Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Emily began the process of harvesting her gay little eggs from her gay little ovaries to spread her gayness to the masses (and also to get enough money to pay her parking tickets). Spencer asked Hannah if she could burn Caleb’s toast, and Hannah said yes, and so Spencer did burn his toast, she burned it real good. Lucas took a break from building game apps and lounging in his various mansions around the world, perusing particular subreddits and cheering for Neil Patrick Harris in Gone Girl, to be Hannah’s alibi for the night Charlotte was murdered. Aria started writing Ezra’s second book so he’d have more time to stomp around and figure out how to make every brutal, violent thing that happens to the women in his life all about him. And A learned how to use emojis.
Spencer wakes up to a sun-dappled morning ripe with the promise of spring, wrapped up in a duvet and an Alabama Shakes song about how, even though you once got caught in a bear trap in a wedding dress and hallucinated your way into a sapphic noir fantasy, it’s gonna be all right, it’s gonna be all right. Alas, hope breeds eternal misery, and Spencer’s bliss bubble bursts as soon as she reaches for her phone. What she sees is a message from Devil Emoji explaining that he is A 8.0, knows all her shit, intends to destroy her life, etc. Spencer rushes off to NuRadley to talk about this with the Liars.
Who could Devil Emoji be? Sara? Probably not; she doesn’t have any fingers for texting after she grabbed onto that Acme dynamite box when Emily punched her in the head that time. Ezra? Probably not; he’s too drunk on his own pain to know how to use a phone. Ali? No, she’s at an egg farm upstate with her boyfriend. Byron? Could it be Byron? They spy him skedaddling out of the hotel like a many-legged creeper-creature for some reason. Hannah is full of radical ideas in this episode (like, for example, telling the truth and hiring a lawyer), and she kicks off her insurgency by just texting Devil Emoji back, like, “hey who r u?” And Devil Emoji responds.
I am the night! I am the space between waking and sleeping, I am the monster waiting to grab your ankles underneath your bed! Wherever a girl needs to be reminded to act normal bitch, I am there. Wherever there are masks or selective memories springing into your consciousness at laughably convenient times or a necklace made of human teeth, I am there. But sometimes I am not there because I’m in the bathroom or the iOS update on my is taking longer to update than it said it would or I was looking for a thing on YouTube and fell down a fanvid rabbit hole, but most of the time I’m there! Shuffling. Skulking. Slinking. Slithering. Sneaking. Squirming. Sleeping. No! I don’t sleep! You sleep and I watch you sleep. I’m awake. I don’t blink. Am I a disembodied letter of the alphabet? No, I’m a little bearded red cartoon man with horns!
He follows up this text with a photo of a 9-iron that is supposedly the murder weapon Rosewood PD are looking for to continue their investigation of Charlotte’s murder.
The Liars’ top suspect is Ezra because of how Aria found all those photos of mutilated bodies on the flash drive he let her borrow and how he is an unhinged, entitled, remorseless sociopath. Actually, the reason they give for thinking he killed Charlotte is they asked him if he killed Charlotte and he didn’t say no. Aria tries to get Ezra’s spare key from Sabrina at the Brew, but Sabrina shuts her down, so Aria convinces Emily to use her lesbian wiles to distract Sabrina so she can steal the key. “Breaking and entering” isn’t a crime, see, unless it becomes “breaking and entering and taking shit that doesn’t belong to you.”
Emily: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Sabrina: Well, I don’t own a TV.
Sabrina: Or know how to use the internet.
Emily: Oh, so you just, like, text people when you want to talk to them?
Sabrina: I’ve never heard of a phone.
Sabrina: I don’t know what a typewriter is.
Emily: It’s been so long since I felt the weight of a woman on top of me, I’m going to say this is fascinating, instead of what it actually is, which is a litany of deal-breakers.
Once Aria lifts the key and she and Emily break into Ezra’s apartment, they are at a loss for what to do next. On the one hand, if they found a 9-iron with blood on it, that would seem to confirm that Ezra is Charlotte’s killer. On the other hand, they have stood in this very apartment and read through thousands of pages of surveillance he did on them while he was manipulating Aria into sleeping with him and that never gave them pause about his trustworthiness or plausibility as a good, kind, loving, gentle, romantic love interest. They are thrown for a loop, however, when they discover that: a) Ezra owns an answering machine, onto which b) Byron Montgomery is leaving a message. He just wants Ezra to know that he didn’t see what he thought he saw the night Charlotte was killed.
Aria flashes back to a conversation she overheard between her parents one night when Ella went to visit Charlotte at Radley to try to make the connection between the way her father abused and discarded her and the way she became A. But Byron ain’t tryin’ to hear that shit, Ella, you monster! He yells some threats about Charlotte and Ella rolls her eyeballs right out of her head and Aria cowers in the hallway and tucks away this moment to revisit when, and only when, it is an absolutely essential component in forming an opinion about the likelihood of one of these people being a homicidal maniac.
When Emily returns the key to the storage box in the Brew, Sabrina catches her and her feelings are so hurt. She snatches up the box and says there will be a lock on it tomorrow, and honestly, she’s probably going to go home and etch a strongly worded drawing onto a piece of cave slate and send it to Emily via a courier on horseback, so why don’t you go home and wait five to seven weeks for Sabrina’s correspondence and think about what you did, Emily.
Aria and Emily go to Aria’s house to sit in front of a giant open window, into which an elderly man in a postman suit is staring at them, and figure out what to do about Byron. Aria calls him but he can’t talk; he’s busy sitting shadily in a limousine and fretting to someone that #AriaKnows. They decide to check his supply of white man things to see if any of his golf clubs are missing and obviously the 9 iron is not there. It’s sitting in some storage locker somewhere, covered in rat’s blood, one assumes.
Caleb and Spencer are adorably awkward with each other at Hastings campaign HQ. They talk about how last night was perfect and he’s never going to ever try to come between her and her first love (coffee). He is dressed like Victorian wallpaper, but that’s okay, it’s okay, Spencer is feeling him and this and them. (And so am I, to be very honest with you.) They are interrupted by one of Veronica’s aides who has assembled a recon package on her opponent and her opponent’s family.