The Fearsome Foursome as the Terrifying Trio?
It seems Victoria, Nikki, and Sharon think their gang of four is now a trio. Phyllis isn't one of them anymore. But maybe Phyllis is too independent to be part of a group, anyway.
Phyllis said she kept the poker in case someone tried to throw her and Sharon under the bus... but why do I think Sharon wasn't really part of that plan. I believe Phyllis held onto poker for insurance against Nikki and Victoria (and probably Sharon, and Rey, and... you get the picture). I've found that people who don't trust others are often the least trustworthy because they know what they'd do and assume everyone else would do the same. But this isn't just Phyllis. I mean, it seems most people on soaps (and maybe in society, certainly in government now -- the buck doesn't stop here, it's tossed to someone else we can blame) are willing to be dishonest to protect themselves or make themselves look good.
However, I wonder how you can ask who will have your back when you're undermining the people you're supposed to be working with. Seriously. If I'm lying and lying and lying to cover my ass, the heck with you, why would I think you'd have my back? That's silly talk.
When Nikki talked to Phyllis about telling the truth, she said, "I don't believe you know how, and I don't believe a word that falls out of that mouth." And Phyllis is adept at protecting herself, even if it involves lies. I think to some extent she's had to be that way, but a life of being on the defensive can cause problems. It certainly impacts one's ability to be fully invested in relationships with others. Nikki also said, "The only person I need to worry about is the traitor sitting in front of me."
I think they're all looking for someone to blame, scared because there is someone who knows what happened and is making sure they know it. I get why Nikki would think it's Phyllis because of the poker. Last time I wrote, I speculated that it was Phyllis, possibly working with J.T., but I'm less convinced of that this week (not 100% unconvinced, though -- she would work with J.T. to save her skin). Did she put the poker in the ranch? We'll find out. Hopefully very, very soon.
Phyllis wanted Victor to rot in jail, that is why the lies bother Nick so much. With that being said, though, Nick was wise to think he hasn't got all the information and that things weren't adding up. Phyllis shared that Sharon was part of it: "That little saintly dishrag had a secret of her own." And I'm guessing some lights clicked on in Nick's head over weird little inconsistencies he's noticed over the past long time.
Phyllis and Sharon meeting at Jabot amused me. Phyllis' dialogue seemed awkwardly written. It was like she was trying to talk like an old-school, dark-alley mobster. She said things like "You ain't heard nothing yet" and "Don't even think of running to them to rat me out again" and "I'm gauging your M.O." I could tell she was serious because she closed the blinds! She didn't want the others pinning J.T.'s murder on them. And Sharon's reply was perfect, but not unexpected: "I may not trust Victor, but there's one person I trust even less. You."
The big news is that someone's watching the Newman ranch. (And nobody's even thought to look for a bug?) The video and hideout seem very J.T.-like, but I haven't lied about speculating that he's not dead (and I laid out some reasons in my last column). But whether he's alive or dead, whether he has a brain tumor or faces justice, that doesn't matter. What I want most for this story is for it to end.
Why it's still going on when it's almost February Sweeps, I can't even imagine. I was going to say "going strong," but I think it's dragged on, dominating story while treading water, for too long. Usually when a story involves this much of the cast, I think it's a good thing, but this story is past its expiration date. Time to pour it down the sink (resolve it) and start a new one.
The Light at the end of the J.T. Storyline Tunnel
I would like Victoria and Sharon to become friends, as neither seems to have a lot of friends and both would benefit from it. Sharon has tried to be good to Victoria (that whole girls' night party was part of it, despite the deadly ending), but it wasn't really noticed. Victoria is reaching out for someone to really hear her and let her feel what she wants to feel (which is apparently not happening with her therapist and absolutely should not happen with Cane). Maybe Sharon's the one who can make that happen.
They've been family for a long time. Just because they're sisters-in-law (on and off) and tied to the Newman clan doesn't mean it has to be impossible, even if it usually doesn't happen that way. I like them each having a confidante. I mean, don't most of us have a friend or person we can talk to? At least we'd like one. The characters here are often not that well developed. I'd love to see more real friendships, because it would look more like my life (even though I admittedly am not as good at seeing my friends regularly as I should be, which I should change).
They both shared secrets one would share with a friend. Sharon said Phyllis thought Sharon and Phyllis should form an alliance. Victoria admitted she was falling for Billy again. These are things we tell someone we trust -- and someone we trust to keep our confidence. I like them together. Relationships don't have to be romantic to work (often they work better when they're not!)
Has the Rosales family been pushed onto the canvas too fast? Arturo was okay, even though it was a little gross that he slept with Nikki then Abby, but suddenly Rey, Lola, Mia... and so much screen time! It feels like they were foisted on us too fast, and we were told to care, but without a little buildup, it's hard.
Mia doesn't give up on her pursuit of Arturo. I was stunned by Mia's manipulation of Rey, the intuitive, observant cop. Ugh. He seems to think she's sincere. The big public renewal (which wasn't big or terribly public) reminded me of people who are overly concerned about appearances because they're hiding so much. Sometimes we're trying too hard because we don't want you to see what's real. In Mia's case, there's some serious insecurity, jealousy, and neediness she is covering up. I feel like it's because she wants a brother husband situation -- she wants both Rey and Arturo. And she wants respect, fame, riches, all the things the other people in Genoa City seem to have and she doesn't.
Mia wanted a wedding party, and she wanted Arturo as best man, all as part of her efforts to keep toying with his heart, but she wasn't prepared for the consequences. Rey did say, "I don't know if that's the best idea," but he let her have her way. Mia bragging to Sharon about Rey giving her the wedding of her dreams showed more insecurity, as if it was Rey's idea or as if he were planning.
Mia told Arturo to "make sure those tuxes are classy. I need them to go with our venue." I cringed. She does manipulate and get her way (although Devon seemed to be onto her, he also seemed to be amused by her, and throwing a small wedding wasn't going to set him back too much), and she wanted fancy. She got the Athletic Club, but for their small party, would it matter if the tuxedos were... unclassy? What is an unclassy tux, anyway?
I wondered about the ceremony preparation. For vow renewals, where the bride is wearing the same dress she was married in, is it normal to shoo the groom out so he doesn't see his wife? I didn't understand that, but I guess I've never done a vow renewal after cheating on my husband with his brother, so maybe that resets the rules.
The look on Mia's face as Arturo proposed did not show a woman who was glad she was with the man of her dreams. And even though Rey said he was excited about renewing his vows with Mia, I couldn't help but notice that he still seems to be longing for Sharon, who was classy in saying she only wished for his happiness, despite the awkwardness of being invited to the intimate gathering where Mia could gloat over having Rey and keeping him from Sharon -- which may be more of a motivator than love. For a while, I thought it would be interesting to have Rey and Sharon together because he was investigating the crime she was part of. Now, I am ambivalent about them, even as friends.
Mia may have had an ulterior motive when she wanted Arturo as best man, maybe so he'd long for her and be hurt, but he sure seemed to one-up her when he proposed to Abby, and the look on her face showed it worked. Was it tacky? I don't know. Billy proposed to Phyllis at Nick and Sharon's wedding (then rescinded the proposal and slept with her daughter), but that was private. Proposals at a romantic venue make sense because we're in that romantic mindset.
Yes, it was Rey and Mia's event, but it was a renewal, not a wedding, so I guess I can let that go. A part of me thinks everyone would rejoice in the engagement, but because of the pettiness and the things going on between Mia and Arturo behind the scenes, I don't know. Plus, what if Abby said no? Why propose in a place where you'd be embarrassed by that? I also noticed Mia's glares, eyeing Abby's ring at the table while getting a necklace from Rey, and while looking at Abby and Arturo kiss.
I was glad we didn't get a wedding between Arturo and Abby "right here, right now." We totally need the Newmans present -- and we need to see how Victor will take his daughter marrying his wife's former boy toy. I like that Arturo and Abby respect each other, but I'm less comfortable with his realization after almost kissing Mia, unless that moment was like being zapped by truth lighting and realizing Mia was nothing to him and Abby truly was everything. I hope that's the case. I'd like her to be happy, and I'd like him out of Mia's orbit.
Mia turns green every time she sees Abby's ring or if Abby and Arturo are in each other's arms. She turned Arturo's proposal into being all about her. She even tried to talk Arturo out of marrying Abby because he was part of her heart (which was allegedly committed to his brother). I was glad he refused then joined Abby to celebrate their engagement. When they kissed, Mia turned even greener.
Soap weddings are full of drama, and usually they're fun, but this one really didn't do anything for me. I think it's because I haven't had time to get invested in this family, and suddenly they've taken over the show. It really felt like the rest of the cast were background this week. And I don't quite connect with the Rosales family as a whole.
My friend Nel said to me, "If they left yesterday, I wouldn't miss Mia or Rey." I didn't disagree. I need more time to care, more connections to the cast.
A kiss isn't just a kiss
When I saw Billy checking in to see Lily, I thought, "Oh, boy!" But I thought he'd back out and not tell about the kiss. I was wrong.
Mattie can tell Cane is lying. He's not telling the truth, and she knows it. Mattie said the family's had enough lies. Cane, for as much as he lies, is a terrible liar.
Billy used the Jabot jet. Oops. I think he was reacting and doing something impulsive rather than just failing to recognize Phyllis as the boss. She told him, "Acting out like this is unacceptable." It is. However, Billy exploded some truth bombs on Phyllis. He said there was a chain of toxic events that she set into motion and that "everything you say has ramifications." Like him, she's impulsive, and he said, "You didn't stop to think for a second what the ripple effect would be." Being spiteful to Billy hurt Lily when the ripples spread.
Cane and Victoria don't like each other. They admit it freely. What is the draw? Yes, they're frustrated with their lives. Victoria says they should take responsibility for their bad choices. They both seem to self-sabotage. Victoria even admitted it: "You do something stupid to protect yourself from the ultimate pain and inevitable destruction" and "copping out is a lot easier than fighting for" the things that matter.
Insight, yes, but those ripples have spread wide: Billy, Lily, Mattie, Charlie, Devon, Neil, Billy and Victoria's kids, and more.
Victoria told Billy, "It just isn't working." But Victoria is scared after being abused. I get it. She engages in self-sabotage because she's scared to love Billy after J.T.
I don't want Cane and Victoria together. I want Sharon as her confidante. Cane could be given a time out for a while, and I'd be okay with that.
Jack and Kerry
With the Jack and Kerry situation, I wondered how hard would it be to say "I have an appointment"? No, I don't think she was in traffic court (that'd be an easy check, too). You don't call traffic court and say you're a little late but you'll be there soon.
What is going on with Kerry? People have wondered if she's transgender and needs hormones (which are available by pill instead of needle, and which Jack would likely overcome after the initial shock). The contents of the needle were too clear to be heroin, and nobody carries that pre-mixed. Is she trying to get revenge on Jack for something? Could she be Mamie's daughter (after Mamie and John's affair that Jill ended with a million-dollar solution, could Mamie have been pregnant when she left?), which would be disgusting because it would make Jack and Kerry siblings if John were the father. Why is Kerry lying to Jack?
Whatever the reason, and there are many possibilities, I'm okay with this coupling ending.
The Ray of Sunshine
I love Ana's smile and her look. Admittedly, I love that her lipstick/lip gloss is glossy (I know matte is popular, but it looks blah and flat to me. I'm a sparkle fan). But she is a beautiful woman, and she has a wonderful glow about her that just lights up the room. I didn't think I'd be this much of a fan of a person's presence, but I am of hers. So, I'm getting that out of the way and admitting I just like to see her on the screen because she seems to brighten all the characters she's with on-screen.
Devon was upset with her "withholding things and misleading me" about the song author. And she did admit it was her. His tears when hearing her sing were realistic. Nothing can tap our raw emotions like music that resonates. I like her singing more than Fen's.
Ana said she was hiding because it's hard to be a woman in the industry and told briefly of a mentor she had trusted. She said she doesn't want Devon charged with nepotism then admitted to college credit card debt, saying, "I was living the life." Her debt got deeper, but Devon had paid her tuition, and she didn't want him paying more. I respect that. "I got myself into the debt. I want to get myself out. By myself," she said. And she looked so much happier when the truth was disclosed. I hope it is the whole truth! I want her to keep being good.
We're solid Phyllis said it about her and Nick. Arturo said it about him and Abby. You don't have to say that if there isn't doubt. But it seemed like too much in a week.
Spilling the tea Phyllis used it twice, once to Sharon, once to Billy. It didn't seem natural for her. Not that she wouldn't complain about the secret being revealed; they'd agreed to a secret, and she should have been informed if it was being exposed, but I don't see her as someone who would say "spill the tea."
Uncontested Line of the Week
Billy to Lily, in prison, while revealing Fen's success as a pop star instead of hotshot lawyer: The best laid plans of Mike and Fen sometimes go astray. (I played this four or five times; I loved it that much.)
Painful Truth Line of the Week
Sharon to Nick in reference to Phyllis telling everyone Victor is guilty: That must make for some awkward conversation at home.
Made Me Laugh Hardest Line of the Week
Nikki to Phyllis after learning for real that Phyllis had never discarded the murder weapon: Do you happen to have J.T.'s corpse in cold storage, too?
When Billy asked Phyllis how she'd feel if someone told her she was Nick's second choice, I said out loud, "She is." Oops!
Rey said to Arturo, "Being a cop is a lot like being a father, gotta make sure everybody is safe and happy." I feel he failed on both counts, at least as a cop.
If I played a drinking game for every time Phyllis said "circling the wagons" about the Newmans, I'd be a hopeless alcoholic.
Michael's pride in Fen is amusing.
I do love the stuffed tiger in Victoria's living room. A lot of people find comfort in it.
I had to question Phyllis' sleeveless, backless dress. In Wisconsin. In January. Not that it was a bad dress for a nice formal event somewhere (in warmer weather). It just didn't work -- but Victoria in a turtleneck fit the climate and season. Little things like that can annoy me. I'm in a cold climate, too, and I watch under a blanket a lot of the time -- and not because I'm in a sleeveless gown!
Kyle referred to Phyllis as sociopath. I've read that psychopaths and sociopaths make good CEOs because they can make tough decisions without caring about people.
Sharon's good advice to Victoria (and well-wishes for Rey on the vow renewal) made me think she is sending good energy her own way, too.
Summer's on her way back. I hope she is really over Kyle. I hope Kyle and Lola can be intimate before Summer gets in there and breaks them up. He's been patient and romantic. I'd prefer him with Lola, anyway.
When Cane went into Devon's apartment and complained to Neil about "[shutting] me out of Lily's life," I might have said (out loud), "He's such a dick." Give them some space, dude.
The camera angle on Friday in Nick's home seemed awkward. I wasn't sure at first if it was a dream or not. Maybe it was that I was watching on a different television, but I really thought she was dreaming the situation at first.
This week, CBS On Demand helped me watch The Young and the Restless. Breaking news did not.
We're moving headlong into February Sweeps. I hope we sweep out the J.T. storyline and some of the dominance of the Rosales family and plant some seeds that will keep us on the edge of our seats until we're at May Sweeps time! Whatever happens, I'll be right here, watching with you until I scoop again.
That's it for this week. Until we meet again, keep watching. I'll be right here watching with you!
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