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

In the local paper the next day, Spencer is shocked to find a front page story about vandalism at Hollis College. Usually, it is a front page story about a teenage girl being murdered. Well, she marches right out into the yard and lights into Johnny about how she is always — literally every single second of the day — one step away from going to jail for first degree murder. Okay, and when that is your life, you cannot also add charges to your record for defacing public property. He’s like, “I was just trying to help you learn to ‘color outside the lines.'” And she’s like, “Shove your metaphors up your butt!”


Ezra took out a full-page ad in the newspaper to publish his own fic!

Andrew shows up to tutor Aria in “math and science” because “Fitz” isn’t very good at those subjects. That’s what Andrew says. “Math and science.” And “Fitz.” Aria is distracted because she can’t stop thinking about how jail called her brother, and her brother is a blood-stealer, and her brother leaves candy for strangers in the forest, and her is phone dinging with messages from Hanna about her brother. Andrew grabs her phone away from her and tries to make it into some kind of physics question and then reads her texts right off the screen.


One sec, just updating this one thing. “… and scissored until they fell asleep…”

Where is Caleb? Where is Toby? I have had it with these new dudes! I am not going crazy. This is not my lesbianism talking. Johnny is awful and that little move by Andrew would cause him to go home with a hook-hand if he did that to me!

And just as I wish for that, Emily comes bursting through the door, wide-eyed and frantic! Where is your knife, girl? Sadly, she has no knives. But she does have information about the zillions of dollars Mike has in the bank. He drives away real fast before they can question him, and since Aria refuses to ride on Emily’s bike handlebars, they recruit Andrew to drive them on a stakeout.


Who knows how to drive a stick?


I’m not going anywhere near his stick.

Hanna tries to talk to Ashley about how her dad makes too much money for her to get financial aid to go to college, but Ashley tells her not even to try to talk to him because the terms of their divorce were: Absolute Abandonment. But Hanna has to try anyway. She goes to her dad’s office and he tells her he cannot pay for her to go to Ballard because he has promised horrible Kate — who alcohol poisoned Hanna one time, and Mamaw Marin yelled her her like an angel would — that he will pay for her to go to Dartmouth.

Ugh, that’s it. Everyone in the invisible jet. We’re going to live on Paradise Island. #EndOfMen (Except Toby and Caleb.) (And Holden. I liked that little hobbit.) (And Mr. Fields.) (Travis was good, too. Travis can come with us.) (Actually, no. Everybody out of the invisible jet. This is all Johnny’s fault.) #EndOfJohnny


“… until they fell asleep in each other’s arms.”

Spencer is in the middle of drafting an email to Melissa about how she needs Wren’s help to get into Oxford, when she receives a text from Emily telling her to come to their stakeout of Mike.

The stakeout is at some dive bar in the woods, and the person Mike is meeting is Cyrus, the guy who kidnapped Ali (or fake-kidnapped Ali; I honestly can’t remember) and but Ali wouldn’t make a statement about it until the police let him go? I think he cut her, though, for real, in a basement. Anyway, he’s also Hank Mahoney. Mike gives him the blood for blood doping and/or implicating his sister and her friends in the death of his girlfriend. If this is some kind of long game for Ali to get the Liars into jail so they’ll be forced to talk to her, bravo. Triple bravo if I can see her face on my TV again.


You made me cry. Now Emily will have to kill you.

Ezra is a black hole. Observe as Hanna is drawn away from the main storyline of all the other Liars and coerced into long conversations in which he charms her with tales of when he was just a young, handsome billionaire who’d been cut off from his family, dressed like a hot dog, begging for porridge and spare change on the mean streets of Rosewood so he could put himself through college. And he did! And not only did he achieve a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for teaching the world’s longest curriculum on The Great Gatsby; he also ultimately saved up enough money to purchase more surveillance equipment than the NSA! Hanna claws herself away from his electromagnetic radiation, and on the way out the door, she spots a flyer for a beauty pagent. The prize: One (1) college education!

The stakeout.


It’s not easier because it’s two women. That’s bullshit.

Spencer: I am here now. What is happening?
Aria: Mike’s giving money to the guy who (fake?) kidnapped Ali.
Spencer: Everybody’s a fucking creep.
Aria’s phone: [Rings]
Emily: Oh, is that Ezra? I told him you got into college in Savannah, by the way.
Aria: Whatever.
Spencer: I know you’re probably missing Paige, Ems, but at least whatever is going on in your love life is better than if you were dealing with one of our young men.
Emily: No, stop. Toby is a good guy. I’m sorry, but you’re the one who is being a rat bastard right now, Spencer.
Spencer: That’s not what Johnny says.


They get a text from A with a photo of their blood samples, and realize Mike already skedaddled and Cyrus is about to run their asses over with his little moped. He tells them he doesn’t like to be followed and they tell him all the want is what he took from them and he says he’d be willing to work out a trade and Andrew comes screeching onto the scene with a baseball bat like he thinks he’s Prince Charming. Cyrus rolls his eyes and drives his electric scooter away. (Seriously, it’s so quiet! It’s very funny!) And the Liars glare at Andrew.

At home, Ashley tells Hanna they’ll figure out college and not to worry about it. Bank robbin’ time, yes, ladies? (Yes!)


Ready for some more of my man-wisdom, Spence?


Um. Who is this fucking monster?

At home, Spencer tells Johnny she realizes she’s been eating his frozen mac and cheese and to make it up to him, he can have all their trash for his art. “Art.”

At home, Talia is waiting on Emily. See, the deal is that she’s still married to her husband and she loves him, but not romantically, and he knows she’s into girls and he’s okay with it, because they got married really young and their skulls were still a little soft.


Do you want a beer? I’m old enough to buy it.


No, thanks, my mom has a drinks trolley she leaves unattended.

Talia: I know, I’m a mess. I get it. You probably can’t even imagine a mess like this one, romantically. You’ve probably never even broken up with your long term girlfriend because she kept accusing you of having secret meetings with your dead girlfriend, and then slept with your dead girlfriend who wasn’t really dead, and then gotten back together with your long term girlfriend who had been bullied into the closet by the dead girlfriend before she fake died.
Emily: I don’t want to talk about it.

They hold hands and feel like maybe they can work something out, scissor-wise, at least until Paige comes back for prom.

The Liars have a sleepover and discuss how they should honestly have just become lesbians and gone to Haiti with Emily that summer when she built houses with Rumer Willis. When Spencer goes downstairs to get some blankets, Mike stares at her from the porch like a creeping creeper.


I mean, we all looked okay in those orange jumpsuits, right?

The Risen Mitten drops Hanna’s blood all over some couch cushions or a flower dress or something. I guess she’s the first one Ali wants to schedule a meeting with!

Thank you to all of you for being so patient for this week’s recap. It’s been a week over here! Also, thank you for always and forever to Nicole (@PLLBigA) for these beautiful screencaps and for all those Hannily dance scenes she keeps posting on Twitter.

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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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