Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you stop multiplying your feelings and try dividing them? Did your attempt to heat things up only to cool things down? Did you daydream about a new B&B to go along with your new year? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer clan (and me) this week!
Happy belated New Year! I hope everyone is approaching 2014 in a beautifully bold way so far. In terms of our soap, we finally seem to have something that's overshadowing Hope, Liam, and their cast of thousands...and that something is Ridge Forrester! I did once say this core character could never be recast. But I have to agree with Tracy: Thorsten Kaye is making the role his own. I admit to still being in an adjustment period regarding Ridge, but ultimately, I do think NuRidge is working!
What's especially likable is that Ridge has apparently grown a pair after his olive-inspired nuptials to Brooke. He's hearing Brooke's reasons for getting with Bill, but he ain't havin' it. Remember, this is the same Ridge who sighed, "Oh, Logan" after her mistaken mask-boink sex with Oliver. I guess this time, she's gone too far for even Ridge!
I know that you guys are split right down the middle about Thorsten Kaye: some of you are hailing him as a B&B miracle worker, and others are saying he's a total recast misfit who needs a shower. I say let's give him a chance. He's not Ridge the way we know him, but he's bringing something new to the table, and dare I say it -- the writing is reflecting it. Ridge had a point about HFTF distracting from the couture Forrester is known for. And is that a Kridge spark we're seeing?
One thing I don't get is Brooke. At least she's continuing to keep Bill's desire for reconciliation at bay, and she doesn't seem to be tempted by the studly Stallion, which I can't deny is a feat. But she keeps telling Ridge that she's told him everything. Um, not everything: how about that you were carrying the scion of Stallion? I'd be willing to bet that if Ridge knew about that, he would probably burn that Bridge once and for all. Which is probably why Brooke left that detail out.
Something else that baffles me is why anyone would want Bill back with Katie. Even Ridge questioned it -- Bill was a rat bastard to Katie long before Brooke ever turned either of his heads! Brill was just the icing on the poop cake. Thankfully, Katie is holding strong, though Bill and his swimmers are swimming in denial. Brooke dumped you because she felt guilty? No, Brooke dumped you because you cruelly tried to pull one over on Katie -- again!
And boy, they're really pushing this "R.J. needs two parents" thing. I mean, I agree, in theory, but that was never an argument when Ridge was bouncing back and forth between Brooke and Taylor, and the kid's been in boarding school how long? Personally, I think Ridge and Brooke need to watch out: there's something about R.J. now that makes him seem like Problem Child and Chucky from Child's Play had a baby. Sorry, but the boy gives me the willies!
Speaking of children, Hope and Wyatt's Hawaiian hoedown did little to thrill me, though I maintain they still have more heat that Lope. No, what impressed me was Hope admitting that she can understand Liam's divided feelings now and Hope telling Quinn that she feels she can't trust Quinn now. That being the case, why did Hope continue to yap to Quinn about Wyatt? She should have said her piece and walked out. Staying to chat sends Quinn the message that what she did is really okay after all.
So what's going to happen on B&B in 2014? In the real world, it's anyone's guess: I'm sure there will be triangles galore, although Pam and Charlie have some stuff coming up next week that's going to make Wyatt squirm a bit. I may be an atypical soap fan, but I like more than just romances on my screen, and that's the focus that I am once again taking as I sit down to write what's become an annual feature in my little corner of Soap Central: my "If I Wrote B&B" column!
Let's start with Thorne. This week, it was revealed that he left to run Forrester International in Paris (although now, one has to wonder who's running Shipping). But the real reason Thorne went to Paris was to look for Taylor. Ridge never saw her there; Steffy and Thomas, concerned that they haven't seen their mother in months, call to ask Thorne if he's heard anything. When Taylor seems to be AWOL, Thorne heads overseas to check leads, while Aly stays behind to continue learning the ropes at Forrester. What Thorne doesn't know is, Taylor is missing because of Aly!
Sally, having seen Aly struggling with the death of her mother, Darla, did what she could while the girl was growing up to help her heal. But it wasn't enough, and, despite what Aly told Thorne, Sally died last year; Aly losing her only mother figure pushed her over the edge. When Taylor walked out on Eric, Aly's henchmen grabbed Taylor and took her to Paris, telling her they'd kill Steffy if she didn't pop in and say she was okay. Taylor was then spirited off to an unknown location, which is why Ridge never saw her. Like Thorne, Thomas' trip to Paris was also motivated by the missing Taylor, and they team up to find her.
Aly, of course, wants revenge on Taylor for killing her mother, and she manages to keep one step ahead of Thorne and Thomas by moving Taylor around Europe. Finally, Aly forces Taylor to stand in the middle of a desolate road while Aly charges toward her in a car; Thorne finds them in time and saves Taylor, who decides it would be safer to join James in Scotland. Aly is institutionalized, and all of Sally's remaining loved ones come together to mark Sally's passing -- complete with flashbacks, of course.
Katie decides to romance Ridge in an effort to get back at Brooke, but it backfires because Ridge also can't get Brooke out of his system. So Katie takes the next step and seduces Justin, who betrays Bill by coming over to Katie's side, giving her the information and the clout to make Spencer Publications bigger than it ever was under Bill; Katie becomes a genuine force in the publishing industry.
Bill has bigger problems: someone has dug up how he broke Deacon out of jail, and Bill ends up in the slammer himself. Meanwhile, Liam begins to act strangely. He's suddenly very callous and devil-may-care; Hope has moved on with Wyatt, but when Liam starts sleeping around, Hope feels like he never loved her. But that's only the beginning: this new Liam isn't Liam, but Spence Cooper, Liam's twin! Liam's mother, Kelly Cooper, faked her death to manipulate unwitting pawn Liam into coming to Los Angeles and laying claim to Bill's fortune. With Bill's life in shambles, Kelly (played by ATWT's Margo, Ellen Dolan) picks this time to have Spence kidnap Liam and replace him (think Y&R's Rick and Blade circa 1995). Kelly is working with Quinn, and they have Spence take over for Wyatt since he got distracted by Hope and failed to position himself at Spencer like he was supposed to.
Worried about "Liam," Hope digs around and discovers Liam and Bill's 2010 DNA test was faked. It turns out that neither Spence nor Liam are Spencers -- only Wyatt is! Doing Liam's job, Spence has embezzled millions from Spencer Publications, but he arranges to bring Liam back at just the right time so that Liam is arrested for the crime. With Hope nosing around, and Quinn preoccupied with Wyatt's love life, Kelly comes to town herself to complete the transfer of funds, but Hope finds out, so Kelly has Spence kidnap her, against Wyatt's wishes.
Out on parole, Bill saves Hope, and, despite Kelly and Quinn putting Bill in jail, he gives everyone a free pass, considering how long he got away with his own crimes. The condition? The group has to leave Los Angeles and never come back. With the real Liam back, Hope reunites with him and leaves town, but not before calling Steffy, who visits L.A. and meets Spence. Now each girl has their own "Liam," and Spence is a bad boy besides, which Steffy likes. Wyatt, being the only true Spencer heir, stays behind to really learn the publishing business and atone for his crimes.
Another scam ensues when Carter and Maya are revealed to be Remy and Christina Boudreau, the characters they played on Guiding Light. As their lives in Springfield went belly-up, they read about the rich Forresters and came to L.A. to get a piece of the action. Christina/Maya was counting on marrying into the family via Rick, but Caroline's schemes prevented it; as for Carter, his multiple occupations were only ever a cover so he could infiltrate Forrester Creations. Remy and Christina have a partner in crime: Oliver, who is really James Spaulding! He tried the same trick in 2010 by wooing Hope but has been laying low since, waiting for the right time to strike and even canvassing Genoa City for opportunities. James's loyalty wavers because of his unrequited love for Thomas, which he decides to do something about when and if Thomas comes back.
The moment comes when Ridge and Rick's infighting leaves Forrester Creations ripe for a takeover. But Remy, Christina, and James need some high-profile help: Alexandra Spaulding, who wants to absorb Forrester into her own fashion business. Marcus brings his daughter Rosie to Forrester because it's Amber's turn with her, but they hear the takeover plans and run afoul of Remy and Christina; Marcus finds out that the real Carter he grew up with died years ago, and that the Waltons never realized Remy had taken his place. With Marcus and Amber in trouble, Dayzee comes to the rescue but is detained as well to keep her from spreading the news about Alexandra, who buys Forrester out from under Eric; the Forresters are forced to start from scratch, and are ill-equipped to compete against Alexandra's company.
Eric falls ill from the strain and needs a blood transfusion to survive, but when Rick is the only match, Ridge is reminded that he's not actually a Forrester. But that was what Blake Hayes, who terrorized Ridge and Taylor in the '90s, was counting on: he knew about Ridge's true paternity even then and used it to his advantage. Blake had brought Karen to town to break up Ridge and Taylor, but before that, Blake had stolen a sperm sample from Ridge and forced Karen to carry a child. It turns out that Ridge is actually Caroline's father!
Rick and Caroline's marriage is safe, since they're not biologically related. But one day, Rick makes a shocking revelation: it's not Caroline who's his wife! Yes, Karen also had twins, and Camille Roberts, who is very unstable, came to impersonate Caroline right after she fell off Bill's balcony. (Hey, work with me. I know Y&R already did double doppelgangers, but I'm inventing on the fly here, and the original Caroline had a twin, too...) This explains Caroline's unprecedented behavior change, but it's Camille who is going to have Rick's baby -- Rick impregnated the wrong twin! Ridge, who has always butted heads with Rick, now steps in to help Rick through the mess, and the two mend fences. Camille's deception isn't discovered until she goes into labor; Caroline, who has found her way home, delivers Rick and Camille's baby, but Camille dies in childbirth, leaving Caroline to raise her twin sister's child with Rick.
Once Eric recovers from his latest health issue, he resumes exploring things with Quinn. But when he begins to sense that something's not right with the jeweley maker, she forces Eric into a wedding ceremony at gunpoint. Eric is saved by the most unlikely person of all: Sheila Carter! It turns out it was not Sheila who got Phyllis' face by plastic surgery in Genoa City -- it was her old cohort, Sugar. Sheila has reformed since escaping from the bomb shelter where she and Lauren were held in 2006; she stopped by to make things right with Eric and found Quinn terrorizing him.
Quinn goes to jail, and Sheila's plan is to do the same: she's returning to Genoa City to turn herself in and finish out her sentence. Afterwards, Jackie returns, having split from Owen, and settles into a nice romance with Eric; they agree it's what Stephanie would have wanted. Jackie helps Eric do battle against Alexandra, and the whole Guiding Light vs. B&B storyline continues into 2015...
Pam and Charlie's easy-bake romance gets serious, and they are married in an unusual ceremony befitting their quirky characters. With Stephanie gone, Pam feels it's time to take Charlie and move back to Chicago. But Pam, who has come to feel like Donna is a daughter, offers the Logan sister a chance to start over with her and Charlie in the Windy City, so Donna bids everyone goodbye and moves away.
As for Brooke, with Bill in jail, Ridge helping Rick, and Katie gone power-mad with Justin, the Slut from the Valley finally realizes that she's been too dependent on men and their attentions, thinking back a lot to her conversations with Stephanie. So Brooke leaves R.J. in Ridge's capable hands and travels the world alone for a while, which keeps her off-screen except for a reunion with little Jack, who has been raised by Nick. Seeing how well Jack is doing with Nick and his new wife (who looks an awful lot like General Hospital's Felicia,
Brooke remains off the canvas for an undetermined amount of time, but when she comes back, she's a changed woman. She reboots the foundation she created for Stephanie before she died, invents a follow-up to her BeLieF formula, and finally demonstrates that she can stand on her own without scandals and without being obsessed with men. This naturally attracts Ridge, and, with a new Brooke in his life, Bridge reunites once and for all.
I dunno -- seems I'm on nutjobs and doubles right now! Not my best, maybe, and full of holes, but it's a fun way of getting our familiar characters out of their all-too-familiar storylines; I admit to being more than a little distracted by a writing project that I will be ecstatic to tell you about as soon as I'm able to. As for fantasy storylines, I bet you guys have some great ideas. Tell us how you'd write B&B 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!
• "...I am really feeling the new Ridge on all levels...the best decisions the powers that be could have made when recasting this fan fav character. Ridge was not feeling any of Brooke's excuses for what she's done, and I am liking that about him." -- KandiI don't know what The Powers That Bell really have in mind for 2014, but there's one thing I do know: Ridge's return has effectively killed Brill, and he's a wild card that the show really needed. Stay tuned next week, when Tracy again picks up the Scoop for her column that will "air" January 20, and I will be back January 27 with more musings about what's actually happening on B&B. And you know I'm gonna say it: keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!
• "The new Ridge looks like he was dragged in from a drunk tank!...Come on, this is Ridge Forrester...do longtime fans a favor: bring back the original Ridge or clean [this guy] up!" -- Elaine
• "Please, soap gods, have the new Ridge and Katie as a couple. They have awesome chemistry and neither Katie or Ridge need their previous loves sloppy seconds!" -- Jennifer
• "I like the new Ridge, but he needs to be cleaned up. That hair on his face and the crappy clothes make him look like a homeless man that found some clothes." -- Doris
• "I think Wyatt and Steffy would be electrifying together. The main thing I would like to see in 2014 is more of Oliver. Give him a new love interest. Give him a real storyline. Bring in Summer from Y&R to model and crush on him!" -- Joni
If you missed Mike's Best and Worst of B&B 2013 column last week, click here to read it.
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