Love is an action verb
For the Week of July 29, 2019
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Two Scoops is an opinion column and the opinions expressed are solely those of the author. The views expressed do not represent the opinions of Soap Central, its partners, or its advertisers.
We've had parents leading with guilt, parents dealing with grief, and parents denied custody of their children. They all claim to love the kids, but who loves the kids unconditionally and really works at it, and who loves the kids for how they make the parents look? There's a lot to analyze in the parenting and love styles in Genoa City. Let's dip our toes in during this hot summer week and see if the water's fine in this week's Two Scoops.

Last Tuesday, there were tornadoes on Cape Cod. Wednesday, Mueller was on Congress. This was a week for interruptions to Y&R! I'm so glad for On Demand, because my DVR was filled with "breaking news." It also looks like I am lucky I use one of the cable companies that won't put my CBS viewership at risk!

It was on Friday, the week before I Two Scooped, but I laughed when Abby said, "There must be something in the water" in reference to all the returns. It looks like they're continuing, because Kevin has been in the opening credits, and Chloe is returning. I'm not sure how it will all play out, but does anyone really pay for their crimes in Genoa City? Paul is a popular character with fans, but I'm not sure he (or anyone else who's headed up the department) is the most efficient or effective leader. So sure, why not return! Come one, come all, we'll join in the merriment. As long as there's no body, pretty much anyone can come back.

However, Delia can't come back, although Billy is hearing her and finding evidence of her at the Chancellor mansion. She's visiting his dreams and giving him clues, but we're not sure what the clues are all about. Billy loved his little girl, as did Chloe and Kevin and Victoria and a whole lot of other people. Is there any way in the world she did not die and has been held somewhere for all this time? Even if that had happened, no way is she going to be able to be the same child or remember all the people around her. Delia is gone, and Billy's mind is on its way to also being gone.

Billy, the gun, and Christian in the same house gives me a really unsettled feeling, especially as he knows he's going off the rails. He said he put the gun away after holding it, but where did he put it away? In the chest in the Abbott mansion, as he said, or tucked in his underwear drawer in Victoria's house?

Should guns be banned from homes with kids? No. But, with kids in the house, guns, which should always be stored safely, need to be stored extra safely. I don't think Billy has stored that gun safely. It isn't safe with his own kids there, but now that the new kid has been added into the mix, I fear disaster, and nobody else needs to lose a child, especially when he was handling the gun because of losing a child. I hope it's not an ominous foreshadowing clue, but this is a soap, and we've seen the gun, and it's been mentioned a few times.

Is Billy hearing messages from the grave? Honestly, I thought Kevin was doing it at first, but he can't get into Billy's dreams. I have no guesses as to how this will play out, but, later in the week, Billy was trying to enlist Sharon as a therapist. Sharon tried to warn him that she wasn't licensed or trained to work with patients. Except Adam! She's all psych professional with him. And in other instances, when she's giving her opinion, she's trained in psychology. She did work on a help line (and her boundaries were, shall we say, porous), but does that qualify her to give her opinion as more than a friend? I really don't think so.

I know Billy and Sharon have hooked up, but do they have any real connection or history together to speak of that he would think she, of all people, would be a good therapist to him? Traci, admittedly his sister, seems to do a better job. That makes perfect sense with her training as... a novelist. Well, I guess he could go to Devon's therapist. He definitely needs to find someone to talk to about his grief. Unlike Devon, he isn't just having panic attacks. He's having homicidal ideation. That's cause for hospitalization in my line of work. Panic attacks are not (insurance wouldn't even pay for it).

I was glad to see in the previews that Billy told Victoria he was not okay. He has been looking more and more unhinged as the week goes on, and she was bringing Christian into their home and wanted his okay, but he was nonresponsive. His "phone died," which was a lie. He was avoiding, getting lost in his thoughts about what Delia is telling him. When he heard her voice at the tombstone, part of me wondered if he was experiencing some sort of psychotic episode. Good luck to him. I like him with Victoria. I hope she helps him before he goes into a dangerous place. Him asking for help should stop that.

Now, as for Christian staying with them, I do think that's probably the best place for him under the circumstances.

The custody hearing was preposterous -- and all drama. Michael's "bad news about the case" was ridiculous, sending Nick in without a lawyer, then Nick refusing a continuance because he didn't want to upset Christian. Michael feigning hurt about being accused was not ideal; he could have said, "I can't tell you what's going on, but here's what you should do and not do in the hearing. Don't glare at your brother. Don't accuse. Don't be defensive. Stick to facts. Tell how you love your boy, give the details of your daily life. I've got someone ready to cover for me."

Chelsea tried to warn Nick that he could lose Christian if he went to the hearing without legal representation. But no, he couldn't wait. Heaven forbid Christian sense something was going on. I have a feeling he senses it even more now that he's not at home with Nick!

Nick raised some good points. Adam absolutely altered the paternity test, and Nick didn't even know Christian wasn't his until after Adam was "dead." Adam paid off a lab tech to falsify the report, and he had zero interest in the child. What Nick should have stuck to was this: "He knows I am his daddy, I play dinosaurs with him, I know he likes chocolate milk in his cereal, I rub his head at night so he can fall asleep, I tell him there are no monsters under the bed, so my connection to him, it may not be biological, but it is deep and it is real. That boy means everything to me, and I love him."

Like him or hate him, Nick does seem like an awfully good father to Christian. He doesn't want to deny the child to Adam because he wants to stick it to his brother. He wants to deny the child to Adam because Christian is and has been his son. I've said it before. I'll say it again. I would love to have a DNA test run again and for Nick to be the father.

As for Adam...let me say I must like the actor because he's doing a good job of making me not like Adam. What I'm seeing in him now is different from what I saw before. Is he using Christian as a pawn? Yes. However, I don't think it comes entirely from a place of malice. The Newmans have never really accepted their little brother. Or little sister. Nick and Victoria, as lovely as they are to each other and to their little circle, are insecure in their father's love, which is very conditional. Victor pitted his children against one another, and this has carried over into their adult lives. It feels like Adam wants the family he thinks other people have but he doesn't.

I think Victoria and Nick do a pretty good job (with the help of nannies, thank you very much) of raising their kids, all things considered, especially with what they experience themselves. From what I can tell and what I recall, Adam did a fine job with Connor when he and Chelsea were raising the boy. I don't think Adam loves Christian. He loves the idea of him. He recognizes that he planted the seed that grew inside Sage, but he didn't love Sage and he did love his brother, so he changed the test results. There was no emotional connection. Now, he has hurt that he hasn't won the custody battle he cheated so hard to win, but I think the underlying motive is that sense of abandonment, that another man raised me because Daddy didn't want me, and I'm not going to do that to my little boy. This behavior seems like it's coming from a place of hurt. Is it still deplorable? Well, yeah. It is.

Do I blame Nick, too, for not sitting and talking with Adam, working out a "favorite uncle" relationship with Adam, so Christian's life won't be upended, but so Adam has a close relationship with the child? Yes, I do. They didn't have to go to court. Nick and Adam had grown closer once upon a time. Adam has been hit in the head a bit. He's been shot, blown up, run over by a car. The dude has had some trauma, so perhaps he has had a little bit too much happen to him to be subtle about what is going on and what has gone on. Nobody is blameless here. And I think Adam wants to love Christian if he's given a chance. But removing Christian from the home where he plays dinosaurs and has his head rubbed as he is going to sleep isn't the answer.

One other little thing that bugs me is that Adam keeps wanting to be "reunited" with Christian. Reunited with Christian? Reunited means they were together. And they haven't been.

The custody hearing focused on who was more suitable. I think that's a matter of character. Character is not what we're convicted of. It's who we are when nobody's looking. What our lifestyle looks like when it's held up to the light. So, conviction or not, if you've committed terrible acts against family who won't testify against you, it doesn't mean you're all good. It means you got away with it.

Maybe the judge's ruling was right. It gives both men a chance to reevaluate their lives, make changes, and...who are we kidding? They're both just going to look for an angle to win, possibly arrange things to make it more likely. At the end of it all, I'd like Christian to be with Nick and for Adam to be his buddy uncle. And Adam truly should have a role in Connor's life, too, even if he's not with Chelsea. He does love that boy.

Now, a little about family love gone too far: Michael loves Kevin. Michael enables Kevin. Michael will destroy his own life to save Kevin. Does he do it because of the abuse Kevin suffered? Yes. Should Kevin get therapy and find a way to make better choices? Well, yes. I do believe he should. I admire his love and devotion to Chloe.

However, without his bad choices, without Michael turning to the dark side, this duo would not be half as fun to watch. So, keep the love and dysfunction going, boys. Will their choices drive me nuts sometimes? Yes, they will. But they'll keep me laughing, and I can appreciate that.

The danger is Michael's relationship with Lauren. I love that Lauren knows Michael is withholding information and has known it for a while. Michael is defensive around her. I love that she knows Kevin is the cause. It'll be interesting to see how much digging she does and whether this has an impact on her marriage. She has had moments of being extra attentive to Jack lately. I see trouble brewing.

Jack and Ashley uniting has some great story potential, but it's good for these two to love each other with a little less insecurity and jealousy.

Summer and Phyllis' relationship is all shades of complicated. Summer was jealous of Theo working with Phyllis, which felt strange. It was the way she acted when Kyle first had the hots for Lola. I think Celeste inadvertently helped Summer and Phyllis' relationship, but there's a lot of healing that will likely only be fixed with some intentional and intensive work together and apart.

In romantic love, there's more trouble in paradise, courtesy of slimy Theo. Is it uncomfortable to learn things my boyfriend did years ago, especially things I would never do? Yes. But do I love him for who he is now? Yes. Not based on who he was before he grew to be who he is. Our Soap Central Twitter feed had an interesting observation.

Kyle is in love with Lola. Previews make it look like he's got something very bad in his past he doesn't want Theo to disclose. But I loved when he spoke to Lola and said, "Because on a random Wednesday, I went to a food truck and ordered a Cuban sandwich. That was the day everything changed." Here's hoping these crazy kids can make it work. And that Kyle doesn't end up in jail because Theo knows where the bodies are buried. I really feel like Theo was the ringleader and Kyle went along for the ride. I hope so, anyway. I like who Kyle is now.

Rey had to remind Sharon that Adam's not her family. How does one respond when their partner runs to rescue their ex all the time? She insisted, "I only said yes because of Christian. I wasn't choosing Adam over you." Yet she was. Again. He told her, "I cannot save you if you won't save yourself." And nobody in a relationship should. However, Nick is pretty good at it, so maybe he'll come calling.

Sharon has it bad for Adam. She can deny it. She can kiss on Rey. But everyone can see it. Except her. And maybe even her if she looks at it honestly. But denial is a great tool if you know how to use it. Not healthy, but it can keep her in a place where she feels more in control. Adam knows she has it bad for him, and he is able to manipulate her well. Sharon ran out with Adam and didn't say goodbye to Rey. I think he made the right call to leave. And he ran instead of walking.

This is, however, another man out of Sharon's life. Poor Faith must be so confused. I wouldn't be surprised if she joined a convent someday.

The character whose line inspired my title is Celeste, shockingly. For a while this week, Lola was totally avoiding Kyle and her mother. Theo opportunistically talked to Celeste, and we all know he put some spin on what he said. He said, "I shouldn't be the one telling you about this," but he absolutely wanted to be the one saying it. And Celeste wanted to hear it. Should she have known Lola was in a coma and needed a liver transplant? Of course! I cannot imagine not knowing my child was having major, life-threatening surgery. But there's more going on in this family, too. Celeste gets frequent flier miles with her guilt trips!

Celeste did say, "There is nothing hypocritical about wanting to protect my daughter." However, with her, I think she's crossed the protective line and gotten into smothering sometimes, which may explain some of Lola's naivete. Celeste told Lola that "it's become all too obvious that I don't belong here." She isn't returning for the wedding, either. She did ask to know how everything goes, though. That's a little extreme. More of the guilt trip. Maybe she'll get double miles for that.

I want to know Celeste's reaction when she learns Lola nearly died because Mia assaulted her, even if Mia mistook Lola for Abby (and that was still premeditated. She wasn't at the Abbott mansion to make peace). Mia is Celeste's grandbaby's mother. Not a good look.

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello:

It seems Ana's phone call with her dad and rush to be with him were the last moments we'll have the character on-screen. It seems abrupt, to say the least. I sure hope Theo doesn't replace her. It is kind of a pity we didn't hear her sing more. I wish her well wherever her journey takes her next. Don't be a stranger. Come to visit.

Exchanges of the week:

Michael: Why? Do you have another assignment for me? Some widow you'd like me to bilk? Maybe burn down an orphanage?
Adam: Wow somebody's grumpy.

Michael: I already regret asking, but what are you up to?
Kevin: Michael, stop asking questions you don't want the answers to.
I am so loving Michael as more than just cheerleader. He's fun when he has some snark.

Sharon: Adam deserves the right to get to know his son.
Victoria: Oh, there it is! That good judgment you're so famous for.

Lines of the week (so many this week!!):

Adam to Michael: Selflessness. Such a waste of energy.

Judge Stevens, to Adam, after Adam accused Nick of having multiple partners: Let me ask you a question, Mr. Newman. Do you plan on staying celibate should you be awarded custody?

Phyllis to Lauren: I'm just Satan adjacent. I'm not the devil herself.

Kevin to Michael: I wasn't saying we murder Adam. Given his track record, it wouldn't stick, anyway.

Phyllis when Celeste hugged her: I'm not much of a hugger.

Rey to Lola about relationships: Nobody's ever stuck. We just decide what we're willing to accept and what we're not.

Phyllis to Sharon, Victoria, and Chelsea: Wow! Now I know I'm living in an alternate universe because Chelsea Lawson is lecturing me on devastating people.

Phyllis to Sharon and Victoria about Chelsea: I guess she has to scope out all the early bird diners for her next rich retiree.

Random Observations:

Michelle Stafford definitely plays Phyllis a bit crazy. It amuses me. Even Luke, who watches with me, turned to me this week and said, "I like her as Phyllis." I know a lot of you miss Gina Tognoni, but the crazy angle makes her easier to handle.

Could the video of Nick removing the mask, out of context, really mean anything? Would this breaking news make it into the hearing? And the judge doesn't question the timing? That bit felt awkward in the context of the hearing.

I was a little surprised by how mild the reconnection between Sharon and Chelsea was. Chelsea confessed and apologized, they weren't warm and fuzzy, but there were no fireworks. It's just out of the way.

I'm interested to see how Abby's new nightclub works out. She pitched it well. She isn't Victor's child with Nikki, so Victor is okay with her not working at Newman. Phyllis and Abby may not like each other, but that doesn't necessarily preclude successful business relations. Maybe they'll be friends someday.

When Theo was looking at Kyle while Kyle was telling Lola that Theo was vapid, Theo was glowering. I wouldn't have trusted Theo before that, but I sure don't after.

Sasha Calle has made an appearance in the opening credits. That may bode well for Lola's relationship with Kyle.

I thought it was weird that Nick went right to Victoria, and Adam went right to Sharon for custodial parent roles. Both were in jail this year. But apparently that didn't make Victoria unfit.

When Kyle confronted Theo, the person filming the fight on cell phone struck me as very realistic.

I liked that Nate said he always found time for what mattered most. If only more of us did that!

I loved that Devon, Elena, and Abby had wine, but Nate drank a beer.

Adam told Sharon, "I've lied to a lot of people but never you" My thoughts? See: Baby Faith.

Nate and Abby made love in his new house. I like the couple.

There was a lot of drinking this week. I sense some problems developing if they aren't careful.

Michael's superpower is saving Kevin. I loved that!

How about Summer stepping up and helping to heal the situation with Lola, Kyle, and Celeste. She's showing maturity in a lot of situations. It's just that messy Theo thing that she could do without.

I loved the burial at sea, like a Viking funeral, for the dead beetle.

If I saw Victoria, Sharon, Chelsea, and Phyllis together in the park, I might be worried. Three of these people were complicit in hiding what they thought was a dead body, and one is a long-term con artist.

I'm glad Christian keeps his nanny and his bedtime rituals. That should help hold him over.

It should be interesting to see what Victoria and Phyllis do when working together against Adam.

Christian has been SORASed (soap opera rapid aging syndrome), and the new kid doesn't really know his castmates yet, so he felt like a stranger. He doesn't look as much like old Christian as I'd expect, but I'll get used to him in time.

When I heard Faith say, "Look how big you've gotten" or something like that, I presumed there was a new Christian or there would be one soon. Same with Victor saying how much Connor has grown. I wonder how old he'll be when he returns. Middle school? Pre-med? Probably not college, or why would he be at camp with Grandma watching over him (although perhaps he's just that handsome that she has to fight the potential suitors off so he can focus on his studies).

Who truly earns Victor's love and approval. Parents should have unconditional love for children. They should encourage and inspire, redirect if necessary. Love is a verb. It's an action verb. How do you show love to kids when you pit them against each other and withhold affection when adult children with adult children don't obey?

Closing Thoughts:

Well, that's it for this week. I hope you enjoy watching, as August is usually sweeps-like, and it's upon us! Until we meet again in this space, happy viewing, and know I'll be right here watching with you.

Closing Thoughts:

Well, that's it for this week. I hope you enjoy watching, as August is usually sweeps-like, and it's upon us! Until we meet again in this space, happy viewing, and know I'll be right here watching with you.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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