Title: Pretty Little Liars S3.E14 “She’s Better Now”
Released: 2013

Oh, Pretty Little Liars, WHY DO YOU EVER TRY TO LEAVE ME? You know that when you leave me, bad things happen! Bears eat me; I run out of champers; the whole thing is just a disaster. 

Look, all I’m going to say is that when I figured out that Pretty Little Liars was returning the same week as Revenge, only one of my reactions could be registered as happy. Which is why I’m not recapping Revenge anymore.

Anyway, last time we met, it was Halloween, we made a few Throw Momma From the Train references, and Garrett died. Later, Garrett!

The Nymph’s Woodland Home Unravels

Aria’s outfit, ladies and Brian.

Well, Aria still exists, y’all, much to my dismay. I was sort of hoping she’d just randomly get written out over the break. Alas. Anyway, Jodie Sawyer has started her long term sub teaching gig at Rosewood High, and of course she’s teaching Aria’s government class (where, hilariously, they’re apparently learning about checks and balances, because Rosewood High is still covering subjects mastered by sixth graders), because no one in Rosewood is capable of doing even basic nods towards a normal life, like making sure your students aren’t being taught by their father’s underaged mistresses.

Anyway, I guess Aria blatantly doesn’t respect Jodie Sawyer‘s author-i-tah, OR she’s got busy shit to do being A, because she texts all through class and gets her phone confiscated. Jodie Sawyer’s all, “I saw that you were texting about my personal history!” What, Jodie Sawyer, that you don’t have the feet? You don’t have the feet! Turnout, Jodie! YOU MUST WORK ON YOUR TURNOUT.

Everyone would like to bring up the fact that, shortly before he died, Garrett named Actor/Director Chad Lowe as a new suspect, but Aria is mostly refusing to listen to any discussion regarding the subject. She asks Actor/Director Chad Lowe how he felt about Ali though and – you guys know, right, that Actor/Director Chad Lowe and Actor/Handsome Person Rob Lowe are brothers, right? I ask, because I didn’t. For a very long time. Not until my friend read Rob Lowe’s autobiography (which apparently is very moving) and I was all, “hold the phone, Chad Lowe and Rob Lowe are brothers?” And everyone was all like, “yeah, duh!” but I mean, Lowe is not that uncommon a name, I guess, and I never really thought about it because they seem to move in different spheres to me. I know Chad Lowe from such hits as Being Married to Hillary Swank whereas I feel like Rob and I kind of grew up together, you know, I mean; he had sex with underage girls; I was an underage girl at the time . . . we were very close, spiritually. Anyway, I bring this up because I’ve been rewatching The West Wing on Netflix recently (P.S. The West Wing is on Netflix now), because sometimes I like to kill time by yelling angry things at my tv (I have Issues regarding Aaron Sorkin), and so I’ve got a lot of Rob Lowe in my life right now and anyway, in this scene, Chad Lowe looks just like Rob Lowe and it does make me feel kind of stupid that I didn’t realize that they were brothers, even though I contend that Lowe is a fairly common name.

But, that’s okay. This friend who mocked me didn’t know Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine were brother and sister, and that’s like, super common knowledge, if for no other reason than you have to ask yourself why Shirley MacLaine is the only lady Of A Certain Age that Warren Beatty never slept with, so I still feel like I win a little bit, when it comes to the Famous Siblings game.

Anyway, back to the show. So Actor/Director Chad Lowe denies having any particular feelings for Ali one way or the other but! He is clearly lying! Which we will discuss later when we discuss The Marathon That Wasn’t.

Meanwhile and in addition to, Aria is still very concerned with how exactly to tell her adult boyfriend that he has a child roughly the age of Aria’s oldest bowel movement. She dithers and flitters and ums and aws and chickens out from saying anything, but hilariously finds an “It’s a Boy!” celebratory balloon arrangement outside Fitz’s front door. Hanna takes her to task for not stealing the jelly beans out of the arrangement before throwing it away. F’realz, Aria. I mean, take the damn candy, jeez.

I Salute You (With My Lady Boner), Major Hot Dad!

Major Hot Dad! Major Hot Dad is home! Semper fi and Hoorah and I know he’s in the Army but I don’t know what it is they say, Major Hot Dad is home! THANK YOU AMERICA!

Anyway, because Major Hot Dad and Pam are literally the only parents on this entire show who are even on nodding terms with actual parenting, they’re actually taking the threat of, you know, CRAZY MURDERERS ON THE LOOSE seriously and enforcing some damn security around their house. Major Hot Dad is adorably geeking out about how he can control the whole system through his phone and will know when any windows or doors are opened.

Less exciting to Emily is that he and Pam want her to stay home as much as possible, including skipping out on the – yes, this is a plot point – marathon. The . . . Rosewood Marathon. Benefitting, one would only hope, police reform? I am honestly severely offended that any television show would deign to show exercise in such a positive light this soon after the holidays or, you know, ever. I mean, come on, show. This is Pretty Little Liars. I already feel guilty for watching it; now I have to feel bad for watching it while sitting down with a resting heart rate? This show is run by assholes.

Eventually Emily sneaks out to go help her terrible friends be terrible, and Major Hot Dad finds out and is totally awesome by saying that he doesn’t want to lock her in, but she has to keep shutting him out. OH MAJOR HOT DAD. MY LOINS ARE ABLAZE FOR YOU AND FOR FREEDOM. 

In The Kitchen of Carbs and Cash

Well, Mona’s been released from the sanitarium, because that’s what you do with the criminally insane teenagers still going through hormonal upheaval. You claim them to be cured. Mona sneaks into Hanna’s room, the act of a completely sane person, and tells her that her parents are forcing her to come back to Rosewood High. She’s worried that people will be mean to her and wants Hanna to be in her corner. Yep. Completely sane.

Prozzie Mom is off somewhere, probably poisoning squirrels with Pastor Ted, so Hanna is being babysat by her grandmother, Aunt Paula Deen. Yay! I love Aunt Paula Deen! She’s so full of sass and diabeetus.

Aunt Paula Deen tells Hanna to give Mona a chance, but that might be because Mona sends a basket of muffins, and Aunt Paula Deen loves her some muffins! Hanna, of course, loves rainbows and kittens and tiny unicorn eggs, so she encourages everyone to give Mona a second chance. (isn’t it, like, an eighth chance by this point?) Mona is grateful for the support . . . until she opens her locker to find delicious braaaaaains knifed to her corkboard. I love when Mona is trying to out-A herself. So much more originality! 

Everyone in school wonders if Mona’s going to have a nutty, but she calmly deposits the brain (and, eventually, the knife) in the trash can and then whispers something to Lucas that likely makes him pee himself.

Hanna wants to figure out why Lucas is still talking to Mona, and also why he is limping. (Why he is limping: because Toby totally tried to run him over WITH A CAR in the teaser of the episode. TOBY.) So she dispatches Caleb to learn the truth. Caleb and Hanna, by the way, have given up on their stupid attempt to be covert in their love affair, so that’s good. Caleb still has the same haircut, so that’s horrible.

Mona tapes a plea of remorse and forgiveness and broadcasts it to the entire school, which has the effect of winning everyone over to her side except for Hanna and Aunt Paula Deen, who doesn’t trust snake oil salesmen. Lucas comes over to Hanna’s house to give Caleb the last of the money he owes him (boy, there’s a plotline I hardly remembered), and is acting as squirrely and as scared as usual, probably because Toby keeps TRYING TO KILL HIM. He tells Hanna that he can’t tell her much, but he does tell her that Mona was sneaking out of Radcliffe for months without the doctors knowing. INTRIGUE. Well, it would be, if we didn’t all already know that.

Caleb finds out, through his digging, that it was actually Mona who wanted to return to Rosewood High, over her parents’ strong objections. Well, slap my knee and call me Sally. What a shocker.

It’s Marathon day! Boooo! Booo, exercise! Booo, I say! Aunt Paula Deen insists on singing The Star Spangled Banner, which is AMAZING, and definitely my favorite moment of this entire show, ever. Oh, Aunt Paula Deen, I love you so much. 

The girls all sneak off to break into the office of the school janitor, who just happens to also be, you know, the same creepy motel clerk from Mona’s A lair. CONVENIENT. His office was full of Mona’s old A stuff but now it’s empty of everything . . . except Ali’s diary. Because the Liars are the DUMBEST HUMANS ALIVE they decide to leave the diary there, but Aria steals a page from Ali’s diary detailing a meeting she had with Actor/Director Chad Lowe . . . 

Flashback! Ali’s in Actor/Director Chad Lowe’s office at Hollis. Apparently she’s been blackmailing him to keep his affair with Jodie Sawyer a secret from Child Bride Holly Marie Combs. He claims that he can’t afford to pay her anymore and things get rather heated. She tells him that she’s going to visit her Nana for the weekend (also, that is a hilarious bit) and that they’ll discuss this when she gets back . . .

The Janitor finds them but then Toby “saves” the girls while giving the Janitor a knowing look.

Outside at the Marathon, Mona sets up Jodie Sawyer to be firebombed. Because, you know. She’s sane.

Now Playing the Role of Shirtless Villain . . .

In Spencer and Toby news, the writers of PLL are just fucking with us now. Not only is Toby shirtless in this episode, but he’s shirtless IN A HOT TUB. IN A MOTHERFUCKING HOT TUB, Y’ALL. But how are we supposed to reward this behavior? It’s like when your two-year-old throws a tantrum and it’s super adorable and funny and you just want to laugh, but you can’t because you know you can’t validate her tantrum. I can’t validate this shirtlessness. Tobes is evil, and we all know it. Just to make sure we know it, he practices his Evil Constipated Face all the time. You can’t just take your shirt off and expect it to all be okay, Toby.

Spencer’s concerned because Butthair (aka Jason) and Mona seem to be hanging out a lot. She cautions Butthair to stay away from Mona, since she’s Trouble with a capital T that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool. Butthair claims he is going to stay away from Mona, but! She is in his house! And! She is helping salve his burns! Because! He helped fireball Jodie Sawyer! OH, BUTTHAIR.

Also, Toby continues his campaign of terror by dismantling someone’s bike enough that it falls apart when they start riding it. What is his DEAL? Like, I really don’t understand what is going on there at all.

And . . . that’s pretty much it for this week! Except that ABC Family would really, really like us to watch Beautiful Creatures. I can tell, on account of how many commercials I watched for Beautiful Creatures. Also we learned that Hanna and Caleb are star-crossed lovers. So, that happened.

What were your thoughts, FYA-land? Glad our little Liars are back? Do you have any love left for Toby, or is he just awful to you now? Why is he trying to flat out KILL Lucas? And can Aunt Paula Deen stay forever?


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