Guess who's coming to dinner
by Mike
For the Week of November 16, 2020
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Carter invited friends and a prospective bride-to-be over for hangtime, but Thomas' dinner guest had murder on the menu! Get dolled up with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you do your best imitation of an ostrich? Did you go to dinner and find the sparkles weren't just on the ice cream? Did you meet your twin? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Walton-Buckingham clan this week!

Back again, Scoopers! I don't know about you, but if I found out the guy who was obsessed with me had a mannequin at his crib that looked just like me, I would be totally freaking out. Not Hope, who seemed to revert to denial about Thomas. And Carter took back his offer of a key to Zoe and replaced it with a ring! No grass growin' under your feet, eh, Carter? Let's Scoop about it!



DON'T BE ALARMED

First off, I have to say, though she came out of nowhere, I like Zoe's sister, Paris. She's kind of a breath of fresh air for this show. She's not wealthy or famous, and she seems really down to earth. Of course, the Logans were like that at first, before they all became part of rich families. For as sweet as Paris is, she could well be pulling guns on people in three months. We don't know much about her, and this is B&B, after all.

Anyway, Paris was reiterating to Zoe how she has put her foot in her mouth, gushing about how sexy Zende was while he was in earshot, when Carter walked in. The Buckingham sisters assured the COO they weren't necessarily talking about him. Carter thought Zende might be good for Paris, but Paris tattled about how Zoe had said Paris should put on the brakes when it came to Zende because of Nicole.

This is not bad advice per se. As Zoe pointed out, we don't even know if Zende and Nicole are actually divorced or anything about their breakup, because the scripts are not providing those details. And I don't know why, unless it's going to factor into this developing quadrangle later. Carter didn't seem concerned. He'd planned a special dinner with Zoe and wanted both Paris and Zende to attend.

After Carter kept the home fires burning, chatting up the Buckingham sibs about their childhoods, Zende arrived with flowers for Paris -- birds of paradise, her exact favorite. He winked that he "had his ways" of finding out info like that. He can suss out Paris' choice of blooms but not tell why he and Nicole split? Zoe kept looking unhappy that Zende was paying any attention to Paris at all.

Carter/Zoe/Zende is a really lame triangle so far. Zoe's clear choice is Carter, at least until relative stranger Zende walks into the room. Zoe and Zende barely know anything about each other except that their first names start with the same letter. What is Zoe doing, hedging her bets? The trio, plus Paris, all seemed to enjoy dinner and some games like any other double date.

Then Zende decided to show Paris the view of L.A. from the rooftop. Carter took the opportunity to again mention that Zoe hadn't changed her mind about moving in yet. Zoe remarked that she had already spent several nights there. But instead of further making a case for calling U-Haul, Carter suddenly skipped past the whole thing and proposed marriage!

Yeah, yeah, life is too short and all that, Carter, but talk about the horse taking off without the cart! I wish we could actually see a B&B couple date for a while without rushing into weddings. Maybe Carter senses Zoe's attraction to Zende and just wants to mark his territory clearly? Before Zoe could answer, some smoke alarm went off and interrupted, which is admittedly one of the more original sandbags I've seen on a soap.

Carter and Paris went to see what was up (the alarm wasn't in Carter's individual unit?), leaving Zende to spot the bling Carter had left on the table. Zende and Zoe bantered over whether the alarm cutting into the proposal was a sign and whether Zoe had another guy in mind. Zoe wanted Zende to tell her what to do next. Meanwhile, that alarm went on way too long.

Then, Zoe said something that made me wonder. She spoke about how she had been let down by Xander, Thomas, and most importantly, her father, Reese. Was her hesitation about marrying Carter more about that and less about any attraction she might have to Zende? Because that would make sense. Zoe wanted to know if Zende had anything he wanted to say.

Zende was about to tell Zoe about the don't-do-it-with-Carter text he sent that didn't send when he shifted gears and assured Zoe that Carter would be the best husband. He was totally shipping Zarter. Zoe shouldn't let Carter go. After Paris came back with Carter and said the same thing, Zende and Paris left so Carter could continue with his proposal. He was even more convinced Zoe should be his wife after the close call with the fire alarm.

And Zoe said yes -- with no hesitation. So, like I said, where's the conflict? Zende went home all bummed, but I'm just not seeing why. He doesn't love Zoe; Zoe doesn't love him. They've only shared a few longing looks. There's no "there" there. Yet this is all being played as if there is. Paris isn't even shaking things up; she's clearly into Zende. So, I don't know where the show is going with this.



GUEST STAR

We finally got to see Quinn actually rooming with Wyatt and Flo at the beach house. Well, Flo, at least, who reported she hadn't heard from Shauna since she'd moved out of the Forrester guesthouse. (Of all B&B characters, I think Shauna moves the most.) Quinn declared that Shauna had better not still be at her house. I personally wouldn't mind seeing some Quinn/Shauna rivalry. That would be fun.

Quinn wasn't about to give up on her marriage, and the not-moved-out Shauna advised Eric not to, either. Shauna again offered to split, but Eric wouldn't hear of it. Then Wyatt showed up, and Shauna made herself scarce on the balcony while Quinn's son kept making the case that Eric should give Wyatt a second chance. "I've given her chance after chance after chance," the patriarch bemoaned.

That's the thing -- has he? Quinn hadn't actually pulled much of anything until coming between Ridge and Brooke. Unless he means the time Quinn kept kissing on Ridge. Or the bloodshed she had with Sheila. Other than that, Quinn's been pretty mellow. "We shall see," Eric told Wyatt, but for the love of the soap gods, Eric, don't take Quinn back.

I've never understood why Eric would marry a second Sheila, anyway. He didn't even know about Sheila's misdeeds until well into their marriage. But Quinn, Eric knew much of her rap sheet right away. I sort of tacitly accepted Queric because I had to, but now that they're apart, I don't want to see that reunion. I've never been able to invest in them because I don't understand how Eric could take on another psycho.



SHE AIN'T NO DUMMY

Over at Forrester, Hope straight-out lied when Steffy asked if Hope were uncomfortable with Liam spending so much time with Kelly at Steffy's. Why is Hope suddenly having issues with this? She's the one who's been talking about building a blended family from the beginning. But that subject fell through the cracks when Liam burst in and said Thomas had cracked because he had a mannequin of Hope in his house!

Now, that should have raised enough red flags to keep NASCAR stocked for a decade, but both Hope and Steffy didn't really understand why Liam had a problem with it. Does that make any sense at all, given what Thomas has already done? Liam basically asked the same question to the mothers of his children, but both women thought Thomas had been working on himself enough that the doll was a harmless indulgence.

Yeah, really don't understand Steffy or Hope here. Granted, Liam has been running around like a town crier for weeks, first about Finn and now about Thomas. So maybe it's Liam's approach that has Hope and Steffy tuning him out. Liam was further incensed to learn that Hope had put Thomas back on the HFTF design team. Liam felt nobody was listening to him.

To heighten the effect, Liam went to Finn for help and basically got a deaf ear from the doc, too. Of course, had Liam mentioned the mannequin, he might have gotten further. Finn didn't really think he knew enough of the history to take a clear position but was starting to think maybe Thomas was onto something about Liam, the way Liam kept inserting himself into other people's lives.

Liam felt even more like he was on an episode of The Twilight Zone when Finn turned things around and said Liam ought to be focusing more on Hope and the family Liam had with her instead of being at Steffy's so much. It's really weird that Liam actually has proof of Thomas' loosening grip on reality, but no one is taking Liam seriously.

Steffy and Finn had a cute bonding moment once they were alone, being all flirty and light, that made me want to see more of their actual relationship. But what can you do in 2020? Maybe find a girlfriend like Thomas'! But "Hope's" idea of a good time was telling Thomas multiple times that the real Hope wanted him, and the only way to make that happen was to kill Liam!

Thomas argued with "her" and tried to tell "her" he wasn't that man anymore. But then the real Hope showed up, and Thomas stashed the mannequin in the bedroom. Why didn't he do that when Liam knocked on the door? Hope reported what she had heard from Liam about Thomas harboring her doppelgänger. Thomas very coolly explained that when he'd seen the prop, it had juiced his creativity for HFTF.

That's the interesting thing here. Thomas is still lying, but he doesn't seem to actually have a manipulative motive this time. He just seems to be covering his tracks. Hope wanted to see the doll and couldn't believe how lifelike it was. Neither could Thomas, who kept seeing Hope's real, animate face in the mannequin. Yep, the boy's lost it. Thomas kept trying to explain that he was an artist, and you never knew what your muse would end up being.

Hope looked creeped out, yet not only did she seem to accept all this, but she also didn't seem rattled by Thomas' constant wincing and breaking out in a cold sweat. It was clear something was wrong with Thomas; how could Hope not notice? After all was said and done, Hope decided to let sleeping mannequins lie and allowed it to stay at Thomas' place. Hope, of all people, should be shouting warnings more than Liam is.

At home, Liam tried again to get through to Hope, but she had sand falling out of her ears from where she had stuck her head in it. Or did she? Hope kept popping off with all this stuff about how Thomas was making an effort and wasn't crossing any boundaries, but she didn't sound convinced. If anything, it sounded like she was trying to convince herself.

Lope went a few rounds about it, with Liam insisting that Thomas was as unhinged as ever, and Hope insisted that Thomas was most definitely hinged. For the most part. Hope acknowledged that Thomas having possession of the doll was weird. But there was such a thing as forgiveness, and everyone had to try to forgive Thomas for Douglas' sake.

I wonder if Hope would say that if she knew Thomas was having dinner with her twin, even sitting her at the table! (At least Thomas clarified that Vinny had moved in with his girlfriend; I wondered why Thomas was living alone.) "Hope" kept telling Thomas that the real Hope was his for the taking and that Liam needed to be exterminated! That night!

Thomas cried that he loved Hope, but she didn't want him! She was married to Liam! And he had already messed with the marrieds enough. Fascinating that Thomas still has enough presence of mind to say that, even if it was to a doll. But Thomas kept seeing Hope's real face on the dummy, who demanded Thomas not walk away from "her" and do what "she" said! Liam had to go!

Thomas decided to go instead, as in to the office to work. The ever-quirky Charlie showed up and revealed to Thomas that he knew Thomas had taken the mannequin home, after Thomas had denied knowing anything about its whereabouts. Charlie didn't believe that Thomas had filched it merely for artistic inspiration. Thomas kept sweating and zoning out, which Charlie seemed to miss, as well.

You know what's even crazier? Charlie's news that Pam had refused to move in with him! Huh? Weren't they about to get married two years ago at this time? Why would Pam want to live alone now? And why have we never revisited the idea of Pam and Charlie getting hitched? Pharlie is only the longest-enduring couple on the show, at seven years. I would settle for a safe, off-screen elopement, considering.

So, will Thomas actually do the doll's bidding and try to off Liam? I hope he sticks to his guns and keeps denying "her" demands. I admit I'm curious to see where this goes, now that we're into it. But really, people need to be more clearly seeing that Thomas is not well. That means you, Hope, Steffy, and Charlie. Thomas isn't just sweating like that because he was working out at the Forrester Sky Lounge!

How do you feel about Eric moving Shauna in with him? Should he give Shauna that second chance? Is the romantic tension between Zoe and Zende legit, or much ado about nothing? And will Thomas just go ahead and sleep with "Hope" already? Invite yourself over to 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!
Mike

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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