Well, first of all Holden actually is in a Fight Club or is a Real Life Superhero. Details forthcoming, but I just wanted to get that longshot out of the way.
The picture of Naked Kate released last week occasions the school to hold an all-night anti-bullying rally along the lines of MTV's excellent If You Really Knew Me series, aimed at reforming Hanna and her gals from sending out more pictures with thumbs covering the nipple every time. Of course, observant Hanna notes evidence of Photoshopping, and by the end of the night the Liars have trapped Kate into admitting that she released the picture herself.
Last week's claim check has led us to Vivian Darkbloom's raincoat, which contains a phone number that the Liars keep calling -- and by episode's end, they've made contact with (surprise!) a creepy old guy we'll be meeting with next week. Aria spends the episode atoning for a Truly Outrageous chartreuse number that must be seen to be believed but eventually ends up getting stuck on the roof... Where she is saved from a very angry Noel Kahn -- hunting the halls for Caleb after he bitches Jenna out hardcore -- by the brutal roundhouse of her beard. (And here you thought A had finally noticed her existence, but no.)
Also showing new and exciting talents? Miss Mona Vanderwaal, who apparently is some kind of mockingbird ventriloquist impersonator and advanced computer hacker, and uses these skills to blackmail the VP into letting Emily back on the squad. What with these sudden friendships she's forming with everybody, it gives one cause to wonder, especially as she seems mostly motivated by Emily's apologies for standing by during Alison's tortures.
While everybody was looking particularly gorgeous and everybody -- including the Suspicious Little Moms -- got some pretty great stuff to play with, it's probably Spencer that gets MVP. She's kinda been back-burnered for a while, beyond the endless moaning about Toby, so it felt right that she got the meatiest sandwich of all, not to mention one of the biggest reveals ever on the show. As some have suspected, Jason is Spencer's half-brother by Mr. Hastings. She has a huge meltdown with her mom about it, takes some time staring out of windows, and eventually commits herself once again to the chase.
So. For a bunch of ladies trying to keep a low profile, maybe having individual public freakouts in class encounter groups wasn't the best idea. But in keeping with the philosophy of the event -- not to mention the show itself -- disclosure turns out to be the best policy, and everybody ends up a lot healthier, or at least less oblivious, than they were when the episode began. Nothing quite like the satisfaction of having one or two questions answered now and again, and certainly this was a high point -- and a halfway point, come to think of it -- for what's shaping up to be a very dynamic demiseason indeed.
Next week, presumably: Fallout from the Jason reveal, more clues to the whole Vivian Darkbloom deal, the crazy facts about Holden the Scroggle, and hopefully more from the Jenna-Mona-Noel Kahn corner and/or Kate's next outrage.
Holden was bruised, and secretive about it. Emily was barred from the swim team, maybe forever. Jenna started up with Noel Kahn, lucky girl. Alison turned out to have multiple identities. Hanna sent everybody a naked picture of her stepsister, always with a thumb over the nips. Oh, and something strange was going on between Spencer's dad and Alison's brother Jason, where sometimes he was protective of the boy and other times just acted super berserk about and toward him.
VICE-PRINCIPAL TAMBORELLI'S OFC
Ashley Marin: "I can't believe Hanna. It's always something. I need a drink."
New Mrs. Marin: "I can't wait to see you and your daughter get boned on this one."
Tamborelli: "Amusingly enough, I am an African-American man. Mrs. Marin?"
HASTINGS HOUSE OF DEAD GIRL DRYCLEANING
Spencer: "That whole thing with the claim check and the Vivian Darkbloom and all that, what I ended up with was this cute raincoat."
Liars: "That doesn't seem like something Alison would wear, unless it's stained on the side we can't see with somebody's vital juices."
Spencer: "No, it's what Vivian Darkbloom would wear. You guys clearly don't understand the purpose of disguise. Whereas I have been practicing the spycrafts since I was a child."
Aria, verbatim: "Can I touch it?"
Spencer, ditto: "Yeah? It's a raincoat, Aria, it's not a mummy."
Aria immediately finds the clue, a phone number in the pocket, while they discuss this latest of Hanna's many problems.
Spencer: "Uh, obviously let's call it."
Emily: "Okay, stop. Now I feel like we're in a bad place."
Spencer, for real: "We're in my living room, Emily. We are holding a coat."
Emily: "Maybe we should contact the Board and see if we're allowed to touch it."
Questions: First, why wouldn't they call it? Second, why did Alison even come up with Vivian Darkbloom? Third, what were her errands on the occasion that she acted in this capacity?
Objections: One, from Emily, which is that she still thinks the coat is haunted for some reason.
Spencer: "It's probably easier to find out whom Alison was calling when she called this number by actually calling it rather than, say, hiring the fat lady with the tube top at the farmer's market who's gonna tell you your fortune..."
Emily: "I'm not scared!"
Aria: "Okay, but that lady with the tube top makes really good apple butter."
Liars: "Dating a gay teen in a Fight Club has made you kind of awesome."
Aria: "No, you know what it is? I'm talking about something other than fucking Ezra Fitz."