Alexis and Rosemary here, barely keeping up with all the new LiarLogic flying our way!
#5YEARSFORWARD: BIGGEST SHOCK/BEST SURPRISE
Hanna didn’t order any breakfast???
Runner-up: that Ezra admitted to SOME personal wrongdoing.
#5YEARSFORWARD: BIGGEST NO-DUH
An anonymous malicious crazy person did something anonymous, evil and crazy, and Emily is the one feeling guilty about it.
Runner-up: that we’re supposed to forgive Ezra for admitting to some personal wrongdoing.
MOST UPVOTED NEW COMMENT ON TRIPADVISOR: ROSEWOOD
I have no idea who the nice young man was who heard us complaining about the 2-hour wait outside the Rosewood Grille and stepped in to recommend the Two Crows, but whoever he was, we wish him good karma as we pay it forward with this tip to everyone else planning a vacation to Rosewood! The Two Crows was *exactly* what we were looking for for our anniversary dinner, small and dim and so quiet, just perfectly romantic. And the roast fowl! I don’t know what the chef’s secret is, but that bird just sung in our mouths. 5 stars, highly recommend! – Julie and John, Bethlehem, PA, 2016
MOST LIT ALLUSION
“Sealed like something in a Poe story…,” from Spencer’s lips to our ears!
Obviously the story she’s referring to is the eminently creepy “The Cask of Amontillado,” which:
“I continued, as was my in to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my to smile now was at the thought of his immolation.”
“It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavoured to pry into the depth of the recess. Its termination the feeble light did not enable us to see.”
But “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” offers up some other good advice for our Liars #5YearsForward, which Aria herself seems to be taking to heart:
“In investigations such as we are now pursuing, it should not be so much asked ‘what has occurred,’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before.’”
In other words, new A, new gAme, new rules.
THAT’S SO #FREEFORM
Sexin’ and textin’!
PREVIOUSLY ON PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
Spencer stole Yvonne’s phone for Caleb to hack and Mona totally busted her for it. Emily donated her eggs for money, which ~*~DUH~*~ emoji-A stole in an act of immaculate interception. All signs hinted at the likelihood that Ali has a quasi-inappropriate sorta-relationship going on with Charlotte’s “doctor,” Elliot, Please Rollins. The Liars accused Ezra of killing Charlotte because he refused to tell a single one of them where he was the night she was killed and he had such an outsized (so, normal) old-money white boy tantrum over it he skipped town for two whole, glorious episodes. Team Sparia leapt balconies to break into Shower Harvey’s room at The Radley to steal the golf club that emoji-A/maybe-Sara was using to try and frame Aria’s dad for Charlotte’s murder, but no golf club was to be found. What they DID find: 1) blueprints suggesting that it ALSO used to be Charlotte’s room at Radley Sanitarium, and 2) a hidey-hole bashed into the back of the closet with a ladder leading down to Murder Narnia. Which, naturally, Aria immediately climbed down without warning one to Spencer.
Hanna Summits Jordan
Ah, remember the days when each episode would open with the Liars summitting and LiarLogicking their way through a second recap of the previous week’s shenanigans? Hanna does! And she wants NONE of it, which is why she spent the last half of last week’s episode fleeing her life as quickly as she could, and starts this week’s episode holed up with Jordan in Pennsylvania’s most romantic (and probably isolated) life-sized Hallmark card.
Jordan’s a good egg (foreshadowing pun!) and knows that between losing her designer’s assistant gig in NYC and losing her g-d calm in the aftermath of Charlotte’s murder, Hanna needs to do some major processing, but we’ve still got 57 minutes left in the episode, so Hanna shuts that business down by distracting him with the reminder that “Shhh….we’re #Freeform now. We can have as much sex as we want.”
Pretty Little Liars Lingerie collection, coming soon to an Aeropostale near you!
And they do, with a creepy bronzed Cupid watching from the ceiling, texting emoji-A from his invisible Cupid-phone.
The Liar, The Bitch, and Aria’s Wardrobe
Meanwhile, Spencer has reacted to Aria’s silent disappearance down into Murder Narnia NOT by calling Caleb, or Emily, or Radley’s historically most resourceful ex-resident, MonA, or even The Radley’s wine&secrets cellar expert, Ashley, but by just straight up following the little Liar into the black.
Good news and bad news await Spencer when she reaches Murder Narnia. The good? She finds Aria whole and (sorry/not sorry) hale at the bottom of the ladder. The bad? She is frozen in front of a dusty, rusty old electroshock doo-dad like the one ChArlotte tortured them with in the dollhouse. “Guess we know where she learned all her fun tricks,” Spencer deadpans, which seems cold but we suspect is the only way any of them can get through a day in Rosewood without screaming themselves hoarse.
Rosewood: Guiness World Record holder for “Most Torture Devices per Square Mile”
Across from the dusty torture table is a dusty door with a suspiciously un-dusty handle. Naturally, they open it, and naturally, it reveals a secret hallway that Spencer deduces was formed when Radley constructed a false basement wall to hide all their torturous equipment before handing the keys over to THE Radley. Man, if anyone needed convincing that Radley Sanitarium’s administration team was a bit short on smarts, here’s proof on a silver platter: they constructed an entirely new wall presumably spanning the whole footprint of the building, rather than deconstructing and removing in pieces the few pieces of medically unsound equipment they wanted to hide. “It’s like something out of a Poe story,” Spencer observes. Like a complex, high-stakes plan undertaken by a person driven mad by abstract forces? Yep! Exactly!
Anyway, Team Sparia and their Flashlight apps make their way to the end of the narrow hall, hoping to find more clues but ultimately hitting a dead end filled with naught but a single filing cabinet. Spencer—who you might recall broke into Radley and/or its basement *multiple times* in search of secret files—is remarkably unexcited by this find, and turns to make her way back. Aria’s sleuthing brain will not be dissuaded, though, and she quickly notes that the filing cabinet is ALSO completely free of dust…and when pushed aside, reveals a huge hole in the side of the building that leads to a stairwell that leads to a gigantic exterior door that has, evidently, gone unnoticed by all landscapers, renovation crews, maintenance people, guests, Radley Hotel staffers, and Detective Inspector Gadget Lorenzo and his fellow RPD officers over the last however many months.
So, TADA! This is apparently how Sara “No Hands” Harvey has been getting out of the hotel undetected. By bashing in walls and climbing ladders and moving filing cabinets and opening doors, among other hand-y activities. And if Sara’s using her hands for all that, who’s to say she hasn’t ALSO been using her hands for other things? Like, nimbly switching back and forth from the QWERTY to the emoji keyboard on her tiny smartphone, for one example? Or like injecting Emily with mystery medicine and holding her wrists against a hospital bed, for another? The possibilities are endless, now that Sara’s no longer handless!
In a very entertaining pivot on the Teen!Liar habit of withholding all new info until the last possible moment, Spencer races back to the Hastings Barn and reports her and Aria’s find with such enthusiasm that she is barely through the door before half of it is out of her mouth. Caleb SHOULD find this revelation compelling, but his hacking around in Yvonne’s cyberspace has uncovered some secrets more personally relevant to his newest lady love, so Spencer has to wait until the next morning when she and Aria can loop Emily into the scheming.
At Brewz-a-Palooza the next day, then, the three Liars left in Rosewood discuss their options. Or rather, Emily lays them out for the other two: 1) Tell Ashley, and 2) Tell Alison.
Aria lets out a resounding nope! to the first, arguing that if they tell “Mrs. Marin” (see, Em, you’re not the only one too shy to jump Hanna’s train to using parents’ first names!) she’ll just kick Sara out of the hotel, and THEN where would the Liars be??? (Safe in their beds back in their homes outside of Rosewood, because Ashley would also have to call the cops, and they would have reason to re-question Sara, and possibly arrest her, and probably put a stop to the new emoji-A game, is where.)
As for the second option, if they *do* tell the Alison (“She was at the clinic with me when I thought I saw Sara, and Charlotte was her sister—she deserves to know,” Em points out), Spencer notes that they will have to be prepared for Ali to turn right back around and tell the cops. Aria, in a stroke of commendable maturity, is like, maybe we should! Secrets are getting toxic, and we ARE adults! But Spencer has an ingrained aversion to the phrase “tell the cops,” so hearing Aria support it so wholeheartedly it sends her flying to her feet and bolting for the door. “Just…just keeping trying to get in touch with Hanna!” she says on her way out.
Aria, Thy Name is Doctorow
Aria and Emily are interrupted from continuing their discussion about the wisdom of involving the RPD at this, or any, stage of the new A-game, by the sudden appearance of Liam, who traveled all the way to Rosewood and thought he’d grab some coffee before so much as texting his girlfriend to let her know he was coming. But he figured this would be the best way to get the next pages of Ezra’s book which, if you remember dear readers, ARIA IS WRITING FOR EZRA BECAUSE HE SUCKS SO HARD.
The rest of Liam’s visit unfolds slowly in short scenes over the course of the rest of the episode, but let’s just get it done with now, because as much as we are growing to love Liam and his role in Aria’s life, this arc is inextricably tangled up with Ezra and just, UGH. So:
Later that afternoon, Aria brings Liam home to a mercifully Byron-free Montgomery living room, where she watches him nervously as he finishes the chapters “Ezra” “wrote.” And he loves them! Phew! Well…except for the occasional “conflicting voices,” and also the way Ezra’s pages give him the same feelings he feels when reading Aria’s writing. Because it is her writing. She wrote this.
We love that he recognizes her voice immediately (it says SO MUCH about him vs. Ezra), and he handles the situation calmly, asking all the right questions. “Is Ezra here? Is he drunk? Did he coerce you into this?” Aria being Aria, of course, refuses to badmouth Ezra one bit, because she is worried that Ezra will get in trouble, but Liam is only worried about Aria’s wellbeing in all of this. Liam, stay forever. Here, let us refill your Heifer.org mug.
Later, Aria is at the Brew still writing Ezra’s damn book (Liam’s advice having been, “finish this chapter, and when/if Ezra returns, we will figure out how to move forward then”) when he shows up on the literal night breeze, somehow looking even more pedo than before. She follows him up to his apartment (blech) apologizes (BLECH) for thinking he killed someone, and he gives her shit about it because he is a piece of shit. Turns out, he ran into Byron and Ella and they asked him not to tell Aria that they were getting back together. So he didn’t tell her. And he was so angry when she thought he killed someone, he left town. But he didn’t get far before he remembered ALL THE TIMES HE LIED TO HER.
Oh, also, while he was in Albany, he wrote the next three chapters of his book, and he wants her to read it before she sends it to publisher. UGHHHHH FIIIIIIINE EZRAAAAAA.
Okay, back to the rest of the episode.
Speak The Devil’s Name Three Times…
So thanks to Spencer, Aria, and Emily each having mentioned going to the police, World’s Best* Detective Tanner just *appears* in Ali’s living room in a flash of campy 90s goth lights. “I didn’t know the state police were involved now, too,” Ali hedges, with much greater implied faith in Detective Inspector Gadget Lorenzo than she really ought to have. “Well, your sister committed as many or more crimes outside of the bounds of Rosewood as she did within, so maybe just be glad it’s JUST the state police who have been called in to help, hm?” Tanner says, warming up her condescension for the long day yet ahead.
After establishing the reason for her presence, Tanner proceeds to tell Ali and Elliot, Please that the autopsy revealed that Charlotte was struck along the cervical (?) spine with a long, hollow piece of metal with a rectangular hole in the end that made a vivid cut in her neck. Also, the night she was murdered, someone from the Two Crows restaurant called Ali’s landline and spoke on the phone with someone for three minutes, and if Ali was already in bed and the good “Dr.” Rollins wasn’t there overnight, wink wink?, then, well, it MUST have been Charlotte who answered…
Ali and Elliot, Please exchange a heavily loaded glance, and Tanner, pleased to see that her insidious work there is done, saunters off to find new young women to coolly not threaten.
Later, following their own advice, Emily and Spencer show up at Ali’s house to tell her everything that’s been happening while she’s been sampling Amish cheeses with her inappropriate new beau. They don’t think this new emoji-A is the same person who killed Charlotte—they think it’s someone who wants revenge for her murder. Ali is with them, mostly, until the point that they reveal the murder weapon emoji-A has been taunting them with. “But the murder weapon was a long hollow metal stick, with a rectangular notch cut out of one end,” Ali interrupts, brow furrowed. “Detecetive Tanner, who has never once been wrong about any aspect of a case involving any of us, and who has certainly never been hoodwinked by our very own schemes, she TOLD me so! Anyway, have either of you heard of this restaurant, the Two Crows??”
“A restaurant in Rosewood that isn’t the Grille, Lucky Leon’s, or Brewbarella? IDK, sounds fake,” Em says. “But also OMG are we getting Punk’d™??” Maybe! But that would be the first time anyone in the whole of Rosewood but Mona had a sense of humor, so, maybe let’s not hold our breaths, Liars.
Later, Tanner creeps up on Emily at the Brew and thanks her for sticking around Rosewood in that aggravatingly passive-aggressive way she has (we told you she’d just been warming her engines up earlier with Ali and Elliot, Please).
The moment she has Emily on the defensive, she’s like “Oh and bee-tee-dubs, what happened to Charlotte was the first homicide we’ve had in Rosewood in five years. When your gang gets together THE MURDERS, THEY GET A’HAPPENING.” And then she threatens to keep them in Rosewood, like, legally, unless Emily and the rest agree to stay there of their own volition. Emily gulps and agrees.
Good Egg, Bad Egg, Missing Egg(s)
Outside the wackadoo murder world of Rosewood, Hanna wakes up the same way she fell asleep: to banging (bah dum CHING). Also to a million SOS texts, which, duh, so she throws on another piece from her crazy lingerie collection and opens the door, which is where the banging noise is coming from. Jordan appears with breakfast that Hanna didn’t order (scandal), and when she points this out, rather than saying, “huh, that sure sounds like any of the dozens of things that A plagued you with over the years, maybe I should check and see if it is a platter of grave dirt and worms!” he just shrugs like “I’m a rich white guy, this sort of thing just happens to me” and hands the tray in question over. Hanna knows better though, and a quick check uncovers the handwritten note that years of being stalked has taught her to expect: THE HONEYMOON IS OVER, accompanied by a sunnyside egg face with a fork stuck in one yolky eye and POOR JORDIE scrawled in ketchup along the top of the plate.
Hanna does not, it is important to note here, show Jordan any of this. Instead she explodes at the fact that he hasn’t read her mind and doesn’t just *know* that they need to get back to Rosewood ASAP, and then we guess sends him out for groceries while she gets the skinny from Em on each of the thousand and three things that went down in the 23 hours Hanna was gone.
The top of the list? The fact that Emily, after turning down Aria’s repeated offer of company (and confusing us as to when Em told the rest of the Liars about her egg-sitch in general, and why neither Aria nor Spencer paid an inch of attention to it until now), discovered that the Hollis Medical Center was hit by a freak accident overnight, in which a freezer unit—along with all of its backup systems AND the clinic’s alarms—failed, and the clinic lost everything: not just Emily’s eggs, but like 30 other people’s.
Cuddled together on the window seat at Lucas Loft, Emily and Hanna try to work out why this new A wants them to lead him to Charlotte’s killer. Maybe someone did it because they thought it’s what *they* wanted? Like, in tribute to the Liars? But what kind of nut would do that??
::pushing our glasses up our noses:: WHY, LET US MAKE YOU A LIST OF ALL THE NUTS YOU ARE AFFILIATED WITH.
After Emily leaves to meet Spencer for the Ali Summit, Jordan asks Hanna if Emily honestly believes what the clinic said about the unit malfunction, and Hanna immediately picks a fight with him. “Oh, you think she’s just some skittish, worried girl, because hormones???” ??? is right, Han. We don’t know WHAT you’re about. And neither does Jordan: “No, I think she’s someone who was tortured extensively when she was growing up, who probably has some reason to see the worst in—” “Oh so she’s PARANOID now, is that it?!?!?” …yes?
Honestly, we thought Jordan was on the side of cAution, but it isn’t like Hanna *showed* him the yolky threat on his life, so maybe not. Because what he eventually claps back with (and what should probably be the blurb on the back of the PLL DVD box set) is: “Bad things happen all the time! Conspiracies are harder to come by. But if you keep looking in the shadows, you’re bound to find something.” He wants Hanna to get out of Rosewood and come back to NYC—not because he is telling her (thank God), but because he firmly believes she needs to take care of herself, which we can’t really blame and probably love him for—but Hanna refuses to leave her friends, which, we can’t really blame and DEFINITELY love her for.
FMK: Spencer, Hanna, Mona Edition
On Rosewood Street, Spencer ducks into a store where Mona is trying on bedazzled earrings and ice-pick stilettos, and confronts her straight up: Did Mona tell Yvonne to leave her phone at lunch to prove to Yvonne that she shouldn’t trust Spencer? Mona’s like “Well…yeah, BUT! I am Your Holy Mona, and I knew that you’d find important intel on that phone, and this way it didn’t look like I was just handing you the intel, ya dig?” Mona thought that what the Philips campaign had planned to do was wrong, and she wanted to put a stop to it in the most Mona way possible: complicated subterfuge.
Caleb can’t believe that Spencer would take Mona on her word re: Yvonne’s phone, but before he can do deal with that on his own terms (jeeeeeeeez can one of this crew please just give Mona, legit ex-crazy and tortured for five times as long as the rest of girls, a dang BREAK??) he swings by the Radley bar to have a drink with Hanna. She looks at him like she wants to jump his bones, then retreats and tries to talk about beer instead. “We’re friends,” they establish, loudly and a lot, “friends.”
As Caleb rises to leave, she touches his arm—which the camera has to ZOOM in on To Make A Point—then remembers a not-so-stellar time toward the end of their relationship. In soft flashback, we and Hanna both find him sitting in a dark alley hanging with a stray cat outside one of her Fashion Events. He feels uncomfortable around her boss Sybil. “It’s Celeste,” Hanna corrects, gently. Caleb’s like, whatever, they’re all basically Sybils and he didn’t come here to be around them. “What do you want?” Hanna asks. “What do YOU want?” he echoes. “I want to go back to when we didn’t want to know what the other wanted, because we already knew,” Hanna says, less confusingly than that sounds. They’re weird and distant and it’s a truly painful scene to watch. Caleb leaves, and as he walks away, sadly calls back, “…just don’t turn into a Sybil.” Ouch baby. Ouch.
From the bar, Caleb somehow makes his way straight to an elevator Mona is getting in, stopping the door with his giant man arm like he’s some sort of local menace. “I have a message for you,” he growls, not reducing his image as a manly menace one bit, “If I find out you’re messing with Spencer in any way, I will personally take you apart.” HE IS SCARY! And again, JEEZ GUY, MAYBE GIVE MONA A BREAK. But it doesn’t really matter because Mona! Is! Scarier!
Stop Trying to Make Secrets Happen
Ali heads over to House of Hastings and opens up to Spencer about Elliot, Please. Her shit father bolted, Jason holed up in the vaults of gold at the Carissimi Group, and Ali was left to take care of Charlotte on her own, until Dr. Rollins stepped in. Surprise of surprises, they fell in love! It was mutual, but also inappropriate, Spencer points out. We love that they’re calling out inappropriate relationships NOW. But Ali—ALI—is “tired of secrets” (um, LOL) and she doesn’t want to keep Elliot, Please a secret anymore, so Spencer encourages her to talk to him about it.
Ali goes to Elliot, Please and tells him she told Spencer about him. He gets up and paces the room, all squirrely again, saying, “Things are moving quickly – maybe we keep it the way it is for now.” To which, Ali purses her lips. “I mean….we could,” she responds with what appears to be a truckload of patience, “but then we will just have to have this conversation again in a month.”
Elliot, Please: “What do you want, Allison?”
Rosemary’s Husband: “Are they trying to decide where to go to eat?”
Ali: “I want something very complicated.”
Rosemary’s Husband: “Oooh, like Indian!”
Indian food must be his favorite, because Elliot, Please grabs her and kisses her.
Murder Narnia, Take Two
Now that Hanna is back on board the emoji-A murder train, she jumps at the chance to do some sleuthing with Aria (#Haria! our new favorite snoopers), and the two of them head back to Murder Narnia, where they are shocked but also maybe a little too excited to hear some thumping around deeper in the tunnels. Thinking it’s Sara, they legit wrestle Emily to nearly the ground before realizing it’s her.
Back upstairs in the Radley’s swank bar, Emily explains that she wanted to see Murder Narnia for herself—and she wanted to do it alone, in case she found someone down there, like Sara, whom possibly she might need to kill in total secrecy.
“Sorry about grabbing your boob, Em,” Hanna says. Emily feels terrible about her eggs being stolen, but Aria’s like babe, you have the money* now! Enjoy life! Treat yo’self! It’s not your fault! “Yeah,” Hanna says, “We will all have babies! It’s ok! They’ll be super hot and probably wear stupid earrings and they’ll be bluesnarfing before they can walk! CHILLAX.”
So what was the big secret Caleb uncovered via Yvonne’s phone, way back at the beginning of the episode? That the Phillips campaign somehow got their hands on Veronica’s private medical records, revealing that she is possibly Very Sick with Vague Illness that might obstruct her ability to participate fully in any future senatorial role, and they probably plan to release this to the public.
Spencer knew years ago that her mom had been sick, but had not been aware that the illness had reemerged. So sometime after the Brewbies summit with Aria and Emily, but *before* both the Suburban Chic summit with Emily and Ali and the Evil Genius summit with Mona in the hippie consignment shop, she headed over to Hastings HQ to confront her mother about this mystery illness. She was barely through the door, though, before she was stopped by Gil Suit Campaign Manager, who politically lectured her about how Melissa can’t have her flight reimbursed unless she provides him with a flight number or luggage tag. Presumably Melissa has been too absorbed in staring angstily at blank walls in dark rooms to answer his calls, so now Spencer has to play her sister’s keeper? Ugh. Go away, Gil Suit! Spencer and Veronica have years of healthy mother-daughter bonding to catch up on!
Unfortunately, Veronica is so aglow with the joy of running a cutthroat state senate campaign, er, we mean, the prospect of finally serving the good of the public rather than serving stinging defeat in a courtroom that Spencer doesn’t have it in her then, or later at home, to bring up the medical records at all. And for her trouble? Veronica plays Gil Suit’s messenger and lectures Spencer *again* about being responsible for getting Melissa’s missing luggage tag turned in for reimbursement. Being a Hastings is FUN. At least they tell each other they love each other, continuing to shock us at the warmth that’s developed between these two here, #5YearsForward.
“I know you know.”
When Caleb returns to the barn after his long afternoon comforting and menacing his former smooching buddies in turn, he finds Spencer sitting sexily by a roaring fire drinking wine. There’s some face stroking, then more sexy hand-holding, then Spencer lamenting how sad it is that his girlfriend is drinking alone (it comes off very sweetly, despite how that summary makes it sound). They go to the kitchen for wine, where Spencer nearly trips over Melissa’s suitcase and remembers her promise to bot Gil Suit and Veronica to collect the luggage tag. When she grabs the telescoping handle, though, it flies up into her face, completely broken. And not JUST broken—missing one of the telescoping rods. A rod which ismetal…and hollow…and has a rectangular shape on the end…
A totally normal old-timey recording of “Whistle While You Work” plays while emoji-A (OR IS IT) spit-polishes up the old electroshock doo-dad down in Murder Narnia.
Did we say totally normal? Whoops, we meant TOO CREEPY TO EXIST. WALL IT UP WITH ALL THE AMONTILLADO AND ABANDON IT TO TIME.
Ali probably knows more than she’s letting on ~*~bEcUz ShE’s aLi duH~*~ and she’s playing on Emily’s fear of being run over by a car/drowned/strangled/etc. FUN. Until then!
A(lexis and Rosemary)