Mr. Hastings drops off some Radley paperwork for Toby that basically offers him a big chunk of change if he agrees not to ever talk about his mom getting pushed out of a window again and also doesn’t pursue legal action against the asylum. Spencer thinks it’s a copout, but Peter says just yesterday all Toby wanted was a hug and an apology, so actually, this is even better. But then! Oh ho, then! The writers are like, “Oh, yeah? This is the most boring story on the show? Well, check this out!”
No, for real. Check this out: Jessica DiLaurentis, whose daughter used to trade souls with Cece Drake at Radley Institute for the Criminally Insane, is on the board of directors at Radley Institute for the Criminally Insane. Also? The night Toby’s mom fell (or was pushed!) off the roof, she was up there with another patient and no one will say who it was. So suddenly what happend with Toby’s mom isn’t just a chance for him to have a non-Spencer storyline; it’s super relevant to what the heck Jessica DiLaurentis’ whole deal is and I’m pretty sure her deal is that she murders her children.
Spencer finds out all of this stuff by snooping through her dad’s briefcase while, super hilariously, a hired chef bangs pots and pans around in the background, cooking a fancy meal, and Peter and Spencer try to out-Hastings each other. Spencer calls Toby to tell him not to sign the gag order, that she’ll explain later, and then she rushes out of the house because she’s got a lesbian ninja-ghost reunion to bust up.
OK, here we go. Emily spends several hours getting ready for her meeting with Alison. It takes place in an abandoned warehouse, obviously, and as soon as Shana drops off Emily outside the door, she zooms off in the brand new Mustang she bought to replace the time-traveling ’66 Mustang she lost when Jenna went re-blind and Mona swooped in and purchased it. Emily tiptoes through the warehouse and when Ali appears in neither a black hoodie nor a red coat, but just in regular teenager clothes, Emily rushes at her full-force and they wrap each other up in a desperate embrace.
It’s like this:
Ali:I knew you’d come. Those other bitches stopped giving a shit about whether or not I was alive after my third funeral, but you were my favorite and what we had was special.
Emily: This is really you; I know it’s you because it’s not saturated and blurry like an Instagram filter in here.
Ali: The way I treated you, it wasn’t awesome. From pretty much the moment I woke up several feet underground in my parents’ backyard, I started having some regrets.
Emily: One idea I have is we can go to the police! Or your parents!
Ali: I meant to brainwash your heart back to season one levels of Emilyness, not your brain. The police and my parents all murdered me, so no. We can’t do that. But you can help me. You alone.
Emily: How? I’ll do it. I’ll do anything you say.
Ali: Have you ever seen one of those NatGeo documentaries about how lions won’t attack packs of zebras, so they circle and circle until one zebra gets isolated from its family and then the lion attacks?
Emily: You want me to be your Lion Queen?
Emily: You want me to be one of those hyenas who can’t wait for you to be King and shivers whenever anyone says your name?
Spencer, in the shadows: CLANG A LANG CLING CLONG BING BONG BANG!
Ali: You betrayed me! You invited someone else to our secret lovers meeting!
Emily: Wait, no! Don’t go! Come back! Do you want me to be the zebra? The lone zebra? The cut-wide-open, bleeding, broken, dying zebra? Ali? Is that what you want? I’ll be the zebra! Please don’t go!