At Forrester, everyone's eyes were glued to the television set as the sickly Stephanie Forrester explained that she'd promised Thomas her shares in the business, but she'd regretted unethically manipulating him with the stock. She'd felt that Thomas having absolute control of the company wasn't the right thing, and so she'd left her stocks to Eric instead.
On-screen, Stephanie said Thomas could challenge her, but according to the lawyers, he wouldn't win. She hoped that Thomas and Taylor would just accept that Eric was the best person to run the business. Stephanie told Eric that he was still relevant in the industry, and the family needed his guidance. "Don't mess it up. I love you," she said and ended the video.
Aside with Brooke, Eric guessed that Thomas thought he was being punished, but Eric was sure that Stephanie had made the gesture for Eric's sake. He said he hadn't been able to do anything for Stephanie during her life, and she wouldn't let him grieve the way he wanted to, either. Brooke figured Stephanie had given Eric a reason to get up in the morning. He added that Stephanie had given him a big mess to clean up, too, because he believed that Thomas would fight the decision.
Thomas and Taylor were disconcerted by Stephanie's actions, and Thomas contended that he was the same age that Eric had been upon founding the business. Eric replied that he'd had Stephanie at his side back then. Eric said that he and Stephanie had worked toward one goal, and it had been to create a legacy for their children and grandchildren.
Thomas and Steffy said that meant that they should be running the business. Rick interjected that it should belong to all of them. "And so it will," Eric decided. Taylor and Thomas asserted that Ridge had made Thomas CEO, and Ridge approved of Thomas' work. Brooke noted that Ridge wasn't there, but Steffy snapped that he should be. Rick retorted that Ridge would have been there if he still cared.
Eric stated that Ridge hadn't been the only person who'd fallen short of his duties. Eric recalled that he'd let his work on the couture line fall behind. Thomas said that they had other lines, but Brooke reminded everyone that couture was Forrester's lifeblood. Eric added that the business had been built upon the creation of original Forrester designs, and it was time to concentrate on that again. Thomas guessed Eric wanted to go backward, but Eric replied that he was taking them back to basics.
Eric told the family that they had to keep going without Stephanie. Ridge couldn't run the company from Europe, so they had to simplify their strategy. Rick agreed with his father, but Thomas felt that they had to expand and grow. Though Eric claimed to realize that, he said that for the time being, the company had to focus its resources where they could do the most good.
Thomas claimed that he didn't want a tug of war; however, he felt that if his ideas didn't have a place there, then neither did he. Rick called Thomas' bluff, but Thomas asserted that he wasn't bluffing. Eric declared that no one was leaving, because he needed everyone. Eric didn't want to see a disruption in the family or a power struggle between Thomas and Rick. Eric announced that he'd run Forrester himself, and he'd be the one to decide if anyone got to run it with him.
Taylor asked if Thomas would continue as CEO, and Steffy asked if they'd implement Thomas' new ideas. Eric declined to do either thing. Eric said he'd give Thomas' ideas serious consideration, but Eric wouldn't hastily change their production techniques or put any tailors out of work. Steffy asked if they could keep the new network, and Hope boasted about its quality. Taylor piped up that it was because of Thomas that the company was running more efficiently.
Eric didn't want anyone to misunderstand what he was saying. He valued Thomas' work, as well as the work of everyone in the room. Eric felt that the company contained a treasure-trove of young talent; however, it was a fashion house first, and the people that did fashion best should be in control. Rick asserted that meant "our side of the family," but Taylor replied that they shouldn't look at it as an "us" or "them" proposition. Brooke wondered how they should look at it if one side wanted to change everything but the other one didn't.
Eric decided that they'd settle it like they always did -- with a fashion face-off. Steffy guessed it would be Team Brooke versus Team Taylor. Eric outlined that the competition would include marketing campaigns, sales budgets, and everything that went with launching a winning line. Thomas would design for Taylor's team, and Caroline would design for Brooke's team.
Taylor wondered if Eric could be impartial, and Eric wondered if she really thought he couldn't. He claimed he only wanted the best for the business. He said the winner would become his protégé, and he'd appoint a member of the winning team to the presidency of Forrester. "Your future will be decided on the catwalk," Eric declared with an old but familiar fire blazing in his eyes.
In Liam's office, Caroline unburdened the truth about what Rick and Bill had done to railroad Liam and Hope's relationship. She implored Liam to say something. Slowly, the chair swiveled around and revealed a ticked-off Bill in the seat. "You had to give it one more try, didn't you?" Bill responded.
Bill guessed that he hadn't gotten through to Caroline and Rick earlier. Caroline stated that Rick didn't know she was there, but she'd only promised to think about it, not forever hide it. Bill reminded her that she was a Spencer, and he was "Spencer number one." He questioned her loyalty and suspected that he might have been wrong about her.
Caroline figured that Bill had sent Liam out of the country because Bill hadn't trusted her to keep quiet. Bill replied that he'd done it to give her and her boyfriend a chance to cool down. She said Liam and Hope's feelings wouldn't just go away, and she asked if Bill wanted his son to be happy.
Bill claimed that Liam was happier than he'd been in months, but Caroline had been so eager to throw Liam's life back into chaos that she'd recklessly spilled her guts to the back of a chair. Caroline still contended that the couple deserved to know the truth, and she still might tell one of them.
Bill passed the phone to Caroline, but he told her that before she called Liam, she needed to explain what being a Spencer meant to her. "You don't think I'm acting like a Spencer?" Caroline roared back. She asked him if Spencers would allow anyone to intimate them or give them orders like he seemed to expect her to do.
Caroline's phone rang. Sneering at Bill, she answered, "Caroline Spencer." Rick was on the line, and he apprised her of the stock shakeup at Forrester. He urged her to get to work right away.
After the call, Caroline was about to leave, but Bill asked her what was going on at Forrester. Explaining that Thomas had lost his stock inheritance somehow, Caroline sniped that the Spencers weren't the only family having communication problems. Bill quipped that the Forresters threw stock around like it was confetti, and contracts meant nothing to them.
Bill preferred to deal with Thomas over Eric, and Caroline guessed that the inexperienced Thomas was easier for Bill to manipulate. Bill reasoned that "kids" didn't always know what was best for them, and she figured Bill wouldn't hesitate to steer them. Bill reminded Caroline that he had a stake in Forrester, and she advised him that he'd be safer with Eric in control.
Caroline turned to go, but Bill still wanted an answer about her definition of family. Before Liam and Will had arrived in Bill's life, Bill had thought being a Spencer had been all about him. Since he had children to think of, Bill felt that being a Spencer meant blessed fatherhood and responsibility, and he refused to lose any of it. He said Liam would be out of town for a while, and Caroline should give telling the truth more thought, because things might look different by the time Liam returned.
At Forrester, Eric and Pam marveled that Stephanie had pulled through for her family -- even after her death. Pam said that she was very happy for Eric. They embraced. Pam left, and Brooke entered. Brooke hugged Eric. Brooke noted that Eric appeared to be comfortable in the CEO office. Eric agreed. Eric said that Stephanie had loved Brooke like a daughter. Brooke noted how much Stephanie had loved and trusted Eric to run the company.
Eric said that Stephanie had given him a reason to go on by giving her shares of the company to him. Brooke said he had breathed new life into the company with the competition. She teased that she knew Eric would be impartial, but her team would win. Eric laughed.
On the Forrester rooftop, Taylor, Steffy, and Thomas discussed that they were surprised that Stephanie had turned her back on the trust she had established that had given Thomas her 25 percent of the company's shares. Thomas was insulted, but he insisted he would fight. Taylor said that she didn't think there was any point in fighting the legality of what Stephanie had done.
Thomas dismissed the idea of fighting the legality, and he said that he wanted to win the competition. Taylor agreed, and she was convinced that Eric would be impartial.
Thomas flashed back to the moment that Stephanie had given him her shares. He recalled Stephanie had said that Thomas would add her 25 percent to the five percent of the company that Ridge had previously given to Thomas. Stephanie had told Thomas that he would have 30 percent ownership in the company and would become majority owner when Stephanie died. Thomas told Taylor and Steffy that he had been treated unfairly. Taylor agreed that Stephanie's change of heart had been unexpected.
Taylor said they needed to prepare for the competition. Thomas agreed, and he said he knew exactly what his granddad wanted -- couture. Steffy said that the only person who could design it was Thomas. Steffy reminded her mother and brother that the company's ownership was on the line. Thomas said that Caroline was the only designer that Rick's team had. Steffy agreed, but she added that Rick's team had a lot of experience, and Rick was Eric's son.
In another office, Hope, Brooke, and Rick were elated that they had a chance to win the company back. They all cheered when Caroline entered. Rick said that he was the brains behind Team Brooke, and Caroline would be the designer. They chatted about how Rick had always wanted to work with his dad. Brooke and Hope left.
Caroline and Rick made out. They discussed that Caroline had tried to tell Liam about what Bill had done, but Bill had sent Liam out of town. Caroline said that Bill had reminded Caroline that she was a Spencer and needed to be loyal to her family. Rick wondered what they should do.
Hope entered and interrupted. Rick and Hope discussed that Steffy, Taylor, and Thomas wanted the company just as much as Brooke, Rick, and Caroline did. Rick pointed out that before they had the meeting to hear Stephanie's video message, they'd had no chance of regaining ownership of the company. Stephanie had given them a tremendous opportunity.
Taylor sat alone in Brooke's office and flashed back to a conversation she'd had with Stephanie decades before. Stephanie had told Taylor that she never wanted to lose Taylor as a member of her family. Taylor had promised that she would never leave the family. Stephanie had told Taylor how much Taylor meant to Ridge, and Taylor had been the only person to replace Caroline. Taylor suddenly wondered how Stephanie could have turned her back on Taylor and her children.
Brooke entered and asked what Taylor wanted. Taylor said that it was odd that Stephanie would have had such a total change of heart and given her shares to Eric rather than to Thomas as Stephanie had promised. Brooke said that Stephanie had probably realized what a mistake she had made.
Taylor questioned if Stephanie had known what she was doing. Brooke mocked Taylor's inference that Stephanie might not have been of sound mind. Brooke added that whatever loophole Stephanie had found had certainly given Eric purpose, and that had probably been Stephanie's intent. Brooke reminded Taylor that Eric loved his children and his grandchildren.
Taylor worried that she and Brooke had returned to fighting one another again. Their new battle would be over the company. Taylor reiterated that the battles had always been over Ridge, and neither of them had won that bout because Ridge was gone. Their daughters had fought over the same man, and their sons were fighting over the company.
Taylor said that at least Liam had finally made a decision. Therefore, the girls were no longer fighting over the same man, but Brooke said she didn't think that was over. Taylor said that it all came down to the Forresters fighting the Logans for control of the company. Brooke snarked that she was as much a Forrester as Taylor had been. Brooke reminded Taylor that Brooke had contributed far more to the company that Taylor had. Taylor admitted that she had not contributed, but Steffy and Thomas had.
Brooke said that Rick was Eric's son, and a role in the company was his birthright. Taylor said that she and her kids had no problem competing with Brooke and her kids. Taylor said that her family was not going to let the Logans get Forrester Creations or anything else ever again.
In his office, Eric was on the phone with Jarrett. Eric confirmed that he was back at the helm of Forrester Creations, and it felt good. Caroline entered and said that she had heard all the good news. Eric said that Stephanie was a very wise woman who took care of him even after her death.
Caroline admitted that she was in love with Rick. Caroline wondered if Eric would be impartial in his decision. Eric teased that it would be difficult. Rick entered, and Eric left. He asked Caroline and Rick to close up the office after they left. They made out.
Steffy and Hope met on the rooftop, and Hope noted that they had their own rivalry. Hope said that she had not given up on Liam. Hope wondered where Liam had gone. Steffy answered that Bill had sent Liam out of town on a mission. Steffy warned that Hope had better focus on winning the competition instead of on Liam. Hope wished Steffy luck. "May the best family win," Hope said.
At Bill's house, he flashed back to the time he had read Katie's note that she could no longer take care of Will. Katie entered with Will and interrupted Bill's thoughts. Katie cooed to Will and Bill how much she had missed them.
Bill noted that Will clearly liked having his mommy home. Brooke entered. Katie reiterated what she had said to Bill. Brooke begged for a chance to hold Will because she had missed Will. Taylor entered, and Katie was surprised that it was time for her session.
Taylor wondered why Brooke was at Katie's rather than at the office. Brooke said that Eric had everything under control at the office. Taylor looked disappointed. Bill pointedly asked how Thomas was doing. Bill said that Caroline had told him about the changes that Stephanie had made that gave all of her shares to Eric rather than to Thomas. Taylor said that Thomas was disappointed about the changes.
Taylor quickly turned the conversation to Katie and asked Brooke to stay for the session because family interaction would be beneficial to Katie. Taylor also asked Bill to stay. Taylor said it would be good for all of them to share what had happened while Katie had been gone. Brooke and Bill looked guilty.
Katie took a moment to thank Taylor, and Katie admitted it had taken a long time for her to realize that Taylor had been right about the postpartum depression. Katie thanked Bill and said that many men would have given up on a wife who had abandoned them. Katie also thanked Brooke for stepping in as Will's mom. Katie realized that she had expected far more from Brooke than she'd had any right to expect.
Katie said that she had a new understanding and respect for Bill and Brooke since she had returned. Katie admitted that her heart attack had scared her into thinking that she was going to die. She had convinced herself that it was best to remove herself from the family. Katie had believed she could get Brooke to replace her and become a mother to her son. Brooke looked confused.
Katie admitted that she had tried to push Brooke and Bill together as a couple. Katie added that she had planned a whole future for Brooke and Bill while she was in her depression. Katie said that she was the one who had set up the balloon ride for Brooke and Bill in Aspen. Katie had hoped that Bill would fall in love with Brooke because Katie had thought she was about to die. Katie was ashamed of herself for what she had tried to do.
Katie added that if she had been mentally stable, she would never have wanted Bill with anyone else, especially with her own sister. Katie said that she had to have been out of her mind to push the two of them together. Katie apologized for putting Brooke in such a terrible position, but Katie justified her thinking. She said that Ridge had never returned or contacted Brooke, and Katie had felt that left the door open for Brooke to start a relationship with Bill.
Brooke was teary-eyed and tried to say something, but Bill broke in and said that he and Brooke had been worried about Katie. It had been a very emotional time for all of them. Bill kissed Katie but glared at Brooke.
Bill instructed Brooke to check on Will and get some fresh air. Katie said that she realized she had hurt Brooke's feelings by mentioning Ridge, who had clearly left Brooke alone when she needed him most -- and when his mother needed him. Brooke went upstairs, and Bill later followed to make sure she was all right.
Taylor remained with Katie, and Katie regretted saying anything about trying to set Brooke up with Bill. Taylor said that it was good for Katie to get her feelings out in the open to heal. Taylor got up to check on Bill and Brooke.
Upstairs, Bill caught up with Brooke in the hallway. They discussed that they couldn't stop thinking about the kiss they had shared at the cabin. Bill said that Katie could never know about the kiss, and he realized that Brooke had nearly told her. Brooke agreed. She added that Bill had been so supportive, and it had felt good to have a man's arms around her again at Big Bear.
Bill told Brooke that she didn't need to feel guilty. He added that he would always be there for her as a friend. Brooke said that she had needed Bill after Ridge had left her. Then Stephanie had died, and Brooke had needed Bill even more. Brooke said she would never forget the moment that Bill had put Stephanie's ring on her finger, and they had melted into each other's arms and shared a kiss.
"Katie can't ever know," Bill said. Brooke agreed. Around the corner in the hallway, Taylor overheard it all.
At Forrester, Thomas begged his attorney to find a way to fight Stephanie's new will and her changes in the ownership of Forrester. The attorney said that Stephanie had had every right to write a new will and give the shares to her husband. She had clearly found a way to void the trust, and she had expressed her wishes on camera. The lawyer recommended that Thomas drop any ideas of fighting the legality.
Rick and Caroline entered. They laughed and talked about how Caroline smiled in her sleep, and Rick thought it was cute. Rick wondered what Thomas was still doing in the CEO's office because Thomas had been demoted. Rick wondered if the attorney was a furniture mover because he didn't look like one. Rick snarked that he would gladly pay the attorney's fees to get Thomas out of the office.
Thomas lamented that he wanted what had been given to him. He had been the person that Stephanie had chosen to run the company. The attorney advised Thomas to let it go, and he left. Rick noted that Thomas still had five percent of the company, and that was five percent more than Rick had.
Thomas admitted that he had a hard time accepting what his grandmother had done to him. She had lied, but she had been on a lot of medication, Thomas said. Caroline said that she didn't think medication had had anything to do with Stephanie's change of heart.
Rick and Thomas started arguing, and Caroline told them to stop. She was sure that Stephanie wouldn't have wanted to see them wasting time fighting. Caroline said they needed to duke it out on the catwalk like real men.
Thomas warned that his family already had experience with a couture line, ski line, and lingerie line. Thomas said that his family would have no trouble beating Rick. Thomas understood that Eric had given Caroline to Rick's team in order to give the team a designer, but Thomas was much more experienced.
Caroline and Rick said they were ready for the challenge. Thomas left. Caroline told Rick that they needed a theme that concentrated on colors or fabrics. Caroline wanted to continue designs for Hope's line and an edgier contemporary line along with one that included the traditional elegant classics that had built the Forrester name. Rick agreed.
Caroline said that Rick seemed confident. She said his confidence was sexy. Rick replied that they were going to win big, and take over Forrester and then the world. They laughed and kissed. Thomas peeked inside the office with a disapproving and envious look.
At Bill and Katie's house, Taylor walked off, shocked by what she'd overheard Bill and Brooke discussing. Unaware that Taylor had been there, Brooke urged Bill to forget that the kiss had ever happened. Bill said he wasn't wired that way. Though he'd never act upon anything with Brooke, he couldn't forget what they'd shared or that they'd been there for each other during trying times.
Downstairs, Katie was giddily buying up everything she saw on a baby website. Taylor entered with a strange look upon her face. Katie noticed it, but Taylor pretended it was nothing. Still behaving awkwardly, Taylor expressed that she wanted to be the best doctor for Katie, and she didn't want anything to blindside Katie and impede Katie's recovery.
Taylor asserted that she had something to tell Katie, but before Taylor could continue, Donna whisked in through the front door, carrying a load of shopping bags brimming with things for Will. Bill and Brooke entered, and Bill commented that Will would be a spoiled kid.
Taylor decided to take off, and Bill walked her out. On the porch, Bill thanked Taylor for her help, and Taylor murmured that it seemed as if Bill loved his wife. Bill replied that he did, and he wondered why she'd question that. He added that Katie was his whole world. "Good. I'm glad," Taylor ominously uttered, and Bill seemed puzzled as he watched her go.
Taylor went to Forrester to see Steffy and to find out how the plans for the "smackdown" of Brooke's kids were going. Steffy loved Taylor's confidence but said the opposing team did have talent. Taylor quipped that Brooke's clan belonged in the basement, because it was Steffy and Thomas' turn.
Steffy wondered if Taylor had arrived to talk strategy, but Taylor stated that she needed a sounding board. Taylor hypothetically asked if Steffy would want to know some information -- even if knowing would harm her relationship with a loved one or her spouse. Taylor claimed that the revelation she had for her patient could cause emotional and medical setbacks. Steffy wondered if the patient really needed to know the information. "Well, if it were me, I'd want to know," Taylor anxiously replied, and she added that it could prevent a disaster down the road.
Steffy stated that she wasn't the professional, so she couldn't tell her mother what to do. Steffy was sure that Taylor would consider all the pros and cons and make the best choice. She reminded Taylor that Taylor delighted in the truth, and Taylor had always taught her that nothing was more destructive than lies -- even lies of omission. They hugged, and Taylor thanked Steffy.
Back at Katie's house, the Logan sisters discussed how much better Katie was doing. Katie expressed her gratefulness to Brooke for holding Katie's family together -- especially since Bill hadn't been Brooke's favorite person. To Donna, Katie revealed that Brooke had begun to see Bill in a new light. Katie added that at least one of her sisters had begun to understand why she'd married him.
Donna took off, and Brooke said Katie would just have to settle for one sister. Katie called Brooke her best friend. Katie had left her husband and child in Brooke's care because she'd known that Brooke wouldn't let her down. Brooke said not to paint a halo over her head because she'd made mistakes in the past and had acted on impulse.
Katie knew what that felt like because she'd done it herself when she'd walked away from her family, expecting Brooke to step in as if Katie had never existed. The ordeal had shown Katie that she couldn't have turned her life over to a better person, because Brooke had done exactly what she'd needed to do. Katie said that Brooke had cared for Will and had kept Bill sane.
Katie expressed that she'd gotten a glimpse of her life without Bill, Will, and Brooke, and she never wanted to experience it again. Katie felt lucky that Brooke had been there to save Katie's family from damage. Hugging Brooke, Katie said she was glad to have Brooke as a sister.
Later, Bill was at the office with Justin, discussing how well Katie was doing. Bill was happy with Katie's progress, but he wished she had a different therapist. Bill felt that Taylor had started involving herself in personal matters. He knew that Taylor had no qualms expressing her opinion or interfering, and he feared that if Taylor overstepped, she'd undo some of the good she'd done.
Bill also told Justin about Katie's misguided plan to unite Bill and Brooke. Justin half-jokingly asked if it had worked, and Bill quickly replied that it hadn't. Sighing, Bill explained that he and Brooke had been through a lot during that period, and they'd developed a friendship. Justin gleaned that Taylor had misinterpreted that friendship, and he wondered if she could be onto something. Bill said to not even go there because he and Brooke were focused on Katie's needs only.
Justin left, and Bill looked at his framed wedding picture. Thinking of his talk on the porch with Taylor earlier, he called Brooke, who had walked out of Katie's house. Bill remarked that he'd gotten a strange vibe from Taylor earlier, and it had made his "Spencer senses" tingle. Brooke asked if he thought Taylor knew about the kiss, but then Brooke decided that the idea was impossible.
Bill replied that he couldn't shake the feeling that Taylor did know. Brooke told Bill that Taylor was always trying to get something on her, but Bill could relax because he and Katie were solid. Bill ended the call, but he still seemed troubled as he stared as his wedding picture.
Back at Katie's house later, Taylor returned. Katie asked if Taylor had wanted to continue the session, but Taylor claimed she just wanted to talk. Katie talked about how well the day had gone, and she said she was still flabbergasted at herself for trying to push Bill and Brooke together. Katie thanked God that she'd chosen two people who would never go there. "That's not true," Taylor asserted.
Katie looked startled by the statement, and Taylor admitted that she'd been struggling about telling Katie something. Taylor felt that Katie had dealt with things with integrity, and she deserved the same in return. Katie didn't understand what Taylor was getting at. Taylor explained that while Katie had been going through her darkest time, Bill and Brooke had become very close. Katie replied that they'd become friends. Taylor stated that they were much more than friends, and they'd kissed.
Due to CBS News coverage of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, today's episode of The Bold and the Beautiful was pre-empted nationally. The episode that was scheduled to air today will now be broadcast on Monday, December 17. There will be no "lost" episodes as a result of this programming change.