As Jack watches from outside the window at Alice's, Jennifer answers the door, expecting Jack but finds Frankie. Handing out gifts, Frankie admits his flight was delayed. Shocked to come face-to-face with Carrie, Austin asks her about Mike. She explains that he's still in Israel but fails to admit their relationship is over. Nicole calls and interrupts but he orders her to file the papers he signed and leave him alone. Disgusted that they kissed, Lucas spots Carrie with Austin and points them out to Sami who rushes to see her sister. Sami quickly notices she's not wearing a ring and Carrie confirms, much to Austin's surprise, that she and Mike are no longer together. Lucas invites her to stay with him and when Austin mentions he's just down the hall, Sami pipes up that she's there too though Austin quickly mentions he's getting his own place soon. While Philip leaves Claire's room to go looking for Lexie, Shawn gives Belle an angel necklace for Christmas and mentions that Claire could have been his daughter. Bo's pleased when Chelsea returns to the Brady house and apologizes for not thanking him for his driving lessons Christmas present. Shawn arrives with Mimi so they can take a family portrait that Bo arranged. Shawn and Hope insist that Mimi be in the photo too. While John, Kate and Roman wait outside Alex's cabin, inside, Alex loses his temper when his plans for a romantic moment with hot chocolate fall apart as he hot milk boils over and puts out the fire. Marlena calms him but when an ember from the fire hits Marlena and she screams, the three outside rush in and find Alex with an axe in hand. Marlena explains what happened and insists they have no reason to be there but Kate argues that they do.
John has taken Marlena and Alex back to the penthouse. Marlena is angry that John keeps making accusations that Alex is dangerous but hasn't produced a shred of proof. Alex thinks it's just another of John's desperate attempts to discredit Alex in Marlena's eyes. John says he does have proof. Dr. Banks arrives. Alex sees her and is obviously tense. John tells Marlena when she hears what Dr. Banks has to say, she'll finally know Alex for the monster that he is and will be free of him forever.
Chelsea and Max visit Bo and Hope, who are not home. Max is surprised by Chelsea's eagerness to get some money while they're gone.
Hope visits Jennifer and is surprised to find that Frankie's still in Salem. She tries to convince Jennifer to ask him to stay. When that's unsuccessful, she prevails upon Frankie to stay for Jennifer. Frankie says he won't go against Jennifer's wishes. And she clearly wants him to go. As he's heading out, he slips on the icy walk and breaks his leg. Max, Chelsea and Hope bring him back from the hospital in a cast. He still intends to leave, but Jennifer takes his bag back upstairs. She won't let him leave until his leg has completely healed.
Austin and Nicole continue to plan the takeover of highstyle company, unaware that Carrie is the CEO. Nicole is upset when Sami tells tells her that Carrie is back in Salem, and Austin is still in love with her.
Lucas has made breakfast for Carrie and Will. Sami goes to visit Will, but he is more comfortable talking with Carrie. When Carrie asks if Austin's home, Sami lies and says he isn't. When Sami returns, Austin asks if Carrie was there and Sami says she wasn't. Clearly, Sami is up to her old tricks of doing everything she can to keep Carrie and Austin apart.
Lucas orders orange, pink, and white roses, and yellow sunflowers and lilies for Carrie. He refuses to help Sami keep their siblings apart. The flowers arrive, proof Lucas wants Carrie. He'll never get her if he keeps quiet! When Austin calls, Sami withholds that Carrie is HighStyle's CEO. His professional takeover will lead to romantic rejection.
Austin meets Kate in the hospital cafeteria. She says he and Carrie were meant to be. She agrees acquiring HighStyle would establish his company. Austin doesn't want to jinx things, so he asks his mom not to repeat that he cares for Carrie. She keeps her promise when she visits Lucas. To her dismay, he wants Carrie as well.
Carrie runs into her dad at the hospital. She won't move HighStyle to Salem or take money from her parents. She mentions Kate, and Roman calls her behavior despicable and inexcusable. Carrie blames Sami for that and for her first divorce. Roman thinks Sami's through plotting. If not, this time, Carrie will fight for Austin. After spending time in the chapel with Philip, Austin meets Carrie for hot chocolate and a walk.
Shawn will stay with the baby if Belle goes to the chapel. She's afraid Claire will die in her absence. Shawn reflects on JT and Belle mentions her brother DJ. Claire's illness inexplicably makes Belle feel closer to Shawn. Zack sent along a gift for Claire: his extra blankie.
Alex admits they knew Lois, but denies she was a friend. Lois explains Alex, jealous of Marlena's career success, became possessive and controlling. John is eager to see her proof: a picture of a bruised Marlena. Alex beat her repeatedly, but she wouldn't file charges. By the time Lois convinced her to leave him, he was dead. Marlena believes Alex when he denies responsibility. Lois falls when she backs away from him. She screams, and John thinks Alex hit her.
Alex is taken to the Salem PD for attacking Dr. Lois Banks but denies any wrongdoing. Alex warns John and Roman that he's not the threat to Marlena, it is Lois. Lois arrives at the penthouse and Marlena lets her in.
Kate is horrified to learn that Lucas is interested in Carrie. She wonders if he's going to pursue her but Lucas tells his mom he's not going to fight Austin for Carrie. Eugenia has news for Lucas about Austin's takeover and Kate is still furious with Lucas for hiring Eugenia. Lucas defends Eugenia and tells his mom to butt out. Later, Eugenia laments losing High Style to Austin, Sami and Nicole. Lucas tells her it's okay. Austin may be gaining a company but he's going to lose so much more.
Austin and Carrie walk through the park and reminisce. They decide to take things slow, starting with a date. Sami makes a peace offering to Carrie, but Carrie tells her she's interested in Austin. Sami decides not to tell Austin that Carrie is the CEO of highstyle.
It's New Years Eve and Belle and Philip hold a vigil at their dying daughter's bedside. Lexie tells Belle and Philip that there's no way Claire can get a transplant and suggests that they take her off life support. An upset Belle refuses. She's convinced they will get a miracle. Caroline, Victor, Alice, Grandpa Shawn, Bo, Hope, Shawn, John, Kate, and Mimi form a prayer circle. It looks like the end is near when Claire stops breathing!
Kate makes sure that Victor keeps the secret of Claire's true paternity.
Blown away by the fleeting nature of life, Shawn asks Mimi to marry him.
Bo and Hope drop Zack off at a friend's house for a sleepover. They go to the hospital to be there for Belle and Philip and Claire. Bo gets a call from Chelsea, she needs a ride after a driving lesson. Chelsea asks Bo to sign a paper so she can get a temporary license. She also talks him into lending her his car. Bo does not tell Hope about this. Hope calls Zack's friends' house to talk to her son. Hope tells Zack she loves him. Zack goes to bed, but comes downstairs to get some juice. Hearing a cat, he goes outside on his own. Zack wanders out on the street. Chelsea is driving, gets distracted, and hits what she thinks is a bump in the road.
Alex uses his one phone call from jail to call Marlena. He's upset when he hears she's with Dr. Lois Banks and tells Marlena to get away. Marlena doesn't know what to believe. Lois tells Marlena that Alex is the dangerous one. He couldn't explain the photos of Marlena when she was battered. John calls Marlena to see if she's all right. Marlena tells him that she wants to go to the hospital to be with Belle and Claire, but John refuses. He tells Marlena to go up to bed and sleep. After Marlena hangs up, Lois agrees that Marlena should rest. Lois searches the drawers, finds a lethal-looking pair of scissors, then starts upstairs towards a sleeping Marlena.
Sami throws a New Year's Eve party and is forced to let Carrie attend. Carrie can't get over how nice Sami is being, she seems to be resigned to letting Carrie have Austin. Lucas arrives at the party with Eugenia. They all toast to the new year that could change their lives forever!