Welcome to the new look of The Bold and the Beautiful, fans. This past week was like the coming out party for actor Scott Clifton. He's been in and out of scenes for the past month, but this past week was the turning point, what with his announcing to Ridge that he's his son, followed by a sock in the mouth -- very rational, Ridge! -- and, ultimately, his bonding with Hope. Look out, Oliver, there's a new boy in town and he's gone all starry-eyed for Hope.
To be fair, Clifton's a damn good actor. In lesser hands, all that gooey mush might have come off as saccharine. Clifton's able to sell it with a healthy dollop of sincerity. As long as we don't find out that Liam's somehow related to Hope -- and I don't think he is -- there may be a nice, little romance brewing there.
What about Oliver? Well, even though the haircut has done everything imaginable to rescue his relationship with Hope, the reality of grad party night is going to remain a stumbling block. Let's face it, even Hope has come to the realization that if Oliver had any depth of character at all, he would have known that sex at the party was not how virginal Hope wanted her first time to unfold. Romance dictated that Oliver live up to the teenage fantasy, and he failed. His up-against-the-wall boinking was something out of raunchy Seth Rogen movie like Knocked Up when it should have been a Drew Barrymore flick like Never Been Kissed.
While we're on the subject of shattered fantasies, when is Jackie going to wake up to the fact that Owen's like a German Shepherd? Did you believe it when she referred to him that way? Oh, sure, she meant it as a compliment to his manliness, but for goodness sake, Jackie has him parading around half-naked in an apron at home and won't let him wear long pants in the office. Granted, he's got a buff body, but this is the reverse bimbo syndrome. Owen wants to be loved for his mind, not just his abs.
Jackie is also a bit dim when it comes to Bridget. It's na´ve of her to have Bridget as part of the family, living under her roof with Owen, knowing that Bridget and Owen have a history. Even if it was just one night, the connection between the two lingers. Jackie has to be blind not to notice all those long, intense looks. The tip-off this past week was at the photo shoot when Bridget spoke up for Owen. The sharp Jackie Marone that I know would have realized by now that it's time to move Bridget into her own little nest before the baby comes. Preferably a nest far enough away that Owen can't drop by at a moment's notice.
So I received mail pro and con this past week about my take on the Brooke-Stephanie situation. Some readers appreciate that I don't think Brooke is the devil incarnate, while others are ticked at me for being too rough on Stephanie. Maybe it's me, but I don't recall any time that Brooke has been a bully to Stephanie, but there are numerous occasions of the opposite. Sure, Stephanie feels justified to condemn Brooke for her wanton ways. Stephanie just doesn't respect Brooke for her actions, although she never approved of her even when she was just a teenage girl from the Valley.
Has Stephanie ever given Brooke a chance? She's always preferred the Carolines and Taylors for Ridge, and that's colored her assessment of Brooke. And Brooke has contributed mightily to the skewed vision Stephanie has of her because of missteps like Deacon and Oliver, not to mention the fact that Brooke married Eric. Stephanie might never forgive Brooke for that one, any more than she'll ever forgive Donna.
But when I saw Stephanie barge into Brooke's bedroom -- the actual bedroom, not the fashion line -- without a knock, I was offended. Who does that? Stephanie acts like royalty, like she's a monarch for whom no laws apply. That was also her attitude standing over Stephen with a gun. And then when she started beating Liam like he was an unruly cocker spaniel. Will the day ever come when somebody pushes back and tells Stephanie that her force and violence are not the acts of a lady? The rules of polite society just don't apply to Stephanie -- and they should!
Bill's hot on the trail of Steffy's shares of Forrester Creation, and unless Steffy is more mature than her years, she's susceptible to his manipulation. In some way, I think Bill makes a salient point. Why doesn't Steffy contemplate starting her own company? Forrester Creations is the family business, but what if she were to make her own successful company and then returned to Forrester ten years down the road? She's young enough to make her own way rather than just follow in the family footsteps.
I would love to see that streak of independence. And why just the fashion biz? Steffy might be a wiz at something else, maybe making burritos or designing bicycles!
Taylor giving Steffy her 25% of Forrester Creations is going to have many ramifications, not just what we've seen so far. For one, Thomas is not going to take it well. But here's what I want to know, how do Thorne and Felicia (and Kristin) feel about being shut out of the corporate shares? Is that fair? The whole corporate structure is so bizarrely skewed right now that I'm baffled why Thorne and Rick and Marcus even show up at the office. What's in it for them?
By the way, when Stephanie burst into Brooke's room the other day, did she stop into R.J.'s room to say hi? When was the last time Stephanie asked Thorne about Ally? Where are the missing Forrester children, I wonder? There was a moment in Stephanie's gracious and generous embrace of Hope that I wanted to ask Madame Forrester why she was showering Brooke's child -- a non-blood relation -- with all this affection when she doesn't have time for her actual grandkids? It was disproportionate, fans.
Hope should never have turned to Stephanie for advice, not in a million years. Think about it as if you were Hope. As mad as you were at your mother, would you go to her number one enemy for advice? Hope knows that Stephanie and Brooke have never been friends. Hope probably heard a lot of their screaming matches from the top of the stairs and wondered why Ridge's mommy was so angry at her mommy? Kids don't forget stuff like that. In my estimation, Hope would have gone to Eric for advice ... Nick. Both were father figures to her and both treated Hope like a daughter at some point in her life.
There were some great letters in the e-mailbox this week. You can read them below and feel free to write us with your thoughts at Soap Central...
• What if Liam is Ridge's son? It could work if Caroline was actually Karen. You know, just like Taylor being taken off with the wealthy sheik. Caroline could have requested to be withdrawn after the cancer treatments miraculously worked and finding out that she was pregnant. Caroline could have left because of Brooke's constant attention and never said a word her husband, Ridge. That would make Liam Rdge's first legitimate son, then Thomas and R.J. -- D.L.
• Could Liam be Morgan's son? How many times was she impregnated by Ridge? Did they all end with an abortion or miscarriage? And of course, this is a soap opera, so anything is possible! -- MZ
• After years of spineless, gutless behavior, I had given up on Ridge. He was a useless character that I and others I knew had no interest in. More than that, we wanted him off the show. How wonderful it is now to see Ridge develop backbone and loyalty towards Brooke. I now love the character again. It has rejuvenated both Ridge and the show. It will make for interesting viewing again seeing Ridge be strong and independent and loyal. Go Ridge. Don't stuff it up again, writers, please. -- Katherine R.
Thanks for reading! Till next time, see you on the soaps!