Paige is swimming laps alone in the pool at night by herself when someone’s shadow appears on the ceiling and a cat howls and a chainsaw revs up and thunder claps in the distance. She takes a deep breath and steals her nerves. She knew this day would come. But being with Emily was worth the curse. She’ll face her death with her eyes open. Just kidding! It’s only Emily! Paige pulls herself up out of the pool, all soaking wet triceps, and Emily wraps her up in a towel. Paige is like, “You scared me, man. I thought it was time to the pay the price for loving you.” Emily smiles, but only a little. It’s been a rough day.
Emily tells Paige that their dreams of living inside her dorm room matrix are over. She can’t get a scholarship if she can’t swim and she can’t swim with bruise poisoning and she wouldn’t have bruise poisoning if she’d just let Aria and Mona die. Paige grins and says, “Yeah, you should have let that car hit them.” She’s joking but she’s not joking. The Batman part of her gets it. The puffy drapes part of her does not. Paige is so wonderful right now, even the tenor of her voice is a comfort. Emily thinks she’s going to flip out about the loss of this enormous dream, but Paige says they’ll find a new dream. She once wore a braid and wrote a note and hoped Emily might like her back, even just a little. It was the best dream she’d ever had in all of her life and she held it out with trembling hands and Ali snatched it away. And look at them now. Back then, she couldn’t have even fathomed a world where this dream existed. There’s a new dream for them; they just don’t have the capacity to comprehend its awesomeness yet.
Emily doesn’t want to be a sideline girlfriend, and Paige tells her that’s good, because she’s going to swim again. She’s like, “This is how it’s always going to be with you and me: I’ll get the edge, and then you’ll reclaim it and pull ahead, and I’ll work harder to catch up and swim past you, and then you’ll do the same and I’ll do the same and you’ll do the same and sometimes we’ll swim side-by-side like that night in my pool and sometimes we’ll race and one of us will win. But we’ll make each other better because we’ll both keep getting better. I want to undress you, Ems, but I want to wrap you up in towels after you win gold medals too.”
Sexiest thing you could ever say to me. That right there. That’s the winning thing.
Emily goes, “My life really blows right now but it’s hard to remember that when you’re being you.”
(This scene is written and filmed so beautifully. Let’s never take for granted how visually stunning PLL is, OK? Let’s never take for granted these writers who care so much.)
Paige and Emily walk home, arm-in-arm, and are confronted by Rosewood PD. Someone placed a domestic disturbance call and like 20 cops have shown up to handle it. Paige watches helplessly as Emily rushes over to try to explain to the cops that parenting is not against the law.
At Spencer’s, Aria puts the kettle on a Bunsen burner to make a cup of tea. Spencer checks the house for Melissa, but, true to her word, she’s paddling her way out of Torch Lake and up the river and into the sea and across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Aria’s like, “All that stuff she said, you think it’s true?” And Spencer goes, “Yeah, it was weird, though. When she was saying it, something in my chest felt warm and it’s like my brain stopped panicking for a second. Do you think that’s what it feels like to have someone in your family love you?” Right then Hanna walks in and tells them she’s pretty sure her mom killed Wilden.
They are interrupted by a text from A: “Melissa’s guilty of plenty, but she’s not A material. Kisses!” And also they are interrupted by the sound of the tea kettle bursting and sending shrapnel flying everywhichway. LOL. Aria.
The Risen Mitten reconstructs all the masks Melissa smashed and dropped in three inches of freshwater. Bitch pulled a police car out of a swamp with her hands. It’s also like Melissa wanted to make it easy for her.
My screencapping partner Maggie (@margaretrosey) spent hours of her vacation screencapping this episode for us, because she’s the best. Follow her on Twitter and show her some love. She’s awesome at #BooRadleyVanCullen and everything else too.