Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did watching every episode of Survivor pay off? Did you bury the hatchet -- while reserving the right to dig it up later? Were you bursting with fruit flavor? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Did any of you guys see Swept Away, that infamously bad Madonna movie? I actually did. Why? Because I'm a huge Madonna fan, and I wanted to support my favorite artist, even in cringeworthy material. That's how I'm feeling about this tale of Brooke, Thomas, and...THE BERRIES. Surely "the berries" will come to replace last year's catchphrase, "the mask boink!"
To be fair, Swept Away wasn't all that bad. And this plane crash storyline has its moments, too. But before we get to my thoughts and feelings, I think it's important that we explore yours:
• "I have tried repeatedly to hang in with this soap... The ridiculous Brooke-Thomas 'acid trip' brought on by consuming the 'forbidden fruit' was the last brick in the wall... With all the underused talent and overused non-talent, this show is worse than ever and given the demise of beloved AMC and OLTL, one does have to wonder how this show escaped the axe. I'm done with it. Brooke is no longer a sex kitten, Stephanie has no life, and Dayzee, Thomas, Oliver and Hope are amateurs who cannot compete or add to their peers' scenes... The show had core characters that they ditched -- Thorne with a daughter who with SORAS is probably a grandmother by now... What a disappointment this show has become. Ship me some berries and I may change my mind..." - Carolyn
• "So I am not shocked nor surprised that Brooke and Thomas are going to do the nasty. What really angers me is they have to make Brooke this kind of woman. What does she want? Does she really want Ridge? Or is he just her soft place to fall. His character is spineless and needs to 'grow a set'. Don't get me started on plastic Taylor...this storyline is absolutely ridiculous. Time to move on people." - Darlene
• "I think Bell experimented with the berries while writing this disgusting, lewd garbage. Anything Brooke and Thomas is not psychedelic, it is insane and sick. Can't Bell write anything that does not degrade or humiliate Brooke? Why isn't Nick, the Captain, out there searching for the love of his life? [He] traded in his ship compass for a cell phone? Seriously? Quit ramming Ridge down our throats. Stop Brooke's constant groveling and apologizing..." - PAK
• "I guess the writers will not stop until Thomas and Brooke have sex. No one wants to see that..." - Bertha
First off, how refreshing to finally see an umbrella story that involved virtually the entire (contract) cast! The only ones we didn't see were Justin and Amber. The Forresters and the Logans coming together in a time of crisis was good to see. Stephanie was right to note it often takes tragedy for people to put aside their differences. Which made it all the more gratifying when she admitted she loved Brooke and couldn't imagine life without her, even though Brooke made her crazy. B&B had really dropped the ball when it destroyed their truce over the Paris Kiss, so this admission gave me hope that maybe we can rise above and get back to the best thing the show had going.
And while it was a little pat to have Stephanie bond with Stephen, it still worked for me -- even if Stephanie didn't utter, "Gee, Stephen, sorry I shot you!" That's kind of a big hurdle to overcome. As is having someone douse you in honey and sic a bear on you -- of course I'm speaking of Pam's history with Donna. Pam encouraging Donna to believe in miracles? Maybe Pam really has changed. Except for leaving Nick with a plate of lemon bars at the end. Enough is enough with the freakin' lemon bars!
There was some good continuity, as well. Stephen recalled losing Storm and Beth. Phoebe's death was acknowledged. Donna made the observation that stress may be hindering Stephanie's bout with cancer -- who knew Stephanie wasn't already cured? Her coughing fit reminded us the story isn't over -- and it should never have been backburnered for this Taboo foolishness. At least we got phone calls with Rick, Bridget, and Felicia -- even Kristen got mentioned! But where, oh where, is Thorne? He should have been front and center. You know it's true.
We also saw characters that loathe one another -- and therefore rarely mix -- banding together. Ridge, Nick, and Bill have a lot in common: they're all larger-than-life, powerful, and stubborn. Which made them a good team in terms of finding Thomas and Brooke. Interesting, too, that just under the surface was the implication that Nick still has feelings for Brooke -- Jack Wagner played that subtext very effectively. But I do agree with reader PAK -- Nick was really in his element here; he should be a sailor again, or at least running Marone Industries, not a fashion empire. Let Jackie (and Clarke!) run Jackie M!
As for Bill, Steffy was right that only he could arrange to have a military satellite at their disposal (even if they were dumb enough to miss Brooke and Thomas running by). I myself was a little confused as to why Bill dropped everything to doggedly helm the search. But his admission "I would do just about anything to keep from losing a son" seemed to cover it, even if that was a foreign concept to him a year ago. It was consistent with his reason for trying to off Amber, and at least this time that desire went to good. Good, too, was Bill's post-rescue chat with Taylor, referring to the therapy session and asking if he needed more. Now, was it just me, or did y'all catch a spark between Bill and Taylor? That was the one thing about having all these different characters mix for a change -- different dynamics.
There was a lot of that... Katie and Nick's moment of connection, for example. They weren't a couple for long, but there was something palpable between them in that room. That's more than I can say for Dayzee. I really like her, but I still don't buy her and Thomas, and her declaration of deeper feelings just wasn't believable. It's the way it's written -- we've hardly seen Thomas and Dayzee together, yet we're being asked to root for them when we haven't had a chance to get invested in them. Pam and Stephen were pushed on us, too, but they had a legitimate story that brought them together first, and although their relationship has been off-screen, we've had the better part of a year to get used to it. Donna and Justin married in two seconds, but they had a history. Everything about Thomas and Dayzee just feels contrived.
Speaking of couples that don't engender investment, why were Hope's paramours even brought into this story? Yes, it was Hope's place to be with her family with Thomas and Brooke missing. Since Hope had decided to give it a go with Oliver a millisecond after breaking up with Liam for the thousandth time, I can almost see why Oliver was there. But Hope looked really flaky when she played tonsil hockey with Liam the second he showed up. Top it off with Oliver deciding to express his jealousy on the heels of the rescue announcement, which made him look selfish. Who needed reminding of this yawn-worthy triangle at that particular moment anyway? "You are the weakest link -- goodbye!"
Whip whining "I just want Taylor home!" seemed equally selfish given the circumstances. Sure, poor Whip has been in love with Brooke and Taylor and has always had to deal with the specter of Ridge. But that really wasn't the time to complain about it. How about taking some responsibility instead, Whip? If you hadn't encouraged Thomas to do something scandalous for publicity, there would have been no Taboo to be promoted overseas, and Thomas and Brooke wouldn't have ended up in the ocean. Pop that berry into your mouth and hallucinate from it, Mr. Jones!
Thankfully, despite the spoilers that said Taylor would "realize her true feelings for Ridge" (when has she not been aware of them? When has she not made us aware of them? Please!), we did not end up with a histrionic Taylor this week. And she didn't moon over Ridge like I thought she would. Hell, Ridge asking for his Logan to come back to him and declaring that nothing is more precious to him than his wife and children should really seal that one for good. (It won't, of course, but it should.)
It was nice to see Taylor doing something different, too. She wasn't as proactive in the rescue attempts as I hoped she'd be, but she was the one to spot the island, and she was far stronger than she was weepy. Imagine my shock when she actually went to Brooke and thanked her for helping Thomas through the ordeal! Maybe it's just me, but I find it particularly heartwarming when moments like that happen between enemies on these shows. Thank the soap gods it did, because if it had continued that all Steffy and Taylor cared about was Thomas, they would have come off really callous.
Steffy, however, didn't waste any time trying to join the Mile High Club with Bill, despite her family being "twenty feet away!" So, through this ordeal, Bill blurted out that he loves Steffy. But where is he really at about all this? In one breath he says he loves his wife, and in the next he's making out with Steffy, who doesn't need the encouragement. At least her obsession has moved from plain lust toward hero worship, given Bill's rescue efforts, but what's all this going to mean for Katie?
As I said, there were a lot of good aspects to this story -- and am I relieved to say so. It was better before the rescue, though -- somehow it fell apart a bit after Brooke and Thomas were located. Yet it wasn't the peripheral story that was problematic...and you know where I'm going with this, Scoopers!
Psychedelic berries? Are you serious? Marooned on a dinky island in the Pacific with the potential for major emotionality and important life lessons learned -- or at the very least an epic fight for survival -- and we get mind-altering fruit that makes Brooke and Thomas think they had sex? It was a good idea to shake things up with a disaster. I just hoped for more from it. Instead all poor Katherine Kelly Lang got to do was cry for water in her underwear. Adam Gregory was okay, but hard to take seriously in his strategically ripped tank top. There must have been a way for Thomas to distill some of that salt water into something drinkable. Some Eagle Scout!
I did like the way they referenced Brooke's 1996 adventure in Barbados. (Back then, Ridge rescued Brooke after she got amnesia through a "brief reactive psychosis" triggered by Stephanie trying to take Rick and Bridget away from her. B&B even used the same music cue from "the dollies." Nice!) Unfortunately, the whole hallucination sequence recalled another piece of soap history -- anyone remember Austin and Greta and the "Garden of Eden" story on DAYS? Running around a bunch of CGI flowers wearing next to nothing? It's been done. And if it was laughable then...
Many viewers have pointed out that there is no way Brooke and Thomas would both have the same hallucination. I agree. I thought it might become clear later that we were only seeing one of their hallucinations, but they later concurred they saw the same things. Strike one. And it was all so goofy. Sure, the CGI was pretty (better than the obvious CGI job of Ridge and Taylor on the deck of that ship!), but the silly laughing and protracted light-from-fingertips sequence didn't help. Strike two.
Now, we didn't see them have sex, and we didn't even see them kiss. (Of course, we didn't see Nick and Katie do either on Catalina Island, and look what happened.) Brooke and Thomas don't even know how far things went. At least the question is open. But do we really have to go here? Wouldn't it have been a stronger story to have them experience something life-changing without it involving sex or attraction? Better yet, something that ended the attraction?
I know I keep mentioning it, but their perilous situation was the perfect opportunity for Thomas to out himself as gay. It isn't so much because I'm trying to advocate a gay storyline -- although, if DAYS goes through with its rumored gay story this summer, B&B will be the last holdout in this area. On a show based in the fashion industry, no less!
No, what I really like about it is how it would've put an end to this "will Brooke and Thomas have sex" merry-go-round, which, as Bertha said, NONE OF US WANT. And hey, if Brooke and Thomas had to leave the Island with a deep, dark secret, Thomas could have sworn Brooke to secrecy after making his admission! Then the whole family could keep freaking out about their spending time together, and Brooke could have the same dilemma she has now about having promised Ridge no more secrets, only with a much better story. Is the constant threat of Brooke having sex with Thomas any less controversial than if Thomas were to be gay? The latter story would accomplish the same thing Brad Bell is trying to do right now, only in a more topical, intriguing way.
Instead? Strike three. Now the big intrigue is, did they really do it? And what will happen when someone inevitably finds out about the berries and their libidinous side effects? No good can come from this. And I don't mean for the Forresters -- I mean for us. We are marooned on Storyline Island, and we really need to be rescued from it soon. The comments that started this column prove it's true!
Now, some Points to Ponder:
Did you notice the recap of the entire story at the beginning of Monday's episode? Never seen a recap on B&B before... Wouldn't it have been better for R.J. to be told the truth instead of the elaborate way everyone lied to him to "protect" him? Nick's news on Tuesday that the official search had been scaled back was repeated on Wednesday -- and treated as if it hadn't already been announced... Speaking of the authorities, why do they always want to give up searching? And how coincidental was it that Bill saw "HELP" right when the boat's fuel was running low and the military wanted their satellite back? It was up there with Nick bursting in with the good news just after Stephanie's prayer...
Why did Brooke claim she "deserved to die?" Because she was afraid she boinked Thomas? Or because B&B figures the anti-Brooke viewers would want to hear the strange confession? In all that running around on boats and talking about being lost at sea, I'm surprised Taylor didn't flash back to when Morgan kidnapped Steffy and Phoebe and almost turned them into shark food. Steffy could have recalled the trauma and realized it's the reason for her own aberrant behavior! Usually it would be Stephanie telling Eric to face reality -- interesting that now it was the other way around...
Why, when Ridge showed up on the island, did Thomas drag half-conscious Brooke with him instead of running out to meet Ridge himself? Oh -- so we could have the typical slo-mo reunion. Didn't Brooke perk up fast! Shouldn't Brooke and Thomas have been more freaked out than they were about being on a plane again? Why was a Forrester garment bag on a Spencer jet? Neither Brooke nor Thomas were given anything but robes -- although Brooke apparently was able to wash her stringy hair on board... Why did Owen use his five seconds on-screen to hit on Jackie in front of everyone? Do they have no boundaries? And didn't Thomas' stubble make him look like Owen's twin brother Casper? Your hearts are broken for the pilots' families, Taylor? Unintentionally insincere since contract players barely interact with day players...
Before I go, Two Scoops reader Michele asks: Wasn't there a baby named Faith that was Brooke's? I can't remember whose baby it may have been and it's not the Faith on Y&R. Does anyone remember this or I am just imagining? Well, Michele, the only B&B Faith I know of is Bill's half-sister Karen Spencer, who was raised as Faith Roberts in Starlight, Texas. Anyone have other memories?
If we don't do our part, the soaps will soon all be memories. All My Children and One Life to Live are still marked for death, and now there are rumors GH is next. If that happens, all bets are off for B&B! So visit soapcentral.com's Support Our Soaps page and find out how you can join the fight to save the entire soap opera genre! It's May Sweeps in real life as well as reel life, so now, more than ever, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!