Ordinarily we do a special half-year review over Daytime Emmys weekend, but with the show indefinitely postponed due to the writers' strike, we decided to roll it out a little later than normal.
Who has nine toes, nine lives, freedom, and a chic wardrobe courtesy of Bill Spencer? Sheila Carter, that's who. She managed to defy the odds and have a millionth chance at freedom. Things didn't look good for Sheila when Bill sprang his plot to romance her straight into a prison cell, but his horribly misguided plan paved the way for her release and made it all but impossible for a prosecutor to present a viable case against her for past crimes. The judge had no choice but to set Sheila free to reclaim her life, her man, and her fabulous wardrobe.
Sheila is a proponent of positive thinking, and she refuses to count herself out. She insists that where there's a will, she will find a way. "I have the will," she declared, and idiots like Bill and Ridge paved the way, even keeping secret her involvement with Deacon, thereby giving Sheila and Deacon a chance to restart their romance. One would think Deacon's daughter and Brooke would frown upon his involvement with Sheila, but surely not now that Sheila saved Kelly's life.
Yes, things are looking good for Sheila, but what makes this her best year ever is that Finn hugged her and called her "Mom." What more could Sheila ever want? Well, probably a seat at the dinner table, babysitting privileges, and approval from the rest of the family. I wonder how Steffy can say no when Kelly asks to invite her savior and stepgrandmother to dinner.
By saving Kelly, Sheila proved that she has great nanny skills. It's a good thing Sheila was able to fight her way through all that "security" to save the girl. If Steffy and the family mount a strong force against Sheila, and they probably will, could her next scheme be to dust off her Lina mask to play Mrs. Doubtfire at the cliff house?
It's hard when everyone around you changes, but you're stuck in the same old patterns. That's the case for poor Taylor, the only soldier left on the battlefield in the war against "the Logans." In 2023, Ridge, Steffy, and Thomas chose to work on themselves instead of their family because they'd believed Taylor when she said the war against the Logans was over. Little did they know, Taylor's friendship with Brooke had really been an undercover spy mission.
Taylor fake-friended Brooke, hoping to shuffle Brooke off on the next man, but wound up learning that the rumors about Brooke's "hoedom" have been greatly exaggerated. Brooke preferred being single to hooking up with just any man. Taylor thought Deacon was still willing to chase Brooke but found out that he was tired of banging his head against a brick Bridge. In the end, Taylor figured out that she could no more stop destiny than the Grinch could stop Christmas.
Even Taylor's kids wised up. Steffy finally allowed her father to live his life his way, and Thomas swore off the parent trap. But Taylor wasn't ready to move on. After Ridge returned from Rome to break the news of a Brooke and Ridge reunion to Taylor, Taylor wallowed in her bitterness, lashing out at Brooke and Ridge. Taylor continued to vilify Brooke to Ridge, who finally asked what he could do to make it okay for poor, poor Taylor.
Being unlucky in love is bad enough, but what makes it Taylor's worst year ever is that her crime against Bill is the reason her family's tormentor, Sheila, is free. I gather it's why Taylor was MIA at the courthouse and has yet to weigh in on the "miscarriage of justice" that set Sheila free. If Taylor hadn't shot Bill, Bill couldn't have used it to blackmail Steffy and Finn into recanting their statements about the double shooting, thereby trashing a perfectly winnable case against Sheila. Taylor's presence would have been a reminder that it was all her fault to begin with.
And then there's the matter of Bill's shady FBI dealings. The judge hinted at Bill's underhanded methods of getting justice for Sheila, and I can imagine that includes the shady deal he procured for Taylor to keep her out of prison for attempting to kill him. I doubt Taylor wants to rattle Sheila into remembering that Taylor confessed right in front of Sheila but has yet to face accountability.
Speaking of Taylor being MIA at court -- Thus far, Taylor's presence has been lacking in her children's storylines this summer, and it shows. Where are you, Taylor, when your kids actually need you? And please don't say she ran away to Africa again to escape Brooke and Ridge.
Okay, I have to admit. Thomas did it. He put the pencil to the sketch pad and created the life he'd always imagined. He did the work, made amends, and went to therapy -- this time without his mother, which is probably what made all the difference in the world. His changes caught the attention of the woman of his dreams, and now he is on the precipice of a whole new life.
It reminds me a little of Grease, when bad boy Danny Zuko showed up on the last day of school in a letterman's jacket, but Sandy arrived in skin-tight, all-black attire. Hope and Thomas have flipped their scripts in order to hook up. The only question that remains is: Will they "always be together" like the ending song of the movie portends, or is this some sort of mid-30s rama-lama-ding-dong crisis for Hope?
I'm happy for the changes in Thomas. As the son of Ridge Forrester, Thomas has in the past failed to fill the multifaceted shoes of his playboy father. His healthy changes could transform him into a viable leading man instead of merely having angst for Hope and Liam. I'm cautious about it because it's possible that Hope's waffling ways could trigger Thomas' past obsessive behavior.
For me, the question is: Do I like Thomas better in the black leather or the letterman's sweater? Thomas' one-woman man, always-sketching routine is a little boring, but at least he's got his Logan -- for now. But what makes it Thomas' best year ever is that when something goes wrong in the family, Thomas can honestly say, "It wasn't me."
No, the people causing major problems in the family were Tweedledee Batman and Tweedledum Robin who forgot that the laws actually do apply to them, too, when going after a killer.
Bill's greatest superpower is being rich, and Ridge's is being handsome. Their greatest weakness is the same -- self-entitled dufusness. And even though their hearts were in the right place for their families, their belief that they were above the law doomed their efforts to bring a criminal to justice under the law. I gladly give Bill a purple heart for getting into Sheila's trenches for the good of humanity, but Ridge gets a yellow banana for the cowardly way he sat in the surveillance room, eating doughnuts, while Bill did all the work.
While Bill did his thing, Ridge could have at least checked a few laws or asked Chen a few questions, like, "Are we even allowed to do this legally?" It would have been nice to know, "Should we be blackmailing witnesses to recant their testimony in a different case?" or, "You're really not gonna tell law enforcement that this blackmail is indeed a real crime against Bill? Oh, he doesn't mind that he was shot, so can we sweep it under the rug to catch a killer?"
There are many things that make Ridge and Bill look like the most bumbling superheroes ever, but the biggest has to be their belief that dismissing three attempted murders and Bill sacrificing his family, his dignity, and his reputation were worth trying to discover some unknown crime that might never have even existed. These two went from heroes to zeros when the judge released Sheila, and they're lucky no one is looking to cast the blame where it belongs -- on them.
Liam certainly isn't looking to cast blame because Sheila's release came at the perfect time for him to don his Rescue Ranger hat and ride in to save those who do not need rescuing.
The storyline of Liam running to the rescue of a family perfectly capable of taking care of itself just started, so I will make this short and neat while the plot unfurls. Like Bill and Ridge, Liam has decided to take it upon himself to save and protect people instead of letting others do their jobs. Others, like all the hired security that couldn't be bothered to get wet to help Kelly, like the police whose restraining orders seem to take weeks, or that ADHD husband of Steffy's.
Yes, Finn has conflicting feelings for Sheila, but Finn is perfectly capable of taking care of his family. Finn's trouble lies in doing too much -- like trying to have a beach day with Kelly when she already had a daddy-daughter day planned and being on call while playing in the ocean. You were doing the most, Finn, and now you're going from being the least of anyone's concerns to being the biggest. And you're also Liam's new obsession over a hug.
I get why Liam is fixated on Finn being untruthful about his feelings for a psychopath. Liam just got gaslighted by Hope the same way. It probably activated his Spency senses to pick up on signs that others might be lying about drawing nearer to an enemy. Liam is not wrong to be concerned, but what makes him go from hero to another zero we don't need is the fact that he can't figure out that Sheila has already penetrated his own family through Beth's grandfather.
If you ask me, Liam should worry more about what Deacon is doing than Finn.
Although Sheila is having a better year than Hope, Brooke, Donna, or Katie, the Logan women are enjoying a banner year in the relationship department. While Hope is bringing sexy back, the sister trio has had their fair share of romance in 2023.
Take Donna, for example. Donna might be stapling, collating, and filing by day, but by night, she's the mistress of the house on the hill. With Donna, Eric is living his best life, and this couple is happy to sit on the perimeter, commenting from behind their martini glasses on all the family drama. Is true love and happiness boring? Well, duh, but it's about time Eric settled down. This couple proves true love doesn't have to be marriage followed by the baby carriage. True love is stirred, not shaken, with a taste of honey.
While Donna and Eric settled into their groove this year, Brooke got her groove back, affirming once again that Brooke Logan is a dream woman to men of all ages. Brooke's giggle and eye twinkle caught the attention of young Hollis, who couldn't be that much older than R.J. Hollister's sophomoric approach to the lingerie icon was endearing, but he learned very quickly that he wasn't destined to see the inside of Brooke's bedroom. And neither was that sly boss of his, Deacon, who took some bad advice from a fake friend and made a failing play for Brooke, too.
There Brooke was with two perfectly good suitors, but she only had eyes for the dressmaker. After Ridge peered at his future through a keyhole in Rome, Ridge and Brooke were once again back to making destiny appear. What could be better than finding your forever love in Rome? Being serenaded by Andrea Bocelli, making this Brooke's most romantic year ever.
And then there's takeout Katie, who found love in Forrester's sweaty Sky Lounge while Carter spotted her on the bench press. Boring! They are so boring, in fact, that they couldn't even figure out how to get Katie, the head of marketing, on the Rome trip to codify their new love.
Some think Carter and Katie are refreshing, but personally, I'd prefer a little same-old same-old in the Mediterranean on the Stella Maris with Dollar Bill. Sadly, we do have some of the same-old, same-old because Katie has the same-old excuse for denying Bill -- Brooke. It's like Brooke can never live down her mistakes, and as much as Hope complains about Brooke's mistakes, Hope sure isn't trying to learn from them as she embarks upon her sexiest year ever.
What in the gaslighting blazes has gotten into Hope this year? She went from being the poster child for morality to co-starring in her own porn fantasy with Thomas Forrester, of all people. Out of nowhere, Hope found herself longing for Thomas' touch, anticipating his kiss, and fiending for his sex. She was blaming her uncanny behavior on everything but the rain, but exactly like Aunt Katie did when renouncing Bill due to Brooke, Hope settled on the one foolproof excuse that everyone would accept and that would allow her to thrust full throttle all over Thomas -- Steffy.
Now Hope is boohooing to anyone who'll listen that she didn't want her divorce, "but Liam and Steffy..." Is Hope going to embark on a relationship with Thomas, or is her sexiest year ever about to turn into the deadliest year ever when her waffling for Liam triggers Thomas' crazy?
The last time we saw Douglas, he was predicting his parents would work together and become a family. The union has been Douglas' biggest dream ever since it was just a devious plot in his father's head. It's a shame that Douglas has not only been MIA for his parents' long-awaited union, but Hope and Thomas barely even talk about him or how it would affect him. On a show that always promotes unions for the kids, Douglas is a complete non-factor for Hope and Thomas. I can't stand Thomas and Hope together, but I have to say it is refreshing that they aren't feeling pressured to do it for the kid.
Every soap viewer's gotta love a man of mystery, and the mysteries about Wyatt not only continued into 2023, but they kept piling up. The first mystery is why this character, played by Darin Brooks, can't get his own storyline or be more than a punchline in scenes with Liam. If a story just isn't in the cards for Wyatt this year, I wish the writers would at least let him draw upon his rich history on the show to help advance plots.
During Wyatt's supporting conversations with Liam, it would have been nice to hear Wyatt say, "Dude, Hope flirted with me back in the day for the same reason she's hooking up with Thomas!" Or maybe Wyatt could have told Hope, "Bad boy? What about me? Did I lose my Bad Boy card when you became enamored by a psycho? I'm beginning to think you wanted a relationship with my mother back in the day more than me..."
As the mysteries about Wyatt persist, I'd like to know where Wyatt lives now that Bill unceremoniously sold his house out from under him while he was planning a mini-van happily-ever-after with Flo. And speaking of Flo, what happened to her? Don't Liam and Hope seem a little bit self-absorbed by not asking Wyatt how his engagement is going? Or not going?
Here's to hoping that by year's end, Wyatt will interrupt whomever he's propping and just say, "She's buried in the backyard of the beach house! I did it! I killed her. If I heard one more word about that mini-van, I was gonna scream. Does this purple suit say 'mini-van dad' to you?"
When I think of R.J., Paris, and Zende, I wonder why they are on the show. I have one request of the powers that be about this trio. Please take them and Quinn out of the opening credits of the show and stop pretending that these are some intriguing characters.
R.J. never does anything but show up for breakfast at Forrester, work out, and change clothes. All the while, he swears he stays out of family drama, but he's really in the thick of it, worrying about how Brooke and Ridge will affect Taylor and pushing Liam to go to Rome. Next, R.J. urged Liam to reconcile with R.J.'s sister whose new pastime is riding R.J.'s brother.
And Zende and Paris? I think Charlie has more of a storyline than they do. By year's end, they'll be on my MIA milk cartons. So, once again, please, B&B, take them out of the opening credits and stop pretending.
Thanks for getting the Two Scoops midyear review. Next week, Mike will give his take on how the year is faring. Feel free to place your thoughts about 2023 thus far in the comments section below. And until we scoop again, stay bold and beautiful, baby!
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