Pretty Little Liars Episode 522 Recap: Tomorrow Will be Taco Night

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, everything. Literally everything. Resurrection. Ghosts. Mystery-solving parrots. People dressed as dolls. Dolls dressed as people. People dressed as dolls dressed as people. Lairs in hotels. Lairs in RVs. Lighthouses, greenhouses, haunted houses, fun houses, exploding houses. Puppets. Plays. Guns and shovels and mannequin legs. Lesbians. (Lord, the lesbians.) Cars running over people. Cars running under people. Cars crashing into living room walls. Masks of clowns. Masks of zombies. Masks on masks of Alison’s face. Texts and emails and snapchats and tweets and not a single USB drive in sight. Fashion shows. Magic shows. Asylums and churches and barns barns barns. Face transplants. Eyeball transplants. A witch from the next town over. The Great Gatsby. Lolita. To Kill a Mockingbird. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Santa Clauses. Slap fights. Ouija boards. Fireflies. Bees! Fake cousins! Jewelry made of teeth! And best of all: Mona Vanderwaal. The Adrenalized Hyperreal Dobby Jesus Slytherin Reckoning. The Truth. The Way. The Life.

Alison’s lawyer has some bad news for her: No one believes anything that comes out of her mouth and so her best bet is going to be to take a plea bargain for Mona’s murder, in which she gets a sentence of 15 years and she’ll only be in for ten. The catch is she has to name her accomplice and the police are pretty sure it’s Hanna. I’m pretty sure it’s not legal to — you know what? Never mind.

My friends Nic and Nic and Heather (for real!) figured out that Ali’s lawyer is Ross’ girlfriend, Julie, from the second season of Friends.

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Isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic?

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Rachel and Ross had already been married and divorced five times before I was born, so.

Melissa finally shows up at her London apartment to rescue Spencer from the clutches of Colin Bollocky Wankshite. Spencer is still panicked about getting home due to her luggage bleeding all over the place, but she’s determined to make the flight anyway.

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Spencer, get off the computer! Mom said to stop you from reading any more lesbian fan fiction!

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You and what army?

Melissa: You can’t go.
Spencer: Why?
Melissa: Because I love you.
Spencer: LOL no for real why?
Melissa: Because mom got you an interview at St. Andrew’s.
Spencer: Whoa, that’s actually practically Hogwarts.
Melissa: Yeah, remember how Fucking Johnny shit-talked Hogwarts. I’m glad mom killed him. Now if she’d just murder Toby too.
Spencer: Excuse me, I love him.
Melissa: Eh, whatever.

At Rosewood High, Emily rehashes the Varjak/Cyrus thing with Aria. To wit: Cyrus is a guy who cut Ali in some basement and took all her money, when she was dead. And then when she was back to being alive, he turned himself in for kidnapping her, but Ali wouldn’t name him as her kidnapper until exactly 24 hours and one second after the cops arrested him, at which time he was already out of jail and on the lam. First stop: Getting paid by Ali in a wig in the forest. And then Cyrus showed back up in a Rosewood dive bar in the woods and bought some blood from Mike and rode his electric scooter around pretending it was a Harley and then someone named Varjak smashed into his scooter with a truck and set him on fire and then a mummy killed him in the hospital.

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I am not going to let Spencer get away with trying to be gayer than me! I have been gay since DAY ONE.

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Oh man. Day one was like a million years ago. Remember Maya? Remember SEAN?

Emily wants Aria to check in with Ezra and see if he knows anything about Varjak and/or Cyrus from all the “research he did for his book,” which is what we are calling his systematic stalking now. You know what I was thinking about the other day? Remember when Ezra snapped at Emily about “Some people have real problems!” the literal day after a car crashed into her living room and so she was sleeping in the bedroom of — not one, but two of — her dead girlfriends? And that motherfucker knew it! Because he knew everything! And he still had the audacity to be like, “My high school girlfriend is taking away this kid I’ve known for five minutes who actually isn’t even my child and so some people have real problems, Emily, unlike you.”

Anyway, Aria says she doesn’t want to talk to Ezra about his “research” right now because she’s on a roll of being actively involved in this season’s mystery and he always ruins it.

On the way out the door to go to school, Hanna hears her mom and Veronica Hastings talking law things in the kitchen. For example, Alison has been offered a plea deal if she’ll say Hanna was her accomplice for Mona’s murder. Well, Ashley defends Hanna against that. And so Veronica tells her she’s been visiting Ali in jail. And Ashley defends Hanna against that too. And so Veronica says the thing about the storage locker in Hanna’s name with the barrel full of bodies inside. Hanna doesn’t hear if her mom defends her against that one; she grabs her backpack and skedaddles on out the door.

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I don’t know, Veronica. I told Ella I’d wait.

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But if you really think we have a shot.

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I promise you we can be gayer than any of our kids.

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At school, Emily tries to reassure Hanna that Alison would never lie to the police and implicate Hanna and save her own ass. Man. Man. I would never date Emily. Like with Spencer, you know you’re getting paranoia, occasional delusions/drug-fueled daydreams, unquenchable competitiveness, and she’s always going to be correcting your grammar. With Aria, you know you’re getting someone who wears raptor fangs as earring and someone who can turn literally any conversation into a thing about her. But you know those things going in. Emily is such a pendulum of emotion! Everything’s so black and white! Everybody is Good Guys or Crackpots! One day she’s smooching you and defending you with her Nate-stabbin’ pocket knife, and the next day she’s dumping you or throwing your ass in jail, and the next day she’s back to assuming you couldn’t even tell a white lie! It’s a good thing she’s the prettiest person on earth.

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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 1719 articles for us.


  1. Thank you for the Friends reference and letting me know where I knew Ali’s lawyer from!
    That last Sparia photo set is magical. You have no idea how much I’ve missed Radley Spencer.
    Thanks for another hilarious and super on point recap!

  2. Prediction: Andrew is A’s minion. He’ll romance Aria, and when she realizes it’s him, she’ll run right back to Ezra.
    – Spencer, what is with you and skeezy dudes this season. Put Aria in your pocket, and think happy thoughts.
    – Okay, that burn on Ali was a total sympathy thing. In order for somebody to burn you with an iron like that, you would see them.
    – May I commend Emily. The guy heard her phone buzz, but Emily has learned to TURN OFF HER RINGER when she’s spying on someone.
    – Hanna’s tough, but we all know that she’s going to be Ali’s prison bitch.
    – Spencer, can you do me a favor? Hit Ezra with your car, back over him a few times, get out, pour gasoline on him, set him on fire, behead him, bury him upside down in his coffin with garlic in his mouth, and put a big f**king rock on his grave, so that we can make sure his storyline is dead.

    • As much as I don’t like Ezra he is very important to Arias storyline. Her whole story is how she thinks she is more mature than she really is and relies on other too much (of all the plls she needs her parents the most and usually defers to others in a group). And Ezra is important in demonstrating those facets of her personality. And while it does annoy me the other 3 don’t hate Ezra for the sake of Aria being the one to come to the conclusion the relationship is bad (the talmage essay was gold) I am willing to stand the other 3 forgiving him. And 17 year old hopeless romantic Aria would absolutely forgive her toxic and vaguely abusive boyfriend. It’s a sad reality but absolutely truth in television.

  3. I figured out why Emily suddenly cares about Ezria: Emily moved her bedroom into Arias house bc Pam moved to Texas and Byron to Syracuse and Ella to anywhere else. It’s why Mike made the “I don’t need another big sister” comment or why Emily allowed Talia to stay at her house after breaking up with her (she’s not living there!). Emily cares about Ezria bc when Ezria has problems Emily hears about it at home.

  4. Also this show was great of reminding people who claim they watch the show why the liars should never go to the police.

  5. The captions in this one were particulary inspired. (Trying to find out who’s gayer would be much more interesting than find out who’s A at this point in the show for me). Good job :D

  6. I had so many frustrated moments with this episode.
    St Andrews is in GD Scotland people! It would’ve been a long ass trip to go to that interview, we’re talking a few long train journeys and a bus at least. Also the RSC is in Stratford, half way up the country. Where the eff are the researchers getting their information for fake UK based stuff. Is it that map meme where the whole of England is London and then there’s kilts above and dragons on the left? Additionally No one plays darts in the pub unless they’re on the pub team or a regular…I’m northern, in the land of darts-or arrers as we call them-snooker or pool is the game of pub choice. Jesus H (possibly A) Christ I hate Colin. He could have taken Spencer to the Globe and they could have had an real Shakespearean experience…more fool him. Can’t wait for Spencer to get back to Rosewood and save Aria from the Ezra insanity.
    Also dammit girls screenshot your stalker texts so you can print them and take them to the cops when they finally pull you in and frame you…it’s inevitable. Have we learnt nothing all these years!
    Amazing captions and as ever hilarious recap.

    • Yes because if A can hack your texts they can’t hack screenshots and it’s not like A has ever stolen things from the girls before. Have you learned nothing all these years? the show has done a really good job of showing why the girls can’t go to the cops. In season 1 when they told about the trophy they got in trouble. Garrett and wilden who are on the force have tried to kill them. And no one would believe them if they said they were being stalked. In this universe it wouldn’t happen.

    • Also if these are your complaints I feel bad for you when watching tv. Wether or not people play darts, the location of a school, none of these things matter. And every tv show exists in its own universe with its own rules so don’t worry about useless details. In the pll universe people play darts and St. Andrews moved. Simple.

      • I tend to make sarcastic comments on these threads about the crazy that is PLL, the folk in England seem to get that when its related to the PLL interpretation of England, which requires probably the craziest and weirdest suspension of disbelief ever, (for the people in England at least)…and this is a show where two of the main characters have killed people and then never mentioned how they feel about it again.
        I think you missed that I was joking, no need to feel bad for me. I enjoy TV…it’s entertainment, it’s fun…it shouldn’t be taken too seriously…like my original comment.

        • Some people when they complain about it are not joking. There are actual criticism of pll but instead I feel like fans always harp on “problems” that aren’t real criticisms. Like the time issue.

    • I too was wondering why the hell Spencer was still in London if she had a St Andrews intermew – also, that place doesn’t even have a station, so it’s even harder to get to than most purrts of Scotland! And, yeah, I was wondering about the Globe. Though, even if Hamlet makes sense thematicatly, I see Spencer liking something less obvipuss, and also I don’t see her being a purrist – I imagine her loving weird takes on Shakespurr… Maybe this is just because I really hate historicism, and finally feel like the occasional bit of Spencer’s whole “intense clefur girl” thing is actmewally starting to ring true – she just seemed like a TV executive’s idea of what that purrson was like fur about 4 seasons…

  7. The Royal Shakespeare Company are based in Stratford-upon-Avon, not London. They sometimes stage plays in London at other theatres, but this wasn’t qualified “I’ve got tickets for the RSC at the Garrick” or some such cutesy-sounding theatre choice would’ve made me much happier.

    • In the PLL unifurse, since time and location don’t matter, they purrobably could have just said they were actmewally going to see David Garrick in Shakespurr. It makes about as much sense as the rest of the show :p

    • The RSC also plays at the Barbican (in London) every season, along with their 3 stages in Stratford-on-Avon.
      It’s not so far to London – when I was working at the RSC, and feeling lonely/depressed, I would sometimes go to London for the evening. It was a bit of a trek, but doable.
      However the St Andrews thing was tote ridic, unless of course, she had flown in a private jet, after having taken secret flying lessons. But that would never happen in PLL, right?

  8. “And then when she’s ironing (???) the jail uniforms,”

    I KNOW, RIGHT??? This show has been pulling off a lot of ridiculous suspension-of-disbelief nonsense, but this was too much.

  9. Thank you, Heather for another winner recap. Your first paragraph is a brilliant summary of the entire PLL series and puts all this craziness in perspective. Your screen cap captions are hilarious: “I don’t know, Veronica. I told Ella I’d wait. But if you really think we have a shot.” Ashley does have chemistry with just about everyone on the show, but I am glad she kicked the pastor to the curb. She becomes boring whenever he is around. I hope he has finished his coffee by now and returned to the parsonage.

      • Yes, in a discussion over coffee in her kitchen, Ashley told the pastor that she would not hold him to his promise of marriage, in light of the trial revealing her indiscretion with Alison’s brother. The pastor wanted to stick by her, but she said no.

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