Pretty Little Liars Recap 312: The Lesbian Lady Killer

My general feeling about the mid-season finale of Pretty Little Liars was OMG. Sometimes it was OMG what is going on. Sometimes OMG I knew it. A lot of the time it was OMG I totally saw that coming. Not in a coherent/told anyone way but in a “knew it in my heart” kinda way. Why? Because as promised, ABC Family revealed the latest member of the A-Team.

Who could possibly be on the A-Team? Well these were my picks as of last episode:

IS CALEB’S HAIR HERE REAL OR CARTOON? WE MAY NEVER KNOW.

So I had a lot of feelings. So many feelings, in fact, that we had to have an open thread for them and it took me over a week to process. Sorry for the delay! No, seriously, sorry. I’m feeling really bad for leaving you hanging like that. Let’s get to it!

We open on Rosewood during a sun-drenched day where the Liars are all getting along, applying to college, trying out new and interesting extracurriculars and dating age-appropriate significant others. Just kidding, we start in the middle of the night, ambulances everywhere, one injured person and one in a body bag. Hanna is freaking out and doing her best Rachel Berry impression.

NO NEW EPISODES UNTIL HALLOWEEN?!?

Meanwhile Emily stands in shock about “the victim.” Who is this victim? Is it who Hanna is crying over? I hope it’s Wren. Is it Paige? Where are all these feelings coming from. I wish I had one of those giant body pillows. I am concerned.

IT’S ALL SUCH A BLUR. ONE MINUTE WE WERE ALL ENJOYING TLW SEASON THREE WHEN SUDDENLY THEY WENT AND KILLED DANA OFF

But this is the end, sort of, and we backtrack in time to figure out how the hell we got there.

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Two days earlier the Liars are still not doing any of that fun, sun-drenched shit I mentioned. Nope, the city is abuzz with reporters for Garret’s impending trial.

YOU JUST RUB IT. OR BUY IT IN A LARGER SIZE.

The Liars plan an ambush/intervention about how Paige is definitely totally absolutely A. Like Spencer totally has it right this time. She couldn’t be wrong again. Hanna and Aria have some doubts. For example, why the fuck would Paige drug herself? Well, Spencer suggests she could be just going all Basic Instinct and creating the best alibi ever.

I’M PRETTY FURIOUS WE DIDN’T USE A SCREEN SHOT FROM JUST A FEW MOMENTS LATER.

I think the best alibi ever would be, I dunno, if maybe she was hanging out with her parents most of that night. Oh wait, I think they were out of town that night like they always are. Gosh, Emily and Paige should be doing a lot more finger banging over at the McCuller’s residence.

Speaking of Emily, she shows up at Spencer’s under the pretense that the Liars are ready to apologize for suspecting Paige or something. Unfortunately when she shows up they just pounce on her, How I Met Your Mother style.

I WONDER IF AT SOME POINT I SHOULD STOP WASTING INTERN HANNAH’S TIME WITH MY RIDICULOUS BULLSHIT.

The Confederate Liars are like “Yo. Your girlfriend is A!” And Emily is like:

I ALWAYS APPRECIATE A GOOD FRIGGIN’ MYSELF.

Because Paige being A makes as much sense as a box full of monkeys and I don’t know if you’ve seen a box full of monkeys recently but they definitely don’t make any sense at all. Aria presents her grand evidence — the earring from Ali’s coffin — and Emily goes ahead and states the obvious. A plants things where she wants them to find it all the time. Mona used to plant stuff and now this new A does. Easy peesey lemon squeezy. Everyone agrees this makes a lot of sense but decides to stay in a fight anyways because, welp, why the fuck not. Emily again points out the obvious that A (and Ali for that matter) loved to pry the girls apart. So A wins again. Womp womp.

LOOK AT ALL THIS EMOTIONAL DISTANCE BETWEEN US.

Starsweep to the majestic outer gallery of Rosewood High where Aria and Hanna still aren’t really going to class or anything. Instead they’re just dicking off outside talking about all their feelings. Aria discloses to Hanna what she discovered about Ezra’s seven-year-old bundle of joy but that she’s hasn’t told him yet.

[THIS JOKE HAS BEEN PREEMPTIVELY CENSORED AS NOT TO INDUCE FLAMING]

Hanna, who has become increasingly wise as this series progresses (as opposed to Aria, who is basically the same) tells Aria she really needs to tell her main squeeze about his little lemon or she’ll live to regret it.

THE THING ABOUT TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS IS YOU JUST COMPARE SOME ABSTRACT CONCEPT TO SOME SEEMINGLY UNRELATED INANIMATE OBJECT AND LET THE OTHER PERSON FILL IN THE GAPS

Hanna: Remember what Ali said about secrets keeping us together? She was wrong, they tear us apart.

And then they did some hand holding.

UMM… HERE… PUT YOUR HAND OVER MY HAND AND I’LL SHOW YOU

Meanwhile, in the set that must be listed in all teen dramas as “Hallway Lockers,” Paige and Spencer have a confrontational situation moment. Emily ran to Paige crying because the other Liars were mean to her that morning. That sounds exactly consistent with high school girl-girl relationships, but Spencer is unimpressed. She wants Emily all to herself so they can compare long brunett hair length and argue paid shirt versus plaid skirt.

BUT I WILL LET YOU COME BETWEEN THE SHEETS.

Paige is having none of that because she and Emily need to be together forever and ever and ever U-Haul style. Spencer tells Paige “I know who you are,” making Paige the one thousandth recipient of this comment from Spencer. It is painfully obvious in this moment that Paige thinks Spencer is speaking about Paige’s past/anger/self-perceived unworthiness and not implying that Paige is a psychokiller.

WHAT ON EARTH IS BEING ADVERTISED IN PAIGE’S LOCKER. ARE THOSE GOGGLES?

Rosewood High lacks any on-campus authority figures or attendance policy, so Paige goes to Emily’s place to commiserate. This entails that they cuddle intertwined and I find it to be highly effective in convincing me that they are the cutest couple ever (except for Portia de Rossi and Ellen because duh).

I’M GONNA STAY EIGHTEEN FOREVER, SO WE CAN STAY LIKE THIS FOREVER

Emily explains that there’s a new A and Paige seems sort of faux-surprised. Paige tells Emily she’ll never leave her alone… and then promptly leaves her alone after receiving a text from A.

I MISSED THIS MOMENT WHEN I WAS WATCHING THE EPISODE IN REAL TIME SO I SPENT AN HOUR WONDERING WTF IT SAID

Back over at recess, the remaining Liars discuss their current situation. Spencer finally fucking remarks that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to tell their parents.

FINALLY.

Honestly, at this point, the Liars don’t have too many secrets on the table. As they continue to lie they only create more problems for themselves. Unfortunately, this idea is promptly followed by a text from A. A wants them to play by her rules or Emily gets hurt. For someone so clearly self-sufficient, everyone sure is worked up over keeping Emily safe.

CLEARLY A’S WAY INVOLVES ACTUALLY USING DENTAL DAMS

This is possibly because just when you thought we were safe from Mona, she’s actually leaving the mental institution dressed up as a nurse from the 40s.

PROBABLY SCRUBS AND A PONYTAIL WOULD HAVE WORKED BETTER SINCE IT’S NOT 1942

While this isn’t a new idea or trope, it’s still absolutely completely terrifying. I have got to stop watching this show alone. Have to. Like it is 1:05am and I am too scared to watch this scene alone again. I just think scary nurses are a particularly terrifying trope.

HOW DOES ANYONE RECOVER FROM SHIT LIKE THIS?

Back in someone’s bedroom, the Liars-sans-Emily get a conveniently timed email from A. A wants the Liars to come to graveyard at 10pm with Maya’s bag. Plus A has a picture that makes Aria, Spencer and Hanna look like they dug up Ali’s body while leaving Emily in the clear. Oh yeah, this is totally not a setup.

A MIDOL COMMERCIAL.

Just then there’s a bump at the door? Who could it be? Crazy faux-nurse Mona?!?!

FUZZY LAMPS: THE MOST LETHAL OF ALL THE LAMPS

Nope, honorary Liar/lesbian Caleb shows up. Caleb is still 100% fishy in my mind, but the Liars let him in on the shindig nevertheless.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU START OUT WITH TWO FINGERS? I ALWAYS START OUT WITH ONE.

Over at Emily’s house, Pam is showing her only moment of overly relaxed parenting by letting Emily go away with “Nate and his family” for the weekend. I know what you’re thinking: What the fuck. First of all, it’s ridiculous that Emily’s “traditional” mom would let her go away for the weekend with a college boy without talking to his parents first to ensure that they’ll be along. Not just because of sexxxxx but mostly because of thing like booze and drugs and generally bad decisions.

YOU’RE STILL A BIG OLD LEZZIE RIGHT?

Secondly, its weird that Paige and the Liars, in light of how much THEY CARE FOR EMILY THE MOST, would so willingly let her go off with a guy who is clearly creepy and the whole lot of them barely know. This is particularly true for Paige who probably would not be thrilled at the idea of her girlfriend gallivanting off with a guy who she busted her kissing like a week earlier. But finally, and most importantly, why the fuck does Emily want to go away for the weekend with a guy who freaked out about her not wanting to be with him only like a week ago?!

MOM, NOW THAT I’M GAY I CAN GO ANYWHERE AND DO ANYTHING WITH ANY BOY I WANT. THERE’S NO DANGER ANYMORE!

And yeah, not to ruin the surprise, but in this moment (if you haven’t been calling it all season long anyways) you just absolutely know Nate is a psychopath who is going to try to kill Emily.

Elsewhere, Spencer is looking at a Halloween Train Ride advertisement when she sees Toby’s cro-magnon reflection in the glass.

THOSE EYES COULD BE IN THE PICTURE SPENCER’S LOOKING AT. BUT THEY COULD ALSO BE HER LATEST DRAMATIC SHOULDER PAD ACCESSORY.

Spencer turns and they slow-mo run in to a kiss that is shot (again in slow-mo) with a spinning 365 degree camera. It is the fucking worst and feels so overblown and out of place. I forgot Toby even left.

IT WAS HONESTLY SO MUCH WORSE THAN THIS

The only thing to do now is to segue into Spencer’s room for a dramatic sweaty bodies virginity-losing extravaganza. Should I feel bad for Spencer that she is currently nailing a cave man? Maybe. But I feel more bad for me for having to watch this scene more than once. Or even once. I feel even worse for the ABC Family exec who decided it would be okay to instruct me to tweet #Tobyisback at the bottom left of the TV.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE THIS IS PRETTY MUCH HOW I ALWAYS PICTURE SPENCER

Also, for the record, the two don’t talks about boundaries, protection, birth control or STDs which is like a really important pre-sex thing to do.

Speaking of high school sex, guess who decides to stop by Ezra’s house? Ta-da! It’s Maggie (aka Alex Mack aka Dawn from Babysitter Club) who was just stopping by in the neighborhood and thought she would drop in on the long lost father of her child.

CAKE?! DOES CAKE HELP US PRETEND THERE’S NO BABY?

Maggie looks adorable and professional and like she’s a thirty-one year-old cast to play a twenty-six year-old. Ezra looks like an overgrown man child in a grey hoodie who’s fucking a high school senior. Oops. I know I should be over this by now but I’m not. Obviously Maggie immediately recognizes Aria but begs her to keep the secret child secret. Nothing says Pretty Little Liars like a conflict of interest.

ONE OF THESE ADULTS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER. ONE OF THESE ADULTS IS ACTUALLY SEVENTEEN.

Speaking of men in gray hoodies, Caleb has one on at Hanna’s house where he packs up a night bag. What’s he bringing? Oh, toothpaste, flip-flops, contact lens solution, a gun. Wait — a gun?

CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW GUNS ACTUALLY REALLY SCARE ME A LOT?

What a fucking idiot. Doesn’t he know about Chekhov’s gun? So you know at this point someone is getting shot. I spent most of the next 40 minutes crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t be Paige.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?!?

Elsewhere, in a crack bathroom, Mona is up to her old tricks again. That’s right, she’s got her black hoodie and black gloves all nice and prepped for some A’in. Don’t you think it would be easier to blend in if you didn’t have the black gloves and sweatshirt on all the time? As Mona grooves on herself in the mirror, she receives a call. What’s this? Spencer and Toby are fucking? Nate is creepy? Caleb has a gun? Who knows — they only give us Mona saying “I understand.”

I FEEL LIKE THIS GIVES US A REALLY GOOD SENSE AS TO WHAT MONA WOULD LOOK LIKE BALD. HONESTLY I THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD LOOK.

In light of her phone call, Mona goes over to the new A’s Lair, which is just as creepy as the old one except this one also has psychedelic rock music playing in the background. Mona informs another A that there’s been a change of plans.

HAVE I EVER TOLD YOU GUYS HOW MUCH I HATE CLOWNS? LIKE A LOT. BUT IT’S COMPLICATED BECAUSE MY GRANDMOTHER IS A CLOWN.

I’d like to point out at this point that, as previously mentioned, this shit is actually really scary. As I write this I have to use the bathroom but I am literally too scared to walk across the room, open the door and walk in to the hallway. Who knows who’s in that hallway.

Nate takes Emily up to the Lighthouse Inn, which isn’t really an inn so much as a cabin in the woods where you take someone to kill them. Emily falls asleep on the couch, heaps of her shiny hair splayed out, and Nate covers her with a blanket. This would be cute if we didn’t already know he’s clearly a psychopath.

WILL TRY TO MOUNT EMILY AT ANY MOMENT.

Super double extra prepared for this latest potential encounter with A, the Liars assemble at the graveyard with Caleb in tow.

AND YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY SURE THIS IS WHERE THE TEXT SAID TO MEET FOR THE ORGY?

He sneaks out of sight, but not before taking Maya’s bag as leverage and activating an imaginary voice activated iPhone app that streams every sound it detects.

I WANT THIS GADGET. ALONG WITH KIM POSSIBLE’S KIMMUNICATOR AND THE TALK BOY TAPE RECORDER.

And so the Liars wait for A to keep their favorite lesbosexy best friend safe. Except where is that lesbosexy best friend?

Oh yeah, she’s asleep on the couch at the Lighthouse Inn where she is awoken by a telephone call from a distorted voice informing her she had one minute to get out.

AN OFF THE SHOULDER BLACK SHIRT AND JEANS… WHY, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?

Instead of booking it for the door and running for her life, Emily decides to shuffle through some things and maybe check the blinds. God while she’s at it why doesn’t she just run up a few flights of stairs and into the back corner of a room? While riffling, Emily finds her un-mailed thank you card to Maya’s parents and gets suspicious. In retrospect, she should have just called Maya’s parents and thanked them. Then when they didn’t know who the fuck she was talking about, this would all have gotten nipped in the bud.

MAYBE IF I CAN FIND THE KILLER I CAN ASSESS WHETHER I SHOULD RUN AWAY OR JUST CURL UP IN A BALL AND PLAY DEAD NOW.

Nate comes back with firewood approximately 40-90 seconds later depending on your time frame and acts all cool and natural. Emily takes this time to notice his shoes are cover in yellow paint, reminiscent of some yellowed painted shoes in an old picture of Maya at TruNorth. Wait a minute… at TruNorth?!?! But that would make Nate Maya’s stalker! Duh.

FUCK.

Over at the graveyard, the Liars realize that no one is coming. Womp womp. They suddenly decide Paige is probably off killing Emily somewhere. Despite caring so much about Emily, no one knows if she’s off at the Lighthouse Inn in Made-Up Town #1 or Made-Up Town #2. The Liars head off to Bumfucksville and Caleb drives off to Nowhereland. Caleb tells Hanna he loves her in his super duper serious voice. Then the camera panned to his gun. I was totally convinced this meant he was going to be A.

HELLO HELLO BABY YOU CALLED I CAN’T HEAR A THING

Claiming she needs some fresh air, Emily heads off in to the woods. She tries to call her friends, but, of course, there is no cell service. Instead she is caught face to face by Nate who is officially in Cards On The Table Scary Guy Mode.

AND THAT’S WHEN HE WHIPS IT OUT

Nate shows Emily a video Maya made. Now, we already know from Maya’s website that Maya prefers making videos to other, more pedestrian forms of communication, such as letter writing, phone calls or email. Too bad she didn’t just call, maybe her crazy ex-boyfriend wouldn’t have killed her.

WAIT IS THIS ON VIDEO TAPE? LIKE ON AN ACTUAL VCR?

Weirdly, Nate is creepy as all hell until he flaccidly says, “What you don’t know is how much I loved her.” Now, my deep deep unimpressed feelings are possibly just because I just cannot handle another character on this show being uncontrollably in love. It’s also possibly because it just wasn’t Nate’s best acting moment. Still, it could also be that the mystery surrounding Nate is officially gone.

I LOVED HER SO MUCH IT TOOK THREE SHIRTS TO COVER UP MY LOVE TODAY.

Nate puts his knife to Emily’s throat and tells her that she took something from him and I feel… bored? Maybe I feel vicerally sick that as a culture we have deemed “Why didn’t she love me” as an acceptable, though psychotic, reason for why someone might commit murder. Maybe that’s it. But really, I just can’t believe they actually dragged this tired excuse out and paraded it around like it was a shiny new tricycle.

EMILY’S EYEBROWS LOOK LIKE ADORABLE LITTLE THUNDERBOLTS.

And then Nate goes to the closet door. Who’s at the door?

IT’S PAIGE!

No seriously, Paige is at the closet door. They actually, technically put her in the closet.

AND NOW I’M IN THIS DARKEST CLOSET, TRYIN’ TO FIGURE OUT JUST HOW I’M GONNA GET MY CRAZY ASS UP OUT THIS HOUSE

Nate declares that since Emily used her slutty lezzie body to take away his perfect fantasy dream girl, he’s going to take something away from her. That’s right, Nate is going to cute off Emily’s beautiful silky locks. Or murder Paige. Definitely one or the other.

NOT THE HAIR! ANYTHING BUT THE HAIR!

Emily pleads with Nate — who by the way is actually named Lyndon James — to let them go. She reminds him that her friends and family know where she is and that her hair is probably her best feature. Lyndonate points out that no one knows who he really is and that he’s been planning this for months. Not to be nitpicky, but how could Lyndonate have been planning this for months? He met Emily in September before she started dating Paige again. Actually, if Halloween hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t that mean that this entire half-season has taken place over like about a month? Pretty Little Liars sure does love to fuck with the time of year.

I’M LYNDON JAMES. I CAN SMILE AND KILL YOUR GIRLFRIEND AT THE SAME TIME. JUST WATCH ME.

Where was I? Oh right, while all this is going on, Caleb and the Liars are still trying to get to the two different Lighthouse Inn and Majestic Fun Time Resorts spread across the greater Philly area. The Liars approach a cabin and you think momentarily Emily is going to be saved. I mean, Paige’s life is still in the balance, but if the liars show up, Emily is definitely getting out of there. Inside the cabin, Lyndonate hears something at the door and bounds up to confront the Liars. PSYCHHHHHHH!! The Liars picked the wrong town which means that Caleb and his GUN are Emily’s only hope.

THIS ISN’T A QUEER SEX CLUB! C’MON GUYS LETS GET OUT OF HERE. WE’VE BEEN DECEIVED AGAIN.

Or Emily is her own only hope. Paige gives her “Please don’t leave me here to die” eyes which Emily interprets as “Leave and save yourself” eyes. Emily bolts out the back door we didn’t know about and Lyndonate chases after her. In a bizarre attempt to save herself, Emily somehow ends up climbing up a lighthouse. That’s right. She actually goes ahead and follows my earlier suggestions for Making This Situation Worse.

GOOD THING I’M IN THE COMPLETELY CONFINED SPACE THAT’S UP REALLY HIGH.

Emily finally gets some cell service to call 911, but Lyndonate shows up. He is stronger and faster that Emily because girls can’t do anything and boys can see in the dark. The two grapple, but since we know from the beginning of the episode that Emily doesn’t die, all I can think about is how this is eerily similar to the church tower scene. Actually that didn’t occur to me until later. What I was honestly thinking about was how much money I would have paid to watch Shay Mitchell rehearse this fight scene.

IN MY FANTASY WORLD THIS WAS REHEARSED WITH A HOT WOMAN TRAINER WEARING ONLY A SPORTS BRA AND SPANDEX

Certainly enough to overhaul this website.

MY FANTASY WORLD ALSO INVOLVES A LOT OF EMILY MAKING THIS FACE

After some grunting and panting Emily stabs Lyndonate right in his meany stalker stomach.

KUDOS TO PRETTY LITTLE LIARS FOR MAKING THIS AS BLOODLESS AND UNREALISTIC AS POSSIBLE. SERIOUSLY, I MEAN IT.

This of course is Caleb’s coincidentally perfect moment to run up the lighthouse stairs. I’ve already decided to explain away Caleb’s magical timing as TV artifact and created an elaborate off-screen narrative. In my mind, Caleb was the noise Lyndonate heard at the door, but by the time he got inside was just as Paige was tied up. Caleb untied Paige and stopped to waive his hands through his hair a bit. After exiting out the back as Paige directed him to, Caleb ran down the only path in the area which led him to the lighthouse. There, he observed the scuffle and ran up just in time to miss the action.

WELL CALEB DOESN’T SAVE THE DAY BUT AT LEAST HE SHOWS UP AND LIKE HAS A COOL JEAN JACKET ON.

Caleb sits down his gun to hold Emily as she is understandably freaking the fuck out over stabbing someone to death. This proves to be really effective and it seems like we’re gonna have a happy ending. Right? Hell no. Caleb gets shot and we don’t really know how or why. This is Pretty Little Fucking Liars. You know if they solve a mystery they’re going to create ten more. Please.

YOU CAN’T HEAR IT BUT THE SOUND EFFECT HERE IS “BOOM”

So finally we’re back at the beginning. Or the end. Or whatever. Caleb is being loaded up in an ambulance while Hanna loses her shit and Emily stares dumbstruck at some cops.

WITH HIS PERFECTLY WAXED CHEST, CALEB LOOKS JUST LIKE MY KEN DOLL THAT HAD ACTUAL HAIR.

Only now Paige is dumbstruck with some cops too. Paige explains that she received an anonymous text telling her “10pm Saturday Rosewood Cemetery or Emily gets hurt.” She follows up that “He grabbed me before I got there.”

AS FOR WHY I’M WEARING THIS STAR STUDDED PAJAMA SHIRT… WELL THAT I CAN’T EXPLAIN.

Paige sees that Emily is anxious to be with her friends and runs a little distraction/interference with the cops so Emily can run to them. Spencer shoots Paige a heartfelt look that says “Aww damn I fucking got it wrong again.” The lack of a passionat lesbo make-out session is noticeable and a real bummer.

THIS WILL HAVE TO DO AS A LESBIAN KISS SUBSTITUTE.

And it seems like this is the end of Nate. Lyndonate was just some crazy ex of Maya’s who started stalking her and ending up killing her (confirmed by Marlene King). Though the Liars might attribute some A stuff to Lyndonate, in general he had no reason to know about A in enough detail to mimic her. Really his only desire seems to have been to get Maya back or kill her and cause Emily pain. Or to date Emily. Really the lines are blurry on this one. Regardless, there’s a problem with Lydonate’s storyline — a reason that was so predictable and easy to fix: Lyndonate should have been a girl.

Now, I know that Lyndonate being male allowed everyone to freak out and struggle over Maya’s horrifically slutty no-good bisexuality (calm down these are the jokes). But the problem is when Lyndonate shows up later, his advances on Emily seem out of place and overtly creepy from the get-go. When Emily and Lyndonate kiss, their shipping doesn’t make any sense. Emily’s actions and feelings are immediately invalidated by the She Was Mourning principal and Nate is left out to dry as an instigator. So when the creepy guy turns out to be creepy, just no one is shocked. No one. But imagine if they’d cast a slightly off girl as “Maya’s cousin.” Maybe Emily wouldn’t seem so attacked all the time. Or maybe we’d be shipping them. Regardless I might have been able to let my creep radar down for long enough to be surprised.

So the saga of Lyndonate is seemingly over, but there’s still more story to tell here. The Liars gather at the hospital with Emily’s mom. Though at this point Pam should really be taking her daughter home to sit in the same room with her and never let her out of her sight again, they all just kind of sit around.

IS THERE ANYTHING MORE HIDEOUS THAN THOSE VERTICAL BLINDS?

Or maybe that’s realistic for this situation. I suppose I don’t know. Pam gets called to the front desk and while she’s gone, boop beep ding ding ding ding, everyone’s phones go off. But it’s a call, not a text, form A saying “Emily, I owe you one.” Just then, Garret and Spencer’s mom come out of the elevator. Clearly this is Pennsylvania’s only combined hospital and prison. With Nate admitting to killing Maya, Garret can go free. Which is good? Bad? I don’t even know anymore.

I LIKED HIM BETTER WHEN HE WAS TRICKING LIZZIE MCGUIRE INTO SINGING ON STAGE IN ITALY

For once the end scene of this show is actually productive and satisfying. Mona walks back to Radley with another A-Team member. Their plan had been to plant Maya’s phone on Paige so that when she turned up at the cemetery they could frame her and get Garret out of prison. So it looks like Lyndonate didn’t send that text to Paige after all. Mona tells the other A that she’ll see them soon. They turn around.

VOLDEMORT

And it’s Toby.

And I am not surprised. And you shouldn’t be either. Toby revealed himself to us the moment he met Spencer in that ridiculously overblown 360 spin make-out extravaganza. Yes, the spin cam and the completely out of place sex scene were vapid attempts by the writers/directors to conceal Toby’s true nature and thus made it more obvious. But you just fucking know that Toby is going to be on the goddamn A-Team the second he tells Spencer, “I know who you are.”

YOU’RE THE CHICK WHO PLAYS THE LESBIAN IN THAT SHORT FILM UNSPOKEN

Besides the fact that the line is totally out of place and weird, Spencer has been telling every A suspect for two and a half seasons that she knows who they are. She literally just said it to Paige. Plus, Spencer is relentlessly harping on the idea that Toby is the most honest guy in town. This all makes Toby a predictable, though still deliciously satisfying, A-Team member. Best of all, Marlene King said in an interview that Toby is definitely evil and not trying to double-cross A. Like I said: satisfying.

So, I Told You So (a little). Toby ranked in at number three last week, below the painfully predictable Nate at number two, in my betrAyer predictions. Though my first pick, Wren, was noticeably absent from this episode, I am highly curious who has allowed Mona access to getting in and out of Radley. Clearly someone on the inside would have set that up.

Maybe this will all get revealed during the super exciting, super spooky, super dramatic unrelated to everything Halloween Episode Spectacular! But probably not. See you then anyways.

USING THE LAST MINUTE OF THE SHOW TO ADVERTISE FOR THE HALLOWEEN ONE SHOT EPISODE: CLASSY.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

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52 Comments

    • Thumb up 6

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      You and me both. Unf.

      Seriously though, I don’t think they’ve done it yet. I think Paige is a virgin and maybe Emily isn’t ready yet. I sure hope when it happens that it gets treated with the same attention that everyone else’s first times were.

      • Thumb up 2

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        It gets even more attention. None of other Liars’ boyfriends were said by show’s creators that they are only part of their girlfriends’ journey, not the destination.

  1. Thumb up 3

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    Yay! Recap! Loved it.

    Although Emily was in Belmar. Which is in New Jersey and real. Also, Emily wasn’t running to save her life. She was trying to go somewhere to get cell service sonshe could call 911 and save both her and her girlfriend. Yeah, 911 probably would have worked without service but Emily is a lot of things beautiful, brave, loving etc. she is no genius.

  2. Thumb up 1

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    So I’m in my house alone making a bagel pb&j and listening to The Kills, and I decide to read the recap. Thats when all the memories of that episode came back and now I’m scared.
    Nate is super creepy and Calebs jacket is so cool and Mona is scary as fuck.

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    Here’s my opinion about that whole Emily/Nate plot. When few months ago Marlene King announced that Emily will become confused over feelings for a guy, I was pissed off, but still had hope that at least it would serve the plot and they will do anything to reduce the damage it will cause. Now I know that was vain hope.

    Nate could become obsessed and stalkerish without Emily kissing him back and saying that she’s confused over her feelings for him. I don’t see any reason why creators did it other than to pander to their target audience – teenage girls who constantly demand Emily with a guy, because that would be „so cute”. Some people said that such things happen in real life, so it’s no big deal. Aside from a fact that indeed while such things happen IRL, in television reality it looks like that happens to all lesbians, after the last episode it’s obvious it’s not about experiences of such lesbians.

    Emily has never taken back her words about being confused over her feelings for Nate. In last episode she even made another ambiguous statement. When asked by her mother if Nate is still just a friend, Emily said – „he wasn’t at first”. Which could be interpreted that there was something more. Of course it’s ultimately cut down by Nate’s turning out to be a psycho, but if Emily felt something for one guy, why not for another? Creators of the show intentionally planted the idea that under the right circumstances Emily could be with a guy – otherwise they wouldn’t make Emily kiss back the guy, when there was really no plot reason for that, say she’s confused and never go back to those words and explain them and say that Nate wasn’t just a friend. Of course people from straight fanbase immediately noticed that.

    In some way, it’s way worse than travesty that was served to us in US Skins. Sure, kissing it’s not the same as having sex, but Tea, unlike Emily, at the end made it clear that she has never been attracted to the guy. And unlike Emily with kissing back Nate and not regretting anything, Tea made it clear that she didn’t like sex with the dude. If Skins had more seasons with that character, we could be sure that Tea would be only with girls from now on. When it comes to Emily, we can only hope from now on that creators won’t pull out the idea they intentionally implanted to the show.
    It’s far more harming to real life lesbians too, because it makes people believe that even the most sure and confident lesbian under right circumstances could be „changed”. That she could be open to men after all.
    Even if they won’t use it, and Emily will only be with girls in future seasons, the idea is still there. That with some right guy it could work. Again, US Skins was far less harming in that area.

    Some people could say it’s unfair to make comparisions to Skins because Bryan Elsley is sexist jerk who thinks that all lesbians want to sleep with men. But what Marlene King does? While contacting fans on twitter hides the fact that she’s lesbian and behaves as straight fangirl, apparently to attract show’s target audience.

    But I don’t think that Marlene King is evil. I think she was under pressure and thought that leaving it in such ambiguous way would be the best solution for now. If you guys follow what other writers and producers say, you see that they contradict themselves constantly. One says that Emily is gay, but then agrees that her feelings for Nate are a matter of personal interpretation, because another producer said that because of Nate’s sexiness, Emily couldn’t resist but develop feelings for him. So she’s gay, but you’re entitled to interpretation that she’s attracted to a man, and the show gives you every right to do so.
    So it’s quite clear that some of producers and probably network executives want Emily to be with a guy. And there’s definitely double standard:

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9i5g1TRrG1qcqnqzo1_500.png

    Would you imagine that producer would say the same thing about any of straight couples? What he basically said is that Paige is a mere distraction on Emily’s journey. And they did everything to make it legitimate to wish that it will be the guy at the end…

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      I couldn’t agree less with this. I think the Nate kiss was very appropriately explained by Paige, that Emily was confused because she was with someone who loved the same person as her and they were both grieving. And I think it was made really clear that Emily is a lesbian. As for the “journey” thing, I really strongly believe that they just mean that Emily will probably get a new girlfriend at some point in the series. That is not unreasonable. And are there really people who want to see Emily with a guy because when Marlene asked twitter followers if they wanted to see Emily as bisexual (like she is apparently in the books) there was an overwhelming negative response, to which she answered that she heard the fans and that Emily would not have a bisexual arc in the show.

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        “I think the Nate kiss was very appropriately explained by Paige, that Emily was confused because she was with someone who loved the same person as her and they were both grieving.”

        You see, that’s only one interpretation. Emily didn’t agree nor disagree with her, she said nothing, just stared at her with confused look. So Paige’s words mean nothing, because she doesn’t sit in Emily’s head.
        It’s intentionally left in ambiguous way, as one writer and producer said that Emily’s feelings for Nate are a matter of personal interpretation. And another (Goldstick) told straight that Emily couldn’t resist developing feelings for Nate because he was so sweet and sexy.

        So Paige’s interpretation is just what we (lesbians) want to hear, but it’s merely one interpretation. Another is that she was into Nate, and it’s completely valid at this point too.

        And yes, there are many people who want to see Emily with a guy. Aside of at least one executive producer and writer of the show. Just look at random YT video with Emily and Nate kiss. Far more ‘likes’ than ‘dislikes’ and majority of comments are like “aww so cute!!!”, “Emily was bi in books so why not in show”.

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          Marlene King said from the start Emily is a lesbian. Not bisexual, not confused, not bicurious, just a gay woman, a lesbian. I think that’s why most people don’t find that kiss with Nate any relevant, it was meant to be creepy and confusing because Nate had been trying to confuse her and to get it on with her from the moment he appeared on screen. That’s how I see it at least.

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          Lots of straight people have seen it differently. And it’s rather them that are target audience of the show.

          Andy Reaser (writer and producer of the show) repeats constantly that Emily is gay too, but then agrees that the interpretation that Emily was attracted to Nate is also valid.

          And what problem with turning her bi? It could be explained that her orientation changed. “Sexuality is fluid”, as we hear all the time these days, particularly when it comes to lesbians.
          There were already lots of comments on many lesbian sites from women that claimed that it’s their story and it would be bi-phobic to be pissed off over Emily falling for a guy. So explanation is ready. Turning lesbian bi would be a sign of great open mindedness of the show and its creators.

          One more thing. IIRC, Marlene King once said something about Maya’s fate to a fan, that not always she can do things the way she would like to.

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          There is always going to be people who will have different opinions, of course, in this case straight people who may be more comfortable if Emily dated a guy. From my experience, most people who I know that watch PLL are straight and they don’t really care about the fact that Emily’s gay. The target of the show has been the same from the start, just like Emily has been gay from the start, and the audience has gone up so I really don’t see the problem.

          I wouldn’t see the problem if Emily turned out to be bisexual either, but she isn’t, so, if she isn’t, I don’t see the need personally to doubt that. That’s what’s canon, she is gay, and she kissed a guy in a moment of mourning and confusion, a guy who was clearly trying to confuse her further and trying to take advantage of her from the start, as it showed the evil nature of Nate’s character. I don’t think there is more to it than that.

          There is always going to be multiple interpretations of things for sure but I personally don’t see anything problematic on this one at least :)

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          The problem is a fact it was intentionally presented in a way that leaves a room for many different interpretations. So lesbians may believe that she’s gay, and straight people, that she only identifies as gay (or alternatively that being lesbian doesn’t necessarily mean not being attracted to men) – both interpretations are made valid by the show, there isn’t any canon.

          And one of those people who have “different opinion” is no one else but executive producer and writer of the show.

          And it doesn’t really matter that Nate was bad guy who took advantage of her. It’s her feelings that matter.

          One more thing. Those shows don’t exist in vacuum. They touch important social subjects. In my reply to finkle&einhorn I explained why turning confident exclusive lesbian character bi, or even suggesting that she suddenly is open to guys to some point, sends really terrible message to people who watch it.

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      I agree and disagree. I don’t think the show was too ambiguous about what ship they were pushing. Paige/Emily kiss was sweet, romantically lighted, soft music playing. Nate/Emily was awkward and at least as much about Paige’s reaction. Paige’s explanation is at least the only one provided in canon by the show. After hearing it Emily promptly tells Nate they will just be friends an proceeds to choose her girlfriend over her friends repeatedly.

      And I know there will ways be people who want Emily with a guy but that is not a significant part of fandom anymore.

      BUT you are right about mixed messages from writers. Eventhough the soul mate tweet was attempted to be rolled back it would never happen with one of the other ships. Emily’s sexuality is officially in flux. The storyline was pointless. So I am less adament about it. I think mostly Emily stuck with the girl and it wasn’t nearly as bad as Skins. But you certainly have a point.

      On the bright side, I think Shay Mitchell is always pretty good about wanting Emily to be gay and goes out of her way to promote Lindsey Shaw. Most of the writing staff seem to get what a gem they have found in her.

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        I agree that it wasn’t ambiguous about shipping. It’s about Paige right now. Ambiguity concerns Emily’s sexuality, leaving open door for future possibilities.
        Who knows, maybe in next season she will meet Isaac and get pregnant. But as long as at the end she identifies as gay (if she was “confused” once, especially while it wasn’t really resolved at all, why not again), everything will be OK…

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      the whole emily/nate thing should have been played out a different way, of course. the ambiguousness of some of emily’s statements shouldn’t have happened either. all in all, it was a pretty shitty thing to trudge out. and yes, this almost always only happens to lesbians and it sucks. but, i think now that everyone got that out of their systems and the motherfucker is dead, emily can go on to be as gay as all the rainbows in the world and we never have to talk about this again.
      i, for one, will pretend it never even happened.

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        If one of executive producers is apparently into the idea of Emily with a guy, then chances that this whole ambiguity won’t be played out in future is small…

        But besides of that, what is particularly sad from my point of view is terrible message it sent. That even the most confident and exclusive lesbian (Emily said to Paige in first season that she only tried to talk herself to be interested in boys) apparently could be “changed”, or find “exception” in some guy. Imagine impact it could have on lesbian teenagers who are questioning their sexuality and not completely OK with the idea of homosexuality – that even if they don’t feel anything to men, they should wait, that under the right circumstances they could find Mr Right Guy.

        And even when it comes to teens who are confident about their sexuality, for people around them it says that they could “change” after all, or that there is some possibility that they could be into some guy – if such “gay friendly” show suggests it’s possible, then who are they to deny it.

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          It also confirms the message that’s already out there in society — lesbians can be changed by the right man — in the minds of predatory men – guys like Nate, or guys like the guy who stalked and raped me in hopes that he could “change” me. Or like the thousands of men in Uganda who are attacking lesbians systematically and subjecting them to “corrective” rape – a terrible epidemic that the country is barely trying to control.

          The “lesbians can be changed” message is serious and dangerous, and doesn’t need to be constantly reinforced on television.

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          Totally agree. This is a horrible message to send, and unfortunately it is not the only one. Most mainstream media representation of lesbians show that they can change when the right man comes around and it’s been that way for quite a while. It may be too late already.

          Also, on the other hand, you never see this phenomenon with any other orientation. Gay male sexuality is considered fixed- you pretty much never see a gay man reverting to bisexuality/ heterosexuality, or changing their orientation when the “right woman” comes along. It’s an unfair standard.

          mainstream media can’t seem to get anything right

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        The reason I find the comment kind of annoying is because he would never do that with the other ships. Toby is revealed as freaking A. Even if he wasn’t A, Spencer framed this guy for a felony. And he is just giving vague hints about their epic love. Paige rushed to a graveyard to prevent her girlfriend from being hurt, was kidnapped for the trouble and has overall been really supportive and you can’t this dumb stuff about not being the destination. That would NEVER happen if Caleb had done what Paige did. It would be billed as the most romantic thing in the century (although I love Hanna/Caleb a lot and I would think it was romantic as hell). If it was Ezra? Forget about it. Marlene King would throw a fit if someone went off script and said Ezra/Aria weren’t soul mates.

        It is just like Emily’s love life is not taken nearly as seriously by the writers. The Maya/Emily relationship is basically a retcon and they really weren’t together too long, at all. Samara was a distraction. And now Paige is just a stop on the journey (according to a writer whose opinion matters more than mine).

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      The part where Emily leaves Paige confused me at first, but watching it back a few times you can kinda make out Paige nodding, as in to say “Emily run the fuck outta here”

      Also, I need it to be October so I can see Lindsey Shaw in a suit again

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      I understand your frustration with the Nate/Emily kiss and you are entitled to your anger but I take issue with a few of the points you made.

      1)Thought I’d start off with Marlene’s actual quote when addressing rumors about emily’s sexuality in season 3, that she gave right before the premiere.

      AE: All winter, I’ve had that image in my head from the finale of Emily falling apart when Pam tells her Maya has been killed. It’s like being punched in the heart! Is she going to find love again, or has she just resigned herself to the fact that when she loves someone, it means murder?
      MK: [Laughs] Oh, it certainly crosses her mind that the people she falls in love with — including Alison — all go away. So that’s part of her process. But Emily will eventually land in a place where she’ll be open to love again. And hopefully she’ll find a girlfriend who will stay with her for a while.
      AE: You say “girlfriend,” which I think will make our readers really happy, because I’ve heard some speculation that Emily might hook-up with some boys this season. I know she’s bisexual in the books. Is that the direction you’re taking her?
      MK: It’s not our intention. I want to choose my words really carefully here, because Emily is going through a period of mourning and loss and confusion, and she may make a decision or two that will take her on a winding road — but she definitely quickly comes back to her understanding of her sexuality.
      source: http://www.afterellen.com/content/2012/05/exclusive-pretty-little-liars-boss-marlene-king-talks-emaya-writing-her-own-fan

      2) I disagree with your Skins US comparison. Tea repeatedly slept with a guy and played head games with a girl, and stated sexual confusion. She then eventually came to an understanding of herself and her sexuality and claimed that she didn’t enjoy any of it. Emily kissed a guy one time in an emotional moment. She never claimed to be sexaually attracted to him or sexually confused. When asked in ep 7 by Cece if she was into him, she said no and when cece interpreted that to mean she wasn’t into guys she agreed. It wasn’t just that she said no it was the way she did it. She didn’t overcompensate or appear to be trying to hide anything. She just cared about Nate and didn’t want him involved with Jenna, who as we all know raped one of Emily’s best friends, Toby.

      Em started dating paige in ep 8 but was immediately confronted with new videos and things of maya’s which made her emotional, and eventually in ep 10 she kissed nate. In episode 11 she was confused initially by why she did it, but like marlene said she she would she “quickly comes back to her understanding of her sexuality”. Did she explicitly state again that she was gay? No, but she never explicitly said she wasn’t either. It was her actions from 3×10 that confused her and it was her actions in the rest of 3×11 and then 3×12 that showed that her feelings for Paige had not suddenly changed over night and that she didn’t want to pursue a romantic relationship with Nate instead. She showed this by flat out rejecting him when he asked her on a date and telling him they should just remain friends, while at the same time ardently protecting and defending Paige from her friends when they began to believe she was “A”, and comforting her when she found out about her past with Ali. I wouldn’t look too much into her saying that she didn’t regret the kiss. To me it just seems in line with Emily’s character to not want to make excuses for her behavior, and take responsibility for her actions(Like when she told Paige “we kissed”, instead specifying that it was him who initiated it). I also thought she was trying to spare his feelings by not being cruel to him in the way ali was with her. The first time she kissed ali she let her, but when she tried again on another occasion ali lashed out at her and told her she was only using her for “practice”. She knows what that rejection feels like, and emily is nothing, if not compassionate and empathetic.

      3)Marlene does not hide the fact that she is gay on twitter. She has made multiple references to her partner and made comments about women being attractive(Just yesterday she made a comment about Angelina Jolie being hot). She is also not the only gay person on the show’s staff. The other main exec producer Oliver Goldstick is gay and they both starred in a PSA together with the cast a couple years back for “It Gets Better”.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_32yIojzHVA

      In addition another writer/producer that you referenced, Bryan Holdman is gay, as is one of the frequent directors on the show Norman Buckley. Yes, Marlene tweets a lot about the “hot” guys on the show, but I’ve heard bryan holdman talk about the “hot” girls on pll even though he’s gay, and like wise andy reaser talk about the “hot” guys on pll even though he’s straight. In addition i’ve heard ryan murphy talk about the “hot” girls on his show even though he’s gay. Yes, the majority of pll fans are straight girls, so she engages them at times by talking about the guys, who are in many cases the reason they watch the show. That doesn’t equate to her hiding her sexuality. She’s being playful with her fans, and discussing with them what they like to talk about. Surprise, surprise. Straight teen girls like talking about how dreamy they think ian harding is. A lot of them also do support emily and her sexuality and she tweets about that as well.

      4)The comment from Bryan Holdman about Emily and Paige was tweeted to an Emayan. Bryan, of all the writers, reached out to the Emayans the most after Maya’s death, and read many long diatribes on what that ship meant to their fans. In my knowledge he has never made any comment saying that Emily should date guys. I don’t agree with him making the comments, as I prefer when writers are neutral about ships, but I think that comment had more to do with calming down ticked off emayans than it did giving some hope to people who want emily to date guys. Many of the writers have made comments about a “journey” that emily is on, in reference to her getting to the point where she can fall in love again without fear, and find the right girl(As Marlene did in the quote from point #1).

      5)Out of all the PLL writers the one i follow the most is andy, because i find him hilarious, and I’ve never recalled andy saying that emily’s sexuality was up to interpretation. What he did was respond to questions about Oliver’s quote from tvline by saying that there are different ways to interpret his quote. He said that he could not speak for oliver, obviously, but that just because oliver said emily would develop “feelings” toward nate that doesn’t change her sexual orientation because those feelings could be non-romantic. Marlene, for her part, at the time tweeted that oliver was taken out of context. It was months ago, so it’d take forever to find the tweets, but I’ll find them later and link them. Here’s Oliver’s controversial comment that started it all:
      TVLINE | Emily is arguably the most messed up by the whole situation, given Maya’s presumed death.
      Oliver | Yeah, she’ll meet Maya’s cousin [played by Sterling Sulieman], and he throws her for a loop. In Maya’s absence, he represents something; he’s a sexy, sweet guy and Emily can’t help but develop feelings for him, too.
      source: http://tvline.com/2012/06/05/pretty-little-liars-season-3-preview/#utm_source=copypaste&utm_campaign=referral

      6)As for the arguments that were made pre- the episode airing about sexual confusion being apart of normal life; the two arguments that I remember hearing were from people saying that they had gone through experiences where they realized later in life that they were bisexual, and other people such as Heather Hogan who told a story of falling in love with someone of the opposite or having a physical relationship with someone of the opposite sex but still considered themselves a lesbian any way.

      To the first point, it was made clear by Marlene, as stated in the aforementioned quote, that Emily was not going to become bisexual and that appears to be how the show has played out. The other point was one that was brought up a lot in the AE forums, when people were getting angry over the idea that emily could have a physical relationship with a man or have a strong, maybe confusing, emotional connection to a man but still be considered a lesbian, and it brought up a lot of nasty talk about what constituted a “real lesbian”. I personally believe that you can love someone of the opposite sex, or kiss someone as an act of comfort or emotional distress as emily did, and still consider yourself gay, because to me the issue of sexual identity comes down to sexual attraction. Again, that’s just my opinion, but to me emily never showed any type of sexual attraction towards him before or after the kiss, so I don’t see why that would disqualify her from being a lesbian.

      Look I wasn’t in love with this storyline but I don’t think it sends the message that lesbians just need to find the right guy to “change” them. Emily was going through a difficult grieving process and comforted the only person that she knew who loved the girls she lost as much as she did with an ill advised kiss. It was never repeated, nor was it ever insinuated that she wanted to repeat it. She instead showed the dedication and feelings she has for her current girlfriend in the aftermath of her transgression.
      I think the point of having her kiss him back was to show how torn up over maya emily still was despite having started something new with paige; how much paige has grown as a charcter that she could be so supportive and understanding; and also to show how badly nate took rejection even when given in such a kind manner as emily delivered hers, making it clear to the 3 people on the planet who hadn’t figured it out yet, that he was maya’s stalker.

      //I know this was very long, but I wanted to try and address all of your points.

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        1) That quote is quite interesting, isn’t it? Apart from a fact she didn’t tell the truth – it wasn’t at any point shown that Emily “quickly came back to her understanding of her sexuality”, the subject was simply dropped, but look at the choice of words. Not that Emily comes to sense that she’s gay. Instead, she comes back to her _understanding_ of her sexuality. Which doesn’t have to be right. Coincidence? I doubt that, since there are lots of “coincidences” in that plot.

        2) Tea’s trip to boytown is already ended, when it comes to Emily, everything suggests it’s only a beginning. She kissed a boy. Stated that she’s confused over it. And this subject ended at this. A fact that she wasn’t attracted to him episodes before that kiss doesn’t mean anything.

        Kissing back the dude and stating that she’s confused served only one purpose – putting under the question Emily’s gayness. And showrunners didn’t do anything to reaffirm it. Yes, there’s Paige’s explanation, but Emily didn’t say anything about it, and since Paige doesn’t sit in Emily’s head, her interpretation is as good as of any other person’s.
        So opinion that Emily did it because she’s empathetic is nice, but it’s only opinion, as good as opinion that she did it because sometimes it’s person, not the gender for her. In the show Emily didn’t do anything to prove it. She was confused. That’s it.

        3) I don’t remember that on Twitter, instead I remember her wallpaper with “sexy boyfriends” of the Liars (Maya noticeably missed), constant references to those guys sexiness, and ugh, squealing over “sexy Toby’s abs”.
        So alternatively maybe she’s Lisa Cholodenko-type lesbian. The one who believes that lesbians are attracted to men.

        And when it comes to gay men, Goldstick is gay too, and he was the one who said that Emily couldn’t resist developing feelings for Nate because he’s sweet and sexy. Gay men very often don’t have much respect for lesbian sexuality. The brightest example of that is Dan Savage.

        4) Other people explained already, look for Weavil posts.

        5) Here’s Reaser’s tweet: http://twitter.com/AndyReaser/status/237563850180927491

        6) That’s fine that sexual confusion is part of life. But when television shows us constantly that it regards practically only lesbians, because when in mainstream (not targeted specifically at lesbians) show there is lesbian character, you could be sure that sooner or later she would be confused over some guy, then what message it brings? That sexual confusion is part of life? No. That sexual confusion is part of lesbians’ life. That their sexuality is in constant flux. That it’s not something as real for example as male homosexuality. And that all those homophobic stereotypes are right after all. You just haven’t met the right guy who would turn you.

        That’s why I think it’s incredibly selfish for women who are attracted to men, but choose to identify as lesbian (what does Heather Hogan from your example), to defend this plot because they see some similarities with their life. They choose to ignore social context, a fact that their visibility is practically the only kind of visibility lesbians in TV have (and that’s because men, who are in the power in networks, want to hear about lesbians like them, the ones who are open to men), and to hell with those who are invisible because of it. Women who are only into women. Those shows send message that such women don’t exist. So if you’re one, and accidentally you are also teen who struggles with her sexuality, living with unsupporting parents and friends, just wait for MR Right Guy, all those shows teach us that no lesbian is THAT homosexual that there is no man for her.

        But it isn’t even that. I would have much lesser problem with it if that played as you said:

        “I personally believe that you can love someone of the opposite sex, or kiss someone as an act of comfort or emotional distress as emily did, and still consider yourself gay, because to me the issue of sexual identity comes down to sexual attraction.”

        I personally believe the same. That was actually Tea’s story. But because ‘lesbian with a guy’ plot is so overplayed, until there will be substantial diversity when it comes to non-heterosexual women in TV shown, nothing will justify it.

        But it wasn’t shown even as that. We don’t know whether Emily kissed Nate back because of distress, like Paige suggested, or because “it’s person, not the gender”. She haven’t say anything, apart of “confused” line.

        Creators of the show deliberately avoided giving Emily any clear statement after that, and it’s impossible that they simply forgot about it. So in fact they sent a message to all those girls who are uneasy with their sexuality, and their unsupporting parents and friends, that even such total lesbian like Emily could develop feelings for a guy. You are entitled to different interpretation, but creators made everything to leave both interpretations supported by the events of the show.

        And what’s more, it’s clearly a Chekhov’s gun. They wouldn’t leave it that way if they are not going to use it in the future.

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          I agree with most. But in defense of Andy Reaser that is one tweet in a long thread. If you look up he actually says “I don’t know how else to say it, Ann BL. Emily is gay. She kissed Nate because he reminded her of Maya. That is the entire story.”

          It is a long conversation and he repeats the Emily is gay thing a couple of times in it. Including saying “straight shippers are out of luck”. He is then pressed on Oliver’s comments and said he can’t speak for him. That is how the personal interoperation thing comes up in that he can’t speak for other writers.

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        Falling for said psycho is beside the point. I’m just saying that “Psychotic Lesbian Stalker/Killer” is a trope that we were able to dodge.

        Now we have to hope that none of the lesbians get killed, and we’ll be good to go…………oh wait.

        (even if Maya didn’t identify as a lesbian, you get the point)

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        Emily didn’t fall for the psycho, though. She had one lapse in judgement, and kissed him, then rebuffed his efforts afterwords. Then, when her friends began attacking Paige she quickly ran to her defense, and became her protector making it clear that she was with Paige and on her side. Psycho Lyndon/Nate even said in the cabin that he was angry with her because she chose Paige over him. I think she genuinely cared for Nate, and her still raw grief combined with the new videos and pictures of Maya made her confused and needy of a living connection to her, but in the end it was clear that Emily chose Paige over Nate.

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          I think the problem with this “choice” argument is a fact that it’s bisexuals that can choose. The show didn’t deny in any way that Emily was attracted to Nate at the moment of kiss. They provided Paige’s explanation, but conveniently Emily didn’t say anything about it.

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    Great review Lizz. I agree about you with the Nate thing being too predictable, but I didn’t the obvious foreshadowing of toby being “A”, with the long sex scene, because it reminded me of Scream. PLL has a habit of using literary and film references on their show, especially in finales. The Season One finale paid tribute to “Vertigo”. The season two finale paid tribute to Psycho, and this one paid tribute to “Scream”. Here’s a great side by side comparioson:

    http://screamtrilogy.tumblr.com/post/30508019389/pretty-little-liars-the-lady-killer-vs-scream

    Gotta say even though Emily made some really dumb choices in this episode, I was really glad that she ended up being the one to save herself and kill Lyndon/Nate. On pretty much any other show on televisin a guy would have rode on his horse to save her, and to be fair to her, everyone in this town is pretty thick. I still can’t get over caleb putting his gun down behind his back when he hadn’t checked to see if lyndon/nate was really dead. I know he was trying to comfort emily, and I love him for it, but that was dumbest things anyone’s ever done on this show, and that’s saying something.

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    Awesome work Lizz! I already posted my thoughts on the episode in the open thread, so instead I just have to say I think you are better than ever this season. I’m not sure what it is about this show, but it inspires some of the best recapping around between you and HH.

    It’s gonna suck, waiting until October for the next one.

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    Paige McCullers: girlfriend of the decade.

    And I really wish the show would give us a game night with everyone, because I’d like to see Paige and Spencer turn a simple game of same UNO to the biggest duel of the century.

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    GUYS!!

    I FORGOT TO SAY THIS IN MY RECAP:

    How funny/weird/interesting/intentional is it that Nate and Caleb were both attacked with their own weapons!!

    I think this says something really deep about violence.

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      Wow, Lizz, good catch. I didn’t even thin of that. People talk a lot about how dumb the girls on this show can be, but the guys can be even dumber, especially when they try to play hero. I like Caleb, but i wanted to punch him in the face last season when hanna told him about “A” blackmailing her mom over the stolen money, so he needed to stay out of it, and then his dumbass got on his bike and went to confront Jenna, who he thought was “A”. Instead of him intimdating her, good luck with that buddy,Garrett showed up with his copcar and a loaded weapon and threatened him. If Jenna had actually been “A” that would have just pissed her off, and gotten Hanna into more trouble. Teen boys can be so arrogant and self-righteous. I love that this show shows that stupidity for what it is, and doesn’t make it’s four female leads damsels in distress who are incapable of doing anything on their own. They might be incompetent half the time, but so are their boyfriends so it evens out.

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    So why did Marlene kill Maya again, if it had nothing to do with A then what was the point? If she wanted a Paily romance then she should have had Maya shipped off again. Now she has killed at the time the only black character for nothing. And now the other black character has been killed for nothing. If you are black and land a role on on this show and not as an extra, expect to be killed off.

    I laughed at Toby being A because Spencer called that one in season 1. She should have trusted her gut.

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      I am pretty sure she was brought back just to be killed off. Bianca Lawson was let go with a few episodes left on her contract in season 1 (meaning they had to pay her and this show has a shoe string budget). Emily was sad she was gone for about two episodes and then basically didn’t mention her since 1×17. Dated Paige and Samara. Seemed to not think about Maya much. And then she was brought back in mid-season 2. She was only really with Emily a few episodes and then “disappeared”. They seemed to have wanted to kill someone off that would have some emotional resonance (like Emily’s first real girlfriend) but didn’t have the heart to kill off anyone that was actually still on the show.

      In fact, they wanted Lindsey Shaw for all of Season 2 and she couldn’t do it schedule wise until the end. Part of me wonders if she would have been the one to die had things worked according to plan.

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        Even if Lindsey Shaw had been free to film more episodes for season 2 Maya still would have died. The only reason we saw Maya as much as we did this season is because of the fans outrage over her death.

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          I kind of get this feeling too.

          Also I’m still bummed that Lindsey wasn’t available to shoot the Paige/Maya scene that was suppose to happen at the party with the swim team where Maya sulked on the staircase

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    “IS THERE ANYTHING MORE HIDEOUS THAN THOSE VERTICAL BLINDS?”

    “I’d like to point out at this point that, as previously mentioned, this shit is actually really scary.”

    Lizz – I loved this recap and you really get me. People think that it’s rediculous I get scared by PLL but I used to have to watch it with the lights on at night and my door open. People also think it’s rediculous that I love this show so much but WHATEVER.

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    The gun went off bc he left it on the seal. Halogen lights are bright and hot! Like spencer/troian; but I digress, that hot ass light caused the ammunition to explode (which in tv land translate to: the gun got so hot that it popped out a tiny killing utensil from its bullet hole and somehow managed to either A: land in someone’s gut despite their back being turned OR B: rip through the back exiting the gut without grazing any one else that may have been 2 inches away)

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    I love Paige as a crazy rosewood character, but can’t stand her and Emily together. Everyone always talks about the chemistry but its waayyy more “sisterly/friendly” to the point where its creepy for to me to watch them. For the first time I’m not even interested in that part of Emily life, which is odd since that’s what brought me to the show.

    I don’t want Paige to leave the show I really do think shes great, anyone that shakes Spencer up that much is a keeper, but I’d love to see her have a storyline separate from her relationship w/ Em and the blah swimming team.

    For Emily I really do hope to see her with someone that shes over the top crazy in love with. I want to see her chase some one for a change.

    So I agree with the writer when he’s says she part of Emily’s journey not necessarily her soul mate. I don’t feel he’s being careless or treated Emily any different,THEY’RE IN HIGH SCHOOL. Paige is just not the right “overall” long term fit. PLUS SHE’S OBSESSED with Emily, which make they’re relationship lopsided and weird.

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      Chemistry is subjective obviously (I don’t think there is anything sister about how Emilh blushes and flirts with Paige since her season 2 appearances) so to each their own. But all four girls are in high school and three have had the same love interest since season 1. And they writers are falling all over themselves to say Toby’s love is genuine. So it is hard to feel that they are treated equally.

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        Chemistry is in many cases subjective, especially when you’re rooting for two characters, but this is a tv show. They either want to rip each others clothes off or they don’t, period. None of the other couples have this issue. What I get from Paige’s storyline is that shes totally into EMily, but Emily isnt coming off at all like that. She literally had to be REMINDED that wanted Paige, that she was looking for Paige that night lol.

        PAIGE is and will always be the Rebound chick, and now for the 2nd time. Some of you have been Paige or had a girlfriend that was always in Paige’s 2nd place situation, so I understand why so many relate to her. I just can’t wait to see EMily go after someone she’s just as crazy about. No matter how crazy the person is , their race, age, that’s the type of chemistry I relate to, and the reason I’ve been pretty much bored. I mean come on she’s still trying to PROCESS her feelings for Nate and the kiss. WTF? When I’m reallly in to someone I don’t process kisses with other people. It’s not that difficult and it’s not that subjective.It’s pretty obvious the writers have this relationship as the filler-ship of the show.

        If you like Paily just enjoy this time. It looks like they make through the end of the season at least, but don’t be mad at the writers when they break up, as some type of equality issue. Some characters have bad relationship history. Paige is the forever rebound chick and has always been written that way,as well as crazy(which I love).

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    I love these recaps but this one was hilarious. I thought the finale was good but I agree with Nate being too obvious. My only hopes for this episode were that Nate would die and I got that so everything else was a bonus, well except for that gross sex scene. Toby was a nice surprise and I am so glad he is not a double agent because it makes things a lot more interesting. Overall I enjoyed this episode, except the lack of a Paige and Emily reunion but I am so excited for the halloween episode last year’s was one of my favorites.

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