Restless Rant for the week of February 10 – 14:

There’s definitely a sense of “Y&R” getting ‘back on track’ what with some powerhouse acting, scenes, and stories. The much-anticipated gala, unfortunately, didn’t really live up to the hype, at least not yet. Thoughts:

Shout it from the rooftops.
Jack let the cat out of the bag about Victor blackmailing Adam after Nicholas and Victoria happened upon him shouting across the hospital corridor about it. Knowing what Victor’s capable of, they soon realized Jack’s allegations were true. Victor was unable to spin his actions into a favorable light with Nick, Vikki, Billy or Nikki. The confrontations were all satisfyingly intense, with Nu/OldBilly giving 110% in his scenes with his father-in-law. He was perhaps a notch or two less menacing and ferocious than the former Billy might have been, but it was nonetheless riveting. Victoria, for her part, disowned her father – again. Love how everyone keeps pointing out that she’s done this repeatedly and it never sticks. Nikki and Victor also had it out, with him hollering at her to ‘mind her own business’. Ouch. Clearly the stress is affecting her health. Victor backed off being a baddie long enough to proffer some Valentine’s goodies but Nikki still told him he just doesn’t get it. Wait until she finds out about the Cassie lookalike… Do you think Nikki should kick Victor to the curb? Vote in Soaps.com’s Y&R Poll: Should Nikki dump Victor?

Phantasm.
As mentioned, Sharon’s been having run-ins with a more solid form of Cassie lately, and on Friday’s episode we discovered that Victor was indeed gaslighting his ex-wife/ex-daughter-in-law with the help of a, sigh, doppelganger. It’s anyone’s guess how the girl was able to make sure that she was only ever seen by Sharon (okay Faith may have seen her but believes it was a raccoon), but that’s soaps for ya’. Bottom line is it’s bad timing for Victor to get caught in a scheme this distasteful considering the way his family currently feels about him. The question at this point is whether this will be enough to compel Sharon to confess to Nick about the DNA swap before the jig is up for Victor. As for how Sharon will react, well who could blame her if she burned down the new ranch too? Sidebar: Sharon still not properly mourning Adam – fail.

Something to take care of.
Speaking of doppelgangers, there’s a growing sense with the Tyler/Abby/Mariah storyline that Mariah, whose face we still haven’t seen, will turn out to look exactly like Lily, with the only thing differentiating the two being Mariah’s tattoo. Viewers weren’t up for Tyler becoming Abby’s doormat, or for Abby becoming a one-note foot-stomping spoiled brat, and few are likely to be up for another round of ‘two doppelgangers in Genoa City at one time’ (re: Lauren/Sarah and Patty/Emily). Besides, if Mariah looked exactly like Lily, wouldn’t Leslie and Tyler have made more of it before now? If it happens, it’s probably a nod to those who wanted to see a Tyler/Lily affair. Do you think this could light a fire under this storyline? Discuss in the comment section!