Minty freshness?

For the Week of February 19, 2024
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While Eric was on a high regarding his new marriage to Donna, he had no idea that his grandsons were being positioned to cross swords because Luna had experienced a vision of love. Upon learning just how extra strength Poppy's mints were, Luna blamed Poppy instead of Zende and faced pressure to candy-coat her secret. Consume it all with Two Scoops' Mike.

Has your week been bold and beautiful? As a one-trick pony, did you bring your one trick back to town? Did one dubious encounter make you think you had a future with your crush? Did you learn the hard lesson, "Stop before you pop"? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Finnegan-Nozawa clan this week!

Happy late Valentine's Day, Scoopers! While those of the non-single persuasion got cards and/or flowers for the event, B&B gave us candy. But not those little filled chocolates that come in the heart-shaped boxes. These candies were filled with something else. And their consumption has again led to the question of consent that seemed to get buried under misplaced blame. Is it all Certs-ifiable? Let's Scoop about it.

MINT CONDITION

Well, to answer my own question in my last column about where Luna's been living, this week I got my answer in that Poppy seems to have rented a place of her own, despite the fact that she has a home in San Francisco and doesn't seem to have enough income to afford a rental in Los Angeles. When I attempted to move back to L.A. eight years ago, I found a broom closet for $850. I hate to think what rents are now!

Anyway, it's a good thing Poppy found a place to crash, because now Li doesn't have to interrupt Forrester business to get in Poppy's face. Yes, Li showed back up with her usual tirade against her sister -- immoral this, gold-digger that. But for this visit, Li added "druggie" to her list. "Druggie"? What is this, the '70s? Does anybody actually use a term like that anymore?

This time, though, Li might have had the beginnings of a point. Li knew that Poppy often partook of her signature mints, the ones that didn't just have mint in them. Having already fended off Li's accusation that she only wanted rich and handsome men, Poppy insisted that her "mints" were no big deal and that she "wasn't like 'that' anymore." Hmm...could this be where Poppy got her nickname?

I have to ponder now just how many substances Poppy is or has been into. (I should mention that opium is derived from the poppy plant, too; makes you wonder even more about the moniker.) Now, we all know what these "mints" are composed of, don't we? I can't go into specific ingredients because reasons, but I don't think the implication could be any clearer.

That said, it's kind of wild that B&B is even touching on the subject. Recreational use is legal in California -- and 23 other states. Even wilder, Li dropped her hostilities for the briefest of moments to utter a less spiteful "Be careful, you hear?" warning. As a doctor, Li was skeptical that Poppy could even know what was in her mints, or how much. And that's not an unwarranted concern.

But Poppy decided that Li calling Luna a gold digger, as well, was going too far. This as the girl in question was waking up in Zende's bed, not understanding how she had gotten there. I'm not sure I understand, either. Luna stumbled into the guesthouse, having seen water bottles on the windowsill. Who keeps water bottles on a windowsill? Holy Evian, you guys!

And yes, as Chanel pointed out last week, here we are again: another B&B character too out of it to realize who they were sleeping with. It might have been one thing in 1988 when Ridge crawled into bed with a drunken Caroline as a "prank," but things have changed in the ensuing 36 years. It was already a tone-deaf story to tell in 2016 with Thomas and Caroline 2.0, and it's even more tone deaf in the wake of #MeToo.

Now, as Zende tried to fill in the blanks for Luna, it did seem the situation might have been different. Zende had been certain the romp had been mutual, adding, "I would never...!" And Luna, more than once, conveyed that she didn't feel Zende took advantage of her. So, is consent still a question if they're both on the same page? Or are they issuing consent retroactively when that should have been given before the first kiss happened?

I'm from a different generation (Gen X), so these lines aren't as clearly drawn for me. The lines that are, though? That I have to wonder just how many of these "mints" Luna downed. From my research, yes, one "mint" can have a mild mind-altering effect. But for Luna to hallucinate that she was with R.J. -- she must've been munchin' 'em like Skittles. I guess combining them with Champagne could have amplified the effect.

The other thing is, could Luna not tell she wasn't taking her usual Breath Savers? Did the "mints" not look different, taste different? And like Chanel said, even the box was a different shape. Seems to me Luna's faculties were impaired long before she imbibed anything. I'm not writing an excuse card for Zende, though; don't worry. He should have seen Luna wasn't herself and kept it in his pants, no matter what she said.

POPPIN' FRESH D'OH!

Thankfully, Zende assured Luna that they used protection, so I don't think we're going to get a Who's the Daddy: Gen Z Version out of this. It's also a good thing that Luna lost her virginity to R.J. the preceding night, or things would be even more skeevy. But Luna didn't want to spend any more time with Zende, hearing how beautiful he thought she was. Luna ran "home" to mommy; mommy's temporary home, anyway.

Luna told Poppy everything -- how she had slept with Zende, thinking he was R.J., all of it. Luna wondered if she had been drugged. But when Poppy asked what her daughter had had to eat and drink at Eric's impromptu wedding, and Luna casually mentioned that she'd had more mints than anything else, Poppy put it together. And Poppy was forced to explain that Luna hadn't just been hanging out with "The Freshmaker."

Nope, no Mentos for Luna. Miss Nozawa was properly horrified, but was she still under the influence at that point? Because her reaction definitely zigged and zagged. First, Luna wailed that she had cheated on R.J. Had she? Slept with someone else, yes, but Runa hasn't established any exclusivity parameter that I know of. I could chalk that up to beginner's maturity, but then Luna did something totally wacky. She blamed Poppy.

Yep. Not only could Luna not believe that she had been "drugged by [my] own mother," but she decided that nasty aunty Li had been right. Poppy was a druggie. "How could you do this, Mom?" Luna sobbed. Do what? It's not like Poppy foisted the "mints" on Luna and coerced her into taking them. Nor did Poppy secretly switch the candies on Luna like she was in a Folgers blind taste test.

And then for Luna to decry having sex with Zende because she didn't "just do that with anyone -- like you" was enough for me to wish Poppy had sent Luna to her room. Luna had a right to be upset, but her overblown backlash really made her look childish. Plus, Zende wasn't exactly an innocent bystander, yet Luna gave him a free pass while holding her mother responsible. A head-scratcher.

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER

Once alone, Zende, who has been bratty, smug, and even lecherous during 2024 so far, did something in response to his night with Luna that I didn't expect. He cried! Maybe he really did feel bad that their lovemaking wasn't undeniably permitted...but I can't help thinking he was also butt-hurt because Luna had thought that Zende was R.J. Zende's ego of late would seem too fragile to handle such mistaken identity.

Eric came by to see Zende in the guesthouse, where, honestly, I had no idea Zende was living. Eric prattled on for a while about his carpe diemness of late before he noticed that his grandson wasn't in as chipper a mood. Zende admitted that he'd thought he'd had a new person in his life, but it wasn't going to work out. Hold up. How exactly did Zende brainwash himself into believing that?

It's not like Luna hadn't told Zende several times that she had a boyfriend -- R.J. It's all the more reason Zende should have pinged when he found Luna waiting for him in bed instead of just going for it. Luna has never shown the slightest interest in Zende. Maybe Z-boy snuck a few mints of his own. But Eric had also arrived to talk business. In fact, he wanted the more experienced designer Zende to mentor Luna.

Eric may have a new lease on life, but he sure can't read the room. Even when Zende pouted that such an arrangement would "cause big problems," Eric encouraged Zende to find out what excited Luna and turned her on. Not helping, Eric. But before Zende could even think to himself that he'd already found what turned Luna on, he found Luna's earring on his couch. Whoops. You know that's gonna surface eventually.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH

R.J. was a contrast in moods following his cryptic phone call with Luna. Initially championing their romance to his parents, R.J. soured after Luna's monotonal abruptness. Even Brooke trying to cheer him up didn't work, and he was still concerned when Liam, of all people, came by to get references on Poppy. Liam had his own concerns, since lots of women targeted Bill on the regular.

R.J. assured Liam that Poppy was cool beans, and this seemed to elevate R.J.'s dopamine levels enough that he just had to get his own original design down (the first of such we've seen) as Hope and Thomas stood by. How appropriate -- R.J. talking about taking Luna's virginity to the woman who was the poster child for virginity in that very office.

If only Virgin Hope could see Hope now! I will give Thomas credit for joking that everyone in the fam jam seemed to approve of R.J. and Luna's relationship: "Has that ever happened before in this family?" (Thomas, stop sexing/stalking your more-often-than-not stepsister and ask that question again.) R.J. gushed over how much he could trust Luna. And you know what that means...

WE'RE GONNA MAKE A MINT

I dunno how Zende got Poppy's address, but there he was, on her doorstep. It couldn't have been Poppy who gave Z the info, because when he showed, Poppy hid. Until she didn't. And she demanded to know if Zende had taken advantage of her daughter. Ah, a little bit of Li in Poppy, eh? Luna sprang to Zende's defense and again insisted that their smashing had been consensual...which still strikes me as weird.

Same goes for when Zende blubbered how he'd hoped that he and Luna would have something special. When, at all, did Luna give Zende that impression? Luna might take mints, but Zende can't take hints. Having had enough of the whole ordeal, Luna announced that she was going to tell R.J. what had happened. But, like Poppy before him, Zende was determined that Luna shouldn't tell her real boo anything.

Given how many secrets Poppy seems to have, her advocacy of secret-keeping didn't come as a surprise. And Zende's behavior lately brought out the same opinion in me. Luna, to her credit, decided otherwise and called R.J., telling him they needed to talk about something "serious." R.J.'s response was to stage another romantic setting for her. Can none of these guys properly take the temperature of a situation?

Guess R.J. forgot about the whole "serious" part and didn't hear Luna say that she still wasn't a hundred percent, because he started in with all the huggin' and kissin'. Luna had to pull away, and upon R.J.'s prompt that she could "tell [him] anything," she launched into the first lines of her "about last night" speech. Do you really think she's gonna tell him? I hope so, but you know how B&B likes to drag out secrets.

How does it all taste to you, Scoopers? Should Luna have known she wasn't popping her own breath fresheners? Are she and Zende right that their encounter was consensual, or are they misrepresenting the events? Is Zende in denial about how Luna thinks of him? Would Li benefit from taking one of Poppy's "mints"? Should B&B have gone with another oops-I-slept-with-you-while-incapacitated story in this day and age? And was the Luna/mints/Zende saga worth a whole week of screen time? Open the box in the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback.

Sounds like Sheila will be back next week to stir up trouble, though this time, it doesn't sound like she intends to. And, of course, we'll find out whether Luna really spills the mints to R.J. or not. So, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!

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