Dirty politics

For the Week of March 25, 2013
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Y&R Two Scoops: Dirty politics
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Nikki and Victor's wedding reception had everything you could possibly want: champagne, bombs, surprise guests, and... murder. Okay, so maybe not everything you'd want. Still, it's time to toast the happy couple in this week's Two Scoops.

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Somebody needs to do a saliva test on Congressman Marcus Wheeler. He's acting like a mad dog more than a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Seriously, even in this day and age when we've seen sex scandals, legislative inaction, and corruption from our political leaders, could you ever imagine a soap storyline in which an elected official ordered an assassin to set a bomb at the wedding reception of his adversary? What on earth could compel Marcus to risk his career to stop Victor and Avery, both of whom were at the reception and will presumably be in the explosion?

Here's what I think: Marcus killed Leslie and Tyler's mother twelve years ago and got away with it. He framed Gus Rogan and testified against him to make sure he was put away for life. When the Innocence Foundation got Avery to reopen the case in an attempt to overturn Gus's conviction, Marcus realized he had to stop her, or the truth would eventually prove that Marcus was a killer. So, you see, Marcus isn't trying to cover up a smear on his career. He's afraid that he'll be sent to prison for homicide and perjury.

That's the only rationale to explain his reckless behavior. Mark Pinter has been excellent as Marcus, but I really wish the writers had provided more shading to the character. Once Avery and Leslie determined that Gus was innocent, there really was only one likely suspect in Lynn's murder -- Marcus. If it's anybody else, I'll be shocked.

As I mentioned in my last Two Scoops, I am sorely disappointed in Lauren. This character's taken such a radical, irrational turn by indulging in this affair with Carmine that I barely recognize her anymore. Is this supposed to be Lauren's midlife crisis? Is she trying to hang on to her youth by having a fling with a hunk half her age? Lauren is no Jill or Phyllis, so seeing her act this way is quite unnerving. It's hard to have respect for her at this point in time.

It's even more upsetting to watch Michael go through this torture. It would be different if he deserved it, but he doesn't. He didn't cheat on Lauren. Michael's no saint. He's made mistakes and put his work before his family, but have you ever doubted that he loves Lauren and Fen? Maybe that's why Lauren's betrayal is so painful. There's not enough justification for her to hurt Michael like this. What she's doing with Carmine is completely selfish. She's only thinking of herself and feeling good. Carmine is her drug of choice. She's taking doses of Carmine so she can be numb to real life.

I can't figure out Carmine's angle in this affair. He must know that the chance of a real, long-term relationship with Lauren is slim, so what is he doing other than having hot sex with a cougar? Carmine is just asking for trouble every time he and Lauren interact. Sooner or later, Michael will find out about the liaison, and his first instinct will be to blame Carmine. Michael won't get around to ripping Lauren apart until he shreds Carmine to bits and pieces.

It's amazing that any work gets done at Jabot. It's comforting that the spirit of John Abbott approves of his family being back in charge of the family business, but maybe he should check out the bottom line. The executive suite has become a wailing wall for Tyler and Leslie. They're so obsessed with Marcus and their mother and whether Gus will get out of prison that I can't see what they're contributing to the company.

Lily flits in and out of the office on a whim. Of course, it helps that her father is the CEO of the fashion division and her boss. She can -- and does -- get away with being a diva. Then there's the case of Summer, the intern. Are Jack and Neil really oblivious to this girl's antics? It seemed like Phyllis was onto her daughter's ways, but when Summer ditched the wedding to go back to Jabot to do some "filing for Jack," Phyllis believed her. Goodness knows why, but she did.

Well, Summer is proof that the acorn doesn't fall far from the oak. That trick with the spilled coffee and the lavender bra was right out of the Phyllis Newman playbook. I did wonder for a moment if Kyle was going to see her in a different light and seize the opportunity for some fooling around. No matter how many times Kyle says he's not interested in Summer because she's too young for him, it's hard to believe that he's happy just as her friend.

If Phyllis hadn't arrived when she did, Kyle might have reached out to touch that lacey bra. By the way, if you've grown attached to Blake Hoodas Kyle, I feel for you. He's been pretty good as Kyle, given the fact that he's aged so rapidly and the new head writer came up with a backstory for Kyle that was new to the viewers. But Hood has been pink-slipped in favor of another young actor named Hartley Sawyer. Maybe we'll find out why when we see Sawyer on-screen.

I know some of you have written to Soap Central about the disappointing ending to the Jamie storyline, in particular, why Fen and Summer have yet to be punished for what they did. Apparently, that notion has been swept under the rug. And according to the spoilers, Nick doesn't even learn that Summer set the entire thing in motion by making Jamie believe she was a sympathetic friend online.

As for Fen, Michael is too guilt-ridden (thanks to Lauren) to do anything that will make Fen see that his bullying of Jamie warrants severe punishment. And Lauren is so wrapped up in herself and Carmine that we haven't even seen her speak with Fen since she moved back into the apartment. Talk about dysfunctional family life!

Getting back to Jack and Phyllis for a minute, I was in complete agreement with Ashley. Phyllis is likely to hurt Jack, and he's just not strong enough to handle that disappointment again. Poor Jack. He has no luck with women of late. There was Patty shooting him at his wedding to Genevieve, who didn't show up because she was buying Beauty of Nature. Then he did make it to the altar with Nikki, but she ditched him before the ink was dry on the marriage license. And his New Year's Eve one-night stand Stephanie wound up dead from a drug overdose.

Clearly, Jack needs someone to call his own, but is Phyllis the right lady? I don't think she's over Nick and, like Ashley said, Jack has already made Phyllis his new obsession. She's taken the place of pills or his feud with Victor or taking over Jabot and Newman Enterprises in Jack's life. Phyllis probably really believes that this time will be different than their previous hook-ups, but Phyllis has rarely been successful in love.

The big highlight of the week was Nikki and Victor's wedding. By their standards, it was kind of tame. There were no fireworks or orchestras playing Strauss waltzes...and apparently no security. How else can you explain the fact that Sharon walked right to the door without anyone stopping her, as did Adam? Both had not been on the invitation list, and considering their past transactions from Nikki and Victor's point of view, you would think they should have been on the "shoot first, ask questions later" list!

But Sharon and Adam faced no resistance and walked right to the door. Therefore, it's believable that Bob the bomber just blended in as part of the catering team without having to undergo much of a background check. Maybe I'm being a stickler, but considering the fact that the ranch had been burned to the ground just a few months back, and that someone tried to kill Victor when he was working on the docks, shouldn't Herr Newman be increasing the protection around his home and family during a very well-publicized event like a wedding?

Of course, if there had been better security, we wouldn't have been able to watch the great cliffhanger they put together. That action-packed scene with the gun and the bomb and people flying around was more like the adventures on Days of Our Lives and General Hospital than Y&R, but it was terrific and really well executed.

I'm still not sure why Bob chose to pull a gun when he'd already set a bomb and wanted to get away before it went off. If he'd simply kept his cool when he bumped into Nick, he could have skittered out of the ranch house with minutes to spare. He would have completed his mission for Marcus. But apparently Bob is a hothead, and he wanted to take a shot at Victor in addition to blowing up his house.

Did you see Billy jump in there to grab the gun along with Nick? You think Victor will have new appreciation for his son-in-law when he eventually learns that Billy boy tried to be a hero? Billy might have to wait in line for credit, however, because it sure looks like Adam is going to take a bullet for Daddy dearest.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Y&R, the show's been featuring some of the actors reminiscing about being on the soap and what has happened to their characters over time. Bravo to executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, who no doubt came up with the idea, and kudos to the actors who've done them. It's been fascinating to hear the stars talking about their alter egos and commenting on what they really enjoyed and how the character has changed.

It's hard to pick a favorite, but Josh Morrow's approach was playful and light-hearted. He was juggling and acting goofy, even as he was relaying some of the most harrowing times in Nick's life, like Cassie's death. All in all, these historical recollections have been wonderful. If you missed any, they're online at CBS.com.

What's my pet peeve of the week? One of the guests at the wedding was Eric Forrester. Did John McCook just wander across the lot from The Bold and the Beautiful and turn up on the Newman ranch set? I kept waiting for some good reason for Eric to have been invited to this particular Nikki and Victor wedding when he never appeared at the other dozen over the years. Sure, Eric had designed Nikki's gown, but big whoop. Eric's appearance made absolutely no sense at all.

On the flip side, Eileen Davidson stole the show in her few scenes. It was lovely to see her as bitch on wheels Kristen on Days of Our Lives at the same time she dropped in at Y&R to reprise her role as Ashley. She was dynamite in her battle scenes with Phyllis. And since I'm focusing on excellent work, the guy cast as Gus Rogan, Tony Todd , has been fantastic. He really had to be up to speed the moment he appeared on-screen, and he's delivered.

That's a wrap, fellow soap fans. Contact us at Soap Central with your thoughts and ideas for the future of The Young and the Restless. And remember to email Nita and me at Soap Central with your thoughts, ideas, and soap "fixes" for The Young and the Restless. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!

  • Y&R needs a new set designer. What's with all the changes? Billy's house was cute and charming before, and now it's just plain boring. Nick's place was so cozy, but not now. I was really disappointed with the new Newman mansion. The older version was so much nicer. Why don't they leave well enough alone and do something with that dark and dreary house of Adam's? It's just depressing! -- Ruth Anne

  • Why did they let Sam Gibson get away? I hope they will bring him back as the love interest for Sharon again. They were so perfect for each other. -- Shelley L.

  • I think it would be very interesting to see Nick and Sharon reunite, like a Nikki and Victor couple, and Adam and Chelsea together. They are so much better together. Let the younger members of the soap create the drama before the veterans get dragged in. -- Judy S.


Allison J. Waldman
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