Submitted for your inspection the case of Brooke Logan Forrester and Thomas Forrester, victims of an airplane crash, cast adrift in the South Pacific, stranded and starving on a desolate rock of an island. They're rescued after nearly dying from the experience, and despite their weakened condition and obvious disorientation, they're thrust back into daily life and the glare of the fashion media. Given this set of circumstances, is it any wonder that they might both be suffering from traumatic post-island fever syndrome!
Did that remind you of The Twilight Zone? It should have, because watching The Bold and the Beautiful this past week made me feel like it was an episode from that great Rod Serling show. Brooke and Thomas were in desperate need of some medical care, but did they get it? Hell, no! Instead of a week in the hospital to run some tests and readjust to life after a plane crash, they're back home and back on the job and back in La-La Land as though they had nothing worse than a bad case of jet lag. In what world would plane crash victims not receive a thorough checkup in a hospital by qualified physicians? What, they had no bruises, no cuts, and no splinters? How about the exposure to the sun and the lack of water and nourishment? Where was the FAA to question them about the crash and how they survived in the ocean?
Presumably, Brad Bell just couldn't wait to get to the next part of this ridiculous story that will be Brooke's castigation for a maybe-perhaps sexual encounter with Thomas while under the influence of the LSD berries. I guess Brad missed the lessons his father dished out about extending the story, building the suspense, playing out the inevitability... And as a result, the viewers are left ticked off that the simple stuff is being overlooked. If I were Ridge, I'd want a doctor to examine Brooke. That doesn't mean Taylor, who is a psychiatrist -- and not a particularly good one these days. Brooke needs an M.D. to unclutter the cobwebs in her brain and someone to run some blood work to find traces of bad berry chemistry that has affected her brainwaves.
As it stands now, we have a somewhat lucid Brooke arguing with Thomas about why she cannot keep secret from Ridge the fact that something weird happened on the island. Thomas, meanwhile, is making the very valid point that if Ridge imagines that something/anything happened between Thomas and Brooke, even if they were whacked out of their minds on acid, he'll never forgive either one of them. This is what Brad loves: Brooke in the impossible position of either having to tell the hurtful truth or being guilty of keeping another secret. The character is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. It's a no-win Brooke dilemma. And all that good will from Stephanie about missing Brooke when she thought Brooke had died, well that'll go right out the window. Old Steph will be back to wanting Brooke banished to the Valley and away from all male Forresters forever and ever.
You have to wonder, though, what would be so wrong if Thomas and Brooke had been completely honest about eating the berries and not knowing what they did while on the hallucinogenic. Would anyone really blame them for choosing survival -- i.e. eating the berries for sustenance -- rather than die of starvation? And how can they be guilty of crossing the line when they have no memories of what they did on the very, berry acid trip? If I was Brooke, that's the road that I would take. Complete honesty that sounds like this: "Ridge, I have no idea what we did when we ate the fruit, but if you really love me and your son, forgive us now and let's forget this ever happened because if you don't, we're never going to have another moment of peace in the family. You know what I mean?"
Island fever didn't just get to Thomas and Brooke. Bill and Steffy are still on island overload. For a man who claims that he loves his wife, Bill sure has a funny way of showing it. Remember that old Jimmy Carter line about "lusting in my heart"? Well, Bill has been lusting in his heart for Steffy for a long time. Every time he let her grind up against him and slobber him with kisses, every time he let her puff up his ego by declaring that he was the greatest thing in a jock strap that she's ever known, every time he kept Steffy's secrets, Bill was disloyal, disengaged, and disgustingly untrue to Katie. It would serve him right to lose her, because Katie's a much better person than he is! Steffy deserves a guy like Bill because she's just as unscrupulous and disingenuous as he is. They're made for each other, selfish pigs that like sipping champagne and rolling in the mud.
I guess what's happening with Hope and Liam and Tawny and Amber and Oliver can't really be classified as island fever since it's set along the Malibu cliffs. Could it be mountain madness? There must be an epidemic of cell phone/text messaging storylines on the soaps because everybody's doing it these days. Tawny's using text messages to make Liam think that Hope doesn't want him anymore. Oh, please. YAWN! Is Liam so dumb that he can't just pick up a phone and call Hope? What about asking her to meet him at Dayzee's for a cup of coffee and some real talk? Texting will be the death of soap characters that don't know enough to question the validity of a mysteriously misleading message. Common sense suggests that if the message is mangled, you may be the victim of text assassination! But there is a way to avoid getting hurt -- put down the cell phone and actually speak to the person you care about.
Have I mentioned that Taylor is more annoying than ever? Does this lady even remember that she's married to Whip Jones, the man she promised to love, honor, and respect until death do they part? I nearly lost my lunch last week when Taylor went on and on to Stephanie about how wonderful it was to be with Ridge again? Yes, in the middle of a crisis with lives on the line, Taylor was getting warm all over because Ridge was by her side. How can she claim to be a good mother when her thoughts should have been on Thomas and nothing else? Flip it around and you'll see what I mean; Ridge was not thinking romantically about Taylor at any time during the search. He was focused on his wife and his son. If Stephanie had any gumption left, she would have blasted Taylor for even allowing dreams of a reconciliation with Ridge at a time when Thomas might have been lying dead on a beach.
While we're blasting people, how about a shot at Amber? She's in love with Liam now. Oh really? Why, because he ignores you and wants nothing to do with you? Because he considers you the lint between his toes? Because you have lost every ounce of self-worth you had when you lived in Genoa City? What's wrong with this woman? She should want a man who wants her. It's insulting that she's chasing after this guy like he's some big prize. She's managed to pass off the unborn baby as his, but does she have to make us retch by claiming that she's madly in love with him, too? I don't buy it and neither do you. I don't even think Amber buys it; she's just trying to convince herself. Heaven help her if that baby is born and looks like Marcus! That has got to be what Brad has in mind, don't you think?
Well, in the meantime, here are some letters from the readers!
• Allison, thanks for the great column. I too want to know what Brad Bell has been drinking to come up with that acid trip berry eating, Adam and Eve tempting story line. I'm mostly upset though that Mr. Bell is actually going to do this; he's going to have Thomas and Brooke cross a line that can't be brought back from. I don't think any of the fans wants to see this yet again, wants to see Brooke in yet another scandal. Surely Mr. Bell can come up with something for Brooke besides another scandal and the worst one yet; her step-son. I liked Nick's help with this. Great to see him on screen and his caring about Brooke is obvious. ...Bill and Steffy are just stomach-turning. How old is Steffy anyway? She can't be more than 20 and Bill's late 30's if not 40. Too big an age difference, though I will say I think eventually they are going to get Katie and Nick back together. -- Pat H.