At Greystone Manor, Sonny spoke to Morgan on the phone. He informed his son that his answer was no and that their discussion was over. Sonny told Morgan to enjoy the evening then abruptly ended the call. "Bitch isn't getting her hands on my kid," Sonny muttered under his breath as Carly entered the living room with two large festive cocktails. Carly handed one to Sonny as she explained that his maid, Graciella, had made them, so Carly had no idea what was in the drinks. Sonny gratefully accepted the drink as Carly talked about the children having fun.
Sonny tensed when Carly suddenly asked if Rocco was at Sonny's because Dante and Lulu had a hot date. "Not exactly," Sonny carefully replied, which immediately led to more questions. Sonny was given a short reprieve when Molly and T.J. entered the living room and chatted with Sonny and Carly for a few minutes before heading to the park to watch the fireworks. Carly picked up where she had left off as she continued to question Sonny about Dante and Lulu until Sonny blurted out that Lulu had cheated on Dante with Dillon.
Carly burst out laughing, but Sonny assured her there was proof. Carly asked if Dante had walked in on Lulu and Dillon in bed together, so Sonny explained that the evidence was damaging. Carly was certain there was another explanation, since her cousin was devoted to both Dante and Rocco. Carly was curious what Dante had done about his suspicions, so Sonny told her about Dante's plans to confront Lulu in British Columbia. Carly was shocked that Sonny hadn't stopped Dante, but Sonny insisted his son was a grown man.
Sonny confessed that he was more concerned about Dante overreacting again, which prompted another series of question from Carly. Sonny refused to discuss it, but Carly warned him that she would continue to badger him until he told her what Dante had done. Reluctantly, Sonny revealed that Dante had kissed Valerie, but he quickly added that Valerie had put a stop to things right away. Carly was relieved that her newfound cousin had done the right thing, but Carly was concerned about Dante's actions because she doubted that Lulu would understand.
Sonny insisted he and Carly needed to stay out of it, especially since they had their own problems to deal with. Surprised, Carly wondered what Sonny was talking about, so he told her about Morgan's attraction to Denise and Denise's attempt to visit Avery. Carly refused to believe that her son was drawn to Ava's "tacky twin," especially since Denise was dating Franco. Sonny had no idea what Denise was up to, but he had warned her to stay away from both Avery and Morgan. Moments later, the fireworks lit up the night sky, so Sonny and Carly stepped onto the terrace to watch the show and bask in their blessings.
At the loft, Valerie reached for Dante's hand as she suggested they fetch his son because she was certain that Rocco would cheer him up. Dante confessed that he wanted to stay at the loft with her. Valerie warned him that it wasn't a good idea, but Dante assured her it wasn't what she thought. He admitted that he feared Rocco might sense something was wrong with him, so Valerie praised Dante for being a good father.
Dante confessed he was grateful that he didn't have to hide how he was feeling around Valerie, but he tensed when someone knocked on the door. Valerie wondered who it was, so Dante went to the door as Valerie carried a couple of empty beer bottles to the kitchen. Maxie and Nathan happily greeted Dante then invited him to grab Lulu and Rocco, so they could all watch the fireworks in the park together. Dante explained that it wasn't a good time, but Maxie pushed past Dante, calling out to Lulu. She stopped short when she saw Valerie standing by the kitchen counter.
Maxie's eyes narrowed, but Nathan politely greeted Valerie. Maxie wondered where Lulu was, so Dante decided to stick to Lulu's lie by claiming that Lulu had flown to Italy at the last minute to help Lesley. Maxie frowned because it wasn't like Lulu not to tell Maxie she was leaving town, but then Maxie suddenly recalled Lulu had confided that Lulu and Dillon had a secret. Maxie quickly switched gears by inviting Dante and Rocco to join her and Nathan in the park, so Nathan made a point of including Valerie. Dante declined by claiming Rocco had a cold and needed to rest.
Nathan appeared to pick up on Dante's tension, so he quickly hustled Maxie out the door. Afterwards, Valerie confessed that the encounter had been awkward, but she was curious why Dante hadn't told Maxie the truth about Lulu's trip. Dante explained that Maxie would have been on the first flight out of town to track down Lulu, provided Maxie had believed him. Dante also hadn't been in the mood to hear Maxie defend his wayward wife.
Valerie shifted gears to ask if they could watch the fireworks from the loft. Dante assured her that it wouldn't be a problem, so Valerie confessed that the Fourth of July had been her mother's favorite holiday. Valerie's eyes filled with tears as she quietly reminisced about past holidays with her mother, including the final year when Pat had been too weak to attend a fireworks display in town. Valerie recalled staying home with her mother and listening to the booms of the fireworks as she and her mother had pretended to watch the night sky light up with brilliant colors.
Valerie revealed that after the sounds of the fireworks had faded, her mother had told her about the decision to move to the clinic. Dante's expression filled with compassion as Valerie quietly added that her mother hadn't lived to see another Fourth of July. Moments later, Dante and Valerie heard the sounds of the fireworks in the park, so Dante led Valerie to the bedroom to watch the show from the window. Valerie sat on the bed as tears filled her eyes. Dante sat next to her, wrapped his arm around her, and held her as she rested her head on his shoulder.
In the park, Molly and T.J. spread out a blanket as they talked about T.J.'s decision to move in with Sonny. Molly wondered if T.J. had accepted her uncle's offer just to stick it to Jordan, but T.J. justified his animosity toward his mother by reminding Molly that Jordan hadn't had T.J.'s back when he had needed her. Molly gently pointed out that Jordan had been in an impossible situation because Jordan had been both a mother and a police commissioner. "So?" T.J. stubbornly asked.
Molly explained that Jordan couldn't afford to lose her job because someone needed to cover T.J.'s tuition, since Shawn was out of the picture. T.J. quickly changed the subject by revealing that he had a surprise for Molly. He pulled a small black velvet box from his pocket then set it in the center of the blanket. Molly smiled when she lifted the lid and saw the earrings she had wanted. T.J. revealed that Wyndham's Department Store had sent the earrings to him as an apology, but he regretted that he hadn't been able to give her the gift before her valedictorian speech.
Molly was touched by the gesture and assured T.J. that she loved the earrings but not as much as she loved him. T.J. smiled then wrapped his arms around Molly as they looked up to watch the fireworks.
In another area of the park, Nathan and Maxie found a secluded corner to spread out their blanket and open a bottle of wine. Maxie was upset that Valerie had been at the loft because she didn't trust Lulu's cousin. Nathan defended Valerie by admitting that she seemed like a good person who was trying to get to know her family. "Well, God help us if I ever have a cousin who pops up out of the woodwork," Maxie grumbled. Nathan started to assemble a small table as he suggested that perhaps Maxie might have overreacted.
Maxie disagreed because Lulu had been worried about Valerie's intentions toward Dante from the beginning. Nathan finished putting the table together, but Maxie decided she wanted to return to the loft to keep an eye on Valerie for Lulu. Nathan tried to dissuade Maxie, but she was determined to go. Resigned, Nathan pulled out a set of handcuffs then slapped one end on her wrist and another on his. Maxie smiled, but quickly adopted a stern expression as she sputtered with outrage.
Nathan grinned as he reminded Maxie it was the one-year anniversary of the night he had realized how deeply in love he was with Maxie. Maxie and Nathan toasted to their anniversary then reminisced about their trek through the park the previous Fourth of July. Fireworks filled the night sky as Maxie asked if Nathan had a key to the handcuffs, but Nathan told her it didn't matter. Maxie agreed then kissed him.
In another area of the park, Kiki walked up as Morgan ended his call with Sonny. She greeted Morgan with a quick kiss, so he teasingly confessed that he had been afraid she might have stood him up. Kiki explained that she had bumped into Franco at Kelly's. Morgan was relieved that he hadn't accompanied Kiki to the diner, but Kiki confessed that he might have been interested to hear what Franco had revealed about Franco and Denise's relationship.
A short time later, Kiki and Morgan sat on a blanket and nibbled on the food Kiki had picked up, so Morgan seized the opportunity to subtly question Kiki about her earlier remark regarding Franco and Denise. Kiki confided that Franco and Denise's relationship was a ruse to make Nina jealous. Morgan was surprised by the news, but he was curious why Denise had gone along with Franco's plan. Kiki grinned as she explained that Franco suspected Denise and Morgan had feelings for each other. Shocked, Morgan insisted Franco was wrong, so Kiki assured Morgan that she believed him.
However, Kiki was concerned that Michael might object to Denise spending time with Avery because of Denise's association with Franco. Morgan revealed that it wouldn't be a problem because Michael had returned Avery to Sonny. Elated, Kiki wondered why Morgan hadn't mentioned it sooner. Morgan carefully explained that Denise had stopped by Silas' apartment to tell Morgan in the hopes of enlisting Morgan's help to persuade Sonny to allow Denise to visit with Avery. He admitted he had tried, but Sonny had adamantly refused.
Kiki felt bad for her aunt, but she wasn't surprised because she imagined Denise reminded Sonny of Ava. Morgan confided that he hadn't broken the news to Denise yet, so Kiki urged him to tell Denise sooner rather than later because she didn't want her aunt to get her hopes up. Shortly after Morgan told Denise about Sonny's decision, Kiki and Morgan were cuddled up on the blanket as they watched the fireworks. Kiki noticed Morgan seemed distracted, so she asked him to stop worrying about Denise's problems for a while and enjoy the magic in the sky. Morgan tried to relax but failed, so Kiki suggested they make their own magic and kissed him.
In Kelly's courtyard, Ava greeted Franco by referring to him as her "fake boyfriend," so Franco returned the greeting in a similar fashion. Franco was surprised to see "Denise" because he had expected her to be watching the fireworks with Avery, but Ava explained that Michael had returned Avery to Sonny. Franco was shocked because he hadn't expected Michael to forgive Sonny after the efforts Franco had made to destroy Sonny and Carly's relationship with Michael.
Annoyed that Franco had made it all about himself, Ava entered the diner. Franco was close on her heels as he continued to rant about Michael's decision to give Avery to Sonny. He asked if Michael had forgiven Sonny, but Ava confessed that she had no idea because Sonny hadn't confided to her when he had prohibited her from visiting Avery. Ava complained that every day that passed was another day Avery was without her family, but Franco reminded her that Sonny was Avery's father.
Ava's temper flared as she argued that she was Avery's "aunt," but she quickly calmed down because Morgan had agreed to talk to Sonny on her behalf. Franco was curious when Morgan had made the promise, so Ava explained that she had stopped by Silas' apartment earlier. Franco realized Morgan and Denise had been together, while he had been talking to Kiki. He was instantly suspicious as he asked if there was anything going on between Denise and Morgan. Startled, Ava reminded Franco that Morgan was Kiki's boyfriend, but Franco countered that it hadn't stopped Ava.
Ava's unease turned to fury when Franco admitted that he had told Kiki the truth about his relationship with Denise and his concerns about Denise's relationship with Morgan. Ava reminded him that she had agreed to go along with his ruse to avoid being set up with Kiki's father. Ava was hurt that Franco had jeopardized her relationship with Kiki by making unfounded accusations and possibly hurting Kiki's feelings about Silas, so Franco apologized. Ava argued that it didn't matter because Kiki might tell others the truth about Denise and Franco's relationship. Franco offered to make things up to Denise by taking her to the park to watch the fireworks, but her phone rang.
Ava quickly excused herself to take the call when she saw it was Morgan. She stepped outside as Morgan regretfully explained that Sonny had denied Morgan's request for Denise to visit Avery. Ava quickly ended the call then burst into tears. Franco pulled her into his arms as she tearfully told him about Sonny's decision. "That little girl is never going to know her mother," Ava wailed.
Franco gently reminded Denise that she was not Avery's mother. Ava assured him that she knew that, so Franco urged her to keep fighting for a relationship with Avery. As the fireworks lit up the sky, Franco glanced up while he kept a comforting arm around Ava's shoulders. Ava softly explained the real reason Avery was important to her was because Avery was her daughter.
In British Columbia, gunmen surrounded Luke, Laura, Holly, Ethan, Lulu, and Dillon as a man in a wheelchair entered the room. Luke and Laura were stunned when they recognized Frank Smith. Dillon was curious who Frank was, so Luke explained that Frank was at the top of Luke's list of oldest enemies. "Right up there with Helena Cassadine," Frank added with an evil grin. Luke revealed that Frank was the reason Luke and Laura had been forced into hiding for several years when Lucky had been a child.
"I got to hand it to you, Frank. I never saw you coming," Luke said as Laura stared at Frank with horror. Frank was surprised because Luke should have realized only Frank would have tried to arrange a night of "bliss" for Luke and Jennifer. Luke wondered how Frank had managed to survive Luke's deadly bullet during their showdown in the cemetery twenty years earlier, so Frank reminded Luke that Luke had been too focused on trying to get Luke's friend to the hospital to check if Frank had taken his last breath.
According to Frank, Luke's bullet had severed Frank's spinal cord, which had forced Frank to crawl through mud to the road for help. Luke made a snide remark, but Frank was not amused because Frank had spent two decades confined to a wheelchair because of Luke. "And now -- finally -- it's payback time, Luke," Frank said. Frank smiled with menace as a guard forced Luke to his knees. Frank aimed a gun at Luke, but Luke pleaded with Frank to let everyone else go.
Frank glared at Laura as he accused Laura of murdering Frank's son, but Laura denied killing Damian. Frank ignored her as he informed Luke that he intended to kill each member of Luke's family before ending Luke's life. Frank invited Luke to pick the first person to die, but Dillon stepped forward to warn Frank that Frank would have to go through Dillon to get to Lulu. Annoyed, Frank instructed one of his men to deal with Dillon, so the guard knocked Dillon out. Lulu rushed to check on Dillon as Frank reminded Luke to pick someone.
Luke warned Frank that Lucky would arrive at any moment with reinforcements, but Frank wasn't concerned because Lucky had no idea that Luke was there. Luke explained that Lucky would return for Ethan because Spencers never left a family member behind. Frank grew tired of arguing with Luke, so he fired the gun. Ethan fell to his knees as the bullet struck his arm. Outraged, Luke reminded Frank that Frank's grudge was with Luke not Luke's loved ones.
Surprisingly, Frank agreed to let the other hostages go. Holly immediately helped Ethan out as Dillon trailed behind. Laura started to follow Lulu, but Frank announced that Laura had to stay. Lulu tearfully objected, but Frank refused to release Laura. Laura assured her daughter that it would be fine then forced Lulu to go. After Lulu left, Laura returned to Luke's side as her eyes filled with tears.
"Here we are, the three of us, as it was meant to be," Frank said with satisfaction. Frank debated who to shoot first then decided Laura's death would cause Luke the greatest pain.
Outside, Holly helped Ethan to a vehicle so she could take him to the hospital. Lulu and Ethan exchanged a quick hug before Ethan climbed into the passenger seat. After Holly and Ethan left, Dillon and Lulu returned to the lumber mill to rescue her parents, but Dillon and Lulu were startled when they heard a gunshot ring out.