The essence of Phyllis: A bold, feisty force of nature

For the Week of July 29, 2013
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The essence of Phyllis: A bold, feisty force of nature
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Will Sharon's actions have consequences? Has Carmine gone too far? Is there buzz in the Genoa City blogs? Have 'the redhead and the kid' finally made amends? Obsession, a flight down the stairs, and a surprise guest appearance by a glittery statue, in this week's Two Scoops.

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First off, just let me say that I was absolutely floored by Sharon's admission that she had changed the paternity tests results to show that Jack is Summer's father, not Nick. Sharon admitted this to Ghost Cassie, whom I now realized must be Delusion Cassie, because Sharon cannot possibly be in her right mind. Sharon has to be off of her medication, since this has been the worst thing that she has done yet. I may joke now about the disease and its place in Sharon's storyline, but I do realize that bipolar is a very serious mental disorder, suffered by people in the real world. I just hope that Y&R does this storyline justice and portrays Sharon in a realistic manner.

I did some research on bipolar disorder, and indeed, one of the symptoms is psychosis, where the person can experience very distorted beliefs about the world or "a loss of contact with reality." Yep, that sounds like Sharon all right. Sharon's constant insistence that she must make things right, so that things can be the way that they were meant to be, is a definite indication that she has totally lost touch with reality. She completely ignores the fact that Nick and Avery are together and that Avery is standing by her man. Sharon is truly living in her own little world.

Psychosis can also be accompanied by hallucinations or delusions, which would make Cassie's visit possible. And, of course, Cassie's replies to Sharon were just what Sharon wanted to hear. Since Sharon believes that she is actually speaking to Cassie, it was just a matter of time before someone overheard her remarks (in typical soap fashion). So, it was no surprise when Phyllis heard Sharon tell Cassie at Cassie's grave that Nick could never find out that she, Sharon, had changed the paternity test results, or he would be mad at her forever. (Ya think?)

On a side note, can the caretakers at Cassie's grave -- you know, the grave with the flowers that always cover up the birth and death dates -- please change the color of the flowers? They are always yellow. I can only hope that yellow was Cassie's favorite color, but I am sure that she would appreciate another color for a change. Pink carnations, red roses, white lilies -- any other flower would be nice.

Second, I was overwhelmed by all of the responses from Y&R fans about Sharon's possible contribution to the Summer's paternity storyline. From what I have read, Sharon Case loves acting in these types of storylines, but these types of storylines are driving her fans a little crazy. Most comments were from her fans, who were outraged that the writers were pinning yet another wacko act on Sharon, when, at one time, she used to be a rather strong, independent character. Other fans felt the same way as Y&R fan Frances:

About the recent storyline involving Sharon.? I know that what she did was wrong.? But, I followed Y&R from the beginning and given Sharon's history, I understand why she did what she did with the paternity test. I loved it when Nick and Sharon were together. Phyllis caused a lot of trouble. I think that if not for Phyllis, Nick and Sharon might have eventually gone to marriage counseling and saved their marriage. I hope this works out in Sharon's favor for a change and she gets back with Nick. But, I fear she will spoil it for herself because of her overwhelming guilt.? I hope the writer's will work in Sharon's favor this time!? Give the girl a break!

Then, yet another cluster of fans thinks the same way as Y&R fan, Cathy. "I really hope that Jack is Summer's daughter and that Sharon is hallucinating. It would make a much better story. What would happen to Kyle and Summer?" Believe it or not, I had the very same thought. Since the bipolar disorder can be accompanied by delusions in the most extreme cases, couldn't it be possible that Sharon just imagined that she had gone to the lab and had changed the paternity test results?

Sharon had stated time and time again, that she needed to make things right, so that she, Nick, Noah, and Faith could be a family again. Maybe she imagined that she had gone to the lab to change the test results, so that she could be the one in control of her future life with Nick. In her state of mind, Sharon could not really be certain of what was true, and what was an imaginary act in her own mind.

I really don't see how Sharon's bipolar disorder is going to redeem her actions, if she did indeed change the results of the paternity test. Her disease was first introduced as a way to excuse her bizarre actions when she was married to Victor, took over his company, and burned the Newman ranch down. Her bipolar condition was given as the reason for her bad decisions then, yet almost nobody, except for Nick and Noah, actually forgave her. (Remember, Adam didn't care, so there was nothing to forgive.) Nick won't even forgive her this time, if Sharon really attempted to take his daughter, Summer, away from him, which will leave Sharon with very few people left to actually care about her and her condition. How is this redeeming her?

Anyway, back at Cassie's grave, Phyllis immediately told Sharon that she had overheard Sharon's dastardly deed, but what was weird about it was that Phyllis didn't fly off the handle as much as she normally would. Actually, compared to her overreactions in the past, Phyllis was rather calm, when she announced that she was off to tell the whole world what Sharon had done.

Have you noticed that Phyllis has really mellowed in the last month? I noticed it also last week, when she seemed to finally and calmly accept Avery and Nick's future together. Could this new attitude be because she will be leaving us soon? Phyllis is almost scary when she is toned down.

That is not to say that Phyllis did not get upset at all though. Once Phyllis ran off to tell the world the news, Sharon chased after her, and they ended up at the top of the stairs right outside of the ballroom where the MS benefit was taking place. Okay, now you cannot tell me that you did not see what was coming next. Phyllis and Sharon were at the top of the stairs, arguing over why Sharon had to make Jack and Nick believe that Summer was Jack's daughter, while Phyllis yelled that both men had to know the truth. Nostradamus could have seen what was coming next.

Phyllis whipped out her phone and called Jack. Sharon grabbed for the phone, and these two very emotional ladies wrestled over it. Then -- it had to happen -- Phyllis went tumbling down the stairs. Oh, my gosh, I was stunned. Or not. Couldn't we all see that coming? Oops, I guess my mother didn't. She said (and I quote,), "I was surprised by what happened today on Y&R. ?Not thrilled. ?I wanted it to go a different way. ?Guess we'll see what happens now." Sorry, Mom!

The first thing that Sharon did, once she reached Phyllis lying at the bottom of the staircase, was to, of course, cover her tracks by turning off Phyllis' cell phone. Oh well, at least the second thing she did was to check to see if Phyllis was still alive, which she was. But when Avery and Nick entered the staircase to smooch, Sharon slunk away like a cat burglar out on the prowl.

Thank goodness that Avery and Nick arrived on the scene to help Phyllis! Does a lack of medication really excuse Sharon's deplorable behavior?? Perhaps one of you knows someone that has bipolar and could enlighten me. Are the writers showing this disorder in a realistic way? I no sooner typed that question, when I received this comment from Y&R fan Mom of Many:

The storyline with the Sharon Newman character is right on track as far as this one viewer is concerned. As many comments as I have seen online defending the character's behavior and saying she wouldn't act like this, I am here to say that people with bi-polar do some weird stuff when off their med's. I know a family right now that has gone through the whole paternity switching (to trap the man of her dreams) storyline with the whole babymomma drama (minus the pushing down the stairs) only to have the truth come out 14 yrs later due to the fact that she told the child the truth and the kid confessed all to the family. Please don't let up on this character! Please show the sickness of bi-polar and the destruction it can cause if not properly treated -- not only to the one who is mentally ill but to those around them. Thank you for considering this opinion even if it is not the loudest voice heard from the Y&R fan base.

Thank you for sharing that with me, Mom of Many. I truly appreciate the education.

Earlier, at Nikki's MS fundraiser, Jack showed Adam the ring he wanted to give Phyllis and commented that he had been forced to watch Summer grow up from the sidelines. Adam then echoed my thoughts when he noted that Nick had done something so epic that he had made even Adam look good. Nick overheard the statement and called Adam a psychopath.

It's rather ironic that Adam is considered a psychopath, while Sharon is actually psychotic. I think it is more that Adam tries to convey that he has psychopathic tendencies by appearing to be antisocial and lacking empathy. But we all know that there is more to Adam than meets the eye, and he sometimes wears his heart on his sleeve around Chelsea. Adam definitely cares, but he prefers not to let his feelings show.

I love Adam when he is snarky, and he was at his snarkiest at the fundraiser. He said that Nick had a sense of entitlement, and Adam noted that he did not see a posse to chase Nick out of town. Adam also called Nick the saint who had fallen from grace with a willful, intentional act. Adam gets the best lines. The "dark knight" (Adam, per Jack) then remarked that "the apple clearly does not fall from the rotted, twisted tree." That was his best line about Nick yet!

As Phyllis lay in the hospital, fighting for her life, Dr. Kurt Costner announced to her loved ones that she had a blood clot that caused pressure on her brain and that she required immediate surgery. In the meantime, Paul found a lipstick in the staircase. It's not looking good for Sharon! Delusion Cassie warned Sharon to tell Nick the truth, and Sharon had better listen. After Phyllis' surgery, the doctor revealed to Nick, Avery, Jack, and Summer that he would need to run "assessments for a more accurate prognosis." Summer lamented that her dad wasn't her dad anymore, so she needed for her mom to still be her mom. Jack's desire was to have both Phyllis and Summer (a.k.a. "the redhead and the kid," per Adam) in his life.

Poor Summer! Her life has been turned topsy-turvy, and she is still grappling with her feelings of forbidden love (or so she thinks) over Kyle, while her mom is lying in serious condition in a hospital. Summer regretted to Jack her "pity party" and later talked with an unconscious Phyllis regarding their past fights "about clothes, music, boys, boys." I loved it when Summer admitted to Jack that she was clearing the air with a sedated Phyllis, so that her mother could not give her any grief. Phyllis' unconsciousness is the only way that Summer could be safe from her wrath!

I think that Summer is open to letting Jack be her dad, but is he really her father? Did Sharon really change the paternity test results, or was that just a delusion?

Just think if she did change the results -- everything would then be undone, and it could all go back to the way it was. Only, of course, it couldn't. There is no way for all of the pain and heartache to be forgotten. The feelings could not just go away. Jack would be devastated, and Summer would not know what to believe. Nick would hate Sharon forever, as she predicted. That would be tragic for Faith as well.

Summer claimed she was the lucky one to have Phyllis as her mother, and Jack remarked that Phyllis had bold moves, and that she loved her grand entrances. A little while later, Jack felt Phyllis' finger move and saw her eyes open, however, once she remembered what had happened in the staircase with Sharon, her heart raced. Phyllis found that she was unable to talk, also, so nobody else still knows what Sharon claims to have done. That's probably the most silent that she's ever been.

While Summer seemed confused about the lipstick that she found in her mother's purse, Jack decided not to miss his big chance, and ever the romantic, he proposed to Phyllis, the greatest love of his life, in the hospital bed. Phyllis still couldn't talk to give him an answer though. I loved Jack's proposal, where he declared that she adored, amazed, astonished, and perplexed him. I think Phyllis has done that to all of the men in her life. Jack also called Phyllis his nagging conscience, his hope, and his inspiration. It's just sad to know that she won't be in his life much longer.

Y&R fan Marie expressed many other fans views with this comment:

Michelle Stafford is so perfect as Phyllis, she will be hard to replace. I think if they choose to replace her it should be someone new and unknown who can make the part her own, the way Peter Bergman did with Jack. She will be missed for sure. Phyllis & Jack are my two favorites.

There is really not much more to add to this. Michelle Stafford has brought the essence of Phyllis to life and has made her one of soaps' most complex, yet most beloved characters. Phyllis' zest for life has made the character stand out, and Phyllis Newman will truly be missed by the fans.

At On the Boulevard, Billy finally fired Carmine for too many personal interferences with his job performance, or whatever the reason was. Really, does it even matter? However, Carmine decided he had more important things to do, anyway, which included terrorizing Lauren, which was the number one item on his list. So, he proceeded with this by sending a fake "help me" message from Fen (who was busy doing drugs with Raven), and when Lauren frantically searched for Fen at a cabin, Carmine popped out at her and scared her half to death. That Carmine is such a nice young man.

Carmine must be as delusional as Sharon if he thinks that one more romp in the sack will capture Lauren's heart forever. After Lauren accused Carmine of luring her to the cabin, Carmine insisted that he was a lover, not a fighter. Carmine then stated that he only wanted one more hour to talk to Lauren, in exchange for Michael's freedom. Lauren agreed to stay, but after she offered words to him that he did not want to hear, Carmine reneged and claimed that he wanted more. The next thing we saw was Lauren tied to a chair in the cabin. Now, that's the way to win a lady's heart, Carmine!

When Carmine bent over a lassoed Lauren to kiss the "nice little spot on her neck," you could see that Lauren was really creeped out, as she tried to lean away from him. Way to go, Carmine! You really need to get the hint that fear does not turn a woman on. At least Lauren is getting smart, though, and after she spotted a knife, she insisted that she wanted to remain in Carmine's life. Lauren pleaded with him to untie her hands so that she could prove that Carmine could trust her. Luckily, Michael, Paul, and Kevin finally realized that Carmine had Lauren, and Kevin figured out where Carmine had taken her. Hurry, guys!

Lauren kept insisting that she just wanted Carmine to hold her, so she could feel his arms around her again. She then planted a very mushy kiss on him, which convinced him to untie her hands. When Lauren tried to grab the knife, Carmine stopped her, so she stabbed him with the fork instead. Too bad she tripped over the chair. This was not a good time to be clumsy, Lauren. Luckily, Kevin found a way to hack into the computer security system so that he could release Michael from jail. At the cabin, Michael burst through the door with a look of murder on his face. Be afraid, Carmine -- be very afraid!

My tiny smidgen of sympathy for Carmine, after Fen had tried to frame him for the drugs, totally vanished the minute Carmine first induced Lauren to sleep with him one more time, in exchange for dropping the charges against Michael. Carmine is just getting slimier and slimier. I guessed that the writers were going to go that way with him. I have a feeling that he will not be long on this (soap) earth, and I had thought that a good murder mystery was headed our way. Actually, my mom said that she was even ready to go to Genoa City to murder Carmine herself. Paul, the police, and the fair citizens of Genoa City would never be able to solve that crime!

However, now that he has found Carmine with his lovely wife, who was gagged and restrained to the bed, Michael may just do the deed himself. He definitely had a murderous look in his eyes. Michael had been pleading with Paul to shoot Carmine, because Paul could find a legitimate reason to do so. If Michael does kill Carmine, Y&R fans all over will rejoice! Carmine started out as a rather nice guy but has totally turned into nothing but a sleaze.

How are Billy and Victoria ever supposed to reunite if Victor keeps interfering? Oh, wait, I guess that is Victor's intention. It's funny how Victor and Nikki aren't always on the same page as far as Billy and Victoria go. Victor wants for Victoria what he thinks, in his eyes, should make her happy, while Nikki just wants what she believes will actually make Victoria happy. So, as Nikki invited Billy to the gala benefit, Victor warned him to stay away. Victoria was the one who paid the price, once she realized that Billy was a no-show at the fund-raiser. Her face showed her disappointment.

For Billy and Victoria, it seems to be the Great American Love Story: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back, boy loses girl again, boy wins girl back again, boy loses girl -- again, boy keeps turning to his gambling addiction in tough times, which gives his controlling father-in-law ammunition to keep boy and girl apart. Like I said, it's the Great American Love Story.

I find it rather ironic that Billy now wants to use Victoria's love and devotion for Newman Enterprises to win her back, when he had always wanted for her to have a career outside of the company. Billy's scheme was for Melanie to sue Adam for sexual harassment for firing her, after she and Adam had done the deed, so that Victor would realize that Adam was a bad seed and distance himself from his son. That would make Billy a hero, and he might even get to wear a cape. (His words, not mine.) Funny, wasn't that Victor's scheme also, only with a slightly different twist (and minus the cape)?

If I recall correctly, Victor had welcomed his prodigal son back to N.E., with open arms, in order to arouse Victoria's jealousy, which would supposedly make her want to return to the company. The idea was that Victoria would need to save Newman Enterprises from the unscrupulous person known as Adam. Both Victor and Billy are using Adam and the company for their own agendas, which would be to win Victoria back. I guess Victor and Billy have more in common than what they thought. Boy, would they both hate that idea!

Apparently, Chelsea is totally oblivious to everything regarding the question of Summer's paternity and to the pain it is causing everyone involved, because she continued to lie about the father of her unborn baby to Dylan and Adam. Dylan grew even closer to the baby during Lamaze training and declared that he wanted to hire a band, and to pass around t-shirts lettered with "Welcome Baby Mac," the day the baby was born. But he still did not know the truth about the baby's paternity.

At the hospital, Victoria reminded Summer that Johnny was not her biological child but that she still loved him with all of her heart. The difference is that Victoria and Billy know the truth about Johnny's maternity, and as long as they inform Johnny, when the time is right, everything is good. It is the lie that kills love and relationships. If Chelsea really loved Dylan, as she claims, she would tell Dylan the truth about the baby. He will be very hurt when he finds out from someone else. And you know that he will. A lie is not a good foundation for a solid, healthy relationship, Chelsea!

Could Hilary be the G.C. Buzz blogger? Since the blogger had changed his or her methods, as Leslie pointed out, and had blogged about current events, such as Cane's business trip with a beautiful woman, Hilary, as Cane's personal assistant, would be knowledgeable on the current happenings of the Winters family. Does Hilary have ties to Dru, or could she be related to Rose? Neil remembered that Rose had joined him at the Evanston Pub, as he sat with his drink, those many years ago. At least Neil and Leslie have a new strategy, since the blogger could be captured on security cameras, as long as he or she continues to blog on current events.

Other notable (or humorous) items that happened during the week:

When the twins interrupted Cane and Lily's romantic evening, Cane remarked that "life was like a game of Whac-A-Mole," where, after you put one twin down, the other pops up. Cute analogy!

Y&R fan Cathy reminded me that Dr. Kurt Costner is played by Leigh McCloskey. I remember Leigh very well from Dallas, as Lucy Ewing's dreamboat husband and from General Hospital as Damian Smith. It's nice to see you again, Leigh!

Paul offered Michael some very solid advice when he told him, "Don't pull a gun in front of a security camera." It seems to me that as a lawyer and a former district attorney, Michael should already be aware that this would be a big no-no.

I absolutely loved Victoria's lovely white dress at the fundraiser, and Billy also noted that she looked strikingly gorgeous. The dress reminds me of one that I had in my younger and much slimmer days. Ah, the memories!

At the hospital, when talking with Avery, Jack described Phyllis with all of the following terms: tenacious, determined, bold, intimidating, indomitable, a force of nature, amazing, gussy, and spunky. He sure knows our favorite redhead very well, doesn't he?

Clever writing colored Chloe's remarks, as usual, when she exclaimed that she had "a sirens and red lights emergency," which actually turned out to be "a good, old-fashioned blackmail emergency." By the way, how accurate was Victoria when she observed that Billy is Chloe's addiction? That could very well be true, although Chloe denied her dedication to "King Train-wreck."

The Y&R writers seemed to laugh at themselves regarding the constant gambling phrases in their dialogue. When Chelsea stressed that Victoria was not "bluffing" about outing the truth about her baby, Chloe sighed that Chelsea has just used a gambling reference. Nice little inside joke!

The crew of Y&R is so creative. Did everyone else notice the Daytime Emmy award on a rack behind Kevin in the police station? Kevin, Michael, and Jill were in the scene, and Paul joined them. That was very appropriate, since Greg Rikaart, Christian LeBlanc, and Jess Walton have all won Daytime Emmy awards at one time or another. And Doug Davidson just won for Lead Actor. Considering the numerous awards that Y&R has gotten throughout the years, this was clever and oh so right.

Y&R has announced that Katherine Chancellor's memorial will take place on-screen, possibly on September 3rd and 4th. The cast and crew, and Katherine's many, many fans will finally be able to grieve this lovely, gracious lady and iconic soap star. We can all offer our final farewells to this beloved, feisty, and magnificent actress.

Until next time, please stay tuned.

Teddi Giggy
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