J.J. entered the Horton house and angrily tossed his backpack across the foyer as he walked into the living room, his thoughts focused on Theresa's earlier threats. A short time later, Abigail arrived home and revealed that she had seen J.J. in the town square earlier. "You were with Rory and Bev. You want to explain to me what you were doing hanging out with those druggies?" Abigail asked.
J.J. insisted that his earlier interaction with Bev and Rory hadn't been a big deal, but Abigail disagreed, pointing out that the judge who had been assigned to J.J.'s case could decide to send J.J. to prison if he learned that J.J. had started hanging out with the wrong crowd again. "So don't say anything," J.J. dismissively replied, but Abigail warned that she wouldn't protect him if he chose to go down the wrong path again.
J.J. assured Abigail that she had nothing to worry about, but she still wanted to know why he had been hanging out with Rory and Bev earlier. "It's embarrassing, all right? It's -- I don't have any other friends at school, you know? I mean, people, like -- they talk to me, and they say 'hi' or -- or whatever -- but it's like -- it's like I'm a plague, you know? I'm -- I'm the freak who went nuts at the square and just tore up the place. I just -- I guess people just don't want to be seen hanging with me," J.J. reluctantly revealed.
Abigail assumed that the phone call that had upset J.J. earlier had been from someone who had been giving him a hard time, and he didn't bother to correct her. J.J. assured Abigail that he was dealing with his outcast status and would be fine, but she wasn't convinced. Abigail sighed as she tearfully admitted that there had been times when she had looked at J.J. and gotten the distinct impression that he could explode at any moment due to his pain and loneliness. J.J. nodded and said that was why he was still hanging out with Bev and Rory -- because they actually treated him like a friend whom they truly wanted to spend time with. J.J. stressed that he wasn't using drugs, and Abigail breathed a sigh of relief.
In Theresa's apartment, Theresa was lounging on her couch, muttering that bossing J.J. around had been fun and that she needed to think of some additional errands for him to run, when someone knocked on her door. Assuming that the visitor was J.J., Theresa groaned impatiently as she rose from the couch, loudly stating that she wasn't in the mood to play games with him or hear any more of his excuses.
When Theresa opened the door, she was shocked to see Caroline standing in the hallway. Caroline wondered who Theresa had been yelling at, and Theresa replied that she was fighting with the apartment supervisor, who had been making up lame excuses to avoid fixing her heater. Caroline held up the bag that she was carrying and explained that she had assumed that Theresa's apartment might need a bit of Christmas cheer. Theresa smiled warmly and thanked Caroline for the sweet gesture, but Caroline wasn't sure if Theresa truly appreciated the gesture, since she hadn't bothered to invite Caroline into the apartment yet.
Theresa apologized and started to invite Caroline in, but she suddenly changed her mind and closed the door in Caroline's face instead. After quickly hiding the bag of marijuana that had been laying on her couch, Theresa reopened the door and invited Caroline in again, claiming that she had been wrapping Caroline's Christmas gift earlier. Satisfied with the explanation, Caroline hugged Theresa and entered the apartment.
Caroline wanted to know if Theresa had attended any Narcotics Anonymous meetings yet, so Theresa claimed that she would be attending her first one later that night. As Theresa helped Caroline unpack the bag of Christmas decorations, she found something that she had made for Caroline in the fourth grade. Theresa was touched to learn that Caroline had kept the hideous creation, but Caroline insisted that she had seen the potential in the decoration and that Theresa had always underestimated herself. Theresa admitted that Caroline was one of the only people on the planet who didn't believe that Theresa was a lost cause.
In Daniel's apartment, Nicole started to tell Daniel something, but before she could do so, he received an alert on his cell phone about the results of an important CT scan. Meanwhile, someone knocked on the apartment door. Daniel was preoccupied, so Nicole opened the door and found Victor standing in the hallway.
Victor demanded to know what Nicole was doing in Daniel's apartment, and Daniel, who was still distracted, left the room after simply stating that she had recently moved in. "You never get anything right, do you? You finally do something halfway decent in your life, running Kristen off the road [and] hopefully killing her -- hell, I was starting to think that I could at least tolerate you. Then all of a sudden, the next thing I know, you're sticking your claws in my godson," Victor incredulously summarized as he glared at Nicole.
Victor stopped himself from continuing his rant when he realized that it would be fitting payback for Jennifer to know that Daniel had already moved on -- with Nicole, of all people. Nicole pointed out that Daniel could have done much worse than her. "Oh, yeah, sure he could -- he could pick Chloe. Not that there's much difference -- a worn-out porn star or an opera singer who's a whore," Victor replied.
Daniel returned and told Victor to shut up, prompting Victor to state that it was nice to see that Daniel had finally managed to pull himself away from his cell phone for long enough to greet his guest. Victor demanded to know when Daniel and "Peaches" had decided to hook up. Daniel insisted that his love life was none of Victor's business, adding that his apartment was one place where Victor was not allowed to make disparaging comments about Nicole, Jennifer, Chloe, or anyone else.
Victor shrugged in agreement and changed the subject, telling Nicole to take a hike so that he could talk to Daniel about a private matter. Daniel started to protest, recalling that Nicole had been about to tell him something important earlier, but she insisted that it could wait. After informing Daniel that she was going to go to the hospital to check on Eric, Nicole exited the apartment and quietly assured herself that her plan would definitely work.
Meanwhile, back inside the apartment, Daniel guessed that Victor wanted to talk to him about Maggie. Victor confirmed the suspicion and sighed as he admitted that he needed Daniel's help. Victor insisted that his separation from Maggie had gone on for long enough and that Daniel needed to talk some sense into her right away, but Daniel wasn't convinced that he was the person Maggie wanted to hear from.
Victor insisted that Maggie wasn't interested in talking to him, but Daniel guessed that she simply wasn't interested in hearing Victor try to put his own personal spin on the matter. Victor wondered whose side Daniel was truly on. Daniel diplomatically replied that he was on Victor's side and Maggie's side. Daniel added that, while he understood why Victor had been willing to do anything to protect Brady, Victor's actions had hurt innocent people, and that simply wasn't right.
Daniel promised to do everything that he could do to help Maggie and Victor reconcile, but he knowingly added that his efforts would be meaningless if Victor refused to do some soul-searching and admit to his own wrongdoing. Victor pointed out that most people believed that he didn't have a soul, prompting Daniel to counter that Victor loved proving people wrong.
At the Kiriakis mansion, the doorbell rang just as Brady was cleaning up the evidence from his latest hit of cocaine. Brady opened the door and greeted Jennifer, who explained that she had been nearby when she had received his earlier text message about J.J. Jennifer said that she had decided to visit Brady right away because, as a mother, his text message had left her feeling worried. "Yeah. Here's the bad news -- you have reason to be," Brady revealed.
Brady reported that he had seen J.J. in the park earlier that day. Assuming that Brady was simply concerned that J.J. might have been skipping some classes, Jennifer started to explain that it was exam week at J.J.'s school, but Brady assured her that J.J. had already informed him of that fact earlier. Brady clarified that he was concerned because he had seen J.J. in a shady part of the park that had seen its share of drug deals.
Brady quickly shared the details of the encounter with Jennifer and encouraged her to keep an eye on the situation. After Jennifer thanked Brady for the information, he tried to subtly hint that it was time for her to leave, but she missed the cue as she assured herself that there could be a perfectly innocent explanation for J.J.'s earlier appearance in the shady part of the park. Brady agreed, acknowledging that it certainly wouldn't be the first time that he had been completely wrong about something.
Brady's comment caused Jennifer to realize that she hadn't even bothered to find out how he was doing. Jennifer apologized for failing to do more than exchange a few text messages with Brady after the wedding disaster, explaining that she had felt awkward about visiting him because she had also been Kristen's friend. Brady assured Jennifer that he understood and that he was fine.
Brady insisted that Kristen was out of his life for good, but he could tell that Jennifer was skeptical, so he added that he no longer got upset when he heard things about Kristen that would normally be upsetting. Brady started to cite an example that involved Hope and Eric, but Jennifer interrupted. "No, I know, and I am so sorry about that. I meant to tell you months ago that Kristen thought she was pregnant," Jennifer said.
Stunned, Brady clarified that he had been talking about the fact that Hope and Eric had informed him that the video of Eric and Kristen had gone viral. Jennifer proceeded to tell Brady everything that Kristen had confided in her months earlier. Jennifer tried to apologize for keeping the information from Brady, but he insisted that it wasn't her fault. Brady assured Jennifer that he was going to be fine, and he ushered her toward the door as he added that she needed to focus on J.J.
After Jennifer left, Brady took a few quick, deep breaths as he removed a glass vial of cocaine from his pocket and unscrewed the cap, but he reconsidered and sealed the vial again, muttering that he didn't need the drugs. Later, Brady received a visit from Daniel, who told Brady about the procedure that Eric was undergoing. Daniel hoped that Kristen might have talked to Brady at some point about doctors who could have provided her with the drugs that she had given Eric, but Brady wasn't able to think of any such conversations.
Brady guessed that E.J. and Stefano were the only two people who could help Daniel find the doctor who had helped Kristen, and he was certain that neither DiMera would be willing to help Daniel. Brady bitterly summarized that, once again, a DiMera was going to walk away without paying the consequences for their actions. After Daniel left, Brady quickly took another hit of cocaine.
At the hospital, Eric woke up and found Father Matt sitting at his bedside. Father Matt wondered how Eric was feeling, and Eric groggily replied that the pain was more tolerable than it had been when the procedure had started. Eric assumed that his body was simply getting accustomed to the drugs that Daniel had administered.
Father Matt was sorry that he hadn't arrived at the hospital earlier, since he might have been able to spare Eric from some unnecessary suffering if he had been able to talk to Eric before the procedure had started. Confused, Eric wondered if Father Matt was saying that the church had already decided Eric's fate. Father Matt shook his head and assured Eric that it would probably take quite some time for the church to make that decision.
Father Matt warned that Eric would be under intense scrutiny while trying to prove that Kristen had drugged him. Father Matt suggested that Eric's life could always go in a different direction if the stress ever reached the point where it was no longer bearable, adding that the church would completely understand if Eric decided to leave the priesthood for good. Eric wondered if that was what Father Matt wanted him to do.
Father Matt stressed that he and Bishop White were still completely supportive of Eric and would hate to lose him. Father Matt added that if Eric ever decided that God was leading Eric in a different direction and that it was time to give up the priesthood for good, everyone would understand, but Eric insisted that he was certain that being a priest was his true calling. Father Matt was pleased to hear that and said that he was proud of Eric.
Changing the subject, Father Matt retrieved a piece of paper from his jacket pocket and handed it to Eric. "Since all this is going to take time, and you're under suspension without pay -- I have a good friend [who] has a studio over on Sycamore Street. I told him you were a good photographer. He wants to meet you," Father Matt explained. Eric thanked Father Matt, who excused himself so that Eric could get some rest.
Father Matt ran into Nicole in the waiting area. Father Matt said that he had been glad to hear that Nicole and Eric had patched things up. Nicole dismissed her hurt feelings as water under the bridge, adding that she was going to help Eric prove his innocence. Father Matt wondered if Nicole really believed that it would be a good idea for her to get involved.
Father Matt pointed out that Nicole might inadvertently cause irreparable damage to Eric's campaign to prove his innocence if people ever found out about her romantic feelings for him. Nicole conceded the point and agreed that it would be best to ensure that nothing like that would ever happen -- which was exactly what she planned to do.
Later, Nicole visited Eric, who wondered if she had meant what she had said earlier about forgiving him. Nicole nodded and changed the subject, stating that she wanted Eric to know that she had moved on and no longer had any feelings for him. When Eric wondered who Nicole had moved on with, she named Daniel as her new love interest.
At the Horton house, Jennifer confronted J.J. about the things that she had learned from Brady earlier. J.J. repeated the cover story that he had given to Brady earlier, and he assured Jennifer that he hadn't done anything wrong. Jennifer was still concerned because J.J. could have jeopardized his freedom if anyone had seen him in that part of Salem, but he promised that he wouldn't make the same mistake again.
Later, in a secluded section of Horton Town Square, J.J. contacted Theresa and informed her that he could no longer run her errands because Jennifer was already getting suspicious. Theresa was unsympathetic and reminded J.J. that she owned him. "See if you can score me some coke next time," Theresa added before abruptly ending the call. "Man, there's gotta be a way to shut her down," J.J. muttered with a sigh.
At Club TBD, Will informed Sonny that Adrienne was aware of their plot to uncover Sami's secret, and Adrienne added that she and Will were dying to know what Sonny had learned when he had spied on Sami, Kate, and Gabi earlier. Sonny nervously removed his jacket, complaining about the temperature in the club, and Will and Adrienne immediately expressed concern that Sonny might have contracted some sort of illness.
Will went to get some water for Sonny. Meanwhile, Adrienne checked Sonny's forehead and reported that he seemed fine, although she added that she could practically see his heart rapidly beating in his chest. When Will returned with a glass of water, he guessed that being stuck in the apartment closet for such a long period of time had simply caused Sonny's claustrophobia to kick in.
Sonny quickly confirmed Will's suspicion, and Adrienne informed Will that Sonny had inherited his claustrophobia from her. Adrienne admitted that she had wanted to scream when Will had informed her that Sonny was hiding in a tiny closet. "Yeah, I felt like screaming a few times when I was in that closet," Sonny dryly muttered. Will apologized for failing to think about Sonny's claustrophobia before asking Sonny to put himself in that sort of position, but Sonny grabbed Will's hand and insisted that Will had no reason to apologize.
Adrienne sighed happily as she gushed about Will and Sonny's obvious love for each other. Adrienne proceeded to tell Sonny about her earlier conversations with Sami and Will. "Never again are you gonna hear your mother complaining [about] how Sami's always dragging you into terrible messes. No, sweetie, it was just me being my overprotective, judgmental self -- and, it turns out, very unfair, because it's just. Not. True," Adrienne added as Sonny forced a smile.
After Sonny calmed down, Adrienne once again pressed him for information about what had happened at the apartment earlier. Sonny evasively stated that he would prefer to talk to Will about the matter first, so Adrienne agreed to drop the subject. After Adrienne left, Sonny still seemed rattled, so Will guessed that Sami had caught Sonny and said or done something to him.
Will retrieved his cell phone and announced that he was going to call Sami and make her apologize, but Sonny grabbed the phone and insisted that Will couldn't call his mother. When Will asked for an explanation, Sonny reluctantly stated that Will would ruin the surprise if he called Sami, confirming Will's suspicion that there was going to be a surprise party. Will groaned and excused himself, practicing his surprised reaction to the party as he headed to the library to pick up some books for his writing project. "Should have told him. Now what am I gonna do?" Sonny wondered aloud after Will left.
Sonny placed a phone call to Justin and said that he needed to talk to Justin right away, stressing that the conversation needed to be done in a private location. Meanwhile, outside the club, Will composed a text message for Sami, asking her to meet him at the apartment because they needed to talk about something right away.
In the DiMera living room, Sami showed her diamond earring to Harold and asked him to be on the lookout for the other half of the pair. Sami checked her cell phone and saw a text message from Will asking to meet. As Sami sighed, E.J. entered the living room and asked her why she was ignoring work at the office. E.J. said Sami's neglect was out of character.
Defensive, Sami said that she was not neglecting her work and was delegating work. E.J. countered that Sami did not like to delegate. Sami argued E.J. was talking about her work ethic because he was sexually frustrated with her. E.J. offered to stop asking Sami about work if she would agree to return to their bed. As E.J. pulled Sami close to him and kissed her, she resisted and noted that she was not offering a bribe. Sami stressed that E.J. was not welcome in her bedroom.
E.J. joked that Sami was saving herself for a Christmas present for him. When Sami shrugged, E.J. reminded Sami that she was sleeping in his bed. Sami was annoyed at E.J.'s ploy. Changing tactics, E.J. told Sami that he knew something was wrong with her and that he wanted to know the truth. Sami countered that she was waiting for E.J. to tell the truth about Kristen.
In Eric's hospital room, Nicole lied and told him that she was dating Daniel. As Eric stared in disbelief, Daniel walked in the room, smiling, and asked how Eric was feeling. "That was quick," Eric said sourly. Daniel reviewed Eric's chart and asked Eric if he was in any pain. When Eric stared at Nicole, Daniel asked what was going on between Eric and Nicole.
"Between us?" Eric asked. Confused, Daniel left to talk to another patient. Eric questioned Nicole about the start of her relationship with Daniel. Nicole explained that when Eric had accused her of rape, she had turned to Daniel. Nicole explained that she and Daniel had supported one another. Eric said that he was worried about Nicole. Nicole explained that she and Daniel had decided not to tell anyone about their relationship to avoid any negative comments.
When Eric asked Nicole why she had told him about the relationship, Nicole explained that she wanted to explain honestly why she was no longer attracted to Eric. Nicole stressed that when Eric accused her of rape that she had realized that Eric did not know her, and she did not know him.
"We know each other's motives, so let's just move forward and focus on the truth," Nicole said. When Daniel returned, he asked for a moment alone with Eric. Reluctant to leave, Nicole asked why. When Daniel reminded Nicole of his duty to provide doctor-patient confidentiality, Nicole countered that if she was going to help Eric then she needed to be kept in the loop. Daniel said that Eric could tell Nicole about the conversation later.
After Nicole left, Daniel examined Eric. Eric admitted that he felt groggy. Daniel explained that he would have the test results within a few days. Eric thanked Daniel for his help and asked him if things would be awkward between Daniel, Nicole, and Eric. As Daniel knitted his brow, Nicole returned to the room. Daniel told Nicole that Eric needed rest, and he escorted her out of the room.
In the hallway, Daniel asked Nicole why she was behaving strangely with Eric. Nicole explained that she had informed Eric that she was dating Daniel. When Daniel asked why, she explained that she needed to convince Eric that she no longer had feelings for him. Daniel said that he would not lie to Eric. Shrugging, Nicole countered that she had already told Eric that she was dating Daniel.
Annoyed, Daniel said that he wanted to tell Eric the truth. When Nicole asked Daniel if he was refusing to help her, he countered, "How many times does a lie have to blow up in your face?" Daniel stressed that Nicole's lie would be a disaster. When Daniel walked into Eric's room to tell him the truth, he found Eric asleep. Nicole smiled and reminded Daniel that he did not need to tell Eric the truth.
In the Brady Pub, Ciara showed Allie her diamond earring. When Allie asked about the other earring, Ciara said that the earring was so special that there was only one, just like her. Ciara swore Allie to secrecy about the earring.
Across the pub, Sonny left a voicemail for Justin, asking Justin to call him. Hope overheard Sonny and asked if everything was fine. Sonny thought about the conversation he had overheard between Sami, Kate, and Gabi. Shaking his head, Sonny said he was fine. When Hope offered to help Sonny with any problems, Sonny explained that he was worried about Arianna's fussiness.
Hope looked across the room at Ciara and told Sonny that she was worried about her daughter. When Sonny asked about Bo, Hope said that she had expected Bo to return months before and that she was not sure if Bo would make it home for Christmas. As Sonny nodded, Sami placed her hand on his shoulder and startled him.
Sami thanked Hope for taking Allie ice-skating. As Hope talked about the skating, Sonny stared solemnly at Sami. When Hope went to check on the girls, Sonny started to leave. Sami stopped him and asked to talk. Sami told Sonny that she had spoken to Adrianne and that she and Adrianne had enjoyed a good talk. Sonny said he was happy to hear the news but that he had to leave.
After Sonny left, Sami asked Hope if Sonny was upset about anything. Hope said that Sonny had been looking for Justin, and everything was likely fine. Hope said goodbye to Allie and Sami, and she headed out of the pub with Ciara. Sami put a coat on Allie and told her that they were going to see Arianna.
Abigail visited Will at his apartment and cooed over Arianna. As Abigail held Arianna, she talked to Will about her college workload. Will talked about balancing work, school, and family. Will wrote tags for Christmas presents as Abigail talked about Arianna. When the conversation turned to Nick, Abigail said that she was upset with Nick's behavior.
Abigail asked if Will was still in touch with Nick, and Will said no. Will added that he did not believe that he could have kept silent about Arianna and denied her paternity. Smiling, Abigail told Will that Sonny was as proud a father as Will. Will noted that he and Sonny were the luckiest guys in the world.
Gabi visited Rafe's new apartment and took a poinsettia plant. Gabi asked the therapist if she had the right room, but when the man turned around, Gabi saw the bloodied face of Nick and dropped the potted plant on the floor. Rafe rolled his wheelchair into the living room and asked what was wrong. Gabi blinked, and Nick was gone. Standing in Nick's place was Rafe's new physical therapist, Pete. Rafe introduced Gabi to Pete.
After Pete left, Rafe asked Gabi if her jittery reaction was because of Nick. Rafe noted that Pete looked like Nick. As Gabi nodded nervously, Rafe reminded Gabi that Nick had left and was not returning to Salem.
After Gabi left, Hope and Ciara stopped by for a visit and took case files to Rafe. Rafe thanked Hope for the gift and noted that it helped him feel useful. As Hope remarked that the files included breaking and entering and larcenies, Rafe joked that he was hoping for a homicide. Gabi's face fell slightly, but she recovered and looked away.
Hope reviewed the files with Rafe while Gabi talked to Ciara about Arianna. When Ciara said that Hope was too busy to take Ciara over for a visit, Gabi assured Ciara that Hope would make time for Ciara. Ciara nodded sadly.
After Gabi left, Rafe asked Ciara if she was feeling okay. Ciara shook her head no. When Rafe asked what was wrong, Ciara informed Rafe that she had fought with a girl because Ciara had been jealous of the other girl's skating ability. Rafe offered to teach Ciara how to skate when he was able to walk again. When Ciara said she could not skate backwards, Rafe informed Ciara that she should not say she could not do anything. Smiling, Ciara high-fived Rafe. Hope thanked Rafe for taking time to talk to Ciara and cheer her up.
At a table at Club TBD, Abigail flipped through an art history book on Rafael's angels as E.J. entered the room. Embarrassed, Abigail noted that she had not purchased the book based on E.J.'s comments about Rafael's paintings. E.J. countered that he believed Abigail had purchased the book because of Jack.
Abigail admitted that she wanted to understand why Jack had given her the angel wing pendant. E.J. leafed through the book and pointed out a painting of the Madonna and her child. E.J. noted that the angels in the painting had grown in popularity.
"I believe that when a man has a child, he sees the world through different eyes. He's no longer the most important person in his life. And in his children, he sees the image of his better angels," E.J. said. Abigail said if that were true with Jack then she had proved Jack wrong.
E.J. argued that Abigail was too hard on herself. E.J. asked Abigail why she felt so strongly about lying. Abigail explained that Jack had taught her that nothing was more important than the truth. With a grin, E.J. said that Jack would be proud of his daughter. Abigail thanked E.J. for helping her understand her father's message.
At Will's apartment, Sami and Allie stopped by to visit Arianna. Sami asked Will if he had seen her diamond earring. Will said no. Allie noted that Ciara had an earring like Sami's but that the earring was a secret. When Sami showed the earring to Allie, Allie said that Ciara's earring looked like Sami's and that Ciara only had the one earring. Allie stressed that it was a secret and asked Sami not to tell Ciara that Allie had told her.
When Sami said it was time to leave, Will stopped her and informed her that he knew about his surprise party. Sami said that there was no party. Unfazed, Will asked Sami to cancel the party. Sami agreed. Suspicious of Sami's quick response, Will stressed that he did not want a party. When Sami shrugged, Will explained that Sonny had been hiding in the closet when Sami, Kate, and Gabi had been talking. Sami's jaw dropped open.
In the town square, Gabi called out to Sonny. When Sonny saw Gabi, he thought about Gabi's confession that she had murdered Nick. Noting the look on Sonny's face, Gabi asked him what was wrong. Sonny said he was in a rush to get to the club. When Gabi said that it was Sonny's day off of work, he countered that the club was slammed and that they needed him. Gabi cocked her head and added that she had just left the club and that it was dead.
Gabi asked Sonny why he was eager to get away from her. Shaking his head, Sonny said he was preoccupied. Unsure, Gabi asked Sonny if something was wrong. With a sigh, Gabi asked Sonny if he knew about Nick.
When Abigail returned home to the Horton house, she found her mom anxiously waiting for J.J. to get back from running errands for her. Abigail confessed that she had seen J.J. in Horton Square with Bev and Rory -- but J.J. had sworn that he wasn't doing drugs and that Rory and Bev were his only friends. Abigail added that she was inclined to believe J.J. Jennifer revealed that Brady had seen J.J. in an area of the park where drug dealers hung out, but J.J. had insisted that he wasn't using again.
Before going inside, J.J. paused outside the front door to send a text message to Rory requesting that they meet as soon as possible.
J.J. went inside just as his mom and sister were discussing whether he had really improved. Jennifer asked J.J. about seeing Bev and Rory, so a frustrated J.J. reiterated what he'd already told Jennifer and Abigail. He assured his mom that he would not hang out with Bev and Rory while they were using, but they were his friends -- and J.J. had no desire to have anything to do with drugs anymore. He insisted that he was focused on school and had studied hard for his exams that week.
Jennifer told J.J. that she was proud of him, and it meant the world to her that he was trying working so hard to turn his life around. "It's the best Christmas gift you could give me," Jennifer declared, embracing her son. After Jennifer left for the office, Abigail guessed that there was something going on with J.J. that he wasn't sharing. "I'm just juggling a lot right now," J.J. said. Abigail assured J.J. that if he ever needed to talk, she would be there -- but issued a warning that she would wring his neck if he broke her or their mom's heart again.
When J.J. asked, Abigail confirmed that she would be working for their mom until May. She explained that although she would be finished with classes that week, she couldn't graduate until spring. J.J. said that he was glad Jennifer no longer had to work with Theresa, and Abigail concurred.
As soon as Abigail had left for the hospital, J.J. checked his phone for messages. When he saw that Rory hadn't replied, an impatient J.J. called him, insisting that it was "crucial" that they meet right away -- but they had to be careful.
J.J. met Rory and Bev in the park a little later and pleaded with them to provide him with some weed. Rory was irritated because he didn't like the way J.J. had been treating them. J.J. insisted that Bev and Rory were his best friends -- but he no longer wanted get high or even be around it. He explained that he needed the weed to "take care of something," but he wouldn't say anything more about it to protect Bev and Rory. J.J. added that he wanted Rory and Bev's help to test his lousy phone for what he was doing later.
Maggie showed up unannounced at Theresa's apartment with two women from A.A. in tow. "Since you're having trouble getting to an A.A. meeting, we decided to bring the meeting to you," Maggie announced, pushing past a dismayed Theresa into the apartment. Maggie introduced the women as "Juanita and her friend," and explained that Juanita had agreed to be Theresa's sponsor. Theresa claimed that she was working from home that morning, but Maggie asserted that Theresa would get a lot more done if she took the time for herself.
After the meeting, the women held hands as they recited the Serenity Prayer. As Juanita and the other woman left, Juanita told Theresa reassuringly, "You call if you need anything -- and when you finish your first assignment about the first step, we'll meet again." Once Theresa and Maggie were alone, Theresa thanked Maggie for arranging the meeting.
After correctly guessing that Theresa had asked Daniel to take her to a meeting, Maggie firmly reminded Theresa that Daniel wasn't in the program. Theresa pretended to be sorry for doing something so inappropriate. Maggie apologized that Brady hadn't been available, but she thought that Theresa would be better off with a woman sponsor. "The program does work -- if you let it," Maggie advised.
After Maggie had gone, Theresa grumbled, "That meddling old biddy. You won't be able to keep me away from Daniel -- or having fun. Where is J.J. with that weed?" Theresa sat down at the computer and began writing about how she'd realized that she was powerless over drugs after her overdose. As she admired what she'd written, J.J. knocked on the door. Theresa greeted him enthusiastically.
Theresa offered J.J. a glass of wine, taking a sip of hers. "Aren't you in A.A.?" J.J. asked. "Yeah, technically, but wine doesn't count," Theresa scoffed. When Theresa demanded her pot, J.J. handed over a very small baggie. He claimed that he was broke because he'd been Christmas shopping. "Dude, I gave you money. I at least expect a return on my investment. This is very disappointing, J.J. You do not want to disappoint me again," Theresa warned.
J.J. offered to call in a favor, but he started the voice memo recorder before feigning a phone call to a dealer. J.J. asked Theresa what she wanted. "What does he have?" Pretending to ask the dealer to hold on, J.J. asked if she wanted more "G." Theresa told him, "No way. I'm done with G for a while. All I want is weed." Grinning, J.J. ended the recording and thanked Theresa. "Now I have dirt on you, so this blackmail is over," J.J. declared, smugly shoving the phone in Theresa's face.
Adrienne stopped by Jennifer's office at the hospital and mentioned that she had just run into Liam Frasier, whom Jennifer knew as a pharmaceutical rep. Adrienne explained that she knew Liam because he was Justin's old schoolmate. The more Adrienne talked about Liam, the more Jennifer realized that Adrienne wanted to fix the two of them up. Just then, Liam appeared in the doorway. "Don't blame Adrienne for that. It was all my idea," he said.
When Abigail arrived at the hospital later, Adrienne stopped her at the elevator. "[Jennifer is] just having a chat with a nice, available man...who's going to remind Jenn that she's a beautiful woman and quite a catch," Adrienne explained. Although Abigail seemed a little disappointed, she agreed that her mom shouldn't be living like a nun.
Adrienne was certain that the beautiful and intelligent Abigail would soon meet the right guy. "You never know where a new job's going to take you or where your interests are going to take you. Sweetie, they say you should follow your passion because that's where your passion finds you," Adrienne asserted. Abigail was skeptical, especially after what had happened with the last two guys she'd dated.
"One disappeared, and one turned out to be a liar. Guess which one I had chosen," Abigail summed up. Adrienne believed that Abigail could learn from the experience, but Abigail said all she'd learned was that she wasn't very smart where men were concerned.
Meanwhile, Liam was telling Jennifer that he and his ex-wife had never had children, so he was going out of town for the holidays. He asked if he could take Jennifer to dinner before he left in a week or so. "We don't have to call it a date," he reassured her. Jennifer accepted his invitation.
As Jennifer walked Liam to the elevators, he promised to get in touch with her about a day and time -- and Maggie got off the elevator in time to overhear. Jennifer reacted a bit testily when she saw the disappointed look on Maggie's face. Maggie asserted that Jennifer didn't owe her any explanations. Jennifer quickly apologized, explaining, "I feel sensitive because people said I rushed things after Jack when Daniel and I got together."
Maggie assured Jennifer that it had been only natural that Daniel and Jennifer would have gotten together, since they'd had such strong feelings for one another. "Unlike Daniel and Theresa getting together -- nothing natural about that. And talk about rushing things!" Jennifer remarked with a forced chuckle.
In Jennifer's office, Maggie acknowledged that she had dreaded the holidays after Mickey had died. Jennifer said that she was hoping the next year would be better for her and the kids. Maggie began, "Well, it would have been if you and Daniel --" She hastily apologized, then retracted it. Maggie tried to express her wish that Jennifer and Daniel could work things out. Jennifer cut her off, gently pointing out that it was none of Maggie's business.
Sami tried to hide her shock when Will informed her that Sonny had been hiding in the closet while Kate, Gabi, and Sami had been at the apartment. Will added that Sonny had told him, by text, everything the women had said. Sami indignantly declared that Sonny could ruin everything. Still believing that his mom was planning a surprise party for him, Will maintained that he'd put Sonny up to spying on the women.
Although Will suggested that they go Christmas shopping, Sami said that she had to go to work. As Sami coaxed Allie away from playing with Arianna, Will made his mom promise not to throw a surprise party for him. Sami agreed, noting distractedly that she had to let Kate and Gabi know before it was too late. "Too late for what?" a curious Will asked, but Sami and Allie had already gone.
At the Brady Pub, Kate overheard E.J. barking orders on the phone that had something to do with Kristen. Kate needled E.J. about how Kristen had nearly destroyed Countess Wilhelmina, although E.J. calmly maintained that the company was doing just fine. Kate informed him that she had see Countess W's earnings report, so she knew the company was in shambles. "Even with the damage that Nick did to Mad World, we're still going to beat the pants off of you," Kate predicted.
While Kate and E.J. were taunting each other about business, Kate got a text message from Sami that read, "Emergency! Meet me @ bench outside square now!!!" Although she did her best to maintain her composure, Kate hurried out.
In Horton Square, Gabi guessed that Sonny knew about Nick. She begged Sonny for a chance to explain. Disgusted, Sonny argued that there was no explanation that could make things right. Not realizing that Sonny actually knew everything, Gabi insisted that after finding out that Nick had set the whole thing up, she hadn't been able to accept the job in New York because it would have played into his fantasy. Confused, Sonny asked Gabi what had happened.
Gabi admitted that the whole thing had been embarrassing, especially because she'd been yelling at Nick in the square. "I mean, do you blame me?" she asked. "What?" Sonny demanded, incredulous. Gabi insisted that she had not known that Nick had been behind the whole thing. Unable to listen to Gabi any longer, Sonny announced that he was going to talk to his dad then hustled away. Gabi got the same text message from Sami that Kate had just gotten.
Will was shopping in Horton Square with Arianna when he saw E.J., who was on the phone, issuing orders to Sami's assistant, Rosemary. When E.J. hung up, Will asked why E.J. had been telling Sami's assistant what to do. E.J. explained that Sami had been distracted and had needed a little help. Will revealed that he knew what had been distracting his mom, but he didn't know why she'd bothered because she knew how much he hated surprise parties.
Will asked for E.J.'s help in talking Sami down. E.J. wanted to know how Sami had reacted. Will explained, "I guess a little strange -- she said she needed to find Grandma and Gabi and do something before it was too late, whatever that means." When Will said that it was time to take Arianna home, E.J. volunteered to accompany them and help carry Will's purchases.
When the three women met in the designated place, Sami informed them that Sonny had been in the closet and had heard everything they'd said. Gabi said that when she'd run into Sonny just then, he'd been behaving strangely and kept talking about Nick, but she'd just assumed that he'd been referring to Nick manipulating her into moving to New York. Gabi and Kate shushed Gabi when she loudly blurted out that they had murdered Nick.
Gabi told the others that Sonny had been on his way to see his dad, and Sami confirmed that Hope had told her the same thing. Worried that Sonny would tell Justin everything, Kate and Sami agreed that they needed to stop Sonny, so the trio headed in the direction of Sonny's club.
On a brief break from court, Justin met Sonny at Club TBD. As he led his dad to a table, Sonny explained that he needed some legal advice, and Justin asked if Sonny were in trouble. Sonny maintained that it was someone he knew, although Justin didn't quite buy it. Sonny wanted to know if a person would be liable if he or she learned about a crime after it had happened, but they only overheard a private conversation instead of receiving the information directly.
Justin said that it would probably be considered hearsay, but he demanded to know what Sonny had heard. "I can't help you if I don't know the specifics," Justin pointed out -- just as Sami, Kate, and Gabi burst through the front door and spotted Sonny talking to his father. Sonny looked dismayed when he saw the women, who rushed over to the table on the pretext of talking to Sonny about the surprise party. Justin had to return to court but promised to catch up with Sonny afterwards.
After acknowledging that they knew Sonny had overheard their conversation, the three women pleaded with him not to tell anyone. "That you killed Nick?" Sonny finished for them. Kate and Sami hurriedly shushed him. Kate suggested that they go someplace more private to talk. Although he was reluctant to go anywhere with them, Sonny grudgingly left with the others.
Back at Sonny and Will's, Sonny accused Gabi, Sami, and Kate of murdering Nick in cold blood. Gabi insisted that it had been self-defense, but Sonny reminded them that it had only been self-defense when Gabi had hit Nick with the rock, not when they'd dumped his body in the river and he'd woken up. Sonny added that he understood that Gabi had only been protecting herself -- but they should have called the cops right after Nick had attacked her. Sami insisted that she had wanted to call the police.
Sonny guessed, "You were afraid, weren't you? Maybe because it's your second corpse in, what, six months? You knew how bad that would look." Sami insisted that she hadn't been thinking about that. Sonny suggested that Sami go ahead and call the police right then. Kate warned him that he could neither call the cops nor tell anyone else. "You three might be okay lying to Will, but I'm not," Sonny declared. Sami insisted that she didn't like lying to Will.
"Nick was Will's cousin. You had no right to do what you did," Sonny asserted firmly. Gabi recounted how Nick had been on top of her on the ground and had been pulling on her clothes, and the more she had struggled, the more tightly he had held on. Softening a little, Sonny assured Gabi that he understood. He asked if there had been any witnesses. Kate said that people had seen and heard Nick and Gabi arguing in the square earlier -- and Gabi had shouted that she'd wanted Nick out of her life for good.
Sami pointed out that Nick's death would seem premeditated, and no one would have believed Gabi's story. Sonny argued that Gabi hadn't actually killed Nick. Kate blamed Sami for declaring Nick dead. Sonny demanded, "And when he wasn't, you thought it was okay to let him drown because you didn't like him? Nick was a creep but he did not deserve to die." Kate insisted that none of them had wanted Nick dead; it had just been an awful chain of events that they all regretted.
"Are you going to let the three of us spend the rest of our lives in prison because of a horrific mistake?" Kate demanded. Sonny said that he did not keep secrets from Will, but Gabi gently reminded him that he had in the past. The three women quietly pointed out that they were only asking for Arianna's sake, so the little girl didn't grow up without her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Sami cautioned Sonny that Will already carried so much guilt that finding out might push him over the edge. Kate pointed out that it wouldn't fix anything to send the three of them to prison. Just then, Justin called Sonny. Sami begged Sonny not to say anything, but when Justin asked if Sonny were ready to talk candidly, Sonny told his dad, "I am. I want to tell you everything."
In Theresa's apartment, J.J. summarized that he had Theresa cornered because he had a recording of her admitting that she had used GHB and was interested in scoring some marijuana. "Ooh, high school boys -- all talk, and nothing to back it up," Theresa coolly replied. J.J. held his ground, doubting that Theresa wanted to return to Los Angeles in handcuffs, but she warned that he would be the bigger loser if he tried to play games with her.
J.J. suspected that Theresa was bluffing, but she warned that if he chose to test that theory, he would go down in flames and take all of the people he loved down with him. Theresa reminded J.J. that she had a video of him doing drugs and that the video had a time stamp that proved that it had been recorded after he had stood in front of a judge and sworn that he was no longer using drugs.
Theresa opened the apartment door and invited J.J. to go ahead and share his own recording with the world, conceding that there might still be a chance that things would work out the way that he wanted them to. J.J. remained silent and stationary as Theresa closed the door again. "What's the matter? Second thoughts? Thinking that if you do make your little recording public, that it would be nothing compared to what would happen if I came forward with what I have on you? Who is whose bitch now?" Theresa tauntingly asked.
After admitting defeat, J.J. stressed that Theresa had to stop asking him to procure drugs for her. J.J. explained that Brady -- who happened to be one of Jennifer's friends -- had nearly caught him buying drugs earlier, but Theresa dismissively countered that practically everyone in Salem thought of Jennifer as a friend. J.J. clarified that he wasn't just trying to protect himself -- he was also trying to protect Jennifer, who would be devastated if he got into trouble again.
"Oh, poor Saint Jennifer -- I'm sure it would just kill her. You do realize that's the worst possible argument you could make to me? Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to keep from taking that video to the cops? And do you know why it's hard? Because I know exactly what it would do to your mother," Theresa replied. J.J. declared that Theresa was evil, but she protested that Jennifer was the person who had gone out of her way to ruin Theresa's life. Theresa maintained that, while everyone else seemed to believe that Jennifer was generous and gracious, she knew the truth -- that Jennifer enjoyed grinding people like Theresa into a fine powder.
J.J. wasn't fooled, insisting that Theresa had been out to get Jennifer since the moment that she had learned that she would be working as Jennifer's assistant, but Theresa dismissed his accusation with a laugh. "You used to know what she was really like, but then you got scared. Me? I don't scare that easy," Theresa matter-of-factly stated.
Theresa warned J.J. to think twice before trying to cross her again, assuring him that she wouldn't hesitate to destroy his life and that Jennifer and Daniel would get caught in the crossfire. Theresa admitted that she didn't want to hurt Daniel, since he had saved her life, but she added that his decision to cover for J.J. had made him an accessory after the fact. "So you'd keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you, and your mom, and Dr. Dan. Oh, and hey, J.J.? Merry Christmas," Theresa cheerfully stated before slamming the apartment door in J.J.'s face.
At the hospital, Daniel entered the waiting area as Jennifer was assuring Liam that she hadn't changed her mind about their dinner plans. Acknowledging that he and Jennifer had previously agreed that they weren't going to refer to the dinner as a date, Liam hoped that it was okay for him to at least say that he was really looking forward to it, and Jennifer smiled as she replied that it was only okay if she was allowed to say the same thing.
Liam received a phone call from his boss, so he excused himself after assuring Jennifer that he would contact her later to let her know when and where they would be meeting for dinner. After Liam left, Jennifer turned and found Daniel standing behind her. Jennifer tried to walk away without saying anything to Daniel, but a nurse stopped her and asked her to wait for a moment so that the nurse could fetch some fundraiser flyers that needed Jennifer's approval.
After the nurse left, Jennifer reluctantly greeted Daniel, who wondered what her date's name was. As Anne eavesdropped from behind a nearby door, Jennifer answered that the man's name was Liam, and Daniel dryly stated that he hoped that the name's Irish origin wasn't an indication that the man was a heavy drinker. Unamused, Jennifer insisted that Liam was a fine person and that it was unfair to reduce him to a stereotype. Daniel clarified that he had been joking, but Jennifer maintained that he had no right to comment on her personal life. Anne's jaw dropped as she continued to listen.
Daniel said that he had simply been trying to make conversation and that he would try to remember, in the future, that doing so was against the rules. Before Jennifer could respond, the nurse returned with a box filled with flyers, and Anne ducked out of sight as Jennifer thanked the nurse and walked away. Meanwhile, Abe and Liam entered the waiting area, and Abe introduced Daniel to Liam.
Abe explained that Liam had just moved to Salem, adding that he was a pharmaceutical representative who was also a genius at fundraising. Unimpressed, Daniel admitted that he had never really gotten involved with fundraising, and Liam kindly acknowledged that Daniel probably didn't have any time to do so because of Daniel's busy schedule as a very talented surgeon. Liam walked away after suggesting that it would be nice to have lunch with Daniel one day.
Abe informed Daniel that Liam's closets were filled with community service awards. Abe mused that it was possible that Liam's marriage had ended because of Liam's devotion to community service, but he added that he was certain that an attractive, funny man like Liam would be back in circulation soon enough. "Okay, you know what? I get it. I get it. He's freakin' Superman. Got it," Daniel impatiently interrupted.
Daniel apologized for his outburst, claiming that he was simply skeptical about pharmaceutical representatives in general. Abe said that he believed, based on Liam's work with autism fundraisers, that Liam was a genuinely good man who wasn't just interested in money. Daniel said that he would take Abe's word on the matter, and he abruptly excused himself, leaving Abe slightly puzzled about Daniel's behavior.
Later, Abe saw Jennifer talking to Liam. After Liam left, Abe questioned Jennifer about the conversation, and she explained that Adrienne had introduced her to Liam. When Jennifer revealed that she had agreed to have dinner with Liam, Abe muttered that the news was interesting, but he didn't elaborate. Jennifer stressed that, while she was looking forward to the event, it was going to be a very casual thing.
Theresa listened nearby, and after Jennifer left, Anne approached Theresa from behind and dragged Theresa off so that she could tell Theresa about Jennifer's earlier argument with Daniel. Theresa teased that she probably knew what had caused the fight, but she wasn't ready to share her knowledge with Anne at that time. Anne was holding a box of identification badges, so Theresa took Jennifer's, mischievously stating that she planned to twist the knife a bit.
Theresa delivered the identification badge to Jennifer and cheerfully stated that she had heard about Jennifer's date. Theresa claimed that she was happy that Jennifer was moving on. Theresa left after stressing that her relationship with Daniel had never been anything more than a great friendship.
Daniel returned to his apartment and found J.J. waiting outside. Daniel wondered if J.J. was all right. J.J. shook his head and admitted that he didn't even know where to begin. Daniel guessed that J.J. was simply upset because Jennifer had made plans to go on a date with someone. Daniel insisted that J.J. needed to accept that Jennifer had decided to move on with her life.
J.J. insisted that it wasn't right for him and Daniel to continue to let Jennifer believe that Daniel was a lowlife, but Daniel said that was simply the way that things had to be. Daniel summarized that he and J.J. weren't dealing with the type of situation where the truth would set them free, since the truth would actually devastate Jennifer. "It's not just my mom I'm worried about -- not anymore," J.J. cryptically admitted.
Daniel assumed that J.J. was also worried about himself, and J.J. didn't bother to correct Daniel, instead claiming that they were lucky that they were the only two people who knew the truth about what had happened on the night of Theresa's overdose. Daniel stressed that he and J.J. needed to stick to their original plan. After conceding that Daniel was right, J.J. abruptly excused himself, sighing heavily as he exited Daniel's apartment.
In Will and Sonny's apartment, Sami pulled Sonny's cell phone away from his ear and quietly insisted that he would be hurting Will and Arianna -- two people whom he claimed to love -- if he opened his big mouth and told Justin everything. Sonny maintained his grip on the phone and wrenched it out of Sami's hands as Kate reluctantly admitted that Sami was right for once. "Look, you cannot undo this damage, and you know it," Sami added.
"You three murdered Nick -- that could hurt Will and Ari. I am trying to help him," Sonny quietly countered, holding his hand over the mouthpiece of his cell phone so that Justin wouldn't hear what he was saying. Sami wondered how sending Gabi to prison was going to help Will. Before Sonny could respond, E.J. opened the apartment door for Will, who was carrying Arianna.
Will stepped into the apartment and wondered what was going on. Sonny turned his attention back to his phone call, apologetically informing Justin that it was a really bad time and that he would prefer to continue their conversation in person a short time later. Justin was concerned, so after offering to meet Sonny at the pub, he asked if Sonny was all right. Sonny replied that he was fine, abruptly ending the call before Justin could question him further.
Will repeated his earlier question, and Sami took Arianna as she replied that she and Kate had simply been eager to see their granddaughter. Will skeptically pointed out that Sami and Kate had already seen Arianna earlier and that Sami had also previously stated that she had some things that she needed to work on. Sami shrugged and claimed that she had quickly completed those things so that she could spend some more time with Arianna.
Changing the subject, Sami challenged E.J. to explain what he was doing at the apartment. Will replied that he had been doing some Christmas shopping earlier and that E.J. had offered to carry the shopping bags back to the apartment so that Will could focus on Arianna. Sami sarcastically told Arianna that E.J. was "such a Boy Scout."
Ignoring the comment, E.J. questioned Kate about her presence at the apartment, and she dismissively replied that she was there all of the time because the constant desire to spend time with Arianna was too tempting to resist. Sami agreed, pointedly adding for Sonny's sake that she didn't want to miss out on any of Arianna's firsts, including the child's first Christmas, because those moments were meant to be celebrated as a family of people who loved and would do anything for each other.
As Sami, Kate, and Gabi huddled around Arianna, Will exchanged a meaningful glance with Sonny that confirmed his suspicion that something was amiss. Will pointedly cleared his throat a few times, and when the women finally gave him their attention, he knowingly accused them of keeping something from him. Will suspected that the women had been yelling at Sonny because Sonny had exposed their plans to throw a surprise party for Will, but Sonny informed Will that the argument had been about something else entirely.
Sami claimed that the conversation hadn't been about anything important, and she reminded Sonny that he was going to be late for his meeting with Justin. Sonny nodded and left after assuring Will that he would only be gone for a short amount of time. Will's suspicions were still aroused, but before he could question Sami and Kate further, they excused themselves with a vague explanation that they needed to take care of something. Sami expected E.J. to follow her out of the apartment, but he had been observing Gabi with interest and had apparently identified her as the group's weak link, so he announced that he was going to stick around for a while.
Will joked that the party had died pretty quickly, and he asked Arianna if the women had tired her out as much as they had tired him out. Gabi offered to put Arianna down for a nap, but E.J. asked Gabi to let Will handle that task so that they could discuss Will's Christmas gift privately. "Oh, that's right. Okay, I'll give you a hint -- I want it fuel-injected, and I want eight cylinders -- at least," Will said before carrying Arianna into Gabi's bedroom.
Gabi nervously informed E.J. that Will had been joking. "Yeah, well, I'm not. I think it's about time you told me what's really going on, young lady," E.J. firmly replied. Gabi tried to give E.J. the cover story about Will's surprise party, but E.J. wasn't fooled, so he claimed that he already knew the truth because he and Sami told each other everything.
Gabi changed her story slightly, instead telling E.J. that she had been talking to Sami and Kate about the modeling contract that had turned out to be bogus, but E.J. knew that she was lying, so he continued to press her for the truth. E.J.'s interrogation was clearly making Gabi nervous, but before he could get her to reveal everything, Will returned and wondered if they had figured out what they were going to get him for Christmas. Gabi evasively stated that she didn't want to ruin the surprise, and she quickly excused herself so that she could put away the mountain of gifts that Will had purchased earlier.
"Well, thanks for everything. I think this Christmas is gonna be a lot better than the last one. I mean, um, Gabi's here, Ari's here, Sonny's here -- seems perfect," Will happily summarized as E.J. was preparing to leave. E.J. said that he was very happy for Will, but he also advised Will to refrain from expecting perfection.
Eager to stop Sonny from telling Justin the truth, Kate and Sami tried to locate him, eventually spotting him walking through the town square. Sami guessed that Sonny was going to meet Justin at the pub, since she happened to know that Justin ate there practically every day, so she and Kate rushed off in that direction, ending up at the pub just in time to stop Sonny from entering it.
Sami warned that Sonny would effectively be smashing Will's happiness into millions of pieces if Sonny told Justin everything, but Sonny asserted that Nick's family -- which included Will -- had a right to know what had happened to Nick, who had definitely been a creep but had also been a person. Kate agreed, but she believed that Nick's family needed to find out about his fate naturally and reach the assumption that he had hit his head and drowned. Sonny glared at Kate and clarified that Nick's family had a right to know what had really happened to Nick.
"Sonny, I -- I love you, okay? I mean, you're practically my son-in-law, right? But come on. You act like you have this lock on what is right and what is wrong? You were the one hiding in a closet and eavesdropping on a private conversation," Sami pointed out. Sonny incredulously wondered if Sami was seriously trying to compare eavesdropping to murder. Kate jumped in to clarify that she believed that Sami was simply trying to point out, in Sami's usual ham-handed manner, that Sonny never would have been burdened with the information about Nick's death in the first place if Sonny hadn't put himself in a position to hear a private conversation that he had never been meant to hear.
Sami and Kate started to explain the circumstances behind Nick's murder again, but Sonny impatiently interrupted and pointed out that they were once again trying to make a case for justifiable homicide. Kate decided to try a different approach, reasoning that revealing the truth a few days before Christmas wasn't going to solve anything and would only serve to ruin the holiday for everyone. Sonny wasn't fooled, guessing that Kate was simply trying to buy herself some more time, and he excused himself so that he could talk to Justin, whom he had spotted inside the pub. Kate tried to find out what Sonny was going to tell Justin, but Sonny remained silent.
After Sonny left, Sami optimistically stated that she believed that Kate had managed to get through to Sonny. Kate wasn't convinced, pointing out that Sonny had been right when he had accused her of simply trying to buy herself some more time, but Sami was certain that Kate had still managed to do exactly that. "Now we can figure out how to shut him up for good," Sami added, but Kate urged Sami not to use that phrasing again.
Sami excused herself so that she could get her earring back from Ciara. Meanwhile, Kate watched through the pub window as Sonny talked to Justin. Justin hoped that his earlier advice about hearsay hadn't discouraged Sonny. "That was the lawyer talking; this is your dad -- is anyone in any kind of danger here? I mean, is anyone's life at stake?" Justin wondered.
Sonny guessed that Justin was asking if keeping quiet about the information would make things worse than they already were, and Justin confirmed the suspicion. Sonny shook his head and said that he had decided to keep the information to himself for a while longer. Sonny promised that if he changed his mind later, Justin would be the first person he shared the information with. When Sonny exited the pub, Kate stopped him and observed that the meeting hadn't taken very long. Kate guessed that Sonny had decided not to say anything, and she thanked him for keeping quiet. "Don't thank me yet," Sonny warned before walking away.
Later, Sonny ran into E.J. in a secluded section of Horton Town Square. Sonny explained that he was on his way to the apartment, and E.J. replied that Sonny had seemed eager to leave that place earlier. Sonny advised E.J. to refrain from taking his earlier behavior personally. "Sonny, I know," E.J. said as Sonny started to walk away. E.J. added that Sonny no longer had to pretend, since Gabi had already told E.J. everything.
At Club TBD, Hope announced that she, Ciara, and Theo each deserved a reward -- a big glass of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows -- for all of the hard work that they had done on their holiday shopping expedition earlier that day. As Theo and Ciara excitedly agreed, Hope received a phone call from someone. Hope's face lit up when she saw who was calling her, and she started to say something to Ciara, but she changed her mind and simply stated that the call was about work. "Her work calls all the time," Ciara morosely informed Theo as Hope walked away.
"Hey. Uh...please tell me you're calling to tell me something good," Hope optimistically asked the caller. Justin entered the club as Hope was listening to the caller's response. "You're absolutely, one hundred percent sure? No, no, I don't understand -- in fact, I don't understand at all -- but that really doesn't seem to make a bit of difference, does it? Bye," Hope said with a sigh as she ended the call.
Justin cheerfully greeted Hope with a hug and wondered if she was all right. Hope claimed that she was fine, but Justin wasn't convinced, and he guessed that her caller -- whoever he or she had been -- had managed to really upset her. "Justin, come on -- you know who I was talking to. Bo," Hope replied, adding that Bo was working on a project that she wasn't allowed to tell anyone about.
"You know, Ciara told me that she, um -- she made a wish that her dad would be here for Christmas -- at least for a little while. I mean, my God, he's been gone for so long. And now I get the pleasure of telling her that that wish isn't going to come true. It's so unfair," Hope sadly summarized. Justin assured Hope that if she and Ciara needed anything during the holidays, he and Adrienne would be happy to help them.
Meanwhile, Theo asked if Ciara still had the gift that he had given her earlier. Ciara tucked her hair behind her right ear to proudly display the earring, mischievously bragging that no one had noticed that she had been wearing it the entire day. Theo was sorry that he had only been able to give Ciara one earring, but she didn't mind, reasoning that it was cooler to just possess one earring anyway. Ciara removed the earring from her ear and placed it in her backpack, deciding that it would probably be best to stop wearing it for a while.
Later, Sami entered the club as Hope was trying to get Ciara to agree to leave. Ciara protested that she wasn't finished with her art project yet, but Hope needed to take Theo back to Abe's place, so Sami jumped in and offered to watch Ciara while Hope was gone. After Hope and Theo left, Sami mused that it had been a while since she and Ciara had last spent time together. "Because you never come over to my house or invite me to yours," Ciara pointed out.
Changing the subject, Sami showed her diamond earring to Ciara and wondered if Ciara had seen one that looked like it. Ciara protectively placed her hand on her backpack as she claimed that she had never seen anything like the earring before. Sami wasn't convinced, and she revealed that she had heard that Ciara had recently acquired an earring. Sami asked to see Ciara's earring, but Ciara refused to cooperate.
Sami promised that she would purchase ten pairs of earrings for Ciara if Ciara's earring turned out to be the same one that Sami had lost. "But I like this one!" Ciara protested, inadvertently confirming Sami's suspicion that Ciara was in possession of a similar earring. Sami tried to take the backpack from Ciara, insisting that what was inside of the backpack was rightfully Sami's, but Ciara kept a tight grip on it.
As Ciara and Sami continued to struggle over the backpack, Hope returned and demanded to know what was going on.
Nicole was startled when she arrived at the television station and found an irked Miles waiting for her. Miles demanded to know when Nicole intended to put "Father Randy" on camera for an interview. Nicole wanted to know if Miles had gotten her memo about her preliminary interview with Brady Black. Miles retorted that the only way Nicole could lead with Brady Black was if she could put him in bed with the priest.
Nicole firmly reminded Miles that the church was dead-set against allowing Eric to appear on-camera. "So what? They are not the boss of us," Miles argued. He wondered where the Nicole with the "killer's instinct" who'd worked for him before had gone. "All this time working for the good father -- what happened to you? You get religion?" Miles questioned.
When Eric showed up at Daniel's apartment, Daniel was surprised because he'd thought Eric should have still been in the hospital. Eric didn't want to talk about his health; he wanted to talk about Nicole. Eric explained that Nicole had told him that she and Daniel were seeing each other -- and Eric was fine with it because he wanted to see Daniel happy. Eric continued that he was relieved that, despite how much he'd hurt Nicole, she'd been able to move on.
Eric said that he was determined to clear his name so he could be reinstated. Daniel promised to do whatever he could to help. Eric asserted, "I'm glad to know that whatever [Nicole] may have felt is over and gone, because if it wasn't, I don't think I could accept her help." He added, "I just want you to know I'm happy for you both, even if I might have a selfish motive."
Daniel seemed poised to confess that he and Nicole weren't really involved, but Nicole arrived before he could reveal anything. After Daniel left for the hospital, Nicole tried to plead her case for putting Eric on-camera. Eric reminded her that the church didn't want him giving interviews. Nicole asserted that public perception was important in clearing Eric's name. Eric quietly stated that the church was giving him a chance to get his job back -- and being a priest was his life.
Eric continued that while he appreciated Nicole's help, he didn't want to go against Father Matt's wishes when the elder priest had gone out of his way to help Eric. Although Nicole reminded Eric that his predicament was also breaking his family's heart, Eric didn't want to talk about it anymore. "By the way, I meant what I said: I'm happy for both you and Daniel," Eric said on his way out the door.
On the phone in his office, Daniel asked, "Say we do identify what was in Eric Brady's blood, which is clearly a pretty sophisticated poison. What is the next step in trying to connect it to whoever concocted it? What I'm asking is how do we find this son of a bitch?"
Meanwhile, in the tropics, Dr. Chyka was advising someone on the phone that he was packing at that moment, although he knew he should steer clear of the United States. "Kirsten DiMera would insist, in fact, but she's nowhere to be found, and your offer is too lucrative to pass up. I'll be on the next flight," Chyka said. As he hung up, his gaze fell on a file marked "Eric Brady."
When Daniel returned to the apartment, Nicole complained that Eric wouldn't let her help him. Daniel said that had been why he hadn't corrected Eric's belief that Nicole and Daniel were involved. Nicole was grateful, especially when Daniel admitted that she'd been right about that. Daniel cautioned Nicole, "He made it pretty clear that he'd refuse your help if he thought that you still had feelings for him." Nicole confidently asserted that she had moved on.
In bed later, Eric had a dream that he arrived at Daniel's apartment in his priest's garb and found Nicole and Daniel dressed up and dancing in front of the fireplace. When she spotted Eric, Nicole walked to the door, gave him a lingering look, and then closed the door.
Hope was dismayed when she returned to Club TBD and found Ciara and Sami struggling over Ciara's backpack. Hope demanded to know what was going on. Ciara shrieked that Sami was trying to take her backpack, but Sami explained that she had lost a very valuable earring, which was inside the backpack. "Is that why you got into it with an eight-year-old -- for an earring?" Hope hissed. "It's not just an earring," Sami said, showing her remaining earring to Hope to demonstrate. Hope's eyes grew huge as she remarked, "No, it's not. It's more like a down payment."
Sulking, Ciara clutched the backpack to her chest. Sami spoke gently to the child, apologizing for her overreaction and explaining that the earrings meant a lot to her because they'd been a gift from E.J. Ignoring Sami, Ciara told Hope, "She scared me, Mommy." Hope asked Sami to clarify why she thought the earring was in Ciara's backpack. Sami elaborated that Ciara had shown the earring to Allie, who had told Sami about it, and when Sami had asked Ciara about it, the girl had stonewalled her.
Hope knelt in front of her daughter and gently asked Ciara to show her what was in her backpack. "This is mine. It's private!" Ciara said, gripping the pack even more tightly. At her wit's end, Sami got on the floor and furiously demanded that Ciara open the backpack. Hope admonished Sami again, and again, Sami apologized, but stressed, "I just don't know how to explain to E.J. that I have lost his thirty-thousand dollar earring!"
Upon hearing that, Hope anxiously demanded that Ciara hand over the backpack, and Ciara grudgingly did so. Hope unzipped the pack and searched inside until she found the earring, to Sami's utter relief. Sami vowed to keep her promise to buy Ciara ten pairs of earrings. As Sami started to head out, Hope warned her, "Next time, come to me first, please."
After Sami had gone, Hope sat Ciara down to try to get the child to understand why it was wrong to hide Sami's earring. Ciara complained that Sami had been mean. "But it wasn't your earring. Honey, you just found it," Hope reasoned. Ciara revealed that the earring had been a "special present" from Theo.
At home, Jordan sat at her dressing table, thumbing through her ID cards from other states as she remembered kissing Rafe in the park. "It's all a lie. All of it," Jordan told her reflection. "It's not fair to you, Rafe. But what's fair to me?" Jordan wondered. She got a text message from Rafe, asking when she would arrive at his place. "On my way," she replied.
When Kate arrived at Rafe's, he was clearly expecting to see Jordan. Kate produced some baby clothes that she'd purchased for Rafe to give Arianna, since she didn't think he would have been able to shop. Rafe said that he'd already bought some things online, and he'd asked Jordan to wrap some things for him.
Kate stepped outside when Sami called. Sami advised that she had found her earring, adding that there was no way that it could be tied to what they'd done to Nick. Kate revealed that Sonny hadn't told Justin anything. Sami wanted to get together with Kate so they could plan their next step, but Kate said that she was busy. "It got a little sketchy today, Sami, but things are looking up now, so just relax and enjoy it," Kate urged. After Kate hung up, Sami grumbled, "Of all the people in all the world, and I had to dispose of a body with her."
Kate went back inside to give Rafe his Christmas gift, which she claimed she'd ordered while they'd still been seeing each other. Rafe was thrilled almost to the point of being speechless when he opened the gift and saw that she'd gotten him a baseball from the 1998 Cubs that the entire team had autographed. Kate explained that when he'd described one of the playoff games to her, it had been the happiest and least serious she'd ever seen him.
Jordan was a bit taken aback when she arrived just then with a small potted Christmas tree for Rafe and found Kate and Rafe laughing. After apologizing for interrupting, Jordan asked Rafe about the ball, and filled her in about its significance. Kate enthused that the Christmas tree that Jordan was still holding would help the place feel more festive. Rafe thanked Jordan for the tree, which she placed on the floor. She also set down the bag of gifts for Arianna and then started to leave so as not to intrude on Kate and Rafe, but Kate said that she was just leaving.
Kate wished Jordan a great Christmas, but after she left, Kate muttered, "Happy New Year, bitch."
Jordan was ready to depart, since she had finished doing everything she'd gone to Rafe's for, but Rafe informed her that he'd been waiting all day for her to get there. Jordan pointed out that Rafe had family and friends he wanted to spend the holidays with, so she thought she should give him some space until after New Year's Eve. Grabbing her hand to keep her from exiting through the open door, Rafe declared, "Don't you get it? I don't want space; I want to be with you."
Jordan pronounced Rafe "impossible." He pointed out that "impossible" was just another word for "determined," so she should stop trying to fight it. While Jordan and Rafe were talking in the doorway, someone approached from the hall.
In the park outside Horton Square, E.J. assured Sonny, "It's all right; I know... You don't have to pretend. Gabi told me everything." Dubious, Sonny wanted to know exactly what Gabi had told E.J. "She told me everything that went down with Samantha and Kate," E.J. lied. Sonny admitted that Kate and Sami had fought hard to get him to keep his mouth shut, although he knew he should be honest with Will. "But imagine having to sit him down and tell him --" Sonny began, just as Lucas showed up and interrupted.
Lucas wished Sonny a merry Christmas, then added halfheartedly to E.J., "Uh, you, too." E.J. tried to get rid of Lucas, but Lucas reminded Sonny that they should be on their way to have Arianna's picture taken with Santa. Sonny promised E.J. that they would talk later. "Irritating twit," E.J. muttered as Lucas left with Sonny. E.J. wondered aloud, "Samantha, what have you done now?"
At Will and Sonny's, Gabi expressed her gratitude to Will. "If I lost this -- I mean, what we have now -- I just don't think I could stand it," she said, hugging him. Will acknowledged that Gabi had given up a lot when she'd decided not to go to New York, so he wanted to do something for her if she felt that something in their situation wasn't working. Demurring, Gabi said, "Sonny is a very lucky guy." Just then, Lucas and Sonny arrived.
When Will took Lucas into the bedroom to get Arianna ready, Sonny informed Gabi that he hadn't told his dad anything, but added that he didn't understand why Gabi had told E.J. Gabi explained, "I didn't. He just seemed very suspicious, and he even tried to trick me into telling him." Sonny scoffed, "So when he couldn't get you to slip, he moved in on me." Sonny maintained that he would point out that he had kept quiet about the video of Sami and Bernardi if E.J. ever did find out. Deflated, Gabi reminded Sonny that Sami had been trying to protect Rafe.
Sonny pointed out that Nick had been trying to rape Gabi, and she hadn't intended to kill him. Gabi described how, when they'd been putting Nick's body in the river, he had opened his eyes and had tried to pull Sami in, as well. "He was a peach of a guy to the very end," Sonny sneered. He added that the women were very lucky that no one had seen them. Gabi admitted that they had run into a birdwatcher in the woods, but they didn't think he knew anything because he'd been very friendly when they'd run into him at the square the next day.
Sonny guessed that the guy wouldn't have been so friendly if he'd seen them disposing of a body, although Gabi clarified that the man had seemed too friendly. Sonny asked if Gabi were sure it was the same guy. She was certain because the man had spoken with an English accent, and instead of saying "hello," he had always said "greetings." Gabi worried that the man had been looking for them, but Sonny thought that she was just being paranoid.
Lucas and Will emerged from the bedroom just then and showed off Arianna's festive red and black plaid dress and hat. "Who's ready for some photos?" Will said, beaming. "Let's just hope it's not a mug shot," Gabi whispered to Sonny.
Horton Square was bustling with Christmas shoppers and children lined up to see Santa when Arianna and her entourage arrived. After Lucas stepped away to get a ticket for a place in line for them, Kate showed up and fussed over Arianna. Lucas returned and announced that the wait wasn't very long, so Sonny, Will, and Arianna went with Lucas to get in line. Kate assured Gabi that she'd talked to Sami and everything was fine.
When it was Arianna's turn to have her picture taken, Gabi, Will, Sonny, and Kate crowded around Santa in front of the Christmas tree while Lucas got ready with the camera. Will put Arianna in Santa's lap, and Lucas counted down to snap the photo. When Lucas got to "one," Santa waved at the camera and exclaimed, "Greetings!" Kate, Sonny, and Gabi tried not to look terrified.
Sami was working at home when Hope dropped by to discuss the earring and what had happened with Ciara. Clearly still irritated, Hope explained, "Since you left almost immediately after you were done berating her, you didn't hear that she wasn't the one who found the earring. It was Theo... He gave it to her as a present." Sami pointed out that Ciara had still been hiding the earring in her backpack. Hope countered that Sami should have waited for Hope to return, noting, "She's a child, Sami."
E.J. ambled through the foyer and overheard Sami apologizing to Hope. He hid so he could eavesdrop, as Sami said that she'd been upset about having to explain to E.J. that she'd lost the earring. Hope was curious as to when Sami had been so careless as to lose a thirty-thousand dollar earring -- because Theo had found it Walker Falls, right across the river from Big Rock, while on a hike with Abe. Sami maintained that she couldn't have lost her earring there because she hadn't been there.
Hope was skeptical that someone could have found such an expensive piece of jewelry and then lost it again by the river. Meanwhile, a curious E.J. headed out the door.
Sami insisted that she had no idea how the earring had ended up by the river. Hope pointed out that if a witness tried to sell her the story, she wouldn't buy it for a second, and her instincts told her that there was a lot more to the story than Sami was sharing. Sami apologized again for how she'd treated Ciara. "[But] put yourself in my shoes. Let's say you had something that meant so much to you that Uncle Bo had given you. If you lost it, wouldn't you go a little crazy, too?" Sami noted.
Hope couldn't meet Sami's eyes, but when Sami maintained that she wasn't guilty of anything, the women realized that they'd both been overreacting. Hope embraced Sami, and they laughed as they acknowledged that the holidays could be overwhelming. Sami ventured that Hope was keyed up because Bo was returning home soon. When Hope's face fell, a surprised Sami guessed, "He's not coming back?"
Although she couldn't explain why, Hope fought back tears as she admitted, "No, he's not coming back, and I don't know how I'm going to tell Ciara about that." Tears filled Sami's eyes as she expressed her sympathy and regret to Hope, then embraced her. As she showed Hope out, Sami promised to give Ciara "the best Christmas ever." After Hope had gone, Sami exclaimed, "Oh, my God, this is getting exhausting. What next?"
E.J. went to the river with a flashlight and began searching the bank. After a while, E.J. groused, "A needle in a bloody haystack would be easier than this. I don't even know what I'm looking for." Suddenly he spotted the tag from Nick's backpack, still hanging where it had snagged on the bush. As E.J. removed the tag and shone the light on it, the initials "N.F." were clearly visible in the beam of light. Seemingly satisfied that he'd found what he'd been looking for, E.J. left.
Sami was dozing next to the fire with work papers in her lap when E.J. returned home. E.J. revealed that he had been there earlier, but when he'd seen that Sami had been in the middle of a conversation with Hope, he had left to give them some privacy. He continued that he had gone for a walk across the river from Big Rock. Sami acknowledged, "Well, obviously, you heard my conversation with Hope."
Sami admitted that she should have told E.J. about the missing earring, but she pointed out that a lot of things got left unsaid around there. E.J. asked if Sami had lost anything other than the earring down by the river. Sami calmly insisted that she had never been by the river. E.J. fished around in his pockets until he found the "N.F." tag, which he said he'd found by the river -- a few feet from where Theo had found the earring.