Billy looking at Chelsea mashup cbs yr
Credit: CBS screenshot (2)

“Can you believe in love?”

It was the connection we never quite saw coming on The Young and the Restless — but probably should have. Whereas Billy made sense with Lily — the two had been together years ago before Cane entered the picture — he and Chelsea had always had a bit of a… rockier history.

First, there was the fact that they first met when she helped frame him and get him tossed into prison in Myanmar. Then, after he made his way back home, she showed up in Genoa City accusing him of rape. That turned out to be a fabrication as they, she admitted, had consensual sex.

Except they didn’t. The two conceived Johnny after Chelsea drugged Billy and raped him. But that hasn’t stopped them from being pulled into each other’s orbit more and more, from his podcast to her near-suicide. And through it all, they just keep getting closer, despite the fact that Billy is still with Lily.

Fans, though, are having a tough time coming along for the ride. And with spoilers hinting that Billy may just be making an important decision about whether it may be time to forge a new path with Chelsea, Jason Thompson, as he told Soap Opera Digest on their podcast, understands where irate viewers are coming from.

Billy Chelsea Y&R

“Yeah, so I’m really sorry I traumatized you, imprisoned you and tried to ruin your life.”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

“You’re talking about some pretty sensitive storyline points that people take very seriously,” he noted cautiously, “because they have personal stories that are being reflected upon and brought to the surface again. It can be very, very triggering for people.”

The thought of Billy falling in love with the woman who drugged and raped him is tough for a lot of folks. Yes, she’s recently offered a heartfelt apology and yes, she’s clearly struggled with mental health issues for much of her life, but that doesn’t negate or excuse what happened. And for that reason, Thompson admits, if you’re telling the story of them growing closer, “You’ve got to be delicate. You’ve got to be careful.”

But he also thinks there should be some suspension of disbelief. This is a soap opera and for better or worse, it exists in a fantasy world. Resurrections, plastic surgery, secret twins, affairs after affairs as characters play musical partner and musical CEO — Genoa City isn’t quite reality. But it is home to some pretty compelling stories.

Stories, Thompson admitted in the podcast, that aren’t necessarily “going to work for everyone.” That could be from a story perspective, or it could be folks having trouble with something more personal. “Not everybody is going to connect to the storyline.”

But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be told — or at the very least, looked at a bit more closely.

Billy asks Lily for another shot at Club Y&R

“Sorry, Lily, I’m just not that into you.”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

“You’ve got to give it some time to be explored,” Thompson suggested, adding that it’s important “not to rush things. You’ve got to tell the story.”

Love, he noted, “can come from some pretty dark places sometimes. But if you lose that belief in the opportunity for redemption, in a way, and forgiveness, you’re missing out on a lot of true story.”

More: The Billy twist that could shake up the entire canvas

And, admittedly, if told right, there have been quite a few daytime romances that have grown from dark places. It’s not necessarily the healthiest of soap tropes, but it can work. Redemption and forgiveness are powerful concepts worth exploring and, at times, embracing. Whether in this case, that leads to an actual love and lasting relationship growing between Billy and Chelsea, though, still remains to be seen.

“I definitely think that Billy and Chelsea can continue to evolve,” Thompson concluded, “but you’ve got to be careful with it.”

Well, here’s hoping for boatloads of care!

Is this just another mistake brewing for Billy? Take a look at our photo gallery of all his biggest blunders