I know you are, but what am I?

For the Week of July 24, 2023
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Hope suddenly decided to die on the hill of "whataboutism" as she made Liam's connection to Steffy her reason for tonguing Thomas. But if you really want sudden, try Sheila's out-of-nowhere trial that ended faster than you could say "David Kimble!" Point the finger with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your divorce papers leave Superman's speeding bullet in the dust? Did you suddenly need a nanny when a world-famous one just happened to be free? Did you Pee Wee Herman your way into excusing your kiss with your husband's worst enemy? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Finnegan clan this week!

Holy "whataboutism," Scoopers! Deflecting an accusation by pointing a finger at someone else is more popular in politics than ever these days, but Hope must be getting private lessons, because she abruptly cited Steffy as the reason she kissed Thomas. Meanwhile, the incarcerated Sheila provided a welcome break from the four-month Thope-a-thon, but was her release more trying than her trial? Let's Scoop about it!


Last week, I saw a Photoshopped meme on Facebook that superimposed Thomas' face on Greg's from The Brady Bunch, and Hope's on Marcia's. And that one image, for me, encapsulates this Thope business perfectly. Greg and Marcia were only brought up together part of their lives, but if we suddenly saw them getting hot and heavy in the Brady attic, our stomachs would turn. Thope is absolutely no different.

Yet, because the show continually tells us that Hope and Thomas are, or should be, a thing, many fans have jumped on the Thope train as if it wasn't running on quasi-incestuous tracks. B&B has tried to ship these two in one form or another on and off since 2012, but it's still gross, no matter how you slice it. If Hope needed to get worked up over another man, did he have to be her more-often-than-not stepbrother?

And even if one could accept these very Brady family ties, there's no getting around all the ways Thomas manipulated, gaslit, tormented, and stalked Hope. And don't give me that brain bleed stuff, either, because Thomas reverted right back to form long after his supposedly corrective operation. Can Thomas reform? Sure! But then you keep a respectful distance from that person while acknowledging their growth, not develop the hots for them.

I know it's a soap, I know we've got to have drama, and I know that questionable connections make for all the more soapy scandal. But Hope and Thomas together are disgusting. I don't think I've ever used that word to describe a B&B arc before. But here we are. If Hope is experiencing a mental break, as I've wondered, then that chasm took on Grand Canyon proportions as she tried out a new justification for her actions this week.

But we'll get to that. First, Brooke burst into Katie's, now Thomas', bedroom. How is it both Katie and Wyatt are homeless now, with other characters buying their houses out from under them? Brooke caught her daughter in flagrante delicto, much like Taylor caught her own baby girl with Bill back in 2011. But at least Bill was "only" married. Hope boofing her stepbrother was too much even for Slut from the Valley Brooke.

La Logan did her best to discourage any kind of anything between Hope and Thomas, but Hope declared that she had "seen divorce in Liam's eyes." That's a new one. Hope raged that she had forgiven Liam for far worse infractions than a simple extramarital kiss and that she had come to realize she needed a man who wanted her and only her. Um, sweetie, you had that with Wyatt, and you still ditched him over your feelings for Liam.

Speaking of whom, Wyatt tried to ship Lope to his brother, but even Mr. Solar Shower had to wonder if Steffy was the reason Liam wanted to turn off Hope's tap. You could practically hear Wyatt's eyes rolling back in his head as Liam revealed he had kissed Steffy not once, but twice, and on two separate continents. The one thing I'll give Liam is that he admitted his loose lips were "dumb, stupid, and wrong." Finally.

You know you have a reputation when even Ridge has to wonder if you've gone to Steffy's well again. Yet, at the same time, Ridge felt that Lope could recover because Hope had only had "a silly kiss" with Thomas. Ridge would know from silly kisses, wouldn't he? From slipping into the married Caroline's bed 35 years ago to his more recent dalliance with Shauna, Ridge is the expert who still put Brooke through the wringer last year for her one kiss with Deacon. Shut up, Ridge. Just stand there looking studly and shut up.


Hope texted Liam and asked for his presence so they could talk. And what Hope wanted to talk about was some bulls**t she pulled out of her purse along with the divorce papers she couldn't possibly have had time to have drawn up because of her binge-sexing with Thomas. Hope bitterly said that she was sure Liam had already run to Steffy. Now, Liam did, but how could she know that with such certainty?

But Hope wasn't done playing the Steffy card. In fact, Hope whipped out a whole Steffy deck, because Hope announced that the reason she had kissed Thomas was because of Liam's lingering feelings for Steffy! Say whaaaaaat? Y'all, dis bish tried it. Liam was blown away, correctly reminding Hope that Steffy had been a non-issue for years. He couldn't believe Hope was retroactively using Steffy to rationalize kissing Thomas!

Yeah, Liam's not always the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but he scores high marks on that one. Where the hell is this suddenly coming from? Hope continued to complain that Steffy had been a problem their entire marriage, forgetting that Steffy met Finn not long after Hope and Liam were married in 2020 and that Steffy has barely given Liam a second thought since.

Well, there was that whole bit of Liam porking Steffy later that year over a mannequin and the question of the unfortunately named Hayes's paternity. I could maybe see Hope harboring some resentment over that. But it's not enough to pluck that out of thin air as the reason for desiring Thomas...especially when that never once came up these past months during Hope's drooling.

Liam wanted to divorce Hope because he didn't know who she was anymore, and that Hope had already taken off her wedding ring seemed to emphasize that point. So, in the same room where they were married, they signed the divorce papers, and Annika Noelle shared a nice scene with Scott Clifton in which no dialogue was exchanged as they dissolved their Douglas-officiated marriage. Where is Doug in all this?


As news of Hope and Liam's split made its way across the Forrester universe, opinions were expressed, including by poor R.J., who spent his airtime this week changing shirts. Even Paris' mom, Grace, got more to do in her first weeks than R.J. has had the entire three months he's been back. He had zero to do with his parents' reunion, no love interests await him, and he's done nothing on his own. What was the point of bringing him back?

One could almost say that about Finn, whose actions have been limited to doctoring and playing doctor with Steffy. At least he did get to help comfort Kelly, who had a bad dream about "Daddy." But which daddy was she talking about? Liam or Finn? Mr. Liberty Bibberty was sympathetic about the implosion of Liam's marriage, but he still didn't want Liam spending too much time with Steffy while he was in an emotional free fall.

Cue up Tom Petty! Because Steffy just happened to run into Liam at Il Giardino, as people always go to places where they were nearly fatally shot to grab a bite to eat. Appetizing! Steffy had to agree with Liam that Hope pinpointing her as grounds for kissing Thomas was crap, and Liam amazingly promised Steffy that he would not cross the line with her again.

Let's see if Waffler 2.0 holds to that. But it'd be easy to forget that Liam commandeering Steffy's lips not once, but twice, could still cause seismic shifts. Hope only suspects Liam of kissing Steffy but has no proof. Finn will probably need Sheila's defib paddles again when he finds out what Steffy's been keeping from him. And what's gonna happen when Liam hears of Hope's pre-divorce doing by Thomas?

Hope had a chat with another forgotten soul, Wyatt, who I was sure would end up slipping to Hope about Liam's cross-continental kisses with Steffy. Guess Wyatt was too thunderstruck by Hope declaring that the Thomas kiss had to happen because of Steffy to utter anything else. How come the show never remembers that Hope and Wyatt were married? They always interact as if they have no real bond.

Hope admitted to Liam that she had suffered deep childhood hurts from Ridge's divided loyalties, the way he always ping-ponged between her mother and Taylor, and hinted that that was what had been driving her re: Thomas. I'll give B&B points for digging into Hope's psyche for a motive behind her actions. But that still doesn't excuse Hope choosing her stalker stepbrother over Liam. I'm about ready to personally ship Hope back to Milan. By ground rate.


So, the Constitution states that everyone has the right to a speedy trial. I can think of some pending real-world trials that should be a lot speedier, but Sheila got her day in court after slightly less than four months serving time. Somehow, I didn't think Sheila would get an actual on-screen trial. I'm still bummed she didn't ever have a proper one when she was arrested in 1995, and that would have been the time to do it.

I've never heard of a defendant getting a pre-trial examination, have you? I don't watch enough cop shows, I guess. But wouldn't you know, it fell upon Finn to provide Sheila with such an examination, because Sheila requested him. In light of Sheila's heart attack this past spring, Finn asked how his mama's dark ticker was working. Sheila admitted to panicking when her heart started to race.

Isn't a racing heart caused by panic? And I still absolutely cannot buy that Sheila was felled by a heart attack, but not by the fact that she fell two stories over a balcony and walked away with not even a chipped nail. She should have had multiple broken bones and/or internal injuries from that. How about the heart attack was her body's response to those traumas? Don't put me on your health plan, B&B.

Of course, Sheila can't have a conversation with Finn without prattling on about how much she loves him and Hayes, blah blah blah. Did Finn hold strong against the woman who shot him and kept him hostage for weeks in a hospital bed? Yeah! For a minute, maybe. Sheila's words got to him, and he allowed himself to settle into a hug with his bananas bio mom. Uh oh.

The next day, Sheila's trial hit the docket...but not in an actual courtroom. Doesn't B&B still have their courtroom set from Taylor's manslaughter trial in storage somewhere? I get not having the budget to have new sets for everything, but plunking Sheila and her detractors down in a judge's chamber is just silly. Then again, a full, dramatic trial with witnesses and outlandish, gavel-thumping statements wasn't what our soap had in mind.

Whose form should inhabit the judge's black robes as he inhabited the bench? David Kimble! I mean, Michael Corbett! Who, incidentally, hasn't been seen on a soap since Corbett's David Kimble was crushed to death in a trash compactor on The Young and the Restless while wearing the cosmetically stenciled brand "Killer" on his forehead. Man, that David Kimble saga was good soap! Did that really end in 1991?

Well, we didn't have to wait 32 years to learn Sheila's fate. In fact, the script went in the bizarre direction of having the judge interrupt the trial's opening statements to nullify the whole damn trial! That's right! The whole case got thrown out because the evidence against Sheila -- for this purpose Bill entrapping Sheila into admitting she'd killed Lance -- had been obtained illegally.

Let me just hearken back to a phrase I used earlier in this column: Say whaaaaaat? Granted, I was right now years old when I learned that if a wiretapped admission is obtained without the proper warrant, that admission is considered tainted and, therefore, inadmissible. But wouldn't Bill have known that and taken the proper steps before trying to coax something incriminating out of Sheila?

And, for that matter, if Sheila can't be held because the evidence against her wasn't secured through the proper legal channels, then why has Sheila been in jail this whole time? It was awesome to finally get movement on another story besides Thomas/Hope's, and I could use soapy logic to allow for the suddenness of Sheila's "trial" in a judge's chamber with no jury, but come on!

Obviously, this twist was devised to give Sheila another get-out-of-jail-free card, but it completely undoes the whole arc of Bill's fake romance with Sheila and how it alienated his entire family. What was the point of it if everything he did was considered inadmissible in court? Man, what a letdown. Which it will also be when we don't see Michael Corbett beyond this episode.

B&B has fallen into the unfortunate pattern of casting soap greats, only to put them in day player roles, never to be featured again. It happened with As the World Turns's Jon Hensley in 2012, Guiding Light's Ricky Paull Goldin in 2013, Y&R's Chris McKenna in 2016, and All My Children's Vincent Irizarry from 2019 to 2022. I realize soap vets don't come cheap. But why use them for stunt casting instead of keeping them around? Judge Evan Scott might be perfect for Taylor! We don't know! And I guess we never will.

Over at Il Giardino, Brooke was lunching with Eric. I'm loving Beric even more these days, probably because I've been watching their canvas-rocking 1990 romance on YouTube lately. Maybe the nostalgia was thick for Beric, as well, because neither picked up on Deacon's blatant defenses of Sheila. No eyes were batted as Deacon insisted that Sheila hadn't meant to shoot her son and that even people like Sheila needed love.

Way to give yourself away, Freaky Deak! Likewise, Finn betrayed himself by exchanging glances with Sheila to the point that both Liam and Steffy noticed, and, after Sheila was declared free, Liam (who kinda shouldn't have been there, but I'll buy Kelly's proximity to Finn as a reason) caught Finn in yet another hug with his maniacal mama!

So where is this going? How does Sheila's convenient release tie into the fact that the usually reliable nanny Amelia is conveniently "gone"? Sheila does have nanny experience. And Kelly's nightmare about "Daddy" can't bode well for Sinn's trip to the beach next week, which will reportedly culminate in an event worse than coming home with sand in your shoes or a smother-me-in-aloe-for-a-week sunburn.

At least Sheila's restored presence is better than watching Hope hump her stepbrother. Oh. Have I already mentioned that? Mention a few things of your own 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! Like these!

"Even more unbelievable than Hope sleeping with Thomas is Brooke barging into the bedroom and demanding Hope stop. Where does this woman get off? Hope needs to interrupt Brooke and Ridge next time they are intimate. I mean, seriously, I have wondered for a long time if Brooke is trying to catch Hope with someone. She walks into the cabin without knocking all the time and has almost caught Hope and Liam being intimate. Does she want pointers? What is wrong with Brooke that she thinks this is okay?" -- Kasi

"I'll agree that Liam should be alone and maybe find out what makes him happy. As for Hope and Thomas, I'm wondering and maybe worried that they'll realize the reality of been a couple might be very different than the fantasy that they had. Plus since Hope and Liam share a child they could be spending time together as co-parents and it could be interesting to see Thomas deals with it since the shoe might be on the other foot than and as much as Hope loves Douglas he isn't her biological child." -- Andrew

"Thomas was never 'obsessed' with Hope...He was merely in unrequited love, and pursued her the only way he knew how. Don't forget he had a traumatic brain injury, which could possibly impact his actions. It takes years to recover from that kind of thing, esp. if it impacts behavior. I wish soap writers would do their research before they write about medical/psychiatric issues. That said, Hope's love for Thomas is nothing new: there have been hints about it for years." -- Steve

Will the secrets of Liam's kisses and Thope's shagging make an even more complicated situation worse? Will Finn's softening toward Sheila be what drives a wedge between him and Steffy instead? And how is Sheila being on the loose again going to shake things up? To find out, we'd better keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold! See you next time, my Scoopnesses!

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