Baby you can drive my karma

For the Week of January 8, 2024
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B&B 2023 still had some last-minute surprises in store with the brief glimpse of an ethereal Stephanie and the sudden disappearance of Taylor. But B&B 2024 is ready to blow Thope wide open, between a surprise Xander bringing Emma back from the dead and Finn setting himself against Thomas! It all comes back to you with Two Scoops' Mike.

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you get a hellish exit while your one-time best friend got a heavenly return? Did you get the feeling you had seeds planted in yet another garden? Did you need an industrial sized bottle of Bactine to treat what came back to bite you in the ass? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant-Barber-Finnegan-Nozawa clan this week!

Beep beep, beep beep, yeah, Scoopers! I can't listen to the Beatles' Drive My Car without thinking of Amber performing it on the show in 1998 -- mostly because that was my sole appearance on my show as an extra. Well, my watch was famous, anyway, because that's all anyone saw! At any rate, I can't resist any shot at wordplay, and "car-ma" is certainly something Thomas is about to get served -- piping hot!

With all the sudden talk of Emma Barber's 2019 demise, I'm also here to clear up some misremembering and hold the affected characters to account. Are Thomas and Emma the only ones who know/knew what happened that night? Nope! Thomas had a father confessor, whose designation of father is quite appropriate. And oh -- randy Bill's probably got another rando kid running around! Ready for 2024? Let's Scoop about it!

OFF ROAD

I had set my personal deadline for my Best & Worst of 2023 column to only include content up to the second weekend of December. Had I not, my Worst Exit would not have been Wyatt, and my Best Short-Term Return would not have been Stephen Logan! Indeed, it came out of the complete clear blue on December 15 when Stephanie Forrester herself made an angelic appearance to a post-surgery Eric.

Given Stephanie's misdeeds, especially in her later years, I'm surprised she didn't visit from the other place, but whatever! It was her first on-screen appearance since Stephanie died in 2012. Too bad it was for a single shot that lasted mere seconds, right? I do have to give the show kudos for keeping Susan Flannery's quick return such a secret, because it was a rare moment that no one could have predicted.

And Worst Exit? Taylor, of course, via Krista Allen's hasty axing. It's not like actors don't come and go on soaps, but what is it with B&B not giving its characters exit scenes anymore? Allen's last scene aired November 10 with no hint that was all we were going to get of her. Even Ingo Rademacher's unimpressive Thorne got a goodbye back in 2019. First Quinn, then Wyatt, now Taylor...the show needs to stop taking the lazy way out.

LOW RIDER

Eric is now on the mend, presumably, from his life-threatening mystery illness; perhaps it's fitting that his recovery is as vague as what precipitated his surgery. While he cools out at the hospital, other characters went on with their lives or came out of hibernation long enough to appear on our screens. Bill and Poppy, I'm talking to you! Was their scene a bit out of left field, or was it just me?

Apparently, at some point off-screen, Bill asked Poppy out so he could figure out where he knew the lady from. Liam even made a surprise appearance from his own backburner until Bill ushered him out of Il Giardino so Bill could go on his fact-finding mission. Poppy didn't really seem all that surprised or meek about the meeting; if anything, Poppy was confident, fetching, and flirtatious around Bill.

The Dollah finally revealed that he had seen Poppy at the "Golden Gate Music Fest" some two decades prior. Bill likes music? Plus, he was living in New York then, so I guess he wanted to attend this festival enough to make the trip to San Fran. Anyway, he'd seen Poppy freely dancing, which had led to talking, and then "a very memorable evening."

Are we really to believe that Poppy didn't remember Bill at all until he relayed their history to her? Bill's not the kind of guy someone forgets. And this scene might have been more intriguing had it not been bookended with Luna wondering aloud who her father was. The obviousness was real. It could only mean one thing. Bill has yet another kid he didn't know about running about!

Bill had a bad habit of knocking women up, didn't he? He only discovered the grown-up Liam in 2010 and Wyatt in 2013. For 2024, Bill has proven once again that his "super sperm," to quote Rapper's Delight, is allowed to flow unabated. Hell, he even got Brooke pregnant when she was menopausal (also in 2013)! Bill having a third heretofore unknown child is going to a well that really didn't need going to again.

I still think Bill and Li would make the better couple -- he's a d**k, and frankly, so is she. But in their one scene, Poppy seemed to bring out the softer side of Sears; er, Bill. And let's face it, Bill's Spidey senses haven't sensed for a long time. He's deserved better than chasing after women who are into other men (Katie, Brooke). What do you think, people? Would Bill and Poppy be good together?

UN-BRAKE MY HEART

Well, holy small worlds, Batman! Xander Avant, who slinked back to London in 2019 after getting booted from Forrester for his part in The Great Baby Beth Secret, just happened to have a doctor's appointment with a practitioner in Los Angeles. And that practitioner was Finn. Things went well until Xander saw a photo of Finn with Steffy, and at that point, Xander's wheels came off!

Learning that Thomas was Finn's brother-in-law, Xander got Finn up to speed on the vehicular death of Emma Barber, a death Xander blamed on Thomas. Xander went so far as to call Thomas' involvement "murder." Okay. Y'all know I am not Thomas' biggest fan, nor do I think he's ever properly paid for his evil acts of 2019 and 2020. But even I would not go so far as to accuse Thomas of murdering Emma.

"Emma didn't die because of Thomas!" many of you have insisted online. "Emma was texting! The accident was her fault!" Ah, slow your roll, Team Thomas. I've watched the episode again and suggest you do, too; Emma did, in fact, pick up her phone while driving, twice, but the first time, she put it down within seconds, and the second time, she texted one brief sentence before again returning her phone to the seat.

Thomas was clearly riding her ass on the road, and Emma had two hands on the wheel when Thomas' pursuit caused Emma to careen down an embankment. Thomas may not have killed Emma directly, but he sure didn't bother calling an ambulance for her; he simply watched her slip into unconsciousness (we don't know that she died in that exact moment), grinning villainously. Thomas let Emma die to keep his secret.

Sorry, but that's Sheila-level stuff, and Thomas didn't face a single consequence for it. It's really surprising, and rather random, that Xander suddenly should show up now after four-and-a-half years to stir that particular pot, but boy, does that soup smell tasty. It's about time Thomas is held to account, and surely the formerly virginal Hope won't still want to sex a man responsible for a death, will she? Will she?

RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM

If you've read any of my columns since Hope first kissed Thomas in Rome last summer, you know I simply cannot stomach their "situationship." More often than not, they're related by marriage, and it's gross. And, of course, there was Thomas' repeated victimization of Hope, which makes the coupling even more distasteful and bizarre. But I do have to give Thomas one thing.

I absolutely cannot deny that, in 2023, he didn't pull a single stunt. While we only saw him in one therapy session, he does seem to have returned to some state of normalcy. But if Thomas were really heading toward the healthy, he would have put a stop to anything with Hope the second she macked on him in Italy. Knowing Hope has been his trigger, he should have gently discouraged her affections.

I still find it hard to believe that he couldn't see she was jonesing for him; was he in denial? Yeah, I would have been proud to have seen Thomas move on without Hope. Instead, this fool just proposed to her. He knows damn well Hope doesn't love him because she's essentially told him so. Thomas is still obsessed with Hope, unfortunately, because he kept pushing her to accept his ring while saying, "I'm not pushing."

Don't get me wrong; Hope is in this up to her sassy new haircut now, as well, and Steffy is right to question Hope's intentions and to worry for Thomas' mental state once Thope inevitably falls apart. But Steffy, darling, your hands are not clean. You know Thomas + Hope = toxic, yet you're still the one who pushed to reunite Thope's working relationship to save Hope for the Future. Steffy chose a line that could have ended over her own brother!

CARJACKED

Steffy's logic, or lack thereof, continued in earnest when Finn spilled all the tea about Xander's visit, and Steffy immediately accused Xander of just talking s**t because he wanted revenge on the Forresters for firing him. I guess Steffy can't be blamed for not believing Xander's claim because, as far as she knows, it's ridiculous. Steffy has no idea that Thomas was on any road the night Emma died.

And that's because...the only one who knows is Ridge! That's right, when Thomas was in the hospital after falling over the cliff, he confessed to Ridge about being in hot pursuit of Emma and causing her, however inadvertently, to crash into the embankment. Yet Ridge, still carrying this knowledge, reverted back to trying to convince Brooke that Hope and Thomas might be good for each other!

I've said it before: Ridge has romanced all three of the Logan sisters, so no wonder he doesn't bat an eye at former/future stepsiblings doing the do. Ridge was in the minority, though, because Steffy actually agreed with Brooke that Thope was a bad idea. I'm guessing that Ridge never told anyone about Thomas' part in Emma's death, or Brooke would have been all over that long ago.

CALLING ALL CARS

Steffy may have been worried that Hope could cause Thomas to regress, but Steffy sure didn't catch on when she told Thomas that Xander had shared with Finn his conviction that Thomas had killed Emma, and Thomas countered with, "No one is going to come between [Hope and me]." Regrettably, that's further proof that Thomas hasn't really grown that much at all.

An interesting moment came earlier when Steffy was griping to Hope about her involvement with Thomas, and Hope flashed back to last fall's convo with Finn, during which he said Hope was too good for Thomas. I ranked Hope and Finn as Best Potential Couple in said Best & Worst column, and I wonder if there was some mind-reading going on. Because Finn started jumping to Hope's defense awful quick!

Steffy charged Finn with taking Hope's side, and, after Steffy asked Finn to drop the matter of Xander, Finn went right to Hope with Mr. Avant's claims. Finn even chalked Hope's relationship with Thomas up to rebelling, and it sounds like Finn's spot-on to me. Finn told Hope that Thomas was dangerous; little did he know, Thomas was outside the door, listening to this declaration.

And once the coast was clear, Thomas again revealed a reversion when he menacingly told Finn, "Don't make trouble -- understand?" Finn saw there were no lines to read between and spat, "Or what? You going to drive me off a cliff, too?" Finn swore that Thomas would never be with Hope -- ever! And I'm liking it! This Thope grodyness has been allowed to go on for months, and it's about time steps are taken to dismantle them. Go, Finn!

What's your route with the show, Scoopers? Is it all too pat that Bill could be Luna's father? Did Xander's out-of-nowhere return come as a shock to you? Do you think Finn is overstepping? And do you feel Thomas should face accountability, or has too much time passed for that? Drive through the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback!

The walls seem to be closing in around Thomas, and I am here for it, here for it, here for it. We're into a new year of soapiness, so keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

READ MORE OF THIS WEEK'S TWO SCOOPS
Days of our Lives | General Hospital | The Young and the Restless

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