In Portofino, Italy, the fashion showdown between Eric and Ridge began with an announcer heralding, in Italian, the first entries by Spectra Fashions. Elegant but slightly edgy models sashayed down the pier-turned-runway to the beats of "Oceanic Love" by Lunar Plexus as Sally, Darla, Clarke, and Ridge looked on. Eric, Stephanie, and Brooke took in their competitors' offerings. Massimo stood sternly, while the bulk of the showing's attendees watched from boats bobbing in the harbor.
Next, Eric's slightly more sophisticated models took a turn. Eric and Ridge locked eyes from across the runway, looking both competitive and pleased with each other. Bridget approached Massimo and asked how he was doing. When Massimo conceded that the show was going "pretty well," Bridget clarified that she was asking about Massimo, acknowledging it couldn't be easy for him to watch her father share the moment with Massimo's son. Massimo sighed.
The music changed to Third Sun's "Gonna Get It On," and Spectra's next contributions were put on display. Darla grooved and Sally beamed as Ridge and Eric observed with a sense of happy contemplation. Eric and Stephanie's exchanged glance seemed to say they approved. Brooke surveyed the festivities favorably, as well.
Above the harbor, in front of a bright yellow church, Thorne ran up to a waiting Macy. Thorne couldn't believe she was there, and he hugged her tightly. Finally breaking their extended embrace, Thorne kissed Macy's cheek and admitted he hadn't thought she would be there. Macy said she hadn't planned to meet him, but she couldn't leave without saying goodbye. Thorne stared at Macy as the Italian-language announcement that Eric's couture was up next wafted from below.
While Eric's models showed off exquisite dresses, Stephanie paid a visit to Sally's side of the runway. The fashion mavens traded greetings that were more mirthful than antagonistic. Sally hoped Stephanie was there to concede, but Stephanie replied, "Not on your life, Sally." Sally laughed and said that she was just trying to save Stephanie the double disappointment of losing the fashion challenge that Stephanie had waged against her own son. Stephanie confidently said they'd see, and she left the equally confident Sally to continue watching the show.
Meanwhile, Ridge amicably went up to Eric and told the "old man" that his designs weren't bad. Eric boasted comradely that they were the designs that were going to win the competition. Ridge said Eric had done something amazing -- not his designs, but arranging the whole showdown in Italy. Ridge declared that it had worked -- he was back on his feet. No matter what the judges decided, Ridge felt Eric had accomplished what he'd set out to do, which Ridge thanked him for. Eric responded with a "You're welcome" and a hug. Ridge deadpanned that he'd thought he should thank Eric at that moment, in case he was too busy later, collecting his trophy. "Get away from me, Ridge," Eric said, grinning.
Spectra took another turn as "So Beautiful" by Renald Francoeur played on the loudspeakers. The judges took notes from a vantage point on their boat.
Inside the church, Thorne asked if there was anything he could do to change Macy's mind. When Macy didn't answer, Thorne swore he would do whatever it took to stop her and vowed he would never let her down again. All Thorne wanted was to spend the rest of his life with Macy. When he'd told her he loved her earlier, he had meant it. Macy cried that she knew that, and that was why she was there. Thorne realized from her statement that, after everything that had happened, Macy still loved him. With tears in her eyes, Macy told Thorne that she had never stopped loving him.
The Italian announcer called in Eric's next grouping, which was even more cultivated than his previous work. Applause echoed through the harbor. Ridge reached Brooke with the showing's program and thanked her for the lovely tribute to Taylor. Brooke pointed out that, as she had told Thomas, she hadn't had a chance to pay her respects at Taylor's funeral. Ridge reported that Thomas had been very moved by Brooke's gesture. Brooke thought maybe that meant a new beginning for them. Ridge agreed it could definitely be that.
Thorne held Macy's face and insisted she couldn't leave. After Macy said she didn't have a choice, Thorne replied that one always had a choice -- Macy had chosen to stay with her father after her accident, she had chosen to see Sally while in Italy, and she had chosen to see Thorne, who confessed that he himself had made a lot of bad choices. But Thorne knew this choice was right. Macy wept that it wasn't right for her father and that Thorne didn't understand what he was asking Macy to do. Thorne said he and Macy belonged together, and the biggest mistake he had made was doubting that. Macy didn't doubt it, so Thorne asked her to look at him and admit what her heart was telling her to do, then and there. As Macy was about to speak, Lorenzo rushed in and demanded Macy not listen to Thorne because Thorne was lying to her.
To the strains of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," Clarke announced Ridge's showstopper for Spectra Fashions. Salvos of confetti erupted, and a giant banner with Sally's picture on it unfurled at the back of the runway. Massimo groaned, while Eric, Stephanie, and Ridge's groans were more playful. Clarke, Sally, and Darla laughed. Then, as the music changed to "In a Dream" by Above the Clouds, Sofia floated down the runway in a sumptuous wedding dress adorned with intricate stylings. Sally grabbed Ridge's arm and happily disbelieved that Eric could top the design. Ridge didn't look happy about Sally's pronouncement.
To close the challenge, Stephanie stood at the edge of the pier/runway and teased that the audience was about to see the most elegant design of any showing. She waved to the water, and Josh Groban's "To Where You Are" began. Everyone turned to see a boat sailing toward them, aboard which a woman stood in a magnificent bridal gown, her veil covered in glittering jewels. Stephanie was shocked and Massimo chagrined to see that the model was Brooke. Ridge smiled as Brooke's boat drew closer to the dock, and he applauded meaningfully, though Sally, Clarke, and Darla's applause was more grudging.
Macy told Lorenzo she was only at the church to say goodbye to Thorne. Lorenzo knew Thorne was trying to convince Macy to stay. Thorne grumbled to Lorenzo that Macy could make up her own mind. Lorenzo maintained that Thorne couldn't be trusted and that Thorne didn't love her. Lorenzo reminded Macy that she had been broken and empty when she'd arrived in Camogli. Over time, her body had healed, and she had stopped drinking.
Lorenzo told Macy she had built a good life in Italy and was stronger than ever -- and that if she wanted to continue standing on her own, she needed to walk away from Thorne. Lorenzo informed Macy that her father was waiting for them, and it was time for them to go. Macy saw Thorne's pleading look and appeared conflicted.
Everyone from Forrester and Spectra received uproarious applause from the competition's attendees. The announcer, Riccardo, proclaimed that both houses had dazzled the spectators, as evidenced by their cheers. He asked his colleague, Rebecca, to do the honors. Rebecca opened an envelope and prepared to reveal the winner of the Portofino Challenge. Ridge and Eric eyed each other knowingly, all smiles.
Lorenzo reminded Macy that Thorne had had his chance and failed and that he and Adam needed her. Adam found them and ordered Macy to get in the car. Her heart breaking, Macy went with her father and Lorenzo. As the car pulled away, Macy was in tears, despite Lorenzo's assurances about starting a new life and Adam's promise to find a way for her to see Sally again. Thorne stood alone at the church, also in tears.
Before the winner could be announced, Ridge took the stage and made a speech about Eric. Ridge explained that he'd triumphed that day -- not over his father but because of him. The crowd applauded as Eric joined Ridge on stage, but the moment was more than Massimo could bear. In despair, he visited his father's grave. Massimo knew he would not be able to keep his secret forever, and he promised his father that Ridge would continue their legacy.
Sally was stunned and furious that Ridge had torn up the results of the vote. Certain that Spectra would have won, Sally was ready to demand an inquiry because she didn't want to leave Italy without a trophy. Eric was overwhelmed by Ridge's tribute. Knowing it was their last day in Portofino, Ridge gave Brooke a romantic kiss.
Massimo went to Stephanie's hotel room. Stephanie immediately began to yell at him for telling Bridget about Ridge's paternity. Massimo defended himself by telling Stephanie how lucky she was to have children and grandchildren. Ridge stopped by, and Massimo took Ridge to a meeting to discuss Massimo Industries with some colleagues.
Sally told Darla that she wouldn't leave until she talked to Macy again. Darla told her that Macy had left. Darla explained to Sally that Adam had been in danger and they'd had to leave. Sally couldn't believe that Macy would disappear again without even a phone call. Sally insisted that Darla take her to Macy's apartment.
At the business meeting, Massimo told the men that Ridge would be the one taking over Massimo Industries in the future. The men questioned Massimo's choice, but Massimo defended Ridge's ability to handle the complex business. When the men reported recent problems with the shipping, Massimo handled the problem with a phone call. Ridge was impressed.
When the meeting was over, Massimo told Ridge that he wanted Ridge to realize his full potential. He didn't want Ridge to continue drawing dresses for spoiled rich women. Ridge was upset that Massimo was trying to tell him what to do. Ridge insisted that designing and being creative was in his blood. Massimo said it wasn't. They were interrupted by Eric, who arrived to get Ridge for the plane ride home.
As Macy and Adam prepared to leave, Macy questioned if it was right to leave her mother again. Macy felt it was not fair that she had to choose between her mother and her father. She then accused Adam of trying to keep her away from Thorne. Adam admitted that he didn't want her around Thorne. He told Macy that Lorenzo loved her, and she could have a family with him. Macy insisted that she would never have a family without Sally.
Sally could hardly believe her eyes when she and Darla arrived at Macy's apartment, and it was vacant. As Sally thought about never seeing Macy again, Sally had chest pains.
At Bridget's apartment, C.J. planned to surprise Bridget upon her arrival home from Portofino. C.J. was instead surprised when Mark walked in instead of Bridget. C.J. and Mark had their usual disagreement over which one of them Bridget should be in a relationship with.
Amber and Rick had a homecoming party for Ridge and the children. Brooke, Stephanie, Eric, and Bridget were all present. Ridge announced to all of his family members that he would never take them for granted again. Ridge thanked Rick and Amber for the welcoming party. They gave the credit for the party to Brooke. When Rick and Amber noticed that Ridge and the kids appeared to be a little happier, Ridge told them that Brooke had helped him a great deal. Ridge revealed that although Brooke had helped him, Bridget was mostly responsible for their being able to deal with Taylor's death.
In private, Stephanie questioned Bridget about why she seemed so upset about something. When Bridget packed to leave Ridge's house, Stephanie tried to convince her that nothing between her and Ridge should have to change. Bridget disagreed with Stephanie and said that everything had changed, because she and Ridge were no longer siblings. It meant she was no longer an aunt to the children. Bridget warned Stephanie that she was not going to remain in Ridge's home and lie to him on a daily basis.
At Stephanie's request, Ridge went to find out what was wrong with Bridget. Bridget told him that it was time for her to move out and get on with her life. Ridge sensed that something was very wrong with Bridget. He would not allow her to leave until she told him the truth about what was wrong. Bridget denied anything was wrong. Ridge pushed Bridget until she agreed to tell Ridge the truth.
Ridge was upset and confused at Bridget's decision to move out of his home. Bridget told him that it was for the best for Ridge and the children and would help them to get their lives back to normal. She said they no longer needed her and that she had other priorities and things having to do with her life that needed to be taken care of. Ridge tried hard to persuade her to stay, but her mind was made up.
Downstairs, Stephanie and Brooke were having their usual argument about Brooke's involvement in Ridge's life. Brooke stood her ground and said that she had been nothing but helpful to Ridge. Stephanie told her she had no place there because it was Taylor's house. Brooke countered by telling Stephanie it was not Taylor's house anymore.
Brooke said she wanted to talk to Bridget to find out what had been bothering her. Stephanie tried to discourage Brooke from getting involved. Brooke insisted that Bridget was her daughter and that she had every right to try to find out what was bothering her.
Furious, Stephanie left to go to Massimo to vent her anger. She let Massimo know that because he had shared the secret of Ridge's paternity with Bridget, Bridget no longer felt comfortable being around Ridge and had decided to move out, clearing the way for Brooke to make moves on Ridge. Massimo agreed that Bridget had been exactly what Ridge and the children had needed, and for her to move out would be the worst mistake possible.
Bridget arrived at the bottom of the staircase with her luggage and found the children lined up, waiting to beg her not to leave. She told them the same things she had told Ridge -- that it was time. She had enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know them and be around them, but they didn't need her anymore. Bridget reassured the children she was not leaving because of anything they had done, and she gave them all sentimental presents she had bought in Italy to remind them of their time together. Thanking Ridge for letting her have the opportunity to be with them, Bridget walked out the door, getting as far as the steps, where she broke down in tears.