Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you try to outrun your pregnancy? Did your new hobby include collecting accidents? Did you finally get a backstory? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Mother's Day came a little early this year for Brooke Logan, didn't it, Scoopers? Dr. Caspary dropped the bomb that the lab ran the test twice, and Brooke is going to make the Spencer family even bigger. Now, it was odd enough they were having this serious tête-à-tête right there in the Forrester showroom, where someone could walk in any second. But wasn't it odder than Dr. Caspary took the word of a lab tech over the phone? Shouldn't she see the results for herself before announcing such a diagnosis?
I know it looks like Brooke has repeated history, getting knocked up by a relative's husband, earning Donna a "don't go there" when she dared to mention it. But what if we're just being set up to think that? Brooke's test could be a false positive. Something else could be going on. Or, at least I'm hoping that's the case. Brooke having this baby would be too typical, perimenopausal or not. I think it would be a fascinating plot device if Brooke got an abortion.
Not that I want to spark any pro-life debates, but when has any woman on B&B ever terminated a pregnancy? Never! Bridget only once pretended to have one. I'm not saying that's always the solution, but in this case, I think it would be justified, plus it would send Brooke on a whole different emotional journey, which we're long overdue for. That is, if Brooke is actually pregnant. And my gut says she isn't.
So Brooke took her baby out for a test run, literally. It was an interesting outdoor sequence, but is Forrester Creations really that close to a residential park? And if Katie left Spencer, which I believe is in Century City, to go home, which is in Malibu, how did Katie just happen to be driving by when Forrester is in the other direction? Most viewers wouldn't catch that, but I lived in L.A., and if you're going to set your soap in a real place...
Katie wasn't having Brooke's "non-answers" about what sent Brooke running, but she accepted her sister's menopause as a plausible solution. I can't read Katie these days. Has she really gone all doting wife in a way that would make Pam jealous? Or is Katie masterfully making everyone think she has? After all, people can often hear while in comas, and we did see Brooke's tearful "I'm sorry" flashback in a surprisingly cool sequence. Is it possible Katie knows everything and is just waiting for the right time to pounce? That would be a story.
Donna wanted answers, too, and got one: she's getting a Spencer niece or nephew! Donna asked Brooke what she was going to do...three times. Overkill! And then Bill came in for the predictable "a real man is there for his child" speech to play against Brooke's pregnancy. Never mind that he actually told Alison almost everything! She's more of a confidante to Bill than Justin is! And Alison knows what time it is with Bill and Brooke, too. I'm starting to like her. She might be good for Bill herself!
Then Eric arrived to talk to Brooke...suddenly they were alone...when did Donna leave the room? The connection between Eric and Brooke is wonderful. So much history...and they're the two remaining original cast members. Eric offered his full support, telling Brooke as they contemplated the road they've been on together that there was nothing she could do that would change his feelings for her. And what would those be, Eric? This would have been a great time for a flashback. New viewers wouldn't be aware of Brooke and Eric's 23-year history! (Hint: married twice.)
I don't know where B&B is going with Eric standing by Brooke, but you can be sure Taylor ain't gonna like it! I've never been able to warm up to "Teric," but I think I'd accept a "Beric" reunion in a heartbeat. Sorry, Taylor! I just hope we're not leading up to Eric pulling a Whip and taking responsibility for Brooke's pregnancy. He won't have to, though, if Brooke ends up telling Bill, which she was on the verge of doing.
Bill, however, was busy smearing barbecue sauce on Liam's face in an unusually jovial father-son moment between them. Notice how loving Bill can be when he approves of your decisions? Did you see how Liam shoved a spoon in Bill's mouth the second he mentioned Hope? Who knew BBQ could be so telling. Though if Bill wanted to make sure Liam and Steffy weren't "wasting" Liam's day off, ahem ahem, why did Bill just crash through the front door? What if they were still honeymooning?
There was something about Liam this week that I haven't seen since 2010. His goofy charm and turns of phrase were back, and he was "adorkable" again...the way he used to be with Hope. His chat with Steffy about the nursery color was sweet, but I wanted to cover her mouth when Liam said, "What if I can't decide?" and Steffy replied, "Sometimes indecision is best." Don't say that to a known waffler! And Steffy should know not to call herself the luckiest girl in the world. You're on a soap, girl! Jinx!
Steffy decided to visit Thomas, who had moved into Taylor's old beach house with Oliver. Hold the phone! Oliver's a fashion photographer, and Thomas is the vice president of a fashion house. It's not like they need roommates to defray costs. We could be about to get some Team Tholiver, baby! That may upset some of you, but check it: we know Thomas is supportive, and Thorne already thought Thomas was gay. And neither Thomas nor Oliver has had much luck with women. Admit it. They'd be cute together!
And Mopey Hope could use some gay friends right now. Guys with no ulterior motives except to tell Hope to use some Johnson's Baby Shampoo 'cuz it's time for "no more tears." Hope's acting like a baby, too, with all her "she's living the life I should have had" rhetoric. The waterworks really flowed when Hope was in the hallway listening to Steffy gush about Liam. (Who knew the beach house had another room?) Hey, just like Steffy listening to Hope gush about Liam in Italy. How the tables have turned.
Hope declined surfing with the boys, but tried to hang ten on Steffy, going on about "what you've taken from me." Then Hope did the strangest thing: she grew up before our eyes. She conceded that Liam loved Steffy enough to commit to her and owned being a gloomy Gus, knowing she'd snap out of it eventually. And when Hope said she really did want what was best for them and the baby, Steffy was so moved she plopped down on the couch and gave her former stepsister a big ol' hug! And Hope let her!
That was by far the most satisfying moment of this triangle we've been stuck with for almost two years. Hope and Steffy just were so real, and for one fleeting moment, Liam was forgotten and I kind of ached for these girls to be friends. It won't last, of course, especially since Steffy decided to beat the traffic jam on Pacific Coast Highway (those can be nasty) by hopping on her motorcycle. Uh-oh. In simple soap algebra, Woman + Pregnant + Motorcycle = A World of Hurt.
Steffy might've been okay had she not decided on detours and darting between cars. Not that she could have foreseen the car that darted in front of her during that rather suspenseful montage with the fire, and Liam seeming to sense the spill. Hmm. Remember when Liam asked Hope to not pop pills but she did it anyway? You know how that ended. Will Liam waffle again because Steffy rode her chopper when he said not to? And this is Steffy's fifth accident in two years: bathtub, ATV, ski slope, Italian bluff, motorcycle. Get this girl some insurance, fast!
Finally, over at Forrester, Caroline marveled over her instant fundraiser then made me marvel by raising some insightful points about herself. Caroline accurately noted that the event brought her back to her L.A. beginnings, and her snobby veneer fell away as she confessed to being petty and admitted she could be "almost as awful as my Uncle Bill." Wow!
Caroline's awareness of her recent behavior would indicate that it wasn't caused by her fall. So we still don't know why she went from zero to bitch in 0.2 seconds. But it was refreshing to watch Caroline get real. Rick noticed it, too, though Rick and Caroline's talk seemed to go in circles, the way they didn't let each other finish. It was getting annoying. Until it came out that they each knew they were having the breakup talk but didn't let on! How unusual is that for a soap!
And if you've ever had a conversation you knew would end with you getting dumped, you know that B&B handled it deftly, even though Caroline acknowledging her foibles three times really dragged the whole thing out. Rick would have walked out single had Bill not shown up looking for Brooke -- I mean looking to oversee his investment. I was afraid that Caroline would recruit Bill in another one of her schemes; instead, she merely leaned on her uncle as any normal relative might. Who knew?
Bill and Caroline's underdeveloped family connection didn't quite ring true, but Bill went all Godfather for his niece, digging up info on Maya Clarisse Avant in record time. Maya was upset to see Rick kissing his girlfriend -- but not to see Carter inexplicably running around Forrester with his shirt open. And things might have continued with Maya as interloper, until Maya finally told Rick she needed an answer. His answer was Maya! Finally, movement in the Force! This story almost died on the vine.
Maya worried that people would ask questions if she and Rick paired up, but Rick laughed it off with an interesting aside about the Forresters always being in the tabloids. Maya beamed at the prospect of finally being with Rick (and you gotta admit, the girl is luminous), but Uncle Bill shut that party down like he was a cop on a Saturday night!
And to me, that single scene was the best thing on B&B this week. Maybe in a long time. Bill circled in his usual threatening way, but Maya stood up to the vulture, unashamedly giving us some long-missing backstory: she'd dated a guy who kept a gun in a stolen car, but by the time she realized what a hood he was, she was pregnant and had nowhere to go!
Bill genuinely felt for Maya upon hearing how her baby had died (probably because Will is the only reason he's sticking with Katie), but Bill's unusual show of emotion basically ended with a "too bad!" If Maya didn't stay away from Rick, Bill would unleash the wrath of hell on her. And Maya's resolve went right out the window. Hey, Maya! All you have to do is find out about how Bill bribed doctors and wardens, and you can turn it around on his ass like that!
Not a bad week on B&B. What have you got to say about it? You know the drill: express yourself on the soapcentral.com message boards, in the comments section, by e-mail, or by voicemail. So there's no reason for you not to do a little telling! Your comments could end up in a future column. Like these!
• "...Katie wanted Bill & Brooke together -- your wish is my command! Be careful what you wish for...who put Steffy & Liam together? Boring!!!...Maya, go away..." -- Debi
• "I am not happy with a fifty-year old woman not married having a baby by [her sister's] husband!...if [Brooke] gets fired she can always join the Jerry Springer show!" -- Yvonne
• "...I like Liam and Steffy together (for the most part) but their 'honeymoon stage' scenes are just terrible...the fact that Liam could (and previously has) leave her in 15 minutes for Hope makes me believe absolutely zero of it! I have a dreadful feeling that Steffy is going to miscarry...so the triangle is going to continue, forever and ever until the end of time...why is [Hope] demonizing Steffy and not putting any blame on Liam? He's done just as much wrong as Steffy has. I don't want to see one more scene with Hope crying about how Steffy is 'living her life' or 'stole Liam'. Get on with your life woman!" -- Scarlett
It was so funny when the scene cut from Brooke running to Katie saying, "I have to run"... Oh, no! Brooke is doing the Steffy tummy rub! Four times in one week, no less... "I love my wife," Bill told Alison. Sure, that's why you gave her three heart attacks and locked her in a tower to keep her from narking on you... "Rick is with Thorne," Donna explained. At least Thorne is still alive... Did you see the 046 prefix on Brooke's cell phone? Since phone numbers don't start with a zero, I guess that's safe to use on TV, and better than the old "555" standby...
If this Donovan guy is such a good friend of the younger set, why haven't we seen him before?... "Steffy's not gonna question how I feel, ever," Liam promised Bill. Like she's never had reason to... Bill's reaction was very telling when Liam commented on how a baby reduces a couples' alone time, and Bill said, "Oh, you have no idea"... "I told Liam to marry you," Hope announced to Steffy, who didn't react. Isn't this her first time hearing that major reveal?
Where did Steffy get a biker jacket at Thomas' house, and how did it still fit over her very prevalent baby bump?... Nice reference, Bill comparing Rick and Caroline to Eric and Stephanie in regard to the men having wandering eyes... "If I had a father," Caroline told Bill, "and he were like you, I'd secretly be glad." When are we going to find out who fathered Caroline? Was it Connor Davis? A sperm donor? That's too juicy a question to remain unanswered... Of course Maya is from rural Illinois, since the Bell family hails from Chicago; you may remember Stephanie and Pam are from the Windy City as well!
Oh! In last week's Points to Ponder, I mistakenly questioned why Rick and Oliver didn't get solo turns on the runway. They did get them; the video I saw of that episode must have cut that part off. Oops!
I can't end this column without paying my respects to Jeanne Cooper, Y&R's beloved Katherine Chancellor, who died this week at the age of 84. Ms. Cooper consistently showed us all that you can be young and restless at any age. And don't forget Katherine's quick two-episode stint on B&B in 2005 that established her as the true owner of Forrester Creations! That plot point is long forgotten, but Katherine's scenes with Stephanie are legendary, and Jeanne Cooper won't be forgotten, not by a long shot.
Is it appropriate that the mother of all soap matriarchs made her earthly exit close to Mother's Day? Or that, as one life ends, another begins in the form of All My Children and One Life to Live's resurrection? Their online broadcasts are taking a bite out of conventional television's ratings! If these phoenixes can create this much of a stir with their 30-minute shows, there's no reason B&B can't step it up and start thinking outside the box, too. The potential is there...ain't nothin' to it but to do it!
Coming soon, Bridget visits, and Rick finds out that Maya was Jesse's girl. In the meantime, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!