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Young & Restless Trots Out More Man Pain in Pointless Jack Standalone — Plus, Phyllis and Nick Uncover Ashland’s Secret, but Will It Be Worth the Wait?

September 20 - 24

Jack, Sharon, Nick, Tessa, Mariah Y&R

CBS screenshot

Young & Restless ramped up the build up to the reveal of Ashland’s secret this week, but viewers all seem to be wondering if it’s going to be worth the wait. Jack got a standalone episode that left some questioning why the spotlight is always on man pain, given that Jack’s sisters have been single longer than he has, Sally knocked Sharon off-kilter, and Tessa and Mariah’s tenuous situation was giving fans all the feels.

Trouble Ahead

The week kicked off with Mariah shouting at Abby to stop gabbering, which was a satisfying moment, not gonna lie. Abby’s meeting with Ashland on Friday’s episode was was more of her usual as she cornered the guy to “get to know him” and then the conversation ended up being all about her before she finally bestowed her blessing on his marriage to Victoria. Oy.

Getting back to Mariah and Tessa, it’s been a joy to watch Cait Fairbanks play her alter-ego’s tenderness while caring for her partner; the pain she feels watching Mariah suffer is written in her facial expressions without saying a word. It looks like troubled times ahead for ‘Teriah’, however, now that Mariah has decided that the answer to all her problems is for Tessa to carry their baby. Tessa can see that Mariah has latched onto this idea for all the wrong reasons, and she clearly isn’t ready herself, but doesn’t want to hurt Mariah further by turning her down. I’m wondering if Noah will somehow figure into this storyline when he comes back or if he’ll be mixing it up with a certain redhead on the canvas.

Tessa alarmed Y&R

Oh crap, I didn’t see that coming…

Waiting Game

Sally’s interactions with Connor and Adam are getting under Sharon’s skin, and her instant dislike for the young woman could be a set-up to pivot her into meddling mom mode if her son Noah takes an interest in the devious designer upon his return to Genoa City. Sharon might then wind up in a triangle with Adam and Chelsea, which was kind of where things seemed to be going when Chelsea decided that Sharon was to blame for all her problems. Alternatively, she might find herself once again growing closer to Nick while trying to come up with ways to discourage a Noah and Sally relationship.

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One thing that seems fairly obvious is that Rey sees Sharon’s jealousy where Adam’s concerned, so one would think he’d throw in the towel any time now, and with Phyllis and Jack being dangled, “Phick” is likely on the way out as well. The writers also seemed to have backed off on Adam and Sally, so it feels like a bit of a waiting game to see where the cards are going to fall.

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More Man Pain

The appeal of painting Jack with the ‘lonely older man’ brush in the standalone episode was lost on many viewers, and though I typically get quite emotional when Jack does, tossing in the bits with Dina and Traci didn’t work to great effect in this case. In fact, it made me wonder why all the focus was on Jack’s man pain when Traci has been single forever, and so has Ashley for that matter. The episode didn’t feature any reflection on Jack’s romantic history (which might have at least given us some flashbacks) and didn’t drive story other than perhaps his confession to Nick. Those scenes I thoroughly enjoyed, even if I didn’t understand why Jack would tell Nick what he did… it would have been better as a secret that came out at an inopportune moment.

It was unclear whether the episode was a jumping off point for Jack to find a new love or to get back together with Phyllis. I tend to appreciate a good romantic shake-up, and heaven knows Young & Restless needs an earthquake level disturbance to the status quo, but as much as Jack and Phyllis share a deep emotional bond, for me, “Phack” is where “fun” Phyllis goes to die. If they have to split up her and Nick, they could bring back sexy Ronan while Nina is on the canvas.

Fizzle or Flatline?

I had to laugh at all of these men puzzling for weeks over Ashland’s secret and Phyllis narrowed it down in an afternoon. They’re really missing the mark not having her do her sleuthing on a regular basis. As far as the secret goes, I’m conditioned now for Young & Restless to drag out the story, build to the reveal, only for it to fizzle. In this case – Spoiler Alert! – it turns out Ashland faked his own death before taking on the Locke identity. While that’s enough to give one pause, it’s certainly not a reason for Victoria not to marry the man she knows him to be today. So, hopefully there will be something juicier, perhaps having to do with the way he got the money to buy Camila Rhodes’ news stations. There has to be something left to reveal at the wedding, right?

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Do Better

Devon and Amanda’s romance is inching forward, and we finally got some close contact between them, but there’s really not much shaking with them storyline-wise. It still blows my mind that they didn’t capitalize on the incredible drama they had in the works back when Elena first cheated with Nate. Perhaps there will be friction between Amanda and Devon where Dominic is concerned? In related, Imani’s return is encouraging as she’s a spitfire with the potential to liven up things wherever they decide to use her, but the Naya illness isn’t resonating… because Naya isn’t on the canvas. Show, don’t tell.

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Odds ‘n’ Ends

* Nick was looking fine in that towel. ‘Nuff said.

Nick note Y&R

No caption needed.

Dumb Stuff

* I’ll just leave this here…

This is just my opinion. Feel free to join the conversation below, but first, take a peek at photos of soap characters who fizzled in our newest gallery!

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