The Young and the Restless spoilers: Kyle and Summer’s custody battle brings back Tara Locke?

Elizabeth Leiner as Tara Locke on the phone in The Young and the Restless
Elizabeth Leiner, The Young and the Restless (Image credit: CBS)

Fans of The Young and the Restless may want to prepare themselves for a hot and contentious summer. Between the ongoing battle at Chancellor-Winters, the reignited feud between Victor (Eric Braeden) and Jack (Peter Bergman) and the likelihood that Billy (Jason Thompson) is going to blow his top when he finds out that Adam (Mark Grossman) and Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) slept together, Genoa City is a powder keg ready to explode. 

Adding to all the drama are Kyle (Michael Mealor) and Summer (Allison Lanier). The exes haven’t been on the same page for quite some time as it pertains to Harrison (Redding Munsell), and the tension between them is only getting worse. First, Kyle pretty much forced Summer into accepting Claire (Hayley Erin) as Harrison’s nanny. Summer may enjoy seeing how much joy her cousin brings Harrison, but if she had her way, Claire would be nowhere near the young boy. 

Then, on The Young and the Restless episode from July 1, Summer warned Kyle to keep Audra (Zuleyka Silver) away from Harrison and told him he’s foolish to get into business with Audra at Glissade. Kyle of course took exception, which eventually led to Summer suggesting they revisit their custody arrangement. Her not-so veiled threat took him off-guard. 

Allison Lanier and Michael Mealor as Summer and Kyle in a tense moment in The Young and the Restless

Allison Lanier and Michael Mealor, The Young and the Restless (Image credit: CBS)

Fast forward to the episode airing on July 5, and Summer talks about her co-parenting woes with Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and Nick (Joshua Morrow). While they love and support their daughter, both Phyllis and Nick caution her about getting lawyers involved. Nick even goes so far as to point out that Kyle is Harrison’s biological father and a good one, so courts would not likely be willing to disrupt that father/son relationship. Summer agrees with her parents that going to court is a bad idea, but she ultimately becomes frustrated with them after they hint that something besides her concern for Harrison has her considering such drastic measures. 

Later in the episode, Summer goes to the Abbott Mansion and Diane (Susan Walters) asks to chat. Summer is completely shocked to learn that Kyle informed his parents that he and Harrison are moving. Kyle didn’t run that information by her, and judging by the following preview clip, when he confirms what Diane shared, it won’t go over well. With all that being said, it looks like a custody war is heading to Genoa City, which could usher in the return of Tara Locke (Elizabeth Leiner). 

We found it rather interesting that Nick brought up the fact that Kyle is Harrison’s biological father. As viewers know, Tara is Harrison’s biological mother, not Summer. And while Summer stepped into the maternal role in Harrison’s life, from our recollection, Tara never relinquished her rights as a mother, and Summer never officially adopted the young boy. So Summer trying to legally establish a custody arrangement for Harrison may prove rather difficult. 

Now if Tara does return to Genoa City, we can oddly imagine Summer and the Newman connections being responsible. We can picture Summer attempting to strike a deal with Tara, offering her freedom in exchange for parental rights. Then once Tara is released from prison, she promises not to attempt to contact Harrison. However, given Tara is quite the scam artist, it’s possible that she would not just go away, but rather try to reconnect with Harrison, much to the dismay of Summer and Kyle. 

Redding Munsell as Harrison Abbott and Hayley Erin as Claire Grace in Harrison's room in The Young and the Restless

Redding Munsell and Hayley Erin, The Young and the Restless (Image credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS)

If Summer isn’t responsible for bringing Tara back into the fold, it could be Kyle. Say Summer somehow gets an edge in a custody battle, he could turn to Tara as a last resort and ask her to stand firm on her parental rights as the biological mother. He too could promise her freedom and even limited visitation to Harrison, if she helps him battle Summer. However, we again think an alliance with Tara spells disaster. 

We’d be remiss if we didn’t raise the possibility that neither Summer nor Kyle turn to Tara for help, but instead, their custody issues bring Tara back to town on their own. It’s the soap world, so it’s rare to see a person locked away in prison forever. So is it just time for Tara to be paroled? 

Also, with Summer mentioning she’s afraid of what Tucker (Trevor St. John) may do to Kyle in retaliation for Glissade being stripped from him, is there a chance Tucker gets Tara out of prison to wreak havoc? 

New episodes of The Young and the Restless air weekdays on CBS. Episodes become available to stream on Paramount Plus the next day.    

Terrell Smith

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.