Alison and Aaron were in the honeymoon suite of the Lakeview when Morty, the dog Alison and Chris cared for, ran into the room while Aaron was in the shower. Chris followed the dog in as Aaron emerged and he exploded at finding Chris there. Chris took the dog and left. Aaron wanted to report him to the hotel, but Alison wouldn't let him. To deflect Aaron, Alison made love to him. Aaron was happy and said he wanted to have a baby. Alison was thrown and says it was too soon. Aaron surprised her by telling her he got her off from work so they could have a honeymoon. Alison was a little taken aback at not being consulted but she went along with it.
Meanwhile, Dani brought chicken soup to Chris because she heard he called in sick. Chris came on to her and Dani was surprised but didn't exactly reject him. But, Chris pulled back, saying he didn't want to use her. Dani suggested they become friends and maybe the rest would follow later. Dani kissed Chris goodbye just as Alison was walking down the corridor-and witnessed the kiss.
Lily and Holden tried not to panic when they realized Ethan was missing. The tension made them snip at each other as they tried to place blame. They eventually calmed down and called Jack for help.
Meanwhile, Jack was resigning from the police force, admitting he stole the evidence regarding Leo's case, but refusing to tell why. He went back to Milltown, where Janet and Carly waited to find out what he'd done. Janet tried to make up with him, but he was not ready and she left.
Carly got him a beer and they were silently drinking when Holden called to tell Jack that Ethan was missing. Carly and Jack rushed to Lily's and at first Lily said she didn't need Carly's help, but Holden and Jack insisted they needed everyone's help and they all fanned out to search.
Lily saw Ethan's blankie and assumed it was him, only to find it was not. She broke down and Holden held her, as they promised never to lose sight of what was important.
Carly and Jack ended up at the dig site where Carly found Ethan's shoe.
Brad and Katie messed up their segment and irritated Kim at WOAK. Brad told Katie he was worried that Margo would show up and haul him to jail for his involvement with Leo Morrisey. Janet came to the television station and informed the couple that Jack had resigned from the police force to protect his brother. Brad was defensive and claimed Jack had made his own choice. Kim overheard Janet's comment about Brad's trying to drown someone in the reservoir, and she zeroed in on him for an explanation. He and Katie made up a story to appease her.
Vienna and Bonnie continued their arguing while being held hostage in the warehouse. Bonnie tried to figure out which of them Derek had really meant to capture. She began to think that it might have been she who was the target, not Vienna. They screamed and pounded on the door, hoping to attract attention, to no avail. Bonnie broke the heel off one of Vienna's expensive shoes, and that started the arguing again. This time, it began to get physical until Vienna drew boundary lines with lipstick on the floor to designate separate turf. Eventually, the two were forced to huddle together for warmth under an old furniture pad.
James brought lunch to Henry in the wine cellar at Fairwinds, and soon Derek arrived. Henry was concerned about whether Vienna and Bonnie were all right, and Derek promised that they were. Henry got angry and threw his soup all over the front of Derek's suit, and Derek warned him to watch his step. After the loan shark left, Henry resumed chipping at stones in his cell.
Paul brought tea to Meg and tried to persuade her to go back to her room and rest. Meg showed him a sonogram of their baby, and the two took some time to talk about looking ahead. Meg decided to take that nap, and when she had left, James appeared to scold Paul for not getting back to work. James tried to see the sonogram of his grandchild, but Paul snatched it away.
Holden and Lily searched the woods while Jack and Carly stayed at the pit and called Ethan's name. After they found one of Ethan's shoes, Jack phoned Holden to come to the crater. Lily panicked that their son was down there in that bottomless pit and tried to climb in, but the men restrained her. They heard Ethan call out to his mother, and that verified that the boy was in the hole. Holden took Carly aside and asked her to please find Faith and tell her what was happening. Jack called off the search and instead requested a rescue crew. Lily was impatient and still wanted to go down there herself.
Mike arrived at the site and wondered who had created the pit, but he had a good idea it was Paul. Paul showed up and flashed back on removing the boards over the crater to resume his digging, and realized that he was responsible for the boy's fall. He apologized to everyone, and Holden asked him to notify Meg that the boy had suffered an accident.
At WOAK, Kim dashed into the studio and immediately sent Brad and Katie with a film crew to the construction site at the Snyder farm. Meanwhile, the rescue crew arrived there and coordinated with Mike. Carly returned and said she had notified Faith, but could not reach Emma. She tried to offer Lily water, but Lily was too distraught and asked Carly to leave.
Paul returned home to tell Meg about her nephew, and she immediately wanted to accompany him back to the site. Paul reluctantly agreed to take her, since his wife was so adamant. When Meg went to get a sweater, James stepped in and Paul yelled at him that a child had been hurt falling into the pit that his father insisted he dig. James answered back that he could not believe he had a son who was such a coward that he was giving up on the project to find the hidden money. They argued more, and Paul said he was done with everything, but James again threatened Meg. He strongly suggested that Paul cover all traces of his involvement with the digging of the hole. Meg heard their voices, but Paul was alone when she returned.
Henry heard James and Derek approaching and he dashed back to his chair. James whined that his son was a great disappointment to him, and blamed Barbara. Henry opened some expensive wine and James shared several glasses with him. James soon fell asleep, and Henry went back to working on his escape route. Henry did manage to get out, but when he went to use the phone upstairs, Derek and a revitalized James caught him and tied him into his chair.
Carly went to the farm and found Emma inhospitable. Carly told her about Ethan, and Emma prepared to go to the site. Faith asked to go along, and Carly suggested she bring some of the boy's favorite books and that she read them to him while he was waiting to be rescued. Emma appreciated Carly's efforts and apologized for her earlier harsh words.
The news crew from the television station arrived with Brad and Katie, but they promised to stay out of the way. Jack assured them all that he was there strictly as a family member, not as a cop. Janet came, too, but Jack was curt with her. Mike approached Paul, who had returned with Meg, and accused him of continuing to dig in unstable ground and causing the mammoth sinkhole. Meg asked why Mike was thinking Paul was at fault, but he did not answer. Mike explained how he was installing rigging to stabilize the walls of the hole, and Janet arranged for food to come from Al's for the workers.
Brad interviewed Lily briefly, and she asked for prayers for her son. Carly brought Emma and Faith, and Lily thanked her for that. Holden made the decision that he would be the one to go down into the hole to search for his son. Mike and Paul also volunteered, but Emma made the call that the boy was Holden's son, and he should go. Emma led all the volunteers in the 23rd Psalm as they gathered around the crater.
Paul left the rescue site only to be met in his car by a threatening Derek who warned that Paul better make good on the money-or else. At knifepoint, Derek forced Paul to drive to the reservoir. Despite Paul's attempts to negotiate, Derek hurled him into the water with a cinderblock tied to his feet. Paul freed himself and came home soaking wet to Meg, who wanted the truth. Paul was evasive but admitted that Derek was a loan shark. He begged Meg to trust him.
Lily sat by the open dig site reading to Ethan. Holden set himself up in the rigging and prepared to go down the hole. As he descended, the mechanism malfunctioned and the rope snapped. After initial silence, Holden yelled that he was alive but hurt. He was brought back up and sent to the hospital. As Lily prepared to send a blanket and food down to Ethan, Carly got an idea. She got Mike to give Lily a baby monitor so she could communicate with Ethan, but she didn't reveal it was her idea. They sent down the package and began to hear Ethan singing. Holden returned in time to see Lily hug Mike, and Jack hug Carly, celebrating this news.
Emma was very hard on herself about Ethan's fall, calling it her punishment for being selfish with the development deal.
At the site of Ethan's accident, Lily and Faith had a discussion about Lily's lack of success in getting a response from the boy. Holden's patience was at an end, and he demanded that someone go into the crater to retrieve Ethan. Lily was distraught to think she might lose another family member in the rescue attempt. Mike tried to persuade them to leave the rescue to the experts, but everyone was aware that time was passing. Mike reminded Holden that he had injured himself in the unsuccessful rescue attempt and was not capable of effectively removing the boy. Holden, in his frustration, tied a rope around his waist and told Mike to get out of his way. Faith cried that she did not want her father to die, and Lily stopped Holden with a similar concern. Finally, Holden conceded to wait for the professionals and persuaded Lily to go with him for some food.
At Fairwinds, Paul assured Meg that he was working on a solution for repaying his loan to Derek Coburn. Meg immediately wanted to report the loan shark's threats to the police, but Paul nixed that. His deal to her was that she would take care of their unborn baby while he figured out how to solve their financial problems. Paul said he was going back to the construction site, but Meg begged him to tell her a story until she fell asleep. Paul was shocked when she asked him to talk about his father. When Meg dozed off, Paul crept out quietly. She awoke soon afterward and drove to the Snyder construction site.
Jack took Carly to the Snyder farm, and they found Janet there, cooking. Carly was uncomfortable being there with Janet and Jack, so she walked out. Jack followed her and reminded her that feeling guilty never helped any situation. The two of them talked on the porch while Janet watched from the kitchen window. Jack was still struggling with his resignation from the police force, so they discussed that. As Carly was leaving, Holden and Faith arrived. Carly volunteered to gather blankets and sleeping bags for the crew. Faith blamed herself for ignoring her little brother just before he wandered off and fell into the crater. Holden consoled her by telling her he was at fault as well for not checking his messages to realize the children were alone.
Meg arrived at the site looking for Paul, but there was no sign of him. She encouraged an exhausted Lily to eat something and asked many questions, trying to better assess Ethan's medical condition. Paul was lurking at the site, hiding behind the construction office with a large coil of rope. Meg and Mike had a discussion during which Meg told Mike about threats from the loan shark. She defended Paul, but she was not about to change Mike's low opinion of her husband. Meg told Mike she was sure Paul would show up because he felt responsible for Ethan's accident.
Mike had to give Lily the bad news that the rescue equipment was delayed by bad weather, despite all Lucinda could do about expediting it. Lily refused to leave the site to eat or rest, so Holden came back with a tent so that Lily could remain at the site close to her son, but still get some respite. Mike brought them a map he had made of a possible route to tunnel into the side of the crater, and he and Holden left the map on one of the worktables. When those two walked off, Paul snatched the map and hid behind the office again. Meanwhile, Lily was comforted when she heard her son making snoring noises as he slept in the pit. She and Holden hugged, and he persuaded her to lie down in the tent. Lily invited Holden into the tent, and the two of them fell asleep.
Carly told Janet that she thought Janet was good for Jack and then left with a cooler full of food for the crew and volunteers. She peeked into the tent at the site and saw Holden and Lily very close.
Mike apologized to Meg for his earlier remarks about Paul. Meg suffered a muscle spasm and accepted Mike's offer to take her home. When they left, Paul emerged from his hiding place and tied his rope around the backhoe and threw the other end into the hole. Slowly he lowered himself down the rope, stinging his hands.
Jack told Janet that it was a lot easier for him to talk with Carly since they were no longer married. He assured Janet that he no longer had a future with Carly, but he could not tell her anything else about his plans.
In the crater, Paul found Ethan, who appeared to be all right and happy to see his Uncle Paul. Paul gave the boy some water and promised to get him out safely. As he shone his flashlight around the bottom of the crater, Paul noticed a chest partially buried in the soil. He pried it open but was disgusted to find it filled only with dirt.
Holden dreamed of rescuing Ethan, while Lily dreamed Ethan had died. When they awoke, they discovered a rope leading into the hole. Lily shouted to Ethan, and Paul answered via the microphone Carly had brought to the site. Paul assured Lily that Ethan was fine. The rescue squad leader told Mike they could lift Ethan out with a standard hoist since someone was in the hole to put Ethan in the harness. As Mike looked on, Lily sobbed and clung to Holden, deeply relieved by the turn of events.
Meg realized Paul had not returned to Fairwinds the previous night, and she began to worry about where he was. When she was unable to reach Paul on his cell phone, Meg grabbed her keys and left Fairwinds. Barbara arrived at Fairwinds looking for Paul to let him know she had the money he needed. Instead, she found James, who informed her that Paul had passed his test and no longer needed her money. James told Barbara that Paul was rescuing Ethan and would be the hero of Oakdale, assuming he didn't die.
Meg went to the construction site, where Mike told her that Paul was down in the hole with Ethan. Barbara asked when they were going to get Paul out. As Meg tried to fill Barbara in, the workers brought Ethan back up to the surface via the hoist, and Holden took Ethan and put him in his mother's arms. The rescue squad leader suggested they take Ethan to the hospital to be examined thoroughly.
After Holden and Lily left with Ethan, Mike told Meg they were ready to try to bring Paul up. However, at that moment, the walls of the hole caved in, piling dirt and rubble on top of Paul. Paul was able to reach the walkie-talkie that Mike had lowered down to him, and he let everyone know he was okay for the moment. Mike told Meg he wasn't sure whether they could get Paul out at all after the collapse.
Meg became hysterical and pleaded with Mike and the rescue squad to rescue Paul immediately. Barbara tried to get Meg to let her take her back to Fairwinds, but Meg insisted she couldn't leave while Paul was still trapped. Mike picked up the walkie-talkie and asked Paul to tell Meg to go home and rest. Paul told Meg that for once, Mike was right, and he would feel better about Meg and the baby if Meg went home. Meg told Paul she loved him and that he had better come back to her, and then she made Mike promise to do whatever it took to get Paul out of the hole.
Aaron and Alison returned to the farm from their two-day honeymoon only to learn of Ethan's predicament. Emma received a call saying Ethan was being rescued, and everyone at the farm was elated. Emma and Faith left the room, and Alison told Aaron she was surprised no one had called them to tell them what was going on while they were out of town. Aaron said his family probably didn't want to ruin their honeymoon. Alison and Aaron talked about how wonderful their short honeymoon had been, and then they received another call, this time from Lily, who told them she was taking Ethan to the hospital to be examined, but that he appeared to be fine.
Aaron and Alison met Lily and Holden at the hospital. Chris came out and told them that Ethan appeared to be dehydrated, but was fine otherwise. Chris had put an I.V. line in Ethan's arm to replenish his fluids and had given him a sedative, but Chris thought Holden and Lily could take Ethan home in a couple of hours. Lily went to call Emma and Faith, and Holden went outside to discuss Ethan's needs with Chris. Alison and Aaron stayed with Ethan. Aaron told Alison that Ethan must be really tired, because he couldn't keep his eyes open. Alison looked and saw that Ethan wasn't breathing. She rushed out of the room shouting for Chris.
Chris was able to revive Ethan, and he told Holden that Ethan must have had some dirt lodged in his larynx. Chris apologized for not having caught it when he examined Ethan earlier. Holden told Ethan he was going to be fine.
Lily arrived at Emma's and told Emma and Faith the good news about Ethan. Faith said she wanted to apologize to Ethan for not watching him closely, but Lily assured Faith that what had happened wasn't Faith's fault. She then left to take Faith to see Ethan at the hospital. When they were reunited, Holden filled Lily in on Ethan's choking incident, but told her Chris had said Ethan was going to be fine.
Barbara took Meg back to Fairwinds. Meg insisted that Barbara return to the accident site, because no one else there cared about Paul very much. Barbara finally agreed, after telling Meg to get some rest, and she left. James then made his presence known to Meg. Meg was startled, but James assured her he wasn't a dream. Meg asked how long James had been there. James told her he had been around since the problems started with the farm development project. Meg asked if the problems and the loan shark were James's doing, and he admitted that he was responsible. Meg told James he'd better make sure nothing happened to Paul. James said he couldn't do that, but Meg could.
James handed Meg some paperwork. Meg looked at it and saw that it was an agreement to give her child to James. James said he needed an heir. Meg asked why Paul wasn't his heir, but James said Paul was worthless and that Meg and Paul's child was James's only hope for the future. When Meg told James he was insane, he told her not to insult him, since the only way to save Paul's life was to sign the paperwork. Meg couldn't believe that James would let his own son die, but James said he didn't really care about Paul very much. Because Meg did care, James suggested she sign the paperwork, saying, "You sign this document, I'll save Paul, and your child will inherit an empire."
Henry awoke to find Derek watching him in the wine cellar. Derek received a phone call from James, instructing him to let Henry, Bonnie, and Vienna go. Derek passed the news along to Henry and untied him. He told Henry he would take him to where Bonnie and Vienna were being held.
Bonnie and Vienna awoke in the warehouse horrified to find they had slept huddled together for warmth. They decided to work together to try to find food; Vienna opened some lockers and found canned corn, but it was stale. Vienna managed to cook the corn to a palatable taste, thereby impressing Bonnie a little. As they were eating, they heard someone shouting outside the building. It was Henry, who had arrived with Derek. When Henry realized the warehouse was locked, he asked Derek how to get in, but Derek told him that getting the women out was Henry's problem, and he left.
Henry spotted a gasoline can and a soda can and rigged a Molotov cocktail. He warned Bonnie and Vienna to take cover, and then he lit the improvised bomb. It did the trick, blasting open the warehouse door, but in the process, Henry was hurt. Vienna shouted for help, but both she and Bonnie were shocked when Derek arrived. Derek said he had dropped Henry off and then had heard an explosion, so he had returned to find out what had happened. He suggested they take Henry to Derek's car. Vienna and Bonnie said they didn't want to go anywhere with Derek, but Derek pointed out that their options were limited.
After they arrived at the hospital, Derek took Bonnie aside and said he couldn't stay. He apologized for getting Bonnie involved in the whole situation and told her he hadn't had a choice. Meanwhile, Vienna sat with Henry and told him he had saved her life. Bonnie walked in and said, "Mine, too!" Bonnie told Vienna that Derek had gone, and Vienna told Henry that Derek had probably saved his life. Bonnie pointed out that Derek was hardly a hero, but Henry said he didn't think Derek had had much choice. Bonnie said Derek had told her the same thing. Henry said that James Stenbeck had been calling the shots. Bonnie said everyone always blamed James for everything, but it wasn't possible this time because James was locked up in prison. Henry said he had seen and talked to James and that James had imprisoned him so that he couldn't tell anyone that James was in Oakdale. When Bonnie and Vienna had gone looking for Henry, James had Derek imprison them, too.
At the construction/accident site, Paul waited for Mike and the rescue squad to finalize their rescue operation. Suddenly, Derek appeared in the hole with Paul. Paul asked what Derek was doing there, and Derek said he had come to rescue Paul, having followed Paul's father's directions. Paul asked how he could rescue him, and Derek said there was a tunnel that only James knew about, because James had dug the tunnel. Paul said he would kill James, and then he punched Derek and knocked him down.
Above ground, the rescue squad was almost ready to attempt to rescue Paul when the walls of the hole caved in once again. The rescue squad leader took a look at the resulting damage and declared that no one could have survived. Meanwhile, Paul rushed back to Fairwinds, only to find that neither James nor Meg was there.