The Three Faces of Ashley

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This past week on The Young and the Restless, Victor and Nikki celebrated their 40th anniversary while Jordan (and Claire?) loomed as a threat; but the larger focus was on Ashley's mental health crisis as she was all but diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. It's been an exciting week in Genoa City, and our Two Scoops columnist is here to break down all the latest gossip for you!

I am really excited to be writing about Y&R this week because this past week of episodes has been fantastic and enthralling to watch! Eileen Davidson, and of course, the rest of the cast working alongside her (especially Beth Maitland as Traci and Zuleyka Silver as Audra) have been giving outstanding performances and doing an absolutely fantastic job telling us the story of Ashley's break with reality as she struggles with dissociative identity disorder (DID).

As I mentioned in a previous column, I have been fascinated by DID for a very long time and have always been drawn to storylines in film, TV (thanks, soaps!), and books that featured the disorder. One of my favorites is the classic Joanne Woodward movie The Three Faces of Eve, for which she won an Oscar/Academy Award for Best Actress in 1958. I first learned about this movie when I was studying film in high school, and I immediately rented it when I learned that it told the story of a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder, which is what DID was called before the disorder was understood better. I highly recommend you check it out if you've never seen it -- you won't be disappointed (at least, I wasn't)!

There are certainly some parallels between Eve's storyline in the movie and Ashley's storyline on Y&R. They each have a total of three identities that are fighting for control, and the personalities of the two additional identities are similar, too: one is timid, insecure, and immature; the other is much more bold and sinister. And perhaps there will be another parallel between the two soon because it would be a shame if Eileen Davidson doesn't win a Best Actress award for her portrayal. Sure, she won't be able to receive an Oscar like Joanne Woodward did (because Y&R is not a movie), but Eileen Davidson is certainly working to earn that Daytime Emmy!

I was engrossed in this storyline from the very beginning of the week when Ashley and Audra had their run-in at the Genoa City Athletic Club (GCAC). I love watching Eileen Davidson portraying Ashley's alter "Ash," which is the alter who is essentially a teenager. It was hilarious when she ordered the martini at the bar, found it to be disgusting upon her first sip, wondered how anyone could drink them, and then promptly downed the whole rest of it without leaving a drop! This is a very serious storyline, but it's nice that it lends itself to some of these lighthearted moments when we see her character behave so drastically different than what we are used to seeing.

Audra showed up just as "Ash" had finished her drink, and we were treated to some really great scenes between these two rivals. As they spoke, Audra recognized Ashley's different behavior/demeanor and started to realize that something really is wrong with her, which also clued her in that Tucker hasn't just been looking for a reason to fixate on his ex. Audra has been assuming that Tucker's concern for Ashley was not sincere and that he was just looking for problems where they didn't exist so that he could play hero to Ashley and redeem himself in her eyes; now, though, she is faced with the truth that there is real cause for concern regarding Ashley's mental health.

This was made especially clear to Audra when "Ash" tried to warn her that Tucker's life was in danger and that she (referring to the more sinister alter identity of Ashley's) was plotting to kill him. Zuleyka Silver never fails to impress in her role as Audra, and these scenes were no exception. She was able to portray so many emotions at once -- her dislike of Ashley, her horror at Ashley's behavior, and even empathy when she told Tucker that she was afraid for both Ashley and him after she witnessed "Ash" disappear and Ashley's more sinister identity took over (let's call that sinister identity "Lee" for the sake of convenience, though I don't think we've learned their name yet).

While we're talking about Audra, I just want to say really quickly that I'm so glad we were treated to more scenes between her and Sally this week! I love that these two have become fast friends and that Audra reached out to her to vent about her latest woes with Tucker and Ashley/Ash/Lee. Sally gave her some great advice, and it was really refreshing to see these two continue to bond. Soaps tend to primarily focus on romantic or familial storylines and character connections, so I always appreciate it when they go out of their way to focus on and build storylines around friendships between characters that might not otherwise interact. I could totally see Audra and Sally being BFFs in real life, and it's fun to see that bit of realism come through and to have a chance to hang out with those characters while they commiserate over their woes (whatever they may be at a given time) and then try to lift each other up.

But back to Ashley/Ash/Lee. After their confrontation with Audra, they went to their suite in the GCAC, and, once they were asleep, we see the three identities in a "mindscape" (for lack of a better term) that is all white and contains three beds -- a bed for each of the identities occupying Ashley's mind and body. I thought the use of beds in this "mindscape" was a great idea because it helped to paint a picture for us as viewers as to how the disorder works. When one of the identities present in the brain/body takes over, the others are essentially either asleep or in a "mindscape," where they can sense what's going on but can't control anything in the physical world. By showing us Ashley asleep on her bed, Ash awake and tied up on her bed, and Lee missing from her bed, we knew exactly what was going on in Ashley's mind -- Lee was in control, Ash was helpless, and Ashley was unconscious -- that is, until Ash was able to wake up Ashley.

Lee put up a good fight before Ashley was able to take back control, though. Watching Lee try to dismiss Ashley's family's concerns and also try to escape the impromptu intervention they staged at the Abbot mansion was intense and had me on the edge of my seat. Her cutting remarks to Diane and about Sharon were entertaining, but her interactions with her siblings were heartbreaking as Lee tried to push them away and convince them nothing is wrong with their sister.

Thankfully, Ashley's family persisted, and after contacting Sharon (since she is apparently the only person with a psychology degree in Genoa City), they were able to keep Ashley/Ash/Lee from leaving the house. After the intense standoff with her family, Lee passed out as Ashley awoke and took over as the primary identity; unfortunately, she was very weak and confused about what was going on or how she got there. Since she was asleep/unconscious in the "mindscape," she was not aware of what was going on while Ash and Lee were the primary identity.

After Ashley's siblings watched all of this unfold, I can understand why Billy felt it was best to let her get some sleep so that they could update Sharon privately about what was going on with their sister. I loved the scenes that followed as Traci tucked her big sister into bed and reminisced about how Ashley used to do that for her and how much she enjoyed staying up late together when they were younger. And it was a nice treat for me to learn on social media that the quilt Traci tucked Ashley in with in that scene was one that her portrayer, Beth Maitland, had personally made in real life (just as Traci proclaimed to have made it for Ashley on the show)! Love that!

As Ashley slept and her siblings discussed her odd behavior with Sharon, was anyone else surprised to remember that her brother, Billy, had also been diagnosed with DID after the death of his daughter Delia? For some reason, I had completely forgotten about this. I remember Billy behaving badly back then and trying to ruin Adam's life (and/or kill Adam) because Adam was responsible for Delia's death, but I had spaced that DID was the cause of the sinister behaviors that he had exhibited during that time. Traci's character was living out of town when all that was happening with Billy, but I was surprised she didn't know about it at all, either. I was watching her reaction and thinking, "Girl, same! I had no idea!" (even though I fully watched that storyline years ago.)

But enough about Ashley, eh? Her storyline was a great feature for the week, but there were a few other developments elsewhere in Genoa City throughout the week, too, that are certainly worth mentioning. So, like the Abbott family after their intervention with Ashley, let's forget about her and focus on Victor and Nikki's 40th anniversary instead. After all, one can't be expected to miss a party simply because their sibling had the unfortunate timing of experiencing a traumatic event that split their psyche into multiple identities, am I right?

I'm kidding, of course, because I do understand why Jack, as Nikki's sponsor and close friend, would want to be there to support and celebrate her at her 40th anniversary party (even if the anniversary is one she is celebrating with his "frenemy," Victor). Thankfully, nothing too dramatic happened at the anniversary party, and it was a nice little breather from all the drama earlier in the week with Ashley. Plus, Victor and Nikki (and Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott) are legends on the show, so it was nice for them to take a moment to recognize this milestone for their characters.

Before their anniversary celebration, there were some other great Newman family moments in the week, too. It was fun hearing Victoria and Cole explain the history of their relationship (and Victoria's relationship with Neil when she was pregnant with Claire) to their daughter while they gathered in the jazz lounge that is dedicated to Neil's memory at the GCAC. And how cute have Victoria and Cole been as they continue to grow closer? I love that they finally shared a kiss (and I'm really glad he got a haircut -- maybe that's what finally won Victoria over, too)!

I hope that Victoria and Cole's happiness isn't going to come crashing down around them soon. The "Next Week on Y&R preview" at the end of the week was trying really hard to make it look like Claire kidnaps Kyle and Summer's son, Harrison, whom she's grown close to since being welcomed into the Newman family. But I just don't buy it. The writers have done too much work to redeem Claire, and I really feel like the clips we saw in the preview were meant to be a red herring for what is really going on.

I have a feeling that Jordan is going to kidnap Claire and Harrison in an attempt to frame and discredit Claire to the rest of the Newmans. At least, I hope that is what was going on, because otherwise, that could mean that Claire is still working with Jordan and that kidnapping Harrison could potentially be a part of their next revenge plot after their last joint effort failed. Could Claire really have been faking it with the Newmans all this time, as we've seen her character seemingly be redeemed?

Summer certainly doesn't seem to think that Claire can be trusted, but I'm really hoping she ends up being wrong about Claire. I appreciated her conversation with Kyle this week, though, and I think she gave him some good advice regarding his mother and his career. It was also nice of him to acknowledge Chance's positive influence on Summer's life, and it was refreshing to see the positive attitude he had toward their relationship.

Not everyone was being so cordial in Genoa City this week, though. It looks like Daniel and Heather are about to go to war with Chancellor-Winters over Lily's wrongful termination of their employment. And, honestly, good for them. As much as I loathe the direction that the writers have taken this storyline (because I am a Lily/Daniel fan and hated seeing him leave her to go back to Heather), I absolutely agree with and support their lawsuit.

Lily absolutely fired them for personal reasons rather than their work, and she is being extremely nasty. Normally, I would be all for a good revenge plot, but Lily, who normally thinks things through to determine the most logical course of action, has really handled this whole situation poorly. I am very curious to see where all the pieces land once the dust settles from the fallout of this upcoming war.

Only time will tell, friends, but that's all from me for this week! Don't forget to hit the Comments (here on the site and on social media posts throughout the week) to share your opinions, too! I'll see you there!

Until next time,
Vance

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