Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you switch tactics with your opponent? Did you try to pop yourself like a balloon? Did you daydream about a B&B that could be? These and more situations faced the Forresters et al (and me) this week!
Well, Scoopers, it's 2013, but I think Brad Bell didn't get the memo, because he's partying like it's 2012 -- and 2011 -- by giving us another heaping helping of Leffy/Lope lunacy. If he didn't want to take our word for it here at Soap Central, certainly he saw that Soap Opera Digest, Daytime Confidential, and Michael Fairman are also sick of the Triangle That Wouldn't Die. To say nothing of B&B's many disgruntled fans. It's all I can do to write about it; it really is.
At least we got a wide range of characters this week, but when even Karen and Dani get sucked into the whirlpool that is Leffy/Lope, you know something's wrong. It was nice to see Dayzee and Marcus, but if they've been sitting on the knowledge that Bill sabotaged Liam and Hope's wedding since it happened, why are they only now popping off about it? And how was it even any of Dayzee's business?
No, it just felt like Brad Bell decided it was time to expose Bill's treachery, and forced the story into being instead of actually letting some suspense build up. Okay, I'll admit it -- I did rather get a kick out of Hope storming through Bill's window with a golf club. But come on -- who has dollar signs on their security gate's keypad (complete with sound effects!), and how did Hope figure out the entry code in three seconds flat? And since when does Bill play golf -- much less leave his clubs sitting on his doorstep?
I suppose some of you are wondering, "since when did Bill become an alcoholic?" But you know, that's a totally logical story point to me. Many a time have we seen Bill with a drink in his hand, and his erratic, megalomaniacal behavior actually starts to make sense when you think of him as a functioning alcoholic. His "intervention" was pretty sudden, but it was far more justified than Nick's I've-only-ever-smoked-two-cigars intervention a couple of years ago.
Then Hope "played through," and it looked as though Bill's house of cards was finally going to collapse on top of him. But something very strange happened through all the revelations and rationalizations -- nothing. Bill made no actual admissions, Hope got over everyone knowing about Bill's schemes two seconds after finding out they knew, and there was never any sense that Bill was busted. Even Hope's threats to Bill, which should have been thrilling, fell flat.
If Hope really wanted to take everything away from Bill, all she had to do was go to the police about Bill breaking Deacon out of jail and faking Steffy's MRI. Boom! Bill is arrested, Spencer goes down in scandal, revenge complete. Instead, Hope ran to Liam. Oh, I agree that Liam had a right to know, but I am not buying Hope's sudden "I'm going to get Liam back" stance. She didn't like it when Steffy panted after Liam during their relationship; why is she doing the same thing now?
Hope is also laboring under the misconception that she and Liam would be married were it not for Bill and Rick's interference. Bill might have sabotaged the Italian wedding, but Hope dumped Liam at the altar of their do-over wedding when he showed up with dyed hair and a tattoo. And that was before Rick lied about Steffy and Liam making out at the club. Hope had declared she'd had enough of Liam being tied to Steffy. Smartest thing Hope ever did. She's an idiot for wanting him back now.
When Liam ran to confront Bill over his misdeeds, I thought we'd see some comeuppance. Some fire. And you know, Liam said all the right things...but again, what should have been a strong scene had no impact. Bill stabs himself with Liam's sword necklace, and he calls Hope unstable? This is why I think it's very possible Bill is an alcoholic. Liam, however, reclaimed his title as Chump of the Century when he fell for Bill's obvious manipulation tactic.
Why am I not surprised? This is the guy who couldn't even tell that a goodbye note wasn't written in his fiancée's handwriting. Bill played him to the hilt, just like a parent who feigns an oncoming heart attack to get out of being confronted with their child telling the truth. So Liam sauntered out of there, wearing the same necklace his father just stabbed himself with. Eww! Why wasn't Liam the slightest bit suspicious that there was no blood on the jewelry?
See, this is why the firestorm around Bill fizzled out. He got away with everything -- again! Only now, it's worse, because he obviously prepared for Liam's arrival by stuffing his shirt with cash in anticipation of messing with the kid's head! The never-ending triangle just gets piled higher and higher with contrivances. Oh -- and now Steffy's pregnant! Which can only mean Liam is about to waffle back to Hope for five seconds before finding out he's Steffy's babydaddy. Shades of Amber, anyone?
No, I'm really disappointed that B&B followed Stephanie's rock-'em-sock-'em death storyline with more of this teenybopper crud. When I think of what our soap could be -- and I do think of it -- every year at this time, I let my mind wander into flights of soap fancy and picture our fashion families in stories worthy of them. So who am I to buck that "tradition?" Let's preempt the foolishness that is with this special episode of "If I Wrote B&B."
Thomas laments his bad luck with women and goes to Karen and Dani to talk about Caroline. Over several visits, Thomas finally realizes he's gay and that it was not only his fear of exposure that made him so arrogant -- but his attraction to Rick. Thomas and Rick mend fences and run Forrester together as friends, while Thomas finds romance with a lonely Oliver. (Yes, I know, I wanted Thomas and Oliver together last year, too. Team Tholiver, baby!)
Amber returns and gets mixed up in the drama surrounding Marcus, his adoptive brother, Dayzee, and Dayzee's friend Maya. Danger ensues, and Amber ends up saving baby Rosie at great risk to herself. Rick notices, and he and Amber find their way back to each other. Caroline, sick of all the flakes in Los Angeles, returns to New York.
Hope and Steffy have yet another argument about Liam, this time on one of the top floors of Spencer Publications. Liam intervenes, but in the struggle, Liam falls down an open elevator shaft and dies. Hope and Steffy know that Bill will come after them when he discovers their part in Liam's death, so, to protect themselves (and Liam's unborn child), Hope and Steffy band together and go on the run. To keep Bill distracted, Hope and Steffy reluctantly report Bill's crimes regarding Deacon and the MRI. Bill goes to prison and loses Spencer, forcing Katie, Karen, and Dani to step up.
Brooke blows Taylor off when she notes that Hope and Steffy went on mysterious vacations at the same time. But Brooke becomes concerned when she speaks to R.J. at boarding school -- Hope and Steffy have been there to visit, but Ridge hasn't been heard from in months. In the wake of Liam's accidental death, Brooke and Taylor join forces and travel to Europe in search of their daughters.
Bill uses his one phone call from jail not to call Katie, but Massimo Marone! Massimo tells Bill to hang tight because his plans haven't come to fruition yet. Bill reminds Massimo that if he hadn't dug Massimo out of hiding, he'd have no plan at all, but Massimo refuses to get Bill released from jail. Massimo, having turned to crime after being driven from Marone Industries by Nick years ago, feels Bill has outlived his usefulness, and leaves a furious Bill behind bars.
It turns out that Ridge didn't actually ditch Brooke over Deacon's texts. In flashback, we see Massimo surprising Ridge on his honeymoon. Having always hated Brooke, Massimo threatens to kill Brooke if Ridge doesn't get rid of her. Ridge balks, but Massimo adds he'll kill Taylor if Ridge doesn't comply. Now, Ridge is a virtual prisoner at Massimo's estate in Europe...as are Nick, Jackie, and Owen! Massimo had them kidnapped as revenge for Nick and Jackie's part in the destruction of Marone Industries -- which explains their sudden departure, and also why Ridge was absent during Stephanie's death.
Hope and Steffy struggle with life on the run as Steffy's pregnancy progresses. Meanwhile, Bill figures out that Hope and Steffy were involved in Liam's death and wants his own revenge. This news gets back to Taylor, and she and Brooke frantically try to find Hope and Steffy before Bill does. When Ridge hears his daughters are in danger, Nick helps him escape from the Marone compound. Ridge runs to Los Angeles, thinking his daughters are there, but dons a convincing disguise (think Faison on GH) to infiltrate Forrester undetected. (Maybe justifying a temporary recast?)
Ridge poses as a fashion buyer to get information about Hope and Steffy via Hope For The Future and Intimates, but Thorne figures out that the newcomer is really his brother. Ridge warns Thorne that exposing him would be dangerous, but Thorne insists that Ridge at least reveal himself to Eric. Once the Forrester men reunite, they discuss Stephanie's death, and Ridge admits his tremendous sense of guilt about not being able to be with his mother when she passed.
Brooke and Taylor find Hope and Steffy, who explain the circumstances around Liam's death. Steffy is no longer able to travel, and she goes into labor. Brooke recalls Hope's birth while Taylor recalls playing midwife over the phone during Bridget's birth, and together they help Hope deliver Steffy's baby. But soon, Massimo locates them and kidnaps them to the compound in an attempt to lure Ridge back.
Ridge receives photos of the captured Hope and Steffy, and he feels he can't attempt to rescue them without a plan because Massimo is too powerful. Thorne visits the only other powerful man he knows -- Bill. After Thorne reveals Hope and Steffy's whereabouts, Bill rejects Thorne then plots to break out of jail to avenge Liam's death. Ridge and Thorne travel to the Marone compound, but Massimo, who has gotten word that Bill is on his way there, moves his prisoners to an undisclosed location.
Clarke, running Jackie M in the absence of the Marones (they were forced to send him a letter authorizing him to take over), comes to Eric with an idea to hold a record-breaking fashion show in Europe, with Jackie M and Forrester Creations as the flagship design houses. Eric thinks back to early conversations with Stephanie and remembers her mentioning another villa of Massimo's. Banking on Massimo being there, Eric teams with Clarke and sets the fashion show near the villa to smoke Massimo out. Ridge agrees to be the bait.
Massimo allows Jackie, Nick, and Owen to represent Jackie M at the fashion show -- with the understanding that little Logan will die if they go to the police or try to escape. Nick tells Eric that they were all blindfolded to and from the new kidnap site; he doesn't know where they were, but confirms they were driven, and not far, confirming Eric's hypothesis. Ridge knows Massimo won't come after him until after the show, which, featuring designs from Clarke, Ridge, Eric, Thomas, and Amber, is a huge success.
Katie, covering the show for Eye on Fashion with Karen and Danielle, thinks she sees Bill in the crowd and follows him. On cue, Ridge is recaptured; Eric and Thorne ready their pursuit. Nick and Owen move to join them, but Massimo's men kill Owen. Nick stays behind to comfort a devastated Jackie.
Ridge is both overjoyed and horrified to find Brooke, Taylor, Hope, and Steffy in captivity at the villa. Steffy introduces Ridge to his grandchild and explains about Liam's death. Massimo appears; Ridge orders Massimo to set everyone free, especially since he, Steffy, and her child are family. Massimo roars that Ridge betrayed him just as much as Nick did by turning him in to the FBI years ago. Ridge counters that Massimo can't just keep everyone prisoner forever. Massimo agrees and says he'll have to kill all of them. Ridge is appalled that Massimo would want to kill his own son.
Eric and Thorne are caught trying to get into the villa. Massimo grins because he will finally be able to dispatch Eric, who kept him from Stephanie all those years. Eric spits that his entire family was played for fools with Massimo's paternity lie; Massimo tells Thorne it's a shame the only blood Forrester has to die.
Just then, Bill charges in with a gun. Massimo orders his men to stop him, but they stand behind Bill, who smirks that he pays more than Massimo. Steffy begs Bill to rescue them, but Bill scoffs, furious that her and Hope's bickering over Liam led to his death, and more so because they reported him for Deacon and the MRI. He'll have his revenge on them, he swears, and on Massimo for leaving him to rot in prison. Massimo laughs because none of this would be happening if Bill hadn't decided he wanted Brooke during that dinner where he fantasized about her, and sought Massimo's help to get Ridge out of the way. Katie, who has found her way in, overhears and is heartbroken.
Massimo offers to help Bill with his revenge and pulls a gun on Steffy and her baby. When Hope jumps in front of them and dares Massimo to shoot her instead, Bill is so moved that he puts a bullet in Massimo, saving Hope just as Massimo is about to kill her. On Massimo's deathbed, he confesses that he actually isn't Ridge's father -- he had only said it in a failed attempt to win Stephanie back. But now that all is lost, and with Stephanie dead...Massimo chuckles that he's still beaten Eric in that he now gets to be with Stephanie while Eric can't, and dies. The Forresters realize it was Massimo's lack of blood relation that made him willing to kill all of them.
Hope and Steffy bury their rivalry forever. Ridge and Brooke reunite. Taylor finds unexpected romance with Clarke. Nick leaves to lead Massimo's company but reverts to being Nick Payne. Eric and Jackie bond in their grief over losing their spouses, opening the door to their own reunion. Thorne and Ridge unite to run Forrester as full brothers. And Katie leaves Bill, who, without a wife or either of his sons, has truly lost everything; he promises to reform while serving out the rest of his sentence.
Do it right, and there's your whole 2013. I'm sure there are plot holes deluxe in all that, and maybe it's more GH than B&B (with a little of what I've seen of Hollyoaks there for good measure!), but you gotta admit -- it's more interesting than what we're seeing on our screens right now. Got ideas of your own? I'd love to hear 'em, and the wilder the better. I certainly went out on a limb with mine! Your comments may end up in a future column, so don't be afraid to share!
Or, if you'd rather have your say with your voice, dial up the Soap Central Feedback line 24 hours a day at 267-341-7627. Tell it like it is according to you, and your words could be played during our weekly all-things-soap radio show, Soap Central Live!
For now, it's back to reality...and Marcus and Dayzee are about to get a storyline of their own thanks to the arrival of refugees from GL. What else is a reality? The return of AMC and OLTL via Prospect Park! Hey, if that could happen, even Leffy/Lope could feasibly end one day, couldn't it! Couldn't it? Hmm. Maybe I'd better not hold my breath on that one.
That's all for now! Allison's on deck for next week, so I'll see you again January 28. Will there be other stories besides Leffy/Lope by then? Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!