B&B is all about convenience: Why divorce if you can annul it?
For the Week of January 22, 2018
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B&B Two Scoops: B&B is all about convenience: Why divorce if you can annul it?
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The Los Angeles court is handing out annulments like all-you-can-eat pancakes. Sally wants to be first in line when Liam's is final, but Hope got the drop-ping on Sally. Bill granted Brooke an annulment, but will Ridge annul Bill entirely after learning Bill slept with Steffy?

In the news, we heard a lot about "holes" this week. As it turns out, there much ado about holes on The Bold and the Beautiful, too.

In celebration of a crater of a loophole in California's divorce statute, L.A. residents enjoyed a round of annulment papers, courtesy of Carter. When it came to revealing Liam's location to Hope, Sally kept her pie hole shut. Thanks to flapping pie holes at Forrester, Thorne found out about Brooke's official engagement and the family meeting he hadn't been invited to.

A plot hole this week might have left you asking why the heck Brooke replied, "I know," after Bill said, "Especially with a baby on the way." Steffy told Ridge, not Brooke, about the baby. Steffy also told Ridge her secret about Bill, and by the looks of Ridge's reaction, Justin might need to dig a grave hole to bury Bill's body in.

In case you missed it -- before delivering annulment papers to Bill, Carter checked back with Maya about her feelings for him. It's still a no, Carter. It's still a no. Be glad that, even though Maya can gossip about family members, she still hasn't told Rick about your come-ons.

Bill had no problems signing the papers Carter delivered, and thanks to gossiping Maya, Ridge gave more thought to Brooke's suspicion that Bill had a future trophy wife awaiting her turn on the Spencer shelf. Bill denied having another woman to Brooke and Ridge. Justin accused Bill of being the one who was secretly awaiting the dissolution of a marriage -- his son's marriage, that is, but Bill denied that accusation also.

Steffy's emo day continued as she implored Liam not to walk out the door. Liam walked out the door, all right, but he didn't leave her alone like he did the last time. This time, Liam left her with a parting gift -- annulment papers.

Brooke showed up to the cliff house to get herself a matron of honor but learned that she'd have to hold the "matron" if she wanted it to be Steffy. Brooke sent Ridge to talk to his daughter, and Ridge discovered that they can hold the "honor," too, because Steffy cheated on her husband with her father-in-law.

Ridge also learned that there is a new grandchild on the way. Steffy told Ridge that detail herself, but Steffy did not tell that detail to Brooke. So why did Brooke not react when Bill said they had to root for Steffy and Liam -- especially because a baby was involved? In fact, Brooke told Bill that she knew, and then she hoped that Steffy would be able to talk to her father about whatever she was "holding inside." Bill just told you, Brooke. Steffy's holding a baby inside.

If Steffy had told Brooke about the baby, it seems to me that Brooke would have told Ridge or at least hinted that Steffy had news. Was this a plot flub-up, or does Brooke have a hearing problem? I rewatched Steffy and Brooke together about three times. I did not hear Steffy reveal her pregnancy to Brooke.

I saw Steffy hide her annulment papers, which I would have done, too, considering how nosy her last Logan visitor was. I heard Brooke ask Steffy what her problem was and why she hadn't been at the office. I saw Brooke look at Steffy as if Steffy was death on a skewer, and I don't blame her. Steffy had mascara tattoos under her eyes, and she'd been lying under a pillow like it was a rock earlier. One has to wonder what Steffy smells like at this point. Is she starting to ferment under that black hoodie?

Justin had put Ridge on the banned visitors list at Spencer, but Bill took Ridge off when Steffy and Liam got married. Will Justin be saying "I told you so" as he helps Bill pick his face up off the floor after Ridge charges back in there next week with his new knowledge of Bill and Steffy's horrible secret?

Let's get two scoops deep into the antics of this week's The Bold and the Beautiful.

You get an annulment, and you get an annulment! Everybody gets an annulment!
"Why would I want to be married to someone who's sleeping with you?"

The quote contains a good question that Bill asked when Ridge questioned how easily Bill had signed the annulment papers. If Bill would just look in the mirror and avoid telling himself how handsome he is long enough to repeat that question in the past tense, changing the "I" to "Liam," then Bill might have just a little better understanding of why Liam got an annulment himself.

What is the point of California's six-month waiting period for a divorce when one can skirt around it with an annulment? I'm asking for a friend named Rick who had to wait six months to divorce Caroline and a friend named Bill who had to fly to Vegas for his quickie divorce. Heck, I think my bro, Wyatt, even had to divorce Steffy instead of getting an annulment, so what's so special about Brill and Steam that makes them eligible for annulments?

If you ask me, these annulments are fishy, and so is the lawyer drafting them. With Typo Carter drawing up the documents, how can we even be sure they are legal or properly filed? Can you even annul a marriage that you just did a vows renewal on? That sounds illegal to me. There have to be some double jeopardy laws with no statutes of limitation that prohibit annulments to couples who keep attempting to marry each other, repeatedly marry each other, or renew their vows prior to applying for an annulment.

For example, Bill and Brooke should not be allowed an annulment because they already tried to marry each other twice before. The third one was a charm, but it certainly proves they meant to do it. They do not deserve to annul it like it ever happened. As for Steffy and Liam, not only did they succeed in wedding three times, but they renewed their vows just days before the annulment.

Plus, they already had one annulment. How many times can the same couple get annulments? The court clerks saw Liam at the courthouse and were probably like, "Here he comes again." It seems to me that when Liam went to get his annulment, he should have gotten fined for negligent wedding, been denied the paperwork he wanted, and instead, been court-ordered to make his third marriage to Steffy work.

Due to my lack of faith in Typo Carter, I went to Google University to find out just what it takes to get an annulment in California. I didn't see any penalties for negligent wedding, but I did learn some things. Apparently, there is no duration of marriage requirement for an annulment in California, but for certain criteria, a spouse must file within four years of learning about the annulment issue. Below are the criteria to qualify for an annulment:

• The couple is blood-related.
• A spouse is already married.
• A spouse wasn't legally old enough at the time of the wedding.
• A spouse committed fraud against the heart of the marriage
• A spouse has an incurable physical incapacity or isn't of sound mind to complete marital duties.
• A spouse was forced into the marriage.

I don't see a criterion in this list that qualifies Brill or Steam for annulments, do you? It kind of makes you wonder what these couples are really telling the court to get these annulments, doesn't it? Ridge probably wrote that Brooke wanted an annulment because Bill is impotent, and Liam probably told the court that Steffy is related to him as his ex-sister-in-law.

Of course, the Bold and the Beautiful is a soap opera, and some people think viewers of soaps should expect unrealistic plots. While that's true, a departure from reality can also ruin viewer immersion in the plot if the writers change the rules at will and are inconsistent with how each character behaves in a given situation. I might not mind the characters exploiting the annulment escape button so much if I knew why some characters get divorces and why some get annulments instead.

In Steffy's case, Steffy refused to sign an annulment during her first marriage to Liam and made us all wait grueling months before she finally gave in and signed them. Then, for no clear reason, Liam ripped up the papers but waited out the divorce. I still don't get that one. Liam wondered how different things would be if he'd let go of Steffy back then instead of waiting until now. Common sense to Liam! Come in, Liam! You did let Steffy go back then, more than once.

To end their second marriage, the couple chose an annulment, but I think that Steffy might have been using the physical incapacity excuse that time because she couldn't have children anymore.

It was consistent when Steffy divorced Wyatt instead of getting an annulment because Steffy doesn't believe in annulments for the sake of annulments. Knowing Steffy as he does, why would Liam draft annulment papers? Why nullify a marriage that produced their first child?

Steffy slapped the papers and screamed, determined not to sign them, but by the time the conversation was over, she took them from Liam as if she'd given in. She hasn't signed them yet, so maybe there's still a chance the writers will awaken the crotch-rocket because she has a whole hell of a lot more to fight for in her marriage now than she ever had in any other marriage.

Thinking of Steffy's marriage patterns made me realize that Steffy seems to have a habit of getting comfort from another Spencer man who she didn't even expect to be in her house when she is under the impression that it is over with the current Spencer in her life. First, there was Liam who came in her house, uninvited, after Bill dumped her. Next, Wyatt was there to drink wine and spoon her when Liam was stuck in Australia, and lastly, Bill showed up at the guesthouse as if Steffy's vulnerability radar had pinged her location to his Spencer senses.

Back to the annulment topic, Brooke gets annulments, she gets divorces, and sometimes, she doesn't even get legally married in the first place. For a woman who has more wedding dates than her daughter probably had first dates, it's totally consistent of Brooke not only to sign annulment papers, but to also let Ridge handle having them drawn up for her and Bill.

How does that work, anyway? Can you really just go to a lawyer and have them draw up annulment papers for a couple when you are not even a party in the couple? What would Ridge tell the lawyer? That no one wants any money or assets? The lawyer was Typo Carter, so that's probably why Ridge got away with it. Knowing Ridge, I'd say he probably asked if he could just sign it for Brooke and Bill, too, but Carter isn't that negligent.

Ridge and Brooke are curious about why Bill didn't put up a fight about the annulment. If Bill hadn't said he'd been expecting Carter, I would have bet that Bill had forgotten he was even married to Brooke. Brooke wondered if Bill had replaced her. Bill said it was impossible, and Brooke cut her eyes at him as if she didn't believe him. I don't see why not. Bill said she was irreplaceable, not interchangeable -- which is obviously what she thinks about him and Ridge.

What's your opinion about the annulments and divorces? Does it matter if couples divorce this time but annul it the next time? For me, it matters because Steffy brought realism back to divorce when she required Liam to wait the six months, and that realism is completely lost if writers treat marriages like buying new underwear and getting off scot-free for returning it used.

It's all coming back to me now
"I need you to know that, Hope. If the worst happens, I will make sure Liam's all right."

Uh, not if Hope gets there first, Miss Sally. With all the new technology these days, it looks like Hope just out-pinged and out-dinged Sally.

Was anyone else looking at your screen like a confused dog GIF when Sally got the bright idea to tell Hope all of Liam's business? It just goes to demonstrate what I have always said about Sally. She falls for any man, and he becomes her hero without her knowing a dang-on thing about him! If she really knew Liam, the last person on earth she would tell Liam's marriage problems to is the first love of Liam's life.

Sally claims to be a big fan of HFTF. It is not possible to be an HFTF fan but not know about every single detail of the Lope fairytale -- or horrortale, depending on what side you were on during the saga. Somebody needs to tell poor Sally that if Steffy couldn't keep Lope down, Sally ain't got a chance.

Hope seems to have learned her lesson about hesitating and allowing other women to get the jump on her. Back when Steffy hit her head in the tub and Liam saved her, she gave Hope ample warning that she was after Hope's man. Hope didn't take action, and look at what happened.

This time, when Sally refused to reveal Liam's whereabouts and declared her intentions to be with Liam if his marriage broke up, Hope was like Beyoncé, singing, "You must not know about me. You must not know about me...Liam can find another you in a minute. As matter of fact, I will be with him in a minute, baby..." And she was. It was just that easy and quick.

Liam was all bent over, crying into his pillow, when Hope texted him that she was in town and asked him to ping his location to her. The camera zoomed in on Hope's name on his phone display. I actually felt Liam's watery veins sensation because this type of crap happens to me once a year when my idiot ex texts me out of the blue. Your life is going just fine. You're not even thinking about that person. Then, like a cold meat hook, they yank you back into a montage of the past set to Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now."

The problem is -- Liam can't flash back to Lope because Hope has a new face. It was up to us viewers to do it in our own heads when the camera lingered on her name. Liam flashed back on his problems with Steffy to demonstrate his vulnerability, and when he opened the door to Hope, it was as if he was seeing a life preserver finally floating toward him after he's been treading ocean water for days.

Too dramatic? Maybe, but as a Hope "Stan," I'm trying to keep my flag flying in the face of a new Hope. I overcame the new Ridge syndrome, and I will overcome the New Hope syndrome, so I can enjoy Annika Noelle as much as I do Thorsten Kaye.

The question still remains whether it's all coming back to Hope and Liam or if the Lope flashback montage was truly only in my head. So far, all they did was hug, and Hope offered to pick him up some food. Maybe the reunion is dependent upon whether it's all coming back to Steffy and Bill.

What is your grade on Hope and Liam's first scene together? For Lope fans, did you feel Lope coming back to you, or are you still trying to feel out the new Hope? For those in the Steam camp, did that old familiar seething come back to you? Because if it did, then there must be some chemistry brewing between Scott Clifton and Annika Noelle.

Steam fans should prepare for a breakup because there are just too many hyenas closing in on the wounded couple. Bill can't get Steffy off his mind, and Justin is not helping by constantly questioning whether Bill is secretly hoping his son's marriage falls apart. Liam, on the other hand, has three women to choose from, and he can't even stand to look at Steffy right now.

When Liam looks at Steffy, all he sees is his father's hands on her. I get it, but I wonder why his flesh never crawled when it was Wyatt's hands on Steffy -- or on Hope, for that matter. In any case, Liam can't look at Steffy the same way anymore, which means he'll be looking at another woman that way until at least Summer Sweeps. I'm guessing that might be when the baby is born -- unless the emo Steffy is too stressed out to carry to term.

If Liam isn't with Steffy while a single Hope is around, I can't see how Sally has a chance. Sally becomes nothing but another Liam casualty like Ivy. Lope has already proven itself as a couple, and Sally cannot compete with the history. The fact that Hope easily pinged Liam and he let her in versus Sally having to stalk Liam to the hotel to talk to him says a lot about where the romances might be headed.

Where is Ivy, anyway? Wait. Was Ivy the chopped blonde with the accent at the Forrester family meeting? Somebody stopped taking Quinn's fashion advice, I see.

The master manipulator Maya needs to hook Carter and Ivy up to keep Carter occupied the way Maya kept Nicole occupied by shipping her to Paris. I'm still worried that the writers might try to mess up Raya, as if it's impossible for them to write material for a married couple that doesn't involve a love triangle, square, or pentagon.

Speaking of pentagons, the love shape brewing between Sally, Hope, Liam, Steffy, and Bill might turn back into a square unless Justin hops several stories in a single bound to save Bill from the wrath of a disgusted father who feels Bill has done something to his daughter.

"I'd love to hear Ridge call you son."

Justin might just get his wish if Ridge calls Bill son -- but I'm guessing "of a bitch" will be attached to it -- because Ridge is under the impression that Bill did something to Steffy.

The old feelings might all come back to the former couples on B&B, but what needs to come back to Ridge is how wrong he was when he accused Thomas of taking advantage of Caroline. I think Ridge was right about Thomas; however, the storyline says he was wrong. Ridge was also wrong this week when, to Steffy, he said, "Bill Spencer did this to you."

I filled previous columns to the brim with my feelings about how everyone who learns about this sexcapade (except Wyatt) immediately jumps to the conclusion that Bill did something bad to Steffy, so I'll try to refrain from repeating myself. Instead, I'll let it suffice to say that Bill is many things, but he's not a sexual predator, and Steffy is a grown woman.

I hope Steffy sets Ridge straight about it, but according the previews, the knowledge, if given, won't stop Ridge from being at Bill's throat about it -- literally. You think Ridge's violence will even faze Brooke? I still love her, but I do view her differently ever since she acted like she was a domestic violence victim to get out of her marriage and then let Thorne mop the floor with Ridge's butt in her own home, where R.J. lives.

Bill will be sorry he took Ridge off the banned list, but Bill will have to put Ridge back on it, even if Ridge does eventually become Bill's father-in-law. I just -- I just can't even, you guys! Somebody please tell me why it was plausible to see Brooke with Eric back in the day, but the thought of Steffy with Bill seems so bizarre to me. I need to put my B&B gross-out bucket by the TV because, according to the spoilers, a rekindled Still might be in our future.

In a look ahead

According to soapcentral.com spoilers, Donna will appear for a few shows in February. I think I hear Bridge wedding bells. Brooke and Ridge select members of their wedding party, and we can guess who will not be considered for the best man. Will Thorne even get an invite, or will he accidentally walk into the Forrester living room in his boxers because no one told him there would be a wedding by the fireplace that day?

Brooke lets Bill have it about Steffy and worries about a confrontation between Bill and Ridge. Bill decides that he might as well go for what he wants, and Ridge suggests that Liam and he team up against Bill. Remember how it went when Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Don't-Bother teamed up against Quinn? Yeah, there's a reason you don't. Ridge fell for Quinn, and Liam fell out of the storyline.

Thanks for scooping with me, and tune in to the show on Monday, when Brooke will hopefully ask Bill what he said about a baby, and Bill will respond, "I said, 'Whatever came between Liam and Steffy, it had to be bold and beautiful, baby!'"

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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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