Emily does agree to meet up with the AU!Liars, though, and it’s as banana trousers as you knew it was going to be, starting with the fact that AU!Emily and AU!Hanna look like if those doppelgänger dolls from the campground came to life and grew up into teenagers. AU!Emily is gay, which we know because of how they put her in flannel. AU!Emily and AU!Hanna weave a yarn about how their Ali, who is named Sarah, was a real dick but she made them feel special when she wasn’t making them want to die, but then she disappeared and now they’re plagued with this strange sense of relief and guilt and mourning and unbearable lightness. AU!Emily is like, “The last thing she said to me was that I liked Rihanna a little too much. She wasn’t very nice.” Unfortunately, she also was still alive when not-Ali’s body was buried under the gayzbo in the DiLaurentis’ backyard. She went missing the day after Labor Day. So. Not her, then. Ali can jump through time and space but she can’t bust up a concrete foundation.
Now. The best scenes of the episode and some of the best scenes of the whole entire series. Ezra is at that outdoor bookshop in town, perusing whatever Gothic paperbacks, when Mona skips up looking like Minnie Mouse going for a job interview at one of those Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble. I don’t know. Have we ever seen Ian and Janel in some one-on-one scenes before? They play off each other so beautifully. So intense and creepy, like a gorgeous game of terror chess.
Mona: Mr. Fitz! It seems like every time I see you you’re cradling an old novel or a photo of one of your under-aged students, all of whom adore you, of course, with your symmetrical little face and that choirboy hair!
Mr. Fitz: I was just looking for something to supplement my re-read of Jekyll and Hyde. I decided to go with Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.
Mona: I’ll bet you did.
Mr. Fitz: And what about you? Are you here to flesh-out your knowledge of Stevenson’s works? The Suicide Club, maybe? That seems right up your alley.
Mona: Oh, you know, Treasure Island is more my speed. Treasure maps, parrots, a coming-of-age story about the ambiguity of morality.
They decide this thing is going to take a few minutes, so they sit down across the table from each other with cups of tea and get even more real.
Mona: As I’m sure you know, I found a cow brain in my locker last semester and I can’t help but notice that under your, hmm, watchful gaze, Aria Montgomery has never found any dead animals in her possession that she did not slaughter herself for her fashions.
Mr. Fitz: And as I’m sure you know, I am in the know about at least some of the bodies you have dismembered and stashed in various hidey-holes around town over the years.
Mona: Speaking of which, you assigned Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart as extra credit this week. Hearts buried under floorboards. It’s—forgive me—telling. I relate to that narrator, you know: “I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth.”
Mr. Fitz: Yes, so do I: “I heard many things in hell.”
Mona: [Blinks, frowns, blinks again.] Interesting. Really interesting. Welp, I gotta bounce. We’ll talk soon.
Oh my god, I loved that so much. Sinister Fitz is so much better than every other Fitz. Go bonkers with your evil, dude. Mona’s still going to destroy your soul, but it’ll be way more fun to watch.