Toby stops by Spencer’s to get some intel on his mom’s Radley doctor. Spencer has tracked her old physician down to some mental institution in Saratoga, but she’s headlong into this Melissa mask con right now so she can’t go with him. Instead she kisses him, which apparently also doubles as hopping into a warp zone, because when she touches his lips they’re upstairs in his loft and when she lets go of his lips they’re downstairs at The Brew! Boo Radley van Magic Mouth! That was awesome! I want to learn that trick!
At The Brew, Emily has decided that since she can’t compete at swimming right now, she’s going to compete at Loving Paige McCullers. First step, she’s going to take down Shana. Spencer and Aria try to talk about Melissa’s mask and Emily is fidgeting around and her pupils are dilated and she’s like, “Yeah, yeah. But when you think mask, you think costume shop, right? And what you think costume shop, you think Shana Costumeshop, right? And when you think Shana Costumeshop, you think, ‘Let’s stab that bitch,’ right? I know where to stab a bitch to kill a bitch. I hear it’s even easier the second time.” It’s a little intense, even for Spencer, so she’s a relieved when Paige shows up and Emily bolts to talk to her. Spencer goes, “Man, she’s like weirdly obsessed with taking that girl down. Anyway, when can you come over so we can bust my sister’s ass with this mask?”
When Emily tells Paige she can’t swim for a while, Paige handles it in the most Emily-friendly way. She smirks and says, “Ah, Fields, you’re giving me the edge.” Which is exactly what you say to a hyper-competitive person when you want to motivate them to get back in the pool and kick your ass. Emily stutters and stumbles and frowns and is so close to telling Paige that the main worry in her life right now is that not getting in the pool means not having a future with her, but instead she asks for a kiss. Paige hugs Emily like she’s the safest place on earth and Emily grasps onto Paige like the world is slipping away.
Aria is trying to make herself have any feelings at all about Kung Fu Jake besides general boredom, but just when it seems like they might be able to have a conversation that doesn’t end with him insulting her, tiny Malcolm of the Fitzgerald clan comes running out into the road hollering, “Bird Feather Mama! Bird Feather Mama! I thought I’d never see you again!” (Where you at now, Child Protective Services?!) He explains that he’s just running willy-nilly up the street while his parents shop for books. He wishes Aria still came around. He hasn’t been abducted or ridden in an ambulance once since she went away. After he runs off, Aria goes, “Eh, just my teacher’s kid. My teacher that I never slept with and/or posed for pictures with while wearing paper bag masks …”
“… except for yes, I totally did sleep with him and do the paper bag mask thing. Mostly it was just cake and cuddling and talking about our feelings and watching noir films. And kissing in the rain and in the sunsets. We did a lot of kissing in the rain and in the sunsets.” The second part of this conversation happens on Aria’s front porch. After unleashing her giant lesbian truth on Jake, she tries to kiss him, and he’s like, “If I kissed you now, you’d respect me less.” And she’s like, “Asshole, I’m just trying to cleanse my palate. Or feel literally anything. Are you in or not?” He is not.
Actually, I hate Kung Fu Jake, but he does drop a little bit of wisdom on Aria: If you’re fighting and you’re injured, you go home. If you’re fighting and you’re hurt, you dust yourself off and start punching again. It’s a good little proverb, but it’s coming from a guy who let Holden enter a street-fighting competition with only half a working heart, so I’m not really sure he’s the best judge of what constitutes dangerous levels of pain.