Since the Mercers discovered Ethan in Sutton’s bedroom, Emma goes about trying to convince him that he’s not a lawless maniac. She invites him to a family dinner, which he resists primarily on the grounds that Sutton doesn’t want him to go and spoil her gratuitous secrecy. Trying to hang onto this unusually trustworthy and warm-hearted iteration of Sutton, Kristin insists that Ethan come to taste her tamales. And so it is. The whole “My secret boyfriend’s not a criminal” thing goes pretty well until Ethan’s brother comes to pick him up for possession of Sutton’s stolen laptop. Emma vacillates between wanting to believe Ethan and realizing that, in the scheme of things, she doesn’t know him from Adam. In the end, those luscious locks and pouty lips prove too great a lure. She visits Ethan by night to apologize and almost-kiss him. Alas, despite his growing closeness to Emma, he still has feelings for Sutton, so they pull apart at the last minute.
In L.A., Sutton and her sidekick-pet Thayer tracks down her birth mother to a library (because when you think “loins that brought that monster into this world,” you definitely think “librarian,” right?). Unsurprisingly, not least of which because this show aspires to last more than four episodes, it turns out that the librarian was a dupe who was paid to pose as the biomom during the signing of the adoption papers. She does reveal the surprising fact that Emma was adopted by the Webster family of Beverly Hills and not immediately consigned to the foster system as previously supposed. When Sutton and Thayer pay a visit to Mr. Webster, he recounts the tragic story of how Emma’s birth mother returned to collect her just days after the adoption went through. As Sutton remains confused over what transpired to land Emma in adoption purgatory, she returns home with Thayer to find that his house has also been broken into and his computer compromised.
While this is going down, Laurel meets herself a new boy in town, who appreciates her need to play violin in the park. His name is Justin, and Laurel wants to make that biz happen, except Char calls dibs from the second she sees him enter the high school. Mads is too busy seducing her dance instructor to care one way or another, so the burden falls on Emma to slyly stick up for Sutton’s little sis, even when Laurel wants to throw in the towel. Ironically, it’s at a pool party where Justin makes his feelings for Laurel clear to “Sutton.” She gives him their address, and Justin heads off to the Mercers’ house that very night to ask Laurel for a private command performance.