|Belgium's "Sara" premiered on September 25, 2007 on the VTM network and starred Veerle Baetens as Sara De Roose and Gert Winckelmans as her boss, Simon Van Wijck, at Présence, a prestigious Flemish fashion house in Antwerp. The network aired a new episode each weekday evening at 6:25pm and then would rerun each episode the following weekday afternoon at 12:15pm. They also had Sunday evening marathons of the episodes that had aired earlier in the week.|
Recent college graduate Sara De Roose, a rather unsightly young woman with no fashion sense, applies for the position of executive secretary to the new president of Présence, Simon Van Wijck. She goes from her home town of Wilrijk into Antwerp to be interviewed alongside beautiful, blonde, bitchy Britt Van Hove, who just happens to be the best friend of Simon's girlfriend, and fellow Présence executive, Helena de Lannoy. Simon was recently appointed to the company's top position when his father, Leon Van Wijck, announced his upcoming retirement. The elder Van Wijck left the choice of his succession to the company's board, which put Simon head-to-head against the company's financial director, Alexander de Lannoy, Helena's brother. The de Lannoys are the orphaned adult children of the company's other co-founder, Pierre de Lannoy, and his wife Louise.
Helena insists the secretarial position should go to Britt. In need of employment, Sara accepts a lower position in the 'economaat', which consists of logistics clerks who are mainly in charge of office supplies, who report to office secretary Ellen de Graeve. Sara tells her former college friend Arne, who runs a pub called Chocolat, the truth about her new job, but she witholds the details from her proud father, Hans, who would be terribly disappointed that his daughter is settling for a job for which she is extremely overqualified simply out of desperation. Sara's first day is so horrible that she comes close to quitting, despite some kindness directed her way by a few of her new colleagues. One glance at Simonwho would have been her direct boss, had she not been supplanted by Brittand Sara changes her mind, whirling with girlish butterflies.
By being in the right place at the right time, Sara saves Simon's life by dragging the drunk executive from his Porsche just before it explodes, after an important fashion show. Leon insists that Simon must show his appreciation, so when he learns that Sara is a college graduate who originally wanted the executive assistant job, Simon decides to give her the job. This will also have the added benefit of keeping Britt, whom he considers to be Helena's spy, from knowing to much about his comings and goings. Unfortunately for Simon, Helena insists that he must keep Britt, so he compromises by creating a second executive assistant job, but instead of having Sara share a desk with Britt, he stations the less-decorous Sara in the glorified broom closet that is attached to his own office.
Sara's reconverted filing room almost makes her consider declining the secretarial position, but she changes her mind when Simon's division of labor basically makes it obvious that Britt is actually mere window-dressing. A mysterious ex-con named Koen Meuris (Olivier De Smet) returns to Antwerp and he seems to blame young Thomas de Graeve for his incarceration. Sara discovers that a "business meeting" Simon is supposed to attend is actually a rendezvous with fashion journalist named Brenda Vermeulen (Aza Declercq), so Sara tries to cover for her boss when Helena, who hears about the tryst from Britt, comes around looking for Simon. Nobody listens to Sara when she mentions errors that she discovered in a Powerpoint presentation. Helena orders Sara to turn the document over to Britt. When Helena insists on seeing Simon's agenda, Sara refuses to turn it over, even though Helena threatens her with immediate dismissal. Although Helena is very intimidating, Simon had entrusted her with his "black book" and told her not to let anyone else get hold of it.
Simon insists to Helena that he only thinks of Brenda as a fashion journalist, even though she happens to be an ex-girlfriend of his. Despite his protestations, he meets Brenda in a hotel room and claims that he has gotten engaged to Helena simply to ensure that he gets her vote for the CEO position at an upcoming board meeting. Sara is invited to go out by Koen, after he hears her tell Arne that she likes Thomas. Representatives from a Dutch firm, Van Veen, are not amused when Simon is late for an appointment. Alexander conspires with Britt to ensure that Simon's presentation to the board will be an embarrassing failure.
An Verbiest, one of the supply clerks, is happy to hear from Thomas that he isn't involved with anyone. Simon seems to have turned against Sara, so she tells Koen that she will go out with him. Van Veen ends up placing a major order, which ensures Simon's victory and Alexander's frustrated failure. While feeling in high spirits because of his triumph, Simon tells Sara to tear up the resignation she'd placed on his desk because needs a woman like her. Sara mistakenly imagines that Simon's words were meant in a romantic sense. When she refuses to give information to Koen about Présence, the brute dumps her, sneering that nobody would want to be seen with such an ugly creature. When she gets home, Sara suddenly realizes that the figures in Simon's presentation haven't been adjusted for inflation. Helena continues to nag Simon about his frequent unexplained lateness.
As the meeting during which the board members will vote for the next CEO approaches, Britt promises Alexander to sabotage Simon's presentation. She also gets involved with Simon's friend Lieven, who is the Personnel Director of Présence. In the pub, An is surprised by how strongly Thomas feels about Koen's verbal abuse of Sara. When Arne shows the ex-con the door, Thomas helps to facilitate his expulsion. Later, Ellen embarrasses Thomas at work, acting as if he were an unruly schoolboy. Alexander plants doubt in the mind of Simon's own father about Simon's abilities. Knowing that Alexander intends to tamper with Simon's files, Sara switches the presentation disks at the last minute and saves the day. Simon wins the company's top position by one vote. Despite Simon's victory, Alexander feels certain that Simon's megalomaniacal business plan will destroy the company within a year.
Sara is happy to see Simon triumphant at his celebratory champagne reception, and he even commends her for her help, but she is disappointed to be ordered to put Simon's reckless bet with Alexander on paper. She's also not thrilled that she'll still be stuck in the converted broom closet that she has for an office after Simon moves into the office that his father is vacating. Sara's father Hans thinks Sara is too good to be doing some of the degrading tasks that Simon has been giving her, including cleaning up after him when he's drunk, and covering for him when he's out cheating on Helena. Helena suspects Simon's infidelity but, ironically, it's on the one occasion that he was actually too drunk to cheat on her. Britt gleefully confirms to Helena that Simon lied about where he had been the night before, but Sara saves Simon once again. As a reward, Simon decides to keep his office close to Sara's cubby hole.
Thomas tells Britt off, but his mother, Ellen, warns him that Britt can be a dangerous enemy and crossing her could cost him his job. Marnix Standaart, the company's star designer, isn't prepared to work harder than he already does to serve Simon's ambitions, and feels that Simon's plan to launch a perfume line 'stinks'. Sara tries to think of a way to increase sales by at least ten percent, but Simon disregards her suggestions without really listening to her.
Alexander refuses to provide Sara with figures for her efficiency study, but he fails to get his sister Helena on his side. To his chagrin, Helena intends to come up with an alternative plan for Simon with Britt's help.
Hans is in need of a new vehicle, so he decides to try the car of his colleague at the nursery, Martine (Annick Christiaens).
Simon and his buddy Lieven use a DVD computer program that is supposed to match people with their 'ideal partner', which he confiscated from Britt. This sets off one of Sara's absurd daydreams, casting Simon as her adoring lover. Meanwhile Simon is still fooling around with Brenda behind Helena's back. Working late, Sara catches them kissing on top of his desk, Simon with his pants down.
In support of Sara's cost-efficiency study, Simon orders his executives to give Sara all the documents that she says she needs, and she subsequently finds a twenty-one percent error on the cost of fabrics.
Marnix won't hear a single word about cutting back on fabric costs, so the CEO intends to replace some top-quality materials used for the designer's creations with knock-offs for actual production. Marnix gets wind of it, so Alexander dares him to follow through on his dramatic threat to leave the company.
Sara realizes that she should demand a pay befitting her new responsibilities, but puts her own needs aside in consideration of Simon's bet with Alexander.
Ellen admits to a colleague that Thomas's father, whom she'd always said was dead, actually was alive, but had emigrated to the United States. She recently learned that the prodigal husband had returned to Belgium.
Simon keeps juggling his fiancée Helena and his lover Brenda, a very dangerous game, despite Sara's help. Lieven convinces Brenda to 'make Simon jealous' by dating him, so he brushes off Britt, who finds out about Sara's mission to collect sales data behind Helena's back for Simon's business plan. Britt and Helena soon see Lieven on a date with Brenda.
Marnix teases Thomas about his crush on An. Meanwhile, Simon has date with yet another woman, swimsuit model Margot.
Helena resents having to give sales data from the shops for which she is responsible to Sara for Simon's business plan. To circumvent Helena's resistance, Sara gets the figures by working with Arne on a computer at his pub. The numbers are quite disappointing, so Simon decides on the spot to launch a publicity campaign, and he wants Sara to prepare the budget for it.
Thomas is embarrassed by the thefthe suspects was perpetrated by Koenof the GPS from the Présence van Thomas neglected to lock up properly. Ellen worries that Koen will become as big a problem as 'before'. Marnix promises to cover for the boy, if necessary, but Thomas decides to pay for a new GPS himself.
Britt and Alexander manage to break into Sara's computer by correctly guessing that her password is 'Simon', but Simon himself catches them before they can get a good look at any of Sara's data.
Hans's colleague Martine has to help him start his ancient car yet again, so he finally asks her the price for hers.
To Simon's surprise, Alexander casts the decisive vote in favor of his new publicity campaign, with Alexander even suggesting an even larger budget. In order to appropriate the money, they might have to save expenses elsewhere, perhaps by closing some stores, which is a declaration of war in Helena's eyes. To prevent this from happening, Helena turns to her ex, a labor union representative named Steven De Sutter (Maarten Claeyssens).
The rumor that Présence will be closing some shops causes panic, especially with An, whose mother works in one of them, but after a threatening visit from Steven, Simon tells Helena it was just one proposed option. Simon tells Helena that Sara has an alternative plan: a contest for Antwerp's graphics students, which would attracted talented artists at dirt cheap rates. The idea is promptly agreed upon by the board.
Now that he needs money for a car, Hans is even more insistent that Sara should request a more fitting wage.
After Simon slips and tells Marnix that the wedding dress he's designing for Helena won't be needed for months, he ends up having to reassure Helena by giving her a ring, which shatters Sara's romantic delusions about Simon.
Simon gets Sara to select the engagement ring for her rival, but when she tries it on she can't get it off her finger. Lut helps Sara to get the ring off, but then it falls into the sink and down the drain. Thomas eventually gets it out, but by that time Simon gets it a day late, and it isn't in the best condition.
Hans has decided to take a loan to buy Martine's car, but the bank tells him that his insufficient income and the mortgage on his home disqualify him.
Simon demands at least one year to prepare a wedding in style, which displeases Helena.
Britt continues to play games to make Sara seem unreliable.
When Sara takes out a loan in her name for her father, he discovers exactly how much she is making at Présence.
Ellen and An decide to throw a last-minute surprise party at Arne's café for Thomas's birthday.
While looking for Thomas, Marnix catches Lieven kissing Britt. Simon has Sara running around on errands, but she is glad to be put in charge of receiving the art students who are submitting ideas for the ad campaign. Unfortunately for Sara, Britt convinces Lieven to allow her to handle some of the studentsthe male students, that is. Britt isn't the only one trying to monopolize the attention of students, though; Simon takes one of the female students out to lunch. To Britt's fury, Simon selects the romantic campaign proposal of the artist that Sara supports, instead of Britt's young beau's abstract design.
Alexander is the only one who opposes Sara's campaign choice at the board meeting, so her selection is made official by majority vote. Simon agrees to update Sara's contract and allots a campaign budget to her. The problem is that calculated numbers don't fit within Simon's bet with Alexander for a ten percent increase in profits. Britt tries in vain to convince the head of personnel, Lieven, to block Sara's promotion. She then asks Helena if she can get the same raise that Sara has been given.
Sara thinks that the preparations for Thomas's surprise party are actually being made by Simon for her, until she receives an invitation to Thomas's birthday and realizes her mistake.
When the computer network at Présence crashes, Britt claims that Sara let a virus in, so Sara brings in her own computer whiz, Arne, who fixes the problem and sends an e-mail revealing that the virus actually originated within Présence on Britt's PC.
Thomas's party is a real surprise and a big hit, to which even his boss Marnix has come, but, unfortunately, so has ex-con Koen, who is thrown out. In his anger, Koen plots his violent revenge.
While Thomas's party rocks on, the vindictive Koen swings a baseball bat in the underground parking, damaging Sara's father's 'new' car. To make matters worse, Hans had 'postponed' getting an insurance policy.
When Sara arrives to work late the next day, and in tears, Simon gives her a consoling hug, which sets her romantic fantasies in motion once again.
An extra zero on a supply order total causes a huge overstock. Simon and Lieven try to hide the problem, particularly from Alexander, but Marnix refuses to cooperate. Simon's father Leon drops by during this time of chaos, which causes the elder Van Wijck to have some heart troubles. Leon then makes an urgent appointment with a cardiologist.
Sara is told to falsify some numbers, but Alexander finds out about the accounting trickery. Sara insists that the company should take out a loan, based on her business plan, which a banker named Hermans pre-approves.
After Simon issues a written order to help solve the stock problem by recycling, Marnix gives his notice. Thomas can't find Marnix's design portfolio, so Simon has no choice but to go to the gay bar where Marnix hangs out to grovel for the designer's return. In desperation, Simon agrees to raise Marnix's budget.
The police catch Koen, but he denies everything. Now that she has no transporation, Sara has to get a ride with Thomas to a golf coursewhere he was once a professional caddyto deliver business papers to Simon. Unfortunately, Sara's appearance bars her from gaining entry to the private club.
Britt's financial problems, caused by her lavish overspending, prompt her to flirt with Lieven so she can ask him for a loan. He doesn't give in, so she then turns to Alexander, who tells her to 'accidentally' open an envelop addressed to Sara from the bank. For this simple service, Britt is able to extort enough money from Alexander to pay her rent.
Simon and Lieven conspire in the gym about ways to keep the bank loan a secret. Back at the office, Alexander tells Simon that the board will need to see a balance sheet showing where the company budgets currently stand. Helena agrees with her brother on this matter.
Sara is delighted when Simon promotes her to the position of Personal Assistant, retroactively, but she is not as happy to learn that along with the promotion comes a request for her to do some creative bookkeeping. She is asked to doctor the real numbers and to create a fake budget. Later, Arne points out to Sara that a promotion without a proper salary raise is a bad joke, but the discussion causes tension between the two friends. The lack of enough money in the De Roose household is complicated by Hans's fear that his boss Roger's (Sjarel Branckaerts) business problems may soon cost him his job at the nursery.
Thomas's innocent date with an old school friend, Tine, makes An jealous. Arne brings Sara and Hans champagne to make up for his recent unpleasant conversation with Sara and to celebrate her official, if only titular, promotion properly. Hans panics when some wallpaper starts to peel, but he can't afford to call in a professional. Fortunately, Lut offers to do take on the task for free, so Hans treats her in return by making a nice dinner for the two of them to share together. At Lut's suggestion, Hans agrees that they should forget about using wallpaper and should paint the room instead.
Simon suggests to his parents that they should visit their foster child in Ivory Coast, which should help to take Leon's mind off the stress of the business goings-on at Présence. Leon agrees to take an African holiday after an upcoming board meeting.
An shuns Thomas because of his date with Tine, whom An had seen kissing Thomas, but all is resolved as soon as the accused young man has a chance to explain the situation properly.
Simon doesn't have enough time or interest to be bothered with the details of his and Helena's wedding, particularly not on the day before yet another crucial board meeting. Sara worked late the night before, so she arrives late. When Simon blatantly tells Britt that she's now Sara's subordinate, she is even more willing to spy for Alexander. Britt sends Sara on a wild goose chase to Marnix, but instead of copying Sara's doctored figures, she deletes them.
Sara convinces Simon to delay the board meeting so she can recreate the data that Britt deleted. Alexander tells Leon that it appears something dodgy is going on, so he urgently demands an audit. Alexander has a friend, Daniel De Buck (Kristoff Clerckx), waiting to conduct the audit and to expose any irregularities. Marnix tries to get Britt to do a modeling job, but she refuses, so the designer recruits An instead. Thomas likes the sight, but an innocent cellphone photo he takes of An causes her to run off to Arne's pub. Thomas brings her flowers to apologize, and even uses the "L" word, but he tells her that he doesn't want any of their colleagues to know yet.
Simon prepares the launch of the proposed perfume line and he lures the manufacturer's representative, Michèle De Vos (Bieke Ilegems), to his place.
Britt and Helena are convinced that Simon's lack of romantic attention is related to work stress, not knowing that he's actually been tiring himself out with flirts and floozies, including perfume rep Michéle.
Britt no longer buys Lieven's excuse that his place is too messy for her to come over, so she cancels a date that they'd planned. Even though she doesn't know it, Alexander secretly desires his accomplice.
Helena convinces Simon to take a day off, so they can spend some time together. Simon gives Sara carte blanche for approval of the campaign posters, but Britt makes the deadline notice disappear, so Sara is left in the dark regarding that important detail. Sara makes a huge mistake by not noticing an obvious and hilarious error on the publicity poster proofs that she approved: the boy's zipper is open! Simon is livid and demands that the entire batch has to be canceled, but Helena agrees with Sara's suggestion that they should try it out as a humorous campaign, altering the slogan to say something like, 'nothing is perfect'. Simon's rude reaction finally gives Sara the courage to stand up for herself, pointing out that she does way more then her job description entails, and that he is so often unavailable to keep an eye on details or to make decisions. Amazingly, Simon apologizes to Sara and gives her a mandate to handle all of his commercial division's paperwork.
Sara is proud to get Simon's commercial division's financial operations mandate, but Alexander believes this only proves that Simon is desperate and that the audit will bring him down. Once again, Alexander complains to Leon, who asks Helen to reconcile the two Présence heirs. Simon tells Sara details about the deal with Michéle De Vos's perfume company. Arne later warns Sara that she's probably being set up as a stooge for when the number dodging inevitably leads to a lawsuit or even criminal charges.
Ellen must decide whether to let Thomas to continue believing that his father, Patrick (Dries Van Hegen), is dead, or to allow the man into their lives. She feels that, at the very least, she is owed back child support, so she makes plans to meet him in a restaurant date. Patrick never even knew that he had a child, so when Ellen refuses to give him details about Thomas or to allow father and son to have any contact whatsoever, the lunch date ends in bitterness.
Alexander is furious to learn that his friend, auditor Daniel De Buck, found no irregularities in Sara's documentation. De Buck enrages Alexander further by refusing to conjure up some false figures. At the next board meeting, Simon tells all present that he won't tolerate further scheming against his authority.
Simon is feeling down after another argument with Helena, so Sara gives him a pep-talk in a restaurant. Simon ends up rushing out of the restaurant, leaving Sara stranded with the bill, and without a ride home.
Simon asks Lieven to help him to procure cheaper fabrics from textile baron Felix Van Uytsel (Eric Burke). While tending to this matter, Simon misses his parents' going away party, as they're about to depart for the Ivory Coast.
Thomas saves An from getting in trouble after she forgets to order copying paper. Thomas doesn't know it, but the new stock clerk at the supply shop is his own father, Patrick De Graeve. An recognizes Patrick and tells Ellen where her ex is working. Thomas soon meets his father, without knowing who he really is.
While he will be away in Milan on a business trip, Simon gives Sara some homework to do, but first he invites her along to a grand soiree that Felix is hosting. Simon and Lieven then set off for Milan, basically leaving Sara in charge as the CEO's representative. She shows Felix's fabrics to Marnix, who is immediately impressed, but he says that the prices excessive. Felix wines and dines Sara and gives her a fancy watch, which really gets under Britt's skin.
Simon starts to suspect that Felix's thirty percent discount will come at the expense of quality. After Felix tells Sara that the rebate is based on partial substitution with polyester, Sara agrees to consider Alexander's recent alternative fabric procurement options. But Marnix says that he'll go on strike until Felix's superior fabrics are ordered.
Britt intercepts an expensive pen that Felix sends to help Sara make her decision, which Alexander sees as evidence of bribery.
Business at the nursery where Hans works gets worse and he soon receives a pink slip in the mail.
Felix and Sara are pleased to have signed a contract and he takes her out to a celebratory lunch. After talking to Arne, Sara starts to realize that Felix's gifts could be interpreted as bribes, even though she really did make her decisions based upon financial concerns. She is particularly concerned about the appearance of inpropriety when she finds 50,000 extra Euros in her bank account. But since her father has lost his job and has been having car trouble, she feels that she can't afford not to keep the money.
Alexander shows Marnix a copy of the torn-up contract with Felix's impossibly low price quote, so the designer reminds Sara that he expects the finest quality fabrics for his creations. Alexander then asks Daniel to tape a phone conversation with Sara to prove that she's been accepting bribes, so he pretends to be Felix's secretary and waives her offer to refund the money that was deposited in her account.
Patrick starts to give Thomas advice about dating, and Thomas comes to like having a relationship with a father figure, still not knowing that Patrick is more than just a substitute, but the real thing. Thomas enjoys An's company, but he finds that he'd much rather spend time with Patrick in Arne's pub than shopping with An.
Alexander is happy with the recording Daniel made of his conversation with Sara. When Sara offers Felix's money to her father and explains where it came from, Hans insists that she must return it at once. She also tells Simon, who has returned from Milan, about the money, and he tells her that she should wait until he has considered the matter. When he hears Britt bragging that she'll get Sara's job after the ugly assistant is fired, Simon orders Lieven to keep dating her so they can spy on her, the way that she has been spying on them for Alexander.
Britt's hope that the taped phone conversation will bring about Sara's downfall is frustrated when Alexander plays it for Simon, but Simon just dismisses it as being a setup.
Hans discovers that finding a job is as difficult for him as it had been for his daughter, not so long ago. Sara suggests that he should try a temp agency.
Simon and Lieven discuss creating a dummy corporation with the money that Sara got from Felix, so they can dodge VAT sales taxes. They can let Sara do all the work, without giving her too many details about the new corporation. They can give her a mere twenty-five percent raise, which she'll think is quite good, but only because she won't be aware of the the risk that she'll be taking. Once the plan is put into motion, Alexander knows that something underhanded is going on, but Britt can't get him any substantial details, so there's nothing he can do to disrupt them.
Arne warns Sara that the situation with the new corporation seems dodgy, but she ignores her friend's warning and intends to go through with the plan anyway to help Simon, using the 50,000 Euro that she got from Felix. Sara is then told to prevent Marnix from discovering that the quality of his new fabrics is less than what he expects, but Britt has them delivered directly to the temperamental designer, who can tell by his expert touch that the materials are unacceptably inferior.
An and Thomas begin to learn more about each other, such as his soft spot for the music of Paul Anka, and her moonlighting stints as a nude model at the art school, where she also studies drawing. Thomas joins An's art academy as a drawing student, only to see her kissing a studly male model named Sven (Ides Meire) on the lips.
After Britt sabotages the fabric situation, Sara intends to quit her job at Présence. Simon pleads with her and promises no longer to use her to cover up his private matters. When Leon calls from the Ivory Coast, Marnix reassures him that there are no serious problems, then he forces Simon to agree to a bet: if sales for the new collection are lower than those of the previous year, Simon will join Marnix at a local gay bar, the Pink Panther, in drag. Simon confides in Lieven that he's losing confidence, and tells Michéle he's now prepared to agree to the budget perfume plan. Simon then receives a fax in which he learns that the scorned Brenda is writing an article about his fabrics fraud.
Even before the Brenda scandal breaks, Alexander announces that the company's accounts are nearing bankruptcy under Simon's leadership. After Brenda's article is published, Simon promises to get revenge and blames Marnix, who tells Thomas and An that it's time to start looking for another employer. Sara tells Simon that the new dummy corporation has been set up and she suggests that they should try investing Felix's 50,000 Euro by playing the stock market. With Arne's help, Sara's investment choices prove to be successful and it appears that the company's financial problems might have come to an end. Sara dreams that Simon's gratitude will turn into love.
Thomas can't handle An's drawing and kissing Sven. Marnix suggests that perhaps Thomas should volunteer to pose for the art class, but Thomas does not appreciate the suggestion. It seems that only Patrick understands how Thomas is feeling. Since Thomas refuses to tell Ellen anything anymore, on a tip from Lut she follows her young son to Arne's pub, where she sees him talking to Patrick, which convinces her that the time has come for her to tell Thomas the truth that Patrick is his father. However, Thomas's terrible mood over An's involvement with Sven makes Ellen reconsider her decision to tell him about Patrick, but Thomas and An soon make up.
Marnix guesses correctly that Simon has found a new source of cash when he learns that the fashion show, with the high quality fabrics, will indeed take place. Alexander, as always, is suspicious of Simon. Britt hopes to be taken along on an upcoming trip to Turkey, but Lieven says that since it's a working trip he will be too busy to entertain her. She then points out to him that in Simon's absence Alexander will be the acting CEO, so she will have to do whatever he commands her to do.
Simon takes Sara out to lunch, while Britt convinces Lieven to treat her to a meal. When Brenda calls, Simon rushes back to his office to meet her, but he refuses to take her along to Turkey, at least until she promises to publish exclusive coverage of the photo shoot, with a positive spin. Sara convinces Simon that her company must give Présence a loan now, just in case Alexander should arrange a thorough audit.
Leon tells Simon, via a video link from the Ivory Coast to Antwerp, that either he or Alexander must hold down the fort at Présence during the Turkish photo-shoot. Simon tells Sara that her firm is only to be a loan vehicle, without any actual activities, but Lieven confirms that the tax office would get suspicious. Sara is disappointed that she has to stay behind in order to keep an eye on Alexander, who already seems suspicious regarding the delivery of a safe for Sara's office. Sara tries to convince herself that Simon's apparent trust in her outweighs her disappointment in having to miss out on the Turkey trip. In order to keep Alexander in check during Simon's absence, it is decided that Lieven must forgo the Turkey trip.
Thomas meets his rival Sven and they actually hit it off, but An objects when she learns of this budding friendship. Sven tells An that his feelings for her are deeper then just those of friendship. Sven tells An that he saw on his mother's computer (his mother is a police officer) that Thomas has a criminal record. Thomas is furious when An berates him for not telling her, then she retaliates by inviting Sven to have a drink with her.
Arne reassures Sara that getting the top model Viviane Verminne (Phaedra Hoste), whom Marnix absolutely insists upon having for the photo shoot in Turkey, won't be too difficult. Britt accidentally knocks into Sara and gives her a bloody nose, and then deliberately gets chewing gum in Sara's hair, because she is jealous that Sara is going to handle the negotiations with the modeling agency. At the agency, Sara gets a facial treatment from Esther Bossiers, the ex-model who runs the agency. Unfortunately, Sara learns that Viviane is already under contract with another client, Lescaut. Simon concludes that he will have to take matters into his own hands by using all his charms to woo the model.
Viviane's present employer accepts a bid from Sara to allow Viviane to work for Présence for three days. Simon, not knowing about the deal, tries to charm the model, who also happens to be one of his former flames. He ends up upsetting Viviane and she backs out of the deal, and Sara lies in order to take the blame upon herself. Only Lieven still stands by Sara, who withstands Alexander's first verbal assault. Arne acts as her witness for the notary's deed to found 'her' new firm, which they've named Ecomoda. Unfortunately, Alexander sees them putting the papers in a company safe.
Thomas is desperate now that An no longer trusts him and he ends up lashing out at the people around him, like Marnix, Arne, and Patrick. Sven is tired of An's endless ranting about Thomas. One evening, An volunteers to stay late at the office so Lut can go cook for Hans. She overhears Thomas telling Lut how much he loves and misses her, and how he regrets having had a fight with Sven. The lovebirds finally make up and reveal to each other that they are both virgins. Later, at Arne's pub, Patrick advises Thomas to take his time with An. Thomas sneaks off for a quickie with An, but he gets overly excited and their encounter ends before it really even begins.
Sara goes to see the company's accountant, Daniel Debuck, to get the latest quarterly figures. Daniel has been working with Alexander to undermine Simon, but Sara overrides all of Alexander's orders by telling Daniel that she is working under Simon's authority. Lieven hears Sara ignoring Alexander's orders and begins to think that she might be more powerful than anyone had realized. Lieven warns Simon that Sara could possibly be very dangerous for them.
Sara phones Simon to relay the quarterly numbers, which are down by eighteen percent, which is worse than they had expected. Lieven gets Lutwith the help of Thomas, An, and Hansto redecorate Sara's broom closet office as a surprise. To get Sara out of the office, Lieven gives her a first-class ticket to Turkey so she can bring Simon the full financial report. At the scene of the Turkish photo-shoot, Marnix burns with desire for a hot Turkish stud. Before Sara arrives, Simon has a quickie on the yacht with a model. When he does finally see Sara, a drunk and cranky Simon shouts at her and tells her to leave him in peace. She ends up falling off the side of the yacht and he dives in after her.
The renovation of Sara's office progresses well, and she is even given a fine view of the city, but Alexander orders that her safe should be moved to his office. He then calls Daniel, who puts him in contact with Koen, who can open the safe. Sara gets back to Antwerp before Koen has enough time to crack the safe. Sara is delighted with her new bright office, which makes Britt seethe with envy.
While Marnix is away on a trip to Paris, Thomas and An spend a lot of private time together within his domain, but the night watchman, George (Michel Bauwens), nearly catches them one evening. Thomas enjoys fooling around with An enough to suggest that they try living together, but An fears that they would end up fighting about money, which neither one has in abundance.
After the safe is returned to Sara's office, she notices Britt gazing at it suspiciously, so Sara entrusts the papers to Arne's care. Sara buys a huge potted plant for Simon's office as a 'thank you' gift, but he refuses her gesture. Scorned, Sara decides to focus on building up Ecomoda, but since she doesn't have much time to spare she decides to hire Arne to do most of the work. Simon is delighted when he hear learns that Ecomoda is starting to trade in fabrics, so Présence can easily absorb it later, but Lieven finds the growth of Ecomoda to be even more threatening. Sara and Arne hope to maximize Ecomoda's profitability on wholesale fabrics. Lieven warns Simon that Britt may be onto Ecomoda.
Alexander, still planning to have Sara's files stolen, pays Koen half of his fee up-front. Koen sneaks past George and breaks into the safe, but he only finds cash inside it, not the documents that Alexander hired him to steal. While going to the men's room, Thomas hears sounds coming from Sara's office. He goes in to investigate and George finds him there, standing in front of the empty safe. George searches Thomas, but only finds condoms. Even though Simon believes that Thomas is innocent, Thomas feels that he is being shunned and mistrusted, even by An.
Simon is relieved that the Ecomoda papers were not in the safe at the time of the burglary, but the loss of the stolen money causes him to cancel his contract with Felix for a supply of fabrics. Marnix tells Simon that without his fabrics only five garments per shop can be sold, so he wins the drag queen bet. Sara suggests that Ecomoda could be the fabric supplier.
Simon makes a very brief appearance in drag, as Queen Lulu, at the Pink Panther. As he tries to leave the bar he discovers that his car is blocked and he can't get out. He makes a ruckus in the bar, ordering the "queers" to clear that part of the parking lot to clear the way for him to leave, but instead they just have him thrown out. Desperate, he calls Sara at home and she comes to his rescue.
At Arne's pub, Thomas is furious when he overhears a conversation between his mother and An, during which it becomes clear to him that they still doubt his innocence. He gets drunk and calls Patrick, who lets him spend the night at his place.
Lieven makes it clear to Britt that he isn't interested in having a steady relationship with her. Britt warns Simon regarding Helena's suspicious nature. Lieven suggests that perhaps Simon can manipulate Britt to get her to spy on Alexander.
Thomas and An make up and go to pick up Simon's Jaguar at the Pink Panther. Alexander gets a call from the police, who report that the company car has been fined for speeding and careless driving (by Thomas).
Simon upsets Sara and, in tears, she leaves to take a few days off. Lieven urges Simon to go to Sara to apologize, but he goes to Britt's place instead. When Britt starts to flirt a little too overtly, Simon leaves.
Finding Sara and Arne crashed on her bed after they had spent most of the night toiling over Ecomoda business, Hans and Lut think that the two are a romantic item. Lut later tells Thomas and An about Arne and Sara. Thomas tells Ellen that he has taken a second job as a night security guard to help pay for the fines he incurred while driving the Jaguar, but he really just wants an excuse to spend the night with An at a hotel. Ellen finds out the truth about the lie and is angry, but Lut tells her that she should be glad that her son has chosen a nice girl to be with.
Alexander calls a board meeting, which Simon's parents will attend. The CEO is ordered to make a full report on the state of the firm, which he claims will shift for the better soon thanks to the new perfume line. Lieven coerces Simon to make up with Sara at her home. Simon goes there, but at that time Sara is doing work for Ecomoda at Arne's pub, so Hans makes Simon wait for Sara outside. After Sara returns home, she and Simon end up working together all night on his report.
Simon asks Michèle De Vos to persuade Alexander to budget for the perfume line, because he has refused to even read Sara's simulated numbers. Marnix tells Sara he dreams of a Barnum fashion show, but she convinces him to save his grand ideas for the next, unlimited collection. Sara suggests Ecomoda may get the kind of loan that the bank has refused to extend to Présence, but this makes Lieven even more suspicious. Lieven can't share Simon and Sara's confidence that another Ecomoda loan for the perfume line would permit Simon to present to the board an acceptable report. He warns Simon that Sara is getting too rich, while Alexander wonders where the funds have come from.
Hans and Lut plan a date, but a jealous Martine makes him cancel, whining that her husband Frans threatened to divorce her. An insists on presenting Thomas to her parents, but Marnix has too much urgent work for him. Marnix wants Thomas to help him to prepare a fashion show in a run-down factory. Thomas refuses to tell Koen anything about Alexander and is then saddened when Sven drops by to see An in the pub. On one of their next dates, Hans gives Lut a key to his house.
Simon is not amused to learn that Sara has chosen Arne, not Lieven, to co-sign some Ecomoda documents, so he tries to find out more about Arne. He also takes Lieven's advice and tries to stay in Sara's good graces by giving her flowers and a bracelet. She naively thinks that Simon fears Arne as a romantic rival for her affections.
Arne objects to Ecomoda taking on financial risks merely for the convenience of Présence and Simon. Sara is furious to learn that Arne speculated on stocks behind her back, despite the 13,000 Euro profits that he earned. Helena demands that Simon should fire Sara, just because Sara insisted on following normal procedures and getting Helena's signature for a petty cash advance, but Simon refuses. Sara makes Arne promise that he won't play the stock market again on his own, and in turn she promises him entry to the fashion show.
Marnix's fashion show goes well. Michéle has brought the Présence perfume for Helena to present at the end of the show, which she does while being carried by bare-chested hunks. Lieven worries that Arne may have a dangerous grip on Sara.
Felix's cheap fabrics are so bad that the T-shirts are easily torn to shreds, but Felix still demands payment. Arne thinks that perhaps ripped shirts could become a new trend, just as it had worked for torn jeans in the past, so Sara suggests to Simon that Ecomoda can assume the loss by buying the faulty cloth. Fortunately, Arne's ripped-up T-shirts actually end up selling quite well.
Britt wants to date Helena's rich former flame, union representative Steven De Sutter, so she refuses Lieven's flowers and turns down his request for a date. She later goes on a date with Steven and enjoys herself immensely.
After Lieven still insists to Simon that Arne might become Sara's lover, Simon asks Sara to join him at the golf club, but then he learns that Alexander is in hospital, who had been assaulted by Koen during another one of the thug's attempts to burglarize the Présence offices. Simon informs his parents of Alexander's hospitalization, and they decide to cut their African voyage short. Thomas confesses to An that Koen had stolen his necklace, which had been a birthday gift from Ellen. An manages to find a nearly identical replacement. Alexander, not knowing that it was Koen who assaulted him, tells the police about a recent incident in which Thomas threatened him. Ellen provides an alibi for her son, but she later expresses doubts to An.
The strong sales of the torn T-shirts only convince Lieven all the more that Simon must prevent Arne from becoming Sara's partner. Simon gives Sara a membership to the golf club. They speculate that Simon can get out of his bet with Alexander if they can get rid of Alexander's copy of the contract that Simon had signed when he made the bet. Simon takes Lieven's cue to ask Sara for Ecomoda's books. She agrees, but she shocks Simon and Lieven by revealing that Arne has been doing the accounting.
Since An distrusts him and isn't even sure if she still wants to date him, Thomas begs Marnix to fire him so he can go on the dole. Ellen asks Thomas to reconsider because she says that if he leaves it will only make him look even more suspicious. At the moment that Hans is generously telling his boss Sjarel to keep Martine on rather than him he has to let one of them go, she is breaking into Hans's house.
Simon is worried by Arne's participation in Ecomoda business, particularly because of how large and profitable the firm has already become. Lieven suggests that Simon should spoil Sara by taking her to the golf club for her first lesson followed by drinks. Unfortunately, Simon is distracted at the golf course by Karine, an old flame. At one point, after they get separated, Sara catches up to Simon and Karine just after she has stripped him down to his underwear. Shortly after this incident, Alexander and Britt have an argument, so he asks Sara to become his personal assistant and she accepts. Lieven realizes that Sara's excessive reaction to seeing Simon with Karine must mean that she is in love with Simon, so he tells Simon that if he reciprocates a little bit, perhaps just by giving Sara a kiss, it'll be enough incentive to keep her on as Simon's own assistant and not as Alexander's.
Ellen tells Lut and An that Thomas is arranging to get fired, which makes An feel guilty. After Sara fails in her attempt to talk Thomas out of leaving, Marnix finishes the charade with a gentle goodbye embrace with his young assistant. An later suggests that Thomas should try to get a job working for Patrick.
At Arne's pub, a palm reader tells Sara that she will find the love of her life in the office, but this relationship will not result in marriage, only hardship. Arne advises Sara not to go back to working with Simon, but she can't stop herself.
Drunk as a skunk one night, Simon and Brenda (the reporter) fool around in his office. In the morning, Sara finds lingerie in Simon's office, but despite this she still announces that she will remain with Simon, much to Britt's despair. On a dare, Lieven gets Simon to promise that he will kiss Sara to prove that he is not "disgusted by her ugliness."
Britt learns that her new flame Steven is married, but she decides to continue seeing him anyway.
Simon asks Sara again, but like last time he has to be drunk to go through with it. At first she accepts, but then she slaps him after he gives her a second insincere kiss. They make up the next morning.
Thomas visits the Présence staff to tell them Patrick is helping him to get a new job in the stationery firm where he works. Marnix insists that Lieven must find him another runner immediately. Sara suggests to her father that perhaps he should replace Thomas as Marnix's gofer, but because Hans is older Lieven doesn't want to have to pay him the seniority-based salary that the law requires. Lieven does allow Hans to take the job as a temp, though. Thomas doesn't end up getting the job with the stationery company.
Alexander has found a new way to try to get Sara out of his way. He convinces his banker, Pierre Cools (Pierre Callens), that Sara is overqualified for her Présence post. Pierre offers her a board position at the bank, which pays double her current salary, but she decides that she'd rather see if Simon will present a counter-offer with a reasonably significant raise.
While Simon and Lieven believe that Sara is in love with Arne, Alexander realizes that she must in fact be in love with Simon, because it is the only reason he can think of for her to have turned down Pierre's offer. Felix has started the legal process for trying to get payment for his sub-standard fabrics. Leon questions Simon about the state of the company's finances. Sven and An surprise Thomas by taking him for his first parachute jump.
Britt promises Alexander that she will help him to prove that Simon is unreliable. She shows Sara a fake hickey that she supposedly got from Simon, hoping that it will turn Sara against Simon.
The police find a necklace near Alexander's place, which he says probably belongs to Thomas. The police make Ellen identify Thomas's necklace, not knowing that it had in fact been stolen by Koen. This news about the necklace disrupts Thomas's latest frolick with An. Ellen advises him to turn himself in, but he refuses to and disappears. Ellen worries about how Thomas has been doing since he has been on the run. Thomas tells Patrick that nobody else believes in his innocence, not even An, not knowing that she actually told the police about how Koen had stolen Thomas's necklace. Thomas later visits Ellen to tell her that he's leaving the country and heading to Bucharest until his innocence is proven.
The Présence employees prepare a grand engagement party for Simon and Helena, but Leon collapses while delivering a toast to the couple. Leon is rushed to the hospital and is told that the prognosis for his heart condition is very good, but he should take this latest incident as a serious warning. The engagement party is postponed indefinitely. Sara takes over Simon's work so he can stay with his father in the hospital. Sara learns that Britt's hickey was from Steven, not Simon. Hans is as unhappy working for Marnix as Marnix is with Hans's performance. Lieven tells Hans that he can no longer work as Marnix's runner, and he doesn't offer Hans another job. Lieven reconsiders, though, after Lut convinces him that Hans would be a very good handyman.
Simon agrees to pay Felix, but only to meet the legal obligations of their contract. Simon vows that he will then file a lawsuit to get the money back, because of the bad quality of the fabrics that Felix supplied to Présence. Lieven shows Simon a trick by which he can look at a photo of a pretty girl, hidden in one hand, while trying to kiss an ogre like Sara.
Lut tells Ellen that her only doubt about Hans pertains to his hair. She wonders if he is wearing a toupee, so she asks Marnix to use his expert eye. Marnix determines that Hans's hair is real.
Both Simon and Sara confess to having deep feelings for the other. After hearing Simon's declaration, Sara is walking on air, so she buys new clothes. Her friends at the office wonder who her rich new boyfriend could be. Lieven coaches Simon to give Sara a single red rose, which moves her to tears. Sara wrestles with her belief that Simon is truly in love with her and her guilt regarding his engagement to Helena. Simon tells Sara that his relationship with Helena is more like a business alliance than a love match. Leon is recovering well and is eager to return home. He also still wants information about how business at Présence is going.
At Leon's hospital bed, Alexander takes full credit for solving the Felix situation and suggests that the company should take on a new market, in France.
In Thomas's absence, An starts dating Sven, but she ends up crying in his arms over Thomas. She then dumps Sven as gently as possible, telling him that she'd like for them to remain friends.
Simon has a hard time handling Helena's suspicions about a night he recently spent with Michèle. George, the security guard, tells Simon that he can't lie, because he gets too red in the face. Simon gives Sara the task of compiling an inventory of possible corporate take-over targets in France under Alexander's plan, even though his parents would prefer for him to work on the project as way of helping him and Alexander to get along. Leon also tells Simon that he is scheduled that evening for "routine" bypass surgery.
Britt goes to tell Steven's wife Sylvie that she is his mistress, but she ends up meeting Sylvie's lover, Herman, dressed only in a bathrobe. Britt tips off Herman's wife regarding his affair with Sylvie, hoping to break up the marriage once and for all. Britt's little stunt does lead to a divorce for Steven and Sylvie, but Britt's scheming causes Steven to distrust her, so he dumps her. Alone once more, Britt decides to try to get back together with Lieven, but he is not interested anymore.
Just before his bypass surgery, Leon stops Simon from starting Présence France in Paris, preferring nearby Lille. Helena is too suspicious, and neither nor Simon is yet sure that such an alliance is a good idea. Lieven insists that the business risk of Simon's alienating Sara is unacceptable. He wants Simon to maintain control over Sara at any cost, even if he has to resort to carnal consummation of their relationship.
Sara takes a day off to tend to Ecomoda matters, which Lieven believes is proof that Présence no longer comes first for Sara. Lut convinces Hans that the time has come for him to tell Sara about their relationship. Margot presses Leon and Alexander to help convince Simon to take Helena to France to work on the Présence France project. Marnix asks An to look for locations for an upcoming fashion show, which was one of Thomas's former duties. While scouting streets with colorful houses, An runs into Sven's friend Nils De Rovere (Pieter Van Keymeulen), who tells her that Sven just left on an Erasmus scholarship (a European Union exchange program) to Finland after she had given him the brush off.
Simon witnesses Koen harassing Sara, so he punches the thug and chases him away, leaving Sara feeling grateful for his intervention. During a confrontation with Helena, Simon insists that she must trust him or else their engagement is over. Sara buys a new outfit to try to change her appearance, but she only ends up being ridiculed. Simon tells her that he prefers her the way she was before, which makes her feel better. Simon sees a change in Helena's attitude, so he tells her that he'd like for her to join him on his trip to Northern France, which displeases Alexander. At Simon's request, Sara asks Arne to pretend to be her lover in order to hide her relationship with Simon. Arne reluctantly goes along with playing Sara's beau, but he ends up falling for Britt at first sight for Britt. Arne totally disregards everybody's warnings against Britt, who has now turned her attentions towards Daniel, the accountant.
Sara returns home and discovers Hans and Lut kissing. At first she is somewhat shocked, but she soon realizes that they are good together. Marnix uses his typical threats to get Jurgen De Jonge (Tom De Hoog), Helena's ex, to be the photographer for the upcoming fashion show, which will actually take place at Présence. Marnix planned to use the country's two beauty champions in the show, but Miss Belgium ends up getting sick in the ladies room, so Britt is asked to model in her place. Britta agrees to do it, but only as long as Simon will offer her the same pay that Miss Belgium would have received.
Simon's parents insist that he should name Alexander as deputy CEO. They also want Simon to leave Alexander in charge while he is in France, but Simon is resistant. Nils convinces An to join him for lunch at Arne's pub. While she steps away to the bathroom for a moment, he secretly goes trough her things. Arne speaks to Britt over the phone, referring to himself as the general manager of Ecomoda. He speaks to Simon and insists that it's about time that Présence should start honoring some of its debts. Simon replies that he doesn't have the money at the moment, so Ecomoda needs a bank loan to pay its own suppliers.
Nils applies for Thomas's old job and uses some clever flattery to get Marnix to hire him. Hans and Lut finally express their love for each other. Britt pressures Alexander to hire her as his personal assistant or else she'll reveal that he was behind the safe-cracking incident in Sara's office. Sara has the flu and Simon personally takes care of her until Hans and Lut return from a pleasure cruise. Sara returns to Présence too soon and passes her illness on to Simon. Although he's being blackmailed by Britt, Alexander finds himself attracted to the conniving vamp.
Arne makes an ass of himself by turning up at Britt's desk and presenting himself as the general manager of Ecomoda. He claims to be there to keep an important appointment, even though he can't remember what the appointment was supposed to be about. Alexander asks Britt to make an appointment for him to meet with Daniel, who also knows about the safe incident. Marnix tells An that he's fairly pleased with Nils's performance, yet they both agree that they miss Thomas.
With Simon out sick, Alexander orders Sara to turn over all of the company's financial figures immediately. Lieven advises her to stall so that she'll have time to make less suspicious versions, but Alexander watches her like a hawk and demands all files from her office PC, including personal ones. Fortunately for her, Simon reappears just in time to stop Alexander. Simon and Sara then agree that from then on she will hide all confidential matters at home. Since Helena is sick now, Simon gets her permission for him to go on the business trip to northern France without her.
Britt learns that Daniel has been fired, so in order for him to remain financially attractive to her she tries to get him a job at Présence, but neither Lieven nor Alexander will consider hiring him. This leads gold-digging Britt to go out on a date with Arne, but it turns out that she' only using him to try to get him to hire Daniel. Arne can't bring himself to refuse Britt's request, so he hires Daniel as Ecomoda's part-time accountant. Lieven is alarmed when he learns of Arne's executive decision.
Sara's birthday arrives and she is disappointed when it seems that nobody has remembered, but she is later thrilled when she is given surprise parties both in the office and at home. Lieven convinces Simon that he has to mark the occasion by bringing Sara along to Lille with him. When Sara learns that she'll be going on the trip, she fantasizes about it as a sort of honeymoon. Sara is elated when Simon takes her to a posh restaurant and he pays extra to keep the place open late just for them. Then they go to the karaoke bar next door where Simon is surprised by Sara's vocal talent. In Lille, Sara is secretly relieved when she and Simon are told that the hotel is completely booked and they will have to share the double room that she had booked back when Simon was originally planning to stay there with his fiancée. Simon tells Sara that making love is impossible, so she decides to sleep on the floor. He then tells her that he does love her, and they end up making love after all. Sara can barely believe her luck when she wakes up naked in bed with Simon, while he feels guilty for taking advantage of her for the sake of business. He is disconcerted when she won't tell him whether or not she had given her virginity to Arne.
Nils is jealous when An goes on a date with Mathias at Arne's pub, but she ends up finding Mathias to be a childish bore. Ellen and Patrick have drinks together to discuss their son and to try to be friendlier towards each other. Nils and An meet Sara's cousin Filip (Senne Dehandschutter), a philisophy student and artist who does restorations for old paintings. Nils, who supposedly agreed with An that they would just be friends, is openly upset when he sees that she is clearly attracted to Filip.
Sara asks Arne to purchase a company car for Ecomoda, so he brings Britt along to help him to choose a classy one. Simon gets upset when he thinks that Sara has told her friends about the night he spent with her, but she reassures him telling him that everybody thinks that she had spent the night with Arne. Marnix proposes a fancy wedding dress for Helena to wear when she marries Simon. The 15,000 Euro gown sparkles with real gemstones. When Simon hems and haws, Britt suggests that perhaps he is just stalling, as Lieven encouraged him to do in order to delay the wedding. Alexander offers to cancel the bet that he had made with Simon and says that they can just divide Présence instead. Simon later tells Sara that he's only pretending to go trough with his wedding so he can prevent the disaster of having the company split in two. Leon tries desperately to convince Simon and Alexander not to split the company and to try to collaborate. Since it appears that the wedding plans are going forward, Alexander feels compelled to comply.
Hans tells Sara that he would like for Lut to move in, so Sara gives her friend a warm welcome. Hans is somewhat startled that Lut doesn't intend to move all her things over, rather keeps her apartment. Hans isn't angry, but he feels disappointed that Lut doesn't seem to be completely committed yet. Hans catches Martine breaking into his house again. She is jealous when she sees that he is now with Lut. Sara notices that Martine has made herself look just like her late mother, Myriam. When Hans tells Lut, she demands that he ban Martine from their lives. Ellen finally gets a postcard from Thomas. Gullible Ann still adores pretentious Filip and still looks down on Nils.
Daniel tells Britt that even though they know that Arne and Sara are running Ecomoda, they should remain silent rather then risk his new job. Now that Alexander has stopped giving her money to pay her rent, Britt asks Daniel if she can move in with him and he accepts. Alexander, bitter and gloomy, gets drunk and accidentally runs over Daniel. He uses Daniel's own cell phone to call an ambulance, then he flees from the scene. Britt later thinks that Daniel has dumped her and she blames Alexander. He says that he will resume paying her rent, but she scorns the offer.
Lieven is startled to discover that Simon can now kiss Sara without any apparent revulsion. Simon and Lieven ask Marnix to make his wedding dress design more affordable. The designer, momentarily in a good mood now that Viviane will model in his next fashion show, agrees to trim some of the expense from the garment. Lieven isn't available to finalize Viviane's contract, so she insists on seeing her ex-lover Simon. Seeing Simon with the beautiful model is difficult for Sara, so she tries to find reasons to interrupt their conversation, which causes Simon to snap at her. Simon brings Sara to Lieven's apartment to make up for the whole Viviane situation. Lieven, who is preparing to head to Lille, leaves written instructions for Simon detailing how he should handle Sara during his absence. Sara later stumbles upon this letter, which jolts her with a rude and heart breaking awakening.
Sara is devastated Simon's ruse and she feels less committed to her job responsibilities. She tells Arne to prepare to call in the collateral for the loans that Ecomoda had made to Présence. When Arne comes pick Sara up for a party at Esther's agency, Sara tells him about Lieven's letter to Simon. Britt dines with Arne again, now that Daniel is out of the picture, and she agrees to remain silent about Sara's role at Ecomoda for the time being. Sara remains vindictively cold to Simon, without revealing to him that she had found Lieven's letter.
When the police report that Daniel has been killed in a hit and run accident, Britt is devastated and Alexander worries about getting caught. Leon prepares himself for the possibility that Simon and Alexander's feud may require him to return to Présence as CEO, at least temporarily. Alexander tries to consoles Britt, who blames him for indirectly causing Daniel's death, not knowing that he was directly responsible for the crime. She finally accepts his offer for financial aid, then she dismisses him when Arne arrives.
Marnix sees Nils sketching while he is supposed to be working, but instead of giving him a hard time about his idleness, Marnix tells Nils that his sketches display more talent than his failing grade at the academy would suggest, and An also compliments his work.
Sara decides to treat her colleagues, even Marnix, to an expensive dinner at a fancy restaurant to celebrate An's birthday. Alexander is depressed, feeling guilty about Daniel's death. Arne convincees Sara to consider starting an Ecomoda fashion collection using Nils's designs. Nils then surprises Marnix by refusing to become his assistant. Now that the trust between Simon and Sara has been broken, Britt becomes Simon's secretary. Simon finally refuses to take Lieven's advice on how to handle his encounters with Sara. Arne enjoys flaunting Ecomoda's wealth. Sara grimly gives up trying to improve her appearance since she knows that Simon considers her to be ugly no matter what she tries. Sara asks Simon to meet her at Arne's pub. While there, Simon is approached by a woman named Tanya and some other foxy girls. Sara complains, so Simon offers her a pay raise and additional perks, but she sneers that only Ecomoda can afford such things. He tries to kiss her and he suggests that they go to Lieven's place, but she refuses.
Simon now has to trust Britt to mail the crucial board report to Lieven in Lille. Although the tension clearly remains between them, Simon and Sara mutually reaffirm their love for each other. Britt is desperate to buy a new car, so she tries her luck with Arne. He tells her that what she thinks is his money really belongs to Ecomoda. Jurgen eagerly tells Helena that Simon was witnessed kissing Sara in public. When Sara learns of Arne's dates with Britt, she decides that he has betrayed her trust, so she fires him, her only true friend.
When Patrick drops by, Ellen tells him that Thomas is in Romania. They decide to form a parental team to find their son and bring him back home. Later, Patrick is pleasantly surprised when Thomas shows up, but the boy asks him not to tell Ellen that he has returned, believing that his mother might turn him in to the police. Patrick ends up telling Ellen anyway, which causes Thomas to run away again, cursing Patrick as yet another traitor in his life. Thomas then finds Koen and gives him 24 hours to get out of town before he tells the police everything that he knows about him.
Alexander sneers when Britt asks him for a 20,000 Euro loan so she can buy a new car. He offers to give her the money instead, but only if she will go to bed with him. Britt agrees, but she is angered when Alexander gives her only 200 Euros, which he says is all the encounter was worth. Sara meets with Arne at a restaurant to patch up their relationship. When she sees that Simon has followed Arne there, she asks Arne to loudly order an expensive meal and to give her a kiss, all to infuriate Simon. Simon later follows Sara home and he declares to her that he has not had relations with Helena since he and Sara spent their first night together in Lille. This briefly gives Sara hope again that perhaps he truly does love her, but she just can't believe that it's true. Her doubts deepen after she discovers that Simon is helping Helena to look for a house that they can live in after they get married, even though Simon only did so to appease his parents.
Sara intentionally drives Simon crazy by delaying her work on the report for the board. Lieven tells Simon that it appears that he is more upset about the attention Sara has been paying to Arne than he is about the peril his company is in. Alexander decides after all to buy a car for Britt in exchange for information that he can use against Simon before the board meeting, but Britt sneers that he is too late because Helena has already loaned her some money.
Ellen tells nobody about Thomas's return, except for Lut. Koen calls Alexander and offers him the tape and the bet contract in exchange for a phone call to the police to inform them that he has seen Thomas. Sara, needing someone to confide in, decides to talk to Esther about her situation with Simon. An is impressed when she learns that Nils's designs will be used for an upcoming Ecomoda collection. Arne tells Thomas that he can't give him a place to stay, but instead he lets him use the pub as a neutral place where Thomas and Ellen can meet to talk. During their conversation, Ellen reveals to Thomas that Patrick is his father. Thomas is shocked that his mother has kept this information from him for so many years. The go to see Patrick, who convinces Thomas that they should be happy that they now have a chance to be father and son.
While Sara is having her confessional conversation with Esther, Simon is in a pub and meets a man named Stefaan Vanderlinden (Bart Slegers), to whom Simon recounts the details of his loveless engagement. Separately, Sara and Simon are both given the same advice: just follow your heart. Arne considers giving the Ivorian fabrics to Nils for the Ecomoda collection, rather than to Marnix for the Présence collection.
Alexander gives his false statement to the police, while Koen is listening, hidden nearby. After the police depart, the two men are relieved that they can now go their separate ways. The police tell Ellen that Alexander has reported seeing Thomas. Taking Alexander's word over that of her own son, Ellen repudiates Thomas over the phone, calling him a liar. Marnix, on the other hand, seriously doubts the veracity of Alexander's claim. Thomas tells Patrick about how Ellen threw him out, so Patrick welcomes Thomas to stay with him.
Simon happens to be at Arne's pub when Nils is there to present his designs for the Ecomoda collection. Arne's stance as Sara's protective boyfriend taunts Simon into a physical confrontation between the two men. Nils puts his job at risk by trying to hold Simon back. Sara is more disgusted than ever. She feels guilty and considers leaving and making a new start in another business. Nils later tells Hans and Lut about the bar fight. To Arne's horror, Sara wants to terminate Ecomoda. Marnix agrees to allow Britt to model in his next show, but he will not pay her in advance as she was hoping he would. After Simon's recent behavior, Alexander believes that he now has a chance to get proxies for Leon and Margot's shares.
After paying a little attention to Arne, an plying him with some wine, Britt asks him for a 15,000 Euro loan. He has to confess to her that he won't have access to Ecomoda's funds anymore. Hans tries and fails to get details out of Sara regarding why she is so depressed. Simon, suffering from yet another hangover, tries to soften Sara up with a love letter and yet another gooey card, but she just demands that he must apologize to Arne and also to the staff for his drunken behavior. Leon prepares to return as CEO, believing that Alexander may be as unreliable as Simon. Simon calls Michéle about the possibility of extending the contract for Présence's lucrative perfume line, telling her that he would like to develop two new scents for men and one new one for women. Michéle is no longer a consultant, though, because she now owns her own firm, In Fine, together with her partner, Jan Nyman (Bart Klein).
Britt finally decides to sell Alexander information to take Simon down for once and for all at the next board meeting. She gives him a copy of a document that Daniel had regarding Sara's role in Ecomoda business. Ellen decides to lie to the police and she claims that she knows nothing about Thomas's current whereabouts. Sara puts all of the gifts that Simon gave to her out of her sight. Nils asks Lut if An is dating anyone. The next time he sees An, he asks her to go to a movie with him. Thomas, thinking that the police might be closing in on him, sneaks away from Patrick's apartment to go into hiding again.
At the board meeting, Alexander presents the notarized Ecomoda documents, which had been signed by Sara. Alexander drags her into the meeting and she pretends that Arne is the firm's owner, claiming that she only owns a small share. Since Britt has only provided one page, which doesn't show exact figures, Alexander tells her to get the rest of the documents from Arne or else she won't get paid. Unfortunately for her, though, Arne has had enough of her.
Jan speaks to Brenda, the reporter, about the power and financial structure of Présence. He then presents In Fine's offer to Sara, telling her that Simon has already agreed to a contract. Sara makes him add a clause stipulating that Michéle will help them to set up the new perfume line. Now that Sara no longer believes that Simon has real feelings for her, she regrets all of the lies that she has told in order to help him, yet she is affected by his pleading and she agrees to continue helping him. Seeking comfort from Esther, and bringing her a gift to thank her for her recent moral support, Sara is startled when Esther fires a model named Kim who had rudely giggled at Sara's appearance. When Esther learns that Sara wants to leave Présence, she asks her if she would like to be her modeling agency's new financial director. Sara doesn't tell Simon that she has accepted the job that Esther offered her. Instead, she continues working on the report that Simon must present to the board.
Nils, who had been looking forward to his movie date with An, is disappointed when she brings along her friend Elke, suspecting that An is trying to do some matchmaking for him. Marnix is delighted to discover Thomas on his doorstep, but he is saddened to see that the boy is sick, so he calls his friend Frederik, a doctor, and asks him to come over. Frederik diagnoses Thomas with encephalitis and says that he should go to the hospital. Steven blames Britt for chasing off his unfaithful wife. When Simon abruptly leaves a party that Helena is having to celebrate their finding their post-marital home, Helena has some drinks with Steven, who questions her about her apparently joyless relationship with Simon. Arne agrees with Nils to produce only four of his designs for the Ecomoda fashion line. Sara later tells Arne that she plans to pull the plug on their plans for Ecomoda, but he makes her reconsider, at least for the moment.
Reminiscing about their romantic past, Steven and Helena kiss, but they are interrupted by Simon, who tells Helena that their wedding plans are a farce. Simon then confers with Lieven, who advises him to go ahead with the new perfume line with Michéle. An begins modeling for Nils. One day when the two plan to go to lunch together, An also brings her new boyfriend, an archeology student named Charles (Johnny De Meyer), so Nils jealously refuses to go. Sara finally goes to Esther to officially sign up for her new job, then she instructs Arne to shut Ecomoda down completely.
Marnix tells Patrick and Ellen about Thomas's health problems. Nils presents his designs to Arne, who must tell him that he'll be getting paid for the work that he's done, but Ecomoda is being shut down and Nils's line will not be launched after all. Sara delivers the report for the board to Simon and he hugs and kisses her. She still hasn't told him that she will be going to work for Esther. Simon and Helena agree to call off their wedding.
After overhearing Simon and Lieven plan to send her to the Ivory Coast, Sara drops a bombshell at the board meeting and reveals the truth about Présence's debt and also admits her true role in Ecomoda. Alexander savors the triumph and Leon demands Simon's resignation. Leon refuses to return as CEO to a company that is now in ruins, but Sara pleads with him not to close the company down. Nils is surprised when An encourages him to keep working on his designs, telling him that he can try to find another manufacturer.
Even though Sara has effectively ruined his career, Simon pleads with her to stay. He tries to kiss her, in vain, and the scene is witnessed by Helena. Once again, Alexander puts himself forward as a candidate to replace Simon as CEO, but Leon rejects the offer. As An is worrying about losing her job, Charles promises to take her on his yacht to the Canary Islands. Arne tries to find a lawyer to negotiate a financial agreement between Ecomoda and Présence. Patrick and Ellen prepare to visit Thomas and they decide against bringing An along with them.
After An insensitively brags to him about her relationship with champagne Charlie, Nils tells her that she is only the golden boy's latest toy. When Patrick and Ellen arrive, Thomas is glad to finally have their little family all together. After looking into the details of his company's current situation, Leon can clearly see that it has been Sara's efforts and business acumen that have saved what little they have left. Unfortunately, the realization of just how deep Présence has fallen gives Leon another heart-attack. Simon blames Lieven for all of the bad advice that he had been giving him in regards to how to run the company and how to manipulate Sara. Meanwhile, Sara tells Hans and Lut all about what has been going on with Simon and the business.
Britt tries and fails to convince Helena to put in a bid for the CEO position. At the hospital, it is learned that permanent respiratory damage may keep Leon bed-ridden for the rest of his life. A melancholy Simon wanders aimlessly trough Antwerp. Lieven finds him and tries in vain to convince him to stop feeling sorry for himself. Lut tells Hans that she can't get used to the restrictiveness of country life and she asks him to consider moving with her into her apartment in the city. Margot is temporarily put in charge of Présence, so Britt tries to suck up to her.
Lut complains that Hans seems to be looking for excuses not to move with her to the city, but after Esther insists that Sara must join her on a photo shoot in the Canary Islands, Hans and Lut decide to go ahead with the big move on a trial basis. Helena forces Sara to show her the personal belongings that she plans to take from her office, so Sara has no choice but to let Helena see all of the gifts that Simon had given her. Marnix is told that the production for his next line is on hold. Alexander learns that his own sister is now vying for the CEO position that he has been coveting. Simon tries to convince Hans to tell him where Sara is, but Hans refuses to betray his daughter's confidence.
Steven fears that architect Olivier Mathyssen (Kristof Verhassel) may become his romantic rival for Helena's affection, but she ends up keeping both at distance, for the time being. Brenda refuses to spy on Lieven for Jan Nyman; instead, she tries to get information about Jan from Michéle. Patrick and Ellen are delighted that Thomas is about to be released from the hospital and they agree to let him decide which parent he wants to live with. Wouter Douwe (Lucas Tavernier), Présence's lawyer, insists that the company must officially absorb Ecomoda and its assets soon. Nils and An enjoy get intimate in Marnix's workshop, precisely where she used to frolic with Thomas. Thomas decides to live with neither parent, determining that Marnix's place will be safer while he is still a fugitive, but what he doesn't yet know is that the police have just told Alexander that they found evidence at Koen Meuris's home that proves Thomas's innocence.
Simon threatens to fire Hans if he doesn't reveal Sara's whereabouts, but Lut steps in and calms the situation by telling Simon that the only thing they can tell him is that Sara is "abroad". When Thomas learns that he has been cleared of all charges, he decides not to move back to Marnix's place. Also, not knowing that An is involved with Nils and is planning on going with him to Paris for a few days, Thomas decides that he wants to get back in touch with her. Arne hires a lawyer, Elisa De Groot (Katrien Vandendries), to help him navigate through Ecomoda's current troubles.
It turns out that Wouter and Elisa are colleagues at the same large law firm, so they work together to propose an amicable settlement, or possibly a fusion between Présence and Ecomoda. Britt, who is now taking on many new secretarial duties, becomes friends with Lieven again. Simon feels confident that Sara will grant Présence enough time to become solvent before demanding that the company repay its debts to Ecomoda. Elisa suggests that Arne should try to get Sara's proxy so they can handle the claims matter themselves. Arne calls Sara and asks her to allow him to handle the matter during her absence, and Esther advises her to oblige.
Alexander has a lunch meeting with Marnix to tell him that a fusion between Présence and Ecomoda could mean that his designs may lose their current label, so he suggests that Marnix should join his own de Lannoye firm. Marnix says that he wants to remain loyal to the company that he has been working with for so many years, but Alexander tries to persuade him by offering full creative control and the use of his own name on the label. Lieven is starting to believe that Britt has indeed changed for the better, so they decide to go out on a real date. Leon returns home from the hospital, along with a private nurse named Gert Hermans (Ali Wauters), who even offers to do the cooking. Simon is desperate to see Leon so he can try to patch up their relationship, in case his father's condition deteriorates again. Elisa's request to allow Arne to attend Présence's staff meetings is accepted.
Hans finds Sara's diary and learns more about Sara's situation than she had told him previously. Sara meets a stylist named Jakob and the two seem to really hit it off, so she finally decides to dispose of the trinkets and mementos that Simon had given her. Before a board meeting, Lieven discovers that Britt has still been trying to date Arne, so he breaks up with her. Alexander and Helena have both decided to boycott the meeting, so Arne is offended and leaves. He calls Sara to ask her to return, but she refuses. Arne's confidence is restored when Elisa assures him that she will accompany him to the next board meeting. Thomas visits Marnix, but is told that his runner job couldn't be kept open for him, since nobody knew when or if he would ever return. Thomas wishes his replacement, Nils, well in the job, not knowing that Nils has also replaced him as An's lover.
Arne is disappointed to learn that Elisa is pregnant, as well as married. Jakob gives Sara a bit of a makeover, which puts her in a good mood at first, but she starts to feel that the look is too artificial and doesn't suit who she really is. Esther convinces Sara to accept Jakob's invitation for drinks. Britt sneers at Alexander for his dull love life, but then she apologizes and suggests that they have dinner together. At first Alexander refuses, but then he changes his mind. Arne suggests a plan to Margot by which Présence can spread payments to Ecomoda out over a period of time, instead of merging the two companies together, but Margot is inexperienced in business and she says only that she will consider the proposal. Sara enjoys long walks with Jakob, who also suggests that she should try meditation. The two drive around the island together to scout sites for the photo shoot.
Simon asks for another chance to make things right at Présence. He is allowed to return to the company, but he is told that he will have to prove himself. Meditation has given Sara some self-confidence, but that confidence is shaken when she meets the pretty law student who has arrived to help out as the photographer's assistant for the upcoming photo shoot. After having dinner with Britt, Alexander flashes on his memories of running over Daniel. Lut is pleased to see that Hans is starting to get used to city life. Thomas decides to get over his jealousy and try to be friends with An and Nils. Michéle tells Lieven that she is afraid that Jan is learning details of Présence's problems. The police want Thomas to help them to catch Koen. Thomas phones Koen's number and leaves him a voice mail message stating that he knows a way that they can make some quick money if they pull a heist together. Ellen tries to warn Thomas that this all seems too dangerous. Fortunately, they set the trap and they successfully catch Koen.
Simon tries to concoct explanations for Brenda so she won't write a story about Présence's current situation. She doesn't believe his evasions, but she agrees to hold off on her article if he will go with her to a hotel. Simon tells Brenda that he can't be with her, but he doesn't tell her that it is because he is in love with Sara. Steven looks forward to his new start after his divorce is finalized. Helena helps him to celebrate and they kiss, but Steven wonders if perhaps Helena isn't quite over Simon yet. Nils demands that An must make a choice between him and Thomas. Lieven encourages Simon to raise a critical voice about Arne's payment schedule plan. Alexander hires a lawyer named Niki (Veerle Dobbelaere) and he hopes to sue Sara for fraud. Even Simon wonders if perhaps Sara played him, at least at the end.
Alexander and Britt conspire against Sara during one of their dinner dates. She assures him that she is over Daniel and she is ready for them to be intimate again. Britt later reveals to Hans that Sara is going to be facing fraud charges. Now that the photo shoot is finished, Sara has finally gotten used to her makeover and is pleased with her new look, but she is still holding back from getting too close to Jakob. Patrick and Ellen decide to take Thomas bowling, to get his mind off of An and Nils. While at the bowling alley, he meets a girl named Jana (Rilke Eyckermans) and the two seem to hit it off well. Hans and Lut worry about the fraud charges against Sara.
During her last night on the island, Sara decides that she is finally ready to give herself to Jakob, but she changes her mind at the last moment because she still isn't over Simon. Alexander declares his love to Britt, but he is still tortured by the secret he is keeping from her regarding Daniel's death. Simon tells Lieven that he hates Sara now, and at the same time Helena tells Steven that she is now over Simon. Arne is startled to hear from Thomas that Présence is going to sue Sara. Despite his bitterness towards Sara, Simon tries desperately to avoid a fraud trial, but neither side seems willing to come to an amenable agreement. Hans wants to visit Leon to discuss Sara, so Leon's nurse Gert warns Hans against upsetting the still-fragile patient. Leon thinks that the fraud charges are the correct course of action, even though he agrees with Hans that Simon used Sara badly.
Sara returns and Hans, Arne, and Lut are surprised by her makeover. Britt is jealous of Niki's business lunch with Alexander. Sara goes to Arne's pub, where a guy tries to pick her up. Présence's lawyer claims that Sara committed fraud, but says that if Sara relinquishes all of Ecomoda's security claims, the fraud charges will be dropped in exchange. Sara admits that she did indeed doctor the company's numbers, but Simon sticks up for her and states that she only ever did so on his orders. Sara's lawyer then suggests that she should demand the CEO position at Présence, but instead she decides to call in all of Ecomoda's claims from Présence. Simon tries to to think of an alternative to change Sara's mind. Sara only considers taking the CEO job in order to save the employees' jobs. She doesn't want to see her friends, or her father, lose their source of income.
Britt takes a pregnancy test, which shows a positive result, but she doesn't know whether or not Alexander is the father. Sara agrees to become temporary CEO for six months, with Arne as her deputy, and with Simon and Lieven as common, non-executive staff members. The board grudgingly accepts her offer, with one proviso: if she doesn't generate enough revenue for Présence to pay Ecomoda back after six months, the debt will be forgiven. Britt can't believe that even Alexander voted for Sara, but she agrees to spy for Alexander without knowing that he and his lawyer are secretly preparing the founding of his own competing firm. A party is thrown in honor of Sara's new position and Nils accompanies An, while Thomas shows up with Jana. Thomas impresses Arne with his bartending skills, so Arne offers Thomas a job taking care of the pub. This way, Arne can devote his time to working with Sara to get Présence back on its financial feet. Simon turns up at the party uninvited, saves Sara from an uncomfortable encounter with a drunk employee, and then wonders who Jakob is.
Britt tells Alexander about her pregnancy, claiming a mix-up with her birth control pills, and he asks her suspicious questions, causing her to get angry again. They try having lunch together to discuss the situation. He demands that she must get an abortion, but she absolutely refuses. The day after Sara's party, most of the staff arrives late to work, so Sara takes a strict stance regarding tardiness, which rankles even her closest friends at the office. Leon is starting to feel better, leading Gert to believe that the patient might actually have a full recovery. When Lieven refuses to comply with Sara's requests for personnel data, telling her that the information is all on the company's server, she fires him and puts Arne in charge of Human Resources.
Marnix starts playing the diva again, so Sara accepts Arne's suggestion to give Nils a shot at contributing designs for a youth collection. Marnix is livid to lose yet another runner, and he petulantly predicts disaster. Steven's ex-wife Sylvie says that her cancer is terminal, and he is not pleased when Helena tries to cast doubts as to whether or not this is really true, so he dumps Helena and returns to his dying wife. Britt panics when Alexander refuses to take any financial responsibility for her baby. Leon's recovery is short-lived and he has yet another heart attack, but fortunately Dr. Dirk feels that his situation isn't as dire this time. But given Leon's medical history, a heart transplant must be considered. Gert convinces Leon that the chance for having a normal life again is worth the risks that surgery poses. Michéle can't seem to collaborate with Arne and insists that Sara should get Lieven back, so she offers him a part-time contract, specifically so he can return as the company's liaison with Michéle.
When Sara and Arne invite both designers, Marnix and Nils, to a board meeting, Marnix only accepts the invitation in order to oppose Sara's plans to increase production and to start using a non-exclusive sales channel. When Lut comments that it seems that only models can wear Marnix's high fashion creations, Arne gets the idea to launch a line of clothing for "real women", which will be designed by Nils. This outrages Marnix, who once again considers defecting over to Alexander's company after all. Since he's planning on jumping ship, and because he considers the idea for the line of garments for "real women" to be a disaster, Marnix decides to pretend at a board meeting that he supports Arne's suggestion in order to sabotage Présence before he leaves the company.
Sara transfers the Human Resources department from Lieven to Helena, who comes up with a plan to redistribute certain duties among Ellen, Lut, Hans, An, and Britt. Nils convinces Arne the "real women" line requires no professional models on the catwalk, but instead they should use members of Présence's staff. Jana breaks up with Thomas and when she goes to commiserate with Nils, the two try to comfort each other and Marnix catches them kissing. When An comes looking for Nils, Marnix sarcastically comments that Nils seems to be quite in demand. The employees complain to Sara about their new added responsibilities and she doesn't know what to do, so she goes to see Leon for advice. Since Helena can no longer get along with Steven, ever since he dumped her for his terminal wife, she insists that Sara should appoint someone else to handle union negotiations.
Simon, who has been rebuffed by Sara over and over again, decides that he should just leave Belgium and go to live in Denmark. Thomas and Patrick, after having broken up with Jana and Ellen, respectively, also considered leaving the country to start their lives over again. Thomas has a change of heart, though, and he decides to try to make things work with Jana. The more Sara tries not to think about Simon, the more he dominates her dreams and her diary. When Arne finally learns of Britt's pregnancy, Arne offers to help her. Michéle breaks up with Lieven after she learns of his role in Simon's seduction of Sara. Thomas is very happy when he is told that his parents have worked out their problems and they have decided to live together.
Steven breaks up with Sylvie again and he tries to get back together with Helena. She is reluctant at first, but she forgives him and cancels a business trip to France so she can have dinner with him, which angers Arne and Sara. Various staff members are asked to model Nils's collection and most of them accept, but Britt looks down on the offer. Alexander, still plagued by guilt over Daniel's death, finally makes a confession to Britt about the accident. She is shocked and outraged, and she tells Alexander that Daniel was the only man that she ever truly loved. Alexander fears that Britt will make his confession public, causing scandal and possibly bringing criminal charges against him.
Sara feels jealous when she starts to believe that Simon is involved with a woman named Ella, but it turns out that Simon has spent most of his time with Ella praising Sara. Hans gets a surprise visit from Martine, who tearfully claims that she had been raped by her therapist. He allows her to sleep on the couch that night, which infuriates Lut when she finds out about it. Ella's team arrives to prepare Nils's "casual" fashion show. Simon overhears Ellen and Lut talking about how they think that Sara is involved with Jakob. Michéle tells Lieven that Jan wants her to stay longer to help him get his hands on some Présence stock. Alexander and Helena refuse to sell him any of their shares, but Sara promises to consider an offer on Ecomoda's.
Simon proves his devotion to Présence, as well as to Sara, even doing the menial leg work to find rose petals for Nils's show. Thomas finds out about the kiss that Nils and Jana shared. He later forgives Nils and Jana, then he and An finally get back together. Leon recognizes a change in Simon, so the two start to reconcile. Marnix decides to offer Nils some encouraging words before his fashion show, to help the young designer to overcome his nervousness. The show turns out to be a complete success and the company's future looks viable once more. A heart has finally become available for Leon's transplant, so the family joins him for moral support. Alexander's lawyer convinces him that a full and honest confession regarding the car accident will probably get him off with a light sentence, provided he shows genuine remorse, so she coaches him to cry.
Sara realizes that she won't be able to move on and have a meaningful relationship with Jakob, or any other man, until she settles things with Simon. She learns that Simon never actuall slept with Ella never slept, as Arne had mistakenly led her to believe. Leon's operation is a success and he finally forgives Simon completely for his past transgressions. Patrick tells Ellen that his life in America is in the past, but Lut convinces Ellen that she should show an interest by going on a "honeymoon" in the U.S.A. with Patrick to see the places where he lived. The strong sales of Nils's collection make Marnix jealous and eager to finally defect to Alexander's company. Martine's therapist explains to Hans and Lut that he didn't abuse her, and that Martine had to be committed to a residential psychiatric unit.
Simon, desperately jealous of Jakob, finds Sara's diary and reads it. Britt suffers a miscarriage and Alexander tries to see her, but she refuses, blaming him for every bad thing that has happened to her. Simon confronts Sara about her feelings for him, but when she lies and claims to feel nothing for him, he quotes some passages from her diary. Sara rushes off and contacts Jan to see if he wants to buy her shares so she can leave Présence for once and for all. Simon doesn't want her to leave the company, so he offers to sell his own shares and leave, so she can stay.
Britt reveals that Alexander has plans to desert the company, leaving nobody capable of being CEO if Sara leaves. Simon is finally able to get Sara to admit that she is still in love with him and they agree to lead Présence together. He also makes a marriage proposal, which she accepts. Marnix decides not to leave Présence to work for Alexander after all. Arne's suggestion to merge Ecomoda into Présence is accepted. Simon and Sara's marriage plans are announced at Leon's hospital bed. Simon reinstates Lieven as the head of the Human Resources department and asks him to be his best man. Three months later, in a church filled with family and friends, Sara walks down the aisle wearing a wedding dress designed for her by Nils.
- According to the FremantleMedia website, the show's title was going to be "Sara, soms komen dromen uit" (Sara, sometimes dreams come true).
- Before "Sara" premiered, Veerle Baetens appeared on "Idool" (the Belgian equivalent of "American Idol") dressed as Sara to see if an unattractive woman would be treated differently by the show's judges. She was told that she had a nice voice, but her appearance would keep her from becoming an idol. They didn't realize that the aspirant was an actress until "Sara" premiered at the end of September.
- The show's opening theme song, "Where She Belongs", was performed by Natalia Druyts, who was the first runner-up of the first edition of "Idool" in 2003. Three years later, Druyts played second fiddle once more when she finished in second place on the Belgian edition of "Dancing with the Stars". While Druyts is a big star in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, she is virtually unknown in French-speaking Wallonia.
- Among the merchandise that was inspired by the show were Sara perfume, Sara's Diary, and DVD's.
- A few months after "Sara" premiered it received three award nominations from Vlaamse Televisieacademie (the Flemish Television Academy). Stars Veerle Baetens (Sara) and Sandrine André (Britt) were nominated in the Best Actor or Actress category and the show was nominated for Best Fiction Series.
- June 21, 2008 was "Sara Day" in the city of Ghent, the capital of Flanders. The event was attended by many of the show's stars, character look-alikes from among the crowd, and over 30,000 fans. During the event, 600 of the lucky fans had the opportunity to see an advance screening of the show's finale.
- June 2008 was a notable month in Betty history because, in addition to the wedding finale of "Sara", Spain's "Yo soy Bea" and Greece's "Maria i Asximi" also had their big wedding episodes. Spain's wedding was on Friday the 20th, Greece's on Monday the 23rd, and Belgium's on Tuesday the 24th.
- On July 10, 2008, Angeliki Daliani ("Maria, I Asximi"), Veerle Baetens ("Sara"), and Nyncke Beekhuyzen ("Lotte") appeared at Roma
Fiction Fest to participate in a celebration of "Yo soy Betty, la fea" and all of its international incarnations. The event, entitled "Fenomenale Betty", took an in-depth look at the cultural impact of the show's various incarnations and their effect on pop culture worldwide. Fernando Gaitán, creator of the original telenovela also appeared, along with representatives of other versions, such as Marianna Cortes McAllister, who was responsible for adapting Spain's "Yo soy Bea", and Michael Esser, who wrote Germany's "Verliebt in Berlin". To read details of the event, click here.
- For the 2010 animated film How to Train Your Dragon (called "Hoe tem je een draak" in Dutch-speaking countries), Veerle Baetens (Sara de Roose) dubbed the voice of Astrid in Dutch for audiences in the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium. In Poland, Julia Kamińska (who played Ula on "BrzydUla") dubbed the voice of Astrid in Polish for the film (called "Jak Wytresować Smoka" in Poland). The original English voice-over for the character was done by none other than America Ferrera (Betty Suarez on "Ugly Betty"). This is probably the only time that three of the international Bettys have shared another acting role.