Did Thomas deserve a piece of the action?

For the Week of April 18, 2011
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B&B Two Scoops: Did Thomas deserve a piece of the action?
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Whatever happened to the notion of earning your place in the world? What have Steffy and Thomas done to earn everything that they've been given at Forrester?

I guess Thomas Forrester learned at the foot of the master. If you scream, scheme, lie, and connive for the things you really, really want, someone in your family will bend over and give it to you. I guess Steffy learned that lesson, too, right? Here they are, complete neophytes in the fashion business and yet they own more of Forrester Creations than their Uncle Thorne and Aunt Felicia. For Steffy, her willful shenanigans convinced her mother to hand over her shares of the company, making Steffy a major player in the company. Instead of being punished, she was rewarded.

For Thomas, complaining about Steffy's share of the company, disrespecting his father's authority, being inappropriate with his stepmother, and generally acting like a spoiled, entitled heir-apparent was just the recipe to get Ridge to give him five percent of his piece of Forrester Creations. Wow! Can you imagine how pissed off Thorne is these days? His niece and nephew have aced him -- and Felicia, too -- out of his share of the family legacy.

I'm really fed up with both Steffy and Thomas. I find them selfish and shallow. Whatever happened to the notion of earning your place in the world? What have Steffy and Thomas done to earn everything they've been given in Forrester? Steffy has been pulling this stuff for a long while, but Thomas was never like this before the role was recast. Okay, maybe that was the plan. New actor equals new traits for the character. I get it, but it's not the best writing. After all, Thomas was at Forrester International, learning the business. When did he become a designer? Does he really know a damn thing about tailoring a suit or choosing fabrics or using a needle and thread? Has he even graduated from high school?

The reason I ask is this: Brad Bell seems to think that higher education is overrated. Maybe it's a reflection of his experience. Brad learned the soap business from his father and mother and took over the family business. It was nepotism to be sure, but at least Brad and his brother and sister learned on the job. They grew up on The Young and the Restless. In the world of the Forresters and Logans, nobody studies fashion. Designers don't go to the Fashion Institute of Technology, they simply pick up a pencil and start sketching. Nobody really needs to know how to use a sewing machine. It's such an insult to people who really strive to make it in the rag trade. Characters on B&B just come by their ability to make clothes naturally...like osmosis.

Well, not every character has been anti-education. Bridget -- remember Bridget? -- she went to college. She even went to medical school. Bridget was a doctor before her Forrester fashion genes kicked in and made her give up healing the sick for dressing the unfashionable. Bridget has yet to return to Jackie M or medicine; she's too wrapped up in being a mama.

Thinking of Bridget reminded me of the other missing family members on the show. Will we ever see R.J.? Last time they showed Ridge and Brooke's son, he was a little younger than Hope. The way they talk about him now, you'd think he was still in elementary school. And if Thorne would ever get a storyline, maybe we'd see his daughter, Alexandra, again. She should be Hope's friend instead of someone who's never seen or heard from. Wouldn't it make sense for Hope to actually talk to her cousin about her life rather than just crying to Oliver and Liam over and over and over again?

I complain about what's wrong on B&B, but there were some really excellent scenes this past week, too. I absolutely loved Eric going toe-to-toe with Ridge about the Taboo/Thomas situation. It was brilliant the way Brad Bell used the show's history to reflect on the present. The ambition that Thomas is displaying is reminiscent of Ridge when he was a younger man. And, truth be told, Ridge did ruin Eric's marriage to Brooke. Brooke had a lot to do with it, too, but there was a lot of pain for Eric because it was his son, his beloved son, that destroyed the family he and Brooke had created.

There should be bad blood between father and son. In real life, would a father ever really get over a son having wronged him like that? Eric also made a good point about how Ridge needed to give Thomas a chance to evolve. Of course, when Brooke made the same point about Rick deserving a chance to have a piece of Forrester, Ridge squelched his ambitions, too! Ridge doesn't like sharing very much.

Still, Ridge was influenced by Eric's words to the point of giving Thomas a share of his share of the company. Now, call me crazy, but can't you just see that act of generosity coming back to bite Ridge in the butt some time down the road? Ridge now has fewer shares of Forrester Creations than Steffy. If Steffy and Thomas put their shares together, they could take over the company. Is that what Brad had in mind?

Of course, Steffy's attraction to Bill might include her interest in his shares of Forrester Creations. That girl has feelings so out of proportion when it comes to Bill that I don't think she knows what's in her heart...assuming she has a heart. No, seriously, this past week, Steffy was going on and on to Thomas about her love for Bill. She talked about Bill as though they were soul mates. What on earth does Steffy know about love? She's had one real relationship with a man in her life, her love affair with Rick. Other than that, it's been nothing substantive. Are we really supposed to think that what she feels for Bill is more than a crush? Why should we? Steffy's a nave child when it comes to love. She finds Bill attractive and elusive and dark and mysterious, but she doesn't know the man. It's all very juvenile.

And compared to what Katie is going through with Bill, Steffy's obsession is laughable. Katie is married to Bill; they have a love connection. It's not a passing fling. That was why I was so impressed with how Katie's past history with violence was brought up in relation to her marriage to Bill. Bravo, Brad, for remembering that Katie has been the victim of violence. When Katie explained how Storm's suicide was a result of her ignoring the violent nature he'd been nurturing for years, I was floored. She was absolutely right. Katie and the other Logans had inadvertently enabled Storm to feel entitled to his anger. That hatred led to his trying to solve his problems with a gun. The fact that Katie nearly lost her life as a result of his actions, and that he killed himself to give Katie his heart, intensified that tragedy. It was wonderful the way Brad tied it all together.

I didn't see that storyline coming, and it was a heck of a surprise. It was really well done, in no small part due to the acting ability of Heather Tom. She's always been a terrific actress when given good material. This was good material, and she made it work beautifully. Don Diamont also came through, albeit in the villain's role. That's right, Bill has become a villain. In his own mind, Bill's a heroic man, willing to kill for his child. But what Bill did with Amber was cowardly and weak. There's no way to excuse what he did, and he's making matters worse now by refusing to go for anger management therapy.

Bill has also used guilt and manipulation to make Katie the bad guy in their relationship. She was right to walk out on Bill after hearing about his plans for Amber. It would have been understandable if she had walked out on him for shamelessly letting Steffy flirt with him. That's not the way a husband should act, and yet Bill lets Steffy throw herself at him. Does it feed his ego? Probably, but he shouldn't even be alone with Steffy, not if he really wants to make his marriage to Katie work.

So, all in all, a really good week for the soap. In light of what happened with All My Children and One Life to Live being canceled, I think we should all be grateful for what we're getting from B&B. It's sometimes wild and crazy, but it's also dynamic and fun. I hope we have plenty more for years and years to come, don't you?

Well, in the meantime, here are some letters from the readers!

• I am still wondering why the writers are going along with the incestuous theme of Thomas and Brooke. Thank you for showing Eric today and I hope I get to see more of him. Katie is a very strong woman who was capable of working/running Forester in the faces of all the forester family, so why is she now running away from her problems with her husband. Katie marrying Bill is a very perfect match and can handle her husband very well. Please let her do so while staying with her husband. -- Magsta

• Writers, are we supposed to believe that a handsome, wealthy, dynamic billionaire, Bill, would be so enthralled by an immature twentysomething, Steffy? The man has probably had hundreds of women throw themselves at him, so what is supposed to be so special about Steffy? Bill knows she paraded her "goods" before his son just a few months ago. She was even low class enough to make sure Bill knew she was going after Liam. Is Bill supposed to be dumber than Owen, Oliver and Liam and want this low class stalker? -- Moe M.

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Allison J. Waldman
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