Pretty Little Liars, the ABC Family summer hit that follows a group of teenage girls getting — wouldn’t you know it! — stalked by the killer of their dead (but popular!) friend, is a show about secrets. One of the girls is a shoplifter. The other has an affair with her handsome teacher. Yet another plagiarizes a paper. But the most transgressive plotline involves Emily, a budding lesbian who has to remain closeted in order to avoid the disapproval of her parents and the giggles of her schoolmates. Confusing the matter is Maya, another hot young lesbian who moves in across the street from Emily (so many hot young lesbians in this small town!). The two begin an affair that’s eventually revealed in the form of smooching pictures — distributed by the dead friend’s probable killer … don’t ask — to Emily’s friend Hanna. On last night’s episode, Hanna finally confronted Emily about her bi-curiousness.
And it was hilarious! (Watch it below.)
Hanna: Can I just ask — you took Tobey to the dance, but then you took that picture with Maya …
Emily: I think I know what I want. But if I say yes to Maya, everything will change.
Hanna: Yeah, it would, you wouldn’t have to pretend you’re someone you’re not.
Emily: But what if I’m wrong. What’s if I’m not … that person.
Hanna: Emily, you’re not signing a contract! You were Emily dating Ben, and now you’re Emily dating Maya.
Though noble and timely in spirit (a lot of teens nowadays are bi-curious, right? That’s what the trend stories tell us!), it kind of feels like a cop-out on the part of the writers, who take pains to avoid the words “gay” and “lesbian,” instead using solemn this’s and that’s in place of explicit language. For the entirety of the season, we’ve been led to believe that Emily really does like girls, and so to bring in this “she likes boys and girls” bent cheapens the drama. Regardless, this tale of the young lesbian, bisexual, whatever is the most interesting part of a teeny-bopper popcorn series that otherwise plays like watered-down Gossip Girl turned murder mystery. We can’t wait to see how Emily’s mom reacts! Perhaps, but just perhaps, at first she’ll be shocked and angry, but then she’ll finally decide to accept Emily for who she is.