Title: Pretty Little Liars S3.E01 “It Happened ‘That Night'”
Released: 2012

Guys! It’s back! It’s back it’s back it’s back! And, so, okay, I was actually hoping its return would be delayed by a few weeks so that I could have one week of not having to recap any tv, I’m still way more excited than I should be.

But, at the same time . . . look, Pretty Little Liars. I’ve gone out on other dates since you’ve been gone. I mean, The Vampire Diaries? We totally went All The Way. Khloe and Lamar, focusing on Lamar’s troubles in Dallas and Khloe’s inability to conceive? I was all over that. Revenge? Yeah, I went there. And you don’t even want to know about the love affair I cooked up with Tyrion Lannister after Khal Drogos’ biceps deserted me.

What I’m saying, show, is you better be prepared to bring your A game. And your “A” game! Oh, ha ha! I’m so punny; I should write for the ABC Family website.

Alright. Let’s do this.

Hey! Remember last season when Maya was dead but no one cared? And when Mona was allowed a (presumably) non-family member visitor in a red coat, even though she was locked up in a home for the criminally insane? Remember those CREEPY FUCKING DOLLS? Anyway, if you don’t; that’s what happened.

It’s five months later! Slumber party at Spencer’s! Hanna cut her hair! Emily built houses in Haiti! Aria went to photography class and Spencer took a load of college classes. It’s a typical late-summer thunderstorm in Rosewood. Emily’s turned into a drunk. Meanwhile, the girls are still getting texts from “A,” but more of the “show us your tits!” variety. Em’s still really upset about Maya. Why? It’s been five months! And she was awful!

Aria and Hanna wake up and they, nor Spencer, can find Emily. That’s because Emily is busy digging up Alison’s grave in the cemetery. She developed a lot of stamina in Haiti, I guess. Anyway, guess what? The grave’s empty. Ruh roh!

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

After the credits, the girls have caught up with Emily, who’s in some sort of fugue state. After a little investigation, it looks like Emily received a blocked call from someone at 11, and then another call from Spencer at midnight . . . except Spencer was asleep. The girls figure it’s a set up, so they hide the evidence (the shovel with Em’s prints) and make Em burn her clothes. Who could have stolen Alison’s body? Such intrigue! Or it would be, if anyone believed Alison were dead.

Hanna and Aria spy Lucas walking around on The Only Street in Rosewood. Suspicious!

Meanwhile, Spencer decides to pretend they were all in the Lakehouse all day. Surely a summer-semester-college-educated person like Spencer would have a better alibi plan than this. Anyway, Ma Hastings calls Spencer to update her about her dead best friend’s missing body and that the cops have no evidence. The girls concoct an alibi.

Ew. Aria is still dating Fitz. They discuss Maya’s murder (apparently everyone assumes Garrett did it) and the fact that apparently Maya still had some things of Alison’s. Then they grossly discuss their one-year underaged anniversary and make plans to recreate it. So I guess that means Aria needs to get even more underaged.

Hanna, meanwhile, discusses sex with Prozzie Mom whilst shopping. They run into Ma and Spencer Hastings, and the Only Two Concerned Parents On This Show discuss their daughters’ crazy lives. Spencer, meanwhile, discusses Toby’s showering habits. Don’t tell, show. Show. 

Hanna, meanwhile, is secretly visiting Mona (claiming that she is instead visiting Annabeth Gish. Which, considering they know she was compromised by A, is just a stupid idea). Mona seems catatonic. Her hair looks nicely tousled, though. After having a one-sided discussion about fashion, Hanna tries to get Mona to open up. She wants answers! And then she runs into Wren, who apparently volunteers at the hospital. Mona totes listen in to their conversation.

There’s a commercial in which Lucy Hale (Aria) explains that she’s a MUSIC ARTIST. And a fashion artist. And a tea drinker and old book reader. Well, that was illuminating. Thank you, Lucy.

Show. TOBY IS SHIRTLESS!!!! THANK YOU SHOW!!! HE IS SHIRTLESS AND WET FROM THE SHOWER. They do some leany kisses and discuss waiting for sex. Stupid, stupid children. He’s not going to be that hot when he’s thirty!

(Here is a behind the scenes photo from this scene. I’m simultaneously concerned and turned on. Concerned because I’m turned on, I guess.)

First day of school! Lucas isn’t talking to the girls. He looks squirrely and evil. But I’m more concerned with Aria’s scarf, which is full-on forty year old woman. Come on, Aria.

(Emily, by the way, is not interested in attending class. She is only interested in sulking.)

Meanwhile! Aria gets trapped in the girl’s bathroom. She cries and screams. I cry and scream when I see her fug-ass flowered platform clogs. Come on, Aria. I was hoping we’d turned a page. 

Spencer keeps getting phone calls from an Unknown number. She declines her mother’s offer to go to Philly and hang out with Melissa. Probably because she doesn’t understand that Melissa is actually in Mystic Falls. Then again, Spencer has her own hot shirtless man to hang around.

Oh! It looks like Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, is breaking up with Actor/Director Chad Lowe! Again, that is. Then they have a chuckle about the fact that Actor/Director Chad Lowe can’t get over the fact that his 17 year old daughter is dating his former coworker.

At The Only Restaurant in Rosewood, Toby and Emily have met up to drink tea and discuss Emily’s spiraling out of control. Meanwhile! Spencer has gone back to the creepy Bates motel that focused in the season finale last year! Someone spies on her! Spencer, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Inside the room, Spencer takes out her laptop and starts. . . setting up?

In the Kitchen of Carbs and Cash, Hanna and Caleb are cooking when Wren calls her. He tells her that Mona is improving.

Meanwhile, Toby is counseling Emily over a cuppa Earl Gray. And then Spencer is . . . staring at walls in A’s old lair. And typing. And answering her Unknown caller. Who has instructions! WHAT IS GOING ON?

In Aria’s Home of Woodland Delights, the police have showed up to talk to Aria! Ugh, why? Have they met Aria? All of the girls are giving a statement about their alibi. And it seems like Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, isn’t as keen on Fitz as she seems.

At the psych award, Mona keeps up her chatter with Mona. Mona totally hallucinates Alison – in her red coat- sitting behind Hanna and smiling with approval. Oh dear.

Meanwhile!! The person calling Spencer? Is Garrett (from jail)!! He didn’t kill Maya! But he may know who killed Alison! But he needs Ma Hastings to represent him! He claims that he knows who took the body!

Emily is running! Oh, that Emily. Always sporty. Then she sees a car that she seems to remember before getting a text on her phone – “I bet you remember me?” Emily tells the girls the little that she remembers. And Hanna admits that she’s been visiting Mona. So now it’s Spencer’s time to do some admissions – she’s reconstructed A’s room of weirdness using her computer. And then they all have a confession to make to Emily – someone else cleared out A’s room of weirdness. They all FINALLY twig to the fact that Mona’s not the only A.

Spencer’s car alarm sounds and they go outside to see the insides covered with photos of the girls at Alison’s grave. Then they all get a text! “Mona played with dolls. I play with body parts. Game on, bitches. -A” How many times has A told them that the game is on? Has it ever been off? A is so overly dramatic.

No Gloved Hand of Mystery!! Does that mean that Gloved Hand of Mystery was always Mona?


Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink.