Victor Newman has always been a dynamic character on The Young and the Restless, a man who's compelling to watch. He's had times when he's been generous and good, and exhibited admirable qualities. But the dark side of Darth Victor has been even more fascinating, which is why I think we're seeing him act the way he has of late. It's like Victor's a man without a moral compass. To achieve his goals, whatever they are at the time, Victor will resort to tactics that can only be described as hateful.
Currently, we're watching the Victor in a dark mode. Without regard for anyone, and that includes Nikki, Nick, Abby, and Victoria, Victor is full speed ahead to regain control of Newman Enterprises. If people die along the way, like Stephanie, so be it. If marriages fail, like Adam and Chelsea's, they're just collateral damage. And should Victor lose the love of his dearest family members, what the hell. He'll still have won his company back.
Watching Victor's antics of late, you can't help but feel like he's suffering from a deep psychological schism. He's like Captain Ahab and Newman Enterprises is Moby Dick. Nothing can stop his obsession with Newman Enterprises. In going after that conglomerate, all obstacles must be destroyed. The death of Stephanie Gayle meant nothing to Victor. She was like an ant who was crushed under his shoe, a life not even worth acknowledging.
Mason, the ambitious spy working at Newman, is just a tool to Victor. Once he's served Herr Newman's purposes, he'll be thrown to the wolves. Should Mason be damaged and his career plundered, tough luck. Victor won't lose a wink of sleep over it.
What was particularly disturbing last week was Victor's decision to attack Adam's position as CEO of the company by destroying Sharon. That has to be why he wants to know the medications she's taking to control her bipolar disorder. If he can destabilize her, pushing her into a nervous breakdown or worse, he'll have leverage to use against Adam.
That's all that matters to Victor. So what if Sharon loses Faith in the process or burns down a house or drives her car off a cliff! Victor only cares about winning. As I said at the start, it's fascinating to watch Victor, but I can't help wondering, who is he now? Has life taught him nothing? He's only alive because of Colleen's heart beating in his chest, yet he despises all Abbotts like they're poison. Maybe Jack and Traci should have never approved that transplant?
Jack's transformation from über-executive monster to drug-addled addict to Mr. Clean and Sober has been rather abrupt. I can understand why they chose to detox him at the Abbott cabin, with Phyllis as his nursemaid, but Jack needed more than two weeks for such a dramatic alteration. It's disingenuous to viewers to let them think it's that simple to get into and out of drugs just like that. But in order to keep the story moving, 30-days at a rehabilitation center would have been counterproductive, so we got the compact, do-it-yourself rehab. Hopefully, nobody is mistaking this storyline for reality.
The new Jack is quite a change from who he's been the past few months. Without a second thought, he dropped out of the Newman Enterprise situation, leaving it in Adam's hands. Now, if Adam could cunningly ace Billy out of the co-CEO role, what does that tell you about Jack's power? I ask this because if Adam wanted to, couldn't he go to the board and have Jack ousted from Jabot, too? How is it that Jack is still the largest shareholder of Newman but doesn't have power over the board? And if Jack couldn't protect Billy, how is he going to protect himself and his father's business, Jabot?
My head is still spinning from all the comings and goings at Jabot. I can just imagine Ashley in New York, reading the Jabot progress report via email and jumping out of her skin. She must be flipping out over what's happened to the company she loves. One week, Neil's running the show, then Cane takes over, then Neil's in charge, and as of Friday, Jack's back. How on earth is anything getting done? Don't ask me, because before you can say Donna Karan, Jabot's about to expand into fashion. Seriously, that's in the spoilers.
Of course, the one person who truly wanted to take over Jabot has never gotten the chance: Billy. Thanks to Jack and Victoria, he went back into the black hole of Newman Enterprises to keep Adam under control. Well, how did that work out? My guess is that without a place to go or a job to do, Billy is going to be lured to do something bad. He's been surreptitiously playing with cards and talking about poker, odds, and gambling.
Couldn't you just see him making a fortune by selling the Restless Style building and then using the money in a gambling scheme? Victoria probably won't even notice because she's been completely snookered by Victor to help him with his nefarious plans to get back Newman. What happened to Victoria's deep-seated need to stay home with Johnny?
On the subject of deep-seated needs, what do you make of Phyllis and Nick? The way Phyllis was kvetching about the divorce papers made me think that she really needed Nick back in her life. To new viewers, it must have looked that Phyllis was still in love with Nick. But I don't believe it. Phyllis just doesn't want to be alone, and she especially doesn't want her sister to have Nick. It's territorial.
Phyllis hates the idea that Nick is happy with Avery, and if she could, she'd like to undermine their romance. Don't be shocked if it's Phyllis who tries to forge an alliance with Dylan McAvoy, Avery's ex who'll be showing up next week in the person of Steve Burton.
That would be just like Phyllis. She could convince herself that she was doing it for Nick's sake, exposing Avery's past as a cheater. But it would also provide Phyllis with an opening -- in her mind -- to get Nick back. Jack, of course, is ready, willing, and able to reunite with Phyllis, but he's clearly only a backup plan for Phyllis. She's not hot for Jack, no matter how close they've become again.
Phyllis should watch out for Christine if she knows what's good for her. A lot of you fans love Phyllis and forgive her for all the bad stuff she's done, kind of like the Victor devotees who excuse his evil actions, but even if you think Christine is a goody-two-shoes, she's right in this case. Phyllis mowed down two people -- Christine and Paul -- with a car, left them for dead, covered up the crime for nearly 20 years, and when she was caught, she showed no remorse. Michael bungled the prosecution, and Ronan tampered with evidence to make sure Phyllis was not convicted in criminal court.
I recall watching that kangaroo court procedure and screaming at the TV set. It was blatantly unfair that Phyllis walked away without even a reprimand from the judge. Why shouldn't Christine want to use a civil suit to exact justice for her and Paul? It's very magnanimous of Paul to want to let bygones be bygones when it comes to Phyllis, but Christine is on the receiving end of Phyllis' constant barrage of bitchy hatred. It's like Phyllis baits Christine every time they run into each other. Christine has endured enough without wanting some revenge.
Conflict between Phyllis and Christine is great. I love to see them go at it. On the other hand, conflict between Michael and Lauren is painful to watch. It's probably inevitable that Lauren's maternal instincts would kick in when it comes to Fen. She just cannot allow herself to believe that Fen had anything to do with Jamie's fall from the roof. Michael is far more skeptical, probably based on his personal history. He's admitted that he's worried that Fen has inherited the evil streak Michael had as a young man. What if his son is just like him?
To me, Fen is not going to be as bad as Michael was. I don't think he'll ever kidnap and attempt to rape a woman, like Michael did to Christine. But there is something off with Fen. He's exhibited more than just teenage angst. The bullying of Jamie, the sense of ownership he feels for Summer, and the latest roof incident -- whatever it was -- are proof that Fen cannot control his emotions. If Lauren and Michael are the loving parents they seem to be, it's up to them to do something about Fen, and do it now. My suggestion would be therapy. Fen needs to talk to someone about all his pent-up emotions and why he's so damn angry.
Maybe the Baldwins could also convince Kevin to spend some time with a psychiatrist. I love Kevin and Chloe's romantic relationship, but they really have a twisted sense of morality. Stealing stolen money to build a better future for Delia is ridiculous. If they get tossed into prison, what will happen to Delia's future then? And what would they be teaching her about being a stand-up person?
Chloe has been very judgmental about Billy's sins, but she's deaf, dumb, and blind about her own. Just this past week, Chloe's crazed thinking had her advising Chelsea to get back at Adam by having revenge sex with Cane...or any other attractive guy whom Chelsea might fancy. Who thinks like that? And why target Cane, even in jest, when Chloe knows he's happily married to Lily and is the father of two? What if Chelsea took Chloe seriously and decided to toy with Cane? Would Chloe appreciate it if someone used Kevin like that, mucking up Chloe's marriage?
Just for the record, I thought it would've been great if Kevin and Chloe had collected a reward for turning in the money. That would have solved their problems, as would putting the ugly Angelina house up for sale, and set them up for the future without jeopardizing Delia's future. Heck, maybe Kevin should sell Crimson Lights if it's such a money pit. The point is, if Kevin and Chloe are ever going to make it, they need to grow up and play by the rules.
Devon seems to have realized that the corporate world is not his cup of tea. Tucker's job offer sounded perfect for him, and Devon would be a fool not to seize the opportunity. He even gets to stay in Genoa City.
The Michaelsons clearly have a big secret. My guess is that we're going to find out why Tyler is such a jerk. Presumably there's some reason for his oversized ego and insensitivity to other people's feelings. Cane should have decked Tyler weeks ago for lusting after Lily the way he has. I'm not proposing violence, but there's just no way a womanizer like Tyler should be flirting so outrageously with a married lady without any consequence. Maybe Devon and Neil should step in to tell Tyler to back off.
It was nice to see Leslie telling her brother to cool it, but I don't think Tyler listens to his big sister. Does he listen to anyone? He's high on my list, along with Adriana and Alex, as characters I'd like to see sent to a desert island without means of escape. They're irritating, obnoxious, and definitely not must-see TV. You can also put Mason on the list because he's a corporate slug. (By the way, Mason's uncle, Sarge, is probably on the way out. Darnell Williams is part of the new, resurrected cast of All My Children that'll be on Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes).
My hope is that Dylan McAvoy will not be anything like those four. Yes, he's probably going to be getting in the middle of Nick and Avery, but that's okay. I've been anticipating some turmoil to go with their romantic bliss. And Steve Burton will definitely be a nice contrast to Josh Morrow.
One last thought about what happened this past week, and it concerns Nikki. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that she's keeping some big, dark secret from Victor and the family. The likely scenario is some kind of health crisis, although Melody Thomas Scott looks fit as a fiddle. Is it possible that they found a lump during her last mammogram? I suspect that she's going to be sharing her secret with Katherine before anyone else, so we're bound to hear soon enough.
Wait, I forgot that there's one more thing I wanted to share with you all. I'm instituting a new feature within my Two Scoops column. I'm calling it My Pet Peeve of the Week! This week I'm fed up with the utter disregard to the weather in Genoa City. Do you realize -- and I know you do -- that GC is in the middle of Wisconsin? Currently, the temperature in nearby Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is 26 degrees. That's cold. No, let me rephrase. It's actually freezing cold. Therefore, why are the folks on The Young and the Restless not bundling up to face the bracing weather?
The other day, Adriana wore a sleeveless dress when she went to see Noah at the tack house. As he tossed her out of the house, she was holding her jacket. That's right -- it was in her hands. And it wasn't a thick, winter coat. It was a fashionable, lightweight jacket. And she had no knit cap, no mittens, not even a wool scarf! It's so insulting to viewers that the characters pay no attention to the frigid weather unless it's written into the script. The rest of the time, you just know they're filming in Los Angeles where it's a lovely 66 degrees with the sun shining brightly through the smog.
Come on, actors, writers, and producers, respect your audience and remember where Genoa City really is!
That does it for the week that was, friends. I'll leave you with some of your comments from the past week, and remember to email Nita and me at soapcentral.com with your thoughts, ideas, and soap "fixes" for The Young and the Restless. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!