Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your plan to camouflage your baby's paternity need a little work? Did the lack of a baby clear the playing field for you? Did you come home a year and a half late for dinner? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Last week, Scoopers, you may recall I made the rather inflammatory suggestion that Brad Bell step down as B&B's head writer. I still hold to it. And, not surprisingly, many of you agreed with me. It wasn't actually a bad week on our show, but even opening the window for some fresh air like Bridget didn't really get the sense of staleness out of the room. And I'm sorry, but Mr. Bell seriously has babies on the brain. Babies are just plot devices until they graduate high school three years later. Ask Bridget and Rick!
And if AMC and OLTL could replace their whole writing teams just four weeks into their reboots, then B&B can certainly take a lesson. It's what's better for the show. The way Brad Bell called B&B "my" show in a recent interview, I'm not sure the priorities are straight over there.
For now, B&B stands for Babies & Babies, though the tale of Steffy's miscarriage was strangely compelling this week. And I mean Jacqueline MacInnes Wood's tour-de-force performance, not necessarily the writing. Typically, people see a lot of screaming and crying and call it Emmy-worthy acting. To me, it's much more about the subtleties and nuances, and Steffy's quiet darkness was far more chilling than even the literal bang-up scene of using her motorcycle for batting practice, though that was also quite good.
Steffy's beating herself up more than the chopper. While fans seem split on whether Steffy should have been riding her motorcycle, Steffy certainly has taken her share of responsibility. Maybe too much. "It's okay for you to love me without making excuses for me," Steffy stonily told Liam. Even in the depths of grief, Steffy is the sensible one in this story. But what's up with her dizziness? Is it an aftereffect of repeated concussions, or could she still be pregnant? Twins do run in the family...
Taylor's support of Steffy seemed to take on extra meaning, knowing Hunter Tylo will be off our screens soon. I loved Taylor's idea of putting together a memento box. But Taylor asking Dr. Caspary, in front of Steffy, "How long before they can try for another baby?" was a jaw-dropper. Really, Taylor? Hope may have come to the conclusion that Steffy wanted to get pregnant again to keep Liam, but it seemed more like that was Taylor's motivation to me. Especially when Taylor ran straight to Hope about it.
I guess Taylor really has become the Forrester matriarch, because announcing Steffy's unconfirmed plans to Hope and telling Hope to stay away was so something Stephanie would have done. Of course, the way Hope seems to have convinced herself that Steffy's miscarriage will lead to a divorce, maybe Taylor wasn't too far off the mark!
What the hell, Hope? Why would you want Liam after all this? Even Hope had to admit that Liam wouldn't have married Steffy if he didn't love her. And, unlike the many previous instances, this time Liam really seems committed to Steffy, and not out of a sense of duty. I didn't think it was much of an issue when Liam and Hope slept together while he was in the process of a divorce (though a lot of you did), but now Hope was kissing a very married man! She didn't need a pill to do that?
No, Hope lost a lot of credibility with me this week. Her near-obsession with Liam has been pathetic enough. But making a move on him while his grieving wife was home alone crying...that was just cold. Liam seemed to hesitate answering Hope's initial phone call, but his credibility took a hit, too, when he told Steffy "I gotta run out" before making a beeline to Hope. He doesn't seem as constipated (read: conflicted) as before, but this time Liam really should have told Hope to step off.
And I used to go along with Hope using whatever last attempt at reconnection she had with Liam to make a case for them being together, but it just doesn't wash now. All this talk about their last almost-wedding; please! Sure, Liam was about to put a ring on your finger, Hope -- under duress! Ye soap gods, have I actually converted from Team Lope to Team Leffy? Well, it doesn't much matter once Wyatt shows up; then Liam's really gonna know how it feels! Karma is a bitch in five-inch stilettos, son!
Meanwhile, we took a quick trip to Bill's office for his 7000th flashback of kissing Brooke, which felt out of place with the rest of the week's festivities. The timing also felt wrong for Alison to show up on Maya's doorstep and put the screws to her -- but wow does Alison have teeth! As does her portrayer, Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. I had always written Alison off as fluffy stunt casting, but she was downright villainous as she gave Maya a royally hard time! You go, girl!
Of course, Rick stopped by as a welcome/unwelcome interruption, depending on what happens when Rick finds Maya with Alison. Rick was on his way back from a Forrester-Logan family dinner with Bridget! I didn't expect Dr. Forrester to be such a sight for sore eyes. Did anyone else's heart thrill when Rick called Bridget "Budge"? Though it felt a little weird, since Jacob Young and Ashley Jones really hadn't shared screen time together before...kind of made me miss Jennifer Finnigan...
But with Bridget came news! Bridget and baby Logan are living in New York...with Jackie and Owen as neighbors! Well, it only took over a year to address their disappearance; it's about time! They've apparently resurrected the Three's Company living arrangement they had when Logan was born in 2010. Not terribly original, but it works. Though we still don't know what happened to Jackie M...or Nick. Did he and little Jack board the Shady Marlin II and take a wrong turn at the Bermuda Triangle?
Or perhaps it's Brooke that's lost at sea, because her compass is all messed up right now. Let's start with her rationale that she and Eric were once this big happy family -- not hardly. "We raised children together," Brooke cooed. Okay, they raised Rick for a while, but not Bridget. During Bridget's first years, everyone thought Ridge was Bridget's father because of Sheila Carter and Mike Guthrie tampering with her paternity test! It was only later when Eric was revealed as Bridget's father that he took an active role.
I understand Brooke is spooked that Katie might die if Katie finds out Brooke is pregnant by her studhorse. Brooke, my dear, if you were that worried about burying another relative, you wouldn't have gotten in the saddle in the first place. Thankfully, Eric wasn't buying Brooke's fond remembrances of family. "That's not what you wanted when we were together," he reminded her. "I also remember the rejection," he added, obviously still stung by her having chosen Ridge over two decades ago! Great history!
Eric confirmed what I always knew, and what he would never have dared vocalize when Stephanie was alive: that he's still in love with Brooke. But so far, he's not letting that sway his judgment, or his very correct claim that "You wouldn't be happy with me." That was when Brooke brought out the big guns, in the form of Rick and the conveniently returned Bridget, along with some family albums, all of which Eric saw through like a piece of Brooke's Bedroom lingerie.
Interesting that Forrester Creations' recovery seems so hinged on Brooke's Bedroom and that Brooke's inability to promote the line might actually destroy the company. Also interesting was the usually dippy Donna poking holes in Brooke's admittedly well-thought-out scheme. "It will take Taylor two minutes to put it together," Donna pointed out, adding, "What if she asks to see a paternity test?" Brooke swore she'd handle it (she should call Sheila for advice), but you know this is going to be a mess.
Rick and Bridget raised eyebrows at each other, with Bridget asking, "What are we missing here?" It's a shame this week's deleted scene was removed, because in it, Rick commented about Brooke and Bill having "this thing going on," which got Bridget's spider senses tingling. After all, Bridget's been there with Brooke before! Bridget started cluing in, but Brooke deflected Bridget's questions. Maybe the scene was a little too on-the-nose, but if you haven't seen it, look it up, because it added more layers to Bridget's return than were included in the episode that aired.
But even family warmth and food from Eric's never-before-mentioned favorite restaurant wasn't enough to make Eric ditch Taylor for Brooke, so Brooke took a page out of Hope's book (or is it that Hope took a page out of Brooke's?) and Krazy Glued her lips to Eric's! Oh, no! Eric has never had an easy time resisting Brooke's physical charms. Hopefully he left the Viagra at home! And what would Stephanie have to say about all this? I'm sure her already-stern portrait must be downright frowning by now!
Do you get the feeling Bell is telling these stories just to piss viewers off and make us watch out of a sense of "oh, no, she didn't"? Because you guys are pissed off and letting us know on the soapcentral.com message boards, in the comments section, by email, and by voicemail. Keep popping off! Your comments could end up in a future column. Like these!
• "I am very disappointed with the writing of B&B. If they do not end [Leffy/Lope] no one will continue to watch...I am sick of Brooke's 'mistakes'...please bring back some other characters and stop making this the Brooke Logan show. Thorne, where are you?" -- Anna
• "A great twist to the Steffy/Liam story would be if it ended up that Steffy had been preggers with twins and that as can happen with twins only one heartbeat was detected and that she only lost one of the babies and is still pregnant with the surviving twin." -- Rhonda
• "Great column as always. I am praying that B&B doesn't treat Ricky Paull Goldin the way that they have so many other name actors/actresses that join the cast. (Can we say Jon [Hensley]?) RPG is a great actor, amazingly hot and a wonderful addition to any show. I will be most upset if he gets a scene or two and is relegated to 'the basement'..." -- Mary
• "WOW! What IS wrong with Brad Bell? I think it's time for him to step down and let some fresh air in at B&B. I'm embarrassed for him and the actors forced to play these inane storylines. I don't mind suspending my disbelief...but I refuse to suspend my intelligence and that's what Brad Bell seems to be expecting viewers to do." -- Julia
• "This Taylor/Steffy fan is DONE since the Tuesday we knew Steffy lost her baby. The Logan Show, they can have it...pretty face or not, [Brooke] has always been a repulsive character and many viewers only hung on for Taylor, to cheer her on and tolerate her always losing to the dark. It just ain't happening anymore. If B&B gets cancelled, I will be rejoicing because Bell already cancelled it for me with his sick obsession with a trashy blonde, whom I understand also writes for the show and is a known airhog, wanting more and more." -- Judi
But be careful! Brooke may, in fact, be a trashy blonde, but not making a differentiation between Brooke and her portrayer, Katherine Kelly Lang, is getting into dangerous territory. And let's just get something straight right here once and for all: Katherine Kelly Lang does not write for the show! She's made that clear in interviews and even said she doesn't agree with what Brooke has done to Katie. This is all Brad Bell's doing. All the actors can do is play what they're given. Unless they choose to leave. And you know some have!
Now, back to regular business with Points to Ponder:
"Steffy destroyed the bike," Taylor reported. After three hits?... Steffy's comment "Hope seems so small in the context of things" was actually quite brilliant. It's a shame that Bridget, who I recall suffered two miscarriages, couldn't pop by to counsel Steffy... Taylor's well-meaning advice for Steffy to forgive herself and move on seemed off to me, if only because it's only been a few soap days since the accident...
Brooke said that she and Eric could claim they'd done the deed while Taylor was away at a weekend teaching seminar. Since when does Taylor go into the office, let alone attend teaching seminars?... Rick finally gave Thomas some credit for his designs! But instead of accepting the compliment, Thomas still grunted he was only a working stiff... Brooke really needs to learn to take full responsibility for her actions, instead of referring to her illicit pregnancy as "my situation" like it's out of her control...
Loved Eric telling Rick, "Your mother wasn't exactly sure where the stove was." Then he asked Bridget, "What is this bicoastal practice of yours?" Indeed! Can doctors practice in different cities?... I felt the need to give Rick a history lesson when he incorrectly referred to his sister and parents as "the Core Four"... Why did Eric start huffing and puffing toward the end of Friday's episode? Is B&B hinting at an upcoming ailment for Eric? And did you guys notice the little quote of the Y&R theme in the music as the episode ended?
Speaking of Y&R, Oliver took a little trip to Genoa City this week, though it wasn't mentioned on B&B. He took photos of Summer Newman, and apparently is "old friends" with Detroit transplant Tyler Michaelson. Hmm. Wonder if Oliver knows him as Tyler or "Davis," the alias he was using? Now it seems someone is taking candid pictures of Tyler and his sister, Leslie. Could it be Oliver? We all know he was a borderline stalker after Hope washed her hands of him!
Don't forget to tune in to Y&R on May 28 for their tribute to the late, great Jeanne Cooper. As for B&B, the scandals continue...boy, do they. Will Hope get a clue? Will Jesse really end up being a problem for Maya? And are we really on the threshold of a Taylor/Eric/Brooke triangle? Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!