Thanks for giving me a hard time

For the Week of November 27, 2023
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Zende suddenly decided he was being dissed for perceived golden child R.J. and shouted it to the rooftops, while Bill wondered if Poppy had been one of many in his harem. And, of course, it's not memory lane with Bridge without recalling how, er, hard their times have been! It's a cornucopia of chronicling with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you stop to remember someone you might have popped? Was the chip on your shoulder so big it could have passed for a Macy's Thanksgiving Parade float? Did you express thanks by rebuilding a Bridge? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Finnegan clan this week!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, Scoopers! Gratitude is so in right now, but I must take the moment to submit that being thankful is much better as a daily part of life. There. Now I'm going from soapbox to soap opera and having a look at this short week where Zende emerged from the backburner only to forget his own history, and a hint was dropped that Bill has another secret child. And, oh yeah, Bridge. Let's Scoop about it!


Bill took a seat at Il Giardino, which apparently the rest of the Forresters and their extended family were boycotting due to everyone's favorite merry murderess bussing tables. Interesting that they barely batted an eye when Sheila punched the clock there from 2017 to 2018, but that was before she gave Finn and Steffy a double shot of her baby's love, meaning her gun's.

Because everyone takes a job at the scene of their own crime, but whatever turns you on. Bill hadn't come for the free bread sticks and two-for-one apps; he had come to be the latest in line to warn Sheila against going near anyone closely connected to him, especially Steffy and Finn. "Shouldn't you be off crushing the little people?" Sheila scoffed, eyes definitely rolling.

"What do you think I'm doing here?" Bill spat in return. The banter between the Dollah and the Naughty Nurse was actually quite fun; they're better exes than they were a "couple." Sheila coyly asked Bill if he missed her, and without missing a beat, he retorted, "Like food poisoning." It was really their first scene since Sheila tumbled over Bill's balcony and walked away without so much as a skinned knee.

When Sheila reminded Bill that she had saved Kelly from drowning, Bill placed his considerable money on Sheila having lured Kelly to the ocean with candy! Bill gets the best lines, if not the best stories of late. Indeed, Bill diverted his attention from Sheila's prattling about being all better because of Deacon's D -- er, love -- and noticed Poppy at another table, to the point that even Sheila noticed the shift.

Once Sheila presumably returned to the kitchen to poison some penne, Bill made a beeline to Poppy and gave her the ol' "Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" shtick. Poppy let lunch date Luna do a lot of the talking, neither confirming nor denying Bill's attempts at recognition. But when Bill asked if he had seen her at parties in New York or San Francisco, the collective ping from many of you was deafening.

The growing consensus in the fan base seems to be that Bill is Luna's father. If that was the hint that was dropped, it's the most obvious telegraph the show has pulled in a long time. Could it instead be a chemistry test, a fake-out? Besides, Bill's not hurting for secret children, with both Liam and the now-missing Wyatt having crawled out of that particular woodwork.

And can you really see barracuda Bill with the meeker, free-spirited Poppy? There was no denying the possibilities between Bill and "Aunt Li" last year, a ball that was summarily, and unfortunately, dropped. I could even see Li pulling rank on Bill at Spencer; how fun it would have been to see him whipped! But now it seems Bill might have popped Poppy at one time, and Li herself added fuel to that fornicating fire.

Across town, Finn admirably told his suddenly bitter adoptive mom that he was intent on building a relationship with his cousin Luna, even after Li accused Luna of positioning herself by becoming buddy-buddy with Steffy. Li balked at Finn's decree that he would help Li and Poppy mend fences -- Li even barked that, because of Penelope's flightiness, Luna didn't even know who her father was!

Annnnnnd there it is. I know the tendency in soaps is to anchor a new family to an existing family, but does Bill really need another love child, particularly when Wyatt was dumped without so much as an exit scene? And should we be getting a romantic tie between Bill and Poppy when Li is right there? If Luna is a Spencer, Bill better hit up 23 and Me, because then who knows how many more kids he's got running around.


Zende Forrester Dominguez had been so backburnered that when he charged into Ridge's office, he spent the first few minutes of the meeting brushing the thick layers of dust off his shirt. And didn't the usually even-tempered, if also suave, former orphan have an axe to grind! Rather than use it on a turkey to give his fam jam the centerpiece of T-Day dinner, Zende was ready to chop R.J. but good.

Apparently, Zende had taken umbrage not only with the fact that R.J. had gotten to design with Eric, but that Hope for the Future, the line on which Zende works, had been iced in favor of Eric's line. From a business standpoint, that factoid makes sense, but Forrester Creations has never had financial trouble running multiple lines before.

The one thing Zende was right about was his implication that Ridge tends to sideline anyone who's not one of his kids. For that matter, Ridge's own siblings have been sidelined for eons -- we last saw Thorne in story in 2018; he and Kristen, at least, are legacy characters, and they, along with Felicia, only pop in about twice a decade. I've never understood why Ridge was deemed the only OG Forrester left standing.

As for the rest of Zende's beef, I think when he shaved his head, he shaved off part of his memory while he was at it. He bitched that he had two talented designers for parents -- that much is true -- and therefore had been around the industry his whole life. Well, since Kristen and Tony (we miss them!) rescued Zende from that African orphanage, yes. But it was after that that Zende's argument lost steam.

He raged that R.J. just showed up wanting to be a fashion designer, despite not being interested in the vocation before. Um, slow your roll, Z-boy. When Zende returned as an adult in 2015, he was a graphic designer and photographer who also had no interest in designing clothes. When he did decide to make the jump, he boasted that everything he had learned about designing had been from online tutorials!

After Zende thankfully interrupted more of Thope's canoodling (with more of Thomas' professions of love and Hope's coy lack of reciprocity) and got a moment alone with Luna, Zende cried that R.J. hadn't even gone to design school like he had. Holy retcons, Batman! I can almost understand Zende feeling slighted, but why didn't he have this issue while R.J. was actually designing with Eric?

No, Zende waited 'til after to make noise about it, and there are other questions I need him to answer for me. We haven't even seen him since Carter ditched Paris at the altar in summer 2022, when it was hinted Zende would pick up Paris' pieces. Are Zende and Paris even together? And why, three years after Zende's reappearance in the form of Delon De Metz, do we still not know where Nicole is or why Zende's marriage to her didn't work out?

For all we know, Zende could still be married. But I'm guessing he's not with Paris, because when Luna complimented the ego-bruised Zende, you could almost hear the wheels turning in Zende's head. Substantiating this was R.J.'s later claim that he had the feeling Zende was out to get him. So now we're gonna get Evil Zende stealing R.J.'s "girl"? (Don't forget, Runa -- LuJ? -- haven't even been out on a proper date.)

I'm all for bringing a character out of mothballs, but can't it be without these radical personality changes? And is there something in that FC labeled bottled water we always see these guys chugging? Because inevitably, they all go crazy at some point. I wouldn't have minded seeing Zende mad about being an elf on a shelf, but I could have done without the rewritten history and out-of-character responses.


Ridge at least pulled an in-character move and turned the showroom we've never seen until last month into a rose petal-laden, romantic spectacle for Brooke. Hey, we haven't seen him do something like that for quite some time. La Logan must have been expecting it, because she sashayed in wearing plush red velvet that wasn't cake or donuts.

It was then we got a sort of ersatz Thanksgiving episode; the whole 18 minutes was devoted to them. I know some of you weren't happy the show didn't do one of those big family T-Day dinners where everyone says something nice about the person to their right, but honestly, I've found those cloying. These people just go back to knifing each other by Black Friday, anyway.

And let's not act like it was some big B&B tradition; they only started that in 2013, after Stephanie died, and it was something Hope had organized. Can you imagine if they'd put that display on this year? Hope seats Thomas at her right, then fawningly says, "And I'm so thankful this year for Thomas and his, drumstick!" No thanks. I was better off with the interestingly retooled Bridge basting scenes.

Rather than give Brooke food, Ridge presented her with a scrapbook of their storybook romance. Hmm! Ridge must have gotten the idea from Brooke, who gifted Stephanie with a similar scrapbook in 2005 when the show celebrated its 5,000th episode. The cover was emblazoned with a vintage photo of Katherine Kelly Lang...and Thorsten Kaye from his AMC days!

I don't know how many couples actually refer to themselves by smoosh names, but maybe those are the times we live in now. I do know that, traditionally, since Thorsten Kaye took over as Ridge in 2013, any celluloid revisits of Bridge have only involved sequences of once-upon-a-time Brooke and anything that happened since the recast. Not so this episode!

When Brooke flashed back to her first meeting with Ridge in 1987, a Thorsten look-alike had been CGI'd into the shot. Thorsten's face was even Photoshopped into a rather infamous photo of Ridge and Brooke at the 1992 BeLieF press conference! (Ah, remember Brooke as a chemist? I'd love to see her return to those brainier roots.) Thorsten's double made it into a couple other scenes, as well.

And you know they did it on purpose when Brooke recalled her first reunion with then nuRidge at the fountain, with Brooke reminiscing that Ridge had "come back a new man." Cute. At least they're acknowledging it. I wonder if Thorsten will get a tenth anniversary nod the way Lawrence Saint-Victor did? The soap gods know the much more prevalent Ridge deserves one, or is that just because I crush on Thorsten so hard?

Anyway, from there, it was more flashbacks with post-Thorsten Ridge, the bulk of them taken up by this year's jaunt to Italy. It must have been in Andrea Bocelli's contract that he get his entire Roman performance re-aired in its entirety. But the clear message was that Bridge is back, baby, and don't you forget it. But has their romance really been that "unforgettable"?

Their 2018 marriage would still be intact if Ridge hadn't ditched Brooke over one kiss with Deacon. And how about that time Ridge left Brooke during their honeymoon because Brooke texted Deacon about Hope? Brooke may be the Slut from the Valley, but Ridge is the fickle one. Are they going to get married again? And do we really need to see a ninth (assuming it goes through) wedding between these guys?

Let's be real -- and I've said this before numerous times -- on this soap, Bridge is endgame. Yes, Tridge was legit and even preferable through the '90s, and I know how many Ridge/Taylor fans there still are out there. But Tridge could never work now with a double recast. Katherine Kelly Lang as Brooke is the linchpin for Bridge; even with Thorsten in the role of Ridge, one recast works better than two.

Plus, Bridge has the distinction of their first meeting being in the early days of the show, 36 years ago, which we were reminded of on Wednesday's episode. So, whether these two exchange vows again or not, now that they're back together, keep them together. No more splits over dumb things. After all, a relationship's greatest challenges come from within, not without.

Both Ridge and Brooke have gotten into the age where they can get senior discounts at Denny's. So, let's see them deal with the trials of getting older. B&B neglected to fully explore things when they made Brooke menopausal ten years ago, but it would still be quite the arc to see her grapple with not being as sexually viable, given her history. And, while Ridge has phased out of his playboy days, surely someone as vain as he would be scrutinizing every wrinkle. Having them confront aging together would be a refreshing new chapter.

Who's a jive turkey to you, Scoopers? Should Luna end up being Bill's daughter, or would you rather see a different story for him? Is Zende justified in his newfound grudge against R.J. and his branch of the family? And what do you think should await Brooke and Ridge as they revel in their latest reunion? Fill the plates of the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback!

My turn to express gratitude -- thank you to Soap Central, and to all who have read my columns past and present -- as I've just marked 14 years writing these puppies (my first effort was this week in 2009). You know that's like 33 years after SORAS. Averaging two a month (though there have been times I've done more), that alone is 364 columns! (And the character profiles I've been updating since 2012.) If y'all thought I sucked, I wouldn't still be here, so I am bowing at your feet. You can't see me, but I am.

Until #365 in two weeks, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

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