The week began with such a slow, stuttering start, I had to struggle to pay attention. But, by the time Thursday rolled around, I could barely take my eyes off the screen. So many secrets -- some of them with quite delicious possibilities.
First, the tremendous trio of Jack, Adam, and Phyllis. They are wowing me on so many levels. Phyllis' behavior has been pretty straightforward. She's protective and ferocious in her defense of Jack, desperately trying to save him from himself and his guilty conscience. In a totally unexpected turn of events, Phyllis even suspended her customary animosity toward Adam, seemingly recognizing that she and Adam were working on the same Jack cause.
It appeared that Jack had taken heed to his father's admonishing words and was determined to confess all. I was so into that scene and the various expressions that flickered across the trios' faces, when Jack and Adam hunched their shoulders and took up identical positions in opposite armchairs, I unconsciously mimicked their moves, hunching over and watching their every move and facial flicker. In fact, I was literally holding my breath during Jack's confession, positive he was going to drag Adam right into the jail cell with him by outing him as the mover of the dead body. I was prepared to be quite upset with Jack for rewarding Adam's loyalty with betrayal. Not having read any spoilers about this, I imagine I was as shocked as Adam and Phyllis when Jack lied, claiming he had been the one who put Stephanie in that alley.
But then I had a few fleeting thoughts of my own as I remembered John's words about Jack now being indebted to Adam. For instance, is it sheer coincidence that Jack's confession effectively turned the tables and left Adam in the flipped position of now owing Jack?
Then there's the fact that while Jack has been fairly open with his co-conspirators, he neglected to mention the information he obtained from Victor's private investigator about Victor's plan to tell all. Jack appeared to be so sincere and repentant about his part in Stephanie's demise. But who was on the other end of that phone call he made, telling someone Victor had been sniffing around? And what about Adam's urgent phone message to Jack before that, advising him that they had to talk?
So, is Jack working his own agenda, or was it all a perfectly calculated performance, with Adam a fully participating and knowledgeable partner? Even down to the part where Jack walks away from Newman, leaving Adam and Billy in charge.
More delicious possibilities and multiple questions abound when it comes to Fen's bullying of Jamie. I hope the scribes have a darn good backstory to explain how Fen went so horribly awry. Kudos to Fenmore's portrayer. He is doing an outstanding job, because he has convinced me that a soulless, empty husk is all that's inside his mortal body. Other than the short time Lauren hustled him into hiding during Daisy's demonic reign, Fen's life has been pretty much picture perfect. So, are we to assume this psychopathic behavior is all a result of jealousy because Summer seemed a little too fond of Jamie? Or is there something seriously dark and deranged inside young Fen?
Although Lauren and Michael have weathered many threatening storms together, it looks like this one could place them on opposite sides. Lauren and Michael have been a very happy couple for a long time. I love that this crisis will finally give them a chance to play something other than happy, happy, hug, kiss. Michael has reluctantly come to the conclusion that there could be something quite ugly inside his beloved boy, but Lauren is clearly unable to even entertain such a possibility.
Paul's slow realization that Michael could be right about his suspicions about Fen's darkness has also been perfectly played. He proved himself Michael's true friend by refusing to pretend Michael might be overreacting. I can't wait to watch this one play out!
I know most fans are fed up with Victor. They are tired of him winning and riding roughshod over his family, friends, and foes. I really do get that. But I confess I'm enjoying this one. There is no way a man like Victor would simply shrug his shoulders and walk away from his company. Of course, he is going to use every weapon in his arsenal, be it naughty or nice, to take his company back. I can't blame him for that. I'm guessing both Jack and Tucker would behave exactly the same. I'm just glad Victor finally decided to do it himself, rather than continue to try to guilt his children into doing it for him.
By the way, congratulatory kudos to Nikki for calling Victor out on the promise he was about to break. Nikki is frequently ridiculed for passively going along with Victor's misdeeds. This time she took a stand that she seemed to mean, and whether it was by her words alone, or in combination with Billy's, although he blustered in his usual bellowing fashion, for the moment, Victor did back down.
Now, although I'm finding plenty to like these days, other storyline goings-on are a mixed bag of pros and cons.
For instance, while I get the feeling the scribes are scribbling madly (at least I hope they are), I remain unimpressed with the weak fare being given Neil Winters and company. Cane and Lily's frequent hotel rendezvous and happy, happy, happy all the live-long day behavior, lecherous Tyler, disapproving Devon, and Leslie's hot/cold flip-flopping with Neil have been pretty much a snooze fest.
Having said that, however, I will admit a small twinge of interest in the nature of whatever dark secrets Leslie and Tyler have hidden in their past. The way Tyler behaves, charges of sexual harassment wouldn't come as a surprise to me. Maybe it's his delivery, but to me, Tyler is not nearly as irresistible as he probably thinks he is.
While Tyler is a little irritating, Devon, on the other hand, is much more than a little. The second I catch a glimpse of Devon's almost-always frowning face, I sigh in resignation, knowing he is about to subject us to another huge helping of his judgmental, disapproving attitude. And why? Because Tucker didn't play nicely in the sandbox with Victor? What has Tucker done that is so unforgivable he should be shunned and hated forever?
I'm really tired of Tucker's constant groveling and begging for Kay's and Devon's forgiveness. Presumably in order to tie up all the loose ends before his forced departure, Tucker reached out to Devon once again. And once again, he was resoundingly smacked down. I felt like smacking Devon instead. What is the difference between Neil offering him a job and Tucker's offer of a position in his music division? Oh yeah, because one came from the man he calls his real father, the father who has never cheated, or made an immoral or human mistake. Yeah, right!
As for Katherine, she has so many skeletons taking up space in her closet, she has to have a separate one for her designer duds. So Tucker came to Genoa City bent on vengeance on his birth mother. A drunken Kay drove Phillip off a damn cliff and caused his death! I'm just saying, Kay has little room to waggle a self-righteous finger. Instead of ticking off all of Tucker's many faults on an age-gnarled finger, she should be the one begging Tucker's forgiveness for so callously giving him away, then literally wiping the entire birth and abandonment out of her memory.
Instead of always passing judgment on Tucker because of how he treated her pal, Victor, maybe Kay could try lavishing all that motherly love she extends to Victor on her own son. Like Victor, Tucker built his company with no handout from anyone, built it presumably from the ground up with nothing more than his own two hands and his one highly competent brain, and probably had to bury fewer bodies than Victor to get it done. So where is Kay's motherly pride in Tucker?
But I do have to give cool points to Kay for telling Devon family always forgives. Maybe the concept of forgiving your family wasn't taught in the household of Devon's so-called "real family". Although, look at all the crap Cane pulled on Lily. He almost drove the woman out of her mind! Apparently, Devon could forgive Cane's transgressions but not Tucker's. Give me a break, and give Devon some compassion.
On a Tucker note unrelated to forgiveness, what is he up to with his offer to sell Victor half of his Newman shares? As he talked about the loneliness that led to his decision to change his ways, he had me near tears and 100% convinced of his sincerity. Until he made that cryptic phone call to Jack. Now, I don't know what to think about Tucker's motives.
When it comes to another situation of pros and cons, we have Nick and Avery. I don't dislike them. In fact, I want to like them. Once upon a time, one of the many fan complaints about the show was the lack of romance. Instead of romance and intriguing personal interactions, we were served silver chipmunk-headed armed robbers, confusing murder mysteries, and lunatic look-alikes in haphazard and disjointed storylines that lasted too long and contained too little. Romance, if any, was hidden in quick, frenzied sexual contacts, where the participants flung each other into walls, floors, or upon any other supportive surface.
Foul, we cried, on message boards and in angrily worded emails. No more of this, we pleaded. We want a slow, sweet journey toward love and happily ever after, we insisted. Enter Nick and Avery. Unlike their first go-round, Nick and Avery aren't performing their dance of love against the nearest sturdy wall, or sprawled half on/half off the closest couch or bed. This time, the two are talking, laughing, cooking, and generally behaving exactly as people in love are supposed to. So why am I still turning up my nose? After all, the two are doing all that I said I wanted. Yet I feel ... little.
Except for the fact that I think Avery moved in on her sister's territory before the vacancy sign was even posted; that is the soap way, after all. And Avery is sweet, self-sacrificing, supportive, encouraging, loving, and clearly able to hold her own, both in the courtroom and in the kitchen. Yet, still, I find that something is ... lacking.
Speaking of Nick, well, that was some calamity-plagued opening night wasn't it? Clearly, the Underground isn't exactly the "in" place to be. In fact, describing the opening as a dull time would be a bit of an understatement. Adriana's appearance didn't do much to spice up the festivities. Nor did Tyler's leering attention to Lily, which bordered on offensive, stalker-like behavior. I suppose Tyler's cutting-edge marketing campaign will make the Underground an overnight sensation, but I would be lying if I claimed to be awaiting that with great anticipation.
By the way, Avery is overdoing it a little with her effusive praise for Nick's big adventure. It's not as if this is the first dream Nick has made come true. Every time he gets fed up with his father's iron-fisted rule, Nick retaliates by leaving the family business and hacking out a career path in the opposite direction. He's now on dream number three, with Crimson Lights and Restless Style, numbers one and two. Nick has no problem thinking up new dreams. He just doesn't seem to stay interested in them.
In another "by the way," I quite enjoyed Nick and Phyllis' closure conversation. Phyllis seemed sincere in her apology for the way she treated Nick. Without even the hint of a single, shrieking accusation, her sadness and continuing love for Nick was apparent. As she bravely blinked back tears, holding tightly to her pride, I actually felt bad for her.
For his part, while Nick is basically a good guy, especially compared to the villains who have passed through this town, sometimes I'm convinced he forgets to flip the on switch to his brain. What was he thinking, waxing eloquently and at length about his joy with Phyllis' sister? Ouch. Way to be insensitive, Nick Newman.
Really John? More criticism for Jack? Wow, color me surprised (said with heavy sarcasm). It's a brand new year, yet John makes his first appearance in it with more of 2012's condemnation. My mom always told me that if you can't say anything good about someone, you should keep your judgmental lips pressed firmly together. John apparently received no such home training. Yes, yes, I know. John is mostly right in what he's saying to Jack. Still, his constant finger-pointing has gotten predictable and tiresome.
Chelsea might sometimes get on my nerves with her insecurities and insistence that Adam put many, many miles between himself and everyone save her, but I confess I was on my feet, cheering her on for ferociously facing down Victor and Victoria. Although she knew it wouldn't change those haters' opinion of Adam or his motives, she still unflinchingly told them what she thought of them and why. Victor and Victoria are like two sharp-beaked vultures patiently circling above Adam's crumpled form, just waiting for him to die so they can swoop down and pick every last sliver of meat from his bones. Well, those two might not have been impressed by Chelsea's fearless challenge of them, but I certainly was.
I had high hopes about this new storyline of Noah's. I wanted to know what happened in New York that so devastated Noah, it sent him reeling back into the chaos that constitutes life as a Genoa City Newman. I had hoped Adriana's arrival would further whet my appetite. Unfortunately, so far, that just hasn't happened. Even though I don't yet know the full story, my initial reaction to Adriana (and New York detective, Alex) is annoyance. I hope there is more to her story, but at the moment, she just seems to be another manipulative female type with a hunger for money she hasn't earned.
Well, that's my opinion of Genoa City things. I can't wait to see what the scribes have in store for the coming week. In the meantime, keep reading to see what some of your fellow fans had to say. And don't forget that you can send your thoughts on the show by clicking here. We love them, and your comments could pop up in a future column!