Does anybody know what they really want?

For the Week of February 13, 2023
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Last week, Deacon and Sheila brought back an essential soap trope -- the forbidden romance. Their love story has many viewers swooning, and it's easy to see why. Plus, Steffy is officially overwhelmed. Ridge's absence has left Steffy to police Sheila and Thomas and to babysit Taylor and Douglas due to Thomas' bright idea that Douglas "chart his own destiny." The custody battle is played out. Maybe it's time for Douglas to chart a course to boarding school. Let's scoop!

Who's the boneheaded parent that let this happen

Liam has always warned Hope about Thomas and his proposals. Hope was on the right track by dropping Thomas' return to her line. Unfortunately, this move probably pushed Thomas to go running to his lawyer for legal help in his newest scheme to keep Hope in his orbit with the usual bait -- custody issues. If Thomas can't control Hope through her line, he'll do it through their child. As usual, Hope snatched the bait, seeing it as her opportunity to finally end the years-long struggle over Douglas.

It's my guess that Thomas believed he'd get custody and force Hope into visiting Douglas on Thomas' turf. Or shall I say Paris' turf, even though Thomas quipped that he could buy a place if he wanted to. It's the same storyline we got when Thomas lived with Eric, but neither Thomas nor Hope expected that Douglas, as tired of the custody battles as the audience is, would opt out and choose to live with Aunt Steffy over either his mother or father.

If you ask me, that was way too much pressure to put on a child, to have him sit there in a court setting with a judge and listen to his parents beg him to pick them like they were in the Parent of the Universe Pageant. Once Douglas had told Hope in private that he wanted to live with her, she should have shown up at the hearing alone to tell Thomas and the judge that it wasn't going down the way Thomas planned it. Next, Hope should have taken Thomas aside and threatened to call the police on Taylor if he didn't back down.

Although Douglas avoiding hurting his parents by choosing Steffy was a relief for him, he added more responsibility to Steffy's already busy life. She's already overloaded with corporate decisions, policing her reckless brother and Sheila, and mothering her own children and her emo mother. It's not fair for Steffy to also have to handle Douglas and his schedule, as well as arrange playdates with his parents. No wonder the emergency room doctor who's on his feet all day rubs her feet instead of his own.

Steffy might be capable of handling it all, but she's involved in too many stories for my taste. This task with Douglas should have gone to Eric. Or better yet, to Ridge, who is MIA at the most pivotal time in his family's history. Ridge was the number one parent for his children in their youth. He never abandoned them -- until now. Ultimately, Steffy is spread too thin, and I blame her bonehead father for not being there to steer his family.

Douglas choosing Steffy is a unique twist to the overused custody story, but it's clear that Douglas is just a tool to cause conflict between the Logans and Forresters and give Hope, Steffy, Taylor, and Brooke something to argue about in Ridge's absence. I'm tired of everyone fighting over Douglas, and if they can't find another role for him besides as a pawn, he might be better off at boarding school or in New York with his other grandmothers.

Sheacon makes my heart skip a beat

For me, the most surprising aspect of Sheila's current storyline is her finding love again. It's even more unexpected that she found it with a commoner and ex-con, after hooking up with the richest man in the west. Their romance has everything going for it -- it's forbidden because of Deacon's family, it has to be kept secret because of their criminal past, and it's a missed-chance romance because she's moved on with another.

It's love. It's real. It's mutual. It's almost as crazy as Sheila finding true love with James Warrick and just as intriguing. The element of danger makes the romance compelling. Sheila risks everything each time she meets up with Deacon. Bill won't be edged out by a convict, and he's likely to pound Deacon's face into the pavement if he catches Deacon at Bill's house.

Deacon proposes that he and Sheila take a leap of faith and see each other openly, his family be damned. Deacon is insane to think Hope and Brooke will accept him with Sheila. Has he not seen how they reacted to Sheila being with Bill? And Deacon is unaware of one crucial detail that will make his love affair with Sheila impossible: Bill holds the keys to Sheila's freedom. If she betrays Bill, he just has to say the word, and Steffy and Finn will testify against Sheila and send her back in prison. Would Sheila risk it for the love of good pizza man? Nope.

The only thing that might make this romance better would be if Ridge hired Deacon to romance Sheila, come between Bill and her, and turn them against each other in a bid for Taylor's freedom. Oh, I forgot, though. As intriguing as it might be to think of Ridge manipulating his biggest enemies, Ridge is MIA from all major storylines that he should be right in the middle of.

Well, except when it comes to Brooke and Taylor. Even in his absence, Ridge is the elephant right in the middle of their relationship.

Cancel The Laverne and Shirley Show

When Brooke proposed living together to Taylor, I could have sworn I heard someone singing, "There is nothing we won't try...Never heard the word impossible...This time, there's no stopping us...And we'll do it our way. Yes, our way...Make all our dreams come true..."

While the concept of women empowering each other and forming friendships is positive, there is a disingenuousness to Brooke and Taylor's relationship that is disenchanting. This may be because of Brooke's apparent disregard for her own dignity in favor of a friendship with a woman who has slept with her husband. Maybe it's because I don't appreciate Brooke excusing away the attempted murder of her nephew's father. Perhaps I can't get over how Steffy, her mom, and her brother all declared war on Brooke, but now Brooke is Taylor and Steffy's biggest cheerleader and supporter.

Steffy and Finn seemed just as unsettled about the relationship, but it didn't stop Steffy from seeking help from Brooke with Taylor. I am amazed that a woman who incessantly dogged Brooke out actually entrusted her mother to Brooke. Maybe I shouldn't be. As I said earlier, Steffy's plate is overloaded, and while Finn will rub her feet and listen, he can't provide the same kind of help with Taylor that Ridge or Brooke could.

I found it particularly peculiar that Steffy said she wasn't used to "sharing" her mom with Brooke. To Hope, Thomas said he'd lied about CPS to give his mother the life she'd always wanted. Steffy and Thomas' statements made me wonder why Taylor is this codependent disaster of a woman that her children feel the need to nurture, shelter, and protect. In reality, it should be the other way around with a parent and children.

I think Brooke needs to slow down before she gets hurt. Brooke always wants to help her enemies. She rushed right into helping Stephanie battle cancer. That's just who Brooke is, but something about the way Taylor keeps bringing up dating, men, and Ridge is unsettling to me.

Taylor admitted what we all already knew -- Ridge was going to pick Brooke. Taylor is insecure about what will happen once Ridge returns. It's something Brooke hadn't given a thought to. I think Taylor fears that if she's friends with Brooke, she will have to stand by and watch Ridge and Brooke for the rest of Taylor's life. It's the very thing Taylor claimed she left town for and went to Africa to avoid.

Brooke and Taylor made a pact to be role models for their daughters. They agreed that their daughters shouldn't be rivals, but I have a feeling that Douglas' request to live with Steffy will cause a rift between Hope and Steffy and challenge Brooke and Taylor's newfound relationship. The return of Ridge will only complicate matters further. I give this friendship until May sweeps, if that long. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

Finally, a Katie whine I can co-sign

Bill fans might feel validated after Katie's conversation with Brooke last week regarding Taylor shooting Bill. Katie brought perspective to an out-of-balance plot that portrays the victim of an attempted homicide as the villain for threatening to turn in his would-be murderer. Katie usually takes liberties when it comes to Bill, under the guise that she's his baby mama, but this time, her use of the excuse fits. Yes, Taylor almost left Katie's son fatherless, and it's absurd to chalk it up to Taylor protecting her daughter when Will had almost lost his father over a lie.

I just wish Katie had gone a step further. As the one who found Bill bleeding to death, Katie was a victim herself. It would have been a nice touch if the writers had allowed her to reflect upon that with Bill, Taylor, Steffy, or even Brooke. So far, the story is told as if Bill had the audacity to threaten to turn in his shooter after promising not to, but it should be tempered with some remorse and respect for what Bill's family went through due to the shooting if they ever expect viewers to start feeling any sympathy for Taylor.

I would have liked it if Katie had confronted the idea that Bill was some predator who took advantage of Steffy. I would have enjoyed hearing Brooke's response if Katie had challenged her, saying she knew Bill didn't force himself on Steffy and that it was Ridge who had started the whole mess by making up things about Bill. And conveniently, Ridge is not around to answer for his role in the shooting or to help solve the predicament it caused his own family.

Brooke always forgives her enemies and strives to help those who have wronged her, but the writers need to rein it in a bit with their over-the-top portrayal of Taylor's actions. I didn't expect Brooke to ask her sister to set aside the fact that a family member was almost lost due to Taylor's irrational negligence. The other characters keep telling Taylor how important she is and that she matters. Well, the same goes for Bill. His life matters, too.

In a Look ahead: Douglas' request threatens the peace

This week's episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful promise to be filled with drama, as the consequences of the custody hearing come to light. Douglas might think his decision will bring him peace of mind, but it sends the fragile peace between the Forresters and Logans into a tailspin. Liam confronts Thomas for putting Douglas in such an untenable position, but I hope Liam also saves some of that lecture for his impulsive wife, who acts more on instinct than reason when it comes to Thomas.

Thomas will seek out Eric for a second chance. Eric and Steffy will both have stern words for Thomas, and by the end of the week, Taylor and Brooke will act in Douglas' best interest. If I had to guess, I'd say Taylor will move into Brooke's house to help care for Douglas until the custody situation is resolved.

That's all the scoop for this week. If you have any predictions or insights of your own, please share them in the comments section below. Thank you for reading, and until next time, stay bold and beautiful!

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