Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Spencer and Emily got into a delicious tangle of cross purposes at Cicero College because Spencer wanted to zoom around campus wailing for Tippi the Bird to stop flying high in the sky with Ali’s helicopter and come on home, while Emily wanted to secure an education at an institution of higher learning. Both of their plans were foiled when Hanna showed up and started waving a gun around before taking three steps into the backyard of the Gamma Zeta (Shut Your) Pi (Hole) sorority house and trying to bury said gun using a beer stein as a scooper. Aria played Scrabble and roasted s’mores.
Hanna Marin’s got 99 problems and a shovel ain’t one. Unlike Detective Wilden, whose preferred brand of investigating involved lurking on the Marin’s back porch all the days and all the nights and dressing in drag while tossing teenagers from trains, Roma Maffia and her crack team of well-mannered police professionals know some actual laws. For example, carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus without a permit is a third degree felony that can result in seven years in the slammer jammer. Roma Maffia wants to know who Hanna is protecting, and Hanna is like, “Lady, you don’t even have time for that list.”
And she’s right. Ashley Marin crashes into the interrogation room and drags Hanna home. Tom is there also because it was his gun that Hanna was scurrying around with in the dirt at the frat party. The police are keeping it for testing because two bullets are missing and duh, it killed Wilden.
It defies logic and history and tradition and all odds that four seasons into Pretty Little Liars these writers can still find ways to up the ante on a show whose opening play was the murder of a teenage girl. But somehow episode 77 is even more intense and more must-see than the pilot. One thing I really love about this season is how the Liars are getting more frantic and unhinged by the second. It’s causing them to go at each other and then make up because they love each other too much to stay angry and then go at each other again because A has never been playing, but now she’s especially not playing. Their mania is also causing them to do stupider and stupider shit every week. At one point in this episode Toby for real goes, “Spencer, you are following a lead that was given to you by a bird.” And Spencer honestly doesn’t see why it’s an issue.
Anyway, Ashley and Tom quarantine Hanna inside the house, and before they can start confiscating her technology, she calls Emily, who is panicking just as hard as she is. In fact, Emily is ready for Hanna to tell her parents that Alison’s ghost has been doing emotional jujitsu on them for two full years, and also framing them for all the murders she does all the time. But before she has Hanna convinced, she has to hop off the phone because Shana Costumeshop strolls into the locker room looking fine as hell in a Sharks tracksuit talking about, “How do you like my puffy drapes now, bitch?”
Private school really wasn’t for Shana because of how they don’t offer classes in Creepin’ and Survivin’ like Rosewood High, so when she heard Emily swam her face into a wall and had to quit the team, she figured this was just the place for her. Emily stole Paige, she’ll steal Emily’s swim team spot. Emily blinded Jenna, she’ll become Jenna’s eyeballs inside the school. Emily’s rage is incandescent. She drops her phone into her bag and drops her jaw like a cartoon coyote. Oh, and she’s wearing some kind of yellow mesh roller derby jersey that somehow makes her face even more amazing-looking. Shana spies some flyers for open mic night at the Brew in Emily’s bag and she goes, “While I’m taking your girlfriend and your dreams, I’ll take one of those too.” Emily snatches back the flyer and stuffs it into her backpack and scowls and makes up her mind once and for all that Shana has got to be eradicated. For a single shining moment, you can practically see the Spencer-ness in her eyes.