At Eric's house, Douglas and Thomas played a game. Douglas was sad that Hope hadn't changed her mind about working with Thomas, but Thomas said, "If at first you don't succeed, you try and you try again." Douglas grinned.
Zoe called Thomas, anxious to know if he'd spoken to Eric or Ridge. Thomas reminded her that he'd said he'd get back to her, but she replied that he'd been saying that for weeks. He said he had a lot going on, but she told him that he'd been saying that for weeks, too. Zoe expressed that she'd been a loyal confidante and needed a little loyalty in return. "I'll do what I can," he told her and clicked off the line.
Douglas asked if his mommy had been on the call. Thomas responded that she hadn't been, but Hope would soon realize that working with him was for the best. He said that the more time she spent with him and Douglas as a family, the more she'd realize that her place was with them.
Eric arrived home. Thomas took Douglas into the den to watch a movie and returned to the living room to talk to Eric. Eric noted that Douglas reminded him of Ridge as a child. Eric hated that Ridge's life was turned upside down the way it was.
Thomas assumed Eric was talking about the divorce. Agreeing, Eric expressed how upset he was about it. Thomas claimed to be upset about it, too, and said that it was his fault. Eric didn't want Thomas to blame himself and stated that relationships were complicated.
Eric was there to talk to Thomas about the showdown he'd proposed to Ridge. Thomas conveyed that Hope had declined to have him as a designer. Eric asked how Thomas felt about it. It had stung Thomas when Hope had turned him down, but he understood her feelings.
Thomas said that he hadn't kidnapped Beth, but he'd perpetuated the lie. He admitted that he'd been selfish and manipulative and had blamed others for his mistakes. He needed Hope to see that he'd realized it and was deeply remorseful -- not that Brooke or Liam would ever see it.
At Brooke's house, Brooke was concerned about Hope working closely with Thomas. "Okay, that will not happen," Hope replied. Brooke quipped that she'd never thought she and Ridge would sign divorce papers, either. Brooke hadn't given up on her marriage, and she hoped Ridge would soon realize how unhinged Thomas was.
Brooke was glad that Hope had made it crystal clear that she wouldn't work with Thomas. Hope explained that there was more to it than that. She told her mother that there would be a fashion showdown because Forrester couldn't afford two youth lines. Brooke became worried that Hope would have to compete with a dormant line, but Steffy had been working on her line for months.
Hope conveyed that she needed to find a designer as soon as possible. Brooke was confident that Hope would find a designer who shared her vision -- but it wouldn't be Thomas. Hope told her mother that she'd turned Thomas down, and Ridge understood why. She admitted that she was conflicted because Thomas understood her Bohemian style. She didn't get how someone so twisted could create such beautiful designs.
"Well, you're right. He is twisted -- and destructive," Brooke responded. For Hope, it was becoming harder to separate the man from the artist. Brooke reminded Hope that Thomas had an agenda, and that agenda was why he was pushing his designs on her. Brooke asked Hope to remain vigilant and to stay away from Thomas because there were still secrets that they hadn't uncovered yet.
Brooke had read an article about psychopathic behavior and felt that Thomas fit the mold perfectly. Thomas lied without empathy, was glib, and blamed others for his mistakes. Hope told Brooke that she couldn't use an Internet article to diagnosis someone. Brooke thought that Thomas' problems were plain to see, but Hope asked why Ridge or Steffy didn't see them.
The persistent Brooke pulled out her phone and began to read off the traits of psychopaths, who lacked empathy and were highly manipulative of others. She asked Hope how well it fit Thomas. Hope knew it, but at times, she didn't know what version of Thomas to believe.
Hope didn't plan to forgive Thomas and forget what he'd done. She believed it took a sick person to keep a mother from her child and manipulate her into marriage. Brooke insisted that Thomas needed help and worried that, if he didn't get it soon, there was no telling what he'd do.
At Forrester, Steffy didn't want to think the worst of her brother. Liam figured that Brooke and he were on one side, and Ridge was on the other about Thomas; however, Steffy was somewhere in the middle. Liam said they couldn't just take Thomas' word about being changed. Liam needed to know the truth for Hope and Douglas' sake.
Steffy noted that finding out the truth could also lead to Ridge being right about Thomas. She agreed to help Liam because she believed that they did need to know the truth.
Liam wondered if Thomas had anyone who he'd confide in. Steffy said that her brother didn't have many friends. That fact didn't surprise Liam. She thought of Vinny, whom Thomas had crashed with that year. Liam wanted to pay Vinny a visit, figuring that Thomas might have told Vinny nothing -- or could have confided in him deeply about Hope.
At Vinny's apartment later, Liam and Steffy knocked on the door and were surprised when Zoe answered. Zoe explained that she was staying there with Vinny, who was mostly at his girlfriend's place. Steffy didn't think it was a coincidence that Zoe was there.
Zoe said that it wasn't and that she and Thomas were friends. She just wasn't sure if Thomas was interested. Liam figured that was because Thomas was "interested" in Hope. Zoe replied that she hadn't said that, but Liam told her that she hadn't had to.
Zoe took a laundry basket into another room. Liam told Steffy that every step Thomas took was in order to make Hope his -- whatever it took.
When Zoe returned to the room, she asked why Steffy and Liam were there. Liam said they wanted to talk to Vinny and wondered if she had been in contact with Thomas. Zoe replied that she'd spoken with him earlier. Liam asked if she could give them her word that their visit wouldn't get back to Thomas. Liam figured that she owed them that and more.
Zoe agreed. Steffy rolled her eyes. Zoe expressed how wrong she'd been about the baby secret. She said she should have gone to Hope immediately, and doing so would have spared Hope, Liam, and Steffy months of grief. Steffy rolled her eyes again, and Zoe apologized for not being strong enough to do what had been right.
Zoe also understood Steffy and Liam's concern about Thomas. Zoe admitted her worries that Thomas was obsessed with Hope. Liam asked Zoe to reveal everything she could about what Thomas had said to her about Hope.
Wanting to be totally honest, Zoe conveyed that she'd been hoping that something could happen with her and Thomas. Additionally, she'd been hoping that Thomas could help her get her job back. Groaning, Steffy accused Zoe of using Thomas.
Zoe said it wasn't like that, "but when he's going on and on about Hope -- " Liam asked if Thomas was saying anything threatening or dangerous. Zoe said it wasn't the way Liam meant, but she sensed an intensity whenever Thomas talked about Hope.
Zoe told Steffy that Zoe hated what she'd done, and it probably sounded crazy to ever think Steffy's family would accept her back at Forrester. Thomas had said he'd put in a good word for Zoe, but it still hadn't happened. Zoe was desperate to get back there and would do anything to make it happen.
Liam said it might not be impossible, and they might be able to help each other. "What? Really?" Zoe responded. Liam wanted to protect Hope and needed something to alarm Ridge about Thomas' true feelings. Liam figured that Thomas wouldn't open up to just anyone; however, he had opened up to Zoe.
Liam stated that Steffy had her reservations about Zoe because of "the Beth thing," but "if she is as remorseful as she says she is -- " Zoe swore that she was remorseful. Steffy asked what Liam was getting at. Liam asked her to rehire Zoe.
"What? No. I will not. No," Steffy flatly declined. Persevering despite Steffy's response, Liam insisted that it could give Zoe a chance to show her remorse; however, Zoe had to provide proof that Thomas was either reformed or as dangerously obsessed as Liam thought Thomas was.
Hope learns the hard way about Thomas and Zoe
At Vinny's apartment, Zoe asked if Liam wanted her to be a spy. Liam reasoned that Thomas trusted her, but Steffy asserted that she didn't. Zoe was willing to do anything to return to Forrester, and Liam insisted that Zoe was everyone's way to find out the truth about Thomas.
Liam reasoned that Zoe had already said she thought Thomas was obsessed with Hope. In Steffy's mind, talking about Hope and wanting to be her designer didn't make Thomas dangerous. Liam said that they were just trying to discover whether Thomas was actually the person he claimed to be.
Steffy didn't know if she'd ever trust her brother, but she felt that she, more than anyone, wanted to know if he was genuine. Liam urged her to rehire Zoe to help them find out. For Steffy, it wasn't that simple, and it was her family that they were talking about.
Steffy decided Zoe had to return to Forrester. Zoe told Steffy that Zoe didn't want to hurt Thomas, and it was probably obvious that she liked him. She wanted to help if it meant that it could unite Steffy's family. Liam asked Steffy to let Zoe prove him wrong.
Later, Liam and Zoe were alone. Liam told Zoe that she was doing the right thing. He got why Steffy was uncomfortable about it, but he insisted that they all needed the truth about Steffy's brother. Zoe didn't know if she'd uncover what Steffy wanted to hear. He replied that Thomas' family needed to know if he was still unhinged and obsessed.
Liam asked if Zoe had anything else to tell him. Zoe hadn't talked to Thomas much since he'd gone to Eric's house. She'd hoped that family would help Thomas, who'd been bitter when he'd been staying at the apartment. Liam asked what she meant.
Not really explaining, Zoe stated that Thomas had been isolated. She'd felt bad for him, and she'd wanted Steffy to know how terrible she felt about all of it and her role in it. Liam told Zoe that she wasn't responsible for Thomas' actions or decisions. Zoe responded that she wanted to make up for her own actions, and she hoped that Steffy would give her the chance.
Liam replied that Zoe would have to stick close to Thomas. Zoe was willing to do it, but she cared about Thomas. She didn't want to believe that he was a threat. Liam didn't, either, but he was worried that his instincts about Thomas were dead-on.
In the Forrester CEO's office, Hope met with Quinn and asked if she'd heard about the showdown. According to Quinn, the whole office was buzzing about it. Hope conveyed that she was looking for a designer. Hope stared expectantly at Quinn. "Me?" Quinn asked.
Though Quinn was a jewelry designer, Hope felt that Quinn had an exceptional eye for fashion. The way Quinn had accessorized the last HFTF line had shown Hope that Quinn understood Hope's vision. "That's a really interesting idea. Have you spoken to Thomas?" Quinn asked.
Quinn was flattered, but she felt that designing clothing would be a stretch for her. Quinn knew that things were strained between Hope and Thomas but said that Thomas had been working like a maniac on the collection. Hope admitted that some of Thomas' designs were exceptional, but "I can't work on a team with him." Hope wasn't ready for it or sure she ever would be.
Later, Steffy and Sally were alone in the office, conferring about a design. Hope entered, looking for Sally. Hope asked if Sally had heard about the showdown. Sally expressed her excitement about it. Hope proposed that Sally work on HFTF. Steffy and Sally exchanged looks, and Sally replied that she was spoken for. Steffy stated that Sally was designing for Steffy's line.
Hope expressed surprise, but Sally said she'd been working with Steffy for a while. Hope remarked that she hadn't been in the office for a while. It wasn't Hope's intention to steal Sally away from Steffy. Sally was flattered but committed to Steffy's line.
Hope stated that the competition was catching her off guard. She'd thought she'd have time to get her inactive line reinstated. Due to cutbacks, it was "now or never"; however, Hope didn't even have a designer. Sally suggested Thomas, who was rumored to have really good designs. Being a Spectra, Sally reveled in competition and would take a win by default if she had to.
Hope wasn't sure she could work with Thomas. From Hope's tone, Steffy assumed that working with Thomas wasn't out of the question. Hope replied that she didn't want her line to get shut down. Sally said Thomas was an incredible designer, but she got it if Hope couldn't trust him anymore.
Later, Steffy was alone on a call with Liam after getting a text from him. He wanted to know if she'd thought about the plan. He said that if Thomas was innocent, Zoe would prove it. Steffy didn't know what Liam meant by "innocent" and asked what he was trying to prove.
Liam insisted that everyone needed answers about whether Thomas had really faced down his demons. Steffy took exception to inviting a spy into the company. She didn't know how they'd prove she could trust her brother by using someone that she didn't trust at all.
To Liam, what mattered was that Thomas trusted Zoe. Liam thought Thomas would confide in Zoe again. Liam believed that Thomas' feelings for Hope hadn't changed; Thomas had just gotten better at hiding them. Steffy saw nothing wrong with Thomas trying to design for Hope.
Liam agreed that there was nothing wrong -- if that was all Thomas was up to. Liam was concerned that it was part of a bigger manipulation. He noted that the competition had been basically rigged so Hope would need Thomas, but she'd still turned him down. Liam doubted Thomas would take that answer and insisted that they all needed to know Thomas' grand plan.
In the design office, Vinny arrived at Thomas' behest. Vinny joked that Thomas had to be the one to ask Zoe to move out if Thomas needed to move back into the apartment. Thomas didn't need that, but he did wonder how Zoe was. Vinny didn't know and hadn't spent much time at the apartment. Thomas noted that he hadn't seen her because he'd been busy.
Vinny asked if Thomas had been busy with Douglas. Agreeing, Thomas said he and Douglas were in a good place. He added that there was still one thing that would make it perfect.
Later, Vinny didn't think Thomas should be surprised that Hope had turned him down as a designer. He stated that it wasn't just business for Thomas, who could get a little intense where Hope was concerned. Thomas conceded the point but said that Hope had to put that aside if she wanted to win the competition and keep her line.
Thomas thought that it could be the turning point that changed everything. Vinny got that Thomas wanted to redeem himself, but in Vinny's opinion, it was a tall order. "Not impossible, though," Thomas replied. Citing that he and Hope were co-parenting well, Thomas stated that "the doors were opening."
Vinny advised Thomas not to take risks when things were already looking up for him. Thomas agreed and said he'd been going about it all wrong. He stated that it was human nature to want what one couldn't have. Vinny replied that Thomas wanted Hope but couldn't have her. "Now, she can't have me," Thomas decided.
Vinny asked if that meant that Thomas was moving on. Thomas explained that pushing for a reunion hadn't worked, and if he wanted Hope to come to him, he had to take a step back. "Playing hard to get? Seriously?" Vinny asked, groaning. Thomas decided that if he and Hope would be together, she had to want it, and starting that day, he'd go about things in a new way.
Later, Thomas was alone and working. Quinn arrived to discuss her suspicion that the design challenge wasn't turning out the way he'd hoped. Thomas said it hadn't even started yet. Quinn didn't think it would if Hope couldn't find a designer, and as flattered as she was that Hope had asked her to do it, Quinn stated that she was a jewelry designer.
Thomas was intrigued upon hearing that Hope had asked Quinn to design for HFTF. Quinn sensed that Hope was a little bit desperate. Quinn had thought that line was important to Thomas and had heard from Eric that Thomas had created some impressive looks. Quinn had the feeling that Hope could use Thomas' help despite their issues.
Thomas replied that Hope didn't want his help. "Clearly, if she's coming to me, she doesn't have any other options," Quinn said. In Thomas' view, Hope had to reach her own conclusions about it. Quinn stated that she was just saying that he could reach out and ask again.
Thomas wasn't sure that would change anything. He remarked that things were difficult at that time. He didn't think they'd always be difficult, and he assured Quinn that he would eventually get through to Hope.
Sometime later, Hope entered the design office and was startled to discover the room lit with candles. There was also a table for two set up in front of the desk. Thomas walked in behind her, and she asked him what it was all about. Thomas said it wasn't what she thought.
In an intense rush of words, Hope said that she'd arrived to talk to him about HFTF. She was still leery about working with him, but she was running out of options. "So I thought, 'Maybe, just maybe' -- but then I walk in the door and see all of this!" Hope asked how he'd even know she'd be there. She warned him that he had better not have used Douglas as part of his ploy.
Thomas tried to interrupt, but Hope yelled that things like that were exactly why they couldn't work together. Hope decided that Thomas was using the shared custody and her line to make her feel obligated. Thomas asked her to let him explain.
Hope began to tell Thomas that she'd been impressed by his designs and had felt bad for turning him down. As she spoke, Thomas zoned out, staring at her breasts and lips. She was saying, "Just when I think I can trust you again!" In his head, Thomas asked her if she thought she could trust him again.
Hope declared that "this" was not what she wanted. Just then, Zoe arrived. Hope and Zoe were surprised to see each other. Zoe said she'd gotten Thomas' message to meet him there. Thomas told Hope that he empathized with how Hope felt about Zoe, but Zoe was sorry for everything that had happened with Beth. Zoe uttered that she was very sorry.
Thomas stated that he and Zoe deserved to stop being sorry and to move forward. "Maybe even enjoy ourselves," he added. He explained that he admired Zoe, with whom he'd connected. Hope stared around the room in embarrassment. She assumed that the romantic setting was for Zoe.
Taking Zoe's hand, Thomas said he could see how Hope could misunderstand the romantic setup because of their past. He assured Hope that he'd heard her. He said that Zoe had helped him to see that he needed to move on. He had a lot of great things in his life, and Zoe had shown him that he couldn't get stuck in old habits. He needed to try something new.
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 Thursday, December 19. There were no "lost" episodes as a result of the programming change.
Steffy's decision blindsides Hope
At Spencer, Liam was on the phone with Steffy, desperately trying to convince her that hiring Zoe would be beneficial toward proving that Thomas was a changed man -- or that he was still dangerously obsessed with Hope. Steffy, who was still in a quandary about it, abruptly ended the call because Eric and Ridge had arrived in her office.
Later, Liam was distracted during a meeting with Wyatt. Wyatt asked what was going on, and Liam launched into a tirade about Thomas' new ploy to get close to Hope through HFTF. Liam didn't buy Thomas' changed-man charade and was counting on Steffy not to buy it, either.
Though Wyatt wasn't taking Thomas' side, Wyatt felt the need to point out that people could change. He cited Bill, who'd put in the work that had helped Liam forgive him. Liam said he'd tried out that logic, but after the acid stunt that Thomas had pulled -- "Like, no way. I don't trust the guy." Liam stated that "this" was the point where Steffy entered the picture.
Later, Wyatt was puzzled by why Liam thought Steffy would agree to spy on her brother. Liam said he was still trying to get through to her. He explained what had happened when they'd gone to see Thomas' friend but had found Zoe living there. "With Thomas' friend?" Wyatt asked.
Liam elaborated that Vinny had been staying with his girlfriend after Thomas had moved Zoe into Vinny's place. It seemed that Zoe wanted to start something with Thomas, but he wasn't interested. Wyatt assumed that was because of Thomas' fixation on Hope.
Liam said that Zoe had revealed that Thomas trusted her and confided in her. It had led Liam to propose to Steffy that she rehire Zoe as a plant to uncover the truth about Thomas. Wyatt considered it a lot to ask of Steffy. Liam said that she needed to know the truth, too, and he was certain that they'd learn that Thomas was still obsessed with Hope.
In the CEO's office at Forrester, Ridge and Eric announced to Steffy that they were behind the line competition. Steffy was, too, but said Hope didn't have a designer. Eric thought the solution to that was obvious -- Thomas.
Eric, Ridge, and Steffy were empathetic about Hope's feelings for Thomas, but they also felt that Thomas' talent was needed in the competition. Eric said that, for it to work, everyone had to put past grievances aside. Ridge noted that tensions had eased between Hope and Thomas due to their co-parenting situation. Eric asked if Thomas had eased up on his romantic aspirations.
Ridge replied that Thomas was focused on being a better father. Eric decided that someone should speak to Hope and remind her of the benefits of working with Thomas for the line and for the family. In Eric's view, it could begin the healing process. Eric had seen Thomas work to better himself as a father and a man. Steffy hoped that Eric's faith was well placed.
In the design office, awkwardness filled the air as Hope said she was sorry for misconstruing who the romantic setting was for. Thomas understood because it was something that the old him would have done, but he'd finally heard Hope. It had taken time, but he was moving forward if Zoe was on board with it. He pulled Zoe close to him, and she said she wasn't opposed to it.
Thomas asked for a moment alone with Hope, and Zoe exited. Suspicious, Hope asked if Thomas really wasn't doing "this" for her benefit. Thomas had thought she'd be relieved. Hope replied that she was. He insisted that he was moving on and wouldn't pressure her anymore.
"So...you and Zoe..." Hope remarked. Thomas replied that Zoe was beautiful and talented. Hope said that he didn't owe her any explanations. Even so, she stared skeptically at him.
Thomas wanted to know what Hope thought, but Hope said she had no say over his personal life. He agreed, but still valuing her opinion, he pressed to hear what she thought. "Zoe?" Hope resentfully said. Thomas stated that he'd thought it was what Hope wanted.
Hope began to say that it was, but Ridge, Eric, and Steffy interrupted as they arrived in the room. They stared quizzically at the romantic scene, and Steffy asked if they were interrupting something. Thomas explained that it wasn't for Hope.
Changing the subject to the competition, Ridge announced that it would go forward. Eric remarked that Thomas had offered Hope his services. Thomas affirmed it, adding that Hope had to be comfortable with it. He promised to work his butt off for her and said that Steffy wouldn't know what hit her.
Later, the conversation between Ridge, Thomas, Eric, Steffy, and Hope resumed in the CEO's office with Eric rationalizing why Hope should let Thomas help her. Thomas didn't want Hope to feel pressured. Ridge asked Steffy to weigh in, but she didn't feel it was the competitor's place to do so. Ridge offered his opinion, which was that it would be a great idea.
Hope told Thomas that she admired his work, but she couldn't forget what he'd done to her and the family. Just then, Zoe opened the office door. She tried to leave, but Thomas invited her in.
Thomas told everyone that he and Zoe had begun to hang out. They had a lot in common. He said that the family was all about forgiveness. He appreciated how everyone was trying and that Hope had put enough aside to co-parent with him. He asked if Zoe could get an opportunity at forgiveness. After all, Zoe had done what she'd done for her father.
Hope pursed her lips. Thomas asked his sister to think of how low Zoe was on the culpability pole. He said that Zoe hadn't owed them anything and wasn't family. Hope silently stewed until he asked Steffy to rehire Zoe at Forrester. At that point, Hope exploded in disbelief and asked Steffy to say that she wouldn't allow a person who'd hurt them so much to return to Forrester.
Thomas acknowledged that it was hard for Hope, but he was trying to do what was best for the family. "What's best for Zoe, you mean," Hope sniped. She asked when he and Zoe had gotten so close. Claiming that he was being objective, Thomas cited that Zoe had been a top model and had been a real asset to the company. He believed that she could be again.
To Steffy, Thomas said Zoe had hurt her, too. He noted that Steffy had shown him compassion, and he asked her to spare some for Zoe. Zoe, who knew she'd messed up, wanted to speak for herself. She explained how remorseful she was and said they couldn't understand the pressure she'd been under. She wanted to make it up to them and redeem herself. She'd prove it to them every day if given the chance.
Eric stated that Zoe had gravely injured the family. Ridge, who'd fired Zoe once, proclaimed that he'd do it again. Turning to Steffy, he said she'd been one of those hurt the most, so he'd leave it up to her. Hope asked Steffy not to consider it for Zoe, who'd stood in silence while Hope and Steffy's worlds had been shaken.
Steffy flashed back to Liam imploring her to help him learn the truth about Thomas. In a forceful tone, she accused Zoe of perpetuating a lie that had led to the most visceral pain Steffy had ever felt. Zoe said she was sorry. "I believe you," Steffy replied.
Steffy acknowledged that Zoe hadn't created the situation. Steffy also believed in second chances. "If you do one thing to make me question your loyalty -- " Steffy started to say. Zoe promised not to. Steffy welcomed Zoe back to Forrester and told Zoe not to make her regret it.
Thomas thanked Steffy. Eric and Ridge hadn't expected that, but Eric said it was commendable. Hope took exception and asked Steffy not to do it. Steffy knew that Hope felt blindsided, and Steffy wished she could make Hope understand it. "Hiring Zoe will help us move forward. It's what needs to be done," Steffy concluded.
Hope decides on a designer
In the Forrester CEO's office, Hope was still in disbelief that Steffy had rehired Zoe. Steffy said she didn't have to like Zoe, but Zoe did have something to offer them.
Later, Steffy was alone when Liam arrived. He asked if something was wrong, and she replied that Hope would say so. Steffy informed him that she'd rehired Zoe. He thought that was great. Questioning it, Steffy said that Hope was upset about it, and Steffy totally got why.
Steffy was sickened by it. She'd been trying to justify it, but there was no rational explanation. Liam wished there was another way, but he insisted that they had to take help where they could get it. To him, it was imperative that they learn what was going on with Thomas.
Steffy said Liam might not get the answers he wanted. She thought that Thomas could be genuinely interested in Zoe. Liam didn't think Zoe was anything more than a pawn, and once he got the proof he needed, he wouldn't let Thomas anywhere near Hope.
In the design office with Thomas, Zoe beamed about being back at Forrester. She thanked him for coming through for her. Gesturing to the table for two in the room, she figured that the meal had turned into a celebration. "With some romance thrown in, I'm hoping," he responded. He recalled that he'd told Hope that he was moving on, and he felt lucky to be doing it with Zoe.
Thomas uncorked wine from his favorite winery and offered to take Zoe there for a tour. She offered to buy him a case of it to thank him for his help. Through the door that was slightly ajar, he saw Hope headed for the office. "Well, there are ways," he uttered and swept Zoe into a kiss.
Hope entered, saw the embrace, and immediately tried to back out of the room. Zoe asked Hope to wait. Zoe figured that Hope was troubled by the rehiring. Hope admitted that she was. Zoe was hoping that, someday, Hope could give Zoe a second chance. Hope said that Zoe could hope for "eventually" all she wanted, but it wouldn't happen.
Thomas decided that he needed to talk to Hope and that he and Zoe could celebrate later. Zoe exited the office, and Hope quipped that lying really did draw people together. He responded quizzically, and Hope asked if she was supposed to believe that he and Zoe were real.
Thomas tried to convince Hope that he and Zoe had spent a lot of time together bonding, and they'd bonded over their shame. He and Zoe were trying to get their lives back on track. He didn't know where it was going, but he was having fun.
Changing the subject to work, Thomas asked if Hope had found a designer. Hope figured that she had to get someone from the outside. He instructed her not to do that. He felt he deserved her mistrust, but he assured her that his only objective was to help her line win. In his mind, her success was his success, and he needed it because he was trying to impress a certain model.
Hope told Thomas that the idea of working with him didn't sit well with her. As she spoke, Thomas' gaze honed in on her hips, her eyes, her lips, and her breasts. She said that his designs had merit, and she'd give it some thought. It wasn't an approval, but she would take it into consideration. Thomas promised to accept her decision and believed that, together, they could make something magnificent.
Back in the CEO's office, Zoe thanked Steffy again for the second chance. "Uh-huh," Steffy grunted. Steffy was still trying to wrap her head around what was really going on between Zoe and Thomas. "Recently? Kissing," Zoe bashfully revealed.
Steffy was surprised to hear about the kiss but not surprised at all that Hope had walked in on it. Zoe said that she and Thomas hadn't known that Hope would do that. Steffy agreed that Zoe hadn't known it, but she asked if Zoe didn't see Hope's presence as a red flag.
Zoe asked if Steffy was saying that Thomas had wanted Hope to see the kiss. Offering to let Zoe be the judge of that, Steffy asked if the kiss had felt as if it had been meant for her or Hope.
At Eric's house, Ridge was delighted to see Brooke, who'd arrived to see if "it" was true. She'd just talked to Eric, who'd said that Zoe had been rehired. Brooke asked how Ridge could let that liar back into the business. Ridge understood Brooke's feelings and informed her that Steffy had made the call. Brooke found it unbelievable that Steffy would ever have Zoe back there.
Brooke couldn't figure out what was going on, but she wanted Ridge to intervene. Ridge was proud of Steffy for finding understanding and forgiveness. He suggested that Brooke follow Steffy's lead. Brooke refused to have empathy for a woman who'd let Hope think her baby had been dead. Brooke loved and missed her husband, but she couldn't find the compassion he wanted her to find for anyone involved in that lie.
Thomas called Ridge to thank him for giving Zoe another chance. On the call, Ridge replied that he hadn't known that his son had an interest in Zoe's career. Thomas elaborated that he had an interest in Zoe, and Ridge assumed that had been why there had been a romantic setting at the office. Thomas affirmed that it had been for Zoe.
Later, Brooke inquired about what she'd heard on Ridge's end of the call. Ridge revealed that Thomas had spoken up for Zoe and had also set out candles and flowers at the office. "Seriously?" Brooke asked. Ridge thought it was good. It meant that Thomas had landed on his feet and was moving on. "With Zoe?" Brooke questioned.
Ridge had figured it would make Brooke happy that Thomas wasn't going after Hope. Brooke asked if Ridge thought Thomas could turn those feelings off like a light switch after all those years, and she reminded Ridge that Thomas had been with many other women while still lusting for Hope. It was disturbing to Brooke. Ridge disagreed.
Brooke persisted in her belief that Thomas was dangerous and violent. She knew that Ridge had witnessed it, and she wished he'd see who his son really was. A clip of Thomas punching Liam and one of Douglas shielding his face from Thomas played on-screen. Brooke told Ridge that her daughter's safety was at stake.
In Brooke's cabin, Hope was with Liam, telling him about all the unbelievable developments regarding Zoe that had happened at work that day. Hope suspected that Thomas was putting on a show with Zoe -- even though he'd sounded sincere when speaking on Zoe's behalf. Liam deduced that if Thomas could convince Hope of his interest in Zoe, then he wouldn't be seen as a problem for Hope to work with. "Bingo," Hope responded.
Liam thought that he'd next hear that Hope had laughed in Thomas' face. Hope admitted that she'd told Thomas that she would think about it. Liam asked her not to fall for it, but she said he didn't know how much pressure she was under to save her line. She asserted that she'd lose against Steffy unless she had Thomas' help.
Liam was scared to have Hope working with a proven liar and asked how she knew Thomas wasn't lying about Zoe. In Liam's mind, there was no reason to believe Thomas wasn't still obsessed with Hope. Hope said she wouldn't trust Thomas, whether he was lying or not. What mattered to her was having a designer, and it could be easy to transition Thomas into the job.
Hope said that it would be great news if Zoe and Thomas were authentic. Liam replied that Thomas only wanted Hope. Putting her arms around Liam, Hope stated that Thomas couldn't take her from Liam or change what she and Liam had. Liam said Thomas already had.
Liam noted that Thomas had insinuated himself into their lives before. She had started sharing custody of Douglas with Thomas, and she would have to work with him. For Liam, it felt like many small steps in a grand plan for Thomas to get closer to her.
Hope believed that Thomas knew there was only one man for her, and it didn't matter to her whether Thomas accepted it or not. She felt that she had to co-parent with Thomas for Douglas' sake, and she might have to work with Thomas for her own sake. Liam reluctantly told her to work with Thomas if she felt that she needed to.
Hope thanked Liam, and Liam warned her that Thomas had better not cross a line. She promised to fire Thomas "so fast" if he did. Liam asked if it would be before or after he got one of his father's goons to knee-cap Thomas. Kissing Liam, she called him her hero.
Hope picked up her phone, and Liam expressed disappointment that she had to call Thomas in the middle of canoodling. Hope told Liam to wait until he saw what happened after the call.
Back at the design office, Thomas was working when his phone rang with a call from Hope. He answered and asked if she'd given more thought to hiring him as the designer. "Let's do it. Let's work together," Hope responded. Thomas was thrilled. Glancing at his sketchpad, he said he was dialed into just what she wanted. Hope replied that she'd see him the next day.
As Hope and Liam hugged after the call, Thomas resumed working on his sketch. On the screen was displayed only the top half of the drawing. It depicted Thomas and Hope, from the chest up, naked and kissing.