Emily sits down for a meal with her family. She has lost her appetite on account of homicide, but her mom shoves a casserole in her face anyway, while her dad says he doesn’t want her driving if she’s stressed. Maybe her boyfriend Ben can give her a ride, Sergent Fields, suggests, if he’s not out with Fenrir Greyback and the rest of the gang. Emily explains that she and Ben are “sort of really over.” Sergent Fields bristles, thinking she’s traded Ben for Boo. He wonders which is better: a werewolf or vampire — and makes a note to call his old police academy buddy Charlie Swan to discuss it tomorrow.
Emily’s mom says the streets are safer with Boo behind bars, forcing Emily to explain the presumption of innocence to her mother for about the six hundredth time. Sergent Fields says, “Guilty or not, he’s better off with the police than wandering around on his own.” Which makes exactly zero sense.
“Dad, we live in Pennsylvania; there isn’t going to be a hurricane today.” “Hurricane or not, you’re better off wearing this raincoat than wandering around naked.” “Dad, I’m driving, not taking an airplane.” “Airplane or not, you’re better off shouldering this parachute than choking to death on eggs.” Dad, there are no terrorists in that building.” “Terrorists or not, you’re better off throwing a bomb than trying to get a splinter out of your foot without some help.”
At the hospital, the girls hold an “A” Summit. Spencer is all “Ro-boy-ro-boy-ro-boy!” until Hanna explains that the first thing she saw when she went a-spyin’ last night was Aria getting into a car in the Forbidden Forest. Hanna and Aria look at each other and then at the ground and at the ceiling and out the window and into the hall and at Spencer and at Emily and then back at each other and then at the bed, the ceiling again, the floor. Finally Aria says it was “Ezra Fitz’s” car, and whoo boy! Does Spencer ever leap from her chair at that news: “Mr. Fitz?!”
They hash out the details of Aria and Gil’s affair — “Since Labor Day?!” — and Aria sniffs indignintaly and says, “I didn’t just get into his car last night; who do you think I am?” I’m not the kind of girl who has a one-night stand with a teacher, OK? If I’m going to get into a statutory situation, I’m going to make damn sure it’s prison-worthy. (Guilty or not, Mr. Blythe, you’re better off with the police than wandering around on your own.”)
After everyone has settled down, Hanna drops the bomb that “A” is Noel Kahn, former sunscreen model. Aria and Emily are skeptical: “Mr. Banana Boat? Surely not!” But Spencer’s greedy little fists need a new theory to cling to since her Boo Radley Van Cullen hypothesis was proven wrong, and she’s jumps on board the Noel Guilt Train with no hesitation.
As if summoned by their sleuthing, Mr. Banana Boat shows up at the hospital with either a really cute teddy bear or a nanny-cam. Aria shuffles him out into the hall and shines a light in his eyes and stomps her little hobbit foot, demanding to know: “Where were you last night between the hours of Mona and Murder?!” He says he was with Hanna’s penisless boyfriend, Ken Doll, and that he and Aria need to talk. She agrees, shiftily, and sends him on his coconut-scented way.
Back at Fields Fortress, the sergeant and his missus cuddle on the couch and discuss the fate of their much-beloved, much-traumatized daughter. Mrs. Fields weaves a yarn of circumlocution around her husband like nothing I’ve ever seen: “What’s going on with Emily? She makes good grades, maintains good standing in her extra-curricular activities. She’s not moody or aloof like every other teenager on the planet. But something must be wrong. She didn’t eat lunch. Could it be that one of her best friends got smashed by a car yesterday? Or that one of her other friends was the victim of a grisly, unsolved homicide a year ago? Or, even: Could it be that one of her classmates lost her eyesight in a firecracker catastrophe and returned to Rosweood as an android? No, that can’t be it. It must be something else. Something worse. Something abominable. Something homo-homo-homo-oh, home. I’ve got to vacuum you.”
Sgt. Fields says, “If you want Emily to answer a question, ask her a question.” And Ms. Fields snaps, “YOU ask her a question; I’ve got to go brood over some mysterious photos from Anonymous that arrived before you came home from war!”