Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you use the alphabet to say, "C ya, wouldn't wanna B ya"? Did you Krazy Glue yourself to a baby? Did you have a reason to say "Zoinks!" while playing Scooby-Doo? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Spectra-Buckingham clan this week!
Holy baby care, Scoopers! Reese wiped away his L.A. existence while Hope wiped away her sadness by bonding with infant Phoebe. But Flo looked like she'd opened up a poopy diaper when she saw Zoe open up "her" adoption papers! Is everyone flying Captain Obvious Airlines by noticing the similarities between Kelly and Phoebe? And is Zoe about to crack Florence like a walnut? Let's Scoop about it!
But, before I do, I just want to mark the passing of Kristoff St. John. As someone who deals with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, I can't help but feel affected, especially knowing he never really recovered from losing his son to suicide a few years ago. I haven't actively watched The Young and the Restless for years, but I well remember Neil back in the '90s, and the soap world won't be the same without Kristoff. R.I.P, dude.
Now, we return to your regularly scheduled fiction, already in progress:
Remember in my last column, how I likened Hope's loss to Krystle's on the original Dynasty? I've been watching random scenes from Knots Landing lately (why won't TPTB release the whole series on DVD?), and Hope's situation does also share some commonalities with Val thinking her twins were dead when, in fact, they were stolen away from her and being raised by another couple.
Of course, I don't think Val had the opportunity to hold her own child, thinking she was rocking the adoptive couples' baby...but that's where we started this week, with Hope holding infant Beth while calling her Phoebe. Hope stated twice that she felt a certain "electricity" in doing so, and I'd be willing to chalk that up to a mother's instinct. I'm just not so sure that current needed to flow to other outlets.
I'll give Liam a pass, too, since he's "Phoebeth"'s father and all. But should so many other characters be making such declarations? Wyatt made a double-take comment that Kelly and Phoebe looked alike. Dude, they're babies. Outside of skin and hair colors, they're not going to look too different at one month old. Other on-the-nose moments came when Steffy told Brooke, "if only you were holding your granddaughter."
There was just too much of that kind of thing this week. But let's move on. I want to know why Hope saw a different doctor last week. Where was Dr. Phillips? And this Dr. Lynn said Hope had suffered an "ablation." I thought Hope had a "placental abruption"? Not to mention, had Hope experienced either, wouldn't a doctor catch a physical trace instead of giving her reproductive system a clean bill of health?
Lo and behold, I believe we witnessed the first true Brooke/Ridge/Taylor scene with Thorsten Kaye's Ridge! Not counting Lope's wedding, natch. I wonder if Taylor still has marzipan in her updo? Anyway, I was really touched, because Taylor very caringly told Brooke she was worried about how Phoebe's adoption was affecting Hope. Aww! Now that's the Taylor I remember.
As I mentioned last time I columnized for you, Taylor seems very normal lately, at least compared to her off-her-rocker persona of 2018. Well, until she bitched to Ridge that Liam should be raising Steffy's kids with her. Okay, Tay-Tay, we're on that again. Kind of a flip on the time Taylor told Sheila back in 1993 that Sheila had dropped out of therapy too early!
Later on, Tridge oohed and aahed over Phoebe. Rightfully so -- the tyke is super adorbs. And while I understand why Steffy named the child after her (rarely mentioned) sister, I think we're out of namesakes on this show. It was cute the first couple dozen times, but come on -- even Logan matriarch Beth got two kids named after her in less than three years. Let's try some original names next time.
Ridge told Taylor that he'd been skeptical about how Phoebe's adoption had played out, but who could have any doubts, looking at that face? "It's all because of you and your contact," Ridge beamed. Here's another thing that's bothering me: wouldn't Ridge and Steffy want to know exactly who dug up a miracle baby for them? "I'll be forever grateful to you and your contact," Steffy added.
I'm sorry, but Taylor isn't the kind of lady who would be so nondescript about such an important detail -- at least the old Taylor wasn't -- and you'd think her ex-husband and daughter would know that, too. Taylor hiding her "contact"'s identity should come off as highly suspicious. Why is Taylor withholding Reese's name from all this, anyway? If the show has made that clear, I missed it somehow.
Out of nowhere, but quite bravely, Hope attempted to go back to work at Forrester Creations, where she received well-wishes from Eric and Quinn and Pam and some day player named Raine and just about everybody except the janitor. It was wonderful for all these people to rally behind Hope, but if I were returning to the workplace after a tragedy, the last thing I would want is a crowd the size of a small city.
They all wanted Hope to know she had their support. "And how sorry we are," Quinn chimed in, "especially since I was inadvertently responsible for your first miscarriage." Okay, Quinn didn't say that last part. But that's what was going through my head. You wouldn't think Hope would want Quinn anywhere near her ever, ever again!
After this group of we're-on-contract-but-backburnered-so-this-is-our-obligatory-scene characters left, Hope talked to Katie and Wyatt -- and for some reason, Sally -- about the PR aspects of Hope for the Future now that Ridge had let the floodgates of funding flow in its direction once again. I don't know if Ridge's gesture was sheer goodwill or on par with Sally's consolation puppy; at least Hope had a better reaction to the reboot.
Hope announced that she had prepared a statement about losing Beth, since she had to tell the public about it. What the hell for? Even if you could sort of consider Hope a celebrity, there's nothing requiring her to reveal something that personal. What, does she think if she doesn't, TMZ will do it first and put their own spin on it? Just talk about the line, and maybe have it be inspired by Beth and dedicated to her memory.
But something went wrong as Hope tried to tell Katie, Wyatt, and Sally about how influential HFTF had been in the past and how she wanted it to be in the future. Mid-speech, Hope started thinking back to sharing her pregnancy news with Liam amid those CGI fireworks. Then to seeing a sonogram in the hospital. Then to the night of her delivery, with Reese beckoning her to push, only to be told her baby was dead.
I gotta say it; that was a powerful scene. Annika Noelle has really been bringing it with this storyline, but there was something in this performance that made Hope seem like she was having a break with reality as she crumbled, segueing from work to the details of her Catalina nightmare. Katie hugged Hope hard, and I guess it only proved Hope wasn't ready for the office yet, after all.
Brooke paid a visit to Steffy, who I think keeps taking on babies so she doesn't have to do co-CEO duties at Forrester. Does anybody actually work at that place? Kind of Zoe and Xander, who seem to be doing intern work, which is strange, considering they're now models. Anyway, Brooke wanted to meet little Phoebe and see for herself what all the fuss was about.
Considering the often bitter history between Steffy and Brooke, these kinds of scenes are rather nice, and hearkened back to the days when Brooke was raising Steffy in Taylor's absence. Brooke appreciated that Steffy acknowledged the fact Brooke was grieving for the granddaughter she'd lost, but Brooke couldn't help but wonder if it really had been the right time for Steffy to adopt in light of that.
Steffy had an approximately eight-pound answer to that query -- Phoebe! Everybody knows that Brooke loves babies, especially given how fertile she proved to be and how often she demonstrated how babies are made, ahem ahem. One look at Phoebe, and Brooke melted, forgetting any further questions she might have had about the adoption. What is it with this kid that makes everybody's sense fly out the window?
Apparently, one day of work was enough for Hope, and that's understandable. But no one explained why Katie, Brooke, Donna, and Liam were also playing hooky. Was it a weekend? Hope's trio of aunts decided to distract Hope with a puzzle, which worked until Donna joked about how golden-haired kiddo Katie had ruined all their childhood puzzles. Hope wondered if Kelly and Phoebe would also grow up to have dark hair.
Katie and Brooke gave Donna a look as if to use an '80s term Donna would understand: "Smooth move, Ex-Lax." Me, I was more wondering how in hell Katie could have been a blonde-headed child. She was certainly brunette when she showed up as a zit-ridden teen. Soon after, Liam showed up, but he strangely seemed like he would rather pick lice out of his hair than stick around for the puzzle party.
Hope exhorted Liam to stay, since he was good at puzzles. "After all, I kind of am one," Hope declared. Liam's thought that "you're more of an open book than a puzzle" made perfect sense to me; I don't know what would possess Hope to say otherwise. But Donna's Foot-in-Mouth Syndrome wasn't over yet, as she incorrectly recalled that Logan papa Stephen had taken his kids to the lake depicted in the puzzle.
"I guess at one point, I decided to remember things better than they were," Donna said with a shrug, with Brooke adding, "Who wants to remember how bad the bad times were?" But Hope turned prophet, profoundly commenting, "What if that's the only way you can remember the good times?" That was really astute. Hope's observation led Liam to apologize for failing her by not being at her side when Beth died.
Steffy commented to Wyatt and Sally later that Liam had been beating up on himself for Beth's death, but I haven't seen much of that; the focus has been on Hope's grief. So, it was good to see Liam get a chance to express his own feelings about his own loss and tendency to self-blame regarding it. Speaking of Wally, they were still on set, so might as well give them a few scenes...
At least, that's what it felt like as they were inserted into Leffy/Lope's baby bonanza. They had to boff in the middle of it, of course, just to remind us they're still a couple. But then it was back to Beth, Phoebe's adoption, etc. When are these guys going to get their own storyline? Wyatt and Sally are great together! Now that they're not just rebounding off other relationships amidst booze and guns, that is.
Hope's aunts didn't know where to look when Hope told them there was something about Phoebe that made her feel like a mother. Liam also got that "oh $#!^" look on his face when Hope reiterated this to him and asked to be his plus-one while he went over to Steffy's to look in on Kelly and Phoebe. And here we thought Hope was starting to push Liam back toward Steffy romantically. Whew.
Honestly, I'm very glad this tortured triangle is no more and that they're still resolved to function as a blended family. B&B could easily have used Hope's tragedy to drive a wedge between her and Liam for the four billionth time. But when Liam tried to tell Steffy on the phone that Hope wanted to tag along, Steffy had to cut him off because of the baby monitor. I'm not sure why that mini-twist was necessary.
The only thing that really came out of it was that Steffy was surprised to see Hope arriving with Liam. I mean, it did seem like Steffy would rather have been alone with Liam and her/their kids. Yet it was the next part I didn't get. Steffy cringed when Hope offered to help Steffy out with Phoebe. Why? Didn't Steffy do the offering when Hope was over last time, telling Hope she needed Hope's help with the kids?
At any rate, Hope cheerfully went to check on the waking Phoebe while Steffy told Liam she thought being around her baby would be way too hard on Hope. Liam didn't know; he surmised that maybe spending time with Phoebe was the best thing for Hope, after all. Then we finally got to see the nursery instead of a slightly ajar door. Hope cradled Phoebe and started telling the kid all about the loss of Beth.
Liam and Steffy were a little green at the gills as they listened to this retelling over Phoebe's baby monitor -- still a step up from the Forresters having to listen to Bridget's deflowering over one. "Aunty" Hope forgot all her pain when she looked at Phoebe. She loved Phoebe. And if I were Steffy, I might have Phoebe microchipped in case Hope decides to abscond with her! In Hope's state of mind, who knows?
On a related but unrelated note, Reese stopped by to see Zoe, who rarely seems to leave that backstage area of Forrester. Zoe noted that her pop was acting weird, though how was that different from any other day? Reese announced that he was returning to London, and Zoe, who hadn't wanted her dad cramping her style when he'd first shown up, actually started getting a little verklempt.
Reese said he'd be able to better focus on his research in the UK, but exactly what kind of research does he do outside of researching online gambling sites and how to pull off illegal adoptions? "You're a kind, honest person," Reese told his daughter, "except when you're framing people for cyberbullying while stalking your ex-boyfriend." Okay, he didn't say that last part. But at least he mentioned her painting.
Having gotten that out of the way, Reese went to his office to grab the last of his things, only to have Taylor drop in on him. For a guy who sealed their first private facetime with a kiss, Reese sure couldn't wait to get out of there, especially since Taylor kept yammering on about the baby. Points to the show for finally mentioning that Steffy lost a baby before Kelly. These details give current stories more depth.
With her father red-eyeing it out of L.A. faster than you could say "Virgin Atlantic Airways," Zoe was left to stew in her own juices, and the seasoning was not to her liking. She couldn't reconcile Reese's sudden exit stage right with not knowing what brought him to Cali in the first place. Um, didn't Reese tell Zoe he had taken an OB/GYN gig in town to be closer to her? It's not like he showed up to steal a baby.
Then things got a little weirder, or at least more convenient. Zoe surprised Xander -- and me -- by producing a key to Reese's apartment! Apparently, Doc Buck had left some things behind at the hospital, and they called Zoe to come pick them up. All right, so maybe Reese listed Zoe as an emergency contact. But why would he have been so sloppy as to leave a house key behind when he just brokered a baby sale there?
And get this -- for some reason, Reese had never given his address to his own daughter. That might have made sense had Reese actually come to town with Flo and/or a stolen baby. But none of that was going on when Reese first arrived. It's just that we never got this piece of information about Reese's address until now. Had Reese concealed it from the jump, we'd have better understood Zoe's suspicions.
But not knowing what address to ask Siri directions for was no longer a problem, because it turned out Reese still had a few months left on his lease. How could Zoe, let alone Xander, possibly know that? That information is something we needed to see Zoe discover for a proper Point A to Point B. None of that mattered, though. Zoe was going to the empty flat to see what she could find.
Her mission had a shaky start, with her calling "Hello?" upon entering when she was under the impression the place was empty. Until Florence walked in to find Zoe there! Flo was ready to call 9-1-1 on her, another notch on the "Smooth move, Ex-Lax" bedpost when you consider Flo is now a criminal in hiding. Zoe managed to calm Flo down by revealing that she was Reese's daughter, but the welcome wagon ended there.
Zoe's interrogation of Florence went about as well as a certain Congressional hearing this week. No matter what Zoe asked, Flo had a pivot for it, except for admitting she was a croupier back in Vegas. Other than that, Flo was mum about the nature of what, if any, relationship she had with Reese and why Flo was sticking around in La-La Land when she clearly had a job and a life in Nevada.
"Maybe I'll meet a Hollywood producer and be an overnight star," Flo sassed. "Crazier things have happened!" Hey, Zoe was a stalker painter who became an overnight model, so why not. But Flo, who deals in gambling, should know when someone has a "tell" -- because her tell came when Zoe mentioned the difference in Reese's behavior after delivering a stillborn baby in Catalina.
Florence looked like she was being grilled by Robert Mueller and about dropped a brick when she spotted the canister of baby formula she still had sitting across the room! Why would she keep that? But Flo covered, covering the can with a blanket. Zoe still called BS, following it up with a call to Reese and asking him about Flo on his voicemail. Good luck getting an answer back about that one, Zoe.
A day (or two) later, Zoe forgot about her new side job as a P.I. when she saw Xander changing in...I forget whose office it is. Quinn's? I know it used to be Ridge's. Anyway, Xander wanted to pull a Ridge and get it on right then and there, but after Zoe wondered why Xander was getting back into regular clothes after a workout (no locker room, he said; what, Forrester doesn't have a bathroom?), Zoe was ready to go with the Flo.
Zoe wanted to go back to the apartment and snoop around, strongly feeling Reese was still mixed up in something bad and that it involved Flo. Indeed, Flo was home alone like Macaulay Culkin, going over "her" adoption papers with a pained look on her face. Maybe it was because Carter listed his business address as Las Vegas, when he clearly lives in Los Angeles. (Yes, I freeze-frame these things.)
Why was Flo looking all sad and whatnot? If it was because she lost Reese, the papers wouldn't bring on the boo-hoo. And, being part of Reese's illegal adoption scheme, why did Flo sign her own name to the papers? She went into the other room, not hearing Zoe letting herself in once again. Zoe's P.I. skills need a little work. She left neither Flo's mail nor her desk drawer the way she'd found it.
Zoe did, however, end up making a beeline toward the drawer where Flo stashed her papers. And boom! Zoe found out Flo had put up a child for adoption. I really wish Zoe had found the formula, which was also in the drawer, first, and stood there wondering why the hell Florence would have any. Spotting the papers right away was wayyyyyy too easy.
But I gotta give it to Zoe -- she was like a pit bull when the temporarily deaf Flo ventured out of her room. Florence admitted that she'd given up a baby, but she couldn't keep up with Zoe's zingers, like Zoe asking for the baby's birthdate and the name of Flo's doctor. When Flo refused to open her robe, Zoe ripped it open for her and declared there was no way in hell she could have just had a baby a month ago.
Of course, Flo had just changed into a bikini for no apparent reason, but we'll go with it. (She should have been wearing it before she went into her bedroom.) Zoe had had enough. She knew Flo was hiding something, and she wanted to know how it involved Steffy Forrester's baby. If Flo didn't spill, Zoe would cyberbully her until she did! Okay, Zoe didn't say that last part. But six months ago, she would have!
What do you think, Scoopers? Will Hope take off with Phoebeth? Will Zoe be the one to blow the whole baby switch wide open? And will Sally finally get her own storyline again? Piece together your puzzle 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!
"Hope Zoe figures it out but she will be torn [over reporting] her father or [keeping] the secret also!" -- Linda
"I love that Zoe is going to be the hero in this (hopefully). The actress is really showing her abilities with this story against Flo. Much better than her previous catfights with Emma." -- Miss Gracie
I was thinking that, too, Miss Gracie! Kiara Barnes is killing it, especially in Zoe's interrogations of Florence. Too bad Zoe can't have Harry the cat lean on her!
So, apparently, B&B is looking to recast Thomas yet again. Look, no one can out-hunk Pierson Fodé, and he's got some mad acting skills to match, but instead of finding another fresh face, why not bring back Drew Tyler Bell? The guy only won a freakin' Emmy before he was thrown over for Adam Gregory in 2010.
And while we're on the subject of casting throwbacks, with Ingo Rademacher stepping out of Thorne's shoes, how about rehiring Clayton Norcross, the original Thorne? I mean, have you seen him lately? I hope to be half as hot when I'm 64! (Sorry, Beatles.) That would make "little brother" older than Ridge, but if identical twins Steffy and Phoebe can become fraternal, anything goes!
That's my take on B&B for the week. Thanks for reading! Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And remember: no matter color, creed, religion, gender identity, orientation, or nationality, we're all beautiful.
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