Powder keg of pain: Steffy's total eclipse of the heart

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''Tick, tick, tick ---- Eughhhhhhh!'' Those are the sounds that best describe Steffy's painkiller storyline as one roller-coaster day careened from love in the morning to a knife assault in the afternoon. Get the two scoops on how Steffy might be flailing from a bad high, but when Liam tries to play ''father knows best,'' it turns into ''ex does the worst'' this week on The Bold and the Beautiful.

If you've been DVRing episodes, waiting for a week to binge B&B, this is your must-see week. From Woods, to Scott, to Kaye, our cast's stellar performances will get Emmy nominations, and so might the writing for crafting a storyline that actually has multiple perspectives instead of simply propping up one character with the mindless actions of others.

Some viewers believed the scenes would have been even better without the social distancing rules. Without them, Ridge could have held Steffy, and Hope could have cradled Liam as he cried -- from a knife wound to the gut! Yes, I believe social distancing saved Liam an ER visit to see Finn. Seriously, for me, the single-character shots provided by social distancing highlighted Steffy's loneliness and the walls she put around herself that are now cracking and crumbling.

Before you cuddle up to your set to watch or re-watch the show, make sure you have some important items to improve your viewing pleasure. First, get some Depends, because Steffy will make you wet yourself with her whiny, droning, and spot-on impression of Liam. Next, get some tissues in case you're a crier. Steffy is a powder keg, giving off sparks as she unravels her skin to reveal her raw scars and pain -- and it's no surprise just how far back it goes. You might also want some tissues to wipe that crap off Thomas' nose -- unless you actually believe the lines he's dropping on Hope and Zoe.

Lastly, you might want the paramedics on speed dial because Liam has taken Steffy's daughter, and in the infamous words of Harlem Nights' Vera, "Now I got to cut you!" This week, we learned just how far Steffy and Liam will go to protect their daughter, but which one of them went too far? And which one of them didn't go "too far enough" for the other?

Let's get two scoops deep into whether Steffy's roller-coaster addiction storyline is unfurling the way we thought it might. Are the pills talking for Steffy or emboldening her to say what's long been on her mind? In Liam's panic to protect his daughter, did his "father knows best" routine turn out to be the worst thing to do to Steffy in her predicament?

Every now and then, I fall apart

I felt the ground shake when our Steffy, the pillar-of-strength giant, fell this week. She went from a pain-plagued, overworked mom to an emotionally toxic waste dump in one nap flat. Steffy's emotional breakdown storyline has been a long time coming. It's finally here, and I pray that she exorcises every Spencer and Logan demon to go on to have a happy romance with Finn. In the meantime, as I witnessed her unraveling, I wondered if it was the pills talking, or if her burgeoning feelings for Finn have caused her to take an honest look at Liam.

Liam acted offended when Steffy went off on him. With his panties in a bunch, he thought it was so unlike her to rage at him. For many viewers, it was a long-awaited reckoning for all the damage his waffling has done to her. Besides, he's seen her upset before, like when she tore up his house after he married Ivy. All I want to know is -- what is in those pills from Vinny? Are they truth-serum pills with a side of psychosis?

Whatever the pills are, I know what they are not. They are not the same pills Finn prescribed for Steffy. Finn's pills did not cause her to pass out cold. Though she'd been a little irritated with Hope while taking Finn's pills, Finn's pills did not cause Steffy to lash out with abandon and melt into a pool of tears and nerves on the verge of murderous knifings.

So, it begs the question: is Steffy addicted to pain pills, or did she get a bad batch of whatever Vinny's selling? And make no mistake about it. Vinny is selling. He might have given Steffy the first bottle for free, but that's because that's how dealers get clients hooked. You remember how he kept popping up with free pills for Thomas? I think it's the same MO with Steffy.

Steffy's so-called pill addiction struck at the speed of light. One minute, she was playing kissy-poo with Finn, but by the afternoon, she was out cold on her sofa in a drug-induced sleep. It only took the ingestion of one or two of Vinny's pills to take her from a typical back pain patient to an emotional atom bomb. I conclude that Steffy wasn't addicted to Finn's pills; however, she might be instantly addicted to whatever is in Vinny's pills.

The writers seem to have left Steffy's addiction up to interpretation. We haven't seen Steffy crave a pill for any reason other than the pain. We see her still doubling over in pain, albeit inconsistently. For example, when she is with Finn or in a highly excitable scene -- like the one when she was searching for her keys -- it seems as if she feels no pain at all. As a layperson to opioid addiction, I wish the writers had given us a roadmap to Steffy's addiction with a clear marker from when it became about the pill and not the pain.

Pills aren't the only thing Steffy is addicted to. She is also addicted to the toxicity that is Liam Spencer. While her loved ones said it wasn't like her to rage at them, I believe Steffy's physical pain manifested into an emotional journey for her. It could be a turning point in her life in which she resolves her past with Liam and the Logans in order to move on to a new era in her life -- or her emotional outbursts could disappointingly be merely more red meat entertainment for the opposing fanbases.

Below is a glimpse into what fans on our message board think about the storyline:

"I think Liam overreacted by calling Steph an addict. To me what Steph did was a mistake but you don't become an addict with two pills." -- Friz4ever

"This storyline is way too rushed. I feel like this show often gets the pacing of storylines wrong. The baby Beth story was way too drawn out, and this one is rushed to light speed." -- DD7

"She went through two prescriptions and then tried just over the counter meds. She was without the narcotics for days, if not weeks, so she wasn't addicted prior to the Vinny pill that she took - but emotionally she was in a downward spiral due to the physical and emotional pain, making her ripe to abuse meds and become addicted. The arch was too rushed...She was fine under the use of the Rx'd drugs, functioning, able to care for Kelly...Now suddenly after one Vinny pill she's a danger to herself and Kelly and an addict. Bad writing from Bell." -- Sunspots

Sunspots, I think your reasoning is spot-on, but I have to say we do not know how long Steffy went without prescribed pills between Finn's prescriptions. One of the major issues I have with the storyline is we can't figure out how much time has gone by. For example, can you believe this is still the same day that Liam went to talk to Finn in the first place?

Every now and then, I get a little bit terrified

There are two sides to every story. While Steffy has been grappling with her issues, Liam has tried to help her as best as he can and as much as he can -- even if he's dead wrong and making it worse. Liam had the best of intentions, tinged with jealousy, of course, when he questioned Finn's objectivity in being Steffy's doctor and possible lover. The suspicions caused Liam to drive out to confront Steffy, but he instead found her passed out in her living room.

Liam's reaction to Steffy taking mystery pills was to remove Kelly from the premises. That set off a chain reaction of events -- all avoidable -- that led to Steffy tragically pulling a knife on him and demanding her daughter back. Yes, Liam had to put Kelly's safety first, but isn't part of that making sure that Steffy is safe, too?

Steffy was belligerent to Liam that day. She'd ordered him out of the house several times. But she'd also broken down and told him something that he and Finn have already agreed upon -- that Kelly is the key to Steffy's recovery, and Steffy needs her daughter. Let me be clear, I've always thought that Steffy's dependence upon Kelly was unhealthy; however, if Liam believes that Steffy needs Kelly for her recovery, it boggles my mind that Liam would leave with the child without making sure that Steffy had help in accepting his decision.

Steffy also confided in Liam that day about how much it still tore her apart that he and Hope had taken "Phoebe." Yes, Steffy is still calling Beth "Phoebe" and practically blaming Liam and Hope for taking their own child home. It's an irrational thing to tell Liam, but it wasn't the pills talking. Steffy has said this before. Liam later admitted to knowing that taking Kelly would cause a resurgence of that pain. So, again, it boggles my mind that he'd rip open a wound like that within an unstable Steffy, a woman who is falling apart before his eyes, without making sure that she wasn't alone to deal with him taking Kelly.

Liam was terrified about what could happen to Kelly in Steffy's care, and Steffy was terrified that he was giving Kelly to Hope the same way Hope had "collected" PhoeBeth and Douglas. It wouldn't have turned into a knife showdown at Brooke's house if Liam could efficiently use his two brain cells. While brain cell one took care of Kelly, brain cell two could have called Ridge or the neighborhood Dr. Finn to ensure that one of them could take care of Steffy while Liam left with the child.

I'm disappointed that Liam didn't get Steffy help. Instead, he left her alone on drugs by a cliff after taking the only thing she was living for. She revealed to him that the pills hadn't come from Finn. At that point, Liam should have been concerned about where they'd come from and what she'd really ingested. One call to her doctor could have gone a long way toward getting the help Steffy needed and lowered the probability that she would have shown up at Brooke's in the condition she'd been in.

Here is what a few of you on our message board think about the incident:

"What bothered me about 'Lame' is he kept saying he isn't a doctor! So call Finn who is one!!!!! He's wimpy and disgusting!" -- Noeweigh

"Nothing could have been worked out calmly with Steffy taking pills and being so angry. Liam had to take Kelly. It was the only way short of calling Childrens' Services..." -- Camille78

"Liam supposedly cares about Steffy so much but he didn't even bother notifying her family or anyone in her support system before taking the most drastic measure? Ridge and Thomas wouldn't even have known if Thomas didn't happen to drop by before Steffy left. How did they expect her to react?" -- nuckies_fan

"I totally blame Liam for this getting so bad! He could have told Steffy that he was going to stay with her for a period of time while she recovered from the accident. He could have called her family when she was not listening...He knew he was going to make it worse by taking Kelly and he did it anyway." -- maryg

"I do think Liam is right and Steffy can´t take good care of Kelly right now. On her own. That's what I found the most horrible, when Steffy yelled she was alone and had to manage all that on her own...Why not be around for Steffy...before her addiction to pain pills became a problem. Now they all stand there shocked and sad what has become of Steffy, but they all didn't really do much to prevent her getting in the situation in the first place." -- PaulaLi

PaulaLi, I must agree. People around Steffy should have recognized that she was isolated, had issues to work through because of the PhoeBeth situation, and hadn't gotten over Liam as she's been pretending that she had. It is as plain as the portrait on the wall, isn't it? Hopefully, step one of Steffy's rehab will be to take down that godforsaken portrait.

Every now and then, I'm crying like a child in your arms

On Friday, the week climaxed with Ridge talking Steffy down off a murderous cliff. Thomas and Steffy can say what they want about Ridge, but he has always been there for his children. He was there for Thomas last year, and he's firmly in Steffy's corner right now. Heck, as a bonus, Ridge can even use caring for Steffy as an excuse to put off this pity wedding to Shauna.

Seriously, Steffy needs her daddy, as she always has. Ridge offered to call her mother, too, but can you imagine what a nightmare it would be if Taylor was there, reinforcing the lies she tells her children about Brooke breaking up the family? Steffy might be liable to return to Brooke's house with a gun. That's how Taylor handles things, anyway.

Ridge needs to take his girl home, purge her house of the pills, and get Finn on the line to figure out the next steps. Steffy definitely needs counseling. And did I say someone needs to take down that portrait? I said that already, right? Well, it bears repeating.

Here are some final thoughts from posters on our message board:

"I do not think a person who has romantic feelings for Steffy should be treating her. Finn can refer her to somebody but his role should be limited to that of a friend. Plus Steffy really needs a therapist not an ER doctor."-- ~scarlett~

"Ridge is an emotional thinker and decision maker, easily guilted by his children for abandonment. In fact he was the constant in their lives when their mother was awol, it's a false narrative of long ago, to drive todays' storylines." -- Mudlokate

"Ridge should have lived with Steffy while he waffled between Shauna and Brooke but that would have made it harder for Quinn to butt in and manipulate him." -- kendallsam

In a look ahead:

Spoilers indicate that, in the early part of the week, Steffy's addiction storyline will continue. Finn will be updated on matters, and he will join Liam and Ridge in confronting Steffy's problem. If Steffy gets over her pill addiction with a quickie intervention, we can say goodbye to any hope of her actually dealing with her pain and violent tendencies. If you ask me, this is no way to start a romance. Will Finn hit the pause button until Steffy gets through this?

Hope and Thomas will discuss his worries about Steffy. Is it just me, or is Hope getting a little too comfy cozy with her ex-stalker? I wonder how much catch Hope would want to play with Thomas after learning he bad-mouths her to Steffy and disparages her right to be around Kelly to Steffy.

Toward the end of the week, it's back to the rama-lama-ding-dong gang. The climatic Friday promises a wedding full of minefields and a mystery guest who can change the tides of fate.

Thanks for scooping with me this week. As always, we'd love for you to post your reactions to the week in the comments below. Until we scoop again, stay bold and beautiful, baby!

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