YR mashup Michael Mariah Summer
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Hold up… when did this happen?

You know us… any reason for a party. (There will be wine, right?) So obviously, we were all-in on the idea of a fete to celebrate the awesomeness that is Young & Restless’ Lauren Fenmore Baldwin. We knew there would be flashbacks galore and a chance to marvel at the hairdos she and portrayer Tracey E. Bregman sported over the years.

What we didn’t expect was to see Fen stroll in and casually introduce the handsome young man by his side as his boyfriend, Trey.

Say… what?!?

YR fen trey boyfriend

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Clearly, this was not news to most of the Fisher-Baldwin family. Sure, Gloria mugged a bit, but she does that when a waiter asks if she wants more champagne. (What a silly question!) But Michael stepped forward, shook Trey’s hand and said, “It’s fantastic to meet you in person, at last.”

In reality, Trey’s name might just as well have been Plot Point, given that he was clearly on hand for no other reason than to ask questions which would set up the various Lauren-centric flashbacks. And as storytelling devices go, it’s not the worst one ever trotted out.

The problem, however, is that until Fen walked in with Plot Point Trey (no last name needed), we hadn’t a clue that Lauren and Michael’s son was gay (or bi). We never got to see him telling his parents or find out how they might react, because this entire development unfolded off-screen.

Again… say what?!?

Somewhere along the line, Young & Restless decided that it would go out of its way to avoid drama. Even when big things happen on screen, there’s little to no fallout. Remember when Devon and Abby suddenly had couch (and stairs and wall) sex, only to have their respective mates walk in on them? That’s the sort of thing that should have kicked off months worth of storyline. Instead, Amanda left town, Chance got even sadder (who knew that was possible?) and… that was it.

Mariah Tessa Y&R

Worse, some of the things we most want to see are taking place off screen. Kyle and Summer’s Italian wedding? We were told about it after the fact. Mariah and Tessa meeting with potential babymama Delphine? Off screen. Those couple’s therapy sessions Billy and Lily had? You guessed it… off screen.

To have Fen simply pop up with a boyfriend is jarring to say the least. (Not that we disapprove… far from it!) But it also illustrates a bigger problem, which is how little time we spend these days with the Fisher-Baldwin clan. (How ironic that this issue be spotlighted during an episode designed to highlight and pay tribute to a member of that very clan!)

More: The moment that forever changed Lauren

Even were Fen’s portrayer, Zach Tinker — who also plays Sonny on Days of Our Lives — unavailable for additional episodes, the writers easily could have given us scenes of Michael and Lauren discussing the news, maybe even admitting they were struggling with the unexpected development. And we would have killed for a scene in which Summer, former object of Zen’s affections, met — and maybe sized up — Trey!

Instead, all we got was Fen walking in with someone who could fanboy over Lauren and, having served his purpose, will likely fade into the woodwork, never to be seen again.

In case you (or Trey) need help figuring out who’s who in the extended Fisher-Baldwin clan, we’ve put together this handy-dandy photo guide to their tangled family tree!