A Fallout Worth Waiting For
This week is crazy and there's an All-Star Game in less than an hour, but I simply could not resist. As of Friday on The Bold and the Beautiful, the secret's been out. Brooke and Thomas never got it on while under the influence of hallucinogenic berries, and Thomas and Stephanie cooked the whole thing up for money and to end Brooke and Ridge's marriage to free him up for Taylor.
While they've missed a few important beats (they seriously didn't think it'd be dramatically compelling to show Ridge making his decision and telling Taylor he was returning to Brooke right away?), it's truly been a good payoff so far -- today being the strongest of the scenes. While it was terrific to see Taylor unload on Stephanie (and disappointing that she continues to just see Thomas as a victim in this), it didn't feel like a "this changes everything" conversation yesterday. (And let's be honest, seeing Taylor's rage was more about hearing Taylor's rage and wishing with all your little might that if you clapped your hands hard enough, Tinkerbell would live and poor Hunter Tylo could make facial expressions again because it was kind if like knowing-but-not-seeing that she really was acting her heart out and totally committed to those scenes.) And Dayzee and Thomas' breakup was sad (and you had to be cheering Dayzee on for standing her ground there), and it was cool to see the likes of Thorne and Felicia show up for all of this (and bonus points for lots of absentee-family-name-dropping). But today, we got the confrontation between Brooke and Thomas, and (best of all!) we got the fantastic discussion between Eric and Stephanie.
The most interesting thing about this to me was that Stephanie and Thomas both actually brought up new pathologies that contributed to their lie -- we knew about the money, we knew about the rivalry, we knew about the wish to reunite Taylor and Ridge. But the way Thomas articulated the "dream come true" of his Mom and Dad coming to save his life on that island and how somehow that carried over into little-boy-dream-fulfillment as it applied to his future with the business and the potential reunion of his parents? It doesn't make it okay, but it makes a lot more sense. And Stephanie explaining to Eric that the feeling that she's losing her fight with cancer made her nostalgic for the days of the one fight she always won -- the one with Brooke? Smart, B&B!
Stephanie: I don't know how to fight the cancer. The only battle that I've ever known how to win is the one that I stopped fighting! The battle with Brooke.
Since I've taken up watching this show again, John McCook (Eric) has honestly been more window dressing than anything else, so it was a lot of fun today to see him strut his stuff and play a lot of different levels in those scenes between Stephanie and Eric. He's still got it, and he plays much lower notes than much of the cast on this oft-campy show; that made his work very engrossing today -- especially opposite Susan Flannery, who has been making the interesting choice of playing the fallout with a lot of eye rolls and exasperation rather than the clichéd "this is my downfall" resignation we may have expected.
So this has been good soap. But what now? Is it even fathomable that the front-burner storyline will shift to people who aren't Ridge, Brooke, or Taylor? Because I'd tune in if Taylor decided she was going to tear up the town and let Thomas and Stephanie know how they truly humiliated her and signify a real change in her driving force, but I'm not holding my breath. But beyond that? It's time to give someone else some stories.
I will leave you with my favorite moment of the day, when Eric worried aloud that Thorne was jealous of everyone else's attention (and bigger shares of the company....again):
Thorne: Truth is, I don't want to have to spend that much time around you. My life is so much saner when you don't pay me any attention. And nobody's gonna be spreading stories about me sleepin' with anyone and that's just fine.
Three cheers for sane soapsters!