Pretty Little Liars Episode 517 Recap: We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Rosewood Grille

Jason: You don’t have to quit just because we did the horizontal hokey pokey.
Ashley: That’s not what this is all about.
Jason: What is it then?
Ashley: I am going to marry a preacher, probably, and it might mess up his reputation if word gets out that I’m working with the guy I boned while he was away building homes for hurricane victims or whatever he does with his life.
Jason: Fine. Come by and get your things later, I guess. I’ll be out doing A stuff all day, so you’ll have the office to yourself.

Over at Manslaughter Mini Storage, Hanna — who is looking so fly in a hoodie and messy ponytail, which is, as you know, my kryptonite — and Caleb disarm the security cameras and put on gloves and surgery shoes and hairnets and things because you can’t get arrested twenty times for murder without learning a little something about forensic evidence. What they have not learned, however, is there is no such thing as “getting a step ahead” of A. The storage unit is completely empty except for the barrel. Hanna is one hundred percent out of her mind and insists they take this barrel out of here and put it some place safe. On the way outside to get the dolly* to move the barrel, they bump into Toby and Tanner.


The reason Mona and I owned a U-Haul together is actually none of your business.

(*They say the word “dolly” like a hundred times in this episode. They’ve got to rent a dolly and where’s the dolly and bring in the dolly and let’s use the dolly to move this barrel, and I know it’s dumb but I really wanted them to open up the back of a van and find out that A had replaced their hand-truck with an actual doll. Homophone trolling is one of my favorite kinds of trolling.)

Tanner would like to know why Hanna and Caleb are hanging around this storage rental place where the cameras have been hacked and also where an anonymous phone call told them a crime was going down. She says Caleb seems like he’s way too young to have accumulated enough stuff to need a storage locker, proving that she knows nothing about the magical life of Mona Vanderwaal and should therefore not be investigating her murder. Hanna frees them from Tanner’s interrogation with the old “gotta pee BYE” trick.


Oh god, here comes Spencer. Do you think she knows I added some Ezria fic to my Tumblr.



Aria and Emily are out doing some shopping, talking about bribing Hanna to speak to them with a hot fudge brownie, when Spencer comes whizzing up onto the sidewalk in her car, tires squealing, and jumps out of the window and slides across the hood like the Dukes of Hazzard, taking not a single breath as she explains that Mona’s laptop is on the move and Hanna wasn’t at school today. The second thing is ridiculous, Spencer. None of y’all are at school any days. But the first thing is valid, so everyone hops into Spencer’s SUV, and off they go.

At DiLaurentis Realty (“Helping you find the home of your nightmares!”), Jason finds Ashley cleaning out her desk. He tells her he thinks it’s weird that she’s engaged without a ring. She tells him she thinks it’s weird that he fell down an elevator shaft and lived.


You can’t go around robbing the gold from old dead ladies’ vaults if you’re married to a preacher, okay?

Ashley: Get off my nut, man. People expect things from a pastor’s wife.
Jason: Yeah, those church socials must be brutal.
Ashley: I know you’re being sarcastic, but brutal is the exact correct word for Rosewood Presbyterian. I’m pretty sure both of your sisters have killed a man in that church. I’m pretty sure your dead mother haunts the place.
Jason: Did you sleep with me to screw up your relationship on purpose? No judgment. I watched my sister get killed twelve times one Labor Day. I know a thing or two about mistakes.
Ashley: No, I slept with you because I was too drunk to go to the store to buy more AA batteries.

Ezra reads Aria’s Talmadge essay some more while this song plays that could easily be the theme of this whole show. It’s about hateful ghosts who follow you around howling until your bones are shaking and it doesn’t even matter how brave or smart you are because nobody’s even wearing their own face anyway. Solid montage choice. It also plays while the Liars follow the signal coming from Mona’s laptop, talking about “Why would Caleb help Hanna?” the whole time like a car full of dummies. The question is, Why wouldn’t y’all help Hanna, you jerks? HANNA KNOWS WHAT HANNA NEEDS. Also, Spencer and Toby are completely breaking up right now because he won’t support her lawlessness!

Okay, so, at Manslaughter Mini Storage, Toby and Tanner find that barrel. Tanner peeks inside and makes a face that says whatever is inside there is disgusting. She tells Toby to ring-a-ding-ding the Hazmat Team, a thing she probably should have done before opening that barrell in the first place, right? And then when Toby leaves, she opens the barrel back up and looks inside and makes this kind of hilarious face that’s like, “Ah, well. Dang.” Like. What in the world is in that barrel that would make her do a face like when you find the salad dressing spilled in the refrigerator or your shampoo leaked out into your suitcase? Maybe Tanner’s seen some shit we’ll never know. Maybe she’s desensitized. Maybe she’s worked in Ravenswood or on that imaginary show where Jenna and Noel and Melissa spend most of their time. On the floor beside the barrel, Tanner finds drops of fresh blood, so that’s going to be a bad thing for everyone, I think.


The GPS is saying to drive into that abandoned barn. What could go wrong?

Mona’s laptop has led the Liars to an abandoned ice cream factory called Boo’s Boos, which is what I call all of you guys, and it’s as amazing as any barn ever has been on this show. Not as amazing as that doll hospital in Brookhaven or that basement in Radley where the broken dolls live and everyone turns gay. Still good, though. Aria advises the Liars to split up because she knows less of nothing than Jon Snow, and that’s exactly what they do. Spencer chases down these voices, and it’s just Mona’s laptop playing a video of Caleb and Hanna planning to break into that storage unit. Emily finds a dead rat like from Paige’s locker, a bag of frozen almond slivers like from Talia’s empanada recipe, and a yowling cat like from a Portlandia sketch. Aria finds an abandoned freezer that locks from the outside, so she asks Spencer to join her inside it.

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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 1564 articles for us.


  1. – Pretty convenient that Spencer’s phone no longer gets reception so that they can no longer track the laptop. At least that’s what Spencer told them.
    – When Risen Mitten was looking at the door at the end, there were finger prints on it. That means that someone knows about Mittens stash, but didn’t say anything. That makes a suspect of Spencer, Aria, and Emily. The person had to be tall enough to look in the window, so that pretty much eliminates Aria. Those heavy duty lockers would most likely not be on the second floor where Emily was looking, so that drops her suspect…ability?

    • Exactly what I was thinking, one of them definitely saw inside that room. But they couldn’t be A, I mean how dumb would that be too leave fingerprints there? But they must have seen something inside that made them keep it quiet.
      I agree that Aria would have been too short, but I don’t know if we can eliminate Emily. She said she was going to go to the second floor, but then we see her going Down some stairs. So what level did they start on?

  2. I lost at at Spencer’s reaction to the Ezria fanfic, and the dialogue about the apples.

    Amazing, hilarious recap!

    P.S. I’m secretly totally into Emily and Talia. But yeah how even old is she? Going by TV laws she’s probably a 30 year old playing a 17 year old or some such thing.

    • Talia seems fun! And non-murderous! (Is anyone allowed to be a character on this show without multiple layers of traumatic secrets though?) I cannot tell what age she’s supposed to be but praying she’s like, 22 and Em is 18 or something. (ps hi charlotte!)

      I was SO pleased with Tanner calling out Toby for how ridiculously miniscule his policey experience is. Also Toby you do not deserve Spencer. No one does, maybe Lucy Liu, but that’s it, and certainly not you. Do not hang up on her and walk away! But also hang up and walk away because you don’t deserve her. (Okay, point made.)

  3. I’m really getting disappointing in your “Age Appropriate” comments. Yes Ezria has become problematic on many arguable levels. But you where okay with it before the -A misdirect. IN my view Age gap related prudishness is just as wrong of Sexual Orientations related prudishness or non monogamy prudishness or any other prudishness.

    Emily is 18 now unless the age you start High-school is different in Rosewood’s alternate dimensions. Because she had her Senior year birthday already.

    And to add some perspective, there are cases in human history where Minors have raped adults.

    • When has Heather ever been ok with the age gap? I can recall her writing numerous times, from Season 1 about the age-appropriateness of the Ezra relationship.

      But yes I agree, Emily has already had her birthday, so I’d definitely say that she’s 18, so no age-inappropriateness there.

      And i don’t mean to be rude, but Aria was his student, he knew that she was underage, and there is no way in hell that she was at fault in this relationship. He sought her out. So I’m not sure why adding that about minors raping adults has anything to do with it. Yes I know that there have been cases where this has happened, but there has never been any hint of this occurring on the show. (Ok, wait, maybe the Jenna-Toby thing, where i’m pretty sure Jenna was younger than Toby when she forced him)

  4. You know I’m Paily all the way, so I’m hurting and torn right now. But I think I’m okay with Talia and Emily being a thing for the rest of the season. I mean it’s just nice that Emily gets to be a lesbian in more than name and keep having romances like everyone else. I really appreciate Joseph Dougherty and Marlene King for that. And also for Talia being a woc. I think they listen to fans about as well as any show runners out there.

    Anyway, I’m still confident that Paige will be back. They’re just taking a break right now. But Lindsey is too great and the writers love Paige too much for this to be the end of her. So yeah, let Emily have a fling with Talia while she rebounds.

  5. So Keegan Allen recently said in an interview that we all know who A is, and I think I have to jump on the Aria train. Mostly cuz it would make the show so interesting, (not to mention making the Ezria thing so much less infuriating), but also because it kind of makes sense. But I also wouldn’t hate it if it was Sparia.

  6. Am I the only person who was bothered by the whole Talia trying to assess Emily’s sexuality by asking her about Ezra thing? As a bisexual woman, I just read this as massive erasure – oh, you couldn’t possibly like both! I know, for Emily, she is monosexual, and I’ve no problem with that, but I’m angry that a show which has Jenna and Alison (neither of whom are self-identified bisexual, but both have had romantic / sexual involvement with men and women) as central characters…well, this is a step back? I’m just angry at the way I’m always left out of or hushed up on TV. Also, where the fuck are Jenna, Wren and Noel? Do I pay more attention to the loose ends in the plot than the writers?

  7. Just caught up on the PLL eps since Christmas and then came here for the recaps of course. LOL’d so many times reading these recaps!

    [[Aria starts yelling maybe my favorite thing that has ever come out of her mouth: “SPENCER, WHAT’S HAPPENING?! SPENCER, WHAT DO WE DO?!”



    [[If I were teenager in Rosewood and I thought that was true, I would lie down in the street and give up.]]

    Hahahaha! :)

  8. so apparently this is my level of humour:
    Jason: You don’t have to quit just because we did the horizontal hokey pokey.
    Ashley: That’s not what this is all about.

    But also:
    Aria advises the Liars to split up because she knows less of nothing than Jon Snow

    The Sparia fanfic thread is perfect.

    I’m out.

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