Michael, Ashland, Victoria, Victor Y&R
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

This reveal would end Locke’s love story and set Victor’s carefully thought-out plan into motion.

Things are heating up on The Young and the Restless as Victor follows his well-honed instincts when it comes to son-in-law, Ashland Locke, and it’s provided viewers with some much-needed building anticipation to what should be a stunning reveal…

Victor got the ball rolling by hiring his former right-hand, Michael Baldwin, who, as Locke pointed out when they crossed paths, has a reputation that proceeds him. The sharp-as-a-tack legal eagle acted on his boss’ instructions to investigate Ashland and came up with some odd findings that seemed to bolster The Mustache’s simmering suspicions.

More: Find out when the Ashland switch will happen

While those “suspicions” are rather vague at the moment, we do know that Victor’s concerns are legitimate as, previously, Locke’s portrayer Richard Burgi teased that his character has a secret. Despite Victor being cagey, it’s become clear that Ashland’s health is the matter being put under the microscope.

From Michael chatting up Nate, and discovering that the doctor views Locke’s success with the experimental treatment to be “almost to good to be true,” to the former D.A. subsequently uncovering irregularities with the funding for the aforementioned clinic in Peru (which, as it turns out is being bankrolled by none other than Locke himself), the nature of Victor’s suspicions came into sharper focus.

More: Burgi’s parting words as he exits Y&R

Intriguingly, rather than keep his thoughts entirely to himself, The Black Knight hinted to Victoria during her most recent visit to the ranch, that he found her husband’s progress health-wise to be downright, ahem, “miraculous.” What made this so interesting is that Victoria went back to Ashland and updated him on her father’s remarks and seemingly pledged her loyalty to her husband – but the way she was studying Ashland as he spoke, one had to wonder if Victor hadn’t successfully planted a seed of doubt after all. Perhaps her approach of being seemingly transparent and firmly on Team Ashland: “My father probably thinks I should view you as a threat, like a proper Newman,” was a tactic to set her partner at ease so she could more easily observe him.

As for Michael, he’s been dispatched to Peru to get to the bottom of what’s going on with the clinic there, and it’s entirely possible he could return with an utter bombshell.
Michael, Victor Y&R

The answers can be found in Peru…

Credit: CBS screenshot

What if Ashland isn’t funding the experimental treatment, but instead is paying the people at the clinic to participate in a ruse? This could mean that, as many viewers have suspected all along, he never had lung cancer at all, and used the fake diagnosis as a means of manipulating Victoria into marriage, and of course, the merger. His plan? To miraculously recover and take over the company for himself. We’ve already seen him making moves to bring in his own people on the sly and take more power. Talk about playing the long game!

Unfortunately for Locke, Victor Newman is always ten steps ahead and, as we’ve pointed out, has been positioning his “pawns”, aka Adam and Victoria, on the chessboard, so to speak, as he prepares to protect his legacy, which he’ll be only too happy to remind you, he built from the ground up.

More: Inside Victor’s secret plot against Ashland Locke

It’s a distinct possibility that Michael will return from Peru with proof of the bombshell that has the potential to blow Locke’s marriage apart and see Victor make his move to protect Newman’s business interests. At the very least, Michael will have another piece to the puzzle; one large enough to confirm what The Mustache undoubtedly suspects about Locke – that he faked his lung cancer as part of a diabolical long game to seize the Newman empire.

Before you share your thoughts in the comment section on what Locke may be hiding, take a look back on the evolution of Victoria and Ashland’s romantic merger in the gallery below.