Choose Your Own Adventure

For the Week of March 25, 2024
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Due to some sort of sporting event that occurred, The Young and the Restless only aired three episodes this past week. But did the third episode even really count as one? Our Two Scoops columnist thinks not! Find out why; plus, has Jordan really met her end this time? And will Ashley's alter identities do more harm than good as they try to protect her from herself? Read on for the scoop about everything that happened during our short visit to Genoa City!

March Madness basketball coverage has taken over CBS daytime yet again, which caused a preemption of Thursday and Friday's episodes of The Young and the Restless. And Tamilu is out on vacation this week, so I'm sorry to say that the column you were expecting from her has also been preempted. Instead, I (your other favorite Y&R Two Scoops columnist, Vance) will be covering the column in her absence. Thankfully, Y&R managed to fit a lot of storytelling into the short week of episodes, so there's a lot for us to talk about!

Genoa City certainly has been experiencing their own bit of "March madness," thanks to Jordan's latest reign of terror. But what did you all think of her latest downfall? Do we really think that Nikki, Victoria, and Claire just left her to die after she ingested the poison? It's possible. After all, Jordan stashed that poison in the room because she'd intended for Victor and Nikki to take it and die together; so, some may say that her ending is poetic justice and a fitting end for Jordan. Still, others may condemn the Newman women for essentially letting Jordan die rather than getting her medical attention.

If you didn't like that ending for Jordan, though, fret not. Like the old book series, you can just "Choose Your Own Adventure" and decide which ending is you favorite for Jordan. Because since first being revealed as Claire's crazy aunt just four short months ago, Jordan has had four different "endings" or story arcs -- more than some villains get over the span of years! Hell, I'm not even convinced that this poison she took has truly put an end to her character. I guess we will see next week, but in the meantime, let's play a game of Choose Your Own Adventure: Jordan Howard Edition:

Jordan's first "ending" came almost as soon as her character's introduction began back at the lake house where she was first holding Nikki hostage. Once her plot was revealed and her lies to Claire were uncovered, she could have slithered away for months or years after we saw her hiding in the air vent/duct. But Y&R wasn't done with Jordan -- or Colleen Zenk -- just yet. So, if you don't like that ending for Jordan, then just wait, because there's another to choose from...

Her second "ending" came after she kidnapped Claire from the hospital and coaxed Nikki into meeting her to exchange her own life for her granddaughter's life. Claire and Nikki ultimately bested Jordan, and she was arrested, supposedly to be locked up for a very long time. But Y&R wasn't done with Jordan -- or Colleen Zenk -- just yet. So, if you don't like that ending for Jordan, then just wait, because there's another to choose from...

Jordan's third "ending" happened off-screen, so right away, we already knew that she would be back to torment the Newmans. This time, the Newmans learned that there was a fire at the prison where Jordan was being held, and a number of prisoners were missing and/or presumed dead (including Jordan). They hoped she had died in the fire (and I was starting to hope so, too, at this point), but Y&R wasn't done with Jordan -- or Colleen Zenk -- just yet. So, if you don't like that ending for Jordan, then just wait, because there's another to choose from...

Jordan's final ending (so far) seemingly came this past week when she took the poison meant for the Newmans so that she could die rather than face life in prison. Supposedly, Nikki, Victoria, and Claire left her to die, but you know the drill -- if you don't like that ending, then just wait, because you never know if Y&R may have more planned for the dastardly Jordan. This may not be her final ending, after all!

If they had just given Jordan one story ending instead of four, which "adventure" would you have chosen for her? Which was your favorite? Or do you like the way things played out and you've enjoyed all of it? Share what you think in the Comments!

I wish I could say I've enjoyed all of it, and to a certain extent, I suppose I have, but it all just got to be a bit too much too fast. Y&R has had a real pacing issue for a while with a lot of storylines that had great potential and ended up falling flat (Cameron Kirsten's return last year, for example). They can't seem to build anticipation for viewers for very long before they go headfirst (and headstrong) into an intense storyline that deserves more time to breathe. But I will admit that the Jordan plot has been a fun escape from reality and has certainly entertained me, so I guess that means the show is doing their job, right? And how can one not be entertained by Coleen Zenk? I hope she's having a blast playing the role of Jordan!

The show really should have planned further ahead before hiring a soap opera legend like Colleen Zenk because, of course, they inevitably want to keep her around longer. And that will be difficult to do because of the immediate corner her character was written into. I don't know how long Jordan was originally supposed to be around for, but with how many fake-out exits she's already had in just four months, I don't know if I can handle much more. But it certainly seems like the show wants her around more, given that she keeps popping back up, no matter what corner she is written into. It's really anyone's guess if she's really dead or not this time until we find out her fate (next week, hopefully).

It's too bad they didn't do a more "slow burn" introduction with Jordan rather than the "crazy aunt that we met over Thanksgiving weekend" storyline she was given. Had she integrated herself into the Newmans' lives just like Claire did, it could have had a much bigger impact on the audience when Jordan's true intentions became clear. For example, imagine if we had gotten to care about Nikki and Jordan as friends over the course of a few months before we learned that Jordan and Claire had both been deceiving Nikki. That type of emotional impact to viewers then makes the revenge, cat-and-mouse portion of the storyline all the more fun, exciting, and ultimately rewarding in the end.

I am happy with the direction Claire's character has taken, though. Somehow, even though their stories are so intertwined, Jordan's journey feels hectic and frantic, while Claire's feels more natural and remedial. She has certainly gone from villain to hero in no time at all, but it doesn't feel fake or forced. There were even some aspects of her "very special episode" at the end of the week that I really liked, even though I am typically not a fan of dream sequences and fantasy scenes on soap operas in general.

I am especially not a fan of dream sequences that end up essentially taking up an entire episode. We get it -- Claire daydreams about what her life would have been like if her aunt hadn't kidnapped her at birth and she'd been raised like she should have (as Eve Newman). I don't feel like the episode was entirely necessary, but I get that they are giving Claire's character a good, long ride on the redemption train so that she can be accepted as a Newman and start living the life that was stolen from her (and so the writing team has a shiny new Newman to play with).

If "Choose Your Own Adventure" were a TV series, then Claire's dream sequence about what life would have been like if she were raised a Newman could have likely been an episode. A few bright spots about the episode for me were: 1) It gave Haley Erin the spotlight as Claire (she has been absolutely fantastic in the role and made it easy to watch); 2) I loved seeing twins Cassie and Mariah share scenes together (and Nick and Sharon still together!) because in this timeline, Cassie hadn't died; and 3) Summer, Abby, and Claire were so much fun to watch as "besties" who had all grown up together -- they had me laughing!

One thing I especially didn't like about the dream sequence, though, is that Victoria has seemingly already tainted Claire's mind against her Uncle Adam. I was a little dumbfounded that she pictured the dream version of him as a waiter instead of a businessman. Supposedly, in this timeline, he is just some stupid criminal whose business career Claire ruined by turning him in to the cops. Why do the writers want to take every opportunity to trash Adam? Maybe that's not what they were doing, though. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that it was all just in fun because that seemed to be the intended tone of the scenes. Still, it would have been nice to see Adam embraced as part of the family because of her instead of her just being another Newman that he doesn't get along with.

Am I asking too much? I'm honestly annoyed that a dream sequence even has me irritated because nothing in it really happened! Another reason not to like dream sequences -- they can get you worked up for no reason over plot points that aren't actually real. So, enough about the dreaming and the fantasizing. What else has been going on in Genoa City? What other adventures do we have to choose from?

I'm sure Connor wishes he could use a "Choose Your Own Adventure" option for his life so that he could choose a different one where he isn't coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I feel for the guy and value the importance of this storyline being told in general, but I have not been super invested or interested in the storyline with Connor. I think it is important for soap operas to tell stories that educate viewers on social matters (as they have always done), but maybe the writing just feels a bit disingenuous or, rather, forced. There are ways to make an OCD storyline interesting, but whatever they are doing with Connor is not it. Regardless, I do feel that the story they are telling does have value and helps to further improve empathy toward individuals struggling with mental health disorders.

Like Connor, one of my best friends has OCD, and I have seen firsthand how debilitating and frustrating it can be for the person going through it -- and for the people in their lives, too. In that respect, I appreciate Y&R for telling this story and for spreading awareness. The only other thing I will say about all of this is that I hope Chelsea is not going to perpetually be placed in the role of "mascot" on the show for every mental health awareness storyline going forward. Two in a row is enough, and we thank Melissa Claire Egan for her service (may she get a good, juicy storyline next).

It looks like Eileen Davidson and her character, Ashley, are up for the next mental health storyline on the show now, anyway, so Melissa and Chelsea can breathe a sigh of relief (for now). There's not much new yet to say about Ashley's DID (dissociative identity disorder) storyline, but we did learn that she has more than one "alter" (alternate identity) that is taking over as the primary identity in her mind. After an odd conversation with Billy, which left her brother feeling concerned about her, it was revealed that a new alter was present, and that is why Ashley was talking strangely with her brother. This alter is not as good at keeping up appearances with the family as the other alter we've met is. And this one clearly doesn't like Tucker, either, because she is now trying to sabotage the other alter's attempts at reconciling with Tucker. Oh, boy, this is getting messy!

It's like Ashley and her alters have brought "Choose Your Own Adventure" to life! I wonder what the real Ashley wants, given that she has two alters who want different things (and both think they know what is best for her). I'm really excited to see where this storyline goes. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that the writers don't rush through it.

That's all for this week, folks! I hope my column helped to fill some of the void you felt with Y&R only being on for three days instead of five. Don't forget to hit the Comments (here on the site any time and on social media posts throughout the week) to share your opinions, too! I'll see you there! And I'll be seeing you again next week for my regularly scheduled column, too!

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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