Credit: Howard Wise/JPI (6)

One little reference sounded to us like a big hint.

We would have thought nothing of The Young and the Restless having Heather mention in the February 16 episode that she and Lucy would be visiting Paul before leaving Genoa City… if he was still on the show. But he isn’t. He hasn’t been in ages. And portrayer Doug Davidson has been very clear about the fact that he isn’t going to be back. “Seriously,” he’s tweeted. “It has ended.”

Doesn’t get much clearer than that.

Lauralee Bell"The Young and the Restless" Set CBS television City Los Angeles 11/08/22 © Howard Wise/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 12521 U.S. Airdate 12/27/22

“He could at least text. We are married! Wait, are we still?”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

After a 40+-year run in the role, the Emmy winner was bumped to recurring status and placed so far on the backburner that he fell off the stove. Since then, he’s expressed his gratitude to the show’s co-creators, the late William J. and Lee Phillip Bell, as well as his displeasure with subsequent regimes. He received “many gifts from the first 25 years… ” he noted in 2021. “Not a peep from this group.”

We’ve argued before that it’s time to take Davidson at his word. If it has ended, give it some closure: Kill off Paul, let Young & Restless acknowledge the passing of this classic character and free up Christine to do more with Danny on his next return than merely reminisce.

Davidson called that suggestion “hurtful,” but we’re not sure why. We’re not in the habit of going around painting targets on beloved characters — and you’ve let us know how you feel about it (read here) — but Davidson has stated that his time on the soap is done. So is it really preferable to have Paul live forever off screen? To have gone out with a whimper rather than a bang? Wouldn’t the soapier thing to do be to give him a big sendoff, maybe even build a murder mystery around his death?

If Young & Restless went that route, Heather would have to stick around until the guilty party was found — thereby throwing a monkey wrench into the rematch toward which Daniel and Lily are hurtling. The show could reveal that, unbeknownst to us, Paul had been investigating Jeremy Stark and that his poking around had yielded some unexpected evidence… against Diane and Tucker. Could one of them have offed the police chief to keep their redemption tour from derailing? Could Jack have done the deed to protect Diane — and keep from having to admit that he was wrong about her?

Diane unnerved Y&R

“Ugh, seriously? Aren’t I suspected of enough as it is?”

Credit: CBS screenshot

If you ask us, that would be more interesting than “Paul’s off playing golf.” Give the character and the actor their due by writing a dramatic exit story that’s as intriguing as the Cassandra/Adrian plot that we all remember so fondly. Drop your thoughts in a comment. And on your way…

Review Paul’s whole history in Genoa City in the below photo gallery.