It was pure joy for Young and the Restless viewers to get to lay eyes on Jess Walton once again when the actress returned to the show this past week. After all, she is a powerful actress who can project so much rich history with the show simply by being in the room. And that history is loved — and missed — by so many fans.
Having arrived in Genoa City back in 1987, so much of Jill Foster Abbott Atkinson’s life has been played out by Walton, with key relationships onscreen meaning so much to the viewers, especially the dysfunctional one with her son, Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson). Neither can be wounded quite as sharply by anyone else as they can by each other and it’s a gold mine for any writer to explore — as scenes this week aptly tapped into.
While her relationship with her son may be foremost in Jill’s mind and heart, she has forged plenty of other strong bonds over the years. Anytime Jess Walton gets to have a scene with Peter Bergman’s Jack Abbott is a treat for fans. There are decades of water under this bridge and a constant stream of subtext whenever they’re placed anywhere near each other in a scene.
The same can be said for scenes between Jill and the great Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). You can tell there is mad respect between these two seasoned pros and their sparring matches are akin to watching any grand slam final in tennis, as each hits the other’s ball with precision and speed.
Jill is also at her best when she’s making someone else miserable and two of her most fun targets to watch her go toe-to-toe with are Tricia Cast’s Nina Webster (who was married to her other son Phillip) and Melody Thomas Scott’s Nikki Newman (who vied for Kay’s attention).
Walton can even have great chemistry with a portrait — as she talks to the spirit of her late frenemy, Kay Chancellor. There’s no one she fought harder but also no one she respected more at the end. Walton can throw a look at that beautiful painting that says a thousand words — and viewers hear every word in their heart. Here’s hoping she sticks around.
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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