One wedding (two, actually, but you weren't invited to that one) and no funerals

by Nel
For the Week of October 18, 2021
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Things have really been ramping up in Tuscany. Nikki tried to persuade Ashland to call off the wedding. Was it her place to make that call? What happened to Summer and Kyle's wedding after all the hype? Can Victor foil Billy's plan to expose Ashland? Will the Newman/ocke merger be saved from scandal? Join our columnist who has questions and opinions to offer, with a speculation or two thrown in, in the Two Scoops for this week.

There is so much to talk about. Where do I start? Let's start with all the hype prior to Summer and Kyle's wedding. Did I blink and miss it, or did someone drop the ball on a highly anticipated wedding? The fans are up in arms about Summer and Kyle's wedding not being aired. There had been so much anticipation about their wedding, only to be let down completely by mentioning it had happened off-air. Was Faith at her sister's and Kyle's wedding? If she was, why didn't she attend Victoria's wedding? She is Victoria's niece.

There had been so much wedding planning being done prior to Summer leaving for Milan to start her job at Marchetti. There had also been so much anticipation and chatter from friends and family about attending Summer and Kyle's wedding and seeing Summer's Marchetti wedding dress, and then...nothing. Next thing we see is Summer and Kyle arriving at Victoria and Ashland's wedding, already married.

I never thought these words would come out of my mouth. I have never been a Summer fan, but I was delighted to see her and Kyle. I miss this couple and all their trials and tribulations. In my opinion, the show hasn't been the same without them. Since they have been gone, there seem to be a lot of redundant fluff scenes to fill in the gaps. Kyle and Summer need to be brought back.

On to the main event, Victoria and Ashland's destination wedding. Let's begin by giving a shout-out to the set designers. The Tuscany sets have been outstanding. I don't know about anyone else, but they certainly made me feel like everyone really was in Italy. The ladies' gowns were gorgeous, and the gents looked so handsome in their tuxedos, with the exception of Billy's jacket. I didn't like it at all, but that's just me. Best of all was Victoria's wedding dress. It was the biggest buzz around the guests, and Sally basked in everyone's comments. Adam congratulated her and said she did a good job.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Many fans were disappointed because they all had a completely different idea of what the dress was going to look like. Fans posted pictures of very elaborate weddings gowns they expected Sally's design to look like, but I think people lost sight of the fact that Sally had eavesdropped on Victoria's description to Lauren about the dress she had in mind. Sally had taken notes, and she designed a dress of her version from Victoria's description. Admit it, Sally's dress was far superior to the one Lauren had put together. So, from Victoria's description to Sally's vision and creation, I thought the dress was gorgeous. The open back was a nice touch and a surprise.

Let's move on. There were a number of people who wanted to stop the wedding, like it was any of their business. We will start with Mrs. Busybody, Nikki. She told Ashland he needed to cancel the wedding because his past was putting undue pressure on Victoria. I really wish Nikki would stop looking down her nose at everyone and stay out of their business. I felt she was out of line doing that. It was Victoria's choice to marry him, and Nikki needed to butt out.

When Ashland made that suggestion to Victoria, she knew immediately that it had Nikki written all over it. Victoria told Ashland she had no intention of canceling the wedding, and she really wanted to marry him.

I found the kiss that followed, between Victoria and Ashland, rather awkward. It almost seemed that Amelia Heinle didn't realize it was time to kiss Richard Burgi, but suddenly, the lightbulb flashed, and she kissed him like she meant it. Here's a suggestion: if she doesn't want to kiss Richard Burgi, please, allow me to step in. I would love to have a smooch or 15 with this man.

It's obvious that Victoria and Ashland love each other, despite Ashland's deep and dark secrets. I'm probably in the minority, but I understand why Ashland did the things he did. He'd lived with an abusive father and an enabling mother, and his future didn't look very bright -- if he lived long enough to have a future and his abusive father didn't kill him first. He'd found a friend in Ashland Locke. After the car accident, he'd tried to save his friend but failed because the car had become engulfed with the fire. He knew the police would return him to his father, and that was when he'd made the snap decision to become Ashland Locke and avoid the horror that was his parents.

Ashland was hired by Camilla Rhodes to work at her television stations where he'd met Jesse Gaines Sr., Camilla's lawyer. Jesse had taken an instant liking to Ashland. Camilla had seen a lot of potential in Ashland, but when Camilla died, she'd left Ashland out of her will and explained her reason for doing so in a letter.

It had been Jesse Gaines Sr.'s idea to change the will because he felt Ashland had deserved better. With Ashland's knowledge, Jesse Sr. had forged a letter purporting to have been written by Camilla the night prior to her death, stating that her entire estate was to go to Ashland. That letter had been added as a codicil to her will. That change had given Ashland an opportunity of a lifetime, and yes, I agree, it had been illegal, but Ashland had been about 20 years old at the time, and I think the only thing he saw at that moment were the opportunities it presented for his future and not the legalities of it.

Jesse Gaines Jr. is a liar, a blackmailer, vengeful, and greedy. He told Billy his twisted version of the events: how Ashland had stolen his father from him and how he'd manipulated Jesse Sr. into forging that letter from Camilla. Jesse had been blackmailing Ashland for 40 years, and when he heard Ashland had a terminal illness, he wanted his payoff of millions, but Victor had stepped in and paid Jesse to keep him quiet and to leave town.

However, Jesse's greed wasn't sated, and he took millions more of Billy's personal money -- and a guarantee from Billy that he would be protected from Victor after Jesse told him the whole story. It makes no sense to me that Victor would overlook paying Jesse three million dollars -- without repercussions -- without retaliating, especially when he discovers that Jesse accepted a large sum of money from Billy, as well, for the whole story. Who does Billy think he is kidding? Billy can't protect himself from Victor, let alone Jesse.

Billy's arrogance to expose Ashland to Victoria is going to come back and bite him in the arse. He made a huge mistake bringing Jesse to Italy to prove to Victoria that Ashland had built his empire by criminal means. Billy is now frantically searching for Jesse because Jesse is out for revenge, and he is determined to expose Ashland one way or another -- and not just to Victoria. Jesse is hellbent on revenge against Ashland without any thought to the consequences of his actions. If Jesse is successful in exposing Ashland, he will destroy two business empires -- Newman Enterprises and Locke Communications Group -- because of the merger.

Billy was also in for a big surprise when all his planning turned out to be moot because Victoria already knew everything about Ashland's background. Billy believed that the letter from Camilla to Ashland would prove that Camilla had never intended to include Ashland in her will. Not so, big guy.

Even if Billy had both letters, the original from Camilla and the forged one, who's to say which letter had been forged. Jesse Jr. could have written the letter omitting Ashland from Camilla's will because Jesse had been jealous of the relationship his father had had with Ashland, and the forged letter could be construed as the authentic one. Billy had no solid proof of what Jesse had told him. I'm still curious; how did Camilla Rhodes die? Was it a natural death, or did she have help getting there, and by whom?

In fairness to Billy, he didn't want to put Ashland's past out for the media to see. He claimed he only wanted Victoria to know the truth and stop her from marrying Ashland, but Jesse was determined to ruin the nuptials and tell everyone how Ashland came to be. Look who is throwing shade at Ashland, the 40-year blackmailer who keeps looking for more money. Jesse Jr. hasn't worked a day in his life because he's been living on Ashland's blackmail money. Ashland told Victoria that Jesse Sr. had never had any respect for his son. It's no wonder that Jesse Jr. wants to destroy Ashland; his jealousy of Ashland's favor in Jesse Sr.'s eyes is his motivation.

Billy's obsession about telling Victoria the truth about Ashland might ruin him and Lily, while Vicky and Ashland will be living their happily ever after for as long as they have, given Ashland's illness. Billy has gone beyond annoying, and he needs to be brought down about fourteen pegs. Billy hadn't been interested in Victoria's life before Ashland. In my opinion he loved that she'd always tried to come between him and Lily by inserting herself into their various functions; however, when Billy saw that Victoria was interested in Ashland, he immediately became obsessed into looking into Ashland's background to discredit him to Victoria.

Billy needs to get a grip. His plan backfired in a spectacular way. Even after Victoria and Ashland confirmed that she knew all about Ashland's past, from taking Ashland Locke's name to the fraudulent inheritance, and she still wanted to marry Ashland, Bill wouldn't give up. He had to find a reason why Victoria was determined to marry Ashland. Billy came to the conclusion that Victoria was marrying Ashland for some other reason, like the merger. He just wouldn't believe she was really marrying him for love, and he wouldn't let it go.

What about Nick and Adam? I sense a slight role reversal between these two. Adam hasn't exactly endeared himself to Victoria; however, she seems to tolerate him. Adam's new persona seems to be paying off. He was always the one creating havoc within the family, but it seems that Nick has taken on that role recently. Victoria had expressly asked Nick not to delve into Ashland's past, but Nick went ahead and did so, anyway. Now he and Victoria are barely on speaking terms. Victoria feels Nick has betrayed her.

Adam has been a busy boy protecting Victoria from Billy and Jesse to make sure the wedding went off without a hitch; however, Nick has gone to great lengths to dig up dirt on Ashland as his way of protecting Victoria by delving into Ashland's past to show her she is making a mistake marrying him. Who is Nick to decide whether she is making a mistake or not? If it's a mistake, it's her decision and her mistake to make, not Nick's.

I think it's time to welcome Rory Gibson as Noah Newman. What a cutie! Noah has been missed by quite a number of fans, so we are happy he has returned. Who do you suppose he will be paired with? Other than Sally, there are no other females available other than perhaps Amanda, if things go south for Devon and Amanda because of Abby's dependence on Devon. I don't want to see him with Sally, but then I really don't want to see Sally with anyone. I guess we will have to wait and see. Perhaps, Tessa and Mariah might end things because of the baby thing, and Tessa will turn to Noah (again), but that's just me speculating.

Sally! What this girl won't do to get what she wants. She managed to wrangle a ride to Tuscany with Adam. She convinced Chloe it would be good for their fashion platform so that people could see Sally's wedding dress on Victoria. Sally's determination to get Victoria to wear her design had Sally taking an awful risk exchanging Lauren's dress for her own design for Victoria to wear. I wondered how Victoria was going to react when she discovered what Sally had done.

The wedding itself was lovely. Victoria and Ashland looked like they were so in love with each other as they said their vows. Victoria chose to wear Sally's design, and I thought she looked stunning in it. Sally was stunned, and it looked like it took Sally's breath away when she saw Victoria had chosen her dress over Lauren's creation. Sally was elated. Even Summer stated the dress was stunning and wondered who the designer had been.

Victoria's dress was the talk of the evening. Did everyone notice the look on Summer's face when Victoria told her that Sally had designed the dress. That was a Mastercard moment; it was priceless. Elena and Lily gushed over the dress, and they also wanted to know who had designed it.

What a feather in Sally's cap. I thought it was so gracious of Victoria to compliment and thank Sally for the dress. She even hugged her! How often have we seen Victoria hug anyone other than her husband or her parents?

During Victoria and Ashland's vows, the look on Billy's face appeared to be heartbreak. He later admitted to Lily that the reason he'd been so determined to expose Ashland was because he'd wanted to prove to Victoria that he was a better man than Ashland, and he'd really hoped Victoria would judge Ashland as harshly as Victoria had judged him.

After Victoria and Ashland were married, Billy received a video of Jesse exposing all of Ashland's past and reading the letter Camilla had written to Ashland. Jesse gave Billy an hour to publish it, or he would sell it to someone else. When Lily saw the video, she agreed with Billy that the story would be huge. They were in a moral dilemma. What are they going to do? To publish or not to publish, that is the question.

In the meantime, Nick walked into his bedroom only to discover Jesse Gaines was there. Jesse wanted Nick to help him destroy Ashland. He told Nick how Ashland had manipulated his father into creating a fraudulent will. Well, righteous and almighty Nick was now going to put an end to his sister's wedding. But here's the shocker: Adam wound up being Sir Galahad as well as the voice of reason. Who knew? Sir Galahad told Nick not to ruin Victoria's big day. He told Nick to look at Victoria's face and see how deliriously happy she was. Disaster averted, and Victoria and Ashland were pronounced husband and wife, without incident. This turned out to be one of the very few weddings that went off without a hitch.

Jesse came off with what I thought was quite a funny line. When Nick unlocked the door, and he and Adam entered Nick's room, Gaines asked if they were going to let him out in time to catch the bouquet. Given the situation he was in, I thought that was hilarious.

Nick certainly wasn't happy when Victor entered his room. Nick realized that Victor obviously knew about Ashland's entire past, and I bet he was really miffed that Victor hadn't shared that information with him. I see the flames have sparked, and the fireworks between Nick and dear old dad are just beginning.

Let's peek in on the baby storyline. I don't believe I'm the only one who thinks the Mariah and baby storyline is being dragged out. I think most of us are losing interest in it. Since Summer and Kyle are no longer there, to me, it has started to feel like filler. It's obvious Mariah is suffering from postpartum depression, and she needs therapy for her attachment issues to Bowie/Dominic. She's spiraling out of control. I can understand her attachment to a point; she carried him for nine months, and toward the end, she formed a bond with Bowie during their captivity. He kept her sane.

Why is Mariah reluctant about seeing a therapist? She seems to have forgotten she was Abby's surrogate, and Abby is now Dominic's mother. She refuses to go to Victoria and Ashland's wedding because, for some reason, Mariah believes she will be needed to help with the baby if something happens. Mariah has repeatedly told Tessa that she knows Abby is Dominic's mother, as a way to convince Tessa, but Mariah sees herself as Bowie's mom. Why does she believe Abby would call her if she needed help with the baby? Abby would call Devon and the pediatrician before she called Mariah.

Mariah is fixated on the idea that having a baby would be the answer to all her feelings about Bowie, and she expects Tessa to go along with her plan. Thankfully, Tessa sees the pitfalls. I have to wonder if Mariah is going to go off the rails and kidnap Dominic. Since Tessa would be singing at the wedding, she felt it would be unprofessional to cancel at the last minute. Tessa went to the wedding solo.

In the meantime, Abby doesn't seem to have a clue how to care for this baby. I don't get why Abby calls Devon for help. Why couldn't she call a friend like Elena or her pediatrician? Can she not make any decisions on her own? She is drawing Devon into the baby's life, and Devon is going to grow more and more attached to Dominic. He is going to be heartbroken if and when Chance returns. After all of Devon's nurturing, Dominic will call Chance "Daddy," not him. If Chance doesn't return, I wonder if Devon and Abby will become close and destroy Devon and Amanda. Was Phyllis right when she told Amanda she saw trouble ahead because of Abby constantly calling Devon for help.

Abby is another person who should have attended the wedding, but she gave the excuse that Dominic was too little to leave him. Really, Abby? Are you going to be one of those mothers who won't let their child out of their sight, and will you send Dominic out to play in a bubble suit? She has a nanny; Dominic would not be alone.

That was the lamest excuse. Just like Mariah not wanting to go to the wedding in case Dominic needed her. Why would Dominic need her? He has a mother; her name is Abby. What is it with these two broads? One is overbearing, and the other is a "Klingon" who refuses to let go.

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts, and I would love to read your comments and opinions. Perhaps you might like to offer up some of your own thoughts. In the meantime, until next time, stay safe!
Nel

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