All good soap matriarchs get the “surprise offspring” storyline eventually, and “The Young and the Restless” writers made sure Nikki Newman was no exception.
In an effort to get closer to her long-lost son, Dylan, an Afghanistan War vet, Nikki is hosting a ceremony in Genoa City to honor war veterans for two episodes starting on — when else? — Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Of course, news that Nikki has a secret child hardly came as a shock to fans of daytime drama. The inevitable revelation, however, that he’s Nikki’s son, is going to simply stun Dylan.
“He doesn’t even know he’s adopted,” Steve Burton, the actor who plays Dylan, told TODAY.
As for how things between Nikki and Dylan play out, Burton says that his character’s a little confused as to why Nikki’s being so nice to him, especially since her other son, Nicholas, got his heart broken by Avery, Dylan’s ex-lover. But Dylan’s not picking up on any ulterior motives.
“He doesn’t understand,” Burton said. “But he sees that Nikki’s reaching out to him.”
At first, Dylan’s not even sure he wants to attend Nikki’s ceremony because his war memories are just too painful. His buddy, Stitch, a fellow war vet and Nikki’s occasional doctor, works at getting Dylan to change his mind.
“Sean Carrigan, who plays Stitch, and I have a really nice scene that takes place in the park in which he tells Dylan that he needs to go,” Burton said.
CBS added authenticity to the ceremony scenes by respectfully inviting 12 veterans from the Army, Navy and Marines and who served in World War II, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Iraq to participate in them. Former Marine-turned-actor Tony Nevada, who was among the invited military members, plays Gene on the top-rated sudser.
“That dude is awesome,” Burton raved. “No one really knows, but Tony is a rock star. He’s done so much for this country and he’ll never, ever tell you one word about it. To me, that’s a hero.”
Dylan feels good after Nikki embraces him following the ceremony, but how he’ll react to learning he’s a member of the Newman clan is something totally different.
“I don’t think Dylan wants to be around that family,” Burton said. “We’ll see what happens when the bomb drops!”
The actor doesn’t think that Dylan will harbor any hostility towards his adoptive folks, both of whom are deceased. “In talking to people who’ve been adopted I’ve learned that they’re never mad at the parents who adopted them,” Burtons says. “They were the ones who were there for you.”
What Dylan will have to process is that his birth mother is battling multiple sclerosis and his biological dad was a cult leader who raped his mom.
“Finding out his dad was some kind of freak will definitely affect Dylan,” Burton said.
And as far as Burton is concerned, it doesn’t seem likely that Dylan will try to grab some of those Newman millions once he learns the truth.
“He’d probably shy away from the money,” Burton said. “Dylan doesn’t seem like a guy who’d want a lot of help or handouts. That’s more a dynamic in the Nick/Adam relationship.”
As for when Dylan will come to understand his new Newman reality: stay tuned. A dinner party in the not-so-distant future promises a big reveal.