Maybe just one more try

For the Week of September 4, 2023
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Hope pulled a Liam and tried again with Thomas while the shadow of Sheila trying again with Finn darkened Steffy's reunion with him. But Boomer Eric got a chance to try for another heart-tugging tale, which finally pulled Gen Z R.J. into a substantial storyline! If at first you don't succeed, try, try again with Two Scoops' Mike!

Has your week been bold and beautiful? Did you decide to take a tumble with your brother's brother? Did the one track of your mind run a little too long? Did you agree to give your granddad a hand? These and more situations faced the Forrester-Logan-Spencer-Walton clan this week!

What's good, Scoopers? It's Mike in da house, and I'm here to bring my Scoopage up to date after taking a little detour through the highs and lows of 2023 so far. What's the first thing I noticed? Quinn is still in the credits, even though her last scene was on August 29...2022. Seriously? B&B hasn't updated their opening since editing Krista Allen in on 8/4/22. Is it really so hard to pull the video file and replace a face?

Oy. Of course, by now, it's Hope who's turned into the waffler, while Steffy came home after a hopelessly ineffective attempt to remain Sheila-free. And for all her exposure to fashion, Sheila is so last season (and the season before), wanting the mother-son thing with Finn. The real story right now is Eric's age playing into things and R.J. finally getting something substantial to do -- four months after his return! Y'all ready? Let's Scoop about it!


So...Hope did Thomas on every piece of furniture in his place and bought a few more from IKEA just to keep the tally going...and then, Hope decided she wanted to get back with Liam for Beth's sake. I suppose Hope can't help it. First, she watched "father figure" Ridge (in keeping with the George Michael theme) bounce between her mom and Taylor, followed by being one of the two girls that Liam himself bounced between.

No one can blame Hope for being tired of having Steffy's romantic ghost in bed with her and Liam. But Hope has got Ridge and Liam beat for sheer speed. Speaking of Ridge, he isn't wrong to worry about how Hope's sudden interest in Thomas might cause Thomas to relapse. Ridge might want to worry more about the fact that Hope wasn't worried about that very thing.

Ditching Thomas for Liam might have been enough for Thomas to take the Hope mannequin out of mothballs, or run off with Beth, or who knows what. Thomas has remained amazingly stable as Hope flipped coins with Liam as heads and Thomas as tails, but it's not her own head that Hope is thinking with lately. How did she think any reunion with Liam was going to work, anyhow?

After all, Liam still only thinks that Hope and Thomas made out in Rome; he has no idea that Hope roamed through Thomas' bedroom. Inevitably, that secret would surface. If Liam can't forgive Hope for kissing Thomas, Liam would never talk to her again over sexing him. And to be fair, Hope would have reconsidered her ping-ponging back to Liam if she'd known that Liam kissed Steffy twice. Why are these time-bombs being left to tick?

While Hope didn't think she even deserved support from her parents after what she did (not arguing with ya, Hope), Thomas was at Spencer Pubs trying to convince Liam to forgive Hope. Liam insisted that Hope slobbering on the man who would have been just as happy letting Hope believe her baby was dead was the only thing that Liam couldn't forgive.

And that was enough for Thomas to run to Hope and advocate for putting Liam in the past. I think Thomas just wanted Liam's indirect approval to make another play for Hope, whose response to Thomas' we-should-be-togethering actually shocked me. "I'm not in love with you, Thomas," Hope admitted. Well! I didn't think so! But then Miss Virginity 2011 added that it didn't mean she didn't want Thomas, and she locked the office door ahead of another romp!

Not like Ridge's old office hasn't seen its share of action. Thomas assured Hope he could handle her heart not being with him as he got permission to handle her. Yeah, this is gonna end well. Hope sexing Thomas but not loving him could well be enough to push him over the edge again, and this time, it will be Hope's fault. And that's if the seedy psychology of their sexy time doesn't do them in first.

You've all already heard me bitch about Hope and Thomas being stepsiblings more often than not and being raised under one roof for a time as kids. Some of you are so enthralled with their chemistry that their related-by-marriage bit doesn't detract from it. But in my time away from current B&B events, I've been reminded that Thomas and Hope are related, and by more than their parents' occasional weddings.

Hope and Thomas share a brother -- R.J.! Easy to forget, the way our B&B characters are intertwined, but yeah. "But Mike!" you say. "R.J. is only a half-brother to both Thomas and Hope!" True...but still. Eww. That the show is even going forward with anything Thope is beyond skeevy. It's right up there with Katie shagging her son's half-brother. But at least Will and Wyatt didn't exchange Christmas cards while they were growing up.


Finn came to visit Steffy at the co-CEO's office at Forrester Creations, making a thing out of having her guess what kind of takeout he'd brought for her. For a woman upset with her husband for letting his psycho mom be within a light year of them, Steffy sure seemed glad to see Finn. It was as if they weren't separated at all. Of course, they're still not actually married, at least on-screen, since we didn't see them fix that bit of paperwork Steffy didn't sign after Sheila interrupted her 2021 wedding.

Steffy was impressed that Finn took responsibility for his brief spate of vulnerability regarding Sheila and promised his wife he'd do absolutely anything to protect her and the kids from his menacing mommy. Finn and Steffy had some kissy-poo, and all seemed right in their world once again, except the next time we saw Steffy, she was still bunking at Eric's.

And that brings us to how silly that move of Steffy's really has been. She thinks she, Kelly, and Hayes are safer at the Forrester compound. For real? Has no one told her how Sheila got past an entire police force, dressed in an evening gown, at that same address in 1995 while toting a gun in her purse? Yet Steffy will be Sheila-free at Eric's house. Come on. I mean, come on.

Meanwhile, Finn took the moment to level another stay-away-from-my-wife warning at Liam, who amusingly called the doctor "John." (Well, that is Finn's given name.) Liam, for all his dunderheadedness of late, called it when he insisted that he wasn't Sinn's real problem -- that honor fell to Sheila. And it was Finn's job to get Sheila out of Los Angeles! This had an effect on Finn, who realized Liam was right.

And, across town, Deacon was back to wringing his hands over Sheila being his roomie with benefits. I guess Freaky D wasn't so much concerned about getting his parole revoked for harboring Sheila -- wasn't he cleared as part of his helping Ridge and Bill entrap Sheila earlier this year? But Deacon was worried that Brooke and Hope would disown him...or even that he could lose Il Giardino because of his association with Sheila!

I'm not sure how that would work, but if all those things are weighing on Deacon, why the hell did he take Sheila in again in the first place? For that matter, Sheila's as free as the birds now, so why didn't she get her own pad? (I know...sets and budgets.) It makes very little sense that Deacon would get re-involved with Sheila in any way, let alone share his apartment with her. (Now that Deacon's a successful restauranteur, can't he afford something better than that crappy dive he moved into when he was a janitor? I know...sets and budgets.)

Naturally, Deacon's crib was the first place Ridge came to in his search for Sheila -- which is another reason Deacon should have set up the Airbnb app on Sheila's phone. As Sheila hid in Deacon's tiny bedroom, Ridge demanded that Deacon give up Sheila's location. And, getting nothing but denials from Deacon...Ridge left it at that. You'd think that Ridge would have barged into that other room! Call him Magnum P.U.


Eric and Ridge, forgetting their sudden conflict caused by Ridge bailing on helping Eric design a swan song collection, changed the subject to Sheila...which led to a rather touching reminiscence about Stephanie! In unison, Ridge and Eric agreed that Ridge got his hardheadedness from La Forrester, and Ridge declared that he still missed her.

It was enough to make you believe that Thorsten Kaye's Ridge was around while Susan Flannery was still on the canvas. Ridge bemoaned that Stephanie would have known what to do about Sheila, and Eric laughed that Steph would have chewed Sheila up and spit her out. Hmm. I seem to recall that Sheila got Stephanie's head underwater in that very pool downstairs, guys. And pretty easily, too. Maybe latter-day, gun-toting Gangsta Granny might have had better luck.

Ridge paid Liam a visit, since Steffy had finally announced she was going home to Finn. Why didn't Steffy return to the cliff house the day before, when she and Finn seemed to have settled things? Anyway, Ridge had an interesting moment when he admitted responsibility for Sheila being out of jail. He griped that Bill's entrapment plan had made no sense! He's right -- it ultimately didn't.

Ridge bludgeoned himself for not asking more questions and scoffed at having to be "in a basement with Chen for week after week, learning how he grew up in Pacoima -- like I care!" That was so deliciously random, I have to wonder if the line was improvised. Liam joined Ridge in getting real when he said he felt that all his concerns were falling on deaf ears. It's true -- all Liam has been for months now is a town crier, first with Hope about Thomas and now with Steffy about Finn.

Maybe Liam should have been listened to, because Sheila emerged from Deacon's bitty boudoir more determined than ever to capitalize on the bonding she had done with Finn over Kelly's near drowning. Deacon warned Sheila to slow her roll. Sheila had more risings under belt than the proverbial phoenix and had come a long way since squeezing through another legal loophole. Was it smart for her to push?

Well, one doesn't stick one's finger in a light socket, and one doesn't try to talk Sheila out of one of her schemes. No, her relationship with Finn was going to start "today," and she swore that Steffy was never going to come between them again. Bravo for finally taking action, Sheila, but we've been hearing this "I want Finn in my life" stuff for two years now. It's old. If a bullet and defib paddles didn't do it, how is anything else going to?

Sheila has earned lots of titles in the 33 years since her first appearance on Y&R. Naughty nurse. Attempted murderer. Actual murderer. Plastic surgeon princess. She-Devil. Nanny Nine-Toes. But now we can add c*ckblocker to the list! That's right, Finn reiterating that he would give his life for Steffy (uh-oh) was enough of an aphrodisiac that Steffy was ready for some makeup sex right on the couch where she cheated on Finn with Liam.

And wouldn't you know, Steffy I-spied something with her little eye on the patio -- something that begins with the letter "S"! Now, the Friday cliffhanger didn't have Finn also catching Sheila on the premises, but you know it's gonna happen. And we know Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is gonna have to take her maternity leave soon. So, my guess is that Sheila plays into it. But how? Another Liam-is-my-sweet-husband coma? We'll soon find out.


R.J. may have had the best line this week, and that was, "Never count out Eric Forrester." The potent patriarch has indeed been roaring back the last couple of weeks, beginning with his reclaiming his office after Ridge declined to go in on a legacy line with him. Hold up -- that's not Eric's office to reclaim! It's the office belonging to the CEO, or in this case, co-CEOs, and those figures are Steffy and Ridge.

Eric complained to R.J. that Ridge basically wanted to put Eric out to pasture. But it's not like Eric's been running Forrester or even doing all that much work over there. Now, suddenly, Eric is adamant about people not using "his" office. I guess I'll have to let that one go, however, because what is growing from that seed so far smells wonderfully soapy and homey.

It turned out that the reason Eric wanted to collaborate with Ridge again was because Eric couldn't get his hand to draw the fashions he envisioned in his head! Yes...I know this sounds familiar. It was Ridge, in 2014, who couldn't draw due to injuries sustained by being dumped out of Bill's helicopter. And yes, like Caroline 2.0 using her ability to channel Ridge's, Eric had a similar request of his grandson.

But it's been nine years in real time since that CaRidge carousing, and something about Eric teaming up with R.J. feels fresh. For one thing, it's organic -- Eric, who was said to be 70 in 2016, would be 77 now. It's not unrealistic that arthritis would take command of Eric's hands. And how novel is that? Eric didn't have some big dramatic accident or fall victim to a fabled soap disease. It's arthritis! Totally natural arthritis.

The best part about all this is that R.J., who has been back since April and hasn't had squat to do, despite the proclamations about B&B's younger generation trickling in (where's the rest of them, anyway? R.J.'s been the only one!), is getting his first helping of meaty material by being pulled into Eric's new story. The show's oldest Forrester and its youngest teaming together. Yaaaaas!

Yeah, I know. R.J. isn't a Forrester. I did flinch when Eric told R.J. that designing was in his blood. But if Ridge could absorb that talent through osmosis, so can Ridge's son. Eric cited a crayon masterpiece that R.J. crafted when he was three years old as proof of R.J.'s suitability in helping Eric. I don't know how much water that argument holds, but R.J. took a stab at it in a couple of gladsome montages that made the pairing seem nothing but natural.

R.J. seemed to be getting the hang of it all a little too quickly, but then he and Eric hit a snag when Eric couldn't quite communicate a flourish he wanted, and R.J. couldn't quite process what he was being asked to do. Frustrated, Eric attempted to draw the particular line himself but had to throw down his pencil. "It's game over unless you help me!" Eric wailed. Um...R.J. is helping you! He just, like, spent the last hour doing exactly that!

Eric was sad that he could no longer express himself, and R.J. put it together that Eric's difficulty was the reason why Eric's efforts working on Hope for the Future had fallen below expectations. I can't see story being conceived so far ahead of time that Eric's lackluster off-screen contributions to HFTF were because of joint pain -- which is what makes it so brilliant that the joint pain is being tied to that story point. Brilliant, I say!

But if Eric couldn't draw, and R.J. couldn't draw what Eric saw in his mind's eye, how was all this going to work? Well, R.J. decided he was going to teach his teacher...with a computer! We have yet to see how that's going to play out, but R.J. is a master of technology, and Eric is a master designer, so I'm seeing a heartwarming, character-driven story in front of us. I love it, love it, love it. This story is already on its way to being the best one of 2023!

What conclusions are you drawing, Scoopers? Should R.J. remind Hope and Thomas that he's related to both of them and that maybe sexing each other isn't such a good idea? Will Sheila have something to do with Steffy's inevitable, upcoming absence? Will Eric and R.J. end up being more dynamic a duo than Batman and Robin? And will Rena Sofer ever be clipped from the opening credits? Try expressing yourself in the Comments section below or the Soap Central message boards, or simply click here to submit feedback. Your comments could end up in a future column!

Y'all know I can't abide this whole Hope/Thomas thing, and even though Sheila was my full-on jam in the '90s, I can kind of take or leave her forced freedoms and frequent flitting around Finn. But I am so entirely here for this Eric and R.J. storyline! So, be like me and keep watching, be alert, and most of all, be bold! See you in two weeks, my Scoopnesses!

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