Homecoming is upon Arroyo High. Ethan is obviously not going. Emma is clearly desperate to attend, but pressure of Sutton’s incumbency (she won last year and was hoping for a twofer), coupled with Laurel’s house arrest inspires Emma to flirt with skipping the festivities entirely. If you thought that would be fine with Char, then you’re batty. Mads joins the campaign bandwagon to **** over Nisha (who’s also in the running) when she “innocently” mentions rumors to Alec Rybak about Mads and Eduardo dating. With all this in play, Justin is nominated for Homecoming King, so Laurel appoints herself his campaign manager. Emma finds a way to convince Ted and Kristin to let her go. Emboldened by her success with the Mercers, Emma asks Ethan to be her date — even if he doesn’t actually “go” with her publicly. Worrying what Sutton would think, he says no.
When Sutton discovers how very far Emma has begun to encroach upon her life, she goes from zero to bitchy in an instant, reminding Emma that this chance at glory is but a hand-me-down and that “it’s not you that they care about.” That was way harsh, Sut. On the one hand, it’s clear she’s jealous to be missing out. On the other, Emma actually is taking over her life. Tough call… All the while, Sutton totally got smooched on by Thayer. (You will need this information later.) Perhaps by ESP, or maybe because he’s growing to appreciate the liberties Emma allows him, Ethan wonders if Sutton would have allowed him to accompany him to the dance under any circumstance, and her hesitation is a silent but firm no.
Over in parent land, former prom queen Kristin brings out a photo album for a retrospective the committee is planning. This is only noteworthy because it has a photo of Helen Slater circa The Legend of Billie Jean (so good) and because there’s a ridiculously cheesy picture of Ted and Alec in which Alec — I kid you not — is wearing a damn afro wig (albeit an understated one), but mainly because Ted can’t stop mooning over a picture of him, Alec, and… wait for it… Annie Hobbs! (Of course Emma only notices this once Ted has sloppily ripped the page out of the book. Because removing it and replacing it with another generically old picture would have been too subtle. Sheesh.) Also, Alec places a call to a hospital where Annie is staying and alerts them that Sutton may be popping by unannounced. He lies that Sutton is a gold digger and tells them they better provide top-notch security for all the money he’s paying them.