Credit: Hot or not? (CBS)

Genoa City for the Week of March 23 – 27:

There is a fair bit happening in Genoa City that seems overly-manipulated or hard to believe, so that at times it’s difficult to relate to the characters or be drawn into what they’re feeling. That said, there were a few notable moments that were real gems. Viewers are hoping to see some action soon in the dragging storylines where characters have been doing the same thing for too long. Thoughts:

Jack Abbott’s life will never be the same.
After this week’s installment of Victor in the confessional I’m more convinced than ever that Victor is talking to the Jack lookalike in there. He will no doubt be part of this diabolical plan to take over Jabot and wreck Jack’s life. Speaking of which, Victoria revealed that she had looked behind every firewall and proxy server at Jabot – how exactly did she get access? It’s curious that Victor is doing this since he had already procured Ashley’s formula and was ready to beat them at their own game. Many just aren’t getting Victor’s motivation – it’s not as if Jack had recently made some sort of direct hit on Victor that made him want to retaliate. In fact it was Jack who took the most recent blow when he learned Summer wasn’t his daughter.

How nuts was it that Phyllis, Jack, and Stitch all took Victor’s word for it that Kelly was dead, with no one questioning why he would have this information and the morgue photo? Wouldn’t it occur to Ben that if it was legit the family would have been notified? Wouldn’t he try to bring her body home for burial? And how silly for Phyllis to be running around with the morgue photo. Since viewers didn’t really believe Kelly was dead, Ben’s reactions felt forced and the bit with being rude to Victoria was too obviously meant to push him and Abby together. The one nugget in all of this came after drunken Stitch blurted out that he’d cheated on Victoria. When Abby asked for the name of the skanky ho-bag and Ben replied, “It’s your mother,” it was snort out loud funny. Abby was momentarily rendered speechless! Meanwhile, back at the Abbott house, Phyllis and Jack went another round of her threatening to back out of their relationship and him giving a heartfelt declaration of his love. Ugh. So over this. Phyllis needs to be out of that dreary house, back in a sleek penthouse, and back in the game more than ever.

Done pretending.
Speaking of repetition, poor Michael and Lauren seem to be stuck playing out the same scenario over and over. Lauren getting Cane’s perspective was interesting, and later led to a very heartfelt scene when Cane reached out to Lily, but Michael’s cancer story needs to move forward. As for Cane and his contract, some would rather see him and Jill work together to take on a competing business than battle each other, but mostly it would be great to actually see Jill instead of just hearing about her occasionally.

Are you here to gloat?
Another genuine moment was Devon’s appeal to Hilary at the Club. His voice cracked with emotion as he asked why she was still hanging around and essentially torturing him with her presence. It will be interesting to see what she gets up to with the ADA and whether she will muck up what Leslie tries to do to help Neil.