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Deconstructing Y&R: Jill’s full-tilt soap drama wakes up Genoa City

Restless Rant for May 23 - 27:

While some stories felt draggy, the emotionally-charged scene between Adam and Victor, the clashes involving Hilary, and the intensity of Philly were all highlights and kept things interesting. However, it was Jill blowing back into town that had tongues wagging and people sitting up and paying attention – both onscreen and in the viewing audience. So amazing, such presence, and wow, did we ever get a reality check on what we’ve been missing! Thoughts:

Newman siblings united?
It’s just ludicrous that Summer would feel so defensive of Victor after what he did to her mother and Jack, so all this whining to everyone about how they’re mistreating ‘Grandpa’ just gets on my last nerve. Pairing her up with the smug, smarmy Luca was an interesting choice though. I’d love to see them try to oust Victoria from Newman Enterprises and fail miserably, but seeing as Luca leapt into action to handle a crisis while Victoria was bedding her bartender… Let’s just say it’s irritating that Victoria’s being made to look spinny, and is having to listen to Summer, of all people, complaining about how she’s handling herself as CEO of Newman Enterprises. Really?! Also, it shouldn’t matter who Vikki’s having sex with, and I hope she makes Summer and Luca sorry they messed with her. As mentioned in the last Deconstructing Y&R, Adam desperately needs his edge back, and helping Victoria at Newman, could be just the ticket. After all, Victoria did ask Adam not to run this week (though I’m still not sure what to think of that), and it would be a new twist to see the Newman siblings present a united front.

Victor’s visitors.
Nikki filed for divorce despite Michael’s warnings about her timing, and though Summer stopped by the state pen first to squeal, Nikki showed up later, presumably to see how much of a rise she was getting out of Victor. Love how they push each other’s buttons! As Michael predicted, it didn’t go over well and Nikki left in a snit, while Victor, not surprisingly, used the situation to garner sympathy from Meredith Gates. Subsequent visits from Nick, Michael, and Adam regarding Adam being set-up for the murder of Constance Bingham, also ended with Victor punching the wall and returning to the infirmary to manipulate Meredith further. At this rate, he’ll be out in no time. Notably, the raw, emotional conversation between Victor and Adam was one of my favorite scenes of the week.

Casting News! Elizabeth Hendrickson returning as Chloe

Take this secret and shove it.
The ceremony at the cemetery to mark 11 years since Cassie died provided an opportunity for Noah and Summer to bicker, and for Mariah to stare pointedly at Sharon, who watched Nick hold the baby with tearful, conflicted saucer eyes, while Dylan made lots of comments about how he could never deal with losing Sully…you know, just to make sure we understood why Sharon’s so torn and in such an impossible position. At this point, I’m ready for Mariah, who has no interest in keeping this secret, to say to Sharon, “You tell Nick or I will.”

Kevin unleashed.
Kevin chose a night of takeout and loafing with Mariah over a helicopter ride to Chicago with Natalie, who had been leading him around like a puppy. Love it!

Ambulance chaser.
Michael was reinstated as a legal eagle and all is right with the world again. He and Lauren are hotter than ever as well, just sayin’… Love!

Hil’s Achilles heel?
Hilary continued to clash and manipulate far and wide this week, but a new element emerged; an Achilles heel, perhaps. At the very moment Hilary was showing just the teeniest bit of vulnerability with Devon over her mother, Lily was in the park with Cane musing that they might be able to bring Hil under control by making her believe she was in danger of losing her husband. Foreshadow-y indeed. That said, who knows if Hilary would even care about losing Devon if she thought she had a shot with, say, Jack. The problem in all of this is that viewers have never had a clear idea why Hilary turned into this person, or what her true motivation is. What does she actually want? How does she actually feel? So while we can enjoy her clashes with Lily, Phyllis, Jill etc., we really can’t wholly invest in the storyline – we feel outside of it.

Queen of denial.
Phyllis threw herself at Jack in an effort to convince him – and herself – that she’s fully focused on her marriage, but meanwhile, she was thinking of Billy when they were in bed. Billy thinks what he and Phyllis share is real, and it seems to be more real for her than she is prepared to admit. Of course Jack doesn’t deserve this, but it’s impossible to ignore the intensity between Phyllis and Billy and not root for them to be together. Billy vowing to do everything to be with the woman he loves, while staring right at Phyllis in front of Jack, is just so…gah!

What a ride!
How fun was Jill’s return? It was like getting on a carnival ride from the minute she and Cane ran into Hilary at Chancellor Park – one we never want to end! How great to see Hilary butt heads with someone she couldn’t blackmail, and ultimately not be able to get her way. And how fabulous to have Jill go into the Chancellor mansion and voice what viewers have been thinking all along – Billy, what the hell have you done? It didn’t end there, however, as Jill minced no words with Billy’s bimbo, and then made her way over to the Club to confer with Jack and Phyllis about the Winters-Abbott Foundation, where without even knowing it, she stunned Phyllis by mentioning the naked woman trying to get a look at Billy’s, ahem, wine cellar. So good! The only thing that was irritating was Jill harping about Billy and Victoria – gets old. But hold onto your hats because I think Jill has figured out there is something between Billy and Phyllis. Ooo. Viewers weighed in on Jill’s return on Twitter:

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young

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