This is it. The moment of truth for this show. Can they make good on what they've been building on all season and give us some hope in the Second-Coming of Amanda Woodward Era?
First things first, let's wrap up that pesky murder mystery thing. It's quickly established that Vanessa was the mastermind behind all of this when she goes to speak to Michael in prison. He uses his one phone call to get in touch with David to warn him that he anticipates Vanessa will whisk David's little brother out of the country before the police can determine through forensics she's the real murderer. David grudgingly obliges his father's request to kidnap Noah again if it means his safety. Vanessa hunts Noah down at Violet's apartment, where she is watching over David's brother for him, and the two end up fighting when Violet refuses Vanessa entrance to claim her son. The fight spills over into the swimming pool, where Violet drowns Vanessa. That pool really is a deathtrap. Amanda shows up just in time to witness this and vouch for Violet when the police arrive. Can you say: "Indebted?"
Violet was watching Noah because David had to rush Lauren to the emergency room. The life of a hooker finally caught up to Dr. Whore, albeit through no fault of her own. One of her johns slips her some drugs pre-sexing when she refuses to take them voluntarily, and she overdoses. Lauren is so bad at this. She gets all of the baggage of prostitution without any of the fun. Next time just do the drugs willingly, Laur.
Now, let's get into the complex love pentagon of Jonah/Riley/Ella/Auggie/Violet. Because Riley starts fretting over wedding planning and the machinations of her mother, Jonah gets the bright idea they should elope to Vegas. Riley's about as keen on that idea as she's been about anything relating to their engagement, but she pretends to be down for it. Jonah picks up on this hesitation using his woman's intuition when Ella lands Jonah an opportunity to pitch his movie, which actually finally gets bought (for real this time), and Riley readily offers to postpone the eloping so he can focus on that. Jonah straight dumps Riley! She's left to just sort of sulk until Auggie finds out and tries to swoop in. Riley's surprisingly not having that. She sends Auggie back to the bottle for comfort, but not before Violet spies him laying a kiss on Riles. Violet symbolically burns her crayon drawings of Auggie. So, no Riley for Auggie and no Auggie for Violet, but wait! Jonah wanders into the waiting arms of Ella. They make love and it's as awkward as we all thought it would be. But the drama. The drama!
Opening montage for tonight includes: Jonah and Riley making love, Lauren playfully chasing David through the Complex Courtyard after coming back from a run, and Auggie and Violet rough sexing
Out on The Love Nest Balcony, Riley looks over a wedding invitation. Turns out it's just a sample from Riley's mother detailing a bigger wedding than Riley wants. It's just the latest in a series of meddling by Mother Riles. Jonah gets a gleam in his eye and a terrible idea in his head. He wants Riley to stand up to her mom. Getting eloped in Vegas tonight is the idea. Riley's down, so they agree to go through with it tonight. They kiss and Jonah lifts Riley up, spinning her around through the air.
Ella wearily wakes herself up with a cup of coffee in her kitchen. Girl looks a mess. Lauren walks in and notices Ella is uncharacteristically disheveled. She ventures to guess this is all about Jonah, who has not returned Ella's calls since their little breakup. Lauren asks what the deal is with Jonah anyway. Jonah's the only one who understands her, Ella says. She can be herself around him. But he's engaged, Lauren points out. Ella scoffs at the idea that she could be romantically interested in Jonah. She attributes the notion to Lauren's skanky imagination and walks off. L's phone rings. It's Rick the John. Initially, Lauren thinks Rick is still trying to talk her into a relationship, but Rick is past that now and is just looking for some "daytime fun." Lauren arranges to meet at a hotel.
Stuck in New York traffic, Amanda sits impatiently in the back of a cab. After chiding the cab driver, she pulls out a floor plan for The Entire Complex labeled with names of all our favorite tenants. FLASHBACK (it's been a while) Amanda walks into a church dressed like some sort of hooker monk and sits in a pew behind Sydney. She comes out and accuses Sydney of stealing a painting from her worth $19 million. Syd's mad that Amanda slept with Michael, but Amanda points out he's married and the two of them were nothing but diversions for him anyway. The issue here is Amanda and Sydney were business partners, not friends, and they had an arrangement. Amanda gets her the paintings and Sydney moves them. "Don't you ever get tired of falsely accusing people?" Sydney asks, "Even the Lord rested on the seventh day." How... biblical. Amanda leaves by saying she will do whatever it takes to get her painting back. END FLASHBACK
MARCO... TILE CARD... POLO!
Love Nest. Jonah sits at his computer looking up wedding chapels online. Ella shows up behind him and surrenders with a gesture of tossing him a white Ungaro because she doesn't have a white flag. She asks how long Jonah's going to hate her. Jonah's sorry he's inconvenienced her. Ella admits Jonah makes her feel like she doesn't have to be the unflappable bitch we all know and love when she's around him. We know, Ella, that's what we're worried about if you were to ever get your wish and end up with him. Jonah's not hearing Ella's underlying message here and instead opts to be a sarcastic douche. "I'm so happy I can help boost your self-esteem." Ass. Ella has to resort to business to get her man back. She will be working the press tour for producer Curtis Heller's new movie and figures she can get Jonah some time to try and pitch his movie. Jonah seems excited about this prospect so Ella grabs his phone and self-accepts an invitation for Loopt -- a GPS app -- so he'll know exactly where Ella and Curtis are later when she needs Jonah to swoop in with his pitch. Jonah makes it clear to Ella this all needs to happen before 4 o'clock. What could be more important than following through on your dream, Jonah? Why, stomping on your dream of love, Ella. Jonah tells her he and Riley are eloping. Ella tries to hide the shock with a smile and stumbles over some well-wishes. They hug. "I'm really happy for you. Just promise me one thing. You have to get married by Elvis." Ella walks out quickly.
Prison. Michael talks to Vanessa behind glass. This is all rather confusing because Vanessa insists on conversing with Michael by pretty much ignoring his accusations and asserting her own in a way that pretty much ignores Michael's half of the conversation. Michael commends Vanessa on how good an actress she apparently is. I can't do the same. Based on what we know, we can assume Michael must be the one telling the truth here. He says he saw Vanessa running from Sydney's apartment the night of her murder and saw the bloody necklace on the ground. He stashed it in hopes of protecting his family. It would be terribly traumatic for Noah to have his mother taken away. I guess? I think it would be more traumatic to live with a psychopathic murderer. Vanessa wants a divorce from Michael. "You don't just need a lawyer. You need a psychiatrist. Goodbye Michael." That's a terrible exit, Vanessa. Would you like to try that again?
Auggie cooks alone at home. There's a knock at the door. Riley timidly enters. "Thought this apartment was a Riley-free zone," Auggie calls to her. Riley wants to apologize for that whole "calling the police and getting you arrested for murder" thing. Apology accepted. Auggie invites Riley for a run later in the day and now it's her turn to admit to her admirer that she's eloping. Auggie's reaction is more devil's advocate than Ella's was. He asks her if she's sure about this since it seemed the last time they spoke that Riley hadn't made up her mind on this whole engagement thing. Riles gets pissed that Auggie is trying to make her think (the bastard) and can't just be happy for her. She storms out.
David's phone rings. It's Michael calling from prison with his one phone call. There's desperation in his voice, but David casually brushes off the urgency. That is, until Michael brings up his little brother. Michael thinks Vanessa is going to take Noah and leave the country before they can pin forensic evidence from the bloody necklace on her. Michael asks David to go get Noah from school. David's face is petrified with conflict.
Lauren is primping in the mirror of a hotel room when Rick walks in. He cavalierly leans in for a kiss. Lauren refuses. Rick laughs to himself that Lauren has apparently "gone pro." That's news to us. She's fairly amateurish from what we've seen except for that time she danced. They sit together on a couch and Rick asks if Lauren would like a treat. She's a whore, not a dog, Rick. She doesn't deserve a treat. Rick pulls out a little baggie of pills called "Nexus." He offers some to Lauren, who once again refuses because she doesn't "do the drug thing". She apparently gets stomach cramps from just taking aspirin. And not only does she refuse the drugs, she also tells him he should be careful because he doesn't know how his body might react. OFFICIAL NOTICE: Lauren is the lamest hooker ever. Rick seems to agree and he snaps at Lauren to cut the doctor act. Almost as quickly as his temper flared, he goes back to being cool guy and asks Lauren if she'd like to share some of the champagne. Lauren says sure, but she just wants to get down to business. She walks over to the bed and starts taking off her clothes while Rick grabs their drinks.
Love Nest. Jonah is finishing up his packing for the big wedding trip. He's flapping around like a hummingbird. He's stressing out because he's obviously thought of everything (including his lucky penny in case they go gambling), while Riley coolly washes dishes. Jonah stops for a second and realizes Riley hasn't even started packing. Oh, here we go... Jonah asks if she's waffling. Riles is all denials. Jonah thinks maybe this is all about them spurning their parents so he offers to call their parents for an invite, but Riley says that's out of the question. Riley feigns enthusiasm, they kiss, and a text from Ella on Loopt comes through. It saying she's at a hotel on San Vicente with Curtis Heller right this minute. Thanks, Loopt! Jonah and Riley