2019 was filled with dead ends, loose ends, and split ends as the baby-napping plot that dominated the year meandered from one subplot to another. With the confessions of the colluders, viewers hoped the show was headed toward new plots, but sadly, it wound right back up in the cul de sac on Hope Obsession Street.
The one-plot-dominated year overwhelmed us with tragedy at almost every turn, beginning with the orchestrated "stillbirth" of Beth. As the year progressed, Caroline died, Emma died, and Katie almost died. Some of us wished that Thomas actually had died, but he narrowly survived two life-threatening incidents instigated by Brooke and Hope.
The year was littered with engagements, but it was also a year of annulments and divorce. While Katie and Sally remain stuck in engagement limbo, Hope blazed through two husbands and ended up back where she started -- at the cabin with Liam. Thomas hasn't managed to break up Hope and Liam yet, but to my dismay, Thomas has destroyed Bridge -- for now.
Even with all of this, the worst part of the year had to be that viewers got robbed of the Thanksgiving episode. I'm concerned about whether the families will even gather around Eric's piano for Christmas carols this year. Come on, writers. Don't let us down. We all need a double dose of Eric's eggnog after the year we've had.
In the next two columns, Mike and I will get two scoops deep into the things we loved, the things we hated, or the things that made us infuriated this year. This week, we'll review the best, worst, and "Awkward!" moments of the year and try to figure out what became of some of this year's MIA characters on B&B.
Best plot of 2019: Douglas becomes a better man than his father
This year, Douglas proved that being a better man than his father is so easy that a five-year-old can do it. Even though Thomas claimed to marry Hope for Douglas' sake, Thomas really wanted Hope for himself. Thomas also claimed that he suppressed the truth out of love for Hope. On the contrary, Douglas loved Hope so much that he used the truth to set her free.
Douglas Forrester has faced adversities in his life that would make anyone want to cower under the covers in fear. He lost his mother at a very young age, which forced him to move across the country to live with strangers in a totally different environment than New York. He also had to make new friends and leave his grandmas behind to live with an apparently verbally, if not also physically, abusive father.
It is no wonder that Douglas and Hope, in their grief, took to each other like paper to glue. Unlike his father, telling Hope and Liam the truth was second nature to Douglas, whose late mother had taught him to be honest. Once Douglas knew that Beth was really alive, he revealed the information to Liam, despite Thomas' bullying threats.
In a twist of fate for the ages, the last person Thomas expected to betray him did so -- and for all the right reasons. Thomas should have been ashamed of himself for forcing his son to participate in a cover-up. Thomas should have been embarrassed that his son was able to put honesty above everything when Thomas could not. But he wasn't. Instead, Thomas bullied the child more for being honest and tried to make the child think that he'd lose Hope as a result of it.
Some viewers were convinced that the mother-child relationship was just a plot device. They figured that once Douglas served his usefulness, he'd be back-burnered, and Hope would forget all about him. It's been just the opposite. Because of Douglas' stunning courage to stand up to his father, Hope fought for the legal right to be his mother. Next, Hope needs to fight for his picture to replace his paternal grandma's in B&B's opening credits. Taylor's been MIA for months; I'm just saying.
Thank you, Douglas, for showing us that sometimes the apple falls miles from the tree! I pray that it keeps rolling the opposite way, so that Douglas never becomes a sex-crazed sociopath like his father.
Worst plot of 2019: Sex-crazed Thomas Forrester
Take it from the owner of two unspayed female Siberian Huskies. Thomas is like a dog in heat. My girls are in it right now, and all they think about is mating -- as does every male dog in sniffing vicinity of them. In fact, a tenacious male poodle hoses down our bushes and front door daily with golden showers. Each time I open the door, he's right there, waiting on my girls.
If Brooke thinks she has problems with Thomas, she ain't seen nothing until he starts lifting his leg over her flower pots and leaving poop on her stoop. Yes, that four-legged little sucker returned and crapped right on my welcome mat after I chased him off my porch -- not the best way to impress the doggy-mommy of girls you wish to smash. Thomas isn't impressing Hope's mom, either. Nor is his obsession storyline impressing fans of sane romantic rivals in love triangles.
I love a good woman/man-stealing psychopath, but Thomas' sexual obsession with Hope is demented. In the era of #metoo, Thomas objectifying Hope is out of touch with socially acceptable norms. For example, drugging Liam for sex with Steffy was something out of the Bill Cosby trial. Like with Harvey Weinstein, Thomas' obsession spilled into the workplace. Leaders at Forrester act as if it isn't a huge sexual harassment suit in search of a payout.
Unless the plot culminates in Thomas getting everything that's coming to him for being an obsessed sexual predator, B&B is once again sending young women the wrong messages about love, romance, and sex -- just like they did when they wrote that troubling story about Thomas taking advantage of an incapacitated Caroline. If they keep giving Thomas twisted stories like these, he will be impossible to redeem, which is another reason Thomas' obsession with Hope gets the worst plot of the year.
Thomas Forrester is a legacy character, and viewers want legacy characters to be written with dignity and respect. These characters are fallible but fixable. They're edgy, but not abusive. After all Thomas has done in the name of sex with Hope, I do not know how the writers can possibly get him back on the right track.
Thomas lied about Beth and threatened a whole group of people for months to keep them silent for his sexual gain. He wrote fake letters and made fake drawings. He scared the living ghostbusters out of his son and had the nerve to get mad when Hope spent the night in Douglas' bed, soothing his fears, instead of in Thomas' bed. Thomas pimped his own sister out for sex. Even as I write this column, Thomas is sketching pornography of himself and Hope.
Thomas' behavior is everything Brooke says it is and more. Thomas' pursuit of Hope, as I said in my last column, drags on worse than the Roadrunner and perverted Coyote show. Tortured viewers desperately want Thomas to get better and be redeemed or to get busted and get some real help. Anything to make him wake up and stop leering at Hope's breasts and lips all day. I swear he must be having orgasms whenever she speaks. The writers need to stop.
Matt Atkinson is a talented asset to The Bold and the Beautiful. He breathes life into this new sociopathic Thomas, but the writers continue to paint Thomas into a cushiony corner at Bellview instead of making him redeemable enough to be a viable character. I am worried that we'll lose Atkinson's talent to another plot-directed exit from the show after the writers make Thomas way too psycho and sex-crazed to live among humans.
If nothing else, the writers can at least bring Thomas' sexual desperation down a few notches. Remember, Thomas is the son of the sexy playboy Ridge Forrester, not the demon spawn of Ted Bundy.
Best, worst, and "awkward!" moments of 2019
While the show has its best and worst plots of the year, sometimes, it's the unforgettable moments that resonate with viewers long after the year has passed. In this category, we'll look at the best, worst, and most awkward moments of the year. Plus, we'll determine the biggest waste of tears, the worst gift to give a mother in mourning, and the worst boyfriend of the year.
Best moment of the year: Liam realizes that Phoebe is Beth
Life can change irreversibly in just one moment. One pivotal moment in 2019 changed everything for every character on the show. It was the moment that realization hit Liam, and he strode with purpose into Steffy's nursery, headed straight for Phoebe. It was the moment that he looked upon the child and absolutely knew that she was his lost daughter Beth.
The moment changed things for viewers, too. It was a rare moment in which viewers were in unified happiness and relief -- even if the reasons for our emotions differed. Many of us cried with happiness for our beloved Lope. Some of us cried in relief that the truth was finally out. There were many others who rejoiced, hoping that the moment signified the end of the Hope Logan show and the beginning of new plots.
The moment brought with it plenty of fallout. Brooke lost Ridge. Flo lost Wyatt and her family. Zoe lost Xander and her job. Thomas lost Hope and his sister. Steffy lost the family she'd been building and a daughter. Shauna lost her friendship with Quinn. Reese Buckingham lost his freedom. It's unfortunate, though, that the moment didn't transpire before the completely innocent Emma Barber lost her life over the dreadful secret the colluders had been keeping.
Worst moment of the year: Emma Barber dies
Caroline Spencer's death was a sudden, wasteful, and meaningless sacrifice of a legacy character just to prop up the baby-napping storyline. Although it boils me to my gills that the writers carelessly tossed yet another Caroline Spencer into the trash, her death isn't deemed my worst moment of the year because it didn't happen on-screen. Instead, that title goes to the next death to transpire in the same year -- the untimely and superfluous death of Emma Barber.
Emma Barber was an innocent girl who had already had rough breaks in her short life, and she didn't deserve to lose her life due to the cowardice of those who'd contributed to her rough breaks. Zoe was the reason Emma lost her boyfriend -- after Zoe had stalked Emma, mind you. Zoe was the reason Emma's dance routine didn't get its due recognition because Zoe had upstaged Emma at the fashion show. Zoe's inability to be half the child Douglas was by telling the truth about her father is the reason Emma, who actually was as brave as Douglas, died.
Emma's death gets the worst moment of the year because Emma deserved better than to die in a ditch just because Thomas was so hot to get into Hope's pants that he ran Emma off the road to keep her from telling the truth. And he did run her off the road. Ridge believes it, too, or he would not have erased Thomas' GPS logs in his car.
Most Awkward moment of the year: "About last night..."
Thomas Forrester's trail of misdeeds is long and criminal, but blessed with the luck of the Hamiltons, he doesn't have to pay for any of them. In addition to vehicular homicide due to his aggressive and reckless driving, Thomas added drugging and sex trafficking to his list of crimes when Thomas drugged Liam with pills that Thomas knew full well would put Liam "in the mood" for love with the nearest consensual adult in the room.
A year prior, Steffy had sworn off Liam and seemed to be getting on with her life in earnest. She even left town for months to give Hope and Liam a chance to deal from the loss of Beth. Steffy was trying to be a true friend to Liam, even though her heart secretly flipped for joy when Hope forced Liam to live with her and make a life with her and her daughters.
Steffy tried to play it cool, but the family thing was really working for her at the cliff house. Who could blame her for succumbing to passion with Liam at the very first chance she got? The next morning, however, when Liam seemed to want to talk about anything but the previous night, it became painfully obvious that the sex wasn't a relaunch of Steam but merely an itch that got scratched only because Thomas drugged Liam.
Even though Taylor's kiss with Ridge this year was equally demeaning, the Liam and Steffy morning after moment ranks as the most awkward of the year. That's because it was the first time I'd ever seen sex between individuals with enough chemistry to combust into a supercouple just fizzle down to, "Well, that happened. Want some aspirin?"
Liam and Steffy never talked about what the act meant for their family dynamics or their friendship. As Steffy decided to remain cool and see where it would lead, Liam went right back to obsessing over Hope and walked right out the door with Hope and Beth when the time came.
If Steffy thinks it was bad that Thomas let her live on borrowed time with Phoebe for his own benefit, imagine how she'd feel to know that he also toyed with her emotions where Liam was concerned. Just like no one will know Thomas drew some of Douglas' artwork, forged Caroline's letter about Douglas, and flashed a fake ghost on Douglas' wall, Steffy and Liam will never know that Thomas initiated the sex by drugging Liam.
Biggest waste of tears in 2019: Katie's kidney
There were a lot of tears shed in 2019, and for good reason. Hope anguished in Emmy-worthy scenes about Beth's death. Steffy collapsed into her father's arms when Beth was taken from her in scenes just as deserving of accolades. Viewers cried with Hope and Steffy. At least, I know I did. What I didn't cry over for one second was the fear of Katie dying.
I'm not trying to be heartless where Katie is concerned, and we all know I can be when I want to. However -- Katie is frequently on death's door for one reason or another, so the soap gods will have to forgive me if I had tumbleweeds in my eyes instead of tears when Katie's kidneys rang death's doorbell this fall. Everybody knew full well that, while Katie was drowning everyone in the hospital room in tears, she'd get her coveted kidney before she flatlined.
How many times does Bill have to sit at Katie's bedside and worry about what he'll do without Katie? If he hasn't gotten a plan together by now, he must really not be a good businessman. How many times do we have to hear Katie sobbing about missing Will's life?
To top it off, the scare didn't mean too much if it didn't inspire Katie and Bill to get married. All that money Will spent to reunite Katie and Bill didn't make them get married, either. The only points the kidney scare served were to redeem Flo and to jumpstart Shauna's obsession with Ridge. Writers, did you really have to create a Franken-Katie to achieve those goals?
Worst gift for a mother in mourning: a new puppy!
Sally Spectra might have fashion sense, but she has no common sense. She almost might have lost half of her behind when Hope chewed it off and handed it to her for trying to give Hope a puppy when she'd just had a stillbirth. A puppy, Sally? For Hope Logan?
Does Sally even know that Hope couldn't even take care of a cat for more than a few days before abandoning it? Back when Sally tried to give Hope the puppy, I questioned whether we knew Hope could take care of a baby after the way she'd shuffled Bu the Cat off on Liam days after he'd given it to her. And wouldn't you know it? Every time we see Beth nowadays, Liam's watching her while Hope is off somewhere else.
So, I hope Sally learned yet another valuable lesson this year on top of the plethora of others. If she forgot any, I have them all right here. Lesson one: Do not change your mind when your man buys you a design house from his daddy. Lesson two: Do not keep your ex's secrets. Lesson three: Do not call your fiancé by his brother's name. Lesson four: Do not give puppies to irresponsible pet owners and parents!
Worst boyfriend of the year: the secret keeper hates secrets
Sally might get the award for worst gift to a mother in mourning, but Wyatt scores platinum for being the worst boyfriend and fiancé of 2019. In the previous year's column, I reserved judgment on Sally and Wyatt's relationship because I'd been fooled by Katie and Wyatt's. It's a good thing I did because Wyatt and Sally fell apart even quicker.
Of course, Wyatt and Sally are back together again already. No one can tell how long that will last, as long as Wyatt insists that he can't be second to Liam again -- even though Liam was never Sally's lover. Maybe the real problem is Wyatt, who keeps going after other Spencers' ex-girlfriends and ex-wives. Or maybe the real problem is that Wyatt is a hypocritical jerk projecting disloyalty onto Sally because he is guilty of being disloyal to her.
Wyatt and Sally were a tight couple until Sally was lured back to Forrester to work on her athletic line. Giving Hope that puppy didn't help matters much, either, but the final straw was when Quinn shared her suspicions with Wyatt that Sally was up to something with Thomas. Sally confessed to keeping Thomas' secret about his plan to break up Hope and Liam, and Wyatt lost his mind over the fact that Sally could be disloyal when it came to his family.
What Wyatt never told Sally was that he'd been disloyal to her. He'd been seeing his ex behind Sally's back, helping Flo find her family, and kissing Flo. After guilting Sally out of their relationship, he dove head-first into one with Flo and even moved her into his house -- until he learned that Flo had not only kept secrets and hurt his family, but her acts had been criminal.
Nobody's perfect, Wyatt, and Sally is still better than Flo even if Sally did call you by Liam's name. Flo might never have dated Liam, but she stole his baby. Wyatt is the worst ex of the year for bouncing right back into bed with Sally and asking her to marry him just to prove he doesn't still want to be with the lying criminal Flo -- which is a lie. He does want to be with the lying criminal, and he is a complete turd for trying to once again put the breakup on Sally instead of on himself where it belongs.
Missing in Action in 2019
Every year, the Bold and the Beautiful cruises through storylines and loses characters along the way. Some characters get written out, but some characters are here one day and gone the next. Here are some missing person's cases I'd like to file with Detective Sanchez for 2019.
Maya Avant -- Last scene: At Forrester, delivering news of Hope and Liam's breakup
Maya was hardly seen in 2019, and barely any excuse was given for where she could be. When the year first started, she and Lizzy were supposedly living at Brooke's house, but we didn't see her. In May, Hope decided to end her marriage to Liam, and Maya happened to be on hand to deliver that news, which she'd heard from Brooke, to Xander and Zoe.
The last thing Maya told Xander and Zoe was that if Maya lost Lizzy, Maya would retreat to her room and never come out. I suspect someone needs to put out an Amber Alert for Lizzy and check Maya's room for her remains.
Xander Avant -- Last scene: Getting lambasted at Forrester for the baby-napping secret
Xander Avant walked out on Zoe -- or shall I say flew out -- due to her refusal to speak up about what her father and Flo had done with Beth. And to think, it had only taken Emma's death to make him take a stand. Xander went back to the UK, and we'd thought that would be the last we'd see of him. To our surprise, he flew back to the States upon hearing that the truth about Beth had come out.
Xander stood with Zoe as Ridge and Brooke grilled them about the baby-napping and the cover-up that ensued after it. Ridge expelled Xander and Zoe from the company. Afterward, we heard about Xander's activities from Detective Sanchez, who notified Ridge that Xander had linked Thomas to Emma's death.
We haven't seen Xander since that day at Forrester, but in October, a couple of months later, Thomas encountered Zoe at Vinny's apartment building. She informed Thomas that Xander had broken up with her, but it is not clear whether Xander returned to Europe. Maybe he is with Maya and the Avant family -- wherever they are.
Taylor Forrester -- Last scene: In Brooke's kitchen with seeds of Hope and Thomas in her head
Taylor, perfect mother that she is, would do anything for her daughter, from shooting Bill to buying Steffy a baby. Maybe if Taylor had been that devoted to Thomas, Emma would be alive, and none of us would be in Hope obsession hell right now with Thomas. Taylor is supposedly phone or video-counseling Thomas from overseas, but maybe the reason she isn't making any progress with him is that his Hope obsession was her idea!
When we last saw Taylor, she had gotten it in her head that Douglas was in need of a mother, Hope was in need of a child, and Steffy was in need of a man. Taylor urged Ridge to convince Liam to reunite with Steffy, so that Thomas and Douglas could have Hope. Ridge dismissed it as crazy talk. I suspect that at some point off-screen, Taylor conveyed this message to Thomas, who then made it his life's mission to bed Hope.
Taylor left for Europe with Steffy. Steffy must have dumped Taylor off in a mental institution out there because we never saw Taylor again. It is very odd because Taylor had just started up her practice again in Los Angeles. She claimed to be family-focused, which makes it unbelievable that she wouldn't return to town to help her children and grandchildren through their dire times.
Taylor was the one who bought Phoebe, and viewers resented the fact that Taylor wasn't there when the truth finally got out that Phoebe was really Beth. Thomas and Steffy blame Ridge all the time for not being there for them, but in truth, it's Taylor who is really never there for her kids.
Hopefully, Taylor will turn back up because her kids need their mother, and I need some Brooke/Taylor smackdown action!
Flo Fulton -- Last scene: Recovering on the sofa at her apartment This is one missing person's report I'd personally never file, but since Flo disappeared right in the middle of her redemption and landed in the Bermuda Triangle instead of a Sally/Wyatt/Flo triangle, I guess I should slap her picture on an eggnog carton this holiday season.
Contrary to Flo's prognosis, Flo's speedy recovery from a kidney donation turned into a months-long process when actress Katrina Bowden took time off to film a shark movie this fall. Even though it left the battle for Wyatt hanging in the balance, some viewers were grateful to get a break from going with the "Flo" for a while. She'll be back before we know it, giving our eyes all the eye-rolling cardio they can handle.
If you know of other characters who just dropped off the face of Los Angeles in 2019 without so much as a forwarding address, let us know in the comments section.
That concludes part one of our year-end review. Please look for Mike's picks next week. It's been an amazing year, as usual. Until we scoop again, thank you for getting two scoops deep with us in 2019. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you. You make every week oh, so bold and beautiful, baby!
What are your thoughts on The Bold and the Beautiful? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.