After discovering a letter written to Emily from Maya the night she died, along with startling new evidence of her whereabouts when she had disappeared and her ties with Noel Kahn, Emily and Hanna go to the cabin where Noel Kahn had his party to see if they can find anything of use. They not only find out that Maya had been staying there, but that Noel Kahn apparently had no participation in what happened to Maya that particularly not. At least, not seen from the surveillance video Noel had sent Spencer of the night she was killed, which confirms that neither he nor Jenna had any involvement from some shocking footage. Aria gives her mother dating advice, and Emily does something that makes us (the fans) want to gag in our mouths, which hopefully she deeply regrets ever doing.
Rant Time: Emily and Nate
This is perhaps the biggest thing I want to rant about, because I feared watching the episode seeing the enraged reactions from what happened. I just want to make sense of why it happened, and how things are going to play out in the aftermath.
I think we can all agree that Nate is most definitely the obsessive stalker who probably killed Maya. All signs lead to it, and in this episode really shined on him just not taking the hint and really crowding the girls he is interested in, him approaching Jenna in that manner and just having zero boundaries whatsoever. His knowledge of Maya, him wanting to get close to Emily because of Maya, it's pretty obvious of his creeper behavior that he's the guy.
So, why is Emily oblivious to all of this? She's a smart girl, why isn't she picking up these clues?
Well, I generally think it's because of her attachment to Maya and how she truly believes that this guy is Maya's cousin so there's this connection that nobody else seems to have. Emily feels that because of these emotional ties she can trust him. Also, she harbors serious resentment towards Jenna, so she might be blinded as to not really see where Nate oversteps his boundaries and acted inappropriately. Of course, this is all part of the obsessive stalker behavior, because Nate would have to have gained Emily's trust in order to get close to her, and what else would do it other than to claim to be the cousin of her dead girlfriend that he was recently obsessed with? I mean, how would Emily know otherwise? It's a sneaky trick, and I think that's where the kiss came from. It's that emotional ties to Maya that brought it on.
The anger I've seen in reaction to that is mostly due to having this character who is gay, who has accepted herself as being gay and has proclaimed to be gay for a solid two seasons now, kiss someone of the opposite sex, even if it was due to the emotional response of the situation, and probably without thinking.
Someone had pointed out that something similar happens in the books so I guess you can't be too angry for the show by keeping to the canon somewhat. Plus all the girls have kissed or gotten involved with someone that they shouldn't have, and it's only human to screw up.
Of course, this isn't about sexuality. Emily made a mistake in the heat of the moment, and she deeply regrets it. She is now trying to hide it from Paige because she probably feels disgusted with herself for allowing that to happen, and of course things are going to get messy because Paige saw them and now Emily is lying to her what happened. And Paige looked up to Emily because of her braveness of her sexuality, which made her want to open up about hers, so it's definitely a slap in the face for her to see that. But I think all of this is definitely leading up to the reveal of Nate being the stalker. Having seen some of the promo stills for the mid-season premiere (titled "The Lady Killer"), and the preview clips for the next episode, and I get the feeling that the remaining two episodes before the mid-season finale are going to focus on the trial, what happened to Maya, and the red-herring that Paige might have known something about Alison or Maya which will ultimately reveal the truth about Nate's involvement.
That is what I am predicting.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ Ella and Zack. I just think they're adorable, okay? Out of all the gross and cringe-worthy guys in this episode, Zack was refreshing and I think it's so sweet with the starting relationship between him and Ella. And with Ella getting back into the dating scene and realizing that yes, even for someone ten years younger than she is, she really likes this guy and it could possibly work. I hope it works too.
++ This show knows how to do suspense really, really well. Just, yeah. O_O
++ I'm loving that while Maya is dead, we're seeing a lot of her lately. From pictures and videos, so this season, at least the first half of it, has been very Maya-heavy.
Things I didn't like:
++ As mentioned, Nate. But also Wren. Nate and Wren have things in common where they push the boundaries when they are not welcome. Wren crowded Hanna the same way Nate crowded Jenna. The problem is that most of the fandom (at least on Tumblr, that is) think that Wren is like, ~~~totally hawt~~~ because of his ~~~British accent~~~ therefore he is no threat. No. Wrong. They're both creepers who need to GO THE FUCK AWAY. I mean, not only is Wren constantly around, he is constantly trying to get with one of the girls. Either with Spencer or with Hanna, even after they had explicitly had said no. The offering of coffee and dinner and tea or whatever, that is not endearing. LEARN TO ACCEPT IT WHEN A GIRL SAYS "NO" AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. JFC.
++ lol @ the whole Ezra and Aria storyline thing. Yawn, boring, next plz.
Overall: It was alright. I do feel like this first half of the season has been slagging lately. It started off interesting, but there seems to be too much stuff happening. Like, where is Jason? Where is Lucas? What happened to Melissa? Or Mona? What is the deal with Cece? What about Alison's missing body and the things that the girls buried with her mysteriously showing up? The show has always had this habit of having certain characters appear and they would disappear until many episodes later where they would reappear suddenly. But I do think they've been kind of straying away from certain things to make room for others, and I definitely think they've been spending too much time with the relationship aspects. I have dreaded any scene with Wren or Nate because of them being skeezy creeps around the girls. I hope they disappear soon so we can get back to things being watchable again.
I think in general, what has been happening recently with the show is kind of a cautionary tale for girls regarding guys that act way too nice in order to get you to trust them, because they can turn out the be the worst kinds of predators by using that trust against you. Also, be direct when rejecting a guy otherwise they will be like Wren or Nate and they won't take the hint that you're not interested and continue to pursue you.