In the Forrester corridor, Pam was answering calls when she heard Donna say, "I can't believe you pulled up our tape. That half of the desk was mine." Gasping, Pam hopped up to hug Donna. Pam had heard that Donna was in town and asked why she hadn't stopped by sooner. Donna said Pam had been next in line after Donna's sisters -- and one other stop she'd made.
Quinn approached and asked if Donna was looking for someone. Claiming she'd found the person, Donna put her arm around Pam's shoulder. Pam responded in kind and told Quinn that Donna had worked there in the past. Quinn, who knew that, asked what Donna was doing there that day.
"What does it look like?" Pam asked, gesturing between herself and Donna. "Well, maybe if you had friends, you know," Pam concluded.
Quinn coolly apologized to Donna for being abrupt and said she was trying to fix an order. Quinn tried to explain her ordering issue to Pam, but Pam cut in, saying she knew and had already made the call. Pam decided that Quinn might want to make a call herself because she was much more "diplomatic and charming" than Pam.
"Fine. Donna," Quinn said with a nod of farewell. Quinn walked off, and Donna gleaned, "So that's how it is." Pam replied that Donna didn't know the half of it, but Donna said that she had a story for Pammy.
Later, Pam and Donna had exchanged stories about their last encounters with Quinn. Donna couldn't believe what had gone on with Stephanie's portrait. Pam said Quinn had isolated Eric by threatening to destroy people in just the way Quinn had threatened Donna.
Pam asked if Donna had a "main squeeze" back in Dallas. Donna conveyed that she'd been caring for her father and hadn't been interested in dating. Pam figured it had been a case of "once you had the best, who needs the rest" and didn't think Donna was over Eric.
Donna doubted it mattered and said Eric was over her. Pam stated that Eric's favorite wife was always the one he had "before," and if anyone could rescue Eric from the harpy, it was Donna. Questioning whether Pam was being dramatic, Donna began to reason that even though Quinn hadn't put her best foot forward with Donna, either --
Pam cut Donna off, insisting that Quinn had indeed put her best foot forward, and whatever Donna had seen was Quinn being on her "best" behavior. Pam figured Quinn knew that Eric wouldn't tolerate her full-on insanity. "Don't you look at me like that. I was never crazy like that," Pam told Donna. Pam claimed that, instead, she'd just had a little scar tissue on her brain.
Donna replied that it was water under the bridge. Pam wondered what rock Donna had been living under that she hadn't heard the stories about Quinn doing things like kidnapping Liam and making him think they were married. Pam claimed Wyatt's wives had divorced him due to his mother. Shrugging, Donna reasoned that people had said awful things about her, too.
Pam agreed, adding that she had done it most of anyone. Pam thought Donna had Quinn beat in the promiscuity department but didn't hold a Lucifer's candle to the viciousness of that witch Quinn. Pam loved Eric like a brother and believed that Donna loved him like a soul mate. Donna quibbled, saying she'd always love Eric, but like a dear, dear friend.
"Try telling that to someone who hasn't stuck with you through thick and thin," Pam stated. Pam believed that, of all the dumb things Donna had ever done -- and there had been a few dumb things, according to Pam -- divorcing Eric had been the dumbest. Pam said that it was rare to get a chance to correct a mistake, but Donna just might have a chance at a do-over.
Donna and Pam looked up and saw that Quinn had just stopped in front of the desk. Quinn decided that all the ladies lacked was a cauldron. Pam retorted that they could borrow Quinn's. With that, Donna beat a hasty retreat to the bathroom.
Quinn asked what Pam had been whispering into Donna's ear. Pam said it wasn't Quinn's business. Figuring that Pam was plotting her demise, Quinn warned that people with more wit had tried it, but she was still there. Pam reasoned that meanness usually outlasted most people, but as a survivor of meanness, Pam knew what to do about it.
Quinn asked if Pam really thought she could turn Eric against his wife. Citing that she and Eric had made their vows after only one person had shown up for the wedding, Quinn concluded that Eric didn't care what other people thought. "Big whoop," Pam replied.
Pam told Quinn that it usually took Eric a while before he realized that he'd made a mistake. Quinn warned Pam not to take her on. Pam didn't feel like she had a choice. Pam called Quinn a fungus on Pam's family and said someone needed to scrape it off.
At Spencer, Bill leaned in to view Ken's laptop. Ken closed it and asked if Alison was married. Justin told Ken to stay focused, and Bill ordered Ken to lift the screen. Complying, Ken said that they'd gotten into the judge's phone, but accessing call logs and texts would take time.
Bill replied that he might want that information later, but at the time, he had a different plan. Bill asked if Ken could send a text to someone and make it look like it was from McMullen and vice versa. Ken said that it wasn't "can you" do it; it was "Ken you" do it. Bill didn't get it, and Ken said, "never mind," and he could do it.
Justin figured that Bill wanted Judge McMullen and Ridge to think they'd sent each other text messages. Bill explained that the messages would both say that "we are in big trouble" and would request to meet somewhere. Bill told Justin that Justin would hide in the rafters, recording Ridge and Judge McMullen's conversation. Justin thought it was a great plan. "Except for -- I'm not hiding in the rafters," Justin decided. Bill replied that he hadn't meant it literally.
Later, Bill talked to someone on the phone and scheduled a tutorial for Justin. After the call ended, Justin asked why he needed it. Bill wanted Justin to learn to use Spencer's highly sensitive microphones. Spencer's reporters used the mics to pick up celebrity conversations over long distances. Ken called it a shotgun mic.
Bill dictated the fake text message to Ken. The message stated that there was big trouble. It requested the receiver to delete the message and meet the sender in the Forrester parking lot. Bill wanted Ken to send that message to Ridge and McMullen's phones, making it appear as if the men had texted each other.
Ken asked how dumb Bill thought the two men were that they wouldn't sense a setup. "So dumb..." Bill replied with pity. Bill figured that fear made people do stupid things, and he was sure Brooke had told Ridge that Bill had been asking questions. Bill suspected that Ridge would be quaking in his loafers once he received the text message.
Bothered by the plan, Ken said the Forresters were decent people. Bill asked if he wasn't also decent. Ken reasoned that when the Forresters called him for a job, it was to catch a crook, but Bill's jobs involved Ken being a crook.
Bill said his job would make Ken the hero who'd righted a wrong. "They feed me better," Ken added, referring to the Forresters. Bill figured that Ken could experience fine dining every night for a year with the money Bill was paying.
In the CEO's office at Forrester, Ridge was sure that Bill didn't have any proof of Ridge and the judge's secret meetings. Brooke told Ridge that someone had seen the men together. Ridge believed that Bill was bluffing about that. Brooke wanted to know why Bill would keep tracking her down to ask her about it if he was just bluffing.
Ridge replied that Bill could see the guilt on her face. Brooke revealed that it wasn't guilt; it was shame. She was ashamed of what Ridge had done. Ridge stated that she might not like all of his decisions, and that particular one hadn't had anything to do with her.
Brooke asked if Ridge thought she would be unaffected if he went to prison. Ridge said all Bill would find out was that Craig and Ridge had been schoolmates, and if anyone had seen Ridge with Craig, Ridge would just say the meeting had been about alumni business.
Later, Brooke and Ridge were working. Ridge received a message. Brooke asked if there was a problem. He said Craig had texted that there was, and to Ridge, that didn't sound good.
Sometime after Ridge had left the office, Katie arrived at Brooke's behest. Brooke explained that Ridge had gotten a message from McMullen, signifying that there was trouble. After Brooke filled Katie in on what was happening, Katie became worried about the men meeting in the parking lot. Brooke said it had been Craig's idea, but the Forrester lot at least wasn't public.
Katie didn't have a good feeling about it. Brooke said that if Ridge and Craig got caught, there was nothing she and Katie could do. Katie suggested that the meeting might not have anything to do with the case. Reminding her sister that Craig had mentioned trouble, Brooke wondered if it was possible that Bill knew something. Katie was upset with Ridge for interfering in the first place, but she figured that, as long as Bill couldn't prove anything, they were fine.
In the Forrester parking lot, Ridge jogged up to a parked car in which Craig McMullen was seated. Without so much as a greeting, Craig asked what Ridge had gotten him into. Ridge noted that Craig was a wreck and asked what had happened. Craig expressed his paranoia that every knock at his door could be the start of his arrest. Ridge said that if Spencer was onto them, it meant Spencer was talking to someone.
Parked outside the lot in Bill's SUV, Bill spied on Ridge and Craig through a monocular. In the backseat sat Justin, holding the shotgun microphone out the car window. Both men wore headphones to hear what the mic was picking up.
Back at the car, Craig asked how Spencer could be onto them. Ridge said someone had seen him with Craig. Craig began to ask where and how they'd been seen, but Ridge stated that he didn't have answers because the person who'd seen them was talking to Spencer, not Ridge. Ridge said to relax because he and Craig could have met up because they'd been schoolmates.
Craig asked why he hadn't just repaid Ridge for the loan years back or when Ridge had visited to ask his "favor." Ridge replied that it was because he wouldn't have accepted it. In retort, Craig asked what a hundred-fifty thousand dollars was to Ridge. Craig believed Ridge had waited for the day that Craig could do something for Ridge.
Ridge reminded Craig that he'd merely made a decision based upon the merits of the case. Craig replied that it might have gone that way without Ridge's interference; however, Craig hadn't been capable of making a clean decision with Ridge's words in his head and Ridge's eyes signaling him toward a verdict. Craig missed his sense of integrity and feared that his career and future were over because of Ridge.
Back at his SUV, Bill grinned as he listened through his headphones.
Ridge told Craig that his fretting wasn't helping and reminded him that no email, text message, or bank transaction implicated them in anything. Craig said they'd subverted due process. In Craig's view, their conspiracy had negated the evidence supporting his ruling, and Ridge would become Craig's cellmate. Ridge replied that no one was going to jail.
Craig asked what would happen to his wife and kids and if Ridge planned to send one of Craig's children to law school. Wondering what they were even talking about, Ridge said someone knew they'd had a conversation, but that was it. Ridge assumed that there was a reason that Craig had asked Ridge to meet there. "What?" Craig asked.
Ridge stated that Craig had asked for the meeting and had texted that they were in trouble. Craig replied that Ridge had been the one to text that to Craig. Ridge became confused, but suddenly, he seemed to get it. Scanning the parking lot, he uttered, "Stop talking. He's here."
A dark SUV cranked up. Ridge's eyes narrowed on it as it rolled away. Ridge raced up some steps and across the catwalk, trying to catch up to the vehicle. He stopped short as the SUV rode out of the parking lot about a hundred feet ahead of him.
Bill enjoys the fruits of his sting
In the Forrester design office, Eric complimented Quinn on a necklace that she was diligently working on. He offered to make them dinner reservations at a new restaurant in the canyon, but she didn't think she'd finish work in time to go out that evening. Sensing something was off with his wife, he asked if everything was okay. Quinn admitted that she'd had another run-in with Pam.
Eric asked if Quinn and Pam had been fighting. Quinn said there had been some tension, and he asked when there wasn't. Restraining her frustration, Quinn just shook her head in response. He said the women always riled each other up and asked what it had been about that time.
Standing up, Quinn complained that it wasn't one thing; it was Pam's overall attitude toward her. In Quinn's view, Pam didn't respect Quinn and never would. Pam would never respect Quinn as Eric's wife, a member of the family, or a designer, and Pam made working there very difficult. Eric replied that Pam and Quinn had worked together just fine for years.
Quinn believed Pam would never let it go that Quinn wasn't "overly enthusiastic" about Pam getting married at the house. Eric didn't want the personal issues to become office issues. Prefacing that she didn't mean to be rude, Quinn replied that Pam was the secretary. Because Pam answered the phones and ran errands, Quinn didn't think she should fear asking Pam to make a phone call on Quinn's behalf.
Quinn got a message that someone needed her in the studio. Eric asked Quinn to give Pam a break. He stated that Pam was family and deserved to be treated that way.
In the corridor, Donna and Pam strode back to Pam's desk, discussing Pam calling Quinn a fungus. Pam curtly answered her ringing phone, and exasperated, she told the caller to check the website because they didn't take phone orders for lingerie. Pam clicked off the line, and Donna told Pam that she couldn't just hang up on people.
Pam was frustrated by the nonstop calls the fashion show had stimulated. Answering another call, Pam pointedly asked if the person had called earlier. "Oh, gosh. I'm so sorry, Mr. Johnson. I'll let him know," Pam told the caller and ended the call. Donna said that Pam couldn't let "all this" get to her, especially Quinn.
After Pam had snippily answered another call and hung up on the person, Donna took over the phone and politely helped the next caller. Pam thanked Donna, who said she hated seeing Pam frazzled. Pam responded that before, it had cracked Donna up. Donna admitted that it still did, but she knew not to laugh at Pam at that moment. Pam said it was okay to laugh.
The phone rang again, and Pam buried her head on her desk as Donna took care of it. Thanking Donna, Pam said she was so tired and grateful for a little break. Donna replied that it was kind of fun and like old times. Pam looked as if she'd just gotten an idea.
Later, Donna claimed that she and Pam had had good times behind their sectioned-off desk. Pam answered a call more politely than earlier, and once the call ended, Donna said that she and Pam had hated each other. Pam agreed. The pair laughed, and Pam decided that it had worked for them. Donna stated that they'd been a good team and wondered who would have thought that they would be -- "Dare I say friends?" Donna asked.
As Pam and Donna chuckled and waffled their hands dubiously about the question of friendship, Eric exited the design office. He was happy but surprised to see Donna there. Donna explained that she and Pam had just been reminiscing about old times. Pam started to say that the talk with Donna had gotten Pam to thinking something, but the ringing phone interrupted her.
Pam sighed, but Eric permitted her to let the call go to voicemail. He noted that she seemed frazzled. She responded that he had no idea, and the phone had been ringing off the hook. She had already been having a hard time keeping up with the calls before, and a solution had just occurred to her. She believed that he needed to hire another receptionist.
By the look on his face, Eric seemed to sense where the conversation was headed. He said he was surprised to hear Pam express a desire to share her duties. Pam stated that she wouldn't be doing it unless the person was incredibly special. Eric assumed that she had someone in mind. "As a matter of fact, I do," Pam replied and stared at Donna. Eric grinned.
"Me? Me. Oh," Donna said, apparently the only one who hadn't seen where the discussion had been going. She made it clear that she hadn't known Pam would ask Eric to hire her. Eric said he was surprised that Pam would suggest it because Pam hadn't been fond of Donna.
Pam explained that she'd been very protective of Stephanie's relationship with Eric, but in Stephanie's wake, Pam had started to see that Donna really had loved Eric. Pam was sure Donna still cared for him a great deal, and as for work, Pam believed that Donna would be a natural fit, just like before. Donna stated that Pam was embarrassing her.
Pam told Donna that she was exactly what they all needed, and Donna couldn't have returned to Los Angeles at a better time. Eric felt that Pam was making a compelling case. Donna hoped that he didn't feel put on the spot.
Pam thought it made perfect sense because Donna could do the job blindfolded, and Katie and Brooke would be happy to have Donna there. Pam assumed that Eric still had fond feelings for Donna, too. Eric replied that Donna was one of his all-time favorite people. Pam concluded that hiring Donna could be a game-changer for everyone, and all three of them smiled.
In the parking lot, Ridge chased Bill's SUV until it turned onto the main road. Craig caught up to Ridge at the entrance of the building and asked if it had been Bill. When Ridge affirmed it, Craig cursed, certain that they'd been set up and that Bill knew that Craig had ruled against him because of Ridge.
In the CEO's office, Thorne walked in on Katie and Brooke as they panicked about Ridge meeting with the judge. The sisters explained that Bill might be onto Ridge and Craig. Just then, Ridge and Craig walked through the door.
"What are you doing here? You can't be seen together!" Katie yelled at Ridge and Craig. Ridge replied that it was too late, and Spencer knew.
Later, Thorne asked if it had definitely been Bill. Craig affirmed it, adding that Bill's attorney had also been in the car. Ridge suggested that he and Craig could have been just sharing college stories. "Oh, come on," Katie said. She insisted that Bill knew and was searching for proof, and that was why he'd been interrogating Brooke.
Thorne asked if Brooke had given Bill any indication that his hunch was correct. Brooke vehemently denied revealing anything and said she'd never betray her husband. "He can read you like a book," Katie griped and began yelling at Ridge for interfering in the first place. Ridge roared that Bill knew what he knew, and there was nothing Ridge could do about it.
Craig began worrying about losing everything he had. Katie shouted about what could happen to Will's custody if it became known that she and Thorne had been aware of the plot. Katie yelled that she could lose Will. Brooke replied that it wouldn't happen. Katie was adamant that Bill would not forgive them and asked what Brooke could be thinking.
Everyone tried to calm Katie down, but Katie persisted in predicting doom based upon what Bill knew. Ridge said they didn't even know that anyone had seen him with Craig. Craig replied that there were cameras everywhere, and Bill would have "plenty" to back up any claim. Getting in Ridge's face, Craig insisted that the evidence was stacked against them, and they were in tremendous trouble. "I got it, Craig! I got it!" Ridge responded.
Thorne asked everyone to stop panicking and starting thinking of what they could do. Craig wondered if there was a way to appeal to the guy, but Katie said not to count on that. Brooke reasoned that Bill hadn't pressed charges against Thorne and Ridge for the fall. Katie replied that it was because Bill was supposed to be a changed man; however, Bill never really changed, and he'd use it to get what he wanted. Thorne asked what that could be.
Ridge's phone rang. "Speak of the devil," Ridge said, and he answered the phone. Bill was on the line and said he needed to see Ridge in Bill's office. "Oh, and, uh, bring Katie and Brooke with you. Sorry, Ridge? McMullen as well." Ridge replied that it wasn't possible.
"Now," Bill ordered and clicked off the line. Returning his phone to his pocket, Ridge soberly told his group that Bill wanted to see them, all of them.
At Spencer, the smug Bill and Justin strode into Bill's office, satisfied that the plan had gone off without a hitch. "That much stupidity -- they deserve to get caught," Bill said. Holding up a thumb drive, Justin stated that they had the whole thing recorded. Bill chuckled.
Justin put the drive into a laptop and played the highlights of Ridge and Craig's conversation at the car. Justin said that it was all right there, everything they needed to nail Forrester. Justin continued to play parts of the audio. Bill said his Spencey senses had been right all along, and Justin asked if Bill knew how big it was. Bill indicated that he certainly did.
Justin explained that McMullen would be disbarred, and Ridge would face big charges. Raising the glass he was holding, Justin said Bill would be able to put Ridge behind bars. Bill tipped his glass toward Justin in agreement. Justin said that once Ridge was behind bars, Brooke would finally be Bill's. Bill grinned, savoring the thought.
Later, Ridge and his brood somberly filed into Bill's office. Ridge asked the assistant where Spencer was, and she replied that "Mr." Spencer would be there shortly. She left, and Thorne said it was just like Spencer to make them wait. Katie blamed Craig and Ridge for them being there and continued ruminating on losing her son.
Brooke stated that there was no point in arguing, and they should wait to hear from Bill. Thorne believed Bill would hold it over their heads forever. Craig wished he'd gone to consult an attorney instead of waiting to be thrown to the lions. Thorne decided that they should stop talking. Looking suspiciously around the room, Thorne said he didn't put anything past Spencer.
The door opened, and Justin strode in. He said it was good that they were all there. Bill entered next and took his seat behind the desk. Ridge asked what Bill wanted. Bill said Ridge knew exactly what it was about. "You. You and your boy here," Bill clarified and stated that it had turned out that the honorable judge wasn't so honorable after all.
Bill told Craig that Bill hadn't been able to understand Craig's decision to strip Bill of his parental rights. In Bill's view, it hadn't been justice at all. It had been a conspiracy. It had been a violation of due process, and it had been tampering with a judge. "Naughty. And more than that, it was a crime, a very punishable crime," Bill said.
Ridge told Bill that he didn't have any proof, and it was speculation. Justin pressed a button on a laptop on the desk. From the audio file, Judge McMullen's voice filled the room with the segment of the parking lot conversation in which the judge had told Ridge that they had committed a conspiracy, and the judge's expensive legal education had warned him that it was what Ridge had been proposing when he'd strode in and perched himself on the other side of the judge's desk.
"Gotcha," Bill stated.
Brooke begs Bill to forgive
At Spencer, Justin, Bill, Brooke, Ridge, Katie, Thorne, and Judge McMullin gathered to discuss what Bill would do with the knowledge he had about what McMullin and Ridge had done to prevent Bill from getting shared custody of Will. Bill had recordings of Ridge and the judge's conversation. On one, Ridge had said "I couldn't let Spencer destroy another life." Thorne interrupted and asked, "What're we looking at here really?"
Bill noted that Thorne had been "sticking up for his older brother." Bill suggested they would all find out together what would happen next, since what the judge and Ridge had done was "underhanded, hurtful, and criminal."
Ridge and Thorne noted that the recording was illegal, but Bill defended himself and said he and Justin had been lucky to be in the right spot to record a conversation. Bill said he had been promised an impartial hearing, but Ridge had tried to outsmart him. "I outsmarted you just like I always do," Bill said.
Bill reminded everyone that Brooke had found out what Ridge and the judge had done and had protected her husband, and she'd also told Katie. Katie agreed. Brooke agreed. Bill added that Brooke had been the only person who had defended him.
"I'm deeply sorry, Mr. Spencer," the judge said. Ridge was defiant and reminded Bill that he wasn't innocent. He'd been a horrible father to Will and to his older sons. Bill insisted that he would do better. Ridge countered that Bill had forgotten all about Will and chased after Steffy, who had been pregnant with Bill's son's baby.
Brooke told Ridge to stop because he was making things worse. Bill made some more threats, and Ridge grew impatient and told Bill to call the police. He was tired of allowing Bill to waste his time. Bill looked thoughtful.
Bill insisted he'd made mistakes but didn't deserve to lose his parental rights. He questioned if anyone was a perfect parent. Bill insisted that he was a changed man. He didn't want to fight anymore, but he had the ability to send Ridge and the judge to prison. Brooke begged Bill to reconsider and prove to everyone that he was a changed man and wanted to do the right thing. "Show us. Show me. Show mercy," Brooke said.
At Forrester, phones were ringing in the lobby, and Pam told Eric they needed extra help. Donna was standing nearby. "We could use another hand around here," Pam said. Pam encouraged Eric to consider rehiring Donna.
Donna promised Eric that she she had not put Pam up to asking him for a job. Eric understood. Pam and Donna joked about sharing a desk again. Pam teased that Eric had surely missed Donna at Forrester. "We all have," Eric said. Eric said he would love to have her back again and promised to tell Ridge and Steffy and get the paperwork done.
Pam teased that she would even give Donna her own tape. Donna asked for her own stapler, staples, and letter opener. Eric asked if Donna was sure she wanted to rejoin Forrester. "Absolutely sure," Donna answered. She wanted to contribute again at Forrester.
Later, in Eric's office, Quinn entered and complained that Donna was in reception. Eric announced that he had rehired her. Quinn felt it was Pam's idea. Eric wondered what worried Quinn, and she answered that Eric and Donna had been married a long time before. Quinn wondered what he had seen in Donna because he and Donna were "so different." Eric noted that people had said the same thing about him and Quinn.
Quinn said that Eric had never talked about Donna, but Eric said that he'd never spoken about any of his ex- wives "out of respect for you."
Outside the office, Pam and Donna reminisced about how they'd worked together, and Pam admitted that she'd missed Donna. Donna said they hadn't always gotten along, but she noted they were different people. Pam was serious for a moment and said that Donna had always been incredibly sincere and honest. "I know that now," Pam said.
Pam added that, in contrast, Quinn had been selfish and vindictive. Pam wished that Donna was still married to Eric, and she lamented that Quinn had prevented Pam and Charlie from getting married in the Forrester living room. Pam looked angry.
Donna and Pam flashed back to incidents where Pam had done some awful things to Donna -- poured paint on her, covered her in honey and lured a bear into a cabin, and other things. Donna remembered that Pam had wanted to protect her sister and had had a medical issue with her brain.
Pam and Donna remarked that it seemed like a million years before that it had all happened. Donna said Pam would never do anything like she had when she'd had some brain issues. Pam looked thoughtful, and Donna looked scared. "To you? Nooo," Pam said with a laugh. "To Quinn? Maybe," Pam said. Pam looked serious, and Donna looked worried.
Bill does the unthinkable
At Spencer, Brooke decided to appeal to the man she knew Bill could be. Ridge told her not to beg on his account, but continuing, Brooke said she wouldn't excuse or justify the wrong Bill had suffered. Beseeching Bill to rise above his instinct to avenge himself, she said that if he had truly changed, he could prove it by not pressing charges.
"Please. I'm begging you. Just let it go," Brooke said. Bill stated that no words were adequate to describe Will's importance to him, and Ridge had tried to take that relationship from Bill. Bill was sure Ridge had run around, telling everyone that he'd done it for Will. Ridge responded that it was the truth, and Thorne and Katie gave Will something Bill couldn't because Bill had been too busy chasing Ridge's daughter.
Bill asked the judge if he'd gone along with the plan to steal Bill's son because Ridge had depicted Bill as a depraved monster who was unfit to raise his own kid. Ridge claimed that no one had stolen Bill's son, and "the mother" had been in charge.
Bill asserted that it was none of Ridge's business, and Ridge didn't even know Will. "That" was why Ridge was a poser in Bill's eyes. Bill said Ridge had stuck his nose where it didn't belong, not for Will's sake, but for revenge and to take something from Bill.
Turning to Craig, Bill stated that the "honorable" Judge McMullen knew the law and was aware of the kind of time he and Ridge could do. Bill believed Craig also knew how impossible it would be to shield his family from the public humiliation that would result from a criminal case.
Reminding them all of the long, acrimonious history he had with Ridge, Bill said the last time they'd gone toe-to-toe, Bill had fallen off a balcony, and it had only been by the grace of God that he'd survived. Bill said he could have pressed charges then.
Brooke expressed gratefulness that he hadn't, and Katie echoed her sister's sentiment. Bill conveyed that he didn't feel so magnanimous "this" time around because, "this" time, Ridge had gone after Bill's son. It was a new level of offense.
"One call," Bill said, picking up the receiver on his landline phone. "One call. One call to eager beaver Detective Sanchez or maybe even Deputy Chief hot dog Baker. One call!" Slamming down the receiver, Bill decided, "But I'm not going to make that call. I'm not pressing charges."
Brooke was surprised to hear it. Bill said his instinct to press the charges was strong because Ridge and Craig had hurt a little boy who was merely trying to love both his parents. "And I'm supposed to be the despicable one?" Bill asked. Bill said that, before Ridge sat in judgment of Bill again, Ridge should look in the mirror and remember what he'd done and that Bill had let him off the hook twice.
Justin said that Bill couldn't do that, and Ridge and the abomination of a judge needed to pay. Bill insisted that he'd meant what he'd told Brooke in the hospital. The fall had jarred something in Bill's brain, and he didn't want to be the guy the sword necklace had belonged to. Bill knew it was a shock to everyone, but it was the decision that he could live with.
Craig asked if Bill was just toying with them until the axe fell. Bill stated that he wouldn't call the authorities or go public with the story, so Craig was free to go on with his life. Turning to Ridge, Bill decided that Ridge didn't have to move his sewing machine into a prison cell or start designing orange jumpsuits -- though Bill would pay money to see such a thing.
Ridge asked if Bill was having fun holding them hostage and giving speeches about his little necklace. Ridge asked what the catch was. Bill replied that there wasn't one, and Ridge was getting away clean. "But do yourself a favor and don't keep trying me," Bill warned.
Bill clarified that even though there was no catch, he did have a reasonable request. "There it is!" Ridge exclaimed and told Bill to let them have it. Bill told Katie that he didn't expect any pushback when he petitioned to have his parental rights fully restored, and he expected to get shared custody immediately. "I assume you're not going to fight me on this," Bill said to her.
Katie replied that she'd never wanted to fight Bill, and she'd just been trying to protect Will. She said Bill couldn't deny that he'd hurt their son. Bill didn't deny it, but he felt he'd done all the things he could do to make up for it.
Craig said that Bill could consider his request done, and he apologized to Bill for allowing himself to be used as a tool. Bill appreciated Craig being man enough to admit it. Katie apologized because she and Thorne hadn't spoken up after learning what had gone on with the hearing. She thanked Bill for not pressing charges.
Brooke said that gratitude didn't begin to express it, and they'd just witnessed proof that Bill had really changed. Ridge turned toward the door to exit. Brooke asked if Ridge would say anything. "Thank you, Bill," Ridge cynically said.
Bill said Ridge was welcome, and Ridge was like a pretty little bow, wrapping things up nicely. Bill thanked everyone, but as they turned to leave, he asked for a moment alone with Brooke. Thorne, Katie, and Craig left the office, and Ridge, Brooke, and Justin remained with Bill.
Justin decided to draw up new agreements and stay on the judge about the custody case -- if Bill was really at peace with the choice he'd made. Bill said he was, and Justin exited. Bill told Ridge that he could go, too, but Ridge refused to leave his wife with Bill. Brooke said that it would be wise to respect Bill's wishes, and Ridge left.
Brooke said she couldn't believe what had just happened. Her whole life could have been upended, and she was glad Bill had found mercy in his heart. Bill replied that he'd found her in his heart. Bill wanted to be clear that the entire thing had been "corrupt as hell," from Ridge and the judge's actions to Katie and Thorne's complicity in it.
Brooke knew and claimed that she couldn't believe what the others had done. Bill wanted to focus on Will, whom he loved. It meant a great deal to Bill that Brooke had supported him and hadn't doubted his intentions toward Will. Brooke was sorry for what Ridge and Craig had done.
Bill said he could have gone down hard on everyone else, but he hadn't done it because hurting Brooke's family members meant hurting her. He never wanted to hurt Brooke again. Bill said that his life and the change in him was about her. "It's about you, Brooke. It's you," Bill told her.
In the Forrester CEO's office, Wyatt was waiting for a meeting and talking to Liam. Steffy messaged Wyatt to cancel the meeting, and Wyatt offered to get a meal with his brother. Liam joked that they worked at the same place but seemed to be catching up with each other only in the hallways. Wyatt thought it was weird that they worked at Forrester instead of Spencer.
The brothers discussed Bill's desire to pass his company down to his children, and they guessed that there was always Will. Liam asked how Bill had taken Wyatt's decision to work at Forrester. Liam assumed Wyatt had been banished from all things Spencer.
Wyatt replied that he'd expected that; however, Bill hadn't really reacted to the decision at all. Wyatt believed that it was because Bill had been happily spending time with Will, and no matter what people thought of Bill, he would do anything for Will.
Just then, Donna entered with Will. The two were doing "the robot," or at least trying to do it, according to Donna. Will said they were there to see Katie and Thorne. Liam had seen the couple leaving the building earlier, and he assumed that they'd gone to lunch.
Wyatt asked if Will wanted to hang out with his cool brothers instead. Will said Donna had to tag along, too, because they were a package deal. Wyatt and Liam noted that Will was already a negotiator. Will replied that he was a Spencer, and their father was teaching him everything their father knew. Wyatt and Liam thought that meant "trouble is coming."
Later, Liam held up a noodle and convinced Will to try it. Will ate it, and his face soured. He whined that it was gross and tasted like the ocean. Wyatt and Donna laughed, and Liam replied that it was supposed to because it was seaweed salad.
Changing the subject, Liam asked Donna if someone was getting married because it was usually the only reason she showed up in town. Donna wasn't aware of any weddings. She revealed that she'd be staying in town for a while. Wyatt was sure her sisters were happy about it. Will chimed in to say that he was happy about it. He said his aunt was the best. Glaring at Liam, Will added, "She doesn't try to poison me."
Donna announced that she was sharing a desk with Pam again and helping out with Will, which was the best job because her nephew was perfect. Will noted that his aunt was around, his mother was married to Thorne, and Will got to see his father whenever he wanted.
Wyatt and Liam asked Will how things were going with their father. Will replied that it had become just like it had been before. Liam and Wyatt were glad, and Wyatt told Will to remember that Bill loved Will and would do anything for him.
Later, Wyatt and Liam were alone together when Katie and Thorne arrived. Katie asked if they'd missed anything. Wyatt and Liam conveyed that Will had been there with Donna, and Will seemed happier. Liam added that spending time with Bill agreed with Will.
Katie announced that Will would get more of it as a result of the meeting that she and Thorne had just had with Bill. Thorne stated that the custody issues had been resolved, and Katie added that she and Bill would return to shared custody of their son.
Bill tells Brooke for the first time, he's worthy of her
At Forrester, Wyatt and Liam were happy but puzzled by Katie's decision to revert to shared custody of Will. Katie said that her reasons for doing it couldn't leave that room. "Katie," Thorne stated with a warning tone in his voice. Katie informed the Spencer men that someone had tampered with the presiding judge in the case, and Thorne sighed.
Glaring fiercely at Thorne, Wyatt asked who'd do such a thing. Katie replied that it had been Ridge, not Thorne. Wyatt advised them to make sure his father didn't find out about it. With one look at Katie's face, Wyatt gleaned that Bill already knew -- which meant that Ridge had probably been arrested already.
Katie told Liam and Wyatt that their father had shown mercy. She relayed that Bill had claimed to be a changed man, and whether or not he really was, she and Bill would still share custody of Will. Wyatt asserted that it never should have been otherwise. Thorne quipped that Wyatt's statement was debatable.
Wyatt's nose flared, and he said Thorne's name. Katie intervened to prevent the men from arguing. For Will's sake, she wanted everyone to simply pretend the whole thing had never happened. Wyatt asked if Ridge was pretending it hadn't.
Just then, Ridge arrived. Gauging the hostile mood in the room, Ridge assumed everyone had been filled in. Katie affirmed it and said they wouldn't discuss it any further. Wyatt announced that he had a question. "What were you thinking?" he asked Ridge.
Liam was alarmed that Ridge had gone that far, but Ridge said Liam knew that one went to extremes when dealing with his father. Wyatt noted that Bill had played it straight that time. Thorne insisted the judge had made the right call despite Ridge. Wyatt asked how Katie and Thorne had learned about the impropriety, and Katie explained that Brooke had informed her.
Ridge elaborated that Brooke had found his burner phone and had confronted Craig McMullen. Wyatt noted that no one had reported it, which had made them all complicit. He said they could all serve time for it. Katie replied that no one would because of Bill. Liam assumed that Katie had modified the custody arrangement on her own after learning about the tampering. Katie explained that she'd never been comfortable with the whole custody business to begin with.
Thorne said they'd nevertheless thought it had been in Will's best interest. The testy Wyatt asked how Thorne felt "now." Thorne replied that he still didn't think Bill was a good influence. He didn't think Liam or Wyatt should think so, either, after the things Bill had done.
Liam inquired how Bill had figured it out. Katie explained that Bill had discovered someone who'd witnessed Ridge meeting with the judge. Ridge added that Bill had then hacked Ridge and Craig's phones, set up a meeting between the men, and recorded the whole thing. Ridge pointed out that Bill had committed a crime, too.
"Can you blame him?" Wyatt asked. What puzzled Wyatt was why Bill hadn't put Ridge and the judge in prison. Liam didn't get it, either, and Ridge asked if the brothers got it that Bill hadn't done any of it out of the goodness of his heart. Katie emphasized the point that Bill hadn't had them arrested, and they should be thankful.
Liam asked if Ridge had thought about the scandal it could have created, and Wyatt asked if Ridge had considered what would have happened to Forrester Creations. Ridge told them not to worry about his company. Ridge got that Wyatt was loyal to his father, which was the only thing Ridge liked about Wyatt, but Ridge insisted that Bill was not a saint. Wyatt guessed that logic applied to everyone.
Ridge agreed but said he'd done something to help Wyatt's little brother. Ridge asked where Liam and Wyatt had been. Thorne stated that Will had been in trouble and had needed stability, but "you guys" hadn't been around much. Ridge insisted something had had to be done. "Like tampering with a judge," Wyatt quipped.
As Ridge snarled at Wyatt, Liam said it still didn't explain why Bill had let it go. Ridge asked why Liam thought Bill had done it. Katie repeated Bill's assertion that he was a changed man. "The man who took that sword necklace off -- " she began saying. Ridge cut her off and stated that Bill hadn't taken it off. Brooke had taken it off, and Bill was doing everything he was doing because he wanted her back.
Katie said Brooke had merely appealed to Bill, and he'd listened. Thorne said Bill had done more than listen; Bill had done exactly what Brooke had been hoping for. "And there it is," Ridge concluded. Liam questioned how Ridge knew Bill hadn't listened to Brooke without a motive. Ridge insisted that Bill had an agenda for Brooke.
Liam contended that reconciling with Brooke would be easier for Bill if Ridge was in jail. Katie replied that Bill apparently wasn't the man he had been. "Katie, he is the man he used to be, " Ridge persisted. Turning to Liam, Ridge added, "The only thing that's changed is that he isn't targeting your wife -- He's coming after mine."
At Spencer, Brooke didn't know how to thank Bill for what he'd done for Ridge and Craig. Bill said he hadn't done it for them. Amazed he'd done anything at all, Brooke said Bill could have easily turned them in. Bill replied that it would have hurt Brooke if he'd had some of her family members arrested. He loved her too much to hurt her again and merely wanted the best for her.
Brooke asked if the "new skin" Bill had put on felt good. What felt good to Bill was seeing a smile on her face, and he acknowledged that he hadn't always done a good job at keeping it there. She said he'd been okay. Bill didn't think that cut it and said their lives would be a lot different if he'd done better. She claimed his life was different, and he'd progressed considerably. He felt he had a lot further to go, a lot further to show her the man he could be.
Brooke urged Bill to change for himself, not her. Bill said he couldn't do it for himself. He was lost when left to himself, but with her, everything was possible. He'd lost a lot when she'd left, and he hoped to show her that he could be the man she deserved.
Bill asked if Brooke had thought he'd turn Ridge and the judge in. Brooke had hoped Bill wouldn't. He replied that he'd had the right, and some would say it was his civic duty. She said he'd chosen forgiveness, which hadn't been very Dollar Bill-like. He wished he'd been that enlightened when he'd been with her. He said that, back then, he'd been out of control and hadn't deserved her, but he wasn't that guy anymore because of Brooke and her belief in him.
Brooke insisted that it wasn't because of her; it was because of Bill himself and his own strides to change. Bill replied that it was due to her influence, and he asked if she couldn't see that it was all about her. "My life now -- it's my son, and it's you," he insisted. She said his name. Bill claimed to get that she was married and wanted to stay that way, but he couldn't deny his feelings. He said that, no matter what the future held, there was nothing he wouldn't do for her.
Brooke hoped that Bill's new attitude stuck. Bill said he had many regrets, and she'd been right to leave him. He'd been obsessed back then. "Spencer Tower," Brooke said, looking at the model building in the corner by the window. He replied that "Sky" had been a monument to his greed and ego, and he'd almost killed his son because of it.
Brooke advised Bill to focus on where he was, not where he'd been. Bill replied that the new place in which he found himself didn't have Brooke in it, and his life was very different because of that. He could see that he'd been self-sabotaging in the past.
Bill asked if Brooke regretted standing up for him. Brooke said she'd felt compelled to do what had been right. The way he'd gone after Steffy had shown Brooke that he'd been troubled, but Brooke could see progress within him. She believed things would change more once Wyatt and Liam learned that Bill had chosen forgiveness for Ridge and Craig.
Bill remarked that everything had changed in the hospital. That day, he'd awakened to Brooke's beautiful face looking down upon him, and he had learned that his boys had been holding vigil for him. He was amazed that a man could be stupid for much of his life but suddenly have clarity. What had become clear to Bill was that he'd had everything he'd needed when he'd been married to Brooke.
Brooke decided that it was best for her to go, but Bill asked her to stay and indulge him. He needed her to hear something. He said his older sons had loved and respected him at one time, but he'd abandoned Will the way his father had abandoned him. Bill insisted that he was not that guy anymore. He wasn't his father's son. She thought that was good. She urged him to commit to the change and to be the man she knew he could be.
Bill needed Brooke to see that she was the reason that he was a new man. Brooke shook her head. He said he wasn't trying to sell her on anything, and he knew she had a history with Ridge. Bill merely wanted her to know that everything good in his life was due to her. He said she was right that he'd heal his family by being the best man that he could be.
"And the best man that I can be is the man that you've been searching for your entire life. He's standing right before you. For the first time, I'm worthy of you. Now listen, if you want to stick it out with Forrester, then -- I'm not going to go there," Bill stated.
Brooke thanked Bill for that. She also thanked him for his mercy and forgiveness that day. She believed that he was a changed man and a better man. Bill said she could also believe that his love for her would always endure. forever and a day.