A design book in hand, Erica dropped by Pine Valley Hospital to help David decorate his new office. David reminded Erica that everything -- even decor ideas -- had to be approved by Alexandra. The thought of having to run things by Alex infuriated Erica greatly. She referred to David's partnership with Alex as "sickening." Erica then rolled her eyes and gagged about the way Alex might decorate the office.
Joe wandered in with a reminder that David and Alex were "co-directors" of the Andrassy Foundation. The chief of staff also noted that it was not a "one-man show." After Joe left, David informed Erica that he'd been working on a press release to announce his selection to co-head the foundation. The couple shared a kiss to celebrate their good fortune. As they did, Palmer and Vanessa walked into the sunroom. Vanessa urged her son to be "more discreet" with his displays of affection.
Vanessa took a deep breath and commented that if it were not for Palmer, David would not have received a seat on the Andrassy Foundation. In fact, he'd be "just another overpaid cardiologist." Though Palmer had gone out on a limb for her, Erica voiced her disappointment that David and Alex would have to work as partners. Palmer explained that Dimitri's will permitted Alex to run the foundation as she wanted.
Vanessa politely asked Erica to escort Palmer to the cafeteria while she and David had a talk. Vanessa told David that she'd heard of his trip to Europe to investigate his brother. David made no attempt to hide the truth, saying that he hadn't found anything he'd hadn't expected to find. "Neglect, emotional abuse," David stated. Vanessa was furious with David for checking up on her. "I love that boy," she said angrily, declaring, "I'm sorry if Leo is the son you never were."
The first installment of Tad's show closed with two million dollars having been shelled out to worthy charities. Liza proudly boasted that WRCW's phone had been ringing off the hook during the broadcast. Stuart chirped that helping out was "great fun." He cleared his throat and, remembering that he was supposed to be Adam, claimed that he was glad to help be able to make himself look good.
Jake looked on curiously and asked Tad what had gotten into Adam. Jake pulled Liza aside and asked her the same question. He was concerned that Adam's sudden change might make Liza reconsider getting a divorce. Liza shook her head confidently and said that she was finished with Adam -- and nothing would make her get back together with him.
Dixie, meanwhile, confessed to Tad that she was beginning to feel bad for taking advantage of Stuart. Every time Stuart signed Adam's name on a check, he was committing forgery. She felt even worse when Junior appeared and asked if he could thank his dad for helping out so many people. He was told that Adam was changing and was asked to return in a little bit. Tad waited for Stuart before approaching him with an apology.
As Adam, Stuart angrily barked that he'd done everything Tad had asked of him. Tad smiled slightly and told Stuart that he knew the truth -- Stuart wasn't really Adam. Stuart's familiar smile appeared. "It's okay," Stuart said, stating, "I know you know." The news came as a surprise to Tad who immediately wanted to know how Stuart had been tipped off. Stuart explained that when Tad looked at him, his eyes were kind and not "squinty" like they usually were when he dealt with Adam.
There was still one question roaming around Tad's mind, and that was where Adam was. "He's safe and sound," Stuart replied. He refused to say anything more. The reason for his need to portray Adam could be summed up in one word: Colby. Before he could say anything more, Liza raced over and told Stuart that he needed to pose for some publicity photos.
Tad accused Liza of making up the photo shoot to keep Stuart from revealing a secret. He continued to press Liza for information, but Liza remained calm and said nothing. Finally, she'd had enough of his questioning and let loose with a warning. "For the sake of your family, don't push it," she snapped. Tad looked up and realized that Liza was looking directly at Jake.
Adam crawled his way to freedom through the air duct, eventually ending up in his office. He issued a defiant warning to Tad that he was going to go to jail for what he'd done. Adam next placed a call to Barry Shire's office and ordered the attorney to meet him in his office immediately. He also placed a call to WRCW and asked to be patched through to Tad, but the person on the other end thought it was a prank call and promptly hung up. Barry arrived a short time later and laughed upon seeing Adam. At first, he thought that Adam was actually Stuart pretending to be Adam. But Adam's short temper soon showed the attorney that he was face to face with the real deal.
To prove himself, Adam asked his attorney if he'd really give away millions of his own money or take a pie in the face, for that matter. Adam explained how he'd gotten trapped in his "safe room," but Barry remained troubled by the events of the past few weeks. Suddenly, Colby's cries sounded over the baby monitor. Adam quickly raced to the nursery and fetched his daughter. He returned and told Barry that he wanted Tad, Marian, and Stuart thrown in jail on charges that ranged from grand larceny to forgery to false imprisonment.
Barry warned Adam that things could backfire if he wasn't careful. Until Adam established paternity, Liza could easily flee the country and take Colby with her. Plus, Adam still had the ever-present threat of going to jail for swapping sperm samples at the fertility clinic. Amazingly, Barry suggested that Adam return to the temporary prison and wait until Barry had a chance to establish paternity for him. There was yet another surprise for Adam. Chandler Enterprise stock had risen to its highest levels ever; analysts were absolutely overjoyed by Adam's new business tactics of giving away his money. Adam was stunned and wondered if Barry had defected.
Voices sounded in the background, and Adam knew that he had to get back into the safe room before he was discovered. Adam handed Colby over to Barry then crawled back through the ductwork. Barry was forced to concoct a weak lie about plucking a crying Colby from her nursery because the nanny had been nowhere to be found. Marian took Colby, and Barry headed on his way. The lawyer's strange behavior made Marian wonder if Barry had found Adam.
With Colby still in hand, Marian headed to the safe room to check on her prisoner. Adam was safely back in the room by the time Marian showed up. Upon seeing Colby, he raced to the plastic barrier and begged Marian to let him hold his daughter. Marian refused and believed that it was the first time that Adam had seen his daughter since being imprisoned in the safe room.
Liza returned to the mansion with a surprising confession for her mother. She said that she looked at Stuart and wished that Adam could be more like his brother. If he was more kind, Liza said that she could easily "fall in love with Adam all over again." Marian's eyes widened, and she quickly reminded her daughter of all the devilish things Adam had done to her. Liza nodded her head and said that she could never give Adam another chance to hurt her. From his vantage point in the safe room, Adam urged Liza not to give up on her dream. "I'll make it come true," he said determinedly.
At WRCW, Leo asked Greenlee why she disliked Becca so much. Greenlee skimmed over the story, saying only that Becca was the reason that she and Scott were not together. Leo was somewhat amused that Greenlee had had so many men in such a short period of time. Greenlee also let it be known that Becca was still a virgin. "They still make those?" Leo mused. "They import them from Pigeon Hollow," Greenlee smirked. Tad and Dixie arrived in the meantime, still wondering what Liza was trying to hide. Tad knew that it had to have something to do with Jake, but he was unable to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Becca told Scott that her plans to return to West Virginia for the holidays had fallen through because her parents were traveling to California to be with her sister. Money was tight, and Becca would not be able to join them. Scott offered to pick up the ticket for her, but Becca politely declined. Becca was happy to have the chance to spend the holiday in Pine Valley. Scott smiled warmly and told Becca that he'd missed her.
Edmund and Alex returned to the warmth of the hunting lodge after ice-skating on the pond. Edmund noticed that a clock on the mantel had stopped just short of noon -- or perhaps midnight. He reached for the clock and rewound it so that it would once again keep time. Alex acted peculiarly and ordered Edmund to unhand the clock. Edmund questioned her about her reaction. Alex claimed that she was a light sleeper and that the clock's chimes woke her up at night.
Edmund again asked Alex to join him at the Crystal Ball, but Alex once again declined. She said that she didn't celebrate the New Year. Edmund nodded and said that she should think of the party as work -- or rather a chance to raise money for Dimitri's foundation. That wasn't enough to win Alex over, and she again said that she had no intention of attending the ball. Edmund headed on his way, but not before asking Alex if she wanted to join him for another skating session. Alex smiled and said that she was already too sore from "falling on [her] bum."
Edmund left, but a few seconds later, a knock sounded on her door. Smiling, Alex answered the door and said that she hadn't changed her mind. To her surprise, David was standing on the other side -- not Edmund. David told Alex that he'd stopped by with a "peace offering." Alex invited him inside and looked over the press release that he'd written. Alex mused that she was surprised that David had put her name before his in the release. David said that he looked forward to doing some fundraising at the Crystal Ball.
Alex shook her head and said that David would be on his own because she was not going to attend the ball. David was very angry and accused Alex of being difficult. Nothing he said changed Alex's mind; she was not going to attend the festivities. David stormed out. Alex was still quite shaken and lay down of the sofa to rest. Her sleep was haunted by the chants of the New Year's Eve countdown. Before the crowd could yell, "Happy New Year," Alex was roused from her sleep by the once-stopped clock chiming four o'clock. Alex breathed hard, obviously terrified by whatever it was she'd been dreaming about.
At SOS, Mateo was sporting a close-shaven haircut when Trevor arrived with some of Janet's gingerbread cookies. Adrian joined them as a deliveryman arrived with several boxes to unload. Adrian asked Mateo, and Mateo explained that it was something he and Hayley had planned awhile back. They were CDs featuring a splashy cover picture of the once-happy couple and the greeting, "Feliz Navidad." Trevor told Mateo that he and Hayley needed to forget their misunderstandings, but Mateo told Trevor to let it go. Adrian offered to join Trevor's mission to get the couple back together.
Mateo opened the box of CDs and started to listen to the music as Tina walked up behind him with a speculative smile on her face. She tried to persuade him to dance with her, but he brushed her off. Then she gave him her Christmas gift: two tickets to a concert. But Mateo told her he would be spending Christmas in Texas with his son. Tina later invited Adrian to go with her to the concert, and he accepted. They danced closely to the music, and Adrian invited Tina to spend Christmas with him and his family at the Martins'.
At WRCW, Hayley got a gift from Greenlee, a designer dress identical to the one that Hayley had admired on Greenlee a few days before. Greenlee explained that it was a freebie, through a family connection with the designer. Hayley saw through Greenlee's bribery scheme but eventually agreed to let Greenlee work as her assistant, much to the amusement of Leo, who wandered in and heard the conversation. After Hayley left, Leo mockingly told Greenlee he knew what she was up to -- trying to get Hayley's job. "Were we separated at birth?" he joked, explaining, "We're too much alike!"
Later, Greenlee sat with Millicent in the Valley Inn, and thanked her grandmother for getting the dress for Hayley, which had paved the way for her new job. Millicent let Greenlee know that she was wise to Greenlee's little tryst at the house with Ryan and warned Greenlee to stay away from him. "He's just not our type," she cautioned. Just then, Leo showed up, spouting Italian at the ladies, much to Millicent's delight.
When Millicent had to leave to make a phone call, Greenlee asked Leo to be her escort to the Country Club dance, thus putting Millicent off the track. "Can I be honest with you," Greenlee asked. Leo replied with a cynical smile, "Why not? We're never honest with anyone else!" He realized he was to be the cover for Greenlee's relationship with the unsuitable Ryan.
Trevor called on Hayley at WRCW, delivering her a copy of the CD. He tried to remind her of her love for Mateo, but "Lay off!" was her angry retort. However, after Trevor left, she listened to the music, which brought back memories of Mateo. At the same time, Mateo was listening to the same music and dreaming of dancing with Hayley at the SOS opening night.
At the mall, Erica and Opal had been doing some shopping. Opal quizzed Erica about her relationship with David, but Erica assured Opal that everything was smooth sailing with her latest beau. They spotted David, who was toting a bag from a jewelry store. Erica coyly asked what was in the bag, but David refused to say. "It's not for you," he told Erica, and he left them. "Maybe it's something for his mother," Opal suggested. "No, it's just a ruse," Erica smiled smugly, assuming, "If David is buying jewelry for anyone, of course it's for me!" Then, she told Opal she was off to check David's taste in jewelry, and off she trotted in a cloud of self-confidence.
Meanwhile, at Pine Valley Hospital, Alex was looking for a notepad in David's office to leave him a note, when Joe entered. He told her he was concerned about the stress of her working closely with David and hoped that she would be able to handle it. Alex assured him she would do it for Dimitri's sake. "I hope you'll save me a dance at the Crystal Ball," he said, smiling at her. At the mention of New Year's Eve, Alex looked troubled, and she heard in her mind voices singing "Auld Lang Syne."
Alex explained that she wouldn't be going to the ball. Joe said it was to be a fundraiser to the Andrassy Foundation and a good chance to publicize it by being there, but Alex replied that David was better at that sort of thing. Joe sympathized about going through the holidays without a loved one. "I hadn't even heard of Dimitri a year ago," she said, adding that a lot had happened since then. "I'm not going to the Crystal Ball. I wish people would stop asking about it," Alex told a puzzled Joe. "Well, I want you back at work as much as Dimitri does," he told her. Alex laughed. "The present tense! I like that," she said.
Joe left to go on his rounds, and David walked in and held out the jewelry bag to Alex. "This is for a new beginning," he told her, adding, "I thought it would be a nice gesture." Alex rebuffed him, saying, "Working together isn't going to make us friends." As he handed her the bag, their hands touched. Erica spied on them from the doorway. Seething with anger, she entered the office. "Oh, hi. If you'll excuse me, ah, I have things to do," Alex said, and she left.
Erica angrily accused David, "The gift you bought was for Alex?" "Is that a crime," David asked teasingly. "Jealousy is not the appropriate response," he chided her. "How about shock!" she replied furiously. David explained that he was trying to win over Alex. "If she grows comfortable with me being in charge of the foundation, she could go back to England and leave us alone," he said.
That didn't satisfy Erica. "Reaching out to her will backfire in ways you couldn't begin to suspect. We don't know what she did to Dimitri," she said. Then Erica wanted to know what David had bought for Alex. "Just a trinket," he replied enigmatically, adding, "It won't even mean a damn thing to her." Erica left to meet Opal at the Valley Inn, where she told Opal her woes -- "huffing and puffing!" as Opal put it.
Alex returned to David's office, where she had left her charts -- and the gift. David was beeped, and saying, "Enjoy the gift," David smiled as he left Alex to open the gift. Slowly, she opened the box and took out what was inside. It was a golden carriage clock with her name on the face, set at midnight.
Alex drew a deep breath and turned to leave. As she did so, the clock chimed. She turned in disbelief, clenching her fist, as she again heard voices singing "Auld Lang Syne." She nervously picked it up, and accidentally dropped it. It lay shattered on the floor as she put her hands to her head. Obviously, David had lied -- the gift had great significance for Alex.
At the Valley Inn, Erica sat alone at a table, unaware that David was about to sneak up behind her. Erica was startled but glad to see her lover nonetheless. The pair had only a few moments of privacy in which Erica again warned David that working with Alex was going to cause him nothing but trouble. Shortly thereafter, Vanessa and Leo sauntered into the room with a photographer hot on their heels. Vanessa proudly boasted that she was going to be establishing an organization that would care for the homeless. The head of the organization, she gushed, would be none other than her son, Leo du Pres. Funding, of course, would be provided by Palmer.
Obviously disgusted by his mother's antics, David stepped forward and accused his mother of trying to compete with Adam's newfound sense of charity. Leo defended his mother, saying that helping the homeless had been a top priority ever since their last trip to Rio de Janeiro. David rolled his eyes and motioned to Erica that it was time to go. Leo, however, intercepted his older brother and blasted him for trying to publicly humiliate their mother. "You picked the wrong role model," David grumbled.
Leo was quick with a comeback. He reminded David that he wasn't exactly a role model, either. In just a short time, he'd administered the wrong medication to Adam Chandler, nearly killed Erica in a car accident, and coerced a lover into committing suicide. David knew that Vanessa had been spreading her "venom," so rather than argue, he opted to walk away. Vanessa and Leo sat down at a table, and Vanessa handed over Leo's Christmas present. She'd gotten him a pair of big, bold gold cufflinks. Leo frowned and asked his mother why she'd picked such a horrible gift. Vanessa then smiled and presented him with the receipt -- that way he could return them and get whatever he wanted.
Alex looked down in disbelief at the shattered clock. Edmund entered the office and asked Alex if she was okay. "It slipped out of my hand," she said softly. "What is it with you and clocks?" Edmund asked with a slight smile. Alex insisted that she hadn't intentionally damaged David's gift to her. Edmund wondered if it was such a good idea for Alex and David to be working together. Alex shook her head and said that she'd be okay.
Alex stated that she had a terrible headache. In addition, she was "having weird feelings," feelings that were making her afraid to go to sleep. The feelings, which she said would be better described at premonitions, were filled with "violence [and] an overwhelming feeling that something dreadful is going to happen." She was quick to dismiss her feelings as nervousness over Gillian's pending release from the hospital. Edmund looked confidently at the doctor and assured her that Gillian would be fine.
Leo bumped into Becca at the mall. Becca teased him about his last-minute Christmas shopping. Leo told her that he was actually returning a gift, not buying one. Becca's jaw dropped; she could not believe that Leo was returning a gift that his mother had bought him. She was even more stunned that Vanessa had actually encouraged him to take it back.
Becca had unknowingly gotten herself into a predicament by announcing that she would never return a gift that someone had given her. So, when Leo presented her with a gift, Becca was forced to accept it -- and she did try to talk her way out of it. Becca reluctantly opened the box and found a black and white "cow-print" halter top. Needless to say, it was not the type of item typically found in Becca's wardrobe. She chuckled slightly and told Leo that she couldn't accept the gift. Leo pleaded with Becca to at least try on the top, and Becca ultimately bowed to his request.
Jake asked Joe if he could have some time off in order to help Gillian after she was discharged from the hospital. Joe told Jake that he did have some time off due to him and granted his temporary leave. It wasn't the only favor Jake asked of his father. He followed it up by asking if Joe and Ruth would mind hanging a few extra stockings on the mantel. He planned to invite Liza and Colby and possibly Eugenia and Gillian to join them for Christmas. There was no way that Joe would refuse and gladly encouraged his son to invite whomever he wanted. Joe knew that Jake's interest in Gillian went beyond the doctor-patient boundary.
Edmund and Alex arrived in the sunroom to help the doctors and children decorate for the holidays. Eugenia arrived a short time later to await the news on her granddaughter's possible release. Joe, Jake, and Alex huddled together to review Gillian's latest test results. Alex determined that Gillian was able to go home, though she was still concerned about the fact that Gillian's speech had not fully returned to normal. Jake broke the news to Gillian, but he neglected to convey Alex's concerns. He asked Gillian and Eugenia if they would join him at his parents' house for the holiday. The pair accepted the offer, and Gillian hugged Jake to show him how thankful she was.
David and Erica arrived next, both claiming to want to help decorate for the children's party. Alex was leery but bit her tongue. Erica coldly asked Alex if she'd be headed back to London for the holidays. Alex informed Erica that there was a lot of work to do for the foundation, so Erica and David were "stuck" with her. Alex walked off to hang some ornaments on the Christmas tree.
Vanessa, meanwhile, arrived on the next stop of her goodwill tour. David doubted his mother's sincerity, and he made no attempt to hide it. David excused himself as Vanessa sat next to one of the children. Vanessa played with the child for only a few seconds before scurrying over to Erica. There, she praised Erica for being able to let David work with Alex. "They definitely have chemistry," Vanessa said as she grinned. "She's an unstable element, I'll give you that," Erica replied wittily.
Alex stood atop a ladder and stretched to reach the Christmas tree's highest bough. David quickly put his hand on her back to steady her, but the gesture upset Alex. She wasn't upset because David was touching her but rather because she had another of her New Year's Eve countdown premonitions. Alex climbed down the ladder and stormed out of the room.
In the safe room at Chandler Mansion, Adam placed an angry call to Barry Shire to find out how long he'd have to remain locked up in the room. He had to cut the call short because someone was accessing the room's secret entryway. Luckily for Adam, Marian didn't catch him in the act of using the phone. Marian dropped by to deliver a present to Adam -- a photograph of her, Liza, Colby, and Stuart. Adam pleaded with Marian not to keep him away from his family during the holidays.
Things got very hairy when Adam's cell phone started ringing. Marian asked him if he had a phone with him. Adam reminded Marian that there was no way he could have a phone because he'd been locked in the room. He concocted a bogus lie that the ringing was from one of the many monitors throughout the house. Marian fell for the lie, hook, line, and sinker.
Adam watched as the nanny once again tended to Colby. Adam asked Marian why the nanny was watching Colby instead of a family member. Marian explained that Liza was at WRCW, Stuart was handing out Christmas bonuses at Chandler Enterprises, and she was headed to the Glamorama. Unknowingly, she'd said way too much. When Marian left, Adam slipped through his secret escape route and headed directly to the parlor -- and Colby. Using the secret passageways in the walls of the mansion, Adam was able to creep throughout the house without being spotted.
When Adam arrived at his daughter's crib side, he looked down and asked her if she remembered him. He gently took Colby into his arms and told her how much he loved her. "What are you doing?" asked a voice from behind. Adam spun around and saw that Liza had returned home earlier than he'd anticipated. Liza mistook Adam for Stuart and asked him why he wasn't at Chandler Enterprises, handing out Adam's money. Adam quickly "became" Stuart and explained that he'd already handed out all of the checks.
Adam knew it was a prime opportunity to convince Liza that he wasn't as bad as she believed -- but he had to do so carefully, very carefully. "Stuart" said that he felt sad for his brother, locked alone on the holiday. He claimed to have dropped by to see Adam and had found that he was "wasting away." Liza wondered how Stuart could feel sorry for the man who'd tricked him into selling stock and nearly locked up his wife in the safe room. Still, Liza didn't want Adam's health to deteriorate from being cooped up in his makeshift prison. She decided that she had to see Adam with her own eyes.
That presented yet another dilemma for Adam -- how to get back into the safe room before Liza got there. Fortunately, he got a few more seconds to think about it. A reporter from the Pine Valley Bulletin phoned to ask for Adam's thoughts on Vanessa's decision to help the homeless. Liza fielded the call and asked "Stuart" if he'd mind pretending to be Adam to handle the call. Adam was in the predicament of having to pretend to be Stuart pretending to be him. His statement to the reporter was quite brief, saying that if other people were following his lead in giving away money, "Power to the people!"
After "Stuart" hung up the phone, Liza told him that that was the worst impression of Adam she'd ever seen him do. Liza was free to head to check on Adam. Adam quickly scurried through his maze of passageways. He somehow managed to beat Liza to the safe room -- and he still had a few moments to change his outfit. Out of breath, Adam leaped into bed and pretended to be on his last leg.
When Liza appeared, Adam lamely asked her if it was Christmas yet. Liza rolled her eyes and told Adam that Stuart had incorrectly told her that he was wasting away. Adam pleaded with Liza not to keep him away from his daughter on Christmas. She reminded her husband that he had other family -- Skye, Hayley, and Junior. "Yes, and I love all my children," Adam replied, but he said that he did not want to be denied his other child. He asked for just one more chance to show that he'd changed. Liza, however, noted that Adam had had far too many "one more chances."
Adam claimed that his time alone had forced him to face his demons. Liza looked pained by her decision to have to leave Adam locked up, but she mustered the strength to turn and walk away. As she left, Adam determined that Liza still loved him. He placed a call to Barry to enlist his help in winning Liza back. He asked that the present he'd ordered for Liza for Christmas be sent over to the mansion immediately. The present, he said with a wry smile, was sure to get Liza and Colby back.
Trevor and Adrian ran into each other in the mall, just in time to witness Hayley and Mateo meeting face to face. Mateo was there with Sam and Maddie to see Amanda perform in a dance recital of The Nutcracker. The conversation went well until Tina, who had been parking the car, showed up and made it obvious to Hayley that she was there with Mateo. Trevor and Adrian agreed that they should play Cupid and nudge Hayley and Mateo in the right direction.
Janet and Amanda showed up for the recital, and a woman dressed as Mrs. Claus waved at them. When Mrs. Claus drew closer, Janet realized that it was really Sophie. Sending Amanda over to the director, Janet told Sophie to get out of town because she'd been paid her money. Sophie said she'd done some research about how much plastic surgery cost, and she was going to need a lot more than Janet had given her. "I can't get any more money," Janet said. Trevor interrupted their conversation, and Sophie quickly left.
Trevor reminded Janet that it had been a year earlier in that very spot that he had proposed to her. "How could I forget one of the most wonderful days of my life?" Janet replied and gave Trevor a hug. Trevor headed out to the car to get a video camera, and Hayley walked over to talk to Janet. They talked about kids, Hayley complimented Janet on how great she was doing with Amanda, and Janet returned the compliment by saying that Hayley would be a great mother someday. The performance started, and Hayley wistfully watched Mateo with Sam and Maddie. Janet watched nervously as Trevor taped the recital.
After the recital, Amanda was happy but a little embarrassed that she'd tripped once during her performance. She had to have tripped on a cord, she explained. When Sophie and Janet were alone in the dressing room area, Sophie told Janet that she was the one who had tripped Amanda. "Next time, she might fall and break her neck," Sophie warned. Janet was so furious, she grabbed a big candy cane, which was a prop for the show, and hit Sophie with it so hard that she knocked Sophie out.
Tad got a call from the TV station giving him feedback about his new show, Nothing But the Truth. The affiliates loved the show and couldn't wait for more episodes. Tad was thrilled by the news but was still worried about what Liza was hiding from him. Adam had to have done something more than steal the TV station to have Liza turn on him like that and cause Stuart to be willing to give away Adam's fortune. Dixie felt that they should just be grateful Adam was out of their lives for the moment. Tad agreed but hoped it didn't crash down on their heads.
The doorbell rang; it was Brooke and Rae. Rae had had no luck finding Daniel in New York but got upset when Tad suggested that she just give the whole thing up. "I'll never stop looking for Daniel," she vowed. Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of a big bang. Junior and Jamie rushed into the room, explaining that they had been trying to help make the pumpkin pie and had put the pumpkin in the microwave. Everyone headed to the kitchen to examine the mess, and right after they left, Becca entered the living room, wearing the top that Leo had bought for her. It was quite revealing, and Becca tried to cover up when she opened the door and found Scott standing there.
Becca explained to Scott that Leo had bought her the top as a present and had dared her to try it on, and no, Leo hadn't seen her in it. Becca tried to make an escape, but was embarrassed when everyone returned and saw the top. She rushed off to change as Myrtle arrived with Christmas cookies and was introduced to Rae. Later, Dixie invited Rae to move in with her and Tad; she didn't want Rae to be alone at the Valley Inn for the holidays.
Rae didn't want to intrude on the Martin family but did accept Myrtle's offer of a room at her boardinghouse. They left, followed soon after by everyone else except Scott and Becca. Scott gave Becca a present. It was her Christmas stocking from back home in Pigeon Hollow. Scott had called Becca's mother and asked her to send it. Becca was touched by his thoughtfulness and gave him a big hug.
At the boardinghouse, Rae loved the room Myrtle showed her and was happy to stay there. She said she'd call the Valley Inn and have her bags sent over right away. As Myrtle was about to leave to make some tea, Rae broke down and started crying. Myrtle convinced her that she'd feel better if she told someone what was hurting her. Rae told Myrtle that when she'd been very young, she'd had a child, but her uncle had told her that her daughter had died, and she'd believed that for many years.
Rae revealed that recently, her aunt had sent her a letter, telling her that her daughter hadn't died and that she'd been given to her cousin, who had sold the baby. Her aunt had died before Rae could get any more information from her, and she'd given all of her money to Daniel, who'd promised to find her daughter for her. But Daniel had disappeared with her money, and Rae had no idea if he'd found out anything about her daughter. Rae thanked Myrtle for listening because it had made her feel better. Myrtle assured her that there were many people in Pine Valley who would be willing to help her, Myrtle included. Myrtle left to make the tea, and Rae wrote in her journal that for the first time in a long time, she had hope that she'd find her daughter.
At the Chandler mansion, Adam was enjoying watching Liza and Colby together on the monitor. His lawyer, Barry, joined him in the safe room by crawling through the vent. He had a present Adam had bought for Liza a few months before, a locket with a picture of Adam, Liza, and Colby in it. Adam was hoping it would be "a reminder of what was and what will be again." He told Barry to give it to Liza, pretending that it had been delivered to his office by mistake. Adam was sure that from his talk with Liza, while he'd been pretending to be Stuart, that Liza still did love him and care about him. Before Barry left, Adam also instructed him to draft a letter to Jake, telling him that he had never been, nor would he ever be Colby's father.
Adam watched as Barry arrived and gave Liza the locket from Adam. At first, Liza didn't want to take it, but Barry insisted that Adam would want her to have it. Liza appeared touched by the present at first, giving Adam hope. But then she said she wanted more for Colby than someone who lied and cheated his way through life, and she deserved better, too. She said that all Adam wanted to do was control them. Liza gave Barry the locket back because she didn't want it, and she asked Barry to leave.
Barry crawled back upstairs to see Adam and tried to tell him that Liza was not ready to forgive him yet; she needed more time. "I don't have more time," Adam told him, then instructed him to send Liza an invitation to sit on a panel at the World Television Conference in Monaco and to have Adam's pilot ready to fly there on New Year's Eve. Barry warned Adam that the last thing he needed to do was add double kidnapping to the list of charges against him, but Adam was determined to do anything it took to get Liza and Colby back. He also told Barry to deliver the letter to Jake personally -- as soon as the plane had taken off.
After Barry left, Adam sneaked back downstairs to see Colby. The nanny caught him, but Adam pretended to be Stuart and said that Marian had sent him up there to get Colby because they had a present for her. They bundled up Colby in a blanket, and Adam got set to walk away with her, but when he opened the door, the whole Martin clan was standing there, singing a Christmas carol.
"I didn't mean to hurt you," Janet blubbered upon seeing Sophie facedown in the makeup table. Not knowing what to do, Janet dragged the escaped prisoner to the alley behind the mall. Janet bent down and slapped Sophie's face to try to rouse her, but it did nothing. She leaned closer and realized that Sophie wasn't moving -- or breathing. "Oh, my God, I've killed you," she panicked.
Janet knew that she'd be sent back to prison if anyone were to find out about her dirty deed. She hurriedly hoisted Sophie into the air and plunked her down inside a Dumpster. Just to be sure that no one saw the body, Janet carefully covered Sophie with cardboard. "Fingerprints," Janet gasped. She looked nervously at the oversized plastic candy cane that she'd bludgeoned Sophie with and knew that she had to dispose of it. Janet placed the decoration in a metal barrel that was still smoldering from a trash fire started by a homeless person.
Junior waited for his father to reply. "I'm not your dad, Junior. It's Uncle Stuart!" Adam said deceptively. He turned his back to the carolers, knowing that Junior, more so than anyone else, could see through his act. Tad assured Junior that he'd made an "honest mistake" in mixing up the Chandler twins. Jake arrived on the scene and quickly plucked Colby from Adam's arms. That was the most difficult part for Adam -- having to pretend that he liked Jake. As the entire Martin clan headed back to Joe and Ruth's house, Junior asked his Uncle Stuart to join them. Adam tried to talk his way out of it, but in the end, he had to agree in order to maintain his charade.
Eugenia told Joe that she was glad that Jake was a part of her granddaughter's life. Ryan dropped by the Martin house after learning that Gillian had been released from the hospital. Gillian was happy to see Ryan, and Ryan was just as glad to see her. Gillian's recuperation, said Ryan, "makes a guy believe in Christmas." As a gift, Ryan gave Gillian several stuffed beanbag puppies -- a reference to the way she had confused the words "bagel" and "beagle."
Scott dropped by to pick up Becca, who had been helping Ruth in the kitchen. The pair was headed for the Wildwind chapel, and Ryan opted to tag along with them. The caroling Martins plus "Stuart" showed up and were warmly received by everyone. Joe greeted "Stuart" by the door. As they talked, Opal, Adrian, and Tina arrived, and Opal whapped Stuart on the bottom with the door -- accidentally, of course. Since she didn't know that Stuart was actually Adam, Opal even gave him a kiss on the cheek. Opal looked at Colby and proudly announced that she "looks more like [Jake] every day."
Again, Adam was forced to stand in the background and say nothing. Opal pulled Adrian aside and praised his choice of escort to the party. Adrian claimed that Tina was just an employee. "Whatever you call her," Opal said, as she grinned, "she's very attractive." As the evening grew later, the Martins speculated about what Colby might choose as an occupation later in life. Joe was certain that she'd be a doctor, but Tad thought she might be an artist like Stuart. When pressed for his thoughts, "Stuart" lamely replied that it was too soon to tell what she'd be.
Liza breezed into the house to drop off Colby's stocking. She informed everyone that she would not be sticking around. It was clear to everyone that she was upset. After Liza left, Tad grumbled that Adam had ruined the lives of every woman that he'd married. "If there's any justice, Adam Chandler is going to die a miserable, lonely old man," Tad snapped. From the background, Adam looked on with a frown.
Joe urged everyone not to judge Adam. "Christmas is probably the only time Adam can add up all that he has and feel like he's a poor man," Joe said philosophically. Again, Adam's face fell. Dixie jumped into to concur with her father-in-law. "Joe's right. We're with family... [Adam's] alone," she noted, adding, "I hope someday he gets to feel a little love and family." Adam was no longer able to keep quiet.
"Stuart" stepped forward and asked that everyone stop picking on his brother. Sure, Adam had done some bad things over the years, but he loved Liza and all of his children very much. The boys scampered down the steps and provided a fortunate break in the conversation. Everyone headed off to the kitchen except for Tad and "Stuart." Tad was surprised that Stuart had had a change of heart about Adam.
Tad thought it was peculiar that Stuart, who had been helping to stick it to Adam for weeks, was beginning to have second thoughts. "He's my brother," said "Stuart" in reply. Tad was called into the kitchen, and Adam was about to hit the ceiling. He was furious that Tad had known all along that Stuart had been pretending to be him. Vowing to make Tad pay, Adam stormed out of the Martin house.
A short time later, the real Stuart showed up at the house. Joe smiled and told Stuart that he was glad that Stuart had decided to return and complimented him on his new sweater. Stuart smiled curiously but wasn't the least bit suspicious.
Woodruff Greenlee watched as his granddaughter paced nervously through the Wildwind chapel. Greenlee told him that she was waiting for her date for the evening, Leo du Pres. At the entrance to the chapel, Vanessa fussed over whether or not Palmer should wear his scarf inside the building. Because it was his first social venture since getting out of the hospital, Vanessa did not want her husband to get overheated. "That would kill me," she chirped. In the end, Palmer won out and did what he wanted to do: wear the scarf.
Erica placed a phone call to David to tell him that she probably would not be back to join him at the chapel. She'd taken a flight to see Bianca, and her return flight to Pine Valley was delayed. Vanessa was amazed to see her son in a church, especially on Christmas Eve. Mateo and Rosa arrived for the service. They greeted Edmund and Alex, with the two women agreeing that the holidays were difficult without their loved ones.
As Mateo and Rosa took their seats, Edmund confessed to Alex that he was looking forward to seeing his children's faces on Christmas morning. Edmund walked Alex to the back of the chapel and presented her with the Marick family ring. Alex objected because he'd intended for Edmund to hold onto the ring. Edmund insisted, and Alex ultimately accepted the gift. Rosa found a letter addressed to Mateo in her prayer book and handed it over to her big brother. Mateo read the note, and his eyes suddenly grew wider.
Vanessa sat in the row of pews directly in front of David. She took pride in taunting David over the fact that Erica was not in attendance. She mused that Erica usually used her daughter as an excuse to ditch the men in her lives when she was tired of them. Vanessa invited her son to sit with her during the service, but David declined. "I don't want to be struck by lightning," David said, a jab at the absence of religion in his mother's life.
Becca, Scott, and Ryan arrived at the chapel, and Greenlee immediately went into protective mode. She raced to Ryan and told him that they had to lay low because her grandmother did not approve of their relationship. "Forbidden fruit tastes even more delicious," she purred. Edmund appeared before the gathering and proudly announced that Grammy winner CeCe Winans would be singing "O Holy Night." As the gospel singer blessed everyone with her beautiful rendition, Erica arrived at the chapel and raced into David's arms.
With the compact disc that she and Mateo had planned to distribute to friends, patrons, and family, Hayley moped around the Dillon house. Amanda scurried down the steps and told Hayley that Tim had called to remind them to hang the angel atop the tree. "Whoever hangs it gets to make a wish," Amanda said merrily. Hayley was honored to hang the ornament on the tree. She carefully climbed a stepstool and hovered above the Christmas tree. She closed her eyes, made a wish, and placed the angel on the highest bough.
Amanda warned her cousin that she could not tell anybody about the wish until it came true. Trevor entered the room, and Hayley confessed to him that being without Mateo was harder than she'd thought it would be. Trevor urged Hayley to call Mateo, but Hayley was certain that Mateo did not want to hear from her. As he left the room, Trevor told Hayley to listen to her heart. Alone, Hayley spotted something odd on the Christmas tree. Upon closer investigation, she found a note hanging alongside the ornaments. She carefully read the note addressed to "Heart."
Back at Chandler Mansion, Adam rifled through the stack of mail. He heard Marian and Liza's voices and was forced to hide in the closet. Marian remarked that it had to be difficult for Liza to part with Colby on Christmas Eve. Liza nodded, saying that she'd always imagined that she'd be spending the holidays with her husband and daughter.
Liza picked up the stack of mail and smiled as she found the invitation from the World Television Conference, the bogus conference Adam had created. Marian thought that the conference would be a great opportunity for Liza and Colby to get away. Liza nodded and said that it might be just what she needed. When the coast was clear, Adam emerged from his hiding spot and mumbled that he'd see Liza in Monaco. "Get ready for a great new year," he cackled.
When Hayley arrived at the beach, Mateo was already there, waiting for her. "I got your note," he said with a smile. He assumed that Adrian had slipped it into Rosa's prayer book when he hadn't been looking. "I got a note from you, too," Hayley said, also smiling, but added, "I should've known it wasn't [really] from you." Mateo crinkled his brow and asked Hayley why she was so sure that he hadn't written the note. Hayley muttered that she knew Mateo didn't want to be around her -- especially not on the holidays.
Mateo shook his head and told Hayley that she was wrong. In fact, Mateo was glad that he'd ended up on the beach on such a beautiful night. Hayley walked away from Mateo for several feet before sitting down in the sand. She told Mateo that she liked going to the beach in the winter because she got the whole place to herself. The cold night air caused her to shiver, which prompted Mateo to ask her to share his blanket with him.
Both Hayley and Mateo shared the contents of the notes they'd supposedly written for one another. "In the beginning, there was you and me and an ocean of love. I'll be waiting for you," read Hayley. Mateo chuckled and said that he could not believe that Hayley had thought he'd written those words. "I went to the beach to lose myself, but I found you. I'll be waiting for you," read Mateo. It was time for Mateo to leave for the airport. Hayley was upset that her time with Mateo had reached an end. Mateo gently brushed Hayley's cheek and thanked her for spending Christmas Eve with him.
An out-of-breath Janet raced back to the Dillon house. A voice called out to her, "Amanda's safe because of you." Janet walked over to the mirror and told her alter ego to be quiet. Mirror Janet, though, would not be silenced. "Sophie got exactly what she deserved," Mirror Janet said as she smiled. Janet feared that the body would be recovered. Her reflection, however, assured her that it would be days before the trash collector would haul away the garbage. By then, no one would even want to sift through the rubbish.
Trevor wandered into the room and asked Janet why she was so late. Janet lied and said that things had been dirtier than anyone had expected at the mall. Trevor sensed that his wife was upset and asked her if she was okay. Janet claimed that she'd seen some people milling about on her way home from the mall. She was certain that those people had no one special in their lives -- and the thought of spending the holidays alone was painful for her.
Trevor instructed Janet to head upstairs and take a hot bath. He left the room, but Janet lingered around for a little while longer. Janet remained fearful that someone would find Sophie. Mirror Janet stated confidently that no one would ever find Sophie's body. "The only one that can blow it is you," she said.
In the alleyway, a homeless woman picked through the garbage in hopes of finding something she could use to stay warm. As she poked around, her face froze. She screamed in horror and ran away.
Mateo and Hayley returned to the Dillon home, stopping to sit outside on the porch and share one final goodbye. Trevor caught sight of the pair and placed a call to Adrian to thank him for meddling in his niece's business. To Trevor's surprise, he found out that Adrian had not done anything to help Mateo and Hayley get back together.
All smiles, Hayley breezed into the house. Amanda beamed broadly and told Hayley that the angel atop the tree seemed to have granted her wish. Hayley waited until Amanda stepped out of the room before gently chiding her uncle about interfering. Trevor shrugged innocently and insisted that he'd had no part in the matter. Janet returned downstairs for the annual reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
"'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse," Janet read with a smile. Suddenly, back in the dark alley, Sophie's hand gripped the top of the Dumpster.