Mona has made an It Gets Better for Lunatics video and the thing has gone viral in the course of an afternoon. It’s just her talking to the camera about how she was a loser when she was in middle school but then she found out she was blessed with adrenalized hyperreality and the combination of rage/pain and her superpower caused her to go on a murder spree. She’s sorry, though, and she wants a second chance to be popular again. Mamaw Marin watches with Hanna and is like, “Psh, what a tryhard. Forget what I said about letting her re-win your love.” Lucas stops by to drop off the rest of the money he owes Caleb and also to tell Hanna that Mona was sneaking out of Radley for the whole entire time she was there. Hanna’s like, “What happened to your leg, though?” And he’s all, “Old injury from the night this girl I love drowned me in a canoe.” And he limps away.
Charity run! Aria and Caleb set up the water table and Aria figures since she’s had one, maybe two conversations with Caleb, like, ever that it’s totally appropriate to ask him if he has any deep-seated issues about his father abandoning him. Caleb’s like, “This is weirder than that time Toby took Hanna to that church dance.” However, all manner of weirdness is covered by perfection, and that is exactly what Mamaw Marin displays when she takes it upon herself to perform the national anthem, simply because there is a microphone and an audience. Fake Coachprah tries to shut her down, but Mamaw will not be denied this opportunity to perform. She sings. Oh, she sings. And it is amazing from every angle.
The Liars go over their plan as Mamaw heads into the second verse of the Star Spangled Banner: They’re going to hop out of the race at mile 2 and sneak into the janitor’s closet at school where they hope to gather some clues and solve some crimes.
Mamaw is just a-wailin’ up there, but Fake Coachprah has had enough, so she fires the starting gun, and the race is on.
Betty Buckley is a national treasure, you guys. I’m serious. I wish she was on every episode of this show. I’d even sacrifice the immense pyrotechnics budget to see her face every week.
Emily’s dad has synched up the house’s alarm system to his iPhone and if Emily even tries to crack a window to get some fresh air, he’ll know about it. So she pickpockets his phone and trades it with hers. As soon as he’s gone, she disarms the alarm and races out of her house to meet the Liars in the janitor’s closet. Unfortunately, she was not paying attention during Spencer’s most recent slumber party lecture, “Locks and the Tools That Pick Them,” so she’s trying to get in with a paper clip when what she really needs is a bobby pin. Spencer shows up and cracks the lock in less than a second.
Inside the janitor’s closet they find a flashback of Ali meeting with Byron. She wants some dollar dollar bills in exchange for her continued silence about his affair with Meredith and he wants her to bow before his patriarchal superiority. She whips out a vintage flip phone — it’s a shame Ali didn’t live to see the invention of the iPhone; oh, the havoc she would have unleashed with such a thing — and dials up Ella. Byron cuts her off and she tells him to have the money ready when she gets back from holidaying with her grandma in Hilton Head and getting a complete Vivian Darkbloom makeover and taking flying lessons and visiting Jenna in blind camp and and watching Ian’s golf tournament and making a sex tape and threatening Spencer and stashing a key inside a doll’s head and giving it to Emily and buying a storage locker and filling it with a thumb drive inside a lunch box and borrowing Toby’s sweater and attending a slumber party in the Hastings’ barn. So, like, he has 24 hours.
The flashback is interrupted by Toby, who is creeping on the janitor who is creeping on the Liars.