At Forrester, Ridge conducted fittings for models who wore Thomas' designs. Steffy asked if Thomas should be the one doing the work. Ridge replied that her brother would be there soon enough. Noting that the designs were HFTF gowns, Steffy said HFTF was where Thomas' mind was at -- on the line and on Hope. Steffy wondered where her brother could be.
Liam arrived. He'd finished up in H.R. and guessed that he just had to clean out his desk. Steffy and Ridge joked that they could still hold Liam to his contract. Ridge decided that he didn't want to do it if it meant Bill would rush over there and fill the place up with his musk and hair product.
Steffy mentioned that she and her father were waiting on Thomas, whom they hadn't heard from yet that day. Liam said he might know why that was, and he revealed that Thomas had signed the custody papers the previous night. Ridge and Steffy couldn't believe it, and Liam affirmed that he'd seen the papers himself when he'd been with Brooke and Hope.
Ridge figured it was true because it had been what Hope and Brooke had wanted all along. He stated that they'd succeeded in taking a little boy from his father. Liam corrected Ridge, saying that Thomas was still Douglas' legal father and still had custody. In Liam's view, Hope was just doing what she thought was best for the child.
Steffy replied that it wasn't up to Hope or Brooke, who weren't the child's family. Ridge said he'd taken Douglas to Eric's house so that they could work on the family, and Thomas was getting better. He remarked that Douglas had begun to trust Thomas again, but within 24 hours, Liam's "wife" had destroyed it.
Liam reminded Steffy and Ridge that Hope had been Douglas' mother since Caroline had died. Steffy stated that they'd been grateful for it, but everyone -- except Hope and Brooke -- had known that it hadn't been a permanent solution. Steffy referred to Hope's plan as a ploy. Liam disagreed, but Ridge insisted that it was true.
Steffy stated that Thomas would have seen the ploy as a chance to get access to Hope. Ridge called it manipulation. Liam asked Steffy and Ridge to pause, but Ridge asserted that it couldn't sit right with Liam that Hope, who'd thought she could love Douglas better, had stolen Douglas from Thomas.
Liam said no one had stolen anything. Liam, however, agreed that there were probably better options for Hope to parent Douglas than the custody agreement. The worst part of it in Liam's view was that it put Ridge's boy in Hope's life forever.
Ridge figured that nothing Thomas ever did would be enough to prove that he was trying to apologize. Ridge said that Hope had used Thomas' feelings to her advantage. Liam disagreed and asked Ridge not to attack Hope. Steffy chimed in that her father was questioning things, not attacking Hope.
Agreeing, Ridge said he was questioning why Brooke and Hope hadn't let it go when their first attempt to grab Douglas hadn't worked. Ridge stated that Hope and Brooke couldn't drop it despite how everyone else had felt about it. He accused them of destroying Thomas' relationship with Douglas forever.
Grabbing his keys and pointing at Liam, Ridge decided to go and get some answers because "this one right here" didn't have any. Liam didn't think it was a good idea for Ridge to go to Brooke's house. Determined to stand up for his wronged son, Ridge left.
Steffy received a phone alert. It was for a meeting, but she'd been hoping it would be a message from Thomas. Liam was sure that Thomas was just fine. She asked how sure he was. Liam spat out a few percentage points. Smiling, Steffy said that she was sure the place wouldn't be the same without Liam. She wondered if she couldn't get him to stay.
Chuckling, Liam replied that he'd thought Steffy would be happy to see him leave and mend fences with Bill. Steffy was sad that he was leaving but happy that he'd go back to Spencer. Liam recommitted to what he'd said about spending more time with her, Kelly, and Beth. He just wanted to get beyond the drama and concentrate on creating a happy future for everyone. Steffy said it sounded like a plan.
At Brooke's house, Brooke tried to keep Hope from calling herself a murderer. Hope insisted that she'd pushed Thomas, but Brooke contended that it had been self-defense against the unhinged Thomas. Hope didn't think Thomas' bargaining for sex with her had been a reason for him to die.
Brooke faulted Thomas for cornering Hope on the catwalk. Hope whimpered that she hadn't known where Douglas had been. Brooke replied that Thomas had used that to manipulate Hope for his vile agenda. Hope didn't think his parents would see it that way. She said they'd blame and vilify her, and they would be right to do so because, as twisted as Thomas had been, his blood was on her hands.
Brooke said that everyone knew that Hope hated violence. Hope agreed but cried that she'd cost Douglas the only parent he'd had left. Brooke insisted that it was Thomas' fault for being obsessed with Hope, and Hope had had to fight back.
Hope couldn't get the thought of Thomas falling into the acid out of her mind. She thought she'd be sick to her stomach. She said no one deserved to die that way, and she needed to tell Ridge and Steffy that she was responsible for Thomas' death.
Brooke wished she'd gone to the office that night as she'd told herself to do, and she'd never forgive herself for not going. Hope felt that Brooke had nothing to forgive herself for. Hope stated that she'd been the one who'd lost control. Brooke replied that Thomas had lost control, and Hope had had to fight back.
Hope wondered if that were really true. She wasn't certain of anything anymore. She began sobbing, wondering what could have happened if she'd made a different choice. Brooke tried to snap her daughter out of it and reminded Hope that it had happened because of Thomas' obsession. To Brooke, it had been as if there had been an uncontrollable demon in Thomas.
Hope sobbed, afraid that Douglas was going to hate her. Hope felt as if she'd ruined everything. Her life was over. Brooke asked Hope not to say that, but Hope insisted that she'd be arrested and taken from Beth. Hope cried, scared that her children would lose her. She decided that she had to tell Liam before the police took her away.
Brooke refused to let Thomas ruin Hope's life again. Gripping Hope's face, Brooke stated that they had to be careful about what they said and how they reacted. Brooke didn't want them to make any rash decisions. Hope asked if Brooke was saying that Hope should keep it to herself and not tell the truth. "That I killed Thomas," Hope added.
Brooke felt that Hope needed to take some time, but Hope replied that time wouldn't bring Thomas back. In Brooke's view, Thomas had been willing to exchange his son for sex. He'd chased Hope all over the building, grabbing her, trying to kiss her, and cornering her on the catwalk. Hope asserted that she'd pushed him.
Brooke repeated that Hope had been trying to protect herself and that Thomas was responsible for all of it. In Brooke's view, Thomas had already taken too much from Hope. Brooke held Hope and said she didn't want Hope to lose her life with Liam and Beth. Brooke refused to let Thomas take it from Hope all over again.
Hope couldn't put it out of her head as if it had never happened or hide the secret. Brooke wasn't asking that. She just wanted Hope to take time and not make rash decisions with so much at stake. Hope loved her mother for trying to protect her, but Hope couldn't live with it.
Hope was sure that, if she and Brooke did keep the secret, someone would find out. She also thought it was a terrible weight on Brooke's marriage to Ridge. For Hope, the only option was to tell Ridge that she'd killed his son.
Just then, Ridge stormed into the house. He told Hope that he'd just been at the office, and he knew what she'd done. He asked how she could have done it to a little kid. He questioned whether she knew the implications it would have for Douglas and if she'd really had to punish Thomas that way. He accused Hope of separating a father and a son and destroying their relationship forever.
Brooke told Ridge to stop it. She wouldn't let him talk to her daughter that way. Hope stated that Ridge was right, and Douglas had lost his father due to her. She hadn't meant for it to happen that way. She stated that she'd give anything not to have to say it to Ridge, but Thomas was dead. "Your son is dead," Hope stated.
Brooke reveals Thomas wanted sex for custody
At Forrester, Liam and Steffy lugged packing boxes into the CEO's office. Liam didn't think he had any belongings in there. She asked about a card that he'd put into her laptop. He said it was an encrypted card for her to communicate with International, and it would run in the background. He'd also installed one on Ridge's device.
Steffy asked Liam to help interview his replacement. He agreed to do it, and he'd even written up a list of candidates. He said she could call if she needed him. She threatened to take him back if Bill didn't treat him right. She wanted to tell Liam that he was doing the wrong thing, but she knew what it felt like to feel as if one belonged in a business.
Liam gave Steffy a thumb drive to check what was on it. He conveyed that all the passwords in the building would change after he was gone. He didn't want Thomas to think he'd done it to Thomas on purpose.
Steffy didn't understand her brother, who seemed to change sides right when he gained support from people. She didn't get why he'd signed custody papers with Hope. Liam thought that Hope was the only person who had any real influence over Thomas, but Steffy said that there was still one other person -- her father.
Steffy left a message for Thomas and growled. Liam pretended to ignore the fact that she was throwing shade at her "no account" brother. She said the behavior was typical of the passive-aggressive Thomas. Liam disagreed that Thomas was passive-aggressive.
Charlie and Jake entered, looking for Ridge, and Steffy asked for an update about the acid. Jake claimed that it had been neutralized and removed, but she wanted to see for herself.
In the storage area, Liam and Steffy listened as Jake explained that the acid had been neutralized. The crew had tested the pH in the vat, and then they had performed another partial flush. Jake admitted that there might be better ways to clean the machinery. He was sure they'd use those in the future because Ridge hadn't been happy about the acidic method.
Steffy barked that she hadn't been, either. She asked if they'd logged the procedures for OSHA. Jake affirmed it. He said things were packed up and ready to go as if it hadn't been there. Steffy was glad. She appreciated the efficiency, and best of all for her, no one had been harmed.
Back in the CEO's office later, Liam joked that he was having second thoughts about leaving after watching Steffy "do [her] thang." Steffy sighed as she checked her phone. She was still anxious to hear from Thomas, who achieved a new level of AWOL every month, in her view.
Steffy said she'd miss having Liam there. He thanked her for everything. He seemed to want to hug her but couldn't because of the things he was holding. Steffy told him to get out of there, and they shared a smile.
At Brooke's house, Ridge didn't know what Hope was talking about. Noting that Douglas was at school, Ridge guessed that she was trying to shock or hurt him by saying that Thomas was dead. Hope replied that there were things that Ridge didn't know.
Brooke tried to speak, but Ridge interrupted, accusing Hope of squeezing a signature out of a vulnerable Thomas. Ridge again asked why Hope would say that Thomas was dead.
In Hope's silence, Ridge demanded to know what had gone on between Hope and Thomas. He asked if, after stealing Thomas' son from him, she'd planned to tell the boy that his father was dead. Intervening, Brooke reminded Ridge of when she'd said that Thomas was dead to her.
Ridge remembered, but he didn't really want to hear that kind of talk. Hope tried to stop Brooke, but Brooke told Ridge that Hope felt as if the man she'd thought she'd married had vanished a long time back for all of them. Brooke stated that the only person who hadn't wanted to see it was Ridge, and that was because Ridge loved Thomas so much.
Ridge turned back to Hope, but Brooke decided that the conversation had gone on long enough. He asked why Brooke did stuff like that. Brooke insisted that Hope wasn't Thomas' keeper. Hope spoke, starting to say when she'd last seen Thomas. She flashed back to Thomas' fall into the acid. Ridge finished her sentence, saying it had been the previous night.
Hope revealed that Thomas had been upset because he'd thought she'd tricked him. Ridge asked if she'd slept with Thomas. Upset, Brooke interrupted. She didn't like him interrogating her daughter. Ridge was sorry, but he wanted to know how his son had been tricked into giving up his son. Hope stated that it hadn't happened that way. Ridge asked how it had happened.
Brooke requested to talk to Hope alone. Ridge replied that no one was on trial. In his view, they were trying to figure something out as a family, and he asked if they could be honest with each other. Brooke looked at Hope, and Ridge turned to prompt Hope to keep going.
Hope explained that Thomas had asked her to spend time with him, and Ridge asked why she'd go along with it. Hope said it had been family time with Douglas, and Thomas had asked her to bring the adoption papers. Ridge made a snarky remark about the papers, and Brooke reminded him that Hope had been taking care of Douglas ever since Thomas had gone into hiding. Apologizing again, Ridge asked where the meeting had taken place.
Hope replied that she'd met Thomas and Douglas at the office. She'd just thought they'd sign papers. She hadn't known that Thomas had set up a dinner. She thought of what Douglas had gone through in losing a mother. Ridge quipped that Hope had had to make sure the boy had lost a father, too.
Brooke ordered Ridge to stop attacking Hope. Ridge said it had been the first thing he'd heard when he'd arrived. "Thomas is dead, right?" Ridge asked. Brooke said that Hope hadn't meant that. Ridge yelled, asking what Hope had meant.
Hope explained that Thomas hadn't signed away his rights; he'd just allowed her to become Douglas' mother. Brooke stated that Hope had been very clear, and Douglas had two parents again. Brooke decided to take Hope to the cabin. Ridge stopped Brooke and turned to Hope.
Ridge acknowledged that he was always fighting with and yelling at Hope, but he didn't want to be that way. He said he'd known her since she'd been "this big," and she'd always been good and honest. Hope claimed to be no better than anyone else. Ridge didn't feel as if Hope were being honest. He sensed that she was ashamed of something. He asked what it was. In her silence, he said that secrets and lies didn't sit well with her.
Hope walked over to her mother. Ridge said she could tell him anything. Brooke asked if it was enough that he'd reduced Hope to tears. He was sure Hope would tell him the truth and said it was because she wanted to do so. He knew it might take time, but he was confident that she'd tell him. He reminded her that she'd once called him Dad and asked if she remembered.
Hope did. Ridge replied that a dad was a protective person who wanted the best for her, and it was still the way he felt about Hope. She knew it. He knew that she felt that way about Douglas. He also knew that Thomas hadn't been the best father and hadn't done the right things. Ridge wanted to say that he was sorry for those things, just in case he hadn't said it before.
Ridge stated that Thomas did love Hope. "Yeah, but his love, it just -- " Hope uttered. Ridge reasoned that they couldn't decide what kind of love they got. "We just take what our partners decide to give us. Isn't that right, Brooke?" he asked. Brooke squinted as if offended.
Hope said Thomas hadn't really been a partner. Acknowledging it, Ridge conveyed that Thomas knew that she didn't love him; Thomas just didn't think she'd never love him. Ridge knew that Thomas had used Douglas to get to her, but Thomas didn't understand that it was only Douglas that Hope wanted. Ridge assumed that Hope had thought that Thomas' treatment of Douglas hadn't been enough, and it had become time to end Thomas.
"Ridge!" Brooke interjected. Ridge asked Hope if she'd decided to take shared custody and then get rid of Thomas by taking his checkered past to court for full custody. Hope admitted that it had been the plan -- just not in the way that it had happened.
Hope asked why anyone could trust Thomas with Douglas. She decided not to hold back about what had happened. Brooke said that Hope hadn't told Ridge everything that Thomas had done yet. Ridge asked Brooke to stop throwing his son under the bus. Brooke guessed that Ridge didn't know that Thomas had been willing to trade custody of his son for sex with Hope.
Ridge asked Hope if it was true, and Hope nodded. Brooke explained that Hope had shut it down. Hope had thought Thomas had accepted it, but after Thomas had signed the papers, it had seemed as if he hadn't.
Ridge received a call. He answered it quickly, hoping that it was Thomas, but it was Steffy. Thomas hadn't called her, either, or shown up at the office. She was just letting Ridge know that the Hazmat team had finished up and sent the vat on to its next job. Ridge was glad to hear that, and he asked her to let him know when she heard from Thomas.
After the call, Ridge asked Hope to go on, but Brooke became curious about the dangerous acid. Annoyed, Ridge said it had all been cleaned up, it was gone, and no one had been hurt. Brooke stared at Hope.
Ridge was sorry for defending Thomas. Ridge said he didn't want to do it again. He just wanted to know if what Brooke had just said was true. Hope affirmed it. He stated that he hadn't been implying that Brooke would lie to him about something like that. He didn't think either of them would lie to him. He was just trying to process it.
Ridge assumed that Thomas had run off in shame. "He just disappears, doesn't he?" Ridge hopelessly said. Hope flashed back to Thomas falling into the acid.
Hope hugs Thomas, relieved that he's alive
Brooke told Ridge that it was a lot to take in. Ridge stated that he'd thought Thomas had been doing better. Brooke said that Thomas' escalation of behavior had been going on for some time. Desperately wanting to see Thomas, Ridge asked Hope what had happened after Thomas had signed the papers and chased her through the building. Hope flashed back to what had occurred on the catwalk with Thomas before he'd fallen into the vat.
Hope looked frightened, and Ridge asked what was wrong. Hope said that she hadn't meant to do it. Ridge asked what was going on, and Hope said that she was sorry. He asked her why she was apologizing. In Hope's silence, Brooke asked Ridge about the call he had just been on, which had been about the hydrofluoric acid. She assumed that the acid had been properly disposed of and that all traces were gone and out of the Forrester building.
Ridge affirmed it and wondered why Brooke was even asking about it. Brooke claimed to have just been wondering because Ridge had been concerned. Ridge replied that he was concerned about where his son was. He asked if there was anything else that Hope wanted to say. In Hope's silence, he whipped out his phone and decided to try to call Thomas again.
Ridge left Thomas another message, asking him to call or text message Ridge. Afterward, Ridge let Hope and Brooke know that he was going back to the office and then to Eric's house. Ridge asked them to let him know if they heard anything about Thomas.
Once the front door closed behind Ridge, Brooke sighed in relief. She'd been afraid that Hope would say something to Ridge. Hope replied that she should have. She stated that Ridge was looking for Thomas, but he would never find Thomas because she had killed him.
Hope wanted to get Ridge back there and tell him the truth about what had happened. She insisted that Thomas had died in a vat of acid because of her. She refused to keep it a secret. Brooke contended that Thomas had brought it on himself. She asked what kind of father left his son in an empty room in an empty building so that he could chase Hope around for sex.
Hope said that it shouldn't have cost Thomas' life. She felt that she should have used her words. She said that he had listened to her -- before she'd killed him. Brooke didn't know how many times she had to say that it had been an accident. Hope didn't think Thomas' family wanted to hear that. She cried that she had killed Douglas' father after his mother had died.
Brooke insisted that Hope had had to defend herself, but Hope was adamant that she had taken it too far. Brooke wanted to be smart about it and noted that the vat and the acid were gone. She asked Hope to trust her as a chemist when she said that all traces of Thomas and any evidence were gone. "It's gone, honey. It's all gone," Brooke concluded.
Hope didn't like what Brooke was suggesting. Brooke said that she wasn't suggesting anything. She was simply saying that the acid had been neutralized, and everything, including Thomas, was gone. There was nothing to point to Hope, and there was nothing to put Hope in that storage area, according to Brooke. Hope insisted that it had happened; Thomas had fallen into the vat of acid because she'd pushed him.
"Not on purpose!" Brooke replied. Hope said that it didn't matter, and Thomas was still dead. Brooke asked if it had to ruin Hope's life, the life she had just gotten back -- the life Thomas had tried to steal from her. Brooke knew that her daughter was a good person who wanted to confess, but she couldn't stop thinking about what would happen afterward.
Brooke stated that Hope would be arrested, dragged off to jail, and lose Beth. Brooke added that Hope would lose Douglas, too, and Brooke didn't know what she would do without Hope. Hope stated that Ridge was already asking questions. Hope doubted that the Forresters would shrug their shoulders about the fact that Thomas had never gone home.
Hope added that they knew how destructive secrets could be. Knowing that Hope was right, Brooke thought of how awful it would be when Ridge found out. Hope said she had to tell the truth and should have from the start. Brooke was frightened for her daughter. Hope was, too, but said that she at least wouldn't be keeping secrets.
At Forrester, Steffy met with Quinn about some jewelry. Quinn wanted to know if Thomas was around to discuss incorporating the pieces into his line. Steffy explained that her brother was MIA that day. Finding that interesting, Quinn remarked that Thomas and Douglas hadn't arrived home the previous night.
Quinn explained that she thought Douglas and Thomas had just been out late, but they hadn't shown up for breakfast that morning, either. Steffy conveyed that Douglas had gone to school, but they didn't know who had dropped him off. Steffy said that it could have been Hope, who had become Douglas' legal mother. Quinn was surprised to hear it, and Steffy concluded that Thomas had made a terrible decision.
Ever since Thomas and Douglas had moved into the mansion, Quinn had watched their relationship blossom. She said there had been a lot of laughter, and Douglas seemed to be warming up to Thomas' efforts. It surprised Quinn that Thomas would give Hope any legal standing, and she noted that they weren't even married. Steffy said that Hope was his weakness and could talk him into anything.
Ridge arrived, and Quinn said that she couldn't make any decisions about her jewelry without Thomas' input. Ridge didn't know where Thomas was, and Quinn said to give her a call when Thomas was around.
Quinn left, and Steffy asked how things had gone when Ridge had talked to Brooke and Hope about the custody papers. Ridge got down on himself for not always being there for his children. Steffy replied that they knew that he loved them. He was afraid that that wasn't enough -- not for Thomas, anyway. Steffy didn't want Ridge to blame himself for Thomas' choices because Thomas was a grown man. Ridge confided that after talking to Hope and Brooke, he was more concerned about Thomas than ever.
Ridge had thought Thomas had been getting himself together, but after talking to Hope and Brooke, Ridge had learned that Thomas might be worse off than ever. Steffy asked what they'd said. Steffy was shocked when Ridge revealed that a few days back, Thomas had suggested trading custody of Douglas for sex with Hope. Ridge said that Hope was a lot of things, but she wasn't a liar. He stated that she wouldn't do it.
"Of course, she wouldn't!" Steffy responded. Ridge said that Thomas had changed tactics, and he had asked her out for a nice dinner to sign the custody papers with Douglas. Hope had met Thomas at Forrester, where he'd tried to get her alone again. He explained that Douglas had been there for the dinner, but Thomas had taken him away afterward.
Steffy asked if Douglas had gone with a babysitter. Ridge revealed that Thomas had left Douglas in a dressing room while Thomas had tried to make moves on Hope. Concerned for Douglas, Hope had run out. Thomas had chased after her.
Steffy gasped in shock. Ridge didn't understand Thomas' obsession with Hope and said she'd be the death of his son. Ridge didn't know how Thomas would get over Hope if he was tied to her forever through the parental rights agreement.
Steffy thought that had been the point. The strategy, in her view, gave Thomas all the time in the world to win Hope over. Ridge doubted that Thomas had been thinking about strategy when he'd put Douglas alone in a room and had chased Hope all over the building.
Ridge tried to reach Thomas again, to no avail. Steffy assumed that the embarrassed Thomas was lying low. Ridge couldn't make sense of it because Thomas had been on the road to recovery. She figured that impulse trumped intellect.
Ridge blamed himself for the way Thomas was. Steffy said Ridge had to stop because, at some point, people had to own who they were. Though Ridge was adamant that the custody arrangement was a mistake, he still supported his son and believed that Thomas would return home.
In a dark bedroom, Hope sobbed, staring at a cell phone photo of Thomas and Douglas. She would give anything to take it back, but the truth had to be known. She didn't know how to tell Douglas that she'd killed his father. She feared that she'd go to jail, and Douglas would lose three parents in a very short time. She'd lose Liam and Beth, too.
Hope asked how it had happened. Talking to the photo, she said she couldn't love Thomas, but she hadn't wanted to hurt him, either. She wouldn't ever be able to forgive herself. She whimpered that she was sorry.
A hand turned a doorknob and opened a door. Thomas entered the dark room. Hope asked if it was Thomas. He said that it was. Exclaiming relief, Hope threw her arms around him, happy that he was alive.
PREEMPTION: The Bold and the Beautiful did not air
Due to CBS News coverage of the House Impeachment Hearings, The Bold and the Beautiful did not air. The episode originally scheduled to air was broadcast on Friday, November 22. There were no "lost" episodes as a result of the programming change.
Thomas explains why he stayed "dead"
In the living room at Brooke's house, Brooke sent a text message to Ridge and paced around the room. She flashed back to Hope saying that she'd killed Thomas and that she had to tell the truth about it. Brooke checked her phone. Ridge hadn't responded. "I have to tell you the truth, Ridge," Brooke uttered.
At the Forrester mansion, Ridge was deep in thought when Shauna arrived. It had been too quiet in the guesthouse for her, and she'd strolled over to the main house in the hopes of finding Ridge. He welcomed her to stay but let her know that he had a lot on his mind about his kids. He was worried that he might have lost his son.
Ridge and Shauna sat down, and he conveyed that Hope had told him that Thomas was dead. Shauna assumed Hope had meant "dead to her." Ridge guessed so, but in his view, it was an odd thing to say to someone.
Shauna presumed that it signified that Hope had moved on from Thomas. Ridge replied that Hope hadn't moved on from Douglas, and Brooke was leading the charge. Ridge was trying to work things out with his wife, but the problem was that Brooke wouldn't give Thomas another chance.
Shauna pointed out that Thomas had exhibited his share of untruthfulness. Ridge understood that and wasn't making excuses for Thomas; however, he felt that Thomas was getting better. He said that nothing Thomas did would be enough for Hope and Brooke, who wouldn't stop until they took Douglas away from Thomas.
Ridge informed Shauna that Thomas had signed the papers. Shauna assumed that Thomas had given up his rights. Ridge wasn't sure, but he thought it was a shared custody arrangement, making Hope and Thomas both legal parents. Shauna was blown away that it could happen without even being married. Ridge quipped, "That's California for you."
Ridge explained that Hope would have a say in every aspect of the child's life, from birthday parties to religion and holidays. Ridge noted that he hadn't heard from Thomas about it, but the things he'd heard from Hope and Brooke hadn't been good. He revealed that Thomas had wanted something in return -- another shot at Hope.
Shauna guessed that Thomas really loved Hope. Ridge replied that they all knew how Hope felt about Thomas. "But he still signed the papers," Shauna responded. Ridge added that he hadn't heard from Thomas since then, and Thomas hadn't returned his father or sister's calls.
Ridge's phone rang. It was Brooke, who asked if he'd gotten her text message. Ridge had just seen it. He said he was very worried about his son. Thomas was who Brooke wanted to talk about, and she felt that it was best to converse in person. She told Ridge that she'd meet him at Eric's house.
After the call ended, Shauna figured that she should leave. Ridge said it would take Brooke time to get there. Shauna was sure that Thomas was fine and just needed space. Space was good in Ridge's opinion. He said that Thomas sometimes liked to leave town after making a bonehead move. Shauna asked if he thought Thomas regretted the custody arrangement. Ridge was sure Thomas would regret entrenching Hope in his son's life, and Ridge wouldn't let Hope have what she really wanted -- full custody of Douglas.
Shauna thought that Ridge was cute when he was worked up. Ridge didn't think anything he did could be called cute. She called him gorgeous and handsome, and he thought that made more sense. She remarked about how cute he'd be in a tank top and hiking boots, but he replied that he'd told her that he wouldn't go hiking. She stated that he could at least swim some laps. She said she kept going out to the pool, hoping to see him in his trunks.
In Hope's bedroom, Hope, amazed that Thomas was alive, clung to him. She asked if Brooke had seen him, and he explained that he'd arrived as Brooke had been putting Douglas to bed. Thomas promised that Hope wasn't seeing things. Hope didn't understand. She said she'd pushed him, and she'd heard a splash. She hadn't been able to find a trace of him.
Thomas assured Hope that he was there. Hope hugged him again and expressed how grateful she was that he was alive. He asked if she really meant it, and she affirmed it.
Hope didn't know how he could be there after falling into a vat of acid. In a rush of whimpering words, she explained that she hadn't known about the acid until Charlie had told her. She'd searched all over for Thomas in the storage room and in the vat, and "I thought that I had -- " Thomas cut in, concluding that she'd thought he'd died.
Hope's worst fear had been that she'd killed Thomas, and she hadn't known how she'd forgive herself. She was glad that he was okay, but none of it made sense to her. Thomas apologized for the position he'd put her in. He said she'd been trying to protect his son, but he'd been wrapped up in trying to make her see. Hope said she didn't understand how he'd survived.
Thomas didn't remember everything, but he knew that he'd awakened alone in the vat. She said he'd been in the acid, but he replied that she'd thought it had been acid. He explained that the acid had already been removed and replaced with a cleaning solution. He'd heard the crew talking about it. He said his skin was still raw from it, and he'd had to flush his eyes out several times. He stated that if it had been acid, he wouldn't be there at that moment, looking at the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen in his entire life.
Hope still didn't get it. She reiterated what Charlie had said about the acid, but Thomas repeated what he'd said about the cleaning solution. She figured that Thomas had had to know that she'd been looking for him. A knowing look enveloped her face, and she figured out that he'd made her believe that he'd been dead.
Thomas apologized. In a spastic tone, Hope began going on about how horrible she'd felt about having to tell Douglas that she'd killed his father. Thomas said he'd felt terrible about it, and it was why he'd arrived. Hope revealed that she'd been a wreck, and she'd told her mother about it. She said she'd wanted to tell others, but she'd been in shock and hadn't known what to do.
Hope wished she hadn't pushed Thomas, but she hadn't wanted him to kiss her. She hadn't wanted to hurt Thomas, but she asked how he could be so cruel as to let her think she'd killed him. Thomas hadn't set out to punish or scare her. He said he'd made her think that she'd ended his life to make a point: even good people could keep secrets.
Thomas had done it to try to get Hope to understand what he'd gone through in keeping the Beth secret and had thought that Hope could see him in a new light. He saw how traumatized she was, and he hadn't meant to put her "through hell." Thomas said that when he'd pulled himself out of the vat and had seen that he could have been in acid, he'd realized that they'd been given an opportunity.
"Opportunity?" Hope replied. Thomas knew that he'd put her in an impossible situation, and Hope was a compassionate person who'd never hurt anyone. He said that he'd gotten too carried away, but sharing custody was very important to him. He'd wanted to give Douglas a mother and show Hope how he felt about her.
Everything Thomas did was due to his feelings for Hope. Thomas knew that he didn't always make the right choices, and some of his actions had been wrong. Even so, he hoped it still showed how much she meant to him, and he hoped that he meant something to her, too.
Thomas believed that Hope had been a mother to Douglas from the beginning. "He's your son. He's yours, and he's mine," Thomas said. He stated that they would never forget Caroline, but Hope was actually Douglas' mother. Thomas felt that he'd given the greatest gift that he could ever give. In Thomas' view, that should tell Hope everything and leave no room for doubt. He said that she finally knew who he really was.