At Eric's house, Zoe stammered in the wake of Thomas' surprise marriage proposal. She was honored but flabbergasted because she hadn't known he'd make it in front of his family. Thomas said that it could be her family if she agreed to become his wife and a stepmother to his child. Douglas flashed a worried look at Hope.
Zoe needed something from Thomas before she could accept. She needed him to say that he loved her. Thomas had never said it to Zoe, and it was something she needed to hear before she could give him his answer. Liam rolled his eyes, and others in the room became concerned.
Zoe knew that Thomas liked her and had fun with her, but she needed to know that it was deeper than that before she agreed to the marriage. She'd seen love in his eyes, but she thought saying it should go before a marriage proposal.
Agreeing, Thomas said that it was hard for him to express his feelings. Looking at Hope, he stated that he'd been burned. He assured Zoe that he felt it, and he had proposed because he wanted Zoe to give him and his son a bright future. "Okay, but you still haven't said it," Zoe replied.
"Zoe Buckingham, I love you. I honestly do," Thomas stated. Zoe hugged him and thanked him. She said she loved him, too. He was sorry that it had taken him time to say it. Realizing that it could be too much too fast, he offered to let her take time to think about it. He said he'd think harder about a more romantic and intimate proposal.
Zoe didn't want to take time. She was thrilled to accept the proposal and become Thomas' wife. The family dubiously clapped. Douglas strode silently upstairs, and Hope followed him.
Later, Eric took photos of Thomas and Zoe as Brooke and Liam noted that Hope had been consoling Douglas upstairs for a while. Liam asserted that Thomas should be up there doing it because Thomas was the reason that the child was upset. Brooke doubted that Thomas had noticed Douglas. Sure that Thomas had indeed noticed, Liam said Thomas was getting everything he wanted from the stupid proposal.
Eric, Zoe, and Thomas discussed Eric posting the photos to social media. Thomas was surprised that Eric was on social media. Eric was surprised that Thomas wasn't following his grandfather. Steffy decided to take a picture of herself, Eric, Zoe, and Thomas and post it.
Afterward, Zoe heard Liam and Brooke excitedly discussing how devastated Douglas had been. Zoe pulled Thomas aside, wondering if they should really let Steffy post the picture to half the world. She wondered if she and Thomas were moving too fast.
Rushed or not, it felt right to Thomas. He asked if Zoe knew how much he needed her and her goodness. Zoe said she needed him, too, and she was just beginning to realize how much. She'd been shocked at first, but she was glad that he'd proposed to her. She was happy that he believed in them, and she was excited to have a future with him.
Chiming in, Eric stated that he was excited, too. Zoe couldn't believe that she was really joining their family. "Come here," Ridge said, and he hugged her.
Brooke and Liam took Thomas aside to berate him for proving how little he cared about Douglas. She asked if Thomas had even seen what the proposal stunt had done to his son. Thomas claimed to know firsthand that kids didn't always like getting stepparents, but Douglas, who had Hope, would get over it.
Liam asked if Thomas understood that he didn't have Hope and wouldn't. Liam accused Thomas of throwing a fake proposal at Douglas to get him so upset that Hope would feel as if she had to be with Thomas to fix it. Liam said it was a stupid plan that only resulted in pain for Douglas and Zoe. Liam wouldn't let Thomas get away with it.
Later, Brooke approached Zoe to offer a word of advice: run. Zoe didn't know how to take that bit of wisdom. Brooke asserted that Thomas didn't care about Zoe. She asked how Zoe could accept a marriage proposal from Thomas, knowing how he felt about Hope. Brooke snapped that Thomas and Zoe, partners in crime, made some couple.
Zoe figured that Brooke would never forgive Zoe for what had happened with Beth. Brooke quipped that Zoe had that right. Zoe insisted that Thomas had said he was over Hope and ready to move on with Zoe, words Brooke had heard herself.
Brooke ordered Zoe to wake up. Brooke asked whom Thomas had been looking at during the proposal. Answering herself, Brooke said he'd been looking at Hope, gauging her reaction. Brooke believed that Thomas had gotten what he'd wanted because Douglas had run upstairs, and Hope had gone after him, probably feeling guilty.
Zoe didn't understand why Hope would feel guilty. Brooke said it was because Hope wasn't giving Douglas the family with Thomas that Douglas wanted, and that was what the marriage proposal had really been about. "In your opinion," Zoe replied.
Claiming it was a fact, Brooke declared that Thomas was using Zoe to get to Hope. Although Zoe thought Hope was an admirable person, she said Hope wasn't all things to all people. In Zoe's view, Thomas' infatuation with Hope was in the past. Zoe concluded that she didn't care if Brooke believed it or not.
Near the fireplace, Thomas thanked Eric and Ridge for accepting Zoe. Eric said that Thomas should know that his family would always support him. It just seemed a little sudden to Ridge, and he asked if Thomas was sure about it. Ridge wondered how well his son knew Zoe.
Thomas said that Zoe was nice, kind, and beautiful, and she was the path he saw toward his future. "Your future with Zoe or your future with Hope? Son, what's the real reason behind this proposal?" Ridge asked. Ridge didn't want a fight, but he needed Thomas to look him in the eye and tell him about the proposal.
Eric said that Thomas had to admit that it had arrived from out of nowhere. Eric was willing to welcome Zoe into the fold, but he and Ridge wanted to know if there was more to it, something that might have to do with Hope. Thomas stated that Hope didn't want him, and he had to accept that he only fit in her life as co-parent and designer.
Pressing, Ridge stated that Thomas had been obsessed with Hope for a long time. He just wanted Thomas to say that the evening had nothing to do with Hope. Thomas admitted that it did have to do with Hope. It had to do with getting over her. Thomas had an incredible woman who wanted to marry him, and he asked them not to question his feelings for her. Ridge wasn't questioning that. He was questioning the rush. It seemed suspicious.
Thomas was sick and tired of the suspicions. He was tired of Liam and Brooke questioning him. He said they wanted him to move on but questioned him when he did. He didn't want to listen to that anymore. He wanted to move on with his life and get beyond what he had with Hope. He wanted to move forward with Zoe. "That was all I wanted to hear," Ridge stated.
Thomas decided to check on his son. On his way to the stairs, Zoe and Quinn stopped him. Quinn noted that his conversation with Ridge and Eric had seemed intense. Shrugging, Thomas said Ridge was being Ridge, but Eric and Ridge were happy for Thomas. Thomas continued upstairs. Pausing, he heard Zoe giggle and tell Quinn that she hadn't seen it coming.
By the dessert table, Liam asked Steffy to say she wasn't supporting "this." Steffy was trying her best to do it. Liam stated that Thomas didn't want Zoe, but Steffy contended that they didn't know that. Liam asked if she'd seen Douglas' reaction. Steffy had. Liam insisted that Thomas was using Douglas to make Hope crack. "And she's gonna go back to him?" Steffy cynically asked. Liam affirmed that Steffy had it exactly right.
Upstairs, Douglas asked Hope why his father would do "that." Hope expressed her own surprise about the engagement, and he asked if she had known about it beforehand. Hope hadn't known, but she could see why Thomas wanted to marry the nice and beautiful Zoe. Douglas agreed that Zoe was nice, but he didn't want another mommy. He only wanted Hope.
Hope reminded Douglas of what the custody papers she had in her possession meant. She said she'd always be his mommy, no matter whom Thomas married. Douglas wanted Thomas to marry Hope, not Zoe. Hope explained that they'd tried it, but it hadn't been the best fit. The good news was that Thomas had found a possibly good fit for himself and Douglas.
"No! I don't want that!" Douglas raged. Hope thought it was because he didn't know Zoe, but she said that Zoe had been trying to get to know him and be his friend. Douglas asked why Zoe couldn't be Thomas' friend, too, and why Zoe had to marry Thomas. Shrugging, Hope hoped it was because they really loved each other.
"I won't call her mommy," Douglas concluded. Hope didn't think Zoe would ask it of him. Hope said that no one expected him to grasp the complicated situation so quickly, but she'd always be there for him as his mommy. "That's what my first mommy said. I already lost her. I can't lose you, too," Douglas stated. He was sure it would happen if Thomas married Zoe.
Douglas implored Hope to marry his daddy so that she wouldn't go away. Hope understood the child's fears but assured him that she wouldn't go away. She told him that the marriage meant that there would be just one more adult to look after him. He wouldn't see any less of her.
Thomas stood in the doorway. Douglas reasoned that he'd see even more of her if she married his father. He said they could live together. Douglas asserted that his father had told Douglas that he loved her, and he wanted to marry her, not Zoe. "We could be a family with Beth. Please say yes. Tell Daddy you want to marry him. Please, Mommy," Douglas pleaded.
Hope hugged Douglas. She saw Thomas in the door, staring worriedly at her and Douglas.
• Wyatt focuses on Sally.