Lawyers, Guns, and Chloe
At Angel Square Park, Starr was horrified when Cole announced that he planned to purchase a gun and kill Todd. Angered that Téa had convinced the judge to drop the rape charge against Todd, Cole was certain that Todd and Téa wouldn't stop until they had ruined his mother. Starr told Cole that he would surely go to prison if he killed Todd. Admitting that she didn't want Cole to kill her father, Starr also stated that she would be lost if Cole went to prison. Expressing her pain over losing their child, Starr pleaded with Cole not to commit an act that would keep them apart. Starr believed Cole would never survive in Statesville Prison. She stated that even if he lived, prison would change him. Cole insisted that he was capable of actually killing Todd and willing to face the consequences of his actions. Reminding Cole that Todd had lost everything that was important to him, Starr urged Cole to accompany her back to the courthouse to hear the judge's ruling. After Starr promised that they would handle the outcome together, Cole agreed, and they headed back to the courthouse.
Inside the courtroom, Téa sought to prove that the charges of false imprisonment and kidnapping were bogus. Hoping to prove her claim, Téa called John to the stand. Arguing that John had a personal vendetta against Todd, Téa insisted that John's pursuit of her client was of a personal nature. Although John persisted, Téa had him recall the night that he had broken into Todd's home. As a result of Téa's direct questioning, John admitted that Marty feared him upon their initial encounter. He further confessed that Marty wasn't being held against her will, wasn't physically hurt, and didn't fear Todd. Téa instructed John to describe the scene that unfolded on that fateful night. John related that a terrified Marty had held him at gunpoint. Upon hearing John's account, Téa mentioned that John had turned his weapon on Todd, who was unarmed at the time. Citing that John had entered Todd's home without a warrant and beat him senseless, Téa argued that Todd was innocent and that John should be charged with assault. Before exiting the stand, John assured the judge that he would do it again if given the opportunity.
Claiming that she wanted to prove that Marty hadn't been held against her will, Téa called Marty to the stand again. Attempting to protect her, Todd stood up and objected to Marty testifying again. The judge gave Todd a warning and then ordered Marty to comply. On the stand, Téa forced Marty to admit that Todd had never harmed her and that he never prevented her from leaving his home. A humiliated Marty maintained that Todd had brainwashed her. Téa stated that Marty had a choice to leave, but desired to remain with Todd. In her closing statement, Téa argued that Todd's actions might have been unethical, but were not illegal. Insisting that Todd had been tormented for years over his past crime against Marty, Téa said that he had always hoped for the opportunity to atone for his sins. When he found Marty injured, Téa claimed that Todd had wanted to care for her, not harm her. She maintained that Todd's methods were misguided, but his motives were good. Téa urged the judge to drop all charges against her client. The judge called a recess in order to consider Téa's motion. Téa assured Todd that it would all be over soon. Meanwhile, John told Blair that Todd might get away with his crimes. Blair wondered what John would do if Todd were freed.
During the recess, Starr and Cole returned to the courthouse. Marty apologized to Cole about her harshness earlier. When the hearing convened, the judge announced that he had made his decision. To Téa's delight, the judge dropped all charges against Todd. Referring to Todd as a troubled individual, the judge stated that Todd was a free man. Outraged, Starr stood up and warned the judge that he couldn't release Todd. Starr stunned the courtroom when she announced that Todd had planned to steal her baby. When Téa argued that there was no evidence to prove Starr's claim, Starr said that Todd had confessed to her.
At Llanfair, Viki gave Clint the news of Jessica's botched attempt to escape from St. Anne's. Clint wondered how Jessica could have suffered such a setback. Viki was uncertain, but advised Clint that it had something to do with Chloe. Viki told Clint that Tess insisted that there was something wrong with the baby and that everyone was conspiring to keep the truth from her. As they cuddled Chloe, Clint and Viki expressed their love for the child and prayed that Jessica would get better.
At St. Anne's, Tess, confined in a straitjacket, screamed to be released from her padded cell. Bess appeared and advised her to give up. A defiant Tess was certain that she would find a way to escape. Bess warned Tess that the longer she kept Jessica suppressed, the longer they would all remain at St. Anne's. Tess offered Bess a deal. She would release Jessica if Bess told her the truth about her baby. Bess stated that the baby was fine, and criticized Tess for using the confidential information that Brody had shared with Jessica to launch an attack against him. Having no compassion for Brody, Tess stated that he tricked her, and continued to question Bess about her baby. Fed up with Tess's antics, Bess warned that she should accept Chloe as her child or she would live to regret it. In a stern voice, Bess stated, "If we go down this road, there is no turning back, and you won't like what you find out!" As a look of fear crossed Tess's face, Bess urged her to let Jessica out so that she could be with her daughters. A pained Tess closed her eyes and fell asleep. Moments later, Jessica awoke and discovered that she had been restrained. Jessica wondered what Tess had done.
In a nearby room at St. Anne's, Brody had a therapy session with his doctor. Brody was troubled because he had confided in Jessica and she had used it against him. After reminding Brody that he had encountered Tess, the doctor asked if he wished to discuss the visions he continued to have of the little boy he killed in Iraq. Admitting that he saw the little boy often, Brody related that the visions had stopped once he came to Llanview and met Shane. The doctor surmised that Brody unknowingly used his parenting of Shane to make up for killing the little boy in Iraq. The doctor told Brody that he wasn't at fault because the child was armed at the time, but Brody insisted that Tess was right - he was a terrible person and would go to hell. The doctor warned Brody that he would continue to be haunted by the boy unless he found a way to forgive himself.
Rex paid Gigi a visit at the cottage. When she saw the bags filled with gifts, Gigi thanked him for buying Shane the Z-Box video game system. Consumed with guilt, Rex admitted to Gigi that his credit was overextended, and rehashed the details of his attempts to find Shane a Z-Box. Gigi was relieved to learn that Rex hadn't stolen the gaming system from the little boy at the café. Rex felt terrible that he had failed at getting Shane the gift he had wanted, but Gigi insisted that she was grateful that they would be together as a family for Christmas.
The courtroom was sent into an uproar when Starr made her accusation against Todd. Téa dismissed Starr's claims, saying that she was either lying or coached, but Nora pushed for the judge to hear her out. Starr insisted she was telling the truth, and that Todd had confessed his plans to her when she visited him in the hospital.
As Nora and Téa argued the matter at the judge's bench, Blair took Starr aside and asked why she hadn't revealed her visit to Todd. Blair pleaded with her not to take that kind of burden onto herself alone, and said that as Starr's mother, she needed to know the scope of Todd's misdeeds and how they affected his children. Blair said Starr didn't have to testify, but Starr was adamant: "I have to testify," she said, glaring at Todd. "So he pays." When Cole took a turn talking to Starr, Blair retreated to the gallery with John, where she worried about Starr's shaky condition, and raged against Téa. John told Blair he could understand why Starr wanted to speak up and make her father face justice.
Cole also prevailed upon Starr not to put herself through the strain of testifying, but Starr would not be swayed. She told him she wasn't doing it for him, or Marty, or even herself, but for Hope. Cole told her that he regretted his angry words before, and admitted that he could never bring himself to kill Todd; he told Starr he understood her complicated emotions regarding her father, and he knew she loved Todd. "He doesn't love me," Starr replied. "He just wants what he wants." Cole told Starr not to feel guilty if her testimony put Todd away. Starr told Cole that Todd was putting himself there, because of what he'd done.
Despite Téa's stream of objections, the judge agreed to put Starr on the stand. Nora questioned Starr, who retold the story of her visit to Todd in the hospital, and how he'd confessed his plan to steal Hope and raise her with Marty. Starr told the court she couldn't believe that Todd would do such a thing to her, and that, as his daughter, she used to feel she was immune from his violence. "You are my daughter," Todd interrupted, rising to his feet. "Say it." As the judge ordered Todd to sit down, Starr coldly corrected him: "I am not...Todd. Not anymore."
Instead of cross-examining Starr, Téa asked the judge to dismiss Starr's entire testimony, labeling it hearsay from an angry "adolescent" trying to hijack the courtroom. Starr snapped that she was telling the truth, and Téa asked for corroboration. Todd warned Téa to leave Starr alone, grabbing her arm. Nora told the judge that Starr's testimony about Todd's plans came under the exception to the hearsay rule, and that it was backed up by Marty's own statement to the police; she also noted that Todd had conveniently been at Llanview Hospital on the night of Hope's birth. As Starr stepped down from the stand, Nora argued that the facts were enough to hold Todd on attempted kidnapping, and said she could find the necessary evidence and make a full case at trial. Téa said the case was slipshod at best, since the child in question "no longer exists." "Oh, sensitively put, Counselor," Nora sighed. The judge urged Nora to find the full evidence to support her case, and agreed to allow the charge of attempted kidnapping to go to trial. Nora asked for Todd to be held without bail, but after some wrangling, Téa was allowed to post Todd's bail herself, and the hearing was adjourned. "You're welcome," Téa snarled at Todd as she left to pay his bail. "Don't do anything stupid while I'm gone." Todd, meanwhile, remained fixated on Marty.
In the gallery, Marty beat herself up about the outcome of the hearing, furious about how Téa twisted the facts. Nora begged her not to blame herself, and stayed optimistic, saying that because Marty and Starr stood up for themselves, Todd would be going to trial, after all. Marty took Cole aside and apologized to him again for her erratic behavior, but Cole, distant, shrugged her off. As Téa took Todd home, Starr and Cole puzzled over the case, wondering how Todd planned to pull off Hope's abduction without any help.
At the Buchanan mansion, Jared paid a visit to Clint, and told him he needed something from him: His blessing for Natalie's hand in marriage. Clint was pleased to hear that Jared planned to propose to Natalie on Christmas morning, and was surprised Jared had made the gesture to him given their rocky history. Jared said that Clint's approval was important to Natalie, and that he never wanted her to have to choose between them. Clint said he didn't want that either, and was eternally grateful to Jared for helping Natalie through the ordeal with Tess. Jared told Clint he'd die for Natalie, and Clint happily agreed to give Jared his blessing. He just had one question: "How are you going to support my daughter?" Jared told Clint he'd planned to go back to work on the business end of Charlie's contracting firm, but Clint had a better idea, and asked Jared to come back to work at Buchanan Enterprises. Jared was shocked and delighted by the offer, and quickly agreed. As Jared hurried home to Llanfair, Clint congratulated Jared on his plan to pop the question.
As Jared left, Matthew stepped into the foyer, having misheard the conversation. He approached Clint in the drawing room and asked him when he was going to propose to his mother. Flustered, Clint told him he'd misunderstood, and that Jared was proposing to Natalie. Matthew asked if he and Nora would ever be married, and Clint asked Matthew if he'd be ready for such a change. "Compared to my last stepfather, you're cake!" Matthew replied enthusiastically. Meanwhile, in the foyer, Nora returned home with Marty, who was emotionally drained from the day in court and opted to retire to her room.
At Llanfair, Natalie was looking for Jared, but found Viki in the living room by the Christmas tree. Natalie told Viki she needed to hide Jared's present: a framed photo of the Buchanan ranch at sunset. As Natalie recounted how much the ranch meant for her and Jared, and how their memories had helped them through their time in the secret room, Viki was seized with guilt, blaming herself for Jessica's illness and Natalie's harsh upbringing. Natalie told Viki it wasn't her fault, and that it was Christmas, a time for joy and togetherness. As they fretted over Chloe and Bree and how Jared and Natalie had adapted to caring for the kids, Viki asked Natalie if she and Jared had any thoughts on their own children for the future. Natalie laughed and said they hadn't even talked about getting engaged.
Jared returned to the house and greeted the ladies, while Natalie hurried upstairs to check on Chloe. With a moment alone, Jared took Viki aside and told her he needed to ask her for her blessing to marry Natalie. Viki hugged Jared, overjoyed.
At Todd's house, Téa let herself and her client inside, breaking through the police tape. As Todd surveyed the darkened, lonely home, Téa urged him to get out and spend time around people during the holiday. Todd snapped that he wanted to be alone, and told her to forget about her bail money. Téa was disgusted with his attitude, and told him, "You have changed. You're worse." She stormed off, leaving Todd alone to wander the house. As Todd drifted upstairs, he found himself in Marty's old room, where he discovered the electric piano. He played a few halting notes of "Heart & Soul," but couldn't bring himself to finish it.
At the Buenos Dias Cafe, Carlotta was outraged as Antonio tried to sell her on hosting an impromptu wedding reception for Cristian and Vanessa. Carlotta refused, calling Vanessa a "bruja," but under pressure, relented to break out some of the leftover champagne from the grand opening. Sitting at the lunch counter, Talia got off the phone after comforting Sarah. Antonio was mortified to hear that Sarah had been forced to witness the wedding. Just then, Cristian and Vanessa arrived with Lola, sharing an awkward moment with the family. Antonio begged Talia and Carlotta to play along for the time being, but Vanessa's attempts to ingratiate herself to her new mother-in-law fell on deaf ears.
Antonio pushed Cristian to show the death threat to the police, but Cristian wasn't sure how much good it would do, and said that prison walls would not keep someone like Ray Montez from seeking his revenge. Antonio and Talia spotted a stranger watching Vanessa and Lola from outside the café, and immediately apprehended him, only to realize the man was a wedding photographer Cristian had hired. Talia tore into Cristian for putting Sarah through the pain of watching him marry another woman, and asked him if he had a thing for Vanessa, after all. Cristian sputtered out a denial, but Talia wasn't convinced. She warned him that he could lose Sarah over his choices, and said that perhaps that was what he deserved. Antonio gave Cristian a piece of his mind, as well, but Cristian stood firm, insisting that the family would come around to understand why he had done what he did for the Montezes. Taking a break from the family strife, Cris and Vanessa began to fill each other in on the personal details of their lives, and Vanessa gave him a few salient points about her sleeping habits. She joked that he'd have to give up his side of the bed, because it was her preferred side to sleep on.
Téa swooped in to the cafe full of praise and congratulations for "Mr. and Mrs. Vega," but she was met with a frosty reception from Antonio and Carlotta, particularly after gloating about getting Todd out on bail. Antonio took Téa aside and asked her to hand over the death threat sent to Vanessa; when she did, Antonio asked her how she was sure it had come from Ray. Téa asked who else it could have come from, and then took a call on her cell phone. She headed outside, leaving Antonio to study the anonymous note.
A variety of scenes unfolded across town: Clint, Nora, and Matthew lit the menorah at the Buchanan mansion. Back at Llanfair, Natalie snuck her gift to Jared under the tree, while hastily shaking his gifts to her, unaware that Jared and Viki were watching her with amusement. Blair took Starr home from the courthouse, while John accompanied Cole. Marty lay alone in her bedroom, surrounded by her raft of paperwork about Todd and his crimes. And at Todd's house, Todd found Marty's old nightgown, and buried his face into its fabric in sorrow.
Outside the Buenos Dias, Téa took her phone call, assuring her "client" that everything was going according to plan: Vanessa had married Cristian. "She's not going anywhere. There's plenty of time to prove she set you up."
In Colombia, Ray Montez was on the other end of the line, speaking from a pay phone in Plato Prison. "Thank you, Téa," he said. "Well done."
Due to the Christmas Eve holiday, today's ABC Daytime lineup featured encore presentations of some recent memorable episodes.
One Life to Live featured the episode in which Brody shot Rex. Meanwhile, Marcie sang a song to her unborn child. The episode originally aired on September 29, 2008.
There will be no new programming on Thursday, December 25. Regular programming will resume on December 26, and there will be no "lost" episodes as a result of the holiday schedule.
Due to the Christmas holiday, today's episodes of your favorite ABC Daytime soaps -- All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital were not shown.
Regular programming will resume on December 26, 2008, and there will be no "lost" episodes as a result of the holiday pre-emption.
All Know the Way, But Few Actually Walk It
In the bedroom that once belonged to Marty, Todd lay in bed and dreamt of her. Drawing close to him, Marty said that she loved him and wished him a merry Christmas. Todd responded and leaned in to kiss her, but was startled when he awoke to Téa shouting, "Merry Christmas!" Hoping to cheer him up, Téa presented Todd with a gift, but he demanded that she leave him alone. Admitting that Téa had interrupted his pleasant dream about Marty, Todd was in no mood to entertain Téa. Refusing to let Todd wallow in self- pity, Téa insisted that he get over Marty and move on with his life. Todd was adamant that his life had no purpose with Marty.
When Téa refused to leave and asked if she could be of any help, Todd asked for her advice. He wondered if she thought that Marty could one day forgive him. Explaining that she wasn't an expert on Marty, Téa urged Todd to regain the confidence in himself that he once had and the ability to do anything. Téa pleaded with him to go back to being the man that he once was. When Téa asked Todd what he was willing to do in order to receive Marty's forgiveness. Todd replied, "Anything!" Téa suggested that Todd shower and make an attempt to get through the holidays. Téa reminded Todd that he did have three wonderful children. Feeling sorry for himself, Todd remarked that Starr no longer considered him as her father. Todd sadly related that he couldn't even purchase gifts for his children because his assets were frozen. Téa informed him she had used her authority as his power of attorney to purchase gifts for his children. To Téa's surprise, Todd gave her a pleasant thank you. After Téa had left, Todd took her advice and showered.
At the cottage, Rex showed up with Shane's Christmas gifts. Rex worried that Shane would be disappointed about not receiving the Z-Box gaming system and blamed Dorian for her selfishness. Bolting downstairs, Shane begged his parents to allow him to open his Christmas presents. Gigi watched as Rex attempted to distract Shane from opening his gifts. After Rex sent Shane upstairs to put on his pajamas, Gigi questioned how long Rex believed he could prevent Shane from learning that he hadn't received the Z-Box. Rex stated that he was hoping to keep Shane distracted in case one of his contacts came through at the last moment.
At La Boulaie, the Cramer family gathered around as Dorian presented Jack and Sam with their Z-Box systems. While Jack was delighted, Sam preferred to play with his new Nerf football. Both Blair and Starr questioned why Dorian would purchase such an extravagant gift for Sam, but she insisted that she wanted the best for the boys. Moments later, the doorbell rang and Dorian excused herself to answer the door. Upon finding Mel at the door with several packages, Dorian exclaimed, "All right, what did I do now?" Mel handed Dorian the gifts and peeked inside the living room. Observing Jack and Sam, Mel commended Dorian on her choice of gifts for the boys and pointed out that Sam showed little interest in the toy. Heading out the door, Mel struck a nerve with Dorian when she mentioned a little boy that she knew would be heartbroken upon learning that he didn't receive a Z-Box for Christmas.
Dorian returned to the living room and informed Blair that Todd had purchased gifts for the children. Starr refused to open her gift, but insisted that the boys open theirs. Upon learning that Todd had sent him a gift, Jack said he wanted to discard it. After Blair convinced Jack to accept his father's gift, the family enjoyed Christmas together. As Blair and Dorian watched Starr and Langston help the boys open Todd's gifts, Addie remarked that the girls would help Jack and Sam become wonderful young men. Dorian remarked, "That's what happens when you set a good example."
At Llanfair, as Jared revealed to a delighted Viki and Charlie exactly how he planned to propose to Natalie, Roxy barged into the study and surmised that Jared intended to propose. Everyone begged Roxy to lower her voice, but she continued to loudly inquire about the wedding. Overhearing the commotion, Natalie entered the room and wondered who was getting married. While Jared, Viki, and Charlie stood silent, Roxy suddenly announced that Charlie had proposed to Viki. Pleased by the news, Natalie had questions for the couple, but they quickly excused themselves. Out in the hall, Viki and Charlie chastised Roxy about interfering, and suggested that they leave in order to give Jared time alone with Natalie.
Alone in the library, Jared presented Natalie with the Christmas gift that he had promised her-socks. Surprised that Jared had actually given her a box filled with socks, Natalie playfully emptied the box over his head. After declaring his love for her, Jared stunned Natalie when he got down on one knee and proposed. Thrilled, Natalie embraced Jared and happily accepted his marriage proposal.
At the Buchanan Mansion, Nora hugged Cole and wished him a merry Christmas. When Cole asked Nora if she had seen his mother, Nora told a disappointed Cole that Marty hadn't come downstairs all day. Later, Bo and Matthew joined Nora and Cole downstairs. As they discussed their holiday plans, everyone was pleasantly surprised when Marty entered the room. After introducing themselves to Marty, Bo and Matthew stated that they had plans to visit Rex and Shane and would return home later for Christmas dinner. Nora suggested that everyone exchange gifts. Cole was touched when Marty happily ran upstairs to retrieve his gift. Cole was pleased when his mother presented him with a book of poems. Hugging his mother, Cole told her that Todd could never take away the person that she really was. After sharing a special mother and son moment, Marty suggested that Cole pay Starr a visit.
Consumed with guilt, Nora apologized to Marty for being unable to keep Todd in jail. Marty insisted that Nora had done her best. With a knowing look, Marty stated, "Things have a way of working out with Todd." Presenting Marty with a journal as a Christmas gift, Nora encouraged her to write down her feelings. Sharing her own experiences with memory loss, Nora believed that it would help Marty put things in perspective and possibly even jog her memory. After Nora exited the room, Marty stared down at the journal.
Back at the cottage, Shane wanted to open his gifts, but Rex continued to stall. After running out of excuses, Rex was forced to give into Shane's request. As Rex tried to explain that he wasn't able to purchase him a Z-Box, Bo and Matthew arrived with gifts and afforded Rex more time. Shane was adamant that he wanted to open the gifts under the tree, but Rex insisted that they open the gifts that Bo and Matthew had brought the family. Rex shared his feelings with Bo about being unable to provide Shane with the special gift he had hoped for. Bo reminded Rex that Shane would always remember the special moments that they had shared as father and son-not a gift. After accepting Bo and Matthew's gifts, Rex grew nervous when he overheard Shane tell Matthew that he was certain that he had received a Z-Box for Christmas. Shane's gift opening was further delayed when Roxy arrived with presents of her own.
After Bo, Matthew, and Roxy had left, Rex and Gigi allowed Shane to open his gifts. As Shane opened each gift, he beamed with excitement with the possibility that the box might contain the Z-Box that he so desperately wanted. Once he realized that none of the boxes contained the video game, Shane was certain that it was a joke. Sadly, Rex and Gigi told their son that he hadn't received a Z-Box. Shane listened as Rex explained that he had tried to locate the toy but had been unsuccessful. To his surprise, Shane told him that he loved the other gifts and understood that Rex had done his best. Rex was touched when Shane referred to him as "Dad." After sending Shane upstairs, Gigi reminded Rex that Shane had received the best present ever-he had spent Christmas with his family. Gigi gave Rex a kiss and walked away. Moments later, the doorbell rang. Rex was dumbfounded when he found Dorian standing on the doorstep. Handing him a gift-wrapped package, Dorian stated that it had been delivered to her home by mistake. Rex stood in disbelief as Dorian noted that a card was included in the package that had Shane's name on it. As Rex accepted the package, a stern Dorian warned, "This doesn't change anything between us!"
As Rex stared at the package in disbelief, Shane and Gigi returned downstairs. Shane noticed the box and made a mad dash for the package. After opening the gift and observing the Z-Box, Shane squealed with excitement. An amazed Gigi asked Rex what had happened. Rex replied, "A Christmas miracle!"
A strange man trekked through the snow. Dressed in a robe, wearing sandals, and carrying a large stick, the strange man was headed toward Llanview.
At the Buenos Dias Café, Viki and Charlie discussed their excitement over their children's engagement. Holding Charlie's hand, Viki stated that many strange events had occurred in their lives lately and that she wouldn't be surprised by anything that took place in Llanview. Hearing a familiar voice, Viki and Charlie turned around and observed the strange man that had been traveling to Llanview. The man was dressed in a toga-he was David Vickers. At a loss for words, Viki simply stared at David.
Bo returned to the mansion and discovered Beaver Calhoun, a friend of Asa's. He stated that he had a message to deliver from Asa.
Cole visited Starr at La Boulaie and spent Christmas with the Cramers.
Gigi watched as Shane and Rex bonded over video games.
After taking his shower, Todd returned to the room and was startled to find Marty sitting on the bed.