Pretty Little Liars Episode 519 Recap: The Secret Life of Talia Two Last Names

Date night! Aria and Spencer talk on the phone about how girls rule and boys drool, and also about how Aria will keep an eye on Mike if Spencer will promise not to turn him over to the police or pit wolves or whatever for stealing their blood. (Aria doesn’t really believe he stole their blood.) They make smooch noises into the phone and hang up and then the opposite of a smooch noises shiftily shifts into Spencer’s kitchen. I am talking about Johnny. He tells her he booked a gig painting a mural at Hollis tonight, in the middle of the night, and she should come along for fun and wear all black and gloves and not tell anyone where she’s going and no flashlights.


Did you see that Sparia fic I posted on my new Tumblr?


And no Ezra fic in sight!

I feel like, at this point, the only way any of the Liars should be allowed to hang out with anyone outside of the Core Seven (Liars plus Toby, Caleb, Paige) or the Liars’ Moms is if they get written permission from Hanna and it’s for a prescribed meeting situation. Who, how long, in what well-lit place. Johnny would not pass Marin Muster, I guarantee you that.

But Spencer’s going with him because he’s dangling that no-college carrot in front of her face and she is flat done being fucked by the system.

Aria answers Mike’s cell phone and it’s jail calling for Hank Mahoney. Aria marches right up to Mike’s room shouting about, “And who is Hank Mahoney, huh? Is that the person you’re leaving gummy bears for in the woods? Is Hank Mahoney some weird code name that really means Hanna Marin? Is Hank Mahoney Alison, dude? Because I know you had a fight with Mona the night before she died and that Alison is a wizard and I can’t piece together why that’s any of Hank Mahoney’s business or what it has to do with you stealing blood and walking around dressed like Toby Cavanaugh right now, but maybe that’s because I lost a pint of blood earlier!” Mike slams the door in her face.


Fuck. Fuck! FUCK.


Did you hack into my new Sparia Tumblr and reblog all this Ezria fic?!

Inside his bedroom, Mike Gchats Hank Mahoney about how he’s got the goods and the goods is blood and he’ll bring the goods to him tomorrow. Remember when we thought Mike was A+, but he was just depressed? What if this time we think Mike is A+, but he’s just involved in some kind of blood doping scheme? Remember when he lived under the porch and ate Doritos?

At Hollis, on the dilapidated part of campus, Spencer and Johnny set up a ladder and get to work on his totally legitimately commissioned art installation. He talks about how he’s not good at choosing girls who are interested in dating him and she talks about how she is good at literally everything. He paints, and then he goads her into painting. She falls off the ladder, he catches her and stares deeply into her eyes until she blinds him with her headlamp. This clown is like if a John Hughes movie mated with Will Schuester and they left their baby to be raised by a colony of feral cats in Williamsburg. I hate him so much. He’s so proud of himself, like he’s inspiring Spencer to follow her truth by tricking her into committing vandalism. And I don’t care about the vandalism. I love when A spray paints all over shit. It’s the smug, insufferable Johnny Knows Best thing he’s doing. I hope Emily stabs him.


S.H. + A.M. = 4 Ever

Speaking of which lesbian rage, she’s just cleaning up at the Book Shoppe while Ezra does paperwork, and because she has been trained by Spencer these many years, she can’t help but sneaky-peek at what he’s reading in case any of the confidential employment files contain information pertinent to keeping them out of jail, or are able to inspire flashbacks to information it would have been useful to disclose to the group in season one.


“… like she’d never been kissed before, and certainly not by Ezra Fitz.”


Did you print Tumblr, grandpa?

She does not peep any of that kind of data. But what she does peep is Talia’s last name, which is not the same as the last name she told Emily, because she has two last names, because Talia is married.


Emily plays it cool the next day at work, refusing to confront Talia with these new truths until Talia tries to feed Emily some plum pudding and Emily bites the spoon in half. Talia’s like, “Oh, hey now. Are you okay?” And no! Emily is not okay! She does not understand how a person can say they like her, can smooch her on her face, and the whole time be married and not telling her about it! It’s no “I’ve been faking my death for two years,” in terms of secrets, but Emily is very displeased.


I wonder how long it would take me to ride to Palo Alto.

She only gets angrier and more suspicious when she sees Mike withdrawing $400 cash from bank account with $18,000 in it. If that’s the college fund Mona left Hanna, Mike, I swear to God.

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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. “** A CD is like an MP3 that lives on a little silver disc that’s the size of a tea*** saucer but can only hold 18 songs.” Definitely thought AutoStraddle was blocking the word bag with those three stars. Have never been more happy to be wrong.

  2. We have already seen how easy it is for A to get Hanna’s blood a season ago. Who cares if they donate? Just means it will hurt less when A takes the blood.

    Toby is a naive ass for trusting the police system in rosewood or any American city for that matter.
    Couch cushions? you mean the pants Mona (maybe) died in?

    Also this season is why time should have continued to move at a nonexistent pace: this college talk is so boring. I really don’t care and I really don’t want adult liars. The dynamic of the show is going to change so drastically. I’m so tired of people who watch the shows for the wrong reasons (apparently everyone wants timelines and plots that can happen irl because that makes for good tv). I want more tippi the bird and breaking into a morgue while wearing candy striper uniforms at a hospital that doesn’t have a candy striper program.

      • Our only hope is that summer before college lasts 1-2 seasons (and a movie) because theres something less magical about adult women wearing candy stripers.

  3. I can never unsee the line, “if a John Hughes movie mated with Will Schuester…” That creature will haunt my nightmares.

  4. Dear Lord. I’ve seriously never disliked a character on this show more than Johnny, which is really saying something considering half the people in Rosewood are just straight up murderers/sexual predators…

    Also, is it weird that I’m pretty much OK with the idea of Emily and Talia dating, but the second I saw them riding bikes together I was like, “RIDING A BIKE IS PAIGE’S THING, TALIA! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO NEXT, KNOCK OVER A BUNCH OF TRASH CANS IN A JEALOUS RAGE?”


  5. I am kind of over coming out type drama for Emily/her girlfriends. I’d like to see Emily with someone who has a more confident personality. I feel like she’s been having the same dynamic for awhile.

  6. “…because that boy is only good for…getting Spencer to take off her bra.” You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  7. the three photos you have of emily as they are “watching” mike and cyrus,…….good lord, shay mitchel’s face!! also, when we so clearly have the face of someone doing creepy crap they die, will mike be the next victim?

    • Nicole always gets the best reaction shots of Shay and Toian’s faces. I could make a giant collage of them, Mona-style, if I had time!

  8. So, Gladys Witham is Spencer’s paternal grandmother. Is Peggy Carter and Angie Martinelli her maternal grandmothers? Did Steve Carter have a baby with Peggy, that her and Angie raised to be Spencer’s mother? Is Spencer the granddaughter of two WWII spies and a super human?

    • Spencer’s being kinda pushy, but Ezra is worse. Taking out an ad in the paper? Too far, dude. Always too far.

  9. i think those were mona’s pants from the day she died that the risen mitten put hanna’s blood on.

  10. ugh I dislike Johnny so much each time he’s on screen I’m like “no go away stay away from Spencer that hairdo is just hiding what looks like a receding hairline Spencer no you can do so much better” and I realized Toby isn’t so bad. I’m glad I’m not alone in my dislike of men in PLL specially men named Johnny

  11. I don’t care if you have your spouses blessing to sleep with other people. You don’t get in a relationship with someone and not tell them you’re currently married to someone! wtf???

  12. Johnny is the fucking worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrst. He makes me miss Toby, and I can’t stand Toby’s face or bi-emotional outbursts. Uggggggggggggghhhhhhhh fuckin’ Johnny

  13. Stumbled onto this article accidentally and I’m so glad I did. Pretty much every line was a delight to read and I literally laughed out loud. Thank you.

  14. Urgh wtf did Em & Spencer do to tptb to be stuck with such shitty randoms this season (& Em even worse spending most of her time with Ezra too)?

    Is it just me or is Talia’s excuse just a queer equivalent of “My wife doesn’t understand me”?

    • I feel like Talia is sincere in her feelings for Emily, but girl has got to get divorced if she wants a for real relationship! Also, though, if you’re old enough to be getting divorced, you’re probably too old to be dating high school students, eh?

      • Exactly! That whole “we’ve been together since high school” thing? Emily is still IN high school!

  15. I don’t know what the writers were thinking when they brought Johnny onto the show. He embodies the worst traits of white male entitlement and faux-rebellious hippie “artist” tropes. His purpose as a character seems to be to get Spencer to think about not going to college and up the tension with her relationship with Toby, but the whole thing just feels so awkward and out of character for her! Spencer is way too awesome to be wasting time with such a loser, and the way they are flirting with each other is super gross.

  16. A couple stuff:
    1. Your snarky footnotes about Cassettes V. CDs V. Mp3s V. Tea were the highlight of my day.
    2. Your continued Sparia captions are everything.
    3. I know last week I talked about Hanna’s child of a single parent storyline, but buckle up ladies and ladygents. Cause I’ve got a lot of feelings about this.
    A thing I don’t share with many people, is that I lived through a conversation with my father very much like Hanna Marin’s.
    I was 18, slinging pizzas at the local fast food joint. My mom was newly employed and seriously underpaid at a new job in a new state. Money wasn’t tight, it was scarce, and as the spring semester approached I realized I didn’t have the money to stay in school. To my surprise (despite being legally declared a broke ass) I didn’t qualify for aid either. Why you ask? Because my father made more than enough money to help me with school.
    I did everything in my power not to call that man and beg for help. I called my grandfather before I called my dad. Eventually, against my mother’s warning I contacted my dad. He didn’t tell me ‘it all came down to dollars and cents.’ He wasn’t paying for some phantom stepdaughters education. He just straight up did not want to help me, told me so, and called me a few names. I’ve spoken to my father twice since that conversation nine years ago. Once was at a funeral.
    Why open up and over-share this way?? Because Hanna Marin’s story showed me that my own story was a little less rare than I believed. And you know what? It made my story feel that much less shameful. Mona bless these writers, and keep Hanna Marin. She’ll figure it all out by her damn self. I know she will, I did.

    • Thank you for sharing that story. That’s a very brave thing to do. Mine is very similar, and Hanna so bless Hanna for continuing to be the hero we need!

    • I’m so sorry that happened to you, but I’m really glad (despite the ridicmewpuss plotlines) that PLL has moments like this which touch people and make them feel less alone.

        • Such devotion to your craft – even taking risks in purrsonal relationships! Did she not like your purrticular blend of humour? Was she stewing? Was she boiling ofur with incandescent rage? This might work better if I hadn’t made a commitment to always write in cat puns…it detracts furom the tea. Also I have to say, the comment about the Will Schuester and John Hughes made me laugh my arse off – and I didn’t just like it fur the cats!

  17. 1. Andrew looks too fucking old to be a teenager. I was like, who is this guy.
    2. Ugh, Johnny. Get the fuck out.
    3. The financial aid story was sad. I wanted to punch Hanna’s dad. I kept thinking though, there’s like an option where you can file as a single parent household, especially since Hanna’s parents are divorced. I mean, I get it, this isn’t real.
    4. I’m glad there’s another queer woman of color on the show but I miss Paige :( Talia isn’t winning over my heart.

  18. These recaps give me life, I just had to get that out of the way. Anywhoooozer, I am so over all these random people that I have to care about now. Between these new character and the old side characters they bring back who can keep up any more? I am super stoked that they’re saying we are learning who “#thebigA” is soon tho. Let us pray it isn’t someone random.

  19. I found out about these recaps when Jessica Goldstein (of Vulture) stopped doing her recaps and I was so upset thinking I wasn’t going to find another feminist and hilarious recapper for PLL because frankly it makes the show so much better. And then someone in the comments of her article mentionned you and I am SO glad. I literally laugh out loud throughout, every time. You killed me at “Solve for A”. And the fact that you are a fellow gay lady is just the cherry on top.
    I was watching this week’s episode thinking “Seriously, donating blood???? You guys aren’t the sharpest crayons in the box eh? I can’t wait to read what Heather has to say about this!” (And you didn’t disappoint.)
    Anyway just wanted to say that you are a really talented and hilarious writer and I hope you never stop doing this. K? K.

    PS: Emily to kill all annoying / creepy / sexual predator-y men on this show 2k15!

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