Katherine and Murphy brought home a scraggly Christmas tree, and Murphy mentioned that it was the first time he had decorated a tree since his wife Betty died. While Murphy and Katherine affixed shiny ornaments onto each bough, Katherine experienced a brief and hazy memory of Esther, in uniform, decorating a grand tree at the Chancellor mansion. Katherine shared her memory with Murphy, but she concluded that the image was likely just a recollection of something she had viewed on television. Katherine and Murphy munched sugar cookies and sipped eggnog.
To celebrate the season, Katherine offered to propose a holiday toast with their non-alcoholic beverages. Murphy found humor in Katherine's formality and teased that she might have been a duchess in a former life. The word "duchess" struck Katherine, and she wondered why the term sounded familiar. Murphy raised his glass and thanked Katherine for making his Christmas the best he had enjoyed in many years. Murphy explained that he truly enjoyed "Marge's" company since she had become sober. A group of carolers serenaded the couple. Murphy and Katherine served refreshments to the singers, and they gave the couple a sprig of mistletoe. Murphy suspended the mistletoe from an overhead light fixture, and then he gently kissed Katherine on the lips. Katherine embraced Murphy as they admired their festive tree.
At Crimson Lights, Lily engaged in a texted tête-à-tête with her secret boyfriend, Sonny. Billy arrived and approached Lily's table. Lily told Billy that she had agreed to meet Sonny Crawford for the first time. Lily worried that it might not be a great idea to meet face-to-face with a man she had met online through a dating service. Billy pointed out that meeting prospective dates online made better sense than waiting around to pick up a guy at a bar. Lily and Billy shared a laugh when Lily swiped part of Billy's pastry and stuffed it into her mouth. Lily was pleased when Billy pledged to donate a significant amount of money to the Feed America program, which provided fresh vegetables and fruits to people in need.
Billy, as Sonny, covertly invited Lily, via text message, to meet him at a local bookstore on Christmas Eve. Billy nearly revealed his alter ego prematurely when he accidentally dropped his phone into Lily's view after he returned to their table with coffee refills. Lily told Billy that she and Sonny had agreed to meet at a bookstore. Lily added that although she could not offer an explanation, she felt a connection to her mysterious online friend. Lily again had second thoughts about meeting her friend, but Billy allayed her fears and convinced Lily to go ahead with her plans. After Lily left, Billy sighed in relief because he knew he had convinced her to meet him at the bookstore.
Inside a Genoa City courtroom, attorney Rafael Torres defended Adam during his arraignment hearing on fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice charges. Rafael insisted that the state's key witness was an untrustworthy felon. Heather told the judge that new witnesses from Mexico would offer testimony that would substantiate the state's charges and prove that the defendant was guilty. Adam pleaded not guilty, but the judge remanded Adam into the state's custody after Heather pointed out that the defendant was about to leave the country when he was initially arrested. Heather glared at Adam as the bailiff cuffed him. Adam remained stoic.
Before the bailiff escorted Adam to jail, Rafael mentioned the threat posed by the prosecution's new witnesses. Adam offered to provide evidence of Jack's involvement with Victor's forged diary. Outside the courtroom, Dennis congratulated Heather. Heather vowed to put Adam behind bars, and insisted that she had severed ties with her former fiancé. Adam encountered Heather in the hallway, and she accused him of using and deceiving her. Adam accused Heather of prosecuting him in order to advance her career. Heather sadly noted that she would not send Adam to prison for breaking her heart. Instead, Heather pointed out, she would send Adam away for breaking the law. Adam warned Heather that he would not forget what she had done. Paul, standing nearby, offered Heather words of comfort, and he told his daughter that he admired her strength and courage. Later, in her suite, Heather held Adam's lovingly wrapped Christmas gift. Heather sobbed and crawled into her bed to cry. Alone in his jail cell, a formerly stoic Adam broke down and cried.
At the Genoa City jail, Nikki arrived with papers for Victor to sign. Nikki explained that the documents proved he was not dead and would allow them to transfer funds into trusts for Victoria and Nick before year's end. Victor noted that a common link to their progeny would always bind him and Nikki. Nikki showed off photos of Summer's recent birthday party, and the estranged couple shared fond memories as they reminisced. Nikki anticipated Victor's release from jail after Adam's arrest for his part in forging the diary. Nikki said, "Whatever happened in Mexico between you and Walter Palin, you would never be foolish enough to write it down." Victor recoiled and vigorously defended himself. Victor added, "You know nothing about Mexico, and you will never know."
Nikki told Victor that she was not judging him, but she claimed that Victor had to have a reason to follow Walter to Mexico. Victor angrily ordered Nikki to leave. Nikki insisted she had earnestly tried to help Victor. Victor became angry and said, "I don't need your damn help! I don't now and never did. You got it?" Nikki became frustrated and said, "When will I ever learn?" Nikki noted that she and Paul brought the Mexican bartender and his daughter to Genoa City to defend Victor. In frustration, Nikki concluded that she was repeating the same fruitless attempts and hoping for different outcomes. Victor continued to yell. Nikki told Victor she was finished with him and sarcastically wished him a merry Christmas before she banged on the cell door to alert the guard. Victor reminded Nikki that his and Sabrina's baby had been due on Christmas day, and he told Nikki that she could never wash the blood from her hands.
After Nikki departed, the jail guard escorted the Mexican bartender and his young daughter into the visitation area to see Victor. The young girl embraced Victor and told him the visit was her first to America. Victor assured the girl that she could keep Sabrina's earring, which the youngster wore on a chain around her neck. After the girl's father gave her some paper and crayons, she seated herself at a nearby table. The bartender told Victor that he somehow knew that two men who came to Mexico seeking information about Victor weren't his friends. Victor thanked the man and acknowledged that the two men were definitely not his friends.
Victor seemed stunned when the bartender assured him that he had kept Victor's secret. The man laughed and added, "What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico." Victor thanked the man again after he expressed hope that he could help free Victor from jail. The man noted that many had questioned him, including federal authorities, about Victor, the fishing boat, and the storm. Victor looked his foreign friend directly in the eye, rapped his knuckles on the table, and concluded, "Justice will be done!"
The little girl presented Victor with a crayon drawing of him and her enjoying the Mexican sunshine together. Victor noted that he looked sad in the drawing. Victor hugged the girl and thanked her for the sketch. As the bailiff escorted Adam to his cell, he spied the bartender and his young daughter laughing and talking with Victor. Adam seemed deflated as the bailiff nudged him along.
Nikki drank coffee with Paul at Crimson Lights after her distressing visit with Victor. Paul told Nikki that the judge denied Adam's bail and that Heather, although distraught, was handling the matter well. Paul felt that Victor would surely be pleased with the court proceedings, but Nikki said she didn't care if Victor was pleased or not. Nikki admitted that she had seen Victor, and explained that the visit had not gone well. Paul noted that although Nikki claimed she no longer cared about Victor, his ability to stir immense emotional responses proved that she did care. Paul asked Nikki if she believed that Victor killed Walter Palin. Nikki admitted that she understood why Victor would have wanted to kill the man. Paul said they might never truly know, but at least the Mexican bartender would prove that Jack and Adam were involved in the scheme to forge Victor's diary. Paul added that he found no evidence that tied Victor to Palin's murder. Nikki concluded that they should let the matter go.
Paul acknowledged that Nikki and Victor would always share a connection, but Paul asked where he and Nikki stood with their relationship. Nikki smiled and assured Paul that she wanted to be where she was, and she embraced him. Paul encouraged Nikki to forget about Victor and just enjoy Christmas with him.
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A reporter called Jill to tell her that Katherine's book was selling like hotcakes. She told the reporter that she couldn't walk outside her home without seeing billboards and life-sized cardboard pictures of her mother. Jill hung up the phone and decided to open one of Katherine's Christmas presents for her. Esther and Cane arrived to share a new sonogram picture with Jill. Esther told Cane that she was glad that he and Chloe were finally getting along. Jill asked Cane if he would bring Chloe over for Christmas dinner. Cane told Esther that he couldn't wait to see his baby girl's face. Esther realized that Jill had started to open one of Katherine's gifts. Jill said that she wanted to open it by herself. Cane said that it was the perfect time for them to open Katherine's gifts. Jill couldn't believe that Katherine gave her lingerie. When Esther received a light blue robe, they all laughed at Katherine's sense of humor. Jill went to Cane and had a heart-to-heart conversation with him. Cane said that he would always love Lily, but he was doing everything he could to get along with Chloe. Jill wondered what Cane would do if Lily found someone else. Cane said that it wouldn't change his feelings about her.
Daniel told Amber that she needed to take some cold medicine and get some rest. Amber was disappointed that she was too sick to go to the bookstore to watch people buying Katherine's book of memoirs. Daniel pulled out a copy for Amber to look at. Seeing the book only brought Amber to tears. Amber said that she and Katherine should have celebrated the publication of her memoirs together.
Kevin and Jana stopped by Amber and Daniel's to say hello. Jana was impressed to see that Katherine's memoirs had been published. Amber said that it was even worse that Katherine was gone. Kevin rolled his eyes and said he was going to leave. Amber wondered just what Kevin had done to Katherine.
Amber drifted off to sleep and had a dream that she was in a courtroom. Daniel was the judge, and Kevin was on trial. Katherine appeared as an angel and accused Kevin of killing her. Amber asked Katherine what Kevin had done. Katherine said that Kevin had stolen her money. Kevin admitted that all he ever cared about was the money. Daniel told Amber that she was a genius and the case was solved. Amber said that Kevin would go to jail for what he did to Katherine. Jana and Daniel told Amber that Kevin would have to confess. When Amber woke up from her dream, she swore to avenge Katherine's death.
Murphy had a special Christmas gift for Marge. Murphy had purchased a spa set since Marge was on her feet all day. Marge said that he didn't have to do that. Murphy told Marge that he would take her to the diner. When they walked out together, Murphy took Marge's hand so she didn't fall in the snow.
When Marge arrived at the diner, she received another gift from her boss and her coworker, Pearl. When she opened it, it was the same gift that Murphy had bought for her. Murphy laughed it off. He said that great minds thought alike. Marge took Pearl aside and asked her to cover for her so that she could set up a special surprise for Murphy. When Marge walked back to the trailer, she slipped in the snow and fell on her back.
Murphy wondered what was taking Marge so long to return. Pearl told Murphy to let Marge take her time, Marge would be back before he knew it. Meanwhile, Marge lay passed out in the snow.
Lily called Billy to tell him that she was excited and nervous to meet Sonny. Billy asked Lily why she wasn't meeting up with her online friend. Lily said that he hadn't shown up yet. Billy suggested that Lily text him. When Lily asked Sonny if he was still coming, Billy wondered if he should. When Lily called Billy back, she told Billy that if Sonny were scamming her, she'd have to kill him. Billy grimaced. Lily noticed that Sonny's friend's name in her book was Billy. Billy said that he knew. Lily wondered why Sonny hadn't showed up yet. Billy went up behind her. Lily wondered why Billy was there. He told her she could also call him Sonny.
Lily was furious that Billy hadn't told her who he was. Billy said that there were a lot of things he couldn't tell her face-to-face. He said that he was going to come clean a couple of times, but Cane kept showing up. Billy asked Lily to forgive him. Lily wondered if Billy was just trying to stick it to Cane. She told Billy that she should have left the moment she saw Billy. Billy said that he didn't want to hurt Lily. Lily said she was sick of hearing that. She ran out of the bookstore. As Billy left the bookstore, Lily was waiting for him. She told Billy that she'd realized that she had really wanted Sonny to be Billy. Billy grabbed her and they started kissing.
Adam told his attorney that he wanted to hire someone more experienced. The attorney said that Adam would not be allowed to use the money he'd earned from the diary. He warned Adam not to burn his bridges with him.
Victor asked to meet Adam in the jail visitation room. This time, Adam begged Victor to help him. He asked if Victor could help get him a better lawyer. Adam then offered Jack's head to Victor on a plate. Victor told Adam that he wasn't interested in making a deal with him. Victor said that he had offered Adam a deal before and Adam had arrogantly turned him down. He said that Adam better get used to the idea of spending time in jail. Adam asked Victor to stop looking at him with such disappointment. Victor took hold of Adam's collar and screamed at Adam for breaking down. Victor said that Adam was guilty and he would get what he deserved. If Adam were truly Victor's son, Adam would not let this destroy him. Victor said that he'd be watching Adam.
Michael entered the visitation room to tell Victor that he would be released on all charges. As Adam got up to leave, Victor said that if Adam were his son, he'd find a way to get out of the trouble he was in.
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With the charges against him having been dropped, Victor returned to the Newman ranch, and was pleasantly surprised to find the house decorated for Christmas by Ashley, who was waiting for him.
After Victor and Ashley made love, he asked her to live with him at the ranch. Ashley told Victor that she had already moved her possessions in.
Later, relaxing on the couch, Victor told Ashley how happy she made him. Victor noticed that Ashley was pensive, and asked her what she was thinking about. Ashley wondered if Victor would ever tell her what had really happened in Mexico. Victor said that Walter Palin had hired him to take him out on a boat -- which was what Victor had planned. Walter had screamed, "We've taken on too much water!" Victor had yelled back, "You still don't know who I am, do you? I'm Victor Newman. You killed my wife and my unborn child!" Ashley stopped Victor from continuing the story -- she didn't want to hear any more.
Ashley suggested that they go back up to bed. Ashley went upstairs first, leaving Victor alone in the living room for a moment. Victor thought more about what had happened on the boat. Victor had kicked Walter, who had screamed, "Don't leave me! Don't leave me!" Victor turned off the lights and went upstairs to join Ashley.
At Neil's, Lily finished wrapping her Christmas presents. Devon noticed a sad Tyra staring out the window. He reminded her that Ana would be visiting shortly. Olivia showed up -- she had planned on spending Christmas in New York with Nate, but Nate had decided to go skiing with his girlfriend instead. A few moments later, the social worker brought Ana over.
After dinner, Lily told Ana that the Winters family had a Christmas tradition -- the youngest person in the room got to open a present on Christmas Eve. Ana chose the gift that Neil and Karen had gotten for her. It was a beautiful dress. Karen told Ana that it was not just any dress -- Neil and Karen wanted Ana to wear it to their wedding. Tyra grimaced as Neil kissed Karen and said that Karen was the best Christmas present ever.
Later, Olivia saw Lily reading a text message. When Lily said that it was "the cutest text ever," Olivia worried that the message might be from Cane. Lily assured her aunt that it wasn't -- and that she was seeing someone else.
Ana asked Devon why he was so quiet. Devon said that he was thinking that just a few years earlier, he had spent Christmas in a group home, but, since that time, he had been blessed with a beautiful, loving family. He assured Ana that everyone in the room loved her and would always look out for her.
Jill was thrilled when Billy showed up at the Chancellor mansion to spend Christmas Eve with her. Billy went into the living room, where he found Cane, Chloe, and Esther. When Cane and Billy began sniping at each other, Jill reminded her sons that they should put aside their differences during the holidays.
After dinner, Esther said that she had called the homeless shelter, which had been Katherine's favorite Christmas charity, and learned that a mysterious benefactor had already donated Katherine's traditional gifts of a Christmas tree and toys. When Jill's eyes welled up with tears, Esther realized that Jill was the benefactor. Esther told Jill how proud Katherine would have been. When Esther and Jill realized that neither of them had prepared dessert, Cane volunteered to go to Crimson Lights to pick up some sweets.
Later, Jill lamented to Chloe and Billy that she and Katherine spent many Christmases together in the house -- but very few as mother and daughter. She told Chloe and Billy that they should never take anyone for granted.
Esther came in and told Chloe, Billy, and Jill that there was a baby deer standing outside a window. Chloe and Billy joined Esther to look at the deer. Jill stared at a picture of her and Katherine, and began sobbing.
Cane ran into Lily at Crimson Lights. Lily wished Cane a merry Christmas. As she left, Cane stared wistfully after her.
At the jail, Michael and Kevin visited Gloria, who whined that she had to spend Christmas in prison. She also said that everyone in Genoa City wanted her "to fry," and, that even if she were found not guilty, she would still be facing the Abbotts' lawsuit. As Michael began scolding Gloria, Kevin held up a candy cane and reminded them that it was Christmas Eve. Michael took the candy cane, crushed it, and said, "Merry freakin' Christmas."
Michael brought up the irony of what had happened with Lowell -- that Michael had begged Gloria to testify on Lowell's behalf, and, after Gloria did, they learned that Lowell was actually guilty of the bank bombing. Michael wondered why all of Gloria's "men" were criminals. When Gloria said that John and William were good men, Michael reminded her that John had gone to jail, and that William had hidden evidence. Michael wondered if evil "lurked naturally" in the hearts of Gloria's men, or if Gloria invited it in. Kevin asked Michael to lighten up, but Gloria reminded Kevin that Michael was always cold, mean, and cynical at Christmas. Before Michael and Kevin left, Gloria said that they would all spend the next Christmas together.
Jeff brought Gloria a diamond necklace. Gloria said that it was beautiful, but that she couldn't accept it because Jeff was "so mean." Jeff said that he worshipped her -- and that he had turned her in because he was afraid of losing her to Lowell. Jeff told Gloria that he had filed for divorce, and asked for her Jabot stock as a settlement, so that the Abbotts couldn't get their hands on her shares. He said that the Abbotts weren't nearly as forgiving as he was.
When Jeff said that he might bribe the guards for conjugal visits, Gloria became disgusted and told him that she would never sleep with a "rat" like him. As a guard moved Gloria back to her cell, Jeff began laughing and yelled out, "Happy holidays, darling!"
At Crimson Lights, Jana told Kevin that she didn't blame him for being upset that she had given Katherine's cash to Lowell. Kevin told her that he was forgiving her, as her heart had been in the right place. He blamed Lowell for "doing a number" on everyone.
On the patio, Eden told the Fenmores that Christmas was very simple at the ashram -- staring at stars, talking late into the night, and exchanging modest gifts. Eden began crying as she said how much she had believed in Lowell. After she ran from the table, Michael said that he empathized with what Eden was going through -- and he didn't know what to do to help himself or Eden.
Later, Eden rejoined the Baldwins, who were sitting with the Fishers. Lauren tried to cheer Eden up by suggesting that they go ice-skating or bowling. Eden said that she appreciated Lauren's effort -- but all she could think about was that Lowell had left her. Kevin opined that he wished that his father had left him. Michael told Eden that "you've got to live with the cards life dealt you -- that's how life is in this family." Lauren led Michael inside the coffeehouse and scolded him for his negativity. Michael said that he was furious that Gloria was in jail, while Lowell was free. Michael apologized for ruining everyone's Christmas Eve, and ran out of Crimson Lights.
Michael went to a seedy bar and began drinking. He told the bartender that miserable parents produced miserable kids, who then made their families miserable. Michael said, "Maybe it would have been better for everyone if I'd never been born." Suddenly, a wind gust blew open the bar's front door, allowing a burst of cold air inside.
Murphy found an unconscious Katherine lying on the sidewalk outside his trailer. He brought her inside, and called an old friend, Dr. Sanchez, to examine her. Murphy told the doctor that Katherine had recently been suffering from bouts of memory loss. Katherine, who had regained consciousness, told Murphy and the doctor that her memory loss wasn't serious. Dr. Sanchez said that, other than a bump on the head, Katherine hadn't been injured in the fall. The doctor gave Katherine the phone number of a specialist to discuss her memory loss, and told her to call the specialist's office and set up an appointment.
Katherine napped while Murphy prepared dinner. Katherine dreamed of Rex, Phillip, and Jill calling her, "Katherine." She suddenly woke up and said, "My name is Katherine Chancellor."
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Due to the Christmas holiday, today's episodes of your favorite CBS Daytime soaps -- The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light were not shown.
Regular programming will resume on December 26, 2008, and there will be no "lost" episodes as a result of the holiday pre-emption.
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Michael was drinking at Jimmy's Bar, feeling sorry for himself. He wondered aloud what the world would be like if he had never been born. A gust of wind blew open the bar's door, startling Michael.
Phyllis sat down at the bar next to Michael. Michael called her by name, but Phyllis claimed that she didn't know him, and wondered how he knew her. Phyllis suddenly grabbed Michael's leg, and she said that they should go somewhere and make love. Michael was extremely confused, and told Phyllis to stop fooling around. When Michael said that he would drop her off at Daniel's, Phyllis became extremely agitated and asked him how he knew about Daniel. Michael said, "Daniel... your son... did he take off to see Danny in Europe?" Before a hysterical Phyllis ran out, she told Michael that Danny had been dead for years.
Michael ran outside to follow Phyllis, but he found Paul waiting for him. Paul told Michael that he was going to see what the world would be like if he had never been born. Michael thought that Paul had gone insane. Paul told Michael to look in his coat pocket and try to find the Christmas ornament that Fen had made for him. Michael couldn't find it. He realized that also missing were his keys, his wallet, his wedding ring, and his car. Paul said that everything was missing because Michael didn't exist.
Paul told Michael that Danny had died because, after Danny had been stabbed, Michael wasn't there to donate the kidney that Danny needed in order to survive. Paul said that Brian Hamilton, Daniel's natural father, had filed for, and received, full custody of Daniel. In a world without Michael, Phyllis had completely fallen apart, according to Paul.
Next, Paul and Michael visited Crimson Lights. Michael was surprised to see that the coffeehouse was filled with a shady clientele, and that Jana was dressed in a Goth outfit, being extraordinarily rude to the customers. Michael wondered if her behavior was due to her brain tumor. Paul said that Jana had the surgery to remove the tumor, but that Kevin hadn't been around to convince Gloria to pay for the surgery. Jana was swimming in a sea of medical bills.
Michael learned that Kevin didn't own Crimson Lights -- Nick and Sharon had sold it to a franchise coffeehouse. Paul said that Jana's poverty had left her a bitter person. Jana saw Michael talking to Paul, and she wondered if Michael had an invisible friend, since she couldn't see Paul. Michael insisted that he was Kevin's brother, but Jana didn't believe him. She said that Kevin was behind bars, and had never told her that he had a brother. Michael told Paul that he needed to go to the prison to see Kevin.
At the prison, Michael and Paul saw Victor. Victor asked Michael how he had gotten in. Victor became upset when Michael said that he was a lawyer. Victor said that he had been incarcerated for a year, having been found guilty of Ji Min Kim's murder. Michael insisted that the evidence against Victor had been fabricated -- that Michael had investigated the murder and learned that the so-called "eyewitness" had been paid by David Chow to lie to the authorities. Victor became angrier, grabbed Michael by the throat, and accused him of being a tabloid reporter.
Paul and Michael then visited Lauren's boutique. Ashley had just finished purchasing a scarf for her sister. After Ashley left, an extremely harsh Lauren threw a mother and her son out, saying that children were forbidden in her boutique.
Michael told Paul that he didn't believe how callous Lauren was being. Lauren asked Michael if she could help him, and he said that he was there to pick out a Christmas gift for his wife. Lauren asked him what his wife was like. Michael said that she was beautiful, warm, and compassionate. Lauren took Michael over to a clothing rack, but then walked away to take care of someone else.
Paul told Michael that after Paul and Lauren divorced, Lauren never again found a suitable man. Paul added that Lauren's personality was much the same as it had been in her youth. Paul and Michael watched as Lauren waited on Traci Abbott. Lauren told Traci not to bother looking around the store, as Ashley had already purchased a scarf for her. She then warned Traci not to try anything on, since they didn't carry Traci's large size. When Traci said that Lauren hadn't changed a bit, Lauren thanked her. Before she left, Traci said that only Lauren would take that as a compliment. Michael approached Lauren and told her that her behavior toward people was appalling. Lauren became angry with Michael, and threw him out. Outside the door, Michael told Paul that this was "the worst Christmas ever."
Michael told Paul that he wanted to see Gloria. Paul took Michael to the Jabot offices, where a chipper Gloria told the staff that she had baked some Christmas cookies for them. Gloria went into the CEO's office, sat behind the desk, and held a picture of John, saying that she always felt close to John in that office. In the hallway, Jack got off the elevator and entered the office. Michael and Paul watched as Jack told Gloria that there was a wine stain on the carpet that needed to be removed. Michael was stunned when Gloria removed her coat, revealing a cleaning person's uniform. Jack then told Gloria that if he ever caught her behind his desk, she would be out of a job.
Paul explained that, in the world without Michael, the district attorney's office had prosecuted Gloria for contaminating the Jabot face cream. Gloria had spent a few months in prison, and had then been released for good behavior. However, the Abbotts had filed a lawsuit against her, and she was ruined financially.
Michael went into the office, where Gloria was trying to scrub the stain out of the carpet. Seeing that Gloria's back was hurting her, Michael offered to help. Michael and Gloria conversed while he scrubbed out the stain. They learned that they were both spending Christmas Eve alone. When Michael asked Gloria if she had any family, Gloria said that she had a son -- but that she never saw him. Michael tried to learn more about Gloria's son, but Gloria became agitated, took the brush back, and asked Michael to leave. She told him that she would lose her job if the stain weren't removed. As Michael left, Gloria's eyes welled up with tears.
Next, Paul took Michael to the hospital to see Kevin. Kevin was in a padded cell in the psychiatric unit, and thought that Michael was his new psychiatrist. Michael asked Kevin how he had ended up there. Kevin said that it was because a woman named Lauren Fenmore, with whom he was deeply in love, had led him on. Kevin showed Michael bandages on his wrists, and Michael realized that Kevin had tried to kill himself. Michael asked Kevin if he had any family, and Kevin replied that he had a mother, who never came to see him. Kevin became extremely upset when Michael asked him if he ever saw his father. He asked Michael to get him a razor blade, or some pills, or anything else that Kevin could use to commit suicide. Michael said that Kevin's life could be better if he tried. Kevin, referring to himself, said that some people shouldn't even bother trying. As Kevin fell asleep, Michael gently caressed his forehead.
Michael told Paul that he hated him. Paul said that Michael shouldn't blame the messenger. When Michael asked how Paul had ended up being his tour guide, Michael suddenly found himself standing next to Paul in a cemetery. Paul and Christine's headstones were sitting side by side, and Lauren sat on a bench, staring at Paul's grave. Paul told Michael that, because Michael hadn't existed, Isabella had killed both him and Christine. Michael realized that Paul was dead. Paul told Michael that he should realize the important role that he had played in his loved ones' lives. Michael realized that Lauren had left the cemetery. Paul said that she was at home, all alone.
Michael and Paul stood outside the door of Lauren's apartment. Michael knocked, but, when Lauren emerged, she accused Michael of stalking her, threatened to call the police, and slammed the door in his face.
Michael became hysterical and cried that he couldn't take it anymore -- that he wanted his life back. He heard a gust of wind just like the one he had heard at the bar. Suddenly, a Christmas wreath appeared on Lauren's door. Michael realized that Fen's ornament was in his pocket, and that his wedding ring was on his finger.
Michael opened the door and found that he had gotten his life back, and that he was in his normal world again. Lauren was thrilled to see Michael, as she had thought he had gone missing. When Kevin and Jana joined the Baldwins, Michael gave his brother a huge hug. Paul showed up -- he had been helping Lauren look for Michael. When Kevin asked Michael where he had been, he replied simply, "I got lost for a while." Eden and Fen joined the happy group, and Michael helped Fen put his Christmas ornament on the tree. The clock chimed midnight, and the group realized that it was Christmas Day. Michael, with tears in his eyes, wished everyone a merry Christmas.
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