The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Previously on Pretty Little Liars: Mona and Toby planned something big and referenced a woman who is “calling the shots.” Emily killed Maya’s “cousin Nate,” who was actually Maya’s stalker Lyndon James, after he kidnapped her and Paige. Caleb and Paige decided to team up against Mona. Someone put a cow brain and knife in Mona’s locker. Aria found out that Ezra impregnated Alex Mack. Faceless mannequins attacked Hanna. Crazy Meredith drugged Aria and we found out more about Byron’s involvement with Ali. We also got a glimpse at Melissa’s possible involvement the night Ali disappeared. Finally, the shit hit the fan for Spencer and Toby’s relationship when she found out he’s a part of A.

Last week was a completely batshit crazy episode of PLL, so this week feels significantly calmer. We are starting to see the beginnings of the climax for this season. Spencer’s unraveling, the Ezria tension, etc.

Spencer is not handling the Toby revelation well at all. She’s having nightmares about making out with Toby and then being strangled by him. Honestly, I’d be disturbed if she were handling it well. Regardless, she has not communicated with the girls at all and they’re worried about her. They don’t know about Toby’s involvement with A, so they’re just worrying about whether they should tell Spencer what they found out about Melissa seeing Ali the night Ali disappeared.

Aria is still recovering from getting drugged by Crazy Meredith. Byron has a conversation with Meredith’s dad and finds out she had a long history of “issues.” He tells Meredith’s dad that he and Aria don’t want to see Meredith punished for what she did. They just want to be sure she gets help. Aria is still concerned that Meredith is going to be too close for comfort, but Byron promises to protect her. In addition to the stuff with Meredith, she’s still keeping the secret from Fitz that he has a kid out there somewhere. Hanna continues to tell Aria she needs to tell Fitz, but Aria is still resistant. She decides to tell Fitz later that day, but Hanna encourages her to leave school then and tell him.

Emily is very clearly pulling away from her parents. She received a box from the James family. Apparently, Emily’s mom is now working at the Rosewood police department and Awesome Mom Pam wants to take the box to the cops. Emily’s afraid they’ll ask too many questions and doesn’t want to make her mom uncomfortable. The box is full of old cards, and most importantly, Ali’s old biology notebook.

Hanna’s wrist is still fucked up from the mannequin attack, but she tells her mom that she just slipped in gym class. Hanna’s mom is clearly worried about Hanna and asks how things are going at school. Because none of these girls are honest with their parents, Hanna lies and says everything is fine. She says that she only has two classes with Mona, so it’s not that bad. Seriously? Why would they put Mona in with any of the girls? That’s a major mistake on the school’s part. Hanna divulges that Caleb has been trying to protect her from Mona and she doesn’t much like it. At school, Hanna overhears a phone conversation between Paige and someone else. Paige says she doesn’t know what more it will take and that the other person stuck a wet brain in “her” locker, but “she” still showed up at school the next day. Clearly, Paige and this person are behind the attack against Mona. Paige then says Caleb’s name, confirming the two of them are officially in cahoots and now Hanna knows too.

The girls are still discussing whether they should turn over the key that A dropped, but Aria says they’re all crazy if they pull the police in now. While looking through Ali’s notebook, they discover a long conversation between Ali and someone about a “beach hottie.” The handwriting doesn’t match any of the girls, so they set out to find who wrote it. Apparently, somewhere in the conversation, Ali also references Toby. Emily goes to talk to Spencer about the notebook, but Spencer is so done with everything involving Ali. She flat-out asks Emily why they should continue to care what happened to Ali, since it’s not like Ali was every loyal to them. Thank you! Someone is finally realizing it! Ali was a total sociopath and all of these girls are way too good for her. Naturally, Emily is the least likely person to support Spencer in this line of thought and forces Spencer to read the conversation. Apparently, Ali visited Toby in jail, which leads to the single most hilarious flashback ever shown. Picture Toby in the most stereotypical prison gear ever, complete with a ridiculous doo-rag on his head. However, his shirt is unbuttoned, so we get to see his lovely abs. We find out that Ali was receiving messages from A, while she was still alive. She is convinced Toby wrote them. He questions why she thinks it was him and not Jenna, but Jenna was recovering from surgery when some of the letters were sent. We see Ali throw the other girls under the bus and tell Toby they were out there with her the night that Jenna got blinded. Toby says he wishes he knew who wrote Ali those notes because he wants to help that person destroy Ali’s life, as well as those of her “posse.” Well, that at least starts to explain why Toby is a part of A. Spencer finally tells Emily that she and Toby broke up, but she doesn’t want to talk about it yet.

This episode really highlights the beginning of Spencer’s unraveling. She is starting to pull away from the girls and their hero worship of Ali. Spencer gets a text from Aria, saying she told Fitz about the kid and he freaked and broke up with her. The text asks that Spencer meet her in the park. She then has a full-on meltdown in English class and walks out of school. Ella tries to stop her, but Spencer just says that school is a total waste of her time. On her way to meet Aria, Spencer sees Fitz and goes fucking nuts on him. She starts screaming at him about how hard it is to keep a secret like that. Fitz very clearly has no idea what Spencer is talking about. Aria apparently had not yet told him about his child and Spencer spills the beans. Spencer continues to freak out and runs away, leaving Ezra dazed and confused in the park.

Pam is settling into her new job at the police station. She asks one of the officers about the box Emily received from the James family and if she should be worried they have her address. Um, the answer is yes, Pam. Wilden overhears the conversation and assures Pam they should not contact Emily at all. Later, Wilden comes over to ask Pam how Emily is doing. He tells her that he knows how Emily feels in the aftermath of the lighthouse incident. Wilden assures Pam that if Emily needs someone to talk to about what it’s like to kill a man, he’d be happy to help, since he has also killed a man in self-defense. With any other person, that might be seen as a nice gesture, but Wilden is so fucking creepy that it just seems threatening.

Emily continues to pore over the notebook. In the back pocket, she sees a picture of Ali and Cece Drake at Cape May. While the girls are at lunch, Ezra comes into the lunchroom and demands to talk to Aria about Spencer’s total freakout in the park. Aria tries to deflect him and asks to talk about it later, but Ezra wants to talk right then. Ezra is understandably upset that Aria never told him he’s a father and storms off. Aria then gets a text from A, confirming that A was behind the text Spencer got. Later that night, Aria goes to see Spencer, who is really in no mood to talk about everything. She asks Aria to just fast-forward to the end where Aria screams and does whatever else she needs to do. Aria tells Spencer she knows A set her up. However, Spencer is beyond done with A. She tells Aria they all need to stop blaming A for everything and start taking responsibility for their own actions. She goes on to say that if they would all stop telling lies, then A wouldn’t be able to keep exposing them. Aria reminds Spencer that A is a psychopath who wants to hurt them all. However, Spencer is starting to think they deserve everything A has thrown at them.

Emily goes to visit Cece and show her the picture she found. Cece was the second person in the biology notebook conversation, but she has no idea who the “beach hottie” was, since they never called him anything else. Cece figured it was just some guy who was cheating on his girlfriend with Ali. Emily asks if Jason could have known, but Cece said Jason would have killed the guy. Apparently, Ali thought the “beach hottie” had gotten her pregnant. Ali told Cece that she couldn’t tell the guy about it or he would have killed her.

Hanna decides that she needs to bust Caleb and Paige before A can. She follows Paige to ladies night at some gay bar. Paige is very clearly flirting with some random woman. Hanna isn’t doing a great job staying under the radar, as some random woman has ordered her a drink. Paige must seriously be the least observant person ever because Hanna is terrible at staying unnoticed. She is standing right next to Paige at one point and blatantly listening to her conversation, but Paige is completely unaware. Hanna accidentally starts to dance with the random woman that sent her the drink, but that woman’s girlfriend throws a drink at Hanna. At that point, a bouncer comes over and asks to see Hanna’s ID.

Spencer texts some random person and asks if they can meet tonight. She texts that she shouldn’t be doing this and no one can know about their meeting. The other person assures her that no one will. Spencer sits in her car and cries for a little while, before she starts to pull herself back together. She gets to the secret meeting place. Instead of meeting Toby, like pretty much everyone thought she was, she’s meeting a private detective. Spencer is extremely hesitant, but she eventually hands over A’s key and a picture of Toby.

Aria continues to try to get Ezra to meet up with her. He continues to ignore her texts. Emily shows up at the Montgomery household to tell Aria about Ali’s potential pregnancy. Aria asks the question that all of us were thinking: Wouldn’t that show up on an autopsy? However, Emily has already Googled it. If it were really early in the pregnancy, it wouldn’t necessarily show up since Ali’s body was already so decomposed. Emily asks what they should do. For the first time, Aria finally shows some sense and says that something of this magnitude should definitely be brought to the police.

Emily shows up at the police station with Ali’s notebook. Her mom wonders why the police would want it, but Emily says she thinks it might help the investigation. While Emily’s mom is off looking for an officer to take the notebook, Hanna gets brought in to the station. Emily immediately sees her and wants to know why Hanna is a) there and b) covered in alcohol. Hanna tries to deflect and says it’s really not a big deal. She got busted for underage drinking, but she wasn’t even partaking in it. Wilden comes over to get Ali’s notebook, and Hanna immediately questions what she was thinking turning it over to the cops. Emily says they have the potential to finally end everything. She goes over to get some coffee and sees a picture of Wilden that was clearly taken at Cape May.

When Hanna and her mom get home from the police station, Ashley understandably questions what Hanna was doing. She assures her mom that she was just looking for Caleb and not experimenting with her sexuality. Best quote of the night from Ashley: “What would Caleb be doing in a lesbian bar?” Hanna said she thought he was meeting up with Paige because they’ve been working together to keep Mona away from the girls. Ashley is convinced that Hanna is keeping secrets again and refuses to get back to that place where Hanna is putting herself in danger. Hanna said she regrets nothing and did not mean to get into trouble. She also believes Paige is cheating on Emily and tells her mom everything was worth it if it means she can protect her friend. Ashley gives Hanna a couple pieces of great advice: stay out of Emily and Paige’s relationship, and use a hot oil treatment on her hair.

We end the night with Aria and Ezra’s confrontation. Aria gets to his apartment, just as he is loading his car with a couple of suitcases. Aria asks to explain, but Ezra says she doesn’t need to. He talked to Maggie and she told him she asked Aria to stay quiet. Ezra assures Aria they’re okay, but he’s not so sure he is. He is leaving Rosewood to go meet his son, but he doesn’t know how long he’ll be gone. Ezra starts to cry and tells Aria they’ll talk soon. He drives away, leaving Aria worried and alone.

For our closing vignette, we see someone in a red hoodie playing with bobbleheads of the girls. The person then takes a blowtorch to one of the dolls, presumably the one for Hanna, as it is the blonde one. Or was it the one for Ali? There were like seven bobbleheads there.

Major questions brought up this week: Is Byron the worst parent on this show? What type of crappy low-security prison facility allowed Toby to get visitors in his cell? Will someone please give Spencer a hug? Is Wilden the creepiest guy in all of Rosewood? Why is Spencer on secret meet-up basis with a random private eye? How many episodes before we find out the private detective is either a part of A or Rosewood’s next murder victim? Who is in the red hoodie? Why does A seem to have an endless amount of money to spend on creepy dolls? Could Wilden be Ali’s baby daddy? Was Ali even pregnant?

Next week: Jason comes back and Emily gets hypnotized!

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