At the hospital, Justin asked Daniel not to hire Carly, but he didn't mention her by name. Carly interrupted them when she spotted Daniel, who was surprised, yet happy, to see her. They hugged, and Daniel asked her why she was in Salem. She explained that she was interviewing for a position at the hospital, and Daniel put two-and-two together and realized that Carly was the woman Justin had been talking about. Daniel asked Justin if she was the person that he didn't want Daniel to hire, and Justin confirmed it.
Carly asked Justin what he had told Daniel about her. Justin said it didn't matter anymore, since she and Daniel were good friends. Daniel said that Carly introduced him to his wife, Rebecca, and they had worked together. He praised Carly and told Justin that he intended to recommend Carly getting the position. Justin received a call and excused himself.
Carly was upset that Justin had tried to sabotage her. Daniel said that if he had known who Justin was referring to, he would have punched Justin. Carly said that she was heartbroken when she heard about Rebecca dying, and Daniel said he was sorry for Carly's loss. Carly said that things had been difficult. Carly asked if Daniel had found love again. He told her that he had found someone and was grateful for a second chance at love.
Carly wanted to meet Chloe, and Daniel suggested that she, Chloe, and Daniel have dinner together. Daniel was paged and had to tend to a patient. Carly accused Justin of trying to sabotage her career and ordered him to apologize. Justin said that he did what he thought was right. Carly pointed out that Bo and Hope had problems before Carly returned to Salem. Justin said that Carly's relationship with Bo "exacerbated" Bo and Hope's relationship. Carly accused Justin of wanting to get involved with Hope. Justin said that he and Bo were cousins, and Hope was Justin's friend, and he wanted Carly to leave town, because he cared about how Carly had affected Bo and Hope's marriage.
Carly said that if Justin had a problem with her being in town, she needed to address it with Carly. Justin replied that he had discussed it with her, but she was defiant. Daniel overheard Carly and Justin's argument, and he requested to speak to Justin alone. Daniel told Justin that he was disappointed that Justin tried to use his influence on the board to discredit Carly. Justin felt that Daniel would change his mind once Daniel learned the truth about Carly, but Daniel didn't want to hear it. He said that the hospital would be lucky to have Carly, and he planned to make sure that she got the job.
Daniel encouraged Carly to talk about Carly and Justin's issues, but she didn't want to discuss it. Daniel said that her reaction reminded him of the time that she didn't want to talk about why she didn't attend some medical conferences years before. He said that when he tried to call her to find out what was going on, she didn't want to discuss it and then he heard that she had stopped practicing medicine. Carly said that she and Lawrence had a falling-out and Lawrence wanted her to be a full-time wife and mother. She warned him that he would hear a lot of things about her, and she asked that he keep an open mind.
At the Brady Pub, Arianna asked Rafe if he had any news about Sydney, but there was no news to tell. She asked about Sami, and he told her that Sami couldn't eat or sleep, and it was like Sami had lost a child all over again, referring to Grace's death. Arianna pointed out that it probably felt like Rafe had lost Grace all over again, as well. Arianna said the silver lining to Sydney's disappearance was that Nicole was in jail. Arianna said that because Nicole raised Sydney since she was a baby, it was impossible to turn off her feelings for Sydney. Arianna said that she didn't feel sorry for Nicole, though. Gabi told Rafe and Arianna that their mother had heard about Sami's baby and was concerned. Rafe left to go check on Sami.
Gabi wondered to Arianna if Sami was worth the trouble. Arianna admitted to not liking Sami at first, but she respected that Rafe loved her. Gabi wondered why Rafe acted like Sydney was his child. Arianna said that it was because Rafe loved her, and the kids were Sami's. Gabi asked what would happen to Rafe if E.J. and Sami fell back in love again. Gabi asked if Arianna was worried. Arianna admitted that she was worried that Rafe could get hurt. She explained that she had voiced her concern early in Rafe and Sami's relationship, but Rafe was totally in love with Sami and nothing Gabi or Arianna could do would change that.
Gabi encouraged Arianna to see Brady, but Arianna was annoyed that her little sister was trying to interfere. However, after Gabi left, Arianna considered calling Brady.
Chloe visited Nicole in jail, because Nicole had summoned her, saying that it was urgent. Nicole said that it was "a matter of life and death." Nicole was anxious to hear news about Sydney, because no one would talk to her about Sydney's disappearance. Nicole asked Chloe if the police had any leads. Chloe said that she didn't know. Nicole felt that she deserved to be in jail, but she said Sydney did not deserve to be hurt. Nicole felt tortured that because of her actions, she might have put Sydney in danger. Chloe said that she felt sorry for Nicole, even though Chloe was so hard on Nicole. Chloe explained that she felt like Nicole plotted to steal Sami's baby, because Nicole had finally found the love of her life.
Nicole said that she had just wanted to beat Sami at first and then she fell for E.J. because she wanted to be part of a family. Sami was always in E.J.'s heart, Nicole said, which was why it continued to feel like a competition between Sami and Nicole. Chloe said that E.J. had feelings for Sami because they had shared children. Nicole said that E.J. still loved Sami, and Sydney's disappearance would only draw Sami and E.J. closer together.
Nicole said that finding Sydney was all that mattered to Nicole. She apologized to Chloe, and they admitted that they loved each other. Nicole asked if Chloe could do her a favor. Nicole asked Chloe to convince Brady to visit Nicole so she could learn the latest developments in Sydney's kidnapping. Chloe agreed to contact Brady. After Chloe left, Nicole remembered that the person who took Sydney was a woman.
Bo went to the DiMera mansion to question Stefano. Stefano was on the phone at the time, and Bo walked into the room during the end of Stefano's conversation. "All will be revealed very soon. Be patient, and wait for further instructions," Stefano said to someone on the phone. Bo asked who he was talking to, and Stefano said, "Warren Buffet. He's passing through town next week. He wants to know if he can borrow my yacht."
Bo accused Stefano of knowing where Sydney was. Stefano took offense at Bo's insinuation and claimed to be "tortured" over his granddaughter's kidnapping. He said that of all people, Bo should understand what he was going through. Bo asked if Stefano had any idea where Sydney might be. He said that if he had an idea, he would have told E.J. first, not Bo. Stefano said that Sydney meant "the world" to him.
Bo tried to manipulate Stefano into admitting that he didn't have Sydney's well-being in mind when he tried to keep Sydney away from Sami. Bo said that Stefano was the only suspect that the police were looking at, and it was in Stefano's best interest to cooperate. Stefano recounted what Nicole said happened to Sydney, and he said that his men were looking for Sydney. Bo didn't want Stefano's interference, but Stefano said that Bo would never find Sydney without Stefano's help and resources.
Bo theorized that Stefano wanted to find Sydney to get back into E.J.'s good graces, but Stefano said that he only wanted to find Sydney for her safety -- not for E.J. or Sami. After Bo left, Stefano held a picture of Sydney and said that people didn't realize how much he loved Sydney.
At Sami's place, E.J. convinced Sami to antagonize Stefano, because she had a way of "getting under" Stefano's skin. She realized that with E.J. living at the mansion, she would have a reason to be there. She felt that they needed to do it right away, instead of E.J.'s suggestion that they take the gradual approach. E.J. warned against being impulsive. Sami had an idea on how they could get through to Stefano. Sami said that they didn't have time to gradually antagonize Stefano. E.J. didn't agree. They argued over it. Rafe walked in and agreed with Sami. Rafe urged Sami to wear a wire when she went to see Stefano, but E.J. didn't agree. He said that Stefano was "too savvy" for that.
Rafe asked if E.J. was afraid of Sami wearing a wire, because E.J. would be betraying his father if it worked. E.J. said that he and Stefano were "dead to each other." E.J. was concerned that something might happen to Sami, but Rafe said that they would be with her. Sami felt like it was their only chance to get Sydney back. Rafe put the wire on Sami. E.J. suggested that they all go to the Dimera mansion together. When Sami was out of the room, Rafe asked if E.J. and Stefano were getting along, but E.J. didn't want to discuss it.
When they arrived at the mansion, Rafe and E.J. waited outside. Sami walked into the living room where Stefano was. She told him that it was time he gave Sydney back to her. Stefano was annoyed at Sami's accusations. Stefano ordered her to leave, but she said she wasn't leaving until he told her where Sydney was. Again, he ordered her to leave, but she said she wasn't going anywhere. Stefano called Sami an "obnoxious, selfish woman." Stefano called her an "idiot" for saying that she wanted her daughter back. He said that he wanted Sydney back, too.
Stefano asked why Sami thought that he would keep Sydney away from Sami. She reminded him of how he kept the truth about Sydney from her. Stefano insulted Sami, saying she had "about a dozen kids" to take care of. He was annoyed by the sound of her voice. "I'd tell you to go to hell, Stefano, if I thought you would die, but even the devil doesn't want you," she said. Stefano said that Sami would "live in hell" because she wouldn't be able to see Sydney, and Stefano vowed to make sure of it.
A mysterious woman told Sydney that they would be spending a lot of time together. Then she sang a lullaby to Sydney.
Justin met Bo at the Java Café to tell Bo that he believed Carly was only in town to destroy Bo's marriage. Bo wasn't concerned that Carly was applying for a job at the hospital. He told Justin to back off and stop worrying about Bo's marriage. He said that Justin needed to focus on his own marriage, while Bo dealt with Bo's marriage. Bo said that Justin only made things worse by trying to get involved. Justin agreed to stay out of it.
After she left the hospital, Daniel called Carly to tell her that her prospects were good for getting the job at the hospital. Daniel felt optimistic that things would work out. Bo saw Carly down at the pier and assumed that he knew what was bothering Carly, because he had talked to Justin. Carly told Bo not to listen to what Justin said, because Justin was wrong.
At the Java Café, Maggie opined to Justin that it was a huge mistake for Carly to work at the hospital, although she couldn't discern whether Carly still had feelings for Bo. Justin worried that Bo and Hope's problems were none of their business, but they both agreed that little Ciara deserved some happiness after everything she'd been through. Maggie noted, "She's not going to get it if her parents are estranged-or if Carly keeps moving in on Bo."
Bo found Carly on the pier and told her that he'd just learned what she was up to from Justin. Carly defensively insisted that Bo couldn't believe a word Justin said. She quickly apologized, but maintained that Justin thought her moving back to Salem was a bad idea, and reminded Bo that she was only staying in town to be near her daughter. Bo reluctantly stated that he agreed with Justin, but only because he knew Carly would go out of her way to run into her daughter. Carly replied that she had only wanted to take care of and love her little girl ever since giving her away-and she knew Bo understood why she couldn't leave town.
Carly and Bo returned to his house so she could retrieve something she'd forgotten. As Carly was leaving, she dropped her purse, spilling its contents on the floor. Bo was surprised to see the Mayan scroll from his and Carly's wedding ceremony among her things, and she confessed that she hadn't been able to throw it out. They remembered reading from the scroll to each other at their symbolic wedding. Bo returned the scroll to Carly, and then she left.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Hope caught Ciara shaking presents under the Christmas tree, and teased her daughter. Hope then asked Ciara to put a gift that she said was "for Ms. Alamain" under the tree. Vivian entered just then and seemed delighted at what she'd overheard. Hope sent Ciara upstairs, and confessed to Vivian that the gift was just her way of being polite. Hope added that since it was Ciara's first Christmas away from home, she wanted to make it as happy and normal as possible.
Vivian countered that trying to make Christmas magical for Victor would be difficult with Hope's "dark personal problems" interfering. Hope firmly assured Vivian that she wouldn't allow her problems to bring anyone else down. Vivian then asked nosily what had caused the rift between Hope and Bo. Hope informed her sadly that she and Bo had disagreed greatly over how to handle Ciara's kidnapping, and afterwards, things had only gotten worse.
Vivian asked gently if there were other issues. Hope accidentally blurted out Carly's name, but quickly apologized for mentioning her. "I'm no fan of my nephew's widow," Vivian assured Hope. "So if there's any problem between you and Bo, and it involves Carly Manning, you just call me-I'll be there." Hope feigned surprise, and thanked Vivian. Vivian embraced Hope, noting that they had to look out for one another, since they were living under the same roof.
Hope joined Justin at the Java Café, and they discussed Carly working at the hospital, which neither thought was a good thing. Hope was still determined to find out Carly's secret, possibly with Vivian's help, although she acknowledged that Justin had thought it was a bad idea for her to go behind Bo's back. "I've changed my mind," Justin declared. "I say go for it. More power to you."
Outside the Brady Pub, Troy grabbed Arianna to inform her that the next shipment of drugs would be late. A cross Arianna asked what she was supposed to tell her customers in the meantime. Troy retorted indifferently that he didn't care, adding, "This was a courtesy call." Arianna advised him not to make her wait too long.
Inside the pub, Chloe found Brady to ask him if he would visit Nicole at the jail. She pointed out that Nicole was really frightened-but for Sydney, not herself. Chloe added that Nicole was willing to spend the rest of her life in prison if it meant finding Sydney. Brady acknowledged that although Nicole must be feeling alone and miserable, he believed that he was "addicted" to her, and the only way to break the addiction was not to let her pull him into her neediness.
Arianna entered just then and overheard Brady refusing to visit Nicole. After Chloe left, Arianna confessed to Brady that she was proud of him for not helping Nicole. Brady admitted that he'd never stopped loving Arianna, and in reply, she kissed him passionately. Later, Arianna announced that she had an idea about how to meet the head of the drug ring.
Roman visited Nicole's jail cell in response to her repeated shouts. "What's your problem?" he demanded, annoyed. "It's not a problem, it's an answer," Nicole replied. "I know who took my baby!" She explained that she'd just remembered that, before she'd blacked out at the bus station, she'd heard a woman's voice saying, "Hush, hush, sweet pea. Everything's going to be all right." Roman was unimpressed. Nicole swore that the memories had just returned a few hours earlier, and pleaded with Roman to check it out. Roman unenthusiastically agreed to contact the police in Cleveland.
Later, Chloe arrived and sadly informed Nicole that Brady wouldn't be visiting. Nicole was heartbroken, but believed that Brady might see her if he knew about the woman she'd remembered hearing. Chloe thought that Nicole was making things up just to get Brady to visit, but Nicole insisted she would not lie about something so important. Seeing that Chloe still didn't believe her, a hurt Nicole told her to leave. Chloe apologized and then left. Nicole sank down on her bunk, sobbing miserably.
Rafe and E.J. were outside the DiMera mansion, listening on earpieces to Sami's wire, while inside, Sami tried to get Stefano to admit that he had kidnapped Sydney. Stefano swore he had not. As their argument escalated, Stefano vowed that when he found his granddaughter, he would never allow her to have contact with Samantha. When Stefano insulted Rafe, Sami's temper flared, so Rafe reminded her via her earpiece to tread lightly. Sami reminded Stefano that Rafe had uncovered Nicole's lies-and proved to the world what a monster Stefano was for helping Nicole.
Stefano asserted that whoever had Sydney would be better parents than Samantha and Rafael, adding cruelly, "You couldn't even keep your pretend daughter alive, for God's sake." Sami gasped, momentarily speechless. Rafe crept into the foyer, but before he could throw open the parlor doors, he heard Sami force a laugh. "You think I don't know what you're doing, Stefano?" Sami asked. "You're like some sad, tired old joke." As Rafe returned outside, Stefano countered that Samantha would have kept Sydney from her family, allowing the child to believe "that scum Hernandez" was her father.
Sami argued that she'd been trying to protect her daughter from Stefano-and Rafe would have been the best father she could have asked for. "Ah, finally: you say what you really believe," Stefano purred with a satisfied smirk, then wondered aloud if Samantha had been desperate enough to have planned the kidnapping. He pointed out that she had lied about being pregnant, put the child in a convent, and then adopted her, all to protect the child from her biological father.
Sami vehemently denied it, but she became increasingly unnerved as Stefano began blaming her for all the harm that had ever befallen Sydney. He mused, "I'm thinking, well, she's here, all alone, throwing all kinds of accusations at me... I'm starting to wonder exactly why." Sami shakily reminded him that she was there to get him to admit he had taken Sydney-and whether he had done it solely to get revenge on Sami. Stefano growled that he despised Samantha for what she had done to his family-enough to keep her from her daughter. "Thank God you're finally admitting it!" Sami exclaimed. "So just tell us where she is!"
Stefano caught the slip. "Us?" he demanded angrily, ripping open Sami's blouse and exposing the wire, as Sami shrieked in terror. Stefano yanked out the microphone, and a frantic Sami freed herself, attempting to pull her jacket closed. Rafe and E.J. rushed in from opposite entrances. "Get your damn hands off before I break your neck!" Rafe ordered. Rafe comforted and tended to Sami, while Stefano was aghast to see his son. "You are with them?" he asked incredulously.
When Roman arrived, Rafe explained what the three of them had tried to do, and Sami berated herself for blowing it after nearly getting a confession out of Stefano. Roman asked if Sami wanted to press assault charges against Stefano. "Definitely," she replied. "I want to see him in jail."
Meanwhile, Stefano declared that E.J. was no better than a Brady. E.J. vowed to do whatever he had to in order to prevent Stefano from taking Sydney out of the country. Roman interrupted to arrest Stefano. Roman read Stefano his rights while handcuffing him, but Stefano ignored everyone but E.J. "Judas!" he shouted furiously, and spat on the floor.
As Rafe and Sami returned to the townhouse, she assured him, "I think you're going to be a great dad to Sydney-if that's what you want." Rafe concurred, reassuring Sami that was, indeed, what he wanted. He then informed Sami that he had to go out for a while, but wouldn't tell her what he was doing. Annoyed, she argued that he was being overprotective, but Rafe kissed her goodbye and left anyway.
After Rafe had gone, E.J. dropped by to make sure Sami was all right. She apologized for messing up their plan, but E.J. stopped her, insisting he was proud of her for being so brave.
Roman visited Stefano in his cell, informing him that the district attorney had agreed to drop the charges if Stefano would divulge where Sydney was. Stefano reiterated that he had not kidnapped his granddaughter. He also asserted that his lawyer would free him soon, because he had only been defending his right to privacy after realizing that Samantha had been recording him. Unconcerned, Roman countered that the felony assault charge would keep Stefano locked up long enough for the FBI to search all the DiMera properties for evidence of where he was hiding Sydney.
When the guard announced that Nicole had a visitor, a hopeful Nicole expected to see Brady-but was dismayed to see Rafe instead.
At the Java Café, Philip was regaling Melanie with funny stories about past Titan Christmas parties, when Nathan walked in. Melanie greeted him warmly, but Nathan's reply was downright chilly. After Nathan had gone, Philip tried to cheer Melanie up, but she confessed that Nathan had ruined her good mood-and their date. Philip wasn't worried, noting that just being with Melanie, no matter her mood, made him happy, like it was where he should be. Melanie smiled, but wished she were as certain. As she rose to leave, Philip asked what she was doing for Christmas. Melanie urged him to spend the holiday with his family, adding, "You're lucky you have one."
Nathan found Stephanie waiting for him at the Brady Pub. He admitted that he'd called her because he needed a friend to vent to, because he figured she understood better than anyone "the whole Melanie-Philip dynamic." That presumption irked Stephanie, and she tried to storm out, but an apologetic Nathan asked her to stay.
Nathan gently asked why Stephanie had broken up with Philip, when they had been planning to get married. Stephanie admitted that she had wanted Philip to be someone he wasn't, and one day she had realized that there were plenty of guys who would be better for her than he was.
When Melanie went by the pub to pick up some takeout, she was startled to see Nathan and Stephanie at a table together, talking and laughing. She ducked behind the Christmas tree and started to head back out the door, but then changed her mind, marching right up to the table and greeting her friends.
Nathan had to step away to take a phone call, so Melanie asked Stephanie if she had interrupted their date. Stephanie replied that she and Nathan weren't on a date; he had just wanted to talk. She then informed Melanie, "Just so you know, Nathan and I will be spending Christmas together."
Nathan returned and sensed the tension between the two women, but Melanie simply wished them a nice evening and went to the bar. Nathan asked why Melanie seemed so upset, and Stephanie told him what she'd said to Melanie. She quickly explained that the Bradys and Hortons always attended the same midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and confessed that she'd implied to Melanie that it was much more than that. Stephanie apologized for being petty, but Nathan pointed out that they could spend Christmas together, at least at the traditional Horton family ornament hanging.
Vivian and Victor were at home, toasting the holiday season with her potent homemade eggnog, when Kate barged in, looking for Philip. Vivian and Kate began sniping at each other about which of them Philip considered to be his mother. Not bothering to hide his amusement, Victor urged them not to bicker, but they continued, with Kate accusing Vivian of stealing Kate and Victor's embryo, and Vivian pointing out that Kate had married the man who had tried to kill Philip.
When an exasperated Kate announced that she was going home, Vivian expressed her surprise that Kate wasn't headed to visit her husband in jail. Kate ignored her, but Vivian had to get in one final barb about "her" son. Kate warned Vivian, "You mess with my son, you'll deal with me-and I don't play nice." An unconcerned Vivian promised, "I will protect Philip from his mommy dearest with my life if I have to."
As Kate was moving menacingly toward Vivian, Philip arrived home. Vivian greeted him cheerily, and Kate informed him that she missed him, but Philip didn't want to talk to either of them. Victor told Kate that she wasn't welcome any longer, and she lit into him about "shacking up with the most reviled woman in Salem." Philip remarked sarcastically that someone had just told him that he was lucky to have a family, and with a pointed glance at each woman, he grumbled, "Yeah, lucky they haven't killed each other or buried someone alive." He left in disgust.
Victor was upset about Philip's hatred for Kate, resentment of Vivian, and self-destructive behavior. Vivian encouragingly pointed out that Kate believed the two of them were a couple, which meant that soon they would smoke Carly out-and then enjoy watching both Kate and Carly squirm.
Philip knocked on Maggie's back door, and found Melanie decorating holiday cookies. He asked again what Melanie was doing for Christmas. She replied that since her brother-her only family-lived in London and she wasn't going to the Hortons' celebration, she had no plans. Philip hinted that he didn't want to hang out with his "twisted" family, and asked, "What would you say about not celebrating Christmas with me?"
As they decorated more cookies-which Philip admitted he'd never done before-he suggested that they watch "un-Christmasy" movies together. While Melanie considered the idea, he tenderly wiped frosting from her face, and then kissed her. "Yes, I will not celebrate Christmas with you," she finally agreed.
In her room, Arianna told Brady that she planned to use the problem with the drug shipment to get to the head of the cartel.
Meanwhile, Troy was meeting with E.J. at the DiMera mansion. "Our little drug pusher, Arianna Hernandez, is going to be a problem," Troy maintained.
While Brady listened in, Arianna called Troy's cell phone, and E.J. encouraged him to answer it. Troy put his phone on speaker so E.J. could listen. Arianna offered her assistance with the drug shipment problem, to prove that she was a team player, and so the boss might agree to meet with her. Troy replied that he would get back with her after he checked with the head honcho.
After Arianna hung up, Brady admitted that he didn't like the situation she was in, maintaining that Troy and the boss were jerking her around. Arianna reminded him that she would still be in prison if she hadn't agreed to work undercover. Brady promised that if her plan didn't work out, he would help her come up with a new one.
Troy called Arianna back and asked her to meet him on the pier right away-alone. Brady offered to go with Arianna to meet the boss, but Arianna claimed that wasn't what the call was about. She made up an excuse about having work to finish up, and asked Brady if they could meet up again later. Brady kissed her goodbye, but as soon as he had gone, Arianna grabbed her keys and headed out the door.
Troy contemplated how strange it was that Arianna was the younger sister of a former FBI agent, and wondered if she were more trouble than she was worth. E.J. agreed that it was odd, but urged Troy, "You let me handle Ms. Hernandez."
Arianna was furious when she arrived on the docks and found Troy alone. Troy told her to relax, because she was going to get what she wanted. E.J. emerged from behind a crate and demanded, "What are you doing to this woman?" Troy insisted he hadn't been doing anything, adding, "Who the hell are you?" Arianna assured a "concerned" E.J. that she was all right. E.J. then ordered Troy to leave.
After Troy had gone, Arianna indignantly declared that Troy was her friend. "Really?" E.J. asked. "He didn't look very friendly to me. So why don't you tell me what's really going on?"
Brady arrived at the Kiriakis mansion while Victor and Vivian were talking, so Vivian left to talk to the cook. Brady informed his grandfather that he'd just been in Cleveland, helping search for Sami's baby. "Was Arianna Hernandez there, too?" Victor asked. Brady declared that he loved Arianna. Victor maintained that it was a bad idea for Brady to be involved with a drug dealer.
A frowning Stefano sat in his jail cell, remembering how E.J. had declared, "You are dead to me!" As Stefano was bellowing at the guard, demanding to make his phone call immediately, Kate rushed in. She asked anxiously why Stefano hadn't called her, and why he had been arrested. Stefano declared, "Samantha Brady and that pimp of a boyfriend of hers, they are the ones behind it-and Elvis, too."
Chagrined that his son had turned against him, Stefano asked his wife for her help. "I want you to get to my idiot son, and tell him that this time, he has gone too far," Stefano growled. "And he is going to pay for this. Katherine, I want you to make sure you drill that into him." Kate softly assured her husband that she understood.
When Rafe visited Nicole at the jail, she was disappointed that he was not Brady, and irritably told him to leave her alone. Rafe surprised Nicole by asserting that he hoped she actually did have Sydney. Nicole swore angrily that she did not know where Sydney was, and was in agony because she had lost her husband and her daughter. "I just want to die, because that is what I deserve!" Nicole declared. Rafe assured her that she did not deserve that.
Not believing him, Nicole blamed Rafe for Sydney's disappearance, maintaining that if he hadn't gotten involved, Sydney would still be at home with Nicole and E.J. Rafe hotly reminded her that Sydney wasn't her child. Nicole countered that Rafe likely didn't really want Sydney to be found, because then E.J. and Sami would bond over their daughter. "I am sick to death that a little girl is missing-the daughter of the woman I love!" Rafe shouted. "I don't give a damn about who is going to bond to whom, or how my life is going to change when Sydney is found. My concern is Sydney, and I am going to do right by Sami, whatever the consequences."
Fed up, Rafe turned to leave, but Nicole pleaded with him to hear her out first. He stopped, but did not turn around, so she earnestly stated that all she had ever wanted was the best for Sydney. Turning to face her, Rafe admitted that he knew that was the truth. Nicole then told him how she had heard a woman's voice before Sydney disappeared, and she only hoped Rafe believed her, since neither Roman nor Chloe had.
Rafe replied reluctantly that he didn't think she was lying for a change. Her voice shaking, a grateful Nicole admitted tearfully, "I know that [Sydney] deserves to finally be where she belongs." Rafe softly concurred, adding that it would help even more if Nicole could remember something else. Nicole said that she had tried, but hadn't been able to recall anything more.
As Rafe was leaving to get in touch with his contacts at the FBI, suddenly Nicole remembered seeing the woman's boots, and excitedly called him back. Rafe took out a pad and paper and wrote while Nicole described the shoes as black and expensive-looking, with high heels, and inset panels of leopard skin.
Meanwhile, Sydney played near the mystery woman, who was reading a newspaper article entitled, "Search Continues for Sydney DiMera." A pair of high-heeled black boots with leopard panels sat near the door.
At Sami's place, Rafe was talking on the phone, but he quickly hung up when Sami entered the room. Sami had put the twins to bed, and she was worried that Sydney might not be on a normal routine. Sami had asked Rafe to stay at her place with the twins while she went to see Will. She asked if there was any news to report on the lead that Rafe was following up on. He said that there wasn't anything to report, but he would tell her when there wa s. After Sami left, Rafe called Abe and asked him to stop by.
Rafe told Abe about what Nicole remembered about a woman wearing designer boots kidnapping Sydney. Rafe said he needed Abe's help, since Abe was an expert on Stefano. Rafe said that Stefano was their prime suspect, and Rafe didn't believe that Sydney was kidnapped by "some nut job" that "just happened upon Nicole and Sydney at the bus station." Abe gave Rafe's theory more credence, by saying that a majority of children were kidnapped by someone who had a connection to the child. Abe said that if they proved that Stefano orchestrated Sydney's kidnapping, Stefano might kill Rafe. "If I don't kill him first," Rafe said.
Rafe wondered if Stefano would use a woman to carry out his orders. Abe pointed out that Stefano had used a nurse to try to smother Philip. Rafe felt like they were closing in on the truth. Abe said that they needed to prove that a woman kidnapped Sydney, and Rafe said they needed to prove the woman's connection to Stefano.
At the pier, E.J. asked if Troy hurt Arianna. She denied it, and E.J. told Troy to leave, angering Arianna. He asked who Troy was, and she said that he was a friend of hers, and when E.J. didn't believe her, she said that Troy was a supplier for the pub. E.J. said that he could tell she was still lying. Arianna pointed out that E.J. had more important things to worry about than her relationship with one of Caroline's suppliers. E.J. said that he was worried about her, because the pier wasn't safe, and Troy seemed to be threatening her. She said it wasn't E.J.'s business. E.J. said that there were "a lot of unsavory types down here." To which Arianna replied, "Yes, I believe there are."
E.J. suspected that Rafe had turned Arianna against E.J., but she corrected him, saying that was how she felt. "If felt safe when my friend was here. I haven't felt safe since you came onto the scene," she told E.J. E.J. asked what Troy supplied for the pub, and she lied and said "seafood" for the chowder. E.J. laughed. He told her that he tracked her down to thank her for traveling to Cleveland to help look for Sydney. E.J. received a phone call, but there wasn't any news on Sydney from his contact.
Victor told Brady that he couldn't stand by and watch Brady mess up his life with a drug dealer. Brady called Victor a "hypocrite." Victor wasn't fazed by Brady's comment. He said that he didn't care about Brady's opinion, especially when it came to his life. Victor pointed out that Brady had been clean for only a year, and yet he was involved with a drug dealer. Victor warned him that the people that Arianna was involved with could kill Brady, and Victor was determined not to let that happen.
Brady said that Victor must have made a large profit from his "product," because it was the highest quality that Brady had ever seen. Brady asked if Victor thought that just because Victor didn't handle the drugs with his own hands that it meant Victor wasn't responsible for the "hell" it created, or if it was all right "to sell poison as long as it doesn't kill one of your family members." Victor demanded to know if Brady was using drugs again. "I'm not, no thanks to you," Brady said. Victor said he sold his drug business. Brady pointed out that Victor sold the business instead of shutting it down. Victor thought it was stupid to "throw away money." Brady threatened to call the police unless Victor told Brady who he sold the business to.
Victor told Brady to think about the repercussions of what he was about to do. Victor said that he wasn't worried about himself, because it would only be a "minor irritation, a hiccup." However, Brady needed to think about what would happen to Arianna, Victor said. Victor said that Brady didn't know who Victor had sold the business to, and if Brady called the police, Arianna wouldn't "make it to the weekend."
The kidnapper had checked the thermostat and saw that it was 78 degrees. She opened the door to hang a wreath on it, but she fell off the step ladder. The temperature started dropping while Sydney was in the playpen in the living room. The thermostat dipped to about 30 degrees while the kidnapper was on the floor unconscious. The kidnapper started woke up, shut the door, and checked on Sydney, who was playing with her toys.
Mia, Kinsey, and "T" studied at Maggie's place. Mia quoted her favorite Emily Dickinson poem, but it annoyed Kinsey, who said she was getting tired of the "doom and gloom." She pointed out that Will didn't know where his little sister was, but he was trying to remain optimistic. Kinsey suggested that they go caroling as a way to cheer Will up. Mia mocked Kinsey's idea, stood up from the table, and went outside. Kinsey said that she wouldn't mind if she "never heard the word 'baby' again."
Mia returned and apologized. Kinsey apologized for bringing up issues that Mia didn't want to talk about. Kinsey said she had heard that Mia and Will were back together. "Kind of," Mia said, trying to get Kinsey to drop the subject. Kinsey tried to encourage Mia to show Will that she was serious. Mia said that because of her baby's death and Will's sister being kidnapped, she knew what it meant to be serious.
Maggie told Mia that she understood how difficult the holidays were, because people expected Mia to be happy. Mia felt that Maggie understood what she was going through. Maggie encouraged Mia to take things one day at a time, because it would get better. "What if I don't want it to?" Mia asked. Maggie asked what she meant. "I feel like if I laugh or make a joke I've forgotten my baby and what happened," Mia said.
Maggie understood, because she felt like that when she lost her daughter. Then Maggie realized that it wasn't fair to Maggie's daughter. Maggie said that everyone who knew Grace talked about her smile or the way her eyes lit up. "Would a baby like that want you to live your life in sadness? I don't think so," Maggie said. "I choose to think that she's up there watching and hoping for the day that something really tickles you, and you throw your head back and let out a big laugh. She didn't give up her life -- God took her home. I think she'd hate it for you to give up yours."
Will told Sami that he was thinking about breaking his date with Mia, because he was too worried about Sydney. Sami encouraged him to take Mia to the school dance, and she declared that they would find Sydney. Will said it wouldn't feel right if he accompanied Mia to the dance. He said it was hard for Mia that everyone knew about Grace and that not everyone was nice about it. Sami felt bad that Will had to grow up so fast, and Will told her that it wasn't her fault. He said that Sami and Lucas had grown up a lot lately. Sami said that Will wasn't betraying Sydney by going to the dance and having fun. She thought that Rafe might be close to finding Sydney.
Gabi stopped by Sami's place to see Rafe. Gabi was worried about Arianna, because Gabi didn't know where she was, and she wasn't returning Gabi's calls. Gabi went to the Java Café. Chad noticed Gabi looking at a flyer about Sydney's kidnapping. He asked if Gabi knew Nicole or Sydney. She said that she met Sydney once, and she knew Sydney's family. He introduced himself. He asked if she was from Salem. She said that she was visiting, but was thinking about transferring to school in Salem. Chad was excited to hear that. She said if she did move, she wanted to be on her own.
Mia walked into the Java Café while Gabi and Chad were talking. Chad introduced Gabi to Mia. Mia knew that Gabi was Rafe's sister, and Gabi asked if Mia was Will's girlfriend, but she said that she and Will were "just friends." Chad asked Mia if something was wrong. Mia felt like no one understood. "I do," Chad said.
Mia told Chad what Maggie said about Grace wanting Mia to move on. Chad said that he made himself do what he would have done if things hadn't changed. Mia was tired of feeling sorry for herself. Mia thought that she should follow Chad's advice and "go through the motions." Chad suggested that Mia go to the dance. She thought it might be a good idea, and he assumed they would go together as a date.
Abe ran into Sami and Will at the pub. Abe offered Sami some comforting words. Sami said that she suspected Rafe was onto something and he would find Sydney. When Sami returned home, Rafe told her that he had a surprise for her. She assumed he had found Sydney. Rafe apologized for the misunderstanding. He had decorated the Christmas tree for Sami and her kids. She said it wasn't his fault that he was dating "this maniac, crazy woman who jumps to the wrong conclusions all the time." Sami knew that the kids would love it and that when Sydney returned home, she would love it, too.
Sami told Rafe that she didn't think he was a family man when she first met him in witness protection, but he surprised her by making tamales for her and risking his life for a laughing penguin. Sami said she didn't take enough time to appreciate all the "awesome things" in her life. He told her that he loved her, and they kissed. Rafe gave Sami an early Christmas present -- a mother's ring with birthstones for all her kids. Sami was convinced that Sydney would be back with them by Christmas. Sami was asleep on the sofa when Rafe's cell phone rang. He told someone on the phone that the boot prints at the bus station matched Nicole's description, which meant that Nicole's memory was real. The police planned to check the surveillance tapes, he said, and he hoped that if his plan worked, they should have Sydney back in the morning.
Arianna felt guilty for playing games with E.J. when he had so much on his mind. E.J. said she didn't need to apologize. He said he was used to getting sympathy from people, and it was refreshing to have someone "sparring" with him. She offered him a "freebie," encouraging him to take a verbal shot at her. "This tough exterior of yours is just because you have a very nice warm interior that probably gets you into trouble," he said. She felt that his put-down was lame. E.J. asked if Arianna knew whether Rafe had any leads on Sydney. He didn't want specifics -- he was just frightened that he wouldn't see Sydney again. Brady saw Arianna comforting E.J.
Arianna told E.J. that if Rafe knew anything, he would tell E.J. Brady told E.J. that if he wanted to know something, E.J. should talk to Rafe or the police instead of playing on Arianna's sympathy. Arianna tried to convince Brady to back off. E.J. said that Brady should listen to Arianna. E.J. apologized to Arianna for "intruding." "Thank you for sparring with me. I enjoyed it," E.J. told her. Brady tried to warn Arianna about E.J. She said that Brady didn't need to protect her, especially not from E.J.
Brady told Arianna about his argument with Victor and how he admitted to being a drug lord and thought that because he had sold the business, he wasn't responsible anymore. Arianna was grateful that she didn't have to turn in Brady's grandfather. What Victor said made Brady suspect that Arianna's new drug lord was a lot more dangerous. Brady was upset that E.J. had shown up while Arianna was trying to get information from Troy. She defended him, saying that E.J. was in a lot of pain. Brady warned Arianna not to trust E.J. or feel sorry for him.
Troy asked E.J. if Arianna was convinced when E.J. chased him away. Troy asked if E.J. had found out what he needed to know. "Getting there," E.J. said. E.J. found out that Nicole remembered that Sydney's kidnapper was a woman, so he wanted to talk to Nicole himself.
Will stopped by to see Maggie and told her that Sami convinced him to go to the dance. Maggie said she had given Mia the same advice. Will thought about how Mia would be alone if it weren't for Maggie.
A pleased Bo entered his living room to find Hope putting presents under their Christmas tree. Hope teased Bo not to peek at his presents, and Bo responded, "All I want for Christmas is you and Ciara home." "Well that's up to you," Hope countered. Bo joked about Hope's interrogation skills, then reminded her that Hope was the one that left the house. "How do we get out of this pattern?" Bo pleaded.
Citing the cause of their fights, Hope noted that Bo did not seem happy. Bo agreed that he was not happy. Bo reminded Hope that they vowed at their wedding to stick together through the best and worst times. With a tired smile, Hope reminded Bo that he had taken those vows with more than one woman. Hope apologized for mentioning Carly, and added that she was bothered by Carly's secret. "I keep thinking about you and Billie when you found out your daughter was still alive," Hope said. "Tell me that you and Carly didn't have a baby," Hope begged.
"You really think that?" Bo said, shocked. Bo assured Hope that Carly's secret had nothing to do with him. "You have to trust me, your husband...for now," Bo said. "If you don't trust me I don't see that we have much of a marriage," Bo explained. Hurt, Hope noted that she was tired of Bo not answering her questions. Bo countered that Hope was demanding answers to questions that he was not at liberty to answer. "Carly's rights trump everything, right? Even our marriage," Hope shrieked. "That's how you put it," Bo said calmly.
"This is how I put it," Hope said, then kissed Bo softly on the lips. "I love you, Brady. I love you," Hope said. "And I love you, but apparently that's not enough for you," Bo said. "No. No it's not," Hope countered sadly. Upset, Bo stormed up the stairs and Hope grabbed her jacket, knocking over a picture frame with a family photo in it. As Hope slowly exited the house with the shattered frame in her hands, Bo ran down the stairs to stop her, but he reached the door as it slammed shut.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Henderson delivered flowers to Vivian in the living room. As Vivian shuffled through her deck of tarot cards, she chuckled at the card of "Justice." "What could that mean, Carly?" Vivian said with a wide smile across her face.
Nurse Maxine chastised Melanie for commenting on a patient's physical appearance. When Melanie seemed unfazed by Maxine's comments, Maxine explained that the patient Melanie was joking about was a board trustee and that she would do well to speak carefully around the hospital. Melanie shrugged noncommittally, and Maxine ordered her to introduce herself to the new attending doctor on staff. The smile on Melanie's face soon faded when she realized that the new doctor was Carly.
After Lexie welcomed Carly back to the staff of University Hospital, Melanie cautiously approached Carly. Melanie apologized for preventing Carly from moving into Maggie's house. "Who knows, we might have gotten on each other's nerves," Carly joked. Vivian approached Melanie with a bouquet of flowers, which caused Carly's smile to fade. Vivian asked Melanie why she was dressed like a student nurse, and with a wry smile, Melanie explained that it was because she was a student nurse.
"Well someone has to be one don't they?" Vivian cracked. Melanie excused herself to attend to her duties, and with a sour look, Vivian noted that she did not approve of Melanie's "scrappiness." Vivian handed the flowers to a surprised Carly. Vivian noted the flowers were from her and Victor to celebrate Carly's return. With an arched eyebrow, Carly asked Vivian whether she was back together with Victor. Vivian demurely noted that she was back with Victor and then added, "It's even sweeter now. We share more than just animal passion." "What, like your Polident ?" Carly quipped.
"It's really a shame that Lawrence had to die. Now you have nothing but misery," Vivian said in a withering tone. As Carly questioned whether Vivian was threatening her, Lexie interrupted to ask about a patient. Seeing the surprise on Lexie's face, Carly explained, "Like nachos at bedtime. She keeps coming back." After Carly and Lexie wandered away, Vivian smiled slightly and said to herself, "I forgot to say goodnight."
At the Java Café, Vivian looked at a text message and said, "Welcome back to the work force, Carly." When Melanie wandered into the café, Vivian called her over. "You must be exhausted from that grueling, demeaning job you have," Vivian purred. Offended, Melanie offered to get Vivian a volunteer position so that she could "give back." With a blank look on her face, Vivian noted that she did not understand what Melanie was implying. Switching subjects, Vivian asked Melanie what present she wanted from Philip for Christmas. "A woman's duty is to guide a man to an expression of love and esteem," Vivian explained. "How romantic," Melanie said sarcastically.
"Philip and I are spending a quiet Christmas alone," Melanie announced. Smiling slyly, Vivian asked Melanie how long Carly had been working at the hospital. Melanie noted that it was Carly's first night on the job. When Melanie sarcastically joked about how excited she was to work with Carly, Vivian's face lit up in interest.
Back at the hospital, Carly went to check on one of her patients and was shocked to find a corpse in the bed. Maxine told Lexie that Carly's patient had been discharged earlier. While a frustrated Lexie lectured Maxine about keeping a better watch over the patients, Carly removed a small sprig of baby's breath from the hair of the corpse in the bed. Holding up the flowers Carly said, "It wasn't a mistake."
Down on pier 37, Brady advised Arianna not to feel sorry for E.J. Furious, Arianna noted that Brady was being hypocritical about E.J., since he was sympathetic with the woman who had kidnapped E.J.'s daughter. Brady defended Nicole and stated that she did everything she did "because of the man he is." "She tried to have my brother murdered, Brady. She is right where she belongs. In jail!" Arianna yelled. "Her secret was more important than Rafe's life," Arianna added.
Taking a deep breath, Brady said he was not defending her actions, but noted that attempted murder was a consequence of dealing with the DiMeras. Arianna reminded Brady that E.J. was the one that saved Rafe's life and that E.J. was hurting over the loss of his daughter. Brady urged Arianna to ask Sami about E.J.'s dark side. Brady added that although Nicole deserved to be in jail for her actions, so did E.J.
Arianna explained that when E.J. became emotional over Sydney, Arianna let her guard down. Noting her need to be stronger, Arianna told Brady that E.J. had said that he "tracked" her down. Brady was furious with the idea that E.J. was following Arianna, and vowed to make sure that "E.J. gets what's coming to him." While walking by, Melanie added, "Amen. That guy is a total jerk." After assuring Arianna that he was going to talk to Roman and not track down E.J., Brady left the pier.
Melanie warned Arianna not to let E.J. get between her and Brady. "E.J. is poison," Melanie said. Melanie informed Arianna about the time that E.J. had Brady beaten up, and how, despite his injuries, he had gone to Nicole's wedding. Shaking her head, Arianna rushed to find Brady. "I'm good at this relationship thing," Melanie joked.
Arianna found Brady at the Kiriakis mansion and asked him to talk. Taking him by the hand, Arianna led Brady back to her room at the pub and the two began to make love.
E.J. visited Nicole in jail to ask her about what information she had given Roman earlier. Nicole told E.J. about the woman wearing the fancy boots, and he remarked, "I always thought my father was working with a woman. You." Shaking her head, Nicole explained that she was concerned about finding Sydney. Still angry, E.J. theorized that Stefano and Nicole were wasting time in order to figure out "your next move." Nicole begged E.J. to follow up on her memory of the woman. Verging on tears Nicole exclaimed, "I know she has Sydney, I know she does!"
E.J. told Nicole that there was forensic evidence to support her story about the woman in the boots. When E.J. demanded that Nicole remember more, she noted that she was surprised that she was not able to stop loving him in light of his temper and all that had happened. Shaken, Nicole asked E.J. to leave. "I told him everything that I remember," Nicole stressed to her estranged husband. E.J. pushed Nicole to think about the woman's voice, but Nicole begged E.J. to talk to Stefano and see if he had any information. "We both know that no one is going to get him to talk," E.J. barked.
E.J. cursed the fact that the secret to where his daughter was stashed was dependent on the two people he did not trust: Nicole and Stefano. Nicole reiterated that she only wanted to help. "In which case, my father has another accomplice," E.J. said quietly. Nicole assured E.J. that Stefano loved Sydney and would likely have someone taking good care of her. E.J. argued about how Sydney was being taken care of when she was home, adding "she was all right before you stole her."
"Don't you think I regret it? I was calling to bring her back before it happened," Nicole said. With her words still fresh in his mind, E.J. noted that the kidnapper knocked Nicole out right when she was calling Sami to return the baby. "He made his move. Right then. He took her because he didn't trust me to bring up my own daughter," E.J. said angrily.
At the Brady pub, Rafe met with his contact, Tim, from the F.B.I. and received a drug vial of truth serum. "This is the first time that I'm actually looking forward to talking to a DiMera," Rafe joked. Rafe then headed over to the jail to talk to Stefano. The guard at the jail provided Stefano with a bottle of water tainted with the drug that Rafe had received from Tim earlier.
As Stefano chugged down the water, Rafe approached the bars and asked him to chat. Rafe noted that he was excited to talk to Stefano about the "truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth." Raising an eyebrow, Stefano asked Rafe whether he had drugged thewater. Rafe admitted that he had laced the water with truth serum. Stefano angrily threw his water bottle across the room.
"I will do whatever it takes to get Sami's child back. And to put you and your lady friend away forever," Rafe said with a smile. Stefano shifted uncomfortably on his bunk, and he swore that he would not say anything. "Nothing I say can be held against me because this is totally illegal," Stefano said. Chuckling, Rafe explained that he was not interested in whether it was admissible evidence because he was looking for information leading to Sydney.
"Did you pay someone to try to kill me?" Rafe asked. Struggling with his answer, Stefano started to chuckle. "Yes, I did," Stefano admitted with a laugh. Rafe asked Stefano whether he knew where Sydney was being kept, and Stefano tried to resist answering. As Rafe pushed Stefano to say whether he took Sydney, E.J. quietly crept into the hallway and listened to Rafe question his father.
"Did you take Sydney?" Rafe asked. "No. No I did not. I did not do it," Stefano muttered. "Everything that I did was to keep that child in the family with her father. Elvis is my son, I would do anything for him," Stefano said. Trying to cover all the bases, Rafe asked Stefano whether he knew the woman that took Sydney. "I don't even know who the hell you are talking about," Stefano said. "He's telling the truth," Rafe said to E.J. as he left the cell.
In her hideaway, Sydney's kidnapper looked over newspaper clippings about the kidnapping and sang to the little girl. As Sydney cooed, Anna DiMera gently rocked the baby in her arms.