Nina offered to get a doctor for Franco, but he told her not to. He admitted that he'd been faking his insanity. She slapped him hard across the face then slapped him again. "Not the face!" he cried. "It's not like you don't have two," she retorted. She hurled insults at him until she started to make her way to the door. He wondered where she was going. She informed him that friends didn't lie to each other. He had thought that she'd love his "performance art."
Nina told Franco that she'd been worried about him and that they'd made promises to each other that had mattered to her. She called him a fraud, "like Silas." He insisted that their promises had meant something to him too. She informed him of the lengths she'd gone to in order to stay with Franco. He tried to convince her that he'd lied so he could stay with her.
Franco asked Nina to take off his restraints, and she reluctantly complied. He continued that the LSD had made him see things, but it had worn off. He hadn't been able to tell Nina because he hadn't wanted her to lie to the doctor and then get in trouble if she'd been found out.
Franco told Nina that he couldn't deal with the thought of being anywhere without her. He wondered why she'd been worried about him. She answered that they were "pals." Franco told her they were more than pals, and she knew it. He asked if she remembered what had happened after he'd injected himself with the LSD. She wanted him to remind her. In response, he kissed her.
When they broke away from the kiss, Franco wondered if Nina would forgive him. "Don't rush me," she told him. She assured him that she was "getting there." Realizing they were both sane, Franco wondered how the two of them would get out of the mental ward.
On the phone, Julian told the person on the other end to gather good people who would respect his authority. He added that it was a good thing Carlos was in jail, because he'd pushed Julian. As Carlos appeared behind Julian, Julian ended his phone call. "Already hustling?" Carlos wondered. He explained to a confused Julian that he'd made bail. Julian pinned Carlos to the wall by the throat and said that Carlos needed to answer for killing Ava.
Choking, Carlos told Julian that his shot at Ava had only grazed her shoulder. Julian wanted Carlos to admit that he'd killed Ava. "So what if I did? Would you blame me?" Carlos spat. Julian reasoned that the rules of their "lifestyle" entitled Carlos to payback, but he told Carlos that it was "my turn." Carlos reminded Julian that he was only alive because Carlos had defied Luke's orders. He held his hand out to Julian and asked, "Truce?"
Carlos had heard Julian trying to get "the operation back together" on the phone. Carlos reminded Julian how they'd been loyal friend before they'd had their "issues." "You want Port Charles? I can help you take it," Carlos offered. "Let's get to work," Julian said as he shook Carlos' hand.
Jake assured Elizabeth that Ric would have nothing to worry about from him. "Maybe he does," Elizabeth muttered. She explained to a confused Jake that she liked him "a lot." "I still have a chance?" Jake wondered. Elizabeth apologized for throwing the revelation at him after he'd been through brain surgery. He responded that he was just surprised. Just then, there was a knock on the door, and Kyle entered.
Elizabeth chided Kyle for entering a restricted area. He assured Elizabeth that he'd cleared the visit with Jake's doctor. She told him that he would be taking Jake back to Pentonville "over my dead body." She threatened to sic Liesl on Kyle, and she left the room.
Right after Elizabeth closed Jake's door, her phone rang. She answered it to Nikolas, and she immediately asked about Spencer. Nikolas revealed that Spencer was getting another exam. Elizabeth promised to translate anything the doctors told Nikolas if he needed it, and she wished there was more she could do.
Nikolas revealed that he was more scared than he'd ever been in his life. He thanked Elizabeth for her help and for referring him to Shriners. She informed him that she was trying to shuffle her schedule so she could visit. Nikolas appreciated the thought but told her that she had "enough going on."
Kyle informed Jake that the charges against Jake were being dropped. Thinking about Nikolas ordering Kyle to get the charges dropped, Kyle told Jake that he'd "gone to bat" for Jake against Scott. In exchange, he had a "job" for Jake. He wanted Jake to go undercover with the Jeromes. Jake didn't think Julian would hire or open up to a stranger, but Kyle threatened him with jail if he didn't comply.
Just then, Elizabeth returned. She let Kyle know that Liesl, who was not happy, would be there soon. Scowling, Kyle told Jake that he hoped to hear from Jake soon, and he left.
In New York, Ava told Silas that she needed to get to Avery. Silas reminded her that she would either go back to jail, or one of her enemies would "finish the job." She thought she would be okay with his help. He warned her that his help had "limits," and he left to check on her lab tests. Ava refused to let her daughter be "a prize in a tug-of-war." She picked up a tablet from the side table and watched a news report on the custody trial.
In the courtroom, Ric wondered if Michael would be a better guardian for Avery than Sonny and asked Michael how many children he'd raised. "None," Michael replied. Ric thought Michael was less of a parent than Franco and Nina, Avery's kidnappers. Ric implored Michael to tell the "real reason" for the custody fight. He suggested that it was revenge on Sonny. Avery began to cry, and the judge allowed Carly to take her out of the courtroom. After she left, Michael insisted that he wanted to save his sister from "bullets, bombs, and kidnappings."
Ric wondered if Michael had been upset to learn that Sonny had killed A.J. He suggested that Michael had vowed revenge upon Sonny for getting pardoned, and that taking Avery was "just that." Michael countered that he wanted to keep her alive. He added that, if she stayed with Sonny, he would lose her anyway because she would get "caught in the crossfire of another mob war." Ric reminded Michael that, though Michael accused Sonny of being a murderer, Michael was a murderer himself.
In the hall outside the courtroom, Carly tried to calm Avery down for the nanny, who was on her way. Just then, the reporter that Ava was watching on her tablet ran over to Carly. She asked Carly who Avery belonged with. "No comment," Carly said. As she was hammered with more questions, she told the reporter that the only thing that mattered was "the welfare of this little girl." "You're not her mother," Ava growled as she attempted to get out of her hospital bed.
A short while later, Silas returned and found Ava on the floor. She needed to speak with Julian because, since Kiki wasn't fighting to keep Avery, Julian was the only one who could keep Avery safe. She refused to leave Avery with Sonny, Michael, or Carly. After Silas had helped her back to bed, she continued the news video. The reporter asked if Carly would have an active role in raising Avery, and she responded that things were still being figured out. "You'll never be her mother. I'll die first," Ava cried. "You already have," Silas reminded her.
Silas took the tablet away from Ava and put it on a high shelf. He told her that Sonny did have a legal right to his daughter. Ava proclaimed that Avery had a right not to grow up with the man who'd tried to kill Avery's mother. She knew Carly would see to it that Ava was never talked about. She thought that, once Avery was old enough to understand, Carly and Sonny would tell Avery how terrible Ava was and how lucky Avery was to have Carly raising her. She vowed to get back to Port Charles, even if she had to crawl. Silas maintained that Ava was not yet strong enough to leave.
Ava knew that Silas had only saved her because she'd been in danger, but the danger had passed. She wondered if he would let her go or turn her in once she had healed. Instead of answering, he wondered if she regretted killing Connie because she'd been caught or because she had real remorse. "Both," she answered. He wasn't sure if he could forgive her for her crimes, but he stated that she was the mother of his daughter, and he'd loved her once. He admitted that he still cared for her. "I got your back. I won't turn you in," Silas assured a smiling Ava.
When Carly returned to the courtroom, Michael was explaining how his murder charge had been in defense of Carly and Josslyn, and that he'd do it again if he had to. Alexis chimed in that Michael had been put into Dante's custody, and he'd rebuilt himself "an exemplary life." Ric announced that Michael didn't even have a claim over Avery, since he wasn't a blood relative. Michael replied that he'd severed ties with Sonny but not his siblings. Alexis jumped in to say that Michael had been adopted and was still legally Sonny's son.
Ric continued that Sonny's "fatherly instincts" had kicked in when he'd risked his life to save Michael's. Ric described Sonny as a "true hero who would do anything for his children." The judge called for a recess. Before leaving, she advised both sides to think about what was in Avery's best interest.
Ava followed Silas to her memorial service
Sonny and Morgan entered Kelly's to grab a morning coffee and discuss the custody hearing the previous day. Morgan wondered how Michael had reacted to Ric mentioning Claudia during the cross-examination. Sonny confessed it had been hard on everyone, but he doubted Michael would drop the petition for custody. Sonny hated having to fight his son, but he was determined to do whatever was necessary to protect Avery. Morgan seized the opportunity to broach the subject of taking Avery to Ava's memorial. Sonny immediately objected, but Morgan explained that Julian had pointed out that Avery should have a connection with her mother.
Sonny didn't hide his disdain for Ava, but Morgan reminded Sonny that Ava's mother, Delia, hadn't met Avery. Sonny wasn't moved because he considered Delia a "curse," so Morgan conceded that Sonny was right but added that it would only be one visit. Sonny explained that he didn't want to risk any problems because of the custody hearing, but Morgan was confident that Sonny wouldn't lose custody of Avery. Eventually, Sonny agreed to let Avery attend Ava's memorial in New York City, so Morgan smiled as he thanked and hugged his father.
At the courthouse, Julian was pleased when he ran into Michael because he had wanted to talk to Michael about Avery. Michael tensed as Julian questioned why Michael should have custody of Avery. Michael reminded Julian that Avery was Michael's sister, so Michael intended to do whatever was necessary to provide Avery with an opportunity to grow up without bulletproof glass and bodyguards or the risk of becoming collateral damage. Michael suggested that Julian keep his distance from Avery if Julian truly cared about her, but Julian vowed to keep a close eye on his niece.
In the courtroom, Alexis spoke to Nikolas on the phone as he updated her on Spencer's recovery. He assured her that everyone at Shiners Hospital for Children had been wonderful, so Nikolas felt better knowing his son was in good hands. Alexis regretted that she couldn't be there with Nikolas, but he assured his aunt that it wasn't necessary because Sam had arrived. Pleased, Alexis promised to be on the next flight out if Nikolas needed her, and she ended the call as Michael entered the courtroom with Julian behind him.
Julian asked for a private word with Alexis and kissed her when she stepped close enough for him to pull her near him. He quietly confessed that he had missed her the previous evening, so Alexis smiled because she had missed him too. Julian changed the subject to explain he had to go to New York City to attend Ava's memorial service because Ava's mother, Delia, had taken it upon herself to put everything together.
After Julian left, Ric approached Michael and Alexis to suggest that Michael drop the petition for custody because Michael didn't have a case and wouldn't prevail. According to Ric, Michael had appeared like a "petulant bully" who wanted to take his father's child away even after Sonny had saved Michael's life. Ric was confident that Michael would lose, so he advised Michael to drop the case while there was still time to salvage Michael's relationships with Sonny and Carly.
Michael was disgusted that Ric would lecture him after Ric had once chained Carly in a panic room with the intention of killing her and giving Morgan to Elizabeth to raise. Ric's smile vanished as he reminded Michael that they had been talking about Avery's future. Michael agreed, so he vowed not to let Sonny treat Avery like a trophy rather than a human being who was entitled to safety and security. Michael promised to fight with everything he had to make certain that Sonny wasn't part of Avery's life.
Ric claimed he didn't want to have to go after Michael again, but Michael scoffed because Ric had already done his worst by accusing Michael of being a murderer, even though Michael's official record stated otherwise. Michael pointed out that he didn't have any "alleged" mob ties to cover up, so Ric could continue to insult Michael all he liked. Ric switched tactics by reminding Michael that Michael was his nephew. Ric claimed he had always liked Michael, but Michael admitted that he had always despised Ric. Michael confessed that he had kept quiet out of respect to Ric's daughter, Molly. Ric ignored the insult as he accused Michael of acting cowardly by playing tug-of-war with Avery.
Meanwhile, Julian bumped into Sonny in the hallway as Sonny arrived for the hearing. Sonny admitted that he had heard about Ava's memorial service, so he had agreed to allow Morgan to take Avery. Julian was grateful but surprised because Julian knew Sonny had hated Ava. Sonny didn't deny it, but he promised that he had done everything possible to save Ava. Julian appeared to take Sonny at his word, so he thanked Sonny for saving Lucas on the Haunted Star.
Sonny insisted Ava deserved part of the credit because Ava had found a way for them to escape from Pentonville. Julian decided he owed it to Sonny to tell Sonny about Julian's plans to rebuild the Jerome organization. Sonny claimed he was no longer involved in organized crime, but he warned Julian that Duke wouldn't stand for Julian's plans. Julian smirked because he was certain Sonny intended to pick up the reins of the Corinthos organization once the custody battle for Avery was over. Sonny didn't acknowledge the comment but continued to warn Julian that Julian would face opposition if Julian made a move for the Corinthos territory.
Julian appeared unconcerned, which seemed to fuel Sonny's anger until Sonny snapped. Sonny insisted he kept what was his, including his daughter and territory, even if that meant raking his own son over the coals. Julian smiled knowingly because it had been the confirmation he had needed. He warned Sonny that the decision had already been made, and he left.
Moments later, Sonny entered the courtroom, so Ric went to greet his brother. Michael asked if Ric had been bluffing. "Yes -- and no," Alexis admitted. Alexis conceded that Ric had looked like the bully the previous day when Michael had been on the witness stand, but she cautioned Michael that it was unlikely they would prevail against Sonny because in most cases, the courts sided with the biological parent. Alexis explained that Michael needed to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Sonny was dangerous, but Michael was outraged that being shot and kidnapped hadn't been sufficient to illustrate how dangerous Sonny was to his children.
Alexis clarified that they needed to establish that Sonny had deliberately put his children into harm's way and then opened up about her own custody battle to keep Sonny away from Kristina. Alexis pointed out that, eventually, they had worked things out, but she feared Sonny had never quite forgiven her for keeping him away from Kristina. Michael wasn't interested in Sonny's forgiveness, but Alexis urged Michael to reconsider because he might change his mind about Sonny one day. Michael remained determined to go through with the fight for custody of Avery.
In New York City's Methodist Hospital, Ava rested in her hospital bed as she credited Silas with saving her life and keeping her hidden from the authorities. She admitted that it meant the world to her that he refused to turn her over to the police. Ava appreciated that Silas had taken a big risk by helping her, since it could land him in jail, so she promised not to mess things up. She regretted overreacting to hearing that Sonny had taken custody of Avery, but she admitted that she had been pushed over the edge when she had seen Carly on television, holding Avery.
Ava hated that Avery had been caught in a custody battle between Sonny and Michael, but she conceded that she was grateful that Michael had saved her life when Sonny had intended to kill her shortly after Avery's birth. Ava confided to Silas that she had seen the desire to kill her in Sonny's eyes, so she had been certain he had pulled the trigger when she had heard a gunshot ring out. However, Michael had fired his own gun. Ava was disappointed that Michael hadn't carried out his threat to kill Sonny because Sonny would have been dead, and Kiki would have kept Avery.
Silas suggested there had been enough violence, but he assured Ava that whoever ended up with Avery would take good care of her. Silas pointed out that Avery was too young to remember all the turmoil of changing homes, so Ava shifted gears by confessing that she hated the idea of Kiki grieving for her. Ava was tempted to reach out to their daughter, but Silas advised Ava against it because it would make Kiki an accomplice. Both Silas and Ava were startled when Silas' phone suddenly rang. It was Kiki, so Ava begged him to put the call on speakerphone because she wanted to hear her daughter's voice.
At Ryan's bar, Kiki looked at a picture of her mother and the wreath of flowers Delia had placed under the photograph. Delia and Kiki began to cry as they hugged each other tightly. Afterwards, Delia offered Kiki a drink, but Kiki declined. Delia glanced around nervously as she asked if Kiki approved of the preparations for the memorial. Kiki thanked her grandmother for everything Delia had done, but Delia warned Kiki that some of Ava's friends from the art world had seemed "judgy" about Ava's murder conviction and prison escape.
Kiki insisted that it was "their problem," so Delia changed the subject to ask why Morgan wasn't there. Kiki explained that Morgan had had to take care of something, but she expected him to arrive before the service. Delia relaxed until Kiki added that Julian also planned to attend. Delia pointed out that Julian and Ava had had a rocky relationship, but Kiki assured her grandmother that the siblings had genuinely loved each other. Delia wondered if Silas would be at the service, so Kiki explained that her father had been busy with a critical patient, but Kiki promised to let Silas know about the service.
Kiki stepped away to call her father. Silas regretted that he couldn't attend Ava's memorial service because he was in New York City, so Kiki revealed that she was in the city, as well, because Delia had decided to host the memorial service at Ryan's bar. Kiki implored her father to attend the service because she wanted him by her side. Ava's eyes filled with tears when Kiki confessed it would be difficult to say goodbye to Ava.
After the call, Ava admitted that she hated that she couldn't see Kiki, but Silas pointedly warned Ava to forget that Kiki was within walking distance. Ava reluctantly agreed, but she felt helpless to ease Kiki's suffering. After Silas left to alert the nurses he would be gone for a while, Ava heard his phone beep. She slowly crawled out of bed and inched her way to his jacket to look at his phone. She was surprised when she saw a text message from Kiki informing Silas that Morgan would be attending the service with Avery.
Ava managed to slide Silas' phone back into his jacket pocket and get back into bed before Silas returned. Silas had no idea how long he'd be gone, so he asked Ava to promise to stay in her room. Ava readily agreed because she didn't want to do anything to jeopardize her freedom or get him into trouble. However, she asked that he say something nice about her at the memorial service.
Meanwhile, Julian arrived at Ryan's bar. Kiki greeted her uncle then introduced him to Delia. Julian was cordial as he confessed he wished he could have met Delia under different circumstances. A short time later, Morgan and Avery arrived. Kiki warmly greeted her baby sister then introduced Avery to their grandmother. Delia cooed over the baby as she noted that Avery looked Sonny, but Kiki pointed out that Avery had Ava's smile.
Later, Silas arrived for the service, unaware that Ava -- hidden under a bulky hooded parka -- had followed him and lurked outside as she watched her loved ones mingle and play with Avery.
At Shriners Hospital for Children, Nikolas greeted his cousin, Sam, as he spoke to Alexis on the phone. Sam asked him to let Alexis know that Danny was with the Quartermaines, so Nikolas passed along the message then ended the call with his aunt. After Nikolas and Sam exchanged greetings, they found a quiet corner to sit down and visit. Sam assured him that she intended to stay for as long as he needed her because they were family and had to stick together. Nikolas smiled awkwardly as he recalled learning that Jake was Jason, but he kept the secret to himself.
Sam was curious how Spencer was doing, so Nikolas explained that the doctors were optimistic, but the recovery would take time. Sam apologized for missing Spencer's birthday party as she handed Nikolas a small box to pass along to Spencer. She admitted that she had skipped the party because of Jake's surgery, so Nikolas seized the opportunity to assure her that Jake had nothing to worry about because Nikolas had exiled his grandmother to Cassadine Island, where Helena would remain a prisoner for the rest of her days.
Sam admitted that she was curious if Helena had said anything to Nikolas about Jake that might help them figure out Jake's true identity. Nikolas was curious why Sam was so interested in helping Jake, since Jake's identity had nothing to do with her. Sam disagreed because she didn't want anyone to go through what she had gone through when Faison had shot Jason. She pointed out that Jason had survived the shooting, but she hadn't been able to say goodbye to her husband before Jason had died in the Crichton-Clark Clinic months later. Nikolas' expression clouded as he confessed he had something to tell her.
In Jake's hospital room, a police officer checked on Jake and asked if Jake had made a decision about Kyle Sloane's offer. Jake insisted he needed more time to think things over, but the police officer couldn't understand why Jake would drag his feet about cooperating with Sloane in exchange for Jake's freedom. Carly approached Jake's hospital room in time to hear what the police officer said, so Jake quickly dismissed the guard then greeted Carly. Carly asked if she had heard the police officer correctly, but Jake was reluctant to discuss it.
Carly feared that Jake no longer trusted her, but Jake assured her that she was wrong. To prove his point, he confided to her about Sloane's offer to work undercover in the Jerome organization in exchange for Jake's freedom. Carly was outraged and offered to hire Diane to represent Jake in court, but Jake refused to risk his freedom on an off chance that Diane might secure an acquittal. Jake decided it was his mess, so he intended to take care of it. Carly warned Jake that it would be a mistake to work for the Jeromes, but she promised to support whatever Jake decided. Jake thanked Carly but asked her not to tell anyone.
After Carly left to go to court, Jake called out to the police officer to ask him to fetch the police commissioner.
Later, Carly entered the courtroom and approached Sonny. She saw Ric talking to Michael, so she quietly confessed that she thought Ric was "slime." She feared that Ric would make things worse for Sonny and Michael, but Sonny was determined not to lose custody of his daughter. Sonny assured Carly there would be time to repair his relationship with Michael after Avery's custody was settled. Moments later, everyone took their seats as the bailiff called the court to order.
Everyone was stunned when Judge Walters entered the courtroom and sat behind the bench. Michael smirked as he glanced over at Sonny and Ric.
Judge Walters took over the custody hearing
At Kelly's, Dante arrived to meet his mother. She asked about her grandson, so Dante told her that Rocco was getting over a cold. Olivia was pleased, especially when Dante mentioned arranging a play date for Rocco and Georgie. Olivia was delighted that Rocco and Georgie would get to know each other after all the pain and drama everyone had endured during the custody battle. Dante agreed, but he was curious why Olivia had asked to see him.
Olivia braced herself then broke the news that she was pregnant. After Dante recovered from the shock, he asked who the father was. Olivia tried to change the subject, but Dante wanted an answer because he feared Sonny might be the baby's father. Olivia assured her son that it wasn't Sonny's baby, but Dante continued to push for an answer until Olivia reluctantly admitted that Ned Ashton was the father. Olivia rushed to assure Dante that Ned intended to stand by her. Dante relaxed as he promised to support his mother as long as she was happy and healthy.
At the Quartermaine mansion, Tracy entered the living room with Danny on her hip. Ned was surprised that his mother was babysitting, so Tracy explained that Monica had been called into surgery. Ned took Danny from his mother and sat down on the floor to play cars with the toddler. He invited his mother to join them, but Tracy declined because her mind was on Luke's arraignment. Ned was certain that Sam wouldn't mind fetching Danny, but Tracy explained that Sam had gone on a "mission of mercy" to visit Nikolas in Boston.
Later, Tracy smiled as she settled Danny at the table with a juice box and plate of chocolate chip cookies. However, she was frustrated that she couldn't be at court with Luke, since Monica had once again put Monica's career ahead of family. Ned chuckled and pointed out that Tracy was a hypocrite, especially since Monica had done Tracy a favor by keeping Tracy away from court. Ned confessed that he doubted Luke would appreciate Tracy's presence at the arraignment, but Tracy insisted Luke was ill. Ned agreed, but he hated how Luke treated Tracy.
Touched by Ned's concern, Tracy admitted that she didn't mind spending time with Danny because it was nice having a child in the house. "Pretty soon there's going to be one more," Tracy added as Ned's eyes rounded with surprise. He wondered how his mother knew about Olivia's pregnancy, but it quickly became clear that Tracy had no idea what Ned was talking about, so Ned was forced to admit that Olivia was pregnant.
"What is your obsession with fishwives from Bensonhurst?" Tracy demanded with disgust. Ned pointed out that it had been over twenty years since Lois had given birth to Brook Lynn, so he hardly had an obsession, but Tracy argued that he had somehow managed to impregnate two women from the same block in Brooklyn. Ned conceded her point but assured Tracy that Olivia's pregnancy had been a surprise to both of them.
Later, Tracy and Ned played with Danny as Tracy confided that she wasn't really upset about the prospect of having another grandchild, so Ned asked who Tracy had been referring to when she had mentioned another child joining the household. Tracy smiled as she reminded Ned of Michael's petition for custody of Michael's youngest sister, Avery Corinthos. Ned warned Tracy that it was doubtful Michael would be awarded custody because judges tried to keep children with their biological parents. Tracy revealed that things were about to change because she had overheard Monica pressuring Monica's boyfriend, Judge Walters, to take over the custody case.
"Good for Monica," Ned said with a grin. Tracy agreed because Monica had been forced to stand by while Sonny had taken Monica's grandson away from the Quartermaines. Ned thought it was poetic justice that Michael was the one who would take Sonny's child away from Sonny.
A short time later, Ned and Danny played as Tracy confessed that it would be nice to have children under the roof again with Danny, Avery, and Ned's baby. "The next generation," Ned said with a smile. Tracy wished her brother, Alan, was there to see it, so Ned added he wished his cousins A.J. and Jason had also lived to see it happen.
At Shriners Hospital for Children, Nikolas confessed that he needed to tell Sam something, but she cut him off to apologize for talking about Jason when Nikolas already had plenty on his plate with Spencer. Sam assumed Nikolas wanted to talk about Spencer, so she assured him that he had her full attention. However, a nurse approached to tell Nikolas that Spencer needed him, and the doctor wanted to talk to Nikolas.
A short time later, Nikolas returned. Sam was anxious to know if everything was okay with Spencer, so Nikolas explained that Spencer's blood pressure had dropped because of the pain medication. However, Nikolas assured her that everything had been corrected. Sam offered Nikolas some words of encouragement, but Nikolas explained that he had to get back to Spencer. He thanked her for the visit, so Sam suggested they finish their conversation when Spencer was better.
After Sam left, Nikolas changed into a sterile gown, cap, and mask. He held his son's hand as he sat at Spencer's bedside with worry etched on his expression.
In Jake's hospital room, Kyle Sloane asked if Jake had made a decision. The police commissioner reminded Jake that Jake faced a slew of charges that could land Jake behind bars for life, but Jake remained reluctant to give Sloane an answer. Sloane assured Jake that Scott Baldwin had agreed to drop all the charges against Jake in exchange for Jake working as an undercover informant, but Jake felt as if he would be trading Helena's leash for Sloane's leash. Sloane argued that at least Sloane wouldn't be using mind control.
Sloane warned Jake that the window of opportunity on the offer would quickly close, so Sloane needed an answer because Sloane was determined to shut down the Jerome organization with or without Jake's help. Jake refused to go to prison, so he agreed to help Sloane. Pleased, Sloane informed Jake that no one could know about their agreement and that Jake would only answer to Sloane.
Moments later, Elizabeth entered Jake's hospital room and immediately demanded to know what Sloane was doing there. Sloane claimed he was there to inform Jake that Jake was a free man. Elizabeth's eyes narrowed as she asked what had suddenly changed, since Sloane had kept a guard on Jake's room and Jake handcuffed to the bed. Sloane explained that he and Scott had reviewed the evidence and had determined that Jake had been Helena's puppet, which the microchip in Jake's brain had corroborated.
Delighted, Elizabeth reminded Jake that he would finally be free to live his life without anyone pulling his strings. Jake's smile was strained, but Elizabeth didn't appear to notice. After Elizabeth stepped out of the room, Sloane removed Jake's handcuffs as he reminded Jake to get a job with the Jeromes. Jake wondered how he would explain that to everyone, but Sloane decided that was Jake's problem.
In the hallway, Elizabeth ran into Sam. She shared the news about Jake's newfound freedom then asked about Spencer. Sam gave Elizabeth a quick update and admitted that she hadn't been able to ask Nikolas about Jake because Nikolas had had enough to deal with.
At Ryan's bar, Ava lurked outside, huddled under a thick hooded parka, while her loved ones gathered inside for her memorial service. Inside, Silas was surprised when he saw Avery, so Kiki reminded her father that she had sent him a text message earlier to let him know that Morgan would be attending the service with Avery. Silas didn't recall seeing the message but shrugged it off.
Meanwhile, Ava slipped into the doorway to listen as the memorial service began. Julian was the first to speak as he confessed that he hadn't met Ava until they had been adults. Julian admitted that it had been for the best because their father had been a demanding and cold man who had driven Julian and Ava's sister, Olivia, mad. Julian conceded that he and Ava hadn't always seen eye-to-eye, but he had always enjoyed "mixing it up" with her because she had been both smart and tough.
Julian confessed that Ava had been determined to have a seat at the table with the "boys," which he conceded she had earned. Julian admitted that he had always respected his sister as Ava stood in the doorway with tears shimmering in her eyes.
Next, Kiki stood up to talk about her mother and how it had just been the two of them for a long time. Kiki admitted that she and her mother hadn't always gotten along, so she regretted not thanking Ava for all Ava had done and for loving and believing in Kiki. Kiki began to cry as she assured everyone that her mother had always done the best that Ava could, so Kiki vowed to watch over Avery. In the doorway, tears silently slid down Ava's cheeks.
Meanwhile, Silas introduced himself as Kiki's father and talked about how he hated seeing his daughter in pain. However, he was proud of Kiki because Kiki had stepped up for her sister, Avery. Silas suddenly recalled Ava asking him to say something nice about her, so Silas praised Ava for being a fighter. He admitted that she might not have gone about things the right way, but she had always managed to get herself out of trouble. Nearby, Delia's eyes welled up with tears as she quietly pointed out that Ava had failed the last time.
Delia followed Silas and explained that she had been Ava's mother. Delia confessed that she had given Ava up for adoption, which had been the most difficult choice Delia had ever made and one Delia had regretted every day. Delia wished she had taken the time to apologize to Ava and hadn't left things unsaid. Delia became choked up with emotion as she confessed that she hoped it wasn't too late to say she was sorry. Ava was moved by her mother's touching eulogy.
Finally, Morgan said a few words about Ava and their relationship. He admitted that he had always known he and Ava wouldn't last, but he confessed that he would always love Ava because she had helped him in countless ways.
Later, Ava ducked into a quiet corner as people filed out of the bar. Inside, Kiki announced that she and Morgan had decided to take a walk to get some fresh air, so she said goodbye to her uncle and father. After everyone left, Delia sat down to talk to Avery. Delia confided that in times of difficulty, she missed her mother-in-law, Maeve Ryan, because Maeve had always known what to say and would sing a song that had always helped.
Delia's voice filled with emotion as she began to sing Danny Boy until Avery drifted off to sleep. Afterwards, Delia began to clean up. She stood behind the bar when someone approached the bar from the back area. Delia was stunned when she realized it was Ava.
In the courtroom, everyone except Michael was shocked when Judge Walters took the bench. Michael smirked as he looked at Sonny, while Alexis asked what Michael had done. Michael ignored the question as Ric asked about Judge Heller. Judge Walters explained that Judge Heller had been called away on a personal matter, so Judge Walters had agreed to fill in for her. Ric asked for a continuance until Judge Heller was available, since the hearing had started the previous day.
Judge Walters pointed out that Ric had stepped in for Diane Miller at the last minute without any problems, so it wouldn't be a problem for Judge Walters to review the testimony and hear the rest of the case. Meanwhile, Alexis quietly told Michael that she wasn't comfortable with the situation, but Michael ignored her. Ric assured Judge Walters that the hearing was a waste of everyone's time because Michael was only interested in seeking custody of Avery because Michael had a grudge against Sonny. Ric insisted that Michael had failed to establish Sonny as an unfit father, so he asked the judge to dismiss the case, but Judge Walters wanted to hear from Sonny.
After Sonny was sworn in, Michael instructed Alexis to go for Sonny's jugular. Alexis approached the witness stand to ask if Sonny thought his home was safe for his children. Sonny assured her that it was, but Alexis was curious if any of his children had been in danger while in his care. Ric objected, since they had already established that Sonny couldn't be responsible for Claudia Zacchara's botched hit on Sonny. Alexis clarified that she had been referring to the time Sonny had shot Carly in the head while she had been delivering Sonny and Carly's youngest son, Morgan.
Ric immediately objected, but Judge Walters overruled it because he wanted to hear what Sonny had to say. Sonny explained that it wasn't a simple answer because, at the time, Sonny had thought Carly had been in danger. Alexis shifted gears by asking if each of Sonny's children had been physically and psychologically damaged despite Sonny's efforts to protect them. Sonny refused to answer the question, so Alexis was curious how Sonny could guarantee the same wouldn't happen with Avery. Sonny insisted that he loved Avery, but Alexis wondered how it would benefit Avery to live with Sonny if Avery would be in constant danger.
Sonny reluctantly conceded that his children had been in danger in the past, but he intended to do better by Avery. Alexis was curious if Sonny thought Michael had been safe the day Michael had been struck by a ricocheting bullet meant for Sonny. Sonny turned to the judge to explain that Michael wanted to punish Sonny for shooting A.J., so Michael had decided to fight for Avery because Michael knew it would hurt Sonny.
The judge appeared unmoved by Sonny's explanation, so Sonny made a heartfelt plea to Michael to drop the custody suit. Sonny promised that he loved Michael and always would, but Sonny also loved Avery every bit as much as he loved Michael. Sonny insisted Avery belonged with her father, but Judge Walters decided he had heard enough. The judge decided to take a short recess before rendering a verdict.
After Judge Walters left the bench, Alexis reminded Michael that he still had time to withdraw the petition, but Michael refused. Meanwhile, Carly approached Sonny to offer him words of encouragement. However, she suddenly frowned when she realized why she recognized Judge Walters.
Maxie gives one of her suitors a kiss
At the hospital, reporters swarmed around Tracy and asked for her to make a statement about the chaos that had erupted during Luke's arraignment. Tracy called out for security to remove the reporters, so several guards stepped forward to hustle the reporters away. Moments later, Tracy greeted Lulu then asked what had happened at court.
After Lulu filled Tracy in, Lulu wondered if things could get any worse. Tracy was curious what the doctors had said, but Lulu hadn't been able to get any answers because only Bobbie had been permitted to enter the ICU. "Poor Scott Baldwin," Tracy said, even though she had never thought she would utter those words. Both Tracy and Lulu looked into the ICU room where Bobbie was seated at Scott's bedside while he rested. Lulu feared that Scott would use the incident to send Luke away for good instead of getting Luke the help that Luke desperately needed.
Tracy assured Lulu that Diane was working on damage control, but Lulu blamed Diane for the fiasco in the courtroom. Lulu recalled talking to Bobbie before the arraignment about Luke's need for professional help. However, Lulu had had reservations that Diane would help Luke since Luke's "dark side" had retained Diane's services. Bobbie had assured Lulu that Diane had Luke's best interests at heart, but Lulu feared that Diane was more interested in the money than Luke's welfare.
Moments later, Luke, handcuffed and flanked by a police officer and Nathan, had approached Lulu and Bobbie outside the courtroom to snidely ask if they were there to see him released. Bobbie had assured Luke that she and Lulu would make certain that Luke got the help he needed, but the conversation had been cut short when Scott had walked up and vowed to send Luke to a "four-by-seven monkey cage" in Pentonville. Lulu returned to the present as she admitted that Scott had poked a bear by taunting Luke.
Lulu recalled how Luke had complained about the reporters in the courthouse, snapping pictures of him, but Scott had continued to goad Luke by accusing Luke of being a rapist and murderer. Scott had promised to tell Laura everything because Scott hadn't believed Luke's "insanity act." Luke had smiled menacingly as he'd suggested that Scott take a closer look then had opened his mouth wide as he'd lunged at Scott.
At Shadybrook, Nina and a fellow patient watched a news report about a shocking incident at the courthouse; Franco walked up. Franco pretended to be Jack Tripper from Three's Company as he approached Nina and the patient. The woman couldn't understand why Franco's restraints had been removed because he was a "total freak," but Nina defended Franco by reminding the woman that Franco's mother had injected him with an overdose of LSD. Nina picked up a pillow and cradled it as she talked about waiting for her husband to pick her up when he returned from working with Doctors Without Borders. According to Nina, her mother had been watching Nina's baby, but the patient argued that Nina didn't have a baby.
Nina became hostile by barking like a dog at the woman until the patient scurried away. Nina and Franco smiled at each other, but Franco warned Nina that they would eventually have to tone things down so they could convince the doctors they were sane enough to leave Shadybrook.
Meanwhile, Dante and Nathan arrived at the asylum with Luke. Luke was confined to a straitjacket and strapped to a dolly while the lower part of his face was secured with a leather mask. A guard wondered if the mask was necessary, but Dante explained that they couldn't risk a repeat of what had happened at the courthouse. One of the orderlies chuckled and agreed because he had watched the clip of the incident online several times. Nathan was not amused because someone had been seriously injured.
Nina perked up when she heard her brother's voice, so she called out to him. Nathan excused himself to check on Nina. After Nathan and Nina exchanged hugs, Nina asked why Nathan was at Shadybrook. Nathan explained he was there on official police business, dropping off a prisoner who had attacked Scott Baldwin. Franco, who had been lying on the floor, sat up at the mention of his father's name.
Franco demanded to know what had happened to Scott, but Nathan's eyes narrowed because Franco appeared lucid to him. Franco immediately slipped into character by claiming that "Scotty Baldwin" was his favorite Baldwin brother because "Scotty" had a recurring role on the television show Arrow. Nina smiled innocently, so Nathan advised his sister to find new friends. Nina assured Nathan that Franco was harmless, but Franco wanted to know if Scott was okay. Nathan ignored the question as he walked away.
Nearby, Dante leaned in close to ask if Luke's "Donner-party" act had been real, but Luke glared at Dante and made a noise as if tasting a succulent piece of meat. Disgusted, Dante ordered the guards to keep Luke under close watch until Dante returned. After Luke was wheeled away, Dante decided to go to the hospital to check on Lulu and Scott. Nathan revealed that he intended to stop by Dante's loft to find out if Spinelli had made any progress in searching for Patricia Spencer. Dante wondered if Nathan would be okay working with Spinelli, but Nathan assured Dante that it would be fine as long as Spinelli remained professional.
Nina waited until she and Franco were alone then sat next to him on the sofa as he read the newspaper about Luke attacking Scott. She warned him to be more careful because he couldn't afford to lose his cool. Franco decided to have a chat with Luke, but Nina objected because Luke was dangerous. Franco insisted that he needed answers from the man who had tried to hurt Franco's father, so he asked Nina to keep watch, and he slipped around a corner.
A short time later, Franco waited until the coast was clear before entering Luke's room. Luke tried to engage Franco in conversation, but Franco wasn't interested in small talk. "My name's Franco Baldwin. You hurt my father; prepare to die," Franco said.
At the hospital, Lulu confessed that she had never seen her father behave as violently as he had during the attack on Scott. "That being said, it couldn't have happened to a nicer person," Tracy quipped. Tracy reminded Lulu that Scott hadn't been permanently injured. However, Tracy hoped that Spinelli found some answers to explain Luke's state of mind before Luke maimed anyone else. Moments later, Dante arrived and assured Tracy and Lulu that Luke was safely settled in at Shadybrook.
In Scott's hospital room, Scott slowly woke up. Bobbie immediately asked how he felt, so he confessed that his head hurt. Bobbie suspected the pain medication had begun to wear off, but she was curious if Scott recalled how he had ended up in the hospital. Scott angrily reminded her that her "psychotic" brother had attacked him. Bobbie assured Scott that the injury wasn't that bad, but Scott disagreed because Luke had bitten off Scott's ear.
Bobbie clarified that it had just been the tip of Scott's ear and that the surgeon had been able to reattach it, so Scott would make a full recovery. Bobbie hoped the incident had proven to Scott that Luke was not well, so Scott conceded that Luke was out of control. Bobbie agreed, but she had no idea how to help her brother.
Outside Dante and Lulu's loft, Maxie paced the hallway as she reminded herself that she and Nathan were simply going through a rough patch, which happened to all couples. Maxie recalled Nathan asking if she was in love with Spinelli and advising her to figure it out before deciding who she wanted to be with. Maxie pushed the memory away as she knocked on the door, calling out to Lulu. Maxie was startled when Spinelli opened the door.
Maxie entered the loft as she demanded to know why Spinelli was in Dante and Lulu's home, but Spinelli asked where Georgie was. Maxie explained that she had left their daughter with Felicia and Mac, and she waited for Spinelli to answer her question. Spinelli admitted that he was staying with Dante and Lulu, but Maxie suspected he had an ulterior motive. She pointed out that Dante and Lulu lived in a single room apartment that served as a bedroom, nursery, and kitchen, so Spinelli couldn't in good conscience mooch off of the couple.
Spinelli claimed that he hadn't had a choice, since Maxie had thrown him out. Maxie accused Spinelli of being disingenuous bordering on lying because she knew he could afford to stay at a hotel or stay with Sam or Carly, but Spinelli argued that where he stayed didn't concern Maxie. Frustrated, Maxie blamed him for her relationship crisis with Nathan. Spinelli suggested that she and Nathan wouldn't have a problem if she had been more confident about her lack of feelings for Spinelli. Maxie ignored the remark and asked where Lulu was.
Spinelli explained that something "unspeakable" had occurred before Luke's arraignment, and he filled her in about the incident. Maxie was shocked that Luke had attacked Scott. She conceded that Luke had always been an adventure junkie but never a monster. Spinelli revealed that Lulu suspected that Luke suffered from mental illness, so Lulu and Tracy had hired Spinelli to search for Bobbie and Luke's older sister, Patricia, in the hopes of figuring out what was going on with Luke.
Maxie followed Spinelli to his laptop as he explained that he had been searching thousands of Internet databases for information about Patricia, but Maxie was curious why the police couldn't have done it. Spinelli smiled as he pointed out that he had access to databases that the police didn't. Maxie realized that Spinelli was engaging in illegal activity, which infuriated her because he had put her in a position where she had to lie to Nathan. Spinelli suspected Maxie's desire to protect him meant that he still had a chance with Maxie, but Maxie argued that Spinelli was wrong.
Maxie accused Spinelli of doing the same thing Johnny had done by making her a part of his crimes. Spinelli resented being compared to Johnny because Spinelli and Maxie had shared something far more special between them than Johnny and Maxie. Maxie reminded Spinelli that she and Spinelli hadn't gotten married because they had agreed it would have been a mistake, but Spinelli argued that they shared a beautiful child together. Maxie asked Spinelli to stop talking like they still had something between them beyond a daughter, but Spinelli wanted her to admit that she still had feelings for him that had never gone away.
Maxie refused because she had just picked up the fractured pieces of her life and had something good with Nathan. Spinelli insisted that it was finally their time, so he kissed her, unaware that Nathan had walked in.
In New York City, Silas entered Ava's hospital room. He was furious when he realized that she had left. However, he quickly figured out where she had gone when he recalled that Kiki had mentioned sending him a text message earlier to let him know that Morgan would be attending the memorial service with Avery.
In Ryan's bar, Delia was stunned when she saw Ava standing in front of her. Initially, Delia worried that it was a hallucination, but Ava assured her mother that Delia wasn't seeing things. Overjoyed, Delia rounded the bar and warmly hugged her daughter as tears of relief slid down Delia's cheeks. Ava confessed that she had heard everything Delia had said during the memorial service, so Delia promised that she had meant every word. Pleased, Ava walked over to pick up Avery as she explained that she had been desperate to see Avery.
Delia immediately ordered Ava to put Avery down because Delia feared that Ava was too weak from the fall off the bridge to hold the baby. Ava assured her mother that she was fine, but Delia appeared skeptical. Delia demanded to know how Ava had survived the fall, so Ava confessed that she'd had help. Delia wanted to know who had helped Ava, but Silas entered the bar before Ava could reply. "Me," Silas answered.
Delia was livid because Silas had allowed Delia to suffer needlessly by allowing Delia to believe that Ava had died. Delia assumed that both Kiki and Morgan also knew the truth, so Ava quickly clarified that no one except Delia and Silas knew that Ava was alive. Ava explained that it had been necessary to maintain the ruse to keep Ava out of jail. Silas' temper flared as he asked why Ava had risked her freedom by showing up at Ryan's bar. Ava kissed the top of her daughter's head and admitted that she had been desperate to see her baby.
Silas was not appeased because Ava had made Delia an accomplice in Ava's escape. Ava begged Delia not to tell anyone, including Kiki, but Delia hated to watch Kiki suffer. Ava admitted that keeping Kiki in the dark had been the hardest thing Ava had ever done, but it had been necessary. Delia acknowledged that the lie was for the greater good, so she agreed to keep Ava's secret. Pleased, Ava picked up Avery's diaper bag and started to leave, but Silas stopped her. Ava warned Silas that she refused to leave without Avery.
In the courtroom, Carly suddenly realized why she recognized Judge Walters. She explained that she had seen Monica and the judge numerous times at Metro Court, so she was certain that Monica was dating the judge. Both Ric and Sonny were stunned. Carly feared that Michael was been responsible for Judge Walters stepping in for Judge Heller, so Ric decided to confront Alexis and Michael.
Alexis claimed she had no idea what Ric was talking about, but Ric was certain that Michael had asked Judge Walters to take over the hearing because Michael had been losing the custody suit. Sonny begged Michael to reconsider going through with the petition because it wasn't fair to use Avery as a pawn to seek revenge against Sonny. Michael argued that Avery didn't deserve to be a target for Sonny's enemies, but Sonny promised to keep Avery safe.
Sonny accused Michael of manipulating the hearing, but Michael invited Sonny to prove it. Sonny tried to change tactics by asking how Michael could take Avery away from her father, but Michael insisted he was protecting Avery. However, Michael admitted that it was a "collateral benefit" if Sonny suffered as a result of losing custody of Avery. Carly reminded Michael that Sonny had a legal right to Avery because Sonny was Avery's biological father, but Michael scoffed at the idea that Sonny respected the law.
Carly accused Michael of acting like a Quartermaine by throwing money at a problem, so Michael countered that Sonny, on the other hand, would probably hang Judge Walters from a meat hook to get his way. Alexis suggested that Ric and Sonny return to their table because everyone had said enough. Moments later, the bailiff announced that court was back in session as Judge Walters entered. Sonny warned Michael that Michael wouldn't get away with Michael's latest stunt. "I already have," Michael replied with a smirk.
After Judge Walters announced that he had reached a decision, Ric stood up to ask the judge to recuse himself because of a conflict of interest, since the judge was dating Michael's grandmother. Annoyed, Judge Walters suggested they examine Ric's argument because Ric was Sonny's brother and the petitioner's uncle. Additionally, the judge pointed out that Michael's attorney had once been married to Ric and had children with both Ric and Sonny. Judge Walters pointed out that the entire case was littered with conflicts of interest, so if the judge could accept that everyone was mature enough to present their arguments in a clinical and unbiased fashion, then they should accept that the judge was qualified to supervise the proceedings in the same manner.
Judge Walters reminded Ric that Ric could always appeal the ruling then announced that Michael had been awarded custody of Avery. Sonny immediately objected because Michael's only motivation had been revenge. The judge argued that there had been ample documentation to show that Sonny's minor children had been harmed while under Sonny's care, so the judge had decided to place Avery in a safe and stable environment. Judge Walters issued an order for Social Services to pick up Avery, so he asked where Avery was.
Sonny refused to answer the judge, but the judge threatened to hold Sonny in contempt of court. Ric urged Sonny to cooperate, so Sonny claimed that Avery was at Sonny's home with the nanny. The judge decided to give Sonny a few hours to get everything in order, and he left the bench. Michael quietly thanked Alexis, but Alexis warned Michael that he had started down a slippery slope that he might not be able to climb out of.
Meanwhile, Ric promised to file an appeal that would hopefully block Social Services from taking Avery. After Ric left, Carly asked why Sonny had lied about Avery's whereabouts. Sonny explained that he intended for Avery to remain in New York City until he could figure something out because he refused to allow Michael to take custody of Avery.
Silas told Ava she was dying
In Luke's room at Shadybrook, Luke was strapped to the bed as Franco loomed over him and vowed to kill Luke for attacking Franco's father, Scott. Luke was unimpressed, but Franco promised that Luke's corpse would be "something to behold" -- perhaps even Franco's finest work -- when Franco was through with him. "Big words," Luke replied with a smirk.
Franco quietly wondered if Luke mistakenly believed that Franco didn't have it in him to kill, so Luke admitted that Franco's rage was convincing. However, Luke believed it was wasted on worthless Scott. Franco relished the idea of killing Luke, but Luke doubted Scott would be happy, since Scott's sole reason for existing was to try to be better than his adversary, Luke. Franco was confident that his father would appreciate the gesture, so he picked up a pillow and slammed it down on Luke's face.
Luke was unable to put up a fight because of the restraints, but Nina slipped into the room in time to save Luke from certain death by pulling Franco away from the bed. She demanded to know what Franco was doing as Luke gasped for breath. Franco stepped toward the bed to finish the job, but Nina warned Franco that they could not be together if he ended up in Shadybrook for life because of the murder. Luke admitted that Franco would be as stupid as Scott if Franco chose killing Luke over spending his life with "the goddess."
Nina glanced at Luke and smiled but quickly turned her attention back to Franco to remind him that he could also be put in isolation. Franco reluctantly agreed to let Luke live, but he made it clear that Luke was never to touch Scott again. Franco also warned Luke to stay away from Franco's seat on movie night "or it's the pillow for you," so Luke agreed to respect Franco's wishes. Satisfied, Nina led Franco to the door as she reminded him that they needed to figure out a way to leave Shadybrook. Luke cleared his throat as the couple reached the door because he could help them with their problem.
Franco was immediately interested in hearing what Luke had to say, but Nina was leery because she knew about Luke's recent violent history. Franco reminded Nina that Franco's criminal history was likely worse than Luke's, so Luke revealed that he had attacked Scott at the courthouse because Luke had realized it would be easier to escape from Shadybrook than from Pentonville. Luke wanted to thank Nina for saving him, so he suggested they pool their resources and work together because Luke was a master at disappearing.
At the Quartermaine mansion, Tracy was on the phone with Dante. She conceded that Luke should remain at Shadybrook until they could figure out what was wrong with him, so she promised to call Lulu if she heard anything about Pat Spencer then ended the call as Michael entered the living room. Michael wondered if Tracy had seen Monica, so Tracy explained that Monica had been called to the hospital for an emergency. Michael smiled with satisfaction as he revealed that he had been awarded custody of Avery.
Tracy returned Michael's smile as she congratulated him and confessed that she had overheard Monica urging Judge Walters to take over the custody hearing. Tracy was certain that Michael had put Monica up to it, but Michael tensed and refused to comment. Tracy assured Michael he could relax because she was impressed that he acted like a true Quartermaine. She pointed out that Sonny had been a blight on the family for years by luring Jason into the mob, which had devastated both her brother, Alan, and father, Edward, especially after Sonny had taken off with Michael.
Tracy also detested Sonny for killing A.J. and breaking her father's heart by chipping away at the family, so she thought it was poetic that Michael -- the son Sonny had stolen -- had taken Sonny's child away from Sonny. According to Tracy, it was exactly what Sonny had deserved. She was curious when Avery would arrive, so Michael told her about his plans to accompany a U.S. Marshal and social worker when they fetched his sister. Tracy was relieved that Michael wouldn't be alone because she wouldn't have been surprised if Sonny had arranged a little accident for Michael. Tracy insisted that Sonny viewed his children as trophies, since he was only capable of loving himself.
Michael assured Tracy that he understood Sonny better than anyone, so Tracy shifted gears because she realized the custody battle hadn't been easy on Michael. Michael admitted that he wasn't concerned about Sonny or Morgan, but he did care about his sisters Kristina and Josslyn. Michael revealed that Carly had accused him of tearing the family apart, but Tracy argued that Carly wasn't in any position to judge, since Carly had had an affair with Carly's stepfather. Michael explained that he had wanted to protect Avery from Sonny's lifestyle because each of Sonny's children had suffered as a result of Sonny's choices, but he conceded that hurting Sonny in the process had been an added benefit.
Tracy assured Michael that he had done the right thing and praised him for acting like a Quartermaine. Michael smiled as he assured Tracy that Avery would be a Quartermaine, too, despite Sonny's objections.
After Michael left, Tracy looked at a framed picture of her father as she admitted that Edward would be pleased because Michael had returned to the family fold, and the house would soon be filled with children. Moments later, Alice entered to announce that the nursery was ready for Avery. Alice was eager for the baby to arrive, so Tracy assured her that Michael had left to fetch Avery. Alice worried about Sonny's reaction, but Tracy promised that Michael had everything well in hand.
Alice relaxed and suggested that she set up a bedroom for Danny's visits. Tracy grinned as she revealed that Alice would need to set up another nursery for Ned and Olivia's baby. Overjoyed by the news, Alice picked up Tracy and hugged her tightly as she congratulated Tracy on becoming a grandmother again. After Alice set Tracy down, the two women sat on the sofa to chat about the babies. However, the conversation soon turned somber when Tracy confessed that her happiness was overshadowed by Luke's troubles.
Tracy assured Alice that Scott would make a full recovery, but Luke had a deeply troubled mind. Tracy was desperate to find out what had triggered the drastic change in Luke, but her only hope rested in the hands off a "Grade A boob." Tracy admitted that she had seen a glimpse of the Luke she had fallen in love with during her recent visit with Luke in jail, so she knew that the Luke she loved was trapped somewhere inside Luke's troubled mind. However, Tracy had no idea how to reach him. Alice was confident that Tracy would find a way.
At the loft, Spinelli insisted that he and Maxie could be a family if they were both willing to try. He assured her that he was ready and suspected that she was, too, so he kissed her, unaware that Nathan had entered the loft. "Don't mind me," Nathan growled from the doorway. Maxie immediately pulled away from Spinelli and asked what Nathan was doing there. Nathan explained that Dante had told him about Spinelli's work on Luke's case, so Nathan had decided to stop by to find out if Spinelli had learned anything useful.
Nathan glowered at Spinelli, so Spinelli dashed to his laptop to continue his work. Meanwhile, Maxie tried to explain the kiss, but Nathan wasn't interested in hearing her excuses because it was clear to him that she had made her choice. Maxie assured Nathan that she had not picked Spinelli. She explained that she had been caught off guard by the "stupid" kiss, which hadn't meant anything to her. Furious, Nathan advanced on Spinelli, but Spinelli managed to dodge Nathan.
Spinelli suggested that he and Nathan could be great friends, but Nathan pointed out that friends didn't make unwanted advances on their friend's girlfriend. Spinelli argued that the kiss hadn't been one-sided because Spinelli and Maxie shared a history that Nathan and Maxie lacked. Spinelli warned Nathan that there would always be an undercurrent of love between Spinelli and Maxie, which had led to the kiss. Nathan snapped that it was not okay to force a kiss on someone, and he grabbed Spinelli, intending to punch him. Luckily for Spinelli, Spinelli's laptop beeped to alert Spinelli of a hit on his search for Patricia Spencer.
Spinelli ran over to the laptop then announced that he had a lead. Nathan wanted to see it, but Spinelli insisted he worked for Tracy, not the Port Charles Police Department. Maxie doubted it would do any harm to show Nathan the information, but Spinelli advised Nathan to talk to Tracy, and he fled the apartment with the information before Nathan could stop him. Maxie smiled nervously as she invited Nathan to grab a bite to eat at the Floating Rib, but Nathan had lost his appetite when he had walked in on Spinelli and Maxie's kiss. Maxie was startled when he suggested they reevaluate their relationship and call it quits.
At Greystone Manor, Carly followed Sonny into the living room as she asked why he had lied to the judge by not revealing that Morgan had taken Avery to Ava's memorial service. Sonny insisted that he had needed to buy himself some time to figure things out because he refused to allow Michael to take Avery.
Later, Carly waited until Sonny wrapped up a phone call with Ric before she tried to reason with Sonny to keep him from making things worse. She reminded him that the judge had ruled, but Sonny argued that the judge had been in the Quartermaines' pocket. Carly advised Sonny drop Ric and retain Diane again, so Diane could request another hearing with an impartial judge. Sonny explained that Alexis was good enough to bury the motion and delay the hearing for years, which would give Michael ample opportunity to poison Avery against Sonny.
Sonny refused to allow that to happen, so Carly reminded Sonny that despite Michael's anger, Michael was a good and kind man who would love Avery and make certain she was happy until Sonny could legally take Avery home. Sonny remained determined to keep Avery away from Michael, prompting Carly to nervously ask what Sonny intended to do.
In New York City, Morgan and Kiki returned to Ryan's bar after walking around the city, but Kiki wasn't ready to enter her grandmother's establishment. Kiki explained that the city was home to her because Ava and Kiki had often toured the city as Ava had regaled Kiki with stories about the various places they had visited. Kiki confessed that the city was filled with memories that she cherished, so she questioned if she should return to Port Charles because it no longer felt like home to her. Morgan reminded Kiki that she had family in Port Charles, including Avery and Silas, but Kiki remained uneasy about returning because she feared that Michael would prevail in court and follow through on his threat to prohibit Kiki from having contact with Avery.
Moments later, Sonny called Morgan. Morgan was shocked when Sonny explained that Michael had been awarded custody of Avery, so Sonny wanted Morgan to take Kiki and Avery to JFK Airport, where Sonny would have a plane waiting to whisk Morgan, Kiki, and Avery to Sonny's private island and out of reach of Michael's "legal arm." Sonny promised to join Morgan on the island as soon as possible, so Morgan assured his father that he would follow Sonny's order.
After Morgan ended the call, Kiki asked what was going on. Morgan noticed that she was cold, so he suggested they go inside, where he would fill her in on everything.
At Greystone Manor, Carly listened to Sonny's instructions to Morgan with a mixture of disappointment and frustration clouding her expression. After the call, she pointed out that Sonny had made Morgan an accomplice to kidnapping, but Sonny argued that Morgan was a grown man and capable of making his own decisions. Sonny was confident that Morgan knew what was at stake and understood that Sonny wanted to protect Avery. "Protect her from who?" Carly asked with disbelief. Carly reminded Sonny that Michael was their son and admitted that she resented Sonny putting Morgan in a dangerous situation.
Sonny promised to protect Morgan. "From prison?" Carly asked. She warned Sonny that Sonny wouldn't be able to get away with what he had done, but Sonny insisted he simply needed to delay Michael long enough so Michael couldn't get anywhere near Avery. Carly was curious what Sonny intended to say when Michael arrived to pick up Avery. As if on cue, Michael knocked on the door. Sonny tried to hustle Carly out the back door, but she refused to leave Sonny's side.
Michael became increasingly frustrated until Sonny finally opened the door. Sonny invited Michael and the social worker inside and offered them something to drink, but Michael declined and ordered the social worker to fetch Avery. After the social worker disappeared upstairs, Carly implored Michael to reconsider. Sonny vowed that he would not allow Michael to take Avery, regardless of the court order, but Michael patiently waited for the social worker to return.
Moments later, the social worker appeared at the top of the stairs, empty-handed. She informed Michael that Avery hadn't been in the nursery. Furious, Michael demanded that Sonny be placed under arrest.
In Ryan's bar, Delia and Silas objected when Ava tried to leave with Avery. Ava argued that she couldn't leave her baby daughter behind because it might be the only chance she had to be with Avery, but Delia warned Ava that Ava would be caught. Delia also reminded Ava that Morgan and Kiki would return soon, so there would be no way to explain Avery's disappearance. Ava suggested that Delia claim there had been a robbery and Avery had been kidnapped, but Delia doubted the police would believe the preposterous story.
Silas urged Ava to think about Kiki because Kiki had suffered enough believing that Ava had died. Silas feared that losing Avery would be too much for their daughter. Silas assured Ava that he was on her side, so Delia gently suggested that perhaps Ava could be reunited with Avery one day. Ava was heartbroken as she realized she had to leave her daughter behind.
Moments later, Morgan and Kiki entered the bar. They smiled when they saw Delia had put a sparkly green St. Patrick's Day hat on Avery, so Kiki snapped a picture. After Morgan, Kiki, and Delia exchanged brief pleasantries, Morgan announced that he and Kiki needed to leave. Delia was disappointed because she had hoped to spend more time with her granddaughters, but Morgan insisted they were expected somewhere. Kiki was curious where, but Morgan ignored the question as he thanked Delia for the beautiful memorial service.
Delia asked Kiki and Avery to visit soon, so Kiki promised they would. After Delia went to lock up the backroom, Kiki questioned Morgan about his phone call with Sonny. Morgan revealed that Michael had been granted custody of Avery, so Sonny had asked Morgan and Kiki to take Avery to Sonny's island. Morgan was surprised when Kiki objected because Michael wouldn't stop until he had hunted them down and had them thrown into prison, which Morgan and Kiki would deserve. Morgan promised that they would be safe on Sonny's island, but Kiki insisted hiding out on Sonny's island was not an option.
Meanwhile, Silas and Ava returned to Ava's hospital room. Silas warned her that she could have been caught, but Ava wasn't in the mood for Silas' lecture. Silas accused Ava of being selfish and unfair to both of her daughters, but Ava was unapologetic because she'd had only a few precious hours with Avery since her daughter's birth. Ava's eyes filled with tears as she explained that she felt an ache deep in her soul for Avery, so she needed her daughter before she broke in pieces. Silas held Ava as she wept in his arms.
Later, Ava apologized for falling apart then announced that she knew the perfect place to hide in Port Charles so she could be close to her daughters. Silas warned Ava that it wasn't possible, but Ava refused to accept defeat. She insisted there had to be a way to save herself, but Silas confessed that it wouldn't matter if there was. Stunned, Ava asked why. "You're dying," Silas reluctantly answered.