12 WEEKS EARLIER:
Emily is at a polo match checking out Daniel who is playing in the match. Ashley comes over and talks her through the major players in the room, a list that includes Victoria and Conrad Grayson.
Cut to Declan Porter sitting at his father's bar texting with Charlotte Grayson, who is bored at the polo match. Declan's father Carl (Brian Goodman
) gets a phone call that seems to be bad news. Declan asks if Charlie wants to go on a boat ride.
Charlotte is with Adam (Robbie Amell
), who takes note of her activity.
Daniel is not playing well in the match, much to the disappointment of his parents. An associate of Conrad's named Bill Harmon (Matthew Glave
) wants to bet against Daniel and makes a few cracks about him. Bill and Victoria exchange subtle barbs before Emily walks over. She tells them that she has a strong offer down on Lydia's home. Conrad ignores a call from Lydia and Victoria notices.
Jack calls Nolan Ross, who had previously made an offer on his boat, and says he'll sell. Nolan says he'll buy it.
Bill and Emily discuss money. He thinks she should get her money into the market and they make arrangements to meet. Emily flashes to the memory that Bill was one of her father's closest friends, and one the people to testify against him.
At the match's halftime, Daniel asks Emily out on a date. She agrees, provided his team (which she has bet on) wins.
Conrad's head of security Frank Stevens (Max Martini
) gives Victoria his guesses about Emily. Upon direct questioning, he admits to being aware of Conrad's affair.
After making the purchase Nolan tells Jack he doesn't know how to sail. He says that what he actually wants is for Jack to be his hang-out friend all summer.
Charlotte brings a few of her rich pals to see Declan at the bar. With the place empty Adam grabs one of the liquor bottles. Declan, outnumbered and intimidated, gives them the thumbs up. They head to the dock and Declan sees the boat is gone. Charlotte and her friends leave.
While reading a letter from her father, Emily flashes back to hearing Bill tell her father he's in trouble. She watches a video of Bill testifying that David was guilty of what he had done, including connecting him to terrorist organizations. Victoria calls to invite Emily over for tea.
At his office, Bill pitches Emily about the virtues of investing with his company. He shows her evidence of the success he's had recently with his top-tier investors, even revealing a list of what seem to be prominent names. She appears to be taking careful mental notes.
In the city, Lydia (Amber Valletta
) meets Conrad in his limo and tells him that photographic evidence of their affair has surfaced and cost her millions in the divorce settlement. She wants him to write her a check.
Emily gets a call that the beach house was sold to somebody else.
Jack tells Declan that their father is broke and he sold the boat to help save the business. Their father overhears and makes it clear that he doesn't like that his son is trying to bail him out. Jack assures his father that they'll get through this crisis.
Later Nolan gets into his car, only to find Emily in the backseat. Emily reminds Nolan that she warned him not to get in her way and demands to know why he bought her beach house out from under her. He tells Emily that Victoria attempted to out-bid her for the house, but he ended up out-bidding Victoria. He is grateful to her father for giving him his start and has already put the deed to the house in her name.
"Consider it a birthday gift for Amanda," Nolan says. "Tomorrow is the big day, isn't it?"
Over tea, Victoria politely does some serious prying into Emily's background, which Emily gamely handles. Emily reveals that she's obsessed with history and is passionate about art conservation, which is why she joined New York's Landmark Preservation Society.
"My father always said that our past defines who we are", Emily says.
Victoria explained her own belief: "I would say it's our choices that define us".
"Maybe for the lucky," Emily replies, "but sometimes in life we're not given a choice."
Daniel walks in during this conversation, sweaty from a workout. Emily politely excuses herself, saying that closing the deal on the beach house had gotten quite aggressive. Victoria faux-pleasantly offers a toney "quel dommage" and asks if she'll be renting a fall-back property, or heading back to the city.
When Emily replies that she just received a notification that she got the beach house on her phone, Victoria looks visibly upset.
Just before a meeting with Bill, Emily makes sure he sees her hugging Nolan.
During their meeting Bill congratulates Emily for investing with his "family." She tells him she want to get involved with a Chinese cell phone manufacturer, saying that "a little bird" may have given her inside information. She'll wire him money later that day.
Daniel calls Emily to say he's got a surprise for her that night. Ashley is in on it.
On TV we see an investment reporter report that the Chinese company Emily mentioned to Bill is about to partner with Nolan's company. Bill calls her to ask about the information she gave him, and she says she wants to double her investment. After hanging up Bill immediately tells an assistant they are going "all-in" on the cell phone company.
At this point Nolan is interviewed on TV, saying that rumors of the partnership were misguided and he is instead getting involved with the chief competitor of the company Emily directed Bill towards. Bill tells his team to say nothing to their investors about what just happened. Cut to Emily calling everybody on the list of Bill's largest investors to tell them what happened.
Frank brings Victoria evidence that appears to suggest Emily had an affair with Lydia's husband: Both are members of New York's Landmark Preservation Society, and both of their names disappeared from the meeting's list of attendees at the same time.
Bill's assistant tells him they are "finished."
Jack is ignoring Nolan. Nolan presents another offer: If they hang out all summer he'll give him back the boat at the end of the season.
With Charlotte in another room. Adam sees a text from Declan about hanging out that night at the bar. He responds for her with: "UR on big guy . . . wear something sexy!"
Emily and Daniel take a stroll on the beach. She tells him that both of her parents died when she was a kid. He walks her to the front door of her new place. Their first kiss is interrupted by a late-arriving Nolan and Jack. All of her friends are inside, there to celebrate with her.
At the party Nolan asks Emily why she bet on the wrong company and she tells him about her plan to ruin Bill. He smiles.
Declan waits alone at the bar, expecting Charlotte. Instead Adam and his friends show up and savagely rough him up. Declan puts up a fight but is out-numbered.
Jack is happy Emily doesn't plan to change the home. He makes reference to the home's history.
Declan's father breaks up his son's beating and sends the rich kids running. Upset about his place in life Declan says to his father, "I'm a loser, just like you."
Frank finds that there is a gap in Emily's record from age 16 to 18. Victoria wants him look even closer.
Emily and Daniel have a long kiss on the porch before he says good night. Victoria seems to see this from her window next door.
In her voiceover narration, Emily observes that trust is a difficult thing.
As Emily writes a red X over Bill's face in the Grayson Corporation photo, we see a flashback of her breaking into Bill's office to pull the investor list from his computer.
As Emily stares at an old photo of her and Jack, we see Jack getting home to find his father lying on the floor and not breathing.
Her voiceover then observes that trusting your heart is the riskiest thing of all, as we see Conrad and Victoria getting in bed for the night, Victoria lying awake with a look of concern on her face.
We then flashback to young Emily seeing that her father was having an affair with Victoria. Her father tells Victoria that Bill Harmon knows and may be planning to tell Victoria's husband. "I trusted the wrong person," Emily's father admits.
In the present, Emily lights a birthday candle on a small cupcake. "In the end," her narration concludes, "the only person we can truly trust is ourself."
"Happy birthday, Amanda," Emily whispers forlornly, before blowing out the candle.