Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your ban on secret-speaking mean speaking about the secret? Did you flip like a presidential lawyer? Did you pull a Whitney Houston and declare "I believe the children are our future"? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Spectra-Buckingham-Fulton clan this week!
She's back, Scoopers! Steffy walked right into a firestorm that could see her giant family portrait come to life, yet she stayed true to her independence! Too bad the same can't be said for Thomas, who chose deception; Liam, who got no choice; and Hope, who chose to be Michael Jackson and do it for the children! And then there's Zoe, Flo, and Shauna, who chose to discuss the same thing over and over. Let's Scoop about it!
CHOOSY MOMS CHOOSE GYP
Well, it looked like the ish was truly going to hit the fan this time when Hope caught Zoe and new Beverly Hills resident Flo taking Beth's name in vain. Zoe tried to tap-dance her way around it, but Hope was like a Doberman Pinscher about to "pinsch" Flo and Zoe so hard it'd leave a mark. Flo didn't help with her "I uh, I uh" replies. But then Zoe found the right number of revolutions to spin the faux pas by.
Makes you wonder if Zoe has been hooked up to lie detectors before, because she told Hope, in regard to Flo, "She's wishing she could take your pain away, but knowing how impossible that is." It was true -- Flo, who feels so bad for perpetrating Reese's scheme that the $50,000 she got for doing it is in a bank, earning interest, wanted to alleviate Hope's heartache.
And that's all it took for Hope to dissolve into a big pile of goo. Hope knew how supportive Zoe and Flo had been, and she was sorry for going all mother bear at the mere mention of Beth's name. I know how much Hope is still hurting, but on Bewitched, Endora once told Samantha, "They say there's a sucker born every minute, but apparently you're trying to raise the average." That's Hope right now.
That wasn't even the only time Hope got suckered this week, but that's still to come. Meanwhile, once left alone again, Flo and Zoe continued debating The Secret That Dare Not Speak Its Name. They were lucky that, this time, only Shauna walked in on them. After which, of course, the trio had to go back to arguing about whether they should keep their mouths shut about Beth being alive.
All right, this conversation is playing out too many times. Every time these three get together, that's all they talk about. Does the audience really need to be reminded constantly that Flo wants to spill, and Shauna and Zoe want to chill? This isn't compelling storytelling. It doesn't move the story forward, and it's too repetitive (read: boring), like the multiple references to how good and trustworthy Flo is, irony irony.
Case in point, Quinn singing Flo's praises, as if the kidnapper and attempted murderess knows the first thing about "goodness and honesty." And this followed Quinn and Eric welcoming the Fultons to their home a second time. What time must it have been? This was after Shauna tried to seduce Bill and Batie's reunion. Do the Forresters always entertain at three in the morning?
BEGGARS CAN'T BE CHOOSERS
In these wee, small hours, Wyatt stopped by Forrester to find Sally working away. Again, it was the middle of the night at this point; is Sally sleeping in the office? She probably wished she was sleeping under a bridge after Wyatt dropped the bomb that he had decided to see Flo. And Sally understood! In fact, Sally once again apologized all over the place for how she had betrayed Wyatt!
"I didn't mean to make you feel bad when I'm the one who screwed up," Sally deferred. Gah! Last column, reader "GoingGaGa" took me to task for "[nitpicking] everything Wyatt does," adding, "However last week you said that Sally should have fought for her man...but this week Wyatt is wrong for telling Flo that Sally was clearly not that willing. So what did he say that was so wrong? Make up your mind!"
What I'd gasped at was Wyatt guessing Sally didn't want to be true to him, which was the height of hypocrisy, since Wyatt decided not to be true to Sally -- the guy kissed Flo before arguing with Sally and moved on to Flo the second Sally moved out, despite Wally not being officially broken up. Subservient Sally doesn't work, and I bet she'd kick Wyatt's ass if she knew Wyatt stepped out on her before their trouble started.
I love it when I get some hangtime with the Spencer brothers, especially since they stopped scrapping over women three years ago. But their convo took a baffling turn after Wyatt spilled to Liam about going with the Flo. In the interest of keeping Liam honest, Wyatt started shipping Steam! Maybe it made sense for Liam to go back to Steffy and "the girls," after all! What the serious hell?
Wyatt essentially broke up with Sally because she knew about Thomas trying to break up Liam and Hope, and now Wyatt himself is advocating the same breakup? Here we thought Liam was the waffler! Ridge, of course, is the Original Waffler, a trait he seemed to hold to as he went from admonishing Thomas for psychoanalyzing Hope ("did you learn that from your mother?") to coming around to Thomas' way of thinking.
What on earth did I just witness? Ridge literally said he'd learned some things over the years, specifically that people don't want advice on their relationships. He had just again reminded his son that Hope was married. And, out of absolute nowhere, Ridge suddenly wondered if Thomas might be right about moving the chess pieces of their lives around so Liam could be with Steffy, and Thomas could bag Hope.
This flip-flop gibes with Wyatt being a d**k these days, but Ridge, I don't understand. Granted, he'd always been the first to put Steam over Lope in any situation, but since Hope's "stillbirth," Ridge has been devoutly on Hope's side. Okay, so now he says this switcheroo could end Hope's suffering. But Ridge's changeover was too abrupt, and it makes it look that much more like Thomas has everyone under mind control.
Remember in 2015 when Thomas punched Ridge after butting heads over Thomas' womanizing? At the risk of encouraging child abuse, Ridge may well want to punch Thomas when he finds out Thomas actually sat down and forged a letter from Ridge's deceased ex-wife just to mess with Hope's head. That's right, Thomas practiced Caroline's handwriting, then made the Spencer heiress say what he wanted to say.
Never mind how fast Thomas was able to write in Caroline's hand. Like Liam said about Thomas using Douglas to win Hope, "what kind of guy does something like that?" It's official: the character of Thomas is ruined. Unless Thomas is suffering his own mental breakdown, like Taylor before him, there's no way the Thomas we know would write in the words of a dead woman to snag a live one.
Any of you guys notice the parallel here, though? The original Caroline wrote Ridge a profession-of-love letter that Brooke hid and Stephanie knew about, and here, Ridge's son fakes a letter from Caroline's namesake. Thomas set it up as if it arrived in a box of Caroline's personal items. Would Hope be there while he opened it? Hope should have smelled a rat. Who would want Thomas to have Caroline's personal items?
More than likely, Karen, being Caroline's mother, would have kept her daughter's stuff. Maybe Karen might have sent Uncle Bill some things. Ridge would even make more sense, since he was married to Caroline. But Thomas? Yes, he's the father of Caroline's child, but I call contrivance here. And then Thomas taped up the box so well, you'd think he'd worked in the Forrester mailroom once instead of Steffy.
Naturally, the first thing Thomas did was put "Caroline's" letter in Hope's hands...after which Hope reiterated, no less than five times in two episodes, some form of "I feel like the woman Caroline's describing is me." You see, Caroline "wrote" that if she died, she was sure "there's a woman" who would love Douglas the way she did, blah blah blah. Which would be a weird letter for someone to leave behind.
I mean, if you had someone specific in mind to take your place, wouldn't you name that person? And isn't that a letter you would give someone before you die, not just happen to leave behind with other personal items? Hope is really not thinking clearly at all. There are enough coincidences in Thomas' game that Hope should be able to count them. Instead, she took "Caroline's" words as gospel.
In a twist even Thomas couldn't have planned (or did he?), Douglas woke up from a nightmare, calling for his mommy. I feel bad for the kid; I honestly do. Hope did her best to comfort the boy, and you know, she's a really good mother. It's definitely in her DNA. Douglas wanted Hope to lie down next to him in his bed while he fell asleep. I'm surprised Thomas didn't try to hump her with his son right there.
Well, that was enough for Hope. Feeling "there are greater forces at work here," Hope went home and told Liam that she'd been right all along. Liam needed to be with Kelly and Phoebe, and Hope needed to be with Douglas. She was ending their marriage! "I've fallen in love with Douglas," Hope declared, and "I finally see a way past my grief." Ah, so Thomas and Hope are both using Douglas!
Liam made the excellent points that theirs was not "an either-or situation" with them having to choose between their marriage and the kids involved, nor was it "'I do' until someone needs us more." Liam has been the most steadfast he's ever been with any wife through all of this. But Liam, feeling there was no way to convince Hope otherwise, followed the immortal words of Sting: "Free, free, set them free."
The next day, Hope told Brooke about her plans, but La Logan was so not about it. "You can't keep doing this to Liam!" Brooke insisted. "Hasn't he proven over and over that he has no intention of leaving you?" Yes, Brooke, he has; it's amazing. Brooke opined that marriage was unconditional, which prompted Hope to respond, "How many of your marriages were?" Brooke all but said "Oh, snap" to that one.
Still, the oft-married Valley Girl had some surprisingly solid words of wisdom for her daughter. When Hope cried that she was in the way of everyone's happiness, Brooke gently replied, "I think the only thing in the way here is your fear of not being enough." So spot-on. Hope feels she failed Liam by losing Beth and that her sheer terror at the idea of trying for another baby makes her an inferior wife.
Brooke also called it when she pointed out that Hope's choice would mean "you'd be in a loveless relationship with Thomas...that wouldn't be good for Douglas!" Which gets to the crux of the whole thing. Hope martyring herself and her marriage on the altars of Kelly, Phoebe, and Douglas is not her best look. Hope may still be in emotional turmoil, but I don't recall her ever being this weak before.
Brooke wanted the arriving Ridge to have Thomas talk Hope out of ditching Liam, but Ridge was no longer sure that was wise. Hence the earlier flip-flop question. Ridge needed to get on Team Thope so Bridge could be in conflict about them. At least it wasn't a rift-causing conflict: Bridge discoursed very calmly about it all. It just still feels forced for Ridge to have done a one-eighty in the middle of scolding Thomas.
Steffy came home (rather unceremoniously, considering how much the show hyped her return) -- suddenly she was there, bouncing Phoebe while Liam bounced Kelly. And just as I wondered if Steffy would maintain the "I choose me" stance she'd adopted after Lope got married, Steffy stared longingly at the giant photo of her and Liam. Noooo, Steffy, stay strong! Don't waver!
I'm not saying it's wrong for Steffy to fantasize about Liam and want him back. It's just we've seen too much of Liam vacillating between Steffy and Hope; even Jacqueline MacInnes Wood thought Steffy's "I choose me" declaration was a novel soap choice. Thankfully, Steffy snapped out of her reverie. Liam could visit the babies whenever, but "where you choose to sleep at night is up to you."
DA-yum, gurl! You go on! Once Liam told her about Hope bailing on him, Steffy held her independent ground and offered to talk to Hope, noting that she and Liam had been able to talk Hope down before despite Hope taking off her wedding ring. Then, hearing that Thomas had played a hand in everything, Steffy snorted, "If I'd known that, I would have..."
Liam interrupted that thought, but Steffy went on, promising, "Yeah, I'll be talking to my brother." Ooh, baby! That I wanna see! Because while Steffy and Thomas have usually conspired together in the past -- in a plan to keep Liam and Hope apart in Mexico, most notably -- this new Steffy is decidedly pro-Lope and will more than likely rip Thomas a new one. And that's gonna be some must-see TV.
Liam must have read Steffy's mind, because he went to Forrester with similar intentions. He treated Thomas to a diatribe about how he was "using your grief-stricken" son to get Hope, but it was all Thomas could do not to gloat when Liam announced Thomas had won. Liam's eyes got misty, which is why he didn't see the feathers sticking out of Thomas' mouth from being the cat who ate the canary!
Dude, this is jacked! Thomas comes home, having caught Psycho Disease from Taylor (I'm surprised he didn't just shoot Liam in the back and get it over with) and gets everything he wants! Could sister Steffy be the one to stop him? As it was, Steffy did her best to persuade Hope to abandon her drastic course of action. "[Liam] can be with the girls as much as he wants and still be your husband."
We've all watched Hope and Steffy battle each other for Liam for the better part of the past eight years, which is why my heart actually tingles watching these girls as friends. It would also be too easy for the show to lapse into yet another Leffy/Lope triangle; though we do have a mild one on our hands, Heffy (Stope?) and their continuing friendship is refreshing, as is Steffy not jumping on the opportunity to make Liam hers again.
"Maybe that's why you're here," Steffy predicted, "I can talk some sense into you." Hope felt that leaving Liam would "give the kids a better chance than I had -- than you had," which was a nice nod to Hope's merry-go-round father figures and Steffy having a twice-dead mother and often absentee father. But all mention of marriages ceased when Steffy happily placed Phoebe into Hope's waiting arms.
Hope simply glowed, of course not knowing she was baby-talking to her own baby. Hope and Steffy talked about how trippy it was that Phoebe ended up being a Logan, thanks to Flo. You know there was a time having anything to do with a Logan would have set Steffy on a rampage! Today, she simply smiled that she and Hope had come a long way.
Hope couldn't believe it herself. "Stephanie Forrester raising a Logan," she marveled. I seem to recall the OG Stephanie had that honor herself once when she raised Rick and Bridget in Brooke's reactive psychosis absence, but I digress. Steffy and Hope's bond this week was a thing of beauty. "This loving, caring woman sitting across from me is, and always will be, your mother," Hope cooed to Phoebe, regarding Steffy.
Indeed! Eventually, Steffy will find out she's been raising Hope's daughter -- the current cover of Soap Opera Digest implies it will happen this summer. Will Hope and Steffy end up in a new rivalry and battle over who gets to keep Phoebeth? How come Hope didn't tell Liam, Brooke, or Steffy about "Caroline's" letter and how it influenced her decision to leave Liam? Has Thomas finally gone too far? And have Wyatt, Sally, and Ridge all undergone personality transplants? Write your thoughts -- even if it's in someone else's handwriting -- 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!
"I'm hoping Katie and Bill stay together this time but Brooke and Ridge are probably going to implode soon and Brooke has to have a man and she's running out of options. Thomas is psycho and Hope makes a sponge look intelligent." -- Sue
"OMFG I can't stand Hope. How can someone be so damn gullible. Somebody needs to slap the stupid right out of her and then maybe she will see the light!!!!" -- "None Ofurbusiness"
"Thomas has always been a bit creepy but he's come completely off the spool now. His behavior is outrageous but he seems to think it's absolutely normal, so either he's a sociopath, or he is suffering some serious mental impairment. Ridge should be noticing how obsessed Thomas is and it baffles me that Brooke, who usually tries to control Hope like a ventriloquist's dummy, isn't up in Thomas' grill about this and hiring a security detail to keep him away from Hope...I hope Brooke overhears the way Thomas talks to Hope and lets him have it with both barrels." -- "DaffySez"
I will finish up May next week, and Chanel will be with you again the week after that. Thanks, as always, for reading my rants! 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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