Lies we tell ourselves

For the Week of March 14, 2022
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There were plenty of mysteries unfolding in Genoa City this week as Michael seemingly went missing, Jack searched for answers about Keemo in California, and the conspiracy surrounding Ashland's terminal illness began to unravel. Who is lying to whom? And, better yet, who is lying to themselves? Find out by joining our columnist in examining last week's episodes of The Young and the Restless!

Sometimes the worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. Harsh realities can lead otherwise reasonable people to convince themselves that a falsehood is true when they want something -- or want to believe in something (or someone) -- badly enough. It can be easier to throw out all reason and ignore logic if doing so prevents an ugly truth from causing heartache. And plenty of folks in Genoa City are trying to avoid some ugly truths right now!

Victoria is facing an ugly truth that Ashland may have been lying about his terminal illness all along -- and she is reacting by refusing to believe the "so-called proof" that she has been presented with. It is easier for her to lie to herself than face the fact that her husband has been lying to her again. I can't say I am surprised by this reaction because, as smart as Victoria is, Ashland has been masterful in spinning his web of lies to make it seem as though he is the victim and that someone is just trying to discredit him. He really knows how to play Victoria against her father and push all her buttons in just the right way to get her on his side. Hell, he even has me doubting what the real truth may be!

And I'm not the only one who is unsure about whether Ashland is lying or not. Nate seems torn about what to believe, too, after his conversations with Nick and Victor, and then Ashland, this week. He made a lot of good points during his conversation with the Newmans. It's not strange that medical personnel would not be forthcoming with information about a patient's medical record. But it is strange to think that Ashland would have been able to convince multiple doctors to ignore their ethics and lie for him or falsify records. But I suppose if the price is right, then some people will do almost anything. And Ashland certainly has the money and the global connections to make something like this happen.

Nate seemed to be firmly on Ashland's side until he confronted Ashland about the allegations directly. Nate wanted to believe what Ashland was saying but it was clear during his conversation with Elena that he wasn't really sure what to believe. Something felt off about his conversation with Ashland, and it didn't seem to sit right with him; plus, he trusts Nick's judgment more than any of the other Newmans, and Nick has never trusted Ashland. Will Nate push those feelings of doubt aside and lie to himself about being able to trust Ashland again? Or will he decline Ashland's job offer -- and his friendship?

Ashland is definitely hiding something, but we don't know what the full truth is yet. He wouldn't need to make moves to try to cover his tracks, like we have seen him doing, if he was being completely honest. The fact that he has a contact in Peru who has "taken care of" the two doctors who provided the proof about his illness to Michael -- and Michael himself! -- proves that he will go to any lengths to cover up whatever it is that Victor might have learned from Michael's sleuthing.

Speaking of Michael, I was really excited that he was being roped into this storyline after he'd been on the backburner for so long -- especially since he just celebrated his 30th anniversary on the show a few weeks ago! So, I am disappointed that he has gone missing and that he is still getting just as little screen time. I hope that Ashland hasn't had Michael killed to ensure that he goes to the grave with the secrets he learned about Ashland in Peru. Michael certainly was lying to himself when he insisted that he would be able to enjoy a quiet retirement while still working for Victor on "special projects".

Although I am disappointed that Michael hasn't been seen much lately, it was great to see more of Lauren this week as she searched for answers about her missing husband. I'm glad she was able to convince Kevin that her concerns were legitimate and that she enlisted his help in trying to track down his brother. And the scenes where she angrily confronted Victor about putting Michael in danger were a lot of fun to watch! Victor is lying to himself if he thinks he is not to blame for whatever may have happened to Michael in Peru.

Elsewhere in Genoa City, Noah arrived at Crimson Lights with a girl named Cindy that he just met earlier that day. It was pretty hilarious to hear her continue to call him "Noel" -- and the look on Sharon's face was priceless throughout her conversation with the two of them! Of course, Noah still took the opportunity to mope about his love life when Mariah and Tessa showed up and when he told Tessa he's not looking for love any longer, and he'll just "lea ve love to the experts." That remark was clearly a jab at Tessa and Mariah, and he seems to still be lying to himself about having gotten over Tessa. Hopefully he gets over her soon, though, because he needs a new storyline immediately! His return has been a bit of a snooze so far, and I can't believe the writers have nothing new to do with him yet.

Later in the week at Crimson Lights, Rey and Sharon were excited to finally plan some alone time together so that they could "connect" again upon realizing they would have the house to themselves for the night. Of course, Sharon then got enlisted to help Christian with a school assignment and had to bail on their plans. Is it just me, or do Sharon and Rey just seem to be going through the motions of being a happy couple? To me, their chemistry appears to be fizzling out a bit, and they could be lying to themselves about how happy they are (this seems especially true of Rey).

I was a fan of Rey and Sharon when they got together, and I was happy to see Sharon find some stability in her life, but these two definitely do not have the same spark that they used to. I'm sure that is the writers' intention, of course, and I'm curious to see where it is all leading. With Chelsea circling Rey like a hungry shark, Sharon better find a way to reignite that spark in their relationship ASAP!

Devon is another character who has been lying to himself. As Amanda pointed out this week, his "concern" for Chance seems to be rooted in an underlying desire to keep Chance away from baby Dominic (should the opportunity present itself). While I do think that Devon is ultimately a good guy and that he is truly concerned for Chance, I agree with Amanda that his questioning of Sharon in regard to Chance's treatment seemed to cross a line and that he might be angling for sole custody. Devon insisted that was not the case, of course, but I think he doesn't realize he is lying to himself about his true intent.

Chance certainly does need time to heal, though, and it was nice to see the writers addressing this real-world problem that war vets face. Many vets have trouble reacclimating to their real life upon returning home because of all they have experienced out in the field. Chance went through a particularly traumatic experience on his latest mission, so it makes sense that he would be feeling the way he is. I hope the writers continue to treat this story with the respect it deserves and not merely use it as a footnote in a larger plot to allow Devon to wreak havoc on their lives as Chance struggles to heal.

Outside of Genoa City this week, Phyllis and Jack continued to search for answers in California about the mystery they were led to at the home of his deceased son Keemo. Although there was plenty of excitement happening in Genoa City, this storyline was the real highlight of the week for me. Peter Bergman reminded us all why he is a multiple Emmy award winner as he grieved the loss of the son that he never truly got to know. And it has been a treat having Michelle Stafford in these scenes with him to showcase the great screen chemistry these two have together. Jack and Phyllis may have traveled a bumpy road over the years, but their scenes this week cemented how deep their bond is. Although I am hopeful for a romantic reunion for them, it has been nice that the writers have not made that the focus of this plot and that this week has been about the loss of Jack's son (and the mystery surrounding who led them to Los Angeles).

As a viewer who did not start watching Y&R until after Luan and Keemo had already exited the soap, I found the flashbacks with Jack and Luan this week to be a nice surprise. As Jack and Phyllis discussed his past with Luan, you could hear the regret in his voice over the life they all lost together due to her illness and the truth they hid from Keemo. Although it was Luan who didn't want Jack to tell Keemo about her health condition, Keemo couldn't be angry at his dead mother, so he took it out on Jack and pushed him away.

As we learned, though, Keemo had been lying to himself about not wanting a relationship with Jack. The letters that Jack and Phyllis discovered, which were written by Keemo for Jack but never mailed, confirmed that he wanted to reach out and rebuild their relationship. Unfortunately, he couldn't let go of his anger toward his father, and time ran out for him before they had a chance to work on their relationship. As Jack said in his grief, they "were so close" to having the relationship they should have had. If only one of them had stopped lying to themselves long enough about being okay with the distance between them, then things could have been much different before they lost time altogether.

The box of letters was only part of the mystery, though, as Phyllis and Jack returned to the house later in the week only to find something that wasn't there before -- a picture of a woman with the name Allie written on the back along with a phone number. Was this who had been sending Jack the text messages to bring him to his son's home in California? Or another clue left by that mystery person? Rather than sitting around and guessing, Jack called the number and asked if they could meet at Keemo's home.

It seems that Allie was not the person texting Jack because when she arrived and he introduced himself, his name had no meaning to her, and she assumed he was with the bank and wanted to discuss her father's estate. When Jack told her that he was Keemo's father, she seemed genuinely surprised and shocked; so, the mystery person who has been texting Jack remains a mystery (for now).

I'm really looking forward to learning more about Allie next week! I am assuming that she is Jack's granddaughter, and I am thrilled that the writers are delving more into this branch of Jack's family tree rather than letting it die along with Keemo. It would be great if Allie ends up visiting -- or moving to! -- Genoa City to get to know her family there more. Perhaps she'll even cross paths with Noah in Genoa City and launch him into a new storyline (finally)! Rumor has it that the writers have a love interest in mind for her character already...

What are your thoughts on Allie? Do you think she is just playing coy and will be revealed to be the one that has been texting Jack? Or do you think there is another mystery person involved that will be revealed in the coming weeks? And what are your thoughts on the rest of the happenings in Genoa City? Hit the comments and let me know!

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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