Tara Locke was all but tarred and feathered before getting busted for her illegal business dealings and orchestrating Summer Newman’s exit on The Young and the Restless. But did she really deserve such harsh treatment from her detractors? In the grand scheme of things, Tara’s really not all that different from many other characters on the show.
The Young and the Restless – Tara Goes Down
Tara’s (Elizabeth Leiner) downfall wasn’t too surprising when you think of all the adversaries she had. Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford) was her main opponent. The red-haired protective mama knew in her gut that Tara had conspired with Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope) to manipulate Summer (Hunter King) out of town but she needed to get proof to satisfy those around her, including Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow), Lauren Fenmore Baldwin (Tracey Bregman), and Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman).
When building her case about Tara being trouble, Phyllis pointed out that the shoe designer had cheated on her husband Ashland Locke (Richard Burgi) and faked the paternity of her son Harrison Locke (Kellen Enriquez). “She can’t be trusted,” Phyllis said. Nick agreed.
If anyone would know about infidelity and lying about paternity, it’d be Phyllis and Nick. As longtime The Young and the Restless fans know, Phyllis herself lied about her son’s paternity when she told Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) that he was the father of their son Daniel (Michael Graziadei). And while Nick is Summer’s father, he confessed that he had said the paternity tests confirmed that, when he actually hadn’t seen them. Wow. Sleep well, much?
Pasts Imperfect in Genoa City
Jack and Lauren aren’t exactly innocent when it comes to personal relationships. Jack entered marriages with both Patty Williams and Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) with less than honorable intentions. Lauren cheated on her husband Scott Grainger (Peter Barton) with Brad Carlton (Don Diamont), which set her up to be blackmailed by her nemesis Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown).
Other characters on The Young and the Restless commit all kinds of illegal and immoral acts in the boardroom and in the bedroom only to face little to no repercussions. Chelsea Lawson (Melissa Claire Egan) stole from her own company (and skipped town with the money) just as Tara did, but did she face any legal consequences?
Maybe Tara annoyed Phyllis because she reminded her of herself. Yes, Tara presented Summer with an option – leave town and break things off with Kyle, or else she’d take Harrison away from him. Okay, that’s pretty low. But Summer agreed! There was no gun put to Summer’s head; in fact, she received her dream job as part of the deal!
Phyllis argued to Nick that Summer may have felt she had no choice. Nick countered that their daughter has always been a fighter – and that’s true! Why wouldn’t Summer simply inform Kyle what Tara was up to? They could have married, taken her to court, and rolled the dice with a judge who would likely agree that Kyle should spend time with Harrison.
The Young and the Restless Morality Police
Phyllis, Lauren, Kyle, and Jack acted with indignation that Tara would be so duplicitous when she was busted. Maybe the late Mary Williams (Carolyn Conwell) or her daughter-in-law Christine Williams (Lauralee Bell) could have lorded over Tara with moral superiority but not these four. Phyllis’s crimes include the attempted murder of Paul (Doug Davidson) and Christine as well as blackmailing Brad Carlton (Don Diamont). She spent jail time over the latter.
After witnessing Victor suffer a medical emergency during an argument, Jack simply walked out of the room, kicking Victor’s hand on the floor on his way out the door (nice touch). He was willing to let the mustached mogul go to that great boardroom in the sky.
Kyle’s no saint when it comes to relationships either. He vacillated back and forth between Summer and Lola (Sasha Calle), offering to marry the former so she’d give up one of her kidneys to the latter.
After realizing they weren’t fully compatible (we think that’s the reason they broke up?), Kyle and Lola split so he could return to Summer. Was Summer’s heart any more broken than Sasha’s was? And why didn’t Kyle ever share news of his adulterous affair with Tara with either Sasha or Summer in the first place?
After Tara was hauled away in handcuffs, Kyle’s parental duties to Harrison increased instantly and enormously. What was his first move? Ask his father to watch his son so that he could pop over to Italy and reunite with Summer. Nothing was preventing Kyle from doing that before. Despite her legal and moral digressions, Tara is still the mother of Kyle’s son. The Abbotts often circle the wagons to protect their own. They didn’t feel that Tara deserved the same protection, understanding, or forgiveness that they afford others.
Tara’s not innocent, but at the end of the day, she got the shaft and the person who’s going to suffer the most is her son. Soaps can always use a motivated villainess. Perhaps after her legal issues are resolved, Tara will return to Genoa City to seek her revenge?
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