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

Emily and Mrs.Fields show up at a medium-fancy restaurant to find Maya consorting with Noel Kahn, who’s got his man fingers all over Maya’s mobile.

Emily: “Since when has Noel Kahn been your phone repair guy?”
Maya: “He saw me struggling and offered to help. He’s really sweet!”
Emily: “No, he’s not. But his smile takes up half his face so I can see how you could be confused.”

Emily! I do declare! You’ve gotten sassy and I love it.

Before we move on — just to recap, Noel Kahn apparently spotted Maya in public “struggling” with her phone, which I assume looked like this:


— and offered to fix it for her because nobody upgrades in Rosewood and if your phone breaks or needs something, the best way to repair it is to let a strange guy with ambiguous “phone-fixing” knowledge take it off your hands for a few hours/days/weeks. Henceforth this strange guy will become your “phone repair guy.” “Phone repair guys” are the new “lawnmower guys.”

Sometimes this show feels like the results of a writing exercise wherein young aspiring screenwriters were challenged to construct a multi-season teenage-focused thriller about primarily on cell phones.

So, Mrs. Fields tells Maya it’s great to see her, and it sounds genuine, but then Maya — who acts drunk for the entire meal despite being sober, sidenote  — busts out with “You know what they say about clean living!” Which is just like — whatever, what do they say about clean living? Is it marijuana’s fault that my hair looks like shit today and Maya’s looks straight out of a Vidal Sassoon Academy commercial? Mrs. Fields volleys back with, “Well, whatever you’re doing, it’s working,” ’cause Mrs. Fields wants to take the high road (not to be confused with “getting high,” which is the one-way road Maya took, heading North.)

if clean living could make my teeth look this good, i'd give up whiskey forever

Emily, painfully attempting to steer the convo south of Awkward City, reveals that Maya has joined the Jolly Juicy Jazz Band of Clean Living at her new school.

Mrs. Fields: “You know actually when I was in college, I had a huge poster of Miles Davis right over my bed. I absolutely worshipped that man.”

FYI, this is the huge poster Maya’s gonna have right over her bed at college, DUH:

Does anybody dislike Miles Davis? I thought the entire world was in agreement that Kind of Blue is the best album of all time. Still, Maya is “surprised.”

Maya: “Really, That’s surprising.”
Mrs. Fields: “Really? I mean what kind of music would you think I would have been listening to?”
Maya: “Oh, I don’t know. Classical music I guess? Something very sophisticated.”
Mrs. Fields: “Well I think jazz is sophisticated.”
Maya: “Oh me too but — jazz musicians are also known for–“

Because pretending to smoke an imaginary joint is far more discreet than saying the word “weed” or “drugs,” Maya does just that (If only Maya had whipped her belt from its loops, fastened it around her arm and dramatically searched for a vein, because weed wasn’t the only drug jazz musicians were “known for”). Maya’s whole line of reasoning is non-sensical as fuck, as judging musicians by their drugging/drinking habits would leave a person stranded on an island with nothing to listen to but Taylor Swift.

but she sure is pretty isn't she

Emily summons an OMG-Uncle-Bob-Is-Drunk strained smile as Mrs. Fields gallops gamely forward
with innocuous jazz-band-related questions when this whole disaster gets interrupted by Maya’s phone, ’cause it’s against Chapter 14 Paragraph 87 of the Rosewood Constitution to ever put one’s ringer on silent or ignore a phone call. Maya actually gets the phone from her bag, checks to see who it is, ignores it, and then shares with the table:

Maya: “Sorry about that, it’s just my stalker.”
Mrs. Fields: “Excuse me?”
Maya: “Oh, nothing, I’m just kidding. I dated this guy while I was at True North and he’s having trouble accepting that it’s over. But it’s cool, everything’s fine.”

Gah! Now Mom knows that Maya is indecisive, confused, slutty, having a phase, just dating boys because she’s in denial about her lesbianism, only dating girls because it’s trendy, unable to maintain a monogamous relationship, dishonest, homicidal, an alcoholic, ran out of things to fuck and needed something new, a Katy Perry fan, just waiting for the right guy to come along and fuck the gay right out of her, a cheater, the prize in a game show wherein bikini-clad lesbos and their juicehead male counterparts wrestle to the death in a hot tub of bubbling pre-cum, mentally unstable, trying to seem hip in order to promote her new movie and/or memoir, always up for a threesome, attention-seeking, having her cake and eating it too, planning to date women but ultimately marry a man, would never be seen with a woman in public, greedy and flaky. Also, let’s be real: a jazz musician.

really papi

We cut to other scenes and then return to this one, where Maya’s manic drunk-o crazyface remains in full-force and Emily’s acting like Maya punched her in the face with a penis.

Emily: “Why were you acting like that?”
Maya: “You’re the one who’s been freezing me out for the last 30 minutes.”
Emily: “Because you completely torpedoed dinner!”
Maya: “How do you see that?”

Um, like this:

Emily: “You kept making jokes about weed–”
Maya: “I made one joke and –”
Emily: “– and every time I tried to change the subject, you brought it back to True North.”

That’s the thing about True North. It’s everybody’s favorite direction to go in. Honestly I keep thinking about the NYU dorm Third Avenue North.

Emily: “I asked you to start over with my Mom.”
Maya: “And that’s what I was doing. I was trying to be honest.”
Emily: “Being honest is fine, you were trying to get a rise out of her. Why else would you bring up dating that guy? I finally got my Mom to come on board with me dating girls, and you bring that up? It’s confusing for her.”

you realize my mom is paying for this dinner right

Maya: “Is the fact that I dated a guy confusing to your mom, or for you?”

We cut like Maya just made a stellar point but really COME ON. I’m a badge-blaring member of the Honesty Police with Strong Political Opinions but surely Maya’s psychotic-stalker-ex-boyfriend-from-rehab bit wasn’t a deviation from the rest of her Dinner Behavior Disaster but actually a part of it on multiple levels. Turning it around on Emily seems — well — unfair.

For starters, I’d be appalled if my girlfriend shared what Maya shared regardless of the gender of Maya’s partner — you oughtta save “psychotic exes” for maybe your third Christmas with the fam. Furthermore, she’d already ruined her chance to make a good impression before the phone even rang so probably should’ve stopped talking altogether. But, in the context of the rest of the night’s entertainment, it’s hard not to see all of it as a profoundly obnoxious gesture shared specifically to make everyone as uncomfortable as possible.

All joking aside, if my new girlfriend’s Mom was still in the “maybe she’ll meet a nice boy” phase and I was presenting as a girl-who-likes-girls and I’d just gotten out of a relationship with a boy, I would keep that shit to myself for the sake of my girlfriend. Hell, if my new girlfriend’s Mom incorrectly thought her daughter could manage a full-time job on top of school and I myself had a full-time job on top of school, I’d play it down or complain about how hard/tiring it was to do so. My personal identity/politics/beliefs/”how the world SHOULD be” sometimes take a backseat to love and family or just wanting to have a nice meal talking about music, weather and kittens.

Get them to like you first, and THEN open up the Honesty Box, you know? That’s how you change minds in the end.

i'm gonna go stand in a toilet stall crying softly to myself, brb

That being said, I don’t think Emily’s Mom is confused about anybody’s sexuality, I think she’s confused about why Maya has been a petulant weirdo for the entire meal.

What happened to the Maya who was there throughout the worst patch of Emily’s coming out process? Maya can be mad at Em’s Mom forever and ever, but this dinner isn’t about that. Also, Emily’s Mom is just visiting, why deliberately fuck with their few Precious Moments? Or maybe I’m hurting for Emily ’cause I know how hard it is to date someone your parents dislike, how hard it is to convince them there’s a side of her they just haven’t seen yet. It’s just the worst, it really is. “You know what they say about clean living!” Jesus christ.


Despite the fact that I don’t like Maya anymore and Emily should do whatever I say, Emily stops by her house in the morning for some processing.

somehow already looks this good

Emily: “The thing is, I do have a problem with you dating that guy, but not for the reasons you think. I have a problem with you dating anyone but me…”


Emily: “…and knowing you’re into guys and girls, it just doubles the amount of people that I have to compete with.”
Maya: “Trust me, you have no competition… and you were right. As much as I’d like to be zen about it, I’m still mad at your Mom for busting me.”
Emily: “So now what?”
Maya: “Can I show you something?”

First, props to Emily for being mature and not biphobic. Secondly, last night, Maya smoked a shit-ton of opium and proceeded to decorate her room in a style that’d get at least 1,000 reblogs on tumblr. It’s all deep blue and sparkling with an underwater glow and it works — the decor just SCREAMS “darling it’s better down where it’s wetter.”

that's why it's hotter under the water

Maya: “If the sharks won’t let you back in the water, I’ll bring the water to you.”

She’s talking about saliva:

i think tongue is going to happen

Maya: “I admit, I like to live life in the grey area, but the way I feel about you is crystal clear.”

Maya gazes into Emily’s sweet brown eyes like a psychotic vampire starving for a Big Gulp of Human Blood, and Emily opens her neckhole up to love.

Maya: “I love you Emily.”
Emily: “I love you too, Maya.”

And then they tumble onto the bed, geography be damned!

Well, now at least we’ve got this sorted out:

So. As much as I’m rooting for Emily to be with anyone at all, to have something to hold onto, I’m not sure that Maya is that thing. Two weeks ago Maya actually used “I was seeing someone else” as her excuse for cutting Emily out without any explanation whatsoever, and Emily accepted it not as a red flag, but as a Reasonable Explanation. Sure, Maya’s right to hold a grudge against Mrs. Fields, but if you don’t have anything nice to say it’s best not to say anything at all — if she couldn’t contain her resentment, she should’ve declined Emily’s invitation.

So, what do you think? Do you totally love Maya and hate me?

Oh also the best part of the episode was when Garret fronted like he was gonna hit Caleb with his car and Caleb made a face like “who the fuck are these people?”

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Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

      • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. “(If only Maya had whipped her belt from its loops, fastened it around her arm and dramatically searched for a vein, because weed wasn’t the only drug jazz musicians were “known for”)”

    -> Made me think of this:

  8. 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).

  9. 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.)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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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