Pregnant pauses

by Mike
For the Week of May 10, 2010
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Bill keeps trying to impress upon Donna that both Stephanie and Eric are responsible for Beth's death. Well, they are...but Beth's children and husband are, too.

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you parade around in skimpy lingerie in front of your mother and grandmother? Did you check your nemesis into a Roach Motel as a joke? Did you coerce your daughter-in-law to create the perfect Father's Day gift? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Before we begin, I would like to point out two general things that have been bothering me. Why, when scenes continue over back-to-back episodes, does B&B insist on having characters repeat information/dialogue/nuances in them? We got the idea when they said the exact same thing yesterday, thank you very much, and I know I don't do much in the way of repeating words I already said within one conversation as if I were saying them for the first time. Also, in the opening credits -- on days when we get all the contract players, anyway -- all the new characters are named in a different font than the more established characters. Could someone get on that, please? 'Preciate it.

Now, let's get on to the Scoop! I have to admit, I liked the humor during the Brooke's Bedroom debate. Stephanie offering to model the lingerie herself was classic, and even Steffy's one-liner about being cold wearing it was amusing. And to have both Brooke and Taylor make good points at the same time instead of sniping at each other is somewhat of a revelation, too -- both of them agreeing Stephanie doesn't need to be antagonistic? Wow. It almost made sense to suggest that Brooke's Bedroom will eventually need a younger model -- but what was up with trotting Steffy out in the slinky satin? Between throwing herself at Owen, Bill, and Oliver in less than a year, the costume suited her, but isn't it kind of inappropriate to make your daughter/granddaughter gussy up in a nasty teddy just to one-up somebody? Even Steffy was uncomfortable -- no wonder she's so messed up. What really messed her up, in my opinion, was her relationship with Rick -- I wonder if the show will ever address that? In the meantime, I'm glad Brooke can hold her own against the glaringly obvious team of Stephanie and Taylor. ("Neither are you, 'missy'!")

Now, I know among fans there's the anti-Brooke camp, and the anti-Taylor camp, and it seems that not only does liking one mean you can't like the other, but liking one means inviting venom from fans of the other, especially if it involves saying anything nice about Brooke, as I just did. For the record, I happen to like both ladies -- although admittedly I felt Taylor was better-written before her 2002 departure. Isn't it interesting: Brooke has matured (it really showed this week!), and Taylor is more in touch with her dark side, which makes them strangely more equal now. I'm just about being fair when it comes to these characters -- which is why I found it so fascinating that both Brooke and Taylor were being exactly that no matter what Stephanie tried to instigate.

I also have to say, I'm glad Stephanie's attitude has mellowed in terms of her pursuit of Eric. Asking him if he'll be able to work things out with Donna -- and meaning it? Actually trying to show Donna compassion over her mother's death and possible divorce? Of course, Stephanie wouldn't be La Forrester if she didn't indulge her ruthless streak -- but Stephanie with a heart is really the best Stephanie of all. Didn't last long, though -- inexplicably, in the same breath, Stephanie suddenly threatened to have "skeletons dancing out of [Donna's] closet" if Donna hurt Eric or Forrester in the divorce. Donna has skeletons? Seems to me the worst Donna did was have a secret child with Justin -- and that's common knowledge now. So that was a strange statement. Donna calmly giving it back to Stephanie instead of going for melodrama was far more menacing. Why, Donna, what might you have up your sleeve?

Why, it's Bill, of course. Somewhere under his manipulation, it feels like he might actually care for Donna -- not in a romantic way, but as a new member of the Logan-Spencer clan. I don't think it's entirely a ruse. But he is pushing a little hard. Bill keeps trying to impress upon Donna that both Stephanie and Eric are responsible for Beth's death. Well, they are. But Beth's children and husband are, too. Yes, it was an accident -- it's not like Stephanie threw Beth into the pool -- but no one should have left Beth alone in her condition. Still, subtlety is not one of Bill's strong suits.

He's created The Three Demands of Donna -- chuck the house, chuck Stephanie, and have the investigation of Beth's death -- with Stephanie as a suspect -- reopened. If Stephanie is really as guiltless as everyone claims, then having that proven through a more thorough investigation shouldn't be a problem, right? Donna would know for sure, and Eric could keep his marriage to her, which he said he wanted. Or does he? Because five minutes after Donna left the building, he was playing tonsil hockey with Stephanie! Score! While I don't think The Three Demands of Donna were particularly unreasonable, didn't Donna just present Eric with a different set of demands last week? Exactly how many times recently has Donna tearfully told Eric she can't be his wife, caressed his face, and made a dramatic exit stage right? Three that I can count. Somebody's story button is stuck on repeat.

Interesting, though, that Donna, possibly through her grief, doesn't see how Bill is playing her. Ridge, does, of course, and so does Brooke, who was right to insist that Donna and Eric talk alone (part of the maturity I mentioned before). But why were Ridge and Brooke present at that meeting in the first place? Even Stephanie knew to excuse herself from it. Thorne might have been there, too, except he was busy making his weekly "I hope you and Dad get back together" speech to Stephanie. That's just pathetic, B&B. Look -- either let Winsor Harmon go, or write him a decent storyline. Giving him these momentary, immature displays are a waste of his talent. I'm just saying. And I'm going to keep "saying" until someone gets a clue over there at CBS!

There was something thrilling about closing out Friday with B&B's Fab Four -- Stephanie, Eric, Ridge, and Brooke, the original characters from 23 years ago, still there, still together, and still played by the same foursome. "You're a Forrester, too, Logan," Ridge declared. The anti-Brooke contingent will flame me for sure, but I thought that was sweet. Until Steffy came in and ruined it. "Long live the Forresters!" she chirped. No argument from me there, but why did it sound so cheesy and insincere issuing from her pouty lips? I guess I can understand how the anti-Brooke fans feel, because I've come to hate Steffy as much as they hate Brooke! So it evens out.

Except for Pam. Were we at Sea World? Because Ms. Douglas has officially jumped the shark. You got rid of Bill and Katie? You had nothing to do with it, you nutty lemon bar! But having Donna trapped in a truck full of rodents and carted off was -- and watch out, I'm gonna boldface it here -- beyond not funny, the height of mean-spirited, and completely unnecessary! Nothing personal, Alley Mills -- it's just the material and I'm sure you're having a blast playing it -- but Pam needs to go. Now. She was such an interesting character when she was introduced -- the meek, put-upon daughter of Ann Douglas who actually had compassion and understanding. Turning her into a nut job was one thing, but only keeping her around for hateful comic relief has just become too much. Have the exterminator come back for you, Pammy, because I am officially done with you -- and leave room for Steffy!

But did B&B return to form for the first time in ages with Jackie discovering that her husband knocked up her daughter-in-law? Yes! Lesley-Anne Down has been given no end of campy, kooky, cougar shtick the past year, parasailing her way through sexy shoots and purring at Owen like she was auditioning to be Catwoman in the next Batman reboot. And she's played it with fun aplomb. But what an utter and complete joy to watch her master the drama this week, from the horror of finding out her daughter-in-law is pregnant by her own husband to the unwavering resolve that Bridget lie about the baby's paternity. Now that is some serious soap. Not a stunt or shock in it -- just meaty, character-driven material delivered in a powerhouse performance. It was shades of B&B from the good old days. And such a relief to see. "You must have made him love you just a little bit," Jackie cried, citing it as the rationale for the grief sex -- ah, ain't it the truth? There is that undercurrent between Bridget and Owen, isn't there, otherwise it's highly unlikely they would have ended up on the floor between those candles in the first place.

The revelation charged Jackie as if she were attached to jumper cables -- and just in time, because she had become a bit unbelievable of late. Lavishing love and faith on her husband and daughter-in-law, seemingly not noticing their uncomfortable glances? No more of that for the Divine Miss M! Besides, Nick is covering that territory now, going all bromance with Owen to the point of telling him to "think of this child as yours." Of course, that's to contrast with the true turmoil going on right under Nick's radar. Now that Jackie knows, it adds a whole 'nother dimension. Owen knows he cheated on Jackie, while Jackie also knows, but neither knows the other knows. Got all that? And sure, camouflaging paternity has been done a billion times over the years, but Jackie forcing Bridget to lie about it here strikes me as classic soap. What was up with Dr. Caspary, though? The way she came in trying to "prepare" Bridget for the results blew any suspense there might've been about them. I like the character, but how Bridget could even have thought Nick was the father after that speech is beyond me!

Odd, though, Owen's reaction to hearing Nick was the father, with Jackie eavesdropping on her husband's words. He told Bridget he was disappointed -- but didn't elaborate on what he was disappointed in or why. He must have meant disappointed he wasn't going to have the child he longs for, which is what made his sudden admonition of himself for his betrayal and profession of undying love for his wife kind of a weird switch. But no weirder than Nick gathering the Jackie M family together to announce Bridget's pregnancy! Who in that room didn't already know about it? Whip. And sure, Nick couldn't have known Oliver was already clued in. But the announcement had already been made to Owen, and Nick had just told Aggie earlier that day! Yet the whole thing came off as if these people were hearing it for the first time. Maybe they were just humoring Nick, whispering to themselves, "Yeah, he's on about the pregnancy again, but he signs the checks, so I guess we'll have to pretend it's news to us!"

Jackie's right about one thing -- Bridget is a terrible liar (which is not a bad thing). Her shaky, deer-in-the-headlights look should have alerted Owen that something was up. Nick already realizes something's amiss between Bridget's unconvincing behavior and his catching his wife and mother in heavy conversation twice. And Aggie's right there to help him realize it, isn't she -- dropping clues like they were Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs in the forest. Despite her protestations to Oliver, isn't she still hoping Nick will ditch Bridget for her? Jackie similarly insists her "Nicky" would leave Bridget if the truth came out -- but wouldn't that make him the hypocrite of hypocrites considering how many times he's done the cheating? Even if he divorces Bridget, it doesn't necessarily mean he would go running to Aggie -- although since she has little other purpose on the canvas these days, that's always a possibility. As is the prospect of Oliver's video showing up somewhere for Nick to see. But the bigger question is, will Bridget be able to carry her baby to term? Well, of course she will -- just in time for November sweeps. You watch. Mark your calendars. Bridget will have herself a Scorpio baby. Hey, she could name it "Scorpio," which would be a fun reference to Jack Wagner's long tenure on GH! "Scorpio Marone." Well, that's better than "Sagittarius Marone!"

Ah, but this here is May Sweeps, and I expect there will be a fair amount of you-know-what hitting the fan before Memorial Day arrives. Who will be the one to tell Nick the baby ain't his? (My money's still on Steffy.) Will Bill's attempt to regain Forrester succeed? And will Thorne stop crying about getting Mommy and Daddy back together if we buy him a Happy Meal? Speculate for yourselves on the Soap Central message boards, and feel free to send me comments about this column (venom-free, if you please). In the meantime, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

Mike (Adam-Michael James)
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