Back at the dance, mmmmm... baked goods. Alec approaches "Sutton" at the dessert table to wish her luck. He begins on a fond note, talking about her dream of winning Homecoming Queen since she was a little girl. Then, because Alec just can't stop himself with the creepy implications, he tells her, "You always were that girl that stopped at nothing -- take no prisoners." Emma senses his tone change and tries to excuse herself. He calls out to her, so she turns back around and gives him the chance to deliver the single most skin-crawling iteration of "Have fun tonight" ever. Credit (and curses!) to Pasdar. He adds with a spine-tingling grin, "And, if you win, keep your ego in check. You don't want to forget who you really are." And my head just exploded. Emma's too, probably.
Emma gets her reprieve as the principal calls out to announce the winners. Of course "Sutton" wins Queen. At Arroyo, apparently this involves speeches. Emma takes to the stage and starts in on the thank-yous Char has printed out for her. She barely gets past "esteemed teachers" before crumpling it up to speak from the heart. She thanks her BFFS and says earnestly, "You don't know how much this means to me... I have always dream of something like this and just never thought it was possible." She concludes, "I guess you don't realize how much you want something until you let yourself want it."
The principal announces next that Justin has won King. Laurel is beside herself, squealing at him, "Go! And just... be handsome!" Love it. Justin takes his crown, and delivers his speech, which we don't hear because Mads is gloating as Nisha for failing twice in one day -- both re: Eduardo and in her bid for royalty. Justin wraps up and escorts "Sutton" to the floor for their ceremonial dance together. As they dance, Ethan makes his way onto the floor, in a tux no less. He puts down his motorcycle helmet (hot) and walks to the center of the crowd to ask Justin if he can cut in and dance with "Sutton." Cue gasp from the crowd and horrified faces from Mads and Char.
Ethan twirls Emma around the floor with Brian Kinney levels of suave. Emma takes a mental step back and asks why Ethan has thrown caution to the wind and exposed himself to the jeering high school crows. He insists he doesn't care. "What about Sutton?" she asks. He tells her, "This isn't about Sutton. I came here for you." She jokes, "I never really pegged you for the tuxedo type." He admits he didn't either, then says sincerely, "Turns out I was just waiting for the right girl to ask me." He cups her face with his hand, then leans in for the kiss they've both been putting off for some time now. He pulls back to look at her. Ignoring the whoops of the crowd, they stare into each other's eyes and lean back in. This has been a long time coming.