Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you go through an employee roster to find your father? Did you discover the Chinese symbol for "Slow down, Speedy Gonzalez"? Did you finally make your whole family talk to the hand? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Let's just start right out of the gate -- how ballsy was it for Whip to suggest Jackie M capitalize on "the scandal" by having a fashion show with hoods and masks? It's kind of a funny idea when you think about it, but, given Whip was once very much in love with Brooke -- and has no animosity toward her that we know of -- it seemed strange he would suggest parodying her troubles publicly. Maybe Whip's starting to take Taylor's anti-Brooke talk too seriously!
Aggie and Nick may be suited for each other, after all, because they seem to be sniffing the same glue. Aggie's all "I don't have any expectations and I'm not going to push you (much) and who did you have lunch with?" She's got a paid ticket on the Codependency Train, and it's chuggin' along full speed ahead. Nick, on the other hand, declares Aggie "has been a good friend." A good friend you're sleeping with, Popeye! Aggie's never thought of you as just a friend, and she's sure not going to now after you've dropped anchor in her port!
If the writers wanted to go for a Nick/Aggie pairing, it might have been really nice if they had waited and developed it slowly. It seems they're trying to now, but the damage has been done by throwing them into bed so fast. Aggie's rose-colored glasses are the size of Elton John's, which makes her seem like a sap, and Nick's obvious difference in feeling just makes him seem like a cad. On paper, this pairing might work down the road, but right now it just doesn't.
I'm sure the many remaining Nick/Brooke fans just about passed out from joy over the exes' impromptu lunch at Il Giardino. What was up with Brooke's obvious "disguise," and if she was so worried about being harassed by paparazzi, why would she go to such a popular spot alone? Of course, like the rest of you, I have to wonder what the purpose of these scenes was. It would be great to think Brooke and Nick could just be friends, but soaps usually don't put exes together on screen unless they're leading toward something else. Nick is free and, while Brooke and Ridge are amazingly solid right now considering, Steffy could finally succeed in breaking them up. But I have to say, it would be most refreshing if we could just take their lunch at face value -- two people who were once married simply enjoying some breadsticks together. So, face value it is. Anything else makes me too nervous!
Be honest -- how many of you yawned through Oliver and Hope's reunion? I'm all for young love, and sure, it was sugary sweet, but it really didn't keep my interest. For one, I still think Hope forgave Oliver too quickly -- at least because he did anything but give her the space everyone advised him to. And I'm sorry -- breaking onto Forrester grounds and setting up a romantic rendezvous undetected? Hope said the gesture was "beyond words, really," and I couldn't agree more. The only B&B character I ever knew who could sneak past the security gates and guards of the Forrester compound was Sheila -- and she was certainly never dumb enough to stop and set up Chinese lanterns! I mean, Oliver, why didn't you just send up a flare to tell security "I'm here!" If they didn't see that, then they're not worth the money Stephanie's paying them. But I digress...
Said reunion may be short-lived if Liam has his way. These days, who goes to Daddy to ask for his daughter's hand? Liam sure did -- and Hope, despite her setting Liam straight about getting back with Oliver, couldn't help but be moved by it. You know, it's funny -- I have nothing against Zack Conroy at all, but somehow as Oliver he just doesn't really have much spark, which, after the raves he got on GL, surprises me. Scott Clifton as Liam, on the other hand, is as reliably quirky and endearing as he was in his stints on GH and OLTL, and by comparison makes Oliver seem like an even weaker character.
That said, I'm not sure I'd root for a Hope/Liam pairing. They do have a certain chemistry, but isn't Liam even older than Oliver? Tough call...but right now it just seems like Oliver was brought on solely for the mask-boink, and he's gotten so sappy (like sister Aggie!) that whatever Hope and Oliver had seems exactly that -- past tense. But if it means one of these boys ends up with Steffy, then put Oliver with her -- she likes other women's men, remember?
Meanwhile, Liam's looking for his Daddy. The only thing that strikes me as odd about it is how quickly B&B sprung it on us. One minute Liam's an I.T. guy and the next he's a potential Forrester or Spencer. The storyline's fine, but there was no build-up to really hook us in. Anyway, the wheels are in motion now and the "bullet" could have come from anybody's "gun." Did you guys secretly thrill to find Thorne embroiled in this saga? It's a little contrived he would have dated the same girl as Bill (and would this have happened before Caroline? Sometime in between Macy?), but considering B&B threw Winsor Harmon under the bus, it's gratifying to see him in this paternity-go-round.
Can I just say how "Eww" it was to have Stephanie repeatedly ask Thorne if he had sex with Kelly Hopkins? Something in the way she approached it...am I the only one who found that a bit inappropriate? Still, it looks like there'll soon be a round of DNA tests to be had, and it's good to see Thorne will be one of the fellows rolling up his sleeve. Continuity question: Stephanie remarked to Thorne "You saw how tense [the meeting] was yesterday". To my knowledge, even though this was a few episodes after the meeting, we were still dealing with the same soap opera day. Someone in the writing department slipped up, methinks!
While it would be great for Thorne to end up being Liam's father (there's a resemblance, and it would finally give the man a storyline!), can't we all see it coming that Dollar Bill is going to be the winner of the DNA lottery? We don't know much about his life before last year, and there's no B&B history to have to work around. Plus, the fact that he's the most ill-suited person to be a father (albeit to a grown-up son) of course makes him the most likely candidate. And look at the way they scrap! Of course Bill and Liam are going to end up being father and son. The way they've come to instantly hate each other, I'd be really surprised if it didn't end up being true.
How cool was it for Jarrett, "the intrepid reporter," to come in, even briefly, and add his British two pence to the whole matter? And what a good point he made -- Liam is short for William. Duh-nuhhhhhh! But I'm a little perplexed by Katie's actions here. Not a few minutes after finding out her husband may have fathered a son he didn't know about, and Katie's insisting they get to the truth; then she completely forces the issue once Liam comes back for his mom's picture, handing Liam a confidential file and going against Bill's protest-too-much wishes.
It's great Katie's being so supportive, but it was obviously contrived just so we could have a Friday cliffhanger with Liam saying "No! You can't be my father!" It just would have seemed more plausible if they'd taken a little more time with it. I come from the old school of soap watching, and I can attest that stories probably moved too slowly then, but now soaps are overcompensating. Can we find a middle ground here between plodding and lightning fast? Please?
Back over at Forrester, there are more Daddy issues to be had, namely for the increasingly dysfunctional Steffy. Did you see how she gripped Ridge tighter when Brooke walked in mid-hug? Looks like both Stephanies have beyond-familial feelings for Ridge. Gross. As for Steffy's renewed quest to boot Brooke, there's so much going on here, I hardly know where to begin. It may well be true that Forrester business is suffering due to Brooke's scandal. But everyone can see that Steffy really only wants Brooke gone for personal reasons.
Sure, if a regular employee had created a scandal that put the company at a loss, that employee would be fired, and Brooke probably shouldn't be exempt. But for all Steffy's railing that she was fired because it was believed she exposed the scandal, she's forgetting that incident was only the last straw that caused Ridge to fire her! Ridge called Steffy out for blackmailing Brooke, and said she couldn't come back until she could accept Brooke. So Steffy's not back one day and the first thing she does is go back to her anti-Brooke ways? Can you say "hypocrite," boys and girls? I knew you could.
And wow, hypocrisy was running rampant in that room. Stephanie says Brooke's every move is calculated? Stephanie has been the undisputed queen of calculation for the last 23 years, to the point of faking a heart attack to get her way! Steffy cries that she risked so much to get the company back from Bill "to restore the good name of Forrester" -- I didn't know manipulation, blackmail, and extortion through sexual games was part of the good name of Forrester! And how dumb can Taylor be? "Oh, Steffy would never sell her stock to Bill" -- um, she threatened to do it right in front of you!
Can Taylor and Stephanie now see that Steffy is more than capable of blackmail? Are they actually all right with the idea of Steffy blackmailing her own father? And, for everything Steffy's done to be rid of Brooke forever, now she's suggesting Brooke only be fired until after the media circus blows over? Sure, I believe that, Scoopers. Don't you?
I want to make a quick note here. There are those of you that feel I am "Team Brooke" and against "Team Staylor" because I seem to be defending Brooke. I know that many of you enjoy choosing sides with this show, and rallying against the other side. I want to go on record as saying I don't choose sides -- I'm Team B&B all the way. I'm more interested in fairness than in any particular character; if a character is being a butthead, I say so. Brooke has committed her share of sins and of course the affair with Deacon and the mask-boink with Oliver are the worst ones. Has Brooke taken enough responsibility for her actions? Probably not. But Brooke knows she's a screw-up -- that's why I still find her endearing.
I like Stephanie and Taylor (sorry to say I've never liked Steffy), but, the way they're being written, they're completely self-righteous and holier-than-thou, which I find two-dimensional and off-putting. They're not perfect, but they act like they are, and they're so focused on Brooke all the time that they don't bother to clean up their side of the street. When Stephanie, Steffy, and Taylor stop being buttheads, I'll stop saying they are. If that makes me seem pro-Brooke, then so be it. Believe me, if Brooke was being this much of a butthead, I'd be saying she was, too!
Which brings us back to Steffy's sheer audacity. When she "jokingly" said "I intend to make Dad feel guilty every chance I get" for firing her, she meant it! And "as long as" she has Ridge's love and support, she won't sell her stock to Bill. "As long as"! Then she took it one step further and essentially said -- in front of her entire family yet! -- that if she didn't get her way that she would sell to Bill! It was one thing for Steffy to blackmail Brooke, but now she's trying to extort her father's love from him! I was grateful that Stephanie felt that forcing Ridge's hand that way was bad, but everyone should now be seeing Steffy's true colors -- and that includes Taylor, as well as Thorne and Eric.
I remember when Eric used to be the one to play peacemaker -- much to Stephanie's annoyance -- and it does seem that Ridge is following in those designer footsteps. Asking Brooke to talk to Steffy was a bit of a stretch. Yet, it made for one of the more interesting scenes of the week. Steffy kept volleying at Brooke, but, like when your parents tell you not to respond to teasing and bullying at school, Brooke let it roll off her back, actually impressing Steffy by admitting she should have had more respect for Ridge and Taylor's relationship. It almost seemed Brooke had won Steffy over a few times.
But, once Steffy saw that Marcus had been beaned with a water bottle by a reporter, she roared back to Ridge with her insistence that Brooke be fired. "First a water bottle! Who knows what's next!' Steffy bewailed. Sound the alarm! Next they'll be coming after Forrester employees with billy clubs and machine guns! Paparazzi attack with pictures and words. Steffy's overblown concern for Marcus (who she really doesn't give two hoots about) was overkill, in my opinion.
Still, it was enough to make Ridge reconsider and fire Brooke anyway. I couldn't figure out his contention that he'd "done it for her" until he explained that he thought it was better for Brooke to stop making herself the target of all the derision. I still don't see how getting Brooke out of the company keeps the press from turning on Forrester, but it was sweet that Brooke understood, and even saw it as a kind of karma because Ridge had forgiven her for Oliver. Although, Brooke being dismissed from Forrester twice in two months is going to be just as much press fodder as the scandal itself is! (Who didn't chuckle a little at the "Brooke the Chaperone" video, though? Even I did...I admit it!)
Now for my favorite twist of the week -- oh, Thomas, you've come a long way from blowing up cars! Now you're just blowing up! Whoo doggy the Forresters didn't know what hit 'em! After being relegated to Forrester International (where all castoff Forresters go), his return seemed innocuous, as most of Thomas' appearances have been. Has Thomas ever actually had a storyline to call his own except for that ill-conceived fling with Amber five or six years ago? Not that I can remember. So who expected this guy to find out that Taylor gave Steffy all her stock and then open up a can of Whoop-Ass on everybody?
Naturally Steffy was so full of herself about having the stock that she couldn't keep her mouth shut. And who could blame Thomas for being unhappy getting the door prize of being made vice president of Development, not to mention being told by Ridge "you'll be an owner someday"? Thomas was spot-on when he took Taylor to task about making Steffy part-owner simply because Steffy was all boo-hoo about Ridge. Absolutely. Spot. On.
Since B&B reinvented the Forrester/Logan feud for the new millennium, the line between them has always been pretty clear. So how cool is it that Thomas, a Forrester (okay, a Marone, but that's an argument for another time), threw his support behind a Logan? (Even though that Logan has been a Forrester by marriage several times over?) It's great conflict -- and a great new direction for a character that's always been on the sidelines. Thomas went ballistic -- calling Steffy a dictator, telling Taylor she'd created a monster, and my head was sore from nodding when Thomas admitted he was just as hurt by their parents' divorce but he'd gotten over it so Steffy should, too!
And I never do this, but I actually yelled out "YES! YES! YES!" when Thomas called Steffy out for seducing Bill to get the company back! It was satisfying on so many levels -- not only was it actually finally properly addressed, considering everyone seemed to be all right with it, but now I was clear on who actually knew about it. Oh, if only pious Stephanie had been in the room to hear how her dear little namesake was willing to give it up in the name of family loyalty! It was so good to see Thomas go up against Steffy and her "poor little me routine", and demand to know why he and Thorne and Brooke and Felicia and Kristen don't have percentages of the company. Weren't we all wondering that exact same thing? I know you were. Don't deny it. I saw you.
Wrapping up, I'm sure we all must also be wondering what sense it makes to bring Drew Tyler Bell back as Thomas, give him a juicy storyline that's sure to have a major impact on the canvas...and then recast him in the middle of it! Thomas hasn't exactly been the most dynamic character, but young Master Bell proved his mettle this week. I didn't quite understand why he got an Emmy this year for the storyline he didn't have last year, but somehow between that honor and the notable kick-off to this storyline, being replaced seems like a major slap in the face.
If B&B was going to recast Thomas, the character was off-screen long enough -- he could have come back from Forrester International in a new form. I'm really disappointed, because just from what I saw Friday, I'd love to see how our current Thomas fares with this meatier material. I don't know anything about nuThomas (Adam Gregory), but I admit I'm dubious at this point. It's usually a bad sign when perfectly good actors get replaced with pretty faces, especially ones with projects like 90210 and Hannah Montana on their résumés. I'm willing to give him a chance...I guess we'll see. I hear Friday's was Drew Tyler Bell's last appearance -- if so, at least he got to go out with a bang!
Haven't done this one for a while, so let's throw it in:
BEST LINE OF THE WEEK: Katie (referring to Liam's mother): "So why don't you just call this woman and find out the truth?" Bill: "Because that would require a séance."
So what do you think, guys? Is recasting Thomas a mistake? Who do you think is Liam's father? And, most importantly, why does Bill keep a picture of himself on his desk? Speculate on all these weighty matters on the Soap Central message boards, or hit me up with some comments. Here's a few recent ones!
• "Hi, I just read your column and ITA with pretty much everything you wrote about Stephanie and Taylor. I am sick to death of watching these two lay into Brooke for her parenting. IMO, Stephanie is a rotten mother. Her interaction with [Ridge] is so twisted that one gets the impression that she is his wife rather than his mother...and you are on the money with the way Stephanie and Taylor encourage Steffy to lie, cheat, and blackmail, which is toxic parenting at its finest. Thanks for being a columnist who does not vilify Brooke." -- Giovanna
"Please help Ridge to get his mind off his crotch and take up some time with his daughter. He makes me ill the way he moons over the woman who once again slept with a daughter's man." -- Denise
"Mike, you are rapidly becoming my favorite columnist. The only thing I could add is - every one of these characters could use a good psychiatrist (not Taylor or James - God forbid!) If Stephanie or Taylor really cared about Hope, they would have seen to it that psychiatric counseling was provided immediately." -- Jean
"Please can an anti-Logan write the Two Scoops commentary? I'm really getting disgusted with these pro-Loganites!" -- Angel
"Just once I'd like to see Stephanie go to jail and be held accountable. Liam could have filed charges. Brooke should have. Stephen should have. Get that bitch in prison. Great actress. But I hate her sooooo much. I just want some justice for everyone she has hurt. And I'd like to see Eric moon after Donna again...just to piss off Stephanie. Leave Brooke alone for God's sake." -- Loren
It's an interesting time on B&B, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!