At the Martin residence, Tad and Jake wondered why David would go to Gloucester on Christmas, instead of spending the holiday in Pine Valley with Trevor. Tad suspected that it had to do with David pretending to be terminally ill. Amanda insisted that David was not faking a life-threatening disease. Tad refused to retract his comment; however, he clarified that it was merely his opinion. Before Amanda could respond, Kathy and Jenny appeared in the doorway to wish everyone, "Merry Christmas."
Joe and Ruth arrived a short time later. Tad was disappointed that his parents had decided to retire to Florida. Opal was sympathetic with Tad's plight because Pete had flown to Switzerland to celebrate the holidays with Palmer. According to Opal, Pete had decided to remain in Switzerland because he was "smitten" with a "Swiss snow bunny."
In the foyer, Jake confided to Tad that he had decided to go to Gloucester. Tad reminded Jake that it was Christmas; he warned Jake that Amanda would never forgive Jake for leaving. Jake reluctantly agreed to shelve his plans until after the holidays. Shortly after Jake and Tad returned to the living room, JR and Marissa arrived. JR introduced his bride to Joe and Ruth. Marissa was sorry to hear that Joe and Ruth had decided to move to Florida.
Tad pulled Joe aside to hand his father a gift. Joe didn't know what to make of the skimpy swimsuit bottom that Tad had given to him. Tad chuckled as he assured Joe that the swimsuit had been a joke. Tad wanted Joe to know that the real gift was a pair of plane tickets for Joe and Ruth, so that they could return to Pine Valley in the summer. Tad thought that it was important for Kathy and Jenny to maintain their close relationship with their grandparents.
Joe admitted that he was concerned about Jake because of the recent decisions that Jake had made, including resigning from the hospital. Tad promised Joe that everything would work out; he explained that Amanda and Trevor were Jake's priority and that they would keep Jake grounded. However, Tad confessed that he was conflicted. Tad explained that he had recently received some information about David. Every fiber in Tad's being screamed for him to follow up on the tip. However, Tad was reluctant to leave because it might ruin Jenny and Kathy's Christmas. Joe suggested that perhaps it would be in Jenny and Kathy's best interest if Tad found out what David was up to.
In the foyer, Krystal was surprised that Tad wanted to leave. Tad explained that he felt it was important. Krystal studied Tad for a moment and then softened. She promised to hold back a couple of the presents, so that the girls could open them when Tad returned. Tad handed Krystal a present that he wanted her to share with Marissa. It was an antique ornament that Tad hoped that Marissa would hang next to her sister's on the tree.
Jake tried to persuade his parents to change their minds about moving. Joe and Ruth assured Jake that they were looking forward to living in Florida because they would be close to Tara and Kelsey. Joe explained that a part of Pine Valley would always be with them. Jake realized that his parents were determined to move forward with their plans, so he hugged his parents to let them know how much he would miss them.
After Joe and Ruth left, Amanda confessed that she was happy that she and Jake had talked things through rather than allowing their argument to ruin the day. Jake admitted that he was sad because his parents were moving to Florida. Amanda reminded Jake that they could visit Joe and Ruth whenever they liked. Amanda was certain that Trevor would enjoy the ocean.
Amanda seemed to sense Jake's doubts about a family vacation. She promised Jake that David would not be a part of their lives for long. She reminded Jake that once David died, Trevor would truly be Jake's son. Amanda revealed that when she looked at Trevor, she saw a lot of Jake. Jake reminded Amanda that it was impossible, since Jake was not Trevor's biological father. Amanda understood that it was just an illusion, but she wanted to have her dream.
At the Slater residence, Erica was overjoyed when Kendall and Zach arrived home in time to spend Christmas with their sons. Kendall quickly explained that she and Zach had been waylaid by a minor accident and a dream that they had shared. As Kendall reunited with her mother, Zach carried the boys to the kitchen, in order to prepare breakfast. Kendall regretted the way that she had treated Erica the last time that she had seen her mother. Kendall explained that Aidan had threatened to kill Erica, so Kendall had been forced to say hurtful things to Erica. Erica insisted that Kendall didn't have anything to apologize for.
Zach returned to the living room with the boys. Kendall confided to Erica that she didn't know how to repay Zach for all he had done for her. Kendall was moved beyond words that Zach had kept his promises. Erica insisted that it was a testament to Zach's love for Kendall. Erica decided to leave a short time later, so that Zach and Kendall could spend time with the children. As Zach walked Erica to the door, Erica asked what Kendall had meant when she had claimed that Zach and Kendall had shared a dream.
Zach reluctantly explained that they had the same dream in which each had wished that the other's pain would go away. As Erica watched Kendall playing with the boys, she noted that the wishes seemed to have worked. Later, Zach and Kendall returned from playing in the snow with the boys. As they took off their coats, Zach mentioned that Erica had asked about their dreams of Father Clarence.
Kendall admitted that she was happier than she had ever been. Zach worried that they might be missing something. Kendall insisted that they should be happy with what they had. After Kendall put the boys to bed, she rejoined Zach in the living room. They made love and then declared their love for each other. Kendall confessed that, for the first time in a long while, she felt that she could tell Zach that she loved him without being afraid that he didn't return the feelings or that time was running out.
Emma noticed Greenlee's Christmas tree ornament when she entered the living room. Emma was sad to see that it was broken. Ryan gently reminded Emma that it was just an ornament; the true memories of Greenlee remained in their hearts. As Emma and Ryan opened presents, Emma was delighted by the gift from Erica. When they heard a knock at the door, Ryan assumed that it was Erica. It was Annie. Annie demanded to see her daughter; she insisted that Ryan couldn't deny her request because it was Christmas.
Emma cried out to Annie when she heard her mother. Annie pushed past Ryan and then swept Emma into her arms. After the hug ended, Emma dashed upstairs to fetch Annie's present. Ryan demanded to know what Annie was up to. Annie explained that she had a right to see her daughter. Before the argument could continue, Emma returned with her gift for Annie.
Annie loved the picture frame that Emma had given to her. Annie suggested that Emma, Annie, and Adam take a Christmas picture and then put it in the frame. Emma readily agreed to the idea. Annie then presented a gift to Emma. It was a handmade book about Princess Emmaline. Annie smiled smugly at Ryan while she offered to read Emma the story about how Princess Emmaline had escaped to a beautiful new castle where Queen Annabelle lived with a "silver-haired" king.
After the story ended, Annie explained that Ryan's store-bought presents were nice, but Annie had wanted to give Emma something special from the heart, so she had made Emma the book. Annie suggested reading another story to Emma, but Ryan put his foot down. He explained that it was time for Annie to leave. Emma said goodbye to Annie and then went to her room.
Ryan demanded to know what Annie wanted from him. Annie claimed that she wanted a peaceful resolution for custody. She didn't think that there was any reason that they couldn't act like adults. Erica overheard the tail end of Annie's comment as she entered the apartment. Erica laughed at the idea of Annie behaving like an adult. Annie was confident that Ryan was smart enough to work with Annie because he didn't have a choice.
After Annie left, Ryan admitted that Annie was correct. Ryan didn't want to risk losing custody of Emma because Annie had been acquitted of her crimes. Erica was certain that Ryan would prevail in a custody hearing. Ryan appreciated Erica's support; he felt as if he could take on the world with Erica by his side. While Ryan went to check on Emma, Erica wandered over to the Christmas tree. She spotted Greenlee's ornament on the table. Erica accidentally sliced her finger with a jagged end when she picked up the broken ornament.
In Gloucester, David reviewed Greenlee's medical charts and determined that the medication was helping Greenlee. David was confident that it would be safe to wake up Greenlee. Gayle reminded David of the fiasco the last time that Greenlee had emerged from her coma. According to Gayle, Greenlee had gone crazy until the medication had worn off and Greenlee had slipped back into a coma. David had a gut feeling that things were different this time.
David told Gayle why he had kept the truth about Greenlee's condition from her loved ones. David justified not telling them because Kendall and Zach had only been concerned about "covering their own asses," while Ryan had moved on to Greenlee's best friend within a week of the accident. David revealed that he had gone to Connecticut so that he could try to convince Greenlee not to marry Ryan. However, Greenlee had already fled on a motorcycle by the time David had arrived.
David had prayed that Greenlee would be safe, but when he discovered her later, she had been barely breathing. David feared that Greenlee would die, but he was determined to do what he could to help her. David explained that he had failed to save his brother, Leo, and his daughters, Babe and Leora, so he refused to allow Greenlee to meet the same fate. Gayle realized that David loved Greenlee. David clarified that he loved Greenlee because she had been important to Leo.
David was determined to give Greenlee back the life that Greenlee deserved, but he would make certain that she knew the truth about those who claimed to have loved her. David wondered what Greenlee was dreaming about while he gazed down at her. Greenlee's thoughts were centered on Ryan and the life that she had shared with him.
Tad had slipped into the bar in Gloucester. As he watched the goings-on, he noticed David exit a room and then lock the door. A short time later, Gayle closed the bar with a reminder to everyone that it was Christmas. As the last patrons filed out, Tad saw David return to the locked room.
Tad tried picking the lock to the storeroom door of the Gloucester bar. David grabbed Tad and asked what Tad was doing there. Inside the storeroom, Greenlee mumbled Ryan's name, and Gayle heard Tad and David arguing in the bar. Gayle eavesdropped at the door. Tad said he'd watched the bar all night, and he never saw Gayle leave. Tad challenged David to open the door to the back room, so that Tad could greet Gayle.
David claimed that Gloucester was the only place where he could get his medications, which were illegal in the United States. Tad scoffed at the idea that David had traveled there on Christmas just for that. "Well, forgive me for wanting to live," David retorted. Undeterred, Tad demanded to see what was in the back room.
Just then, Gayle entered through the front of the bar with two police officers, who grabbed Tad. Gayle claimed that she'd fallen asleep while doing inventory the previous night, and she'd awakened to hear David arguing with an intruder. Tad said there had been a mistake. David disagreed and ordered the police to arrest Tad for breaking and entering.
After the police hauled Tad away, Gayle told David that Greenlee had spoken Ryan's name. David rushed into the back room, where Greenlee slept and dreamed of a wedding day with Ryan. David checked Greenlee's strengthening vitals. She tossed in the bed and called for Ryan. David injected something into her I.V. to calm her down.
David said that he'd sedated Greenlee to protect her. He stated that Greenlee's accident had occurred on her wedding day, and he feared that she'd die of shock if she awakened to realized how much things had changed within a year. David prepared Greenlee for transport. Gayle asked if Greenlee could handle it. David wasn't sure, but he felt that he had no choice.
Ryan called Liza to his penthouse to discuss Emma's custody case. Ryan insisted that he wouldn't share custody with a psychopathic Annie. Liza believed that since Annie was married and no longer in legal trouble, the court had good incentive to side with her as the mother. Liza added that with a crafty Adam involved, it was best to avoid court. Ryan stated that Annie had invited him to the mansion that day to discuss the issue.
Ryan and Liza went to the Chandler mansion, where Liza stated that she was there as a friend, not a lawyer. Ryan expressed that he didn't want Emma living in two different houses, but Adam pointed out that Spike lived that way. Ryan reasoned that Spike had been living that way since the beginning, but because Emma hadn't, it would be too hard for her to adjust.
Annie readily agreed and decided that Emma should live full-time at the mansion with the Chandlers. Ryan rejected the idea, and tempers flared. Liza intervened to calm everyone down. Liza explained that they'd eventually adjust to sharing custody.
Just then, Tad called Liza, and she took the call in the foyer. Jail bars clanged shut in front of Tad, and he asked if Liza were busy. Aside with Ryan later, Liza said she had deal with an emergency. Before leaving, Liza instructed Ryan not to discuss the custody until she returned.
In Gloucester later, Liza and Tad arrived at the bar. Tad resumed picking the storeroom door lock, and Liza quipped that she hadn't bailed him out of jail for him to return to committing the crime. Tad opened the back room door to find Gayle inside alone, inventorying boxes.
At an unknown location, Greenlee slept soundly. David said that no one would discover her there. Greenlee dreamed again about marrying Ryan. David appeared in her dream, and she opened her eyes to hear David welcoming her back. Greenlee's voice strained as she said that Ryan and she were getting married that day. She guessed that she was in a hospital and struggled to ask questions. David said they'd talk later, and he sedated her again.
Back at the Chandler house, Ryan requested a postponement of the custody discussion. An idea suddenly struck Adam. He suggested that they send Emma to a neutral place, like boarding school, until her parents sorted out custody. Feigning shock, Annie said Adam and she hadn't discussed that. Ryan raged that they obviously needed to go to court. Ryan stormed out, and Annie laughed. She said Adam was brilliant. Adam replied that they'd go to court and win.
Later, Adam invited Judge Robinson to the house and handed him a brown envelope. The judge said that he wouldn't accept any bribes for the custody case. Adam explained that he'd called the judge there to ask him to officiate at the renewal of Annie and Adam's vows. Adam claimed that the money was merely an honorarium. The judge agreed to officiate and left to make a phone call. "Can you say 'done deal?'" Adam asked a cooing Annie.
When Erica arrived at the Chandler estate, Annie's Pilates trainer was kissing Annie's cheek on his way out. Annie offered Erica pastries, and Erica was tickled by Annie's desperate attempt to fit into Adam's lifestyle. Erica tried search the house for Adam, but Annie threatened to restrain Erica. Adam entered and sent Annie out of the room. Annie eavesdropped at the door until Erica purposefully shut it on Annie.
Erica appealed to Adam, because she felt that Annie had no intention of sharing custody with Ryan. Erica said that Ryan was a good father. Adam disagreed, and Erica wondered what Stuart would think of Adam's callousness. "Well, thanks to me, we'll never know," Adam retorted. Erica replied that Stuart would be disappointed in Adam.
At Zach's house, Kendall was eager to catch up on everything she'd missed in Pine Valley. Zach, however, preferred to talk about the fresh start they'd promised each other. Zach described a dreamy paradise, and he proposed that they travel the world with the boys. "You're not kidding," Kendall wondrously realized. Zach said that they had to get out of Pine Valley and free themselves to travel the world. He felt that kind of freedom would be paradise.
Downstairs later, Zach insisted that they travel immediately, before the grind of everyday life made it impossible. Kendall agreed, because the family needed bonding time. Just then, Erica arrived in a rush to see Kendall. Kendall said that she had an announcement to make.
Kendall told Erica about the extended family trip. Erica was thrilled and advised Kendall to use the trip to get her family back on track. Erica thanked Zach for loving Kendall and saving Kendall's life. Erica stated that Ryan might be reluctant to let Spike go in light of the custody dispute with Annie. Zach replied that they wouldn't leave if Ryan took issue with it.
When Ryan arrived, he raged about his meeting with the Chandlers. He calmed down and asked why Zach and Kendall wanted to speak to him. Zach said to "never mind," but at Ryan's prodding, Kendall told Ryan about the trip on which Zach and she wanted to take the boys. Zach offered to put the trip off, but Ryan quietly replied that they could take Spike with them.
Ryan figured that the custody battle might be ugly, and it was best for everyone if Spike wasn't around for it. Ryan asked that Kendall allow Spike to video-chat with Ryan while Spike was away. Kendall thanked Ryan and went upstairs with Erica to pack. Zach said that he was grateful to Ryan for not opposing the trip, and Zach agreed to guard Spike with Zach's life.
After Erica and Kendall packed, Kendall tearfully said she'd miss Pine Valley, Fusion, and her mother. Kendall wished that Bianca could look after Erica, but Erica chuckled at the thought of needing to be taken care of. Erica assured Kendall that Kendall would only be away a few short months. Kendall said that Erica was unlike any other mother, and the two hugged.
Erica left, and Kendall and Zach prepared to leave the stark house. Kendall shed tears, and Zach said they didn't have to go. She insisted that she'd collect on Zach's promise of paradise. "Besides, it's not like we won't be back," she said from their threshold. Kendall walked out, and Zach uttered, "Right." He took a sentimental stroll around the room, and Kendall yelled for him to hurry. Zach shut off the lights, and he said, "Goodbye."
In Gloucester, Greenlee struggled to ask David questions, but he sedated her again. He sat at her bedside and held her hand. In her dreams, Greenlee met Ryan at a wedding altar.
Tad and Liza stormed into the storeroom at the bar, and Gayle threatened to call the police again. Liza threatened to turn Gayle in for her part in Stuart Chandler's murder. When Liza handed Tad a rope to tie Gayle up with, Gayle agreed to cooperate. Tad demanded to know what David was up to, but Gayle stood by her and David's story about his medications.
As Tad pressed Gayle for more information, David strode in chuckling. "Here we go again," David said. Liza remarked that David had six months to live, but people wished that he'd die even sooner. Tad said that he wouldn't let up on David because Tad knew that David would spend his last breath devising ways to give people lasting misery.
David wondered why Tad didn't just turn David in to the police for trafficking illegal drugs. David figured that Tad wouldn't go that route, because Tad would no longer have David to blame for Tad's problems. David quipped that Tad was just "pissed off" that David had been with two of Tad's wives. Tad aggressively advanced on David, but Liza dragged Tad to the exit.
David locked the storeroom door, and Gayle warned him against provoking Tad. David replied that a misguided Tad wouldn't find whatever he was looking for.
While checking on Greenlee with David later, Gayle remarked that David couldn't drug Greenlee forever. Gayle thought that Greenlee was strong enough to handle learning that she'd been comatose for a year. "How do I tell her that her whole life has changed?" David wondered.
When Greenlee awakened later, she thought that she was getting married that day. David gently explained that she'd been asleep for nearly a year. Greenlee implored David to call Ryan, but David replied that Ryan thought that she was dead.
During the car ride back to Pine Valley, Liza and Tad bickered with each other. Tad felt that he'd been "that close" to the truth-until Liza had interfered. Liza replied that Tad always warned her not to get sucked in by David, but there Tad had stood, getting sucked in by David. She asked Tad to consider that David might actually be dying. Tad recited a litany of David's dastardly deeds, but Liza insisted that they had to give David the benefit of the doubt, just as the law would. Tad believed that David had somehow been involved in the district attorney's death, and Tad didn't want anyone else to be killed.
At the Martin house, Jake grumbled about David having Tad arrested. Krystal and Amanda assured Jake that Liza was handling it. Opal entered, trembling from her premonitions. She said she hadn't felt that bad since the tornado. Jake assumed that Opal had eaten the stale fruitcak e. Opal replied that it wasn't old fruitcake; it was something emanating from deep within her bones. "Something is coming back to Pine Valley," Opal ominously uttered.
Warning sirens blared outside, but they quickly quieted. The group watched the news to learn that the sirens had malfunctioned. Suddenly, the lights in the house flickered. Opal envisioned Emma standing in the dark with a helicopter light shining on her. Opal told the group that something was headed straight toward Emma Lavery.
Later, after Opal left, Jake still considered that Opal might have had indigestion. Krystal hoped that the thing heading back to Pine Valley was Tad. Jake wished that he'd gone with Tad, but Amanda pointed out that, when dealing with David, Jake was no calmer than Tad.
Aside with Amanda, Jake said that his New Year's resolution was to be a better father. Amanda replied that he already was a great father, and she'd given him reason to feel insecure. Her resolution was to make sure that he had no reason to doubt her commitment to him.
Krystal approached as Jake and Amanda kissed. Krystal said that her romance with Rob had been blown the moment she'd taken him on a double date with her ex-husband to a party hosted by her other ex-husband, a party to which a third ex-husband had also been invited. Jake advised her that there were two ways to know if a man was still interested. Jake said that the man would call or send flowers. Just then, Rob arrived at the house with a bouquet in hand.
Rob said he'd been out of town visiting his children. Amanda whispered that Krystal wasn't the only one with baggage. Rob hoped that they could "check the baggage" for the night and ring in the New Year together. Amanda and Jake practically shoved Krystal out the door with Rob. Jake said that he didn't want to see Krystal until the following year.
Later, Tad and Liza arrived at the Martin house. Tad explained that he'd only learned that David had gone to Gloucester to pick up his medications. Amanda and Liza thought the story sounded reasonable, but Tad and Jake insisted that something more had to be going on. Amanda figured that conspiracy theories ran in the family, because Opal had left to pursue one regarding Emma Lavery.
At the Chandler mansion, Judge Robinson said he couldn't perform the vow renewal ceremony without witnesses. Adam said he'd get his daughter to attend, and Annie sighed. Batting her eyes at the judge, Annie wished that her daughter could attend, too.
At Ryan's penthouse, Ryan consoled Erica about Kendall's departure. He and Erica kissed on the sofa and danced together by the fire. The weather siren interrupted their intimacy. A frightened Emma ran downstairs and into her father's arms. On the terrace, Ryan showed Emma the peaceful sky and explained that the siren had accidentally sounded.
Emma trotted back up to bed, and Natalia and Brot arrived with a court order to take Emma to the vows ceremony at the Chandler estate. Erica said that it was unconscionable to rip a sleeping child from her bed on New Year's Eve. Natalia stated that Ryan could consult his attorney, and Ryan left a message for Liza. Erica advised Natalia and Brot to investigate Judge Robinson, who always seemed to be performing deeds for Annie. Natalia said that Brot and she were only there for Emma, and they'd have to arrest Ryan if he didn't comply.
Later, Opal arrived at the penthouse and learned from Corrina that Ryan had taken Emma to the Chandler mansion. Opal envisioned Emma encircled by the helicopter light. Opal said that the last time she'd had a vision of the Chandler mansion, Stuart had wound up dead.
At the mansion, Annie lit candles in the living room. Colby entered and remarked that Annie wasn't allowed to play with fire. "I'm limited to three matches a day," Annie quipped, striking another match. Colby accused Annie of being up to her old bribery tricks again with Judge Robinson. Annie said the judge was there to officiate Annie and Adam's vows ceremony.
Later, Scott entered the living room through the terrace to find Colby alone. Colby asked if he were there to witness the vows. Colby found it strange that Adam had chosen Scott, whom Adam had once suspected of wanting Annie. Scott said that it was over between Annie and him. "It doesn't have to be," Colby replied. She stated that the only way to save Adam was to destroy his marriage, but she needed Scott's help to do it.
Adam and Annie entered, and Scott mumbled his congratulations to them. Adam said that no sirens, tornados, or acts of God would stop the event. Adam asked if Colby and Scott were ready to stand up for the bride and groom. Colby and Scott exchanged glances.
After Annie and Adam got dressed for the event, the police escorted Emma and Ryan into the house. "Really, Adam? A summons for a seven-year-old little girl?" Ryan asked. Adam said he couldn't have a wedding without family. Ryan quipped that Chandler weddings ended in disaster, and Erica was on her way there, because she didn't want to miss it.
As Brot and Natalia left the mansion, Brot asked if they should investigate the judge, as Erica had suggested. Natalia said she'd worked too hard to lose her badge over Erica's accusations. Brot persisted, but Natalia said Cadet Brot's job was to be quiet and follow orders.
Later, the judge assembled everyone in the living room. Before he commenced the ceremony, Opal rushed in and demanded that they halt the proceeding. Opal revealed her vision about Emma, but Annie called it absurd. Erica implored them all to listen, because Opal had been correct about Stuart's death. Emma strode onto the terrace, and Opal looked toward the open French doors to see Emma surrounded by a bright light, just like in the vision.
Ryan rushed to the terrace and scooped Emma into his arms. He took her inside, where Adam talked on the phone with his security team. Adam was enraged that a helicopter had landed on his property and security hadn't stopped the passenger from heading to the front door. The doorbell rang, but Opal yelled for Adam not to answer it. Intent upon kicking whoever had arrived "to hell," Adam swung open the door. "Hayley!" Adam gasped.
Due to the extended New Year's holiday, ABC opted to broadcast encore presentations of recent memorable episodes in place of an original episode. This scheduling change was planned for, so there will be no "lost" episodes as a result of the pre-emption.
Regular programming will resume on Monday, January 4 and pick up where Wednesday, December 30's episode concluded.
I'd personally like to thank everyone who is a part of this site -- the columnists, recappers, message board moderators, and, most importantly, you, the Soap Central reader. Thank you for making 2009 another amazing and successful year. I hope that you have a very healthy and happy 2010 -- and that you'll continue your support of this site.
Dan J Kroll
Founder, Soap Central
Due to the New Year's holiday, today's episode of All My Children was pre-empted. This scheduling change was planned for in advance and there will be no "lost" episodes as a result. Regular programming will resume on Monday, January 4 and pick up where Wednesday, December 30's show concluded.
Don't forget to check out All My Children's special 40th anniversary shows on January 4 and 5, 2010.