Steam: Get a life with the dreamer's dream
For the Week of January 18, 2021
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This week was a portrait in betrayals as Zoe made a play for the man her sister desires. After Liam and Steffy's secret was out, Liam thought it would be intrusion as usual at Steffy's house, but Finn isn't the ''simp'' Liam thinks he is. Get the two scoops on why I think an altered paternity test and Vinny's pills could be the boughs that break and make the cradle fall on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Sometimes, you just can't win for losing, and you must assess why you keep winding up in the same place. It's true for Hope, Liam, and Steffy, who landed in a familiar rut, picking up the pieces after their impetuous mistakes. Just when you think it will be the same old triangle fallout, the writers threw a Finnegan into it. If Steffy's carrying a little Finn, her portrait's days are numbered -- as is the welcome mat strapped to her back with Liam's name on it.

Elsewhere in Los Angeles, another man experienced a recurring scenario from his past. Zende found himself once again between two sisters. Zende claims to be too principled to go after his friend and mentor's fiancée, but there was a time when he wasn't too proud to bed his girlfriend's sister. Zende claims to be a one-sister man again, but his fortitude could teeter upon how "Sasha low" Zoe is willing to stoop to outwit Paris' "Nicole sweetness."

Wouldn't it be nice if Liam or Steffy had had a tenth of the dignity Zende displayed this week to refrain from temptation in tough times? Well, they didn't, and their confessions led to vicious fallouts between them and the wrong people, if you ask me. For Hope and Finn, their partners' confessions were hard to swallow, but instead of unleashing on their partners, they each saved their harshest words for the interlopers in their respective relationships.

Steffy took her Scarlett A from Hope like an adult. In contrast, Liam seemed gutted and indignant when Finn asserted that if he were the baby's father, Liam and Steffy's relationship would no longer be picture-perfect like the portrait.

Liam and Steffy's relationships hinge on the answer to who fathered her unborn child. Liam is clear that his marriage won't survive if he's the father, and Finn is determined that Steffy's relationship with Liam won't survive if Finn is the father. Can Finn's relationship with Steffy survive if Liam is the father? Confusing, I know.

It's enough to make a person want to hedge his or her bet with a rigged paternity test. I have cooncocted a few scenarios for a "Whodunit" paternity switch. From Finn to Thomas, I'll run down each person in the love pentagon's prospects for tampering with the test. We'll discuss how Vinny's pills might spell doom for Steffy's baby and get two scoops deep into what a shame it is that Zende has more respect for Zoe's sister than she does!

It was like Casablanca, but in reverse

"If that plane leaves the ground, and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life." -- Rick Blaine

Who else was swooning when Zende channeled Humphry Bogart's Rick Blaine while convincing Paris to do what was best for her life? Rick advised Isla that it was best for her to go, but Zende believed that it was best for Paris to stay.

I don't know. Maybe it was Paris' fedora or the blue-gray background in the photo studio, but it felt like TNT classic movie magic when Zende urged Paris to follow her fortune and romance in town with him, the very way some Rick and Isla fans might have wished Casablanca had ended.

Rick and Isla will always have Paris, and thanks to Zende being quick on his feet, he will always have Paris, too, unless Zoe has anything to do with it. And make no mistake, Zoe is trying her best to have something to do with it. Like the ending line from another black-and-white film we know well, Zoe frankly doesn't give a damn about Paris' feelings or future.

The engagement ring is tightening around Zoe's finger now that Paris has advanced her relationship with Zende, and Carter expects Zoe to set a date for their wedding. Ordering Paris not to defy Zoe and scaring Paris with fears that Zende might still be married didn't work, so Zoe gambled everything to make a play for him. Sadly for Zoe -- and humorously for me -- Zoe's hopes to hook Zende got nipped quicker than Mr. Miyagi can catch a fly with chopsticks.

Zoe and Zende might sizzle as a team at work, but when it comes to a shared common decency, they fizzle. The two couldn't be further apart about their right to hurt their loved ones just to see "what it would be like" to be together, as Zoe put it. Delon De Metz shined in his scenes with Paris and Zoe, with his expert handling of Zende's emotions. Metz knows when to play Zende's feelings just under his vest and when to let them rip with jubilance.

With Paris, Zende was an eager kid, excited about the future and grinning with possibilities as he convinced her to stay in town. With Zoe, on the other hand, Metz let Zende's emotions smolder just behind Zende's eyes as he processed the implications of Zoe confessing her feelings for him. Zende didn't play Zoe for a fool by acting like he didn't know what she was talking about. It was obvious that he felt what she felt, but it was also obvious that he had no plans to act on it because of Paris and Carter.

You snooze, you lose, Zoe! Maybe she should have spent more time reading Zende's signs and less time repeating the letters in Carter's job title -- COO. She didn't seem pressed about it until Paris became interested in Zende, and as a result, Zoe heard two letters from him: N - O.

Zende aims to be a loyal friend to Carter, but Zoe is a deplorable sister to Paris. Zoe actually said "I don't care" when Zende revealed that Paris had kissed him. All that's left is for Zoe to flaunt some ragged lingerie (and with this new wardrobe mix, it will be a hoot, I'm sure) in front of Zende, only for Carter to interrupt and be clueless about the kind of "modeling" she'd be doing. Paris would know, though.

Paris is wise to her sister's jealousy and even hinted at having knowledge of Zoe's gold-digging ways. Zoe had better play nice with her little sis before Paris reveals something in Zoe's past that might blow Zoe out of her designer sock booties.

Portrait, portrait get off the wall

It took just under five episodes, but Liam and Steffy finally unburdened themselves of their secret affair. Oh, I'm sorry, it's not an "affair," according to Liam -- you know, the guy bringing Steffy flowers and staying for dinner at the cliff house all the time? According to Liam, he hasn't been carrying on an affair at all. Furthermore, Liam almost said it wasn't cheating. Almost. According to the dictionary, Liam needs to widen his vocabulary.

Liam's narcissism knows no bounds. It eclipsed everything this week when he said it wasn't Finn's call whether Liam and Steffy's relationship carried on as usual in the aftermath of their infidelity. Liam apparently thinks he can continue to traipse in and out of Steffy's house, intruding at will, and continue to use Steffy as an emotional support animal in his times of need. We all know those times are plenty.

In fact, Liam "needed" his support animal the very next morning after his confession. While everyone else headed to work like normal folks do, Liam let himself into Steffy's house as if they hadn't just told their partners the previous night that they'd cheated on them together. Steffy looked at him like he'd lost his mind to show up at her house so brazenly, but he claimed he'd had to talk to her in person.

See, all this "in person" stuff is the problem. That's what needs to be nipped in the bud. Hope doesn't have sense enough to do it. She can't muster more than a "this better not happen again" warning. Douglas probably gets in more trouble for tracking mud in the house. Steffy acts like a doormat with Liam's name on it, enabling him and defending his half-brained mistakes. Finn is the only person who might be able to jerk Liam in line and snatch that portrait off the wall for the sake of all humanity and decency everywhere.

Finn ain't no quitter in hard times. He caught on pretty quickly that Steffy and Liam use any excuse for a port in a storm, but he told Liam there won't be any more ports over there at the cliff house if Finn is the father of Steffy's baby. If Finn passes the paternity test, as far as Finn is concerned, Liam has spent his last day disrespecting Steffy and disrupting her life.

"It isn't your call," Liam replied. That was actually Liam's dumbass response to Finn. "It isn't your call." Don't believe me? Check the recap. I might have to check it again myself because I still can't imagine how utterly tone deaf, selfish, and out of touch Liam has to be to say that. So, what does Liam mean? That neither Finn nor Hope has the right to set parameters for what they'll tolerate in their relationships? It's not their call for Steffy and Liam to act like civilized, platonic co-parents with boundaries if they want futures with Finn and Hope?

Well, if it's not Finn's call, I'll tell you whose call it ought to be. Liam's. Liam already ought to be distancing himself from Steffy if he wants to keep his marriage to his wife, who probably has no idea that he took himself over to Steffy's again after being there so long the previous night.

Liam didn't have to go see Steffy in person in the morning, probably twelve hours after he last saw her. Kelly didn't need that rock heart that badly, and he could have left it there the previous night. Liam should try video-calling if he's so desperate for a Steffy fix.

I didn't find anything more outrageous this week than Liam's "It's not your call" tripe to Finn, but something else did come close. It was irritating to watch Liam act as if he and Steffy have a bond like no other in the midst of their cheating scandal, but it was hard to witness Finn learning about Steffy's infidelity practically right in front of Liam, via that depraved portrait on the wall.

Finn had to hear that his girlfriend had gotten drunk, betrayed their commitment, and might be having the baby of the man staring down at him from over her shoulder. Finn said he knew Steffy wanted to be close to Liam and have him in her life -- Finn just hadn't realized that she'd meant "like that," referring to the sex. In his discussions with Steffy and Liam, Finn referred to the portrait, which he felt should have been his biggest clue to what was really going on.

It was the same for Hope, who believed that the affair had been staring her in the face the whole time through that portrait. Finn didn't shrink from it while reading Liam for the filth he is. Finn pointed to it and said those days were over. Praise the Lord! Now Finn needs to take that portrait off the wall and shove it into Liam's arms, and Finn's foot can escort them both out the door.

On the other side of town, Hope and Steffy's exchange wasn't as fiery as the men's. That's probably because I've seen Hope and Steffy do the routine so many times, I could probably be a backup dancer in my sleep. Steffy does the only dance move she knows -- "the cha-cha-cha defend Liam" for his idiotic choices while forging peace without having to give him up.

Steffy didn't want to be called a home-wrecker, though. That was too much for her to bear. Hope said it, and Steffy claimed that Hope's home hadn't been wrecked. I don't know about you guys, but after a collision, my car is wrecked, whether or not I choose to total it out or keep it. I see Liam and Hope's marriage the same way - wrecked, whether they choose to keep it or not.

Steffy said she and Liam slept together, but Liam wanted his family with Hope. Give me a freaking break. No part of any wedding vows say, "to love, honor, cherish, and be faithful to only her until you need to find a port in the storm with Steffy."

Hope didn't ream Steffy out as deeply as I wanted her to, but she did score vital points. Hope made sure Steffy knew that she was a desperate, selfish liar. Hope emphasized that Steffy hadn't needed a misunderstanding to betray Finn. She'd readily done it at the drop of Liam's zipper.

At the same time, Hope needs to take a good look at herself because, just as Steffy and Liam had no good reason to cheat, Hope has no good reason to stay with Liam. Liam ran out of last chances two chances ago, and I don't want to hear it about the kids. Hope claims to want to try for the kids, but she saw that didn't work when she tried to do it with Thomas for Douglas.

Hope's kids will be just fine if Hope and Liam divorce. They are with their aunt Donna most of the time anyway. They probably won't even notice Liam is gone because he stays at Steffy's house most of the time already. He can drop in on them like he does Kelly, and Douglas and Beth will not know the difference. I promise you.

A paternity test will be the golden ticket to solving both couples' problems. Everyone in the scenario wants Finn to be the father. You know what that means: Liam is probably the father. When Liam asked Steffy if Finn knew that he was probably the father, it cinched it for me. That child belongs to Liam. The only question is, will the paternity test reveal it the first time around, or will a second test be in order after we discover that someone tampered with the first one?

"You are not the father!"

No one wants to hear those words, "you are not the father," more than Liam Spencer, and no one wants to hear them less than John Finnegan, who desires to start a life with Steffy. Life for the foursome would be much easier if Finn is the father.

I don't see Finn cottoning to Liam taking Steffy to prenatal appointments or Finn watching Steffy and Liam bond over her pregnancy. Finn and Steffy's relationship is doomed if Liam is the father. If Finn wants to still be with Steffy and Liam's two kids, Finn would probably have to share every life decision with Liam -- where they lived, where the kids went to school, what time dinner was once Liam got off work, and what days Liam got Steffy's couch.

Like I said, it's enough to make a man want to rig a test, and Finn is in the best position to do it. Finn works at the hospital where Steffy will probably take her test. He knows the people there. He might be able to enlist some help or charm a nurse into letting him see the files.

Finn would change the paternity of Steffy's baby from Liam to Finn for two reasons: one, he wants to avoid the Liam nightmare I already described, and two, Finn would think he'd be protecting Steffy from Liam. Finn thinks Steffy is Liam's victim, and all poor Steffy does is try to help Liam (yeah, help him get his rocks off). Finn told Steffy that he'd do anything he could to make her happy, and she has insisted that she wants the baby to be his.

Though I doubt Hope would alter a paternity test, it would be interesting to see, wouldn't it? She'd be the last one anyone would suspect, and she'd do it to avoid the same Liam nightmare scenario Finn would fear. Hope would also do it to get Steffy's clutches out of Liam. Unlike Finn, Hope believes that Steffy is a vixen, looking to pounce on Hope's husband. Sticking Finn and his baby between Liam and Steffy might be the way Hope breaks Steffy's grip on Liam.

Like I said earlier, I doubt Hope would change the actual test, but she might not say anything if she knew Finn was going to do it or had already done it.

My next contestants for the paternity change game are Liam and Steffy. I lump them together because they're always together. With their relationships at stake, I wouldn't put it past them to get the results, see that Liam is the father, and agree to show Hope and Finn a forged test result to save their relationships. Of course, it won't because Liam will die a little inside every day as he watches Finn bond with Steffy and Liam's unborn child. Liam would ultimately confess to everyone that he's really the father.

On second thought, Steffy's better off taking the paternity switch mission on alone. She's much better at keeping secrets than Liam, anyway, and can be pragmatic when it comes to making tough choices to get what she wants. In the past, I would have thought that Steffy could carry that secret like a boss, but after what she went through last summer, I might be concerned that taking on a paternity switch might drive her back to taking pills.

And this is where Vinny comes in. Vinny didn't show up out of the blue, dropping pill bottles in the CEO's office for no reason. As I started to contemplate why he was there and what role he could play in the storylines, I remembered his pills and the poisoned tea that Stephanie had once tried to serve Morgan DeWitt.

Might it be possible that Steffy has a relapse, or someone makes her unwittingly have a relapse, and her pill addiction causes her to miscarry the baby? It would kind of be like someone spiking her juice the way Quinn did Brooke's but with dire consequences. The only on-air character that could be a suspect is Hope, but if we use our imaginations, maybe the culprit is Aly, back from the dead and ready to reckon with Steffy.

Some have less grim speculations about Vinny. Some viewers think he might change the paternity test to help his buddy Thomas land Hope. In that case, Vinny would switch the test from Finn to Liam in order to doom Hope's marriage -- because an affair with her nemesis obviously didn't do it. The theory places the onus of the crime on Vinny and keeps Thomas unsullied for a relationship with Hope.

It's fun speculating about a "who might do it" storyline about the paternity test, even if it's not what some fans think certain characters are capable of doing. We really never know until it happens. I never expected Taylor to shoot Bill. I never dreamed Thomas would play dead to teach Hope a lesson -- or run Emma into a ravine, for that matter.

If there is a paternity switch, I look forward to being shocked by which one in our love polygon had the guts to pull it off. There's always that chance that it could happen by administrative error, too, making no character to blame.

Let us know what you think about the events and blowouts of the week down below in the comments section. If you have any wild and fun ideas about a paternity test mix-up, let us know. Until we scoop again, stay bold and beautiful, baby!

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