The Young and the Recappy
While addressing Liz Lemon's high school graduating class, pretending that he was their classmate Larry Braverman, 30 Rock's Jack Donaghy admitted that he, too, feels life's disappointments and copes "with sex, and awesomeness". This is quite the versatile phrase, as it can be used to answer the question, "What happened on Friday's episode of The Young and the Restless?" Sex and awesomeness happened, dear readers, and it was massively entertaining from start to finish.
It was massively entertaining enough that I couldn't decided what points I wanted to discuss; I wanted to talk about everything (well, almost everything. I never exactly want to discuss Gloria and Jeffrey, unless the discussion is specifically about my loathing). So I decided to do just that, in the form of a recap. With no Night Shift 3to occupy us this summer, I am in a bit of recap withdrawal...and perhaps a look at a full Y&R episode will tempt some non-viewers into tuning in. Peer pressure FTW!
We open with Adam watching the weather forecast that calls for severe thunderstorms, which is soap opera writer shorthand for "Crazy shit is going to go down, you guys". Jack walks up behind him and remarks, "I didn't know cartoons were on this late".
Adam is far less amused than I am, and is probably even less so when Jack urges him to "go read some stucco or something". Hee! Jack wants to see Ashley, and Adam tells him not to, because she's asleep. Adam is obviously new at the whole supervillain thing, because he is way too obvious about the fact that he needs to isolate Ashley.
Upstairs, Ashley wakes up to the sound of someone whispering her name. She calls out "Sabrina?" and gets out of bed, going into the hallway to investigate. All of a sudden, she sees Sabrina in the purple dress, with a veil over her face. She pulls off the veil and snarls, "Victor's mine, stay away".
Ashley does horror movie actresses proud and pulls off quite a dramatic scream
which Jack hears, and he rushes upstairs to see what's wrong. Adam is angry that his evil plan is being delayed due to Jack being a nosy parker.
Jeff and Gloria discuss their fear of being broke, and Jeffrey assures her that the electric company won't shut their power off for sixty days, which is more than enough time for them to get their money back. He explains that he has a PI following Mary Jane. How is he paying a PI? Said PI calls and tells Jeffrey that Victor is out of state and Mary Jane (who they speculate is having an affair with Victor) is at the Athletic Club. They share a smile over the fact that they are going to attempt to ruin lives.
Sharon is also at the Athletic Club, wearing an adorable dress
and being glared at by Mary Jane
Sharon, obviously put off, asks if there's a problem and Mary Jane dramatically says, "there wouldn't be, if you backed off and left Jack alone". Someone's going off the rails on a crazy train!
Elsewhere Nick's disgusting hair is breaking up with Phyllis.
He starts by oh-so doucheilly telling her that he's been doing a lot of thinking about how to say what he wants to say, and Phyllis cuts through his stuttering and asks if he wants to be with Sharon, because he wouldn't be agonizing over what to say otherwise. Halfway through her sentence, she realizes that she's right and he's silent in response.
He then goes through the list of cliches, "It's not working anymore" and she gets very calm, very business like and says, "Okay, I see." Nick doesn't like that response, and asks if that's all she's going to say, and that she shouldn't clam up, but throw things, break things and cry. She tells him that she doesn't have any moe tears left, and if she didn't, she wouldn't waste them on Nick. That so reminds me of middle schools, with breakups flying fast and furious and girls saying sagely to each other, "No man is worth your tears, and the one who is won't make you cry".
Back at the Athletic Club, Mary Jane is laying into Sharon for the disaster she has made of everyone's life. Sharon is taken aback by the lunacy, especially when Mary Jane grabs her arm and tells her that she doesn't appreciate Jack. When Sharon threatens to call security, Nikki and Paul enter to break up the argument, just in time to hear Mary Jane shriek at Sharon that Jack is willing to give up his life to raise a baby that may not be his. Nikki is horrified.
Let's talk for a second about Michelle Stafford: she is fantastic, and in her scenes with Nick, she goes through about a thousand different emotions at once, trying to keep it together while her heart breaks. Awesome. All of this is long overdue karma for Phyllis, sure, but MS does a great job of still making Phyllis sympathetic (to me, at least).
Phyllis: Wait, ugly? Well, I-I think you should have thought about that before you decided to throw our marriage away.
Nick: I'm not throwing it away.
Phyllis: Oh, you're just turning it in for the one you had before?
Nick: Let's make sure we're clear about something, okay? I am not doing this so I can run off to be with Sharon....Sharon doesn't even want to be with me. She wants to be with Jack.
Phyllis psychoanalyzes that shit in about five seconds and does an accurate job describing the entire Nick/Sharon relationship, wherein he is going to alert Sharon that he's available, so that she won't feel guilty about breaking up a marriage. She compliments him on how nicely this has all worked out thus far, and sharply tells him not to deny it. He finally admits that it is about Sharon.
Jack finds Ashley in her room, in tears, and she tells him about the nightmare and says Sabrina wants to kill her. He very seriously tells her that no one wants to hurt her, while Adam watches their conversation on his laptop. He looks completely engrossed and detached all at once.
Phyllis, meanwhile, is very slowly starting to unravel.
Nick: Look, I'm-- I'm not asking for a free pass here. I know that what I was doing was wrong. I just wish that I--
Phyllis: That-- that you hadn't come to me in the first place? And that, you know, you hadn't been with me at all?
Nick: No. No. I would do anything to spare you this-- this pain you're going through, anything. But on the other hand, I-I'm so grateful for you for what we had. After Cassie died, I was just going through the motions. It took everything I had just to make it through the day. But then there you were... beautiful you. You... it was free and easy and-- and we laughed all the time. We had fun. I'd forgotten what that was like. And being with you, it's like I felt alive again.
Phyllis: Well, good. I'm glad I could do that for you.
Nick: It was more than that, and you know it.
Phyllis: Well, I don't-- I don't know it. No, I don't, because it's-- what you're describing sounds like a shrink with benefits.
She is completely baffled by his line of reasoning, as much as Nick Newman is capable of reasoning, and asks if it's just time for him to go back home now, and why is his history with Sharon more important than their history. He smarmily responds, "You wanted me to be honest. That's all I can do. You asked for it". Ugh, dick. This finally makes her angry, and she screams that Summer didn't ask for this, and starts to hit him, before talking herself into calming down, asking aloud what she's going to tell Summer. He offers to tell Summer with her, and she very politely asks for him to leave and go back to his lovely history with Sharon. She accents the lovely part with spirit fingers.
Jeffrey approaches Mary Jane at the bar and introduces himself. She glares in response. Across from them, Nikki and Sharon are talking, and Sharon fills Nikki in on the pregnancy and shrugs when Nikki repeats what Mary Jane said about Jack maybe not being the father.
Nikki sighs, "Oh, Sharon", and Sharon pissily thanks her for her concern and leaves. Her seat is taken by Gloria, who looks to have less than no time for her. This scene is a veritable feast of Melody Thomas Scott bitchface, accurately echoing my facial expressions whenever Gloria is onscreen.
Annoyance that Gloria even needs to be thought about
Disdain for Gloria existing
Gloria asks after Ashley, saying that Ash must be going "stir crazy" (hardy har har, writers) at the ranch. Nikki asks why Gloria cares about Ashley, since Ashley ruined her, and speculates that Gloria wants Nikki to go get a lock of her hair for Gloria's Ashley voodoo doll. Gloria claims that she's let bygones be bygones, and digs the knife in a little deeper, asking how Ashley and Victor are getting along. Nikki is, of course, not impressed.
Back at the ranch, Ashley is still crying, and Jack says that Olivia called him because she's concerned. Ashley gets upset and says she doesn't need him to take care of her, and he asks her to come back to the Abbott Mansion. She says she's not alone, and that Adam is there for her (SUBTLE, WRITERS), which makes him smirk when he hears it as he eavesdrops outside. She says she's not crazy, and Jack says no one thinks that. Adam walks in to ask if everything is all right as Jack starts to back Ashley's bag. He hilariously explains, "It took me a while to get up the stairs". Oh, you crazy jerk.
Nick tells Phyllis he's getting a room at the Athletic Club, and that they still have a lot to talk about. He says he's not abandoning her, and she tells him she doesn't want anything from him. There is ominous thunder and lighting, and the lights flicker.
Jeffrey ineptly buys Mary Jane a drink and tries to fish for information about her. She tells him he's not her type, and he says that's true only until she's inebriated. As soon as his back is turned, she jets. Nikki sees them talk, and asks Gloria why Jeffrey is talking up Mary Jane. She speculates that Gloria wants revenge against Ashley, and Gloria claims that's not true saying, in a southern accent for some reason, that if she's lying, may lightning strike her down on the spot. This Scarlett O'Hara ripoff is punctuated by thunder and lightning, and Nikki is all, 'nough said.
Adam argues with Jack that this isn't weather a pregnant woman should be driving around in, and Ashley agrees. Jack's phone rings and he bows out due to an emergency. Ashley asks him to drive five miles an hour and Adam bids him adieu with "Bye, Jackie Boy", which earns him a glare from Jack. Adam looks pleased as punch that his plotting is back on track. He tells Ashley that he'll be in his room if he needs anything, and says to get some sleep "...you deserve it".
He starts to walk into his room and out of nowhere comes an angry Jack Abbott, who pushes him against the door.
Jack: I don't know who the hell you think you are sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong.
Adam: What happened to your big emergency?
Jack: If anything happens to Ashley after I leave, you'll be the one with the emergency. If she jumps at a shadow, I will hold you responsible.
I want a Jack Abbott of my own to rough up untrustworthy schemers!
When Jack leaves for real, Adam dismiss Bonnie the maid, saying there's no need for her to be inconvenienced in this weather and promises to tell Victor that he authorized it. She leaves, and he smarmily tells her to drive safely, before talking to himself about how delighted he is about the weather. It's perfect for life ruining!
Mary Jane is hysterically calling Phyllis, in desperate need of a conversation, but the call goes straight to voicemail. Paul knocks on her door and wants to check in to see if she's okay after the shenanigans downstairs and asks if he can come in. She says she's tired of women like Sharon stringing men along, and he says it sounds like she's been burned before. She says he should leave, and he slowly does, telling her, "I don't know why, but there is something inside of me that is telling me that I should care". He looks genuinely puzzled, and exits. Jeffrey is lurking in the hallway this whole time and when he sees Paul leave, thinks he's hit paydirt.
Jack is at Phyllis's and hugs her as she recaps the situation. Her phone rings, and she ignores it, and she tells him that Nick left her and Summer for Sharon. He tells her that she's wrong and that Sharon is committed to raising the baby with Jack, and Phyllis leans in really close and gently tells him that's not going to happen.
She then spoils the rest of this episode:
Phyllis: The minute Sharon finds out that Nick is divorcing me, she's gonna be on his doorstep. And then two seconds after that, they're gonna be ripping each other's clothes off, and then after that, they'll be lying in the afterglow, talking about how it's kismet, and they were meant to be together, and then they'll get on Nick's white horse and ride off into the sunset together, and... we'll be alone again.
He looks completely shattered. Poor Jack!
Sharon is walking down the hallway at the Athletic Club just as Nick is walking into his room. What a wild coincidence! He tells her that he left Phyllis, and she tries to say she has too much on her mind right now, but accepts when he invites her in. Mary Jane walks by and sees the whole thing, crazily saying, "Poor Jack!"
Sharon asks how it went with Phyllis, and he tells her that he told he he's still in love with Sharon.
Nick: I won't deny my feelings for her. But she needs me to be someone that I just can't be right now, and that is someone who is completely and devoted to her and only her. But I realized there is way too much of me that is still devoted to you, even after all these years. Now I'm sorry for the way things happened. I really am. But I will not apologize for wanting to be with the love of my life.
Nick: Why don't you believe me?
Sharon: Because, um, I can't. I can't, because if I let myself believe that this is real, and that you-- that you want us back and--and that my dreams have come true, that-- I just--
I don't know. I don't mind Nick and Sharon together, but they are leaving me cold these days.
Back at Phyllis's, she and Jack are coping with sass, and wine. Jack tells Phyll that he proposed to Sharon, and she comically winces. Hee. She says she bought into a fantasy with Nick, but that she's not the fairytale sort. She asks him to name one man who believed in her, and when she reaches for more wine...they start making out.
Back at the Athletic Club, Nikki and Paul have a pointless scene talking about Victoria or whatever, and it serves only to let us know that Nikki is going to stop and check on Ashley before she goes home.
Jeffrey fills Gloria in on Paul and Mary Jane Benton. They scheme and chuckle.
The storm wakes Ashley up, and she starts to hear someone creepily calling her name. She goes into the hallway to investigate, calling Adam for help. She hears "Death is coming, there's no escape" and sees "Sabrina" walking down the hallway. She starts to walk down the stairs and "Sabrina" calls out from behind her. Oh, Ashley! Why did you not read Becca's post about pregnant women and stairs?!?!?!
End of episode montage!
Sharon and Nick have sex, and there is a close up of Nick's wedding ring
Which leads to a close up of Phyllis's wedding ring
Remember how they broke up 20 minutes ago? Thanks for reminding me of that, show!
And she and Jack have sex
While Mary Jane watches outside like a creeper and becomes unhinged
Adam, dressed as Sabrina, approaches Ashley, who reaches out and takes his veil off.
She realizes that it's Adam, and tumbles down the stairs. He tries, and fails, to grab her. She is bloody on the floor, and Adam runs downstairs, taking his wig off (this manages to be even creepier than when the wig was on)
and hears Nikki knocking at the door and calling Ashley's name. He's like, "Well, that evil plan didn't go as I had expected..."
I love that I can't wait for Monday's episode, and not in my usual, "I can't wait to see how [Insert show here] will assault logic and decency today" way.