When I think about you, I touch myself

For the Week of April 17, 2023
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The week of April 17, 2023
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Now free of Sheila, B&B went back to old standby stories with Bridge/Tridge and Hope/Thomas -- admittedly, with a twist. Brooke and Taylor continued to choose their friendship over Ridge, while Hope got weak in several body parts over former tormentor Thomas. Did you ever? Get hot with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your waiter decide he was on the menu? Did all the assurance in the world not make you feel better about your wife's business partner? Did you come down with a case of Stockholm syndrome a few years too late? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer clan this week!

Well, we're back to business, Scoopers! Sheila's in a prison hospital, recovering from the heart attack she fell victim to instead of the many broken bones she should have gotten from her two-story fall. With Sheila off the canvas, we returned to well-tread sagas like Bridge/Tridge and Thomas being in Hope's orbit. But like Diana Ross sang, "Upside down you're turnin' me!" Ridge took a backseat to Braylor, and Hope is suddenly hot for Thomas! Turn up your A/C and let's Scoop about it!

I CLOSE MY EYES AND SEE YOU BEFORE ME

You know it's bad when you've already got a hot husband, but it's the thought of someone else that makes you want to rip his clothes off. It looks like the Liam/Hope/Thomas triangle is trying out a new twist -- instead of Thomas jonesing for Hope, suddenly Hope is wanting her sometime stepbrother. And can we just go back to that part? That more often than not, Thope is related by marriage?

Maybe that theme works for certain porn sites, but it's always been the seedier side of B&B. And it was bad enough when it was Thomas hoping to hop on Hope, as he started wanting to do in 2012. I'll give the show credit for flipping the script on Thomas' warped infatuation and making Hope the desirous one, but it's super gross. And not just because Hope and Thomas can attend family reunions together.

I don't have to remind you that Thomas has obsessed over Hope, let her believe her baby was dead, let her believe he was dead, manipulated her to the altar -- does making out with a dead ringer mannequin ring a bell? Yes, Thomas is smokin', and that's before you even go below his shoulders. But Hope is absolutely the last person who should be turned on by him. Ever. At all!

Yet there Hope was, bumpin' and grindin' with Liam, when suddenly she saw Thomas' face in place of his! And the thought of it made Hope even hotter to trot! When all was said and done, Liam remarked how amazing Hope had been. I think I liked Hope better when she was a virgin! I think her sexual issues of that time have never really gone away. And I also think Hope thought it, too, because she made a beeline for Brooke.

So much for Liam and Hope's afterplay! But in the main Logan abode, it was looking like Brooke and Ridge, who couldn't stop exchanging steamy glances, were gearing up for some foreplay. However -- and very much to her credit -- Brooke, who rarely met a penis she didn't like, slowed Ridge's roll. Brooke informed her destiny that she had pinky-sweared with Taylor that Ridge was very much off-limits for the new BFFs.

Ridge had a difficult time walking out of the manse, if you know what I mean, but Hope had seen enough that she laid into Brooke like none of us have ever seen before. Hope accused her mom of jumping from man to man (which, to be fair, Brooke hasn't done for some time, for a change) and loudly insisted that she was nothing like the Slut from the Valley!

Well, someone set up that screen, because Hope was projecting, and big time. Brooke sensed it, too; she weathered the insults and tried to get to the root of what was really bothering Hope. Brooke worked from the previous conversation they had had about Brooke liking the bad boys and deduced that perhaps Hope was having feelings for another man. And that that other man was Thomas!

Liam poked his head in and picked up on the mother-daughter tension. Hope just hugged him, but clearly the thought of Thomas is having the same seductive effect on her as some of Prince's raunchier offerings. Again, I appreciate the one-eighty, but we needed any beyond-platonic connect between Thomas and Hope to stop. Is there no other story for these two? Do we need to get Hope a Thomas mannequin before it's too late?

I DON'T WANT ANYBODY ELSE

The next day, Taylor visited Brooke at Forrester, where Logan informed Doc that Lope had been no-shows at the previous evening's family dinner. "So, it was just you and ol' Ridgey," Taylor sassed. The ladies' rapport was still jocular, but suspicion seemed to flare up on Taylor's face. Maybe that's because Brooke only told Taylor the half-truth, and not about the part where Brooke and Ridge almost came to, er, blows.

Brooke had nothing to hide -- for once, right? Yet Brooke swore Ridge to secrecy about their near encounter, and when Taylor inevitably finds out about it, that's only going to make Brooke look worse. If anything, Taylor would probably have been very proud of Brooke for sending Ridge on his way. And when Ridge interrupted this tête-à-tête, Brooke just looked more guilty.

But might Taylor get her own chance to blue Ridge's balls? Tay-Tay decided fair was fair and that she and Ridge should get to have their own family dinner. I guess we'll see if Taylor drips alfredo sauce down her cleavage and boots Ridge out before things get too heavy. As it was, Taylor deemed Ridge her best friend (well, after Brooke), and I did like seeing their post-failed romance friendship.

When Thomas joined his parents, Ridge laughed that Taylor was already in a committed relationship, and when Ridge admitted he hadn't thought he was going to be tossed aside by both his exes, Taylor quipped, "Karma's a bitch!" Serve that tea! But the convo took an intriguing turn when Taylor expressed the need to make up for the time she had been "gone."

It was vague enough that I thought we were talking about Taylor's 2019-2021 off-screen period, but it became clear she meant the time she was supposed to be "dead." (Obviously, the second time, because the first time was before the kids were born.) Taylor turned up very much alive in 2005 -- why does she still feel she needs to make up for that? Thomas confidently said that absence wasn't her fault, which it wasn't.

Taylor did acknowledge that Brooke had been there for Thomas, Steffy, and Phoebe when Taylor was again in Omar's clutches, but I wonder why all of this is coming up now. It got me thinking, though. Thomas is supposed to be getting therapy, which is why everyone, including Zende and Paris, is so glad to see him back. But Thomas just got snagged for his CPS call in November.

We're in April, five months later. There's no way he's recovered that much. You know, instead of Hope now going lusty for Thomas, the better story would have been exactly why Thomas went bonkers in the first place. He blew up Rick's car in 2009; clearly his psychological damage goes way back. Maybe from growing up thinking his mother was dead? It would drive current story and be a perfect anchor to the immutable past.

YOU'RE THE ONE WHO MAKES ME COME RUNNIN'

After a model hit on Thomas right in front of Forrester staff, Thomas assured Ridge he would "be respectful and be smart -- I remember." I believe this is a reference to the dressing down the Dressmaker gave his son when Thomas was casually sleeping his way through the model roster in 2015. Wasn't there a big "no dating the models" policy back in 1995? Times change and all that, I guess.

Then it was Lovefest for Thomas time, with everyone heaping praise on the returned designer. Once alone, Hope added fuel to that fire by telling Thomas that she liked what she was seeing. Unfortunately for Hope, Brooke heard that laurel and took Hope aside to again ask her about any feelings she might have for Thomas. In fact, Brooke asked Hope to define those feelings five times before Hope finally provided an answer.

Hope adamantly replied that she didn't have feelings for Thomas, "at least not in the way you're implying." It was all about work. Brooke relayed how Hope had wailed she was nothing like Brooke, prompting Hope to ask why Brooke had always gotten involved with the wrong men. Brooke suggested that maybe she had wanted more excitement or succumbed to a desire for self-sabotage. But I think it was way more than that.

For anyone who didn't or couldn't start at Day One in 1987, Brooke was from the Valley, but not a slut. She had a sensible boyfriend in police detective Dave. In that first episode, Brooke was nearly raped. That's gonna leave a scar. Granted, Brooke did eye bad boy Ridge and eventually leave Dave for him -- maybe that's where that started, but Brooke herself has talked about how father Stephen ditching the Logans negatively affected her relationships with men.

Hope apologized for flaming Brooke earlier, and Brooke guaranteed that Hope wasn't the one who sabotaged marriage by following her own deep inner desires. Well, until now! Deacon did remind Hope (and us) a couple weeks ago that Hope is also a Sharpe. I feel like it might be more Hope's Sharpe DNA surfacing than Brooke's example. I'd love to see reformed wretch Deacon steering Hope away from the libidinous cliff!

WHEN I FEEL DOWN, I WANT YOU ABOVE ME

Apparent intern Charlotte chirped that HFTF's early numbers were promising. How can there be any early numbers when nothing from the new line has been presented to the public yet? Then Thomas told Zende he was as pivotal as he was before Thomas came back. If that were true, then Zende's work would have been good enough that Thomas wouldn't have had to come back, right?

Charlotte became the second woman in as many days to make her ardent intentions known to Thomas in front of his co-workers. This after telling Hope what a good guy Thomas was. I guess all the crazy stuff doesn't trickle down to the non-paid staff. But, as Hope had heaped more accolades on Thomas in this latest meeting, Thomas proffered a lot of thanks and suddenly threw in that he respected Hope's marriage. Because, ya know, that's the kind of thing you say when you only have a platonic relationship with someone.

Hope was aware enough of her own distorted hormones that she told Thomas she thought he was ready for a romantic relationship. Hahahahaha! After a month of therapy to treat a pathological relapse? Yeah, that's something to put on a dating app: "Likes: nice clothes, keeping it in the family, and scheming to reunite parents." Thomas actually made the healthier assertion that he wasn't ready for intimacy.

Once Thomas stepped out, she caught herself thinking fondly of him and self-reiterated what had come up in discussion with him, "Just because you have crazy thoughts doesn't mean you have to act on them." Hope got caught again, this time by Thomas, and Hope got all distracted and giggly. This can't be good. Hope may need her own therapy, drooling over a man who victimized her to the degree he did!

A FOOL COULD SEE JUST HOW MUCH I ADORE YOU

Il Giardino was a busy joint this week, albeit with no Deacon in sight. First Liam and Wyatt did business there, instead of actually doing it at work. Talk shifted to how busy Liam and Hope had gotten the night before, and Wyatt was all about it. Eww! Wyatt was only married to Hope for five minutes. Just seemed creepy. By the way, when is Wyatt going to get his own story? Isn't it well beyond time for it?

The extended Forrester clan must have dibs on that table, because soon Brooke and Taylor dined at it, as well. While they dished on the decadence of Deacon's delights, server Hollis ventured over and offered Brooke, um, free dessert. Is that what we're calling it these days? Moments later, a different girl rushed over and offered him her own dessert. What is it this week about hitting on people in public?

Brooke and Taylor smirked about said girl trying to get some Christmas in Hollis (thank you Run-DMC), but Hollis made it clear that Brooke was the only woman who had his attention! Man, Hollis has got it bad! Taylor beat a hasty retreat to give him some alone time with Brooke, which Hollis used to ask Brooke on a proper date. He thought there was much to explore between them. Taylor watched from afar and smiled!

In a big way, hunky Hollis has the right idea. It's time all these people on our screens move on. Neither Brooke nor Taylor should entertain reuniting with Ridge -- let Brooke build on her connection with Hollis, and Taylor on her ended-too-quickly connection with Deacon. Give Thomas someone new before Hope gives in to her dark side. And maybe new besties Ridge and Bill can double-date with some new ladies!

I HONESTLY DO

His own Spencey senses tingling after Hope's weird post-lovemaking behavior, Liam went to Steffy to get her opinion on Thomas' supposed mental recuperation. "I have a hard time believing he's cured now," Liam confessed, and dude, so do I. Steffy understood Liam's distrust, but she promised him that she never would have asked Hope to work with Thomas if Thomas was even a tenth of his former festering self.

But Liam's doubts would not be assuaged, and he stuck around to have a chat with Thomas. Liam reported how Steffy had given Thomas a ringing endorsement, but Liam wanted to hear it from Thomas. "I feel like I'm a completely different person," Thomas, the guy who once said he was Liam's executioner, told Liam, "but you're not buying it." Liam wanted to...until Thomas made a grievous mistake.

Trying to convince Liam that his intentions toward Hope were G-rated, Thomas swore that even if Hope came on to him, he would say no. Liam went on alert and cited Thomas entertaining that as a plausible scenario as trouble. Inevitably, this will mean Thomas will be put to the test, because it's clear Hope will come on to him, and likely sooner than later. Would that really make her HO for the Future?

The hankering Hope stopped in for a meeting with Steffy, who felt that their mothers were paving the way for them by joining together in friendship. Steffy wanted that for her and Hope, too. Um, Steffy, you had it, long before Braylor, until you started up that Forrester vs. Logan mess again last year! Everyone on this show is a hypocrite, but obviously, it was Steffy's turn in the hypocritical spotlight.

Sparked by her heart-to-heart with Liam, however, Steffy turned to the subject of Hope and Thomas', er, working relationship, and how that was going. Hope agreed with Steffy that Thomas had changed (Liam's right -- we've heard that before). But when Steffy went on about how Finn was her forever and Liam was Hope's, Hope stared at a picture of Thomas. Stepbrother, Hope! Stepbrother! Like, gross-a-rama!

I'm curious to know what your thoughts are on all this, Scoopers! Is it time for Brooke and Taylor to officially move on from Ridge? Are you of the opinion that Thomas has achieved real change, is it too soon, or do you feel he's incapable of change? And what do suspect is behind Hope's horniness for Thomas? Hook up in the Comments section below or the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could end up in a future column!

Before I wrap up, some housekeeping notes. I've said on occasion that ATWT's Elizabeth Hubbard would be a great candidate to play Bill's mother. Well, sadly, that is no longer possible, because Ms. Hubbard has passed away. Damn. She was soap royalty, and her class of daytime dramatic arts is dwindling too fast.

I must also confess a boo-boo: in late February, I had said we were due a 9000th episode but that it had come and gone. Well, if I was wrong, so was IMDb, because I'd made my calculations based on their info. Be that as it may, #9000 is indeed coming up this Tuesday, April 18, treating us to a Steffy-rific stand-alone ep. That Jacqueline Macinnes Wood has been with us 15 years this year is definitely worthy of celebration, but I'd have thought Ridge or Eric would have been next. Oh, well!

Speaking of Ridge, his mini-me, Ridge Jr., will be returning in recast form a few days later, on Friday, April 21! Will R.J. truly be a Ridge mini-me, or will he have his own personality? How will his presence affect Ridge's life? And can R.J. get some new moniker besides that one? It's just clunky. It's a big week coming up, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold! See you in two weeks, my Scoopnesses!
AMJ

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