Lani opened her eyes and found herself staring at a glass of whiskey that had been left on a nightstand. Confused, she hesitantly rolled onto her other side, sensing that she wasn't alone.
Groaning, Lani shook Eli a few times to wake him up. "Merry Christmas," he groggily stated, smiling at her. "That's all you have to say?" she incredulously countered. "I can't believe that we..." she began to add. "Had sex? Lani, it's not like we're the only ones! Gabi and J.J. had their own little private Christmas Eve, so...why not?" he reasoned with a shrug. She took that to mean that their sexual encounter had been about getting revenge, but he insisted that wasn't the case, clarifying that, with the help of pain and alcohol, one thing had simply led to another. "That doesn't make it right," she pointed out before abruptly excusing herself.
Meanwhile, Gabi emerged from J.J.'s bathroom, fully dressed, and quietly shut its door, causing him to stir. "You're still here," he observed as she worriedly eyed his gun, which was still right where he had left it the previous night. "Yeah, but not for, um...not for too long," she hesitantly replied before reminding him that he had promised her the previous night that he would talk to a professional about his suicidal thoughts. "What, you -- you want me to call somebody now, on Christmas?" he asked incredulously. Nodding, she reached for his cell phone while reasoning, "You didn't get me a Christmas present, so this will be a good one."
J.J. was reluctant to seek help for himself while Theo was still in a coma, but Gabi was insistent, explaining that she needed to be with her daughter that day but couldn't leave without knowing that he was going to talk to someone about what had happened the previous night. Nodding, he accepted his cell phone and dialed a number.
Jennifer was at the Horton house with Eric when her cell phone began ringing. Delighted, Jennifer quickly answered the call and greeted J.J., who apologized for skipping the annual tree-trimming ceremony and promised that he would make it up to her with a visit later that day. "[And] I thought that -- that afterwards...maybe I could talk to Eric...about getting counseling," J.J. hesitantly added, leaving Jennifer pleasantly surprised.
"Was that so hard?" Gabi asked after J.J. ended the call. "Like I had a choice," he countered, grinning at her. Chuckling, she stressed that she would always fight for him because he was a good person, and she hoped that he would continue taking steps to fight for himself, too. "I want to," he assured her. Satisfied, she excused herself, promising to check back in with him later to make sure that he was sticking to the plan.
Before leaving, Gabi spontaneously decided to take J.J.'s gun, just to be on the safe side. "[I'll] give it to Rafe [to keep] until you get back to work. Is that okay? Is there a problem with that?" she asked, already stuffing it in her purse. "No," he replied, knowing that he wouldn't be able to talk her out of the idea. "Thank you. For everything. You saved my life," he acknowledged. "Then don't waste it," she advised, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
At the hospital, Valerie entered Theo's room and greeted Abe, who was sitting at his son's bedside. "Merry Christmas," Valerie added. "Can't quite say those words," Abe numbly replied. Nodding, Valerie wondered if Abe had managed to get any sleep while she had been busy with back-to-back surgeries the previous night. Abe shook his head and explained, "I had a lot of thinking to do. Jennifer stopped by to see me."
Before leaving the Martin mansion, Gabi went to see Eli, who coldly greeted her. Assuming that he was upset because she had skipped his family's tree-trimming ceremony, she apologetically acknowledged that she should have called to give him a more detailed explanation for her absence. "Oh, there's no need to explain -- I mean, unless you want to lie again," he replied, confusing her.
"Wow. So that's how you're gonna play it, huh?" Eli bitterly mused before elaborating that Lani had seen a half-naked Gabi in bed with a half-naked J.J. the previous night. Gabi insisted that nothing had happened, adding that J.J. had simply needed a friend. Nodding skeptically, Eli concluded, "So you crawled into his bed and gave him the kind of 'comfort' only an ex-girlfriend can give."
"Well, I sure as hell was not gonna walk away so that he could kill himself," Gabi countered, stunning Eli. "I had to talk him off the ledge, Eli. I mean, he was calling no one -- friends, family, a doctor... I couldn't leave him alone like that; I mean, imagine if I would have left, and he would have gone through with it. I mean, I would have had J.J.'s blood on my hands," Gabi continued, dodging Eli's attempt to comfort her with a hug. "He's gonna talk to somebody today. He's gonna get help," Gabi concluded before retrieving J.J.'s gun from her purse and asking Eli to give it to Rafe so she wouldn't have to carry it around any longer.
"I am such an idiot," Eli admitted with a sigh. "No arguments there," Gabi agreed. He offered her an apology, and when she pointed out that he deserved to feel guilty for the way he had treated her earlier, he muttered, "You have no idea..." Softening a bit, she guessed that it had to have been miserable for him to spend a whole night, thinking that she was cheating on him -- especially during the holidays. "It's over now," he hesitantly stated. "And forgotten, I hope," she replied before excusing herself, explaining that she had promised to take her daughter ice-skating later. She confirmed, when asked, that he was welcome to join the fun.
At the Horton house, Jennifer received a phone call from Valerie. Meanwhile, at the Martin mansion, J.J. showered then put on clean clothes. Shortly after he emerged from his bathroom, someone knocked on his door.
"Is it Theo?" J.J. asked worriedly when he opened the door and realized that his visitor was Abe, of all people. "No. His condition hasn't changed," Abe replied. "I'm here because of your mother," Abe added as J.J. stepped aside, inviting him in. "She stopped by the hospital to see me yesterday...and she reminded me of something that happened a long time ago. Her words kept me up all night," Abe continued.
"I don't understand," J.J. admitted. Nodding, Abe elaborated, "Many years ago, a man I hurt forgave me, [and] his compassion released me from a horrible guilt. He freed me to move on." Eyeing J.J., Abe continued, "You acted in the moment. You were doing your job. J.J., I've known you since you were a boy. I know your heart, the man you've become... I've punished you for too long."
"What are you saying?" J.J. asked. "I forgive you," Abe replied, adding that he was sorry. Fighting back tears, J.J. insisted that Abe didn't owe him an apology. Abe disagreed, stressing, "It was wrong of me to continue to punish you. Taking my pain out on a man who was already suffering isn't gonna bring my son back. It wasn't your fault, J.J. I -- I had no right to blame you...or to let you blame yourself."
"I should have seen the truth a long time ago, [but] I was so...angry...and my anger hurt others, as well," Abe continued, regretfully acknowledging that he had been keeping his daughter from being with the man she loved -- a man who seemed to truly love her, too. "I won't stand in the way of that [any longer]," Abe promised. "That means a lot," J.J. replied, managing a smile. Guessing that Lani was at the hospital with Theo, Abe encouraged J.J. to pay her a visit -- and made it clear that J.J. was also welcome to see Theo while at the hospital. Nodding, J.J. confirmed that he would really like to do that.
At the Horton house, Jennifer excitedly informed Eric that, according to Valerie, Abe had decided to pay J.J. a visit. Abe hadn't given Valerie any hints about how the visit would play out, but Jennifer was optimistic, reasoning that Abe was a good person who wouldn't seek J.J. out on Christmas, of all days, just to lash out at him again. "This may end up being a great Christmas, after all," Jennifer mused, hugging Eric.
Jennifer and Eric locked eyes as they pulled away from each other, but neither person seemed willing to seize the opportunity to make a move; instead, Eric eventually cleared his throat and wondered when Jennifer was going to open the gift he had given her earlier. Chuckling awkwardly, she retrieved a gift box from the nearby coffee table and opened it, revealing a friendship bracelet.
"I know it's not much; I was just -- I was at the Center, working with the kids, and they showed me how to make it," Eric explained to Jennifer, holding up a hand to show that he was wearing a matching bracelet of his own. As he helped her put her bracelet on, she gushed that it was beautiful -- and she was lucky to have him as a friend. He said he felt the same way about her.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Steve and Kayla paused to accept a phone call from Joey. After a brief conversation, Kayla ended the call and complained to Steve, "I hate that today, of all days, they won't allow us to visit him." Kayla added with a sigh that she really missed Stephanie, too. Nodding, Steve mused, "It's just not Christmas without the kids, huh?"
"Maybe it just got a little more Christmas-y," Kayla replied as Tripp approached. Steve was delighted that Tripp had decided to attend the Brady family's annual Christmas breakfast at the Brady Pub. After Steve stepped into a nearby bakery to pick up an order, Tripp thanked Kayla for inviting him to the family gathering. "[I never] really had any family I wanted to be close to after my adoptive mom died, but you and Steve really showed me what family is, even when I did my worst, and I know it took me a long time to see it, but...I am so fortunate to have you and my father in my life, so thank you for giving me a second chance," he added, giving her a smile.
A short time later, Steve, Kayla, and Tripp entered the pub -- and found Claire and Ciara in the middle of an awkward embrace that Roman, fed up with the girls' constant arguments, had demanded to see. "It's a Christmas miracle!" Tripp joked. "Just call me Santa," Roman replied before stepping aside to chat with Caroline, who had just called from California. Eric arrived in time to join Caroline's videoconference.
At the hospital, Lani greeted Valerie and wondered if Abe was in Theo's room. Valerie reported that Abe had actually left the hospital earlier -- to have a conversation with J.J. "To forgive him?" Lani asked. "I believe so," Valerie confirmed. "That's great," Lani stated without much enthusiasm. Confused, Valerie wondered why Lani didn't sound more excited about the development. Lani hesitantly explained that she was simply distracted.
Valerie hoped it hadn't been inappropriate of her to advise Lani to fight for J.J. Lani clarified that she wasn't upset about that, adding that she did still love J.J., just as Valerie had suspected. "[But when I went to see him], he was in the middle of something. Bad timing," Lani added. "There's no time like the present," Valerie countered. Sighing, Lani sadly elaborated, "I made a mistake. I got upset, and I did something I shouldn't have done..." Before Lani could continue, Eli interrupted, giving Valerie a hug and a quick holiday greeting. Eli then pulled Lani aside, apologetically explaining that he needed to talk to her privately about an important matter.
After pulling Lani into an otherwise unoccupied break room, Eli revealed, "Nothing happened between J.J. and Gabi." Lani was horrified to realize that J.J. had been at a really low point in his life the previous night -- and that she hadn't been there for him because she had jumped to the wrong conclusion about what she had seen. "You can be there for him now," Eli assured Lani. "Last night never happened," he added.
When Lani returned to the nurses' station a short time later, Valerie wondered if everything was okay. "Just work stuff. Nothing important," Lani claimed, adding that Eli had gone to the town square to meet up with Gabi. Abe soon arrived -- with J.J. Valerie and Lani were both pleased to hear that Abe had forgiven J.J. and had also apologized to him. Lani hugged J.J., who said he was really happy to see her.
Later, as Jennifer read the Christmas story to the hospital's youngest patients -- with Eric looking on as the hospital's Santa -- Valerie, Abe, Lani, and J.J. joined Claire and Ciara in Theo's room. Abe put a comforting hand on J.J.'s shoulder as they both fought back tears. Steve, who was at the nearby nurses' station with the kids, soon began leading them in a round of "Silent Night" with the help of his harmonica.
Meanwhile, in Theo's room, Abe tearfully informed Theo, "You're surrounded by Christmas, Theo. [And] by our love. We're all here -- your sister, Valerie, Claire, Ciara, and J.J. There's -- there's nothing...nothing we want more than for you to wake up, but I want you to know, son, that if you never wake up -- you never open your eyes -- we will never...we will never stop loving you. Never."
Theo slowly began to stir -- then opened his eyes as his loved ones watched in disbelief.
Salem learns Theo is awake
In the square, Eli and Gabi spent time with Arianna and her giant teddy bear. Gabi told Eli that she had decided to sell her company to Kate instead of Eve because trust meant more to her than money. Eli thought about when he had slept with Lani. Noting the look on Eli's face, Gabi asked him if he was okay. Eli lied and said he was tired. When Gabi said she planned to drop off Arianna before heading out to visit J.J., a guilty-looking Eli said, "I understand everything now."
Chad was annoyed to find Kate standing in the living room with Andre. As Chad questioned why Kate had not moved out, Abigail reminded Chad that it was Christmas. Andre defended Kate and said he would move out if Chad forced Kate to move out. Chad refused to spend Christmas with Kate. When Chad narrowed his eyes, Andre insisted that Kate deserved a job after she had secured the deal to acquire Gabi Chic. Chad dismissed the accomplishment because Gabi was a friend, but Andre explained that Eve had made a better offer. Andre added that Gabi had agreed to the deal because she trusted Kate.
Kate interrupted to tell Andre she would leave. Cutting her off, Andre firmly told Kate that he would not let her leave. Andre argued that there was a clause in Gabi's contract that would allow her to cancel the sale if she was unhappy. Abigail agreed that it could endanger the sale if Kate were fired. Grudgingly, Chad warned Andre that Kate was Andre's responsibility. Chad said that if Kate screwed up, they would both be fired.
"No one feels worse about Theo than I do. I love him. And I love you like my son," Kate said. Chad told Andre to keep Kate away from him. As Chad walked out, Abigail chased after him. Kate dried her eyes and thanked Andre for backing her. Andre said that Kate was the best thing for the company. Overwhelmed by Andre's actions, Kate said she owed Andre thanks not only for what he had done but because she had never defended him in the past. Kate said she would never forget what Andre had done for her.
At the hospital, Valerie, Ciara, J.J., Abe, Claire, and Lani rejoiced when Theo woke from his coma. Valerie checked Theo's vitals, and he responded to her questions by blinking his eyes. When Theo was able to squeeze his father's hand, Abe cried out, "My boy! My boy is back." Valerie announced that she needed to clear the room to examine Theo. Holding back tears of joy, everyone shuffled out of the room.
In the hallway, a relieved J.J. told Lani that he was overwhelmed. Lani broke down in tears, and J.J. hugged her. Elated, Claire and Ciara hugged one another in celebration. In his room, Theo squeezed Abe's hand and whispered, "Dad." After Valerie finished her examination, she went out to the hallway to update everyone while Theo's neurologist and pulmonologist examined Theo. Valerie said preliminary signs indicated that Theo would recover.
In Theo's room, a confused Theo asked Abe why he was in the hospital. Abe told Theo he had been shot and had been in a coma. Theo was alarmed that he had no memory of the shooting. As Abe told Theo about all the people who had supported him, Theo started to cry.
In the hospital hallway, J.J. talked to Gabi on the phone and told her the good news about Theo. After making plans to talk later with Gabi, J.J. met up with Lani in the lounge. Lani told J.J. that she knew that J.J. had intended to commit suicide. Crying, Lani said she had not known how upset J.J. had been. Lani asked J.J. if he still felt suicidal. Shaking his head, J.J. said he was fine because Theo was awake. Lani made J.J. promise that he would tell her if he ever felt suicidal again.
"I should have been there for you. You needed me," Lani said. "I would have been alone even if you had been there," J.J. said. J.J. assured Lani that he was fine. When J.J. asked Lani how she had known about his suicidal night, Lani told J.J. she had walked in on him and Gabi in bed. Holding back tears, Lani said she had run into Eli after and had told him. Lani admitted that Eli had believed that J.J. had slept with Gabi. After noting that Eli knew the truth, Lani said that Eli had said some horrible things to Gabi first.
Lani said she was glad that Gabi had intervened and that Abe had stopped punishing J.J. Taking her hand, J.J. asked Lani about their relationship. Valerie interrupted to tell Lani she could visit Theo. Staring at J.J., Lani asked if J.J. could join her. Valerie gave her blessing.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail returned downstairs with Chad to inform Andre and Kate that Theo was awake and speaking. Beaming, Abigail said that Theo's recovery was the best Christmas present. Chad left for the hospital. Though Kate was relieved, Andre noted that Theo would likely tell everyone the truth if he had retained his memory. After Kate left, Abigail returned to the living room to apologize to Andre for Chad's harsh words. Andre said he understood Chad's reaction. When Abigail asked about Kate, Andre told her that Kate had gone to the hospital because she had needed to see Theo.
At the Martin house, Eli tore everything off of his bed in disgust. Eli gathered up his sheets and started to leave his room. Gabi was in the hallway. Curious, Gabi asked why Eli was doing laundry on Christmas. Eli shrugged. Gabi told Eli about Theo, and Eli was relieved to hear the news. Suspicious, Gabi asked Eli if he was still upset about what Lani had seen in J.J.'s room.
"Your brother was right about me. I am a hothead," Eli said. Gabi told Eli not to worry. Eli started to tell Gabi about his encounter with Lani the night before, but he stopped when he mentioned J.J.'s suicide attempt, and Gabi glanced at J.J.'s gun on the table. Eli apologized for not turning in J.J.'s gun yet. Upset, Gabi broke down in tears.
Gabi told Eli what had happened with J.J. the night before, and she confessed that she was upset to think about what might have been if she had not stopped by J.J.'s room to give him a present. Eli marveled at Gabi's strength throughout the ordeal and the day after. With a shrug, Eli apologized for behaving like a jackass. Eli told Gabi she could depend on him whenever she needed him.
At the hospital, Ciara and Claire were anxious to talk to Theo. Claire discussed patient protocol for visitors, and she counseled Ciara to return home, as it would be a long while before Ciara would be cleared to visit Theo. Ciara was incensed that Claire would get to see Theo before her. Abe interrupted to ask the two women to remain calm and think of Theo.
As Abe walked away, Valerie exited Theo's room and said that Theo was ready to see "you." Ciara rushed into Theo's room and slammed the door in Claire's face. "You meant that he was ready to see me right?" Claire asked Valerie. Stunned, Valerie nodded yes. Claire complained that Ciara had been aggressive since her return to town. Valerie and Claire worried that Ciara could upset Theo.
Theo was surprised to see Ciara enter his room. Ciara apologized for leaving town. Grasping Theo's hand, Ciara told Theo she had not stopped thinking about him since leaving Salem. Before Ciara could elaborate, Claire rushed in and kissed Theo. Smiling, Theo said he could not believe that Claire and Ciara were both by his side. Claire asked if Ciara could leave her alone with Theo, and Ciara reluctantly said goodbye. Ciara promised Theo that they had "all the time in the world" to see one another.
Claire said it was the happiest day of her life. Claire told Theo she had begged him every day to open his eyes because she had hoped that Theo had heard her. Theo said he had no memories from his coma. Grinning, Claire told Theo that she loved him, and she was sorry they had fought. "Nothing is ever going to keep us apart again," Claire said.
After Claire left, Lani and J.J. visited Theo. Lani gushed about her brother. Concerned, Theo asked J.J. why he was quiet. J.J. apologized. Confused, Theo asked why J.J. was sorry. J.J. explained that he had shot Theo. As J.J. talked about his guilt, Theo took his hand and told him it was not his fault. "It was mine," Theo said. Theo explained that he remembered a police officer telling him to drop his weapon, but he had not dropped his device because it had not been a weapon. J.J. apologized, but Theo blamed himself for the shooting. Smiling, Lani said she was happy to see her selfless brother back. J.J. kissed Lani goodbye and left.
In the square, Claire caught up with Ciara and yelled at her for rushing into Theo's room prematurely. Claire warned Ciara to stay away from Theo. Ciara argued that she would not take orders from Claire because Claire had ruined her chances with Theo before. Ciara announced that she had a second chance with Theo, and Claire could not stop her.
At the hospital, Chad talked to Valerie about Theo's condition. When Chad asked about the specialist's treatment, Valerie said it was possible that the treatment had worked on Theo. "If that's the case, then we have you and Kate to thank for Theo's recovery," Valerie said.
Down the hallway, Abe joined Lani in Theo's room. Theo told Abe about his conversation with J.J. Lani asked Theo if he had been breaking into a building. Theo admitted he had been. With a deep breath, Lani asked Theo if someone from the DiMera family had convinced Theo to break into the building. Theo looked out the window across the room and saw Kate peeking through it.
Kate wonders if Theo will reveal her secret>
At the Horton house, Jennifer admitted to Eric that she was getting worried about J.J., who still hadn't made his promised holiday appearance. As if on cue, J.J. knocked on the front door then opened it and joined Jennifer and Eric in the living room. J.J. told Jennifer that he was sorry he had kept her waiting. "But I have a really good excuse," he excitedly added.
Jennifer and Eric were both relieved to hear that Theo was awake and seemed to be doing well. Jennifer was also relieved to hear that Abe had forgiven J.J. for shooting Theo. "From what I hear, you're the one who made that happen," J.J. told Jennifer, who hoped he wasn't upset with her for interfering. "I'm so glad you did, Mom. I...I was at a real low point last night," J.J. hesitantly admitted. "Luckily, a good friend was there for me -- got me through the worst of it -- and now Abe's forgiven me, and Theo's awake, and...the whole world looks different now," J.J. added with a grin.
J.J. declared, while accepting a hug from Jennifer, that he actually believed, for the first time since the shooting, that everything was going to be okay. "[But] I, uh...I promised the friend last night who came through for me that, um...that I'd get some -- some type of counseling..." J.J. hesitantly continued. Jennifer offered to ask Marlena for a referral, but J.J. clarified, while looking at Eric, "Actually, um...I was hoping that I could set something up with you." Eric confirmed that J.J. could talk to him anytime. J.J. was relieved that Eric didn't seem to be upset with him, despite how their previous conversation had played out. Eric reasoned that J.J. simply hadn't been ready to open up to anyone then. J.J. thanked Eric for caring enough to at least try reaching out to him. "It was your mom's idea," Eric revealed. Smiling, J.J. said he was lucky to have his mother in his life.
Later, after J.J. left, Eric noticed for the first time that a fancy Scrabble set had been left out on one of the side tables. Jennifer explained that she had taken it out on Christmas Eve with the intention of suggesting it as a game for her guests to play after the tree-trimming ceremony -- but then she had remembered that everyone hated playing against her because she always won, so she had decided not to mention it.
Refusing to be intimidated, Eric told Jennifer to get the game set up. While she was doing that, she casually asked if he had any plans for New Year's Eve, explaining, "Abigail, she's throwing this big party at Doug's Place -- you know, for Chad being reinstated as CEO -- and I was just wondering... I mean, I don't know... Maybe you want to go with me?" Grinning, he somewhat teasingly wondered if she was asking him out. As she stammered that it didn't have to be anything more than a matter of two friends attending a party together, he arranged some letters on the Scrabble board, spelling something that she didn't recognize. He bragged that it was worth fifty points, but she skeptically challenged the word. "Actually, it's three words," he clarified, prompting her to take a closer look. "'I say yes'? So, we're on for New Year's Eve?" she concluded. "Fifty points!" he bragged again.
At the Horton Town Square, Claire and Ciara continued arguing -- and soon started shoving each other. Tripp intervened before things got too serious, and when he managed to piece together enough information to figure out what had happened at the hospital earlier, he wondered why Claire and Ciara were at each other's throats instead of celebrating Theo's miraculous recovery.
Claire explained that Ciara was already making plans to steal Theo away from her. Ciara reasoned that Theo had a right to know that Claire wasn't the only one who had feelings for him. "What he does with that information is totally up to him," Ciara added with a shrug. Groaning, Claire tiredly conceded that Ciara could tell Theo whatever she wanted to tell him -- later. "I have been so busy trying to deal with you that I have not even had time to be alone with Theo yet, [and] that's gonna change right now," Claire added before saying goodbye to Tripp, who stopped Ciara from following Claire back to the hospital.
Ciara dismissively argued that Tripp was only on Claire's side because he had a crush on her. "Which means your life must kind of really suck right now," Ciara tauntingly added, reasoning that Theo's recovery had ruined Tripp's best chance of claiming Claire for himself. "Hey, come on -- Theo's my friend," Tripp protested, annoyed that Ciara was implying that he wasn't happy about the unexpected development. "Maybe, but [now] your golden opportunity is slipping right through your fingers. Learn from my mistakes -- if you know you want someone, you have to be ready to fight for them," Ciara countered.
Tripp pointed out that there was an ulterior motive behind Ciara's words of advice. "So?" she asked. "[That] kind of sucks," he declared. She disagreed, reasoning, "If we work together, we both end up happy."
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail curiously observed, while talking to Andre about Kate, that he was showing his wife a lot of compassion, despite the fact that she had recently tried to throw him under the bus to save herself. Andre said he had been upset with Kate at first but had eventually realized that he probably would have done the same thing if their roles had been reversed. Abigail expressed doubts, prompting Andre to dismissively conclude that she always saw more good in him than he actually possessed. "No, come on, Andre, admit it -- I'm getting to you. I think you're actually trying to be the guy that I see in you," Abigail teasingly argued.
Abigail pointed out that most men would have kicked Kate to the curb after the stunt she had pulled. Andre jokingly countered that there weren't any curbs near the DiMera estate, but Abigail refused to let him avoid the underlying issue. "Which is?" Andre asked tiredly. "You're falling in love with her," Abigail clarified. Andre scoffed dismissively but conceded that Kate had earned his respect because she was a beautiful, intelligent, extraordinary, wonderfully cunning woman who was truly in a league of her own. "You are so falling in love with her," Abigail maintained.
"Oh, God help me," Andre grumbled, fidgeting with his tie. "I'll get over it," Andre dismissively added, stepping over to the bar to pour himself a drink. "It's not the flu," Abigail pointed out.
Andre reported, when asked, that Kate sometimes provided hints that she might feel the same way about him; he conceded, however, that he could simply be misreading the signals. Abigail encouraged Andre to talk to Kate about the matter, but Andre protested, "At the risk of sounding adolescent, could you imagine me broaching Kate about this subject? [I mean], what if she says that she's returning my feelings only because she feels indebted to me now? [Or] what if she says to me that she's pretending because she wants to further her position in the company?" Abigail advised Andre that love was an inherently risky endeavor. Cringing, Andre insisted that it was too early to call "this thing" love. Abigail countered that Andre could call it whatever he wanted to call it, but she was going to continue calling it love.
Andre was inclined to let things continue to progress naturally instead of trying to press the matter, but Abigail warned that he might end up divorced and alone if he didn't make a move soon, since Kate had no real reason to stay married to him any longer. "I'm hosting a New Year's Eve party to celebrate the fact that Chad's gonna be CEO at DiMera, so why don't you escort Kate to the party, arrange it so that you're standing next to her at midnight, kiss her, and see if there's a spark?" Abigail suggested. "Gee, do you think Daddy's gonna let me have his car?" Andre dryly asked Abigail, still feeling like they were having the sort of conversation a pair of teenagers would be more likely to have. Andre pointed out that Chad might not want Kate at the party, but Abigail dismissively promised that she would handle that problem.
Nodding, Andre sincerely thanked Abigail for her friendship and continued support. "You were with me throughout the lowest parts of my life," she pointed out. "Well, I know what it's like to lose one's moorings," he replied. "Which is a very sophisticated way of saying 'we crazy people have to stick together,' right?" she jokingly summarized. Chuckling, he wondered why she was encouraging him to fight for a real relationship with a woman she didn't particularly like. She explained with a shrug that she simply wanted her brother-in-law to be happy because she loved him. Touched, he said he loved her, too.
At the hospital, Chad tauntingly warned Kate that she might be enjoying her final moments of freedom. Abe and Lani soon emerged from Theo's room and revealed that the teen had answered all the questions they'd had about the relevant events that had preceded the shooting. "He said going into that warehouse was his idea," Abe continued. "He said that he was doing it to try to find out who was hacking DiMera Enterprises, [but] he wasn't taking orders from anyone in the company," Lani added. "So if I leaned on Andre too hard, please ask him to accept my apology; I wasn't myself during this," Abe concluded. Chad insisted that Abe didn't owe anyone an apology, and Kate agreed. Abe encouraged Chad and Kate to spend some time with Theo, guessing that the teen would be pleased to see them. Chad and Kate happily accepted the invitation, rushing off together.
Alone with Abe, Lani soon excused herself, eager to head over to the police station to record Theo's statement because she knew it would be a refreshingly normal change of pace. Before leaving, Lani thanked Abe for forgiving J.J. Sighing, Abe apologetically acknowledged that his anger had made the situation even harder on Lani than it would have otherwise been. Abe added that he was lucky to have Lani to lean on for support.
Later, J.J. joined Lani at the police station and explained, when asked, that a nurse had told him where to look for her. He added, as he held up a pair of tickets, that he was on a mission to deliver her Christmas gift to her before the day officially ended. Stunned, she happily agreed to take him to the Rihanna concert as her date, evasively cracking a joke when he teasingly asked if there was another guy in her life who would be competing with him for the honor. He admitted that he had originally intended for the tickets to be her birthday gift, but she insisted that he didn't have to get her anything else -- especially since she hadn't even thought to get him a Christmas gift. "Lani, your brother woke up, your dad forgave me, and I have you back in my life this Christmas. There's not another thing in this world that I need or want," he stressed before giving her a passionate kiss.
Kate let Chad do most of the talking during their visit with Theo, who eventually wondered why she was being so quiet. "I thought that you might not want to see me. I thought that you might hate me," Kate explained, guessing that Theo remembered that she was the reason he had gotten shot. Theo protested that Kate hadn't forced him to do anything. Chad argued that, at the very least, Kate had put ideas in Theo's head that never should have been there in the first place. Kate conceded that was true, but Theo maintained that he had tried to break into the office building because he had wanted to help protect his family's company -- and he had taken sole responsibility for his actions, even though he hated lying, to stop one member of his family from going after another member, leaving him caught in the middle of the war.
Theo knew that Kate had only confided in him about DiMera Enterprises' problems because she trusted him, and he stressed that he trusted her just as much -- and loved her -- because she had always been kind to him, even when he had accidentally bumped into her on the day she had married Stefano, causing her to spill Champagne on her dress. Fighting back tears, Kate hugged Theo and tearfully stated that she loved him, too.
Theo was disappointed to learn that Chad and Kate still didn't know who was trying to sabotage DiMera Enterprises. Theo still wanted to help identify the culprit, but before Chad could figure out how to respond to the request, Claire entered the room, unaware that Theo already had visitors. Claire offered to return some other time, but Chad and Kate assured her that she was welcome to stay.
After leaving Theo's room, Chad and Kate paused at the nurses' station, where Kate wondered if Chad was ever going to be able to forgive her. "Don't hold your breath," Chad advised Kate, insisting that nothing had changed between them. "I apologized to you. I humbled myself. What else can I do?" Kate asked. "Nothing. I lost the one thing for you I never thought I would: respect," Chad replied, adding that Kate was a coward.
Abe soon interrupted, having just returned from the cafeteria. After a brief chat with Chad and Kate, Abe started to enter Theo's room, but Kate stopped him -- and admitted that she was to blame for what had happened to Theo. Stunned, Abe lashed out at Kate, who tearfully apologized for her actions and explained that she couldn't remain silent any longer -- especially since Theo was trying to take all the blame himself.
Abe sarcastically thanked Kate for her honesty then stormed off. Confused, Chad warned Kate that she had probably just sacrificed her freedom. "My freedom? Night and day, I've been living with what I did to Theo. And you're right -- it was cowardice that was keeping my mouth shut. I've been called a lot of things, but never a coward, so whatever's down the line -- whatever it is -- is better than living with that," Kate replied.
Abe decides how to handle Kate
Tripp contacted Claire, who was still at the hospital with Theo, and told her that she needed to head over to the Horton Town Square right away because their boss was threatening to fire her for having taken so much time off recently. Confused, Claire told Tripp that their boss had previously encouraged her to spend as much time at Theo's bedside as desired. "I guess, since he's awake, she's not feeling too generous [anymore]," Tripp replied.
"There -- I did what you wanted. Happy now?" Tripp asked Ciara after ending the call. Tripp was already feeling guilty about what he had just done, but Ciara stopped him from calling Claire back to confess, dismissively insisting that the practice of telling little white lies wasn't a big deal -- especially when the ends justified the means. Ciara assured Tripp that he was about to get exactly what he wanted, too -- and would feel much better then.
After saying goodbye to Theo, Claire exited his room -- and found her parents standing at the nurses' station, waiting to talk to her. She was disappointed to learn that they were planning to head back to Hong Kong later that day, especially since she couldn't even join them for a farewell breakfast because she had to get to work right away. She assured them that, while she would certainly miss them, she would be fine on her own because, with Theo on the road to a full recovery, her only real problem was Ciara. She declined to let them talk to Ciara on her behalf, insisting that would be lame. They promised her that they would be back for Hope and Rafe's wedding.
After Claire walked away, Shawn comforted Belle, who was fighting back tears. Belle explained that she wasn't just upset about having to say goodbye to Claire; she was also annoyed because she felt like she was leaving things unfinished in Salem. "[I really] don't want to let Chad down, and I just feel like, after all these weeks [of trying to help him identify DiMera Enterprises' saboteur], I'm no further along than when I started," Belle continued. Shawn asked Belle to talk him through everything she had learned thus far, hoping that if they put their heads together, they would be able to figure out a new way to get to the bottom of the matter. She gratefully complied.
After clocking in, Claire found Tripp and curiously informed him that their boss had seemed surprised to see her. "So, how's Theo doing?" Tripp asked evasively. Claire reported that Theo was doing really well, all things considered, but probably wouldn't be released from the hospital anytime soon, since his doctors still needed to evaluate him and determine how to treat whatever damage his prolonged period of inactivity had caused.
Claire thanked Tripp for everything he had done to help her through the whole ordeal, raving that he was a great friend. Tripp dismissed the praise, but Claire, oblivious to his discomfort, insisted that he deserved it because, at the very least, he had prevented her from losing her job. "So, uh...which tables are mine?" Claire asked. "None of them," Tripp hesitantly replied, admitting to Claire that Ciara had just wanted her out of the way. Stunned, Claire wondered how Ciara had managed to get Tripp to take her side. "I didn't do it for her," Tripp clarified. "Ciara wanted to be alone with Theo...[and] I wanted to be alone with you," Tripp continued.
Claire was confused, assuming that Tripp had chosen to confide in Ciara, but he clarified that, apparently, he just wasn't very good at hiding his true feelings. He apologetically acknowledged that he shouldn't have let his emotions cloud his judgment. "Please say you don't hate me," he quietly added. "No, no -- it's..." Claire started to reply before letting her voice trail off. Sighing, she abruptly excused herself, asking Tripp to cover for her.
At the hospital, Ciara admitted to Theo that she was still in love with him. "When I [heard] you were shot, I thought I'd never be able to tell you that, but we have another chance now, and I am glad because I really do believe, Theo, with all of my heart, that you and I belong together," Ciara excitedly continued, adding that Claire was using Theo -- and would have left him for another guy if he had remained comatose for even one minute longer. Theo insisted that wasn't true, but Ciara maintained that Claire, who had gone through sixteen boyfriends during their senior year of high school, could never stay loyal to just one guy for long. Ciara reminded Theo that, on the other hand, they had been loyal to each other since childhood and had a stronger bond than most married couples. Conceding the point, Theo admitted to Ciara, "I couldn't stand it if I lost you."
Ciara found that encouraging -- until Theo added that he thought of her as his best friend and didn't want that to ever change. Ciara reminded Theo that they had once been more than best friends. "We could be again," Ciara continued. "Only if I cheat on Claire, and I'm not gonna do that. I love her. I'm sorry," Theo countered. Not yet ready to give up, Ciara pointed out that Theo and Claire fought all the time. Theo dismissively argued that it was normal for couples to fight from time to time. "And Claire and I don't fight half as much as..." he began to add before letting his voice trail off. "What, as much as you and I did?" Ciara defensively concluded, fighting back tears. "You and I did fight a lot," Theo confirmed. "And now you're fighting with Claire a lot," he added. He tried to convince Ciara to make peace with Claire, but Ciara insisted that was never going to happen.
Theo tried to keep the conversation going, but Ciara left his room in a huff -- and discovered that Claire had been eavesdropping at the doorway. Ciara glared at Claire then continued storming out of the hospital. Theo curiously observed that Claire's work shift hadn't lasted very long. Claire vaguely explained that there had been a mix-up. "Did you really mean all those nice things you said to Ciara about me?" she asked. "Why would I say them if they're not true?" he replied. "But you really shouldn't be eavesdropping," he continued. She conceded the point then wondered if he was okay. "I'm always okay when you're here," he confirmed, giving her a smile.
Tripp was still working when Ciara entered the town square and took a seat at one of his tables, her body language making it obvious that she was upset about something. "Guess I don't have to ask if Claire interrupted your big moment with Theo," Tripp observed, joining Ciara at the table. Tripp started to apologetically explain that he simply hadn't been able to go through with the plan to deceive Claire, but Ciara quickly interrupted, tearfully admitting that it didn't matter because Theo didn't want to end things with Claire, anyway -- and, in fact, seemed to genuinely love her. "I guess you and I both lose," Ciara told Tripp, sighing heavily.
Hope and Jennifer met at the Brady Pub for breakfast and a long chat -- a luxury Hope was able to enjoy because the loss of her job had left her with a lot of free time. Jennifer felt guilty because Hope had stuck up for J.J. and had been fired as a result, but Hope didn't regret defending J.J. Jennifer optimistically suggested that Abe, who had recently forgiven J.J., might soon make things right with Hope, too.
"As much as I would love to see that happen, um...I have a lot of other things on my mind these days," Hope admitted with a sigh. Jennifer was surprised -- and disappointed -- to hear that Ciara had declared war on Claire, since the girls had once been really close. Hope revealed, with obvious confusion, that Ciara also seemed upset with Rafe for some unknown reason. Jennifer didn't think that would last long, reasoning that Ciara could only be upset with Rafe because of some completely trivial matter.
"From your mouth to God's ears. I just pray to God that whatever it is, [it's] resolved by the time we say 'I do,'" Hope replied, adding that she and Rafe would soon be choosing a date for the wedding. Jennifer was pleased to hear that Hope and Rafe were back on good terms -- and were looking forward to spending New Year's Eve together. Jennifer bragged that she would be spending New Year's Eve with someone, too. Jennifer was quick to stress that Eric was just a friend, but Hope teasingly suggested that Jennifer needed to change that at the stroke of midnight.
Abe went to the police station to see Rafe, who quickly realized -- with a hint of disappointment -- that Abe regretted firing Hope and wanted to clear the way for her to reclaim her rightful position as the police commissioner. Forcing a smile, Rafe contacted Hope and vaguely informed her that there had been an urgent development. Hope quickly said goodbye to Jennifer then rushed over to the police station to find out what was going on.
Hope was surprised to see that Abe was with Rafe -- and she was even more surprised when they explained that everything was about to go back to the way it had been before the shooting. "You were trying to protect me from compromising the case with my personal feelings, and I fired you for it. I truly am sorry," Abe stressed. "Apology accepted," Hope replied without hesitation. Abe hoped that reappointing Hope as the police commissioner would be the first step in repairing the damage he had done to their friendship. Rafe quickly placed Hope's nameplate back on the desk to make the change official, tossing his aside in the process. "Welcome back, Commissioner Brady," Rafe declared, giving Hope a kiss on the cheek. Hope was relieved to know that Abe was back to trusting her again, but he was quick to clarify that he had never stopped trusting her.
Changing the subject, Abe declared that Theo's case was in Hope's hands -- and she was free to handle it as she saw fit, without fear of interference from the mayor. Hope realized, after reading Theo's statement, that he was facing charges because he had taken sole responsibility for his actions. Abe started to acknowledge that Theo had committed a crime, but Hope quickly interrupted, pointing out, "[Theo] planned on breaking into the building, [but he] never actually followed through; all he really did was set off the alarm." Rafe agreed with Hope's assessment that any halfway decent lawyer could knock a charge of attempted breaking and entering down to a misdemeanor in no time -- and, in any case, would probably end up taking care of the charge with a plea deal. "I have better ways of allocating police resources than on a case that most likely is gonna be thrown out of court, [and Theo already] paid a very high price for his action. As far as I'm concerned, this case is closed," Hope concluded, tossing the case file into a box. Relieved, Abe thanked Hope for seeing the matter that way.
At the DiMera mansion, Kate worriedly informed Andre that she would probably be arrested soon. Andre dismissively assured Kate that Abe would have had her arrested the previous night if he'd had any intention of punishing her. Unconvinced, Kate guessed that Abe intended to make her sweat for a while before lowering the boom -- perhaps at the New Year's Eve party, where she could be publicly humiliated.
Kate added that even if she somehow managed to avoid being arrested, she'd still have to worry about DiMera Enterprises' board members learning of her connection to the shooting, since they hated scandals of any sort and would probably demand that she be barred from the company if they ever found out the truth. Andre promised to protect Kate, but she joked that his support might do more harm than good, since the board members already despised him. "[But] I will always be grateful to you for standing by me [and] fighting on my behalf against Chad," Kate added, oblivious to the pain she had caused with her joke. "Well, that's what a husband is supposed to do, isn't it -- defend his wife?" Andre reasoned with a shrug. Andre asked Kate to be his date to the party, reasoning that if she was indeed going to be arrested there, she'd at least go out with a bang.
While in the park with Shawn, Belle contacted Chad and explained, "Shawn made a compelling case that [the sabotage] might not be an inside job [because an insider wouldn't need to bother hacking the company], so I've been following the money, but I haven't found anything yet. [Anyway], Shawn thinks you should keep your guard up. It's been awhile since DiMera's been attacked, and I think it's coming -- maybe soon."
After ending the call, Belle and Shawn went to the police station to say goodbye to Hope and Rafe. Hope was disappointed that Shawn and Belle couldn't stick around for at least a few more days. Shawn told Hope to blame Belle, lovingly adding, "She's popular, and she's got a big project [back in Hong Kong that's] waiting for her." Shawn and Belle promised to return as soon as the project ended -- or just in time for Hope and Rafe's wedding, at the very least. Rafe squirmed and forced a smile as Shawn assured Hope that he would let her know if he ever managed to figure out why Ciara had been lashing out at everyone lately.
As Kate agreed to attend the New Year's Eve party as Andre's date, Abe entered the DiMera mansion and joined them in the living room. "Here we go," Kate nervously told Andre, who complained that Harold should have announced Abe's presence before letting him in. Abe grudgingly informed Kate that she wasn't going to be held accountable for her part in the shooting because he didn't want to do anything to jeopardize his son's chances of getting a free pass for trying to break into an office building. "[But] in exchange for my silence, you are not to allow my son to work for the DiMeras [ever again]," Abe demanded.
"So much for trusting Theo to make his own decisions," Andre pointedly mused, prompting Abe to counter that Theo had nearly died the last time he had been given complete freedom to make his own decisions. "I understand," Kate assured Abe. "We all want what's best for Theo," Andre added.
Meanwhile, Chad and Abigail -- who were in their bedroom, preparing for the party -- considered Belle and Shawn's earlier advice, wondering if they needed to be worried about something happening at the party that very night. Abigail hesitantly warned that there was one thing that was going to happen that, at the very least, Chad probably wouldn't like. Chad wasn't particularly thrilled about the idea of Kate attending the party as Andre's date but agreed that it was probably for the best, if only to keep DiMera Enterprises' board members from getting suspicious. "Why my brother cares about that woman is just beyond me," Chad grumbled. "You are not going to like this [either, but]...I think that Andre cares about Kate because he wants to turn their marriage of convenience into something real," Abigail explained, eliciting a groan from Chad.
Later, while finalizing the guest list, Abigail curiously noted that an invitation had been sent to someone whose email address wasn't familiar. Shrugging, she guessed that she would find out the identity of the guest later that night, if the person decided to show up. Meanwhile, a woman opened a laptop and filled out an electronic RSVP form to confirm that she would be attending the party -- and wouldn't be arriving alone.
A mysterious guest crashes the gala
In the Kiriakis living room, Sonny fixed Will's tie. Will asked why they were going to a DiMera party, and Sonny explained that Chad was Sonny's best friend. Will was reluctant to go, but Sonny promised not to leave his side.
At the DiMera mansion, Andre complimented Kate's dress. When Kate noted that Andre appeared preoccupied, Andre thought about his conversation with Abigail about his feelings for Kate. Andre lied and said that he was thinking about Stefano and wishing he was there to ring in the new year. With a grimace, Kate suggested that the saboteur could be a still-alive Stefano.
Paul stopped by Doug's Place to get a beer. The restaurant was closed for the DiMera party, but Chloe took pity on Paul and gave him a beer. Paul explained that he was going to participate in the midnight fun run, but he needed a drink first. Chloe told Paul she was sorry to hear about his breakup. Shaking his head, Paul said he was anxious for the year to end. Chad and Abigail walked in and said hello to Paul. As Paul started to excuse himself, Abigail asked Paul to stay. Abigail and Chad told Paul that they considered him a friend and would like to meet up soon. Nervously eyeing the door, Paul said he would like that.
As Paul rushed out of the restaurant, he ran into Will and Sonny as they arrived. Will asked Paul if he was going to the party. Shaking his head, Paul said he had other plans then walked away. Will said he felt like a jerk for hurting Paul. Before Will could say more, Kate arrived and introduced Andre to Will. Andre joked that Sonny should celebrate at the party because Titan would be destroyed in the next year.
In Eve's bedroom at the Kiriakis mansion, a towel-clad Brady walked in and invited her to join him at the DiMera party. Suspicious, Eve said she did not believe they had been invited. Brady said he wanted to crash the affair. As Brady flopped down on the bed, he explained that he would create a distraction so that Eve could make her pitch to Gabi. Eve sat on the bed beside Brady and noted that the plan was risky. "I'm beginning to love the way your mind works. Let's beat the DiMeras at their own game," Eve said as she shook Brady's hand.
After dressing, Brady fixed a drink in the living room and thought about how easy it would be to con Eve. When Eve joined him downstairs, she declined a drink, citing the need to stay sharp for her pitch to Gabi. Eve exclaimed that they would be able to drink a truckload of Champagne once they closed the deal.
At the police station, Rafe and Hope were kissing when a disgusted Ciara interrupted to say that she needed to talk. Breaking down into tears, Ciara said she'd been humiliated by Theo's rejection. Hope assured Ciara that she would find love again. "Like you found Rafe. Somebody you can love and trust, no matter what," Ciara said. Smiling at Rafe, Hope agreed. Ciara pulled her motorcycle license out of her pocket and handed it to Hope. As Hope stared at the license, Ciara demanded the keys to her father's bike.
Hope said no because it was New Year's Eve and Ciara was too upset about Theo to drive around. Hope offered to discuss the bike in the morning. Rafe asked Ciara to join them at the party, but a furious Ciara ran out. Hope suggested that they wait for Ciara to cool off before reaching out to her.
When Eric arrived at Jennifer's house to pick her up for their New Year's Eve together, he found her struggling to zip up her dress. While Eric fiddled with the zipper, Jennifer thanked him for spending the evening with her. Eric admitted that the anniversary of Daniel's death was difficult and that it helped him to spend it with Jennifer.
In the park, Ciara drank from a bottle in a brown paper bag and complained loudly about Claire. Ciara's phone beeped with a notification from Theo's Instagram account with a photo of him and Claire in his hospital room. "Jerks," Ciara muttered. Ciara thought about Rafe's confession that she had overheard in the park. Grinning, Ciara wondered aloud if she should go to the gala then took a swig from her bottle.
A woman in a hotel prepared for the New Year's Eve party. She unzipped a garment bag with a tuxedo in it. The woman then donned an elaborate necklace. A man approached from behind and put his hand on her shoulder. Walking past an RSVP for the DiMera party, the couple walked out their hotel room door.
At Doug's Place, Andre and Kate joined Chad and Abigail. Kate asked to speak to Chad alone, and Abigail swiftly escorted Andre over to the bar. Chad confirmed he was still angry and was shutting down Kate. At the bar, Abigail urged Andre to tell Kate about his feelings. Andre worried aloud that Kate would reject him, but Abigail reasoned that Andre would never know unless he took a chance. When Andre rejoined Chad, they toasted to the new year. Chad apologized to Andre for doubting his part in the break-in. Chad swore to find the company's saboteur, and they toasted to nailing the villain.
Across the room, Chloe talked to Will and Sonny. Will admitted that he had no memory of Chloe. Feeling awkward, Will excused himself. Sonny followed Will to check on him. Will admitted that he felt overwhelmed already. Sonny assured Will that everyone understood that Will had no memory of his life.
When Jennifer arrived, she stepped aside to talk to Hope. Jennifer said she was worried about Eric. Across the room, Rafe asked Eric about Jennifer. Eric stressed that he and Jennifer were just friends. With a chuckle, Rafe noted that he and Hope had started out as friends. At the door, Brady and Eve arrived at the party. Brady promised to clear the path for Eve. Brady grabbed a glass of Champagne and walked over to Andre and Kate, who bristled at the sight of him. Andre threatened to call the police. Brady called out to Sonny, who reluctantly walked over.
Sonny confirmed that he had not invited Brady. As Andre glowered, Brady appealed to Sonny to let him stay. Sonny asked about the glass of Champagne in Brady's hand. Brady claimed that he was eager to celebrate with "backstabbers and thieves." Sonny offered to handle Brady. With a nod, Andre and Kate walked away. Seeing her moment, Eve rushed over to Gabi and told her that it was not too late to change her mind about Gabi Chic. Gabi declined. As Eve continued to push, Abigail started her speech, interrupting Eve's pitch. Abigail announced the acquisition of Gabi Chic, and Eve slinked away into the shadows as Abigail pointed Gabi out in the crowd.
Chad took the microphone and spoke about the company difficulties throughout the past year. Chad promised to take the company in a new direction for the new year. Grabbing a glass, Chad offered a toast to the future of DiMera Enterprises. Outside the restaurant, the mystery woman stepped out of her car and approached the party.
While Will waited in the corner of the party, his phone rang with a call from Roger. Roger informed Will that someone had visited Susan at the hospital, and she had been disturbed by the encounter ever since then. After talking to Roger, Will told Sonny. Will said he needed to leave so that he could call Susan. Sonny offered to join him, but Will said he wanted Sonny to support his friend. With a nod, Sonny said he would meet Will at home to ring in the new year.
At the bar, Eve rejoined Gabi and asked her to reconsider the pros and cons of the sale of her business. Gabi agreed to reconsider. Giddy, Eve thanked Gabi and slipped out of the party. Across the room, Sonny asked Brady to leave. Brady said he would not be intimidated. Andre noticed Brady was still at the party, and he walked over to inform Brady that he was calling the police.
Brady's phone beeped with a text from Eve noting, "Mission Accomplished." With a smile, Brady said he would go. Chad rushed over as Brady left, and Andre followed Brady out to make sure he was gone. Sonny apologized to Chad for Brady's behavior, but Chad said he knew it was not Sonny's fault. Chad told Sonny to go home and spend the evening with his husband. Grinning, Sonny ran out of the party.
Outside, Ciara marched past the mystery woman arriving at the party. Fully drunk, Ciara went into the party and asked for everyone's attention. Ciara made a sarcastic toast to her mother and Rafe. Hope and Rafe escorted Ciara into the office to talk. When Rafe asked Ciara to show Hope respect, Ciara grew indignant.
In the town square, Will ran into Paul while he was out running. Paul asked Will why he was not at the party. With a shrug, Will said he did not feel like partying. Will asked Paul about his plans, and Paul explained the he was on his way to a fun run. Will apologized to Paul for hurting him. Shaking his head, Paul said, "It's no one's fault. I just miss Sonny so much." Will reach out and touched Paul's hand.
Sonny arrived home to the Kiriakis living room and scooped up a bottle of Champagne and two glasses. Grinning, Sonny ran upstairs. In the TV room, Eve and Brady chuckled about their success with Gabi at the party. The two settled in with a bowl of popcorn and Champagne to toast their success.
At the party, Eli told Gabi that he was excited to start a new year with her. Gabi thanked Eli for always being by her side. As the lovers stared into one another's eyes, Chloe started the countdown to the new year. When the countdown ended, all the couples kissed. Andre took advantage of the moment and kissed Kate. Jennifer told Eric, "Happy New Year, friend." Eric leaned in and kissed Jennifer.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady kissed Eve at midnight, while upstairs, Sonny called out Will's name with no answer. In the park, Paul pulled his hand away and noted that he was late for his run. Will put his hands on Paul's face and pulled him into a kiss.
At the party, the crowd turned toward the door to face the mystery woman as she walked into the room. The woman pulled back the hood of her cape to reveal it was Vivian Alamain. "Sorry I'm late," Vivian purred.