Cooking with Pam

by Mike
For the Week of June 21, 2010
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B&B Two Scoops: Cooking with Pam
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Will history repeat itself, leaving Brooke pregnant with Oliver's child? Since we've already gone there with Deacon, let's hope not, just for the sheer novelty.

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your baby shower turn into a downpour? Did you realize you tried on more than your daughter's clothes? Did your first time come complete with fireworks? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Say what you want, Brooke haters -- Mrs. Logan Forrester seems truly remorseful that she thought Oliver was her party favor and not Ridge. Weren't her flashes of the encounter happening without masks pretty skeevy? At least, let's hope they were just flashes and not actual memories. Yes, dear readers, I was hoping it was a plot twist or a deception, that it was really Steffy who was trying to set Brooke up somehow, but, for the moment, it does seem Brooke is in doo-doo of the deep variety.

At first, when confronted, Oliver seemed like an android with a programming malfunction the way he kept saying "Yes, Mrs. Forrester" over and over! But isn't it interesting that he started to ask what we were all wondering -- couldn't Brooke "tell" it wasn't Ridge? Dash it all, censors, but good on B&B for at least trying to, ahem, slip it in. Brooke was right, too -- Hope would not have wanted her first time to be up against a wall. What I want to know is, how is pregnancy not an issue for Brooke? It, uh, kind of always has been before. Is she on birth control now? Or was that a sly way of indicating that the infamous Valley girl has reached menopause? In any case, many viewers are predicting that history will repeat itself and Brooke will be pregnant by Oliver. Since we've already gone there with Deacon, let's hope not, just for the sheer novelty.

For as many times as Deacon has been mentioned recently, and for as many ways as he figures into current story, I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Sharpe is either sprung from jail or transferred from a Genoa City cell to an L.A. one before long. Why not? Amber's only weeks away from her B&B return. Ah, if only Y&R hadn't seriously compromised the character of Deacon. He was always a skank, but he was never a criminal. And, during his original run, he and Amber actually were kind of good together. But I digress...Father's Day may come a little late for Hope; however, it seems inevitable that it will, in fact, come.

Also inevitable is Hope's discovery that Mom sampled the goods. How long before she figures it out? When she let herself into Oliver's (huh? She has a key? Even if the door was unlocked, is she allowed to just barge in?), she was stunned enough to find Brooke there -- did Hope happen to notice the crumpled Kleenex in Brooke's hand like I did? Hope may need a few before this is all over. Also, it's doubtful Stephanie will still want to make peace with Brooke when she finds out. And I find that a total shame. Oh, I know the Brooke/Stephanie feud has driven the show for 23 years. But you know what? I like it when they get along. I like it when they're friends. Sure, there's no conflict that way -- and therefore no soap -- but underneath all that baggage is a genuine warmth between them. Too bad a new Ice Age is upon us.

Sandy/Agnes/Aggie Jones has had only one function on the show since her rapist was brought to justice -- being the keeper of Bridget's infidelity secret while trying to get Nick to pick up the Clue Phone. Well, as soon as she confirmed that Nick isn't Bridget's babydaddy, she let her fingers do the walking right quick. Didn't even wait for the baby shower to be over. Aggie has known about Bridget's tryst with Owen for months -- why go to Nick now just because of the paternity? If she truly wants the baby to make it -- regardless of parentage -- wouldn't it have been better to wait until after it was born? That November sweeps delivery date would have been the perfect time. What's left for Aggie to do now until then?

It was a little odd for her to throw a baby shower at this point, anyway -- not because it's early in Bridget's pregnancy, but because it was with a few hours' notice! Who does that? And by a pool where everyone can wear skimpy clothing except the expectant mother? Nice way to have Taylor and Steffy around, but it was a weird place for such a shindig. Especially since Taylor's house ended up being used as a confessional not once, but twice. Haven't Bridget and Owen learned by now to keep their traps shut in public places? The stress of keeping the secret until the third trimester could only increase the chances of Bridget miscarrying, surely. And at least Bridget is so consistent in being a bad liar that it made suspicious Aggie want to eavesdrop. But if Bridget felt Aggie was on to her, why chat so openly with Owen? This time their loose lips were of Mick Jagger proportions.

The you-know-what flew in Taylor's living room again when Aggie brought Nick in there to tattle minutes later. (Taylor's cleaning bill is going to be horrendous.) How interesting that Nick didn't believe a word of it! Not until he inexplicably dragged Bridget away to the office in the middle of a baby shower to confront her. Jackie M folks communicate in strange ways, don't they? Of course, Bridget couldn't deny the truth -- but she hasn't confirmed it yet. I'm sure on Monday she will, and then Nick will go thermonuclear on everyone. Wouldn't it be better story if Bridget didn't confirm it? Or, if she did, that Nick didn't go thermonuclear? He could truly not believe Aggie and turn against her. Or he could believe the truth, but not reveal that he knows -- and spend a little time playing cat and mouse with those around him. That would be different. But, if grapevines have anything to do with it, Owen's face will meet with a fist before too long. Bor-ing! Hey, Nick, I got one word for you: "Katie". You're gonna need some Windex for that glass house of yours, sailor man!

And didn't Oliver's video finally float to the surface as if it had spent the last few months in Taylor's pool? Well, it's sunning itself on a lounge chair now, kiddies. It can't hurt the Marones or Knights anymore, but if Steffy also finds out about Brooke's whoopsy moment with Oliver, she'll have an anti-Logan double-whammy that will have more impact than a...well, a gunshot to the shoulder!

Which brings us to the main story of the week -- and oh, how nice to deal with the adults for a change. Even the arrested development ones. Pam's like a virgin, touched for the very first time. And if I didn't already know it was just a plot on Stephen's part, I would say his interest in her is genuine, simply because his arguments -- and the vehemence of them -- are so compelling. Much of La Forrester's so-called control of her sister has been tied to the years she left Pam to take care of their mother in Chicago. Now, our only knowledge of the Douglas sisters' life in the Windy City is that Stephanie was abused, Ann kept quiet, and Pam played peacemaker. And you have to wonder if, as a result, Stephanie compensated for her own loss of power as a girl by learning to lord things over Pam. That would be consistent with Stephanie's control freak nature, and would certainly lend credence to Pam being led around by Stephanie, even if most of it has been off-screen. So Stephen isn't wrong by telling Pam she shouldn't let Stephanie dictate her life. He's doing so in a way that almost makes you think he actually cares.

Still, I think this storyline would be so much more effective if it weren't flying at a breakneck pace. For Stephen to gain control of Pam...for Pam to fall in love...for Pam's medication to wear off...these things don't happen overnight. Pam finally has a worthy storyline -- we should have had time to invest in her transformation -- both as an independent woman and one who regressed into her bipolar disorder to the point she's capable of shooting Stephanie if properly provoked. The, uh, execution, for want of a better word, was just a little too expedient here.

The other thing that concerns me is the implication that Stephanie was merely medicating Pam as a way to control her. Mental illness in any form is nothing to fool around with, especially when you're telling a story about it. Stephen getting Pam off her pills is a fine enough plot device, but one with a dangerous rationale. This kind of medication is prescribed for very good reasons. Only a doctor can determine if a patient is ready to go off of them. Yet Pam seemed to feel sex was a good enough substitute. And, if bipolar medication is anything like anti-depressants, Pam would have had to be off it longer than the better part of one day before she started exhibiting the behavior Stephen was looking to exploit.

That said, what a vehicle for Alley Mills! Her first meaty storyline in ages, full of history and resonance (sorry, but the blink-and-you-missed-it conflict over whether to keep Ann alive didn't count). Pam wanting to apologize to Stephen for what she did to Donna at that very cabin? Wow! Silly as that whole "Donna and the Three Bears" bit was originally, it was great continuity to address it here. And, for as anti-Logan as Pam has been, I was truly shocked when she point-blank asked Stephanie what "those poor Logan girls" had ever done to Stephanie besides marry her sons and make Eric happy when Stephanie couldn't! Had Pam merely been following "destroy the Logans" orders after all? It was great to see Pam get a personality and sass her older sister for a change -- sure, Stephen's overplaying it by implying Pam's been nothing but Stephanie's robot, but Stephanie did have a lot of this coming! Because really, Stephanie -- kidnapping your sister? Tying her hands and humiliating her? Not helping your case any, girlfriend!

Then there are the other characters in this storyline's orbit. While I loved Katie's "episode of The Twilight Zone" reaction, it was Bill who really grounded everything. He wasn't buying any of it for a second! Nor would he. Mr. Spencer has pretty well been castrated since Steffy's bogus blackmail, so it's good to see him return to form. He called Stephen on the carpet and figured out his plot while Brooke and Katie flailed around deciding what to do. Not to mention went up against Mike Guthrie in true Dollar Bill style. You say you still have an axe to grind with the Forresters, Bill? Then get out there and grind it! This show benefits from your special brand of kinetic energy.

Not that it wasn't great history to have Brooke recognize Mike when he showed up at Pam's apartment. After all, she was his boss! And they both have a connection to Sheila. Didn't I tell you Mike would do the right thing? So what if it took a little bravado from Brooke first before he spilled. Hey, interesting question -- if Pam was able to walk the straight and narrow with the help of meds, why couldn't Sheila reform that way now? OK, rant over -- seeing Mike just makes me miss the Sheila of old that much more...

And Stephen could have used a few lessons from Miss Carter. All that time he spent handling that gun with gloves -- then when he finally whips it out, he isn't wearing any! Now your prints are all over it, doofus! You don't watch crime procedurals, do you. At least he got away from Katie and Bill by slipping out the back -- but who knew Pam's apartment had a back to slip out of? And how exactly did he know where in Big Bear the Forrester cabin is? Can one Google it? Yes, Stephen, by your own admission, you let everyone down. But how does getting Pam to shoot Stephanie make that right? Besides, look who's talking to pictures and making diabolical plans -- maybe he's the one that needs medication!

Oh, but the look Stephanie gave him when he aimed that gun was priceless. Here's what Susan Flannery skillfully conveyed in one expression: "Oh, please. Do you know how many times I've had guns pointed at me? And all by people whose names start with 'S'. Well, Sheila got someone else's face and Storm is dead, so how do you think this is going to work out for you?" Still, her decision to taunt Stephen at that moment probably wasn't a good one. Nor was Pam's idea to make lemon bars instead -- totally not the right time for lame comedy! But, the further the confrontation went on, the more I became convinced that Stephen's move to declare Pam's independence might've come from something real. Is there a bonafide "Stam" pairing in the offing?

The final denouement -- getting the gun into Pam's hands -- would have played better if Pam had been given more than five minutes to descend into madness, as I said before. Yet, for a moment, it really seemed as if Pam was going to put a bullet in her sister. It wasn't particularly surprising that Stephanie got the gun away from Pam. But boy was it when Stephanie turned around and plugged Stephen! Wasn't expecting that at all! And who knew, after admitting it felt good to do it, she'd train the gun on the fallen Logan and smirk "Say hi to Beth for me"! Whoo! Fade to black, Friday cliffhanger over! Gotta admit, it was a good one -- although it was so dangerously close to out of character for Stephanie that part of me wonders if it wasn't an elaborate Pam fantasy. Because couldn't Stephanie face jail for shooting Stephen the same way Storm did for shooting Stephanie? Oh, who cares -- watching La Forrester go all Bonnie and Clyde was more fun than I should publicly admit to!

Besides, the real crime is that poor, recurring Thorne is still in storyline limbo, while the backburnered Thomas and Rick at least get to go to parties! Who'd be surprised if Thorne suddenly burst in brandishing a gun himself, shot all the other characters, and declared "Nuh uh, y'all, this is my show now!" One can dream. In the meantime, there are many sticky wickets to be had in L.A., and we'll have to wait and see how everyone gets unstuck. Now that Stephanie's tried to kill two Logans at Big Bear, will she just go for the gusto and blow Katie away when she gets there? Will Aggie get a gold star for telling on her classmate? And what to say about Our Miss Brooke? The Soap Central message boards have been buzzing since she went to the wall with Oliver, but there's plenty more room for your own speculation. And keep those comments a'comin' over here! I appreciate them all. Could summer actually be hot on B&B? Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

Mike (Adam-Michael James)
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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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