After being convinced by his second-in-command, Jason Morgan, to return to Port Charles, Sonny Corinthos starts a relationship with Hannah Scott, a woman who bears a remarkable resemblance to one-time love Brenda Barrett. The two are involved until it is discovered that Hannah is actually an undercover FBI agent whose job is to bring him down and end his ties to the mob. Reeling from this revelation, Sonny begins a downward spiral, certain he is meant to be alone. Jason’s girlfriend, Carly Roberts, comes to check on Sonny one night, leading to an explosive, angry, sexual encounter. A literally and figuratively wounded Jason discovers them together and, after much turmoil, decides to step out of the equation.
A panicked Carly discovers she’s pregnant and tries to convince her husband-in-name-only, AJ Quartermaine, that he is the father. Sonny suspects the truth and demands that Carly and her son Michael move in with him. Just as it seems they are on the brink of having something real, Carly falls down the stairs and Sonny must make the decision between saving his child and a woman he is not yet sure he can live with. Sonny ultimately chooses to save Carly and the two grow closer as they mourn their lost baby on Sonny’s private island. After they return, Carly accidentally causes Sonny to get arrested and they get married so Carly can’t testify against him. The duo fall in love, but the violence in Sonny’s life escalates and he is shot on the steps of the PCPD.
Sonny and Carly reunite and renew their vows in Martinique. After a bomb is delivered to the penthouse, Carly conspires with the Feds to get Sonny out of the mob. A betrayed Sonny cannot forgive her. It looks like they may be over for good as Carly tries to start a new life and a nightclub with Jasper “Jax” Jacks and an injured Sonny winds up under the care of a mysterious white-clad woman named Angel.
Still separated from Carly, Sonny sleeps with his attorney, Alexis Davis — an encounter that Carly witnesses. A distraught Carly winds up driving her car into the river. Her family and friends think her dead and mourn, but are elated when she turns up alive at her own funeral. Despite his indiscretion with Alexis, Sonny and Carly work out their differences and marry for the third time in Martinique. Just when things are looking up for the two, Luis Alcazar comes to town on a mission to get rid of Sonny. A suspicious Sonny fakes his own death and learns that Alcazar’s goal is to ensure his claim on Sonny’s first real love, the presumed-dead Brenda Barrett.