At the Marin’s, Ashley explains to Hanna that the bank took away her safe deposit box escorting privileges because she didn’t keep tabs on what Wilden had in his box. Or something. It doesn’t make sense, except that it’s another blow in a series of blows that have really injured Ashley. Like injured-injured. She needs to tag out. Hanna confesses that she knows Ashley was in town the night Wilden was murdered, even though she really wants Ashley to deny it again, and then the saddest, saddest thing: Ashley promises that whatever happens, it won’t get on Hanna. And Hanna’s like, “Same-same, mom. I’m working at cross-purposes with you right now to keep it from getting on you. Have you ever heard of donut school?”
Saratoga Radley. Dr. Palmer is sitting on a bench on the grounds feeding some birds and singing about tuppence. He’s British, which is noteworthy only because there’s one other British “doctor” on this show, and he has always seemed intimately acquainted with Rosewood Radley. Toby introduces himself and asks if either his mom was not suicidal or if maybe she was suicidal but also skilled in some kind of circus arts that would have allowed her to fly horizontally out of her window for about ten feet before plummeting to her death. Palmer says with the constant fluctuations in gravity and air density, it’s highly probable that Toby’s mom could have flapped her arms like a chicken and flown at least a little ways before the oxygen got too heavy and smashed her into the ground. He’s writing a book about it right now, actually. About the color of the air. Toby’s little face when he realizes Palmer isn’t working at Saratoga Radley, but is a patient at Saratoga Radley. Poor little Charlie Brown.
As he’s shuffling away under his own personal raincloud, Palmer calls after him: “Tell your mom to stay away from that blonde-haired lesbian ghost in the red coat! You think she just wants to dance, but sometimes she’ll shove you off the roof!”
Hastings Manor. You know how we’re always seeing A peeking in on everyone through the window blinds that they never, ever close? OK, well, that’s what we’re seeing as Melissa sorts through all the blazers she’s packed for all her internships around the globe. But then! It’s not A at all (or is it?)! It’s Spencer and Aria, recording Melissa because they totally planted the Melissa mask in one of her suitcases and they want to watch her brain out about it when she finds it!
I kind of think after spending four seasons with Troian Bellisario’s voice, it has sort of diluted the effect it has on me. It’s still the sexiest voice on the seven continents, but I think it’s like how if you’re around a Veela a lot, you’re better able to stop yourself from smashing your head into rocks because of lust. But something about the way she narrates Melissa finding the mask, like it’s maybe raspier than usual or she’s out of breath because of being manic with excitement, it just really, really got to me. I froze up for about two minutes. Couldn’t type or blink or anything.
Anyway, she’s goading Melissa from behind the window, all, “Open up the suitcase, sister. There you go, open it up. Look under that technicolor blazer. Thaaaaat’s the one. What do you see? Oh, it’s a face! It’s your face! It’s your face embalmed in devil red like your fake embryo! Where did it come from, Melissa? Who made it? You’re smart, put it together. Ahhhhh, there it is. The horrific look of comprehension. Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
Melissa rushes out of the house and Spencer rolls around on the grass on her back like a puppy in the afternoon sunshine, giggling and clapping her hands and flipping over and over.
Emily returns home to find her parents still droning on and on about her constant lies and deaths. Pam is like, “Listen, Emily. The way you’re always in the hospital or at a funeral, is somebody … messing with you? And don’t lie. We know you lie.” Emily is so torn up. She doesn’t want to lie to them, but for that to happen, they’ve got to stop asking questions. Papa Fields casually mentions that if she ends up dead like all the girls she dates, she won’t be able to get a swimming scholarship, and that just sends Emily over the edge. She says she’ll work more jobs, three jobs, a thousand jobs if she has to work them, because Paige has a bedroom ready for them on her laptop and the beds are pushed together and they can finally have sex without worrying that a ghost is filming them! She runs out into the yard in a fit, and Papa Fields runs after her hollering as loud as he can. Up in the sky, A dials CPS from her helicopter to report a domestic disturbance.
Hanna finally tells Caleb that if her mom’s going down, she’s going down with her, because that’s how the Marin girls roll. So when Roma Maffia and Det. Holbrook show up to question Ashley and Hanna decides to run interference, Caleb jumps in there too. They concoct a story on the fly about how Caleb is Ashley’s chauffeur and she’s not home right now even though her car is home. Ashley listens from the top of the steps and feels awful, which is such a bummer, because killing Wilden was such a good guy thing to do. We should be having a parade for her. (We should always be having a parade for her.)
Mask-Maker Chalet. Aria and Spencer sneak around in the bushes until they see Melissa galloping out of the building dragging a rucksack. Spencer’s pretty sure Hector is inside, but Aria’s like, “No, way. I’m the tiniest thing and it took two grown humans to try to throw me from a train.” They split up because that always works out so well for them. Spencer follows Melissa down to Torch Lake where she is smashing up all of the masks of her own face and tossing them into fishbowl-deep water. And Aria goes inside to dig around in Hector’s inventory. What Aria finds is shelves and shelves of Ali masks. A library of Ali’s face. When she confronts Hector about it, he has his first Ali flashback: