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Thursday, December 8, 2016

At the Abbott mansion, Jack ordered Billy out of his house as Ashley and Traci looked on. Billy argued that they all shared the same father, so it was their house. Billy referred to how John had dished out the inheritance, and he wondered if Jack intended to keep changing the locks to keep him out. Billy declared that he was legally entitled to pick out a room, and Jack dared Billy to try it. Billy taunted that Jack only pretended to have the clout and cunning that their dad had possessed, but Jack was no more like their father than Billy was.

Jack conceded that he wasn't the man his father had been, but he couldn't believe Billy had the audacity to measure himself against John. Ashley ordered the men into separate corners, but Billy snapped that just because they had different mothers didn't make him any less an Abbott. Jack called Billy an embarrassment to the family, but Billy recalled that Jack's affair with Jill had caused their father's stroke. Traci begged them to stop, and she lectured that what was unforgivable was forgetting who their father had been. Traci believed that if John were there, he'd be ashamed of both of his sons.

After Traci led Billy out, Ashley pointed out that she was less of an Abbott than Billy was, and she questioned whether Jack planned to lock her out, too. Jack insisted that Ashley was an Abbott, but she reminded him that she didn't have Abbott blood. Jack reiterated that she was his sister in every way that mattered, but she thought the family breakfast had only made things worse, and she prepared to take off. Jack apologized if he'd been insensitive to her, and he explained that he'd gone after Billy because of what Billy had done to him and their family. He swore that he'd never loved Ashley less because of who her biological parents had been.

Ashley considered it strange that Billy and Traci didn't know the truth, but Jack asserted that it shouldn't matter to anyone. Jack was sure that it wouldn't have made a difference to John if he'd known, since Ashley had always been his favorite. Jack figured that John would have had her running the company, and their father would have been over the moon about Jabot Go. Jack credited Ashley for single-handedly reigniting their business and giving Brash & Sassy a run for their money, and she suspected that he was planning something. Jack thought it was time to throw Brash & Sassy to the curb, but Ashley surmised that he was just trying to punish Billy some more.

Ashley noted that she'd proposed the idea weeks earlier, but Jack had shot it down. Jack reasoned that they'd needed the rent to stay in the black at the time, but he didn't want the competition so close. Ashley guessed that Jack was trying to keep Billy and Phyllis apart, but she stressed that Phyllis was the one who should get the boot, and she asked how long Jack planned to keep his ex-wife employed. Jack remarked that life was too short to dwell on hating Phyllis, and he abruptly left.

In Chancellor Park, Billy told Traci that he'd tried to make amends, but Jack was sanctimonious and wouldn't listen. Traci thought John would have reminded them that family had to find a way to get along, and she vowed not to give up on trying to broker peace between the Abbott men. She spotted a sign advertising Christmas trees for sale, and she proclaimed that the Christmas magic was starting right there.

Later, Billy carried a tree into the Abbott mansion, and Traci thought decorating it would make him feel better. She asked if he planned to open presents with his kids that year, and he reported that Victoria was spending time with the children on Christmas Eve while he took them on Christmas Day. He explained that they'd made the schedule around Victoria's Christmas wedding, but she'd since broken her engagement. Traci warned that children grew up fast, and there were only a couple of years to have the priceless moments when kids were overjoyed and excited for Christmas, so it would be sad if both parents couldn't be there for that.

Traci and Billy decorated the tree, and she found an ornament that she'd loved as a kid. Billy remembered his dad letting him play with it because it was unbreakable, and Traci discovered ornaments bearing the names of family members. She hung up ones for herself, Ashley, and Jack, but she wondered where Billy's was. He divulged that he'd never had one, since he'd been too young for the tradition, but he was accustomed to being the odd Abbott out. Traci assured Billy that he'd never been loved any less and that all of the boxes were full of his family's memories and heirlooms.

At Newman Enterprises, Victor told Victoria that he wasn't surprised about her broken engagement, and he was relieved that she hadn't made a bad mistake by marrying Travis. Victor added that he was disappointed for her, and they hugged. Victoria believed that she wasn't capable of having a successful marriage, but Victor promised that she'd eventually find the right man. Victoria declared that she didn't want or need a man to complete her life. Nikki walked in and cheerfully presented Victoria with a garment bag.

Nikki felt terrible when she learned that Victoria had called off the wedding, and Victor offered to have a bonfire at the ranch to burn the bridal gown. Victoria suspected that Nikki had thought that Victoria and Travis' relationship hadn't been the real thing, and she wondered why her mother hadn't said something. Nikki recalled that she'd tried, but Victoria hadn't been listening. Nikki encouraged Victoria to move on with the rest of her life, and she suggested that Victor take care of Travis. Victoria mentioned that Travis had checked out of the Athletic Club that morning.

Nikki asked if she could do anything to help, and Victoria requested help with swearing off men, since she never wanted to go through anything like that again. Nikki assumed that Travis had confessed to cheating, but Victoria revealed that Billy had told her. Victor grumbled that Billy was back in Victoria's life just as soon as she'd gotten Travis out of it, but Victoria maintained that she wanted nothing to do with men.

Victoria couldn't think of a single one of her relationships that Victor had approved of, and he couldn't, either. With an affectionate glance at Nikki, Victor added that it didn't mean that Victoria couldn't spend her life with a smart, loyal spouse, and Nikki kissed him. Victoria announced that she'd bailed on her quest for an ideal soul mate, and she'd be happy raising her kids and going to work. Victoria realized that Travis had just been a rebound, and she should have given herself more time after her breakup with Billy. She recognized that Billy had finally done something good by shedding light on the situation.

Nikki and Victoria retreated to Victoria's house, and Victoria reported that Johnny and Katie had been asking where Travis was. Victoria thought it was scary to think about how close he'd been to becoming their stepfather, and Nikki agreed that Victoria had to be careful about who to introduce to the kids, but she said Victoria didn't have to control everything. Nikki praised Victoria for the stance she'd taken with Travis by not allowing herself to become a doormat, and Victoria replied that she'd been able to spot a disaster after all of her failed marriages. Nikki implored Victoria to go on with her life, and they hugged.

Later, Victoria cleaned up the house and found Travis' identification badge on the floor. The doorbell rang, and Billy dramatically called out that it was the Ghost of Christmas Future. Billy offered to take the kids on Christmas Eve if Victoria preferred to have them on Christmas instead, but she said she didn't need his pity, and she opted to stick to the original schedule. She showed him to the door, and he asked her to kiss the children goodnight for him. He hovered outside for a moment, and she watched through the window as he walked away.

Victor met Ashley at the park café, and she bemoaned that Abby should be celebrating her first wedding anniversary rather than ending her marriage. Victor proclaimed that Abby was strong like her mother, and he promised to make Christmas special for Abby. Ashley thought it would be tough with Victoria getting married, but Victor disclosed that Victoria had called off the wedding. Ashley mused that parenting was still a full-time job even after their kids had reached adulthood, and it never stopped. Victor inquired whether Ashley had to get back to the office to save her brother from himself, and he recognized that she was the reason Jabot was back on top.

Victor proudly showed Ashley photos of Christian, and he thought the boy was happy to finally be where he belonged. Ashley couldn't help but feel for Sharon and Dylan, since she knew what it was like to have a child taken away. Victor asserted that Christian was better off being raised as a Newman so that he'd have all the advantages in the world, but Ashley lectured that money didn't guarantee a child's happiness. Victor anticipated that Christian would grow up with his father's love and the money and power to change the world. Ashley kissed Victor's cheek and departed.

Later, Nikki found Victor in his office, and she relayed that Victoria was covering her pain but would be all right. Victor said it fit into his plans, and he presented Nikki with a gift. She said it was early for Christmas, but he countered that he didn't need an excuse to buy her a present. Nikki gasped when she opened an extravagant necklace, but she didn't understand why Victor hadn't waited. He announced that it was for their trip, since the jet was ready, and all they had to do was pick a destination. He promised that they'd be back in time to trim the tree, and she excitedly prepared to pack.

Ashley returned to the mansion and admired the decorations, and Traci reported that Billy had helped. Traci hated that things had gotten that bad between Jack and Billy, and she thought Billy was willing to try, but they had to work on Jack. Ashley thought it would take a Christmas miracle for their family to gather around the tree, but Traci thought there was nothing wrong with having hope, and she turned the Christmas tree lights on. Ashley gasped at how beautiful it was, and she marveled at the many memories they'd had. Traci refused to give up on trying to do what their dad would have wanted, and Ashley agreed.

At the Athletic Club, Lauren was on the phone, telling someone that the numbers couldn't be right. She was startled when Michael nuzzled her neck, and she ended the call. Michael reported that he had bad news about their anniversary the following day, since he had to cancel their dinner plans to be at a deposition. Lauren admitted to being in work mode herself, and she suggested that they celebrate another time. Lauren was distracted by another call as Phyllis approached their table and gushed that it was the couple's anniversary. Lauren rushed off to answer the call, and she appeared to be crestfallen by some news.

Lauren returned and apologized, and Phyllis said Michael had filled her in about things being stressful at work. Lauren chalked it up to having delivery issues around the holidays, and Michael declared that his wife was the world's smartest retailer. Michael stepped aside to respond to a text message, and Phyllis sensed that things weren't as rosy as Lauren was making them out to be. Phyllis assured her that no one could get through the biggest buying season without going to Fenmore's, but Lauren remained glum, and Phyllis asked how bad it was. Lauren confided that things were a little rough, but Fenmore's always recouped.

Phyllis advised Lauren to embrace online shopping, and she volunteered to take a look at Fenmore's website. Lauren conceded that she hadn't updated the store's online presence, and the site had just been there to drive customers to the stores. Phyllis suggested that the site generate revenue by itself, but Lauren groaned that it would take a complete overhaul. Phyllis offered to put together a proposal for her, but Lauren noted that Phyllis already had a job. Phyllis lamented that she didn't see a long-term future at Jabot, and Jack interrupted and announced that he had a proposition to make. Lauren started to step away, but Jack clarified that his proposition was for Lauren, not Phyllis.

Phyllis joined Michael at the bar, and he asked why she was there while Jack was with Lauren. Phyllis replied that Jack was propositioning Michael's wife, and Michael wondered why Phyllis no longer seemed optimistic. Phyllis wished that Michael could tell her that she and Jack would work through it, and Michael hoped they did. She urged Michael to always appreciate what he had, and he declared that she'd helped him solve a big problem. He told her to hang in there, and he stepped away.

Lauren was stunned when Jack asked her to be the sponsor of the foundation's charity banquet on New Year's Eve. Lauren stammered that she was flattered, since it was a cause near to her heart, and he asked if they could add a Fenmore's shopping spree to their silent auction. Lauren questioned what the cost would be to be the patron of the event, and Jack scoffed at the thought that cost mattered to her. She balked because it was the end of the year, and he asked if business was good. She claimed that it was great, but she just wasn't as liquid as she'd like to be.

Lauren recounted that she would have lost Fen without the help of the foundation's recovery center, and she asked who else Jack was asking for support. He said he was approaching all the movers and shakers in town, and he recalled that she'd inherited an empire, so it was only right to give back. She remembered that her father had believed strongly in doing so, and she told Jack that he could count on her. Michael interrupted to take back his wife, and he pulled Lauren to her feet and kissed her. Michael announced that it was a preview of the revelry that was about to commence that night. They kissed, but she was clearly distracted.

Michael told Lauren to close her eyes as he led her into a hotel room, and he presented her with a blackjack table. He instructed her to place her money and take her chances, and she flashed back to him proposing to her. Michael turned over cards that wished Lauren a happy anniversary, and he looked forward to having her in his arms at the stroke of midnight on their anniversary. They kissed, but Lauren's phone rang, and she mentioned that she was expecting a work call. Michael protested that her employees could handle it, but only she could handle him. He amorously urged her to relax and enjoy, but she remained uneasy.

Downstairs at the bar, Jack asked how Phyllis was doing, and she said she was okay as long as he didn't hate her. He confirmed that he didn't hate her, but he just didn't want to be married to her. She noted that Michael and Lauren had been able to patch things up after having rough spots, and Jack pointedly said he'd just been thinking about the Baldwins' wedding, since Phyllis had left the event with Nick. Jack commented that history had a way of repeating itself, but Phyllis refused to let him berate her. He asked about what was going on with Lauren and whether everything was all right at Fenmore's, but Phyllis stated that she worked at Jabot.

Jack pointed out that Lauren usually never hesitated to write a check for charity, but she had just hedged. He speculated that Fenmore's had had a bad year, and Phyllis questioned whether he was thinking about poaching the company. Jack insisted that he was loyal to his friends, and Phyllis said she had to head back to the office to work on a proposal that she was excited about. Jack reminded Phyllis that she worked for him, and she told him to get it over with and fire her.

Phyllis chased Jack into the foyer and accused him of not letting her go, but Jack said she needed to be the one to let go. He recognized the excitement in her eyes and the passion in her voice when she'd been talking about a new venture, and he genuinely wanted her to be happy again. Jack implored Phyllis to let go so they could both find what made them happy, and she became choked up as she realized that they weren't going to make it. He suddenly pulled her into a kiss. "Goodbye, Red," he firmly stated before he stepped through the revolving door, leaving a crushed Phyllis behind.

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