Jason arrives at Jake's to find a drunken Sam dancing with Coleman. Jason reacts in a violent way, grabbing Coleman off of Sam and preparing to beat him. Sam interjects, and stops Jason before he can cause any damage. She tells Jason she asked Coleman to dance, and that Jason has no say in her life. Jason pleads with her to behave better, if not for herself than to honor the memory of her daughter. Sam responds by downing another whisky, so Jason leaves. Later, Sam wises up and finds Jason in the park. She thanks him for caring for her, and tells him he was right. Jason asks her to come back to his apartment, but Sam tells him she has to be on her own for a bit.
Emily prays in the chapel for Nikolas to hear her and stay strong through his surgery. She isn't aware that he is flatlining in the emergency room. The doors to the chapel open, and Emily momentarily thinks Nikolas is standing before her, until she realizes that it's only Connor. She screams at him to leave her alone, and tells him that he ruined her and Nikolas's lives. Connor tells her he'd like to help, but Emily refuses to listen. Meanwhile, the doctors are able to resuscitate Nikolas, and they immediately wheel him into surgery to attempt to repair the damage. Monica alerts Emily, and Emily stays close outside Nikolas's room in an attempt to have him feel her bond to him, and heal him as he healed her with her cancer. Later, Connor continues his quest to help Nikolas and Emily, and he demands his doctor remove his facial scar immediately.
Sonny and Ric are stunned to enter Kristina's hospital room and find her missing. Both men realize immediately what has happened, but Ric is able to stop Sonny from calling the police to track down Alexis and Kristina. Ric promises that he'll find Alexis and return her within an hour, so Sonny allows Ric the time before he notifies the authorities that Alexis has run off with their daughter. Meanwhile, Carly is told of the situation, and is shocked to hear Sonny wonder if this is any different a situation than when he forced AJ to give up his rights to Michael. Carly reminds Sonny that it IS different- and that Sonny loves his children, unlike AJ who merely wanted to use Michael for a family bargaining chip. Although he doesn't call the authorities, Sonny does call his attorney, and Jordan smacks her lips at the opportunity to seal Alexis's fate with a kidnapping charge. Sonny won't allow Jordon to take any action until the hour is up, however, and during that time Ric is able to track Alexis down at Jax's apartment, and convince her not to leave the country with Kristina. Ric promises her that he'll help her, and assures her that he'll be there for her and her fight for custody is not over. He warns her if she runs, though, she'll be handing Kristina over to Sonny. Alexis listens, and they return Kristina to the hospital where Sonny and Jordan are waiting. Ric blasts Sonny for calling the attorney, and Jordan and Sonny predict a win in court the next day.
Steven won't allow Carly to leave until she promises him that they will go out on a real date. Carly is amused at his persistence, but tells him the word "date" makes her think of teenage silly fantasies. Steven points out that she must have dated Sonny, but Carly corrects him by telling him that Sonny just got her pregnant and then ordered her to move in with him. Steven is further intrigued, and he tells her that he won't give up until she agrees to go out with him again. He's called away by his pager, but Carly waits around until he's out of surgery. He's happy to see that she's still there, and she reminds him that they never actually ate that night, so she invites him to the hospital cafeteria for bad food, and Steven gladly accepts.
Courtney and Jax return from an evening in Manhattan, and Jax has ordered a romantic breakfast to further their date. While they eat, Jax asks Courtney if she'll spend Christmas with him, and to his surprise she happily accepts. They decide to get a Christmas tree, and they decorate it in his penthouse and make plans for their first holiday together.
While Lorenzo explains his past relationship with Maria, and they violent end to their affair, Diego discovers that Maria is in Port Charles. Maria arrives in town to protect Diego and get him to leave with her to Mexico, but questions from Dillon cause Diego to pause and wonder if his sister is lying to him. Maria is angry with Dillon for stealing her necklace and discovering that Alcazar is the man she fears, but Diego refuses to listen to her, and he decides to stay in Port Charles and go after Alcazar himself. Before he can make a grave mistake, Dillon and Georgie warn Courtney of Diego's plans. She takes Jax with her, and they stop an armed Diego on the docks. Meanwhile, desperate to keep Diego and Alcazar apart, Maria shows on up Alcazar's doorstep, and he's angry and stunned that she's walked back into his life.
Emily sits vigil by Nikolas's bedside, but when he wakes up from surgery, he tries to push her away. As he sleeps again, Emily leaves Nik's room to talk to Lucky and tell him that Nikolas is trying to get her to move on with her life. Lucky tries to help Emily with Nikolas, and he warns her that Connor is back into town. Emily admits she saw him at the chapel, so Lucky decides to take things further and warn Mac that Connor is back to get at Emily. Later, Emily asks Nikolas if she was able to get through to him while he was in surgery, the way he did for her when she nearly died from cancer. Nikolas admits to her that he had a dream of her, and this is enough proof for Emily to hold on and fight for him.
Alexis cries over her daughter in the hospital as she faces the harsh reality that Sonny might win custody of Kristina. Ric promises her that he won't let it happen, and asks her to have faith in him. Back in court, Jordan plans to use everything she can to win Sonny custody, but Ric throws a wrench in her plans when he puts Alexis on the stand and has her admit outright that she took Kristina and planned to leave the country. Alexis again pleads for the right to keep her daughter safe from Sonny's life, and Jordan does her best to paint Alexis as the dangerous parent. In a last-ditch effort, Ric puts Sonny back on the stand and gets him to admit that Kristina is safe and happy with her mother. Jordan crosses, expecting Sonny to counter that the girl belongs with him, but Sonny surprises everyone when he suggests that the best thing for Kristina is joint custody.
Emily is suspicious when Connor approaches her at the Hospital and explains that he had his features altered to resemble Nikolas because Connor wants to help Nikolas and Emily. Connor explains that he plans to change places with Nikolas and go to prison in Nikolas's place. Connor insists that his plan would allow Nikolas and Emily to leave the country and start a new life somewhere else. When Emily remains suspicious, Connor explains that he would wait two years before telling authorities about the switch, giving Nikolas and Emily plenty of time to establish a new life somewhere else. However, Emily remains suspicious and turns down Connor's plan. Later, when Lucky arrives, Emily explains Connor's plan to Lucky and Lucky agrees that the plan DOES sound risky. Afterward, when Emily gets a chance to speak to Nikolas alone, Nikolas agrees that Emily was right to turn down Connor's plan. At the same time, Lucky tracks Connor down and agrees to consider Connor's risky plan for rescuing Nikolas.
When Courtney and Jax encounter Diego on the Docks, Jax realizes that the young man is carrying a gun and disarms him. When Courtney demands answers, Diego confides that he plans to kill Alcazar before Alcazar kills Diego or Maria. At the same time, Maria confronts Lorenzo at his apartment. Maria is surprised when Lorenzo kisses her. Meanwhile, Brook Lynn meets Lois at Kelly's and reports that Lorenzo is the man that Diego's sister believes might harm Diego. Lois grabs her bag of groceries and makes plans to go to Lorenzo's apartment right away. Meanwhile, Maria explains to Lorenzo that she had nothing to do with an ambush staged by Lorenzo's enemies years ago and Lorenzo agrees that he is aware that Maria was NOT involved in plotting the ambush. Maria explains that, after Lorenzo was shot, Maria believed that Lorenzo was dead and left the country with her mother. Maria and her mother later settled in New York, where Maria's brother, Diego, was born. Lorenzo is surprised to learn that Diego is Maria's brother. At the same time, on the docks, Diego tells Courtney and Jax that he believes that Alcazar killed his father. Courtney asks Jax to take Diego to Jax's apartment, then Courtney heads off 'to end' Diego's problem. Unbeknownst to Jax, Courtney heads off to see Jason. Meanwhile, Maria explains to Lorenzo that her mother died shortly after Diego was born and Maria raised her brother alone. However, Maria had never become a U.S. citizen and Maria was deported to Mexico when Diego was about ten, and Diego was sent to foster care. Maria explains that she is planning to be married soon and her fiancé knows nothing about Maria's past. Maria admits that she misjudged Lorenzo and apologizes for believing that Lorenzo might harm Diego. However, Maria confides that Diego now believes the Lorenzo is responsible for the death of Diego's father. When Maria warns Lorenzo that Diego might attack him, Lorenzo assures Maria that he would not harm the boy, even if Diego attacked Lorenzo. Before leaving, Maria confides that seeing Lorenzo being shot in front of her eyes years ago changed her life and she is no longer involved with using drugs or the wild life she led before. As Maria gives Lorenzo a goodbye kiss, Lois bursts into the apartment with her bag of groceries and is shocked by what she sees. After Maria and Lois exchange a frosty greeting, Maria leaves. After Lois apologizes for barging in, Lorenzo confides that he believes that Maria is hiding something, but Lorenzo has no idea what it could be. At the same time, Courtney tracks Jason down at the courthouse and asks Jason to take care of Diego's problem. After Jason agrees to help and leaves the court house, Maria arrives at Jax's apartment, assures Diego that Lorenzo will leave them alone and tries to convince Diego that Lorenzo had NOTHING to do with the death of their father. Diego refuses to believe that Lorenzo will keep his promise to Maria. Meanwhile, at Lorenzo's apartment, Lois suggests to Lorenzo that perhaps Maria has turned up in Port Charles because Maria still has feelings for Lorenzo. Lorenzo disagrees with Lois's analysis and distracts Lois with a kiss. Meanwhile, Brook Lynn meets Diego on the docks and is surprised when Diego declares that Maria has reported that Lorenzo is NOT a threat but that Diego believes now that there is more to the story than Maria has told him. At the same time, Courtney returns to Jax's apartment and is surprised to learn that Diego left with Maria after Maria made a truce with Lorenzo. Then Jax lets Courtney know that Jax has guessed that Courtney went running to Jason for help instead of going to someone like the Police Commissioner. Courtney becomes angry and slams out of the apartment. Meanwhile, on the Docks, Diego confides to Brook Lynn that he believes that Maria's secret COULD be that Lorenzo Alcazar is Diego's father.
In court, as Ric cross-examines Sonny, Sonny admits that he believes that Alexis is truly committed to the best interests of her daughter, even though Alexis has made many decisions that Sonny is not able to understand. When Sonny declares that he believes that joint custody would be in Kristina's best interests, Alexis replies that she believes that joint custody is totally unacceptable. Alexis again explains that Sonny is not really a Coffee Importer but a mob boss whose violent lifestyle would constantly put Kristina in danger. When court recesses, Ric tries to convince Alexis that shared custody would be better than turning Kristina over to Sonny full time. During the break, Samantha confides to Jason that she now realizes that Sonny never intended to try to obtain custody of Sam's baby. At the same time, Sonny and Carly take a few moments to talk about Michael and Morgan's Christmas plans. When Ric and Alexis return to the courtroom, Alexis re-emphasizes her concern for Kristina's safety, but agrees to share custody with Sonny. Sonny agrees to let Kristina continue to live with Alexis so long as Sonny can have unlimited visitation. The Judge and Alexis agree to Sonny's suggestion. After court adjourns, Ric assures Alexis that, once Sonny has exercised his 'power over' Kristina's life, Sonny will end up seeing Kristina as infrequently as Sonny now sees Michael and Morgan. However, when Alexis approaches Sonny about scheduling visitation, Sonny tells Alexis that he wants nothing to do with a schedule, and declares that he wants to see his daughter any time he wants, beginning that very moment. After Sonny leaves the courtroom, Alexis breaks down in tears. Later, Carly takes time to privately warn Sam NOT to do anything to hurt Jason. Afterward, Sonny and Alexis visit Kristina in the little girl's Hospital room and Alexis lets Sonny hold Kristina. Then Alexis reluctantly leaves the room.
Courtney stays overnight at Carly's to avoid Jax's repeated phone calls after their argument the day before. Carly teases Courtney about drinking several cups of coffee and suggests that she is so tired from tossing and turning over Jax and for not hiding her car and keeping it in front of her house where Jax could see it. The door bell rings and Courtney thinks it is Jax. She hides behind the couch. Carly answers the door to find Steven there. She invites him in. Courtney sneaks over to the stairs while Carly distracts Steven. Courtney pretends she just woke up and came downstairs. Michael comes downstairs and is ready to go look for a Christmas tree. He asks if Steven is going with him and doesn't look thrilled about it. Carly is about to tell him Steven isn't going with them but Steven interrupts and says he is going to go. He decides to try to bond with Michael a little and gets him going about looking for elves. Michael is curious enough to go outside with Steven and look for elves. Jax shows up with a box of gingerbread cookies, Courtney's favorite. He offers one to Michael as well. Carly, Michael, and Steven head out to find a tree and leave Courtney alone with Jax. Jax tells her he had to pay a steep price for the cookies from Kelly's since Mike knows how much money he has and doesn't really like him still. He tells her he brought them as a way to apologize for the night before. He tells her he shouldn't have accused her of still being in love with Jason just because she went to him for help. Courtney tells him he wasn't totally wrong about what he said. She tells him that there will probably always be a place in her heart where she will always love Jason and she doesn't expect Jax to like it or accept it. Jax tells her that he shouldn't have expected her to just stop feeling anything for Jason and that one of the things he loves about her is how big of a heart she has. They kiss and make up. Meanwhile, Durant runs into Ric outside of Kelly's. Durant tells Ric that he shouldn't just give up on going after Sonny and bringing charges against him in the future. He suggests that he take the evidence they had and use it to find more evidence. Ric interrupts Durant and informs him that he has now been suspended as a prosecutor and won't be involved in any investigation for awhile. Durant tells him he should still go after Sonny and he will help him and keep his name out of it and give Ric all the credit. Ric tells him he isn't interested and walks off. Durant runs into Carly at the docks where she is looking for a Christmas tree with Steven and Michael. He tries to persuade her not to keep him out of her life for good and tries to explain why decided to come clean about the evidence. Carly isn't interested in forgiving him for lying to her and using her children and him to get evidence against Sonny but that she only thanks him for coming forward. Durant tries to press the issue and try to get her to listen. Steven comes over and tells Durant to stop harassing Carly and give her some space. Carly asks Durant to leave and not follow her around anymore. Carly thanks Steven for helping her out with Durant. They pick out a tree and return home. Jax and Courtney stay to help decorate the tree and watch it light up. Carly invites them to stay longer but Courtney tells her that she and Jax have some place important to be at. Jax goes along with what she says and is surprised when Courtney takes him to Kelly's and he sees that she is having a Christmas party for the foundation and wants him to help host it with her. Carly sits with Michael and reads a Christmas story to him. Michael tells her that this will be the first year that they won't be celebrating Christmas with Sonny. She assures him that they will spend Christmas with Sonny.
Luke and Skye show up at the hospital. Luke tells Skye that he had them check the DNA of the body again and that it still matches with Laura's DNA. He is very depressed but feels he needs to tell Nikolas and Lucky about their mother's "death." Luke knocks on the window to Nikolas' room to get Emily's attention. Emily comes out of his room to see what Luke wants. He has a hard time telling Emily about Laura so Skye tells her the news about Laura dying in a fire. Bobbie shows up and overhears Emily telling Luke and Skye about Nikolas still being too weak right now and is debating about telling Nikolas about Laura right now. Bobbie asks Luke what is wrong when she sees how upset he looks. Luke tells her about Laura and the fire that killed her. Bobbie seems confused about it at first but then hugs Luke in comfort. Luke asks Emily if Lucky is at the hospital. Emily tells him that he should be showing up soon. Luke asks Emily not to tell Lucky about Laura because he wants to be the one to tell him the news. Emily agrees not to say anything. Bobbie advises Emily not to tell Nikolas right now about his mother and wait until he is much stronger physically first. Emily thinks that may be a good idea. Luke asks Emily to tell Lucky to come see him as soon as possible at the casino. Bobbie decides it would be a good idea to go with Skye and Luke back to the casino. Skye wants Luke to go home and sleep for at least a few hours since he is so exhausted. Luke starts to get drunk instead on his way home. Bobbie tells Skye to let him drink if it makes him feel better. Skye finds Bobbie's behavior weird after Luke goes to his room to rest. She thinks they should go and find Lucky and tell him about Laura. Bobbie tells her that there is no big hurry to tell him right now. Skye thinks they should go find him at least. Bobbie reluctantly goes with her to Kelly's to look for him in his room. He isn't there. Bobbie is in a hurry to leave Kelly's without telling Leslie and LuLu about Laura when they see them in Kelly's. Bobbie tells Skye that they don't need to know about Laura right now and that they should allow them to enjoy the holidays without bringing this sad news to them. Skye asks Bobbie why she is acting so strangely. Bobbie tells Skye to leave the family business to her. Skye tells her she doesn't want to question her judgment about the family but wants to know why Bobbie is so adamant about not telling the family about Laura. Bobbie persuades Skye to let it go for now. Meanwhile, Luke is surprised when a white dove flies into the casino while he is at the bar. He holds it on his fingers and talks to it. He encourages the dove to fly with the angels and is reminded of Laura and how he called her "Angel" all the time. Skye returns to find Luke laying on one of the gambling tables. He tells her Laura paid him a visit. Skye thinks he is probably just drunk and rambling on. She tells Luke that Bobbie thought it would be better not to tell Leslie and Lulu about Laura until after the holidays. Luke tells her that Bobbie always knows what is best for the family and is always looking out for him. This statement gets Skye's attention concerning Bobbie's strange behavior. She goes back to General Hospital. Skye overhears Bobbie making a phone call at the nurses' station. Bobbie calls the woman that took care of Laura before. She asks about Laura, who isn't dead at all. Bobbie promises to be there as soon as she can get away and come visit them. Skye watches Bobbie and goes over to her.
Lucky shows up at Connor's cottage. Connor had tattoos put on that match the tattoos that Nikolas wears on his arms. Lucky still doesn't totally trust Connor's motives but wants Nikolas to go free so he agrees to the plan to switch Connor and Nikolas at the hospital. Lucky worries when he receives news that Nikolas' transfer to Pentonville has been pushed up and he will be transferred today. Connor tells him they will just have to do things quicker now and not waste time. Lucky goes back to General Hospital. Ric tells Emily that Nikolas will have to be transferred today. Emily gets upset with the news and points out that Nikolas is still recovering from surgery and shouldn't be forced to go to prison in his condition. Ric apologizes but there isn't anything he can do about it. When Lucky shows up, Emily tells him that she is going to go talk to her parents and see if they can stall things at the hospital for awhile longer. Lucky goes into Nikolas' room and talks to him about the transfer that is happening. Nikolas seems resigned to what is going on and takes the news well. Lucky injects some drug into Nikolas' I.V. to make him go to sleep for awhile. He talks to Emily and then sees Connor walking with a stretcher and distracts Emily so he can go into the room and switch with Nikolas. Emily goes to talk to her parents, who tell her they can't do anything to help her as much as they would like to. A nurse gets their attention and informs him that an alarm went off in Nikolas' room. Emily goes with her parents to see what is going on. Lucky lies to them and tells them he doesn't know what happened but thinks he may have accidentally stepped on one of the wires and it got knocked out of Nikolas' I.V. Monica fixes the problem. Lucky takes off. Emily decides to tell "Nikolas" about his mother even though she wasn't going to do it. She doesn't know that she is talking to Connor not Nikolas. Meanwhile the real Nikolas wakes up in some strange bed and finds Lucky sitting beside him and wonders where he is.
While Kristina is spending some time with Sonny at his penthouse, Carly arrives with Michael and Morgan so they can all decorate the Christmas tree together. When Carly returns home, a snow storm knocks out the power and a knock at the door causes her to nearly jump out of her skin. Meanwhile, the storm causes Sonny to be stranded at the penthouse with Michael, Morgan, Kristina and Jordan.
Emily realizes that Connor switched places with Nikolas at the hospital. Meanwhile, at the cabin, Nikolas rips into Lucky for going along with Connor's scheme. Nikolas tries to head back to town, only to collapse in the snow and be brought back to the cabin by Emily.
After seeing for herself that Laura is alive, Skye tries to call Luke with the news, but the storm causes her to lose connection. The road conditions cause her to lose control of the car, and she crashes. At the same time, Jax ends up stranded at Kelly's with Sam as Jason finds himself in the same predicament with Courtney at her loft.