Well, since Sutton never showed up and the laptop's been stolen, Emma leans on Ethan Whitehorse even more than usual to keep her head above water. Seems there's a Father-Daughter dance coming up and Sutton is (of course) like this champion ballroom dancer, so Ethan teaches her to dance in a variety of romantic locations as they fall more and more deeply in love.
Of course, sister Laurel figures out they have a secret relationship, and the episode ends with Sutton's parents finding him hanging around in her bedroom. Knowing the Mercers, they'll probably just be grateful that Sutton is finally opening up about her love life and give her like twenty hugs, and then kick Laurel in the shins for being a tattletale.
Emma spends the episode delivering sassy smackdowns to everybody's parents: Char's abusive mom for yelling at her about being a ballet failure, and Mads's dad Adrian Pasdar for being a general drunken creep. She also apologizes for punching Nisha once the video of the throwdown goes viral, which calms the waters considerably on that front. Nisha and Sutton have a similar awesomeness, it's increasingly clear.
The majority of the mystery this week has to do with Adrian Pasdar's character, who is waging some kind of war of attrition against Mads's brother Thayer so that he'll come back from running away to LA. Mads and Sutton both supported his plan to become the next Zuckerberg, but Pasdar is not having it. He gets drunk at the dance and ends up punching Ethan, and it's all very messy and weird, but not as weird as the big fight he has with Mads about how he's controlling, but loves his kids, and hates the shit out of Sutton.
Also weird: The bizarre conversations he keeps having with Sutton's parents about the mystery -- presumably -- of how she was acquired by them in the first place. Just taking them aside for vague conversations about how they have these secrets and once did horrible terrible deeds, probably adoption-related. So Mom does her usual haunted staring all over the place, and Dad somehow finds himself taking not just Sutton and Laurel to the dance, but poor desperate Char as well. As usual, he's the only person on the entire show whose cheery mood can survive even a single conversation, which will probably end up meaning that he is a serial killer.
As for Sutton, she claims she was mugged the night she never turned up, but she's plainly keeping secrets -- such as the fact that she's staying with Thayer and he knows all about the twin thing -- and not quite as piqued as one might think that Emma and Ethan are getting so close.
In the end, Emma tries and fails to come clean to Ethan's cop brother about her twin situation, which is probably a good thing; Mom answers a phone call from Emma's pervo foster-brother but just kind of blows it off with some confused menacing faces; Sutton asks for a couple more days to find the birth mother, and she tasks Emma and Ethan with tracking down the stolen laptop. Which, it turns out, is now in the possession of Pasdar himself.
Emma: "In my efforts to appear like less of a crackhead, I have taken to wearing entire outfits and full makeup while I sleep."
Voicemail: "Hey, it's your creepy foster brother, just calling to threaten you some more."
(Emma shivers, tries on hats, attempts to be as cool as Sutton, heads downstairs.)
Parents: "Yeah, so they're going to fix the window and we're going to track down that laptop. Everything is back to normal. Hey, did we mention that father-daughter dance that Sutton is attending Sunday with her dad?"
Laurel: "Ahem. I also exist. Daughter number two, sitting right here. Ready to dance."
Dad, obliviously: (Whirls Emma around the kitchen. It is a travesty of dance!)
Ethan: "Ever since that person broke in, it's a lot easier to just come creeping in your window."
Emma: "I am packing up my shit and getting out of here. It was just supposed to be two days, and Travis is up my ass, and now I'm supposed to ballroom dance in front of people? Bullshit, I'm going to LA to find my sister."
Ethan: "At least you have that laptop, though."
Emma: "Oh, and the laptop is gone."
Dad: "...Sutton! Borrow my laptop! I bookmarked all your favorite sites and put about a hundred bucks on your iTunes account so you won't stop loving me like before!"
Emma: "Sutton's Dad, your human decency is a constant shock to me because I was raised by wolves."
Dad: "It's a lovely quality, but not as lovely as my German Shepherd ability to ignore how weird you are all the time. I'm just happy my only daughter is acting nice again!"
Laurel: "Ahem. Again."
RIDE TO SCHOOL
Laurel: "I am totally skipping that dance. Watching Dad crawl all over you makes me physically ill. Or else I am just saying that for attention."
Emma: "No! I need you there!"
Laurel: "As everyone does in every scene, I feel compelled to remark on how out-of-character everything you say and do seems to be."
Emma: "And yet nobody will ever actually put that together because it's too ridiculous to even consider. Handy way to sustain the drama of this show."
Laurel: "Check out this viral video of you punching Nisha last night! I even made up some hip-sounding teen lingo that no human being would ever actually say."
Emma: "We're skipping coffee this morning. Both because I had no idea we always get coffee, but also because I am amped up because of my lies."
Laurel: "No problem. Hey, did I ever vaguely mention the Lying Games to you?"
Emma: "No, is that important?"
Laurel: "Not as important as they were in the book, so I guess we can just drop it."