Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your daddy teach you that the sword is mightier than the pen? Did your brother get a new face to go along with his new attitude? Did you start your fall with a fall? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!
Good Lord! There's only six soaps left on the air. If they expect to live to tell, then they need to bring it, and I mean bring it on! Let's see if B&B held up its end of the bargain these last five episodes, shall we, Scoopers?
Oliver -- or rather, Zack Conroy's performance -- seems different somehow. And not just because of his vastly improved hair. I can't quite define it. Yet, it still isn't enough to go up against Scott Clifton's Liam, which was only proved by putting them in a scene together. Why do I not feel bad that Oliver lost Hope to Liam? While it was interesting to pair the boys up to rap about Hope, Liam really seems like he belongs on the show, and in its world, far more than Oliver ever did, especially now. Truthfully, Oliver doesn't really have a place on the canvas anymore.
Meanwhile, Hope is beaming about her newfound "L-word" with Liam. At least she acknowledges that it's all moving too fast, because it is -- Ridge is right about that. Of course, the girl is barely legal, so I guess it's expected. Yet somehow the Hope/Liam connection feels more grounded than the Hope/Oliver connection did. Now that Oliver's free, you'd think that Steffy, who busted more moves than Michael Jackson trying to steal him away from Hope, would snatch him up. But nooooooo! Now she's going after Liam. Steffy's right -- she's not playing games with Hope. She's playing games with herself. Even Taylor realizes by now that Steffy's romantic choices are unhealthy. Finally.
Of course, as soon as Brooke walked in, Taylor forgot all that and went back to defending Steffy. "Don't you think it's a little odd, Taylor, that your daughter is only interested in the men Hope is involved with?" Taylor knows Brooke is right, but of course shuts down because it's Brooke saying it. As for Steffy, when is B&B going to give this aspect of her a rest? Her contention that Liam was a dork but now has "a whole different pedigree" as William Spencer III makes her even more superficial than she already was. And Steffy can't give Hope "stiff competition," because Hope and Liam are already too into each other! At least Oliver gave you the time of day, Steffy. You're losing your touch, girl! Do you think she just wants Liam because she couldn't have daddy Bill?
Over at Spencer Publications, Bill embraced his new son by giving him a job and a matching sword necklace. I loved Bill's explanations about the necklace and why he's called "Dollar Bill" -- he's ruthless, but with such style. Don Diamont has been on fire lately, and he and Scott Clifton seem to bring out the best in each other. But I admit I'm not sure why Bill decided it was necessary to start a scandal over at Jackie M. He squelched Brooke's scandal "against [his] better judgment" in deference to Katie, but somehow had no problem dragging Katie's niece through the mud for the shareholders? Maybe Katie has some residual issues with Bridget regarding Nick, and Bill sensed Katie wouldn't mind a little free-for-all! Still, did Bill really think that publicly exposing Logan's paternity was going to endear Liam to him at all? Liam was obviously not groovin' on it. And I wonder what Aunt Katie will say about it!
It was short but sweet, but B&B finally had a fashion show! The first of 2010. Took long enough, considering we're almost into October. Admittedly, the Venetian collection was uninspired and every dress looked the same, but we got music and reporters and lights and actual models, so I shouldn't complain. And, of course, B&B fashion shows never come off without their share of drama. Didn't Jackie just handle herself marvelously? After trying to hold back, she just went balls out and told the gathering wolves that she and Owen don't follow a formula and yes, he's the father, so now what. I don't quite understand how this is supposed to be such a scandal. Bill and Whip separately say it's because Jackie and Owen project a certain image and the public will feel misled by the truth. That just feels kind of contrived to me. The Brooke/Oliver mask-boink justified a scandal. But in this world of TMZs and Perez Hiltons, Logan's paternity seems pretty tame. In this case, as Amber said, it will probably just heighten Jackie M's already exotic mystique rather than hurt it.
Somehow it was heartening to see Amber supporting Jackie, and it was a nice touch for her to reference her own blemished history. "I've been through worse things than this, and I'm still standing." You betcha, Amber. She may not have much to do right now, but at least it resonates. It's also nice to see Amber and Bridget becoming friends given their own history, although I'm struggling to remember why they were at odds. Something about Amber trapping Bridget and Ridge together when they were incestuously considering getting together? If so, Bridget seems to be getting over it, or she wouldn't be thanking Amber for tending to baby Logan. Much less talking to Amber about Rick. Considering only a few months ago Amber was married to Y&R's Daniel, her interest in reuniting with Rick seems strange. Does Amber realize that Rick is nowhere near the same guy she was married to? If she knew what Rick was like during the whole Ridge/Steffy debacle, I don't think she'd be so anxious!
Rick is otherwise occupied on a mission, anyway -- to possess Venus! Or, rather, Jackie. Apparently B&B is intent on continuing this baseless pursuit, which is overall pretty painful to watch. The only saving grace of it is, at least Rick is fun right now. Better that than diabolical -- although gussying himself up in statue make-up so he can look like Owen and make a play for Jackie is diabolical in its own way, isn't it? Jackie was quite seductive, purring her way through her commands and instructions. But couldn't she tell from Rick's stubble that he wasn't Owen? For that matter, how was Rick able to cover his entire body in make-up in so short a time -- unassisted?
The reason this isn't working is because Jackie isn't the least bit tempted by Rick, nor has Owen been unwavering in his devotion to Jackie. In fact, Owen seems even more devoted to her than he did when Logan was first born. And I maintain that Rick and Jackie never even moved in the same circles, so Rick's sudden desire to sweep Jackie up after Owen dumps her for Bridget is exactly that -- sudden. Maybe Rick and Steffy belong together after all -- they're both determined to steal other people's paramours! And sure, it was fun to watch Owen try to kick Rick's butt, but the whole sequence went on way too long. I guess if you're going to cover two of your actors in statue make-up, you'd better get the most use from it!
Over at the FC, "the role of Thomas Forrester is now being played by Adam Gregory." I used to get a secret thrill over those announcements, and boy do I miss the voice of Bern Bennett. But what to think of nuThomas? It may be too early to really tell, but so far I'm not feelin' it. I still don't think there was anything wrong with Drew Tyler Bell, so maybe that's why I'm resisting a recast. Or maybe it's just that Adam Gregory is just too "model pretty" (although he certainly has Ridge's cheekbones!). I also don't find his performance compelling yet. The material was there, but Mr. Gregory isn't embodying it. It's like he's reciting. That may well be because he hasn't had a chance to soak in the history he has to act from, so I'll reserve any further or final judgment -- but I'm missing Drew already, quite honestly.
Still, considering Ridge and Thomas have had few scenes together in recent memory, it was nice to see them bond over backing Brooke and their mutual dismay over Stephanie's hatred of her. A lot of you are saying that Thomas is only suddenly supporting Brooke because he's going to end up in bed with her -- I agree his declarations are a bit out of nowhere, but I don't think that's it, especially considering someone else he's supposed to pursue in the near future. Meanwhile, how insightful was it of Thomas to suggest that Stephanie misdirected her childhood anger onto Brooke? But I need to slap Brad Bell, because he gave away something during that conversation that in no way should have been telegraphed. I want to keep things as spoiler-free as possible for those of you that avoid them, so I won't say what it was, but Brad should have known to do the same. Tsk.
Of course, by now you already know part of it. Stephanie and Brooke were back at it this week, following in the footsteps of 23 years. Brooke has always tried to gain Stephanie's approval, and Stephanie has always said no. It was more of the same when Stephanie suggested Brooke leave the company permanently to focus on her kids for a change. Her snarkiness was fun, but her renewed hostility toward Brooke keeps coming off as harsh -- before the mask-boink, Stephanie was ready to hang up the gloves! Of course, it's all a precursor of what's coming, and I sure am crossing my fingers on this one. If done right, it could seriously be one of the biggest and best storylines B&B has ever had.
Because, let's face it -- B&B hasn't really had a decent storyline since Stephanie was forced to confront her childhood through her mother, Ann. That was powerhouse. But Stephanie didn't really seem to learn from it -- she's as belligerent as ever. Susan Flannery can nail any emotion, so even when Stephanie is a one-note harpie -- as she was during the impromptu family meeting this week -- she's still compelling. But ah, La Forrester is at her best when little rays of sunlight peek through the cracks. Stephanie continued to bait Brooke, but she seemed genuine when she said, "I am going to trust that you will never hurt [Hope] like that again." It's like her venom against Brooke at this point is almost an old habit, because even she admitted she was tired of the conflict and suggested she and Brooke just avoid contact with each other to prevent more of it.
Brooke, for that matter, is holding her own against Stephanie more than ever. It's great to see her not back down. But you can still see in her the caterer's assistant who long ago just wanted Stephanie to like her. What would it be like if these two could bury the hatchet for good? Would B&B lose its greatest conflict? Or would it gain something even better? There have been times Stephanie and Brooke have gotten along, and it's always been kind of heartwarming, if you ask me. Even Stephanie can now admit Brooke was good for Forrester Creations. Is it just that Stephanie needs someone to rage at, and Brooke fits the bill?
A little while back, when Brooke "pushed" Stephanie, it ended up being an isolated incident that went nowhere. If I hadn't known what's coming, I would have had to roll my eyes at it happening again. And both Brooke and Thomas are right -- Stephanie's faked a heart attack already, so isn't she capable of anything? But what made Brooke's refusal to buy Stephanie's latest collapse as the real thing more compelling now is because this time Stephanie wasn't crying wolf. Stephanie's meek "Help me, honey" should have clued Brooke in that something was really wrong -- when was the last time Stephanie called Brooke "honey"?
Brooke must have sensed it, but walked away initially out of stubbornness from being duped before. And she consistently reminded the paramedics that Stephanie was not pushed. Yet, she stuck around Stephanie's hospital room. Brooke and Stephanie both knew on some level that Dr. Lewis' tests were not being ordered for the sheer heck of it. And Brooke's "you're a remarkable woman...do good with the time you have left" speech didn't come from nowhere. And now...Stephanie's been diagnosed with cancer, with Brooke on hand to hear it. It's starting, Scoopers. And now it begins.
Oh, how much better B&B is when it digs! This is what good soap is supposed to be. And since Brooke and Stephanie are part of the "Core Four," squabbling since Episode One, I'm hoping the journey they're about to embark on will be just dripping with history. I know there's talk that Susan Flannery may leave the show, and I've heard rumblings from viewers who say they'll stop watching if Stephanie goes. But consider this: Susan Flannery's had a long, distinguished career, with almost a quarter-century on B&B. Doesn't she deserve to relax now if she wants to? Remember, she's a cancer survivor herself -- and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was her suggestion for Stephanie to fall victim to it. Whether she leaves the show, and whether or not Stephanie dies as a result, just be happy she'd be going out with a bang, and enjoy it, because you know Susan will knock it out of the park!
Interestingly, in my recollection, B&B has only done two cancer storylines: in 1994 with Macy, and in the 2000s with Felicia. (Maybe this is the reason Lesli Kay is returning in October! To support Stephanie!) B&B has always done campy very well, and of course its myriad romantic entanglements are legend. But B&B is really at its best when it does substance. So, sad as the story has the potential to be, I'm really looking forward to it, and a little bird told me it will also interconnect with another of Stephanie's kick-ass storylines from 1991. Color me excited, Scoopers!
A few points to ponder: Why, moments after arguing with him, did Oliver pat Liam on the back upon Ridge's arrival? To commiserate since they've both been sucker-punched by Ridge?...Liam already promised Ridge that he would support Forrester in their lawsuit against Spencer -- so isn't his going to work for Spencer now a conflict of interest one way or the other?...Amber commented that this Jackie M show was "the biggest since I've been here" -- it's also the only since she's been there!...Whip is just a PR man, so why is he in the trenches telling the models to do a good job?...Bridget looks pretty slender for a woman who just had a baby a few weeks ago, doesn't she?
Let's see what you guys are thinking this week:
• Hey, Mike -- thanks a million for an always objective and interesting 2Scoops Commentary! I am as baffled as you are over the Rick and Jackie situation. Where did THAT come from? Is that the best Bell can do with Rick's character? As much as I love Rick, I'd rather see him gone than watch Bell continue this painful destruction of the character! -- Sophie
• If Susan leaves, B&B will lose the fire [it] has. I've watched it from day one. No one can fill her shoes. I know I'll miss her. She's the whole reason I watch the show. She's the show's bomb and that's the truth. -- Phachita
• Wouldn't it be a riot if Liam is actually Eric's son? After all, the doc said there was a very high probability that Liam is Bill's, but the test results are not 100% accurate. Stephanie would flip! After all, Liam's mom told him to go to Forrester to find his dad." -- Jay
• Thank you to you and Allison for keeping the column real. Why is it that all we are reading on the boards is how Brooke is going to bed Thomas? Do these people not realize that there is only one woman on this show that has boinked a much younger son, and that was Taylor? This seems to be a Brooke-hating mantra: 'Brooke will bed Thomas because she is lonely.' Taylor was obsessed with bedding any man that was connected in any way to Brooke. I think there is a better chance of Taylor bedding RJ before Brooke would ever bed Thomas. -- Cyd
• Saw you started watching in 1988...I saw Teri-Ann Linn (original Kristen Forrester) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) and I was hooked. Anyway, your recaps are tremendous -- I look forward to them every week. I've been with the show since its infancy and no matter how ridiculous it gets, will stick with it. Keep up the great work! -- Larry
And no, Larry - as far as I know, Ronn Moss has never sung Baby Come Back on the show. I don't think Ridge has ever sung at all! Macy, Thorne, Sally, Nick, even Eric - but not Ridge. Someone correct me if I'm wrong!
Share your thoughts about Stephanie and everything else B&B on the Soap Central message boards, and of course keep your comments a-comin'. I really enjoy Scooping for you guys and am grateful to be here. You don't wanna miss a moment of B&B right now, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!