On the day of the twins' 17th birthday, everyone scurries around Phoenix to prepare for Sutton's big party. Ethan knows that Sutton is on her way back to Phoenix in search-and-destroy. He tries to convince Emma to run away with him under the basic argument that, "You know your twin is a huge bitch, right? Trust me, I dated her." Nevertheless, Emma wants to tear down the web of lies she and Sutton created, making things right in hopes she can stick around. Along the way, Derek manages to win back Char, only to be locked up by Alec. Thayer grows suspicious of Alec despite Mads' protests to keep their family together. Alec uses Dan Whitehorse as a pawn to search for Annie. And Justin makes peace with Ted... for now.
As Emma tries and fails repeatedly to come clean, Sutton arrives in town. She's really set off when she gets back to her own house and is immediately greeted by a video chat from Ethan begging Emma to run away with him. When Ethan tells "Emma" he loves her, Sutton internally flips out and plans an impromptu rendezvous to expose Ethan and Emma as cheaters and life stealers. Things go about as well as you would imagine, and their meeting ends with Sutton storming out of the cabin and Emma ending her relationship and heading back to Phoenix. After a pep talk from Little Orphan Lexie, Emma changes her mind and returns to the dance to meet up with Ethan to profess her love for him and finally reveal her true identity over a big, flaming cake. She sees a shadow in the distance at the last minute and chickens out. She follows the figure outside, followed by Kristin, who recognizes that it's Annie. And why didn't Sutton make it to the party? En route, a shadowy figure (yet another one) popped up in her car, sending her careening off the road and into a potential watery grave.
Previously: Lies and the lying liars who told them. What is this? A game? Oh wait...
Sutton makes her way back to Phoenix on the bus. Of course, it's not like any bus I've ever ridden. It's not packed to the rafters (or whatever the bus equivalent is), and she's not sitting next to some weirdo with B.O. and a menacing look on his face. Then again, I suppose Sutton's been through enough.
In Phoenix, the Mercers wake up "Sutton" to begin celebrating her 17th birthday with breakfast in bed. Ted prompts her to share her birthday wish, but "Sutton" says it won't come true if she says it out loud. Laurel reminds her that the Mercers always do a bogus wish, kind of like opposite day for wishes. Last year, Laurel wished she'd never get a boyfriend, and ta da! If I were "Sutton," my wish would be for Laurel to take off the turquoise and royal blue sleeveless shortsuit she's rocking. It's not exactly Sutton's Vegas chic Elmo corpse shrug from last week, but it ain't workin'. Instead, Emma wishes, "I wish I could run away and never come back." Is there a tiny violin on that birthday breakfast platter? Ted laughs to break up the tension, and everyone's all, "Well, you're a weirdo!" Kristin tells the others they need to help her get ready for the party and directs "Sutton" toward her pre-birthday gift. Tempted to come clean, Emma calls out to them as they leave, but she chickens out and thanks them for everything. Says Ted, "Hey, it's just the beginning." I suspect that phrase will resonate on many levels in the next hour.
They head out, and Ethan sneaks in. He wishes her happy birthday and gives her a gentle peck. He sits down and faces the facts: Sutton is going to be back any minute now. He says he's ready to go, but Emma doesn't want to leave behind the only people she's ever loved like family. "I'm going to tell them the truth." Credits.
We rejoin the lovebirds as Emma explains her reasons for finally owning up to who she is. She thinks it's her only hope of having a future in Phoenix, but I would argue that it's probably the quickest way to be summarily rejected by everyone around her. Ethan looks at her for several moments before saying he's proud of her. He looks at her lovingly and gives her another, longer birthday kiss.
Meanwhile, Derek comes to win Char back as she basks in her pool. He tells her he was scared. "Of me or Alec?" she asks, telling him all about "Sutton's" theory. Before Dopey Derek can answer, Char's mom Phyllis walks in with the police. They tell Derek they're going to search his call based on an anonymous tip. Now who's acting like a passive-aggressive spurned lover, Alec?