Joanna and Will have been interrogating Ben Preswick, and they're not getting anywhere. Joanna levels with Ben, explaining the only reason she's in New York is to find Vivian's killer. Recognizing Joanna as Vivian's childhood best friend, Ben starts talking. After working on the Thailand trials, he met Vivian when he was transferred to New York. When Vivian heard about Lyritrol, she became fixated on exposing it and asked Edward for help. Her proof was a list of payoffs made to the dead patients' families on Bowers' accounting server, which disappeared on the night of her murder. Ben broke into Bowers in hopes of downloading the payoff list from an offline server. Moreover, Edward is the only living person who knew Ben's safe house location... Frustrated, Will pulls Joanna into the hallway.
Nichole breezes into the Fame Junkie offices with boozy socialite Buffy Franso, the former best friend of Robert's first wife Catherine. After Catherine's tragic death, Sofia banned Buffy from the Bowers' circle. But then Buffy ran into Robert and Sofia at a Montana dude ranch. Buffy's photo shows a very un-pregnant Sofia atop a horse - just a week before Mia was born! Buffy goes on to say that after getting pregnant at 16, Vivian gave birth to Mia, whom Robert and Sofia raised as their own child. Editor Darcy is thrilled by this news and immediately starts prepping a new front page.
Back at the estate, a proud and excited Sofia drops off Mia's gown for tonight's debutante ball. Mia's going to have so many men after her! Sofia presents Mia with a stunning pearl necklace that belonged to her grandmother. Mia's the best thing Sofia ever did, and she loves her so much. Back in Manhattan, Will lays into Joanna for blowing her cover once again; clearly he's still upset over Joanna's relationship with Julian. Overhearing their tense exchange, Chang pulls them into his office for another reprimand. People have been talking, so both of them need to put their feelings on the shelf, get their act together and bring in Edward Bowers.
Samantha picks up Edward from the hospital. He's clearly still feeling the effects of his blow to the head and is upset to learn whoever stole his car used his ID to break into Bowers Pharmaceutical's computer room. When Edward insists on going to the office, Samantha slams on the brakes, turns off the Escalade and demands to know what's going on. Edward refuses to answer, then starts wrestling her for the car keys, so she throws them out the window and into Central Park. While they search, Edward tells her all about Ben and Vivian's plan to expose Lyritrol and his own efforts to protect the family. Samantha urges Edward to go to the police, but he claims he's paralyzed. Samantha lays out their plan: find the document Ben was looking for. Whatever the truth is, they'll deal with it.
Julian tracks down Audrey Cruz, a former consultant to Bowers, and wastes no time asking why she's working for their competitor Kirschner-Sims on their drug Xyrix, which is just like Lyritrol. After recalling old times at work and their failed relationship, Audrey drops a bomb: Xyrix was put on the FDA's fast track this morning, which means it will beat Lyritrol to market. Julian makes a beeline for Robert's office. Didn't he talk to Haverstock? Robert admits he punched Haverstock, stunning Julian, who recounts his meeting with Audrey. Robert wants to throw money at Audrey to win her back to Bowers. Julian should bring her to Mia's debutante ball tonight. As he's leaving the office, Joanna asks Julian for a few minutes to apologize for suspecting him of Vivian's murder, but he refuses.
Kyle and Mia are making out in the kitchen when he notices her new pearl necklace. When she tells him she has to get ready for tonight's debutante ball, he asks to come with her. Mia admits she wanted him to not want to come. Offended, Kyle claims he knows what's going on: he's the guy Mia uses to piss off her parents and nothing more. Robert rushes home with bad news for Sofia: Fame Junkie's planning on running the story that Vivian is Mia's birth mother! Robert thinks it's time to tell Mia the truth, but Sofia refuses. Not tonight! Robert needs to fix this situation, using whatever means necessary. Because if this happens... Mia will want to know who her father is.
Audrey and her boss, Frank Drexler, are enjoying the results of another great meeting on Xyrix - Lyritrol is going down the tubes! But Audrey's concerned that Julian not only tried to hire her, but he asked her to Mia's ball. Frank advises Audrey to go. She can watch the panic in the Bowers' eyes and enjoy it, because she put it there - this is how the game is played. The game continues at the Fame Junkie offices. Nichole is upset to discover Robert has made a deal with Darcy, putting the kibosh on her front-page article in exchange for an exclusive interview with the family. When Nichole accuses Darcy of taking money to dump the story, Darcy fires her on the spot. But Nichole doesn't go quietly and confronts Robert on his way out. After a scorching dressing-down, he assures Nichole that if she tries to publish her story anywhere else, he'll kill her.
With Will and Ben on Bluetooth, Joanna fishes Robert's ID card out of his desk, then uses it to access a restricted server room. Robert calls to advise Joanna that he's minutes away from the office, so she rushes to access the file containing the list of Lyritrol payoffs. Ben has difficulty remembering the name of the file and when he finally does, Joanna can't find it. Will tells Joanna to get out of there before drawing Robert's suspicion. It turns out Edward beat them to the punch, having found the file and removed it from the server completely. Still, he doesn't know how to interpret the information it contains. Edward deduces that while Ben didn't get the file he was looking for, the FBI must have gotten him.
Joanna finds Robert searching high and low for his ID, which is in the palm of her hand. She shoves it in a drawer and pretends to find it, raising a red flag for Robert. Later at FBI HQ, Joanna and Will continue questioning Ben - where was he the night Vivian died? Ben insists on his innocence - he loved Vivian - while realizing he's now a suspect. Joanna and Will take a break to try to add up the pieces when Edward blows into the office demanding to talk to Ben. Joanna ducks in an office as Edward and Will trade barbs; Will should tell Ben to go to Edward when he's released. On the street, Edward pays a vendor across the street to call him when he sees Ben leave the building.
Will's afternoon keeps getting better as a slightly drunk Nichole shows up at his office. Will drags her into a conference room as she spills the beans about Vivian being Mia's birth mother. Now that Robert has had her fired and threatened to kill her for publishing the Mia story, Nichole's certain Robert killed Remy Colville. Will reminds Nichole that he can't tell her anything and advises her to let the Mia story go. Will calls Joanna as she's getting ready for the ball to discuss Edward's visit. Edward seemed punchy, like he had nothing to lose. Maybe Joanna can get something out of him at the ball? For her part, Joanna tells Will that what happened between them was real and what's happening with her and Julian isn't. They agree to do what Chang said and put their feelings on the shelf and get on with the case.
Joanna knocks on Mia's door to ask for help putting on a bracelet and instantly knows something's not quite right. Mia confesses to fighting with Kyle, and the girls have a nice moment of bonding. After more drinking, Nicole brings Paul, a guy she picked up at a bar, back to the Fame Junkie office to have sex. Still reeling over the dressing-down Robert gave her, Nichole acts on impulse and publishes the article on Mia and Vivian. Meanwhile, a fancy formal ballroom is filling up with Manhattan's elite. Julian's pleased to see Audrey, and Robert wastes no time trying to poach her from Kirschner-Sims. Though she's flattered, Audrey claims she has a rider preventing her from entertaining any offers. When she nervously excuses herself, Julian makes his way across the room... to Joanna.
In the bathroom, Audrey proceeds to have a full-scale meltdown, topped off by vomiting. Joanna apologizes for wondering whether Julian might have murdered Vivian the other night, which is when Audrey reappears on the dance floor. Joanna pretends not to care. She's standing alone when both she and Robert notice Haverstock breaking a chunk off an ice sculpture to frost his cocktail and raise his glass to them. Mia and her fellow debutantes are behind the scenes waiting for their big moment with their escorts, which include Aaron. When he notices a bunch of the girls obsessing over their phones, he discovers that everyone's looking at Nichole's Fame Junkie story. Asking the girls not to tell Mia, Aaron finds Mia's phone, starts erasing texts, and then turns it off altogether. Across town in a seedy bar, Kyle sees the story, grabs his motorcycle helmet and runs out.
Edward has just arrived at the ball when he gets a phone call and races off again. Just as the proceedings are getting underway, Chang tells Will that Ben just made his $50,000 bail and is walking away - how could he get that kind of money? Back at the ball, the debutantes are lining up backstage. Mia knows everyone's staring at her, but no one will tell her what's happening, so she grabs someone's phone, which is displaying the Fame Junkie story. Aaron begs her to tell him what to do - they can leave! - but when her name is called and she heads to the stage in a daze. From a landing on the grand staircase, she looks down as the news circulates through the ballroom, her parents oblivious.
The announcer calls for the first dance, per tradition performed by father and daughter. Mia asks Robert, "It's true, isn't it?" He apologizes, but Mia needs to talk and grows more agitated as he tries to calm her down. She dashes headlong from the dance floor towards Sofia - who's not her mother! Mia rips off the pearl necklace and flings it at Sofia then blindly runs off. Not knowing where else to turn, Mia runs outside, but the red carpet is filled with paparazzi and the desperate tears begin to flow. Luckily, Kyle appears on his motorcycle just in time to speed Mia outta there.
Robert and Sofia follow their daughter onto the red carpet and the gaping maw of tabloid photographers. Robert promises Sofia that he thought he took care of it; they'll get Mia back. Telling Joanna it's time to close ranks, Julian brings his parents back inside, while Haverstock crows, "And here I thought it was going to be a dull evening." He feels sorry for Mia, who reminds him of her mother. Vivian had a lot of flash, but underneath it all, she was a delicate flower. When Haverstock lights someone's cigarette, Joanna takes notice of his lighter... where has she seen it before?
Ben's still in Manhattan, talking nervously on a pay phone, saying, "I did my job. It's done. Now I'm gone. Forget about me." He hangs up and walks down the sidewalk to wait at a crosswalk, which is where Edward spies him. Edward leaps out of his cab and calls to Ben, who suddenly pitches forward in front of the bus, then disappears under its wheels.
A shattering revelation goes public on the night of Mia's debutante ball. John Larroquette guest stars.