Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you reject the heat for the reheated? Did you get your plumbing fixed? Did you come home with a new face? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer clan this week!
Well, Scoopers, it's finally happened -- Ridge is back. And for the first time in 26 years, Ronn Moss isn't playing him. What did I think of that? You'll just have to wait to find out. If B&B could spend a whole episode leading up to Ridge's entrance, I can make you read about the show's other stories first!
Ricardo took the bell-tree diamond back (good riddance), telling Wyatt that he and Hope should search out other gems from his friend in India. Inspired, Wyatt threw together an Indian feast for Hope faster than you can say "basmati rice." Too bad Liam was telling Hope she had to sever professional and personal ties with Wyatt and Quinn or she couldn't have his swaggering self. Since when does Liam have any say-so over Forrester business?
Hey, I'm glad he got a backbone, and although I enjoyed Hope serving Liam karma sandwiches for a while, let's just say the bread has gotten stale. I seem to recall the last time Liam made Hope talk to Eric about giving Quinn Artisan the boot, Eric told her business was business and suck it up. Why wasn't that part of Hope's argument? And why, when Hope finally did go to Eric, did he not remind her of this himself? If Hope ditching QA is Liam's deal-breaker, then maybe Liam just needs to deal with it!
I actually did feel bad for Wyatt as Hope took him for a ride on the dump truck. But telling Hope he's loved her since their first kiss? Dude, she was unconscious. You may think you were acting out a scene from Sleeping Beauty, but it looked like necrophilia to me! (Actually, so does Sleeping Beauty, but that's another story.) And yammering on about "us" -- what "us," Wyatt? Some flirting and kissing? You and Hope had no relationship, and never even went on a proper date. "Us," my ass!
When Hope didn't respond to the begging and pleading, Wyatt ditched the diamond and tried to show her the family jewels. All right, it's time to admit it: HOTT's got da heat. Maybe it's just three years of overkill, but Liam and Hope kissing now makes me long to watch paint dry. There's no passion, no fire. Yet that scene with Wyatt had me needing a cold shower. "I do love you," Hope panted, "But I love your brother more." I guess all that butter chicken went to waste!
Hope gleefully told mama Brooke that she and Liam would need her house for yet another wedding, but Brooke wasn't convinced it was what Hope wanted, especially when Hope admitted she'd be tempted having Wyatt around the office all the time. "I get it, I do," Brooke sympathized. She should: who knows more about temptation than Brooke? And the less said about Bill and his painful horse images and neighing, the better. Brooke might have been moved by Bill's overtures, but oh, how the Dollar has fallen.
Reverting back to the disturbing trend of B&B's parents discussing their grown children's love lives, Eric talked to Brooke about Lope/Hyatt, then Quinn, who was naturally upset that Liam wanted her partnership with Forrester dissolved. Except Quinn was already working on another partnership, giving Eric monogrammed cufflinks and lots of come-hither looks. Although Bill, Liam, and Donna are painting Quinn as unstable, I'm just seeing her as an opportunist who wants to keep her electric car!
"Quinn is the new Sheila," lots of fan boards are saying. Don't even compare this upstart to my woman. All of Sheila's crazy deeds were motivated by a deep, twisted desire to love and be loved. Quinn is just out for herself; I don't think she has any feelings for Eric at all. And you'd think that Eric, who endured a marriage to Sheila and a poisoning by Pam, would be taking Donna's warnings more seriously. Yes, Donna's a bit jealous, but Eric's "Sheila-sense" should be tingling. Instead, other things are.
Then, Quinn's latest manipulation tool, I mean Steffy, breezed into the office! We came to find out that Thomas is in Paris, and Steffy flew some 5,600 miles for a doctor's appointment. They don't have doctors in France? Stranger still, when Steffy left, Eric said to say hello to Ridge and Thomas, but not Taylor. Why didn't Steffy at least mention her? Not that it mattered, because Quinn suddenly decided she needed to meet with the Forrester International staff.
Oh, Eric. If it'd been a snake, it would've bit ya. Didn't it seem odd to him that Quinn wanted to fly to Paris seconds after Steffy left to do the same thing? Apparently not, because he directed Quinn to the Forrester jet, where she promptly went to work on Steffy. Weren't you glad that Steffy wasn't having it? Think about it: some chick you just met bogarts your trip home and starts telling you how to conduct your love life.
I haven't always loved Steffy, but I've liked her spunk: I'm surprised she didn't throw Quinn off the plane! In mid-air! "Your son's crush doesn't really concern me," Steffy barked, and it looked like Quinn's campaign was going to fall flat, even after Steffy inexplicably opened up about losing Liam's baby and her resultant infertility. Even if Steffy only told Quinn about her barrenness because she knew the woman would keep pressuring her about Liam, I can't see her sharing details that personal with a total stranger.
Then, Steffy got a call from Dr. Caspary. We know this, because she blurted out, "Dr. Caspary" while Quinn was still in the room. Did Steffy demand privacy? No. Instead, she confirmed she could now have a baby within earshot of a very presumptuous woman. I had to wonder: if Steffy came to L.A. for the express purpose of having this unnamed experimental procedure, wouldn't we have seen an underlying hopefulness as Steffy told Quinn about her infertility instead of the despair she was obviously still in?
And I'm sorry...it was too easy. We had several weeks and much drama over Steffy never being able to get pregnant ever, ever again, and now, in one quick phone call, that drama is moot. It has nothing to do with Steffy; it just might have been novel to keep someone on this show sterile for the sheer soapiness of it. You start to doubt soap deaths when characters rise from the grave too many times; the same goes when barren ladies (Amber, Bridget, now Steffy) always end up being able to conceive.
Finally, a very expensive car drove up the Hollywood Hills, accompanied by music reminiscent of James Bond's 007. A man stepped out, but we couldn't see his face. When Friday's episode started in this way, I was glad that the coming "surprise" wasn't strictly saved for the end, but then I came to feel this sequence was being dragged out too much. Do people usually make purposeful stops and dramatic turns when they're coming home for the first time in a year?
I don't know who keeps a basket full of Speedos in a random spot on their property (and who outside of the Olympic swimming team wears them anymore?), but when our faceless man rifled through them, then chucked one on a statue, I did have to smile at the irony. We were being sent a very clear message: forget what you've known; that was one era, but this is a new one, and the time for Spandex is over. There was so much symbolism in that moment, and I found it to be a very clever inclusion.
Then I saw something I had thought was gone forever: old school B&B. Don't ask me to describe it...it's just something about Eric clinking the now regular martini he makes for the departed Stephanie, talking to her picture while the mysterious hulking figure headed for the door, that evoked days of old to me. I think it was the sense of real suspense, despite knowing what was coming. The build-up was wonderful, like back in the day with Sheila's arrivals or Taylor's first return from the dead in 1995. The nostalgic in me was happy, but I found myself thrilling for the future, too.
And then it happened: Eric lamented drinking alone, then was shocked to hear "I can help you with that" behind him. Eric turned around, the camera zoomed...and there he was: Ridge 2.0. Tall, rugged, and stubbled with a shock of dark hair and looking quite a bit younger. He must have gone in for some of that "facial sandblasting" while he was in Paris. But does it matter? Ridge Forrester is back in the house -- as in the much-beloved Forrester mansion.
I'd love to give you my first impressions, but it's hard to develop any of substance after one line and less than a minute of actual face time. One thing's for sure: this ain't your grandmother's Ridge. That's why B&B showed him ditching the Speedos. Only time will tell if this reinvented Ridge will work, even in the guise of an accomplished soap vet. (Where was my "The role of Ridge Forrester is now being played by Thorsten Kaye"?)
One quick observation has nothing to do with the actor, but the timing. Ridge and Steffy were both in L.A. within hours of each other. Why didn't they arrive together? Given Steffy's daddy issues, you'd think she'd be Super Glued to him, yet they didn't even have a scene together. And it was obvious Steffy thought Ridge was back in Paris. Why would Ridge jump a plane home without telling her? I was glad to see them, but that wasn't plotted out very well.
Brad Bell has promised answers, and I really hope this time we're going to be satisfied by them. The scuttlebutt is, Ridge will try to make sense out of jilting Brooke on their honeymoon over a text message to Deacon, not to mention explain to us why he was conspicuously absent when Stephanie died. Here's another question: Taylor was also revealed to be in Paris. She had to have seen Ridge. Did they try to reconcile? Why did Ridge come back to Los Angeles on his own? (Okay, that's two questions.)
We're also hearing Ridge won't be too happy when he learns how Brooke spent her year carrying on with Bill and that he will go to Katie for answers. Are we about to see Kridge? I have to say, I'm keeping my fingers "krossed." It would be more just desserts than the Café Russe used to serve if, after all this, Ridge found happiness with Brooke's sister. It would be great fun to watch Brooke and Bill eat their hearts out! Can you "help us with that," Ridge?
Now it's your chance! What do you think of nuRidge? Tell us on the Soap Central message boards or the comments section. Send e-mail or leave a voicemail! Or talk about it on Facebook below. Your comments could end up in a future column. Like these!
• "Don't get me wrong, Brooke should never have slept with Bill. However, [B&B] never has anyone remind Katie what she did to Bridget while Bridget and Nick were engaged. She was pregnant by Nick and everyone just wants to forget it. Bridget stepped aside so Katie and Nick could raise the child." -- GigiOf course, no column of mine is complete without Points to Ponder:
• "...Does no one just date each other on this show? Why does everyone get married so fast? Its ridiculous, and it's just bad writing. Seriously, the head writer should just step down already. This show is becoming what I remember Guiding Light and ATWT to be in their last few years. Is he trying to drive viewers away?" -- Denise
• "I think once Stephanie died all moral compasses went out the window. How dare the writers adjudge that Katie is to blame for what has happened [with Bill]. It all boils down to once again Brooke getting what she wants without any consequences for her actions. People get sick of the same thing all the time, and that's Brooke getting skanky." -- JD
• "Why [are] the writers not following up on the robbers? I am sure with a diamond that big, cameras [would] show that Wyatt framed the two men in that episode." -- Essie
"We got sidetracked," Liam told Hope, citing Steffy, Bill, and Amber as problems. Bill and Amber yes, but given Steffy miscarried Liam's child, it seemed cold for him to cite her as a mere distraction... Wyatt talking to himself while setting up his Indian dinner felt very forced... "Steffy was the package," Bill smiled to Liam. "Smart, great sense of humor, sexy as hell" -- Bill "Still" wants it! But Liam, really: "You could just as easily be describing Hope"? Didn't sound right somehow...
Hope was supposed to go to Liam's right after cutting Wyatt off. Then why didn't she show up until the next morning? Then Wyatt complained to Quinn that Hope was getting married before the holidays. Except she never actually told him that!... Wyatt keeps insulting Liam by referring to him as "Yoga Boy." Has Wyatt ever done yoga? I just started it this year, and I can tell you, it can be hard; Wyatt wouldn't be so cocky if he had to hold himself in "eagle pose" for any length of time!
Wyatt kept going on about "our employees" at Quinn Artisan. It's not like they ever see their superiors: Quinn and Wyatt are always at Forrester! And Wyatt acts like Liam is taking away his job, but Liam's right: thanks to the jumpstart from Forrester, QA is on the map, so what are the Fullers worried about?... Both Liam and Hope told Wyatt they had been together for "years and years." No, that's Ridge and Brooke; it's only three years since you met in 2010, Lope. Don't make it sound like it's been longer...
Bill's got money out the wazoo. Why can't he get his own place? Oh, yes: because B&B's budget only allows for so many sets... Liam may be a computer whiz, but he fixed Bill's CGI horse way too fast. Plus, Bill hit "send" without attaching anything, and as soon as Brooke opened his e-mail, the movie displayed full-screen, which would never happen... "Hope's not the only one with a clothing line," Brooke told Eric. Glory be, Brooke's Bedroom is actually still in business! Nice touch, Brooke, adding that HFTF has the spotlight for now, but that the company's focus will shift. Is that a hint, B&B?
"We're about to land," Quinn told Steffy. Pretty amazing considering it's an eleven-hour flight from Los Angeles to Paris. They'd only taken off in the previous scene, and it wasn't eleven hours later for the rest of the characters... Quinn raged about "Liam, who doesn't even work at Forrester." True, Quinn, he doesn't. But neither do you! You only have a partnership with Forrester; stop acting like you punch a clock there!
All right, Scoopers, it's getting to be that time again -- time for us to pop off about all that's Best and Worst on B&B in the past year. Tracy and I got this: on December 20, we will join all our fellow Soap Central columnists on Soap Central Live to talk about the Best of 2013. On December 27, we'll be back on SCL with our picks for the Worst. And of course you'll be able to read our comprehensive lists here: watch for Tracy's year-end column on December 23, followed by mine on December 30. Mark your calendars, and have a joyous, meaningful, and peaceful Christmas, one and all!
Ridge Forrester is back on B&B! Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!