Honesty is such a lonely word

For the Week of September 24, 2018
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Jack scowls, Victor lurks, and Billy smirks
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What if Shauna blew out her candle and wished that everyone told the truth for 24 hours (yeah, I know it's been done before). How would Genoa City be affected? Whose life would be improved? Whose life would be riding a deflated life raft down the toilet? What will happen when truth bombs detonate in GC? Can you handle the truth? Find out in this week's Two Scoops.

In the previews at the end of Friday, we saw that a lot of people are wanting to come clean with the truth. (And how about that uncomfortable moment with Nick and Sharon on the couch after Nick said, "Lies are what broke up the family?") Sharon wants to tell Nick the truth about J.T. Nick wants to tell Sharon about Phyllis and the one-night stand. The truth about the DNA test will come out. There may well be an intervention. And Mattie may be arrested. I'll cover the events of this week, but, just for fun, I also want to explore how I might like to see it all play out (and then think of how it would play out in the real world)!

In the movie Liar, Liar, Jim Carrey is a lawyer with a nonexistent relationship with the truth. When his son blows out the birthday candles and wishes that his father would be unable to lie, Jim Carrey's character's life is changed. In the end, everyone is relatively happy. I'm not so sure things will work out that well for our Genoa Citians when harsh truths come to light. However, I'm totally going to ponder what could happen.

But before all that, a comment. Paul's last scenes included threatening to close Rey's investigation. And included Rey asking, "Are you worried that I won't find him -- or that I will?" about J.T. Paul approved the victim liaison job for Sharon after Rey observed, "From where I'm standing, she's the weakest link" in their investigation into what happened the night of the women's party when J.T. went missing. Is that the last we'll see of Paul, after 40 years, to leave with a whimper instead of a bang? I do hope he'll be back and that he'll have some good, strong story.

One person who doesn't seem in danger of being bitten by the truth bug: Tessa. It was sweet of Mariah to get a job for Tessa at Dark Horse with Nick. But would you hire her? I wouldn't trust her with sensitive information. And while she is bruised (a lot!), I still think something about her story feels off. Looks authentic, but...deleting video footage and refusing hospital care and knowing who it is but not knowing who it is all add up to suspicious. I'm not sure how interested I'd be if she were struck by Shauna's birthday truth wish, though. I just want better for Mariah.

Summer and Kyle seem stuck in a rut, Kyle finally admitting he is in love with Summer, and Summer admitting that she loves Kyle...like a brother. Can you work as buddies with someone you're in love with? I see why this is hard for Kyle. Summer said, "I don't want to lose you, Kyle." I think with where story truth bombs are heading, it's good they didn't hook up, because if Jack and Victor are brother, Kyle and Summer are cousins, both first cousins and second cousins. So, the truth may indeed set them free -- plus Kyle seems to be moving on with the lovely Lola of the awesome Cuban food truck.

Summer asked Nick, "Dad, when I took that check, did I lose my Dad?" Nick reassured her of his love for her, but if he spoke the full truth, I'm sure he'd say that "I love you, but our relationship changed, and I lost a lot of respect for you." And then he'd be telling Sharon the truth to take away the discomfort of the lie Summer is keeping (for a fee -- and would not be able to keep now that all the lies are out in the open).

Is Nate too perfect? He seems perfect -- and a little smitten with Victoria. If the truth were out there, would he still be perfect? Part of me hopes so, but there's so much room to work with for this character! Nate teaching Victoria self-defense was delightful. He wore jeans to teach her; she wore her business pants. Still, it was a lovely scene. And I think he's a little smitten with her, and she is perhaps intrigued with him.

But how about this for a plot idea? In an interview with Bryton James, Soap Central learned that he would be open to a romance story with Victoria (we won't consider age of characters, because they're all imaginary numbers in soaps). How would it be if the cousins (they're cousins, right?) Nate and Devon were in a love triangle battle for Victoria's affections? It could add some life to all the characters, and could help propel Devon through his grief.

Our birthday girl Shauna, who blew out our truth candle, did not tell Devon it was her birthday. Things got a little real when he remembered his own time as a foster child and not wanting to tell foster parents it was his birthday, especially with foster parents he liked. Charlie gave her a prom bracelet, which was sweet. But the surprise party from Devon was sweeter. Reading Hilary's list about what was good about Shauna? Sweeter still. It made sure that while she wasn't there, she was present at the party.

Devon told Nate, "I'm really worried about Lily." After the spa day with Shauna, Mattie said, "I really miss my mom," because she'd always gone to the spa with Lily. Lily wasn't there, either, but like Hilary, her shadow was also part of the birthday celebrations. I loved that Mattie gave Shauna a voter registration form -- what a great 18th birthday gift. Shauna said, "This is the best birthday I've ever had." (And that was before the free ride to any college in the world.)

I also understand her fearing Devon would make her move out now that she's 18. She's had a rough road and hasn't always felt wanted, including by her family, so it's nice that he made things just a little easier for her -- or a lot easier! Whenever she goes away to college, I wonder what she'll be when she returns. I'd love to see her as a strong, healthy, independent woman. I do admit, I cringed a little when I saw Shauna's feet on the white couch in sandals, though!

So, there's this storyline, I don't know if you've noticed it. It's about Billy and his gambling. And what a mess it is! Traci, thank goodness, breezed into town and said, "Helping Billy is paramount." She wanted to stage an intervention right away.

Kyle's getting tons of pleasure out of setting Billy up. On the one hand, I get it, he's trying to save the company, and Billy is veering off the rails. On the other hand, though, he's enjoying the deviousness of it, which isn't a good look on a character I generally like despite his deviousness. Kudos to Michael Mealor for the work he does as Kyle.

Kyle and Ashley have been plotting Billy's downfall for a while, each in their own way (Ashley's isn't disclosed yet but involves Type A). Ashley told Kyle, "This isn't just about funds. He's my brother." Kyle actually asked Ashley if she had been hoping Billy would fail in a more respectable way.

Kyle met with Ashley to show the $500,000 Jabot transfer to a gambling syndicate in Billy's office. Anywhere else, maybe? He's bound to come back. But Kyle told her, "Billy isn't just a guy with a gambling problem. He's a CEO with an embezzling problem." And that is what Ashley should act on, despite loving Billy, despite him being her brother.

Ashley saying "this grudge you have against your uncle" when she's also trying to take Billy down? It felt weird. Both she and Kyle want to be the hero who "saves" the company. I'm not sure either is using the right method. But Billy is kind of a risk and should not lead unchecked. Kyle told Gloria there was a reason they had checks and balances. He also told her Billy will always cover his own ass, and he's got a point. Gloria will be the sacrificial lamb. And she did wire quite a chunk of change to a gambling syndicate. My guess is that with Eileen Davidson leaving the show, Kyle may end up as CEO, and while his ethics might be iffy, he will probably be able to at least stabilize the Jabot ship (not Jaboat, which he'll probably sell).

Phyllis told Billy he'd been different since Vegas, "itchy." Phyllis said for her, Vegas was enough, but for Billy, that tournament wasn't. She said, "This is starting to feel pretty dangerous." Billy told Phyllis he had a monthly gambling budget and that it's under control. "You know it all," said Billy. Except that he embezzled. But Phyllis is still not disclosing her magic night with Nick. That truth bomb may well destroy this couple.

Billy questioned Phyllis' unconditional love. What does unconditional love mean? Does it mean not saying you have a concern when the one you love is going off the rails? No, it means you love them no matter what, but you're going to hold them accountable, stop them from hurting themselves. Billy telling Phyllis, "You're either with me or you're not," is what he wants, but that is not unconditional love. That's enabling.

Not being secretive about gambling doesn't make it okay. When Victoria said gambling almost got them both killed, he told her, "Some diseases are manageable," then said he'd put Victoria's name on the list of people waiting for him to fail. Naming the truth is not wishing someone to fail. Expressing concern is not subterfuge. Billy has a problem, and it did not take much for Kyle to exploit it. But Kyle doesn't need to fan the flames anymore. In the real world, this would catch up with both of them. I suspect it won't for Kyle. However, I expect an ugly confrontation with Billy, who will deny he has a problem and will be angry at all the awful people who claim to love him and want to deny him the pleasure of gambling with embezzled funds.

September graduations aren't that common, are they? I mean, getting a degree can happen anytime based on when you complete courses, but a full ceremony with student addresses from each department? Or at least Sharon's? Seems like the timing is wrong. At my graduation (which was in May), I don't remember any special speeches from any department, or it would have gone on even longer (and after a 45-minute-plus address about sludge from our special speaker? Didn't need it any longer). I celebrate her graduation but do find a September graduation ceremony unlikely.

Sharon was leery of Rey, and she is speaking the truth now and told him so. But she still took his job offer, which came immediately after she graduated. The victim liaison position was a good fit for Sharon, who did perhaps get overinvested in her crisis line work. But despite all the struggles she's had (much of it due to untreated mental illness), I think at heart, Sharon is a good and decent person, so saving lives is right up her alley.

Victoria made a strong case for Sharon to take the job: "If you're working for the police department, you can keep tabs on Rey and his investigation into J.T.'s disappearance." And that, not talking with Nick, was what got her to accept the job offer. At the police station, on her first day, with her desk right near Rey's, Sharon lied about the card on the plant. When the envelope is unsealed, and Rey could have read it and seen it was from Victoria, Nikki, and Phyllis? Mmhmm. Because a detective wouldn't look at that, right? Or perhaps it was from Rey, and he was testing her, and her saying it was from Nick spoke volumes. I can't see the three ladies getting together to buy her a plant, in all honesty.

I'd like to see Sharon fit into this job, be involved with the police, and truly help to solve crimes and make lives better, like she did with Ivy. Ivy looked like she was going through withdrawal. It was well acted. The progression was legit, too. Car accident, hooked on opiates, ended up on street drugs. She lost her husband and kids due to addiction. They asked if she got help and she said, "Rehab." Then she said, "I broke the trust. I lied to him." But she also said, "I want my husband and my children to be proud of me." The told her she could have that by testifying.

Rey told Sharon, "You heard her and spoke her language." But then Rey said he took a (homeless) witness home with him. "Maybe I get too personally invested" I think Rey might cause some issues in investigations with those boundaries. Between him and Sharon, there are some serious risks for investigations to go awry. In the real world, a detective who took witnesses home with him could cause the witness testimony to be considered invalid. Nice gesture? Sure. But not professional.

Nick told Jack, "It was me who hacked Newman Enterprises, and I did it by impersonating J.T." There's some truth, and I think Jack was surprised, calling it a Victor move. However, Nick may not have federal immunity; in the real world, he'd likely face some federal charges for the hacking because he's admitted to it. It may disappear here.

Victor visited Nick after he was released. They still care about each other. However, they're both stubborn and won't back down and be wrong. If they could be honest and say they loved each other, despite all the nonsense they put each other through, it would help. Sure, they could still be business rivals, but there might be less desire to destroy.

Let's take a moment to discuss some of the pros and cons if Jack and Victor end up being brothers -- and please share some of yours because this will not be an exhaustive list. Their battles, animosity, and dislike do not mean they are unlike other brothers. Many, many siblings love and hate each other at the same time (or just hate), with the scales between the two tipping one way or the other at the slightest provocation.

Victor says he has zero interest in establishing any relationship with Jack Abbott. But Victor is all about family (except if they aren't worshiping and obeying him, and unless they're his brother Matt who he spends little to no time with or thinking about). So, could he start to soften toward his nemesis? And could Jack soften toward Victor? I'll give it a guarded maybe. They could try it on for size. But I think the show and the two of them will continue their rivalry. Should Jack win once in a while? Yes. Will Victor be less ferocious if Jack is his brother? Well... I'd like to think yes, but he's rough on his children when they "disobey."

Nate said we could have the DNA test results in a day. That means this week. I'm thinking (my prediction) they'll be brothers.

Jack's pursuit of the truth of his paternity was relentless. He asked Abby, Victor's daughter, "All I'm asking is that you bring me a sample of Victor's DNA." That's all. Steal is toothbrush. Rip out some hair. He won't even notice! That's a lot to put on a young woman who seems to want both Victor and Jack to be happy.

Nick told Jack of when he went with Victor to see Albert in the nursing home and disclosed that "the man had no remorse for abandoning his own family." He said that the lasting image of the hatred in Albert's eyes burned into Victor. Despite learning what Albert was like, Jack still wants to know if Albert is his father. But Albert's ghost doesn't appear to Jack. John's does. John may not have been the biological father, but in this case, it absolutely does not matter (nor does it in Ashley's). John was their father.

What I think would be the funniest twist is if they had tested Jack's DNA with Billy's, and Billy was the one who wasn't a blood Abbott. I know Jill and John had a thing, but what if John wasn't her only thing?

Random observations:
The bricks at the police station and jail are in the same strange row pattern.

What was with Victoria's jacket that had a flap instead of sleeves? It looked uncomfortable for her to put the purse over her shoulder.

The money in Lola's tip jar is fake.

Rey asking about Lola's food truck, "Is it up to code? Do you have all the necessary permits?" was such a paternal/big brother thing to check, and of course he made sure she was only going to good neighborhoods and staying safe. He does seem to take that role seriously with his siblings, and they do seem to resent it.

Billy told Victoria, "The popcorn machine is to bring talent into the workplace, to hopefully drag Jabot into this century." I don't know about you, but the thing that sealed the deal for me at my job was not whether or not there was a popcorn machine.

I laughed a little when Billy was talking about "Smiling Jack Abbott and told Kyle, "There was no check on his ambition." Ummm...pot, meet kettle.

Billy messing up his hair kind of showed his descent into his gambling addiction in such a small but obvious way.

Jack trying to pocket the napkin at the Athletic Club looked super conspicuous.

Reader Feedback
I perused the comments section after reading the columns (because I read all the columns), and here's some what you had to say.

Anna Banana, in response to my column from September 3: Does anyone remember the day that Rey was in the coffee shop working on his laptop and Paul walked by. Paul reached down picked up something and handed it to Rey and said you dropped this. Gave me the impression that Paul was deliberately giving something to Rey....like a jump drive with info. Is Rey really working for Paul?
When I read this, I smacked myself in the head (not too hard) and said, "Of course!" because I had forgotten this, but there is never a wasted moment on a soap. And when it played out, I again said, "Of course," but without any hitting.

Marci Robin, in response to Teddi from September 17: But back to Victor, he changed his last name to Newman and began the Newman empire on his own, it wasn't anything Albert Miller passed down to him. Jack could change his name to Newman all he wants, but unless he's a child or grandchild if Victor, he has no claim to Newman enterprises.
Exactly what I had been thinking! There are no financial benefits from learning your brother is a successful, self-made businessman. I planned on talking about this in the column, anyway (and, truth be told, I still wonder if Jill had any rights to Fenmore's, but that's a different issue).

Dreyne Smythe, in response to Teddi from September 17: As to Victor and Jack being half sibs, even though this is more plausible than the rumors earlier in the year that Victor was Jack's father, I still feel that changing history after all this time is too unrealistic and Jack should have stayed an Abbott.
And a lot of us agree with you! Enough said.

Until I scoop again, happy viewing. And please, let me know what you think is coming in the weeks ahead!

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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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