Rome if you want to

For the Week of June 12, 2023
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For Taylor and Brooke, it was misters before sisters once again as they returned to rumbling over Ridge. Meanwhile, Forresters and Spencers alike were atwitter about readying for Rome. Did Liam miss a legit reason to tag along, and should Hope and Thomas just do it already? Ciao Italia with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you grab your marbles and go home when your friend didn't play the way you wanted? Did you revive a grandstand move that didn't even come close to working the first time? Did you fantasize that your crush would turn into a Romeo in Rome? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Walton clan this week!

That's Italian, Scoopers! Or at least it will be, when much of our B&B cast heads to Rome next week. But why Carter, as seen in preview photos? Back home, Braylor busted over their first quarrel, with Taylor coming out smelling like anything but a rose. As for Hope, she was so deep in denial about Thomas that she daydreamed about going deep with him! Should they just do it already? Let's Scoop about it!


Before I even start, question: why is Quinn still in the credits? Rena Sofer left the show over nine months ago. I've been watching 1989 B&B, and even then, they were notoriously bad about updating their opening sequence, but this is getting ridiculous. Hey, maybe that's why Carter's going to Italy! Quinn will stalk him and then push him into Rome's Tiber River as a reunion like she did with Ivy in the Seine!

A more local Italian place, Il Giardino, was the site of Deacon lamenting to his trusty waiter Hollis that he had busted a move on Brooke, only to get shut down. Deacon should be used to this. Brooke has consistently rejected Deacon since they broke off their mad, Hope-conceiving affair in 2002. Does this guy have no self-esteem? And then to share this info with Hollis, of all people!

Hollis only has a thing for Brooke himself and then had to hear about Deacon violating his territory. AWK-warrrrd! Especially since these guys have to work together. However, Hollis isn't simply beautiful and dumb -- he realized that Taylor had thrown him at Brooke just as much as Taylor had thrown Deacon at her. How about Hollis romancing Taylor as revenge? Though Taylor would still whine that Brooke had him first!

Over at Forrester, Eric pointed out that there were too many people darting in and out of the CEO's office and setting themselves down behind the desk. Is this a subtle reference that the show is aware it uses too few sets in its scenes? Anyway, as the father-and-son discussion inevitably meandered into the subject of Ridge's always-changing love life, Ridge admitted that Taylor had indeed tried to stake a claim on him.

Eric, soap gods love 'im, is still shipping Bridge after all these years. Seriously! He was already doing that in these 1989 eps I'm watching. Ridge hasn't changed, either; he looked kind of pleased with himself that he, yet again, has two women throwing themselves at his feet. Maybe Ridge needs to return to being the "mutt" ("male slut"; thank you '80s rap duo L'Trimm) he was in the beginning and string both Brooke and Taylor along. Pay them back for their mutual rejection of him!


Meanwhile, Brooke and Taylor looked to be paying themselves back for their pre-holiday vow of friendship. It's too bad their BFF-ness never evolved beyond silly giggling. I would have liked to have seen them really pull together during some kind of crisis. Like maybe their never-mentioned son with Nick Marone, Jack, had a health emergency that only the women could relieve.

Maybe the fact that Taylor was so "disillusioned" about Brooke not telling her that she had expressed doubts about Thomas to Hope should have been the telltale sign that Taylor was not taking the Braylor friendship seriously. Indeed, caught telling Ridge she wanted him back, Taylor accused Brooke of not keeping their pact. When it was Taylor who had broken it acting like Brooke.

There was a time that Brooke pulled just about any stunt to pull Ridge away from Taylor. Create a whole lingerie line just to tantalize him, kiss Y&R's Victor Newman to make him jealous, and throw other men into Taylor's path (I'm talking about you, Blake Hayes and Pierce Peterson) to free Ridge up. This time, Taylor dusted off that long-put-away playbook and used Brooke's old tricks against her.

Yes, Taylor trying to set Brooke up with Hollis could have been seen as an innocent I-just-want-you-to-be-happy action, but once Taylor used the same tactic with Deacon, it became clear that Taylor was going O.G. Brooke. And wouldn't Stephanie have been proud! Brooke was hurt, because she had really believed in her unexpected friendship with Taylor. But now, Brooke viewed their camaraderie as a ploy for Taylor to get Ridge.

Taylor continued to maintain that Brooke sharing her opinion of Thomas to Hope had left Taylor feeling like there were other things Brooke was hiding from Taylor. The irony is that Taylor flipped out on Brooke without ever finding out that Brooke had had accidental teddy time with Ridge. Imagine how much of Taylor would have to be scraped off the ceiling with that reveal!

Taylor bemoaned that it was she who deserved Ridge, because all Brooke did was hurt him. Dude, Taylor's as bad as Deacon. Tridge officially ended in 2006, and any reunion attempt since has failed miserably. This is why Deacon and Taylor need to get together finally. Why can't we have something fresh built on the natural chemistry they have instead of going with yet another go-round of Bridge/Tridge?

Well, the words got heated, and Ridge arrived just in time to keep the shoving match that Brooke and Taylor got into from turning into a full-on catfight. Not that we get those anymore. I'm all for respect and a certain level of political correctness, but lordy, do I miss a good old-fashioned dirty dog catfight. While we're on animal metaphors, Brooke used the moment to rat Taylor out to Ridge!

Once Brooke told Ridge that Taylor had recruited both Hollis and Deacon to get Brooke out of Ridge's way, Taylor justified herself by explaining that she had seen a genuine connection between Brooke and Deacon. Taylor left in a huff and went straight to her kids to complain to them about Brooke breaking the Braylor pact. This whole thing is really casting Taylor in a shady light. It's really out of character.

Unless Taylor's either gone nuts again or started drinking again. Because this is all latter-day Hunter Tylo Taylor, not current-day Krista Allen Taylor. Buoyed by her kids, neither of whom wanted to do the whole parent trap thing anymore, Taylor admitted to them that she had wanted Ridge the whole time, even as she became best buds with Brooke. Did we ever doubt it? No one ever actually gets over anyone on this show!

Using our current societal problems as a template, Taylor tried to "alternate facts" her way into Brooke being the bad actor in their ruined pact. Taylor had wanted honesty with Brooke about Ridge, and not just a vow that they'd stay away from Ridge. Yet Taylor was the one who went straight to Ridge with her intentions! When even Steffy and Thomas don't want to prop Tridge anymore, you know it's done.

Brooke decided to let her own Ridge flag fly once again, as well. Now alone with Ridge, Brooke told her eight-time husband that she wanted to talk about their future. Ridge, interestingly, had come to a place where he didn't believe in eternal love. Was "destiny" just "a word that some writer came up with because he didn't know what to do with his characters at the end of the book"?

Was that just Ridge being amazingly astute, or was that a line inserted as a hint that the show doesn't know what to do with these characters? My advice: put Bridge together and keep them together. They've only been rolling since 1987; they are endgame. Let them face the challenges of truly growing old together, and at the same time, let Taylor finally get over Ridge and really enjoy a marriage to a man who isn't always pulled to someone else. It's about time, don't you think?


Forrester Creations must not only have renounced their once vaunted no-dating-the-models policy that was so big in the '90s, but they must also have added a clause in models' contracts that stipulates that they can inappropriately comment on the romantic status of their employers. Model Savannah gushed that Thomas and Hope were so in sync (not Backstreet Boys) that they were like an actual couple!

Naturally, Steffy and Thomas exchanged glances, and once Savannah bounced, Steffy got up in Thomas' face about his intentions toward Hope. No worries, Steffy -- Thomas is still boffing the Hope mannequin during his off hours to get Hope out of his system. Kidding! On the other hand, at this point, maybe Hope needs a Thomas mannequin to do the same thing!

After all, Steffy noted, there had to have been some kind of vibe for Savannah to pick up on to make a comment like that. Thomas was bummed that Steffy was still questioning his integrity. And no wonder, because everyone has been coming to Thomas, wanting to know, "Are you still fixated on Hope? Are you still fixated on Hope?" Which is certainly one way to revive said fixation, in my opinion.

Not to mention, it just makes for boring scenes. Even Liam seemed aware of the recycled dialogue as he realized he was bringing up Thomas yet again -- but had to. He and Hope were both tired of going over it, though Liam didn't think Thomas, who was "always new-and-improved until he isn't" (good point!) was needed in Rome. In fact, Liam wanted Hope to tell Thomas he couldn't make the trip!

I know B&B characters all seem to have a disease that makes them forget most of what's happened to them in days gone by, but I had to snicker to myself. After all, Liam made pretty much the same demand in 2013 when he wanted Hope to kick Wyatt off the Hope for the Future jewelry line. Even then, Hope told Liam to get real, like she did now. And, as in 2013, it's not Liam's place to have any say-so over Forrester business!

In the most ironic of ironies, Liam went crying to Wyatt about Hope letting Thomas travel with her to Italy. Wyatt, the one Liam wanted booted a decade before! This neuron not firing in Wyatt's brain, he actually told Liam that he should take another stab at strong-arming Hope into getting a refund on Thomas' plane ticket. As someone who increasingly can't remember why he went into the other room, I know TV characters can't be recalling every little detail of their lives, but this one stuck out to me.

Besides, if Liam is so damn worried about Hope being alone with Thomas in Rome, why not just pull a 2017 and write an Eye on Fashion article for this event like he did when Sally Spectra 2.0 sashayed into L.A., wanting to revitalize her great-aunt's beloved Spectra Fashions? That way, Liam would be in Hope's face 24-7 and also help her create buzz about the line that is so important to her. Win-win.

Reeling from the revelation that Hope couldn't imagine Thomas not being in Rome with her, Liam praised Wyatt's suggestion that Thomas appear to HFTF's buyers via video chat as "out of the box." Yeah, because most of us only took that up as a viable method of communication in the early days of COVID. Out of the box. Okay. Liam must end up in Rome, because he's in the promo pics. So how does he pull that off?


As Thomas prepped for his Italian jaunt, Ridge did some weird ping-ponging that actually had nothing to do with Brooke or Taylor. First, he said there were some rumors going around that Hope had feelings for Thomas. Except they weren't rumors, because the info had come from Steffy. Huh? "You're not serious," Thomas replied when faced with the possibility of Hope's emotional attachment.

Talking of how Steffy had observed Hope being affectionate with Thomas, the former secret keeper and child tormentor balked that Steffy was always trying to find fault with Hope. Thomas' new therapist must be expert in guiding him through methods to completely ignore what goes on in front of him. I'm sure even baby Hayes, if we ever saw him, would be able to tell that Hope has been fiending for Thomas something fierce.

Knowing full well that Taylor herself has been fiending for him, Ridge gave Taylor some tea for her "sexy voice" -- probably not the best choice of words when he's once again in a place where it wouldn't take much to get both Taylor and Brooke to hang on every word he said. That said, Taylor did rightly worry that Hope admitting any feelings for Thomas could open the door to "something," not that the "world-renowned shrink" elaborated on what that something was.

Besides, could Thomas do much worse to Hope than he already did in 2019 and 2020? Well, except for watch her die after a car accident to keep a secret intact. Oh, you thought we forgot about Emma, didn't you, Thomas? We don't forget over here at Two Scoops! No-sir-ee-bob! We're contractually obligated to remember all of it and throw it up in characters' faces when they need it! #JusticeForEmma!


Ridge made a strange comment to Thomas about how Hope was big into the idea of husband, family, and kids -- "not like her Mom"? Even Thomas felt like Ridge was throwing Brooke under the bus, so Ridge rebounded that Brooke was a woman who followed her heart. I dunno...I got the feeling that Thorsten Kaye went up on a line, and he and Matthew Atkison ad-libbed their way out it, and it all got into the episode.

Fresh off a conversation in which Brooke suggested to Ridge that she come to Rome with the Forrester entourage because she was "an important part of this company" (what exactly does Brooke do over there? Her job has been undefined since she returned there around 2016, 2017), Ridge asked Thomas if he was okay with Brooke accompanying them. What? Like it's up to Thomas at all? You're the co-CEO, Ridge!

Brooke inferred the same to Hope, adding that she could help keep an eye on Thomas while in Rome. Hope didn't like the idea of having her mother there as a chaperone and was insulted that Brooke didn't think she could control herself around a man who wasn't her husband. Not only that, but after feeling that Liam's issue was that he didn't trust Hope, Hope sighed that no one believed a word that came out of her mouth about Thomas.

She was fine! Liam was fine! Thomas was fine! Everything was fine! Capping Hope's denial by gently conveying that she didn't want Hope to make the same mistakes she did, Brooke left Hope to her thoughts...and what thoughts. Hope immediately jumped into some hot and heavy fantasy where clearly, she was rolling around in bed -- but with whom? We weren't shown, but you can bet it wasn't Liam, given her "No, no!" reaction.

Oh, you know what? If we have to keep going with this story about Hope wanting her sinister stepbrother, let's just go all the way and have them go all the way already. I mean, why not? There's nowhere else for this arc to go unless Hope gets into therapy herself, because this panting for Thomas is really unhinged given their history. So, let's just explode it and sweep up the pieces. Gross as the implications are, it would be more interesting than watching Hope drool for two-plus months!

How does all this strike you, Scoopers? Is it out of character for Taylor to accuse Brooke of breaking a pact that Taylor broke herself? Should Ridge return to his playboy ways to pay Brooke and Taylor back for dissing him? What do you think Carter will be doing in Italy? And should Hope and Thomas just boink already and let the chips fall where they may? Roam into 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! Like these!

"They [are] certainly making Taylor out to be a vicious unethical individual. Doctor certainly can't heal herself..." -- "patriciasweeneytraphagen"

"Every day it's the same damn boring." -- Mar

"It's hard not to repeat the same comments every week, given that it's the same story and conversations every week...[Hope] has spent over a decade dealing with [Liam's] feelings for Steffy, so let Liam see how it feels being on the other side of it." -- "DrTina"

B&B remotes once meant high drama on top of high glamour: Lauren almost exposing Sheila in Catalina, Sally falling into Lake Como, Bill dumping Ridge out of a helicopter in Abu Dhabi -- even Brooke and Eric celebrating the show's 30th anniversary in Australia. Remotes often set the tone for big doings and big twists -- will we get the same from Rome and finally jolt the show out of these creative doldrums? Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold! See you in two weeks, my Scoopnesses!

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