I'm just going to say it: "Victoria is a hot mess." Though she has been married to, engaged to, and living with one man or another for the past 20 years, she has yet to establish the self-esteem and self-empowerment necessary to be a whole person who doesn't need propping up by someone else. She certainly shouldn't be entangling herself even deeper into a relationship that exhibits at least seven of the "10 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship." (joinonelove.org) They are:
9. Deflecting responsibility
Victoria and J.T. got off to a fast, volatile, intense start. Along the way, there has been betrayal, guilting, belittling, sabotage, manipulation, and jealousy -- on both their parts. Both have expected honesty of the other without giving it. J.T.'s work for Paul and Christine, and Victoria's attempt to oust Ashley are good examples. Until things got physical on Thursday, I thought they were equally dishonest in their treatment of each other, but J.T.'s angry physical response after his verbal belittling drove Victoria to slap him tipped my sympathy in Victoria's direction.
Victoria is not my favorite person, but no one, man or woman, should ever be treated the way that J.T. treated her. That kind of anger and rage is not acceptable human behavior -- at least in my book (the Bible). Victoria was right to tell him to leave, but like most abusers, he was able to convince Victoria that it would never happen again. Not only did Victoria take him back, but she also agreed to marry him, an even more egregious mistake. The situation will not get better. It will get worse.
Until Thursday's episode, I saw J.T. as a much more sympathetic character and Victoria as more spoiled, selfish, and abusive in her own way. Now the balance has shifted. Victoria appeared weak as she cowered in the bathroom. She exhibited very low self-esteem as she replayed J.T.'s words describing her as a bad mother, bad wife, and bad executive. Victoria believed him, and no doubt as this story progresses, Victoria, like so many other women, will come to believe that she deserves the abuse that J.T. dishes out. The abuse will get worse, no matter how much J.T. vowed his love. Without counseling, things will not change for this couple. I wonder if J.T. will rush Victoria into marriage while Victor is down for the count and erode her self-esteem even further.
I don't remember J.T. acting like this to the other women in his life before Victoria. Maybe those pills he's been popping will eventually be shown as the cause for his behavior, or maybe that old standby, the trusty brain tumor, is to blame.
Victor took a big fall, and I think it will be a while before he is discovered. Nikki is out whooping it up with Arturo -- you would think a hot guy like that would prefer a woman closer to his own age and not one old enough to be his grandmother, but I'm probably just jealous! The Newman staff is never around when they are needed, and with Jack's recent luck, he will probably get blamed, especially if he cabs it to Victor's house and finds Victor at the foot of the stairs.
Jack has been riding high and getting everything to go his way until recently. Now he is facing a lawsuit for defamation from Ashley, and worse, Jack is about to find out that, like Ashley, he is not a blood Abbott either. That is going to be devastating for Jack. What will that mean for Jabot? Will Billy end up being the only blood Abbott standing, or will Traci also prove to be John's offspring.
It will be ironic if Jack has to turn the company over to Billy because that will mean that all the hurt Jack caused Ashley will have been for naught, and I have no doubt that he will rue his decision to create the "blood Abbott only" rule for the Jabot C.E.O. position. Jack is more like Victor than he wants to admit, and finding out that he is not John Abbott's son will be a humbling experience for him.
Just when I start liking Nick again, he goes all patriarchal on Nikki. It makes me really glad that I don't have a son interfering in my life, telling me what to do and then getting all up in my business even after I've made it clear that I don't want him taking any action. Nick always thinks he's doing what's best, but that's what offends me, and has offended me every time a man has gotten in my face to tell me what's best for me and how to run my own life -- especially the married men who don't have a clue about how to conduct life as a single person and whose wives let them have the illusion that the men are in charge and make the decisions. Like my mom used to say, "Your father may be the head of the family, but I'm the neck, and I can turn that head any way I want to!"
Being the old-fashioned prude that I am, I'm not pleased about Nikki's intimate relationship outside of her marriage. She's got to be borrowing trouble because I do not believe it's in Victor's character to accept that kind of disloyalty or loss of face. I'm as grossed out by Nikki and Arturo as I would be by Victor and one of Summer's friends. At least I haven't had to watch them in bed together yet.
Once again, showing how wishy-washy I am, I wouldn't mind seeing Nick and Sharon get up close and personal. I'm really hoping that the fallout from their kiss leads to a whole lot more. As I've said many times, they are still a super-duper couple, and no matter how good they are with other partners, Sharon and Nick are absolutely the best together, and they have the perfect family unit. I would really like to see them reunite. Surely there are still stories to tell for each of them that can keep Nick and Sharon front and center without breaking them up.
Closing thoughts: I loved that beautiful chess set that was featured as Victor taught Reed to play the game. The scenes were interwoven perfectly with Victor's very apt voiceover, "Nothing is more powerful than a secret if you hold onto it long enough." That is so true and yet so difficult to do. Keeping a secret is almost impossible, even for the tight-lipped among us. The desire to share a confidence can be so overwhelming that even the most guarded secret can just slip out, like it did when Dina shared Ashley's parentage. Come to think of it, I can think of a time or two that I've blurted out something that I didn't mean to tell, and I imagine that's true for most of us. Fortunately, over the years, I've done a better job of keeping other people's secrets than I have my own -- maybe because mine aren't that exciting, and other people told theirs before I could!
Now that Victor is in a coma, who will run Newman Enterprises? Has Ashley's promotion -- or Victoria's demotion -- been put in writing? Did Victor establish a chain of command? Are we going to see more infighting between Ashley and Victoria? Will J.T. keep looking for dirt on Victor that he can give to Paul and Christine, or has Victor successfully hidden his tracks -- like always?
One more thing: Pretty Kitty just whispered in my ear and told me that the homes on Y&R are missing one very important element: a cuddly cat. She says every household needs a cat. When one has a cat, there is more petting and less fighting, unless it's over who gets to caress the cat, which Pretty Kitty says is no problem because most cats are happy to be fondled by two humans at the same time. According to She-who-must-be-obeyed, "Four hands are better than two, especially if they all have long fingernails."
One more thing -- two: Next week should be fantastic as Y&R celebrates its 45th anniversary. Many former cast members are returning, so it promises to be a star-studded week, and I am sure there will be lots of flashbacks and remembrances of the show's powerful history. I don't know about you, but I don't intend to miss a single episode. I can only hope that the real world doesn't intrude with yet another crisis that can't wait for reporting until Y&R is over for the day! Even if the world is ending, I'd rather see the last 15 minutes of Y&R than know about it. I'd rather be surprised than worried.
Thanks again for letting me share my thoughts with you. As always, fellow fans, I welcome feedback about this column in the section provided below. I enjoy all your comments, even when you don't agree with me. Please return in two weeks for another edition of Two Scoops.
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