Paige comes running up to Emily about how this was not about her exactly, or Emily's gayness, but that he just "wanted to know how somebody could beat" her and whether she had somehow "slacked off," and then the total sadness of Paige: "But I didn't. You know I didn't. I told him we tied but you got the slot." Emily's all out and proud these days -- "Because I'm gay?" -- and Paige's jaw drops because how can you be talking in public about exactly what this is about? (I told you we'd love Pam and I told you we'd love Paige but I think it's stretching to say we'll ever love Nick, which is kinda sad if you think about it.)
Paige assures her she was not the bearer of that good news. It's just that her dad is awful, like the kind of awful where you show up at your rival/next girlfriend's house in the pouring rain looking like a kicked pony and act all weird and then drive your bike into a volcano to get out of life. Emily is remarkably diffident -- wrong word, but it's Emily, she's a quiet one when she hates you -- at this juncture, but I don't know how you could possibly play sympathetic to "Sorry about my dad's homophobic swears that I totally tossed your way two weeks ago."
Ella! And Byron! He's a little too busy recapitulating his daughter's ontogeny (oh I went there) to make it to every single one of Aria's parent-teacher conferences, but Ella's just like, "These are the two major ones: French, because Aria is precious to a grotesque degree; and Mr. Fitz because our daughter, and myself, and all those of the ovarian sisterhood, and also Noel Kahn, are sweaty in love with him."
Of course -- because Byron's entire life is about getting back into a "stable" nuclear family unit -- all he hears is that Ella is saying one million great things about the one million great things about Ezra, which I thought were urban legends until just today at lunch. Turns out Byron is aware of Nick McCullers and totally knows what Ella's talking about when she says, exasperated, "Very same paranoia. He was about to launch into the Gay Agenda right there in the cafeteria. Ezra totally calmed the waters, completely defused the situation. It was something to see!"
But even though she's only minorly crushing the second Byron bristles, Ella realizes she's got some currency now. After all, it was Byron who had bought a new shirt for a date the night of the art opening, which caused her to go all Mirror Has Two Faces and take Aria shopping, because she wants nothing more than an ironclad guarantee that taking him back won't blow up in her face, which means she needs Byron fully brainwashed before she comes home.