Y&R’s Ghost Story Is More Than Meets the Eye

Daniel Goddard on Y&R (CBS)

Daniel Goddard on Y&R (CBS)

Seeing Dead People

I was never a big fan of Cane and Lily AKA Lane on “The Young & the Restless.” I just did not buy that, after having about fifteen different pasts, complicated Cane (Daniel Goddard) would find domestic bliss with the much younger Lily (Christel Khalil). They got married too quickly for my taste, before I had a chance to emotionally invest in their relationship. Lily’s ovarian cancer and subsequent miracle pregnancy seemed like an attempt to give a dull couple something to do. It was not until Cane’s past, version 37,6984: Cane is on the run from his big, bad Australian mafia family, that I finally became interested in their story. I was disappointed when he seemed to be really, definitively dead – seen lying on a slab in the morgue. His death sparked a major fan uproar, culminating in a group of Lane fans paying a plane to fly a pro-Cane banner over the studio where Y&R tapes. Now, it seems clear that Cane’s death – or at least Goddard’s departure — was never intended to be permanent. Was a lookalike on the slab? Is this Cane’s long lost twin who is gaslighting Lily? Was Cane on some coma inducing drug? Does the Genoa City morgue not bother to perform autopsies on murder victims? That may or may not ever be explained. All we know, so far, is that Cane is skulking around his grave site, doing his best to convince Lily he is a ghost. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that so far I am really enjoying this storyline.  Maybe because it one of the few unabashedly romantic plots on daytime right now, or maybe I have just accepted that resistance is futile, but I have bought a ticket on the Lane train.

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So far, Cane has sent her flowers , texted her, and appeared at his grave site to exchange sappy dialogue with her about how their love transcends time and space. Fortunately, it was clear from the moment that Lily touched Cane and found him to be three-dimensional that he was really alive. Somehow, in fiction, it is totally believable that the spirit of a dead person can walk, talk, and have a large wardrobe. But ghosts cannot be corporeal. Soaps did not create the fictional ghost rules, but they have to stick with them, particularly since Y&R has Ghost John Abbott popping in to visit his entire family a few times a year, and all he does is serve as the Abbotts collective Jiminy Cricket. I had a brief fear that Y&R was actually going to claim that Lily loved Cane so much that his death did not take, a la “One Life to Live’s” Michael and Marcie. That sort of supernatural shenanigans would have no place on Y&R. (I even have issues with Ghost John.) Friday, Y&R made it explicit that Cane is alive and well when he was seen outside of Lily’s presence making a mysterious phone call.

Only a character as guileless as Lily would believe that Cane might be some sort of supernatural being despite knowing numerous people who were presumed dead but turned out to be just fine. I bet Lily is a “Twilight” mom who dabbles in fan fiction. If he had tried that transcendent love stuff on his ex Chloe, the mystery would have been solved when she tasered him and brought him home to interrogate him in front of witnesses. Lily is such a sap. I also appreciate that Not Dead Cane is every bit as duplicitous as he was before he was shot. Lily broke up with him shortly before his death because she was fed up with all of his lies. Yet, here he is letting her think that she is going crazy or that she is living “Ghost” minus the pottery and Whoopi Goldberg rather than just saying, “I had to fake my own death to protect you and our children. By the way, Laura Spencer is my mother.” I hope that once she realizes what is going on, Lily lets him have it for once again being a lying liar who lies. That may be expecting too much of Lily, but she can be a sweet ingénue and have a backbone.

I am looking forward to finding out exactly what Cane is up to, and how his big bad mother played by Genie Francis, who Entertainment Weekly reveals is named Genevieve Atkinson, fits into the scheme.  I would never have thought that I would be more intrigued by Lily and Cane than the Abbotts and the Newmans, but occasionally a good storyline can trump beloved characters.

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

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