In Steffy's office, Steffy and Zende discussed Thomas' progress. Zende could tell that she was proud of her brother. He said he'd like to trust Thomas, his cousin. "But for a while there..." Zende said. Steffy asked if he trusted Thomas. Zende replied that he did until Thomas proved otherwise.
Relieved, Steffy said they should stick together as a family and support Thomas -- especially since some were unwilling to give him a shot. Zende assumed she meant Liam. Affirming it, Steffy said Liam wouldn't ever trust Thomas again, especially around Hope.
As Steffy left for the evening, she opened the office door and encountered Paris, who was looking for her sister. Steffy guessed Zoe was off with Carter. Paris wasn't surprised. Steffy liked Paris' energy and hoped to see her around more often. Glancing back at Zende, who was still in the office, Steffy ordered him not to stay there all night.
Alone with Zende, Paris guessed she should have known her sister was with Carter. The two had been inseparable since the engagement. Zende glanced away. Paris noted that he looked troubled. She assumed Zoe was playing hooky from work, which miffed him, but he said that wasn't it. Paris deduced that he was bothered by Zoe, Carter, or the engagement.
Dismissing the idea, Zende said that he was happy for the couple. Paris warned that he'd better be because she was lobbying for herself and Zende to stand up for the bride and groom at the wedding. She refused to have a grump in her photo ops. Zende doubted he could ruin any photo that Paris was in, and he took note of her smile. She was flattered that he'd noticed her smile. He said it was hard not to when she always seemed to be in a good mood.
Paris replied that she couldn't help it. It was how she was wired. Zende decided that it was his favorite part about her, and it was infectious. He stated that when she walked into a room, everyone lit up. "I certainly do," he added. Paris' grin widened.
In Brooke's cabin, Liam looked at a laptop and was impressed with the projections for HFTF. Hope said they'd see how it turned out. Liam stated that the line was about more than profits, and the clients believed in the messaging. Hope admitted to wondering if it was getting old, but in Liam's view, the beauty of it was that the message evolved with each collection. He said she changed, times changed, and the message changed. It was exciting to him.
Hope noted that her new message involved "inclusion." Liam said he was a proud husband, and Hope was full of excitement for the new line. Her team was hardworking, and she'd never been more confident in them. Liam wished the team didn't have to include Thomas.
Hope's smile faded. Liam still couldn't buy into her belief that Thomas was mellowing out. "All I was trying to say before is that I don't think he's fixated on me," Hope replied. She considered it to be something she and Liam should each be thankful for.
Steffy called Liam to remind him about a beach party for one of Kelly's friends that he'd agreed to attend. After the call, Liam explained to Hope that Kelly had wanted both of her parents to be at the huge party, but he'd stay home if he were needed there. Hope was tickled that he'd asked permission, but she wanted him to go and spend as much time with Kelly as possible.
Liam offered to make it a bigger event and take Beth, Hope, and Douglas with him. Hope noted that Kelly wanted to spend time with her parents, and it was okay with Hope that it was just the three of them. Liam thanked her. He knew it wasn't easy for her that he had another daughter to raise and that it sometimes took time from their family.
Hope reiterated her mantra of putting the children first and said she'd never interfere in Liam's relationship with Kelly. Liam asked how Hope could be so understanding. She decided she'd remember that for the next time they argued. He denied that they ever argued, but she reminded him about his favorite subject, Thomas.
Liam said he might overreact, but he was trying to protect her -- and Douglas, too. Liam didn't think Thomas had earned the right to be a bigger part of their family. Historically, Thomas had always been a threat to their family, and Liam sensed Thomas always would be.
Insisting that she wasn't na´ve, Hope said she wouldn't forget all Thomas had done. Liam asked if she were sure, and she replied that they'd been some of the most painful moments of her life. Liam thought it was exactly why they needed to limit their exposure to Thomas. Liam didn't believe a manipulative personality like Thomas' could change overnight.
Hope didn't think it was an act. She started to say she'd been spending more time with Thomas. Liam interjected that that was her problem right there. She doubted Thomas had rid himself of all of his demons, and she realized that such a feat would take more time and therapy. "But is he making an effort? Is he changing? That is my point," she reasoned.
Liam didn't know how Hope did it. Hope replied that it was Douglas. She wanted the boy to have a father he could count upon and believe in. For it to happen, Hope had to believe in Thomas. It was confusing to Hope when Liam praised her for understanding about Kelly but then lashed out at Thomas and ordered him to stay away. Hope asserted that Douglas and Thomas needed each other, and it was the same as Liam and Kelly. Liam didn't think it was the same.
Frustrated, Hope asked if Liam even wanted Thomas to get better. Liam claimed he did -- for Douglas' sake. Hope reasoned that strengthening Douglas and Thomas' father-son bond was important. She needed Liam to trust her on that. Liam rocked on his heels in stubborn silence. Hope believed Thomas was working on becoming a better man.
Liam asked what he'd just said about Hope and him not fighting. She asked if they were fighting. He didn't want to be. He was just trying to look out for their family. Appreciating it, Hope said she was protective, too, of their family and kids, including Kelly, who was waiting to see her father.
Liam guessed they'd talk more later. Hope agreed under the condition that he didn't let it ruin his time with Kelly. She didn't want him to waste a second on the beach, worrying about Thomas.
In Thomas' apartment, Thomas asked if the mannequin was alive. The mannequin, which looked human at that point, twitched mechanically. It inched toward him robotically, but he cowered by the door. It told him not to be afraid; it was there, and it was all his. He refused to believe that it was really happening, and it asked why not.
"Because you're not really here!" Thomas screamed at the top of his voice. Reaching for him, the mannequin declared that it was there for him. It tried to near Thomas again, but he darted to the other side of the room, demanding to know what it wanted from him. It wanted Thomas to not give up on Hope. "Free her. Free her. Free her from Liam," it instructed.
Thomas told the mannequin that it had to stop talking to him. He told it that Hope was happy with Liam and had the life she wanted, but the mannequin said it wouldn't be there if that were true. He didn't want to listen to it anymore and affirmed that he was trying to be a better man, a better father, and someone Hope could admire. "Someone Hope can love," it added.
Thomas called Hope, who was at home, reading a book, to ask if he could have dinner with Douglas. Thomas was stammering, and Hope asked if he was okay. As he mumbled that it was kind of lonely over there, the mannequin rotated behind him under its own "fleshly" power. Hope decided to drop Beth off with Brooke and head over to Thomas' with Douglas.
Later, Douglas and Hope arrived. Thomas greeted them and stared conspicuously at a long box in the corner. Douglas asked what was in the box. Douglas picked up a box of toys, and Thomas said Douglas hadn't had toys at the apartment, so Thomas had gotten some.
As Douglas went through the toys, Thomas asked Hope if she'd had to convince Douglas to be there. Hope replied that it hadn't been needed because Douglas wanted to spend time with his father. Thomas valued his time with Douglas, and Thomas valued Hope.
Hope seemed taken aback by the comment, but Douglas interrupted her thoughts to show her one of the toys in the box. Thomas grinned, watching them together. Behind Hope, white eyes shone out of a handle slit in the box that was in the corner. The pseudo-Hope voice said Hope should know how Thomas felt, and a family with Thomas and Douglas was better for Hope. It urged Thomas to tell Hope that she was the only one for him.
At Steffy's house, Steffy and Liam had just put Kelly to sleep with a story. He thanked Steffy for reminding him about the party and wanting him to attend. Liam said that Kelly was growing up fast. Every day he spent away from her was hard. He stated that Kelly was the best of both of them, and he was behind Kelly in whatever she wanted to do in her life.
Steffy told Liam that he was a good father to both of his daughters. She didn't want to keep him and was sure Beth, Douglas, and Hope were missing him. "Yeah, probably," he dubiously said. The mention of Douglas had made Liam think of Thomas again. Steffy rolled her eyes.
Liam expressed his fears that Thomas was getting into Hope's head, and even though Hope and Steffy believed Thomas was a new man, Liam didn't think it was possible. He stated that guys like Thomas didn't change overnight.