In the CEO's office at Forrester, Hope wondered why Liam spending time with Kelly would bother her. Steffy hadn't meant to make Hope defensive. It was just that Liam was spending a lot of time at the cliff house, and Steffy wanted to make sure that Hope was okay with it.
Hope thanked Steffy for her concern and claimed to be fine with it. Hope loved that Liam was a super-hands-on father. Steffy was glad because it had been good for Kelly to have him around.
Just then, Liam charged in and slammed the door. Steffy asked what had him so intense, and he said it was her insane brother. Liam revealed that they'd gotten into it, and he'd had to get out of there before it had gotten physical. "What?" Hope and Steffy asked in unison.
Hope said that, despite the bad blood between the men, Liam had to remember that Thomas was Douglas' father. Liam replied that Thomas should have known better than to bring Liam's kids into it. Liam understood Hope and Steffy's reasons for wanting to give Thomas the benefit of the doubt, but in Liam's view, Thomas was still unhinged.
Liam believed he had proof that Thomas was still obsessed with Hope. Steffy and Hope asked what Liam was talking about. Liam chuckled frantically. He said Thomas had a mannequin in his apartment, and he asked them to guess who it looked like.
Later, Liam said it had been creepy to encounter the thing that looked exactly like his wife in another man's apartment. Steffy assumed it was the mannequin that Charlie had been looking for, but she didn't know why it would be in Thomas' apartment. Hope suggested Thomas had it there until he could get it back to Forrester, but she didn't know why he hadn't told Charlie.
Liam conveyed that Thomas had claimed that it was a prop to inspire his designs. Hope and Steffy's eyes darted around as if the women were trying to rationalize it. "Odd..." Steffy said. Liam couldn't believe that was all they had to say about it.
Hope agreed that it was definitely weird. She was still trying to process it herself. She figured that Thomas, who was working around the clock, probably thought the mannequin would come in handy at times when he didn't have a model available. Steffy agreed that was probably it and added that they couldn't jump to conclusions without knowing. After all, they weren't designers.
"Are you kidding me right now?" Liam yelled. He restated that Thomas had a mannequin at his place that looked exactly like Hope, and he had it because it inspired him. It was unbelievable to Liam that no one was concerned by that.
Hope was more concerned that Thomas had felt the need to lie about it and hide the truth from them. She figured Thomas had been afraid to tell them because it looked bad. "Hope!" Liam exclaimed. Hope rationalized that Liam didn't trust Thomas, and therefore, he thought everything Thomas did was suspicious. She added that Liam didn't have faith in Thomas or think he was capable of changing for the better, so instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt, Liam had felt the need to go and confront Thomas.
Liam scoffed and asked how he could refrain from confronting Thomas about it. Becoming highly animated, Hope said Thomas was Douglas' father, so he'd be in their lives. She also had to coexist with Thomas at work. She claimed that everything at work had been fine. Thomas had been respectful and hard-working. He'd created amazing designs, and she'd asked him to be a part of HFTF again. Steffy turned her head as if embracing for impact.
"Wait, wait, wait, wait. W -- What? Are you -- s -- is she serious? Are you serious?" Liam stammered. Hope reasoned that Thomas was too talented not to use, and she wouldn't be working with him alone. She had a team. "Oh, my God! Hope!" Liam responded. Yelling over Liam, Hope asked why everything just couldn't remain pleasant. She said everything had been fine, but then Liam had had to go and incite Thomas.
On the verge of tears, Hope stormed toward the door. Liam asked where she was going. She said she planned to give Thomas the same message. Liam told her that she couldn't do that, but she yelled back, "He's fine, Liam!"
Later, Steffy ended a call and asked Liam if he was still upset. Liam asked if he had every right to be, given the trouble Thomas had caused in the past. Steffy reiterated that it was in the past. She didn't always agree with Hope, but in that instance, Steffy wanted Liam to cut Thomas some slack. Liam replied that he'd lived to regret doing that before.
Steffy believed that Thomas was working hard and trying to make up for past mistakes. Thomas was even allowing Liam and Hope to take care of Dougas. Steffy thought her brother was on his best behavior. Disagreeing, Liam said Thomas was trash-talking Liam. Liam stated that he and Finn had gotten on good terms. Everyone was happy, but Thomas was trying to bulldoze it. Liam was convinced that Thomas was trying to turn Liam and Finn against each other.
Steffy blinked in response. Liam guessed Thomas might think he was using Finn to protect Steffy, but it was more likely that Thomas had a Hope-related agenda that he was counting on no one learning about until it was too late -- like the last time. Liam asserted that he was watching Thomas and wouldn't let it happen.
Steffy decided that she'd talk to Finn and make sure he knew that she and Liam weren't headed in any romantic direction. She'd advise Finn to ignore Thomas if he said otherwise. In return, Steffy asked Liam to consider that Thomas had changed and wasn't fixated on Hope.
Steffy didn't want it to seem like she was making excuses or minimizing what Thomas had done. She knew that they were all his victims, but Thomas' actions had cost him. She wanted to believe that he'd learned a lot and was no longer focused on Hope.
Liam didn't know what to say to get Steffy to see that Thomas was a consummate liar and was good at manipulating people who loved him and wanted to see the best in him. Liam reminded Steffy of the way Thomas had used Douglas and Zoe. Seeing the stubborn look on her face, Liam said he got that Thomas was Steffy's brother and that she loved him; however, if they didn't acknowledge that something was wrong with Thomas, he'd never get the help he needed.
Liam felt that, instead of working his butt off to weasel back into Forrester, Thomas should be seeking professional help. Liam was talking about real help, not a monthly phone call with his mother. Steffy said Liam was being overly dramatic and painting Thomas out to be a delusional headcase when he wasn't.
Liam decided that Steffy and Hope had blind spots when it came to Thomas. Steffy contended that, out of everyone, Hope had been the most wronged by Thomas, but even she was able to see the good in him. Liam thought Hope was that way with everyone, and it was why Thomas could manipulate her. It was why Liam felt that he had to step in to save her. Apparently, no one else would. Steffy replied that Hope didn't feel threatened by Thomas.
Liam asked why no one was listening to him about Thomas having a mannequin with Hope's face at his apartment. If that didn't scream obsession, Liam didn't know what did.
At Vinny's old place, Thomas was shaken after he'd fallen and bumped his head on the desk. He rubbed his head and backed up, shocked to see the Hope mannequin so close to him. He stared at it with a blurry gaze. When he blinked, the mannequin was back by the window.
Thomas heard the pseudo-Hope voice say that he knew what needed to happen. He needed to go after Liam. "Save Hope. Kill Liam," it said.
Thomas sat on the sofa, gripping his head and trying to get himself together. The voice told him to get it done and eliminate Liam once and for all. Thomas didn't know why it was saying those things and uttered that it needed to go back to Forrester where it belonged. The voice said that he'd brought it there because he wanted it.
Struggling to think, Thomas denied it and said he'd changed. He repeated that he'd changed. The voice said that Thomas had become the kind of man that Hope needed, but he had to get rid of Liam once and for all.
"Why are you saying these things, Hope?" Thomas asked the mannequin. Shaking his head, he stated that it wasn't Hope. "You're someone else. Who are you? What are you?" Thomas screamed. It replied that he knew exactly who it was, and he needed to get rid of Liam. It seethed that everyone suffered because of Liam.
Thomas groaned. He said he couldn't deny the statement, and no one was more selfish than Liam. It recalled that Hope had said how difficult it had been to see Liam with Steffy and be married to a man with divided feelings.
"What a minute. How do you know Hope said that?" Thomas asked. He turned to the mannequin, but what he saw was the real Hope's face in a glowing haze beneath the mannequin's hair line. "Because I am Hope," she robotically replied. "Hope for now. And I'm here for you, Thomas, until the real Hope comes to take my place."
It said that Thomas would never have Hope as long as Liam was around. "And you do love Hope, don't you?" it asked. Thomas affirmed that he did. It asked if he wanted to be with Hope. Admitting it, he said he couldn't look at Hope without wanting to touch her or kiss her, but Hope didn't love him or want him. The mannequin said he was wrong. Hope did want him.
Hope's real face appeared beneath the mannequin's wig line again. The mannequin said it knew because it was Hope, too, and Thomas could have Hope once he got rid of Liam.
At the door, Hope knocked. Thomas asked for a second, and he carted the mannequin off to the bedroom. Hope opened the front door and entered the apartment. He emerged from the bedroom and asked why she was there. She said she was checking up on him. He found it nice but wondered why.
Hope revealed that she knew Liam had confronted Thomas, and she was sorry. She said Liam shouldn't have done it. Thomas bowed his head and pinched the space between his eyes. Hope asked if he was okay and if anything else had happened that Liam hadn't told her about.
Thomas assumed Hope knew about the mannequin. Hope asked him to fill her in. Thomas called Liam a hothead but claimed to no longer be that guy who'd trash Liam. Hope stated that Thomas was making progress, and she'd hate to see him backtrack. She said she'd told Liam to try to give Thomas the benefit of the doubt. Thomas didn't see that happening.
Hope stated that Liam believed he had proof that Thomas was still obsessed with her. Thomas guessed she was talking about the mannequin. She asked to see it. He wanted to explain why he had it first. He said that it had impacted him when he'd seen if after Charlie had dropped it off. Hope guessed it was because it looked like her.
Thomas said the shock value of the resemblance was part of it, but he'd known somehow that it could make him a better artist. He thought that was evident in the fact that Hope loved his work and had invited him back into HFTF. Hope agreed that the designs were outstanding. He attributed it to the mannequin. He didn't know how to explain it except to say that artists took inspiration wherever they could find it without questioning the source.
Hope asked to see the mannequin. Thomas asked if she were sure. She affirmed it, and he went into the bedroom. Hope began calming her breath and pacing. She watched intently as Thomas carried the Hope mannequin back into the room. She approached it and circled it. While she was standing behind it, the fleshly face of Hope appeared on the mannequin, and it said, "Take her. Take her now. She wants you."
At Vinny's old place, Hope sized up the mannequin and guessed it was the one Charlie had been searching for. She noted that Thomas had acted as if he hadn't known where it could be. Thomas figured he should have told the truth, but he'd been afraid of how others would react.
"Look how Liam took it," Thomas said, adding that Liam always wanted to see the worst in him. Hope wondered if the display doll was really inspiring Thomas. Shrugging, he said it was hard to describe, and he'd never experienced anything like it before.
Hope rounded it again, and its face became Hope's real face beneath its wig. It told Thomas that Hope wanted him; Hope wasn't afraid, and it was his chance. He blinked and saw Hope looking at him over the mannequin's shoulder.
Thomas said he had worried that Hope would have been put off by where he'd gotten his inspiration. Hope admitted that the mannequin's resemblance to her was disconcerting. She'd seen photos of it, but being so close to it felt strange to her. She could see why Liam had had such a strong reaction to it.
As Hope spoke, Hope's real face appeared on the mannequin and asked what Thomas was waiting for. It said that Hope was there, and he and Hope loved each other. Liam didn't deserve Hope, and Hope belonged with Thomas. It ordered him to make his move.
Hope, who had been talking the whole time, said Thomas' name, and he began listening to her instead of the doll. Hope said he could be honest with her. She knew that he'd put a lot of pressure on himself and hadn't been sleeping. She asked if he was sure that he was all right. Thomas rubbed his head and neck and looked around as if disoriented.
Hope asked if Thomas was all right after the confrontation with Liam. Thomas said he just had a massive headache. He hadn't slept, and he'd been trying to produce his best work. Plus, he'd been spending a lot of time alone, but it wasn't anything to worry about. He thanked her for her concern. Hope replied that they'd had their issues, but she could see the effort he was making.
Thomas stated that he and Hope were trying to put out their most innovative line, and for it to work, everyone had to be a team and trust each other. It felt like they were finally getting there, and he didn't want to ruin it. He was grateful to work on any line at that point, but working on her line meant a lot because she was an important part of his life.
Hope knew how much designing for HFTF meant to Thomas. Thomas said no one had wanted anything to do with him -- and with good reason. Hope assumed that rebuilding connections had been difficult for him, but he was doing it. He vowed to be more reliable and a better father.
Hope said it was great that she and Liam were raising Douglas, but she wondered if it was great for Thomas, who spent all of his time in the apartment or working late at the office. It seemed like a lonely existence. She reasoned that the mannequin was great for inspiration but not for company, and she knew how Liam felt about Thomas having it.
Thomas stated that Liam thought it was creepy, and Hope rejoined that it kind of was. He claimed it wasn't what Liam thought it was. The mannequin gave Thomas a surge of energy, and that energy fueled his creativity. He didn't want to make Hope question putting him back on the line. Hope said she'd done it because of his designs, and she wanted to see more of them. Looking at the mannequin, she added, "Whatever it takes."
Thomas guessed he should take the mannequin back to the office. Hope said she wasn't asking him to do that. He replied that Liam wouldn't like that. She reasoned that Liam was a businessman, but Thomas was an artist. His creativity might frighten people who didn't understand it. Hope didn't pretend to get it, either. She said it might be uncomfortable for her, but the designs had been a huge leap forward for Thomas. Gazing at the mannequin, Hope decided that it was helping Thomas unleash something he'd had inside of him all along.
In Finn's office, Finn was working when Liam arrived, stating that they had to do something. Finn asked what Liam was doing there. Liam didn't know what to do and needed Finn's help to get through to Hope and Steffy. Finn assumed it was about Thomas.
Liam affirmed it. Thomas was off the rails again. Hope and Steffy didn't see it, but Liam knew that Finn did. Finn apologetically said he didn't have a lot of time. He had a ton of charting to do. Liam got it. He didn't want to worry about Thomas for a lifetime, either; however, Thomas was still dangerous, and Liam needed Finn to help Hope and Steffy see it.
Finn asked if Liam had confronted Thomas even after Steffy had asked him not to. "You're damn right I did," Liam responded and revealed that Thomas, in whom Steffy wanted to believe, was in a darker, creeper place than Finn could ever imagine. Putting on his lab coat, Finn replied that he was starting to see why Steffy hadn't wanted him to discuss Thomas with Liam.
Liam asserted that Thomas had gone after Liam's kids and had said they wouldn't have a happy life because of Liam. Liam added that Thomas had said Liam didn't love either of their mothers. Liam felt that Thomas hadn't learned his lesson. Thomas had only learned to hide himself better, but he couldn't hide himself from Liam. Liam figured Thomas knew it, and it was why he'd tried to slam the door in Liam's face.
Finn replied that if Liam had been half as riled up as he was at that moment, Finn could kind of see why Thomas had done that. Liam said he'd only been upset because Thomas had been spreading lies to Finn and trying to stir up trouble. "Is Thomas stirring up trouble, or are you?" Finn questioned. Liam tried to speak, but Finn added that Liam kept telling Finn that Thomas was bad news; however, Steffy said that Liam was wrong, and Thomas had denied it.
Liam tried to speak again, but Finn asserted that Steffy knew her brother better than Liam. Scoffing, Liam recalled that Finn was the one who had said family might not be objective. Finn replied that it didn't explain Hope's attitude. Liam stated that Thomas was manipulating both of them, and he asked Finn not to say that Thomas had him fooled, too.
Liam recalled that Finn had brought Thomas' behavior to Liam's attention. Finn replied that Thomas had explained his comment about Hope. Liam warned Finn not to let Thomas get into Finn's head like that and said Finn didn't know what Thomas was capable of. Finn replied that he did know that the two people who had the most reason to be concerned weren't.
"That is what he's capable of!" Liam exclaimed. He asked why Finn thought Liam was there. Liam had tried to get through to Steffy, but she still thought that Thomas deserved another shot. "But you don't agree, so her opinion doesn't matter," Finn concluded. Liam said that wasn't true, but Finn pointed out that Liam wasn't listening to her.
Liam said he was trying to protect Steffy, and more importantly, protect his wife. Finn pointed out that it hadn't been that long back that Liam had been trying to protect Steffy from Finn. Liam asked if Thomas had said that. Finn blinked in response. Liam bet Thomas had said it, and Liam insisted that it was Thomas' mission to sew distrust between Finn and Liam and make Finn think that Liam was the unstable one. "Well, I am seeing a pattern," Finn replied.
Liam said it was a distraction, and Finn shouldn't fall for it. Finn responded that, first of all, no one got into his head, and he didn't fall for little tricks. Daily, Finn was in the trenches, making life-and-death decisions. He could think for himself and draw his own conclusions. "And I gotta be honest, Liam. I'm starting to wonder if part of what Thomas said about you is true," Finn stated.
Liam declared that his life was with Hope, not Steffy. Finn agreed but said Liam was still connected to Steffy. Liam replied that he always would be because of Kelly. Finn thought that Liam and Steffy were great co-parents, "but when most dads pick up their kids, they don't stay for dinner, Liam. They don't bring flowers."
Liam refused to apologize for having a good relationship with his kid's mom. Finn asked how many times Liam had seen Steffy that day. Liam didn't respond. Finn said he wasn't threatened by how close Liam was with Steffy. Finn was just saying that he couldn't discount what Thomas had been telling him. Liam claimed that he spent time with both of his families.
Finn pointed out that Liam had been spending a lot more time with Steffy. He wondered how Hope felt about it. Liam said Hope was fine with it, and they were all fine with it. In his opinion, they'd all been on the same page and had been for a long time. Asserting that it was part of the garbage Thomas had been feeding Finn, Liam stated that there was no tug of war, and he wasn't torn between Hope and Steffy. Liam only wanted Hope, but they were all in it together.
Liam stated that everyone was trying to do their best for the kids, but Finn might not understand it because he wasn't a parent. Finn understood how Liam felt about Steffy and Kelly and that they were all trying to be an enlightened family. "But you're married to Hope, all right? Your priority should be with that relationship," Finn concluded.
Shocked, Liam asked how he and Finn had gotten onto Liam's priorities when Liam was there to talk about Thomas. Finn said Thomas had a point, and even if Liam didn't want to see it, what Thomas was saying wasn't completely off the mark. Finn thought that all the time Liam had been spending with Steffy might be affecting Hope and Liam's marriage.
In the CEO's office at Forrester, Zoe tried to get Paris to get over her embarrassment because there was nothing wrong with a confident woman appreciating an accomplished man. Paris was mortified that Zende had caught her gushing about him being a hottie.
As Paris went on about how sexy Zende was, Carter arrived. He said he'd been about to knock, but he was glad he hadn't. Paris blushed, embarrassed for herself all over again because Carter had heard her. Carter readily guessed whom Paris had been referring to -- Zende.
Paris replied that Zoe had kept saying not to be embarrassed. Zoe didn't believe Paris should be. Carter stated that Zende was one of the most down-to-earth and thoughtful people he knew. Zoe couldn't disagree with that. Because Zoe was working with Zende, Carter figured she could say even more about him. Zoe responded that she'd enjoyed the collaboration.
Carter noted that Zoe made it sound as if it was all business between her and Zende, but Carter sensed that they had really gotten to know each other. Affirming it, Zoe had only nice things to say about Zende, the funny, genuine, and talented designer. Zoe could see why Paris was so interested in Zende. "But you'd rather I wasn't," Paris concluded.
Carter asked what Paris meant. Paris said that Zoe had advised her not to get too caught up in Zende. "Why not? Why would you say that?" Carter asked. Before Zoe could answer, Paris said she'd just met Zende and didn't even know if she had anything in common with him. Carter asked if Paris would like to find out. Paris would, but she'd only been in town "for like five minutes." She said Zoe and Carter were the ones getting ahead of themselves, not Paris.
Zoe stated that she'd merely been telling Paris not to get her hopes up. Carter didn't think Zende was seeing anyone and believed Zende and Paris would have a good time together. Zoe agreed and said any man would be lucky to date Paris. Paris added that Zoe had said that Zende seemed like an easygoing single guy, but he'd just gotten out of a marriage. Paris asked if Zoe had just been looking out for Paris when she'd said that.
Later, Carter invited Paris to have dinner with him and Zoe again. He stated that the dinner would be more meaningful if Paris attended. Paris didn't want to be a third wheel, but Carter said it wouldn't be that way because Zende would also be there. Zoe asked if Carter were sure. She didn't want Paris and Zende to feel set up. Carter was sure everyone would want to be there, and he hinted that it would be a really great night.
In Finn's office, Finn finished a call and apologized to Liam for the interruption. Finn indicated that he wasn't trying to cause friction. Finn didn't believe he knew enough about the situation to make any determinations, but he stated that "when listening to Thomas -- "
Liam decided that was Finn's problem right there, and Finn shouldn't even be listening to Thomas after all the destructive things he'd done. Finn asked if people could change. Liam didn't think Thomas wanted to change. He said Thomas liked using people and was using Finn.
Finn insisted that no one was using him. Liam responded that Thomas already had Finn on his side. Finn denied being on Thomas' side, and Finn further stated that they wouldn't even be having that conversation if Liam would focus more on his wife and less on Steffy.
Steffy arrived. Surprised to see Liam there, she asked what was up. "Liam's blood pressure, apparently," Finn quipped. Steffy assumed that Liam was seeing Finn professionally, but Liam said Finn was poking fun at Liam for being upset about Thomas and other things.
"Guys, I thought we weren't going to do this," the frustrated Steffy said. Liam responded that he'd thought Finn had seen the emperor's birthday suit, but apparently not. Finn repeated that he wasn't taking sides. Liam said that Finn was just as dubious about Thomas being up to his old tricks, despite the custom Hope mannequin stashed in Thomas' apartment.
"Wait. What?" Finn replied. Liam said it was what he'd been there to tell Finn. Steffy said Thomas had already explained that. Liam figured that Thomas had deflected because he'd known he'd had to say something about the creepy situation. Finn, who said Liam had come to him for advice, started to say how he felt. Liam interrupted because he already knew that Finn wanted him to stop worrying about Thomas and focus more on Hope and less on Steffy.
Steffy was surprised Finn had said that to Liam. Finn stated that he wasn't jealous or insecure about the time she spent with Liam, but Finn wasn't sure the same could be said about Hope. Liam quipped that Finn should say how he really felt. "Fine, I will," Finn replied.
Steffy tried to step into the conversation, but Finn kept talking. Finn admitted that he didn't know all the dynamics, but he did think that Liam had to admit that he was spending more time than usual with Steffy. Liam asserted that he wasn't circling back to Steffy. That was all Thomas' talk. Liam was married to Hope and committed to a life and family with her.
Steffy, who'd spoken to Hope, had the impression that Hope would be happy if Liam concentrated on their family and let Steffy live her life, especially because Steffy and Kelly had Finn. Liam hoped it was clear that he was totally on board with Steffy and Finn "as long as -- "
Finishing the sentence, Finn said, "I'm good to both of them." Steffy told Finn that her life was everything she could want it to be. She suspected that Liam's life was, too -- with Hope.
Later, Liam had gone, and Finn was on a call, telling someone that he'd do it; however, they'd owe him one. After the call had ended, Steffy stated that she didn't like the sound of that. She'd had plans for them. Kelly had a sitter, and Steffy had wanted to have a romantic dinner at "this pop-up." Hanging his head, he asked her to remind him why he'd become a doctor.
Steffy answered that it was because Finn couldn't imagine doing anything else. Finn asked for a rain check. She accepted. She was happy to be dating a hot doctor -- even if his hours sucked. He was glad that she didn't have dater's remorse and apologized again about the spoiled plans.
Steffy understood that Finn was committed to taking care of people. He responded that he was committed to taking care of her, too -- not that she needed it. Steffy replied that Finn had taken care of her when she'd needed it. He'd seen her at her worst and had helped her battle her addiction. She looked forward to the adventures ahead of them as a couple.
Finn got a phone alert that he needed to go. As Steffy turned to leave, she told him that the hot doctor stereotype was totally working.
In the CEO's office at Forrester, Hope and Zende were going over a design on a dress form when Paris arrived. Hope, who'd met Paris at an earlier time, greeted her. Paris was there because she'd been invited to Carter's house for dinner and knew that Zende had been, too.
Hope gazed at the two with a small smile. Zende said he'd head over there after work. Hope claimed that they were pretty much finished there, but, determined to nail down the design, he told Paris that he'd see her at Carter's place later.
Some time after Paris had gone, Hope and Zende found the perfect fabric for the design. Hope said Zende had a dinner to get to. Zende reviewed a design of Thomas' that was the desk. He said his cousin was prolific. Hope murmured that Thomas had a new source of inspiration.
After Zende had gone, Charlie arrived, asking if Hope knew when it was time to go home. Hope, who was almost done for the day, asked his opinion of the design. Charlie babbled about the short hem but wondered what he knew after he'd worn brown shoes with a tuxedo.
As Charlie turned to leave, Hope let him know that the missing mannequin had been located. She informed him that Thomas had it. Confused, Charlie asked if Thomas had been there when Charlie had announced that the mannequin had gone missing. Hope affirmed it.
Charlie asked if Thomas had acted as if he hadn't known where it had been. Hope affirmed that, too, but said Thomas had felt self-conscience about having it in his apartment. In an unconvincing tone, she said it had been good for Thomas creatively.
In Brooke's cabin later, Hope told Liam that the kids were eating dinner with Donna. Liam wanted to talk, and Hope assumed it was about what had happened when she'd gone to see Thomas. Liam wished she hadn't done it. She wished Liam hadn't confronted Thomas. With a mirthless chuckle, Liam figured he should have done a lot more than yell at Thomas.
Hope asked if Liam would yell because a designer "just happens" to have a mannequin in his apartment. Liam said it was a dead ringer for Hope, and Thomas had stolen it from Forrester without saying anything. He asked what that said to her about Thomas.
Hope said it told her that the hard-working Thomas had taken it to inspire his designs. Liam reasoned that it might be acceptable if Thomas hadn't been obsessed with Hope, but he had been and probably still was. Hope felt that Thomas had been respecting her boundaries, and she hadn't seen any signs of anything.
Liam replied that the mannequin was the sign, and Thomas was just as dangerous as ever. Hope understood Liam's concerns. Liam wished she shared them and couldn't fathom that she was working with Thomas again. Hope reasoned that his designs were exceptional, but Liam contended that Zende's were, too. HFTF didn't need Thomas and would thrive without him.
Hope had never thought HFTF wouldn't thrive without Thomas, but Thomas understood her vision. She felt that it was too late, anyway, because she'd already made it official. Liam pointed out that she could make it unofficial anytime she wanted to, but she stated that Thomas would know that it was because Liam had pressured her.
Liam asked why what Thomas thought mattered more than what Hope's husband thought. Hope understood that Liam was trying to protect her, but she felt that he was handling her with kid gloves. Hope wasn't naive, but unlike Liam, she believed that Thomas was capable of change. Hope had to have faith that Thomas was trying to be a better man for Douglas. She didn't think Thomas was manipulating lives to be with her again.
In Vinny's apartment, Thomas wrestled with what to do about the mannequin. He wanted to take it back because "the longer it stays here..." The mannequin's eyes reddened. The pseudo-Hope voice said Hope wanted it to stay there, and he didn't want to disappoint Hope.
The voice told Thomas that Hope wanted it to be with him. Thomas replied that Hope was with Liam. Chuckling, the voice assured him that they'd take care of Liam. It said Thomas wasn't alone. "You have me. You have Hope," it stated. Thomas grimaced as he tried to focus.
Later, Thomas sat across from the mannequin at a table. As he ate a sandwich and chips, he stated that Vinny had moved in with his girlfriend, Zoe had moved out, and Douglas was with Hope and Liam. Thomas had been there by himself "until you showed up."
The pseudo-Hope voice reminded Thomas that he'd brought it there. Thomas thought he probably shouldn't have done that, but it was nice to have some company. The voice said his son should be with him, and Douglas needed Hope and Thomas, who were his mommy and daddy. It ordered Thomas to make it happen.
After dinner, Thomas remarked that it had been nice not to eat alone. The voice replied that it was a mannequin, and he wanted the real thing -- Hope -- in the flesh. Thomas said that he couldn't have Hope, who had a family with Liam. It replied that Thomas also had a family with Hope.
Thomas held the back of his head, which was throbbing. The voice ordered him to look at the mannequin. It said that Liam was evil. Liam was the real threat, not Thomas. Liam would two-time Hope forever, using Steffy in the process. It ordered Thomas to save them both.
Thomas didn't want to talk about it and ordered the mannequin to leave him alone. He stomped toward the bedroom, but the voice warned him not to walk away from it. Thomas got in the mannequin's face, and yelled, "What?"
The voice told Thomas that Hope believed in him again, and he needed to believe in himself and the future he wanted for himself, Douglas, and Hope. It said to get rid of Liam, and Thomas and Hope could be together forever.
At Carter's loft, Zoe strode around with wine in hand, complimenting how nice it all looked. She offered to help Carter, but he said he had it all under control. She asked what was for dinner, and he answered that it wasn't lamb, a dish Paris did not prefer. Zoe and Carter joked about the type of diets they'd survived on when they'd been younger.
Zoe said she'd been a different person back then, but Paris hadn't changed. Paris had always been bubbly and positive. She thanked Carter for including her sister that evening. Carter hinted that he had high hopes for the evening, and Zoe figured that he was up to something.
Before Carter could answer, Paris arrived. Zoe asked where Zende was. Tossing her purse and coat on Carter's round bed, Paris said Zende was finishing up a meeting with Hope but would be there shortly. Paris was impressed with the loft, which was bigger than her college dorm. Carter asked if she missed college.
Paris had thought she would, but she really liked Los Angeles. Her coworkers were great, and she got to spend time with Zoe. Zoe warned Paris that Carter was being mysterious about the evening. Carter said he was full of surprises, and Paris' sister knew that better than anyone.
Later, everyone was having wine when Carter asked Paris how it had been to grow up with Zoe as a sister. Just then, Zende arrived with wine and flowers. The wine was for Carter, and the flowers were for Paris. Paris asked how he'd known that birds of paradise were her favorite. Zoe's face darkened, and as she looked away, Zende told Paris that he had his ways.
Carter was glad that everyone was there. He hoped it would be a memorable night for them all. Zende and Zoe shared a gaze.
In the evening in Thomas' apartment, Thomas wrestled with reality as the mannequin, positioned on the couch, instructed him to get rid of Liam. It had seen on Hope's face how much she wanted Thomas and cared about him. Liam, on the other hand, was disrespectful and treated Thomas like garbage. Thomas told the mannequin that it had been like that forever.
The mannequin again ordered Thomas to eliminate Liam and be with Hope. Thomas said he couldn't do that, and he'd already manipulated Hope and Liam too much. He didn't want to hurt them. "I am not that man anymore!" Thomas screamed at the mannequin.
The mannequin asserted that Thomas needed to stop fighting it. It knew that he loved Hope, and it urged him to make Hope his. In a sorrowful tone, Thomas stated that he'd never love anyone as much as he loved Hope, but she didn't want him.
"Because of Liam," the pseudo-Hope voice insisted. It told Thomas that he could be the man for Hope. Shedding tears, he said it was all he wanted. The voice instructed him to do it that night.
In the Forrester CEO's office later, Thomas sketched at the drafting table. Charlie startled Thomas when he entered and asked if Thomas was burning the midnight oil. Charlie said he'd assume that one would want to work from home at that time of night.
Thomas explained that he'd wanted to get out of his apartment. Charlie got that it could be lonely. He grumbled about Pam refusing to move in with him. Thomas said that sucked. Charlie felt that living alone could be tough and suggested that Thomas get a roommate. "Maybe blonde, blue-eyed, about this tall. Maybe looks like the Hope mannequin," Charlie stated, gesturing to a certain height in the air.
Charlie was miffed that Thomas hadn't revealed that he'd had the mannequin. He recalled that when he'd asked Thomas if he'd seen it, Thomas had said, "And I quote..." Charlie stated and then gestured to indicate silence. Thomas explained that it would have been weird talking about it in front of Hope, but he'd told her that he'd been using it for design inspiration.
"Design inspiration. That's funny," Charlie responded. He said that, compared to what Charlie dealt with daily, Thomas' job was a piece of cake, and he wasn't happy that Thomas had interfered with Charlie's job. Thomas apologized. Charlie said he'd lugged that thing right up to Thomas, and Charlie bet that had been the moment when Thomas had decided to abscond with it. Charlie wanted to know why -- the real reason why.
Thomas noted that Charlie was really grilling him. Charlie, who'd completed two classes in enhanced interrogation, was trained to ask probing questions. Charlie wanted to know why Thomas had kept the whereabouts of the mannequin from Charlie.
In Thomas' silence, Charlie said Hope had told him that the mannequin had had quite an effect on Thomas. Thomas flashed back to the mannequin urging him to kill Liam.
In Brooke's cabin, Hope claimed she'd seen Thomas' changes herself. Liam reminded her that she'd said that the last time Thomas had been lying to her, and Thomas had a replica of her in his apartment. Stubbornly, Hope replied that Thomas was using it for design inspiration and to feel connected to the collection. Liam quipped that it was to feel connected to her.
Hope reasoned that it was an inanimate object, but Liam stated that Thomas had even lied about where it had been. Hope didn't want to talk about it or fight. She asked Liam to forget about the mannequin and give Thomas a chance to prove Liam wrong.
Liam wished Thomas would prove him wrong, but he'd given Thomas many chances. Hope felt that she couldn't give up on Thomas, not when he was making a genuine effort. Liam replied that Thomas wasn't trying to be a better person; Thomas was just trying to mimic one because he needed to stay in Hope's life. Hope didn't see it that way anymore.
Liam understood that Hope was a glass-half-full kind of person who wanted to believe the best in everyone. He thought it was a beautiful quality, but it was dangerous around Thomas. Hope replied that, like it or not, Thomas was a part of their family. Liam figured that every family had a ne'er-do-well in it. Hope said they had to find a way to make peace with it.
Liam asked how he and Hope could make peace with the fact that Thomas had kept their baby from them. Hope replied that they had Beth, and that was what mattered. Hope wanted them to accept the situation, heal from it, and try to move forward. Liam didn't detect any remorse from Thomas and was astonished when Hope said that she did.
Hope knew that it was hard for Liam to believe. She felt they owed it to Douglas not to lose faith in his father. Liam didn't want to complicate Douglas' life. Hope suggested that Liam try harder because they needed to find forgiveness and a way for Thomas to be a part of their lives.
Hope assumed Liam thought she was crazy. Liam didn't. She acknowledged that Liam had a point, but when she looked into Douglas' sweet, innocent face, she had to think about what he needed. She also saw the exceptional designs Thomas was creating, and designing was the outlet that he needed.
To Hope, "hope" meant never doubting that goodness was possible, and she had to live her life believing that. Liam admired her for how understanding and accepting she was. He just wished she could see what he saw.
Hope received a message that Donna was on her way back with the kids. Liam lamented wasting their alone time, talking about "he who shall not be named." Hope suspected the kids would conk out early, giving Hope and Liam much-needed alone time. Liam contemplated making a fire and dinner. She asked him to rub a shoulder, and he said he'd do both. She called him the best husband a wife could ask for.
Liam didn't know if it was that way all the time. Hope replied that they didn't always agree, but he was as forgiving and understanding as he'd said she was. She'd married him because of that and because of his handsomeness. Liam urged her never to forget that point.
Hope decided to say one more thing about Thomas before dropping the subject for the evening. She said they had to find a way to accept Thomas in their lives because of Douglas.
At Carter's loft, dinner concluded, and Zoe, Carter, Zende, and Paris had wine. Carter remarked that they all had a lot to be thankful for. He'd had a lot of changes in his life, but none was more special than "this beautiful woman right here." Carter grinned at Zoe.
Later, the men teamed up against the women to play a guessing game, and the women won when Zende got stumped by a name Carter had been trying to get him to guess. Carter asked who Zayn was anyway. Zoe said Paris had had pictures of him all over her bedroom.
Paris reasoned that she'd been very young when she'd had the crush on the boyband member. Zende teased her, and she told him not to say he'd never had a celebrity crush. He replied that she'd never guess who. She asked if he was more Cardi B or Rihanna. Zende reckoned that he wouldn't turn either one down. Paris readily responded that they wouldn't turn him down, either. "Am I right?" she asked her sister.
"Okay...Flirty," Carter replied. Paris thought she was beyond the subtleness. Zende had already heard her going on about him to Donna. Paris asked how embarrassing that had been. Zende didn't want her to be embarrassed. He'd liked it and had been flattered. Carter was digging the vibe and thought the night would make the beginning of something special for all of them.
The topic turned to Paris' love for Carter's loft. Zende bragged about the rooftop view. One could see from downtown to Malibu. He offered to take Paris to see it. As they ascended the spiral staircase, Carter told them that there were blankets if they got chilly.
Alone with Carter, Zoe thanked him for including her sister. Carter replied that it was Zoe's place, too, even if she hadn't moved in yet. Zoe said she'd spent some memorable nights there. He asked what it would take for her to be all-in.
Zoe joked that Carter had given her part of his closet already. Carter wanted her to have the whole place, and he wanted to see her there all the time, not just a few nights out of the week. He knew what it was like to be hurt and have a guarded heart, but he wanted her to believe that she could trust him with her heart. He pulled a black box from his pocket and opened it to reveal a dazzling diamond ring. "I want a life with you," he told Zoe.
Zoe was speechless. Carter told her that he'd been blown away by her beauty. He'd never thought he'd be her man, but there they were. She made everything better and inspired him. He'd seen her kindness, loyalty, and love for family. She made him feel more alive than he'd ever been, and his life was better because of her. He figured some might think it was happening too fast, but life was short. When one found something joyous, one should act, not wait.
Carter got down on one knee. Carter loved Zoe and wanted a life and kids with her. He wanted to commit the rest of his life to her. "So, what do you say? Will you marry me?" he asked.
Just then, a fire alarm sounded, dispelling the romantic mood. Zende and Paris rushed back into the loft from the rooftop. They hadn't seen any smoke from the roof, and Carter figured it could be another apartment. Carter decided to check it out, and Paris left the loft with him.
Zoe seemed overwhelmed and speechless. Zende asked what was wrong with her. Her gaze fell onto the ring in its box on the coffee table. Zende saw it and asked if Carter had proposed to Zoe.
At the beach house, Quinn arrived. Upon seeing that Flo was in relaxation mode, reading by the fire in the dimly lit living room, Quinn decided to just go hide in her room. Flo said that was nonsense, but Quinn stated that she was pretty wound up. Flo offered Quinn a glass of wine and an ear to listen to what was going on.
Quinn was frustrated to be crashing at her son's house. Flo didn't think it helped to give up. "Oh, no," Quinn emphatically replied. Quinn wasn't about to give up on being back at home with her husband. She hoped Shauna had put in a good word for her before leaving the mansion.
Flo said Shauna had agreed to do it. Quinn replied that Shauna had also agreed to keep Quinn in the loop, but Quinn hadn't heard anything since Shauna had moved out. Flo said it was how her mom was those days. Quinn assumed that meant Flo hadn't heard anything from Shauna, either. Shaking her head, Flo indicated that she hadn't.
Quinn didn't even know what Shauna had been thinking to shack up with Quinn's husband after he'd kicked Quinn to the curb. Flo figured that, knowing her mom, Shauna had probably thought it was a way to help and talk Quinn up to Eric. Quinn asserted that it had been inappropriate, and even Shauna had known it. Flo replied that Shauna had left when Quinn had told her to. "She damn well better have," Quinn grumbled.
Alone by the fireplace, Quinn flashed back on times with Eric. She gazed at her ring and sighed.
At Eric's mansion, Eric had a martini and gazed at Quinn's portrait. Shauna entered the house and said his wife could be there and be more than a picture above the fireplace. She was thankful that he'd insisted that she stay on at the mansion, but she couldn't help but feel as if she were in his way.
Eric didn't know how much more out of the way Shauna could be than at the guesthouse. Shauna replied that Quinn thought she'd gone, and Shauna didn't know how Eric and Quinn would reconcile with Shauna there. Shauna thought it would be better if she moved out and asked if Eric would like her to leave, so that he could try to save his marriage.
Shauna wanted Eric to say the word if she was getting between a reunion with Quinn. If it were so, she'd be packed and gone that very night. Eric was about to deny that it was a problem, but he received a message from Wyatt, who was at the front gate. Shauna decided she'd better leave. She didn't want Quinn to find out from Wyatt that she hadn't moved out yet.
"Which I'm still willing to do. We can talk about it later and see what's best, okay?" Shauna said. Eric apologized to Shauna, but she told him not to feel guilty about any of it. She could see why Quinn loved him so much.
Shauna exited through the terrace, and Wyatt arrived. Eric assumed Wyatt was there to defend his mother but doubted there was any more that anyone could say.
Later, Wyatt sat down with a martini. He understood Eric's feelings about what Quinn had done. He just wanted Eric to keep in mind that Quinn hadn't acted alone. He stated that Eric kept blaming Quinn for the idea, but Shauna had needed to execute it. Wyatt was surprised that didn't matter more to Eric. Eric said it mattered, but Quinn had manipulated Shauna. Eric believed that Shauna's remorse was genuine.
Wyatt said Quinn's remorse was, too, and he asked Eric to give her a second chance. Eric felt that he'd given Quinn plenty of chances, and he didn't think he had the energy to give her another one. "We shall see," Eric decided. Wyatt guessed that was a hopeful statement.
Wyatt asked if Eric happened to know where Shauna had gone. He remarked that Flo was getting a little worried about her mother. Eric indicated that Shauna was okay. Wyatt took that to mean that Eric knew where Shauna was. Eric began stammering, and Wyatt asked if Shauna was still living there at the mansion.
Eric explained that Shauna had offered to leave more than once, but he was the one who'd insisted that she stay. Wyatt figured it was because Eric was always thinking about others.
Wyatt knew how infuriating and what a "pain in the ass" Quinn could be, but he wanted to know why Eric had married her. Eric said he hadn't been able to imagine life without her. "But now you can?" Wyatt asked. Wyatt posited that Quinn's flaws outweighed her strengths, and her biggest strength was how she loved and protected Eric. Wyatt hoped that Eric could give his mother a second chance.
Eric said that Wyatt was a good son. Wyatt replied that Eric was a good husband and a good man. Wyatt didn't want his mom to lose that. He didn't want Eric or Quinn to lose it. He asked Eric to give her another chance.
At Carter's place, Zende and Zoe spoke over the blare of the fire alarm. Zende hoped whatever had set off the alarm wasn't serious. Looking at the ring on the table, he noted that Zoe and Carter seemed to be. Zoe replied that it was a big step if she chose to take it. "What do you mean 'if'?" Zende responded. He asked if she'd accepted the proposal or not.
Zoe explained that the fire alarm had gone off in the middle of the proposal. Zende guessed it was a sign, and Zoe quipped that "the powers that be" had decreed that she had to remain single for eternity. He reasoned that they might have another guy in mind for her. Zende assumed that she'd agree to marry Carter and asked what could stop her from accepting the proposal.
Zende questioned Zoe about whether she would have accepted the proposal if the alarm hadn't gone off. Zoe claimed she'd been in shock and hadn't expected Carter to pull out a ring. Zende said she had to have had an idea -- or a hope.
Zoe responded that they hadn't been dating all that long, but she'd always hoped to settle down with a nice guy. She'd had bad luck with men, and Carter presenting a ring had been a lot for her to process. She didn't know if she should believe her luck was finally changing. Zoe asked if it was even okay to talk about it to Zende because of what he was going through with ending his marriage.
Zende reasoned that he might be exactly the guy she should be talking to. He stated that just because it hadn't worked with him and Nicole didn't mean it wouldn't work for Zoe and Carter. In Zende's view, Carter was a great guy. Zende couldn't think of anyone kinder and believed that Carter would be the best husband. Carter would be devoted, supportive, and caring. From the way Carter looked at her, it was obvious to Zende how much Carter cared.
Zoe asked if Zende was saying that she should marry Carter. The alarm suddenly stopped. Zoe figured that meant Carter had fixed it and would be back with Paris. Zoe asked if Zende had anything to say before that happened.
Zende decided that there was something he needed to say. He asked if she remembered the night that Carter had asked her to move in, but she hadn't been sure she'd fully commit. Zoe imparted that a lot had changed that night. Zende flashed back to discovering the undelivered text message. "I could have said more. I tried, but -- " Zende stated.
Just then, Carter and Paris returned to the loft. Zoe asked what had gone on. Paris explained that some idiot a couple doors down had left his food cooking and had gone to the store. He'd returned to find half the building's tenants at his door. Carter said that, on the bright side, he'd met some neighbors. It hadn't been how he'd expected his evening to go, "but..."
Zoe said that things had taken quite a turn. Zende pensively gazed at the floor. Doing a little dance, Paris was ready to get the party restarted. Carter asked for time alone with Zoe and said they had unfinished business. Zende decided to call it an evening and thanked Carter for dinner.
Paris said that dinner had been delicious, and she warned Zoe not to let "this one" go. Carter walked Paris out, and as Zende strode by Zoe, he told her not to let that one go.
When Carter returned, he said he and Zoe had been in the middle of something, but he couldn't quite put a finger on it. Zoe held up her left hand and asked if it had the finger in question.
While Carter had been tending to the alarm, he'd figured out that he'd had more to say to Zoe. Carter stated that things happened in life, good things like applause on the runway or a seat on the board. He'd known when he'd proposed that he'd wanted Zoe by his side in the good times. The alarm had reminded him that bad things happen, too. It was life, messy and painful.
Carter recounted how the neighbors had been panicking and pounding on doors earlier, but he'd had the biggest grin on his face. Zoe laughed and asked if that were true. Carter replied that he'd known that she'd been waiting for him and waiting to start her life with him. He'd realized that he could face any alarm, triumph, or heartache with a woman like her by his side. She was a woman who'd been kicked down but had survived.
Carter wanted a life with someone as resilient as Zoe was. He'd never been so sure that he'd been meant for someone or that someone had been meant for him. He felt he was meant to stand by her and show her what devotion meant. He asked if she'd marry him.
Zoe readily replied that she'd be honored to be Carter's wife. Carter slid the ring on Zoe's finger, and the two kissed.
Back at Eric's house, Zende took off his coat and heard his phone beep. He scrolled through his messages and saw his last one to Zoe about not moving too fast with Carter. It was the message that had gone undelivered. He sighed.
Eric entered the living room. He hadn't heard Zende return home and asked if Zende was okay. Zende claimed to be doom-scrolling on social media. He stated that he was actually happy. Eric asked what about, and Zende announced that Zoe and Carter were getting married. Eric thought that was great. Zende figured they should be engaged at that moment.
Eric thought Carter was smart not to let Zoe slip through his fingers. Zende replied that Zoe had it all. She was smart and beautiful. Zoe was going places, and luckily for Carter, she'd go places with him.