Pretty Little Liars Episode 515 Recap: Eat Around The Hair

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Paige left the warm embrace of Emily’s arms to journey to California, a Narnian wonderland where it is rumored that lesbians can survive to the ripe old age of possibly 20 years old. Mona’s mother threw her a Hawaiian-themed funeral and then threw a punch right at Ali’s face. That was not the worst thing that happened to Ali, though. The worst thing that happened to Ali was her friends red-rovered her right to jail for Mona’s murder. Oh, and speaking of magical places, the Grunwald shimmied in from Ravenswood to sniff around Mona’s empty tomb and pet her stuffed dog and stare deeply into Alison’s eyes. And then the Grunwald prayed for our souls.

Toby Cavanaugh, convicted felon and long term boyfriend of three-time murder suspect Spencer Hastings, has arrived at a not-Rosewood prison to deliver transfer papers for Alison DiLaurentis. Because he is a police officer, in case you have forgotten. Alison’s face is bloody and bruised when she calls Toby over to remind him that he was in jail one time and he knows how shitty it feels and so get her out of here. But he reminds her that she put him in jail for the blinding of his step-sister. And she reminds him that he showed up on that one Labor Day weekend to thank her for putting him in jail because it meant Jenna stopped molesting him. And then he reminds her that on that Labor Day weekend she rubbed his borrowed sweater all over her friendship bracelet before she went to the kissing rock to do it with Ian and that particular forensic evidence is why all the Liars were scared of him for so long. And she reminds him that he was a shady motherfucker back then, and even one time nearly (accidentally) murdered Emily in a chemistry lab.

Such a long, loving history between these two!


Got a do-rag I can borrow?

Ali: You do understand that your girlfriend is going to die — and I’m not talking about spending five hours under ground, breathing dirt until a clairvoyant sorority mom can pull her to safety, dude; I am talking about actual death — unless she and the other Liars start talking to me again.
Toby: I am the law!!!!
Ali: I should have killed you instead of Mona.
Toby: Is that a confession!???
Ali: No, it’s sarcasm. Jesus. Just tell Spencer to fucking taking my phone call.

I can’t stop thinking about that line from Who Framed Roger Rabbit when Judge Doom is like, “Have you forgotten what happened last time? If you don’t stop that laughing, you’re going to end up DEAD, just like your idiot hyena cousins!” That’s what Ali’s face reminds me of right now, looking at Toby like she’s doing.

Toby rushes right over to Rosewood High to talk cop shop with some curious teens. The laser pointer these kittens are chasing today is: 1) Ali had help setting up that fireworks display, a hijink she was definitely behind. 2) Holbrook sticking his tongue down Ali’s throat is definitely a thing Aria saw at the Ice Ball. It was not one of the one hundred Ali-shaped people at that ball, including Ali’s literal soul twin. It was Ali. #AriaKnows. 3) And so therefore Holbrook did the fireworks because Ali brainwashed him with her underage sexuality.


What the heck is a “dad,” Toby? Stop using cop code and speak English.

Holbrook is Out of Town taking care of his sick dad, so the Liars think Toby should find out if he’s making time to visit Ali in jail. Spencer’s like, “Why are we always throwing Toby head first into the lion’s den?” When the question she should be asking is, “Why are we not always throwing Ezra headfirst into the lion’s den?” But whatever. The Liars decide to hold a coven over the weekend to determine their Next Steps. Hanna, however, cannot attend said coven because her Next Step is out of this town for good. She has arranged a visit at one of the 100 colleges that accepted her.


Calm down, Hermione. It’s not like you flunked your O.W.L.S. just because Harry scored higher than you in Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Spencer: Did Mona’s adrenalized hyperreality pass to you when she died or something? How many colleges did you get into?
Hanna: [rolls her eyes]
Hanna: [rolls her eyes]
Spencer: Seriously, Hanna, how many?!?

In between college visits, Hanna says she’ll deal with Holbrook by visiting him and telling him to stop obeying Ali’s murder decrees. He did bump his grown-ass man face into Hanna’s underaged teenage face one time, after all; that’s got to count for something.


I said “Moët & Chandon Bi Centenary Cuvée Dry Imperial 1943” not “Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon.” How much torture can one man take?!

At Fitzgerald Bookstore & Candy Shoppe, Ezra is melting down about how his caterer doesn’t have the right kind of diamond powder to crust the fois gras in and did he say chablis or did he say merlot because he’s pretty sure he said merlot and none of these vendors will accept anything over a one million dollar bill and his life is so hard. My god, what would it be like to walk around the world in Ezra Fitzgerald’s shoes? How would that feel for even a single day? 99 problems and vintage wine is every single one.

Emily has an idea and it is that she will take over this catering situation and make enough money to buy a plane ticket to California, where she will snoggle her moogle with Paige McCoogle, who isn’t returning her calls and texts right now. You understand why Emily is upset by this, of course. For starters, Paige was like the only person whowas always pouring unfiltered love into Emily’s heart and also companionship things and sex things. And for seconders, the last time one of Emily’s girlfriends left town and stopped returning calls, Lyndon “Nate” James happened.


I just don’t want to end up in a sequel to Les Cousins Dangereux, okay?

Emily is desperate. Paige did not respond when Emily passive-aggressively hinted she was going to college in Gaymo, Oregon. Paige did not respond when Emily sent her scissoring emojis four nights in a row. But the perhaps the true reason for Emily’s desperation is she wants to visit Paige for spring break even though spring quarter ended at least last week, which means that she’s going to have to buy a plane ticket and a time machine. She can’t even make a down payment on a TARDIS on a barista’s salary.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. daaaamn it heather hogan I miss your pretty little liars recaps so much but I haven’t been able to watch any of season 5 and I hate spoilers and it is so damn hard for me not to read them! Also my little punk-ass bitch cousin told me that Mona died and I still have not recovered, so I’m not sure how to proceed from here.

  2. “The laser pointer these kittens are chasing today”: ACCURATE.

    This was such a meh episode, but hilarious recap!

    God, Aria is the worst. Less Aria please. Less Toby. And way way way less Ezra.

    Caleb can stay, but only if he stops ruining Spencer’s evidence-destroying fun.

  3. I’m sorry but saying what Aria said in that letter is true is insulting to the very premise of the show. Aria was never isolated from the Liars, in fact she grew closer to them as that relationship developed.

    • Because all a woman needs is a man and her life will get better, right?

      The thing is, he DID victimize Aria. He targeted and seduced an underage girl who is way more than three years younger than him. And before her friends and family found out about the relationship she was isolated, she couldn’t talk to anyone about her relationship.

      Ezria is SO NOT the premise of this show

        • Yes she was. It was a running joke among fans for s1-3 that Aria was on a different show from the other girls.

    • I wonder why you’re so keen on defending the relationship between a grown man and an underage girl, Jared. In the comments to the last recap, you even used the mighty argument of “it’s been done this way for thousands of years”, which is quite possibly the worst argument in human history to ever be used. It’s called ethics. Our understanding of it is continually evolving; that’s called PROGRESS. Are there other time-honored traditions you like to uphold regardless of the consequences they have on those in the position of less power? Do tell.

  4. So, Spencer heard a window blind clacking from all the way down the hall? Or is that what her brain told her she was doing while she was cooking Caleb? Did she close the window, or close the kiln?

  5. Why are they turning Hanna into a genius? That’s the role that Spencer already has. It’s sort of coming out of left field, too. They’ve slowly built it up, but she’s spent the first three…four seasons being…sort of an idiot really. Using words the wrong way, or giving them the wrong definitions. That sort of thing. So why now are they making her über smart? You would need such a person to catch A, who is apparently also a genius, but once again, Spencer fills that role. However, what if Spencer is A? You would need to build Hanna up in order to catch Spencer. On top of that, both Troian Bellisario and Ashley Benson know who A is. That’s not conclusive in and of itself, but it’s one more thing to throw on the pile.

    • 1) the idiot of the group is secretly a genius is a very old tired trope. That’s why they are doing it. They are falling into a cliche storyline
      2) I choose to believe mona had Hanna’s SAT scores changed so that they could go to the same college.

    • I dunno, she’s always reminded of a love-child of Brittana. The things Brittany says and the ‘tude Santana says things with.

      • Hanna is an incredibly well written and complex character without the secret genius bull so please don’t compare her to anything glee related.

    • I am re-watching it all from the start and Hannah is looking more and more like A. Early on when aria and fitz first start Hannah sees them both in the classroom after the others leave, and she could have convinced Mona to do all that she did.
      Maybe she is more than she seems… I’m sure all the liars have reasons they could be A.

  6. I’ll just say what I said at AE:

    Is it still age-inappropriate if Emily’s 18? I mean how old do you have to be to be a caterer/chef?

    And I’ll add that someone over there told me the actress playing the chef is 4 or 5 years younger than Shay

    • Caleb would’ve been killed for the heat to have denatured the DNA on the knife (250oC). So. I can guarantee that the kiln did nothing to destroy the evidence.

        • Yes but they shut off the kiln before Caleb could be killed so obviously the heat wasn’t on high enough. They did not turn the kiln back on once he was rescued. Plus they didn’t check to see if the knife was still there so it’s probably gone too.

          Plus, hello, there are metal racks in the kiln. They’re clearly not going to have the kiln go to a high enough heat to melt metal if they’re storing clay objects on metal racks for baking.

          • Yes Spencer clearly turns the kiln back on. She asks if it’s still in there, nods and she turns it back on.

          • Judging the show that this is on, I will bet that the knife is not destroyed. And I still think it was a stupid idea in the first place to go through this.

  7. This episode was one of the dumbest fucking episodes ever. Everyone kept making the stupidest decisions, and multiple times my girlfriend and I were asking “Why the fuck are we watching this?”

    Talia was the only good thing. She is probably going to be Emily’s next kissing friend.

    • I really liked this episode just for the Emily storyline. Everything else was just par for the course for the girls unfortunately, as much as I loved them. I knew that one or both of them was going to be shut in that kiln the second they brought that idea up.

  8. I have lots of Feelings about this show right now. This is some of them:

    – Sometimes I read the comments of recaps with statements such as, “I can only watch this show because of these recaps!” and I’m always like “Come on, these recaps are great, but the show is good too”. WELL, NO LONGER. This show has been going rapidly downhill since the “Ezra is A” letdown. I need these recaps now to get through it, so thanks Heather and commenters! (I would stop watching but I’ve invested so much time! Plus, queer women, and Hanna.)

    – I don’t know if it was just the British Netflix version of this show, but did anyone else catch the Tegan and Sara?! It was glorious.(Also enjoyed the Lykke Li song!)

    – I am so angry with this show right now, because it has so much potential and it is squandering it all. WHY is it introducing all of these pointless new characters rather than developing the ones it already has? (not just the Liars themselves, but their permanently Out of Town families, and people like Jenna! Noel!) Of course, I love Talia, but still. THEY KILLED OFF MONA AND SHANA COSTUME SHOP AND MAYA FOR THIS?

    – Was no one else amused by the “trying to insert cream into grapes” montage?

    – Likewise…was it supposed to be hilarious when Spencer, Toby and Caleb convened and Caleb was all “I’ve touched that knife before. I’ve touched it….NUMEROUS TIMES”?

    – Sasha Pieterse is a brilliant actress. More of her interacting with characters other than Toby!

    – And just generally…I’ve been struggling to keep up with this show for a while, but now it’s getting to point where I can’t even follow the basics. It shouldn’t be this hard, surely?


    • They didn’t kill off mona to tell someone else’s story. They killed off mona to tell Monas story. And they are introducing Jonny and talia as short term love interests. They cant exactly do that with the parents. They never introduce side characters to tell that characters story but to further one of the liar’s story. You should know this by now.

  9. Heather, can you please make a timeline for this school year? As far as I understand the school year started with the night of where Emily time travels and ends up in the graveyard, then the Don’t look away kiss, the killing of Nate, the Halloween train, the resurrection of Ali, the killing of: Shana, Mrs D, Mona, Holden, the other cop. Wait did spencer go to Radley and overcome an addiction to speed too?

    If I’m right it makes sense that Emily would loose all concept of time and want to visit Paige for spring break two weeks ago.

  10. Emily’s 18 so it’s not that inappropriate? In any case I love angry Emily and I was so confused about everything happening in this episode but apparently there was a 3 month time jump between 5×14 and this one??

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