Yesterday, The Young and the Restless aired its second part of Katherine Chancellor’s memorial. For many long time viewers, and those who know how the cast of the number-one soap was deeply affected by the loss of their endearing legacy cast member, Jeanne Cooper, the episode had a lot of pressure on it to be highly emotional and impactful to its loyal audience and to give the iconic Cooper and her Grand Dame of Genoa City Mrs. C., a proper send-off.
There were some stunning moments on Wednesday’s episode. Chief among them the flawless performance by Jess Walton (Jill) and the monologue she gave as she recalled the entire history and span of the relationship between Katherine and Jill to the attendees at the memorial. Yes, for many fans, they called out they had seen the same clips one too many times. But for others, seeing this incredible super couple at work throughout the years, was a glorious remainder of their incredible chemistry. Did your heart not break in the scene where Katherine is carried out of the rumble in the “Out of the Ashes” storyline, where she tells Jill she loves her? To Jess Walton, you did Jeanne proud. Throughout the entire span of the two episodes, it was Walton who was it’s lifeline, who we shared the laughter, grief and sorrow over losing one of the most beloved characters of all-time in television, period.
As Corbin Bernsen (Jeanne Cooper’s real life son) speaks as Father Todd and reads, “My blood lives on through my children, how I have watched them grow up with pride..”, The Young and the Restless “Nadia’s theme” is played as the action shifts to Bernsen putting down Katherine’s urn filled with her ashes, and then the montage of each of the cast members as their character at the memorial saying one line, or giving just a emotional look, while laying to rest a rose by Katherine. Quite the honor for a character on a soap.
Another touching performance was turned in by Doug Davidson as Paul Williams, who finally received his letter from Katherine to marry the one whom he loves. But while those have complained that the impromptu marriage of Christine (Lauralee Bell) and Paul should never have happened and took away focus from the memorial, still others feel and came to understand that in this episode, Y&R was attempting to tell the story of a death and a birth, if you will. What made this particularly emotional is knowing the back-story of how close Doug Davidson and Lauralee Bell were to Jeanne Cooper. And every time you watched Davidson, whether it be at the memorial, or at the impromptu marriage proposal and subsequent “quickie” wedding, he was incredibly moved, as I am sure, by the spirit of his dear friend Jeanne Cooper throughout the taping.
As for the ending, what can we say? How delicious was it to see enemies, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) and Jill share their love for Katherine, get along and help each other in their time of sorrow? And one final heart-tugging moment … they both see the ghost of Katherine watching them! It is a dramatic moment which concludes with Katherine’s plaque with her birth date and her death.
So we ask you, was it a five hankie-filled episode for you? Were you happy with the send-off that Y&R gave to the character of Katherine Chancellor? Did you watch it again to perhaps understand the meaning behind it? Or, are you amongst the fans who feel this just did not cut it? For us, knowing Jeanne Cooper and loving the character of Katherine Chancellor, it was hard not to grieve … and we did have to reach for the hankies several times over! Share your thoughts below!