Ethan returns home, and the games really begin. Knowing that Ethan won’t have a shot with a court-appointed attorney, Dan calls on his ex-girlfriend Theresa Lopez, who just happens to have become a hot shot defense attorney. She is totally on-board with the case, especially when the kids admit they have an alternative person of interest, until she finds out that the alternative is Alec. While she warily secretly starts building the case against Alec (with some help from his traitor of a son Thayer), “Sutton” approaches Rebeccannie for help establishing Alec’s whereabouts the night of Derek’s murder. Rebeccannie’s totally all, “I got this,” and begins waging an espionage-style guilty-until-proven-innocent campaign against Alec while they’re on dates together. Long story short, Rebeccannie is the one cryptically saying things (that sound a lot like taking credit) when Ethan’s case is dismissed.
Meanwhile, Sutton returns home, too. Though she would probably prefer to repossess her life and screw up everything from the helm of the ship, she proves just as effective at destroying everyone’s lives behind the scenes. Despite talking about how she re-examined her life during her “spiritual” trip to the reservation, she is still dead-set on unraveling Emma and Ethan’s relationship. She gets a prime opportunity when she intercepts a text from Theresa offering Emma the chance to meet Ethan at the courthouse. She deletes the text from Emma’s phone and masquerades as her twin, hoping that Ethan will… well, I don’t know what she was hoping would come of this charade, honestly. What she definitely wasn’t hoping for was Ethan’s confession that he kissed Emma, quickly followed by his insistence that it was a regret and that Sutton meant nothing to him. Rejected, Sutton (as Emma) concocted a lie that she slept with Thayer while Ethan was at the ranch. The next day, Ethan gave Emma the cold shoulder after being set free, and Sutton swooped in to lie that she and Ethan had slept together during their time away. She’s a dreadful human being, but you have to admit that was masterfully played. Also, that everyone else around her is a gullible jerk. Still, she and Rebeccannie should really take this show on the road, right?
Also, Ted and Kristin continue hating each other and wondering why they ever got married in the first place. Laurel’s band scores a gig at Coachella, and Baz begins slowly making his move so that he’ll be able to seduce the innocent violinist by the time they’re shacked up in his uncle’s house in the deserts of California. Two episodes left!