That's sort of where I am with this show. The high-octane excitement of both the Aly story and the Avants story has died down and we're mostly watching a blackmail story with nobody to root for, but you know what? B&B has the grace and dignity to be 30 minutes long. Really just 18 minutes if you're skipping the ads, and that asks very little of us. It's a lot easier to keep checking into this show even when it's not riveting than it is with an hour-long drama. But when I think about B&B and its bigger picture for me, I struggle, and I realized why. I'm not devoted to any characters on this show. I find some more infuriating than others (Liam), I find some relatively entertaining regardless (Quinn), I love to hate a handful (Bill), but there's no one who excites me enough that I'm always going to be in their corner. Despite how we viewers always love to list the litanies of past sins of the folks we're not rooting for in order to make some point about those we are, the only characters on soaps who haven't ever done anything really horrible are boring. And so we just find those we have a visceral response to and root for them to do well, to do right, to occasionally win (without being too damn smug!), but those people don't exist for me on this show. It might be in part due to the show's tendency to dramatically alter someone's entire personality overnight (remember when Caroline was bland and pure and then turned into a conniving Mean Girl one day? remember when Maya was tough but kind and open and then turned into a gold-digging bully one day? And then back again... for both of them?), but that's where I am with it. I find something compelling about a story and someone to root for inside of it even if they bored or angered me to tears in their last arc.
So here I am. I've already tired of the blackmail story because at the end of the day it's still about Ivy wanting revenge for having lost Liam, who remains a douchenozzle for me. But I'm enjoying the new Thomas, despite his creepy fixation on his father's girlfriend (who, in fairness, used to be his girlfriend), and if I block out parts of my memory and pretend that NuRidge isn't actually Ridge, I enjoy his dynamic with Caroline, on whom they've done some great character rehab since her listless arrival.
I'm blathering on because for some reason I feel the need to explain why I run so hot and cold on this show and the people in it, and why I'll permanently reserve the right to reverse course completely. So let's check in.
Ridge had a vasectomy and, apparently, in the land of B&B they are irreversible. So apparently it's not that he doesn't want more children, it's that he can't father any more biological children? Whew! I was worried for a second that the soap paradigm had changed. We all know soap men love nothing more than being fathers over and over and over again, it's just that his sperm cannot merge with his ex-sister-in-law/ex-niece-in-law's egg! That's as good a reason as any to unilaterally "release" her as his girlfriend, right? Of course! And also of course, Caroline is waking up next to Thomas in bed with a nasty hangover. "Ridge?" she asks. She doesn't look pleased when Thomas turns over to face her. D'oh!
Steffy with her horrifying extensions arrives to yell at Wyatt and demand that every copy of the video of her (justifiably) murdering Aly in the face be destroyed!
(Ivy is dumb as a brick if she doesn't have several copies of it in places that nobody knows about.)
Ridge is explaining to Brooke about his spontaneous vasectomy in Paris. Do these two know each other? How? Who'd have thunk it? Anyway, Brooke is skeptical that Ridge is anything other than a complete moron for lying to Caroline about this. He's sure if he'd come clean about the vasectomy, Caroline would've stayed with him. Oh, good call, Ridge, women hate having agency over their own life paths! YOU'VE GOT THIS DOWN!
Thomas is hoping for some snuggle time and Caroline slaps him right away. No, thank you, ex-boyfriend, ex-nephew, and son of my boyfriend, I do not want to canoodle at this time!
Wyatt and Steffy repeat a conversation from earlier about the video.
Ridge reiterates that it's really best for everyone if he goes ahead and makes Caroline's decisions for her.
Caroline has basically blacked out the entire previous night and Thomas explains to her that they "made love," and yes, he uses those words. Caroline spectacularly freaks right the fuck out and screams, "NO NO NO NO NO!" which I think is every dude's dream of pillow talk first thing in the morning after finally getting into his crush's pants, right?