Tragedy hit Los Angeles like a tsunami this week with the death of Stephanie Forrester. Drama mourns for no one, and it forged ahead with business as usual. Stephanie was barely off her death bench when Brooke and Bill shared stolen kisses beside it, and they were not pleased to see Katie all giddy about reclaiming her life. Caroline got in a tizzy upon learning the truth about Bill and Italy. She's itching to reveal it to Hope and Liam, but is the information too little, too late for the star-crossed lovers?
Stephanie picked a beautiful place to die. Just like Guiding Light's Alan Spaulding, she took her last breath on a bench overlooking peaceful water. The mountainous spot was an absolute vision. Brad Bell tweeted that it had been filmed in his backyard. I immediately despised him for his property and wondered how many flashbacks I've had to watch for him to afford it.
I also wonder if it had been his grass that Steffy and Liam had trampled on in the water sprinkler scene, or if it'd been his rug that they'd gotten busy on in the log cabin. Maybe he even owns the beach and strip Liam and Steffy had played hooky on after Bill had told Liam to get to work. I know, I know. Don't hate, let it motivate. Besides, if I think on it too long, I'll recall that a lot of soaps filmed outside the studio before they got cancelled. Because of that, I cringe with fear upon seeing most outdoor scenes.
Before Stephanie died, she and Brooke had a moment of reckoning in which Brooke admitted to being ashamed of the past. Stephanie reasoned that it all had culminated to that very moment. The words echoed in my ears, and I found myself having a flashback of my own making. It was of Brooke and Stephanie, and it happened to the Kanye West song, "Heartless," which should be Brooke and Stephanie's theme song, if you ask me.
In my flashback, I recalled the cruel things Stephanie had done to Brooke, from pressing a knife to her throat to setting her up with a rapist. There were the times Stephanie had tried to take Brooke's children and the time she'd yelled at Brooke, "You can't even shoot straight!" after Brooke had missed a shot Stephanie had bullied her into taking.
Before my eyes flashed the two women in a bed on stage, fighting each other at a televised press conference. I saw the time Stephanie and Brooke had smacked the mess out of each other and the time that Stephanie forced Brooke before a mirror to make her face herself. Then there were the countless times that Stephanie had delighted in showing Brooke the door, just as she'd done the Christmas that Brooke had returned from Paris and seen that there was no place for her in the family.
I remembered that Stephanie had tricked Brooke into waiting on her hand and foot, including giving her a pedicure. Then there were the fake strokes and heart attacks Stephanie had pulled to get Brooke out of her family. I wondered if Stephanie would have handled things differently if she'd known that Brooke would be her comfort and companion in her last hours.
Stephanie had always been on a mission to protect Taylor, Macy, or Bridget from Brooke, but in the end, Brooke had been the one to force Stephanie to fight the cancer and claim more years with her family. Brooke should have gloated about being the one Stephanie wanted in the last hours. For all the pain Stephanie had put Brooke through, Brooke was there when Stephanie needed her.
Stephanie had seen something in Brooke that others couldn't, and upon that they'd built their love-hate bond, which had entertained fans for decades. The tide had turned with the cancer, and it had ushered in the era of peace between the pair. For 25 years, Stephanie and Brooke had been the show's true supercouple, and no one was more suited than Brooke to comfort Stephanie in her final hours.
In those last moments, Stephanie gave Brooke a diamond ring. Diamonds are forever -- but in daytime drama, death isn't. Many B&B characters had escaped death, even when they died on the screen or had an open casket funeral. Felicia had died in Stephanie's arms, and Taylor had died in Ridge's. Later, both ladies returned from the grave all rosy-cheeked and better than ever.
I wonder if Taylor had considered phoning Prince Omar to have him prepare Stephanie a place to incubate in until Bell conjured up a believable cure for what had ailed her. I'm hoping Ridge missed seeing his dying mother, who'd lived every moment for him, because he was at Omar's palace, closing Taylor's deal on a private hospital wing for Stephanie.
For now, the official story is that the queen is dead and has been cremated without a funeral. Eric made it to the cabin too late because he'd been held up by Thomas' absurd meeting and a senseless need to watch a DVD the family had made for Stephanie. Maybe screening it had been best, because the drab video might have bored Stephanie to death.
Stephanie missed it, but we viewers had to suffer through the awkward goodbyes that family and friends had recorded in black and white in front of a nondescript wall while holding a tiny lapel microphone in hand. Mostly, everyone on it was sad, and the most interesting part of it was listening to Tony. In the video, he thanked Stephanie for not treating him like a diseased person. I'd like to see the show do a storyline update on his health.
Thomas hadn't been in the video. Taking over the fashion world must have been more important than saying goodbye to the grandma who'd still been forced to bequeath him her stocks after "Berrygate" had fallen apart. Maybe Stephanie can get some ghostly revenge, because Taylor had basically hijacked the stocks on a technicality after Thomas hadn't lived up to his part in the scam.
Bill hightailed it up to Big Bear to comfort his new best friend, Brooke. They wound up kissing beside Stephanie's death bench, which was probably still wet with Brooke's tears. With that kiss, Brooke's next guilty regret begins. Brooke's major downfall is jumping the gun with other women's estranged husbands.
Brooke had gotten romantically involved with Eric, Thorne, Deacon, and Nick each before their divorce papers had been drawn up or finalized. It's the same pattern with Bill. Brooke falls for men who are vulnerable, unsatisfied with their wives, and on the edge of divorce. She jumps in emotions-first, and what happens? The wife isn't ready to call it quits yet, and drama hits Brooke like a freight train.
About the time that Stephanie was losing her life, Katie was finding hers again. Gone was her Eeyore cloud, and she feigned amnesia about her divorce request. She was ready to be a wife and a mother again, but Bill and Brooke looked as if someone had punched them in the gut.
Katie had to be in the Twilight Zone to think she could just waltz in there, dusting and changing diapers as if she'd never abandoned her family and asked for a divorce. Bill reminded her that she'd done that, but Katie just laughed it off like, "Oh, no, silly. I don't want that anymore."
In the past, Bill had warned Katie to stop the walking out on him crap because he had abandonment issues. Yet, Katie does it to him again and again and expects him to just take her back whenever she's ready to participate in the marriage again. Being every bit the sucker for Katie that he complains Liam is for Hope, Bill always welcomes Katie back home.
Katie acted all clueless about the vibes she sensed between Brooke and Bill -- as if Katie had forgotten that she'd played the behind-the-scenes matchmaker for her husband and her sister -- or that Taylor had warned her it had been working. Taylor hadn't forgotten, and she called Brooke to the carpet about Bill. Taylor also broke patient confidentiality by blabbing Katie's plan to unite Brooke with Bill.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn Taylor had been frustrated that she'd been unable to tell Bill and Brooke anything about Katie due to patient confidentiality. Suddenly, Taylor told Brooke all about the hot air balloon ride and Katie's past desire for Brooke to replace Katie. This angers me because, had Taylor gone ahead and been her unprofessional self sooner, she could have saved us from Katie's endless depression clinic in that dank loft and from the cheesy naked Stallion jokes.
I'm glad Hunter Tylo's being used more in this storyline, but the writers need to remember that Taylor has a boyfriend, Thorne. They must have forgotten because Brooke had commented that Taylor had gotten a head start on being alone, and Taylor did not correct that to say she had Thorne. Instead, Taylor was more interested in telling Brooke to learn from her mistakes, so she wouldn't wind up getting close to Bill as Brooke had done with Ridge when Taylor had returned from her "ordeal."
I'm not sure what "ordeal" Taylor is referring to. Both times she'd left had been because she'd died, not because she'd lost her mental marbles like Katie and returned the wedding ring to Ridge as easily as one would return a library book. Not only had Taylor been gone for years, but she'd been grateful to Brooke for stepping in to mother the Taytots in Taylor's absence.
Taylor's selective memory is disturbing for a psychiatrist. In fact, she can't even remember where she'd had conversations. She wrongfully cited that she'd discussed Bill with Brooke at Brooke's house the other week. The talk had actually occurred at Bill's house after Brooke had stayed the night.
Brooke denied anything was going on between her and Bill, but then the unthinkable happened. Brooke had a flashback montage of herself and Bill. It always starts with flashback montages. When they start popping up, we know the character is in too deep.
Maybe I should be optimistic, but Bell has shown he has no boundaries for the shame he'll drag Brooke through. It's evident after the "Pose" wall bang and Berrygate that Brooke is overdue for her yearly scandal, and Katie and Bill are certainly overdue for a breakup in their marriage, too.
This week, the writers left us with the cliffhanger of Brooke's montage and Bill rushing to her for a passionate kiss. Before you reach for the designer barf bag -- this might only be a fantasy. Bell tricked us before and left us in a tizzy all weekend, only to find out Monday that it had just been a dream.
I'm going to venture even further to say the "Brill" affair will transpire in the same place in which the Brooke and Thomas affair had transpired -- inside Taylor's overactive imagination. And Taylor wouldn't even be overusing that imagination if Thorne were taking care of business.
Bill seems to be in love with Katie, not Brooke, and he threw Katie a dud of a welcome home party. Rick and Caroline arrived. Then Steffy and Liam showed up. I kept watching the door, but apparently that was it for the guest list. Brooke declined the invitation, but did Taylor, Karen, Dani, Justin, Donna, Marcus, and Dayzee, all loved ones of the couple, even get invited?
It was excruciating to watch Rick try to get along with Bill, Liam, and Steffy for Caroline's sake. To my dismay, Steffy and Katie kept their claws in. Now that Steffy's with Liam, she rolls over like a love kitten without a care in the world -- except about who Bill might be cheating with. Steffy probably can't stand the thought of Brooke succeeding where Steffy had failed.
Just before the party bored me to tears, there was a completely contrived scene during which Caroline overheard Bill and Katie discussing what he'd done to Hope and Liam's wedding. The indignant Caroline launched a crusade to tell the shortchanged couple the truth about Bill keeping them apart, but where was this blazing torch of truth when she'd learned about Rick's manipulations?
Rick had been the last one to shortchange the forlorn couple, not Bill. At this point, Bill's deeds are as ancient news as Liam ripping up the annulment papers. The Italy wedding actually took place despite Bill, and Liam had even gotten himself a do-over wedding, which he'd then promptly botched all on his own by showing up looking like an "Emo" reject.
In fact, Rick's lie hadn't dissolved the relationship, either. It had just delayed Hope for being dumb enough to take Liam back despite him having no sense of fidelity and no respect for her or Steffy. No matter what Rick or Bill had done, Liam wouldn't have lost Hope if he'd respected monogamy.
As was apparent from Hope's crying fit on the office floor, the delay has ended, and Hope has once again forgotten why she'd left Liam in the first place. I got some flashback montages for you, Hope, and they ought to quickly remind you of what you are not missing with Liam.
Oh, that reminds me. I have a side note for Bell -- please cut the flashback montages in this God-awful triangle. All the flashbacking probably amounts to a week's worth of good but wasted episode time. Get some writers with some ideas and stop relying on the flashbacks to carry the show. They can't, and it's gotten so bad that the characters have flashbacks of themselves having flashbacks.
My predictions for next week? Taylor launches into the same crusade against Brooke that Taylor had gone on during the Taboo storyline, and she'll probably call in a sexual abuse counselor for Bill. Maybe James will make a brief appearance and tell Brooke that she's done nothing wrong; it's just that her flashbacks shouldn't be set to romantic music unless Ridge is in them. James also will remind her that it's so unlike her to fall for pompous jerks like Bill, so just like Berrygate, there's no way anything happened with her and Bill in "reel" life.
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