"It's a new dawn, a new day, a new life for me...and I'm feeling good." Wow, it's a brand new year, and what better way to express my optimism for the road ahead than to burst into song? The lyrics of "Feeling Good," written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, bring a vitality and positive energy to "this old world is a new world and a bold world" that is filled with hope for the present and future. And isn't that what we all want, not only for ourselves, but for our dear, beloved characters on The Young and the Restless?
Before I get started, my head is still spinning from the speed with which Nikki's drunken storyline seemed to have been resolved last week. A stunned Paul overheard Nikki confess to Katherine's spirit that she was drinking, and of course, he was shocked. Why, the expression on Nikki's face pretty much conveyed the words, "Sorry about that, Chief." (Get it? The old expression that Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, always said, and Paul is the chief of police and...oh, never mind. I loved Get Smart back in the day, though.) But all was forgiven, and for a quick minute, this whole drinking escapade seemed to be over, which had me somewhat flabbergasted.
But wait...not so fast. Paul actually questioned if another stressful situation would cause Nikki to relapse, but she claimed that with a new sponsor in tow, she would be just fine. Whew! That would have been a sudden and disappointing conclusion if this story had indeed been over in such a blistering instant. I mean, her family still hadn't been clued in to all this mess. Paul feared there was more to come, and I was glad to read that Melody Thomas Scott has recovered completely from her illness to bring it.
In fact, we could have placed bets that Nikki's angst would come sooner rather than later, especially since she learned that Victor was the owner of the holding company that was trying to wipe Crimson Lights out from right under Dylan's nose. Look how long it took for Nikki's husband to set out to destroy her son. Actually, not long at all. But it was all for the sake of business according to Victor, of course. Hey, nothing personal, Dylan. But Nikki and Victor certainly weren't on the same page in that respect, as she realized that Victor had used his company as an excuse for every dirty deed that he'd ever done. And that knowledge sent her right back to the bottle. That didn't take long either.
When will Nikki's family finally realize she is drinking again? It's not like it's the first time she has relapsed, yet they always seem to be blindsided by it. After all this time, you would think they would know the signs. Or maybe they all are just too caught up in their own drama to even notice. But really, there is no excuse at all for Victor. He's supposed to be the love of her life and the one who knows her better than anyone. But in reality, Victor probably prefers Nikki in a drunken state so he can go merrily on deviously plotting away. I guess that would make Nikki and Victor the perfect couple. He schemes in the name of business, which ends up hurting the ones that he supposedly loves, and she drinks to excess in order to numb the pain of his many betrayals. Ideal!
And here, the citizens of Genoa City thought Joe was the villain when they should have known all along that it was Victor. He just wears that cloak so well. Not that Mr. Clark is all that squeaky clean, mind you. He has definitely been working his own agenda, which seemed to be trying to win his lady back. But no, no, a thousand times no, Avery refused to let herself be tempted by her ex-husband's doting yet lecherous words. Or so it appeared.
No matter how much Avery denied it to Dylan, Joe, and herself, she did seem to be quite affected by Joe and his declarations of love and second chances. She looked rather shaken up after she left their meeting in his suite. Sure, maybe Joe's trick was just a ploy to derail Dylan's efforts, but that doesn't mean Avery wasn't affected by it. She seems to still have some lingering feelings for her ex, and that can't be good for her upcoming marriage with Dylan. Will this be yet another wedding that turns into a non-wedding? More importantly, will she actually show up at the ceremony? The suspense builds. Actually, if Avery had her way, she would have dashed down the aisle right then and there after Joe made his advances. And even though Dylan agreed that they could marry right away, why do I suspect that a "Mr. Tall, Dark, and Oily" (per Jill) roadblock may prevent this from happening?
Dylan couldn't have a better person than Kevin to help him in his battle against the "sketchy" Joe Clark and the rascally, no-longer-secret owner of Crimson Lights' property, Victor. After all, it was Kevin who discovered the truth. The computer geek flashed his humor again when Kevin claimed, "I don't hack. I navigate cyberspace with precision and alacrity." Dylan will need more than Kevin to defeat the enemy, though. Now that Nikki knows that Victor is behind all the shenanigans, Dylan may have his mommy right by his side. That Victor always did have a problem with priorities when it came to family. His endless claims to put family first ring false when he didn't hesitate to take Crimson Lights from Dylan to profit largely in a business deal. But then again, Dylan is Nikki's son, not Victor's.
Victoria wanted a happy new year when she returned to work alongside her father. Somehow that just sounds so contradictory -- happy...Victor. Those two words just don't jive well together. I was just waiting for Victor to insist that Victoria try to pry information about Ashley's project out of Ben, so I was rather stunned when he didn't. Victor apparently was on "the Ben train" because he thought Stitch has been "a man" who had only lied to protect his mother.
Victor was even gracious enough to shake the hand of "Billy Boy" if it meant that Billy was out of Victoria's life romantically. Boy, that Victor sure is a "big softie." See, Billy, all you had to do was to break it off with Victoria years ago in order for Victor to finally -- well, I can't say, like, so let's just say -- not hate you as much. But I wouldn't turn my back on Victor if I were you, Billy. As we all know, his chivalry will only go so far.
I had to laugh when Stitch compared the smell of the old fragrance to "a rotting skunk's carcass." Man, that is bad! It reminded me of that song, "Love Potion Number Nine:" "I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink." My best friend's brother used to go around singing that all the time when we were young. Oh, the memories. Didn't Ben seem to be a little jealous when he heard about Ashley's memorable New Year's Eve with Joe Clark? For someone who's supposed to be so happy with Victoria, wouldn't this be a little out of place? Or was his one-night stand with Ashley so unforgettable that he won't be able to completely move on now? Will dear Ben always be "torn between two lovers"? Oh dear, I must get all these song lyrics out of my head.
I wonder what Abby is up to by sneaking a sample of the newly selected, sweet-smelling fragrance for herself. Could she hope to pursue something more with Detective Harding, or could she still have an interest in Devon? That last choice could prove to be rather interesting, since Devon already has the hots for Hilary, yet the very attractive Gwen is also looking his way. Abby could really spice that all up, especially with the fragrance in hand. But more than likely, she wishes to stack the deck in her favor in the chase for Stitch's heart. Pitting mother against daughter would be rather fun because, let's face it, we all know that Ashley is still very much interested in Ben. But in the meantime, there's no harm in Ashley having a little fun with Joe Clark, right?
I have a feeling, though, that if Ashley was more interested in Mr. Clark than she let on, she would eventually have competition in Avery, who still seems to be a little too passionate regarding her ex. I have to admit that Y&R is doing a pretty bang-up job of mixing up the possible love connections right now. Will it be Ashley, Victoria, and Abby all in pursuit of Ben? Or will Ashley and Avery fight it out over Joe Clark? And would Dylan be left out in the cold? Is Abby after the heart of Detective Harding, Devon, or Ben? There are just so many possibilities. I would suggest that maybe Abby took the sample of the potion for her mother, but come on, she is just too selfish for that. But who knows...maybe Abby will surprise me with her choice of target. I hope so.
I was wondering, finally, when someone would bring this up -- I had noticed that Chelsea was still wearing her wedding ring, and I questioned whether she had really moved on. I was glad when Billy finally mentioned it. I mean, there may be "hot, sexy, intense heat" between them, but that "big, shiny thing" still on her finger probably was putting a damper on that. As big as that ring is, it sure couldn't have escaped Adam's notice that she was still wearing it. But maybe Adam will also notice that she took off her big ring once Billy had the tattoo ring removed from his finger. However, the complications with Billy in Chelsea's life seemed to be the least of Adam's worries.
Shame on me! I cannot believe that I didn't even suspect that Sage and Gabriel had been man and wife. Maybe it was because Sage had never once mentioned it at all. You would think that would be something you might want to bring up to a guy whose face you had crafted to be a dead (oops, sorry about the pun) ringer to your spouse. Hey, by the way, Adam, I not only unselfishly had plastic surgery done on your face to resemble Constance's beloved grandson but also selfishly to look just like the man that I had secretly loved, married, and lost. And you could tell by the short clip they showed of Gabriel and Sage that she did love him. They smiled and laughed so easily together. Sure, their marriage may have taken place due to the inheritance, but it was more than that for Sage.
It's just rather sad that now Sage is stuck with someone who doesn't love or want her and who also has her true love's face. Oh well, at least she will have half the money from the inheritance to comfort her...that is, if Sage and Adam can stay married to each other for three years (or should I say two years, two weeks, and one day.) Sage's motive for Adam's reconstructive surgery seemed to have been to keep Gabriel alive. But she is now learning that even though Adam is the spitting image of the man who captured her heart, the very essence of Gabriel died with him. Adam could never be Gabriel with his carefree ways and his humor that had so delighted Sage. Gabriel seemed to be light-hearted, while Adam has always been clamoring around in the dark, especially when it comes to relationships. Adam is not Gabriel, and he never will be.
However, Sage's marriage to Gabriel might just put a chink into Adam's scheme to win Chelsea back, although that sure didn't stop him from trying. His new plan was to move into a penthouse and be neighbors with Chelsea and Billy. Why, he can be the boy next door who is always running over to borrow a cup of sugar or a stick of butter. Wouldn't Billy be overjoyed with that? In fact, Billy will soon be finding that the Gabriel-faced Adam will be in every part of his life, since Adam strong-armed Jack to hire him on at Jabot. Unknowingly, Billy could become "best buds" with Adam...but somehow, I just don't see that ever happening. Just think how Adam would react if he knew that Connor referred to Billy as "Daddy." Smoke would come out of Adam's ears!
As much as I liked Michael Muhney's version of Adam, I am becoming somewhat captivated by Justin Hartley's take on Gabriel/Adam. What's even more complicated is that I really like Chelsea and Billy together, but I can also see this new Adam with Chelsea. It will be fun watching how this plays out, especially once Chelsea discovers that Gabriel is really Adam. This has the potential to make for a really awesome triangle, which is something we don't get enough of on soaps anymore.
Or could the triangle be made up of Adam, Sage, and Nick? This has some striking possibilities, especially since Nick knew Gabriel Bingham back in the day. When Adam slipped up and voiced that Juliet was a girl, not a boat, Nick wondered how "Gabe" could ever have forgotten that. Adam wants to keep his identity a secret, but that's not going to last too long if Nick continues to hang around Sage. There will be more slip-ups, and Nick will eventually catch on that something's not quite right. He knew Gabriel and Adam both, and Nick's no dummy. Well, except maybe in love -- and with his current sole custody battle.
Another tangled web holds the trio of Phyllis, Jack, and Kelly, and they have truly grabbed my attention. Before the Phyllis recast, I really liked Jack and Cady McClain's Kelly as a couple. But when they brought in Gina Tognoni as the new Phyllis, my loyalty swayed, and I wanted Jack back together with Phyllis. I can honestly say, however, that I would love to have both Jack and Kelly and Jack and Phyllis paired off, but I know that isn't possible. Which couple to pick? I mean, couldn't we just do what Endora did in an old Bewitched episode when she split Darren into two -- the working Darren and the fun-loving Darren, so that Samantha could go on her vacation? Only, it would have to be two identical Jacks, since both ladies love him for the man he is. We need a Jack clone, which we won't get, so I guess the ladies will have to just keep duking it out.
And sure enough, Phyllis and Kelly entered the ring for round two as they ducked and weaved to avoid each other's verbal blows. I think Phyllis had better watch out. I really believe she is underestimating Kelly. Seriously, if Kelly really did empty her car's tank of gas and buy the same dress as Phyllis for the New Year's Eve gala, she would seem to be willing to do almost anything to, at the very least, get revenge on Phyllis for stealing her man. In fact, I rather think Phyllis was telling the truth when she claimed that Kelly had lied to Jack about Phyllis hitting her.
That should warn Phyllis that she had not better push Kelly too far, or she needs to come up with a new strategy of attack. I think her current one is going to backfire, and she will end up losing the very thing she is trying to keep: Jack's love. Phyllis is a crafty lady, and she had better "get smart" fast! (Agent 86 would have appreciated my choice of words.) Unless, of course, Phyllis lied when she said that Kelly lied because Phyllis really had hit her. Now, that would be sneaky and devious and good -- if Jack believes her.
The Nick and Sharon custody battle for Faith raged on, and I can't say that I am any happier in the new year with this development. They are like two children who are fighting to keep their favorite toy except, of course, their combat is designed more to score one over on the other than for Faith's benefit. Faith has been very unhappy, but they continued to be more concerned with losing the case than with the feelings of their daughter. Sharon could have told her attorney that she and Nick had decided before the mediation to compromise, but instead, she let David Sherman speak then Nick overreacted rather than point out that he and Sharon were willing to work it out. Wasn't that what a mediation was supposed to be all about?
So Victor has entered the picture, and there is no way that this fight cannot become dirty now. All hope is gone for Faith to not become emotionally scarred if Nick is successful in dragging her away from her mom. For a usually reasonable guy, Nick sure has become very unreasonable, but at least he went to Sharon's for a Cassie and Mariah birthday celebration, complete with cookies. Sharon and Nick showed in those few moments that they could work together for Faith's sake as long as they kept the lawyers out of it. Why are they letting the attorneys run things when no progress is being made? Shoot, even Faith has a better chance than those wily legal eagles with her idea to do something big. And I can't wait to see what her brainstorm is.
I am glad that Sharon finally has some friends in Genoa City though. Hurray! It's been years since she had a really good friend -- in Dru. First, Dylan did what a friend does and just listened to Sharon's concerns. And then, surprisingly, Hilary expressed her sympathy to the person who had been nice to her when everyone else in town had turned against her. It's nice to see that Sharon has a girlfriend again. And shoot, with Chelsea as Sharon's new employer, dare we hope that the two of them will become friends also? That was something that could never have happened in the past. See, things -- and people -- do change.
Sharon went for years without having any friends at all, and in a way, Mariah is also her friend and supporter as well as being her daughter. And both Sharon and Kevin can help Mariah, who felt like an outsider looking into Cassie's perfect life. I loved that analogy. As long as Mariah's lips keep straying onto Summer's husband's mouth, Mariah will need her friends as her support system. But I tend to agree with Kevin and Austin that Mariah was only acting out when she kissed Austin and that it was easier for Mariah to put walls up, to run or to go after a married man, than to take a risk on finding something real.
Kevin indicated that he hoped to find somebody who was worth the risk, and I have a feeling that he might just mean Mariah. I hope so. Those two can really identify with each other because they both know where they are coming from. They have both had trust issues, and somehow they have survived. Let's see if Mariah will ever give herself a chance to finally be happy though.
But, miracle of miracles, Austin did something so surprising, so shocking, so astounding, it almost made soap history. Austin actually told Summer the truth about the kiss. That was unprecedented! And he also had to convince Summer not to go after Mariah (again) because it would only rile up the redhead even more. Man, that Austin is one smart guy. Summer had better hang on to him, no matter how Phyllis feels.
Abby arrived to offer her "auntly" advice, but I couldn't help but remember that she was carrying around that love potion sample. Which again makes me wonder who she will choose as her guinea pig. It would be totally wasted on Austin because he already loves Summer. Could she use it on Mariah in the hopes that the flaming-haired lady will set her sights on Kevin? My guess is that Kevin would rather have Mariah's heart for real.
Oh yes, Hilary was already regretting her plot to have her coworker, Gwen, pretend to be Devon's new, special girl. And because Devon has become an incredibly selfish jerk, he dazzled (and used) Gwen just to vex Hilary. I mean, how dare Hilary want to spend time with her husband -- his father? I can remember when Devon was a nice guy, but those days are long gone. Has all of that money from Katherine's inheritance made him that self-centered? Because he no longer has the financial hardships of everyday life, has Devon found that he needs the special challenge of stealing his dad's wife just to keep himself entertained, no matter who gets hurt in the process?
I suspect that since Neil's eyesight has slowly been returning and he has been keeping very hush-hush about it to everyone, Neil will sometime soon see the two lovebirds together, and the light will finally also shine on the truth. However, that very truth just may have him continue to pretend to be blind in order to keep Hilary tied to him in marriage. Neil, heed the Biblical proverb, "There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know." Neil, that is you, my friend.
After seeing numerous specialists, Michael finally had to accept that he had cancer and called to begin the treatment. It's about time. I love Michael and Lauren together but I just hope that there is more to this story. There's just so much rich territory to explore with this subject, and it seems that the writers are keeping it all pretty low-key. Other than the one scene, Michael has always seemed very calm, even as he denied the truth. I don't know. If I was in Lauren's shoes, I would constantly be in fear about what might happen to the love of my life. I would be terrified, even as I would do everything in my power to support my beloved. It just seems that there could be...more.
Thanksgiving is going to be quite a special occasion for The Young and the Restless' Neil (Kristoff St. John), because his son, Moses, is coming home for the holidays.
The CBS soap has cast young actor Dax Randall in the role, which is set to begin airing on Tuesday, November 22.
Sadly, those hoping for a full family reunion may be disappointed: Moses' mom, Sofia (Julia Pace Mitchell) won't be joining in on the Thanksgiving appearance.
Reps for Y&R haven't dished on how long Randall's Moses will be sticking around in Genoa City, but for Neil's sake, we're hoping he'll at least stay through Christmas.
Check out a reel of the tiny tot's work below, and then let us know what you think about Y&R bringing Moses home for Thanksgiving.
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