BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL
Ridge and Bill’s acrimonious relationship hit a new low when Ridge influenced his old school chum, Judge Craig Mcmullen, to side against Bill in his court battle with Katie over Will’s custody. But Bill couldn’t let that decision rest, believing there was more to the verdict than met the eye. He vigorously followed his hunch until he got to the bottom of Ridge’s felonious act. Then, Bill did what he does best: held court and gloated.
It all came to a head when Bill summoned Ridge, Brooke, Katie, Thorne and Mcmullen to his office. With proof of Ridge and Mcmullen’s collusion, the former kept up his poker face, while the latter was sweating bullets. Don Diamont chewed the scenery with relish as Bill gleefully threw someone else’s misdeeds in their face for a change. Bill bombastically explained that he and Justin were just out for a drive (“Sometimes we do that on a pretty day”) and their high- tech listening equipment just happened to record the illicit conversation between Ridge and Mcmullen, proving their conspiracy. “I give you credit,” Bill faux-praised Ridge. “You did outsmart me, for a minute ... But in the end,” he purred with a mix of braggadocio and vitriol, “I outsmarted you. Just like I always do.”
Ridge took responsibility for his actions, and those who’d learned of his misdeeds but kept quiet (Brooke, Thorne and Katie) admitted their guilt by association. Both Mcmullen and Katie apologized; Bill then shifted his focus to Brooke, “the one person in this room who defended me.” Given that Brooke is, was and likely always will be the root of Bill and Ridge’s enmity, this kicked the confrontation into yet a higher gear.
Ridge called Bill’s bluff by daring him to call the police. As the onlookers gasped, Bill and Ridge remained steely-eyed in their game of chicken. Brooke interceded with a challenge of her own. “You said that you’ve changed,” she said to Bill. “Well, then, show us. Show me. Show mercy.” She said the magic words; Bill refused to press charges. Katie, Brooke and Mcmullen thanked Bill profusely; even Ridge was forced to express his gratitude, albeit through gritted teeth. Bill then dismissed the group — but asked Brooke
to stay, much to the chagrin of a glowering Ridge.
Once alone with Brooke, Bill pounced to make a fervent pitch for their reunion, explaining that he decided against siccing the cops on Ridge et al because “hurting them would have meant hurting you, and I never want to hurt you again.” Crediting the positive changes he’d made due to her influence, Bill professed, “For the first time, I’m worthy of you.” Brooke countered by insisting that he was responsible for his own growth. “I hope this sticks, this new attitude of yours,” she demurred, encouraging him to “commit to this change, and be that man I always knew you could become.” With that, she walked out, his wistful gaze trailing her exiting form. Meanwhile, Katie and Ridge discussed Bill’s show of benevolence. Katie defended her ex, noting that Bill had removed his sword necklace, the symbol of his ruthless nature. However, as Ridge pointed out, Bill had Brooke do that for him — and that move spoke volumes.
This tense, taut showdown hinted at a fascinating new set of dynamics that will shape the next arc of Forrester/spencer showdowns. It was no less compelling because it proved to be a crisis averted; but because Ridge may have avoided jail, it was clear that Bill remains very much a threat.
Day Of Reckoning: Bill (Don Diamont, far l.) had plenty to say to (from l.) Judge Mcmullen (Joe Lando), Thorne (Ingo Rademacher), Katie (Heather Tom), Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) and Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang).