Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you pay your blackmail with a rubber check? Did you not need Superman's x-ray vision to see through your rival? Did you resist the irresistible? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
The Bold and the Beautiful's past five offerings didn't seem like much on the surface. But there were some interesting asides and commentaries -- and who knew Eric would turn out to be as stubborn as Stephanie? He's learned from all those years with the Queen! But first, let's Scoop about Maya AY-vant, or Maya AH-vant, or however it's pronounced, because it keeps changing. Even Maya isn't sure!
The depiction of Maya's predicament didn't start out very promising. Alison waved the picture of Jesse in Maya's face, demanding that Maya end it with Rick. First off, Jesse's photo has gotten more airtime than Ricky Paull Goldin so far. Was he only brought on for an overhyped cameo? And, "end it," Alison? End what? Rick and Maya have had a few wannabe dates, and Rick has been in a relationship with Caroline the entire time. Rick and Maya are being hailed as a love story, but it doesn't exist. Not yet.
Still, when Rick came by and told Maya they could talk when they woke up together, I was like, "Damn, boy!" Thankfully, he followed up his hormones with a legitimate declaration of love that Jacob Young delivered wonderfully. I liked how Rick told Maya that she'd changed him -- though I wish we'd gotten some continuity and heard Rick tell what he had been changed from. In my eyes, he still needs redemption from that whole Steffy mess in 2009, 'cuz the slap on the hand he got didn't cut it.
Maya liked Rick kissin' on her ear (and who wouldn't), but when she saw the black-and-white image of herself in jail, she laid it down in black and white, telling Rick he should be with Caroline and sending him out the door! No wonder Rick looked like a blindfolded kid who had just been spun around for a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Jacob Young also gave Rick some layers in that hallway, his heartbreak and quiet determination revealing a depth we don't get to see in Rick very often.
And though Maya let herself be intimidated by Bill and Alison, she did show some unexpected sass. "I'll tell Rick what I want," Maya sniped to Alison. Then Maya lied to get Bill's cell phone number from Pam! Bill may have hung up on Maya, but she obviously had some balls of steel and some sort of plan to be able to call Bill in the first place. Carter's balls seemed reinforced, too, as he laid down some smooth talk and lip-lockin' to express his continuing interest. I guess he performs more than marriages.
Marriage was on Bill's mind as well. Liam's marriage, anyway. You all know how often we've heard Bill badger Liam about Steffy -- and how annoying it had become. But this time, Bill was right, and it was Liam who was annoying, blathering about how Hope was still in his heart. Bill knew what time it was with Hope and told Liam to deal with it, since women throw themselves at Spencers. Just what we needed: Liam looking conflicted again. Except now it makes him more fickle than ever, and heartless to boot.
Some of you were surprised last week when I spoke out against Hope and her recent shenanigans that included trying to slyly convince Liam to come back to her. Honestly, I couldn't even listen to her this week. It's this simple: I tired of all the back-and-forth, and I would just as soon Liam stay with either Hope or Steffy already. And, like Liam, Hope's crassness in the face of Steffy's miscarriage is bringing Hope to a level she's never sunk to before. Steffy saw right through her. And boy, am I glad she did!
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is still bringin' it! Steffy's guilt and self-pity may be a bit much by now (though more realistic time-wise than we're used to on this show), but her husky, soft-spoken tones and resolute countenance added far more weight than any histrionics would. "Our loss is not an opening for you," Steffy told Hope matter-of-factly. Steffy covered all of Hope's possible angles, leaving Hope zero wiggle room. I don't think I've ever liked Steffy this much. Yeah, it surprises me, too!
There was some interesting dovetailing going on this week, beginning with Steffy and Hope having it out at the same time their mothers were butting heads. Brooke told Taylor that encouraging Steffy to try for another baby right away was "foolish and irresponsible" -- all the while knowing a Spencer seed is growing in her garden! Hence the dovetailing: Taylor asking "What greater joy is there than expecting a baby with the man you love" as Brooke looked away was a great way of bringing the stories together.
The same held true for Bill's conversation with Liam. As Hope started to look good again to his wayward son, Bill's comment, "When times get tough it's easy to wonder 'what if,'" was filled with self-awareness and irony. Makes you wonder what will happen when Liam and Hope find out about all this irony -- not to mention Taylor!
I think Taylor has given up her practice and taken a position as the town gossip! Not only did she pump Eric for information about Brooke, but as soon as Eric hinted there may be a new man in Brooke's life (another bit of irony), Taylor ran to Brooke for confirmation and then told anyone who would listen! Donna! Katie! Bill! Who needs Just Jared or TMZ when you've got Taylor Hayes! Doesn't that seem very much out of character to you guys? I'm surprised she didn't just hold a press conference to save time!
Maybe Taylor's just extra interested in Brooke's love life because deep down she senses something isn't right about her own. Eric remains devoted, but Brooke's making it hard for him, apparently in more ways than one. No matter how many times Eric tells Brooke he won't be her babydaddy, she keeps trying to make a case for their reunion. And this is where we got to some of the more intriguing moments of the week. No, not in the seduction. In Brooke's reasons for it.
For one thing, Brooke actually took responsibility for a millisecond. "I know this is my fault," she conceded, which was a welcome change from her usual "I made a mistake" rhetoric. But Brooke's other admissions had quite the impact on me. "I don't want this baby to come into the world like Hope did," she told Eric; nice that we finally got a nod to the repeated history. Then we got the real reason for her scheme: "I already lost my mother, my brother, and my best friend. I don't want to lose Katie, too."
Doesn't Brooke's frantic determination to snare Eric make way more sense when you look at it under that microscope? Three major deaths in five years would be enough to make anybody desperate to prevent another one. And Brooke's definitely not thinking clearly, despite all the cool 1990s flashbacks of Eric and Brooke's first go-round. Has Brooke given any thought to the fact that, if Eric were to go along with this, he'd be in his 90s by the time the kid finished high school? And let's not forget, Eric had a vasectomy...
Meanwhile, Brooke sent Donna to play matchmaker for her and Eric, a high school trick Donna was clearly uncomfortable with. Donna might have been uncomfortable when Bill started sniffing around for the identity of Brooke's new man, too, but soon Donna put her foot down with Bill in a rare show of piss and vinegar. "Stop it!" she commanded. "I know. You slept with my sister!" Donna's been too lax in the wake of Brooke and Bill's affair, so it was nice to see her take Bill to task, even for a moment.
Brooke's contention that "everyone knows my reputation, so they wouldn't bat an eye at me going after Taylor's man" was actually a bit of a unique twist, her using her scandal-ridden past to mask her scandal-ridden present. When Donna suggested Brooke find another guy, Brooke insisted Eric was the only candidate. But is he?
Thorne's claimed fatherhood before -- just ask Taylor. And wouldn't it have been cool if Deacon were around? Deacon's text was the reason Ridge left Brooke, so Brooke hooking up with Deacon would make total sense. And given their history, it would be one helluva example of poetic justice for Deacon to step up as babydaddy when you consider how Whip stepped up to be the father of Deacon's child! I know it can't happen because Sean Kanan is on GH now. But you have to admit: that would have been cool.
Just as I have to admit, anything that gives John McCook more screen time is all right with me. Was this the plan all along when Ridge left? For Brooke and Taylor to be battling it out over Eric after a side trip on Brill Boulevard? I love how Eric is not immune to Brooke's charms, their fond memories, and his continuing love for her. But even more, I love how Eric's not giving in to it. He may have let himself kiss Brooke (which Taylor won't love), but he wasn't going to let himself get talked into Brooke's cover-up.
Eric turned off the romantic music, asking why Taylor should have to pay for Brooke's sins. Eric reminded Brooke how she had spent their marriage yearning for Ridge, and when Brooke commented that Ridge wasn't any more his son than the baby she was carrying, Eric had enough. "I've already raised another man's son...I've been through this before, and I'm not going to do it again. Tell Bill the truth!" I'd like to give Eric an award. How good this show can actually be when it pays attention to history!
I got a little bit of a history lesson myself, and it's made me wonder about something. Remember a column or two ago I questioned why Brooke didn't just get an abortion? I'd forgotten that Brooke had attempted to abort Eric's child. "When I almost lost Rick," she hesitated, "I didn't want to do that with this baby." Is that the reason Brooke always just carries her babies even when they're conceived under dubious circumstances? It would certainly explain a lot of things. A lot of things.
Bill obviously wanted explanations, the way he ran straight to Brooke the second he heard she might be seeing someone. "Guess what we had didn't mean much," his ego said. Putting Brill in each other's orbit this week after they'd parted ways made the story kinetic again. As did Pam's summation that Brooke's stalling about Brooke's Bedroom was bad for the company. Who expected Pam to get into the lingerie game by strutting her stuff for Pammy's Boudoir? Kudos to Alley Mills for kicking ageism's ass!
I know I can always count on you guys to lay it bare on the Soap Central message boards, in the comments section, by e-mail, and by voicemail. Tell me the naked truth, and your comments could end up in a future column. Like these!
• "What about Ridge? We are to forget about Ridge and Brooke and believe she is in love with Bill? PLEASE! She can't have a child with Bill -- NO WAY!" -- Johnothy
• "Brad Bell and his [..] writing team have basically removed the core family that I felt was the lifeline of B&B: the Forresters. If he wants to focus completely on Brooke Logan, and all the Spencers, let him...so many viewers have been driven away...if CBS fails to renew B&B...Brad has no one to blame but himself..." -- Maria
• "I have been watching B&B since its beginning. I have seen Taylor through all her ups and downs and have loved her character. In the last while, I have been totally disgusted with Taylor...she is unethical...when she knows of another character's issue, it only takes one show for her to run and spread the 'news'...she is very unprofessional...I am sick of her meddling in everyone's lives. It's time Taylor minded her own business...!" -- Ellen
• "I started watching B&B about a year and a half ago. It really had me hooked. Sorry to say I am no longer enthralled..." -- Linda
"It's hard to tell considering Stephanie promised the company to me and then gave it to Eric," Thomas groused. Seriously, Thomas? You still feel entitled to a company you would have only gotten because you lied?... "As if [Stephanie] would've ever wanted Brooke to take her place as the family matriarch," Taylor guffawed. Actually, Taylor, that's exactly what Stephanie wanted...
How is it the candles and fireplace were already lit in Brooke's cabin before she got there? And how was it the sun was still out at the end of one episode, but as Brooke and Eric picked up their conversation where they left off at the top of the next episode, it was suddenly dark?... "I thought about going away," Brooke admitted. Shame she didn't add, "Like I did when I was pregnant with Hope..."
What was it with Pam wanting to teach everyone to cook this week? First she descended on poor Theresa, then she offered Taylor gravy-making tips. "I wanna help you and Eric," Pam offered. Yeah, a few months ago, you wanted to help them think you were going to slice them up like watermelons!...Was Hope seriously designing? When did she learn how?... "When that bitch Amber had us believing you were carrying her kid, did you want to marry her?" Bill asked of Liam. Good question, Bill, and good continuity...
Weird that Marcus and Dayzee would both be comfortable offering Steffy their friendship, given Marcus' relationship with Steffy and how badly Steffy treated him when she threw him over for Rick... "The place isn't the same without you," Marcus told Steffy. An ordinary statement that has so much more meaning now that Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is about to go on recurring status... Did you notice the (very) quick tribute to Jeanne Cooper the day Y&R aired their full tribute? It was short but sweet...maybe too short...and a few images from Katherine's 2005 crossover with Stephanie would have been nice!
And that, Scoopers, brings us to the end of another column. May Sweeps are over, and now we head into June, which the old song says is busting out all over. It may just, in the form of Wyatt Fuller making his way onto the canvas. I'm guessing Brooke's secret will only remain a secret through June, since Taylor's final airdate is set for July 3. And will Bill find more than he bargained for in Maya? Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!