A part of us all had to know that even in soaps, people don't have identical lookalikes. Which is why it wasn't completely surprising The Young and the Restless finally went down the road of why Mariah (Camryn Grimes) looks so much like Cassie, Nick and Sharon's late daughter.
We all grabbed our barf bags when we saw Mariah was setting her sights on seducing Nick (Joshua Morrow), the man who gave her a job, as well as betraying Sharon (Sharon Case), the woman who gave up so much to accommodate her (well, mostly because she looked like her daughter.) Even Grimes herself was hoping it wouldn't go too far, stating in an interview: "Other than Ian, Mariah hasn't really had a father figure, and Nick is a good guy, so it makes sense. I just hope she starts to realize that it's not actually the right avenue to explore! I really don't think Nick would be responsive to someone who looks like his dead daughter!" But Ian Ward's (Ray Wise) strange connection to Mariah was making us all scratch our heads, especially when Nick contacted Mariah's mother Helen, who comes to town and denies his suspicions only to be overheard telling Ian Nick, nor Mariah herself, know who Mariah truly is.
As I always say, surprise returns make everything better. This is why is it was so amazing when Jennifer Gareis made a surprise return to the show as Grace Turner, her first appearance since 2004. No, she didn't sleep with Nick again (not for a lack of trying) or seduce his son Noah (as I'd been hoping), but Nick did fly her in on the Newman jet to inquire what she remembers about the day in 1991 when Sharon, a scared 16-year-old, gave birth to Cassie and gave her up for adoption. Grace remembers a nurse refusing to let her or Sharon's mother Doris into the delivery room, the nurse in question being named... You guessed it. Helen.
Of course, Nick isn't giving up now! So now he decides to go to Madison, Wisconsin, Sharon's hometown, to find out more about this decade-old mystery that was so simply covered up. He finds the very doctor who delivered Cassie, who is trying very hard to lie and hide the truth. Because he's Nick Newman, of course he gets the truth out of him: Sharon had TWINS! Mariah looks so much like Cassie because they both came from the same egg. Meanwhile, back at home, Sharon finds Mariah ready to seduce Nick and very angrily throws the woman out of her house. Nick comes home to inform Sharon of the devastating news; she was so drugged and taken advantage of that she didn't even know she gave birth to 2 babies. Helen ended up stealing one of the babies, Mariah, and raising her in Ian's cult.
The fact that this entire storyline has been consistent with history, unlike a certain other storyline, is quite amazing. The fact that they brought Jennifer Gareis back in the flesh, even for one short episode, is amazing. The fact that Nick and Sharon recall everything that they went through trying to obtain custody of Cassie, including the mention of her adoptive deadbeat mom Alice (Tamara Clatterbuck), is amazing. It's also great that they decided to go down this route, because the circumstances in which Sharon gave birth to Cassie was years before Sharon even debuted on the show. Viewers only knew what Sharon has chosen to reveal over the years. Now all we need is Sharon to tell Mariah the story of who her father was, but perhaps we'll save the Frank Barritt/Cameron Kiresten story for another day.
The truth isn't yet revealed to everyone, but I'm sure like the buildup to it, it will be amazing. It will also be amazing having Camryn Grimes back, also in the flesh, as a Newman family member. I must give koodos to the writers for bringing Grimes back long term even after Cassie's tragic death in 2005. Catch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS.