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Deconstructing Y&R: JT’s Chilling Return Is Fun, but Far Out

July 2 - 6

Image: CBS

It was a sexy Fourth of July on Y&R, and a past character, Dr. Nate Hastings Jr, returned to Genoa City. Some stories had elements missing, where possibly depth is being sacrificed to keep the plot moving on pace. The ‘return of JT’ cliffhanger was chilling, but also a bit of a stretch. Thoughts:

The twists keep coming.
The drama surrounding whether JT could possibly be alive or not continued to be entertaining, particularly when the four women were involved, as their scenes are liberally sprinkled with great one-liners and catty comebacks amid the tension. Keeping their pact has been a chore from the get-go, and this time it was Phyllis contemplating how she and Sharon might extricate themselves from the mess – shades of old school Phyllis, and another reminder of the complicated and tenuous nature of the trust dynamics in this group. One ‘miss’, however, has been Victoria just troubleshooting at work, speculating, and fretting along with the other women, when one would expect her to be having issues on a deeper level given the abuse backstory. In any case, with the article coming out hinting that Victor may have eliminated JT, it seemed more and more likely that someone was deliberately stirring the pot to see who would confess what they knew. But wait – then Nikki and Sharon actually saw JT standing outside Sharon’s house! This development certainly made for a big cliffhanger ‘moment’, but the idea that JT’s back from the dead is a bit much for the realist in me. It will be interesting to see what happens next, and what other twists are ahead. Some viewers are frustrated with the storyline:

In other Newman related commentary, Nikki and Victor had their visit with the social worker, and their positive spin during the meeting had some viewers calling their bluff:

Doctor in the house.
Dr. Nate Hastings Jr returned to Genoa City and immediately clashed with Hilary in circumstances that seemed pretty contrived. Why would Neil heartily welcome Nate at the office, then rudely not introduce him to Tessa and Hilary who were watching them? Why would Hilary get so worked up over not knowing who Neil’s guest was? Why wouldn’t Devon have told Hilary about Nate’s impending return and his situation? It was all a little bizarre, though it did establish that Nate can give as good as he gets, and there was clearly frisson between him and Hilary, so it’s possible this was a set-up for future story. However, with Mishael Morgan leaving as Hilary, things will change. Getting back to Nate, he felt like a natural fit in the Winters family, and I loved the Olivia mention when he reunited with his mom’s best friend, Ashley, as well as his assertive interaction with Victor. Noteworthy: Ashley paying Neil a visit had viewers recalling their former attraction and weighing in:

Fireworks.
The Fourth of July episode managed to bring both family moments and sexiness into play, though there was some weirdness – Devon wasn’t there celebrating with Hilary, Tessa seemed to be puzzled and distracted (I assumed it was over Mariah’s whereabouts), and Esther showed up to the festivities complaining about Jack. Elsewhere, Abby paid a bubbly visit to Arturo at Jabot, where he gave in and ate lunch with her after saying he had too much work to do, then apparently finished the job shortly afterward. It was funny when the crew turned on the power and found themselves looking into the elevator at Billy and Phyllis naked under a blanket. Later, Arturo proved he knows his way around a bedroom as he made passionate love to Abby. I can’t say it made me care more about the couple, but it was a sexy scene (Side note: Nikki later revealing she was the one messing with Arturo was an amusing twist). As for Billy and Phyllis, given that Billy lost the Jaboat in a poker game the next day, I’d guess their elevator time was the calm before the storm that’s to come. Even worse for Billy, he’ll now have to try and clean up his mess with Ashley looking over his shoulder at Jabot. Her departure from Newman was a little unexpected, but what a perfect time storyline-wise for her to return to the family business.

More: Gina Tognoni, Fourth of July celebrations

On simmer.
Jack’s bid to confirm Phillips Chancellor II is his biological father hit another roadblock when he abandoned his lawsuit in light of what transpired with Dina while ‘rehearsing’ for court. I appreciated the emotional nature of these scenes, but also definitely felt ready for something else to happen. As mentioned in the last Deconstructing Y&R, Jill’s absence has been glaring so it seemed the storyline was stalling until Jess Walton’s return, but who could have foreseen Kyle taking it upon himself to personally dig up Phillip’s grave? Now I really can’t wait for Jill’s arrival!

This is my opinion. Please visit the comment section to share your thoughts.

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