David was stunned to realize that Marissa didn't know that JR's cancer had returned. David confronted JR about the secret when Marissa went to check on Little A. JR insisted that he wasn't dying; he revealed that he was scheduled to undergo treatment after the holidays, so he was confident that he would be in remission soon. David wondered why, if that were true, JR hesitated to tell Marissa about the setback.
JR explained that he wanted to wait until the holidays were over, so that Marissa could enjoy the festivities without any worries. David didn't think that JR was being fair to Marissa. JR was certain that he would beat the cancer because he had a great doctor and a strong support system. It sounded wonderful to David, but David couldn't believe that JR didn't know of at least one person who had lost their battle with cancer.
JR wasn't in the mood to bond with David over their illnesses. David urged JR to take the necessary steps to prepare Marissa for the worst. Shortly after David left, Marissa returned to the living room. JR explained that David had gone home to rest. Marissa was grateful that she and David had made peace. Marissa explained that she would have hated to learn about her father's illness when it was too late to mend fences.
Marissa decided that she would prefer to spend the holidays in Pine Valley rather than leave town as they had planned. JR understood Marissa's desire to be with her father. Marissa appreciated JR's support; she promised that they could spend time together after Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Marissa decided to give JR his Christmas present early. JR was surprised when he opened his gift to find two plane tickets to Rio de Janeiro inside the box. Marissa revealed that she had arranged for Krystal to watch Little A while Marissa and JR went on a two-week vacation in January. JR confessed that, for the first time, he was happy with his life. JR credited Marissa for the feeling.
Later, while JR and Marissa were in bed, Marissa talked about her plans for them in Rio de Janeiro. JR decided that he couldn't continue hiding the truth about his illness. Marissa was shocked when JR revealed that his cancer had returned and that he had been scheduled for another round of chemotherapy in January. Marissa quietly wrapped her arms around her husband and then held him.
At the Martin house, Liza and Tad looked at pictures of a married District Attorney Willis in bed with Judge Martha Sams. Liza realized that the photos could destroy Willis' career if they were made public. Tad wondered if Liza hoped to replace Willis as district attorney. Liza admitted that she was tempted to use the pictures to her advantage.
She explained that it was difficult to become a district attorney. Liza believed that she was better suited for the job than Willis. As Liza spoke about the legal system, Tad realized that Liza had a real passion for the law. He reminded Liza that the pictures would not only destroy Willis' professional life, but also his private life. Tad wondered if Liza considered that justice.
As Tad urged Liza to seek the office of district attorney through honorable means, Liza realized that she couldn't use the pictures. However, she didn't think that she could just dismiss what D.A. Willis had done. Tad suggested that Liza show the photos to Willis, so that Willis had an opportunity explain what had happened. Liza considered the suggestion for a few minutes. When she made her decision, she kissed Tad goodbye and then left.
David was surprised to find Liza at ConFusion. Liza made it clear that she wasn't at the club to see him. He was curious if Liza had opened the envelope that he had given to her. She informed David that it wasn't any of his business. D.A. Willis arrived moments later. Liza pulled Willis aside to show him the pictures that David had given to her.
After Willis flipped through the photos, he demanded to know who had seen the pictures. Liza assured Willis that the photographs had not been made public. Willis explained that his affair with the judge had been short-lived. He assured Liza that his relationship with Judge Sams had not extended to the courtroom. Liza didn't see how it could have been avoided. Willis revealed that the judge had requested a transfer to another a city, so it was unlikely that he would cross paths with the judge in court again.
Liza remained skeptical, prompting Willis to suspect that Liza hoped to pressure him to resign. Willis invited Liza to do her worst; he refused to "roll over" for Liza or anyone else. Willis stormed off before Liza had the opportunity to explain that she wasn't interested in blackmailing him for his job. As Liza turned to walk away, she spotted David sitting at a nearby table, smiling.
After making love, Jake and Amanda cuddled on the sofa. Their post-coitus bliss was ruined when Amanda confessed that she couldn't stop thinking that it was David's last Christmas. Annoyed, Jake suggested that Amanda pack up Trevor, so that Amanda and Trevor could spend the holiday with David. Amanda insisted that she wanted to be with Jake.
After Jake and Amanda got dressed, Jake tried to get things back on track. He surprised Amanda by revealing two large bags filled with toys that he had bought for Trevor. As the two had fun preparing for Christmas Eve, Amanda invited Jake to guess what she had bought for him for Christmas. Amanda went to retrieve the gift. The tension quickly returned when Amanda discovered that David had slipped a present for Trevor into the bag without Amanda's knowledge.
Jake became noticeably silent. Amanda tried to smooth things over, but Jake noticed how her eyes kept drifting to Trevor's gift from David. Jake was certain that David had placed the present in the bag with the intention of manipulating Amanda. According to Jake, David probably hoped that Amanda would think of David every time she saw Trevor's gift.
Amanda immediately defended David by reminding Jake that David was dying. She insisted that David wanted to make amends. Jake immediately backed down, in an effort to avoid an argument. Their kiss was cut short when Trevor cried out. While Amanda checked on Trevor, Jake stared at the present that David had packed. Before Amanda returned to the living room, Jake pulled out his cell phone, so that he could pretend that the hospital had called him in.
Jake turned up at Tad's house a short time later. Jake felt terrible that he had resorted to lying to Amanda, in order to get out of the house. Tad listened quietly as Jake told him about David's present and how Amanda thought David was wonderful because David had given custody of Trevor to Jake. Tad advised his brother to fight for Amanda. According to Tad, Jake should focus on Amanda and Trevor. Tad was certain that Jake could offer Amanda and Trevor the one thing that David couldn't: real love.
Amanda tried to soothe a fussy Trevor. She suspected that Trevor missed David and Wildwind. As she rocked her baby, Amanda noticed the present that David had bought for Trevor. She decided that Trevor could have it. Amanda pulled a stuffed bear out of the bag and then read the card to Trevor. The card read, "To my son on his first Christmas. A big bear hug from Daddy." Amanda was touched by the sweet sentiment.
Amanda called David when Trevor continued to cry. David asked Amanda to put her phone on speaker, so that he could sing a lullaby to Trevor. Amanda smiled as David serenaded the baby. Just as David ended the song, Jake arrived home. Amanda thanked David for helping and then quickly disconnected the call. Amanda explained to Jake that she had called David because she couldn't get Trevor back to sleep.
Jake was careful not to make an issue of the phone call. He smiled as he suggested that Amanda put Trevor down for the night and then join Jake in bed. Amanda returned the smile as she playfully confided that she hoped that Jake didn't intend for them to sleep.
Liza returned to Tad's house. She made a beeline for the fireplace and then promptly tossed the pictures of D.A. Willis and the judge into the fire. Tad looked on with an expression of approval.
At the warehouse, Kendall pleaded with Zach not to kill Aidan. Eventually, Zach lowered his gun. Aidan demanded to know how long Kat had been conspiring with Zach. Kat denied the accusation, but she insisted that Aidan's obsession had gone too far. Kendall reminded Aidan that Kendall had saved his life; she was furious that Aidan had repaid her by kidnapping her.
Kendall wanted to know what had driven Aidan. Aidan accused Kendall of taking Greenlee from him. Before Aidan could continue, the police arrived. After Aidan was handcuffed, one of the officers asked Kat to follow them. Kat was reluctant to go to the police station, but Zach assured her that she would be immune from prosecution if she cooperated with the police.
Aidan tearfully apologized to Kendall. He confessed that losing Greenlee had destroyed him. Aidan didn't think he could ever forgive Kendall for killing Greenlee, which was why he had tried to make Kendall suffer as deeply as he had. Aidan assured Kendall that he was fine with whatever happened to him next because he was done with Pine Valley.
Zach hoped that Aidan rotted in jail. After Aidan was taken away, a police officer requested that Kendall go to the police station. Zach strenuously objected; he insisted that his wife had been through enough. Zach ordered the police officer to call Jesse if necessary, but Zach was determined to take his wife home. The police officer let the matter drop.
At a hotel room, Kendall admitted that she needed the comfort of Zach's arms. Zach slowly undressed Kendall and then guided her to the candlelit bathroom. Zach gently bathed Kendall while she relaxed in a bubble bath. Afterwards, Zach tucked Kendall into bed and then joined her. While Zach held Kendall, she confessed that she had everything that she wanted.
Zach regretted that he had not rescued Kendall sooner. He told her about what he had seen through the window of Kat's boarding house. Zach hated that he had thought the worst of Kendall instead of realizing that it had all been an illusion orchestrated by Aidan. Kendall didn't blame Zach for believing that she had betrayed him; however she wanted Zach to know that she had never been unfaithful with Aidan during her time on the run.
Zach didn't think that he deserved Kendall's forgiveness. Kendall reminded Zach that she had chosen to run away with Aidan. She believed that she might have avoided everything that she endured at Aidan's hands if she had listened to Zach. Zach felt as if he had let Kendall down, but she disagreed. He had promised to give her his heart and that had kept her going.
Zach pulled out Kendall's wedding ring and then slowly slid it onto her ring finger.
A few thousand feet in the air, Kendall and Zach sat in an airplane, headed home. Kendall hoped that when they touched down in Pine Valley, they'd start something new. Zach said it had already begun the other day when he'd put the ring back on her finger. As they kissed, the plane experienced rough turbulence. The captain announced that he had to make an emergency landing in Ohio.
At the airport, Kendall encountered an aunt consoling her nephew. The aunt had been taking the boy to see his mother, who'd just returned from duty in Iraq. The aunt couldn't rent a car, because her credit card had been declined. Kendall found Zach in line for a rental car, and she asked him to help the aunt. As Zach signed for a vehicle, his phone flashed "low battery."
Zach and Kendall handed the car keys to the aunt and nephew, who were grateful for Zach and Kendall's generosity. Zach attempted to rent another car, but the agent said that the only remaining vehicle wasn't fit for driving in the snow. Zach took the car, because he had to get his wife home for Christmas.
At the Martin house, Tad raided a gift basket of sweets from Liza. Liza called, saying that the basket expressed her thanks for Tad convincing her to burn the incriminating photos of the district attorney. Tad assured Liza that she'd win the D.A. job fairly. After the call, Opal happened in and read the card on the gift basket. "Liza, huh? That's my boy!" Opal cheered with a naughty grin.
Tad said that it was merely a gift for the family. Opal thought it was more like a "meet you under the mistletoe" gift, and she asked if Tad's denial of it was his way of hedging his bets in case it didn't work out. Tad asked why Opal couldn't go along with it, if it were. Opal cooed at him as if he were a little boy with a crush. She tried to hug him, but he batted her away. Opal left to drop Kendall's sons off at Zach's house.
Erica took a tree and decorations to Zach's house. Ryan met her, and she bubbled with excitement about Kendall's homecoming. Ryan was thrilled for Erica, but he felt that he was the last person that Zach would want to see. Erica insisted that Zach would have to learn to be grateful for Ryan's efforts. Ryan agreed to help Erica set up, but he intended to leave after that.
Ryan lugged a huge wreath around the house and placed it on various walls for Erica's approval. She couldn't decide where to hang it, and he figured that she'd wanted him to stay just to be her manservant. They kidded around, and Ryan placed a smaller, feathered wreath around her neck. As they kissed, Opal arrived with Kendall's sons.
Opal and Erica discussed the boys' excitement about Kendall's return. Kendall called Erica to say that a bad storm had grounded Zach and her in Ohio. Zach got on the line, promising to drive the rest of the way so that Kendall would be home in time for Christmas. When Erica ended the call, Opal got a bad feeling about Kendall and Zach driving home.
Opal explained that she'd had a cryptic dream about Kendall and a car. Opal insisted that Erica get Kendall to change her travel plans. Ryan suggested that Opal had misinterpreted her dream, but Opal replied that she'd been reading her dreams for years.
Ryan went home to await Santa with Emma. As time went on, Opal continued to fret about the horrible storm in Ohio. When Erica couldn't reach her daughter by phone, she decided to call highway patrol.
Later, Zach maneuvered the rental car down a bleak, snowy road. He said that Kendall and he should be home in a few hours. Kendall attempted to call Erica and discovered that Zach's phone had died. Zach reached for the phone, and he swerved the car off the road.
The car landed in a ditch, and Zach said there was no way they could get it out. He figured that they'd snuggle and wait for help to drive along. Kendall worried that the roads would be deserted on the holiday. Zach told her a story about a woman who made it home in time for the holidays. Outside the car, a grinning, white-haired man in black approached.
Jesse and Angie still couldn't believe that Madison was sleeping in their guest room. Natalia called to let Jesse know that James was in custody. Madison entered the room, unsure that she could handle facing her father. Jesse left to set up James's arraignment. Angie told Madison that she was tough enough to get through it, and she'd have the Hubbards' support. Madison replied that if she testified, her father would destroy the whole Hubbard family.
Angie said that Jesse and she had no other choice. Madison stated that they could send her back to her father, but Angie didn't view that as an option. Angie insisted that James had to pay, regardless of the fallout. Angie left to pick up some take-out food, and Madison wandered out of the apartment.
Liza arrived at police headquarters at James Beardsley's request. He said that if Liza could get Adam Chandler off, then she was James's girl. He stated that he was innocent of assaulting his daughter, and he didn't plan to be detained for long. Jesse entered, noting that James had hired a talented lawyer. "You're going to need her," Jesse quipped. James asked Liza to leave, so that he could talk to Jesse.
Once alone with Jesse, James wondered if Jesse liked his job. Jesse retorted that he loved to take down people like James, who thought they were above the law. James warned that Jesse could lose his job faster than he could say "obstruction of justice." James claimed that he hadn't given Jesse every copy of the evidence incriminating the Hubbards in the North murder cover up. James threatened to release the evidence to the press if Jesse pursued charges against James.
Jesse vowed to take James down, and James warned that Jesse would regret that decision. Jesse asserted that James was bluffing, but James said it was "one hell of a risk" if Jesse were wrong. Jesse threatened to press a litany of charges against James, including child abuse. James retorted that if Jesse wanted to play rough, James would show him rough.
In the main headquarters, Liza asked Natalia for a copy of Madison's statement. A shaken Natalia explained that she'd just heard that District Attorney Willis had died in a car collision. Liza called Tad and explained that the D.A. had died when he collided with a barrier. She wondered if it had really been an accident. Tad instructed her to sit tight and keep quiet until he arrived.
Jesse approached Liza to say that he was ready to have the D.A. arraign James. Liza replied that getting the D.A. to do something might be a problem. Liza reentered the interrogation room and told James that she didn't like him very well. He retorted that she'd like his checks just fine. She stated that she couldn't get him arraigned until after the holiday. James said that it was outrageous. Liza dismissively replied that she'd do her best, but so far, James's next destination was a jail cell.
Liza left the room and met Tad in the main headquarters. She murmured that she didn't want to talk there, and the two departed for ConFusion. One there, Tad assured her that shoving dirty pictures into Willis' face had nothing to do with the accident. Just then, Liza received a call from the mayor, who asked her to run for D.A.
Later, Angie and Jesse arrived home at the same time. Jesse commented that James wanted to play hardball. "Then so will we," Angie said, entering the house. The two quickly realized that Madison wasn't there, and they hoped she hadn't gone to do anything crazy.
Back at the police station, a timid Madison arrived. Natalia advised Madison that she might not want to be there, because James was still in the interrogation room. Madison lied that Jesse wanted to see Natalia in the holding cells. When Natalia left, Madison slipped into the interrogation room to see James.
Madison asserted that James wouldn't hurt the Hubbards. Instead, he'd plead guilty without mounting a defense. James wondered to whom she thought she was talking. "My demon father," she retorted. Madison continued, saying that he could use his lawyer to cut himself a deal, but he'd keep quiet about the Hubbards-unless he wanted Madison to expose his lifetime of dirty deals to the press.
At home, Ryan said it was time for bed. Emma held up Greenlee's butterfly ornament. She said they'd forgotten to hang it on the tree. Later, Ryan carried gifts into the living room. He stared at the butterfly ornament on the tree. He began placing the gifts beneath the tree.
At Zach's house, Opal apologized for upsetting Erica with the premonitions. Opal offered to wait up with Erica, but Erica sent Opal home to her family. Ryan called Erica. He suggested that they watch a movie while on the phone together. They checked their DVD collections. Each of them had White Christmas. They decided to watch that.
The couple started their videos in unison. Ryan saw Greenlee, not the movie, on his television screen. He stated that he heard Emma stirring. He suggested that Erica watch the movie alone. After the call, Ryan double-checked the DVD case. He restarted Greenlee's home video.
On the video, Greenlee said that delivering the message was harder than she'd thought. She hoped that he'd never have to see the video, but she wanted him to know that he could be happy without her. She said she loved him very much, and she tearfully signed off.
Erica watched the movie as she worked. Ryan arrived. He said that he'd miraculously gotten a babysitter for Emma. He explained that he'd accidentally put in Greenlee's goodbye video earlier. He said that Greenlee's last wish was that he be free.
Ryan decided that he was ready to focus on his relationship with Erica. He hoped that it wasn't too late. Erica kissed him. She realized that it was Christmas morning. She said that Ryan should return to Emma. Before he left, she uttered that it wasn't too late. Ryan went home and stood on his balcony. The butterfly ornament fell off his Christmas tree. It shattered on the floor.
On the wooded roadside, a white-haired man in black walked around Zach's rental car. Zach and Kendall awakened. Zach tried unsuccessfully to restart the car. Kendall noticed a lighted church that she hadn't seen before. They walked to it, and the white-haired man greeted them inside. Kendall recognized him as Father Clarence. She said he'd helped her at other times in her life. Father Clarence apologized for not remembering her.
Zach and Kendall explained their plight, and Father Clarence went to get them blankets. Kendall said that Father Clarence had a knack for showing up at the right time. She wondered what he was doing there at that time.
Alone with Zach later, Father Clarence stated that Zach couldn't wish them home. He wondered if Zach had another wish. Zach wished to wipe the slate clean and start anew with his wife. Later, Father Clarence discussed wishes with Kendall. She wished she could wipe the slate clean. Father Clarence warned her to be careful what she wished for. He reasoned that a clean slate would wipe out all the things she loved and the things that people loved about her.
Father Ray blew out a candle, and the chapel went dark. A dreamy haze accented the scene. A younger Kendall arrived at the chapel, followed by a youthful Zach. Both of them were stuck due to car trouble. Zach suggested they play games to get to know each other. Kendall quipped that she didn't play games. Zach chuckled that he knew her better already.
The two "strangers" played poker. Kendall warned that she could break his heart, but he said he might break hers first. Zach had a better hand than Kendall had. He lied that he had nothing. He decided to leave. He said that walking out the door was his Christmas present to her. Kendall countered that letting him leave was her present to him. Zach left, and the two stood on opposites sides of the door. Zach paused for a moment and left.
Suddenly, Kendall and Zach awakened in the car. They both said that they'd had the strangest dream about a church. They discussed the dreams, and each found it spooky that they'd dreamed the exact same thing. They decided that they no longer wanted to wipe the slate clean.
They kissed, and Kendall saw a sign indicating that Pine Valley was five miles away. "We could have walked!" Zach exclaimed. Miraculously, the car started, and they drove away. Later, Kendall and Zach finally arrived home. They awakened a sleeping Erica. Zach retrieved the boys from upstairs. The family hugged each other tightly.
Jake and Amanda dropped Trevor off at Krystal's house on their way to out to dinner for Jake's birthday. Jake asked where Tad had gone, and Krystal said she'd heard Tad on the phone with Liza earlier. Jake suspected that it had something to do with David's "parting gifts." Amanda said she hadn't recalled David speaking to Liza at the party. "That doesn't mean he didn't corner her in private and work some of his dirty mojo on her," Krystal quipped.
At ConFusion, Tad called one of his police contacts, but they didn't have any report of foul play in the district attorney's accident. David entered. Tad thought it was a coincidence. Liza said that she'd called David and ordered him to get his butt over there.
When Tad and Liza confronted David, he blamed Liza for showing Willis the photos. Tad responded that David had put her up to it. David remarked that Tad was smart to tag-team with Liza, the next district attorney. Liza replied that she hadn't decided to run. David said she'd be a fool not to. David asked Liza to file Trevor's custody papers. He said that he'd return the favor from the "great beyond." Tad accused David of manipulating Liza.
Amanda and Jake entered. Jake joined Tad and Liza in disparaging David. Amanda condemned them for circling a dying David like a pack of wolves. David decided to leave, and Amanda opted to go with him. She felt that someone had to show the dying man a little bit of kindness. Jake asked Tad to smash him in the head. Tad readily slapped Jake's forehead.
Back at the Martin house, Krystal and Opal wrapped gifts. Tad, Liza, and Jake entered, eacj in varying states of anger. Jake blamed himself for losing control. Liza asserted that David had just taken control. Tad reminded Jake that Amanda had grown up with "Janet From Another Planet" as a manipulating mother. Jake went on a tirade about Amanda being at the mausoleum instead of at home with him. He said that he didn't want that kind of Christmas. At dawn, Liza decided to leave. Tad said he'd support her if she chose to run for district attorney.
At Wildwind, David thanked Amanda for sticking up for him. He said she should be spending Christmas with Trevor. Just then, Nurse Gayle called David. She said that he needed to see his patient right away. David said he couldn't, but Nurse Gayle insisted. David rushed Amanda out the door. He called Nurse Gayle back to say that he was on his way.
Amanda went to the Martin house. She reported to Jake, Tad, Krystal, and Opal that David had behaved strangely. Amanda said that she'd returned to Wildwind to pick up her gloves, and she'd overheard David booking a private jet to Gloucester. Jake remembered searching for Trevor there. Jake recalled that they'd only found David's ex-nurse running a bar.
Later, David arrived in Gloucester. He looked at the patient's records. He said he'd never believed that the patient would actually pull through. He took the patient's hand. He wished her a merry Christmas. The camera panned to the sleeping patient. The patient was Greenlee.
Due to the extended Christmas holiday, ABC opted to broadcast encore presentations of recent memorable episodes in place of an original episode. This scheduling change was planned for, so there will be no "lost" episodes as a result of the pre-emption.
Regular programming will resume on Monday, December 21 where Wednesday, December 23's episode concluded.
Due to the Christmas holiday, today's episode of All My Children was pre-empted. This scheduling change was planned for in advance and there will be no "lost" episodes as a result. Regular programming will resume on Monday, December 28 and pick up where Wednesday, December 23's show concluded.
On behalf of everyone involved with Soap Central, I'd like to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy, and Merry Christmas