To wit: Aria decides to take Ezra up on his offer. She hangs out at the Brew and looks through all her photography. Standard Instagram stuff. Lattes and books and Buddha statues. A hundred thousand photos of Spencer. But then she finds all these pictures of Andrew seeming like a normal 30-year-old teenager in his seventh senior year at Rosewood High School and her noggin gets to whirring about who is is, really. She says it out loud: “Who are you?” One day he shows up out of nowhere, gets Spencer to take off her bra like a wizard, hosts an academic decathlon that nearly causes Spencer and Mona to murder each other, then follows Aria around like a Noel Kahn for half a season. Who is he?
Monster sneaks in.
For real, though, look at all the spaces in the frames the Liars aren’t occupying in this episode. It’s on purpose and it has so much to say. (Again: Hanna, especially at school.) So, Ezra decides the best way to help Aria is to call, I guess, Rosewood General? And pretend to be a police officer? He’s like, “Oh, hey, hospital. This is Mervin. Can you tell me Andrew Campbell’s blood type, social security number, physical location at this moment in time, etc.? If you need to look it up, I’ll hold.” They hang up on him, obviously, but not before telling him Andrew is adopted.
Spencer and Ali take a minute before school to squabble with each other. Spencer is convinced Ali’s dad is lying about Charles. Ali isn’t not convinced, but she is a girl who died but didn’t die who just got out of jail for murdering a whole other girl who died but didn’t die, and instead of Emily rewarding her selfless dollhouse heroics with a smooch on the mouth to affirm her goodness and worth, Ali is receiving the opposite reward: fighting in a mirror with Spencer to remind her, both literally and metaphorically, how fucked up and duplicitous and fleeting and ungraspable her real life still is. (Emily, you’re ministering to the wrong blonde girl! It’s better than murdering the wrong blonde girl like everybody else, but it’s still not good!)
Spencer says if Ali won’t drill her dad’s brain in the night to mine his memories of Charles, she’s going to talk to Jason, and that just sends Alison over the edge. She doesn’t want Spencer to get Jason involved because she doesn’t want Jason to hate her, because that’s how it works, because every adult man on this show who abuses girls finds a way to paint themselves as the victims of everything the Liars do to break get from them. Ezra did it. Jason’s doing it right now. Andrew is going to do it in a minute. I mean, Ali doesn’t say that. She’s a sixteen-year-old girl who’s been called a bitch-monster so long she’s starting to believe it. But she touches the edge of the truth, and asks Spencer to leave it alone.
Hanna runs into Dr. Sullivan at school while she’s waiting for the Liars to arrive. You’re like, “Why, all of a sudden, is school so important to Hanna, of all people?” But then she meets with Sullivan after class and lays it bare: The thing A/Charles tried to do, has been trying to do from the very beginning, is break the Liars apart, and the worst thing that could possibly come from the dollhouse is if he succeeded. She clutches her hand the whole time, the one she was forced to use to choose a Liar to torture, and asks if Dr. Sullivan can do some polyamory couples counseling for the four of them. Like maybe subpoena them or something, with her doctor powers? Anne says yes to the first thing, no to the second; so, Hanna vows to get their asses to therapy if she has to rope ’em up and throw ’em in the back of Toby’s truck.
Soccer ball: [Flies at Ali’s face]
Ali: [Steps over, takes a fake shot at Lorenzo’s nuts, lunges, taps it back to him]
Lorenzo: Your moves are smooth and your face is underage. You’re every Rosewood cop’s dream, girl.
Ali: Are those church kids?
Lorenzo: Yeah, you’re every Rosewood youth minister’s dream, too, girl.
Ali: I wonder if Aria will let me borrow her Stop Men dress.
Lorenzo: You know you want it.
Ali: Wanna jet? You’re right. Bye.
Toby: [Watches condescendingly from the window]
Pam pulls out some of Emily’s old plaids from the attic so Sarah can have some things to wear around that aren’t dirty old yellow tank tops. Sarah puts on a lesbian-themed fashion show for Pam and Em, while they throw socks at each other and try to pretend Emily’s not going to have to end up stabbing this girl on top of a lighthouse. Pam casually asks why Sarah ran away after being held hostage in the sewers beneath a state park for many years. Emily is like, “Oh my god, Mom, you can’t just ask someone why they’re feral!” But Sarah doesn’t mind telling about it. Her mom is a horrible woman who threw all of Sarah’s clothes in the yard and burned them like a bonfire after Sarah was kidnapped. Roasted marshmallows on the fire, roasted hot dogs, s’mores, the whole thing. A freedom luau, basically. Pam gives Sarah a hundred more of Emily’s old denim vests and a plate of empanadas. And a vodka.
Hanna busts up the party to drag Emily to therapy. It’s amazing. It’s so Hanna. Holding the world together with her Hufflepuff arms. She just wheels up, calls Emily, and when Emily walks outside her house, Hanna goes, “Get in, I mean it, we’re going to therapy.”