The Bold and the BeautifulSoapbox
Bold & Beautiful’s Hope Found Thomas, But the *Real* Mystery Is What Happened to Carter and Quinn — Plus, Zoe’s Drama-Free Exit
The week of July 5-9, 2021
Howard Wise/JPI (3); CBS screenshot (2)
It was a busy week for The Bold and the Beautiful as Hope solved a mystery, Zoe skipped town and Justin continued to make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Oddly, once the show decided to shift gears midweek, everything else was forgotten… including a couple of major plot points we’d hoped to see play out. Let’s dive in to discuss what went down in last week’s episodes… as well as what inexplicably didn’t.
The week started strong as Eric confronted Quinn and kicked her out of both his home and company, with Brooke of course able to soak it all in because this family has never in their history thought to say, “Hey, maybe let’s have this conversation in private.” But while Bold & Beautiful‘s strong suit is usually big, emotional payoffs, this one wound up falling flat. Why? Because for some reason, the writers opted not to play the situation for all it was worth.
Eric kicked Quinn out, but we never saw him actually confront Carter. Nor did we get to see Ridge express his disappointment in his best friend, Brooke track down Quinn to gloat or even Carter and Quinn comfort one another and deal with the very real question of what’s next for them.
And then, of course, there was the Zoe situation. Upon finding out about everything that went down from Paris, Zoe essentially shrugged and said, “That’s really interesting, sis, but I’ve got a plane to catch.” It’s as if the show was in such a hurry to get to and resolve the whole “Justin’s-holding-Thomas-hostage” thing that they decided to ignore all the big, meaty drama still to play out in the Carter/Quinn/Eric saga. It was inexplicable on every level and, frankly, bad soap opera all around.
Credit Where Credit’s Due
That said, I have to acknowledge one of the smartest moves I’ve seen this soap make in ages. I’ve long complained about the fact that Bold & Beautiful rarely uses the bait-and-switch tactic which is so vital to good soap storytelling. By bait-and-switch I mean this: You’ve got a whole lot of people tuning in to see the payoff of your central story, so make sure to include a juicy beat in your secondary story to get them hooked on that, too.
It’s basic soap opera writing, but it’s something this show rarely does (often because they don’t have a secondary storyline in play). Yet on Monday’s episode, they executed the move beautifully. After Eric gave Quinn the boot, the show cut to Hope swinging by Spencer Publications and having a conversation with Justin. It seemed an odd way to end an episode that had been packed-to-the-gils with wedding drama… until Hope went to call Thomas and the missing young man’s phone was heard ringing in Bill’s desk drawer.
“What is Thomas’ phone doing here?” asked Hope. “What’s going on?” And just like that, anyone who’d RSVP’d to the wedding was drawn in to the show’s other big story.
If You Say So, Dude
Now, about that other story… I’m going to have to assume Justin is an absolutely terrible lawyer. How else to explain that he somehow didn’t see any of the big, gaping holes in his own nefarious plot? My theory is that Bill actually has a whole team of attorneys who do the actual legal work involved in running Spencer Publications, and Justin is only kept around to handle things like dumping Ridge from the occasional helicopter and seeking out arsonists to burn down Spectra.
Justin likes to talk about how he could totally run the company, but we haven’t seen a whole lot of evidence that would back that claim up. Remember the time Brooke managed to replace the legal papers Justin and Bill wanted Katie to sign with a bunch of leaves? I’m just sayin’.
This time around, he not only kept Thomas’ phone (as opposed to disposing of it) but left it in the drawer of a desk that Wyatt routinely works at… and left the ringer on! And if we’re really to believe that this hostility toward his boss has been building over the past few years, wouldn’t it make far more sense for Justin to have been socking away proof of Bill’s wrong-doing and using that to bring him down as opposed to waiting for someone to randomly throw himself in front of a car driven by Bill’s son?
Thomas kept repeatedly saying things like, “Everyone makes mistakes. If anyone gets that, it’s me,” opening the door for Justin to lash out at the man who drove Emma off the road and left her there to die. Yes, Justin might not know about the whole forced-her-car-off-the-road thing, but he could easily have found out about the rest. Heck, the show could have created a new flashback in which we saw Justin listening in at the hospital as Ridge and Thomas discussed that fateful night.
Meanwhile, when everyone started musing about Thomas’ whereabouts, Brooke suggested he may have met someone and left town. But she of all people — convinced as she is that Thomas will never, ever get over his obsession with her daughter — would never think, let alone buy, that theory. Liam is not only behind bars but practically begged his nemesis to keep an eye on Hope. If anything, Brooke should have seized upon that to say, “Nope, no way did he just go off on some unannounced road trip when he could instead spend all day mooning over Hope.”
Less Talking, More Action
Once hope had found Thomas, things moved quickly… sort of. A lot of the dialogue went something like this:
THOMAS: Go get help!
HOPE: No, I’m going to search for the key. Keep talking to me about Liam.
THOMAS: He’s innocent, but we need to tell someone. Go get help!
HOPE: I’m sure I can find the key! Say Liam’s name again.
This was how the first half of Friday’s episode played out. Yet in the final scenes, Justin discovered that Hope had managed to free Thomas with a crowbar. Of course, this came just as the attorney had at long last realized just how moronic his plan was — although his epiphany seemed motivated by nothing so much as the show’s desire to slam the brakes on this storyline. Despite the fact that this show generally talks every plot point, big or small, to death, the only clue we got as to Justin’s change of heart was him muttering under his breath, “Why I thought I could do this… I musta lost my mind.”
Two seconds later, Thomas and Hope were confronting Baker — clearly annoyed at having had his hot-dog break interrupted — babbling about the proof they had, but not actually showing it to him, even as Liam was being escorted toward the prison transport which would take him to his new home.
Again, I ask… what’s the rush, guys?
• Anybody else find Baker’s excuse as to why Liam was being sent to a different facility amusing? The top cop said Liam was being sent “someplace better equipped to handle prisoners who need maximum security,” as if Liam was some sort of threat or had attempted to escape when in reality, all he’s done is mope in his cell and entertain a stream of visitors.
• Ridge definitely had my favorite line of the week, which he spoke in response to Justin saying Thomas had simply left his phone behind. “We leave things, old people leave things,” sputtered Ridge. “Young people don’t leave their phones. They can’t live without their phones, you know that. You think Thomas would have made it all the way to the airport? No, he wouldn’t have made it to the elevator!”
• It seemed odd to have Steffy, Finn, Wyatt and Flo hanging out… and none of them talking about the chaos that had gone down only a day or two earlier at the wedding. Given that it was Wyatt’s mom and Steffy’s grandfather, it seems like maybe the subject would come up!
That’s my take on this week’s action, now it’s your turn. Were you surprised how quickly things seemed to move once Hope found Thomas? Were you disappointed by the lack of fallout from the Quinn/Carter reveal? Hit the comments section with your thoughts, then — as we say farewell to Kiara Barnes — flip through this gallery in which we shine a spotlight on characters who, like Zoe, deserved a way better send-off than they got.