The light at the end of the tunnel vision

For the Week of March 9, 2015
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The light at the end of the tunnel vision
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Neil emerged from the deep, dark tunnel and, in Nikki's car, rode onto a path of drunken despair -- aimed directly at Christine! Should Nikki name her demonic vehicle in honor of its victim (in true Stephen King fashion)? And beware, Jack, of mustachioed enemies bearing truces. To learn more of this week's drama and intrigue, check out Two Scoops.

A somewhat forgotten aspect of everyday communication is the delivery of the words spoken from one person to another. This is taught early on in speech or English classes and also is important in doing live theater. When performing in a play, the words of the playwright need to be communicated correctly to the audience, utilizing an emphasis on certain words for different effects.

A simple phrase, such as "I love you," can convey so much just by the way it is said and can have a variety of meanings depending on the word being emphasized. If "I" is stressed, the talker is pointing out that it is he or she who "loves you." When "love" is enunciated, the person is announcing that love is the emotion felt. And if "you" is accented, the speaker is clarifying that the listener is the person he or she loves. It's grand that so much can be related through the many varied and distinct ways of communicating to one another.

That was why, a few weeks back, when Neil regained his eyesight and shockingly saw his son making passionate love to his wife, I paid particular attention to everything Neil said as he pretended to still be blind. I listened to his words in the way that he meant them, but I also tried to perceive them in the way Hilary, Devon, Cane, Lily, Jill, and Colin would have at the time. It was rather spooky. Because Hilary, Devon, and Colin still saw Neil as a rather gullible, foolish dolt whose blindness had kept him literally in the dark, they hadn't considered, for one moment, that his words would have any other meaning than the way they had heard them. Neil's family only saw the kind, loyal and loving man who had always supported them. But as Neil spoke to "his loved ones," we knew that his speeches were delivered with bitterness and anger.

Who can blame him? Devon and Hilary sure got him good, but Neil also let himself be blinded by their feelings for each other. His other senses should have taken charge, and he should have felt the passion that flew between the two of them, and he definitely should have heard their love for each other in the words they said. Neil wanted to love and take care of Hilary and to keep her safe and secure, and that gave him a bad case of tunnel vision. Neil's fixation on Hilary contributed to the deceit of the two lovebirds. This tunnel vision kept Hilary in Neil's sights because he wanted to cherish her and to give her everything she had always desired. Once the blinders were off, Neil's eyes were finally opened to their betrayal.

I was pleased that I had been right that Neil would pretend to be blind once he regained his eyesight, even if I was mistaken about why he did so. I actually preferred that he kept quiet about regaining the vision in his peepers in order to get revenge on those whom he felt had shamed him, but I wish the writers had gone farther with it. Neil's pretense could have lasted a little longer, and we could have seen more plotting from him as he worked out all the details to get even. As he calculated and schemed, Neil could have voiced his deepest feelings of hurt and embarrassment, which would have added more layers to his character. We already know plenty about good-guy Neil, but it would have been nice, for a change, to hear the thoughts of a darker, mortified Neil.

But throughout his blindness, Neil only saw what he wanted to see, and afterwards, he could only see what Hilary would let him. Apparently, there will be no light at the end of this tunnel for either Neil or Devon, since Hilary would rather have them both believe that she was indeed that devilish girl only out for revenge rather than the lady who had turned over a new leaf in pursuit of love and happiness. Neil sadly and angrily noted that Lily had been right all along about the apparent villainess. However, when you think about it, that's not necessarily true.

Lily had always believed that Hilary was a backstabbing, gold-digging tramp who was only after her family's money. But if that were the case, Hilary already had Devon's millions in the palm of her grubby little hand. She had it made in the shade, and she willingly let it all go -- for what? All in the name of revenge? I would hardly think so if money and power rocked her world. That alone should make Neil and Devon think twice about Hilary's motives.

Sure, they both questioned whether she had admitted her duplicity just so father and son could reconcile, even though she quickly denied it. Yet, the timing of her tirade should have set off alarms, not to mention a huge red flag, which they both ignored. After all those months of deceit and betrayal to the man who had only loved and supported her, Hilary finally tried to do the right thing by letting Neil and Devon go. Better late than never, I guess, but in this case, it may be far too late.

Fans are already predicting that Mishael Morgan will have a very legitimate chance to snag a Daytime Emmy award at the 2016 ceremony. The venom that Hilary spewed out as she declared that her only motive had been revenge for the death of her mother and that she had only felt hate, rather than love, for the entire Winters family shook Neil, Devon, and the fans alike. Bravo, Ms. Morgan!

And speaking of the Daytime Emmys, word just came out this week that this year's ceremony will again be televised on April 26th. Hip hip hooray! The awards are back where they belong -- on television, honoring our daytime serials and the very talented and beloved actors and actresses by highlighting the best of the previous year. With this multi-year deal, we can be secure in the knowledge that we will be able to see our favorites awarded for their talent as we root them on. Thank you, POP!

Neil probably wishes he had remained in the dark, both literally and figuratively. He has done nothing but drown his sorrows and blur his vision since he got his eyesight back. At least, when he was blind, he was happy in his own deluded state of married bliss. Neil vowed that Devon -- or the man Neil used to call his son -- no longer meant anything to him, and who can blame him? Neil suggested if Devon wanted a father to go find Tucker. Wow, I had actually forgotten that Tucker McCall is Devon's biological dad. Katherine's son needs to return.

I would love for Stephen Nichols to come back as Tucker -- that is, if General Hospital doesn't snap him up first. GH had a February Fan Poll for fans to vote back one of four favorite characters, and Stefan Cassadine was on that list. And you can bet I voted for him. Shoot, I would be fine if Mr. Nichols even returned as Patch on Days of our Lives. He just needs to return to soaps in one capacity or another. There is so much the writers could do with bringing Tucker McCall back to Genoa City, though. Since Katherine isn't here, Tucker should try to wrestle control of Chancellor Industries away from Jill (and Colin). Now that would be fun.

Christine seemed to be on a mission to ensure that Phyllis would not keep her freedom, no matter what it took, and I honestly thought the pregnant lady was going to be the cause of her own miscarriage. Phyllis was right that Christine needed to be more concerned about the health of her baby than of "some personal vendetta." But Christine sure couldn't have seen Nikki and a drunken Neil plowing their way into her future. Man, where was our hero, Paul, when she needed him?

Paul's superpowers must have been on the fritz because he wasn't available to rescue the damsel in distress from the tyrannical metal monster on four wheels. Maybe his handy-dandy sidekick, Dylan, could have jumped out to save Christine if he had been on hand. But the poor district attorney was left to her own devices as she helplessly watched the two headlights zeroing in to mark her as their target. Even though Neil had grabbed the steering wheel, causing her to swerve, Nikki insisted she was at fault for the accident to prevent Neil from being incarcerated. Take comfort in the fact, Nikki, that Christine would have blamed you anyway. But Paul wouldn't have, and without knowing the whole story, he believed Nikki was a terror on wheels due to alcohol when the booze had actually fallen on Neil's lips.

You can bet if and when the facts come out, Christine will ignore the evidence to suit her needs, and Neil's part in causing the accident will deliberately be lost on her. Christine could use the same strategy on Nikki that she was trying to use on Phyllis -- eliminate the enemy by locking her up and throwing away the key. Christine must be a magnet for cars to aim right at her. Now she has a legitimate reason to hate Nikki as much as Phyllis. It is rather ironic that Nikki unintentionally ran Christine down with a car, as Phyllis had intentionally done years earlier. Hey, as a tribute, maybe Nikki should name her demonic vehicle "Christine." (Cheers to anyone who has seen the Stephen King movie.) You had to feel for Nikki, since she was only trying to help Neil out by forcing him to attend an A.A. meeting. After all, no good deed goes unpunished.

Since Christine lost her baby, she will, more than ever, be out to eliminate Nikki from her and Paul's lives. Nikki may live to regret taking full blame for the tragedy, since she will probably lose Paul as a friend in the process. I loved it when Paul placed the responsibility all on Victor's shoulders, though, since Victor had never been around to support Nikki when she was going through her tough times. Paul claimed that Victor seemed to drive her to the edge, only to pick up the pieces later, and he really had a point -- or at least he would have if Nikki had been entirely at fault.

To make matters worse, believing she already knew, Neil mentioned to Christine that Nikki hadn't meant to run her down, and that really got Christine going. Christine already thought of Nikki as a threat, and Paul's silence reinforced to her that he was still only out to protect Nikki. If only she had known that he had actually decided to arrest Nikki for attempted murder. Any attorney worth his pay should be able to get that charge tossed easily. After all, she had the Breathalyzer results, which proved she had not been drinking. However, if the truth comes out, Nikki could face other charges, since she covered up Neil's part in the accident, which could be a conspiracy to cover up a crime because Neil was drunk at the time. But no evidence that Neil was drunk was taken because of the coverup.

Due to Paul's guilt, he decided that he and Nikki should be punished, and he should forgo any sort of investigation at all. Christine lost her baby because he had wanted to be a better father to Dylan than he had to his other two children, so he needed to push Nikki out of his life. Paul's grief prevented him from clearly seeing that the accident was just that -- an accident. Or at least that was Nikki's version of it. Even adding Neil's drunken poor judgment into the equation, it still was an unintentional act. Christine and her baby were not targeted. How could Paul believe for one minute that Nikki ever meant her any harm? If he were thinking more rationally, he wouldn't.

But how in the world will Neil ever forgive himself for causing an accident that resulted in the loss of an innocent unborn baby? That poor guy has gone through the mill, and his life has been wildly and crazily spiraling out of control. He may very well end up thinking the happiest days of his life were when he was in the dark. Blindness was certainly not the cause for his inability to see Christine just before they hit her, and he will forever feel responsible for the death of her child. Just think...Neil now has something in common with Adam. Maybe they can bond over their unfortunate circumstances and become best buds. Stranger things have happened.

Another man who seemed to have tunnel vision would be our very own Jack Abbott. What? Has Jack lost his sanity? Okay, we all now know that the debris from the collapse of the Underground did not cause Jack to lose his short-term memory, since he admitted to Ashley that he did, in fact, make love to Kelly on Valentine's Day. But did the wreckage falling on his noggin affect his long-term memory? How else would you explain that he made a deal with the devil, a.k.a. "the almighty Victor Newman"? Sure, I realize that Jack was anxious to help Phyllis out of her ordeal, especially since he hadn't believed her originally. But his desperation to prove Phyllis' innocence by showing that it was Kelly's sick scheme to set her up seemed to blind him to all of Victor's many past misdeeds (mildly putting it) against Jack and his family.

Even Ashley knew Victor was just setting up her brother to take another fall, but what could she do? Jack let the fact that Victor saved him, as he was knocking on death's door, take away any common sense he had. There is just no way to sugarcoat this. Jack has opened himself up for Victor to again squash him like a little bug, and we can do nothing but watch. It's almost like driving by an accident site where you can't help but look. I will admit that I am rather interested in what Victor has in store for Kelly though.

And what about Kelly? Am I hearing things, or did she say that she would do whatever it took to win Jack back? What?! This is beyond desperation. Does Kelly not have any self-respect at all? She just seems to sink lower and lower into the pit of despair. Why on earth would she want someone who has, on numerous occasions, stated that he did not want her and did not love her then decreed that they would never reunite as a couple? For heaven's sake, right after the act, he even denied to everyone that he had made love to Kelly and then insisted that she was crazy for thinking they had. Oh yes, Kelly, run to this man who looks at you as nothing but a piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe that he can't discard. It sure sounds like every woman's dream to me. Good grief!

Phyllis must be loony-tunes if she thinks Jack and Victor are going to work together all for the good of...her freedom. Wouldn't someone with a lick of common sense -- or any sense at all -- suspect that Victor is doing what Victor always does, and that would be to do what serves his own best interests? Victor's reasoning was he must save Phyllis from Jack because she is the mother of Victor's grandchild? So is Sharon, but I don't see Victor doing anything to help her. (On the contrary.) Who will be the next person added to Victor's list of people he needs to rescue from Jack? Ashley? After all, she is mother of his daughter. Maybe Victor can persuade Ashley to disown her brother, all for the good of Victor Newman. Just how far will his logic go?

The triangle that has fans somewhat gripped to their seats would be Adam, Chelsea, and Billy. I still like the chemistry between this Billy and Chelsea, but I am intrigued by Adam's Gabriel trying to capture her heart. Or, in this case, although Chelsea doesn't know it, "recapture." And Adam sure is pulling out all of the guns, although Billy is finally starting to get a little suspicious. Gabe's pesky phrase about them being even, after Adam saved Billy's life in the fire, kept haunting Billy.

I understand Adam was securing Jack's silence by holding a jail sentence over Billy's head, but still, it's hard to believe Jack wouldn't fill his brother in on Gabriel's identity. Adam is trying to take Billy's love and new family away from him. Billy will just have to figure it out for himself, although I can't imagine he will be happy with Jack once he learns that Adam is still alive -- and that Jack knew all along. It's obvious that Jack wants to warn Billy about Gabe's motives, but his hands are tied. And now that Billy and Chelsea are engaged, Adam is bound to turn the screws more on Jack to enlist his help to separate the two. Jack's a savvy guy. He should be able to find some way to stop Adam from ruining his brother's happiness. Jack was right. Adam is determined to win at any cost.

I am still on the fence about Nick and Sage, though, and so was Avery, especially since Sage was still married to "Gabriel." Avery feared that Sharon might take Nick back to court for custody of Faith if his friendship with Sage was more than just...friendship. But Sage's solution was to end her fake marriage with a real divorce. I have a feeling Adam won't be pleased that he may end up losing Gabriel's inheritance. He will need the bucks in his war against Billy to win back his family.

And I sincerely hope that Sharon's thank-you dinner for Dylan was only just that. I would truly like to see a stronger, independent, and more secure Sharon now that she is on her own. I hope she doesn't ruin their friendship by pursuing Dylan in a romantic way just so that she doesn't wind up being alone. That's too "Brooke-ish" (The Bold and the Beautiful). Sharon really needs to take to heart the fortune on her cookie, "He who has friends is never alone." She should feel secure enough with Dylan's support.

Who knew that Austin would wind up being a much more interesting character dead than alive?! It's too bad that all his dirty, little secrets didn't come out while he was still a living being on this (soap) planet. Seriously, there was never a hint that Austin was cheating on Summer with her own aunt Abby until our favorite soap got a new head writer -- I mean, until he kicked the bucket during their wild drinking and drug-infused cottage party. Of course, since all fingers are pointing to Summer as the killer, we know it can't be that easy. Really, what was Kyle doing at the cottage that night? He claimed to have been invited, and maybe Abby did ask him to be there as a decoy for Summer so she could spend time with Austin. But Kyle's acting awfully suspicious.

Did Kyle murder Austin to eliminate the competition or for payback for being a lying, cheating scoundrel to Kyle's love? When you put the pieces of the puzzle together, everything points to Kyle being Austin's killer. Kyle was found in the area of Abby's spontaneous drinking party? Check. Kyle was caught on camera in the background in Crimson Lights, watching, as Austin filmed Abby? Check. A towel with Austin's blood was discovered in Kyle's car trunk? Check.

So, it must not be Kyle. He's too obvious. The least obvious suspect would, of course, be Noah. But there is no way Noah would have clunked Austin on the head then let Summer think she did the deed. Noah would have confessed if all evidence pointed to his sister. And I just don't see where either Kevin or Mariah would have had enough motivation to end the life of Summer's husband, even if he had done her wrong. However, let's take a closer look at our very own Naked Heiress.

At the memorial service, before her very dramatic revelation that Abby had been sleeping with Austin, Summer remembered that Abby and Austin had been arguing. But if they had all been drugged, how could Austin and Abby have been awake and coherent enough to have been talking at all? Obviously, they had not imbibed on any of Fen's potent punch. Or did they know it was spiked? That certainly would have cleared the way for them to have sex while everyone else was taking a snooze. In that case, they must have known that Fen was going to add a little flavoring of his own to the party drink. Unless, of course, Abby had her own secret recipe for the punch that included a pinch of sleeping pills. Remember, Fen stated that he thought his contribution would have livened things up, not put them all to sleep. Yes...this is starting to make sense. Maybe.

Could Austin have wanted to reveal the truth of their affair to Summer? Maybe Abby just instinctively grabbed for the statue in order to stop Austin. Hmmm...there could be something to this theory. Funny that the same thought occurred to Kyle, although Abby denied it. But I don't see the killer being any of the other people in this group, so maybe we should look outside the party people -- well, especially after seeing the message written with lipstick on a mirror in the closet where they found Austin's body, "I know what happened here." Curious.

And it was even more "curiouser" when Kyle immediately wiped the lipstick off the mirror. What is going on? He and Abby are still acting so suspiciously. Maybe they were in cahoots. Abby even admitted to Victoria that she had fallen hard for Austin, and she couldn't bear the thought of him returning to Summer. I mean, I love a good murder mystery, but the waters have gotten so murky, it's becoming hard to sift through the soot. I just hope the killer doesn't end up being someone we don't know and have never seen before. The fans don't feel "ripped off" if a new character arrives in town and is found to be the culprit. It's the cheap way out that leaves no one feeling satisfied.

Poor na´ve, stupid, trusting Summer cried and wondered why people who claimed to love you cheated and why she hadn't been enough for Austin. Sadly, ladies who are cheated on always seem to blame themselves once they finally face the facts. And they always seem to be the last to know, although, probably in a lot of the cases, they just refuse to see the truth.

Summer is lucky to have a family who loves her and supports her, and I am sure they will convince her that Austin was slime and not worthy of her love. Some men just love the thrill of the chase and can only see that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. And they love the security, knowing that they can always jump back. Summer never would have had her happily ever after with Austin, and she needs to realize that so she can move on and find someone who can truly love her.

Abby kept thinking back to all her many trysts with Austin, and I had to wonder when, in heaven's name, did they ever find the time? Between working and spending time with Summer, Austin couldn't have had that much time or energy, yet he and Abby seemed to have been constantly together. Just how long had that been going on? Abby sure didn't seem to feel too guilty about what she had been doing behind her niece's back. Wow, she and Devon would have been a great fit, since neither one of them had any conscience to speak of. Calling Jiminy Cricket!

Other notable (or humorous) items that happened during the week
It was both sad and pathetic when Neil requested that his disowned son become a drunk like Neil and stated that "my gift to you can become your gift to me." Mr. Winters was most assuredly on his way to hitting rock bottom.

After Jack noted in the church that Victor no doubt had a long list of sins to confess to, Victor responded that no one was in the confessional. Jack replied, "Of course there's not. Victor Newman answers to no higher authority than Victor Newman." How true!

I had to laugh when Avery remarked to Dylan that Summer had considered Avery the poster child of cheaters. Well, if the shoe fits....

If it hadn't been under such tragic circumstances, Paul probably would have broken down laughing when he read the part of the Miranda Rights about if the Newmans were not able to afford an attorney. Yeah, right!

Ashley was so right on when she stated, "Victor's agenda always has another agenda behind the agenda."

It sounded like Amelia Heinle had a touch of laryngitis. I hope she's better now.

Phyllis had almost a hysterical analysis of Victor, "Tell me -- how can you be such a cold and calculating man one minute and soft as a kitty cat the next?" Yes, you can almost hear him purring every time he flattens Jack into the ground.

What are your thoughts on The Young and the Restless? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts. You can leave your comments below in the comments section, you can click here to submit Feedback, or you can call our 24/7 caller feedback hotline at 267.341.7627 and voice your thoughts.

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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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