Whew! That was a lot. This season is really good. Okay, from the top. Emily assumes that it was A who cheated her test for her, since that's exactly what went down with Operation Pain Cream, but sensibly heads immediately to Ella to confess. Ella is so shocked by anybody taking the direct approach to anything on this show that she does another unheard-of thing, and tells the truth. Once Ella's job is threatened, Ezra jumps in to play the White Male card and earns himself a pat on the back from the Vice Principal for cheating. He assures everybody that this has nothing to do with Aria, and then gives Emily the opportunity to take a new test to prove herself to herself. It is great! Also great: Emily is acting so Spencer Psycho that the Liars are finally starting to notice; Ezra is being so awesome and charming that Ella is starting to defrost.
Aria -- still reeling from the news that she and her compatriots have been stalked by a ghost ninja for the last two seasons, which she'd never noticed -- agrees to play piano for Jenna so she can do some sleuthing and have some weird conversations. As per usual, this turns up exactly one clue, which is a meeting at a gun shop, so the Liars follow Jenna there, and -- as is their wont -- start taking off their earrings the second Jenna comes flouncing out of there with working eyeballs.
They corner Jenna in an alley and are horrible to her some more -- I was convinced there would be actual violence -- and she finally reveals that she's being stalked as well, which is why she's been lying about her sight since the first operation, when she cried that time. (There's still the Geordie LaForge thing happening where just knowing that she has eyeballs and seeing her eyeballs is itself creepy, after two years of the shades, but I guess that'll fade eventually.) Oh, and Emily's memory of Jenna's car: She picked her up on the sidewalk, drunk, and then had to drop her off a block later because Emily was going berserk. So, no go there.
Spencer is where I get confused because there was a lot of Hastings stuff, and you know they don't talk to each other like normal people do, so it's a sort of whirlwind. Veronica won't say why she's suddenly Garrett's lawyer, but Spencer is pissed, and then the Liars wonder if he is Melissa's babydaddy -- oh, Melissa's here, just Melissing it up all over the place -- and then Spencer figures out that Melissa either was never pregnant or... Something? Some sketchy milk-drinking yogurt-stealing Mystic Falls-founding serial killer baby-having nonsense. Maybe she's in love with Garrett, maybe both, maybe neither, I don't know. I just know she's the Chris and Albie to Spencer's Lauren Manzo.
What complicates it is, Veronica is also lying about whatever this plotpoint is, which might have to do with her change of heart about Garrett, but there's clearly a lot going on with this secret of Melissa's miscarriage. To what end I don't know, but I like it when the generations cross like that, in that NAT Club way, so any chance to have them constantly flip back and forth between being jerks and being sorry for being jerks, or for Spencer to bug her sister about that video of them chilling in Ali's room that time, generally leads to good places. What is actually going on, I couldn't begin to tell you.
Hanna continues to disappoint Caleb with her total lying about everything, and it's sad, and also what is sad is that Lucas has lost his damn mind and is now a firebug and grumpy all the time and related to the A-Team in some way. Or else he's still protecting Hanna in the middle of his downward spiral, considering his flimsy reasons for visiting Mona at Radley. Which I know you wanted to hear about most of all, and girlfriend did not disappoint, but also: Lucas drops some cryptic knowledge on Caleb about the A-Team and icebergs and all manner of scary, and they revisit the broken wreckage of their bromance, and it's kind of sad. But there's hope, there's always hope. It was early and throughout this episode that I realized Caleb is played by a fantastic actor, which is pleasant to have finally noticed.
Speaking of fantastically talented actors, Mona is now giving makeovers in her mental institution, and when she gets visitors she schools their asses as well. After saying the most Mona thing of all time -- "I know we've had our ups and downs," she says! -- she gets the whole nine from Hanna about still keeping A secrets. So she teases a bunch more A secrets and clues and whatever, of course, and then later she pulls this massive head trip on Caleb where he tells her to leave Hanna alone and she weaves back and forth like a Rudyard Kipling snake trying to hypnotize him into being dinner for a while, then abruptly starts screaming her head off and throwing tables and getting sedated.
Was she faking? I think so, but I also think she is fucking crazy, so it's really kind of moot. In the end, she sings (lovely!) a little song about eyes and hearts to a playing card of the Queen of Hearts, whom I suppose is the person I've been calling Little Red Riding Hood, and which is much better... Especially given the Alison/Vivian "blondes & brunettes" clue Mona drops while playing solitaire.
Between her crazily breezy affection with Hanna, and then the fifty shades of crazy she was pulling on Caleb, I'm thinking the jealousy factor might be a bigger deal than I thought, moving forward. But as for the A-Team, the Swan, Lucas, That Night, and the Queen... I honestly don't know how much help Mona's gonna turn out to be. I'd hate to think she's actually that much a victim of all this -- I mean, the girl's a superhero, she lives in a hyperreality that we can barely even contemplate -- but she's clearly not in charge, no matter what the Liars still suspect.
Next week: Hanna either gets run over by a car or talks more about getting run over by cars, and then gets dumped by Caleb. Melissa drinks an Ashley Marin amount of wine and yells at Spencer about her imaginary baby some more. Mona starts talking in different voices, or twitching one eye and then the other eye, or whatever is totally freaky and not a skill any young actress should possess. Emily reminds everybody, once again, that she is no longer taking any bullshit. Aria begins to suspect that she and her friends are being stalked by a malevolent force known as "A." The Liars dump a bucket of pig's blood on Jenna for no reason, or just make her face smell like a foot.
Garrett was playing Spencer from inside, for reasons that must remain elliptical forever I guess, but eventually got her mom Veronica to be his lawyer. Emily got a necklace of human teeth, and also kidnapped by Jenna at some point. Aria was approached by Jenna to play piano for her, and was led by mysterious earrings and not-so-mysterious daddy issues to reveal the fact that she was once a Teen Vandal. Meanwhile, Hanna's visits to her once-obsessed, now nonresponsive ex-bestie resulted in chairs thrown and lies lied to her longsuffering werebeau.
Jenna: Acting all blind, presumably just to piss off everybody.
Liars: "God, what a performance. And what is her aim? To what end, this blindness?"
Aria: "Speaking of crazy bitches we all hate, I wish Mona would go back to catatonia."
Spencer: "Along those lines, Melissa is coming home so I guess the three Hastings women will have a quorum about Garrett Reynolds and whatever else. In some ways I hate that we can't have one-on-one conversations, but on the other hand I don't really like any of my family members except my bastard brother anyway."
Hanna: "We should push a table in front of stupid Jenna and see if she'll fake a fall."
Liars: "Hanna Marin, you have the subtlety of a hand grenade."
Hanna: "That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me."
Lucas: Flips the vice-principal the bird on his way to setting fire to his latest demerit, and it is awesome.
Hanna: "Lucas, why are you acting all crazy these days?"
Lucas: "My 'positive attitude' and 'social interactions' are not on my list of priorities. I am punk rock now. Every day is Guy Fawkes Day now."
Lucas lights this piece of paper on fire in a completely safe way, even snagging a metal trash can so it won't be a danger to anyone, but the music shits itself and Caleb runs in to save Hanna from her horrible fate of seeing a nerd light a piece of paper on fire. It is epic and pathetic all at once.
Hanna: "Lucas used to be so sweet."
Caleb: "First of all, that is not true. He was Nice Guy Aggressive at best. Also, don't call boys 'sweet,' especially if they like you."
Hanna: "He's becoming a real Sour Patch Kid!"
Caleb: "He's making up for lost time. Everybody goes a little crazy, he's just doing it in the most socially sanctioned possible way. Mostly I just miss him."
Hanna: "Talk him down, please. He loves you almost as much as he does me."
Caleb: "Speaking of our same-sex romances, I need you to stop visiting Mona."
Hanna: "That's so cute that you even said that."
Caleb: "That was not an answer."
Hanna: "Well, I have the subtlety of a hand grenade, so..."