Welcome back to Pretty Little Liars the magical fantasy show where we slog through weeks and weeks of murder in order to get a tiny sliver of high school lesbotrons. If you’re just joining us, last week Emily and Paige tried really hard to UHaul, a seriously repetitive mockingjay just would not stop obnoxiously singing a phone number, Wilden is dead and Aria is going to stick it to her 25 year old martial arts instructor.
We open this week on the Liars in the Life Cafe as they go through a bunch of Ali’s old stuff. That girl seriously has an endless number of possessions to pick through. The Liars even found some sweet old Lisa Frank diaries to pore over. Who knew that Alison loved making her own homemade pickles?!
There’s some rumblings amongst the group that they should be worried that Ashley Marin killed Wilden. You know, because she seems really guilty.
Worst of all, Emily’s shoulder is still hurting. If she can’t swim and therefore she and Paige can’t run away together to the San Francisco Gay Area I will die. Seriously, this is how I go. On my headstone it will say “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead from lack of satisfying lesbian plotline.” It also might say “Death by Spoby” if only so that 100 years from now some historian will think Spoby was some terrible disease. Which it is.
Ella is across the room hashing out the details of her love life with her hulking younger man friend. Do you remember his name? I don’t! It never seemed important. I just called him Bakery Boy when he first showed up, so I suppose I will now. Aria is pretty jealous because her new boy toy Sensei Hot Stuff is only interested in a contractual sub-dom relationship with no emotional involvement.
So yeah. While Aria feels like this:
Ella’s getting invited to go live in a castle in Austria for a year with Bakery Boy.
Yup. Ella been invited to shag princess style in the home of the Von Trapp family. I feel like it’s time to face the fact that maybe all of our mothers are having better sex than us. I mean, they have approximately 30 years of experience on us. This is depressing. I need to move on.
But let me get this straight. You want me to believe that Ella would be able to afford just drop everything and move to Vienna, but wouldn’t have the money to just visit a few times. Does make any sense whats so ever? Well…
On the other side of the room, the Liars find a creepy mask and they wonder where Mona is. Nothing reminds anyone of Mona quite like a creepy mask!
Just as the Liars are like, “Where is that crazy brunette?!” another crazy brunette walks in! I swear this town is just brimming with crazy brunettes. That’s right Melissa’s back and even though I never knew she was gone this is a really big deal. I mean she even wore peplum for the occasion. Guys: peplum.
We kick things off with our first installment Deep Thoughts with Melissa Hastings, the hit new show where Melissa practices her favorite hobby of being cryptic, not making any sense and speaking in approximately 90% riddles. This is actually only slightly worse than the rest of the show which is 80% riddles.
Starsweep across town and jump through time where our third favorite lesbian is finally back! Oh Caleb, how I’ve missed you and your panache for dyed leather. Your windswept glossy raven hair. Your black work boots. Your meaningful glances across the room that could either mean, “Let’s get another cat and name her Khaleesi” or “I have seriously bad gas.”
Caleb’s been off in the distance searching for his lost father. Reconnecting. Talking. Laughing. Loving, breathing, fighting, fucking, crying, drinking, riding, winning, losing, cheating, kissing, thinking, dreaming. Also cleaning fish? That too, but it didn’t really fit before.
Now that he’s back, he’s determined to help Hanna clear her mother’s name.
That’s right, nothing will make Ashley look guilty! Nothing at all! Not even this heavy-handed conveniently placed church sign about guilt.
Elsewhere Ella and Aria debrief all the latest details of Ella’s steamy jet setting love life with Bakery Boy.
Aria points out to her mom that a year is a long time to be away from someone and asks if she might miss her man friend. Anyone else noticed how instead of actually giving advice Aria just asks leading questions? Manipulation at its finest.
Ella’s face says that she will miss someone if she’s away from them for a year. Maybe even miss, I don’t know, her daughter. **Dramatic pause for effect**
Starsweep to the Hastings residence where Spencer is putting all her energy into figuring out the bird phone number. She’s using a website that is totally totally right, right? This looks very legit. I guess the Yellow Pages wouldn’t let Pretty Little Liars use their name.
This mockingjay phone number song triggered something deep inside Spencer’s Veronica Mars brain. She’s spent every moment since obsessing over the phone number, potentially to prevent herself from obsessing over getting rejected from UPenn. Or maybe she just doesn’t care about UPenn anymore since Spencer’s behavior is entirely inconsistent with her character when she’s around TobAy.
TobAy, meanwhile is still poring over his mother’s doctor’s notes from the day of her suicide. Spencer wants TobAy to tell the other Liars about how he stole the A-Mobile, but BOTP TobAy wants to continuing doing whatever the fuck he wants in his own self interest. He also eats veal.
Spencer wants to do everything she can to make everything sunshine and rainbows for TobAy because that’s what you do when you’re being consistently manipulated by your partner. She agrees to go back to Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane to snoop for Mamma TobAy clues.
Across the cul de sac in the land of magically growing hair, Hanna and her mother eat take out for the 100th time this season because TV Land wants you to think that single mothers suffer as compared with nuclear families. I can’t decide if this was the week that Pretty Little Liars decided to fully embrace the patriarchy or if this is just the first week this season that I haven’t been distracted by hot Paily action.
Hanna give her mom the third degree about what she did in New York City. Which is ridiculous because everyone knows that every trip to the Big Apple looks just exactly like this:
So why even bother asking? Regardless, Ashley says she just had a boring meeting and definitely didn’t do any murder or attempted murder. It had been on the schedule but the 2pm finance seminar ran late and they had to cancel.
After some arbitrary amount of time, we visit Aria and Sensei Hot Stuff are watching the 1946 classic The Big Sleep because Pretty Little Liars show-runner Marlene King is obsessed with Bogart and Bacall.
I know I’m supposed to take this moment to analyze the plot of The Big Sleep with regard to missing persons, homosexuality and murder, but for the sake of time let’s skip that part and go directly to the part where you all think I’m well read and insightful. Deal? Deal.
The important part here is that Sensei Hot Stuff vocalizes that he doesn’t trust the femme fatale and Aria absolutely cannot stand people who talk during movies. Or people who don’t like all the same things she likes.
Sensei Hot Stuff remains committed to indulging all the women who read Fifty Shades of Grey.
Aria: “That would be pretty dull.”
Sensei: Hot Stuff: “I don’t think you like dull.”
Aria: “No, I don’t.”
Sensei: Hot Stuff: “Then let me show you this website I found, crashpadseries.com”
The next morning, the sun is shining in Rosewood and Emily is at the doctor’s office. What does Every Specialty Wren have to say about Emily’s shoulder? Actually nothing because as it turns out there is more than one doctor in Rosewood! Imagine that!
Emily’s doctor is suspicious because nothing about Emily’s case makes any sense. Because she said she fell off her bike. Also he thinks Emily’s abusing oxycodone because she’s terrible at lying.
Elsewhere Hanna drops by her mother’s work to give her the car keys or some other such made up excuse. She brings what I can only call the cutest purse I have ever seen in my entire life.
Like all visits to Rosewood places of business this one includes snooping around! Ashley was sent flowers which are, of course, A’s specialty. Hanna finds the flower-card thing in the trash where the note reveals that, while the flowers aren’t from A, Ashley didn’t actually attend the last night of the conference. The one that took place The Night Wilden Died. Shocker.
Shit We Learned This Episode
1. Ashley wasn’t in New York The Night Wilden Was Murdered
Okay so clearly Ashley’s lying to Hanna to protect her. If everyone in Rosewood stopped lying to each other to protect each other A would probably be busted by now. Then again if Ashley would stop trying to commit theft and murder maybe A would stop pursuing her.
As part of her commitment to confronting people, Hanna shows her mom the note and storms out. I love the new Hanna.
At school, the Liars update each other on all their mom drama.
In the end, they just renewed commitment to figuring out the Mockingjay telephone number. I renewed my commitment to figuring out when girls are going to kiss on my TV. Both seem futile.
Pam shows up to pick Emily up from school. Dr. Suspicious called her because he thought Emily might have taken some of the oxycodone that he prescribed Pam some arbitrary amount of time earlier. Depending on Emily’s age Dr. Suspicious may have just pretty seriously violated doctor-patient confidentiality. Either way Pam is pissed.
Pam apparently counted the pills which is hilarious because if you were that concerned about your daughter taking your prescription drugs you’d think you would, I don’t know, throw out the old bottle.
Emily doesn’t understand that this is the part where she stops lying and tells her mom that she was in so much pain she couldn’t stand even light touch.
Then Pam goes a little crazy town.
Back at the Marin’s Caleb and Hanna argue over what to name their future children. Hanna likes Rose, named for the place where they met, but Caleb thinks it’s too gender normative.
Hanna goes on to freak out about her mother some more. Caleb thinks that Ashley should talk to a lawyer because at this point everyone in Rosewood should have a lawyer on retainer at all times.
(Also we found out that Hanna’s father pulled her step-sister out of Rosewood high. I guess that explains where she’s been for the last season. I wonder if she went to the same new school as Aria’s brother.)
For unexplained reasons Hanna heads over to the Rosewood Police Station. I guess she’s looking for Pam or something. Pam isn’t there because she’s fighting it out with Emily. Hanna looks around and notices Detective 2.0’s office. Hanna doesn’t find Pam, but she finds something better. A chart.
Detective 2.0’s chart isn’t nearly as good as ours but it’s a damn fine start.
It looks like somehow the Rosewood police have more put together than I even do. I’m sure there are a million things to talk about on this chart, but the only thing I can focus on is how Dr. Kingston is written as “Dr.” Kingston. What if Pretty Little Liars decides to explain away Everything Specialty Wren by saying he’s not really a doctor?!
Just as Hanna is going to take pictures, Detective 2.0 shows up. Detective 2.0 ushers Hanna out of the room but gets distracted when he sees Melissa. Honestly I can’t fathom why she’s there, but it’s possible that she’s playing her second round of Deep Thoughts with Melissa Hastings.
Meanwhile Caleb gets involved in the age old lesbian tradition of butting into your girlfriend’s business behind her back. Caleb tracks down Hanna’s father, Tom, outside his law office in order to tell him all about Wilden’s death and how Hanna and Ashley are going to need his help. Mr. Marin sort of doesn’t give a shit. It’s one of those uncomfortable moments where you want to stick your head in the sand and scream “This is so inappropriate!”
Later, Aria and Emily sit around perfecting their expert mask cleaning skills and baiting the shippers. Aria asks Emily if she finally admitted to her mom that she took the meds. Emily said she had to, but told her mom the whole fall of her bike lie.
Aria: “It wasn’t that big of a lie”
Emily: “Do you hear yourself? I took my mom’s prescription meds! I mean, it’s not that big of a lie compared to everything else we have to deal with. Oh my fucking God Aria! Seriously!”
But really, why on earth would Emily tell such a bad lie? Like what about something slightly more dramatic but less damning. Like, “Oh mom I was out late at night with the girls and a car almost hit me so I dove for the ground but I didn’t want you to freak out and not let me hang out with the girls at night” or something. This is not hard, the Liars are just actually, technically, legally really bad at coming up with lies.
Aria awkwardly fidgets with the mask, suddenly magically revealing that there is an Alison mask underneath. The two realize that Ali must have modeled for all the other Ali masks, and fortunately the mask has a tag on the back side. Eureka! They can track the mask! This is all going to be solved! Just kidding, this is never ever ever going to be solved. Like ever.
Back over at the Marin’s, Hanna is lying on her bed studying. It cracks me up how Hanna is practically the only Liar we ever see doing homework and yet she’s supposed to be the dumb one.
Ashley walks in with a freaked out Godfather style with a hearty dose of “Don’t ask me about my business.” The she tells Hanna not to lie to anyone if they ask her where she was — just to keep quiet. Ashley looks awful guilty, which means she probably isn’t.