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Howard Wise/JPI (5)

The show has needed a bonafide bad guy for a long time; now, at last, it has one.

Regular readers of Soaps.com are familiar with our issues with the Bold & Beautiful story in which Poor Dead Vinny rendered himself both poor and dead in order to give his pal Thomas a better (any!) shot with Liam’s wife, Hope. But in case you’re new here, a quick recap…

For starters, the plot wasn’t at all the “murder mystery” that was promised. For another, it painted Bill as an out-and-out sociopath who could stand by and watch a guy die at his feet without even considering dialing 911. Finally, really? Vinny went so far as to commit suicide to give Thomas a leg up with Hope — and he wasn’t in love with his friend?

Yeah, there was a lot of head-scratching going on on our end. However, now that the dust has begun to settle, we are seeing the silver lining among the clouds, and what it’s shining on is a formidable new villain, something the show hasn’t had since… Hmm. The last Summer of Sheila?

Justin, once Bill’s reliable right-hand man, finally decided that enough was enough. Why should he do the boss’ dirty work if he was never going to reap the benefits of his flexible morality? Why should he move heaven and earth to secure Bill’s place at the top of the food chain when hello?!? He himself wouldn’t mind being top dog, thank you very much.

We’ll grant you, Justin caging Thomas to facilitate his attempted coup didn’t strike us as the move of a criminal mastermind. How the bleep did he think that was going to work out? Still, we’re digging the new and unpredictable Justin (played to the hilt and then some by Aaron D. Spears). We’ve talked before about how badly he needs a love interest. Now, we just think he needs a target.

According to this week’s spoilers, Justin already has a familiar one: Bill. On Friday, July 16, he approaches Ridge with an offer that should be too tempting to refuse. Could the dressmaker possibly turn down a proposed alliance with Justin, who knows the ins and outs of Spencer Publications better than anyone? We think not.

From there, it’s just a question of how far will the soap’s new troublemaker go to bring down the employer who for so long limited his potential as a mover and shaker. What do you think, Bold & Beautiful fans? Are you, too, loving Justin as a conniving free agent who’s as out for himself as Bill ever was? On your way to the comments, stop off at the below photo gallery, which counts down some of daytime’s greatest villains ever. If Justin plays his cards right — or would that be wrong? — he might have to be added to the list!