The Bold and the Beautiful recap (July 19): Hope and Liam sign divorce papers

Annika Noelle of the CBS series THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Weekdays (1:30-2:00 PM, ET; 12:30-1:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Gilles Toucas/CBS
Annika Noelle of the CBS series THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Weekdays (1:30-2:00 PM, ET; 12:30-1:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Gilles Toucas/CBS /

In one of the most shocking soap moments of 2023, Liam and Hope have called it quits. I don’t think anyone had that on their bingo card for this year but, today on The Bold and the Beautiful, Hope pulled the divorce papers out of her bag and presented them to Liam in a manner that almost seemed like they were playing an elaborate game of marital chicken.

As she told him, “You said you wanted a divorce,” so she served those papers up to him. They’d once more reached an impasse in their conversation where Hope clearly wanted Liam to accept responsibility for the end of their marriage despite it being her actions that struck the match which burned it all down. Remember, she kissed Thomas in Rome–and held his hand as they went sightseeing around the city though Liam isn’t aware of that part of her dalliance–and Liam had a front row seat to it.

But, as Liam has explained, it’s not just the kiss that’s pushed him to the edge. It was Hope gaslighting him for months when she knew she had feelings for his rival. She recently expressed those feelings intimately and, though Liam inquired to the depth of her intentions with Thomas, Hope wouldn’t answer. Her repeated refrain was that once they’ve called it quits, he’ll be free to do what he wants to do and she’ll be free to do the same.

What happened today on The Bold and the Beautiful?

Hope asked Liam point blank if he gave his usual song and dance in his approach to Steffy. If he told her that he made a mistake in choosing Hope over her. Liam didn’t answer her, but he did admit to feeling like he had given up a life with Steffy for Hope. This took Hope aback. She’d just said she found that sentiment to be sad, but she wasn’t prepared to hear it spoken aloud.

With Hope unwilling to give Liam any answers on where she stands with Thomas, and Liam refusing to agree with Hope that they’ve landed in this boat because of his torn feelings which weren’t present before her betrayal and weren’t the catalyst for why she kissed Thomas or developed feelings for him, the two didn’t have much more to say to each other.

Together, they sat at the table. Hope signed the papers first, then Liam did as well before he took his ring off. Briefly, the two shared a tearful moment as they held hands before Liam left with a touch to Hope’s shoulder, a near breakdown at the cabin door, and an exit that signaled the end of their relationship for now. I’d say for good but this is a soap opera.

Hope picked up Liam’s ring and slid it on her own finger and then took it off to hold it as she began crying in earnest. It’s the end of an era for Lope but perhaps the beginning of one for Thope. The jury is still out on whether this means Steam will rise again since Steffy and Finn are married.

Finn tells Steffy a half-truth that involves Sheila

Speaking of the happy couple, they shared a parting kiss as they both headed off to do work related things. Steffy had overheard a call Finn got about a former patient that needed to see him, but he didn’t disclose to her who that patient is. So, she left for Forrester under the impression that it was business as usual for her husband.

She did not overhear his terse and frustrated conversation trying to get out of the visit which could only be to one person, Sheila aka his birth mother. Finn told whoever was on the line that he was only going to see her one last time.

The two came face-to-face in the visitor’s room at the prison after Sheila had a one-on-one with her old pal, Mike Guthrie, who’d pulled some strings to come see her. Despite Sheila clearly not being interested, Mike figured that with time Sheila would come to feel as he does since she, too, is imprisoned and likely will be for a long while.

When she wasn’t taken back to her cell, Sheila was prayerful that it was Finn coming to see her next and those prayers were answered as he walked through the door. It was a welcome sight for her, but he was not pleased to be there. Thursday’s episode is sure to shed more light on their scenes, but we do know that they’re likely to talk about about her upcoming trial.

Steffy informed Ridge and RJ that the trial is coming up soon. The father-son duo had been talking about Hope and Liam’s marriage as RJ tried shirts on in the main office. While Ridge was optimistic that they’d work things out, RJ wasn’t so sure and was worried about the state of his sister’s marriage. But, by the end of their conversation, he was trying to embody the same optimism as his dad. Obviously, with the divorce papers signed, that faith in Lope’s relationship is going to go right out the window.

One interesting, and potentially noteworthy, plot introduction in this episode was Steffy’s reveal that she and Finn are looking for a new nanny. Presumably, this means Amelia is on to new opportunities which leaves room for this potential new hire to be a love interest for someone on the soap or our next villain.

Until next time, Bold fans. Stay beautiful! Click here for The Bold and the Beautiful spoilers for the week of July 17.

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New episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful are available to stream on Paramount+ .