Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you, like, totally cyber-stalk your sort-of rival? Did you take self-absorption to a whole new level? Did you discover only one topic of conversation coming out of your mouth? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Spectra clan this week!
How goes it, Scoopers? Well, the fallout from Bill and Steffy's one night of nookie is reaching all those in their periphery one by one, with expected reactions, and some not-so-expected directions. And though we're in 2018, I rather feel like the DeLorean dropped us off in 2011, because once again, we've got everyone talking about one couple's ordeal. At least it's familiar? Let's Scoop about it!
Remember when Hope was debating whether or not to lose her virginity to Liam, and that very private decision went very public in the form of every character talking about its pros and cons for days? Brooke and Taylor argued over it; even Stephanie weighed in on it. Having the entire visible cast discussing the state of Liam and Steffy's marriage tastes very much the same. Pam and Charlie are probably dishing it over lemon bars.
Between romps, Katie and Wyatt even ended up on the subject. Those who didn't know why Steam was out of steam wanted to know why. Brooke did her best Nancy Drew, trying to get answers out of a tight-lipped Bill. I can understand Hope being on the case, since she was Steam-rolled upwards of four years. And of course, Ridge would and should be concerned about daughter Steffy. It's just that...things got a little weird.
Ridge took a minute to clear any extra wax out of his ears to make sure he'd heard Steffy right: she'd torpedoed Steam with Bill. As so much real steam shot out of Ridge that Forrester could have made an entire line wrinkle-free without BeLieF, Steffy insisted -- over and over, and in several different ways -- that her lovemaking with Bill was consensual. Consensual. But for some reason Ridge wouldn't take that in.
No, Ridge insisted that Bill had violated his precious daughter, and Ridge was going to, ahem, "Kill Bill"! First off, did Ridge learn nothing from Sheila? If you're going to off someone, you don't announce it beforehand. Ridge is naturally going to defend Steffy (perhaps even more with Phoebe gone), so it makes sense he'd only hear what he wanted to hear...for a while.
No matter how many times Steffy said Bill didn't take advantage of her, Ridge refused to accept it. He even wanted to call the police and press charges! For what? Steffy's right -- she's not a little girl, and if there was any charge-pressing to be done, it would be Steffy's place to do it. Over the course of the week, we had Ridge, Brooke, Katie, and Wyatt all questioning, to varying degrees, the possibility of Bill having sinister intentions.
Isn't this reverse "I believe her" stance a dicey -- or at least tone-deaf -- narrative, considering we're in a day and age where women standing up against bad treatment by men is in the spotlight? Maybe, as a gay man, it's not my place to go here; it's just that, ever since Still's sexing, there's been this subtext that it was not consensual, and now with characters' accusations that Bill "forced himself" on Steffy... it feels off. Besides, Bill is a pig, but have we ever seen him force himself on a woman? No, we haven't.
Maybe Brooke and Ridge really do belong together, because as they got the drop on Steffy's night with Bill, the oft-married couple couldn't see Steffy for the mirrors they held up in front of themselves. "You wouldn't do that to me," Ridge growled as Steffy poured her heart out to her daddy. Then he suggested that Bill purposely got Steffy into bed to wreak vengeance against him!
Either Ridge had too many of the brewskis he gifted Liam with, or he's still got a little brain damage from his free fall into the Persian Gulf, because for the life of me, I can't figure out why Bill would want revenge on Ridge at this point. Liam, yes, given their arson/CEO tussle last fall -- and frankly, Bill bedding Steffy as revenge would have been a brilliantly diabolical story angle. But as a move against Ridge? What, because of Brooke?
Later, summoned by Ridge, Brooke arrived at Steffy's to deliver once-and-future stepmotherly comfort. Hearing that Liam bolted over a paternity test, Brooke got a knowing look on her face and said, "Oh, Steffy" much in the way Ridge said "Oh, Logan" when he found out Brooke had mask-boinked Oliver. And Brooke certainly knows from paternity tests; she single-handedly kept several clinics open in the '90s and '00s!
But then Steffy revealed she had dallied with Bill. Brooke was aghast. Brooke was mortified. She stood straight up, bored through Steffy with her eyes, and consoled the lost girl with the ever-compassionate words, "You wouldn't do that to me! Bill wouldn't do that to me!" Okay, so Bill was technically still Brooke's husband at the time. But Brooke had also walked, with the intention of divorcing him. Bill was a free agent.
Brooke, Ridge, come on: it's not like either of you was on Bill or Steffy's minds when they acted on eight years of pent-up passion. How the Unforgettable Ones could even begin to make this about themselves was just a weird writing choice. And their high-horsery isn't going a long way toward changing the minds of their many detractors. Especially when Bridge has made more than their share of similar "mistakes."
On the subject of '70s drinks/commercials, Justin warned Bill that Ridge was about to burst in like the Kool-Aid Man. (Isn't Justin contract now? Why is he still only there to prop up Bill instead of getting his own story?) Indeed, with an "Oh, yeah!", Ridge put Bill on blast and rolled up his sleeves to prepare for fisticuffs. Why do people on TV always do that? Like people take time to roll up sleeves in real-life scuffles.
Anyway, Bill tried to corroborate Steffy's insistence that their lovemaking had been consensual, but again, Ridge wasn't about that. Just as I wondered aloud whether anyone was going to mention Still's 2009-2011 mini-fling, Bill reminded Ridge, "I've cared about her from the day we met -- you know that." Yes! Which is exactly why no one, especially Liam and Bridge, should be surprised this happened.
Ridge seemed to back down from his blind fury for a moment when Bill asked for Ridge's help in reuniting Liam and Steffy for the sake of their mutual grandchild; little scary to think these guys are old enough to be grandfathers! At least until Grampy F knocked Grampy S down with a sucker punch. Ridge was still intent on filing charges! I'd personally like to see Ridge get laughed out of a police station for trying.
Not to be outdone, Brooke hit Spencer Publications with her how-could-you-ism, but by then, the Dollah wasn't havin' it. "I don't need a parade of people with their own baggage walking in here, giving me hell!" he spat. Though Brooke thought Bill porking Steffy was part of his agenda, she did allude to her own brother-boffing, father-fixating, in-law-intercoursing past by warning, "You're not gonna wanna live your life that way...trust me."
Liam may prefer Bob Hope movies, but his infamous ex must put Toy Story at the top of her list, because she literally told Liam, "You've got a friend in me," despite his clamming up about Steffy. Shifting gears, Hope revealed she'd worked in the Milan office for a while before finding a "greater sense of purpose" volunteering for a human rights organization. Watch out there, Hope. You're speaking Liam's language.
I guess Liam liked Sheila's motel (wonder if he's run into her at the ice machine?), and Hope did, too, because after a surprisingly civil surprise visit with one-time rival Steffy, Hope decided to play human GPS and give Steffy the address. Before I could say "recalculating," Hope admitted she wanted to help Steam, and, after Hope claimed she had a thick skin, Steffy joked, "Since when?"
I don't know if these chocolate cake fighters will truly develop a sisterly bond; at face value, it appears Hope has moved on from Liam, but then again... Steffy confided she was pregnant, which made me think -- the last time Hope got that news from Steffy, she threw Liam an ambush wedding behind that very house. Coming away from Steffy with no answers about Liam, Hope pressed Ridge for info, only to hit the same brick wall.
Hope should have texted Sally and the not-as-ditzy Darlita, who were happily "cyber-stalking" Hope on Sally's tablet! Sally gushed that she didn't get to see much of Darlita with Spectra on hold. Question: what are these people doing for money? Did Sally and Shirley stash away a portion of Thomas' $100K? Are Saul and Darlita living out of their cars? And why is there doubt cast on Bill's sincere promise to rebuild Spectra?
Anyway, Sally kept trying to pooh-pooh her feelings for Liam, but the suddenly savvy Darlita wouldn't let her old boss off the hook. Sally realized Hope was on the horizon yet stated she would be happy to be Liam's next choice. Wow, Sally has really lost her edge since sashaying into our lives a year ago. Wonder what Great-Aunt Sally would think of her namesake giving up on their legacy for a man? The original Sally never did!
Yep, Liam and Steffy were the top topic of conversation, at least until anchors were hit with a breaking news story: the concept of forgiveness. Everyone around Liam was on that like white on rice, which was the exact thing he didn't want to hear. First Wyatt wanted his bro to think of his soon-to-come niece or nephew; couldn't Liam take Steffy back for the kid's sake?
Wyatt got his own reminder about kids when Liam informed him that Hope was back in town. Interesting that, so far, Hope hasn't mentioned the child she lost with Wyatt, which was only the reason she left L.A. in the first place. For now, Liam couldn't get past the idea of his father's hands on Steffy -- interesting when you remember he, his brother, and his father have all had their hands on Steffy. "Oh, Steffy."
At least Steffy didn't bring a gun to Sheila's hotel this time, but she did come loaded with a heaping helping of the F word: Steffy begged and begged Liam to forgive her. Liam wouldn't and couldn't budge, suggesting without sarcasm that Steffy might have a life with Bill, since they were more alike. Can't deny that one! Steffy's been able to play in Dollar Bill's league since she blackmailed control of Forrester out of him in 2010.
Finally, Ridge, who has a long history of messing up relationships with his own adulterous antics, implored Liam to "fix it" with Steffy. I think the motel couldn't quite get the smell of hypocrisy out of the carpet after that. Again, Ridge roared that Bill had done it all to get revenge on him, and Ridge was going to file charges, damn it. Even Liam knew Ridge was full of it on that one, labeling Ridge biased and angry.
Ridge offered for Liam to stay at his Venice pad, since it was empty. Say what? Last I checked, Ridge was hanging his ubiquitous dark suit jacket there. If not, where is he living? Ridge deviated from the now well-worn forgiveness tack and sung Bill's not-praises to Liam. "And here you thought the worst thing he was ever going to do is drop a building on your head." Hell, yeah! I had to rewind the DVR three times! Classic.
"He always finds a way to get you right back where he needs you!" Ridge raged. That's right! Hell, five years ago this month, Liam learned Bill had sabotaged his wedding to Hope in Puglia by dragging Deacon out of jail, only to abort walking out on his pop when Bill "stabbed" himself with a sword necklace -- after Bill cushioned the point with his money pouch. Liam never even found out about that.
So Ridge gets credit for reminding Liam he always ends up being Bill's bitch, but Ridge firmly kept the blame for the Still shtupping on Bill, casting Steffy as the innocent victim Liam needed to go back to. Wonder if Ridge will feel the same way when her baby turns out to be Bill's? Because Bill's sudden appearance at that hospital makes me think he doctored the doctor; it wouldn't be the first medical test of Steffy's that Bill fudged.
Having gotten nowhere with Ridge, Hope appealed to her mother for clues about Liam's separation from Steffy. When Brooke clammed up, Hope pouted that everyone was treating her like an outsider, especially with Liam being her ex-husband and all. Is Hope actually that? There were plenty of failed weddings, but only one ended in exchanged vows, and even that wasn't legit because Hope refused to sign the papers.
That tells me Hope and Liam were never actually married. But I digress; Brooke demonstrated she'd be a horrible poker player, because with each successive question from Hope, La Logan looked more and more like she was hiding something. Brooke slipped that Steffy had had an "indiscretion"; for a moment, Hope surmised it might have been with Wyatt. Until Brooke said it had been someone with less integrity...
Hope about called Pam and asked for some of her pearls to clutch. Sally had no idea how she had set all this in motion! (News flash, Hope: Bill started it all, jonesing for his building, though Sally, Liam, and Steffy all share responsibility, as well.) Liam didn't deserve this, Hope exclaimed. "I never should have -- " And there it is, Scoopers. She never should have left L.A. So much for having accepted Liam and Steffy together!
Over at the cliff house that I guess Bill still owns, Bill found Steffy again surrounded by Kleenex. Soap gods help us, Steffy has spent the entire month of January crying. Who's running Forrester, with Steffy gone, Ridge macho posturing out of the office, and Brooke not going in because "it wasn't that kind of day"? Never thought I'd say it, but maybe Thorne and Armani autocrat Rick should be in charge!
Well, Bill also found Liam's annulment papers and asked the appropriate 64 Billion Dollar Question: "What is it with these people being so annulment happy?" (See, Chanel, you weren't the only one who wondered.) Bill told Steffy she had to make herself and her baby the priority (wisdom from Bill? Who knew?), and declared he wasn't willing to live the rest of his life ashamed. Was Steffy?
Isn't that the thing, though? If Steffy breaks out one more tissue, I swear Stephanie will come back and bitch-slap some sense into her granddaughter; this is not who Steffy is, and Bill knows it. Bill also rightly pointed out that "before I ever knew Liam existed, there was us." Brandishing the annulment papers, Bill suggested that Steffy stop hedging on signing them like it was 2012. Oh, sorry -- that was me.
Bill thought it was time for Steffy to stop punishing herself...and I think that's really what this is about. It's not like Steffy didn't once want Bill mega bad. I think, on one level, she still does. So does Bill, because while he said he'd be a loving grandpa if Liam took Steffy back, he'd also be a loving stepfather if Steffy chose Bill instead! "I'm here to love you," he proclaimed! Holla! Are we going for Still 2018?
With all this "kill kill kill" stuff, I wonder if we aren't heading for a murder mystery, or at least an attempted murder mystery, with Bill at the center. Maybe Justin will walk in and find Bill facedown on the floor with Sky sticking out of his back! Where are you with all this Still fallout? File your news story in the 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!
"Love your version [of what you'd do with B&B]! I wish they'd hire you on staff! I am cringing at the thought of [another] LOPE/LEFFY triangle... did they not learn it cost them cast members and fans the last time? It was agonizing." -- Lori
"Well since [Liam] mentioned he was a computer programmer I would say [have him] hack into $ Bill's business and perhaps send his company into a spiral downhill turn..." -- Dianna
"I would love to see your version of the show (well, minus Kim Zimmer...). Also Rick and Steffy would not be half-siblings [if Massimo turned out not to be Ridge's father], Rick would be her uncle biologically since he would then be Ridge's bio half brother." -- Eileen
Whoops! That's true, but you know how hard it is to keep these details straight in Forresterland. Despite my regular attempts to in our character profiles, the family trees of these soap clans of ours have knots even the Boy Scouts can't untie!
Looks like February sweeps are upon us once again, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And remember, now more than ever, no matter color, creed, religion, gender identity, orientation, or nationality, we're all beautiful!
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