We rejoin the story mid-thrust, as it were. Sutton is predictably pissed about Ethan and Emma's kiss at Homecoming, though she barely has a leg to stand on when Emma sees Thayer emerge from the bathroom a towel-drop away from indecency. All the while, Ethan and Emma caucus about how inappropriate it is to be having semi-sexual congress while he's still technically dating her identical twin, so he summons Sutton on the Skype and is all, "We're f***ing done professionally." All seems well and good, and Ethan prepares a romantic candlelit dinner for his and Emma's first "official" date... So naturally she has to screw it up by mentioning half-naked Thayer when Ethan's tongue is practically still in her mouth. He does not take this well, and it looks like he and Emma might also be finished. Somewhere along the way -- through Alec's circuitous scheming? -- Char starts dating Derek (a.k.a. laptop thief), which I only mention because Ethan accidentally drops the name Emma in conversation with Char. As all this is happening Thayer rolls into town and threatens to blow the lid on the whole situation, so Ethan punches the snot out of him (though mainly for sleeping with Sutton). If this show had a relationship status, right now it would be "It's Complicated" with about a million Likes attached.
You thought I was done, right? Not so much... At Kristin's prodding, Laurel begins to suspect that Justin is a sketchball. She delivers a pie (or something equally embarrassing) to the address where Justin claims he lives. Instead of some thanks and nom, nom, nom-ing, she is met with judgmental brusqueness by the house's actual owner, who knows nothing of Justin. Emma -- being all hardscrabble from the streets and all -- suggests that Justin might be some sort of car-dwelling street urchin -- because homeless people also often happen to be really good golfers. Long story short, Laurel finds Justin squatting in a foreclosed house, he shares his tragic story with her, and she promises never to tell on him so he can get a golf scholarship to Duke or whatever. It's all very dubious, frankly. Elsewhere Alice Greczyn (Mads) and Rick Malambri (Eduardo) turn some world-class bad acting as they break up a relationship that never really existed. Then Eduardo gets in a car accident that ratchets up the tension and leads to the aforementioned group confrontation that ended with Thayer's face on the floor.
And in elements, that are definitely related but also kind of shoe-horned into the night's proceedings, it becomes clear that everyone in Scottsdale, Phoenix and basically the tri-state area knew Annie Hobbs. As such, "Sutton" mentions Annie Hobbs to Char's mom, who flips her shiz. Then "Sutton" talks to Kristin about Annie while Ted eavesdrops. Alec remains creepy as ever, which no one will acknowledge. Ever. And Sutton locates the psychiatric hospital where Annie is being held. She gets as far as establishing eye contact with Annie before being yanked away by the top-notch security that let her get anywhere near Annie's room in the first place. If it the nimrods in this show had to face the same action as Jack Bauer in 24, it would have been called 0.5, and everyone would be dead halfway through the first episode. Useless!
We rejoin "Sutton" and Laurel in their Homecoming crowns -- Laurel, of course, is still wearing Justin's and raving about what a magical night they just had. All Emma can muster is that it was "fun." Laurel tells her to put things into perspective: "How many times will the Mercer sisters both get to be Cinderella on one night?" Technically, Laurel, I'm pretty sure you're Gus... Emma agrees but reminds Laurel that "once the clock strikes midnight, it all turns to crap." Laurel says that may be true, but there's no turning back on the kiss that "Sutton" shared with Ethan at the dance. Emma changes the subject, asking Laurel if she ever thinks about who their parents dated in high school besides each other. Laurel is all, "Obvs, no," so Emma brings out the picture of Ted, Alec and the presumptive Annie Hobbs. Laurel has no idea who it is but does snark about her bitchin' fingerless gloves.
Just then, Sutton's computer brrrrings. Laurel assumes it's Ethan and moves to make herself scarce. She exits the room, and Emma self-consciously removes her crown before answering. She tries to cut Sutton off by going into the news of the photo, but Sutton is focused on the pictures she saw online. Emma reminds Sutton that she's technically the one who won Homecoming Queen. But that's not the particular ax Sutton wants to grind. She asks, "And kissing Ethan, that was part of the whole 'being me' thing, too?" Emma has no good answer for that one, so she switches topics and shows Sutton the picture, which proves that Annie Hobbs was from Phoenix and that Ted and Alec knew her. She begs Sutton to come back home and take her life back.
Sutton doesn't have a chance to make her decision before Thayer walks out of the bathroom in a towel asking, "Babe, did you use all the shampoo?" Emma is baffled, and Sutton is horrified -- not least of which for the fact that Thayer just called her "babe." I'm pretty sure that a spite-driven quickie does not qualify her as his babe. (And that's without mentioning the fact that, as reader Nina Lisa Tomlinson points out, this very same revenge sex could very well have been with her half-brother -- or, at the very least - her BFF's actual brother. Being a teenager these days is hard, y'all.) Sutton immediately starts in on damage control, explaining that she's staying with Thayer for a few days, and then harshly telling Emma to keep her mouth shut about what she just saw. She seals it with a stern warning: "Don't think I'm done talking to you about that kiss." End transmission.