|This article is about Aria Montgomery , a TV show character. You may be looking for Aria Montgomery (Book Character).|
|“||Don't look at me, I'm ready to hang a sign "bitch can see".||”|
— Aria to The Liars
Aria is the firstborn child of Byron and Ella Montgomery, and the older sister of Mike. She was the artsy and alternative girl in Alison's clique. She sported pink streaks in her hair and a love of art. Alison and Aria discovered that Aria's father was having an affair with a college student, Meredith Sorenson. The girls caught Meredith and Byron kissing in his car. Aria made Alison promise not to tell her mother, and decided that her father's secret was better left buried. Alison used the affair to manipulate Aria, and her constant teasing about the indiscretion led Aria to resent Alison.
After Alison went missing, Aria and her family moved to Iceland for a year. They were happy and normal. When she returned to Rosewood, Aria was a changed girl and considered herself to be more mature. She went to a restaurant bar after she dropped her brother off at school and met the attractive Ezra Fitz. They made out in the bar's bathroom, and Aria was shocked to learn that he was her new English teacher at Rosewood High School. They began an on-and-off-again relationship throughout the series, primarily due to A's threats and their differing ages. When their relationship was ousted, it was hard for Aria to convince her parents that Ezra wasn't taking advantage of her.
Due to the loose connection Aria and Alison shared, she wasn't a frequent target of A. However, she was still forced to deal with the misfortunes A brought upon her. A often ruined her romantic and friendly relationships and drove a wedge between her and her parents. Her parents divorced when the truth about Byron's affair came out. Aria was forced to split her time with Ella and Byron, while she attempted to reconcile her strained relationship with her mother. Her involvement with A and Alison deepened over the years. Aria, alongside Spencer, Hanna, and Emily, were kidnapped by "A"' while being escorted to prison in "Welcome to the Dollhouse".
Later, after graduating from college, Aria becomes a publisher and helped Ezra to write his second novel about his missing girlfriend, Nicole. Aria was later engaged to Ezra. Their relationship was strained when Nicole was found after missing for two years. Aria later found out that she was infertile and can't have any biological children. Ezra ultimately accepted this and their relationship prevailed. They married after unmasking A.D and saved Spencer. The couple headed off on their honeymoon with plans to adopt a newborn when they returned.
Aria is creative and artistic which can often make her feel like an outcast but she stays true to interests despite feeling detached from society. Aria is often seen photographing, drawing or writing. She is imaginative and eccentric with a style completely unique. She can be described as a kind and creative friend, always willing to protect them from any threats "A" has.
Aria has a pale ivory complexion complimented her with round hazel eyes and plump lips. Her natural dark brown hair is wavy and had pink highlights prior to Alison's disappearance. She has a petite frame and stands approximately at 5'2 ft, the shortest of her friends. As part of her punishment for not following his orders, Charles cut her hair short while keeping her prisoner in the dollhouse and she has kept it that length ever since. She had her hair brown in darkish blonde ombre. Her fashion motifs has printed dresses, boots, tights, necklaces, etc., and is interested in anything girly.
The series begins with a flashback in a barn, where Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily are having a sleepover. They are startled by their best friend and queen bee Alison, who frightens them by causing creaking noises outside the barn as a practical joke. The five girls gossip, drink and share secrets before falling asleep. When they awake, they realize that two of the girls are gone. Spencer then comes back telling them Alison is missing and that she heard a scream. She is hyped up on drugs to
One year later and Aria and her family have returned home to Rosewood after living in Iceland for her father's sabbatical. Aria still feels troubled over her best friend’s disappearance which concerns both her parents who encourage her to reconnect with her old friends. Aria sees through her dad's concerns, however, and reassures him that she is still keeping his secret. She drops her brother off at lacrosse practice and stops at a Bar and Grille. There, she meets a man named Ezra who mistakes her for a college girl and informs her that he will soon be starting a new teaching post. The two feel an instant connection and end up making-out in the bathroom.
During a conversation with her father, we see a flashback of Aria and Alison catching her dad making out with another woman in the back of his car, a student. Aria begins to reunite with her old friends, mainly Emily, taking note of Mona and Hanna's transformations and the fact that all of her friends basically lost touch with each other after Alison's disappearance.
Sitting down for English class, Aria discovers that Ezra is in fact her new English teacher, Mr. Fitz. After an awkward moment, Aria receives a text message from an unknown "A" which reads "Aria: Maybe he fools around with students all the time. A lot of teachers do. Just ask your dad. -A". Aria attempts to continue her relationship with Ezra, but he rejects her telling by her everything has changed. This attitude doesn't last long though. During Alison's funeral, he finds her and won't let her say goodbye without one more kiss.
Later that night, Aria passes by Maya's house and sees Spencer. Aria comments that she heard Hanna had been to the police station and wondered if Hanna talked about The Jenna Thing. Hanna arrives and says that she didn't because they made a promise.
Aria meets up with Emily, Hanna and Spencer at the funeral, and they reveal that each has received a message from the mysterious "A". The police now reveal that the girls need questioning again as they are now looking at a murder case, before they each receive a text saying, "I'm still here, bitches. And I know everything. -A".
Things are a bit tense at home because Aria knows Byron's secret and her mother still does not. Aria makes a comment to her dad about focusing on his family instead of work. Ella picks up on the weirdness, but Byron plays it off as a teenage girl thing.
Aria and her friends continue to be tormented by the anonymous "A", who seems to know all the secrets they told Alison, including the secret surrounding a mysterious blind girl, Jenna Marshall. When Aria invites Jenna to join them at their lunch table, her presence triggers a flashback to the night of the "The Jenna Thing". The four girls and Alison are having a sleep over and trying on each other's clothes when Alison claims to have seen Toby Cavanaugh spying on them through her window. To get revenge, Alison and the girls toss a stink bomb into his garage. However, it causes the garage to explode, presumably causing Jenna to lose her sight, a fact that Jenna seems determined to hang over their heads. Aria and the other girls are called down the principal's office to be questioned by Detective Wilden about Alison's death, now that her body has been discovered. Wilden thinks their stories sound a bit too rehearsed, but he can't prove anything.
Aria continues her illicit affair with Ezra, while trying to come to terms with her father’s own affair. She tries to transfer out of his class, which he reluctantly agrees to, but the school denies the request. Apparently, she and Ezra have the same taste in movies because Aria and her mom run into him at the movie theater and spend an awkward afternoon together. Later, he picks her up in the rain and they give into their feelings once again.
Back home, smiling, she passes her father sitting alone in the living room and he starts to seriously talk to her about Ella knowing something is up. He basically asks her to continue keeping his affair a secret, explaining that the woman he cheated with now works at Hollis College and he has to see her periodically. He makes excuses about his affair, and right on cue, Ella walks in with Mike, bringing Chinese takeout. Aria goes upstairs to change, but takes a look at her picture-perfect family sitting together happily before ascending. Then she gets a text from "A" warning her that her secret relationship with Ezra may not be a secret much longer...
While enjoying breakfast with her parents at a café discussing the book she is reading for school, "To Kill a Mockingbird". They tell her to read the author's biography next, and Ella goes inside to order more food. Alone, Byron unwittingly asks if Aria likes her teacher, flustering her ever so slightly. Just then, Meredith, the student Byron had an affair with, shows up, and Aria flashes back to the two of them making out in her father's car; they had noticed that they were being watched. Byron flounders a little, before introducing Aria and Meredith to each other, and Meredith asks in a chipper voice if Byron received her message. Meredith wants a referral from Byron, and he seems willing to help. Meredith tries to make conversation with Aria, but Aria coldly cuts her short. Meredith smiles intensely at Byron, and Byron smiles back, to Aria's chagrin.
Ezra bids Aria good morning before the contents of Spencer's locker come spilling out. Aria senses Spencer is stressed out, apparently drowning in her schoolwork.
Aria then corners Ezra in his classroom and asks him out on a date, making plans to hang out after the opening at the gallery and to tell her parents that she is at Noel's party. Ezra feels a little awkward, but reciprocates somewhat when Aria tries to touch him. Mrs. Welch walks in, cuing Aria's turn to exit.
Aria then arrives at her mom's gallery to find unsuspecting Ella chatting and laughing with Meredith. Ella announces she has invited Meredith to the gallery opening the next night, and Aria is horrified. As soon as Ella is out of earshot, Aria tells her to get lost and find someone who's available, unlike her father.
Aria attends Noel's party, but leaves early to attend the gallery opening. There, Ella and Byron talk and laugh happily as they stand together entertaining guests. Suddenly, Meredith shows and Aria walks up to her to kick her out of the party, but Meredith just shrugs when Aria brings up the previous day's conversation, saying she can do what she wants, and takes Aria's glass from her hands.
Later, Aria knocks on Ezra's apartment door (3B), and he opens it, happy to see her. She asks to come in, clearly upset, but Ezra says it isn't a good idea. She apologizes, but before she leaves, Ezra asks if she is okay and offers to drive her home. She reveals that home is the last place she wants to be, and he holds her close, there in the hallway, while Aria is badly in need of comforting.
The next day, the girls reconvene in the woods to create a memorial for Alison, a place they can go to remember her together. They change their minds about the location and decide to pick a more public place for the memorial, someplace not so difficult to get to. They hear someone near them in the woods and run away, stumbling upon the friendship bracelet Alison used to wear, perhaps planted by whoever was in the forest with them.
Spencer has had enough of "A", blocks all unknown numbers and emails, and encourages the girls to do the same. Aria can't help seeing Ezra around town; he rides his bike past her and her friends, who all comment on his "nice legs". Aria continues to see Ezra, making plans to have dinner at his place to discuss the status of their relationship.
At the Montgomery's, Ella is cooking dinner. Aria lets her mom know that she can't make it for dinner tonight, and Ella informs her that Mike also has other plans, so dinner will be a romantic evening for two for Byron and Ella. Just then, Aria again flashes back to her father's kissing Meredith in his car. This time, she additionally recalls how Ali had tried to convince her to tell her mother what she saw. When Byron tried to call Aria, Alison had warned her not to pick up, correctly suspecting that he would try to talk Aria out of revealing what she saw. Alison had warned Aria that she could risk losing both parents if she didn't tell. Aria says, "Mom", like she is about to tell her something important, but instead she asks for a carrot and walks away, leaving Ella curious.
After the tour at Ezra's, they discuss the problems her parents are having in their marriage. A misunderstanding causes Aria to leave early, believing Ezra was calling her immature, while he was only trying to express she might not be aware of all the facets of her parents' relationship.
The tension is evident the next day in English class. A class discussion over a character's hypocrisy in the assigned novel they are reading, "To Kill a Mockingbird", turns awkward when Ezra vehemently defends Aria's opinion to a student named Sperling. Ezra jumps down his throat, accusing him of not attempting to understand the book. Eventually, he comes to his senses, realizing other students may be picking up on the weirdness.
Later, Aria heads to Ezra's apartment in a fury. She blasts him for the way he handled the class discussion, snappily defending her in a way that people could detect something amiss. She also goes off about the suggestion that her parents have an arrangement, telling him that he doesn't understand the situation. But Ezra defers to Aria and doesn't try to argue. Instead, he tells her that he would like to get to know her better and closes the door.
They talk candidly, and Aria comes to the conclusion the most she can do is tell the truth. She leaves with the intent to tell her mother about the affair. When Aria returns home to her mother, she discovers Ella sitting in the living room. She announces that she has something important to tell her, but before she starts, Ella hands her the note she received from "A" revealing Byron's infidelity and Aria's knowledge of the affair. Ella walks away, wordlessly. It appears "A" has found other ways to get to the girls. Ella is devastated and Aria feeling more guilty than ever for keeping it from her.
Later, Spencer sends an S.O.S. to Emily and Aria, and the girls gather in front of Spencer's vanity, which has been vandalized by "A". The girls sleep over at Spencer's. The next morning, Aria reads them the letter "A" sent her mom. Then they get a text from "A", which includes a video which was recorded from inside Spencer's closet. They check the closet and find the lipstick used to write the message on the mirror. Aria notes it is Alison's exact shade.
At home, Aria listens while her parents fight. After Byron leaves, Aria apologizes to her mom for keeping his secret for over a year. Ella is shocked and hurt that Aria has known for so long, but doesn't blame her. Before class, Aria congratulates Spencer on her new academic achievement. Then Aria then meets up with Ezra in his classroom to see if they can make plans after school. He hesitantly lets her know that he will be reading some of his work later at a bar. Thrilled, Aria asks if she can come, and Ezra bashfully agrees warning it could get ugly if it doesn't go over well.
At the poetry reading, an old college friend of Ezra's named Hardy is in attendance as well. He spots Aria, who is clearly there to support Ezra and introduces himself as Ezra's old roommate; in turn, Aria admits that she is Ezra's student. Ezra then comes over, surprised to see Hardy, and the three hang out, playing darts, eating French fries, and sharing old college stories with Aria. Back at his place, Aria lets Ezra know how much she enjoyed herself. She makes a comment about college guys which Ezra uses to pick a fight, and start a conversation about their relationship. Aria convinces Ezra that when they're alone with no one to judge, it feels right. Ezra asks her to stay, but Aria has to get home, promising to cook him dinner tomorrow night.
At home, Aria tries to comfort Mike about the fact their parents are fighting. The next day, she shows up at Ezra's door with groceries in hand and learns that she accidentally left her phone there overnight. Evidently, Ezra intercepted a message from "A". Assuming it’s a friend of Aria’s she confided in about their affair, he quickly puts an end to their relationship without allowing for an explanation.
Later, Aria makes dinner for herself and Mike, trying to shield him from the negativity of the household.
Another day, Hanna, Spencer and Emily arrive at Aria's to console her with Chinese take-out and rag mags – thinking she’s sullen from her parents' marriage troubles, when in fact she’s depressed over the breakup with Ezra.
While discussing their plans for homecoming dance, the girls open their fortune cookies to find another prank from "A" notes cluing them into the fact that he or she will be attending homecoming as well.
Aria tries to approach Ezra at school, but he claims to be late for a staff meeting. Hanna visits Aria's house later to get ready for homecoming. She comforts Aria about her family situation and unsuccessfully tries to get her to admit who she's crushing on. Hanna assumes it is a boy in Iceland and insists she move on. At the dance, Hanna and Spencer joke with Aria that they will share their dates with her.
Aria is assigned to the same booth Ezra is working. She tells him again that she did not tell anyone about them and that "A" is not a friend; that someone is messing with her. She nearly tells him about The Jenna Thing, but stops because it's not only her secret to share. When given to the opportunity to leave the booth, she takes it. She returns to her friends and they discuss Emily's surprising choice of a date. Hanna tells her to occupy Sean while she heads off on an important errand.
Later, Ezra sees Aria dancing with Sean and walks away looking disappointed. She spots him and follows after him down the hall away from the dance. She tells him that she knows it's over, but she can't stand the idea of him hating her. Ezra says he could never hate her. He regrets not being able to take her on real dates in public and is afraid he's asking too much of her. He admits to only coming tonight in hopes of seeing her. Things are left unresolved as they go their separate ways.
Aria and the other girls search for Emily and are distressed to discover broken glass and blood in the chem lab, fearing the worst. The next day, Aria and Spencer visit Emily at home to fill her in on Toby's sordid past with his stepsister, Jenna. They try to get Emily to tell the police the truth about what happened last night, but she's not even sure what the truth is. Hanna brings Toby's therapist file and the girls argue what to do with it.
Aria begins to wrestle with the separation of her parents, further mitigated by their refusal to actually speak to each other and instead communicate through their kids. Ella won't attend Mike's lacrosse game so that she won't have to sit with Byron. She tries to contact Ezra, but he won't return her many phone messages. On top of all of this, she receives flowers from a surprise suitor - Sean, who admits to having fun with her at Homecoming once Hanna ditched him.
Aria looks for Ezra at school, but instead finds a substitute filling in for him. In the hall, Sean expresses his interest in Aria, but she cuts him short and reminds him that Hanna loves him, and taking revenge on her by asking out her best friend is low. He agrees, and just then, Mike comes barreling through the hallway, physically fighting with another student. Sean helps Aria break up the fight, and Mike walks away ticked off.
Aria tries to visit Ezra in his apartment, but he is nowhere to be found. She uses the key under the mat to get in, and while she's inside, hears the answering machine record a message from a New York school confirming their interview with Mr. Fitz the next day.
Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna begin to prepare for Alison’s memorial. The memorial sparks memories of a summer day that the girls had spent lounging by the shore of the lake when Alison had romanticized how fabulous it would be to die in a mysterious way. Ali's brother, Jason, walks in and basically takes over the planning of the memorial. Aria wonders aloud how he managed to get into an Ivy League school.
At school, Aria flashes back to her last conversation with Ezra before he disappeared and tears down an outdated Homecoming poster. Hanna lets Aria know that Sean's friend, Noel, wants to ask her out and tries to convince her to double date after school. At first she says no, citing her mental preoccupation with her parents' marital troubles, but after recalling how she used to have a crush on Noel, she accepts Hanna's date offer. She flashes back again to that same summer day and remembers how she and Alison had spotted Noel with a girl named Prudence. Alison had torn into her too, suggesting that she was anything but chaste with Noel and provocatively suggested that she had gotten a boob job. Aria had enviously ogled at Noel applying sun block on her back. As if reading her mind, Alison asked if she would "also" do something like that to get Noel's attention. She then teased Aria for falling for brainy guys. She also called Noel immature and simultaneously perfect for Aria, flustering her.
Later at Hanna's house, Hanna pushes an uneasy Aria closer to Noel. Whether for reasons of missing Ezra or family issues, Aria is distant during dinner. Noel confronts Aria about her cold behavior, suspecting Aria of being stuck on a boy in Iceland. Aria plays along, as the truth is close enough, and realizes aloud that she needs to move on (from Ezra), as that relationship will never be what she wants it to and can only end badly. Aria mentally lets go and gives Noel a chance.
At the memorial, all four girls, plus Jenna, speak about their dearly departed friend. They notice Ian Thomas, Melissa's ex-boyfriend, is in attendance. Afterwards, at Spencer's house, Jason comes to thank them for everything and gives them Ali's beaded name bracelet as a token of appreciation; she was wearing it at the time of her death. The girls are all shocked because they thought they were already in possession of this bracelet. Turns out there are two.
A huge storm is on the horizon, as Aria, Spencer and Hanna study in preparation for the SAT exam the next morning. Emily is nowhere to be found, though. Veronica drives them to the test, which seems like may be canceled, or at least postponed, due to the weather. Soon, they all run into Detective Wilden bearing shocking news: somebody has trashed Alison’s memorial, and he’s there to investigate. The girls cover for Emily without knowing why.
Aria gets a surprise of her own when she spots Ella, there as a volunteer proctor for the exam; a tense moment is shared as both are still resentful from Ella’s sudden move out of the house. Aria has been avoiding visiting Ella's new place, for not wanting to validate her mother's decision to separate from Byron.
After it has become clear that the SAT is being postponed, Noel convinces Aria to sneak out from the crowd and join him in an empty classroom as he shows off his musical talent on the guitar. Aria displays musical talent of her own, singing along to Noel's playing. They share some kind words of understanding and grow closer. A moment of attraction brings them to almost kiss, but the elusive Mr. Fitz walks in on them, interrupting their moment. A possibly suspicious Noel leaves, but Aria stays behind for an explanation from Ezra. He explains he went to New York to deal with his "issues" and had time to think about the consequences of their relationship. He says things need to change. Aria says they already have and walks out, holding back tears.
Back in the locker room, Noel checks if everything is alright with Aria and compliments her singing voice. They continue to chat until Aria sees Detective Wilden hustle Emily into the library to answer questions. Aria and the other girls follow, and listen as Wilden accuses Emily of destroying Ali's memorial and worse. He reveals a personal letter Emily had written and exposes the secret she had been hiding from her friends - that she was in love with Alison. Emily's friends all stick up for her, then Mrs. Hastings walks in and threatens the overzealous cop for his unprofessional behavior.
A little while later, Aria tries to comfort Emily, assuring her that her friends all still love her, and Alison did too, even if it wasn't in the way she would have wanted. Afterwards, Aria makes a date with Noel for Saturday, and exchanges a happy look with her mother, deciding not to let her parents' marital troubles affect her relationship with them.
At school, Mona Vanderwaal hand delivers invitations to her "glamping" party. Aria, Spencer, and Emily don't plan to attend until they get a text from "A" baiting them with the prospect of learning more about "A's" identity should they go. At the Montgomery's household, Byron is struggling to keep up with his new responsibilities as a single parent. Aria attempts to work on the overwhelming pile of laundry. Things are also still awkward between Byron and Ella, as the latter has asked him for space.
In school, Aria stands in the cafeteria, talking to Noel. He asks her out, and she accepts, planning a date for the weekend. Her budding feelings for him are complicating her uncertain relationship with Ezra. Ezra sees the two talking, then makes a remark about him being on the football team when Aria walks past him. Aria defends Noel's character and his appeal, but he says she can be with whoever she wants to be with. He is clearly not thrilled to see her with someone else though.
Next, the girls are called to the principal's office, once again, for questioning by the police. An FBI agent named Agent Cooper arrives; she has been enlisted as the representative of the FBI to assist the Rosewood Police in the murder mystery. Her approach in questioning is far milder than that of Officer Wilden. She does not seem accusing, rather wanting information. She shows them footage (sent by an anonymous source to the Rosewood Police Department) of Alison on the day that she disappeared. She asks the girls to provide as much information as they can provide and they cooperate.
Later, after being questioned by Agent Cooper, Noel walks up to Aria's locker to ask her about being called to the principal's office. She is nonchalant about it and in general until she opens her locker and book of poems falls out onto the floor. It has a note from "A" telling her to read page 22, which has a free verse poem written by Ezra Fitz. Noel asks her what it is, but she is so entranced by it, she doesn't care that he is suspicious and brushes him off to find a quiet spot and read the poem. She is so moved by it, she marches up to Ezra in his classroom and tells him that he is hypocritical for writing what he has and then denying he loves her. Ezra listens without answering much as Aria digs into him. Then, Noel appears in the doorway of Ezra's classroom and asks what's going on. Aria replies that nothing is going on and leaves Ezra fuming. Noel glowers at him before turning too, and Ezra heaves the book across the room in frustration.
The girls gather at Spencer's house and Spencer reveals to them that she and Ian briefly dated during the summer Ali disappeared. She tells them how Ali reacted seeing them kiss. The girls are understanding, unlike Alison had been. Then they see Toby's photo flash across the TV screen. Apparently, they found a sweater with Alison's blood on it in his closet.
At lunch with her mother, Aria discloses how much she felt that Alison hated Toby. She cannot believe how duped they were by her. Aria then looks down and sees paint stains on her mother's hands; she is happy to see that artistic side reemerge. When Ella mentions that it is due to dealing with the lies, Aria feels remorseful and asks her mother if she blames her. Ella answers that she would have preferred Aria to have told the truth, but understands that she was in a very precarious position in the middle of her two parents.
That evening, the girls plan to attend the party at the Rosewood Camping Grounds, and Hanna plans to secretly stake out the woods near the party, should "A" rear his or her head. Aria and Spencer arrive at the party together, taking in Mona's huge stack of presents, as well as the massage and makeover tents, in addition to the lavish dessert and refreshment stands. Mona welcomes them to "Camp Mona" and hands them custom-made sweatshirts for the occasion.
At the party, Emily fills the others in on Toby's confession before they start roasting marshmallows and getting their hair done in crazy 80s 'dos. A text from "A" sends Spencer back to the woods near the Kissing Rock, where she finds a woven bracelet with the name "Jenna" planted there. Hanna calls to let them know that she is on her way, but their phone service is unreliable. Also, Aria gets a text from Ezra that he needs to see her. After this, the girls get a text from "A" which tells them they are looking in the wrong places, so Spencer figures they should visit the right ones - or "Wright's" Playground.
Back at the party, Spencer wants to tell the others that she's cracked the clue about "Wright's Playground". She locates Emily, but not Aria, who has disappeared. Meanwhile, Hanna is on lookout with binoculars in the woods. She sees a car pull up and someone get in. She strains to see in the dark and realizes it is Mr. Fitz's car and Aria just got into it! Sure enough, a figure Hanna assumes to be the elusive "A" shows up and writes "I see you" in the condensation on the back windshield. Hanna tries to get a hold of Aria to warn her, but Aria is deep in conversation with Ezra and doesn't pick up her phone. Ezra has come to reconcile with her and apologize; he explains that he had left school in order to find another job in order to make their relationship work. He asks for her forgiveness and the two begin kissing passionately. (Obviously, Aria's pending date with Noel is off.) They do not notice the person writing on the car.
Hanna texts the girls "I know who A is" and directs them to meet her in the parking lot. Hanna's discovery yields possibly fatal results because when she gets to the parking lot and spots the girls, she’s quickly hit and flung over the top of an unknown car, whose driver doesn't stop to assess the damage. The girls rush to her side and call 911. A text from "A" reveals that she/he is responsible. Hanna "knew too much".
Aria, Spencer and Emily are left unraveled after Hanna is hit by a car, presumably driven by "A", on the night of Mona's glamping party. An unconscious Hanna is lifted on a stretcher and taken into an ambulance. Mona approaches the scene in the parking lot and is shocked to find out that Hanna is the one being treated. Before Aria turns to leave with the other girls for the hospital, she makes eye contact with Noel, who is wearing a black hoodie.
At the hospital, Aria calls her mom to tell her what happened to Hanna. The girls have a brief debate over what to do and come to the grand conclusion of waiting until they can talk to Hanna. The next day, Ezra shows Aria the troubling "I SEE YOU" message written on the back of his car, and they discuss it in the middle of town in broad daylight. Aria insists that it doesn't mean anything and wipes it away with her sleeve.
The girls finally make it to the hospital to see Hanna, but first they have to get rid of Ashley so that they can talk candidly. Once Hanna manages that, she reveals two bombshells she discovered: that Aria is involved with Ezra Fitz and that Noel Kahn must be "A". She witnessed Noel run up to Ezra's car while Aria was inside and write "I SEE YOU" on his windshield, albeit without signing it from "A".
Spencer is surprised to learn that Aria’s affair has been going since Labor Day. Aria says she "didn't just get into his car last night. Who do you think I am?" There's a knock on the door, and... it's Noel! Aria tells him Hanna's sleeping and takes him into the hallway for a chat. She tells him Hanna will be okay and takes the little teddy bear gift basket he brought. Noel eyes her and ominously tells her that they need to talk. She promises to call him, then asks him where he was last night. He lies, saying he was with Sean. At Aria's house, the rest of the girls rule out Ian as "A", since he was with Melissa the night before. Their new suspect is Noel and the girls enlist Aria to find out exactly what Noel knows.
Aria is tinkling away on a piano when Noel finds her, so they can have their chat. She tells him that she saw him at the campground after the accident. He claims that he had just wanted to scare a bunch of girls in the woods. Noel admits that he saw Aria in Ezra’s car and doesn't deny that he was the one who wrote on the window. He offers to go to the principal with her, asking what Mr. Fitz made her do. She tells him it's not like that and makes him promise not to say anything, which he does, reluctantly.
Later, Aria waits for him in his empty classroom. He agrees the writing on the window was probably nothing. They talk about their complicated relationship and discuss whether it would be better had they never seen each other in the bar that first day. Aria admits he makes her miserable sometimes, but not unhappy, and she would not go back and change things if she had the opportunity. He agrees. Ezra wants them to "move forward, together".
Spencer and Aria walk in the woods and talk about Aria's affair with Ezra. Spencer declares it to be both self-destructive and really hot. It turns out they're looking for the tree with the "Alison <3's Ian" carving, but it's been conveniently chopped down!
Aria and Spencer arrive at Spencer's house to talk. Ian invites them outside to drink a toast of champagne. Spencer demands Ian explain what they are celebrating and why he had canceled varsity practice that day. Ian admits he and Melissa have eloped! Only Aria has the sense to utter a congratulations.
The girls are contemplating the possibility of "A" and the killer being two different people when they discover an "A" message on Hanna's cast.
The girls wheel their helpless friend Hanna back into her home, where she‘ll be on bed rest for a few more days before returning to school. They get the rest of her belongings from her room and when they return, Hanna says they can get going. In school, English class ends, but Aria stays for a bit of extra help. She tells Ezra that Noel left the message on his car, but claims there's nothing to worry about; he might have known about them for a while and would have said something by now if he was going to. Ezra doesn't want to discuss it here, so Aria invites herself over to his place later.
Ezra stares wistfully out his classroom window when Aria approaches. Ezra tells her about Noel's request earlier (to change his grade in exchange for keeping quiet). Aria grabs his hand until they're interrupted by Jenna. She just needs his signature, and she's sorry to interrupt.
Mona throws Hanna a party to which Noel shows up. Just the sight of Noel prompts Hanna to have a flashback about him at a different party, when Alison had manipulated a girl to dump Noel, so Aria could have him. Noel sees Aria enter and tries to make small talk when Aria accuses him of blackmailing Ezra for a higher grade. Noel denies it and tells Aria it's all in Mr. Fitz's head. Aria tells Hanna she wants to leave, and Hanna makes a joke about hot faculty parties. Hanna says Aria should have told them a lot sooner because they tell each other everything. In another flashback later, Aria and the girls greet their friend Alison back from a weekend visit to her grandma's in Georgia.
At the Montgomery's place, Aria's dad has made breakfast for Aria and her brother, then reveals that their mother is dating other people. Mike does not take the news well. Over at school, the girls continue to suspect Noel, who chats up Mike, to Aria's surprise. Then Aria invites Hanna to join her for coffee after school. Hanna lies and says she has physical therapy, when really she will be at Lucky Leon's on "A's" orders. Aria sees her there looking upset. She capably gets rid of the athletes who are oinking at her and asks Hanna why she lied about physical therapy. Hanna confesses that Alison taught her how to throw up after binges and now "A" is using this information against her. Aria tries to console Hanna about the whole situation.
Aria grows increasingly suspicious of Mike's burgeoning friendship with Noel, especially when Mike tells Byron and Aria at the dinner table, rather unwittingly, that Noel has been spreading a rumor about Ezra being with one of his students. Byron reacts scoldingly, knowing all too well how an illicit relationship with a student can permanently ruin one's teaching career. Mike assures him it's true. Noel saw them and would be telling the principal tomorrow. Aria, flustered, makes up some excuse about studying with Spencer and runs out to her car.
Of course, she ends up at Ezra's, where he tells her that the lying and sneaking around is over. Apparently their relationship is the "most real and honest thing" in his life. Ezra has decided to resign and leave Rosewood so that Noel has no reason to tell on them. Apparently Noel has made him feel like what he's doing is wrong, and he doesn't want to feel like that. Aria tells him she loves him, and they kiss passionately. Later, she calls home and lies about spending the night at Spencer's. He lights a candle and she leans on him on the sofa, both hoping this isn't the last time they'll hold each other.
The next day, Ezra stands in his empty classroom preparing to resign. He exchanges a wistful look with Aria while walking down the hall. The principal, along with a security guard, is escorting Noel to his locker where the stolen answers to 3 midterms are found. Ezra looks beyond relieved and ducks out just before Aria and the girls receive texts from "A", taking credit for setting Noel up.
The girls are at Spencer's house, and Aria is all smiles because "A" saved her relationship. Hanna reminds Aria that "A" also tried to run her down, but as long as Ezra gets to stay in town, she's happy. Melissa comes in and makes some pleasantries with the girls, which ends in her telling the girls that she doesn't have to worry about Ian looking at other women. Then, the girls surprise Emily by sneaking her away for one last romantic night with Maya who is waiting upstairs. Downstairs, the girls go through Ian's boxes, but don't learn anything of import. Maya and Emily return and Maya says thanks and goodbye to the girls.
They then receive a video from "A" of the night Alison disappeared. Unlike the video shown to them be Agent Cooper, this video shows Ian on the other side of the camera. They scream in shock, then hear a noise outside. Whoever it is runs through the woods, and the girls try to chase the stalker, but the person is gone by the time they get outside.
The girls continue to examine the video "A" left for them. Right after Ian's cameo on the video, he surprises them in person, as he tries to grab a late-night snack from the Hastings' kitchen. The girls all freak out while Ian makes small talk, acting nonchalant, so there's no indication whether he saw his face on the computer screen or not. After he leaves, they decide they need to hand the video over to the police.
At school, the girls are decorating for the school's upcoming dance-a-thon, but take a break to discuss whether they should turn the video into the police. Aria agrees with Emily that this video could exonerate Toby and offers to drive Spencer to the police station during their lunch break.
Next, Ella meets up with Aria in the gymnasium, bringing along Simone, who used to be Aria's babysitter and role model, and is now her role model, a "published author" living in New York City. Just like Aria's dream future! Aria's mom has invited Simone to speak to her English class and runs over to Ezra to offer him Simone's services, in more ways than one. Simone offers Aria some career advice. Ella returns to tell Simone she'll be speaking to Ezra's class and will then be meeting him for a coffee date. Aria is predictably awkward about the whole thing.
At lunch, the girls get ready to head to the police station when they realize that Spencer's laptop is missing. The girls deduce that it must have been taken when she left it in her gym locker, which Ian has access to since he is an athletic coach. Aria shows up at Ezra's unannounced with coffee. It turns out he was reading one of Simone's short stories before meeting with her for coffee. Aria gets jealous, but Ezra points out that her mother was being insistent, and he needs to pretend he's single. When Ezra is ready to leave, in a desperate move, Aria offers to stay and read or maybe clean out the refrigerator, but he turns her down, telling her to go. He gives her a kiss, and they leave, separately, as a precaution.
It turns out that Aria's parents are both chaperoning the dance and they exchange awkward pleasantries. Meanwhile, Simone wanders over to Aria and jokingly begs her not to request a Backstreet Boys song. She explains that she has come to see Ezra, and Simone can sense that Aria might not want her there. Later, Ezra chats with Simone about Prague and absinthe and other adult subjects. Aria, totally jealous of how much the two have in common, interrupts their conversation and is promptly embarrassed when her former babysitter brings up her stuffed Cookie Monster from childhood. Aria retrieves Ian's keys from his coat and leaves, passing them along to Spencer.
Aria makes some comments to her mother about Simone and Ezra, but luckily her mom gets the wrong idea and thinks Aria is jealous that Simone is going after Ezra instead of spending time with her. Her mom unwittingly makes a comment about how it's hard to find the right guy, and sometimes, you have to go for it. She pats her on the head and says someday she'll understand.
Later, Aria sees Ezra and Simone together again, this time on the dance floor, and jealousy takes over. She marches up to them and demands, "We have to talk". Spencer sees what is happening and intervenes, asking Mr. Fitz to dance, giving Aria a chance to cool off.
Outside, in the parking lot, Aria says that Ezra would be better off with Simone, who is smart, pretty, and accomplished, and sheds a tear. Ezra replies, saying that he is in love with someone already, meaning Aria. He moves in to kiss her, but backs up, knowing that anybody could see them in the school parking lot.
Aria rouses the girls early in the morning from their sleep at Spencer's house. She's been up all night analyzing the picture that "A" left them. The girls all huddle close to Aria, but Spencer stands aloof, not quite comfortable participating for some reason. Aria has figured out that the picture was taken from the perspective of Alison's bedroom window. She thinks Alison's brother, Jason, may have taken the picture. Hanna notes that her mother saw him at the bank, indicating that he is back in town. Aria proposes talking to Jason, but Emily and Hanna treat the thought of approaching him with disdain. Spencer quickly volunteers, wanting to know if he indeed took the picture.
Aria and Spencer ask Hanna about the conversation they heard her having with her mom, but she brushes it off. Then Spence gives Aria two tickets to a museum, as her father has no use for them, though he's a member. Aria plans to make a date night with Ezra out of the tickets.
Next, Aria shows up to Ezra's classroom, where he is administering a makeup test. Under the guise of asking Mr. Fitz to look over her assignment, she presents him with a gift tie (that she is wearing with a post-it that reads "wear me") and the tickets for the following evening. Ezra goes along with it and accepts, not being able to keep the elated look off his face.
The next day, in the hallway, Aria and Ezra exchange a meaningful look, then Aria spots Hanna and invites her to a joint manicure after school. Hanna declines, using homework as an excuse, which makes Aria raise an eyebrow. Aria takes Hanna's glum mood to be about her breakup with Sean, which prompts her to mention the challenges of her own relationship with Ezra. While on the subject, Hanna suggests that Aria and Ezra cool off and not go to Philadelphia for her date that night. At first Aria is confused, but then she interprets Hanna's remarks as signs of jealousy and walks away, insulted by her friend.
At lunch time, Aria, Spencer, and Emily sit eating the less-than-appealing school lunch. Aria still feels hurt by Hanna's comments, but doesn't say anything. She checks out the gift-wrapped box Paige had given her teammate, Emily. Inside, she finds a "Go Sharks" beaded bracelet – just like the ones Alison gave the girls. Spencer gets the idea to go to the store and try to investigate who commissioned them to make the fake "Alison" and "Jenna" bracelets.
When Aria goes to Ezra's apartment, decked out in heels and a red dress, ready for their date, she can't find him. Then Ezra pulls up in a limo, commenting on how good she looks and why a limo is much better than the train. The driver opens the door for Aria allowing her to get close to Ezra in the backseat. The two spend a romantic outing in Philadelphia, pleased they don't have to conceal their kisses and hand holding in public. The next day, Aria tells Hanna it was one of the best nights of her life.
Ella then catches her daughter in the school hallway and invites her to go shopping after school. Ella asks how Aria's sleepover at Spencer's was the night before, and Aria lies. Aria changes the subject by asking how Ella's night was. Ella replies that she had gone to see an exhibit opening at the Philadelphia Museum. Alarmed, Aria does a double take, but Ella interprets Aria's shock to be about the fact that Ella had done something so eventful on a school night. Aria is freaked out and doesn't seem to detect that her mother is lying, despite her making up a fictitious story about meeting the guest artist, who had been absent the night before.
At Spencer's house, Spencer reveals to the other girls, who are sitting beside her on her bed, that it was HER shadow in the picture with Alison. Spencer admits that the reason she had never told the girls thus far was because she had felt responsible for wishing Alison dead. Aria wisely points out that Alison had said far worse, and the other girls comfort her similarly. Suddenly, the girls all move to Spencer's bedroom window, where they see Jason DiLaurentis in his old house across the street, looking out on his own window in their direction... They are shocked to see him inside.
At Aria's house, Byron lets Aria know that he won't be home that night, as he has a meeting with the head of his department, and dinner will be included. He commissions Aria to order takeout for herself and her brother for dinner. It seems that Byron is having difficulty coping with all the responsibilities of being a single father; Aria reminds him that he still needs to write a check honoring the pledge from the dance marathon. He calls to her to grab his checkbook from his coat pocket, and along with it, Aria finds a ticket to "Basia", the art opening at the Philadelphia Art Museum. She panics and questions her father about it; he lets her know that Ella's car had broken down, but that she had borrowed his car and been the one to attend the museum Thursday night (a lie). He is vague about the last part, correcting himself with he thinks that she went. Aria is petrified that she was seen, while Byron tries to hide his own secret. Byron does not give away any more details and tells her to ask her mother if she is curious. He hands her the check and leaves for work.
At school, Hanna and Aria discuss the new school news: someone has been breaking into the vending machines to steal food and also triggering the school alarm at 3:00 AM in order to leave the building. Aria then brings up the ticket to the art gallery. Hanna tries to persuade Aria that the whole thing was just a weird coincidence. She hurriedly leaves Aria to go talk to Caleb.
Then, Ella passes her daughter in the hallway and lets her know that she has just been speaking to the principal about her and Ezra. Aria panics, but it's not what she thinks. Ella finds the 'intimate' teacher-student relationship inspiring and has praised it to her colleague. Aria inquires about the ticket she found, but while Aria was afraid that she would be the one interrogated, her inquiry turns into an interrogation of her parents. Ella admits that she didn't end up making it to the museum, because went out to lovely dinner with 'a friend' instead.
In Aria's room, Hanna continues to try to distract Aria from stressing about the gallery ticket and what would have happened had her mother's car not stalled. Aria then overhears her father on the phone with someone, saying that he plans to meet him/her in the dark. Aria is sure from the conversation that Byron is talking to a woman, and Byron denies that he was speaking to Ella when Aria asks. She is especially suspicious because he had said that he was going to a department dinner, but at least Byron has the sense to admit that those plans 'fell through". Aria's wants Hanna's help in getting to the bottom of this new mystery. She gets Hanna to join her in stalking her father.
Next, Aria's suspicions of her father having another extramarital affair lead her to Rosewood High School of all places. Hanna has the bright idea to have Aria call her mother, who is in the school library. On the phone, Ella tells her daughter that she is at home, and Aria lies likewise. Unsure, Aria goes into the building with Hanna on her heels to check out what's going on. Crouching inside the library, they see Byron and Ella making out, having an intra-marital affair! Aria's parents leave.
Then, while still in the library, Hanna notices some stuff inside the vents, including clothing, bags, cell phones and a fat wad of cash. Hanna posits that this stuff belongs to "A". Hanna then grabs the cash before being chased by a frightening figure in black. Aria and Hanna run for their lives, before, Hanna instinctively sprays her chaser with hairspray. Eventually, Aria and Hanna realize that their pursuer is Caleb, who has sleeping at the school and the one who had triggered the school's alarm system the night before. Hanna returns Caleb's money to him. Caleb even lets the girls in on his foster care situation that has driven him to find alternative places to live.
Hanna, Spencer, Aria and Caleb all sit together in the stands of Emily's swim match. When Caleb gets up, Aria and Spencer express their surprise at and disapproval of Hanna's new buddy. Hanna isn't too affected. They all cheer for Emily. After the match, Spencer decides to walk home and Aria gets a text from "A" alerting her that Hanna almost got her busted somehow. Aria approaches Hanna about the text, though she is initially prepared to trust her friend before she trusts "A". When Hanna drops the bombshell that she was the one who gave Ella the ticket, Aria is unforgiving, leaving the two at an impasse. Aria doesn't give Hanna a chance to explain about Caleb messing with Ella's car.
Aria is still hurt by Hanna’s betrayal, and so decides to sit apart from Hanna and the other Pretty Little Liars while they meet up in Spencer's room. The girls discuss the strangeness of Melissa's rapid change in life plans. They use a website to decipher the three letters of the Braille message: B-A-D. Aria decides it must be a joke that Toby is playing on them and leaves in a huff.
At school, Hanna gives Caleb back his soggy hat. Aria watches from a distance before determinedly approaching Hanna to forgive her, as she realizes that they’re both contending with a more evil power in "A", who is clearly trying to tear them apart. She acknowledges Hanna's attempt to undo her mistake by pulling the kill switch on Ella's car.
Spencer, Aria, Hanna, and Emily sit down for lunch. Spencer expresses her disapproval of Hanna's growing relationship with Caleb, declaring him dark. But, Hanna reminds her friends that they had treated Toby the same way, silencing them. Spencer and Aria talk on the phone from their respective bedrooms, except Aria isn't in her own—she's in Ezra's. Spencer realizes this when a wailing firetruck passes by, but doesn't hear the siren on the other end of the line, which she would if Aria were at home. When she hangs up, Ezra returns with take-out food and lets Aria know that he is scheduled to meet her father the next day during parent-teacher conferences. Aria assures Ezra that her father doesn't bite...
The girls shop at a clothing store, where Aria and Hanna explain to the other two what their quarrel was about. They discuss "A" and Caleb, and Hanna reveals to her friends that Caleb is crashing at her house. The girls express their shock, but stop short when they spot Jenna trying something on in the lingerie section of a department store.
After parent-teacher conferences, Ezra tells Aria he is sure her father hates him. Either that, or he's crazy. Aria is skeptical.
After school, Aria chats with her father as he returns from work. She asks him how his meeting with Ezra was, shocked to hear that Ezra was right; Byron admits to having a very unfavorable opinion of her teacher, accusing him of lacking talent. Aria tries to defend him to no avail until she fills him in on the fact that Ella's date with Ezra is not exclusive; half of the English department will be there. He suddenly softens, and, at a loss for words, walks away.
Another day, Ezra and Aria are alone in his apartment fooling around when Byron's voice comes over the answering machine, apologizing for the way he acted, inviting Ezra out for a beer, and decidedly killing the mood.
Ezra is directing a play called The Bad Seed. Aria goes to the tryouts at 4 PM to support Hanna and act opposite her, with no intention of joining the play herself. However, the girls urge Aria to be Ezra‘s stage manager for the production, so that she can spend more time with him. The other girls, in addition to Mona, are interested in getting parts in the play. Jenna enters the scene and offers to compose flute music for the play, letting Mr. Fitz know that she approves of his choice of play, because she oddly finds it "inspiring", and thereby annoying Aria.
Aria surprises Ezra in his apartment before school. There, Aria convinces Ezra that going for drinks with her father is a good idea, as it will allow him to appreciate the man in her life, even if he doesn't know the extent of it. Aria mentions how she'd like her friends to see how special he is as well, lying that she hasn't told them about their relationship. He says they like him just fine; as a matter of fact, he just cast them in the play. Aria ambushes Ezra with the idea of making her stage manager for the school play. Though initially uncertain, he is powerless against her persuasive arguments and agrees. Aria is excited she will get to spend so much time with him on and off-campus working on the play.
At play practice, Aria and Ezra prove to have an uncomfortable, awkward working relationship, namely Aria's slipping up by referring to Mr. Fitz as 'Ezra' while seated next to him. All the PLL's are present, as well as Mona, who raises an eyebrow. Ian mistakenly enters the room and the girls all comment about how creepy he is.
Later at school, Aria apologizes to Ezra for slipping up. She offers to find a replacement for the play, admitting it wasn't a great idea to join in the first place. It seems that more is bothering him than just the play; he was upset to hear Byron mention Aria applying to colleges in California. Aria reassures him that she imagines them with a future and that she only applied to a single college in California, and in Ezra's favorite city at that. However, Ezra is much more unsure of the possibility of their relationship working out, catching Aria by surprise.
The girls recall a frat party they attended last summer with Alison. They saw Ian there with another girl while he was dating Spencer's sister, Melissa. They now regret not telling Melissa about it, especially since the girl wound up falling down the stairs, or was pushed.
Play practice ends and Spencer stumbles upon a trophy in the prop box with Ian's name on it. They believe it to be the murder weapon and go straight to the police station to turn it in. On the way home, Aria stops at Ezra's. She marches into his apartment and quickly states what's on her mind, not letting Ezra get a word in edge-wise until she's done. She lets him know that she's quitting as stage manager. She declares that worrying about the future shouldn't affect their relationship, as there are no guarantees in life anyway, but they should enjoy what they have while they have it. In response, Ezra kisses Aria, and the two make up.
The next day at school, some police officers and a detective appear to take girls to the police precinct for questioning. The trophy they turned in was not the murder weapon and now they all look suspicious. They get a text from "A", letting them know just who was responsible for the trophy set up. Reflecting again on the night of the frat party, Aria considers the possibility that Ali had been the one to push the girl, and Spencer concurs that it was possible that she had done it in a jealous rage because the girl had been with Ian. Aria vividly recalls that Alison had been nowhere to be found most of the night. Suddenly, the girls look up to see Ian casually watching them from the steps.
The girls are all interrogated separately. Their parents convene in the hall after the interrogation, believing they are the victims of a "cruel prank". The girls compare notes; none of them mentioned Spencer's fling with Ian.
Aria walks in on Ezra talking to Jenna about a short story she is entering into a writing competition. Aria pretends not to know much about the incident which caused her blindness. She arranges to meet him at his place later to cook.
Later, when Jenna and Aria encounter each other in the bathroom, Jenna uses the opportunity to mock Aria's connection to Mr. Fitz. It is unclear how she knows that it is Aria in the bathroom, but Jenna strikes up a conversation all the same, mentioning how she would like Mr. Fitz to assign 1984 as class reading because "big brother is always watching". When Aria counters that controlling is not Ezra's type, Jenna retorts that she must know him better...
When Ezra arrives home, Aria has already prepared dinner and is wearing a knockout purple dress which causes him to say, "Wow". He mentions why he was late and how he can't stop thinking about Jenna's story, which makes Aria uncomfortable and jumpy. She asks him to change the subject.
The next day (Saturday), Aria joins Emily in her room, rather than spending the day with Ezra, as is her usual Saturday pastime. Emily gets a text invite from Paige to a picnic, and Aria gets three texts from Ezra, ignoring each one. After Emily questions her, Aria confides her frustration about keeping "The Jenna Thing" a secret from Ezra. Emily encourages her to confide in him, though Aria isn't as sure, especially given the agreement the girls made to never reveal their secret to anyone.
After two hours of pacing his block, she finally builds up enough courage to go talk to him. Tears trickle down her face while she explains that he may never look at her the same way again once she says what she's about to say. She tearfully tells him everything and, afterwards, thanks him for looking at her the same way he did yesterday. He says nothing she just said changes anything; he still loves her.
The Liars receive S.O.S. texts from Spencer, and the three congregate on her front lawn to find out from "A" that the Rosewood police have made Spencer a "person of interest" in the murder of Alison DiLaurentis and have begun to stake out her house.
At home, Aria catches onto her parents' secret romance and the fact that Ella stayed the night when she sees two dirty coffee cups on the kitchen table when she wakes up. Her mother tries to pretend like she is just arriving, but Aria confronts her parents with what she (happily) knows. Aria offers for her and Mike to cook dinner tonight where they'll all eat together as a family again.
While sitting at lunch, discussing Hanna's newfound happiness with her friends, Aria quickly drafts a text for Ezra about wanting to look into his eyes, but the text is accidentally sent to Ella instead. Aria then goes to her mother's classroom to chat. There, her mother teasingly confronts her with the text, curious who Aria's new love interest is. She is not too concerned, and when Aria gets secretive, she gives her daughter the space she requests. Aria is a bit short with her, but Ella is allowing and even deletes the text to appease her daughter. Not before teasing her about watching her in the halls to figure out who the secret boy is.
This, combined with the possibility that the cops might search her house like they did Spencer's, gets Aria thinking about taking precautions. So, she creates a bag full of Ezria mementos and gives it to Emily for safekeeping, so as to protect the privacy of her relationship with Ezra. She leaves one thing out, though - a book by Sherwood Anderson dedicated to her by Ezra - too special a memento to give away. She leaves it on her bedside table.
While Aria gives her bag of mementos to Emily for safekeeping in her locker, they overhear Caleb mysteriously speaking on the phone with someone and get the impression he is cheating on Hanna. When he gets off the phone, Aria and Emily hide before Caleb can see them. When they share their suspicions with Hanna at lunch, she is loathe to believe in his dishonesty. All four girls are shocked to see Jenna walking by wearing the owl pendant Hanna assumed was for her. Later, Ella sees Aria texting on her phone from a distance and pauses, contemplating her daughter. Then, the girls all look on to see Jenna reveal the pendant to be a hidden flash drive.
The next day at school, Emily and Aria talk at their lockers. They walk with Hanna into the bathroom. When Hanna sees Jenna, she walks up to her and surprise slaps her across the face, to Emily and Aria's shock.
After Mike hears their parents fighting about how to deal with Aria's secrets, he angrily confronts Aria. He yells at her for aggravating their parents' fragile relationship by keeping secrets about some boy. He tells her to break up with him, or pretend to; just do whatever it takes to get their parents to stop fighting. Things are further aggravated when Ella blows off their dinner plans, leaving her children and husband to dine alone.
At school, Caleb approaches Aria to request that she speak to Hanna on his behalf, but she doesn't want to get involved. The plus side of their conversation, though, is that Ella walks by as Caleb is talking to her at her locker and assumes that he is Aria's mystery boyfriend. Aria rolls her eyes while Ella mouths to her that he is cute.
Aria catches up with Ezra in the hall to ask him about their plans for the upcoming Founder's Day Festival. Just then, Aria spots Ella, so she purposefully knocks the coffee out of his hand. Bending down to clean up the mess, she is able to (somewhat) discreetly whisper an invitation to Ezra to a quiet weekend together instead of going to the festival, but he does not answer definitively.
Aria lets herself into Ezra's apartment with the key under the doormat. Ezra is not there, but has told her to go ahead and order takeout. In the meantime, Aria sits herself down at his desk, and taps his computer. The screen turns on, displaying Ezra's online social network page. On it, she sees a tagged picture of Ezra embracing a woman sporting a diamond ring on Ezra's website profile. Aria clicks on the picture to enlarge it and learns that this woman's name is Jackie Molina. Ezra calls her from school to see how she's doing, and Aria responds that she can't stay, without revealing what's bothering her.
In Emily's room, the girls congregate to discuss what Jenna may have been looking for. They also discuss the creep factor in Caleb rifling through Hanna's belongings, invading her privacy. But, Aria comes to Caleb's defense, knowing how tempting it is sometimes to go through somebody else's information, such as her boyfriend's web page. Emily suggests coming clean to Ezra about it, but Hanna tries to convince Aria to create a page of her own posing as one of Jackie's past classmates in order to sneakily find out more about the status of her involvement with Ezra. Hanna later coaches Aria how to set up a fake profile and get Jackie to accept her friend request.
In her room, Aria checks her computer to see that Jackie Molina has accepted her friend request. But, thinking better of it, she defriends her and closes the computer. Going with Emily's advice instead, Aria rents a number of wedding themed DVDs to watch with Ezra. Ezra picks up on the hint, and Aria uses it as a conversation starter to confront Ezra about his past mysterious fiancée. Ezra comes clean to her, confessing to have almost married this woman until she broke it off. However, he assures Aria that he has no second thoughts about her and does not think about Jackie while he is with her. They proceed with the movie marathon.
Ezra falls asleep during one of the films. Aria wakes him up to put on a pair of brown paper bag masks that she has fashioned in order for them to take a picture together without revealing their identities. He plays along, and the two playfully don the masks. Suddenly, Aria gets a text from Emily letting her know that she's found the key, and Aria reports that she has to leave, heading for Emily right away. Garrett Reynolds then turns a corner, possibly having seen Aria exit the apartment.
While waiting for Spencer near the festival, Aria encourages Hanna to talk to Caleb, who is boarding a bus, but she refuses. Thanks to the key Emily found, Emily, Aria and Hanna track down a secret storage location. There, they uncover a flashdrive contained in a lunch box belonging to Alison. The flashdrive contains videos of the girls being spied on through the window, and one damaging video of Jenna and Toby. Aria is understandably creeped out. Spencer comes up with the idea of asking Jenna what she knows, before taking the information to the police to incriminate Ian. The other Liars aren't so sure; they don't think they can trust Jenna at all, but Spencer is adamant.
Back at home, Aria eavesdrops on her parents discussing the upcoming faculty mixer before showing herself. As her mother talks, Aria glances at her text messages and finds a bunch from Ezra, warning her that a cop had been over and they need to talk.
Aria anxiously rushes to school to find out what's going on, fearing the worst when he says he just met with the principal. Smiling, he says he just turned in his resignation because "Hollis offered me the job". Aria punches him in the shoulder because she was certain they'd been caught. Ezra apologizes, explaining the cop was there to ask about Spencer, the trophy, props, etc. The real news is how happy he is he and Aria will be able to be seen out in public together, at a coffee shop, or a poetry reading - they don't always have to be looking over their shoulder anymore. He informs her that he'll be attending the faculty mixer at her house tonight. She offers to give him the tour, suggestively offering to show him her room.
In the school music room, the girls confront Jenna about the incriminating video they found of her and Toby. Jenna tells them how Alison visited her in the hospital and threatened to expose the video should she ever tell anyone about the Jenna Thing or return to Rosewood. Jenna asks what the girls are going to do with the video. They assure her they’ll keep it safe – but she won’t be getting her hands it.
At lunch, Spencer presents the other Liars with an anonymous cell phone that they can use to anonymously text Ian. Hanna sends him a blackmail text. When Ian gets the text, he immediately leaves the cafeteria to take care of it. They set a place to meet, then all go their separate ways.
At the mixer, Aria answers the door to face none other than Ezra's ex fiancée, Jackie Molina, who explains that she works at Hollis. Aria, taken by surprise, leaves Jackie standing at the door and storms off. Ezra spots her leave and sees Jackie at the door, realizing why Aria might be upset. Alone in her room, she tells him that she can't help but think that he still has feelings for Jackie. Ezra says that he didn't know she would be there; he hasn't seen her since last summer and she was just a TA back then. Aria points out that up until then, Ezra was the only guy who had never lied to her. Disheartened, Aria leaves him standing in her bedroom, speechless.
Aria, Hanna, and Emily wait for Spencer in the woods where they arranged to meet Ian. They get a text from "A", warning them to prepare, though the girls aren't sure for what. Emily calls Garrett for backup, and he shows up in his personal car, wearing civilian clothes. Ian fails to show. Instead, a messenger boy with a sack of cash arrives in his place, and Officer Garrett corners him. He tells them they can go; he will take care of the messenger.
In the car, they get a call from Spencer, hearing her entire fight with Ian at the church, including his entire plan for staging Spencer's suicide. Knowing how much danger she’s in, they rush to save her and dial 911. When they arrive, they find Spencer very shaken, but physically unharmed. They see Ian hanging from the bell tower ropes, dead.
Later, the girls walk out of the church together, but are stopped when Officer Barry Maple calls them back to ask if their story is a joke. He can see the confusion on their faces, so he motions the girls to follow him into the church. Inside, the see that the bell tower is indeed empty, and Ian’s body is nowhere to be found. Much of the town emerges, including Aria's parents, to see what the commotion is about, and Rosewood is left to wonder just how much truth the girls have been telling. They all receive simultaneous messages, as "A" assures the girls that this is far from over.
In the aftermath of Ian's apparent death and disappearance, the girls are brought to the police precinct by Officer Garrett Reynolds, who pauses along the way to make sure none of them speak about his involvement in the extortion scheme.
With Ian's body missing and the entire town of Rosewood questioning what exactly happened the night before at the church, Aria and girls have a lot of explaining to do. The police and their parents are not quite sure what to believe, the girls' parents rally together the next morning to try and help the four girls, informing them they will start seeing a therapist. Now being forced to talk out their problems, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer feel more alone than ever, even with a reassurance that everything they discuss won't leave the therapist's office.
Back at school, Aria is chatting with her mother in the hallway. They discuss the family situation, and Ella announces she plans to move back home. Aria is happy to hear it. The rest of the school is abuzz with rumors about the girls’ story. Mr. Fitz erases a damning hangman meant to spell out “LIARS” drawn on the board. Then, Noel, back from his suspension, waltzes back into class, rudely remarking about the drawing on the blackboard. Aria and Spencer exchange pained looks.
Ezra beckons Aria to speak privately in the classroom. Spencer reminds her she doesn't have to go. He checks if Aria is alright after hearing about the incident with Ian and asks if she wants to talk about it, but she is uncommunicative. He tells her nothing has changed, he is here for her and still loves her. Ezra tries to apologize about Jackie, but Aria is mostly unresponsive. He asks if they are over, and Aria can't manage more than a "I don't know..." She leaves the room and he looks very upset.
In the therapist's office, the girls sit silently. Hanna walks in late, hoping to have missed the whole appointment, but to her annoyance, the girls have "politely" waited for her. When they finally do get to talking, they speak minimally. Aria is the most tempted to confide in the inviting Dr. Sullivan, especially about "that thing", but their cellphones go off, scaring them with reminders of what "A" might do if they tell. The session ends with Dr. Sullivan remaining completely in the dark. Outside, the girls spot the day's headline, "What Really Happened?" referring to their story about Ian.
That day after school, Aria does decide to make an appearance at Ezra’s place. There, shirtless Ezra assures Aria he believes she and her friends are telling the truth about the Ian incident. He offers his support to Aria. She says she feels like things have changed. Ezra says she can ask him anything and Aria is curious to hear more details about Jackie. He tells her Jackie wasn't ready for a commitment and assures Aria that she is not a rebound, but cannot bring himself to lie and say he wasn't still in love with Jackie when he first met Aria. He promises he was never thinking about anyone else while they were together. Ezra asks her to spend the rest of the day, like they usually do, but Aria declines. She tells him she's spending Sunday with her family and that she'll see him Monday. Outside, Aria receives a text, containing a picture of Ezra’s desk in his apartment. "A" claims something is missing and Aria instinctively looks under the doormat to find Ezra’s key gone.
At Emily’s place, Aria informs the crew about the missing key and they consider "A’s" compulsively violent tendencies and violation of their personal space. They bring up Dr. Sullivan, who is sworn to confidentiality, and Emily and Aria are the loudest proponents in favor of cluing her in on their secrets. Spencer agrees, and even Hanna, the most unwilling to see a shrink.
Back at the therapist's office, Emily takes out her computer to show Anne the videos taken of them through the window, but decide to explain the situation first. Aria begins to speak, but is cut off by Spencer who catches sight of Ezra’s Hollis diploma on the wall, a subtle hint that "A" is privy to everything they say. They had scheduled the appointment last-minute, yet they suddenly cancel, leaving Dr. Sullivan completely baffled and frustrated with the lack of communication. Outside, Aria stuffs the framed diploma into her bag. They discuss what a close call that was.
At home, Aria writes in her diary. Her parents walk in and inform her that she and her friends will be taking an indefinite break from each other. Dr. Sullivan believes their closeness may be preventing a breakthrough. Aria is crushed.
Spencer texts the girls, who must sneak out of their homes to rendezvous in the middle of the night. They meet in an abandoned greenhouse to discuss the possibility of Ian being alive and texting Melissa. With Melissa's phone, they ask the texter claiming to be Ian a question only the real Ian would know the answer to. The girls get spooked when the response is correct and they hear a noise from above, as if they are being watched. On their way home, they pass the DiLaurentis House, where Jason is standing on the curb, disposing the rest of the Ali memorial paraphernalia that Maya's family apparently didn't have the heart to get rid of. The girls are surprised to see him back in Rosewood and back in his old house.
At school, Aria is cold towards Ezra when he attempts to be friendly. She accuses him of not letting her know about his last day on the job being Friday, and not being clear enough about what to expect after he packs up his desk. He feels he's been perfectly clear about how he feels, but that they won't be able to figure things out before the next bell. She finally consents to meeting Ezra in his apartment the next day to sort out the complicated details of their relationship.
In the hallway, Mona catches up with Aria and asks her to pick out the farewell gift for Ezra. Aria initially tenses up when Mona asks her, afraid that Mona is onto their romance, but Mona merely points out that she was his stage manager and had worked closely with him, so she knows him best. Aria accepts, but when Mona asks her to step in with Hanna on her behalf, Aria flatly declines. With annoyance, Aria reminds Mona that she isn't hanging out with Hanna at this time. Mona asks why, seeming completely oblivious to the news about Ian and the bell tower, then suddenly remembers. Mona seems understanding of Aria's point of view as she leaves.
During lunch, the girls stand on line in the cafeteria together, trying to discreetly catch up on each other's news. Hanna then plops her tray down at the same table where Aria is sitting, but Spencer protests, reminding her of their forced separation. Hanna is defiant, thinking this will only make them look more guilty and further arguing that they should stick together amidst all the confusion, but in the end, they opt to sit at different tables.
During a flashback, we see the girls having a picnic outside Alison's house. Jason comes looking for Ali and accuses her of messing with his stuff. Alison makes fun of him then admits to her friends that she did indeed take his stuff.
Later, Aria gets a call from Ezra, while waiting for him in his apartment, as per their agreement. Ezra is stuck in a meeting with his new employers at Hollis College, surprised by how the long the meeting has gone. Aria is frustrated, thinking that this should have been anticipated, but she agrees to wait for Ezra in his apartment a while longer until he comes home. After getting off the phone, Aria pulls out Ezra's diploma from her knapsack and replaces it on his desk. After waiting over an hour, she calls Spencer for advice, but gets none. Growing more and more impatient, Aria starts pacing Ezra's apartment trying to busy herself while she waits. She receives a text from him asking her to wait, and she rolls her eyes. After pacing restlessly for a while longer, she pens a letter to him explaining that she has decided that she just can’t make their relationship work. She leaves it perched in the typewriter's output and finally leaves his empty apartment.
Meanwhile, Aria approaches Spencer's door. She sees a pane of glass is shattered and walks into the house, stepping over the glass. Scared, she calls out Spencer's name, when, suddenly, a black hooded figure shoves Aria into a bank of cabinets, causing her to fall backward and lose her shoe. The figure runs out of the house, literally a thief in the night. When Spencer returns, she calls the police, comforting Aria. They assume that the burglar is "A", but Aria brings up other recent burglaries in the town. Spencer posits that the burglar could be "A", but points out that Ian is a possibility as well. The two girls grow more afraid as they consider the possibility that Ian was in the house, looking for Spencer.
The next day in English class, Ezra uses his last moments with the Rosewood High students to give a parting speech. It is given to the whole class, but the innuendo is clearly intended for Aria alone, telling what an unexpected sense of loss he feels leaving and that he'll never forgot their time together. The other Pretty Little Liars no doubt pick up on the subtext, as well as Aria, who sits somewhat uncomfortably in her seat. After class, Aria does not approach Ezra right away, but silently broods over his words, remaining in school, while everyone else leaves. Suddenly, overcome with regret for letting him go, she rushes into his classroom, only to see it empty. She then catches sight of Ezra outside the window, packing up his car against the twilight. She chases him down, calls out his name running to embrace him, and the two kiss passionately.
Spencer gathers the girls for a walk near her house to show them the latest evidence in the search for Ian. Just then, Jason walks by and notes the girls' presence. They ask him about the dirt up heaved in his yard, and he responds that it is some planting that he is undertaking, in addition to a fence, which he says is for privacy and security.
At school, the girls secretly meet in the girls' bathroom since the ban on seeing each other is still in effect. Aria tells the girls about the class she'll be taking at Hollis and then suggests they meet somewhere else to talk next time.
Following their therapist’s advice to maintain separate lives, Aria enrolls in an extension course at the Hollis College where Ezra works. While on campus, Aria and Ezra revel in the fact that they can outwardly show their affection for each in public, noting that her father isn't there on Fridays. The two lovers share a kiss, not realizing that a stunned Jackie is eyeing them from across the way.
Aria channels her inner artist and signs up for a pottery class at Hollis College. Not only does the class qualify as "separate time", but it also gives her an excuse to see Ezra on campus, so there are benefits on both sides—that is until she finds out Jenna is also taking the class. She tells Ezra she wants to switch into another course, but Ezra convinces her not to, thinking the two artistic girls will finally be able to get past their rivalry.
The next day, the girls sit parked in Emily's car. Aria offers Hanna advice about dealing with her parent's confusing relationship. She reads Emily's Letter of Intent from Danby and is excited for her friend's good news until she realizes Emily forged the letter. Aria doesn't think it's a good idea, but Hanna does, and reminds Aria taking a class with Jenna is not the best idea either. Aria still hasn't decided what to do about that situation.
Aria deals with this new Jenna situation by pretending to be a student named Anita, and Jenna is none the wiser. Things get complicated when Jenna asks 'Anita' for help cleaning up. Jenna confides in 'Anita' about her desire to see sunlight hitting water again, getting very emotional from the memory - until she realizes that the voice of Anita is actually Aria's. She gets hysterical and screams at a distraught Aria to leave.
Later, the girls gather in Spencer's room waiting for the opportunity to spy on Melissa. Aria laments she may have made things worse with Jenna. As soon as Melissa leaves the house, the secretly follow her, hiding behind the bushes in the yard. Melissa talks to someone who pulls up in a car. Aria recognizes the driver as Wren. He hands Melissa a closed shopping bag; Spencer wisely guesses it contains pain killers for Ian.
The next day, Aria, Hanna and Emily wait outside for Spencer in the skeevy parking near a pawn shop, discussing the oddness of Wren and Melissa's rendezvous the night before. Spencer comes out and reports the bad news - she basically stole her sister's wedding ring. Just then, they look up to see a creepy sign for an optometrist, with eyes bearing down on them, making them feel like someone is watching them.
At home, before school, Ella comes to Aria's room to tell her breakfast is ready. They are both happy things are back to normal at home, but worry Mike may not be on the same page. Then Ella informs Aria she will be taking over Mr. Fitz's English class. Aria is surprised, but tells her mom she is happy for her.
When Ella catches up with her in the hallway at school, Aria promises she was only saying goodbye to her friends, who she is still banned from seeing, and then critiques and compliments her on her first class. Ella mentions that she needs Aria to pick up her brother Mike later from playing basketball to return his keys and also discourages her from spending time with her friends in the hallway, to Aria's utter annoyance.
Spencer calls Aria, who is alone in her home and scared. When Mike comes home, he scares her by not speaking up when she asks who's there. She confronts him about his lies, but he brushes her off, as he is not dealing with his transitioning family situation very well. Mike says if Aria tells their parents he hasn't been playing basketball every day after school, he will tell them she has been sneaking off to see her friends.
At home, Aria awaits news from Spencer. Mike walks by and their dad picks up on Mike's abnormal behavior, but Aria denies knowing anything about it, having been threatened by Mike to keep silent. With a pointed look, Mike forces Aria to agree she saw him playing basketball today.
Spencer calls the girls to join her in trailing Melissa. In the car on their way to find Ian, the girls discuss how screwed they are that they can't call the police, since that only ever makes them suspicious. From inside an old barn that Melissa led Wren to, they hear Melissa let out a gut-wrenching scream and then uncontrollable sobs. They run in and Spencer goes to hold her, for there on the floor of the barn lies Ian with dried blood around the wound on his head. Spencer and Wren exchange horrified looks and the girls stare at the awful site before them.
The girls discuss Ian's death and the plausibility of him wanting to kill himself. The Liars are ready to move on with their lives, but Emily is stuck on the details not adding up to logical sense. She decides to investigate independently. Just as the girls are talking, Garrett Reynolds appears, and based on the police report, he lets the girls know that Ian was dead for about a week. That means that the texts sent Melissa were not from Ian.
At Hollis, Aria is perched on Ezra's desk, cluing him in on the details of discovering Ian's body. They are sharing an intimate moment, which is silently overheard by Jackie, who purposely barges into the office to break up their tête-à-tête. Ezra awkwardly introduces Aria as a former student, rather than a friend, like Aria would prefer. The introduction forces her to call him Mr. Fitz. Jackie patronizingly calls Ezra by a nickname, probably to make Aria jealous and later remarks that "Mr. Fitz" should start letting "the girl" call him by his first name.
Jason informs Aria about Mike's attempted break-in, who is grateful to Jason for not calling the cops. Jason says he is fed up with cops and is also satisfied that Mike has learned his lesson now that he has been caught. Perhaps another motive for not involving cops is his budding attraction for Aria.
Just before English class, Emily shares the news with her friends that "A" probably doctored the suicide letter. They are brought back to the scary reality of "A", having taken a respite when they thought Alison's killer was finally being put to rest.
Aria tries to question her brother about the incident at school, and it is revealed that Mike was the one who broke into Emily's garage and stole her camping equipment. He was also the one who broke into Spencer's kitchen and shoved Aria. He reveals that he has broken into other homes as well. Mike then threatens Aria that if she tells their parents, he'll tell them she had been secretly meeting her friends during their "alone time". Aria agrees to keep it quiet, so as not to foil her family's tenuous relationship further, making Mike promise never to do it again.
Spencer's mom invited the other girls to the funeral, suddenly regretting separating Spencer from her friends, in light of recent events. There, Mr. Fitz shows up. When questioned about his attendance by Ella and Byron, Ezra is at first forthcoming, admitting Aria invited him. However, he explains that it was to support all of his former students. Aria is rebuffed, especially when her father acknowledges the gesture towards the "kids".
Ian is then buried, and the girls dust their hands of Ian and the earth that buries him. . Ezra walks over to Aria, who was disappointed in the way he handled her parents earlier. They discuss how a funeral is not the best time to make their relationship public. She tells him she could really use a hug, right now, but all he can offer is to call her later.
Later, the girls are summoned to another creepy midnight outing when Emily gets a message instructing her to go the cemetery to visit a plot. The Liars join Emily, despite her being vague about why they are there, and they end up at Alison's grave. Then, the wall across from them lights up. A projector is showing the footage of Alison with Ian the night she died, the footage they thought was lost. The girls are now led to believe that Ian did not kill Alison, and, just as Emily suspected, Ian's suicide was faked. They go in search of the projector, but a black-hooded figure unseen by the girls walks away, projector in hand.
On the eve of the Rosewood Charity Fashion Show, Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer are folding show programs on Emily's bed, trying to help Spencer make up for the fact that she has missed a bunch of fashion show committee meetings. They discuss their love lives. Just then, Aria gets a text from Jason to meet her. The girls assume the text is from Ezra, and Aria does not correct them. Aria leaves to meet him outside in his car. There she promises not to tell anyone what he told her at the funeral.
And so, the Liars meet with Jessica for lunch, despite their awkward reservations. The subject shifts to Jason then she presents the girls with presents, four high fashion dresses. However, the girls are uneasy, as they remember Alison having picked them out and trying them on in a flashback. But, that is precisely why Jessica asks the girls to model those dresses in the fashion show; she wants them to realize Ali’s dream and pay tribute to her.
When the girls have a chance to think it over amongst themselves, Hanna is first to express the creepy factor, but out of sympathy for Jessica, they consent. They also discuss Jason now that they are alone, and only Aria does not think that Jason is being freaky. She sticks up for him saying he's coping with Ali's death the best he can.
At the Montgomery's, Aria and Ella talk. Aria asks her mother for her opinion on the possibility of someone blacking out and not remembering a whole chunk of time. Ella sagely replies that there were nights in college that she doesn't completely remember. Also, for more significant occurrences, it is possible that someone's brain is delaying the recollection of certain memories to protect the person's mental well-being, and in those situations, there is usually a trigger that can shake a memory loose... She then goes on to help her pick out photos of Alison.
everyone around, driving Spencer insane. Mona even comments on how short Aria's legs are. Later, Jason arrives backstage, not saying hi to Aria, but exchanging a meaningful look with her. Aria tries to reassure Emily that Samara is not being too touchy-feely with her friend Quinn. The fashion show starts, and the outfits do not disappoint. Then the tribute to Alison begins, with her image prominent on the runway screen and the girls walking the runway in her dresses. Suddenly, the image changes so as to make Alison look like the devil, with fire around and peeling black eyes. The screen flashes "the bitch is dead", and the music changes from sentimental to hellish. The audience and the models are shocked and dismayed. Immediately after the show, the girls try to comfort Jessica, but she doesn't return their calls, too disturbed for words.
After the show, Aria returns backstage to gather her things, but while she’s in the dressing room, Noel shows up with the disc he claims could theoretically incriminate Aria and the rest of her friends. Aria doesn't take it and stares Noel down assuming he was behind the stunt.
Before heading to school, Ella helps Aria pick out an outfit for the next night, when the guests will be coming over for the Montgomery's first dinner party since Ella's return. Ella recommends a black dress that makes Aria look "grown-up". Byron suggests inviting Ezra and a plus-one, while Aria tries to appear nonchalant. He feels that it would be nice to extend a hand to his teaching colleague who is still learning the ropes at Hollis. Byron points out that there is no conflict of interest now that Ezra is no longer Aria's teacher and that she should get used to calling him Ezra.
Aria then goes to Hollis to see Ezra; there she tries to talk him out of accepting her father's dinner invitation, but he has already accepted and feels inclined to go. He persuades her that it will finally be their opportunity to warm Ella and Byron up to the Aria and Ezra interacting in a way other than as teacher and student. It will be "a baby step", just like she wanted. Aria reluctantly agrees.
The next day at school, Emily confides in Aria that things aren't going so smoothly at Hanna's place. Aria is concerned, but then Emily lets on that it isn't so bad; she is grateful to be in Rosewood after all. Spencer then walks over and asks Emily if she has gotten an update from Garrett yet about whatever became of their Logan Reed lead. But, Emily says that she has overloaded with swim practice and hasn't had an opportunity. So, Aria and Emily ask Spencer to do it instead. They tell Spencer that she is better at persuading people. Aria would go with her if she didn't need to help her mom with dinner. She then lets Spencer know that Jason is invited, in addition to Ezra. Spencer is alarmed as she doesn't trust Jason, but Aria is worried for the reason that it will be awkward.
At the Montgomery's, dinner is getting ready as the guests arrive. A colleague of Byron and his wife are already there. Having left their newborn home with a babysitter, they are anxious all the while they are at the Montgomery's. Ezra arrives with flowers and a bottle of scotch. Aria is happy to finally call him Ezra in front of her parents. Everyone settles in the living room, then Jason arrives with flowers and hands them to Aria. Jason and Ezra meet for the first time.
Aria steps away from the party to take a call from Spencer. She learns that Toby found a broken field hockey stick on Spencer's property and Spencer is suspicious that Jason is involved and warns Aria to be alert with Jason in her house. flashes back to last summer when she sat and watched Spencer give Ali a field hockey lesson. Jason came looking for her, annoyed to be sent in the first place. He had grabbed the stick from her and then threatened to hit her. After that, Ali had tried to whack her brother with the stick, but Jason had moved quickly and mockingly warned Ali that she wouldn't get a second chance. Aria wonders if she should be concerned about Jason.
Downstairs, Jason and Ezra exchange stories about traveling and biking. When Officer Barry shows up to make the announcement of Mike's arrest, Jason and Aria exchange knowing looks, at which Ezra raises an eyebrow. Ezra, Jason, and Aria are left alone in the house after Byron and Ella and their other guests leave.
Ezra helps Aria clear the table and runs the dishwasher. He remarks how well he was doing tonight before they were interrupted. They joke about him practicing what to say in front of the mirror to impress her father. Ezra questions why Jason was invited tonight, expecting a more specific answer than he is Ali's brother, and Aria explains her mom and his mom are friends. Aria goes to the living room to offer Jason more coffee, while Ezra watches intently, wondering what the two are whispering about. Aria and Jason discuss Mike's arrest; she lets him know that he promised her that he wouldn't repeat his mistake, and he wisely lets her know that he probably meant it at the time. He also tells her that if this is his first time getting caught, he has probably raided multiple houses before.
Aria goes up to Mike's room in search of his stolen property. She finds the camping equipment stolen from Emily's garage and an expensive camera. Then, she uncovers the same pottery piece that Jenna made, with the wholes in it. For Aria, it is like seeing a ghost; sure enough, the initially on the bottom read "J.M". for Jenna Marshall. Aria believes Mike has broken into the Cavanaugh house. She heads downstairs and suddenly declares it's time for them to leave because Mike probably won't want to come home to a house full of strangers. She tells them both she'll call them tomorrow and says goodnight.
When Mike comes home, Aria accuses him of stealing from a blind girl, but she is thrown for a loop when he tells her it was stolen from Garrett Reynolds. Aria is skeptical, but Mike assures her that he vividly remembers stealing the piece from Garrett's place, not Jenna's. Aria texts Spencer not to trust Garrett.
Aria and Hanna talk with Spencer in her car about Garrett. Emily joins them, when suddenly the man of the hour parks in front of the Cavanaugh house. They wonder what he's doing there and trod closer to take a better look, when the light flicks on, revealing Jenna, wearing the same black negligee the girls had seen her trying on in the store. Garrett enters and kisses Jenna much to the surprise of the girls.
Aria just nods and picks up her finished piece and sets it on the shelf of pottery awaiting the kiln. Ezra picks up Jenna's candle holder and compliments it; Aria lets him know who its artist is. While on the subject, he asks how the two are coping with a shared class, but Aria reveals that Jenna had dropped the class after their incident. Ezra then asks why Aria hadn't confided in him about Mike, and she replies because it was embarrassing. He reassures her not to feel that way around him, because he's understanding. He invites her over for later that day, and she accepts the offer, telling him she'll call him. During their conversation up until this point, Aria's voice has been very subdued. Ezra is about to leave, but turns quickly on his heels and asks if Jason is a threat to him. Aria gives a little laugh and denies it. When he leaves, she doesn't bother to turn her head to watch him go.
Aria later joins the girls in Emily's hospital room with coffee in hand, and everyone looks on awkwardly as Aria offers the cup of Joe to her friend with a hole in her stomach, which Hanna can't seem to get over. Emily considers telling her dad the truth about the Danby letter. Later, Spencer pulls Aria into the laundry room to don candy-striper outfits. The two return to Emily's room and try to talk Emily out of fleeing Rosewood, trying to convince her that her swim career is not over. Wayne comes in, and Aria and Spencer pretend that they are new hospital volunteers, careful to haul away Emily's dinner tray as part of their "hospital duties".
Downstairs in the morgue, Aria and Spencer locate Alison's file. Aria notes the open package of cookies on the desk. Spencer translates the medical-speak for Aria. They learn the murder weapon was a curved blunt edge (like a field hockey stick?). In addition, the attack with the weapon was from behind, as the injuries were in the back of her skull. And, the force of the weapon was so strong it dented Alison's skull. Lastly, her lungs were filled with dirt, meaning she was breathing in dirt when she died, as in, she was buried alive, a fact both girls are surprised and saddened to hear.
They swipe Alison's file for the time being to show Emily what they've found. Aria then gets a text from Ezra, who she never called as promised. In the waiting room, Ezra and Aria talk. He invites Aria over, but before she responds, she gets a call from Jason. Instead of picking up, she ignores and tells Ezra that it is her dad. She tells him that she has to get home, then kisses him goodnight.
Aria and Ezra make out in bed under the covers. Suddenly, an alarm goes off, and shirtless Ezra leans over to stop the beeping. Then, the guy who rolls back to face Aria is Jason. Just before they kiss, Aria shoots up out of bed, no longer dreaming, while her alarm goes off.
At school, Aria echoes Hanna’s sentiment not to be intimidated by "A", but Emily is hardly comforted. Just then, Jason walks by in the hallway and shares a smile with Aria. Emily is concerned, but Aria brushes it off, then reveals last night's dream and her insecurities about her relationship with Ezra. Emily agrees that Jason is mysterious and wounded and it is understandable why Aria might be attracted to him, but pursuing it would be a bad idea, not to mention her current relationship with Ezra. Emily reminds her that they love each other and just need a way to connect again. Aria asks Emily to keep the conversation to herself. She agrees under one condition - Aria stays away from Jason.
Hanna then plops her tray down next to the other Pretty Little Liars - not far from where Jenna is sitting. Spencer fills the girls in on Jenna's potential eye surgery. The girls are scared of the implications, but Aria suggests Jenna getting her sight back could be a good thing. It could end the feud they have going on. Spencer disagrees.
Aria saunters into Ezra’s office, trying to fix her relationship and wash away her insecurities. She removes some layers until her bra and black lace top is revealed. She props a chair in front of the door, then starts to kiss Ezra passionately. He mumbles something about having class in fifteen minutes, so Aria decides to make the best of the time they have. She wraps her legs around him, and Ezra surrenders; they move to the couch.
Later, while waiting for Ezra to return to his office, Emily calls Aria to ask her advice about "A’s" blackmails. Aria suggests Emily "bluff" since she is playing cards. Ezra walks in to find Aria with snacks and sodas from the vending machine, a veritable feast! Sensing something may be up, Ezra asks if anything is going on and Aria says she is just happy and wants to share the feeling.
At the school fair, Aria happily spots Ezra setting up a table for Hollis, but before she can approach him, Jackie does. After Jackie puts some Hollis lanyards around Ezra's neck, Aria decides against approaching the touchy-feely ex-couple.
At home in her room, Aria inspects the contents of Ali's secret box, silently agreeing with Jason that the objects are girly and insignificant. There are some costume jewelry pieces, some trinkets, and a tattered doll. Ella stops by Aria's room to talk. She lets Aria know that she is arranging for Mike to see a therapist and enlists Aria's help in speaking to Mike and convincing her brother that she had enjoyed the experience and that it won't make him uncool. Before she leaves, she honestly asks Aria if there is something to the rumors about Mr. Fitz and a student. Frozen, Aria feels her mother out slowly. Ella reveals that she had always dismissed the rumors, but now that she saw Spencer and him together, she is no longer sure. Aria convincingly assures her mother that the two have nothing to do with each other, but is interested to see how her mother feels about Mr. Fitz dating a student in general, since there is barely any age difference. Ella does not mince words, letting Aria know that it would be an abuse of his position and a disappointment. She heads for the door, then turns, and on second thought, tells Aria that it would be worse: a betrayal.
Later, at Hanna's house, Spencer apprehensively opens the door for Aria. The two girls start speaking over each other; Spencer defending her decision to tell Fitz about Jason, Aria trying to explain the whole situation. They slow down and Aria forgives Spencer, and Spencer explains how worried she was about Aria's welfare. Aria admits Spencer's bold move actually brought out the best in Ezra. She also mentions that her mother thinks Spencer is the one Ezra is hooking up with, much to Spencer's shock.
After Hanna hears Emily leave, the Liars gather in Hanna's room and discuss where Emily could have gone. Looking through Emily's phone, Spencer finds a picture of Ezra and Aria kissing sent by "A", along with the caption "Clue Ella in, and I'll let you out". Aria is momentarily concerned the photo was forwarded to Ella, but her friends assure her Emily wouldn't betray her like that, no matter what "A" says.
Aria and the girls wait for Emily at Dr. Sullivan's office. Emily arrives, surprised to see them. As the girls talk about how they are being threatened, Dr. Sullivan can't help but ask who is threatening them. The Liars decide to tell her about "A". Emily tells Dr. Sullivan that the threats began even before Alison’s funeral. At first they thought it was Alison, but then they found her body. They also mention that "A" is an expert at making other people look guilty. They have clues about who he/she/they might be, but they’ve been wrong before. Dr. Sullivan, in turn, is astounded that the girls have not told anybody else about "A" and that she is only person they have ever told.
At school, the Liars debate whether or not they should have mentioned Jenna in their talk with Dr. Sullivan. Hanna then changes the subject to Kate. Aria finds it weird that Hanna is being so nice to her mean stepsister, but Hanna insists she's doing it for her dad. The topic shifts back to Jenna when the Liars see her talking on the phone. Emily thinks it was Jenna who sent the Ezria picture. Just then, Hanna's grandma comes over and says hello to the girls.
Aria walks in on her parents discussing Mike, and notes that her father is late for his own class. While Byron is at Hollis Aria goes into Mike's room to tell him to go downstairs. Mike gets annoyed and tries to shoo her away, but she refuses to leave, trying to reason with Mike to open up to his family. Then Ella comes in to insist that Mike turn off his computer and come to dinner. She firmly shuts the computer, but Mike gets violent, tries to get the computer back, and leaves his mother with a bruise from the skirmish before angrily walking away. Ella insists that Aria keep the shocking incident a secret from her father.
In a school assembly, Dr. Sullivan makes a speech that addresses technology’s role in school bullying. The girls wear uncomfortable expressions, as Dr. Sullivan encourages the students being bullied to speak out if they don't feel safe. Right after the assembly, the girls congregate outside the building, discussing their feelings of vulnerability. Hanna questions whether confiding in Dr. Sullivan was a good idea in the first place. Just then, Jenna walks over and reminds the girls that Alison could have benefited from such an assembly.
Byron returns home from Hollis to find Aria at the table doing her homework. Ella comes in and downplays her injury, while Byron tells Aria to go easy on her brother. Later, Mike sits alone in his room again. Aria passes by and sees that her brother is teary-eyed. She reaches out to him, and he confesses to being worried about his mother and later goes downstairs to face the family, outwardly apologetic for the first time in a while. She hugs her confused brother close.
Later on, Aria informs her parents that Mike's break-in had not been an isolated incident. Having revealed her one secret, she looks pointedly at her mother, expecting her to do the same, reminding her how secrets threatened to split their family up once before. Just then, Mike descends the stairs to join the rest of his family, his guard down, ready to talk openly for the first time in a while.
Spencer, Hanna and Aria are seated in an isolated investigation room. The girls are numb and silent. Their nice dresses are covered in dirt stains, and their whole bodies are smudged with dirt.
Twelve hours earlier, Aria and the other Liars ring Dr. Sullivan's doorbell. Dr. Sullivan isn’t home and hasn’t picked up the latest copies of The Rosewood Observer from off her stoop. Her voicemail says she’s been called out of town on a family emergency. Spencer reminds them that the last time somebody thought she knew who "A" was, she got hit by a car. They also agree not to go the police.
Aria shows up to Ezra's office with two cups of coffee, but does not enter because Jackie has beaten her to it. She overhears Jackie make an advance and Ezra tell her he is seeing someone and not interested. She leaves when her phone buzzes - a text from A threatening Dr. Sullivan's life.
Aria meets the girls at Spencer's house where a box waits for them, courtesy of A. Inside are 3 dolls representing Aria, Spencer, and Hanna. The doll instructs Aria to "get rid of Jackie" using a copy of her paper and the paper she plagiarized it from. She doesn't want to use this information against Jackie because she is afraid Ezra will never forgive her, but ultimately decides she has no choice.
At the police station, Aria asks to make her phone call. She appears to call Ezra, crying, "I made a terrible mistake and I need you".
6 hours earlier, she goes to Jackie's office and shows her what she has on her, saying, "I think you should leave Hollis". While getting ready for Tom and Isabel's wedding, Aria talks to her mom, who apologizes for asking her to lie in the last episode. Ella leaves to take a bath, then the doorbell rings. Aria answers it and it is Jackie there to threaten to make Aria and Ezra's relationship public if she doesn't break up with him. Aria says, "you know that would hurt him much more than me". Jackie says she doesn't want to hurt him, but will if she has to.
Aria attends the wedding then leaves with Spencer and Hanna in search of Emily. They find Emily passed out near a barn, and a shovel with coordinates to a location in the woods. They find the location and furiously begin digging where they think Dr. Sullivan is buried alive, but Rosewood cops descend and arrest them on suspicion of murder.
The girls sit in the interrogation room talking to Spencer's mom, an attorney. Detective Wilden bursts into the room with a shovel informing them that they are going down for murder since they were found with the weapon confirmed to have been used in Alison's death. They are all shocked.
In October 2008, the girls walk down a street in their neighborhood discussing their Halloween costumes and the upcoming school election. Noel drives up in a convertible with his jock friends to greet the Liars and especially Alison. Spying Aria, he says "come prepared to be scared", exciting her with the knowledge that they are invited to Noel's bash. As Noel drives away, Alison mocks the other Liars for being so excited to attend the party.
They continue walking and pass a run-down abandoned house. A figure is seen in one of the upstairs windows, and Emily calls it out, frightening the other girls. Aria comments that she gets a bad feeling from this place, feeling as if something bad had happened there. Spencer and Alison are not worried.
Aria visits her father's office at Hollis College, bumping into Ezra on the way. She is about to leave a note for her father, when she sees Meredith lying barefoot on the couch of her father's office, lazily reading a book. Aria is not very suspicious, though she finds the woman's behavior odd. When Byron returns to his office, he expresses his surprise at seeing Meredith there, but acts coolly. Aria attributes Meredith's presence in his office to her father being so cool in the eyes of his students.
At lunch the next day, Hanna overhears Ben telling his friends he had sex with Emily. Aria is ready to march over to his table and set him straight, but Emily pulls her back to her seat and tells them all it's true. Later, Aria and Alison go out for frozen yogurt. While they are walking, Mona sees them and calls out to join them. Aria looks inclined to stop, but Alison propels Aria forward in attempt to lose Mona. They run until they turn a corner past some bushes, then stop in their tracks when they see Byron and Meredith making out in his car. Byron is all smiles until he spots his daughter and her crestfallen face.
That night, Aria returns home to her room as Byron sits looking at an old family album. He lets Aria know that he had tried to contact her all day (trying to prevent Ella from finding out the truth). Ella and Mike are at dinner. (Clearly, Byron had tried to keep Aria away from them until he had a chance to talk to her.) Byron announces that Meredith is dropping his class, implying that their relationship is ending. He then asks Aria to lie about it to her mother, because it’s over now, and telling her would make it worse. “I don’t think I can ever forgive you”, Aria squeaks. When Byron tries to embrace, Aria she turns roughly away from him. In turn, Byron has the decency to tell Aria that he respects whatever decision she ultimately make. Aria sits down to cry, and Byron stands in the doorway, crying silent tears himself.
The next day at school, the girls stand in the hall talking. Alison brings up Spencer's upcoming election and then changes the subject, piteously asking Aria how her mother is. Aria shoots daggers at Alison and is about to respond when Lucas bumps into Alison, dumping his drink on her. Alison begins mercilessly teasing him as the girls all walk away.
That night, the girls get dressed in Spencer’s bedroom. Hanna dons her Britney costume, Spencer a corset dress, Alison, Lady Gaga and Emily is dressed as a Native American. Aria walks in and announces that she doesn’t feel like going. The girls accept Aria's decision, sans explanation, but Alison doesn't. Suddenly, Spencer spots a masked individual in the yard through the window and the girls all squeal with worry. The doorbell rings, leaving Alison and Aria alone together. Alison criticizes Aria for being such a downer and not going to the party after she supposedly worked so hard to score her an invitation. Aria gives a meek defense.
Aria attends the party dressed as a witch. She and Hanna go off, following the sign in the woods that reads "Killer Drinks This Way". They get a text that reads "I’m in trouble, come alone" from Ali, directing them to the scary house's address.
The girls check out the creepy house, noting the antique dolls and weird dollhouse. They find Ali in a locked room. She tells them that the person who brought her there is trying to kill her. No one can get a signal on their phones to dial 911, so Ali goes into the hall alone, then screams. The girls are locked in. They peer through the keyhole to see her fight with the masked abductor and a knife.
The girls climb out the window and head back into the house, finding Ali in a rocking chair brandishing a knife covered in what is revealed to be ketchup. Ali explains the whole thing was a hoax and Noel was her accomplice. They all look really annoyed and betrayed by Alison's crying wolf, but are silent.
The girls return to the party and note how it seems to be full of college kids now. Noel turns up to apologize for getting stuck at the party, which comes as a shock to all of them. They are left wondering who was the person wearing the mask.
One month after their arrest, the girls finish up their community service picking up trash in Rosewood Community Park. Other girls also bagging trash mock them. Aria shouts at Emily and Spencer for fighting, saying she's had enough. When Spencer and Emily start a shoving match, Aria tries to help break it up.
Aria walks down Main Street with her brother Mike. She reassures him that no one is looking at him funny and that she's happy he likes his new therapist and that the meds he is on are working. They bump into Ezra outside the bike shop. Things are clearly awkward as they talk about not having seen each other lately. She offers to return the book of poetry he loaned her, but he says there is no need. Aria asks Mike to throw out her empty coffee cup in order to get a moment alone with Ezra. She asks how he's been and he replies numb since she won't let him see her. Their conversation is cut short when Mike returns and they all exchange awkward goodbyes.
At the end of English class, Aria watches another fight almost break out between Spencer and Emily. Aria walks down the hall with Hanna recounting the awkward morning with Ezra and wishing she could have explained why she had to break up with him. Hanna reminds her she had no choice. Emily passes by and they both give her the cold shoulder. It appears Hanna and Aria are closer than ever while Emily is being freezed out. That night, all 4 girls meet at the greenhouse. Emily shows them the text she got from "A" earlier. It becomes clear that all the fighting and sniping earlier had been for show. They discuss the details of their plan to trap "A".
Aria stops at Hollis to return the book she mentioned earlier. She puts the book down on Ezra's desk, with a letter folded inside, then thinks better of it and removes the letter. Jackie sneaks up behind her and snatches the letter out of her hand reminding Aria about the deal they made. Aria ensures her she broke up with Ezra and was simply returning a book. Ezra walks in on them arguing, stunned.
After Jackie leaves, he finally learns from Aria why she broke up with him, remarking how dangerous their relationship had been. Jackie had been blackmailing her and after all the trouble with the cops, Aria didn't want to drag Ezra into it. Ezra regrets not telling her mother the truth in the police station. Aria is about to leave, resigned to the futility of the situation when Ezra asks if she still trusts him. She answers yes and he informs her that there is something important they have to do that afternoon.
Aria runs into the school apologizing to Spencer for being late due to complications. She made it just in the nick of time to put their plan into action. Emily exits the gym after the swim meet, spots the girls, and demands the box Jason gave Aria for all to hear. She declares she knows where Spencer hid the box and storms off. Aria and the others feign annoyance.
Later, standing before Byron and Ella in their living room, Ezra and Aria finally come clean about their relationship, much to her parents' shock and anger. Ezra does most of the talking, explaining he's in love with Aria and admits it started before she was his student and that it continued while she was his student. Aria stands up and assures them it's true, slipping her hand into Ezra's. Ella and Byron are both in disbelief. Ella tries to send Mike and Aria upstairs, but Aria refuses. Before Byron can hit Ezra, Mike walks up and does it first. After a stunned silence, Aria advises Ezra to leave.
After he leaves and things have cooled down a bit, Aria approaches her parents and asks them not to make a decision tonight, to consider for a moment that their relationship is real. They don't seem to accept this possibility. Ella can barely look at her. They send her back upstairs.
On the phone, Spencer is surprised to hear Aria came clean about Ezra to her parents and alarmed to learn she was sent to her room and might not make it to the greenhouse on time. Mike catches her trying to sneak out of the house, mistakenly assuming it is to see Mr. Fitz. He explains he hit him to prevent Byron from doing it first, then offers her an alternative exit from the house - out his bedroom window. Aria realizes this is how he has been sneaking out all along.
She makes it to the greenhouse with Spencer in time to see Emily being attacked by "A". They scare "A" off Emily, then corner the hooded figure, but "A" throws a heavy object into the air, shattering the glass above them, and uses the moment of confusion to escape. Aria leads the girls chase after "A", who runs directly into the path of Hanna's car, just arriving on the scene. "A" stumbles, but continues, running through the woods, losing the girls. Frustrated, they return to greenhouse and discover "A"s phone on the ground under Hanna's front headlight. They all stare at it thinking the same thing - they may have actually found hard evidence to expose the identity of "A".
They go back into the greenhouse to retrieve the box and formulate a plan of what to do next. Aria apologizes for being late; she dropped a pretty big bomb at home earlier. She helps pick glass out of Emily's hair, then A's phone rings. Spencer hands it to Aria, who hands it to Emily, who hands it off to Hanna. Glass falls from the ceiling and the girls run before anyone can answer it.
Caleb hooks the phone up to his computer to download its contents. Before the download is complete, Aria notices an error message. The owner shut down the phone remotely.
Aria leaves her room in the morning before school. Byron walks by and tells her to change her clothes because she is dressed inappropriately. Incredulous, Aria asks since when she has had a dress code. Before an argument can break out, Ella steps in. She tells Aria to pick her battles while choosing new clothes for her to wear.
Aria had hoped perhaps Ella would be more accepting of her relationship with Ezra, but Ella is in agreement with Byron and forbids Aria from seeing, and even saying goodbye to, Ezra. Aria asks her mom if she likes him, in an effort to get her to see the situation from a different perspective. She admits to having liked Ezra prior to his confession yesterday.
Emily shows Spencer and Aria the transcript she swiped from the crisis center. Spencer thinks this is a big breakthrough and that they all should volunteer there in hopes that this person will call again. Aria declines, citing her lockdown status at home, and Hanna is too busy planning Caleb's party. Caleb beckons them into a nearby classroom to show them what he recovered from the mystery phone. The girls pretend like the photo of four porcelain dolls means nothing to them. The thank Caleb for his help and exit.
Aria calls Ezra again and this time he picks up. She says she just needed to hear his voice. He says he needed to hear hers as well, but she can't call him again. Aria tears up when he hangs up on her.
Aria and her parents walk toward a restaurant in town for dinner, but stop short when they see Ezra through the window dining alone. Byron insists they go somewhere else and bickers with Ella about their earlier conversation. Aria and Ezra stare longingly at each other before she's forced to walk away. During their search for a new restaurant, they bump into an old colleague of Byron's and his son, Holden. He and Aria go way back recalling an incident involving training wheels. Their parents make plans for them to have dinner one day soon so Holden and Aria can catch up.
The girls try to comfort Hanna after her ordeal at the lake. Aria brings her an aspirin. Hanna takes it with a sip of lakewater from her water bottle, courtesy of "A", who sends a text moments later.
Spencer finds unopened cell phones and a receipt in the attic of her lakehouse, proof that A has been hiding out there. Spencer wants to go to Philadelphia that afternoon to check out the address listed on the receipt. Aria offers to go with so she doesn't have to go alone.
At school, Aria confesses to Spencer that her mom thinks she made a date with Holden when she really called Ezra. Spencer says she thought Holden was still in Europe, and Aria then reveals that her dad threatened to turn Ezra into the police. Just at this moment, Holden walks up and asks Aria if she wants to go out. At first she says no, stating that she's grounded. He says he talked to her parents, who agreed. Spencer is surprised by Holden's good manners. Aria eventually agrees to go out with him, stating she will find something fun for them to do.
Spencer meets up with Aria outside school as she is buying tickets for a play for her date with Holden, knowing Ezra had made plans to go to this play and hoping fate is on her side. Spencer attempts to pull up the train schedule on her phone, but is experiencing technical difficulties. Aria sees that the next train leaves in 20 minutes, and suggests that they get going.
Spencer and Aria walk down a street in Philly, looking for the place on the receipt, Smitty's, and find it just to be a newsstand. They figure that must be the place since the receipt is just for gum and magazines, but don't see anything out of the ordinary. Aria notes how close they are to Melissa's apartment, then they decide it's a bust. Spencer offers to take Aria to coffee, but Aria says she has to meet Holden at 7:30. Aria asks if she is doing the right thing by using Holden, and Spencer says she is; she's taking a chance and being bold and romantic (for Ezra). Reassured, Aria leaves Spencer in the city.
Emily asks Aria for her fake ID for Maya to use. Aria hands it over even though she and Maya don't look alike. Neither of them are worried since the club is in New Jersey. Hanna locks all the windows and doors, worried that Lucas is out there, and Caleb is too. Aria says she can cancel her date with Holden, but Hanna insists she will be fine at home. Aria leaves and Emily goes to go get changed for her date with Maya.
Aria meets Holden outside the theatre. Aria convinced her mom to drop her off at the corner. Holden asks Aria what she did to bring on the "parental wrath". She dodges the question, stating it's a long story. Holden brings her a gift of gummy bears, remembering that she used to smuggle them in to their old play dates when his mom was in her no-sugar phase. When she picks up her tickets, she asks if there are two for Fitz, as well. She then sees Ezra getting out of a cab, and begins walking towards him, thrilled he showed up. Their moment is interrupted by Holden and Mrs. Welch, who mentions that she is here with a friend who had an extra ticket. Ezra walks past them to the ticket booth.
After the play, Mrs. Welch, Holden, and Aria regroup. Mrs. Welch mentions that Ezra had to leave about 10 minutes into the play, claiming that he felt sick. Aria is noticeably disappointed.
Outside the theatre, after Mrs. Welch has gone, Holden offers to take Aria for coffee. Aria says sure, casually. He says that maybe she went out with the wrong person tonight. He explains how he picked up on her relationship with Mr. Fitz. He promises to keep it a secret, since he has stuff he wants to hide from his parents too and proposes this might be an opportunity for both of them.
The girls ponder Hanna's new information over unopened Chinese food. Spencer shows them the sign-in book from the rehab center. They learn that Garrett and Jenna could both have been in Rosewood at the time of Alison's murder. They open the food, and, to their horror, find it was replaced with live earthworms. "A" sends a text about this being what live bait looks like.
The girls watch the video Caleb recovered from "A's" phone. They see Ian, Garrett, and Jenna in Ali's bedroom the night she disappeared. Ian says he tried to get some videos back from Alison, but she wouldn't hand them over. They search her bedroom. The girls are left wondering if those missing videos are what got Ali killed.
At school, Aria worries she will never see Ezra again. Spencer tries to reassure her. The girls speculate why Holden is willing to go on fake dates with Aria to uphold her alibi. The others agree he must be gay, but Aria doesn't buy it. She goes over to his table to try and suss out the situation. He tells her he already owes her one without letting on why. On her way out of the courtyard, she notices Holden check out a pretty girl who walks by, thus doubting her friends' assessment again.
In Aria's bedroom, the girls look at the item's in the box Jason gave Aria. The secret compartment inside Alison's doll pops open while Hanna holds the doll. They find a series of threatening notes. The one about a pumpkin catches their attention. The girls flash back to walking home the night of Noel's Halloween party. The jack-o-lanterns on her porch are destroyed; a carving knife stabs through a note into one of the pumpkins. Alison laughs it off as the work of "Jason's beer buddies". She apologizes for the prank she pulled earlier, then asks the girls to stay over. In the present day, they realize the note that Alison got actually said "next time it'll be your face". And it was signed by "A!"
Aria leaves Ezra a voicemail from Emily's phone. She tells him she doesn't want their relationship to be over, but if it is, they should talk about it in person. If there is any chance of staying together, he will meet her under a clock in Philadelphia at 8 o'clock.
At school, after Toby's accident, Aria, Hanna and Emily wonder if Jenna would be involved in something that hurt her own brother. They also figure that Jenna must have found a replacement for Garrett.
Ella asks Aria why she has to go to Philadelphia for her date with Holden. Aria says Holden picked the restaurant. Ella recognizes it as a place they stopped at on the way back from a family vacation then insists that she drive them to the date.
Ella drops off Aria and Holden outside Machelli's. He asks if she feels bad about lying to her parents. She asks him why he is willing to help her out the way he is. Holden picks up on the subtext and says he's not gay. He leaves her without telling her where is spending the evening. Aria goes to wait for Ezra on a nearby bench.
Aria waits patiently on a bench in the rain, watching every car that passes until Ezra finally arrives. He calls her name and they kiss in the middle of the street, stopping traffic. Inside his car, they both agree what they are doing is dangerous. He wants her to be safe and happy and make sure that being together is what she wants. She answers him with a kiss. They realize what they are doing is crazy try to figure out how they can make it work without meeting on sidewalks in the rain for the rest of their lives. Aria tells him she has a plan.
Ella pulls up outside the restaurant, but Holden isn't back yet. Ella questions Aria, who is momentarily speechless, until Holden shows up with ice cream, explaining his absence. He offers some to Ella then exchanges a relieved look with Aria.
The next morning, Spencer, Emily and Aria watch the rest of the video. Garrett opens the wooden box to find something "weird". Then they hear someone coming up the stairs, presumably Alison. Ian tells Garrett they are all going down and pulls out the camera. Garrett and Ian struggle and the camera falls. The tape stops there, and Emily says she's not sure she want Caleb to recover the rest. The girls hear a car pull up outside and look out the window to see Toby's truck parked in the front yard. They open the door to find the keys in the ignition and a note for Spencer on the dash. She reads the note and tells the other girls "he's gone".
In the Hastings' kitchen, the girls, minus Hanna, gather round Caleb's laptop as Caleb hacks further into the files from "A's" phone. After one too many requests, Caleb asks them to back up. One by one, each of them gets a call from Hanna, which they all decline. Eventually, Spencer answers her phone and says she is with her family to prevent Hanna from coming over. However, Emily accidentally breaks a glass, and Aria shouts out her name in surprise. Hanna is hurt, thinking the girls are mad at her, but doesn't force the subject. Caleb manages to get a clear picture of the things in Alison's box, which includes a fake ID of Alison with dark brown hair.
Aria and Spencer sit alone in Spencer's kitchen, and Spencer asks Aria to sleep over, as they both need the company, but Aria already made plans with Holden. Spencer is surprised as Aria had only been hanging out with him in order to spend time with Ezra, and as far as Spencer knows, Ezra never showed up to meet her and their relationship is over. Aria notes that Toby's truck has gone, and Spencer says she took it back to Toby's house, and begins crying reminiscing about him. Aria comforts her and Spencer says she doesn't know how Aria is holding it together. Spencer asks if it is her fault they are lying to Hanna about Caleb, but Aria assures her that there are certain situations in which someone must lie to their friends, no matter how much they hate it.
Later that night, Ezra and Aria drive to an unknown location in Ezra's car and discuss their situation. Aria hates having to lie to her friends. He tells her she doesn't have to, but she recalls being "burned before". The good news is her mom seems to be slowly coming round to the idea of them dating. The bad news is her dad will probably never come around. They get closer when Aria mentions the need to generate some heat.
Aria and Holden are picked up by Byron, who leaves the car for a minute to use the ATM. Aria apologizes for being late, as she and Ezra got lost when trying to take a shortcut. They quickly coordinate their stories about what they ate that night, and Aria realizes that it's the third time they have gone out this week and wonders what people will think. Holden says that they should keep them guessing.
At school the next day, Hanna asks the girls what they did the previous night, and they lie that they were studying. They remember that it is Kate's first day at Rosewood High, and Hanna is worried and keeps looking around for her. Kate approaches them, looking a little nervous and awkwardly makes conversation with the girls, until Hanna shows her to their next class.
A little later, they watch Noel from across the way and wonder if he is Jenna's replacement for Garrett. Hanna returns and asks them if they know anything about Caleb still investigating the files from "A's" phone. Aria and Emily brush it off and quickly leave. They all eat lunch with Kate the next day.
In the locker room, the girls change for gym class. Hanna is still distressed about the text she received from "A" earlier, and stuffs her phone into her bag before leaving with Aria.
That evening, Aria and Holden enter an arcade, where Aria reveals that her plans got canceled and she didn't want to ruin Holden's night, so she planned to hang around until they get picked up. Holden reveals his plans got canceled as well, and didn't want to ruin Aria's night. Instead of going home, they decide to spent the night together. Holden orders a pizza, remembering Aria's favorite topping, and challenges her to a game of air hockey. They have a lot of fun playing. Holden asks about Ezra, but Aria says she doesn't want to talk about him then challenges him to another game.
Aria and Holden are getting ready to leave, when someone accidentally knocks Holden into the table. Aria gets a glimpse of a nasty-looking bruise on Holden's stomach, but Holden says it's nothing to worry about.
At school the next day, Emily, Spencer and Aria come up to Hanna in the hall, shocked that she would do such a thing, asking for an explanation. Hanna is unaware of what she did, and Emily shows Hanna her phone, which displays a picture of Kate naked in the girls locker room. Hanna is horrified and insists she didn't send it to them, but Aria says she didn't just send it to them, she sent it to her entire contact list. As they look around, everybody stares at Hanna, disgusted by what she has done. The girls don't need to guess who the real culprit is.
In Spencer's living room, Spencer, Aria and Emily stare at the red raincoat, which was what Spencer picked up using Alison's, a.k.a. "Vivian's", claim ticket. Aria is surprised Ali would ever have worn it, and begins to search the pockets. Spencer asks where Hanna is, and Aria and Emily explain that she is at a meeting at the school about the photo of Kate. Aria finds a crumpled note in one of the pockets, on which a phone number is written. Aria and Spencer want to call it, but Emily is hesitant. Aria says it might give them answers, and Spencer accuses Emily of being scared, which she fiercely denies. To prove this, Emily calls the number, which goes to a computerised voicemail. Aria takes the phone and introduces herself as a friend of Vivian's and asks that they call her back.
At school, the girls stand by Hanna's locker, discussing the situation "A" got Hanna into and hoping it will blow over.
Aria, Spencer and Emily walk down the hallway, and Aria says that they can at least say it could have been a lot worse. Emily explains that Tamborelli won't let her back on the team because he doesn't want her to tarnish the team's image as he has a major sponsor on the hook. Aria and Spencer are outraged, and Emily asks how long they'll have to pay for picking up the shovel.
In the music room, Aria finds Holden setting up for Truth Up Day. He asks for Aria's help, and she asks about his bruise. Holden says it is fine and he and Aria pin up a paper banner on the wall. Aria asks why Holden gets to know what she does on their 'dates', but she doesn't get to know what he does. Holden answers because that was their arrangement. When he goes to get some thumb tacks, and someone knocks his book bag over. Aria notices a baggie of pills roll out, which Holden quickly stuffs back inside.
At Rosewood High, the students have gathered for Truth Up Day. Spencer informs Emily, Aria and Hanna that Tamborelli is confiscating any phones that aren't switched off. She asks Emily if she has any messages from the number they called, but there are none.
Ella arrives and tells everyone to line up and sign in. Holden joins Aria and tries to strike up a conversation, but Aria is not interested in talking. He asks if it has anything to do with the pills she saw in his bag and if she told her parents, but Aria assures him she didn't, although she is concerned about the pills. She asks if he is hooked on something or dealing drugs, and he says he isn't, and she is way off. Before he can elaborate, Holden is called away by Tamborelli who asks him to start a new line.
Aria and Caleb arrive in the music room to find Jenna playing the piano. They voice their surprise that Jenna is in their group, before Jenna turns to face them. They enter and Aria is surprised to see Jason as well. Aria gets up to leave, unable to deal with it all, but Caleb tells her that she doesn't actually have a choice, and besides, if everyone is spilling their guts today, they might have a lot of interesting things to say. Aria's phone rings, and she apologizes before turning it off. It's a text from "A". Aria nervously glances around, and sees Jason with his back to her, Jenna with her hands in her bag, and several others texting.
Everyone is given a pen and paper and told that whatever they write is anonymous. Veronica offers Jenna help, but Jenna says she doesn't need it, nor does she trust anyone there. She goes on to say how she has been mistreated and mentions being "cornered and slapped". Caleb asks Aria if she is referring to Hanna, then intervenes against Aria's wishes, challenging Jenna to tell the whole truth.
At Aria's locker, Aria and Emily discuss what happened with Jenna and Caleb. They wonder where Hanna is, and Emily says that the person still hasn't called back yet. They go into the girls bathroom and Aria calls the number again, planning to leave another voicemail, this time pretending to be Ali. She is caught off guard when a woman answers and asks how Aria got the number. No one there knows anyone called Vivian and tells her not to call back again. Emily considers that perhaps it was just a random number in a pocket, when she is called to the VP's office over the PA system.
In the hall, Holden approaches Aria and asks if they are still going out on Saturday, as he was kinda counting on it. Aria says she is uncomfortable with covering for whatever he is doing, and that she can't handle it if he is hurting himself. Holden asks if the deal is off, as they both need each other. Aria says she is sorry, the deal is off.
In the hall, Aria, Hanna and Emily are sitting together eating dinner, when they notice Kate nearby. Aria suggests they move somewhere else, but Hanna says she is fine. As Kate pulls off her sweater, Hanna notices a birthmark on Kate's waist. Realizing something, she looks at the picture of Kate on Emily's phone and sees that the birthmark isn't in the photo, which could mean it was Photoshopped. Aria asks why "A" would go through so much trouble to do that and improve Kate's image when they were trying to embarrass her, and Hanna says that maybe "A" didn't send the text.
Hanna confronts Kate in the girls' room and gets her to confess to Photoshopping and sending that photo of herself. Aria and Emily hide in the stalls and step out to reveal Aria recorded the whole thing on her phone. Aria, Emily and Hanna exit the bathroom, and Aria notes how genius Kate's plan was. Hanna asks them to get Caleb to keep out of their business with "A". Hanna goes to find Ashley, while Aria looks for Caleb.
She checks the music room and finds Jenna and Noel in there looking at the messages written on the wall. She asks if they've seen Caleb. They laugh and say he better not come back there. She leaves quickly, rushing past Holden in the hall.
ria goes to the roof and props the door open with bricks, calling out for Caleb. The door slams shut, trapping her. She bangs on the door, calling out for help, when a shadowy figure moves behind her. She turns around and starts to climb up a fire ladder, but is grabbed by Noel, who demands to know where Caleb is. Aria screams for him to let go, when Holden appears and kicks Noel in the chest. As Holden and Aria leave, Noel claims that he wasn't attacking her. Shaken, but unharmed, Aria asks how Holden learned to kick someone like he just did, and tells him not to lie. Holden doesn't reply, and Aria asks if that is what he has been doing on their dates. Holden tells her they need to leave.
Later that night, everyone is asleep in the assembly hall, besides Spencer. Emily wakes up and checks her phone, finding six missed calls from the number Aria called. She wakes Hanna and Aria, and calls the person again. This time Emily speaks. A man answers and asks if she is Vivian's friend and what she wants. Emily says she has a few questions, and the man says he has some of his own, but he doesn't want to talk over the phone and asks her to meet him. Emily looks at the others and agrees.
At Rosewood High, everyone is celebrating the swim team's victory. Aria and Spencer wait for Emily to arrive, and Aria asks a visibly tense Spencer if she's sure she wants to meet with the man they spoke to on the phone last week. Spencer says they have to go and find out what he knows about Alison, and insists she is fine. Aria notes how Spencer has been staying at her house for a week and asks what's wrong, but Spencer says she just can't deal with her family right now. Aria offers to help, but before Spencer can explain, Emily and the rest of the Sharks enter with a trophy, and everyone cheers for them.
They all congratulate Emily. The cheerful mood vanishes when Garrett and another cop enter the school and confiscate Caleb's computer. Hanna explains the situation to the other girls when they all receive a text from "A".
At Aria's locker, Aria tells Holden she can't cover for him unless she knows what he is doing on their 'dates'. Holden confesses he is doing martial arts. His parents don't like it and forbid him from competing, and the pills she saw are pain pills which he doesn't even use. Holden assures Aria that it's not as sketchy as she imagines, and shows her that his bruise has completely healed. Aria is still reluctant, but Holden says there is a big tournament coming up and tomorrow night is the qualifying match which he can't miss. He begs her as it is really important to him, and after thinking about it, Aria agrees.
Later on, Aria sits in a booth at a diner with Ali's copy of Lolita! on the table in front of her, and Hanna, Emily and Spencer in the booth behind her. A man comes over and taps the book, noting that Aria is a friend of Vivian's. He sits down and asks Aria how much Vivian owed her, which Aria is shocked to hear. The man says that Vivian cost him his job. They discuss how Vivian agreed to pay him to find out who was sending her friend Alison threatening texts. Aria asks what he knows about the person sending the texts, but the man says he's not talking without the money Vivian owes him. Aria reaches for her purse and asks how much, to which he says $2000 and the price could go up. He writes down his number and as he gets up to leave, Aria asks who she should ask for when she calls, and he tells her to ask for Jonah.
After he leaves, the four discuss this new information, and how if he finds out Ali is dead, there won't be enough money in the world to make him talk. They need to find out what Jonah knows, but they don't have the money. Aria asks Spencer, but her bank account has been on lockdown since she was arrested.
Outside, Aria is on the phone with Ezra, discussing Ezra's interview for the job in New Orleans tomorrow. Aria says it's a huge opportunity for him, but Ezra says that isn't the problem, it's what Byron will think if he doesn't take it. Aria says they need to discuss it in person, and Ezra suggests a French Vegan (Chez Mirabelle Vegan Bistro) restaurant which just opened up. Aria jokes that Ezra must really like her if he's taking her to a French restaurant. Ezra corrects her, saying he must really love her.
In Aria's room, Aria is getting dressed for her date with Ezra when Byron comes in and says that he was told Spencer just left. Aria says that she went to Emily's victory party. He asks where Aria and Holden are going tonight, and Aria says they're going to an arcade which has vintage games. He asks when Aria is leaving, to which Aria says "now-ish", and she will be home at eleven. A still skeptical Byron asks if they are meeting anyone else, but Aria says no. Before Byron can press the issue further, Ella appears in the doorway and asks if Byron is holding Aria up. Byron smiles and says no.
When he leaves, Ella tells Aria that she thinks she and Holden should hang out closer to home, but Aria says there is more to do in the city. Ella says that from the way Holden's mom talks, she's surprised that she's even okay with it. Aria says the city is only an hour away, but Ella says his parents are worried something will happen to him. Confused, Aria asks what could happen, and Ella says that Holden has a heart condition. Aria pretends she already knew.
When Holden and Aria have been dropped off by Ella, Holden tells Aria that there was some weird energy in the car, and asks if Ella is starting to wonder. Aria tells him she is still clueless. As they part ways, Aria asks if the tournament is dangerous, and Holden says that he has a rematch against the guy who have him the bruise, and it's gonna be epic. As he heads off, Aria gazes after him.
She decides to follow him to the martial arts tournament. It is professional, like he promised, but Aria is still unsure. She finds Holden, who is surprised to see Aria there. Aria asks what is wrong with his heart, and demands to know if he has a death wish. Holden asks her to keep her voice down and tells her that it doesn't matter if he is at home watching TV or practicing martial arts, his aneurysm could burst at any moment, and he has to live with that possibility. Aria urges him to stop, worried about what will happen, but Holden says that just because someone says something is best for you, it doesn't mean it's true, and he doesn't want to spend his life sitting on front of a TV when he could be doing what he loves.
Aria texts Ezra that she is sorry they will have to reschedule their date and sticks around to watch Holden compete. She is impressed by his skilled and also scared by how violent the tournament seems. It looks like he is in trouble at one point, but manages to dodge his opponent and ultimately wins, much to Aria's relief.
Later, Holden approaches Aria, happy she stayed and says it was nice to have an audience. She quickly says she won't be coming to the next one. She congratulates him, and says that although he was great, she's pretty sure isn't what the doctor ordered. Holden says he recommended gardening, but martial arts is way better. Aria's phone rings, and Aria answers to find that it's Byron, who wants to talk to Holden. Aria passes him the phone, and Byron says he's sorry to bother him, and lies, covering up for the fact he is checking up on them.
The Liars discuss the payoff they arranged with Jonah. Spencer came through with the money from an unnamed relative. Aria and Spencer plan to meet Jonah at 6 pm and ask Emily and Hanna not to join them because he might get suspicious if they crowd him. Emily and Hanna want to come along, but eventually agree not to go. Mona walks by and pulls Hanna away to talk. Aria lets Hanna know they will be in the cafeteria.
Aria and Spencer meet Jonah at the park. They give him the money, and he gives them an address. Unsatisfied with just an address, they ask him for more. He says that's all there is and that when he gave Vivian the address, she was happy with it. With that, Jonah leaves. Aria and Spencer are about to go to the address, but then they spot Garrett in his car, watching them. So, they decide to go later.
Aria talks with Ezra on the phone about his upcoming interview. Before they are able to discuss it more, Ella walks in and Aria pretends to be talking to Emily and quickly ends the call. Ella shows her the letter "A" had sent to Byron and asks Aria if she knows who sent it. Aria replies she does not, getting visibly nervous and scribbling in her journal. Ella wonders if Ezra knows the person who sent the letter to which Aria quickly says no. Ella brings up the letter she got last year about Meredith, stating how that was signed by "A" too. Before leaving, she assures Aria that she and Byron will be looking into the matter.
The girls gather in Spencer's bedroom where Hanna tells the girls about Ashley's sleeping with Officer Wilden to get the shoplifting charges dropped. She also tells them Mona has been getting texts from "A" about it and feels bad keeping her out of the loop. When Hanna goes downstairs to get food, Spencer asks Hanna to check if Garrett is still outside, as he followed her home.
Aria tells Emily and Spencer that "A" sent her dad a letter trying to get her caught with Ezra and now her mom is on the hunt to find out who "A" is. Spencer questions why "A "would send a letter like that if she and Ezra are not together anymore. Aria admits that they are actually still seeing each other. Emily accepts this, but Spencer is furious at Aria for lying. Aria apologizes, then before Spencer can reply, Hanna calls the other girls downstairs.
Caleb sent Hanna an email with a video attachment. It is the next part of the video from "A's" phone and shows Melissa entering the room looking for Ali. The girls are shocked and Aria, Hanna, and Emily immediately want to turn Melissa in, but Spencer gets extremely defensive. The girls reluctantly decide to let Spencer talk to Melissa before they do anything.
Aria, Hanna, and Emily go to the address Jonah gave them. It is the house of an abandoned law firm office. The door is locked, so they look around. Aria sees a stack of letters in the mail slot and goes to investigate. She pulls at a letter when suddenly a creepy old man yells back at her from inside. An alarm goes off. Terrified, she falls backward and hurts her leg. The other girls help her up and they run away.
At Hanna's house, Aria nurses her wounds, while Hanna is researches the law firm. She finds out that the firm closed down 3 months ago. She wants to find out who worked there, hoping it leads them to another clue, but Aria decides they got scammed.
The next day, the girls look on while Hanna approaches Mona to find out if she followed "A's" instructions. Later, Emily and Aria sit together at lunch. Hanna invites Mona to join them.
Later, Ezra meets Aria in her car. Aria asks him about the trip and says she is glad it's all over. Ezra says that Aria's dad is clearly on to them and that he hasn't declined the offer yet. The job is an incredible opportunity and if he turns it down, Byron will know why. Aria says that they will figure something out like they always do. Ezra says that he's not so sure about that anymore. She asks if he is giving up on them. He says no, but they've been trying to work it out for a long time and maybe they should consider the possibility it is not meant to be. Aria is very visibly upset. Ezra leaves, having to get to class. She breaks down and cries in her car.
Back at her house, Aria curls up in her bed and continues to cry. Ella asks Aria what's wrong and Aria tells her to go away. Ella says she won't until Aria tells her why she's upset. Aria reveals to her that Ezra is leaving and so Byron's getting his wish. Ella is confused, but Aria doesn't believe that Ella wasn't a part of the scheme to get Ezra out of their lives. With some cutting words, she storms out.
Later, Aria and Ezra eat and talk at Ezra's apartment. Aria wonders when he is leaving because it feels like he's left already. He assures her he won't be leaving right away. There is a knock at the door. Ezra opens it to find Ella. Initially surprised, then prepared for the fallout, he lets her in. Outraged, Aria wants to know if Ella plans to bring her home in handcuffs or just yank her out by her hair. Ella says neither. She came to listen.
Ella stares at Ezra and Aria sitting opposite her on the couch. Aria wants to know what they're all doing there. Ella admits she does not condone their relationship, but is afraid of what will happen if she takes the same stance as Byron. She wants to understand the relationship between Aria and Ezra before anyone makes any rash decisions. They are interrupted by the kettle whistling.
Aria packs her books for school and Ella tells her Byron will be returning home today just in time for the father-daughter dance. She asks her mom to try to convince him Ezra is not a bad guy, but Ella can't promise anything. They agree to keep the conversation from the night before to themselves until Ella can wrap her head around their relationship herself.
The girls stand outside at school to discuss the latest text from "A". They accuse Melissa of being "A", but Spencer insists it is impossible. Aria worries that Melissa may know about the N.A.T. video. Spencer explains how devastated Melissa was to find Ian dead and continues to insist there is no way she could be "A". Hanna thinks they should turn the video over to the cops anyway because it is evidence, but the other girls all agree turning over evidence to the cops has not worked in their favor in the past. They allow Spencer to try to get to the bottom of it on her own before doing anything.
Aria catches Mike shaving at the bathroom mirror and jokes that if Byron were there, he'd be taking pictures to commemorate the event. Mike asks Aria for a ride to the dance since his friend Gavin invited him to help DJ. Aria tells him to find another ride since she's "not feeling the whole father-daughter thing lately". Mike thinks she should go to avoid suspicion, revealing he knows she is not seeing Holden, having overheard her and Ella talking about it. He asks Aria why being with Fitz is worth all the trouble it has caused. She tells him when you love someone, it is worth fighting for, no matter what the odds.
Byron walks in on Aria trying to pick a dress for the dance. He wants to know what color she'll be wearing so he can choose a matching tie. Byron admits they have had their problems lately, but he still wants to take his little girl to the father-daughter dance.
Aria dances with Byron. He says he wants to make sure they get a picture together and talks about when she was little, she would stand on his shoes to dance. She says that was a really long time ago, then spots Hanna across the room. Byron leaves to get them drinks.
Aria, Mona, Spencer, and Emily all converge on Hanna, who informs them her mom is "hot on the A trail". Ashley thinks the police report was sent to Hanna, not Mona, and gave it to Wilden because she think it will keep them safe. Aria is worried now that both of their mom's are looking for "A" and scared what "A" might do if they get too close. Hanna almost brings up Dr. Sullivan, but Spencer cuts her off, and says they need a creative solution to this problem. Mona has an idea. It requires a big lie and apparently she is terrible at that. She asks which one of them is the best liar and they all point to Aria. Slightly affronted, she asks Mona what lie she has to tell.
Aria finds her dad, who still wants to get their photo taken. She asks if they can leave early because Hanna needs her. Byron doesn't quite believe her and pushes again for a photo. Aria finally tells him the truth, that she is not his little girl anymore, and leaves.
Aria sits in Mrs. Marin's kitchen and confesses to sending Hanna that police report. She tells Ashley she had begged Hanna to stop shoplifting because if she were to be caught again, she could end up in jail. Aria says she made up that police report to scare Hanna straight and admits that she is A (for Aria, for anonymous). Aria apologizes and asks if there is anything else she can do, but Ashley says she can take it from here.
Hanna arrives at Aria's room wanting to know if her mom bought Aria's story. Aria has no idea. She gets a call from Jonah, of all people, which Hanna urges her to answer.
Spencer's car pulls up next to some stores in Brookhaven, a nearby town. The girls all get out of the car and Aria explains that Jonah told her Alison had been getting texts from more than one number, one of which led them here. Hanna wonders if Melissa could still be "A". They stand on the sidewalk wondering where the calls could have originated from when Aria spots a "Doll Hospital", a store full of antique dolls very similar to the dolls "A" sent. When Aria says she is cold, Spencer hands her the keys to get a coat out of the trunk, not just any coat - Vivian's coat. Aria puts it on, then hears a voice call out "Vivian". She turns to see a young man staring at her.
Sitting outside Lucky Leon's, Aria tells the others about Duncan, the boy who thought she was Vivian at the end of the previous episode. She told him she was a friend of Vivian's and hasn't seen her since she gave her the coat. He doesn't know Alison/Vivian is dead because he has been in Florida the past year. Aria shows Spencer Duncan's number and tells her he met Vivian in a bookstore a few doors down from the creepy doll hospital Jonah sent them to. Emily questions if Duncan is just a random guy Alison flirted with, but Spencer is sure Ali wouldn't have wasted time flirting while trying to track down "A". Aria decides to call him. Just then they all turn and look at Jenna and Toby emerge from a car.
In the hall at school, Mona gives Hanna a cell phone and offers hand sanitizer to all the girls. After she leaves, Aria tells the others she is going to meet Duncan in the courtyard at school - a safe, public location. They disperse when the bell rings.
Outside, Duncan questions whether Aria has told him her real name, because he knew Vivian was not Vivian's real name. Taken aback, Aria considers this, and finally tells him Vivian's name was Alison. Then she has to deliver the unfortunate news that Alison is dead. Duncan is clearly upset to hear she was killed over a year ago and that they haven't found the killer. He realizes Aria must be Alison's writer friend and tells her Ali talked about her 4 best friends a lot. Aria asks Duncan if Ali ever mentioned someone she was afraid of, but Duncan isn't keen on talking about it there. He admits he didn't meet Ali at the bookstore in Brookhaven, but somewhere nearby. Aria offers to meet him there if he would be more comfortable. He isn't sure and agrees to call her. Before leaving, Duncan admits to seeing Alison the weekend she disappeared.
Spencer is surprised to hear this and Hanna doubts if Duncan is telling the truth, but Aria believes his reaction to hearing Ali is dead was real. Garrett pulls away from the curb in a big hurry and the girls, besides Hanna, all receive a text from "A". They see Toby and Jenna across the street discussing something with the fire department. The girls wonder if Toby is telling them about the night of the Jenna Thing.
In Spencer's kitchen, Spencer, Emily, and Jason look at the bag of Ali's things Jason brought over. Aria knocks at the door and enters, and lets Spencer know Duncan called back and she's going to meet him someplace he used to go with Alison. She says hi and bye to Emily and leaves.
Aria meets Duncan at an air field and is surprised to hear he used to take Ali flying. He's had his flying license since he was 16. Duncan asks if Aria is ready to talk about Alison and heads toward the airplanes. She hesitates, then follows.
Duncan pilots a very small aircraft with Aria sitting next to him in the cockpit. They look down at Pennsylvania, all lit up below them. Aria asks how often he would take Ali flying. He says as often as he could. Guessing Aria's next question, he says he could have been in love with Ali had someone, another boy, not gotten in the way. Duncan says flying made Alison feel safe and in control. He tells Aria to take the yoke, which controls the plane. When she declines, he tells her she will never understand her friend if she doesn't try.
Aria takes hold, and Duncan lets go. He says Alison's face would change when she was up there, and no one could get to her. He didn't know who was after her - a stranger, a boy she knew, or a friend. The plane shakes and Aria wants to let go, but Duncan makes her hold on. He asks why Aria said they never caught Ali's killer if Ian Thomas confessed in his suicide note. Aria discloses that she and her friends think the note was fake and Ian was protecting someone. Duncan finally takes back control of the plane and reveals he picked up Alison from Hilton Head Sunday morning of Labor Day weekend and flew her to Philadelphia. He said she was different that day; she figured something out. Aria realizes Ali was in town 6 or 7 hours earlier than they previously thought.
At the hospital, after an explosion at Jason's house, Aria fills in Emily and Hanna about Duncan flying Alison back to Philly Labor Day weekend and she didn't take the bus like they thought. A little while later, Jason sits next to Aria and asks her what Jenna was doing in his house. He was out of town when he heard about the fire. She asks how bad the damage is, but he won't know until it has been assessed in the morning. Aria says she is sorry before getting up to talk to Spencer's mom.
The girls gather in Jenna's hospital room. Aria tells her Jason was miles away when Jenna got the text. She breaks down and cries, saying she doesn't blame them for what happened.
The girls gather in Spencer's bedroom to reexamine Ali's items. They discover a torn postcard and a newspaper from August 2009 with an ad for a concert in Rosewood circled. The music box creepily starts playing on its own, startling the girls.
Aria shows up to Ezra's office with coffee. Ezra tells Aria he's worried about the fallout from him not taking the job Byron lined up for him. She tries to assuage his fears and reminds him her dad is not all that powerful, then tries to take his mind off things with a kiss, instructing him to lean into it more.
At school, Spencer finds out that Alison and "A" had been communicating via newspaper classified ads and had planned to meet in person. The girls realize the meeting place was on Spruce Street, near the creepy doll hospital. Just then, Jenna and Toby approach them. Jenna says the surgery was unsuccessful and that that Hanna saving her made her realize that people can grow, so now it's her turn. Jenna then apologizes for hating them and for holding a grudge. She goes on to say she's never been the person they really needed to fear and walks away.
Aria believes Jenna to be sincere, but Emily doesn't buy her story, thinking she must be as angry as ever if the surgery failed. They ponder who Jenna may have been referring to, guessing Garrett, or Melissa. Spencer believes Ali had the answer and decides they must retrace her steps if they ever want to figure it out.
While leaving her mother a note on her desk, Aria finds what looks to be a boarding school application in Vermont that Byron has faxed to Ella with instructions to send over Aria's transcript.
The girls go to the doll store in Brookhaven. Aria vents about her father and boarding school. They run into the owner, an older woman named Martha. They ask if anyone had ever bought a voodoo doll (the same as one Alison received), but Martha says they don't sell those. Inside they speak with a creepy young boy named Seth, who apparently has a "gift" that allows him to see things that haven't happened yet. He tells them that Alison was in the store two summers ago looking for a voodoo doll and he warned her about the dark-haired couple who wanted to hurt her. Martha sends him upstairs, but on his way out he says he's sorry for what happened to Alison, specifically citing her cause of death. The girls are visibly freaked out.
Later that night, the girls argue about the validity of Seth's claims. Aria thinks the kid is nuts, while Emily believes he could really be psychic. Spencer comes clean about her parents' belief that her sister could have had something to do with Alison's death. She also tells them about Jason being her brother. The girls are stunned. Spencer doesn't know what to think, but she knows Melissa had motive and opportunity to kill Ali.
Aria comes home to find her mom folding laundry in her room. She angrily brings up the boarding school application, accusing her and Byron of trying to ruin her life. Ella tries to explain that it's not only about Ezra; she believes Aria is being bullied and needs to be kept safe. Aria believes Ella's heart might be in the right place, but Byron is only trying to punish her. Aria hints at having the ability to hurt Byron's career by revealing his past affair with his grad student.
At school the next day, the girls tell Spencer they think Melissa is bluffing. Spencer isn't so sure. Hanna decides enough is enough. They will trick Melissa into texting them, proving she is "A" once and for all.