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End of the Road
514
Season
Episode
14
Airdate
October 19, 2013
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Written by
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Uncredited
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"End of the Road" is the 62nd episode of Desperate Schoolboys.

Summary

As Ben's trial nears its conclusion, he begins to worry more and more that he'll never see his friends and loved ones again. Locked up and beaten on Christmas Eve, Joe, Rena and Josh find a way to be productive when the evidence given to the police by Mary, Dean and Katie proves not to get them very far. Lyons' rage continues to spike, and everything's about to go down. Will the schoolboys see a Merry Christmas?

Plot

Teaser

Quote1
The Wiksteria police were dedicated to preserving justice. So when they had been informed that three teenage boys had been abducted by a former U.S. Marshall, the police immediately set off to save them...
Quote2

A SWAT team is approaching a suburban home, we see on the post box: Lyons, indicating the home belongs to Ericson. Once at the door of the house, the SWAT team look across the street to where Lieutenant Richardson is standing, waiting for him to give the order. Lieutenant Richardson, standing beside Officer Larkin, extends his arm to tell them to pause. The Lieutenant brings up a microphone and shouts, "Attention, Ericson Lyons, this is the police. We have you surrounded. Give up now." Everyone waits in anticipation for a response, but there is nothing. Richardson sighs and then points to the house, indicating to enter, causing the squat team to kick down the door and enter the suburban home. They look round with their guns, but see no one, and so make their way down the basement stairs.
Outside, Richardson and Larkin stand in wait, however, a member of the SWAT team exits the house and calls over, "The basement is empty." "What?!" Richardson yells in frustration. Greg looks concerned and utters worriedly, "So where is he keeping them?"

Quote1
...Yes, the Wiksteria police were dedicated to preserving justice. However unfortunately for the people of Wiksteria, the police were always making mistakes.
Quote2
James Clark

We zoom into the post box of another suburban home which reads, Manning. Eric Lyons exits the home and walks over to the post box, opening it and looking at the contents. He looks happy to see a thick envelope which he opens to find three passports and a pile of documentations, there is also a letter which reads:

Quote1
Lyons. Following the success of our business transaction, here is everything that was promised. There will be a private jet under my name waiting for you and your family at midnight of Christmas Eve. We both got what we wanted.
Quote2
Thomas Gale

Eric returns to the house gleefully with the documents and immediately begins dialling the phone. We soon hear Victoria's voice, "Hello?" "Victoria. It's me. I...I have great news," he smiles. "What is it?" she asks. "You said that...that if I were free...that you would take me back," he says, "I...I...never stopped working on a plan to make that happen." "You don't need a plan, Eric. If you want to be with someone then you just be with them," she says, confused. "Do you mean that? Because I would tear apart this world if it meant being with you and Hunter again. So do you really mean that?" he asks. "I do," she says. Eric smiles, "Christmas Eve. There will be a flight leaving for Australia. This is it, Victoria. We can be together again. The three of us. The family. Will you be there, Victoria?" Victoria asks, "Australia?" "Sure. Hunter hasn't started school yet. It'll be a great beginning for us. A new beginning. You always said that you wanted to move there," Eric says. She stutters, "Eric...I...don't know what to say." "Just say you want to be with me," he says. "I do, Eric. I do. And so does Hunter. But...but it can't be like it was before, Eric. If something happens that...that you can't control, then you can't just leave, you need to..." "It'll never be like that again," Eric finishes for her, "I know what matters now." "Okay," she says. "You'll be there?" he asks. "We'll be there," she confirms. "I love you," Eric says, before hanging up. Eric smiles with joy.
We zoom into the basement of the house, where we see the three schoolboys still chained to the wall, all still bruised from when Eric beat them. They all look up to see the basement door open and Eric descend the stairs, holding three plates of grilled cheese sandwiches. "How are you boys? Need anything else for the bruises?" he asks. The three boys look at him silently. "I'm sorry about what I did. But you shouldn't have taken my pills. Honestly, I don't even remember hitting you boys," he admits. "Well we do," Josh snaps. "I brought you grilled cheese for lunch. It's my little boy's favourite," Eric smiles, placing the plates in front of them. They all just look at him. "I have great news," he smiles, "We're all going to be with our families on Christmas. I can let you boys leave here after Christmas Eve." "We should be with our family for Christmas Eve," Josh says. "And what about Ben?" Joe asks, "It's his sentence in a few days." "Sorry but he can't be helped now," Eric says, "He's the one who won't be getting a merry Christmas." "So you're leaving with your family on Christmas Eve?" Rena asks, "The Gales gave you what you wanted?" Eric nods, "Yes. And so now there is a way out of this for us four." "You think so? We're going to tell everyone what you did to us. Tell everyone what you did to Ben. Tell everyone what you did to my brother!" Josh shouts. "That's why I'm going somewhere far," Eric sates. "You should phone your family and tell them to move on without you," Josh states. "What?" Eric asks. "They'd be better off without you. Phone them, and tell them to just forget that you ever existed," Josh says angrily, with an intense hateful stare.

Act I

Quote1
Justice is an odd concept, and one that never usually works.
Quote2

Mary, Dean and Katie are seen to be waiting in the police station. To pass the time, Mary is reading the paper, the headline of which reads, Schoolboy Murder Trial Bombshell! which is accompanied by a photograph of Ben.

Quote1
Such as the trial that had recently rocked the small town of Wiksteria with scandal, where my friend was certainly being dealt more than he deserved...
Quote2

Through the photo, we flash to Ben making his way home from one of his court dates, accompanied by Lydia, Walter, Liz and Orson, as the local press attempts to capture his photograph.

Quote1
Or my other friends, who were a little tied up at the time, injured because they dared bargain their escape...
Quote2

Flash to Rena, Josh and Joe unconscious in the basement.

Quote1
And their loved ones were about to learn the truth of justice. That bad people don't always get punished, and that good people, unfortunately, do.
Quote2
James Clark

Flash back to Mary, Dean and Katie in Wiksteria Police Station. Mary folds and puts down the newspaper when she sees Greg and some other cops returning. The three of them immediately approach him. "Did you find them?" Mary asks. "Are they here with you?" Dean asks afterwards. "Are they safe?!" Katie finishes in a worried tone. Greg shakes his head. "I... don't understand," Dean tells him. "Joe, Rena and Josh. They weren't in Lyons' house," Greg reveals. Eyes are widened with shock. "No..." Mary utters. "I don't understand. Where are they?" Katie asks, her tone not getting any less worried. "Not with him, that's for sure," Greg replies. "Well, was he there?" Mary asks. "No," Greg tells them honestly. "Then you don't know that, do you?" she points out. "I'm sorry, but... if he is hiding them... we have no idea where," Greg makes clear. "So, they're still out there..." Katie utters. "And so is he," Dean adds, referring to Ericson.

Ben is standing outside the courtroom with his lawyer, Orson Michaels. Orson turns to him and admits, "Ben, I'm not going to lie to you. Our whole case rests on the jury believing you're a good person, and that Fraser was a monster. That means that all we have is character witnesses. I'm grasping at straws now. I'm desperate. So if there's anyone else who can be a witness then I need to find them. I'll meet you in the courtroom." Ben nods and watches as Orson heads out the door. Ben turns as his family, Lydia and Walter standing with Ana, walk over. "You're going to do great," Lydia assures him. "Best of luck son," Walter says. Ben nods, as his two parents enter the courtroom. He then looks to see Liz walk over. "How are you feeling?" she asks. "Terrible," Ben admits. "It'll all work out. The jury will see what a good person you are. They'll see that you had no choice," she says. "But what if they don't?" Ben asks, "What if I go to prison for murder?" "Then you'll have the support of me. Your family. Your friends. That's why we got married so early, isn't it? So that nothing could ever stop us from being together. And nothing will, Ben," she smiles. "That was selfish of me," Ben admits. "What?" Liz asks. "Marrying you when I could go to prison for so many years. If I go to prison, Liz, I'm not going to let it ruin your life too." "Ben, I wouldn't stay with you because I was obligated. I would stay with you because I wanted to be there for you. Because there's no one else I'd want to be with," she explains. Ben replies, "But..." Liz interrupts, "We don't need to discuss this anyway, you're going to be proven innocent." Liz smiles, but Ben doesn't look so certain.

In the basement of the rundown former Manning home, Joe's eye shoots open. He sits up, his hand still cuffed to a pipe, and he sees that Rena and Josh are still unconscious. He touches his face and it immediately contorts in pain; he has a large black eye. "Are you guys okay?" he asks weakly, and Rena grunts. He soon comes to and sits up, his lips cracked and his forehead bulging, he nudges Josh, who moves stiffly due to the bruises on his rips. "I'm okay... ish," Josh replies. "Do you guys know what day it is today?" Rena asks after a moment of silence. "What's today?" Joe wonders. "I've been keeping track," Rena replies, "It's Christmas Eve." "No..." Josh utters disbelievingly. "It is... tomorrow is Christmas morning and we won't be able to spend it with our families, we'll be stuck, down here..." Rena says, saddened. Josh adds, "Or we'll be dead if he goes on another one of his rages," he mops some of the blood from his chin with his hand. When he moves his fingers, it hurts due to the bruises along his knuckles. "Christmas Eve... and he said today is Ben's last trial," Joe reminds them. "Who in their right mind would hold a trial on Christmas Eve?" Josh wonders. "The Gales," Joe replies. "I just wish there was something we could do to help..." Rena says. "Me too," Josh adds. Joe leans back sadly, ready to start crying, but when he does so, he realizes that the pipe he's cuffed to compresses against the wall. Finding this strange, he looks to see that the pipe has been broken. "Guys, look at this!" Joe exclaims. "What am I looking at?" Rena wonders. "The pipe... there's a crack in it... it goes all the way through, it's totally segmented!" Joe yells happily, "It must have broken when Lyons beat me..." he concludes. "So?" Josh asks. "So..." Joe says in reply before sliding his cuff along the pipe and allowing it to separate at the point where the pipe has been cut, sliding right off the end. He stands up, free, a handcuff still dangling from his wrist. "Oh, my God!" Rena exclaims. "Can we do that?" Josh wonders. "No, the piping's separate," Joe says as he inspects it, "But I'm free, which means I'm useful now."

Inside the Judge's chamber, Judge Stevenson is sitting at his desk, while Orson Michaels and District Attorney Sarah Burke are discussing. "Twenty-five years, no death penalty," Sarah offers. "Twenty-five years?! Are you insane?! The jury are going to see what a good kid Benjamin Ashdale is. And they are also going to see what a monster Fraser Gale was!" Orson replies. Sarah retorts, "No, what they are going to see is the brutality of the murder. The bruises and broken fingers, all of which happened while Fraser Gale was tied up. Because there is no way you can prove that Benjamin Ashdale was provoked into murder. There is just no evidence." "Maybe there is," Orson says, turning to face Judge Stevenson, "The defence would like to call another witness." "Objection, your honour. The time for witnesses is over. And I've been given no prior notice of another witness testifying. How will I have time to prepare a cross-examination, review their report or validity?" Sarah argues. Judge Stevenson nods, considering this, "Well, that is a lucid, intelligent and reasonable objection, counsel." "Thank you, your honour," Sarah smiles, almost proudly. "Overruled," the Judge tells her, with almost a mocking smile. Orson replies, "Thank you, your honour," and he heads off to prepare his new witness.

Act II

Joe is seen tampering which Josh's cuff, still down in the basement, but it's no use. "Why won't it come off?!" he yells in frustration. "Joe," Rena says, "It's okay. We'll get out of here." "You're right," Joe tells him, "Because I'm going to the police, right now." "No," Rena continues, "You're not." "What do you mean?" Joe wonders. "What I think Rena is saying," Josh picks up, "Is that you have to get to the courthouse." "The courthouse?" Joe questions. "It's Ben's last trial, he's about to be shipped off to prison! You have to stop it," Josh instructs him. "But... how?" Joe wonders, "I can't just barge in there." "Yes, you can," Rena assures him. "And do what?" "Just... stop it," Josh tells him, "He's not going to prison for us. Do you think you can do that?" "I... I think so, yeah," Joe replies. "Then get going. Hurry," Rena motivates, and Joe begins to ascend the stairs. He stops and tells his friends, "I'm going to rescue you. Be sure of that." "We know," Rena says. "We're counting on it," Josh adds. Joe nods and leaves the basement, running through the whole of the house before making it out of the front door. He sighs with relief and quickly turns, taking note of the house number, before running to the end of the street and taking note of its name. "108, Pedia Lane," he breathes as he carries on running, on his way to the courthouse.

In the courtroom, Ben is sitting at the defence table. He looks as Judge Stevenson says, "I believe that the defence has another witness." Orson stands, "Yes, your honour. The defence calls Dr. Bradley Sonya to the stand." There is a slight gasp in the audience at this and Ben turns to his lawyer surprised. Everyone then turns as the door opens and the former counsellor is escorted into the courtroom by prison guards, dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit, and shackles around his ankles. He looks unlike his old self, bruised and scarred on his face and a depressed expression.
We cut to Dr. Sonya on the stand, as Orson questions him, "Dr. Sonya, how long did Fraser Gale see you for sessions at Wiksteria High?" "We had regular sessions over a period of eighteen months," Brad replies. "So you came to know Fraser well?" Orson asks. Brad nods, "Yes, I did." "And what did you find?" Orson asks. "It was not a question in my mind whether Fraser would kill, the only question was when he would," Brad replies. "So why didn't you warn anyone?" Orson asks. "I tried to speak to my warden, but he wouldn't listen. Before my arrest, I was able to keep Fraser under control. Stop him from hurting anyone." "Why did you take that responsibility?" Orson asks. "I had no choice. I couldn't tell anyone else, because he was blackmailing me," Brad explains. "Just to clarify, he was blackmailing you with pictures you kept, because Fraser knew your secret before your arrest?" Orson asks. Brad nods, "That's right." "And what about the defendant?" Orson asks. Brad replies, "Benjamin Ashdale was one of the best students of Wiksteria High. He helped at fundraisers and went out of his way to help anyone he could. I would never believe him to be capable of the accused charges. There is no doubt in my mind that Fraser Gale provoked murder that night." Orson replies, "And what about the three boys who have all been accused of helping with the murder: Joseph Hadland, Renato Abelho and Joshua Manning?" "I remember all those students. They were all great kids. Not capable of this. I especially remember Joe Hadland," Brad says. "The kid who exposed you? Some might expect that you would hold a grudge," Orson says. Brad shakes his head, "No. Joe did what he believed was right. And I wouldn't expect anything less from any of those boys on the night in question." "Thank you, Dr. Sonya," Orson says. Brad nods, before looking over at Ben and saying, "Ben, please tell Joe that I'm sorry for what I did to him." Ben nods back. Orson then sits down beside Ben and utters, "We've done what we can, Ben. It's in the hands of the Jury now." Ben looks over at the Jury, who are leaving for their final talk, before they soon return with their verdict. Ben gulps in anticipation.

Joe is running still and is seen to be approaching Wiksteria County Courthouse; he runs through its front doors without a second thought. He continues to run through but is stopped by a guard as he's about to pass through a security gate. "No, I have to be in there!" Joe exclaims. "This will only take a moment," the guard assures him as he runs Joe down with his metal detector wand. It begins bleeping when it crosses the handcuff, still dangling from Joe's wrist. "Sir, what is the meaning of this?" asks the guard. "It's just a handcuff, it's not like it's a bomb or anything," Joe replies, annoyed. "BOMB!" the security guard exclaims, alarmed, and three other guards are seen immediately to be approaching. Frantic, Joe pushes the security guard out of his way, whacking his front with the cuff. He runs through the security gate, setting it off, and continues running through to the courtrooms with four security guards in hot pursuit. He looks inside various courtrooms, none of which are Ben's. He turns a few corners in order to lose the guards, eventually ducking behind a sharp one and looking back around it; no guards in sight. He sighs with relief and looks at the door opposite him, seeing that it's the entrance to Ben's courtroom. "I hereby sentence Benjamin Ashdale..." Judge Stevenson starts, and Joe utters, "Here we go," before bursting in, running into the center of the room just as the judge is about to bang his gavel. "STOP!" he yells. Everyone inside the courtroom, including Ben himself, looks at Joe with shock on their face. The judge drops his gavel in surprise, disregarding it. "What is the meaning of this?" the judge asks, heavily offended by this breach in procedure. "Ben didn't do it, he didn't kill Fraser!" Joe tells them all. "And just who are you?" the judge asks. "I am Joe Hadland," the jury and several attendees gasp, "And I just escaped Ericson Lyons! He's been keeping me and my friends in a basement, chained up!" he explains, gesturing the handcuff on his wrist. "What does this have to do with the case at hand?" asks Sarah Burke. "Because you all think I'm on the run right now," Joe tells her. "You're right, we should arrest you too," she declares, gesturing a couple of guards at either end of the room. As they begin to approach, Joe begs the court to hear him out, at which Orson gestures for the guards to stop. "What do you have to say, kid?" Orson asks. "That Ben didn't kill Fraser! But the man who kidnapped us, Ericson Lyons... he did!" Joe tells them; more gasps. "Do you have proof?" asks D.A. Burke. "Isn't this proof?!" Joe asks her, again gesturing the cuff, "You all think we ran away so that we could escape jail, but that's not what happened at all! We were kidnapped by this psycho! He forced us to stage those photos of us in the woods, and he forced us to record incriminating evidence, all implicating that we had something to do with Fraser's death! But we didn't!" crocodile tears run from his cheeks, "He did! He pointed a gun at our heads and said that we'd die if we didn't do what he wanted! So we staged the photos, and the recordings... and he said that if Ben didn't come forward and say that he was the real murderer... then me and my friends, Renato Abelho and Josh Miller, would be killed!" The entire courtroom lets out a louder and unified gasp. "If you send some police over to 108 Pedia Lane... you'll find the two of them chained to pipes." "And how did you escape?" Orson asks, heavily intrigued. "My pipe broke when he beat us," Joe says, pointing out his black eye, "I got lucky..." "Your honor," Orson says happily, turning to the judge, "Surely in light of this recent evidence—" "Evidence?!" Burke exclaims skeptically, "The unofficial ramblings of a teenager?! He's probably some actor hired by my opposition as a last-ditch effort to save his client!" "No," Lydia says from within the crowd, "That is most definitely Joe Hadland." Liz and Walter stand up in agreement. "Your honor," Orson repeats himself, "What is your decision?" At this, Judge Stevenson ponders something before lifting his gavel off of the floor and raising it – "This session is hereby postponed!" he announces before slamming down his gavel. As the volume of gossip and shocked chatter in the courtroom rises, Ben and Joe look at each other from across the room and smile.

Eric descends the stairs of the basement with a tray of food, as he shouts, "Here it is, boys, our last supper. After this, we'll all be free." However suddenly he drops the tray and food spills everywhere as it crashes to the floor. He looks to see only Rena and Josh are still chained to the wall. "Where's the other one?!" Eric shouts. "To get the police," Rena informs him. "It's time for you to face justice! Justice for my brother! For everyone who's been harmed because of you!" Josh shouts. Eric exhales angrily.

Act III

Eric picks up a gun and holds it to the boys, while beginning to uncuff their bonds. "What are you doing?" Rena asks. "We need to move, quickly, before the police get here. We're going to go upstairs to the car and if either of you try anything, so help me, I will shoot you both," Eric explains. He unties them from the wall, mumbling to himself, "I was going to let you boys go tonight, but you couldn't just wait one more damn night, could you? You had to ruin everything..." Suddenly Josh, untied, kicks Lyons in the shin, causing him to cry out as Josh forces his head forward, battering it off the wall. Josh and Rena turn for the staircase, however as they go to begin climbing the stairs, Eric grabs Rena's foot, causing him to trip forward and hit his head, knocking him unconscious. Josh calls out for his friend, "Rena!" Eric looks up at him and their eyes lock, Josh is overcome with rage, as he leaps from the stairs and lands atop the former U.S. Marshall, continually punching him. Eric stands, knocking Josh off him with ease, as he extends his arm with the gun, however Josh kicks it from his hand and they both watch as it goes sliding across the room. They both pounce towards it, landing on the basement floor, each reaching out one hand towards the gun and using their other hand to pull the other back from it, but neither can reach the gun. Josh wraps his arms around the man's neck and gets atop his back, just as Eric begins crawling towards the gun, and with all his might prevents the man from crawling to it, squeezing his arms tightly around the man's neck from behind. Eric stands to his feet, while Josh still strangling him, and forces his elbow backwards, elbowing Josh forcefully in the ribcage, causing Josh's grip to loosen, as Eric forces him off, throwing him from his back and against the basement wall. Rena's eyes open, and he turns to begin crawling up the staircase, however he turns back to see Eric now with the gun, standing above the two boys. Rena and Josh look at Eric in worry when suddenly the basement door is kicked open. The three all turn to see a SWAT team enter the basement; they all point their guns at Lyons. Lyons continues to stand over the boys, with the gun pointing at them, as he looks up at the guns pointing back at him. The SWAT team is led by Officer Greg Larkin, who has his gun pointed on Lyons also, ready to squeeze the trigger. "Hold on! I'm a U.S. Marshall!" Eric shouts. "I don't care who you are. Drop the gun from those boys or I will drop you," Greg replies. Eric stares back at Greg and the SWAT team ready to fire on him, he then looks at the two boys on the ground and he looks at his hand on the trigger of the gun. He drops the gun, and with an exhale, he puts his arms into the air, as the SWAT team descend the stairs and cuff the former Marshall. Greg crouches down beside the two boys and smiles, "It's alright. You're safe now."

Rena and Josh are escorted by police out of the basement. They step through the front door and are immediately swamped by hugs. Mary repeatedly kisses Rena as Rocky jumps up at him. Rena pats his dog's head as his father approaches. "I'm so glad you're alright," Miguel says, and the two of them hug. Meanwhile Josh and Dean are kissing. "I'm gonna need my breath," Josh says, pulling out. "You left right after we got back together, I'm making up for lost time," Dean says. Josh proceeds with a brief kiss but sees his mother and father standing together. He runs towards them and hugs Joanna. "Oh, Josh! We were so worried!" Joanna exclaims, kissing her son's forehead. "I missed you," Josh tells them. "We missed you too," Bob says, and Josh hugs his father too. Meanwhile, Joe is standing with Annie and Brian. "You did a good thing today, sweetheart," Annie tells him. "Thanks, mom," Joe says. "And if we didn't say so," Brian adds, "We are so proud of you." "And we're glad you're okay," Annie adds further, giving him a hug. "You're a 'we' now, I see," Joe points out. "I'm gonna be your dad soon," Brian assures Joe, "I was just was worried as she was." Joe hugs Brian afterwards. The four schoolboys then see Ericson being escorted in handcuffs by two policemen out of the house, as more officers make their way into their vehicles. "Thank you for what you did," Ben tells Joe after approaching him. "Think nothing of it," Joe says. "I'm sorry for leaving you guys," Ben continues. "You were right too. If you hadn't, you would have been in that basement with us..." Joe points out. "Still, I'm sorry," Ben tells him, and the two friends share a brief hug. "Can we get in on that?" Rena asks as he and Josh approach Ben and Joe, and the four schoolboys share a group hug, apologizing for everything that has happened, and all is forgiven.

We cut to inside the police station. Eric Lyons, in handcuffs, is standing glumly by the phone. He dials a number and soon he says, "Hey." Victoria exclaims on the other side with a chuckle, "Hey, you. Calling me again, you're eager, reminds me of when we were in high school. Hunter is so excited for Australia. And for seeing his daddy. I really think this is going to work out." Eric begins to tear as he asks, "Are you packed yet?" "Almost. We just have some final bits," she replies. "Don't bother," he tells her. "What?" Victoria asks. Lyons begins slightly panting, breaking down with tears, "Just forget me, Victoria. Please...move on...you and Hunter...just forget that I have existed." He hangs up the phone and collapses in a heap on the ground, crying.
Meanwhile, Victoria stares at the phone on the other side confused. A tear falls down her cheek but she tries to control herself.

In front of a decorated Christmas tree, Joe, Rena and Josh are seen clinking glasses of champagne in Rena's house as a tuckered out Rocky sleeps by the fire. The boys' parents are all in attendance, Christmas carols are playing, and it's not long before Ben walks through the door. "Okay, so they've arrested Lyons for Fraser's murder as well as kidnapping you three... I can't help but feel a little bad for him," Ben announces. "Don't," Joe says, handing his friend a glass of champagne. Ben clinks his glass with the rest of theirs. "He deserves it," Rena states. "I know, but still... he's in jail for something I did," Ben whispers. "He killed Alex," Josh reminds Ben, "Now he's getting what's coming to him." Joe raises his glass, "I'd like to make raise a toast," he says. "That's not how it works, we've already clinked glasses. We drink now," Ben explains. "Good to have you back, but I'd like to make one anyway. To second chances... and a merry Christmas," Joe says. Everyone in the room repeats, "Merry Christmas," and more champagne glasses are clinked; the boys all drink to this. "I can't wait to wake up in my own bed tomorrow morning," Josh says excitedly. "I know what you mean," Rena says, "Waking up on Christmas morning, opening presents, dressing Rocky up as a reindeer..." he says fondly. "And we'll be spending it with family," Joe points out. "We already are," says Ben, "Because we're spending it with each other." Liz soon approaches and thanks Joe for what he did today. "I've lost track of how many times I've been thanked today, but I'll take it," he tells her. "You deserve it," Katie says from behind him. She immediately rushes up to him and kisses him, "It's so good to see you," she says, pulling out of it. "And you," Joe replies, "I love you." Katie pulls him in and continues to kiss him. Liz asks Ben, "Want to dance?" and the happily married couple vacate the group. Mary and Dean approach them afterwards. "Merry Christmas," Dean says. "Speaking of which," Mary says, pulling Rena aside, "You'll be getting your present a little early." She winks, and Rena kisses her before taking her out to the dance floor. They are soon joined by Joe and Katie, followed by Josh and Dean. The four schoolboys and their respective partners continue to dance under the watch of their parents, who happily sing along. All's well.

Jimmy, a hit man previously hired by Silvia Mayfair, is sitting on the branch of a tree, with a sniper rifle in one hand and a phone in the other. "Am I in the right place?" he asks. He looks over to a parked car down the street, to where we see Eloise and Thomas are inside. They look at him and answer through the phone, "Yes, that's the right house." "Do it," Thomas orders. "Wait," Eloise utters. Thomas replies, "Don't tell me that you're having doubts over this?! Those boys walked free. And it's because of him. He lied to us." Eloise complies, uttering coldly, "Make it hurt." Jimmy nods, before hanging up the phone. He then looks into his sniper, aimed on his victim.
We zoom into the kitchen, in the home of Victoria and Hunter Lyons. Victoria is standing by the sink, washing dishes, with a sad face, as Hunter comes into the kitchen and says, "Mommy, when are we going to Australia?" "We're not anymore, darling," she admits. Hunter stares glumly, "But what about daddy?" Victoria thinks of an answer, when suddenly she notices a red dot on Hunter's stomach. She looks confused, before glancing outside to where she sees its source - a man sitting on a tree branch with a sniper rifle. She turns to her son in terror, and quickly pulls him to the ground, just before the sniper sends a bullet through the kitchen window and just misses the small boy. "Mommy, what are you doing?" he asks. "Quickly, Hunter, outside," she says. "But why?" he asks. "It's a game," she responds, "We need to escape the house."
We cut to Jimmy atop the tree branch, as he scowls in frustration, before jumping down from the branch and running towards the house with his gun.
Victoria and Hunter crawl out the back door of the house, as Victoria urges, "Quickly, Hunter, run next door." The two stand, once outside, and begin to run to their neighbors' home, however suddenly Hunter stops as blood begins welling through his clothes. Hunter turns to face his mommy and begins mouthing for her, as Victoria stands in shock, just before another silent gunshot blasts a bullet into his head. The small boy drops to the ground dead, and Victoria runs over her son and cries over his body, however, she turns to see Jimmy, standing in the backyard, now pointing the gun at her. She stares at him angrily and says, "My husband will find you. Catching monsters like you is what he does." "It's because of your husband that I'm here, Victoria," Jimmy replies, before pulling the trigger and watching as she falls over dead. Jimmy then coldly walks away from the two bodies of son and mother, the yard splattered with blood.

Quote1
Justice had finally been served in the town of Wiksteria. And just in time for Christmas. Loved ones had been reunited...
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In the Belindro house, we zoom past photographs of Christina, Justine, Rudolfo and Hugo, until coming to the dinner table, where Rena and Mary sit down together, as Miguel begins carving a turkey for dinner, however, Rocky suddenly jumps atop the table, grabbing a leg of the turkey and runs off with it, causing the three to all laugh.

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So they could enjoy the comfort of their partners...
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Josh and Dean are snuggled together on the couch, looking joyful. Meanwhile, on the other couch, Joanna and Bob are doing the same. Josh looks over to a framed picture of Alex, and he smiles.

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And so they could feel the support of their families...
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Joe is sitting on the couch between Annie and Brian, as they both hug him tight, glad to have their son back and safe.

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And so new families could get acquainted...
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In the Ashdale house, the dining table is full. Lydia, Walter, Amanda and Jack are all busy talking and chuckling, getting to know each other, with baby Ana also at the table. As Ben and Liz, sitting beside each other, hold hands, look at their wedding rings, and smile at each other.

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...But for some, it hadn't been a good Christmas. Because justice had come in the form of a terrible punishment...
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Eric is standing in his cell, pressed against the bars, he's beginning to shake and twitch without his pills, as the visions of Javed Bundy's victims return to him, flashing through his head. Suddenly he looks up to see Officer Larkin approach. He looks up at Greg, who looks sympathetic and says, "Eric, I'm afraid I have some terrible news." Eric looks up with worried eyes. "It's about your family," Greg admits, causing Eric to drop the ground and begin crying in anticipation of the news.

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...A terrible punishment delivered by terrible people...
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In the blindingly white mansion of the Gales, Thomas is sitting behind the desk of his study, with Eloise standing beside him. Jimmy and a few other hired thugs of Thomas Gale are standing across from them and Jimmy asks, "So what's next, sir?" Thomas tells him, "Lyons failed me. It's time to do what I should have done from the beginning, deal with these boys myself."

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...Who weren't yet finished.
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James Clark