Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Aria discovered that Mike has been on a season-long Blind Girl Craft Fair heist, Spencer’s dad got more and more insane every time he returned from Out of Town, Hanna tried to fix her parents’ relationship but broke her soon-to-be step-sister’s bucking bronco instead, and A redecorated her murder room with one thousand photos of Emily’s face.
Emily can’t sleep because of the psychological warfare A is unleashing on her at all hours of the day and night. When she’s not flashing back to getting poisoned by A or being felt up by A or — equally horrific — having dinner with Quin, she is replaying that Alpha-Bits fortune like some kind of Goebbels radio broadcast: “Weakest link, weakest link, weakest link.” Which, when you think about it, is the meanest swipe you could take at Emily’s psyche. Not just because she’s got that superstar athlete mentality, but also because the other Liars have each other and their own families, while Emily’s family is the Liars. If she cracks, she’ll be the one to break the hardest.
When the first sliver of sunlight finally peeks through the curtains, Ems bolts for a run. If she can’t master her circumstances, by God, she’ll master her body. Hanna wakes up to find that she fell asleep in, like, jeggings and a shawl, and also that Emily is missing. When Spencer and Aria come over to explain pajamas to her, and also to help her worry, they find a pictext on Emily’s phone of Aria and Fitz making out. A wants her to sell out Aria to Ella. Hanna’s like, “Are you sure that’s you snogging Fitz?” And Spencer goes, “Yeah, it looks an awful lot like that slut, Spencer Hastings.”
Somewhere in the middle of Rosewood Forest, where Toby’s therapy file is still floating down the river and the ghost of Paige is jangling chains and drowning passerby, Emily decides it’s time to come clean in therapy. Only, the Liars are a step ahead of her; they’re waiting for Emily in Annabeth Gish’s office, admiring the collection of diplomas and wiretaps and Tory Burch boots on her bookshelves.
Annabeth Gish’s clavicle stands around looking delicious while the Liars shout cryptic things back and forth. Spencer — who, remember, slapped Annabeth Gish out of her chair while shouting “THIS CONVERSATION IS PREMATURE” the last time they were together in this office — is finally the one to break the story: “Someone has been trying to kill us and/or get us to kill each other for a while now. Sometimes with cobra venom, sometimes with monster trucks, sometimes with cupcakes.”
Annabeth Gish goes, “So this has been going on for —” And Emily’s all, “For a season and a half, yeah. At first we thought it was Alison, because being the worst was kind of her thing, but then they found her body, and now we’re pretty sure it’s Alison in a TARDIS.” Annabeth Gish is all, “And you’ve seriously never mentioned this to anyone else?” Spencer’s like, “Um, no, because every time we came to your office, A texted to tell us she had our mothers chained up in her basement. Frankly, it’s a casualty I was prepared to sustain, but these guys aren’t quite as evolved as me when it comes to the art of war.”
The radio won’t turn off in Garrett’s Hot Wheel of an automobile, and the reason I know is because right now it’s screaming like whatever classic rock soundtrack, just parked outside Jason’s house with the engine off. Jenna’s sitting inside, eating cherries and queuing them up on the dashboard like your worst fruit-themed nightmare. Toby watches as Garrett hops inside and starts tongue wrasslin’ with his sister. He’s properly squicked out.
At school, the Liars eavesdrop on Jenna as she repeatedly shouts, “That’s not what we agreed on!” over and over into her blind-girl cell phone. They ask themselves, “Should we have told Annabeth Gish about that time we set Jenna’s head on fire?” And then they answer themselves, “Nah. And anyway, we saw her ordering some new eyeballs from Overstock.com the other day.” And speaking of gifts, Spencer plops down a bunch of horse books on the table. Hanna plans to re-gift them to her new step-sister to make up for that time she called her a whore in eleven different ways on the PA at Equestrian Camp.