Holbrook grabs at Hanna’s face like he really is going to rape her, and she wallops the hell out of him with her expandable baton! And then — listen to this, okay! — she literally says the words, “You don’t get to play the victim here. You’re the grown-up police officer; she’s just a girl!”
My wishlist for this season of Pretty Little Liars was: 1) If Paige is leaving, let her have a triumphant send-off worthy of her growth as a character and as a symbol of hope for the It Gets Better generation. 2) And don’t let that be the end of Emily’s lesbian life. 3) And if she’s getting a new love interest, let her be a woman of color. 4) More Mona. 5) More Ali. 6) A smackdown of rape culture instead of blaming the teenage girls these grown men continue to seduce.
Gods, I cannot tell you how good it felt to me to see Hanna do what she did and say what she said, especially because of the way Aria came at her last season about how it was her fault Zack tried to have sex with her. There is always a theme in Dead Girl Shows about, “What did this sexually active blonde-haired girl who pretended to be a virgin do to deserve to be murdered by a man twice her age?” She must have done something, right? Seasons after seasons of how she was asking for it. So to have Hanna (who still looks like Ali in a wide shot) physically and verbally smack down that rape culture thing? Yes, ma’am!
Back at the book shoppe, Talia tries to figure out how the whisper machine works. Emily says she’ll show her. She sits her down and tells her to cup her ears, and the craziest thing: With her hair pushed back, she looks younger than Emily! (I think she is in real life, actually.) Emily goes over and stands in the bubble and says: “The other night when you said it was my buns and not Ezra’s buns you were into, it felt like you were asking me to decide right then if we should get married. But I don’t know you. And you don’t know me. You could be a fake cousin. I could be a girl whose vagina is cursed with death. I do know that being gifted like you are, just singularly amazing at a thing, can be lonely. So lonely you’ll listen to instructions from a talking doll, or only have your dad to call when a school building comes alive to murder you. I get it. And it’s awful. Anyway, that’s how this machine works!”
Emily walks back to Talia and says maybe she “reads too much into situations.” And Talia’s face is like, “The situation of me saying with my mouth that I’m interested in you? That’s the one you think you read too much into? Or the apron thing earlier which was basically like emotional second base?” And then Talia endears herself to Emily even more by saying she learned to cook with the confidence of experience, even when she didn’t have any. It’s a food metaphor Emily finally understands, so she grabs Talia and smooches her beautiful face. She pulls away shyly, but Talia grabs her back and they smooch some more.
Paige McCullers meant a thing to me as deep as my soul. Maybe she’ll be back! Maybe not! She left on her own terms, and she left alive! Seeing a lesbian couple of color on TV? That means an awful lot to so many people, and it’s something we never get to see. I feel happy in my heart and calm in my spirit and I’m just gonna go hug it out with Hanna now. (Watch out for shovels while I’m gone, Talia!)
The Liars debrief what happened today. Who’s the other henchman? Who’s he working for? Who’s the person making other plans on Bethany’s Radley tape? Who set a trap for whom?
Mike goes back to jail to visit Ali, even though Aria told him not to do it. Because Mike is his own man. (Just kidding, Mike is still operating on Mona’s orders, I’ll bet you one hundred dollars.)
The Risen Mitten loses its mind when it sneaks into Mona’s room and finds that the Bethany tape is missing.
Next week, there will be blood! Not rat’s blood, no! Liar blood, for real this time!
#BooRadleyVanCullen tweets are on the next page.