Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Pretty Little Liars. To catch up on the previous episode, click here.
After two long weeks between episodes, Pretty Little Liars fans were finally treated to the truth about Lesli Stone (Elizabeth McLaughlin), Charles, and Bethany Young.
Off to Philly!
If Spencer (Troian Bellisario) is so brilliant, why does she fall for every red herring this story throws her way? The episode begins as she fights with Emily (Shay Mitchell) about whether Lesli could be A. Spencer points out that Mona got a gas mask and was passing out juice boxes while the rest of them were making sure they still had kidneys while at the dollhouse. When Emily doesn’t believe Lesli is capable of something like this, Spencer says that people can surprise you. “Mona (Janel Parrish) maintained a 4.0 average and perfect hair while she was tapping Rosewood’s police calls,” Spencer says in one of her two best soundbites in the episode.
When Hanna (Ashley Benson) enters the room, she tells Emily and Spencer that Mona is on lockdown by her mother, since she went to Radley to steal Lesli’s files. Hanna is ready to follow Lesli to Philadelphia, but Emily has an appointment with Dr. Sullivan and Aria (Lucy Hale) is busy sneaking Clark’s (Titus Makin Jr.) negatives back into his cubby at Hollis.
Meanwhile, Kenneth (Jim Abele) receives a disturbing card on his windshield. When he sees Emily walking past his house, he asks her with fear in his voice if she saw anyone. When Emily tells him “no,” he goes inside.
#Cara (Caleb and Sara…just as friends, though!)
On her first day of work, Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) teaches Sara (Dre Davis) about complicated computer stuff plus a little bit about “Kimye.” Naturally, Sara has no idea what that is, since she was held captive for two years, and now I’m a little jealous she never got introduced to the West clan. Sara tells Caleb how exhausting it is to be on the outside.
Sara asks Caleb about Alison (Sasha Pieterse), because she’s curious about the girl she was forced to answer to the name of for two years. Caleb tells Sara she should ask Emily, but she’s nervous because Emily gets despondent whenever Ali’s name is mentioned. Caleb tells Sara that he doesn’t have many answers because he’s on the outside looking in too.
I know Sara is getting a lot of hate on the Internet lately, but this scene actually did a great job of showing her relate to characters outside of Emily. It should be entertaining to see her interact with even more people as the season progresses.
#Haleb gets hot and heavy again!
After doing some research, Hanna learns that Lesli works as a TA in the lab of her college’s science department. Ashley (Laura Leighton) lets Caleb into their house and Caleb inspects a bump on the back of Hanna’s neck. When he asks her what it is, she brushes him off rather coldly and says it’s lint because she just woke up. When Ashley starts preparing breakfast, Hanna tells her she can’t stay because she’s accompanying Spencer to an appointment in Philadelphia.
After flirting with the valet driver, Hanna gains possession of Lesli’s car. Spencer helps her search it and they end up talking about how Hanna is shutting Caleb out. Hanna says that she doesn’t want to be seen as weak. Spencer finds a keycard to the lab, along with several pairs of fake glasses and four unassembled cages. Spencer deduces the four cages are meant to trap them, which is pretty sick, even by A’s standards.
Meanwhile, Caleb runs into Ashley at the Brew. She assures him that Hanna knows he’s not trying to smother her. Ashley tells Caleb about how after Hanna’s father left, the two of them would watch movies and Hanna would laugh at the sad parts and cry at the funny parts. She says she saw a glimpse of the Hanna they knew the night before, though. After Ashley yelled at Hanna for leaving the freezer door open and defrosting $80 worth of groceries, Hanna was thrilled.
Caleb takes this information to heart and confronts Hanna. When she gives him some attitude, he tells her to knock it off and kisses her passionately, in the sexiest scene where barely any clothing had to be shed. An upbeat pop track plays in the background, to signify that their relationship is back to the fire they once had. Haleb has always been a fan favorite, and this scene solidified their relationship. As of now, they are the only stable, long-term relationship on the show. Could wedding bells be in the works for them after the upcoming time jump?
Spencer and Dean! #Spean? #Deancer? Suggestions on a ship name?
Dean (Nathaniel Buzolic) stops by and gives Spencer a book and a brownie (hopefully not one laced with pot). Spencer explains to Dean that the school’s principal is pressuring her to write a moving speech about being a survivor. Spencer says she’s not into the idea because she has incompletes in every subject except lunch and believes she is just being considered a “poster girl” for trauma. Dean tells her she should say “no” because, considering everything she went through, getting her diploma is a pretty big accomplishment in itself.
Later on, when Spencer is waiting for Caleb to make a copy of Lesli’s keycard, she spends some time with Sara. She explains the situation about her valedictory address, and Sara tells Spencer that she wishes she paid more attention in school. If she could explain what it was like to be in the bunker in comparison to what it’s like now, Sara says she would want everyone to hear it. This gives Spencer a sudden epiphany.
After not seeing her at a meeting, Dean goes to Spencer’s home and waits for her just to see that she’s okay. She tells him that she decided to write the speech after all, and he tells her he doesn’t give a crap about that. In his life, if someone doesn’t show up or answer the phone, there’s a possibility that person may be lying in a gutter somewhere. After Spencer apologizes and offers for him to come inside for a cup of coffee, Dean says he can’t see her anymore because all he wants to do is kiss her despite her boyfriend. Later on, Spencer attends a meeting and is upset to see that Dean is not there.
This romance aspect of this relationship is only two episodes old and it already seems a little stale. Where has Toby (Keegan Allen) been, anyway? Was Dean introduced simply because the producers couldn’t secure him for a certain amount of episodes? This love story seems to be more filler than anything else.
What about Emily and Sara? #Emra? #Smily? I give up!
Nicole Gordon (Rebecca Breeds), who worked with Emily at a housing program in Haiti, comes looking for her at the Brew, since she has no contact information from her. Ezra (Ian Harding), who seems quite smitten with the young lady, explains to Nicole about the trial and how Emily had to change her email address and phone number.
When Nicole reunites with Emily, she informs her about an eight-week project in Thailand–she would like Emily to join the team. Nicole says she is only asking because she remembers how happy Emily was when she was helping others. Emily asks if she could bring a friend.
When Emily goes home, she finds Sara frantically cleaning up a stain on the carpet. Sara is bleeding and tells Emily she was riding her bike when a car suddenly sped up, hitting Sara’s elbow on the side mirror. When Emily shows Sara a picture of Lesli’s car, Sara thinks it was the same car that hit her. Is it me, or did she answer Emily’s question a little too quickly?
After Emily tells her about the program, Sara says no one can help her and that her mom won’t let her leave the country. Emily assures Sara that she won’t let anything happen to her.
Emily tells Nicole about Sara and how she is the only one holding her up. She tells Nicole that there are times when she’s with Sara and completely forgets the horror she has went through. It’s like Sara is helping her more than she realizes. Nicole asks Emily if Sara is capable of returning her feelings. Emily denies this shyly. However, she and Sara end up sharing a romantic kiss at the end of the episode.
I’m kind of Team Emison (but that’s just because Maya is dead, at least as far as we know), but seeing this relationship progress has been interesting. I hope Emily and Sara go to Thailand together and adopt a small child there. But that’s only until Maya comes back from the dead! Fingers crossed.
#Ezria (okay, back to normal with the ship names) complications
Aria returns to the junkyard to get to the bottom of why A was following her and runs into Clark. She quickly comes up with the cover story that she is just looking for her tripod. Aria stumbles upon the doll A made of her with the left eye socket stabbed with a mini dagger. Later on, she talks to Emily on the phone and wonders how A knows where all of them are at all times. However, she hangs up the phone when Ezra shows up at her door.
Ezra has her application for the photo contest she entered and even wrote her a letter of recommendation without her knowledge. Later on, she confides in Spencer that she came close to telling Ezra everything because he makes her feel safe. Spencer implies that it’s not fair to him, since they aren’t even together at the moment.
Unfortunately, Aria might not have much choice when it comes to Ezra. She sees him chatting rather flirtatiously with Nicole about a book at the Brew. First off, I want to say I’m team Ezria forever, but it’s great to see Ezra possibly have another love interest. Nicole does not have the baggage of Jackie Molina, Maggie Cutler, or any ex-girlfriends. It’s a nice change to see him relate to someone entirely different.
“Bitch chipped us!”
Aria, Spencer and Hanna investigate the lab Lesli works at. Hanna walks near a metal detector and Spencer realizes that it was Hanna who was setting it off. When she picks up the detector and scans it on the back of both her and Hanna’s necks, she realizes that “Bitch chipped us” (this is Spencer’s second awesome soundbite) after drugging them in the dollhouse. This is how A has been able to monitor their moves.
After seeing rats and a raccoon in cages at the lab, Hanna decides to release them in an act of defiance against Lesli. Then she realizes the animals are quite feral due to drugs they may have been tested with. Aria finds an invoice and points out that Lesli ordered “a dozen” of something, but we never hear what that something is because she gets distracted with fear by the animals.
Mona ends up coming to the rescue and it turns out that not only is she an evil mastermind, but she’s also pretty good at training animals. Mona explains to the girls that Lesli is not trying to get revenge for Bethany and, as a matter of fact, hated her. Lesli is just pretending to be stable, and that is why Mona stole her file. The only time Lesli heard of Charles’s name was when he and Bethany broke out of Radley the same night Allison disappeared. Aria tells Mona that Charles was already dead by then, and Hanna points out the organ donation records. Mona says it was a scam, because with the medication Charles was taking, he was not an eligible organ donor. Lesli was just a distraction and Mona doesn’t seem to believe that A was silly enough to be caught in that photo on Clark’s negatives.
Later on, Kenneth is seen talking on the phone to what seems to be a doctor about Charles. He has a full list filled with crossed out doctors’ names. How many doctors has Charles seen in his lifetime?
Creepy “A” epilogue: We may not see any black gloves or hoodies in this epilogue, but it’s clear that Kenneth is being watched as he digs up Charles’s grave with the card he received earlier in the episode on the ground. It says, “Dear Daddy, Coming home for my birthday. You should plan a party to die for. Just you. Love, Charles.” If Charles isn’t in the grave, who is in there, then?
Current A suspect: Sara (Again!). She may not be A necessarily, but it seems likely that “Charles” is controlling her in some way. Why did she answer Emily’s question about the car so quickly?