Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did your pizza boy let you know big brother is watching? Did you baffle everyone by making your son the Invisible Man? Did you agree to become a mother to your niece or nephew? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Avant clan this week!
Didja ever think it, Scoopers? Brooke Logan Forrester -- the lingerie Lolita, fertile femme fatale, and mask-boinking chaperone of all time -- seems on her way to becoming B&B's if-you-ever-need-to-talk girl. Not that those in her familial circle didn't have a lot to get off their chests. Nicole weighed whether to step in as her sister's babymama. Steffy tried to figure out why her brother was returned like a wrong package from Amazon. And Caroline wasn't too thrilled to hear Brooke knew about Ridge's snip-snip! Let's Scoop about it!
Ivy and Wyatt were the only ones to keep Brooke out of their loop, but only because the saucy Aussie's three-day stint in her skivvies was crossing Wyatt's wires. Seriously, three whole episodes devoted to Ivy deciding whether to accept Steffy's face-rubbing lingerie-modeling assignment. All right, Jason Roy's "oh, Mylanta" exclamation as the pizza boy was funny. But the less I say about these Big Brother crossovers, the better. So-called "reality" shows are the scourge and ruination of television -- just my opinion. And Mr. Pizza seemed more interested in Wyatt anyway. Not that I blame him!
So, while Wyatt hormonally encouraged Ivy to stand bustier-to-bustier with Steffy, the uninhibited president of Forrester wasn't in the kitchen with Dinah, but Katie, her one-time rival for Bill! Liam brought the quinoa, but Katie brought the snark, tooting Wyatt's horn and obviously not enjoying her dinner companions. Why are Bill and Katie continuously inserted into this Wyatt/Ivy/Liam/Steffy silliness? I guess their temporary reprieves from the backburner are less awkward to watch than Pam and Charlie giving Zende dating advice (and you knew the lemon bars were going to be offered somewhere), but really...Batie proved they can handle their own story long ago.
This dinnertime dallying also went on for two episodes, culminating in Bill nearly stripping off his shirt on a dare and Steffy cheering him on. Plus, Bill about high-fived Steffy with a "well done" when she relayed putting Ivy on lingerie duty. Four years later, are we still getting flashes of Still? Steffy may seem primed to ditch the Spencer son for the Spencer daddy, the way she shut Liam down with her "I don't think I need your approval for a new hire" and Bill's contention that Liam still has feelings for Ivy. Oh, Lord, here we go again.
Can't we make Liam half of a couple without him jonesing for the girl that got away? Sure, I couldn't disagree when he told Steffy she didn't take into account that others don't feel as free about their bodies and sexuality -- and that Steffy already made that mistake with Aly, to tragic results. But please, no lingering Livy stuff. Wyatt actually interrupted his own afterglow by "joking" to Ivy that she still thought of Liam. She may be thinking of him, because this time she adopted Liam's famous constipated look. Where's that tire iron?
Steffy had other concerns, however, as she waltzed into Forrester the next day to discover that Thomas had been told to make like a tree and get out of here. The Back to the Future reference may be appropriate, as it felt like an alternate reality were taking place as Steffy sat down for some coffee talk with Brooke! Yes! The harlot Steffy blamed for the destruction of her family and the distance from her daddy, the mask-boinker Steffy tried to blackmail out of the company...Steffy sat down with Brooke as if they were BFFs and tried to figure out why Thomas had gone bye-bye.
Last week I said Steffy seemed to have grown past blaming Brooke for Ridge and Taylor breaking up, and maybe Steffy really has. Instead of locking horns, Steffy and Brooke put their heads together and realized that Thomas' absence went far deeper than entering interns or punching papas. "No, the problem is here," Steffy deduced, making a beeline for Ridge's office, where the current CEO fed former CEO Rick a line about Thomas being needed "on the ground" in Paris and deeming the transfer final.
There must be a dangerous chemical in the CEO chair -- wasn't Ridge acting a bit like Rick did when Rick occupied it? And did you ever think you'd see Rick championing Thomas? Maybe after all Rick went through when Maya was outed as transgender, having his car blown up and getting pushed out a window is small potatoes. Still, Rick, the apparent head of Forrester International (when did that happen?) left Ridge's office, scratching his head, and frankly, I joined him in that scratching.
Ridge has always acted on his emotions, but he couldn't be more obvious here, going on to Steffy and Brooke about how Thomas was suddenly needed in Paris. Did Ridge think shipping Thomas out without telling anyone was simply going to be accepted as gospel? Naturally Steffy would question it as president of the company, and Ridge just kept digging himself in deeper by not simply saying his son's fist in his face was enough reason to want him out, especially when Ridge chucked the pictures of Thomas.
I guess enough time had passed since the last retelling of Caroline and Thomas' narcotic night, because the script demanded we get another helping of rehash. The only thing Ridge got right about any of it was when he told Caroline, "I did that to you -- I put you in that position." Isn't that what I've been saying all along? It was good to hear Ridge admit none of it would have happened if he hadn't dumped Caroline instead of telling her the truth about his vasectomy.
Caroline defended Ridge's actions (?) but insightfully asked her husband, "Don't you see that sending [Thomas] away could make things worse [with him]?" Well, Caroline, if that didn't, Ridge hanging up on Thomas when he called from Paris certainly will. Ridge Forrester is known throughout the land for his impulsiveness, but his cryptic comments and heightened emotions are doing nothing to quell anyone's suspicions that there's more to his tirades than he's letting on.
However, when Ridge wondered if Caroline would be tempted to tell someone they were going to raise Thomas' baby, the conflicted Caroline picked a side and determined their secret would always be kept quiet. Except, Ridge abruptly offered, Brooke knows about the vasectomy and attempt to reverse it. Well, Caroline didn't appreciate being the last to know on that score! She was sure Brooke would put it together once Caroline had to trade in her midriff-baring getups for maternity wear. This certainly begs the question, can Brooke be trusted with such serious secrets?
That's not a question Nicole stopped to consider, because after she and Zende had a difference of opinion over whether she should carry Rick and Maya's baby, Nicole spilled everything to her sister's mother-in-law. While Brooke gave mixed advice, saying in one breath that the surrogacy request was "odd" and claiming that Zende would admire Nicole for granting it the next, I found myself seeing the future of Brooke Logan.
Since I started columnizing six years ago, I've said B&B needed to get away from casting Brooke as Scandal Queen of Los Angeles. But every time they seemed to, Brooke reverted to type, mask-boinking her daughter's boyfriend, not knowing if she sexed her stepson while on a berry high, and making off with her sister's husband. It was old, old, old. This year, Brooke made a dubious, lightning-fast foray into alcoholism, but lately there's almost an unspoken intention for her to finally take her place as the Forresters' one and only matriarch (sorry, Maya), just as Stephanie wanted.
This may not be a bad thing. True, Brooke has no story of her own right now, and her screen time this week was minimal. But she's linked to pretty much every current tale. Not only is Brooke the go-to girl when someone needs to vent, but she's standing strong on her own, no man in sight and not minding. In 28 years, that's new for Brooke, and, given that Katherine Kelly Lang is the only remaining original cast member besides John McCook, seating Brooke at the head of the family feels right. Maybe, for the above-stated reason, a Brooke/Eric endgame reunion wouldn't be out of order, either.
Anyway, Nicole couldn't keep her mind on her intern duties, trying to absorb Rick and Maya's little favor. "I thought you wanted me to go to the grocery store or pick up laundry," the youngest Avant blathered, and for good reason. After realizing she'd given her sister a mood-killer to take on her dinner date with Zende, Maya wondered if she'd even had the right to ask Nicole about surrogacy and admitted she hadn't at all taken Zende into consideration.
Here's the thing. For whatever fortitude Rick and Maya displayed while dealing with the fallout from the world discovering she's transgender, it doesn't wash away their not-so-past sins. Maya positioned herself as Rick's mistress. Rick faked a reconciliation with Caroline just to pull the rug out from under her then shot a gun at her and Ridge. Both Rick and Maya took fiendish delight in making Aly and Ivy do their bidding. Now these two want to be parents? "I'll provide the attitude," Rick said as he laughed. Heaven forfend!
So one thing I'll give Maya is that she started this surrogacy saga thinking only of herself, as usual, but quickly realized the severity of what she was asking Nicole to do. Maya bringing in a fertility specialist was inspired, especially when it came to educating us about the complexity of surrogacy. Who knew that "traditional surrogacy" wasn't that common anymore, or that, typically, only surrogates who have already had children are chosen so they're less likely to form attachments to the babies they have to give up?
Notice how the implication that Nicole would want to keep the baby kept coming up. "Nicole would never do that," Maya insisted. Uh-huh. Rick and Maya may want to watch the eighth season of Dynasty, where Adam and Dana tried to have a baby through a surrogate mother, only to have her sue for and win custody of Adam's child. I guess that's what intrigues me about this, as it's sort of a throwback to the Carringtons.
The other intriguing thing is that Zende and Nicole's relationship has suddenly jumped about a hundred on the maturity level. They've gone from first kiss to serious discussions about the future a little too fast, but Reign Edwards and Rome Flynn are turning in boffo performances. Of course Zicole (Nende?) had to be at cross purposes over Nicole's decision or you wouldn't have conflict, but I never got the feeling either young'un was being selfish. Zende wanted Nicole to make her own decision but also let her know what they'd be missing out on if she chose surrogacy.
It almost excused Carter and Zende working out on the Forrester Sky Lounge (again), instead of, you know, actually working. I like Carter and Zende as friends, though. And was it just me, or did it almost seem Carter was so opposed to Nicole having Maya's baby because Carter would have been in the exact same quandary had he gotten to marry Maya like he wanted to?
There's one facet that isn't getting mentioned, and I wish the show would play it up more. Rick talks of wanting a baby with Maya, but he hasn't said boo about the fact that he lost two babies with Amber. And Rick, in his mid-thirties at this point, has his own biological clock ticking. Don't you think all that ought to factor into his wanting children now? Or maybe he'd want to chance being a father less, fearing Nicole will lose his baby, too. Rick's swimmers might not even be viable! Ah, for missed story beats.
As Nicole struggled to decide whether she should be Rick and Maya's surrogate, both Zende and the fertility specialist asked the operative question: can't Nicole just donate her eggs and let a woman more equipped to be a surrogate do the heavy lifting? A gestational carrier, we were told such a woman is called. Problem solved! But there's no drama in that, right? Despite all the talk about Rick and Maya having other options, Nicole has to carry the child for this to be a soap.
"I would just rather you be making babies with me," Zende couldn't keep from blurting out, though he did add a "someday" to that pronouncement. Nicole was surprised Zende felt so strongly -- heck, the kids haven't used the "L" word yet. Then everyone got on an amusement park carousel, going around in circles with Nicole and Zende discussing her decision, then Rick and Maya discussing it. The discussions would have been fine if they hadn't covered the same points we'd already covered earlier in the week.
Well, Nicole thought and thought and thought. Then Rick beat a hasty retreat as Nicole came home, wanting to talk to her sister. I wish I could say I didn't predict Nicole's answer before she uttered it. Not because I'm so smart, but because it's Soap 101 to set up a scene as if a character is going to take one side, only to have her take the other. And that's exactly what happened. Even though Zende asked Nicole to make their newfound coupledom a priority, Nicole gushed how close she and Maya had become and told her to "imagine the connection" they would have now. Nicole's uterus was at Maya's disposal!
Some sisters just send Hallmark cards! "Imagine the connection" Julius' fist is going to make with Rick's head, because Mama and Papa Avant are movin' on up like the Jeffersons, presumably to a "deee-luxe" apartment somewhere in Los Angeles. Will Nicole end up keeping Rick's baby for herself? Will Zende really see red if Nicole decides to eliminate the middleman and let Rick knock her up the old-fashioned way?
It's on you now, Scoopers. Tell us what you're thinking in the Comments section below or on the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could wind up in a future column! Like this one!
• "I think Maya's idea to ask Nicole to carry a baby for Maya and Rick was appalling. NOT because Maya is transgender but because Nicole is around 19 years old and certainly doesn't deserve to go through the stress of carrying her own and Rick's biological child. The idea is so typical of the self-entitled couple, I'm not really sure they should be parents in the first place. Plus, if Maya had actually done some REAL research on the subject she would have known that there is no reason for Nicole to even be pregnant and Nicole would probably have less issue donating one of her eggs to be fertilized in vitro with Rick's sperm and implanted in a gestational host who would carry the baby the baby to term for Maya and Rick. It's not like they can't afford the procedures. But, I realize it would be less angsty that way." -- AnwennGood point, Anwenn! Which is the perfect segue into Points to Ponder:
It's really sweet that Pam and Charlie are still frisky and fun and together after almost two years. But would they really be so gung-ho to suggest medieval merrymaking to Zende? Wouldn't they both feel a pang of loss, since Aly used to be their old world companion? Does Oliver still go with them? And by the way, Pam and Charlie are both old enough to qualify for the senior discount at Denny's, yet Pam seemed horrified that Charlie had "sopped soup" with a lady before her. Does Pam really think there weren't other women in Charlie's life?
I just about cheered when Ridge handed Steffy some B.S. about Thomas needing to be the company's eyes in Europe, and Steffy replied, "We have eyes -- Thorne is in Paris. Hope is in Italy!" By the way, isn't Thorne heading up International? Ridge did earn a few points when he told Caroline he'd been a lousy father: "I was never there...always working, chasing women..." Yep. That's 28 years of Ridge Forrester in a nutshell!
How nice was it to see the oft-ignored Forrester kitchen?... "Pam has been a little protective of us lately," Maya conceded to Rick. Why? Not that long ago, Pam hated Rick for being such a tyrant! Maybe Ms. Douglas has been drinking the Maya Kool-Aid... "We have a new bedroom line" was Steffy's rationale for making Ivy model lingerie. What happened to Intimates, the old bedroom line? Or Brooke's Bedroom? If Steffy meant the bedroom line was getting new designs, she wasn't clear. Nor was she when she purred to Liam, "We don't bring work issues home." Since when?
I shall be with you again next week to help sort through the trials and tribulations of the Forresters, Logans, Spencers, and Avants. Maybe I'll ask Brooke for some sage advice. She's rather good at dispensing it lately. Who knew -- Brooke Logan Forrester as Krystle Carrington! If Brooke ends up with Linda Evans' one-time page boy 'do, I am going to laugh so hard. Keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold!
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