Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you literally build up a head of steam? Did you trump a piece of string with the Middle East? Did one hug heal your biggest issue? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer clan this week!
Happy May Sweeps, Scoopers! Thank you to Tracy for doing double duty for me, and to Chanel for covering for me; in addition to being swamped with an exciting book project I hope to be able to tell you about soon, I was also busy appearing in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Man cannot live by soap alone! I'm back just in time, I see: the Taylor/Aly ticking time bomb finally exploded -- with a bit of a whimper. Add in some Kridge/Brill and a steam room and you've got Two Scoops!
Well, it was nice while it lasted...four whole episodes with not a Wyatt, Hope, or Liam in sight. I know that many of you are invested in which Spencer brother should end up with Hope, but I gotta be honest -- I could give a cat's ass. No cutesy animal shelter storyline is going to jazz it up (and I love animals, especially my little purring Shadow-girl!) -- plus, actually dating two brothers on a soap might be novel, but it goes against Hope's character. Unless her Sharpe/Logan DNA is finally kicking in!
And, as you know, Quinn blackmailed Bill into giving Wyatt "the Spencer name." Isn't this about as dumb as Eric adopting Marcus years ago? I know: Wyatt is a Spencer, but he's a grown man. Granted, Liam was, too. It's just, Wyatt was all into claiming his birthright months ago, then dropped it, but now Quinn's decided he has to have it. How is Quinn's sexy selfie a threat? Bill was single; Brooke was marrying Ridge. Brooke's the last person who would be upset about Quill's S&M session!
Quinn is also back to her trickery. Really, Hope, after Quinn got into Liam's e-mail, you'd really leave your cell phone around with no password protection? Quinn's even stealing from herself -- first she trapped Liam in an elevator; now it's a steam room. Not that I minded: Scott Clifton's been working out! But come on -- even if a steam room's controls are on the outside, if it says, "Not to exceed 120°F", how come the setting can go up to 135? Is Quinn trying to bake Liam? Add some cloves and you're done!
Ridge and his band then played the Nurses' Ball -- I mean, Ronn Moss made a cameo appearance on General Hospital. Didn't see it, but I loved how GH had Spencer mention doing something "bold and beautiful" by getting Player up on stage. (Thank you, Soap Central recaps!) Considering it's the first time Moss has been on a soap besides B&B, it must have been pretty wild! For him, and for viewers.
His fictional namesake, as played by Thorsten Kaye, seems to also be undergoing a name change -- to Ridge "I Don't Want Him Near My Kid" Forrester. Yeah, Ridge, we got it. You (and the writers) don't need to repeat it a thousand times. In terms of the Kridge engagement, Donna just goes with whatever makes her sisters happy, but I was genuinely surprised to see Bill man up and tell Katie he'd shelve his animosity toward Ridge for the sake of Will and R.J. He was almost likeable this week!
I really want to get on board with a Kridge marriage, but I can't. It's too rushed. Ridge comes back to town to remarry Brooke, turns off from her because of Bill, hangs out with Katie in a park, then proposes to her the day Brooke forces Katie to step down as Spencer's CEO. It just doesn't feel organic. I also can't co-sign Brooke keeping the papers, or Bill suddenly taking the CEO chair simply because Brooke has them. Would the documents even be valid, considering they're dated six months ago and were never filed?
Bill was fiyah when he first showed up five years ago, before turning into a first-class ass. But I saw vestiges of the old Bill this week, during the Battle of the Step-Daddies. Ridge was just doing what he does -- trying to keep Brooke from marrying someone besides him (he stopped her wedding to James, and rushed to stop her wedding to Grant). But the clash gave Bill some of his best lines in ages. "Are you selling evening gowns door-to-door again?" Bill asked the invading designer. Classic!
"You gotta lighten up, Grumpy," Bill continued, when Ridge expressed his opposition to Bill being in Brooke and R.J.'s lives. "You think I want my kid around you?" I don't honestly think Ridge wants Brooke back. He had a year in Paris to get over her. But Bill is right that, with Ridge, it's about ego. And Bill should know; he has an even bigger ego than Ridge! These guys should be BFFs! Still, a Ridge/Bill smackdown with Thorsten Kaye in Ridge's shoes crackles in a way it wouldn't have with Ronn Moss.
Then, weddings were in the air. Katie looked through a magazine for wedding dresses. Seriously? She doesn't want Ridge to design one for her, or at least Eric? Then Bill, interested in rewarding Brooke for "giving me my life back," put his bling back in Brooke's face with an eye toward getting married in the United Arab Emirates, specifically Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Can you say "location shoot"? As of May 23, we'll have one, where Ridge will get in the Middle, but not of the East!
All of this pales, of course, next to a story arc that has been bubbling under the surface since 2007: Aly finally doing battle with Taylor, who accidentally killed Aly's mother, Darla! When Ashlyn Pearce was cast as the SORASed Aly, my hopes were high. I wasn't crazy about Aly starting normally, then appearing crazy by going off on Wyatt (whatever happened to that?), but then, we found out Thorne and Taylor had gotten back together, and it was game on. What would Aly do when she got that information?
I initially had some trouble with a Thorne/Taylor reunion. My previous gripe had been that they couldn't be together with Darla's death hanging over their heads, but this week, a bigger question loomed: how did they get back together when they essentially broke up off-screen in 2012, after which Taylor moved in with Thorne's father? This is a very free-minded family. Not to mention, how did Thorne and Taylor manage to keep their 2011-2012 reunion from Aly? She wouldn't have reacted any better then!
I have to admit, though, I had a moment of gratitude as I watched Thorne and Oliver talking. Because, you know, it was Thorne and Oliver: Rulers of the Backburner. And now suddenly they were plunged into this super intense storyline. So was Taylor, who inexplicably decided to go and have a chat with Aly by herself. Definitely not one of Taylor's smoother moves! She should have let Thorne initiate the discussion, and then bring Taylor in on it. No wonder Aly freaked!
I admit, all along, I've been hoping that Aly, who already went slasher on Taylor's wedding dress as a little girl, would pull a Sheila on our Doc. All the elements were there; we know Taylor didn't kill Darla on purpose, but Aly, as a young adult with a disturbed child's memories and emotions, would be much more black-and-white about it. Aly's already had some wacko moments. So, Aly picked up an axe and advanced on Taylor! And all I could think was, "Why is there suddenly an axe in Oliver's studio?"
Yes, Scoopers, I know. Charlie got it for his medieval costume, blah blah blah. It just didn't exactly smack of realism. I wanted Aly to kidnap Taylor, maybe take her for a hellride, maybe tie her up and come racing at her with a car! And get saved at the last moment, of course. Instead, Aly picks up an axe, which always are available in fashion houses, then puts it down in favor of more yelling and screaming. Man, they don't make troubled soap women like they used to. Even Sheila-clone Morgan had more gusto!
Oh, well. Thorne ran in, and Aly was so incensed by the idea of her daddy taking up with the woman who killed her mommy that Thorne sacrificed his relationship and his plum job heading Forrester International in Paris to please his little girl. At first, I felt he was just coddling her. But later, watching Winsor Harmon bringing torment and pain to Thorne, I realized this was the best stuff Thorne has had in years. There is no reason why this man can't be leading B&B in Eric's place! He frickin' rocks!
Oliver, on the other hand, surprised me. He was brought in four years ago for the express purpose of putting him with Hope, then mask-boinking her mother. He posed as the Naked Cowboy, thought he was Amber's babydaddy, moped over Hope, then disappeared. But this week, Oliver, appealing to Aly to rethink her hatred and forgive Taylor so she herself could be free...well, this is an Oliver Jones that I've never seen before. It was seriously his best material ever. Zach Conroy made it worth the 4-year wait!
I just don't know if I'm supposed to believe it. B&B dusted Oliver off by having him smooch the taken Maya, then talk to Maya about how dating Aly would cement his place at Forrester -- a conversation Maya recorded. What happened to that? Has Oliver really come to like Aly, or is all his amateur psychiatrist stuff only an act to win Aly over? Not knowing for sure really kept me from investing in his part of the story.
At any rate, Oliver listened to Aly talking about how she wanted Taylor to feel guilty, anguished, and punished, then maintained Aly needed closure, over and above Thorne's insistence that Aly and Taylor be kept apart. With Oliver at her side, Aly looked her mother's killer in the eye, asking, "Can you teach me how to forgive you? You're the famous psychiatrist, so tell me how it's done." Wow! Taylor had no answers, but told Aly how haunted she still was by hitting Darla on that foggy night so long ago.
We also got some nifty flashbacks, but I had to wonder: how could Taylor have Darla's memories? I know, television does that all the time, but it annoys me. Taylor adamantly reminded Aly how much Thorne gave up for her, but I thought Taylor got just a little pissy about it. Stick with the remorse, Doc; you are on one helluva slippery slope! But then, Taylor admitted she should have gotten someone else to tend to Phoebe, and Aly saw how tortured Taylor was. Soon they were hugging!
Man! It was going so well. This healing was about as oversimplified as Oliver running around telling everyone they needed to get over it. Yes, Aly seeing that Taylor had given Thorne something to live for after Darla's death was every bit the breakthrough Taylor said it was, but that was only the seed. You don't get a full-grown oak in five minutes. B&B needed to let Aly process that for a while, maybe get back into therapy. Instead, Aly smiled and gave Thorne her blessing to be with Taylor again. Too easy. Way to easy.
So, no more Crazy Aly, I guess. But she will be, if it turns out Oliver's love and support is just his way of digging his heels into the Forrester family. "Thank God for Oliver," Taylor said, as Thorne admitted being in Oliver's debt. Did Oliver start out by viewing Aly as a meal ticket but then genuinely came to appreciate her for tackling her biggest demons? We don't really know. I suppose it's even good that we don't, because it could go either way. I just don't trust Oliver yet. Should I?
If nothing else, at least I finally feel like Thorne and Taylor can actually be together now. Fourth time's the charm! And did you notice the distinct improvement in the show's quality in comparing the grown-ups' stories to the kiddie stories? Lope/Hyatt just seemed really amateur, especially after they were gone most of the week while Ridge and Brooke dealt with their new love lives and Thorne and Taylor grappled with Aly. I felt like I had to lower my IQ once Hope was juggling Liam and Wyatt again!
So, what did you think of the Aly/Taylor brouhaha? The Kridge/Brill marry-go-round? Liam getting steamed? Talk to us on the Soap Central message boards or the comments section. Send email or leave a voicemail! Or talk about it on Facebook below. Your comments could end up in a future column. Like these!
• "I have been a B&B addict for many years. I would like to comment Hope, Liam and Wyatt have really become boring. Wyatt should make an exit, Liam and Hope should marry at last. Hope is being looked upon as a brother juggling you know what. The new Ridge, although I like him in other roles, just is not cutting it on the show. Either bring back the old Ridge or find another one. PS, I saw Ronn Moss' appearance on General Hospital...he looked AWESOME!!!" -- VickieWhat do I think, Debra? I think I caught Quinn's comment as well and have been thinking the very same thing! Quinn and Deacon would be hot as lovers, yeah, but something about them coming from the same rotten family tree intrigues me far more. And hey, Hope would have Brooke beat: even Brooke's never been with a cousin before!
• "Keep [Hunter Tylo] on B&B. She is one of the best actresses they have. It was bad enough to lose Steffy. Not Taylor too. [B&B], find a great story for [Taylor] and keep her there so you don't lose fans..." -- Liz
• "...weeks ago Quinn made a subtle remark about some siblings never getting along. Since then I've had the (probably crazy) idea that Deacon could possibly be her brother! Wouldn't that make for a story?!! Hope could be in a "kissing cousins" scenario. I don't remember her birth father ever being discussed in front of Quinn, so... What do think?" -- Debra