Restless Rant for the week of February 17 – 21:

The big storyline this week was the hostage situation at the gala but there were some other stories rocking some pretty serious tension and/or building toward it. Thoughts:

The wheels are turning.
Well the gala certainly had some heart-stopping moments, which made for worthwhile viewing on the whole despite the things that made us go ‘hmm’. Some of the goings-on were a bit of a stretch – not the least of which was the sheer number of people who seemed willing to step up and risk taking a bullet. Of course, part of the enjoyment of these kinds of scenes is poking fun at the unbelievable bits, like how they managed to carry on about 6 different conversations after Womack ordered them all at gunpoint to sit down and shut up. We had Kevin whispering with Lauren, Leslie giving her table a rundown on Womack’s rap sheet and criminal profile, Cane master-minding a plan to overtake the gunmen, Jill and Colin verbally sparring, and Billy unwittingly creating his own drama with Victoria and Kelly over in the corner. There were some knee-slappers near the end too, like Victor parting the sea of cops to get inside and demand answers, Devon pausing amid the drama to phone and break his date with Esmerelda, and Colin shutting the door on the SWAT team so as to conclude his private business with Womack. Gotta’ love it. All-in-all it made for a solid few days of entertainment.

It was only once.
As much as it was sad to see Victoria realize the truth about Billy and Kelly, many were glad that the secret-keeping wasn’t dragged out. It led to some appropriately soapy scenes – Vikki slapping Kelly, Kelly’s honest conversation with Lily, Jack telling Billy he had confessed, and Victoria not being able to kiss Billy. Stitch has increasingly been a source of support for Victoria, but he is clearly harboring secrets of his own. Would you like to see Victoria forgive Billy or turn to Stitch? Let Soaps.com know by voting in our Y&R Poll: What should Victoria do?

Like Sheila all over again?
Nope. The Carmine storyline isn’t like the Sheila/Lauren story, which had layers, history, and complexities that just aren’t present here. Carmine became a one-note stalker and no background was even provided to explain his behavior. Had Carmine been given more dimensions and allowed to have some rooting value, Lauren could have been tempted by him again and this might have evolved into an entirely different kind of storyline that could have been revisited successfully over years.