It's somebody's bright idea that violent drug offender Emily should do the remainder of her community service on a teen helpline, so of course every call she gets is from somebody she knows. Hilariously, it's Hermie the Hermaphrodite, seemingly copping to being the gender-neutral person that beat her up last week in that greenhouse, so of course -- since it's Emily -- she immediately becomes concerned for his wellbeing.
Obviously, everything he says works just as well for Lucas being A as it does for him complaining about being the third wheel in the Hanna/Caleb romance, so his warnings about doing something terrible, namely declaring his feelings for Hanna, are trumped up by the insane Liars into a threat to murder all of them. This ends up, don't ask, with Hanna and Lucas alone in the middle of the night in a rowboat, where a hyped-up Hanna decides to knock his ass out with an oar and leave him there to die in a heretofore unknown level of the Friend Zone.
Spencer and Hanna throw Caleb a surprise birthday party that ends in tragedy, because have you ever seen this show. Meanwhile, in a last-ditch effort to become something more than the most fucked-up family in Rosewood not named "Hastings," Ella and Byron decide to take Aria to the only restaurant in town. This also, of course, ends in tragedy, but at least it's the kind where Ella kicks the usual amount of ass.
With Caleb's help -- and against Hanna's wishes -- Spencer gets exactly one single photo off A's all-powerful cellphone: A picture of the Chucky dolls, arrayed against a wall that turns out to be in the attic of her lake house. (Try and parse that concept all you want, it won't help.) And Spencer's left alone with this bemusingly bizarre fact, since everybody else is consumed with their various boyfriend problems, to wit:
After a sweet little makeout session with Spencer, Toby tries to counsel Garrett out of a teen crisis of his own, once Jenna leaves him in the dust and heads to Boston to get her eyeballs back. Never let it be said that a brother trying to reason with his rapist's boyfriend would be uncomplicated. Still have no idea what that's about. In happier news, Noel Kahn (!) and Mona Vanderwaal are back together, and in such a good mood they offer to help with the party itself. This weirds everybody out, but there's too much going on to really address it.
Ezra responds to several passably pleasant interactions with various Rosewood citizens by doing the sensible thing and calling things off with Aria forever. This causes her to go into Blair Waldorf levels of romantic hysterics, calling him unendingly from every telephone in the entire town. But the new arrival of one childhood friend could change everything, when you consider this cute new fellow is named Holden.
"Holden" being from the Old French "Holdeine," meaning "Everything Aria could possibly ever want, with her pretentious feather-wearing ass."
Next week: Lots of screaming and running about, Lucas presumably comes back from the dead and is coincidentally barred from apologizing for himself, Aria fakes everybody out by dating Holden but mostly herself, and almost assuredly we'll never hear about that cellphone ever again in our lives.
Spencer made the scariest face! Jenna made the most hilarious reference to her own blindness, the girls discovered a shovel and were forced to enter into a plea bargain for some reason, Ezra and Aria came out to her parents, Ashley Marin got a fax machine and her ex-husband moved back to town, Spencer dumped Toby. Oh, and Emily tricked A and got her ass beat, but at least we ended up with A's ghostly cell phone.
...We're actually following up on a cliffhanger for one of the first times ever. The ladies investigate the awesome greenhouse, looking for that empty box that Emily taunted A with, and getting yelled at by Emily for once again leaving her to the wolves.
Aria: "I did everything I could to make sure my parents would be pissed at me, then acted surprised! And I had to climb out a window!"
Spencer: "I was too busy yelling at Toby and cramming all the weapons in my kitchen into this giant sack!"
Hanna: "I was too busy receiving faxes and learning that my evil stepsister Kate is moving to Rosewood!"
Liars: "What? Your petty problems are completely equal to the fact that we are being hunted to extinction by an omnipresent adversary with invincible powers. Let's have a chat about that rather than of working to prolong our lives."
Spencer: "Hey guys, remember how we found A's cell phone? Let's call Caleb."
Hanna: "We are not involving Caleb in our ongoing murders. Take it to a phone store..."
Emily: "-- Do what?"
Hanna: "...Or call somebody at customer service!"
And say what? "I don't know my social, actually. I think it might have several sixes in it. My name? No idea. Starts with A. Look, can you please just give me my passcode? This is not a trick. I am just forgetful."
Spencer: "Okay, Hanna. You stay here being a moron, I'm sending the rest of the girls to Lucas's house to get our one hacker to do the one thing he ever does."
Hanna: "But my stepsister! Is moving to Rosewood!"
Spencer: "How long until A figures out we have her phone and then this clue stops mattering?"
Hanna: "I get that, but find another way. I'm not having Caleb go the way of Therapy Anne."
Aria: "Both of you stop yelling. Surely we can get Caleb to help without him..."
The phone rings from a blocked number, and they toss it back and forth like a hot potato.