In my humble opinion, every one of the men and women who populate the make-believe world of Genoa City is enormously talented, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them for many years. This week, however, it is the men who made me sit up and take notice.
The week began with Adam taking the bullet meant for his father. Adam, with his expressive face and on-point delivery, is riveting, even on an ordinary day, but this week, he proved he is just as effective lying flat on his back, barely able to utter a word. I couldn't help but get a little teary-eyed as his fingers twitched and he struggled to wake up and make sense of what Sharon was telling him. Thankfully, despite his coma, I've heard or read nothing that says he's going anywhere anytime soon. So I can breathe a deep sigh of relief and just wait for him to get back to his old, delightful self.
Victor has been a favorite of mine since I began watching the show back in the 80s, even though he has often been a hard man to like. His saving grace has always been that although he can be hard and unforgiving a lot of the time, every now and then we are given a glimpse of his somewhat softer, loving side, to make him at least bearable and understandable. For quite a while, though, we have been subjected to this mean, one-dimensional ogre who didn't hesitate to sacrifice anyone in his path and won't shy away from using emotional blackmail to bend his children to his will.
Victor's reaction to Adam's sacrifice was unexpected but welcome. Of course, I know it would be foolish of me to expect this shooting to be the catalyst for lasting change between father and son. Yes, it's probably wishful thinking to hope this one act would somehow wipe the slate clean and Victor and Adam could become tentative friends. Or that it would induce the other Newmans to grudgingly open the family circle just enough to let Adam slip inside. The fact that Adam saved two of Nick's children from certain death did little or nothing to alleviate Nick's hatred for Adam. And just because Adam was instrumental in bringing Johnny into Victoria's life didn't make Victoria give her brother even a modicum of fake caring. So, I know I shouldn't expect that Adam saving Victor's life will cause the scales of love to tilt in Adam's favor.
Still, even though it isn't likely to last long enough for Adam to be released from the hospital, Victor's obvious worry, concern, and apparent gratitude melted my heart like ice on a hot sidewalk. Yes, we all know Adam's laundry list of diabolical deeds against his father and his family has contributed to the abyss of distrust and enmity between them, but wouldn't it be nice to see something different? I really hope Victor doesn't immediately go after Newman Enterprises while Adam is out of commission, but we're talking about Victor Newman. I'd probably be more surprised if he didn't.
Next up on my list of most admired is the multi-faceted, many-layered Michael Baldwin. Some of Michael's past storylines have been less than compelling, shall we say, and haven't always shown him in the most positive light. In fact, some were so disappointing, I had almost forgotten the range of emotional talent Christian Leblanc is capable of. So a big thank you is owed to Jill Phelps and Josh Griffiths for finally restoring Michael Baldwin to his former manhood status.
When Michael finally drew a line in the sand and let Lauren know he wasn't putting up with any more of her lies and unfair accusations, I practically stood up and cheered! He is breaking my heart with his portrayal of a man both out of ideas and out of hope. I hate Lauren for the way she's mistreating Michael, especially for someone like Carmine, who isn't one quarter the man Michael is.
Wow! What an unexpected treat it was to see Victor and Jack planning to team up to take on Marcus Wheeler. My favorite type of story is one that includes many characters and is filled with surprising twists and turns. The Gus Rogan storyline certainly fits cozily within this category. Beginning with newcomers Leslie and her brother, Tyler, at first I thought it might be a snoozer meant only as filler between other, more interesting tales. I was prepared to tolerate it to its conclusion but didn't really expect to be surprised or much moved by its unfolding. I couldn't have been further from the mark.
At first simply curious, as time went on, I found myself more than mildly interested in the secret Leslie and Tyler were hiding. I became more intrigued when Congressman Wheeler's connection was revealed. Now we have Avery and the Innocence Project, Gus Rogan, Victor, Jack, Adam, Paul, Alex, and a hit man, all enmeshed in this story. All to cover up the true part Marcus Wheeler played, which has to be the murder (or the hiring of it) of Belinda Rogan. I can't wait to find out what transgression Wheeler committed that was so bad he had to kill to keep it from coming out. Unfortunately, at the rate the number of people suspicious of him is growing, Wheeler will likely have to kill half the residents of Genoa City to keep his crime hidden.
By the way, Paul and Alex are unexpectedly good together. Do they remind anyone else of the days when Andy Richards was Paul's sidekick and sounding board?
I like Dylan, and his goodbye to Avery broke my heart almost as much as it clearly broke hers. Now, don't get me wrong. I believe that Avery loves Nick and would probably be quite content as his wife. But that doesn't mean she is over Dylan. Personally, I am rooting for Avery to eventually choose Dylan, so I'll be crossing my fingers that they find their way back to each other.
And lastly, though he doesn't usually draw my admiration, this week Cane impressed me with his gentle handling of a clearly ill Kay. I don't know whether Kay will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's or some other medical condition. I'm just glad someone has finally convinced her to see a doctor and find out.
It wasn't just the men who shined this week. A few of the women were equally impressive.
For instance, Sharon. I know Adam stole Faith, threw away the camera memory card, and was temporarily prepared to let Sharon rot in a prison cell forever. But he has also been the one man who stood by her when every other resident, family included, coldly turned their backs. In return, Sharon has mostly remained Adam's friend, despite the entire town's disapproval. And now, because Adam begged her, just before lapsing into a coma, to run Newman to keep Victor from taking it over, she is probably going to find herself ostracized all over again. All out of love for Adam. I don't know if it will ever happen, especially with Chelsea expecting Adam's baby, but the chemistry and caring between these two is undeniable, and I wouldn't mind if they got another chance at coupledom.
That brings me to Chelsea. I know some fans disagree with my recent comments about Chelsea. But, in my opinion, Chelsea has been a little unfair when it comes to Adam and her expectations of him. Adam knew about Chelsea's past and accepted her, flaws and all. But though she knew Adam had some serious daddy issues, and judging from the tongue-lashing she delivered to Victor in Adam's defense, knows exactly why, Chelsea has refused to grant him the same acceptance. Instead, she held Adam's need to win Victor's love against him and made it out to be a choice between Victor and her.
Now, I do get that many of Chelsea's actions are dictated by her belief that Sharon and Adam have renewed their love affair. But if she would just stop jumping to conclusions and actually sit down and have an honest conversation with him, she might regain the one thing she clearly still wants -- Adam and her marriage. Lastly, I have to give Chelsea props for generously giving up the seat by Adam's hospital bed to Sharon. It had to be a painfully difficult decision to make, so I have to give credit where credit is due.
Finally: Lauren. I can't say I understand or sympathize with her in any way. Michael has been a good and loving husband to her, and he doesn't deserve this despicable betrayal. She's struggling, she says. Yeah, struggling to hide that hicky she let Carmine put on her neck. I guess Lauren is doing her job well, because she's certainly made me despise her completely. If she had only come clean on one of the numerous occasions Michael begged her for the truth, he might have forgiven her, and life could have gone on. Instead, she keeps cheating with Carmine then coming home to cowardly blame all their problems on Michael. I'm so disappointed in Lauren. I thought she was better than that.
So, another wonderful week is at an end, and the show just keeps getting better and better. Hope you are all enjoying it, too, and as always, please continue to share your opinions with us. We love them, and your comments could pop up in a future column!