Annie (who now goes by Rebecca) Sewell returns to Phoenix, and she is played by none other than Charisma "Cordelia Chase" Carpenter! One unsettling fact: Rebeccannie is definitely not the lady Sutton met in the loony bin. Learning of her sister's return, Phyllis gets pissed in both the American and British senses, landing herself in the drunk tank and eventually rehab at Rebeccannie's behest. Which means Sutton isn't the only one whose life is being taken over in this town. Considering all the weird comments Ted made at Sutton's birthday about how much Rebeccannie has changed, something is definitely fishy.
Which leads us back to Sutton, who appeared for at least a little while to be swimming with the fishes. Nope, it turned out. She was magically spirited away from the car after it crashed into the lake. Emma, Ethan, and Thayer spend most of the episode attempting to find her in between bouts of telling Deputy Dan blatantly implausible lies and casting suspicious glances at one another. It comes down to a pissing contest between Thayer and Ethan in which Thayer believes Ethan is behind Sutton's disappearance (and even claims to have "something on him"), and Ethan believes Thayer is an ineffectual, scheming tool (true). Emma doesn't know who to believe but ultimately decides the only way they'll get through this is together. And by continuing the charade, it seems, because at the end of the episode Emma receives an unmarked, beautifully wrapped package containing a strip of Sutton's dress from the night she went missing a note: "Keep on being Sutton... or you're next."
Laurel loses the bracelet Justin gave her. It turns out Ted took it and was planning to return it by episode's end, but Laurel had already busted into Justin's love shack and confessed her screw-up. Justin is weirdly quiet about it, only breaking when she admits she told her parents it was his mother's. He explains that his mom was wearing it the day she died, and they have some obscure conversation that made about as much sense as the rest of this weirdo episode.
And lurking in the background of it all, as ever, is Alec. He quickly calls Dr. Hughes to tell her that the Annie who has come to Phoenix is not the Annie that was in her care. That's all we get on that end of the story because Alec spends most of his time surprise-growling in Rebeccannie's ear about some sort of unspoken, mutually beneficial tango of deceit and soul-numbing compromise they are drafting through ESP and a series of loaded stares. As Phoenix's number one puppet master, Alec also commits a great deal of time to deflecting the various pot-stirring that's happening in town (and, oh boy, there's a lot) because, if any bit of the truth came out, it would inevitably come colliding into his totally unclear, obviously nefarious agenda. Let's just say that story is developing and leave it at that for now. I sense this week was all about set up and that we'll get some definite plot movement next week. Fingers crossed!
Previously: Twinanigans! In a half-baked ruse to discover their long-lost mother, Emma Becker took over long-lost twin sister's Sutton Mercer's life while Sutton jetted off to California. Unfortunately, while Sutton was sleuthing, Emma was canoodling with Sutton's boyfriend. Sutton managed to discover the twins' biological mother and Emma's burnt-out childhood home. She even had a dalliance with Emma's real life back in Las Vegas. It involved a jacket that looked like Elmo's carcass (remember that?). Annnnyway, she headed back home, only to discover pretty much everyone unwittingly likes Emma way more than her, including the aforementioned Ethan. She was heading back into Phoenix to explode the whole operation (at her 17th birthday celebration for maximum drama, of course) when she was overtaken by a shadowy figure and drove the Mercers' car into a lake.
We rejoin Sutton's 17th birthday party at the club, right after Emma nearly blew the whole operation, and then ran outside to track down a shadowy figure. (Yep, it's just that kind of night.) Instead of Sutton -- whom she expected to see -- Emma is met with a woman who Kristin identifies, with much surprise, as Annie Sewell. To my great surprise, it's Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter)! Kristin is as loopily oblivious as ever, all, "Wow, that's such a coincidence that you've shown up since everyone has been independently obsessing about you for the last several weeks!" Ohhhhh, Kristin.
Annie wonders who this young girl is, who may or may not look just like her, so Kristin makes the introductions between Annie and "Sutton." Annie corrects Kristin, saying she has gone by Rebecca since she left Phoenix. As Emma continues to stand there, gawping, stunned, and generally looking like a wet dog (because of the rain, you'll recall), Rebeccannie explains that she's not crashing because Char invited her. As Kristin begins to escort her inside, Rebeccannie stops short to wish "Sutton" a happy birthday, then adds, "I caught a little of your speech. It was... very stirring." Only Jan. 2, and we already have a contender for The Understatement of the Year, ladies and gents. Kristin hilariously admits, "It was a little confusing..." "Sutton" chokingly tells her they'll talk about it later.