Pretty Little Liars Recap 313: This is a Dark Ride of Unclear Lesbian Costumes

This week’s special Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars was Spooktacular. Yeah, I just used the word “Spooktacular.” It was seriously that good.

COME ON RIDE THE TRAIN (WOO WOO) HEY RIDE IT (WOO WOO)

I was not expecting greatness in light of last years flashback awkward-face mismoshed excuse for an episode. Boy did I get my socks knocked off. Way the hell off. Oh, and it was fucking scary.

ABC FAMILY NEEDS TO HIRE BETTER INTERNS TO DO THEIR PHOTOSHOPPING. INTERN GRACE COULD HAVE DONE THIS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THEIR PHOTOSHOPPER


We open on Radley Sanitorium where Mona has just finished adding Brunettes Painting While Singing Teddy Bear’s Picnic to my list of irrational fears. That’s right, she’s painting a full headed creep-o mask situation. Mona says some other creepy pseudo-non-sequitur Mona shit, and then gives some pills and bullets to some hooded figure. Normal A fare.

THIS IS PROBABLY NOT THE WAY TO MAKE A SEX DOLL

Starsweep to the Liar’s neighborhood where they are walking home thinly explaining why four girls who’ve had potentially the most traumatic last few months would ever want to board a spooky themed train on Halloween. They’ve also agreed they’re all going to go as different movie characters and surprise each other which I feel like is sort of an adorable thing BFFs actually do. So that’s cute. Either way I’m just glad Emily won’t be reprising her outrageously offensive “Sexy Indian Girl” costume situation from the previous year. Mostly I was crossing my fingers that all the Liars would show up in the same costume and that would be the hilarious crux of the episode, until I realized I wasn’t watching a CBS sitcom.

IN WHICH ARIA AUDITIONS FOR THE REMAKE OF BEETLE JUICE

Back at the Hastings residence, Garret shows up looking for Mama Hastings but is instead confronted by Spencer. Spencer is so not into Garret hanging about, but luckily Garret announces his impending departure. He says he wants to tell her everything before he goes. FYI this is the moment when you know he’s either going to die to not actually know anything of value.

DOES GARRET LOOK LIKE HE’S LOST SOME WEIGHT? DO WE THINK THIS IS STRESS OR JUST MAKING HEALTHY LIFE CHOICES TO ACHIEVE A LOWER BMI?

Bummer for everyone, this is the moment Toby aka The Worst Person in the World shows up and kicks Garret out. As you may remember, last we saw Toby he was sleeping with Spencer and then turned out to be working with A. So we hate him.

HE ALSO MAKES IT HARD TO WATCH THIS SHOW WITHOUT RETCHING EVERY EIGHT MINUTES.

Flash over to where our second favorite lesbian couple, Caleb and Hannah, are making out in a broom closet at a dentist’s office. The rationale for why this is going on is weak at best but I think it has to do with sneaking around so A won’t find out. Haven’t we been down this road already? Didn’t Caleb get shot and put an end to all of that? I thought the sneaking around portion was over.

THE FIRST TIME THESE TWO HAVE EVER LOOKED LIKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.

Timewarp over to our favorite inappropriate power dynamic couple where Aria is trying on part of her costume just as Ezra comes home.He mournfully reveals that he can’t make it to the Cool Kid’s Train Party because he has a job interview. At night. On a weekend. On Halloween.

WILL YOU MARRY ME? BUT CONTINUE NOT TO TELL ANYONE OUTSIDE OUR FRIEND/FAMILY CIRCLE SO THAT NO ONE AWAKENS YOU TO REALITY OF OUR RELATIONSHIP?

Finally we get to our favorite lesbian couple as they prepare for the night. Just kidding! We don’t see them. Actually we cut to Ashley and Pastor Ted handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. This leads to a whole side plotline about a really creepy, cold little girl — the same one from last years Halloween episode — who may or not be a ghost and also wants to call her mom and then talks about her sister and disappears.

I SEE DEAD SIDE-PLOTS

More importantly, Ted and Ashley are dressed as a sexy doctor and sexy nurse — it’s uncomfortable for everyone involved, but mostly for me.

MY PERSONAL ETHICS AND FUTURE CAREER PREVENT ME FROM COMMENTING ON THIS IMAGE

I’m bored. Let’s get on that Halloween Train Party.

OH RIGHT THE PARTY VENUE IN THE BACK OF THE LIFE CAFE THAT THEY’VE JUST MAGICALLY NEVER MENTIONED

The crew all meet up at the Life Cafe where they make overly grand costume-revealing entrances and await The Train’s departure. Hannah is dressed as Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch. She arrives and gets her picture taken by Lucas, who I guess is good again because he tells her she’s beautiful. That’s a life lesson guys, always trust people who tell you you’re beautiful. Always.

IF GIRLS HAD LOOKED LIKE THIS AT MY HIGH SCHOOL I NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT TO COLLEGE

Aria follows Hannah in, sporting a Daisy Buchanan a la The Great Gatsby costume and a complete misunderstanding of the concept of “dressing up as movie characters.” There have literally been four Gatsby movies (with a fifth on the way) and Aria takes the time to point out she’s the book character. Hannah asks Aria “Where’s your writer?” It took me three days to realize this was because Fitz’s real last name is Fitzgerald. I need to get out more.

I WISH WE WERE WATCHING A DISNEY CHANNEL HALLOWEEN SPECIAL SO THAT ARIA’S NECKLACE COULD BE AN AMULET OF POWER THAT TURNS EVERYONE AT THE PARTY INTO THE COSTUME THEY’RE DRESSED AS

Next up Spencer and her psychopath boyfriend show up as Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not. At least I think that’s who they’re supposed to be.

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT WHERE TOBY AND SPENCER ROCK THE BEST LESBIAN COSTUME OF ALL TIME

Wait. Maybe they’re Bonnie and Clyde? Michael Corleone and Kay Adams? Al and Mae Capone? Okay: mobster and mobster’s girlfriend. I guess it doesn’t really matter because Spencer is smoking hot and I want to put my mouth on her face. Moving on, we finally we get to see our favorite abcFamily lezzies!

WHAT’S THAT SCREAMING? A GOOD MANY DRASTIC SITUATIONS BEGIN WITH SCREAMING…


Yeah, I know. I literally had to pause the episode to throw some ice cubes down my pants. Shesh. That Barbarella outfit is unreal. If you’ve never seen Barbarella, you’re obviously going to need to immediately. This is a need. I honestly couldn’t have asked for more. For the record, I have no idea what Paige is dressed as but I’m guessing the giant flower means some derivation of Carrie Bradshaw. Alternatively, she might be going as Your High School Prom Date. Regardless I would like to cordially invite you all to wear either of these costumes at your leisure. And send pictures.

Just before the train arrives, Team Rocket aka Noel and Jenna make their entrance.

PREPARE FOR TROUBLE. MAKE IT DOUBLE

Noel is dressed as some sort of cross between a matador and Prince William. I think there’s a good chance that Jenna is actually, yet again, just dressed as Lady Gaga. What can I say, Gaga’s look has gotten a bit out there. Then again, Jenna might not be dressed up at all, she does have a thing for tiny hats. Of course I’m just joking around, Noel and Jenna are in a couples costume as lego pirates.

TOO REAL.

Just before everyone boards the train, Noel fakes choking which you should never never never do ever. Seriously. Don’t do that. It’s not funny. Stop it. No okay. Never ever ever.

NEVER FUNNY. NOT EVEN A LITTLE. NOT EVEN AT ALL.

THAT THING JUST LOOKS LIKE A PENIS. IT’S POPPING OUT AT ME AND STUFF.

All is forgotten, however, when the Liars board the train and discover Our Gay Boyfriend Vintage Vampire Adam Lambert performing with what I have to assume is his new band The Sidecuts.

I DID IT ALL FOR THE NOOKIE

He sings his new song “Cuckoo,” and even though the celebrity guest star cameo-ness of it all is almost too much to bear, I love it. Don’t judge me.

YEAH GLAMBERT’S PRESENCE IN THIS EPISODE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO THE LIARS EITHER

During this scene a few things become painfully obvious. First of all, no one, not even Tobychabod Crane can resist Glambert. Secondly, the band’s lady guitarist is super hot. Most importantly though, Paige is breaking one of the most important rules of Halloween — don’t wear a hat or wig if you’re going to be fussing with it all night. She just needs to set it on a table or something.

GET IT TOGETHER PAIGE

Cut to Radley where a nurse goes to check on Mona through a window. Obviously the mask Mona was painting is there instead combined with the classic pillows under the blanket trick. Mona is out and about.

IT’S LIKE THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN LOVE WITH THEIR SEX DOLLS AND PRETEND THEY’RE MARRIED

Meanwhile, mid-song, some masked figure grabs Hanna’s ass. Anyone who has ever followed this show knows it’s going to be Caleb. I was going to have Intern Grace make an overly dramatic chin analysis of the masked figure to prove it was Caleb, but then they show him like three scenes later. I never get what I want.

MARILYN MONROE/PHANTOM OF THE OPERA SLASHFIC

Elsewhere, in the Dining Car, Toby and Jenna have a little run in.

THERE IS TOTALLY A SPACESHIP IN THE BACKGROUND

Jenna: Do you like my costume?
Toby: [covers Jenna’s other eye] I liked you better like this.

Toby needs a metaphorical slap. Like I get that we’re supposed to hate Jenna, but all the blind jokes are uncalled for. They just make everyone else look like a complete dick. Lay off already — it’s just awkward for everyone now. As a side note, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we found out there was more about Jenna and Toby’s relationship we don’t know. Like more fucked up shit.

IS THIS HOW YOU DO AN ASSHOLE?

Over in the Passenger Car, a James Dean clad Jason confronts Spencer. He wants to know if why the hell Spencer was fraternizing with Garret, aka Jason Enemy #1, at her house. Spencer’s all “wah wah wah he was there to see my mom. I do what I want.” I think this would have been a good moment to be like, “Hey Jason, remember the time your shed was full of pictures of Aria and we thought you were A? Yeah, looks can be deceiving, dick.” Alas, none of that happens and instead Jason goes running off into the distance with Lucas.

I WANT TO MAKE FUN OF JASON BUT HIS JAMES DEAN COSTUME IS SERIOUSLY EXCELLENT. BRAVO BRO. BRAVO.

Starsweep to the Hopelessly Devoted Car where Aria looks longingly into the bottom of a glass of whiskey dreaming of her older, well educated, vest-wearing manfriend.

THIS IS QUITE LITERALLY WHERE THE WHISKEY COMES FROM.

Concerned by her long face, Adam Lambert strolls on over to make sure Aria is okay. FYI their conversation is completely weird and somehow the most unrealistic part of the episode. That’s right, the least realistic part of an episode of Pretty Little Liars was a conversation where no one died or threatened to expose some grand lie. They set themselves up to fail since it’s totally bizzaroland that Glambert would even be strolling around a Pennsylvania suburb’s train party on halloween night. Shouldn’t he be attending some sort of gay celebrity halloween bash? Or giving a halloween benefit concert in New York City? Or handing out candy to trick-or-treaters since he’s like 30, works a million hours per week and probably feels ready for a quiet night in with Sauli Koskinen? Also, Aria also draws her name on the glass because she can’t wait the 3.5 seconds until the train finishes going over some noisy tracks. Also Glambert kind of hits on her which is weird since he is credited as himself and last I checked he was Our Gay Boyfriend/Sauli Koskinen’s Gay Boyfriend. So that happened.

PLEASE HELP ME. I’VE BEEN KIDNAPPED. SOME CRAZY SUBURBAN MOMS TRICKED ME. I THOUGHT THIS WAS A CHARITY TRAIN RIDE CONCERT WITH TAYLOR SWIFT.

Just as Glambert is heading off, some sneaky Joker walks by, opens his poison ring and dumps some white powder into Aria’s drink. I’m pretty freaked out by how easily these girls are getting drugged in their drinks, particularly because I think it might be realistic. I’m also starting to wonder why any of them drink in public anymore. Clearly that game plan isn’t working out for them.

THIS WILL PROBABLY DEFINITELY HAUNT MY DREAMS FOR YEARS TO COME.

Fantasy sweep over to the Lesbosexy Privacy Car where Paige and Emily get their feelings time on.

BAD FIRST TIME FISTING ADVICE.

They tell each other they can’t believe they’re together for about the hundredth time. Like I get it already, can we just get to the part where they’re both not totally insecure anymore?

SOMETIMES I’M STILL AMAZED THEY’VE LET THIS LESBIAN LOVE INTEREST LIVE THIS LONG.

I get that they’re high school students so actually the shock and disbelief that someone hot loves you is totally real, but I’d like to get to the part where they get a Ezaria/Hanneb/Spoby sexy scene. Like let’s do that now. Instead they just exchange some hot words and hold hands palm to palm.

ENERGY EXCHANGE

Wait. Wait just a damn minute. Emily is dressed as Barbarella… and in Barbarella that’s how they have sex… with emotional transference when their “psychocardiograms are in perfect harmony.”

Basically Emily and Paige have the nerdiest most lesbian sex ever. Beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take it.

Just then, outside the This is Where High School Students Go to Make-out Cars, Spencer is grabbed by the zombie figure from last year’s Halloween episode.

BREATH PLAY

There was a commercial break to build suspense, but I don’t have the ability to go to commercial break, so let’s take a page break instead!

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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 274 articles for us.

33 Comments

  1. Thumb up 6

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    This episode was mildly terrifying (not so much mildly). Oh my gosh. When did this show get this scary?

    Emily and Paige looked amazing. They make me like, squeal with giddy all the time. Ha. (Take that how you want.) Paige is just so fricken dapper. After she saved Spencer and said it was her pleasure, I was thinking she probably should have also tipped her hat and called her a “little lady.” It was that good.

  2. Thumb up 4

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    The photo captions and roll-over text were absolutely hilarious – these are my favourite recaps in the history of ever.

    “At night. On a weekend. On Halloween.”
    Bad attempt by the show to explain his absence, or VERY SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR?

    Also, the girls really need to pull a Mad-Eye Moody and start bringing their own flasks to things. Then again, A did drug Emily’s personal cream, so I’m not sure if I’d even trust my own personal flask if I was them…

    I’ve always said that if I was the girls, I’d hire the Olsen Twins to solve this mystery. Handwriting analysis, footprints, a couple interviews, and the Olsen Twins would have A revealed in a week, tops.

  3. Thumb up 3

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    Ali obviously has a twin. Every single clue leads to it. I think Ali thought she killed her twin (or the twin tried to kill her, was institutionalized and busted out like in the story from last Halloween?) and the twin started blackmailing her before killing her. I think Garrett caught video of the twin and figured out what was going on, which may be why he hid Ali (or was it Ali’s twin?)

    Also, I think the joker was supposed to be the Queen of Hearts (like Mona’s card in an earlier episode) which I think is a reference to the twin, though I don’t think she was in the costume (hence the man-sized fake nail.)

    My theories: Twin Ali is the main “A”. Mona is just under her. Toby is Mona’s thug, basically. We know Lucas is somehow involved because someone in the baby costume (which Garrett wore) handed him a note about the train in the official webshow (perhaps it was Garrett and Lucas is trying to solve the mystery, too? Hence all the pictures? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was being regularly blackmailed by A). I think Spencer’s dad knows more than he’s letting on. I also think CeeCee is much more suspicious than they’re portraying her, as are the Khans.

    I would love Ezra to be on the A team, mostly because his character is so detached from the main storyline. It would be an amazing twist if he’d been the joker/queen. His reason for not going on the train was laughable and he got to that train pretty quick. I think he was on the train the whole time.

    I think the hand at the end is either a flashback to Ali being buried alive, proving perhaps that she wasn’t killed in the woods or the ghost girl (a young Ali, the one who was killed). I wouldn’t be surprised to find out Ali was killed and buried in her yard and the Ali at the sleepover, who was dating Ian and who is in the videos, was the twin. The entire N.A.T club could have been the original A team, working for the twin to take out Ali (Jenna was awfully quick to ask if Ali was dead when Garrett hit the tree.)

    Obviously I have all the feels for this show. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  4. Thumb up 4

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    It’s funny that you called Noel and Jenna Team Rocket because I spent the whole episode thinking that Ashley was dressed as Nurse Judy from Pokemon.

    Also, fun fact! The name on Ali’s body bag read ‘Charon & Sons Funeral Directors’, and Charon is the ferryman in Greek mythology that escorted the dead across the River Styx on their way to the Underworld. Yay for Classics nerds.

  5. Thumb up 3

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    I’ve missed these recaps so much Lizz, you totally rock! I just laughed/giggled my way through this. :)

    Emily was just, wow. And if I was in Paige’s place I’d think I was dreaming too. I liked Paige’s costume, but wouldn’t it have been great if it was her that went as James Dean? Talk about needing ice cubes.

    I loved this episode! Of course, I usually love all Halloween TV shows. Now we’ve got another long wait for more recapping goodness. Boo!

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    Best part: I was watching with a friend who had never seen it before. In the scene where Caleb/Hanna are making out, she was like “Lesbian make-out scene!!!” until I pointed out Caleb is a guy. Then the actual lesbian make-out scene was pretty disappointing.

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    I am way way late to the Ghost Train Party party, but I’ve only recently discovered these GLORIOUS recaps. Anyway, I know a thing! The awkward scene between Aria and Glambert where she writes her name on the window is a reference to the Hitchcock film The Lady Vanishes. (The writers of PLL think pretty highly of themselves.)

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    I’ve never read your stuff before, but I just read this post, and I just wanted to let you know that you’re hilarious! Keep up the awesome work, I loved reading this!

    PS Jolie said Aria writing on the window is a reference to The Lady Vanishes, which it is. Kinda like the cafe is called Rear Window…and that is a Hitchcock movie all about voyeurism…kinda like PLL is all about voyeurism haha There must be a big Hitchcock fan on the PLL writing team!

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