Now that they’ve worked out their best friendship, Ezbian and Emily are doing some studying. When you are 20 minutes into an episode and Shay Mitchell has not smiled a single time, it is a sad, sad state of affairs. Ezra tells Emily the key to passing her makeup exams — and, by extension, 11th grade — is to listen to her iPod before the test. Remind me again why his beautiful face cannot hold down a teaching job.
At school, Jenna invites Aria to come over to sit on her front porch and play death marches on their flutes. She’s like, “Maybe we could work out some harmonies and then toot away down the lane while some rats follow us into a river!” Aria, still operating under the delusion that Jenna’s eyeballs are broken, goes, “Er, there are some … starving orphans … on fire … across the street. I’ve got to go rescue them!” Jenna pulls down her shades as Aria sprints away. She clucks her tongue and rolls her eyes because there are no flaming children across the street! Aria, you fibbing minx!
Aria runs home and stares at her reflection in the window and thinks her new blow-out really does look fabulous, but then A ruins the moment by texting to say if she doesn’t confess to trashing Byron’s office, she’s going to give Meredith’s other earring to the police. Which is the dumbest threat A has ever made in her whole zombie life. “Aria Montgomery, you’re under arrest for vandalism. It was an open and shut case once an anonymous source dropped off a tiny piece of costume jewelry at the police station with no ties to you or vandalism.” But then, Aria has never been targeted by A before so you can’t really blame her for freaking out.
Caleb is trying to enjoy a nice dinner with Hanna, but she keeps looking at the clock and her watch and her phone and for some reason this paranoia is more troublesome than the usual brand of paranoia every Liar exhibits at all times, so Caleb sighs and goes, “Is there something you’d rather be doing?” She says, rather bravely actually, that she’d rather be tending to her ambiguous loss. Hanna is quickly becoming my favorite character on this show because of how she’s finding the courage to fight the battle to be the most authentic version of herself. You gotta fight your own head and heart demons when you make that decision. And you’ve gotta fight the people in your life a lot of times too, sometimes even the people who love you most. But Caleb loves the truth of her, so even if he doesn’t understand it, he co-signs her shenanigans.
I almost cannot bear to tell you what happens next because it is so gross that time and space cannot contain it. This grossness reaches the edges of every known universe on every Tesseract sprawling in impossible directions everywhere and everytime at once — and yet, even infinity cannot contain this horribleness. I shall transcribe it for you.
Aria: Dad, do you remember when you were destroying our family by betraying the incomparable Ella Montgomery and boning a graduate student of yours?
Byron: Yes, those were good times back when I didn’t have to worry that you were in a consensual relationship with a man who respects you in every way, back when you didn’t realize your sexual power was yours to wield however you choose.
Aria: Right. Well, back then I tore up a lot of shit in your office and made it look like it was Meredith. Because I was a teenager whose heart was broken by her philandering father.
Byron: HOW DARE YOU, YOU ASSHOLE. I really hurt Meredith’s — my mistress, you remember, whom I was sticking it to at all hours of the day and night on my desk and on my office couch and on your bed while your mom waited up to keep my dinner warm and Mike engaged in petty theft and your hair looked like Jem and the Holograms — feelings when that happened. Just made that girl so sad. And now you will apologize to her because you suck.
Aria: OK. I love you.
Byron: Die in a fire. What you’ve done is unforgivable.
Good talk, Byron.