The three faces of Ashley Abbott seen on Young and the Restless

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Ashley Abott is struggling to survive on The Young and the Restless. A fascinating arc continues to unfold as three different faces of Ashley are seen in Genoa City, Wisconsin.

A teaser of what Ashley is enduring was offered months ago when viewers of the soap saw classic episodes that included Ashley believing her baby was still alive. Those scenes, which occurred decades ago, involved her being in a car accident while pregnant with Brad Carlton's child.

A mental breakdown caused her to believe that their child, Robert, was inside the empty blankets she carried into the original Newman Ranch while a party was taking place. Ashley's minor car accident this February, combined with the failed honeymoon in Paris with Tucker and other Abbott family drama, led to Ashley's latest mental break.

From the look of what's unfolded on-screen, the Young and the Restless writers seem to be referencing two 20th century, award-winning titles to pull for Ashley's story.

Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve
Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve / John Springer Collection/GettyImages

Chris Costner Sizemore's real-life story became an Oscar-winning film

Entertainment fans know that Joanne Woodward delivered an indelible performance in the 1957 film The Three Faces of Eve. Her sensational Oscar turn as a woman with multiple personalities was based on Chris Costner Sizemore's real-life story, as documented in a book written by the Georgia psychiatrists who treated her.

Woodward later played Dr. Cornelia Wilbur in the 1976 multiple Emmy-winning television mini-series Sybil, based on the real-life story of Shirley Ardell Mason. Woodward's character treated Sybil, who had what was then termed a dissociative identity disorder. That character was played by Sally Field, who won the Emmy for her lead role.

Daytime fans were recently introduced to Ashley's previously referenced psychiatrist friend from France, Dr. Alan Laurent, played by Christopher Cousins. This actor's long career began on the soaps in 1986 when he played Greg Houston on Another World. And now, with this turn on Y&R he is building to a significant role in Ashley's storyline.

Christopher Cousins
The Cast and Executive Producers from Lifetime's shows' "Mary Kills People" and "UnREAL" Celebrate / Michael Kovac/GettyImages

Devious, Sassy and Teenage Ashley Abbott all in one

In an earlier part of her storyline, Ashley and Tucker remarried at the Chancellor estate, where Devon and Abby welcomed their parent's nuptials. However, all good intentions collapsed when the second-time newlyweds had what was a resolvable argument.

Ashley's overreaction to Tucker was part of her cascading psychological disintegration. Trevor St. John's character was the first to recognize that she was not herself.

Eerie sound effects represented mixed messages in Ashley's mind, revealing three distinct personalities. Those three faces of Ashley were devious and dressed in black, sassy in alluring white, and a sweet teenage version who projected a high schooler's look and demeanor.

One has to wonder if Ashley's currently unstable nature will lead to her striking Tucker, Audra, or even Alan. The Ashley edition, who wanted to eliminate Tucker, could attempt to do so at any time. Alternatively, she could target Audra, believing her permanent absence would result in a Tucker reunion. Devious or Sassy Ashley might see Alan as a threat to their existence, with Teenage Ashley being too weak to stop either segment from exacting reckless or potentially irreversible outcomes.

Real life, movies and television are rich resource material

One of the magnificent aspects of this genre we all love includes its long-form nature. Rather than a 91 minute film or nearly four hour mini-series, Ashley's personality splits are explored throughout many episodes. While the total time Davidson appears in her scenes and the scenes of connected characters would need to be calculated to compare them to the film or mini-series, this soap opera's viewers can digest this topic over many months.

Davidson has earned two Daytime Emmy awards in her career. She received her first in 2014 for portraying multiple characters, including Kristen DiMera on Days of our Lives. Davidson earned her second Emmy in 2018 for her work as Ashley on The Young and the Restless. Clearly, the current storyline should become worthy of an Emmy nomination by next year.

It seems cliché to offer the term spoiler alert regarding the endings to a 1957 film or 1976 television mini-series. Nevertheless, due soapy diligence is presented in the last sentence.

The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil include using hypnosis to help Eve and Sybil, respectively. The doctor's efforts allow the affected characters to understand that their personality splits resulted in a way of dealing with repressed trauma.

Davidson's character seems highly likely to recognize and then deal with her dissociative disorder. Unless St. John or Zuleyka Silver leaves the cast, their characters are probably not in mortal peril but could be injured.

Cousins' character appears to have been created to facilitate Ashley's awakening and favorable resolution. Whether he becomes her next romantic pairing is plausible after Ashley's three faces return to the one her family, friends, and many fans have known and loved since her debut more than four decades ago.


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