Mrs. DiLaurentis is back in town, getting yelled at by Spencer's dad for a Jason Thing or Jason-Related Thing. All we know by the end of the episode is that Mrs. D was responsible for keeping Jason out of Rosewood, didn't, and that Spencer's dad does not want her hanging around with Jason.*
Which is probably best, because even after Aria tries some wacky mind games on him he still can't remember the day his sister Alison died. What he can remember, still, is how cute her pink hair-stripes looked when she was even younger of a child than she is now. One thing Aria can't seem to remember is how she has a boyfriend named Ezra Fitz, which helps explain her total fascination with Jason D.
*(That's basically Spencer's whole deal this week, although she logs some obligatory cuteness time with Toby and nearly murders Mona.)
Mrs. D drunkenly gives girls these four dresses that used to belong to the dead girl so they can wear them in the big fashion show; Hanna, of course, points out how insane that is immediately, but they all go through with it as a sort of tribute. This scene with Mrs. DiLaurentis is probably the best scene, but then you see the insane clothes of the fashion show and you're like, maybe not. (If Jenna were in the fashion show that would obviously have been the most amazing part, but she was probably busy potting.)
Emily meets Samara's bestie, America's Next Top Quinn Or Something, who has annoying hair and whatever else is necessary to push Emily one glacial centimeter more into Samara's arms. On the homefront, Pam and Ashley decide that Emily can come live in the marvelous Marin house until school's out, so that Mrs. Fields can go make Texas cookies with her serviceman and not be so sad all the time. Love how felonious Ashley Marin is now the go-to parent for everybody in town.
Hanna is still having trouble making up with Caleb, which even the other Liars find bizarre at this point, but spends most of the episode focusing her laser insight on Dad, who actually admits that he's still in love with Ashley or something and that's why he's hanging around. Ashley works that shit like a pro, of course, but it's her secret grins whenever Hanna bitches her dad out for leaving that make her this week's winner.
I guess the big fashion show used to be Spencer's thing but is now Mona's thing because of Spencer constantly getting stalked and murdered and/or murdering and stalking others. Mona hires Noel Kahn as the DJ, so he shows up: The moment you can be absolutely sure something fucked up is about to happen. And oh, it does.
The clothes are pretty awesome, honestly -- some Rodarte-looking princess stuff, some Aria goth stuff, some Spencer prairie stuff, all of it excellent -- and the ladies have been styled to hell and back so there's a lot of gorgeous to look at, and but then all of a sudden some punk girl is screaming THE BITCH IS BAAAAACK and there's pictures of Alison everywhere, devil eyeballs strobing, burning in hellfire, Perez'd all over with words like BITCH and MONSTER and other true things about Alison.
Luckily, this happens in front of all of their parents and clearly freaks the Liars, so it's the first thing in history they aren't blamed for, which is sad because it's probably the coolest thing that ever happened in this town. So they all go home and have sweet convos with their sweet parents and move the plot forward toward next week, when everything flips over because we're at the halfway point. So it is that in the end, everybody is pretty much chill. Like even the A-Tag goes:
A orders some boots online. The end.
(They're the brown leather Tory Burches Therapist Anne was wearing that Hanna wouldn't shut up about -- obviously there is a point; obviously the second you see the boots onscreen you can assume it's about that, and probably about framing Hanna some more in the process -- but it's still hilarious to watch A buy them, in her leisurely-yet-menacing way, on the generic Website Page of Boots For Sale.)
Next week: Ezra slaps Jason with a glove and challenges him to a naked wrestling match for Aria, because he has discovered DH Laurence and now has heard of two authors; this starts out looking pretty good for Aria, but that not last for long. Spencer and Jason cure each other's amnesia when they accidentally touch hands during a game of shirtless hoops, but it still answers zero questions. Also they switch bodies. Noel Kahn and Mona Vanderwaal go all V For Vendetta after being approached by media anarchists about their part in the Fashion Nightmare. Meanwhile, Spencer's mom and Alison's mom get so drunk they end up in a fountain, and Emily and Hanna build a pillow fort upstairs.
Pretty Previously, Ian's dead body didn't actually commit suicide and confess to Alison's murder, which Spencer was like That's so typical, and we found out that Alison didn't even die anyway. At least during her sex tape. Which is also so very typical.
Pretty Presently, the Liars are folding flyers for the big Rosewood fashion show that they hold for no reason, and talking about serial killers and suicide and pedophiles and fashion tips and boy problems like they're all of equal value.
Liars: "What even happened on this show, or ever happens on this show?"
Spencer: "I hate how Ian didn't strangle her. Remember when Ian tried to murder me in that bell tower because Alison left us his stalker tapes in the form of a lunchbox that you could only find by accessing a secret compartment in a snow globe? Remember? I bet he somehow still killed her sometime after that tape shows he didn't kill her."
Hanna: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains -- no matter how improbable -- must be the truth. It is my belief that A killed our friend and is now impersonating her ghost."
Liars: (Stare at each other for like one hot second about the seemingly instant and fascinating truth about this, but then rather than exploring it they abruptly change the subject to their provisional love lives.)
Liars: "So, did you invite [Ezra/Caleb/Samara/Toby] to the show?"
Corresponding Liars: "[You mean Jason/not dating him/of course/of course]."
Hanna: "I am not dating Caleb. Even when we kissed, I wore the wrong gloss. Wet look."
Emily: "Ew, did his long silky werewolf hair get stuck on it? I know about that from dating girls all the time."
Aria, glumly: "...Me too, from Fitz. Jason's not like that, his way-girly face and long surfer hair notwithstanding."
Spencer: "Stop with the yammering and fold. Mona Vanderwaal is already up my A trying to take this fashion committee away from me. You can only answer texts if they are from Ezra, because now I believe in love."
Spencer, verbatim: "I was always a romantic. Under a thin veneer of pragmatism. And a few shockingly bad choices."
Aria: "I'm going to pretend this text was from Ezra, but really it's from Jason DiLaurentis, whose badboy convertible is waiting downstairs so he can stare at me with such intensity you might barf just from the stress. I am drawn to him like a moth to a flame for reasons I myself cannot fathom."
Liars: "Good thing we're so immune that the second you said Ezra all our brains switched off!"