That’s a nice, new iPad you’ve got there, Emily. No doubt a gift from your mother who overheard some students talking about how rad they are on her daily afternoon stroll around the Danby U campus. Emily’s new tablet is displaying the suicide note/murder confession of one Ian McPedophile, and she wants to Scooby the s–t out of that thing, but the other Liars aren’t feeling it. Now that Ian’s dead, Hanna wants to think about normal teenage girl things again, like Urban Outfitters and losing her virginity to a vagabond; Aria wants to bring all her mental acuity to bear on the ever-present conundrum “when and where shall I throw my next tantrum on/about Ezra Fitz?”; and Spencer just wants to take her first breath in about two years.
This is a stellar Emily episode. For starters we learn that the other Liars are really only interested in solving Alison’s murder inasmuch as it affects their own safety and happiness. It’s way more personal to Emily, of course, because she love loved Ali (for reasons inexplicable). With Emily it’s been all mercy, mercy, mercy so far, but this week she’s swinging her swift arm of justice. Because — and this is key — she’s forced into it. Spencer’s mere presence presence has always allowed everyone else a bit of a cushion. Aria and Hanna and Emily only ever have to go to, like, a six, seven max, because Spencer operates at eleven at all times. So when Spencer clocks out this week to maybe take a nap for a change, Emily has to go to her dark space. Or, well, as dark as space gets for Emily. So like a light grey.
Officer Garret shows up to “return some evidence” to the school (“That trophy will make for a perfect prop! Mona, be a dear and wipe the blood off with a wet cloth, won’t you?”) and let the Liars know Ian’s body had been decomposing for a week when they found him. Emily’s like, “See? Ian wasn’t texting Melissa at all! It was A! To the Mystery Machine! YOU GUYS. I said, TO THE MYSTERY MACHINE!” But they meh her in unison and bounce up out of there.
“A” texts Emily, all, “Boy, that suicide note looks familiar, huh?”
(Two episodes now have included some apple/forbidden fruit symbolism, I think. Once when Ali chomped into that thing after crashing the Spencer/Em sleepover, and now with a half-eaten apple on top of the her latest murder article in the Rosewood Gazette in the rubbish bin. I dunno, just hang on to it. I think something really bad happened to Alison. Besides her getting murdered, I mean.)
Speaking of zombies, Mrs. Hasting is back from the dead or wherever she’s been these last few weeks while her children were mourning the deaths of their husbands and incubating their devil babies and hocking one another’s jewelry to buy trucks for their boyfriends. It’s a good thing she came back, too, so she could stand around in the kitchen staring at Melissa staring at the wall. She won’t even answer the phone because of reporters, so Spencer picks it up and goes, “Listen, you godd–n pariah, if you don’t stop terrorizing my family, I am going to pump your guts full of lead and feed your beating heart to a pack of — oh, hi, Grandma!” (If there is a God, we’ll get to meet Grandma Hastings one of these days. You know that woman is full of more gin and venom than even CeeCee Rhodes.)
Ian doesn’t have a family, remember, so Spencer suggests they give him a funeral for Melissa’s sake. Mrs. Hastings is like, “It is a well-documented fact that I can only care about one of my children at a time and it is not Melissa’s week to be loved, so probably no on the funeral. But we’ll think about it.”
Hanna’s either got the weirdest freezer/refrigerator in the world, or she doesn’t know what ice is. Caleb has dropped by for his morning gazing, and Hanna can’t find any breakfast ice to offer him. He wants to make sure she’s OK after being ostracized by the town for being a lunatic and then finding a decomposing body in a barn in the middle of the night. Hanna is like, “I’ve been seeing Annabeth Gish, OK? I’m golden.” And then Ashley comes running through the front door to reclaim the Best Mom Ever trophy from Pam Fields. It’s kind of an amazing scene, and I’ve got to think big things (read: Secrets) are in store for Ashley Marin this season.
She flips out on Hanna because she hasn’t been answering her phone, and then just breaks down about how every time Hanna has left the house in the last year, she’s memorized what she was wearing in case she goes missing, like Allison. (That adds some nice retro-depth to her feelings the night Hanna ran away to shag Caleb in that tent in the school parking lot, huh?) And because she’s never seen this show, Hanna tells her mom not to worry, that Ian is dead which means everything’s going to be OK now.
Aria is at Hollis University, in Fitz’s new office, explaining about the headless zombie hunt. As soon as they get themselves into an innocuously compromising position, Jackie Molina busts up in there and drops the most amazing bomb. She works in the Psych department! Which means she knows how to especially f–k with people’s heads! Jackie Molina, welcome to the top of my “A” suspect list! Anyway, Jackie Molina is like, “Aria, I think you almost kicked me in the vagina for showing up on your front porch one time.” And Aria is like, “That is correct.” Fitz introduces Aria as his former student, and when Jackie Molina leaves, Aria’s goes, “Former student?! I think it’s time to start telling people I have seen your bare chest, Ezra! No more hiding our light under a bushel! Or under creepy paper bag faces!”
Oh, also, Ezra used to be called “Z” and Aria used to be called “Pookie Bear.” Ian Harding’s face kind of looks like a Pookie Bear, even in adulthood, actually. You know as soon as he breaks out that PhD-level To Kill a Mockingbird curriculum on his Lit 101 students, a million girls are going to go Hot For Teacher all over him. Professor Pookie Bear is what they’ll call him when they’re writing his name in their notebooks. Professor and Mrs. Ezra Pookie Bear.
Now that Spencer is off the case, Emily’s sleuthing antenna are on red alert. She’s at Rosewood Parcel Service, picking up a package for her mom, who is probably on an overnight visit to Danby. Just checking out the mattresses in the dorms. Taking measurements for window treatments. Emily recognizes the RPS worker, and he recognizes her recognizing him, so he gets awkward and tries to like hide behind the counter. Finally Emily realizes he’s Logan Reed, the guy who brought Ian’s money to the drop-off location when he was trying to buy back his videos from the Liars.