I ain't got no body
For the Week of January 14, 2019
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Jack and Victor face off with J.T.'s presence looming large
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Here, the columnist makes a case for Phyllis being the bad guy and fills in some potential holes in this theory by again suggesting that the reports of J.T.'s death might be greatly exaggerated. Will Victor be convicted and be willing to serve time for the woman he loves? It already feels like we're moving headlong into February sweeps, and there's a change in the writing regime that should lead to different -- hopefully better -- storytelling.

Victor is in jail for a crime he definitely didn't commit, but who did? Is J.T. really dead? Now that people have said they feel safe, it feels like he'll be back. Isn't that how it goes in soaps? Mac says she finally feels safe, and suddenly, who's breaking through the door? Heeere's J.T.!

The truth is out for Reed to know, Victor in jail. I know I've told you before, but I haven't believed J.T. was dead for a while. And perhaps there will be a brain tumor or anabolic steroids or something to explain his violence toward women he allegedly loves.

Poor Phyllis said she hasn't had a good night's sleep since J.T. "died." So...getting Victor put in jail for a murder he didn't commit, knowing he'd serve the sentence for his wife, is her tool for finally sleeping well again? I think there's way more than her sleep at stake here, and I'm not sure how much trouble she's having with sleep, in all honesty. When I stop and think about it, I think she's holding a lot of cards -- but not all of them.

I suspect Phyllis has a hand in framing Victor. But there are some pieces that I haven't figured out yet. Is Phyllis trying to drive Nikki nuts so no one will believe her if she decides to confess? Is Phyllis planting all the evidence to get her revenge on Victor. As my friend Nel pointed out to me, Phyllis is devious. She and I have talked about this at length!

What if the reason she can't sleep is that J.T. has visited her and is working with her so they can both get revenge, because she has never forgiven Victor, and J.T. never will? Yet, if this is the case, she knows J.T. is unstable and could turn on her like he did on people he supposedly loves.

Here are some of my thoughts, maybe in an order that makes sense.

There is a murder case without a body. There is a watch and DNA. I can't see Victor being put away without a corpse. Did he move the body? I don't really think so.

The shirt had J.T.'s blood on it, but he wasn't wearing it when he had his non-bloody "death." Someone had to get blood from him, and dead bodies don't bleed. I mean, I guess you could cut the body and get it, but... ick. Also, this white, bloody shirt was at the scene of a major fire. It appears to have no soot. And the police don't think for a moment that it was planted? Was there gunshot residue on it? Was his blood on the gun that was found in the stable with the shirt, not in the safe where it belonged? J.T. could get in the safe. We know this.

J.T.'s DNA had to be on file, because they identified it at the burial scene. Did it show as DNA from a corpse, or was it blood from an injury? Can they differentiate DNA left in the ground, in a public park, under a statue, and tell if it was alive or dead after months of weather and deterioration? There were no clothes there (they were on a bed later). There were no body parts. Just DNA.

J.T.'s clothes that he had been buried in were on Nikki's bed. Someone put them there. I don't think it was Sharon, Nick, Victor, or Victoria (or several other unrelated people). Phyllis or J.T. would make the most sense. Either or both could want to make her seem unstable or outright terrorize her, which they are doing. There is a good deal of plotting going on here.

The murder weapon is in Nikki's living room. Nick sent Phyllis away from the memorial service after she dropped her truth bomb. She could have grabbed it from Victoria's house and planted it in Nikki's living room. Security would likely have records of a visitor, but I suspect someone is slipping in and out, and J.T. knows some of the security tools the Newmans use, so he could do it. And he knows his way around Victoria's house.

Nobody but the four women and J.T. knew what the weapon was. And I don't think Phyllis wanted Nikki to confess. Yet she did. To Nick, with whom Phyllis lives. She might have to move back to the hotel room. No more power couple. Unless they work out this "true love."

Did Phyllis know J.T. wasn't dead and dug him out all that time ago. Phyllis felt for a pulse and declared him dead. Phyllis insisted they bury him. Phyllis disappeared when they dug up the grave. What if she's been working with him since before he was whacked, faked his death, made it so he could breathe in the hole, then dug him out when the others were gone? That would make for a wild story, and a lot of enemies. It's crazy, but it's a soap, right?

So, why might Phyllis want to hurt the other members of the Fearsome Foursome?

I get that hurting Nikki hurts Victor, so there's a motive. And she knows Victor will gladly go down to save Nikki, especially because she is frail, between the MS and the alcohol. And, of course, being hit by a car. (And what if it really wasn't Reed? What if Reed hit a downed branch?) And she does want to get back at Victor, who did do her wrong. But she's hurting Nick in the process, because Nick loves his mother.

She would hate Sharon because Nick loves Sharon -- and he has fun with Phyllis. Phyllis can pretend, but it's obvious he's not over Sharon. She's begging him not to get pulled into Victor's "toxic orbit," but she knows it's just a matter of time, I think. The Newmans stick together in crises -- and Phyllis is making this crisis much bigger, highlighted by her performance at the memorial service.

Victoria has threatened to go to the police and confess, which makes Phyllis nervous. What if she's nervous because her plan will be discovered? Also, it's very obvious she is jealous that Billy has moved on. Billy seems indifferent to Phyllis being with Nick. Phyllis is not indifferent to Billy with anyone, especially Victoria.

Everyone wants Billy. Phyllis still does. Victoria has said she loves him. Mac was definitely disappointed to see him with Victoria. At the moment, he seems inclined to reconnect with Victoria, but any number of things could throw a wrench in it. Phyllis seems hellbent on making everyone pay because she's miserable. Summer may or may not be carrying his child in Dubai. To me, Mac doesn't seem likely to make a play for him, and her visits tend to be short, but anything can happen. In my mind, somewhere down the line, I'd like Billy and Victoria to be end game.

I think Phyllis is exciting when a relationship is new because she raises the adrenaline, which is a thrill, but Victoria is stable; she tones Billy down, and he spices her up. Phyllis and Billy are like putting the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes in a pit with Animal from the Muppets. Sure, it's fun for a while, but they won't play well together forever. And everyone will just be exhausted.

Phyllis to me, just loves to possess men. I don't think she really loves Billy or Nick. With her, it's a sex game, but she seemed to bring out the best in Jack, and Jack did the same for her. Right now, she is a mess -- filled with vengeance. She doesn't really want Nick or Billy, but she doesn't want anyone else to have them, either. She is extremely jealous of Sharon and Victoria. From the beginning of J.T.'s death, she has called all the shots, and I believe she is now trying to control the other women in order to protect her own ass from whatever crime(s) she has committed. So, she is out to hurt them any way she can to keep them quiet.

J.T.'s memorial

Phyllis blew the memorial up. Up until that point, people had kept the truth from Reed. Now, there is dialogue around domestic violence, which hopefully won't just be a passing mention but will actually be something they tackle for real. Victoria was right. It can affect anyone, and we can't tell just by looking. But Reed knows the truth, and he can go back to school. He has grown a lot, and he'll need some time to heal. Hopefully the school has some good counselors. I was glad he said he wanted the whole truth, though. He was heartbroken, but nobody has to pretend around him anymore. Well, except for killing his father...

Kerry and Jack:

Still not liking this coupling. Kerry seems to be hiding something, maybe something big, and I wonder if she is using Jack. Is she using him for herself or because she's in league with Phyllis, who has her claws in all the men she's been with? As we saw in the spoilers, Jack catches her in a lie next week, but what is the lie? Obviously, we'll learn something soon. Is she really jealous of the other women that have been in Jack's life, or is she gathering information? Maybe what looks like jealousy is actually plotting (maybe J.T. related, but I'm not feeling it. Just like I'm not feeling Kerry and Jack).

If Kerry is in league with Phyllis, there may be a part of Phyllis that wants to be with Jack because they were the best pairing, in my opinion. They worked together until she stepped out with his brother. That definitely changed the situation. Honestly, I wouldn't want someone who had been with my sister, so I get it.

Slip Sliding Away...

I grew up in the mountains, and I've skidded on the ice a time or two. One thing that never happened when I skidded on the ice was my engine being turned off. And another thing that never happened in that brief moment of time was my battery dying. It would have almost been more plausible if there had been damage that would shut the engine off and keep it that way. But it put Rey and Sharon in a hotel bed together.

If Sharon had answered her phone, if they had told the truth, Mia would not have flipped out. But... the truth is apparently a dangerous thing. Rey could come back with a backache from sleeping in the chair, and it would fit with the truth. (Or really, why the chair and not the floor?) While I once thought the plot could benefit from a Sharon/Rey matchup, I don't even want them to flirt anymore. Coworkers are all they should be. Let him and Mia have their thing and let Sharon find someone who's good for her -- or get back together with Nick.

And back to J.T.

What if Rey is working with J.T. to take down Victor? I don't actually believe Rey, as arrogant and driven as he is, would investigate a murder that didn't happen. I do think he does what he thinks is right. Even Arturo and Mia were talking about him being just like a police officer as a child. Could Christine or Paul, who have wanted to take Victor down for a while, also be in cahoots with J.T., if he's not dead? And seriously, why do we have Christine but not Paul? Would Paul push for murder charges with no body? So much of this seems wrong.

I don't always love Victor. He's not always a great guy. But Genoa City is a much more interesting place with him in it. If he stays in jail much longer, I hope he gets a harmonica. That will make his jail cell scenes more... poignant. Sad tunes on the harmonica, visions of Nikki. But seriously, as bad as he's been, he shouldn't be in jail for a murder he didn't commit. And I seriously doubt the evidence doesn't leave reasonable doubt.

Husband of the year: I am not digging Cane right now. Is he following in his father's footsteps, as a lousy husband and father? Was he only okay as a father and spouse because he had Lily keeping him (sort of) in line for so long (*cough* Juliet), or is he doing it because he doesn't have the tools to handle life's disruptions. This is a man who faked his death and didn't let his wife know...I mean, I want to like him, but it gets harder and harder. He's drinking a lot and whining about how hard it is for him that his wife's in jail (as I've said before, to Devon, who his wife killed) and kissing on Victoria, who he hates. He's all over the place! And I can't figure out why he hid Lily's note from the kids! Not even highlights. Not a mention.

Lines of the week:

Phyllis, showing her true compassion: Confession might be good for the soul, but until and unless you can find a way to keep me out of it, you need to pocket that story.

Billy to Phyllis after the memorial truth bomb: Just when I think you can't get any worse, you go and pull another trick from your sleeve.

Reed to Victoria after the memorial truth bomb: You are us. We're a part of you. If you get hurt, we all do.

Billy to Victoria about J.T.: I wish to hell he was still alive because I'd kill him myself.

Random observations:

I hope they bring Traci in for more than fretting and wringing her hands. She has so much more she could bring to the canvas. Yes, she's loving and caring for all, but she needs to be more three-dimensional. It was good she told some of J.T.'s history. It's good when history isn't forgotten.

I've watched my boyfriend change a thermostat. He's not in construction. Our new thermostats work great. They took very little time. I'm not sure what Arturo was doing, but it took a long time and looked like he was reconstructing. I think a basic thermostat is around $20. Also, when you get to a heater that burns fossil fuels, I would want a professional to be swapping out parts. He may be an excellent contractor, but he doesn't seem like he's a plumber or HVAC guy.

Lola and Kyle are back on, but she's having her romantic evening and ending it before spending the night together. Tell me he didn't look disappointed, because I sure thought he did. Lola's tantrum when Mia, Rey, and Kyle told her the truth showed she didn't really want the truth. They had to walk on eggshells to get her to see that she had the tools and didn't need to be someone she wasn't. I can't tell if the restaurant will succeed or fail miserably. A new hot spot would be good, though. There are so few places to go that people who hate each other keep bumping into each other all the time! (Yes, I know it's a plot device -- they'd bump into each other on another continent, too.)

Kyle and Lola said the L word. Wasn't it cute?

When Ana was packed to leave and stopped in Crimson Lights, Nate counseled her on why she should stay. I think that's the most likeable he's been.

Jack and Victor exchanging smiles when Jack visited Victor in jail was magic. More than the visit. Perfect to hear Victor say, "I'll be damned."

Have Devon and Abby ever dated? If she and Arturo don't make it, after Devon has had more time to heal... maybe? Although I'd like her and Arturo to stick together. They work.

Arturo was not comfortable under the comforter with Mia. And despite the almost kiss, I feel like it was more familiar territory than real temptation. I hope so.

I was watching with my friend Luke when Rey and Sharon were riding in the car. I said, "Usually when someone's in a car on a soap, there's an accident." And immediately after... dead car after they slid off the road. We both laughed.

Abby glaring at Phyllis on the way out of the funeral made me chuckle. She's been so blindly pro-Victor that it's been hard to stomach, even though he's not guilty.

It seems the partner-go-round is spinning, and it's hard to tell who wants to be with whom and who should be with whom, but partner changes seem to be on the way. Should be fun to watch and see.

That's it for this week. Until we meet again, keep watching. I'll be right here watching with you!

Christine

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