Life is complicated

For the Week of December 17, 2018
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The kidnappy bunch: Sharon, victoria, and Nikki kidnap Tessa
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People are complicated. Life is complicated. There was a lot of mean happening in Genoa City, but there were moments of tenderness and light, too. People who were generally decent behaved badly, and people who were generally obnoxious showed vulnerability. Let's untangle some of the complexity in this week's Two Scoops.

Did you all know who tossed the hood over Tessa's head? Once they showed the replay and I saw the black gloves and tan coat, I still didn't know (but Nikki and Victoria both wear tan coats), but I had narrowed down the possibilities.

Let me just start by saying what I was thinking when I saw who had Tessa in the car. What the hell? Seriously, what was the Fearsome Foursome (Fiendish Foursome, as Victoria named them) thinking when they kidnapped Tessa? Really, they thought Tessa, a grifter, was a criminal mastermind? Tessa was an opportunist, probably always will be. She's as honest as a millimeter is long, but I think she has a line she won't cross. Not sure the Fearsome Foursome does.

I was kind of open to giving Sharon some credit at first, because she seemed uncomfortable with the kidnapping, and when Victoria and Nikki were going all Newman on Tessa (whose voice was panicked and weepy under the hood), Sharon was silent. But despite mild complaints that it was cold, Sharon remained complicit, didn't call an Uber to pick up Tessa or anything, and then, she went so far as to as to say of Tessa, "I'm sure she'll survive. Vermin usually does." Then she said, "She brought this upon herself." And there was nothing that could make me view Sharon favorably after that. All the growth I thought she'd made? Gone. Mariah's response, "You were the one who took part in the murder and a coverup. Remember that," was perfect.

Sharon insisted to Mariah that Tessa's actions had "long con tattooed all over it." But maybe after kidnapping Tessa, Sharon isn't choosing the best time to talk about how bad Tessa is. And then interfering in Tessa's job search because she "simply told the truth" to the Genoa City Athletic Club? What if people had "simply told the truth" about Sharon when she took the police job. There are some things on her record, too (arson, theft, and more). Tessa even failed to report to Mariah right away that Sharon was involved, and I presumed it was to protect Mariah from knowing that about her mother. Sharon doesn't know how much she should appreciate it.

Sharon is in no way innocent, even if she herself was not a criminal mastermind. Sure, she might go along for the ride a lot (hiding the body, kidnapping, for example), but she doesn't report the crimes, she doesn't stop them, she doesn't let her training guide her. Even if she doesn't like Tessa and really wants Tessa away from Mariah, there are better ways to let that breakup happen -- such as doing nothing, in which case, the breakup would have happened. Mariah did tell Sharon, "You're the reason Tessa and I are still together." But now, because Mariah has always loved Tessa, despite the anger, the breakup didn't happen, and it might not. Mariah seems like the kind who would fit very well into a rescuing role.

And I have no doubt, Tessa will need rescuing (or at the very least, therapy). She has a tremendously increased startle response and feared Mariah was Sharon, which begs the question, why is she in Sharon's coffee shop after Sharon participated in kidnapping her? I'd stay far, far away from my kidnappers. Tessa kind of presents with PTSD symptoms (more than kind of). What went on in her life before Genoa City? She didn't pick her career path (grifter) from a place of healthy support. She even said she had survived worse, and we know from her profile that dad was a drug dealer, mom was an addict, and she had to leave to protect herself. And yet she felt she deserved the kidnapping because of all the nightmares she had caused. With all that in mind, with Sharon's training, Sharon should not have further traumatized a traumatized girl.

I had some other issues with the way mental health was treated on The Young and the Restless. This happened not this past week but the week before. When Devon met with the psychiatrist, the psychiatrist had DSM-III-R on his shelves. According to the American Psychiatric Association, this was published in 1987. And replaced by the DSM-IV in 1994. And that was replaced by the DSM-V in 2013. So, he's got a 31-year-old book, replaced twice, with completely different diagnostic codes, on his shelf. I don't know anyone in the field who would have that book on the shelf unless it was among historical relics.

Also, the same week, in the same psychiatric visit, I did not like that the doctor pushed pills on Devon so hard when Devon said no. Yes, admittedly they worked on his anxiety attack, but when Devon cited the family history of addiction, and knowing that benzodiazepines are addictive, the doctor could have said, "Look, I'll give you a prescription for ten, but you never have to fill it or take them," or "I respect that. Let's learn some grounding skills instead," or something. I was uncomfortable with the pushing (especially considering how many people I encounter who beg for the medications because they are addicted).

And that's not to say that I disapprove of talking about serious issues like mental health and grief. I'm not opposed to people seeking help. I'm not even opposed to psychiatry. But I was very uncomfortable with that psychiatrist.

As for Devon and his panic, I have to say I was impressed with how Ana saved his deal. This is a woman who should be in management! After one dose of anxiety medication, Devon slept soundly, and he's firing artists and starting fresh. Amazing cure for a fast- and short-acting prescription. (I presume benzodiazepines because of how fast-acting they were.)

Normally, I am a fan of the truth. It helps us in many ways. However, I will confess I was not opposed to Abby's trickery to help her and Lola after Nick and Devon said no. Without the Underground, we see Crimson Lights (coffee shop) and the Genoa City Athletic Club (classier) with occasional sightings of Top of the Tower (exclusive and pricy). Which leaves nothing for ordinary get-togethers or the kind of evening Abby wanted to have with Billy. If they do it right, it could be successful, and Abby was smart enough to know she did not know enough about the restaurant business to do it herself.

I loved Kyle's exuberance for Lola and his joy for her dream job coming true. It was a contagious level of joy. I disliked the attitude everyone had for newcomer Mia getting an A-list client. I felt Mia wasn't wrong when she guessed Rey loved his job more than he loved her. I hadn't liked Mia before this week, but she's starting to grow on me as I see her vulnerability more. Maybe Arturo is right and Abby doesn't want to mess with her because of how she can get, but maybe Abby should just be nice because even if Mia isn't stellar, someone should take the high road. Good on Arturo for trying to tone down Abby's cattiness. It isn't a good look on her when we're supposed to feel sympathy that nobody's supporting her in pursuing her business goals.

I did not like Nikki's choice to use Mia to get information on Rey. When she told Victoria she needed to take control of the situation then said, "Watch and learn, darling. Watch and learn," I did not expect this to be the method. Maybe it's because I know Rey doesn't discuss his job with his wife, but more, I think I don't like the predatory behavior from Nikki to someone who is like she had been. There was no empathy, just manipulation. I understand why Rey was upset, but I hope it's with Nikki, not Mia. And Victoria was right to think it was a terrible idea. A great plot move would be for Rey to feed information to Mia, who would share it with Nikki, and that would lead Rey to the evidence he seeks.

Nikki is being either brave or foolish because she's taking risks when she doesn't know where her husband is (and neither does Summer, who flew to Dubai to learn from him). Clearly Nikki is drinking again. She had guilt when she told Jack she had one drink (a sip of Victoria's Day-Glo wine), and he responded, "We are all one bad moment away from a slip-up." It wasn't that long ago he bought pills that he didn't take. But then she spent all that time eyeing the schnapps during her makeover, eventually pouring it in her tea (where... Mia didn't notice the smell?). Nikki did point out a truth to Mia: "networking is just socializing with the right people." I'd like to see Mia get a chance, despite the manipulation. And I'd like this relapse to be short-lived, although it makes sense if Nikki is carrying guilt and anxiety (which she has to have after the clothes in the bed and the fire) with her everywhere she goes. She should get herself to some more meetings.

Reed returned. I wasn't a huge fan of Victoria trying to hide her father being a suspect from Reed, instructing Billy, who is a good support for Reed, not to tell. I get Reed being upset, wondering how she could not tell him that Victor killed his father. It bugged me a little when Nikki told him, "Vengeance isn't the answer," because she's been going a little overboard in that area lately.

For Nikki to identify Reed's investigation as a powder keg is an understatement. When he learns what happened, it will be a mess. And he will learn. Not sure when, but it will happen. I do like that he calmed himself down and apologized for his behavior, recognizing he isn't mad at Mom, just at "this whole situation with Dad." He has shown growth. (I doubt he'd apologize if he knew Mom helped bury Dad, though...) I'm curious to see how he and Mattie do as friends. I think there's still a little something there now that he's forgiven her for doing the right thing. And I do know that they weren't the most popular couple, but with the big changes they've both had, maybe there will be something good to come from it.

I was a huge fan of Victoria meddling on Reed's behalf, telling Cane that Reed grew up, Reed and Mattie aren't dating, and it will do more harm than good to forbid them from using their emotional supports. He has been so focused on his sadness over Lily that he hasn't paid much attention to his kids. I liked when she told him, "I've been taking each day as it comes and finding something in it that makes the kids happy," and admitting it was working well. It was enough to get Cane to buy a tree for his kids and tell them, "I got this infusion of Christmas spirit from the last person I expected." Yes, his wife is in jail, and it's sad, and like he said, everything is harder. However, they shouldn't stop living until she's released. Charlie and Mattie were right to put up decorations on their own, even though they knew Cane thought it didn't feel right. The interaction with Victoria helped his heart grow three sizes that day.

Line of the week:

Devon to Ana before the in-home chef-prepared meal: I survive off of takeout more than anyone should.

Second Place
Abby to Fen after Fen gave Devon a demo flash drive while he was serving Lola's meal: Try it again, and you won't need the elevator to reach the sidewalk.

Honorable Mention
Mia to Nikki during the makeover session: I'm a demon in the kitchen as long as I stick to liquids.

Romance games

First, Fen. Does he like Lola because he likes her and finds her intriguing (he has admitted he's been with a few ladies), or does he like her because Kyle does. It feels like competition to me. He seemed to think there was hope when Lola said, "Can't hate on a guy who has dreams." I did laugh when Lola asked him to work for her, and he said, "I just remembered I have a root canal."

Good on Jack for telling Kerry he isn't interested in games. I chuckled when he said, "An explanation would be swell." Kerry's excuse that her life was complicated was met with his perfect response of "life is complicated." I still find the age difference a bit off-putting, but their romance is kind of sweet at the same time. They both seem smitten with each other. I'm still not sure if Kerry has something she's hiding or if she's just been in her lab because it's safer than a relationship. I do like seeing a little bit of new romance budding under the (parasitic) mistletoe.

So, Phyllis will pimp out her boyfriend for money. Or a contract. I kind of liked that Billy let her know what was going on, even though she was smug about it. Would Nick have done the deed with Rebekah? He seemed like he was going to say no, but... the world may never know. I was a little skeeved out when Nick wanted to celebrate in Rebekah's bed (the room being paid for is not enough of an argument for that). But instead, Phyllis wanted to celebrate by meeting with Billy. And she did give the five gold rings back to him. I wasn't impressed by Billy talking with Jack about how he and Phyllis were clicking. Jack was gracious about it, but... it's tacky.

Extra random thoughts

I am finding Nate annoying with Devon, especially when he's teaming up with Ana.

I did not like Phyllis' open-back green suit she wore for several episodes. I am not finding her wardrobe screaming "serious CEO," but I've said that before.

I thought Nikki looked better after her makeover. So, that was a positive. And I liked her advice to Mia, that family and loved ones were the most important people -- we should all remember that!

The big boxes Lola had Fen put on the only counter in the room with the pop-up restaurant didn't seem like an ideal choice. Nothing says uninviting like no counter space (and big boxes blocking it).

The timing of Reed's return, when Nikki had the bag of J.T.'s clothes, is the kind of surprise coincidence that only happens in soaps -- but we love them for it!

I think Reed and Victoria look related. Great casting for physical appearance.

How long was the hangover cure on Devon's bar, in the blender and in the cup. It was there after Ana had saved his deal and he'd taken the anxiety medication.

It was the totally wrong response, but I laughed when I saw the clothes in bed with Nikki. Unlike her, though, I would have been off that bed so fast, it would have been like I had bionic leaping ability.

I thought Lauren and Michael's decision to support Fen's dream, "just not financially," was a good one. His response, "That's a little hardball, don't you think, Mom?" was a little whiny. You're making the big life decisions without consulting anyone, so be glad they gave you a few months of free living so you can pursue the dream. Most of us won't get that.

There were a couple times I stopped and paused to review something I had missed, and I noticed when Fen was talking to (read: hitting on) Lola, she rolled her eyes a lot, too. Meaning so did I.

Fen wore leather gloves to program his information into Lola's phone. I don't think that would work.

Victoria's yellow honeycomb mugs and teapot have been prominent lately.

I want butlers, engineers, and cherubs to decorate my Christmas tree. That would be fun to watch! I suspect there might be bickering.

I liked when Jack told Kyle there was a time people didn't hide behind these things (cell phones). Oh, I miss that time! Also, they kind of do use text messaging to move plots forward a lot on the show.

Closing thoughts

The funeral for late President George H.W. Bush has left us without previews for the next week, although the previews on Monday for the week that passed showed some things that we haven't seen yet. So, something big is going to happen with Nikki, and someone is clearly menacing her (the fire in the stables, the clothes in her bed). Will it be a threat? Will it involve physical harm? I don't think there will be another kidnapping. Been there, done that, didn't like it. But I suspect Monday will have a cliffhanger. I hope you're there watching with me.


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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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