Well, let's just dive right into it, folks. I was beyond stunned -- and thrilled! -- to see Susan Walters back as Diane Jenkins this week on Y&R! It's been just over ten years since her character was killed and there was a long, drawn-out "whodunit" murder mystery surrounding her death. Nikki was found to have killed Diane in self-defense, but ultimately (if I'm remembering correctly), it was Deacon Sharpe who ended up being the culprit that delivered the final deadly blow with a rock to her skull.
I've been reading the comments on social media regarding Diane's return, and it is definitely a mixed bag of fans that are happy to see her return and those that wish her delightfully devilish character had stayed dead. I, for one, am beyond thrilled that Diane is back -- especially since Susan Walters is reprising the role! She has been my favorite actress in the role of Diane (of the three), and I have always hoped they would find a way to bring her back (no offense to Alex Donnelly or Maura West, who were also great in the role).
My hopes and wishes for her return came true this week -- but how?! That is the big mystery still waiting to be revealed. Normally when a character "returns from the dead" on a soap opera, their body was never recovered or they went missing, only to turn up years later. In Diane's case, her corpse was found floating in a pond and there seemed to be no doubt that she was truly dead forever. However, after doing some research on the Soap Central character profiles to refresh my memory, I found some clues as to how her return might be explained -- and it all ties back to Adam.
Just before Diane was killed, she and Adam had plotted to fake her death, give her a new identity in a different country, and frame Victor for her murder. However, the plot was revealed before it was carried out, and Adam even faced a grand jury indictment for his role in the plot, which involved fraud and Newman Enterprises stock manipulation. Diane turned the tables on Adam and exposed his plot to the district attorney -- but did she then carry out the plot to fake her death on her own? That's my best guess, but I'm excited to see how the writers explain her sudden return. I need this storyline to be front and center in every episode until we learn the truth! I was so irritated that we didn't see her again in Friday's episode!! I'm on the edge of my seat with this storyline, and I need to know more ASAP!
Considering all the schemes that Diane has pulled off over the years, faking her own death certainly wouldn't require a stretch of the imagination or seem uncharacteristic. And when she wasn't focused on Victor, Jack was always a prize that she wanted to win (and I do think she truly loved him, too), so it wouldn't be surprising that she has kept tabs on him all these years, waiting for the perfect opportunity to come back into his life. All we can do is speculate about how she pulled it all off for now, though, so let's discuss what we actually saw unfold this week.
Jack's newly discovered granddaughter, Allie, met with her real estate agent to finalize the sale of her father, Keemo's, home and was informed that the purchaser wanted to meet her before the sale was finalized. After some stalling, the purchaser finally showed herself when Diane Jenkins walked through the door -- and introduced herself as Taylor Jenson! Even with a new name, Diane was still up to her old tricks and manipulated the situation to bring Allie and Jack closer together.
Diane/Taylor told Allie that she wanted to meet the owner of the home because she was curious as to why someone would want to sell such a lovely home. After Allie explained about her father's recent death (something Diane clearly already knew about but kept to herself), Allie received a phone call from Jack informing her that he would be back in California soon and would like to meet for coffee or dinner. Allie was reluctant to say yes to Jack's dinner proposal, and Diane jumped at the opportunity to get closer to Allie by asking her about the phone call. Although Allie was hesitant to talk about such a personal matter at first, Diane -- still at the top of her game -- manipulated the conversation to get Allie to open up to her.
Diane told Allie that she had plenty of regrets when it came to family and that Allie might come to regret not connecting with her own family before it was too late. This clearly hit a soft spot with Allie, since her father had just died, and she seemed to agree that she could benefit from opening herself up to Jack (she even called him back and told him that she would meet up with him when he is in town).
Diane is still proving herself to be a master at lying and manipulation! I don't know what her endgame is here, but I am loving seeing her back in action! I can only assume that Diane thinks she will get into Jack's good graces by bringing him and Allie closer together, which will soften the blow of the big reveal that she is still alive and has been hiding out for all these years. Why else would she get involved at all if she weren't planning a return to Genoa City? This situation is likely just the type of opening she has been looking for to allow her to come back into Jack's life and get a fresh start on his good side.
Diane isn't the only liar making waves on Y&R this week, though, as more of Ashland's secrets started to become exposed in a storyline that seems to involve half of Genoa City! Let's start with Nate, who was struggling with revealing what he learned about Ashland's medical condition to the Newmans. Elena assured him that she didn't think he was in the wrong, and I agree with her. Nate hadn't shared actual medical information with the Newmans; instead, he revealed a truth that he uncovered, which was that Ashland had been lying about going to chemotherapy appointments and that his scans showed no signs of cancer at all. I think Nate would have been more conflicted if he'd kept that information to himself, because Ashland had been lying to so many people -- including Nate himself -- about his prognosis.
I am not sure that the board of directors at the hospital would agree with me, though, so it is probably best that Nate is planning to make a career move from the medical field to the corporate world. I am glad to hear that he is finally planning to join Devon and Lily in their family business -- especially since it means that he will likely be crossing paths with Imani more there! I am ready to see more of her, and the sparks between her and Nate are undeniable. Elena may come to regret cheering Nate on in his new business venture if it ends up pushing him right in to Imani's arms (and bed)!
Speaking of the Winters/Hamilton/Chancellor family business, I am happy that Devon agreed to merge Hamilton-Winters with Chancellor Industries! It will be great to see all these characters mixing it up more, and Neil and Katherine would certainly be proud to see them all coming together like this if they were still alive. This storyline hasn't hit its full stride yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing where it is leading. I just hope it doesn't mean we have to endure more of Billy's podcast.
As much as I complained about Billy in the past and his inability to let his feud with Adam go, he has become considerably more boring since he decided to move beyond it. I am happy to see him move on and find closure, but I do not want to see more scenes of him recording his podcast. Was anyone else bored to tears by this?! Now that Victoria's marriage to Ashland seems to be falling apart and she confided in Billy all that she learned about Ashland this week, maybe we will see something reignite between these two, and he will have an actual entertaining storyline in the months ahead (we can only hope).
But let's rewind a bit, because at the start of this week, Victoria was still holding firm in her belief that Ashland was telling the truth and that her family was just trying to find anything wrong with Ashland that they could to tear her away from him. Finally, after Nikki lied to her about having a fight with Victor as a ruse to get Victoria away from Ashland for a few moments, Victoria had to face the truth that she was confronted with -- Ashland has been lying about his illness all along so that he could get her out of the way and take their company, Newman Locke, away from her and the Newmans.
Ashland is still not backing down, though, and is remaining firm in his supposed lies that he did not fake his illness and that her family is just trying to tear them apart. I have to hand it to him for his commitment to his lies, and I am still wondering if something more is going on here. Could Adam somehow be behind all of these "revelations" about Ashland? Could Ashland actually have been sick, and Adam has gone out of his way to make Ashland look like the bad guy so that he could take Victoria's place as CEO of the company? He certainly has been insistent that Victoria is also to blame for the mess she has made by bringing Ashland into the Newman fold and making him co-CEO.
Adam seems to be a changed man now after the redemption storylines the writers have given him over the past year, but perhaps it has all been a ruse, and Ashland truly is the victim here. I'm 90% sure that Ashland is the true liar, but Adam has certainly proven to be ruthless to get what he wants in the past, so part of me is wondering if he is not so redeemed, after all. It would be a brilliant twist if that is where all of this is headed, but I am not so sure the writers are taking things in that direction.
It seems more likely that this storyline will turn into one of Victoria's revenge against Ashland. The "Next Week on Y&R..." preview made it look as though Victoria was either forgiving Ashland or choosing to believe him; but after her conversation with Billy during Friday's episode, I highly doubt that is what is happening. It is more likely that she is turning the tables on Ashland and manipulating him now to prove that he cannot pull one over on her -- and to save the company from being overtaken by him. Or perhaps she is just afraid of what he might do to her now that he is co-CEO, and, just as she expressed to Billy, he might find a way to "get rid of her" so that he can become the sole CEO of the company. Will she pretend to still be in love with him until she can find a way to deal with him before he can do more damage to her or her family's business?
And speaking of that "Next Week on Y&R..." preview -- Michael is back!! I was happy to see that he returns to Genoa City all in one piece (and not in a body bag)! Although I have missed seeing him on-screen while he has been missing, Lauren has had some great scenes in his absence. It was fun to see her confront Victor again this week about his lies regarding Michael's whereabouts and well-being. Even if Victor had good intentions for keeping her in the dark, he should have known better. I hate when people underestimate Lauren! I hope we see more of Lauren and Michael once their part in this storyline comes to an end.
But what do you all think? Hit the comments and share your opinions about this past week and what you think may be in store in the weeks ahead after this week of revelations!
Until next time,
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