To trust or not to trust; that is the question

For the Week of November 23, 2020
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Hope is desperate to believe in Thomas for Douglas' sake, but Thomas wrestled with his sanity after the mannequin took on a life of its own. Someone might burn in hell after Shauna swore on Flo's life that she didn't want Eric. Trust is on the line, but here are the two scoops on why my money is on Thomas and Quinn this week on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Most of the week, Liam ran around like Chicken Little, complaining that the sky was falling on Thomas' "redeemed" act. The more Liam warns, the more invested Hope becomes in her faith in Thomas, and the more willing she is to brush off warning signs -- like Thomas bogarting a life-sized replica of Hope at his house. Hope must believe in Thomas for the sake of her family and HFTF. The deeper Thomas falls down the mannequin hole, the more confident I become that Hope is right to bank on him.

Thomas' storyline will probably get darker before we see light, but one of the bright spots in it is undoubtedly Henry Joseph Samiri (Douglas), who shined like a diamond in a coal mine in his scenes. Seeing Douglas' innocent, hopeful face made it click for me why Hope chose to ignore the mannequin, won't give credence to Liam's concerns, and subjects herself to Thomas after all he's done to her. One thing about Hope has never changed; she will literally sacrifice herself for Douglas' happiness.

Across town, Shauna Fulton is a little too willing to sacrifice herself for her best friend's marriage and her new "friendship" with her bestie's husband. It's a tough job living at the mansion and keeping Eric company at martini time, but it's the sacrifice a friend has to make when her bestie's marriage is on the rocks. Quinn's abandoned martini won't drink itself, after all.

I don't buy Shauna's act for a moment longer than I buy Zende's act that he's not bothered by Zoe and Carter's engagement. Zende is putting on the act for the sake of his friends' engagement, but is Shauna on the level when she swears on her daughter's life that she isn't into Eric and is still recovering from her relationship with Ridge?

Let's get two scoops deep into who to trust and whom not to trust when marriages and families are on the line. We'll delve into why we probably shouldn't relegate Thomas to darkness just yet. Shauna, who isn't as angelic as she seems, swore on her daughter's life. We'll take a guess as to who might soon burn in hell as a result of her mom's actions on The Bold and the Beautiful!

Karma chameleon

Riddle me this: How many times does a married best friend have to tell her single bestie that it is inappropriate for the single bestie to live with the married bestie's husband when that bestie's marriage is on the rocks?

Answer: None. No best friend in her right damn mind is gonna move into her bestie's house to cheer for said bestie to that bestie's hubby, who's just so lonely without his estranged wife and needs a martini partner in his wife's absence. It just ain't gonna happen. The hair weave will fly.

Women have a code, and if you're truly best friends, there ain't no breaking the code. If your friend and her man are on the outs, then you and your friend's man are out on the outs. If your friend and her husband are estranged, you and your friend's husband are estranged. If your friend and her man are divorced, you and that man are divorced. That's just how it is.

Shauna talks a good game, telling Wyatt and Flo that she was only at Eric's to toot Quinn's horn, but Wyatt thought Shauna protested a little too much to all of his reasons for her to move out. Shauna claimed she'd planned to go, but Eric insisted she stay. Of course, she would have gone if Eric hadn't taken her bags. Shauna wondered what the point was of leaving if Eric still didn't want to have Quinn back in the house.

Well, Shauna, maybe Eric would miss his wife if the role of Quinn wasn't now being played by you at breakfast, you at lunch, you at dinner, and you at martini time. Quinn moved out of there to give him time alone to think. It's mighty suspicious that Shauna took it upon herself to change up Quinn's strategy without telling Quinn and then to go off the grid and not tell anyone where she was staying after Quinn told her to get out.

Shauna can't possibly have a life if she has time to drop off the grid at Eric's. She has to be the dumbest chick on the planet if she really doesn't get what Quinn was saying and had really been trying to help Quinn and Eric reconcile -- without Quinn's knowledge. Is Shauna's putting on an innocent act? It's hard to tell if she's this devious or this dumb. It's kind of like when she "innocently" recorded Brooke and Bill. I didn't believe her then, and I do not believe her now.

Quinn doesn't believe Shauna, either, which is probably why she had Shauna swear on Flo's life about it. At least this way, if Shauna can't be trusted, Quinn's revenge will be that Shauna's firstborn will burn in hell for Shauna's transgressions.

I don't think we've seen the end of Shauna's martinis with Eric. Something tells me that Eric's refusal to let Quinn return home will signal Shauna, who doubts that he can ever get over what his wife did, to start homing in on him the same way she homed in on Ridge when he couldn't get over what Brooke felt about Thomas.

I believe we're headed for a bestie blowup, and I'll enjoy every moment of Shauna giving Quinn the same hell Quinn gave to Brooke. Quinn is in for a double helping of karma disguised as her best friend, Shauna. Quinn couldn't be more deserving, but in the end, Quinn will win. If Sheila couldn't beat Quinn, the meek karma chameleon Shauna has no chance in hell against her.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

It finally happened. The mannequin came to life, and, like a robot, it moved. Was it Thomas' imagination? I'd like to think so, but does his imagination make something move behind him when he's on the phone, not looking at it?

Kudos to Annika Noelle for her portrayal of the stiff and robotic mannequin trying its best to mimic the way a real human walks, talks, and moves. Noelle didn't turn when she moved as the mannequin. She rotated and shifted, giving us the sense that it took effort to move the doll's dead weight. The sinister way Noelle turned her head with dead eyes as the doll told Thomas it would always be there for him chilled me to the core, and my previous fears of it pulling a knife on Hope resurfaced when Hope arrived with Douglas for dinner.

It's been hard to ascertain why Hope would ignore the warning signs about Thomas. It was hard to understand why she'd let him back on the team at work when he obviously still rattles her. With one look at Douglas, who's been off-screen for months, it became crystal clear to me. Hope does it for the same reason she always does it -- Douglas.

If you recall, Hope was willing to sacrifice herself and her happiness for Douglas. It wasn't just the grief over Beth talking, either. Hope is down for her little boy and will go to any length for him. So, it makes sense that she'd boost Thomas in his career. Doing so keeps him focused and helps him to be a better man. That's good for Douglas, and by default, good for HFTF.

Hope will do anything for Douglas -- except leave Liam again. So far, that is. Douglas doesn't understand the dynamics of the "one big, happy family" Liam, Hope, and Steffy have created. Douglas doesn't get why Thomas isn't in it. Sensing that his father is lonely, Douglas asked why Thomas, who is family, can't live at the cabin with them. Why indeed? Because of Liam, the very thorn Manne-Hope seeks to remove from Thomas' side.

Apparently, Liam doesn't understand the dynamics of the family they built, either, or that it actually should include Thomas, who has every right to bond with his son the same way Liam bonds with Kelly. Hope has been very supportive of Liam in that effort with Kelly and Steffy, and Hope doesn't get why Liam isn't supportive of her in that effort with Douglas and Thomas. Liam claims it isn't the same thing, but I don't know how Liam can say that his need to bond with Kelly isn't the same as Thomas' need to bond with Douglas.

Is Liam right that a personality like Thomas' can't change overnight? I have to say, it hasn't been overnight. It's been months since Thomas' failed wedding. It's been long enough for Steffy to get an addiction, recover from it, and fall in love with Finn. It's been long enough for Zoe, who wanted to take it slow, to get in a new relationship and become engaged.

So, it's not overnight, and besides seeing the mannequin in person, Liam hasn't witnessed any sign that Thomas isn't trying and recovering. I'm not saying Thomas is recovered or changed, but he shows signs that he's trying. What goes on in his conflicted brain is his business as long as it never manifests in an unhealthy way. I've decided that Thomas is indeed trying to accept Hope's marriage and move on. His "therapy" with the mannequin proves it.

Mr. Roboto is the title of this section because the song is about a man using a robot to escape. You'll remember the lyrics: "I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin." The song goes on to caution people not to be surprised if he acts strangely. He just needs somewhere to hide. Next, we hear from the robot, who says, "I'm not a robot without emotions. I'm not what you see. I've come to help you with your problems, so we can be free."

With these lines, I began to see Manne-Hope a little differently. Maybe, instead of being the tool of Thomas' demise, Manne-Hope is the tool he uses to conquer his demons. What if Manne-Hope is a manifestation of Thomas' internal struggle to heal himself? What if it represents Thomas actively working through his issues, learning to accept Hope's marriage, teaching himself to resist his urges, and ultimately helping him escape to the place where he needs to be, as the song says -- so he can be free?

Or is the doll symbolism not that deep?

I came to this conclusion because Thomas doesn't act on any of the mannequin's suggestions. He isn't planning a murder or attempting to seduce Hope -- so far. When the mannequin tells him what he needs to do, he tells it that Hope doesn't want that and is in love with Liam.

I think the struggle between Thomas and the mannequin could possibly be indicative of Thomas in "self-therapy." We may see him falter with the mannequin before the story is done, but in the end, we'll learn that Thomas was battling his demons, not slipping into the old routine of stalking and scheming to be with Hope.

I'd love to know what you think of that in the comments below.

In a look ahead:

Despite Steffy's belief that Thomas isn't a danger to Hope, Liam marches over to Thomas' place to confront him about something. Remember the last time that happened? Liam is forever confronting people, only to discover something shocking. He went to confront Steffy about Finn and found her knocked out on the sofa. He confronted Thomas about Hope and discovered the mannequin. Who knows what he'll see this time at Thomas' now that the Manne-Hope can walk. She might answer the front door!

The Bold and the Beautiful will be preempted for Thanksgiving. The following day, a classic episode will air. Everyone, mask up, wash up, and take no unnecessary risks that might change the outlook of your Christmas. May your Thanksgiving be bold and beautiful, baby!

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