Pretty Little Liars 605 Recap: The Girl With the Tippi Tattoo

Hanna runs into Lesli again in the Brew; she’s still pacing back and forth in there and hexing Mona under her breath. Hanna wants to play nice, but Lesli just wants to slander Vanderjesus’ name and impugn her character by bringing up Radley. While Lesli is being a butt, Mona is leaving a handwritten card in Ali’s mailbox asking forgiveness and speaking of the Reki she’ll be doing for Alison each and every morning, forever, to make amends. Or maybe it’s a bomb. I don’t know. Mona works in mysterious ways. Spencer sees her leaving the note and rushes over to ask if Mona remembers any ghosts doing modern dance in the Radley basement, but Mona does not. She was too busy leaving treasure maps for Spencer’s inevitable arrival and devising a verbal acrostic to let the Liars know about Maya’s secret website page with her love poems to Emily and her video diaries about living in the walls of Noel Kahn’s cabin.




Oh, praise. It’s just a rotting corpse.


I thought it was another man coming to explain basic shit to me.

And so, Spencer and Hanna decide to break into Radley’s basement. It is creepy as the Jupiter’s moons, and they are a couple of cartoon stooges down there! Hanna keeps knocking shit over. Spencer keeps tripping over everything. There’s a dead girl in a bathtub full of guts. Just kidding, it’s a doll of a dead girl in a bathtub full of guts. Hanna legit goes, “WHAT IS THAT, A BLOW-UP THINGY?!” In between all the rickle-rackle, they find Charles’ files. Or, well, a work order for Charles’ harvested organs to be delivered to a donor center. So Charles is dead. Or whoever was pretending to be Charles at Radley is dead. Or whoever Charles traded souls with Charles before arriving at Radley is dead. Somebody’s organs aren’t in their body anymore, and that person is dead.

Hanna and Spencer hear some clanking and go out to investigate, and it is Mona out in the hallway with Lesli’s Radley file. Yes, indeed, Lesli was a Radley patient and that’s how Mona knows her. (Sidenote: Real good job moving all the Radley files to that warehouse for shredding, Radley employees! I swear only the Rosewood Police Department is a less competent organization than this asylum!)


OMG, did you think I was going to tell you the truth about things? You did come from a hole.

Back in the dark room, Aria discerns that the A who menaced her at the junkyard today has boobs. She frantically texts this information to Emily, but Emily is getting the Japanese symbol for Fake Cousin tattooed onto her hip, so Sarah scoops up her phone and reads the message and goes screeching into the street. Emily hobbles after her with her freshly tattooed hip and finally finds her squawling in an alley about how could Emily not let her know she’s on the prowl for A! Emily’s like, “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my disposition to withhold all information from you! Zig-a zig-a!”

The Liars convene a moot to go over today’s smorgasbord of clues. One of the A’s has boobs. Lesli Stone was in Radley and was Bethany’s roommate, and Bethany was one of the blonde girls in a yellow tanktop who got killed and buried in Ali’s yard on Endless Labor Day, and Melissa did at least one of the buryings, and Melissa is Spencer’s sister, and Spencer is a Liar, and therefore Lesli is after the Liars for revenge. Also, Sara Harvey turned Tippi the Bird into a cannibal.




Bloodlust: Activate.



Alison cannot join the moot because her dad won’t let her out of the house because he caught her kissing an adult man and he can’t victim blame her for it if she’s not confined to his home.

Mona calls Leslie to tell her she scooped her file from Radley, and all Lesli does is scream into the phone like an agitated banshee and call Mona rude names, which: let me be real honest with you. I could hear Orphan Black Helena’s SKRREEEE-SKRONK music in my head when Lesli started screaming at Mona like that. But like I was Helena and someone had just tried to hurt my science babies.

Don’t hurt my bb, Leslie; it will not end well for you. SKRREEEE-SKRONK

Meanwhile, across town, listening to French records and eating taffy, the Risen Mitten gently crafts a new Aria doll.


Thank you, as always, to Nicole (@PLLBigA), who in addition to providing us with these amazing screencaps also has taken on the role of talking me off the ledge before and after every season six episode.

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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 872 articles for us.


  1. Not sure if it was intentional on the writer’s part, but I fully appreciated Hanna calling Aria out on her transphobic tomfoolery regarding A’s shadow.

    Aria: “Boobs means girl because gender binary!”

    Hanna: “Or nah. Just a bust. A bust that probs belongs to a redheaded bespeckled she-demon, but still just a bust with no inherent gender because that’s not how that works.”

  2. – I got my wish. A “House on Haunted Hill” Spencer.
    – I completely forgot about Mona and Mike. Apparently so did Mona.
    – What is that that Emily is holding. Is that lingerie?
    – I feel less bad about photographer boy now that I realize that he’s just a plot point to get Aria to her time jump.
    – “Alison, you have to own it. Bad behavior has a way of catching up with you.” This is what I’ve been saying all along.
    – KILL HER HANNA! Kill Lesli and protect your woman.
    – Lesli threatening Mona with payback in a town with both -A AND Mona is a joke.
    – So Spencer has to be high to be sexting Tobey? I’m sure she sexted Aria ACCIDENTALLY. She was high. Yeah, that’s it.
    – Here I’m going to have to include a tweet from Kim Baczko: “Hannah’s bone dry cup needs to be filled with some pink drink pronto”
    – Emily, are you talking about her…or yourself?
    – Was Hanna hitting on Lesli? However Lesli was dropping some truth on Hanna.
    – “You’re the first girl to toss her cookies in my car.” DAD JOKE!
    – So is that tattooist hitting on Emily? Her good china brings all the girls to the yard.
    – I see Lesli yelling at Mona, and she’s berating her about being able to do anything, but I wonder if Mona is playing her. Mona did make a whole bunch of noise down there. On a night when she knew that Spencer and Hanna would be there.
    – Spencer moving Hanna’s head around is the most Spencery thing to ever be Spencered.
    PS – Spencer is -A.
    PPS – A short Pretty Little Liars noir fanfic of mine.

      • yes. People unfairly hate on Aria. Starting with 4A she has just gotten better and better. But bc she was awful s1-3 no one engages in her storylines and just writes them off.

        • S1-3 is more than half the series at this point in time so you can’t really blame people for being conditioned to tune out during Aria’s scenes. (And I say this as someone who’s trying really hard to like her.)

          • Ali was awful for 4.5 seasons and yet everyone has turned around on her. The same way season 5/6 have made me recontextualize Ali 1-4 season 4 made me recontextualize Aria seasons 1-3 and now looking back I’m not nearly as annoyed by her.

  3. When PLL is finally over, it is highly possible that Ali could go down as one of the best examples tv has given us of a feminist icon. She certainly has the potential to be one of my favorite television characters, ever. If that is ruined for a romantic relationship, in particular one with the likes of FUCKING LORENZO, I will lose my shit. It will go down as one of the greatest disappointments in the history of tv, in my opinion. Second only, of course, to Faberry never happening.

    Excellent recap, as always. Thanks, friend.

    • I totally agree with you. I have to believe, though, that a show that could make me do a 180 on Ali (I went from her #1 hater to #1 fan) would have something up their sleeve on this whole Lorenzo thing. He’s a grown ass man making out with a teenager. Just like Detective Rick Perry Hair was a grown ass man making out with (the same) teenager. He’s up to no good. Maybe Hanna can go all Tonya Harding on him with a tire iron like she did Det. RPH.

    • Also, Marlene King has always said that the Liars are the only Ship the show cares about. I really do have faith that Alison will take her place as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne as she burns the patriarchy to the ground with her fucking dragons.

      • I wish it were more obvious though (“the only ship” part). The show seems to hold onto Hanna+Caleb and Spencer+Toby for dear life. And used to do the same with Aria and Ezra… The male romantic interests on this show just WON’T GO AWAY.

  4. The only thing I could think after the episode was
    “Oh no, no no no, now the knowledge that Emily has a nonsensical kanji (Japanese symbol) tattooed on her hip will plague me for the rest of my life!!”

    It’s one thing to have kanji tattoo and it’s another thing altogether to have a tattoo of a kanji that doesn’t actually exist. Don’t be one of those people, Emily!!!

    Courage in Japanese is 勇気 so they got the first symbol right. The second one looks a bit similar to the traditional way of writing the second symbol but it’s still different and not the same at all.

    My only hope now is for them to show the tattoo later in the series and have it somehow magically be the correct symbol.

  5. I nearly threw my laptop into the wall when Lorenzo kissed Ali. FUCK. THIS. SHOW. SERIOUSLY.

    I also can’t believe the whole Sara-emancipation nonsense, and that Emily would impulsively get a culturally misappropriated tattoo just like that? Is that legal, to get tattoos under 18?

    Ugh, and then Dean showed up and condescended to Spencer about being better than needing drugs to help deal with her PTSD. Like. Are you fucking kidding me, show. This is the same as telling a depressed person that it’s all in their head and just have a positive attitude.

    This whole episode was chaotic garbage. All of it. If I didn’t know that there was a time-jump coming up soon, I’d consider walking away because this show is just flying off the rails with the constant predatory mansplainers everywhere.

  6. My head also exploded during any scene featuring Ossifer Creepenzo. But I strangely find myself rooting for him just because it makes Kenneth (Vernon is a much better name for him, btw) SO MAD.

    Where is Tanner? She keeps summoning folks to interrogate them for whichever crime, but we haven’t seen her?

    Shoutout to High n’ Horny Spencer. I can’t imagine sexting Toby would be all that great. Like, she’ll come down and reread her texts and maybe judge herself. Also, she should rethink her relationship with Mona (hopefully, long live HasterJesus!!)

    Oh, Emily. You gorgeous amazing human. You’re so gonna regret that tattoo after the time jump.

  7. Your recaps are everything! They always make my day! I’m particularly impressed at your ability to recall random events from so many seasons ago and relate them to what’s happening right now. and I just love how you point out the absurdity of things. This show is pretty ridic in many ways but I still can’t stop watching. Definitely a guilty pleasure. Although it does have some important underlying social commentary. Also I just love Alison, been on her side from day 1; she is not the problem but the fucked up society she lives in..also hate Lorezon obviously.
    Emily what’s up with you, poor tattoo choice and I don’t dig the Harvey chick or they relationship dynamic.. I think it’s time they give Emily another love interest with actual potential.

  8. This episode was one of the scariest ones they’ve done in a while. Aly’s dad is the worst. Emily is so into Sam and she’s making all the cute faces. The Aly Lorenzo romance feels so forced. Can they please give Aly an age appropriate romance that’s not manipulating her. People are so awful to her. I love Mona and am glad she’s back.

  9. Forever calling it the good china from now on. Also, was Emily blinded in the dollhouse because that Tippi tattoo was godawful. I second the fact Em should have gone with the mermaid holding a harpoon, perfect metaphor for what she’s doing with her life right now, antithesis of her “courage” tattoo. Hoping not for it to be Lasered during time jump but for giant water dragon coverup from rib to knee.

  10. Spencer, I know you were high for practically this whole episode, but if A could fake an autopsy report, A can fake an organ donation report. USE YOUR HEAD. Charles is obviously not dead, and Leslie is obviously a red herring.

    And Emily? Remember Fake Cousin Nate? Stop trusting people who give you so many reasons not to trust them.

    And Aria? Boobs do not mean “girl”. Remember that Vivian Darkbloom wig? Remember the masks of Ali’s face? A is a chameleon. Maybe if you’d actually been on this show for the first three seasons, you’d know that already.

    And Mona? Ali is not the problem. Use you adrenalized hyperreality to find the person who, I dunno, abducted you and trapped you in a bunker?

    Finally, Hanna? You can stay. But have a talk with your BFFS, because you are the only one who has made any good decisions in the last like, 3 episodes.

  11. -At this point I almost feel like they won’t make Sara Harvey a double agent for A because pretty much everyone’s calling that
    -Don’t get me wrong, Lorenzo is the absolute worst, but I’m pretty sure the relationship isn’t that age appropriate? Like, I’m under the impression that he’s supposed to be Toby’s age (like 19) and Alison is either 18 or really damn close to turning 18. They should really make it more clear though.
    -Clark is basically just a plot device to get Aria to her timejump/take that one picture of ‘A’ so I’m not particularly fazed by him tbh
    -Also (MILD SPOILER ALERT?) Tammin Sursok said in an interview that she’d be back in season 6 for a handful of episodes, so maybe Mona’s look at the beginning of the episode is foreshadowing of that? (And hopefully Sydney will come back too… and Noel and Lucas and Cece and everyone else involved in this A web).

  12. Love your Seussical words, Vandergolightly and Marshalbot were fabulous. Your provide insight into both the craft of television and storytelling. Now if I could just peel off you Paily goggles, but I understand your personal attachment too well to believe that will ever happen. Thanks for the prompt recap, I live for yours to be posted.

  13. So I have to admit, originally, I wasn’t completely hating on Lorenzo – for a couple of reasons.

    First, Ali is all alone and she really needs someone in her corner. For two years she was alone on the streets. Then when she came back it wasn’t long before her friends turned their backs on her and tried to frame her for murder (cough…Emily…cough). Her first Christmas home she spent alone while the other girls partied it up next door at Spencer’s house. Then she was all alone in jail. Now that the girls are all out of the dollhouse no one is spending time with her, except when they want to yell at her about Charles. Emily is too busy chasing after feral, crazy train, Sara like a lost puppy begging for affection (Don’t even get me going on that one because I could write a book about it). Meanwhile, Ali has NO ONE right now and it would have been nice to see her interact with someone with no agenda and no judgement of her past deeds, even if it was just temporary.

    Second, I don’t think he is supposed to be that much older and it’s just bad casting. Ali and these girls are about to graduate (well maybe not Ali because she has so much school to catch up on) so they’re most likely already 18, or if not at least late 17/almost 18. Lorenzo could very likely be fresh out of the academy, like Toby. So realistically he could be 20 or 21, maybe even 22 and that isn’t age inappropriate for a girl who is 18 or about to turn 18. Again, I think it was horrible casting on the producer’s part to choose an actor who looks so much older so it yet again looks like an older man trolling on a young girl, when it probably isn’t the case this time.

    Third, When I heard Ali was going to get involved with Toby’s partner I had mixed feelings. For a minute I thought how great it would be if maybe…. just maybe….. the writers took that opportunity to show Ali in a new light. He could be the perfect catalyst for Ali to realize and accept that a relationship with a man is not right for her, nor is it what she wants.

    But what the writers are doing, the way they’re portraying this relationship, is an absolute travesty. They’ve made him a sleazy creep who they’re trying to make look genuine, but he’s simply preying on her vulnerability. And it’s a combination of the writing, the casting and the acting. It makes my skin crawl they way he looks at her and speaks to her and I want to take a shower and wash away all the ickiness after every one of their scenes. There’s no chemistry there and you can see Sasha’s attempt to make it work but she has nothing to work with in her scenes with him.

    So I find myself not only disgusted but supremely disappointed. Once again the writers are wasting an opportunity to explore the Ali and Emily dynamic and are, instead, throwing these girls with two insignificant characters who mean nothing, have no impact on the story and are just taking up space. Unless Lorenzo or Sara turns out to be Charles or A or on the A-team, what is the point of this? Why are they wasting air time when there are still so many unanswered questions and one very long overdue conversation about a certain night spent in Ali’s bed? I get that Emily is done coddling and letting Ali manipulate her, but it seems like the writers don’t want them to interact at all. When was the last time they had a scene alone together? That phone call from jail?

    Anyway…. to sum up all my rambling…. Lorenzo is a creep and now I am officially hating on him. It makes me sick to see Ali being preyed on yet again. It’s like Spencer’s drug addiction and Emily’s need to cling to any lesbian who steps within a one mile radius of her. Can’t the writers come up with anything else, new and unique, to do with them?

    Come on Marlene and company, use your creative brains and give us something worth watching…. although I do have to admit Spencer and her pot brownies and cookies do make me laugh despite the severity of the underlying message of how she’s about to crash and burn again.

  14. Heather Hogan, I am anxiously awaiting your dissent in regards to Emily’s storyline this season. I appreciate that you don’t want to talk about it yet. We don’t want to hear about it yet. However, I look forward to the day when you write out exactly what’s wrong with what’s going on this season.

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