Is revenge sweet or a bitter pill?

by Nel
For the Week of August 23, 2021
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Mariah has been missing for a month, and finally, everyone has realized that Mariah wasn't on a vacation or on a business trip. Will Rey be able to find Mariah before she goes into labor and finally discover who took her? Will Chance make it home in time for the baby's birth? Why is Stitch always at Abby's, and why did he lie to her about his job at Memorial? Our columnist has questions, opinions to offer, and perhaps a speculation or two in Two Scoops for this week.

Our deepest sympathies to Jess Walton and her family on the death of her husband, John James, the father of their children. John James and Jess Walton had been married for 40 years. Recently, John had been diagnosed with liver cancer, and he died at home, surrounded by his family. We extend our condolences and our heartfelt sorrow to Jess and her family.

This week, I am obviously going to begin with Mariah, who has been missing in action for about a month. That's a long time to be stuck in a room with no television or radio for company. All she had was baby Bowie to talk to. Talk about solitary confinement! However, whoever has her locked up is taking good care of her. Mariah mentioned she has a comfy bed, healthy meals, prenatal vitamins, protein bars, and clean clothes. I'm sorry, did she say clean clothes? How does that work, considering she has been in the same outfit for the whole time she has been locked up? I wonder if she has been provided with clean finickies via the dumbwaiter. Good grief, she has also been sleeping in that outfit.

Poor Mariah is really going stir-crazy. I'm surprised she's still holding it together. Okay, so who kidnapped her, and what is the motivation behind it?

Speculation about who could have abducted Mariah. I'm going to play Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote) and do a little deduction of my own.

Rey mentioned Alice Johnson. Alice Johnson had been Cassie's adoptive mother. Sharon's best friend, Grace Turner, and Grace's boyfriend, Tony Viscardi, tracked down Sharon's first-born child, Cassie, and after many battles between Sharon and Alice, Alice finally gave up custody of Cassie to her birth mother, Sharon. It's possible Alice still has an axe to grind with Sharon for taking Cassie away from her. She might have kidnapped Mariah, possibly believing she was Cassie, as payback, to raise the child that Mariah (Cassie's twin) was carrying, as her grandchild. That's way out there and highly unlikely, but who knows? It could be a possibility.

My first thought was Ian Ward, the sociopath, or Ian could have had one of his disciples abduct Mariah. Motivation would have been to get even for something Mariah had done in the past. I then ruled him out after I heard he was still in a maximum-security prison, and his outside communications were being monitored and kept to a minimum. However, it's possible he could have sent one of those communications to a cult member with an encrypted message to kidnap Mariah. It's a possibility, but I don't believe Ian did it.

Rey mentioned that it could be someone who was desperate to have a child but unable to have one. That person would have motivation: steal Mariah's child and raise it as their own. Well, that, too, is a possibility, but I don't believe it's likely.

How about Nina? She has been acting rather strangely through this crisis. Any suggestions that anyone came up with in their attempts to locate Mariah were met with negativity from Nina. I find it strange that, during this crisis, Nina would leave for Los Angeles to write a screenplay. She could have done that from the Chancellor home in that private and soundproof room Esther told her about.

With today's technology, she could have been in touch through video chats, emails, text messages, or faxes. There are so many options for working from home, and she would have been able to either email or fax what she wrote. Why did Nina leave Genoa City at a time when Abby really needed her support the most? I'm still wondering if Mariah is in that cozy little room hidden away in another wing of the mansion. Yes, I find Nina's actions suspect, but, for the life of me, I can't wrap my head around what her motivation would be. She is a possibility, but I have some reservations as to whether she was involved; however, I haven't eliminated her, yet.

There has been some speculation that it could be Stitch's son, Max. I find that highly unlikely. Max has been in an institution since Stitch and Abby separated and Stitch and Max moved away from Genoa City. Stitch has already mentioned that Max has deteriorated and barely recognized him. Hmm... is that true? Stitch has been lying since he returned to Genoa City, so I have to take this with a grain of salt. If, in fact, Max has deteriorated, how would Max remember Abby or even know that Mariah was Abby's surrogate and pregnant? There is a tiny chance he could be a possibility if Stitch lied.

What about Stitch? He is the obvious suspect. Ever since he arrived in town, I've found his behavior strange, and he has lied repeatedly. After he met with Abby, she told him she was married, she couldn't get pregnant, and Mariah was her and Chance's surrogate. Stitch and Abby's marriage ended after Stitch's son, Max, arranged for Abby to have an accident while she'd been pregnant with her and Stitch's child. The fall resulted in the loss of that child, and it left Abby unable to bear children. With Max in an institution in another state, why has Stitch decided to move back to Genoa City?

Stitch lied to Abby about being hired at Memorial as chief of surgery. When Stitch returned recently, Devon questioned him about that position, since Nate had the job. Stitch claimed Memorial had needed someone to start immediately, and he had to be with Max. Another lie. Stitch had been to see Max just before he'd allegedly been offered the position. It looks like Devon is very suspicious of Stitch. How is it that Stitch always seems to show up when things are especially tense, just in time to show Abby his support? Stitch is now privy to all the information regarding Mariah's disappearance, including that they know Mariah isn't the one responding to their text messages and that Mariah's disappearance is now being investigated.

What is Stitch's motivation? Well, here's a far-fetched idea. Is it possible that Stitch wants to reunite with Abby and raise the baby as theirs, replacing the one they lost at Max's hands? Maybe by creating this chaos with Mariah and constantly supporting Abby, he feels he can ingratiate himself enough into Abby's life that she will choose him over Chance.

Honestly, I really don't have any idea who kidnapped Mariah and why. Nina? Maybe, but I'm leaning toward Stitch being the abductor. He has cleverly given everyone a false sense of security about himself, and he has put himself in the position of being privy to all information concerning Mariah. There are now three separate investigations on the go, one with Rey, one with Denise Tolliver, and one with Victor. I wonder who will get to Mariah before the baby is born. In next week's previews, it looks like Mariah goes into labor. Poor Mariah was terrified that she would have to deliver Bowie alone. I hope someone finds her before that happens.

Sally seems to have quite a skewed perspective about her culpability regarding recent events. Last week, Sally was warned by Jack not to mess with his family or there would be repercussions, Nikki warned Sally about staying away from Summer or Sally would suffer the consequences, and, lastly, she received a warning from Kevin and Chloe to stay away from Adam. And the love for Sally just keeps coming.

I don't think anyone can dispute the fact that Sally did get Summer her dream job with Marchetti, but at what cost? Sally arranged the job at Marchetti for Summer because Sally wanted Summer's fashion director position at JCV. She ended up getting Summer out of town, and in the process, Sally destroyed Summer and Kyle's relationship, with Tara's help. How does she see that as a good thing? Did she really expect that once Phyllis discovered Sally's manipulation, Phyllis wouldn't retaliate in some way? Sally will always be a schemer, and she will always justify her actions. As an aside, I admit I really cheered when Tara was led away in handcuffs.

Sally now has her sights set on revenge against Phyllis. Sally claims Phyllis has had it in for her from the first day she arrived in town. Sally claimed that Phyllis destroyed her relationship with Jack, and Phyllis evicted her from her hotel. Sally doesn't realize that Phyllis had Sally's number from the day she arrived, and Phyllis knew from the beginning that Sally would be trouble. Phyllis didn't destroy Sally's relationship with Jack; Sally did that herself with her manipulations and schemes. Did she really think Jack would be okay with Sally destroying Kyle and Summer's relationship? Jack gave her a second chance, and she blew it. I can't blame Phyllis for evicting Sally from the hotel after what Sally did to Summer. Phyllis is now deprived of having Summer in the same town because of Sally.

From the previews for next week, it looks like Sally is going to be spying on Jack and Phyllis. Why, I wonder. Sally also seems to be getting cozy with Adam, and Chloe and Kevin sure don't like it. Well, I don't think it matters whether they like it or not. They are trying to impose their own prejudices about Adam onto Sally. This is Sally's life, and she gets to choose who she sees, although, if Sally and Adam do become a couple, that will be like putting nitro and glycerin together. This should be interesting. If they do become a couple, will Adam remove the false face he has been wearing and return to being the Machiavellian person he has always been? Will Adam encourage Sally to continue with her plans for payback? Frankly, I would rather see an Adam and Sally union than Adam and Sharon. Too much water under that bridge.

Sally is now working with Chloe -- and Chelsea, when Chelsea returns. Sally has a very strong personality, and I think she is going to try to take over the online fashion platform. Sally has a very high opinion of herself, and she will tell them that she is better qualified than Chloe or Chelsea to make decisions about fashion. She will throw around the fact that she'd had her own fashion house in Los Angeles, and she will remind them of her family lineage. However, I don't think Sally realizes what a force of nature the duo of Chloe and Chelsea can be, and Sally might be in for a very rude awakening if this happens.

Speaking of Jack and Phyllis, did everyone notice the exchanges between Jack and Phyllis? Uh-oh, could this be leading to buh-bye Nick, hello Jack? This is probably an unpopular comment, but I am really hoping they reunite Jack and Phyllis because these two always brought out the best in each other. Their love has never died. They didn't destroy their very short marriage; Victor did. Phyllis cheated on Jack with Billy only because, after their ordeal, each had been dealing with the fallout of their individual ordeals and not reaching out to each other. Phyllis had basically been raped by Marco Annicelli, the Jack doppelgänger, and Jack had to deal with being held captive on some island by Kelly Andrews, who turned out to be a psychopath.

Jack and Sally would never have worked as a couple. She is way too impulsive, and Sally tends to look out for herself without any regard for how her actions affect others. She can't be trusted, and I am happy that relationship has ended. But has it? What does Sally have up her sleeve if she is going to be spying on Jack and Phyllis.

Victoria and Ashland's romance seems to be on speed dial. I keep flipping sides about them. One minute, I feel like Victoria and Ashland have each found the love of their life and are truly soul mates, but here come the little niggles of doubt and suspicion about Ashland. I can't recall whether Victoria actually went to any of Ashland's doctor's appointments. Has she been able to confirm his illness, or is she only taking him at his word? Is he really sick, or is he playing Victoria and the whole Newman family?

When I see Ashland and Victoria together, I feel their connection and the love they seem to feel for each other, and they have me believing they are deeply in love. But then I have to ask if Ashland would involve Harrison in his scheme against the Newmans. If he wasn't sincere, would he have allowed Harrison to live with Kyle and Summer? These are the things that make me doubt that Ashland is playing a game. If he is, then he has everyone fooled, except maybe Victor. Victor is delving into Ashland's past, and he might find some very interesting information. I wonder if the wedding will happen. I'm really hoping it does because I have never seen Victoria look so happy, not even with Billy.

Billy is on a mission. He is certain there is much more happening between Ashland and Victoria than all the love they display. Billy said that things went from "Hi" to "I do" much too fast. He is extremely worried that Victoria is going to get hurt. I love that he cares so much, but why? Billy and Victoria have both moved on with their lives, or so it appears. Who Victoria chooses to spend her life with is none of Billy's business. Billy has professed his love for Lily, and they have started a life together, without any interference from Victoria, so why is Billy so invested in Victoria's love life? Billy is free to make his own mistakes, and so is Victoria. Perhaps Billy is still pining for Victoria. I hope not. I love him with Lily. Lily knows how to keep Billy in line.

If Victoria has chosen to spend her life with Ashland, and it turns out he was only out for revenge, it was Victoria's choice to be with this man, and she will have to deal with the fallout if or when it happens. She is a 40-year-old woman and far from frail. Why does everyone think she needs guidance about the choices she makes?

I can't recall where I read this, and it might just be someone's speculation, but the article indicated that something was going to happen at Victoria and Ashland's lavish wedding in Tuscany. After the "I do's" were said, Victor would reveal what he had discovered about Ashland's past and Ashland's plot to take over the Newman empire and drain the Newmans of all their assets, including Victoria's. Victor would then reveal that the marriage was a sham because the minister wasn't real, foiling Ashland's carefully thought-out revenge plot against the Newmans. If this is actually a spoiler, it would be very interesting to see who would win this battle.

A lot of people love Gloria. I'm not one of them. She aggravates every nerve ending within me. Like Sally, she has a very high opinion of herself, and she is extremely outspoken -- and not in a good way. Gloria always wants the top position, whether she is qualified for it or not. She doesn't want to start at the bottom and work her way up the ranks. It's top position or nothing at all. Case in point, she wants to fill the vacancy left by Summer and Sally as fashion director of JCV. Well, there's a giggle or three. Gloria thinks she is qualified for that position because she was a fashion consultant at Jabot, helped Chelsea and Chloe with their line, and was a judge on Extreme Catwalk.

While I was still in school and planning my career, my dream had been to become a dress designer, like Edith Head; but alas, life got in the way. After reading all the information required for this career path, I discovered there was so much more to fashion than met the eye. Consulting about fashion and being a judge on a catwalk do not qualify someone for the fashion director's seat. Gloria told Lauren she wanted to add athletic wear to the JCV line, but Gloria has no idea what the younger demographic is looking for. She tried to seek Sally's guidance on the matter, but she was shot down. There is no way Lauren would take a chance on Gloria.

I can see Gloria trying to worm her way into Chloe's fashion platform. Can you imagine the chaos she would create? I can also see Sally and Gloria battling for the queen bee spot. If Gloria approaches Chloe, I really hope Chloe refuses her. Chloe is going to have her hands full with keeping a leash on Sally. Throwing Gloria into the mix would be disastrous. Even if Chloe doesn't give in, Adam certainly wouldn't allow Gloria to be part of Newman Media because Gloria creates problems wherever she goes.

Does anyone remember Gloria poisoning the face cream at Jabot, which might have cost a woman her life and which almost destroyed Jabot? How about her restaurant "Gloworm" and how she lost it because she hadn't kept an eye on her husband Jeffrey Bardwell's shady deals with the mob? Or Gloria receiving her real estate license and selling real estate. That, too, was a failure. Gloria needs a sign on her back that reads, "I'm a disaster looking for a place to happen."

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts and speculations about what has been happening around our favorite town recently. I would love to read your comments and opinions, and perhaps you might like to offer up some of your own opinions. In the meantime, stay safe!

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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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