Dear Readers, the Genoa City masquerade ball began as a glitzy, glamorous stunner of a night but ultimately ended in chaos. It was undoubtedly an entertaining and emotional ride through 50 years of Y&R history.
When Phyllis collapsed and left by ambulance, her new husband, Jeremy, played the concerned husband to the absolute shock of Genoa City's elite. Did they fly to Vegas and get married in the Elvis Chapel? I feel cheated that I didn't get to see this off-screen wedding!
People make horrible decisions when they feel they have nothing left to lose, and clearly, that's what happened to Phyllis. She was ostracized by her children and many of her friends, lost her job, and felt she had been left with nothing. This made her vulnerable to Jeremy's suggestions that she join him in the scheme to take down Diane.
This doesn't ring true to me. I can't imagine the Phyllis I know ever agreeing to a fake death that means she has to be away *forever*, never able to return to her friends and family.
That is a sticking point for me. I can see Phyllis fighting Diane for all eternity. Still, this plan has too many unknowns, and Phyllis is too brilliant. I don't know how Stark convinced her to proceed with this con.
No one in Genoa City will buy that Jeremy Stark is the grieving widower as he flaunts Phyllis' fortune around town. All of Phyllis' friends and family will suspect foul play where Jeremy is concerned.
On the other hand, the voicemail that Michael played for Christine will cast suspicion on Diane and make her a leading suspect, too. Readers, don't hate me, but I am open-minded to the possibility that Diane and Jeremy might still work together.
Consider it: Jeremy just got Phyllis to willingly sign over half of her money to him. Diane and Jeremy could easily split town together and disappear into the night. I hope this is not the case, for Jack's sake, but I'm still not 100% convinced that Diane is a changed woman. Perhaps that's because I'm still rooting for Jack and Phyllis to reunite. However, that dream seems impossible now that Phyllis has taken part in such a cruel and horrible scheme to fake her own death. But, apparently, Jack is the kind of man who can forgive such things, as he did with Diane!
Jeremy paid off Carson, the EMT driver. Carson said he made sure Phyllis' blood was found at the scene, and if the cops questioned him, he would stick to the story. Clearly, Carson is being set up to be the weakest link in this plot. Someone in Genoa will get that guy to flip, and right now, my money is on Summer, who can be as relentless as her mother. Since we saw on Friday's preview that Stark goes to the hotel room and Phyllis is gone, but all her belongings are still there, I wonder if Carson returned to kidnap her for a bigger payoff? If he is skeevy enough to steal bodies from a morgue and fake a death, I am sure he's not above kidnapping!
This plan of theirs has no guarantees. What if Diane doesn't get arrested and just goes about her life? What if she marries Jack, and they go to Bora Bora on a honeymoon? Will Phyllis see their Instagram photos and be content to stay in hiding, watching Jack and Diane frolic in turquoise seas? I doubt it.
So, when Phyllis does show up again, and of course, she will, will there ever be redemption for "Red" once Genoa City knows she purposely broke their hearts and made them grieve? Yes, but it might take years.
I have to say that despite the ludicrousness of some of these plot holes, the shock waves floating around Genoa City have made this an exceptionally compelling storyline. Phyllis was (is) a significant presence in the lives of nearly everyone in town. Almost every character on the Y&R canvas has a relationship and an experience with Phyllis.
One by one, watching the characters we love expressing what Phyllis has meant to them, good and bad, has been so moving. I felt that when Nick told Sally about how Phyllis saved him after Cassie died. I remember that story arc so clearly, how lost Nick was and how Phyllis shone her light on him and helped him smile again. Right or wrong, he needed her in that dark season of his life.
Watching Michael and Christine discuss Phyllis, and Christine smiling over the irony that she would have to be the one to bring her archenemy's killer to justice was poignant. "Almost as if she planned it."
One good thing from this mayhem was Lily big-spooning Daniel to comfort him. Ah, seeing them lying close together warmed my old heart. The conversation they had about loss and grief before that made me weep.
Lily talked to Daniel about what it's like to lose a parent. She said you divide your life between before and after they die. Lily said sometimes she still picks up the phone to call Neil. He asked her how it was when her mom died. Lily pointed out that they never found her body, so it's a whole other trauma that she doesn't consider. Which made me think, "Dru is coming home!" Oh, how I would love to see that storyline!
Lily told Daniel that she had heard it said that grief is love with nowhere to go.
Daniel says it feels like it will hurt forever, and Lily said it will hurt forever, but it will get better over time.
As a woman who has lost both parents, I have experienced all those emotions. When my mother passed from breast cancer, one of my girlfriends sent me an article that said people who have lost a parent are members of a secret club that no one wants to join. We had a group of people at my office in this sad club. When one of us had a midday meltdown, a text message saying, "Secret Club alert," was sent out, and we'd all walk across the street to Starbucks and cry with whoever needed it.
Lily and Daniel are in that club together now, and I know that Lily can help Daniel through his grief. Of course, we know Daniel is grieving in vain, but Daniel doesn't know it right now. He is taking his mother's loss on himself, and Daniel believes he is a contributing factor. He's not, but he's replaying every unkind word he said to his mother in his head and regretting the way he pushed her away.
Having Michael Damian on canvas currently is perfect. His tender scenes with his son are so poignant. He was always a compelling character and an actor who could make you feel whatever he felt. Even though Danny and Phyllis had a complicated relationship, you can tell he has come to care about her as the mother of his son over the years.
Summer is also spiraling, bouncing between denial and rage. How on earth will Summer live in a house with Diane, whom she thinks is responsible for her mother's death? This is not going to be pretty. Next week's previews show Summer going to Chance to try to convince him to help her investigate her mother's death. Can you imagine how enraged she will be when Phyllis comes strolling in someday?
It's hard to stay in the present because I see the future. The work of the cast is spectacular. The shock, regret, and grief are so genuine and palpable in every character who was close to Phyllis, and we feel for them, and yet we know she's not dead. We know that Phyllis chose to impact every person she knows to seek revenge on Diane.
I know some people could take their money, move to a new town, and start life over again without a backward glance, but is Phyllis one of those people? Nope. She might take a couple of weeks to shake it off in Jamaica. Still, within a month, I predict she will be incognito in the lobby of the Grand Phoenix, spying on her family as they grieve over her like Jackie Gleason in Gigot.
As I mentioned, I have a soft spot for Jack, so I do not envy him right now, as he will be in the line of fire. He loved Phyllis, and now Diane is a suspect in her death. With Summer on the attack, how will Jack defend Diane against the attacks from within his own family? Will Jack start to doubt Diane once he hears the voicemail that Phyllis left for Michael? I predict Jack will have many people in his ear, telling him that Diane is not to be believed and reminding him that he saw Diane attack Phyllis with his own eyes.
I know I shouldn't feel sympathy for Phyllis, but I do. It's painful to be at odds with your family. It's sad to lose your career and identity. It's painful to feel someone else has taken control of your life and that you are out of options. Phyllis has experienced all those things recently. I think she wasn't expecting to hear the pain and fear in her kids when she collapsed. Phyllis convinced herself that her kids didn't care what happened to her, and when it suddenly became evident that they did care, I think she felt remorse for her choices.
As many in town mourn Phyllis, Victoria is being Victoria. She stopped by her father's office to inform him that she had withdrawn the offer to buy McCall Unlimited from Tucker. When Victor asked her point-blank if she tanked the deal to stick it to Adam, she denied it but later admitted to Nate that she didn't want to hand an empire to Adam.
This trait in Victoria is a trait I see over and over in many successful people in our society. The foolish notion that if you win, someone else needs to lose. It's possible to create outcomes where everyone wins and gets something, but those solutions don't seem popular. There is an attitude like, "Why compromise and let everyone walk away with a small win if I can crush the competition and grind them into the dust?" I will never understand that.
Victoria winning doesn't mean Adam has to lose. The irony of Victoria moaning about Victor handing Adam a company he didn't deserve while running the company that Victor handed her was hilarious. At least Adam has a degree from Harvard Business. I don't even remember Victoria taking a Business 101 class at GCU.
But I digress. This isn't good for Tucker because Devon has told Lily he wants to team up with her again and try to reset their partnership. This leads me to believe he isn't interested in buying McCall, and Ashley will be left holding the debt of a company no one wants.
Unless Sally's pep talk about his worth is enough to convince Adam to try to finance the purchase of McCall on his own.
I get happy when I see Sally and Adam in scenes together. I enjoyed them as a couple. I am unsure if Sally will end up with Nick or Adam, but I lean toward Adam.
If Adam prevails, Nick won't be able to bounce back so quickly to Sharon this time because I think she's seriously crushing on Chance. He is free and clear now, as Abby informed Chance today that she and Dominic plan to move in with Devon. I'm glad to hear it, although I wouldn't mind seeing a few more Nina/Abby scenes while Nina's around.
I loved how Sharon described Phyllis as two different women in one body, one vicious and scheming and the other loving and compassionate. She remembered Phyllis being there for her while she battled cancer. The next part was as the characters reminisce about Phyllis. We remember all these scenes, too.
This brings me to the best part of the Y&R 50th anniversary -- the visits from our beloved characters from the past and a few flashbacks here and there. If you haven't had the chance to watch the 50th anniversary special that aired in primetime, it's available to stream on Paramount+ and worth every minute. I loved it so much. Lots of fun stories, flashbacks, memories, and a glimpse behind the scenes. It was a great tribute to Y&R's long and rich history.
One of my favorite scenes of the week was seeing Danny, Jack, and Nick, three of Phyllis' exes, reminiscing about her together. They concluded that Phyllis would love watching the three of them in a circle, discussing her, and for all we know, she did see them. For all we know, she has a drone flying around Genoa City to hear what people say about her.
The best outcome here would be if this is a Bill Spencer/Ridge Forrester/Sheila Carter sting plotline like they just did on The Bold and the Beautiful. Wouldn't it be marvelous to discover that Phyllis was working with the Feds to take down Jeremy? I doubt they would try the same plot on two shows, but if they did, it would make Phyllis a hero instead of a villain. More likely is that she's a pawn and just got herself kidnapped, as I mentioned earlier.
Chelsea and Billy kissed at the gala, and when Chelsea saw Billy looking gloomy, she asked him if it was due to their kiss. He assured her that wasn't the case and shared the news of Phyllis' demise with her. I would love to hear how you feel about the pairing of Billy and Chelsea. Do you think they can make it as a couple? Do they make each other better? I am rooting for them. They have both been through so much heartbreak.
As for Nate and Elena, I am not convinced they will make it. Nate seems like he is drawn to Victoria with a magnet. Although he denies his attraction to Victoria, he runs in her direction whenever she is near. But what happens when Elena lures J.T. back to town? Will Victoria be able to fall for J.T. again after all the hell he put her through when he had a brain tumor? Side note: I don't think anyone should be taking life advice from Audra. Elena should not do this. And really, why is Audra so invested? Why is she interested in Nate and Victoria's relationship? I don't get what is in it for her.
When Nate had to put his doctor hat on this week when Phyllis collapsed, Elena started talking about what a great team they made. Still, he shut her down and reminded her medicine wasn't his life anymore. I wonder how often this happens in real life. How many people spend eight years going to college to pursue medicine, successfully work as a doctor, and then decide one day to throw it all away to work in middle management in an office?
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Phyllis take half of the loot and move into a hotel with a spa and room service? Will Leanna Love be back to interview Jeremy and stir up trouble? Will we watch Sally eat six small meals daily, as Nate recommended? Will Summer plan the memorial service of a lifetime for her not-dead mother? Will Shemar Moore show up with Drucilla in tow? Will Lucy come to town to discover all the other teenagers in Genoa City have been banished into hiding? Will Phyllis show up at her own funeral?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
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