I’m stuffed with cookies and good spirit, so we’re doing a recap! We open on the hospital, where Nathan is wearing an adorable bib and little white socks to eat his Christmas Eve ribs. Maxie calls from Portland, looking more festive and fresh faced than I ever am after a cross country flight.
But she apparently got bumped to first class on the last minute Christmas Eve flight she was somehow able to afford, despite not having had a job in over a year. Because these are the kinds of things that happen to soap opera people.
Alexis walks into the gallery to overhear Julian on the phone with Lucas, explaining that he’s not going to Sam’s for Christmas, since Alexis is living there and still hates his guts. Also, it would be awkward with his recent kidnapping victim also living there.
Speaking of which: over at Sam’s, Ric swears to Molly that he’s not interested in revenge against Julian. He just wants to enjoy being back with his family. Sam comes down with Danny, and she and Ric share an awkward moment. He thanks her sincerely for letting him stay at her house the night before, considering their… colorful… history. Sam is just happy for Molly.
Hospital Christmas party! Elizabeth, Jake and Cam arrive to find Nikolas already there with Spencer and Josslyn. He and Liz greet each other cordially but there is definitely some fraught staring — seriously, how many potential love interests can one lady juggle? Liz has THREE in this one episode alone. Damn, girl.
When Liz walks away, Nikolas warns Spencer to keep his mouth shut about Helena spending the holidays with them. Isn’t that lying, Spencer asks? Shouldn’t be a problem, as long as she behaves herself. Um, Nik? Have you met your grandmother? Good luck with that.
Patrick greets Jake and asks if he’s given any more thought to seeing Kevin for help with his memory problems. No, of course not. If even half the people in this town actually went to the therapy they needed, nothing would ever happen.
Liz thanks Monica for keeping the tradition of reading the Christmas story alive. She knows her grandfather would be pleased. But Monica reminds her that she’s not longer Chief of Staff — which is weird, actually. I would have thought that the hospital board would have ousted Obrecht before Victor’s body was even cold.
Right on cue, the lights dim and Obrecht shows up in an AMAZING Krampus costume and proceeds to give the children a PowerPoint presentation about how he’s going to eat them. I… love her. So much.
Julian wants to know if Alexis is there to forgive him in time for a Christmas miracle. But no. She’s there to confront him about holding Ric hostage. Julian helpfully explains that technically he wasn’t lying about it at the time she asked. Alexis somehow resists the urge to slap him.
Molly wants to know why Ric hasn’t let Elizabeth know that she’s alive yet. He makes a bunch of excuses about how she’s probably busy with the holidays, but Molly says they had something good going and he should go to her. Dear Molly: shut up. You are the worst and your ideas are terrible.
At the hospital party, Monica does Krampus damage control with a creepy pro-Santa chant. Elizabeth asks Patrick to bring Cam home later — she and Jake need to go put his bike together. So domestic!
Sam and Danny show up, and Jake asks if she still thinks he’s guilty. But Sam doesn’t want to fight about it at a kids’ party. Liz marches out with her bitchiest bitch face on, and I hate to say it, but I really need her to take that death glare down about ten notches.
Especially because as soon as she and Jake leave, Sam tells Patrick that she’s worried about Elizabeth’s safety.
PATRICK: You think that Jake Doe is the gunman?
SAM: Yes, I do. But Elizabeth seems to think that he’s Brad Pitt and Santa Claus wrapped up into one sizzling package.
Well, is she really wrong, Sam? (Also, Sam being worried about Liz! SIZZLE LIVES!)
Spinelli opens the door with a huge smile and tells Maxie that she is “the picture of winsomeness and motherly grace.” The fact that I don’t immediately feel the need to punch him means I’m either filled with the Christmas spirit or it’s been just long enough that I’ve built up a tolerance to Spinelli-isms.
In any case, it’s good to see him, and good to see Maxie reunited with Georgie, even though Georgie is probably wondering who this weird lady is and when Ellie is coming home.
Julian thinks he doesn’t owe Alexis any explanations for KIDNAPPING A MAN since she broke things off between them. He tells her to get the hell out of his life. Ugh. What happened to repentant Julian? I just do not understand why they’re writing him this way.
As Liz and Jake arrive back at her place, he points out an origami mistletoe hanging in the entryway, which he and Cam conspired to hang. This flirting is getting out of control. I MAY DIE. He remembers that it’s bad luck to stand under mistletoe without kissing. Smooth, Jake! Liz is caught off guard and everything turns adorably awkward. And then this happens:
JAKE: You’re the first person I remember talking to. You gave me a point of reference. You helped me repair myself. You opened up you home to me. And beyond all that, you gave me someone to care for. I care about you, and if that’s not what you intended, if I’m reading all of this wrong, I’m sorry–
ELIZABETH: You’re not. Everyone keeps telling me how compassionate I am for letting you stay with me. And in the beginning, honestly, I just wanted to help you out. But it’s more than that now. Because I do care about you.
Jake smiles, and they both lean in, and of course that is when goddamn Ric swoops in with an epic cock block. OF COURSE. (True story: I watched this at my parents’ house, and at this point, I yelled so loudly that my dad came running in to see if I was being murdered.)
Jake looks on as Elizabeth has a tearful reunion with Ric. She introduces them and he leaves to give them some space. Ric wonders if he was interrupting something. YES. YOU WERE. GO AWAY, RIC.
Back at the party, Sam and Patrick flirt and agree that repairing their friendship has been an early Christmas present to them both. And that they’ll always have Amsterdam. Oh, you two. Why aren’t you making out constantly? WHY?
Maxie and Spinelli sit with Georgie, who is very cute, and also very much what you’d expect a child of Spinelli’s to look like. He wonders why Judge Plot Point would reverse his ruling like that. In a series of flashbacks, we find out that Obrecht threatened to have Monica fired unless Monica interceded with her boyfriend on Maxie’s behalf. Seems like Monica probably would have done without the threats if Maxie had just asked? But whatever.
Elizabeth assures Ric that she always believed in him. Ric says that the last few months have been the worst of his life, but his feelings for her haven’t changed. Liz’s face kind of freezes, so he attempts to back off and give her time to think.
But she tells him she dreamed of this and kisses him — just as Jake walks by the open door with Cam’s completed bike. Okay: 1) Jake apparently still has Jason’s mechanic skills because that was super fast, 2) it is winter, Elizabeth! there is fake snow on your porch! close your damn door! and 3) OW, MY HEART.
Alexis tells Julian that she doesn’t know what she’s even doing there; she’s just so sad they’re over. Julian says it doesn’t have to be that way. He does love her, but she has to accept him for who he is. Which sounds reasonable until you remember that “who he is” is someone who lies to her constantly, put her family in danger, got her house burned down, and recently tried to extort one of her other baby daddies by threatening to kill another one. Why is this being positioned as her problem when he is the one screwing up?
Alexis, because she also understands that this is bullshit, says that she can’t do that. They’re both openly crying as they say goodbye. SO IS MY HEART. AGAIN.
Monica wants to know what the hell Judge Plot Point’s grudge against Maxie was all about. So finally, we get a reason for this insane vendetta! And that is: apparently, he had a daughter who reminded him of Maxie — impulsive and always getting away with all her selfish misbehavior because no one ever punished her.
And then she died in a drunk driving accident, so now he abuses his judicial power to ruin the lives of people who had nothing to with that in order to teach his dead daughter a lesson. Or something. WHATEVER, JUDGE PLOT POINT.
TJ shows up at Molly’s house with an awesome reindeer hat and a framed picture of her and Ric, which is very sweet. Molly gives him the good news about her father.
Maxie calls Nathan to introduce him to Georgie. He insists that he had nothing to do with the judge’s decision, but since Nathan is as convincing an actor as his portrayer, I don’t think she’s really buying it. When they hang up, Obrecht comes in, and she and Nathan have a sweet moment where he calls her mom and holds her hand.
Kathleen Gatti sings us into a final montage of Maxie hanging her and original Georgie’s ornaments on the tree. Apparently Maxie was now born in 1986, which isn’t that big of a SORAS, actually. We end on Patrick and Sam noticing they’re standing under some mistletoe. Finally, someone that I want to kiss actually does in this damn episode!
I so seriously want these two to be endgame, it’s not even funny.
Happy holidays, everyone! If none of your loved ones return from the dead, may your day at least be free of drama and full of nog.