Jason's running around the track shirtless, so right away you know he's going to behave himself. I love, love the way he talks. It's so weird and special. It reminds me of the first time I saw Adam Brody and I was like, "That's not how you act on TV! I've seen TV before." He sketchily says he's "Taking care of family business," and when Spencer -- dressed like a cross between Annie Hall and Carmen Sandiego, of course -- shows him the photo he's like, "After Ali disappeared we got bizarre things in the mail, too. Sympathy cards from strangers ,and letters with conspiracy theories about what happened to her... Sometimes it was photos..."
How great if he'd been like, "This one persistent dude keeps making me take my shirt off all the time and act weird at funerals. Do you know anybody named A?"
So but okay this is in actuality an actual image of Alison, in Spencer's actual yard, wearing her actual disappearing outfit, with a person chasing her, from the vector of Ali's actual bedroom. Not one of those whatevers he's talking about. Jason agrees to take it to their family's PI, and then just as Spencer's ready to run he's like, "Spencer. Ali's memorial was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was a jerk." Spencer says it was sort of more intense than that, but acknowledges his apology. She is stern, but just.
Emily's back on the swim team, and breaking records left and right. This makes Coach very happy, but current team captain Paige McCullers not so happy. Paige McCullers is a very pretty girl whose severely fucked-up looking Annie Wilkes/Selma Blair geometric haircut not only gives her, somehow, linebacker shoulders, but is also a flashing neon sign for CRAZY BITCH. Like, even Spencer finds her a little intense.
Hanna keeps calling Ashley to cry about the money, and whatever, but then Spencer and Aria appear, having made themselves a super dumb plan. Spencer's dad has tickets to this art opening in Philly that he's not using, so she's giving them to Aria for an out-of-town Real Couple Date with Ezra, as well as a sleepover alibi. Spencer is a good friend. Or else she just knows Aria's going to be the next one to crack if she can't figure out a way to make her sick fake relationship feel like the movies. One of the two.
Paige gets all the swim girls together with giftbags and delivers this speech about morale and team spirit -- interrupting herself to bitch at Emily for looking in the bag, awesomely -- and finally Coach tells her to cut it short: " All righty all righty Paige, I'm sure everybody appreciates your gifts, but I want you swimmin', not shoppin'." That's how she talks, all the time. Coach is fucking great, as a character and performance, by the way. She reminds me of a lot of Betty Buckley in Carrie: Just so sweet, and so obviously brilliant, so willing to toe the line of professionalism in order to save your soul, so willing to punch a bully in her stupid face. She was one of my role models growing up, and I'm always so happy to echoes of that character in places. Anyway, Emily tries to apologize to Paige for her excellence, but she just Nurse Ratchets her shit on up outta there without even looking.