Toby, meanwhile, damages Spencer’s calm by asking her to ask Alison to stay away from Officer Lorenzo so she doesn’t get him into trouble. Spencer doesn’t flip the coffee table and go, “How about telling the ADULT MEN in this town to not SEDUCE TEENAGE GIRLS. How about NOT holding the victims responsible for their own victimization for once, TOBY. HOW ABOUT THAT.” Instead, she asks him if he seriously thinks Ali is the same person she was when this show started, back when texts were read aloud in unison and Jason had a whole other head. Toby sees her point, but Ali framed him for blowing up Jenna’s eyeballs, so he’s having a hard time letting that go. He says if Spencer trusts Ali completely, he’ll stop this shit. But, like my friend Valerie pointed out last night, Spencer doesn’t trust anyone completely. She spent a full half season of this show accusing herself of murder.
So Spencer takes her mistrust off the couch and over to Jason’s office to ask about Charles DiLaurentis.
Jason: You mean Charlie DiLaurentis?
Spencer: Um, what?
Jason: Charlie DiLaurentis, my imaginary friend from childhood?
Spencer: I say again: Um, what?
Jason: Yeah, he had to go live on the farm with our old cat, Hannibal Lecter DiLaurentis.
Spencer: I’m gonna go to therapy now.
Jason: Cool, have fun. I feel lucky that I’ve never really needed any therapy.
Well, so the Liars are at Dr. Sullivan’s office, working out what they’re going to tell her about Charles. But Hanna says they’re not there to talk about Charles. They’re there to talk about the hard work of loving for a lifetime. Emily, for one, will not be closing her eyes during this appointment due to the fact that the last time she closed her eyes in Sullivan’s office, she was hypnotized into believing she cracked Ali’s head with a shovel and was then transported through a time-vortex into the floorboard of Jenna’s car. All of this planning is moot; Spencer rushes in talking about imaginary Charlie and A texts a photo of the Risen Mitten holding a knife to the back of Sarah Harvey’s head, threatening to slice and dice her if they don’t get out of that therapy office right now. And so they do.
They zip over to Emily’s, but Sarah isn’t in bed at all. It’s just some pillows. Sarah is in the shower. When she gets out, Emily gives her the biggest hug, and you can see it in Sarah’s eyes, the Cousin Nate of it all, being that close to Emily, completely unhinged, and how someone is going to end up duct taped inside a closet because of it.
The next stop on the Liars panic tour is Alison’s. First, they explain about imaginary Charlie, and how something kuckobananas is going on here. There’s just too many blonde twin ghosts running around this town for all of them to be ghosts. So they split up and fan out and start looking for hiding places where Jessica or Mr. D or Jason might have hidden information about an invisible son or nephew or something. There’s no journals or anything about him in the hidden room behind the bookshelves. No slideshows of his youth in the attic, stashed among Alison’s dolls and one million dollars in cash money. No drawings of his in Jessica’s armoire, none of his old broken down toys in the basement. Aria gets bored and decides to do some crafting, and when she does, she finds a photo of Jason and Charlie and Mrs. D stuffed into a button jar. A photo from that day at the Campbell Apple Farm.
Out on the porch, Alison wonders to Spencer if Lorenzo knows about The Jenna Thing, the kissing rock thing, the Vivian Darkbloom/Holly Golightly thing, her intimate friendship with the grave-digging witch thing. She’s saying it like she wants to date him, but I wonder if maybe she really just wants to coach the girls’ soccer team at church, and he’s the first person in a long time who acted like she could hang around kids and not chop them up and do crazy necromancy with their dead bodies. Spencer tells her to go for it. Maybe Ali will even get a soccer penalty named after her. Emily digs stuff like that, you know.
The Liars bounce so Ali can talk to Jason and her dad alone. On the way home — filling up the full frame together, camera looking up at them, because their empowerment is in each other! — Andrew comes raging out of the courthouse like some kind of full-on men’s rights activist, screaming about how the Liars wouldn’t him fuck them and wouldn’t let him be the hero every video game and Disney movie led him to believe he was entitled to be, which makes them garbage women and he hopes they die. It’s straight up like Mario finding Princess Peach on the street after she rescued herself from Bowser’s castle and tearing into her about how was coming for her and how fucking DARE she climb out of that lava pit all by herself. Aria is still apologizing! Still! Another creep surveilling and berating her and she’s still apologizing! Oh, Aria, forgive me because you were all of us all along, and I just couldn’t see it.
Spencer: Well, everyone hates us.
Emily: Only assholes hate us. So, every man in this town hates us.
Hanna: Which was the whole point of couples counseling! I tortured y’all! But I can’t lose you!
Aria: No, you didn’t. I never got tortured. I’m the one who tortured y’all.
Spencer: Wait, we were all forced to torture each other, but none of us ever got tortured? A just wanted us to know he could make us do it?
Hanna: Making us think we hurt each other hurt us more than anything he could do to us.
They group hug and head home, determined, more than ever, to stop splitting up.
At Spencer’s, her mom is all worked up about how Andrew is out of jail and they couldn’t charge him with anything and how is this Spencer’s fault because it’s got to be Spencer’s fault, and if this means Spencer doesn’t get into an Ivy, well all hope is lost and they might as well have just drowned her in the bathtub when she was a baby. Spencer goes upstairs and takes the sleeping pill she lifted from Aria and tries not to think too hard about how some things were actually better in the dollhouse.
Ali shows Jason the photo of his imaginary friend, and so when Mr. D comes home from whatever Scrooge McDuck thing his job is, they confront him with it and he’s forced to confess that Charlie was real but now he’s dead. Maybe Toby’s mom threw him off the roof of Radley. Maybe Jessica bashed his face with a shovel and buried him in that hole. Maybe Veronica strangled a lookalike kid with her hydrangeas and buried him in the same hole. Maybe both those boys were just girls with short hair who liked baseball. Maybe they were Cece. Maybe they were Bethany. Maybe they rise from the grave every Halloween and go trick-or-treating. I swear to God, if this turns out to be some kind of horrible representation for a trans character, though, I am going to throw myself off a bridge. I have not invested this much of my life into this show to have it do that to us. Please MONA VANDERJESUS don’t let that be a thing.
Anyway, speaking of photo albums, Sarah Harvey has been going through Emily’s pictures, apparently, because when Emily gets home Sarah has cut her hair.
Leger de main. Kisses, bitches!
As always, my hugest thanks to Nicole (@PLLBigA) for the fantastic screencaps. Nicole is an actual magician. You should follow her on the Twitter machine. SHE KNOWS EVERYTHING.