just slept with Jack, who just slept with Carmen, and there we are, back where we started, musical beds. Enough! As for Lily leaping to commit perjury for Devon, well, that's perfectly in character - after all, she couldn't wait to race off with Daniel and "help" him when he was GC's most wanted. And now Sheila's been pronounced dead twice. God I wish it were true. But if I were Lauren, I'd demand the stake that someone had to have driven into Sheila's heart.

CHANDRA - Nita, I love your column. I learn a lot and enjoy your perceptions. I am getting bored with Y&R and may stop watching for a while. There is no consistency or growth with the characters. There is a team of writers on each soap. This team doesn't seem to have insight of the characters' past and present. Also, there is no practicality in small and big daily situations, for example, why does Devon yell all the time? Why is his whole family skilled so quickly in sign language, yet he is not seen using it himself for all practical and survival purposes? And what happened to good ol' fashioned writing? Everything is transcribed on computer. Since Devon is not seen using sign language, how did he understand the signer at club indigo? Why is he never shown being coached by a sign instructor? What jack did is what happens all the time in the corporate world - people look out for themselves at all costs. So what he did was not so unusual. And why is his father so lame that he never perceived Glo as the gold digger? Why doesn't he haunt her? Why isn't Glo haunted by the cream evil deed which caused death? Why doesn't will see through her? Too bad the older characters are in the background - Kay, Jill, Gina, Paul with no storyline. Kevin is seen in a swanky office, yet he lives with his brother. Kevin couldn't get a job before, then got one at the café, now he suddenly he owns it? Glo comes from trash yet is business-savvy. She did not raise her sons, they are resentful & have a love-hate relationship, yet Glo can reminisce about their babyhood. Ashley and Jack still living at home - that is a joke. Neil suddenly is focused on his family when he wasn't before. Jana claims she comes from working-class background, yet she knows about art. Prof Korbel was harsh with whiny, whisper-y colleen, now they like each other? Phyllis walks around in skin-tight clothes like a cheap ho, sucking her fingers and hungry for sex all the time. She doesn't know how to act pregnant, walking and dancing like she is not with child. Nick doesn't even care about anything except sex and did not show anyone the DNA test results. Come on! Nita, keep up the good work. I love your column.

PAT P - Hi, Nita. I understand a lot of fans are upset about Davetta Sherwood being dismissed as "Lily" and Christel Khalil coming back, but if they ever have time to read soap mags, they can see where her cast mates don't seem upset at all. Except of course for Victoria Rowell; she, like various posters, probably liked Sherwood 'cause she did seem very "street" and like Dru. But between reading a blind item about a department starlet on a CBS show throwing a fit to a stage manager, reading Michael Graziadei not even mentioning Davetta and just saying how glad he is that Khalil is back, and just recently reading in the 11/14 CBS Soaps in Depth Kristoff St. John saying that Davetta is a fine actress who will find a suitable role someday and she had a challenging time as a recast: it really sounds like no one but some fans is going to miss Davetta.

ALLISON - Just want to say that I LOVE your column! I have been reading for a couple of years and totally look forward to Monday. I also am one of the long term watchers that don't understand what is happening to our favorite soap. I know the writers are trying to catch the new (younger) audience but I don't see how the fast storylines and odd plots for the long term characters can work. It is a little insulting for us watchers-even though we live in fast paced world (text messages, IM's, etc.) does that mean we can't sit down with a good book and savor the story? Y&R used to be known for the good storylines that took a while to complete but was so satisfying when it was completed. Where has that gone? Now they zip from one plot to another and leave me asking 'so what was the point?' And while I understand about budgets and down-sizing, can they use fewer sets and get more actors? The pairings are starting to get to the EWW stage. I guess I want Y&R to go back to a show that I could escape reality for a while and enjoy myself and not feel that I wasted time that I would never get back. Thank you for letting me vent.

AIMEE - Hi Nita! Keep up the great work! Your column is always a treat. I look forward to it every week. You always have a way with words and right on target with what is going on with Y&R. I have one more "quote of the day" that had me rolling on the floor ... when Brad was telling Victoria how he was gonna have to commit perjury on the stand by just stating his real name. Gasp. After killing two men, I'm not sure how upsetting one could feel for lying while under oath. Wouldn't you agree?! I also cannot stand Nick and Phyllis together. Why is she constantly giggling? Their dialogue is so childish and stupid that I cringe the moment there is a scene with them. My finger goes for the FF every time. It was all I could do to watch their ridiculous "wedding". Even then, I FF quite a bit. UGH! I hope we don't have to watch them get married again "legally". I liked what Joanne said about the possibility that Phyllis is Sheila right now - wouldn't that be funny? It would make more sense as to how Nick could possibly be in love with Phyllis. He LOATHED her not too long ago. That would be my solution to wrap up some of these stupid storylines too. Although I used to want Nick and Sharon back together, now I'm not so sure. Sharon needs a new man; new blood on the show. I loved that scene with Michael and Phyllis when Phyllis came charging up to Michael at the coffee house informing him that she was on the side of the Prosecutor and that Dru was going down. Then Michael said (something to this effect) "Buddy, I'll just have to show everyone that you are not one of great character yourself." HA HA! Ain't that the truth! Her past is so colored - miraculously all her deeds are swept under the rug and her character is re-vamped into this ridiculous school girl garbage. Enough on Phyllis. What is up with poor Lauren sleeping in a chair? Can't the lady have a cot? Or a good storyline? She's a great actress; her and Michael are so good together, although I confess typical marriage banter including banter about the baby gets boring real fast. Why did they name the baby Fenmore? I mean I realize it is Lauren's last name but they couldn't think of anything better? It sounds like the name for a cat. Every time they say that name I can't help but visualize a big, fat Tabby cat. Please don't bring back the old Lily - I agree with everyone, she whines her lines and doesn't look like a Winters family member. I was SO GLAD when she was gone! I like the current Lily and will miss her greatly. Once again, another time I will be FF through scenes. Shoot, at the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky if I watch 15 minutes! Thanks for listening to my thoughts.

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

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