Pretty Little Liars Episode 607 Recap: Happy Birthday, Motherf-cker!

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Hanna and Spencer and Aria broke into the lab where Lesli Stone works and set all the animals free. As a reward, Mona descended from her throne to tell them some more clues: Charles and Bethany were BFFs who broke out of Radley the same night, Lesli is just another in a neverending psychotic clown parade of red herrings, and also Lesli is Bethany’s archnemesis. Also they realized Charles chipped ’em in the neck with tracker jackers. Sara Eeyore-ed around town in the sketchiest possible way and then made out with Emily. And Charles sent Vernon a birthday card that finally severed the last thread that was tethering him to reality, and so he drove to Aunt Carol’s and dug his own grave.

Spencer and Aria are enjoying a romantic evening at home in front of the fire, reading up on how to remove the GPS chips Charles (…or Spencer) planted inside their heads. It seems to be a simple neurological surgery, no big deal. It’s not like they’re installing new eyeballs like what Jenna got that time from Wren. It’s not like anyone’s getting a head transplant. Aria beeps; she thinks it’s her tracker, but actually it’s her phone. Mona is texting to say Lesli has agreed to meet up with them and answer all their questions about her time in Radley. How close were Charles and Bethany? Did he ever try to boil her alive in a bathtub? Did she ever call him Freddie? Did he ever call her Bebe Drake?

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I’m tweeting it, I don’t care who sees. Hashtag Sparia. Hashtag scissor sisters. Hashtag Jodie Foster’s clambake.

Aria goes: “Ali needs to be there; where the hell is she?”

That’s my main question this season, too, Aria Featherears.

Where Alison is today is: being kidnapped by her father, who is no joke covered in dirt from when he was digging up Charles’ grave about ten minutes ago. Ali tries to get him to tell her what the actual fuck is going on, but, as usual, grown men on this show are worthless at knowing or explaining things. So Ali snags the birthday card Vernon’s got tucked between the seats and she’s like, “HE’S ALIVE?!?!” And then, “He’s coming for us, isn’t he?!?”

Remember that scene in Order of the Phoenix — the movie; not the book, obviously — when Hermione stares out the stormy window in the Gryffindor common room thinking about Voldemort, and really dramatically, like even her eyebrows are involved, she goes, “He really is out there … isn’t he?” Uh. Yeah. Yeah, he’s out there. This is movie five. You’ve known he was out there since the end of movie one. Remember 100 pages ago when he murdered Cedric Diggory and tried to do the same to Harry?

That’s what this scene with Ali made me think of: “He’s alive?!!! He’s coming for us, ISN’T HE?”

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Where are you taking me? To be in a scene with the other Liars finally?

Y’all are the brightest witches of your age. What in the chocolate frog hell kind of questions are those? Yes, the main villain of your story is still after you. COME ON.

So many things people say in this episode make me feel like my brain is scrambled eggs. This show is always bonkers and I love it, but usually the things the Liars say about the bonkers-ness make sense. In twenty minutes, Spencer is going to legit go, “He has a badge and gun; he can keep us safe” and my scrambled egg brain is going to shatter inside my head and Spencer and Hanna are going to have to watch a YouTube video about how to glue it back together.

Hanna is beboppin’ on out the door to meet the Liars at Mona’s to interrogate Lesli when Ashley stops her with the good news that she has received a scholarship and can take her genius brain to college and away from this homicidal shitshow of a town. Ashley is crying. She hasn’t been this happy since she robbed that bank and murdered that fake architect. The scholarship is from the Carissimi Group, which is a word you’ll remember seeing spray painted on the wall at Radley when Hanna and Spencer were creeping around in the basement with Maddie Ziegler.

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Is that ribbon around your neck keeping your head from falling off like in the ghost stories?

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I’ve made out with more than one ghost. It’s not stories.

At the Brew, Emily runs into a girl named Claire who has been looking for her. Emily assumes that Claire is like every other girl who shows up at this coffee shop saying her name, meaning: a) a lesbian, who b) wants to take Emily’s masterclass class on finger banging. Claire is here to see Sara, though, which pleases Emily not one single bit. Because you remember this Claire, right? She showed up in the middle of season four after the Liars found out Sara Harvey was another blonde teenager who wore a yellow tanktop and got assassinated in Alison’s backyard on Labor Day. The Liars tracked the Alternate Liars down in Luck Stop, PA or wherever and Claire was one of them. And then later on, Claire came to the Brew and told Emily she spent a lot of time wishing Sara was dead before Sara died.

So it’s understandable that Emily feels a little uneasy about producing Sara for Claire, especially after Claire fully guffaws at the idea of Sara having a job/the ability to read.

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Sorry, did you not see Aria’s tweets?

Spencer also is getting ready to head over to Mona’s, when someone knocks on her back door. She sighs the biggest, most annoyed huff and rolls her eyes, and who can blame her? Nine out of ten times it’s another riffraff at this back door, come to act like a patronizing prick about every choice she makes for herself. It is not that this time, though. It is Toby. He lifts her up and smooches her face and asks her to stay and bone him, but Ariabae is texting about how Spencer needs to hurry up and get to her, so Spencer lies about having to write her valedictorian speech and bounces.

When Spencer arrives at Mona’s, Aria is mutilating the dolls on her shelf, ripping their heads off and pressing them back onto their little doll bodies backwards.

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Baby, no.

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FINE. But I want to go to Jenna’s after this and smash her wall of snow globes. I want to snap her goddamn flute in half.

Mona: Well, Lesli’s not coming, y’all. She’s afraid that talking about Radley is going to make her relapse into being a crazy person.
Hanna: She never achieved un-crazy person status to begin with.
Mona: True. Oh well! But she doesn’t know anything more than what I know, obviously, so this is kind of a waste of time. Like I get wanting to menace her face-to-face, but stop freaking out like she’s the key to this convoluted Radley scenario.
Aria: I miss Big Rhonda.
Hanna: Anyway, all that stuff you told us when you were driving around your mobile lair and we were burning alive in that lodge, like about the game getting stolen from you in Radley, basically the entire last three seasons of this show, what was that about?

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Enough new characters taking up screentime. I’m here now. Let’s call Paige.

Mona: Oh, I was on drugs.
Spencer: FOR SHAME.
Hanna: Did you kiss Ali the night you rescued her from the side of the road, after the Grunwald pulled her from the earth and two psychos broke out of the local asylum?
Mona: Did I kiss her?
Hanna: You heard me.
Mona: A little, yeah. But mostly we finally just acknowledged that we made each other, like Batman and the Joker did, and then she got in her plane and flew away.

Emily has been isolated from the group by her shady love interest like an early seasons Aria Montgomery. Sara returns from therapy and Emily is telling her she doesn’t have to go meet up with Claire, but if she wants to meet up with Claire, Emily will be happy to come along and chaperone. They talk about the nightmare of kissing each other and Emily says they need to take a real think on it before they continue down that path of inevitable lighthouse gizzard-stabbing.

Have you noticed every time these two are in a scene together, the music is sun-dappled hazy-days, like, “Shhh, just relax, viewer, there’s nothing going on here but some chill lesbian times that make total sense.” I always notice it because sun-dappled hazy-days playlists are my lifeblood and also because every time a TV show or movie tries to make me feel a thing I’m not feeling, over and over, with music, it makes me paranoid and suspicious. It makes me feel like a Hastings on any given Thursday.

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If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.

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What’s a Spice Girl again?

Lorenzo arrives in his civvies to talk to Alison, but she is not home, of course, because she has been captured by her father. Lorenzo wants to know where she is and where she’s going and why she hasn’t returned his calls, because usually he leaves a message telling her how to feel and think, and she calls him right back to confirm what he wants from her. Not today, though. He’s left at least three messages telling her the police are her friends and she hasn’t even texted back with a police car emoji and a heart. Jason tells Lorenzo to skedaddle, and to tell the police guarding the house to skedaddle, and then he wanders over to the side-porch where someone has left a balloon and a birthday invitation. It is Charles. It is Charles’ birthday. Jason is invited to the party!


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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 562 articles for us.

48 Comments

  1. Sara seems to be who she says she is. Does that mean people will show her some compassion and cut her and Emily a little slack? Probably not. Shippers be crazy. But I’m willing to give her a chance because I trust the writers.

    • You know what’s interesting? I’ve been thinking about this a lot! I think some of the hostility toward Sara is shipping and some of it is because we can never trust any interlopers, but I also think a big part of it is the show is drawing to a definite close now, there’s a finish line in sight, and all mega fans of all TV show get irate when new characters come in and take screen time from beloved characters in these kinds of situations. Like even Mad Men’s last season and a half, the most respected TV critics in America were losing their minds with Joan’s new boyfriend taking up so much time, and even Megan Draper, who had been around for a while, but not from the beginning. I think that’s a big part of it too.

      • Hmm, that does make some sense. I can see what you mean. But maybe why I’m not bothered is because I don’t and never have seen her as a threat or long term replacement for another character. I mean, maybe Joseph Dougherty and Marlene have her there on purpose? Maybe she’s there for a good reason and instead of just raging we should try to figure out what it is? If they wanted Emily to be with Ali they’d do it. Or they’d bring back Paige (and I’m still convinced they will). But yeah, maybe Sara has a point and we can try to see what these writers who have given us so much to love are trying to do with her.

    • Because it’s PLL Im wondering if the whole her knowing about Claire was just a misdirect, and she majorly Facebook stalker her befur, just to make it seem real. I’m sure she’s not the same actress they had in that photo on her website, but I don’t know if that’s just recasting or delipurrate…

  2. I think Charles/A did something to Spencer’s brain in the bunker to make her become an ABSOLUTE MORON this season. Like, seriously Spencer? A has killed HOW MANY police officers, and now all of a sudden you think Toby’s gun and badge are going to protect you!?

    And I totally agree about Sara. Not trusting Sara has nothing to do with shipping Paily or Emison – it’s just based on the simple fact that NO ONE on this show is trustworthy except the Liars themselves. Everyone else is suspect. Hooray for equality!

  3. I’ve taken Sara Harvey as a stand in for Alison to show why Emison is such a bad idea. Emily is acting the same way she did to Ali in 5A.

    I find Ali really interesting this season. She’s trying to find an identity outside of the group and does so by dressing like her mom, going to church, coaching a kids soccer team, and dating a cop. Hate Lorenzo but I find it fascinating that Ali goes for a cop. Someone who has good moral standing in the eyes of the town/public opinion. It’s like Ali brainstormed what a “good citizen” is and has just been doing them trying to be that type of person. But it doesn’t feel like real Ali because that’s not who she is. She’s the girl who gives her dad sleeping pills. She’s trying to be something she’s not which is quite heartbreaking. She thinks she needs to change to be seen as a good/decent person.

  4. Though I guess now that Claire confirmed she’s actually Sara we can dispense of the Sara-is-Bethany theory. That still doesn’t mean Sara isn’t shady as fuck, or that she’s not working with Charles/A. The fact that she wasn’t chipped but the Liars all were is a pretty big tell, IMO. Though, I guess Mona wasn’t chipped either? Do we have confirmation of that?

  5. I don’t think Sara is shady – I think it’s just that Emily got the “dealing with the trauma” long storyline and she isn’t dealing very well since everything she herself feels she transfers to Sara – Emily is dealing with her trauma by obsessing on Sara, which should lead to a Sara leaving town is a Emily getting better moment. At least, that’s how her storyline feels to me – but then again, you’ve the “romance” music playing as if they were actually a shippable couple, also – I think Sara will be sticking around for a long while because other reasons.

    The less Alison is interacting with the liars, the more the show suck (since it’s so awesome when she does.) I am hoping, but not believing, Alison will interact more with Mona – that Mona picking her up with her car was just the first of many scenes. Alison actually dealing with her past behavior would be more interesting than just trying on a new face like she is doing now. It’s just 3 more episodes and then everything changes – hopefully they have a lot of spencer and hanna arguing about words while aria is clawing on dolls in the background.

  6. I totally agree about Alison not being Alison this season. Why didn’t you start drugging people ages ago? Why have you been letting your dad keep you from leaving the house all season? I mean, maybe because last time you did you got killed by everyone in Rosewood, but girl. Get it together.

    I disagree about that Hermione scene, though! I love that moment; it’s a coming-of-age moment we all have, I think, when the horrors we’ve heard about that permeate our world and history stop being these figurative nightmares and become the stark reality; when we finally let go of the belief that we’re somehow safe, or that things will somehow be okay. I’ve always thought it was a moment of strength, for movie!Hermione; she takes the big bad thing, the scariest thing in the world, and forces herself to look it in the eye.

    Also, you might like this one: I’ve seen a lot of people theorizing that when Sara kisses Emily in this episode, she’s doing it to check if the tracker is still there, hence her hand going to Emily’s neck.

  7. This was one of the most stupid PLL episodes ever. I know you can learn to do pretty much anything from Youtube, but cutting your friend’s neck open is not the same as winged eyeliner. At least Mike and Mona had a scene – I’m not sure why but I like them as a couple, though obviously Hanna is Mona’s soulmate.

    • I disagree. I have a daughter with type 1 diabetes and we’ve learned to do a number of medical procedures from the Internet. You can order all kinds of medications online now, the trackers probably weren’t deep under the surface; with sterile equipment and a sharp Exacto knife this is perfectly believable to me. I’ve given myself stitches, and shots, people lance boils at home on YouTube. With enough determination heckfire, you bet those girls could do it themselves. If people can pierce their own ears or (unfortunately) slit their own wrists. Why not?

  8. I was annoyed with Mike this episode. Like his whole deal is to be all ‘I’ve tried to contact her hundreds of times, she won’t see me! What do I DO????!!!’

    Maybe take no for an answer, Mike. You don’t keep trying endlessly for the answer you want. But of course, he was rewarded in the end because UGH. But seriously, not sure how much clearer Mona could have been to STAY AWAY.

    Also, Jason, if you wanna see Charles that’s fine. You can visit him in prison/the new bunker Spencer has built to keep him in. For now, let the safety of the girls that you used to secretly film for wank material take precedence, maybe? Asshole. Also, his hair was terrible this episode what was up with that.

    • His hair was ofurwhelmed by the supurreme betrayal that was not being allowed to cuddle his brother. Not quite as bad as Toby’s hair has been at times, but it was awful. But then Jason got a new head and stopped wearing suits once, so maybe he got a hair transplant? OMG can we have an epussode where he gets Charles’ hair like that Simpsons Treehouse of Horror one?

  9. Also, I have a naked Chinese Crested dog – since she is not covered in neck fur I can see her little microchip. They aren’t that deep in there, nor that large. If it’s pretty much the same thing I suspect they might be fairly safe and easy to remove. But who knows, really.

  10. “I think my ability to be skeptical about Sarah the way I am skeptical about Jason and Wren and Garbage Art Johnny says a lot about my feminism, y’all. I’m about equality.”

    The problem is what I see in this story-line is Emily behaving the way we constantly criticize male characters for behaving towards their love interests. Sara is the real Red Herring of this season, not all the obviously obvious ones.

  11. – Is it me, or did the dialog in the Mike/Mona scene seem real YA?
    – If the check was made out to Hanna, how did Ashley deposit it?
    – If one gummy is supposed to get you high, wouldn’t the amount that Tobey ate have killed him?
    – Did we all just forget about the car that tried to kill Sara?
    – Yes, there’s another -A behind Charles. It’s Spencer!
    – Let’s see how many people should be in SERIOUS trouble from this episode:
    — Lorenzo. Went copping someplace else, and tried for some off the books justice.
    — Tobey. Everything Lorenzo did, and he was high as a kite.
    — Spencer. Illegally possessing pot candy.
    — Spencer’s connection. Illegally supplied her with pot candy.

    – Another thought has occurred to me: Are they setting up the Liars to have their relationships end before the time jump?
    — Aria and Ezra appear to be done. God let them be done.
    — Tobey and Spencer seem like they’re about to destruct, what with the pot candy, the lies, and the schemes.
    — Hanna seems to be outgrowing Caleb. She’s gone through a major life changing event, and it seems like Caleb is going to be a casualty of that change.
    — Emily’s never really had a steady girlfriend so…

    • Agreed. Either they’re setting up the relationships to end, or they’re ramping up to a dramatic reunion and hot and heavy make-up sex. Wait. Haleb already did that. I think it’s likely Hannah & Caleb will survive the jump but not the other ships. (In terms of popularity they are strongest)

  12. I know I’ve made this point before, but it really disgusts me to see this show laud the police as ‘good guys’ who can protect the girls (like Spencer’s baffling insistence on Toby being a cop like he’s a fucking superhero now), especially as police brutality is being covered more and more in the media. It just seems so obliviously tone-deaf to watch on this show, which I guess is the best representation of white privilege ever. Ugh.

    • I didn’t think they looked that close in age. I have three kids who are 8, 11, and 14 (I’m one of the rare “old” fans)

      Anyway, until the last two years they all looks like children. Height differences were all that mattered. I think Freddie was a believable 11 or 12 and Ali a believable 6 or 7 it wasn’t a huge stretch for me. You should see my Girl Scout Troop (wish I could post a photo, but won’t for security reasons) those girls are all within a year of each other from 8 to 9 years old. Some of them are tiny and look very much like little girls. One even is in talks with her doc about weight gain concerns. (But she’s just petite if you ask me) on the opposite end of the scale there a couple who have body hair and need bras.

  13. Seriously, this episode. Ali screaming “he’s alive?” She can’t find her dad’s CAR KEYS?

    You’re a DiLaurentis, Alison. Get it the fuck together. You can’t hotwire the car? Get in your plane. For that matter, why did you even get in your dad’s car in the first place? NEVER go to a second location with a parent. Hasn’t five years of getting killed by people taught you anything?

    And Spencer would never believe “a gun and a badge” could keep her safe. Not even her own intellect can keep her safe, and its the strongest force on the planet. Well, second-strongest. First is Hufflepuff Hannah’s love.

  14. Heather, you consistently outdo yourself. How?? I am in awe.

    I could watch a whole season of just Hannah and Spencer talking in a coffee shop. I could also stand to see that raccoon image in every single recap. It makes me laugh every time because it so perfectly encompasses my feelings about so many things on this show. But mostly Toby.

  15. It is astonishing how much joy I get from watching PLL and then reading these re-caps! My wife doesn’t understand and thinks it’s ludicrous that I cackle over this incomprehensible red-herring of a show targeted at 12 y/o girls but I’ve explained that I do meet its other demographic audience of snarky lesbians. Thanks for this!

  16. “So many things people say in this episode make me feel like my brain is scrambled eggs. This show is always bonkers and I love it, but usually the things the Liars say about the bonkers-ness make sense.”

    THIS HAS BEEN MY WHOLE THING THIS ENTIRE SEASON. I’m really beginning to feel that strain of “oh shit we have way more seasons than we planned for, shit shit shit we have to MAKE UP THE TIME SOMEHOW” and they’re just running around in circles like making them say the weirdest shit so that they can fill the next 15 minutes.

    I feel like this show is about 90% more than it’s best self, like, it would probably be the most amazing miniseries with like 8 hard-hitting installments. It’s in episodes like this that you really feel like you’re drowning in that 90% of Other Stuff.

    In a way PLL is a lot like Xena for me, where like on the one major hand it’s “I love this show so much and it’s campiness is the greatest gift and I will go to the grave defending it” and on the other hand it’s like out of the blue they’ll have these incredibly ham-fisted moments of out of characterness just to force a plot along to fill an episode/arc.

    I also do NOT like this direction it feels like they might be going with “Charles” where it’s like how they treat every male character on this show, how they show them as these unspeakable villains who do the most terrible things, and right when you think they’re going to land the final blow holding them fully accountable for what they’re doing, they weirdly go “oh, well look at it from THEIR point of view! They were SAD about it! They aren’t really bad!” At least that’s what I was kind of feeling with this whole thing about Charles and Jason and showing that perfectly normal happy little boy being like “oh but must I leave the party being thrown just for me mother?” with big doe eyes and shit.

    Also didn’t someone figure out that Charles was supposed to be like much older than Ali? But in that video they all look to be the same age? Man this episode was a mess.

  17. So Spencer had her hair down, then she put it up in a bun, clearly so they could get at the tracker – sort of makes sense, but my bun would NOT be that purrfect. Then she fucking has a headband braid at the police station. Was she doing that whilst Lorenzo was getting tennis balled? I know there were more things wrong with this epussode, but wtf?

  18. Yeah the lunch with Claire scene made me so uncomfortable. My favorite part of this recap was Cooper getting arrested and Toby failing to understand Spencers umpteenth coming out. Thanks for helping me process my Toby is fucking awful why did he steal those gummy bears, why does he have to be so incompetent and sexist feelings. One question though, what was that about screaming like a blind person?

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