By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
Soap plot twists are usually small and un-undoable. This week, The Young and the Restless let lose a monster that is neither.
As you know, most of the show over the last couple of months has revolved around the fact that Nick (Joshua Morrow) found out from a paternity test that he is not Summer’s biological father. He thought Jack was. This week, Sharon (Sharon Case) disclosed to her dead daughter Cassie that she changed the tests and that Nick is Summer’s father after all.
That sneaky deed might seem out of character for Sharon, who on the surface is sweet and good. But underneath she is insecure and lonely. She longs for the life she used to have with first love and husband Nick, before Cassie died and he deserted her for Phyllis. She has also proven to be unstable in the past, having set fire to the Newman ranch last year.
The show had already been terribly shaken up when Nick revealed he is not Summer’s father. This revelation elicited some great acting, particularly from Peter Bergman, who played instant father Jack, and Michelle Stafford, who plays Summer’s mother, Phyllis. Hunter Hailey King as Summer had many excellent tear-drenched scenes when she found out about her paternity, and those with Bergman’s Jack were particularly moving.
It also broke up Summer’s romance with sudden brother Kyle, who is Jack’s son. Harley Sawyer, whose acting has not impressed in the past, rose to the occasion in these melodramatic circumstances. His scenes with the stressed-out Summer were surprisingly good.
And of course, these plot twists will lead to even bigger plot twists. On Friday, we saw Phyllis overhearing Sharon’s confession to Cassie about switching paternity tests. That incident promises to lead to violence and we know Stafford is leaving the show. The departure of the dynamic veteran Emmy-winning Stafford will leave a big hole to fill. But the show’s imaginative writers, who invented all these unexpected paternity switches, have demonstrated that they are up to the challenge.
In the beleaguered world of soap opera these days, it’s nice to have a little hope.