At Forrester in the evening, Steffy was still awestruck by Brooke and Taylor's truce. Finn replied that he wanted to applaud Brooke and Taylor, but he was preoccupied with Sheila. Steffy wished she'd gone after Sheila, but Finn said Steffy had been in shock.
Finn and Steffy were surprised when Deputy Chief Baker arrived. Baker had brought with him some footage of Sheila. Steffy said Deacon hadn't been able to pull anything up on camera. "You think I trust Deacon Sharpe?" Baker asked.
Explaining that the police had checked surveillance at nearby establishments, Baker said a place down the street had footage of Sheila leaving Il Giardino, and it hadn't looked like Sheila. Baker showed Steffy a photo, and Steffy said it was the woman she'd bumped into.
Baker stated that forensics had confirmed with 98 percent certainty through facial recognition and a retinal scan that it was Sheila. Steffy gasped when Baker showed Sheila's booking photo and a close-up of a headshot of the woman leaving Il Giardino to her and Finn. On both images were several comparison dots. Baker announced that Sheila was alive.
Baker informed Steffy and Finn that the security footage had been useful. Handing out more pictures, Baker showed them the stolen vehicle Sheila had procured. The police even had the license plate number. He said it was a matter of time before she was arrested.
As Baker said he'd give the photos to Steffy's head of security, he received a call from an officer in a car. The officer was tailing Sheila. Baker put the call on speaker. The officer hadn't called it in to the station yet because he didn't know if Sheila was monitoring police scanners.
Through the speaker, Steffy and Finn heard the officer flip on his police sirens.
On the road, Sheila saw blue lights in her car mirror. She floored the gas pedal.
In the design office, Eric arrived to talk with Carter about what he'd heard from Donna about Carter and Katie. Eric noted that Katie was very important to him, and he didn't want her to be hurt. Carter said he only wanted what was best for Katie, which wasn't Bill.
Eric noted that Katie had tried to move on from Bill before. Eric supposed it could be different because Will was older. Carter said Bill couldn't let Katie be the only one for him, nor could he stop having eyes for her sister. Carter said Katie would never have to question him.
Suggesting that Carter tell Katie that under the mistletoe, Eric invited Carter to spend Christmas at the mansion. Eric said Katie was on the guest list, but Bill wasn't. Carter revealed that Katie was with Bill at that moment because Bill hadn't been himself. Eric asserted that it was a ploy to get Katie back.
At Bill's house, Katie said she'd always care about Bill. Bill figured that meant she had to at least consider what he was saying about their relationship. He seemed desperate, saying she had no idea how much he needed it, and he asked her to say she needed it, too.
Katie said they'd already talked about it. Bill asked if he could give her something before she answered him. She stated that she didn't need anything, but he said it wasn't a thing; it was an experience. He asked if he could take her and Will on a week-long cruise on the Stella Maris. He said Will would love it, and they could bond as a family. Bill knew that she wanted it and said he did, too, more than she could imagine.
Bill proposed that he, Katie, and Will spend the holidays on their yacht. He figured they could even be gone for weeks or months. "There's no reason not to," Bill said, insisting that he needed it. Katie stated that she could see that he wanted it, but she questioned whether he needed it.
Bill told Katie that she was his anchor, and he'd been floating aimlessly without her. He insisted that he needed her like never before. Bill uttered that he couldn't do it. He couldn't go at it alone. She asked what he was going at. "Life," he responded. Katie figured that Bill was lonely. Bill said it wasn't like him, but he felt as if he was losing himself.
Katie asked if wearing that necklace would really lead him back to where he needed to be. Crying, Bill asked her to help him and to anchor him. "I can't," Katie replied. She was crying, too, but she said she couldn't hold him in place. Katie said she believed he needed her, but he'd also said he needed Brooke. Katie concluded that he didn't want an anchor and that he wanted to float. He said he might want someone who admired the sword for all it signified.
Sobbing, Bill said she wasn't hearing him. "I really do need you," he imploringly said. Katie asked about what she needed. She said he'd learned things about himself on his own, so he should probably spend time alone on his yacht, "because I can't be with you." Pulling out her phone, she decided to call someone to pick her up. She said it had been a mistake to be there.
Bill begged Katie not to go. He said he couldn't stand being alone in the house or who he was without her. He said she was right about him not being a good person. Katie ordered him to stop saying things like that. She said he wasn't a bad person. Bill stated that he wasn't when he had Katie leading the way. He swore that he had a greater appreciation for her. He said he'd throw the necklace away if she didn't like it because, if he had her, he wouldn't needed it any longer.
Bill took off the necklace and placed it in Katie's hand. He said she could do whatever she wanted with it. He said he only cared about Katie and whether she'd stay by his side forever.
Later, Bill tried to get Katie to cancel her ride and talk more, but she felt they'd said all they needed to say. Disagreeing, Bill promised to be the man she needed. Katie asked what would happen if she believed him and he hurt her again. Bill swore that those days were over, and he'd be the man she wanted him to be. He stated that it was "now or never."
Someone knocked on the door, and Katie said her friend was there. Carter entered the house. Katie thanked Carter for being there, and he said it wasn't a problem. "Bill," Carter said with a nod of acknowledgement. Bill asked Katie not to "do this." He said she belonged there with him.
Katie placed the sword necklace back in Bill's hand and said goodbye. Katie left with Carter. Bill sobbed, placing the sword necklace back on his neck. His facial expression hardened.
At Brooke's house, Katie stated that she was proud of Brooke for leaving Ridge but noted that he'd been the love of Brooke's life. Affirming it, Brooke said he had always been at the center of it and the motivation behind every decision she'd made. She'd spent untold energy trying to fight for him and hold onto him, as had Taylor. Brooke stated that it had had to stop.
Katie replied that Taylor and Brooke were dropping the rope and ending the tug-of-war. Brooke said she and Taylor were ending the anxiety, uncertainty, and feelings of inferiority, and although Ridge was important to them, they needed to take care of themselves. Katie claimed to know what it was like to finally feel like one had to move on. Stating that it was liberating but not easy, she asked how Brooke really felt about it.
Katie reasoned that Ridge had been a big part of Brooke's life. Brooke admitted that she'd miss him. Katie assumed that Brooke felt a sense of loss. "A little," Brooke replied, but she said that she felt free from the cycle she'd allowed to go on for so long. She stated that she'd put all her faith in their "destiny" when she should have put it in herself.
Brooke expressed her belief that she'd done the right thing for herself and her family, and she said she and Taylor hadn't been punishing Ridge. Katie remarked that Ridge had left Brooke in Aspen and left Taylor at the altar. Brooke said that in the past, she and Taylor would have blamed each other for it -- but never again. Katie concluded that it was huge for Brooke.
Brooke said she hadn't seen the point of blaming Taylor for her unhappiness or for Taylor and her children to blame Taylor's on Brooke. Brooke noted that Donna had chosen peace with Eric, and Katie had chosen peace by moving on from Bill.
Katie stated that there would be more peace and joy at Eric's house for Christmas. Brooke said she wouldn't miss it for the world. Katie wondered if Thomas would be there. Brooke shared that Taylor had said he'd gone underground. Brooke added that they didn't need to worry about Thomas when they had Sheila Carter on the loose.
The topic turned to R.J. and Will, who would be with friends for the holidays. Brooke asked if Bill had made a push for family togetherness during the holidays. Katie revealed Bill's proposal to sail on the yacht and stated that his week-long suggestion had turned into months. Katie said Bill had been hurt and vulnerable, and she didn't know what was going on with him.
Brooke guessed it was a difficult time of the year. Agreeing, Katie noted that their family members were spread out. She said she didn't even know if she'd see Bill and figured there was no reason to anytime soon. Brooke said Bill might meet up with Will somewhere.
Brooke doubted Thomas would be around for the holidays, but she worried about another person being around -- Sheila Carter. Katie asked if Sheila would really stick around. Brooke said Sheila hadn't run before, and they'd thought Sheila had been dead. Katie stated that it was all crazy, even for Sheila. Brooke replied that Sheila was capable of anything.
Brooke reasoned that if Sheila wanted to harm them, she would have done it by then, and until the police caught her, they couldn't let themselves be paralyzed in fear. Katie wondered if they had enough security. Brooke said they had as much as they could without turning work and home into fortresses. Katie asked if Brooke felt confident that the police would find Sheila. Brooke uttered that Sheila couldn't get away that time.
In the CEO's office, Finn, Chief Baker, and Steffy intensely listened to a police officer's pursuit of Sheila out on a road at night. The officer was positive he had Sheila, who was driving a silver SUV. Baker said to assume Sheila was armed, and he noted that backup was on the way. Steffy suggested a pit maneuver, but Baker thought it was too dangerous.
In Sheila's car, Sheila grinned menacingly and pressed down on her gas pedal. Resolutely, Sheila said she was not going back to prison. "Move! Move!" Sheila yelled at the traffic in front of her. She zipped down the highway, trying to lose the parole car, but to her frustration, she hit a patch of traffic. She roared, slamming her hands on the wheel and asserting that there was no way she'd go down like that.
In the car chasing Sheila, the officer reported to Baker that there was heavy traffic, and the side streets were blocked, leaving Sheila nowhere to go. Steffy yelled for the officer to get Sheila. Baker said the officer had permission to move in once it was clear.
As Baker, Finn, and Sheila listened on speakerphone, the officer got on his megaphone and told everyone in traffic to remain in their vehicles. They heard a car swerving. The officer announced that the suspect was fleeing, and he needed backup. He told Baker that Sheila had taken a traffic opening near a truck, cut over the parkway, and taken off eastbound. The officer was blocked in, but the suspect was at large. "She's gone, Chief. Sheila Carter is gone!"
Baker ordered his units to canvass the area and update him every ten minutes. After Baker ended the call, Finn and Steffy expressed their outrage that Sheila had gotten away. Assuring them that the police would find Sheila, Baker said that they'd lost her around Beverly Hills. Because it was near Finn and Steffy's families, Baker suggested that they alert their families and security.
Finn was livid that the police had let Sheila slip away. He yelled that his family was in incredible danger. Baker stated that he'd make sure nothing happened to the families and that Sheila wouldn't win. Steffy said Sheila had been playing that game for a long time. "And she always escapes!" Steffy yelled.
Later, Baker had gone. Finn tried to reassure Steffy, but Steffy was frantic because Sheila always got away and because Sheila always showed back up. Steffy said she'd finally found a way to drive Sheila away, but Steffy had forgotten who she'd been dealing with.
Steffy flashed back to standing up to Sheila in the alley behind Il Giardino. Steffy said Finn had risked his life to save her, but he'd almost died. Finn replied that he'd fought his way back to be there for their family. Finn said he would not give up until Sheila was brought to justice, and then their family would be safe. Finn and Steffy hugged.
On the highway in front of Sheila's car, the traffic was clear. She said to never count her out, and she chuckled.
Later, Sheila's shadow slinked across the wall of someone's home. Sheila stood in someone's yard. She said that they'd thought they could catch her. "Think again," she declared with peals of laughter.
At Forrester Creations, Steffy paced around the executive office as Taylor and Carter hurried in. Steffy shared the news that Sheila -- "the monster we all know and fear" -- was alive and well in Los Angeles. Steffy explained that Sheila had been hiding in plain sight by wearing a mask and wig. "Wigs always look so fake!" Taylor gasped.
Steffy told Taylor and Carter about the police chase that had almost apprehended Sheila. Steffy also shared that the police believed that Sheila would more than likely remain in a relatively confined area west of Beverly Hills. Taylor groaned in disbelief, as that area was the area where nearly all the people that Sheila might want to target lived.
Later, as she and her mother sat alone in the office, Steffy said that she'd never thought she would see the day that Taylor and Brooke were "on the same side." Taylor chuckled as she recalled how Ridge had tried to play it cool when she and Brooke had turned him down. "I'll always love your dad, I really will, but it was good to love myself more," Taylor said. Steffy smiled as she said that she was proud of her mom for standing up for herself. Her smiled wrinkled up a bit when Steffy shared that she was also proud of Brooke. Steffy vowed that there was nothing that she would not do for Taylor.
In the design office, Katie and Brooke worried about Sheila being on the loose, but neither really wanted to spend their day talking about Sheila. The two women talked about Bill's unusual behavior. "I guess years of pushing people away makes for a lonely existence," Katie remarked. Katie admitted that she'd probably always care about Bill -- and that a part of her had always held on to the hope that things could work out between her and Bill. Katie became emotional as she told Brooke that life was too short "to waste time being unhappy."
Katie told Brooke that she had to go for her annual cardiology checkup because she had put it off for months. Brooke asked if Katie really had been too busy to see the doctor or if Katie was afraid about what the doctor might say. Katie insisted that she was fine. Brooke offered to go with Katie to the doctor, but Katie told Brooke that that wasn't necessary. "My brother's heart is beating inside of me, and it's a miracle, but we all know that I am living on borrowed time," Katie said as tears streamed down her cheek.
Brooke asked for permission to put her hand on Katie's chest. Katie nodded her approval. "Storm gave you the ultimate gift," Brooke said softly as she, too, began to cry. Brooke said that she'd known that Katie was special since the day Katie had been born.
Later, Carter found Brooke in the design office and asked if she knew where Katie was. Brooke told him that Katie had gone to see the doctor about her heart transplant. Carter became concerned and asked if Katie was okay. "She's just scared," Brooke replied. Carter agreed with Brooke's belief that Katie should not be alone.
At the hospital, Katie waited patiently to see Dr. Buckingham. As she paced back and forth, Katie thought back to a conversation that she'd had with Brooke years earlier, a conversation where Brooke had urged Katie to embrace life. Her back to the door, Katie turned around when she heard the office door open. Katie became confused when it was Carter, and not the doctor, walking into the room. Carter told her that Brooke had told him about Katie's appointment. Katie shook her head and told Carter that he didn't need to be there with her. "I'm a big girl. I understand the reality of my situation," Katie stated firmly.
When Carter stood silent, Katie snapped that she didn't want Carter feeling sorry for her. "I don't feel sorry for you. I'm in awe of you," Carter replied. Carter praised Katie's strength and courage but told her that she didn't need to go through it alone anymore. "You can lean on me. I won't break," he said.
Grace Buckingham entered the room and was shocked to see Carter standing next to Katie. Katie told the doctor that Carter was with her for support and that she hoped that wouldn't be a problem. "Paris has moved on, and so have I," Grace said bluntly.
Grace sat at her desk and prepared to give Katie the results of her tests. Katie and Carter each took a seat. Once seated, Katie reached over and took Carter's hand. "Go ahead, doctor. Tell me what my results say," Katie said.
In Grace's office, Katie and Carter held hands and waited to hear Katie's test results. Katie admitted that she put her yearly appointments off because she didn't like feeling as if she was living on borrowed time. Grace announced that Katie had had good test results. Grace stated that Katie had a healthy heart and was doing well, with no signs of heart rejection.
Carter said that it was amazing, and Grace stated that she was glad Katie had a wonderful support system. Grace left to see another patient, and Katie expressed relief after being stressed out about the appointment. She said she hadn't wanted to worry Carter about it, but when he'd arrived at the appointment, she'd known he'd be there for her.
Later, Katie and Carter arrived in the CEO's office. Katie considered taking a meeting, but Carter reasoned that she should take the time for herself because she'd already said she couldn't make the meeting. He took her to the settee and instructed her to take and release a breath.
Katie thanked Carter, saying she'd almost forgotten to breathe. Carter said Katie didn't have to go through it alone, and that included the anxiety prior to the doctor's appointment. He desired to be there for Katie, who'd been going it alone for a while. He stated that she didn't have to be alone any longer, although he didn't have a yacht or a jet.
Katie indicated that those things didn't mean anything to her. She said she'd felt alone and isolated in her relationship, but she planned to live her life to the fullest. She planned to laugh, dance, and raise her son. She said she'd love fully and completely, and they hugged.
At the cliff house, the living room was decorated from floor to ceiling and filled with twinkling lights. Finn and Steffy kissed and talked about getting caught up in the holiday spirit with the kids. Steffy wished the fear of Sheila wasn't hanging over them. Finn said he didn't want Steffy worrying during the holiday and that he'd always protect her and the kids.
Later, Finn, Kelly, and Steffy discussed going ice-skating. The topic turned to Rudolph and why he was the only reindeer with a red nose. Finn suggested she ask her father, Liam, about that. Finn asked what she wanted from Santa, and Kelly replied that she already had what she wanted. "We're all together!" she exclaimed.
Finn and Steffy expressed pride in Kelly for getting the meaning of the holiday but said she could still be excited about Santa Claus. Kelly wondered if Santa had gotten Hayes's letter. Finn said Santa had gotten it and had something extra for Kelly for being a great big sister. Kelly said she loved Hayes. Kelly felt that her family was the best, and it was the best Christmas ever.
Later, Steffy said Kelly was making cards for her grandmothers and grandfather. Finn handed Steffy eggnog he'd made from Eric's recipe. Steffy remarked upon Kelly's sentiment about togetherness. Steffy said finding Finn in Monaco had been the greatest gift imaginable.
A flashback played of Steffy and Finn's reunion in Monaco. Steffy said she loved Finn. She wished him a merry Christmas, and they kissed.
At Eric's house, Eric went through old handmade ornaments from his children. Ridge arrived, noting that Eric had wanted to see him. Saying it was important, Eric handed Ridge an ornament he'd made in the third grade. Ridge chuckled, and Eric said the tree would be filled with mementos from his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
Expressing worry for Ridge, Eric said he didn't want his son feeling lonely or untethered for the holiday. Ridge didn't want his father worrying about him but figured he should have his act together at his age. Eric said that with his track record, he couldn't judge, but he was curious about what had happened when Ridge, Brooke, and Taylor had been in the same room.
Later, Eric chuckled upon learning that Brooke and Taylor had dumped Ridge. Ridge admitted he hadn't expected the women to do it, but he'd been proud of them for their convictions. Ridge said he'd be okay, and Eric affirmed it, saying Ridge's family would all be there for him.
Pam and Charlie arrived with bags of groceries for the annual Christmas bash. They'd heard about Ridge's breakups with Taylor and Brooke. Pam elaborated that the entire office had heard, and she said he needed his family. Agreeing, Eric said he wanted Ridge to make an appearance at the house for Christmas.
Pam added that if Ridge was worried about running into Brooke, Brooke hadn't totally given him the "heave-ho." Charlie assumed Brooke and Ridge were still speaking to each other. Eric instructed Pam and Charlie to take their groceries to the kitchen, and as they walked off, they figured that someone was trying to get rid of them.
Ridge asked if Brooke would really be there for Christmas. Eric reasoned that Donna lived there, and her sisters would naturally join them. Eric was of the opinion that, despite what had happened, Brooke would like to see Ridge for the holiday.
Ridge admitted that he'd screwed up over and over. He stated that Brooke and Taylor had told him that he'd been in love with two women for most of his adult life. He added that they'd been there for him, but he hadn't been able to choose one. He asked why they'd put up with that.
Eric replied that the women loved Ridge. Ridge admitted that he loved them, too, but he'd let them down and turned their families upside down. Ridge figured he had to find a way to be a better man. Eric replied that he'd be Ridge's father, no matter what, and the men hugged.
At Eric's house, Eric found Donna downstairs in a red dress, admiring their Christmas tree. Kissing her, he said the only thing he ever wanted for any Christmas was her. Pam and Charlie walked in, and Eric asked if they needed help in the kitchen. They assured Eric and Donna that the cooking was under control.
Brooke and Katie arrived, followed by Zende and Paris, who both entered with arms full of gifts. Zende asked if Ridge was there yet, but Eric said he wasn't sure Ridge would show up. Brooke said she hoped Ridge wasn't staying away because of her. The others lent Brooke their support and said she shouldn't feel guilty if Ridge didn't show up.
Pam said Stephanie would want Brooke and Ridge to be together. In Pam's eyes, the two were soul mates, and the power of Brooke and Ridge couldn't be denied. Brooke and Pam hugged.
Carter arrived, and Katie hugged him. Eric greeted Carter, who was thankful that Eric had invited him. Eric said he and Carter had been through interesting times, but Carter was always welcome there. Next, Douglas, Beth, and Kelly scampered into the house. They were followed by Hope and Liam, who was loaded down with gifts.
Later, Paris, Zende, and Liam sang "Jingle Bells" with the kids. In the foyer, Charlie showed off Pam's gift to him. Carter called it a fine fishing rod, but Charlie said it was a limited-edition platinum edition 360B. Pam revealed that she and Charlie planned to sneak away to "the cabin" for a few days. He said she'd knit while he stared at her lustfully and hoped the fish didn't mind.
Pam stated that Stephanie had wanted Pam to have a kind-hearted man of her own. She felt as if Stephanie was with them. Brooke said she felt Stephanie's presence daily. Katie added that it was especially so after going to the mission, as they'd done earlier that day. Brooke thought it was important to keep up the family tradition, and Eric replied that Stephanie would be proud.
Later, Katie and Carter found themselves beneath the mistletoe. He joked that she'd planned it. Katie didn't know who'd put it there, but she was glad they had. He stated that it would be a new year with new possibilities. Katie replied that she'd be with someone who didn't just listen, but someone who actually heard her and would take good care of her heart. They kissed.
Eric gathered everyone together. He wanted everyone to know how happy and honored he was that they were in the house. He asked if everyone could say something they were grateful for that year. He added that there was love and affection among them. They supported and protected each other, which made them family. Het said it was the most important thing.
Zende went first, saying everyone there had guided him in a unique way, and he was thankful for the meaningful connections he'd made in his life. "And for second chances," he added, looking at Paris. Paris said she was thankful for third and fourth chances or whatever it took, because when it was written in the stars, it always fell into place. She kissed Zende.
Next, Carter said he'd learned a lot that year, and for what he'd lost, he'd gained in clarity. He told Eric that he appreciated Eric's forgiveness and brotherhood. Carter said they were his chosen family, and he was looking forward to what the next day brought. Katie spoke next, believing that they all had many miracles yet to come. Katie was glad that she and her sisters were in such a good place.
Hope cooed about the Logan pride and was glad to partake in it. She said the room was full of good role models to look up to, especially her husband. Liam admired the children and said they were a nice reminder to stay open-hearted. He asserted that joy was there, and in his case, he didn't have to look far. Liam kissed Hope.
Brooke declared that they were all lucky to have good health, fortune, and lifelong friendships. She said they could lean on those they loved. She leaned on her children and grandchildren and felt lucky to have each of them in her life. "Especially now," she uttered.
Just then, the front door opened, and Ridge quietly entered with a bag full of gifts. Brooke and Ridge looked at each other and smiled. Pam exclaimed joyously to have Ridge there. Ridge said he was there bearing gifts and wearing a big coat of humility. He said he'd thought he'd known everything about life, love, and communicating, but he knew very little.
Everyone wished Ridge a merry Christmas. Aside, Hope asked if Liam could believe Ridge had come. Liam wasn't surprised and asked who wouldn't want to spend Christmas with the girl of his dreams.
Later, the others watched Brooke and Ridge talking in the foyer. Charlie wondered what they were talking about. Pam repeated that the power of Ridge and Brooke couldn't be denied, and Charlie asked when Ridge would make the big move. Pam and Charlie seemed to get an idea, and they rushed off.
Alone in the foyer, Brooke said she hadn't been sure Ridge would make it. He replied that he hadn't been, either, but he'd wanted to see her face. He wished her a merry Christmas and said he'd just wanted to drop off gifts and say hi. Brooke told him that he didn't need to rush off. He replied that he didn't want to interfere in her holiday, and he had work to do on himself.
Brooke didn't think they should get into that. Ridge replied that he should have believed in her. "I know you've sworn off men for the moment, especially this man, and it's Christmas," Ridge said. They were interrupted by the sound of a fishing rod. Above their heads dangled mistletoe from a fishhook. Ridge gazed up at the overlook at Pam and Charlie with the fishing rod.
Charlie said it looked like Brooke and Ridge needed a little nudge. "What do you say?" Ridge asked Brooke. Brooke replied that it would be rude to deny the magic of the mistletoe. Ridge started to swoop in on her, but he held back. She gave Ridge a small kiss on the lips.
Later, the family donned silly Christmas glasses and played games together. Eric thanked them for all the speeches they'd made earlier. He stated that on Jesus' birthday, they should reach out and share their blessings. He hoped they'd challenge themselves to make the world better.
Carter stated that they all wished the feeling would last and that people would always be kind and considerate. Brooke added that there was beauty and inspiration all around them if they opened their eyes to see it, and they needed to carry the feelings of Christmas with them all year long.
The family wished each other happy holidays, and Eric began playing the piano. A montage of people opening gag gifts played on the screen. The kids tore open gifts, and the family rounded out the evening by singing "Deck the Halls."