Pretty Little Liars 218 Recap: A Kiss Before Lying and Smoking Drugs With Miles Davis

This week on Pretty Little Liars, it was revealed that Ally was a big Nabokov fan, Spencer has seen The Notebook 365 times and Aria reads a lot of magazines. Furthermore, The Liars combined their mindmelding Captain Planet powers to summon a flashback involving a brief scene for which none of the aforementioned Liars were actually present. And the hair? The hair was shiny, reader. The hair was so shiny that even sunglasses and visors couldn’t protect Jenna or Toby from the stunning glare and therefore Tammin Sursok and Keegan Allen weren’t on payroll this week.

whoever smelt it, dealt it

Before we move forward towards anything remotely relavant, have y’all read Nabokov’s Pale Fire? Because I feel like Ally has.

oh my god jenny, bette is going down on jessie spano!!!

So, this week on Pretty Little Liars, A threatened Hanna that if she didn’t “cut off the techno-boy toy,” A would reveal The Lasanga Safe to the cops, since A is such a notoriously reliable whistle-blower always sticking her face in other people’s faces. By “tell the cops” A likely means “send the cops an Olive Garden gift card with a limerick pasted on the back in invisible ink that will reveal the location of another clue which will eventually lead the fortune-hunter to The Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany in Tuscany, Italy, where all the answer will be hiding is the Lasanga Rollata al Forno.

Regardless, it’s not Hannah enlisting Caleb’s brooding hacker skills, it’s her sketchy friends who are always breaking glass and uploading photos from History into their AT&T Extreme Magic Dash Phones. Hanna eventually busts her friends for trust-breaking and tells Caleb a little slice of the truth, which inspires him to go all Brian Krakow on his bicycle to Jenna’s ’cause nobody told him Tammin Sursok was off this week.

I love the way he leans on his handlebars

Also much to Hanna’s dismay, her Dad has moved to Rosewood along with Hanna’s new stepsister Kate (the spitting image of a Regina George/Paris Geller mashup).

is definitely wearing a thong

Spencer gets Spencerly Obsessed with Kate from the get-go, eventually deducing that she knows Kate from her sister’s summer camp, back when everyone called Kate “Lucy Caboosey.”

look i'm not gonna tell anyone what happened between you and dana fairbanks at tennis camp, i know that you're famous now

Aria continues to wear inexcusable ponchos and engage in mystery dates with her Humbert Humbert in dark cars while Mom and Dad think she’s pigging out on pesto with Holden Holdem.

look, maybe we should say or do something interesting this episode

At some point, Aria and Holden Holdem end up accidentally having a real date ’cause both of their sketchy situations fall through. If the first rule of Fight Club wasn’t to never speak of it, I’d float some theories regarding Holden Holdem’s “deal” but it is, so I won’t.

i want you to know that i wrote that line of the recap about fight club before getting my intern's screencaps and WHADDYA KNOW she named this jpg "i-hope-its-from-fight-club." DEAL SEALED.

Spencer has taken to crying a lot about Toby…

i know, those earrings made me cry too

… and wearing, alternately, Toby’s underoos, conservative sweater sets and a vintage raggedy hat originally worn by Oliver Twist in the 19th century (that’s where he kept his pet rat.) Spencer is adorable all episode long ’cause she’s got NEEDY on blast. This would be a perfect time for her to go Lez, but alas, she does not.

listen ladies, real talk: it's a hard-knock life for us.

Well enough of that heterosexual nonsense, let’s move on to the lesbian parts, shall we?


We open in Spencer’s Special Kitchen, where Aria is dressed like Jeff Spicoli meets Jem and the Holograms with neon green mobiles dangling precariously from each ear as Caleb does his very best Garcia with A’s phone and Laptop Magic. Hanna doesn’t want Caleb involved because then A will kill him with a shovel, so she’s not been told about this secret meetup.

oh my god is that paris hilton's actual vagina

Spencer spots a fake ID in A’s found video and Caleb superzooms to reveal another Ally fake ID that “looks nothing like her” except that actually it does look a lot like her, but with dark hair and a sultry book jacket facial expression.

this totally will get her in to "Let's Bolt"

Meanwhile Hanna is blowing up her friends’ phones like the World Trade, desperate to take a bubble bath and play Strat-o-Matic baseball while watching a Goddard film, but they’re all liars, duh.

doesn't wanna spend another night alone at home watching "jane by design"

Also, later we’ll get that flashback I mentioned in paragraph #1, wherein Allison’s “hair guy” (was he also her “phone repair guy”? Those exist, you know) calls Allison “Vivian Darkbloom,” because Allison has an evil twin according to my own personal theory which I’ve been trying to sell to my girlfriend for like a year now.

I'm just here getting my wig styled. You?

Anyhow, Vivian Darkbloom is a name from Nabokov’s Lolita, which is a brilliant book about a profoundly fucked-up man.

There’s a golden ticket in it, too!


In some romantic moonglow pool-esque hideaway, Maya and Emily are cuddling in bed with a kind of awkward familiarity that reminds me, painfully, of the first few times I was lying on a bed with a girl who also liked girls. Like I knew I was allowed to touch her but I didn’t know when or how.

i could touch your hair all season long, maya

Real Talk: Maya is either totally awesome or a completely sketchy selfish motherfucker. Either way, Emily’s drawn to Maya because Maya is bold and fearless and Emily isn’t — or, wasn’t. She’s getting bolder and bolder by the minute, but the fear never goes away. So sometimes when everything is scary, it’s nice to relax into somebody impossible to scare.

look, it's not like you were on intervention or anything

Seemingly unaware that she’s dealing with a swimming-slaughterhouse-strangler victim, Maya treds into PTSD territory by offering to sabatoge Emily’s swim team with a sickle and a semi-automatic — well, not exactly. But the girl gets morbid:

Emily: “It’s just so weird, watching them celebrate and not being a part of it.”
Maya: “What can I do? Steal their swimsuits? No, no, no, drain the pool. No no no I got it, I got it — fill their shampoo bottles with Nair. Talk to me.”
Emily: “No, making them bald would actually give them an edge on the competition…. Trust me, I’ve already considered it.”
Me: “Also, Nair smells like Nair and hair grows back, swimsuits are easily replacable objects and pools are easily re-filled. Also, it’s so obvs that the actress who plays Maya is about 15 years too old for high school, despite the petite figure and generous lipgloss producers seem to think will fool the audience. YOU CAN’T FOOL ME!”

let's make like lasagna and layer up

So, Emily’s Mom is coming into town and Maya’s curious if Mrs. Fields still hates the living shit out of her junkie ass. Emily says her Mom is a “totally different woman” now, because she is, and it’s sweet and true. Besides, says Emily, it’s not her fault Maya’s allegedly hippie parents shipped her off to a two-year marijuana recovery program intensive.

she should take off those rings before somebody's cervix gets hurt

Maybe one day, Emily and Maya will kiss WITH TONGUE!


Next up, Emily’s walking from nowhere to somewhere else and spots an arts & crafts project dangling perilously on her locker door — preparing for another excerpt from A’s Sex Cheques, Emily cautiously opens the note…

what if it was from paige and then she showed up behind emily with fangs and a machete

UT-OH IT’S A! Then Emily flips it over and finds a pot cookie! JK, it’s not a pot cookie, it’s the kind of cookie Moms can make on airplanes. LOOK WHO’S HERE!!!

look i even cried two golden tears and made them into earrings, this is how much i missed you

Firstly, Mom looks great! HUGS!

guess mom isn't mad about the whole prison thing

I’m waiting for Mrs. Fields to reveal she’s staying in a fancy hotel and ask if Emily wants to throw a fancy hotel party there, but no dice. We have no clue where this woman is staying but regardless, Mrs. Fields would like to take Emily out to dinner, probs at Benihana:

Mrs. Fields: “Is there someone else you’d like to invite? Someone special? Someone new?”
Emily: “In a way. It’s Maya. We started seeing each other again.”

Mrs. Fields invites Maya to dinner, isn’t that nice?

Emily: “I know you weren’t crazy about Maya.”
Mrs. Fields: “There was a lot going on back then. I feel like I never really gave her a chance and it’d be nice to have another opportunity.”


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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 3212 articles for us.


  1. Okay, hafta say– I LOVE these recaps. I’m sure they’d be even better if I actually watched this show or had any idea what was actually going on. ^.^;;

  2. I got so excited when they said “i love you” to each other. like flopped around on my bed like a beached dolphin kind of excited. yeah, i freaked out.

    that being said, if i have nightmares about drowning in a hot tub of bubbling pre-cum i will be writing you a strongly worded e-mail in the morning.

  3. That paragraph with the stereotypes about bisexuals. DYING. Also the Tegan and Sara reference in the alt-text.

    My sister and I are spending our time coming up with increasingly elaborate stories as to what Holden is up to because that’s probably more interesting than any of the actual storylines. She thinks he got in a fight with a bear. I think he’s a street fighter protecting innocent babies from harm.

    Also I hate Maya.

  4. Maya creeps me the hell out. All during dinner I thought she was going to shoot laser beams out of her eyes to scorch the salads that none of them actually ate. I also think it’s funny that she wanted to split a brownie for dessert, CAUSE YOU KNOW homegirl was just jonesing for a “special” brownie and that was the closest she could get.

    She also had crazy eyes when she said “I love you.” Um…do you? Do you really? Or are you just luring precious Emily into your jazz-related web situation of laser beam eyes and freakshow exes?

    • THIS. I laughed out loud at least five times. like omg, the belt/vein/heroin line…absolutely hilarious. also, the “struggling with my phone” picture…

      also, i feel like maybe shay mitchell’s acting has improved. her discomfort faces at the dinner table were spot-on.

  5. I definitely said “Omg that bruise is definitely from fight club” as well…

    Sadly, I think we are wrong.

      • She’s still shady. I don’t trust her. I would lose it with someone that pulled an act like she did in the dinner scene with Emily’s mother. If she’s gonna act that crazy and immature in front of her girl’s mother, that’s just a peek into how she could be one on one. No me gusta.

    • i have not read the books, no! i thought mona was A in the books… and as tempted as i am to inquire further, i am going to spoiler alert the hell out of your comment

      • Oh, I’d give them a quick read if you ever have a free afternoon, they’re very breezy. The television series is a lot different, and i think better, than the book, but they’re following the same general plot line. Emily’s lesbian drama is a lot more epic in the books, she gets sent away to a True Directions style camp and is a runagay and everything.

        They’re in the same style as Private, True Prep and Gossip Girl if you pay attention to crappy YA literature at all.

      • I’m not sure is this is a spoiler exactly but my understanding is that the show is not necessarily going to follow the books.

  6. Don’t hate you and still love Maya. Even though I was thinking WTH as she acted a complete fool during dinner. I’m gonna give her a pass because she’s still pissed about being sent off, and teenagers don’t always use common sense. And yay to Emily for finally getting some! If Maya pulls another stunt like that, i’m gonna agree with others that she is not the one for Emily.

      • I get it the actress that plays Maya is not a teenager, and guess what neither is the actress that plays Emily or any of the other 3 liars. And Stacey Dash wasn’t a teenager either on Clueless, oh my! Same goes for most of the Glee cast too, shock and awe!

        • no but the actress who plays maya is 32. all the liars are between like 21 and 24. i think puck is the oldest “student” on glee and he’s 29 and looks totally ridiculous in that school and i obsess over it too. actually i’m also obsessed with how shay mitchell looks too old for high school too.

          • The liars are 22, 22, 24, & 26. And the guy that plays Ezra is 25. I just don’t get the obsession over the actors real age. It’s a TV show, it’s not real life so does it really matter if they are not teenagers. It’s like when you go to a play and you have to use your imagination to suspend belief so you can fully enjoy what you’re watching. But if you’re obsessing it’s gonna ruin the experience.

          • Am I the only one who is obsessing over Tammin Sursok’s (Jenna) actual age ? She’s like, 29 but she looks SO MUCH OLDER. So much older. I think it is actually worse than Maya and this really bugs me… I can’t take her seriously. I just can’t.

  7. I have never watched this show. I probably never will. But I will ALWAYS read these recaps! I suspect they are far more entertaining than the series.

  8. Um so I feel like I’m in the minority here but I love Maya. Yes she was a little (a lot) weird in this episode but something about Maya and Emily together is just golden to me.

    • I love Maya too, though no hate ’cause the recap is full of hilarious. I think they covered a lot of where Emily and Maya are at in this new version of their relationship. They’ve been cuddly, smoochy and romantic but now also dealing with the fact that sometimes your girlfriend is selfish and acts like a jerk. And they addressed the elephant in the room: “Are you wigging out about me being bisexual?” Emily saying that she did feel jealous, and worried about having double the competition was something I could absolutely identify with.

      The assurance from Maya that Emily has no competition led to thoughtful gestures, making out, declarations of love, more making out and horizontal time that sure looked like it was heading towards “now we’re having teh sex”!

      This is a comment I made on another recap,it sums up my overview of the PLL lesbo shenanigans:

      And this was all on a 8pm show, geared towards teenage girls, aired on ABC Family. I can’t explain how fabulous I think that is. I was a teenager in the early 80’s; before the L.A. law kiss, before the Roseanne stunt kiss, before Ellen the sitcom, before Xena, before Buffy, before Ellen the talk show, and before Glee. The fact that this show is able to tell Emily’s story, including her love life, with as much respect as any other liar’s makes my heart sing with joy.

      • I loved your last paragraph because like you, I was reflecting on the fact that these wonderful scenes were playing on ABC FAMILY and I’m like is this real?! Especially when someone says that any gay relationship does not reflect “family” values. I honestly thought my queer heart was going to explode and sprinkle rainbow confetti everywhere lol

  9. I’ve never watched Pretty Little Liars . . . but this recap introduced me to Anyone But Me and I’m hooked, so thank you :)

  10. It’s hard to hate Maya b/c she was so great back when Emily was struggling with coming out and also she has such shiny hair. But OMG girl was awful at dinner. I had to keep muting and/or pausing it b/c it was so painful to listen to her/watch her make awkward smoking a joint gestures. I wish new sassy Emily had told her off more but I GUESS I was ok with the amazing underwater make-out scene and the “I love you-“s. Ugh I’m especially annoyed b/c Emily’s newfound good relationship with her mom is so amazing. Also it’s probs harder to watch Maya be so childish than say Hanna because it’s so blatantly obvious she’s 32, ha. Either way, your recap was hilarious and so spot on.

  11. I have never seen better lesbian kissing on a show that is not The L Word.

    And this recap is the best thing ever. full of hilarity from start to finish, and some really thoughtful analysis about the fact that while Emily has grown substantially throughout the series, her fear still exists, and for us fearful folk it’s always nice to have a fearless badass companion (even if she occasionally does inconsiderate dumb shit like Maya’s dinner-with-Mom performance).

  12. Omigod, Riese (and Grace), this recap was brillzzzz. That Sim screencap had me laughing way too loudly for this time of night.

    So. Emily is all kinds of sexy and I am thrilled that she has snark now. Also? That dinner scene, I couldn’t believe it! “BABY GIRL! SHAY! LOOK AT YOUR FACE!! YOU CAN EXPRESS MULTIPLE EMOTIONS NOW!!!” If that isn’t character development, I don’t know what is.

    (p.s. There totally was tongue in the waterworld bedroom scene. Glee needs to take notes on how lesbians can happen.)

  13. I hate that watching an episode feels like an hour long panic attack, but I can’t resist it. Also I want emily to hook up with Hanna’s friend, can’t remember her name, the girl that’s always mad she’s being ignored. I am all for this. I’ve never really liked Maya, but am not one to oppose queer relationships actually happening on a show such as this, so whatevz.

    ALSO I LIKED ARIA’S EARRINGS AND OUTFITS in this episode. I was feelin’ it. Except the hat, though it was cute on her I’m just not huge on giant baggy hats like that on anyone that doesn’t have massive amounts of dreads.

  14. I wonder if people’s problem with the actress that plays Maya is because they know how old she is. If this had been her first role and nobody knew who she was I seriously doubt people would be all well she obviously looks to be in her 30’s. The chick looks around the same age as some of the other “teenagers” on the show.

    • I don’t have a problem with it, because most of the people who play teenagers on TV are not really teenagers. I just find it funny in her case because she’s been playing a teenager on TV since she was an actual teenager almost 20 years ago. She looks amazing though, I’d like to know where she found the fountain of youth.

  15. The only reason I want them to have sex is so I can make a “Mr. Pointy” joke. In a bad Jamaican accent.

  16. I’m on the fence about Maya. She was great during all of Emily’s coming out drama but now she’s kinda weird. Like marijuana rehab-bootcamp-whateverthehell did things to her brain. I did enjoy all the girls making out in this episode though. (Glee needs to take notes here about what actual girlfriends do with each other.)

    My thoughts on the rest of the episode is that they need to stop making Spencer cry so much.

  17. I found a dirt cheap copy of Annie On My Mind the other day and bought it even though I already own it, and now you’ve got me rewatching Anyone But Me. I’m going to be an emotional wrecking ball within 24 hours.

  18. I did not like your recap of the episode and I love Maya, yes the writers went a bit over board with the dinner scene but I am always going to love Maya, she and Emily make a very cute couple.

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