Portrait of a bolder soap
by Mike
For the Week of February 22, 2016
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B&B Two Scoops: Portrait of a bolder soap
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Incisive writing? Better continuity? A hotly contested forbidden love affair? That's the valentine viewers got as Bridget came home, Stephanie's portrait went up, and Liam and Quinn went down! Find out why bolder is “beautifuler” with Two Scoops' Mike!
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did (Madame) X mark the spot during your homecoming? Did you not get the picture when it came to a portrait? Did you think your husband was Jim Beam? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!

Last column, Chanel spoke of B&B living in the Bizarro World, and Scoopers, I couldn't disagree. Plus, you know I picked plenty of stuff apart during my previous turn at bat. But lo, what did I see on my screen these past five episodes? Elements I thought I might never witness again on this show: amazing continuity, (mostly) solid storytelling, even better-integrated flashbacks. That's the way to sweep a February! Let's Scoop about it!

Before we heap on the praise, we should discuss Caroline suffering from what I call Jill Foster Abbott Syndrome. You know, where Jill on Y&R got pregnant in July and gave birth to Billy in November? Caroline's prenatal vitamins must be enriched with that same dosage of Miracle-Gro, because there's no way she'd be that bulbous only four months into a pregnancy. Not unless she's bucking to be the next Octomom.

So, Ridge was out of town while Caroline had a labor scare, which gave Thomas and the doctors plenty of opportunity to speak of the baby's father and Caroline to look away knowingly. I suppose it has been a while since there's been reference to Thomas probably/potentially being Caroline's babydaddy (I still think Ridge might not have been shooting blanks, after all), so we'll let it slide.

Interesting, though, that Caroline having taken chemicals the night she conceived could cause a problem for the baby now. More interesting is that Thomas has actually been taking responsibility for himself, calling himself out for being Forrester's resident man-ho. He's way more answerable than Ivy, who "didn't know" why she kissed Thomas while involved with Wyatt, or even Caroline, who went from demure to bitch to somewhere in between without much explanation. Nice!

Meanwhile, across the L.A. basin, in the enchanted forest known as Topanga Canyon, Quinn finally got some wood! Yes, the attempted murderess has mellowed so much caring for "Adam" that she finally gave us a glimpse into her neglectful childhood. (I only wish the scene had lasted longer and that Quinn's selfish mom had been given a name. Where is Wyatt's grandma these days?) And wouldn't you know, "Adam" and "Eve" fell into bed and got to know each other Biblically!

The chemistry Scott Clifton and Rena Sofer generate when Liam and Quinn fight was always so intense that I've been predicting there'd be some Quiam sex for quite a while. But I thought it would be a raucous love-hate encounter. I never expected this! Sure, Liam doesn't know who Quinn is or anything about their history, but that's what makes this soapy and delicious.

Of course, I know many of you do not feel that way! Reactions among some of you have ranged from discomfort to sheer disgust, and there has been debate as to whether Quinn and Liam's lovemaking was consensual due to his impaired state. Personally, I think that opens a Pandora's box of whether there was consent among decades' worth of soap amnesiacs who have had sex, but we'll leave it there. Liam bedding down with Quinn, given their history, is weird and out there, which is why I find it a unique twist.

And imagine the fallout. Hope will go off her nut when she finds out, to say nothing of Steffy and Wyatt. Of course, the less said about Weffy, the better. I am just not feeling them. Maybe Steffy has been with Liam too long, because she's acting just like him; she laughs and tumbles around with Wyatt then moons over Liam in private, like Liam used to moon over Hope. As for Steffy, she's now had beyond-platonic relations with each of the three Spencer men. I guess all Spencer necklaces look the same in the dark!

Ridge got home just in time for some CEO Invitational Weekend the Forresters have every year but we've never heard of. It was convenient, suddenly having this affair at the Forrester compound so Ridge could replace Maya's portrait with Stephanie's. Now, Ridge should have talked it over with Rick first; Rick might have understood that the company's longtime buyers would want to see La Forrester on the wall.

But, while Eric did tsk-tsk Ridge for stirring the you-know-what, the Forrester patriarch preferred having his departed main wife over the mantel and didn't seem to be having it when Rick predictably pitched a fit about Maya's likeness departing. "I live here!" Rick pouted. My question is -- why? When Rick forcibly took over Forrester last year, it was in his contract that he'd get to live in the mansion. Rick got booted from the CEO chair months ago; surely his contract was terminated. So what is he still doing in that house?

For his part, Ridge has been perfectly happy living in a loft yet suddenly decided that Forrester Central is a domain befitting only him, Thorne, Kristen, and Felicia. At least Ridge is right about that; Rick would have to stand in line behind all four elder Forrester kids, and that's with Ridge being a biological Marone, not to mention Eric has first dibs as patriarch. So I don't get why Rick feels more entitled to be in the mansion than anyone else. Even Maya and Bridget thought Rick should chill!

Ah, yes, Bridget! But before we get to her, did you notice that Dawn Wells of Gilligan's Island fame put in an appearance as Forrester client Alice? Such cameos can feel forced, but Alice fit right in, and I genuinely laughed when Caroline asked about Alice's all-day tour, and Alice replied it was only "three hours or so." Clever! As it was when Rick told Maya how his shot at fatherhood was ruined by Amber passing off another baby as his.

Then, Maya expressed surprise that the returning Bridget (read her character profile to refresh your memories about Eric's youngest daughter) was both a doctor and a designer. And Rick piped up that Bridget worked for the competition as Madame X! I about clapped my hands with glee! See how much richer a show is when history is accurately and properly mined? Way to go, B&B! More, please!

Though Bridget appeared without any fanfare or noticeable entrance, we were ultimately privy to what's gone on in her world the past few years. Apparently Jackie is off traveling the world, and Owen is helping Bridget raise Logan, who's in school now. So it seems Jackie and Owen are divorced, but Owen and Bridget are not a couple. I don't know which I'm more bummed about!

Appropriately for a doctor, Bridget made her rounds, visiting Eric and Rick and moving on to Brooke's, where she got an earful about Brooke's admission of love to Bill and Katie's increasingly disturbing reaction to it. Bridget was Team Brooke, though I'm very surprised Bridget didn't have a more uncomfortable reaction to her mother's dalliance with her aunt's husband. "Believe me, I get it" was the only allusion Bridget made to Brooke's affair with her own husband, Deacon, which is too bad.

It's also too bad that Bridget couldn't have had a quick scene with the freshly annulled Mr. Sharpe, who peeked in last week. And you'd think Bridget would want to call Katie out on her hypocrisy. Here Katie is all up in arms about having her husband stolen by Brooke when Katie once slept with Bridget's husband, Nick, and got knocked up by him. I guess you can't have it all. The show provided crackerjack continuity this week; I just couldn't help thinking of those two major details.

I also have to give kudos to our soap because I'm always on their case about their overuse of flashbacks, yet this week they did it just right. Instead of showing us something we saw yesterday as if we're unable to remember, we got the history of Brill via Brooke's quick-cut, narrated images that spanned four years. Katie had similar recollections sans voice-over. Even Steffy thinking back to bagging Wyatt had a more organic feel. No need to thank me, Scoopers. All part of the service.

And, oh dear, Katie is losing it! At first I chafed at the idea of Katie still bitching about Brooke professing her love to Bill, since it's nearly a month since Katie overheard it. But we're starting to traverse some very compelling territory now. Brooke tried to make peace by inviting Katie and Bill over for dinner and apologies. Like Thomas, Brooke is actually taking responsibility for herself these days, which is totally refreshing.

Katie seemed to accept Brooke's olive branch, sort of, and the Logan sisters dug out photo albums and reminisced about times spent with Beth and Storm, though I found it funny that all the Logans were played by different actors back in the day, except Katherine Kelly Lang as Brooke, of course. But then Katie found an album filled with snaps of Brooke and Bill, and Katie pretty much snapped herself.

Well, who could blame her? I mean, who knew that Brill had time to pose for pics while looking for Katie in Aspen? Or that cameramen were on hand to get shots of Brooke on the camel in Abu Dhabi the way you get your photo taken while whooshing down Splash Mountain at Disneyland? All right, all right, I'll relent, because we did get into the gray area of Bill and Brooke having been engaged and having a right to their memories, since Katie was already out of the picture, literally.

But Katie kept sluggin' back that whiskey, ping-ponging from accepting Brooke's past with Bill to warning Brooke she'd better watch herself. "I showed her all my insecurities!" Katie later cried to Bill. "I have this tornado in my head!" Heather Tom is giving Katie's apparent ride on the crazy train her all, and I would have expected nothing less. It's also pretty cool that the show is tying this into Katie's 2012 bout with postpartum depression.

Katie's getting so paranoid that she's tracking Brooke on her phone and questioning Bill's out-of-office meetings. (Amazing Katie's not equally threatened by Alison.) After Katie passed out on the couch to the point little Will couldn't rouse her, Katie called her doctor, confessed that she'd been off her antidepressants (wouldn't she have stopped taking them by now regardless?), and made an appointment. However, on the heels of Bill refusing to bed down with her (and really, Katie's timing sucked ass on that one), Katie had a three-way with Jim Beam and Jack Daniels instead. I'm torn, because Heather Tom is doing such a bravura job with her alter ego's turn to the dark side; it's just that Katie's foray into alcoholism would play so much better if #DrunkBrooke hadn't wobbled her way across our screens a year ago at this time.

It's absolutely ironic that Katie, who did an intervention on Bill for his own drinking three years ago, is now in need of one herself -- an irony the show smartly communicated through Bill. But two Logan lushes? The recovering Brooke didn't even see the signs; it took Bill to notice Katie's drinking. "It's like she's looking for a reaction in her," Bill said of his wife. "She drinks to become someone who will do or say something she otherwise never would."

At least B&B is taking more time on Katie's liquid love; Brooke became a fall-down drunk in two weeks. But Rick recalled Katie's downward spiral after Will was born; that suggests bona fide mental illness to me, and the booze doesn't seem necessary. At any rate, Katie ranted about Brooke so much that even Wyatt was concerned (amazing he was able to take a break from talking himself up to Steffy that long) then got a car to rush home, hoping to catch Bill and Brooke in the act.

When Katie stumbled in on a part of Brill's conversation that could be interpreted either way, Bill was pissed. Nice to see the barracuda got some teeth back, chastising Katie for thinking he'd bed down with any woman with Will down the hall. (True, Bill usually orders out for that.) Brooke tried to suggest that Katie join her in Alcoholics Anonymous, but Katie fired back, "That's how this whole thing started!" To be sure, Katie did hire Brooke at Spencer to keep her from thinking about the bottle.

What makes this so intriguing is that Brooke isn't acting on her feelings for Bill, and seems to have no intention of doing so. However, I do think Bridget called it when she intimated that Bill might share Brooke's feelings. The way Katie's going, she'll end up driving Bill into Brooke's arms, the way she did the first time. Katie's overly bubbly imitation of Brooke made me laugh, but Katie's "I survived you once" warning certainly rivaled any winter chill.

Shame Batie's anniversary didn't get written into this; they remarried February 18 last year. Therein lies the problem -- Katie should have known better than to retie the knot with the Dollah. Long before Brooke, Bill nearly ditched Katie for Steffy. Is Katie getting what she deserves? Maybe it's her long-held insecurities (that was Katie's salient quality when the show began) that made Katie take Bill back for fear of never finding anyone else.

Will Katie find someone else's light saber on the dark side? Could either Rick or Ridge just have a replica built of the mansion already so they can each have one? And what do you think of Quinn learning about the lover in Liam? Paint your own portrait in the Comments section below, or on the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like these!

• "The only thing that made me chuckle this week was when Ridge said to Rick 'hug it out!'" -- Sam

• "I love Ashley Jones as Bridget, she always brings this maturity and special flavor to her family. Love seeing her with Rick, Brooke and Eric, and it makes me wish Brooke and Eric would finally get together again. Eric is her best friend, yet she wants someone who hates her kids, like a-hole Bill?" -- Dante

• "Absolutely hate the Quinn/Liam storyline. I zip through those scenes." -- Patricia

• "Quinn and Liam look good together. LMAO can't wait to see the look on Wyatt's face when he finds this out !" -- Dwahn
Dig if you will the picture...of you and I engaged in these Points to Ponder!

"You haven't done anything wrong," Katie sniffled to Bill. She's really gonna go ape when she finds out Bill and Brooke kissed... How funny was it that big strong Ridge needed two handymen to install Stephanie's portrait... Alice pointed out that "our Hungarian ambassador" was spotted in a Forrester original; nifty reference when you consider that Brad Bell's wife, Colleen Bell, is the U.S. ambassador to Hungary...

"I like seeing Stephanie's picture," Bridget admitted to Rick. "It feels respectful." Rick's raving proved he was the only disrespectful one in the bunch. Of course, Rick never liked Stephanie much, anyway... "Mom is gone, Storm is gone," Katie reminded Brooke. "I need my sisters." Oh, yeah? Then where's Donna in all this?... Maya deferred when Bridget asked if Rick missed being CEO, yet I seem to recall not long ago, Maya smirked to Rick that he'd be sitting in the chair again one day...

All the unique and different establishing shots of the Forrester mansion were great, and my heart always tingles when Rick calls Bridget "Budge," which he has since the '90s. But the die-hard Madonna fan in me would love to know what song Bridget lipped for Giorgio Armani! (Hope it wasn't Dress You Up!)

B&B really shaped up this week, and I hope they continue this kind of cohesive, detailed, deeper storytelling. Chanel will finish out your leap year February, and I will kick off B&B's 29th anniversary month on March 7. In the meantime, 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 soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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