At GC Buzz, Mariah became livid when she realized that Hilary had heavily edited an interview with Dylan. In the original clip, Dylan had said that Sharon, dealing with a treatable mental illness, was competent, rational, and stable while under a doctor's care. A video editor had cut Dylan's comment about Sharon's emotional stability. Mariah complained that Hilary had manipulated Dylan's words into a complete lie while at the same time slamming Sharon. Mariah insisted that Hilary undo the edits, but Hilary refused and immediately shared the heavily edited video file.
Mariah flew into a rage, called her boss names, and pushed Hilary. Devon intervened and asked Mariah why she had attacked Hilary. Mariah explained how Hilary had maliciously twisted Dylan's words against Sharon. Hilary claimed that she'd merely made the piece more interesting. Mariah disputed Hilary's claims. Hilary said she was aware that Devon had asked Mariah to keep tabs on the way Hilary produced media content. Devon and Mariah exchanged nervous glances when Hilary added, "Oh, yeah, I know all about that."
Mariah told Devon that "garbage and filth" seemed to be part of Hilary's natural habitat. Devon agreed that Hilary was purposely endeavoring to ruin people's lives. Hilary defended her actions by noting that Dylan had intended to state his case against Nick, which would've prompted Victor to defend a member of the Newman family. Hilary insisted that failing to cover the biggest scandal in Genoa City would cause her to lose credibility.
Devon reminded Hilary that viewers had praised the uplifting story she'd produced at Thanksgiving. Devon said Hilary's stories should help educate and inspire viewers instead of casting a false light on certain individuals. Hilary refused to honor Devon's request and said viewers could decide for themselves after the piece about Dylan aired. Hilary later gloated about viewers' positive response to the altered interview with Dylan. Devon fired Hilary for repeatedly refusing to present fair and unedited interviews.
At the hospital, Dylan and Sharon were waiting for word about Christian's condition when Nick and Chelsea arrived. Nick asked Dylan and Sharon what might have caused Christian to suddenly develop a rash and have difficulty breathing. Dylan asked if the baby had eaten strawberries. Nick, angry, asked why Dylan and Sharon had failed to mention Christian's food allergy. Sharon defended herself and said Christian's doctor hadn't confirmed a food allergy while the child had been in their home. Sharon added that she'd rushed to the hospital after Faith had phoned.
Ben emerged from the treatment room and reported that Christian was stable. Nick entered the treatment room. Nick held Christian while Sharon and Dylan peered through a window outside the room. Christian's babysitter, Leah, apologized to Sharon and Dylan for what had happened to Christian while he'd been in her care. Noting that Leah had colluded with Hilary during an interview for GC Buzz, Dylan warned Leah that she'd need attorneys if she ever leaked anything about his family to the media again.
After Leah left, Sharon complained to Chelsea about being barred from Christian's room. Chelsea explained that Sharon shouldn't pressure Nick because he might summon security to enforce the judge's restraining order. Sharon insisted that she wouldn't leave until she was certain that Christian was okay. A nurse escorted Faith to be with Sharon, Dylan, and Chelsea. Faith, in a panicked state, rushed to her mother.
Faith blamed herself and said she'd noticed some strawberries in a fruit bowl before Christian had grabbed one. Sharon consoled Faith and assured her daughter that no one was to blame. A nurse entered the treatment room to care for Christian, and Nick stepped out into the hallway. Ben returned and announced that Christian's tests indicated no lasting effects from the allergic reaction. Nick, Chelsea, Sharon, and Dylan were relieved to hear the good news.
Nick, Faith, and Chelsea entered the room to visit with Christian, but Ben stopped Sharon and Dylan at the door. Sharon pleaded with Ben to allow her and Dylan to visit Christian to comfort the baby. Ben refused and said he was also looking out for Nick. Inside Christian's room, Faith asked Nick to let Sharon and Dylan visit briefly with Christian. Chelsea calmly explained why Dylan and Sharon weren't allowed to be near Christian. Faith replied, "Because of Daddy, right? Because you asked a judge?" Faith said that Nick could change his mind.
Nick stepped out of Christian's room and invited Sharon and Dylan to visit briefly with Christian. Sharon joyfully caressed the child. Dylan also hugged Christian. Sharon tightly cradled Christian in her arms before handing him over to a nurse. After Sharon and Dylan stepped out, Faith begged to return home with Sharon, and Nick agreed that it was a great idea. Dylan nodded in a friendly manner at Nick before walking away.
At Sharon's ranch house, Faith turned on the television and saw the beginning of Dylan's interview. Sharon was concerned, but Dylan said it was all right for Faith to view the program. In a program teaser, Dylan was heard stating, "My wife has a history of mental illness." The rest of Dylan's statement wasn't aired. Sharon sent Faith out of the room. Faith seemed distressed, but she obeyed her mother and left.
Dylan explained that Hilary had twisted his words because he'd defended Sharon. Sharon replied, "I know you did. Maybe this is a lesson. Maybe what I've done is indefensible in the eyes of the public and the law. You see now? This is why we have to get a divorce." Dylan refused and said he and Sharon would stick together and approach the issue another way. Dylan pulled Sharon close and embraced her.
At Chelsea's penthouse, Kevin had packed several boxes with clothes and accessories from Chloe's closet. When Chloe returned home, she was shocked to learn that Kevin had been inside her closet without her knowledge. Kevin was taken aback by Chloe's anxious behavior. Kevin said he believed Chloe was worried because he might uncover a clue about the identity of Bella's father that Chloe had hidden in the closet. Chloe scoffed at Kevin's claim. Kevin said that perhaps Chloe hadn't really wanted to move in with him.
Chloe admitted that moving in with Kevin was a big step for her. Chloe mentioned her stay at the psychiatric facility when she defended her overt reaction to an invasion of her privacy. Kevin noted that Chloe hadn't talked much about her treatment. Chloe explained that the staff had closely monitored her actions and behavior for a "sign of some violent outbreak." Chloe added that the staff had repeatedly ransacked her room to search for weapons.
Kevin apologized and invited Chloe to discuss her treatment with him at length. Chloe went upstairs and frantically searched through the remaining items in her closet. Chloe located a box onto which was written "party shoes." Chloe pressed the box to her chest and breathed a sigh of relief. After Chloe returned to the living room, she overheard Kevin telling Bella that Chloe was "the best part of everything." Chloe became emotional as she covertly stuffed the shoebox beneath some clothing inside a packing box. Chloe told Kevin she was ready for a new adventure.
Mariah retreated to Chancellor Park and tried to phone Dylan and warn him about the distorted interview with Hilary. Mariah left Dylan a message and instructed him to return her call. While viewers watched the interview, Mariah read dozens of harsh comments viewers posted. One viewer labeled Sharon and Dylan as baby stealers. Another insisted that Sharon and Dylan should be locked up. A judgmental commenter noted that Sharon needed therapy instead of a baby. Mariah, disgusted, closed the lid of her laptop.
Kevin stopped to chat with Mariah. Mariah, troubled, blamed herself for the botched interview. Mariah cried that she couldn't face Dylan and Sharon. Mariah asked Kevin if she could stay in her old room at his house just for the night. Chloe suddenly appeared with two glasses of wine for a celebratory toast. Kevin announced that Chloe had agreed to move in with him. Mariah seemed stunned.
Nick and Chelsea returned to Christian's room. Nick said he'd allowed Sharon and Dylan to visit Christian because the child deserved to know that everyone had rallied for him. Chelsea said, "You're a good dad, Nick." Nick received a text message containing a link to a video.
Nick and Chelsea watched Hilary interviewing Dylan. Dylan said, "Sharon has bipolar disorder." Hilary asked Dylan if he'd stood by Sharon because of her mental illness. Dylan replied, "I could, but I won't." After the video ended, Chelsea said, "That doesn't even sound like Dylan. Why would he talk about Sharon that way?" Nick was baffled by Dylan's statement. Nick said his mind hadn't been changed, so he'd never hand his son over to anyone.
Victoria rebuffs Travis' attempts to reconcile
At the hospital, Stitch examined Cane and expected that it would be six to nine months before Cane had full mobility. Cane prepared to go to work, and Lily inquired if it was possible that Cane was pushing himself too hard. Stitch advised Cane to pay attention to his body and stop if he was in pain, and he added that Cane had to be honest with his doctors if he expected them to help. After Stitch stepped out, Cane testily asked why Lily had done that, and she asserted that she'd asked questions because she loved him. Cane wondered what was really going on.
Lily used her phone to research things that could go wrong if Cane's scar tissue didn't heal correctly, and she accused him of lying to her when he'd been struggling because he'd been determined to get back to work. She revealed that Billy had voiced concern about the obvious pain Cane had been in, and Cane wrote it off as Billy wanting to run Brash & Sassy on his own. Cane told Lily to let it go, but they continued to bicker about him pushing himself too hard. He called for a cab to take him to the office, and she snapped at him to do whatever he wanted, since she didn't care.
At the Athletic Club, Abby spotted Travis on the phone, arranging a delivery to Victoria. Abby called him a jerk, and he conceded that he was one, but he was determined to turn things around. Abby admonished Travis for sleeping with his ex when Victoria had believed in him, and Travis admitted that he'd screwed up. Abby incredulously asked if he thought flowers would change Victoria's mind, but Travis refused to stop showing how sorry he was. He pledged to do whatever it took to make it up to Victoria.
Abby spat that Travis obviously hadn't cared how Victoria thought or felt when he'd jumped into bed with Michelle, and Travis defended that he'd thought things had been over with Victoria. Abby scoffed at the idea that a stand-up guy would immediately hop in bed with his ex, and Travis invited Abby to judge him, but he loved Victoria and vowed to win her back. Abby wished him luck and remarked that he had a "hell of a mountain to climb."
Later, Abby gazed down at her wedding ring, and Lily greeted her. The women compared notes about their Thanksgiving festivities, and Abby remarked that the holidays were all about love and family. Abby forlornly realized that she was waiting for her divorce to be finalized, whereas she had been happily planning her wedding the year before. Lily wondered if Abby was having second thoughts about the divorce, but Abby was sure it was for the best. Abby recognized that she wasn't the only one going through it, and Lily referred to Victoria's broken engagement. Abby mentioned that Travis hoped to win Victoria back, but Victoria could be stubborn.
Lily confided that she knew all about trying to force someone to see reason, since Cane had pushed, and she'd pushed back harder. Abby hoped Lily and Cane would be okay, since she wanted to know that at least one couple would be living happily ever after. Lily recognized that she and Cane had needed to work at it, since they'd been apart and miserable a year earlier. Lily swore that her marriage was more than fine, but she and Cane had disagreed about his recovery, and she'd stormed out when she should have been more patient.
Victoria and Billy walked into Brash & Sassy and found the office filled with bouquets of flowers. Victoria read a card from Travis, begging for forgiveness, and she tore up the card. Victoria ordered an employee to remove all the flowers, and Billy commented that Travis didn't know her very well if he thought tulips and notes would do the trick. Victoria suggested that they get back to work, but she was clearly distracted by the last flower arrangement. She took the blooms out of the office, and she resumed focusing on work.
Billy and Victoria discussed ways to strengthen certain markets, and an employee entered with another delivery in a box. Victoria ripped the box open, and she found a toy sailboat named Tori inside. She opened the card and coldly read aloud Travis' words that they'd sail away and find their way together. Victoria decided to shut Travis' efforts down before something else showed up, and Billy volunteered to punch Travis if he sent a singing telegram. Victoria sent a text message to Travis, asking him to meet her at the park café.
Later, Cane arrived at the office, and Billy asked where Cane's chauffeur was. Cane ordered Billy not to talk to Lily about his recovery, and Billy explained that he'd only said something because he'd thought Cane had been in pain. Cane barked that it hadn't been Billy's call, and he demanded that Billy stop causing trouble. Cane added that he was capable of doing his job, and he accused Billy of underestimating him the same way Jill and Victoria had. Cane rolled his eyes when he spotted the sailboat, and Billy quipped that it was a typo -- it was supposed to be named Titanic.
Cane suspected that there was something wrong with the numbers, and Billy noted that Cane didn't have the updated figures. Cane griped that he hadn't been copied on the revisions because he'd been at home. Cane pushed himself to his feet to get the file with the accurate numbers, but he grimaced in pain. Billy insisted that Cane go home to rest, and Cane cursed and sank back down in his chair. Billy offered to call Lily, but Cane preferred to get a cab.
Lily arrived at home and was surprised to find Billy there, and he explained that he'd refused to let Cane wait for a cab after he'd hurt himself. Billy left, and Lily told Cane that she'd called the office to apologize, but she'd found out that he'd gone home. He told her not to apologize, since he was sorry. He added that he knew she was worried and that she wanted to take care of him, and they pledged their love.
Travis greeted Victoria in the park, and she told him to knock off the ridiculous gestures. He figured that she'd been ignoring his calls, so he'd wanted to let her know he'd been thinking about her. She spat that gifts were the last thing she needed, since she'd needed someone in her life to count on, and she'd thought it had been him. Victoria added that his tricks just reminded her of how wrong she'd been, but Travis insisted that he'd had to find a way to get her attention. He begged for a chance to talk to her, and she agreed to talk to him as long as she did the talking.
Victoria told Travis that she'd been cheated on many times, so she'd built a wall by expecting the worst from whoever she'd been with, but she'd thought Travis had been better. She guessed that was why it hurt that she'd trusted him, and he acknowledged that he'd let her down. She snapped that apologies and promises never stuck, and she started to walk away. Travis chased after Victoria and swore that he loved her and missed her. He recognized that she'd been hurt many times, but he thought she couldn't fold herself up in bubble wrap, since things happened to everyone.
Travis questioned whether Victoria wanted someone who loved her to lean on when things got hard, but she didn't want to be with the person who'd been responsible for making things difficult. Victoria whimpered that she'd thought he'd been the one, and he still believed he was. She said she'd been wrong again, and she told him to say goodbye and walk away. Travis pleaded with her, but he eventually turned around and left. Victoria returned to the office, where she dumped the sailboat in the garbage.
Abby arrived at Crimson Lights and spotted Stitch at the counter. They made small talk, and he mentioned that he was seeing Max that weekend. She told Stitch to give Max a hug from her, and she hoped Stitch was doing okay. They agreed that some days were better than others. She picked up her coffee order from the counter, and he noticed her bare ring finger when he handed her a packet of sugar. She headed out to return to work, but he stopped her and wished her a merry Christmas in case he didn't see her before then. After Abby departed, Stitch removed his wedding band.
Dylan returned home from a run and informed Sharon that he thought he was famous -- but not in a good way. She guessed that it was because of the butchered GC Buzz interview, and Dylan regretted that he'd trusted Hilary. Sharon recognized that he'd only been trying to help, but he lamented that he'd made things worse. He inquired about Christian, and Sharon said she hadn't heard from Nick. Faith descended the stairs, and Sharon pointed out that she'd made all of the girl's favorites for breakfast. Faith replied that she didn't want breakfast -- she wanted to go back to her dad's.
Faith relayed that Nick had sent her a text message to let her know that Christian was home, and she wanted to make sure her brother was okay. Faith wished that she'd been paying closer attention, but Sharon reiterated that it hadn't been Faith's fault that Christian had consumed strawberries. Dylan called Faith the greatest big sister ever, and Faith wanted to finish a drawing for Christian before she left. She inquired whether she could spend the night at the cottage and get back to their regular schedule, and a thrilled Sharon agreed.
Faith assumed that she'd have to see Christian alone, since it still wasn't okay for Sharon and Dylan to be around the boy. Dylan confirmed that nothing had changed, and Faith offered to give Christian a big kiss from them. The doorbell rang, and Faith answered it and greeted Michael. Michael observed that she was in a cheerful mood, and Faith happily announced that Christian would be okay. Faith ran upstairs, and Michael prompted Sharon and Dylan to explain about Christian before they got to Dylan's misguided interview and Sharon's nonsensical solution to the situation.
Dylan informed Michael that Christian would be fine as long as the boy stayed away from strawberries, and Michael hoped Dylan's presence at the cottage meant that Sharon's other plan was off the table. Dylan stated that a divorce wouldn't happen, and Michael turned the topic to the couple rushing to the hospital to see Christian. Sharon reasoned that her daughter had called, but Michael noted that it hadn't been Sharon's first violation of the restraining order. Sharon mentioned that Nick had allowed them to see the tot, but she worried that they'd blown their chances. Michael thought the hospital incident might have provided them with an excellent opportunity.
Michael pointed out that Nick had left his child with a babysitter and had neglected to tell her information that was vital to the child's well-being, and the outcome could have been very different. Michael figured that Nick was still grieving his wife, so he'd been distracted. Sharon argued that Nick was a great dad and that Christian wasn't his first child, but Michael countered that it was the first time Nick was raising a child on his own. Michael thought it made sense that Nick needed help from the people who'd raised and loved the little boy from the start.
Dylan refused to present Nick as a lousy father who couldn't raise his own child. Michael advised that sometimes the law needed sharp elbows to get results, but Sharon worried that painting Nick as a bad father would hurt Faith. Michael questioned how badly the McAvoys wanted to be with Christian and what they were willing to do to get it. Faith returned with her finished picture, and she hugged Sharon and Dylan goodbye. Michael offered to walk Faith out, and he told Sharon and Dylan that they had a lot to think about.
Dylan thought Michael's strategy didn't seem fair to Nick, but Sharon noted that it also wasn't fair that Christian wasn't in Dylan's life. Dylan recognized that his interview had labeled him a damaged veteran and Sharon a crazy person, so they needed something to make their case. Sharon wailed that Faith had just forgiven her, and she didn't want to put Faith in the middle if they went after Nick. Sharon said a divorce was still on the table, but Dylan maintained that it wouldn't happen, since he needed her in his life. He believed Michael had thrown them a life preserver, and it would be hard to go through with it, but they couldn't dismiss the idea unless they were ready to accept that they were probably going to lose.
Victor arrived at the tack house after he'd heard from his security team that Christian had been taken to the hospital by ambulance. Nick reported that Christian was fine after having an allergic reaction, and Victor wished that he and Nikki had been at the hospital with them. Nick remarked that it just would have just made things worse, and Victor asked who else had been there. Nick informed Victor that Sharon and Dylan had been at the hospital when he'd gotten there, and Victor questioned why kidnappers and liars had been near his grandson. Nick reasoned that Christian had been sick and in an unfamiliar place, and he'd been supportive of anything that had given his son comfort.
Victor warned that Nick had set a precedent for Sharon and Dylan not to take the restraining order seriously, but Nick swore it wouldn't happen again. Victor asked why Sharon hadn't told Nick that Christian had an allergy, and Nick considered it a good question, but he was thankful things hadn't been worse. Nick revealed that he hadn't been there when it had happened, and Faith had freaked out. Nick swore to be very vigilant going forward, since he was committed to winning the case, and he didn't want Sharon or Dylan to have visitation. Victor was glad to hear it, but he thought there might be a problem.
Victor summoned Leslie to the tack house, and Nick recounted the events that had led up to him letting Sharon and Dylan spend time with Christian at the hospital. Nick asked if it was a problem, but Leslie considered it the least of their worries. Nick realized that she expected Michael to get Sharon and Dylan to use what had happened to Christian to prove that Nick had been negligent, and he'd given them the ammunition. Victor asked Leslie to give them time to sort things out, and she warned them to move quickly. Victor showed Leslie out, and Nick declared that it was his fault.
Victor blamed Sharon for not telling Nick that Christian had allergies, and he became irate at the thought of Dylan and Sharon accusing Nick of being an unfit father when Sharon had kidnapped the boy. Nick wondered if that would be enough, since Sharon and Dylan would be telling the truth if they called Nick an incompetent father. Victor swore that Nick was the best of fathers, and he urged Nick not to let anyone let him doubt it. Nick thought he should have obtained all the information to ensure that he had a healthy, happy baby, and he believed Sage would have known what questions to ask.
Nick worried that he didn't have the right instincts to be a single parent, but Victor referred to Nick's other children, who were healthy and happy because of Nick's love and attention, and he was sure that Christian would be just like them. Nick pointed out that Sharon and Phyllis had helped him raise his other kids, but he was raising Christian by himself. Victor reminded Nick that he was part of a family, and the Newmans would be there to help, since they were strongest when they fought for one another and against their enemies. Faith entered and hugged Victor, and she showed him her drawing for Christian. Nick asked why she was there early, and Faith relayed that Michael had told her mom and Dylan that they had a lot to think about.
Victor arrived at the cottage, and he surmised that Dylan and Sharon were going after Nick. Victor expected Michael to use what had happened to Christian to force visitation by making Nick look like a bad father. Nick appeared behind Victor, and both men stepped inside over Dylan's objections. Nick groused that he'd let Sharon and Dylan spend time with Christian at the hospital, but it hadn't been enough. Nick and Sharon's phones rang simultaneously, and Michael informed Sharon that court was back in session.
The Abbotts bring back a tradition
At the Abbotts', the only things visible were the furniture and photographs of John and the family. Voices spoke in the background. Jack said, "Good morning, Dad." John replied, "Good morning, son." Jack said, "Nice to see you waltz in for breakfast." John said, "Hardly waltzing, and I feel wonderful." Jack agreed, "You look wonderful." John declared, "It's been such a long time since I felt like this." Ashley said, "You better get used to it, Daddy, because you look right at home in that chair." John said, "I feel right at home." Jack stated, "I would like to propose a toast to Dad. Never far from our thoughts, and never far from our hearts." Jack continued, "And to my two beautiful sisters."
Jack walked downstairs and picked up his newspaper just outside his front door. He heard voices emanating from the dining room. He discovered Abby, Ashley, and Traci at the table and Mrs. Martinez was serving them breakfast. Jack thought they had gathered for an intervention. He advised everyone not to worry about him because he was happy and had rejoined the foundation.
Ashley asked, "When was the last time we had a family breakfast?" Jack had a flashback to a past Abbott family breakfast when John had been alive. Jack said it had been much too long. Traci asked Jack why the Christmas decorations weren't up and offered to help Mrs. Martinez get the house decorated for Christmas.
The Abbotts all reflected back on the days when they would have breakfast as a family with John. Abby asked why it had been breakfast, not dinner. Jack explained that when their mother had left for parts unknown, John had wanted to be there for his children. John had always been busy at Jabot, and the only time he had been able to be with them as a family had been at breakfast. They had all thought those days would last forever.
Ashley mentioned that Jack had been a rebel. Jack said that Ashley had been the smart one, and Traci had been the sweet one. When Traci mentioned Billy, Jack became angry and asked why Traci had had to bring him up. Traci reminded Jack that Billy was still his brother.
Jack announced that the foundation was planning a big benefit party on New Year's Eve, and he wanted everyone to be involved. Traci asked if that included the whole family. Jack knew the direction she was going in and said he refused to talk about the brother whose name he wouldn't mention. Traci advised Jack that he'd have to talk to Billy because she had invited him for breakfast. Jack became angry again and said that had been a very bad idea, and she should have spoken to him first before extending the invitation to Billy. Traci asked if it was her home or not. Abby felt the point was moot because she didn't think Billy would show up.
Jack said Billy was smart enough to know he wouldn't be welcome in the Abbott home. Traci asked how long Jack intended to punish Billy by excluding him from family gatherings. Jack asked, "How does the rest of Billy's life sound?" Traci wanted Jack to make an effort, and she wanted Jack to call Billy and tell him it was all right. Jack shouted that it wasn't all right under any circumstance. Traci said she hadn't asked Jack to sit down with Billy and rehash everything. She wanted Billy to be included in having a bite to eat with his family. Jack refused.
Traci yelled at Jack, reminding him that they had just gotten through talking about how important tradition had been to their father, who had loved them and accepted them no matter what they had done. Traci said that Dad would have wanted Jack to figure out a way to forgive Billy and make him a part of the family again. She asked if Jack was going to sit in Dad's chair and tell her that he refused to do that. Jack admitted Traci was right, but he couldn't go back to the old times when everything had been forgiven.
Ashley explained that Traci hadn't been expecting that, but she had wanted it to be a start. No one condoned what Billy had done, but Billy was Jack's brother. Traci didn't expect miracles. Abby suggested that Jack could be civil, but again, Jack said he couldn't and wouldn't. He asked them to stop asking him to do that.
Jack knew his sisters and Abby loved Billy. He wasn't asking them to take sides. He suggested that they spend time with Billy without Jack because there wouldn't be a heartfelt reconciliation under his roof. Jack said that Billy knew better than to show his face at the Abbott residence.
At the ranch, Nikki read the news on her tablet while Victor read the paper. Victor said that the judge's ruling was on every page of the newspaper. Nikki confirmed it was all over social media as well. She was upset because there wasn't any privacy, and no one knew what the decision meant to those who loved Christian.
Victor said Nick shouldn't have to share his son with anyone, especially someone as unstable as Sharon. They both felt Christian should be raised by his biological parent, but Nikki felt terrible that Dylan had lost another child. Victor understood that Nikki was in an untenable position. Nikki had known that one of her sons would be left heartbroken. She had never meant for Nick to feel she'd chosen one son over the other.
At home, Sharon was looking halfheartedly at Christmas decorations when Dylan arrived downstairs and offered to help her. Sharon admitted she was doing it for Faith. Sharon felt deflated, since the judge's ruling had cut them out of Christian's life. She didn't feel like decorating or baking cookies. It felt like she'd been hit with a brick after they'd been denied visitation. Dylan said they had to concede that they had lost, and they had to find a way to move forward.
Dylan commended Nikki on how supportive she'd been. He knew that Nikki had put herself at odds with the rest of her family as a result. He wanted to thank Nikki for her support. He had assumed that Nikki would have backed Nick. Sharon was happy that Nikki had supported him, but Nikki had gone out of her way to bash Sharon. Dylan suggested that if they gave Nick space, perhaps Nick would come around. Dylan told Sharon he loved her and gave her a kiss.
Dylan went through the decorations and found Sully's first Christmas ornament with his name on it. He was going to throw it out, but Sharon stopped him. Dylan said Sully had never existed and suggested that if Sharon wanted to keep the ornament, she needed to hide it in a box. He didn't want it hanging on the tree where it would be a constant reminder of their loss. He didn't want to prolong their agony. Sharon didn't want to erase Sully from their lives like he had never existed, but Dylan said they had to let go.
Before Dylan left to see Nikki, he spotted a small picture of Christian, put it in his pocket, and left. Later, Sharon looked through family pictures and also found one of Christian. She took it out of its frame, kissed it, and put it into her pocket.
Nick and Christian arrived at Victoria's. Nick gave Victoria a poinsettia, and she was relieved it was from Nick and not from Travis. She told Nick she'd dodged a bullet. She knew that Nick would be happy with the judge's ruling. Nick said he was also happy that the judge hadn't forced Nick to lose more time with his son. Victoria felt bad for Dylan, but she felt the judge had made the right decision because Dylan and Sharon weren't Christian's parents. Nick said that Victoria and Victor had been amazing, and he thanked Victoria for her support.
Nick was annoyed that Nikki seemed to be more concerned about Dylan's feelings and his rights. Nikki had made Nick feel selfish for not wanting to share Christian with Dylan. He didn't understand how Nikki could have done that to him. He'd barely had Christian for a month when Dylan had hauled Nick off to court while Nikki kept telling Nick to back off. Victoria explained that Nikki had been caught in the middle and that Nikki had lost a lot of years with Dylan. Nick said Nikki had made him feel like he'd been the bad guy.
At the Athletic Club dining room, Jill and Billy discussed business over breakfast. Billy told Jill to relax because things at Brash & Sassy were under control, and Jill could go on her business trip with her mind at peace. Jill advised that she'd only be gone a couple of days. Jill was happy that Billy had told Victoria about Travis. She hoped that Victoria had kicked Travis to the curb. Billy said that Victoria's personal life was her business, and he and Victoria were fine.
Jill asked if Billy and Jack were fine. She reminded Billy that Jack was the only brother Billy had. Billy informed her that Jack wouldn't forgive him for what he'd done. Billy informed Jill that Traci had invited him for breakfast, but he'd decided not to go. Jill recalled fondly that the family breakfast had been John's tradition. Jill encouraged Billy to go. Billy advised her that Jack hadn't invited him.
Jill was adamant that Billy should be part of the family get-together. Billy said there had always been something that Jill had never understood. When he'd messed up as badly as he had, his first feeling had always been that he didn't belong and had been the odd man out. Jill said that Billy was John Abbott's son, and he was the same as John's children from his first marriage. She didn't care what had happened, but Billy and Jack would always share a bond.
Victoria was sitting at one of the tables in Chancellor Park when Billy arrived. She told him she'd been crying for three days straight. Victoria said that Travis was gone, and she would focus on the holidays and work. Billy assured her that things at Brash & Sassy were trending upwards. Victoria appreciated his update.
Billy advised Victoria that he hadn't told Jill that she and Travis were done. Victoria apologized to Billy for trying to shoot the messenger instead of thanking him for stopping her from marrying a lying, cheating jerk. Billy admitted that he hadn't wanted to tell her, but he hadn't wanted her in a marriage with someone she didn't know, especially since Travis would have been a stepfather to their children. Victoria agreed and thanked Billy.
Victoria told Billy that she hadn't told her parents about the broken engagement, and she knew Victor would say he had told her so and that he'd known that that Crawford guy was a lying punk. Billy assured her that Victor loved her and had gotten what he'd wanted -- Travis gone and Victoria protected from being hurt worse than she already had been.
Billy told Victoria that Traci had invited him for breakfast, and Victoria said that Billy had been given a golden opportunity and shouldn't waste it. Billy said Traci had already moved to New York when he'd been born, but he'd heard a lot about her and knew she had a big heart. He said that Traci wanted to put the family back together in time for Christmas and that she always looked for a happy ending. Billy said that that wouldn't happen this time. He'd tried to make amends with Jack at Thanksgiving, but it had turned out to be a complete bust. Victoria encouraged him to go, and perhaps he'd be the one to set things straight.
Nick arrived at the ranch with Christian. Nikki said she had a lot to say to Nick and hoped he'd understand what her intentions had been. Nikki apologized if it had appeared like she'd been favoring Dylan over Nick. That had never been her intention. She knew she had hurt Nick. Nick accepted her apology. Nikki said she'd felt bad for Dylan because he'd lost his adoptive parents and Connor. Nikki had just wanted to help him and be the mother she had never had the chance to be. Nick hugged Nikki while she cried.
After Victor left for the office, Nick apologized that he had raked Nikki over the coals, and he explained that he'd been out of his mind with the whole visitation thing. Nikki understood. Nick felt blessed because he had Christian in his life, but being a single parent was overwhelming. Nikki felt Nick always carried too much on his shoulders, working at Newman and the Underground, and he'd raised Summer, Faith, and Noah. She reassured him that he was a good father. Nick wasn't so sure.
Nikki asked if Nick was referring to the strawberry incident. Nikki assured him that it hadn't been his fault. Sharon had neglected to tell him about Christian's allergies. Nick said Sharon hadn't kept that from him -- it had been overlooked on both their parts. Nikki asked why Nick kept defending Sharon. Nick explained that he'd shown up at their house, picked up his son, and left. He hadn't asked any questions, and he knew very little about Christian. Nikki said he'd find his way, adjust, and learn as he went. Nikki reminded him that he had his siblings and his parents to help him, and they'd always be there for them.
Billy arrived at the Abbotts' just as the family was about to start their day. Jack opened the door, and Billy commented that his key no longer worked. Jack agreed. Billy asked if he was too late for breakfast. Traci invited him in. Billy gave Traci a bottle of Bare by Brash & Sassy. Traci was overjoyed.
Jack stepped forward and told Billy that he had just finished telling his sisters that Billy had had the good sense to stay away, and Jack admitted he'd been wrong about Billy -- again. Billy said he was there in peace and reminded Jack that he'd been invited. Jack said that he hadn't invited Billy, and he reminded Billy that he was no longer an Abbott.
Victoria hesitated outside Victor's office. She took a deep breath, knocked, and went into the office. Victoria said she had something to say, and she didn't want Victor to say he told her so. She just wanted him to be her father. Victor said that part of being a father was saying, "I told you so." Victoria asked him not to say it and said she just wanted his support. Victor agreed.
Dylan went to the ranch, and when he looked through the window, he saw Nick was there with Christian, and Nikki was hugging Nick. Dylan left.
Lauren hides problems at Fenmore's
At the Abbott mansion, Jack ordered Billy out of his house as Ashley and Traci looked on. Billy argued that they all shared the same father, so it was their house. Billy referred to how John had dished out the inheritance, and he wondered if Jack intended to keep changing the locks to keep him out. Billy declared that he was legally entitled to pick out a room, and Jack dared Billy to try it. Billy taunted that Jack only pretended to have the clout and cunning that their dad had possessed, but Jack was no more like their father than Billy was.
Jack conceded that he wasn't the man his father had been, but he couldn't believe Billy had the audacity to measure himself against John. Ashley ordered the men into separate corners, but Billy snapped that just because they had different mothers didn't make him any less an Abbott. Jack called Billy an embarrassment to the family, but Billy recalled that Jack's affair with Jill had caused their father's stroke. Traci begged them to stop, and she lectured that what was unforgivable was forgetting who their father had been. Traci believed that if John were there, he'd be ashamed of both of his sons.
After Traci led Billy out, Ashley pointed out that she was less of an Abbott than Billy was, and she questioned whether Jack planned to lock her out, too. Jack insisted that Ashley was an Abbott, but she reminded him that she didn't have Abbott blood. Jack reiterated that she was his sister in every way that mattered, but she thought the family breakfast had only made things worse, and she prepared to take off. Jack apologized if he'd been insensitive to her, and he explained that he'd gone after Billy because of what Billy had done to him and their family. He swore that he'd never loved Ashley less because of who her biological parents had been.
Ashley considered it strange that Billy and Traci didn't know the truth, but Jack asserted that it shouldn't matter to anyone. Jack was sure that it wouldn't have made a difference to John if he'd known, since Ashley had always been his favorite. Jack figured that John would have had her running the company, and their father would have been over the moon about Jabot Go. Jack credited Ashley for single-handedly reigniting their business and giving Brash & Sassy a run for their money, and she suspected that he was planning something. Jack thought it was time to throw Brash & Sassy to the curb, but Ashley surmised that he was just trying to punish Billy some more.
Ashley noted that she'd proposed the idea weeks earlier, but Jack had shot it down. Jack reasoned that they'd needed the rent to stay in the black at the time, but he didn't want the competition so close. Ashley guessed that Jack was trying to keep Billy and Phyllis apart, but she stressed that Phyllis was the one who should get the boot, and she asked how long Jack planned to keep his ex-wife employed. Jack remarked that life was too short to dwell on hating Phyllis, and he abruptly left.
In Chancellor Park, Billy told Traci that he'd tried to make amends, but Jack was sanctimonious and wouldn't listen. Traci thought John would have reminded them that family had to find a way to get along, and she vowed not to give up on trying to broker peace between the Abbott men. She spotted a sign advertising Christmas trees for sale, and she proclaimed that the Christmas magic was starting right there.
Later, Billy carried a tree into the Abbott mansion, and Traci thought decorating it would make him feel better. She asked if he planned to open presents with his kids that year, and he reported that Victoria was spending time with the children on Christmas Eve while he took them on Christmas Day. He explained that they'd made the schedule around Victoria's Christmas wedding, but she'd since broken her engagement. Traci warned that children grew up fast, and there were only a couple of years to have the priceless moments when kids were overjoyed and excited for Christmas, so it would be sad if both parents couldn't be there for that.
Traci and Billy decorated the tree, and she found an ornament that she'd loved as a kid. Billy remembered his dad letting him play with it because it was unbreakable, and Traci discovered ornaments bearing the names of family members. She hung up ones for herself, Ashley, and Jack, but she wondered where Billy's was. He divulged that he'd never had one, since he'd been too young for the tradition, but he was accustomed to being the odd Abbott out. Traci assured Billy that he'd never been loved any less and that all of the boxes were full of his family's memories and heirlooms.
At Newman Enterprises, Victor told Victoria that he wasn't surprised about her broken engagement, and he was relieved that she hadn't made a bad mistake by marrying Travis. Victor added that he was disappointed for her, and they hugged. Victoria believed that she wasn't capable of having a successful marriage, but Victor promised that she'd eventually find the right man. Victoria declared that she didn't want or need a man to complete her life. Nikki walked in and cheerfully presented Victoria with a garment bag.
Nikki felt terrible when she learned that Victoria had called off the wedding, and Victor offered to have a bonfire at the ranch to burn the bridal gown. Victoria suspected that Nikki had thought that Victoria and Travis' relationship hadn't been the real thing, and she wondered why her mother hadn't said something. Nikki recalled that she'd tried, but Victoria hadn't been listening. Nikki encouraged Victoria to move on with the rest of her life, and she suggested that Victor take care of Travis. Victoria mentioned that Travis had checked out of the Athletic Club that morning.
Nikki asked if she could do anything to help, and Victoria requested help with swearing off men, since she never wanted to go through anything like that again. Nikki assumed that Travis had confessed to cheating, but Victoria revealed that Billy had told her. Victor grumbled that Billy was back in Victoria's life just as soon as she'd gotten Travis out of it, but Victoria maintained that she wanted nothing to do with men.
Victoria couldn't think of a single one of her relationships that Victor had approved of, and he couldn't, either. With an affectionate glance at Nikki, Victor added that it didn't mean that Victoria couldn't spend her life with a smart, loyal spouse, and Nikki kissed him. Victoria announced that she'd bailed on her quest for an ideal soul mate, and she'd be happy raising her kids and going to work. Victoria realized that Travis had just been a rebound, and she should have given herself more time after her breakup with Billy. She recognized that Billy had finally done something good by shedding light on the situation.
Nikki and Victoria retreated to Victoria's house, and Victoria reported that Johnny and Katie had been asking where Travis was. Victoria thought it was scary to think about how close he'd been to becoming their stepfather, and Nikki agreed that Victoria had to be careful about who to introduce to the kids, but she said Victoria didn't have to control everything. Nikki praised Victoria for the stance she'd taken with Travis by not allowing herself to become a doormat, and Victoria replied that she'd been able to spot a disaster after all of her failed marriages. Nikki implored Victoria to go on with her life, and they hugged.
Later, Victoria cleaned up the house and found Travis' identification badge on the floor. The doorbell rang, and Billy dramatically called out that it was the Ghost of Christmas Future. Billy offered to take the kids on Christmas Eve if Victoria preferred to have them on Christmas instead, but she said she didn't need his pity, and she opted to stick to the original schedule. She showed him to the door, and he asked her to kiss the children goodnight for him. He hovered outside for a moment, and she watched through the window as he walked away.
Victor met Ashley at the park café, and she bemoaned that Abby should be celebrating her first wedding anniversary rather than ending her marriage. Victor proclaimed that Abby was strong like her mother, and he promised to make Christmas special for Abby. Ashley thought it would be tough with Victoria getting married, but Victor disclosed that Victoria had called off the wedding. Ashley mused that parenting was still a full-time job even after their kids had reached adulthood, and it never stopped. Victor inquired whether Ashley had to get back to the office to save her brother from himself, and he recognized that she was the reason Jabot was back on top.
Victor proudly showed Ashley photos of Christian, and he thought the boy was happy to finally be where he belonged. Ashley couldn't help but feel for Sharon and Dylan, since she knew what it was like to have a child taken away. Victor asserted that Christian was better off being raised as a Newman so that he'd have all the advantages in the world, but Ashley lectured that money didn't guarantee a child's happiness. Victor anticipated that Christian would grow up with his father's love and the money and power to change the world. Ashley kissed Victor's cheek and departed.
Later, Nikki found Victor in his office, and she relayed that Victoria was covering her pain but would be all right. Victor said it fit into his plans, and he presented Nikki with a gift. She said it was early for Christmas, but he countered that he didn't need an excuse to buy her a present. Nikki gasped when she opened an extravagant necklace, but she didn't understand why Victor hadn't waited. He announced that it was for their trip, since the jet was ready, and all they had to do was pick a destination. He promised that they'd be back in time to trim the tree, and she excitedly prepared to pack.
Ashley returned to the mansion and admired the decorations, and Traci reported that Billy had helped. Traci hated that things had gotten that bad between Jack and Billy, and she thought Billy was willing to try, but they had to work on Jack. Ashley thought it would take a Christmas miracle for their family to gather around the tree, but Traci thought there was nothing wrong with having hope, and she turned the Christmas tree lights on. Ashley gasped at how beautiful it was, and she marveled at the many memories they'd had. Traci refused to give up on trying to do what their dad would have wanted, and Ashley agreed.
At the Athletic Club, Lauren was on the phone, telling someone that the numbers couldn't be right. She was startled when Michael nuzzled her neck, and she ended the call. Michael reported that he had bad news about their anniversary the following day, since he had to cancel their dinner plans to be at a deposition. Lauren admitted to being in work mode herself, and she suggested that they celebrate another time. Lauren was distracted by another call as Phyllis approached their table and gushed that it was the couple's anniversary. Lauren rushed off to answer the call, and she appeared to be crestfallen by some news.
Lauren returned and apologized, and Phyllis said Michael had filled her in about things being stressful at work. Lauren chalked it up to having delivery issues around the holidays, and Michael declared that his wife was the world's smartest retailer. Michael stepped aside to respond to a text message, and Phyllis sensed that things weren't as rosy as Lauren was making them out to be. Phyllis assured her that no one could get through the biggest buying season without going to Fenmore's, but Lauren remained glum, and Phyllis asked how bad it was. Lauren confided that things were a little rough, but Fenmore's always recouped.
Phyllis advised Lauren to embrace online shopping, and she volunteered to take a look at Fenmore's website. Lauren conceded that she hadn't updated the store's online presence, and the site had just been there to drive customers to the stores. Phyllis suggested that the site generate revenue by itself, but Lauren groaned that it would take a complete overhaul. Phyllis offered to put together a proposal for her, but Lauren noted that Phyllis already had a job. Phyllis lamented that she didn't see a long-term future at Jabot, and Jack interrupted and announced that he had a proposition to make. Lauren started to step away, but Jack clarified that his proposition was for Lauren, not Phyllis.
Phyllis joined Michael at the bar, and he asked why she was there while Jack was with Lauren. Phyllis replied that Jack was propositioning Michael's wife, and Michael wondered why Phyllis no longer seemed optimistic. Phyllis wished that Michael could tell her that she and Jack would work through it, and Michael hoped they did. She urged Michael to always appreciate what he had, and he declared that she'd helped him solve a big problem. He told her to hang in there, and he stepped away.
Lauren was stunned when Jack asked her to be the sponsor of the foundation's charity banquet on New Year's Eve. Lauren stammered that she was flattered, since it was a cause near to her heart, and he asked if they could add a Fenmore's shopping spree to their silent auction. Lauren questioned what the cost would be to be the patron of the event, and Jack scoffed at the thought that cost mattered to her. She balked because it was the end of the year, and he asked if business was good. She claimed that it was great, but she just wasn't as liquid as she'd like to be.
Lauren recounted that she would have lost Fen without the help of the foundation's recovery center, and she asked who else Jack was asking for support. He said he was approaching all the movers and shakers in town, and he recalled that she'd inherited an empire, so it was only right to give back. She remembered that her father had believed strongly in doing so, and she told Jack that he could count on her. Michael interrupted to take back his wife, and he pulled Lauren to her feet and kissed her. Michael announced that it was a preview of the revelry that was about to commence that night. They kissed, but she was clearly distracted.
Michael told Lauren to close her eyes as he led her into a hotel room, and he presented her with a blackjack table. He instructed her to place her money and take her chances, and she flashed back to him proposing to her. Michael turned over cards that wished Lauren a happy anniversary, and he looked forward to having her in his arms at the stroke of midnight on their anniversary. They kissed, but Lauren's phone rang, and she mentioned that she was expecting a work call. Michael protested that her employees could handle it, but only she could handle him. He amorously urged her to relax and enjoy, but she remained uneasy.
Downstairs at the bar, Jack asked how Phyllis was doing, and she said she was okay as long as he didn't hate her. He confirmed that he didn't hate her, but he just didn't want to be married to her. She noted that Michael and Lauren had been able to patch things up after having rough spots, and Jack pointedly said he'd just been thinking about the Baldwins' wedding, since Phyllis had left the event with Nick. Jack commented that history had a way of repeating itself, but Phyllis refused to let him berate her. He asked about what was going on with Lauren and whether everything was all right at Fenmore's, but Phyllis stated that she worked at Jabot.
Jack pointed out that Lauren usually never hesitated to write a check for charity, but she had just hedged. He speculated that Fenmore's had had a bad year, and Phyllis questioned whether he was thinking about poaching the company. Jack insisted that he was loyal to his friends, and Phyllis said she had to head back to the office to work on a proposal that she was excited about. Jack reminded Phyllis that she worked for him, and she told him to get it over with and fire her.
Phyllis chased Jack into the foyer and accused him of not letting her go, but Jack said she needed to be the one to let go. He recognized the excitement in her eyes and the passion in her voice when she'd been talking about a new venture, and he genuinely wanted her to be happy again. Jack implored Phyllis to let go so they could both find what made them happy, and she became choked up as she realized that they weren't going to make it. He suddenly pulled her into a kiss. "Goodbye, Red," he firmly stated before he stepped through the revolving door, leaving a crushed Phyllis behind.
Devon offers Hilary's job to Mariah
Hilary and a towel-clad Devon canoodled in their hotel suite, and she declared that an amazing good night of sleep had put everything in perspective. She added that she was proud that they'd never let nonsense get between them and that they'd always put their marriage first. Devon started to say something, but she told him not to talk. His towel dropped to the floor, and they kissed passionately.
Later, Devon searched for his phone before he headed off to meetings, and Hilary declared that she could be camera-ready in two minutes to host the segment launching Chelsea's new collection. Devon informed her that she wasn't going on-camera, since she was still fired. Hilary was surprised that Devon hadn't changed his mind after the incredible night they'd had, but he pointed out that they'd agreed to focus on them and not talk about work. She complained that he'd fired her for no reason. He explained that he'd released her from her contract because she hadn't lived up to their agreement to present positive, upbeat stories, so he had to find someone who embraced his vision.
Hilary swore that she was ready to give Devon what he wanted, and she objected to dropping the feel-good story about the launch of Chelsea's line. Devon revealed that he wasn't dropping it, but Hilary wouldn't be hosting, since he was sticking by his decision to release her from her contract. Hilary wondered if he intended to host the show himself, but he thought it wouldn't be a problem to find a replacement. She scoffed at the idea that it was that easy, but he said they would get through it. He kissed her goodbye and walked out.
At the cottage, Sharon noted how quiet the mornings were, and Dylan said he hadn't meant to wake her. She reported that she hadn't slept much because she'd been thinking about not getting visitation rights, and Dylan pointed out that at least no one could take away the memories of the year they'd spent with Christian. Mariah entered and mentioned that she'd heard about the ruling, and Sharon assumed that Mariah had been trying to avoid them because of the disastrous GC Buzz interview. Sharon and Dylan admonished Mariah for letting the tabloid twist Dylan's words, but Mariah defended that Hilary had screwed her over, too.
Mariah explained how Hilary had duped her into believing Dylan's interview would get the real story out there, and she recounted that Dylan had done great in the interview. Mariah added that she'd even fetched dinner for Hilary afterward, but then she'd learned that Hilary had sliced and diced the piece into one long lie, so she'd quit. Dylan assured Mariah that he knew she'd had nothing to do with the edits, and Mariah swore never to try to see the best in people again. Dylan left for work, and Mariah steeled herself to go back to slinging drinks. Sharon was glad that at least Mariah was getting away from a sadist like Hilary.
Sharon blamed herself because her actions had affected everyone, and she'd done things out of fear that she and Dylan would lose their child and one another. Mariah reiterated that everyone knew that Sharon had done everything out of love. Mariah recalled that she hadn't been able to handle the idea of Sharon loving her or wanting her to be around, but Sharon kept putting up with her time and time again. Sharon refused to listen to Mariah disparage herself, and Mariah pointed out that Sharon was protecting her because Sharon protected all of them, and she believed Christian had felt it, too. They hugged.
Sharon couldn't believe the hateful things that people were saying about her online, but Mariah argued that they didn't know Sharon. She advised Sharon to stay off social media and avoid watching GC Buzz. Mariah realized that what Hilary had done hadn't even been personal, since they weren't people but just a story to Hilary. Sharon declared that Mariah had reminded her that she controlled her own life, and she headed out. Moments later, Mariah opened the door to step outside, but she found Devon there. He said he really wanted her to return to GC Buzz, but she refused to work for his "human wood-chipper" of a wife ever again. Devon informed her that he'd terminated Hilary's contract, and Mariah was shocked that he'd fired his own wife.
Mariah anticipated that Hilary would retaliate against Devon, but he appealed to Mariah to "keep GC Buzz buzzing" by returning to work. Mariah declined, since she expected Hilary to torture her once Hilary was done with Devon. Devon explained that he had a show to run, and Mariah knew how to do a lot more than make coffee. Mariah figured that he wanted her to get a new host up to speed, but Devon informed her that he wanted her to host the show.
Mariah balked at the idea of Devon putting her on television, but Devon reasoned that she was smart and witty, and she had a natural instinct for human-interest stories. Devon insisted that Mariah could do it, but she argued that she didn't even take selfies, so she didn't belong on television. Devon implored her to do it once because of the launch of Chelsea's new line, and she could bail afterwards if she wasn't interested in continuing. He promised that they'd fix anything that went wrong in editing, and he asked if she was in.
At the Ashby home, Lily lamented to Cane that she hadn't been able to find the video game Charlie wanted, and Cane offered to order it online after his physical therapy session. Lily recognized that Cane hated missing work, but she stressed that he needed the therapy. She asked if he liked his therapist, and she referred to Jessie as a "he." Cane started to correct her, but Lily answered the door and was surprised to find an attractive woman asking for Cane. Cane introduced Jessica to Lily.
After Lily left, Jessica prepared to teach Cane a routine so he could do workouts on his own. She listed how many repetitions of each one he should perform, and he joked that it sounded like a full-time job. She pulled out a muscle stimulator to send impulses directly into his knee to fire up his muscles, and he replied that he already felt fired up. Jessica was surprised by Cane's reaction to the stimulation, and she inquired whether it hurt at all, since she had expected it to cause pain.
Jessica asked whether Cane had taken a pain pill before their session, and he admitted that he had. Jessica warned that many people used meds as a crutch, and she asked how long he'd been taking them. He said for a couple of weeks, and she wondered if he still needed them. Cane revealed that his knee still hurt, but he swore that he wouldn't get addicted. She cautioned that people sometimes became addicted without realizing it, and he tossed the prescription bottle into the garbage. "Bring on the pain," he dared.
Jessica gave Cane a painful massage, and she recognized that it sucked, but she had to break up the scar tissue. Cane asked her to stop because the pain was killing him, and she told him he was done for the day. She said he'd done great, and he replied that she had, too. She instructed him to take something over the counter if he needed it for the pain, and he stared at the prescription medication in the trash.
At the Athletic Club, Michael joked about doing the walk of shame as he and Lauren descended the stairs to the foyer. He wanted to do something special for their anniversary after his deposition, but he sensed that something was wrong. Lauren insisted that it was nothing, but he reminded her that they were in it for better or worse. Lauren ordered lattes at the bar, and Michael pressed her to tell him more about her call with the bank or any of the other dozen calls she'd had that morning. She wished she'd turned off her phone, but he recognized that business was in her blood, and he surmised that it wasn't going as well as she'd like.
Lauren hoped holiday sales put Fenmore's in the black, and Michael queried whether the department store chain was in the red. She claimed that she'd meant she wanted profits to peak, but he suspected that she was more concerned about her father's legacy and the team of people who counted on her for a paycheck. She confided that she'd been thinking a lot about what Fenmore's had meant to her dad, since he'd taken a little store and turned it into something big. Michael credited Lauren with nurturing the enterprise into a cultural touchstone with locations all over the country. He was sure she'd find a way to get through the season, and she replied that she thought she already had.
In the dining room, Neil greeted Lily, and he hoped to have the foundation's New Year's Eve gala there. Lily wished that he'd asked six months earlier, since everything was booked. He realized that he'd have to find another venue, but he thought he had the perfect host in mind, and he called Hilary over. Neil mentioned that they'd been talking about the foundation benefit, and he hoped Hilary could host the event for them, since she was a board member and a popular talk show host. Lily grumbled about the foundation being linked to gossip and insults, but Hilary revealed that she was no longer associated with GC Buzz.
Lily incredulously asked if Hilary had quit, and Hilary stated that there had been a parting of ways. Lily crowed that it was a Christmas miracle that Devon had fired Hilary. Hilary downplayed the situation as having creative differences that they needed time to resolve, but it would be good ratings and press in the meantime. Hilary agreed to host the benefit, and she instructed Neil to send her the details. Hilary sauntered off, and Lily exclaimed that it was the best day ever. Neil asked if she had no concern about her brother, but she pointed out that Hilary had said their marriage was fine. Neil didn't buy it, and a hopeful Lily inquired whether it was too soon to mention divorce.
Lily returned home and was surprised to find Cane looking refreshed when she thought she'd find him in a heap on the floor. He reported that Jessica had taken it easy on him, and he joked that he'd only cried twice. Lily announced that she had even better news -- Hilary had finally gotten what she deserved, since Devon had fired her.
At GC Buzz, Devon encouraged Mariah to try again, but she doubted she'd be any better than the last seven takes. Mariah smiled and gazed into the camera as she introduced herself as the host of that night's episode. Devon cheered that she'd nailed it as Hilary jealously looked on.
At Chelsea's design studio, Chelsea and Chloe speculated about how many people would be watching the fashion show on television and social media. Chelsea considered Hilary awesome for giving them the publicity, and she pointedly stated that they should be grateful. Chloe questioned whether Chelsea was trying to give her a warning, and Chelsea asserted that some people hadn't treated Hilary fairly lately. Chloe surmised that Chelsea expected Chloe to go after Hilary because Hilary had gone after Sharon.
Chelsea pointed out that Chloe didn't hide her opinions and that Chloe didn't have the best track record at fashion shows. Chloe promised to make sure GC Buzz did a good show about them, and she referred to the episode that had aired the night before. Chelsea squealed that it had been "so bad but so good," and she recalled that Chloe had gotten her into watching it. Chelsea acknowledged that nothing was better after a long day of work than juicy gossip and a nice glass of wine, and Chloe reminded her not to forget the ice cream. Chloe realized how much she'd missed spending time with Chelsea.
Lauren entered the studio and announced that she had a proposition, and Chloe mentioned that they were sprinting to the finish line to get Chelsea's new collection ready to be featured on GC Buzz. Lauren proceeded with her pitch that Fenmore's carry the line exclusively, and Chloe asked what was in it for them. Lauren gushed that Chelsea's brand was close to her heart because it was made in America for women by women, and she felt like the godmother of Chelsea's line. Lauren fondly recalled the first jacket that she'd sold for Chelsea at the boutique, and she proposed that they dream together and "work like hell" to make it pay off. Chelsea agreed to discuss the idea further, but not that day, and Lauren struggled to hide her disappointment as she headed to the elevator.
Sharon arrived at the studio and declared that she was there to work unless Chelsea had decided not to keep her on. Sharon offered to turn around and not darken the door ever again, but she thought she had something to offer. She asked if she had a job there, and Chelsea handed Sharon a steamer and said they had work to do.
At the police station, Dylan entered Paul's office to discuss a case, but Paul asked him to shut the door. Paul said he'd tried to call after the judge's decision, and Dylan replied that he hadn't been ready to talk about it. Paul asked about then, but Dylan preferred to get back to the case. Paul pushed to find out how Dylan was feeling, and Dylan compared it to taking a bullet while wearing a flak jacket. Dylan was determined to find a way to move on, and he tried to turn the topic back to work. Paul recognized that being stoic was a good quality in a cop, but he was sure that Dylan was hurting.
Paul noted that it was the second time that Dylan had found out that a child he loved wasn't his, and he pointed out that a lot of people were there for Dylan. Dylan insisted that he was okay, but Paul wondered why Dylan wouldn't talk to anyone. Paul stressed that he and Nikki were there for Dylan, but Dylan coldly stated that Nikki had other priorities, and he wasn't a Newman. Paul understood that Dylan felt left out, but Dylan maintained that he was fine. Paul thought Dylan shouldn't accept being fine but that he should let people help him. Dylan realized that Paul was worried because of how Dylan had reacted when he'd lost Connor.
Dylan explained that when he'd lost Connor, he'd also lost Chelsea and everything else, but this time was different because he had Sharon, his stepchildren, Paul, and his job. Dylan pledged to work hard and go home to his wife every day, since he was luckier than most people, even if he didn't have everything he wanted. Michael burst in, and Dylan informed Paul that he'd asked Michael to stop by. Paul stepped out, and Michael assumed that Dylan wanted to inquire about the visitation rights, but there were no "do-overs" once the judge had ruled.
Dylan said he needed to understand why the judge had ruled against them, and Michael explained that it had been a complicated case because one party had been aware of the situation. Dylan speculated that Victor had greased the judge's palms, but Michael saw no reason to think that the judge had been influenced by anything other than the evidence. Dylan thought they should have gone after Nick over the incident at the hospital, but Michael doubted that Dylan would ever imply that Nick was an unfit parent. Michael called Dylan a good man who should be proud that he had that kind of decency.
Paul approached Lauren at the Athletic Club bar, and he asked if she was having a drink in honor of her anniversary. He wondered where the groom was, but she reported that Michael wasn't there, and the drink was more liquid courage than celebration. Lauren confided that she'd had challenges with Fenmore's lately, and she'd thought it had been part of the business cycle, but there had been no upswing. She mentioned that she hadn't done anything with the store's online presence because she'd been focusing on long-term relationships, and Paul understood that the Internet was like another universe.
Lauren bemoaned her frayed nerves, and Paul asked how Michael felt about it. Lauren said Michael had been wonderful and supportive, so there had been no reason to worry him. She figured that Michael would just tell her that it was a blip, and a strong holiday season would make everything better.