Soapbox

Oh Snap… It’s Time for Young & Restless’ Victoria to Play Ashland — Plus, the Oh-So-Messy Resurrection of Diane Jenkins and Devon and Lily’s Troubling Merger

March 21 - 25

Ashland, Victoria, Diane, Jack Y&R

Credit: Sonia Flemming/CBS; Howard Wise/JPI

Young & Restless gave viewers a shot in the arm with Diane’s return, and a nice bit of drama as Ashland’s long con came out of the darkness and into the light. Still filed under “What Are They Thinking?” is the Hamilton-Winters/Chancellor Industries merger and Billy’s podcast.

Good trouble

Listen, what this soap opera needed was an injection of excitement to get viewers fired up about a story again and Diane Jenkin’s return from the dead has achieved that, however unbelievable it might be. And make no mistake, it’s as unbelievable as it gets. Diane was not only really-most-sincerely-dead on screen, but she was also buried, and her body later exhumed by Ronan Malloy amid the murder investigation.

The explanation, when it comes, is going to be a doozy. As much as fans are rolling their eyes at the messiness, most seem to be here for it, as the resurrection of the troublemaker from the past brings with it much-needed story potential for Jack, Phyllis and Kyle, whose return has been confirmed. The suspects in Diane’s murder (and/or their loved ones) will all be rattled by her reapperance. Nikki was ruled to have killed her in self-defense, but others who looked guilty at one point or another included Nick, Adam, Jack, Phyllis, Diane’s ex-lover Victor, Tucker (Devon’s father), Ashley, Deacon Sharpe and Patty Williams.

The biggest question is, “How the hell is Diane Jenkins alive?” But right out of the gate we also need answers to “If she’s alive why has she ignored her son all these years?”, and “How does she know all about Keemo and Allie when Jack’s not even in the loop?” Her objective is clearly to get close to Jack again and that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for Phyllis. Watch for more on that in a story going live on Sunday.

More: Y&R alum welcomes new baby boy amid complications

Merger Madness

What goes through my mind when I watch this Lily and Devon merger stuff: 1) It’s boring. All they do is talk about these so-called corporations that are being run out of their living rooms, which is ridiculous. 2) I don’t believe for a second that this is what Neil wanted or would be so damn happy about. Why would he want the company he started with Devon — so they would have something of their own at long last — to merge with a corporation owned by another family? Lily doesn’t own Chancellor Industries! 3) The writers seem to be regrouping these characters into a bubble. Lily’s new endeavor has pulled in Devon, Amanda, Imani, and now Nate, who was offered a position as Devon’s COO — for which he’s wholly unqualified — just to get him in the door. Elena isn’t working with them (yet, give it time), but might as well be as she’s inexplicably agreed to move back in across the hall from Nate’s cousin, her ex-love, who she cheated on and with. Why would either of them want to live there?!? Make it make sense.

More: Y&R star shares backstage photos and clips

Payback’s a Bitch

Ashland’s long con has been the best of Young & Restless’ recent offerings, but as things unraveled, Victoria’s ongoing cluelessness became a sore point. On one hand, the writers are selling viewers on Victoria being Victor’s rightful replacement; his mini-me, and yet we’re to believe she had no idea the man she was living with and working with 24 hours a day was faking stage IV cancer?! The reveal, when Victoria finally realized the truth, was dramatic, and Heinle actually made me tear up when she broke down, but the overall premise was insulting to the character, and to women.

That’s why I’m hoping that she’ll put her anger to good use and turn the tables on him. Ashland’s weakness is going to be found in his desire to reconcile with her and I hope she takes full advantage of that and plays him soundly in return.

More: Photo gallery: Amelia Heinle anniversary tribute

Billy After Dark

Billy’s podcast was a snooze and a half as expected. As soon as he brought up his fixation with revenge I groaned aloud. Been there, beaten that dead horse! This fan video about it is super funny and on point:

When Billy told Lily he didn’t think he had any more to say, I thought, “If only that were true.” She laughed and said she simply couldn’t believe that, which then made me laugh cause, yeah… we’re not getting out of this that easily.

Oh, Chey!

They’re really playing up Rey’s unrealized dream of being a father in his recent interactions. Not only with Sharon, and watching Sharon and Nick be parents, but with Chelsea. The writing is on the wall that these two will get together and have a baby. I’m not mad at the idea, but there needs to be some soapy elements added to their story to save it from being dull.

More: See Melissa Claire Egan’s tribute to husband

This is just my opinion. Feel free to join the conversation in the comment section.

Check out the Best and worst of 2022 (so far!) in the photo-filled gallery below.