by Mike
For the Week of August 27, 2012
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Hope's punk rock do-over wedding generated a little drama, but the real drama and most shocking moments came behind the scenes as B&B prepared for exits of Biblical proportions. Lament losing La Forrester this week in the Two Scoops commentary with Mike!
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you show your wedding guests that you wear boxers, not briefs? Did you decide that you needed a rebirth? Did you become the second member of the Core Four to opt out of The Bold and the Beautiful? These and more situations faced the Forresters -- and us! -- this week!

"exooodus (noun): a mass departure of people." Does that fit right now, or what? As Punky Brewster used to say (if you ever watched that show): "Holy Macanoli!" Just when we B&B fans were getting our heads around the idea of doing without Ronn Moss, Queen Stephanie has also decided to lay down her scepter. These are soap exits of Biblical proportions! Well, soap bibles, anyway.

And this was a helluva week, too, in terms of B&B finally stepping up its game with that whopper of a Tuesday episode. But more on that in a minute. First, I think we'd better give it up for Miss Phyllis Diller, a.k.a. Miss Gladys Pope. We should all leave this world at 95 years of age still able to make people laugh. I admit, I thought her March return officiating Eric and Stephanie's own "do-over" wedding was kind of trite. But man, I remember when she first appeared in 1995 to give Taylor an extreme makeover that still makes Liam's look like nothing. Ms. Diller was funny but also deftly contributed to the dramatic scenes. So here's lookin' at you, Phyllis -- we'll raise a glass with Fang for you.

Most of what B&B offered this week was same-old, same-old. They knew it, too, which is why they had to have Liam show up at his wedding in his punk rock underwear look. Okay, it was a good "shock," but also the only way to dress up -- or was that dress down -- this very tired Leffy/Lope triangle. But didn't the fallout wake me up! I loved how Hope ripped him a new one in her Juliet-on-the-landing pose! "The way you love me isn't good enough," she seethed. "You don't deserve me!" I only wish Hope had smacked Liam when he finally got her to descend the staircase!

Liam has never looked or acted so pathetic. Which is why I was happy Katie gave him a good tongue-lashing as well. "I don't care if you spent the night in separate isolation chambers," she snapped. "You are messing with the emotions of two women! You better check yourself! This is not okay!" Leave it to Heather Tom take even a small dramatic ball and run with it. But, um, Wardrobe Department? Putting a pregnant lady in horizontal stripes? I'm just saying.

And what was Brooke smoking? Her words of advice to Hope were, and I quote, "it doesn't have to be the end if you don't want it to be." Um, yeah, Brooke, it does! Why would Brooke even want her daughter with Liam after all the crap he's pulled? More to the point, why did Brad Bell have to make sure that door was left open? It's a door 99% of us want to nail shut and slather with concrete with Liam inside! When Steffy later said that only Brooke thought Liam and Hope's relationship with healthy, it was hard to disagree with her.

Not that Steffy is any wide-eyed innocent. "Oh, we were just having fun," she said to Taylor with a smile. I kept waiting for Taylor to finally lay down the psychological smackdown on her wayward daughter, but no such luck. Taylor was just there as a prop for Steffy, who knew exactly what she was doing when she spirited Liam away to the club. Plus, Steffy's sudden claim that she's too young to be married was utter crap. Where was that assertion last year when she stood atop that Aspen peak in her countrified wedding dress? And since when does Steffy ride a motorcycle? Did she dig Ridge's old chopper out of the garage?

Of course, the biggest and best scene this week was Dollar Bill roaring back to testosterone life. His rationale that Hope had been the one to humiliate Liam was totally backwards, but the rest of his tirade was pretty spot-on. Sneering at Liam's "Halloween hairdo"? Snarling that Liam was an embarrassment? I actually cheered. "What happened to the guy who told me to go screw myself because I wasn't worthy to be your father?" Bill asked incredulously. What indeed, Dollah! What indeed!

Putting his son in a headlock may or may not have been overkill, but what a joy to live vicariously through Bill's brand of tough love in those moments. Who among us hasn't wanted to throttle Liam these past months? He's been nothing but a weak-kneed little...well, the kind of boy who is synonymous with a kitty, if I may be so rated G about it. "Who made you ashamed of who you are?" Bill raged. It was interesting to hear Liam speak a bit about his pre-L.A. life, about how his mother, Kelly, wasn't really around. Maybe if we knew more about why Liam behaves the way he does, we could scrounge up some compassion for him. It was good to finally get a glimpse.

Also interesting was the implication that Liam might venture over to the Dark Side after Bill's annihilation of him. But once said Tuesday was over, it was business as usual, and the week fell apart after that. Hope asking the same questions over and over, then actually considering taking Liam back! Steffy justifying herself! Brooke continuing to encourage Liam! If it hadn't been for Rick, the three episodes that followed would have been a complete wash.

Despite Rick's denials, we know that he does want to steal Caroline from Thomas, and that he sees keeping Hope from reuniting with Liam as a way of making that happen. Yet, Rick and Thomas' near-bonding over being on the same page about Liam was fascinating. And how about Rick's own dark side popping out as he went off on Liam? Jacob Young could be a real power player on this show if B&B would only let him. For now, Rick coercing Othello into lying about Liam and Steffy's night together will have to be enough.

But Lordy! My head is spinning from trying to keep up with all the backstage brouhaha. Ronn Moss spoke out publicly about his departure for the first time this week, telling EW he sees it as part of a "rebirth." He also cited his recent car accident as a factor in his decision to part ways with Ridge. I had been thinking about that myself since my last column. Ronn and his wife could have died. That alone would have been enough for Ronn to reevaluate things to the point he felt it was time to move on from B&B.

Ronn downplayed reports of salary disputes, but he didn't deny them, either. Actually, he was really very Zen about it all, as Ronn is wont to be. And so, Bridge comes to an end -- for now, anyway -- as Brooke and Ridge take off for a honeymoon next month after what's supposed to be a honey of a wedding. But what of Ridge after that? "It would be nice to have [my story] end [with our wedding]," Ronn admitted, "but it's Brad's show, and he can do what he wants."

Try recasting Ridge, Brad Bell. Just try. Think you've gotten a lot of backlash for Leffy/Lope? That ain't nothin' compared to what you're gonna see if you give B&B fans a different Ridge Forrester.

Then, on Monday, came the blow that Susan Flannery was turning in Stephanie's brooches and following Ronn Moss out B&B's door. By Tuesday she had inked a deal! But later that day we found out it was only a short-term deal, designed to give La Forrester a proper send-off in December. "Susan blurted out on stage that we were both leaving," Ronn was quoted as saying. "I'll leave it there because I have to."

Soap Opera Digest reported that both exits "might have to do with their unhappiness over their lack of air time...[Susan] thinks the writers are focusing too much on [the younger actors]." Ya think? I knew our B&B veterans weren't going to stand for it much longer. Although Katherine Kelly Lang is sticking around (Brooke never has lacked for air time anyway), one can't help but wonder if John McCook, Hunter Tylo, and Winsor Harmon will be next to say "buh-bye."

Anyway, Brad Bell says that Susan Flannery "is going to have an incredible time with a new storyline that we've never seen before, something completely unique and interesting," the implication being it will tie in to Stephanie's departure. What could Brad possibly do that we've never seen before? Out Stephanie as a lesbian finally? She admits that her long-standing hatred against Brooke was really a cover for being in love with her? Not likely. But what else would qualify as different? Whatever it is, we all know it had better damn well be worth it.

Many fans, myself included, feel that Stephanie will succumb to her in-remission cancer. Really, it's the only thing that makes sense. B&B has hinted at it ever since Stephanie's operations for Stage IV lung cancer two years ago. How many references have there been to "whatever time I have left"? What about Stephanie's recent health scare? Between Susan Flannery's advancing age and her own personal health issues, her exit, sad as it might be, isn't what you'd call unexpected.

B&B already missed two good opportunities to send Stephanie to that Great Fashion House in the Sky. The first was in 2010, after she made peace with Brooke. The second was last year, after Stephanie's berry-flavored attempt to get rid of Brooke once and for all. That was when Stephanie most needed redemption. But any storyline momentum Stephanie might have had is all but lost now. At this rate, we'll need until December to build up to something really satisfying.

It's funny: I find myself hoping B&B makes some kind of deal with Ronn Moss, yet find myself okay about facing a future without Stephanie. I guess it's just because I feel that Susan Flannery is entitled to retirement. She's worked hard, giving us years and years of memorable moments. Let her take a final bow and then have some time to enjoy herself! Especially if all Brad Bell wants to do on B&B is devote his attention to the younger (and much less interesting!) characters.

My only concern is this: if Ridge is going AWOL in September, and Stephanie is either dying or taking off for parts unknown in December, how will we get any final Ridge/Stephanie scenes? Everyone knows that Stephanie's feelings for Ridge have always exceeded the maternal (both Brooke and Taylor have gotten themselves slapped calling La Forrester on that particular quirk!), and Ridge has never been great at cutting the umbilical cord. Their bond is too strong and long-lived to be brushed aside. Are we really going to be denied seeing them sing a swan song together?

A way around that would be Ridge disappearing while honeymooning with Brooke, and Stephanie going off to find him. Couldn't you see Stephanie doing that? Personally, before Ridge and Stephanie leave, I would love to see B&B undo that silly history rewrite about Massimo being Ridge's biological father. Although I suppose by now, our characters have pulled so many wannabe incestuous stunts based on that information that making Eric and Ridge related after all would give even more meaning to keeping it in the family!

Time moves on, but it's going to be sad to see this old guard changing. The soap gods know that B&B has been a shell of its former self for years now, but there was safety in knowing that Ridge and Stephanie were always off-screen somewhere. Can this show really work without them? From what I've seen so far this year, that answer is a resounding "hell no." And it scares me.

When asked, Ronn Moss said he had too many favorite Ridge memories to choose just one. But there are some standouts for me, which last column I promised I would share now. I fondly recall a blind Ridge being nursed back to health by a clandestine, back-from-the-dead Taylor (thanks to Phyllis Diller's aforementioned disguise). It was also "killer" (pun intended) when Ridge took the blame for Grant's shooting because an adolescent fugue-state Rick had pulled the trigger. Of course, a Zorro-clad Ridge crashed through the window on a chandelier in that same story. And who could forget Ridge driving his car into Morgan's house to save Taylor?

Yes, both Ridge and Stephanie were front and center for B&B's finest moments, a time that seems to be long gone. Can B&B make lemons out of this ocean of lemonade and use these departures to give us the best storylines we've seen in years? Tuesday's episode proved that the show is still capable of good writing. Anything less would be disrespectful to the time and effort put in by this mother-son duo, this half of the very Core Four that put B&B on the soap opera map. I miss them already. Don't you?

Now for some of the thoughts that you've shared with us about Ridge and Ronn Moss over the past week. Got something to say about Susan Flannery's departure and how it will impact B&B? Get typing, and your comments may end up in a future column. Like these!

    • "Losing Ronn Moss is a big mistake...would love to see him alongside Thorne locked in battle with an outsider trying [to] destroy the legacy built by Eric and Stephanie -- great opportunity to bring back the other family members and inject some fresh intrigue into this sad excuse of a show..." -- Nita

    • "...When I read that Ronn Moss was leaving, my first thought (after the initial surprise) was, 'Great! Now maybe we can have a storyline around Ridge's death, and Brooke moving on to someone new!' I was so happy about the potential for new storylines that it superseded my sadness over the loss of one of the original characters. That means it is time to step it up, B&B!" -- Kate

    • "I have watched B&B from day one and I can tell you it is going to fold without Ridge. He is one of the backbones of this show. The Hope, Liam and Steffy stuff is not worth watching. Get rid of Liam and give the money to Ridge to stay." -- Ginger

    • "I can't believe that B&B is letting [leading man] Ronn Moss go...and in his place leaving that clown Lame/Liam. He is the worst male lead ever! Don't get me wrong, I think the Liam character is great for a comic relief, ala Sally Spectra, but definitely not leading man love triangle material. Ronn Moss's Ridge Forrester is sexy, smart, seductive, and successful, while [Scott] Clifton's Liam is a clueless, blundering, idiot...no comparison...B&B was built on Ridge, he was the first character in the first scene, Ronn is the core of the core four, without him the show will crumble and fall. B&B better do all they can to get him back, as I am sure Bill Bell would do were he still alive, or else the end for B&B is coming near." -- Joey

    • "You hit every nail squarely on the head -- I am disgusted that Ronn is leaving -- but since I know he cannot be replaced as Ridge -- and they are not killing Ridge off; I fear this is another slap [at] the fans by getting everyone all riled up with this news, only to have the actor return a few months down the road -- a la Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden. That would be even more insulting..." -- Jaxie

    • "Please do no let Ronn Moss go from B&B! This will be the end of the show. Pay him what he wants!" -- Mindy

    • "Ronn Moss: Are you kidding me? Bridge are the next Stephanie & Eric. Stephanie & Eric should be sailing into the 'sunset of love, retirement and what's left of their good health' together. While 'away' they can romantically follow each other in death...their combined salaries would save Ronn Moss from leaving. Yes, Brooke has gone from man to man, but they are finally a true 'foundation'. I'm sure putting Brooke with Jon Hensley can be made believable; [Katherine] Kelly Lang is that good (better than Taylor's attempt with Thorne). Speaking of, with Ridge gone...does Taylor REALLY now serve a purpose on the show; no more TRIANGLE!!! Get rid of her to pay Ronn Moss...I've watched this show since Day #1. Brad Bell you're disgracing the history of the show and ALL the years of 'foundation laying' to get to a stable BRIDGE for the future of the show and you're going to let it crumble down... Heck, you've blown the BRIDGE up. Shame on you!!!" -- Susan

Well, that's it for me again for a while -- I am off for a little "remote" of my own, in the form of seeing my hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska for the first time since 1976. I will leave you in Allison's capable Scoops until my return September 24. By then...there will be no more Ridge. Wow. Did I really just say that? Because it doesn't feel right tapping that into my laptop.

P.S. -- in case you haven't heard, B&B is releasing its first-ever DVD, with 15 of its most shocking moments. That in itself is rather a landmark, but I suppose it depends on what you find shocking. None of the included episodes go back further than 2003! I would have preferred to see some old-school B&B myself. But we've never gotten an official DVD before, and Ridge is all up in it! So it's almost fitting somehow.

In the meantime, I hear fan favorite Deacon is returning again in September (hopefully to get Bill into a mess of trouble with Katie!). These are going to be really pivotal weeks leading up to Ridge's departure, 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 soapcentral.com 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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