My, oh, my... folks in Genoa City certainly weren't holding back this week! For some, their lack of restraint will likely have an adverse effect, backfire altogether, and give their enemies an advantage. So, who do I think needs to chill out and deserves to be served a "restraint order" following their behavior this past week? Let's break it down!
The obvious place to start is with Ashland, who was actually served a legal restraining order this week when Kyle and Summer made moves to keep him away from Harrison permanently. I can't say I blame them for taking legal action in the way that they are -- not just because of Ashland's lies and misdeeds, but also because he was always going to be a looming threat in regard to the custody of Harrison. This may be their best shot to strip Ashland of any hold he may still have over the son he raised and thought was his own for so many years.
But while I understand why they are taking legal action, I do have to wonder if it really is best for Harrison. He is too young to understand how serious Ashland's lies were, and the two of them seem to have a great relationship. I honestly do not think that Ashland would do anything to harm the child, and he seems to genuinely want to maintain their relationship without having any ulterior motives for doing so. It seems almost cruel to suddenly cut Ashland out of his life completely -- especially since he already lost his mother suddenly when she went to prison last year. This boy is going to have some real abandonment issues when he grows up!
Ashland was certainly taking things too far this week, though, and could have shown some restraint when he ran into Harrison and the nanny at the park. I was surprised that she let Ashland hang around and spend time alone with Harrison without getting Kyle or Summer's permission first. She clearly showed some animosity toward him and, therefore, likely knows a little about the situation. Just as Ashland tends to do, he was pushing his luck with the nanny and only further proved to Kyle and Summer that he can't be trusted to take their lead when it comes to Harrison. Still, I can't say it wasn't satisfying to see Kyle interrupt their unplanned play date and give Ashland the news that they would be serving him with a restraining order. But as satisfying as that was, I still do worry about Harrison and how this will all affect him. If only Victor were worried about that, too...
Victor is another character that could have shown a little restraint this week, so he has earned my next "restraint order." Not that I expect Victor to ever show restraint once he has his mind set on something, but I am afraid that all of his attacks on Ashland are only making the entire situation worse. The legal action he is taking against Ashland will most certainly become public (even though Michael is convinced he will be able to keep the lawsuit against him quiet), which will only upset Victoria further when she learns what her father has been up to (and could even push her closer toward a reconciliation with Ashland). And I suspect Victoria won't be too happy to learn that Victor nudged Summer into convincing Kyle to take Harrison away from Ashland, either!
Victor is pushing Ashland into a corner, and eventually, Ashland is going to start lashing out. Ashland has been holding back thus far in order to prove himself as a changed man to Victoria, but that will only last for so long before he reaches his breaking point. Like Victor, Ashland will only be pushed so far before he starts pushing back. Ashland genuinely seems to want to make a fresh start and do whatever it takes to reclaim the life he was building with Victoria, and, as much as Victor may not like it, letting Ashland do just that may end up being the better option in retrospect. This battle between the two titans could get very messy, and Victor may find himself wishing he had had shown some restraint, rather than pushing Ashland to his breaking point, when there starts to be collateral damage. But, then again, collateral damage never seems to be a concern of "the Mustache" when he goes to war with someone.
And Victor isn't the only person in town that doesn't seem to be concerned with collateral damage. My next "restraint order" is for Imani, who is not being shy about her intentions to steal Nate away from Elena. In fact, I don't think the word "subtlety" is in her vocabulary. Her intentions are clear to anyone and everyone who spends time with her when the topic of Nate comes up! And while I think she should tone it down a little and be less obvious, I am not mad about this storyline at all! If you have read any of my columns over the last few months, you know that I have been rooting for an Imani/Nate/Elena triangle to heat up for some time now.
One of the reasons I have been anxious for this storyline to heat up is because I really enjoy Leigh-Ann Rose as an actress, and I think she is a lot of fun in the role. I have wanted to see more of her since Amanda first met the sister she didn't know she had, and I am thrilled that she is finally getting a larger storyline. I like the fun mischief that her character brings to the show, and, although I think she could show some restraint in her eagerness to bed and/or date Nate, it is almost refreshing to have a character that is so up-front with their intentions rather than plotting behind people's backs. If she succeeds, no one will be able to accuse her of being dishonest or two-faced!
As unlikely as it may seem for good-guy Nate to give in to temptation and cheat on Elena (especially after all they went through to finally be together), I am starting to get a clearer picture as to how the writers may get us to that point. Imani is being a champion for Nate at work and making him think that his every idea is brilliant, whereas Nate is feeling insecure about his new career path and feeling uneasy about the tension building between him and Devon, as Devon continues to shut down most of his ideas for the company (which Devon almost seems to enjoy doing -- and I don't like that one bit). If Nate starts to lean on Imani because she is the only one supporting him at work, then their working relationship could end up growing into a more personal one.
Meanwhile, Imani is facing backlash from her sister, Amanda, for flirting with Nate. Amanda may think she is doing the right thing by getting involved, but she should know that the more she tries to control Imani, the more Imani is going to rebel and become more motivated to pursue Nate. There was absolutely no need for Amanda to interrupt their work meeting to pull Imani aside just to basically tell her to stop complimenting Nate so much. Imani didn't say anything inappropriate during the meeting that warranted that type of response from Amanda; so, Amanda also gets a "restraint order" from me this week. She needs to get over herself and realize that whatever happens between Imani and Nate has nothing to do with her. I like Amanda's character in general, but she is being a little too extra when dealing with her sister lately.
Speaking of being extra, Phyllis certainly earns a "restraint order" from me this week for her over-the-top behavior. It. Was. A. Train. Wreck. And it was a train wreck that I couldn't look away from! Michelle Stafford was a treat to watch this week as Phyllis did what she does best and shot herself in the foot. It was borderline cringey (but also a lot of fun!) to see Phyllis flaunting her sexual relationship with Jack in Diane's face. When she unbuttoned her blouse upon seeing Diane in the Grand Phoenix lobby to make it as obvious as possible that she and Jack had just had sex, I literally laughed out loud. Things went from bad to worse from there as Diane goaded Phyllis into losing her cool and admitting that she was doing everything she could to mark her territory and making it clear to Diane that Jack was hers. Unfortunately, because Jack witnessed this, her actions had the opposite effect.
It's really sad to me that this is happening to Jack and Phyllis. It has been obvious to everyone (us viewers included) that Phyllis and Jack have been headed toward a romantic reunion for months, but Phyllis had to muck things up for all of us by making her decision to finally pursue Jack in reaction to Diane being back among the living (rather than it being about their deep love for one another and desire to build a future together). Phyllis' actions -- or rather, reactions -- have now tainted their next great love story and may have even derailed their entire relationship before it truly got started again.
It was really satisfying to see Phyllis' growth, though, when she had her conversation with Amanda about the mess she had made of her relationship with Jack. It is clear that Phyllis loves Jack and wants to have a genuine relationship with him, but she is tortured by the realization that she is allowing her insecurities regarding Diane to get the better of her. I always love when Phyllis and Amanda get together and open up to one another like this, and I love the character development that it provided. I feel for Phyllis, but I wonder if it's too late for her to salvage her relationship with Jack -- and I am also wondering if I am even rooting for them anymore, which is crazy for me because I love them together!
I am honestly just loving the impact that Diane's return has had on the show, and I find myself excited to tune in every day to see what is going to happen next. The Phyllis and Diane rivalry is one of my favorites, and it is so great to have Susan Walters back on the show! And speaking of Diane, I'm not serving her with a "restraint order" this week, but instead, I am awarding her the "Queen of Restraint" award! She barely has to do or say anything and still manages to push everyone's buttons in just the right way. Unlike Phyllis, who can't help but lash out and make a scene, Diane contains her composure and restrains herself from making a spectacle out of the situation. She could easily go toe-to-toe with Phyllis and bark back at her with as much ferocity as is being thrown at her, but instead, she just sits back and lets Phyllis do all the work for her while coming out looking like the victim.
And Diane is no victim. It is obvious to me that every word she says is calculated, and she is enjoying making Phyllis (and all her other enemies) squirm! I have to give credit where credit is due because she is a master manipulator, and it is entertaining as hell to watch! Even when she is just out having coffee with Allie and Traci, you can see that the wheels are spinning behind her eyes, and she is working an angle or determining how she can turn the situation to her advantage. She has learned the practice of restraint, though, and is able to appear as less of a threat than she actually is.
Even though I know Diane is the "villain" of this story, I find myself rooting for her. Maybe I even want to see what a Jack and Diane pairing could be like all these years later?! Am I crazy? I also wouldn't be opposed to seeing Phyllis take a shot at love with a different man from her past -- namely, Malcolm, Damon, or Ronan -- while Jack moves on (whether he ends up with Diane or not). Hmmm... this storyline could lead to a lot of different places, and I can't wait to see where it is all headed!
Oh, and before signing off, I also want to give a shout-out to Elena because, like Diane, she is another character that deserves a "Queen of Restraint" award. She knows that Imani is after Nate, and she would have every right to call her out on it at any time. Instead, Elena chooses to restrain herself from starting a catfight and remains friendly toward Imani while also taking every opportunity to casually remind her that she and Nate are solid and that he is off-limits to her. Many of us would certainly not have the restraint to be the bigger person in a situation like that! Kudos, Elena!
Well, I think I have given out enough "restraint orders" and other awards for this week, so that is going to be a wrap for me. Don't forget to hit the comments here and/or on the Soap Central social media pages to share your opinions, too! Looking forward to hearing from you!
Until next time,
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