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Above: On the cover of the June 26, 2007 issue of Soap Opera Digest.
The tension between Ridge and half brother Rick had simmered for years before finally boiling over in late October, when Eric chose his oldest son as the new Forrester CEO. Ridge's victory was short-lived, as the reveal of his entanglement with Caroline led to a speedy reversal of fortune and Eric put Rick in charge. Boasting a chip on his shoulder the size of a boulder, Rick wasn't going to rest until he got full, irrevocable control of the company, with mistress Maya by his side. Through guile and determination, Rick succeeded -- and the moment he unveiled his agenda to his stunned family was can't-miss.
Rick's argument appeared valid. Pointing out Ridge's own history of organizing Forrester coups, Rick insisted that his siblings wouldn't be effective at running the fir. Though Eric added the stipulation that Rick's sole authority would expire after a year, he acquiesced and signed the papers. Carter spilled the beans to Ridge, who burst into Eric's office -- but he was too late. Caroline played the dutiful wife, earnestly insisting that Rick was acting in the best interest of Forrester, blithely unaware that her world was about to implode. "Something's going on here," Ridge scowled. "I can't put my finger on it, but something isn't right." After Rick slyly texted Maya to join the meeting, the staffers were bewildered by her presence, and the tension grew thick as the moment of truth drew nearer.
Rick's demeanor was unflappable as he calmly reassured his family, "Forrester's always had a history of strong couples, beginning with Dad and Stephanie. And I intend to keep that family tradition, because if there's anything that I've learned over the last few weeks, it's the value of a great partner." Of course, those gathered in the room assumed he meant Caroline, who beamed at her spouse's apparent vote of confidence. Rick laid it on thick, describing his lady as "someone I trust, who's completely loyal to me." "I am so proud to be your partner," Caroline cooed. Then Rick lowered the boom. "I wasn't talking about you, Caroline," Rick stated. "I was referring to Maya.... Our marriage is over. It ended the day you betrayed me with Ridge." Caroline blinked at him, heartbroken and humiliated, as Maya flashed a cat-who-swalloed-the-canary grin.
Executive Producer/Head Writer Bradley P. Bell unfolded this tale just right, making the audience privy to Rick's behind the scenes manipulations from the get-go. This shrewd move fanned our anticipation to a fever pitch as we anxiously awaited Rick's big moment. As the fallout played out -- Eric's outrage, Ridge's disdain, Caroline's pain -- we were swept up in the flurry of emotions that flooded the room.
The serious sizzle of the drama owed much to the performances. Jacob Young (Rick) was restrained in his delivery, while his eyes flashed with the hurt and spite that motivated his move. John McCook's Eric was appropriately flabbergasted, not only that his namesake could be so ruthless, but at how easily he had been deceived. Thorsten Kaye's (Ridge) indignation was palpable as he spat back, "You are a spoiled, petulant little brat and you always have been!" And Linsey Godfrey simply blew us away with her gravitas as Caroline ran the gamut from shock to denial to devastation.
Rick's calculated betrayal was a masterful example of B&B's deft touch with story, blending corporate intrigue and family drama into one riveting package. While those feudin' Forresters would be a human resources nightmare, their foibles sure do make for great soap!