The Bold & the Therapeutic
Well then! I feel a little out of my comfort zone here because I'm about to talk about how good The Bold & the Beautiful has been. It's not that I've never praised an episode before, but typically they've been outliers and we've just gone back to the status quo the following day. And typically they've been part of that storyline I've complained about for over a year now, so there are qualifiers: "This was a well-written episode for a storyline I want to murder in the face!"
Now I don't want to jinx anything, but it's been a good solid two or three weeks now of balanced episodes and multiple storylines. You know, like soaps do. Steffy, Liam, and Hope are still part of a story arc, but it's just one of a handful. And no episodes have focused exclusively on that long-dead triangle. We're also dealing with the aftermath of Ridge having left Brooke, we're dealing with Stephanie's diagnosis, we're dealing with Katie's post-partum depression. Sometimes all of those things in one single 18-minute episode! I feel like my prayers to the soap gods are finally being answered, and I can only knock on wood that the Nielsen gods will respond in kind. (How heinous would it be if the show somehow dropped in ratings during all this awesomeness and Bell decided to revert to ALL LIAM ALL THE TIME?!)
Yesterday's episode was especially lovely and understated. We got Taylor showing up and actually being a psychiatrist! Sure, we could get into the ethics of treating a woman who is the sister of your decades-long romantic rival and the stepmother to your daughter's boyfriend (not to mention the cuckolded and current wife of your daughter's previous fling!), but soaps are soaps and doctors and cops and lawyers never have a conflict of interest (which sometimes flies because you imagine the town to be tiny, but hilariously this show takes place in Los Angeles). Point being, the therapy was actually therapeutic!
Katie: I just don't know what is wrong with me. Why can't I be a good mother?
Taylor: You're not doing anything wrong.
Katie: I'm doing everything wrong.
Taylor: No, you're protecting your son.
Katie: From what?
Taylor: From yourself.
Katie: What do you mean?
Taylor: You're afraid that you're going to abandon him. You're afraid that you're going to die. So you're not allowing him to get attached to you. You've been through... probably the most two intense emotions that you can go through in life, in one day. You know, you - -you had a heart attack at a time that was already stressful. You were facing the fear of possibly dying when your baby was being born. So maybe you're thinking that, you know, if I failed my baby once, I might do that again.
Taylor: It's like survival mode. It's subconscious. You're not trying to deliberately push your baby away.
Katie: I'm scared I won't be around.
Taylor: Well, how could you not feel like you don't trust yourself? Your body let you down before at a time when your baby needed you most. But you know what? You pulled through it. And you virtually willed yourself to survive so that he could be born. This is the love of a mother. Okay? You need to be proud of yourself.
Katie: Do you think so?
Taylor: You fought to live so your baby could be born. You need to give yourself a little more credit.
Katie: I am scared. I don't want Will to grow up without me. But I don't want to be afraid. I... I want to be a good mother to him. I want to be able to love him and nurture him. I want it to be the way I thought it would be.
Oof. My heart hurts! Really terrific scenes, and great work from Heather Tom and Hunter Tylo (who very rarely get to work together).
And I don't really want to get into the sads about Stephanie's prognosis (I don't know what Susan Flannery's final air date is, but it's looking heartbreakingly soon), because there is much to celebrate.
Martinis! In the morning! At work! (I need this perk at work.)
And then this bit damn near killed me....
Eric: What the hell am I gonna do?
Stephanie: You'll be okay.
Eric: You're my best friend. You've been right beside me through the whole journey. You've been a witness to everything I've done in my life. And I've been witness to everything you've done in your life, and don't you forget it. I don't want it to be over.
There's going to be a lot of tears in the next couple of weeks, huh? Oh boy. Can we all make a pact to keep hydrated?
- Hey! Rick's going to have Alterations "pull the shoulder out half an inch!" See? There are variations they can come up with besides adjusting the hemline or neckline!
- It's so odd that the receptionists for Forrester Creations are Eric's sister-in-law and ex-wife and yet he talks to them like they are goofy children. I mean they are, but the family tree on this show is intense and hysterical.
- Just when I think I hate Bill Spencer forever and ever and ever, he pulls me back in. He just loves Katie so freaking much. Don Diamont is killing it.