YR Shocked collage

Jill Johnson/JPI (1); CBS screenshot (3)

Sorry, but we’re not about to let this pot stirrer go to the great kitchen in the sky! 

Just before the credits rolled on the April 16 episode of The Young and the Restless, the soap showed something which left us gasping. No, not a half-dressed Kyle, thrilling though that was. Instead, it was the preview in which we saw Ashland Locke, mid-argument with Victor, clutch his chest as if having what looked an awful lot like a heart attack.

Quicker than we could call 911, the Internet was buzzing with rumors that Richard Burgi’s fearsome alter ego would be fatally felled by that most traitorous of organs, his ticker.

Theoretically, killing off Ashland could make sense. After all, that would free up widow Tara to become an even bigger threat to the impending Kyle/Summer wedding. With Tara and her son no longer under Ashland’s thumb, would Kyle find himself drawn to the ready-made family he only recently learned exists?

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But killing Ashland would be akin to The Young and the Restless cutting off its nose to spite its face. Because while the death of Ashland might open up one storyline avenue, an alive-and-kicking Locke Ness Monster has far more potential. And frankly, as we’ve argued before, he is exactly what this show needs.

A rival for Victor? A potential love interest for Nikki or Victoria… or heck, both? Already, Ashland has managed to ruffle feathers in both the Newman and Abbott clans, and he’s only made a handful of appearances. It’s been quite a while since a new character has had so big an impact in so short a period of time.

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As you can see, we’re rooting for Ashland to stick around… but what are your thoughts? Hit the comment section to sound off on whether the Grim Reaper should pay Locke a visit or he should survive to stir up trouble around Genoa City. Then, check out this gallery of all the actors who’ve recently exited the show… a list to which we’re hoping we don’t soon have to add Burgi!