Did the Grinch move into the corporate offices of Spencer Publishing? Bill Spencer couldn't have been meaner to Hope last week if he'd tried. Will Deacon accept the get-out-of-jail card from Bill and do his dirty work, even if it means hurting his daughter? And has Steffy finally grown up by signing the divorce papers and letting Liam make up his own mind about whom he wants to be with for the rest of the life? Find out in this week's Two Scoops.
Didn't the U.S. Supreme Court once rule against cruel and unusual punishment? Isn't there some law that states you have to treat people in a humane and civil way or suffer the consequences? I ask these questions because I have never in my life seen a television show depict cruelty in such a blatant way as The Bold and the Beautiful. No, I'm not talking about Bill Spencer threatening Deacon Sharpe. I'm referring to Bill's horrific encounter with Hope when he cut her down to size with his words!
Does Bill Spencer have ice water in his veins? Is there a hunk of stone where his heart ought to be? Is he outdoing the Grinch in villainy? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. When Hope went to see her prospective father-in-law, daring to walk into his corporate lair with her heart in her hand, reaching out to him in a gesture of peace, he proceeded to slap her right in the face! Oh, he didn't actually hit Hope. Nope, he just smacked her around with nasty comments.
Bill couldn't have been crueler if he had tried. Instead of giving Hope even an ounce of compassion, he shot her down. When she tried to convince him that they might be friends -- in light of the fact that they were going to be family -- Bill pretty much crumpled her into a wad of scrap paper and fed her into the shredder.
Hope was unworthy of being Liam's wife, Bill claimed, because she didn't have the qualities of a Spencer woman. Bill demeaned, disrespected, and basically dumped on Hope, even though he barely knows her. Bill set himself up as judge, jury, and executioner, declaring that Hope could never, ever be good enough for Liam. Apparently, in Bill's eyes, Liam is such a great catch, such a prize, that every woman in the world would want this next generation of Spencer manhood, and the girls should be lining up around the block! Um, has Bill ever really looked at his kid? He's not so special -- just a sweet guy…no great shakes!
But from Bill's point of view, Liam is a junior Bill, and therefore God's gift to women! Do you believe the ego of this Dollar Bill blowhard? And where on earth does Bill come off being so judgmental? Even if you allow for the fact that Bill is entitled to his opinion, that as a parent he is choosing whom he wants for his son's wife, that doesn't give him the right to be so evil to Hope. She's still a young girl (is she even 20 yet?) and not a woman of the world. Watching Bill eviscerate Hope was like watching a wolf devour a bunny rabbit.
Bill even denied Hope's sincere request that he be a father to her, since she needs one in her life at this time. I didn't like it one bit that she asked him, and I didn't believe the scene. Bill's cold, heartless reaction to her struck me as very unrealistic. For Liam's sake, if nothing more, Bill would have kept his assessment of Hope from her. Telling her to her face that she was a poor choice for Liam wasn't diplomatic. She's on the verge of marrying his son, and for that reason alone, I think Bill would have bit his tongue and been more circumspect with Hope.
Instead, he was a stinker. If you didn't hate Bill before, you would have after that scene. I'm not even sure that Steffy cares for him very much. He forced her to agree to stand up at the wedding for Hope, convincing Steffy that something might happen and she'll need to be there for Liam. But Steffy wasn't thrilled about Bill's bullying, even if she did get on the plane for Italy.
Here's my problem with Bill's scheme. Let's say, for argument's sake, he succeeds in keeping Hope and Liam from tying the knot; how can Bill know that Liam will go rushing back to Steffy to marry her again? Bill has miscalculated every move Liam's made. Bill mucked up the Cabo vacation with his interference and nearly got Steffy killed in the process. Even in Aspen -- the first time -- it was Steffy who got Liam to marry her on the mountain. Bill only managed to stop Hope's gondola from getting there in time. So I don't have a lot of faith in Bill's machinations.
There's also a very big variable in Bill's plot to stop the wedding -- Deacon. Bill thinks that he can manipulate Deacon into doing what he wants, but can he? Deacon is nothing if not a double-crosser. Deacon could take advantage of the "get out of jail" card and then turn on Bill. I wouldn't put it past him. It's just the kind of thing that Deacon has done his entire life. The guy always lands on his feet. I think Deacon may have a secret agenda of his own. You watch; he'll do something right by his daughter and get away without a trace to start a new life, conning some new folks and living the high life.
But getting back to the pre-flight action in L.A., let's look at Stephanie's visit to Liam, shall we? Does Stephanie have any respect at all for her granddaughter's decision? Steffy did an amazingly mature thing by ending her marriage to Liam and leaving it up to him to marry Hope or not. It was the sign that she really does have a handle on the situation and is not the impulsive loon she was in Cabo San Lucas. I think Steffy might finally realize that the way to win Liam back is to let him go. You know that old saying, "If you love someone, set them free." Personally, I think Liam will return to Steffy in time. The bliss he has with Hope is real, but it's immature.
Liam loves the youthful zest of Hope. She represents his first love, a teenage crush that came true. Remember, when he first showed up at Forrester, he was a nebbish…a flunky who saw Hope as an ideal and fell in love with her. He never even noticed Steffy until after he was already smitten with Hope.
Sure, Steffy is more sophisticated and experienced. Liam realized the kind of woman she is over time, and it's made a big impression on him. If he could ever grow up enough to figure out what he truly wants, he might choose Steffy over Hope. But Liam remains a mini-Ridge, completely incapable of making up his mind. Decisions have to be thrust upon him.
Perhaps that was why Stephanie felt the need to push him towards Steffy and away from Hope. Stephanie probably sees in Liam the very same flaw she sees in Ridge. And for her own selfish reasons, Stephanie wants Steffy to win and Hope to lose, just like she did Taylor and Brooke. The dynamic is identical. Brad Bell has decreed it, and that's what it is.
But there are variations on the theme, and you can't forget that Stephanie considers Hope a grandchild, too. She once tried to have Brooke declared an unfit mother to take custody of Hope (and R.J.) away from Brooke. If Stephanie loved and worried for Hope that much then, why is she now disparaging her as a troubled young girl who's not suitable for a guy like Liam? Why does Stephanie care about Liam's future when he's no relation to her at all -- not even a little!
Stephanie wants Steffy to come out on top; I get that. But as the wise matriarch that she is, Stephanie should realize that Steffy's decision to let the divorce go through was the right one. Arguing with Liam to get him to back out of the wedding in Italy was a mistake, and Stephanie should have known better. All the pressure in the world, from Bill and Stephanie and even Ridge, wasn't going to make Liam walk away from the wedding in Puglia. Experience should have informed Ridge and Stephanie to back off and let Liam figure it out on his own…which is what Steffy was trying to do!
While I was appalled at Bill's cruelty to Hope, I also have to say that I'm disappointed in the people around Bill who just let him get away with being a jerk. Justin is his best friend and counsel, but does Bill ever take Justin's advice? Lately, the guy comes off as nothing but Bill's "yes" man. And then there's Alison, the secretary who seems to live for Bill's attention and does whatever he asks of her, no matter how objectionable. Does this lady have any integrity or ethics? Can't she go to Brooke Forrester and say that she would like a job at Forrester Creations so she can get out from under Bill's manipulative thumb? I think Brooke would hire her in a second if Alison told her about Bill's plans to hurt Hope.
But even if there wasn't a job in it for Alison, she should feel awful about helping Bill. How does she sleep at night? If you knew that your boss was plotting to hurt an innocent woman, his son's fiancée whom he doesn't like, would you just go along and rationalize that it was part of your job? Where is that in the job description? Does Bill pay Alison so well that she has no conscience?
Katie's not much better. She knows that Bill is an aggressive bully, yet she forgives him time and time again. If he succeeds in shattering Hope and Liam's wedding by bringing Deacon to Italy to essentially throw Hope out of whack, will Katie just give Bill a good scolding and let it go at that? Hope is Katie's blood, her niece. Bill doesn't seem to care if he scars Hope for life, and that to me is unforgivable.
Another character also knows that something's afoot -- Marcus. In the past, he's been a stand-up guy who believes in doing the right thing. So why hasn't he been digging around to find out why his father lied to him about the conversation he had with Bill regarding Liam and Hope? Wouldn't it be more like Marcus to confide in Dayzee about his concerns and then, perhaps, ask Eric what he should do? After all, Eric is his adopted father, remember?
The moral ambiguity on B&B bothers me. Characters who are supposed to know better continually do reprehensible things, and there are no consequences for their actions. The warden of Genoa City prison, for example, is going to release a convicted felon just to cover up his affair with another woman. How will he explain that to the governor of Wisconsin or the penal authority? Bill's blackmail of a state official will never be prosecuted, and he doesn't even pretend that what he's doing is illegal -- which it is!
I agree with my fellow Two-Scooper Mike, who pointed out last week how lovely it was to see Steffy and Hope behaving so well with one another. It continued last week, with Hope asking Steffy to be in the wedding party. It was a crazy idea, but I could see how Hope was caught up in the excitement and emotion of the wedding. It was sweet to see that she recalled that there was a time when Steffy was like a sister to her. It was also good to see that Steffy appreciated that Hope was coming from a pure place.
So, with everyone on planes flying to Italy and Wisconsin, respectively, next week promises to be action-packed. The Italy remote will hopefully be as beautiful as promised; I know I wouldn't have turned down a seat on the Forrester jet for a week in Southern Italy! But once there, if you believe the spoilers, Steffy is going to again be put in a life-or-death situation. Isn't that getting a little redundant? Every time she travels, she winds up in the hospital. Is the subliminal message here that travel equals danger, and Steffy should remain in Beverly Hills? Perhaps so.
So, that's it for now. Please share your thoughts with me about what's going to happen in the weeks ahead
. Your comments are always welcome at Soap Central, so stay in touch. And tell me which other characters you want to see fixed or changed, or return to the show. Contact us at Soap Central. And keep on reading Two Scoops every week!
Meanwhile, here are some letters from the readers!
• I think Brad Bell should reconsider Deacon on the show. Let Bill's plan backfire on him, let Deacon and Steffy hook up and allow a good father-daughter reunion between Hope and Deacon. The warden should get back at Bill by sending him to jail instead of Deacon. Hope and Liam should be married. I'm bored with keeping them apart. Have you forgotten that Steffy planned for Brooke and Oliver the night of the graduation party by mixing up the masks? Then she tricked Liam into marriage. It's Steffy that started this. -- Shelby
• Patti wrote: "I think it is so disgusting how everyone has forgotten Steffy was sleeping with [Liam's] father. No one brings that up at all. Who would want to marry someone who has slept with their dad?" I agree, although Steffy stopped short of sleeping with Bill when Taylor interrupted them. Still, you make a very good point! -- Gerry
Allison J. Waldman
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
INS AND OUTS: WHO'S COMING AND WHO'S GOING
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS