The ties that bind

For the Week of December 11, 2023
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This past week on The Young and the Restless, there was plenty of family drama to go around. Is Claire really Victoria and Cole's daughter? Could Jordan be hiding a secret connection to Nikki's past? And who will be caught in the crossfire as the Abbotts and Chancellor-Winters clans team up to take down Tucker once and for all? Find out what our Two Scoops columnist thinks as he breaks down all the family drama that unfolded in Genoa City this past week!

Bruce Springsteen once sang, "you can't break the ties that bind; you can't forsake the ties that bind" -- but I'm guessing good ol' Bruce never visited Genoa City! Familial ties were certainly being put to the test this past week on Y&R as "The Big Three" families (Newmans, Abbotts, and Chancellor-Winters) faced a number of threats that have the potential to either strengthen or sever those ties for good.

I was happy to see Cole and Victoria seeking out Claire in prison at the beginning of the week to find out the truth about whether or not she is their daughter. I was afraid that Claire and her crazy Aunt Jordan were going to be ushered out of town (in handcuffs or in a coffin) as quickly as they arrived -- and that would have truly been a shame. I am not ready to say goodbye to either of these characters yet, so I am thrilled that we haven't seen the last of either of them. The writers clearly have more in store for them after their failed attempt at killing nearly the entire Newman family on Thanksgiving.

Claire claimed to take part in her Aunt Jordan's schemes because she thought Victoria had abandoned her as a child. She seemed genuinely stunned when Jordan admitted to taking her from the hospital and switching her with a baby that had died. It was that revelation that ultimately led Claire to thwart Jordan's plans and save the Newmans' lives, so whatever the truth is about Claire's parentage, I'm glad that Cole and Victoria acknowledge that and are seemingly giving Claire the benefit of the doubt.

Jordan, on the other hand, deserves no such benefit of the doubt. She is evil through and through -- and I am loving it! Colleen Zenk seems like she is having a lot of fun in the role, and it's great to have such a clear villain shaking things up around town again. I was so happy that she managed to avoid getting caught by the police because now we get to anticipate when and where she will strike against the Newmans next. I just hope she lasts longer than the last villain that went after the Newmans -- was Cameron even around for a full month while he was terrorizing Sharon and Nick?!

Thankfully, it seems that the writers do have more in store for Jordan. What was with her cryptically calling Nikki and playing music over the phone that Nikki used to dance to when she was a stripper?! Is she just trying to mess with Nikki's head, or is there a deeper connection to Jordan in Nikki's past? Could Jordan have also worked at the strip club Nikki danced in all those years ago? Did Nikki wrong her in some way back in their youth, and it's just been so long since it happened that Nikki hasn't connected the dots yet?

After all, the whole attack against the Newman family seemed especially personal toward Nikki. Jordan didn't just kidnap Nikki -- she tortured her by putting alcohol in her room and even gave her an I.V. of alcohol just to ruin her sobriety. Jordan made Claire believe that Nikki was merely a pawn to get the rest of the Newmans out to their secluded lake house, but I think it goes deeper than that -- and I'm anticipating some fun surprises out of this storyline!

One of those surprises that I hope we get out of this storyline soon is the revelation of who Claire's parents are. I am thrilled that Claire has agreed to take the DNA test, and I will be surprised (and disappointed) if she is not their daughter. It would be great to get to know Claire's character better and watch her navigate getting to know the family that was ripped away from her. I really hope she does end up being the child they thought they lost and that they help her to get released from jail. And who knows -- maybe by this time next year, the three of them will be celebrating the holidays together as a happy family. It's funny to think about that now, but I have been wondering if this whole plot twist was written in order to put Victoria and Cole back in each other's orbits after all these years. Could learning their daughter never died lead to a romantic reunion between them?

I'm not sure how I would feel about a Victoria and Cole reunion, but that is simply because I never got a chance to see them together back in the 90s. I mentioned in my last column that I had started watching Y&R the same year that Cole's character left, so I had just missed seeing his previous run on the show. I'm all for the writers exploring this potential coupling a little and seeing how it goes, but as the regular readers of my column know, I have been a fan of the Victoria/Nate pairing, so I obviously wouldn't be opposed to seeing them work things out, either (even if it is looking more and more unlikely that they will reconcile). Perhaps a Nate/Victoria/Cole triangle will be one of the first new storylines of 2024. That could certainly be interesting! It seems the writers are moving Nate away from all the Newmans now, though, so I won't hold my breath, waiting for it to happen.

As much as I enjoy Nate and Victoria as a couple, I'm not so invested in them that I will be upset if they end up not getting back together. I may wonder what could have been from time to time, but I'm liking the direction they are taking Nate's character in general right now, so if he must move on from Victoria in order for him to evolve in a more positive direction, then so be it. But could a dalliance with Audra cause him to revert in the opposite direction? Or could they both end up being good for each other if they were to date?

Nate's interactions with Audra this past week were certainly interesting. They were very flirty at the beginning of the week as she tried to lure him into working with her on a secret business venture. It had me wondering if the writers might finally be ready to pair these two up. Audra certainly had her sights set on him when she first came to town, so if they do hook up and/or start dating now, it would be a full circle moment for her character. But any interest that Nate had (at least in working with her) seemed to go out the window once he learned that Tucker was involved and that the two of them were plotting against the Abbotts and targeting the Abbott family company, Jabot. Then, of course, Nate got a text from Devon and walked out on Audra, so who knows what may come of these two (if anything).

The ties that bind the Winters family together have been getting stronger over the past few weeks, and it has been refreshing to see them all making an effort to get along. It was great news to hear that Lily and Devon had agreed to hire Nate back at Chancellor-Winters and give him another shot to prove his loyalty to their family (especially after the badmouthing Nick and Victor gave about Nate to Lily and Devon). I'm still so irritated that the Newmans (aside from Victoria) continue to push the false narrative that Nate did anything wrong. Victor set up him up to be the fall guy in order to bring the Newman family closer together -- simple as that. For them to continue to tarnish his name to his own family as he is trying to reconcile with them just makes the whole situation that much worse. Thankfully, Lily and Devon ultimately didn't listen to Nate's naysayers, and they welcomed him back to the company.

It will be nice to see so many members of the Winters family working together again -- especially with Mamie in the mix now! What a nice surprise it was to see Jill put her differences with Mamie aside and suggest an alliance between the two of them to take down Tucker before his plans to ruin and/or take over Jabot and Chancellor-Winters come to fruition. As much as I am always entertained by the arguments these two get into, it was just as fun seeing them find some common ground while still bickering toward one another. Mamie didn't necessarily agree to Jill's idea that they join forces, but now that Jill and the Abbotts have teamed up to take down Tucker together -- and Mamie is on "Team Abbott" -- I think these two will be seeing a lot more of each other (fingers crossed that they do).

Jill's reaction to the Abbotts' proposal that they work together to take down Tucker was hilarious as she gleefully shouted, "It's about time!" Jill already knew they would have to play dirty if they were going up against Tucker, so to hear that Jack, Diane, and Billy are ready to go for the jugular and do something "painful and relentless that he can't recover from" was like music to her ears. Jill was feeling the walls closing in on her with both Mamie and Tucker trying to oust her from Chancellor-Winters, so she must be feeling relieved to have formed this alliance with the three of them. It makes sense that they would team up, since they share a common goal and enemy.

There is still one Abbott that is a wild card, though: Ashley. Despite their best efforts to fight against it, Ashley and Tucker still have feelings for one another, and she does care about him. But she also doesn't trust him, which is a dealbreaker, and it seems like she agrees with Jack and her family that Tucker is going to try to use the cosmetics company the two of them purchased, Glissade, against them in some way. It will be interesting to see how Tucker fares against Jill, Jack, Diane, Billy, Mamie, and Ashley with only Audra on his side. Of course, both he and Audra are very resourceful, so who knows what may happen. I'd just hate to be caught in the crossfire!

Now that we've covered all the drama from "The Big Three" families in Genoa City this past week, let's discuss some of the others that were highlighted this week. Phyllis was certainly at the ready to point out to Christine that if she continues to "spend time" with Danny, then their familial ties will ultimately bond them together, since she and Danny share a son. It was pretty funny to watch Christine refuse to be civil and friendly with Phyllis, despite Phyllis' efforts to be friendly with her for the sake of the people they have in common in their lives. I certainly don't blame Christine for her trepidation regarding Phyllis, though -- I'd hate someone, too, if they'd try to kill me sometime (no matter how many years passed)!

It's a good thing there was a bit of fun in Christine's storyline when she interacted with Phyllis, because her scenes with Danny later in the episode were pretty much the opposite. That's not to say that I think Danny and Christine are boring, per se, but they are just not the most exciting couple. The dinner and kiss they shared were cute, and I like both characters (except when they are acting holier-than-thou), so hopefully their storyline will pick up a little as their relationship gains momentum.

Lastly, how fun were Phyllis and Michael's scenes at the end of the week?! I always love when these two besties get together for a drink. It was great to see Phyllis laugh and have a good time after all the drama she's been through this past year. Now she just needs a girls' night out with Lauren and Amanda! However they do it, I hope we get a lot more scenes like this with Phyllis in the future. She needs a fun storyline that doesn't result in her pushing away all her family and friends. Maybe it's time to bring Malcolm back to give her a little romance? I know they don't like to recast him because everyone loves Shemar Moore so much, but his character's absence is more and more noticeable all the time. I would love to see him back, but it doesn't have to be him. Let's just hope Phyllis gets a good, fun story soon.

Well, that's all from me for this week, folks! Don't forget to hit the Comments here on the website and on social media posts throughout the week to share your thoughts and opinions, too. I'll see you there!

Until next time,
Vance

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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