"Bridge" collapse

by Mike
For the Week of October 15, 2012
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B&B Two Scoops: 'Bridge' collapse
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The very foundation of B&B shook this week as Brooke explained Ridge's absence and Stephanie started a journey sure to choke us up like traffic on a Los Angeles freeway. Sift through the rubble of these seismic B&B shifts with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you expose yourself to your sister-in-law? Did your thumbs get you into a mess of trouble? Did you receive the worst news possible? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al this week!

Hello, there, Scoopers! Mike here again to speak of all things bold and beautiful. Allison will be back October 29 (after which we'll resume trading weeks), but will she recognize B&B when she returns? Between the potentially permanent separation of Brooke and Ridge, and the Grim Reaper having an appointment in Stephanie's day planner, it's a fascinating but sobering time on our soap!

But first, Rick must have bought stock in Timex, because he took a licking and kept on ticking, even after Thomas threw more than his weight around. I have to say, even though Eric had told Stephanie he'd support whoever was chosen as interim CEO, I loved that Eric threatened to step in if Thomas kept up his shenanigans. "You gonna run Forrester like this?" Eric raged. I'm always tickled when John McCook gets something to do besides sip martinis. And more he'll get. But we'll come to that.

Then Caroline dumped Thomas in a hot minute after witnessing his violent outburst. (Wait 'til she finds out that Thomas also blows up cars!) "Maybe I got caught up in the fantasy of Ridge and Caroline," Caroline 2.0 mused, with Linsey Godfrey getting a chance to show some serious spunk. However, it was tacky for Caroline to have that convo in front of Rick. And Caroline proved she's related to Liam by jumping into Rick's bruised arms just five seconds later! Apparently Spencers don't let no grass grow!

Rick made an interesting comment about moving on. Two Scoops reader Jeanne suggested that Rick "[split] from Forrester Creations because his ego won't allow him to work under Thomas, hire Amber and give FC a run for their money. [Have him] invite Owen and Jackie on board. That should get things moving!" Wouldn't that be a tasty dish to set before the king? Rick does have the experience. In the meantime, I'll just keep smiling while watching Thomas fumble all over being CEO. Smiling wide.

Damn! We almost made it an entire week without Liam, but not quite. Sorry, Scott Clifton. It's not your fault. It's just that watching Liam tell Hope he was ready to marry her though he sexed Steffy the same day further illustrated why Liam is becoming the character to hate on B&B. Strangely, I actually didn't mind Hope and Steffy's chat! Steffy refrained from being smug. Hope kept her claws in. Thought she was clearly asking questions she wasn't prepared to hear the answers to.

"Why does this even matter to you?" Steffy wanted to know. Indeed. Maybe Hope just needed confirmation that she made the right decision in not taking Liam back. (Trust me, sister: you did.) The most interesting part was the way Hope blew Steffy off after their talk. Of course, the indifference was just a cover. Wouldn't this be an interesting, appropriate time for Hope to start popping pills again? (In a more plausible story this time, too.) Unless Daddy Deacon were there to stop her.

If we didn't know Sean Kanan was headed back to "General Hospital" ("B&B's been concentrating on a lot of its younger cast members", Sean cited in an interview. That's Veteran #3!), I'd swear that Freaky Deaky was going to be around for a while, the way he tried to blackmail Bill into giving him a job at Spencer. How awesome was Sir Kanan this week? Deacon clearly had Bill by the balls, but his sincerity about wanting to do right by Hope was 100% believable. Though I could have done without Deacon walking into Bill's office the second Bill mentioned him. Right.

Bill showed an interesting side in this Battle of the Baddies. "Don't let the trappings of my corporate success fool you," he warned, basically threatening to have Deacon bumped off. Would we really put that past Bill? He did plot to kill Amber, and who knows how dirty Bill's hands got while living in New York. I mean, we know nothing about his past. But for someone who's gotten away with every scheme, he's certainly starting to pay finally, in the form of Katie's very cold shoulder.

Heather Tom made the viewers need parkas this week as Katie icily refused to let Bill past her wall. And Ms. Tom made it look so effortless. "Why is it always about you?" Katie quietly demanded of Bill, who was prevented from checking on his newborn son. "I don't want you waking him up," she ordered as she scowled. This is a far cry from the Katie that let Bill get away with planning a murder, rigging a gondola, faking an MRI, and locking her in a tower -- and I'm loving every frozen minute of it.

Katie does seem to be grappling with postpartum depression -- something not often seen on soaps -- but if she is, didn't it come on rather quickly? Though B&B more than once tried to make us believe several "days" had passed, it's really only been one "day" since Katie gave birth. I'm not a mother; I don't know. To me it seems Katie's resistance to the baby has more to do with what triggered his premature delivery, though her matter-of-fact "I hate it when he cries" statement did pack a wallop.

Now, spoilers and fans alike seemed to indicate there was going to be an unsavory connection between Bill and Brooke when he called her to help with Katie. Where was it? Because I didn't see it. All I saw was Brooke trying to help her sister and giving Bill support. Well, until Katie spilled a few beans about Bill's Deacon deed that made Brooke want to know more. Wouldn't Bill have heard Katie dropping those hints on the baby monitor? I'm just saying.

Not that it mattered, because Bill actually did the unthinkable and filled Brooke in about Deacon himself. Man, I love to watch Katherine Kelly Lang play pissed. Brooke can be insufferable when she simpers, but let her go all mama lion, and she becomes riveting. "Once you're in jail, maybe [Hope and Liam] will have a chance," Brooke said with a sneer. "You're the only one who still thinks that," Bill countered. Boom! That's the one thing Bill's been right about in this whole thing.

So, Brooke agreed not to send Bill to the slammer for Katie's sake -- and Will's. But something was off in Brooke's sudden call for forgiveness. Yes, babies can pick up on their parents' moods and conflicts, but for Brooke to tell Katie she wasn't allowed to be angry just made me go, "Huuuhhhhh?" Putting your child's welfare first is paramount, but emotions and issues can't just be turned off like that. Katie extended an olive branch to Bill, but something tells me this ain't over yet, kiddies.

Besides, I felt like Brooke's words carried the meaning of wanting forgiveness for herself, since she made a mistake that left her without a husband. I knew when Ronn Moss picked up his marbles and left the game, Brad Bell would have to scramble to find a good reason for Ridge's exit. I knew he'd have to work fast and that it wouldn't be perfect. But Ridge leaving Brooke because she was sending Deacon texts to get him to leave her daughter alone? Really? Let me just repeat that for emphasis: Really?

Sure, Brooke has a lurid history with Deacon, and Brooke had promised to stop lying. But please. Ridge forgave Brooke for mask-boinking Oliver with an "Oh, Logan" and a shoulder shrug, but we're supposed to believe Ridge reached his limit because Brooke was trying to protect Hope from Deacon? Even Katherine Kelly Lang told Soaps In Depth that it was a silly way to burn that "Bridge." Ridge's departure needed to be huge...and that's the best Brad Bell could do?

And Daytime Confidential said it way better than I could: "We have endured countless rinse and repeat storylines with Hope and Liam's various botched weddings...one of which involved marriage licenses not being filed. Now we have to suffer a similar lazy, stupid, idiotic explanation for Ridge and Brooke's demise?" Preach! Pam already invalidated one "Bridge" marriage in 2009 by forgetting to file paperwork. All the more reason Ridge and Brooke wouldn't wait until they got home to file their marriage license!

So now, Ridge is visiting R.J. in boarding school. Which is soap code for "the kid's getting aged soon because we don't know what to do with him." Even though I loved the quick flashbacks illustrating Ridge and Brooke's past (flashbacks packed with thousands of times more meaning than any Leffy/Lope revisit will ever have), I was so hoping Ridge would just go missing in Europe (what a cool mystery that would have been!), and that maybe Stephanie would race off to look for him.

Instead, Stephanie -- and fans -- got confirmation that the hourglass is almost empty for La Forrester. First, Brad Bell has revealed details of Stephanie's exit in December. Apparently it will start with Stephanie spending an episode each with the likes of Taylor, Thorne, Pam, even Donna, and, of course, Brooke. And there will be a big gala, where somehow Stephanie will chat with Sally Spectra, I'm guessing much in the CGI'd way Taylor hung out with 1992 Ridge in her St. Thomas fantasy last year.

And that all sounds good. But you know what worries me? Brad's contention that "we're firing up the Forrester living room set for the last time." Wait -- so Stephanie dies, and B&B's most infamous set dies with her? Is that necessary?

Knowing all this made it almost difficult to watch Susan Flannery this week. I found myself feeling as if every moment of Stephanie's screen time were the last. Stephanie tried to soothe Brooke's loss of Ridge with some interesting explorations of the tortured lovers' personalities. But when Stephanie told Brooke "we created each other, didn't we," I knew that Stephanie was aware of what her coughing meant. "You're going to be in charge of the family," she surmised, giving us, and Brooke, a glimpse of the future.

When Stephanie submitted to tests with Dr. Lewis (good continuity!) and told Eric they had to be prepared, the handwriting was on the wall: Stephanie Douglas Forrester would soon be leaving us. One thing B&B got really right was choosing not to use any music during the scene where Dr. Lewis gave Stephanie her prognosis. It made it so much more powerful.

When Stephanie opted to keep the news a secret, Eric pointed out, "You already tried that," referencing 2010's "bucket list" episodes. But this time, Eric is on this train with her, and together John McCook and Susan Flannery are going to give us the ride of our lives. I want to see it, but it's hard, because Stephanie's not going to come back from the dead like Ridge did once or Taylor did twice. When we see Stephanie take her last breath, it will be the end of B&B as we know it. With the children left to mind the store. Shudder.

Kind of a somber way to wrap up, but I'm at least heartened that we're actually getting some soap from B&B right now, and that we're promised soap through the rest of the year. The show has won Emmys in recent years for things I didn't think merited the awards, but Stephanie's barnburner exit is going to give them one they deserve. And Susan Flannery as well! Wow, I'm going to miss her.

What are your thoughts as B&B changes before your very eyes? Comments from soapcentral.com readers have already been pouring in, so don't be afraid to add your own fuel to the fire. Let us know what you're thinking, and your words may end up in a future column. Like these!

    • "I had to laugh at your comment that Ridge wouldn't make an important decision like appointing a CEO and send it in an email...why not? This is the man who believed his wife gave him permission to sleep with Morgan in an email. Emails are for all that important stuff...lol..." -- Maggie (AUTHOR'S NOTE: Touché, Maggie!)

    • "A good reason for Ridge not to come back to Los Angeles with Brooke [would be]...is Sheila Carter really dead? Maybe she was terrorizing Brooke and Ridge on their honeymoon...and now she's holding Ridge captive somewhere but agreed to let Brooke go for some reason! If not Sheila maybe...Morgan Dewitt...escaped from the mental hospital! I mean how else to explain why Katie and Taylor switched houses. Now Taylor is going to be...at the beach house alone. Thorne will somehow have to save her...I just want something exciting to pop off on B&B. I miss those days!..." -- Brandy

    • "Just think. If Oliver had sent Brooke a text, Ridge could have ended their relationship a couple of years ago. LOL..." -- Ron

    • "Ok there has been so much wrong with the story telling process these days. The purchase of Taylor's house, Katie's short hospital stay after a C-Section, heart attack and FLAT LINING AND DISCHARGE all in the same day. Leadership at Forrester, Liam-Hope-Steffy and where the hell is Ridge. None of it has a logical flow. And...why has everyone forgotten Thomas and Steffy own 50% [of the stock] compared to Ridge's 25% and Eric's measly 12.5%, so who has the authority, not Eric and certainly not Eric Jr. Please get this storyline together and quick... Why [do] the writers never address [Liam's] refusal to [take responsibility] for his actions it's always Bill's or Steffy's fault...EPIC FAIL on [explaining] why Ridge did not return with Brooke, give me a break...we are supposed to believe that he dumped Brook because he suspects her of Deacon, how insulting..." -- Stephanie

    • "I think B&B is in real trouble with both Ronn Moss and Susan Flannery jumping ship and their only hope is to bring back another strong leading man from the past to save the show. I think this man is Jack Wagner. Even though I am a huge Ridge and Brooke supporter I always thought Nick and Brooke had great chemistry...viewers also want to see an adult love story again...not just this stupid kiddy Lame triangle! ...Maybe Jackie could [come back for] Eric... Bell needs bring some of his veterans back on the canvas [because B&B is swiftly losing its history]. I know William Bell would never let this happen to his show! There is no future for this show if it continues to lose its past..." -- Joey

So true, Joey! I mean, I know time marches on, but if B&B thinks it can pin its future on what we've seen so far in 2012, then 2012 may not be the end of our world Mayan-style, but the point of no return for a once-great soap!

Whoo, that was a party-poop statement, wasn't it! Let's liven things up with some Points to Ponder:

Supposedly Deacon texted Brooke first. What, Brooke has the same cell number from eleven years ago? And Brooke should know not to chuck technology: remember what happened when Liam threw his suddenly filming iPad... "Who is Brooke without Ridge?" Donna wondered. That was profound, Donna... Katie made to sure to remind us twice that she "just had a C-section and a heart attack." Then why are you home, Katie?... Bill and Brooke's "we have to help Katie" convo dragged on way too long. Just go talk to Katie already!

Was Pam and Donna's painful scuffling over a stapler really meant to be comic relief?... I loved how Stephanie was ornery about being at the doctor's office. That was so in character... Hope listed the litany of reasons she and Liam tanked, including "if not for the pills, if not for Amber!" Was that actually a reference to Amber's 2010-2011 interference finally? Or a reference to the more nonsensical interference this year with the pills?... "Have you set a wedding date?" Hope asked Liam. Are weddings all this girl thinks about?

Stephanie's swan song has begun, and, if nothing else, it will teach the Kiddie Patrol what a soap is supposed to look like. It's gonna be epic, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold! See you again next week here at Soap Central!

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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