Will the real Ridge Forrester please stand up? After watching this past week's set of episodes, I'm not sure who he is anymore. Has he become a strong, rigid, and self-righteous guy like he was with Eric and Thorne (also arrogant and judgmental)...or is Ridge just the weak weenie he was in scenes with Taylor and Steffy when he just went along with whatever they wanted? It's hard to tell if this is the same Ridge Forrester we've been watching for years, considering these fluctuations in attitude.
For example, a few years ago, Ridge had a complete freak-out about Rick being romantically involved with Steffy. He practically threw himself in front of a moving airplane to stop the two of them from taking off for Hawaii! Also around that time, just to show how strong he is, he threw Rick off the Forrester rooftop!
But that was then. Now he's Mr. Easygoing when it comes to Steffy running off and marrying Liam. It doesn't bother old Ridgey that Liam had been engaged to Hope, Ridge's stepdaughter, mere days before Steffy wed Liam. It doesn't bother the Ridgester that Liam professed his undying love for Hope over and over and over again before bedding and wedding Steffy in less than 72 hours. It's all fine and dandy to Ridge now when it comes to Steffy, even though she's poised to be hurt. Ridge is acting like he couldn't care less if Steffy's going to wind up with a broken heart, and it's just too unbelievable for those of us who remember what he was like with Rick.
In fact, as a doting, devoted dad, Ridge should be very, very worried about Steffy's nuptials -- as should Taylor. Instead, they're both sticking their heads in the sand and accepting that Steffy's momentary happiness -- because she thinks she beat a Logan! -- is going to turn out to be a long-term good thing for their daughter. As a therapist, Dr. Hayes should really know better. And as that obsessive dad that Ridge was when Steffy was with Rick, Ridge should be concerned.
But no. Ridge is sold on Steffy being a good match for Liam. He listened to Brooke's theory about what really happened in Aspen, based on her investigation, and just pooh-poohed the whole conspiracy thing. In fact, I was shocked that Brooke didn't slug him when he suggested that Brooke was acting like Stephanie! I would certainly wallop my husband if he accused me of acting like my mother-in-law! Seriously, how is Brooke overstepping her bounds? She's concerned that Liam was tricked into a marriage and that Hope was denied the chance to speak with him before he said, "I do."
Back to Ridge and the flip-flopping... So he was mellow and cool about Steffy's marriage, but then he turned into Franken-Ridgid, the monster, with both Thorne and Eric! First, there was the confrontation with Thorne about who should run Forrester Creations. When did the hatred become so intense between these two bros? I guess all the years of being in the basement have turned Thorne into the Creature from the Black Lagoon because I don't recognize him anymore.
He's sullen, angry, and mean. Of course he's justified to feel that way. He is the Forrester heir and Ridge -- a.k.a. that Marone kid -- has usurped the throne. But Ridge is the frickin' head designer of the company! Thorne is a production dork. Forrester Creations needs Ridge much more than it needs Thorne, and that's just the unvarnished truth. Thorne doesn't have any clout because neither Eric nor Stephanie has ever bothered to give him any real power. He had more power when he was working at Spectra, remember?
Still, why has Ridge -- as CEO -- treated Thorne so badly for so long? He could have given Thorne a nice office in the executive suite, couldn't he? And why hasn't Stephanie stepped up to make her other son welcome in the business? Thorne and Ridge are both her sons, and yet she's allowed Ridge to be elevated to a higher status and Thorne to be treated like an indentured servant. Eric's guilty, too. Both these parents could have benefited from some child-rearing classes in the 1960's, don't you think?
So Thorne tried a power play and hoped that Taylor would back him up; it was a calculated risk and he tried. Well, not this time, Charlie Brown! Ridge was an arrogant ass in that scene, insulting Thorne and daring Taylor to use her power to oust him as CEO. It was a ballsy move, and it worked in Ridge's favor, but it also showed that Ridge has no diplomacy. He didn't have to be a jerk to Thorne, but he was. Thorne is now poised to do some damage...and probably will, and it will be because of Ridge's insensitive behavior.
Then there was the Eric and Jackie sighting at the Italian restaurant. Coincidentally, Brooke and Ridge were there, too, and seeing Jackie kiss Eric, Ridge went ballistic. ...Really -- over a kiss between Jackie and Eric? Come on! It's hardly scandalous! Then we had to get a history lesson about little Ridge seeing mama Stephanie hurt time and again by Eric's philandering ways. Excuse me, but isn't Stephanie the one who had a bastard child and passed it off as Eric's? Weren't there many years of marital problems for Eric and Stephanie that had them both looking for love in the arms of other people? I hardly think that Stephanie was the long-suffering wife of Eric the playboy! Ridge should have a more realistic view of his parents at this point in their lives.
But Ridge was crazed! He shoved his finger in his father's face and warned him to never cheat on Stephanie again because she has cancer. Well, I can understand his outrage. I do. But Ridge doesn't know the whole story, and he should have had the decency to talk to Eric instead of lecture him. Eric probably should be seeking the help of a therapist because the situation with Stephanie is a problem. And Stephanie should be in counseling, too, because her intimacy issues are troublesome. Their marriage is hanging by a thread, if they are still married. I'm not even sure that they said vows again after he divorced Donna -- did they?
So, aside from the drama of those two scenes, there's a point that I have to make about those Ridge scenes -- the one with Thorne and the one with Eric -- and it concerns the costume department. Dear costume designer: you cannot undercut the actor by putting him in a ridiculous outfit for such serious scenes. That purple scarf around Ronn Moss's neck looked like something Fred Astaire would have worn in Funny Face! It was jaunty and playful and a little gay (even though Ridge is 100% straight). It sent all the wrong signals for the scenes and was a major distraction. No offense to Ronn at all. He carried it off, but it would have made more sense in a party scene or something comical -- like a romp with Brooke along Rodeo Drive. In a dramatic confrontation, it was just goofy! And you couldn't stop looking at the scarf no matter how hard you tried!
Getting back to the fluctuations in character on the show, I have to talk about Liam. I'm sorry, but he's just a jellyfish. A floppy disk. A gummy bear. He has no backbone! When he heard about what happened on Ajax, how Hope had been trying to reach him but was trapped in a gondola, he needed to do something significant. That was not his cue to hug and kiss Hope! He should have gone to Steffy and demanded answers, then his father, and then called the gondola operator to figure out the truth. I would expect that he'd want to know he was tricked into a wedding. Instead, he got all "I'm sorry...I loved you, Hope..." and what good does that do Hope now? He needs to be a man of action, not a mush-pot of indecision.
Speaking of men of action, what's up with Rick? Did you see him with Thomas? Why would he take guff from that kid? Thomas blatantly threatened Rick's place in the company. And why, oh why, has the Forrester family allowed shares of the company to be spread out like this? Ridge and Eric are the creative force behind the entire fashion line, yet they are not in power. Taylor, who can barely dress herself, has the ability to pull all the strings. This is madness. Ridge should pack up his designs and start his own fashion house because before you know it, he's going to be taking orders from his ex-wife and grown children! You think it was bad when Bill Spencer was in charge? Get ready for an even more strained arrangement.
It's curious that this past week we had Jackie -- who looked terrific in that gray fedora, so kudos to the costume department for that move! -- meeting with both Nick and Brooke about how they had been great together. I did love Nick and Brooke, but I don't see any way that they're getting back together. Brooke and Ridge are just not breaking up now or ever. It's cast in stone -- they are destiny's duo, and they will always stay together. So why bring up Nick and Brooke again? Nick needs someone who is not attached elsewhere. He needs a love of his own. And soon!
Finally, we had an Amber alert this week, too. Okay, I shouldn't make a joke about Amber alerts, but Ms. Moore did pop up again out of nowhere. Methinks her great new idea, the one Jackie wanted no part of and wouldn't even listen to, will be something that Thorne latches on to. Could that be Thorne's ticket out of the basement? Would Thorne be interested in a girl like Amber, who seems a tad young for him? And if so, was Thorne's interest in Taylor really just a ruse to get her to side with him against Ridge? If so, that makes Thorne a massive tool, not to mention a shallow SOB. But there had to be a reason for Amber to rub shoulders with Thorne at the Bikini Bar, right? Hmm...what do you guys think? Share your thoughts with some emails!
Meanwhile, here are some letters from the readers! Your comments are always welcomed at Soap Central, so stay in touch. And tell me which characters you want to see fixed or changed, or return to the show. Click the Feedback option at the top of the page, the email me link at the bottom, or click here. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!
• I know this is a stretch, but regarding Liam, if one will remember, after the explosion at Amber's trailer and subsequent recovery, the doctor told Bill that Liam needed additional psychotherapy. Of course, Bill scoffed at that. Since the accident, Liam has been easily led by suggestion. He will leave Steffy for Hope, even though I do like Steffy and Liam (if she hadn't been so sneaky and desperate); she will end up pregnant. The next generation of the Brooke/Taylor saga goes on. -- Carrie