The character of Victor Newman is synonymous with The Young and the Restless. He is known for his strength and vulnerability, but viewers saw more of the former than the latter last week. For his powerful performances as a patriarch and businessman who takes no bull and is usually two steps ahead of his rivals, Soap Hub bestows Performer of the Week honors for YR on Eric Braeden, who has played Victor Newman for over 40 years.
Eric Braeden — Performer of the Week
Recently, YR had Victor interact with many characters including Jack (Peter Bergman), Ashland Locke (Richard Burgi), Rey (Jordi Vilasuso), Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan), Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson), Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan), and Michael Baldwin (Christian Le Blanc).
He also had interaction with family members — daughter Victoria (Amelia Heinle), son Adam (Mark Grossman), ex-daughter-in-law Sharon (Sharon Case), and wife Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott).
In each scene, Victor remained in the power position, dismissing his foes with looks and words. He let people know who’s in charge. Each chair Victor sat in was his throne.
Whether or not Victor looks at the person he’s talking to is a conscious choice on Braeden’s part – if he wants to diminish people, he won’t even meet their gaze. He lets people know if they’ve made him angry or, worse yet, if they’ve wasted his time.
In separate meetings with each, Victor dismissed Amanda, who tried to get information on her late father; next, he scoffed at Ashland when he tried to use Adam being on the lam to his advantage. “Who the hell do you think you’re dealing with?” Victor rhetorically asked.
Next, Victor’s attorney Michael (biased in this case) tried to downplay Victor’s theory that Chloe and Chelsea were out to frame Adam. Victor wagged his finger at the barrister informing him that if he and Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) and “this Rey fellow” (ouch!) don’t prove Adam’s innocence then Victor will!
It’s not always wise for people to think they’re one up on Victor. Victoria re-learned that lesson when she visited her dad, boasting that she’d secured Locke’s media company Cyaxares for Newman Enterprises, a deal that was going to be Victor and Adam’s.
“You’re playing with the big boys now,” Victor informed his offspring as he got in her face (as much as social-distancing protocols allow these days!). “You’re my daughter, but beware – when you cross me in business, things get dangerous.”
When Jack tried to reach out to Victor about Adam, the dark knight dismissed his longtime rival, telling Jack that he wasn’t close to his son. Victor got the last word in when he told the bartender to put his and Jack’s drinks on Victor’s tab as he left Society.
Victor chuckled a bit when a “recovering” Chelsea said she’d regained her ability to talk. Wasting no time, he let Chelsea know he was on to her and suggested she confess to the attempt on Rey’s life.
Chelsea lied that she was innocent. Victor smirked that in the past he tolerated Chelsea, but he always saw her for what she is – a grifter. “Don’t you forget…I warned you,” Victor threatened.
Scenes of Victor being on a roll and in control continued when Rey came to the ranch, wanting to search the property for Adam. Victor laughed at the detective, knowing that he didn’t have a warrant. Rey managed to get one in on Victor by informing him that it was Victoria who fed him the lead on Adam being at the ranch.
To paraphrase Whoopi Goldberg’s character (Oda Mae Brown) in Ghost: “Victoria, you in danger, girl.”
Naturally, Victor summoned his daughter to the ranch, informing her, “You betrayed me, pure and simple.” Father and daughter argued back and forth until Nikki interrupted. “This is between your daughter and me,” Victor informed Nikki, furious that she had betrayed the family.
Kudos to Eric Braeden for playing Victor to the hilt and reminding viewers of Victor’s unparalleled gravitas. The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.