Call me superstitious, but when I looked at the numerical date of this week's column, it was 6-6-16. 666 symbolizes "the number of the beast," which represents the devil in many forms of organized religion (I'm trying to be politically correct, here!). When I looked "666" up on Wikipedia, I found out that 616, is a variant found in some old texts, so you can see how the date could be a freak-out! And while I'm kidding about being that superstitious, I did think it an odd coincidence that Ray Wise, notoriously know for his many portrayals of the devil on nighttime TV, returned as Ian Ward on Friday. And let's not forget that Ian was wearing a devil's costume on Halloween last October when he burned down Newman Towers and tried to stab Adam with a pitchfork!
Ian is back to bedevil Victor and unleash whatever hellish convoluted plan he has to to get his revenge on the Newmans. I couldn't be happier. I frequently complain about the writing -- I think it's hackneyed and disrespects the viewer -- but the acting is superb. Victor and Ian are so believable when they start exchanging barbs that I forget they are acting, which is not always the case, even on nighttime shows. What I'm wondering now is if Ian is in the mix because Dr. Gates is gone -- I'm assuming that the abrupt end to her growing fascination with Victor is because the actress who portrays her got another job or if the show planned to bring Ian back all along. I would like it to be the latter.
Ian seemed absolutely giddy to be released from solitary confinement. He was there apparently because Victor snitched on him to Dr. Gates after Ian deliberately opened Victor's stitches with a sucker punch. I have a sneaky suspicion that Ian may be the one setting Adam up. Ian likes to snake his way in with all that devilish charm and insinuate himself. Adam did call Ian "diabolical" when they chatted. I can see Ian gleefully whispering in both Adam's and Victor's ears and keeping them at each other's throats, merely because that's what a devil is supposed to do!
An aside here: Adam insists that he doesn't want to go to jail, so I wonder why he spends so much time in prison. If Adam does get convicted and sent to the slammer, maybe he and Victor would be forced to communicate and eventually bond! Just a thought!
Victor sounds so sincere when he opines about how much he cares for Adam and how he wants to reconcile with his family, but it doesn't ring true when he speaks with any of them. He is so mean. He treats them horribly, and it's not a total stretch to believe that he could have orchestrated such an elaborate frame from behind bars, though we do have to accept the implausibility of how quickly it was accomplished. If Victor did frame Adam, he is one cold devil to do that to his own son. A plus point for having Ian be the one framing Adam is that Victor could expose Ian and win his "Get out of jail free" card. (Hopefully before Victoria and Nick destroy Newman with bad decision-making.) That would be a win-win for the Newmans and prison hell for Ian.
Does anyone but me think that Nick has a few devils to deal with himself? He is so-o-o-o self-righteous. I wonder how he would act if he were being framed instead of Adam? I can't figure out how another autopsy would besmirch either Sage or Constance's memory, and who, except Nick, cares? In the first place, both women are dead, and they won't object. In the second, Nick barely knew Constance, and neither Constance nor Sage has any living blood relatives, so what is the big deal? Third, if the diary is forged, then it means that all those words Nick thinks were written by Sage weren't. You'd assume that Nick would prefer to know the truth instead of clinging to a half-truth. Likely it's Nick's grief talking, but I also suspect that sibling rivalry and Nick's deep-seated hatred for Adam are affecting Nick's common sense, or maybe Nick has decided to do nothing because Victor is the devil he knows.
Oh, oh! One more thing! Why is Nick angry with Adam because Sage's diary was made public? What did Nick think would happen once he gave the diary to the police? Did he not take a Civics class? Does he not know that the accused has a right to face his accuser? I think eventually Nick will come around. He usually digs in his heels then when he cools down, his common sense returns and Nick does the right thing, which in this case is to help a brother out!
I am proud of Paul and Michael, who got his license back pretty darn-tootin' fast (must be because of those deals that I've heard all lawyers have to make with the devil). I suspect that Paul's investigation will reveal that someone in the medical examiner's office got a large cash infusion just about the time of the autopsy results. In that case, Adam won't need Nick's help. Paul was great at working both Victor and Dr. Gates. Paul and the GCPD have a wonderful opportunity to solve this case instead of looking like dunces who are always the last to know.
One thing I've definitely learned from Y&R is that if you want to keep a secret, don't discuss it every moment that you think you are alone with the only other person who knows. Y&R has proven that there is a 100% probability that the conversation will be overheard. Another thing I learned is not to overreact to things you hear. Rather than assuming that your secret has been discovered, assume that it hasn't. There are lots of ways to find out what you want to know without arousing suspicion.
Sharon is the perfect example of what not to do. Her lies are going to catch up to her because of her suspicious behavior whenever Nick and Sully are mentioned anywhere close to in the same breath. It's ironic -- I think that's the correct term -- that Sharon's fear, that Nick will recognize Sully as his own, is baseless because Adam, not Nick, is the father. If Sharon knew that, she could rest easy, but as with most liars, she's going to trip and fall because of her own paranoid behavior. I don't think that Dylan, Nick, or Adam will be bewitched with Sharon's explanation about how she lied to protect everyone, nor do I think that "The devil made me do it, and I got off my meds" will serve Sharon either. She will definitely have the devil to pay. I expect lots of remorseful tears but no actual change. She's a lying liar, pants on fire.
Jill is usually pretty caustic, but she was all-out she-devil with Hilary. I felt really bad for Hilary, who was absolutely verbally abused. I could see how the kind of treatment that Hilary got from Jill can be devastating. I've had a few tongue-lashings in my day, and I imagine most of you have too. Nobody deserves verbal abuse, even if they've messed up. Most of the time, I think that verbal abuse is the result of someone else's insecurity. In the past, Jill was just as much of a social-climbing wannabe as she accuses Hilary of being, so I think that when Jill lashes out, she is letting her own pettiness and insecurity show, even though she doesn't recognize it and is unwilling to own her behavior.
I was glad that Devon came to Hilary's defense and glad to see that Jack told both Jill and Phyllis that he had approved Hilary's participation in the dedication of the Katherine Chancellor wing in the new rehab center. After the way both those women treated her, it's no surprise that Hilary is so defensive. Hilary was very gracious when Jill hijacked the press conference and the opening ceremony. I think Hilary showed more class than Jill did. It is clear that Hilary's next objective is Jack, and why not? She had a big crush on him when she was "good girl Hilary" and worked as Jack's assistant at Jabot. Now that she is devil-may-care Hilary, I say, "Go, girl. Jack's already used to being led around by the nose. Besides, he's another guy that's old enough to be your father."
Phyllis has been doing a very good job of deceiving both herself and Jack. Phyllis has tried very hard, but she is possessed and just can't shake her attraction to Billy. Once Billy starts using Bethany as his beard, I don't think it will take long for Phyllis to get jealous. I'm fairly sure that Phyllis will succumb to Billy's undeniable charms, quicker than she can say, "Jack who?" I can hardly wait for that to hit the fan! At least there will be change and action rather than endless scenes of the same two people sitting in a room, having the same conversation, albeit phrased differently, over and over again. At least Billy and Phyllis have their conversations in Chancellor Park!
I'm getting tired of Victoria because even though she is a mature titan of industry, she is still playing the helpless naïf. That does not compute for me. I cannot imagine that any CEO of a multi-billion dollar company would depart unexpectedly in the middle of the day, turn off their phone, ignore their messages, and leave a 21-year-old novice in charge. Choosing to tryst with a virtual stranger seems very irresponsible and reads like a recipe for financial failure, in my opinion.
Playing devil's advocate, I have to say that Victoria is living down to Victor's lowest expectations. That weasel Luca is going to blackmail Victoria, and she will cave. I wonder if Victoria's need to please daddy includes failure because that's what Victor has predicted. Maybe Victoria has to prove to herself, at least subconsciously, that "Father knows best." I think that Victoria is in a devil of a predicament. I want her to "woman up" and prove Darth Victor wrong.
Well, I did wonder how Y&R would redeem Max, the demon seed. Now I know. They took a page from General Hospital and gave him a brain tumor, just like GH's Franco. That's how serial killing Franco avoided death row. Max will not have to spend the years between now and his mid-twenties in a locked juvenile facility, like most children who commit murder do. I predict that Max will have very risky surgery, hover on the brink of life and death, and eventually be brought back from the other side.
Despite Max's evil deeds, I do not want to go through another child death. So despite the unoriginal brain tumor, I'd rather see Max rehabilitated and happy with both Stitch and Abby who, I feel has been an angelic step-mom under very horrendous circumstances. Some people would have cracked and wished Max straight to hell after he killed his half-sibling, but Abby didn't. She showed courage and grace. Now, we'll just have to see if Max is as great at being good as he was at being bad.
My friend Bessie is only reading recaps these days and stands along with several hundred thousand others, who, according the latest ratings, are boycotting actually watching the show. In a recent email, Bessie was bemoaning the fact that so many fine actors are leaving Y&R or are dropping to recurring status because they have gotten a starring role in a nighttime drama. All I can say is congratulations to the actors and my sincere consolations to the viewers.
The risk of a favorite star moving on is the dual-edged sword that comes with having terrific actors in daytime. The young talented ones almost always get great opportunities to stretch their abilities elsewhere. Daytime is a terrific training ground and a showcase. It's also a place where actors who like working every day can put down roots. They can take breaks and return, like the character Chloe will be doing soon. (I'm already wondering if her child belongs to Kevin or to Billy.)
I think that in many ways, we viewers get the best of both screen and stage. If we watched a play over and over, we would see that the characters and dialogue are static and remain consistent in each performance. Similarly, soap characters have continuity, but unlike the play format, the dialogue changes, and we see the characters grow in each successive performance.
In closing, I'd like to say that, like Katherine, I believe in a higher power. And like Katherine, I believe that all you have to do is hold out your hand and ask for support. I've experienced both the asking and the support. I can tell you that you don't have to be an addict to seek help and guidance from that higher power. I've also had my share of "Get thee behind me, Satan," moments, and I suspect that most of you have, too.
It took a lot of courage for both Nikki and Neil to publicly admit their weakness for alcohol. I'm proud of them, and I'm proud of Y&R for portraying addiction and its consequence as realistically as the show had done so far. Addiction probably touches every one of us in some way. Most of us have at least one friend or relative who is struggling to cope. I wish we all had a branch of the Abbott-Winters foundation in our town where our loved ones could get help. Since most of us don't, all we can do is offer support until our dear ones are ready to admit their problem and take the first step.
I think I've rambled on long enough. All I can say in my defense is that "The devil made me do it!" Please join me in two weeks at Crimson Lights for the next meeting of Soap-aholics Anonymous. Our topic will be "Giving the devil his due," with guest speaker Victor Newman. Esther's imaginary cookies and non-existent hot chocolate will be available for a small fee. Hope to see you there.
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