Beneath the simmering surface of Genoa City society, undercurrents are stirring things up, making things much more complicated than they appear. It seems that almost everyone has a mysterious secret they are keeping. For instance:
What is it that Nikki is hiding from all whom she holds dear? Does she have a life-threatening, or at least a life-altering, medical condition that has her longing to start ticking off the items on her bucket list, while she still has the chance?
And what about Nikki's dear friend, Kay, and her recent bouts of bemused forgetfulness? Was she simply having a bad couple of days, due to her recently accelerated work schedule, or is there something much more serious going on in her once razor-sharp mind?
Then there is the worried brother-sister team of Leslie and Tyler, and their mysterious connection to Congressman Marcus Wheeler and a twelve-year-old murder, committed by someone the three clearly believe is anything but innocent. And another thing...is it my sometimes too-fertile imagination, or do I detect some bitterness and resentment every time the siblings mention Mama? Did she choose unwisely in her romantic life, perhaps in death, inadvertently delivering her children into the hands of an abusive monster? Perhaps the same man is now the focus of the Innocence Project? And what were the terrible things Tyler witnessed that sent him racing helplessly into his own imagination for escape? Did they happen to his sister?
Speaking of Marcus Wheeler, turnabout was fair play and quite pleasurable, at least momentarily, when he threatened the great, powerful, and far more formidable Victor Newman. But, as I said, my pleasure was so fleeting, it was almost as if the small spurt of glee had never seen the light of day. Because before many minutes had elapsed, Victor proved the congressman was no match for the vast network of people available for Victor's purchase. Wheeler should have known better than to try to stand toe-to-toe with Victor. All he did was awaken Victor's insatiable need to know and control everything.
By the way, when Victor asked Avery if she had ever been wrong about the innocence of a person in a cause she'd championed, Avery slightly overstated her capabilities. Because I clearly recall at least two lapses in her judgment. She was wrong about her father. And she was wrong about Daisy.
On another note, Avery's past connection to Genoa City's newest citizen isn't completely a secret. Both Nick and Summer were given an abbreviated, sanitized version of Dylan McAvoy's past presence in her life. But Avery is about to find out, as other shocked residents have before her, that in Genoa City, the dead don't always remain buried six feet under.
With all the odd coincidences, I am amazed that someone with Avery's intelligence didn't smell something distinctly fishy when it came to the bartender Nick had just hired. While an ordinary person wouldn't automatically suspect a dead man had come back to life, I would have thought the unusual ripcord drink, the name Mac, and the journal that obviously caught Avery's attention, should have made her at least curious enough to want to immediately make this man's acquaintance. I admit I was nearly falling off the edge of my sofa cushion, anticipating the shock on Avery's face, shock even a man sometimes as clueless as Nick couldn't mistake, the moment Mac and Avery locked eyes.
But I should have known the scribes wouldn't be that predictable. No, better to have their first meeting take place at the Underground's grand reopening, when Avery's reaction could be masked, or even overlooked altogether, in all the excitement. I guess we're about to see just how honest and truthful Avery actually is. Plus, if Avery still has feelings for Dylan, it should prove to be somewhat of a new experience for Nick. You know, having to fight for a woman instead of being the man in the middle being fought over.
When it comes to Fenmore and Jamie, the biggest secret might turn out to be which boy lies best. I think most fans will agree that Fen is a privileged, jealous bully who has enjoyed tormenting Jamie via throwaway phone text. We also know he gleefully set Jamie up to appear a sticky-fingered thief. And while there's no question a rooftop altercation took place between the two angry young men, did Jamie fall off the roof during their scuffle, or did Fen actually push him? At first I thought Fen was the guilty party, but now I wonder whether Jamie's impotent fury has convinced him to place more blame at Fen's door than he actually deserves.
I am still enjoying Lauren and Michael being on opposite sides in defense of their son. Michael loves Fen, but his blind spot of love is perhaps not as all-encompassing as Lauren's, who refuses to even acknowledge the possibility there could be a fatal flaw in her son's mental makeup.
Secrecy should be Adriana's middle name. Along with detective Alex Chavez. Decency should be Noah's, the man in the middle without a clue as to what is really going on between Adriana and Alex. I know some fans are bored by the stolen money caper chase, but Noah positively shines in this story. He is clearly still smitten with Adriana, bad girl though she probably is, but still, the big-hearted young man is willing to do whatever he can to keep her out of prison.
I can't say I care one bit about money-hungry Adriana, or even the determined detective, but Noah has completely sold me on his longing for Adriana, mixed with distrust in her motives, and hurt at her betrayal. After his uncharacteristically callous treatment of his own mother, while offering a near-free pass and acceptance to other women in his father's life, I was once disappointed in the direction Noah had taken. But he's finally turned into exactly the kind of compassionate man his early character indicated he should have, and I love every minute he's onscreen.
Unfortunately, while I believe Noah cares for Adriana, I remain unconvinced of her sincerity, or Alex's for that matter. I'm not even sure I believe he's the good, dedicated cop he keeps insisting he is, and he may be just as much a criminal as Adriana seems to be. Time will tell.
In the past, fans have wished for new and different pairings between our Genoa City pals. Why are certain groups separate from others, some of us wondered, as if each lived on an island all alone and never crossed the paths of the others? I think we can now safely say those wishes were heard and are finally being granted. Intrigue and new connections abound, and I'm rather excited about the plethora of possibilities.
In the corporate quarter, Jack has triumphantly returned to Jabot. And, at long last, Dad John is proud of his son again. Finally, Jack is back where he belongs and as a bonus, was able to convince Kyle and Billy to hop aboard the bandwagon with him. Instead of constantly craving what Victor Newman built, Jack seems to finally be content with his father's legacy, and has enough family to build his own empire, one that can hopefully compete with Newman Enterprises on a more level playing field.
I'd much rather see Jack captaining the Jabot ship instead of keeping Victor's chair warm until the latter has figured out a way to pull the wheeled CEO seat out from under him, dumping Jack ignominiously to the carpeted floor. Of course, unless I missed something, even though Jack left Adam in charge, isn't he still the majority shareholder? But that could change if Tucker sold Victor enough shares to put Victor back in charge. Even though the ownership of Newman is uncertain at the moment, can we dare hope the decades-old tug-of-war between Jack and Victor is finally over? Or am I just enjoying a futile pipe dream?
While Jack, Billy, Kyle, and likely Phyllis, are toiling tirelessly, determined to guide Jabot down a new and presumably profitable path, just down the hall, or perhaps a floor or two below, Neil will be running Jabot's new fashion division, aided by Leslie, Lily, Cane, Tyler, Chelsea, Chloe, and perhaps Devon, unless he decides his future lies instead with McCall International and Chancellor Industries.
Across town at Newman Enterprises, things will not be nearly so pleasant. Not for the first time in the past few weeks, Adam left me near tears, my heart aching with sorrow, as he laid himself bare before Victor, a crooked olive branch extended in his father's direction. Did Victor's stone heart soften? Of course not. With not so much as a blink of indecision, Victor snatched the small stick, broke it into pieces, and then threw it back in Adam's face with all his furious might. Adding insult to an already grievous injury, Victor then had the nerve to tell his son he was "hollow inside." What a hateful, hateful man. If anyone is an empty shell of inhumanity, it is Victor.
In response to Victor's total rejection of all he offered, indeed, everything that he is, Adam has thrown the gauntlet with full force to the ground. Unfortunately, I fear more heartache is in store for Adam in his quest to keep Newman Enterprises out of his father's hands.
Victor's attitude ensures that at Newman Enterprises, there will likely be less working together toward a common goal, and more vicious infighting between Newman family members, as each side fights for the controlling slice of the company pie. On one side, his face, as always, frozen in Grinch-like hatefulness, Victor will be leading all charges, aided by his mini-me, Victoria, and his slimy spy, Mason. In addition, I expect Abby will soon return to stand fearlessly beside her father and half-sister, offering insults and monetary might and shares.
Looking small in comparison, but still full of feisty determination, I imagine Adam will be scowling back at his father and half-sisters, with Sharon handing him encouragement and any other assistance he might require. It seems a lopsided skirmish, at best, so I hope Adam has some reinforcements or a plan up his sleeve.
By the way, if Victor chooses to go after Adam by tinkering with, or having Mason tinker with, Sharon's meds, I am going to be too through with him. I can't blame him for wanting to take back Newman, but messing up Sharon's health and sanity is beyond the pale, even for Victor. The fact that Sharon is his grandchildren's mother doesn't seem to matter to him. Apparently, in Victor's mind, anyone not with him is an enemy who is against him, and as far as he's concerned, you are only family when you suit his purposes and follow the precise path he sets for you.
I can't help but wonder if Nikki would oppose Victor's sabotaging Sharon's recovery, the way she opposed his using Jack's addiction against him. Or, because she hates Sharon so fiercely, would she applaud his treachery?
In the category of sad so longs, so much for Stephen Nichols' run as Tucker. I regretfully bade Tucker goodbye, adding his name to the list of those being ushered out just as he's finally beginning to catch on. I thought there was still plenty for him to do, as Devon's father, Kay's son, or as a third major business competitor. But the powers felt otherwise, so out he went. Shame on the scribes, however, for not letting Kay finally tell her son she loved him. She let him walk out of her life, believing she still felt his actions toward her were more wrong than hers toward him. I thought he deserved better.
In another kind of goodbye, Chelsea and Adam have finally tossed in the towel of surrender. I know everyone won't agree with me, but I'm glad they're going their separate ways. Chelsea could have had it all. But apparently everything had to be her way or not at all, with no real room for compromise. Newsflash, Chelsea, other people live in Adam's world, even if you have deemed them all irrelevant next to you. She longed for a luxurious life in Paris, yet now she's quite content to remain in Genoa City.
I can't help but giggle at the fact that her disdain of Adam didn't extend to his bank account. For Chelsea lovers, you won't agree with my belief that she's not far from the grifter she's always been. Her price for this particular con: a half million dollars and Genoa City respectability. I know Adam should have told her about Sharon, and perhaps shouldn't have been so quick to come to Sharon's aid, especially given Chelsea's anguish over the miscarriage, but it wasn't as if Adam stopped loving her. She left him because he couldn't be the man she wanted to make him into. My opinion: Adam accepted her for the woman she was. Why couldn't she extend him the same courtesy?
As an aside, Adam has admitted he loves Chelsea and would rather have stayed together than part. So it will be interesting to see how he reacts the first time he sees her having a good time with someone else, like Alex perhaps. In addition, his possible jealousy won't be easy for Sharon to see, either, since for years, she's been the only woman in Adam's heart.
Having said all the above, however, Chelsea working with Jabot and Billy should prove to be interesting, if for no other reason than because it will likely put a sour pout on Victoria's privileged mouth. She definitely isn't going to be too happy with her hubby's increased contact with the woman she still fears will swoop in and snatch Johnny away. While I still like Billy and Victoria together, he's become a little too doormat-like for my taste, so it will be a nice change to see him make his own shadow, instead of being swallowed up in his wife's or father-in-law's.
Speaking of snatching away, perhaps Lily might want to pay a little less attention to Tyler, and more to the growing friendship between Cane and Chelsea. Cane has been known to "lose track of reality" when alcohol is involved. And Chelsea has proven to be adept at slipping the object of her desire a date rape drug. Seems like an accident (or a pregnancy) waiting to occur.
Line of the week goes to Nick: "My dad always has an agenda." Never has a more truthful mouthful been spoken.
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!