Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you cause a commotion exhibiting model behavior? Did you have the Brenda Lee classic I'm Sorry on auto-repeat? Did you remake an important decision as if you hadn't made it? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!
The bitch is back, Scoopers! I mean me, not Steffy, who took the waffles out of Liam's waffle iron, or Zoe, who seems to have gone from victimizer to victim while I was away. It's nice to see more of Thorne, but can someone please tell him it's not pronounced "FAR-ester"? And can someone in the writing room please stop having every character say "I get it"? Got it? Good! Is Leffy/Lope finally over? Let's Scoop about it!
LAST TIME, ON B&B
Full disclosure: I only got back three days ago and haven't had a chance to watch three weeks' worth of the show to get caught up. However, that's just what SoapCentral's extensive recaps are for, and they go back to 1997, by the way, for the ultimate catch-up. So, Zoe got a slap on the hand for her hateful posts that were really meant to target Emma, and Steffy got engaged and unengaged to Bill faster than you can say "12½%."
Bill sure liked to dangle those Forrester stocks as incentives for marrying him. Didn't he also try to bribe Brooke with those? Steffy got the same bribe, only she came out waving the certificates without actually having to walk down the aisle. Hmm, shades of when Steffy blackmailed the company out of Bill back in 2010? No wonder Justin was on red alert. Bill would give Steffy his own company if she showed enough cleavage.
Meanwhile, newcomers Emma, Xander, and Zoe continued to be center stage, with Zoe going from a potentially evil stalker and cat-stroker to a why-is-Emma-picking-on-me supermodel. Also, Emma can't be that great a dancer if she keeps clocking people while hoofin' it. The first smack got her a boyfriend, but the second got her said boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, who talks smack about her. Smooth move, Ex-Lax!
I want to like this trio, though I see many of you aren't fans. It's just that I've seen this all before. Just two years ago, Nicole got her dander up because Zende had to take pictures of Sasha in her skivvies. Of course, there are differences: Emma and Zoe aren't half-sibs and Zoe and Xander have a previous relationship, unlike Zende and Sasha. Still, not terribly original.
We've even got Emma trying to do Zoe out of a job, just like Nicole begged for Sasha to be pink-slipped, and Emma's just as much of an intern as Nicole was. Don't worry, Emma -- Xander will probably sleep with Zoe, but you'll ultimately bag him, get married, and disappear with him, likely to Paris where all other Forrester expats end up. Maybe Maya will even ship you there like she did with her sis; a cousin is a no-brainer.
KEYS TO THE WAFFLE HOUSE
Thorne sent Zoe into battle with a slinky teddy, giving her a leer that made me think he wants her to prance down his runway. Doesn't it seem like Thorne has wanted to bone any woman not nailed down since he's been back? Too bad he can't get a real storyline of his own and a hot romance that isn't of the just-add-water variety. I mean, it's Ingo Freakin' Rademacher in Thorne's shoes now. Where's the hope for his future?
At least Thorne actually processed Zoe through HR, but when Emma heard about it and failed to get Thorne to take back his modeling offer, Emma went to Zoe and blurted out, "Xander and I have kissed. We're dating!" What is this, sixth grade? Emma sounded so immature, I was actually rooting for Zoe. The painter, model, and cyberbully let "little Emma" know that she and Xander had done way more than that, and for much longer.
"Had a snog, did you?" Zoe chortled. I guess Emma couldn't come up with a dance move to assault her rival with on the spot, so she simply demanded that Zoe hightail it back to London. Zoe handed it right back to her. "What are you going to do about it?" Zoe taunted. Indeed! I get the feeling Zoe could swallow Emma whole. Too bad we cut away from that challenge, which went unanswered. Maybe it's time to call Uncle Justin?
Personally, I think it may be time for Emma to cut her losses and move on, because it hasn't taken Xander very long to catch Waffleitis from Liam. It's contagious, you know, and Liam does work in the building. Granted, Xander and Emma haven't had time to truly develop or get serious yet, and supposedly he used up his frequent flyer miles to get away from his we-don't-know-why psycho ex. But Xander offers Zoe little resistance.
From catching her in a meshy swimsuit to praising her potential as a model, Xander really doesn't do much to object to Zoe's presence, and he gets that same constipated look Liam always gets when he feels pulled between Hope and Steffy. Hate to tell you, Xan, but it looks like Waffleitis lasts at least eight years. Possibly twenty-plus, if you catch Ridge's strain. It's not a good look on a new character we're supposed to like.
By the way, does anyone else think Xander's portrayer, Adain Bradley, looks an awful lot like singer Aston Merrygold, whose track Get Stupid rocks? Poor Xander's already gotten stupid, and not in the hip way. Maybe Maya needs to get his other cousin, Nicole, to call and tell him about all the bullcrap she put up with from Sasha. Is it awful to admit that at this point, I'd like to see Zoe torment Emma somehow?
It's not just a killer track from The Cure; Zoe got home from wiping the floor with Emma only to find her beloved kitty, Harry, hiding behind her pillows, not moving. Zoe took the poor little guy to an animal hospital and pulled Xander out of an HFTF confab to meet her there, but Harry had sadly used up his ninth life. Wow, seems cold somehow to kill off a cat! Especially when Zoe's creepy attachment to him was kind of fun.
Now, given the randomness of it, and the timing, I couldn't help thinking...well, we'll get to that. Since Harry was Xander's fur baby, too, he mourned along with Zoe and did his best to comfort her. Won't Emma spit nails when she finds out that comfort included Xander giving Zoe a kiss! He seemed kind of "oops" about doing it, but he slipped into that lip-lock way too easily. Which is why I think Emma should run for the hills.
I did feel bad for Zoe as she sulked back into Forrester. Pam saw the cloud over the newbie's head and sprung into action when she found out the girl had lost a pet. Pam showed her a picture of Tiny, the dog she'd lost "a few years ago." Connecting Tiny to Harry's loss is actually terrific continuity! It was ten years ago, to be exact; in 2008, Pam thought Donna had killed the Doberman with a lemon bar.
It turned out Pam had forgotten to give the dog his heart medication (don't forget yours, Katie), but again, it's the timing of Tiny's mention. Especially when it's right after Zoe suggested to Xander, "Emma might not be as sweet as she seems." Could it be that Emma helped Zoe's cat commit Harry-carry? (FYI, that's actually an Anglicized version of the Japanese term, harakiri. And now you know!)
Hey, Emma seems super innocent so far, but we don't know much about her, and she is Justin's niece. Could a family capable of dumping people out of helicopters be capable of kitty euthanasia? B&B dropped that hint; wouldn't it be a trip if we flipped, and it turned out Emma was the psycho while Zoe was in peril? Or maybe both of Xander's love interests are cray-cray. That's the kind of twist we need!
Instead, Xander took cousin Maya's advice and sat Emma and Zoe down for a can't-we-all-get-along convo. Zoe sniffed that she and Xander had been together for a long time (I wonder how long?), but Xander insisted that there had to be a way for his former and current squeezes to find common ground. More like one of these girls is gonna put the other in the ground! Just a plain triangle would be so boring.
TO FORGIVE, DIVINE
For some reason, Liam went over to Bill's to rag on him. Son told father to stay away from Steffy now that marriage was off the table and to "find someone your own age -- preferably someone who didn't give birth to your own granddaughter." Ouch, but deservedly ouch. Bill took it, soon declaring that Justin was right and that Bill had become so obsessed with Steffy, it hadn't mattered who he steamrolled over to get her!
Bill dropped mea culpas the way he usually throws around money, owning his ish and apologizing to Liam, appealing to his estranged progeny to forgive him someday. Bill even managed to squeeze a drop or two out of his eyeball. I'm sorry, but I'm just not about this. Remember when Bill stabbed himself with his sword necklace to earn Liam's pardon, except he hid his money pouch under his shirt to cushion it? I do.
And let's not forget, Bill has popped off with this sorry stuff how many times? After Bill nearly had Liam pulverized in the Spectra demolition, after he got shot by Taylor, and after he came back from that meditation retreat more fixated on Steffy than ever. Nice try, Dollah, but even Liam knew better than to take this contrition at face value. Then, Bill claimed he'd created his worst nightmare. He'd become his father!
Yeah, I'm not seein' that! Admittedly, it's a clever inclusion, bringing up Dollah's dad, but I don't remember Bill Spencer, Sr., trying to steal paramours from his kids. (Of course, that would have been limited to Caroline and Karen's men, but work with me.) Also, Jr.'s admission reminds us that his entire existence is a retcon; Sr. never had a son that we knew of, at least not after the show's 1987 premiere.
"Don't hate me the way I hated my father," Bill exhorted Liam. "Or you'll turn out like me." Profound wisdom, there, but Dollah's recollection that he looked at his father with the hatred Liam displayed presently made me think that the only way that could be is if Bill ditched his dad before the show started. Dollah's in his 50s; it's not unthinkable he told Bill Spencer, Sr., to go hell in his early 20s.
Liam simply said he could promise that he would be "a better father to my children than you were to me and Wyatt" -- quite the trick when you consider Bill was never a father to the Spencer bros at all until they were adults. Nice touch, though, having Liam twice ask Bill when he saw Will last. The boy only tanked Wyatt's relationship with Katie; you'd think every day Bill would show him all the money and guns R.J. saw as a reward.
SISTERS ARE DOIN' IT FOR THEMSELVES
Well, wasn't that a new spin on the tried and true! After all the many permutations of Leffy/Lope, B&B injected some freshness into it by basically having Steffy propose to Hope for Liam! Not that Steffy hasn't "given" Liam to Hope before (when she split for Paris following her 2013 miscarriage), but actually putting her ring on Hope's finger? Now, that's karma. After all, in 2011, Steffy put Hope's still-warm engagement ring on!
Even though Liam whined that he should have done the proposing himself, I rather enjoyed that Steffy took control of the sitch and left Liam with nothing to say about it. Can you blame a girl for getting tired of her man being incapable of fully choosing between her and another girl on and off for eight friggin' years? "Women today, we don't wait around to be chosen," Steffy declared. Sing it, girl!
A major complaint I've seen about B&B over the years is that its female characters are often relegated to battling other women for a man and being laser-focused on him until he chooses her. Even our fearless leader, Dan J. Kroll, who graciously filled in for me in my absence, made the observation that B&B just is too into the triangles. And I agree with many that simpering over a man year after year makes our girls look weak.
So, imagine my surprise when Steffy announced she was choosing herself and Kelly after waiting so long to be chosen. "I'm not gonna let a man define me!" she crowed. You go on with your bad self! I've actually kind of missed the in-control, sexy CEO Steffy. She was taking over the lingerie line and readying to lead a parade of scantily clad models down the runway, just the thing a baby girl can look up to her mom about.
Steffy rallied her titillating troops, pulling a Meghan Trainor and decrying the "airbrushed bodies" that usually modeled lingerie. It was "you do you" all the way! Which made it all the more funny that all of these people were model perfect. Steffy should have asked Sally about her great-aunt's infamous Grand Diva line, which really celebrated women in all their shapes. It's the thought that counts, I guess.
YOU SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND, BABY, RIGHT ROUND
Like a record, baby! And there was a lot of that this week. For one thing, Steffy had to constantly reassert her newfound strong position, first to Liam, then to Ridge, then to Liam again. And everyone else had to weigh in on it, over and over. How many times did we need to hear Ridge saying he was glad Steffy didn't marry Bill because it scared the hell out of him? Someone's record player got stuck in the writing room old school.
Another story point that went in circles so often I thought I was watching Julie Andrews in the beginning of The Sound of Music was Liam and Hope repeatedly asking each other if they really wanted a life together. First Hope dragged out the question several scenes, then it came up again later; Liam suddenly doubted Hope's resolve in similar fashion. I thought Lope pretty much settled it after Steffy signed off on them.
Then, just as the Dreaded Leffy/Lope Reboot of 2018 seemed to finally be at an end, Ridge goes in and starts campaigning to Steffy about Liam! For frig's sake, Ridge, just let it be already! Brooke wasn't much better, telling Hope to go in and crash Liam and Steffy's private chat. If that wasn't enough, Bridge decided to party like it was 2012 and scuffle once again over whose daughter was better for Liam.
Don't make me say it: every character getting sucked into the vortex of Leffy/Lope is what made Ronn Moss, Susan Flannery, and Jack Wagner bail six years ago. Ridge and Brooke are pretty much the endgame on this show; I don't need to see them getting into conflict over their daughter's love lives -- again. Thankfully, some soap god somewhere sensed my dismay, because our "destiny" couple shifted gears.
Catching herself in this vicious cycle, Brooke admitted to Ridge, "As much as I adored your mom at the end, I don't want to be like her!" You know, I never thought of it until now, but the way Ridge doggedly tries to push Liam back toward Steffy, he's acting like Stephanie! I guess that's what happens when you let your mother dictate your romances for over two decades.
Brooke continued, "Maybe we should just back off a little bit and let the kids work this out on their own, and stop interfering." Glory be, did I hear that correctly? Are B&B characters finally showing common sense? In a further bit of mind-reading, Brooke picked up on my vibe and remembered that she had a relationship and storyline, too, and that B&B's signature couple should be giving us a little love in the afternoon.
And with a nifty twist. Brooke gave Ridge a pair of silk boxers, which she insisted he put on. "I've worn a lot of teddies for you through the years, so you can do a little something for me." Touché! Wasn't it kind of funny that the man who sported Speedos long after they went out of style got all shy and only came out in an unbuttoned shirt? Though Ridge spanking himself and feeling up his own chest was giving me ideas. Lawd.
Steffy kept reminding Liam that she was choosing herself and her child. You know, I hope this isn't just bravado on her part. A few years ago, Brooke pulled herself out of her Bill/Deacon triangle and went off to Milan to find herself, only to come home and immediately start drinking because she couldn't have Ridge. I really want to see Steffy stick to her guns. Let her find someone new, but only in several months.
Both Ridge and Liam seemed to chip at Steffy's resolve, asking if she was sure "this" was what she wanted. But suddenly, I felt as if I were stuck in a Star Trek causality loop, because, just like last Friday, Hope interrupted Leffy's discussion, Steffy invited Hope to stay, and Lope listened as Steffy said the five of them (three adults, two babies) would make this work. We already had this conversation last week!
It takes away from Steffy's show of strength to do the exact same scene a second time. Perhaps we had it so Steffy could walk out of the room, head held high, only to walk back in and find Liam officially proposing to Hope because Hope wanted to wear her own ring, not Steffy's. And wasn't Steffy all boo-hoo at the display! Stay strong, girl! Ridge said you were what Wonder Woman wanted to be when she grew up! Be it!
How 'bout it, Scoopers? Do you think Leffy/Lope is finally over, or are we just resting between rounds? Is Bill really sorry, or is he just a sorry excuse for a human being? And does the blossoming Emma/Zoe rivalry have potential, or is it just summer filler? Share your wonder in the Comments section below or on the soapcentral.com message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column!
That's all I've got for ya, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And remember, now more than ever, no matter color, creed, religion, gender identity, orientation, or nationality, we're all beautiful.
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