Oh my goodness, what a well-made episode. It’s got laughs, it’s got really sad stuff, it’s got genuine thrills and a chilling final act, it’s even got a lesbian poker game! Aria spends Friday weirding out about her attraction to Jason, which results in her absurdly trying to jump Ezra’s bones at every opportunity — which, needless to say, unnerves him. Saturday she mostly tries to avoid the heartbreak of Mikey’s continuing breakdown, as we learn that Byron’s brother was also depressed (and eventually hurt himself), but winds up walking right into the trap of Jason’s face.
Trap? You betcha. Spencer gets Emily to help her break into Jason’s creepy shed, at which point the season radically flips: He’s got a working darkroom in there, along with crazy surveillance materials and about a million pictures of Aria Montgomery doing things like sleeping and getting spied on. So creepy. Although he knows somebody broke in — and leaves clues* to let the girls know he’s onto them, when they return that night — he doesn’t tell Aria about this, just gives her a smooch and declares his feelings. It is the scariest and the most.
*(Specifically, and hilariously, their flashlight in the middle of the Shed, which — if he’s anything like his sister beyond that particular habit — probably includes a treasure map or USB drive or something too.)
Also having feelings are Caleb and Hanna, who find out that the PI was tracking Caleb for his mother, who is now rich and in California. Hanna hustles to get Caleb some closure, but it ends up taking him away possibly for good so he can reconnect out there. After he’s gone, she mans up and finally contacts her dad about his upcoming wedding, but she’s already broken your heart: Their goodbye scene is one of the most tearful, masterful, well-played moments of the series to date. Kudos to both actors, who rocked it.