Aria's hate-on for Hanna lasts about five minutes, and then they're back to being besties. Which is good, because Aria's situation just got insane: Not only is Ezra taking Ella to some book signing next week, but Byron's got word of it and thanks to some coy shoulder-shimmies on Ella's part, he thinks Ezra's a romantic rival. Once Aria dresses him down for being mean to her favorite teacher, Byron decides he wants to be BFF with Ezra, resulting in the best Aria/Ezra episode to date.
Like for example, when Paige McCullers's hot dad shows up screaming about the Gay Agenda, Ezra takes him down manfully and awesomely, catching Ella's attention. Then when Pam Fields shows up at school, Ella totally tells her that McCullers is after her lesbian daughter and Pam Fields takes the motherfucker out. She admits she's still totally confused by Emily's gayhood, but horrified that Emily would be confused about her motherly feelings. It's really sweet, without some kind of flippant turnaround where Pam joins PFLAG, which is exactly what's to be expected of this excellent damn show...
...As is Paige hopping in Emily's car in a scary parking garage, laying a kiss on her, and then vanishing into the haze of hairdo and madness from which she invariably appears.
A self-proclaimed distant relative of Old Mrs. Potter shows up demanding her accounts, but of course he hits on Ashley, so of course she goes on a date with him... During which Hanna and Caleb Rivers figure out that this new lizardy dude is impersonating the person he's pretending to be. Ashley gets some awesome scenes with him, as they circle each other like the shysty carnies that they are, and Hanna gets about this close to kissing Caleb. (Whom, hilariously, is the new Toby to Emily's paranoid version of Spencer. But whereas Spencer's rabid weirdness about Toby always made sense, Emily's crazy talk about not trusting Caleb just makes her look like a loon.)
And what about good old Spencer? Well, her outfits this week include Annie Oakley Ingalls Wilder, Psychotic Snow Bunny and a jean jacket, if that tells you anything. She and Toby get closer, deciphering the Braille message (B-A-D is also #214 in Braille, and #214 is this mysterious hotel room only we know about) and then -- when they find out Toby's off the hook because the sweater blood was, like everything else in Rosewood, "corrupted" -- celebrating by making moon eyes at each other and running off to get his ankle jewelry removed together.
Which is fine, because he's tall and everything, but I can really only deal with one of their insane faces at a time, so having them get together is kind of a muchness -- "Let's mush our crazy faces together" -- but at least it keeps Bat Boy Ian out of our hair for a while. Too bad for Jenna, though, who bought herself some scary lace lingerie -- picture, like, what a slutty widow might wear to a wizard orgy -- to celebrate the occasion with some brother-type sex. So now Jenna's after both Spencer and Emily for befriending her man, who informs Spence that Jenna's been afraid of the entire PLL club ever since that time they, you know, blinded her.
What else? Emily was dressed super-dumb this week, but Aria looked pretty great. She's kinda growing on me, finally. Lots of creepy dolls and sunlit dust motes and snowglobes at Jenna's house, which were all very much appreciated. Also, A might have killed Old Mrs. Potter, but I doubt it.
Next week: More Toby/Spencer and Hanna/Caleb schnoobies, possibly the latter including heavy petting; Paige acting like a freak, presumably; Ella and Byron finally send Aria off the deep end by having their inevitable threesome with Mr. Fitz; and some other mysterious thing that makes even less sense than the Braille clue. Oh, and Noel Kahn and Jason DeLaurentis debut their amateur short film -- about a friendship between two members of a high school wrestling team -- entitled Saturday Night Ride.
Last week Toby smuggled Spencer a three-letter (or -number) sequence of Braille in a French copy of Catcher in the Rye, while Hanna fessed up to sabotaging Aria's date with her pedo boyfriend and instead of finding out why she did this, Aria stomped about. Well, actually, we never see Hanna explain exactly what A has on her, last week or this, so who knows how much the ladies know. Oh, and Caleb is living in Hanna's basement, and Spencer's mean sister is pregnant with a devil baby, and Emily befriended her stalkertagonist because "befriend" is the only thing she knows how to do.
Hanna wonders how Melissa got pregnant with Ian's baby, because isn't he mostly in this for the molesting? "It's not really a how question, it's more of a why question," Emily helpfully explains. And the why of it all is still TBD, because Melissa hates babies and cookies and nice things and long hugs and wants life to be like Danish Modern furniture all the time, which is why she and Ian are so close and yet so inscrutable.
Spencer's obsessing on her little clue from Tobes, and this whole time Aria is sitting in the window seat looking vapid and petulant, because her life is now an art project about making Hanna sad and alienating her other friends by not explaining why she's being such a bitch. Spence asks her if she would like to see the mysterious Braille, and Aria's like, "I can fucking see it from over here on this window seat, just like I can see Hanna's big fat betrayer ass."
As though A) She doesn't already know Braille because she's Spencer and B) She didn't think immediately to crack its blind code using the internet, Spencer does that. B-A-D. Shamone. So what does that mean? Well, it could be Alison's monogram if her first name was Bitch, but that was her middle name. Spencer can't stop worrying at this preposterous clue because also it means getting closer to Toby's insane membrane by proxy. Nobody else really cares, to be honest.
Aria assumes it's Toby fucking with them, but Emily points out how Toby would never do that, because he is her pet puppy and because he does not have it in him to do things. "You'd be surprised what people are capable of," Aria says darkly, and then bounces with about fifteen mean looks at poor Hanna, who just looks like she wants to crawl into that money-filled popsicle box she uses to hide her money, instead of the lasagna box a yard away that was so much less intelligent a place to hide shit.
Speaking of, Ashley is emptying out the popsicle box so she can take that pittance of A shame dollars and put it in the old lady's account to replace the much larger amount she stole and then had stolen from her. Hanna points out that it's hardly a big deal now, given that God/A/Same Diff struck Old Mrs. Potter down on her way to the jig being up, but Ashley mumbles something about how she wants the nightmare of having money to be over.
Even though it's a random unrelated amount that won't solve anything, and also money is not a nightmare. It helps you buy popsicles, and everybody knows those come in boxes which can be used as a bank until Glenn Beck gets us all on board the gold train and America is wonderful again.
Caleb is wolfing out in the pantry during all this, so when Hanna finally -- adorably, with some Seth Cohen-type physical cuteness -- lets him out and tosses him a box of granola, he seems weirdly uninterested in the entire Hitchcock conversation she just had with her mom. He's been tinkering and hacking and snarphing and things, and almost has enough money to get to Flagstaff, where everybody -- I can confirm -- looks exactly like Caleb, which makes it an awesome place to run away. (But where is the town in America where everybody looks like Noel Kahn? I'm going. Unless it's in Florida, I'm afraid it might be Florida.)
"Gonna miss me?" Caleb grins, and the answer is yesssss but Hanna just says she likes knowing the things bumping in the night are Caleb, and not any of her various stalkers, blackmailers, murder victims, blinding victims, virgin boyfriends, hit-and-runners, creepy old bead ladies or cops banging her mom, or the other fifty things that make Hanna's life so interesting all the time.
But then Caleb has to scoot! Ashley is back, having forgotten something! Hanna's idea of stealth is to grab that stupid gray wool cap he always wears and plunge it into some hot soapy water. Totally necessary move, Hanna. I mean, that mystery hat still wouldn't be an issue even if it weren't your clueless mom, who literally this is all she says: "Honey, put on gloves if you're gonna do the dishes."
Dishpan hands, you know. Moisturized is next to godlinized. "Boys don't make passes at girls with chapped asses," as my grandmother used to say, in her cups. "Hangnails are the hallmark of a fallen aristocracy. It makes everyone uncomfortable. You wouldn't announce at dinner, for example, I am afflicted with syphilis and yet, when we see you biting your fingernails, this is the effect that you have created."
It's been five seconds, so it's time for Hanna and Aria to make up. Hanna feels terrible, but Aria is willing to admit that Hanna looked her right in the eye and said, "I am the least intuitive person we know, and I am telling you this museum thing is a terrible idea." Which still: Bad on Hanna. But Aria has updated her self-image to be Totally Forgiving Girl, so she won't even let Hanna apologize for what was a fairly horrific thing.
But then Aria makes an excellent point, which is: Why did A specifically make it happen that way? If the aim was to bust Aria, then just give Ella the ticket -- or film them and GG that shit. But no, it had to be Hanna, because A always has it out for Hanna, and specifically to split these particular two of them up. Which is a very interesting train of thought, because they're the weak links: They are the two most compromised people right now, and need the PLL more than anybody else.
But Hanna's on an interesting train of thought on her own, which is that essentially when it came down to it, she screwed Aria: "I don't like knowing what I'm capable of." Which is the theme song of this entire show, isn't it?
Aria says that the bottom line is that she didn't go through with it, which is the correct and very sweet thing to say. Even though, um, she totally did, but it all worked out so bygones. I don't know, you guys, I'm sort of falling in love with Aria the last couple weeks. I thought it was just Lucy Hale's amazing talent at first, but both she and Ezra are just awesome recently.
And as long as I'm saying weird shit, I also have to say Ezra is probably my favorite person in this entire episode. I mean, even given that it's a major part of this episode, a plot point in fact, that Ezra's awesomeness can no longer be ignored; I buy it. They accomplished exactly what they set out to accomplish, and did the job of making me love Ezra Fitz more than anybody else for a little bit. Which I never thought I would be saying, but most especially on a show which contains both Emily Fields and Spencer Hastings, whom when combined are basically Iorek Byrnison.