Since the Mercers discovered Ethan in Sutton's bedroom, Emma goes about trying to convince him that he's not a lawless maniac. She invites him to a family dinner, which he resists primarily on the grounds that Sutton doesn't want him to go and spoil her gratuitous secrecy. Trying to hang onto this unusually trustworthy and warm-hearted iteration of Sutton, Kristin insists that Ethan come to taste her tamales. And so it is. The whole "My secret boyfriend's not a criminal" thing goes pretty well until Ethan's brother comes to pick him up for possession of Sutton's stolen laptop. Emma vacillates between wanting to believe Ethan and realizing that, in the scheme of things, she doesn't know him from Adam. In the end, those luscious locks and pouty lips prove too great a lure. She visits Ethan by night to apologize and almost-kiss him. Alas, despite his growing closeness to Emma, he still has feelings for Sutton, so they pull apart at the last minute.
In L.A., Sutton and her sidekick-pet Thayer tracks down her birth mother to a library (because when you think "loins that brought that monster into this world," you definitely think "librarian," right?). Unsurprisingly, not least of which because this show aspires to last more than four episodes, it turns out that the librarian was a dupe who was paid to pose as the biomom during the signing of the adoption papers. She does reveal the surprising fact that Emma was adopted by the Webster family of Beverly Hills and not immediately consigned to the foster system as previously supposed. When Sutton and Thayer pay a visit to Mr. Webster, he recounts the tragic story of how Emma's birth mother returned to collect her just days after the adoption went through. As Sutton remains confused over what transpired to land Emma in adoption purgatory, she returns home with Thayer to find that his house has also been broken into and his computer compromised.
While this is going down, Laurel meets herself a new boy in town, who appreciates her need to play violin in the park. His name is Justin, and Laurel wants to make that biz happen, except Char calls dibs from the second she sees him enter the high school. Mads is too busy seducing her dance instructor to care one way or another, so the burden falls on Emma to slyly stick up for Sutton's little sis, even when Laurel wants to throw in the towel. Ironically, it's at a pool party where Justin makes his feelings for Laurel clear to "Sutton." She gives him their address, and Justin heads off to the Mercers' house that very night to ask Laurel for a private command performance.
And over in Creepytown, Mads' father carries on with his lurking around in various nooks and crannies. It was he who arranged to plant Sutton's computer in Ethan's Jeep to make him look guilty. And it appears to have been him who forced his way into Thayer's apartment to prowl through his computer. At least that's how it looks as he stands in the shadows outside Thayer's place and leers at his son and Sutton as they look over a picture of Sutton and Emma's birth mother that Webster dropped off.
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.