Spencer finds Emily getting off the phone with Maya, the bearer of sad news: Maya has drunk the Kool-Aid to its dregs and no longer really gives a shit about their love affair, because she is too busy building character and singing creepy songs and finding her inner True North. Spencer, as usual: "Sweetie, she's in wilderness boot camp. She's been talking to bears." And maybe even being watched by her counselor while she's on the phone. But no, that was just straight-up New Maya. She was alone, brainwashed and hung out to dry in the wilderness. God, I hope losing the only thing that's kept Emily hanging on doesn't send her over the edge or anything.
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!"