"Ex" factor: Blended families can kill a relationship
For the Week of September 3, 2018
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Katie serves Bill with papers, and Hope experiences an unusual pain
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The week of September 3, 2018
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Hope overextends herself to make sure Liam and Steffy can co-parent Kelly. Katie takes extreme measures to control Bill's parenting -- or lack thereof. Is Hope's approach better, or will Hope wind up like her aunt, divorced and looking to the law to protect her child from Liam?

Liam and Steffy are enlisting people in their village to help raise their child, but ever since Katie enlisted Thorne in hers, Thorne has made it his mission to vote Bill off Parent Island. Steffy claimed she'd always love Liam, the father of her child, but Bill and Katie are proof that there is often no love lost between exes. Is Katie going after sole custody because Will feels rejected, or could Dollar Bill be right on the money with his suspicion that Katie is the one feeling rejected?

If Bill had promoted Wyatt and Katie's relationship, Bill wouldn't have to put up with Thorne, the dress warlock, trying to take Bill's place in Will's life. Make no mistake; that's exactly what Thorne is trying to do -- just like he tried to take Brooke from Ridge, and Katie from Wyatt. Now, Thorne wants to take Will from Bill while making it all seem like Katie's idea.

If it was really Katie's production, why does Carter keeps talking to Thorne and Ridge --- who are not Carter's client -- about the case more than Katie? Ridge blabbed the issue in a meeting and privately to Steffy and Brooke. It's a wonder the custody battle wasn't trending on social media or ticker-taping across the bottom of cable news shows before Bill even got wind of it.

While Bill, Katie, and Thorne battle over Will, Steffy, Liam, and Hope try to pull it together for their kids. Hope pretends she doesn't die a little inside every time she tracks Liam down at the cliff house and sees the love portrait of Steffy and Liam in the living room. Can you imagine if Katie had one of those in her house of her and Bill? She'd never date again, which I'm starting to realize might be Steffy's unspoken point.

On a side note, who is Steffy fooling about her true reasons to hang that portrait? Even Hope's baby is doing sour stomach flips because it's confused about his father being in love pictures with his aunt. Is Kelly really gonna get that daddy cuddles with mommy and Aunt Hope?

Steffy finally came clean to Liam about her feelings for him not going away. Has Steffy's memory of Liam passionately kissing Hope in the dressing room gone away? Maybe that's the picture Steffy needs to hang in her mind to remind her of why she really left Liam.

Steffy's love portrait might not matter because Hope might have just started having cramps of the miscarrying kind. If Hope loses her "little critter," it will be just a matter of time before she sets Liam free to crawl back to Steffy. Are these cramps anything to worry about or just another pregnancy symptom for Hope to flash back upon when she and her baby are alone while Liam is at the cliff house, hearing Steffy tell him once again that she still loves him.

Is it better to blend exes into the family, like Hope has, or will you wind up court-ordering them out the door like Katie is doing to Bill? As the song goes, it's cheaper to keep her, but not so much when your new lover thinks he can be a better father. Let's get two scoops deep into the ex-factor in blended families this week on the Bold and the Beautiful.

For some, it takes a village. Katie just needs one lawyer "It's not about you, Will. It's -- it's about me."

Even when it's about what's best for Will, it's not about Will. It's about Bill. Everything is about Bill Spencer, from Steffy blaming Bill for the reason she and Liam aren't together, to the reason that Will feels rejected by his father. In reality, Bill did not force Liam to make out with Hope in the dressing room, and now that Katie has brought the Will issue to Bill's attention, he really has been trying his best to make things up to Will. Is Bill too late, or is Katie too quick to file on Bill?

Thorne pushed Katie to file for sole custody because it puts Bill's visits on her terms and provides stability for Will. Bill asserts that it will make things worse, and Will will resent Katie for it. Meanwhile, Thorne seems to be hinting that once Bill is out of the way, Thorne can take Bill's place. Who's right, and are any of them taking Will's best interest to heart?

Thorne could mean well, but he is a pushy new boyfriend. Talking to Ridge, Thorne described his relationship with Katie as new, and Thorne didn't correct a model who remarked that it seemed serious. The relationship can be new and serious at the same time, but isn't it just a little too new for Thorne to meet with a lawyer on Katie's behalf to discuss custody of a child he has no rights to? The new boyfriend is pretty eager to cut the ex-husband out, isn't he?

Katie claims she's not cutting Bill out of Will's life. Instead, she wants sole custody to control when Bill sees Will and to provide Will with stability. What Katie doesn't say is that sole custody takes away Bill's legal rights to make decisions for Will. Bill can still have visitation, and a court can determine that visitation; however, Bill will not have custodial rights or legal rights to Will.

Katie believes she can set up supervised visitations at her house. I'm not sure why a judge would require that Bill's visits be supervised if Bill has not abused Will. According to "Google University," a judge might order supervision if the parent has been absent from the child's life and is reestablishing contact, which doesn't seem to be the case with Bill. Thorne told Katie to act before a judge questioned why she waited so long, which indicates that it hasn't been long enough for there to be abandonment or neglect yet.

How does Katie gaining sole custody change Will's situation? If Katie is sincere about wanting Will to have a relationship with his father, then it doesn't change anything. Will and she still have to rely on Bill to commit to showing up. There will still be times when Bill's work might interfere -- as well as Katie's work -- and if Bill fails to show up, Will might still be hurt. Nothing changes.

If only Bill had a nanny like Katie. If Bill had a nanny, Bill could have the nanny pick Will up and babysit at Bill's house until Bill got home, which is exactly what Katie does when Will is with her. We wouldn't even be in this mess if Bill had just sent Emmy to pick Will up and keep him until Bill was free -- just like Katie pawns Will off on Pam when Katie is working. I'm just saying -- where was Will when Wyatt was delivering all that pizza and pipe? Probably with a nanny.

Will lives with Katie. She has total control of his schedule and activities. Instead of including Bill in Will's day-to-day routine, Katie relegates Bill to just showing up when she wants him at games or for visits. So, what more can she gain from sole custody?

Sole custody is only beneficial for Thorne. Sole custody takes away Bill's legal rights and gives Katie the legal ability to shut Bill out of Will's life completely. Once Thorne talks Katie into doing that, he can slip into Bill's role as Will's father.

Notice that Thorne has no interest in working with Bill, even though it's in Will's best interest to do so. Instead, Thorne enjoys asserting his prominence in Will and Katie's life and belittling Bill. I don't know why Katie lets Thorne do that, especially if she wants them all to work together for Will's best interest. How is it that Steffy, Hope, and Liam have better sense about getting along as parents than Katie and Thorne do?

I don't trust Thorne because he decided out of the blue that Brooke was his destiny. He abandoned his life in Paris and moved to Los Angeles to spend months trying to poison Brooke and Eric against Ridge. When it didn't work, Thorne tried to insinuate himself between Katie and Wyatt. Thorne finally got somewhere with Katie. Now, Thorne focuses on getting rid of Bill, so Thorne can have the whole little family to himself.

Thorne claims to know about kids because of Aly. Thorne even compared Katie's chance to help Will to Thorne's lost chance to help Aly. If Thorne wanted to help Aly, then he probably shouldn't have kept dating her mother's killer. By the way, wasn't it crazy how he only had two words for Taylor at Hope's wedding? "Welcome home." Really, Thorne? That's all you have to say to your last ex, the one your daughter tried to axe in retribution for that ex killing her mother?

Katie better take notes. That's all I'm saying. She needs to take notes on the things Thorne made Aly put up with so that he could date Taylor, and Katie should observe how it ended. I wouldn't be surprised if, after Katie gets legal custody, Thorne starts showing her boarding school pamphlets. And if Thorne loves Aly so much, why have we never seen him at her grave?

If I were Katie, I wouldn't make such a big decision based upon a boyfriend promising to be there to help. That's how I wound up alone with two Siberian Huskies for the last eight and a half years. Katie keeps telling Bill that he says these things "now," but what about later. It goes double for Thorne, who isn't even blood-related to Will and can leave at any time. Bill might have slacked once, but it doesn't mean that he'll never get back on the right track.

If Bill had thought Katie was irredeemable when she'd been an alcoholic, he'd be the one with sole custody right now. But instead of taking Will as he'd threatened, Bill let her have the child once she'd gotten herself together. The bottom line is this -- Katie needs to solve it between her and Bill before a judge puts Will in a foster home because neither parent has it together.

Lastly, what did Bill mean when he quipped that Katie, not Will, was the one who felt rejected? Does Bill think that Katie still wants to be with him? Could Katie resent the fact that Bill went from Brooke to Steffy, but there is still no sign of him wanting to return to his first wife, as usual?

I want to dismiss Bill's comment, but I'm craving drama. Katie and Thorne are more boring than watching Xander and Emma do inventory. Katie practically tossed Wyatt away like a broken toy, and it seems unlikely that after all that fun, she's satisfied with quiet, candlelit nights in suburbia with Thorne. I know I'm not, so excuse me while I pretend to be Chicago and make love out of nothing at all.

Maybe Katie, Bill, and Thorne need to take a co-parenting lesson from Hope, Liam, and Steffy. Or could it be that Hope, Liam, and Steffy ought to view Katie and Bill as a cautionary tale of what could be in their co-parenting future?

A plot that bears repeating "Oh, please. Not again!"

With Hope, Liam, and Steffy, there is nothing new under the triangle, and the subplots involving them often repeat themselves. Some viewers predicted another miscarriage for the threesome. On Friday, the pregnant Hope doubled over in pain and cried out for it not to happen again. Could Hope be on the verge of losing her baby, and thereafter Liam, already?

Meh. Something tells me that Hope has a bad bout of tofu gas. This time. Either that, or Dr. Phillips is the worst OB/GYN in the history of the show, because Hope literally just had a checkup that day. Although, if we consider Hope's emotional stress, we might theorize that Hope could be psychologically making herself and the baby sick.

Hope pretends everything is all sunshine and baby booties, but Brooke advised her daughter not to bottle up her feelings. Brooke, the expert, screaming into her fist while watching the love of her life raise his other family in front of her face, figured that it has to bother Hope to watch Liam and Steffy with Kelly. At first, Hope said it just showed how devoted Liam would be to her child. Brooke pressed, and Hope was like, "All right, yes! It sucks!"

Of course, Hope wasn't a fraction as blunt about it, but letting out even a little bit of foul wind had to ease that cramp just a little, right? Even if Hope won't fully express how she really feels about sharing Liam with Steffy and Kelly, viewers can see that it sucks royally.

On day two of Hope's honeymoon, Hope had to locate her husband at his ex-wife's house to ask him to accompany her to the doctor. Hope popped in like, "Hi, groom. Remember me, your pregnant wife? Remember your phone, the thing you need to answer because you have a pregnant wife?"

At the doctor's office, Dr. Phillips recognized Liam, which shoved it right back in Hope's face that Steffy had Liam's child first. Hope was the only one in the room that hadn't seen Steffy's vagina and hadn't been through childbirth with Steffy. I'd have to get another doctor if I was Hope.

Well, truth be told, I would have gotten another guy, too. That's just how Hope and I are different, I guess. Sharing the same sire and vet was fine with me for the two huskies that birthed my puppies, but as an upright, linguistic mammal who waxes, I'd prefer not so share by mate, baby daddy, and OB/GYN with the other woman -- just no.

Hope couldn't even enjoy the afterglow of the appointment without Steffy waltzing in to hear all about it. Steffy's full of wisdom and advice and eager to share her and Liam's stories. Hope was annoyingly accommodating enough to punch when Steffy and Liam had to rush off to tend to baby's first fever! Oh, no, the baby is sick! It's so scary and precious at the same time -- or lame if you're looking for a soap to give you a dramatic escape from reality.

Steffy and Liam sat with the baby like any good soap parents and congratulated themselves on being a great team. While Steffy told Liam that she still had feelings for him, Hope was alone at home, curling into a ball of pain, fearing she was about to lose her baby. If Hope wants Liam to help her, she has to once again locate him at Steffy's house.

So, guys...is it too late for Hope to file for sole custody of Liam? One would think the marriage license would have taken care of it, but Hope hasn't set enough boundaries for Liam, who seems to think he has Hope's blessing to hang out at Steffy's house for as long as he wants to without even checking in with his wife to at least report fever updates.

One would think Hope wouldn't need to set the boundaries because Steffy had chosen to leave Liam. Steffy claimed that seeing Liam making out with Hope had opened Steffy's eyes. Steffy left the apologetic cheater who was incapable of putting Steffy and Kelly first. Steffy became a strong businesswoman and mother, right? Steffy threw it all away when she told Liam that her feelings for him hadn't gone away.

Essentially, Steffy is saying that Liam can cheat on her and impregnate and marry the other woman, and Steffy will still love Liam like he's the best man in the world. Steffy claimed that she would be better than Brooke and Taylor, and Steffy would do it for the kids. It hasn't even been a month, and Steffy's caving harder than the pig's straw house.

I don't have to say any more. We all know where this is going. The prediction is already on the table. Liam and Steffy will ring in the New Year as newlyweds. Given the lightning speed of the plot, it could even be sooner. Anyone want to up their bet date to Thanksgiving?

In a look ahead

According the weekly preview video, fall is heating up, and so are the rivalries at home and at the office. May the best man, Bill or Thorne, and best woman, Steffy or Hope, win.

In the preview video for Monday's Labor Day show, Hope calls someone, probably Liam, to tell him that she's spotting, and Liam's ping-ponging day will continue in Hope's court. And no -- Hope cannot have a close call in her pregnancy with just herself and Liam. Of course, Steffy has to horn in on it. At this point, I wonder why they don't just all move in together.

I imagine everything will be okay with Hope and her baby, and Dr. Phillips will urge Hope to avoid stress. If I'm right, the advice comes right as spoilers indicate that Hope's other baby, HFTF, is thrown into a survival competition with another Forrester line.

Apparently, those budget issues Liam and Hope discussed with Thorne the other day weren't just dialogue fillers. If the rivalry in the weekly preview deals with Hope and Steffy, it must mean that either HFTF or the Intimates line will be on the budget chopping block. What's up with your money, Forrester? I thought you just got a big tax cut? What happened to reinvesting in the company and employees? Did you blow it on stock buybacks?

On the other battlefront, Katie tells Thorne that she had to do it because she can't see the pain in Will's eyes if Bill doesn't show up again. I have news for Katie. Sole custody will not give her power over Bill, his schedule, or Will's pain. There is a chance that Bill could fail to show up again, and the only way to prevent it is to make sure Bill can never schedule time with Will ever again. Maybe Katie should put more effort into Will's coping skills -- and her own, too.

Thorne asserts that Katie isn't Bill's wife, but Bill quickly snipes that she isn't Thorne's, either. Thorne tells Katie that they have a custody battle to win, but Bill vows to fight for his family. I might be a little biased, but I think we're about to see a serious hike in the value of the almighty Dollar Bill! If the best man's really gonna win, it's got to be Bill.

In other spoiler tidbits, Brooke and Ridge choose sides in the custody battle, and as usual, they are on opposite sides. Will this, plus the dilemma involving the two Forrester lines, finally form a fissure in the Bridge marriage just when Katherine Kelly Lang and Thorsten Kaye made Bridge swoon-worthy again?

Let us know what you think in the Comment section below or on our message boards. Until we scoop again, may your Labor Day be bold and beautiful, baby!

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