In Brooke's cabin, Ridge arrived and said he'd seen Hope's car leave the house. Liam replied that it was good for her to get out of the cabin and into the real world. Ridge stated that most of the focus was on Hope, but Liam was also grieving. Ridge wondered how Liam was.
Claiming to be fine, Liam said he was waiting to get back to normal. Ridge asked what happened to Liam's grief in the interim. Liam said he screamed into the abyss, but "other than that..." Ridge affirmed that he was there if Liam needed him.
Liam asked if Ridge knew that Steffy was taking the kids to Europe. Ridge knew about it and asked how Liam felt about it. Liam handed Ridge a beer. Liam had been surprised to hear about the trip and said he hadn't gotten any warning. Ridge asked if Liam had pushed back about it.
Liam conveyed that he hadn't resisted because he understood Steffy's career demands. He knew that the kids had to go with Steffy. Liam added that there was the "Hope issue," which was probably why Steffy had chosen that time to actually go.
Liam informed Ridge that Liam and Steffy were concerned about Hope's attachment to the new baby and Hope's insistence upon pushing Liam and Steffy back together. Ridge said Steffy had told him about it, and he wondered if it could happen. "Umm, no," Liam replied.
Ridge asked how Liam felt about being apart from the girls. Liam felt that it would be hard, but he was glad that Steffy had thought about Hope's needs. Ridge didn't find it surprising. Liam said it was just the kind of person Steffy was. Ridge was glad Liam remembered what a remarkable woman she was. Liam claimed that he always would.
Ridge knew that Liam loved Hope but wondered what life would be like if Bill hadn't taken advantage of Steffy. Liam said that Steffy had never accused Bill of that. Ridge asserted that he and Taylor saw it that way, and Liam should, too, because he had two daughters. Ridge realized that baby Phoebe wasn't biologically Liam's child, but she was family. Liam replied that he and Steffy agreed wholeheartedly on that point.
At Spencer, Donna joined Justin, Wyatt, and Sally for Chinese takeout in Bill's office. They discussed what a coincidence it was that Bill and Katie had lunch appointments at the same time and in the same place. Justin wondered if the busy mayor would be a no-show.
Wondering the same thing about Brooke, Donna suddenly recalled that Brooke was supposed to be out of town. Donna said Katie and Bill might be inspired to have lunch together. Wyatt and Sally exchanged glances. Sally reminded them that Bill had warned them to stop gossiping about his love life.
Quipping that it wasn't like Bill had a love life, Donna said they were speculating about what could be. Wyatt conveyed how thrilling it would be for Will to have his parents reunite. Justin believed that, deep down, Bill really wanted to reunite the family. Donna thought the same about Katie. Confident that a reunion would happen, Donna said she'd bet money on it.
Donna was also certain that Bill had changed -- or else Wyatt wouldn't trust Bill with Sally. Affirming it, Wyatt said he'd seen changes in Bill and believed Bill's commitment to the family. Sally said it did mean something that Bill was willing to make amends with her. Justin noted that it wasn't something the old Bill would have done.
Justin, Donna, Wyatt, and Sally talked about Bill's missed chances to raise Wyatt and Liam. Wyatt said Bill had the chance to do that with Will. Donna replied that no one knew what could happen over an accidental lunch date.
At Il Giardino, Bill and Katie were puzzled about their missing lunch partners. It wasn't like the mayor to be late, and Katie had no recollection of making lunch plans with Brooke. Bill received a message from Emmy that his meeting with the mayor was the next month, not that day. Katie noted that she'd received a message from Brooke, who was actually out of town.
Bill asked if Katie was thinking what he was thinking. Katie was thinking that someone was messing with them. Bill would normally be irate about someone playing around with his calendar, but that time, he didn't mind it at all.
The server arrived and said Bill and Katie's meals had been ordered. The selections were written on the individualized menus that she handed to each of them. Katie said the choices were all her favorites, and Bill said his favorites were on his menu. The server left, and Bill and Katie speculated about who could have set up the lunch.
Bill thought the culprits could be Justin and Wyatt, who'd been vocal about his personal life. Katie nominated the hint-dropping Donna. Bill said whoever it was had good taste in wines. Katie raised her glass of wine, and she and Bill toasted.
As they ate lunch, Katie said she'd never imagined Bill would do magic. Bill called himself the Great Spencerini but doubted he'd headline in Las Vegas. Katie thought it said a lot that he'd learn something new for his son. Bill replied that there was nothing he wouldn't do for Will.
Bill said he was officially not angry with whoever had set up the lunch. Katie stated that the food was delicious, and Bill replied that the company was, too. He always enjoyed himself with Katie. "Thorne's an idiot," Bill blurted out. Though Bill understood Thorne was still dealing with his loss, Bill thought Thorne had been a fool to walk away from Katie.
Having a meal with Katie had once been Bill's favorite time of day. Katie recalled how amazing his ability to dial down after work had been. He attributed it to her calmness and her steadiness and said he found himself wound up all the time -- except with Will.
Bill decided that he had to get back to the office. Katie wanted to freshen up but said he could go on back to work. Bill replied that he was happy to wait for her. Katie went to the restroom, and Bill flashed back over times with her from their first marriage to baking with Will.
Later, Katie asked her server if she knew who'd set up the lunch, but the server claimed to have no clue. When Katie returned to the table, Bill looked pale and upset. He said he'd just gotten horrible news. It wasn't about Will, he quickly added. Katie asked Bill to say what it was.
At the cliff house, Steffy did laundry as Taylor questioned Steffy's decision to go abroad with the girls. Taylor didn't know why Rick couldn't attend to things in Paris and said that baby Phoebe still needed to get acclimated to her new life. Steffy replied that her life was her children's lives, so they had to get used to it. Steffy reminded Taylor that Steffy was co-CEO, and sometimes, the buyers and players needed to see her in person.
Taylor wondered if Liam knew about the trip. Steffy informed Taylor that she'd invited Hope and Liam to the house to tell them together. Taylor didn't understand Steffy's need to report to Hope. Steffy claimed that she didn't need to report to Hope, but there was also no reason to keep Hope out of the loop.
Steffy thought the separation was necessary because of Hope's attachment to baby Phoebe. Steffy felt that Hope also needed to get it out of her head that Steffy and Liam would reunite and stated that he was Hope's husband. Taylor couldn't believe Steffy was advocating for Hope and Liam and asked why Steffy would do that.
Steffy felt that Hope needed a little consideration. Taylor contended that the children were the ones that needed consideration, and Taylor said that Steffy should be urging Liam to be there with "his daughters," not pushing him toward Hope. Taylor ordered Steffy to fight for her family.
Steffy refused to fight Hope for her husband. Taylor blamed Bill for Liam being with Hope and blamed Hope and Brooke for all the other family troubles. Steffy told Taylor that she couldn't compare Hope to Brooke. Taylor reasoned that Hope wasn't as brazen as Brooke, but Hope had seen Steffy's troubles with Bill as an opportunity. "And she took it!" Taylor exclaimed.
"Mom...I love you, but I can't take you bashing Hope," Steffy asserted. Taylor claimed not to be doing it. She said she just wanted her daughter to do what Hope had said to do, which was to give the girls the family they deserved. Steffy exclaimed that it would be at Hope's expense.
Steffy said Hope had just lost a child, and Taylor wanted her to take Hope's husband away. In Steffy's mind, it wouldn't happen. Taylor sighed hopelessly, and Steffy stepped away to check on the girls. When Steffy returned, Taylor was holding her phone and sobbing, saying that it couldn't be. Steffy asked what had happened.