An afterschool spelunk into Redcoat's crawlspace is abruptly aborted when Redcoat enters the house and tries stabbing Aria in the eye with some knitting needles (which A later uses to stab a dolly of one of the five Liars in the A-Tag). It's pretty scary, I think by design -- but not as scary as a short and brutal hayride from hell that ends with Redcoat shuffling toward you through haybales like a landshark He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Emily and Spencer try to cut the person up with a hoe rather horrifically and crazily, but end up with only the red coat itself.
...Which we see in CeCe's latest Lair, where it looks to my naked eye less like an A Lair and more like the site of a bright young lady trying to solve the murder of her best friend and soul sister (who may occasionally be possessing her body). On the other hand, once she's lost the coat we later see her spying on Aria in the signature A-Team black hoodie, so who even knows. I'm just happy to see her!
One foot already in Nicaragua -- and fighting off Paige's suspicions about Rumer Willis -- Emily acts real sketchy about going to the school dance with her until she has a gorgeously disastrous run-in with a crazed Ezra, who yells at her about nothing at all and then admits his kid is being taken away. After that, it's a quick jump to a flashback in which we learn that Alison once had a gun pulled on her by a creep (Wilden?) she was trying to dump on behalf of a friend (CeCe?) -- and that Alison then cautioned Emily about taking care of others over herself. A twofer. So instead of letting Paige down easy, Emily decides -- at the end of a night of ignoring her just horribly -- to keep their relationship going until the bloody gaspy end. It's absurdly sweet and we get to watch them dance for a long time, it's nice.
Emily eventually tells Aria about Ezra's kid being taken away (note that he leaves out the part where Malcolm isn't actually his kid, but I still think that's somehow an A-related fakeout) so she'll stop blowing him off, and the episode ends with Aria doing a beautifully choreographed dance with Karate Jake and then showing up at Ezra's house to watch him cry and whine, because some relationships are just inevitable. I am gonna miss Karate Jake like nobody's business, but you knew it was coming.
Case in point: After receiving a CD of his dead mother singing that song from before, Toby goes twice as crazy about being on the A-Team, to a point that scares even Spencer enough to finally confide -- after a hilarious accusation from Aria that she's basically been living in her own TV show inside this TV show -- in the Liars. He yells at her about that, because of A's strictures about not telling anybody his various betrayals, and then sets out (with Caleb hot on his heels) to break into the abandoned car of that weird old Dr. Palmer... Just as the cop car is driving up, because of course the whole thing is an insane setup by A that serves merely to validate Spencer's concerns.
Hanna meets a very cute, soft-spoken tall kid named Travis who apparently goes to their school, and who puts a shit-ton of money in her locker to help with her mom's legal fees. Turns out he was there the night Wilden got shot, saw Ashley drive away before that happened, and then panicked and ran. He left his truck at the lake, which was returned the next day along with the wad of cash, in Diva Dish (CeCe's old boutique) stationary. While Hanna is grateful to him for the money and info, she has to dig deep into her charm reserves to get him to tell the Lieutenant about it, since his family had bad blood with Wilden, just like everybody else.
Things seem very close to resolving as far as CeCe Drake and why she lives under people's flooring sometimes, and I am guessing we'll get an explanation for the B-Team/NAT Club murders as well. Which hopefully in turn will get Ashley out of jail, which will chill Hanna out, which will chill Emily out, which will chill everybody out. These people are under a lot of stress, I realize that, but they are acting like a-holes lately and it's really frustrating. I would like their lives and loves to be at least a little bit smoother by the time we land this one, wouldn't you? Aria's suddenly the charming funny one, and Spencer is the logical, precise one? This isn't how life is supposed to be.
Next Week: #WorldWarA. Aria, wearing white tights as pants. A return to Ravenswood, a disappearing Liar, the secrets of CeCe Drake, and a spooky carnival magic show -- I'm sure complete with the requisite clowns, because you can't ever have enough of those -- and the Grunwald. I think one thing on which we can all agree is that the mystery of Toby's mother should probably go on and on forever, though. Am I right?
Spencer interpreted a mysterious A note for Toby and then played the part of his dead mother in a scheme to unlock the secrets of the demented Dr. Heavy-Air, while Dr. Wren Kingston engineered Veronica Hastings's recusal as Ashley Marin's lawyer and Mona was returned to her old room at Radley Sanitarium, so Hanna's downward spiral continues unabated. (And she doesn't even know that Caleb is only here for another week!)
Aria took her relationship with Karate Jake to the next level, while Ezra was discovering that Malcolm isn't even his son. (Unless the lab, located in Philly, has been infiltrated, which would be an amazing triple-snap twist in Ezra's brain, which is already headed south.) Most freakily, former athlete and imminent singleton Emily Fields was treated to two very important clues by Jessica DiLaurentis: One is that Alison and CeCe Drake were used to switching their souls between their bodies, and two is that Redcoat has been making her temporary home under the DiLaurentis house.
Resolved: CeCe Drake nearly killed Jenna Thing, has been living under the floorboards and quote "staring up Emily's skirt" for a while now, may blame the Liars (and/or B-Team) for getting kicked out of UPenn, and possibly is a reptile.
Emily: "How am I supposed to live in that house?"
Aria: "Just stay on the second floor..."
Spencer: "...And wear underwear at all times."
Emily: "Creepshot jokes: Not real funny to the girl who got molested at a day spa."
Hanna appears in a pastel pink blazer, foreshadowing conflict with Spencer over their moms' legal issue.
Hanna: "Explain to me yet again about how come Veronica can't be my mom's lawyer?"
Spencer: "They took her down, honey. She's protecting your mom by not being involved. Once that anon told the judge she threatened Mona, it was all over."
Hanna: "I still don't get it. I just don't understand this storyline of mine at all."
Emily: "Why is Lieutenant Tanner here? Is it because it's baked ziti day?"
Tanner: "How are you and your mother enjoying the quasi-homeless life?"
Emily: "You say that with a smile but actually, words can hurt."
Tanner: "I don't care about your feelings because you keep coming to the police station and fucking up my life. Have you been back to the scene? I mean 'your former home'?"