Clint is startled when attorney Vinnie Stokes arrives at Llanfair asking for his client--Niki Smith. David tries to interest Asa in the evidence he's acquired against Spencer. Rex bumps into Nash at Capricorn and the two commiserate about all the obstacles they've encountered on the rocky road to true love. Clint retrieves Jessica's cell phone from Niki, who announces that she's hired a lawyer to get her sprung. Natalie confronts John in the precinct house and demands to know if he would have kept her in the dark forever about her husband being alive if Carlo hadn't confessed. R.J. threatens to reveal Jessica's psychological problems to the family court judge and to the press unless Antonio plays ball. John tries to explain his actions to an angry Natalie. Bo thanks Spencer for saving his life. Afterwards, Paige privately takes Spencer to task for torturing her by dropping hints to her boyfriend about her "murderous" past. Ignoring Niki's protests, Clint chases Vinnie out of the house. Asa refuses to strike a bargain with David. Later, Spencer advises his irritated brother to join forces with him if he's looking for a partner. Natalie icily informs John that she hates him and always will. Jessica decides to let Tess emerge to rid her mother of Niki.
Todd summons Rex to his jail cell because he's decided he's the one who can help him get out. Offered an incentive of money and the enjoyment of seeking out information, Rex still refuses.
Kevin escorts Kelly home after her surgery and agrees to head over to Capricorn to pick up all of her cravings for dinner. He decides to stop by Llanfair on his way. When he does get there, he's angered to learn that Niki has returned without anyone taking the time to tell him. Antonio confides to Jess that Cristian is alive and Nash learns that there's been a fire at his vineyard. He also accuses Clint of strong-arming Jess by not allowing her to become Tess to try to bring Viki back. Jess feels sure that Niki is different this time around and that she may be able to get through to her but Clint refuses to let her try. They decide just to give up on it for the time being. Antonio offers help to Nash in the form of money so that he can show what a standup guy he is. Nash turns it down, stating that he will leave temporarily to take care of his business but will be back for Tess and their future.
David tries to drink himself into a stupor at Capricorn, even as Dorian arrives and looks on. When Kevin shows up for his food order, David tells him how lucky he is to have Kelly and that he's arrogant, a trait that the Buchanans all have. Kevin tells a stunned Dorian that Kelly has had the operation and when she asks why, if they're not married, Kevin responds, not yet! They both try to get David to agree to take a taxi home.
A funeral service for Margaret, her baby and Ginger brings out some of Llanview's known residents. As Blair, Spencer, Duke, Adriana, Kelly and Rex gather to remember the victims, they are met by Margaret's sister and Ginger's mother, Ellen Foley. Blair is taken aback that the baby's grave is marked with Todd Junior's name and just hopes that Mrs. Foley doesn't recognize her. Duke and Adriana patch things up with Adriana advising Rex that she and Duke are more real for her due to Rex's ongoing issues. Even his pleas that she makes him a better person fall on deaf ears. She just hopes he finds what he's looking for. Ellen realizes who Blair is and gives her a difficult time, calling Todd the devil for his treatment of her sister. Rex stops to console Ellen and is taken aback when he hears her memories of Margaret and how she taught Ginger to swim. Spencer admits to the minister that he and Margaret went through a lot together.
Cristian receives a visit from Natalie who demands answers. He admits that he didn't know his true identity when he first returned but retrieved his memory rapidly after John had the DNA test performed. He wanted her to go on and remember him as he was previously. He loves her too much to let her go, he continues. He thought about her and dreamed about her all of the time and he changed his mind when he learned that there was a chance that he could get out of prison. She retorts that she's angry that she didn't have a chance to make a choice on her own. He knows she still loves him and kisses her until she pulls away, informing him that anything that they had before is dead, like she is inside.
Kevin frantically tries to track down Kelly when he gets back but she returns soon after and apologizes for leaving. She wanted to pay her respects when she read about the funeral service. He tells her about Niki's return though he's in awe of his parents still being connected. Just like them, he says, as he proposes. Kelly accepts happily, as long as it's the last time, she laughs.
Rex heads back to Todd, acknowledging that he's changed his mind and will help him after all. He's learned of Margaret knowing how to swim and having the trophies to prove it.
Kelly gets a ring. Cris is taken back to prison with a sobbing and hidden Natalie looking on.
Kevin and Kelly happily celebrate their engagement. Niki's presence puts a damper on the holiday festivities at Llanfair. Across town, Blair tries to instill the holiday spirit in her children with a Christmas tree but Starr only bemoans the absence of her dad. At the jail, Rex shows Todd newspaper clippings about Margaret's exploits as a world class swimmer in college. Clint explains to a sputtering Niki how he's arranged for a hypnotherapist to force her to talk. Spencer brags to David about the bond he's been forging with Blair while Todd languishes behind bars. Meanwhile, Kevin receives a subpoena ordering him to appear as a witness for the prosecution when Todd comes to trial. David bitterly accuses his brother of causing him nothing but pain since the day he arrived. Later, Blair calls Spencer for help with her unhappy kids. An excited Kelly shows off her new ring to David. Todd explains to Rex why he's so motivated to get back to his family before a certain someone moves in on Blair. Niki causes more chaos when she tries to escape by climbing out onto the roof. Alone at the vineyard, Nash longs for Tess. Dr. Fox arrives at Llanfair to hypnotize Niki.
Paige overhears Spencer making plans for New Year's Eve. At the jail, Todd explains to Blair how Margaret set him up by claiming she couldn't swim. John asks Cristian to back off and give Natalie some space and time to process everything that's transpired. In Napa, Bruce warns Nash that his wicked past is about to catch up with him again. Niki tells the hypnotherapist about taking little Jessica to her favorite bar years ago. Spencer reminds a fuming Paige how Bo would react upon learning that his saintly girlfriend is actually a murderer. Though Todd feels certain the revelations about Margaret's prowess in the water will help him reopen his case, Blair remains skeptical about her fiance's innocence. An unhappy Natalie confides to Bo how upsetting it will be if Cris is set free. Rex reminds Adriana that the feelings they have for one another are real. Jessica faints while listening to Niki's tale. Later, Viki returns and asks Clint what happened while her alter was out. Spencer is revealed to have a secret connection to Margaret. Antonio objects when Jessica again insists on allowing Tess to emerge so they can learn the whole truth once and for all. Rex asks Bo for a favor for Adriana. John gives Cris his word he'll step out of the way if Natalie ever chooses to reconcile with her husband. Dr. Fox hypnotizes Jessica and brings Tess forward. Blair tells Todd she believes him. Natalie comes to the prison and informs an agitated Cristian that she wants a divorce.
Spencer's flashbacks reveal the truth about what happened to Margaret: he killed her! He made a deal with Margaret, since both of them wanted Blair and Todd apart. When Margaret didn't follow through on her end of the bargain, Dr. Truman had her eliminated. Meanwhile, an innocent Todd sits in jail, where one of the guards taunts him with a doll that resembles a dead baby. The guard calls Todd a "sick bastard," and Manning is left alone in the cell with his thoughts. He remembers telling Margaret that he might end up falling in love with his son, and therefore he must never see him. Sadly, Todd realizes that now he never will see the baby boy.
Across town, Blair goes to Hugh with the news that Todd is being set up. Hugh does not believe her, and Blair feels that he is planning to use this case to make a name for himself. She heads to Spencer's office to try to get him to testify as a medical witness for the defense, but Spencer says he can't do that after reading the autopsy reports. Blair tells Spencer that many men probably had reason to hate Margaret and that she just needs to find the one who killed her.
Michael approaches Paige about the status of his application for the fellowship to work with Dr. Truman. Paige tells him that the decision is Spencer's, but advises Michael of the dangers of working under just one person. Michael doesn't heed Paige's subtle warning and goes to Spencer, who promptly accepts his application and grants him the fellowship. Michael wants to share his news with Marcie, but she is busy fawning over Hugh and offering him a shoulder to cry on about the Manning case.
Bo wheels himself into Nora's hospital room and shares some poignant words with his comatose ex-wife. He tells Nora that she needs to wake up so that she can help Matthew with the Hanukah candles. Tearfully, Bo tells Nora that he'll look after their son and make sure that he has a good holiday season.
Things are intense at Llanfair, with Tess back in control of Jessica's body. Dr. Fox wants Tess to discuss what happened to Jessica as a child, but Tess has other plans. She doesn't let Antonio order her around, and she is equally sassy towards Viki and Clint. She refuses to speak about Jessica's childhood until she gets a chance to talk to Nash. Reluctantly, Antonio puts her on the phone with Nash, and she tells him how much she misses him. Nash promises to be on the next flight to Llanview, but Antonio disconnects the phone before the lovebirds can say good-bye. Tess is enraged and refuses to help. Viki manages to break through by telling Tess that she values her for what she's done to protect Jessica. She also recalls a memory of walking in on Jessica when she was four years old, traipsing across the sofa. When Viki reprimanded her, Jessica said "Sofas aren't as important as little girls." Viki now realizes that this was her first encounter with Tess. Tess starts to feel Viki's love, but quickly shuts herself down and agrees to discuss Jessica's childhood. She starts to talk about the night that Niki brought her to a smoky bar, but when things get too intense, she quits. Dr. Fox maintains that there is nothing more he can do, because he hypnotized Jessica, not Tess. Antonio is not pleased to learn that Tess is now in control, but Viki assures him that they will see Jessica again.
Meanwhile, as Nash leaves the vineyard, he is accosted by the father of the girl he seduced and drove to a nervous breakdown. The man has finally tracked him down and proceeds to have Nash severely beaten by his hired goons. They leave Nash fighting for his life on the floor ...