Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

The Fourth of July celebration came early for fans of The Young and the Restless star Daniel Goddard: On Tuesday, it was revealed that Goddard’s alter-ego Caleb is actually his twin brother Cane — the character that fans came to love before he was killed outside of his father’s wedding in February.

Confusing? Heck, yeah. But it should ultimately be good news for fans who were outraged at the Y&R writers for offing the beloved character in the first place. “What can I say?” Goddard told EW exclusively. “I was completely overwhelmed by the fans and all the things they did, all the love and support. I really appreciate my fan base and I love them very much.”

Here’s a quick recap for the uninitiated: After Cane was shot dead during the Feb. 2 episode, fans rallied around Goddard and showered CBS and Sony, which produces the sudser, with complaints. Within weeks, an about-face was crafted to bring Cane back as a ghost who “haunts” his poor grieving wife, Lily. (Hey, it’s a soap, people!). Only recently was it revealed that Cane was actually Caleb — a sociopathic twin brother who was helping his father Colin (Tristan Rogers) kidnap Cain’s twins and take them home to Australia.

Goddard “takes the fifth” when asked why his character was killed off in the first place, though it appears it had little to do with his contract on TV’s No. 1 daytime drama. He acknowledges the convoluted nature of his return, though the actor admitted to EW that “chaos can lead to creativity. Amongst all of that, some wonderful twists and turns come into play and its somehow lent us great intrigue and mystery, which is great for the show.”

His only regret was not being able to play Caleb longer. “I just loved him. They wrote him on paper as a bad guy who is pure evil, but more cruel than calm. Caleb was a person who always wanted his dad to love him. What was interesting is that I didn’t know as the story developed when Caleb was Caleb and when he was Cane.”

Say again, man? “I found out in the scripts,” Goddard admits, laughing. “I had the feeling fans would be upset that Cane was really Caleb … Cane was Caleb pretending to be Cane who was really pretending to be Caleb… you know, I feel like Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder where he says, `I’m a dude, playing a dude, pretending to be a dude.’

“I kind of relinquished my quest to control,” the actor continued. “I’ve learned now to get the script, open the script, read the script, and to try to say it in a way where you give the script the service it deserves and hopefully along the way if you say something one week and it changes the next, the fans won’t hate you. They’ll understand that we are merely squirrels on the conveyor belt of where’s the nut.”

But Goddard’s not complaining. On the contrary, he says it’s been a great journey and it should be the same for viewers (they’ll get an explanation in the coming week about what actually happened at the wedding, and how his mother Genevieve, played by Genie Francis, played a role). “They figured out a very organic way to explain it, which is good, ” Goddard said. This was easy to roll with.”

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