Michael was sitting in the meeting with the Five Families when Ava burst into Pozullo's and sat down at the table. Getting right to the point, she admitted that she knew who'd shot Sonny. Michael thought she needed to leave because, "she's not one of us." Ava announced that she was the head of the Jerome Organization. Michael accused her of shooting Sonny, but she assured him that her "rise to power" had been a "recent development."
Michael demanded to know who had shot Sonny. Ava remembered her conversation with Paul about blaming Julian for Sonny's shooting and blurted out that Carlos Rivera had shot Sonny. She claimed that he'd gone rogue for the second time after killing Duke, likely wanting to "make a name for himself." "Produce him," Michael commanded. Ava lied that she'd been trying and failing to locate Carlos.
The leader of the Five Families proposed an "immediate cease-fire." "Let's make peace, Michael," Ava said, extending her hand. Michael stated that Sonny's safety was the most important thing. He warned her that, if there was any more trouble, he would be forced to assume that it was Ava, and he would retaliate. "Fair enough," she agreed, and the two shook hands.
The leader adjourned the meeting, and most of the attendees left. Michael wondered what the courts would think about Ava's new job during Avery's custody hearing. She wondered the same about Sonny and figured that no one would broach the topic. She promised that she could run an organization and parent at the same time, just like Sonny had been doing. "He's not a mother," Michael shot back. "That's a double standard if I've ever heard one," Ava observed. As she left, she instructed Michael to tell Sonny that she'd see him in court, as long as he could "drag himself out of his hospital bed."
Alexis and Julian shared a kiss as there was a knock on his apartment door. He opened it to Anna, who barged into the apartment. She accused him of murdering Duke and vowed to make him pay. He reminded her that Carlos had killed Duke. He accused her of having a guilty conscience over being the cause of Duke's death. As he gloated that Duke had chosen Sonny over Anna, Alexis yelled at Julian to stop.
Anna wondered if Alexis actually believed in Julian's innocence in Duke's murder. Alexis remembered Julian confessing to Alexis that he'd ordered the hit. Returning to the moment, she only said that everyone made compromises when they were in love. Anna challenged Alexis' answer, but Julian told Anna to go find Carlos and make him pay, "unless you already did." He remembered that Anna had been the last person to see Carlos alive. Anna promised to make Julian answer for what he'd done, and she stormed out of the apartment.
Alexis found Anna's deep grief and anger upsetting. She warned Julian not to "drag" her into "that life" again. He promised he wouldn't. A short while later, Alexis was gone, and Ava returned. She announced to Julian that, "thanks to my heroic efforts," she'd gotten Julian "off the hook" for shooting Sonny.
Patrick wanted to check on Sonny, but Elizabeth wouldn't let him while he was in such a bad mood. Elizabeth assured Patrick that Sam would let go of Jason and move on with Patrick. He kicked himself for proposing even thought he'd known that Sam wasn't ready, and he hoped he wouldn't lose her over it. He almost wished Jason were around so he could show Sam how much happier he could make her than Jason could. He thought it was hard "fighting a memory." Elizabeth had faith in Patrick and Sam and believed that everyone would get their happy endings.
Carly wanted to make sure that Avery stayed "far away" from Ava and suggested that she and Sonny get married "now." Sonny replied that the only thing he wanted more than to marry Carly was for Carly to be Avery's mother. Carly reasoned that, while Sonny was in the hospital, he had someone to take care of Avery. "Is that a yes?" she wondered. "Sign me up," he said with a smile, and they shared a kiss.
Patrick entered the room with Elizabeth in order to check on Sonny, and Sonny and Carly ran their marriage idea by Patrick. He wasn't completely sold on the idea, but after sternly instructing them that the wedding would be off if there was one "blip" on the machines, he agreed.
A short while later, Carly led in a justice of the peace, who needed two witnesses. Just as Patrick and Elizabeth were leaving, Carly begged them to stay as witnesses. The two agreed to stay, and the wedding began. As Carly and Sonny both said "I do," Patrick imagined Sam standing across from him, and Elizabeth imagined Jake standing across from her.
When it was time for the rings, Carly pulled them out. As she put the ring on Sonny's finger, she promised herself to him "with all that I am and all that I have." Sonny took the ring to put on Carly's finger and began, "With all..." and stopped. To Carly's horror, the ring fell to the floor, and Sonny started to seize as the machines beeped out of control.
Sam wondered why she couldn't just let Jason go. Jake assured her that she was in a safe place and urged her to say out loud why she was holding on. "Deep down inside, I still think Jason's alive," she admitted. She explained that Jason had "beat the odds" so many times that he'd seemed invincible. She wondered how Jake had been able to walk away from who he'd been before: "People you loved, people who loved you back," she wondered. He replied that he'd had no option because, otherwise, he would have been "standing still forever."
Sam realized that she had to move forward with Patrick, but she wished for closure with Jason, since he'd died under such mysterious circumstances. She admitted that sometimes she felt like he was right beside her. She apologized for going "on and on," but he offered to be her "sounding board" for all that she'd done for him. Jake suggested that Jason would have wanted what was best for Sam and for her to be happy.
Just then, Robert, the grandson of the owners of the Noodle Buddha, exited the restaurant. Sam was happy to see Robert, who remembered her and Jason's anniversary, and she introduced Robert and Jake. Mrs. Yi, Robert's grandmother emerged from the restaurant after recognizing Sam's voice. The blind woman told Sam in Chinese that she didn't visit them enough. Robert introduced Jake to Mrs. Yi in Chinese, and the blind woman thought that Robert was tricking her. She believed that Jake was Jason.
After listening to Mrs. Yi talk, Robert told Sam and Jake that Mrs. Yi wanted Sam and Jason to renew their vows. He apologized, and took Mrs. Yi aside to explain the situation. He returned and told them that it wouldn't take long and would be more for the older woman than for Sam and Jake. They reluctantly agreed, and Sam apologized for dragging Jake in. Sam hoped Elizabeth wouldn't be uncomfortable with the situation. Jake assured her that Elizabeth would be fine.
Robert started the ceremony as Sam and Jake joined hands and talked about how the phoenix, Sam, and the dragon, Jason were the ultimate yin and yang. He went on, "Alone, they bring happiness, but together, they bring double happiness."
On the phone at the policy station, Paul told someone that he hadn't heard from Ava, and he wasn't yet sure if she was going to "play." He promised to be in touch and hung up. He bumped into Dante and introduced himself. He wished the police force had more people with Dante's work ethic. He asked about Sonny, and Dante updated the new district attorney. Paul promised to get justice for Sonny.
Dante updated Paul on the case and about how the commissioner was being "encouraged" to exonerate Julian, courtesy of Alexis. Paul thought the case had gone "cold." He talked about all the crimes in Port Charles that needed to be resolved.
Just then, Anna entered the station. Dante warmly greeted her, as did Paul, who was already acquainted with Anna. She remarked that, last time she'd seen him, he'd been doing Faison's bidding. He told her that he hadn't had a choice, and she told him that she understood being cornered. She related that she'd gone to the station to change her situation and that she had something to tell both men. However, she was interrupted when Michael entered the station, needing to talk to Dante. Anna overheard Michael tell Dante that they needed to find Carlos.
Shots are fired
Julian was curious as to how Ava had convinced someone of his innocence in Sonny's shooting. She replied that she'd told who'd actually shot Sonny. She assured him that he and his family could "rest easy." She explained about Carlos, and he wondered why Carlos would have done it. She suggested that, after Julian "threw him to the wolves" after Carlos had killed Duke, Carlos probably wanted revenge.
Julian told Ava about Anna barging in and accusing Julian of killing Duke and how he'd turned the tables and accused her of killing Carlos. Ava thought it was good for Julian to be out of the business because "your instincts are not what they used to be." He wondered how she'd figured out what Carlos had done. She replied that the less Julian knew, the better. Julian wanted to get the word out about Carlos, but Ava had a hunch that word was "spreading like wildfire."
Ava explained to a curious Julian that she'd "had a sit-down with the Five Families." She observed that Sonny's shooting had to have "healed the rift" because Michael had been there to represent Sonny's business. She assured Julian that Michael had accepted the truth. Julian wondered how Ava had gotten their almost-defunct business up and running so fast and who she'd replaced him with. She claimed to be "flying solo." She liked having all the power to herself, and Julian was happy for her.
Ava had dreamed of running the business ever since she'd found out that she was a Jerome. Julian thought she would be "great," but he couldn't know anything about the business. He suggested that the best thing to do was for him to move out. She told him that living with him had been "surprisingly fun." She informed him that she'd need the apartment for the business and for Avery, who was "coming home tomorrow." She praised Scott for all he'd done for her.
Ava realized that the baby talk made Julian sad about Leo, and she apologized to him. He replied that he'd always miss his son, but that didn't mean he couldn't still be happy for her. He wondered if being back in the business would mess up her chance to have custody of Avery. Ava reasoned that Sonny was in the same boat. She assured him that he no longer had to be worried because he was "off the hook." He told her that he owed her for it. They tearfully admitted that they would miss each other, and they embraced. She gave him an open invitation to visit any time he was feeling bad or needed to talk.
Sonny went to put the ring on Carly's finger, but stopped and dropped the ring. To Carly's horror, Sonny began to seize, and Patrick and Elizabeth sprang into action. Minutes later, the seizure was over, and Patrick started to examine Sonny. He needed Carly to leave the room. She reluctantly let Elizabeth escort her out while whispering, "Please don't die." When Elizabeth returned, she wondered, "Is it what I think it is?" "Maybe," he replied.
Patrick instructed Elizabeth to call the radiologist, and he went out to see Carly. He told her that Sonny had had a seizure, but they needed to run some tests to figure out the cause. He promised to give her answers as soon as he had them. Elizabeth announced that the radiologist was on the way, and Patrick returned to Sonny's room.
At the Floating Rib, Kyle sat at the bar, drinking. Nearby, Hayden was trying to coax Nikolas into putting on a bib. She wondered if it was their "first official date." Their food and drinks arrived as Hayden told Nikolas how she loved spending time, just the two of them. She added that it would be a good time for him to explain how he'd hurt her in the past.
Just then, Kyle stumbled over, slurring about how Nikolas hadn't appreciated Kyle throwing away his chance with Anna just to protect Nikolas. Hayden pulled another chair over to the table and asked Kyle to elaborate. He lamented that he'd wanted the money and "the girl" just like Nikolas had, but Anna had turned on him for going "for the gold. That's nothing compared to what she did," he added. Nikolas instructed Kyle to go home, but Kyle didn't want to go back to an empty room. He told Nikolas to "go to hell," and he returned to his seat at the bar. A short while later, Kyle left, pulling out his phone.
Nikolas apologized for the damper Kyle had put on Nikolas and Hayden's night. Hayden again asked if they were on a date. Nikolas admitted that he'd hurt Hayden by not wanting her around him, around Spencer, or in his house. He continued that their relationship had only been about sex, and they'd been using each other. Nikolas regretted not getting to know her better and sang her praises for being such a caring, compassionate person. "But I'm not sure I trust you," he concluded.
Hayden wondered why Nikolas didn't trust her. He explained that he didn't believe her when she said that she didn't remember Jake's real identity. She shot back that she didn't believe when Nikolas said that he didn't know Jake's identity. They playfully discussed her motives behind keeping quiet if she did really remember. Just then, a song began to play that Hayden remembered dancing to at some point. Hayden wondered if he trusted her enough to dance with her. He warned her that he might "sweep you off your feet." The two got up and closely slow danced.
Outside the Floating Rib, Kyle made a call and asked to speak to the district attorney.
As Anna stated that she had something to tell Paul and Dante, Michael entered. He told Dante that they needed to find Carlos because he was likely Sonny's shooter. They discussed possible motives for Carlos until Dante finally asked how Michael had found out. He disclosed that Ava had told him, which caught Paul's attention. Michael thought that it was the "best theory" they had and that it made sense.
Paul offered to put out a new warrant for Carlos' arrest and even offer a reward for information leading to his capture. Anna hoped that justice would be served. Just then, Michael read a text from Carly, who informed Michael that Sonny wasn't doing well. After Michael and Dante left, Paul wondered what Anna had been planning to tell him before Michael had arrived. Just then, an officer interrupted the conversation because Paul had a phone call.
Kyle introduced himself to Paul and informed Paul that he would never find Carlos. He disclosed that Anna had blamed Carlos for Duke's death and had killed him. Paul hung up the phone and told Anna that "something came up." She wished him luck in his new position, and he left. When he was gone, Anna looked at a framed article on the wall that had been written about her time as commissioner.
On the pier a short while later, Kyle handed Paul a key. He advised that it was for a safe deposit box that contained the gun that Anna had used to shoot Carlos, with her prints all over it, and Carlos' wallet and identification. Kyle wanted immunity in return. Paul thought it was a fair deal, "except you'll wreck my plans for covering up who really shot Sonny," he told a confused Kyle. Mayor Lomax had warned him that Kyle could be a "problem." He thought he was "killing two birds with one bullet," he said as he shot Kyle twice. "How best do I make use of you now?" he wondered.
Robert apologized to Sam and Jake for the awkwardness of the vow renewal ceremony. She assured Robert that it was all right, because she'd had the "double happiness for a while." Robert wished it had lasted longer, but Sam reasoned that it was more than what most people got. She wished everyone could experience it and related that she wished it for Jake, who was getting married soon.
When Robert was gone, Jake wondered how Sam felt about reliving her wedding with a "stand-in." She responded that it had been painful, but the grief and regret seemed to have lifted. She stated that she was ready to leave Jason behind. She reasoned that, if Jason was really alive, he would have "crawled through fire and broken glass" to get back to her.
Referring to the figurines, Sam explained that the dragon was dead, and "the phoenix needs to rise from the ashes." She placed the figurines down and wished their love upon the next couple who stumbled upon them.
A short while later, Sam was gone, and Robert gave Jake the food he'd ordered, and then some. Robert refused to take any money as thanks for indulging in Mrs. Yi's need to bless Sam and Jason's marriage. He instructed Jake to "look out for Sam. She's good people," and he disappeared inside the restaurant.
Outside Sonny's room, Carly prayed to Jason, begging him to help Sonny. Michael and Dante arrived just as Patrick and Elizabeth exited the room. Patrick informed them that the seizure had been caused by a blood clot in his brain. Sonny would need surgery to increase blood flow to the brain, or he wouldn't survive.
Minutes later, Carly sat beside Sonny, flanked by Michael and Dante. She pleaded with Sonny that their family was finally back together, and they couldn't have made it so far just to lose it. Michael knew that Sonny could "beat this," and Dante added that Sonny was too stubborn to back down. Elizabeth needed to get Sonny to surgery, so Michael and Dante left. Carly whispered to Sonny that he was the love of her life, and she would never let him go. She kissed him and left the room.
Sam got off the elevator at the hospital, looking for Patrick, and bumped right into him. She wanted to talk to him, but he told her that he needed to get Sonny into surgery.
Lulu overhears Valerie make a confession
At the Jerome apartment, Ava quickly wrapped up a call as she prepared to head to Sonny's home to fetch Avery. She grabbed her keys then answered a knock at the door, intending to send the visitor on their way, but she was startled when she saw Morgan standing on her doorstep. She quickly assured him that Carlos, not Julian, had shot Sonny, but Morgan explained that he needed to talk to her about Avery. Morgan implored Ava not to take Avery away from Sonny, but she argued that she had a right to be a mother to her daughter.
Morgan insisted that Sonny needed Avery because Sonny had suffered a medical setback and had been in surgery all night. Ava's eyes lit up because it meant that her daughter needed her more than ever. Morgan realized his mistake, so he tried to bargain with Ava by promising her access to Avery if Ava left Avery with Carly and Sonny, but Ava refused to consider it. Desperate, Morgan offered to reconcile with Ava if she agreed to back down from the custody fight. Ava was stunned that he would use their relationship to manipulate her and expected her to choose him over her own daughters.
Morgan insisted that he and Ava finally had a real chance to be together, but Ava refused to give up Avery. She assured Morgan that she loved him, but her daughter was more important. Morgan's temper flared as he realized that everyone had been right about Ava -- she had used him and had never cared for him. Ava denied it, so Morgan challenged her to prove it by leaving Avery where she was.
At Greystone Manor, Carly slowly entered the living room as Michael watched his mother with concern. She realized that she hadn't been in the house since learning of Sonny's shooting. Her eyes clouded with sadness as she recalled the spot where she had been standing when Jake had broken the grim news to her. Michael urged Carly to take a nap because she hadn't left his father's side in days, but Carly was too concerned about Avery. She worried about why she hadn't heard from Ric, but Michael had reservations about Ric representing Sonny in the custody hearing.
Carly explained that Ric had been the attorney of record for Sonny during the previous custody hearings, so her hands had been tied. Carly dashed to the nursery to fetch Avery then returned to the living room. Michael suggested that Carly and Sonny consider getting married as quickly as possible to help Sonny's case when the custody battle went to court, so Carly quietly admitted that she and Sonny had tried. She told Michael about the wedding ceremony, but added that Sonny had suffered a seizure before he had been able to recite his part of the wedding vows.
Michael realized that the only way to keep Avery away from Ava was by finding a way to take Ava down. Michael vowed to focus on finding a way to use the court system to their advantage, and he wanted Carly to concentrate on finding a way to circumvent it. Carly explained that they needed to prove that Ava was dangerous and unfit to be a parent. Michael told his mother about Ava's shocking announcement about being the head of the Jerome crime family during the sit-down meeting with the five families and added that she'd named Carlos as Sonny's shooter.
Michael added that Ava had claimed that Carlos had acted on his own, but Carly was skeptical because Carlos had answered to the Jeromes for decades. Michael agreed, but he assured Carly that he had passed the information along to Dante. Carly was curious what Dante had thought of the new development. Michael confided that Dante had been equally dubious about Carlos acting alone. However, Michael explained that the new district attorney hadn't been inclined to question Ava, so Paul had offered a reward for the capture of Sonny's shooter.
Carly suddenly realized that Michael had had inside knowledge of the meeting, prompting Michael to admit that he had attended the sit-down in his father's place. Carly was not pleased, but Michael disclosed that it had been necessary to keep Morgan from going in Sonny's place. Carly thanked Michael for looking out for his brother, since Morgan had been too volatile lately. However, she warned Michael to stay out of Sonny's business because Sonny had never wanted any of his children to become involved in Sonny's world.
Michael assured his mother that he would step down once Sonny was strong enough to resume the reins. Satisfied, Carly called Morgan while Michael checked in with the hospital for an update on Sonny. Carly became frustrated when Morgan's voicemail picked up, but she immediately relaxed when Morgan entered the living room. Meanwhile, Michael ended the call with the hospital and announced that Sonny remained in surgery. Carly was curious where Morgan had been, so he told Carly and Michael about his unsuccessful visit with Ava.
Moments later, a commotion in the foyer heralded Milo's arrival. Ava followed, pushed past Milo, and approached Carly. Ava announced that she was there to take Avery home.
In Nathan's apartment, Maxie watched Nathan sleep until she grew impatient and woke him up. Nathan smiled as he began to nibble on her shoulder, but Maxie informed him that they couldn't make love because she planned to have "sex" with Dillon later. Nathan immediately tensed as he asked what Maxie was talking about, so she revealed that Dillon had decided play the title character in the movie. Nathan was surprised, but Maxie explained that Dillon hadn't been able to find the right person to portray Declan.
Maxie jumped out of bed and began to sift through various lingerie items in a bureau as she told Nathan about the first love scene that she planned to film with Dillon. "The hell you are," Nathan objected. Maxie immediately bristled as she demanded to know if Nathan were trying to prohibit her from staring in the movie. Maxie said she would dig her heels in harder if he raised any objections, but he had a problem with Maxie kissing Dillon. She assured him that everything would be choreographed, so the kiss wouldn't be real, but Nathan wasn't satisfied.
Maxie doubted that Valerie had given Dillon a hard time, but Nathan grumbled that there was a reason for that. Maxie's interest was piqued. Nathan tried to evade her questions, but Maxie wanted an answer. Nathan recalled Valerie's confession that Valerie wasn't over Dante, but he carefully told Maxie that Dillon and Valerie's relationship was still new, unlike Maxie and Nathan, who were madly in love. Maxie conceded that Nathan had a point.
Nathan promised Maxie that he was proud of her and would work on his jealousy. Maxie began to soften until he asked to look at the script to read the love scene. He explained that it might put him at ease if he knew what the scene would entail. Maxie handed him the script, and Nathan began to act it out with Maxie. Moments later, they made love.
Later, Nathan admitted that Dillon was a good writer, so he had decided to compromise by closing his eyes for Maxie and Dillon's love scenes. Pleased, Maxie announced that she had to get to work.
In the district attorney's office, Paul looked at Carlos' driver's license, a handgun bagged as evidence, and a file on Anna Devane. "Thank you, Mr. Sloane. You have been extremely helpful," Paul quietly said as Mrs. Shipley knocked then opened the door to announce that Anna had arrived. Paul quickly shoved the incriminating evidence into his desk drawer just as Anna marched in. Paul calmly greeted Anna and invited her to take a seat.
Paul apologized for how he had cut Anna off the previous night, but Paul had wanted to get the search for Carlos started. Anna smiled politely, but she was curious why she was there. Paul revealed that he had received a call from Kyle Sloane the previous evening. He acknowledged that Kyle had sounded drunk, but Kyle had made a shocking accusation about Anna. Anna's back stiffened as Paul revealed that Kyle had claimed that Anna had murdered Carlos.
Anna insisted that Kyle had been bitter because of some trouble during her days as Kyle's mentor and then again when Kyle had arrived in town to falsely accuse Anna of murdering Faison. According to Anna, Kyle had an axe to grind because she had recently told Kyle that they could never have a romantic future together. Paul pretended to believe Anna, but he explained that he was obligated to ask questions.
Anna boldly asked if Kyle had provided Paul with any proof of Anna's guilt. Paul wondered what kind of evidence Kyle might have had, but Anna shrugged then carefully explained that Kyle was capable of fabricating evidence to validate his claims. Anna advised Paul not to let Kyle waste his time. Paul promised that he wouldn't. Anna assumed that she had answered Paul's questions to his satisfaction, so she thanked him for giving her the benefit of the doubt, and she left. Afterwards, Paul returned to his desk to retrieve Carlos' wallet.
"Mr. Rivera, what are we going to do about you?" Paul wondered. Meanwhile, Anna was shaken after leaving Paul's office, so she stopped at a corner to take a deep, calming breath. Nathan spotted her, and he asked if something was troubling her. Anna assured him that she was fine, and she left. Moments later, Nathan approached Paul's door.
At the Haunted Star, Lulu entered a stateroom as Dillon checked the angle of a camera that had been set up for a scene. Dillon was surprised Lulu was there. She explained that she had dropped Rocco off at daycare and had decided to stop by to check on the filming before heading to the hospital. Dillon was curious how Sonny was doing. Lulu revealed that Sonny had suffered a setback and was in surgery.
Lulu confided that Dante was filled with regret because Dante had unloaded on Sonny about Sonny's choices when Dante had first visited with his father after the shooting. Lulu revealed that her husband felt awful for criticizing Sonny when Dante hadn't been in any position to point fingers, but Dillon reminded Lulu that Dante wasn't a mob boss. Lulu explained that Dante had been referring to personal relationships because Dante regretted how he had reacted when Dante had jumped to the wrong conclusion about Dillon and Lulu.
Lulu admitted that she wished Dante would stop beating himself up over the kiss between Dante and Valerie. She conceded that she hadn't been happy about it, but she was greatly relieved that things hadn't gone further than a kiss between her husband and cousin. Lulu declared that Dante was her world. Dillon assured her that Dante was a lucky man. Lulu changed the subject by asking why the cameras had been set up in the bedroom. Dillon revealed that he intended to film a love scene with Maxie later that day.
Lulu was surprised when Dillon added that he would play the lead role, Declan. He realized that it made him sound like a "raging narcissist control freak," but he promised that he wasn't a threat to anyone. Lulu disagreed because she doubted that Nathan would be pleased with Maxie's love scene. Lulu confided that police officers tended to be quite literal, and Maxie wasn't known to explain things very well.
According to Lulu, police officers were prone to jealousy to the point where they couldn't see straight, which was why Dante had reacted as he had when he'd thought Lulu had been cheating. Dillon promised that the scene would just be pretend, but he was happy for Lulu that things hadn't gone too far between Dante and Valerie. Lulu smiled because she appreciated what a good friend Dillon was. Lulu noticed the time and announced that she had to leave. She gave Dillon a quick hug and left.
Afterwards, Dillon reminded himself that Lulu was a married woman who wasn't interested in him. He was determined to find a way to get over her. "Get over who?" Maxie asked from the doorway.
Meanwhile, Valerie approached Dante as he stared into Sonny's empty hospital room. She held up a thermos of coffee and explained that she had heard about Sonny's setback and had wanted to check on Dante. Dante quietly revealed that his father had been in surgery through the night. Valerie hugged Dante. Afterwards, they sat down to talk about the search for Carlos. Dante admitted that he still suspected one or both of the Jerome siblings had been behind the shooting and were using Carlos as a scapegoat, so Dante was eager to find the Jerome hit man to get some answers.
Dante wished that he could work the case, but he was afraid to leave the hospital until Sonny was out of surgery. Valerie assured Dante that the police officers at the station were good and could handle things. She shifted gears by confiding that Lulu had opened up about her concerns that Dante had been too hard on himself. Valerie wondered what had been troubling Dante. He admitted that he hated keeping the truth about his affair with Valerie from his wife.
Dante revealed that he had decided to tell Lulu the truth, but his mother had interrupted the confession. Valerie wondered if Dante still intended to tell Lulu the truth, but he shook his head. He explained that he no longer saw the point, since he was more in love with his wife than ever, and Valerie had moved on with Dillon. Valerie confessed that she hadn't. Dante tensed. Valerie explained that she and Dillon hadn't had an opportunity to spend a lot of time together because they each had been busy with their careers.
Valerie added that she also suspected Dillon had been holding back emotionally because Dillon had another woman on his mind. Valerie explained that she was in a similar situation. "The truth is, I can't stop thinking about you," Valerie said, unaware that Lulu had walked up.
Ava takes custody of Avery
In the district attorney's office, Paul stared at the file on Anna, but his thoughts were on his earlier conversation when he had told her about Kyle's claim that Carlos couldn't have shot Sonny, since Anna had killed Carlos. Paul quickly shoved the file into a drawer when Nathan knocked then entered. Paul invited Nathan to have a seat as he explained that he wanted to pick Nathan's brain about Anna. Nathan immediately praised Anna's skill and prowess as a law enforcer, which he assumed Paul already knew, since Paul and Anna had history.
Paul admitted that it had been twenty years since he had last seen Anna and that they had never been close friends. However, Paul confided that he had decided to hire a special investigator to work for the district attorney's office, and Anna was a candidate. Nathan promised that Anna was a force to be reckoned with who took risks and got the job done, but Paul had reservations about her because he had heard that Anna hadn't been herself lately. Nathan explained that Anna had suffered a devastating loss when Duke had been murdered. Paul quickly seized the opportunity to question Nathan about the investigation, but Nathan admitted that Ava's revelation about Carlos had been the first lead in months.
Paul sensed that Nathan had doubts about Carlos' guilt in Sonny's shooting. Nathan admitted that he questioned both Ava's reliability and Carlos -- who had always been a Jerome foot soldier -- suddenly taking it upon himself to kill Duke and shoot Sonny. Nathan suspected Ava had used Carlos to throw suspicion off herself, so Paul ordered Nathan to find Carlos and get some answers.
At the hospital, Valerie confessed to Dante that she hadn't been able to stop thinking about him, unaware that Lulu had walked up. Lulu quickly greeted her husband then asked what Valerie had meant by the comment. Valerie quickly covered by claiming that she had simply been concerned about Dante because of everything that had happened to Sonny. Lulu immediately relaxed and asked about Sonny. Dante muttered that his father remained in surgery. Valerie decided to get back to the police station because Dante had his wife to keep him company.
Lulu assured her cousin that Valerie could stay, but Valerie insisted that she was needed at the station because of the renewed search for Carlos. After Valerie left, Lulu admitted that it had been thoughtful of Valerie to check on Dante. Lulu appreciated her cousin's support. Dante changed the subject by asking if Lulu had heard from Carly. Lulu hadn't, which she thought was odd. Moments later, a somber-faced Patrick approached them.
At the police station, Nathan bumped into Valerie. She immediately apologized for not paying attention to where she was going, but Nathan sensed that something was troubling her. She tried to brush it off, but he reminded her that she could trust him. Reluctantly, Valerie admitted that she was upset about Dante.
Nathan took Valerie to a quiet corner, where she opened up about her confession to Dante at the hospital. Nathan was curious what Dante's reaction had been. She explained that Lulu had arrived before Dante could say anything. Valerie wished that she'd had more time alone with Dante to talk, but Nathan pointed out that Dante had already made his feelings clear. Nathan gently suggested that Valerie had refused to hear Dante because it hadn't been the answer she had wanted.
Valerie appeared crushed. Nathan assured her that she was a good person. However, she needed to accept that Dante had chosen Lulu. Nathan urged Valerie to find someone else because he was certain that the right man for her was out there.
On the Haunted Star, Dillon told himself that Lulu was a happily married woman who didn't want him, so he needed to find a way to get over her. "Get over who?" Maxie asked as she appeared in the doorway. Dillon tried to avoid the question by pointing out that Maxie was early for work, but she refused to be sidetracked. Dillon claimed that he had been running lines for the movie. Maxie believed him, but she noticed that he seemed tense, so she offered him tips on exercises that would help him to relax.
Later, the film crew finished setting up as Dillon and Maxie prepared for the love scene. A young man named Andy held a small camera as he excitedly talked about getting a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a movie. Maxie objected to Andy's presence. Dillon quickly explained that Andy was a production intern who would be shooting a documentary for a film class at Port Charles University. However, Dillon reminded Andy that the set was closed for the love scenes.
Moments later, Dillon and Maxie began to act out the love scene as the cameras rolled. Dillon's face suddenly clouded with confusion when he saw Lulu's face as Maxie played Marjorie seducing Declan. Rattled, Dillon called a halt to the filming and gave the crew a quick break. After everyone filed out of the stateroom, Maxie worried that she had done something wrong. Dillon assured her that it hadn't been her fault, but he admitted that the scene hadn't felt right to him because he had gotten inside his own head.
Maxie thought that filming shouldn't have started with the love scenes, so she suggested that it might help put things into perspective if they rehearsed Marjorie and Declan's breakup. Dillon agreed to give it a try. A short time later, Dillon and Maxie practiced their lines of the breakup, but Dillon once again got caught up in the moment as he pictured talking to Lulu. Dillon tried to shake it off as he gave a speech about the other man not being good enough for "Marjorie," but he suddenly blurted out that he loved Lulu.
Shocked, Maxie asked if Dillon truly had feelings for Lulu. Dillon desperately tried to cover his mistake, but Maxie realized that Dillon had been referring to Lulu when Maxie had first arrived. Resigned, Dillon confessed that Maxie was right, but he begged her to forget what he had said. Maxie was curious when his feelings for Lulu had developed. He admitted that things had changed during his trip with Lulu to rescue Lucky.
Maxie warned Dillon that Lulu loved Dante and Rocco. Dillon assured her that he knew his feelings for Lulu weren't reciprocated. Maxie liked Dillon, so she decided to find a way to help him. She asked him to suspend shooting for the day to give her time to think of something. Shortly after Maxie left, Valerie entered the stateroom. Dillon explained that he needed to talk to her, but she cut him off with a passionate kiss.
In the squad room, Maxie was delighted when she saw Nathan. Nathan had assumed that Maxie would be busy filming all day, but she explained that things hadn't gone as planned. Maxie invited Nathan to lunch and dragged him out the door before he could object.
At the Drake-Morgan residence, Sam was surprised when Anna stopped by. Sam started to explain that neither Patrick nor Emma was home, but Anna revealed that she had stopped by to talk to Sam because Anna needed Sam's help with an investigation. Sam invited Anna inside and fetched them each a cup of coffee. The two ladies sat on the sofa as Anna announced that she intended to find Sonny's shooter.
Anna insisted that Ava had lied about Carlos, but added that she couldn't explain how she knew except that Anna had information that contradicted what Ava had said about Carlos. Sam was curious if Anna knew where Carlos was. Anna shook her head. However, Anna cryptically added that Carlos was beyond their reach. Anna realized that she was asking Sam to go out on a limb, but Sam was honored to work with Anna. Anna appreciated the help, since Sam already had a lot on her plate.
Sam promised Anna that Sam and Patrick had learned to balance things out. Anna was pleased because there had been a time after Patrick had lost Gabriel and Robin when Anna had feared that Patrick would never find happiness again. Anna was delighted that Patrick and Sam had found each other. Sam was curious if Anna would mind if Patrick and Sam made their relationship official. Sam told Anna about Patrick's marriage proposal.
Sam promised that she loved Patrick, but she realized that marriage was a big step. Anna explained that it was natural to have some doubts, but Sam had to ask herself if Sam was willing to allow the doubts to deprive Sam of a loving husband and beautiful daughter. Sam was impressed with Anna's wisdom. Anna admitted that she was better at offering advice than following it.
At Greystone Manor, Ava barged into the living room, demanding that Carly hand Avery over. Morgan objected because he refused to allow Ava to hurt his sister. Ava assured Morgan that she would never harm her daughter. "Like you never harmed Kiki?" Morgan asked with a sneer. Morgan reminded Ava of all the ways that Ava had betrayed Kiki. Carly added that Ava had also gotten away with the murder of an innocent woman. Morgan insisted that Ava was poison, and he asked Milo to help toss Ava out.
Michael reminded Morgan that they had to respect the court order, but Morgan was unmoved. Seconds later, a police officer appeared and instructed Morgan to release Ava's arm. Morgan wasn't intimidated as he asked if the police officer had any idea who Ava was. The police officer warned Morgan to back off, but Ava interceded by explaining that she could handle things. Morgan scoffed at Ava's court order because he knew that Ava had no respect for the law.
Michael added that Ava only respected the law when she could use it to her advantage. Ava resented Michael judging her when he had once killed his own stepmother. Michael reminded Ava that he had killed Claudia when Claudia had tried to take his sister away. Ava heard the menace and promise in Michael's tone, so she asked if Michael had threatened her. Michael insisted that he had merely stated fact; he had killed his stepmother and then had gone to jail to pay his debt to society.
Michael was confident that Ava would pay too, but Ava accused Michael of continuing to threaten her. Finally, Carly put an end to the tense confrontation by asking the police officer if it would be okay to hand Avery to the police officer and then have him pass the baby to Ava. Carly pointed out that Ava was the one who was trying to escalate the situation. The police officer agreed. Ava was not pleased, but the police officer ignored her objections.
Michael and Morgan each took a moment to say goodbye to their sister and to urge Avery to be brave. They promised that Avery would return home to them soon. Carly tearfully kissed the baby and repeatedly told Avery how much she and Sonny loved Avery. Ava waited impatiently until Carly handed the baby to the police officer. Ava quickly snatched the baby out of the police officer's hands and hugged her daughter tightly. "Mommy's here," Ava whispered as she turned to leave.
Carly called out to ask Ava to take Avery to visit Sonny. Ava refused, but Carly reminded Ava that Sonny had rights as Avery's father, whether Ava wanted to admit it or not. "Maybe," Ava replied. "Maybe not," Ava added under her breath as she walked to the front door. After Ava left, Carly called Ric to order him to find a way to get Avery back home. Nearby, Michael called the hospital to check on Sonny.
After Carly ended the call, Morgan began to complain that they should have whisked Avery to Sonny's private island. Michael ended the call with the hospital and announced that they had to get to the hospital immediately.
At the Jerome apartment, Ava arrived home with Avery. Stuffed animals littered the living room as Ava promised to make up for lost time with Avery. A short time later, Paul stopped by to warn Ava that Anna might pose a threat to their plans because Anna knew that Carlos hadn't shot Sonny. Ava was alarmed, but Paul was confident that he could keep the police busy and Anna out of their hair.
At the hospital, Carly, Michael, and Morgan arrived as Patrick assured Dante and Lulu that the hospital staff would continue to monitor Sonny. Carly was anxious to know if Patrick had managed to locate the embolism. Patrick quietly explained that it had been too late; the embolism had already done its damage. Michael and Morgan worriedly asked how bad it was. Patrick admitted that it was too early to tell.
Morgan wanted Patrick's professional opinion. Patrick admitted that he had seen patients in similar circumstances make a full recovery, which Morgan assumed meant that Sonny would be fine. Patrick quickly clarified that Sonny had suffered a catastrophic injury, so Patrick had to wait until Sonny woke up before making a proper evaluation about Sonny's prognosis. However, Patrick encouraged to family to keep their spirits up because a positive outlook was crucial to Sonny's recovery.
After Patrick left, Lulu comforted her husband. Meanwhile, Carly decided to break the news to Kristina, and she left. Morgan warned Michael that they needed to tighten security around their father and run the organization until Sonny had recovered. Michael made it clear that Michael, not Morgan, would handle things.
Meanwhile, a weary Patrick arrived home. He asked if he had seen Anna leaving when he had arrived home, so Sam told him that Anna had enlisted Sam's help with an investigation. Sam changed the subject by asking about Sonny. Patrick explained that Sonny was alive, but he had no idea what Sonny's quality of life would be. Sam asked if Patrick wanted to talk about it, but he wanted to focus on the blessings in his life.
After a quick hug, Sam sent Patrick to the bathroom to shower. She promised to have something special waiting for him when he was done.
Sam accepts Patrick's marriage proposal
At the Floating Rib, Nathan and Maxie slid into opposite sides of a booth as Nathan questioned Maxie about the sock remark that she had made about the film shoot with Dillon. Maxie brushed it off as she explained that the love scene had been cut short because things had gone further than anyone had intended. Nathan's concern mounted when she continued to make cryptic remarks, rife with innuendo, about her day. Panicked, Nathan worried that Maxie had fallen for Dillon
Maxie quickly assured Nathan that she loved him -- and only him. The tension slowly eased from him as he asked what exactly had happened. Maxie explained that she wasn't at liberty to talk about it because it was Dillon's secret. Nathan was hurt that she didn't trust him, but she promised that Nathan meant the world to her. However, she doubted that he would share a secret if his friend had told him in confidence. Nathan agreed that there were some things that a person couldn't tell.
Maxie's eyes immediately narrowed as she realized that Nathan had been keeping something from her. She tried to pry the secret from him, but he reminded her that she had refused to open up about Dillon. Maxie was frustrated, but Nathan explained that the secret wasn't his to tell and could hurt people if he shared it with anyone. Maxie was forced to back down when Nathan added that the secret had nothing to do with him or Maxie.
Nathan shifted gears by asking if Dillon had been a better kisser than Nathan. Maxie playfully suggested that they invite Dillon to join them so she could refresh her memory, but Nathan had a better idea. He joined her on her side of the booth and offered to remind her of his kissing skills. Maxie smiled as Nathan illustrated his point. Afterwards, he invited Maxie back to his place to conduct more "in-depth" research. She happily followed him out of the bar.
At the loft, Dante asked if Lulu had to be at the Haunted Star, but she insisted that she was needed at home, and she intended to remain by her husband's side for as long as necessary. Dante offered a weak smile then opened up about his fears for Sonny's future. Lulu promised Dante that they would get through it together.
Later, Dante tried to work, but Lulu objected because he had enough to deal with. Dante admitted that he wasn't just concerned about his father; Morgan had been a loose cannon since the shooting. Dante feared that Morgan might have bipolar disorder like Sonny, which was why Michael had been forced to take over for Sonny to keep Morgan from running off half-cocked and kick-starting a mob war. Dante felt guilty because Dante was the eldest, but Lulu was confident that Michael would not follow Sonny into the mob.
Dante promised that he had faith in the judicial system, but he also saw the advantages to Sonny's world because Ava should never have been allowed to take Avery. Lulu empathized with Dante's frustration, so she told him to take off his shirt and lie down on the bed. Moments later, Lulu climbed onto the bed to massage his back as she instructed him to clear his mind and relax. She smiled when she realized that he had quickly fallen asleep.
After a short nap, Dante snuggled with Lulu as he told her that she was perfect. He admitted that he had no idea what he would do without her, but she scolded him for thinking like that. Dante admitted that Lulu was his reason for living. She promised that he wouldn't lose her then kissed him.
At the Haunted Star, Dillon was startled when Valerie passionately kissed him. Things quickly heated up between the couple until Andy, the production intern, suddenly barged into the stateroom to document the love scene. Dillon was not pleased and warned Andy that Andy could not continue to create disturbances on the set. Andy profusely apologized as he begged Dillon not to fire him. Dillon decided to give Andy another chance because they had not been filming, but he informed the film student that work had ceased for the day. Andy suddenly realized that his camera's battery was low. He asked if he could leave it on the set to charge.
Dillon reluctantly agreed, but he ordered Andy to make it quick. After Andy plugged the camera into a charger and left, Dillon returned to Valerie's side to pick up where they had left off, but the passion had fizzled. Dillon realized that something was bothering Valerie, so she confessed that she had been using him to get over someone. Dillon immediately realized that she had been referring to Dante. Valerie denied it, but Dillon easily saw through the lie.
Dillon confided that he, too, had been using Valerie for the same reason. Valerie quickly guessed that Dillon had feelings for Lulu. Dillon and Valerie agreed that they each had to move on because Dante and Lulu were happily married and shared a child. However, Valerie was plagued with guilt because she had acted on her feelings for Dante. Dillon reminded Valerie that it had just been a kiss, but Valerie's guilty expression made him realize that things had gone much further between Dante and Valerie.
Valerie confirmed that she had slept with Dante. She rushed to assure Dillon that Dante had immediately been filled with remorse for betraying Lulu and had made it clear that he intended to save his marriage because he loved his wife. However, Valerie had had difficulty putting the one-night stand behind her because she had feelings for Dante. Dillon promised that he didn't hold it against her, so her secret would remain safe with him. Neither Dillon nor Valerie realized that Andy's camera had recorded their entire conversation.
Across town, Nina and Franco entered Kiki's apartment as a Realtor explained to Kiki that the apartment would never sell because someone had been murdered in it. Franco resented the harsh words, and he ordered the Realtor to leave. Unapologetic, the Realtor advised Franco to persuade Kiki to lower the asking price as she walked toward the door. Nina stopped the woman to ask for her business card.
After the Realtor left, Kiki asked why Franco and Nina were there. Franco admitted that he had decided to check on Kiki when she hadn't returned his phone calls. Kiki snidely informed him that she had been better before he had run off the Realtor, but he doubted that Kiki had been ready to meet with a Realtor. Kiki bristled, but he pointed out that she was still in her pajamas. Kiki claimed that she had just woken up, but Nina reminded Kiki that it was the middle of the day.
Kiki assured both Franco and Nina that her attire wasn't a cry for help. According to Kiki, she had a new job working for an investment house with business dealings in Japan. Kiki added that her job had odd hours, which Nina conceded made sense. Franco applauded Kiki for landing such an impressive job. She explained that a college friend had recommended her because Kiki had a gift for numbers. Nina was curious why Kiki continued to live in the apartment after the "recent events," but Kiki insisted that it was necessary because Silas' estate had been tied up in probate.
Nina wondered if Kiki had someone she could stay with, but Kiki shook her head. Franco mentioned Ava, but Kiki quickly made it clear that she had no interest in having a relationship with her mother. Kiki was determined to move on with her life and put the past behind her, which included getting ready for work. Franco offered to wait while Kiki changed so they could walk out together. After Kiki reluctantly disappeared into the bedroom, Nina commented that she had liked the Realtor's honesty.
Franco was surprised when Nina added that she might ask the woman to help find a new place for Nina. Franco admitted that living with his father at his age seemed weird, and he had been thinking about moving out and finding a place with Nina. However, Franco didn't have money, and he was uncomfortable with the idea of living off of Nina's money. Nina pointed out that she had inherited her fortune, and she didn't mind sharing it with Franco. Nina beamed with happiness when Franco agreed to move in with her.
Franco admitted that he would do anything to be with Nina. She kissed him. Kiki appeared in the doorway and cleared her throat when she saw the couple in a passionate embrace. Franco and Nina jumped apart as Kiki gathered her things then marched to the door. In the hallway, Franco suddenly recalled that he had parked across the street from the building. Kiki bid the couple farewell and left. Confused, Nina asked why Franco had lied.
Franco explained that something had seemed off with Kiki. Nina disagreed, but Franco insisted that Kiki had been through too much to be okay. Franco also pointed out that he knew Kiki quite well and recognized when something was wrong.
Later, Kiki entered the Floating Rib and sat down at the bar to order her "usual." The bartender remarked that Kiki was there quite often, and he jokingly asked if she had a home. "No," Kiki answered as she knocked back a shot of alcohol.
At the Drake-Morgan residence, Sam had changed into a floral print dress, put Champagne on ice, lit numerous candles, and sprinkled flower petals all over the living room. Patrick, freshly showered and changed, stopped short as he entered the living room and took in the romantic setting. Sam smiled seductively as Patrick asked what was going on. She reminded him that she had promised to give him a sign when she was ready to accept his marriage proposal.
Patrick was shocked when Sam reached behind a chair and pulled out a big poster that read, "Yes, Patrick, I'll marry you." It was decorated with wedding bells and a picture of Sam and Patrick in the center of a big red heart. Sam became increasingly worried as Patrick stood rooted to the spot without saying a word. She asked if he was trying to find a way to let her down gently. Patrick assured her that he simply wanted to take in the perfection of the moment.
Relieved, Sam ran into Patrick's welcoming arms and kissed him. Patrick asked if she was sure, but she promised that she didn't have any doubts about marrying him. He popped the bottle of Champagne then filled two flutes and handed one to Sam. They toasted to their engagement and took a sip of the bubbly alcohol.
Later, Sam relaxed on the sofa as Patrick returned to the living room and got down on bended knee to officially propose to Sam with one of Emma's "pop rings," since he hadn't had time to pick up a real engagement ring. Sam happily accepted his proposal, so he slid the ring onto her finger. Sam adored the ring and admitted that life couldn't get better. Patrick kissed her then carried her into the bedroom.
After Patrick and Sam made love, they returned to the living room. Sam realized that they had to pick up Emma from school, but Patrick assured her that Anna would take care of it. Sam wondered if they should share their good news with the children later that evening. Patrick was certain that Emma would be overjoyed because Emma had wanted a younger brother even before Gabriel had been born. Patrick talked about the loss of his son and how much he looked forward to doing all the things with Danny that he had wanted to do with Gabriel.
Sam admitted that she loved the life that she and Patrick had built together. She smiled impishly as she added that she also liked the sound of "Samantha Drake." Patrick grinned because he did as well. He admitted that asking her to marry him had been the easiest decision that he had ever made. The doorbell interrupted their kiss. It was Laura.