Amazing! Both as a good (and quite well-written) episode of television, and also in terms of a bunch of game-changers happening pretty much non-stop.
Hanna lets Caleb talk her into going on a double-date with Lucas -- his own idea, of course, because he's scared of girls -- which ends up being held at her house, for some reason. Hanna eventually decides to let Lucas go, to the extent that she engineers him getting together with that girl Danielle, and eventually he's so touched by her selfless friendship that it inspires her to take therapy seriously.
Which works out both ways. On the one hand there's an amazing scene where she confronts the ghost of Alison and has a total breakthrough -- from the body stuff to the grief stuff to the fact that Alison was a gross bitch, which she never quite managed to figure out on her own -- but then on the other hand, somebody goes apeshit in Therapy Anne's office afterward, making Hanna look way crazier than even she ever was.
Aria's moderately happy that her mom has taken over Ezra's classes, but would be a lot more excited if her bitchy little bro Mike were onboard with their family slowly knitting itself back together. Unfortunately, he has a Bluetooth now and is thus beyond saving. (If this mess somehow involves Noel Kahn, all will be forgiven.) Meanwhile, shirtless Jason DiLaurentis makes it clear that he's interested in her, so watch for that drama to play out.
Emily admits to Samara (whom, it turns out, doesn't suddenly go to Rosewood) that she wrote the fake recruiter letter, but leaves out the part where A brought it back from the dead because she's still feeling guilty about it. Samara flawlessly insinuates herself into Emily's mom's affections, and even gets her to back down on becoming so invested in the offer: After all, other schools will soon be knocking, and you don't want to scare them off. Smart girl!
But the big news, of course, is Spencer's deal. After spending most of the episode spinning her wheels and acting real crazy, she gets Wren to take Melissa to visit Ian so the Liars can follow and find out if he's alive. And then, shockingly enough (at least to me), it turns out that Ian's been alive and sending those texts... But just as recently as today he shot himself in the head, leaving behind a creepy suicide note where he admits he killed Ali.
On the one hand, I guess she can stop looking for that wedding ring -- which A's run off with anyway -- but on the other hand, it probably sucks to see your fiancé and babydaddy lying there with a hole in his head. Still, that's what you get for being so mean to Spencer all the time.
Next week: Ian's funeral is held (in the church where he died the first time, awesomely) and we deal with the fallout from the murder suddenly getting solved -- including Spence taking the measure of her own crazy behavior -- as the Pretty Little Diaspora continues.
Previously: Alison and Ian asphyxiated, Wren medicated, Emily impetrated and prestidigitated, Hanna overcompensated, Aria matriculated and Spencer prevaricated. Also she stole some shit.
ACROSS THE TRACKS
While the Liars wander around outside the pawn shop dressed like the crazy hos in the "Love Is A Battlefield" video, Spencer produces a shitload of money out of nowhere and comes back for her sister's ring. Sadly, the pawn shop guy or A or somebody have switched out her ticket, and now it's gone. The guy offers Spence a horseshoe instead -- frankly, she needs all the luck she can get -- and A sends them all a mean text about it.
Because text messages come from God, they all stare into the sky, and guess what's there: The big glasses from The Great Gatsby, eyeballing them from a billboard. Since all of them are too busy spying on people and stealing shit and getting murdered all the time to do their required reading, not a single one of them gets the reference. Not even Hanna, who frankly should be paying attention to these, since she's the one that got voted Most Likely To Get Run The Hell Over.
But it's especially depressing given that The Great Gatsby is literally the only thing they have ever studied in school, at any point in the entire show. Fitz would be so disappointed. On the other hand, I'm sure Aria's showing leaps and bounds of improvement in vase- and bong-making over at college.
Ella (!) produces blueberry pancakes to show that we are back to normal, but Mike is not having it. Aria turns this conversation about a mother's estrangement from her own son into a jeremiad about a girl's pretend estrangement from her own friends. (Actually, I'm done making that same joke over and over because obviously the point is that they have no supervision and could get caught at any time -- and, as it turns out, this is finally a plotpoint. Plus, more Ella equals more joy for everybody: Because yeah, in Ezra's absence, Ella's the new teacher of Rosewood High's renowned baccalaureate course of study, The Great Gatsby: A Year-Long Symposium, which means she's going to be well-meaningly up in everybody's business even more than before, and will thus be privy to the Liars' ongoing and unendingly weird behavior.
Spencer: "Going somewhere? Why do you have your passport?"
Melissa: "It's Ian's. I need it to make an insurance claim on that ring."
Spencer: "I hope your ring turns up."
Melissa: "Fuck you for hoping I find my ring. This is about my missing husband!"
Spencer: "Apparently I... Walked into that one?"
Melissa: (Is still the worst.)