bold taylor brooke first scenes recast HW

Howard Wise/JPI

Let the battle begin! 

Sure, it was nice seeing The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Taylor reunite with her kids and moon over Ridge. But from the moment Krista Allen stepped into Taylor’s shoes (and slipped into that unfortunate wig), what we’ve really been counting down to was the first time the recently-returned shrink crossed paths with longtime rival Brooke.

And on the December 21st episode, we finally got exactly what we’d been waiting for. So… how did it go?

First, let’s just acknowledge up front that despite being majorly skeptical when news came down that the soap would be recasting one of the most iconic characters in its history, we’ve been bowled over by Allen. No, we haven’t forgotten — nor will we ever — predecessor Hunter Tylo. How could we, given that she was Taylor for nearly two decades.

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Above: The more things change in the Taylor/Ridge/Brooke saga, the more they stay the same. Well, actually, Lang is the only thing to stay the same since these pics were taken!

More: Which character was voted ‘Most Likely To… ‘ ?

Yet we — and, from what we’ve seen on social media, the vast majority of viewers — have been wildly impressed by Allen. After all, it ain’t easy stepping into a part so strongly identified with another actress. Yet somehow, Allen made it look as easy as pie. (By which we mean eating pie, which we’re very good at… baking one is a whole different story!)

But of course, the real test would involve how her version of Taylor interacted with Brooke.

“Wait,” you’re probably saying. “What about Ridge?” After all, Ridge and Taylor were one of the greatest romances in the soap’s history. And while that’s true, it’s also true that Thorsten Kaye — like Allen — is a recast. So in an odd way, the two of them are getting to create something new. Brooke, however, has been played by the talented (and seemingly ageless) Katherine Kelly Lang from the beginning.

Plus, in order for the current story to work, viewers have to be able to re-invest in the longtime rivalry between the two women between whom Ridge has long ping-ponged. (Newer viewers won’t realize this, but Ridge was the Liam of this soap’s early days!)

More: The *real* reason Steffy/Hope fought over Liam

Given all that, when Brooke strolled into Steffy’s house and said to Taylor, “Well, well, well… look who’s back in town!” we sat up and took notice.

This was what we’d been waiting for. Would having a new actress playing Taylor throw off the dynamic between Brooke and Taylor? How would the writers play this new chapter?

At first, it was difficult to tell. The women exchanged pleasantries, each agreeing that the other looked lovely and even managing to seem sincere in their compliments. But things got tense when Brooke began asking not-so-subtle questions about Taylor’s personal life.

“You’re an attractive woman, Taylor,” she said. “I would think that men would be interested in getting to know you!”

Having spent most of her adult life studying human behavior, the shrink knew there was more to the statement than met the ey. “Right, thank you,” she stammered. “Thank you so much. I can’t tell if you’re trying to set me up on a date or you just want to know if I’m seeing someone.”

When Brooke asked flat-out if Taylor was seeing someone, the other woman replied that she wasn’t, adding, “I don’t need a man to define me.”

Shots fired!

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Above: “Logan, I’m not saying that Taylor was right in suggesting you need a man to define you. I’m just saying that she wasn’t necessarily wrong.”

Although Taylor insisted she wasn’t judging, Brooke couldn’t help feeling that “what you said just now seemed really judgy!”

Taking a slightly different (but no less pointed) tact, Taylor opined, “You don’t enjoy being alone. Is that better?”

From there, it wasn’t long before old issues which had played out across two generations emerged. “You may view it as Steffy losing out to Hope and you losing out to me,” sighed Brooke, “but I don’t look at life like that, like winners and losers.”

Extending an olive branch, Brooke suggested that they “shouldn’t fall back into old patterns,” adding that it “would be nice to be friends. I would really like that. Do you think it’s possible, after all these years of being at one another’s throats? Do you think we could finally be friends?”

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Above: Taylor would much rather be friends with Ridge. You know, the kind with benefits.

More: Krista Allen explains Taylor’s very bad wig

The episode ended with that loaded question hanging in the air. Of course, given that Taylor has admitted she’s never stopped loving Ridge, the answer to Brooke’s question seems rather obvious. But the real question is how this first Taylor/Brooke interaction felt.

Almost immediately, the internet lit up with fans of each character showing their support. Interestingly, whether they were waving a flag embroidered with the slogan #TeamTaylor…

… or making it clear that they would always be #TeamBrooke…

… one thing was clear: The audience was here for the drama and the fireworks. Even in this relatively simple series of scenes, Bold & Beautiful managed to prove that the decision to cast Allen in the role was a winner. She and Lang almost immediately managed to tap into the magic that had long made the Brooke/Taylor feud one of daytime’s most legendary… and we can’t wait to see what happens next!

What did you think of the first Brooke/Taylor scenes… and where do you think they’ll go from here? Could they ever really be — gasp — gal pals? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, then check out the gallery below in which we revisit Brooke and Ridge’s legendary romance… and just how big a role Taylor has played in it over the years!