And if you didn't fall in love with the inconvenience that truth entails, you would never grow or change, because that's all love is for. Shows up unannounced, rips you into tiny pieces, puts you back together slightly better than you were before.
Coach summons Paige and Emily down to have a little meeting about Homophobia And Bullying In Our Time. Paige assumes Emily blew a whistle -- and furthermore that she is doing this as some Machiavellian move to unseat her, which would be wild! -- and Emily, I presume she blames A, because shit always happens. (As it turns out it was Spencer, which took me by surprise but makes total sense in retrospect because of her whole desperate need this week to erase the Ali shame by protecting the shit out of everybody even more than she usually does.)
So Coach Walton is wonderful, and you can see the compassion coursing through her veins as Emily tries to throw her off the scent or at least say it's been dealt with. Because of all the interesting, groovy things about her storyline this week, the thing I find most fascinating is that Emily did deal with it... And nobody's giving her credit for that, because she's Sweet Emily. So they circle the wagons and Coach is calling these advocacy hearings and trying to do her job, and the whole time Emily's like, "Thanks for making everything worse, everybody." And even after Coach lets Paige go, she keeps Emily around to get some kind of bead on whether Emily needs her help, I'm a willing ally, all that stuff, and Emily is of course freaked out by that because it's too many secrets being talks about at once, but also: Stop helping, this one time.
Because Emily said exactly the right thing, at exactly the right time, and honestly I think Paige might have given in on that front if Spencer and Coach hadn't interfered, because the challenge Emily gave her was totally respectful, respectable, competitive in the best way, both gorgeous and intriguing: Stop saying it's about this or that, quit with your power shit, and start looking at ways to get better. I am willing to inspire and be inspired by you. Somebody said that to me? I would literally turn gay for them. That's like the sexiest thing you could ever say.
But what of Ella? Hitting the road for her lonely museum visit, non-spinster dating lady proving she can have fun and do cultural things all on her lone without feeling adrift, Day 55 of My New Great Life. So of course her car won't start. So of course Byron comes to walk her through it, because they've had this temperamental car forever, and he's like, "It's just the killswitch, jiggle the key" and Ella goes from slow burn to kind of psycho screaming over the course of this conversation, and it's so awesome. I really love seeing them together, it brings out the best in both performances, and HMC is already one of the finest of our ensemble, so it's just thrilling.