Well, it's November Sweeps, full-on, right in the middle, and I was ready for something big. Everyone was gathered at the Athletic Club for "the party of the year" (which didn't seem like a party I'd spend a lot of time at). We've watched soaps long enough to know that if everybody is gathered in one place, something big is going to happen. I figured it wouldn't be fire (been there, done that), but there might be some kind of violence. Not that we want it, but that's what happens. Or a kidnapping. And the biggest explosion was Mia revealing that she'd slept with her husband's brother? They're too new to the canvas for this to be the big event I anticipated. And then everything was cleaned up, and everyone went home, and nothing really happened.
So, the anticipation I felt, wondering what would go wrong, fizzled out. I was waiting for a big Friday cliffhanger, but that fizzled out, too. That left me feeling like several stories moved forward, but nothing earth-shattering happened, and I couldn't pinpoint what I'd write about. Normally, I don't have any idea what my theme will be on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday because the week is still going strong. By Thursday, I kind of have a direction unless something bigger happens on Friday. But this week? Nothing. Just little things. With no further ado, here's a bunch of randomness that I thought during the week -- the biggest of which was... Tessa? I wouldn't have predicted this.
The tech wiz grifter/grift away
I was right when I predicted Tessa as the blackmailer. However, I was so very wrong on how she accessed the information. I thought for sure it was because the Fearsome Foursome met regularly in the public coffeehouse, and Tessa is nothing if not an opportunist who would not miss any opportunity to gain the upper hand on anyone. Eavesdropping would be far easier for her than making coffee (as evidenced by not understanding Lauren's order and Esther stepping in for the save). But nope, she stole files from Nick that he had stolen from Newman, and she opened those files, did her detective work (that Rey Rosales has yet to master), and determined that the ladies were murderers. Murderers she could blackmail to save herself from the people who were demanding $20,000. (A story I still do not believe. I mean, I believe she owed someone money. It wasn't for rescuing her sister. And her being beaten up? Staged. Mariah being followed? Rental car and wig.)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I really thought J.T. worked in security. Which would make me believe he would not have his top-secret stalker video and GPS surveillance (yes, it is stalker behavior) on Newman's servers, first of all. Second, I would not think these files would be easy to remove. Third, I do not think these files would be easy to open and access. Fourth, I do not think his cloud storage would just allow someone to click a link and open. There would be passwords, and I'd guess they were the kind of passwords that changed, and one would need an electronic device to know what the password was in the moment, and there would be a backup consistent password in addition to that. He could break into other people's electronic information. He would know how to make it so nobody could break into his. Especially not Tessa, who had never seemed to be too computer-based before this.
My next problem: even if J.T.'s files were somehow imported into Nick's files, there would still be a copy of them in Newman's servers, and if they're that easy to open, part of me thinks Victor already did it. Also, last I recall, Victor had cameras in Victoria's house, so... has he been sitting on the knowledge of what went down on April 13 (the date Tessa pointed out to Mariah) for all this time, watching and waiting to see if the Fearsome Foursome seek his help in fixing the situation? Especially if he got J.T.'s evidence to supplement what he already had. I don't know if Victor, seeing in his cameras what was going down, moved a body or if he dug the grave up that night, found J.T. alive, and stored him in some jail cell somewhere, maybe Singapore or wherever he's visiting now. However it works out, I don't think the ladies will go to jail.
Kyle told Mariah she was Newman adjacent. Of course, he was saying it as a way to help Mariah gain insight into Tessa's thinking, based on his experience of offering Lola financing instead of recognizing her need to make her business a success on her own. Mariah returned to Tessa to try to work things out because of true love and all. But there are a lot of reasons Mariah should run. I'll name just a few.
• Tessa admitted she came to Genoa City to get money from the rich people who had more money than they knew what to do with. She admitted she's a grifter.
• Tessa admitted she had intentionally gotten Noah to fall in love with her with plans of marrying him then divorcing him and taking half. Breaking his heart was always the plan. It doesn't matter if he was nice and easy to fake with. That just makes it worse.
• Tessa blackmailed Mariah's mother. Not only that, but despite saying she'd never turn the information over to the police, she kept her own copy of it and encrypted it so only she could open it (kind of the way I would imagine J.T. had stored it, but that's a different issue).
• Tessa flipped out at Mariah for replacing a mattress that hurt her neck (I imagine cash is uncomfortable) then at Mariah for counting the money. "You had no right" and "it's your place, too, do whatever you want" do not go together. If I'm hiding $230,000 I blackmailed from someone, I don't have anyone move in -- or even visit.
• Tessa (way back) already read Mariah's journal and stole the contents for a song she "wrote," but she wants her mattress contents protected?
• Tessa makes up lies faster than most of us change clothes. She had $230,000 and said it was from a song she'd sold that she'd stolen from Mariah's journal, but she couldn't sing it when asked. And Mariah saw through it. But... see above. Mariah stole from her journal in the first place. Just no. I write on mine, "Don't read this if you want to think I still like you." I have never had anyone read a journal, but don't. Just do not. Yes, we share things in relationships, but we all need a place to vent, and not everyone can afford therapy.
There are many more reasons. But Mariah should run, not walk, not pass Go, not collect $200. Honestly, if you intentionally broke my family member's heart, and you told me this, that alone is enough to make me turn off that feelings switch. And if you claim you love me? How can I believe that? If you're blackmailing her mother, the only person Mariah loves more than Tessa? Well...yeah. Why would she even stay and talk if it wasn't to make sure Tessa didn't use her anger and information to turn against Mom. However, if it were me, I'd also want to ensure she didn't mess with anyone else I cared about -- or anyone at all.
Meanwhile, in other relationship news
What a relief! Summer has realized she wants Kyle and always has. All it took was sleeping with Billy, because she wanted Kyle after that. I think Summer wants Kyle because he loves someone else now. I think Kyle knows this, too. I hope he meant what he said about Lola when he was talking to Jack, and like Jack, I think he needed to say those things to Lola. Sure, he'd be making himself vulnerable, but isn't it about time? I'd like to see them make it as a couple, but I fear the writers want him with Summer, and I don't see that having a happy ending.
Genoa City's newest power couple, Nick and Phyllis, fresh off their just-ended relationships, will not inspire confidence in people who work with their businesses. Seriously, how much power do we give to rebounds? Even if they're rebounds with history. The way they kept looking at Sharon and Billy at the launch party showed they're not over their exes. They're convenient, they're familiar, but they don't give me any feeling like they'll make it. Phyllis saying they were a force to be reckoned with when she was using Nick to pay for her big launch? She absolutely couldn't have pulled off the opening party without Nick. Even if he justified it as a good business move, nothing about it feels like the stuff of healthy relationships. But Nick has his big new fancy house, and he's just had some hot sex with Phyllis, so why not have her move in! Phyllis thrives on the hot sex and newness (like with Billy), and Nick... still wants Sharon, but he's realized she doesn't want him, so here's a fancy new toy who will move in with him. They'll make it for sure! (not)
I'm not a fan of Mia initially. Good actress, but a little too brash and confrontational. I feel like she should be smarter than she's being if she's as good at manipulating as the people who know her imply. She should know how to read the crowd. Genoa City is not Miami, for sure. The moment I saw Arturo and Mia together for the first time, I said to Luke, who was watching with me, "They boned." He, of course, told me that sounded ridiculous when I said it because I don't talk like that. But that transgression was transparent. However, he was redeemed (slightly) when the backstory was revealed.
I feel like Arturo is committed to Abby. I hope so. I know some people don't like them, but when she reminded us of how Arturo had helped her look for Jack, I realized that he wasn't a terrible guy. He just likes sex. A lot. Apparently, so does Mia. Bouncing between brothers is icky. There is no universe where that's a good idea, unless maybe one brother is dead, and grieving together draws people close. When both are alive? Just seems messy.
And here I go... I may be the only one who feels this way, but why not let Sharon and Rey have a go at it! She hasn't dated him before. Time to stop revisiting exes for a bit, and I think maybe he needs to get away from Mia. Plus -- and this is kind of big -- it adds a bit of excitement to the murder investigation if he now has to protect one of the criminal masterminds. And there's been a slow build with this. It also pisses off Nick, much more than Billy does, so clearly Nick sees it. So does Mia, who warned Sharon to back off. I think for story and drama, the pairing has a lot of potential. Their personalities are different enough that Sharon could soften him up a little, and he could help her out of a jam.
Rey and Sharon are totally into each other. I hope Rey isn't messing with her to get her to give up information for his investigation. That's just awful, especially for someone who had his heart broken by his wife.
Line of the week:
Rey to Mia, in Rey's apartment, after Mia told him she took their wedding photo everywhere: "You take that to Arturo's place when you hooked up?"
Second place: Lola to Kyle: "You don't talk about yourself. You brag."
Extra random thoughts
Who was Rey talking to when he said, "She knew there was no body to be found." J.T. (but J.T. would already know the guilty parties and would have told him, I'm sure)? Victor? I think it's someone not on the Genoa City Police Department.
Phyllis told Nikki and Victoria she was done and to leave her alone because she had a business to run. Then she got mad that Victoria withheld information. Which do you want, space or to be in the loop? You can't have it both ways.
Phyllis called Rey a "total sleaze" and a "total moron with no judgment." Because we get defensive and our claws come out when we're scared? Because insulting our biggest threat increases our chances of getting away with our crimes? Also, back to the original crime... it was Phyllis' boneheaded idea that had them bury the body, not report self-defense/extenuating circumstances. I still contend no charges would have been filed.
The Newmans are pretty antagonistic when questioned by police. Yes, there's history, but Nikki is awfully hostile for a guilty person. Especially when guilty, I would think people would do all they could to be agreeable with the suspicious police officer. Even if he does show up and act creepy sometimes.
Nick doesn't like Sharon spending time with Rey (jealous ex not over her yet, clearly). Then he justifies it by saying, "If he keeps coming after me or my family, we're going to have a problem." But I think Rey won't plant evidence. I think he's looking for the truth, and since Nick's family is enmeshed in J.T.'s story, they'll be questioned.
Phyllis told Jack that Devon seemed to be "bouncing back." Someone's a little caught up in herself. But Jack knew. Jack saw how fast the smiles faded. Grief has a strange way of sneaking up on us. The wound is raw, and it's the first holiday season without his love, without the child he thought he'd have. Holidays after a loss are hard.
Phyllis and Sharon kept eyeing each other at the party. Their animosity is thick enough that you'd need an axe to cut it, not just a knife.
Did Phyllis have extensions in her hair before the party? Her hair was curled and looked longer than I've seen it when it was straight. It was up for the party, so maybe it was just the way it looked in that moment, but it was odd.
Speaking of hair, what was that combination ponytail/messy bun/hair sticking out thing Sharon had in her hair earlier this week? I especially wondered about it because she was seeing so much of magical stylist Mia.
I laughed out loud when Mariah told Tessa that J.T.'s surveillance was "only slightly creepier than what you're doing."
Devon told Tessa, "We use the tools we inherit from our families." So true. On soaps and in our real lives. For better or for worse, we are products of our upbringing. Takes a lot to overcome, and we can still revert back to it.
Phyllis is CEO, she was at a big party to celebrate it, she admitted the Jaboutiques were Billy's idea, which took a lot for her. The whole night, when not in front of a camera, sometimes even when she was, she looked miserable. Snarly, angry, unhappy, insecure. She didn't exude confidence and power, and it wasn't just seeing Billy and Sharon.
Over on The Bold and the Beautiful, Pam told Donna that Eric's "favorite wife is always the one he had before." I see that theme playing out in most of the relationships on Y&R, too. Everyone wants the one that got away, even if it ended horribly. Is that an across-the-genre theme for soaps? Nobody moves on all the way, for sure.
Closing thoughts I'm trusting that very big things are coming in the rest of sweeps and this was the week that set it all up. The Fearsome Foursome are on the verge of being caught, and Mariah knows -- and we all know she hates keeping secrets. Rey and Sharon want each other, but Mia wants Rey (for now). Sometimes a shorter week gives bigger drama, so we're all anxious to catch up the next week. Here's hoping, but I'll be right there with you, watching it all unfold.
And I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!
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