Title: Pretty Little Liars S4.E03 “Cat’s Cradle”
Released: 2013

Last episode’s recap was way too long, so new format! Let us know what you think.

Real Police Stations Use Whiteboards

ABC Family execs have been watching HBO shows like The Wire and The Sopranos and have decided to up the realism factor. Now that they have a big board where they track everything, I’m totally sure they’re going to figure out who killed Ali, Ian, Maya, Garret, and Wilden!

Isn’t it kind of awkward that Pam Fields continues to work at Rosewood PD while a picture of her daughter hangs on the murder board?

Go check out some of the screencaps to learn about medical records, power plays, restraining orders, and some people maybe not being doctors after all. You don’t say.

Rosewood: Antiquing for Sociopaths

In a jumble of Ali’s crap, the liArs find a mask of Ali’s face from a shop just across Torch Lake (you’d think by now they’d be afraid of this lake…).

I unironically love Hanna’s Meow shirt even if it is kind of reminiscent of the Facebook’s new chat icons.

Why are there so many creepy shops around Rosewood? A mask shop, a doll shop? Who buys this crap? And why are the people who work there always there on hand at weird hours of the night?

Anyway, folk heroine Alison DiLaurentis apparently modelled for Joan of Ark. Also: Saint Ali wanted Ali wanted masks for all her friends so that they could look like her. Awkward.

While Emily poses for Medusa (actually, I can see it), Hanna snoops in the back. And jackpot: a mask of Melissa! The question is: Who followed who to this horrid little workshop? Or Were they there together? What do you guys think??

Speaking of Sociopaths!

Melissa’s not only back in mask-form, but in the flesh and rocking peplum. Her interview in Washington will result in a possible internship in either San Francisco or London. That is a random collection of cities. What exactly does Melissa do again? Besides possibly evil mastermind the torture of her sister?

Melissa calls it “the chance of a lifetime,” but I agree with Spencer: it’s “the perfect getaway.” Melissa suggests that maybe it’s time for all the Hastings girls to get out of Rosewood. It is totally unclear whether Melissa is warning Spencer or threatening her.

And after a brief visit to the police station, Melissa gets philosophical : what does it all mean, all the people who are gone?

Melissa creeps me out, but that blazer fills me with want!

Melissa suggests that she and Spencer are too much alike and in the scariest scene ever (god, she’s good!), asks Spencer what Spencer would do if she had to choose between Melissa and someone she loved? I am terrified. No wonder Spencer is nuts.

You What’s Really Nuts? Going Back to Radley

Spencer can’t find Tippy’s phone number in any reverse directory and to ease her frustration, she decides to help Toby “examine the facts” regarding his mother’s last day. So to Radley we go!

This combo of mullet skirt and white lace-up boots totally screams bordello…or possibly just return trip to the insane asylum.

Does Radley not have employees who work the night shift? Is “Dr.” Wren no longer working there now that Spence isn’t a patient?

In a moving scene (has the actor been taking lessons? thank God), Toby decides that his mother did in fact commit suicide by jumping out the window. He says, “Oh my God, Spence, I gave the RV to A for nothing.”

But Nancy Drew goes all Myth Busters and proclaims that there’s no way you could jump from that particular window, clear the roof that juts out from the building, and land on the ground and die. Spencer is sure Toby’s mother was pushed! Dun dun dun!

In Other Pushing News

Emily continues to lie about her injuries but lets slip to the doctor that she’s taken some painkillers that he’s never prescribed. And when Emily’s mom finds out, boy is she pissed.

Lying now her default, Emily tells Pam she didn’t take any pills out of the medicine cabinet, but Pam’s counted them. Wow, the Fields are so much more anal than my family. We have half-finished bottles of pills that expired twenty years ago in our cabinet.

When Emily refuses to go home with Pam, Pam gets a little grabby. Emily is surprisingly forceful with her mom here, yelling “Let go of me,” and jerking her arm back. I totally didn’t expect that from the ever-dutiful daughter!! Pam looks appropriately embarrassed at having semi-accosted her daughter in public.

TBH I did not think it was bad at all…but then again, I had ADHD (my mother describes it now as “spirited”) so I received my fair share of smacks. Don’t worry, this is not true confession time here, though I was obsessed with “Don’t Hurt Laurie.” I don’t know, what do you guys think? Was Pam too handsy?

Family services certainly thinks so…and apparently Emily’s wound up in the hospital a few too many times. Oh no, Pam!

And In Hands-Off Parenting We Have…

Hey, look who it is! Ella is still dating that guy who owns the coffee shop in a Rosewood. Apparently he is also a gourmet pastry chef and is so good that he’s been invited to a special culinary institute in a castle on a lake in Austria! Wow, that is totally believable.

He wants Ella to come with. Now that her son is no longer anywhere to be found and she’s been replaced at her job by Ezra Fitz, the only thing standing in her way of becoming Carrie Bradshaw in Paris is Aria.

But Aria, terrified that Ella is next on A’s momma hit list, tells her mom to go chill in Europe for six months. So I guess this is the only episode we’ll be seeing Ella in. Sigh, and I had such hopes for the moms busting this whole thing open. By the way, does this mean that Emily runs the coffee shop now?

Literally the only other Aria plot point is that she’s horrified that new love interest Jake is not a hipster. He doesn’t pickle his own vegetables, write his novellas on an old-timey typewriter (or shoot arty photos to accompany said novella on a hand-crank camera), operate a microbrewery out of his dojo, and worst of all, does not appreciate film noir. HOW WILL THIS WORK??

But then he tells her he was just ironically not liking film noir and everything is ok again. He also reminds Aria that it’d be boring if they liked all the same things. I’m concerned guys: is Aria going to grow as a person? Or is Jake going to turn out to be on the B team? Who can tell.

Better Boyfriend/Worse Mother Situation

Yay, Caleb is back! He’s made up with his father, so it seems that A hasn’t been able to destroy that relationship…yet. Caleb’s ready to rejoin the Anti-A team and help Hanna with her momma drama.

Hanna continues to interrogate Ashley about her trip to NY. Ashley claims to have gone to see Anything Goes on Broadway on Friday. But when Hanna pops by the office after “forgetting to return the car keys,” she sees get well soon flowers and a card in the trash. So much for that alibi: Ashley was too sick to attend Anything Goes. Ashley catches Hanna snooping as Hanna runs out, sure her mother is a murderer.

This dress would be SO CUTE if had just a wee bit more fabric.

Hanna worries to Caleb that this means her mom is guilty and sort of insensitively says, “I’m going to end up without a mom or dad.” Ouch. Caleb takes it in stride (I really love him. He makes me squee a little) and decides to go see Hanna’s dad.

I have very important news: did you know that Hanna’s dad is played by a man named Roark Critchlow. I cannot believe that is a real name. To be honest, it sounds like he should be a higher up in the GOP with a name like that. Maybe he can succeed Reince Priebus. For fun, please go check out the trivia page of his IMDB entry to marvel at his children’s names!

That night Ashley confronts Hanna and tells Hanna not to ask her any more questions about her time in “New York,” but also tells Hanna not to lie for her. Watching Ashley try to be a good mother is heartbreaking.

Tom Marin meanwhile confesses to Caleb that Ashley came to his house the Friday of Wilden’s death looking for a large amount of money. Tom told her no and left the room…when he came back, Ashley and his handgun was gone. OH NO!

Leave your own rants/raves/WTFs in the comments, then join us next time when A examines Emily’s x-rays and all the mothers go to jail! Yay, family show!

About the Contributor:

Kate worships Kevin Sullivan’s adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (and has probably seen it no fewer than 100 times) but is still bitter about Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and refuses to buy that one on DVD in protest of its totally inaccurate storyline. Other obsessions include bunnies (including her own, which she adopted from the bunny shelter, which is a REAL THING in Amsterdam, where she lives) and Pretty Little Liars. In her spare time she plays the clarinet and teaches math.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.