Previously: Emma took over Sutton's life for a few days, which turned into more. Sutton's best friend Mads' dad took over Sutton's computer -- and with it, all her secrets.
The kid who stole Sutton's laptop for Mads' dad meets up with Mr. Rybak early in the morning. Mr. Rybak hands it back to the kid and tells him, "You know what to do." The mysterious "thing" he asked him to do with the laptop is, apparently, not throw it in a pond as the fellow hopefully (stupidly) suggests. Rybak tells the kid in no uncertain terms that the charges against him won't be dropped until he does what they "talked about."
Meanwhile, Ethan is splayed out on his bed, oozing sex in black boxer briefs. He wakes up when Sutton calls him from California. They have tense words over Sutton's little charade with Emma until Ethan's cop brother Dan walks by the room and interrupts them. Ethan takes the opportunity to ask for an update on the burgling of Sutton's room so she can hear. Dan tells him nothing much except that Sutton is bad news for a kid just out of juvie. Dan says gruffly that he won't be able to cover for Ethan every time he decides to get into fisticuffs with a wasted -- but prominent -- townsperson like Mr. Rybak. He walks away, and Sutton expresses her annoyance that Dan knows about their not-so-secret secret relationship now. Ethan tells her to add her parents to list of people in the know, and Sutton rails on Emma for playing Jenga with her life. Ethan credits her for having the guts to break up with Luke, but Sutton isn't impressed. She tells Ethan to stay away so they can keep their relationship under wraps. As an afterthought, she wonders how Ethan realized "Sutton" wasn't Sutton. Ethan admits he kissed Emma, which doesn't go over well. Sutton thinly contains her rage as she tells Ethan not to do that again. She tells him she loves him and he takes a good, long pause before reciprocating.
Over at the Mercer abode, Emma tries to inure Sutton's parents to the Sutton-Ethan dynamic by suggesting they invite him over to dinner to see what a non-violent non-creep he is. Meanwhile, Laurel plays her violin in a local park. As you do. A boy runs by and flirts with her about her burgeoning career as a free concert violinist in parks. He introduces himself as Justin and says she's the first person he's met in town, then continues on his run.
Later, Mr. Rybak visits the school to take Mads aside. Sutton apologizes for causing trouble the night before, and Mr. Rybak accepts. He takes Mads aside, who is less forgiving. He tells her that she can't stay out all night in protest because there are rules. She throws his "rules" with Thayer back in his face, and he responds by saying she's all he has left.