Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Ashley Marin stood around in her perfect kitchen in a killer dress, drinking whiskey (neat) and pondering the life she could have led if she hadn’t spent the last decade keeping Hanna out of prison. The Liars remembered the time Sara Harvey got lit up by a tractor battery that was sitting on the floor of the building where she led them to die and felt really guilty about it. A returned to town using emojis, and the minute one of his menacing messages showed up on their phones, they all reverted to the behaviors of their youth, lying and lying and lying and generally making the worst decisions known to humankind.
Byron Montgomery is sitting in the dark in his living room so close to a lamp that he could turn it on with his pinky finger without even extending his arm, but instead of that he just sits there in the pitch black and when his daughter arrives home — his daughter who has been the victim of so much torture that literally three weeks ago she told a judge that she can barely even make herself get in an elevator with other people — he waits for her to turn on the overhead light, and when she gasps and clutches her chest because she’s assuming she’s about to get kidnapped and held hostage, he goes, “Did I scare you?”
LOL, Did I scare you? Did you think you were about to get trapped in a box with a dead man again and be thrown from a moving train? Did you think my former student that I fucked when I was married to your mom was going to lock you in the basement one more time? Hahahaha!
Hurl yourself into the fires of Mount Doom, Byron. God. Somehow he has hoodwinked Ella into marrying him again, and they’ve been creeping around so as not to upset Aria, who has historically been traumatized by nothing as much as people creeping around. She says she’s happy for them, but Ella doesn’t believe her. She follows Aria to her bedroom and says when Aria’s surprised she makes this one face but when she’s concerned she makes this whole other face, and honestly, she seemed more concerned when they told her about the engagement. She corrects Ella and points out that the face she was making was her My PTSD Just Got Triggered Face, and she wishes Ella all the best with her second marriage to the second worst man on earth. Also, she’s been watching Downton Abbey and she knows if Ella and Byron get married, Ella can’t be forced to testify against him if he goes to trial for murdering Charlotte. And for reasons I do not understand, she considers that a win.
Hanna’s day starts off bad and gets worse. Her boss, who is to Miranda Priestly what Twinkies are to wedding cake, is on her ass about getting back to Manhattan for a fashion show, and it has to be all Asians modeling, and individual packets of Himalayan salt for her lunch, and probably some wankshite coffee order. On top of that, Hanna’s beautiful and very boring fiance who doesn’t know that blonde/blonde ships never really sail, is all up in her nut and begging for attention. And on top of that is Emily getting her eggs harvested and recuperating at Lucas’ “penthouse” with Hanna. And on top of that is Devil Emoji telling her to find the hard drive her mom stole from the server farm, the one with the Radley footage from the night Charlotte died, or else.
Marin’s Magnificent Kitchen
Hanna: I can’t believe you stole that hard drive!
Ashley: The one you literally stood in this kitchen and asked me to steal 24 hours ago?
Hanna: Yes, that one! How could you?
Ashley: Whoo boy. Well, okay, I didn’t?
Hanna: Whatever mother, I remember when we had a million dollars, cash money, stuffed inside boxes of elbow noodles. Give it to me and I’ll destroy it?
Ashley: Like you destroyed that handgun from my closet by burying it in a frat house front yard in the middle of a party?
After Ashley leaves, Hanna calls up Aria, and they ransack Ashley’s place. Dumping out cereal boxes, pouring bottles on wine on the floor, throwing coffee canisters against the wall, tipping over the refrigerator, smashing plates, turning on the water and stuffing the sink with rags and leaving the whole place to flood like the Wet Bandits from Home Alone.
What is Caleb doing today? Well, firstly he’s sexing Spencer. Feeding her coffee and sexing her and sending her out into the world to meet with someone named “Gil” at the Rosewood Grille. She doesn’t remember putting the appointment in her calendar, but it’s there, so she’s gotta go! Like when your GPS tells you to drive into a lake! Gil does not show up at Rosewood Grille, but Toby’s fiance does. Yvonne. Beautiful Yvonne. She and Spencer talk about politics for a little while and about being Daughters of the American Revolution for a while and about Toby’s 12-pack for a while, and also:
Spencer: Trust is hard for me. I don’t know who on my mom’s campaign team I can trust.
Yvonne: Right, because of when you were a teenager and kept getting killed?
Spencer: Yeah. Like when I went out into the real world, [inexplicable welding metaphor], and now I just don’t know how to be.
Yvonne: I know what you mean about [inexplicable welding metaphor], but, in my experience, six out of ten times, the men in this town aren’t trying to murder you.
Spencer: Good point, Yvonne. Thank you for—
Spencer: Oh dear, she left her phone.
Spencer scoops up Yvonne’s phone and takes it to Caleb, where Hanna also is, with the hard drive she stole from her mom’s secret box of Fruit Loops. He does some shenanigans to the hard drive and gives it back to Hanna, who weirdly leaves feeling weird knowing Spencer and Caleb are doin’ it in this place. And then he does some shenanigans to the phone to try to figure out who’s scheduling these rogue appointments for Spencer. There’s a whole scene dedicated to Spencer trying to figure out if the person who is acting like A in every way is, in fact, A, but Caleb settles on calling them Evil Emoji, and then just “Evil,” but like as a noun. “Are we sure Evil did this?”
When Spencer takes Yvonne’s phone back (after Caleb has hacked into Veronica’s opponents’ campaign database through it), Mona is there to collect it. She says she’ll just take it, thank you very much, and not tell anyone because the press (aka that one student reporter from Hollis University), would have a field day knowing Spencer had her hands on this phone. And then she leaves. Less than one minute on my screen. Sigh.
There are so many confusing things about this episode, and not in a good way. Like okay, Sara Harvey is dressed like if a midshipman on a fish stick box had a baby with Kenickie from Grease and lurking around the halls of Rosewood High School. She slithers into Alison’s classroom and says, “I didn’t know you worked here,” followed immediately by “I knew you worked here. I don’t know why I said that.” She sits down in one of Ali’s desks in her fish stick/T-Birds getup, still wearing those gloves, and tries to pluck Ali’s heartstrings about how she’s there to give a lecture on living with a disability (…?), and when Ali rolls her eyes at that— because somewhere, deep down inside her is that glorious girl who blew up Jenna and then went to the Hospital of the Blind without a single shred of remorse to play her like a song— Sara shifts gears and said they both actually loved Charlotte and maybe they can bond over that.
That’s the one that gets Ali.
Ali shows up later at Hanna’s to talk to Emily because Emily is icing her out for, I guess, saying that amazing-mean prayer about how she was going to exact precise revenge on the person who hurt Charlotte. Emily thinks she’s there because her boyfriend, who stopped by earlier for a reason that made no sense to me, saw the piece of paper Emily left out on the table that said I’M GETTING MY EGGS HARVESTED TODAY, but that’s not why. She just wants Emily to love her again. The first step in rebuilding their trust is for Ali to take Emily to the clinic to do her eggs.
There have been a lot of incompetent doctors on this show. At one time, Wren was working as a psychotherapist, orthopedist, eyeball transplant specialist, and veterinarian. But this woman who harvests Emily’s eggs went to medical school with Dr. Wordsmith from Arrested Development. She is terrible.
Doctor: While you were under the knife, we experienced … a complication.
Emily: You cut out my liver? Figures.
Doctor: No, the family who wanted to buy your eggs, they got pregnant. They don’t need your eggs.
Doctor: So, you can freeze them for a million dollars or I can throw them in the garbage.
Emily: Is there a third option that involves me donating them, even if I don’t get paid for it?
Doctor: Oh, right, yeah, I guess so. I forgot about that one.
Emily falls back to sleep and hallucinates Sara Harvey breaking into her hospital room to inject poison sports cream into her IV, and she hollers and thrashes around, and Ali has to wake her up to calm her and shush her with love and gentle caresses. If Byron were there, he’d be wearing a mask of Sara’s face and then when Emily woke up and started screaming even louder, he’d be like, “LOL, Did I scare you?”
Hanna returns the hard drive to an alleyway and goes back to New York and gets fired as soon as she arrives, for being late and getting mouthy about it.
And while that’s going on, Aria and Spencer rent the room next to Sara Harvey’s at the Radley and catapult across from their balcony to her balcony, and break in. They see — this is so stupid but also so amazing — a gloved hand peeping out from underneath the bed, and Aria goes, “WELL. I THINK WE SHOULD LEAVE. THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE HERE.” And then Spencer is all, “YOU ARE RIGHT. IT WAS DUMB TO COME IN HERE. WE’LL JUST GO BACK OUTSIDE AND LEAP BACK ACROSS THE BALCONY LIKE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.” They open the door and close the door and stay in the room, like they’re playing hide and seek with a toddler. And then they pounce on the floor and grab Sara’s arm and but actually it’s just one of her menacing gloves.
They’re in there to look for the golf club that was used to kill Charlotte so Sara can’t use it to frame Byron, but they find some blue prints of Radley’s old asylum which is obviously now this hotel and Sara is in Charlotte’s old room. Spencer rushes into the closet to tell Aria about it, but there’s a giant hole busted into the wall and a ladder descending down into the depths of hell, and apparently Aria climbed down in there with no warning.
Emily is back at Lucas’ “penthouse.” She hears a disturbance in the hallway and goes out to find a bag of groceries for her. Inside the grocery sack is a carton of eggs. One is cracked open. And also there is a note saying that if Emily doesn’t do what Evil wants, Evil will … grow a bunch of Emily fetuses and amass an army of gay babies. Or something.
Evil tries to boot up the hard drive Hanna gave back, but it’s a recording of Caleb’s face laughing like a dark wizard, and then Evil’s whole hard drive gets erased. Old hobo, new tricks.
Next week: Roma Maffia says, “All the time you and your friends weren’t here? No murders!”
Thank you to Nicole (@PLLBigA) for these screencaps!