The Fantastic Four: 4 sweethearts wanting 4-giveness
by Mike
For the Week of February 22, 2021
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On B&B, no less than four characters picked from the same set of belated Valentine cards that said "I'm sorry." But their carbon copy mea culpas were interrupted by a potentially rogue paternity test and visitors to and from L.A.! Get the regrets with Two Scoops Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you join a club where you all had to beg paramours for forgiveness at the same time? Did you decide to just pass through -- again? Did you take a trip to the Midwest simply to pile up frequent flyer miles? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Walton-Buckingham-Finnegan clan this week!

If one is good, four is better, Scoopers! Thank you to everyone who expressed condolences about the loss of my beautiful little kitty girl, Shadow. It's been a hard three weeks without her, but I am trying to be better about focusing on the almost thirteen of her sixteen years we had together. I hope Liam and Hope found a good home for their cat, Bu, whom we haven't heard much about in a decade. #JusticeForBu

There is definitely a pattern running on B&B right now, with Zoe, Bill, Steffy, and Liam all I'm-sorrying their way through misdeeds that put their relationships on the very edges. It's a little much all at once. But Vinny waltzing in with his unexplained lab coat has to mean something, and Bill made his way to Genoa City for a surprise visit. Unlike poor Bridget, who came home just to talk paternity tests! Let's Scoop about it!



IT'S A WONDER, WOMAN

Could it be that Carter, like Patti LaBelle, has a new attitude? All '80s dance hits aside, he wasn't in a suit for maybe the first time on the show, having traded the suits for a turtleneck and a keen mustard blazer. As for Zoe, she was still wearing a frown, as evidenced by her attempt to visit her estranged man in the Forrester showroom and convince him she'd only busted a move on Zende because of Zende's just-now-got-it text.

Yeah, not the best case to submit to a lawyer, let alone anyone else. So what if Zoe received a desire of interest message from Zende months after the fact? Zoe had already agreed to marry Carter; the door was closed. As for Zende, Carter busted him for sending the text in the first place and "[going] after my fiancée." Except Carter hadn't even given Zoe the key to his pad yet that night, not until after their date, anyway.

Zoe was fair game, but Zende missed that point while Carter made another very good point. "You had Nicole, and you dumped her!" Carter snarled. "That's not what happened!" Zende retorted. Oh, really? Well, then, what did happen, Z-Man? Because we have yet to hear why Zende and Nicole broke up, and frankly, that missing info colors Zende's whole rationale in this supposed quadrangle.

The other thing that went wrong here was Zende not correcting Carter when Carter accused Zende of making Zoe think she and Zende had a future. Zende sent one booty call text; the rest of the time, he looked like he was going to hurl whenever he and Zoe made eye contact. It's not like Zende was laying it on all smooth. If anything, he lit up whenever Paris was around, not Zoe.

Carter then put the arriving Paris on the spot and asked her if she believed Zoe really wanted to marry Carter. Paris said yes, but that it was only Carter's belief that mattered. Amazingly, Carter admitted that maybe he'd heard wedding bells too fast, and he won the Maturity of the Week Award -- he declared that Zoe had broken his trust and that he needed time to sort through things. This was a welcome relief.

Not that Zoe really heard Carter, because the first thing she did was run to Ridge and ask him to run interference for her with his BFF. Zoe's insight that she had cast Zende as an "out" in case Carter "came to his senses" about her, like all the other men she'd known, made an impression on Ridge, but I really hope Ridge stays out of it. He won't, of course, although it's the only way Zoe is going to learn any kind of lesson.

As for Zende, I'd mentioned that we had four sweethearts trying to Krazy Glue hearts back together this week, but Sir Forrester-Dominguez actually makes five. He wanted to know if Paris would give him another chance. Excuse me, when did she not? Paris never once announced "I'm out" during all these doings. Paris doesn't even seem all that mad at him. How about Nicole shows up for some closure? That would give Pende (Zaris?) some real conflict.

Paris got really lucky finding an advocate in Katie, who, apparently, after the seven months we've been back from the filming shutdown, still doesn't know whether to take Bill back. Honey, the answer is one big, fat, unequivocal "no." Even visiting Forrester International exec Eva thought Katie should chance it again. I know portrayer Kelly Kruger is Darin Brooks's wife, but what was Eva even doing there? Better than being Flo's stand-in, I guess.

HE'S SUPER FREAKY, YOW

Out of nowhere, Bill realized that Liam's paternity troubles were making him think of his family with Katie. Wyatt and Flo watched the Spencer steed gallop out of the office to try to get Katie's sister's on board with helping him facilitate a reunion. Much-hated as Flyatt is, I gotta say it -- they're the only B&B couple who's solid right now -- all that with just a little chalk "help" on a rival's underwear.

Bill made his case: if Brooke and Donna would trust him, then Katie would trust him. Being apart from Katie for so long had been humbling, and he was ready to be the committed man Katie and their son needed. "I feel like part of this is my fault," Brooke rightly acknowledged. But nobody put a gun to Bill's back to get him to kiss Brooke; that method of persuasion purely and solely belongs to Taylor.

Naturally, the sisters Logan agreed to help Katie get back aboard the Bill train, but I really wish at least one of them would have said, "Hell naw." Twelve years. Three marriages. One dalliance with Steffy. Two dalliances with Brooke. Several minutes locked in a tower while having a heart condition. I know that was in 2011, but I haven't forgiven Bill for that, and Katie really should just forget Bill as an option by now.

I know we have a small cast to work with, but is there really no one better for Katie than Bill? Put her with Justin! That oughta create some drama with the Dollah. Or let Katie get back with Bill, only to cheat on him for a change. Not that I condone adultery, but Bill has enough of his own medicine coming on that score to fill a whole pharmacy.

Instead, Katie, while telling her sisters she didn't want to compromise, listened to what they had to say, anyway, how Bill was a changed man from having lost Katie. Oh, please. Then Brooke accepted responsibility about the latest Brill kiss (almost a year ago now!), making her the technical sixth forgiveness seeker of the week. "Let him in," Brooke implored of Bill. No, Katie...don't!

Katie reached back and spoke of how she'd always felt she'd been under Brooke and Donna's shadows, but now, having thought she'd grown past that, Katie had felt as if she had been the odd man out in her own marriages to Bill. And Katie is exactly right. There's no reason Katie and Brooke can't make up (again) and be Logans, as desired. But if Katie gets back with Bill a fifth time, she's an absolute fool and nothing less.

Meanwhile, Bill jetted to Genoa City for a crossover I had been looking forward to...but by the time the special episode was over, I wondered why he'd even taken the time. It was fun to see Don Diamont make hints at his former Y&R role, Brad Carlton, in the guise of Bill Spencer. Apparently, Bill and Lauren had knocked boots before! (Sidebar: Brad once ended up in the hospital with a heart attack after a rowdy romp with Lauren.)

Bill called Jack "Jack Rabbit" (I can't believe that never occurred to me in 33 years of following Y&R!) and became instantly smug and adversarial with him, which was certainly indicative of the strained relationship Brad had had with Jack. Bill then toyed with Jack and bragged that he knew Jack's sisters intimately. Yep, given that Brad was married to both Traci and Ashley, that certainly fits.

But that was kind of where the intriguing part ended. Sally walked into the meeting and darted right out; when Jack and Lauren questioned the disappearing act, Bill would only say he and Sally had a history. Later, Bill and Sally ran into each other in town and traded some barbs, but the only real point seemed to be for Bill to warn Sally to stay away from his family, which she was already doing half a country away.

Too bad nobody actually mistook Bill for Brad at any point. As for Sally, who had tried to ease tensions with Summer, she warned the Newman heiress about Bill, asserting that Bill "will burn your world to the ground." Great reference to when Bill torched Spectra so he could replace it with his skyscraper! Details like that, even delivered cryptically, really add to a story. B&B doesn't do enough of that.

B-B-B-BLACK WIDOW, BABY

Steffy had summoned both her potential fathers and Hope to the hospital to find out the results of the paternity test I'm reasonably sure Steffy's doctor had said she couldn't have for eight weeks. But what do I know? Following that came the usual soapy drag-out, with outcome preferences being voiced and announcements of new steps that might be taken, depending on the results.

Of course, when Dr. Campbell arrived with the all-important information, everyone took the last moments of Monday's episode and the beginning moments of Tuesday's episode to stare at each other. This would probably have been an effective suspense-builder if I hadn't seen it so many times, and if I really cared whose baby Steffy was carrying.

Really, wasn't there another story we could have used to camouflage Jacqueline Macinnes Wood's real-life pregnancy than going this predictable route...with these particular characters? Sure, Finn adds some newbieness to the proceedings, but this has just been so done. Well, finally, the doc revealed that Liam was the father, and, like Melania with the Donald, Hope couldn't smack Liam's hand away fast enough!

After one and all cleared the hospital, Steffy and Finn went back to the cliff house and had another of their why-are-we-hinting-at-breaking-up-when-we're-not-breaking-up conversations. Finn has told Steffy any number of times, and even told Ridge to his face, that Finn wasn't going anywhere, no matter who turned out to be the baby's father. You all saw that, right? It wasn't just me?

After all of Finn's reassurances, suddenly, he was scowling at Steam's offering from Sears Portrait Studio and wondering how he fit into everything. Moments later, he told Steffy with absolute confidence, "We'll deal." Then Finn lamented it would be hard to watch Liam as the father, and Steffy gave Finn carte blanche to leave if he wanted to. See what I mean? And Sinn has done this back-and-forth before.

Steffy sobbed her own I'm-sorrys, and I think she and Finn said some other stuff, but by then, I was kind of tuning them out. I want Sinn together; it's just that, as I've said before, it's hard to invest in them because they were rushed, and COVID has prevented us from getting any romantic scenes with them that would help that investment along. And where does Finn stand now that he's not the dad? Not close by, in my opinion.

In the middle of all this, as Ridge and Brooke were discussing the upcoming paternity test results, Bridget suddenly came home! Wow! She was in L.A. to cover for a colleague at a medical conference. But what was she really there for? To put in her two cents about the who's-the-daddy drama. Seriously! About two paragraphs, and that was it!

I would have liked to see Hope being counseled by Bridget, who has been through variants of this predicament herself. What's the point of heralding Ashley Jones's "return" as if it's something big and then have Bridget be just another ear to bend about someone else's story? Either give Bridget a meaningful, multiple-week stay with her own saga, or let's not bother with these false-advertising "returns."

X-MAN

Hope stormed back to the cabin, unable to believe that Liam and Steffy were having yet another child. With all it had taken to salvage their marriage after months of thinking Beth was dead, Hope was aghast that everything was happening because Liam had actually thought Hope would betray Liam with a man like Thomas, considering what Thomas had done to her.

Pre-results, Hope had admitted wanting to start a new chapter with Liam, but now, that book was on the bestseller list of No Way José. Hope crumpled and cried that she was tired and didn't want to do "it" anymore. And who could blame her, the way Liam kept trying to sell Hope on how they'd worked through the same sitch re: Kelly, and appealing to Hope's optimism.

They staged an interesting moment with Liam embracing Hope, whose face was buried in the ottoman; wonder how they did that with COVID? Anyway, I don't know how I feel about Lope reuniting. Certainly, I want these couples to quit do-si-do-ing their way through the decades, but the mannequin wasn't the dummy -- Liam was. Does Forrester need to design some drop-proof pants for Liam already?

Back at the design house, Bridge was, for some reason, in deep ruminations with Thomas over Steffy's paternity situation. At which time, Brooke also partook in a few of the contradictory opinions the likes of which Finn had already expressed. Brooke was impressed with Thomas' progress...but was it all another manipulation? Many things he couldn't help because of the brain bleed...but would he use Steffy's pregnancy as an excuse to bag Hope?

Certainly, ambivalent feelings are understandable, and characters change their minds, but not so much in one conversation. Too much of the writing has been inconsistent that way lately. But anyway, after Thomas decided he was going to move back to his own pad, Bridge left, and our friend Vinny showed up with a lab coat on his arm. Man, having to punch a clock and take a scheduled lunch at his new job was a drag!

Gee, Vin, my heart bleeds for ya. Vinny could see that Thomas was still mulling over his sister's procreation...and didn't Vinny get the most interesting look on his face! That look where you know something that other people aren't supposed to know. Vinny reminded Thomas that they'd known each other their whole lives (that's news to me) and that Liam's latest betrayal left the door wide open for Thomas with Hope.

Despite Thomas' denials, Vinny figured Thomas had wanted the baby to be Liam's, anyway, and Vinny decided that Thomas was a good person. He deserved "this!" Vinny then grabbed his lab coat and split; though no word was mentioned about Vinny's occupation or about the coat, you know it's just too suspect that the former and current drug pusher just happens to have a job where a lab coat is necessary.

What do you think, Scoopers? Did Vinny do his friend a solid and make Liam the father of Finn's baby? Did you enjoy Bill's trip to Wisconsin, or was there something missing? Should Bridget be better utilized when she comes to visit? And are four couples begging for forgiveness at the same time more than enough? Be a soap superhero and tell us your thoughts 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!

"I can't believe Carter never had a hint 'she just wasn't that into him'. Why did the writers have to rush their romance? They made him so thirsty. I mean slow down Carter! And WTH is up with Zoe blaming Paris for losing Carter? She's a delusion bully...she hasn't shown her sister a single ounce of real kindness since she arrived. So glad Paris told her she wasn't going anywhere." -- "robo158"

"Zoe has got to go. She has overplayed her part. What a brat! Has Thomas really recovered????" -- "batorsin"

Looks like we're in for a few more weeks (months) of disagreements and hand-wringing now that Liam is supposedly the father. I would love to see some real spark with even one couple, and some different arcs besides everybody wanting absolution at the same time. You know it's bad when Wyatt and Flo are the most romantic and stable pairing on the show! Anyway, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. Plus, don't forget, protecting yourselves and others from a virus and getting vaccinated for it is always beautiful.

Mike
(#missingshadow)

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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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