It's summer, and that always means that the story lines on "The Young and the Restless" heat up with the weather. There are plenty of torrid love affairs and simmering corporate feuds to keep fans interested during the hot months, not to mention breadcrumbs dropped here and there that hint at what may be coming down the line. Even so, there always seems to be one blockbuster that dominates all other developments in Genoa City between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and we wait anxiously for the juicy details to emerge. Well, bombshell season has arrived for 2011, so pay no heed to Phyllis and Nick kissing in the office. Don't worry about Jack and Victor sniping at each other yet again. Just ignore Ashley as she heads back into the lab. No, on July 8 all eyes turned to, of all places, New Mexico, and a local Friday night hoedown where a pretty little lady was arrested on murder charges. That's right, Sharon Newman is headed back to GC, and she's going to shake up the whole town.
Sharon left Genoa City in a hurry after being convicted of murdering Adam Newman's wife, Skye, in what was really just a terrible accident, followed by lots of soap-style misunderstandings. She had some help in that getaway as Adam planted a bit of chloroform in the courthouse bathroom, allowing her to overpower the guard that was watching her at sentencing. Adam was, and remains, convinced of Sharon's innocence, and had hoped to rekindle their on-again, off-again romance. After Sharon was carjacked while on the lam, the presence of her identification in her burned car led everyone to believe that she died.
In the ensuing weeks, the crew back home has tried to move on without her, and Adam has continued looking for evidence to prove her innocence. Even though it appears that he has that bit of information in hand, he and half-brother Nick Newman continue to fight over Sharon and her demise, as Nick blames Adam for her death. Meanwhile, it seems as though Sharon is falling for ranch worker Sam. That relationship was progressing swimmingly until her carjacker turned up and fingered her as the fugitive that she is.
All of which is to say that, with Sharon now known to be alive, folks from Genoa City to New Mexico will be re-evaluating their lives for the rest of this summer. Can Adam help Sharon beat her murder conviction? And, if she is acquitted, will she still face jail time for running? Will Nick give in to the emotions that he's been feeling recently and pursue Sharon once again? Will Sam follow Sharon north? Will there be any men left on the show who don't fall for Sharon as this drama plays out? These questions and many more will keep us guessing and gossiping until the leaves turn brown -- at least.
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- Nick Newman