Aria is crying and crying and red-eyed and puffy-faced and crying in her room. A little because of the slut thing. A little bit more because the black-and-white narrative she assumed everyone else believed about her life (like she believes about her life) isn’t true to them. But mostly because it fucking sucks not to be able to reach out to the person who knows you best and loves you most just because you’re not sleeping with each other anymore. Mike comes in and apologizes and promises to make things right. Aria knows for sure he’s talking vandalism, but it’s just so nice to have a hand to hold for a second, she agrees to let him help her.
At the Marin’s, stupid Tom tries to assuage his guilt and exert his superiority by telling Hanna she could have come to him at any time if she needed help. She’s like, “When, exactly, should I have come to you, Dad? When you were bitching me out because your new daughter alcohol poisoned me? Or when you left us so broke mom had to rob a dead woman?” Tom’s like, “Fair enough. I’m worse than Byron Montgomery.” And yes, you ass, you are.
Ravenswood. Happy Hour. Eerie choir music starts up and is coming from every direction because it’s being piped all over town by speakers, speakers everywhere. All the townspeople go rigid and amble on over to the cemetery to stare glassy-eyed and open-mouthed at this white angel statue. Spencer waves her hands in front of a couple of faces. No recognition. And then she seems someone she recognizes. Shana Costumeshop! Shana is holding a wrapped package and Spencer bolts before she can peep her. She’s sprinting down the sidewalk like an insane person so Toby does the same from the opposite direction. They meet up in time to see Shana hop into Jenna’s car — the one from The Night of a Thousand Nights — and ride away. They try to follow her but are assaulted by dead ravens dive-bombing their BEAUTIFUL TOYOTA.
Toby is like, “What the actual fuck is happening right now?”
Magic, Toby Cavenaugh. Pure televisual magic.
Back at the Brew, Emily gives Aria her choice of the first pastries shipped over directly from Donut Castle. When Spencer arrives with tales of Ravenswood, they ooh and aah at all the right moments, even though they’re still pissed at her a little. Then she gets to the part about Shana being there and Emily puts her fist through the table. (“Costumeshop!“) Good timing. Roma Maffia shows up and asks if Emily can take a little break and come on over to the police station alone for a minute. At the door, Emily looks back at Aria and Spencer like, “If I never see you again, I love you. Tell Hanna. Tell Paige.”
This next bit is one of the most expertly crafted Pretty Little Things this show has ever done. Shana hops up on stage and starts playing her violin, beautifully, and while she weaves her homosexual dark music magic around us, Ezra creeps up to the Brew and stares inside at Aria, all forlorn and full of feelings; Connor takes out the trash to find Mike in a hoodie bashing in his car with a baseball bat; and Emily is at the police station finding out that the video she left for Roma Maffia is just footage of Red Coat wearing an Emily mask holding a sign that says “guilty” in front of the Welcome to Rosewood! sign.
(Please accept this as my official request to have Shana as a leading character in Ravenswood. She is outstanding in her sketchiness.)
The Emily mask is the most traumatic thing this show has ever done to me. My back was in front of an open window when I was watching this episode and when I got to that part, I jumped up and moved into a corner and all the hairs on my neck and arms were standing at attention. It felt like someone had dropped ice down the back of my shirt. I’ve got chills just writing about it right now.
Roma Maffia is like, “This was a weird thing for you to leave on my desk, don’t you think?” And Emily’s mind blown so wide open that she’s just like, “Yeah. Yeah, it was.”
The police show up and arrest Ashley for the murder of Detective Wilden. Tom’s gun was the one that did it. Ashley’s fingerprints were on the bullets. As she’s being dragged away to the police car, Ashely is like, “Hanna! Sweetheart! Pack your stuff and move to Emily’s! Your father is awful! Don’t forget to take a box of elbow macaroni with you! Do you understand what I am saying, Hanna? The pasta on the top shelf of the pantry! The currency of mac and cheese!”
The Risen Mitten breaks into a car and hot wires it and is wearing Emily’s face, a murder of crows in the distance screaming to beat the band.
My screencapping partner — the perfect, perfect Maggie (@margaretrosey) — is perfect. I just thought I’d remind you.