Pretty Little Liars Episode 416 Recap: Closeted Encounters

Congrats! You’ve made it to the sixteenth episode of the fourth season of the most ridiculously complicated show since Lost: Pretty Little Liars!


Seriously Emily, a hammer is what you chose to bring to this knife fight?

We begin right where we left off in the last episode, with the Liars on their way to the Busy Bee Inn. This time they brought weapons. I really like that Emily chose a hammer and Spencer has a lacrosse stick. A hammer would really fuck someone up, for serious. But! They get there and the window is broken. Seems like A got there before them? Or someone staged a scene?


A has a really wide range of handwriting samples.

The door closes and says “You’re Too Late – A” because of course it does.


No, I don’t see anyone with pitchforks yet, but I brought this pie just in case.

In a really strange segue, we are transported back to Rosewood and in fact, inside of a church, where Emily is carrying around some baked goods. Apparently the church now has altar candles. Emily’s getting her spirituality on when some black sneakers come on in. Dun dun dun.


Uh, these boxers are totally mine, Dad.

But nope, we’re not going to see who it is, because we have a really boring storyline to catch up on. Spencer is at Toby’s wearing Toby’s ugly underthings because apparently pajamas didn’t fit in her carry-on. She opens the door to show her father that she probably just got done with sexytimes, and he’s not impressed.


The beginning of the new “Not Impressed” meme background.

I don’t think anything impresses Peter Hastings anymore.

We learn in this scene that Jason fell off the wagon and is back in rehab. And then Peter Hastings says the show’s unofficial tagline:



Hey baby, I washed the dildo but that leather harness is going to be tough– oh heeeey, Mr. Hastings.

We hop, skip and jump on over to Ezra’s apartment, where Aria just lives now because that’s appropriate, where we find Aria wearing a peplum dress designed by Lisa Frank.


Brought to you by Lisa Frank and one thousand rainbow spotted leopards.

Ezra’s like “I’m meeting a college buddy in Philly today” and Aria gets a nice text from Jake saying he can’t wait to see her.


Someone you’re breaking up with sends you this text: you’re fucked. They are so going to cry and beg you to stay and it’s going to be reeeeeal awkward.

That’s the worst, when you’re trying to break up with someone and they keep being nice to you. I feel for Aria here. Oh wait, no, I don’t, because Ezra is legitimately so terrible and obviously a creepy liar and she won’t take off her “We’ve been an inappropriate couple for so long!” glasses. She says something cliche about Ezra being the one, blah blah blah, no one cares about this relationship working out anymore, clearly.


So, for school today, I’m thinking this and over-the-knee boots? No? Not enough? But Aria would wear it.

We pause everything dramatic to have a nice moment where Hanna is having the typical Post-Breakup Closet Purge, which is a vital step in the recovery process. But Hanna’s about to go bananas in this episode, so stay tuned.


Emily’s go-to expression: Deer In The Headlights.

We’re back at church! Emily gets locked in, she hears creepy noises, basically every PLL cue that something anticlimactic is going to happen where there’s a huge misunderstanding, like Buzzcut appearing in the doorway at the end of the last episode. But this time, Shana shows up.


What’s shady about silently entering this church while you’re alone and sneaking up behind you after locking all the doors? Why would you possibly be freaked out?

You will remember Shana from the B-Team of Melissa, Jenna and Shana evil-doings, and also as Paige’s ex. Apparently Shana and Ali were friends from childhood because she lived next door to Ali’s grandmother in South Carolina. So now Ali has asked Shana to come help her. Do we honestly believe this?


Deer In The Headlights. I told you.

Shana has had something with Jenna AND Paige, if she is from South Carolina, how does she spend so much time in Rosewood? Does she go to school here now? Would you move cross country for a gir– Waaaaaait. Well. I don’t know. Nothing in this show even bothers to make sense at this point.


Some srs side eye going on here.

Toby has a gag? He’s suddenly way more interesting. Peter Hastings mentions that there’s some stuff about Toby’s mom’s past that could get brought up. Wonder what that’s all about?


I just don’t understand why Ezra gets to top in all these threesome fanfics.

You ready for the awkward breakup moment of the episode? Aria pops into the gym to say s’later to Jake, which is really awkward in real life as well as in this show. Why do I feel bad for Jake? Why do I feel like Jake is the only not-crazy love interest in this show? That said, he’s also the “Nice Guy” type, which is really just a mask for “In one and a half seasons there’s going to be a plot twist about me being A.” She breaks it off, then pulls the “Let’s be friends line” and Jake’s like, “Fuck you.” No, jk, he says he needs some time. Legitimate.


Someone sketchy showed up out of nowhere? Let’s trust ’em, why the fuck not.

The Liars get together to talk about Shana. What I’m wondering is, if Shana dated Paige, why would Ali trust Shana if Ali hated Paige? And if Shana was BFFs with Ali and Ali hated Paige, why would Shana date her? Is Shana A’s minion or is Shana really on Ali’s side?


Wait, you DIDN’T read the Anonymous Sex Toy review about the Njoy Pure Plug? And you expect us to stay friends?



Let’s discuss our secrets on this extremely public park bench while a psycho killer is after us!

Shana sits down with Emily to feed her some lies (surprise! Someone is lying in this show!) and tell her that Ali loved Emily the most. Shana has apparently known Ali was alive since Mona was in Radley. That was a really long time ago. Then Shana tells Emily that Ali wants to see her. Tonight. Alone. So Emily should totally just go with her to an abandoned warehouse later. Seems real safe.


Sticks AND balls AND holes AND physical contact? Stop it, ABC Family. Think of the children.

I’d like to take this moment to say that Hanna and Buzzcut/Travis playing pool was infuriating in only the way that Girl-Is-Bad-At-Pool-So-Guy-Will-Lean-Over-Her-And-They-Share-A-Moment scenes can be.


You’ve been having Spemily thoughts, too?!

Emily tells Spencer about Ali wanting to meet up later that night, which is the first intelligent thing the Liars have done basically this entire episode. I was waiting for Emily to keep it a secret, because apparently these four young women don’t realize that keeping secrets and lying to each other is a bad idea four seasons in.



But anyway, Spence is all “NOPE” about meeting Ali alone with Shana that night. Thank you for being you, Spencer.


Customizable! Convo me!

Back at Casa de Montgomery, where the parents are made up and curfews for teenagers don’t matter, Aria finds a necklace from Jake conveniently packaged in a box sans tape or packing materials. It says Aria and looks like it’d cost $12 at a cheap Etsy shop.


Hmmm, I’m not seeing anything of note here, but maybe I’m missing it.

What’s interesting about this scene is that the show goes overboard to show us the package, which says L. Barasz Fine Jewelers. Anyone have thoughts about that?


Mushroom puff?


I see what you did there, Spence.

Peter “Shady As Fuck” Hastings is a tool. That’s all we learn in this episode.


My sister would like you to note that this woman’s window is rolled up. Who has conversations with their windows up?

Finally! Welcome to the 2nd most interesting scene in this entire episode. Jake is strutting his stuff down the street, as one does in Rosewood, where the weather is perfect year-round and it’s never cold, despite being Pennsylvania, and everyone just hangs around in plain sight doing inappropriate things. Anyways, Jake is strutting, humming that song from Saturday Night Fever to himself, and he sees Ezra yelling at a blonde in a car. “You really screwed up!” He smacks her car. “This isn’t over!” You know who is blonde and currently unaccounted for? CeCe Drake. I’m just going to put that theory out into the universe. You do with that what you want.

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Hansen is the former DIY & Food Editor of and likes to spend most days making and cooking and writing. She teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in her free time.

Hansen has written 189 articles for us.


  1. Text to my girlfriend as we watched together Tuesday night: “I think Lisa Frank designed Aria’s dress.” I feel so validated that you mentioned it here.

    Also, I feel like Aria usually changes outfits approximately 4 times a day in this show, but in every scene, she was still wearing that godawful dress.

  2. Caption contest, cause I just had to hahaha…. “So, I borrowed your anal beads. There’s no need to get weird about it!”

  3. Thoughts on The Tempest:

    – Two of the main characters in The Tempest are Ariel and Miranda.
    – The actress who plays Shana is named Aeriel Miranda.
    – So the inclusion of The Tempest last week was a clue that something was up with Shana, as was it’s inclusion this week.

    Also re: Shana. She explained that she only dated Paige and Jenna (and possibly Mona too? Too many lesbians to keep track of!) just as a way of getting close to the people Ali suspected of being A and out to hurt her. I’m guessing she moved on from Paige after figuring out Paige wasn’t A, and she was with Jenna longer because it was harder to figure out.

    Whether or not Shana is evil depends on whether or not ALI is evil, which is still so impossible to know for sure. I’m pretty sure Ali is genuinely afraid for her life, but the question is, what steps has she taken, and how has she hurt and manipulated her best friends, in the pursuit of the person who wants to kill her? Because Ali is not one to take adversity lying down. She’s not just running, she is fighting back. For sure. And most interestingly, Ali said in this episode that she THOUGHT she knew who A was, but she was apparently WRONG. So for the last 4 seasons, Ali thought A was ONE person, but it was actually someone else!? And are those two people working together!? Gahhhh who the fuck knows.

  4. Caption competition
    Entry 1: “Mentos?”
    Entry 2: “Only just found the site ‘'”

  5. I hate that Emily is always a slave to FEELINGS! I feel like she makes the worst FEELINGS decisions. I’d say the next weakest link is Hanna because she does things like trying to bury guns.

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