The Rock is jumping bright and early as Kaylie and Nicky star in a photo shoot for Seventeen magazine. Kaylie loves the spotlight, but Nicky just wants to get to practice. Luckily for him, Sasha comes in and breaks up the party so everyone can get back to work.
Everyone -- including Payson. Wearing her back brace, she stands by the beam, eyes closed, and does an intricate routine with her hands. Inspired by the book Sasha gave her called "The Comeback Kids," she imagines herself doing a routine so that one day she can nail it for real. Kim and Sasha watch her and fear she's setting herself up for more heartbreak. After all, everyone says Payson's condition is irreversible. Everyone except Payson, who's determined to compete again -- and Summer, who believes miracles can happen.
After the photo shoot, Kaylie's day just gets better: She and Nicky are invited to an A-list pool party -- in Los Angeles! Kaylie invites Emily and Payson to go with her, leaving Lauren seething... and scheming. Emily's thrilled because she'll get to see Damon. Payson's ecstatic because she'll be able to meet with the leading back surgeon in the country -- thanks to a few strings pulled by Nick's dad.
Kaylie, Emily, and Payson arrive at the party and walk down the red carpet. It's a dream come true -- until they see Lauren. She's there as Nicky's guest, but only because she threatened to tell everyone about the illegal cortisone if he didn't bring her along.
Later that night, however, Lauren does something completely unexpected. (In a good way.) When she sees paparazzi rushing to the after-party -- where Kaylie just happens to be -- she beats them there and gets Kaylie out before the photos snap pictures of the athletes partying. Kaylie's innocent, but if she had been in the photographs (which eventually land on the front page of every newspaper), it would have looked very, very bad. Kaylie thanks Lauren, and Lauren apologizes again for hooking up with Carter and admits that the experience was quick, awkward, and made her feel bad. Worst of all, it cost Lauren her best friend. Kaylie softens and says she misses their friendship too. She also admits to missing Carter. She promises to "see how it goes" with Lauren -- on one condition: Lauren is to have nothing to do with Carter. Ever, Lauren agrees, and they share a tearful hug.
What Kaylie doesn't realize is that Carter's sleeping in Lauren's attic. After finding out that Carter's dad kicked him out when he returned to The Rock, Lauren offered him a place to stay. It's supposed to have only been for the weekend but, when Lauren returns from Los Angeles, Carter's still there. Lauren says he can stay -- and they both agree to not let Kaylie find out.
Also happening in Boulder while the girls are away is a very interesting, totally accidental date between Chloe and Steve Tanner. They meet up through an online dating service and, after an initial awakwardness and some low-level bickering, they actually settle in and have a nice time. At the end of the date, they both act like it was just a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime thing -- that they have to keep top secret -- but there's a definite spark between them.
Back at the party, Emily and Damon share a romantic evening at the "Starlight Lounge L.A." Emily's ready to celebrate the big record deal Damon's signed, but he tells her it fell through. Then he explains he actually backed out of it because the "big band" that wants to record his songs is actually Pinky Promise, a girl group pop. Emily gives him a pep talk, and Damon decides to sign the deal after all. They promise each other he'll be the biggest songwriter in L.A. and she'll be an Olympic gold medalist. It's a bittersweet moment when they realize that, at least for now, their dreams mean that he must live in L.A. and she has to go back to Boulder.
After the party, Nicky goes to Payson's room to say goodnight and wish her good luck at her doctor's visit. Payson tells him it's going to be one of the biggest days of her life. Then Nicky makes it one of the most memorable moments - by being her first kiss.
The next day, Payson and her mom wait in the doctor's office, eager to hear the news. After the nurse tells them the doctor finds Payson's case interesting, even Kim begins to feel hopeful. But then the doctor delivers the devastating diagnosis: He's in agreement with her doctor in Boston. Payson's condition is inoperable. With these words, Payson's exuberant optimism and will to overcome her injury seem to crumble.
Back home, Mark is there to welcome them with a warm, comforting hug. Payson goes to her room, and Kim confesses to Mark that she allowed herself to hope, only to be let down. In her room, Payson lies in bed and cries. Her phone rings. It's Nicky. She doesn't have the heart to answer it. But does she have the heart to hope again?