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Credit: CBS

“It’s always the mother’s fault, ain’t it?” wrote Lionel Shriver in We Need to Talk About Kevin. And while we’d disagree with that statement as a general rule, there might be something to it where Scott Clifton’s character is concerned.

We know — we’ve discussed Liam a lot lately. We’ve facepalmed over the fact that The Bold and the Beautiful had him mistake a mannequin for his wife, Hope. We’ve raged over the way that he left her with Thomas, who it can’t be stressed enough he thought posed a danger to her. We’ve shaken our heads in disbelief at his impulsive, rebound hookup with former missus Steffy. And we’ve grumbled audibly over the blood-pressure-raising double standard that he applied to his actual infidelity vs. Hope’s imagined betrayal.

Basically, the show has trashed the character — to the point that, maybe you’ll recall, we even suggested that he get outta Dodge for a while.

But if Liam remains in Los Angeles, we know one way to save him. Or, rather, we know one person who can.

Beyond Therapy?

For years, Liam has bounced back and forth between Hope and Steffy with such regularity that even pingpong balls have been like, “Dude, take it down a notch.” His wives are sick of it, and so is the audience. Maybe now, Liam himself will be so tired of and frustrated by his indecisiveness that he’ll do something about it — as in, go into therapy to get to the root of the problem.

We wouldn’t advise retaining Taylor’s services, of course; she might be a little bit biased, what with being Steffy’s mother and all. But Dr. James Warwick is out there somewhere. And maybe The Young and the Restless’ Dr. Emily Peterson relocated to L.A. after leaving Genoa City behind.

Hunter Tylo, Ian Buchanan"The Bold and the Beautiful" Set CBS Television City Los Angeles 1/15/08 ©Brian Lowe/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 5244 Air Date 2/7/08

“But I can be impartial! I can be, I tell you!”

Credit: Brian Lowe/JPI

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Once Liam’s gotten comfortable on his therapist’s couch — we’ll go with James for the purposes of this hypothetical redemption arc — the waffler would contemplate why it is that he has so much trouble settling down with either Hope or Steffy. He loves them — both of them. So he should be able to be happy with either of them.

Furthermore, why is Liam’s reaction to being with one of them to run to the other? Why does he always need, in a sense, a woman on the side, on standby, for “just in case”? Is he unable to trust his feelings for the woman he’s with? Is he unable to trust her feelings for him? No, he might admit finally. He’s always been sure of his feelings — as well as theirs for him. Yet he’s always been…

“What?” James asks.

“Scared,” Liam replies.

Hunter Tylo, Scott Clifton"The Bold and the Beautiful" Set CBS Television City Los Angeles, Ca. 10/26/18 © Howard Wise/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 7978 U.S.Airdate 11/30/18

You think I can be impartial, don’t you?”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

The Mother of All Explanations

In his heart of hearts, Liam has never wanted to hurt Hope or Steffy. He’s never meant to string them along. But, through his sessions with James, he’d come to realize that he’d never been free to truly commit to them because he was afraid that they would leave. It wasn’t their fault at all. It was nobody’s fault, really. He had just been scarred by the loss of his mom, Kelly Hopkins.

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Katherine Kelly Lang, Hunter Tylo, Ian Buchanan"The Bold and the Beautiful" Set CBS Television City Los Angeles 6/26/09 ©sean smith/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 5632 U.S.Airdate 8/19/09

“Hurry it up, ladies, Liam’s going to need the mud tub in 20.”

Credit: ©sean smith/

When she died, Liam would explain to James, all he’d wanted to do was run. But he’d wanted to run to her, and there was no her anymore. The one person in the world who had made him feel unconditionally loved and accepted was gone. And if she could be taken away from him, so could anybody.

In hopes of helping Liam resolve his abandonment issues, James could then suggest that his patient talk directly to the individual who left him with them: his mom. Wait, what?

Mother and Child Reunion… of a Sort

James would propose that Liam close his eyes and picture his mom sitting across from him. “This is silly,” he’d protest. “You want me to see a ghost?”

But as tears slowly started to roll down his cheeks, Kelly would appear before him — and us. Since she died more than a decade ago now, we’d cast someone youngish, like Liam would remember her, maybe As the World Turns alum Kelley Menighan (Emily) or soap-hopper Robin Christopher (who took Skye from All My Children to One Life to Live to General Hospital).

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Christopher (left) or Menighan could hit the mother lode, so to speak.

Credit: Sean Smith/JPI, Jill Johnson/JPI

Once Liam got over the shock of being “reunited” with his mom, if only in his mind, James would encourage him to open his heart and share the feelings that he’d been denying for so long. With great shame, Liam might admit that he was angry at his mom, angry at her for leaving him all alone in this big, bad world. And he’d be embarrassed, because to be a man in dad Bill’s mind was to never be frightened, never acknowledge weakness. 

“I’m not brave anymore, Mom,” Liam could sob. “Not without you.”

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The Turning Point

At last, Kelly would address her son and assure him that couldn’t be more wrong: He was courageous, he just didn’t realize it. She was sorry that she hurt him by leaving — it had broken her heart, too. But even then, she knew. She knew that he no longer needed her, not really. He had become a fine man, a kind man, a brave man, someone who could not only face that big, bad world but make it seem a little less big and bad to others.

“And you do that, Liam,” she’d say. “Maybe you never stop and notice. Maybe nobody tells you. But you do that all the time for other people.

“You need to do it for yourself, too,” she’d add. “You are your own safe place. That heart of yours that I watched grow not only bigger but so much stronger… it will always steer you right. You just have to trust it.”

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“Do I seem… different yet?”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Before the session would end, Liam could admit that he wasn’t sure he could do what his mom asked. “You don’t need me to tell you what I’d say to that, do you?” she’d ask.

Finally, Liam would crack a smile. “No,” he’d say. “You’re sure.”

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The Next Step

With that, the session would conclude. But Liam, to demonstrate his growth to himself as well as the women he’s loved and hurt, wouldn’t run straight to either Hope or Steffy. He’d continue to look inward, to fortify himself for what was to come. On the other side of all this, he finally would be ready to make a real commitment. But to whom?

What do you think, Bold & Beautiful fans? Can you imagine a scenario like this playing out? And if it did, would it change the way you view Liam? Hit the comments with your thoughts, and while you’re here, be sure and check out the below photo gallery which tees up tours of some of your favorite stars’ homes.