Where there's smoke
by Mike
For the Week of January 19, 2015
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B&B Two Scoops: Where there's smoke
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The week of January 19, 2015
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The heat between Ridge and Caroline nearly burned down Forrester. Nicole Avant showed up to (hopefully) fan the flames of her sister's backstory. And Rick doesn't need a gun when he's got Maya's mouth! Two Scoops' Mike advises you to break out those 9-volt batteries because this week's B&B was hot enough, it may need smoke detectors!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you cast yourself as a mouthy matriarch? Did you find out that your bed wasn't the only thing packing heat? Did you show up for a surprise sisterly visit? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer clan this week!

Howdy, Scoopers! It's a brand-new year, and in a lot of ways, it feels like a brand-new B&B. Not a Hope, Wyatt, or Liam in sight -- and even Quinn has been put out to pasture for a while. That's right. Rick, Maya, Ridge, and Caroline are running the show right now, with a story that feels a lot more grown-up than Lope/Hott's tribulations. But is it still too much of a good thing? We're going to have to use our metal Scoops this week, because the plastic ones might melt!

Okay, first, let's talk about the mansion's portrait-go-round. Rick moves Maya in and takes down Stephanie's photographic presence, replacing it with a blow-up of Maya's sultry gaze. Disrespectful? Yes. Good drama? Yes. The only issue I have with it is that everybody's gotta talk about it. Really? Is it possible to have something happen on this show without the whole cast discussing it?

That's the thing -- even though the Ridge/Caroline/Rick/Maya quadrangle is fiyah, the show is still indulging in too much repetition and on-the-nose dialogue. First everyone dished about the portrait (Aly declaring, "Dealing with this is way more important than work" almost had me in hysterics) then the entire clan felt the need to talk about Rick's latent feelings for Caroline and how his tyrannical actions were all a ploy to get a reaction out of her.

Sticking it to Caroline may be exactly why Rick is flaunting Maya in everyone's face, but we don't need to hear that over and over, nor does it need to be apparent to all our characters. Why can't we be left to discover Rick's motivation for ourselves instead of being told repeatedly what it is? "Could he be any more obvious?" Caroline wailed -- and that speaks for much of this week's scripts.

Now, having gotten (most of) my griping out of the way, there were definitely some on-target scenes. At the mansion, Maya lorded her portrait and imminent position as Forrester matriarch over her one-time tormenter, Caroline. Hold the phone, Miss Maya! Both Brooke and Taylor may have something to say about that, given they were part of the Forrester family while you were still in Pull-Ups. And surely any new lady Eric, or even Thorne, might get involved with down the line would be matriarch long before any wife of Rick, the youngest boy.

Maya thought back to Caroline's 2013 taunts, but the Caroline of 2015 just sort of stood there and took Maya's boasting. Was all of Caroline's past snarkiness just a cover? I really would like to see Caroline pull herself up by her Dolce & Gabbana and tell both Maya and Rick where to shove it. Humble is not Caroline's best look, and she's been far too apologetic. How come Bill hasn't sat Caroline down for the "Spencers don't beg" talk he gave Liam when Liam showed up to marry Hope with dyed hair and a tattoo?

Anyway, back at Forrester, Ridge tried appealing to Rick, admitting that the whole mess with Caroline was "on me" and telling his half-brother that one day he would regret tossing Caroline aside. But Rick threw it all back at Ridge, putting him on blast for his legendary lothario-ness and reminding him that he's not even a Forrester! Have to admit, hearing Rick ask about Massimo Marone's pinkie ring was a kick -- and Rick would know, since he mentored under Massimo as a fledgling businessman.

Ridge defined Rick as a "sad little boy," which wasn't exactly off the mark. Rick railed about all the times Ridge stomped on Brooke's heart -- but that implies a maliciousness that Ridge never brought to his waffling between Brooke and Taylor. However, Rick was right that Ridge screwed up his relationship with Katie, and when Rick asked, "How many women have you pushed to their limit?" Ridge honestly answered, "Too many." That's the kind of nod to history that warms a soap fan's heart.

After Carter, Aly, and Ivy spent the better part of an episode in the No Storyline room, yammering on about Rick's feelings for Caroline and Maya, Miss Avant herself waltzed in to bend Carter's ear. Why does she keep going to him? She knows she knifed him by dumping him for Rick, so it baffles me that she'd keep twisting that knife. For that matter, Carter shouldn't even indulge her unwanted confidences. It's odd.

Carter did manage to put a bug in Maya's ear, though, wondering if Rick had ever told Maya he loved her. Maya had to concede Rick hadn't, so she ran right home and fixed her CEO squeeze a martini because it was a Forrester tradition. Nice try, B&B. Eric and Stephanie were only shown quaffing martinis the last few years of La Forrester's life; it's not like we saw those drinks in their hands when the show started in 1987.

Maya has gone on about how she keeps it real, which hasn't been the case to me, so I was impressed that she went for the nitty-gritty in asking Rick if he was only with her to get back at Caroline. "Either you do or you don't," Maya cried when Rick wouldn't return her "I love you." "If you can't say it, then this isn't what I thought it was." Then Maya readied to walk out the door! That surprised me, y'all. Maybe Maya 2013 is still in there somewhere.

But then Rick took Maya by the arm and said those three little words she longed to hear. And you know what? I can't say he didn't actually mean them. Rick did love Maya two years ago, and though I'm sure he hasn't shut off his feelings for Caroline, I don't think his feelings for Maya are any less genuine. Besides, let's face it: Rick and Caroline are done. If Caroline takes Rick back after he cheated on her and rubbed her nose in it as retaliation for her kissing Ridge, then Caroline is a big-ass fool.

That's pretty much the conversation Ridge and Caroline were having as he worked on a design in Rick's office, of all places. Ridge did his best to understand that Caroline still wanted her marriage, and she FaceTimed her husband to tell him just that. Well, now, isn't technology in the wrong hands a dangerous thing! Rick took the video call while lying naked next to Maya and made sure she was in the frame!

Well, Caroline just couldn't believe it. Why not? She already knows Rick and Maya are sleeping together; these pixels were just proof of it. Ridge gently tried to convince Caroline that she deserved better, which is something Caroline should have been telling herself weeks ago. Instead, Caroline demanded that Ridge tell her how she was supposed to move on, so Ridge showed her. With his tongue!

I believe the proper phrase is, "Git it!" Watching Ridge and Caroline in discussion, I thought they had developed a nice friendship but wasn't sure the spark was still there. It's still there, all right. That kiss was so steamy, I needed a cigarette when they were through. And Caroline dove in for more! Not that I blame her: Thorsten Kaye's Ridge seems to have found his niche with Caroline. So he's twice her age. So what!

Rick and Maya might have been the ones in bed, but Ridge and Caroline's kissing dance -- the way they went for it and then pulled away -- was far hotter. Even their cuddling on the couch provided more electricity! Yep, "Caridge" could be the soap's "it" couple this year, if they stay on this track. "I want this to last," Caroline cooed, "the getting to know each other." Listen to Miss Spencer, B&B. Take it slowly and make us feel it. Like we are now!

The show also did right by having Ridge take a step back and examine his very colorful past. He recalled his first love, the long-deceased (and first) Caroline Spencer then he considered the potential hypocrisy of not being able to get past Brooke's involvement with her sister's husband while considering an involvement with his half-brother's wife. B&B rarely acknowledges these commonalities; doing so here made the scene so much richer.

Rick and Maya tried for the same richness, but they didn't quite cut it. Rick thought back to how he used to crawl into bed with his mother and father as a child. Yeah, not quite. Rick was barely a toddler when Eric and Brooke's marriage tanked. Even SORAS is no excuse for revisionist history. It's a little easier with Maya, whose backstory we never saw; she reminded us that her family never thought she'd amount to anything. Not that she really has: securing a role on Room 8 was more of an accomplishment than sleeping her way into being Forrester's lead model.

Then, when Maya skipped downstairs to traipse through the wine cellar, Rick looked for the corkscrew he was sure his father kept in the room and found Stephanie's gun instead. All I could think of was the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live -- "how conveeeeeeeenient!" Don't get me wrong; even in my "If I Wrote B&B" column (and thank you, everyone, for the nice comments!), I predicted that Rick was going to whip out a gun eventually and that his recent bad behavior is a throwback to his pre-teen self plugging Grant Chambers.

Do you guys remember that? In 1997, Rick was suddenly playing violent video games and listening to thrash metal -- and then Grant, who had married Brooke and taken over Forrester (because everybody does both eventually), got a bullet through the chest. Ridge claimed responsibility but only because he knew Rick had pulled the trigger; Rick had been in some sort of fugue state and had no memory of it. Even by 2007, when Ridge was accused of killing Shane McGrath, Rick had to lie he remembered shooting Grant to get Ridge off the hook.

It seems like we're about to delve into this facet of Rick's psyche again, and I couldn't be happier. But Stephanie's been dead for two years -- would Eric really keep her gun beside the bed? And isn't this the same gun she used to shoot Stephen Logan? It would have been much better to see Rick descend further into his rage and buy his own gun. But whatever. Someone's gonna get a hole blown through them, with any luck. Not that I condone violence, but I've said it before: this show needs a disaster!

Rick's obvious target would be Ridge, who barked it would be a cold day in hell before he took orders from the locked-in-for-a-year CEO. I actually enjoyed watching Ridge fight back, because Rick has been throwing too much of his weight around. My money says Rick will blank out and aim for Ridge but that someone else will get hit. Maybe Caroline, who showed off her ringless hand (pretty much out of frame; oops, B&B) and glowed like she'd swallowed a pack of black lights.

Hell, if you'd gotten some of that nuRidge luv, you'd be glowing, too. But Caroline and Ivy's gushy girl talk about the hunky designer was interrupted by a young woman looking for Maya Avant. Ivy wanted to know if the visitor had an appointment. "I don't think I need an appointment with my own sister," the girl declared, introducing herself as Nicole Avant -- Maya's younger sibling!

And so begins Reign Edwards', um, reign, as Nicole. You can't tell much from her marching in and asking for her sister, but B&B now has the golden opportunity to explore Maya's past, which is in sore need of exploring. Why was Maya edgy, then sugary, then a gold-digger? Why does Maya never show remorse for her dead daughter? Why was she really in jail? And is there more to the story of her babydaddy, Jesse? Nicole's presence could really add layers to Maya, who is still largely an underdeveloped character. And hey, Nicole: Carter could use some luv.

Finally, Maya walked in on Ridge telling Rick what time it was -- resulting in the lead model telling the lead designer that he'd better treat her man better or he could damn well go design someplace else! Wow! I don't know whether to be impressed or horrified by this display of moxie. Actually, I'm a little of both. Rick may want to put Stephanie's gun away, since Maya's mouth shooting off seems to get the job done without bullets!

How are you feeling about B&B these days? Tell us in the Comments section below, on the Soap Central message boards, or by simply clicking here to submit Feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column -- like these! Check it out!

• Loving the slow burn of #CaRidge." -- Sharon

• "If I hear the word 'matriarch' one more time I might punch a portrait." -- Heidi

• "Loving Ridge and Caroline. The anticipation is exquisite!" -- Cat

• "1/15 show was the best. The scenes actually seemed genuine and touched me, even Rick/Maya." -- Janet

• "I am loving Ridge and Caroline. I love how he supports her. They have raw burning passion." -- Rosa

• "I am so glad to be off the Hope merry-go-round. The Ridge/Caroline/Rick/Maya story is fantastic." -- "OaklandGirl"

• "Love that the writers are no longer focused on a few characters and [are writing] for all the actors so they can shine." -- "SShMySoapsAreOn"

Speaking of actors, you may not know that Lawrence Saint-Victor (Carter) penned January 16's episode! Now, of course, Brad Bell (who got CBS Television Studio's Studio 31 dedicated to him this week) is still the head writer, and the other scribes simply flesh out his ideas. But it's fairly novel for an existing cast member to write scripts. Didn't expect Saint-Victor to write his own dialogue, though! Look for his next episode to air in February.

While we're on the subject of airings, Katherine Kelly Lang will be back as Brooke this Thursday, January 22 -- and whoo doggies does Brooke have a changed B&B world to dance back into. The next day, January 23, is B&B's 7000th episode, and I'm told it will be a retrospective featuring classic moments and behind-the-scenes perspectives. I don't know how you can cram almost 28 years into a 19-minute segment (after commercials), but I'm looking forward to it. Surely it'll be better than that heavy-handed don't-smoke-it's-bad-for-you 5000th episode. Come to think of it, they didn't do anything for #6000, did they?

Some quick Points to Ponder:

How long is Eric supposed to be gone? Apparently not forever, so why did Rick even move into the main house? Isn't he creeped out sleeping in his father's bed? You'd think Rick would be, given Eric got down with Stephanie on it, not to mention Rick's own former lover, Taylor.... Why is Forrester Creations' flag shown to be at half-mast? And how can Maya know anything about Ridge's history with Stephanie? Maya also gloated to Caroline that Rick came back to her. I guess Maya forgot that Rick dumped her for kissing Carter -- and slept with Caroline in retaliation. Sound familiar? Then, Rick told Maya he was planning on filing for divorce. Why didn't he do that long ago? And I loved how the bowl of clementines started slipping off the bed, yet Karla Mosley just caught it and kept right on going with the scene.

Being from Australia, maybe it's appropriate Ivy boomerangs: she insisted to Aly that Rick still loved Caroline, then turned around and said she understood about Rick and Maya... What is Othello's purpose, besides propping Maya, a woman he hasn't known that long? And Rick's memory is selective: he says Ridge has tormented him since he was a child, but that's not how the history reads. Ridge even tried to raise Rick as a son! That's hardly tormenting. And, if seeing Stephanie's gun is giving Rick ideas, why the hell did he immediately touch it? Hasn't he ever heard of fingerprints?

Tracy's got a bold and beautiful event of her own: she's getting ready to welcome a baby of her own. So wish her well and look for me to Scoop for you again next week. Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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