Best-laid plans

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There was plenty of scheming afoot this week on The Young and the Restless! Diane plotted to reconnect with Kyle (and Jack?), Victoria plotted her revenge against Ashland, and Ashland plotted to frame Adam for his own misdeeds! In the real world, Kate Linder celebrated her 40th anniversary as everyone's favorite maid ­ Esther Valentine! Join our Two Scoops columnist as he examines all the twists and turns we were served this week (and what he thinks could be a fun, yet twisted, storyline that Esther might have next)!

Well, well, well... it seems I wasn't the only one who thought Adam could potentially be involved in all the sudden revelations about Ashland faking his cancer. In my last column, I pondered whether Ashland really could be telling the truth and perhaps Adam was the mastermind behind everything we've learned about Victoria's husband lately. Thankfully, I was wrong (I'm loving the new and improved Adam!); but Victoria had the same thoughts that ran through my head and used that possibility to her advantage this week as she concocted her scheme to give Ashland his rightly deserved comeuppance.

At the start of the week, there was still some speculation as to whether Victoria truly believed Ashland's lies or not. It seemed she had finally seen the light where her scheming husband was concerned, but she was so convincing in her conversations with Ashland that she had me wondering if she was still on the fence (or holding out hope that he might not have lied to her yet again).

Then, as she suggested to Ashland that she thought Adam could be the mastermind framing him I really started to doubt where her head was at! We all know Victoria doesn't trust Adam as far as she can throw him, so it's not a leap to think she would think the worst of him and take her husband's side. And this is certainly something that Adam would have been capable of in the past when he was only concerned about his own well-being and self-interest.

Alas, at the end of the week, Victoria's true intentions were revealed -- she doesn't really think that Adam is behind the plot to make Ashland look a liar (phew!), but she wants Ashland to think that is what she believes so that he doesn't suspect she is secretly plotting against him! She even let Adam (and the rest of her family) in on the plot so that they can help her succeed in taking Ashland down -- and I'm here for all of it!! I loved seeing Victoria take charge this week and prove that she can handle things on her own.

I can't wait to see the look on Ashland's face when he learns that he's been duped by Victoria and the rest of the Newmans! It was hilarious that he thought he was being so smart and conniving by planting evidence on Adam's computer to frame Adam for Ashland's latest batch of lies. All the while, Adam and the rest of the Newmans knew exactly what Ashland was up to. Adam even lowered his computer's security so that Ashland would have easier access -- it was priceless! I am really enjoying how the writers have handled the development of this story, and it's a bonus that we get to see Adam finally be a part of a united front alongside the rest of his family now that they all have a common enemy.

Of course, Adam took full advantage of his sister's plot and used it to further his agenda of proving to their father that he is the best fit for the CEO position at Newman. I really enjoyed the scenes with Sally, Victor, and Adam as Sally championed Adam's ideas and assured Victor that Adam knew what he was doing with the company. I wish Victor would recognize that Sally is good for Adam and stop trying to urge his son to keep his business and personal relationships separate. Sally and Adam were flirting romantically before they began working together, so their relationship is not quite the picture that Victor is trying to paint. I hope this won't be a point of contention for Victor and Adam going forward (although it would make for great drama!).

I also really enjoyed the scenes with Nick and Adam at the end of the week. I thought we were going to be subjected to another holier-than-thou lecture from Nick toward Adam, but I was pleasantly surprised that their conversation took a turn. I love seeing Nick hesitantly being a champion for Adam's continued redemption. You can tell that Nick wants to believe in Adam and be able to accept him as a true brother that he can count on (even though he is remaining cautious and not fully giving Adam the benefit of the doubt).

Like Nick, I am also hoping that Adam sticks to Victoria's plan and doesn't go rogue on a side plot of his own. I would love to see Nick's faith in Adam be rewarded and for their brotherly bond to continue to be strengthened. I'm really excited to see where this revenge plot toward Ashland is headed -- I just hope the whole scheme doesn't blow up in the Newmans' faces! You know what they say about the best-laid plans...

Moving on, though, I am curious to see what becomes of Ashland once Victoria has carried out her revenge plot. Will Y&R simply usher out Robert Newman from the cast and say "sayonara"? He's a fan-favorite actor from his time on Guiding Light, and he has done a stellar job taking over the role of Ashland, so it would be a shame for the show to toss him aside so soon. What could be in store for him, though, if they do decide to keep him around? Perhaps he'll set his sights on another rich family in town (especially if he loses everything in the battle with the Newmans)? Maybe he could work his way into the Chancellor family via a naïve, hopeless romantic, maid-turned-executor of the Chancellor estate?

Yes, I'm talking about none other than everyone's favorite maid -- Esther Valentine! Kate Linder celebrated her 40th year on The Young and the Restless as Esther this past week (on April 8th, to be exact), and she has shared some tidbits about what she would like to see happen for Esther as Y&R revisits her character's past in the coming months.

As I was reading the article here on Soap Central wherein Kate Linder discusses her future on Y&R, I couldn't help but wonder if Ashland might be the perfect avenue for her character's next storyline! You'll have to check out the full article for yourself, but some of the things that stood out to me were that she would love to see Esther's darker side explored, she would like for Esther to find real love, and she would like Esther to become involved with Chancellor Industries.

As much as I would hate to see Esther be a loser in love again, I can't help but think how great it would be if Ashland were to target her next. Hell, maybe she could even redeem him, and he could really fall for her (even if his intentions start out as something more sinister). And how great would it be to see Jill back in town and her rivalry with Esther reignited over Esther's naivety regarding Ashland's intentions? It could even get soapier than that, and Jill could potentially get tangled up in a love triangle with Esther and Ashland. I'm sure that Jess Walton and Robert Newman would have great screen chemistry as rivals and/or lovers!

But who knows what the writers have planned for Ashland next (if anything). After all, it wouldn't be totally surprising if Y&R ushered out Robert Newman (and Ashland) altogether. I'm sad to see that the show is doing just that with Jordi Vilasuso and his character, Rey Rosales. Now that the news has broken that Y&R has released him from his contract, Rey's scenes with Chance this week felt bittersweet. I really like their friendship, and it is going to be a shame to lose that because we definitely don't see enough close male friendships like the one they have on the show.

I'm curious to see how Rey will exit, since he has reportedly already finished filming his final scenes. I can't imagine that he and Sharon will just suddenly call it quits and he will leave town, so I have a feeling he may become victim to some sort of horrible accident or violent crime. Some concerns have been raised by Abby and others on the show that it may be too soon for Chance to be returning to the police force, so I wonder if Chance will suffer another PTSD episode while they are out on assignment and Rey will end up paying for it with his life. That would at least be a better exit than most of the Rosales family members have received!

I have always been a fan of the Rosales family, and I am sad to see the last of them leaving the canvas in the coming weeks. Arturo was my favorite (I may have had the biggest crush on him), but I also enjoyed each new family member as they were introduced over the last few years. I'm disappointed that we likely won't see Eva La Rue back as the Rosales matriarch anytime soon. I always thought she and Jack would have made a good match, but maybe it is for the best that she stayed away because Jack certainly has his hands full these days...

Wow, what a whirlwind Diane's sudden return into Jack's life has been this past week! I was so thrilled to see Phyllis roped into this storyline right away because her rivalry with Diane has always been one of my favorite rivalries on the show!! All the flashbacks have been so much fun, and I love that the two actresses haven't missed a beat all these years later and were able to settle right back into their animosity-filled screen chemistry! I like to think that Michelle Stafford and Susan Walters are great friends in real life because they seem to have so much fun working together anytime Phyllis and Diane are sparring.

I found it interesting that neither Jack nor Phyllis answered Diane when she asked if the two of them were back together now. I think the two of them know, deep down, that they want to reunite and give in to their love for one another (why else wouldn't they have just told Diane, "No, we're just friends"?). But they are likely just too afraid to admit that to one another and risk putting their hearts out there again. They have gone through a lot of heartache over the years, but I do think these two are meant to be together -- no matter how hard Diane tries to tear them apart this time!

I think Diane picked up on their non-answer, too, and she will use that to her advantage. I don't think she revealed herself to Jack solely as a means to reconnect with her son, Kyle. I definitely think she has an agenda where Jack is concerned, too, and that she wants to try to rebuild that romantic relationship. I found it interesting that she had a picture of herself with both Kyle and Jack in her new house instead of just a picture of Kyle. I think that was a clue that she has her sights set on a resuming a relationship with tboth of them. In any case, I am looking forward to seeing her scenes with Kyle when he finally learns his mother is alive and they reunite for the first time (and I am thrilled that Michael Mealor is returning to the role)!

Now that Kyle is headed back to Genoa City, I hope that Allie is the next one to make the move to GC so that we can start seeing her mix it up with the other Abbotts. She has a whole other family she just learned about, and I am anxious for Traci, Billy, Kyle, Abby, and Ashley to finally meet her! I hope that Ashley will soften toward Allie once she actually meets her and that she will give her the benefit of the doubt. I get why Ashley is suspicious and is wondering whether Allie is really as innocent as she may seem, but I hope that she gets to know her before writing her off entirely -- and that she stops trying to turn the other Abbotts against her!

There are a lot of potential storylines for Allie if/when she comes to Genoa City. It would be fun to see her working at Jabot, and I also wonder if Allie could be a new love interest for Noah eventually. I can't believe the writers still have nothing better for him to do than to be involved in planning Mariah and Tessa's wedding now. Why did they even bring him back to the show if they didn't have a larger story arc planned for him? As much as I'd like to see him get involved with Elena (because I can't stop -- and won't stop -- talking about how much fun an Imani/Nate/Elena/Noah storyline would be), I think Noah and Allie could also be really great together. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (but not holding my breath) that Noah gets something (or someone) new to focus his attention on soon (aside from the bed-hopping and late nights with strangers we've seen tidbits of here and there).

If she's not thrown into a storyline with Noah, though, maybe Allie could be a guest on Billy's podcast when she finally gets to town! Just kidding, Billy is too full of himself to have anyone else be the topic of conversation -- and I wouldn't want to subject Allie to that level of boredom. It's not just me, right? Everyone is bored by this storyline (if you can call it that), too? I was so incredibly bored when we had to listen to more of him talking into his recorder at the beginning of Friday's episode and I'm really hoping this stops soon. It feels like one of the writers is trying to work out some of their own personal issues every time I hear Billy rambling on like he's America's next great life coach.

Thankfully, Lily interrupted Billy, and the two of them did have a good conversation that wasn't a total waste of time. I agree with Lily that Billy needs to stop seeing himself as Victoria's protector. I understand that they have children together and he will always care about her to a degree, but it really isn't his place anymore now that they are divorced. Although if it means Billy will stop focusing on his podcast, then he can meddle in Victoria's life all he wants!

Anyway, all this talk about Billy's podcast has started to make me sleepy, so I think that's a wrap on this week's Two Scoops! Don't forget to hit the comments and share your opinions, too! What storyline would you like to see for Esther for her 40th year on the show? Would you like to see Ashland stick around beyond his storyline with the Newmans? And what about Diane -- do you think she will succeed in getting both Kyle and Jack back in her life -- or will her latest scheme blow up in her face?

Can't wait to hear what you think!

Until next time,

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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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