Bo’s back

(I apologize for the lack of a post last week. Things have been a little crazy for me lately!)

I am almost completely ignorant of 90’s Bo and Hope. I saw their 80’s run, and I saw a lot of them in the 2000’s, but I missed Hope-as-Gina, Bo with Carly and Billie, Robert Kelker-Kelly’s run, and the first example of the magical powers of Bo’s sperm, when he fathered Zack through retrospective mime-sex.

And, I didn’t see their return in 1990—that is, not until now. The clip unfortunately isn’t on my DVDs, but the show gave Bo a big re-entrance with a shot of him riding his motorcycle down an Australian freeway with Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding out for a Hero” playing on the soundtrack. That clip wasn’t on YouTube either, but here’s a bit of it in a promo:

YouTube link

Then, after that grand entrance, the show weaves him in nicely with the plot of Stephanie’s kidnapping (a story I’ll talk about more next time.) I really like how the show gives him an exciting solo scene, for those of us who know him, but then introduces him to viewers who might not know him by integrating him into an existing plot:

YouTube link

He comes in throwing punches, says “How the hell are ya?” to Steve, as Steve stares at him in disbelief. What a fun little scene!

It’s doubly appropriate that Bo is reintroduced with Steve, because not only are they brothers-in-law now, but Steve was originally introduced through Bo back in 1985. Steve was a villain then, of course, and their whole friendship-gone-wrong backstory unfolded over several years—as a reason for Steve to seek revenge against Bo, as fuel for two separate umbrella stories involving international espionage and million dollar bonds, as motivation for Steve to terrorize Bo’s sister, and as a reason for Bo to warn his sister away from Steve.

Thinking about it logically, maybe it shouldn’t work that Steve and Bo fall right into buddy/buddy mode here. After all, pretty much all we saw in their first run together was alienation and conflict. But, somehow it does. Maybe because through all of that craziness, we really did see glimpses of the affection the two men still had for each other, deep down.

First let me post a great scene of their usual conflict, where Steve taunts Bo about his (recently revealed) true parentage:

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(Bonus scene at the end there of Steve going to see Kayla—their second meeting, if you don’t count the stalking in Cleveland. He’s so sleazy, and Kayla is so wary—you can see so clearly how much distance there is between them. I love it!)

If I recall correctly, this the first time Steve calls Bo “little Vic.” The reveal of Bo’s parentage has given Steve and Bo something in common—not that his “mother wasn’t married to his father either,” which isn’t true, but that both of them are now connected to the great evil man, Victor. Bo denies it, of course, but they aren’t so easily defined now as the hero on one side and the villain on the other. I love, too, Steve’s insistence that Bo isn’t better than him—it shows how much he really believes the opposite.

A couple of months later, we get a wonderful example of their underlying bond, when Steve saves Bo’s life—the greatest soap story ever to feature a forklift. That’s a classic, but it’s more about Steve and Kayla than Steve and Bo. Here is a lesser, more incidental scene, that takes place a few weeks after the forklift story, after Britta has shown up back in town:

YouTube link

It’s very telling that, despite all the hostility between them, Steve doesn’t hesitate to run to Bo for help about Britta. The history between the three of them is tangled and painful, but he knows that this is one thing Bo will help him with. And he’s right—Bo quickly recognizes, and honors, the emotion that is driving Steve to ask Bo for help, and he immediately agrees.

(I included the scene before it of Steve confronting Britta—I love the contrast between the two scenes. With Britta, he is all anger and recrimination, no softness, no sympathy—but with Bo, we can see how worried he is about Britta as he talks about her being sick and on the run, and I love the emotion he packs into “I don’t want to see Britta dead.” It’s noncommital and revealing at the same time.)

Revisiting this time period in 1986 in order to write this post was a little bit depressing, however. In the 1990 DVDs, after Bo gets back to Salem, he has to play being happy to be Victor’s son (this all has to do with Ernesto’s plot to get revenge on Victor) which alienates Hope, makes Caroline unhappy, and creates conflicts with Shawn and Roman. I swear, these scenes have been lifted nearly word for word from scenes in 1986 when the “Victor is Bo’s father” storyline first aired. I’m usually pretty forgiving of familiar storylines, but this borders on outright plagiarism. I’m sure things will change up as we get closer to the big Cruise of Deception, but right now I’m having a big case of deja vu.

8 thoughts on “Bo’s back

  1. I’ve always loved that Steve/Britta scene, especially Steve’s sarcasm and lashing out. It’s so clear how much they care for each other, but between his abandonment issues and her ulterior motives, there’s simply no way it can work out between them. (And is that a Sarah Bernhardt reference from Steve?)

    Does Steve’s declaration to Bo come into play at all when Steve is accused of Britta’s murder?

    >Thinking about it logically, maybe it shouldn’t work that Steve and Bo fall right into buddy/buddy mode here. After all, pretty much all we saw in their first run together was alienation and conflict. But, somehow it does. But, somehow it does. Maybe because through all of that craziness, we really did see glimpses of the affection the two men still had for each other, deep down.

    I agree, it shouldn’t necessarily work, but it does. Part of it, too, might be the grey-ish situation Bo finds himself in here, after he spent a good part of the first run being somewhat high and mighty with Steve. Things leveled out between them while Bo was off screen.

    Looking forward to the CoD — unlike Jack, I’m sure you won’t find it beyond description!

  2. I like the Steve/Britta scene, too. I’ve mentioned before that I was a Steve/Britta fan back in the day, and this scene is an example of why.

    Even now, Britta’s return and murder is still one of my favorite arcs on the show. It’s a perfectly executed plot, setting up the Stockholm adventure, bringing up internal issues for Steve, laying the ghost of Britta to rest, driving a wedge between Kayla and Steve and then bringing them closer. And, I love the way the show contrasts Britta and Kayla, but they don’t go too far. The show lets us see that Britta cares for Steve, even as she’s trying to use him. And Kayla-the-good actually gives Steve quite a bit of grief in this section.

    >Does Steve’s declaration to Bo come into play at all when Steve is accused of Britta’s murder?

    It doesn’t, not specifically. Bo’s first reaction when he hears Steve is a suspect is one of disbelief. But, he seems to be willing to believe it when Roman tells him some of the evidence against him. Hope is the one who stakes out the “Steve is innocent, he loved Britta” position. I love Bo’s response to her: “Britta was a tricky lady.” He knows there was a lot of anger mixed in with Steve’s love for Britta—and, it IS believable, which is what I love about it.

    And yes, I think that is a Sarah Bernhardt reference! Funny choice for Steve.

  3. wow… this was interesting to watch as i can’t remember this storyline that well. Bo was such an anti-hero as was Steve it was interesting to watch the dynamics of their relationship.
    Thinking about the character of Bo as being played out right now, as the defender/ lover of Carly, is so sad. In the classic days of old, it was hope and bo together forever. it somehow cheapens the character of this man who loved his wife and son and family.

  4. It’s interesting that 99% of Steve and Bo’s onscreen history prior to 1990 was hostile, yet their best buds interaction feels completely natural. It’s really a credit to SN and PR and the way that they always kept that underlying affection/friendship in their relationship even during the hostile days. They both pretended otherwise at times, but when the chips were down they were there for each other.

    The one thing that makes the friendship vibe work so well when Bo returns is that, however quickly and contrived, they did reconcile before Bo and Hope sailed off into the sunset and Bo would know that Steve and Kayla had married, etc. And, even if that wasn’t the case, having Bo burst in and help Steve is so great. I still remember the episode when Bo is riding that motorcycle with “Holding out for a Hero” blaring. I was in college watching some dormmates and we were all squeeing a bit.

    And it was fun to see that the same vibe was there when SN and MBE returned in 2006. With Bope and S&K it really was like nothing had changed in all those years.

  5. Very good point that the same dynamic was there when SN and MBE were on the show in the 2000’s. Not a lot went right in those few years, but that was one thing that was a lot of fun. It’s ironic that four of them actually never really hung out as a group in the 80’s/90’s. Bo and Steve were at odds for most of the first run, and Hope died after just a short run in 1990. Funny.

  6. Interesting how in the first clip of Bo’s return how “clean” Steve looks compared to Bo. Steve always seemed kind of unkempt in the early days in keeping with his bad boy image. Shows how far Steve has come.

  7. I agree MP. I was almost shocked at Steve’s appearance in the first vid. But regardless…I will always love the character.

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