That's what a relationship is, when you're Aria: Holding hands, dancing places, getting coffee, I bought you a scarf, we carry matching Moleskins. (An awesome forum poster surmised a few weeks back that the reason Ezra can't get a real date is because all he likes to do is hold hands; that still cracks me up.) Ezra's eyes are now wide with disbelief -- why the hell is this teenage girl I'm dating acting like a teenage girl? -- and he realizes it's time to call in the big guns: "Aria. Why are we having this conversation? I am already in love with someone else."
Oh, well okay then. That's literally all it takes and she immediately chills out. I cannot imagine how it's worth this much effort -- I mean, she's still Aria -- but don't ask me to explain perverts to you. They got needs we don't ken.
While Ella's closing up shop at the dance, handing over A's black jacket and gloves (coat check #32), Hanna wrestles away Emily's magic phone, and then stops her from apologizing about the mean drunk speech in a really kind, awesome manner: "Don't apologize. You were right. The truth is I was worse than Alison tonight. If that's even possible. And I do know how Lucas feels about me. I wasn't messing with him for fun."
And maybe right then she could have explained the Hitchcock movie her mom's gotten them into, but Emily falls into the blackouts and so she just covers her up. Downstairs, Spencer gives Hanna mad props for getting the phone away from her -- "That could cause some serious damage," she says, in her hardcore way -- and then Hanna discovers the laptop on the coffee table, magazines stacked on top.
Spencer assumes thusly that the laptop was never at the dance, and Ian put it there after she left, and immediately confirms that the Kissing Rock footage is gone forever. But then, of course, there's more: A new message from A, in which we see Alison running away from the barn after the Spencer fight but before the Toby run-in where she got the sweater, and a note: Watch your backs. I didn't. - A. There's a shadow behind her, even, but instead of assuming it's Toby they just know it was the murderer.
But I mean, really that picture is all of them, and the shadow that's chasing them is Alison, because they are all sort of Alison, because she's the only other person who's solved that Girl Dilemma, just in really fucked-up ways. Which she passed onto them, like a Professor of Grossness:
Alison was the one that helped Aria discover Byron's extracurriculars, breaking down the generational wall between child and parent in a way that can't be rebuilt and which Aria's still trying to climb and figure out.