Lucas informs Sami that he's going to Switzerland to visit Will for Christmas. She's upset that her son still doesn't want to see her. Sami suspects something isn't right about Lucas' story and makes him promise not to go anywhere. She points out that Bo confiscated his passport anyway.
Feeling alone and unloved, E.J. confides in Tony, who has briefly returned to town. He breaks the news that Sami left him, and Tony encourages him to turn his life around. In private, E.J. vows to be a better man if God will give him a second chance with Samantha.
Chloe makes a play for Philip, but he coldly rejects her. She warns him Belle will always choose Shawn over him. When Philip questions her about her own love life, she clams up. Later, Philip has his people investigate Chloe, and he finds out she's wanted as a person of interest by the Vienna police. Brady appears to be missing.
Belle and Shawn throw a surprise birthday/anniversary/Christmas Eve party for Hope and Bo at Chez Rouge. Belle shares with Kayla her feelings of insecurity about Bo and Hope. Kayla advises her to hang in there and show her in-laws how much she loves their son. Later, Kayla encourages Hope to give Belle a chance. Hope makes an effort, but then she overhears Chloe telling Belle that Philip still wants her and that if she wants him, he's all hers.
Chloe showed up at Titan to find a grinning Philip who told her he knows that the Viennese police were looking for her regarding the disappearance of her husband, Brady. Chloe said she did not know they were looking for her and that she had not seen Brady since he left after they had a big fight about returning home to Salem. Philip wasn't buying it. He pressed her for more information and when he picked up the phone to call Vienna, Chloe stopped him, pleading for him to hang up. When he did, Chloe explained that it was all a misunderstanding and that she did not know where Brady had disappeared to. Chloe begged Philip to trust her because they were friends. When Philip guessed that she had been coming on to him in order to use him, Chloe denied it. Instead, she explained that she was scared and had nowhere to turn to except for home and her friends. Not messing around, Philip asked her whether she killed Brady. Before she could answer, her phone rang.
Marlena was lying in bed thinking about John's accident when she heard a noise downstairs. When Marlena got downstairs she found a smiling Sami lighting a Christmas tree in the living room. Sami gave Marlena a framed picture of the twins and a wistful Marlena said she couldn't believe John would never get to see the babies. Changing the subject, Sami told Marlena that she had left E.J. Marlena was thrilled but when she asked how Lucas was taking the news, Sami changed the subject to her siblings. Marlena was worried that she had not heard from Brady, and sharing Marlena's unease, Sami called Roman over. When Roman arrived, he told Marlena that police detectives in Vienna were looking into Brady's disappearance already. Marlena then mentioned that she had not gotten a hold of Chloe yet either, and Sami was shocked to learn that Marlena did not know that Chloe was in town. Angry, Marlena called Chloe on her cell phone and demanded that she come over to the penthouse immediately. A hesitant and defensive Chloe showed up shortly thereafter to find a furious Marlena. When Chloe tried to give her condolences to Marlena about John, Marlena would have none of it telling her that she was angry Chloe had not bothered to contact her about Brady and by her inaction, Chloe had made the situation more painful. Confronted with Brady's crazed stepmother, Chloe began to tell them about her fight with Brady. When she said she did not know where Brady was, Marlena continued to push her for information. Roman was suspicious of Chloe's story and checked it with the Viennese police. When he learned from police that there had been numerous noise complaints from Brady and Chloe's neighbors as well as the fact that their apartment had been trashed and held traces of blood, Roman convinced Chloe to come to the police station immediately for questioning. Chloe relented upon threat of extradition to Austria and left with Roman. Once she was gone, Marlena told Sami that she believed Chloe was lying but that Brady had to be fine because she would not lose another family member.
In the Chez Rouge ladies' room, Cordy begged Stephanie to tell someone about her rape. Stephanie resisted stating that she didn't want people to see her as a victim. Cordy then quoted Stephanie to herself, telling her those words had saved her life, and Cordy asked Stephanie to let them save her life as well. When Cordy told her to give her loved ones a chance to help, Stephanie finally relented and agreed to tell Kayla. Cordy brought a weepy Stephanie out to the dining room to find Kayla, and seeing her daughter crying, Kayla rushed over. Finally, Stephanie admitted to her mother that the night she had hooked up with a stranger, it had been no stranger. Stephanie admitted that she had been raped by Ford, and cried in her mother's arms, begging her not to tell anyone, especially Steve. Kayla agreed.
In the other corner, Steve took Max aside to assuage his fears that Stephanie was not interested. Steve filled Max in on the fact that he had gotten Stephanie the job at "The Cheatin' Heart" just so she could be close to Max. Pleased but confused, Max told Steve that Stephanie had every right to worry about getting her heart broken. Steve told Max that he knew his bad boy ways were in the past, but he also promised that if Max hurt his daughter, he would come after him.
Hope continued to celebrate her anniversary and birthday with Bo, despite thinking about what she had overheard between Chloe and Belle in the bathroom earlier. When Hope saw Belle and Shawn kissing under the mistletoe, she only told Bo that she hoped Belle and Shawn would last as long as they had. After the birthday cake was brought out, Hope gave a toast to marriage stating that it worked only if the two people were in love and honest with one another. Belle took Hope aside and told her that she agreed. While Hope was pleased with Belle's words, the moment of happiness ended quickly when Philip arrived at the party. With the room quiet enough to hear a pin drop, Belle stepped forward in front of everyone and reamed out Philip for showing up to the party. When Philip protested saying he was only there for the anniversary party, Belle cut him off and said he was only there for her, which was pointless because she did not want him. Belle warned him to get over it and get over her. Philip wished everyone a Merry Christmas and slunk out of the restaurant.
On Christmas morning, Marlena receives an odd call from the dry cleaners, but when she shows up, she meets Crystal, a psychic. Marlena thinks she's a con-artist, but she's stunned when Crystal has information on John -- and says he's alive! Marlena doesn't have time to process this before Steve arrives and says the whole family's worried about her. Marlena decides not to tell Steve what Crystal said.
The Hortons gather at Alice's to hang their ornaments on the tree, while Lucas says good-bye to Allie at his apartment. Billie arrives to take Allie to the Hortons' and realizes something is up with her emotional brother. Later, Kate ropes Philip into helping Lucas flee the country. At Alice's, Billie and Maggie tell Sami about Lucas's strange behavior. Sami rushes home, but misses Lucas, finding only a good-bye letter from him instead.
Cordy encourages Stephanie to open up to Max. Stephanie goes to the hospital, where Max (dressed as Santa) and Nick (as an elf) end up reading the Christmas story to the sick children. When the kids start asking questions about different religions, Max and Nick explain to them about everyone coming together for the holiday. Both Stephanie and Chelsea are moved by their sentiment. Chelsea, haunted by visions of Ford, turns to Nick for comfort, and he surprises her with an online photo slideshow. Stephanie tries to open up to Max, but she has flashes of Ford raping her and pushes him away. Later, Kayla comforts Stephanie.
E.J. surprises Stefano by revealing that he can walk again. He begs his father not to retaliate against Sami for leaving him. Later, Stefano and Rolf tend to a mystery man in the laboratory.
Max confronts Stephanie over her hot and cold reactions to him. She gathers her courage to tell him about the rape, but is interrupted by a phone call from Chelsea.
Chelsea and Nick are caught off-guard when Crawford Decker, Ford's father, shows up at the Theta house, wanting to search for clues regarding his son's disappearance. Chelsea repeats the "official" version of what happened, but Crawford doesn't believe her. He's about to search the basement when Billie arrives and stops him. He can't search without a warrant. Crawford accuses Billie of covering for her daughter. Billie shows him the surveillance video of "Ford" leaving the sorority. Crawford points out his son's face is obscured, so the "evidence" is worthless. He warns Chelsea that if she and her band of lying little tarts did anything to hurt his son, they'll pay. He stalks off to get a warrant. Chelsea calls Stephanie and Max, urging them to come over right away ľ they need to move Ford's body!
Roman consoles Sami, who is beside herself that Lucas ran off with Kate to avoid being arrested for attempted murder. Sami maintains that Lucas did not shoot E.J. Roman informs her that the ballistics report came back ľ the bullet in E.J.'s spine came from Lucas' gun. He leaves to search for Kate and Lucas.
E.J. shows up at his father's mansion, worried about what Stefano has planned for baby Johnny. He's clubbed from behind by a mysterious assailant. Stefano tells E.J. it was his "houseguest," but refuses to identify him. E.J. warns him to keep his hands off Johnny, and Stefano feigns compliance. Rolf reports that Lucas was the one who shot E.J., but has gone on the run. E.J. races back to the apartment to make sure Sami didn't go with him. Sami is stunned to find E.J. walking and angrily accuses him of faking his paralysis. E.J. offers to help her find Lucas and bring him safely home.
Hope joined Marlena at Chez Rouge, where Marlena was lost in thought, remembering John's accident and death. Marlena filled her in on meeting up with the psychic, Crystal, outside the dry cleaner's on Christmas, and Hope echoed Marlena's initial concerns that the woman was just a con artist. Marlena insisted that Crystal seemed genuine - and that the woman knew things she couldn't ordinarily have known. Because of this, and because she herself sensed it, Marlena now believed John was still alive. Hope tried to convince her that Crystal could have been hired by the DiMeras as a distraction, to keep her mind off of Sami's situation so Stefano could pull Johnny into the DiMera fold. Marlena persisted in her beliefs, so Hope suggested they go visit the fortune-teller. They found the woman's shop boarded up, and learned that no one had been inside the building in months because it had been condemned. Hope assured an upset Marlena that she believed Marlena had indeed met Crystal, and vowed that she and Bo would help investigate who the psychic could be working for. As they departed, Crystal stepped out from her hiding place.
At the DiMera mansion, Rolf told a livid Stefano that their houseguest had escaped, presumably through the tunnel. Stefano bellowed that they must find him immediately. Meanwhile, near the dry cleaner's, a mysterious person, clad all in black with a hood covering his face, frightened a boy playing with a ball before slipping silently away. He skulked around town, narrowly missing being seen by Marlena several times. Later, the boy showed Stefano and Rolf which way the man had gone. Back at the mansion, Stefano shouted at someone on the phone that the houseguest must be found or else; just then the hooded figure came in through the French doors. Stefano demanded to know if the man had been seen, but the man ignored him and hurried away. Rolf chased after him with a stun gun and a hypodermic needle full of sedatives, warning Stefano that this houseguest could be very dangerous. Stefano chuckled that he was counting on it.
E.J. brought Sami a GPS tracking device; since all of Mythic's vehicles had them installed, they could track Kate's car and find her and Lucas before the police did. As they waited for the device to pinpoint Kate's location, Sami questioned E.J.'s change of heart: why did he suddenly want to help Lucas? E.J. admitted that he was trying to help her, not Lucas. The GPS alerted them that Kate's car was near the airport, and was not moving. Sami worried because the airport was crawling with police, and Lucas might be caught using a fake passport. She started to call Marlena to babysit while she went after Lucas, but E.J. suggested he watch the twins himself, to save time. Sami said she was suspicious of his motives, believing he and Stefano would abscond with Johnny to Italy. E.J. said he sincerely wanted to be a good father and not follow in Stefano's footsteps; he hoped Sami would consider his help a down payment for all the pain he'd caused her. He also wanted to keep Lucas from making a huge mistake by running away, because it would wreck so many lives. After saying she'd kill E.J. if he hurt her children, Sami finally reluctantly agreed. She made sure E.J. knew where to find everything he might need, then rushed out the door.
In Kate's car near the airport, Lucas climbed out of the trunk as soon as she ensured they hadn't been followed. They sat in the car while she filled him in on her plan: Philip was sending a truck to take them both to Mexico; then they would go on to Europe. Though he protested that she shouldn't sacrifice her own freedom, she insisted Lucas's escape would require her help along the way. He worried that he was setting a bad example for his kids, and that he would never be able to come back to Salem, but Kate promised him Sami would bring the twins over to visit as soon as he was safely settled, and one day he'd be able to come home. Lucas started to have second thoughts about ever having listened to Kate, and worried about having to live in hiding forever. He said he was going to turn himself in, do his time, then spend the rest of his life with Sami and their children, but Kate talked him out of it, convincing him that the DiMeras would kill him if he did. Their driver arrived, and as they were rushing away with their luggage, Sami ran up, shouting for Lucas not to go.
Max and Stephanie arrived at the Theta house, where Chelsea informed them that Crawford Decker was returning soon with the police and a search warrant. Max tried to calm a panicky Stephanie, telling both her and Chelsea that no woman would be safe if Ford were still alive - but that they needed to hurry if they were going to get his body out before the cops got there. Stephanie kept a lookout upstairs while Max and Chelsea went to the basement. Max saw the new water heater waiting to be installed and hatched a plan: they would dig up Ford's body, put it in the old water heater, and wheel it out, then Max would install the new water heater. Meanwhile, Stephanie tried to play it cool when Billie and Sgt. Dodd from the crime lab showed up to start their search, which they began upstairs. To prevent Max's being seen by the security camera, Chelsea called Maintenance to come fix the porch light, which was in front of the camera. While the repairman was blocking the camera and Stephanie was keeping watch, Max wheeled the handcart with the water heater holding Ford's body out the front door. Just as Stephanie got the door closed behind them, Billie announced she and Sgt. Dodd were ready to check out the basement. Chelsea warned them that it was a little messy because they'd just gotten a new water heater. As Sgt. Dodd inspected the dirt floor, Billie asked if he'd found anything. "I'm not sure," he replied.