If you, like me, have been wondering why Douglas chose to live with his aunt Steffy, the soap finally answered our burning question on Friday, Feb. 17’s episode. His reasoning was sound, as I’ll explain in this Bold and the Beautiful recap, but even though it seemed to parrot what Liam and Steffy have both been saying about the Cliff House being the easier choice for him, it doesn’t seem to be a temporary move for him.
Douglas’ idea of “needing a change” isn’t coming off as some home away from home vacation and rest he needs before ultimately choosing one of his parents. If that were the case he would have articulated that to the judge, his aunt, his parents, Liam, or any grown person who would have taken that statement in stride (and, honestly, relief).
Besides continuing to watch Hope breakdown over the loss of her son, the episode also finished up Thomas’ conversation with his grandfather, Eric, which did not result in a job offer but did invigorate Thomas to go see Douglas after receiving Hope’s text that he’d gotten settled at Steffy’s. However, his surprise visit was unwelcome by Steffy and then Finn once the two siblings started to get into it.
The tension around this whole situation is why I don’t think Brooke and Taylor aren’t going to be able to stay neutral about the custody struggle without being written wildly out of character. Sure, they lunched with one another, even had Deacon pull up a chair, but Brooke was biting her tongue and Taylor wasn’t saying any words in defense of her son who can’t seem to be brought up in conversation without being badmouthed.
As much as the two friends want to protect their friendship, staying out of it to the point of not expressing their true feelings just comes off as disingenuous and as a stop gap to prevent a meltdown instead of being able to have opposing views while still finding ground they do agree on. Here’s the full recap of events.
Bold and the Beautiful recap
The soap opened with Hope and Liam still at the Cliff House making sure Douglas settles in fine. Hope was barely keeping it together. She feels rejected by her son and as much as she’s been reassured that’s not the case, it’s obvious that it is. If he wanted to be at the cabin, he would have chosen her to be his guardian, but that wasn’t the choice he made.
Steffy reiterated the same point she’s not even aware Liam has been making i.e. Douglas just needs a break. His stay at her house is going to feel like a vacation to him but, eventually, the excitement and sense of adventure will wear off and he’ll want to go home to his mom, Liam, and Beth. I, however, don’t think it’s going to be that simple.
Douglas bid Hope and Liam goodbye after telling them he’s going to spend the night looking for pirates from his window with Kelly. Hope asked him to let her know if he sees any and he promised he would. Douglas shared a heartfelt hug with Hope and Liam, he also told his mom that he loves her. It was clear he was sad to see her go, but it was the kind of sadness that usually comes with a farewell and not that of a child who doesn’t want their parent to leave.
After the two left, Douglas opened up to Steffy and Finn about his choice to live with them. He’s an emotionally intelligent child, so he knows that his decision has complicated things for his aunt and uncle. But he feels at home with them and at the Cliff House. He felt that choosing Steffy was the best choice because it meant not having to choose between his parents.
As mentioned above, that’s what everyone has been saying, but Douglas appears to be rather comfortable with his choice. So, the idea that he’s going to come to realize he really wants to be with Hope no matter what seems unlikely since he didn’t miss being in her care or at the cabin when he’d been living at Forrester Mansion and never expressed a desire to go back. In fact, he only returned to her home because his dad messed up not because he wanted to.
Anyway, both Steffy and Finn expressed that Douglas is welcome anytime. Steffy is still getting this look on her face like she wants her nephew to stay with her permanently, but everything she says is to the contrary. We’ll have to see how long that lasts.
Steffy sets boundaries for Thomas
Dealing with emotional parents was the name of the game for Steffy on Feb. 17’s episode of The Bold and the Beautiful. She only got a short breather before Thomas came through her door unannounced. He came to the Cliff House nearly as soon as he got Hope’s text that their son was there.
Eric had advised him to call first, but Thomas things that he can just come and go from his sister’s house as he pleases. He sees Douglas living with her as a means of repairing his relationship with everyone he holds dear and hopes that it leads to him being able to resume working at Forrester Creations. Eric wished him luck with that but we all know it’s going to be a rough rode.
Steffy’s reaction to Thomas walking through her front door for a surprise visit proved this. Usually, she doesn’t care but now that Douglas is living with her, she cares a lot about Thomas just showing up. Especially in the face of him affirming what he’d said to their grandfather, with his son at her house, he plans on being there so much it’ll be like he lives there, too.
Obviously, Thomas briefly forgot who he was talking to because you don’t just tell Steffy Forrester what you’re going to be doing when she’s the one who’s calling the shots. For the first time in quite awhile, since Hope never set boundaries regarding Douglas and often relied on Thomas choosing to stay away, Thomas had to contend with being told he couldn’t see his son.
Steffy has every intention on helping her brother fix what he broke in his relationship with Douglas. But she’s not going to let him run roughshod over her and act as if she now has an open door policy where he can drop in as he pleases. She made a promise to Hope to protect her nephew and that includes from his father if it comes to that. Her concern was that his presence would upset Douglas.
I’m of the mind that neither sibling was right in their argument. No one has actually asked Douglas how he feels about seeing his father, they’re all just making assumptions based on how they feel about him not how the child does. It’s also not fair that Hope gets to be the worrying mother who’s being handheld by everyone because this whole situation is hurtful but Thomas can’t at least be given the courtesy of being able to check-in on his son.
At the same time, it was incredibly rude of Thomas to assume he could do whatever he wants because Steffy is in care of Douglas now. And it’s not right that he was often soft toward Hope but now wants to be firm and get into an argument with his sister regarding custody. Finn overheard them and immediately put his foot down regarding Thomas’ tone and the way he was speaking to Steffy. He directed Thomas to leave which was an overreaction, but I digress.
Thomas, of course, didn’t and informed both of them that they weren’t going to keep his son from him.
Brooke and Taylor grab lunch and talk around the custody struggle
Meanwhile, back in the city, Brooke and Taylor were eating at Il Giardino. They did talk about Douglas’ move to the Cliff House, but it was the kind of tepid conversation that had holes in it. Taylor asked after Hope because she knows how hard this must be for her. Brooke admitted that she’s having a rough go of it as we know because Liam was working hard to console Hope in the episode as she grieved the loss of Douglas living with them.
Taylor’s concern touched Brooke, though her friend noticeably didn’t inquire after Thomas. Instead the conversation pivoted to how amazing it is that they’re friendship is still going strong despite what’s happening with their kids. They congratulated themselves on not letting it get in the middle of their connection because if it was just a couple of months ago, it would have.
Later, Deacon pulled up a chair and after a signal from Taylor, Brooke informed him of Douglas’ changed living situation. He was surprised that their grandson didn’t choose Hope, and told Taylor no offense (Even though, you know, it is offensive. Taylor has to swallow a lot, goodness.). Steffy, however, can and will take care of Douglas which Taylor spoke to as well as the reason behind his choice. It’s just easier for him but everyone’s in agreement that it’s temporary.
That’s what Hope’s holding tightly to, that Steffy will keep her word about letting Douglas stay with her for the time being with the sole purpose of giving him the break he needs before he has to go back home. She also hopes Steffy can protect her son from Thomas which Liam strongly asserted she would. So now it’s a waiting game, one Beth has yet to join since her parents had sent her off with a friend for the day so she wouldn’t have to deal with Douglas’ absence from the cabin just yet.
Until next time, Bold fans. Stay beautiful!