Quid pro Flo

by Mike
For the Week of January 25, 2021
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Zoe wanted to see if there was any heat with Zende, and Liam was in hot water for impregnating Steffy. But Flo didn't want to wait 'til winter's over to feel the heat, so she spilled some tea with Y&R's Summer Newman! Cross through the crossover with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you go to your closet to try on a new flirt? Did you decide you had to get testy? Did you discover that dirt is more fruitful in California than in Wisconsin? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Spectra-Buckingham-Newman clan this week!

It's a new era, Scoopers! Not just in the White House, but for Steffy, who once again finds herself on the Who's the Daddy ride. Zoe has a perfectly fine fiancé but can't stop thirsting for Zende, with whom her story at least budged a little. But their tales pale compared to the unexpectedly intriguing crossover featuring Y&R's Summer Newman, who wanted the dish on Sally! Y'all ready? Let's Scoop about it!



DAMN, I WISH I WAS YOUR LOVER

Zoe is now officially on my list, and you know which one I'm talking about. It ain't Christmas. It struck me recently -- she is now doing exactly the same thing to Carter that Thomas did to her. You know, acting all into a relationship while not-so-secretly desiring someone else? Karma usually doesn't work in reverse like this. Zoe, of all people, should not be keeping Carter on a string while checking out her other options.

I guess since the Z-girl was unable to keep Paris from taking the Forrester Foundation position, which would position her near Zende, Zoe decided to up her game. Now she's telling Zende that she shouldn't marry Carter until she finds out if there's anything to the apparent sparks between her and Zende. Zoe must have special glasses to see those sparks, because they're invisible to me.

All I see is a girl who finally got herself a decent hunk of a man who's totally into her and can't help f-ing it all up. We have gotten hints before that that's how Buckinghams roll. And I might feel the slightest bit of sympathy for Zoe because of that, but her nod-nods and wink-winks to Zende in front of Ridge were so inappropriate. That's your job, Zoe. Save the hormones for your break.

I suppose I should be glad this story is finally moving a little, after it nearly died of atrophy over the past few months. Yet I still don't see any grand passion between the Z's -- you know, the kind that would make you root for their coupling no matter who else they were involved with. Wish Maya was here so she could catch Zoe and run to Carter with the news. After all, Maya did the same thing to Carter with Rick!

Zende had told Ridge about issues he was having with his phone. Later, alone, Zoe got the text that Zende had tried to send her the night she first became intimate with Carter, the one asking Zoe to hold off on such action until she saw Zende. Are we really to believe that text was in the ether for over three months? Forget the reset, Zende -- I think you need a whole new phone plan! Bundled with TV and a land line!



BABY, I NEED YOUR LOVIN'

Oy...where to start with all this Finn/Steffy/Liam/Hope/Thomas stuff. Naturally, it filled all four episodes of the week (and undoubtedly would have filled five if not for the inauguration), but I found it really hard not to tune out. It was pretty much the same stuff one usually gets in a storyline like this, on a show that's done this scenario to death. The only difference is that the third party (Steffy) has a bae of her own.

Hope asked Steffy (who clearly got her inspo from Prince's Raspberry Beret -- I love that song!) who, on a gut level, she thought was the father of her baby. Was it Finn or was it Liam? Later, Finn asked Steffy the exact same question. Maybe Finn is the true refreshing element of this arc. He ain't takin' it from Liam. "Where was all this love for Hope when you were cheating on her with Steffy?" Finn fired.

Wow! Though we still don't know a lot about Finn, he's always seemed mellow -- maybe too mellow. So, to see him tell Liam what time it is was rather fun. Finn declared that Liam's access to Steffy was going to have limits if it turned out Steffy was carrying Liam's baby. It's not often anyone puts their foot down with Liam; maybe that's why he keeps doing the Leffy/Lope Shuffle. So, I was all about Finn for that.

But I dunno...aren't baby/paternity dramas overplayed already, and not just on this soap? How many decades are we going to do this? And ultimately, the babies are used as props, as mere plot devices, until the conflict over the child ends. Has anyone seen Beth since everyone became privy to Reese's babynapping? I know, we don't watch these shows to see babies. But this current baby brouhaha feels so tired to me.

While Steffy finally reassured Finn that she wanted her baby to be his (after pedaling and backpedaling about her true feelings for Liam), Liam went home to try to plead his case to Hope again. Did I say plead? I meant "beg." I mean, literally, because Liam even said that's what he was doing. That was one hell of a monologue; Liam yammered on and on and on. Even Hope said, "Liam, stop."

I will say, pre-begging, that Scott Clifton gave the recycled dialogue some real nuance through his performance. For a scene that could have easily called for tears and melodrama, Clifton chose more subtle, hushed tones as Liam realized the gravity of what he had done. "I blew us up over a mannequin," he anguished. It's really LOL-worthy when someone says it aloud like that.

Yes, then Liam got on his knees, and all I could think of was when Liam did the same thing in his underwear, with a red streak in his hair, back in 2012 after he went out partying with Steffy the night before that wedding to Hope. I don't know whether Hope should take Liam back or not. She didn't question Liam's love for her or the children. But Hope did do the Brooke One Tear™!

Steffy got off easier, though Finn was no pushover about it. He knew part of Steffy still wanted Liam, and he kept pressing her on that score. In fact, Finn blamed Liam and his sense of entitlement toward Steffy for the whole thing. Finn was right, but he sure sounded like pre-operation Thomas, didn't he? Will it be long before Finn uses a CGI ghost to scare Liam into staying away from Steffy?

Finn said right off he'd stand by Steffy, no matter who fathered her child, then almost bounced when Steffy gave him a chance to walk away. What was up with that? Finn quickly reverted to his choice to stay with Steffy and even said he was simply going to choose to believe the baby was his. There was a lot of in-circles dialogue and action like that this week. Why the same questions when we already got the answers?



BABY DID A BAD, BAD THING

Well, wouldn't you know, Thomas, now dressing like Pierson Fodé's Thomas, overheard Liam and Hope talking about Liam's fertile night of nookie with Steffy. Once Liam left, he went back to the office, where he uncharacteristically chewed a client out and chewed on a roast beef sandwich! Wyatt couldn't believe the vegan was so vehement!

That led to a scene where Liam 'fessed up about his Steffy shtupping, and Wyatt basically reamed him out for it. Not much else to know about there. Though I do always like when the Spencer brothers get together and get along. Methinks there was some improvising going on; it was so natural and funny when Wyatt demanded that Liam save him some fries!

For Thomas' part, at least he was up-front with Hope about having heard her intensely personal conversation with Liam. Tommy could easily have kept that intel to himself and used it in some dastardly scheme, which he would have done a year ago. Are we truly supposed to swallow that relieving the pressure on Thomas' brain bleed has turned him back into the saner version of himself?

Well, the Thope chat was pretty cyclic, too. Thomas thought Hope should forgive Liam. Hope asked Thomas if she should forgive Liam. Thomas reiterated that he thought Hope should forgive Liam. These interactions don't move the plot forward at all. Does the show think we're going to forget what happened between commercials? Though all those pharmaceutical ads are pretty mind-numbing.

Hope didn't want to hear that Thomas was right about Liam always circling back to Steffy. Thomas said it wasn't about that; it was about Hope's feelings and what she wanted. He knew Liam loved her and how much Hope wanted to preserve that marriage. And that's great. So why do I still not trust Thomas? Probably because B&B had him do way too much to make me not trust him.

Across town, Steffy confused me by going in for a test, then immediately getting the results of said test. I thought she was in there for her paternity test. Turned out she had simply gone to confirm she was pregnant. It was only after that when Steffy asked her doc for a daddy decider. Better make sure Bill isn't in the building; I still think he futzed with Kelly's test. Why did the doctor look all shocked? This is L.A.!



HOT TOWN, SUMMER IN THE CITY

So, much ado was made this week about Y&R's Summer Newman flying in from Genoa City. Here's a little backstory. You may remember that Sally, fresh from kidnapping Flo and pretending she was dying, took off to make a new life for herself in Wisconsin. Sally got a job as Lauren Fenmore's assistant but had her eye on a leadership position at Jabot's JCV. ("Jabot Collective." What does the "V" stand for?)

Newman heiress Summer Newman coveted the same job and edged Sally out for it, to my understanding. But there was something about Sally that Summer didn't trust. As it happened, Summer and JCV wanted to make a promotion deal with L.A. publishing conglomerate Spencer Publications, and Summer found herself talking to Wyatt Spencer...who once was hot and heavy with the suspicious Miss Spectra.

Summer met with Wyatt at a restaurant that looked very much like Il Giardino, only they didn't say for sure. Is Sheila still working there, sharpening knives and using the squash for target practice? Anyway, business business business, then Summer brought the topic around to Sally, and Wyatt clammed up as if he were using Krazy Glue for lip balm. He had nothing to say about his infamous ex, which intrigued Summer more.

What followed was the best scene that was on all week, definitely all year, perhaps all decade. Bill was in the middle of changing to work out in his gym (so he converted the sex room he built for Brooke into a 24-Hour Fitness?); after all the discomfort about Wyatt ushering Summer in at that moment was past, Bill asked Summer to say hello to Lauren and noted that he had met Summer's parents while passing through GC!

"I have respect for Fenmore's, the Abbotts, and your grandfather, Victor Newman," Bill rhapsodized. Yaaaaaasss! Of course, these are all references to Don Diamont's time on Y&R, where, as Brad Carlton, he interacted with all named characters for 24 years! Easy to forget, since Diamont's been on B&B since 2009; too bad Bill and Katie never got called Brad and Victoria by accident, with Heather Tom also racking up years on Y&R.

Once Bill left, Summer again asked Wyatt about why Sally moved to Genoa City. How ironic, since Sally shot "Sky," Bill's beloved skyscraper model, right there in that room. Again, Wyatt tried to remain neutral and excused himself. But Flo had overheard the inquisition and teased that she knew more about Sally Spectra...a lot more!

Then things got weird for a moment. Summer got this offer of info from Flo but blew Flo off. Flo piqued Summer's interest by intimating she could reveal all about Sally, then drew back. Why the cat-and-mouse? Eventually, Flo admitted she was hesitant because she didn't want Wyatt walking in, so she and Summer agreed to meet at what, again, I assume, was Il Giardino.

I hope their waiter had a mop handy, because Flo spilled all the tea! Lipton, Twinings, Celestial Seasonings -- you name it! Summer learned all about how Sally had pretended to be dying to steal Wyatt away from Flo and how Sally had resorted to kidnapping to make it happen. Too bad Flo doesn't know about Sally being arrested for corporate espionage and waving a gun in Wyatt's face!

Summer felt empowered after gaining this knowledge and believed she had enough to keep Sally in her place if need be. But who the hell is Flo? Would Summer take Flo's word so seriously if she knew how Flo pretended to be Beth's mother and accepted 50 grand from Reese for the effort? Summer branded Flo a "borderline saint" and a "badass." Please! Spare me the appetite suppressant!

Yes, Sally committed some crimes. But Flo did, too, and she has no right to act all superior, no matter how much Flo might want to get back at Sally for tying her to a radiator with pantyhose that Flo easily could have broken away from. Honestly, I thought this crossover was going to be pretty lame; nothing tops those Lauren/Sheila crossovers of old. But this one outshone all the other goings-on of the week!

Lastly, while we're still on the Y&R tip, Sally was nervous about pitching a promotion idea to Lauren and got encouragement from Jack Abbott about it. What exactly is brewing between Sally and Jack? Because I sense some major May-December chemistry going on with those two. Not that I blame Sally; Jack is one of the sexiest sexagenarians I've ever seen. Could Sally be planning to skip Fenmore's and JCV and become the next Mrs. Abbott instead?

Sally was thrilled when Lauren loved her pitch, but Sally's joy was immediately curtailed by the discovery that Summer had posted a picture on social media...of herself and Flo. Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs! I wish B&B hadn't turned Sally into a criminal...but at least Y&R is mining that history and using it in current story. If only B&B would take a few lessons in storytelling!

So, where are your heads at, Scoopers? Should Zoe knock off chasing after Zende and settle down with Carter, or is Carter better off without her? Who do you think fathered Steffy's baby? Is the show grooming Thomas to become Hope's new man, even after everything he did to her? And would you like to see more crossovers from Y&R? Spill all your tea inthe Comments section below or the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like these!

"Sorry Mike, I totally disagree with you. I hope that Liam got Steffy pregnant. She does not deserve someone as nice as Finn and no, I don't want to see Finn with Hope either. Hope is a dimwit, Finn deserves someone much better than her. I don't particularly care if Hope hooks up with Thomas. Technically they may be stepsiblings, but they didn't grow up together and since there is no shared DNA, I see no issues. As to Wyatt and Felony Flo...these two played her in a rather cruel way. I still wish that Sally was back and I would like to see her with Carter." -- Trudi

"BTW Mike, Harry was a cat." -- "Itzme"

He sure was! Oops! Last column, I had said Zoe's departed pet was a dog. I was thinking of one of those James Bond villains who stroked an animal while scheming...but hell, that was a cat, too. Where did I get dog? I must still have some L.A. smog in my brain from all the years I lived there!

If you want to get into Carter's head and find out where he's at about Zoe, and whether or not he's being played, check out this fresher-than-fresh interview Lawrence Saint-Victor just did for Soap Central, in which he goes into it all. I'd forgotten that Carter officiated at Zende and Nicole's wedding! Could make things even stickier if Zende replaces Carter as Zoe's main man, eh?

Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. Remember: protecting yourselves and others from a virus and getting vaccinated for it is always beautiful.

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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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