At the Abbott mansion, Billy was vegging out on the sofa, watching movies on television. Jack encouraged his brother to get out of the house. Billy said he was exactly where he wanted to be. After Jack left the house, he went to meet with Nick at Dark Horse. Victoria stopped by and invited Nick to dine with her. Nick said he'd made plans to attend the Jabot Christmas party with Phyllis. Nick left, but Jack stayed behind to chat with Victoria. Jack invited Victoria to attend the party with Billy. Jack explained that Billy had been feeling down. Victoria seemed open to the invitation and expressed concern for Billy.
Victoria stopped by the Abbott mansion to invite Billy to the party. Victoria said she knew it had been tough for Billy to see Phyllis moving on with Nick so quickly. Victoria told Billy not to let his breakup ruin his holiday because he had a lot to celebrate. Billy asked Victoria to explain. Victoria noted that Billy was still contributing to Jabot's success, had a loving family and children that loved him, and a date for the evening. Billy agreed to be Victoria's date and went upstairs to get dressed.
In her office at Jabot, Phyllis read a text message from Nick stating that he couldn't wait to see her at the party. Phyllis smiled as Mia added a few finishing brush strokes of blush. Phyllis' natural blush intensified when she read a follow-up text message from Nick stating that he couldn't wait to have her all to himself after the party. After Mia finished, Phyllis paid Mia for her services. Phyllis mentioned that she and her staff were looking forward to the Jabot office party. Mia invited herself to the party, noting that she felt she was part of the staff. Phyllis said she'd welcome Mia and Rey.
Outside Phyllis' office, Kyle was surprised when assistant Ted announced that he'd planned the office party. As Lauren and Kerry arrived, Kerry asked if Jack might attend. Lauren asked Kerry if she was interested in Jack. Kerry said she and Jack had been spending time together. Lauren winked and noted that Jack knew how to treat a lady, though he could be a handful. Michael arrived, and Lauren eagerly greeted her spouse. Michael had to step away to take a call and left immediately afterward. Lauren advised Michael to drive safely because the roads were a mess.
At the police station, Nikki was frustrated after Rey summoned her to appear. Rey told Nikki she'd approached his wife in an attempt to influence an official police investigation, an act which Rey noted was a serious crime. Nikki refused to say a word without her attorney being present. After Michael arrived, he accused Rey of attempting to win points with the police commission by carrying out a personal vendetta. Nikki defended herself and said that while Mia had been applying makeup, the two had chatted. Nikki denied asking about details of J.T.'s investigation. Rey claimed that Nikki had issued threats by stating to Mia that Rey shouldn't upset Victor. Rey said he was more certain than ever that Nikki knew more about J.T.'s murder than she'd admitted so far.
Rey released Nikki. Rey strongly advised Michael to locate Victor, so he could be questioned. Nikki angrily noted that Victor was innocent. Nikki cried that Rey should instead search for the person who'd burned down the stable and planted the blood-stained shirt and the gun. After Nikki and Michael stepped out, Nikki assured Michael that she had no idea where Victor could be. Michael told Nikki she'd dodged a bullet, and he advised her to keep her distance from Mia.
After Rey returned home, he told Mia about his interrogation of Nikki and Michael. Mia said she wished Rey hadn't, and she insisted that no one had used her to gain information. Mia excitedly announced that Phyllis had invited them to the Jabot holiday bash. Rey was reluctant to attend, but Mia pleaded with him. Rey agreed to attend the party with Mia.
Jabot employees and executives gathered at the Athletic Club. Lola told Kyle that having him as her boyfriend and being named the executive chef at Abby and Devon's new restaurant made her life seem as if everything she'd wanted was coming together at once. At the bar, Lauren, Kerry, and Phyllis drank a toast to friendship and support. Lauren ran into Fen and learned that he'd been hired as a server at the restaurant. Lauren congratulated her son for having landed a job in record time. After Kyle made snide remarks about Fen's new job position, Lola praised Fen and gave Kyle a disapproving look.
At the bar, Nick and Phyllis shared a kiss as Jack approached. Before Jack rushed off, he noted that Billy would make an appearance, though Traci and Abby were away. Jack excused himself to meet Kerry. Kerry told Jack she hadn't stopped thinking about their kiss at Jack's house. Jack said he hadn't forgotten the kiss, either. Michael and Nikki arrived. While Lauren and Michael chatted about Fenmore's upcoming company party, Nikki eyed a tray of Champagne. Nikki excused herself, claiming she had to make a call. Instead, Nikki picked up a glass of Champagne and drank it down.
After Nikki had stepped away, Michael told Lauren that Rey had questioned Nikki. Michael was surprised when he saw Fen working as a server. Michael expressed his desire for his son to return to law school. Fen assured his father that he'd soon sign a recording contract. Lauren urged Michael to support Fen's dreams. As Victoria and Billy arrived at the party together, Phyllis announced that Jabot's profits had risen six percent over the previous year. After Victoria and Billy greeted Phyllis and Nick, Victoria explained that attending the party with Billy had been a spontaneous decision. Phyllis encouraged Billy and Victoria to enjoy their evening together.
Kyle introduced Lola to Jack and Kerry. Lola said that Kerry was a regular visitor to her food truck. After Kerry and Lola stepped away, Kyle said he was glad Jack had taken a chance on Kerry. Jack replied, "Not half as glad as I am." Kyle seemed pleased to see his father happy.
Nikki told Nick and Victoria that Rey had questioned her about approaching Mia. Nikki admitted she'd attempted to form an alliance with Mia to get information about the case Rey was building against Victor. Nikki cried that Rey had become even more determined to pin J.T.'s murder on Victor. Victoria assured Nikki that everything would sort itself out. Both Victoria and Nick expressed concern about Nikki's health. Nikki spotted Mia and Rey and said, "You've got to be kidding me."
Michael approached Rey and Mia and told Phyllis that Rey had hauled Nikki down to the station earlier in the day. Phyllis said they should all try to behave like civilized people. Lauren defended Mia and said her career had nothing to do with Rey's police work. Michael warned Rey not to harass his clients. Mia promised that there wouldn't be trouble.
Victoria and Billy hung around Nikki, but she insisted she'd be fine. Victoria advised Nikki to summon a ride home because the roads were treacherous. Nikki noted that having lived in Wisconsin her entire life, she'd driven in snow and would be fine. After Victoria and Billy walked away, Nikki took a flask from her purse and added booze to her glass of water, topped with a lime. As Nikki sipped her alcoholic concoction, Jack approached and asked Nikki what she was doing alone. Nikki replied, "Talking to you." After they chatted, Nikki encouraged Jack to rejoin his date.
Rey cautioned Mia not to consider the guests at the party to be her friends because they lived in a different world. Mia said she'd been working hard to get closer to that other world Rey had referenced. Mia spotted Lola and Kyle and told Rey to greet them. Mia approached Nikki and apologized for what had happened with Rey. Mia said she couldn't believe that Rey had overreacted. Nikki apologized for having dragged Mia into the investigation. Nikki sipped her drink down as Mia expressed hope that they could be friends. After Mia stepped away, Nikki removed the flask from her purse and drank straight from it.
Ted took the microphone and invited guests to sing karaoke. Fen wowed the guests with a song. Billy and Victoria admired the photo they'd had taken together in a photo booth. Lauren joined her son, their voices blending in perfect harmony as they crooned the chorus. Guests focused on Fen and Lauren and seemed impressed by Fen's talent.
Rey spoke to Nikki as she stumbled toward the exit. Nikki said, "You have a lot of nerve, persecuting my husband and me repeatedly. If you're as smart as you think you are, you'll back the hell off." Rey replied, "Is that a threat?" Nikki said Rey should consider it a word to the wise because he had no idea who he was dealing with. Rey replied, "Believe me, I do. And if you think you intimidate me, sadly, you are mistaken. I'm going to take Victor down, and when I do, you're going with him."
Rey said Nikki could be charged with obstruction, aiding, and abetting, and possibly additional charges. Rey warned that overconfident people often made mistakes. Nikki, desperate to escape Rey, stumbled outside, where heavy snow had blanketed the walkway and the street.
Reed stopped by the Ashbys' house. Charlie told Reed that Mattie had gone caroling with a school group. Charlie was in a bad mood and showed Shauna's personal page on social media to Reed. Charlie noted that Shauna had changed her status, indicating that she was single. Charlie drowned his sorrows, imbibing two bottles of beer. Reed encouraged Charlie to get out of the house. Reed invited Charlie to join him and friends to hang out, watch movies, and play video games.
Reed suggested that Charlie could take photos with girls at the party, post them online, and show Shauna he hadn't been lying around, pining for her. Reed told Charlie he couldn't drive after drinking two beers. Reed insisted on driving and noted that he'd only had soda. Charlie reminded Reed that his license was still suspended. Reed said he'd rather drive than risk Charlie being charged with DUI.
As Reed drove, the snow accumulated on the windshield and obscured his view of the roadway. Nikki, having stumbled out into the roadway, froze in place when she saw headlights. Reed felt the car jolt and yelled, "What was that?" Charlie cried, "I don't know. Did we hit something?" Reed, terrified, attempted to see out of the frosted windshield. The force of the impact had knocked Nikki on her back, where she lay unconscious in the roadway.
Reed realizes that he hit Nikki
Nikki lay motionless in the snow outside the Athletic Club. In the car, Charlie worried that he and Reed had hit something alive, but Reed reasoned that they would have seen something if they had. Reed argued that he was driving with a suspended license and that Charlie was drunk, so they'd get busted if they called for help. Reed suggested that they drive home and forget it had ever happened.
Charlie and Reed entered the Ashby home, and Charlie fretted that his dad was home. Reed said it was a good thing, since Cane wouldn't pull in and see the car. Charlie imagined what would happen if his father showed up downstairs and asked how his night had been, and Reed suggested that Charlie say he'd skidded on a patch of black ice. Charlie balked, but Reed questioned whether Charlie would rather reveal that he'd gotten wasted because of a girl and dragged a guy Cane hated into it. Charlie bemoaned that it all just sucked.
Charlie freaked out about how he'd explain the dent in the car when he was supposed to be at home. He wailed that if they'd hit something alive, it wasn't anymore because of them. Reed admitted that he felt awful, and he didn't want to think he'd hit a deer when he swerved for squirrels. Charlie offered to say he'd been driving, and Reed groaned that it was bad for both of them. Reed suggested that they go to sleep and deal with it in the morning, but Charlie contemplated what he'd do if he saw Cane before then. Reed urged Charlie to sleep it off, and he thought they'd both feel better in the morning.
Later, Cane found Charlie downstairs and assumed that the teen had been at a study group earlier. Charlie claimed that he'd wanted to hang out before everyone left for break, and Cane pressed him to ask Mattie to go with him the next time. Charlie started to head up to bed, but Cane protested that he hadn't seen his son all day, and he requested a hug. Charlie stumbled, and Cane smelled beer on his breath. Charlie swore that he'd just had one drink, but Cane lectured that Charlie was underage, and he hoped Charlie hadn't been drinking and driving. Charlie adamantly replied that he hadn't.
Charlie explained that he'd let a sober friend drive him home, and Cane surmised that Charlie had been acting out because of his mom. Cane warned that Charlie could kiss his college acceptance goodbye if he got into trouble with the law, and Charlie wished he hadn't taken a single sip. Cane encouraged Charlie to talk to him, and Charlie confided that Shauna was done with him, since she'd posted a bunch of pictures of her with another guy and changed her relationship status. He recalled that she'd just been saying how hard it was to be apart, and he imagined that if he'd jetted off to Colorado, it would have been him, Shauna, and her new boyfriend.
Cane pressed Charlie to tell him whether there had been anything more to the evening than the beer, but Charlie denied it. Cane called him a good kid who had screwed up, and he advised Charlie not to do it again. Cane headed to bed, and Charlie sent a text message to Reed to pass along the news that Cane had busted him for drinking. Charlie wanted to go back and check the road, but Reed reiterated that he had no license and that Charlie had been drunk, so it was too risky. Reed told Charlie to get some sleep, and they'd talk in the morning.
Meanwhile, paramedics wheeled Nikki into the emergency room on a stretcher. Nate recognized Nikki and asked what had happened. A nurse told him that she didn't know, but it appeared to be a pedestrian hit-and-run. Nate mused that Nikki would have the entire town pulling for her, and he urged her to keep fighting.
Phyllis and Nick arrived home, and she bragged that she could throw a serious party. He pointed out that she knew how to enjoy one, too, and she proclaimed that she'd forgotten the feeling of power, success, and fun all rolled into one. Nick declared that every night was like that for them, but Phyllis referred to the company bouncing back and morale being up. She recognized that she exuded confidence, but she could have fallen on her face just as easily. Nick suspected that Jack had altered the bylaws because he'd known she could step in and step up, but she doubted that Jack had ever given her that much credit.
Nick asserted that anyone who knew Phyllis saw her energy and drive, and he wondered if his own ambition turned her off. Phyllis purred that she hadn't thought he could get any sexier, but he had. He admired her for jumping in and showing that she could be the leader Jabot needed, and she asked if it was too late to have a drink to toast to her and Jabot as well as to him and Dark Horse. Nick insisted that it was her night, and it had been a good event, despite Billy and Victoria showing up. Phyllis understood that Billy loved making an entrance, and she pondered who would be next in his revolving door of ladies. Nick mentioned that he'd thought for a second that maybe Billy and Victoria had gotten back together, and he inquired whether it would have bothered Phyllis if they had.
Phyllis maintained that she and Billy were done, and she'd chosen to be happy instead of wallowing in her guilt and shame. She hoped Billy grabbed happiness if he found it, even if it was with Victoria. Nick warned that Billy had better not be messing with Victoria's head, since he suspected Billy's choice to show up with Victoria had been directed right at them. Phyllis doubted that Billy could ever hurt Victoria again, since Victoria wouldn't take garbage from anyone. Nick was surprised to hear admiration in Phyllis' voice, and she confirmed that it was respect. Phyllis proclaimed that she didn't care what Billy thought or did anymore, just like Nick didn't care about Sharon.
Phyllis noted that she and Nick had incredible wine, epic chemistry, and healthy libidos, and she questioned why they were talking. Nick ordered her to stop, and they kissed. They headed upstairs and made love. Afterward, Nick checked his phone, and Phyllis jokingly asked if he was going to make a social media post about working hard and playing harder. His phone rang, and he answered it in case it had to do with his kids. He bolted upright in bed and said he was on his way, and he informed Phyllis that his mom was in the emergency room.
At Victoria's house, Billy marveled that Katie had wanted to sleep with her toy plane, and Victoria imagined their daughter becoming a pilot. Billy was sure that Victor would buy the girl a plane or an entire airline, and he sensed that Victoria was worried about her father. Victoria noted that Victor had gone AWOL before, but there had always been something behind it, like a death or a loss. Victoria admitted that it wasn't like her father to casually neglect Newman for no reason, but Billy suspected that it wasn't about work.
Victoria maintained that Victor hadn't been involved in J.T.'s death, and Billy imagined that an egomaniac like Victor had his own team working to find the murderer so that he could return to town with the killer's head on a platter. Billy guaranteed that J.T.'s killer would be toast, and Victoria turned away. Billy asked if he'd said something, but Reed's return home interrupted them. Reed blurted out that he hadn't known they would be there, and Victoria wondered what was wrong.
Reed stammered that he'd been at a party, but he swore that he hadn't been drinking. Billy suggested that they talk about Christmas Eve logistics, but Reed preferred to go to bed, and he darted upstairs. Victoria bemoaned that she missed having her little boy in the house, since Reed was practically a grown man. She regretted the year her oldest son had had, and she wondered how much turmoil a kid could take because of her choices. Billy assured her that what had happened with her and J.T. hadn't been her fault and that J.T.'s death had been someone else's. Victoria pictured her children's future emotional scarring, and she hoped to give them good memories before the year was over. Billy suggested that they do it together, and he promised that he would take care of everything.
Billy admired the photo that he and Victoria had taken at the holiday party, but Victoria called him out on acting cocky because he'd pushed Phyllis' buttons that night. Billy asserted that Phyllis wasn't the reason he did anything anymore, since she was just his boss. Victoria commended him for being very professional by standing back and letting Phyllis run the whole show. Billy admitted that he wanted Jabot back in Abbott hands, but he refused to do anything that might make the company crash and burn. He resolved to be patient and do what was needed to make sure it succeeded, including staying away from gambling.
Billy stressed that the intense rehab had made him realize that he couldn't walk a fine line by betting in any form, and Victoria observed that he seemed happier. She applauded him for giving Jabot a nice Christmas gift with the Jaboutiques, and she called him the company's life raft. She wished that he'd brainstormed the idea for Brash & Sassy years earlier, and he imagined that they could have been the ones celebrating their company's success that night, but his lapses in judgment had been substantial. She conceded that they'd all made bad decisions, and he gazed again at their holiday photo and stated that their costumes had been a good decision. Her phone rang, and she looked alarmed when she answered the call.
At the Abbott mansion, Kerry jokingly complained that it was late and her feet hurt, but she'd had to see the tree that Jack had allegedly fixed. He announced that he'd made some minor decorating changes, since they'd agreed her technique had been haphazard. Jack wondered if she thought he'd been lying to get her there for a nightcap, and she requested a cabernet. She followed his gaze upward and saw that they were standing under mistletoe. Kerry commented that the mistletoe had procreated, and Jack informed her that it had been his main decorating change to increase his odds of getting a second kiss. She teased that he could have simply asked her and saved his efforts, and they kissed.
Jack and Kerry held hands, and she murmured that it had felt good to be part of something that night. He recalled that his dad had always wanted a sense of unity at Jabot, and he liked seeing the company through her eyes. She observed that there hadn't been a lot of awkwardness between the Abbotts and the new CEO, and Jack praised her ability to navigate the political minefields at Jabot. Kerry pledged her loyalty to Phyllis and the company, but Jack pointed out that she was on his sofa, under his mistletoe. She remarked that it wasn't the most complicated company she'd ever worked for, but it was the most incestuous, since everyone seemed to be related and had a long history.
Jack confirmed that most notable were him, Billy, and Phyllis, and it hadn't been easy for any of them, but they'd all survived. Kerry considered that to be a generous way of seeing it, and Jack figured that there had been enough pain to go around without wishing it on one another. He added that he was past the Phyllis thing, although for a while, he'd contemplated falling back on something familiar rather than facing an unpredictable future. He proclaimed that he couldn't go backward when there was good stuff ahead.
Later, Jack asked if he could see Kerry's work at adjusting the decorations, and she told him to have patience. His phone pinged, and he gasped in shock when he learned that Nikki had been in an accident. He prepared to go to the hospital, and Kerry volunteered to drive him.
Nick and Phyllis arrived at the hospital. Victoria and Billy joined them, followed by Jack and Kerry. Jack groused that the hospital wouldn't tell him anything, and Victoria shared that all she knew was that there had been a car accident. Nick couldn't remember Nikki leaving the party, and he wondered what had happened. Nate informed Nikki's loved ones that Nikki had suffered damage to her spleen, so she was being prepared for surgery. He added that she was still unconscious, and he'd try to keep them updated, but he'd be in the operating room with her. Nick saw a police officer walk by, and he demanded to know if they'd found the person who had done that to his mom.
Jack implored Nick to hold it together, and Nick stepped aside to call Summer to see if she'd heard from Victor. Phyllis approached Kerry and offered to let Jack know if Kerry needed to slip out, and Kerry stated that she hadn't known Jack and Nikki were that close. Phyllis informed her that Jack and Nikki had been married a couple of times, and when Jack cared about someone, it was forever. Phyllis realized that Kerry hadn't gotten the full history lesson yet, and Kerry asked how many ex-wives Jack had. Jack interrupted and offered to call Kerry a ride, but she insisted that she could handle it, and she told him she would think good thoughts for Nikki.
After Kerry departed, Nick reported that Summer hadn't heard from Victor, nor had anyone in the office. Phyllis was certain that Victor would find out what had happened and that Nikki would wake up and be fine. Nick encouraged Phyllis to go home because she had a big workday the next day, and she told him to call if he needed anything. Billy offered to go back to Victoria's place to relieve Hannah and stay the night in case Victoria couldn't go home. He assured Victoria that her mom would be okay because Nikki was strong, just like her daughter.
Jack, Victoria, and Nick prepared to wait, and Nick muttered that he hated the place. Nick noted that he'd last been there while waiting for his dad, and Victoria pointed out that Victor had made it. Nick imagined that one day, they'd wait and end up going home alone, but Jack declared that it wouldn't be that day. Jack quipped that Nikki had endured a lifetime with Victor, so she could survive quite a lot. As the hours passed, the men took turns pacing, and Victoria fell asleep in a chair.
In the morning, Reed found the photo of Billy and Victoria on the living room floor. Billy entered the room, and Reed smugly assumed that Billy had spent the night. Billy revealed that Victoria was at the hospital with Nikki. Reed said he had to be there, and he rushed out.
At the hospital, Jack handed Victoria some coffee, and she asked where Nick was. Nick appeared and groused that the police still had no idea who had done it, and he refused to go another night without the "bastard" being locked up in a cell. Jack decided to make a quick trip home to check on Dina, but he promised he'd be back. Victoria thanked him for being there for Nikki, and he swore that he always would be.
Later, Nate reported that they'd removed Nikki's spleen and that Nikki was in recovery. He inquired whether Nick and Victoria had been able to reach Victor, who Nate thought would want to be there. Nick ordered him to say whatever he was trying not to say. Nate said he didn't know enough yet; they were running more tests, but Nikki's results had indicated a high blood alcohol content. A shocked Nick wondered why his mother had started drinking again, and Nate mentioned that he was consulting with a specialist.
Reed raced in and asked to see his grandmother, and Nick informed him that Nikki had just gotten out of surgery. Reed realized that it was bad. Victoria urged him to go home, but he refused to leave her there alone. Reed wondered what had happened, and Victoria explained that there had been a hit-and-run accident. Nick added that it had happened behind the club, where someone had plowed into Nikki and just taken off. Reed panicked.
Charlie sipped water at home, and Cane encouraged him to feel the pain of his hangover. Cane lectured that it was a good thing Charlie hadn't driven, or Charlie could have lost his license like Reed had. Charlie's phone rang, and Charlie didn't correct Cane's assumption that it was Shauna. Cane stepped out, and Reed informed Charlie that Nikki had been on the road the night before. Reed added that he was at the hospital, and his grandmother might not make it.
The ladies believe they are being targeted
At the Abbotts', Jack told Kyle that Nikki had been struck by a hit-and-run driver, and her chances didn't look good. He said Nikki had been found unconscious and rushed to the hospital. Kyle asked what kind of lowlife left someone to die in the street.
Reed arrived at the Ashbys' to check on Charlie. Mattie told him that Charlie was still in bed, and he was more hungover than heartbroken. Reed told Mattie that they had had been at a party that had sucked.
Charlie joined Reed in the kitchen and said he was certain they had hit a branch or something, but not Nikki. Reed informed Charlie that Nikki had been found outside the Athletic Club about the time they had been in the area and thought they'd hit something. Charlie claimed they would have seen her, but Reed reminded him that the windows had been iced over, and they hadn't been able to see much.
Charlie asked Reed if Nikki was going to make it. Reed said Nikki could die. Charlie said that Nikki was still alive and getting the best treatment from Nate. Reed asked about the car. Charlie said he knew a guy outside of town who would fix the car for cash. They pooled their money and left.
At the Athletic Club, Fen ran out to take Ana and Devon's order. Fen was about to ask Devon about his demo, but Devon slipped away to make a call. Ana warned Fen not to mention his demo to Devon and said Devon hadn't heard it yet. Devon returned. He and Ana rearranged Devon's meetings. Fen took coffee to their table, and ignoring Ana's advice, Fen tried to make his pitch about his demo to Devon.
Annoyed, Devon told Fen he'd been hired to wait tables. He warned Fen not to bother him or paying customers about anything but the menu while Fen was working, or he'd be fired. Devon and Ana left.
At another table, Kyle saw Fen and deliberately dropped a fork on the floor. He asked Fen to get him another fork, but Fen said that Kyle was only having coffee. Kyle dropped a spoon. Fen told Kyle he would accidentally drop hot coffee on Kyle. Ana arrived and told Fen that Devon had been under a lot of pressure, and he'd been in a bad mood. Ana said she'd spoken to Devon, and she assured Fen he wouldn't be fired.
Fen asked Ana to convince Devon to play his demo. Ana said the amateur effort wouldn't impress Devon. Ana said Fen was good, and he had potential. Fen said he'd rather hear that from a professional, not an assistant. Ana said they could use the recording studio to make a demo that would get Devon's attention. Ana said she would produce the demo. Fen asked if she'd done that before. Ana admitted it would be her first. Fen said he'd hold out for someone with more experience. Ana wished Fen luck and walked away.
Kyle asked Fen how two smart parents could have given birth to an epically stupid kid like Fen. Fen and Kyle threw barbs at each other about their careers. Fen said that Kyle couldn't work his way up the ladder at Jabot. Kyle admitted he wasn't where he wanted to be, but he knew how to play the game. When someone presented him with an opportunity, he took it. He said people like Ana didn't stay an assistant very long. Ana was driven and connected, and she'd go far fast. He said that Fen had blown his chance to go with her. Kyle left.
At Crimson Lights, Rey asked if Sharon would be going to the station, but Sharon informed him that she was taking a personal day. Rey told Sharon about Nikki's accident. Sharon was stunned and surprised that Victor hadn't shown up. Rey said that Victor had gone to great lengths to avoid being questioned.
Sharon walked into Phyllis' office and asked her for an update on Nikki's condition. Phyllis advised that things didn't look good and added that she could have told Sharon that over the phone. Sharon felt they needed to discuss it, but Phyllis said there wasn't anything incriminating about Nikki's accident. Sharon said there was if they talked about who had run Nikki down. Sharon said the Victoria had told her that J.T.'s bloody clothes had been laid out on Nikki's bed. Phyllis speculated that it had to have been the same psycho that had planted the shirt. Sharon and Phyllis wondered if that person had been trying to kill Nikki.
Phyllis told Sharon that no one had known that Nikki would be at the party. Michael had invited her at the last moment. No one had known Nikki would exit the back way. Sharon suggested Nikki might have been followed. Phyllis informed Sharon that Nikki had been drinking. Sharon was stunned.
At the hospital, Nick ended his phone call with Noah as Victoria entered the waiting room. Victoria suggested that Nick go home and shower, but Nick refused. He said he was waiting to hear if Michael had heard from Victor. Victoria said that Victor might be on his way home. Nick said there was no guarantee he'd arrive in time.
Nate arrived and advised Nick and Victoria that there had been no change, and Nikki's vitals weren't where they should be. She was still unconscious. Nate said he was taking Nikki for an MRI and that he'd know more once he had the results.
Victoria told Nick she couldn't believe Nikki had been drinking again. She should have seen it because of the stress Nikki had been under, but she'd put it down to Nikki being tired and stressed. Nick believed that Nikki would never have gone to Mia to question her about Rey's investigation if she'd been sober. Victoria said Nikki had gone too far, and she knew Victor was innocent. Peeved, Nick said Victor needed to be with Nikki and that Rey thought Nikki had killed J.T.
Later, an angry Nick chastised Rey on the phone for hounding Nikki and for assigning a single officer to find the hit-and-run driver.
When Jack arrived, Nick asked if he'd known that Nikki had been drinking. Jack said Nikki had called him and said she'd had a sip of alcohol, and he had accompanied her to an A.A. meeting. At the party, Nikki had assured him she'd been drinking club soda, but alcoholics were good at hiding their drinking. Nick felt guilty because he hadn't known the stress Nikki had been under, and he had put more stress on her by pushing her to tell him where Victor was. Jack said Nikki didn't know where Victor was, and that had been the reason she'd been upset.
Nick told Jack that he didn't understand why Victor hadn't been in touch. Jack said he knew how selfish Victor could be, but he believed that Victor would be by Nikki's side if he could. Jack and Nick surmised that Victor could be in serious trouble.
Victoria tried to convince Nick to go home and rest, but Nick refused in case Nikki needed him. Victoria yelled that Nikki needed an immediate miracle, and then she apologized. Jack suggested that Nick get a breath of fresh air and a bite to eat. Nick left.
Victoria told Jack about all the things she had to handle, like taking over when Victor was away, making major decisions, looking after all the employees, a divorce, and raising her kids. She said she felt like she was five years old. She just wanted her mom, who was also her best friend. She said that Nikki had always stood by her. Jack said Nikki was fighting to get back to them.
When Michael arrived, Nick updated him on Nikki's condition and said it didn't look good. He took Michael aside and said he wouldn't ask Michael where Victor was, but he needed to get a message to him that he needed to return home. Michael advised Nick that he hadn't heard from Victor in weeks, and he didn't have a clue where he was. He said if he heard anything, he'd contact Nick. Michael left to check on Victoria.
Sharon arrived and told Nick she wanted to see if there was anything she could do. Before Nick could say anything, Phyllis arrived. She hugged Nick. She was surprised to see Sharon because she thought Sharon had been on her way to the station to see if the driver had been found. Sharon explained to Nick that she'd stopped by Jabot to get an update from Phyllis. Sharon told Phyllis that she wanted to make sure that Nick was okay. Phyllis assured Sharon that she'd take good care of Nick.
Nick joined Victoria and Jack when Nate arrived. Nate told Nick that the MRI showed Nikki suffered from a brain contusion. There was no treatment for it, but it could resolve on its own. Nick asked what would happen if it didn't resolve on its own. Nate said it was too early to discuss that possibility.
At that moment, Rey arrived, and Nick's anger exploded. He yelled that if Rey had arrived to trap Victor, then he needed to do it elsewhere, because the last thing his family needed was Rey hanging around. Rey quietly said he was genuinely sorry. He'd never wanted anything to happen to Nikki. Nick yelled that it hadn't stopped Rey from attempting to nail Victor for J.T.'s murder. Rey could take his sympathy and leave. Rey explained that he'd been assigned to investigate the accident. Nick yelled that that wasn't going to happen. Nate stepped in and told Rey he would answer any questions.
As Nate and Rey were leaving, Nick yelled that he would have Rey removed from the case by any means necessary. He yelled that Rey expected him to believe that Rey was on their side after harassing his family for months. Nick said that Rey hadn't figured out who had started the fire at the ranch, and he had treated Nikki like a suspect when she'd been the victim. He accused Rey of waltzing in twelve hours after Nikki's accident. Rey said at least he was there, which was more than he could say about Victor.
Nick was about to charge at Rey, but Michael and Jack restrained him. Rey said he knew Nick was upset, but he needed to let Rey do his job. Sharon stepped in and asked Nick to let it go for Nikki's sake. Angry, Nick walked past Rey with an attitude, and Phyllis followed.
Sitting alone with Victoria, Sharon said that Nikki had always been a fighter, and that wouldn't change. Phyllis returned. Victoria said she didn't blame Nick for being angry with Rey. Sharon said that Rey was a good cop, and he would find the person who had run Nikki down. Phyllis said it wasn't a good thing if it was the same person who'd put J.T.'s clothes on Nikki's bed and the grave digger who had moved J.T.'s corpse.
Victoria asked if Phyllis thought Nikki's accident was tied to the clothes and the fire. Phyllis said she didn't know any other reason why Rey would investigate an accident case. Victoria wondered if Rey thought someone had intentionally hit Nikki. Sharon said she wasn't sure, but she had mentioned a possible connection between Nikki's accident and J.T. to Phyllis; however, Phyllis hadn't believed there was one. Phyllis said that was before she'd known that Rey had taken Nikki's case. Victoria wondered if one person could have been responsible for all those acts and if Rey suspected the same thing.
Sharon chided Phyllis for saying anything about Nikki being targeted. Victoria said it made sense because Nikki had mentioned that J.T.'s bloody clothes had been laid out on her bed, and she'd felt that it had been a warning, then subsequently, Nikki was fighting for her life. Phyllis said that whoever had laid out the clothes had been toying with them for months. Victoria thought that it might be the person's end game, and perhaps Nikki wasn't the only one targeted. She said that whoever had done it could have planned to take them out one by one.
Nick walked down the hospital hallway and saw Nate and Rey. After telling Rey to call him if he required any further information, Nate left. Nick glared at Rey and said that Nikki wouldn't want him on the case. Rey explained that he was on the case because he had a reputation of not letting go until he had answers. Rey said that his obsession was what they needed to track down the culprit. Nick said that with or without Rey's help, he'd find the person who had done it, and they were going to pay.
Reed and Charlie returned to Cane's. Reed was amazed how quickly the car had been fixed. Charlie said that they needed to get their stories straight because he didn't want to be caught in a lie. Charlie suggested that they tell everyone they'd been hanging out at his house, playing video games all day. Reed agreed.
Reed was upset and told Charlie that his grandmother could die, while they had been trying to cover their asses. Charlie assured Reed it hadn't been his fault. He said Nikki had been in the middle of the road in a snowstorm. They'd had no way of knowing she'd been there. Reed said he had to confess what he'd done. He couldn't keep lying to everyone. Charlie reminded him that Lily had wanted to do the right thing, and it had landed her in prison with nasty criminals, just because of an unfortunate accident.
Reed told Charlie it was his decision, but Charlie said it wasn't. Reed said he'd been driving, but Charlie countered that they had both left the scene of an accident. Charlie asked if Reed was aware of how many laws they'd broken. Charlie said he'd been drinking, and Reed had driven with a suspended license and already had a DUI. Charlie said it wouldn't change anything for Nikki, so there was no point saying anything because it wouldn't help anyone. Reed agreed to keep his mouth shut.
At the Abbotts', Kyle stood beside a blow-up palm tree when Jack walked in. Jack inquired about the pile of sand and space heaters outside. Kyle said it was a surprise for Lola because she missed Miami. Kyle asked about Nikki. Jack said she wouldn't be drinking Mai Tais on the beach anytime soon. Jack asked Kyle to explain what he was doing. Kyle said if he couldn't take the girl to the beach, then he'd bring the beach to the girl.
Talk turned to Jack and Kerry. Jack said that he'd hosted a private dinner for two at the house, with soft music and candlelight. Kyle admitted that was too tame for him. He wanted to step out of his comfort zone and into the new millennium. Jack admitted he was into Kerry. Kyle asked what Jack's next move was. Jack said he didn't want to share all his secrets. With a sly grin, Jack said he had a plan, and Kerry was going to love it.
Fen arrived at Devon's. Ana told him Devon wasn't home. Fen said he was there to see her. Fen apologized for their earlier encounter and explained that he hadn't wanted to hear that his demo sucked. He admitted he should have known better and listened to her. Ana said she'd grown up living and breathing music. It was her passion. She said she didn't have a ton of experience, but she knew her way around a recording studio from all angles.
Ana said if Fen wanted to work with her, she would produce the demo. Fen said he couldn't because he didn't have the money to pay for studio time, musicians, and the rental gear. Ana said she had that covered. All he had to do was sing and give the performance of his life. Fen agreed.
Reed walked into Crimson Lights through the patio doors and leaned on the counter, in obvious turmoil.
Devon signs Fen and disappoints Ana
Sharon stopped by Victoria's house to drop off some macaroni and cheese for the kids. Sharon sympathized that Victoria was juggling a lot, so she'd thought even something as simple as providing dinner might help. Victoria appreciated Sharon going out of her way, especially when Nikki wasn't her favorite person. Sharon reiterated that they were in it together. Victoria worried that the person tormenting them might have been the hit-and-run driver who had struck Nikki, and she recommended that she, Sharon, and Phyllis not be alone if they could help it.
Later, Billy dropped by and mentioned that Johnny was going to sing in his school's pageant. Victoria reported that the boy was nervous, so she planned to work on it with him after dinner. Victoria thanked Billy for helping out, and he reminded her that it was what family did. Billy inquired about Nikki, and Victoria bemoaned that her mother wasn't getting any better. He took off his coat and refused to leave when dinner had to get on the table and their son had to learn a song. A grateful Victoria hugged him.
Billy insisted on getting dinner ready while Victoria relaxed. Billy asked why Johnny was nervous about the pageant, and Victoria relayed that his teacher had said the boy hadn't known his lines and had refused to participate. Victoria figured that Johnny hadn't been getting as much attention as usual with Reed being back home and Nikki in the hospital, so it was his way of getting noticed. Victoria lamented that she was working hard to keep everything normal and on schedule, and Billy credited her for doing a great job. He chalked Johnny's fears up to old-school stage fright, and he joked that Johnny hadn't gotten it from him. Victoria worried about how all her children were being affected.
After dinner, Billy counted to three for him and Johnny to sing "Jingle Bells" together, but Johnny remained mum. Billy recalled having to sing in a holiday pageant at Johnny's age, and he'd been nervous that he wouldn't remember his line. Billy wondered if that was what was going on with Johnny, and the tot nodded. Victoria looked on as Billy recounted that he'd listened to the song to hear the line before his, and when it had been his turn, his own line had popped out of his mouth like a Christmas miracle. Billy suggested that they try it, and Johnny happily joined in. They high-fived and hugged, and Billy said he was proud of his son.
Later, Victoria called Billy a good dad and kissed his cheek. He hoped he'd given her one less thing to worry about, and she resolved to be as good of a mom as hers was. Billy assured Victoria that she already was and that her mom would be fine. He promised that everything would be okay, and he pledged to be there for her just in case it wasn't. He put his arm around her and swore that they would get through it together.
Over dinner with Tessa at the Athletic Club, Mariah observed that Fen seemed happy about his waiter duties. He informed them that another server would be handling their check, and he hoped that he wouldn't be relying on tips much longer. After he stepped away, Mariah noted that Tessa had only ordered a salad, and Tessa admitted that she didn't have much extra cash. Mariah grumbled that it was because Sharon had fired Tessa and sabotaged her chances of getting a job at the club. Mariah saw an incoming call from Sharon and declared that whatever her mother had to say wasn't as important as spending time with Tessa.
Mariah insisted that she had the bill covered, and she pointed out that Tessa would make money by helping Kyle out that night. Tessa recognized that she needed a steady paycheck, since she didn't want to lean on Mariah. Mariah argued that they'd lean on one another, but Tessa hated that she was getting between Mariah and Sharon. Mariah blamed her mother for being vindictive, and she shuddered at the thought of Tessa being stashed in the back of a car. Mariah thought Sharon had to accept that Mariah had made a choice instead of failing to see complexities or show compassion. Mariah stressed that she and Tessa were together, so if Sharon went after Tessa, Sharon went after Mariah, too.
Mariah's phone rang again, and Mariah answered over the speaker. Sharon hoped that Mariah would help her feel better by giving her a chance to explain, but Mariah scoffed at the idea that she'd rush over so Sharon could feel better about herself. Sharon pleaded with Mariah to hear her out, but Mariah flatly stated that she and Tessa weren't going to break up. Mariah hung up and doubted that she'd get any more calls, but Tessa protested that she didn't want Mariah to push her mom away because of Tessa. Tessa noted that Sharon had sounded upset and anxious, and she encouraged Mariah to reach out to Sharon.
Mariah complained that Tessa was being pushy, but Tessa argued that Mariah and Sharon loved one another. Tessa knew that Mariah wanted Sharon to support them as a couple, but she suspected that Mariah might have to learn to be okay with it if Sharon couldn't. Tessa swore that she didn't need Mariah to shut Sharon out of her life to prove that Mariah was in Tessa's corner. Tessa worried that Mariah would regret it in the long run if she did, and she urged Mariah to hear what Sharon had to say.
At the cottage, Sharon read a book on the couch, and she recalled Victoria's words about not being alone if they could help it. "Big fail on that," Sharon muttered, and she heard a thump outside. She yelled to ask if someone was out there, and she heard another thud. Sharon grabbed a large flashlight and whipped the front door open. She screamed when she saw Mariah.
Sharon explained that she hadn't expected to hear from Mariah after Mariah had hung up on her. Mariah mentioned that she'd dropped her bag outside and had been making sure she still had the popcorn and wine she'd hauled over, thinking Sharon had needed company. Mariah revealed that "evil Tessa" had suggested that she spend the night there because Sharon had sounded distressed on the phone. Sharon confided that she hadn't felt comfortable being alone after Nikki's accident, since she kept wondering if it had been connected to the fire in the stables. Sharon added that it meant the world that Mariah had stopped by, and they hugged.
Mariah emerged from the kitchen with popcorn and suggested that they watch Thelma & Louise. Sharon preferred to watch something other than a movie about women on the run after committing a crime, and Mariah began flipping channels. Sharon thought it wasn't fair that Mariah had set aside her feelings to be there to take care of her when Sharon's feelings about Tessa would never change. Sharon couldn't accept Mariah's support without making it clear that nothing would change where Tessa was concerned.
Mariah referred to the stories she'd heard about Sharon's battles with Nikki, who had disapproved of Sharon being with Nick. Mariah accused Sharon of turning into Nikki, leaving Mariah stuck in the middle. Sharon swore that she'd tried to give Tessa the benefit of the doubt, and Tessa had only hurt Mariah with her lies and deceit. Sharon was adamant that a person who was capable of repeatedly lying to someone they loved would never change. Mariah maintained that she wanted both Sharon and Tessa in her life, and she begged Sharon to at least stop trying to hurt Tessa. Sharon whimpered that she didn't want to lose Mariah, and Mariah ordered Sharon to stop. Mariah grabbed her bag and stormed out.
Lola stifled a yawn at Crimson Lights as Kyle approached and handed her an invitation to a celebration of her amazingness. She hoped that she didn't have to cook because she was beat, and he assured her that it would be the opposite, since he'd dote on her that night at his house. He advised her to dress appropriately, and she remarked that she didn't go outside without two pairs of mittens. Kyle cautioned that mittens would be inappropriate, since the forecast was hot and humid in the tropics. She opened the flamingo-themed invitation and smiled.
At the Abbott mansion, Kyle, wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, tended to the tropical decorations. Over the phone, he complained that there hadn't been enough tiki torches delivered to create the proper mood lighting for his big date that night. The doorbell rang, and he accepted a delivery of tropical flowers.
Meanwhile, Lola prepared for their date at her apartment by changing into a sundress and tucking a flower behind her ear. Kyle called and promised that she wouldn't forget that night, but he asked for an extra hour to prepare. She groaned that it had been a long day at work, but she quickly added that she was kidding, since she was dying of suspense. He replied that he was dying to see her, and they planned to see one another soon.
Later, Kyle and Tessa waited for Lola to show up, and he worried about seeming like a stalker if he tried calling Lola again. He gave in, and Lola's phone buzzed quietly next to her as she slept. Kyle was surprised that Lola had stood him up when she'd seemed excited, and Tessa urged him to take the date to Lola. Tessa recalled that she'd made something happen with Mariah, and she suspected that Kyle felt the same way about Lola that Tessa felt about Mariah. Kyle declared that he wasn't going alone, and he told Tessa to grab her guitar.
Lola awakened to the sound of a strumming guitar, and Tessa began to sing "Joy to the World." Lola checked the time and opened her window to find Kyle, shivering in his tropical outfit, outside her apartment. With a grin, Lola asked "what the hell" he was doing, and he replied that he'd been worried she'd miss their date. She apologized for falling asleep, and she incredulously asked why he wasn't wearing a coat. Through chattering teeth, he explained that he was proving something to her, but he wasn't sure what. She didn't know what to say except that her boyfriend was crazy, and he begged her to buzz him in.
Lola pulled Kyle into her apartment and wondered what he'd been thinking when he'd shown up half-naked. He reasoned that football fans did it for their teams, so he'd thought he could do it for her, but it had been stupid. She wrapped him in a blanket, and he thought he might lose a toe from frostbite. Lola teased that having only nine toes would be a deal-breaker because he'd be grotesque, and they playfully wrestled on the bed. She conveyed that she was touched by his romantic gesture, and he wondered if he'd finally impressed her. She called him her Romeo in flip-flops, and they kissed passionately.
Kyle pulled back and asked if Lola was okay or if they were going too fast. She said she was sorry, but he assured her that there was nothing to be sorry about. She requested a moment to sit there and think about the reasons she'd wanted to wait, and he jokingly prepared to go over his fantasy football lineup. She snuggled up against him and asked if he was sure it was okay, and he swore that he just wanted to be close to her. They held one another.
In the recording studio, Devon worked on perfecting a track, but Ana reminded him that he had dinner scheduled with an agent from Los Angeles. He wanted to reschedule, but she explained that the agent was only in town for one night. She asserted that there would be no missed opportunities on her watch, and he asked when she'd become so tough. She figured that he'd just never noticed until she'd assumed charge of his life, and he invited her to join him. She opted to stay to get some work done, and he headed out. Ana called Fen and told him to get there right away.
Fen rushed into the studio, breathlessly explaining that the guy covering for him at the club had flaked, so he'd needed to find another replacement. Fen fretted that the staff would hate him for skipping out on the first week, and he hoped it was worth it. Ana confidently assured him that it would be, and he looked around in amazement at the facility. Ana informed him that they had one track to get down, and she urged him to focus on singing better than he ever had before. She handed him the song she wanted him to sing, and he hesitated because he usually performed his own songs.
Fen whined that he'd never seen the material before, and Ana ordered him to get familiar with it fast because it was what professional singers did. Fen preferred to use his own material, but Ana flatly stated that his music wasn't that good. He was shocked because he'd thought she'd liked what she'd heard, and she clarified that she liked his voice, not his song. Fen contemplated why he should trust her when things hadn't worked out for her as a singer, but Ana countered that she was the producer, so he could take her song or leave it.
Fen grappled with whether he should walk, and Ana warned that it would be a big mistake. He noted that she had a lot of confidence for someone who'd never produced before, and she called it a big opportunity for both of them if they pulled it off. She instructed him to use everything he had to interpret the song while she made sure the product was as good as it possibly could be, starting with the song choice. Ana conceded that she might not get another chance to produce a hit record, and she knew the song was the right one. She was sure that it would fit his voice like a glove if he gave it a try, and she implied that there would be chances in the future to record his own songs.
Fen inquired about the songwriter, and Ana replied that it was a guy back east who had signed off on the rights. Ana ordered Fen to get his butt in the booth and do his thing. During the recording session, Ana stopped and advised Fen to try with more emotion. The music started again, and she smiled as he sang. After they finished, Fen gushed that it had been incredible, and Ana agreed. He apologized for having doubts about the song, and she assured him that it wasn't a problem because they'd both gotten what they'd wanted.
Fen raved about what a rush recording had been, and he wondered if Ana had ever thought about going back to singing. She informed him that it was her goal to produce a hit song, so she was fine with being behind the scenes. She announced that there was time for one more take. "One more take of what?" Devon spat as he walked in. Ana admitted that she'd taken advantage of Devon's dinner to use the studio, and Devon griped that she'd rushed him out to give the studio to a guy he'd already said no to.
Ana argued that Devon hadn't listened to Fen's demo, but she had, and it was good. Devon testily asked if it was good enough for her to lie to him, and he didn't want to add her to the list of people who had let him down. She begged him to hear her out, since Fen had a great voice, and she knew how to produce. Devon barked that she couldn't use the studio as a personal playground, and he ordered them to leave. Ana refused to go until Devon heard the song. Devon questioned why she'd test him like that, but he grew silent as the song played.
Ana anxiously watched Devon's reaction as he listened to the song, and Devon realized that Fen really had something. Devon inquired whether Fen had written the song, and Fen shared that while he had written his own songs, Ana had found that one. Devon imagined that Fen's career could take off with a few more songs like it, and Fen jumped at the chance to work with Devon. Devon announced that he wanted to sign Fen, but they'd talk details another time because he wanted to dive back into the song. Devon suggested that Fen get back in the booth so they could go through it a few more times.
Devon directed Ana to go to the office to draw up a contract, but she protested that she'd discovered Fen, found the song, and made the demo. Devon praised her for doing a great job, aside from lying to him, but he thought future recording sessions required a more experienced hand. He encouraged her to give her input, but he expected her to assume whatever duties he assigned. She headed out, clearly disappointed.
Nikki's family prepares for the worst
At the hospital, Nate informed Nick that the tests he'd run had failed to explain why Nikki hadn't woken up, and her condition wasn't improving. Nick recalled that his dad had been in a coma for weeks and had made a full recovery, but Nate explained that Nikki's injuries were more complicated. Nick wondered if it had to do with Nikki's MS, and Nate said they were still searching for more subtle reasons for Nikki's continued unconsciousness. Nick told himself that Nikki was tough enough to get through it, but Nate warned that the longer she didn't wake up, the worse her prognosis would be. Nate left to order more tests.
Sharon arrived at the hospital and presented Nick with hot coffee and muffins. She asked for an update on Nikki, and Nick replied that Nate's words had been a blur. Nick remembered the look on Nate's face, and he struggled against tears as he shared that Nikki wasn't getting better. He added that Nate didn't want them to cling to false hope, and he wished that Nikki had confided in him so that he could have taken some of the burden from her. Nick wailed that he felt helpless, and Sharon hugged him as Phyllis walked in.
Phyllis inquired whether something had happened with Nikki, and Nick reported that Nate was running more tests. Phyllis remarked that Nikki was too strong not to make it, but Nick worried that his mother had a lot working against her. Sharon assured Nick that Nikki wasn't fighting alone, and she was certain that Nikki knew he was there, pulling for her. Phyllis politely stated that it had been kind of Sharon to stop by, and Sharon reminded her that Nikki was her children's grandmother, so she'd needed to put her issues aside for something that important. Sharon departed.
At Victoria's house, Billy announced that the star was making his way downstairs as soon as Hannah and Katie finished helping him with his costume. Victoria requested that Billy and Reed drop her off at the hospital on their way to Johnny's pageant, but Billy suggested that she see Nikki after Johnny's event was over. Victoria blamed herself for not knowing Nikki had been drinking again, but Reed insisted that it hadn't been his mom's fault. Johnny declared that he was ready, and he appeared in a snowman costume. Nick called Victoria and reported that there had been no change in Nikki's condition, and the problem was that she wasn't waking up. A stricken Reed watched Victoria's reaction as Nick advised her to get there soon.
Victoria told Johnny to get his props in the kitchen, and Billy again pressed her to wait to go to the hospital until after Johnny's performance. Victoria reiterated that she'd be too worried to sit through the pageant, and Reed insisted on going to the hospital, too. Victoria argued that Nikki was unconscious, and Billy added that it would do no good for Reed to hang around the ICU. Reed was sure that if it were him in the hospital, his grandmother would be there the whole time. Victoria agreed to let Reed go.
Meanwhile, Nick informed Phyllis that he'd had a grim talk with Nate before Sharon had shown up. Phyllis was grateful that Sharon had made him feel better, and Nick advised her against reading anything into it. Victoria and Reed arrived, and Nick hugged them. Reed asked about his grandmother, and Nick hissed that they still didn't know who had done it to her. Phyllis insisted that Rey had to find the "hit-and-run scum" so the culprit could celebrate New Year's Eve behind bars. Victoria wanted to ensure Nikki knew they were there, and she and Reed entered Nikki's hospital room. Victoria whispered that she was there with Reed, and there was much she wanted to say to her mother.
Victoria recognized that Nikki had been their family's emotional core through every crisis, never asking for anything in return. Reed's chin quivered as Victoria thanked Nikki for being there for her and saving her life, and she was sorry that she hadn't paid more attention to the price Nikki had paid for taking on their family's problems. Victoria asked if Reed was okay, and she suggested that he get some air. He requested a minute alone with his grandmother, and she told him to take his time. After Victoria stepped out, Reed whimpered that it was all his fault.
Reed cried that he was the reason Nikki was hooked up to machines and fighting for her life, since he'd been driving the car that had hit her. He swore that he hadn't known at the time and hadn't realized it until the next day. He knew he should admit it, but he was scared and ashamed and couldn't believe that she could die because of him. He sobbed that he loved her and that he was sorry, and he believed that if she could hear him, she was thinking that he was just as bad as his father.
In the corridor, Nick sympathized that Reed might lose his grandmother right after finding out his dad had been murdered. Nick thought it was even more reason to find out who had hit Nikki and make them pay. Nate gathered Nikki's family together and revealed that the latest tests hadn't provided any useful information. Nick questioned whether he needed to find someone else who could find answers, but Nate regretted that no one could tell them anything different, since they'd done all they could. Nate urged them to find Victor and get him there, since they needed to prepare for the worst.
At Crimson Lights, Billy crowed that Johnny had been the best thing about the Christmas pageant. Billy gently explained that Victoria had needed to be with Johnny's grandmother, and Johnny asked if his grandma would be home for Christmas. Billy replied that it was what they were all hoping for, and they shared a gingerbread cookie.
At the Abbott mansion, Lola admired the winter wonderland inside the home. Kyle bragged that his dad had hired the best holiday decorators in Wisconsin, but Jack entered and announced that he and Kerry had been responsible for it. Jack hugged Lola and congratulated her on her new job, and she hoped she was up for the challenge, since Abby and Devon were putting their faith in her. Kyle insisted that Lola's food had been the inspiration for the whole idea, but Lola suspected it had more to do with moneymaking.
Lola mentioned that she and Kyle were going to her family's Christmas party, and Kyle prepared to change clothes. Lola assured him that there was nothing wrong with his outfit, but he wanted to look more casual so her family wouldn't think he was stuck up. Jack teased that Kyle didn't own anything casual, but he suspected that Lola's siblings wouldn't care once they saw how Kyle treated their sister. Jack added that Kyle's recent romantic stroke of genius had inspired him to do something special for Kerry, starting with dinner and leading to a surprise that Kyle and Lola's generation would call epic.
At Dark Horse, Abby was dismayed that no one had heard from Victor yet. She thanked Arturo for being there to help her out, and he recalled that Nick wanted the place to feel like family. He handed her some contact information that he hoped would help locate her father, and she noticed that he was holding another gift. Arturo explained that it was a Christmas present, and he thought Abby needed cheering up because she'd been stressed about Nikki and her dad. He implied that she might also want to go with him to the Rosales family dinner at Rey's place, but she hesitated to spend the evening on Mia's home turf. Abby challenged Arturo to admit the gift was a bribe.
Abby didn't want a repeat of the tense Thanksgiving they'd had with Arturo's family. Arturo figured that neither one of them could change their families, but he wanted his clan to see how strong he and Abby were together. Arturo bemoaned that his family had labeled him a screwup years earlier, and no matter what he'd accomplished, it was how Rey thought of him. Arturo continued that Rey had no idea what someone like Abby saw in Arturo. Abby kissed him and agreed to go, but she maintained that the present was a bribe.
Arturo implored Abby to open the gift, and she found a coat inside. She exclaimed that she really liked it, and he admitted that Lola had helped him pick it out. Abby tried it on and declared it a perfect fit, and Arturo anticipated that it would be warm enough to wear when he took her camping. She balked, and he contended that they couldn't have hypothermia on vacation. She protested that vacations should never involve sleeping outside or possible bear attacks, but he informed her that he'd bought a camper shell for his truck. They embraced.
At Rey and Mia's apartment, Mia gushed that she was excited to have their family together in their new home, stressing that it finally felt like one, since she had Rey were in a better place. Rey kissed her cheek and encouraged her to manage her expectations. Mia figured that she had to make an effort for things to get better, and there was no better time to try -- which was why she'd invited Sharon. Rey couldn't hide his surprise, and Mia reasoned that Sharon had been a good friend to him and that they lived in her building, so she wanted to become friends with Sharon, too. Rey squirmed.
Mia brightened when Lola and Kyle arrived, and Kyle admired what Mia had done with the place. Mia enthused about entertaining and hosting clients there, and he asked if there was anything he could do to help. Rey dryly inquired how Kyle was with plumbing, but Lola chalked it up to her brother trying to be funny. Lola announced that she'd made dessert, and Rey claimed that he'd just been giving the new guy a hard time. Rey pulled Kyle aside to talk, and Mia expressed confidence to Lola that Kyle could handle himself. Mia thanked Lola for dessert, but she thought everyone would enjoy her grandmother's cookie recipe.
Mia welcomed Abby and Arturo, and Abby presented her with dessert. Mia called it thoughtful and said it meant the world to Rey for Arturo to be there. Arturo was happy that their family could be together, and Mia called Abby's coat interesting. Abby divulged that it had been an early Christmas gift from Arturo, and Lola imagined that Abby had been thrilled when she'd learned the gift also involved a camping trip. Abby commented that she was always up for an adventure, and Mia advised her to take along her best GPS to find the nearest luxury hotel.
Rey prepared to get to know Lola's boyfriend a little better. Mia opened the door to Sharon, who also delivered dessert. Mia plastered on a smile and called her an angel. The group laughed when everyone realized they'd all arrived with dessert, and Mia swore that she could bake. Mia explained something in Spanish, and Lola translated that Mia's family recipe was "cookies for dummies." Mia added that it had been a godsend to three generations of women who couldn't cook anything else, and she toasted to family recipes.
Sharon thanked Mia for inviting her, and Mia explained that after Thanksgiving, she'd wanted to host something that "didn't suck." Mia pointedly added that she and Rey were doing much better, and she had invited Sharon to thank her for being there for Rey before Mia had gotten to town. Mia claimed that she'd really like it if she and Sharon became friends, too, but Sharon quickly excused herself to discuss a family matter with Abby.
Arturo recalled when he and Rey had plotted to drag one of Lola's childhood boyfriends up to the school roof and dangle him over the edge until he promised to treat Lola like the treasure she was. Arturo admitted that they hadn't actually done it, but they'd talked about it, just like they were talking then. Kyle appreciated what the Rosales brothers were doing, but he swore that it wasn't necessary because he cared about Lola and respected her profusely. Arturo demanded to know Kyle's intentions toward his baby sister, and Kyle appealed to Abby for help. Abby plopped down and announced that she also had concerns about Kyle dating Lola, since he would have to answer to Abby if he didn't treat Lola the way she deserved.
Abby asserted that Lola was not only a close friend but her head chef, and Lola didn't need man troubles distracting her from creating stellar menus. Lola proclaimed that the "messing with Kyle" portion of the evening was over, and Kyle wondered if it would happen every holiday. Lola informed him that she didn't know because no guy had lasted that long. Rey privately approached Sharon and informed her that he hadn't known until the last minute that Mia had invited her. Sharon figured that the party would be a good distraction with Nikki in the ICU. Mia interrupted and clucked that there would be no work talk at the party.
After dinner, Kyle raved that it had tasted like home-cooked perfection, and Mia confessed that she'd had the food delivered. Kyle asked what it had been like to grow up with no winter weather, and Lola recounted their tradition of going to midnight mass. Arturo recalled a memory of Rey getting their mother's favorite singer to perform a capella. Rey explained that he'd pulled the singer over for speeding, and the singer had offered to serenade their mom when Rey had let him off with a warning. Sharon and Rey exchanged smiles, and Mia added that they'd gone skinny-dipping later that night. Mia was clearly disappointed when Rey didn't remember the details, and the party started to break up. Sharon thanked Mia for hosting, and she shared a lingering glance with Rey.
Later, Rey was glad to find Sharon at Crimson Lights, and he gave her a Christmas present. He explained that he'd planned to give it to her at the station, but it seemed like a better time then. She opened the box and pulled out a leaf-themed ornament. Rey said it was in honor of the road trip they'd never been able to take, and it was his way of saying that Sharon was still important to him, even though he was with Mia. Sharon mused that she felt the same way, and things became awkward when they both moved to put the ornament back in the box. She stammered that she had to close up, and he headed out.
Upstairs, Mia looked around the room and looked pleased. Rey returned, and she thanked him for taking the trash out and for making it a wonderful night. She regretted the few dicey moments, but he guessed they were unavoidable when everyone got together. He congratulated her on a good night, and she seductively suggested that there was one way to improve it. He kissed her passionately, and they fell to the couch.
Arturo stood in the Abbott living room, blindfolded. Abby cooed to leave the blindfold on unless he didn't want one of his presents early, and he warned that the coat would be a hard gift to beat, since she'd be the envy of every camper out there. She ordered him to take the blindfold off, and she appeared in the coat. She purred that they didn't have to worry about hypothermia yet, and she opened the coat to show that she wasn't wearing anything underneath. Abby began to unbutton Arturo's shirt, and he asked if she had a bedroom, since he was having trouble making his brain work. She led him upstairs.
At the Athletic Club, Kerry fawned over the delectable dinner and legendary wine vintage. Jack toasted to the woman he couldn't get out of his mind, and she joked that it was because of her talent for tree decorating. He referred to her kissing talent, and he wondered if he'd set the bar too high for Christmas. Kerry suggested a sleigh ride with actual reindeer or ice-skating at Rockefeller Center in hideous holiday sweaters, but he proposed something that was the opposite of snow and ice. Jack presented her with a travel brochure, and Kerry was astounded that he wanted to take her to a five-star resort on Bora Bora.
Kerry stammered that Jack had succeeded in going for the unexpected, and he imagined boarding a plane and sipping wine on their way to paradise. She marveled that it looked gorgeous and was very tempting, but she was reluctant to fly off together when she had responsibilities at Jabot. Jack intended to wait until after the holidays, but Kerry warned that they were moving at different speeds. She acknowledged that he'd put lot of thought into it, but she needed to think before making a decision. He assured her that he wanted her to feel confident and happy about it, no matter what it was. Jack looked disappointed when Kerry kissed his cheek and headed out.
Later, Kerry stopped by the Abbott mansion and announced that she had an answer to Jack's offer. She stepped inside and proclaimed that she would love to go to Bora Bora with him. He started to respond, but she silenced him with a kiss. He promised it would be the vacation of a lifetime, and she informed him that her bags were already waiting outside, since she didn't see why they couldn't start the vacation that night. They headed upstairs and began to make love.