If one of the purposes of drama is to push buttons and provoke emotions, give Brad Bell an Emmy for this past week's episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful. I don't know about you, friends, but I was so incensed by some of what I saw that I was talking back to the screen. Fortunately, nobody was around, or I might have been carted off to the Institute for the Very, Very Upset Soap Fans!
Here's the gist of what irked me -- Stephanie bullying Thomas into lying to Ridge about what happened between Thomas and Brooke on the island. How could Thomas do that to Brooke? How could he do that to his father? Is he the same young man who told Brooke a few weeks ago to never tell Ridge about anything that happened while they were under the influence of the berries because he didn't want to hurt his dad? Remember how he said that Ridge would never look at Thomas the same way again if there was even an inkling of something inappropriate? Where did that Thomas go?
For Thomas, apparently, money and power are more important than love and respect. He loves and respects his father, but he wants the power and money that Stephanie dangled in front of his face if he would tell a lie. Not just any lie, but the biggest, cruelest, and most damaging lie of all: that Thomas and Brooke crossed the line and had sex. Thomas told his grandma that he believed that nothing had happened, but Stephanie didn't care. She was happy to believe the worst and convinced Thomas to lie so Stephanie could get what she wants -- what she's always wanted -- Ridge reunited with Taylor!
Stephanie didn't just blackmail Thomas with the promise of her shares of Forrester Creations when she died. Stephanie also used emotional blackmail to coerce Thomas. What child of divorce doesn't want his parents to reunite? Stephanie's argument to Thomas was simple; she let him know that it was in his power to give Taylor back the man she loves, Ridge. Never mind that Taylor was married to Whip, or Ridge is madly in love with Brooke. No, never mind the truth; let's just lie to achieve our objective.
Honestly, folks, how does Stephanie sleep at night? How can she justify her actions? She's screwing her own children -- Thorne and Felicia -- with the wave of her hand, claiming that they're taken care of. Really? That's all they deserve, to be cared for with a chunk of money? What about Thorne's years of blood, sweat, and tears in the business, his dreams of running the business? Doesn't Stephanie owe it to her second son to have a seat at the table? If not while she's alive, than in her will? If there was ever a question of a parent playing favorites, this clinches it. Ridge is Stephanie's numero uno, even though we all know that he's actually a Marone, not a Forrester!
Children are supposed to learn from their elders. Grandparents should be models of integrity and grace, a source for wisdom and guidance. Clearly, Thomas and Steffy have a grandmother who has no class or integrity and lacks the essentials of wisdom and guidance. What has Stephanie taught Thomas with this duplicitous development? She said that she was proud of him for lying? She didn't think he had it in him? Really, Stephanie, you're proud that Thomas lied to his father so Thomas can eventually run the company?
And, Steph, just to set the record straight, Thomas has a history of being a terrific liar. He lied to everyone in the family about his attempts to kill Rick when Rick was dating Steffy? He lied about putting a bomb in Rick's convertible. Yes, let's remember that Thomas has had emotional issues. That's all the more reason why encouraging him to tell a lie that would destroy Ridge and Brooke's relationship is so irresponsible! Thomas could crack up from the pressure of that lie and the guilt he'll feel for the ramifications.
It's not only Stephanie who's been a horrendous role model for Steffy and Thomas. So has Taylor. This week was a prime example of her shockingly selfish behavior. She's as much a liar as Stephanie. Taylor lied to Whip by marrying him when she knew that she was still in love with Ridge. What woman in her right mind would accept a proposal and marry a great guy like Whip, only to mistreat and mislead him? You might want to give Taylor a pass for her emotional overload as a result of the berries, but what's her excuse for the Paris fiasco? She was right there with Stephanie in Paris, panting at the door in hopes that Ridge would have dumped Brooke then. When Ridge chose to remain with Logan, Taylor returned to Whip. Wow, can you imagine what that welcome home sex must have been like? Has she even tried to make her marriage to Whip work?
Here's my big problem with Taylor, folks. She's a therapist. She should know that her feelings for Ridge are inappropriate and she should be seeing a psychiatrist to work out her feelings. She's damaged, seriously, psychologically damaged. I think it would be disastrous for her to remarry Ridge. She wouldn't be able to relax; she'd be in constant fear that he'd leave her for Brooke. Taylor's lack of self-awareness is insulting to viewers, because as a shrink she is ready, willing and able to tell others how to live their lives. As I've said before, "Physician, heal thyself!"
There are two major victims in this storyline -- Brooke and Ridge. Let's look at Ridge. This man has made up his mind so many times in favor of Brooke that to lose her now will rip his heart out. Plugging in Taylor will not make Ridge a happy man. And what makes this situation worse still is that Thomas is claiming to have made love to his stepmother, Ridge's soul mate. That's painful. Ridge didn't deserve to be stabbed in the heart like that, especially by his own child.
But it also has to be pointed out that Ridge is way too passive-aggressive with Taylor. He never comes out and tells her to stop holding out hope for their reconciliation. Why couldn't he have just told her at the hospital, "Get better, Doc, and go to Whip for love and affection because I'm a married man." Instead, Mr. Wishy-Washy keeps stringing her along. It's maddening.
The other victim, of course, is Brooke. I know there's plenty of you out there who think she's still the slut from the Valley and you can't forgive her for the mistakes (multiple mistakes) she's made. I get it. But in this case, Brooke really deserves better. She's been generous and supportive and helpful to Thomas. She's defended him and promoted his career. And in exchange for all that kindness and love, what has Thomas done? He's screwed Brooke. He's screwed up her marriage to Ridge. He's screwed up any chance Brooke has for a "happily ever after." And if Ridge can't forgive her this time, when she was not in her right mind when something may/might/could have happened, he doesn't deserve her.
Here's what I'd like to see happen: Stephanie gets her way and Ridge divorces Brooke. Brooke decides to date a series of interesting men -- Nick, Whip, whomever -- which makes Ridge realize what an idiot he was to let her go. Ridge is green with jealousy when he sees Brooke in the arms of other men. Still, noodle-spined Ridge is coerced into marrying Taylor again and he's utterly miserable. He works 24-hours a day to avoid going home to the wrong woman. Taylor is moaning and crying because nothing's like she imagined it would be. Stephanie realizes that she's done a terrible thing. She's crushed her son's spirit and shattered her best friend's dreams. Stephanie regrets her actions, but it's too late. A new man sweeps Brooke off her feet. He's a sexy playboy who thinks she's wasting her time with the Forresters. Brooke decides to marry him. Ridge races to the church to beg her to stop. Brooke shakes her head and tells Ridge, "Sorry, you had your chance." And you know who they should cast as the playboy? INGO RADEMACHER, who was just dumped by "General Hospital."
Did anything else happen last week? I can't think of something new in the Liam/Hope/Amber triangle. How many times can the same characters keep on saying the same dumb words over and over again? It's beyond ludicrous that two people in their early twenties (is Hope even 20 yet?) are letting their lives be turned upside down by a trashy older woman like Amber. Why is she even hanging out with the kiddies? Anyway, all Liam has to do is say goodbye to Amber and agree to take care of the baby. He doesn't need to be part of her life, day in and day out. This storyline is like a 1950s movie with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman, and they rarely ended with the lovers united!
I have to tip my cap to Mike for last week's Two Scoops. He had me cracking up when he talked about Thomas bringing the berries back from the island. They should have been jelly by the time they landed in Taylor's fruit bowl! You know, there's a saying that goes, "God is in the details." If Brad really wanted to convince us that this was a carefully crafted storyline, he wouldn't have sloppily written this nonsense about berries in the pocket. Also, forgive me for being a skeptic, but there had to be something other than berries on that rock to eat. Seaweed? Coconuts? Breadfruit? If a bush could produce berries, something else should have been growing.
Anyway, I'm expecting to be yelling at the set again this week as Ridge vacillates back and forth until pressed to throw Brooke under the bus -- again! Please, please, give her a new man to love! Brad, are you listening?
Well, in the meantime, here are some letters from the readers!
• As for this Brooke, Ridge and Taylor thing, oh come on! I am sick of Ridge running between the two women. Can't he make his mind up? I mean, really, like Brooke said he forgave her for a lot. Give me a break; she ate berries to sustain her life and he can't forgive her and wonders if anything really happened for real because of it? I am so sick of this story line. Can't we get more imaginative with the two stories and stop the repetition? - Lila