Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your house -- and storyline -- get taken over by a rapper? Did you decide to follow in your son's shotgun footsteps? Did you say "Oops, I did it again!"? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Say it isn't so! Oh, you think I'm talking about Friday's oh no she didn't cliffhanger? Well, yes, I am. But I'm equally referring to the fact that B&B has bumped Winsor Harmon down to recurring status. It's kind of like when you tell someone "No, I don't want to break up with you; I just think we should cool it for a while" -- when what you really want to do is break up. At least he's free to pursue other projects, but I will continue sounding like a broken record and say B&B is really missing the boat by not putting this legacy character into a front-burner storyline instead of making all the newbies and SORASed kids more important! I'm just sayin'.
Well, nobody can say the week didn't turn out to be interesting! We got May Sweeps a little late, but...better late than never!
That was certainly a long trip to NYC! Who knew that Jackie M had so many contacts that Nick and Aggie had to spend two weeks there dealing with them all. This is what happens when you get those bargain seats on Backburner Airlines. At least Aggie's usual "compliment-Nick-then-drop-not-very-subtle-hint-about-Bridget's-infidelity" dialogue was finally spiced up with some very interesting conversations about Nick's past relationship with Brooke -- and Nick's influence on Hope when he was raising her! Plus, Aggie obviously went to a stylist in the Big Apple -- her hair had been up for too long; she looked very nice literally letting it down! As for Nick, reader Sheila tells me:
I cannot believe your comments about Nick! First of all, you need a history lesson. Nick has always been faithful to his wedding vows to Bridget. She is the one is a cheater and a liar. No matter how much you like "saint" Bridget and hate nick, it doesn't change the facts. I have hated Bridget since the abortion lie. Yes, you seem to have conveniently forgotten about that also. Now this is TWICE Jackie has lied to her son about the paternity of a child. You would think as a male that you would have some sympathy foe nick. I don't know what your problem with Nick(JW) is but I won't waste any more time reading your column.
Did I offend? Unfortunately, I've learned that I can't please everybody every week. Reader J. Barlics offers a different view:
Um....excuse me...but didn't Nick and Brooke have a "grief tryst" when they thought Ridge just died. This was to "comfort" Brooke...and then RJ was born --which by the way, made them wonder if RJ was Nick's baby. Ridge comes back (miraculously, as they always do) and gets back with Brooke. Nick hasn't kept his pants zipped either. Do any of them leave the backyard to find a mate?
Apparently not, J! -- and, as indicated by our Friday cliffhanger, some of them find a mate in the backyard! As for the Marones, this whole baby storyline is a twist on Nick's self-admitted "bad boy" behavior, especially where Bridget is concerned. Still, Nick is not a dumb man -- between Aggie's constant remarks and now his entire "family" looking like they ate bad fish every time he mentions the baby, you'd think he'd be cluing in by now. It'll probably be the unborn child itself who finally spills it next time Nick talks to Bridget's tummy -- "Didn't you wonder why I got Owen a Father's Day card and not you? Duh!"
Hey, at least Nick stopped going on about the baby long enough to acknowledge that it must be difficult for Aggie to hear, considering she miscarried and all. And Jack got mentioned! He's in school now! Which probably means he'll be driving by this time next year. In the meantime, Jackie's been ultra-forgiving about everything, hasn't she? The fact that she's a woman of the world helps, but she seems to have gotten over her betrayal awfully fast. I mean, I love me some kind Jackie, but I loved that icy stare she gave Bridget before telling her that confessing to Owen was the right thing! That look was pure diva, pure Alexis from Dynasty. There's definitely a calling being missed here -- B&B could use more '80s-style soap scowling!
Then there's the "who knew" pairing of Pam and Stephen. Now, this is the truly interesting storyline of the week -- although it's slightly marred by something reader Ron pointed out:
It is kind of strange that Stephen would want to use a gun to get rid of Stephanie. A few years ago Stephanie was shot by his son Storm and Storm framed him for the crime. Now Stephen is going to use the same type of trick to kill Stephanie. Weird.
It is weird, Ron -- and so "been there done that!" How'd that plan work out for ya, Stormy? Besides, how many times is Stephanie going to be shot, anyway? Couldn't Stephen come up with something more original? And even Storm apparently stole the Stephanie-as-target-practice idea from Sheila! Her old cohort Mike Guthrie suddenly reappeared after twelve years -- it was kind of out of nowhere, but quite welcome, and oh, the memories.
Obviously "Michael" has been living a life of crime since Sheila left -- he's grittier, and I sense a bitterness in him. And how realistic that, rather than instantly recognizing Stephanie in the photo, he thought of it afterwards and came back -- even remarking that Stephanie's hair is different. Since Sheila was trying to walk the straight and narrow during most of her time on B&B, it made sense for Mike to opine that the Forresters "drove her to it" when she went over the edge (that she hasn't come back from). Still, I was scratching my head when Mike deduced that Stephen is the father of Brooke and Donna -- sure, Brooke was Mike's boss at Forrester, but Donna wasn't around then; how would he even know of her existence?
Even so, since Mike proclaimed that he'd be back, he'll figure into things again eventually. Wouldn't it be something if he was the one who ended up doing the right thing -- warning Stephanie or even saving her? That would certainly earn him some redemption. And it's nice to think, from the way Mike talked about her, that Sheila is still out there somewhere -- the real Sheila, not the messed-up Y&R plastic surgery version that's supposedly dead. Okay, you caught me -- big Sheila fan here! Come back to the B&B, Kimberlin Brown, Kimberlin Brown.
As for Stephen...well, I'm not sure what to think. I understand his desire to protect his daughters and avenge Beth's death by targeting Stephanie. But he's being very diabolical, which is unlike him. Could he be that grief-stricken? And what was the point of him getting hit by a car -- unless maybe it jarred some of his marbles loose so he would behave this way? The cool part of story is that it finally shows us a different side of Miss Pam Douglas (although I'm seriously thinking of turning mentions of "lemon bar" into a drinking game -- enough already!). I had pretty well written her off when she sent Donna away in the Roach Motel -- this Pam is much truer to the character, and I'm actually starting to feel bad that her first foray into romance is going to end very badly. Will Pam go all Sheila when she finds out she's been duped? Or will Stephen develop real feelings for Pam after all?
B&B would do well, though, to patch up some of the potholes here on Storyline Road. Eric and Stephanie's reconciliation became official at a private family gathering -- it would not end up on the cover of a magazine, much less the next day. How did that leak? Was Jarrett hiding in the caviar? (Although isn't it nice to see some actual character development with him?) How is Stephen able to have Brooke's flashbacks? He wasn't there for any of those incidents! And isn't this all moving way too fast -- from one kiss to moving in to lounging around in underwear faster than you can tell an Insomnia employee "I'll have a mocha latte, please?" And why would Pam give Stephen her entire set of keys and let him move into her place by himself? It's a good storyline...I'm looking forward to more...but these kinds of inconsistencies do tend to take the edge off it.
And then...well, yes, I know you're waiting for it. I've been waiting for it. DID SHE OR DIDN'T SHE?!
I admit, when I first heard that Daddy Yankee was going to play for a party of graduates where something "devastating" was supposed to happen, I rolled my eyes. I'm so worn thin on anything having to do with the Steffy/Oliver/Hope storyline already that surely more teenybopper shenanigans -- even if they involved the stunt casting of musical artist that's unfamiliar to me -- would be a major snoozefest. So wasn't I surprised when it turned out to be a device for a major cliffhanger? Please tell me Brooke didn't unwittingly sleep with Oliver! OH NO SHE DI'INT! Even though I started piecing that possibility together a few days early, the whole sequence with Brooke taking off her mask and Oliver's horrified slo-mo expression was sheer suspense, the likes of which I haven't seen on B&B in quite some time. Whatever the outcome, the show hit the ball out of the park on that one!
Now, let's analyze it. It wasn't hard to figure that something bad was going to happen, largely because everyone kept talking about how wonderful they were feeling. I can't speak for other soaps, but both B&B and Y&R have this nasty habit of giving away upcoming drama by having characters talk about how happy they are or how solid their relationships are. Characters rarely do that unless they're about to orbit a big world of hurt. I really wish the scripts could be a little more subtle in this regard. What set off alarms for me was not so much Oliver and Hope making goo-goo eyes at each other, but the increase in Ridge and Brooke's declarations. "We are so lucky" -- "There's only one man for me" -- "Tonight something special is going to happen" -- "Nothing and no one is going to ruin this for my daughter." Between that and all the identical hooded dresses and leather jackets from the Men's Line (the Men's Line! Wow! Haven't heard much about that since its creation in '93!), they were telegraphing a mistaken identity so intensely that it might as well have been in Morse Code.
I was able to go with the let's-have-the-party-at-the-mansion scenario eventually -- have to admit it was a trip to see that set without furniture, then transformed into a club -- but getting there was a little suspect. As someone else also pointed out on B&B's Facebook page, why does Hope refer to her grandparents as "Eric" and "Stephanie"? True, Hope's not actually related to them, but if she can call Ridge "Dad," then why not his parents "Grandma" and "Grandpa"? And why did Stephanie think she had a right to dictate whether or not the party would happen at a house she only returned to the night before? Then, of course, Daddy Yankee wanted to turn the mansion into the set for his next video. I was impressed by Dempsey (who I mistook for the DY's real manager; turns out he's DJ Tony Okungbowa from The Ellen Degeneres Show). I was surprised that, since they were called to a meeting at Forrester Creations, they were so amazed that "O" had connections to the Forresters. Weren't the family's reactions to DY classic? Marcus all star-struck, Hope and Steffy coming together in mutual appreciation, Eric completely befuddled? And the moment between Brooke and Stephanie was almost cute, with Stephanie kind of beeping Brooke on the nose...almost affectionate!
Steffy got knocked down a few pegs this week, too, with Hope and Oliver getting "necklaced" and Brooke laying the smackdown on her errant stepdaughter. Steffy didn't even have the usual chip on her shoulder when she dangled Hope's left-behind trinket and contemplated crashing the party. The vixen's downplayed behavior seemed a little odd given her very active demonstrations of the past several weeks -- but I don't think it's an accident.
Daddy Yankee's five-episode arc threatened to reek of overkill, but his presence wasn't quite as overwhelming as I thought it would be. Admittedly, his music is an acquired taste (to me, it just sounds like everything else out there -- being 40-going-on-16 didn't seem to help in this case!), but it did get the party jumpin'...and Ridge and Brooke sure seem to like the tracks. A lot. In fact, it apparently gets them even more horned up than usual. The coitus interruptus certainly upped the ante that someone was gonna get funky before the night was over. But how many coincidences did it take to make this story happen?
I could buy the identical wardrobe, but why would Brooke, thinking she was talking to Ridge, say nothing to "him" but "I'm ready"? And that just happened to be Hope's "code word?" More to the point, why is it on this show that so much of the drama comes from people having sex with the wrong people? Wittingly and unwittingly? That's already driving Bridget and Owen's story. The only unwitting-sex story I can recall on B&B that had any punch was all those years ago when drunk Caroline mistook prankster Ridge for husband Thorne -- slightly unbelievable, but it did generate almost two years of multi-layered, kick-ass story. If Brooke truly had sex with Oliver, what story can that generate beyond Brooke being more hated than she already is -- by the Forresters and the anti-Brooke fans?
I seriously feel that we're being "punk'd" by Friday's cliffhanger. As I already mentioned, B&B went so far out of its way to telegraph Brooke and make us forget about Steffy that it just seems too easy that it was Brooke's face behind that mask. And there are other loopholes. Most importantly, why, in any scenario, would Brooke be wearing Hope's necklace? The last time we saw that necklace, Steffy had it. Even if Steffy had capitulated to Marcus' demand and handed it over to him, how would Brooke have ended up with it? Isn't it just as plausible that Steffy crashed the party wearing Hope's necklace with the clear intention of fooling Oliver into sex? Of course, that doesn't answer the "I'm ready" question, and I did see some blonde hair poking out from behind that sequined hood. Could Steffy have been wearing a wig?
The possibilities are endless -- and, let's face it, that's what makes a good cliffhanger. I'd love to take credit for the following idea, but I can't -- a fan suggested that Steffy set it up to make it look like Brooke slept with Oliver. That works -- Steffy's been looking for a way to boot Brooke from Forrester, and, given Brooke's actual transgressions over the years, who'd believe that she didn't actually sleep with her daughter's boyfriend? Especially considering the circumstances of said daughter's conception? My money's on a Steffy plot -- admittedly because I don't want to believe anything else!
Besides, at the risk of sounding vulgar, if there was any sex at all (and we don't know for sure there wasn't), and if that sex was happening between Brooke and Oliver, wouldn't Brooke be able to...ahem..."tell" he wasn't Ridge? For that matter, even though Oliver hadn't had the opportunity to make love to Hope and therefore it would be new for him, isn't there one vital factor that would indicate to him a girl is being "touched for the very first time"? (There -- I kept that one TV-14!) 'Nuff said -- except that unless someone had a condom hidden in their hoodie, two someones had unprotected sex! Tsk!
Well, this is one time I am not going to bother looking at spoilers for the week, at least not until I see Monday's episode for myself! Did Brooke finally go too far? Did Steffy finally go too far? And will Stephanie finally go off when she's still finding sparkly streamers in the corners of her living room months from now? Tune in and find out. I'm sure there's lots of Scoopin' goin' on at the Soap Central message boards about this latest plot twist, so add your two cents to the proceedings! You can also send me your comments on this column (and remember, there's a reason they call this an "opinion" column!) Did she or didn't she? Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!