“Pretty Little Liars” recap (1.20): Hell hath no fury like a Hanna scorned

Hanging out in her bedroom not playing footsie is Emily. She gets a text from Paige who shows up ten minutes later dressed like a disco ball because she’s been on a date with Sean. And this is the moment — right this second, right here — when Pretty Little Liars secures it’s place as my favorite ever lesbian show on American television. All those years of The L Word telling me this is the way I live and love. That was bollocks. This is the way I live and love. This fear and grace and quiet courage and hoping and wanting and trying and trying and trying to be brave.

Emily’s thing is grace. From the very beginning, the very first episode, she’s been about giving people permission to be themselves, about looking past the propaganda right into the heart of the thing and going, “That’s you. And that’s beautiful.” She does it repeatedly for the PLLs. She did it for Boo. Good grief, she even did it for Alison, the most heinous girl to ever walk the earth. And it’s exactly what she does for Paige. She doesn’t stomp around railing about her own needs and insecurities. She doesn’t hide behind Paige’s interpretation of her courage. She opens her arms and says, “Bravery looks like a lot of things, like falling out of the closet, like singing karaoke in a dive bar in the desert. You can be brave and afraid. You can do it in the same moment, in the same breath.” And she kisses her to demonstrate the truth.

I wish Lindsey Shaw would stay on this show forever and ever and ever.

In his/her lair, A smashes a heart labeled “Hanna” and mails it to her with some super glue. I have a hope and this is it: That Hanna rises from the ashes of her misery like a dark phoenix. She slapped a blind girl today. Maybe tomorrow she’ll kick Ian in the babymaker. Kneecap Melissa. Thrax Mona. Hell hath no fury? You mean: Hanna hath no fury. Unleash it, Hanna-Banana. Watch it burn.

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