Caught somewhere between right and wrong

For the Week of July 24, 2017
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Y&R Two Scoops: Caught somewhere between right and wrong
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It wasn't hard for Nick to say, 'I'm sorry,' as he doled out apologies to his mother, his son, and his sister. Billy, on the other hand, still refused to accept responsibility for any of his wrongdoings. Can Billy ever quit blaming others so he can have a happy and fulfilling life? It's all a balancing act in Two Scoops.

Sometimes, no matter what your motives are or how innocent your intentions are, you just can't win. Ask Nick Newman. He should know better than anyone. Nick has the sterling reputation of being Genoa City's savior of damsels in distress, but at times, he tends to go overboard, which gets him into some pretty hot water. If there's a case of doing all the wrong things for the right reasons, Nick was guilty of doing just that when he sabotaged Nikki's concert in what he believed was the best action to take to save his mother from possible public humiliation. Unfortunately, Victor and Nikki did not take too kindly to his rescue attempt and in fact, both severely chastised Nick in the parking garage of the concert reception with Hilary's camera catching it all on tape.

You almost have to feel for Nick, who knew his mother was in pain and who was only trying to find a legitimate excuse to get her out of playing the piano without causing her any embarrassment. Nick correctly believed that his father had his own ulterior motives for wanting Nikki to play for charity, and he felt Victor was trying to control Nikki, as he always has in the past. However, Nick forgot to check with Nikki to see if she was willing and eager to be rescued. Nikki had her own agenda, which was to prove to Victor and to herself that she could stand on her own and do the concert, even if her fingers were shaking on the keys of the piano as she played. So, while Nick only saw that his dad was controlling Nikki through the event, Nikki was, in fact, trying to free herself from her domineering husband by performing. A little communication could have gone a long way with Nick and his mother in this case.

It's funny. Even when you are all grown up and have your own family, you still are your parents' child. And even when you are supposed to be older and wiser, you can still make mistakes along the way. Nick not only tried to prevent his mother from being able to untie the strings that bound Nikki to Victor, he also blamed his own son for trying to help his grandmother complete her mission. When Nick learned Noah had saved the day by lending out the Underground's soundboard to be used for the concert, he let his son know just how displeased he was. But Nick was wrong to yell at Noah, and thankfully, Nick realized that, so he told him he was sorry. Noah has a heart of gold, just like his dad. Like father, like son -- although the same thing can't be said for Victor and Nick. It's a wonder Victor has never questioned if Nick was actually his biological son, since the two are almost opposites, although Nick did sound a little like his dad when he talked of how his actions were all for family. It was truly eerie.

So, while Nick was landing somewhere between right and wrong in an attempt to help his mother, his efforts all ended up being for nothing, since the concert went on as planned. Nikki played beautifully throughout the entire piece. I hadn't realized that Nikki's contribution to the concert would consist of only one song, but I am sure she was grateful that it did. From the expression of pain on her face after it was over, Nikki never could have made it through another number. But the audience was enthralled from the musical melody that came from the keys of the piano as she caressed them. Nikki was a hit -- and so was Nick, after his father punched him in the face.

It seems like Victor and Nick have been using each other's faces as punching bags lately, since Nick gave his dad what was almost a knockout blow in the stables not all that long ago. Those two really need to be accompanied by a referee everywhere they go. I doubt if the jab in the parking garage hurt Nick too much, and it's unlikely he was wounded at all by Victor's claim that he would disown his son -- again. Since that tends to be a pretty regular occurrence, Nick probably just thought, "Oh, well, what else is new?" Victor pointed out that Nick was living off of Victor's wealth and power and that Nick wouldn't get much farther, since he was no longer Victor's son. Nick will remain in Victor's doghouse until Victor is ready to try to control him again. Nick should be doggedly determined not to accept any more tidbits from his dad's hand. Nick is much happier when he's in command of his own life.

And was Nikki serious about using the concert as proof that she could move on with her life without Victor? She sure hasn't been too successful with that so far. After she had Jack whisk her away from all the drama at the reception, Nikki and Jack ended up at the Abbott cabin so she could quiet the noise in her head. I'm not sure if the peace of the cabin or the kiss Jack planted on Nikki was supposed to do the trick, but either way, she was content just to be with him at the cabin. I found it interesting that Nikki had never really forgiven Victor for ruining Jack's life and happiness with Phyllis, and it was refreshing to hear that she owned up to giving her husband a free pass on that. But is Nikki really free to live the life she wants without Victor's interference? Somehow, I doubt it.

But Nikki was "strong, happy, and in control" as she warned the world to watch out. I would feel better about her newfound independence if her new beginning didn't seem to depend on Jack. If Nikki proved she could be in charge of her life on her own, she really would be the powerhouse she wants to be. But Nikki leaped from Victor to Jack in the wink of an eye, and Jack certainly didn't mind. While he was friends with Nikki, Jack never minded getting the best of "Mr. Mumbles" in any way he could, even if it meant using Nikki to do that.

Yet Victor seemed ready to let her go, as he bid farewell to the love of his life. But just how long will that last? Not long, I am sure. Billy Boy could bet on that. It would be out of character for Victor to let Nikki control her own destiny after so many years of manipulation. He's already replacing Nick with Scott, since he believed Nick had betrayed him. Victor could not see what Nikki could -- that Nick was only trying to protect her. Of course, Victor already knew that Nick had been avoiding him, thanks to the Chloe fiasco, so this may be Victor's way of putting his own spin on their relationship. You can't dump me, Nick, because I've already banished you. Good strategy.

It's strange that Dina hadn't shown she was suffering from any kind dementia until Jack suddenly left her at the reception. Maybe that's why she has kept Graham so close at hand. Graham might have been protecting Dina from herself while keeping the outside world from learning the truth about Dina's mental state. Dina probably confused Jack and Graham a couple of times to Ravi, because they both remind her of a strong rock that she can lean on for help and for comfort. Dina was sure upset with Jack for foisting her off on Ashley, though, when he suddenly had to dash out at the reception. Dina probably overreacted; however, I get it that Jack could have at least told his mother to her face that he needed to leave to help a friend. That's just common courtesy.

Jack finally realized he had been rude to his mother after Dina drove her point home with a resounding slap. Jack was the one who apologized, though, and he blamed his "pretty strong self-protective skills." I appreciated Jack's remark that he was desperately trying to hold on to what he has, not to what he had lost as a kid. And Ashley was still right to be concerned. There could be something more going on with Dina medically that Dina may be too "proud and stubborn" to acknowledge. Good for Dina, though, for telling Abby not to take the crap from anyone. As both an Abbott and a Newman, Abby does a constant balancing act. Jack seemed to be chomping at the bit for a new battle with Victor, but a renewed war would put Abby in the crossfire. She would need to stand her ground in the midst of all the chaos.

Now, Hilary has the perfect chance to prove she is a changed woman, as she keeps claiming she is. But will she take the golden opportunity? And if she does, who will she be proving it to? A clip of Victor punching out his son after the concert would send the ratings of GC Buzz over the roof, but Hilary kept insisting she would do the responsible thing with the video. And Hilary seemed to be following Devon everywhere he went so he could keep giving her the kind of looks that Mariah would not approve of. Yet Hilary had just been telling Jordan, not too long ago, that she was going to show him that she could be the kind of woman that he could be proud of. Well, of course, Hilary wants both men chasing after her. She needs the attention to keep that swelled head of hers puffed up so high, it could almost reach the sky. It's too bad both guys didn't realize that Hilary hadn't changed at all. She was just playing a brand-new game with a new set of rules to ensure she would end up as the winner.

Apparently, Hilary took Victor's word -- that she could use the footage -- as gospel, so she forged full-steam ahead. But did Victor know they had taped the Newman family skirmish in the parking garage? If he did, Victor was probably using the footage to get back at Nick. And someone please tell me, why does Mariah let Hilary goad her? Mariah should just steer totally clear from her and avoid any topic of Devon at all. Hilary plays dirty, and Mariah shouldn't want to get down into the muck with her. That will only smear Mariah with Hilary's filth. No romantic love song about Mariah and Devon that Tessa writes could wipe Devon from Hilary's mind or cleanse Hilary's soul.

Shame on me for not realizing that Mariah had actually been referring to Devon, when she asked her mother if you could ever get over your first love. Of course, Mariah had seen the looks Devon had been shooting Hilary's way. Hilary made sure that she would. Mariah had to wonder what the point of being honest and upfront with a guy was, when lying and conniving seemed to work so much better for her adversaries, first Chloe, then Hilary. The only thing Mariah has gotten from being truthful and loyal to a man has been for him to remain her friend. She has to be so discouraged. Even if she didn't know it, it looked like Kevin will live happily ever after with Chloe. And now it seemed that Hilary would be able to pry Devon away from Mariah's loving arms. Is there no one in Genoa City who can appreciate the genuinely nice redheaded ex-con with a big heart?

Well, apparently there is, because Devon insisted that his feelings were very real for the lady who could make him laugh and who only helped to build him up, rather than tear him down, as Hilary had a habit of doing. It was so sweet. My eyes even got a little teary from Devon's declaration. Shoot, between Kevin and Devon, I have had to battle the waterworks during the last couple of weeks. Enough, guys! Too much crying makes my eyes horribly puffy. I am so relieved that Devon has not let Hilary snow him with her phoniness -- so far. Devon and Mariah make such a cute couple. But what is going on with Tessa? She appeared to be almost hitting on Mariah when she was supposedly comforting her. Is Tessa gay? Maybe that's why she wished to take it slowly with Noah. "Slow but not too slow." They should be completely stalled if Tessa would rather be with Noah's sister.

Kevin and Chloe were still plotting to move far away to Portland, Oregon, or to any place out in the boondocks just as long it was in a location where Victor and Dr. Harris couldn't locate them. Oh, well, at least Chloe's escape from the wacko doctor kept Victor's mind off of Nikki for a while. Chloe...I mean, Helen Jones was ready to start her nice, normal life with Kevin and Bella, complete with a forged birth certificate and photo ID. I have already said my goodbyes to them both, since they are leaving the soap, but you know that they had to go through a little more Victor drama once more, before they left. After all, it couldn't be a true farewell for Kevin and Chloe unless they tangled with Victor one last time.

As it turned out, though, it wasn't too much of a brawl. Victor, also known as "your worst nightmare," stopped by to bid Kevin and Chloe a fond farewell, before they left for Oregon. Or maybe the Mustache dropped in to threaten them to never, ever spill his secrets, or he would hunt them down like rabid dogs. Actually, the second scenario was more likely. Kevin promised to leave town with Bella and vowed to keep Chloe dead forever, so Victor let the three of them go -- to stroll, arm in arm in arm, into the sunset. So, is this finally the last we will see of Kevin? I almost hope so, because I am running out of tears -- and Kleenex -- from all of his heartfelt goodbyes to his loved ones. Oh, well. I didn't have to worry about my eyes watering up from Kevin's ta-ta to Victor. That was pretty short and sweet, as Kevin and Chloe practically ran out of the hotel room with Bella to get far, far away from him.

The last I remember, Victoria made Billy promise not to bring his floozy into her home, where their children lived. I know I didn't dream that. After she learned of their reunion, Victoria had declared that her house was off-limits to Phyllis, and she made Billy vow to honor her wishes. So, why it is okay now for Billy to take Phyllis to Victoria's house any time he gets the urge? And why is it okey-dokey for Billy to even drop in at Victoria's whenever she is not home? For heaven's sake, why does Billy still have a key to her house? Why is it all right on soaps for a former spouse to be able to enter his or her ex's place willy-nilly, whenever the ex chooses to do so? I have asked that last question several times before, and it still baffles me. Why? Why? Why? This is proving to be one of the biggest soap mysteries of all time.

But, once again, Victoria was completely "cool" about Billy and Phyllis being in her home without her prior knowledge so that Phyllis could become acquainted with her lover's children. I don't remember Victoria ever being so wishy-washy before. I had hoped her fall had knocked some sense into her noggin, but alas, she's still letting Billy have everything his way. I just don't get it. If reuniting with Billy was Victoria's goal, she isn't taking any steps forwards to accomplish it. In fact, she almost seems to be pushing Billy and Phyllis together. Maybe her lightheadedness is being caused by more than just her tumble at the reception. A brain tumor would certainly explain Victoria's headaches, blurred vision, and hearing issues, as well as why she has become indecisive and insipid lately. Those are definitely not Newman traits.

I just can't help comparing Jason Thompson's Billy Abbott to Billy Miller's. Sure, Billy Abbott has always been a screwup. But Billy Miller's Billy was still likable, especially when he was battling Victor for the love of his lady, Victoria. However, Jason Thompson's Billy has proven to be a very unsympathetic character and is quite obnoxious whenever he is paired up with Phyllis. Mr. Miller's Billy knew when he messed up and would own it. But Jason's Billy is always right in his own mind. He blamed any problems with Brash & Sassy on anyone but himself. He pretends to care for Victoria, yet if he truly did, he would have resigned after his mistake that cost them the lucrative commercial, not just say the words to her. Talk is cheap. And he never would have brought his girlfriend into his ex's home to meet his kids. It's probably going to be a revolving door for Billy's future girlfriends, so it seems rather soon to be involving his children already. Sadly but not surprisingly, Billy's first priority has been Billy.

Plus, Billy's seething anger toward Cane seems to be out of control. Cane has lost everything. He was fired from his job without even a severance package. The twins no longer think of their dad as a hero. And his marriage to Lily, the love of his life, may be on the skids. You would think that Billy would show his elation by throwing confetti and kicking his heels in the air in delight that Cane had finally been taken down. But instead, all he could do was to whine to Phyllis about how Cane's actions had hurt Victoria. Hey, what about some of Billy's shenanigans? Any grief he causes Victoria would be far worse than the supposed harm Cane has done to her.

Billy's selfishness prevents him from seeing the pain he is causing his ex-wife. Victoria should have fired Billy, because he has to be a constant reminder of what she had, but lost. Instead, she chose to keep him around, I guess out of love, and to lose another valued employee, who had made a very bad decision during a drunken binge. Cane was gone from Brash & Sassy, but it wasn't enough. Billy must really be miserable to hate Cane so much. He should learn a lesson from Nick, who not only wanted to apologize to Nikki but also told Victoria that he was sorry for contributing to her stress. Can you imagine this version of Billy ever truly being regretful to anyone about anything? Besides, Billy has Phyllis, so he should be delirious, right?

Cane does need to drop the self-pity, though, and move toward making amends, since he keeps claiming that is what he wants to do. Phyllis was right. The best way to prove to Victoria how wrong she was to fire him would be to find another employer that truly appreciates him. That would also move Cane back up a notch in respect in his kids' eyes. And maybe he and Lily could then work toward creating a different type of life together -- one that would involve the baby-to-be. This is no longer the 50s and 60s. In this day and age, Cane can have a relationship with Juliet's child that would not necessarily include Juliet too. Yeah, for someone who didn't want to put any pressure on Cane, it does seem like that's all Juliet has done since she met him. It's possible that the pot at the end of Juliet's rainbow has always been Cane.

But Cane did have enough sense to ask Devon for a job, even though Neil thought it was a bad idea, in case Cane and Lily's marriage "went south." However, even if the Hamilton-Winters Group wasn't interested, Jabot sure was. Jack figured Cane could point out to him where all the bodies were buried at Brash & Sassy. Phyllis could have waved pom-poms, cheerleading Jack on toward a hostile takeover. Without saying a word, it was obvious that Phyllis hoped to give Victoria the boot and get her off of Billy's radar. Finally, Phyllis was showing some spunk again. Not only does being with Phyllis make Billy obnoxious, but she is needy and somewhat pathetic when it comes to him. Just what Mariah said she didn't want to be. Phyllis proved she can still be a force to be reckoned with whenever she is with Jack. Those two have always been well suited for each other, whether it be for work or for play.

When it all comes down to it, perhaps Reed said it best, "Parents are just people. They make mistakes. They hurt each other." And really, isn't that the long and short of it all, no matter how old you are? Just ask Nick.

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

It was interesting to hear Victor declare that Nick would no longer be able to enjoy the privileges of being a Newman. The next thing you know, Victor will demand that Nick change his last name. Victor made up his own last name when he decided to become a "new man." So, what could Nick pick? Nick Niceguysfinishlast? Nick Dashingherorescuesthefairmaiden? Or even just plain Nick Nolongeranewman? The possibilities are endless.

Ashley told Jack that she had just run into Victor, and Jack said, "With your car, I hope." It's an oldie but a goodie.

Welcome to GC Buzz's new cameraman played by David Faustino. It's not hard to see that he brought some of the sleaziness of Bud Bundy from Married with Children to his character of Howard on Y&R. Hopefully, this will be a regular gig for Mr. Faustino.

Until next time, please stay tuned.

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