At the Quartermaine mansion, Tracy used a jeweler's loupe to examine her engagement ring. Luke chuckled as he read the newspaper and warned her not to look too closely, or she might end up disappointed. Tracy was confident that the ring was the "real deal" because she'd had it appraised while Luke had been asleep.
Monica rolled her eyes and groaned in disgust when she entered the parlor and saw Luke and Tracy kissing. She suggested that Luke and Tracy get a room or take their act on the road, but Tracy was in too good of a mood to take it personally. Monica apologized for snapping at Luke and Tracy and then explained that she had spent the night driving around looking for A.J. and then had had the added frustration of her cell phone going dead. Luke was certain that A.J. had simply passed out on the floor of a seedy bar and suggested that Monica check the Outback. Tracy reminded Luke that the Outback had gone the way of the dodo bird and Luke's jazz club.
Luke seemed genuinely surprised, but Tracy ignored him to assure Monica that A.J. would turn up a little worse for wear, but otherwise safe and sound. Luke decided to steer the conversation to a more cheerful subject and announced that Tracy had agreed to be his wife. Monica was stunned and asked why Tracy would marry Luke after Luke and Tracy's first marriage had been a fraud and their second had ended in disaster. Luke's temper flared when Monica repeatedly accused Luke of wanting to marry Tracy for Tracy's fortune.
Luke countered that Monica had married Alan for Alan's fortune and the mansion that Alan had built for Monica. According to Luke, Alan hadn't gotten anything in return except a wife who had been a "serial cheater." Tracy was shocked when Luke made a few ugly remarks about Monica's affairs and then accused Monica of being a "legendary slut." "That's enough," Tracy sternly told Luke, but Luke was unapologetic because he had resented Monica trying to talk Tracy out of marrying him.
Moments later, Monica's cell phone rang, so she answered it. It was Michael. Michael advised Monica to brace herself and then revealed that A.J. was in the hospital. Tracy immediately sensed that something was wrong. After the call, Monica revealed that A.J. had been shot and was in critical condition. "Poor junior," Luke said without a hint of sympathy. "Well, Monica, karma is one nasty bitch, ain't she?" Luke asked. Monica ignored Luke and left for the hospital.
Luke offered a parting shot by claiming that he hoped that Monica wasn't hit by a bus on the way to the hospital. Tracy was infuriated by Luke's behavior and demanded to know what had gotten into him. Luke insisted that Monica had deserved it for trying to talk Tracy out of marrying him, but Tracy wasn't satisfied because Monica was dealing with a nightmare. Luke suggested that it couldn't have happened to a more deserving mother.
Tracy argued that Monica hadn't said anything that Monica hadn't said a thousand times before, so Tracy wanted to know why Luke had reacted uncharacteristically by kicking Monica when she was down. Luke pointed out that he hadn't known about the shooting when he had first spoken up, but Tracy countered that he had known that Monica had been worried, that A.J. had been attacked by an intruder, and that A.J. had disappeared. Tracy was concerned because she had never seen Luke behave in as mean-spirited a way as he had towards Monica. Luke insisted that he had merely responded in kind, but Tracy disagreed and wondered what had happened to Luke at Miscavige.
At the lake house, Alexis thanked Ric for stopping by. Ric assumed that Alexis had called to talk about Molly, but Alexis revealed that it was about Julian Jerome. Ric admitted that he had heard of the mobster through Sonny, prompting Alexis to wonder what Sonny had said about Julian. Ric confessed that it had been the usual ramblings that Sonny reserved for anyone who threatened Sonny's criminal organization. Alexis was curious if Sonny had said anything about her relationship with Julian, so Ric admitted that he knew that Julian was Sam's father.
Ric commented that Alexis had been nothing if not consistent in her fondness for criminals. Alexis shot back that Ric was part of that pattern, but he wondered how bad he and Sonny could be if she had managed to ensure that their gene pool continued by giving each brother a child. Annoyed, Alexis explained that she hadn't invited Ric over to discuss their dysfunctional past but rather to ask if he would represent Julian.
Ric questioned why Alexis wouldn't take the case herself, so she reminded him that it was a conflict of interest. Ric confessed that he had never thought that coffee importing and publishing would overlap each other. He was also surprised that someone as intelligent as Alexis would be completely lacking in wisdom. Alexis refused to argue, so Ric invited her to tell him about the case against Julian. She started to tell Ric about A.J.'s return to town, but Ric revealed that he had been at the hospital when A.J. had arrived by ambulance.
Alexis' eyes narrowed as she asked why Ric had been at the hospital. Ric became evasive, but Alexis pushed until Ric reluctantly admitted that he had paid Elizabeth a visit. Alexis warned Ric that Elizabeth had suffered a horrendous amount of heartbreak over the past five years with the loss of a child, Jason's death, and Lucky walking out, so she asked Ric to leave Elizabeth alone. Ric made it clear that whatever time he spent with Elizabeth didn't concern Alexis.
Alexis agreed to drop it and focus on Julian. She admitted that she would consider it a personal favor if Ric took the case, but Ric wondered why she hadn't asked another attorney. Alexis conceded that Ric was an excellent attorney despite being a lousy father and a despicable human being. Ric agreed to take the case, but he stopped at the door to quickly inform Alexis that Molly would be moving in with him. He ducked out of the door before Alexis could react.
Later, Alexis left Molly a tearful voicemail message reminding her daughter of everything that she had done for Molly and then asking Molly to return the call.
In the Port Charles jail, a police officer announced that Julian had a visitor. It was Carlos. Julian greeted his enforcer and then waited until they were alone. Julian quickly filled Carlos in on what had transpired at the apartment when he had found A.J. bleeding on the floor and then asked Carlos to find the real shooter. Carlos was curious if Julian had a suspect in mind, so Julian pointed out that it had been Ava's apartment. Carlos tried to cover for Ava by reminding Julian that Ava didn't have a motive to kill A.J. because she hadn't associated with A.J. since her failed bid for ELQ.
Julian didn't know why A.J. had been at the apartment or what had motivated Ava to pull the trigger, but he expected Carlos to find out. Julian suggested that Carlos use Ava's soft spot for Carlos to his advantage and then reminded his enforcer that Julian, not Ava, paid for Carlos' loyalty, so there would be consequences if Carlos failed. Shortly after Carlos left, Ric arrived and greeted Julian.
In Anna's office, Anna was on the phone with the lab, requesting ballistics report because she only had six hours to charge Julian or cut him loose. A police officer poked his head into her office to let her know that they had picked up the person of interest that she had wanted to talk to, so she ended the call as Morgan was escorted in. Morgan was curious if he was under arrest, so Anna explained that she had wanted to talk to him about his visit to Ava's apartment the previous evening. Morgan revealed that he and Ava had broken up, but he had gone to Ava's apartment because he had missed her.
Morgan assured Anna that Ava hadn't shot A.J. because Ava had been in New York City at the time of the shooting. He showed Anna his phone and the text message that he had received from Ava. Anna glanced at message, but warned Morgan that it wasn't incontrovertible proof. Morgan tried to point Anna in Julian's direction, but Anna asked Morgan about Sonny because Sonny had been the only person of interest with a documented history of bad blood with A.J. Morgan admitted that he had seen his father after the shooting, but he couldn't account for his father's movements at the time of the shooting.
At Corinthos Coffee, Sonny sat at his desk, reliving the moment in Ava's apartment when he had shot A.J. He snapped out of it when Shawn entered the office to give Sonny an update. Shawn revealed that Morgan had been taken to the police station for questioning. Sonny was annoyed, but he realized that there wasn't anything that he could do to stop it.
Sonny also had bigger things to deal with, so Shawn wondered if Sonny would need an attorney. Sonny made it clear that he did not want Alexis to know the truth about A.J.'s shooting. Sonny realized that he couldn't afford for A.J. to recover from the gunshot, so Shawn offered to make certain that A.J. didn't wake up. Sonny opted to wait and then turned the discussion to Julian's predicament. Sonny was pleased that Julian was the prime suspect; however, Sonny was determined to have an alibi in place in case the police asked questions.
A short time later, Duke arrived at Shawn's request. Shawn explained to Sonny that Duke had spent the previous evening, working alone at the warehouse. Sonny smiled and revealed that he needed Duke to tell anyone who might ask that Sonny had been at the warehouse with Duke. Duke was curious what Sonny had done, but Shawn suggested that it would be best if Duke didn't know, so Duke's surprise would seem genuine rather than practiced if the police questioned Duke. Sonny noticed that Duke seemed uneasy with the request, so he asked to speak to Duke alone.
After Shawn left, Sonny conceded that he had put Duke in a difficult situation by expecting Duke to lie to Anna. Duke admitted that his relationship with Anna had barely survived the last lie, but Sonny promised Duke that they would finally be able to take the mutual enemy down if Duke backed Sonny up.
A short time later, Anna entered the office to talk to Sonny, but Duke explained that Sonny was out on an errand. Duke was curious if he could help Anna, so she revealed that she needed to know where Sonny had been the previous evening.
At the hospital, Michael sat at A.J.'s bedside and talked to his father. Michael revealed that he hadn't been able to reach Monica, but he was confident that his grandmother was fine. Michael then begged A.J. to get better and return to him because Michael wasn't ready to lose his father.
Elizabeth entered A.J.'s hospital room and quickly assured Michael that his presence helped A.J. Michael wanted to know if A.J. would pull through, so Elizabeth reminded Michael that A.J. had survived worse. She was confident that if anyone could recover from the injuries that A.J. had suffered, it was A.J. Moments later, Carly arrived and asked Elizabeth for an honest assessment of A.J.'s condition. Elizabeth explained that A.J. was stable and that they were working to put A.J. in the best position possible for a speedy recovery.
Elizabeth reiterated that Michael's presence was a tremendous help to A.J. Carly was proud of Michael, but Elizabeth suggested that Michael take a little time to take care of himself in order to remain strong for A.J. Carly agreed with Elizabeth and urged Michael to get some rest. Michael refused, but he agreed to take a walk and grab a bite to eat. He was grateful when Elizabeth promised to stay with A.J. until Michael returned.
After Carly and Michael left, Elizabeth sat down beside A.J. and gently massaged his hand. She hoped that it felt good for A.J. and then apologized for not standing by him when everything had fallen apart. Elizabeth vowed to be there for A.J. when he woke up and begged him not to give up.
In the waiting area, Carly and Michael sipped on coffee and talked about A.J. Michael assured his mother that it wasn't necessary for her to act like she cared about A.J., but Carly quickly clarified that she wanted A.J. to recover because Michael loved his father. She promised that she would do everything in her power to help A.J., including contacting Dante and Anna to ensure that the shooter didn't get a second chance. She was curious if Michael had any idea who had tried to kill A.J., so Michael revealed that A.J. had been found in Ava's apartment, but he had no idea why A.J. had been there.
Michael filled Carly in about the attempt on A.J.'s life earlier in the morning when an intruder had broken into the Quartermaine mansion. Michael admitted that he had questioned Sonny about the incident, but Sonny had denied any involvement and Michael had believed him. Carly agreed that Sonny hadn't shot A.J., so she suggested that they leave the crime for the police to solve.
Later, Michael sat with A.J. as Carly and Elizabeth talked in the hallway. Carly appreciated that Elizabeth cared about A.J. even though Elizabeth and A.J. were no longer dating. Elizabeth confessed that it helped to have a job to focus on, so Carly assured Elizabeth that Michael appreciated everything that Elizabeth had done for A.J. Carly confided that she wouldn't have been as generous if their roles had been reversed. Elizabeth admitted that the past twenty-four hours had been filled with one surreal event after another.
Carly was stunned when Elizabeth revealed that Ric had returned to town. Carly couldn't imagine how Ric had had the nerve to show his face in town, so Elizabeth reminded Carly that people could say the same about Elizabeth and Carly. Carly argued that she and Elizabeth had never locked a pregnant woman in a panic room with the intention of stealing an infant. Elizabeth appreciated that Carly had issues with Ric, but Elizabeth admitted that she saw Ric differently.
Carly countered that Elizabeth saw Ric the way that Ric wanted Elizabeth to see him. "Kind of like you and Franco," Elizabeth quietly observed. Carly conceded that she lived in a glass house and shouldn't throw stones, but Carly confessed that she cared about Elizabeth because Jason had and because of everything that Elizabeth had done for Josslyn. Elizabeth was touched and thanked Carly. Carly believed that Elizabeth had gotten off easy with A.J., but she feared that it might not be the same with Ric.
Later, Carly stood in the hallway while Michael spent time with A.J. She looked up when she heard Sonny approach. After they exchanged greetings, Carly demanded to know why Sonny hadn't told her that Ric was in town. Sonny assured Carly that he had been handling Ric and then asked for an update on Michael and A.J. Carly's eyes narrowed as she studied Sonny. "You shot A.J., didn't you?" Carly asked.