It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen life-partners Karen (Joanna Johnson) and Dani (Crystal Chappell) on The Bold and the Beautiful, but they reappeared last Wednesday at their beach house. Karen is reading a story Dani wrote. “Very nicely done,” she tells her love, and Dani says “You hate it!” in true self-deprecating writerly form. “I liked when the loggers sat down with the tree huggers for dinner,” Karen says, which is another indication that Dani is definitely an environmentally conscious lesbian but also fair and balanced.
Dani bemoans the fact Bill hasn’t called her about a job yet. Karen rolls her eyes. “My brother has no taste. I would think one look at him would tell you that.” Speak that truth, Karen. Then she reminds Dani her brother has been out of town for Liam’s wedding.
“It’s not like we need the money,” Karen says, but Dani says it’s not about that. “I need to feel productive.” “What about the life we created together? What about our daughter?” Karen asks. Dani is all “Um, our daughter is like 25 and as of now we basically just sit around our beach house all day. I’m bored.” But they share a nice kiss — until they realize Bill’s wife Katie is standing in the open doorway. (Look how easy that was, Guiding Light!)
“Hey,” Katie says walking in. “I thought since Bill was coming back, we could barbecue.” She puts a hand on her hip. “This is awkward, isn’t it?” Karen smirks. Caught in the act of kissing the woman she loves!
Katie apologizes for barging in but Dani assures her she didn’t do anything wrong. “You’re probably surprised, I would imagine,” Karen says. “Um, OK!” Katie says. “Actually, I’m kind of relieved. I’ve been wanting to treat you guys as a couple but you pretending you were not one, so…” Dani smiles as Karen looks suspicious. “So people are talking then.” She’s so paranoid ! No, people just totally get it. “Come on, this is Los Angeles,” Katie reminds them. And with some kooky music they share a brief giggle over how Bill probably has no idea.
Giggle time over, Katie says Bill is making a stop on his way home and is running late. Karen gets up in arms about how Bill’s always doing some secret business that he doesn’t fill her in on. She is supposed to be joint managing their father’s holdings, but Karen basically says she signs off on whatever Bill does. Katie’s like, “I thought you consolidated because you were in favor of it” and Dani, like a true wife, pipes up from the couch. “I was! I thought it’d be nice to get out from under the company and live a little.” Dani is over being a silent partner in this relationship!
Karen says they moved for their daughter, Caroline, but now that she’s seen how Bill’s been doing shady business lately, she’s keeping an eye on him. “You don’t even trust him to know who you really are,” Katie says. Boom, reality.
“You can’t possibly think that Bill is going to care one way or the other that his sister is a lesbian. I mean this is 2012!” Katie says. Karen says he could professionally use it against her and Katie says “You sound paranoid!” Exactly! But Dani jumps in: “Tell that to someone who lived through Bill Spencer Senior.”
“Bill despises his father,” Katie says, but Karen reminds her that he still “runs plays from his dad’s playbook.” Dani says she never even met Bill Spencer Sr. and this is where things get really dramatic and there might have been some soap-style overacting involved.
Karen: Look my father refused to meet Dani. he wanted the world not even to know she existed.
Dani: Don’t, don’t think it.
Katie: You allowed that?
Dani:You have no right to ask that question! Look she has a right to know what that man put you through and what that cost us. He wanted to cut her out without a cent. He’s one of the richest men in the world — we’re a freelance writer and an out-of-work editor raising a child in Manhattan. How long would we have lasted? Then he tried to marry you off! She made a difficult decision and it almost split us up. I am going to tell you something that I don’t tell you often enough. I don’t judge you either. I look at the beautiful life we’ve given our daughter and the opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible for her and I can’t say that you’re wrong.
Karen: Sometimes it’s hard to find the courage to stand up for yourself.
I think I’m with Katie on this one. I mean, Dani put up with a lot of shit to stick out a relationship just to have money and the lifestyle she wanted. I’m surprised Caroline herself is so well-adjusted! How can two women have a happy relationship if they are made to feel so uncomfortable because, by their own choosing, they want money over respect? It’s a sad, disheartening situation, but considering it’s a reality for some people, I’ll continue to stew about it silently as I watch this storyline unfold. All I can do now is be happy that Bill Spencer Sr. is gone and that moving to Los Angeles is probably the best thing that has happened to Dani and Karen in a long time.
Karen tells Katie she worked so hard at Spencer Publications and she wouldn’t give it up because her father wouldn’t accept her as a lesbian. Katie says she gets it, but “honestly, I just don’t think it’s going to be the same thing with Bill. Family is everything to him.” She offers to talk to her husband for Karen, but “If and when Bill finds out,” Karen says, “It’s going to be from me.”
Here’s an exclusive online clip to give some more of the discussion that went down between Katie, Dani and Karen where they discuss how Bill thinks Dani has the hots for him.
So the next day, Karen drops by Bill and Katie’s to see them embracing in the living room and Dollar Bill is instantly a jerk to her. “It is not OK — get out, back up, go. Whatever you have to say can wait. I’m trying to get intimate to my wife.” This whole exchange is awkward because Katie doesn’t say anything, just stands there and lets Bill be a jerk to his sister. She eventually says to come in but Bill says, “The kitchen is closed, Katie” after she offers them a drink.
Dani comes in behind her partner and apologizes for the inconvenient timing but “We’re all here now” and Dani interrupts “There’s something we have to tell you.”
Bill continues to make them feel like shit for stopping by, despite them insisting it’s important. “I promise you, I will give this my full attention in the not-too-distant future,” Bill says, thinking this is about Dani wanting the writing job with him. “It’s not about the job. There is something I’ve been needing to tell you for a very long time,” Karen says. “She’s your sister!” Katie reminds her husband, but he’s already on a roll. “Do you think I don’t recognize my sister? And that’s her roommate. You guys are pals, best friends so do me a favor — go entertain her, will ya?”
“We’ll talk about this another time,” Karen says, and Bill races to get the door for them. Apparently he’s not even curious about what his sister has had to tell him “for a very long time.” And Katie just goes back to kissing him. Weird.
Back at home Dani says she’s pissed because she doesn’t want to hide in their house anymore. I would be, too! Karen says she still plans on coming out to Bill when he’s not being such an asshole, but who knows when that will be? They change the subject momentarily, discussing their daughter and how she’s been glowing lately.
Out on their patio, the couple discuss how the move has been so great for Caroline. “Thomas is very impressive and he adores Caroline,” Dani says of her daughter’s suitor. “Kinds of reminds me of myself! When we first met, I had that hand-over-the-head-hammer look over my eyes.” They say they are still so in love with one another — even more so now, after all these years and they embrace tightly, smiling. Maybe living through someone as terrible as Bill Spencer Sr. has prepared them for the rudeness of Bill Spencer Jr. Things are looking up!
But on today’s episode, it’s still the same day. Dani and Karen return to Bill and Katie’s, but they luck out because Bill is in a much better mood. He and Katie have been to the doctor and found out Katie is pregnant with a boy. Bill being the uber-feminist he is, he’s thrilled and ready to celebrate. He welcomes Karen and Dani in this time, saying he’s ready to celebrate with family. But the champagne is poured for only one second before Bill begins to tell Karen she needs to start a bigger family herself — she needs to find a man immediately and he can call his friend over if she wants. Karen’s like “Um, no” and Katie pulls Dani out onto the patio with her so Karen can be alone with her brother. He notes “That was awkward” and asks what’s so important.
“I am,” Karen says. She acknowledges she’s kind of been hiding out for a long time, but it’s all going to change. “Look, there’s something about me that you need to know.” Bill keeps interrupting her to say he knows what she is going to say (his friend isn’t her type or she’s a New Yorker still getting used to California), but he definitely has no clue. “This isn’t about me and a guy,” Karen says. She’s frustrated and I don’t blame her. “This is about who I am and how I live my life! … This is about me and making you understand why I kept my business from you for so many years. I’e been afraid of what you might do to me and my family. I’m gay and I wanted you to know. I’m gay.” Bill responds, “No you’re not.”
Um, excuse me?
“You’re not gay; you can’t be. And she can’t be,” he motions to Dani outside. “She was hitting on me! You were in love with Thorne.”
Karen explains how this kind of thing works: You think you’ll eventually fall for a nice guy like everyone expects you to. In the meantime, you hang out with them and hope the feelings follow. But Bill doesn’t seem to think it is otherwise a problem. He says it could see how it would be a scandal years ago — “two women raising a child.” Bill acknowledges, too, he’s a lot like his Dad, but he tells his sister how much it sucked to be a guy living as Bill Spencer’s son. “I can only imagine as a female what he put you through when you had the guts to come out. I want to say something to you that you’re never going to forget. I accept you for who you are. And I, uh, I love you as you are. You’re my sister. You’re family.” He almost looks teary-eyed, but it’s probably just too much cologne. Karen begins to cry though as she hugs her brother tightly. Dani and Katie come in and Dani is crying, too. “Dani,” Bill says, “Welcome to the family.”
Katie says, “I told you so!” (Not verbatim, but that’s basically what happened.) Bill is like “What a day!” and says “It’s not a choice you made, Karen. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s who you are.” He reiterates that he loves and accepts her and they hug again. I wonder if he’ll ever apologize for being a dick in general, like when he kicked her out of the house earlier that day. I won’t hold my breath.
I have a feeling this goodwill I have toward Bill (it’s tiny) is going to be short-lived, as he’s still kind of a terrible person. But I’m glad to know that Dani and Karen can be free of the closet now. What will their storyline be next? They already have a daughter so hopefully they won’t get knocked up. And since they are so in love, I can’t imagine one will fall for a man. It’s almost like The Bold and the Beautiful will have to come up with a whole new way to deal with lesbians on daytime TV! I can’t wait.