Dysfunction Junction: What's your function?

For the Week of June 17, 2019
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We had families putting the dys in dysfunction, without so much of the fun. The amount of pain in Genoa City was hard and difficult to watch. Were it not for one engagement and one blissful married couple, there wouldn't have been any happy people. Let's unpack this heavy week on The Young and the Restless.

I'm going to start with one story that I thought was actually done well, because, while the money was unrealistic for most of us to imagine, the emotional impact was complex like it might be in real life. Let me just say, Devon was out of line for paying Elena's debt. That requires personal information he shouldn't have access to but does because he has money, and I get that it would be a violation. However, for any billionaires out there who want to pay it forward, I have a mortgage that I'm willing to let you pay off.

A solution would be for Devon to say, "Yeah, I was a bonehead. How about this? You start a scholarship, any school you like, and you use the money you would have paid to your loan to invest in the scholarship. That way, your loan stress is gone, and you can pay it forward, too." Also, to the billionaire investor, I would totally pay it forward! Without my mortgage, I'd have a lot more to be charitable with. In all honesty, I do recognize and share the desire to want to pay my own way and carry my own weight.

But seriously, after the way it had gone with Ana, who is his sister, why did Devon think this would be more acceptable to someone he's newly romantic with? They don't even have the history of affection he had with Ana. It's nice to know, at least so far, that Elena isn't interested in Devon because of his money, though. I know that's been a concern for some people. I like women who are strong and proud and aren't going to need a man (especially a rich man) to rescue them. I like that she knows there's a seriously uneven power dynamic. However, hers was not the first debt or education he paid for, and he cited some examples. I see both sides in this disagreement, for sure.

However, how did you feel about Elena jumping at the chance for Nate to use his connections to help her get a job while resenting Devon's help with paying the loans? They are on a vastly different scale, I do realize that. But it felt a little bit strange that she was so gung-ho to have him give her that help. I guess he asked first, so that's a big part of it, and she's not sleeping with him, and there is less of a power differential. I admit that I do still like Elena and Devon, even the fumbling steps as they are in the early stages. In my mind, they have good chemistry.

I wanted to include this really beautifully written comment about Devon and Elena, and grief and the ways it impacts us. It is the only comment I am including due to its length, but I'm including it because it is so lovely.

Farewell, Gina

Was it wrong of me to be disappointed that Gina Tognoni's last scene was a drugged, stumbling effort at escape? Something about it just felt... off. Not that I'd want her last moment on-screen to be getting a needle in the neck, that wouldn't work. Maybe a confrontation with Kevin, though, even if he was hooded. He could ship her off somewhere, and when she was finally rescued or escaped, she could be Michelle Stafford. She did a great job of being drugged and desperate, but it also feels weird that Phyllis could be missing in action (or missing in inaction) for a while before we see her new old face again.

Summer did point out that her mother seemed to want to alienate the last few people who cared about her. Sadly, she's accurate. She doesn't have a lot of people left. Lauren still loves her but thinks she's going to a not-good place. Nick is concerned about her, despite being angry with her. Michelle Stafford is coming right into the thick of things. Why is Phyllis heading to Las Vegas? I guess we'll have to wait to see!

With a Little Help from My Friends

I like the couple friendship between Lola/Kyle and Mariah/Tessa. It did seem Mariah sort of hoped she might be a maid of honor. I get the choice of Abby, and Abby might need it now. But Mariah and Tessa have been great friends and supports to both Kyle and Lola. I like that these young adults, Abby included, seem to get along well. Summer is the one who doesn't fit into their friend group.

I loved the dead plant as a housewarming gift. Surely as host of a hit TV show, Mariah could have afforded to replace the plant? I mean, I totally would have given the dead one, but I would have also given its replacement.

I noticed that Kyle kinda hinted that Mariah and Tessa could also get engaged if they got a bigger place. I am glad Mariah is looking forward to her new job. I think it would be okay for GC Buzz to fade away. Mariah's right. It's not the same without Hilary.

It was nice to see Lola and Kyle get engaged. Should he be divorced first? Well, yes. Yes, he should, but were it not for them, Lauren and Michael's too-perfect marriage, and Mariah's new job, I don't recall much joy this week.

We Are Family

So, what is up with Victor and the PNH? Google University tells me the cure is bone marrow transplant. The best chance of a match is through family. Is Adam his best match? Is that why he's so driven to give the kingdom to Adam? It can't be loyalty (Victoria has her brothers beat, and Abby removed herself from that fight). Something is making him go above and beyond for Adam, who isn't interested. If he is the match, will Adam actually donate marrow to save his father, or will he let his hang-ups get in the way.

The family meeting went about as well as you'd expect a Newman family meeting to go. Victoria jumped in and said she'd take over. She has been very clear that she believes she is the one who should be CEO (later saying to Nick, "I am the heir apparent of Newman Enterprises. Nobody but me.") Abby has a new passion and focus, Society, which she clearly needs. She has friends, which she also needs. She gets to plan a wedding (not sure how healthy that is for her). Nick had Dark Horse, he may still do charity work.

Do you think Nick now regrets donating all his money from Victor to charitable causes? I was not surprised Victor didn't give Nick money to save Dark Horse, especially because of the way Dark Horse was founded. The interesting dynamic between Victor and Nick is that they both love each other and are tremendously disappointed in and hurt by each other, and they just can't seem to get their relationship right. Yes, Victor did set it up this way, and he absolutely pits his children against one another, gets them in conflict, then is angry with them for being in the conflict he set up.

In their battle of wills, I feel Victor has done far worse than Nick. Nick doesn't want a place at Newman. The bridges have been burned, though, and while the affection will remain in some convoluted form, I don't see this relationship ever being normal. Victor can't accept Nick as his own man, separate from Newman, separate from his father. He can't see them as two men who care about one another but have different dreams and goals. That is a loss to both of them. One does not merely stand in Victor's shadow. One is in Victor's shadow and is a pawn in his game, and Nick doesn't want to play.

Is burning his bridges self-protection for Adam? Keeping anyone from getting close so he won't get hurt anymore? Because I can't think of any other reason for it. He is unbelievably manipulative.

Does Adam have feelings? Maybe. But it looks to me like he just turns on the illusion of feelings when it suits his needs, and the feelings, or illusion thereof, are used only to manipulate others. Does he have empathy? I can't tell. He's learned to act like he does, but I can't tell if he's acting from a place of hurt and rejection or if he's a bit of a sociopath. His history doesn't make it any clearer.

I agree with Nick's choice to give up Dark Horse, not give up his son. And there was no hesitation. He took steps to save Dark Horse, but he was willing to turn over the keys when that didn't work. He was not willing to turn over the little boy he raised and loved dearly.

I feel a lot of what Adam is doing is a means to try to get Chelsea back. Does he want Christian, or does he feel like using Nick might get Nick to pressure Chelsea to engage with him? Does he really want Christian? He calls his blackmail (Dark Horse for Christian) a business transaction. That doesn't seem like he wants the child or has affection for him.

Adam clearly is a kidnapper (holding Chloe after she shot him). Is he using Sharon to advance his agenda? She seems very gullible to me, wanting to believe him, risking her relationship with Rey, all to help Adam with... what exactly? She's upset that he is using information and money (obtained from Victoria) to barter for Christian, but did she expect different? Does she think he'll change because she's disappointed in him? I don't see that happening!

And how about Victoria? I get paying the money to shut Adam out. She was totally out of line, giving that number. I've believed this all along. It is a violation of her relationship and trust with her brother. She wants that role in the company, but why? If Daddy disrespects you that much, seriously, don't you think it's time to walk away and respect yourself? She has given a significant amount of her life, heart, and soul to a father and company who seem to take her for granted.

Do you think we know Chelsea's new husband? I'm sure there's someone we haven't seen in forever who would be a good candidate. Any guesses?

Family Ties

Dina is all settled in her new home, but she didn't want to be asked questions. She didn't know her kids, and she feels they left her. I have to say, this was the most I have enjoyed Traci's novel, and it was because of Dina's childlike investment in the story. It was sad and poignant when Dina told Jack that "you know what it feels like" to feel lonely.

Will Dina die this year? You can only write so much about her in a home. In reality, I think she'd have years left. She seems to be in fine physical health. But will Y&R be able to sustain story for her when she is in a memory care facility?

Lines of the Week:

Michael to Kevin: It's never nothing with you, Kevin, so why don't you save us both a lot of wasted energy and tell me what kind of trouble you're in this time.

Nick to Jack, after Jack's suggestion for a sit-down with Adam: Should we hold hands and sing "Kumbaya" while we're at it?

Exchange of the Week:

Kevin: Why do you always think the worst of me?
Michael: Years of experience.

Random Observations:

I thought it was strange when Adam was packing the red hooded sweatshirt. When would he wear that? He has yet to wear a bright color since his new incarnation.

When Tessa was in the nursing home, there was bad lip-syncing. She sang the song; it was a pity it wasn't matched better.

There was a tender moment between them, but could Lola and Summer ever be friends? If it weren't for Kyle, they might have been able to do it. But for Summer, probably not while Lola drove a food truck.

How did you feel about Victor filing a suit against Christine? I didn't think it was appropriate for her to go complain about it. Seriously, what did she expect? Victor wasn't wrong to shut her down. Blowing the case alone has to hurt her chance of reelection, independent of the lawsuit. However, the picnic Paul set up was cute.

Closing Thoughts:

Until we meet again, happy viewing! I don't know what's coming, but I'll be right here watching with you.

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