Mercer house. Laurel thinks "Sutton's" sudden interest in her dad's top choice university is just a way to distract him from his anger about the recent shenanigans. She notes that Sutton only talked about California schools that past summer. "Sutton" tries to insist she has no ulterior motive, but Laurel's all, "I know you, sister." She tells her to be careful because "if this is all an act, it'll be Nana's funeral all over again." Wow, grandma fuckery, too? Sutton really was a beast.
Emma jets to the club to talk to Ethan. After Laurel's snarky analysis, she has changed her tune on the university. She doesn't want to play Ted and Kristin. What's more, she wants this stupid game to end. She suggests again they go to the police, and Ethan is suddenly okay with it. Ethan says Dan is at home tonight, so they make their way there. Except! When they arrive, Alec is there. They stop the car out of sight of the trailer and creep up to spy. Dan and Alec are having a heated conversation in which Dan asks why Alec wants him to arrest someone now, though it's hard to make out exactly what he's saying. What is clear is that these two are in cahoots. Emma immediately sees something's amiss, and Ethan asks, "You still want to go to the cops?"
The next day, they call Thayer in to caucus. As usual, he's got his panties in a wad that they didn't include him in their almost-confession. Emma tells Thayer she got a weird vibe from their conversation. It didn't seem like everyday D.A.-deputy interaction. She also thinks she heard Derek's name. Thayer tells her to go ahead with the college visit because they've still got a chance that Sutton is waiting to strike. Emma reluctantly agrees but makes them promise to end the whole affair if Sutton hasn't shown herself by the time she gets back.
Ethan heads home to find Dan getting day-drunk. They have a jabbing conversation where Dan craps on "Sutton" some more and Ethan dismisses Dan for his lack of college education. He segues to mentioning Alec's appearance at the trailer the night before. Dan lies that they were talking about football and Ethan accuses Dan as not being there for him. Just as Ethan is about to storm off, Dan calls him back and claims he'll tell him the truth. He tells him that he met some rich bitch when he was part-time caddying at the club a couple years back. One night, they went up to the seventh hole to party, and she mixed booze with pills and OD'd. Since she was rich and he was poor, he was going to take the fall to the tune of 25-40 years. Alec stepped in and made it go away. All of which explains his extreme distrust of Sutton and his weird, indentured relationship with Alec. Ethan: "So, how do you know when you've paid off the debt?" Dan: Silence.