Pam: "So a reporter just came by to ask you about the nonstop monstrosity that is your existence. I told him to beat it! But listen, I'm proud of you for going to Haiti and building Habitats for them. Maya would have liked that too. Because she was a Commie."
Emily: "I don't want to talk politics."
Hanna, verbatim: "Birds, birds, birds. You can't find a top this season without feathers on it."
Aria: Punches the air, elsewhere; does not know why.
Hanna puts down her magazine and tries to make contact with Coma Vanderwaal. Nope.
Hanna: "First of all, your inability to attain wellness is really making my secret trips to see you a hassle. Just say like one bitchy thing. No? Well how about this, I'm only coming to visit you so that I can purge my complicated feelings. This isn't about you. You, sitting there like a brittle stump or a multitude of bracelets. You, silent as a posed Bratz doll in a secret motel room. This is about me getting over the fact you broke my heart. And trying to figure out why. What I did."
No answer is forthcoming. She already got her answer. But I support, as always, Hanna's instinctual grasping at wholeness. She is so much further along than everybody else. Even if Emily and Spencer are trading places (and Aria remains dis- and unaffected) I love so much that Hanna gets to hold onto that, because I was really not sure she'd get to, after the Black Swan. The whole "God never gives you more than you can handle" thing is very true, in real life, but not always on TV. I think (if?) when Hanna breaks down again I will be very, very damaged by that happening.
Have we talked about this before? Probably. I identify, for reasons I'd imagine are obvious, with characters that used to be crazy and are no longer crazy. It's a character type that's fairly new, in this medium, but really only exists substantially in this medium because of the way long-form serialized dramas work, post-Whedon: That you can have a fuckface like Meredith Grey or Kara Thrace fucking everything up for everybody all the time and then, over years of hard work and heartbreak, watch her slowly heal herself and become magnificent.
Which is not to say that I wish terrible madness on Aria Montgomery, because there's grace in being well-adjusted too, just that those giant Shusher eyeballs of hers have never seen the darkness. (And it says a lot too, I think, that we can even bear to tell stories about broken women in the first place -- that there are enough women writers in the industry now that it's even allowed, to posit this happening. This new kind of TV human.) It's only to say that I get a lot of personal peace from knowing that fixed is not the same as unbroken, but there's no shame in it either: A broken bone, once healed, is always stronger than it was before.