In the design office, Eric complimented the direction Zende's design had taken and felt it suited HFTF. Zende was happy with it and all the work they'd done in Thomas' absence. For the first time, Zende was starting to feel confident in his skill, but he felt as if he were designing in Thomas' shadow. Eric understood Zende's feeling, but Eric thought their collaboration had been a big success after they'd taken the line in a different direction. Zende worried about how it would be received and murmured that he wasn't Thomas.
In the CEO's office, Hope and Steffy tensely waited for reviews to come in. Hoping they'd be good, Hope said Eric wasn't a novice, and Zende had helped out with the last showing. Hope was concerned that Thomas wasn't designing and said a lot rode on the press's reaction to that.
Hope noted that Eric and Zende's designs had a different feel. Steffy asked if Hope thought they wouldn't generate the same buzz. Hope replied that Thomas' last line was a hard act to follow. Steffy reminded Hope that Eric had been designing forever, and Zende was a great designer. Hope figured she was worrying over nothing when there was enough to worry about.
Talk turned to Sheila, and Hope and Steffy agreed that keeping the children safe from Sheila was their first priority. It was especially important to Hope because Douglas and Kelly spent much time together at each other's houses. Hope felt that Douglas needed the time with his aunt and cousins after what had happened with Thomas, and she asked if Thomas had reached out and tried to reconnect. Steffy said Thomas wasn't on her mind; Sheila was.
Hope admitted that she missed Thomas' designs and said he'd captured the essence of the line. "And of the woman behind it," Steffy added. Hope agreed that Thomas was intuitive and added that he'd known what she'd wanted before she had.
Eric and Zende arrived for the meeting, and Hope asked where Paris was. Steffy guessed Paris was running late. Hope asked if things were good between Zende and Paris. He affirmed it but said they were just friends. Zende was anxious to hear about the reviews since Thomas wasn't part of the design team. Hope's phone buzzed, and Steffy asked if it was the reviews. Hope timidly nodded.
Aloud, Hope read the review. In it, the writer talked about how he'd praised HFTF's last line, designed by Thomas Forrester. Though the reviewer thought Eric and Zende showed signs of inspiration, the line was a far cry from the artistry and creative innovation under Thomas Forrester. Zende said the reviewer was being polite but didn't think the collection was nearly as good.
At Paris' place, Paris was thrilled when Thomas brought her coffee. He said he was thankful that she'd given him a place to stay after his family had kicked him out. Paris asked if the coffee was his repayment, and he asked if she could think of a better way.
Paris recalled that Thomas had let her stay with him when she'd had no place. He guessed that was why she'd given him a free place to stay, but she said he'd be cooking, cleaning, and cooking. He replied that she'd said cooking twice. "I just love the way you cook," she replied.
Paris said being an outcast was hard on Thomas. He claimed he'd been just trying to bring his parents together. She stated that it had been a bit more than that, but she could tell he loved his family. She claimed that she could see both sides. He said he was glad to have her in his corner, and she felt lucky to have someone like him in her life.
Paris realized she had to get to an HFTF meeting. Thomas expressed surprise that she was sitting in on the meetings. Paris said the line was in transition, and everyone was rallying around Hope to give support. Thomas replied that Hope wouldn't need it if he was around, nor would she worry about a thing if he was the lead designer. He claimed it wasn't ego; he said he'd proven himself, and everyone knew it.
Later, Paris was dressed and ready to head to the meeting. She was worried about being late, but Thomas said she was one of Hope's closest friends. Paris guessed Thomas missed being a part of the team, and she mentioned that the review of Zende and Eric's collection would be in that day. Thomas wanted to know how they'd stack up against him in the press and quipped that his would be considered so much better because he was awesome.
Later, Thomas read the HFTF review and said it had ripped Eric and Zende to shreds. Thomas said he had all those designs ready to go, so he could hop in to save the day. Paris said it meant he wouldn't be the outcast for long. Thomas replied that, hopefully, they'd' be blowing up his phone, begging him to come back.
At Il Giardino, Deacon was at the bar, evaluating pizzas. To his delight, Sheila strode in. "Well, I'll be," he said, grinning, and invited her to help him taste-test and select a signature pie. Sheila had arrived to congratulate him on owning the restaurant and called it a feat. He quipped that she knew about "feats." He thought he should be congratulating her on blowing out of prison, just like she'd said she would.
Sheila said she was happy for Deacon, and he said he was happy for her. He admitted he'd thought she was looney tunes to think she'd get out of it. Sheila said she'd told "Daddy" not to count her out, and he replied that "Daddy" wouldn't ever again.
Deacon and Sheila chuckled about his pizza project, and she grew somber. He assumed she was thinking of the night in the alley. Agreeing, she said it had been unfortunate and deeply regrettable, but she was trying to focus on the happy memories of the restaurant. "Oh, yeah?" Deacon asked, leaning toward her. She asked if he remembered their after-hours date there.
A flashback played of Deacon and Sheila dancing. She said it had meant the world to her, as did being there as a free woman. Deacon was curious about how she'd done it and asked what was going on between her and Spencer.
Though Deacon didn't condone the things Sheila had done, especially in the alley, he was happy for her. He said she was a freaking evil genius and had played Mike like a cheap fiddle. "But playing Dollar Bill? I mean, that's impressive. So, I gotta ask again -- how did you do it?" he asked.
Later, Deacon explained that Hope had told him that Bill had blackmailed Steffy and Finn to prevent their testimony and had also bribed a judge. Deacon reasoned that Bill showed mercy to no one. He asked why the wealthiest man in the universe would take pity on her and if they were supposed to be in a relationship. Sheila asserted that she and Bill were indeed in a relationship, and she was living on his estate.
Deacon said it was great. Sheila asked if he meant it. Though Deacon thought Bill was a jerk, Deacon was happy for her. Sheila thanked him. Looking down, he guessed she knew how he felt about her. He recalled that he'd put his "ass" on the line for her, and he assumed she knew why. "So, I gotta ask you. You and Bill. How much are you in love with him and how much are you using him?" Deacon asked.