Fly the friend-zone skies

by Mike
For the Week of January 11, 2016
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Maya and Nicole may be figuring out Sasha wants a reservation on Zende Airlines, while pals Liam and Ivy, and Wyatt and Steffy, kicked off 2016 by getting ready to switch seats! It's out with the old, in with the old with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you exhibit more than model behavior? Did you want your son to bounce like a check? Did you get upset by your fiancé's roaming plan? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!

Well, Scoopers, here we are in 2016! If I'm reading the signs right, it's going to be a bold and beautiful year -- though I can't say that yet about our show, given what we got this week. I really had a hard time watching the latest five episodes, and I hate saying that because I don't want to spend my whole column bitching. It just bugs me when I know the show can do better and doesn't. Let's Scoop about it and hope B&B just got this foolery out of the way early!

First, I should backtrack into the final weeks of 2015, since my thoughts on that were waylaid by my Best & Worst column. As I watched the Christmas episode, Brooke looked so sad and whatnot about Bridget and Hope bailing on her that I was sure she'd be tempted by the bottle, so I was almost happy when she gave her sudden vodka a second glance -- not because I want to see Drunk Brooke again, but because it made sense she might want to forsake her sobriety out of feeling alone.

Then, out of nowhere, Katie decided Brooke would make a great editor for Eye on Fashion! Really? Brooke has zero experience putting together a magazine. All right, the lady chemist didn't know how to run a fashion empire, either, when she took over in 1993, but La Logan pulled that one off. And it's good continuity that Katie griped about having to do Liam's job at Spencer because he's always at Forrester. Liam having two high-powered positions is just plain silly, so I'm glad the show acknowledged it.

But it didn't take long to see that Katie's job offer was merely orchestrated to pave the way for Brill, Part Deux. Hearing Brooke say she still loved Bill didn't fill me with romantic longing. Those two got together on the ashes of Katie's impaired heart, and I will never believe Brooke doesn't still really want to be with Ridge deep down, even if that's next to impossible with Ronn Moss not in Ridge's shoes.

I know there were cries of "Slut!" and "Whore!" when Brooke kissed the very married Bill, but I actually have to give Brooke some credit for telling Bill they can't be, turning down the job, and saying goodbye. Naturally, as Katie sugared Brooke into accepting the position, we can only be in for more Brill bonding in 2016. It's just unnecessary. Can't Brooke struggle with empty-nesting without Bill coming back into her orbit? Not that Batie ever stood a chance, based on their first marital go-round.

Then there's the mess of Leffy/Wivy, or Livy/Weffy, or whatever you want to call it. Yes, it's pretty obvious we're going to do some couple switching in this new year, and I'm just not about that. However, I did like Wyatt kicking Ivy to the curb after Quinn outed Ivy for still loving Liam. It was high time that boy got some balls considering he wussed out on the Thomas/Ivy ordeal. "I almost died, Wyatt!" Ivy insisted. "Oh, my God; who cares?!" Wyatt spat. Now that's some soap. You are the weakest link, Ivy -- goodbye!

But what the hell is going on with Ivy getting injured every time Steffy is within five miles of her? The electrocution was absurd enough, but the head-hitting and stair-tumbling is going too far. I guess it's better than Steffy getting pooped on by birds, falling into bays, and tumbling off motorcycles; I just never thought her accident-proneness would project onto someone else.

Of course, the purpose of Steffy's continuing complicity in Ivy's hospitalizations is to generate conflict between Steffy and Liam, who isn't happy about the mayhem his fiancée seems to cause. Frankly, I find the entire quadrangle boring. And Ivy ought to change her name to Timex the way she takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Has B&B done interloper stories so often that now they have to insert repeated non-repercussion accidents into them in an attempt to spice them up?

The only thing that intrigued me this week was Sasha revealing more of the back history between her and apparent papa Julius. I was so disappointed, though, finding out that the big J fathered a kid behind Vivienne's back. How uninspired is that? I'd hoped Sasha somehow tied into the transgender arc, like maybe Sasha was transgender and Julius had an affair with her, because that would be a great counterpoint to Julius' attitude toward Maya. Something that would provide layers, you know?

Instead, we learned that Julius spawned Sasha then brought his illegitimate daughter and her partner-in-adultery mother over for dinners with Vivienne as if everything were hunky-dory! Who does that? How did Julius explain their presence to his wife? I can't believe he just let Sasha come around and grow up with Maya and Nicole. Not only does this make Julius seem like real scum, but Vivienne is going to come off like a major dimwit when she learns what's been going on under her nose all these years.

I am curious to know who Sasha's mother is, and it was interesting to hear Sasha call Julius out on being "always in search of something better," in this case his desire to get closer to the Forresters. "I'm not going to let you interfere," Papa J warned. So, I was right all along -- Julius wants dat money! It makes you wonder why he didn't just fleece Maya when he first showed up, like it appeared he was going to before the show fumbled that ball. That would have been a far better -- and more direct -- story than bringing another daughter into it.

Well, Maya must be feeding Nicole a Miracle-Gro diet, because l'il sis is three months pregnant already; mind you, the fertilization happened in November. Zende expressed his frustration to Carter as they worked out (because what else do they do) that the Hawaii trip was great, but Zende didn't get much alone time with Nicole. Then when Nicole showed up, Zende was all smiles. And why did it seem like Carter was trying to fix Zende up with Veronica? That's the second time Carter's pushed another woman on his homeboy. Is the takeaway that Carter wants Zende to ditch his pregnant girlfriend?

There were other changes at Forrester. Oliver has "taken leave," and the design house needs a new shutterbug. I mean, I know Oliver was never more than a minor character, but didn't he deserve some sort of goodbye? And Rick, with Ridge, Steffy, and Liam out of the office, plopped himself into the CEO chair and declared it still fit his suited butt. "Your time will come again," Maya purred. Oh, I hope not. The last thing the show needs is another fight over the CEO position.

And Zende, who already has a family "in" with the company but started out as an intern, anyway, has decided he wants to be a photographer. I'm not sure that sits right with me. I mean, it's better than him wanting to design like everyone else, but he looked more nauseous behind the camera than morning-sick Nicole did wanting to hork up breakfast. Of course, Sasha was ready to fill in for Zende's runaway girlfriend and knew just what to do to jazz up Zende's uninspired photography. Either I'm getting too good at anticipating soap storylines, or B&B is getting too predictable in their storytelling.

Maya and Nicole already seem to realize that Sasha wants some Zende luv, but this really isn't where I was hoping the surrogacy story was going. There's enough inherent conflict between Julius' disapproval and the probability that Nicole will end up wanting to keep the baby without inserting Sasha into the mix. Sure, what's a soap without third parties, but couples don't always need interlopers to make them compelling.

At least Thomas is out of the Ivy/Liam/Steffy/Wyatt quad, and Wyatt did make some apt observations when he questioned not being "the main character in my own life" and realizing "I didn't do the things I did with Hope" in terms of the trickery he'd employed to make her his own. Quinn, however, has decided that Steffy is the woman of her son's dreams. Why? Steffy's engaged to Liam, Wyatt just broke up with Ivy, and a Steffy/Wyatt pairing would be a double rebound. Didn't Wyatt just get burned because Ivy rebounded from Liam? It's hard to believe Quinn would encourage that emotional rerun.

Another missed beat is that Quinn is taking Ivy's betrayal of her precious boy far too quietly. This is the woman who was ready to impale Liam with a homemade sword to preserve Wyatt's relationship with Hope! I'm the first to admit Quinn was becoming a cartoon who got away with everything, but she has no teeth now, and she's unusually bland without them. Ivy deserves some payback after screwing Wyatt over twice; how fun would it be to see Quinn delivering that payback as only she can?

You may or may not know that Heather Tom (Katie) directed Tuesday's episode, and I say good for her! It's encouraging to see our actors allowed to spread their wings in different areas. The look and feel of the installment was certainly on par with the show's typical look and feel. Too bad this was also the same episode that served up the heaviest dose of contrivance I've seen in many a moon.

Ivy must have sneaked on a helmet before she fell down the stairs, because, despite a mild concussion, she opted to fly back to Australia, anyway, and bought a ticket over the phone. Wait a minute -- so she was packed and leaving and hadn't made a reservation yet? And I know the Forresters have some bank, but grabbing a same-day L.A.-Sydney direct flight costs almost $1900; I just checked on Kayak. Ivy was lucky there were any seats left!

Okay, maybe all that could happen. But check it: Liam left the hospital with Ivy, took her to the airport, and also bought himself a same-day ticket -- just so he could escort her onto the plane, then leave. I don't even know if any airline would allow that -- and does Liam carry his passport on him at all times? Because that's the only way he'd even be able to check in, to say nothing of boarding a plane. He certainly wouldn't have left home with it in his pocket that day.

But wait! The flight attendant passed out towels -- in economy, before takeoff at that. Then Liam was allowed to go to the lavatory instead of being directed to take his seat and buckle up, as is normal on a plane. And here's where it really gets fun: the water gushed out of the lavatory faucet (usually all you can get is a mild stream), Liam slipped on the wet floor, fell, and hit his head. And the plane took off with him in there!

I'm sorry, I'm all for suspension of disbelief to a certain degree; it's what makes TV fun. But this story development is completely implausible. Flight attendants count passengers before takeoff; they would have noticed Liam was missing. And Ivy knew Liam was wetting the towel down for her, yet she just shrugged her shoulders when it seemed he left without saying goodbye. All of this so Liam would have to fly to Sydney with Ivy. I felt like I'd hit my own head after watching it.

Liam was desperate to call Steffy and asked the flight attendant -- who didn't show the slightest bit of concern that Liam had hit his head in the lavatory and made a watery mess in there -- about the apparently defective Wi-Fi, which wouldn't make it possible for him to make a call; plus any phone has to be in airplane mode during a flight. Stateside, the conveniences also abounded: Steffy, who worried when Liam didn't come home all night, hung up on him when he called and said he was in Australia with Ivy!

Steffy wanted an explanation but wouldn't let Liam give her one? And Liam, instead of standing there like a buffoon, should have at least followed by texting Steffy what happened. Not that it would have mattered, because Steffy childishly turned off her phone. She's the president of Forrester Creations; bad enough she's playing hooky because of fighting with Liam, but what if someone needs to get a hold of her? Maybe Rick should be CEO again. He's the only one interested in working.

While Liam inexplicably asked the flight attendant if there were any seats on the next flight to Los Angeles and engaged poor passenger Howard in a long litany about his girl troubles (Howard fell asleep; I'm feelin' ya, brother), Quinn's words got through to Wyatt, who offered a shoulder to Steffy and brought out the wine. Rut-ro. Isn't this how things started with Caroline and Thomas? At least Steffy didn't take someone else's convenient antianxiety pill, though I wouldn't be surprised if she had some in her purse.

Steffy pouted that she'd begged Liam to talk to her, despite hanging up on him and turning off her phone before Liam actually could , then stripped down to her bra and panties and slipped into bed without telling Wyatt to show himself out. So what does he do? He lets himself into Liam and Steffy's bedroom and declares he wants to go swimming, though the way he shucked off his shirt, it looked like all he wanted to dive into was Steffy.

This is what we're going with? Steffy does the nasty with Wyatt and then has to face the repercussions with Liam, who had to contort like a yogi on acid to make his flight with Ivy happen? As is popularly said these days, I just can't. I want to find even one positive thing to say about this story to balance out all my negativity, but it's just not there. Well, okay, the acting was fine. But there wasn't one character who did anything that made sense, and we spent the whole week on this. The whole week!

What are your thoughts on the Leffy/Wivy quadrangle? What would you like to see happen on B&B in 2016? Check in with your opinions in the Comments section below, or on the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like these!

• "I do agree with your [Best & Worst column] about wasted characters: Winsor is sorely needed as Thorne. If there was going to be a 2nd design house, why couldn't we see Thorne at the helm? ...Couldn't we also have Nick Marone come back to rekindle a relationship with Brooke and also for her to get to know her son Jack? There are so many good possible storylines out there but [the show tends] to fall back on the same wash, rinse & repeat triangle storylines..." -- Kathy

• "Completely bored [with the surrogacy storyline]. There is no hint at all of a maternal love triangle and instead it is all about the effect on Nicole and Zende's sex life..." -- "Lynnehs"

• "The Maya reveal was the first shocking reveal for me on a soap in a long, long time. I remember (pre-Internet and too-detailed spoilers) when soaps could pull off a surprise. I was expecting the usual 'you are my mother' stuff. When Nicole uttered that line I was like 'UH?????' Great work B&B." -- "Falconcrest"

Now let's prepare for landing with some Points to Ponder:

When Liam called an ambulance for Ivy, he listed the Forrester compound's address as 100 South Haragate. Our records say the mansion has always been at 369 Willow Hill Road. Was Bel Air rezoned?... Liam was amazingly candid in front of Quinn; would he really open up about his personal life in front of the woman who was seconds away from killing him? Later, Quinn declared to Wyatt that Liam was "done -- he's finished!" Except Liam said those words to Steffy, and never indicated as such to Quinn...

"I've really painted myself into a corner here in L.A., haven't I?" Ivy asked Liam. Truer words were never said, mate... Steffy proclaimed to Wyatt that Ivy "still blames me for stealing Liam." Well, Steffy, that's kind of exactly what you did... That's one hell of an airline Ivy and Liam patronized -- not only did they let the exes sit and yap long after everyone else had deplaned, but they actually took orders for beverage service...before economy!

Liam had dizzy spells twice after his unbelievable fall in the bathroom. No wonder he never thought to have the Spencer jet pick him up from Sydney or call in to either of his jobs to say he wouldn't be in. And even lower attention spans must be the thing for 2016, because now we're getting flashbacks to tell us what we just saw minutes earlier in the same episode!

See y'all in two weeks. Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

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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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