It was quite a week on The Bold and the Beautiful, although I'd hardly call it fun to watch. Seeing Stephanie coughing up blood was kind of shocking. Maybe if other members of the family, like Thomas for example, had seen his grandmother in such agony, he'd think twice before focusing only on the business.
Where is Thomas' sensitivity? If he's really Ridge and Taylor's son and has learned about life from them, don't you think he would've known how inappropriate it was to call a board meeting when Stephanie was dying? As I watched the scene unfold, where Eric had to leave Stephanie to rush back to Los Angeles for the meeting, I was appalled. And what made it even worse is that after the board meeting, in which nearly everyone was convinced that Thomas was moving too fast, Thomas didn't even bother to apologize to his grandfather for dragging him away from Stephanie's side.
Has Thomas become such a callow character that he doesn't even realize that the world does not revolve around him? And how come Steffy didn't step in and tell her brother that his timing was lousy? Frankly, I'm a little shocked at how accepting all these characters have been about Stephanie's demise. Granted, Stephanie has given them all a pass and told him to go on with their lives and not cry over her, but being told that and what you're feeling are two different things. For instance, I would think that Thorne would find it very hard to work under these circumstances. How can he concentrate on shipping and production when his mother is dying?
Considering how emotional the atmosphere was in the conference room, I'm quite impressed with the way Eric handled the board. I love the way he navigated the situation, acknowledging that Thomas had the power to do what he wanted, but also taking charge and deciding on the spot that the new innovations for Forrester Creations would first be tested at the Rodeo Drive store. Way to go, Eric.
I can't help wondering why Ridge has stayed away so long. I believe this is a case of slipshod production and writing. Brad Bell should have realized when Ronn Moss left the show, Brad had to recast the role immediately.
It makes no sense that Ridge would not have returned for his mother's party, or that he would not want to know what was happening with the family business. A simple recast, even a temporary one, would have solved this problem. And if it had been done in October, we'd be used to the temporary-Ridge by now. Also, think of the great actors out there they could've cast in the role? Not having Ridge on the show right now is a big mistake.
Did it seem ironic that Taylor was concentrating on saving Katie while Brooke was serving as Stephanie's aide in the last days of her life? So many people have always assumed that Stephanie adores Taylor and considers Dr. Hayes her best friend. But when push came to shove, Stephanie chose to spend her last hours with Brooke. I venture to guess there are many fans out there that were just not buying this change in their relationship.
As for the way Stephanie is choosing to succumb to death, I have questions about that, too. It's laudable that Stephanie is a strong character and wants to leave this world on her terms, but I don't fully believe in her resolve. When she described her symptoms, the feeling of drowning, I felt her pain. At times like that, when you're in distress and desperate, you want an escape from the pain and don't want to be brave.
There really is no good reason to explain why Stephanie is choosing to suffer. The idea of dying with dignity is noble. It makes Stephanie a heroine, fighting death on her own terms. While this is an admirable choice, I'm more of a realist. I think it would be more true to life for her to be seeking hospice care at this point. But it's a better story to make her a valiant, defiant character, dying with a smile on her face, rather than asking for a morphine drip.
It has to be strange for Brooke to be there for Stephanie, considering all the terrible things Stephanie has done to her over the years. For viewers like me who care for Brooke, this storyline just shows what a big heart she has. She is essentially a good person, despite the heinous things that Taylor and others -- especially Stephanie -- have said she's done. So in the end, Brooke emerges as a character to be appreciated rather than reviled.
But I'm curious to see how well Brooke handles the knowledge that Stephanie purposely told Ridge not to come home for the party. If I were Brooke, I would feel terribly betrayed by Stephanie. After all, we know that Brooke is anxious and determined to reunite with Ridge. Instead of helping to facilitate that, Stephanie, in one of her final acts as Ridge's mother, has kept him away from Brooke.
That, of course, is completely consistent with Stephanie's character. She's spent her life trying to keep Brooke and Ridge apart. So in her last days on earth, she could have brought Ridge and Brooke back together, but she chose instead to be selfish.
She told Brooke that she didn't want Ridge to see her as she was dying. And you have to wonder about that, because she loves Ridge more than any of her other children. If she was motivated by selfishness, she should have wanted to see Ridge no matter how awful she might appear in the last stages of cancer.
So you see it all comes back to the writing. They should have recast Ridge because Ridge needed to be there for Stephanie's death. In my humble opinion, Brad Bell blew it with this storyline because Ridge is MIA.
There was another seemingly life-and-death storyline going on last week, involving Katie and Taylor. For a while there, Katie's postpartum depression looked endless. Heather Tom was giving her usual flawless performance, crying her eyes out and appearing to be completely out of control. Fortunately, Hunter Tylo's performance as Taylor matched Heather's performance. It's been quite a while since we've seen Tylo given such excellent material, and she rose to the occasion.
However, I have to note that just the week before, I wanted to wring Taylor's neck. The way she went after Brooke for being in Bill's house and helping to care for baby Will was off-putting. Yes, yes, we know that Taylor does not trust Brooke with attractive, powerful men. But it seemed to me that Taylor was really jumping to conclusions and sticking her nose into Brooke's business.
With Katie out of the picture and not caring for her baby, somebody in the family had to step up. I truly don't believe that Brooke has designs on Bill Spencer. I think this is just a case of Brad Bell trying to make Brooke look predatory -- again. Everything about Bill and Brooke's interaction was generally mundane and hardly romantic, although the hot air balloon was completely unnecessary.
So was Brooke seeing Bill just out of the shower without the towel wrapped around his waist. I'm sure, like me, your first response to that scene was "Oh, come on! Only on a soap opera." It was so stagey and unrealistic that you just had to laugh.
What will happen next is fairly predictable. Katie will go home and resume life as Mrs. Bill Spencer. Of course, what we have to worry about is Brad writing a story in which Bill suddenly has feelings for Brooke that were never there before. If all of this strikes you as absolutely incestuous, I feel the same way. I would have much preferred if Brooke had gotten interested in Jon Hensley's character, the doctor with no first name.
Speaking of characters that seem to be flitting in and out of the show with no rhyme or reason, what happened to Danielle and Karen? Isn't it about time that Caroline go visit her mother at the beach house and find out whether or not she's still alive? Do you think Bill remembers that his sister lives in the same city as he does? Did they even receive a birth announcement? Or what about a change of address card, since Bill moved to Beverly Hills without warning?
You know, there was a promising storyline involving two women living together in L.A. in modern relationship, and yet the characters are completely ignored. Was it because it was a gay storyline? I sure hope not. It seems like they were thrown on the show to attract some attention, which they did, and then dropped completely. What a waste of talent!
I think it's a sure thing that the week ahead is going to be harrowing for fans of The Bold and the Beautiful. Watching Stephanie die will not be enjoyable or entertaining. I suspect they're going to go for poignant and tearful.
I'm still holding out hope that Ridge will appear at the cabin, but I'm sure that's just because I'm a cockeyed optimist. There will be a lot of crying, however, because Pam and Eric are on their way to the cabin with some goodbye present for Stephanie. I know that if Eric sings to Stephanie one last time, I'll be reaching for the Kleenex. Just do me a favor and drop the faux Irish storyline. I thought I was watching Ryan's Hope or Days of our Lives when Celtic Woman appeared. Since when was blue blood, society matron Stephanie Douglas transformed into a descendant of the Emerald Isle?
So, that's it for me. Please share your thoughts with me about what's going to happen in the weeks ahead... I'm anxious to read what you all have to say. I welcome your comments at Soap Central, so stay in touch. And tell me which other characters you want to see fixed or changed, or return to the show. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week! All you have to do is click here to send me a message. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!
Meanwhile, here are some letters from the readers!
• I have to admit, Liam and Steffy really have a lot more chemistry together. So for once and for all, leave them alone. And what's with Taylor? She's the worst shrink I've ever seen. She acts as though she knows it all, yet still she has absolutely nothing to do with baby Jack. You'd never even think that she'd given birth to the boy. -- Rhonda