Playing with the Queen of Hearts

For the Week of February 8, 2016
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Y&R Two Scoops: Playing with the Queen of Hearts
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Phyllis and Billy have upped the ante and raised the stakes in the Internet security project shuffle. Have Victor and Adam stacked the deck to put Red's and Billy Boy's love lives at risk? And has Nick's bluff in an attempt to flush out the oh-so-desperate Sandy placed Sage in peril? Grab the chips (and dip) for another high hand of Two Scoops.

Everything in Genoa City these days seems to revolve around Natalie's potentially lucrative Internet security project. Little did Jack, Victor, Victoria, and Adam know they were playing with the Queen of Hearts -- Jack's very own Red. And what a skilled player Phyllis can be. Yet, instead of yelling, "Off with their heads," our Queen has opened her heart to try to help Billy right his wrongs, while she still held fast onto Jack's love. All Phyllis can do is hope she has not overplayed her hand by going all in because she could risk losing everything she treasures so dearly.

Jack may know Phyllis better than anyone else, but he appears to be a one-eyed Jack with his hazy vision that still blinds him to Phyllis' bitter grudge against Victor. If Victor only knew! As much as our King of Diamonds would be furious at having Phyllis target him again, Victor would be very amused by what he would think of as Phyllis playing Jack for a fool. She truly loves Jack, but Phyllis' ongoing secret vendetta will eventually backfire and shoot down the very people she is trying to help. She has unintentionally placed them all directly on Victor's bullseye and played right into his hands.

No matter what Jack claimed to Phyllis, nice guys do finish last, and Phyllis unfortunately has made it possible for that to happen. Again. And Victor will triumph. Again. I can almost picture the self-anointed King smirking gleefully, while he watches another Abbott downfall. It is sad in so many ways. Jack couldn't have described Victor better himself when he said, "Victor's like a little kid with a shiny toy. He loves it for two minutes and tosses it aside for another toy." It's true. For Victor, it's all about the challenge of the game. And our King takes no prisoners. Victor just shuffles the cards and stacks the deck against any person who tries to play against him.

In the meantime, Billy attempted to lose the title of the Joker by latching on to Phyllis' scheme. Well, as Juice Newton sings, "Playing with the Queen of Hearts, knowing it ain't really smart. The Joker ain't the only fool, who'll do anything for you." But it was Billy and Phyllis who looked to be the fools. How could Billy possibly justify his alliance with our Red Queen, knowing Victoria was in charge of the very company Phyllis was targeting? For not only has Phyllis been keeping the truth from Jack that she was "the other investor," Billy's lips have been sealed, also, so that Victoria was also being kept in the dark. As good as Billy's intentions were to want to be the kind of husband and father his family deserves, there is no way this can end well.

Even if Billy can avoid being the Joker, he showed he still has what it takes to be the jokester. Rather than being tossed, headfirst, into the water, Jason Thompson got the chance to slowly dip his toes in by exhibiting some of Billy Abbott's delightful humor. His banter with Victoria about having to bow out of shoe shopping, per doctor's orders, to contain his level of excitement was cute. Billy even quipped to Noah something about the young man shining Victor's riding boots. Billy has always been able to bring out a lighter side in Victoria, and she even jested to him that although she couldn't trust Natalie as far as she could throw her, Victoria's arm was not that bad. Jason is already proving he has the chops to play Billy. I can't wait to see what he does with Billy's dark side.

Billy made a surprise visit to Natalie in her room to check on her progress, but she wasn't exactly ready to break out a welcome wagon greeting. I don't see Natalie's physical resemblance to Chloe as much as I did, however, she showed some spunkiness in the way she talked that also reminded me of Chloe. When Natalie spoke of trying to find a code to squash the bug in her prototype -- but the little jerk wouldn't die, she sounded somewhat like Chloe with her colorful expressions. I always liked Chloe's quirky kind of talk. Kevin was right, though, when he noted that since Natalie didn't always play by the rules, they should look to an expert in backstabbing and double-dealing. And that was, indeed, right up Adam's alley.

Ahhh, yes, Adam -- the Ace in the hole. Just whose side is Adam on, besides his own? What makes Adam such a complex character is that we never know what he is thinking. Just when we believe his entire focus is to take his father down, the wayward son of Victor emerges and again only wants his father's love and respect. We know he loves Chelsea. So, why can't he ever just be up-front and honest with her about everything? Maybe because he's not so sure of exactly what his own intentions are. Was Adam siding with Luca in order to gain control over the family company? Or was Adam working with Victor to rid Newman Enterprises of the Santoris? Oh, but wait...Victor's blackmail over Adam about Christian's paternity would ensure Adam's loyalty. Right.

Chelsea has remained by Adam's side, so far, through it all. She has proven she loves him to a fault -- and Adam has plenty of them. Adam is another one whose plots end up blowing up in his face, though, and he had better hope his fate isn't covered by the Ace of Spades, which can be known as "the death card" in the fortune-telling world. Adam thought he held all the cards in his so-called scheme with Luca, but he had no idea Luca knew Noah was the culprit of "the hit-and-run." But how could Adam possibly know that, when he didn't even know about Noah's part in Billy's incident? Oops, I guess Victor forgot to mention that little tidbit of information to him.

I can't believe Adam was shocked his father had kept this from him. Adam has actually met Victor Newman, right? The mustached one has turned keeping secrets into an art. However, Victor made it possible for Luca to pull the trump card, which totally ruined Adam's big plan. Noah was willing to let Adam throw him under the bus, but really, instead of letting Marisa lead him around on a choke chain, Noah should have willingly come forward to the police on his own right from the start. He kept saying over and over he was going to turn himself in, but talk is cheap. All Marisa had to do was bat her eyelashes, and all thought of Noah taking action suddenly vanished.

Marisa has stripped the na´ve, trusting, and gullible kid of all his morals and dignity. She's probably done more damage to Noah than Victor ever did. At least Noah finally proclaimed Marisa was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. Hurray! Even if he didn't really mean it, it was still true. And with all of Marisa's promises that she was only trying to protect Noah, Adam was the one who convinced Noah to remain silent by reminding him of the harm it could cause his mother. "Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it hurts some more than others." That's rather an ironic statement, considering most of the people in question have a huge problem with the truth.

Even so, Noah only saw Adam as Victor's pawn, so Noah decided to join forces with Luca to take Victor down. I don't know. Noah's crazy for wanting to get on the bad side of his grandfather. Or was this just Noah's own trap to get the Santoris out of Newman Enterprises? Maybe the pup is ready to jump off the porch after all.

Since Marisa was so busy blabbing other secret information all over town, she could have slipped up with the news about Noah to Chelsea. And you know Chelsea would then have sprinted straight to Adam with all the gory details. Then Adam wouldn't have been blindsided. However, with Billy getting flashes of memory about the eventful night in the parking garage, Luca's hold over the Newmans may be short-lived. That is, of course, if Billy reveals to anyone else the name of person who ran him over, once he remembers. And with this being a soap, that's a very big "if."

I just don't get why Adam won't admit the truth about Victor's blackmail over him to Chelsea. She's pretty much forgiven him for every other deceitful thing he has done in the past. Chelsea's not exactly a snow-white sheep herself. So, Adam slept with Sage when he thought any chance he had with Chelsea was gone, and the one-night stand resulted in the birth of Christian. So what? Chelsea was supposedly marrying Billy at the time, and it was Billy who put a stop to that. So, why is Adam keeping Christian's paternity a secret, especially since everyone believes the child is dead?

Even if Adam was keeping the secret for Sage's sake, it's still no reason not to tell Chelsea. And Chelsea knew he was hiding something from her. (It's funny that the only thing Anita could come up with was that Adam was cheating on Chelsea -- which was partially close to the truth in a strange, ironic way.) While it's true Chelsea can be a little gabby -- like when she told every person who walked through the hall that Adam was missing -- she has proven in the past she can keep a secret for her husband. Or would her conscience get the best of her, since she once lied to Dylan about Connor's paternity? Nah! Chelsea may have plenty to say about Adam's duplicity, but she would still keep her trap shut. Just as tight as the bear trap Sage had found on Nick's ankle.

Adam had best tell Chelsea the entire truth -- about Noah, about Sage and Christian, about the whole shebang -- before Chelsea heads out the door. Adam has been so protective over the mother of his supposedly deceased son. You would think Nick would be a little more confused by the extremes Adam has taken to protect Sage though. However, in this case, it doesn't appear either Nick or Adam is shielding Sage enough. I can't believe it took this long for it to dawn on Nick that he just might be endangering his wife by allowing a suspected psychopath the opportunity to gain complete control over her. After seeing how Dr. Anderson had put Sharon under her spell, Nick should know better.

But, no, Sage had to prove Dr. Anderson was not fit to treat patients -- and they couldn't find another way to do that? Lock Sage up with a lunatic and throw away the key? Smart strategy. Nick and Sage even remembered how difficult it had been for Dylan to visit or to even see Sharon while she was a voluntary resident of Fairview. And Sage was committed to the same mental facility. Committed. Dylan and Sharon's dilemma should have been a warning to them.

Okay, now I am really confused. When Dr. Anderson held Sharon for all those months of her "pregnancy," she appeared to be drugging Sharon like crazy so Sharon could be duped into believing she had given birth. Either the doctor was heavily medicating Sharon, or Sharon was highly susceptible to her medication. But surely, Sandy realized Sage was a real threat to the diabolical doctor's future with Nick -- yet all Dr. Anderson did was give Sage a sedative? Was Sandy seriously underestimating Nick's wife and their love for each other? Sheesh, Sandy had Sage completely in her control, and that's the best she could come up with? Sandy, my dear, I am becoming very disappointed in you.

But, of course, Nick and Sage believed they both could outsmart Sandy -- Sage with her newly developed detective skills and Nick with his dimples and charm. Shoot, Nick's dimples are probably what got Sandy in her situation in the first place, since the dubious Dr. A. was still completely infatuated with Nick and wanted him in every way. If Sandy is the ill-fated champion diver from Nick's past, as the book Sage found, titled "Living with Paralysis," indicated, the delusional doctor had never quite gotten over the dashing and debonair Mr. Newman. Hey, those dimples go a long way.

Little did Nick know his plan would have an unexpected twist. Paulie's sister, Patty-cakes. And Patty had an axe to grind with Dr. Anderson, whom she considered to be "a monster with two faces and a black heart." I laughed out loud, when I heard Patty's description of Sandy. Okay, tell us how you really feel. And she did, saying the devious doctor was "pure evil." Patty even knew Ian and thought he was a sweet man. Sandy must be that bad. Of course, as the keeper of all secrets, Patty holds all the cards. And the answers. How long will it take for Nick and Sage to put two and two together to come up with a healthy Christian living and thriving in Sharon and Dylan's happy home?

I always love it when Jill returns, and this time, she arrived hand-in-scheming-hand with Colin -- which ended up being a good thing, since it was their second anniversary. Oh, those two are still as feisty as ever. I have to admit it was rather interesting seeing Tristan Rogers play Colin on Tuesday's episode, since he also played Robert Scorpio on General Hospital that same day. One minute, he was arguing then smooching it up with Jill at the Athletic Club and the next, he was comforting (and somewhat flirting with) Anna in a Nova Scotia jail cell. Robert exudes charm, and I sometimes wish Colin were more like him. However, I am sure Tristan Rogers would prefer not to play a carbon copy of the same character on two different soaps. How dull that would be for him.

The future appeared to be brighter for our lovely ladies, Lily and Hilary, until Devon shot Hilary down when she pleaded for another chance. I guess it was too little, too late. Hilary sure took her sweet time remembering her love for Devon, as she continued to push him away all those times before. And she only remembered and regretted the way she had treated Devon after Neil made it perfectly clear there would never be a future for him with Hilary. It was only then that Hilary discovered the love that had been deeply hidden in her heart. Ain't love grand?!

However, Lily and Cane possibly still had a future together, because they were still in love. We really do need rock-solid, till-death-do-us-part couples amidst all the drama of our other pairings, and the duos of Michael with Lauren and Lily with Cane have been anointed the chosen ones. So, it was pretty neat to see the loved ones pairing up at Jill and Colin's impromptu anniversary party. Yes, Michael snuggled up to Lauren, a hopeful Lily left with Cane, and Neil cozied up to his partner of choice, a glass of Champagne. I haven't checked the scoreboard lately, so I guess it was Neil's turn to fall off the wagon. Yes, sure enough, Nikki had the last go-around with booze. Will Nikki come to Neil's rescue this time, since she has now reconciled with Victor? The suspense is killing me.

Lily and Cane admitted they still clearly loved each other, but was that enough? Lily wondered that very same thing when Cane could not commit to being able to forgive or to ever trust her again. Oops, maybe I jumped the gun on this couple reuniting. It was encouraging to see Cane's refusal to let Lily walk out the door though. All may not be lost just yet.

Other notable (or humorous) items that happened during the week
The writers were in full creative gear when Jack remarked to Phyllis that Victor "snakes" the deal out from under Billy and then "slithers out of town." How ssssizzling!

And Chelsea's description of Adam to Nick was dead-on when she stated Adam was like a firehouse dog who, once he smelled the smoke and heard the alarm, would run straight to the fire. With all of the fires, both literally and figuratively, going on at Newman Enterprises, Adam must be racing a virtual marathon.

After hearing Kevin talk glowingly of Natalie, Mariah noted, "You know, Kevin, it's a little gross the way that you talk about her -- all moony-eyed and hero-worshipy." Kevin replied, "I'll wear sunglasses next time, so you don't have to see my eyeballs." Those two are always good for a laugh.

Speaking of laughs, Adam really struck my funny bone when he pointed out to Noah that lying was Marisa's default position. How true! Could Marisa even be able to tell the difference between the truth and a lie? Her daughter was fortunate Marisa had not wanted to be bothered with raising her. The girl could never have had a normal, happy life with Marisa as her mother. If Marisa can so easily corrupt the older Noah, who's also a Newman, what kind of chance would a young, innocent girl have?

When Kevin advised Noah about how good people can do bad things, he mentioned that Victor probably also committed selfless acts to balance out the universe. "Any time he stabs somebody in the back or shatters somebody's dreams, he probably writes out a big, old check. It's all about balance." Yes, I'd say Kevin knows Victor pretty darned well.

Congratulations to all Y&R prenominees for the Daytime Emmy awards. I predict if Adam's Justin Hartley gets the nomination, which he so richly deserves, he will be hard to beat. (Sorry, Tony Geary!)

Until next time, please stay tuned.
Teddi

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Teddi Giggy
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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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