B&B 2018: The best, the worst, and the MIAs year-end review

For the Week of December 24, 2018
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Ho! Ho! Ho! T'is the season to be jolly. Two Scoops reviews all the year-long folly on the Bold and the Beautiful. Let's get two scoops deep into the best, the worst, and oh-so-awkward things our L.A. faves got into in 2018.

To read part two of our Best and Worst of B&B 2018, click here.

It's Christmastime! You know what that means. Party at Eric's house. Quinn doesn't even have to worry about a guest list because Hope has it all under control. You can attend if you're made of sugar and spice and everything nice, but attempted murderers will be checked at the door.

Instead of reasoning with Steffy about inviting her mother to her grandfather's house, maybe Hope should hire Detective Sanchez to work the front gate. Zoe will probably have her tag-along father in tow, so Brooke needs to have her can of verbal mace unlocked, cocked, and ready to go this holiday season.

It's also time for Soap Central to dish on the best things, the worst things, and the most insane things afoot in Los Angeles this year. Bill made a play for his daughter-in-law. Taylor shot Bill in the back. Ridge shoved Bill over a balcony. And no one got jail time. Even with all that chaos, the most insane thing to happen in 2018 turned out to be that the best couple in L.A. had the worst breakup of the year just days before Christmas.

In this and the next Two Scoops, Mike and I present the things we loved, hated, or shrugged off this year. Hide the mistletoe from that funky-breath-smelling Dr. Buckingham, and let's get two scoops deep into the best and worst returns, couples, and plots. We'll also highlight the best, worst, and "Awkward!" moments of the year and try to figure out what became of MIA characters on B&B.

Best plot of 2018: Who shot Bill Spencer?

The writers weaved the majority of the cast into the storytelling of their prominent plots in 2018. The plot about Bill's shooting stood out among the rest because it not only encompassed the widest range of people from major characters to supporting characters, but it also brought back fan favorites who had murder on their minds, like Caroline, Thomas, and Taylor.

It was a plot with far-reaching implications that still reverberates through the lives of many of the characters involved. The plot about who shot Bill Spencer sparked off other major plots like Hope and Liam's weddings, the custody battle over Will Spencer, and the War of the Mothers between Steffy, Hope, Taylor, and Brooke.

As the investigation unfolded, it became apparent that a major character had done the deed, and the life of one of our beloved Beverly Hills residents would change forever. Because of the writing team's creativity and attention to detail, the plot wound up changing the lives of almost every major character on the show.

Who did you think shot Bill? My money was on Liam. The writers used Liam's concussions to make the case that Liam could have shot his father during a blackout. Liam even created his own false memories to support his erroneous belief that he'd actually done it. Eventually, the guilt-stricken Steffy had to tell Liam that she knew for a fact that he hadn't shot his father because -- well, because her own mother did it.

B&B really got me on that one. Taylor Hayes shot Bill Spencer? I wasn't shocked about it because I didn't think Taylor was capable of it. I just never suspected Taylor because she was living half a world away in Paris. Serious hate incubated within Taylor for her to still be enraged enough to shoot Bill after she flew all that way. Maybe customs at LAX really is as bad as they say because she almost shot Bill all over again when she returned to town for her confession.

Another red herring the writers tossed into the plot was the possibility that Caroline, heartbroken over losing Thomas to Bill's ridiculous lie about her impending demise, had sneaked into town to kill Bill not once, but twice, as evidenced by the cold way she strode into the hospital and wrapped her hands around an unconscious Bill's throat.

Caroline and Liam weren't the only suspects of Dollar-Bill-icide. There was also Wyatt, who'd been so drunk that he didn't know what he'd done the night of the shooting. Pam had blacked out, too, and Charlie forced her back on her meds. Quinn was also missing that night. Ridge actually got arrested for it, but he suspected that Sheila had done the deed at his behest.

Just when we thought Sanchez would never solve the crime, and Taylor was living conviction-free in Paris, Taylor showed back up in L.A., as crazy as ever, thereby ensuring that her enemies discovered her secret. Brooke, Hope, and Ridge learned about Taylor's crime, and even though the Logan women haven't gone to the police yet, Brooke insisted that Taylor check her purse at the door! Brooke will be watching you, Taylor, and you best believe we will be, too.

Worst plot of 2018: War of the design lines

B&B has always been about fashion, but in 2018, try as Forrester Creations might, their sales tanked. Eric should have let Rick run the place instead of the father/daughter duo who spends more time out of the CEO chair than any leaders in the company's history.

Ridge and Steffy don't have sense enough to know what sells. Brooke's Bedroom and HFTF brought Forrester record profits. So why were both lines marginalized for the Intimates line? And what happened to the Men's Line?

What does Liam do for a living if HFTF barely has a budget to brand jeans, let alone pay him to run a website? Meanwhile, Sally is dreaming of a yoga pants line. Really, Sally? HFTF can't even fund nonprofit campaigns, but you think you're gonna get a yoga pants line?

When Hope returned to town, it was because Ridge talked her into being there for Brooke. I bet he wishes he never did that now that Hope is married to Liam, and Steffy is easing on down the Single-Mom Road. By choice, of course -- even though she accuses Hope of stealing Liam. Ridge probably thought he could make it up to Steffy by ripping away the funds for Hope's line.

HFTF versus the Intimates line gets the worst plot of the year because, for one, there was zero suspense. Everybody knew who Ridge would choose. He pretended he cared about each of the daughters, but in a moment alone with Taylor, he finally admitted he never liked Hope. Isn't that a horrible thing for Ridge to say after Steffy claimed to suffer while he raised Hope?

For another thing, Forrester is supposed to be about clothes, not underwear. Isn't that what Taylor and Stephanie preached while Brooke was posing half-naked on a pile of money? Maybe it's cheaper to use less fabric, but money wouldn't be an object if Ridge put Wyatt back at the helm of HFTF and stopped letting Steffy's "I'm every woman" pity parties direct the business.

It's also the worst plot because Ridge sliced the ankles of Thorne's design career by choosing to focus on Intimates. Ridge has some nerve, claiming to give Thorne a real chance to be a designer but then practically laying him off to promote underwear. Is it too late for Thorne to get his Aly line back, or is he locked into a non-compete clause with the hobbled HFTF?

Don't get me wrong. If the lingerie line was classy like Brooke's Bedroom, it could be an important supporting line, but it can't carry the entire Los Angeles division of the company. Eric does crank out a couture design or two here and there, but I've seen better gowns on paper dolls than that dress Donna modeled. I don't blame Rick for going over to International permanently. Steffy and Ridge are turning Forrester into a teeny-bopper, burlesque poop show.

Best, worst, and "Awkward!" moments of 2018

While there are best and worst plots, sometimes a moment can reverberate throughout B&B history for better or worse of the characters involved. The year was full of laugh-out-loud scenes, like when Brooke sensed Stephanie in her bedroom during Ridge and Brooke's honeymoon. There were audacious moments like when Bill knelt to propose to Steffy. There were tearful moments like when Hope clutched her belly and thought she might have another miscarriage.

Three moments in the year stood out to me among all the rest as the best, worst, and awkward moments of the year.

Best Moment: Fall on your knees before Brooke Logan

Taylor is desperate to stay out of prison. I don't blame her. She can't get those gorgeous hair highlights using Kool-Aid prison hair dye. Taylor wants to avoid poking around in the poky for the rest of her life, so she had to learn when to hold them, when to fold them, when to run her mouth, and when to bow. And she did just that in a pivotal moment for the B&B annals. In usual Taylor fashion, she did it with a passive-aggressive gripe.

"Though begging you never did me any good, Brooke, I will do it," was something like what Taylor said before sinking like the pitiful witch of the west into a sobbing pool on the floor before Brooke. It was a full-on, ankles and wrists to the floor bow that even my dog couldn't pull off.

Taylor cupped Brooke's ankles, and Brooke grimaced as if she might get Taylor juice on her heels. By the way, nice shoes, Brooke. For a woman who'd been hobbling around with a cane last spring, Taylor really got down low. I'm sure Dr. Buckingham will be impressed.

Don't let a good bow fool you. Taylor's capitulating was merely for show. Once Brooke was gone, Taylor dusted off her pants and went right back to blaming Brooke, Bill, and Hope for everything wrong on this good earth. Hey, Team Brooke, it was a satisfying moment, wasn't it?

Worst Moment: I will be right here waiting for you

The best moment of the show this year could have been when Charlie proposed to Pam, but that moment was ruined when Pam told Charlie that she couldn't marry him, after all. Throughout the years, I have said that the secret to Pam and Charlie's culinary bliss was keeping marriage out of their recipe for happiness. Charlie sneaked it in, and it spoiled the whole romance.

Pam agreed to marry Charlie, but when the wedding planning anxiety set in, she broke it off. She tried to blame it on her fears about marriage --and Quinn. I found that ironic because Pam was always ready to fight for Stephanie and Steffy's marriages. Why wouldn't Pam fiercely defend what she and Charlie had? Is it because Charlie got written off the show?

Pam breaking off the engagement to Charlie became the worst moment on the show this year because, even though Charlie lovingly accepted the ring back and said he'd be there when she was ready, it might actually be the end of Pam and Charlie's relationship. I didn't really realize it was possible until I noticed that Charlie hasn't appeared, but we've seen a whole lot of Pam.

I suspect that Charlie was either written out or back-burnered to bring in Donna. As much as I enjoy having Donna back, I don't like it being at the expense of Charlie and Pam's romance. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Charlie will be right there in Eric's kitchen, cooking for Christmas. I mean, what will the holidays be like without Charlie and Pam?

"Awkward!" Hope addresses the portrait on the wall.

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Steffy can bring home the bacon. She can fry it up in a pan. And she will never let Liam forget he was her man, because she's got a big-ass portrait in the living room. Until this week, everyone who visited Steffy's house stared at the portrait with raised brows, thinking, "Okay, do you, Boo. Whatever gets you through."

But in one of the notably awkward moments of the year, Hope popped that portrait zit right open, asking Steffy if it was really healthy to have a daily reminder of what she'd lost right there in the living room. It's bad enough that Liam is physically there in the living room at least three times a day for platonic visits. Does Steffy really need the portrait, too?

Liam doesn't have the good sense to tell Steffy that her idea of hanging the portrait there so that Kelly can see her loving parents is nothing but confusing for the child. Kelly sees Daddy every day, but he lives with her half-sister. Won't Kelly wonder why "Brunhilda" gets the real-life father while Kelly gets the Memorex version? Or why Daddy is all romantic with Mommy in the picture on the wall, but he's hugging and kissing Stepmommy the same way in person?

For all Steffy's complaining about Brooke and Hope having to have it all their way, Steffy is all about making it her way. If she can't get Liam to be faithful, she just gives him to Hope and replaces him with a portrait. If Hope won't let Kelly have a Franken-Phoebe, then Steffy's just gonna go to the baby store and adopt one. Speaking of "Brunhilda" and "Franken-Phoebe," who else has the sinking feeling that Hope will want to name her daughter Phoebe?

Hope was right to address the portrait before all the other awkward dust settled from her last talk with Steffy and Liam. In that discussion, Hope said that if he wanted Steffy, he needed to just say so, because Hope knew how to be a strong, single woman, too -- without a consolation portrait. Steffy waited with bated breath for his answer and was disappointed when Liam was all like, "Did I say all that?" Well, Liam, you didn't not say all that.

Liam thinks it's impolite to keep a grandmother from her granddaughter just because she's an attempted murderer. To hell with the etiquette, Hope says. Taylor isn't getting anywhere near "Brunhilda Franken-Phoebe." I don't blame Hope for being cautious. After all, it was another "well-meaning" grandmother that sent Hope tumbling down concrete stairs during Hope's last pregnancy. Why does no one bring this up? Because it's too "Awkward!"?

Best return of 2018: Steffy's mom has got it going on!

Steffy's mom has got it going on, and not in a good way! Even so, Dr. Taylor Hayes gets this year's best return of a character because, even though Taylor is a sorry, frightening sack of nerves, Hunter Tylo is giving me everything I need in a maxi-dramafied, complicated, empathetic, pathetic, lovable, abhorrent, time bomb of a character! Welcome back to L.A., girl! We needed you badly!

Taylor surprised us a lot this year. We'd had no idea that when she dipped in to confess to the shooting or smear cake on Brooke that by the holidays, she'd be moved into Steffy's house and Reese Buckingham's heart -- or his money-grubbing hands -- or both. Only time will tell which.

The best part of Taylor's return is that it reignited the decades-long rivalry between Brooke and Taylor that can only be tantamount to the one between Brooke and Stephanie. If we can't have Stephanie Forrester back, Taylor is definitely the next best thing. Hope and Steffy add another important layer to the Brooke and Taylor saga because the women will fight even harder for their daughters and granddaughters than they would over any man. Ridge, you know it's true.

This time around, Brooke has the moral high ground over Taylor. Just like Taylor wouldn't let Brooke live down her smuttiness, Brooke won't let Taylor live down her murderous craziness. But is Taylor really as crazy as Hope and Brooke think she is?

Hell, yeah! And Steffy and Ridge aren't doing themselves or the rest of the world any favors by protecting Taylor. Too much fearmongering about Taylor hurting someone else has surfaced for the storyline to be headed anywhere but the emergency room. But don't worry, Taylor. The victims dispense justice in L.A. these days, and most likely, you will get off scot-free.

The unfortunate part about Taylor's return is that the writers have tethered her to her past with Ridge. They write Taylor as if she never had another relationship after him. In reality, she went on to date Eric and Thorne after her berry episode caused her to lose her marriage to Whip. To let Reese tell it, she was even working and lecturing overseas. So, Taylor had a life, writers.

Instead of Taylor constantly harping on how Brooke stole Ridge -- which Brooke did not do -- I'd rather the writers tell us why Taylor lost her practice. They could utilize Thorne to give us more insight into her life in Paris. It would be nice to learn why they broke up, too.

Besides, Brooke lost Ridge to her own sister, and then he married Caroline. He also couldn't keep his lips off Quinn. Taylor needs to recognize that Ridge is no prize. Bouncing between Brooke and Taylor was on him, not Brooke. Hopefully, Reese can get Taylor's mind off Ridge, so viewers can look forward to a fresh romance for Taylor with a man unspoiled by Brooke.

Worst return: Thomas--why'd you bother, boy? Seriously.

Does anyone know what is in the space between Thomas' ears? Is it hair mousse? I don't get what single-celled organism controls his decision-making processes. Or Sally's, for that matter, because if either of them had two brain cells to rub together, there wouldn't have been another round of Thomas choosing Sally and then dumping her in the most humiliating way possible.

After Liam had to redirect Sally back down Friendship Lane earlier this year, Thomas showed up on her doorstep. He was ready to sweep Sally off her feet, start a design company in New York, and relocate Shirley and Saul, too, if it would make Sally happy.

It was too good to be true, right? What made Thomas leave Caroline and Douglas? Over the fake doctor's appointments and pity, Caroline opened her big mouth and told Thomas that she wasn't really dying. Thomas was on the first flight back into Sally's arms. Sally fell for it and fell right back into bed with Thomas. Her dumb ass even flew right on out of there to New York to live on Caroline's turf, as if she actually had a chance against Thomas' baby mama -- again.

It wasn't long before Sally showed back up in L.A. with nowhere to go after Thomas kicked her to the curb so he could reunite with Caroline. He made the broke Sally pay for her own flight and everything, just like before in Monte Carlo. Caroline accused Thomas of rape. She married his father. She hid the paternity of his child. She lied about dying, and Thomas still wanted her over Sally, who'd done nothing but uplift him and his career.

Thomas could have kept that self-serving little rebound. Sally better have learned her lesson about Thomas because Wyatt does not deserve for her to jilt him for Thomas like Ivy almost did.

Best and Worst Couples of 2018

If the relationship had transpired on-screen where I could see the idiocy, Thomas and Sally would be the worst couple of 2018. If Wyatt and Sally had been together longer, they might have been the best couple. I can't crown them, however, because I need to see some longevity after I got burned by Katie and Wyatt. When in doubt, forget romance and trust the perfect friendship.

Best couple: Trust the Perfect Friendship

Justin and Bill win this year's best couple award. If they interact like a couple, argue like a couple, and look out for each other like a couple, then they're a couple in my eyes. Justin always has Bill's back and keeps Bill on the right track, even if Justin didn't visit Bill in the hospital either time! Hey, Justin was busy looking out for Bill's company, which is exactly what Bill would want Justin to do.

When Justin Barber found his way to the opening credits of the show, I was excited to see what plots unfolded for him as the year progressed. This year, Justin was there to save the day, even when he couldn't save Bill from himself. When Sally fired off a gun in Bill's office, Justin was on the scene to wrest the gun away from her. Justin was right on time with the will disavowals and the prenups, making sure Bill signed on the dotted line when it was time to for Justin to become Bill's successor.

A lot of times this year, Bill's head just wasn't in the game. Instead, it was in la-la land about somebody else's wife. But Justin was all about his game. When Justin lost that custody battle, he dropped Bill's good Samaritan routine and investigated the judge. When Bill needed a hack job, Justin hired the best. When Bill needed a sting operation, Justin donned the earphones and sunglasses and picked up the shotgun mic.

When Bill stupidly let his enemies off the hook for knocking him off his own balcony, Justin read Bill the riot act. And when Bill started blubbering about being a better man, Justin ordered him to cut the BS and get back to making money.

The friendship is perfect, but Bill isn't. He tells Justin just about everything, but he has yet to reveal to his best friend, lawyer, and fixer that he has known for months who really shot him. Justin has warned Bill more than once that the attempted murderer is still out there. He feels that it ought to concern Bill. How's Justin going to react when he finds out that Taylor shot Bill?

For Bill, it's more women, more problems, but you can best believe he can always rely on Justin.

Worst couple: Dance that man right out of your hair

When Xander and Emma arrived on the scene this summer, I instantly knew their relationship was a firework just waiting to land like a dud. Maybe it was instinct. Maybe it was the way they turned a hidden accent into a subplot. Maybe it was that Emma seemed more enthralled by Hope than Xander. Or maybe I was thrown off by my fears that Forrester Creations would turn into Rydell High with all the "ramma lamma lamma Ka dinga da dinga dong" dancing.

To my surprise, the dancing was actually good. The Xander and Emma romance? Not so much. As it turns out, Emma's obsession with Hope was just a red herring to make Emma a suspect in what wound up being her own cyberstalking case, not Hope's.

In the end, we learned that Xander's psycho ex-girlfriend had flown halfway around the world to infiltrate Xander's life via Wyatt because -- well, duh, how else do you infiltrate Xander's life? Not a pity party was had for the victim, Emma, whom Zoe stalked at Bikini and anonymously online. In fact, the Forresters acted like Emma was the crazy one when she objected to them hiring the stalker who'd sneaked her way into the HFTF showstopper at the fashion show.

The Forresters never let crazies or felonies stand in the way if the orders are rolling in. They forced the virginal Emma to watch Zoe go after Xander in her panties on a daily basis. The writers tried to do the virgin versus sex kitten formula that struck gold for them in triangles like Hope/Liam/Steffy and Nicole/Zende/Sasha, but the third time was not a charm for this plot.

As I watched it, I kept thinking, "Been here. Done this." I couldn't stand Zoe because she was cray-cray, and Xander had made it seem like he'd left her for a good reason. Once she was in town, whatever problem he had with Zoe fell out of his memory, and all he did was stare with his mouth open when she was around.

I empathized with Emma, but not for the reasons the writers probably wanted me to. I was angry because everyone at Forrester marginalized Emma, minimized what Zoe had done, and expressed no concern for the toxic environment they'd created for Emma. I had no patience for Xander, who, on the one hand, felt the need to flee his old country to escape Zoe, but on the other, expected Emma to slide on over and make room for his ex. The ex who'd stalked Emma.

I was glad when Emma turned Xander down for sex. It was refreshing to hear her say that she wanted to concentrate on herself and her career. I'm proud of Emma for recognizing a toxic relationship and bailing out before whatever happened with Jonathan happened again. We'd still like to know what that was, by the way. Will Tiffany finally tell us?

Didn't Emma look good when she appeared on the show the other day? She was happy and confident, not scowling and seething as she'd been when she'd had to tolerate Zoe all over her man. Zoe tried to drag Emma back down in the pettiness by bragging that she was with Xander, but in my book, Emma is the true winner. Emma has her self-respect, dignity, and principles still intact. Just like Emma told Zoe, the man will come in time.

Kudos to Emma for finding the best thing in the worst relationship of the year. She found herself.

Best and Worst Breakups of 2018

Emma had a pretty good breakup with Xander, but it doesn't qualify as the best breakup of the year because for a breakup to be the best or worst, we viewers need to have emotional investment in the couple. We need to feel the breakup, and it needs to have lasting ramifications for the characters and their loved ones. It just wasn't there for Emma and Xander, but in my opinion, the next discussed relationships make the best and worst cut.

Best Breakup: Blood is not thicker than marriage

The relationships between the Spencer men have been rigorously tested over the years, and the bond that the three share has survived everything from Bill faking that Steffy was dying to Bill imploding a building on Liam. Wyatt and Liam have patched up their differences after stealing each other's women, but nothing says it's over like discovering that your wife took a paternity test because she slept with your father.

When I say it's over -- I mean between you and your father. Not you and your wife. Brooke thought it was outrageous when Bill punched Liam, but what would she think of Liam stabbing his hand with his own sword necklace and struggling in a headlock with Bill on the office floor?

You'd think that Bill's son learning that Bill slept with his son's wife would be the bucket of ice water on Bill's head to wake him up from his Steffy fantasy. No. Quite the opposite. Bill decided to go barreling full throttle into a bended-knee proposal before his own daughter-in-law, which sent Liam crashing back onto a tree limb and into unconsciousness.

Bill tried to make amends with Liam -- until Bill learned that Hope was in town. Bill believed Liam would toss Steffy to the side for Hope, anyway. All Liam needed was a little nudge from his trusted brother Wyatt, whom Bill set up to think Bill and Steffy were in an ongoing affair.

Bill killed two of his fatherly relationships with one lie through that scheme. Wyatt relinquished the bribery cars and paintings, and he turned in his sword necklace and keys to the Spencer executive washroom. Wyatt didn't like being used. Besides, Bill wouldn't let him marry his ex-stepmother anyway.

Most conflicted by the family breakup is Liam, who finally understands what a father's love for his child means now that he has a child of his own and one on the way. Liam longs to reach out to Bill, but he can't stand Bill for what Bill has done to him over the last couple of years.

The last time Bill and Liam saw each other, Bill hoped that they could get back to what they'd had. Liam didn't want to get back what they'd had, but he said that they might be able to get back to "something." I have to advise Liam to figure out whether nothing is better than something when it comes to letting his guard down around his father.

Worst Breakup: Unravelling of love

The worst breakup of the year goes to Maya and Rick. Frankly, I'm still processing it. I do not know where to begin in articulating how devastating it was to hear from Maya that she and Rick were over. Karla Mosley did an outstanding job in acting out her explanation scenes.

Basically, there was no explanation. At least not yet. Maya merely hinted that the couple grew apart. She seemed so small, so lost, and completely shell-shocked by the whole matter.

Julius was greatly affected by the news and wanted answers. At first, I thought it was because he was nervous about losing all the monetary accouterments that came with the Forresters, but that's not it. His daughters still have their careers, and Nicole is still married to Zende.

I think Julius said it best when he said that Maya and Rick had made a believer out of him. They certainly made a believer out of me. I could not stand them together as a couple because of the way Maya had stolen him from Caroline, but in time, Maya and Rick proved themselves as a supercouple who could last the ages.

I don't know. Maybe they will. Brooke and Ridge spent a lot of time apart, and they wound up right back where they belonged. Maybe Maya and Rick will, too. I wish I had more to say on this, but I've been in quiet mourning about it ever since Maya announced it.

If Rick was present, the storyline would have the potential to affect many people, from Carter, to Lizzy, to Nicole, and Zende. If Jacob Young was on contract, I'd expect to see a custody battle for Lizzy, the likes of which we'd never seen before between Maya, Nicole, and him. But for now, we're in a wait-and-see game.

Missing In Action in 2018

Speaking of Rick being nowhere to be found, wasn't it irritating the way some characters got disappeared, swallowed up by the San Andreas Fault, for all we know? I thought about doing the best and worst disappearing acts 2018, but I realized that all unexplained character disappearances and hasty exits are the worst.

This year, beloved characters we've known for years took off without a forwarding address. Where are they now? Who the hell knows, but I can tell you where they were last "scene."

Rick Forrester: Last scene -- Hope's first wedding of the year

Back in April 2018, Jacob Young dropped to recurring status on B&B, but who would have thought that recurring really meant non-occurring?

Rick was last seen at Hope's first attempt at a wedding to Liam over the summer. After that, Maya appeared on-screen a few times, making excuses for Rick's whereabouts. We last saw Maya in August, and had she not returned to town this week, she'd be on my MIA list, too.

Before Maya's appearance this week, characters were remarking that Rick and Maya were "traveling." Rick didn't attend his sister's second wedding, and around the holidays, we learned that the Avants were with Rick and Maya in Paris -- without anyone ever telling us beforehand whether Rick and Maya had actually moved to Paris.

In September, reports indicated that Jacob Young was off contract. What does it mean for Maya and Rick? Maya returned home alone with some vague story about her and Rick growing apart. For the couple who'd been so down for each other and willing to go through anything to be together, it is hard to imagine what in the world would make them decide to get a divorce.

All I have to say is: B&B, your characters are not chess pieces to be knocked off the board for other storylines and new characters that we don't even care about in the first place, like Zoe and Xander. We deserve better for a couple we spent so many years, tears, and emotions on.

Sheila Carter: Last scene: Confronting Ridge at Il Giardino

Bringing Sheila Carter back always sounds like a good idea in theory, but she is more evil and crazy than a twenty-minute show can handle. It's especially the case when you have other loony bells ringing off the chain with Taylor, Pam, and occasionally crazy Katie.

When we last saw Sheila, she had something pressing to do the night of Bill's shooting, which made her a prime suspect in the attempted murder, according to Ridge. Sheila had the time, but she did not do the crime. Whatever Sheila does with her time now is a mystery.

We no longer see her grinning face as our chagrined Forresters wonder if she has tucked castor beans into their crème brûlée. It would have been nice to see a Sheila versus Taylor match. As you recall, Sheila shot Taylor by accident and went to jail for a murder that wasn't really a murder. Can you imagine what Sheila would say to Taylor, who shot a man in the back in cold blood?

Jarrett Maxwell: Last scene: Begging Wyatt at Spencer Publications

Bill did some dumb things this year, but one of the dumbest has got to be permanently firing Jarrett. Wyatt and Justin just stood around, shrugging as if there was nothing to be done about it. Jarrett was a steady fixture in our fictional fashion industry since 2003, and suddenly, he lost his job for standing on sanctimonious ground with Liam.

When we last saw Jarrett, he was disheveled and pleading with Wyatt to talk to Bill about Jarrett's job. Wyatt was like, "Dude, Dad won't even let me marry who I want to. How do you think I can help you?" Judging by the way Jarrett was dressed that day, I suspect that, after his stop at Spencer, he was headed back to his PO Box on Skid Row.

The Forresters held at least two showings since Jarrett's departure, and I have missed seeing his slicked-back bangs silhouette in the front row of the events. Wouldn't it be a fun surprise if Jarrett showed up at the upcoming Eye on Fashion Intimates line interviews? If B&B wants to concentrate on fashion lines and shows, don't we need Jarrett? Then again, what would a couture fashion journalist write about yoga pants that hasn't already been written?

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The Spectra clan: Last scene: Psycho-seeing at Il Giardino

The Spectras seemed tighter than a ship's bulkhead compartment -- if it was the Titanic's bulkhead, that is. Darlita, Saul, Shirley, and Coco did go down with Sally's sinking ship, but the writers never seemed interested in locating their "bodies," so to speak.

We last saw Coco and Darlita early in the year, advising Sally to be a fool for the love of Liam. When we last saw Saul, it was the dark and windy night of Bill's shooting, and Saul was cursing Bill's name while spending his birthday money on Shirley and Sally at Il Giardino.

Shirley wanted to eat at the restaurant to get a glimpse of the infamous Sheila Carter, but Shelia hadn't come to work because she'd been on a mysterious errand. Sally walked out on probably the most expensive meal Saul ever bought a woman, which might be why we never saw him again.

We did see Shirley, months and months later at Sally's first Forrester fashion show. I assumed that Shirley would tell us where in the world she'd been, what Coco was up to, where Coco was, wherever R.J. had disappeared to after Brooke's wedding, and what had become of Darlita and Saul. Nope. Shirley was only back to give Sally a congratulatory hug before disappearing to Nowhereville with all the other characters who've been back-burnered off-screen.

My guess is that Thorne and Will might have to look for an apartment in Nowhereville now that the custody case storyline has ended. If they left, would Katie even notice? She'd probably assume Thorne was working late, and Will was at yet another sleepover or sports practice that someone other than she dropped him off at.

If you know of other characters who just dropped off the face of Los Angeles in 2018 without so much as a relocation postcard, let us know in the comments section.

Until we scoop again, thank you for getting two scoops deep with us in 2018. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to each and every one of you. You make every week oh, so bold and beautiful, baby!

Days of our Lives | General Hospital | The Young and the Restless

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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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