Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you have to switch to blue underwear to make sure everything matched? Did you try trading your onesie for a baby ther-MOM-eter? Did you firmly decide father doesn't know best? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Buckingham-Fulton clan this week!
Oh, baby, Scoopers! For any of y'all tired of B&B's adults keeping Beth's existence secret, the show's minors are truthing it major! First Phoebeth stopped Hope's wedding to Thomas with news (in Babyspeak) that the real poop wasn't in her diaper. Then Douglas gave up the ghost and dropped some 4-1-1 on "Mommy" Hope and Inspector Liam, who is on the case! No kid-ding -- let's Scoop about it!
Carter Walton, who was lookin' real good and never gets a storyline (or a woman) of his own, has performed enough weddings that he should know when "she's just not that into you." If Hope were any more obvious about her revulsion toward Thomas, she'd have worn Melania's "I don't really care, do U" jacket down the aisle. Yet Hope's visible doom about her groom only registered with Brooke and Liam.
Thomas already got antsy and impatient in front of his guests before Hope joined the ceremony. Why isn't it dawning on anyone -- say, Eric, whom I would have paid to see jumping around in the unseen bouncy house -- that Thope's nuptials were a shotgun wedding without the shotgun? Ridge's unusual devotion to Thomas' every word really stood out. But, then, ya know, brain damage from helicopter plunges and all that.
As if Hope essentially making her vows to Douglas (the latest child to be inflicted with that nasty bowl cut; as if the kid hasn't been through enough! #BowlCutSurvivorsUnite!) wasn't weird enough, Phoebeth suddenly crawled to Hope, yanked on her dress, and squealed, "Mama! Mama!" Steffy was amazed because "her" baby had never uttered that word before.
I was amazed because the implication was that this seven-month-old infant, whose favorite activities are sleeping and filling up her Pampers, somehow knows that Hope is her mother, not Steffy. Later in the week, Flo attributed it to nature, which was "bigger than us." No argument there, but even Mother Nature herself can't make a baby know the difference between a biological and adoptive parent.
Now, if she were a toddler, maybe. In the early '90s, Y&R's Scotty yelled out "Mama!" when he saw Sheila, but then, he had been raised by Sheila for a year and hadn't quite adjusted to the idea that Lauren was actually his mother. Anyway, Hope looked like she needed her own spit-up towel as she tied the knot with Thomas, who is either so demented or so delusional that he can't see how much he grosses Hope out.
After that, the reception was on, and just as I was telling myself this wasn't Thomas' first shotgun wedding, Steffy piped up with, "You're finally married! And it's not just to keep a girl in the country this time!" YESSSSSS! Newer viewers may not know that Thomas wed Gabriela Moreno in 2005 to keep her from being deported; the show didn't have to address that long-forgotten tidbit, but it's killer they did.
Did I say "killer"? Thomas was upset enough that headachy Hope went upstairs to lie down during her wedding reception, but that was calm next to his reaction to a drunk Flo showing up at the Logan manse. Initially blocked by Pam, who got one line shoving a tray at Flo (Pam needs her own story, too, please!), the former croupier/bartender dropped hints at the Logan sisters like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs.
With Liam upstairs checking on Hope, and everyone else conveniently outside checking out the off-screen petting zoo, Thomas yanked on Flo and told her to STFU. But, filled with liquid courage, Flo got in his face and scoffed at Thomas' insistence that Hope was "his." "Hope never would have married you if she knew the truth!" Flo slurred. Thomas' reply was that Flo would keep the secret until the day she died!
And that would have been the end of it...except, for once, somebody overheard the Secret of Phoebeth™ that wouldn't be likely to simply keep the dish to himself. That somebody was Liam! Yeahhhhh, booooyyyyyy! Finally getting his chance to look for the proof against Thomas he'd previous suggested to Hope he'd find, Liam put his Sherlock Holmes hat on and speed-dialed Watson. I mean Wyatt!
At Liam's request, Wyatt stopped in to the Bikini Bar to grab a brewski with his bro. But Wyatt's beer went flat the second Liam popped off with, "So, apparently Thomas and your girlfriend have a secret, and it has something to do with Hope!" Ooh, bad. Wyatt hated Thomas! I only wish Wyatt would have said why -- because Thomas had tried to steal Ivy from Wyatt -- but I love when the Spencer bros bond.
Upon finding out that Thomas had been threatening Flo, Wyatt agreed to get intel on his childhood sweetheart. "Flo knows I hate secrets," the diamond relocator grumbled, "even though I kissed her behind Sally's back and never told Sally." (Okay, Wyatt didn't say that last part.) Wyatt didn't know that, back home, Shauna suddenly paid her daughter a visit! Huh? Didn't she make a big show of moving back to Vegas?
Shauna conveniently paying a visit to L.A. was good timing for Flo, who showed her mom a menacing text she had gotten from Thomas. Dude, can you say "sloppy," or what? Why would Thomas be so stupid as to leave a "paper trail" in regard to his threats? If Flo could flash her phone at Shauna, she could do so with Hope, Liam, the police... But then, a character who was never really a criminal wouldn't be good at it.
Well, if we needed any indication one way or the other, it turns out Shauna is an absolutely horrible mother. "You need to do everything he tells you," Shauna demanded of her obviously tormented daughter. Did Shauna end up with an abuser after Bill and Storm? I personally don't care if I ever see Shauna again. She's at best a two-dimensional character, and with the integrity of a Vegas slot machine.
Wyatt (thankfully) missed Mrs. Fulton's visit but came home to find a flustered Flo flailing. I've previously mentioned Brooke and Hope falling into a repeated conversation loop; here, it was Wyatt and Flo, with him assuring her she could tell him anything and her talking and talking and talking but not really saying anything. She should go back to Vegas. No, she wouldn't go back to Vegas. Borrrrrrring.
And around in circles Flo went, crying through a bunch of double-talk until she started listing things she still wanted to do that she hadn't done before. Get married, have a baby... Oops! Flo tried to tap dance around it, framing it like Phoebe didn't count, but to Wyatt, it was on like Donkey Kong. Reporting in to Liam, Wyatt confirmed something was off with Flo, and it seemed like it had to do with Kelly's sister!
Thomas thought he was in the clear. Knowing Hope wouldn't put out until she was married, he was ready to put the honey in "honeymoon" until Hope announced the "something blue" in their wedding would be his balls! Citing Douglas' ghostly encounter from before, Hope thought it might be nice to spend her wedding night in his room instead of Thomas' bed!
Then Hope made the mistake of stepping out, which gave Thomas a chance to again coach Douglas on what to say to Hope. This time, "Douglas" insisted he was okay and that mommy should be with daddy! Daddy's understanding of his bride's reluctance went something like this: "I know it may take some time for you...but Douglas is so happy...so let me boff you!"
Well, he might as well have finished with that, because Thomas immediately proceeded to behave like he was a bull and Hope was a salt lick! Seriously, can't he tell that every time he's within three miles of Hope, she wants to hurl like Stan when he gets around Wendy on South Park? Hope tried to let Thomas get to first base, but after the first play, she called the game on account of "Hell, naw."
"I can't. Not tonight," Hope admitted, as she grudgingly kissed Thomas on the cheek and got the hell out of his Ridge-inspired, rose petal-covered boudoir. Kthxbye! "I'm surrounded by idiots," Thomas scowled, putting out a helpless candle with his fingers. Then he told himself to chill. "Hope loves me," he reasoned. He shoulda stuck to wondering "what kind of girl gets married and doesn't sleep with her husband"!
While Thomas probably worked off his frustration on a blow-up doll custom-made to look like Hope (would you put it past him at this point?), Brooke came downstairs and correctly deduced why her newlywed daughter was camping out on the couch. (Couldn't Hope just go back to her cabin?) "You don't have to stay in a loveless marriage!" Brooke implored.
Too bad Brooke didn't mention her own loveless unions with Grant Chambers and Whip Jones; those were before Hope was born, so okay. Still, when Brooke suggested Hope try for another baby with Liam (!), and Hope replied she wouldn't survive losing a third child, Brooke should have said, "Why not? I did." You'd think Brooke would cite her own miscarriages, the last as recent as six years ago, to comfort her daughter.
Hot off of getting the clue from Wyatt that Flo's freak-out had something to do with Phoebe, by-the-book Liam tore through Steffy's private stuff until he found an unlocked lockbox that contained Phoebe's birth certificate! Liam stared at it suspiciously, and I don't blame him. After all, Flo's date of birth was listed as "364528"! I was like, "come on, Liam, call the damn hospital on the form!"
And he actually did! But first, Liam challenged an unusually willing Steffy to a game of Twenty Questions: Phoebe Edition. Liam wanted to know how Flo ended up in Los Angeles if she birthed Phoebe in Las Vegas then asked Steffy what relationship her brother had to the bio-mom. Steffy wasn't sure, but she did confirm that Taylor "knew someone who had helped Flo handle the adoption."
Though Steffy shrugged that, being a doctor, her mom knew lots of doctors, Liam couldn't believe Steffy was all right with Taylor vouching for "whoever" and that the adoption fee wasn't listed on any document. Liam learned from Steffy that Phoebe's original pre-adoption birth certificate wasn't public information, so he took my advice and called that hospital, only to be hit with a few metric tons of red tape.
Having been put on hilarious and all-too-real "your call is important to us" hold, complete with cloying music, the furthest Liam got with the Vegas hospital is that the pencil-pusher he spoke to agreed to pass his contact info to the doctor listed on Phoebe's paperwork. Liam wanted to find out if Flo had been a patient there. Ish is getting real now, Scoopers! Liam is like a bloodhound with these things.
While Liam delved into Phoebe's parentage, Douglas was probably ready to change his before the afternoon was done. First, Thomas, again admiring his admirable physique in the mirror, followed up no less than three I'll-get-you-my-pretty-and-your-little-dog-too texts to Flo with a similarly themed phone call! Flo hung up on his ass, which chapped it real good.
Promising Flo would regret it if she cut him off again, Thomas mocked Flo's use of Phoebe's real name and did his best serial killer as he warned Flo to never say baby Beth was alive. Little did Thomas know, Douglas was listening in the doorway! Now we're getting somewhere! But instead of just getting ready for his sleepover at Aunt Steffy's, Dougie followed in the footsteps of Emma and Xander.
He's a kid, so I have to cut him some slack, but just once, I wish someone would play dumb after overhearing the truth and go straight to Hope. As I guess is natural, Douglas asked his daddy why he'd said Phoebe was Beth, and he saw a side to Thomas no child should see! Thomas grabbed his son's arm so hard, Douglas yelped, "Ow! You're mean!" Then Thomas commanded the child to keep mum about what he thought he'd heard.
Speaking of mum, Douglas pouted that Thomas never talked about Caroline anymore, to which Thomas cruelly retorted, "She's dead. Hope is your mommy now." But when Douglas took a stand against Thomas' Darth Vaderesque, "I am your father, you will obey" directive, Thomas went several steps further, threatening to move back to New York with Hope and leave Douglas behind on his own!
It better damn well come out after all this that Ridge is Douglas' pop, after all (remember, they never did a DNA test). Playing these kinds of abandonment mind games on kids is downright psychological torture, as far as I'm concerned. Thomas came back and apologized for coming down so hard...only to come down just as hard a second time! What a bastard. Thomas Forrester, you are dead to me.
Left alone, Douglas emulated his dad and stared at himself in the mirror. But the boy stopped at emulating any rippling muscles. "Beth is alive," he told his reflection over and over, as if to affirm it to himself, even though his father wouldn't. Not only is little Douglas proving to be smarter and more principled than most of his adult counterparts, Henry Joseph Samiri is a very natural child actor who's a joy to watch.
Flo, the only Forrester employee who was actually working, received a visit from Ridge, who quipped upon finding his old office locked that he used to bar that door when he was up to no good! Love little pieces of continuity like that! But Ridge, who not long ago took Thomas to task for macking on models, could tell Flo didn't like Thomas and copped an attitude about Flo giving Thomas a chance.
I keep saying it, but Ridge, W the actual F? He's really sold on keeping himself in the dark about Thomas' obvious personality transplant. Plus, Ridge merely nodded when Flo commented that Hope had known Thomas most of her life. How can Ridge be okay with his son marrying his stepdaughter? Holy Jerry Springer, Batman! Ridge could barely see his way out of the office, his head was shoved so far up his bum.
Then Hope traipsed in, ready to tackle her workday before Thomas whisked her off on a "staycation." Hope should know that going for those corny combined "words" like "babymoon" doesn't fare well for her. Flo saw that Hope would rather pick lice out of her hair than go anywhere with Thomas, and warned her cuz to be careful. "He's not going to hurt me, if that's what you're implying," Hope said breezily. Uh-oh.
Finally, because so many things come in threes, Zoe popped in on Flo, returning the favor from earlier when Flo popped in on Zoe. In the previous meeting, Flo got blitzed and swore to Zoe she would enlighten Hope. Why does Flo always go to Zoe for permission first? Like Nike, just do it! This time, Zoe was more interested in hunting down Flo than she was in hunting down her beloved ex, Xander.
I still can't believe Xander was ready to blow the whole Phoebeth thing wide open, only to turn tail and run back to England. Worse, he didn't get an exit scene with a single Avant. As for Zoe, she's kind of useless now, though I have to agree that Thomas telling Flo she'd keep the secret "until the day you die" isn't necessarily a death threat. I mean, it's not a Hallmark card, either, but work with me.
Over at the Malibu cliff house, Steffy folded laundry for the nine millionth time (doesn't Forrester's co-CEO ever work anymore?) while Liam unnecessarily rehashed the story of Phoebe's adoption, something Steam already knows. (It's called "exposition".) The only thing that made the revisit worth it was Steffy's plaintive "If only Beth had lived."
For all the Phoebeth saga's meandering and repetitiveness, the shining light in all of it is the friendship Steffy and Hope have developed during it. After all, it would have been very easy for the show to simply cast them as rivals again, playing keep-away with Liam. I wonder how much of that camaraderie will remain intact once Hope and Steffy end up becoming rivals over Beth?
Hope wanted some face time with Phoebe before Thomas came over with Douglas, which was smart, since Thomas yanked Phoebe out of Hope's arms pretty much the second he arrived. This was in keeping with Thomas steamrolling Hope into the "staycation" she clearly didn't want to go on. Notice how Thomas' behavior toward Hope is getting more aggressive? I don't think that's going to bode well for Ms. HFTF.
After privately pretending to play nice with Liam just so he could boast how he was about to shag Hope, Thomas got a shock when Douglas boldly (and beautifully) asked his aunt if Phoebe's name was always Phoebe. Steffy stopped short of saying she'd named her adopted babe after her dead sister, maybe feeling that info was too much for Douglas' young ears.
Thomas tried to get Phoebe out of the room by telling Steffy the infant looked tired, but it backfired on the newbie psychopath (haha!) when Steffy asked for Thomas' help in putting Phoebe down. Douglas played on his own while Hope and Liam got into another argument about Thomas, speaking of tired. Like Michael Jackson, Hope had done it all for the children, and she didn't matter, because Beth was dead!
"No, she isn't," came Douglas' voice behind her. Now, I really could have done without the cheesy angelic/cherubic underscore than ensued; it was too precious and too on-the-nose. But the scene still worked. "Baby Beth isn't gone," Douglas insisted. "She's alive. Baby Beth is alive!" Woo-hoo! Hey, at least he didn't say "Babybel", while we're on the subject of cheese. The truth is out, thanks to lovable, defiant Douglas!
I love that Douglas went against his father's orders -- did you see the stink-eye the boy gave Thomas at one point? I do wish the twist had been less predictable, though. Like, let us see Douglas overhearing the secret, then skip a couple of weeks, allowing us to nearly forget about it. Douglas suddenly popping off to Lope would have been so much more impactful that way.
Nevertheless, there's not much margin for error in Douglas' announcement, and with the Spencer Boys channeling the Hardy Boys, I would guess there will be confirmation of Beth's survival before I deliver my next column in two weeks! How y'all feelin' about it? Are you glad it was Douglas who spilled the beans? Do you think Phoebeth could really know instinctually that Hope is her mother? Let your inner child lead you in the Comments section below or the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like these!
"Neither Thomas nor Hope are fit to raise Douglas. The best thing for this little boy is for his grandmothers to come back to L.A., get custody, and take him back to New York with them. Karen and Dani are a stable couple and Douglas knows them. Caroline went back to New York with her son because her moms are there, and she and Douglas needed them. Douglas still does need them. And I think it is what Caroline would have wanted." -- Christine
"I do like the writers are allowing Brooke to BE a mother with sound advice after all her years of being empty/fickle/shallow/ misguided, etc. I do NOT like that Ridge is CURRENTLY empty/fickle/shallow/ misguided, etc., over his son's obviously obsessive nature. It's irresponsible to 'support' their marriage when Hope is in desperate need of therapy...she needs to sit down on a routine basis and sort through her grief with a professional and gain a better perspective than 'my natural mother days are over for the rest of my life.'" -- VP Cole
You know what I'd really love to see? Obviously this is all going to have to go back to Reese at some point. It would be awesome if Liam, Wyatt, Brooke, Ridge, and even Xander all met up in England and ended up chasing Reese through the streets of London, with Zoe trying to stop them. And Taylor trying to talk Reese down. A beautiful, sumptuous, British remote. It won't happen (I know -- budget), but that's how a story like this would have wrapped up in the old days.
The Saga of Phoebethtm is finally reaching a fever pitch, so 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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