Pretty Little Liars 204 Recap (The Lesbian Parts): Blind Dates Aren’t Straight

Last week I didn’t recap Pretty Little Liars because I figured:

1. Nobody would care.

2. Nothing gay happened.

3. You’d still get a fashioncap!

and that was the moment aria knew jenna wasn't blind after all

So we might just switch over to pure fashioncap and then I’ll do an end-of-the-season roundup. If anyone reads this part and doesn’t just skip to the comments, share your feelings with me on this. I’m not sure if I can maintain recapping an hour-long premium cable show (The Real L Word) and really anything else?


Episode 203: My Name is Trouble

Although I didn’t recap it, last week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars was probably one of its best yet despite its heterosexuality. Forced to remove the girls from their relationships with each other and plop them into new social encounters, PLL’s writers are finally digging into who these girls really are ON THE INSIDE.

Speaking of the inside of people, there has been no news on former vadgeblasters Paige and Maya. I hope they’re both in a very safe place with Papi where there’s cupcakes for everyone and everybody can smoke pot and/or be Queen Leader Champion of the Swim Team.

So. Last week on Pretty Little Liars, Emily wrote a fake letter of acceptance to Danby College with her Nancy Drew Calligraphy Set and decided against passing it off to her now-schizophrenic mother, only to have A. bug really bad, go through Emily’s garbage, and mail Emily’s family the fake acceptance letter.

Her Mom gets so excited about Emily’s imaginary scholarship to Dan-bee-Dan-bee-Do that she practically becomes a lesbian/17.

i wanna be cool mom now

All the girls are still doing the thing where they get together to talk about how they can’t get together. Spencer’s basically completely lost her shit and is skittering about town in Victorian Fashions, dating Dove-soft hulkmonsters, pawning jewelry, hiding in bushes and buying trucks. Essentially, Spencer has become Olivia Benson in one of the episodes where she becomes a renegade guerrilla detective because the department didn’t back her irrational obsession with tracking down a suspect to a crime that may or may not have happened.

so how exactly would you define "lesbian sex"?

All this whispering and sneaking around has the effect of making the Liars seem like they’re all in secret lesbian relationships with each other.

then aria told them what she'd never told anyone before - that she had a crush on shane

A bunch of other stuff happened which brings us to THIS week on Pretty Little Liars: Episode 204.


Pretty Little Liars Episode 204: Blind Dates

This week on Pretty Little Liars, Emily and her rascally friends pounded about in an alley looking very sassy/surly while Spencer fought with the pawn-shop man about the ring she sold him to buy Toby’s truck which A., obviously, immediately purchased (the ring, not the truck). Emily wore flannel, of course, and that is SO Aria in the bandanna with the hoops:

what's your man got to do with me?

Have you noticed how whenever the Liars get a text from A., they get all bug-eyed and open-mouthed looking all around them (especially up, they’re always searching for A atop a building) for — A? Are they looking for A? Do they think that this time THIS WILL BE THE TIME that A gets lazy and is actually just sitting on the street with her cloak and dagger and gloves, texting away?


Onto the lesbian parts!

We open The Lesbian Parts in Emily’s bedroom, which Pam ricochets into, package in hand. Is it a puppy? A pony? A lizard?

At first I was afraid to open it, because I thought there might be a you know -- a dildo in it

By the way, Pam’s #1 feeling is DANBY. Seeing as Emily’s been averaging about one facial expression per conversation I guess someone’s gotta carry the team.

to be honest i was hoping that package was from delia*s

The package is from A. and contains Danby merchandise and probably poison. Pam thinks it’s from the mysterious Coach Character. Womp WOMP.

you know like the show with mr.t

Next up! Pam hauls her chipper ass to Emily’s swim meet where she apparently informs all the bleacher creatures that her daughter has been offered a full scholarship to Danby for swimming even though she’s only a junior and hasn’t applied yet, and obviously this has impressed the Citizens of Rosewood.

Interesting to note however — Emily’s top competition, Paige, is still nowhere to be found!? Where is Paige’s angry father, he should have 34 feelings about this advancement in Emily’s career.

But guess who IS at the swim meet!

this looks like the promotional photo for a lifetime movie about a woman with demons and sadness

It’s DJ Tanner! Just kidding, it’s Samara, the blonde girl of ambiguous origin who goes to a school with a really flexible schedule.

emily couldn't even see samara, she was too distracted by that weirdo backpack

Samara’s like “congratulations!” and Emily’s like, in so many unspoken words, “oh my fucking god what the hell have I done.” Samara gets all Sajdah on our asses with “it’s a beautiful campus, I could come visit –“

I mean, they’ve been together — are they together? — they’ve known each other for a certain ambiguous amount of time but Samara’s already google mapping the route from here to Danby. Little does she know Emily will probably be stabbed by a serial killer way before senior year ends.

samara's talking but emily's eyes are going south

Samara: What’s wrong?
Samara: Oh my god you don’t want to go to Danby?
Samara: Or you don’t want me to come to Danby?
Emily: No, it’s not that. That letter is not real. The coach from Danby didn’t write it, I did.

No no I’m not even slightly concerned that you’re already planning our weekends together for 2013! I just have this weird stalker person who breaks into my house, steals my garbage and mails it to my Mom. That’s all!

AND THEN! Mrs.Fields, still in her Danbytrance, actually senses that Samara is more than a friend and cutely intones, “Emily has told me so much about you, it’s nice to finally meet,” which is obviously a total lie, but it’s a sweet lie.

I got it at the gap! on sale! it's cute right? I mean i normally don't do horizontal stripes, but

Yes — it took Pam several ambiguous periods of unexplained time to come around and accept Emily’s sexuality. But maybe we can allow her that. She went through that disorienting bit of life where, as a mother who expected one thing and got another she got a little crazy.  There’s the uncertainty and the fear and the hope that maybe if she really puts her foot down, this big loop she’s been thrown for could reverse itself. Pam’s husband is away and his job is a tad high-risk. She seems kind of lonely and her only life activities are preparing meals and carrying laundry past Emily’s doorway.

But as time’s gone on and she’s seen that Emily is 1)certain, 2)totally still the same person, Pam’s come around too. So hurrah. (Have I said this before? It feels like a new thought, but who knows.)

This is just to say that Pam, in her excitement, invites Samara over for some kind of celebratory meal. Probably turkey drumsticks and red velvet cupcakes and Hennessy and pita.

i don't know mom, pretty girls just come to me like moths to a flame

Emily’s like, oh shit, you don’t wanna know what happened to the last girl who came over for dinner, and Samara’s like, I got this.

WHERE’S PAIGE? I want her to return in complete psychosis and throw a table at Samara.

and then after dinner...

Samara jokes that Emily’s staying in Rosewood so they can have a second date, because honestly that’s exactly the kind of thing a 17-year-old lesbian would do.


and that's when i "married" spencer in the treehouse!

Next up, Emily and Samara are sitting on Emily’s bed, looking at Emily’s scrapbooked years. Samara, understanding the weight of the Lesbian Persuasion lies upon her shoulders, butters Pam up so well she practically glides onto the bed, ready to talk more about glue-guns and rice paper. This isn’t the first Mom Samara’s had to impress.

yeah there's kaluha in my mug, what's it to you

G-d we have to work twice as hard, don’t we? When you meet your girlfriend’s borderline-supportive parents? You’ve already got one strike against you — vagina — so you can’t afford anything else. You can’t be also unemployed or shy or a total druggie wasteoid pothead.


SO ANYWAY! Pam, on her cloud of Sunshine, is already emotionally/hypothetically planning for Danby visits and calling the coach to thank him for the coffee mug/arsenic and Emily — because Emily la-la-la-loves the truth — is squirming.

Emily: “Mom. The truth is –”
Samara: “The truth is that Danby has a good team. But so do a lot of other places. My Dad knows the coach at Stanford and they have a great team. I was just telling Emily that I think a lot of different schools will be interested in her.”
Pam: “You think so?”
Samara: “With her times? Totally. I wouldn’t get locked in to Danby. Play it cool and wait for the other offers to roll in during senior year. That’s when the real action starts. if you contact the coach now, other places might get the wrong idea.”
Pam: “That seems to make a reasonable amount of sense.”

And herein Samara summarily solves all of Emily’s Problems With Her Mom. Now if only she could work on the “don’t ever see your friends” thing.

So at this point Samara is essentially stalking Emily, but she hasn’t tried to drown her and she doesn’t constantly send Emily sadistic text messages, so she’s practically Brandon Walsh.

i couldn't decide if i should wear a hat today so i just decided to HALF-wear a hat

Emily’s like, “My Mom found the internet today and has spent all morning in a quagmire of University admissions websites!”

Samara: “So, it worked.”
Emily: “For now.”
Samara: “So be happy. For now. With me. At least it gives us time for a second date.”

Wow! So that’s moving forward. In other news, at the end of the episode somebody blows Ian’s brains out.

watch out you'll catch some flies

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. Riese, I know you’re busy and that recapping The Real L Word really fucks up with your sense of reality/space/time/vodkatoblood ratios but I love your recaps.

    All of them.

    TRLW and PLL recaps are kind of my favorite. I mean, I don’t want to promise you that I can stalk you like A does, or treat you (read: smell your hair) like Whitney, but I will opening proclaim my love and donate money to Autostaddle.

    So, this is kind of like a bribe, but not, because I’m cute and you’re cute and if there is anything that we’ve learned from these two shows, it’s that cute people, even when they’re completely cray-cray, can do no wrong.


    • LOL “completely cray-cray.” Hahahah. I have never heard that before, but I’ll have to start using it. People will probs look at me like I’m cray-cray when I do, but worth a shot.

  2. Um, I can’t top Emily’s comment but, I really like your recaps too. Please continue with PLL if you can. :)

    • Obviously the only person who can top Emily is Samara. Also Paige and Maya, but LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.

  3. Yes, Riese, please recap! They got me into this show and now I’m HOOKED!! This has to be better than TRLW, right?

    By the way, am I the only one to not like Samara? Her smile is just too big and fake to me.

    • “It’s DJ Tanner! Just kidding, it’s Samara, the blonde girl of ambiguous origin who goes to a school with a really flexible schedule.”

      I haven’t warmed up to her either, something is off with her but I can’t really put my finger on it.

      • I know, right! Aside from the attempted-drowning (which read worse on AS than in the actual show), she had a corporal personality. And she had a dry sense of humour which always wins. Samara is a freakin’ Barbie…but her nose is too short. You know, I think that’s what it is. Her nose is too short!

        • i love the idea of paige’s attempt to suffocate emily underwater for 6+ minutes until emily went limp and had to be rushed to the hospital and barely even survived “reading worse on AS than in the actual show” (seriously, I do)

          • Sorry lol That makes me sound so morbid. No, I read all of the recaps and only now have started watching the show, so I guess since I already knew it was coming I wasn’t as…shocked? By the way, I don’t rememember the hospital scene =\ Probably because of my morbidity, probs.

          • Okay, wait, what the hell, there was no hospital scene. She was just like “BITCH PLEASE WHAT ARE YOU DOING” and then they yelled at each other. I’m so confused, Riese.

  4. I’d much rather read these re-caps than TRLW! They are brilliant and I actually care. Please, Riese?

  5. I haven’t read past the first sentence and… I cared! I love your PLL recaps. That was a bummer for me since it was actually a crappy episode to watch (not to be redundant but nothing gay happened!) and I thought reading your recap might be better than the actual show. I do feel your pain having to recap both PLL and the “Real” L Word on top of everything else you do, so I figured you were probs mad busy, yo. I guess this is a good time to ask if you’ll be recapping Degrassi… it’s on 4 nights a week this summer. Ha! Weekly? ;)

    • Oh crap. I just read the next paragraph! I hope you continue to recap, but I do understand you’re a busy lady. If I were you, I’d personally just make the Real L Word recaps less in depth/shorter so they don’t take as long. But I’m not seeing your views and clicks and stats and whowuzzits and mahjigs so it’s obvs your call.

  6. riese,, puhpuhpuhpuhleaaaase don’t let it stop. im addicted to PLL and your recaps only make it that much better. i have 3 straight roommates who i watch the show with and was able to 1) subtely/passively come out to them via your PLL recaps and 2) turn them all on to the magic of autostraddle via your recaps.

    win. win.

    i don’t wanna beg. but i mean. i’ll beg.

  7. Riese I have an idea, stop recapping TRLW at all! and focus on Pretty Little Liars c:

    P.S. The Real L Word really REALLY sucks, why would anyone care?!?!

  8. Riese, apparently AS is filled with hungry baby birds who need you to regurgitate all the TV shows into their mouths/brains.

    • I also was not sure if this was meant to be taken as a lighthearted joke or a rude snarky comment at the expense of those who enjoy recaps. I’ll assume it was a joke and, yes, I’m totes an adorbs baby bird.

      • Sometimes I think things are funny when they’re definitely not funny. This is one of those times, I am thinking.

        I also enjoy the recaps. A lot, actually. I like it when Riese throws up TV into my brain.

        • I laughed too, because I totally am a baby bird. Recaps are what brought me to Autostraddle. Long before I felt confident enough to comment. I READ RECAPS OF SHOWS I DO NOT EVEN REMOTELY CARE ABOUT, THE RECAPS ARE THAT GOOD. This either says something awesome about Riese, or something awful about me.

  9. I didn’t care that you didn’t recap last week because your record is pretty clear that you are here for “the lesbian parts” of which there were none. But I will TOTALLY CARE if you don’t recap at all. How about just a fashioncap when nothing gay happens like last week. Pleeeease. I mean, I hate to pressure and I know you’re busy and writing isn’t like turning on a faucet, especially when you’re trying to be clever/funny, so do whatever you think is best of course. Also, I love these recaps but I freaking live for your TRLW recaps. Have I mentioned how awesome you are?

  10. “Speaking of the inside of people, there has been no news on former vadgeblasters Paige and Maya.” Hahaha. I will henceforth refer to lesbians solely as “vadgeblasters” and see how long it takes for someone to tell me to not say that anymore. For some reason the Delia*s caption got me too. Funny recap! Samara does seem a little dull. They need to try the Toby/Jason/Ezra treatment and just have her shirtless for one entire scene. It really brings out the character’s personality, I feel.

  11. Maybe you could get vadgeblaster pins to hand out.

    The part I’m totally on board with is this…”WHERE’S PAIGE? I want her to return in complete psychosis and throw a table at Samara.”
    Yes, please.

    • Yessss. I have no feelings re: actual acting, I just look at screencaps, but Paige looks way awesomer than Samara (aka “creepy smile/dead eyes” girl)

      • So I like Samara, I think she’s super cute and all.
        The thing that we missed from last week episode is that Emily actually MENTIONED Paige. As in “she’s the one on the phone” when it was actually one of the PLL, to cover it up in front of her mom. So I guess the character is still out there somewhere. Who knows !
        I do want her to come back though. In the meantime, I’ve figured out a way to get my fix: I’ve started watching “10 things I hate about you”. In which she is SO ADORABLY PRETTY ! And she doesn’t have that sucky haircut but instead long flowy shiny curly PLL-like hair. /me loves.

        Other than that.. Riese, please keep recapping those ? These are the reason I stumbled upon Autostraddle in the first place. And PLL is still much better than TRLW, even if it has less lesbian parts – but at least the crazy here I can handle.

  12. If you stop recapping PLL I will cry, just cry all over the place. Cry until my room fills up with water and then I will drown. DO YOU WANT THAT ON YOUR CONSCIENCE, RIESE? I kid, I kid.

    In all sincerity I enjoy your recaps almost as much as I enjoy watching the show, which is to say a lot.

  13. I’m also befuddled with this lesbian vortex. I mean, fuhh, Sean and Lucas and all the boring Abercrombie & Fitch boys keep coming back. I feel like IFC has something to do with this… SHE’S HOARDING ALL THE GOOD-CRAZY GAYMOS.

  14. Oh my god, what you said about winning over the parents and vaginas…
    And not all of us are avid scrap bookers with gluegunning skills!!

  15. Please please Riese. Don’t ever stop regurgitating TV into my baby bird mouth.

    Here’s how it is. I love your recaps. I want you to do what you need to do, even if that means dropping the Pretty Little Liars recap. But for what it’s worth, if you were to do only one recap a week I would overwhelmingly prefer a PLL recap to a TRLW recap. That said…as long as Heather Hogan doesn’t catch a fatal disease or fall of something tall, the world will never lack hilarious lesbian recaps of PLL.

  16. “Essentially, Spencer has become Olivia Benson in one of the episodes where she becomes a renegade guerilla detective because the department didn’t back her irrational obsession with tracking down a suspect to a crime that may or may not have happened.”


  17. I haven’t even read the rest of this story. Just the first paragraph. Please, please, pretty please, do not stop with writing these recaps. They are genius!

  18. Riese,

    I anxiously await your weekly PLL recaps because they’re better than the actual show, haha! Please keep PLL on your recap weekly agenda, they are by far the superior read to all other snark recaps out there!

    • Can I just say that I absolutely hate it when people claim that someone’s recaps are better than an actual show. I don’t understand why you’re watching the actual show then…

      I often see this in the comments of Heather Hogan’s recaps and I quite honestly can’t stand her recaps. I don’t ‘get’ what’s so “hilarious!!!!!” about them. Am I alone or what?.

  19. How have we not discussed the bizarre basketball montage in the middle of the episode?

    • Yeah, that was really weird, and hetero, and I actually got bored during that part because it was sooo long. I understand the concept of an establishing shot, but that was way overdone.

      ps. PLL recaps make my life complete.

    • I legit thought it was a commercial for Axe body spray or something because it was so awkwardly lengthy.

  20. Well, I don’t want Riese to have to recap both shows when time simply doesn’t allow it, but i’d much rather see the PLL recaps than TRLW… I realize TRLW does allow for more/better recappy snark but PLL is just so adorable and actually, like, constructive. But yeah, don’t do both if it’s too much!

    Also, does anyone think Samara kind of looks like Riese? no…? weird to say…?

  21. i feel like everyone’s going to hate me for this, but i agreed to all three of you’re points. i don’t know how you can handle recapping this much tv.

    you’re a saint

  22. You do what you need to do, Riese. Personally, I think your recaps are hilarious and I really enjoy reading them (especially since this show just gets more and more ridiculous every episode) but I know you over-work yourself already for this site. Long sentence short, you do you. Make that the most important thing.

  23. TRLW is basically only tolerable because of your recaps whereas PLL is good even without them. Saying that, I ADORE YOUR PLL RECAPS! I kept checking multiple times a day last week for the recap and was overjoyed when this one came up. If there were any way for you to do both, I’d be more than happy… :D

  24. I might have to stop watching PLL without your recaps. I was so upset last week that I had basically wasted my time watching if you weren’t going to post one…plus they make me feel a little less guilty about watching such a terrible show because your snark is just too good. I’ll join the bandwagon on the whole dont-bother-with-TRLW-instead, but I understand why that’s not gonna happen. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is you’re the best and if there’s any way you can find the time, please don’t stop?

    • I don’t understand… if it’s such a “terrible” show, why do you bother watching it? Way to be negative.

  25. I laughed through the whole thing.
    You got me into the show when it first started and I would be so incomplete without your weekly recaps. I hope you can keep doing them!

    I started watching TRLW last season just for your recaps, but it got to a point where I. just. couldn’t. So I haven’t read any of your undoubtedly hilarious recaps of that train wreck this season. I can understand why those might be important to keep for ad/hit purposes.

    Should we move on to bribery?

  26. Also, this.

    “G-d we have to work twice as hard, don’t we? When you meet your girlfriend’s borderline-supportive parents? You’ve already got one strike against you — vagina — so you can’t afford anything else. You can’t be also unemployed or shy or a total druggie wasteoid pothead.”

  27. Wait, people actually watch TRLW? (Though I guess I can’t ask because I lost my gay card over not watching/being into The L Word in the first place.)

    But I love your PLL recaps! Between you and Heather Hogan on AfterEllen, this show just feels like genius.

    • I lost my gay card over not giving a shit about The L Word too. I watched a couple of episodes and haven’t looked back. TRLW I haven’t even attempted and don’t plan to.

      I suppose this means that I’ll have my vadgeblaster status downgraded anytime now.

      • They need to release sex scenes compilation of The L Word. That’s why 20% of us watched, plus the other 50% that won’t openly admit it.

  28. …but seriously I love your recaps and I check every day after PLL to see if it’s up.

  29. Please don’t stop the recaps and I do look straight after watching the episode to see what you wrote about it, even have it saved on my bookmark bar…

  30. TRLW saddens me more than PLL. Also, my girlfriend coerced me into watching PLL and now I am hooked, so your recaps make me feel a little bit better about watching a show that plays on ABC Family. Also also, the end of this recap was epic. Please continue?

  31. I love your PLL recaps so much I actually MISSED THE LAST EPISODE because you didn’t recap it haha, without your humorous remarks, the storyline tends to blend together and I didn’t event notice.

    I’m practically crying from laughter by the end of your PLL recaps. Do what you got to do, however, PLL and thus autostraddle where I go after I watch each ep.
    (sometimes I read the recap before) So basically, you darling are my pre-game and my afterparty.

    TRLW is an awful show,recap PLL. The show wouldn’t be the same without you!

  32. India’s BLR (best lesbian roommate) here.

    just wanted to give my two cents, (which are…?)
    I LOVE YOUR recaps.
    mainly Pretty Liars. They should legit pay you or clone you are something.

    heart you and your recaps like whoa.
    Jessie out

  33. I watch the show every week with my two straight roommates and I got them hooked on your recaps. This show–and subsequent recaps–make it easier to talk about all my homogay feelings with them. They even made me a b-day card with a picture of Emily Fields in it. Also, in our ongoing game of Kill, Marry or Bury they had me choose between the PLL’s.

    In summary, you probs shouldn’t stop the recaps. Please and thank you :)

  34. hello! i wanted to let you know that because you are all so lovely and want me to keep recapping, I will — but only on weeks where there’s actual lesbian content which means not this week! But Lizz will be doing a fashioncap every week and will add extra plot to them on the weeks that I don’t recap. I hope this is ok and nobody is mad at me.

    thank you for all the support

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