The games people play

by Nel
For the Week of April 18, 2022
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What game is Diane planning to reconnect with Kyle? Can Ashland's scheme to outsmart Victor succeed, or will he take Adam's deal? Will Sally and Adam's plan to elevate Adam to CEO of Newman Locke succeed? Who will achieve their endgame goals? Join our columnist who has questions, opinions to offer, and perhaps a speculation or two, in Two Scoops for this week.

Let's begin with Diane. I have to ask, why she has returned? I don't believe her endgame is to reconnect with Kyle. That might be part of her reason, but I believe she is using Kyle as a pawn, once again, in her little game to reunite with Jack. Why, after 20-plus years, would she want to suddenly reconnect with Kyle? She had plenty of opportunities to do that a few years later, after she abandoned him by faking her own death. This doesn't ring true for me.

Diane told Jack her son needed her in his life. Why? He's a grown man with a life of his own. Why would he need his mother now? I'm curious to see Kyle's reaction when he discovers his mother has been alive for over 20 years and has never reached out to him. Jack has obviously been a good father to Kyle and been there for him, despite the fact that we rarely heard Jack talk about him.

Diane pointed out to Jack that half of Kyle's DNA was from her. I guess Jack's genes have been the dominant ones in Kyle because I haven't seen Diane's conniving or manipulative side in Kyle. We all have an evil side, but it's recessive in most of us. Diane has always connived, schemed, and inserted herself into everyone's life to get what she wanted. We all know that she will ignore any boundaries that Jack will set for her because Diane plays by her own rules. She hasn't changed, despite claiming she has. She is still the same evil bitch she was all those years ago. One thing is obvious -- this leopard hasn't changed her spots.

Diane has returned to Genoa City in spite of Jack warning her not to, and she checked into Phyllis' hotel. If she didn't want to cause any problems and claims she's changed, why didn't she check into the Athletic Club rather than Phyllis' hotel? If she considered Phyllis' feelings by checking into the Athletic Club, it would have proven that she's changed. Instead, she added insult to injury by flaunting her presence to Phyllis. We all know Diane has an endless supply of games, and we have to wonder what she has in mind to get what she wants. Diane is a master at playing the game of chaos.

The only thing Jack was thankful to Diane for was meeting his granddaughter, Allie. Jack saw Allie for the incredible person she was, and he couldn't wait to tell his siblings about her. Thankfully, Phyllis was with him when he confronted Diane. Was anyone surprised that Phyllis kept Jack grounded during both trips to Los Angeles? I think Phyllis hated Diane more than anyone in Genoa City because of the hell Diane put her through, yet Phyllis remained calm and objective, and she constantly steered Jack to take the right path during his encounters with Diane.

Whenever Jack began spinning out around Diane, Phyllis grounded him. She also offered good advice on how to approach Allie. Who knew Flaky Phyllis could actually be the voice of reason? It looks like both Jack and Phyllis are a step or two closer to reuniting as a couple.

When Jack returned to Genoa City, he told his shocked siblings about Diane. I thought Ashley was going to lose it. She was livid remembering everything Diane had done to her and all the others Diane harmed. With the exception of Ashley, who remained skeptical about this new stranger, Traci and Billy were excited to hear about Jack's granddaughter, Allie. Jack expressed his dread about contacting Kyle to tell him about Diane. He was in turmoil whether to tell Kyle about who Diane really is. I agree with Phyllis that Kyle needs to know all the facts. Once Kyle has the whole picture, he can decide whether he wants to include Diane in his life or not.

Let's zone in on the games our resident narcissist Ashland Locke continues to play with Victoria, Victor, and Adam. What a master manipulator this man is. He almost had me convinced that Victoria is the love of his life and that he would do anything to keep her by his side, with the exception of admitting everything underhanded he's ever done. He continues to maintain his innocence, despite the evidence against him.

Does Ashland really believe that if he keeps denying what he's done, it will all just disappear? He told Victoria that with Adam's deal, they could start over in another city, state, or country. That cad was asking Victoria to make a choice: leave Genoa City with him and distance herself from her family, or divorce him and remain in Genoa City with her family. Victoria has admitted she still loves Ashland, but at what cost? She knows she can't trust him and that she needs to sever her relationship with Ashland and the Newman Locke contract.

Victoria has played her part really well with Ashland. There were often times I wasn't sure whether she was actually going to stay with him or if she was playing him -- even after Ashland told her he would take the deal if Victoria told him she still loved him and was ready to leave town with him. I almost believed Victoria when she told Ashland she was ready to go with him -- until I saw her face. Then, I realized she will keep up the charade until he signs the documents. Then, the gloves will come off, and I can hardly wait to see Ashland's face.

That lying mogul has outconned everyone since he let his friend die in the car fire, changed his name, and stole his mentor's assets to begin his climb to the top. My guess is that payback for Ashland is going to be a bitch, and he won't take it well. It leaves me wondering if he will retaliate against the Newmans and if he truly believes he can outsmart the Great Victor Newman.

Adam is quite the piece of work, especially with Sally constantly feeding his ego. I'm not sure who is going to cause more chaos in Genoa City, Diane, or Adam and Sally, with a little Ashland thrown in. I guess that Adam 2.0 is slowly reverting to Adam1.0. We all remember the Adam who whined and lamented that Daddy didn't love him the best, so to get even, he tried to poison Daddy; the Adam who never took responsibility for his actions and always blamed someone else; and the Adam who was always plotting and scheming.

I will give Adam credit for his good deeds, which were few and far between. He did get in front of a bullet that had been meant for Victor, Adam stepped up for Faith during both her crises, and he came to Nick's rescue during a tornado in Kansas. I could be wrong, but I believe those were the only incidents where Adam had cared about someone other than himself. No, wait, long ago, I think he saved Noah from a fire. I guess he has to go big or go home when it comes to good deeds.

Adam has his own game plan. He decided that Victoria's plan to get rid of Ashland had too many holes in it, and he unilaterally decided his plan was the best -- Adam's ego at its best. Without consulting anyone, he made a deal with Ashland for an ungodly amount of money. Adam was under the delusional belief that his plan didn't have any holes and would immediately be accepted.

Adam pointed out that Victoria didn't have a plan "B" if her original plan didn't work, but neither did his. If his deal was accepted, where was the money going to come from? What if Ashland rejected Adam's deal? What option did Adam have for Ashland? According to Adam, he expected the funds to come from Victoria, the exact amount of money she, Nick, and Abby had won in their lawsuit against Victor regarding their trust fund.

Adam told Victor that Victoria brought Ashland into the family, and she needed to pay to get him out. Everyone needs such a loving brother; even Victor was disgusted with Adam's lack of compassion for Victoria's situation. Did Adam honestly believe that Victoria would agree to that? What if Ashland rejected the deal, or if he wanted to have the pot sweetened? So much for Adam's "no holes" plan.

Adam was fortunate that Victor agreed to go along with Adam's plan and that the money would come from Victor. Victor always has a game plan for any given situation, and this one is no different. He obviously has a plan "B" if Ashland doesn't take Adam's deal. Lucky for Adam, Ashland took his deal. Sneaky Victoria convinced Ashland that she was willing to leave everything behind and go with him. I'm filled with anticipation to see the look on Ashland's face when he realizes that Victoria outconned him. What will he do now that the ink has dried on the documents, his marriage has been annulled, and Victoria won't be by his side?

What do you suppose Adam is going to do now that Ashland has accepted his deal? Will he settle for resuming his position as CEO of Newman Media? I doubt it. Since he was successful in getting Ashland to take his deal, what demands is he going to make with Victor? Will he revert to his old self completely and seek revenge if his demands aren't met, or will this loose cannon decide he prefers to remain Adam 2.0?

I love Lily. She certainly put Sally in her place when Sally said she wanted to be friends with Lily. Lily has a way of being subtly direct and of immediately getting her point across without raising her voice.

Sally told Lily that she found that being on the up and up is the better way to go. Are we seeing a new and improved Sally Spectra? Hmm... I wonder for how long. Let's assume that Miss Goodie-Two-Shoes is going to keep Adam on the straight and narrow. Wouldn't that be a hoot -- two bad eggs reforming each other. If these two are reformed, I don't think we have to worry about diminishing the villains in this town. Let's not forget we have our resident narcissists who are schemers and manipulators: Diane and Ashland. These two narcissists will continue to create chaotic situations.

I have to wonder whether I have been sleeping under a rock for too long. When did executives begin arriving at work, partially clad? As COO, Sally certainly has no concept of appropriate executive's work attire. Some of her dresses have barely covered her caboose, were backless dresses, or exposed a bare midriff. What's next, a neckline that plunges to her waist? Sally needs a wardrobe consultant to show her proper executive attire. Am I off base or just being a prude?

There are two storylines that I'm sure a lot of people are finding a real waste of time and extremely boring: Billy's podcasts, and Mariah and Tessa's chatter about their wedding.

Billy's podcasts... what purpose do they serve, and how do they make an exciting storyline? I have tried every which way to get into them, but I just can't. To me, they appear to be Billy's analyzing himself and his thoughts about his various feelings about life, power, and manipulation. Well, who cares? Can he not do that on his own time rather than boring us with them?

Then there's the ridiculous chatter from Mariah and Tessa about their Friday the 13th, '70s glam-themed wedding. Why? Do the writers feel that because we were robbed of Summer and Kyle's wedding, this will make up for it? If that is what they're going for, it has been an epic failure.

Victoria and Ashland's over-the-top destination wedding plans barely got any mention. Mariah and Tessa's wedding plans and Billy's podcasts feel like fillers because the writers are short on storylines. It's time to put an end to both these storylines. The scenes with Mariah and Tessa modeling their wedding outfits couldn't have been more boring or unnecessary, in my opinion. It appears the writers don't know what to do with Billy, Mariah, and Tessa, so this was their solution.

We have all figured out that Allie will be moving to Genoa City to be with her new family, and a blind horse can see her becoming Noah's love interest. I think they will make a very cute couple, and it will finally stop Noah from pining for Tessa.

What is going to happen to Ashland once his marriage is annulled? Will the writers pair him up with Diane? Can you imagine the chaos these two would create if they did get together? Maybe Ashland will leave town, or perhaps he will seek revenge on the Newmans. How about Diane? Will she succeed in reuniting with Kyle and winning Jack's heart? I can't wait to see how Kyle will handle Diane. As for Jack, I doubt he will ever forgive Diane for what she's done to him and Phyllis.

I doubt if Ashland will leave town. I believe he will try to win Victoria's heart again because he really is deeply in love with her. He might even try to start his own empire again in direct competition with Newman Enterprises. That would be interesting. It would keep Ashland in town, a thorn in the Newmans' side with some corporate intrigue thrown in.

I would like to see Diane's storyline put on a short leash. I believe there are enough players in Genoa City to build storylines around, like Billy, Mariah, and Tessa. These three are a staple to this soap, and they should be given some good storylines rather than bringing someone like Diane back. How many storylines can they have her in with so many hating her? I hope her storyline will be short-lived.

Those were my thoughts about last week's shenanigans in our little town. I would love to read your comments and opinions. In the meantime, until next time, 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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