Pretty Little Liars Episode 606 Recap: How You Get The Girl

“Caleb’s office.”

Caleb: When we tweet about Pretty Little Liars, we use #BooRadleyVanCullen.
Sara: What does that even mean?
Caleb: It’s a Twitter hashtag Heather Hogan made up when she was recapping the first season because she thought Toby was a vampire/Boo Radley hybrid creature and she didn’t want to watch this white hot glory by herself.
Sara: What’s a Twitter? What’s a hashtag? What does a hug feel like?
Caleb: Um.
Sara: Am I not the most pathetic human person you’ve ever seen? What’s Alison DiLaurentis like, by the way? You can trust me; my life has been constant misery.
Caleb: I think maybe you should ask Emily about her.
Sara: No, she gets too cagey every time I bring her up, like they’re in love or something. I just want to know about the girl I was pretending to be.

What a goddamn thing to say! Sara is better at pretending to be Alison than anyone ever has been or will be, including Cece Drake who is both Alison’s soul sister and Horcrux. Who Sara is pretending to be right now, in fact, is exactly who Alison is: A girl who has suffered constant torment and abuse and isolation. A girl who has the Liars’ best interests at heart, after looking inside the darkness of her own self for so long while she was forced to stay away. A girl who deserves emancipation from the parents who perpetually fucked her up and over. A girl who longs to find redemption in the arms of Emily Fields. Sara doesn’t need a mask of Ali’s face to wear over a mask of her own face or even a yellow tanktop to pull it off. Sara is pretending to be who Alison DiLaurentis really is, just fine.


Thanks for giving me a job. Most people just stab me in the face.

In fact, Sara’s arc with Emily is exactly what I thought Alison’s arc with Emily would be this season, (but that Alison’s would be genuine). It’s freaky as balls, y’all.

Hanna grows weary of waiting for Spencer to show up in Philly, so she decides to steal Lesli’s car. It’s the easiest thing she’s ever done. It’s easier than the time she stole those sunglasses in the pilot. She just walks up to the valet at the sushi place and shows him her bra strap and smiles and tells him she loves him, and he hands the keys right over.


Ezra, right? The pedophile?


Ezra is wearing his most fancy polka dot blouse today, and when an Aussie lesbian shows up at the Brew looking for Emily, he swoops right on in to introduce himself. It quickly becomes apparent that she is old enough to have a driver’s license and is therefore not his type, but he doesn’t mind if she hangs out here and waits for Emily anyway. Her name is Nicole and she’s from Habitat for Humanity. She hung out with Rumer Willis and Emily in Haiti that summer after Maya died and Emily just wanted to get drunk and show A her boobs.

Emily goes with Aria to the junkyard to see if A is still there or if she left any fingerprints or like a business card or something. They talk for a few minutes about how Emily’s gigantic Hufflepuff empathy has landed her in situations where she ended up having to stab a guy, and like, ironically, the only people you can trust on this show are the Liars. Sometimes the significant others. But never randoms who wander in any time after season two claiming to be a friend, or a cousin. Emily hears Aria, she really does, but she can’t stop thinking about how Sara didn’t have any love to come home to when she left the dollhouse. She can’t stop wondering what got her through those dark days.


Yeah, I did some things, but that’s the old me.

Aria: Right, that’s literally what I just said. Gigantic Hufflepuff empathy. It’s the same thing that landed you in that lighthouse, dude.
Emily: I think maybe the best thing I can do is allow Sara to sequester me from the things that sustain my soul, manipulate me into taking complete responsibility for her physical and mental well-being, and potentially make out with her.
Aria: Better to get it out of your system now than in your 20s, I always say.

Clark shows up to take more photos as Emily is receiving a text that Nicole is at the Brew waiting for her. He offers to give Aria a ride home so Emily can bounce. Aria agrees, but wishes she hadn’t, because as soon as Emily’s gone, she spots a doll that seems oddly familiar to her, so she flips it over and underneath it’s dress is a whole other doll and it’s Aria-shaped and it’s got a needle in its eyeball like that time she was under Alison’s porch looking for Mike and she peeped up through that knot hole and almost got blinded! The doll is resting against a bird cage, like Tippi’s!


Follow me, end up like me.


Okay, you seem really cool and grown-up and also like a great artist.

Spencer finally arrives so she and Hanna can rummage through Lesli’s shit in her car to look for clues about how she’s the one who kidnapped them and held them captive underground in a state park. They find a brush that smells like a cat box, a box of non-perscription glasses (which really seals the deal for Spencer; like what a monster!), and four unassembled cages. Spencer is aghast at the cages. They say they’re for possums, but she knows they’re for teenage girls. They take turns putting on Lesli’s fake glasses while discussing the probability that she is A, and also discussing how Hanna is frustrated that her mom and Caleb think she’s so weak they won’t even let her cut her own toast these days.


My hands are even more beautiful than I realized.


Would you say you’ve got … specs appeal?

Maya Goldsmith writing dialogue for Ashley Benson is one of life’s most pure and delightful pleasures.

Emily arrives at the Brew to find that Ezra has already told the whole bunker story to Nicole. She doesn’t want Emily to be mad at Ezra, and Emily is not. It’s honestly the least offensive thing he’s done in terms of invading her privacy. Here’s the thing: Nicole really loved building houses with Emily that one summer and waking up to see her face every morning and wondering if today would be the day she was ready to move past losing Maya and open her heart/pants to someone new. Emily kept getting closer and closer to that moment, but before she was fully there, the summer ended and she left. Well and then she disappeared off of and she changed her email and there was no way for Nicole to keep up. How was she to know if Emily was okay? If she was single and ready to mingle? If she was mourning the loss of another girlfriend way up here in the lesbian murder capital of the world?


Ignore him. He watches me. That’s his whole thing.

So Nicole flew from India to Pennsylvania to ask Emily to come to Thailand with her to build houses again.

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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. The Sara Harvey/ Emily storyline would be an Emison storyline if Alison was canonically queer but I think we can now say that’s not what the show wants. Ali used kisses and sex as a way to keep Emily on her side. I know I’m going to be unpopular for saying this here but there isn’t really any evidence that Alison genuinely returned romantic feelings. I think she cares for Emily and knows she needs Emily but Emison was always intended to be one sided.

    I feel so bad for Aria. She doesn’t know how to not Be In Love. You will figure it out Aria. You will.

    • That’s exactly my interpretation as well. Ali being with Emily romantically always has struck me as wishful thinking. There has never been anything to show she really would like to be with Emily in a relationship. And I don’t think it’s baiting on the part of the writers (obviously though everyone perceives things differently) I just think Emison demand snowballed and caught them by surprise. Shippers love angst and they love bad girls trying to be good.

      And on a more subtle, unexamined level, I think there a BIG part of it that a lot of people just feel more comfortable seeing the traditionally femme, blonde Ali instead of the hard to pin down, somewhat androgynous Paige who makes them uncomfortable because of how she fights their safe gender roles. Ali and Emily are the blonde/brunette femme couple we’ve seen over and over (and over) on TV because that’s what’s safe and expected. Paige throws a wrench into that and they take their wrath out on her for daring to.

      • I never understood that second argument bc if you don’t want someone challenging gender norms you are prob a very conservative person who is 1) prob not watching pll but also 2) slightly more comfortable with butch/femme dynamic where there is a clear “guy” and “girl”. I think the real issue is that as audience members we want what Emily wants and Emily wants Alison. More so than I think she has ever been shown wanting Paige.

        • Oh no no, don’t doubt that MANY of the young women who watch PLL, and not all of them queer but who still have opinions on who Emily should date, aren’t as brainwashed with gender norms as anyone. Maybe a bit less today than in the past, but talk to any teen girl and ask her what it’s like to stand out from the crowd in terms of make up or gender expression. The herd is vicious and does not take that shit well. Girls get slapped down, knocked back into line or else get their self esteem DESTROYED every day in every school and you don’t think many of these viewers don’t hold the same, unexamined social constructs within themselves when viewing this show and deciding who they ship?

          • Eh. I just don’t think that’s where the Paige hate comes from. Paily’s story lines always revolved around Paige. It was about her coming out, her past with Ali, her having panic attacks in the woods. Ezria, haleb and Spoby all focus on Aria, Spencer and Hanna. And when they don’t (celebs dad and Toby’s mom) fans are displeased and bored. As Jacob Clifton put it Ezra is furniture in arias story. Those relationships, as viewers who see the show through the main 4, are easier to like than a relationship about Paige. That’s what I like the most about this Sara Harvey romance. It’s about Emily.

        • I think the real issue is that as audience members we want what Emily wants and Emily wants Alison. More so than I think she has ever been shown wanting Paige.

          Yes! This! A thousand times this! I could never get behind Paily because apart from maybe two of their scenes Emily always seemed so lukewarm about Paige. She probably WANTED to want Paige, but her heart was still saying ‘Alison’.

          • I think Emily wanted Paige. But the people we invent in our brains are better than who they really are. Emily had a very…. narrow, biased memory of Alison based on her crush for 4 seasons. And no real person can compete with someone who is half a fantasy.

          • Yes, that’s very true about the fantasy crush/ideal Emily had going on in her head. Yet she still seemed to be genuinely into Maya, way more so than Paige. IDK IDK!

          • It’s because Emily was shown attracted to maya before they got together. And ever since Maya she keeps being shocked, shocked!, that the girl she’s been flirting with for 3 episodes likes her and that Emily likes her back. Which is either good consistent writing or bad static writing.

  2. I’m sorry, but I’m perfectly fine with Emily getting to have a cute, pixie-haired girl to be reckless with and scissor while she’s on break with Paige. It’s almost kind of liberating to me that she gets to do this, blatantly and unapologetically. All the other liars have had flings and put their faces on people they probably shouldn’t have, and now a lesbian gets to right there on our TV screens as a main character. Emily doesn’t have to be perfect. Maybe Sara is a dangerous ninja killer, maybe she’s just a damaged girl who needs someone as good as Emily help her. Either way, this is cool with me. We all know Paige will be back eventually. ;)

    • Yes! I’m sure Sara will turn out to be a disaster, but I was still shouting at my TV screen (in a good way) when she and Emily started making out. And I am just so grateful that a character like Emily Fields exists.

  3. Clearly, Emily is doing something right! How does she get all the babes (aka the best one Maya). I feel like I need to just watch all the Emily scenes for research.

    If Emily came to my town, I wouldn’t be able to resist either. Emily = Bae-Magnet

  4. – So, uh, Hanna, is shimming up her drainpipe a euphimism for something?
    – Could they not get Rumer Willis back?
    – Seriously, this girl too? Apparently Emily’s milkshake really does bring all the girls to the yard.
    – Okay, I’m seriously not liking Dean now.
    – I like how after he says that he just wants to kiss her she steps away.
    – That Haleb scene squicked me out. It reminds me of the old James Bond movies where James would basically sexually assault the woman and she would give in.
    – That scene with Sara cleaning the floor was powerful.
    – Spencer moving Hanna’s head around was everything I hoped.
    – Mona comes to keep her girlfriend from getting arrested.
    – So….is Lesli lying about her non-Charles stuff, or did she not try to mow down Sara? Is Sara lying?
    – Hanna might have still had Lesli’s car when Sara got mowed down…or it might have been Spencer. Spencer is -A. (I’m going to hold off on adding this in until we know whether Sara was actually run under or is just faking it.)
    – Does it look like Aria and Emily have dyed their hair black?
    – Did Sara actually want to make love to Emily, or was she trying to distract her from looking for the chip?
    PS – Spencer is -A.

    • Is it me, or are all of the guys that come to Spencer’s back door real….ugh.
      – Wren
      – Ian
      – Andrew
      – Dean
      – Trashcan Johnny
      – Just waiting on Toby to screw up and we’ll be batting a 1000.

    • I really wanted Dean to come back after those two (? or something) first episodes, but now I just want Spencer to tell him to fuck off. And maybe teach him a thing or to about handling messed up crap. Because I’m not sure he has a lot to teach her there…

  5. I love this show, but it confuses me so much.

    I think what we learned tonight was that Mrs Di faked Charles’ death when he was sixteen (which would have been….how many years before Ali fake died?) but really, he was still in Radley. (Why even bother faking his death?) Then he escaped from Radley the night Ali fake died?

    If that is true, then how could Charles be ANY of the characters we already know? All of the male characters were introduced (to the Liars at least) before Ali disappeared.
    -Ezra met Ali at a party and they “dated.”
    -Toby went to juvie for not-blinding Jenna
    -Lucas was bullied by Ali

    I guess maybe Wren and Andrew weren’t around back then? Andrew might be plausible except we already spent half the season thinking he was A, which obviously rules him out, and if Wren was a patient at Radley wouldn’t they recognize him if he came back as a doctor by a different name only two years later?

    It’s not like the real enjoyment of this show comes from trying to figure out who A is, but jeeze, having to jump over all these plot holes is exhausting.

    • I think the show has been gearing us up all season that we haven’t met Charles yet…..

      • But Marlene has said via Twitter that we have met Charles. The actor who was playing them didn’t know they were Charles: Marlene tweeted when they were filming episode 10 that they were finally told.

        • I think you should only rely on stuff you see on screen… Why would she reveal something important and truthful via social media instead of, you know, on the show? That makes no sense. I don’t take anything she tweets to literally or too seriously or too truthful. It’s there for misdirection for people who really think A will be revealed in a tweet.

          • So…I see what you are saying, and I agree that the show has to stand on its own merits, but its disingenuous to suggest that what Marlene says on Twitter is irrelevant. Social media is a critical part of marketing these days, particularly with PLL, which is one of (if not THE) most tweeted about TV shows of all time. The questions that Marlene answers on Twitter at least as valid as an interview she might give in a magazine. There will be misdirection sure, but you’d risk alienating your fanbase if you lied to them and didn’t take it seriously, which obviously Marlene (and the other show contributors) do.

            All that aside though, from a storytelling perspective, it would be really shitty for Charles to turn out to be a brand new Faceless White Dude, someone who hasn’t been involved in the story so far. It would be like if at the end of Harry Potter Voldemort choked on a piece of toast. Sure, you can tell a good story about the bitter irony of the villain dying of natural causes when you’ve been preparing for an epic show down for years, but that wasn’t what the story of Harry Potter was about. And in this case, that isn’t what PLL is about either. The primary thread of the show has been the Liars trying to figure out who the fuck is torturing them. For Charles to turn out to be someone they’ve never met would mean that the story we’ve been watching unfold for years was never actually relevant to that. It would be a huge betrayal of the audience.

  6. First, I love, love, love these recaps. They’re my favorite thing to read after watching a new ep.

    I still don’t know how to feel about Sara. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that she’s working with Charles or something along those lines, but I kind of hope she isn’t because it would be nice for Emily to catch a break for once. Or if it does turn out that Sara screws Emily over, can we have Paige back? Or Alison to realize her true burning love for Emily? I just want Emily to have a girl to love her truly and forever and also be one of the gang.

    Actually, I really do wish we had gotten an Emison storyline this season. I thought there might be an indication of something more with how Emily and Alison interacted after the Liars got out of the Dollhosue, but apparently that is not meant to be. I just thought it would be nice. Certainly a lot better than that Lorenzo dude. Also, making Alison bisexual would be awesome.

    Is this the first season that Hanna and Spencer have spent so much time off together? Because I LOVE it! They’re perfect together.

    Dean is gross and needs to go away. Clark is a cutie pie and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s just a genuinely good person who’s into Aria and she’ll finally stop going back to Ezra.

    • I agree, Meredith…. making Alison bisexual would be completely awesome because I think it’s very realistic. While I think Alison did manipulate Emily sexually when she realized Emily had feelings for her, I think there is enough evidence, i.e. scenes of them together showing it,to support the belief that Alison had…and still has… feelings for Emily that go beyond friendship.

      I think when she was younger she was even more confused because, unlike Emily, Alison was attracted to both boys and girls. Emily never seemed like she was attracted to Ben or any other guy, she just dated him because it “was what people expected.” Ali on the other hand, I believe, was genuinely attracted to both and she threw herself at sleazy older guys just to prove something to herself.

      Ohhhhhh,,, but what a great storyline it could be to see Alison explore that side of herself. They have so underused Sasha both last season and this. I know the show was built around the 4 liars but I had such high hopes when they brought Ali back from the dead because she’s the 5th.

      In fact I’d go so far as to say she’s the 1st Pretty Little Liar. Who do you think the girls learned it from?

      I hope the writers eventually explore the Emison dynamic. Whether they wind up together, in the end, or not, it would be a major mistake for the writers to not at least explore it.

      • It would also be great to undermine the manipulative bisexual stereotype, instead of reinforcing it.

      • It would also be great to undermine the manipulative “fake” bisexual stereotype, instead of reinforcing it.

  7. There will be a spinoff starring Cooper and Tippi, right? Or at least a comic book?

    Did the show actually say that Spencer was the one who chipped them? I think I missed that part.

    At this point, all I want is Ali’s story, independent of ANY love interest. Even Emily. I was so damn excited when she popped back up at the beginning of season 5, alive, and I was sure we were going to find out so much about her and watch her turn the patriarchy on its head before our very eyes. But she’s languished, passive and uninteresting, in the background since the beginning of 5b. She dithers and wrings her hands and fades into the background and is the antithesis of who we were lead to believe Ali was.

    Of course, Ali went through an actual nightmare in between the flashbacks we saw and her reappearance on the show. She would have to have changed. But all that means to me is that this show has beautifully set her up to persevere through it all and demonstrate how strong women are and how they just won’t take this shit anymore! So, show, I’m waiting. I’m waiting.

    • I was thinking about this very same thing. One of the best parts of this show is Ali’s machinations, trying to stay 10 steps ahead of everyone else and I’m really curious why they’ve stopped showing that… She was like a whirlwind when she came into town and then that horrible trial which was awful and then jail and now nothing? Did she just decide it wasn’t worth it any more? I’m really going to need less Sara Showers and more Ali Goddamn DiLaurentis in my life and soon.

      • Bring on more “Ali Goddamn DiLaurentis”!!!!!!

        Is it wrong that I hope A/Charles/Whoever tosses Sara back into that bunker and throws away the key? Hey…. maybe he/she can toss Lorenzo in there with her!

    • Yes, Tammy!!!!! We need to see more of who Ali is now. Certainly her time alone on the streets and then in jail had to have affected and changed her but she is still Alison Fucking DiLaurentis! Show her some respect Marlene and Company!

      Oh… am I allowed to swear on here? I hope it doesn’t get edited out.

    • I agree, tho I think the show should also point to the fact that the flashbacks are based on the girls memories and might not be that accuraate about Alis personality. The problem is, everytime Alison acts people (on and off screen) point out “what-a-bitch”. I think its really annoying how the writers seem to be going out of their way to make alison “redeem” herself in the eyes of the society. I really hoped they would smash some patriarchal shit, instead of buying into it, but that might be hoping too much for a show.

  8. I don’t watch this show, but these recaps are fantastic. (I might read them every week. And by that, I mean I definitely do.)

  9. My girlfriend doesn’t watch PLL, but I sent her a snapchat video of Emily & Sara kissing with the caption NOOOOOOOOOOOOO because we always express our feelings

  10. Sara Harvey/Bethany Young/THAT BITCH really needs to stop preying on gentle hearted Emily. She has gone through SO MUCH please can everyone except Paige (and maybe Allison now that she’s kiiiiiiiinddaaa got her life together) just leave her alone!

    Also, I really appreciated the use of the raccoon as often as possible to express disgust. Top notch.

    • I get that we all love Emily, but hasn’t Sara ostensibly been locked up in a bunker for like 4 years? Hasn’t she been through worse than all the liars?

      • but like now I’m not sure if she was! Like, is she Sara? Is she Bethany who pretended to be Sara and orchestrated the whole locked up thing/pretended to be locked up? I just don’t know but I am so protective of Emily. Especially because I really think Sara doesn’t have a tracker in her neck…she wasn’t on that gps thing a few episodes ago that showed where all the liars were…I just don’t think she’s as innocent/lost as she’s portraying.

  11. i wasn’t ready for that raccoon reaction shot and i almost choked to death. despite having just also seen it in the afterellen recap.

  12. I think that raccoon sequence was probably my all time favorite thing PLL has ever done.

  13. A+++ recap! The captions made me cackle at my desk.

    A question for Heather: why do you think Spencer micro-chipped the other girls? Didn’t she also beep when she went past the machine? I just assumed Charles/whoever did it while they were drugged, naked and unconscious (oh my god this show).

    • Remember that scene where Spencer is flashing back to being covered in blood and she’s like, “WHAT DID YOU MAKE ME DO?” At the end of that episode, we saw that the Risen Mitten was tracking the Liars, so that’s when I decided he had made Spencer microchip them inside their bodies. I don’t know if that’s really true, but I think it is!

      • Oh yeah totally, I think that’s a valid interpretation and may well be what happened! I thought it was just A messing with Spencer’s head by covering her in racoon blood or Aria’s leftover hair dye or what have you, like how he made them all think they were torturing each other when they were just pushing buttons that did nothing.

      • But there was way more blood on Spencer and all over the floor than there would be from that minor surgery. :/

      • I’m not sure but didn’t Charles drug them BEFORE he sent them back to their rooms? Maybe Mona implanted that chip, who knows? I’m just pretty sure it couldn’t have been Spencer.

      • This IS plausible, but my theory is still that Charles/A chipped them when they were unconscious and naked, and that Spencer was only covered in blood because Charles/A wanted her to THINK she did something terrible.

        Remember when Spencer was convinced SHE was the one who murdered Ali? Charles/A was just trying to prey on that part of her brain. Making her THINK she’d done something terrible that she couldn’t remember doing would actually be more awful for Spencer then having ACTUALLY done something terrible.

  14. 1. My immediate gut reaction to the cover photo for this article was RAGE! I would have preferred Hanna and Spencer being cornered by a raccoon who is in fact A.

    2. Emily: I have to go to therapy now.
    Spencer and Hanna: WHAT? WHY?!?
    -this made me laugh out loud

    3. Actually all of the screencaps were so on point. Well done

  15. I really wanted Ali & Emily to be a real thing this season, but that’s mostly me wanting the fantasy of the cute straight girl you fooled around with and fell in love with when you were younger to grow up and actually being queer rather than just having toyed with your precious teenage emotions to come true. In both life and PLL, it shall remain a fantasy.

  16. This recap was so perfect!!! The captions! The raccoon! Everything!
    And ugh Sara go away; I agree she’s either going to turn out to be bad or she really is this poor little thing and Emily is just too kind and this just doesn’t work for me sigh. I too ship Emison.. but at this point I doubt that it’ll be a reality.. but I totally think Ali should be bisexual although I think that they’re going in the direction that she is straight and just used Emily; I think it would be more fitting for her character to be bi.

  17. You guys. Sarah could totally be Bethany. Her face is a different face than the one from when we first learned of her existence. She just wants us to think Charles gave her a head transplant in that bunker.

  18. The screen cap captions were particularly en pointe this week. Thanks genius recapping ladies! (Don’t know which of you writes those captions…)

  19. I kind of hope Sarah is a sleeper and will answer the phone during her seven-shower-daily routine and A is all, ‘the third flower is green’and she will skip on over and scissor kick Vernon DiLaurentis to death..
    Totally plausible

    • I’m rewatching Dollhouse right now, so that’s what’s in my head – is this a reference to that show or something completely different?

  20. Such a good recap! (as usual)

    Also, Vernon/Kenneth totally sucks as a Dad, but I couldn’t help thinking how much his life sucked slash totally went to shit this episode. FINALLY someone cracks enough to just dig up the grave already!

  21. Those raccoon reaction gifs are a thing of beauty. And yeah, Spencer using Hanna to test the scanner was my favourite thing to happen probably all season, and Hanna has just been INCREDIBLE this season. Why couldn’t SHE have gotten a spin-off? She and Mona, in college, at Vassar or something, is what I want now.

  22. It’s incredibly unnerving seeing how every male character introduced on this show is just a fickle love interest!?!? Is this what TV will look like after the Matriachal Uprising?? IS THIS WHAT A REALLY FEMINIST SHOW LOOKS LIKE!? CAN I HAVE MORE OF THIS SO THIS ISN’T A STRANGE ANOMALY BUT JUST AS NORMAL AS HAVING FEMALE CHARACTERS FRIDGED CONSTANTLY ON EVERY OTHER TV SHOW??? WHY AM I YELLING AHHHHHHH

    • Why all males on the show are love interests:
      So pll, from day 1, has been about 4 girls’ relationships, family, and friendship to one another (and 2 additional girls). Where do external friends fit in? They don’t. We know Emily is friends with girls on the swim team but unless she is dating one they won’t be shown because they aren’t the point of the show. It’s the same reason there will never be a gay male on the show. Shows should have direction and focus. Pll’s focus is internal friendships, relationships and families. There is no room for a male who isn’t a love interest. Those men exist in their lives but we don’t see them because that isn’t what this show is about.

      • Oh my god, it was a rhetorical question; I actually do understand how side-characters function to further the main storyline, thanks. It’s just so unusual to have TV shows directly focused on girls and women exclusively which was my point.

        Did I just get…mansplained in response to my joke about the Matriarchy? Is this how things work now? For fuck’s sake.

          • So it’s rude of me to be offended that someone thought I was too stupid to understand how supporting characters work? I’m a fucking writer, I know how this shit works, but it’s “rude” of me to react to the condescension. Got it. Thanks for your input on how I’m supposed to behave.

    • Except in MY matriarchal world, the fickle love interests change once in a while. No need for any girl/woman to stay together with the same unimportant dude for almost all seasons of a show.

  23. I love that Emily is the character that has all the game on this show. And no calls of being a slut, or anything. No, Emily is just owing her sexual agency, as is her right. Fabulously refreshing for a teen show.

  24. Every time I see Sara Harvey my first thought is that this is what Quinn Fabray probably would’ve looked like sophomore year in college had Glee writers gone forward with the whole Faberry storyline. And/or remembered that Quinn existed after the third season…

    Apart from that observation, I’ve got to say I kind of wished they hadn’t introduced this whole “Spencer is an addict” storyline. I mean, on one hand I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because her being cracked out on StudyAid gave us PLL’s greatest episode in “Shadow Play”. But it also gave us Dean.

    More importantly, it’s like they’re trying to tackle this very serious subject matter of addiction, but can only do it halfway because there’s literally a billion other storylines, and it just feels sort of awkward and forced. Like of all the things I worry about happening to Spencer, her bottoming out from abuse of pot brownies is about 1,302nd on the list.

    Lastly, when it comes to the actual identity of Charles/A, it kind of has to be Wren doesn’t it? I mean, assuming it’s a character we already know, he’s pretty much the only one who fits age/looks wise. But then like someone mentioned above, I’m not sure how he’d be able to come back to Radley like 1 year after he escaped, and work there without anyone recognizing him? At the same time though, LOL at the competency of anyone working at Radley.

    • The weird thing about the “Spencer is an addict” storyline is that I haven’t realized until now that this is actually one of Spencer’s defining traits. The more human, less superhuman, part of Spencer is a whole lot of pressure + no small amount addictive personality.
      And we’ve seen it several seasons back. It’s really not new. And she’s used drugs to handle her stress before (you know, before all the being-stalked-by-some-anonymous-murderer-for-several-years-and-eventually-failing-high-school). So it’s basically just bringing that out and deciding it’s now a “thing”, which can be used to create additional drama on the show.

  25. Heather… you are a genius!!!! And Nicole….. your co-conspirator is one too. Those racoon screen caps and captions are the epitome of perfection.

    I have so much I want to say but I am going to err on the side of brevity, for once, and just say that everything you said about Alison and Sara was so spot on, it made me want to throw myself through my computer so I could reach out and hug you.

    That’s all.

  26. Oh… I, also, just also have to say…… I love me some Emily but right now I want to bitch slap that girl so hard she’s sees stars.

  27. Sarah: What’s a kimye?
    Caleb: Shhhh. Don’t worry about it. I have no knowledge of anything past 2012, the infinite year that is upon us, just as I have no memory of my past life before I became a teen hacker ghost.
    Sara: Did The Grunwald tell you about this kimye?
    Caleb: Maybe. How do you know Mrs. Grunwald?
    Sara: She pulled me from the grave after my mother buried me on Endless Labor Day.
    Caleb: What?
    Sara: What? I’m not Alison. I learned nothing about Alison the 2 1/2 years I spent pretending to be Alison. Not a thing. Tell me about Alison.

  28. Cooper Vanderjesus really stole the show. Also the gaydar caption made me almost snort coffee out my nose. So thanks for that.

  29. Top notch recap, Heather Hogan! The raccoon reaction pics are maybe my favorite things ever.

    I’m so conflicted about the Sara story line. She’s clearly lying about SOMETHING if not most of her life except maybe the bunker. But why? I want to know more about her but then I also want her to go away and not hurt the Liars.

    Also, Ezra’s Blouse… *raccoon reaction pic*

    • OH! and REALLY Vernon (it really does suit him better than Kenneth)? Your psychopath son sends you a threat and so then you decide to go to his backyard in the middle of the night? With a shovel? Have you no idea what happens to your family and shovels in the middle of the night??

  30. Ok so I’m confused, is Bethany Young dead or alive? And if she’s alive who the hell did they find in that grave!?!

  31. I’m betting all of my marbles on Sara Harvey being Bethany Young. And that Bethany Young is conspiring with Charles in someway- like they are the Romeo & Juliet or Bonny &Clyde of Radley.

    I know it’s been already said lots, but it’s important enough to mention again- you really outdid yourself, Heather! The racism reaction shots and Sara Harvey captions were top notch! Take a bow.

    • So this is SUPER embarrassing, but days later and I just realized that my phone autocorrected “raccoon” to “racism”. Guys! I meant good job on the RACOON REACTION SHOTS! Sorry Heather.

  32. Hanna slayed this episode.

    Ezra was extra creepy.

    The Australian actress made me question my accent. Do we all sound like that?

  33. Loved Emily’s leather overall shorts. Spencer and Hanna would make the best couple because of how opposite they are. Their conversations would be so cute and hilarious.

  34. Its worth noting that Emily actually did try multiple times in season 5 to protect Ali like she is doing with Sara right now, but Ali went behind her back to other people over and over again.

    One good example was when Ali decided to leave town after A threatened her(I believe it was either episode 506 or 507). Emily begged Ali to stay, and promised to protect her. Ali lied and said she wouldn’t leave and while Emily was running around like a crazy person trying to eliminate threats to Ali, going as far as to emotionally manipulate Paige into ratting out Mona’s anti-Ali club, Ali conspired with Noel to love Rosewood without even bothering to say goodbye to Emily. When Ali’s backfired Emily fought A off of her, allowed Ali to stay the night staying awake all night to watch over her and walked her home and to school for many episodes after that.

    Emily isn’t perfect, but the notion that Emily never tried to protect Ali is ridiculous. Everyone loves to rag on her for turning on Ali in season 5, but ignore all the times Emily tried to protect her, and all of the lies she told that got Emily to turn on her

  35. I seriously never thought ANYTHING could induce me to want Emison to actually happen, but Sara Harvey/Bethany Young is putting that theory to the test. I don’t know if she is Sara or Bethany, I don’t know if she’s actually a victim of A or if she’s on the A team, but I DO know she is lying about SOMETHING. And I just want Emily to be happy and to be with someone who is not going to lie to her :(

    Best part of this episode was VanderJesus laying down some truthbombs for Spencer. Like, of COURSE A can fake an organ donation report – A faked an autopsy, remember? For such a smart girl, Spencer can be so incredibly dense sometimes.

  36. After reading this I’m not sure if I think Sara really is shady, or if she is just someone who consistently went to a lot of trauma. I mean is PLL so we assume theres gotta be something more. But How would she be bethany, wouldnt her mother, or someone recognize her – I mean Emily saw her pictures as sara with her friends, didnt she? Maybe she really is SAra harvey, and there’s some kind of stockholm syndrome going on between her and Charles.
    You are right, there are evidences pointing to her being -As minion. And she has been playing a good Alison, or at least what Emily seem to shoulda been going through with Alison. Otherwise, Emily is just kinda taking advantage of a even more emotionally fragile person, isnt she?

    • Exactly what I’ve been saying! I mean, I love Emily and I appreciate her putting herself out there for Sara, taking care of her and all. But what happened between them shouldn’t have. Granted Sara kissed her first but Emily should have realized it was more for comfort than actually wanting to kiss her.
      If however Sara is ACTUALLY Bethany, that will be fucked up all around. Even if she isn’t, Charles could have brainwashed her into attacking Mona in season 5. I’m liking this character so far and I hope the writers explain why Charles would keep her for 2 years and not just her relationship with Emily.
      On a completely different note, how old is Dee Davis IRL? She seems younger than Shay and the other girls but slightly older that Sasha.

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