Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you want to get into a grave situation? Did you cancel your membership in the Secret of the Month Club? Did you come home rocking more than a turtleneck? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Spectra clan this week!
Happy holidays, Scoopers! It's officially December, and the Forresters got an early Christmas (or late Thanksgiving) present in the return of sort-of-prodigal son Thorne. Wish I could take credit for this column's title and image, but that honor goes to Matt Hanvey, who knows more about the show than most of us put together and makes me laugh with his constant character captions. Thorne's back, y'all -- let's Scoop about it!
Thorne Forrester started out in the California beach boy form of Clayton Norcross in 1987. His biggest claim to fame was getting goofy over the original Caroline Spencer, who had dumped brother Ridge for being a man-ho. Thorne then mixed painkillers with booze after learning Ridge had slipped into bed with Caroline, which caused Thorne to shoot Ridge "the hell in the head," as Ronn Moss once laughed about in an interview.
He sings! While kept in the dark for a year about shooting Ridge, Thorne found himself played by Jeff Trachta, who took his alter ego off the beach from 1989 to 1996 and onto the stage with a microphone. Of course, Trachta's Thorne is most notorious for romancing Macy Alexander and pushing the first wave of Spectras into the spotlight. This Thorne also dated Karen Spencer before she realized her lesbian superpower.
One day Trachta, next day Winsor! This month in 1996, Winsor Harmon stepped into Thorne's shoes, quickly ditching Macy and beginning the first of several hot-and-heavies with Taylor. Harmon's Thorne also watched Macy die twice, and then there was his scandalous romp with Brooke that put mama Stephanie in the hospital. Last but not least, this Thorne finally found happiness with Darla Einstein, short-lived as it was.
After Darla's death, it seemed like no one knew what to do with Thorne. He found himself relegated to the Forrester basement, appearing less and less frequently until he only occasionally showed up for family events. He came home in time to lose daughter Aly to a rock; Winsor's final visit as Thorne was last year when Eric popped a blood vessel in his brain, cussing out his family for skipping his wedding to Quinn.
Of course, that's just a primer -- to really dig into Thorne's history, check out our comprehensive character profile. But now your Thornefriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble! Hey la! Hey la! Yep, "the role of Thorne Forrester is now being played by Ingo Rademacher." I guess now we know Thorne's blondness was Sun-In or Nice 'n' Easy. Either that, or Paris darkens your hair!
It's interesting, because in the beginning, Ronn Moss and Clayton Norcross really resembled brothers. A little less with Jeff Trachta, much less with Winsor Harmon. When Thorsten Kaye took over as Ridge, Winsor's Thorne seemed way more the half-brother he suddenly became with the whole Massimo-is-Ridge's-father reveal. Yet Kaye and Rademacher look as much like bros as Moss and Norcross did.
Not sure what I think of Rademacher's Thorne yet. Hard to tell in just three episodes. Harmon's was on for 20 years/, and his Louisiana drawl slipped into the character more and more as time passed. Now Thorne is quite the sophisticate; Rademacher does a pretty good American accent, though a trained ear (like mine) can still pick out some Aussie-isms. Maybe they should have said Thorne was Down Under with Uncle John!
One thing I do know: I was amazed Thorne could keep his shoulders straight, considering the gigantic chip weighing one down. Brooke also became starry-eyed as instantly as Ridge got pissy. Well, that's one way to move a story along, fast as it was. At least we found out Thorne had stayed away because he was mourning Aly, which is only right. She's been criminally undermentioned since her 2015 demise.
Actually, you'd think the brothers Forrester would be closer now, since they've both lost a daughter. But I guess mutual tragedy isn't enough for these guys, since Ridge acted like he wanted Thorne to go back to Paris to join the French Foreign Legion, and Thorne got his beret in a twist over Ridge still calling him "little brother." Come to think of it, I'm reasonably sure that moniker goes back to at least the '90s, so it's a nice touch.
Not back five minutes, Thorne played the Marone card with Ridge; I'm sure both of them are calling coal companies to fill each other's Christmas stockings. One call Thorne didn't make was to the Trivago guy after he decided his dad needed privacy at the mansion. That didn't stop Nicole and Zende -- and isn't Ivy still there? Unless Queric is, ahem, christening every room, Thorne would have been perfectly welcome at home.
So, Rick and Maya suddenly found themselves with a new roommate, since Brooke handed Thorne a key! What? Thorne can't rustle up fifty bucks for a Motel 6? Julius and Vivienne have lived in their hotel so long, they could probably get Thorne a rate. No, clearly this was engineered to put Thorne in Brooke's orbit. Not sure I'm groovin' on that. At least with Winsor, we could have had flashbacks to Throoke's 1999-2000 stint.
What's more "things that make you go hmm" -- that Throoke never once mentioned their past Stephanie-stroke relationship, or that Brooke suddenly cut her hair to look like it did when they were together? More to the point, Thorne revealed he'd always wanted to be a designer and whipped out sketches, announcing he had his own successful label in Paris!
I was about to call B-O-L-O-G-N-A, except Thorne explained that he'd followed a French designer's advice to explore his own talent, needing something to hold onto after Aly died. He studied, took classes...which is a helluva lot more than Zende did when he chucked his camera to learn designing via YouTube. Thorne even had his own label: Aly's Fashions! It's good to hear Aly has a legacy; I hope shoes are part of it.
Like the hits, Thorne's put-downs of Ridge kept on comin'. He was sure Ridge had done something with another woman to mess up his near-wedding to Brooke in Sydney. Brooke thought back to the Quidge kisses, and Thorne declared Ridge had cheated. Um, no; Steffy cheated when she slept with Bill. To me, a few kisses isn't cheating. Disloyalty, sure, but not cheating. What do you guys think?
Right on cue, it felt like I was watching episodes from last winter and spring, because there Ridge was draping necklaces on Quinn, who darn near swooned. Even Ivy dropped in for five seconds but made herself scarce. (Come on, soap gods, can we just put Ivy with Carter already?) Ridge and Quinn danced around the hormone surge; they were friends, and nothing beyond friendship would happen again.
Well, wouldn't you know, Brooke and her sassy new haircut opened the door just far enough to see Ridge panting over Quinn. Rut-ro! That was Wednesday's cliffhanger. Huh? Is Brooke going to get all boo-hoo and see Thorne in a new light because Ridge put a necklace on Quinn? I can already tell we're doing Thorne/Brooke/Ridge, but I can't say I'm really wild about it. Will Stephanie have strokes in heaven?
Hey, waitress, could I get a -- holy crap, it's Sheila serving up the garlic bread. Apparently, everyone was surprised she was still in L.A., but I don't recall Sheila saying she was leaving town when she got snagged for arranging a three-way for Quinn with Mateo and a bottle of massage oil. Sheila just stood outside the slammed Forrester door and did her trademark obviously-not-rehabilitated laugh.
Sheila's return this year has been such a letdown for me, if only because I am one of the biggest Sheila fans you could meet. I want to know she was actually in prison; show me a meeting with her parole officer. I want to know it wasn't Sheila that had Phyllis' face. I need to see Lauren come to town, or at least Eric calling Lauren to tell her Sheila's alive, which should have been the first thing he did upon discovering her.
There's still a chance to salvage this, though Sheila made me doubtful when she ended up waiting on Pam and telling her she still didn't trust Quinn. Sheila, please; give it up already. Chasing Eric is beneath you. Then Sheila wanted to, like, totally friend Pam. Last time Sheila jonesed for a gal pal, it was Maggie Forrester, whom Sheila framed for poisoning Stephanie with whoops-that's-not-calcium-it's-mercury pills.
I was about to yell at my TV when Sheila and Pam found themselves in a most intriguing conversation. Sheila pointed out that they had a lot in common. Next thing I knew, Pam was thinking back to turning Donna into bear bait by dumping honey on her! Wow! That's a detail that's long gone and ignored about Pam, buried under her quirky brand of normalcy and about 11,000 lemon bar references.
Sheila felt she and Pam might have the basis for a friendship, but that's where the path veered a bit. Pam had been the "crazy sister," while Sheila was just Crazy Sheila. Only difference is, Pam had a brain tumor that was causing her madness, whereas Sheila...well, in 1996, James had Sheila confessing she'd had an abusive father, and of course it's legend on Y&R that miscarrying a baby is what drove her over the edge.
Charlie was none too pleased that Lady Lemon Bar had conversed with Fruitcake Sheila. Is Pam ever going to find out that Charlie nearly got sucked into being Sheila's 21st century accomplice? If she does, she might not be so eager to give Sheila a second chance. "I've been to the bottom of that barrel," Pam said, relating to Sheila's slip regarding Eric. "Her only hope is to mend her ways!"
Miss Pammy, that is the story that should have been from the beginning: Sheila trying to be good, but having a damn hard time with it. It's what I was hoping Sheila would allude to when she told Eric she couldn't help plotting to reclaim him; testing Quinn should have had nothing to do with it. Sheila and Pam being friends has possibilities to me; if only I could trust Sheila wasn't going to use Pam to try for Eric again.
Maybe Liam's just so happy to be alive after Spectra toppled on him that he's more apt to sing the praises of his loved ones. Or maybe Liam's just fallen into that old soap opera trap of rhapsodizing about the very people he doesn't know he's been betrayed by. If this telegraph were any bigger, Samuel Morse would come back to have a look at it. I have no problem with the contrast, but Liam is laying it on too thick. Molasses thick.
Liam decided it was Bring Your Steffy to Work Day; it was creepy enough having Steffy stand among all three Spencer men, knowing she'd bedded them all. Awkward... Anyway, Liam extolled the virtues of his wife and father, which might have been fine if he hadn't already done that while the Thanksgiving mashed potatoes were still warm. Even Wyatt was like, "overkill, dude..."
I have a hard time believing that Liam didn't once notice Steffy looking like she wanted to cry, vomit, or both while she was in Bill's office. We finally learned Spencer Publications had more than one office; in it, Wyatt couldn't help feeling something was massively off. But Liam kept going on about how he'd gone too far with Sky/Spectra...actually, I didn't think he had, given Bill's conscienceless actions.
It was one thing for Darlita to have time to kill, since her place of business was pulverized, but Forrester intern Coco was strangely off the clock, playing cards and dishing about Liam. Miss Darlita No-Last-Name actually got a chance to show there was something between her ears as she pieced together the true connection between Sally and Liam and described herself as intuitive. "I know everyone thinks I'm a Dim Dora!"
Her rise in IQ was so cool, it was even more a shame it didn't last. She thought it romantic that Liam and Sally now had specks of Spectra lodged in their internal organs. (Okaaaay...) The fashion underlings waxed lyrical about how Sally and Liam were so good for each other, alternately forgetting Liam was married and dreaming about Steffy getting washed away so Liam would be free for Sally. Who inhaled dust again?
Meanwhile, Sally put on her trademark yellow and a nice short skirt to go check on Liam, never once tripping out about the fact that Liam's house looked exactly like it did in her Mrs. Sally Spencer fantasy. She must have been too transfixed by Liam's chest in that tight checkered shirt (oh, wait, that was me) to keep from spilling that she would certainly not be a woman who would let Liam go.
Sally tried to steer their conversation back to friendship, realizing their main reason for hanging out -- rebuilding the old Spectra -- was a pile of powder. I guess with Bill actually making good on underwriting the underdogs, Liam doesn't need to be a part of it. But, Sally said, if Liam ever needed her for anything, she was so there. So of course Liam is going to need whatever "anything" means when his marriage goes Still-born.
Wow, is Steffy a Sweeney Todd fan? Because she was whipping herself into a frenzy much like the Judge in that musical. Not only could she not believe she finally rode the Stallion while on the outs with Liam, she yelled and cried about it in Bill's office, which Liam could have walked into at any moment. Steffy couldn't do it. She couldn't live with herself, keeping this secret!
Is Steffy only not okay with secrets after they've reached a certain level? She helped obstruct justice by lying to the police about shooting Sheila. She never did tell the cops she'd tried to defend herself from Aly's attack with a tire iron; the tool's probably still in the bushes along Pacific Coast Highway. And don't get me started on all the secrets Steffy kept while trying to poach Liam from Hope. Now secrets are tearing her apart?
I actually feel bad for Bill. After eight years, he finally got to sleep with Steffy, all these feelings he had to repress about her rising to the surface. And now all Steffy can do is sob about what a terrible thing it was. (A "mistake," she said -- learned Brooke's word, did she?) Bill's testosterone must have gotten clogged up somewhere, because he couldn't decide whether to support Steam's recommitted marriage or trash it.
For real! In one breath, Bill told Steffy that the only way to maintain her marriage was to keep quiet about their boink; in the next, Bill told Steffy that they were the ones that were meant to be together. I'm actually happy with the idea that Bill is having all the feels about Steffy. Too bad we didn't get more of their 2009-2011 flashbacks as he reiterated his long-held desire instead of the recent Still sexing eight times in one week.
No, Steffy couldn't stand it anymore, and ran home to be as one with Liam's honesty and integrity. (You know, because putting Hope's engagement ring on Steffy's finger was integrity personified.) At least Liam finally started to clue in that Steffy was definitely not okay. For a second, anyhow. He kept talking over her, assuming she felt trapped because he had pushed her into renewing her vows. He wouldn't let her get a word in!
Fortunately, before I had to look for Krazy Glue and tell Liam it was lip balm, Steffy spoke up. Something was wrong, but it wasn't Liam. "It's about your father!" Steffy cried! Well, knowing Bill's propensity for bad behavior, that could mean anything. Bill felt Liam finding out Bill had porked Liam's wife would be devastating. Is it awful that I'm kind of looking forward to Liam being devastated? Payback for years of Leffy/Lope!
So where are you at with all this, Scoopers? Is nuThorne working for you? Does Steffy belong with Liam or Bill? And does Sheila really deserve a (eighty-)second chance? Confess all in the the Comments section below or on the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like these!
"I'm so sick of Steffy making a kiss [sound] as if [Liam] cheated.....IT WAS A KISS......now her sleeping with her father-in-law...THAT'S CHEATING!!!!!!!! And Bill who wanted Brooke so much has forgotten her and on to his daughter-in-law......why doesn't Liam call Steffy's brother and tell him the truth about the fire and the lie that [Caroline's] not dying. Let [Thomas] and Sally get back together." -- Melva
"It would be SLIGHTLY less gross if Bill shagged Steffy to get the ultimate revenge on Liam for his betrayal. It would make Bill an even bigger villain than he already is, Steffy would feel used and instantly become Bill's enemy and Liam would have to completely rebuild himself after being betrayed so horribly by his wife and father." -- JBanks
"Finally, a couple with real chemistry. The fallout of STILL should be epic. Steffy ran because she was scared that her whole life with Liam was just a lie. She's been trailing the waffle king around since she lost Bill and never dealt with that. The smile on her face when she first woke up before freaking out said it all...not to mention, the chemistry between Don Diamont and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood scorches the screen." -- Amy
"I have no problems with the recast right now, [Ingo's] doing a good job even though Thorne's story is a little weird. Steffy on the other hand needs to come clean and stop delaying the inevitable. This is getting stupid already." -- Brianna
"I adore [Ingo Rademacher], however I feel the role of Nick would have been a better fit than Thorne. JMW is killing it but Steffy is a sad sight, she's in a state of denial about Bill and delusional about Liam. Delaying the inevitable won't change the outcome." -- Krystal
I'll tell you what did change -- the credits! Thomas and Zende are out and Thorne and Justin are in. Bear with me...you know what would be scandalous? Justin and Nicole! Maybe this is too weird a time for it, but it would drive Julius insane. Soon the credits will change again, and I'll be making Star Wars references because we'll be getting a "nuHope" in the form of Annika Noelle, who started taping this week!
And speaking of things that are new, I just last week released a new book called "I, Samantha, Take This Mortal, Darrin", which is my imagined series finale for Bewitched, since it never had one. Hey, if Thorne can push his new designs!
The Game of Thornes is on, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And remember, now more than ever, no matter color, creed, religion, gender identity, or orientation, we're all beautiful.
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