Pretty Little Liars Episode 609 Recap: Drunk In Love

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Ella and Ashley and Veronica and Pam spent too much time in Out of Town and not enough time getting straight up boohonged with each other on expensive merlot and solving the mysteries of Rosewood by laying everyone’s shit bare. There was other stuff too, with dolls and a thousand yellow tank tops and a magical parrot and a dazzling tornado named Paige McCullers, but mostly it was the Pretty Little Moms not being sozzled — but, my darlings, their day has come.

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The Present: Where’s the milk for my Cheerios?

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The Future: Where’s the merlot for my Cheerios?

The Liars’ moms are all in town and breaking the bad news to their children that Rosewood’s epidemic of victim blaming will continue right on into prom and graduation, and instead of the people in authority doing whatever they can to keep the predators out of the high school, they’re forbidding the victims to attend either of those formative events so the predators will stay away too. This is the most awesomely filmed open PLL has ever done; it’s one conversation cycling between all the Liars and their moms with overlapping transitions, like moms looking on as Liars smash their heads in the refrigerators and throw themselves out the window. The moms offer an alternative: A Liar’s prom in the Hastings barn, the least safe barn of all the six thousand barns in greater Rosewood, PA. One in five girls get snatched from that place every time five girls are in that place.

On the upside, the moms say they will watch over the whole entire thing from the porch to make sure Charles doesn’t roll up in there with a jeep full of mannequins and weapons of mass destruction.

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Bless this meal we are about to receive and please strike Lorenzo with lightning.

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The Liars adjourn to the Brew to talk about how batshit bonkers it is all their moms are in town on the same day, and what could that even mean, but then Lorenzo pops in there with his dumb arm still in a dumb sling and looks over at these girls who are talking about how they’re not allowed to go to their fifth senior year graduation because of how they’re constantly getting attacked and chopped into pieces, and makes a face like no one has ever felt pain like he feels because of how Ali swiped his RPD key card. Some people have real problems, Emily!

While Lorenzo continues to radiates his singular misery, Ali gets a text from her dead brother who keeps killing her, inviting her to prom so he can kill her some more. But how will accepting that invitation affect Lorenzo, Ali? Won’t anyone think of poor Lorenzo!

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Hey, it’s me, the man whose feelings are more important than any dumb girl’s.

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Ezra: I’d like to be your date to barn prom.
Aria: I thought you said you didn’t want to go to prom with me.
Ezra: I didn’t want to “share a punch bowl” with my former students.
Aria: …?
Ezra: I mean, my former students I haven’t slept with/stalked.
Aria: Oh, okay. ‘Cause I was like, we’re gonna have a punch bowl at barn prom, Ezra!
Ezra: Haha, I know. That’s not what I meant. I’m totally cool sharing a punch bowl with students I’ve seen naked!
Aria: Charles is probably going to show up to kidnap at least one of us.
Ezra: I”ll keep you safe.

The fact that he continues to say that with a sincere, straight face never stops blowing my fucking mind.

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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1122 articles for us.


  1. “Alison is a bitch. Bitches get stuff done. Bitches keep themselves and their friends as safe as they can in a hard, dark world. If you want Alison DiLaurentis to be a nice girl, you don’t deserve to even look at her.” There were so many amazing parts of this recap, I could quote it all damn day.

    Also, totally about Emily’s dumb romantic storyline. PAIGE SHOULD BE HERE FOR THIS SHIT, tuxxing it up with the boys like before. Important shit is happening and she’s just checked out? You don’t check out of Rosewood! You only go Out of Town!

  2. – What? All four moms? This must be serious.
    – Boy Caleb, could you not be a little more transparent with your lies?
    – I can’t tell if they’re green or blue, but Sara’s eyes are so pretty.
    – No Ezra, you don’t have to DRESS as a troll. Seriously, are they just going to keep on shoehorning him into Aria’s life?
    – Should we read something into the fact that Emily is the Evil Queen? She even has the evil cleavage going.
    – I noticed that all of the girls are out of their traditional colors for their gowns, except for Hanna. Is that on purpose?
    – What kind of highschool is this that it has a prom like that? Mine just had a balloon arch.
    – How big is that dance party?
    – Who is that teacher? She looks familiar.
    – Yes Spencer, let your hate flow and strike Alison. Complete your journey to the dark side.
    – What happened to the teacher that was threatening to run them off? Did -A get her?
    – Yes Ezra, you’re going to Thailand for Habitat for Humanity, not for the child sex trade.
    – Ali, still the manipulator. She waited until Spencer was busy to make her move.
    – The mothers are trapped. It’s too bad that they don’t have an Aria to hurl through the basement window.
    – Does that mean that the guy from the Carissimi Group is a cop as well? How did they find such a DiLaurentis among the cops?

  3. That was amazing how not only did Ezra go to prom as a student’s date at the high school where he was recently employed, he went as a date with a student who was BANNED from said prom and yet still, nobody batted a damn eye. Teflon Ezra! Is it just that he’s so boring that he’s invisible to the naked eye to most humans?

  4. The stuff with all four moms together was some of my favorite stuff this show has ever done! omg I wish they could be together on screen more often!

    Also, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy do Emily and Ashley have chemistry like that?! It’s so wrong but every time they have a scene together I feel like checking to see if there’re any fics of them. Ugh.

  5. Did the showrunners see my comment on autostraddle last week about The Real Moms of Rosewood? Because this was amazing. MAKE IT HAPPEN EVERY WEEK.

    Also, I love how Rosewood dances never have any budget. It’s just like, “Here, kids. Have all the money. Create the prom of your goddamn dreams!”

  6. Excellent recap as always, and I really enjoyed the screencaps of everyone’s phones. Also I feel like Spencer has given the exact same speech she gave to Lorenzo to another obnoxious love interest at some point? I might be wrong, all the men on this show kind of blur together.

  7. Yeah, right there with you on the things Ezra says for irony. Will you feel safer if your former stalker is with you? Or would you prefer me hiding in the fake shrubs someone constructed in your creepy forest prom? Why is he not in jail?!?!?! *sigh*

    Is Cooper going to rescue the moms from their basement doom? Since all the girls will be busy being murdered again. We know it won’t be the police. There is a gathering of underage girls for them to prowl, I mean protect.

  8. Loved the mum scenes. Emily’s outfit was fab. Alison’s dress was so beautiful I can’t even. Alison’s face when she saw Charles was everything. Was really annoyed when Spencer pushed Lorenzo to go see Alison. Spencer should just date her instead, despite that being a volatile relationship.

  9. Sara and Emily feel as hollow as season 3 Paily. Paily got together in s3 bc they dated for what a week in s1 and then 6 months later Emily was drugged and somehow got to Paige’s house. That was the reasoning given. That’s some shitty reasoning. In all of Emily’s mutal relationships i get why they like her but I never get what Emily gets from the relationship. What did Maya really bring to the relationship besides Pam’s hatred? At least with Sara I get how Emily has been using her to deal with her own trauma so it at least sorta makes sense. And on Sara’s end Emily is the only person she is close to after escaping.

  10. Don’t worry Heather–Emily is only completing her turn to date someone on the A-team! (OBVS Sara is redcoat right?) Hanna had Mona, Toby played on the dark side, and well…Ezra was…whatever. If this is not the case that screaming you hear to the west of you is just little ‘ol me at the reveal.

  11. I wish the story with these two had landed even a single emotional punch this season. It was so rote and empty. You can’t expect Emily’s relationship with Sara to feel as significant as the other relationships on the show when the other Liars’ love interests have been here since season one and Sara just arrived out of nowhere. I really, really, really don’t get it.

    I definitely feel like this is the point, though? I’ll eat my scarf if Sara isn’t Bethany Young or Red Coat or both, working with Charles the whole time. She doesn’t have a microchip, we have zero evidence that anything she’s said about her home life is true, and she’s just SO CAGEY. But I think that Emily’s kindness has affected her, which is why she was all, “You mean a lot to me, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.” I mean, how suss was that?

    But if I’m wrong and she’s exactly who she says she is & if she was literally just introduced to be a weak love interest for Emily, then I also really, really don’t get it. If Sara Harvey has just been a red herring this whole time and her and Emily are for reals in love, the writers have done their job terribly.

  12. So so on point about Alison and the problem with Alison/Lorenzo that goes beyond just the innumberable problems with Lorenzo himself.

    Also, it continues to amaze me that Caleb continues to be this good.

  13. I think my favorite (not really) moment of the show was when Clark was revealed as a cop and everyone, including toby, went “oh shit a real cop” – like it was the first time they had seen one.

    Emison is actually the reason I watch this show (though, I’m staying for Hannah and Spencer) – It was how Emily ran around in the pilot telling everyone that “Alison is surely dead, right” and then when Maya told her they found her friend – when Emily started running and proclaiming “knew she was alive!” – that’s when I went “nice emotional punch, show. I like you.” And I loved all the the stuff up throughout the seasons about Emily and Alison – the kiss in the library where Emily failed to hold back when Alison read aloud to her; Where Alison told a barely conscious Emily that she was her favorite and kissed her; When Alison saw Emily’s eyes being stuck on the wrong lady gaga and lashing out in jealousy of the attention not gotten and when Emily faced Alison in bed and knew she would kiss her back. I loved all of that so much – yes, I love emotional punches from complicated and painful relationships. Emily and Alison gave me same feeling as I get when I listen to any given song I currently keep obsessing on. But the truth is that there is no Emison anymore – if you interact less than Alicia and Kalinda, then the thing is no more. It doesn’t help that the creator tries to placate fans with tales of Emily and Alison being in always-special-relationship. And, that they replaced Alison and Emily’s relationship – or any and every Ali + liar scenes for that matter – with fucking Lorenzo, a guy who would be Alison’s arch-nemesis in a formalized world, is kinda simply just sad. So many shows end up with being just sad in the actual bad and real way and I think PLL has become one of them now.

    I hope A is a girl, I hope Charles is dead and he was A’s only friend. The liars was Alison’s friends – and the friendship thing is why A wanted to destroy them. The less it is connected to the adults, the more I will like it – that Charles is alive and hates his family, and parents especially, is boring – because the dilaurentis family never have been more than just guests on this show, expect for Alison of course – even if she moved to the 1960s and lives to please now.

  14. I always love the social critiques in these recaps. I think the “emotionally resonant” love interest part is getting at the heart of something lurking beneath the surface of this show. It seems like some of the writers and directors often deflect criticism by alleging that the show isn’t about ships or saying that romantic storylines are secondary. But that unwittingly falls into a coded feminization of the “romance” genre. Maybe the primacy of classic horror allusions and Hitchcock references portray things like “the uncanny” or mirrors as somehow theoretically “deeper” than frivolous “love” elements. It’s all Freud and Lacan at the expense of Butler or Foucault.

    Then there’s the issue of queer representation. I’m all about queering and fucking up things like monogamy, so it doesn’t bother if they have Emily’s character somehow less inclined to stable relationship arcs. But I think you hit the real problem right on the head by noticing that the emotional depth of Emily’s love interests are considerably less developed. The Sarah Harvey thing happens suddenly, without justification and creates a bond premised on unexplored psychological trauma. When it came to Paige, there was no character development outside her relationship with Emily. No encounters with parents, no fake love child, no biological father emerging from nowhere, no finding-out-who-killed-mom journey. It almost makes me afraid that this has all been leading up to a big “Paige is A” reveal, which would be fucked up for another set of reasons. At this point I’m more afraid of some psycho lesbian reveal than a trans storyline (I don’t think the writers would go there).

  15. So, I was thinking in the shower earlier today (as one does), and my brain went down this strange rabbit hole of thoughts. I started off thinking about Buffy, and how some people are all about Buffy/Angel and others are all about Buffy/Spike. Personally, I was team Angel when I originally watched the show as it aired. I think now, later in life as a full grown adult instead of a pretend college aged adult, I’m actually team neither. Neither of them were right for who she was and who she was going to become. It’s funny how you can change because as a pretend college aged adult, I was fully team Dawson, but as a real adult I don’t understand how anyone would ever pick him over Pacey. Anyway…David Boreanaz is absolutely right for Brennan on Bones. I started watching that show because Angel was going to be on it and stayed because Brennan was an awesome character. I stopped watching that show because I felt they moved away from who Brennan actually was – a full on INTJ who never once reasoned using feelings.

    This, of course, is where my thoughts turned to PLL and Ali Di’Laurentis.

    What the fuck, show? I’ve waited and waited and waited this season for you to remember who Ali is. The master strategist. The girl for whom logic will always trump emotion. The girl who looks at the way society expects a teenage girl to behave and says, fuck this bullshit.

    Even in this episode, where Ali finally said something that made a little bit of sense, it still didn’t ring true to who she was. When Spencer was asking why she was so desperate to meet Charles, and Ali accused Spencer of never really liking her either, and expressing the need to meet Charles so she could find out why he hated her, it was the first time this season that anything Ali has done has made sense to me. But it still isn’t Ali. She should want to meet Charles because she needs to know who the next person she’s going to crush is. She needs to know who this jackass is who thinks he can force her into being someone she’s not so she can teach them a lesson about how strong girls really are. She needs to meet him because it’s one of the steps in her plan to win. Where’s that Ali? Will she be there tomorrow night?

    It was a productive shower.

    Also, if anyone would like to volunteer as tribute to be my girlfriend so I’ll maybe stop obsessing over fictional characters so much, just let me know.

        • No. She will be the one lesbian who has no interest whatsoever in Pretty Little Liars and barely tolerates it when you watch it and then makes fun of your internet friends that you will still talk about it with because no one else will. Except for one of her coworkers, who will discuss it at length, to her infinite chagrin.

          It is really cool hearing the straight girl yet still mid-30s what the fuck is all this teenagers hooking up with adult men bullshit perspective, tho.

          • *Makes fun of you for having internet friends, not makes fun of your internet friends. She doesn’t make fun of strangers and you guys are awesome.

  16. First, thank you for your reviews, they crack me up. I was also very afraid you had been kidnapped by A because there was no review last week so I’m relieved to see you are still with us and not in a dusty hole dressed in a yellow top.
    Second, thank you for the “you beautiful tropical fish”. I am now picturing Leslie Knope crashing the Rosewood prom being all optimistic while A gets wasted on some Snakejuice…

  17. Everything you said about Ali was just so good to read after seeing episode after episode of her becoming this, not only nice girl, but nice little housewife. Also, you listed exactly why I want her with Emily. I’m not a teenager girl getting crazy about her ships (not even a teenager anymore… damn it, I’m getting old!), I just think Ali should be with someone who loved her for her and understood just exactly who she was and is now, and I can’t see anybody else who can do that besides whom was by her side during it all. It doesn’t make much sense to me that they make them now not interact that much or don’t even give this relationship a thought… I mean, remember Ali saying over and over while she was “dead” that Emily was the one she loved the most and the hardest to leave?
    Emily truly can’t catch a break in her love life! Paige was also a great chance for her to have a “true pair” in the show, but then… what exactly happened?

    I love this show and most of the writers choices, like really focussing on the Liars PTSD when getting back from the dollhouse, getting their moms together was BRILLIANT (I need this spin off more than I’ve ever knew!), allowing “crazy/dark Spencer” to happen (and that way, exploring Troian’s amazing talent more) and all the times they made Ali such a strong,contradicting and interesting character. But, if there is something that bothers me is the big difference between Emily’s love life compared to the other Liars… never seems very fair… About Sarah, I’m still in denial about her being around after the time jump, cause… cause… come on! I can’t even take her or Lorenzo as serious candidates to the girls, cause like you said, there’s nothing that sets a real emotional connection between them, these two are just there pissing us off (especially in Lorenzo’s case)

  18. I loved all of the scenes with the Pretty Little Moms, so much. Also agreed – the editing of the opening sequence was genius.

    I for one am unimpressed that Spencer wrote her valedictorian speech about Toby instead of her friends. Like, reeeealllyy?

  19. First of all: absolutely love your recaps! Found them a couple of months back and have read through a whole bunch of them since. Always super funny, but also thoroughly smart and educational.

    I found it funny how everyone’s reaction to Clark (allegedly) being a cop was basically just, Ooh, shiny! must be legit! Like, if he is with the Rosewood PD, why wouldn’t at least Toby be aware of that? (Probably the rest of them too, given there are about five people on that force, all standing watch outside their respective homes) And is he supposedly undercover as a college student for Aria’s protection? What? I know one should not think too hard about trying to make sense of this show sometimes, but still.

    Seeing the moms together was glorious, obviously.

  20. Stellar recap as always, Heather. I still shriek with delight every time the raccoon image pops up. Please never stop doing that. I can’t wait for this week’s episode, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

    Also, I totally respect how much you have your PLL timelines in order. Thank you for never failing to point out that Ezra is still a next-next-next level stalker who manipulates young girls and dated his student. It infuriates me that the show has such a short-term memory about this but always makes me happy to see you pointing out the utter absurdity of it in every single recap.

    Also also, I feel like there was probably some line about the prom theme that I *totally* missed, because clearly there was a loosely strung together theme involving princesses and woods, but I died laughing when Ezra asked “Will I have to dress like a troll?” Um, what? No, Ezra, no one is expecting you to dress like a troll. Unless the theme of prom was “Look on the Outside How You Are on the Inside”. In which case, yes, Ezra, you have to dress like a troll.

  21. Oh my god. I love your recaps so much but I almost want you to skip doing one for tonight’s episode. And like create a post right now where we can just talk to each other about our feelings. I have so many conflicting emotions right now!

  22. I’m so disappointed in Marlene, it seemed obvious that this plot was just thrown together and I felt like she did it just for the sake of doing it. It literally makes no sense and the timeline does not add up at all. I know that PLL is not always realistic and they’ve been in senior year for the last 5 seasons but this was just so unbelievable. Toby’s mom was alive when Alison was a teenager so there’s no way Bethany killed her that young. And Cece would be at like at most 25 now which means she transitioned when she was like 16? Because we saw her as Cece while she was still in high school. I don’t know much about trans community to be honest but I highly doubt that a teenager is going to be able to get a sex change and transition while their body and hormones are still developing. She had potential to create a great story for this character and she rushed it into an hour episode with no thought or care. I want to be clear I’m not mad that there’s a trans story line and I don’t mean to be offensive, but I think that if you’re going to commit to the storyline that is so major like this, that you better do an incredible job. And clearly from the amount of defending the PLL writers/people involved on the show are doing online, they did not tell the story in the best way possible.

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