Also living in a dream world is Hanna, who tells her mom that everything’s hunky-dory, thank you very much, and she doesn’t need any time off of school or life or whatever just because her true love left her to live in the basement of a desaturated funeral home with an angry seer and a phantom mistress.
Spencer — who, note, is wearing a jacket-cape that looks like if Sherlock Holmes and Olivia Pope opened up a store in Diagon Alley — stops by Toby’s loft to deliver some coffee and the news that she thinks he should not get into cahoots with her father. It’s not just that he spends 50 out of 52 weeks a year in Out of Town or that he one time let his oldest daughter date his oldest son. It’s that he’s definitely up to something, as is the Hastings way, and she can’t figure out what it is. Toby says he needs to shut down Radley, so Spencer shuts him down by making out with his face. Also, she presses her thumb into his chin dimple, which really made me swoon, because that’s the way actual people in love touch each other, all sweet and silly and in ways no one else is allowed to think about.
At school, Ezra peeps Emily walking around with Ali’s journal and his eyeballs bug out of his skull. I really like the way this Ezra stuff is filmed: It makes him seem like a shadow person and it ups the intensity factor big time because it’s like, how long have the Liars been boxed in by his glare? Is Mona watching him watch the Liars, or did he watch Mona watch them? It’s all very “The call is coming from inside the house!” It’s one of the smartest things PLL has ever done and I hope to goodness they keep him evil like this.
The Liars’ morning roundtable is way more intense than usual. Emily has started a color-coding system to help them decipher which one of them is the subject of every story in Ali’s diary. Emily also mentions that Ali doesn’t seem to have a hard line on how she feels about any of them. Once second she’s writing about how Emily would rob a bank for her and the next second she’s saying she admires Emily’s loyalty to her friends. Hanna drops the bomb that she and Caleb broke up but tries to play it breezy before snatching the diary from Emily and saying Spencer should probably go next. It seems like she’s trying to protect Aria from something, which is at least 75-percent true. They are able to decode a poem about a B&B called “The Busy Bee” that is, no joke, in Homocideville. (Just kidding: Killingworth.) Ali was apparently using it as a hideout and since it has been shut down and, they decide to ride on out there tonight to do some investigating.
The whole time they’re plotting, Ezra just stands there rubbernecking and scowling, but he makes it back to his classroom in time for a little visit from Aria. She cancels plans with him to do recon with her girls and he goes, “All four of you, then? Together, alone, in the dark?” He drums his fingers together under his chin. “Excellent.” Aria wants to know what he’s working on and he explains it’s a short story that he hasn’t yet written an ending to. Will five girls die or only the one? He simply cannot decide. They lock pinkies. He gives her a lollipop. Once she peaces, he pops in his earbuds and watches some videos of Alison begging not to be murdered.
At The Brew, Emily finds a note from Ali hidden in her backpack. She wants to meet up at their spot to talk, so Emily bounces in a second and puts on her old friendship bracelet and hikes on out to the kissing rock to wait. And wait. And wait, while the Digital Daggers sing about hushing it up and surrendering. Ali and Emily’s initials are still painted on the rock, like an altar, and that’s exactly how Emily uses it. She used to offer her prayers here, but Sunday School teachers can only make the story of Noah’s arc sound like a cuddly animal adventure so long before you start to peel back the layers and wonder why you worship a god whose vengeance drowned the whole world. Emily takes off her bracelet and leaves it there on that rock, a final sacrifice.
Spencer goes home and does some sock ballet in her wizardwear a little while before calling her dad for the one millionth time and asking his assistant to please ask him to call Toby. But then! She hears some whispering in the kitchen, which is weird because the fabric of time would be ripped in half if both of her parents were in this house at the same time. Alas, it is not her mother at all. It is Jessica DiLaurentis explaining to Peter that Jason doesn’t need to know something-something-whisper-something. Spencer wants to know what Jason doesn’t need to know because knowing what other people don’t need to know is fuel of her soul. Jessica says it’s about how she and Mr. D are getting a divorce, but Spencer does not believe that, so she tracks that lady down at The Brew and just goes full banshee about how she’d BETTER STOP SLUTTING IT UP IN THE HASTINGS KITCHEN IF SHE KNOWS WHAT’S GOOD FOR HER. Mrs. D sashays out of there like, “I have never!” And this random girl reading (hilariously) Confessions of a Hater looks up from her coffee like, “Jeeeeezus, lady.”
Also in the coffee shop today is Hanna, who spends a couple of minutes staring hopefully at some pastries until Hoedown Travis turns up and offers to buy her some. She politely refuses because the Ali shame was strong with her one time too. But Travis is more than just empty calories — oh ho, yes. He’s got news about the whereabouts of Cece Drake. Get a load of this right here: Someone spotted her at a train station in Maryland but she slipped away because that girl is a professional assassin! No kidding around! Someone hired her to murder Wilden! Amazing. Absolutely amazing. The day she slayed that snake with that mannequin leg, I knew she was something special.