Pretty Little Liars Episode 515 Recap: Eat Around The Hair

Ezra would like to know if Emily even took home economics. He would like to know if she’s some kind of professional caterer. He would like to know if she even watches Top Chef, okay, because based on the thousands of hours of surveillance footage he watched detailing every move she made for the last three years, he doesn’t remember seeing her even bake a Pop-Tart.

Aria tells Ezra to give Emily the job, not because she thinks Emily deserves it or because she wants to help out her dear friend; no, Aria tells Ezra to give Emily the job so she’ll stop talking about college and making Aria feel shitty about herself.


Mrs. Marin, do you have any do-rags leftover from when you were in the slammer-jammer? Toby wouldn’t let me borrow one of his.

I forgot that the DiLaurentises owned a real estate agency. Probably I forgot because they keep moving into and out of the one house where everyone in their family has been murdered at least once, and it seems like if you had access to dozens of other residences, you might be able to find a new place to live. Anyway, Jason is taking over the business now, and that is just fucking fine with Ashley Marin who has been sitting here guarding the files since Pepe dug up Jessica D. (I was just thinking of Dolce, Gabbana & Lebowitz law firm. Remember that? Hanna really has always been the best.) Jason asks Ashley to stay and she says fine but she needs to go home and shower first. He says he’ll go with her. She says fine to that too, speaking of 99 wine problems.

Wait, no. Before they go, Ali calls from prison and Jason hisses, “Tell her I’m in the shower!” And that’s what Ashley does. Aw, man. Seems like just yesterday Ashley and Ali were cowering together in the foyer while Noel Kahn did Psycho shadow puppets on the wall and clanked chains together and did ghost noises. Now they’re strangers.


CSI: That One Backyard

Here’s a little secret. I had to watch this episode three times before I understood who the hell’s murder investigation was happening. When I first watched, I thought it was Bethany Young’s and then when I watched again I thought it was Mona’s, but then when I started recapping, I was like, “Wait, no. Mona was murdered at Christmas. It is, at the very least, after spring semester right now. Why are they only just now searching her yard for evidence?” But then I watched a third time, and I am pretty confident it is Mona’s murder. Anyway, whatever. Toby is in someone’s backyard in his police suit and he finds a bloody knife and he hides it under a leaf and draws a chalk outline around it and covers it in glitter and flashing lights, like Spencer taught him.


All three hours of Police Academy training just flew out of my head! I forgot I was a cop!

Then he goes to Spencer’s, where she is hanging out with Caleb, and its like Toby panicking about how the knife is his knife and he’s being framed and Caleb panicking about how he also is framed because of the other day when he went to Toby’s house to hold all his knives and Spencer’s eyes just lightin’ up like fireflies in a Ravenswood sky because it’s evidence-destroying time! How long has it been since she burned a murder weapon? Too long, friends. Too long. Well but Toby isn’t hearing that garbage! If he is going to get an award for Investigation (to go along with the stuffed seal he got for Marksmanship and the stuffed gorilla he got for Sand Racing), he cannot dabble in obstruction of justice. Toby and Caleb screech at each other for a minute about who gets the knife, until Spencer swoops in with the compromise of: Toby will leave the knife where it is so the police don’t find his and Caleb’s DNA on a bloody dagger in a dead girl’s yard, and Caleb also will leave the knife where it is so Toby can get his little trophy.

At the bookstore, there is a new guy in town. He is wearing a Ramones t-shirt, which, frankly, is all you need to know about him, but I’m going to give you a little extra. Pageboy hat. Chunky bracelets. Messenger bag over on the couch with like a RISD degree hanging halfway out of it and three unfinished screenplays that are basically his college Facebook status updates masquerading as fiction. A Dan Humphrey for every town, I guess. He says the word “slammin'” — as in, “It’s really important to me that this sign that says ‘books’ be slammin’ because how else will people know they’re in a bookstore?” — and Aria really must be losing her mind about college because that right there, just the whole entire package, was put on this earth to be her kryptonite. And she doesn’t even blink. Throw a pizza at a stranger on the street, awful Newsie! That’ll get her attention!


You know you love me. XOXO.

Ezra finally overhears Aria wailing about college and swoops in to explain: 1) Literally any person can go to Hollis College, no matter if they only attended ten days of high school, and so calm down because at least there’s that. 2) Her dad is a professor at at least two colleges, including Syracuse, so there’s also that. 3) The reason she got waitlisted at Talmadge is because — and this is so righteous, I love this — Jackie Molina works there now. You remember Jackie Molina, right? Ezra was engaged to her as told by his relationship status on his website page. This was before he met Aria but after but after Alex Mack, whose child he tried to purchase, I do believe you will remember.

Emily tells Aria what she needs to do is just write a nice letter to Jackie Molina explaining that she was stalked and seduced by her former English teacher who is Jackie’s former fiance and they can commiserate over Ezra’s extradimensional horribleness together. That is her ticket to higher education! Or something. (This episode really does make me feel like I haven’t taken my Adderall in a week. My working theory is the theme of season 5B is: Liars Chillaxin With Dudes They Haven’t Snogged and I’m not exactly prone to paying attention when the boys are on-screen. I’ll work on it.)

(I wonder what Paige is doing.)


Are you still pretending this isn’t Ezra’s apartment, Caleb? I don’t have to take 100 Adderall to crack this mystery.

So Caleb calls Hanna at her Ballard College visitation weekend to tell her about Toby’s knife, and Hanna calls Spencer at her house/graveyard to corroborate Caleb’s story about Toby’s knife, and so Spencer goes speeding out of her house and clomping up to Caleb’s apartment, hollerin’ to beat the band. They need to find that knife! They need to set it ON FIRE! Fuck Toby’s cop awards! This business is serious!

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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 1562 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

    • 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.

  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

  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.

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