Thursday, November 29, 2012

B&B: Stephanie's Death

On Monday, November 26, 2012, Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery) died on "The Bold and the Beautiful". The scenes of her demise were filmed outside in Big Bear, California.

Stephanie died of lung cancer as her portrayer decided to leave B&B after 25 years. Instead of being surrounded by friends and family, Stephanie wanted to do it alone. Since her husband Eric (John McCook) had to leave on a work emergency, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) was called to stay with her. Stephanie gave Brooke her engagement ring, but on a previous episode she explained how she told Ridge to not come home before she passed. As she was passing away, Stephanie asked Brooke to sing to her and we heard another rendition of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", which was the tune Eric sang at the party held in her honor.

This party was held over three episodes, and it was there that most everyone except for Brooke and Eric last saw Stephanie alive. Kristen (Tracy Melchoir) and her husband Tony (Paulo Benedeti) came to town, so she could say goodbye to her mother. Stephanie and Eric's other daughter Felicia (Lesli Kay) was also at the party. The entire contract cast (except for Katie) was at the party and nearly everyone had a moment with Stephanie--both her friends and foes. They are all family now as the main cast of characters are related to each other in some fashion. Celtic Woman performed music over two of the episodes, and Eric also sang "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" to his Stephanie. Having Stephanie be Irish was something new that just came up recently, which did take me out of the material slightly.

Everyone was devastated when she announced that this would be the last time they would be with her. It felt like many of the tears were real in a way, as even though the character was dying, this was a huge departure in the scope of B&B. The first party episode and Stephanie's death episode was written by Patrick Mulcahey, the second and third party episodes were written by Adam Dusevoir.

Stephanie didn't want a funeral, but we did see everyone react to her death. During Monday's episode, we saw some reactions of characters talking into the camera about Stephanie, and after she was gone many people found out together at Forrester. All of this material was very emotional, which is partly why the summary is so vague, though I feel a bit of a catharsis just writing about it. Hopefully this will bring new avenues for story. That said I will miss Susan Flannery on B&B, appreciate the years she put into the show and wish her well as she continues doing other projects.

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