It’s Victor Newman’s business to know everything that’s happening in Genoa City. Yet there’s no escaping the feeling that The Young and the Restless (Y&R) icon has lost a step or two.
The Ashland Locke saga has not been kind to Victor. Sure, he’s uttered a lot of threats, but the Black Knight has been all talk, no action. And if Victor was ineffective while Ashland was alive, he’s proving to be a major liability now that Locke has perished. So, has the Mustache lost his mojo?
Throughout Ashland’s storyline, Victor bragged about being ten steps ahead of his opponent. He claimed to know that Ashland was bad news from day one. Yet he not only approved of Locke marrying his daughter, Victoria, but also gifted them a Tuscan villa as a wedding present.
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When Billy was trying to protect Victoria by publishing the truth about Ashland’s shady past, where was Victor? In a shadowy pact with Adam, breaking into ChanceComm’s servers to destroy Billy’s reputation and protect Ashland.
Even when Victor had learned that Ashland had lied about his terminal cancer diagnosis, he stood by and watched his scheming son-in-law sign a contract to be co-CEO of the business he’d spent a lifetime building. Does any of this scan with the family man and business titan viewers know and love?
Y&R writers haven’t done Victor any favors with this storyline, but they still made efforts to give him snappy, tough-guy dialogue – that is, until now. Lately, it seems like Victor’s ineptitude is becoming the storyline, rather than an incidental byproduct of other plot points.
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The attempted cover-up of Ashland’s passing made a certain degree of sense, especially since Victor didn’t know that his son and daughter had already called Chance. The Mustache thought he could spare Nick (and all of Newman Enterprises) a lot of legal trouble and media scrutiny.
But now that Chance is highly suspicious, and Nikki, Nick and Vicky are complicit in his cover-up, it’s obvious that Victor mismanaged the situation. Worse yet, he’s ignoring Nick’s pleas to come clean about moving Ashland’s body, not because he has a better plan in mind but because he’s used to being right.
When Nick made the valid point that Newman Media could lose everything if they give up their journalistic integrity over the Locke investigation, Victor said he didn’t care. When Nick said they could all go to prison if Victor doesn’t change his tune, his dad walked out of the room.
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Not only is Victor’s command over his family waning, he’s failing to keep his security team in check. His employees lost Vicky on the night she almost perished in a car crash, then later failed to intervene during Ashland’s fatal meltdown.
And now that Chance has video footage of a man who smokes getting into Ashland’s vehicle, plus DNA evidence on the cigarette he was smoking, there’s no denying that Newman’s security squad really botched the job.
Is Victor’s waning influence a conscious decision on the part of Y&R? Could this be a ‘changing of the guard’ moment, in which Nick begins to fill his father’s shoes? After all, Nick is making a lot of sense, while Victor isn’t.
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Eric Braeden has always been a towering figure on the CBS soap; it’s why his initial, three-month contract blossomed into a forty-year career playing Victor Newman. As Braeden’s fan following grew, the Mustache’s reach gradually extended beyond the business world, meddling in other peoples’ lives and obstructing justice without repercussions.
New viewers could be mistaken for thinking that the character is a mob boss, but longtime viewers will recognize that something has shifted. When even Noah — who had no part in Ashland’s storyline — can see through his grandfather’s deception, the jig is clearly up.
The Newmans always win, and head writer Josh Griffith sure likes it that way. But for many Y&R viewers, it’s a predictable and boring outcome. After all of the posturing and poor decision-making, maybe it’s time for Victor to lose.
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