I know our esteemed Dan J Kroll has commented on this before, but most of us don't have our heart broken or have a five-minute breakup and jump into bed with someone else. I mean, Nick found a ring. What could it mean to find a ring? Well, when I had one, I took it off when I did disgusting things. I took it off when I mixed meatballs or meatloaf (and we all know how the men feel about Sharon's meatloaf). I didn't wear it when I was painting. Sometimes I forgot to put it back on. Didn't mean I was suddenly single, even if he hadn't been able to reach me. Without hearing from me that we were over, it would be foolish to assume we were over. Most of us don't keep the ring on our finger all day, every day, no matter what (I know some of you do). And for Nick to say "I was hurting," as if that was in some way an aphrodisiac, was kind of absurd as an excuse.
When Mariah told Sharon the truth, from the moment she started speaking, there was a look of recognition in Sharon's face. She tried to make up excuses and reasons why it wasn't real, but you could see that the minute it was suggested, she knew it was real. And it was with Phyllis, of all people, the one with whom Nick and she had so much history. I'm sure it brought back memories of when she felt that way before, after Cassie died, and her heart broke a little more because of that. Sharon Case is an amazing crier. Her eyes watered, her nose ran (and she didn't try to stop it, which fit the scene so well), her makeup smeared. You knew how Sharon felt!
Phyllis and Nick discussed keeping their secret a secret. On the day of the wedding. In the Abbott living room, where Billy or Jack could walk through and hear them (or hear them from another room). Was there a part of them that wanted to be caught? Because that's just not so bright. Of course, being discovered there would have been far less dramatic, but still, not the smartest move.
The doo-doo actually hit the fan at the wedding in spectacular soap fashion. The late (feared no-show) bride couldn't do it. She loves Nick, but she couldn't read her vows and marry him, instead blowing up a whole lot of lives while setting off her truth bomb. When she ripped up the vows she'd written, it was perfect. She tried. Billy, high on wedding fumes, had proposed to Phyllis for her standing beside him through everything and then found out... oops. Not exactly. Faith, who had been terrified something would go wrong, had been tearfully watching -- happy tears -- until those tears were not at all happy. She's angry at her dad, she's angry at her mom, and I can't blame her. But, truth be told, she would have figured it out somehow even if Sharon hadn't blurted it out. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for being.
There was a slap at the altar. There was yelling, and there were threats. There was a minister saying to get out. This was a super soapy wedding. And sadly, it meant that two relatively decent people didn't get married. Again.
If I learned on the morning of my wedding that my betrothed had spent a non-platonic night with an ex who he had ruined a relationship with me before by bonking, well, let's be real. Would you marry someone that many times? Really? Even if he was sexy and charming and rich. Could you do it? I sometimes think exes are exes for a reason. Okay, I usually think that. I know it wouldn't make for good soap opera if once was enough. But anyway, if I learned about this on my wedding morning, I'd send a notice to the church and cancel the ceremony. Then we'd all go eat the reception food, and I'd try to celebrate that I'd dodged that bullet. Because I couldn't ride that marry-go-round.
There was that big lie about Nick and Phyllis, and yes, they both regretted it immediately, blah blah blah (and honestly, I get not telling the partner that I want to be with that I screwed up, I suppose, because people lie to cover their butts all the time). But I think Sharon had her own lies she was holding onto, and they were causing problems in the relationship. Nick's mom killed J.T. And Sharon was party to moving that heavy corpse (and its rug) and digging a hole and burying it. That lie is tearing a lot of people apart. I'm not sure we can compare adultery and murder/cover-up, but both are wrong.
As I watched the past few weeks, a thought came to my mind: who is Phyllis' support system? In a life where she has screwed over (or screwed then screwed over) most everyone, who has she not hurt enough that they would be there for her? When the week ended with her in a hotel room, drinking nips of vodka and sobbing, I had my answer. She has the man she's with, and nobody if she isn't with a man, although Jack will pull for her, I suspect (but hopefully no reunion there). And another thought came to my mind.
Phyllis is the only one who is party to both of the big lies that were weighing down Genoa Citians. She was the other woman and a coconspirator in the cover-up of an incident that would likely not have been prosecuted -- if you're harming my child, I'd try to get you away, too. The death was accidental; Nikki was protecting her child. I realize that reporting an accidental death (and seriously, J.T. tried to kill Victor twice and had been violent and controlling toward Victoria, so it was easy to prove he was dangerous, and it could be ruled self-defense or some such thing) would be unsoapy, but all this mess and guilt could have been avoided.
When Traci visited Lily, I thought it was sweet. Because time marches on, I forgot Colleen and Lily were besties. Remembering and hearing about the letters Traci was writing warmed my calloused heart a bit. Traci is an absolute sweetheart.
My prediction that Victor and Jack would be related was wrong. The drama potential was there if the show was adamant about not having Jack be a blood Abbott. The consensus among people who comment is that everyone wants Jack to be a real Abbott, and I couldn't agree more. But if he weren't, Victor would have been a better choice as a brother than as a father, as some had suggested back when the whole mess started.
And as far as Abbotts go, I have to commend them all for doting on the mother who abandoned them. Sending her off to a home and maybe (or maybe not) visiting her would not be a stretch for them. Nobody would fault them for it when the woman had little to do with them after she just walked away. Karma and all that. But they are better people than she is (and even though she isn't seen on-screen, they check on her in "the other room," a soap staple).
Seeing nuSummer was a bit jarring. She had the same snark(-ish), but not quite the same. I don't envy recasts, whether temporary or permanent, and she did a fine job. It just takes a little bit of time to get used to, and as soon as I was sort of used to it, real Summer was back. But Summer... I get that she doesn't love Sharon. I understand that even as grownups, kids often want their mommy and daddy together. But she (and honestly Abby, and pretty much everybody else) is so condescending to Sharon. They act as if being around her is a chore.
The bachelorette party was hard to watch. People shouldn't have to struggle so hard to think of something nice to say about Sharon, who seems like a generally decent person. Yes, she's had to work hard, but she has worked hard, and all of this while dealing with mental illness. She sacrificed her dreams to raise her kids, and when she finally had a chance, she went to school while being a mom, business owner, romantic partner. So even if you don't like her because she's made mistakes (and I've seen this show -- ain't nobody in a position to throw stones), you could still find something nice to say. Being condescending because she grew up poor (and Nikki's talk with her about that being part of why she never liked Sharon, because Nikki had been poor, too!) is just kind of shitty. I tried to find a better word, more eloquent and less crass, but that was the one that said it best.
Billy's gambling (and substory, his relationship with Phyllis) was the second big storyline. As I saw the scenes play out in the Jabot CEO office, I made note of the art that reinforced his gambling. There's the big horse print behind the desk. There is a horse racing statuette and a horse racing photo on the desk. And there is a framed photo of Jaboat, which he did lose in a bet. If a person wants to change an addiction, they can't surround themselves with reminders and triggers for that addiction. If you want to quick drinking, you don't have a bar full of booze and wine glasses. If you want to quit smoking crack, you throw out the crack pipe (and stay away from your dealer). If Billy ever returns as CEO (I don't see that happening), those items should be gone, maybe sold to help recoup some of his losses.
I'm not surprised Billy was removed or that Traci stepped in. There's being sweet and there's being sweet and stupid. She's sweet. She's not sweet and stupid. If someone steals $500,000 from the family company for gambling (win or lose, honestly) then loses it, it would be hard to find a reason to keep them in their position. Insisting on rehab (Jack will pay for it, because he understands) is important. Is the Abbott/Winters Foundation still around? Because they could help. When Billy (who was defensive because he was in denial so long) said he'd never sell his family out for a job, I just shook my head. Of course, he would. Ethics aren't exactly his thing (I'm not sure they're anyone's thing, other than Traci's). Billy clicking his pen during the vote added a touch of real. I've probably been guilty of it myself, but it's so annoying when someone is click click clicking.
And finally, the "oh, no, he didn't" end of the week: Billy texted Summer and told her he wanted her now that he wasn't tied down with her mother (ick. Just ick. My mother and I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever share the same man. Meaning we definitely would not). Summer looked like she paused for a moment. It's different when you're pursuing an unattainable target because you can kind of mess around and know nothing will come of it. But somewhere down the line, she kinda caught feelings for Billy, so her revenge on her mom might not be revenge anymore (and what exactly is she seeking revenge for, anyway?). It might be that she wants Billy and thinks they can make something happen, even if she's tough on the outside. It was good to have Hunter King back for this scene.
The look on Billy's face at the end of Friday, and he flashed it only for a moment, showed that he was not into Summer but was 100% seeking revenge. He wanted to hurt Phyllis in the worst way imaginable. The only problem is that he is screwing over Summer. And Summer is not just Phyllis' daughter. She's Victoria's niece, she's Billy's children's cousin, she's the daughter of Billy's former brother-in-law Nick, she's the granddaughter of Victor Newman, the former stepdaughter of his brother Jack (who thought for a minute that he was her father). Summer is connected to Billy in so many ways that when she gets pregnant (I'm predicting it), the family tree for that baby is going to be more than a wreath. It's going to look like tumbleweed.
How awesome was it to see Noah? I loved his hug with Faith when Faith said how much she had missed him. The affection looked real.
When Phyllis told Billy, "You can't keep ignoring me," and he said, "Of course I can," I kind of laughed. People on soaps keep saying what people can't do or what they have to do ("You've got to believe me!"), and the truth is that people can usually do what they want (and rarely do what you tell them they must or mustn't).
While Summer has her issues with Tessa and Mariah, I don't think she was being malicious when she let the relationship cat out of the bag to Noah. It wasn't like the relationship was secret or hidden.
I thought to myself, "Noah and Mariah are the voices of reason." I used my inner monologue voice because it sounds smarter than I do. It's a pity he's not around to help Mariah herd these cats that are their family.
Remember all the dresses the bridesmaids tried on? I don't remember any of them being black (and I found Victoria's dress distracting with its cut-out section on the chest). Yet there they all were, in black. Which was probably a premonition.
Billy packed up Phyllis' bags and sent her packing just like she had done to him. And he knew it.
Will Nick convince Sharon to forgive him (clearly not next week!)? Will they ever get their happily ever after? Will she explain why she can't leave the cabin (on Victor's property -- Victor who is Nick's enemy) and will he hear her for real? Is it related to Cassie? (I think there's a piece of that in there.)
Will Billy go to rehab? He might need to get away from the people who will want to kill him for sleeping with Summer -- and that list might include Summer herself depending on how it all plays out. I somehow think she might not be wise to mess with. Yes, she's not as well practiced as Phyllis, but she did learn from her mother.
Will Traci find the CEO of Jabot seat addictive, as Ashley hinted? I don't think so, but I wouldn't be surprised if she does use the feeling in a novel someday.
If you were Mariah, would you tell your mother (or even a friend) that the person she (or he) is about to marry had cheated just a few weeks ago? (And yes, that "breakup" wasn't a breakup, so it's cheating. And really, if you've just been separated a day or two, that's not long enough, either.) If you were Sharon, how would you have responded?
When I saw nuSummer standing next to Phyllis, I couldn't help but notice that they looked related.
There was one brief look that Tessa flashed to Noah that made me wonder if she regretted being with Mariah and not him (it wasn't a look of love).
Is there enough therapy to help poor Faith, who can't get over the pain of getting close to being happy but then having it snatched away?
I loved when Summer said she'd be in Fairview if she lost it every time her parents botched up.
What do you think will happen? I'd love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree with me or think I'm completely mistaken. Until we meet again, happy viewing. I can't wait for November sweeps. There are some great story seeds being planted!
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