BB YR villains
Credit: CBS screenshot, Howard Wise/JPI, Sean Smith/JPI (2)

If the madwoman can be issued a Get Out of Jail Free card, anything goes.

Bold & Beautiful left viewers’ jaws on the floor along with Steffy and Finn’s when it manufactured a nonsensical explanation for Sheila being released from prison. But it’s the audience of Young & Restless — and the denizens of Genoa City — that may be in for the bigger shock. Why’s that? Because if CBS’ soaps aren’t even pretending to play by the rules of law anymore, it means that… gulp. Villains past could emerge en masse in the present!

Kimberlin Brown, Tracey Bregman, Sheila, Lauren rivalry Young and Restless

Wonder if anyone will break the news to Lauren…

Credit: CBS

For starters, Stitch Rayburn, having heard that ex-wife Abby’s latest marriage has gone kaput, could quit running from the authorities for kidnapping Mariah. “I did it for love,” Stitch could say as he moved home to Genoa City. And the police would take one look at his handsome mug, go “Aww” and wish him luck on reuniting with his former missus.

But wait, we’re just getting started. Ian Ward could demand to be turned loose. “I’m just a kindly old man,” he could say. And what judge could gaze into his manipulative eyes and doubt it? Quicker than you could say, “Baby, I’m back!” he could be playing mind games with Nikki in hopes of restarting his cult.

“I must give you credit for try, trying again.”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Then there’s David Kimble, who everyone thought was trash-compacted to death. If, as portrayer Michael Corbett has suggested, he’s alive and just short a hand — a la Sheila’s toe — the whackadoodle precedent for nonsense that Bold & Beautiful just set could give him a pass to stake a claim to “widow” Nina’s fortune.

Why not spring Patty Williams from the psych ward while we’re at it? “I was never crazy,” she could argue, “I just had had two much coffee. For all of those years.” And poof! She’d be walking the streets of Genoa City, wondering where brother Paul is and why Jack can give Diane a second chance but not her.

What do you think? It’s anything goes now, right? On your way to the comments, see how your favorite series fare as we rank the 55+ greatest primetime soaps of all time in the new photo gallery below.