J.T. or not J.T., that is the question

For the Week of July 9, 2018
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Sharon, Phyllis, Nikki, and Victoria examine the new art in Chancellor Park
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More evidence seemed to point to the fact that J.T. was still alive. Was the new statue on his grave a symbol of revenge or the headstone of a man who truly was still covered with dirt? If J.T. wasn't the culprit terrorizing the ladies, who else knew their filthy secret? J.T. or not J.T., that is the question in Two Scoops.

Wow, I have to admit that as soon as I saw the footage of the man caught on the security camera at the warehouse, I thought it resembled J.T. It's no wonder why Phyllis, Nikki, Victoria, and Sharon were all a little spooked. When they had all thought that J.T. could be no more than a ghost haunting them for their dirty misdeed, they suddenly had to consider that J.T. might have actually found a way to dig himself out of his impromptu grave. Oh, yes, the fearless foursome had tried to cover Victoria's ex with dirt to bury their filthy crime, but it may have all been for naught. And as the week came to a close, it became clearer that J.T.'s eerie presence might just be more than a spiritual apparition.

There are actual cases of people who were buried alive and survived the ordeal, but most of them were in coffins. However, J.T. was covered with dirt, so he would have had to dig and claw his way out from under the ground. But he may have been fortunate that the ladies were rushed for time, and perhaps the hole they dug wasn't too deep. The women wouldn't need too much dirt if they had dug a shallow hole. So, while J.T. wasn't so lucky that Nikki, Victoria, Phyllis, or Sharon hadn't obtained a medical degree, he may be thanking his lucky stars that they weren't landscapers, either. It's still crazy that the ladies determined that J.T. was dead, even though none of them was a doctor. The four of them had better stick to their day jobs.

If J.T. is indeed alive, as it appears, he should get his revenge by continuing to haunt them. It's stressing them out big time and causing each and every one of them to feel guilty over what they did. And since two of them are members of Victor's family, J.T. would be getting back at the real target of his vengeance. Victor has always claimed that his every move and action were to protect his family, but in this case, Victor had no way to protect Nikki or Victoria, since he didn't know of their misguided act. Actually, they took a maneuver straight out of Victor's playbook. They were so busy covering up their dirty deed that they didn't think of the position they had put themselves into.

I mean, just think if they really had buried J.T. alive...just how horrible that would be. Can you even imagine being buried alive? That would be absolutely terrifying. Who would blame J.T. if he wanted to think of the worst fate possible to get even with the ladies if he had lived through it? If they are lucky, maybe his narrow escape from death caused him to do an abrupt change to get away from the dark side. Shoot, he probably saw enough darkness as he lay underneath all that dirt. Maybe J.T. decided to change his tune and to spread goodness and light all around him. However, that would only be if he was still alive.

But if the person creating all of the havoc for Victor, Nikki, Victoria, Phyllis, and Sharon is not J.T., just who is it? He or she would have to know that Nikki clobbered J.T. during the girls' night out party and that the ladies buried him in Katherine's park afterwards. And there would have to be a grudge involved, since the person seems to be taking delight in torturing them with the knowledge. Or is Paul trying to get one of them to crack and to cough up the truth about what happened that night? Paul has had his suspicions, and more than likely has enough evidence to point him in the right direction about the facts concerning J.T. But would he go to such an extreme to get one or all of them to confess?

So, while Nikki, Victoria, Phyllis, and Sharon were all shaking in their boots, or in their lovely, fashionable pumps, they schemed to discover the truth, even if they had to dig it out of the ground. Hey, maybe while they are at it, they could go to where Phillip Chancellor is buried and dig him up too. Jack would sure appreciate it. However, when the four women all went to the park to begin the work, they discovered a piece of art newly constructed on J.T.'s grave. Jill had struck again with her dedication to Katherine Chancellor. "Fearless: I'm gonna live until I die." I guess that would somehow be appropriate for J.T. under the circumstances. If only the ladies knew, for sure, which was accurate. They were left to wonder if J.T. was somehow still alive or if he had died on that tragic night.

After Phyllis realized they would need a jackhammer or a stick of dynamite to get to whatever lay beneath the statue, she tried to make a deal with Sharon. Since J.T. hadn't known that Phyllis or Sharon was at Victoria's house on that fateful night, she suggested that the two of them throw Nikki and Victoria under the bus to save themselves. After all, the Newmans had their highfalutin attorneys to keep them out of prison. Phyllis was like a rat on a sinking ship. Or a rat caught in a trap. Or just a plain rat. However, Sharon refused to bail on them and insisted that they would stick together through thick or thin. Gee, it seems like their unholy alliance has gone through no thick and a lot of thin during all of this.

However, the cavalry was closing in from all sides, since Neil and Ashley found #Hashtag's online article written by Scott Grainger that insinuated that Victor Newman was the reason for J.T. Hellstrom's sudden disappearance. Neil feared the accusations were just the tip of the iceberg, and he had no idea just how right he was. He didn't know which Newmans were actually involved and why. Boy, would Scott like to get his mitts on that information. That would draw the readers in like flies on a decaying carcass.

Nikki showed Sharon the article and informed her that Victor believed J.T. was the one pulling the strings. Even though Nikki felt Victor was paying the price for her crime, Sharon thought J.T. might still be alive and well. Nikki remarked that even though she had only been protecting her daughter, "somehow it seems J.T. is digging me down to his level." That was a weird choice of words under the circumstances. Nikki and Sharon heard a noise outside, looked out the window, and screamed. When a man in a hoody turned, J.T.'s face and cold, dead eyes stared back at them. But was it really a living and breathing J.T.?

Maybe the man in the hoody was a figment of the ladies' imaginations, conjured up by their guilty consciences. Shoot, he could even be a look-alike brought in by Scott, the police, or one of Victor's many enemies to scare the truth out of the ladies. After all, Jack had his doppelgänger, Marco, so J.T. must have someone who could pose as his impostor to scare the bejeezus out of people. But then someone would have to know enough about J.T.s disappearance to use as a weapon against them. Or maybe it was J.T., back from the dead after crawling his way out of his grave. Whichever the scenario, the show sure has become obsessed about grave digging, and it's not even Halloween.

Although Nick was confused about his fiancée's budding friendship with his mother, sister, and ex-wife, Sharon was thankful that he was distracted by his custody battle for Christian with his father. Such a loving family, the Newmans. Nikki was well aware that Victor's idea of love was control and manipulation, but she still made no move to stop Victor from putting the puppet strings on Christian's life too. Victor already had enough marionettes at his disposal through his children, but apparently, he wanted his grandchildren to dance to his tune, also. Victor must be bored, so he needed new toys to play with. For him, that's understandable. That's just Victor.

But for Nikki, this just doesn't make sense. She loves her son and has always claimed to do whatever was best for him. It's not like she has been all that loyal to Victor lately, anyway. In a sense, Nikki chose Victor over her son and wasn't even considering what was best for Christian, even after Nick spelled it out for her. She could only hear V-I-C-T-O-R. After all this time, Victor must have Nikki seriously brainwashed. Her support of her husband's sound physical health was lame. Why wasn't Nikki looking at the entire situation and at who would be the most loving support for a young child, instead of what she thought was best for Victor? Nikki has truly become a disappointment. A truly loving grandmother would want the boy to be with Nick, the only father the tot has ever known.

Even if Nick believed that Victor's possible failing health may be a good legal strategy to regain custody of Christian, he should also consider using his father's anger at J.T. against Victor. Nick claimed he would use any method necessary to get his son back, so he should secretly tape one of Victor's tirades, when he's yelling and screaming about getting revenge on his ex-son-in-law. That would go a long way in a court case, as long as Nick could legally use it. Nick needs to lower himself and to stoop to Victor's level, even if that means sinking way down to the ground...even as low as the bottom of J.T.'s grave.

But the best Nick could come up with was to let Ms. Robinson know that his father had suffered some kind of medical episode during Hilary's live TV show. Really? You have really got to do better than that, Nick. Sure, his father may have pulled the same kind of stunt on Nick, if the situation were reversed, but Victor would have taken it a whole lot farther than that. Nick's got to get smart if he really wants Christian back. Nick only put a slight ding in his dad's armor, and Victor was ready for a fight. So far, Victor looked at his son like he was some kind of annoying gnat, pestering him while the Mustache tried to take care of business by controlling the fate of his grandson.

It looks like Summer's little plot succeeded in releasing the gambling beast inside of Billy. Summer was starting to scare me a little when she tried to make amends with her mother, but come to find out, she only did it for the money. Summer realized that if she's nice to her mommy, she will be rewarded. Phyllis would still do anything for her daughter. Well, except for letting her daughter kiss up to her boyfriend, that is. When it comes to lovers, Phyllis doesn't seem to be a girl who likes to share -- even with her daughter.

And even if she didn't know her daughter was a possible threat, Phyllis made sure to keep Billy's eye on the prize -- with the prize being her sexy self -- by putting the focus of celebrating July Fourth on Billy's birthday rather than on the holiday. It somehow seemed appropriate that they ended up trapped on the Jabot elevator, and their lovemaking caused them to be in the buff with an audience looking on. Seriously, Billy and Phyllis have had so many sexual encounters in that elevator, it's amazing no one else has wanted to scrub it clean before riding on it. If they could, Billy and Phyllis would probably retire the elevator and turn it into a shrine. The Genoa City germophobes would probably appreciate that.

It's rather strange that Phyllis wasn't the least bit bothered about Billy blowing Jabot money on a yacht. But then again, she knows Billy likes his toys, and if they can both play, what's the harm, right? But Jaboat would still need to be available in order for Phyllis to use it, and the temptation proved to be too much for Billy to resist. He promptly gambled away tons of money, along with the Jabot yacht, on what he thought was a sure thing. The color drained from his face when he saw his rival's straight flush. Billy lost the boat, but how dare he gamble with it, anyway!? It wasn't his to gamble with. Billy went back to being a screwup when he finally had the chance to prove himself to his family. While that's not surprising, since it's so familiar, Billy blew his golden opportunity.

Summer almost seemed to still have an interest in Kyle, but she kept denying it. And Kyle kept leaping back and forth in loyalty from one wealthy family to another. First, he was Team Newman, but when Victor played dirty (what else is new?), Kyle jumped over to the Abbott side. It's just funny and weird that he waited until after he learned he wasn't a blood Abbott before doing so, though. But then Kyle had the Chancellors to consider and advised Jack on the best way to go about suing Jill. Jack didn't want to fall into a black hole by putting Dina on the stand for his lawsuit, but he felt he had no other options.

The mock trial with Dina as star witness went beautifully for Jack, but sadly, the stress proved to be too much when her memory failed her and she ended up fearing her son immediately afterwards. It was a crazy idea, anyway. Just because she did well in the dress rehearsal didn't mean that her memory would be clear and accurate during the performance. If he couldn't come up with a new strategy, it was just as well that Jack was ready to throw in the towel and drop the lawsuit. Dina was always a loose cannon, and his choice to have her testify was risky at best.

But just think, if Jack had succeeded, he could have called on Nikki, Victoria, Phyllis, and Sharon and their handy-dandy shovel to dig dear Phillip up so he could do the testing. They seemed to be well armed and ready to dig at a moment's notice. But then, Kyle decided to take things into his own hands - literally -- by grabbing a shovel and going out into the dead of the night to do his own kind of landscaping. Wow, that was kind of freaky, seeing how close Phillip Chancellor's grave was to Sharon's house. But with Sharon and Nikki nearby, he should have knocked on the door and asked for their help. After all, they seem to have become the local experts at digging graves.

Jack probably won't have Ashley around much longer for support, since Eileen Davidson has opted to leave our beloved soap. Oh, well, one less non-blood Abbott to have around. There are certainly more non-blood Abbotts on the show now than there are blood Abbotts. Billy and his kids are becoming a minority among Genoa City's wealthy families. It's a shame that the Abbotts have appeared to become a family of the past. I always enjoyed watching their dynamic with one another as loving family members. I will miss Ashley and had been looking forward to her duking it out with Victoria at Newman Enterprises. But other than a couple of brief skirmishes, that never really happened. And it appears it never would have because Ashley quit Newman Enterprises.

What a coinky-dinky. Billy lost the Jabot company yacht, and Phyllis was ready to throw a "Birthday Boat Blast" in his honor. And then Ashley chose to return to Jabot in a position that would allow her to learn the entire truth about the yacht, which was the last thing Billy wanted. The minds of the people who don't believe in circumstances would be blown. Billy may not be able to buy enough time to bail himself out of this. He risked winning his family's respect for the thrill of the bet, and he lost. Hopefully, Billy can get a rush from the challenge of getting out of his mess, because the odds sure are against him.

Devon and Hilary are becoming quite sickening with all the lovey-dovey stuff going on between them. Like Victor, Hilary has proven that being self-centered and self-absorbed can really get you everything you want in life. And once she had Devon and baby, she was as happy as a clam and was still determined that her pregnancy was going to go just the way she wanted. If she wanted "the world's tiniest baby bump," by golly, she was going to have it, and nothing would stop her. Not even reality. I knew the threat of not locating a heartbeat was only for suspense, because it was too soon to create the drama for Hilary's exit. So, we will still get to watch Devon coo over Hilary and jump to her every command. In other words, it's back to normal for the two of them.

But, wait...I often forget that Hilary tends to be her own worst enemy, and there was a new kid in town. And he was a new, good-looking hunk that caught Hilary's attention. Hilary sure looked like a cat licking her chops when she saw the hot and sexy vision before her. In fact, she totally forgot she was pregnant, as she pursued her prey in her little game. Tag, you're it. The fireworks were certainly flowing between the stranger in town and the vivacious vixen. Hilary tried to pry any personal detail she could get out of him, which was nothing, because the man refused to play. He was proving to be a worthy adversary and she couldn't resist. Devon who?

Finally, Neil spilled the beans and let Hilary know the mystery man was his godson and nephew, Dr. Nathaniel Hastings, also known as Nate. Whew, what a relief! I was a little worried he might turn out to be Moses, which can be confusing if too many kiddos are SORASed. Hilary called Nate a disrespectful, discourteous, ill-mannered, and secretive person with a huge ego and a serious attitude problem. Actually, she was describing herself to a tee. And you know she seemed to be turned on. He was like a magnet, drawing her in. Hilary doesn't like losing to any man, especially one she's attracted to. Since Nate was moving in with Neil, you know his new neighbor will be wanting to borrow plenty of sugar from him. And you can bet she will attempt to return some sugar of her own.

At Nate's welcome back gathering with his family, Hilary made a point to let the Winters family know just what she felt about the young doctor, even going so far to call "Dr. Perfect" an egotistical jerk. Hilary sure had egg on her face when Lily told her that Nate had just lost the love of his life the previous year. She was actually ashamed of herself, and she should be. Hilary didn't even know the guy, and she made assumptions, judging on her first impression, which wouldn't always be reliable in her case. As much as she believes otherwise, she is not a good judge of people. However, Nate intrigues her, and Hilary always loves a challenge. You know she will do anything she can to have him eating out of her hand. Challenge accepted.

As it turned out, Nate was in Genoa City at Neil's request on behalf of Victor Newman. The good doctor was a surgeon who was going to examine Victor in order to determine what exactly was wrong with him. After all, if Victor was going to war against his son, he needed to make sure he was in the best physical shape possible. And with his shaky hands, Victor didn't appear to be ready to take on the physical demands of caring for a young child. Nick may still have a chance to regain custody.

What would a July Fourth holiday celebration be without Hilary hosting her show, with everything all decked out in red, white, and blue? (We may find out the answer to that question a year from now.) The feisty female-in-the-family-way interviewed just about everyone in sight, except for the mayor, who was a no-show as Hilary's very, very special guest. Only Hilary could snap out orders, hand out an apology for being so rude, and then return to barking out commands in her very next breath, as she did to Tessa. But it seemed Tessa may finally be lifted off the back burner, since she received a mysterious text, "XZ." What on earth could that mean?

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

How appropriate that Summer would make -- I mean, order -- a summer salad in the summer for her mother.

Esther said it best when she observed to Hilary about her fun Fourth of July celebration show, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while." I'm guessing that Esther probably isn't much of a Hilary fan.

Abby probably should have guessed that Nikki was the one messing with Arturo and his finances. Nikki probably just needed a distraction from her J.T. woes.

Until next time, please stay tuned.

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