James Beardsley tracked Randi down at ConFusion, so that he could ask her to help him find Madison. James explained that Madison had suffered a relapse and then escaped from the institution. According to James, Madison was unstable and needed to be found before word of her escape leaked out to the press. Randi assured James that she would help him find his daughter. Randi wanted to make certain that Madison was returned to the sanitarium and remained there.
At the police station, Natalia revealed that she had called various hospitals, but no one had been admitted with injuries from a car accident. Natalia was certain that the homeless man, Fred, was pulling Brot's leg. Brot wasn't quick to dismiss Fred's claims about the accident, despite Natalia's insistence that Fred was unreliable. When Erica entered the squad room moments later, Fred identified Erica as one of the people in the car. Erica ignored Fred's accusations as she looked around for Jesse.
Jesse pulled Erica to a quiet corner, in order to question her about the car accident that Fred insisted that she had been involved in. Erica revealed that she and Ryan had found Madison on the side of the road. According to Erica, James Beardsley had beaten his daughter. Fred remained agitated, so Jesse ordered Natalia and Brot to take Fred to the hospital. Natalia objected, since Fred was a witness to a car accident, but Jesse pulled rank on his daughter.
After Natalia and Brot left with Fred, Jesse promised Erica that he would look into the allegation that James had abused Madison. Erica questioned why James would claim that his daughter was dead when she was very much alive. Erica suspected that Madison had become a liability to James.
At the Miranda Center, Frankie discovered that his new patient was Madison. When Frankie noticed the bruises on Madison's face, he demanded to know what had happened to her. Madison was reluctant to tell Frankie, but he quickly put the pieces together when he realized that some of the bruises were old. Madison insisted that she didn't need anyone's help; she could handle things on her own.
It was clear that Frankie had his doubts about Madison's claims. However, he treated her injuries. Madison regretted that she had agreed to go to the center with Erica. Frankie was shocked when Madison confessed that she wished that she hadn't slipped Jesse a note asking for help. Madison seemed unaware of Frankie's reaction. She begged him not to tell anyone, including Jesse, where she was.
After Frankie left the Miranda Center, he went to the police station to confront his father. Jesse correctly guessed that Madison was the reason for his son's anger. Frankie demanded to know why Jesse hadn't told him about Madison's note. Jesse explained that he'd wanted to avoid worrying Frankie and Randi. Jesse assured his son that he had looked into things, but he hadn't found any evidence that Madison was in trouble.
Frankie pointed out that, clearly, Jesse had been wrong. Jesse suggested that perhaps it wasn't a coincidence that Madison had turned up where Frankie would be in a position to rescue her. Randi stepped forward to urge Frankie to listen to his father. Her concern turned to fury when she learned that Frankie had treated Madison at the Miranda Center. Randi revealed that she had talked to James and that he had been concerned about his daughter.
Randi thought that the best solution would be for father and daughter to be reunited. Frankie refused to consider it when there was a possibility that James had abused his daughter. Randi was hurt when Jesse appeared to side with Frankie. Jesse tried to explain that he was on Randi's side, but she didn't believe him. As Randi stormed out of the police station, Angie entered. She quickly guessed why her daughter-in-law was upset.
Randi went to the Miranda Center to talk to Madison. Madison was stunned when Randi confessed that Frankie had told Randi where to find her. Randi claimed that she knew what had happened to Madison. Randi warned Madison that James was in town, so she offered to help Madison.
Erica was surprised to see James at ConFusion. When James mentioned Kendall, Erica took the opportunity to talk about Madison. Erica hid her disgust as James played the grieving father to the hilt. She quickly changed the subject to inquire why James was in town. James claimed that his trip was business related; he was trying to track down "an elusive investment." However, he was confident that he would be leaving soon. Erica smiled as she warned James that his visit could last longer than anticipated.
Erica went to the Miranda Center to see Madison. She grew alarmed when she discovered that the room was empty.
James went to the police station to notify Jesse that Madison was missing. As James pretended to be worried about Madison's whereabouts, Frankie's anger mounted. In his rage, Frankie punched James. After James recovered, he demanded that Frankie be arrested. Frankie laughed at the idea of Jesse arresting his own son. Frankie's laughter died when Jesse slapped handcuffs on Frankie's wrists. Jesse explained that he had no choice, since Frankie had assaulted James in the police station.
Natalia and Brot arrived at the hospital with Fred. While Brot took Fred to an examination bay, Natalia told Angie that Madison had resurfaced. Angie decided to go to the police station to find out what was going on. Later, Natalia was scribbling in her notebook when Brot returned with an update on Fred. After Brot assured Natalia that Fred was fine, he asked her what she was doing. Natalia snapped her notebook shut as she explained that she had been jotting down notes for her report.
Brot suspected that Natalia had written that he was "an impertinent officer" who had ignored orders, so that he could pursue a "no percentage hunch" instead of "important police work." Natalia reminded Brot that it was imperative that they follow orders. Brot didn't seem overly concerned about Natalia's possible comments in her report. As he walked away, Natalia glanced down at her notebook where she had written that she highly recommended Brot.
At the Chandler mansion, JR and Little A were in the parlor looking at the Christmas tree when Adam entered. As Adam scooped Little A into his arms, he asked what had prompted the visit. JR claimed that they had spotted the tree as they drove by the house, so they had decided to stop by, in order to share some holiday cheer. Adam chuckled as he told Little A that JR was a smart man. According to Adam, JR knew how to dangle something that a person wanted most in the world in exchange for their agreement to give JR whatever he wanted.
Little A wondered what "dangle" meant. JR explained that it meant having a wish that was close to "coming true." JR wanted Adam to understand that Adam had a choice. Adam understood that Annie could not be part of the picture if he wanted a relationship with JR and Little A. Adam was curious if JR was sure that he was in remission. JR assured his father that he was fine and then quickly changed the subject.
Adam reminded JR that JR was one of the people who had aimed a gun at Adam on the night that Stuart had died. JR acknowledged that they had a lot of work to do, in order to repair their relationship. A few minutes later, Adam decided to go to the hospital to see Annie. JR and Little A remained behind at the mansion. As JR and Little A sat on the sofa, JR wondered how Little A would feel about moving back to the mansion. He cautioned Little A that it might not happen immediately.
Colby overheard the conversation. She reminded JR of his vow not to move in while Annie lived under the roof. JR clarified that he had had not changed his mind, but he was hopeful that the trial would be the wakeup call that Adam had needed. JR missed living with his family; he viewed it as his last chance. Colby found the comment odd. JR dismissed it as nothing more than a figure of speech, but Colby didn't quite believe him.
She wondered if JR was planning on leaving town. JR assured his sister that it was nothing like that. Colby wanted JR to promise her that he would not go anywhere. JR hugged Colby tightly as he assured her that he didn't have any plans to leave. Colby wondered what would happen if Adam chose to stay with Annie. JR wanted to focus on the positive; he was confident that Adam would pick his family because they were the ones that he loved.
At the hospital, Annie decided to dismiss Liza as her attorney. Annie didn't trust Liza to represent her properly. Liza warned Annie that it was a huge mistake to make the night before a trial. Annie didn't care; she intended to put everyone on the stand who had gone after her for Stuart's murder. Annie wanted to expose all of them as lying hypocrites. Liza asked Annie what she intended to do about Adam.
Annie argued that Adam loved her. Liza wondered why, if Annie believed that, she had fired Adam's attorney. Adam entered the room moments later. When he demanded that Liza treat his wife with more respect, Liza announced that Annie had fired her. Adam was taken aback by Annie's decision. Annie explained that Liza was close to Zach and Ryan, so she didn't trust Liza not to "sandbag" her.
After Liza left, Adam asked Annie what she was thinking. Annie insisted that Adam didn't understand what it was like to be hated. Adam disagreed. Annie appeared to seek reassurance from Adam that he would testify on her behalf, to no avail. Adam murmured words of comfort because Annie felt alone, but her stopped short of making any promises to her.
Annie vowed that Adam would never regret choosing her over his family. Adam smiled, but didn't comment. A short time later, he left, despite Annie's protests.
When Marissa arrived at the hospital to meet Liza, Liza told her about Annie's decision to drop Liza. Liza gave Marissa the rest of the evening off. As Marissa left the hospital, she bumped into Adam. Adam observed that she had been in a similar situation of having to choose between family and love when David had objected to her relationship with JR. Marissa insisted that David had made the choice, not her. Marissa explained that JR was hopeful that Adam would choose his family, since they were the ones that Adam loved.
In her room, Annie watched the news on television. When the reporter hinted that Annie's transgressions "were coming home to roost," Annie threw the remote at the television set. A short time later, Annie fell asleep. She had a dream that she was on trial and being questioned by herself. In her dream trial, Annie insisted that she loved Adam. As she testified, Annie realized the perfect way that she could prove her love for Adam. Annie smiled with satisfaction as she continued dreaming.
JR went to the courthouse to pick up Marissa. Marissa was pleasantly surprised. When Liza joined them a few minutes later, she scolded Marissa for not following her orders to go home. Marissa explained to JR that Annie had dismissed Liza. JR warned them that Annie was most dangerous when she felt as if her back were against the wall.
Adam arrived home to find Colby decorating the tree. After Colby walked away, Adam remained in the parlor to reflect. As Adam stared at the tree, Stuart appeared in the room. Stuart enjoyed the warm fire and colorful tree. Adam explained that he didn't know what to do about his situation with JR and Annie. Stuart picked up an ornament and then handed it to Adam. Stuart assured Adam that Adam already knew the answer to his problems.
Adam's eyes welled up with tears as he placed the ornament on the tree.
At the Miranda center, Erica expressed concern for Madison, who Erica felt exhibited classic signs of abuse, possibly at the hands of her father. Angie was unwilling to give Madison the benefit of the doubt after the pain she'd caused the Hubbards. Erica reasoned that even though it didn't excuse Madison's behavior, being abused certainly explained it. Angie replied that an explanation didn't undo the damage that Madison had inflicted.
In her mind, Erica recalled her own abusive father. She said she hadn't been able to stop her father, but she would stop Madison's. Angie noted Erica's sincerity, and Erica conveyed that her time in Africa had made her realize that she really wanted to help others.
Natalia entered to say that the court expected Erica. Erica left, and Natalia wondered why Erica cared about Madison. Angie replied that she'd thought Erica only cared about hair and makeup; however, Erica was actually extraordinary.
At the Pine Cone Motel, Randi said that Madison could stay there until she started a new life elsewhere. Madison couldn't believe that Randi had helped Madison. Randi confided that she'd met Frankie after she'd been abused. Madison apologized for what she'd put Randi's family through. Randi left to get Madison some food, and outside the motel, she received a text message from Frankie, saying that he'd been arrested.
At the police station, Jesse urged Frankie to apologize to James, so that James would drop the charges. Frankie refused to do so, suspecting that James's abuse was the reason that Madison had hurt others. Jesse reminded Frankie that Madison had cut her face and blamed it on Natalia. Jesse reasoned that Madison could be doing the same thing to her father. Jesse implored Frankie to apologize, adding that Jesse would protect Madison if she were indeed in trouble.
Frankie formally apologized to James, who said he understood how Frankie could be sucked in by Madison's pathological lies. James dropped the charges, and he encountered Randi on his way out. He expressed sympathy for his daughter, who he felt was dangerous without her medication. Randi looked troubled, and James implored her to say if she knew anything about Madison. Randi reluctantly admitted that Madison was in room 16 at the Pine Cone Motel. James took the room key and rushed out.
Later, Randi was stunned when Frankie entered and explained that everyone was starting to believe that James had abused Madison. Randi insisted that James was just concerned, and she admitted that she'd told him where to find Madison. Frankie wondered how Randi knew Madison's whereabouts, and Randi stated that she'd been with Madison the other night.
At the motel, Madison opened the door to find her manically grinning father on the other side. "I swear I didn't tell anyone," Madison stated. He said that she'd caused "quite a ruckus," but he'd convinced everyone, including Randi, that Madison needed help. Madison said she didn't want to go with him, but he advanced on her, saying that she'd embarrassed him for the last time. Just then, Frankie and Brot stormed in, ordering James to get away from her.
James coaxed Madison to tell Frankie and Brot that James hadn't hurt her. A timid Madison said she'd made everything up. James reached for her hand to take her home.
Ryan marched into Annie's hospital room with a court subpoena for Emma, raging that he'd never let Annie put their daughter on the stand. Annie said that Emma could prove that Annie was a good mother. Ryan retorted that dragging Emma into the courtroom proved just the opposite. Ryan vowed to prevent Emma from testifying. Annie agreed to take Emma off the witness list, but Annie warned that when the custody case began, she'd remember how Ryan had shown her no mercy.
At the courthouse, Zach approached Adam about his plan to get Annie off. Adam played naÔve, and JR warned Zach to back off. Liza intervened, and Colby and JR escorted Adam into the courtroom. Liza advised Zach that he might get what he wanted. Zach asked if Adam would send Annie to prison. "I think he might send her straight to hell," Liza responded.
Liza explained that Annie had recklessly opted to defend herself in court, and Annie might have blown the trust between Adam and herself by kissing Scott. That, coupled with JR's ultimatum to Adam about the family, gave Liza hope that Adam might just let Annie fry. Zach said that there was no telling what Annie might do if she felt that Adam had turned on her.
When Annie entered the courtroom, Adam asked if she were sure about defending herself. Annie replied that it was the only way. She looked disdainfully at JR and Colby, and Adam stated that they were there to lend support. Annie responded that they hated her. She wondered what had changed, but Adam assured her that everything was fine. When JR saw Scott staring at Annie, JR asked if Scott intended to hold her hand.
In the corridor, Ryan told Zach that they were about to get justice. Ryan knew that Annie's sentence wouldn't make up for what she'd done to Kendall. "Forget Kendall. I have," Zach retorted. Erica approached, saying they were all on the same team. Zach walked off, quipping that he wasn't on anyone's team. Angie and Jesse arrived, and Erica pleaded with Jesse to help break Madison's cycle of abuse.
The judge convened court and heard opening arguments. A nervous Annie explained that she was a legal novice, but she had the truth behind her. She stated that even though Adam had been acquitted of Stuart's unfortunate murder, the townspeople still wanted to punish her for it. She said that the jury would hear stinging recriminations of her, but the words only amounted to misplaced hatred. She hoped the jury would find her innocent and set her free.
The prosecution called Zach as the first witness. Zach said that Annie had ruined his marriage by pinning the murder on Kendall and seducing the real killer. Annie objected; however, she could give no grounds, so the judge overruled her. During Zach's cross-examination, Annie conveyed that Kendall had slept with Ryan, and Zach just wanted revenge on Annie, who he'd drugged in his desperation to blame the murder on her.
Ryan got on the stand, and Annie made him admit that he'd lie to protect Emma. Erica took the stand, and Annie objected to Erica's statements. "Don't object to me. You were there to steal your daughter!" Erica retorted. A flustered Annie objected again, and Erica responded, "Objection!" The judge intervened, and Erica claimed that she'd never lie to protect Adam. Annie pointed out that Erica had lied to protect Adam after he'd taken Little Adam. Annie wondered why Erica could lie for Adam, but his wife, Annie, couldn't.
Colby took the stand to say that Annie had caused Colby to move out; however, upon Colby's cross-examination, Annie got Colby to admit that she'd actually moved out because Adam had hidden Liza's letters from Colby. JR took the stand, but Annie chose not to question him. The prosecution rested, and Annie called for a recess.
At break, Zach left the courthouse. Once he arrived home, he received a call from Los Angeles, but he heard nothing on the other end. Meanwhile, JR escorted Liza and Marissa into the corridor. Liza wondered if Adam, Annie's only witness, would help or hurt Annie's case. JR said that Adam would throw Annie to the wolves, because he knew what was at stake. Nearby, Annie tried to get reassurances from Adam. He said that he'd repay her faithfulness in kind once he was on the stand.
Erica, Jesse, Natalia, and Angie entered the corridor to see Randi rushing in to explain what had happened with James. Randi revealed where Madison was, and Erica took off. Natalia followed, and Randi apologized to her in-laws for believing James.
When court reconvened, the judge asked Annie to call her only witness. She responded that she had one other witness, and she called herself to the stand. From the witness box, Annie explained that she'd been faithful to Adam, and she'd committed no crime. She said she wouldn't call Adam to the stand.
Adam hopped up, demanding to testify, anyway. He blurted out that he'd known all along that he'd shot Stuart. Adam claimed that he'd been faking his memory lapse. Scott and JR's mouths gaped open as Adam claimed that he, not Annie, had covered up the truth.
Later, Erica arrived in Madison's room just as James was escorting Madison out. Erica demanded that he take his filthy hands off Madison. "Madison, is he the one? Is the one who hurt you?" Erica asked.
At the Pine Cone Motel, Erica urged Madison to walk away from her abuser. James stated that he needed to call his lawyer, and Erica agreed, because he'd need one. A hesitant Madison admitted that James had hit more than once. James scoffed at what he called Madison's typical bid for attention, and he tried to take her with him. Natalia said that he was free to go; Madison, however, would go to the police station.
At the police headquarters, Randi worried that James would reveal the Hubbards' role in the murder cover-up. Frankie reasoned that there was no longer any evidence of it. He figured that no one would believe James, anyway, after hearing about his mistreatment of his daughter.
In the interrogation room, Madison uttered that her father would never forgive her. Erica asserted that Madison didn't need forgiveness for fighting back. Erica left to ask Jesse if she could take Madison to the Miranda Center, but Jesse offered to let Madison stay with him until the restraining order cleared. After Erica left, Frankie noted that Jesse had made one hell of a turnaround. Jesse said that he'd vowed to help if Madison had really been in trouble.
Jesse went to question Madison about James. Madison said that her father had abused her all of her life, and she'd married Henry to escape it. She'd thought Henry would protect her, but Henry hadn't cared, because James had been financially contributing to Henry's career. When Henry had wanted to divorce her and send her back to her father, she'd felt trapped. Upon seeing Henry dying on the floor, she'd only thought of him sending her back to her father.
Later, Jesse apprised Randi and Frankie of what Madison had said. Randi felt that she was just as bad as Henry for giving Madison up to James. Frankie replied that Randi had thought she'd been helping Madison. Jesse said that he planned to put out a warrant for James's arrest.
In court, Annie and JR tried to silence Adam, but he asserted to the jury that he'd been the one keeping the lie, not Annie. Annie asked the judge to remove Adam from court. The judge said that the novice Annie should carefully consider her actions, because Adam was her only remaining witness. The prosecution called for a recess, and the judge granted it.
JR pursued Adam into the corridor, raging that Adam loved Annie more than the family. Adam figured that JR had only revealed his cancer to use it as a bargaining chip, but JR retorted that he hadn't revealed it, because he hadn't wanted Adam's pity. JR decided that he didn't want anything from his father at all. Adam thought that meant they could just go back to being a miserable family. JR stormed off, and Marissa followed him.
Liza approached Adam to say that his double jeopardy gambit was brilliant. She figured that Adam knew he couldn't be tried twice for the same crime. Adam replied that Liza had a wicked mind. He stated that he'd done it because Annie had been willing to go to prison so that he could be with his family. He said people had told him that once he discovered the real Annie, he'd hate her; however, Adam had found her, and he'd never loved her more.
Court reconvened, and on the stand, Adam testified that he'd been drugged but cognizant the night of the murder. He stated that he'd needed a plan, and everything had fallen into place when Annie had taken him to the attic. Annie asked if Adam had used her, and he readily agreed, adding that everyone had thought Annie was using him instead. He proclaimed that all she'd done was love him, and he loved her for it. Annie stared amorously at her husband until the judge prompted her to move on.
Annie concluded her questioning, and the prosecution asked if Adam understood that he was under oath. The prosecution wondered if Adam were aware of the double jeopardy statute. The lawyer cited that Adam had been acquitted during a murder trial in which he'd claimed that he hadn't remembered a thing. District Attorney Willis threatened to reopen that case.
Annie objected, and the judge asked the D.A. to back off. The judge advised Annie to ask for a summary dismal of her case. Annie didn't know what that was, but the judge assured her that it was good. A grinning Annie asked for it, and the judge granted it, dismissing the case. The courtroom was stunned, but Annie and Adam smiled at each other.
Adam and Annie gleefully exited the courtroom to see Ryan, who uttered that they made him sick. Annie asked him to tell Emma that she'd be seeing her mother really soon. Adam and Annie left, and Ryan found Liza in the courtroom alone. Ryan asked Liza to say that Annie's freedom wouldn't cost Ryan his daughter. Liza replied that he had a battle ahead of him.
Annie, Scott, and Adam went home to celebrate. Aside with Adam, Scott remarked that Adam had sworn on the Bible and lied. Adam stated that Annie had lied to save him; he was simply returning the favor. The newlyweds popped champagne, but Scott opted to go to bed. Adam said Scott disapproved of their methods. "But our methods work so well," Annie cooed. Adam decided that they should get married again, and Annie beamed with excitement.
At ConFusion, JR beat himself up for believing that his "Chandler" move would force Adam to choose the family. Marissa said that Adam knew he'd made the wrong choice. Colby joined them, dismally announcing Annie's case dismissal. JR offered to let Colby live with him, but she was determined to stay on at the mansion and heal their family.
Back at the courthouse, Ryan received a strange phone call from someone with a muffled voice. The line went dead, and Ryan snagged Jesse as he walked by to ask him to trace the number. Ryan sensed that it could have been Kendall, calling from Los Angeles.
Erica arrived, and Ryan filled her in on the summary dismissal and the strange, muffled call that he suspected had been from Kendall. Erica said that her visit to Kendall had also been strange, and she figured it was time to appeal to Zach again.
After Zach received a strange phone call, Opal arrived with disturbing news about Kendall. Opal had dreamed of an incessantly ringing phone. Just then, Zach's phone chimed. Zach answered it, saying that he knew it was Kendall. He asked if she finally had the guts to talk to him. When he heard no response, he warned her never to return there. Zach disconnected the call, disappointed that Kendall hadn't even asked about the boys. Opal doubted that Zach would keep Kendall away from her sons, if she wanted to see them.
Later, Jesse arrived to say that Ryan had gotten a call from Los Angeles. Opal said Zach had received one, too. Jesse showed Zach the number, saying that it belonged to a Chris Neilson. Jesse intended to contact the Los Angeles police, but Zach said that the police shouldn't chase someone who didn't want to be found.
After Jesse and Opal left, Erica arrived to discuss Kendall's calls. Erica felt that Kendall had been reaching out, but Zach didn't want to meet Kendall halfway. Erica was certain that he still had feelings for Kendall, and Erica implored him to put his hurt aside long enough to consider that Kendall could have been crying out for help.
Erica recalled Aidan and Kendall's strange behavior in Los Angeles. Erica asked Zach to remember his interactions with Kendall and Aidan. In his mind, Zach remembered the time at the church and at the boardinghouse. He painfully replied that he'd seen too much. Erica pressed him, and he remembered the vows that Kendall and he had made to each other. He said he promised not to doubt her anymore, and she'd promised not to turn her back on her family. Erica wondered if Zach would break his vow.
In Los Angeles, Kendall sat bound and gagged on a bed with a phone beside her. She seemed distressed after hearing Zach's harsh words through the speakerphone. She tried to call Ryan, but Aidan grabbed the phone from the bed, amazed that Kendall could make calls while tied up. Through her gag, she mumbled that she'd keep calling until she got to go home. Aidan warned that if she didn't take her pills, he'd go back to using the chloroform.
Kendall begged him to let her go home, but Aidan stated that Zach didn't want her after Erica had undoubtedly told him what she'd seen. Kendall insisted that her emails to Zach had shown him her true heart. From the look on Aidan's face, she ascertained that he'd intercepted her emails. Aidan said it hadn't been hard, and he figured that Zach wouldn't forgive her again. Kendall declared that she'd never love Aidan.
Housekeeping knocked on the door, and Aidan cupped Kendall's mouth with his hand, yelling that he didn't want to be disturbed. After the housekeeper went away, Aidan grabbed his chloroform bottle. Kendall bid him to drug her all he wanted, because she'd only dream of Zach.
Later, a drugged Kendall slumped on the bed, murmuring for help. The phone on the bed rang, and Aidan answered it, wearing a towel. It was Zach on the line. He announced that he wanted his wife back, and he'd kill Aidan if Aidan hurt her.
Ryan arrived at Erica's place in a bind about what to get Emma for Christmas. He handed Erica an invitation to a hospital benefit that had been on her doorstep, and they agreed that they weren't in the mood for the last-minute function. As Ryan blabbed about dolls, Erica stared at a picture of Kendall. Ryan asked if she'd talked to Zach about the California calls. Erica explained that Zach had gotten calls, too, and he thought they'd been from Kendall. Zach had asked Jesse to back off, because Zach wanted to finish it himself. Ryan wondered what that could mean.
Erica elaborated that Zach had flown to Los Angeles, determined to find Kendall. She felt that she should have acted herself upon sensing that something hadn't been right with Kendall and Aidan. Erica said there was no telling what Zach would do to Aidan. She paced around, wondering if she should go against Zach's wishes by contacting the police.
As Erica dressed, her phone rang. When Ryan answered it for her, he heard Zach on the line. Ryan said that Erica wanted to go to the police, but Ryan and Zach agreed that Zach should handle matters on his own. Erica took the phone, and Zach implored her not to go to the police. He asked if Erica trusted him to return Kendall to her family. Erica said that she did, and she agreed to keep the police out of it.
After the call, Ryan wondered what Erica wanted to do next. "Shop till we drop," Erica said, smiling. Later, the couple returned to the apartment with shopping bags. Ryan said he'd forgotten to ask what Erica wanted for Christmas. She said he'd already given her what she wanted: hope. "You and I got each other the same thing," Ryan said, kissing her.
At an abandoned warehouse in California, Aidan told a bound and gagged Kendall that she shouldn't bother screaming, because they were in the middle of nowhere. He released the gag, and Kendall was astonished to see Kat stride into the room, alive and well. Kendall asked a barrage of questions, but Aidan didn't answer them. He handed a gun to Kat, and asked her to keep an eye on Kendall while he sorted things out.
Aidan left, and Kendall tried to persuade Kat to help before things worsened. Kat retorted that she didn't care about Kendall, but Kendall suspected that Kat cared about Aidan. Kendall asserted that Aidan's plan wouldn't bode well for any of them, especially Kat, who'd aided a kidnapping. Kendall said that Zach wouldn't be fooled, and he'd go after Aidan and Kat. Kat aimed the gun at Kendall, and said to shut up before Kat ended it right then and there.
Kendall continued to reason with Kat, to no avail. Kat figured that Kendall wasn't Aidan's type. Kendall agreed, adding that she'd never led him on, either. Kendall claimed that she'd go to the grave with Zach's name on her lips. Kat couldn't understand why Aidan was so determined. Kendall supposed that he hadn't been the same since Greenlee had died. Kendall didn't know why Aidan thought he'd succeed, and she'd rather die than leave her family.
Aidan listened in as Kendall conveyed that he'd lost many women, and it had taken him to a horrible place in his head, where everyone had to suffer. Aidan entered, telling Kat that she knew what to do next. Kat handed him the gun and left. Aidan said that he'd overheard Kendall's words, and she was right: everyone would suffer.
At Aidan's hotel, Zach posed as an undercover cop to get the manager to let him into Aidan's vacated room. The manager said that Aidan had checked out at ten o'clock the previous night, and he'd never had any company, besides Erica Kane. As Zach searched the room, the manager requested to see Zach's badge. Zach revealed that he wasn't a cop. He handed the man some cash, and warned that he could make the man's life uncomfortable if the man lied.
The manager recalled seeing a blonde woman with a tattoo. Zach asked if it had been a star tattoo. The manager affirmed it, saying that besides her and Erica, Devane had kept to himself, not even requiring turndown service.
Zach excused the manager, and once alone, Zach conjured up a hostage scenario between Kendall and Aidan. He envisioned Kendall bound and gagged as Aidan tried to brainwash her into believing that Zach didn't care about her. Zach suspected that Aidan had threatened to kill Erica if Kendall ever hinted that something was wrong. Zach imagined Kendall telling Erica to leave as Aidan stood behind Erica with a gun.
Zach ransacked the room as he searched it, even breaking apart a houseplant to pick through the roots. He sat beside a bloody towel and flipped open a Bible, in which Isaiah 40:31 had been marked. Zach opened the door to leave, and he discovered Kat on the doorstep. She tried to run, but he grabbed her, and demanded to know where Aidan and Kendall were.
Kat led Zach to the warehouse. He entered a room, saw an empty chair, and asked where Kendall was. Just then, Aidan pistol-whipped Zach from behind, and he fell down.
A jubilant Adam dismissed his staff for the holidays, and he looked forward to time alone in with Annie in her negligee. As they kissed, Adam stepped on the invitation to the hospital benefit that afternoon. It was addressed to "The Biggest Hearts in Pine Valley." Adam quipped that someone had delivered it to the wrong house.
Adam preferred to stay at home, but Annie wanted to use the party to reemerge on the social scene. Adam decided that it was the perfect chance for everyone to envy Annie and see how wrong they were about her. He handed her a gift box containing an extravagant piece of jewelry and another box containing a dress. "Let's let them all know who's at the top of the heap here," he said as Annie giggled.
At Tad's house, Tad and Krystal discussed the hospital benefit. She said she'd probably go, since she'd already gotten a babysitter for her trip to the movies. Tad offered to accompany her to the movies, but she explained that she had a date with Rob.
Just then, Liza visited with her invitation in hand, and Krystal decided that Tad should take Liza to the party. Liza grinned, and Tad went upstairs to change. Krystal and Liza discussed Annie's trial, and Krystal expressed sympathy about what had happened with Stuart. Liza said she'd been trying to keep herself busy, but she really missed him. Rob arrived, and Krystal told him that they were going to a party instead of the movies.
At home, JR and Miranda discussed whether they should go to the hospital benefit. Miranda suspected that the heart on the invitation meant that David was somehow involved. JR said they'd go, and they'd have fun-as long as his father hadn't been invited.
At the hospital, Jake and Angie discussed the mysterious hospital benefit. She said that the anonymous sender hadn't gotten hospital clearance for a party. She thought that she ought to attend just to find out what was going on, and Jake offered to accompany her.
At the Yacht Club, Amanda and David arrived in formal wear. As he got drinks from the bar, Nurse Gayle called him to say that their patient had responded to the new medications. She asked if David were okay. He replied that he was great, though others thought that he was dying.
Jake and Angie arrived at the party, followed by JR and Miranda. JR wondered if Adam had thrown the event to rub Annie's freedom in their faces. "I never throw a party out of spite," Adam stated, entering with Annie. Adam said he was sorry for any harsh fallout at the courthouse, and he hoped that everyone understood his choices. Marissa retorted that no one would ever understand why he'd traded his family for "a vicious little tramp."
David interrupted to admit that he'd arranged the event. Jake wondered what he wanted from everyone, but David wouldn't reveal it until all the guests had arrived. "I want my money back," Tad quipped upon learning that he'd gotten dressed up for Hayward.
David toted gift bags into the party, saying that he'd gathered everyone together to apologize to them. He apologized to Krystal for drugging her and destroying her marriage. He said he was sorry for tossing Marissa aside for Trevor. To JR, he expressed remorse for going after Little Adam and pushing JR into drinking again. David said that he owed Amanda the biggest apology of all for using her in every ugly way possible.
David apologized for how he'd treated Jake, and then David moved onto Tad and Liza. When he approached Adam, Adam said not to bother. "He's a waste of our time," Adam decided, turning to leave with Annie. The partygoers filed in behind them , but Amanda yelled for them to stop. She said David was sincere, and they'd stay right there until he finished.
David offered to hand out his gift bags, but the attendees figured that he had nasty prizes in store for them. He pulled a black gift box from one of the bags, saying that he'd gotten them all the same gift. "I'm dying," he announced.
Adam expressed disbelief over David's fatal diagnosis. Marissa pleaded for David to admit that he was lying, but David would not concur. Marissa dashed out of the room, and JR followed her quickly. David started to follow his oldest child, but Krystal stopped him. David insisted that he wasn't trying to hurt Marissa. Krystal reminded him that Marissa had lost her adoptive parents in the last year and pointed out David's insensitivity.
Krystal caught up with JR and Marissa, and Marissa asked if Krystal had already known about David's diagnosis. Krystal swore that David's illness was a surprise to her. Marissa rhetorically asked how she could lose so many people, and JR wondered aloud if David was lying. Krystal acknowledged that David had done much worse in his life, but noted that David loved his children too much to lie about something so grave.
Zach made Kat lead him to the warehouse where Aidan held Kendall captive. When they opened the door, both were surprised to find the place empty. Zach demanded to know where Aidan and Kendall had gone. Before Kat could respond, Aidan hit Zach over the head. Before Zach fell unconscious, he saw Aidan.
Kat helped to tie up Zach, and Aidan reminded her that she knew what to do if something went wrong. Kat left, and Aidan nudged Zach awake with his gun. He then proceeded to berate Zach for his lack of faith in Kendall. Aidan revealed that the woman Zach saw with Aidan at the boarding house wasn't Kendall, and used the situation to illustrate how easily Zach was willing to abandon Kendall. Aidan insisted that Kendall had moved on from her life with Zach.
Jesse arrived at David's gathering, and Angie filled him in on David's revelation. As Tad and Liza approached, Jesse noted his belief that David was trying to get Amanda's attention. Tad was dismayed that David's ruse seemed to be working. As the quartet looked over in Amanda's direction, they saw Jake try to lead Amanda off to somewhere more private. David tried to inhibit their flight, but Adam diverted David's attention.
Adam claimed that David's announcement was an attempt to break up JR's marriage to Marissa. Amanda quickly jumped to David's defense, and said that David just wanted to clear his conscience before he died. Adam was amused at how protective Amanda was over David. Adam alluded to something more serious between Trevor's parents, and Jake was barely able to refrain from lashing out.
As Jesse went over to prevent a brawl, Angie left to check on Marissa. Angie found the young woman venting about how unimportant she was to David. Marissa said that she'd wanted to believe that underneath the surface, David was genuinely a good man. Marissa was upset that she would never be able to find out who David really was.
Krystal encouraged her daughter to use the time that David had left to do just that. Marissa didn't believe that David wanted to spend any of his last days with her. Marissa asked JR to escort her upstairs and away from the latest drama. Once the newlyweds were gone, Angie noted how lucky Marissa was to have Krystal. Krystal was grateful, but said that if she found out that David was lying, she would kill David herself.
Kendall twisted the doorknob futilely in an attempt to get out of a locked room. She banged on the door and called out for anyone who might be in earshot, but received no response. Frustrated, Kendall looked around her cell for resources, and spotted a hanger. She reshaped it, and tried to use an end to pick the lock.
Zach demanded to know what Aidan wanted, but Aidan avoided the question in lieu of continuing to tell Zach what he'd lost. Aidan insisted that Kendall had chosen to be with Aidan as a way to recover from the devastation of abandonment by Zach. Zach agreed to the possibility that his relationship with Kendall was over, but pointed out that Kendall would never give up on her children. Zach said that Kendall would never forgive Aidan if he stood in the way of a reunion with Spike and Ian. Unfazed, Aidan asked if Kendall would forgive him for shooting Zach.
Zach realized that Aidan wanted to make Zach's death look like a suicide. If Kendall believed that Zach took his own life, she might turn to Aidan for comfort, like she did before. Zach admitted that the plan was good, but noted that it would fall apart because, eventually, Kendall would need her family and friends. Zach said that Aidan would cease to be enough, and Aidan would feel trapped. Zach then told Aidan that they needed to end their standoff, and once again demanded to know Kendall's location.
Liza asked Adam to refrain from exacerbating the tension between Jake and David. Adam let Liza say her piece , and then agreed to her request. Liza then asked Adam to take his wife home, as no additional drama was needed. Annie piped up and said that Liza should feel free to keep her opinions to herself.
Tad could sense Liza's fury, and swooped in to rescue her from an acidic encounter. Although Tad was able to calm her down, her more relaxed state was momentary. She tensed up the moment David tapped his silverware against his glass and asked for everyone's attention. David noted that everyone likely thought of his impending death as gift enough, but said that he had additional presents to distribute.
David started with Jake and Amanda, and announced that he planned to sign over full custody of Trevor. David asked Liza to draw up the paperwork, but Adam objected. Adam said that without Trevor, David would focus on Little Adam. David said he wouldn't, as long as Adam agreed to leave the young boy alone as well. Angie and Jesse weren't certain they could take much more, and started to leave.
David stopped the Hubbards and said that he had something to give to Angie. He told her that she had undoubtedly discovered that being chief of staff was difficult, and at times overwhelming. His gift was the password to his computer. David said that should Angie choose to access that computer, she would find all of the dirty secrets that David used to maintain control when he headed up the hospital.
Marissa took a shower, but was unable to wash away the horror of losing her father. She insisted that David should have chosen to tell her first. Marissa said that if David loved her, he would have come clean as soon as he found out. JR's face fell as he realized he was doing the same thing to Marissa that David had done.
Marissa lamented the sad state of her life, and said that the only bright spot thus far, besides JR and Little Adam, was the opportunity she'd had to get to know her birth parents. Marissa then expressed how happy she was that JR had gone into remission, and said that she wouldn't know how to survive if she lost JR. JR tried to keep the guilt out of his voice and said that they no longer needed to think about his illness.
Krystal tried to find a way to apologize to Rob for their utterly disastrous first date. Rob tried to dismiss the apology and agreed that they needed to leave. Before they could, David approached and told Krystal that he was leaving her the bulk of his estate. Krystal questioned the decision, but David assured her that his children had been well provided for. Krystal said that she didn't want the gift, but David told her that the money belonged to Krystal.
Liza walked up to David and asked how he intended to make up for the fact that he held her at gunpoint. David surreptitiously handed Liza an envelope and instructed her to open it while she was alone, in the privacy of her home. David then turned to give Tad a gift, but Tad rejected it. Tad then loudly said that everyone should reject what David had given, because there was always a condition or a string attached. David admitted that he didn't expect his gifts to ease the years of pain he had inflicted, and humbly noted his wish that he had enough time to prove his sincerity.
Tad and Jake had a brief conference about what they believed to be deception on David's part. Tad thought that David had provided everyone with exactly what they wanted, but Jake noted that David's gifts were merely attractive on the surface. They considered the possibility that they were the only ones that saw through David's act.
Across the room, Amanda told David that she was proud of him for making amends. David thought that his actions might be "too little, too late." David then said that he thought Amanda and Trevor should spend the holidays with Jake. Jake was close enough and overheard David's offer. Amanda started to protest and said that David should spend as much time as he needed with Trevor. Jake interrupted and told Amanda that she should abide by David's wishes.
Zach was worried that Aidan had done something to Kendall, but Aidan admitted that he was the person who got hurt. Zach was amazed that Aidan had essentially hatched his plan because he felt he was owed something. Zach said that if Aidan needed to punish someone, he should kill Zach and let Kendall reunite with her sons. At the same moment, Kendall gave up on her attempt to pick the lock. She then heard the tumblers shift, and tried the door. She was delighted when the door opened, but cautious when she saw Kat on the other side.
Jesse went to retrieve the cars that the valet had parked , and Liza checked to see if Rob and Krystal were ready to leave. Tad and Angie stayed behind, and again discussed what validity David's performance might hold. Tad was absolutely certain that David had lied, but Angie was doubtful. Tad thought that her reluctance stemmed from the gift that David had given her. Tad thought that the lure of absolute power was too much for anyone to resist.
Liza returned and said that Krystal and Rob would stay behind. More than ready to leave, Tad prepared himself to escort the two women to the cars. Angie said that she needed a moment. As soon as Tad and Liza left, Angie gave in to her curiosity, and opened the envelope that David had given her.
Jake and Amanda got back to their apartment, and Amanda got Trevor to fall asleep. When she emerged from the bedroom, she was horrified at the tree that Jake had purchased to celebrate the holiday. Jake said that he was hopeless without her, and then drew his wife into a passionate kiss. After they made love, Amanda admitted that she couldn't stop thinking that David was missing the last Christmas he would ever be able to spend with his son.
David visited Marissa and JR at their room and asked for a few moments of their time. Marissa granted him entrance, and David again apologized for how he chose to tell her about his illness. Marissa said that after thinking a while, she'd found some understanding. David told her that there was no excuse for how he'd treated her. David then asked if he could make it up to her by spending the rest of his days improving their relationship.
David said that he just wanted to take the time he had left to get to know Marissa better and make some memories. David said that JR should understand, and said he knew about JR's cancer diagnosis. JR thought that David wanted to use that information against him and demanded to know what David wanted. David insisted that he just wanted peace between himself and JR, and said that they should be able to achieve that, given that they were both battling illness. Marissa blurted out that JR was in remission and David shot JR a puzzled look.
When Annie and Adam returned home, Adam bellowed about the people who had fallen for David's story. Annie asked if there was a possibility that David had been truthful, but Adam rejected the idea. He called David a master manipulator who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. Annie reminded Adam that she was quite similar to David in that regard. Annie said that identifying with David made her sympathetic. Adam said he had no reason to feel similar . Instead, Adam noted that his focus would be on helping Annie to forget how it felt to be misjudged and mistreated.
Zach rambled on about how Aidan's plan would ultimately fail, and Aidan demanded that Zach be quiet so that he could think. Zach refused to comply and continued to talk until Aidan was almost completely unhinged. Aidan laid the gun down and turned his back to Zach to contemplate his next move.
Zach was able to loosen the ties that bound his wrists, and quickly leapt up. He slammed Aidan's head into a metal container, which sent Aidan to the floor. Without hesitation, Zach grabbed Aidan's gun and pointed it at his captor. At Zach's mercy, Aidan dared Zach to shoot him. Zach seriously considered it until Kendall ran into the room and into Zach's arms.
Tad took Liza back to his place and said that they needed to celebrate that they got away from David's gathering without receiving a gift. Liza revealed that she hadn't been so lucky, but said that she hadn't opened the envelope. Tad encouraged her to burn the envelope and its contents, but Liza couldn't bear the thought of not knowing. She opened it and found pictures of DA Willis in bed with a judge, one Martha Sams. Liza said that if the pictures were published, Willis would lose his job, and Liza would have a clear shot at being his successor.