Flooded by a torrent of tears

by Nita
For the Week of May 30, 2005
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Flooded by a torrent of tears
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The week of May 30, 2005
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Cassie has added her name to the ranks of the Genoa City dearly departed, joining once favorite fictional folks like Ryan McNeil, Tony Viscodi and Phillip Chancellor II.

If the week had gone on any longer, someone would have had to start building an arc. I love my soap, but I will be the first to admit I gave a gargantuan sigh of grateful relief when the week was finally done. Not since the emotional and heartbreaking passing of Ryan McNeil have I had so many tattered, tear-soaked tissues strewn around me. If I was the one wielding the pen or tapping the keys, no one would ever die in the make believe land of Genoa City, Wisconsin. They would just go mysteriously away, so if need be they could return to be enjoyed another day. But, alas, the scribes have decreed otherwise and unless this has all been one week-long nightmare, Cassie has added her name to the ranks of the Genoa City dearly departed, joining some of my once favorite fictional folks like Ryan, Tony Viscodi and Phillip Chancellor II.

Fan, Clam, below, along with scores of others, wants to know why it was so necessary for Cassie to go. Among the multiple reasons and guesses being bandied about cyberspace, one in particular stands out as most likely to contain a grain or three of truth. That those anonymous "theys" wanted desperately to send Sharon and Nick in a new and strife-filled direction. One that could possibly unravel the oft-mended strands of the ties that bind them, yet not involve another instance of infidelity. Just my opinion, but that's a rather weak reason to kill off their child. Because it doesn't take the brain power of even a mediocre rocket scientist to come up with a number of other ways far short of Cassie's demise that could have accomplished that. For example, why couldn't Ken and Barbie Newman have bumped empty heads over corporate conflicts? But perhaps Cassie had to go to make room for that other girl child she predicted her mother would one day bear. One who would be a Newman by birth and not just adoption. After all, I can't be the only fan who's noticed multiple baby mommy/daddies in the same family are nearly nonexistent? If you don't believe me, just run your finger along the branches of the family trees of the births (and deaths) of pertinent persons' progeny. Other than Cassie, has a second child not fathered or mothered by the father or mother of a sibling already existing, ever survived? To my limited knowledge, I can only come up with Kay's two with different fathers, and Paul's two with different mothers. Although Paul's such a deadbeat dad, his Daddy dog tags ought to be ripped right off his neck and stamped obsolete.

But back to the tragic subject at hand and how it was handled by the Newmans. While Nick has often tread painfully on my last two nerves in the past, I have nothing but high praise for him this time. His portrayal of a grief-stricken parent was outstanding. Nikki, easily one of the best criers in daytime, was awesome as well. My favorite moment: The devastation on her face and her obvious reluctance to move from Cassie's bedside as Victor began to lead her away from the bed. Victor's repeated disbelieving looks toward the door wordlessly telegraphed his helplessness and anguish that in this instance, there was nothing he could say, do, or buy that would fix what had gone so terribly wrong. As all in the room sorrowfully came to the realization that Cassie was really going to die, I admit tears were trickling down my face as well. Watching that line go flat on the monitor, accompanied by that long drawn out alarm is always startling and all too true to life. Even when you know it's make believe, it's still a disturbing sight. I was never so glad to arrive at the end of a show. Though I'm not a fan of dream storylines (think Pam Ewing on Dallas), this was one time I would have welcomed Cassie, Sharon or Nick waking up to find it had all been a nightmare.

So the big question is, what did Cassie whisper to Nick? Although he began to croon her a lullaby immediately after, I doubt that was her final request. Fans, including me, are already guessing Cassie told Nick she was driving that night. If that's so, it will probably take him awhile for the meaning of her words to register. Even when it does, he may assume it was at Daniel's request or even that she made it up to save him. It may very well be all up to Daniel to put the pieces of that murky night together.

In the meantime, the strain between husband and wife is already showing. Unwilling to share his grief, Nick has chosen solitary mourning, leaving Sharon to shoulder the dual burdens of her own sorrow and that of Noah's, which is bound to drive a wedge between them. Instead of weeping brokenly on Sharon's sympathetic shoulder or offering his for her, Nick has chosen rage as the fuel to get him through each day. While Daniel is the primary focus of his hatred, he's by no means the only one. If Nick must blame others for Cassie's death, instead of giving Lily a look so hateful she should have expired on the spot, he should cast his glare upon a Newman family photo. After all, there are more than enough Newman's, plus Doris, that one of them should have been parked protectively next to Cassie's bed 24/7. No, instead they stood around having constant confabs with all and sundry, apparently way down the hall and around the corner from Cassie's room, since none of them saw the little waif wobbling slowly and painstakingly down the hall, whispering, Daniel, Daniel.

As for Daniel, he's already on the run, well sort of. Allowing himself to be convinced by Lily to hide practically in plain sight, he's already probably about to climb the walls of the small Abbott playhouse. With Lily, her appetite undoubtedly about the size of a baby bird's, toting bags bigger than she is of sandwiches, it can't be long before someone puts 1 and 1 together and gets Daniel. Phyllis is already convinced Lily knows more than she'll admit to. I was surprised Phyllis didn't simply follow her.

During the brief intermissions when we weren't being bombarded with bereavement about Cassie's short life and lingering death, part of the remaining portion was spent halfheartedly watching and barely listening to pathetic repartee between cooing couple to wannabe, J.T. and Mac. J.T. might as well go ahead and open wide, because Mac's going to continue to be forced down his throat and ours. Just like former one-night stand, Robin, on the morning after (in Mac's case she skipped the night before), a few of J.T.'s smiles had Mac puttering happily at the stove, having spent the sleepless night memorizing the steps in the manual that insists the best way to your man's heart is by filling his stomach. It appears that despite Mac's high I.Q. and once aspiring career expectations, she has become just another J.T.-obsessed woman. Why must every woman in J.T.'s life be the aggressive pursuer? He's cute, but come on, he's not all that. The Mac who used to care about the less fortunate, regularly spent time volunteering at the shelter, worked at Crimson for a little pocket change to call herself self-sufficient despite her grandma's bottomless treasure chest, has disappeared without a discernable trace. The only thing she's working at now is capturing J.T. in her matrimonial net. It was nauseating enough watching Mac keep increasing the amount of cleavage she shows and arranging and re-arranging herself in what she hoped were enticing poses on a tarnished tinplate platter. Now Kay has lent her elderly arms to the task with her entrance into the get my granddaughter a guy sweepstakes. Why doesn't she just hand Mac Jill's dust-covered toy box of sexaerobic toys and lock the two of them in one of the musty mansion guest room to busy themselves?

Oh well, if there's a bright side to be looked at, it's that we should finally be through with Mac's infantile revolving door behavior, flouncing in and out of places wearing out the path between home and Grandmother's house. Complaining all the while about all the qualities J.T. apparently lacks. If J.T. is so not what she wants (and her constant criticisms and complaints would lead a fan to think he wasn't), why does she keep chasing after him?

With Mac loping determinedly after J.T., Kevin returns to being the odd young adult out. Too old for the teens and too young or hated for the rest of the grown ups. But there is still one romantic option open for him. One that would effectively knock two bickering birds off the branch by slinging one good sized stone. Yes, I'm referring to Gotta Get Me a Green Card or Good American Guy Gitta. The possibilities between these two actually crossed my mind last week when she was making nice small talk with him at the Athletic Club. Since everybody knows I'm kind of sweet on the former cradle robbing, fire starting, once borderline maniac, I'd probably see chemistry between him and a wooden pole. Beyond Kevin's obvious appreciation of Gitta's displayed assets, their encounter at the Abbotts was too brief to judge, but I'd like to see them give it a try. Once Gloria got over the shock, a romantic entanglement with Kevin could only help her cause.

Her job shooting Cupid's arrows done, Kay turned her attention to matchmaking of the corporate kind. Despite what Jack and Jill would have us believe, from my seat on the sofa, Damon's sudden desertion of his lab duties was no Jabot decimating disaster. So what, Damon's haunches will no longer be plunked down on a lab stool. Ashley was the only chemical cook manning the Bunsen burners long before Damon came ambling along. After all, it's not as if Damon can be credited with some earth shattering cosmetic accomplishment. In between frequent personal leaves of absences, the one thing he managed to produce wasn't even all his discovery. And even though most of the groundwork had been done, he still managed to mess up the remainder by turning a hair straightener into a dissolver. But Jill tried to use Damon's sudden resignation as an excuse to throw her weight around and remind Ashley who she now had to bow down to. Fortunately for Jill, Kay, who in the past couple of weeks has taken more interest in business than she has in years, was there to save her domineering daughter's derriere. Apparently it wasn't enough for Kay to give Jill the Jabot CEO toy; she had to teach her the proper way to play with it and how best to take care of its game pieces as well. I guess Jack's backstabbing attack on Jill convinced Kay to let Arthur bygones be bygones. Thanks to his treachery, all has apparently been forgiven and Kay and Jill now seem to be a model mother and daughter duo.

When is Gloria going to lower her expectations when it comes to her fellow housemates, Jack and Ashley, in particular? As far as Jack and Ashley are concerned, when it has to do with Gloria and her family, there is no such thing as good news. Unless they need Michael to help them accomplish their evil ends, he's regarded similar to something they wipe off their shoe before stepping inside the Inn. Lauren should have shown Jack a picture of two burned bottom skillets when he was pointing his scornful finger at the Baldwin clan. Can't get much lower than a sperm thief. As for Phyllis, I realize she's all caught up in her son's situation, but hasn't she ever heard the one about being a friend if you hope to have one? As many times as she's run crying to Michael to bail her out of one leaky boat or another, she couldn't be bothered with so much as a simple congratulatory "good for him"?

Speaking of the Baldwin/Fenmore nuptials, early Fall??? It's only May. Are we really going to drag this out until September, October? It's not as if Lauren hasn't tottered down the paper covered aisle a time or two before.

Well, fans, the week has been an emotional roller coaster for most of us. You all had so much to say about Cassie and other matters, and I wish I could have included every word. Since I couldn't, I decided to only include what you had to say about Cassie. So, here's to you, Miss Cassie Newman, and to echo fan Shelly; Camryn Grimes, we wish you all the very best. You will surely be missed!

* * * * * * *

DAN J. KROLL (Owner, Soapcentral.com) - I wanted to drop a line to comment on this past week of The Young and the Restless. I am not a "regular" viewer of the show, though I do check in from time to time because I like to know what is going on on the show. Believe me; it helps enormously when it comes to running the Soap Central site.

I knew that Cassie was going to be killed off for some time - but I chose not to have Soap Central report it as a news story because I thought it would be best to keep this surprising plot twist just that - a surprise. I tuned into Tuesday's (the 24th) show to see how Y&R would pull off the shocking death. In doing so, I realized why Y&R is the number one show on daytime television.

The final moments of the show were so carefully and perfectly crafted. The final moments had Nicholas singing a lullaby to his daughter as she lay dying. The show then switched to flashbacks of memorable scenes from Cassie's past. That allowed viewers to remember that they witnessed this young actress grow up on-screen. In what may have been the most memorable moment in recent daytime television history, the show execs then opted to mute the sound from the scene itself and instead dub over the scene with the ubiquitous "Nadia's Theme." Then, Cassie's heart monitor flat-lined. By having the Y&R theme play instead of the sounds of hysterical crying by Nick and Sharon, I think it made the scene far more chilling. Even though I knew Cassie was going to die - and though I am not a regular viewer - I was touched and tears flowed freely down my cheeks.

Soaps are all too willing to kill off characters just to kill them off. What Y&R did was to kill a character that had been a part of the canvas for at least 7 years - by the same actress. The death was as if... it was almost like losing a family member. I know that fans are upset because the mail has been rolling in now for several days. However, as upset as fans might be that Cassie was killed off, I don't think that this was a case of a frivolous death. This was powerful storytelling at its best. Only time will tell if the writers are able to do right by Cassie's death with an equally powerful follow-up.

WENDY - I like the story on Daniel getting drunk and Cassie driving him home. I cried so hard when she died. Sharon and Nick made the storyline so believable. I have a feeling Cassie told Nick she was driving the night of the party as she was dying.

SANDI - The flashback to when Nick told Cassie to call him Dad was way too much. Just seeing the family in the waiting room was very real and moving. I really cried during Tuesday's show. It truly was real to life; the acting was superb. I can't believe Cassie is gone.

PAT - Well, I've just stopped crying. Today's show was amazing. The death of Cassie was a masterpiece. If Nick keeps acting like this for the rest of the year, I expect an Emmy nomination for him next year. The retrospective of Cassie was sweet. I will really miss her. The character had such potential for good storylines, but now we are robbed of that. I wonder how long it will take for Daniel to get out of this mess. The writers haven't given us much hope that they can wrap up this story before the end of the summer.

SHELLY - I've watched Y&R for 20 plus years, I love it, love it, love it, and will always watch it. I just have one comment; no story has ever hit me like the death of Cassie. I love her as an actress, and I guess now that I'm a mom, the manner in which she "died" really got to me. The actors played the parts of grieving family members so well I thought I was watching a real death. I'm a softy anyway, but I will tell you, I went through a few tissues on that episode. I'm told the story will open up new doors for the characters in the future. I just wish they could have left the door open for Cassie to come back into the picture. I love the show, and wish Camryn Grimes all the luck in the world. She is great!!!

CLAM - Why has Cassie's character died off? We were getting used to having her around and we liked her.

LANEY - I have been racking my brain on how everyone will find out about Cassie driving and not Daniel. Now this might be a stretch but here it goes: Plan #1: Cassie told Noah of her deed. But due to Noah's reaction to Cassie's death he could have blocked it out for now. Plan #2: If she did confess to Nick it sure was a short confession. Maybe a three worder like "I was driving." Then we must count that if Nick did hear he was so full of grief that he blocked it out and it will come to him in his grief stricken sleep. Plan #3: Somebody at the party was a witness to Cassie getting behind the wheel and will eventually come forward and confess. Other than that, Daniel will be caught up in "License Plates 101" or "Cooking for the Masses 102." And if he does go ...he needs to take tips from Kevin ...never let a group of men throw a blanket over your head because if you do ...there is no hope for you.

THERESA - Daniel cannot be guilty for something he did not do. We get enough of that in real life; I don't want to see it in soaps. You'd think the cops would do a better investigation and be able to figure out that Daniel wasn't driving. RIP Cassie Newman. We'll see what happens next.

STEPH - I for one am also extremely surprised that Cassie died on Tuesday [as you know, most soap operas usually air the most shocking news on a Friday so that viewers will tune in again on Monday]. I absolutely loved the montage between the Newmans, Phyllis and Daniel. Whoever it is that has been directing the show for the last handful of episodes has been doing a great job. As we all know, Genoa City is known for prosecuting the innocent, but I honestly wonder if there was anyone else who happened to be a witness to what happened at the party. Probably my favorite characters this week were Nicholas and Victor. I've always been a fan of Victor [who hasn't? He's the glue that keeps that show together] but I can honestly say that seeing the two of them break down and shed tears over Cassie's passing made me break out the box of Kleenex. I must say that I can't wait for next week!

MARIE-JOSEE - The passing of Cassie came out of left field for me. From my experience with soaps usually when a character is in the hospital they have a gained a special status on the show and very rarely do they die.

FAITH - I cannot believe they have killed off Cassie! What are they thinking? What are they going to do with the storyline with Daniel? Are they going to lock him up and throw away the key? I kept thinking Cassie was going to come back to life. Then I hear they are killing off Cassie to bring Victor and Ashley back together? If they do that, I'm going to quit watching - after 33 years! I'm angry that they had Cassie risk her life to look for Daniel ... all for naught! What was the point of her continuous week-long journey to find Daniel ...then die? Now, everyone is out for Daniel's blood? Everyone on the soap thinks Cassie is a sweet, innocent victim? Why hasn't Christine questioned any of the kids at the party? Maybe someone saw Cassie get in the car? Christine is worthless! The D.A. is worthless! No one has even started investigating the accident ... all they do is blame and point fingers.

MALIKAH - I just want to say I recall Cassie whispering into Sharon's cell phone on the park bench when she left the hospital that she was driving the car and wanted to find Daniel to tell him. I hope that they will find that cell phone and the truth will come out soon some way.

WANDA - Why do you think they killed off Cassie?? She has been on the show since she was a little girl. I figured that Victor's out of town specialists would ride in on their white horses and save her. Poor Daniel! He didn't do anything and everyone is going nuts on him. I guess we will have to cry all next week now that they let Cassie die. Not looking forward to that.

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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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