Spencer speaks on the phone while wearing a campaign pin


Title: Pretty Little Liars S6.E20 “Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars”


Even though we all expected that Elliot, Please had not-so-innocent (read: murderous) intentions, watching him peel that Wilden mask off his face was a (the episode’s only) great moment.



That all along Elliot, Please had nefarious intentions that hinged on gaslighting a woman over whom he held no small degree of authority, and rendering her effectively voiceless. At this point, it is even a no-duh that this kind of move no longer feels like a transcendent commentary on the toxicity of patriarchy IRL, but instead is just a cheap, exhausted pop culture thrill device.

Oh, and also that Mrs. D had a twin. Called that one seasons ago.


“We made honeymoon reservations TWO FULL YEARS AGO to stay in what was described on the Lost Woods’ website as a private, pine-scented idyll. When we arrived? Well, first of all, it was pitch black and four hours later than expected, as every sign meant to point to the resort had rotted and fallen over. And THEN, when we did finally pull up? We were assaulted with strobe lights and alarms. And then my husband nearly fell into a hole in the floor when we finally got into our room! A HOLE. IN THE FLOOR. And since then, we haven’t received even ONE of the complimentary breakfasts in bed promised by the website. Admittedly, the fresh breeze coming through the boarded up windows is lovely, but still, when our week’s stay is over, we will NEVER be coming back. ⅕ stars. – Anonymous”


Probably there was something. We refuse to watch a second time to catch it.

Update: Thanks to our commenters for pointing out CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, which Ali was watching while convalescing, and Caleb’s name-dropping MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN as cross-promotion, which tbh was so obvious and so VERY FYA-relevant we are a bit embarassed we forgot about it. A bit. Just a bit.


If “Freeform” means “freedom to re-establish the male gaze as an integral lens missing from what has until now been a gender-politically renegade tent-pole show for the network,” then, this. Otherwise, the fever-dream text manip on the official PLL ‘ship post.


Ezra’s girlfriend Nicole was “kidnapped” by “radicals” in “South America,” so Aria fake wrote a book by Ezra, who found out and pitched her as a co-writer to his boss. Lucas offered Hanna a million bucks to start a fashion line in Rosewood. Shower Harvey checked back into the Radley. Ali married Elliot, Please then fell down a staircase on their honeymoon. Aria said, “It’s happening again” very ominously. Hanna and Caleb hatched a mysterious plan that involved Hanna confessing to Charlotte’s murder but no one knows the details and everyone just went with it. And no one called the cops. Ever. About anything.


Halt and Catch Summit

We open right where we left off last week: Hanna has just sent her I killed Charlotte text to emoji-A and the gang is waiting impatiently for the response, which is, naturally, If you’re lying, I ::gun emoji:: all of you.

Intense! Still, Hanna is sticking by her plan. She doesn’t want the next Liar to end up in a coffin thanks to this wackadoodle. Plus, she trusts Caleb. We all do. ALL of us, especially Spencer. His girlfriend. So Hanna texts back, and honest to Mona we have to read the whole stupid exchange in real time, like we’re at some kind of tech slam poetry night.

Hanne: “It’s the truth. I’ll call the cops.”

Emoji-A: “No ::pig in a cop hat emoji:: This is between you and me.”

Hanna: “I need one more day.”

Emoji-A: “It’ll be your last.”

Everyone in the audience: (Z)__(Z)

Again With This Bull

Over at the DiLaurentis-Rollins’, Ali is finally home from the hospital, recovering on the couch. Elliot, Please looks at his young, pliable wife and strokes her tenderest emotional spot by telling her she’s “strong, like Charlotte.” UM ALI IS STRONG LIKE ALISON MOTHERFLIPPING DILAURENTIS, DBAG, but nüAli is all about that kind of comparison, so rather than throw hot tea in his face at the impertinence of implying she couldn’t possibly be strong for herself, she just replies that she misses Charlotte.

Elliot, Please opines about how he feels responsible for Charlotte’s death, but Ali assures him he isn’t to blame—rather, he’s the reason she and Jason ever had any time with Charlotte at all. Speaking of, Jason’s been hard at work at the Carissimi Group paying tribute to Charlotte by raising money to help people. And definitely not speaking of the Carissimi Group, Elliot, Please has got a conference to go to! Out Of Town! So Ali basically pushes him out the door, assuring him repeatedly that yes, she’ll be fine.

Over at the House of Hastings Barn, Toby is meeting with Spencer to go over the Radley plans she got from City Hall, because apparently that brawl he had with Caleb/her about the leak about Yvonne’s abortion, and the Antarctic cold shoulder he’s given Spencer since the moment she arrived in town and didn’t immediately leave again just…didn’t happen? But neither we nor Spencer are given much time to ponder that inconsistency, because then he is putting on Clark Kent glasses (the better to see Spencer’s cleavage with) and his whole Thing becomes just too distracting.

How distracting? Well, Spencer feels compelled to start speaking some French at him, and he speaks it back and smiles shyly about how he had a great teacher, and they’re sort of flirting, but glasses or not, we’re already over it. We like Toby! But their high school relationship does not matter.

So back to the important stuff: Sara Harvey asked for her old room back at Radley, so she must be looking for something, Spencer deduces, and whatever that is, maybe they can use it to prove she’s emoji-A.

Comparing the old Radley plans to the current The Radley plans, Toby notices that Sara’s working off a grid, but she missed something in the East Wing: a room in the old Radley basement that no longer has an access door in the current blueprints. Someone turned it into a secret room! And so, despite the fact that they have intentionally not involved Cop Toby OR Ex-boyfriend Toby in one iota of their new emoji-A tyranny since any of them got into town, it will be Toby’s job the next day, during the election night party his almost-fiancée’s candidate mother is hosting, to make sure Sara is locked out of her hotel room so that the Liars can go down and find whatever it is she’s looking for. Toby will even seal Sara’s secret exit door first so she can’t get back in! Oh, also he is going to accompany Spencer on her scavenger hunt, because again, despite the fact that he has been involved in nothing all season and has repeatedly requested that Spencer leave town, he refuses to let Spencer do “this” alone.

While everyone else is hard at work on their respective Ctrl+A jobs, Aria is typing/snacking. OUR LIVES. She notices that Ezra is pouting in a corner. He finished the last chapter of his book and he’s crying because he’ll never see Nicole again (pro-tv-tip: now he definitely will see her again, and just when it is most inconvenient). He’s never admitted it out loud, but yeah, she’s definitely gone forever. We’re probably supposed to pity him here, but no. Anyway, Aria assures him he’s written Nicole a beautiful love story and—STOP TOUCHING HIS FACE ARIA.

Ali’s napping on the couch when she hears a music box playing from her childhood bedroom (sidebar: does them getting married mean she and Elliott, Please are now sleeping in the DiLaurentis’ master bedroom??? ::gun emoji:: for real if so). She follows the sound upstairs, picks it up, and sees Zombie!Jessica staring dead-eyed at her from the other side of the room. She screams and drops the box, shattering its mirror like another tortured Ezrian metaphor.

When she gets downstairs her ROTARY PHONE LANDLINE rings. “Hello?” She’s met with static, then a woman’s croaky voice says, “Did you miss me?”

Ali calls Emily who immediately (well, after delivering a bag full of techy equipment to Caleb, who is going to use it to build an electric fence to use in their plan to lure Sara Harvey in using Hanna as bait, then electrocute her enough that she FOR REAL can’t put on her own eyeliner anymore, JESUS, liars!) comes running, then installs herself in the least autnomous/compelling plot she’s had yet (and the bar is high): as Ali’s babysitter.

Over coffee, Ali tells Emily about her dream of Jessica at the hospital. And rather than saying, “Hanna once had one of those dreams, when SHE was in the hospital, only it was YOU visiting her!” Emily instead recalls dreaming about her dad after he died (legit sad) and concludes that dead parents being in your dreams is definitely A Thing. However, them appearing as zombies and then calling you on the phone to croak at you are not, so maybe this IS just all the drugs that Ali’s been on since her fall.  

Meanwhile, someone creeps on their entire heartfelt convo from the window. DUH.

Election Day Eve

Toby’s helping Yvonne decorate the Brew for the Phillips’ Election Watch party. He breaks the news that he can’t actually come to the party tomorrow though, because he has to do a favor for a friend. But Yvonne is smart and is immediately like, “So: Spencer?” In the grand tradition of all things PLL, Toby refuses to be straight with her about what he is doing. In the grand tradition of woke, self-respecting adults, she immediately gets up to leave, saying as she does, “I won’t let you turn me into the woman who says, pick me not her.

Well done, Yvonne! May you find your way to a show that treats matured characters and relationships better.

At Hastings Headquarters, Mona shows up to help with the campaign, which makes Spencer (rightfully?) suspicious, but Mona swears she isn’t the enemy and hasn’t been for like five years plus three seasons so just GET WITH THE PROGRAM ALREADY. Except, she says it in her meekest Mona tone, so it seems a little more honest. Or a little LESS honest? Impossible to say, so Spencer is left with no choice but to give her a list of people to cold call and bully into voting.

For their part of the Election Day Eve plan, Caleb and Hanna are way out at the Lost Woods Resort, that one sketchy cabin campsite place with the flickering neon sign, where Mona had her original lAir in which she nearly murdered Spencer that one time in junior year. Caleb is going to build an electric fence around one of the cabins. It’s a shock-and-awe campaign: when Sara/emoji-A trips the fence, bulbs will flash and an alarm will go off, which will definitely be sufficient deterrant for a girl who spent two years surviving Charlotte’s torture chamber of a dollhouse. In any case, he set up a second trap, a motion-sensor spycam (thanks, Ezra!) sending footage into the cloud, so they can at least catch their antagonist on camera even if the flash-bang gambit fails. Honestly, what could go wrong???

Aria has joined Emily for Ali-sitting. While Ali sleeps, Emily reads Aria’s book and assures her it’s incredible. Aria’s afraid that her half of the book is “too honest.” As in, at first she was drawing from her feelings for Liam, but that wasn’t the right fit so instead she started remembering what she used to love about Ezra and wrote with that in mind instead. She’s afraid it will hurt Liam to read the chapters, since he’ll recognize what emotions and thoughts are completely opposite of their own relationship. UH YEAH MAYBE.

Meanwhile, upstairs, where Alison DiLaurentis’ two babysitters have left her alone, a hand covers Ali’s in her sleep. A man’s hand. When Ali turns over, it’s…WILDEN WHAT EW HE TOUCHED HER.



Hearing Ali’s scream, Aria and Emily rush upstairs and find her in a corner freaking out. “He touched me, I felt it.”

Catie: who is that

Rosemary: wilden

Catie: thank you

Rosemary: RIGWBFB

     you’re a sad case

Catie: hahaha IT’S SO REAL

Election Day Day

Well thank God, after the Hanna hand-holding weirdness of last week, Spaleb is still alive and well. Alive and very well it would seem, as Caleb gets out of Spencer’s bed and OH DAMN PUTS ON PANTS AS SPENCER WATCHES IN SMITTEN OWNERSHIP OH HEYYYY CALEB. He gives her a kiss then heads shirtless into the kitchen to make (more) coffee.


When Caleb looks back, Spencer’s standing in nothing but a thong as she puts on the world’s tightest dress.


Caleb likes what he sees, like, a lot, but…only as long as she plans to wear panties while shimmying down a rope ladder after Toby. Spencer’s like “Oh hey you jealous or—” but then Peter interrupts. HATE YA PETER. Or love you? Caleb has precisely zero reason to be jealous of or worried about Toby, who is nearly engaged. But probably Caleb is still smarting from being punched in the face and anxious about how the whole reason he WAS punched in the face was because he, Caleb, made a rash and bad decision, for the love of a woman, and maybe this latest rash decision he made because of a woman will ALSO turn out badly, and so he is projecting?

That’s a lot of maybes, and Peter is still at the door. So Caleb throws on clothes and heads towards the back exit. Just before he reaches it, Spencer calls out to stop him and, after a beat, tells him she loves him (!!!). He…doesn’t say it back. But he does smile in a sweet, shy way that makes it look like that mattered to him to hear, so…who knows what we should think (really: who knows? not the show, they’re useless).

Across the (grave)yard, Ali is so freaked out about her zombie mom/Wilden visions that she calls her conference-bound husband for reassurance that she isn’t crazy, and Elliot, Please immediately assures her that she ISN’T crazy. Just…incredibly guilty? Okay, dude. Go ahead and die already.

She hangs up and immediately sees Zombie!Jessica on the other side of the kitchen door. ZJ points at something past Ali’s shoulder. Ali turns, and it’s Wilden, standing right in the middle of her house right in the middle of the day, blood soaking through the front of his shirt. “Please go away,” Ali begs them both, “you aren’t real.” ZJ obliges, but Wilden…he just stands there.


Toby tries calling Yvonne but she shady-buttons him. He helps an old lady into a van and she sais “Why thank you, pretty eyes.” END SCENE. Like that was literally the entire scene? Yeah, that Pretty Eyes name was a big deal when we still didn’t know Toby was on Red Coat’s A-team with Mona, but…okay?


Aria goes to Ezra’s apartment, where, naturally, he’s wearing loungewear while talking on the phone with their publisher Jillian. She assumes Jillian hated the book and freaks out that she is a garbage human before Ezra assures her that not only did Jillian love it, she LOVED it. She’s talking TV rights, a prequel, they’re going to make it HUGE. In her excitement, Aria kisses Ezra. Then they have sex. Lots of it. With lots of humping. There’s like a full five minutes of naked humping torture.



While Aria and Ezra are having their first non-felony sexual experience, everyone else is trying to catch A-moji, which is the new canon moniker Caleb has geniusly given the world and we are kicking ourselves over not having come up with first. Caleb and Hanna go to the cabin where Hanna will wait as bait, and Caleb immediately sets to work sealing the place up so there’s absolutely no way in or out while Hanna sits on the bed and flashes back to the night they broke up… 

They were fighting about Hanna backing out of their plans to go Europe. She had to stay for work, and Caleb felt like he wasn’t even a part of her life anymore. He wanted her to say No to her boss, but she refused, so he gave her the ultimatum: go with him to Europe, or don’t be with him at all. Hanna didn’t take him seriously (he was a GHOST and still came back to her) so just told him they’d work it out like always, then she left.

Back in the cabin in the present day, Caleb assures her she’ll be safe.

Emily goes back to Ali’s but can’t find her. While she looks, Ali’s phone rings from the table. It’s Elliot, wondering where she is. Emily doesn’t know.

Everyone’s nervously watching the election results at Veronica’s party. Even Peter is being like a four on the dick scale as opposed to his usual nine. Emily calls Spencer and tells her no one (…just her? who else is searcing?) can find Alison. But Toby’s downstairs in The Radley’s basement and the plan is already in motion, so Spencer can’t leave to look. “She’s scared and thinks she’s seeing dead people. Where would you go to feel safe?” Spencer asks, because Emily’s plot arc rn means she can’t even think up basic Sleuthing 101 questions on her own.

If you’re Ali, apparently you go directly to the church where half of Rosewood INCLUDING YOUR OWN SISTER, RECENTLY has died, of course! Emily finds her oldest frenemy/first love crouched in the church, crying. Em tries to talk her out of there, but Ali is beside herself. “I can’t tell what’s real anymore,” she says. “I need help.” And by Mona, this had better be the best acting job of her whole dang life.

Meanwhile, Ezria is only just detangling themselves from post-coital snugs to get in on the catch-A-moji plans themselves. They throw some clothes on and go directly to the cabin where Hanna and Caleb are waiting, and are quickly dispatched to do some vague work outside the cabin. After they leave, Caleb assures Hanna there’s no way Shower Harvey can get in there. “Have I ever let you down before?” he asks. “No…but I let you down,” Hanna counters, “the night we broke up.” Caleb tells her she made a difficult choice, but she interrupts him to say there’s something he doesn’t know. Another flashback to NYC: 

Hanna sitting in a cab in traffic. It turns out that night, she called him from the cab to apologize and get him to wait for her, but got his voicemail, so she got out of the cab and ran home in the rain. When she got back to the apartment, his stuff was gone and he’d left his phone behind.

“If I’d just gotten back a few minutes earlier things might be so different now,” Hanna says, in present. “I never stopped loving you.” And instead of, like, taking this in and spending some time with it, Caleb reaches out to wipe the tear from Hanna’s cheek, then leans in to kiss her. 

DIDN’T YOU KNOW, GUYS? That no matter how much these girls have survived, how strong they’ve become, how their FRIENDSHIPS HAVE ENDURED, the only thing that matters in the end is kissing your high school boyfriend. 

Spencer and Toby sneak down to the Radley basement to find the secret door and realize someone has followed them. Toby pulls a gun…but it’s just Mona. Praise!

They rip the wall down and get in the secret room, but it’s empty save for a single package.  Radley paperwork for Mary Drake, a patient 25 years ago. She had a child while in Radley, a boy named Charles, who was adopted by Jessica and Ken Dad. So Charlotte wasn’t Jason’s older sister. Why would Charlotte go through all that trouble to hide the file? Maybe, Mona suggests, it was Charlotte’s birth mother who hid the file.

At the Lost Woods Resort, A-moji watches Hanna in the cabin while Ezra, Caleb and Aria lurk V OBVIOUSLY nearby in the woods. When they get a read on the perimeter, they hurry over loudly and with flashlights. The flashbulbs and alarm go off but no one is there. Caleb yells that they have to get back to Hanna, but the door’s locked, and when they go inside, she’s gone.

Catie: why did they all 3 need to run together in a chain

why didn’t they have video on hanna

like, what is ezra even good for if not spy cams

Alexis: ALL THE spy cams

Back in Rosewood, Ali has decided that even though she was literally ~*~just~*~ in the hospital for hitting her head and is currently on a ton of painkillers, seeing zombie!mom and Wilden must mean she’s batshit crazy. And the only solution is to check herself into the mental hospital where a nurse warns her that she may not be able to check herself out voluntarily. Emily’s like, “Babe, why don’t you wait like two hours for your doctor husband to get home before committing yourself?” But no, Ali’s SURE she has lost her damn mind. And maybe she has, because she checks herself in.

Alexis: It’s like they took every single thing they’ve done right and been commended for repeatedly these past many years, and just went, “k, cool, CHECK, done,” and set them all aside to make way for trash. What were these writers room convos like? “Alison DiLaurentis as a complex narcissistic genius with deep issues about loyalty and personal value who manipulates everyone to save them and herself? Turn her into a weak blond doll who can’t stay alone in a room without a man or else she literally goes crazy.”

Over at The Radley, Veronica won! Yay we guess! Before Spencer can join in the celebration, Aria calls to tell her Hanna was A-moji-napped. Spencer bolts for the door, and Toby follows. And then Mona follows. At the cabin, Caleb has found a hole in the floor. YUP, A-moji dug an underground tunnel through the foundation of the haunted cabin to get Hanna. Spencer and Toby burst in, but when Caleb sees Mona, he is pissed. “WHY DID YOU BRING HER HERE?” he yells at Spencer. Mona’s like, “I followed them/I used to live here” while Spencer’s face is like, “Um did you seriously just yell at me, bro?”

Anyways, no worries guys: Ezra (Oh He Of Chickpeas and Spy Cams) caught someone on camera. “Could that even be possible?” Aria asks, snugging up to his neck some more to get a better look. They see…WHO WAS IT? UGH THIS SHOW.

Cut to Wilden, in Ali’s house, who unties his tie then rips off his Wilden mask. It’s Elliot, Please! With a British accent!

Brunette!Jessica fka Mary Drake appears at his shoulder. Ali signed the papers, he tells her, so now that Ali is locked away in a mental institution and thus obviously in no fit state to make business decisions, he controls 51% of The Carissimi Group. “You’re the only man Charlotte ever loved,” Mary-Jessica says in return. She’s finally taking back what should have been hers, she continues—it’s what Charlotte would’ve wanted.

Back at the Lost Woods resort, the gang gets a group text: “Thanks for giving me Hanna. You’re free to go. –AD”

A-moji Tag

So that’s who was tormenting Ali, but who was torturing the Liars, trying to get them to turn over Charlotte’s killer? WE STILL DON’T KNOW, but we do see A-moji (probably? unless it is Mary-Jessica?) dragging an unconscious Hanna through the church belltower. Her mouth is bloody, and she is holding a bouquet of purple roses, just like Charlotte did when she was killed.


Is she dead??? As much as those roses are red, she is! So, no; Jordan, for one, still expects to marry her. Oh, and also maybe her friends will want her back, if the show remembers.


Mary Drake gets promoted to series regular; ships, mostly from high school, continue to be the most important things in these smart, accomplished, grown-ass women’s lives (well, except for Emily’s); and Alison DiLaurentis, the show’s OG self-sufficient, won’t-take-bullshit-from-anyone-least-of-all-a-grown-man badass Machiavallian genius, who faked her own death and secretly flew a plane all over Pennsylvania, she gets all but fridged.

THE ONLY THING that would pull this show out of its current fiery nosedive would be if the A.D. that took Hanna and kissed off the rest of the Liars turned out to be Ali, teaming up with Charlotte for a five-year con to play everyone, with this newest sanitarium self-admission just a Mona Vanderwaal scheme ratcheted to 11. But Catie will be too busy doing rotations to learn REAL medicine (side-eyeing you there, Wren and “Elliott”) to write about any of it, and Alexis and Rosemary, well, we only have so many window replacements in our budgets, you know?

So yeah, the show will go on. But for us…the outlook is poor. Maybe we will see you all again* in June, maybe not.

Either way: ban men.


A(lexis, Catie, and Rosemary)

About the Contributor:

Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibliophile. A Wyoming expat, she now lives in Maryland, where she runs the DC chapter of the FYA Book Club. She can be found talking about Teen TV on Twitter, and her longform criticism can be found on Authory.


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