Milk of amnesia

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B&B is about to celebrate its 35th anniversary! But many of its characters are falling victim to a stereotypical soap gimmick: amnesia. Does it hurt a show when it acts as if moments we can clearly recall never happened? Always remember with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you cast your gun-toting rival as "calm" and "sweet"? Were you mad at your honey for doing the same things you did? Were you ready to put your parents' pecking on TikTok? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Walton-Buckingham clan this week!

What was that, Scoopers? Oh, right! I remember now. We are coming up on B&B's 35th anniversary! That's quite a milestone for any televised series, and I raise a glass to this soap I've followed all but its first year (which we have started to document through recaps! Check them out!). But in the present day, B&B has gotten quite forgetful, to the point it's becoming a story-depleting syndrome. Y'all ready? Let's Scoop about it!

ONLY IN YOUR MIND

Credit where credit is due, the Paris/Carter arc is not suffering from any disappearing history. But it is turning out to be a tale that a lot of us would rather forget. Paris can't decide who she likes from one minute to the next (Zende, Finn, now Carter), and Carter has breezed through so many affairs and flirtations the past year that he just can't be taken seriously in regard to Paris.

That may be the only reasonable motivation for Grace's anti-Carter stance, aside from Carter also having hurt her other daughter, Zoe. But when Grace caught Paris and Carter pretty much literally with their pants down, Grace freaked. She insisted that Zende was the better man for Paris, and that, by shagging Carter, Paris was jeopardizing her position at Forrester!

How does that figure? As Paris repeatedly reminded her mom, she and Zende are not exclusive, and let's face it -- while Zende might be doing a little moping where Paris is concerned, that's not stopping him from stepping out with Sequoya. "Mom, I'm not a child," Paris pointed out, to my internal applause. Grace had no say in who Paris chose to see. But then wishy-washy-ass Carter had to upend the whole thing!

"She's right," Carter said, agreeing with Grace's contention that being with him instead of Zende was going to ruin Paris' future. What are Eric and Ridge going to do, fire Paris because she's sleeping with the COO instead of one of their designers? Like they would care! "Keeping it in the family" has been a Forrester Creations slogan for 35 years. I'm pretty sure they led a fashion show with it.

Kidding, but they might as well have. Grace loved it when Carter told Paris to accept Zende's proposal, should he propose. Carter may have a hard body, but the testosterone never makes it between his legs. This guy has no balls! He constantly wavered in telling Quinn to go back to Eric, or not, and now he wants a girl to commit to someone she is clearly not in love with. Well, at least Grace is happy.

MISTY WATER-COLORED MEMORIES

Taylor discovered that the best part of waking up was Ridge bringing her Folgers in her cup. He must have had some, spiked with Milk of Amnesia (mad props to SCTV for the reference), because he continued to be so disillusioned with Brooke and Deacon's one smooch that he couldn't see his own reflection in the mirror. B&B wants us to forget that Ridge tanked one of his weddings to Brooke by kissing Quinn, and of course he drunkenly married Shauna over Brooke's kiss with Bill -- a kiss that happened when Ridge and Brooke were separated.

Brooke certainly does have a history of loaning out her lips -- and other body parts, albeit usually "accidentally" -- to other men besides Ridge, but Ridge is no saint in this regard, either. And that's what makes this story so frustrating. It's understandable that Ridge is angry with Brooke for kissing Deacon, but Ridge is no better, and it makes him a hypocrite deluxe that he isn't acknowledging his own similar misdeeds.

Then there's Taylor. (I just learned Krista Allen made appearances on B&B in 1995! How trippy is that?) Doc has sooooo been down this road with Ridge before. Taylor has literally been burned by Ridge, when he flaked on her in favor of a business meeting with Brooke, causing Taylor to get drunk and set herself on fire with a lantern. And Taylor showed more fire back then, dumping Ridge, than she is showing now.

Does she really think Ridge isn't just going to go right back to Brooke when his temporary upset subsides? I think Taylor knows, appropriately for a shrink, on a subconscious level, because she keeps reining in his physical advances. Taylor should only offer to explore things with Ridge once he's been divorced from Brooke for six months or a year and hasn't been with any other women.

Meanwhile, over at the Logan manse, Hope watched Brooke beat herself up to the point that Brooke suggested that Stephanie had been right in labeling her the Slut from the Valley! Maybe Taylor was the right woman for Ridge, after all! Taylor was calm and sweet and didn't go around kissing other men! Brooke may be sober in terms of alcohol, but she is drunk as hell on Milk of Amnesia.

Oh, yeah, Taylor was so calm and sweet that she pumped a bullet into Bill's back without a shred of remorse -- which Brooke knows about! Maybe Ridge can be forgiven for not having been hipped to that information, but Brooke should be far more dubious. And it was Brooke herself who caught Taylor kissing Hector Ramirez in 2006, so Brooke shouldn't be acting like Taylor is the vestal virgin.

Again, it's just so frustrating. I know we can't expect any show that's been around for 35 years to constantly refer to its history -- there wouldn't be any room for new dialogue. Maybe newer viewers won't know about Hector, but Bill's shooting happened in 2018. And to have Bill talking about Taylor a couple of weeks ago without mentioning that she used him for target practice! It's just sloppy. There's no excuse.

AN ELEPHANT NEVER FORGETS...BUT I DO

For example, wouldn't it add a wonderful layer if Thomas, who is currently struggling with keeping the secret that Sheila pushed Brooke off the wagon, would flash back to when he promised Ridge that he would be a better person? It would give weight to Thomas' conflict, especially after all the heinous things he did, which we are also supposed to forget. I will give him credit for bringing up R.J. as a reason Brooke and Ridge will always be connected, though.

Steffy didn't care. She told Thomas to stop feeling sorry for Brooke. Steffy has turned into a heartless bitch; no wonder we don't see Finn around much anymore. Steffy is so obsessed with her mom and dad that she manages to turn a cup of coffee into a sexual innuendo and gleefully declares, "I don't want you to feel like you're under a microscope," all the while giving the term "helicopter parent" a whole new meaning.

What a sad downfall for the "sexy CEO." And it only got worse when Steffy walked in on Hope trying to convince Ridge to give Brooke another chance. Hope correctly pointed out that Ridge was reconnecting to Taylor while still married to Brooke, to which Steffy scoffed that Taylor told the truth because that's the kind of woman she was. Again, all the while knowing that her mother blasted a hole in Bill for "violating" Steffy!

And Steffy is far from angel status herself, which makes the whitewashing of her own history so infuriating. "I am so sick of you and Brooke using alcohol to justify [Brooke's] behavior!" Steffy spat to Hope. Oh, like when Steffy got tanked on tequila, porked Liam, and didn't know whether Liam or Finn was the father of her resulting baby? Steffy is damn near mainlining Milk of Amnesia, and it's not a good look.

Ridge joined Carter as a member of the Ball-less Brigade by just standing there as Steffy and Hope fenced. It's like Ridge wasn't even there. The only thing he was able to mutter to Steffy was that Hope was right when she said Ridge would always have feelings for Brooke -- as confirmed when Ridge later flashed back to a romantic moment with Brooke on the walkway of CBS Studios...er, Forrester Creations. We all know Taylor is riding for a fall. Which makes this not fun to watch.

OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN

Confession: I don't always catch every episode of B&B the day it airs. So, when I read in Chanel's column last week that Sheila actually admitted she was targeting Brooke to pave the way for Tridge, which she hoped would make up for shooting Taylor and taking Steffy and Thomas' mother away from them, I just about plotzed. That's exactly what I've been saying Sheila's motivation should be! Is B&B's Alexa listening in on me?

Sheila also told Deacon that reuniting Taylor and Ridge would work in her plan to see Finn and Hayes more often. If Taylor was happy, Sheila reasoned, it might move Taylor to convince Steffy to give Sheila a chance. All that is great! But why didn't that come up from the beginning? Because up until now, Sheila's vendetta against Brooke for issuing one threat has seemed petty at best.

I guess Sheila can be forgiven for lauding Taylor as humble, kind, and thoughtful, because Sheila doesn't know that Taylor cold-bloodedly shot Bill in the back. Hell, if Sheila knew, she'd really want to be Taylor's BFF! Deacon thought Sheila was so complimentary toward Taylor that Sheila should write Taylor a fan letter, and that, if Sheila were going to hang around Il Giardino so much, she should ask for her old job back.

Nice touch! But Deacon's got his own memory problems, because he's still daydreaming about a drunken kiss he had with Brooke going on three months ago. Seriously, that's how long this story has been playing out, with only the Paris/Carter arc running alongside it. Breacon's boo-boo had maybe three weeks' worth of story in it. By now, it's as stale as some of those breadsticks at Il Giardino.

Then, Sheila did something I couldn't understand. Out of the blue, she called Thomas and cajoled him into keeping the secret of her label switching. It just seemed so random. Thomas hemmed and hawed, causing Sheila's growling to get louder...which Deacon overheard. Interestingly, we don't know how much he overheard. Wouldn't it be awesome if Deacon was the one to blow this whole thing wide open? Do it, Deacon. We need the relief.

INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER, EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS

Brooke confided in Liam, who was looking especially hunky this week. Amazing B&B hasn't had Brooke sleep with him yet; it would complete the circle of Brooke making "mistakes" with her daughters' men. Anyway, Brooke moped that she had offered Ridge a divorce, but given Liam's reaction, she began to wonder if that had been the wrong move. "Yeah, ya think?" Liam exclaimed. Waffle Prince Liam as the voice of reason? Who knew?

Oddly, all the encouragement Hope offered Brooke to fight for her marriage couldn't make its way through the muck of Brooke's self-pity, but one "Yeah, ya think?" from Liam was enough to make Brooke exclaim, "I should fight like I used to!" She was ready to throw down for Ridge! But not so ready that she didn't simply push past Deacon when he showed up. In fact, Brooke was still strolling her living room as he arrived. Why didn't Brooke rush right over to Forrester as soon as she left the rallying Liam in the cabin?

I guess Deacon couldn't handle remembering things clearly, since he obviously chugged some Milk of Amnesia in the car. Deacon had just gotten through telling Sheila that Brooke had made her feelings pretty clear -- but, spurred by Sheila goading him to go after his dream, Deacon presented Brooke with a tiny box of some expensive...something (chocolates, maybe?) and threw his hat back into Brooke's ring.

What used to make Deacon so groin-achingly sexy was that he was cocky and confident and just slightly vulnerable. Here he keeps going after Brooke, despite her rejecting him time after time, and he just comes off as weak. Deacon's about ready to join Ridge and Carter in the search for their balls. By the way, how can Deacon, who lives in a restaurant stockroom and mops floors, afford expensive anything for Brooke, let alone a car to drive to Brooke's house in?

Brooke must have taken another dose of Milk of Amnesia herself, because she declared to Deacon that "there is no one better than Ridge." Man, the dressmaker must have the D of death. How else to explain both Brooke and Taylor excusing Ridge's crappy treatment of them for multiple decades? I still feel Bridge is endgame, but Ridge is also impudent and wishy-washy, and he runs to other women the second his feelings are hurt. Maybe Taylor and Brooke need to reassess their priorities!

I do find it interesting that Thomas is getting a bit of his own back on him -- Sheila is browbeating him into keeping her secret the way he menaced Flo, Shauna, Xander, Emma, Zoe, and even Douglas into staying quiet about baby Beth. How's that karma taste, Tommy? But then this fool dialed Sheila's digits! "Why are you calling me?" Sheila demanded. Totally! That didn't make sense.

But his rationale soon became clear. Thomas said that keeping Sheila's secret didn't feel right. (So, avoid Sheila like the plague and rat her out, doofus!) Sheila barked at him to use Krazy Glue as lip balm. And why? So Steffy could walk in and overhear Thomas, the same way Sheila called Thomas so Deacon could listen in on her! I'm surprised Captain Obvious hasn't made a cameo.

I would love it if Steffy found out what Sheila did to Brooke and told Brooke herself, but of course, that won't happen. How are your memories, Scoopers? Do you think B&B is dropping too many details, or are you cool with the narratives? Would current stories be better served by remembering previous ones, or do characters' one-time behaviors not matter? And what are your favorite B&B moments from the past 35 years? Collect your recollections in the Comments section below or the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could be in a future column! Like these!

"OMG, please have Steffy grow up, and stop nagging at everyone about Brooke and Ridge. I enjoyed seeing the Spencer men together, even if they were eating salad and talking about Bridge (when did Bill start eating salad?) And please, have someone, sometime, mention that Taylor was married to Nick and had Brooke's baby (by accident). Even better, bring back Massimo Marone! There must be a big loud self-assured older actor out there looking for work. The Forresters have played out, they're tiresome, just do something, anything, different (like Zende finally coming out of the closet!)." -- Rhonda

"What is disturbing to me is that the conversations about Ridge and Brooke are so one-sided against Brooke. Ridge has had his share of questionable behavior; the almost/drunken marriage to Shauna during his Las Vegas night was highly unacceptable. At this point, I think I have an expectation to see some growth in all the 'old/original' characters, and I only see these grown children and husband-to-two-women act as though they have been utterly wronged by an alcoholic who can't remember what triggered her to take a drink. The Steffy character acts like she's 6! When Finn was in the scenes, I didn't see this same 6-year-old behavior. Thomas is now acting like he just can't find what he did with right and wrong. I would like to see more depth to discussions Ridge and Brooke are having so that both of them can talk through their individual behaviors and how they've impacted the marriage. I look forward to Carter's character evolving out of the vacuum cleaner they've made him out to be. He comes along after love affairs and picks up. This character has been on the show long enough that he deserves a real storyline now. Paris, the other 6 year old on the show, not so much. She's shallow; and I wouldn't miss that character. I'm looking forward to the "summer" storyline and seeing some more of the characters get some screen time. And, I always say, let's have a fashion show!" -- VP Cole

Word 'em up, y'all! It would really ground this show to not only be truer to history, as I've spent this whole column saying, but to let characters actually grow. Or if they're going to regress, like Steffy has done to the extreme, going from "blended family" to "my family," give us a good reason for it. Brooke, Ridge, Taylor, and all the older characters don't need to be cleaning each other's dentures, but they also don't need to be acting like the flaky 20- and 30-somethings they once were.

There's never been any lack of beautiful on this soap. But what we are sorely, sorely missing is the bold. Rena Sofer said in a recent video that her favorite story was when Quinn kidnapped the amnesiac Liam and pretended they were husband and wife to ensure that Steffy would marry Wyatt. Now that was bold! And it was so because B&B had never done a story like that before. Same with Maya being transgender.

We really need some bold. We're all over seeing the same stories redone with different characters plugged in. And of course, soaps are about romance, but that's all we do, and none of it is even particularly romantic. Let's color outside the lines, venture into some new territory! Ask the cast what they'd like to play! They know their alter egos well enough that they'd have some fresh ideas about new directions for them.

Ah, one can hope. As it is, we still supposedly have this "shock twist" coming that was "imminent" over a month ago but seems to have stalled out. And on March 24 (a day late because of the preemptions), B&B will air its much-talked-about stand-alone episode for its 35th anniversary with Brooke at the center and Nick and Thorne making appearances.

I sure hope that the presence of Thorne and Nick will make sense. It would be too coincidental to just have them both show up at Brooke's at the same time. Maybe Brooke falls asleep and dreams of her past relationships? It'll be hard to squeeze 35 years into 18-and-a-half minutes, but I am curious to see how this anniversary is celebrated. So, that I will be tuning in for right on time.

Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. And no matter where in the world you are, democracy and freedom are always beautiful. Happy 35th, B&B!

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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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