Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did a whole herd of cats get your tongue? Did you find out that what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, after all? Did you lose your accent for absolutely no reason? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Spectra-Buckingham clan this week!
You. Know. You. Can do it, Scoopers! Yes, this Madonnaphile finally gets to quote "Vogue" -- it's a happy day. Not having a happy day is Florence Fulton, who first ran into baby switch victim Hope at the Bikini only to end up supping with her at Wyatt's! Most guests bring dessert; Flo was ready to bring the realness until soap tropes got in her way. And what is up with Zoe and Xander's non-accents? Let's Scoop about it!
YOU TRY EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO ESCAPE THE PAIN OF LIFE THAT YOU KNOW
B&B wanted Hope whipping off her ring and offering Liam to Steffy to be all shocking and what-not, but Hope clearly copied Steffy, who just last summer handed Liam's ring to Hope and declared Lope the better match. Can we at least go a year between repeating such obvious soap stunts? The only truly shocking part was that Liam didn't just go the way the wind blows like he usually does!
Yep, Prince Waffler (Ridge is still King) actually stood by Hope and repeatedly told her he wasn't going anywhere. His face didn't even wear that constipated expression it gets when he's with one girl but thinking about another. Liam deemed Hope's fixation on Liam being a full-time father to Kelly and Phoebe "maniacal" when he talked to Wyatt about it. Except Wyatt didn't think it sounded so bad!
No, Wyatt! Don't encourage him! Liam finally gets a backbone, and now you want to turn it into Jell-O again. Thankfully, Ridge didn't follow suit when Steffy told him about the husbandly pay-it-forwarding, which is about as rare as the brown pants Ridge was wearing instead of his usual black. Taylor, on the other hand...well, who didn't know she'd scoff when learning Liam didn't run right back to Steffy?
And you, Steffy -- hold strong. The sole unique aspect about this go-round of Leffy/Lope is that no one in the trio wants to shake things up. Well, Hope to a degree, but it's true -- she's not thinking straight in her grief. Liam hasn't even given going back to Steffy a second thought. But Steffy is starting to have flashbacks and flashforwards about Liam. Girl, grab that hunky guy Leo instead and move on!
The last thing any of us needs is for Liam to change partners. I know some of you are Team Hope, and others are Team Steffy. Me, I'm just Team Let's Not Go Down This Road Again. We've seen it too many times, and the real drama would be in Liam and Hope working through their loss together instead of Liam running to Steffy because it's easier and because Hope is making it easy. We can do better, B&B!
THEY HAD STYLE, THEY HAD GRACE
Remember a few years ago when Quinn coached Ivy to drop her Australian accent because Quinn said it would help Ivy entice Liam away from Steffy? At least there was a certain, if somewhat head-scratching, rationale to it. Not so Zoe and Xander, who, out of nowhere, decided to see who could speak "American" better, and the longest. Okay...I guess that's cute enough. But the competition quickly went off the rails.
Obviously, this bet was all in fun...so why did Xander and Zoe end up having serious discussions in American accents? Honestly, they stood there talking about Reese and his shenanigans while making sure to put on fake dialects. And maybe you could excuse them doing this in private. But they did this in front of Sally...and, on her own, Zoe laid down the law to Flo as a non-Brit! What the bloody hell?
Not only is this accent-bleaching weird, but in the climate we are living through, this is absolutely the wrong time for this or any other show to be sending messages that differences are bad. These accents are part of who Zoe and Xander are. It's like B&B is saying they can only fit into the U.S. if they deny their own culture and heritage. Which is, as Sir Avant and Lady Buckingham might say, complete bollocks.
LOOK AROUND, EVERYWHERE YOU TURN, THERE'S HEARTACHE
Despite Hope not even being able to go to Forrester Creations to work on her beloved line without lapsing into a baby bawl, she was somehow, off-screen, able to accept an invitation from Katie to go to a bar, of all places. And not just any bar. The Bikini Bar! Now, I know the Bikini has been the go-to hangout for all who are cool for some time. But something about it keeps tugging at my memory...
In the '90s, that generation of Forresters, Logans, Spectras, etc. used to congregate at Bikini, and it was an inside establishment. Macy sang and downed a lot of booze in her alcoholism there. Then, in 1996, Bikini's owner, Sly Donovan, went nuts and tried to kill Jessica Forrester there, ultimately setting the place on fire to the point it exploded. So, my question is...when did Bikini rebuild?
Yeah, I don't remember that happening, but it obviously did. That's okay, because Katie didn't remember she once slipped off the edge dealing with postpartum depression, but she obviously did. Some of you have suggested Hope is stricken by this disorder, and I'm a little ashamed I didn't attribute Hope's unstable behavior to postpartum in my last column. It only makes sense.
Hell, Katie did something similar when she left a note saying Bill should be with Brooke because she wouldn't live long enough to be a mother to Will. So, you'd think Katie would recognize postpartum in Hope and be able to counsel her on that score, right? Wrong. Katie never mentioned it, instead letting Hope recount every detail of Beth's "death" so Flo could overhear and drop a glass.
Paying no mind to the clumsy waitress, Katie actually left the emotionally struggling Hope alone at the Bikini to retrieve Will, full well knowing Hope couldn't even handle being at work with familiar people without falling apart. Good one, Aunty. Any confirmation Flo needed about Hope's being Phoebeth's mother came when Hope handed her a credit card...that read Hope Logan.
At the rate these people marry and remarry, maybe it's better to not confuse the credit card companies with changing names every three months. Anyway, Flo came on like gangbusters, talking about how bad she felt for Hope's loss. Hope shrugged it off as another HFTF fan offering condolences. But Flo had something to tell Hope...which she never got to do because Zoe showed up to run pass interference!
Before either Hope or Flo could wonder why Zoe was speaking without her British accent, Zoe jumped into Flo's flow and turned Flo's near full confession into a partial confession. Zoe "admitted" that Flo was Phoebe's birth mother! Well, given Hope's fascination with Phoebe, Hope was all over that, and rambled on about it until she made her exit, stage right.
I can't tell you how ridiculous it was to watch Zoe telling Flo to ditch L.A. while faking an American accent. It really blunted any edge Zoe might have had in the scene. Plus, how ironic, Zoe telling Flo to leave town when just months ago, it was Xander telling Zoe to leave town. Worse, Zoe really is complicit now, because she's willingly lying to keep Reese's secret and not showing much regret about it.
BEAUTY'S WHERE YOU FIND IT
It's amazing Flo hasn't been fired from the Bikini by now. Not only does she keep abandoning her post to scrap with Zoe, but she spent an exorbitant amount of time babbling to Hope and then actually ignored a customer wanting a refill when she ran smack-dab into Wyatt. Wyatt Fuller! Oh, it's nice to hear someone use his original name again.
I can't tell if what followed was a retcon or not. Apparently, Wyatt and Flo were high school sweethearts...in Nevada. I'm retracing steps here -- I seem to recall that Quinn had her affair with Bill in New York, and I'd been under the impression that she raised Wyatt in Los Angeles. You may recall there was that apartment above Quinn Artisan Jewelers and everything. But I guess there's enough wiggle room in their histories...
So, it seems Wyatt and Flo were quite the thing in high school, except there were some dicey jewelry-related things that Quinn and Wyatt were into, resulting in the Fullers having to hightail it out of Vegas under the cover of night. "Is your mom some kind of criminal?" Flo asked regarding Quinn. Honey, ask Liam if the sword really is mightier than the pen. "She's better now," Wyatt rationalized. I'll give you that!
Flo seemed genuinely surprised that Wyatt had changed his name to Spencer and equally clueless as to any developments that reinvention entailed. You mean to tell me, with Wyatt in high-level positions at both Spencer Publications and Forrester Creations, marrying celebrity women, and being the social media-meister at all-star fashion events, Flo never once saw Wyatt's picture somewhere and got the scoop?
Wyatt wanted to know all about Flo's life, if there had been marriage(s), kids, etc. Yet it took him forever to tell Flo about Sally, and when he did, he almost seemed apologetic. No wonder Flo decided to plant a big sloppy kiss on him! And wouldn't you know, Wyatt adopted Liam's constipated expression! Uh-oh, Sally! Anyone else see the signs of a Sally/Wyatt/Flo triangle forming in the atmosphere?
With all these story threads pointing to Las Vegas, I have an awesome idea, B&B. How about, for the big denouement, when Hope finds out Phoebe is really Beth, we make it happen during a juicy Vegas remote? Like out of some misguided sense of guilt, Flo plays up being Phoebeth's "natural mother" and runs back to Vegas with her, only to have Liam, Hope, Steffy, etc., follow Flo up there.
Reese would have to be there, too -- maybe he's back in town, gambling -- and amidst all the harsh blinking lights, Hope discovers her baby didn't die, and Steffy realizes she has to give Phoebe back. Would be quite the visual treat, and somehow appropriate with all the mention Vegas is getting lately. Ordinarily, I'd frown on a remote that simple, but it's screaming to me as the backdrop of Phoebeth's finale.
LADIES WITH AN ATTITUDE
Get this: Sally invited Zoe and Xander to her Wally/Lope dinner without checking with Wyatt, and Wyatt invited Flo without checking with Sally. And Zoe cracked me up. "I'm gonna miss having you around," Zoe admitted. Even though I totally framed you for cyberbullying Hope, I imagined Zoe finishing. The L.A. smog must make these people forgive and forget faster than other burgs.
Zoe wanted Xander to skip dinner and go straight to dessert -- her. Wasn't Zoe strangely randy considering how stressed out she's been about Flo's loose lips potentially sending her to jail along with Reese? Maybe Zoe needed a good shag to relieve the tension. Or maybe the reunited lovebirds (who sweetly mentioned departed feline Harry) consider doing American accents an aphrodisiac.
"It's not like you to dislike someone so much you want them to disappear," Xander noted to Zoe. Um, was he not there during the whole Emma thing? I also had to wonder, with Zoe being a supermodel and all, how come she still has the same dinky little studio apartment she started on the show with? Well, at least Zoe has a place to call home. I honestly don't even know where Xander lives.
Back at the Logan compound, Hope herself said she'd already ventured out of the house by joining Katie at the Bikini...but didn't want to do dinner with Sally and Wyatt. Maybe Hope was spent from the first outing, but she didn't really say that. She was just resistant to the idea, period. It just seemed strange to me. Nevertheless, at Liam's urging, Hope agreed to take another step toward moving on.
And, at the Malibu cliff house, Steffy suddenly started to wonder what might happen if Flo changed her mind about signing over "her" baby. But I couldn't process that with all the other "huh?" moments that came before it. To begin with, Steffy had told Ridge she was glad to have an extra set of hands with the babies. Where the hell was Amelia, who's only the freaking nanny, and Taylor, who lives with them?
"I have Mom when she's in town," Steffy reported. For real? Two months ago, Taylor still wanted a drink and was barely stable enough mentally to be around her grandchild. Now she "hasn't been around much" and is working on getting her practice running full-time. What's up with writing Taylor so inconsistently these days? Then Taylor got Steffy a gizmo that sliced and cooked up baby food all in one step.
So, why was Taylor having to chop up veggies when the machine supposedly does it for you? Taylor immediately cut herself and said she wasn't good with a knife -- I guess it was smart, then, that Taylor shot Bill instead of trying to stab him. And we knew from Taylor saying twice that no one could take Phoebe away from Steffy that it's bound to happen sooner or later. Probably sooner.
As an encore, Taylor launched into her inaccurate diatribe that Brooke used her sexuality to take Ridge away from her. Dang, girl, pull a Frozen and let it go, already. It was Sheila's bullet that torpedoed the Tridge marriage; none of Brooke's repeated teddy-wearing worked. "We may have lost Liam and Ridge, but that doesn't define us," Taylor declared. HAHAHAHAHA, Taylor, you keep telling yourself that.
IT'S EVERYWHERE THAT YOU GO
Sally was amazingly cool about Wyatt suddenly inviting his high school ex to dinner. I seem to recall she was a little more chilly when Caroline showed up with Douglas, wanting to visit Thomas. Sally busied herself trying to get Flo to dish on Wyatt until Liam and Hope showed up, and DUN-DUN-DUN! Flo and Hope recognized each other from earlier in the day.
Hope had told Liam, "it's like everything that touches Phoebe is a coincidence," and she nailed it on that one. We were told that Flo is basically a good girl, and that must be why she seemed so overcome with guilt that before Wyatt could even throw that portobello on the barbie, Flo started gushing about how none of this should have happened to Hope...Flo didn't want Hope to hate her...but she had intel on Phoebe!
I guess Hope was too transfixed by the woman who supposedly birthed the baby she's fascinated with to get mad about Liam popping off that "Phoebe sort of replaced our daughter." The Hope of the past couple months would have smacked Liam upside the head with her crumpled sonogram. Liam also tried to shush Hope, publicly telling her, "I don't think now is the right time" to talk about Beth.
Mr. Sensitivity rather lost his crown there, didn't he? Flo tried to lead up to a confession with a bunch of babble that could be taken generally, like "Phoebe doesn't belong to me" and other things that Hope interpreted as Flo being empathetic about Hope losing Beth. In fact, Hope was stronger than she's been since that night on Catalina and even seemed to accept Beth's death for the first time!
Hope and Flo bonded, but not for the reason everyone thought as they watched the "mothers" from afar. At this point, I was too annoyed that Flo had tried twice this week to tell Hope about Beth, only to be interrupted or misunderstood. There's no denying that every soap does this, and that it's simply part and parcel of the genre. There was just something about this specific secret-stuffing that felt overplayed.
In her probable postpartum depression, I could see Hope missing Flo saying she had something to tell but not actually doing it. But there's no way Liam, Sally, and Wyatt all could have missed it. Yet Flo talked and talked, saying nothing, and these guys wrote it off as sympathy toward Hope. I don't expect the secret to come out now, but the constant teasing of it with no follow-through was particularly predictable.
In a moment alone, Wyatt wanted to know about Phoebe's dad but got nothing out of Flo except a weirdly timed selfie that Wyatt wanted to post. I'm surprised that Flo would allow that, given the low profile she's supposed to be keeping. And I wondered what significance an Instagram post would have...until Zoe grabbed her phone during afterplay with Xander and found Flo's face in her notifications.
Well, Zoe had her clothes on faster than you can say, "I'm not an American, I just sound like one." Zoe's been so tight-lipped about her distress lately, I'm amazed Xander isn't bothered by it. At least it means Xander isn't an accessory after the fact like Zoe is -- yet. Better set another place for dinner, Sally-Sal, because Zoe is on her way over, and she's about to serve up Flo as the main course.
There was something amazingly sweet about Flo rallying for Hope not to give up on the idea of trying for a child again. I know that a lot of it was out of Flo's guilt, that she probably thought Hope having a new baby would make her forget about Beth and therefore take Flo off the hook. But it was unexpectedly sincere, like Flo really cared. "You're meant to be a mother," Flo insisted. "I'm certain of it!"
All you need is your own imagination, Scoopers! Should Liam hold fast to his commitment to Hope, or should he listen to Wyatt and Taylor and return to Steffy? Does Flo's sort-of secret-keeping leave something to be desired? And is Zoe and Xander covering their American accents sublime or ridiculous? Go inside for your finest inspiration 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!
"Hope mentions at least every 2 minutes how much they love and miss their baby. Well, tell me this -- this was a fully formed stillborn baby that was put into her arms. If they loved that baby so much why the hell did they not bring that little body home and give it a decent funeral or cremation. There has never been any mention of the child's remains or why they just left it behind or what happened to it." -- Trish
"After testing Phoebe's DNA to confirm that she is indeed Hope's child, give the baby back to her so we don't have to continue watching Hope going off her rocker. Mind you, the character is so fragile that maybe a stint in a psychiatric hospital might benefit her. Brooke can look after the baby if Hope does end up in hospital and Liam can return to Steffy, he will end up with her again sooner or later anyway. I like the idea of Sally restarting Spectra, but not as part of Bill's empire. Wyatt should get his father to provide start-up finance and premises. Don't know why Thomas is coming back, Sally doesn't need him and, hopefully, doesn't want him back." -- Trudi
"I appreciate how carefully you addressed a mother mourning her dead child. I also agree with everything you said, although I really don't want to see Hope ease her pain with pills. Just so you know, I am officially sulking!" -- Chelsea
I am, too, because now I have to stop making "Vogue" references. I can't tell if Phoebeth's saga is getting more interesting or if it's still bogged down in the quagmire. But nu-nu-nuThomas makes his debut next week, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And remember: no matter color, creed, religion, gender identity, orientation, or nationality, we're all beautiful.
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