Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you use more than SPF 50 to keep from getting reburned? Did someone else's sand get in your gears? Did you sing, "Oh say can you CEO"? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!
How do, Scoopers! Big themes right now about love not necessarily being able to hold couples together, but there was also an unspoken undercurrent of love not exactly being the real motivation for some characters' behavior. Brooke barely kept her arms on from getting pulled back and forth like a rag doll. But how about Reign Edwards reigning over every scene she was in this week? Dayum! Let's Scoop about it!
First, gotta briefly backtrack into that Thanksgiving episode, where we continued Hope's tradition of everyone saying something nice about each other. Was there amnesia along with that turkey's tryptophan? Folks were just a little too nice. I mean, I could understand Quinn gushing to Bill given her supposed turn from the Dark Side, but some of these others? It just didn't feel genuine given how much sniping they do the rest of the year.
I also would have liked to see different combinations of gratitude recipients; there were too many characters already linked seated together. Nicole complimenting Charlie was a good example of getting to see folks interact who never do. And I have to give Ivy props for asking Wyatt to forgive her for "doing some awful things" to him. "It's long forgotten," he pshawed. At least it was finally addressed!
I'LL TAKE "RESPONSBILITY" FOR $500, ALEX
Rick and Maya dined on Pam's leftover pastries at work (and hallelujah, not a lemon bar in sight) discussing Round Two of Zende's sister-swapping coping mechanisms. Amazingly, Maya offered some incredible and long overdue insight into herself. Recalling how she's always had to fight for her gender identity, she noted "people called me selfish for pushing forward," wondering if they'd sometimes been right.
Never mind the surrogacy -- doesn't that also explain how Maya positioned herself between Rick and Caroline and took full advantage at Forrester when Rick took Maya on as his mistress? It was like a subtle acknowledgement -- and rationale -- for the unscrupulous conduct that many viewers, myself included, haven't forgiven Maya for. Nice touch. See, B&B? The deeper you dig, the bigger the gold nuggets you find.
I also nodded when Maya said she wouldn't forgive herself for coming between Nicole and Zende with her second Easy-Bake Oven request. But what was up with Raya still shipping Zencole? Guys: that ish is over. Zende slept with Nicole's sister twice with flimsy provocation; he's now in Bill territory. Nicole and Katie should start a club and run from those boys as fast as they can.
WHEN YOUR MAN WANNA GET BUCK WILD, JUST GO BACK AND HIT 'EM UP STYLE
"Can't believe that I caught my man cheatin'," goes the Blu Cantrell song that Nicole must have had on repeat since getting her eyes burned on the Forrester jet. But it was Zende who got the idea to "spend until the last dime," buying Nicole a fantabulous ring and continually dropping to his knees like he was in a Bob Fosse dance number. "Marry me, Nicole," he begged, and he'd never do her wrong again!
But Nicole, soap gods love her, did better than melting Zende's credit cards. "You decided we were over because I didn't do what you wanted," Miss-Avant-if-you're-nasty informed the philandering photographer. "You don't marry someone to prove yourself -- you do that before!" Oh, HELL, yeah! Rome Flynn really put his heart and soul into Zende's proposal, but Reign Edwards matched it, then tripled and quadrupled it.
"What you have proven is that you will hurt me so bad that I can't eat," Nicole cried through gritted teeth. Nicole didn't want the marriage that mama Vivienne had with a husband who loved her when things were easy but stepped out when the road got rocky. The scene wasn't just brilliantly acted, and the writing was spot-freaking-on. And you know that's not something I say about B&B a lot these days. More, please? Just more!
GETTIN' THOSE HAND-ME-DOWNS
Nicole didn't spare her sometime-sister a tongue-lashing, either. Sasha's sheepish tail creeped even further between her legs as Nicole fumed, "You hate the fact that Zende's trying to patch things up with me. You want him for yourself!" Right, Nicole, on both counts. And there was some great discussion about Julius' denial of Sasha from both sisters' perspectives, plus how that might have played into all this.
But then Sasha surprised me by getting pissed and serving up a little venom, accusing Nicole of being coddled growing up and being unable to handle a real relationship. Sure, Sasha dealt some low blows, but it was fun to watch, and she wasn't exactly wrong. Like most B&B characters, I prefer Sasha when she shows some spunk and backbone. She didn't like Nicole calling her a "self-absorbed play toy" though!
Alas, Sasha lost a good chunk of that backbone when she came upon the morose Zende. I'd swear I was watching episodes from April and May, when Sasha also hoped for more with the still-in-love-with-Nicole Zende and campaigned for herself thusly. At least Zende cleaned up his side of the street a bit by admitting that his inability to keep it in his pants messed things up for everyone concerned.
Sasha let Zende know she was a phone call away, but I ain't about this at all. Not because Sasha was better off with Thomas; they really only ever had anything physical, maybe, because we never saw more than kisses. It's just that Sasha shouldn't be jonesing for this fool Zende. Girl, if he cheated on Nicole, he'll probably do it to you, too. I wish Kristen and/or Tony would come home and slap the waves out this boy's head!
DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME...BECAUSE THE DOGGONE GIRL IS MINE
"She told me I'm her forever lover, you know -- don't you remember?" Ridge declared to Spencer. "Well, after lovin' me," Bill replied, "she said she couldn't love another." These titans might as well have done that Paul McCartney-Michael Jackson karaoke, because that's the message they were sending. Brooke got "enough waiting, we're getting married" and "you're not leaving me; not now, not ever" from both competitors.
Did either of them give a crap what Brooke wanted? No, she'll never live down #SlutFromTheValley, but Bill and Ridge both acted like Brooke was their possession. Bill, I expect this from; Ridge surprised me. "He doesn't really want you back," Bill insisted to Brooke, "he just doesn't want you with me." That's just as true of you, Bill. These guys just told Brooke what to do and didn't even offer her love or romance for it.
Bill nearly ordered Brooke to cut Ridge off at the knees because Brooke was becoming a Spencer and they were honeymooning on the Stella Maris. What is it with that damn boat? Ridge countered by asking Brooke to help him out with a photo shoot on the beach at Malibu, which should have been her red flag -- since when is she involved in shoots? Come to think of it, what exactly does Brooke do at Forrester?
JAKE IT UP, BABY
So, Ridge and R.J. paid off whoever to clear an entire beach of sun worshipers then put Jake to work recreating the big "Brooke & Ridge" heart Ridge first put on display in 2009. Now, let's talk about this, because those of you who are new to the show just probably think of Jake as a recurring extra, if you think of him at all. And that's wrong, because Jake Maclaine was a major player from 1990 to 1992.
Longtime viewers will remember that Jake came on as a tennis pro who helped Stephanie through her divorce from Eric; later, Jake got involved with Felicia; the Queen even came on to him to make sure he was worthy of her daughter. Jake was also the centerpiece of a groundbreaking story in which it was revealed he had been molested by his uncle as a child.
So how did this once-vital, hunky chap get relegated to glorified day player? Jake would be great for Katie. There's not enough guys on this show as it is, or at least it seems like it because everybody's been involved with everybody. B&B, please give Todd McKee an actual storyline already. He came through for you 25 years ago, and he deserves better than Jake being Ridge's lackey.
SAND-WICHED BETWEEN TWO MEN
Brooke came to Ridge's nonexistent photo shoot to tell him she was flying off with Bill. The Dollah was who she wanted, and for the first time, it seemed like she meant it. "You made me build a life without you," Brooke told Ridge, "I didn't want to!" Truly, this is where I wish Ridge would have apologized specifically for dumping Brooke over texting Deacon instead of spouting vagaries. Ah, for missed -- and very easy -- opportunities.
Losing ground, Ridge actually used the argument that Brooke marrying Bill meant she was walking away from R.J. (!) Ridge walked away instead, and the conversation seemed to be over. Yet Brooke continued it, rather unnaturally. Of course, Ridge had to ignore her so she'd follow him up the hill and peek over the cliff that it was fortunate Quinn wasn't near, because you know how Quinn is about cliffs. Speaking of Deacon...!
Yes, like sands through the hourglass...sorry; wrong soap. Brooke looked out upon the expanse of sea and sand and got an eyeful of Bridge's rebooted heart. Brooke should be used to this: Ridge also emblazoned their names on the Eiffel Tower some years ago. I don't get it. How is this '09 heart supposed to change Brooke's mind? Brooke herself couldn't convince Eric to be her babydaddy by recreating their honeymoon tent.
Nope, Brooke's resolve dissolved into a big puddle of goo, which tells me her feelings for Bill weren't as legitimate as she kept claiming. Did she ship Brill simply because it was a way of getting back at Ridge for hurting her, and/or to keep him from hurting her again? Only thing about the idea of Brooke returning to Ridge -- there's nothing to return to. They're friends. They haven't even gone on a date since he's been back!
STILL THE ONE
Across town, Steffy came looking for Liam at Spencer Publications, as if he's ever actually there working, and inadvertently came across Bill punching a bag in all his beefcakiness. "It's not like you've never seen me with my shirt off!" Bill said teasingly, and though he and Steffy chatted about Brill, I couldn't help feeling the waters were being tested for another go-round of Still. And you know, that might be cool.
Five years ago, when Bill was ready to leave Katie and boff Steffy, I was glad Taylor stopped them, because it was so wrong wrong wrong to me. Bill was married, and Steffy had daddy issues up the wazoo. Still was creepy. But now? Bill's a single guy, and though Steffy is engaged to Liam for the three zillionth time, "engaged isn't married," as Ridge told Brooke. Steffy's also not a kid anymore. It could work!
Clearly the chemistry is "still" there, and Don Diamont, especially, played it. Imagine the turmoil a Still reunion would cause. Ridge would hate Bill even more. Quinn would hate Steffy for hurting Wyatt; Quinn might finally crack. And it would be worth it to see Wyatt and Liam butt-hurt over losing Steffy to their dad. I never believed Steffy fell in love with Liam two seconds after hitting her head in Jackie's bathtub, anyway!
Bill actually laughed, joking that Liam was helping little old ladies across the street; that's how confident he was that Brooke was going to be his wife by the next day. Steffy was more dubious. Maybe because she knew how Ridge rolled. Maybe because she wanted Bill for herself. Maybe because Bill refreshed her memory about Brooke's friendship with Stephanie when Steffy didn't need the reminder. The audience, maybe.
Bill pooh-poohed Steffy's claim that he might be setting himself up. "You wanna know how many times I heard that from my mom?" Steffy warned. Taylor reference! "Don't underestimate the connection between dad and Brooke." Did you evah? This from the girl who sent fake text messages to prevent a Bridge wedding and used blackmail to try to come between Brooke and Ridge. Bad continuity or Steffy maturing? I can't decide.
LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE
Coming from her beach blanket bingo with Ridge, Brooke let Bill yammer on about the life they were finally going to have together, never pointing out that they've never had much of a relationship. What ensued was a two-episode drag-out that culminated in Brooke interrupting Bill to explain herself, and Bill responding that it sounded like she was saying goodbye. Congratulations, Bill! You just picked up the cluephone.
Maybe Bridge is destiny, because Brooke also pulled a Michael Jackson and insisted she had to moonwalk away "for the children." But Brooke made my point when she said she couldn't stop thinking about Katie. Brill was tainted from Day One; take it from me, how a relationship starts usually sets a permanent tone for the whole thing. Brill never had a chance despite three years of the show lobbying for us to buy them.
"All my life I've followed my heart," Brooke said, referencing the trait she's often been derided for. "And it's gotten me into trouble!" But Bill had enough. Citing his apparent Job-like patience, Bill walked out on Brooke just like he left her at the altar a few weeks ago. Brill makes my skin crawl, but honestly, I don't blame him for bolting. A man with an ego his size waiting for a woman who won't fall all over him? He's better off.
And so is Brooke. Ridge waited at the office for her answer, telling R.J., "I just wanted to tell her how much I loved her." But Ridge never used the L-word once during his whole hearty beachy thing! As I said, Brooke and Ridge haven't had a recent relationship, either. B&B always does this: throws couples together without giving us time to invest in them. Or them to invest in each other. Where's the romance in that?
It was enough for Brooke, who spied Ridge on a walkway in front of Forrester Creations, which totally looks different than the building we're shown from the back. Brooke was back, all right, throwing her arms around Ridge, who claimed destiny because they were standing on "the bridge between our hearts." I've always said Bridge was endgame, but something didn't sit right with me here. And not because it's not Ronn Moss's Ridge.
Brooke adamantly said she wanted Bill. She told Bill she didn't love Ridge more than him. Then what, an hour later, Brooke is ready to spend the rest of her life with Ridge. Aren't any of these people concerned about rebound? They just switch partners like they're in a big square dance, do-si-do. There's a heretofore-unseen post-reunion connection with nuBridge, but said reunion was too instantaneous. I needed build-up.
How about Brooke spends two or three weeks on her own, searching her soul? Bill walks out on her, she takes a breather so she can sort out her feelings. Eventually Ridge asks Brooke out on a date as if they were teenagers or meeting for the first time. There's such a wonderful warmth now with Brooke and Thorsten Kaye's Ridge (I'm crushing so hard), but B&B's signature couple deserves a full-on exploration.
BATTING FOR DIFFERENT TEAMS
Back-to-back episodes started with quick-cut montages of Liam and Steffy in various stages of amour ("You smell like the ocean" is an entendre I really didn't need to hear), much like two other episodes that started with a similar Brill sequence and Bill boxing his bag. On a kick lately, B&B? It's not a bad device, but they overdid it this week. Anyway, turns out Steam has differing views on Brill vs. Bridge.
As when he extolled their virtues to R.J., Liam shipped Brill to Steffy, who made a surprisingly compelling case for the inevitability of Bridge. "You weren't around for the whole Brooke-and-my-dad thing," she reminded Liam, actually conceding they have "more chemistry than my mom; I hate to say it." Wow! Maybe Steffy is finally remembering having Brooke for a stepmother after Taylor "died."
Before Steffy and Liam could debate the point further, Bill let himself in, dragging a storm cloud behind him. Steffy felt bad that Bill got dumped by Brooke, but Liam grabbed his pom-poms. "Two, four, six, eight; you and Brooke are really great!" Liam didn't want Bill to give up on La Logan, and Bill got that I-never-accept-defeat look in his eye. Lawd. Let Brooke be with Ridge already. Bill will find someone for his love nest soon enough!
KEEPING EACH OTHER COMPANY
Meanwhile, Wyatt was getting a corresponding pep talk from Quinn, who implored Wyatt not to give up on Steffy. Oh, please! At least Sulking Wyatt is better than Pathetic Wyatt -- he must realize that Steffy never really loved him in the first place. Bad enough Liam already moped through Statt's entire marriage; can't Wyatt just grow a pair and find a girl who isn't gone on Liam? Oh, wait, I don't think such a girl exists in L.A.
While Wyatt was upstairs learning that Eric didn't want to return as CEO (whaaat? Didn't he just jubilantly reclaim that position at Quinn's behest a few months ago?), Steffy arrived to build on the Thanksgiving truce she'd made with her granddad, only to find Quinn opening her arms as mistress of the manor. Steffy wasn't having it: "My feelings for you haven't changed," she sniffed.
Well, Quinn must have binge-watched the Godfather trilogy with Eric, because she wanted to make Steffy an offer she couldn't refuse. Upon mention of Eric declining to reclaim his CEO seat, Steffy assumed Quinn was finally grabbing for it herself. Au contraire! Quinn wanted Steffy to become Forrester's CEO. They would be a formidable team. And Steffy was more than qualified!
Come on, Quinn, really? Yes, Steffy's been president, but she excelled in PR after starting in the mailroom. Whoever became CEO needed "to have been born a Forrester." Well, that excludes Steffy! Though, admittedly, Ridge didn't know he was a Marone when Steffy was born. Quinn is describing Rick, a true Forrester, who also got a comprehensive business education from Massimo before tackling the executive wing.
Quinn told Steffy she "may have acted hastily" removing Steffy as president. Wasn't Quinn only carrying out Eric's orders? Or was Quinn acting on her own, after all? Obviously, Quinn wants Steffy and Wyatt working together to facilitate a reunion. How tired is that? Does B&B only have six or seven storylines? Even Eric made Ridge and Brooke co-presidents to force them together. But Steffy clearly considered it!
It's your turn, Scoopers! Do you want Nicole to stick to her guns? Is Brooke better with Ridge or Bill? And should Steffy resist the temptation of Quinn's apple? Tell us what you think 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!
• "Bridge reuniting on a bridge was a magical moment! Love the chemistry between Katherine Kelly Lang and Thorsten Kaye." -- Alexandra
• "The Bridge reunion is simply the best reunion ever. Kelly & Thorsten [are] off the charts! Chemistry overload!!" -- Katja
• "Ridge and Caroline [were] such a great couple and they need to put them back together but I also would not mind seeing Ridge and Quinn hook up too. They have great chemistry...I don't care anything about Brooke and Bill, they are so boring and nasty to me so go ahead and put them together. They are already ruined anyway." -- Caril
By the way, if you see those "I made $9K from home" spam comments down below, please everybody flag them. They're getting really pervasive. Spam is great for sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, not a soap column! Right?
I've rambled on too long for Points to Ponder, so I'll see you in two weeks, after Chanel takes her next turn columnizing for you. Don't forget, soon we'll both be throwing our year-end Best & Worst columns at you. In the meantime, keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold. Because no matter color, creed, religion, gender identity, or orientation, we're all beautiful.
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