It's Christmas in Springfield...
The Bauers are all together.
Ed sits in his chair.
Everyone is dressed nice.
Rick is trying to figure out his new video camera.
Mel sits next to him, "Honey just let me give you a hand with it."
He shakes his head, "No. I can figure it out. Just be patient."
Ed looks around, "Some things never change."
Leah is texting on the couch.
Mel looks at her, "Young lady. It's a holiday."
She nods, "I know! But James texted me Merry Christmas. He's so sweet."
Mel walks away into the kitchen.
Michelle sighs, "Imagine how different our childhoods would have been if we had cell phones. All the dumb things you can do now-"
Michelle catches herself.
Leah looks down as everyone remembers her sexting scandal.
Jude changes the subject, "Speaking of phones what happened to me getting a new one?"
Rick scoffs, "Seriously? That's what you're going to say today?"
Mel walks back over, "Michelle could you come here for a second?"
Michelle walks into the kitchen with Mel.
She looks at her, "What's up?"
Mel smiles, "Someone's at the door." '
Michelle looks over.
J stands at the back door.
Michelle walks over, "Hi."
He looks at her, "Hey. I was on my way to see my parents and I felt like stopping by to give you this."
J hands Michelle a present.
She smiles at him.
Mallet and Dinah's House:
The Marlers are at Mallet and Dinah's.
Dinah walks over to Belinda, "Hey."
Belinda turns away.
Dinah sighs, "It's Christmas."
Belinda nods, "And I'm not making a scene. I'm being respectful to the rest of the family. It doesn't mean that I'm not still pissed."
Dinah looks at her, "If you think you can get out of trouble by turning things around on me and your Dad you are wrong."
Belinda scoffs, "You really don't get it do you?"
Belinda walks away.
Mallet walks up to Dinah, "You okay?"
Dinah sighs, "I don't know."
He holds her.
Across the room.
Jason stands with Ross.
Ross looks at him, "So how has your brother been?"
Jason sighs, "I don't know?"
Ross looks at him, "What do you mean?"
Jason looks around, "He got kicked out of the apartment."
Ross stares, "What?"
Jason nods, "At first I thought... I was on his side you know? He's my brother. But he has a lot of anger. And he isn't good at controlling it."
Ross shakes his head, "No he's not. I'm worried about him."
Jason nods, "Me too. Rocky is afraid of him. All of my roommates are afraid of him. And frankly so am I."
Ross nods, "I know what you mean. I see so much of... I just see a lot of anger in him. I know it's partially my fault. But Kevin's always had problems like that."
Jason sighs, "I don't know what to do."
Ross looks at him, "I love you and your brother. But he needs help, help that you cannot give him."
Kevin walks up behind him, "Wow. Unbelievable."
Ross turns, "Kevin..."
Kevin shakes his head, "I really thought Coop was the one turning people against me. But it's been you all along hasn't it? Hasn't it?!?!"
The whole family looks over at them.
Kevin stares at his father.
Matt is finishing up the decorations.
Maureen looks at him, "This place looks great Daddy."
He looks at her, "You know you can visit your Mom if you want."
She shakes her head, "I had Christmas Eve with her. I'm spending Christmas Day with you."
He sighs, "I just don't want you feeling obligated to keep me company."
Maureen looks at him, "Trust me. I want to be here. I'm a Reardon and this is where Reardon's belong."
Matt hugs his daughter.
Quint and Nola walk in.
Nola grins, "Happy Holidays!"
Matt walks over, "Hey you two. How is the house coming?"
Quint sighs, "The decorating still isn't as perfect as my wife would like, but it's going well."
Nola laughs, "Sorry for wanting our home to be perfect."
Matt laughs, "I couldn't imagine it any other way."
The three of them go and sit down at the table.
Peter walks down with Stephanie.
Matt grins, "Hey you two just in time."
Stephanie hugs Matt, "Merry Christmas."
He looks at her stomach, "Wow I can't believe how far along you are now."
Stephanie nods, "Yeah. Peter has been great through all of this."
Peter rubs her stomach.
Bridget and Dylan walk in with Baby Adam.
Bridget smiles, "Merry Christmas everyone."
Dylan grins, "What did we miss?"
Bridget looks over at her son Peter rubbing his girlfriends pregnant belly.
A very confused Bridget stares at him.
Josh is sitting in his chair in the living room.
He has been feeling ill all week.
Billy walks over to him, "You sure you're going to be up to today little brother? Because I know that nobody would blame you if you wanted to go rest."
Josh shakes his head, "I think I can handle celebrating Christmas."
Reva and Noah walk in with their gifts.
Reva smiles, "Merry Christmas."
Noah walks over, "How you feeling Josh?"
Josh sighs, "I'm fine, thank you Dr. Chase. But I do not want to talk about the C word at all today."
Noah nods, "In that case remember to call me Noah."
The two men shake hands.
Reva looks at Josh, "Merry Christmas Bud."
He smiles, "Merry Christmas Reva.
Shayne and Ava walk in with little HB.
Ava smiles, "Hi everyone.
Reva walks over and hugs them both.
Shayne grins, "Merry Christmas Mom."
Ava sits her son down.
She walks over to Bill, "Where is Spencer?"
He nods, "She is with Phillip at the Spaulding Mansion. She asked to spend the holidays with them and I allowed it of course."
Ava rubs his back.
Shayne walks over to his Dad, "How you feeling?"
Josh grins, "I'm great."
Shayne nods, "Good, good. So where is Marah?"
Reva looks around, "She hasn't shown up yet?"
Josh sighs, "Uh she called me last night. She won't be able to make it."
Reva stares, "What?"
Shayne looks at him, "She missed last night too. I thought for sure she'd be here today."
Josh sighs, "I don't know. I told her we welcomed her with or without Edmund. But she said she wasn't feeling well."
Noah sighs, "Maybe that's for the better then you know... Sorry."
Josh laughs, "You're right. My daughter shouldn't be here for Christmas because if she's sick then she can't really be around me right?"
A disappointed Josh looks away.
The new Spaulding family portrait hangs on the wall.
Alexandra looks at it, "It just may be the best one yet."
Natalia, Rafe, and little AJ walk in.
Natalia smiles, "Merry Christmas Alex."
Alex looks at them, "Where on Earth have you been? I thought you of all people would respect that Christmas is about spending time with your family."
Natalia nods, "I was at church Alexandra."
Alex nods, "Oh yes. There is that too I suppose."
Natalia nods, "I know you're missing your brother this time of year. I miss him too. And I know he misses you."
Alex laughs, "Alan misses his freedom. He doesn't miss me."
Natalia looks at her, "Alan has accepted his fate. He knows he isn't leaving prison and he is coming to terms."
Alex stares, "I don't believe that for a minute. Alan is calculating and planning. Trust me, he will be out by next Christmas. And he will be worse than ever."
Alex walks away.
In the next room.
Beth walks over to Phillip.
He smiles, "Hi."
She kisses him, "Merry Christmas."
He looks at her, "Merry Christmas."
She smiles, "Every morning I wake up as your wife feels like Christmas."
He runs his fingers through her hair, "I love you Beth."
She looks at him, "You okay?"
He looks around, "I just hoped Emma... I mean 'Spencer' could have been her today. But she is spending the holiday with the Lewises this year."
Beth sighs, "I'm sorry."
Phillip nods, "I just wish I could get to know her. I feel like I don't know her at all anymore."
Beth holds her husband.
Spencer sits with her book.
She lights her cigarette.
She breathes in then exhales.
A homeless man wanders over, "Merry Christmas."
She looks at him, "Happy Holidays."
He looks at her, "You one of those people?"
She stares at him, "What kind of people?"
He nods, "A Jew or something?"
She sighs, "I'm an Atheist."
He stares, "Oh... why?"
She scoffs, "Why does everyone ask that? Like there has to be some horrible reason for why I'm an Atheist? Like something must have happened to make me think that. It can't possibly just be my sense of logic?"
He sighs, "Sorry."
She stares, "Everyone thinks I'm heartless anyways. Like I have no emotions."
He stares, "Are you?"
Spencer looks out at the town.
She sighs, "Sometimes I feel like maybe there's something wrong with me. Like I'm missing some sort of shield or filter. I feel everything deeper than people are supposed to. That's why I don't love people anymore. It hurts like hell. I would rather spend the rest of my life alone then have to feel the burden of loving another human being."
He stares, "So you're alone on Christmas by choice?"
She nods, "Yep. I told my Dad that I was spending Christmas with my Father. And I told my Father that I was spending Christmas with my Dad."
He looks at her, "I'm confused."
Spencer nods, "Join the club."
He stares, "You're... kinda messed up in the head huh?"
She looks at him, "You have no idea."
Spencer takes her cigarette and digs it into her arm, burning herself.
Her emotionless face stares down.
Bridget and Dylan look over at Peter.
Bridget stares, "Wow... hi Stephanie."
Stephanie nods, "Hi."
She looks at them, "Something you forgot to tell me?"
Peter stares, "Oh no. Stephanie is pregnant. But she was pregnant when we started dating."
Bridget stares, "Oh. I see."
Peter nods, "But I'm going to be there for her."
Nola grins, "That nice. That's a Reardon for you."
Bridget looks at them, "Congratulations Stephanie."
Stephanie nods, "Thank you."
Bridget looks at her son, "Would you help me get the gifts out of the car?"
Peter walks out with his mother.
Bridget sighs, "When were you going to tell me about this?"
Peter sighs, "I just did."
Bridget looks at him, "Peter. This is a big deal. Do you realize that?"
He looks at her, "It doesn't have to be."
Bridget nods, "Uh yeah it does. She is pregnant."
Peter stares, "But I didn't get her pregnant."
Bridget sighs, "But you are her boyfriend. And you love helping people. It's one of your greatest qualities Peter. I love that about you."
He looks at her, "But?"
She sighs, "You are going to get attached to this baby."
He shakes his head, "You don't know what you're talking about."
Bridget stares, "Excuse me? I just adopted a beautiful son and I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to loving a child that isn't biologically yours."
He nods, "So?"
She nods, "I also know what it's like when a young girl is pregnant and someone offers to help her. She is going to make decisions she regrets later. I am trying to stop you before you get hurt."
Peter looks at his mother.
He turns and looks through the window at Stephanie.
The Spauldings all stand together.
Everyone is holding glasses.
Phillip looks at his family, "This has been a very crazy year for our family."
Alex laughs, "I would say it's an average year for this family Darling."
Natalia looks at Alexandra.
Phillip nods, "Maybe so. But we certainly have been through a lot. We've gained new family, and we have lost family. We also had a lot of family come home."
Beth smiles at her husband.
He puts his arm around her, "I love my wife and all of my children, my grandchildren, and the rest of my family. Merry Christmas everyone."
Natalia smiles, "I'm very happy to be a part of this family. Thank you all for being so welcoming."
Phillip nods, "Of course Natalia. You are family."
Alexandra nods, "It's only a question of whether you want to be or not."
Phillip sighs, "The Spaulding family has been through a lot. But I say we dedicate the next year to change. We all lay low, avoid scandal, and change the meaning of the name Spaulding."
Alexandra nods, "No I'll toast to that."
Phillip grins, "Nothing is stopping our family from recovering.
Suddenly a group of people with cameras walk in.
Alex looks over, "What is going on?"
The family is shushed.
Everyone looks around.
The camera focuses on the doorway.
Liz walks in with her son.
She smiles, "Merry Christmas everyone."
Phillip looks at the cameras, "What is going on?"
The camera man whispers, "We're taping a reality show. Just pretend like we aren't here."
Liz smiles at her very confused family.
Mallet and Dinah's House:
Kevin looks at his father.
Ross sighs, "Can we not do this here?"
Kevin nods, "We already are."
Jason looks at him, "Come on man."
Kevin shakes his head, "Shut up."
Kevin stares at Ross.
Ross sighs, "I know you're going through a lot right now. And I'm sorry. But you cannot keep blaming other people for your actions Kevin. It's not healthy."
Kevin scoffs, "You're telling me what's healthy? You abandon your family, make us think you're dead, spend years hiding from us, then suddenly show up. And now you're telling me what's healthy?"
Blake walks over, "Kevin you need to calm down. Let's go outside."
Kevin shakes his head, "No."
Blake puts her hand on his shoulder, "Kevin-"
He pulls away, "No. Get your hands off of me!"
Blake sighs, "Kevin please."
He looks at his Dad, "This is what you wanted right? I'm the only one who isn't ready to forgive you so you decide to make everyone think I'm crazy?"
Ross shakes his head, "No. I would never do that."
Kevin looks around, "Well I got news for you. You can all go to hell."
Dinah sighs, "Kevin."
Kevin walks to the door, "Merry Christmas."
He tears down some of the decorations as he leaves.
He slams the door behind him.
The Marler family stands around and looks at each other.
Annie sits in her cell.
She was hoping to be able to sleep most of the day and not have to deal with facing a Christmas alone.
The woman in the cell next to her is staring at her.
Annie is trying to ignore it.
Finally Annie looks at her, "What?"
The woman scoffs, "Merry Christmas to you too."
Annie rolls her eyes.
The woman replies in her raspy voice, "I'm Cindy."
Annie nods, "I didn't ask."
Cindy sighs, "You're cheerful. What are you in here for?"
Annie shakes her head, "I'm innocent."
Annie looks at her, "It's true."
Cindy stares, "Listen, do you have any idea how hard it is to frame somebody? Pretty impossible to frame someone who is completely innocent. No. You had to have a little bit of blood on your hands to be put in here."
Annie sighs, "All I ever wanted was love and a family. I thought I had it again... but she was like a daughter to me. And she needed me. If she could love me like a mother I wasn't going to let that go. So I helped her... I risked everything to help her out. But she decided to screw it all up and go with some guy. So we turned on each other and she stabbed me in the back. And that is why I'm here."
Cindy keeps staring at her.
Annie scoffs, "It's not the fact that I'm in here that upsets me. Because I've been here a million times. It's the fact that she could do it to me. She never really loved me the way I thought she did. I gave up everything for her."
Cindy nods, "But don't you of all people know that bad deeds catch up to you eventually? Won't her mistakes come back to haunt her?"
Annie shakes her head, "Ordinarily that would make me happy. But for some reason I still care about her. I get to have all the maternal feelings and receive nothing back."
Cindy laughs, "That's what being a Mom is all about sometimes."
Annie stares, "I don't have energy to hate her today, or her Dad, or even... her real Mother."
Cindy nods, "Merry Christmas Annie."
Annie lays down and looks at the ceiling.
Bill stands with his father Billy.
Billy looks at him, "You okay?"
Bill nods, "Yeah I'm great. I just wish Olivia could have been here."
Billy sighs, "I know. But when you're an alcoholic these are some of the things you might want to avoid. The holidays can be the brightest times but they can also be the darkest."
Bill nods, "It's hard for me to see it that way."
Billy nods, "Well it's hard for anyone who isn't like that to see it that way Son. I may not have always cared for Olivia but I do know what she is going through. And she is apparently handling it better than I did."
Bill sighs, "I just wish she didn't have to go through it."
Billy puts his arm around him, "Well she has you. And trust me, someone who loves you and supports you can get you through just about anything."
Vanessa walks over, "What are you two talking about?"
Billy puts his other arm around her, "Why you Beautiful."
The two kiss.
Bill smiles at his parents.
Across the room Shayne and Ava stand together.
Shayne looks around, "I have a couple of gifts I'd like to give out."
Ava pulls out two gift wrapped boxes.
Shayne grins, "Mom, Dad, would you come over?"
Josh and Reva sit on the couch next to each other.
Shayne hands one to Josh.
Ava hands the other to Reva.
Shayne holds his phone and records the two opening their gifts.
The two take off the wrapping paper and open up the boxes.
They pull out picture frames.
Josh keeps turning his photo, "What is this?"
Reva stares, her eyes get teary.
Her jaw drops, "Oh my God? Is this?"
Josh starts grinning.
Reva jumps up, "Oh my God!"
She throws her arms around Shayne and Ava.
Josh stands up.
The Lewis family comes closer and sees the framed sonograms that were given to Josh and Reva.
The Bauer family is still exchanging gifts.
Mel holds little Freddie on her lap.
Rick sits with her, "Look at him. He's having the time of his life."
Mel smiles, "He's still too young to appreciate the holiday."
Rick looks at her, "Well we have plenty of years to look forward to for that."
Mel grins, "Yeah we do."
He holds her hand, "This has been a rough year Mel. But I honestly believe what doesn't kill us makes us stronger."
Mel smiles, "I think so too."
The two kiss.
Over in the kitchen.
Michelle stands with J in the doorway.
She looks at him, "Are you coming in?"
He shakes his head, "I can't stay long."
She holds her gift, "So I'm supposed to open this now in front of you right? That's what you're saying?"
He laughs, "I guess so."
She slowly opens her gift.
J watches her.
She holds a book.
She flips through the blank pages, "What is this?"
He grins, "Something for you to write in."
She stares at him.
He sighs, "You have a lot to say Michelle, I know that. You just never want to say it. So I thought maybe this coming year you could start saying it in here."
He puts his hand on the book he raises it to her chest over her heart.
She stares at him, "J..."
He smiles at her.
Michelle steps closer to him.
The two kiss.
Christmas continues in Springfield!
Someone sees Michelle and J
Kevin makes plans
Families grow closer