Terry’s surprised to encounter Carol manically cleaning the kitchen in the middle of the night. Morgan’s excited for his Christmas play. David’s not at the car lot and Bianca wonders if he’s left Walford. Tiffany sees a text message on Carol’s phone from the doctor’s surgery. Carol claims it’s about a repeat prescription. Later, Carol’s surprised to find David visiting Alice in prison and is intrigued by his sudden interest; David claims he’s merely showing support. Carol’s dreading returning home and David takes her out for a meal. Carol’s determined to put herself first for once; she and David share a bottle of wine and reminisce about drinking as teenagers. David tells Carol he’s missed her. Carol insists they can only be friends but can’t help tipsily flirting with him. David gets a hotel room for them, but Carol suddenly flees. Later, at the surgery, Carol tells Dr Hall she found a lump in her right breast. After a physical examination, the doctor’s concerned about Carol’s family history. Carol asks if it could be cancer and is referred to a consultant. Although fearful of what lies ahead, Carol stoically forces a smile and joins the Butchers to attend Morgan’s Christmas play.
When Dot’s burglar alarm goes off in the middle of the night, she frantically tries to silence it. Poppy turns it off and tries to soothe a panicked Dot but she scuttles back to bed. The next morning, Dot refuses to go to work and snaps at Poppy. Reverend Stevens calls round enthusing about the cheque presentation. Dot grabs her biscuit tin and hurries out. She dithers outside the police station, then goes to the bank and asks for a £2,500 loan. The cashier’s concerned Dot can’t afford the repayments and suggests using her savings. Dot arrives back on the Square just in time to present a large cheque to Reverend Stevens. She hands over the biscuit tin, now filled with money, and struggles to smile as a Walford Gazette photographer snaps pictures. Poppy discovers Dot’s hand-bell in the bin.
Dexter apologises to Cora. Cora’s pleased to hear Dexter punched Sam. Cora informs Dexter that Ava’s having to selling her car to pay the bills, and turned down a job in Newcastle because she was worried about him. Dexter gives Phil a dancing Santa by way of an apology. Phil delights in smashing it to bits and agrees to give Dexter his job back. Abi sympathises about Sam, assuring Dexter he has a family in her, Jay and Lola. Later, Dexter reveals he’s accepted the job offer for Ava in Newcastle – he’ll help her settle in and then return to Walford to live with Cora. Dexter bids goodbye to Abi, Lola and Jay and bundles Ava into a taxi. Ava won’t let Dexter come with her, insisting Dexter has his own life to lead. Dexter joins his friends as Ava bids Cora goodbye. Cora’s touched when Ava calls her ‘Mum’ and watches tearfully as Ava’s taxi drives away.
With Lola and Billy spending Christmas at Phil’s, Tina’s keen to make Christmas plans with Shirley but they’re broke. Tina offers to help with the Christmas day street party and isn’t impressed on learning it’s unpaid as it’s for charity. Shirley brings Tina a funeral wreath to hang on their front door for Christmas. Tina pleads there is one way they could get some cash for Christmas but Shirley refuses to listen.
Alfie instils a £50 Christmas present budget and stresses about the street party. When Kat confronts him, Alfie admits that Janine doesn’t want them to stay at the Vic.
Lauren’s convinced Sadie hates her and thinks she’ll have to quit her job at Beauty. Jake pleads with her not to.