When Eva wonders why Aidan was so late home, he lies, making out he spent the night in the factory catching up on paperwork. Aidan, Beth, Craig, Eva, Jenny, Kate, Michelle and Steve gather at Maria’s flat, determined to celebrate Christmas with her before her court appearance. When Eva finds out how Aidan punched Adam out of allegiance to Maria, she’s proud of him and Aidan feels terrible. Extricating himself from the party, Aidan heads to the factory where he texts Maria to join him. Promising Maria that he’s going to finish with Eva, Aidan and Maria kiss passionately, unaware of Johnny watching them. Is the game up?
The Barlows gather at No.1 for an early Christmas. When Peter furtively removes a present from under the tree and stuffs it in a drawer, Nick’s intrigued. Simon’s underwhelmed with his present from Peter, a console game he’s already played. But when Nick presents him with a drone, Simon’s ecstatic. As Leanne rails at Nick for trying to upstage Peter, Peter slips out of No.1 and surreptitiously books a hotel room, who is his mystery woman?
The police question Sarah about Bethany’s disappearance. When Gary reveals that Bethany’s become involved with an older man, Sarah’s horrified. Norris reveals he saw Bethany on Maxine’s bench and Luke had his arm round her. Appalled, Gary confronts Luke and accuses him of grooming Bethany. Luke furiously denies it whilst Faye listens with alarm.
Billy’s thrilled when he receives an email telling him he’s got the job at the Rehab Centre. To appease Steph, Andy goes to the doctors about his headaches. Whilst the doctor is distracted, he steals some painkillers from her emergency bag. Having retrieved Michelle’s new TV from the allotment, Craig helps Tim unload it, but the box splits and the TV hits the cobbles.
Aidan admits to Johnny he’s in love with Maria. Johnny warns him that Maria’s a nightmare compared to Eva who worships the ground he walks on. Maria returns home to find Eva has worked her socks off preparing dinner for everybody. Masking her guilt, Maria thanks her. A tearful Maria explains to Liam that she might be going away for a while but she loves him very much. When Eva confides in Aidan how worried she is about Maria, will Aidan be able to bring himself to tell her his guilty secret and break her heart. Meanwhile Maria heads to court...will she be spending Christmas behind bars?
As the Barlows settle down to a board game, a sheepish Nick returns and apologises to Peter for his earlier behaviour. Leanne’s pleased but as she and Peter reminisce about their shared love of Bros, Nick feels left out. Whilst nobody’s around, Nick pulls out the present which Peter stuffed in a drawer. He’s gutted to see it’s a Bros tape labelled “to the love of my life”. Is Peter planning to make a move on Leanne?
As Luke and Gary square up to each other, they spot Bethany heading for No.8. When a baffled Bethany assures Gary she’s been with a mate and not Luke, Gary apologises to Luke for the misunderstanding. Sarah tears a strip of Bethany for causing so much worry and demands to know who the older man is. Wishing the ground would swallow her up, will Bethany reveal that the older man is Gary? Alone and deeply troubled, Bethany swallows more diet pills.
As Billy writes Christmas cards to his old parishioners, Todd wonders if he regrets his decision to leave the church. Having bought a replacement TV, Tim and Craig carry it inside. Assuming it to be her Christmas present, Sally’s thrilled, but how will Steve react when Tim is forced to come clean? Andy stares at the stolen painkillers, disgusted with what he’s become.