After Paige is completely awesome regarding Emily's kissing session with Cousin Nate, you know it's only a matter of time before something terrible happens, and it totally does! Turns out Paige and Alison had a violent history that Paige's kept silent about, but once Cece Drake fills Spencer in on the basics, that old Hastings Magic starts up and Spencer decides Paige killed everybody. Emily, on the other hand, turns pretty viciously on the other Liars as a result of their meddling.
Seems that Ali was scared enough of Paige that she rigged a blackmail plot using Emily as bait, resulting in a coming-out letter that Alison used against her enemy until her death. Spencer refers to Paige as a "snake" at one point, and they go through her purse, but not before someone locks Spencer in a dressing room and starts throwing real snakes at her. Like a boss, Cece Drake eventually saves her, but we're left wondering exactly what happened and why.
Meanwhile, Wesley Fitzgerald is fantastic in supporting Aria after she visits Maggie -- the girl Ezra knocked up and his mom bought off -- and learns that Ezra's son is very much alive. Aria's constant fussing about Maggie has induced Ezra to give her a call of his own, though, and she doesn’t mention anything about their child. So now Wesley and Aria have two problems, because if Maggie is only lying as part of the agreement with Diane, then setting Ezra off could have dire consequences for the kid himself.
Hanna spends the episode freaking out about that USB drive Spencer threw at Ian the night Mona murdered him, in that church that time, which Pastor Ted has randomly found. She warns Jenna -- after all, it contains her major secret -- and tries to come up with multiple plans in sexy secret places with Caleb to get it back, but eventually it's Ashley who destroys it: Seems one of the videos was from her days of sexual bribery with Officer Wilden.
And anyway, Hanna's got bigger problems: They find the other earring from Aria's casket tribute in Paige's stuff, and Emily is less interested in discussing her with them than ever. In the end, it's Jenna Thing of all people who confirms Spencer's suspicions, warning Emily in a hysterical way to no avail, and it's with a heavy pounding heart that we see Paige possibly closing her trap after all. And in the A-Tag, we finally get two A's in the same place, which is unexpectedly chilling for some reason.
Next week: Marathon, and then the finale, #thebetrAyal, Maya's killer revealed, a bomb threat, and Spencer coming at Paige head-on. After that, it's two months of webisodes -- which sound really weird, they're about that Halloween store and will involve Lucas and Cece Drake, as well as Noel Kahn -- and then the Halloween Special. Meantime, hats off to one of the best episodes this show's ever done, and serious anticipation for next week.
I'm just gonna say, even for this show, this is one hell of an episode. Absolutely brilliant from start to finish.
Spencer got chased through a church like a million years ago, which resulted in Ian dying like six or seven times, and also involved her throwing the USB drive into the pews to distract him. As with most pieces of evidence, especially when Spencer's involved, nobody remembered it after the fact. Cece Drake showed up out of nowhere, and proceeded to act like a boss. Ezra's 99 problems included a babymama. Noel Kahn's cabin has a secret robot murder room, which attacked Hanna's leg. Paige is on a rampage because of Emily accidentally kissing Cousin Nate.
Hanna: "How come I'm the only one who has to actually heal at a normal rate? Now, Spencer, I've asked you here because I simply need the most hideous clothing to distract from my sucking leg wound, and Aria is busy."
Spencer: "That giant peasant skirt should do it. You look like the Gyptians."
Hanna: "Perfect! Now nobody will notice my tiny leg bandage."
Spencer: "And yet nothing about your plainly visible bra."
Wren calls and Hanna acts super incredibly shady about it, setting off Spencer's understanding of the obvious, and even refers to him as "Downton Grabby," which is amazing, but Hanna blows it off.
Pastor Ted: "Hey, I found this thumb drive in my church from that time Ian tried to kill Spencer. It's got weird footage of your daughter being spied on."
(Hanna & Spencer: "Eventually our habit of completely forgetting evidence after every episode was going to bite us in the ass, I suppose.")
Ashley: "Well, there was some shit that once went down. Perhaps you've heard of the ongoing tragedy and near-constant murder that is my daughter's regular life?"
(Hanna: "Okay, here's the thing about that thumb drive though, is that it has Jenna's rape footage on it. If he takes it to the cops, she'll think that we sold her out! And I would never do that, because I'm such a good friend.")
Ashley randomly ends up with the USB drive and puts it down for a sec, but then surprises the girls trying to snatch it.
Ashley: "What the fuck? Is this Mona stuff?"
Hanna: "Yeah, it's no big deal. Just don't give it to the cops, they'll move her away."
Ashley: "Guess what, I am not hugely in favor of Mona. I'm going to arbitrarily watch these in the future. Now get your shit and get in the car. We need to talk about your horrible outfit."