The boldest and most beautiful thing on The Bold and the Beautiful lately is the new, re-energized, re-vitalized Stephanie Forrester. Did you see her wipe the floor with Eric this week? He came to see her after learning about Bill Spencer's death, all sweet and civil, suggesting that they should go to the funeral together. Stephanie would have none of Eric's pandering. He wasn't interested in her as a woman or a business partner, now she was shutting the door on him as a friend as well. She reminded him that she as now his competitor. She also called him a "rutting old bastard." Stephanie declared her independence, sounding an awful lot like Barbara Stanwyck or Bette Davis in some old Warner Brothers drama, and goodness knows those dames could handle all of life slings and arrows and still come out on top. That's Stephanie now, our grand dame of daytime. Take that, Eric!
Now, if only Stephanie's former daughter-in-law would follow her example! Dr. Taylor Hayes has turned into a complete sop. Seriously, what woman sits around mooning over the wedding photos of her marriage to a man who's rejected her? Taylor used to have some spunk. Now she's spunkless. What's happened to her professional practice? Doesn't she have clients anymore? And while she's been teaming up with Ridge to save Steffy from the evils of Rick, has she bothered to check up on her baby son, Jack? Remember Jack, Taylor? You carried him for nine months. You gave birth to him. You fought for custody of him. You had a semi-nervous breakdown when you couldn't get him to stop crying and gave him up to Nick. Yes, that Jack. He's your kid. As much as Steffy or Thomas. What about giving him a smidge of your time? Maybe in between gazing at the Ridge and Taylor wedding pictures and conspiring with Stephanie to destroy Ridge's marriage to Brooke?
Speaking of women who need to be more independent, let's talk about Brooke. Brooke's in a tough spot here. I see how hard it is for her to turn her back on Rick to concentrate on Ridge. Ridge has said things about her first born that are not cool. Imagine if that was you and your husband attacked your son like that? Would you be able to take it? Ridge has shown no sensitivity at all toward Brooke. He's put his love for Steffy ahead of his marriage, but he won't allow Brooke the same courtesy. Frankly, they're both wrong. They have grown children in Steffy and Rick; let them figure it out themselves. When Rick invaded Brooke's house and wouldn't leave - prompting Ridge to storm out and park at Taylor's for the night - Brooke should have handed him her American Express card and sent him to the Holiday Inn! And then Brooke should have gone to Taylor's and dragged her wayward husband home.
If you ask me, Ridge and Brooke should be going to couple counseling. This is their fourth marriage. It may not be legal, thanks to Pam's horrific secretarial skills, but still they are together. They have hot sex together. They have kids together. They work together. They need to figure out how to make it work despite the fact that Ridge hates her son. That's a big obstacle. Maybe he could learn how not to express that particular emotion over and over again to his wife if they were talking things out with a therapist?
Taylor should be seeing a therapist, too, because as a therapist she knows she's a mess. The first rule for psychiatrists is that they see a professional to keep their heads on straight. Watch "In Treatment" on HBO. Taylor needs to be meeting weekly with a shrink who can tell her to get over the Ridge obsession and get back to living her own life, not just responding to others.
It was quite a week for Stephanie all around. She also had a heart to heart with Karen Spencer, who apparently is one of Stephanie's best friends - who knew? The reading of Bill Spencer's will was a good source of comedy. He left Donna a gift that represented exactly what she was worth to him - an empty jeweled box. Hmm, you think Eric will eventually see Donna in the same way? Maybe it would have been even funnier if Bill had left her a box of hair! The shot at Clarke was to be expected; a fake gold medal. Of course all these gifts might have meant more if there were any clips of Bill Spencer to remind viewers of who he was. But they're really rewriting the character on the fly to lay the groundwork for the new Bill to appear, Bill Spencer Jr. That'll be actor Don Diamont's role and I'm probably setting myself up for a fall because I have BIG, BIG, BIG hopes that he's going to be like an electrical current zapping the cast when he arrives.
The men on B&B have been overused - Ridge, Eric, Rick, Rick, Eric, Ridge, etc. Thorne finally made a brief appearance this week, yapping with Ridge, but he might as well have been Jake the IT guy. Thorne receives no respect on that show. It's a sad waste of talent. Remember when he bolted Forrester to head up Spectra? Remember when he was engaged to Taylor and found out she was responsible for the car accident that killed Darla? Remember when Winsor Harmon was asked to act?
So, what can we expect in the week ahead? Stephanie's goofy glee over Pam's screw-up shouldn't really matter that much. I mean, seriously, so Ridge and Brooke don't have a valid marriage license. Big whoop! They've been living together on and off for years without benefit of a piece of paper. You think Ridge is suddenly going to use this as a loophole to break up with Brooke and reunite with Taylor, like Stephanie does? I don't. Ridge made a choice. He wants Logan. He doesn't like all the baggage that comes with her, but clearly he knows what he wants. He had a clear path to Taylor and chose not to take it. All the plotting by Taylor and Stephanie shouldn't alter Ridge's feelings about Brooke. And, honestly, what does it say about Ridge if he dumps Brooke because of an invalid marriage license?
It's going to be fun no matter what, because B&B has been consistently fascinating, even when it drives me crazy. You know what I mean, you feel it, too, I bet! Keep reading my Soap Central's daily blog - Lathered Up. I offer daily musings on everything going on in soaps, including some of the fun happenings on B&B, too!