Pretty Little Liars

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Nukes & Cookies

Into the dance -- which is just gorgeous; I've seen a lot of Norman Buckley party scenes in my time and this one beats them all -- and of course old Hanna's brought her flask with her. Hello, old friend! Spencer laughs at her friend's total grossness and tells her to at least fold a magazine around it, and everybody starts showing up, looking lush. Everybody looks amazing at the dance, especially Emily; even including Ian. Whose appearance, it's worth pointing out, always presages a jumpcut back to Ali in the video throes.

Goal one: Get Ian's laptop bag out of the locked drawer in his office by stealing his keys from his checked coat. Goal two: Keep Emily from total meltdown. (This is a secret goal they don't know about yet.) Goal three: Keep crazy Aria from chewing Simone and/or Ezra's face off. Goal four: Whatever horrible thing A is going to make Hanna do. Goal five: Never stop dancing.

Emily points out that without the laptop there's no reason to go to the police, but Spencer's hilariously not buying that: "Look, we saw what we saw. Something went down between him and Alison, and he buried her in the yard to shut her up!" Spencer is so magnificent. It's not like Spencer goes to 11, it's like she lives there.

Byron Montgomery shows up, to Ella's wary smiling surprise, and she explains the rules of the danceathon to him while Ian's announcing the beginning of the contest. Ella is, of course, in charge of like half the things going on. Including not giving him a fucking inch, thank God, and in her usual classy way. Ella being the one person who has solved the self-contradicting binomial Teen Girl equation, which is how to be sexy enough to get what you want but not so sexy that you're indicted for a crime nobody's ever actually committed.

Simone shows up and Aria -- who is requesting the Rescues from the DJ on a signup sheet, although how great would it have been if she'd requested the Ella/Byron song? -- starts getting weird about it. Apparently she and Ezra had a fabulous coffee date, talking about world events and classic literature and, I don't know, Iron & Wine or dumpster pools or whatever old people think is hip. The Cobrasnake. "They did not have English teachers like that when I was here," Simone gushes, and Aria digs her nails into her palms like a tiny big-eyed stigmatic.

Spencer splits to get the key, and Hanna notes poor Lucas in the corner before meeting up with Caleb and Emily to complete the phreak transaction. Once Emily's got the phone in her mitt she runs off like Gollum and Hanna sticks around to yell at Caleb for charging her double. Hanna's all about money but especially right now: "Considering you charged her three times the normal amount that phone should answer itself and have a built-in lipstick!" Hanna's a good friend, in the oddest ways. He tells her to call customer service with her black-market complaints and she calls him an ass, and then they have the coolest microconversation:

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Pretty Little Liars

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