taylor new man
Credit: CBS screenshot, Howard Wise/JPI (3)

The end of “Tridge” hints at a thrilling new beginning for our favorite world-renowned psychiatrist.

Over the millennia, we have oftentimes crossed our fingers and hoped against hope that The Bold and the Beautiful would finally let Taylor get her man. Not because Ridge was especially good for or to her, though (he wasn’t); she just wanted him so badly, and we adored her so much, that we wanted her to have him.

Now that the door on that relationship is closed — and please, please, please, may it also be deadbolted and barricaded, too — the show has on its hands a golden opportunity to do something new with Taylor, something thrilling and inspiring and real. It has a chance to deliver to the audience the story of a woman coming into her own.

Ridge Taylor on the spot B&B

“A story that doesn’t revolve around your desire for me? Oh, no one will buy that.”

Credit: CBS screenshot

Flying Solo — and Higher Than Ever

Picture it: In the wake of the wedding that wasn’t, Taylor takes a good, long look at herself in the mirror. Still gorgeous, yes, but also, WTH was she thinking, keeping it a secret for even a minute that Thomas had framed her rival, Brooke? “That isn’t me,” Taylor thinks. “At least I don’t want it to be.”

The shrink throws herself into her work, keeping in the forefront of her mind what she’d tell any patient: If you’re letting your life revolve around a man, it isn’t really your life, is it? Also… what kind of life even is that?

“Man, I really do give good [bleeping] advice, don’t I?”

Credit: CBS screenshot

*That’s* What’s Up, Doc

With Ridge no longer having a hold on Taylor, she decides to remain in L.A. permanently. No more will it bug her to see him with Brooke or any other woman. When they cross paths, Taylor will simply wish them well and go about her business… Speaking of which, she elects to expand her practice by taking on a partner.

Maybe the guy — let’s call him Julian “Jules” Grey — is a shrink who’s as at home catching waves as he is analyzing neuroses; think Days of Our Lives alum Shawn Christian (ex-Daniel). Or maybe he’s a former fitness trainer whose focus is on the connection between the mind and body; think General Hospital grad Mark Lawson (ex-Dustin). Whoever he is, he’s a good egg, self-aware and expressive, openhearted and funny.


Oh, crap. Steffy’s got her meddlin’ face on.

Credit: CBS screenshot

Friends… With Benefits?

Jules’ charms are not lost on Steffy, who to make up for all those months of badgering her mother about her father like a kid asking “Are we there yet?”… badgers her mother about possibly capitalizing on the sparks that fly whenever she and her new associate are in the same room. Taylor is happy, though. Content. So she not only introduces Steffy to the concept of actually using her inner voice rather than saying aloud everything she thinks, she makes it clear to Jules that she values his friendship and wants nothing more from him.

Jules, being the absolute anti-Ridge, does the unthinkable (well, for Ridge) and respects Taylor’s wishes. Which, in turn, makes her rethink her decision to brand him a pal and nothing more. One magical evening, when they’ve both stayed too late at the office, she admits as much to Jules. “Maybe I was hasty,” she says.

“Maybe you were scared,” he replies. “Who wouldn’t be, after what you’d been through?”

Taylor shares that more than afraid, she’s been ashamed and angry — at herself for all of the years that she wasted pining for a man who never pined back, for the humiliation she was willing to endure… and for what? “If a patient described their relationship the way I’d have to describe mine and Ridge’s, if I was being honest, I’d tell them, ‘Don’t walk, run!’”

“Let me stop you right there. Wait, that actually worked?”

Credit: CBS screenshot

The Turning Point

Moving closer to Taylor, Jules points out what she already knows: He ain’t Ridge. And if it makes her feel any better, Brooke isn’t at all his type. Gossipy, judgmental women with all of their exes on speed-dial? Nope. They just don’t do it for him. “What kind of woman,” Taylor asks, “does… do it for you?”

“The kind who has the strength to break a pattern that doesn’t serve her,” he says. “The kind who has the sense to protect her heart… and the daring to risk it. The kind who, whether I want to or not, I think every time I watch the sun set, ‘I want to share this with her.’ The kind that… ”

Jules stops. Catches himself before he goes too far. “What?” Taylor asks.

“The kind,” he goes on, “who can’t stand as close as you are to me right now without me wishing I had permission to kiss her.”

Gently… tentatively… Taylor nods. Jules moves closer, closer still, and at last, he’s freed from the friend zone and moved into significant-other territory.

“I have three words to say to you, Ridge: Coulda. Shoulda. Woulda.”

Credit: CBS screenshot

The Only Direction Is Forward

Needless to say, Taylor’s new romance drives Ridge crazy. He doesn’t want her, not really. He’s proven that a hundred times over. But like a child who never learned how to share his toys, he doesn’t want anyone else to have her, either. And he isn’t a big enough man to look at her with Jules and say, “Wow, she’s happy. She’s finally happy and with a guy who’s worthy of her.” So Ridge, of course, starts playing mind games with Taylor, bringing up all of the “what ifs” that are unanswerable.

Instead of fall once more for his line of bull, though, Taylor 2.0 tells him that she doesn’t think about stuff like that anymore. What they had, they had. What they never had, they never will. She bears Ridge no ill will (whether he’s due some!), but she’s beyond content with Jules. And even if she wasn’t, she points out, “I was pretty damn content before we got together, too. I used to believe that you were the piece that was missing from my life. But now, finally, with a little distance, I can see that that wasn’t the case at all. There was a piece missing, and I kept saving it for you. But it didn’t have to be you — shouldn’t even have been you. It was mine to fill with whatever and whoever I wanted.

“I love Jules,” she adds. “He is that missing piece now. But if it ended tomorrow, I wouldn’t come running to you, I’d go running to me. Because I finally get it: My life belongs to me.”

What do you think? Doesn’t Taylor deserve a love who wants her and only her? On your way to the comments, RSVP yes to “attend” a Bold & Beautiful holiday party through the photo album below.