kyle summer gallery Michael Mealor, Hunter King"The Young and the Restless" Set Photo ShootCBS television CityLos Angeles02/11/19© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Will Hunter King ever bring her back?

The Young and the Restless has got a problem on its hands. It’s not a horrible problem, seeing as how it’s tied to Michael Mealor’s return as Kyle, but it is one that’s going to have to be addressed sooner or later. And it’s one that, depending on how the powers that be handle it, could end up exciting fans or devastating them.

That problem, of course, is Summer.

Though Hunter King’s brought her back with Mealor a few times since their characters departed for Milan, now Kyle’s returning full-time to the show — and theoretically to Genoa City. But we’ve gotten no word on what’s happening with his wife. The way we see it, there are really only four options for how the show can deal with this situation.

1. Recast Summer

The first is going to be the least popular one — no offense to any potential future actresses who take over the role! King has been playing Summer for nearly a decade and at this point is nearly synonymous with the role. But soaps must go on, and it would be far from the first time a daytime drama recast an iconic character. As the World Turns‘ Lily, One Life to Live‘s Clint, heck even Young & Restless‘ Jack were all recasts of popular actors.

King explained to Soap Opera Digest after she exited that there were a variety of reasons why she’d left. One was hitting a snag in contract negotiations, but another big one was that she felt it was time for her own personal growth. She wanted to seek out new experiences. If the show has long-term plans for the character that King simply can’t accommodate, they’re going to have to recast her, or scrap the potential storylines they can tell. It would be heartbreaking for fans, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Summer heartbreak Y&R

“Did they really use the R word?”

Credit: CBS screenshot

2. Killer Summer Off

OK, OK, we know this would be an even tougher pill to swallow than recasting Summer — especially if they did it off screen. Though Kyle returning could soften the blow a bit because then we’d really be able to watch the aftermath unfold rather than dealing with that off screen. The thing is, it would be just about the only move that would make sense if Kyle returns to Genoa City without her.

Why else wouldn’t she be there to support her husband as he reunites with his presumed-dead mom, Diane? (Yes, we’re assuming she’s going to be making her way back to Genoa City sooner or later to run into him. She can’t stay in Los Angeles forever. Unless she hops over to Bold & Beautiful… ) The one silver lining would be watching the emotional journey unfold for Kyle as he welcomed his mom back into his life while mourning the loss of his wife. But we have a feeling that would be cold comfort to most fans.

Young restless kyle summer HW

“You always said I was to die for… ”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

3. Keep Summer Recurring

This could be the most realistic option from a real-world perspective, allowing Summer to pop in and out the same as she does now. King could film some Zoom segments here and there easily enough and even stop by Genoa City in person on occasion.

From a storyline perspective, though, it would be a bit of a stretch.

We’d be back into why-isn’t-she-there-for-her-husband territory as he deals with Diane’s return. Zoom calls just aren’t the most loving ways to support your spouse after learning his dead mother is back. But beyond that, the whole thing would get old fast, the longer Kyle sticks around in Genoa City. A short-term separation is one thing, but believing that two people would remain married after a long stretch of living on separate continents is a bit much.

yr summer kyle happy wedding hw mealor king hunter

Happy days are here again… or may soon be.

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI (3)

4. Strike a Deal to Bring King Back Full-Time

This is the one everyone’s hoping for. Both she and Mealor exited in part, as we noted above, due to contract negotiations. And since Mealor seems to have worked them out to return full-time, it doesn’t seem too much to hope for that King would be able to do the same. And it seems like she may be willing to do so.

Back when Kyle and Summer returned for Ashland and Victoria’s wedding, the actress told Digest that, “Of course, I would love to come back. I miss playing Summer! Young & Restless will always have a huge place in my heart.” So, there you have it. This would definitely be the fans’ choice and one that would make the most sense from a storyline perspective, but whether the show manages to pull it off or not remains to be seen!

What are your thoughts? We know the vast majority of you are probably holding out hope for the fourth option, but which do you think is the most likely? Sound off below!

Check out the gallery below of Summer’s life and loves on Young & Restless.