Just my imagination, once again...

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Just my imagination, once again...
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Imaginations ran wild in Genoa City as Jack, along with Phyllis' close friends and family, faced life without her. Sharon took advice from her imaginary daughter, Cassie. Carmine imagined life with Lauren, Melanie imagined big bucks, Adam imagined that he was invincible, and the Winterses imagined the worst because of a blogger. It's time to weigh in with this week's Two Scoops -- imagine that!

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"Just my imagination, once again, running away with me. It was just my imagina-a-tion, running away with me!" That refrain from a classic oldie by the Temptations keeps repeating in my brain, and I'm pretty sure that several Genoa City residents are having the same experience.

Thoughts of life without Phyllis filled the imagination of her friends and family. Jack tried to remain optimistic, but despite his best efforts, Jack was forced to consider the unimaginable, as those closest gathered to say their goodbyes to Phyllis. Like many families with a loved one in crisis, there were varied opinions and heated discussions about what was best for Phyllis. Both Jack and Avery reacted negatively when Daniel announced that he was moving Phyllis to an experimental facility several states away.

I thought that Y&R did a very good job of portraying the family's fractured response to Phyllis' plight and the eventual healing reconciliation that took place as they put their differences aside. It showed that a crisis can bring families together, as well as tear them apart. Summer forgave Nick. Nick persuaded Avery that Daniel knew best, and Summer convinced Jack that Phyllis would have a better chance to recover if they followed Daniel's plan.

As each person said farewell to Phyllis and recalled a special moment from the past, we viewers were treated to scene after scene that highlighted Michelle Stafford's remarkable performance as Phyllis Summers. The finale, as Jack vowed his undying love and put a huge diamond engagement ring on Phyllis's finger, was tender and touching. Some viewers noted that Phyllis had gone from villainess to heroine during her time in Genoa City. I can credit her redemption to the unconditional love that Jack expressed in his final scenes with Phyllis. We all deserve a love like that. Well done, Y&R, for hitting all the high notes!

I'm still imagining a recast Phyllis and so are a lot of you. Here's what Joan had to say:

"I'm sorry to see that Michele Stafford is leaving the show -- I have mixed feelings about her character -- sometimes I like her and sometimes I don't -- she is a busy-body and thinks she is perfect but the show needs her. I really hope they re-cast her. Because if Phyllis does not recover, then does that mean that Sharon will get away with all that she has done. If any character should be out, it should be Sharon -- she is an absolute pain in the butt!!!"

Sharon's imagination is working overtime as her hallucinations of Cassie continue and Sharon focuses on her goal of reuniting with Nick. It does look like Sharon actually did tamper with the DNA test results. Sharon seems to regret that she hurt Phyllis, but at the same time, she does not want Phyllis to wake and expose Sharon's scheme. Sharon does have a conscience, but she is not letting it interfere with getting what she wants. It might be my imagination, but I think Sharon is off her meds and will not be legally liable for her actions.

According to Mom of Many, Sharon's plight is all too real:

The storyline with the Sharon Newman character is right on track as far as this one viewer is concerned. I have seen online comments defending the character's behavior and saying she wouldn't act like this, but I am here to say that people with bi-polar do some weird stuff when off their meds. 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 baby momma drama (minus the pushing down the stairs) only to have the truth come out 14yrs later when 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.

Sounds like Mom of Many has experienced some daytime drama of her own. Many of you are impatient for this storyline to be over. Viewer Susan wrote:

Y&R can't risk loosing viewers, and this storyline of Summer and Nick is losing quite a few of us now. I have been an avid fan for over 40 years. Story line after story line, repeat, etc, is sickening. Don't let this secret keep on with Summer. Get Nick and Avery married, put Sharon away, bring back Phyllis, and make Chelsea pay. Adam has the right to know. But first, clean up the Summer thing immediately.

I predict that Summer's paternity will be resolved soon -- though in soap time, that could mean six month or so! Summer has the lipstick that Sharon dropped and is already trying to imagine why her mother had two lipsticks in her purse. It will be Summer who eventually learns the truth, because she has a clue, and she is not getting over her feelings for Kyle easily. With her hormones raging, Summer is more vested in finding out what really happened than anyone else.

Lauren and Michael stopped imagining happiness and experienced some of their own after Michael rescued Lauren from Carmine's clutches. Michael and Lauren had the sweet reconciliation that we have been anticipating for weeks. They seem more united than ever, but they are facing serious problems with their son, not to mention that Carmine is still out there.

In typical soap opera fashion, Carmine escaped the police and has eluded their dragnet. When last seen, Carmine was in a drab room, staring at a photo of Lauren, mumbling that if he couldn't have her, no one would. This will not end well. I can't imagine that Carmine can survive in Genoa City much longer. I do wonder why the police aren't tracking the GPS on his phone or car.

In the real world, obsessions such as Carmine's often lead a stalker to murder his/her victim and then commit suicide. In this instance, I think Lauren will survive and Carmine will end up dead. Both Lauren and Michael have threatened to kill Carmine, but I'm going out on a limb and guessing that Fen will do the deed, and either Michael or Lauren will take the rap for him.

Carmine might survive and get sent to prison, but considering that Kevin only served about a week for grand larceny and no one else in town has ever served more that a few months for any crime, including murder, I imagine that the only way to be permanently rid of Carmine is to orchestrate his demise. Fen definitely wants to be rid of Carmine and stop the taunting that he is getting because of Lauren.

Seeing naked pictures of your mom on the Internet would be enough to make a saint crazy, let alone a troubled teenager. Fen has a history of emotional problems and has turned to drugs to cope. Having relaxed one inhibition, it's not a stretch to imagine that Fen could let go of another and, in a rage, kill Carmine.

Then again, Lauren does the damsel in distress bit very well and used to be in frequent and repeated jeopardy to Sheila. I may have to eat my words if Carmine turns out to be the new Sheila!

A few of you have written that you aren't very interested in the Winters clan saga, but I have to say that I love mysteries, and trying to figure out the who, why, and what of the blogger is fun, plus the plot is starting to get interesting. I had an inspiration about the blogger, but before I could spill it here, viewer Kaycee beat me to it:

"I just read your Two Scoops and I do think that Hilary is the blogger. I think that she is Rose and Neil's daughter. She is going after everyone who did her mother wrong...She is going after Lily, because she is the spoiled and privileged daughter of Neil, so why not steal her man?"

I agree that Hilary is the blogger and Rose's daughter, Ann, but Ann is not Neil's daughter, unless Neil forgot that he met and slept with Rose 20 years or so earlier than his recent recollection of meeting Rose in an Evanston bar for the first time a mere six years ago. It's within the realm of possibility that Neil forgot a tryst with Rose 20 years before that.

I can imagine that scenario, but I find it highly unlikely. No, something else is going on and I will ferret it out by keen observation, and if that doesn't work, I'll try reading the previews and spoilers in the Scoop column at soapcentral.com.

Last week, you all probably noticed the smirks and sly looks that Hilary was casting at Cane and Lily. I imagine that in true soap style, it will take a while for everyone to wise up, including Leslie, who has so far been leading the hunt for the blogger. Lily may catch on, but her fears will probably be dismissed at first as jealousy.

What do you imagine that Neil did to Rose that has set Hilary on this course of revenge? What makes revenge so important that it can become the focus of a person's life? While I understand fantasizing about revenge, and I understand plotting it, I don't understand actually doing it. After expending energy, over and over again, to imagine the perfect revenge on someone who wronged me, I reached the inescapable conclusion that two wrongs don't make a right and that hurting someone else does not make me feel better. The best revenge I ever took was when I killed somebody with kindness.

Nowadays I just try to keep a positive balance in my karmic bank. I've learned that, sooner or later, the bad things that bad people do usually catch up to them without my help. Karma is an interesting phenomenon.

Cane and Lily definitely have unresolved issues. We were not imagining Lily's jealousy over Abby and Tyler's budding relationship. I like the Abby/Tyler dynamic, and as much as I don't like to see couples with children break up, I thought that Lily and Tyler also had very sizzling chemistry together. Tyler is growing on me.

Cane seems kind of dull right now, so it would be nice to see him get a storyline with some business shenanigans. For that matter, I'd like to see all of Genoa City get back to the workplace. I remember when a lot of the action happened in the corporate headquarters of Newman, Jabot, Chancellor, and the Fenmore stores. Corporate backstabbing was as brutal as a mob hit. Now the movers and shakers take meetings at Crimson Lights, On the Boulevard, or the Athletic Club.

It's no wonder that Adam is in trouble. If he had met Melanie in the office instead of the Athletic Club, he might not be in hot water. Melanie certainly made the most of her imagination when she told Paul that Adam had raped her and then described the event. Melanie's cleverly kept clothing was the evidence that forced Paul to arrest Adam, who was incredulous.

It's going to take a lot more than imagination for Adam to wriggle out of this one. One question is whether or not Victor will stand by Adam. If Victor wants to prove to Adam once and for all that Adam is a member of the Newman family, then Victor must support Adam in his current predicament.

Since Victor threw Melanie at Adam socially, tasked Melanie with the job of getting information from Adam, and then fired her when she failed, shouldn't Melanie also sue Victor? Victor did tell Melanie that the reason he was firing her and not Adam was because Adam was his son. If Victor does stand behind Adam, then Melanie had better imagine her worst nightmare -- and Billy Boy his -- because that's what real trust and cooperation between Adam and Victor would generate for anyone opposing them.

Women like Melanie, who lie about something as serious as rape, make it very difficult for real victims to be heard and believed. I do hope that she is exposed for the liar that she is. Call me a prude. I do not approve of this behavior. (Okay Boone, tell us how you really feel!)

Jack will certainly support Adam, and so will Avery. I may be in the minority, but I like Avery and Adam together better than Avery and Nick. I can imagine what supporting Adam will do to that relationship. In a related plot twist, even though it has not been mentioned or indicated it in any way, I've been considering the ramifications if Jack is the one funding Adam's buyback of Newman's public stock. We might see a boardroom brawl after all.

When Chelsea went into premature labor, her biggest fear was that Dylan would figure out that he is not her baby's father. She should be imagining the consequences if her child inherits Adam's genetic eye condition. I want Adam to know about his baby, but I like Dylan with Chelsea, even though she probably doesn't deserve him. On the other hand, perhaps Chelsea can find redemption in Dylan's love like Phyllis did in Jack's.

Soap-wise, Chelsea should go back to Adam for the sake of the child, even though such decisions don't usually work out. If Chelsea prefers securing sole custodial rights to her child, now is the perfect time to pursue it in court, because Adam's character is under attack, so Chelsea's claim would prevail -- well, in a real life court, but come to think of it, it might be a whole other story in a soap courtroom! Maybe Chelsea knows best. Perhaps crossing her fingers and hoping will work out better than telling the truth and getting a lawyer would.

In both real and reel life, it's time for Victoria to stop imagining the worst and stand by her man. Her obvious jealousy over Chloe and Melanie proves that Victoria still loves Billy. I thought that the object of partnership was to work together to help each other solve problems. What's the point of having a partner if you have to do everything alone?

Billy would remedy his gambling problems faster if he could count on the unconditional support of his family. If Victoria does give in, look for more sabotage from Victor. Can you imagine what will happen to Billy if Adam and Victor team up on him? I don't even want to think about it. Oops, yes I do!

Since my last column, I have received many eloquent emails about Phyllis and her portrayer, Michelle Stafford from fans that both love and hate her. Please let me share some heartfelt parting remarks as beloved soap icon, Phyllis, departs daytime.

"So sorry to hear that Michelle Stafford is leaving Y&R. She has been my favorite actor on the soap since the day she blew into GC. She is a wonderful actor and will excel at any role she takes. Our loss, but it is her choice and we must respect that. Y&R will suffer for her loss and if money would keep her, I say pay whatever it costs! Stafford has subtleties in her repertoire that I don't see with anyone else (except Christian LeBlanc) and I will miss that level of talent. Best of luck to her in her future! -- Wilma

"The loss of Phyllis will be devastating for the show. She is the spark plug for most story lines. I am hopeful that Daniel takes her away to Georgia for a year and Michelle Stafford will be rested up from her sabbatical and return to cause havoc on everyone."-- Marguerite

It really amazes me how she became a bigger star for being such a villain. She is known for ruining marriages. Christine and Danny, Sharon and Nick, Jack and Diane. -- Felicia

As for Phyllis, I can't even imagine someone coming close to her character, although I do like Connie from GH. -- Linda

I think it is time for Michelle Stafford to go. She overacts as an actress and she shouldn't be replaced! -- Julie

Is there anyway to keep Phyllis she is the best. --Debbie

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.... She will be missed for sure. -- Marie

So long, Phyllis. Your fans are grieving, but we're in it for the long haul, and we know that spontaneous recovery, even from a coma as serious as yours, is never more than a soap day away. I can imagine your return. You wake with amnesia; you escape the facility and head back to Genoa City, wearing only a hospital gown and a diamond ring; you are hitchhiking when you meet a kind, handsome stranger who...

Until next time, fellow fan addicts, keep soaping and let the magic of your imagination carry you away.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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