Carter Stevens and her mother, Lori Stevens, are at a local frozen yogurt shop, Fro-YoCity. As Carter and Lori fill their cups, Carter talks about a romantic comedy that annoys her, and Lori says it's not Anna Kerinina. Lori teases Carter about her choice of gummy bears as a topping, then says she can't believe she's trying to get her daughter to eat crushed oreos for dinner; Carter stresses her love for gummy bears. Lori says she'll meet Carter by the nearest tub of gummy bears if they ever get separated—her idea of a safety tip.

Right after sitting at a table, Carter receives a text message from Max. Lori says she thought they broke up. Carter says they did, but that Max is too lazy to find someone else. Lori grins, then teases that it's a "booty call". Carter explains that Max is informing her that their friends are hanging out, then begs her mother to never use the phrase "booty call" with her ever again. Lori tells Carter to go hang out, too, but Carter says it's their night; Lori says they watched a movie and ate dinner, and that she should go out with her friends. Lori gives Carter her jacket.

Carter and her friends arrive at a merry-go-round, which she unlocks the gate to and turns on herself. On the merry-go-round, Carter chills with Max, and their friends drink and smoke. The party is interrupted, however, when the police arrive. Carter and her friends are taken to jail and put into the same cell.

Carter's friends are mad at her because they're in jail, and she says the police will just let them off with a warning. Seconds later, a policeman walks up and says they'll have to speak to a judge next time, thus proving Carter's claim. The policeman says the teens are free to go, but they have to face their parents. Max asks if seeing the judge is still an option, and the teens laugh. All but Carter is allowed to leave, as her mother has yet to arrive. Carter falls asleep in the cell.

Later, Carter is awaken and taken to an interrogation room by a woman from Child Protective Services, who passes her chips and a soda. Carter explains that she's not hungry and just wants to go home, but the woman explains that it isn't that simple, as well as that they cannot locate Lori. This worries Carter, as she fears something has happened. The woman introduces herself as Susan Sherman, then tries to explain to a panicked Carter that she was abucted at the age of three from the front lawn of her home in Grapevills, Virginia and that Lori Stevens is neither Carter's mom, nor the real name of the woman who raised her. Carter denies this and tells Susan to stop talking, then tries to leave. Susan stops Carter, who wants to go home and see her mom, and tells her that she will, but it will be to a different home and a different mother.

In the interrogation room, Susan and an FBI agent try to convince Carter that she was abducted. The FBI agent shows her a picture from a month before she was abducted and explains that the ears are the same, and that ears are as distinctive as dental records—which they also have—and fingerprints. She shows Carter a copy of her fingerprints taken from the previous night, then a copy of the fingerprints taken from her toys thirteen years ago. Carter stresses that her mom would never do this and that even if what they were saying was true, she'd still want to live with her. The FBI agent says it can't happen, and Susan says her real parents are there and ready to meet her. An unready Carter backs into a corner after her biological parents knock at the door, saying she's not ready.

Elizabeth greets Carter as Lyndon, with David standing behind her. Carter says she doesn't remember them, and David says she needs time—they all do—before introducing himself to her as her father. Carter also learns she has a sister, and Elizabeth calls Lori a monster. David and Elizabeth are shown a picture of Lori, and they tell the agent they know her.

In the car, Carter squeezes Lori's jacket whilst Elizabeth is on the phone trying to find out information on Lori. Carter retorts, "She sounds like a cop," to which David replies, "She is a cop—sorry, detective." Elizabeth tells the Kyle on the phone that there is $10,000 reward, and Carter asks if anyone cares what she wants. David explains to Carter that he, Elizabeth and Lori were acquaintances; Lori did in-home hospice care. One of the patients lived on their street; Lori had said her name was Janet and that the Wilsons were such a beautiful family. David thought she was being sweet. Lori had also said that Elizabeth didn't spend enough time with the twins, and Carter implies that she wasn't around often, even though she was working. Elizabeth says she's going to do it all differently this time, and Carter says she can start by calling her Carter—not Lyndon—but her biological parents don't know if they can. Elizabeth says they can call her Carter if it's what she wants, and Carter replies sarcastically, "Thanks, you're a peach."

The Wilsons arrive to find paparazzi outside their house. Toby, David's literary agent, meets them at the curb and tries to push the press away; David accuses Toby of calling them while Elizabeth pushes them away and goes to help Carter. Carter steps out, and Toby tries to introduce himself, but Elizabeth stresses that it isn't the right time.

After the Wilsons rush inside, Carter is greeted with a hug Grandpa Buddy; David says she isn't ready for that, but Carter hugs back. After, an enthusiastic Grandma Joan greets Carter. Taylor and Grant walk up, and Carter recognizes Taylor, but not Grant, who introduces himself as the "replacement child". Grandpa Buddy asks Carter what they're going to call her now, and Carter says she'd like to be called "Carter". Elizabeth says it's final, though the grandparents don't understand.

Toby steals David away for a moment, and Carter comments about his writing career. Her family tells her he's only been published once—best-seller Losing Lyndon, which covers the loss of Lyndon. Carter retorts that she should probably read it—right after she finishes Anna Kerinina—and an impressed Elizabeth asks Carter if she's reading Anna Kerinina. Carter says no.

Toby talks with David about how a sequel to Losing Lyndon could very well be the key to a much-needed payday that could salvage his current financial situation—a $5000 book advance that needs to be repaid—without him needing to tell it to Elizabeth. He says the sequel is Finding Lyndon, but David corrects him—Lyndon's name is "Carter" now.

In her room, Carter looks at a picture of her and Lori. Elizabeth knocks on the door whilst holding a tray of breakfast, and Carter quickly puts the picture away before allowing her to come in. Elizabeth suggests Carter and Taylor go out together so Taylor can introduce Carter to some of her friends. Carter counteracts that she could just drive two hours to visit with the ones she already has. A hesitant Elizabeth explains that she doesn't want Carter going out by herself and that she wants their relationship to work; Carter says it would help if Elizabeth trusted her.

David and Elizabeth stand outside as Carter roughly drives out of the driveway, then rolls down the window and says it was a joke and that she's actually a very safe driver. David finds it humorous, and Elizabeth says they're not worried. After Carter leaves, Elizabeth calls Kyle so he can watch for Carter, then follow her, and tells him the tracker is on. David confronts Elizabeth, saying Carter would probably not want them spying on her.

Max and Carter stand before the now-closed merry-go-round, which has been closed by the owners for the rest of the season, because a four-year-old found a joint somewhere near one of the bench rides. They sit on a bench on the inside of the gate, and Carter's disappointed their other friends aren't talking to her. Max says they're freaked out, but she still has him; Max pulls out a joint.

In his car, Kyle talks to Elizabeth and says he can see Carter and that she and Max are just sitting on a bench.

Max asks about Carter's family and whether she likes them. Carter says her brain went halogen when the grandfather hugged her; she passes Max the joint and says she also has a twin sister, whom she doesn't know at all but feels like she knows really well. She says she might be able to like them eventually, but she hates the mom, who is the human equivilant to nails on a chalkboard.

Kyle looks out his window and through his sideview mirror at Carter and Max.

Max asks Carter if it isn't goodbye, and Carter says it's never goodbye, then lays her head on his chest. Max kisses her forehead, then looks around; he spots Kyle and notifies Carter that the fact that some guy is watching them is "mondo creepy". Max waves.

Carter and Max run toward Kyle, interrupting his attention from his phone; he quickly drives away. Carter notes his license plate number and says her mom's a cop. They joke about having smoked weed.

Taylor cleans up the kitchen after cooking. She and Carter bond over their love for desserts, and Taylor says she always says she's going out for dinner, but will instead meet her best friend, Gabe, at the local yogurt place, which interests Carter. Carter asks if they can go, and Taylor says she'll notify their mom; Carter tells Taylor she can have Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and David greet Carter, and Carter tells Elizabeth about the guy who was watching them. Carter accuses Elizabeth of having her followed, and Taylor says she wouldn't do something like that. Elizabeth lies to Carter, saying she didn't have her followed and will look into it. Taylor tells them Carter wants yogurt, and David tells them to go and have fun. After the twins walk out, Elizabeth says, "I know."

At Brain Freeze, the local yogurt shop, Carter tells Taylor she will meet her inside, then tells Zubin he'll want her to work there and will show up for work tomorrow at 2pm. Taylor introduces Carter to Gabe, who invites the twins to a party. Carter is surprised to learn Taylor has never been to a party that didn't have a goody bag. Carter says she's so glad she didn't grow up with the Wilsons.

While Carter shows off alcoholic party tricks, Gabe and Taylor watch from afar. She tries some of Gabe's drink. Gabe watches Carter, and Taylor tries to get his attention, letting down her hair in the process. Then, she explains how she's spent all this time worrying about her sister, who didn't have as bad of a life as she'd feared she would after all; she takes another drink of Gabe's drink, then grabs multiple shots from a tray and declares she's making up for lost time.

Gabe and the Wilson twins arrive at the Wilsons'; Taylor is passed out drunk in the backseat. Carter can't believe Gabe's favorite movie is Mean Girls, so he quotes Kevin G.'s introduction rap, and Carter joins in. Gabe says it's a secret. Carter tells Gabe he's her first friend. Gabe tries to kiss Carter, but Carter pulls back, saying she can't do it to Taylor. Gabe doesn't understand, so Carter tries explains to him that Taylor has a crush on him, but he says Taylor likes him because they've been friends since second grade.

Elizabeth walks up and knocks on Carter's window, then shines a light in on them. Carter rolls down the window. David opens the door to the backseat. Carter says that Taylor may have had a pot brownie or two. David carries Taylor inside, and Elizabeth waits for Carter on the steps. Carter leans over and talks to Gabe for a moment longer, rolling her eyes when he tells her Elizabeth is still standing there. Gabe drives away.

Elizabeth tells Carter she's happy she and Taylor are getting along, but she's upset that Carter passed on her "bad habits" to Taylor. Carter asks Elizabeth what she doesn't like about her, then asks her to name something she does like about her. When Elizabeth can't name one thing she knows about Carter at all, Carter walks away. Elizabeth raises her voice, telling Carter she's trying to get to know her; Carter explains to Elizabeth that she is stiff.

Carter walks upstairs to find Grant standing outside his bedroom; he invites her inside. Grant explains that Elizabeth is cold because Carter was kidnapped and he was born ten weeks premature. Elizabeth was afraid that she was going to lose two babies, as everyone thought Carter was dead. He thinks having Carter back will help things.

The next day, Carter is working at Brain Freeze, where she is taking photos with people who read her story and encouraging them to post the pictures on social media and to say where she works—because she wants people to know exactly where to find her. Zubin eagerly explains to fans that Carter works there, and he points to her. David pushes through the crowd with Grant and asks for a selfie. Carter teases David about making their selfie the cover of his next book, thus misunderstanding her sarcasm. Zubin reminds everyone to mention where she works, and Grant realizes Carter's plan to send a message to Lori and tells this to David, who calls Elizabeth.

Just before Elizabeth unlocks the door to a hotel room, she receives a phone call from David. She hesitates before declining it, then Kyle opens the door. Worried she's mad at him, he apologizes for being discovered by Carter. Elizabeth says it was a bad idea to begin with and, as Kyle approaches her, so is their affair. Kyle confesses his love for her, saying it's more than just an idea and that she's leaving her husband, but Elizabeth says she can't leave David. Kyle says he'll wait, but Elizabeth rejects him, because Carter is back and she has her family again—and she can't give it up now. She places the hotel key on the table and leaves.

At home, Elizabeth takes off her jewelry. David asks her if she got the phone call, and she says they're going to follow up. Because of Carter's love for Lori, David doesn't think Elizabeth should be there at the time of Lori's arrest, or even be the one to arrest Lori, because it could ruin the chances of forming a relationship with her. Elizabeth tells David he says it as if he has a relationship with her, and he shows her the picture of himself and Carter and that it's a step. Elizabeth explains that the step she needs is to arrest the "psycho bitch". He comforts her.

Taylor joins Gabe at Brain Freeze. He compliments her attire. She asks if they can go to more parties, and he agrees, then asks if Carter could come, too, because he'd like to get to know her better. Gabe asks Taylor if she'd be okay with him going out with Carter; when Taylor says she would be, he explains that that was what he told Carter when she claimed Taylor has a crush on him, calling Taylor his sister.

Carter joins them, and Taylor leaves. Zubin calls Carter back to her post, and Gabe says they can't both be mad at him.

A woman sets a cup of gummy bears on the counter, and Carter begins to say, "Someone after my own heart," and recognizes her as Lori. Zubin apologizes for Carter's behavior and offers to take her order, but Carter says she has it. Carter reads the price, and Lori passes her a $10 bill with "LOVE YOU MORE!" written on it. A teary-eyed Carter says, "Not possible," and Lori replies, "Yes, possible," as sirens of approaching police cars sound off. Lori apologizes, and Carter pulls her into the supplies closet to help her change into a disguise. Lori tries to tell her something, but Carter stresses that she needs to go.

As Elizabeth and Kyle enter Brain Freeze, Lori exits the shop. Elizabeth asks Carter about Lori, and Carter explains that she didn't need so many people there. Carter watches Lori take off the Brain Freeze hat and smiles. Gabe asks his dad what's going on. When Carter recognizes him, Kyle grabs his son and leaves.

An upset Carter confirms Elizabeth's suspicions and explains that Lori risked her life just to tell Carter she loved her and that Elizabeth is her abductor. Carter walks out of the yogurt shop crying.

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Episode recaps
Season 1 Pilot  •  The Birds  •  Drive  •  Now You See Me  •  The Heat  •  The Fugitive  •  Throw Momma From the Train  •  Half Baked  •  Do the Right Thing  •  Love Story  •  The Long Goodbye  •  One Hour Photo
Season 2 Love the Way You lie  •  Shut Up and Drive  •  We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together  •  Pretty When You Cry  •  Wake Up Call  •  Stay With Me  •  Something to Talk About  •  Riptide  •  I Knew You Were Trouble  •  Rumor Has It  •  Wrecking Ball  •  I'm Not the Only One
Finding Carter: Episode recaps