Title: Pretty Little Liars S3.E12 “The Lady Killer”
Released: 2012

Happy Wednesday, ladies and Brian. My apologies for not having this recap up sooner today, but what began as a simple doctor’s appointment turned into an ORDEAL and now I’m wearing wires taped to my chest. Which has nothing to do with why I went to the doctor, which was because I was feeling puny. And it turns out I have a sinus infection and vertigo! So I have a reason to feel puny and tired and dizzy! VICTORY IS MINE! Seriously, do you ever get sick and it makes you super tired and sappy and sad and miserable but everyone around you is all BAH SNAP OUT OF IT and you’re like BUT I DON’T FEEL WELL and then you go to the doctor and they’re all YOU HAVE A DISEASE and you feel awesome because you have an excuse for feeling like crap? I love that. I think that might also be a precursor to Munchausen’s syndrome, so I should probably start shutting up.

Anyway, that’s all to say that I was feeling pretty puny last night as I watched Pretty Little Liars‘ Summer Season Finale (oh, ABC Family. The things you get away with), which MIGHT be the reason that I was kind of disappointed in the episode. It’s not that I didn’t like it, exactly; I guess I just . . . saw it coming? And it also played fast and loose with the plot? Whatever the reason, I’m decidedly whelmed, which is good, since Original Bianca Stratford, aka Alex Mack, showed up again tonight with her awful mom haircut. What is that haircut, Alex Mack? That is not the haircut of a girl who can turn into goo/kisses a younger JGL. No, indeed.

Right, right. Show. Okay! Showtime.

We begin where we left off last season, lots of crying and clutching and wailing sirens and red and blue lights, only this time it’s Hanna sobbing uncontrollably as a dead body is loaded into the ambulance. A cop asks Emily to explain how her friend died . . .

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

At Hanna’s, all the girls minus Emily are practicing their Paige Is A discussion to give to Emily. Spencer has horses on her body. I mean, not . . they aren’t ON her body, but they are on the clothes she is wearing and those clothes are like a big oxford shirt with horses on it that has been turned into a belt. I love Spencer’s wardrobe but I really hate it when they adorn her with animals. She isn’t five. Emily shows up and all the girls do the thing where they talk about Paige and it’s like Intervention but no one has letters. Em’s all, “I’m not an addict!” Er, “Paige isn’t A!” The girls show Emily the earring that they found in Paige’s bag, but Em thinks it’s all A. Who isn’t Paige. It’s a little confusing when I write it out, I guess.

Aria is wearing this weird metallic skirt that looks like a superhero’s castoff. I can’t deal with her right now. Aria is all sad and mopey about Alex Mack’s baby. Hanna’s all, “you need to tell Ezra!” Um, no. It’s not your business; it’s not Ezra’s. Leave Alex Mack alone.

In the hallways at school, Spencer and Paige confront each other! Paige won’t let Spencer come between her and Emily! Spencer’s horse dress has a giant bow. That is what I have taken from the scene. When in doubt, add a giant bow to your horse shirtdress.

At Em’s, she and Paige are canoodling. Paige is all, “you can trust me with your life.” But appaz not your genitalia! Because she will roam all over that shizz while you are passed out drunk! Em tells Paige that everyone thinks there’s another A. And then, weirdly Paige gets a text from A – telling her to meet A at the cemetery. Paige lies and says it’s family stuff.

Girls sans Em are worried. Hanna isn’t sure they should tell anyone. Well, slap my knee and call me Shirley! Someone has just expressed the opinion that they should keep all this illegal, life-threatening and potentially murderous A business to themselves! Then they all get a text. “Stand down bitches. Play it my way and Emily stays safe. -A”

Meanwhile! Mona is escaping the Sanitarium by dressing up like a nurse from 1953. I love Mona. I love this storyline. I don’t even care where it’s going. Yay Mona.

The girls minus Emily are thiiiiiis close to telling their parents that they’re being stalked by a killer. Except of course how they will never, ever, ever do that. Spencer gets an email – “Let’s settle this. 10PM, Ali’s grave, bring Maya’s bag.” A attaches a photo of the girls (sans Emily) burying the evidence of Ali’s grave robbery. Then they get another photo . . . of a body bag! Everyone seems shocked, except for Hanna. Hanna’s reactions are way off in this episode. Is she A? Or does she also have a sinus infection and vertigo? The girls hear a noise in Hanna’s house . . . but it’s just Caleb! 

Emily decides to go out of town with Hot Nate, because Emily is all of a sudden completely fucking stupid this year. And also straight. Straight and completely fucking stupid. I’m not saying the two are mutually inclusive, but you do the math. Hot Pam tries to convince her to stay at home, but no dice! Emily wants to “celebrate” Maya. With her stalker. Have you noticed that the prettiest people on this show circulate around Emily? I mean, Em herself is gorgeous, obvs, but Hot Pam, Major Hot Dad, Hot Nate . . . lots of people with Hot in their names, is all I’m saying.

On the Only Street in Rosewood, Spencer meets up with Toby(!!) who is back from whatever place the writers have stashed him and there’s leaning hugs and swirly cameras and apologies. They Leany Kiss and I legit thought it was imaginary and in my head like a fever-induced dream or in Spencer’s head because she’s already wearing a shirt with horsies on it so like maybe this is just an extended dream of hers, but apparently not. Apparently Spencer and Toby are that magical! Hooray! Toby looks really good, by the way. Better than usual. Toby! That’s another person who hangs out with Emily!

He’s definitely hotter than Fitz, who is slumming out in his sweats and ignoring his underage girlfriend while she desperately tries to pretend that Everything Is Totally Cool. But then! Alex Mack shows up! Ooooh!

I hate that commercial where it’s like first grade or whatever and then the kids start making music and then the teacher dances? That’s a lie! That would never happen! And also the music they make is kind of shitty and that teacher is a bad dancer.

Alex Mack is all, “I’m fancy looking and I am holding a job and my haircut and Fitz’s haircut are basically the exact same!” When Fitz isn’t around, Alex Mack is all, “I don’t know if I can tell Fitz about his kid!” She asks Aria for time and asks her not to say anything to Fitz and Aria is all high and mighty about how Fitz should KNOW THE TRUTH. Boy, I super hate Aria. More than usual, I mean. Also, and again, why is Alex Mack having to ask A SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD not to rat on her? Alex Mack, can’t you turn Aria into goo?

Remember when Alex Mack wasn’t overwhelmed, and she wasn’t underwhelmed, she was just whelmed? That’s exactly how I’m feeling about this show right now. Just whelmed.

Meanwhile! Caleb’s packing a piece for the meet up with A at the cemetery. Hanna is very upset even though a gun is literally the BEST idea these people have ever had. 

In some derelict bathroom somewhere, Mona’s dressed in her black hoodie and receiving instructions from someone . . .

Oh! More Leany Kisses! Toby, I’m so glad you’re back! Oh! And then he and Spencer DO IT. It involves a shirtless Toby and Spencer isn’t wearing any animals on her clothing so it is literally the best case scenario we could hope for.

Meanwhile! Hot Nate is covering up a sleeping Emily. ..

And Hanna is grabbing Maya’s bag . . .

And more Leany Sexing. LEANY SEX.

Caleb packs the gun . ..

Alex Mack hangs out with a scowling Aria and Fitz . . .

Spencer and Toby are all, “WE JUST HAD SEX! So we’ll just walk around in Casa Hastings half dressed!” I’m sure your parents will be excited, Spence. They exchange I Love Yous, which means either Toby is A or someone is going to die. Damnit!

Ack! Doll Faces! Mona, in a black hoodie, observes A’s lair. Lots of heavy metal, Alison photos, and clowns. A is so weird. Why can’t s/he be obsessed with Ryan Reynolds’ abs like the rest of us?

Cemetery!! Caleb, Spencer, Hanna and Emily prepare to meet A. And then a phone calls at the cabin that Emily is staying in. A disguised voice tells her that she has one minute to get out. Apparently, Emily hasn’t learned yet to get the fuck out of buildings before they blow up, cause she stays around to search the cabin. And finds a letter . . . from herself! In Nate’s bag! Emily scans through her photos . . . and sees Nate’s shoe in one of her photos of Maya! WHAT COULD IT ALL MEAN EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT WE HAVE BEEN TELLING YOU THAT HOT NATE IS THE STALKER FOR LIKE EIGHTEEN YEARS ALREADY EMILY.

As Emily’s running around like a crazy person, she runs into Hot Nate! Who is all creepy and gross! Blah blah blah, I loved Maya so much, that’s why I had to kill her, blah blah blah. Look, we all loved Maya, okay? It was her only shirt! That’s no reason to kill her. Oh, ALSO? Hot Nate has Paige trapped in the closet. Bridget is allergic to cherries!

Man, maybe it’s just me and my stuffy head but this show is taking some pretty bizarre turns.

Caleb’s on the case, and he tells Hanna he loves her . . .

Meanwhile, Hot Nate’s all crazy about the lesbians, like a sad reddit reader or something. 

The girls arrive at Hot Nate’s cabin (how did they know where he was?) and go to investigate. Hot Nate’s all, “My name is Lindon James!” Oh, hey, LJ. Like the knife. Emily tries to talk him out of being crazy, but he thinks Jenna saw him with Maya. But then he hears something outside . ..

Is it the girls? No, they reach an empty cabin.

Emily is on the run from Linden. Uh, did she just fucking leave Paige all tied up? That ain’t cool.

Meanwhile, a lighthouse! Emily runs to the atmospheric lighthouse in . . . Pennsylvania and tries to get a cell phone signal. She calls 911, but then Hot Nate/Linden is there . . .

There is a lot of struggling with a knife before Hot Nate/Linden is accidentally stabbed. Caleb finds Emily and leaves his gun as he comforts her. Stupid, stupid Caleb. Then there’s a gunshot!

Back to the beginning. Someone is being loaded into the ambulance, and it’s Caleb! But who shot him? Linden James? Emily? How did this happen?

The cops are questioning Emily about Hot Nate’s stabbing death. They ask Paige as well. She says Hot Nate kidnapped her. Emily is too upset to talk. Emily doesn’t want to talk to Paige! Poor Paige. Poor sexually assaulting Paige. So, okay, Hot Nate knew enough about A to use it as a way to lure out Paige. And Paige knew enough about A to answer the call . . . it seems like there should be more to the story.

Later, everyone is at the hospital, waiting on news about Caleb. Em gets a phone call from a Blocked ID – “Emily, I owe you one.” But who is it? The girls see Garrett and Ma Hastings. Because of Em, Garrett’s a free man! Because . . I guess because still no one cares who killed Alison?

Mona is talking to someone. “If I knew Nate was going to get Garrett out, I wouldn’t have even gone out tonight.” She mentions that Paige (unknowingly) has Maya’s cellphone, which they need to get back. Mona returns to the nuthouse while Son of Gloved McEvilson . .. AKA TOBY . . .walks off! DAMNIT I KNEW IT. I knew Toby would be the betrAyer!! He was too shirtless and wonderful and sexy tonight. DAMNIT.

Credits. Another Son of Gloved McEvilson is calling someone about a Halloween party. . .

 . . . which is where we’ll pick up. We’ll be recapping the Halloween Special, but until then, leave us your ideas, your theories, your complaints and your odes to Toby’s bare chest, which I bet we’ll never get to see again. Is Caleb dead? Do I care? Is Paige on the A team? If Toby’s on the A team, does that mean he’s actually working with Jenna? Oh, Toby, don’t go back to your rapist!

See y’all in October!


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