Never has "The Blame Game" been played better than it was in Genoa City last week. Everyone laid their troubles on someone else's doorstep, and no one took responsibility for their own actions. The Lily/Cane/Lauren/Michael mess is a great example. Cane blamed Michael, as well as Devon -- because Cane chose to keep Devon's secret from Lily -- for the actions that eventually led to a kiss between Lauren and Cane and, more seriously, a sleepover between Lily and Joe. Frankly, I think all four of these people bear some responsibility for the mess that they, and their marriages, are in!
Let's start with Lily, the obvious target, because she has been on her holier-than-thou high horse for so long that I'm sure many of us were secretly smug and satisfied when she fell from that lofty perch. How many times did she berate Neil and Hilary and then Devon and Hilary -- and the many infractions of Cane -- all with shrewish intensity? Too many to count unless I get out the calculator! Lily's fall was spectacular, and she felt the same guilt and shame that many of us can remember after a similar bout with the bottle. Alcohol is the great excuser. It removes inhibitions against anything that we want to do and gives us an excuse that we can believe in -- at least while we are in its clutches. That's what happened to Lily. She let a little hurt over a kiss justify alcohol-fueled revenge sex with Joe. Never mind that it was overkill and way out of proportion.
Michael also shares blame. He pushed Lauren and Cane together precisely because he wanted them to form an intimate attachment. He did not think about what it would do to Cane and Lily's marriage or to their children. Michael was totally selfish. He said that he was acting out of love for Lauren, but I suspect that he was acting out of pride because he felt less of a man due to the sexual dysfunction that the prostate cancer was causing. Michael's ego made it impossible to admit that he preferred divorce to telling Lauren the truth about the state of his sexual health.
Cane and Lauren also contributed. Neither of them had to kiss the other, and either of them could have pulled away. Both knew that what they were doing was wrong. I really don't buy how easily Cane and Lauren fell into that kiss. If neither of them had thoughts in that direction, as they told Lily, then there should not have been enough attraction between them for there to be any spark at all. Since there was more than a spark, then perhaps, some of Lily's suspicions were justified. She just shouldn't have acted on them until there was more than a kiss, and maybe, not even then if Lily wanted to keep the moral high ground, as well as protect her marriage. Had I been either Cane or Lauren, I would have rejected the kiss, just so I wouldn't give Michael the satisfaction of getting what he wanted, but that may just be me -- I always want to do the opposite of what I'm told!
I really liked Hilary and Devon's attitude and support for Lily. They are genuine and not holding her snarky, mean-spirited behavior against her. I'm sure that Neil is busily plotting revenge when he's not holding Nikki's hand in her battle against the bottle. All I can say is that Devon and Hilary had better tie the knot soon, because the actress, whose real-life pregnancy has not been written into the script, looks like she is about to pop at any moment. Soon there is not going to be a purse big enough to hide that enormous baby bump! P.S. Congratulations in real life to Mishael Morgan!
Neil is a big hypocrite also. He sat in Victor's office and encouraged Nikki to sign the merger contract as a witness, even though he knew that Nikki was signing a lie. Now he has resigned and is suddenly Victor's moral compass. Neil is Nikki's latest white knight, ready to charge off in her defense, essentially holding Nikki blameless and not accountable for her actions, effectively placing any blame on someone else. In this instance, it's Victor who is the big baddie, while in the past, Victor was Nikki's knight and someone else -- Ian Ward for example -- filled the role of baddie. (Continuing the pattern, Paul was Nikki's knight in the search for Dylan, again excluding Victor from Nikki's confidence for no good reason that I could see. I think Nikki likes having lots of men buzzing around her like bees.)
Neil still has problems of his own to sort out since his recent fall off the wagon. He has not dealt with his feelings about Devon and Hilary, which are still smoldering. His hands are not clean where the Newman-Abbott merger is concerned, so perhaps Neil should follow Victor's advice and take care of his own problems before getting between Nikki and Victor.
Victor and Nikki have history that spans three generations, and despite numerous breakups, they have always returned to each other. Nikki is now calling the relationship "toxic," and perhaps it is, but it can also likely be salvaged -- if Nikki wants it to be. First, however, Nikki needs to look at her own behavior, starting way back when. You know, that period of her life when her self-esteem was so low that she joined a cult and later became a stripper, a dead-end job that often leads to prostitution, or worse. Nikki was lucky to get the attention of a man like Victor, who was willing to marry her, not just use her, which is what usually happens to strippers in the real world where, incidentally, neither stripping nor prostitution is as glamorous or as profitable as TV and movies make it seem.
Victor introduced Nikki to respectability, but nothing Victor has done since has given Nikki enough confidence in him to trust him, and that is a real shame. If Nikki had been able to trust Victor's love, she would have known that Victor had a good (if misguided) reason for what he did. Instead of thinking the worst, Nikki would have "stood by her man" and thought the best when Victor was arrested. Nikki is being selfish and ungrateful. She needs to ask herself where she would be without Victor and if she would be better off. If the answer is "Yes," then Nikki needs to walk away and leave the perks behind. If the answer is "No," then a closer look at her own behavior is called for. Victor may be Nikki's man, but I think that she has "done him wrong!"
Bottom line, nobody poured that vodka down Nikki's throat. It was her choice to drink it, and it was her choice not to trust Victor, just as it was her choice to lie to Paul about Neil's part in the accident that killed Paul's unborn child. It was also Nikki's choice to sign that merger contract when she knew it was wrong. That was the time that she should have put her foot down to both Victor and Neil. If the you-know-what was going to hit the fan anyway, that was the time -- before things got more involved and convoluted, not after -- to get everything out in the open. All I have to say now is, "Go, Nikki, you've got the ball rolling, so keep working it until you get to the truth and finally believe in yourself Then you will conquer that 'demon rum' once and for all! Victor has nothing to do with it. To thine own self be true!" Always!
Victor has not helped himself, either. First off, his greed and arrogance and the misguided belief that he has to secure untold riches for his family is delusional, and he needs help. When it comes to protecting his family, Victor is as much of a loon as Sharon is when she's off her meds. (It was nice of Sharon to take Faith to see Victor in jail. So many of her relatives end up there that Faith might as well familiarize herself with the place!) Victor is tight-lipped and terse, which makes Nikki fear even more.
While I watched the conversation between Nikki and Victor when she visited him at the police station, I just wanted to reach through the TV and shake Victor as I shouted at him to tell Nikki that Jack was really a double named Marco, but could he ever really tell her? No, Victor couldn't. The best he could muster to mumble was that Jack wasn't the man Nikki thought he was. Victor didn't do Nikki any favors and he didn't give her much help, but in the end, Nikki has to conquer this disease on her own. No one can do it for her and she can't do it to please anyone else. Nikki has to want to live, and she has to believe that she deserves to live. By the way, where are the loving children and grandchildren when grannie needs help? Off thinking about themselves, that's where!
Avery is even more convinced than ever that Joe is to blame for raping her, and so is Dylan, who trusts Avery blindly -- a mistake in my opinion. Avery is too emotional to be thinking clearly. Now that his gun is missing, I hope that Dylan backs off Joe and worries more about Avery's state of mind. Paul and the police seem to be onto something, and I do not think it will be Joe that they arrest. It may be that the GCPD actually solves a case before someone else figures it out!
That may be too late for Joe. Avery, despite a restraining order against Joe, has once again shown up at his hotel room, a very dumb move, in my opinion. As an attorney, Avery must know that every time she goes to Joe's room, she weakens her own case, and her word becomes less valuable against his. Just like Christine did -- because of my own experience -- I almost always lean to the side of the female in cases like this, but Avery's behavior is so questionable that I am not sure that even I would believe her if I were on a jury of her peers. I also worry about Avery's state of mind if her rapist is proven to be someone other than Joe.
Over at Newman-Abbott, there is so much finger-pointing going on that it's hard to tell the players in the blame game without a scorecard. We've got the pretend game, with Billy, Victoria, and Nick trying to fool Gabe into thinking that they are feuding among themselves, and the real blame game that they are playing with Abby and anyone else that helps Gabe. I think that all concerned would be better off to pitch in and try to save their company, which, after all, is the reason that they are all so wealthy! With Victor in jail and Jack in a coma, they need to take their egos out of the equation until the company is out of danger.
None of them know it, but next to Victor and Jack, Gabe/Adam is the best Newman/fake Abbott for the job! Kyle, Billy, and the rest are delusional if they think they can run the company as well as Adam can. Only Ashley is as qualified and could do as good a job as Gabe. Abby's turning out to be good at her new job, despite the jealousy of her Newman siblings and her Abbott cousins and uncle.
It's amazing, really, how all you have to do, if you are an Abbott or a Newman, is to show up for work, take on any high-level executive job, and, instantly, without education or experience, you become an expert at it! In Genoa City, genetics are a wonderful thing.
Bessie tells me that lots of old-timers are leaving the show in droves because of this storyline, but not me or her! I'm glued to it, and I think it was very clever of Y&R to create a scenario that consolidates the younger cast for a summer story. Now that the young guns are all working at Newman-Abbott, we will see a lot more interaction between the younger characters. Ratings are way up for Y&R, especially in the 18-49 age group. As I told Bessie, the young folks haven't seen these stories before, so what's old is new again and I'm going with the flow. If the kids are dancing to the tunes that the current writers are playing, then so am I, because I love to dance, and the oldies (recycled stories) are just fine with me!
This is a SPOILER ALERT only if you haven't watched any CBS promotions or previews, or read TV Guide. If you have seen any of those items, then you know that Chelsea is about to learn that Gabe is Adam. The only question that remains is if she will forgive him for his deception and keep his secret. I think that she will, though I wonder how much longer before Billy finds out. That ought to keep us on the edge of our seats for a while. I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride, and I just love it! Note to Nick: You could take a lesson from Chelsea about true love, commitment, and sticking to your word. She is about to forgive Adam for crimes that were at least as heinous as those that you would not forgive Sharon for.
In other news, it was great to see that Stitch got his medical license back. I imagine he will get his residency back and return to the hospital just in time to help Jack to a miraculous recovery and then to interfere in everyone else's medical treatment. Dr. Stitch did accompany Ashley for her MRI, which appeared routine, but we all know that there is no such thing as a routine headache on a soap. I expect that Ashley is in for more medical drama and that Dr. Stitch will be there for Ashley all they way. Will this eventually lead to romance? Doesn't it always? There is no such thing as "just friends" on our favorite drama. Abby and Stitch are hot together, but Ashley and Dr. Stitch leave scorched earth! Abby needs someone new who is not a hand-me-down from her sister, niece, or mother.
I thought that Nick looked great all dressed up in his suit. I'm glad that he decided to help save the company. I wish that he Adam and Victoria would learn to care for each other, but it looks like Adam can change his name and face, but whatever causes the animosity between Adam and his siblings is still there, just like it's still there between Adam and Billy. Will Nick finally learn that Gabe and Sage slept together and that the baby he thinks is his could belong to Gabe? It won't be too soon for me. I think that "Sagebrush" has gotten away with her lie too easily and needs to be found out sooner, rather than later, though later will still be in time to wreck Adam and Chelsea, so I guess that it's all good!
Wasn't it great to see that Cane has finally developed a spine in his talks with Lily? He's always been so accommodating and agreeable with her, always meeting her demands. This time, when he said, "You've broken my heart," I could feel it all the way down to the bottom of mine. Bessie was just as glad as I was when Cane told Lily that she, not he, would be moving out of their home. I feel sorry for the kids. They were the only ones in all of Genoa City who still had a two-parent home.
Until next week, fellow fan addicts, take care and remember to treat your imaginary friends well and your real friends better. Why? Because your imaginary friends will be there to tell you what you want to hear, but when you need to hear the truth, only your real friends will do!
What are your thoughts on The Young and the Restless? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.