Title: Pretty Little Liars S3.E24 “A Dangerous Game”
Released: 2013

Hey y’all! It’s the season finale of Pretty Little Liars!! Will any questions be answered? Will Toby come back? Will Red Coat be revealed? Oh wait, sorry. Will Red CoAt be reveAled? Don’t worry; I’m far too lazy to keep up that terrible typing for the rest of this recap.

Let’s do this thing!

It’s a tea party at the Hastings! I wish all releases from the sanitarium were so pleasant. The girls wonder whether to discuss the potential death of Toby with Spencer, but Hanna is more interested in the difference between English muffins and crumpets. Spencer explains the basics. but neglects to mention that crumpets are fucking delicious and English muffins are just okay. She invites the girls to a soiree to celebrate her release from Radley, but neglects to extend the invitation to we, the viewers. I think that’s really unfair, in light of how much we have suffered.

Over in the RV of Stalkers and Serial Killers, one of the As is rocking out to crap music while hacking into something. Why does A use leather gloves to hack into computers? Surely latex gloves would be easier to type in? Also, have you ever noticed how all hackers on TV run their programs via DOS? It’s kind of old school. A seems interested in a landing strip (I believe the same one that Ali used for her flight lessons, and not, in fact, a pubic hair formation) and its distance to a nearby lodge. Mona enters the RV and tells Hacker A that the plan is good, and that those bitches will finally get what they deserve. I hope by “bitches,” she means female dogs in heat, and I hope by “what they deserve,” she means to be free from one of those humiliating indoor diapers, because otherwise I feel like someone needs to give Mona a basic 101 course on helping her sisters out.

Hacker A chooses not to respond.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

At school, the Liars want Aria to ask Malcolm about who stole him from Karate, but she thinks it isn’t a great idea. Spencer ventures that maybe Mona is TRYING to be caught, but Hanna is undeterred in her quest to give that little kid actor some screen time. Maybe she’ll find out that he’s actually Caleb’s small clone?

Emily bumps into Shana, who is at school for a rival swim meet and who seems interested in flirting with Spencer. Which pisses Hanna off, since she’s the only one Shana hasn’t flirted with. Clearly Shana is bad news, right? Otherwise, why would she be around ALL THE TIME?

In the halls, Aria sees Fitz, who is at Rosewood for a job interview. They don’t particularly act broken up, but who can tell with these two?

And guess who’s back in town? 40 year old Jenna! She’s in her sad, neglected house, on the phone with someone, worried that the cops have evidence, and then A, stalking her from outside the house, sends (presumably) her a text message saying to meet later that evening. It’s so nice to see how quickly A can text with those gloves on.

At Aria’s House of Woodland Delights, Actor/Director Chad Lowe tells Aria that Fitz absolutely cannot teach at Rosewood. Aria says not to worry, that he isn’t getting the job, but he tells her that Fitz accepted that morning! Maybe he DID take the breakup seriously (since Aria seems to have forgotten).

Speaking of the statuatory rapist, he’s currently interviewing Hanna for the gig of babysitting for Malcolm. This provides an excellent opportunity to remind everyone that Spring Breakers, an arthouse film in which Ashley Benson stars, along with James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, is getting a 1000-screen release this weekend. By all accounts, she’s pretty great in it. It’s a Harmony Korine film, if you’re into that sort of thing. (I am.)

Fitz asks for a resume. From his teenage babysitter. Hanna just makes train noises at him. I love her.

Jenna is out traipsing around the woods with five inch heels on . . . and meets Shana! WHAAAAA? (This isn’t the A meeting, be tee dubs. That’s set for 9 pm.) Also I guess Jenna is going blind again? It can be hard to keep up. How the hell do those two know each other?

On the Only Street in Rosewood, Aria is wearing stupid tights and is sad that Fitz isn’t taking the job for her. Or she’s upset that they’re still dating even after they broke up last week? I don’t know. Hilariously she says they’ve been chasing after what they’ve had . . . which is what? Underage, illegal sex? Aria doesn’t think that a relationship should be this hard. True; most don’t start out with a Jailbait operating system. And then they break up. Again. I guess? I’m distracted by the patterns on Aria’s tights. And how dorky Fitz looks in his dumb tie.

Oh! It’s that old fashioned diner from earlier this year, and one of the As is hanging out and waiting for Jenna, one would assume, since it’s nearing 9 pm. And when someone comes in, the waitress calls her/him “Pretty Eyes!” AND IT IS TOBY! Which means Toby has been on the A team since AT LEAST last year! But wait, who is waiting for him? Was that message sent to Jenna or to Toby?

AND GUESS WHO IS WAITING FOR TOBY? Spencer! Spencer has adopted Mona’s makeup look of way too much eyeshadow and liner. Does that come as part of the complimentary Sephora “A Team” makeover? Because I’ve been wanting to learn how to master the smoky eye. Spencer tells Toby that she joined the A team to get to him, basically, and kidnapped Malcolm to earn Mona’s trust. Toby says that he joined the A team to keep her safe and that “what they had was real.” I don’t buy it, but he has cut his hair since he disappeared, and that’s nice.

At Fitz’s, Malcolm is watching cartoons like a zombie and Hanna tells him he’s going to grow up to be stupid. I like Hanna; she’s a refreshing babysitter. They play Guess Who in which Hanna shows him every damn head shot from every character (which she conveniently has on her phone) and Malcolm can’t identify Mona, Melissa, Caleb or CeCe as the “Allison” who picked him up from karate.

Emily’s jogging and she sees Melissa knock-knock-knocking on Jenna’s door. And it’s a confab between Melissa, Jenna and Shana! WHAT IS GOING ON. There’s some stuff about “they have the tapes” and Melissa says “those bitches will be at the lodge at nine” (or “on Friday night?” I feel like that makes more sense). Emily is shocked.

At Toby’s motel, he says that all he knows about Red Coat is that she’s in charge. Spencer tells Toby that he’s a sucky-ass boyfriend for being on the A team all this time, and he cries, and then she comforts him. OH SPENCER. And then they have sex. I just noticed that even Spencer’s fingernails are painted black. What the hell is she supposed to do, change her nail polish every damn night?

At Fitz’s, Malcolm sees a photo of “Allison” – a pic of Ali and Spencer that someone has randomly just sent Hanna. Hanna tries to explain that Ali is dead, but he explains that he saw Spencer. This is enough to drive Hanna to the frosting in a can, I think.

In the Kitchen of Carbs and Cash, Hanna and Emily both go to Aria with their startling news. Aria’s ready to beat Spencer down, but they decide to test Spencer’s true loyalties. And for once, Hanna puts on some music so that anyone listening in can’t hear the plan. Could it be? Are our girls finally growing up? Oh, hold me!

Not you, Toby, even if you are sans shirt. Spencer and Toby are going for round two to some Lana Del Ray, which is not how I choose to spend my sexy times. But hey, different strokes for A folks. Anyway, I guess this is supposed to be romantic, but I am too focused on the meaning of the show focusing on the M of the Motel sign.

At school, Aria and Fitz have a prolonged breakup kiss in the stairwells, because the smell of just-pubescent flop sweat and number two erasers are like Viagra to Fitz.

It’s time for a swim meet! Spencer sees Red Coat going in and follows her, but loses her in a crowd of red sweat suits and hoodies (the other team’s supporters). But wait! There she is again! Spencer follows her to the girls room but finds . . Hanna! And the rest of the girls! And now they know that Spencer doesn’t know who Red Coat is either, which means that she MUST still be on their side! They want to help her! So Spencer tells them that Toby’s alive and on their side and that she sent Hanna that photo of her and Ali specifically so that they’d know to contact her. Now they’re prepared for the party where Red Coat plans to trap them! 

In English class, Fitz is back as the teacher. They’re reading A Farewell to Arms, so take that anvil as you will.

In The Kitchen of Carbs and Cash, the girls sans Spencer get ready for the party while someone videotapes them from outside.

And at the Lodge in which the Hastings are throwing their soiree, Mona’s pissed that the girls are late. I think she’s also pissed that two of her A team are more interested in making out than making trouble. Mona tells Spencer that she doesn’t want to cross Red Coat! The girls dress in their stealthy best (secretly) and creep into the cabin to await Red Coat (who is flying in). And then Toby offers to “take care” of Spencer outside. They stage a fairly convincing fight for Mona and then go to stake out the landing spot. 

Inside, the girls confront Mona. Ha! She tells them that they’re making a terrible mistake! 

Outside, Spencer and Toby see someone else approaching the landing site, so he goes after them while Spencer stakes out the landing. But oh! A gloved person has locked the girls in the cabin and LIT IT ON FIRE. Mona seems legit scared of Red Coat. Because she doesn’t know who she is either! WHAT? We’ve seen you talk to her!

At the plane, Spencer sees someone departing and she’s got long blonde hair . . . but Spencer loses her in the woods.

Toby, meanwhile, is on the verge of seeing the other intruder when he’s whacked on the back of the head. The lighter used to set the fire is dropped next to him.

Hanna and the rest of the Liars are all dragged outside, somehow, and Hanna sees Ali in a red coat, but in the next minute, she’s gone. Mona says that it was Allison who pulled them all out. And Spencer comes up to confirm it – Ali is Red Coat! 

The Liars plus Mona do a little bit of monologuing – Mona says she only met Red Coat in Radley. She doesn’t know who drugged Emily the night that Ali’s body was stolen, but she and Red Coat were both there. Apparently, Red Coat always wore an Ali mask. I’m . . . I’m so confused by this. Did she wear a mask like in Mission: Impossible? Or a mask like the corpse from last week? Mona NEVER thought to ask her to take off her mask?

The girls arrive back in town (I like how they didn’t bother to find Toby) to see Jerk Detective’s police cruiser, dredged up. The lights still work, because I guess nothing can tamper with the electronics in those cop cars. And the video on the laptop still works too! But as they’re watching the video, they see Jenna and Shana helping Wilden out! So those are the tapes Jenna said they had! Spencer calls their attention to the trunk when everyone’s phones go crazy with a message from Ali. And as Spencer opens the trunk, they all gasp. AND, fade to black, bitches.

Credits! A hand arises from a plot of dirt! And is helped up by someone else! OOOOOH. Nice recall from last year’s closing credits!

Okay, y’all. LET’S DISH about what we know, what we suspect, and what we’re confused by!

Fact One: At least Melissa, Jenna and Shana have been working together with Detective Wilden. Are they also working with Red Coat? They have black gloves and hoodies too, so are they part of the A team, and Mona didn’t know about them, or do they have their own, non-Red Coat agenda. Is CeCe involved with them?

Fact Two: We know that at least Mona and Toby have been working together since BEFORE Mona went to Radley (because Toby was the person to pay off/threaten Annabeth Gish in last season’s finale). Who else is working with them? Lucas and . . .?

Supposition A: Both groups mentioned above are a part of the “A” team, but they don’t know about the other group. Red Coat is the boss of them all but is playing one against the other.

Supposition B: Melissa/Jenna/Shana/Wilden/? are NOT a part of the A Team, but are stalking/screwing with the Liars for reasons yet to be determined, but likely stemming from the original issues: Jenna’s blindness, the N.A.T. club tapes, and a general hatred of Ali.

Supposition C: Some mixture of above.

Also Theory: Red Coat is Ali’s crazy twin sister, yes? And the flashbacks of kind, nice (well, ish) Ali are Ali, and the flashbacks of crazy Ali are actually her twin, yes?

So the questions I have are . . .

  • How did Mona recruit Toby and Lucas to be on her A team and did she do it without any guidance from anyone? Assuming the writers are paying attention to what they themselves wrote, Mona claimed there was more than just her last year and that she wanted to get back at Hanna and co for being such shits to her when she was nerdy. When was Toby recruited?

  • Was Mona also the person stalking Ali when she was alive? Or was that Red Coat (if my theory holds that Red Coat is Ali’s crazy twin sister)? Or was it Melissa/Jenna/Shana/etc? AND WHERE THE HELL DOES SHANA FIT IN TO ALL OF THIS?

  • Also, did Shana date Paige this summer to get closer to Emily? Or is Paige part of the A team too? I hate to say this, but I think I’m going to have to rewatch this whole damn show to draw out the times that I know for sure an “A” message was from the Jenna/Shana/Melissa team (like when it was sent from the store in which Shana works).

Come on, y’all, I need to hear ALL your theories and suggestions!


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