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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
Aria meets a man named Ezra
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."
The Jenna Thing
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...
To Kill a Mocking Girl
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.
Can You Hear Me Now?
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.
Reality Bites Me
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.
There's No Place Like Homecoming
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.
The Homecoming Hangover
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.
Please, Do Talk About Me When I'm Gone
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.
The Perfect Storm
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.
Aria tries to comfort Emily
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.
Keep Your Friends Close
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.
"She knew too much. -A"
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.