Back inside, Laurel asks Kristin if she can excuse herself for the evening. Just as she gets Kristin's okay, the singer of the band Rebeccannie scouted says they've been informed an emerging talent in the crowd named Laurel Mercer. Laurel takes the stage and sings with the band, playing violin all the while, as Justin makes a hasty exit. At the same time, Alec approaches Rebeccannie to note that she's making a rather strong impression in her first week back. They have a flirtatious exchange that I don't entirely trust. Speaking of things one doesn't entirely trust, Mads has an unpleasant exchange with Halliwell over the silent auction table. I'm pretty sure this entire paragraph could be summed up in three words: White People Problems.
Mercer house. Ethan sits by as Emma comes to terms with Sutton's return to her real life (and, consequently, Emma's own loss of an identity invested with any hope or possibility). She claims to be relieved, then grabs Ethan's hands and says, "I got out with everything I needed."
Over at the Rybaks', Thayer grills Mads about her exchanges with Halliwell. She evades his question by asking what he was up to that evening. He is likewise evasive, claiming he needs to go to bed. As he leaves, he asks if she ordered a pizza. She says she didn't, but there's still one sitting on their coffee table that was paid in full on arrival. Mads opens the box to find the Cinderella tickets (a.k.a. the prize from the silent auction) inside. On cue, Halliwell calls and apologizes for all of his many shortcomings. Despite all those flaws, he can offer pizza and ballet tickets. What more could a girl want? Mads invites him to accompany her to the ballet... as friends. He conveniently doesn't hear that part.
Back at the benefit, Laurel is leaving when Justin confronts her. Still victorious from her moment in the limelight, she has no patience for his nonsense. She tells him to come clean with the truth or get out of his life for good. Then he drops a bomb: "Your dad killed my mom." As Justin unfurls the tail of his mom's (ultimately) fatal battle with appendicitis, Laurel is naturally unwilling to believe the story. She pawns it off to the sad-but-true reality that people die in surgery all the time. Justin says there's more: Ted was off his game in a major way and didn't even stick around for the full surgery because he was distracted that night. Long story short, it was the event that set in motion the unraveling of Justin's entire life. For her part, Laurel is hung up on the intricate web of lies Justin has spun and the now clear fact that his move to Phoenix was based entirely on vengeance. This throws their entire relationship -- and his very identity -- into question. Justin admits he told a lot of lies but wants the chance to explain himself. Laurel is weeping at this point and tells him to go before she calls the cops.