Eric Braeden yr victor ss
Credit: Sean Smith/JPI

Eat your heart out, Succession.

Lately, The Young and the Restless‘ Victor has been busy playing at his favorite pastime: plotting an enemy’s downfall and using everyone around him as pawns in a game for which only he knows the rules. The enemy in question is Ashland (though we still aren’t even sure what he’s done), and the pawns are his own children, Victoria and Adam. It’s a dangerous game, but one The Mustache apparently feels is necessary.

More: Noah needs to look elsewhere for love

“Victor is determined to protect the Newman legacy at all costs,” headwriter Josh Griffith told Soap Opera Digest in the most recent issue. “His investigation will cause major conflict within the family and lead to a shocking reveal.”

None of that sounds promising for Victor’s relationship with his kids. And that makes sense. “At all costs” is what Victor does best, consequences be damned.

For one thing, if that shocking reveal ends up blowing up Victoria’s happy marriage, we can’t imagine she’ll be too pleased with dad. And if Adam finds out that his good behavior and genuine attempts at bonding were being rewarded with deceit and manipulation, it’s doubtful he’ll be looking at Victor any kindlier.

Eric Braeden, Mark Grossman, Victor, Adam, JPI Y&R

Above: What happens when Adam realizes he’s not playing the game but instead is just another piece on the board?

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Plus, “legacy” implies something that’s passed down through the generations. That would mean looking beyond Victor, and too often, it seems like he’s just not capable of that.

When Eric Braeden appeared on The Talk last Friday, Sheryl Underwood asked if Victor was really letting his kids take over the family business. Braeden paused for a good, long beat.

“No,” he smirked at last as he slipped into Victor’s persona. Though he quickly amended it to, “I mean, a little bit. Let them feel it out, but I’m watching them like a hawk. One misstep and…”

Braeden then switched back to himself, explaining that Victor “can’t let go. I think that’s typical for many fathers, powerful fathers, to let go and let their children or their son or daughter take over. Very hard.”

More: The twist that would rock Devon’s world

It sounds an awful lot like Victor’s just letting Adam and Victoria get a taste of power (while he keeps a close, close eye on them) before he finds an excuse to snatch it back — like, say, when his plan runs its course. Because if he can’t let go, even if a part of him knows he has to, when will his kids get their chance for real? When he’s dead? Is this all just a test run for when he’s gone?

That’s a tough pill to swallow.

If Victor were going to all this trouble to, in the end, hand over the reins to his kids, maybe they’d be a little forgiving about being turned into pawns. Maybe. But if he’s doing all this just to keep control because he can’t let go, then there’s no way this can end any way other than destroying Victor’s relationship with his children.

A United Front

Yes, we’ve been down this road before, but Victor’s machinations this time feel very personal. And if he’s not careful, they could cause a backlash he wasn’t prepared for — like Adam and Victoria teaming up to take him down and secure their own legacies!

Think about it; before Victoria bought Newman Media, she and Adam were finally thawing. As Mark Grossman told Digest, “It felt like they were siblings. They’ve had this fun banter, and there seemed to be a time when Victoria was getting along with Adam.”

The potential for cooperation and even respect is there. The groundwork was laid. There would still be resentment, of course, but that could be diffused a bit if they didn’t have to work alone. They could spread the distrust and animosity out a bit so it’s not all aimed at each other.

Though Nick mostly keeps out of business squabbles, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s waded in to try teaching Victor a lesson about being horrible to his family. And if they could all convince Abby to join in on a united front, the four of them could stage a Succession-style take over and force Victor into retirement for good.

Joshua Morrow, Amelia Heinle, Melissa Ordway, Mark Grossman, Adam, Abby, Nick, Victoria, JPI, Y&R

Above: Is this the team-up needed to force Victor to do the unthinkable and finally let go?

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

More: These co-stars prove three really is company

This could all be the perfect setup that solves a number of problems we’ve been having with the show, from Adam losing any kind of business edge to Abby having little to do beyond the non-drama of the Chancellor baby storyline. And it would undercut the predictability of Victor booting his kids from power for the umpteenth time.

Would Victor go down without a fight? Hell no! But that would just help create real stakes and lasting consequences that have been missing from the pointless CEO shuffling that the show’s been relying on.

A new status quo could be set in place and a new dynamic cemented as Victor begrudgingly respects his kids as equals for getting the better of him. Braeden said Victor can’t let go, not that he doesn’t want to. If he’s forced to step back, he could finally realize that the Newman legacy is secure without him either in the driver’s seat or pulling the strings. (Though not before plenty of raging against his ungrateful offspring.)

Victor could set off on a new project to prove he’s still got it, and the squabbling could resume back at Newman as his kids try to decide how to carve out their own places in (or at the top of) the empire, even as they work together to keep others out. Just don’t shuffle them around like musical chairs.

What are your thoughts? Is it time for Victor’s kids to join together and finally claim their thrones? Sound off below, then stick around to check out a refresher course on how this whole mess began with our gallery of Victoria and Ashland’s relationship.