Credit: Howard Wise/JPI, CBS

They’re not so much mortal enemies as they are “oil and water.”

Recently, Young & Restless treated its audience to the rarest of sights: Jack and Victor having drinks and at least almost appearing to get along. Did we imagine that, or was it really a capital-M moment between the longtime adversaries? “I think it was a moment,” Peter Bergman tells Soaps.com, adding, “I love that I am part of one of the oldest enmities in the history of television, if not the oldest

“I’m so proud of that, and I’m so grateful to Eric [Braeden] for that,” he continues. “I’m so grateful to the show for that. It has sustained a lot of things that have provided drive for Jack for years.”

Will it continue to, though? “That’s a good question. I don’t know,” admits Bergman. “So I love that in that moment, Jack realizes, ‘You know what? Victor actually has more experience with this than I do.’ It’s almost backhanded, because he has more experience than Jack does in failing as a father. The very thing that Jack has thrown in Victor’s face repeatedly over the years, he’s now hoping that Victor has learned something of value that he can share.”

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Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden jack victor handshake

A Combustible Combination

The daytime vet, who made his afternoon-TV debut playing good-guy doctor Cliff Warner on All My Children in 1979, may appreciate that Jack and Victor’s relationship has evolved. But he also appreciates that, even if they can get on the same page, they can’t stay on it — not for long, anyway. “At their heart, soaps are about certain elemental things,” he muses. “Romance is one of them, but so is the fact that oil and water exist in the world. There are people who are that different from one another.

“They may be able to see for a moment here and there one another’s perspective,” he adds, “but generally speaking, ‘I don’t get that guy. And I don’t like what guys like that stand for.’ That’s what stands in their way, again and again.”

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The Heart of the Matter

Ironically, Jack and Victor have quite a lot in common. They both hate to lose, in love or business. And they especially hate to lose to one another. Are they able to see that they’re two sides of the same coin? “There’s a lot of that,” Bergman theorizes. “But essentially, to Victor, Jack is this silver-spooned brat who had it all handed to him and wants to talk like he wasn’t born on third base. ‘Wow, you made a homerun? No, you were already there.’

“Conversely, Jack sees Victor as new money, someone who buys his way into things,” he continues. “Jack thinks, ‘My father ran the Genoa City Country Club. He was the president of it for decades! And before him, other people of great success did that job. Victor doesn’t contribute to any of that! He throws money at it, but he’s not part of the fabric of the community to Jack. He hasn’t done the work. And therein lies oil and water.”

While you’re here, check out our photo gallery of soaps’ fiercest feuds between men. Needless to say, Jack and Victor’s epic rivalry is on the list!