Susan Flannery
Veterans' Day
by Mike
For the Week of November 7, 2011
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Obviously, there's a strong attraction between Eric and Jackie, but neither of them is planning an affair, and neither of them wants to hurt Stephanie. That's much more fascinating than the standard soap triangle.
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you get upset because big brother was watching? Did you reveal your costume after Halloween? Did your attempt to get your swerve on swerve out of control? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

This is how we do it, kiddies! B&B had been such a mess these last several months...but they got back to some substantial, multigenerational stories this week, and just in time for November sweeps at that. Plus, we got a variety of material, which I had clamored for in previous columns. The only thing that kind of marred it was having three kiddie-free days interrupted by more of Steffy/Liam/Hope, but at least that finally got interesting.

It was slow going at first. Coming back to this troublesome triangle again after watching our vets (Eric and Thorne in particular!) just made the proceedings drag even more -- Thursday's show was the best example of that. Eric and Ridge battling because of Jackie versus Hope still thinking she overreacted to Liam kissing Steffy? Thankfully, Katie set her straight on that, but Hope was determined to beat herself senseless over it while we watched. Add to that more Aspen flashbacks (getting your mileage out of that location shoot, Brad Bell?) and near-preachy sentiment about Hope's wait-for-sex message, and it all looked to be yet another yawnfest.

I also cringed a bit when Thomas starting throwing compliments and lingering looks at his stepsister. I don't know what's more creepy -- the possibility of two people raised as siblings getting into a romantic relationship (B&B will have to stunt cast Jerry Springer if they keep this up), or the fact that six months ago, Thomas was drooling over Brooke. What, he couldn't have the mother so now he wants the daughter? I know "HOT" has a lot of supporters, but I'm just not one of them. I still say Thomas has plenty of chemistry with Oliver. Did you see how Oliver was leaning over Thomas' shoulder when they looked at those blogs? I'm just sayin'.

But I digress...Steffy apparently picked up a conscience on her last Rodeo Drive shopping trip, because suddenly it bothered her that she had lied to Liam about knowing Hope was in Aspen, and about arranging for Hope to get stuck in the gondola. ("Gondola" is starting to be as annoying a word as "reliquary" was on Y&R a few years ago, isn't it?) Thing is, Steffy has had no problem scheming and skulking and being deceptive these last couple of years, between her anti-Logan crusades and her pursuit of Bill. So now she feels bad about it? "Did I feel that threatened?" she wondered. Well, yes, she did, and at least she had the guts to admit it. I'm still no Steffy fan, but I do like that she has become more three-dimensional this year.

As for Liam? The boy's still a dolt. "Steffy wouldn't lie to me," he told Hope. Obviously he hasn't been taking his gingko, because he's seen the way Steffy operates and for some reason can't remember it. Still, I have to say, there was finally a spark in this storyline when Steffy told him the truth, and Liam called her on it. Did anyone else see Daddy Dollar Bill in him when he leaned on the desk and said, "Okay -- anything else?" He would be an idiot to forgive Steffy, and more so because it's clear he isn't now and never has been over Hope. But I guess the question of his forgiveness was our Friday cliffhanger.

The one I really don't understand in all this is Taylor. Steffy comes to her mother, saying she lied to Liam because she was afraid of losing him -- her mother, a psychiatrist, and one who I recall was very opposed to lies in all forms. So does Taylor take Steffy to task? Not Taylor 2011. "No, you shouldn't have lied," she told her daughter, "but you're only human." Excuse me? And then when Steffy actually wanted to do the right thing, Taylor cautioned her to not act in haste!

I hate when Taylor is written out of character like this. The only thing I agreed with was when Taylor likened Steffy's triangle to hers with Brooke, despite twisting it to make Hope look like the interloper. I also guffawed when Steffy said, "You'd never lie to Dad's face." Generally, that's true, but Taylor did keep her post-earthquake boink with James a secret for over a decade. Even Steffy can't compete with that!

Yet, I loved the moments between Brooke and Taylor this week. I did think it was odd that Taylor had been all gung-ho for Thorne to take over at Forrester so that her kids could have more position there, then turned around and held back because she didn't want to pit the kids against Ridge. But when Brooke thanked Taylor for the support and helping to stave off a war in the family, their connection seemed genuine. And how about Brooke rallying the troops to keep Amber from interfering with Thorne and Taylor? Yes, I'm sure Brooke wants Taylor and Thorne to be together so Taylor will lose interest in Ridge. But the rivals did seem to bond when Brooke wanted to help keep Amber away. I liked it.

Now, do you get the feeling B&B changed their minds about their plans for Miss Ambrosia Moore? Amber was all into pursuing Marcus and wanting them to be a family with baby Rosey, but this week Amber switched gears and told Dayzee she was tired of being the person who messed up people's lives, essentially backing off and giving Marcus and Dayzee her blessing. This left the couple to take their relationship to the next level with some sweet sweet lovin' (which I thought they'd already done, but I guess I wasn't paying attention!). But it all does beg the question: who are we freeing Amber up for? Could it be Rick? Or...Thorne?

First, I want to say how awesome it is to have Thorne on our screens again, and that it seems he's becoming a more vital character on the show finally, the way he used to be. But I also want to say I was surprised by how intrigued I was watching Thorne and Amber have a convo over a Halloween drink. Is it scandalous to say I found them a much more interesting pairing than Thorne and Taylor? I didn't realize how much they had in common until they talked: they're both underdogs who want to be winners, and they've both been bullied by Ridge. The wheels were turning in my head, which I never expected. Hopefully Thorne will take Amber up on her offer of friendship...and wouldn't a Taylor/Thorne/Amber triangle be rather delicious?

Of course, Taylor -- an alcoholic walking into a bar to check up on Thorne -- saw him rapping with Amber and suddenly got territorial. She'd basically blown him off, saying she wasn't ready (perfectly logical, since not long ago she dumped Whip to remarry Ridge, and it's still hard for me to support a Thorne/Taylor pairing because of Darla). But let Thorne talk to Amber in a public place, and it prompts Taylor to take him aside and bust a move on him? "You did confuse me," Thorne admitted. Ya think?

Another thing I found strange was the way Taylor came down on Amber, calling her a troublemaker. Yes, Amber has certainly been that! But, in 2002, when Sheila was framing Amber and making her look like a drug addict, among other things, it was Taylor who stood by Amber when even Stephanie had turned her back on her. Forgot that piece of history, Taylor? At least it was good continuity for Amber to marvel that Thorne was in the basement when Amber worked there...and I did like that Taylor stood up for Thorne with Ridge.

And isn't that getting interesting? All of a sudden there's much talk of the fact that Ridge is Massimo's son and not Eric's. I'll come back to that, but first, I was absolutely thrilled to have Stephanie/Eric/Jackie on for four whole days this week. This is how B&B should always be -- focused on the vets in stories that accurately rely on their histories. The tale of Stephanie's nonexistent libido because of her cancer and Eric's resultant frustration is so natural, so realistic, and so inherently filled with drama that I was absolutely transfixed. Especially because, if you're a long-time viewer like I am, it all goes back to the show's 1987 beginnings.

Eric and Stephanie's marriage was on the skids from the start because Stephanie was controlling and not particularly affectionate to a love-starved Eric. Almost twenty-five years have passed, and the circumstances have changed, but the current story is like a fitting bookend. But, unlike then, Eric doesn't want to desert Stephanie, and Stephanie's battle with cancer has mellowed her to a point. (It almost made me forget about her scheme with Thomas about the berries...almost.)

No, Eric shouldn't have let Jackie kiss him. But there's no real bad guy here. Back when Eric and Jackie were involved before, Jackie and Stephanie were adversaries. But not anymore. That's what makes this such a cool triangle. Obviously there's a strong attraction between Eric and Jackie. Yet neither of them is planning an affair, and neither of them wants to hurt Stephanie. It's so much more fascinating than if Eric were to just scurry off and get some on the side because Stephanie isn't giving it up.

And wow, how painful and mesmerizing that rejection scene was. I think Eric should have known his timing sucked -- if Stephanie didn't want pepper steak and a martini, how did he think she was going to want to get funky? Perhaps offering up a night of cuddling might have been more in order. Yet, when Stephanie lambasted him, calling his attempt at romance silly and childish, I felt stabbed in the heart right along with him. How great is this story, though? It flies in the face of the presumption that older people don't have needs or care about sex anymore.

And the message delivered by Jackie that age is only a number and that one should "embrace every bloody moment" far outweighs the Hope For The Future abstinence message in terms of pure substance. Perhaps Eric is a little too focused on his needs, and perhaps he shouldn't have run to Jackie the minute Stephanie rejected him, but the whole thing was rather innocent, at least so far. Not that Ridge thought so! Given Eric's history of tossing Stephanie over for other women, you couldn't blame Ridge for not wanting history to repeat itself. I did think, however, that he came on more than a little strong, didn't you?

No sooner than I thought that Ridge had cast himself as the parent did Eric express a similar sentiment. "You need to be careful how you talk to me," Eric warned. "I'm not one of your kids!" (Although I would argue if Ridge ever did talk to his kids that way, maybe they wouldn't be such buttheads!) Quintessential Mama's boy Ridge would of course come to Stephanie's defense, but it was rather cold for Ridge to practically ridicule Eric's needs and point of view. If B&B's still on in 25 years and Brooke suddenly doesn't want to do it on every possible surface, Ridge is gonna be eating his words!

But something Thorne said earlier in the week came to me as Eric and Ridge battled. Thorne wished Eric would see Ridge as he does. That's going to be a lot more possible the way Ridge is acting, isn't it? Also, first Thorne pointed out that Ridge is a Marone by blood, then Massimo came up during Eric and Jackie's conversation, when Jackie pointed out how much Ridge is like Massimo. And when Eric accurately predicted that Ridge would go running to Stephanie regarding Eric's whereabouts, he said, "Isn't that what Massimo would have done?" Something's going on with these reminders of Ridge's true lineage...and I, for one, am very intrigued to find out what that is.

In the end, though, despite Stephanie getting catty about Jackie once Eric got home (and booted Ridge out! "What are you doing here? Go home!" Classic!), Eric reaffirmed his devotion to Stephanie. This is the best story B&B has done all year. I'm just sorry it took 'til November to give us this kind of quality.

And I highly suspect it's just beginning. Last column, I made the bold prediction that Stephanie is going to die. I also said I have a hard time picturing the show without her. But I still think it's going to happen. Stephanie's not hungry? Not eating? Eric's comment that "I don't do so well on my own" can either be taken in context of his needs not being met, or as foreshadowing. And how about Stephanie warning Eric, "You don't want to become too dependent on any one person," or the look on her face when her back was turned to him?

No, Scoopers...I still think something cataclysmic is about to happen. Can you imagine the drama if Stephanie died while there's all this conflict about Jackie, especially with Ridge? To say nothing of the reminders about Ridge being a Marone, just as Thorne is making noise about being the sole Forrester son? I'm tellin' ya, if B&B will just stay this good, I will forgive the crappy year we've been subjected to...I'll even forgive the berries!

Well, that's all I've got for ya this week...if you've got something to say about the state of the show (the way you all did about Ridge's scarf!), fire off your comments and they may end up in a future column. In the meantime, B&B's hot again, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

Mike (Adam-Michael James)
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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