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Deconstructing Y&R: Intense Twists, Huge Cliffhangers Launch Y&R’s 45th

March 19 - 23

Despite the comic relief of Billy and the male models, and Nick grumping to the very amused Phyllis and Sharon about his mother’s extracurricular activities, on the whole it’s been a very intense week on Y&R, with a mind-blowing cliffhanger Friday episode. Thoughts:

Canceled.
As noted in the last Deconstructing Y&R, Devon’s decision to father Hilary’s baby created a volatile situation with his disapproving sister. Lily tried to buy time by canceling Hilary’s OB/GYN appointment, but that didn’t pan out. Now Cane’s in on the plan to stop a Hilary and Devon pregnancy. One has to presume they’ll sabotage or switch sperm samples because (a) there’s not much else they can do to stop it, and (b) it’s a soap opera. From a writing standpoint, it’s the way to go, however, it’s out-of-character for Lily to be downright diabolical, and while she may want to hurt Hilary she wouldn’t want to hurt Devon, so we’ll see how this plays out. I’m picturing a scenario where Cane and Lily succeed in messing with Devon’s sperm (eek), Hilary ends up pregnant, the Ashbys announce it’s not Devon’s baby, and the fallout involves a regretful Lily realizing they went too far. Perhaps, however, the baby really will be Devon’s because they had a secret night of passion along the way? Given that Hilary and Devon’s recent scenes are so laden with sexual chemistry you can all but hear the Barry White soundtrack, it’s not a stretch. In related commentary, the bit with Lily, Billy, and the male models was funny. Loved it.

More: Y&R’s Gina Tognoni Daytime Emmy nom

Non-profit Nick.
Nick’s conversations with both Phyllis and Sharon about Nikki having a young hottie on the side were a lot of fun. Of course, hothead Nick had to put Arturo on notice. I swear if Victor finds out it will be Nick’s doing because he can’t shut up about it. In any case, Arturo swore he wouldn’t ‘hurt’ Nikki, but she’s bound to be none-too-pleased if he throws her over for Abby, who made eyes at the hunky contractor in Crimson Lights. As for Sharon, miffed that Nick didn’t include her in the non-profit meeting after it was her idea, she started looking for apartments for him. He can be such a doofus. Of course, Mariah helped him see the light and inadvertently that led to the kiss. We saw that coming!

In related commentary, Nikki brought Arturo to the meeting that featured an intense clash between Victor and Jack. I loved the looks Jack was shooting at Victor throughout the whole meeting leading up to the argument – too funny. In any case, Jack later ranted about Victor to Abby, Ashley, and Sharon, and left the GCAC drunk and disorderly. Ash phoned in a warning to Victor, and all of this is bound to come back and bite Jack in the behind, as he’ll no doubt get the blame for pushing Victor down the stairs. JT, of course, was the one who had a wild west saloon-style brawl with Victor following their confrontation. Soapy goodness. But wait, if Jack’s arrested, it won’t even be his worst problem, as Cliffhanger Friday also had the huge twist of Dina sharing the unthinkable with Abby – Jack is not John Abbott’s son. Big drama ahead!

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Controversial story.
The big story this week is the domestic violence storyline with JT and Victoria. Despite issues with exposition and pace, I can’t say enough about the powerful acting and the importance of raising awareness on this topic. While it’s certainly not an ‘escape’ to watch material like this, if it helps someone, even one person, it’s valuable. As for JT and Victoria being the characters used to tell this story, I’m not convinced they were the best choices for the simple reason that both seem to be acting out-of-character to what we know of them, and we know them pretty well. That said, if the story hadn’t used well-established characters we care about (which makes it uncomfortable and shocking to watch), who have such potent chemistry together, the conversation wouldn’t be as big and meaningful. The violent scene stayed with me all night, I worried about it being a trigger for some viewers, and wondered how many would see shades of their own situation reflected in it. Powerful. The ensuing make up session and proposal was equally disturbing. While I can think of other characters that would have made more sense to me as potentially abusive or vulnerable to abuse, it’s Mal Young’s story to tell, and it’s important to note he’s not done. Viewers expressed a variety of opinions about JT and Victoria’s storyline:

This is my opinion, but I’d love to hear yours. Feel free to express your views in the comment section below.

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young

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