California adventure
by Mike
For the Week of May 16, 2016
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This week's B&B was like Disney's famous secondary amusement park. Thomas took Douglas on the kiddie ride. Wyatt tried to keep Liam away from the Steffy ride. And Quinn got pulled out of line for a ride downtown! Scoop it California style with Two Scoops' Mike!
Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you trade your bottle for a Dudley Do-Right costume? Did you need to buy a bigger whiteboard to figure out your family tree? Did you cop to loving your daughter-in-law's darling? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!


Greetings from Cali, Scoopers! Yes, eight days, two countries, and sixteen states later, I am columnizing from Santa Clarita, California. It's still kind of hard to believe I moved here! I feel like I just jumped off a building or got shot out of a cannon. It's a twist not unlike the ones we'd see on B&B! So, here at the beginning of my Emmy-worthy new storyline, I've had a chance to catch up with my fictional neighbors. Let's Scoop about it!


In my Willie Nelson on-the-road-again absence, the you-know-what flew in the Avant household (make that motelhold), with Sasha finally getting a chance to change her last name. As I didn't actually get to see the episodes, I've relied on Chanel's recent column and of course our soapcentral.com recaps to get up to speed. And somehow, I find myself disappointed. At least somewhat.


So Nicole finds out that Sasha is her sister and that Julius had an affair behind her mother's back. And the first thing Nicole does is run to her parents to force Julius to confess to Vivienne. Huh? What was the rush? It shouldn't have taken nearly five months for Sasha to spill the beans, but how about letting those beans simmer a little longer now that they're in the pot?


Think of the mileage we could have gotten out of Nicole keeping Sasha's secret. Maybe the stress of it could even have put Rick and Maya's baby in danger. No, this May sweeps story got cleaned up not with a broom but with a super vac! Nicole twisted Julius' arm into telling Viv all about Lucy (at least Sasha's mom finally got a name), and Viv rightly washed that man right out of her hair. It just seemed rushed to me.


Not only did Nicole develop instant compassion for the sister that made off with her boyfriend seconds after they broke up, but Chanel is right: many of the Avants' details got jumbled in the telling. Nicole did, in fact, initially speak of how difficult it was to have a relationship with her cold father. Now she looked up to him. And parochial school? That ain't cheap -- Julius could afford sending Nicole and Sasha there driving limos?


The scene ended with Vivienne hugging her full daughter plus her husband's bastard daughter. Really? You'd think Viv would have booted Sasha out along with Julius, considering she's a physical reminder of Julius' betrayal. And where was Maya in all this? She waltzed into Forrester this week, spouting exposition about Sasha when she should have been present for the showdown.


But enough about the Avants. In the Spencer corner of the world, Wyatt went to Liam, offering beer and more reminders that Steffy is his and back the hell off. Insecure much, Wyatt? It's hard to feel sorry for the boy when all he does is pick up Liam's ex-girlfriends like they were stray puppies. The one thing I'll give Wyatt is that he does genuinely seem concerned about Liam's Quinn experience and his recovery from it.


Then Bill decided he needed to step in with Steffy, grasping her shoulder and holding her hand while telling his one-time almost lover she needed to honor her vows to Wyatt. Is it just me, or does Still still have it? I get the feeling at least Bill continues to want it, given how touchy-feely he was. Maybe Bill's just extra needy these days, only being able to dry hump Katie's not-so-hidden vodka bottles for intimacy.


"I cannot have my two sons battling each other over you," Bill insisted to Steffy. The Dollah didn't seem to mind when his kids scrapped over Hope! Regardless, Steffy visited Liam, who point-blank asked Steffy how she felt. Not an unfair question! But before she could fully prove she'd absorbed Liam's constipated waffle look through years of osmosis, Wyatt came back to again stake his claim like Captain Caveman!


"Steffy has a mind of her own," Wyatt reminded Liam then spent most of the episode speaking for his wife and denying Liam's summation that Wyatt felt threatened. Wyatt doubled back a second time and expressed sympathy for Liam's plight, prescribing a heavy dose of Let Go and Move On taken three times daily. Wyatt's not wrong. And the last thing we need is another month of Liam trying to get Steffy back.


So imagine my shock when Liam said he would actually try letting go of Steffy! Growth from Mr. Former Mountain Man? If nothing else, it's a lot more interesting to watch than B&B's usual go-round of people fighting over paramours as if they're stuffed animals won at a carnival. I personally don't care who Steffy ends up with. Just don't make me sit through more deliberation. Liam's step-up is a good start.


It was intriguing to watch Bill and Katie function in completely separate storylines while their alcoholism saga languished on the backburner, but if you were coming into the show for the first time, or the first time recently, you'd never know Katie had a drinking problem. There she was, butting into the secret of Douglas' paternity cold sober. What was she even doing there? Her only link is her chat with Dr. Wolin.


Seriously, wouldn't it have played so much better if Katie were either drunkenly involving herself in Ridge's business, or doing so to distract herself from her booze addiction? Instead of standing there insisting that Thomas deserved to know the truth, I would have loved to see Katie blurt out that truth while hopped up on her drink of choice. At least then her alcoholism would have true repercussions.


Or maybe, emboldened by a martini lunch, Katie could have decided she resented Caroline for taking Ridge away from her and insinuated herself with a glass of 90-proof revenge. But there was no real rationale for Katie to be in this storyline. CaRidge was right that anything regarding Douglas' paternity was their decision to make. I was ready for Katie to fall down an elevator shaft. Doesn't she have her own kid to obsess over?


I am going to give one great big shout-out to Pierson Fodé, who absolutely nailed Thomas' scenes of shock and betrayal as Thomas found out he was Douglas' daddy. I'll go one step further and say that he and Thorsten Kaye really brought out nice interaction between Thomas and Ridge -- there was chaos and charged feelings, but also a warmth and a palpable father-son relationship. Good show, boys!


Ridge acknowledged Thomas' growth and felt it was a sign that Thomas would do the right thing in letting Ridge raise Douglas. Thomas was horrified to learn that Ridge knew about Thomas' was-it-rape night with Caroline, and the younger Forrester really looked punched in the gut when he discovered that Caroline had known about Douglas' true bloodline the whole time. Best of all, no music accompanied the scene -- a great touch.


Some uncomfortable, soapy truths came out of this encounter, too. Thomas worried that a health scare like the one Ridge had with Massimo would shine a light on Douglas' paternity, and Ridge finally got to tell Thomas "you just had to get even with me" by sleeping with Caroline. The latter is an overstatement, of course, but it's what's been driving Ridge for months. "I still can't look at you," Ridge admitted.


Ridge denied that he was claiming fatherhood to punish Thomas, but that certainly was there despite the denial. Thomas saw Ridge's point about keeping the status quo to avoid a scandal, though Thomas soon said none of that felt right. I have some not-rightness about that, too. Ridge feared they'd all be fired if Eric got wind of the truth and that Rick would be put back in power. How does Ridge figure?


As Eric himself commented later in the week, he knows from scandal at Forrester. The design house has survived dozens of them. So it's not like Eric wouldn't understand how Douglas was conceived -- or that Eric would deem it necessary to sack Ridge, Thomas, Steffy, and Caroline for it. Eric didn't take such measures when he was embroiled in Bridget's paternity scandal with Ridge!


And while we're on this subject, Rick needs to take several seats. I am so tired of listening to him babble about how he's the true Forrester heir because Ridge is a Marone. "Ridge is the product of a scandalous affair," Rick crowed to Maya. No, he's not! When Stephanie married Eric, she assumed she was pregnant by him, not Massimo, and Ridge was over 40 when the truth came out. Not the same thing at all!


Even if Rick's claim were legitimate, he's certainly not Eric's number one biological son -- Thorne is! So Rick needs to step off about that, about laying claim to the Forrester mansion where he wasn't even raised, and especially about Ridge having secrets. Rick tricked his own father into signing over irrevocable control of the company and dallied with Maya while pretending a reconciliation with Caroline. As the kids say, STFU, Rick!


You know it's bad when social climber Maya is telling Rick to chill and when Brooke has to correct Rick's revisionist history. "I remember times Eric supported you," Brooke recalled. But Rick could only whine about Ridge taking a few weeks to get in Eric's ear and reclaim the CEO position. No, butthead, Ridge combined his stock with Steffy, Bill, and Thomas and forced your tyrannical ass out, which Eric had no control over!


Nevertheless, Thomas finding out he's Douglas' father doesn't seem to be the endgame -- Rick finding out and using it against Ridge does. Boring. If we had to go this way, couldn't Katie have drunkenly blabbed to Rick about it instead? And what of this whole thing with Dr. Wolin? It seems we're being set up to have people think Ridge forcibly introduced the dastardly doc to the front of a Mack truck. Will Rick use that, too?


I just feel like this part of the story is getting unnecessarily messy. We don't need another takeover bid out of it, and Katie shouldn't be there unless booze is giving her diarrhea of the mouth. Hell, Brooke knew about Ridge's vasectomy, but only blabbed to Rick, who isn't doing squat with that information. The fallout between Caroline and Douglas' two daddies went really well. Too bad the peripheral story isn't doing the same.


For all Ridge's insistence that Thomas' son is better off with him, the show is missing a true irony in the telling. When Taylor was pregnant with Thomas, Thorne wanted to raise him as his own, even though Taylor and Thorne knew Thomas was Ridge's son. It's all the more reason Ridge wouldn't want to put another man through that, or at least that he'd acknowledge the cruel twist of his decision.


Another unacknowledged throwback happened when Thomas drove off with baby Douglas. That Forrester parking lot sure gets a lot of action -- Quinn just absconded with Liam the same way a few months ago. But check it: in 1998, Sheila similarly kidnapped Mary after her marriage to James fell apart...because of the way she'd menaced infant Thomas. Of course Thomas wouldn't know that! But it's trippy karma.


Unlike Sheila, who journeyed to parts unknown and came back with a teenaged Mary/Erica four years later, Thomas called Caroline for a private audience at the Big Bear cabin, with Douglas the same age by the time Caroline got there. Thomas was dumbfounded that Caroline had kept his son from him, going on about the rulings of King Ridge.


Huh! Thomas was sounding an awful lot like Rick with his anti-Ridge vitriol! Wouldn't it be something if the former rivals (for Caroline, ironically enough) got together to take Ridge down? These are the kinds of beats the show too often misses, but Thomas and Caroline shared a quiet, emotional intimacy as they navigated their choppy waters. Of course, anything Linsey Godfrey touches turns to gold.


After cutting to no less than three commercials with Thomas asking Caroline how she felt about things, Mrs. Spencer-Forrester finally stepped up and told Thomas that she shared in Ridge's decision to keep Douglas' paternity quiet. Thomas claiming Douglas would only follow Douglas his whole life, Caroline maintained, especially once the press pounced on it. Caroline quietly convinced Thomas to keep playing older brother instead.


Again, the subtlety of it all played really well. No histrionics, no melodramatic music. Just three actors taking their characters through the difficult paces of doing the right thing. But Caroline worried that Thomas might instigate a custody suit -- and that could still happen. Katie worried that Caroline might be drawn to Thomas -- and the former couple was doing an awful lot of hand-holding. Methinks this isn't over quite yet.


All the territorializing Ridge and Thomas did over Douglas must have inspired Wyatt to come over and have another go at Liam about Steffy. Why aren't any of these people at work? Wyatt's got a snazzy new upper-level position at Spencer, and Liam and Steffy are higher-ups at Forrester. Yet they're all home fretting over their personal lives, as are Ridge, Caroline, and Thomas. Maybe Rick should be CEO again!


"Call Ivy," Wyatt suggested in terms of Liam getting back into circulation. "Call Hope! Call anyone!" Anyone, Wyatt? How 'bout yo' mama? 'Cuz Liam is clearly having glimmers of warm fuzzies toward his "Eve." Wyatt's jaw dropped when Liam credited Quinn with nursing him back to health, and all this talk that Liam let Quinn go because he'd have killed her otherwise...ain't buyin' it, Liam. Ain't buyin' it!


Not that I'm suggesting that Liam and Quinn should actually get together, of course. As Adam and Eve, they worked, but in the real world, with Liam's full memory intact...not so much. Still, the idea of it post-abduction is as intriguing as it ever was. Quinn thinks so, too, because she risked capture by going to Steffy to make a case for herself and Liam! Happy Friday the 13th!


Steffy sure woke up, didn't she! She's been decidedly sluggish playing Select the Spencer, but as soon as Quinn pushed through her door, Steffy was animated! Forceful! Decisive! She even managed to text Wyatt a request to call the law while Quinn waxed nostalgic about Liam. And the Spencer half-bros, always better as a team than as romantic rivals, hit 9-1-1 as they raced over to the beach house.


Quietly, subtly, Steffy tried to extend her convo with Quinn to give the po-po time to get there. And when they did, Steffy grabbed Quinn and shoved her at the waiting officers! What ensued was a terrifically entertaining scene I had to go back and watch a second time. Quinn shrieked. Wyatt and Liam burst in. Quinn implored Liam not to send her to jail. And Liam actually looked torn! Now that's a Friday cliffhanger!


Finally, B&B is doing this story right. It doesn't matter which Spencer boy bags Steffy. Deacon having anything to do with Quinn now is ridiculous and sloppy. But Quinn finally going to jail -- oh, yeah, baby. Oh, yeah! Quinn needs to serve time for anything else to work. Though if Liam does keep her out of prison, that will speak volumes, won't it?


Speak your volumes in the Comments section below or on the soapcentral.com message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like these!


• "I also love the chemistry between Quinn and Liam more than any of the women he has ever been with." -- "Bikette"


• "I love that [Thomas] took the baby. But I hate that he was so calm and gave in to Caroline. That was disappointing." -- Matt


• "Liam and Quinn...is something I never saw coming when this started. Last week that insane chemistry came right through the screen and Liam became interesting instead of a bumbling waffling milquetoast. Can't wait to see what happens." -- "Falconcrest"


• "Thomas looks heartbroken. Makes me sad. I can't believe he is agreeing [to] that stupid plan." -- Maria
I yammered on too long this week to include Points to Ponder, so, from my new/old home, Cali-for-nye-ay, this is Mike signing off for Two Scoops. Chanel's back next week, and I'll see you in two. Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!


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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.

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