Spencer spends 48 of her 72-hour hold coming to the conclusion that she is actually crazy, has been crazy for a long time, and will continue to be crazy for at least a little while longer. But watching her come to this conclusion over the hour is like watching somebody fall out of a tree and hit every single branch on the way down. Just awful stuff; tearjerking, mesmerizing, legitimately terrifying stuff.
On the upside, she makes a friend in the real E. Lamb, E for Nurse Eddie, the nicest man in Rosewood and my new favorite character. He confirms her suspicions about the Radley ID badges and visitor passes being quirky, assures her again and again that she's most likely salvageable, and in the end passes on one of the hour's craziest new clues: Before Toby's mother died, she was herself a Rosewood inpatient.
I said one of: The by-far weirdest clue trail this week involves the fact that she's living in Mona's exact room, which has been vandalized toward a flashback of Spencer and Alison going to church, after which service Ali explained that she would be dead before too long, and was leaving a collection of memoirs for Spencer to take over as the leader, and presumably solve her murder. Not since it slipped everybody's mind that Alison snapped that girl's actual neck at a frat party has a flashback been quite so tough to swallow -- You're just now remembering this, Spence? -- but in the end, it provides lovely entrée into further mystery.
Dr. Sullivan -- what do you think about her, do we still think she's for real? -- gets news to Melissa and the girls that Spencer's been committed, and dumb Aria immediately tells Mona, so Mona drops by for a weird little visit in which she offers first cookies, then a tablet containing some but not all of these Sudden Alison Diaries, then a stern dressing-down for Spencer's refusal to join the A-Team last year, and finally the news that Alison's pregnancy was a false alarm after all.
News that would come in handy for Hanna, considering Wilden is up and around, and threatening her once again unless she produces his automobile. Ashley is up for a big promotion that would land the Marin girls in NYC, which means a very sad conversation with dreamy Pastor Ted and some more of Hanna shouldering everybody's burdens. The only other solo adventure this week is Shana introducing Emily to a famous swimmer chick -- the adorable Missy Franklin, who could not be more charming -- for reasons of manipulation.
Oh, awesomely, the Liars have a big meeting about how Spencer cracked, which surprises Aria because she always just assumed Emily was the weak link, which we know because she full-on just fucking says that like it's no big deal. Hanna, on the other hand, has always known Spencer would crack first: Like I'm always saying, the smarter you are the crazier you get to be, and Spencer's no exception.
But that's the only majorly Aria thing Aria does this week: The rest is pretty golden, as she gets Byron to help Ezra look for a job, which leads to some secret meetings between Byron and Ella, which leads to a kinda crushing meeting between Aria and the principle of Rosewood High, where she assures him their relationship is nonexistent. So these weeks of having Aria talk about things other than Ezra are probably over, for now, but it sure was nice getting to know her in the meantime.
By episode's end, Spencer's hallucinating the other Liars in group therapy, coming to the same resolution they've spent the episode arriving at on their own: Spencer cannot be trusted, relied or counted upon for the time being. At least, until she pulls herself together. I know I say this every week, but the girl just keeps raising her game. It's beautiful, and awful, and perfect for this show and character.
Next Week: Two episodes left until Red Coat is revealed and everything changes. Looks like the penultimate outing involves a carnival of some kind, an A-Lair mobile unit, ghostly figures, and maybe even confirmation of Toby's death? I'll believe it when I'm told to believe it, and not a moment sooner. And in the meantime, maybe we'll get to see a little more of Eddie Lamb, who -- conditional upon him not being revealed as a Sullivan-esque pawn in A's game -- I wish was the mayor or something, just so Rosewood could know what a normal person looks like.