An unlucky bunny, an unhappy Cricket, and a fox in the henhouse

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There are many Ashleys, a couple of Nikkis, a bearded Jordan, and a scorned Lily roaming around Genoa City. And what happened to Harrison? Did Claire take him, or did dingoes eat him? Let's unravel in this week's Two Scoops.

Dear readers, Summer is beside herself with worry, fear, and anger over Harrison's disappearance, and it's understandable. But during her tirade, this popped into my head because pop culture geeks are haunted by song lyrics, film clips, and TV lines that fill their brains.

Now that you have had a laugh, let's go back to Summer. Both Alison Lanier and Michael Mealor have sewn up their Emmy reels for next year in these scenes. Their passion and angst spilled across the screen like a waterfall.

The Soap Twitterverse was very critical of Summer, but I dare you to tell me that if your ex-husband allowed your kid to hang out with a person who had just been released from a mental hospital, and then your kid got kidnapped, you wouldn't react exactly the way Summer is reacting.

I was thinking about Alison Lanier and how right the casting directors got this recast. When Hunter King left, I was distraught because I really loved her as Summer, but now Alison fully owns the role. She has made Summer her own and is a true powerhouse in every scene she is in. And congratulations to Alison on her very first Daytime Emmy nomination.

But all my support for Summer and Kyle and their incredible acting ends now because you and I know that Claire is not in cahoots with Jordan; she was a victim -- again. It pains me that she will get blamed for this and that no one will believe that she wasn't working with Jordan. Perhaps that is part of Jordan's revenge plot, to ensure that Claire doesn't get to keep the new family that has embraced her? I don't know, but I know it will take a while to unravel all of this and for Claire to clear her name. The only way around that is for Claire to nearly lose her life saving Harrison and to become a hero. I hope Claire gets that moment to prove she is a Newman through and through and willing to put her life on the line to save Harrison.

Sadly, this latest development has Nikki hitting her pocket vodka again. I can't say I blame her. I'd be pounding that flask, too, if I was her. But the thing that is driving me mad about Nikki and all the Newmans is that... (drum roll please...) They. Keep. Going. Out.

I mean, my Lord, if a psycho had tried to kill my entire family, you could not get me to leave my house for a year. With their means, I would post 50 guards at the door and have cameras at every entrance and window. The fact that Jordan stood right at the door to the club the night of the party, right there in broad daylight, looking through the glass, and no one saw her makes me think Victor and Jack's security teams aren't really very good at what they do.

Claire just happily waltzed out of the party with Lucky Bunny in her hand to go see Kyle and Harrison with no guard, without telling anyone she was leaving. Side note, I think Harrison is going to need a new "good luck charm" because he got kidnapped while holding Lucky Bunny in his hands, which doesn't seem very lucky.

I don't understand why Nikki is out around town, stumbling drunk. Why isn't her driver/guard calling Victor and saying, "Hey, man, I hate to break it to you, but your wife is soused again." But hey, it's a soap, so we suspend our disbelief because if we didn't, we couldn't enjoy Colleen Zenk and her portrayal of an unhinged Jordan in a crazy bearded disguise.

I am also enjoying Victoria and Cole getting close together, and I hope when this all shakes out that they end up on the same side and believe in Claire's innocence and in each other. I would love to see them reconcile for real and start over again. I don't think I have ever loved Victoria more than I do right now. I prefer Victoria being loving and vulnerable to icy and mean.

Across town, Ashley and her alters have no disguise except for teen Ash's side ponytail and pigtails. But we can tell them apart. Ms. Abbott is the fierce guardian and the one who's plotting murder. Teen Ash is the scared, frightened little girl who is trying to get the real Ashley to be coherent again so Ms. Abbott doesn't destroy them all. It's a fascinating portrait of DID, and I have to think Eileen Davidson must be so excited to get to work every day and play all these very different versions of Ashley. She's doing stellar work in this storyline, and so is Beth Maitland as her patient and loving sister, Traci.

I am an only child, but man, if I had a sister, I would pray for one like Traci. I have never understood why Y&R brings Traci in and out of Genoa City; she's the glue of the Abbott family, their absolute soul. I hope she stays forever instead of being relegated to brief appearances. I'd love for her to get a new love story, too. Doesn't she deserve love?

Don't hate me, but I want Ashley and Tucker to reunite when this is all finished. He is the person who first noticed that Ashley wasn't herself. Tucker went to Jack and pleaded with him to get his sister some help. I hope when this all shakes out, that Ashley discovers how Tucker tried to help her and realizes she still loves him.

Audra can go have revenge sex with Nate and start a fresh company with her new pal Sally. She's too fiery to go down easy, but I want to see her with someone who can equal her fire.

Audra will be enraged but not shocked if Tucker goes back to Ashley. She knows deep in her heart that Tucker still has feelings for his ex. Readers, I am not sure why, but I'm a bit concerned about this therapist that Ashley is seeing. Isn't he the one she saw in Paris? Is he a good guy or a villain? Will he help or heal her?

I was also worried about Connor and the program he is in -- I can't imagine being a parent and being told I could not see my child because I was the trigger for his mental illness! But Sharon persuaded me, along with Adam, not to disbelieve the doctors just because he doesn't like what they are saying.

Everyone involved in this storyline is playing it perfectly. Adam and Chelsea are totally believable as parents who love their child to the moon and back but don't know how to save him. Watching precious Connor struggle to control his OCD has been gut-wrenching. Judah Mackey is a phenomenal young actor. I have been wowed by his portrayal of a young man tortured by his mental health struggles. The sadness on his face just wrecks me. I am not even his TV mom, and I want to hug him every day.

Being a grandmother with grandchildren who have faced mental health struggles, I can tell you that Y&R is getting this storyline exactly right. The angst of knowing your child has something wrong that you can't fix, and all the experts telling you the only way to help your kid is to send him to some hospital totally out of your reach, is a constant heartbreak. Melissa Claire Egan and Mark Grossman are acting their hearts out. The scene where they each blamed themselves for the trauma that Connor is responding to was heartbreaking and spot-on. Their support systems, Billy, Sally, Sharon, and their family, have been heartwarming to watch. I wish every parent who is facing something like this had this sort of support in their lives.

Readers, in my humble opinion, The Young and the Restless was as good last week as it's ever been. With an entire host of storylines that rivet and engage the heart, it's at the top of its game. Sure, there are some side plots that I couldn't care less about -- and some unfortunate writing, especially for Phyllis and Cricket -- but overall, it's a great sweeps week of storylines.

Speaking of Cricket, I knew she would not be going on tour with Danny. You know why? She's not rock and roll. She's not fun. "My client needs me," Christine says. You know what? Many years ago, I had to get counseling for being caught in the messiah trap where I felt like I had to help everyone all the time, so I recognize it. She thinks she is the only person on earth that can help her client and that she can't trust it to anyone else. Get some help, Bug. Cricket would learn like I did that we are all replaceable, and the world will spin just fine without her for six months.

Christine is morally righteous, an upstanding citizen, and very dedicated to her job, but you know what she isn't? She is not the kind of girl you could party with for six months.

Phyllis has the potential to be fun, but they have been writing her so combative right now that they've made her completely unappealing to Danny. We can't have a juicy love triangle if the male lead is repulsed by one of the women in the triangle. Hey, writers, soften Phyllis up a little and let Michelle Stafford emote. She is so incredibly good at it, and it would make for more compelling viewing if Danny was actually tempted and torn.

Yesterday, when Danny got a text, and Phyllis said, "Oh, is that Queen Bug summoning you to her?" or something like that, I laughed despite myself. It's funny how much Phyllis hates Cricket, but when the two of them are still having the ongoing catfight they have had for 30 years, it's not fun anymore. Very unbecoming for two ladies in the AARP season of life. And before you come at me, I am in my AARP years, too -- so no ageism involved. The difference is that I made decisions to distance myself from the girls I hated in college, and I'm not still throwing beers in their faces.

My guess is that now Phyllis will show up at Danny's concerts in skimpy clothes and try to seduce him and rub Cricket's face in it. I wish they would write Phyllis differently, but they won't.

Lily is another female character that could use a revamp. Lily is a smart, savvy businesswoman, but somehow, she doesn't see that firing her boyfriend for going back to his wife is not a good look? This lawsuit that Daniel is bringing could have consequences she can't seem to envision.

Billy Abbott is a character whose history causes others to brush off his advice. He hasn't always been the wisest and most reliable guy, but more and more every day, I see Billy turning into a younger (hotter) version of his father, John Abbott.

Billy is helping Chelsea through her crisis and helping his mother keep an eye on her business stakes, and I think he is genuinely doing his best to help the company succeed.

If Daniel had any strikes against him at work, Lily could make a case. But OmegaShere was a huge success and moneymaker for the company. Billy realizes that a jury or judge will see the firing as retribution for a sexual relationship gone wrong versus having a problem with Daniel's work. However, I am concerned about the "Phyllis factor" because she could muck it all up. Even though Billy is giving sound counsel, Devon is on his "anything Billy votes for, I'll vote against" phase, and Lily is too deep into her "woman scorned" mindset to think clearly.

Nikki isn't thinking clearly, either, which probably has a lot to do with the liquor, but on Friday's episode, she was coming up with some cockamamie plan to offer herself up to Jordan as bait. I can see it coming -- we have Victor, Michael, and Jack's plan, versus Summer and Chance's plan, versus Nikki and Victoria's plan all colliding and blowing up, leaving Jordan to fly away disguised as an Egyptian monk or a Disney princess. Just imagine her in the Snow White get up or as a low-rent Cleopatra!

I'm torn because it's ridiculous that she keeps getting away, but all good soap villains come back over the years, so if she doesn't die, that means in three years, she can show up again and wreak havoc in some future sweeps week.

Readers, I have a query. What is Sharon? Is she a barista, a corporate CEO, or a psychologist? Every time I think I know where the writers are heading with her, they switch gears and take her in the opposite direction again. Remember that episode where it appeared Sharon was getting back together with Nick? Great, but we haven't seen them in a scene together since. Remember the months of discussions about the kickoff of Kirsten, Inc./Adustus, and I can't even remember what the name of the company is now? What happened to that? Now Sharon is back to being on call for any psychiatric needs in Genoa City. I wish if that was going to be her role, they would just get her an office and let her be a shrink full-time.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will anyone ever find the flower delivery guy, or is he six feet under with Seth? Will Claire ever emerge from whatever drug Jordan put over her mouth and come to Harrison's rescue? Will Kyle and Summer put a tracking chip in Lucky Bunny when Harrison comes home to prepare for next time? Will Audra try to fight Ms. Abbott or offer a cup of tea to the new Southern belle Ashley that emerged on Friday's previews? Will Lily try to get Lucy kicked out of school for wanting her parents back together? Will Diane step down and give Kyle the CEO job out of pity after Harrison is returned, or will she force him to take a leave of absence as Victoria did to Nick at Newman when she was banging Nate on her desk?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
Tamilu

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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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