Pretty Little Liars Recap 311: Single Fright Female Seeking Same

This week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars is the episode before the mid-season summer finale! The fact that abcFamily managed to make that an exciting event for me is really only a deep credit to their advertising team. Some intern over there deserves a pay raise.

AND SOME INTERN HERE PROBABLY DESERVES A PAY RAISE FOR MANAGING TO GET THIS CROTCH SHOT.

We open on the lovely village of Rosewood on what can only be a Wednesday because Hanna and Spencer are desperately trying to find Hanna something pink to wear that doesn’t clash with the gaping flesh wound on her leg. You may remember from last week’s episode that Hanna chose Elaborate Cover-up Scheme over Simple Lie with regard to cutting her leg.

THIS IS WHERE THE BATTERY PACK GOES

Speaking of Elaborate Cover-up Scheme, Spencer busts the High Tea Healer of Rosewood giving Hanna a call. Maybe Wren just wants to see if Hanna’s stitches are getting infected. Or maybe he wants to get a piece of that age-inappropriate ass. It’s unclear. Either way Spencer is no dummy and knows something is up.

AKA DOCTOR WHO’S YOUR DADDY.

As the two go to leave for what I can only imagine is for a 4:30am yoga class and crime busting session, they overhear Ashley Marin speaking with her new Church Hubby Father Ted. In the most amazing moment of continuity ever presented on this show, Ted has found a flash drive in the pews. Remember? That flash drive? The one with the N.A.T club’s adolescent girls changing videos? And Jenna blackmailing Toby into sleeping with her? Well, Spencer threw it in the church during the first season finale to get away from Ian. Oh yeah, Ted found that and wants to take it to the police.

CHECK OUT THAT HOT MIDDLE AGED MAN ASS

Ashley confronts Hanna about the flash drive and, instead of saying “I don’t know anything about that, why would someone want to film me” or “We think Ian was filming us in high school” Hanna goes with a good old fashioned lie and claims Mona was filming them. Well Mona probably was also, but that’s neither here nor there. Ashley takes the flash drive and says she’ll take it to the police later in the day.

AND IN THE FUTURE YOU’D BE WISE NOT TO KEEP THINGS FROM ME OR BORROW FROM MY COLLECTION OF LIMITED EDITION POSH SPICE DRESSES.

A lot of anticipatory anxiety is mustered up about this flash drive, but in the end Ashley throws it down the garbage disposal after seeing that it contained footage of herself with Wilden. Oops.

Aria shows up at Ezra’s place first thing in the morning, once again, and SURPRISE it’s his birthday!

SURPRISE! I KNOW YOU WANTED A SET OF UNDER-BED RESTRAINTS BUT I GOT YOU THESE FLOWERS INSTEAD.

But Ezra’s a grumpy bunny because he’s still all upset about Maggie. Ezra really wants to see that’s she’s doing okay, but is worried that it’s unfair of him to insert himself in Maggie’s life and tussle everything up after all these years. I think Ezra is probably right. Who’s to say that his high school girlfriend needs or wants anything from him. There’s a good chance she put the past in the past around age 20 and moved on with her life.

I’M JUST CONCERNED THAT INTRODUCING AN AGE APPROPRIATE LOVE INTEREST IN TO THE SHOW WILL HIGHLIGHT HOW MESSED UP OUR RELATIONSHIP IS.

This conversation launches a non-intersecting plot line in which Aria poses as a college undergrad interested in teaching in order to get the dirt on Maggie. Let’s just sum it up now so we can get to the gay shit faster.

SUMMERY: THIS IS A BAD PLAN

Aria shows up to Maggie’s elementary school only to discover that one of Maggie’s students is her son, a first grade boy named Malcolm.

I WAS JUST ANOTHER AVERAGE KID UNTIL MY HIGH SCHOOL BOYFRIEND KNOCKED ME UP AND I GOT DRENCHED IN SOME WEIRD CHEMICAL. AND SINCE THEN, NOTHING’S BEEN THE SAME.

MALCOLM IS AN ADORABLE FACED SUNSHINE SWEETHEART WHO LOOKS AWESOME IN PLAID

Aria, in shock from the news, stumbles back to Ezra’s place to bake him a “Happy Birthday and By the Way You Have a Son” cake when she runs into Ezra’s werewolf brother. Aria stupidly tells Wesley about the baby situation.

SECRET CHILD YOU SAY?!? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT MY CHANCES OF GETTING ALL UP ON YOU AND YOUR ELABORATE JEWELRY SCHEMES?

This leads to tons of awkwardness but plenty of cake when Ezra comes home and announces that he called Maggie and she said everything was fine and that she lives alone. Aria decides not to tell Ezra about The Baby Situation assuming that Mommy Dearest is probably paying for this kid’s college and first Mercedes. Clearly that’s more important than Ezra finding out about his child.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE. NO SECRET KIDS WE ALL KNOW ABOUT. JUST CAKE AND UNINTENTIONALLY COORDINATING OUTFITS.

First of all, I’d like to say I fucking called it. Second of all, this finally nails down Ezra’s age at 25.

ALTHOUGH I SEE ABOUT SEVEN CANDLE FLAMES ON THIS CAKE. MAYBE IT’S A CLUE!!!! (PROBABLY NOT)

+Ezra turned 18 in September/October after Labor Day his senior year of high school (because it’s that time now)
+Maggie got pregnant the summer after senior year, in either June, July or August
+So the baby was born in March, April or May (when Ezra was 19)
+To be in first grade with a spring birthday, the kid must now be six (Aria wrongly refers to him as a seven-year-old)
+Which means Ezra is 25. So now we know.

A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRLFRIEND AND A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD SON.

Also if you’re wondering why Maggie looks so familiar, it’s probably because you’re waiting for the moment when she turns in to a puddle of silver goo because, yes, that is Larisa Oleynik aka Alex Mack!

MY FRIEND RAY THINKS IT’S COOL. MY SISTER ANNIE THINKS I’M A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I GUESS I’M NOT SO AVERAGE ANYMORE.

Moving on, Emily, Paige and Paige’s bike enjoy a little pre-class coffee. Emily is clearly distracted in that “Fucckkkk I have to tell my girlfriend I kissed someone else” way and Paige is stone cold in that “Girl, I know you kissed someone else” way.

EMILY’S POSTURE IS JUST IMPECcABLE.

So things are a bit tense. Luckily, Emily just comes right out and says it.

I’M SO VULNERABLE AND INSECURE I CAN’T EVEN HOLD MY SLEEVE UP.

Emily: A couple of nights ago, when I was comforting Nate, things got a little intense. We kissed.
Paige: Why do you think that happened?
Emily: In the moment it felt right.
Paige: And now?
Emily: I don’t know. I’m just as confused by this as you.

…AND THAT PERSON WAS CRAZY.

What I appreciate most about this conversation, is that Emily said “We kissed.” If Emily were worried Paige knew already, she certainly could have spun this like he kissed her and she didn’t know what to do. Or he came on to her. Or anything like that. But Emily’s phrasing signifies that she’s not trying to defend a mistake or convince Paige not to dump her. She’s really just confused about what happened and wants to talk about it with her girlfriend.

So here’s the thing, people are going to jump on that word “confused.” They just are. People are going to say, “Emily is confused about her sexuality,” and while it would be okay if she were, I don’t think that’s what she meant. The creator/writers have stated that Emily is gay, so I think Emily meant she’s confused as to why she and Nate kissed at all.

Paige’s response is lovely too. Even though she delivers it with a hint of crazy eye, her explanation reveals none of the overt anger from when she gave that trashcan a beating. So either Paige calmed down and was able to see the situation as rationally as the rest of us, or she so badly wants to be with Emily that she’s willing to make excuses for her partner’s transgressions. I have no idea which option is more likely as I’ve never had a relationship conversation this mature in my entire life.

SKEPTICAL FACE IS SKEPTICAL OF OVERLY MATURE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Over by Rosewood High, where the school day is finally starting, Spencer runs in to Cece. Apparently Spencer said she’d help out with some trunk sale and forgot about it. More importantly, Cece spots Emily walking by with Paige (and Paige’s bike, duh) and freaks the fuck out.

DID HOOP EARRINGS COME BACK IN TO STYLE? NO ONE TOLD ME.

Cece explains that Ali had a serious vendetta against Paige and, of course, Spencer triggers a pastel flashback to Freshman Year. The girls are all getting ready for some party when Hanna (who the director has eating an enormous bowl of popcorn) notices a huge bruise on Ali’s back. Ali says she fell during soccer and “Pig Skin” kicked her.

I CHECKED WITH PRIMARY SOURCES AND PAIGE’S NECK SEEMS NORMAL TO ME.

I think it was in just exactly that moment that I realized that I Fucking Hate Alison. Something about that nickname, Pig Skin, brought back everything I’d ever wanted to forget about elementary school. I certainly wasn’t the most bullied kid in the state, but I had my fair share of heinous nicknames, including but not limited to Lizard Breath and Ugly Monkey. Pig Skin is just exactly the kind of horrific nickname that only the most manipulative and horrendous girls can come up with. It has the “Pig” part which, while a reference to classically gross considered animal, also has the popping “P” sound at the beginning. And then the “Skin” part which not only references basically the most humiliating part of the adolescent body, but also has the hissing “Sk” sound. Basically Pig Skin is the perfect mean name to be hurled at someone.

THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT ALISON

Back over in Gayland, Emily, Nate and Paige’s bike are meeting up for a little chat. Nate has basically decided that he and Emily are going to go steady and be in love forever and get married and have a dozen babies together in the sunshine in a pasture of golden fields. Unfortunately, that won’t be the Emily Fields because Emily is so not interested. And Nate is just not picking up Emily’s body language at all so she literally has to tell him she just wants to be friends.

I AM LITERALLY SO GROSSED OUT RIGHT NOW THAT I AM STICKING MY TONGUE OUT.

Nate: What about the other night?
Emily: I don’t regret it but it doesn’t change things.

While I feel like “kissing your dead girlfriend’s “cousin” while you have a girlfriend and are gay” is one of those things you’re allowed to regret, I appreciate Emily’s commitment to accepting one’s past actions as though they happened in some third party space bubble.

I’M IN YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER’S PERSONAL SPACE, RUINING YOUR TV ENTERTAINMENT

Nate then goes on to hulk out in to Scary Nate and go on about how Emily and Maya are just alike and that Maya used to claim spontaneity to be reckless with other people’s hearts. He goes on to claim he’s heard Maya “giving the same speech about 20 other guys.” How does Emily not see that Maya dumped this guy’s ass?! Either way, Emily knows when it’s time to get the fuck out and bikes off in to the sunset, hair flowing in the breeze.

WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN AWAY.

Back at school, Emily tries to talk to Spencer about the whole Nate situation. Unfortunately Spencer is not hearing it.

WITH MY MOUTH

Spencer wants to know what the fuck is up with Paige and Ali. Emily explains that Paige has never mentioned Ali and reminds Spencer that Ali had totally horrendous names for everyone in the class. Plus, if Cece is just like Ali, then it sounds about right that she would want to pit them against each other. Spencer is unfazed as her favorite game is jumping on every new person convinced they’re A. Just like everyone on the internet, Spencer points out that Paige has a bit of a dark side and tried to drown Emily a little bit that one time.

MORE OF A LUST IMMERSION

Regardless, Emily sticks up for her girl and it’s awesome.

LIKE SWIMMING. AS OPPOSED TO NOW WHEN IT’S SWIMMING AND MURDERERS.

The other Liars are so obsessed with the intensity and importance of their relationships. No one would dream of trying to tell Aria, Spencer or Hanna that Ezra, Toby or Caleb was A. So why is it constantly okay for the Liars to question the motives, history and behavior of Maya and Paige?

I’m not saying that the girls are questioning Emily’s relationships because she’s gay. I think it’s because, for a long time, Emily let herself get pushed around. But I don’t think the solution is to take Emily’s partners more seriously– I think it’s to take all of their relationships less seriously! They find videos taken of teenage girls undressing and no one thinks to question Wren or Ezra? Actual older guys who are into high school girls? A has seemingly unlimited access to every computer and database in town and no one questions Caleb. Toby leaves town on mysterious jobs and isn’t seen for weeks and yet no one questions his whereabouts. Someone out there knows their intimate secrets and yet they haven’t considered their intimate partners.

OH NO SPENCER, NOT THE “YOUR LESBIAN GIRLFRIEND IS THE SERIAL MURDERER” ARGUMENT AGAIN

Outside, Hanna confronts Jenna. She lets her know that the flash drive has been found and not to blame them. Jenna is unimpressed. She then runs in to Nate who whines like a child that both Jenna and Emily led him on and then blew him off. Now Hanna is the one who’s unimpressed.
Is there any way that line wasn’t written specifically for Tumblr? Yeah. It was a good moment.

Unfortunately Hanna follows that one up with a “Jenna could see” slip-up that results in Nate angrily hollering at Jenna from across the school yard. He really is the fetching worst.

WHAT’S THAT? THERE’S A WOMAN OUT THERE IN THE CITY JUST WAITING FOR ME TO MAKE UNWANTED ADVANCES. I MUST BE OFF!

Starsweep to The Trunk Sale where Spencer and Cece again talk about Paige. According to Cece, the two were fighting over/about Emily. Sort of unclear but I’m going to assume they were fighting over her so as to legitimize my secret fanfic.

JUST MAKE SURE TO GET YOUR LIPS OVER YOUR TEETH LIKE THIS.

Apparently Alison pulled tons of mean bullshit on Paige including but not limited to FAKING LOVE LETTERS FROM EMILY. That’s right, Alison somehow managed to zoom in on Paige’s gayness and writer her faux declarations of love from Emily. She goes as far as to ask for a response to be put in a secret location. Alison shows up when Paige is scheduled to deliver her love letter and snatches it from it’s hiding place. She threatens to expose Paige to her dad. Yeah. Ali was one mean fucking girl.

THAT’S RIGHT, EVEN IN A FLASHBACK PAIGE IS OUTSIDE A BIKE SHOP.

What’s so weird about this entire pastel flashback is how out of control Alison seems. Yes, she has her usual cool facade, but she also seems edgy. Even a bit scared. Like I get the sense something else was going on. Part of me wants to believe this is all from self-hated same-sex feelings on Ali’s part, but that seems a little inconsistent with her character. I would imagine if Alison wanted to scissor a girl she would just go ahead and do it. The great thing about Pretty Little Liars is there could be something seriously bizarre and sinister going on. For all we know Ali is being threatened into doing mean shit by A. Or Jason. Or Cece. Or Mona. Or honestly anyone. This is Rosewood, no one’s actions have to make any sense as long as they can be explained three seasons later.

IN WHICH LINDSAY SHAW NAILS UPSET AND SLIGHTLY OUT OF CONTROL PAIGE.

Flash forward back to modern day where Paige and Emily are studying together in blackmail-free bliss. Emily inquires about how Paige and Ali knew each other and Paige goes on the defensive.

HEY BABY? I THINK WE’RE DOING THIS SCISSORING THING WRONG.

Paige points out that everyone was boozing That Night but only Emily got doped with Roofatoxamyocinalase. Maybe her friends were involved. But Paige doesn’t get it. Emily has to trust her friends, because if she can’t trust them she literally has no one.

PROBABLY BECAUSE EVERY TIME TWO NON-LIAR CHARACTERS TALK THEY END UP KISSING.

If A could be anyone (except the magnificent unquestionable manfriends in their lives) then trusting each other is all they have. But since Paige and Emily are noobs who haven’t yet learned how to properly have a fight with your girlfriend they both roll over their points and play dead.

YOU’RE RIGHT. LET’S JUST PRETEND EVERYTHING IS OKAY FOREVER.

Back over at the trunk sale, Spencer gets locked in a dressing room with a gigantic python! It was actually scary. I jumped. Don’t judge me.

THIS IS NOT THE KIND OF SNAKE SPENCER WAS HOPING FOR

THAT’S RIGHT. SNAKES ARE FUCKING SCARY.

The snake was about to wrap its creepy scaley gross body around Spencer’s perfect skin and gobble up her whole Big Bad Wolf style when Captain Cece came to the rescue and hit it with a spare mannequin leg. That last part is actually true. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

MANNEQUINS: NOT JUST FOR MAKING YOUR HATE YOUR BODY ANYMORE

Back over at the Marin residence, Hanna and Spencer rehash the whole snake-attack thing. Spencer thinks that it was probably because she used the word “snake” when she was talking about Paige. Spencer is convinced that Paige is absolutely, no questions asked, certainly, they-couldn’t-be-wrong-again, definitely A. Spencer points out that Paige has been “obsessed” with Emily for a long time and probably hated Maya and Ali for that reason and killed them.

OF COURSE I’M SUSPICIOUS OF SIGNIFICANT OTHERS. MY BOYFRIEND IS TOBY.

I’d like to point out that Samara appears to still be alive, and you would think since Emily basically dumped Paige for Samara that would have been a more sensible murder-route. Regardless, Hanna induces the aforementioned “people who love us can’t be A” clause and that includes Paige. Have I mentioned that Hanna is like the Ultimate Ally to Emily?

Speaking of Emily, she calls Hanna to let her know that Maya’s L.J. knife is missing. Even though it’s obvious to everyone with half a brain cell that Nate took it, Spencer is convinced it was Paige.

WE CAN’T JUST GO AROUND BLAMING THE PEOPLE WE LOVE. THAT WOULD BE ALMOST AS HARD AS GETTING RID OF THIS ENORMOUS NAIL POLISH COLLECTION I’VE SPENT YEARS CULTIVATING.

Spencer and Hanna return to Cece’s (assumed that the Big Bad Snake won’t kill them). Hanna and Caleb make out for a minute in a dressing room. Yawn. But then Emily shows up with Paige in tow. Drama drama drama.

I HOPE IT’S OKAY THAT I BROUGHT PAIGE. NOW THAT WE’VE BEEN DATING FOR THREE WEEKS WE HAVE TO GO EVERYWHERE TOGETHER. ALSO WE’RE GETTING A CAT LATER TODAY EVEN THOUGH WE’RE BOTH ALLERGIC.

Emily goes to try on something hot leaving Paige and Spencer to chat. Paige puts on a huge (and actually pretty hideous) display ring and points out that though it is cute, if she wore it she would look like she’s trying to be something she’s not. That her style is sort of “by default” to fly “under the radar.” Remember when I said last week that Paige was one of us? This is the kind of shit I’m talking about. She says all this, of course, while wearing a perfectly cultivated soft butch androgynous look.

THIS LOOK DOESN’T SAY “UNDER THE RADAR.” THIS LOOKS SAYS “MAKE-OUT BANDIT”

Paige tells Spencer she’d like to have a fresh start, and as sincere as she sounds, Spencer doesn’t buy it. Yeah, Spencer has officially gone off the paranoid deep end.

BROKEN FINGER. A LESBIAN’S WORST NIGHTMARE.

Hanna and Spencer muse that Paige is probably just trying to kill them with kindness to bide her time until she actually just kills them. Hanna gives Paige a lesbosexy-super-corset-magic-vest thing to give to Emily to try on.

WISHING MORE THAN ANYTHING EMILY HAD ACTUALLY TRIED THIS ON.

While she’s gone, Hanna and Spencer go all Scooby-Doo on her bag. Just as Spencer sees something that induces a knee shaking gasp, Emily comes back out just in time to see her friends looking through her girlfriend’s shit. This does not look good.

THE BAG CONTAINS NOTHING BUT N64, NATURAL LIGHT BEER AND BLACK DILDOS

Emily grabs the bag and Paige and declares that they’re leaving. Although I should take a moment to point out what a smokin’ hot babe Shay Mitchell is in that dress. Ouch.

PAIGE! YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE WRONG THING HERE.

Back at the ranch, Emily brings Paige some milk and cookies on the doorstep. Now, it’s been a long time since I was in high school, but I certainly don’t recall spending that much time on the stoop.

I JUST FEEL LIKE I REALLY KNOW YOU. LIKE I CAN TELL WE’RE GOING TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER.

Emily tries to explain her friend’s behavior but Paige interrupts her with the real deal on Alison. She admits Ali bullied the shit out of her because Alison was the goddamn worst. Paige is vague on the details, and it’s hard to extrapolate if Paige became suicidal or developed a cutting problem or what. Either way, Paige essentially admits that Ali’s tormenting created within her a deep sense of self-loathing. But Paige, in the end, didn’t give in to self-loathing if only because she didn’t want to let Alison win.

NO ONE IN THE REAL WORLD LOOKS THIS HOT WHILE CRYING

Yes, the Gay Kid Gets Bullied trope has been done to death, but I like it as it applies to Paige. Bullying isn’t always a circle of kids around one little nerd. When they show us flash-back Paige, she isn’t all glasses and grease like flash-back Mona. All sorts of kids get relentlessly teased, it’s not always the classically dorky girl or flamboyant gay boy. But what Paige reminds us most of all is that it only takes one person to make one other person’s life miserable. And if we’ve learned anything about Alison, it has a lot more to do with what’s wrong with the bully than what’s wrong with the victim. So yeah, I’ll allow the gay kid gets bullied trope again.

I FEEL LIKE THIS HOT BODY SHOT OF LINDSAY SHAW WAS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO MY SANITY WHILE RECAPPING

Especially if the result is lesbosexy cuddling.

90% OF THE WAY TO AN APARTMENT TOGETHER AND MATCHING SNUGGIES.

Paige pops inside for a minute and abra kadabra Jenna shows up to warn Emily “about her friend.” Seeing the two coffee mugs Jenna freaks out a bit, but she tells Emily that she should be careful who she shares body fluids with. VERY CAREFUL.

I REALLY WANT JENNA’S SCARF. IT’S SERIOUS BUT NOT TOO SERIOUS. I LIKE THAT IN A SCARF.

Obviously Jenna is talking about Nate but because Emily is incapable of reading between the lines it looks like Jenna is warning her about Paige. Not to be completely absolved, while Emily is distracted by Jenna, Paige notices Spencer calling. She goes ahead and declines the call.

FOR THE RECORD, A GREAT PICTURE OF SPENCER IN TERMS OF PHONE-PHOTOS

Okay, not Paige’s best move. In her defense, Paige and Emily wouldn’t be the first girl-girl couple to go through some tension merging the “girlfriend” with “the straight best friends.” Although, I am suddenly wondering who Paige’s friends are.

So why was Spencer calling? Well, meanwhile next door, Spencer meets up with Aria. Remember Aria? She was the one dealing with her old-man boyfriend’s secret son all episode. Spencer reveals to Aria what she found in Paige’s bag — the other earring Aria put in Ali’s grave.

FOR NOT-VERY-CUTE EARRINGS THESE SURE ARE GETTING A LOT OF SCREEN TIME.

God it’s not like A has never planted a faux clue in someone’s things before. That would be totally unlike A.

Or should I say the A-Team. This week’s creepy cut scene: a black gloved figure passing keys to another black gloved figure.

PROBABLY THE KEYS TO THE CRASHPAD

Predictions for The BetrAyal

You’ve probably already marked your calendar for next week’s mid-season finale which promises someone will betrAy the Liars. I think it’s safe to say it won’t be any of the four Liars or their parents because that makes about as much sense as a bag of rocks. Though abcFamily is setting it up just right, I feel pretty strongly that it won’t be Paige either.

So let’s count down my Top Five Contenders for A.

5. Alison
Yup. It could just be Alison. I don’t know how or why, but it always could be.

4. Caleb
Once Mona was locked up, A needed a way to break in to everyone’s files. Suspicious that Caleb knows how to do just that — not to mention he knew how to unlock Maya’s website. Plus, he could be easily working for A under threat in order to protect his new found mother.

3. Toby
I fucking hate Toby. Besides, all Spencer does is harp on how honest Toby is — he’s gotta be a liar.

2. Nate
We already know Nate is a creep and probably the guy Maya was dating at True North. Maybe he’s not the mastermind behind the whole A operation, but there’s no reason he wouldn’t want to jump in on their action just to mess with all the girls he thinks are leading him on. Is it just me or does Nate seriously hate women?

1. Wren
Why am I suspicious of Wren? I told you earlier! Someone likes filming high school girls and Wren is the perfect market for those videos. Plus, he’s already been entangled with Melissa and Ian. Remember, he was the one prescribing pain killers to Ian back when he fell in the church. I think prescribing drugs to a wanted criminal merits a reason greater than just “owing Melissa.” Plus, Wren has unlimited access to Mona. Most importantly, Wren is close to the Liars, but not too close. The plotline can go on without him.

If any of these guys are the betrAyer — and even if they aren’t– I’ll be here to say I told you so next week.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 272 articles for us.

54 Comments

  1. Thumb up 5

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    Great recap. But in Spencer’s defense she did accuse Caleb of being A (along with Jenna) and only didn’t freak out because Hanna promptly dumped his ass back in Season 1. And she got thinking Toby was A out of her system by the time they got together (because she saw him cry in an alley and he helped them by stealing stuff from Jenna). When he went on a date with Em she was just as insane as she is about Paige. She is just crazy protective of Emily. Also she has refused to go to the very obvious Maya was involved place (given that she hung out with Noel, went to those weird parties, had access to Ali’s stuff, was murdered for a reason) only because she refuses to tarnish the memory of someone Emily loved. And Paige, whom I love, did give Emily a love dunk. So her best friends have reason to be concerned.

    I think it was interesting because from their POVs both Paige and Spencer were right. To Paige Spence is a mean girl going after her like Ali did. To spencer this is someone who could seriously hurt the sweetest most trusting girl she knows.

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      I agree with everything you just said, perfect.

      I don’t think Spencer is making an exception by not trusting Paige because Spencer has gone through psycho “X person is DEFINITELY A” phases with most characters that are not the Liars, and that’s why I love her. Plus the show clearly tried to convince us there was something shady with Paige in this episode, just like they’ve done with Melissa, Lucas, Toby or Caleb. Some of them turn out to be bad, some are good, some unresolved.

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      Spencer also flipped out when Paige made a comment about Em being gay and tried to get her thrown off the team. Which led to Paige dunking Em underwater because she thought it was her. Which led to Paige riding over in the rain in the middle of the night to apologize and talk about how much she hates herself (obviously the easiest way to get to a girl like Emily is hating yourself). Which led to her missing out on the swim meet. Which led to them bonding over a relaxing swim. And the rest is all surprise kisses and snuggles in lieu of restraining orders.

      So, really this is all Spencer’s fault. If she hadn’t been so crazy overprotective of Emily Paige and and Em wouldn’t have broken past the enemy barrier.

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      And we don’t really know how much Emily has told the girls about her past dalliances with Paige when she was closeted, so maybe for Spencer this is just really out of the blue. Maybe all she knows is old psycho Paige with the drowning and the weirdly rigid hair, and now she was a bit blind sided by cute new baby butch Paige who appeared when her friend was going through a lot of grief.

      Also you can tell they are both just so competitive that it won’t go down well regardless… unless they make out in the end.

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    YES SHE WAS IN THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB MOVIE SHE WAS DAWN WHICH WAS SORT OF A MISCAST I FELT AT THE TIME BUT IT’S GROWN ON ME AS I’VE MATURED PAST 10 YEARS OLD.

    Thus ends any feelings I’ve ever had about Pretty Little Liars, a show whose recap I read weekly thanks to Lizz being just so funny.
    Autostraddle: You Don’t Give a Damn About the Show, But We’re So Goddamn Awesome You’re Gonna Read The Recaps Anyway.

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        1. Stacey was totally miscast, is not Mrs. McIntire on Make it or Break it.
        2. Rachael Leigh Cook played Mary-Ann, wtf
        3. I remember at the time thinking “Alex Mack” looked soooo old in this movie. I had a lot of really confusing feelings about her hair and wanting her to look a certain way.

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          it was just confusing not seeing Alex Mack in plaid. Or maybe that was just me being confused about other things as a wee ole tween

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          1) Oh god, Stacy’s casting was probably the worst in a movie rife with awful choices made by somebody who OBVIOUSLY never read Chapter 2 of any Babysitter’s Club book.

          2) I have a lot of lingering sexy feelings about Rachel Leigh Cook, and I think it stems from this ill-advised decision to cast her as Mary-Ann.

          3) She did! She looked so old and they did that weird thing with her hair, and she didn’t even wear ONE TEXAS TUXEDO SHIRT IN THE MOVIE. NOT EVEN ONE. Even though she rocked one on virtually every book cover! What books was the casting agent even reading, I ask you.

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    Jesus Christ. Emily in that purple dress? Jesus Christ. That was heart stopping. She was also totally hot when she was like “are you finished because I am” and stormed off. So, lesson for today is Emily is a very attractive girl.

    Spencer is losing her shit all over the place this season so I do think she is actually having a break down. But she was just as OTT crazy when Toby was sniffing around Em. Not only did Hanna lose out on actually getting crowned homecoming queen because Spencer sent her off in the night to find evidence against Toby but Spencer’s date took off because Spencer spent the whole night stalking Toby and Emily (and don’t forget she had zero sexual interest in him at this point). My favorite is she also chastised Emily for crying about him when Emily thought he was dead! She didn’t even want Em to be sad that he died. This is how crazy Spencer can get.

    Spencer just loses her mind when someone is a threat to Emily. And, even though I personally want Paige and Emily to be together forever and ever, I totally get it. Emily is way too trusting and forgiving. She opens her heart to the craziest of the crazies and they have a psychokiller after them so that is kind of a dangerous habit. They were all so sad when Ali died and Ali was the worst person to ever live. Imagine how sad they would be if Emily, the best person to ever live, died?

    Anyway, Paige’s backstory was heartbreaking. Spence definitely loses points for her total empathy failure there. Emily gains a thousand points for doing exactly the right thing and just holding her without saying a word. The show gains points on having this be consistent with Paige’s tearful apology in the rain (after the Love Dunk) where she demanded that Emily should hate her (Emily said she didn’t) and that she hates herself.

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    100% sure Spencer is having a breakdown and is also possibly in love with Emily in that weird way straight girls sometimes get when they have very lovely lesbian best friends who they feel totally platonic about… but are also a bit sexually attracted to them as well.

    Plus, I think Jenna was talking about Nate as Paige/Jenna interaction has been like zero meanwhile Nate/Jenna action is all tussling in coffee shops.

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    I have very little to say about this episode as far as the actual plot. I felt like it was poorly constructed and way too device-driven and repetitious.

    I though Spencer was so over all the mystery gang stuff. Also (crossover to glee) — she only applied to one school? And that was it? Application in done deal ignore it? Duh you have to keep doing good in high school or get your acceptance revoked. I appreciate them occasionally mentioning this stuff, but IRL (and I know…this is far from real life) the girls I knew in HS like that, were studying and doing extra curriculars hardcore. Yes they had time to mess aroound and occasionally party but I feel like the writers are losing their edge a little bit in making some of these characters believable.

    Also — Hanna. She has her ups and downs but I do really love her character. Which is what bugs me, her going through Paige’s bag with Spencer seemed REALLY out of character for her. And this whole hyperactive everyone is “A” again thing is very very tired and you’d think they’d have learned a thing or two. You’d also think they would never go anywhere alone and carry some defensive weapons or pepper spays and be busy in self defense classes. I would be.

    But yeah, Dr/Dentist/Psychiatrist what’s his name has been suspect to me for a long time. I don’t feel like he’s really THAT involved but I feel like he is quite possibly involved in the whole A team thing.

    Caleb is a bit fishy too, but I kinda agree if he is involved in any way it is most likely he’s being threatened. But he just seems too obvious just like Toby always seemed way too obvious to me just like Paige seems wayyyyyy too obvious to me.

    I am a little more humble/understanding of the emily kissing nate thing now and Lizz you kinda nailed it last week while I was still a little pissy feeling about it. So kudos to you for keeping it rational.

    Also I think nate is kind of a wild card and not involved in any A stuff and is just a crazy and very rude dude that’s getting caught in the middle of stuff he knows little about, ,but perhaps may know enough to get taken out by someone or is acting on behalf of the A team but possibly not for the same goal/reasons of the A team.

    I think Jenna is an ally, I’ve never though of her as anything but, granted she has some massive flaws. Also it is very nice seeing her without sunglasses on, those eyes are to die for! (no pll murder pun intended).

    I think nate is going to get in trouble or do something and get blamed for something the A team really did or something and is just a minor pawn that is obsessive and was hardcore in love with maya.

    Maya still seems suspect to me but not in an intentional way if that makes sense. I think she just kind of got caught up in some stuff and acted immaturely and it cost her big time.

    Just theories.

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      Just to clarify when I said –

      “Caleb is a bit fishy too, but I kinda agree if he is involved in any way it is most likely he’s being threatened. But he just seems too obvious just like Toby always seemed way too obvious to me just like Paige seems wayyyyyy too obvious to me.”

      By obvious I meant obviously NOT on the A team. Obvious as in the writers trying to MAKE them seem suspect, and be “obvious” potential A people. They make the audience purposefully start suspecting said characters in order to deflect who it really is and make it more of a shock/twist when anything is revealed.

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    I’m disappointed that Spencer didn’t have one once of empathy for Paige when CeCe told her about the letter flashback? Really, her “love” for her friend Ali who bullied everyone, including herself and all 4 liars, is so blind that she couldn’t see what kind of pain Ali caused with that letter prank? Though this is leading to Paige/Spencer scenes and really that’s all I’ve wanted since Spencer’s “I will destroy her” line. They’re like the same overly competitive person and Troian & Lindsey are the two best actresses they got, so win win for all.

    And Paige totally ignored Spencer’s call on Emily’s phone cause they were getting ready to go inside for sexytimes and damnit, no one was going to stop her sexytimes tonight!

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    Even if Paige isn’t on the A team or Maya’s killer, Emily needs to leave that girl alone. Paige is crazy and here are my reasons why:
    1.Now knowing that she was like in love with and still tried to drown Emily makes me dislike her even more. If I’m in love with a person in the closet or not I would never deliberately attempt to hurt them.
    2.Then she kissed Emily when she had a gf, then she tried to kiss her months later while she was crying over her gf. No bueno!
    3.Tried to get her gf Emily to stop trusting her friends, this is the sign of a controlling partner.
    4.Picked up Emily’s phone and hit the ignore button on a phone call. Unless you are paying for said phone, leave it the hell alone.

    Nate is totally Maya’s stalker, & Hanna telling him that Emily is gay was hilarious. CeCe killing that snake with a mannequin leg was great. I want to know more about the history between Allison and Paige, cause I feel like a big important piece is missing from that puzzle. Lucas is totally on the A team.

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      Well, she loved her in ninth grade and then spent two years thinking she helped Ali play a horrible cruel prank on her (it was her stationary). Not that it makes it OK but I don’t think she was actively in love with her at that point. But then Emily was so sweet about forgiving her for the drowning saying she didn’t hate her and that she shouldn’t hate herself. Only after that did she seem to get into it again.

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    Herpes joke – not funny.

    I think Wren and Noel are definitely original A-Team, along with Garrett and maybe Jason. There were at least four slouchy black hoodies on the rack in some gloved-hand scene if I remember correctly. Mona, Nate, Paige, Caleb, and Jenna seem more like A-Team freelancers. I still think the A at the top is Alison or an evil identical twin.

    Also, if the recaps include any straight story-lines, why overlook the cutest one of all? Aria’s mom and hipster barista! So cute. So perfect in age difference w/r/t Ezra/Aria.

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    Waiting for this recap has been agony. This episode got me more emotionally attached to Paige then I thought possible…mainly b/c of the bullying thing, and that fear that Lindsay Shaw captured so perfectly. Dang.

    1. I wish the liars (Spencer) would realize that CeCe was the one who suggested Paige was dangerous to begin with – and I’m pretty sure CeCe was at school when Spencer had that convo with Emily about Paige being a snake (so, Spencer’s logic that Paige heard it seems flawed, especially since CeCe was actually AT the fashion…place when the snake thing occured) So CeCe could totally be the one to betray the liars.

    2. Nate yelling at Jenna “I know you saw me girl” i THINK means that it was Nate who grabbed Maya at the cabin the night she died. Jenna had just walked in to the cabin, and may have been looking out and seen Maya and not reacted. Nate, thinking she was blind, thought he got away with it, until Hanna let that thing slip. -which is why Jenna decided to hop town, after telling Emily to be careful of her friend, because Jenna has seen Emily’s friend kill someone.

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      Yes, he was married to sencers sister and had the “affair” with alison while dating spencers sister before ali’s death. He was als the one that put the video camera in the closet when nate and garret tried to leave their little club and Mellisa (spencers sister) walked into the frame angrily.

      iirc – He was the one we were led to believe was filming the girls undressing/half naked whatever, and the contents of the flash drive hanna’s mom just destroyed was supposedly all his footage I THINK. I need to go read a pll wiki or something on that one.

      And also “a” (or possibly mona) pushed him. Which just gave me a flashback to watching that episode and thinking that “a” seemed small and rather girlish, but now the current A we keep seeing (or a’s rather) seem to be 21 or over (drink at the airport) and seemingly more masculine imo.

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        Yeah my bad! It’s fixed now. I’m chronically writing Jason when I mean Ian because they’re names sound the same to me and they’re both creepy white men who are way to old for the characters they’re supposed to be portraying.

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          Oh gawd thanks Lizz for that! I swear I saw Jason yesterday instead of Ian and then today (PI time) twas different and I was like “oh, okay..” HAHA. Yes, I agree with the creepy part, but the 2nd actor who presently plays Jason is much bearable I guess than the 1st one they casted, just saying. Anyway, there, I am at peace now *wink*

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    People can say that Paige tried to drown Emily all they want. I will continue to not agree with them.

    Unf, Paige in vests looks more Brandi Carlile than ever!

    And I’m with ItzaMe, Spencer did just tear through Paige’s personal belongings and basically accuse her of murder. I think ignoring her calls is completely understandable even when you don’t take sexytimes into account.

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      I will continue to agree with you re: drowning. Even when that episode happened I was like oh wow that was aggressive and rude but i did not see it as trying to drown Emily…like the liars haven’t had enough people legit trying to harm them with mysterious intentions that we have to throw Paige in that camp too?

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        When someone is trying to get out of the water and you push their head down so they can’t, thus making them struggle for breath, you may not want to call it “trying to drown somebody” but it’s definitely not a love confession or a gentle caress either. I don’t see how it has any defense

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          I didn’t defend it, but I don’t agree when people call it an attempt to drown her. It’s teenagers acting out. I think Harpy at afterellen and a few others there have really good takes on it.

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    I totally ship Spencer and Emily, so my shipper brain likes to think the reason Spencer is so suspicious of Emily’s girlfriends, is that she’s subconsciously hoping for a reason to get rid of them, and one day she will realize this, and she and Emily will be a thing.

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