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Why I Love the ‘Jack Isn’t an Abbott’ Storyline

Soaps.com is changing things up this week from the usual Deconstructing Y&R blog format to share an opinion that may not be popular. I’ve seen a lot of negative feedback surrounding Dina’s stunning revelation that John isn’t Jack’s father, but it’s a development I’m enjoying so far – here’s why.

It was an unforeseen twist

If there’s one thing I love it’s when a soap opera can take me completely off guard with a twist. So it was dramatic soapy goodness to hear Dina blurt out that John was not Jack’s father and think, “Oh my God, what?!” With all the spoilers, teasers, leaks, and videos, a surprise has the best impact. In this case, it was also a delicious Friday cliffhanger that left me stewing over the possibilities and wondering if it would all be revealed as a memory glitch on Monday’s episode. Awesome.

It makes use of history

Okay, it’s pretty obvious Mal Young cooked this up to even things up between Ashley and Jack, but if you’re going to knock a character down a few pegs to level the playing field, there’s no better way to do it than to dig up something juicy from the past. Y&R has such a rich history to mine that this twist is actually fun trying to figure out who Jack’s mysterious father might be, even if it’s a bit of a stretch for Dina to suddenly have remembered a rash of affairs and another man she was in love with given that it never came up in all of the drama surrounding Brent Davis and Ashley. Whoever this lover of hers turns out to be, it’s bound to open up possibilities for past characters to return, and gifts us with even more glimpses into that rich past.

Big drama for Jack

If there’s one thing I love it’s to watch Emmy Award winner Peter Bergman play Jack’s big emotions and this storyline is going to open up a whopping can of feelings that run the spectrum from furious to absolutely heartbroken. I’m actually choked up picturing Jack digesting the news that his beloved ‘Dad’ is not his father after all…it guts me. Beyond the emotions, there will be all the realities that go along with this revelation – not being able to run Jabot due to the ‘no Abbott’ clause he himself put in place, having to struggle with his new identity, and having to tell people. Jack, who is already drinking, could spiral into another addiction storyline or have any number of issues. And who will he turn to for comfort? The dramatic possibilities are endless.

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Fallout for family

Of course, Jack won’t be the only one affected by the news he’s not truly an Abbott. Jack’s son Kyle is back in Genoa City, is angry with his father, and could now learn he is not an Abbott. Traci will become the only biological daughter of Dina and John, and Billy, John’s son with Jill, may be tasked with taking Jack’s place at Jabot. It’s game-changing news that will have even those not directly affected reeling, and it’s certain to be entertaining whatever direction the headwriter takes things.

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It doesn’t have to be permanent

Given that she has Alzheimer’s, Dina’s memory could be flawed, and DNA tests are tampered with regularly on soaps, so regardless of how it plays out, it can be reversed. I have to admit, as much as I enjoyed the shocking twist and I’m up for the dramatic fallout, I secretly hope that somehow Jack will actually turn out to be John’s son in the end, as I can’t imagine him as anyone else. Bottom line: even if he gets a new last name, to me Jack will always be John Abbott’s son in all the ways that matter, just as Ashley is his daughter.

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

– Candace Young

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