So the deal with Emily is that there are two deals with Emily. Number one, she has an ulcer that she developed in reaction to lying to her Texan parents about the Danby scholarship, which is funny because I assumed that everybody had the same experience I did in high school, where your ulcers go away the second you figure out you're gay. But then, I've never been embroiled in any matriculation scams, nor have I been stalked by ninja ghosts very often. Number two, props to those perspicacious viewers who assumed A was juicing her because that's what was going on this whole time: HGH, apparently topical, in her IcyHot.
Whatever A's plan was goes down the tubes when Emily hits first the floor and then the ER, though -- unless A is also empowered with ulcer-giving -- and the whole Danby thing ends up being taken off Emily's plate altogether by her wonderful dad. After all, he explains, it's not worth eating yourself from the inside out just to get one crappy college scholarship when there are plenty of colleges that would want Emily just as she is. Not only is she brilliant and an absurdly hard worker, she's also gay and she's like every race. Plus, if those things don't cover her essays, she can always write about her best friend that got murdered that time.
Spencer finds out some facts about that, since Emily's hospitalization proves the perfect pretext to slip past the suddenly very present Wren, dress herself and Aria up as candy stripers, and go rooting around in the morgue files*. There's a page missing from Ali's, but the girls are more focused on the fact that Alison was murdered with the hockey stick for sure, and then BURIED ALIVE. Of course, everybody assumes that this indicts Jason, as illustrated by the gruesome x-rays of Ali's bashed-in skull, but nobody wants to tell Aria that because she is crushed out.
Besides, Aria's too busy avoiding Ezra and her family, which is in meltdown thanks to Mikey's ongoing delinquentism. Ella delivers some powerful -- and pretty heartbreaking -- acting as she gets stonewalled again and again by the implacable fury (and well-placed nastiness) of Mike's continued resentment. Ella correctly identifies his issues and attempts to elicit his thoughts, but is brutally rebuffed because of that time she moved out and then moved right back in again. Still no word on why he's stealing guns and objets but I think I spotted a manifesto being written on his computer at one point.
*(Which, welcome to the very scariest A-Tag of all time! Because the page that is missing was stolen by one of the morgue bodies under one of the morgue sheets, because it was A! Right there being a dead body! And then she slowly sits up in the tag and looks at you and throws the sheet at you and GAH! The only thing that could make this creepier is if it were Jenna under there!)
Jenna and Garrett creepster around in their usual Moose-and-Squirrel way, talking about how the girls must not apply pressure to the Thing of how Jason maybe killed Alison. It doesn't feel like they're protecting him, exactly, but there's something once again about throwing the Liars off the track, which is even more mysterious since he obviously did not kill her. There's such a surfeit of gorgeous creepiness in this episode that they almost feel like an afterthought.
Which is saying a lot, considering the episode starts with the Liars watching Jenna do a blind girl striptease in full view of her porch windows before making out with Garrett, causing them all to gasp, because even with the plethora of clues it still took Jenna and Garrett fully doing it in front of them for the Liars to realize something was up. I don't know what it means, though, and despite the great deal of discussion this engenders I don't get the feeling the ladies really do either.
Hanna thinks everything's going great on the homefront when her Dad sleeps over -- freaking poor Emily right out once again -- but then a save-the-date arrives for his wedding and Ashley does some personal inventory. Turns out she's not interested in flipping the script on Isobel -- Dad's previous Other Woman that he's now marrying -- and in fact is not interested in getting the band back together at all. But Hanna's problems do not end there! There's also a dude following Caleb around town, looking very undercover and probably related to Caleb's sketchy past.
Once Hanna screams his head off though, in her usual revolutionary fashion, we get the feeling that the poor guy is actually just privately trying to get Caleb to deal with a family member and he's not a cop at all. I'm guessing Mom, because Lord knows Hanna's got enough daddy issues for everybody. They end the episode on a bittersweet note, musing how they are both feral aliens who were raised by wolves and will probably never be normal or happy, which is probably like 99% of their conversations anyway.
In the end, what really matters is that even for a show that's about very pretty girls and boys wearing very pretty outfits and doing very ugly things, this episode saw the Liars and moms particularly looking twice as gorgeous as usual. Emily's on the mend and the Danby pressure is off, Aria couldn't give less of a hilarious shit about Ezra but her family's imploding, Spencer is torn between Toby and Wren and acting even more ghoulish than usual, and Hanna's back to hating her mom. Something truly insane is going to happen next week; meantime, check back Thursday for the full recap.
Previously: It was discovered that Officer Garrett was in possession of a mysterious lantern created by Jenna Thing, which caused Spencer no amount of heartache since she was sitting alone in his car with him when this terrifying (?) fact was discovered.
Liars: "You were just sitting alone in his car with him? What happened then?"
Spencer: "It was truly death-defying, as only cliffhangers on this show can be. I got Aria's text about the lantern..."
Liars: "Yes? YES?"
Spencer: "...And then I told him to take me home. So he took me home."
Liars: "Whew, that was a close one."
Liars: "Why do you think she gave him that lantern? I can't think of a single reason, especially with the ample clues we've been given for the last twenty episodes that they are dating."
Spencer's Autism: "We don't know positively that she gave it to him."
Hanna's Realism: "Yeah, maybe he bought it at the Blind Girl Craft Fair."
Emily: "Samara volunteers for that."
Liars: "Firstly, why would he even know that girl?"
Aria: "Because he lives across the street from her. Remember how we all live across the street from each other? How everybody on this show lives across the street from everybody else on this show, and yet all we ever seem to look at is Spencer's yard and that one window of Alison's house?"
Liar: "Maybe he just brings raw meat to Jenna's cat."
Spencer's Autism: "Toby lives there too, and they don't have a cat."
Hanna's Realism: "Then maybe he was bringing over raw meat for Jenna."
Emily: "Thanks for stopping our roving Mystery Machine Conspiracy Tour outside my old house so I could once again turn off the new owners' alarm."
Hanna: "They're going to need that in working order since Aria's brother is constantly robbing people."
Spencer: "Hanna, be nice."
Hanna: "I'm just saying he's a psycho delinquent. It's not judging and it's hardly hypocritical, considering I'm a sociopathic shoplifter and my boyfriend is a grey-hat hacker and surveillance expert."
Emily, hilariously narrating what they can all plainly see: "Oh my God, it's Garrett's car! Pulling up outside his house! Which is across the street from Toby's house! Oh my God, it's got red racing stripes! Oh my God, he's getting out of the car! Oh my God, he's crossing the street to Toby's house! Oh my God, he's going inside! Oh my God, trees turn carbon dioxide into oxygen! Right there in Toby's yard!"