There's an interesting parallel here, I think, because the only time I can think of A intentionally detonating a secret was when she sent the kissing booth photos to Pam Fields. Nearly every other time she's pushing the girls back into their secrets, or cutting them off from people (Alex, e.g.). But as a sort of Goddess of Justice that was one of the few times I can remember her doing something that might help you. In a bad way, of course, but ultimately in a way that built character and erased secrets.
And then you've got this Lucas situation, which does the same thing: Hanna's whole life is built on not being Hefty Hanna and having the things Hefty Hanna couldn't have, like Sean. But what was always there, Lucas, is something she is still only barely able to comprehend wanting, because it conflicts with her own ideas about herself. She can be kind to Lucas, but only if she's being condescending in the way she thinks Sean was. And so A breaking her up with Sean and setting her up with Lucas is sort of the same thing: Breaking open the weird secret and letting it shine. Taking away the scaffolding of lies and showing the actual thing that you've been making. Hoping it can stand on its own.
I've come to believe that Aria and Ezra really are soulmates. Keywords in the Ezra/Simone conversation at this point? Prague, abroad, absinthe, marionettes. I rest my fucking case.
But in terms of the overarching nuclear ickiness, the Secret Life of Girls that this show does not hesitate to put on blast and continually nails, how about this slash-and-dash move by Simone, my emph.: "Talk about somebody who loves their puppets. Remember that huge Cookie Monster you had on your bed? You slept with him every night. He had to be peeled off of you in the morning. You slept with him in between your legs!"
I had to rewind that shit about sixteen times to make sure it actually happened. The only way that could be more upsetting -- or more honest -- is if they'd jumpcut again to Alison's sex spasms. Just toss the while nasty salad at once. And then you got Aria, who can't even deal with the semi-unconscious sexual warfare of this conversation, and is only there to steal Ian's keys by, get this, pretending it's her dad's jacket. While Spencer heads off with the keys, Lucas tries to remind Hanna that she's there with a date -- "Remember him? Big guy? Likes to hit me? -- and she literally shushes him, like would make Aria proud. You can feel Lucas give in; she feels it too, and it makes her want to barf.