Deep Soap: Is ‘Y&R’s Ronan Nina’s Long Lost Son?

Jeff Branson (John Shearer/Getty Images)

Jeff Branson (John Shearer/Getty Images)

Please Let There Be An Awesome Pay-off To This Storyline

Jeff Branson recently debuted as Detective Ronan Malloy on ‘The Young & The Restless.’  All we know so far is that he formerly worked for the Los Angeles Police Department, and seems to have some connection to the people who set up Chance (John Driscoll) for drugs.  Headwriter Maria Bell is not spilling any details about his story, saying only, “Jeff will be playing in what I believe will be a real breakout role for him over the summer. It’s a small-term story arc. I want to keep the story specifics under wraps because [it’s a doozy].”  Branson instantly made an impression.  He is sexy, mysterious and strong, and completely different from his Emmy Award winning role as Shane on ‘Guiding Light‘ or psycho Jonathan on ‘All My Children.’  I hope that he will end up sticking around for a long time.

I have absolutely no idea what the writers have planned, but I know what I would like to see.  Ronan is perfectly set up to be the character I have been waiting most of my life to meet: Nina’s (Tricia Cast) long lost son, who was stolen from her as a teenager by the evil baby seller Rose DeVille (the late Darlene Conley).  Consider the evidence: Ronan has been thrown into an uncomfortable partnerships with Chance, proclaiming himself the bad cop to Chance’s good cop.  That organically sets the stage for brotherly conflict when the truth comes out.  Ronan said that he grew up in Genoa City and returned because his mother is having health problems.  That could set the stage for a deathbed confession that Ronan was adopted.  Presumably, since Rose worked in Genoa City, the people who bought babies from her lived near by.  Nina, who has also been living in Genoa City, has just returned to Genoa City and encountered Ronan.  She told him, “My son’s put some roots down here, so I wanted to be near him.” Foreshadowing?

Later, Ronan chastised Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrikson) for being rude to Nina saying, “Well, if you’re gonna be apologizing to someone, it should probably be to your future mother-in-law, not to me.”  So he seems to feel a natural empathy for this woman that he has just met.

We also know that Nina’s best friend Christine (Lauralee Bell) is returning to Y&R for a limited run beginning July 15th.  According to Entertainment Weekly “Christine will reunite with Paul and Nina — and harbor some secrets that will impact them and their children.”   As I wrote when I learned of Bell’s return, that could mean she has located Nina’s child.

This is pure speculation.  If I am right I will feel a little bad for putting it out there on the Internet, since I am not a huge fan of  spoilers. If I am wrong, well, it certainly will not be the first time. Though I have sold myself so thoroughly on this idea that if Ronan turns out to have nothing to do with Nina, I will be irrationally disappointed.

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Can We Stick A Fork In Clink-Boom Now?

Once upon a time, back in the 1990s when we all had jobs and the Internet was shiny and new, ‘General Hospital‘ created one of the most memorable sequences in daytime history.  As Brenda (Vanessa Marcil) clinked champagne glasses with her new husband Jax (Ingo Rademacher), Sonny (Maurice Benard) watched helplessly as his wife of convenience, Lily (Lily Melgar) died in a car bomb explosion meant for him. It was audacious storytelling that was the culmination of months of story.  It was so iconic that the show has ripped it off — er paid homage to it again and again and again, becoming less powerful each time.  The “something goes terribly, ironically wrong as something happy involving interconnected characters” montage has become a predictable GH trope, the inspiration for everything from Claudia (Sarah Brown) hiring a hit man who accidentally shot Michael (Chad Duell) to Kate (Megan Ward) taking a bullet meant for Sonny.  It was just used quite effectively a few months ago when Sonny shot Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) as Jax and Carly (Laura Wright) celebrated Jocelyn’s christening.  So when Sonny made the idiotic decision to take Johnny (Brandon Barash) out by car bomb, even though people took the trouble to remind him of Lily’s tragic death, even though he knew that his daughter Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) and the mother of his child Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) both spend a lot of time with Johnny and could end up caught in the crossfire, even though a car bomb is far more likely to kill an innocent bystander then, say, shooting an intended victim at point blank range, it was clear what was going to happen. Of course Kristina was injured.  The writers and director even seemed to acknowledge how cliched the scenario had become.  The moment did not merit a montage.  It wasn’t even honored with the cliffhanger spot in the episode, pushed aside for, of all things, Jason and Dante talking to Franco’s mother.

I hope this is an acknowledgment that Clink-Boom is played out.  It happened over a decade ago.  GH needs to stop referencing its past and create something new.  The show is capable of it.  The next time someone gets injured due to mob shenanigans — because I am resigned to the fact that they will always be a part of the GH landscape — I want it to bear no resemblance to clink-boom. I want to see someone get poisoned or shot by a crossbow with absolutely no foreshadowing or juxtaposition in the middle of an episode or eaten by a bear.  Give me something, anything new.  Going back to the same well again and again seems like giving up and admitting that the show will never be as good as it was back in the 1990s.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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