Steffy and Hope contemplate Thomas' future

The Bold and the Beautiful Recap for Thursday, January 26, 2023
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Thursday, January 26, 2023

At the cliff house, Finn was with Kelly and Douglas, giving each of them a stethoscope from his medical bag for their stuffed-animal patients. Liam arrived to pick up Douglas, and Kelly exclaimed that she was a doctor. Liam recalled that she'd been a chef earlier. Kelly asked if Douglas had to go, and Douglas requested to stay longer and help Kelly play doctor to her stuffed animals. Finn and Liam agreed that Douglas could play longer.

The kids went to a bedroom, and Liam and Finn discussed how happy Hope and Liam were to have Douglas back. Liam said he loved Douglas as much as Beth and Kelly. Liam figured Finn knew how that was because Finn was an amazing stepfather, and Kelly adored him. Finn said Douglas felt that way about Liam. Liam replied that he wanted Douglas to feel support because it wasn't easy to be let down by one's father.

Finn and Liam agreed that Douglas was a good, smart, and ethical kid, even after all he'd gone through. Liam mentioned that Douglas' mom had died very young, leaving Thomas as Douglas' only parent, and Liam hated to think of what the boy's life would have been like if Hope hadn't stepped in. Finn remarked that Liam was an important part of it. Liam said he wouldn't let Douglas down or cause Douglas to question Liam's judgment.

Finn said it was a shame that Douglas had gotten caught up in another of Thomas' schemes. Liam said Douglas had known that the bogus call had been wrong, and Douglas had done the right thing. Finn said it was something Thomas hadn't learned. Liam hoped that Thomas would learn that actions had consequences.

Finn said Douglas was welcome there anytime, and Liam said Douglas loved spending time there. Liam regretted the way Douglas had returned home, but he was happy to have the boy back. Liam said he and Hope were trying hard to give Douglas the secure life he deserved. "That's away from Thomas," Finn concluded, and Liam nodded.

Later, as he and Liam prepared to leave, Douglas wondered if he could return the next day. Liam said they'd ask Hope. Douglas thanked Finn for letting him hang out. Finn said the boy was always welcome, and Kelly and Steffy felt the same way.

In the design office, Paris asked if Hope was thinking of taking Thomas back on the HFTF team. Hope asked if she should consider it after he'd torpedoed her mother's marriage and pressured their son to keep it a secret. Paris claimed that Thomas had also designed the most successful collection HFTF had ever produced. Paris said he was still one of the most acclaimed designers out there, and if anyone could bring the collection back from the brink, it was he.

Hope replied that HFTF was her line, but Thomas' role in the company wasn't up to her; it was for Steffy and Ridge to decide. Hope asked what Paris thought of Thomas. Paris said he was talented and understood what women found appealing. Hope agreed but said his future at the company wasn't her call.

Paris said fashion was about breaking rules and pushing boundaries. She claimed she'd never say Thomas hadn't been wrong in what he'd done, but she felt that kind of passion made his work successful. Hope assumed Paris wanted Hope to take Thomas back. Paris didn't want to tell Hope what to do but asked if Hope could talk to Steffy about giving Thomas a second chance.

Hope said she and Thomas had worked well together, and she'd thought they'd had the same vision and goals; however, she'd been wrong. She said she'd stood up for him, and he'd let her down and hurt the people she loved the most. She stated that she'd decided not to work with Thomas to protect her family, but she cared about her career and what her line meant to customers around the world. She said she had a responsibility to the people who worked for her, and she didn't know what to do.

In the CEO's office, Thomas promised to be on his best behavior. He got that people didn't want to see or be around him, but he believed that he could still contribute. He said he was sorry for what he'd done, and he'd thought he'd been helping. "Wow, Thomas," Steffy quipped.

Thomas accepted that he hadn't been helping and guessed he'd just be the obedient brother. Steffy said she didn't want that. She wanted to be able to rely on him and trust him and his judgment; she hated being at odds with him and didn't know what to say to him. She said he wanted his job back, but she wanted her brother back -- the guy she'd grown up with who'd always tried to do the right thing.

Thomas apologized and said he knew he'd been wrong and hadn't been a good person. He felt she deserved better than that and deserved better than him. He wanted to be the rock she could lean on and was sorry he hadn't been. He promised to work tirelessly to become that man.

In tears, Steffy asked why Thomas always had to make it hard. Thomas said he'd been wrong, but he'd done it for the right reasons. Steffy replied that it was no excuse. He reasoned that it was why he was willing to be exiled. "Yet here you are," Steffy rejoined. He said it was because it was unfair to punish HFTF. He believed he could make it better, and they needed him.

Steffy didn't think they should be having the conversation while Ridge was gone, but Thomas said they couldn't waste time. He noted that Eric and Zende had different visions, so the collection lacked focus.

Hope arrived, saw Thomas, and asked what was going on. Thomas said he'd read the review. He hadn't wanted his actions to hurt her line, so he was hoping he could help. Motioning to his sketches, he said he'd never stopped designing. He stated that he had done the unforgivable to Brooke and had asked Douglas to lie. Thomas said he'd hurt everyone, but worse, he'd hurt Hope, the one who'd believed in him the most. He said he was asking for another shot, not just for him, but for her and her line. Hope asked to talk to Steffy alone.

After Thomas had gone, Steffy said she hadn't known he'd show up like that. Hope wondered if it had been right on time. She said the collection was a mess, and no amount of tinkering would save it. Steffy asked if Hope was requesting that Thomas return to the company. Hope hadn't thought she'd ever consider it, but she said she couldn't make business personal.

Steffy replied that Thomas wouldn't learn anything if they didn't hold him accountable. Hope agreed, and she and Steffy agreed that there were other people to consider at the fashion house. Hope stated that she trusted Thomas' talent, but that was as far as it went for her.

Steffy asked if Hope wanted Thomas to work from home. Hope replied that she didn't know. Steffy was concerned about the message it would send Thomas if they welcomed him back. She said he'd had many chances but no real consequences.

Outside the door, Thomas listened in as Steffy and Hope discussed the ways Thomas had hurt the family. Hope said they still had to face the fact that Thomas and his talent were a big part of Forrester's success. Steffy asked if Hope was saying HFTF needed Thomas' designs to succeed.

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