I hold the lock and you hold the key

For the Week of July 12, 2021
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Quinn got locked out of the Forrester mansion as Zoe flew the coop. Meanwhile, Hope busted Thomas out of Justin's prison, but did they go to the cops, missing vital info? Pick more than a lock with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you get a boot as a vow renewal present? Did you leave town so quietly that a hearing aid couldn't pick it up? Did you run to the police to deliver proof of innocence but forget the proof? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Walton-Buckingham-Fulton clan this week!

Things are coming to a head, Scoopers! Quarter got busted, and Hope busted her one-time tormenter out of his cage "justin" time to hip the cops with news that Vinny framed Liam. But didn't they forget a little thing called proof? And didn't B&B forget Hayes isn't Taylor's maiden name? On top of that, Zoe left town without even getting to flame Carter for boffing Quinn. Y'all ready? Let's Scoop about it!

Quarter pounder

Quinn, who was rocking the best dress I've ever seen her in (we need more old school Dynasty sequins like that), faced Eric's demands to tell him the truth about her and Carter. Quinn made the usual speech our show's snagged culprits make about unconditional love and forgiveness, then raged at Brooke and Paris about what they had done to her.

Eric was not having it! He rightly told Quinn not to blame her exposers, and John McCook gave us the perfect blend of horror and outrage as Eric reacted to the fact that his wife had cheated on him. Quinn cried that she had "made a mistake." Is that the only verbiage we can use when these characters get caught slobbering on someone else? "Mistake" is Brooke's word for that. I think she trademarked it!

Speaking of Brooke, it's too bad she or someone didn't mention how all this was poetic justice for Quinn exposing Brooke's kiss with Bill during Brooke's reunion with Ridge. What goes around, after all. And then Flo had the nerve to be mad that her mother had lied to her about sleeping with Carter. Flo, just go count the $50,000 you got for keeping Phoebeth's existence a secret and shut up already.

Eric did not feel like giving Quinn any more chances. He ordered Ms. Se-Quinns out of his life, his house, and his company. Quinn sulked out of the mansion, but I wouldn't worry about her. She should still have her Quinn Artisan Jewelers to go back to, unless she sold it. The odd thing was, Eric had no such words for Carter. The lawyer/COO/officiant just stood there. Wouldn't Eric and Ridge want him gone, too?

We'll always have Paris

Ah, Zoe Buckingham, we hardly knew ye. Or, if we knew when Zoe first came on in 2018 that she'd end up the character she is/was, we'd think she was a different person. Full-on Brit (complete with accent), stalker, cyberbully; that was our Zoe. Now she sounds as American as apple pie and has spent months either sulking about Carter leaving her or sulking about Carter having slept with Shauna.

I guess maybe her bad experience with psycho Thomas took the wind out of her spirited sails. Zoe is about a third of the character she used to be, and, though I wish Kiara Barnes well in her new gig on the rebooted Fantasy Island, I can't say I'm going to miss Zoe. I don't feel like the show ever really knew what to do with her. And with Reese in jail, Zoe's departure is going to leave Paris as the sole Buckingham.

Zoe really didn't get much of an exit story, either, further lending credence to my theory. Paris was glad she managed to get to her sister before Zoe took off for Paris' namesake city but hated being the bearer of bad news: Carter had slept with Quinn, not Shauna. At first, Zoe didn't believe Paris, but Zoe soon felt the sting of betrayal regarding the woman who was supposed to help reunite Zoe with Carter.

And that was essentially it! Zoe had to catch her plane, and she had a brief huggy moment with Paris and left. Say what? No final scene with Carter, ripping him a new one for deceiving her? At least Zoe mentioned that she had only flirted with Zende while Carter had sex with Quinn, and Paris reminded Zoe that she and Carter were on a break, like Ross and Rachel on Friends.

So, yeah, kind of disappointing that Zoe merely slunk off without confronting Carter; it's a missing piece. Open-ended as it is, it makes one suspect Zoe will be recast, but the character doesn't really merit it, and Zoe going off on Carter wouldn't work with a new actor who wasn't even part of the storyline leading up to it. This leaves Paris rather rudderless, too; outside of canoodling with Zende, I don't know what she's supposed to do from here on out.

Walking around in a Hayes

Post-Quarter blowup, Ridge headed over to see Steffy, Finn, and his new grandson. And there was Finn, folding baby clothes just like Steffy spent years doing. She trained him well. Isn't Finn a doctor who's supposed to be at the hospital? Paternity leave, I guess. Anyway, Steffy announced that she and Finn had decided to name the baby "Hayes." Ridge glowed, deeming the moniker "perfect."

I can only hope that text message Steffy got from Taylor was a reminder that "Hayes," as cool a first name as it is, is completely not perfect. As Chanel correctly pointed out last week, Hayes is not Taylor's maiden name. Hamilton is. (See Thomas' middle name.) Blake Hayes was the creepy stalker Taylor was married to before Ridge, whom Taylor left because Blake had a tendency to be violent.

Yes, our once sane shrink went by "Taylor Hayes" for years. But how can B&B's writing staff not know their own show's history? This is the same lack of attention to detail that has characters saying Katie and Bill are married when they haven't been since 2016. The furthest I'll go is allowing that maybe Steffy didn't know her mother's maiden name. But man, I feel bad for this kid, being named after an a-hole like Blake!

Folsom prison blues

I thought prisoners only got one phone call when they were first arrested, but maybe Dollar Bill dropped the soap for the right person, because he was somehow able to call Justin and demand he swing by the jailhouse. Bill was getting pissed. He fumed that his right-hand man was taking way too long getting Bill and Liam out on bail. Sure enough, when Justin arrived, he had no answers for his boss-turned-client.

Bill also seemed to prove Justin's point that Bill only cared about what Justin could do for him as Bill yelled for Justin to fix the incarceration situation now. But I have to say, this was the first of several instances this week where Justin talked a big game but had lousy follow-through. Mr. Barber was so bad at covering his ass that he couldn't have done it with a giant beach towel.

Instead of sweet-talking Bill with some BS about how he was going to save the day, Justin basically said nothing, even when Bill asked if Justin had gotten the private investigators Bill had ordered on the case. (I'm glad someone wanted P.I.s. Hey, nuMagnum is on the same network...) Bill then demanded that Justin talk to Thomas, though I'm uncertain why. To find out more about Vinny, I guess?

As for Liam, he spent a good deal of time alone in his prison cell that Chief Baker later called "cushy," and that was an apt word for it. That cell was huge! It was like a penthouse compared to most, and often those that size are shared by two, if not three, cellmates. Liam whiled away his scenes, talking out his arguments to the imaginary judge and flashing back to moment after past moment with Hope.

I will give points for the lighting and cinematography. And it was pretty cool when the camera zoomed in on Liam's eyes, and suddenly there was "sunlight," and Liam was outside his own doorstep at the Logan cabin. He was a free man! His fantasy was so detailed that he imagined Hope wearing glittery eyeshadow. How Liam would even know to think about that, I can't figure. Well, I could, but I won't.

E.T. phone home

Justin visited Thomas in his below-level cage and surmised that Thomas was holding up all right. Apparently not that well, because Thomas had been brought a sandwich "yesterday," and what was he going to the bathroom in, that water bottle he mysteriously had? At least Justin had the presence of mind to stop off at Lowe's and get Thomas a sleeping bag before he woke up from Justin's knockout punch.

Across town, Katie and Hope commiserated about how the men in both their lives were serving potentially long prison sentences. Then Hope reminded Katie that she was the only one with a husband. Just kidding. Hope decided she wanted to see Justin to find out how Liam and Bill's defenses were going. Justin again did a terrible job of subterfuge and barely convinced Hope he was working on the case at all.

Then back-to-back silliness happened. Hope got a text...from Douglas! And that might be one thing if it was from someone else's phone, but Douglas' name was on the thread. Since when does a grade schooler have his own smartphone? Then, on the subject of phones, Hope tried to call Thomas while Justin took his own call. And suddenly, the air was filled with the sounds of a kiddie show theme!

It was Thomas' ringtone! Hope traced the sound and found Thomas' phone sitting in Bill's desk! What, Justin wants to get caught? Maybe he's unconsciously trying to sabotage himself, because who kidnaps someone and then leaves that someone's phone on for anyone to hear? For all the calls and texts Thomas was getting from the fam, you'd think Wyatt would have heard it long ago.

Hope wanted to know what Justin was doing with Thomas' phone, and Justin offered some lame story about Thomas leaving it behind after he did some article for Eye on Fashion and went out of town. Hope cried foul, because she knew Thomas would not up and leave without making arrangements for Douglas. Then Justin snatched the phone back from Hope, claiming he needed info on it for the article.

Naturally, as soon as Hope left, Justin hurriedly turned off Thomas' phone. Better yet, Justin got rid of it. Just kidding again! Justin wandered around Bill's office with it, kicking himself for being stupid and careless. And wouldn't you know, Wyatt walked in and heard Justin's self-tirade! Justin had claimed to Thomas that he learned his sneakiness from Master Dollar Bill, but Bill would never have left evidence around like that.

Justin at least shoved Thomas' phone in his pocket as he yapped with Wyatt, but Justin keeps doing things to give himself away. Apparently, Justin was supposed to solidify some podcast contract, and Wyatt was none too pleased when Justin had forgotten all about it. Sure, Justin could claim he was working on Bill and Liam's defense 24-7, but Justin had nothing he could back that claim up with. Maybe Justin really does want to get caught!

Scooby-Doo, where are you?

Ridge began to feel something was off when he visited Steffy and learned that Thomas hadn't even called to see how the birth of his nephew went. Maybe Thomas knew "Hayes" wasn't his mom's maiden name and therefore wanted nothing to do with the kid. Still kidding! Steffy became concerned about Thomas' ghosting, as well, and Brooke wondered if Thomas was having mental issues again.

"Why do you do that?" Ridge growled, insisting Thomas was fine. But I have to side with Brooke on this one; it's a legitimate question! Just six months ago, Thomas was making out with mannequins. Of course, so was everybody because of COVID, but work with me. Not desiring to cross swords with Ridge again, Brooke shifted directions and suggested that maybe Thomas was simply in hiding with a new woman.

Ridge liked that presumption, but he didn't like the way Justin's story smelled. Hope relayed how she'd found Justin with Thomas' phone, causing Ridge to question the reality of Thomas' supposed meeting at Spencer. The scenario was strange to Ridge, who also didn't think Justin was the right choice to defend Liam after the things Justin had done over the years, Ridge's helicopter dump still on his mind.

Ridge then did what he's long been famous for in both incarnations -- he jumped to conclusions. He was sure Justin knew where his son was. I get that Ridge had legit reasons to be suspicious of Justin (and can we stop having someone say "I get it" in every episode?), but it was really stretching it for Ridge to think Justin could locate Thomas.

Moments before Ridge arrived at Spencer, Wyatt was doing a very credible imitation of the Dollah by bitching someone out on the phone! Ah, long gone are Wyatt's mellow solar shower days. Ridge arrived, and Wyatt was equally unnerved to hear Justin had been seen with Thomas' phone. Ridge had Wyatt call Justin, who was annoyed to have been summoned. Justin wanted Ridge out of "his" office.

"I'm sorry -- your office?" Wyatt yelped. Slipped pretty hard there, Justin. Ridge then rubbed salt in Justin's wound by snarking that Justin's boss had just asked him a question. I never realized Justin could be considered Wyatt's subordinate, but, with Bill and Liam down for the count, I guess Wyatt is the head honcho! Wyatt split, leaving Ridge to ask Justin about Thomas' whereabouts.

I found myself agreeing with Justin -- why would Ridge think Justin knew where Thomas was? Justin was the last person Thomas had seen, Ridge reasoned. Not necessarily true, Justin replied, and he was right, even if he fumbled over trying to throw Ridge off the scent. Ridge barked that Thomas hadn't told any of his family or friends he was going out of town, but somehow told Justin. Score one for Ridge, there.

"Old people leave things," Ridge insisted. "Like us." Er, speak for yourself, Ridge! Just because I'm only a few years younger than Thorsten Kaye. Ridge felt that the young folk were so superglued to their phones that they weren't likely to just forget them somewhere. "He'll surface when he's ready!" Justin blubbered regarding Thomas. Ridge didn't believe it, and frankly, Justin wasn't very believable in his cover-up.

The proof is not in the pudding

While Ridge was in Bill's office with Wyatt, Justin came to see Thomas again, bringing him a breakfast burrito he'd had his assistant order, even though the assistant was confused about having to order breakfast for Justin twice. (Justin, it's called Doordash. And they don't ask questions. I swear, the more the week went on, the more I was convinced Justin was intentionally trying to get found out.)

Competing for the Trying to Get Found Out category, Hope ended up alone in Bill's office and promptly started snooping around for Thomas' phone, or evidently anything else she could find to answer her questions. And that all would have been fine, but the door was open while she was doing it! She couldn't close it first? Of course, if Hope had, she wouldn't have heard Justin leaving with his second brekky.

Hope did more than most other characters lately when confronted with a mystery: she followed Justin! Better than Brooke, who suspected Quinn of foul play with Ridge and Shauna but just talked about it, like Thomas, who vowed vengeance against Vinny's killer but never lifted a finger to find out who it was. Must be Hope's Sharpe genes peeking through!

And what did Hope find at the end of Justin's trail? Some industrial room in the basement, from which Thomas' voice emanated! Hope heard it all as Thomas begged Justin to let him go. The truth had to be told! Justin shouted for Thomas to shut up! He needed time to think, especially after having been so stupid as to leave Thomas' phone lying around. Thomas was sure that discovery had led to people looking for him.

Backing up a bit, for all the talk about Thomas' Vinny news being enough to exonerate Liam, none of that lets Bill off the hook. Bill still committed the crime of leaving the scene of a hit-and-run, tampering with evidence by destroying it, and covering it all up. At least Justin was right about that. Liam not running Vinny over on purpose doesn't change what Bill did.

When Justin grudgingly answered Wyatt's summons, Hope did the smart thing and hid under the stairs as Justin climbed them! Good thing the motorized door hiding the room with Thomas' cage was super slow, because it gave Hope enough time to scramble out. I thought she was going to forget her purse on the staircase, but she actually grabbed it and used it to keep the door from closing!

Hope did her best She-Ra and pried the door open, shocked to find Thomas caged like a specimen at the L.A. Zoo. Not that Thomas didn't deserve it for acting like an animal last year and the year before. Anyway, Hope ran around looking for a key while Thomas kept trying to tell her what had happened with Vinny. Finally, Thomas got through to Hope, who couldn't believe Vinny had killed himself to frame Liam.

Thomas didn't know all the details; something about an app Vinny used to track Liam. I'm sure Vinny could have GPSed Liam's phone, but there's no way Vinny could have known Liam was driving in that instant. And, if Vinny had GPSed Bill's car, that was dumb, because it was more than likely Bill would have ended up driving it. There has to be a better explanation for Vinny knowing Liam would be on that road behind the wheel.

Well, after Ridge levied both pleas and threats at Justin, the lawyer went back down to Thomas, surprisingly having changed his mind about the whole thing. "We'll have to go to the police together," Justin tried to tell Thomas, I'm guessing because Thomas had said he wouldn't tell the cops about Justin kidnapping him. But Justin had changed his mind to silence. Hope had crowbarred Thomas out of the cage!

I knew one day Hope's experience busting through Bill's window with a golf club would come in handy! That girl's got some ingenuity, I tell ya. Too bad Hope and Thomas didn't have a leg to stand on when they got to the jail, where Chief Baker just happened to be. I suppose he wanted to supervise Liam's transfer to a maximum-security facility!

Is it just me, or is Baker losing his touch? He was convinced Liam had committed premeditated murder, yet Bill, who only covered up said "murder," was "facing lesser charges." Yeah, that doesn't sound right to me. Nor did Baker's refusal to consider Liam's valid question of what Vinny was doing in the middle of the road at the moment Liam came driving down it.

Baker was an investigator, Liam exclaimed. So, investigate! But Baker had none of it and was ready to ship Liam off to Sing Sing. Baker also didn't seem effective when Hope and Thomas came to him with the story of how Vinny had decided to avoid jail time for fixing Steffy's paternity test and deliver Hope to Thomas at the same time by throwing himself in Liam's vehicular path.

But I can't blame Baker for being dubious here, because all Thomas and Hope had brought him were words! It was Vinny's word, which Thomas had repeated, and Hope had repeated after that. That's triple hearsay! And there isn't a court in the land who would consider that enough to release Liam. Evidence is required. The next step should have been for Hope and Thomas to get Thomas' phone away from Justin.

And even if the stepsibs had done that, Justin still deleted the video, although it's my understanding digital forensic people might be able to pull the file out of the cybertrash. But what were Hope and Thomas thinking, going to Baker with absolutely zero tangible proof? How much you wanna bet Baker will set Liam free based on this triple hearsay alone? And that Bill will also get sprung because of it?

What's your verdict, Scoopers? Should those in the writing room have watched more crime procedurals before crafting this part of the hit-and-run story? Should they maybe also have watched some old B&B episodes on YouTube to learn what Taylor's maiden name really is? Will Quinn bounce back from Eric's dismissal? Will Carter face Forrester wrath as well? And did Zoe get a decent enough exit? Present your evidence in the 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!

It'll be interesting to see if Carter and Justin end up sticking around. Maybe their common relative Marcus can come back and read them the riot act! Donna may get her second shot at her Honey Bear, and perhaps one day, Finn and Steffy will actually get married, since they've been engaged for months now with no mention of a wedding date. Anything's possible, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And for soap's sake, get vaccinated! Because protecting yourselves and others from a virus and its variants is always beautiful.
Mike

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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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