Ezra engineers a Liars' intervention for speed-freak Spencer after she's "found" having sleepwalked to school and fallen asleep on his desk. Interestingly, this is the detail that sends her mom over the edge at the end of the episode: That back during her original addiction -- which was confirmed this week -- she often fugued out and didn't know what she was doing. Hmm. Also, Toby bought her a necklace and she flaked to do a Liar thing, but now everybody thinks she's ditching him because of drugs; you can imagine the face that Toby makes about all this.
Emily and Hanna put together a scheme (sort of middle-managed by a very addled Spencer) to trick Ezra into attacking them at a reptile exhibit at the local zoo, thanks to some clues in the messed-with Diary. But actually it's Mona who shows up to torment them, ditching out in turn on a date with Mikey Montgomery, who has changed up his hair game to sweet effect. (To her credit, Mona seems very against all these A-Team shenanigans, but who even knows with that girl.)
Where's Ezra during all this? Chasing Aria around his cabin's environs, which she breaks into after the (horrific shitshow of an) intervention goes south, and she realizes maybe Spencer's not just a raving lunatic: She's both a raving lunatic and a dream-soothsayer who has gotten to the bottom of the Ezra situation during her last mental time-out. Aria finds a manuscript detailing his relationship with Alison, wigs, and -- in truly impressive Aria fashion -- gets herself stuck on a ski lift with Ezra belted in right beside her.
Ezra explains that he is not actually murdering everybody, but in fact got very interested in the journalism arts after his one-time statutory rape victim was murdered. He decided it would be an interesting and important thing for him to do if he Truman Capote'd the True Crime of her death, which makes ZERO SENSE because how you gonna explain the fact that you were boning a child that died in the middle of the story how she died? "Oh, did I not mention that? Well, I also boned her little friends while writing this book, so you can see how that would muddy the journalistic waters."
But anyway, Aria is less offended by this leap in logic than the idea that Alison got there first, and even that less than the fact that Ezra has been playing her for a massive chump from the time he first seduced her underage ass in the pilot. (Also, his security passcode -- which I guess he installed after the last break-in -- is "B-26," because he is a fucking crazy person who thinks crazy thoughts like this.) We don't see how she gets herself off the lift, but we do see her go ham on his ass talking about you better believe she's gonna read this creepy story cover-to-cover... before he "accidentally" drops it into the forest. (A is later seen retrieving the pages, of course. Can't let all that pervy prose go to waste.)
Aria makes it home just in time to give Mona a royal drive-by before going upstairs and throwing around various gifts Ezra has given her, because even after all this his bizarre story suits her personal narrative so well that she's willing to be more butthurt about their shaky-ass relationship than about the fact that he keeps killing her friends. That's so Aria, that's exactly why she's my favorite right now. Both of those crazy kids. You know when you don't even have the energy to call Mona a bitch that something is about to crack inside you.
Meanwhile, everybody is concerned about Spencer's total drug addiction, to the point that she has to keep walking everyone to the concept that this is not a zero-sum and that in fact she can be a drug addict and Ezra can be A, both at the same time. Watching her unravel around their inability to comprehend this -- and listening to herself spout crazy nonsense -- is by far the most touching stuff in the episode, although Aria does give good sorrow and rage when called upon to do so. I was a little wary of how they'd eventually execute the "I'm so excited" portion of this storyline, but this was as inventive and moving and surprising as we could have wanted.
And beyond that, I loved it because it did that thing the show does so well, which is create two-sided situations that do double-duty without underserving either: Spencer's panic and retaliatory accusations are exactly what an intervention looks like, so she's doing what they think she's doing at the same time she's also in the right. Yes it is an intervention, and yes Ezra is A, and no, they can't be expected to pursue both trains of thought at once, so you kind of have to look at what's in front of you:
Spencer Hastings making zero sense, pulling all kinds of frequent-flier trickery, and generally flaking out while looking like a very beautiful brain-eating zombie. But we love Spencer, so the exquisite Snakepit horror of watching them pity and discount her, from her perspective, is also both factually and emotionally real. Your body responds to both things as though they are other things, putting you right there claustrophobically in the room with all of them. I just love that, I really do. So well done; really, one of the most impressive scenes I can think of, here or elsewhere, in a while. The whole episode was great.
Next Week: Aria loses her goddamn mind, and Spencer tries to spin her nineteenth nervous breakdown without accidentally solving any crimes or gobbling any more pills. Also, Paige does something weird but probably not nuts, but maybe nuts.
Spencer's intention to protect Emily from Alison's bullshit led to one very terrified Alison on the run without money or visible support -- especially after A chased Shana out of town, possibly for good. Ezra is some kind of freakin' Bond villain now that has you on blast wherever you are and whatever you are doing, which does make him seem like A who is also into those things, but maybe he is and maybe he is just a disturbed individual with a weakness for the soft flesh of children. Also, Spencer had a waking dream of a parallel universe where everything was awesome, but she's still on drugs so she's having a tough time remembering what is real and what is merely the awesome of a bygone era.
Spencer wakes up faceplanted on Ezra's desk at school, wearing her pajamas and zero shoes.
Ezra: "Spencer? It is time for school, not for sleeping in school. Go home and start over."
Spencer: "I am a little confused."
Ezra: "Are you confused that I will murder you? Please just put that random Diary away and go put on some weirdo outpatient clothing so we can have school."
Spencer: "Why did I sleep at school?"
Ezra: "Because you are on drugs. It might be a problem. Or maybe the problem is that you are onto me and I have to murder you."
Spencer: "Maybe they are both problems."
Hanna: "Spencer, good morning. Quick question, why are you wearing a weird hoodie and shower shoes? Emily and I both look very glamorous, for comedic juxtaposition."
Emily: "Spencer, did you... Have an accident?"
Spencer: "You sure got there in a hurry. No, the answer is not that I wet myself, the answer is that I am having a meltdown. I found these clothes in the lost and found. The shower shoes I got out of my gym locker."
Emily: "This meltdown, is it related to you butt-dialing me at four AM?"
Spencer: "I don't remember doing that either. I guess I was just sleep-driving."
Emily: "Remember that time Jenna Thing drove me all over town and she was blind?"
Spencer: "Ezra Fitz acted like a murderer at me and maybe kidnapped me. I think we should definitely tell Aria that her old/new boyfriend is a killer of ladies."
Liars: "Why would we do that? That's a terrible idea. Let's just keep it a secret from her until we are sure that she is dead."