Previously on Pretty Little Liars, this girl with big glasses on her face came to Rosewood pretending to be Mona’s best friend, which caused both Mike and Hanna to spiral down a jealous rabbit hole. Mike mostly just stomped around in the rabbit hole, while Hanna channeled her feelings into lesbian sleepover flashbacks, one of which was Mona’s Adrenalized Hyperreality origin story. (Plot: Mona wanted Adrenalized Hyperreality. She willed herself to have it. The end.) Also Hanna found a cassette* tape of Bethany Young plotting to murder someone on Endless Labor Day. Johnny came thiiiiiis close to convincing Spencer to become a pig farmer instead of going to college. Aria was awesome because Ezra was Out of Town, which is exactly what she said in her Talmadge essay that Ezra knows is the truth but she still thinks is a lie. And Emily and Talia made out with their mouthparts after whispering into Johnny’s secret-stealing machine.
* A cassette is like a CD** that is shaped like little rectangle that’s the size of your phone but can only hold 12 songs.
** A CD is like an MP3 that lives on a little silver disc that’s the size of a tea*** saucer but can only hold 18 songs.
*** Tea is what people drink when they don’t want to drink coffee because they hate life.
I want you to think for a second about what is the dumbest possible thing you could do in Rosewood, PA besides giving a person in the woods your face or ever talking to a man. Everybody think about the answer and we’ll all say it out loud on the count of three. Ready? One. Two. Three. LETTING SOMEONE HAVE YOUR BLOOD. Correct. Good job!
If you live in Rosewood, PA and are not a ghost like Caleb or a witch like The Grunwald, and so you have blood in your body, the most important thing you can do is guard that blood with all your strength and wit, because: DNA. So of course the Liars go to a blood drive at school and give away one gallon of blood each. Well, all the Liars except for Emily because she went to Haiti to build houses after Maya died and so she’s banned from donating. She tries to eat some of the sugary treats anyway, but Aria and Spencer steal them away, which is for the best, really, because can you imagine what would happen if their blood sugar dropped at the same time? Mayhem, at the very least. Someone would probably die.
Ashley Marin is hosting this blood drive for Pastor Ted but no ladies from the church show up because somehow they know she broke his silver foxy heart. Probably she hasn’t been coming to church and he’s been preaching nonstop from Job. Probably that’s how they know. Also probably they hate her because of the time she accidentally slipped up saying the Lord’s Prayer, like, “Our Savior who art in heaven, Pinot be thy name, thy red grapes come, thy ferment be done, in the bottle in my refrigerator as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily buzz, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven the fake architects who tried to steal back the money we stole from dead old ladies. Lead us not into Rosé, deliver us from Riesling, for thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever. Amen.”
While the Liars are taking away all of Emily’s sweet treats, Mike knocks over a giant metal tray of glass or something, making the loudest CLANG-A-LANG-LANG! noise you’ve heard since Spencer tried to sneak up on Emily and Alison in that warehouse that time. Obviously he is there to steal everyone’s blood.
Aria doesn’t want to deal with that, though! For one thing, Mike threatened to kill her last week when she asked him who he was leaving a sack of gummy bears for down at Face Lake. And for another thing, she’s got a math test. It’s an impossible math test. Not just because math is a satanic ritual, but also because the first question is “Solve for A.” Which, frankly: The limit does not exist. So Aria goes on ahead and cheats right off of Andrew’s paper because that boy is only good for test answers and dealing drugs and getting Spencer to take off her bra. Andrew notices Aria cheating and sort of bullies her into accepting tutoring in exchange for him not tattling on her.
Hanna — god, this storyline is so heartbreaking. Hanna goes to Spencer to ask about getting financial aid for college because she didn’t get any scholarship offers and she’s not eligible for any grants or anything. Spencer takes a look at her paperwork and, lo! It is her shithead father who is making too much money and that’s why she’s not eligible for any monies. I find it very hard to believe that Mona didn’t have a college fund set up for Hanna in the event of her untimely ascension to her throne in the celestial portal of eternity. Maybe we just don’t know about it yet. Mona did love a good treasure map.
Talia and Emily ride bikes through Koatohee National Forest, just rolling through at a leisurely pace, chatting idly about whatever early-dates thing. It’s a nice visual because I’ll bet if she was riding bikes with Paige in the woods it’d be a race because Paige is never not full-on McCullersing everything, and never not challenging Emily to be even better than she already is — and with Talia, it’s a breezy thing, a not-heavy thing, only the words and not the million-billion things underneath the words. They pull up at the spot of Talia’s first kiss. Fourth grade. A boy with the face of a frog. Talia didn’t like it. She wants to know about Emily’s first kiss. (Ninth grade. Girl with the face you seen on every person wearing a mask in this town. Emily loved it.) But Emily doesn’t want to talk about that.
Talia: Okay, that’s cool. Too intense. I get it. Um, so what’s your biggest fear?
What Emily doesn’t say: That my boobs are dark magic and everyone who touches them dies. The hole in Spencer’s back yard where 50 percent of my girlfriends end up buried. Sports cream. My mom. Buildings that come to life to murder me. (Schools, greenhouses, barns especially.) Dolls. Fashion shows. Chinese food. Hoodies. Cops. Cars. Mushy squash.
What Emily does say: Here’s a kiss on the spot of your first kiss! A redo!
Talia: I have secrets too, you know.
Emily: As long as one of them doesn’t kidnap Paige and stuff her in a trunk, I think we’re good.
Emily: I don’t want to talk about that.
Ashley is sitting at home in the dark, clutching her wine, fretting about the fate of her relationship with Pastor Ted. Turns out she told him yes, she’d marry him. And also yes, she boned Jason DiLaurentis. He didn’t ask about that second thing, but Ashley told him anyway. This is the state Hanna finds Ashley in when she arrives home, and because she is Hanna, she stuffs her college acceptance letters and financial aid info and hopes and dreams down into her purse and sets to work preparing dinner and mending her mother’s broken heart.