Previously on Pretty Little Liars, people all over the world all over the space-time continuum were like, “Oh, but Almighty God must be a man because of how religious books are always calling him a he.” And Mona Vanderwaal was like, “lol, ok.” Because no offense to Jesus or anything, but he didn’t exactly have adrenalized hyperreality. Like the gods of yore, Mona Vanderwaal enjoyed leveling the occasional heavy blow at her people, and now she lives in Radley Institute for the Criminally Insane where she deals out card games and code phrases while looking inexplicably fierce in Spencer’s nana’s cardigan. Emily lost and gained another girlfriend, roofied and was roofied, and traveled one thousand nights in a single night. Maybe she robbed a grave. Maybe she did not. But definitely she enjoyed a delicious slice of pie at a diner in 1954. Spencer took her hobby of murder accusations to brand new heights. She tattooed Garrett Reynolds’ mug shot onto her ass, is how convinced she was that he killed Maya and Ali, and then later she just wrote “Paige” on her forehead with a Sharpie. Hanna accidentally: got her boyfriend’s mom run under by a car, kissed a tiny British fellow, and sustained extensive damage to her thigh when Noel Kahn’s cabin attacked her with shrapnel. Also accidental: Ezra Fitzgerald’s love child, and Aria’s discovery thereof.
Another police barricade. Another sobbing Liar. Another dead body. Who? Who’s to say? What I can tell you is that Hanna is inconsolable, Spencer is legit stupefied, Emily looks like she’s on about day 16 of a zombie apocalypse, and Aria’s on the phone with Ezra, whispering, “Hey, will you make sure the DVR is set to record Project Runway? This is taking longer than I thought. I guess that person who has been terrorizing my friends is still terrorizing my friends.” The police officer asks Emily for the tenth time if “the deceased” was a “friend.” She stares at Hanna, says: “…yes.”
TWO (DOOMS)DAYS EARLIER:
Veronica Hastings is inside the television box talking about how Garrett Reynolds is glad to finally be going to trial clear his name so he can get back to work for the Rosewood PD Shovel Unit. If you’re wondering why Spencer hasn’t gotten around to handing over that video of Maya getting snatched from Kahn Kabin the night of her murder, it’s because she has been very busy trying to out-Aria Aria. Today is the day she thought she would succeed because even Aria Montgomery doesn’t own an Easter-colored party dress patterned with donkeys and accented with a bow as big as Mona’s love. But do you know what Aria Montgomery does own? An electric blue translucent skirt that looks like something you’d wear if you played for a Disney-themed roller derby team and your name was CinderHella.
They’ve gathered at Spencer’s to host an intervention to convince Emily that she’s dating a homicidal maniac who is in the process of systematically slaughtering anyone at whom Emily has ever batted her eyelashes. Their case is airtight: They found one of Aria’s casket earrings in Paige’s bag last week at the trunk show and also Pigskin sure did look like a murderer in her khakis and braids and baby gayness in the soft-edged light of CeCe Drake’s memories. Aria’s like, “I mean, and I guess the thing we really have going for us, Spence, is that your censure is irrefutable. Never, in all the time that I’ve known you, have you literally called a guy ‘the devil’ only to pawn your sister’s engagement ring three weeks later to buy him a pickup truck for to the purpose of getting to third base with you. Satan has never whittled you a rocking chair, is what I am saying.”
They say “Paige” about ten quadrillion times and every time they hear her name echoed off each other they get more and more manic. (I feel you, Liars.)
The confrontation goes about as well as you’d expect. Emily is like, “For starters, ‘A’ has reverse pickpocketed each of us a hundred times. Does anyone remember the two full months I I spent poisoning my own self with sports cream? Hanna: hundred dollar bills taped to paper towels in a public restroom. Aria: lesbian poetry book. Spencer: rat blood trophy. College diplomas, suicide notes, dolls, worms in our Chinese food, gift baskets, and if I had a nickel for every time some of Ali’s homemade porn ends up in one of our purses…” Everything Emily says is valid, but, again, Spencer is wearing a mule-themed ensemble and Aria is dressed like Aria. Clearly, they are beyond reason. After Emily storms out, Hanna is like, “I hope alienating our best friend in a time of dire need doesn’t drive her into seclusion with a sociopath.”
Spencer falls to her knees and shakes her fist at the sky, all: “MCCULLERS!!!!”
At school, Aria is sitting in the courtyard feeling forlorn about how Emily is so alone right now. Just kidding! Aria is thinking about Aria. Hanna explains that she’s been texting and calling Emily all day, and Aria goes, “Emily? Oh, right. The one with the dead girlfriends. Whatever. Look, I think I’ve got a stepson who’s only ten years younger than me.” Hanna’s eyes get bigger and bigger as Aria weaves the yarn about how Ezra’s mom gave his high school girlfriend a gift certificate for an abortion, but she traded it in for an IKEA gift card at one of those coupon exchange websites and bought a bunch of Swedish baby furniture instead. Hanna is like, “You know how Ali would have advised you never to tell Ezra, but instead to cipher the story and engrave it onto porcelain doll skulls and stash those skulls inside of lunch boxes inside of storage units all over the state of Pennsylvania? I think a better idea might be to actually tell him.”
High noon at Rosewood High. Spencer and Paige find themselves alone in the hallway and you’ve never seen two people less willing to back down from a fight in all your life. Because, like, if you’re going to be the best at a thing, you can’t just love to win; you’ve got to hate to lose. And these two, if they got trapped together in a canyon 127 Hours-style, it’d be an actual race to see who could chew off her own arm first. Spencer finally snaps: “If you’re feeling froggy, jump, McCullers.” And so Paige hops all in. She’s goes, “Nice jackasses.” Spencer is like, “Excuse me?” And Paige goes, “On your dress. Nice jackasses.” They circle each other like a couple of wild things, both of their hearts on fire with love for Emily. They’re like: “Don’t you hurt her!” “No, don’t you hurt her!” “You roofied her!” “You roofied her first!” “Your purse was full of dead girl earrings!” “Your backyard is full of broken hockey sticks!” “You used to have those bangs!” “You used to dress like a flapper!” “You shoved her head underwater!” “You left her in a barn to die!” “I AM THE HERMIONE GRANGER OF THIS STORY.” “AND I AM THE NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM!” They storm off in opposite directions in a huff and I have never, ever been so turned on.