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We Don’t Know Whether to Feel Sorry for Young & Restless’ Ashland or Smack Him — Plus, Mariah *Refuses* To Take ‘No’ for an Answer

September 27 - October 1

Ashland, Victoria, Mariah, Tessa Y&R

CBS screenshot

It continues to amaze me how the brilliant talent on Young & Restless can make riveting scenes out of predictable, middle-of-the-road material. It’s made the build up to some of the disappointing peaks well worth-watching.

The Final Countdown

Young & Restless seems to be taking a two-pronged approach to the reveals from Ashland’s past… or should we say three-pronged? Last week we got the confession that he wasn’t actually Ashland Locke, this week he was forced to go further and tell the harrowing story of how the identity swap went down, which means there has to be one more reveal left for the wedding… or maybe he’ll get it done and over with before then as the preview shows him telling Victoria about a crime — which probably has to do with how he acquired the news stations. If he’ll tell her the whole story remains to be seen.

Anyway, I can’t say enough about Amelia Heinle depicting Victoria’s confusion and anger, or Richard Burgi’s performance as he recounted the car crash to her and Nick — just riveting — but it’s difficult not to feel frustrated with how Young & Restless has botched the Ashtoria love story. Why have viewers so torn about the pairing right before their fantasy wedding in Italy? Some may be rooting for their love to overcome all of it, but Ashland’s choice not to get ahead of all this with Victoria has already put others off of them. After this week, I was left feeling for the guy, but also wanting to smack him for not just telling her everything before others could uncover it.

Ashland tell story Y&R

The intensity of having to relive the car crash…

Baby Talk

Mariah is a mood these days! Between the post-partum hormone ride and the emotional and mental aftermath of both the surrogacy and kidnapping, she’s not beating around the bush about how she feels. I thought her scenes with Sharon, who was trying to provide unwanted mothering, were so dead on and realistic — you couldn’t see acting at all with them! Tessa and Mariah’s frank conversation was more of the same… so good. And while Tessa left the conversation thinking all talk of having a baby had been dealt with, it was obvious that Mariah has no intention of letting it go. She has well and truly latched onto the idea and all that remains to be seen is how far she will go trying to make it happen!

More: The Y&R star who thought Camryn Grimes was pregnant

Odds and Ends

* Another strong scene to come out of the Ashland/Victoria story was Nikki having a go at Billy and telling him not to show up at the wedding. I love that they’re using her more. Nick and Victoria’s clash was also amazing. Nick getting in that last line to let his sister know he realizes that the revelations are bothering her more than she will ever let on was a great beat. They know each other so well.

* I love the bit with Sally scheming to get Victoria’s eyes on the wedding gown she’s designed for her, and her confidence in believing that once she sees it she will instantly agree to wear it despite Sally’s track record with the fam. Go Sally!

* Unless all of this focus on Jack’s loneliness and man pain is leading to love, I have to wonder what the point of it all is — how many scenes can they possibly devote to this same topic? Not that I’ll ever complain about getting some Traci time, but Jack’s really wearing the carpet down pacing around with that photo of Dina. For what it’s worth, they still seem to be circling the idea of Phyllis and Jack, though it’s not clear if they’ll actually go there or not. I’d rather they came up with something unexpected.

More: Gallery: Michael Baldwin through the years

* Devon’s scenes in the park with Dominic were so heartwarming, even with us not seeing an actual baby, it was impossible not to feel their bond developing. That said, it also underlined the fact that Devon is not raising this child; his firstborn, despite their biological connection. Which continues to make me feel sad, and perturbed with the story that got us to this place. Fortunately, there’s a little more fun in Devon’s life with Amanda moving in and Moses there. As mentioned in last week’s rant, however, the Naya illness needs to play onscreen or not at all. And can we please establish Imani on the canvas?

More: Cait Fairbanks shows us Baby Dominic

* As adorable as Faith and Moses are, I just can’t get on board with them being written as teens from some other era. Their big crisis was schoolwork and they actually high-fived! It’s a far cry from the realism we see with teens on other soaps, or used to see on this show for that matter.

* For more on all the storylines that will collide in Tuscany, watch for my story out this Sunday. Have a great weekend!

This is just my opinion. Feel free to join the conversation below, but first, take a moment to remember the soap stars we’ve lost in 2021.

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