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Gay-Cap: 'Pretty Little Liars' Emily and Paige do P!nk!

Gay-Cap: 'Pretty Little Liars' Emily and Paige do P!nk!

Pretty Little Liars teased fans of the lesbian storyline two weeks ago with Emily's (Shay Mitchell) former schoolyard bully Paige (Lindsey Shaw) surprising her with a big snog in Em's car before begging her not to tell. And then last week nothing. But alas, the PLL writing team stepped up Emily's storyline last night and made it charmingly cute, if not really gay, what with the addition of a couple of P!nk songs, a picnic in the woods and a kiss.

TracyEGilchrist

Pretty Little Liars teased fans of the lesbian storyline two weeks ago with Emily’s (Shay Mitchell) former schoolyard bully Paige (Lindsey Shaw) surprising her with a big snog in Em’s car before begging her not to tell. And then last week – nothing. There was no gay storyline except for a call from Paige that Emily ignored, leaving her fans to wonder if little Em’s love life would shelved to make room for the other girls’ love stories like Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Hanna’s (Ashley Benson) falling for River Phoenix-esque pretty boys and Aria’s (Lucy Hale) pedo / teacher who’s not afraid of an orange jumpsuit Ezra (Ian Harding).

But alas, the PLL writing team stepped up Emily’s storyline last night and made it charmingly cute, if not really gay, what with the addition of a couple of P!nk songs, a picnic in the woods and a kiss.

SPOILER ALERT 

Pretty Little Liars Ep. 1:19, A Person of Interest

While the overarching surreal storyline regarding the pretty little liars and their blackmailer ‘A’ is heating up with the girls having been hauled into the police station regarding Spencer’s creepy brother-in-law Ian last week, I’m going to hew as close to Emily’s storyline as possible so as not to turn these recaps into a weekly thesis.

Presumably it’s been a few weeks since Paige pulled an Adrien Brody with Halle Berry at the Oscars and kissed an unwitting Emily, although everyone but Emily saw that coming from the minute we got a load of Paige’s Selma Blair ala Cruel Intentions haircut… Fast-forward to this week and Emily’s in the locker room after swim when Paige happens upon her.

Cue another awkward locker room moment, although this time, Paige isn’t making homophobic remarks while simultaneously fondling Emily’s bra. It looks as though a newly Sapphic Paige has been seeing a lesbian stylist as she’s got her hair up and off her face rather than in the ridiculous bob and bangs, and she’s  forgone her Sue Sylvester track look for a sweater and boots ensemble.

Not one to beat around the bush  -- as it were – Emily asks if Paige has changed her swim training time to avoid Em. But rather than cop to her persistent crush on the adorable Em,  Paige gives a bullshit answer about visiting her sick aunt.

“I though maybe you were avoiding me,” Em says. “Okay, this is beyond awkward. Can we please talk about what happened?”

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Paige says. And a bit of advice to Paige is that she should really start owning up to it because she could do worse than Emily.

“You kissed me, remember?” Emily queries. And Paige gets a glint in her eye that conveys part fear of someone overhearing and part ‘how could I forget, it was the hottest moment of my life to this point…”

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“Just drop it,” Paige says. That prompts Emily, who appears to have gotten over Maya, to ask “So you want to pretend like it didn’t happen?” Despite my shouts from the couch to answer to the contrary, Paige  says, “Yes, please.”

“Consider it forgotten,” says a hurt Emily, who then spins on her trendy boot heel with her hair whipping around in a way that would have most budding lesbians screaming, “Come back. I don’t know what I’m saying.” But not Paige. She let’s Emily walk away, but not without a little mournful lip quiver.

Later that day Emily opens her locker to a crudely scrawled but enigmatic note fluttering out and on to the floor. At first it seems as if it must surely be from ‘A’ but ‘A’ has better handwriting. It’s a missive from Paige.

“Meet me at 202 West Chester Pike – Paige,” the note reads. Emily quickly stuffs it in her pocket without telegraphing if she plans to follow the instructions or not.

Being the curious and fearless little lesbian that she is, the next time we see Emily she is arriving—her GPS confirms—at her destination, a Thelma and Louise style, trashy roadhouse off the beaten path that likely serves Schlitz in a plastic pint cup. 

Lo and behold, Paige, sporting a skirt and some product in her hair, is waiting at a booth for Em.

“Do you come here a lot?” Em asks warily.

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“I didn’t realize it was so…” Paige says,  but Emily interrupts. “Rustic?” Em offers, displaying a little flair for sarcasm.

“You were right today. I was avoiding you. I was scared that night when I…” Paige begins, but Em finishes her sentence again. “Kissed me?” she asks.

Coming seemingly full circle from her awkward non-bra-fondling locker room moment earlier that day Paige admits that she realized she was gay when she saw Emily and Maya together.

“Am I the first girl you’ve kissed?” Em asks, and Paige replies in the affirmative. “You certainly surprised me,” Em says smiling. Em, being the school’s experienced gay, explains that Maya was her first girlfriend, but not the first girl she’d ever kissed. She admits to having kissed and being in love with her bitchy friend Alison, whose murder is the source of all of the ‘A’ fuckery.

“I didn’t know her well but she seemed like a very dynamic person,” Paige says, expressing a predilection for diplomacy since it was clear to everyone but our lovely little leads that Alison was like all of the Heathers plus Regina George rolled into one. Attempting to read how to impress Em, Paige suggests that Maya was also ‘dynamic.’

“Yeah, I guess I like…” Em starts. But Paige finishes her sentence this time, “ballsy women.” And they cutely but awkwardly smile at each other before the show cuts to Aria and her of-age pedagogue / pedophile teacher.

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Armed with the info that Em likes her ladies with cojones, Paige—in a Marla Hooch ala A League of Their Own moment--decides to emulate one of the ballsiest ladies out there – P!nk! She performs a charmingly off-key rendition of “So What” for dive-bar karaoke.

Em and Paige romantically eye each other across the dingy, dirty bar until Paige incites the flannel-shirt and hunting cap-clad locals to cheer Em up on stage for a duet.

“I don’t do karaoke,” Em says like a cute stick-in-the-mud.

“Come on, Emily. Take a walk on the wild side,” Paige eggs her on. And by wild side, I’m pretty sure Paige means Em needs to take a walk down Paige’s rocky road of burgeoning sexuality covered in closet case.

Em succumbs to the pressure and the two of them chime in on “So what, I’m still a rock star…” It’s such fun stuff it makes me wish I were 16, crushed out and falling for the cute girl while singing to P!nk in a filthy bar.

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After a few minutes of Spencer and weird, cute sensitive boy Caleb playing Scrabble in a motel room while they await the arrival of his scary step-sister Jenna, who’s been hiding out in the room next door, we get back to Em and Paige leaving the bar. Cue the sound of P!nk’s “Glitter in the Air” along with a million gay girl hearts fluttering at the thought of budding love. Em and Paige are leaving their divey love nest and walking to Em’s car. This time Em leans in for a kiss.

I guess Paige proved her ballsiness and is officially on Em’s radar.

Next up, Em and Aria are hanging out on Em’s bed flipping through magazines and chatting about whether or not Aria should spill her guts about the whole ‘A’ situation to Ezra when Emily gets a text from Paige that reads, “Feel like a picnic?”

“Anybody interesting?” Aria asks.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Em says. “Come on Em! Paige may not be Maya, and she may be one hair product away from a bad haircut but she sang P!nk for you,” I want to shout.

Later, the possible budding love birds are sprawled out on a plaid picnic blanket in the woods tentatively holding hands and discussing the possibility of going to see the band they love, which is playing on the radio. This reminds me of all of my summers at Girl Scout Camp but with cuter clothes and sans the stench of DEET mosquito repellant.

Paige nixes the idea of going to see a concert together where they “might see people they know.” “I can’t risk being seen with you,” Paige says. But Paige should really reconsider because being seen with Em would only up her game.

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“I thought you understood,” Paige says. And Emily, clearly not ready to be dragged kicking and screaming back into the closet says, “I so understand, but hearing you say that…ouch.”

“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I had an amazing time last night,” Paige says to Emily arching her eyebrow in a knowing way, as if to say, “no kidding, I’m hot.”

While it’s nice that Paige says she’d like to continue to see Emily, Em has terms, and shacking up in out-of-the-way shitholes and on damp leaves in the middle of the woods does not meet Em’s standards.

“I’m not ashamed of who I am, but I used to be. And if we have to hide like this all the time I’m going to start to feel that way again,” no-bullshit Emily says.

“I really like you Emily,” Paige replies, torn between her hormones and her severe affliction of being a closet case.

“I like you too and I’ll always be here, but I think it has to be as friends. Sorry…” Em says. Now, that’s an uncomfortable walk hauling the picnic basket out of the woods.

Tune in next week to discover how Paige will top singing “So What” to Em to win her heart. Maybe she’ll don her one-piece Speedo and bathing cap to do a synchronized swimming rendition of P!nk’s “Glitter in the Air” Grammy performance during half-time—I don’t know what breaks at a swim meet are called--at a swim meet.

At any rate, I’m pulling for this Emily and Paige pairing. Maya was beautiful but Paige put product in her mop for Emily. That’s love.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.