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Deconstructing Y&R: Gasp-worthy Gatherings Mark Valentine’s Week

February 12 - 16

Y&R had a wide range of offerings again this week with emotional drama, tension, romance, intrigue, and a dash of comedy. The Valentine’s Day episode featured a wedding vow renewal and a gathering that kept us riveted, and Noah’s Newman family party at the Top of the Tower was certainly busy as well, delivering an intense Friday cliffhanger. Thoughts:

Good luck.
Jack hired an attractive new chemist to replace Ashley, and while his sister took notice, it was Gloria who ended up in a panic about it. Too funny. Despite the unlikeliness of the pairing, I really do love Glo’s fierce loyalty to Jack. As Jack scrabbled to undo the mess he’d made with Ashley, he entered into a truly ill-advised arrangement with Victoria. Their plan may get Ashley out of Newman, but these things always come out on soaps, which would almost certainly result in Ashley being more furious with Jack than ever, and Victoria finding her own position at Newman in jeopardy when Victor learns she deliberately scuttled a lucrative deal in an underhanded attempt to throw her rival under the bus. Of course, Victor’s the one who pitted them against each other in the first place, but that won’t matter. Fans weighed in:

Renewal.
Valentine’s Day focused on two events, one being the renewal of Cane and Lily’s vows. Though it was a significant day in their history, Mal Young chose to do the ceremony in their home and kept it personal and casual as opposed to over-the-top and gushy, which felt right. Lily seemed to be more comfortable with Sam, but it remains to be seen if they’ll settle into domestic bliss or if Mattie’s warning that they wouldn’t be able to make it through another ordeal like the last one was foreshadowing.

More: Y&R stars celebrate Valentine’s Day

My volatile valentine.
Some Genoa City residents dressed up for Valentine’s Day to gather at the Top of the Tower and it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Everyone started out in a romantic frame of mind, but as the event unfolded the romance became threaded through with teases, tension, disappointment, and ended on a rather unsettling note with JT’s meltdown. The writing teased a possible proposal for Billy and Phyllis, who were by the way, a couple of live-wires at the gathering, each wondering if the other was planning to pop the question, and sitting together to snark about the other guests in the room, before exchanging gifts that were not engagement rings. Devon asked Hilary to save him a dance, getting hopes up that there might be a romantic Valentine’s Day reconciliation, if only for a night, but that was dashed when Devon revealed he was ‘seeing’ Simone. Hilary was clearly disappointed, and it left me thinking, “Wow, when did that happen?” Nikki and Victor’s dance made it seem they might grow closer on the lover’s holiday, but no, Nikki trotted off to who knows where (maybe to see Arturo?). Nick and Chelsea made the best of things despite the tension with Phyllis, who glowered accusingly from across the room, which led to Chelsea telling Nick another whopper about the website heist, blaming it on Jordan. JT was disillusioned with the guest list pretty early on, but things really took a turn after Victoria danced with Billy. JT demanded to leave and later threw a tirade at home. While there was just a tad too much ‘reality’ for a Valentine’s Day episode for some, I enjoyed the gathering and can appreciate the teases that leave us wanting more.

More: Y&R star in Overboard remake

What’s up with him?
The week kicked off with JT and Traci remembering Colleen on her birthday, which was incredibly touching. JT seems to have Colleen on his mind a lot lately, leading some to speculate that he may be dying, which is not a stretch given that we’ve become privy to his heart problems. However, he’s also become increasingly overwrought, moody, and controlling with Victoria, which raises other questions… Are we headed for an abuse storyline? Are his meds behind this behavior? Did Mac end things with him because of this behavior?

Walls closing in.
In the last Deconstructing Y&R, Chelsea felt the walls closing in, and we learned that Victor, naturally, knew all about her illicit activities and alias. He put her on notice, and handed off the cash to Lauren in exchange for her dropping the issue. I felt like Lauren would have wanted to know who screwed her company over just as much as Phyllis does, but she took the deal. Phyllis, determined to prove her instincts correct, was able to deduce that Victor was covering for Chelsea. Given that Nick gave Phyllis 48 hours to come up with something, and Chelsea popped the question to Nick under pressure, there was a nice sense of building to a reveal. Of course it only got juicier at the Newman party, where the engagement news came out, followed by an intense confrontation between Chelsea and Phyllis ending with Phyllis learning the stunning paternity secret. Loved this! As for Noah’s announcement he is leaving for Mumbai, it’s not a surprise insofar as the character hasn’t been used effectively in years, however, it’s concerning in that Noah is a core Newman and should be a main player.

Wow.
An additional Friday cliffhanger was Devon coming upon the recording of Hilary and Juliet discussing Cane and the sexual harassment. This definitely left me torn. In soap operas these things always resurface to create conflict, yet if feels like we’ve sat through years of ‘Hilary being on everyone’s bad side’ and it’s beyond tiresome.

These are my opinions on the show. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section!

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young

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