Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Emily got chased around by a whirring Jeep for about six hours, during which ducking-and-dodging she inexplicably: a) got her hands on the murder weapon that killed Charlotte, and b) concluded it’s not (just) Sara Harvey who’s after them. Caleb left home to roam the countryside, a penniless vagabond once more, because somebody leaked a story about how Yvonne had an abortion and that somebody did so from Spencer’s laptop, and so Caleb took the fall. Hanna threw a re-wedding for Byron and Ella. And Aria confessed to Ezra that she wrote his book for him while he was on one of his benders.
This is the best episode of Pretty Little Liars in all of season 6B, by a full mile. I actually watched the whole thing with my eyeballs directed at the TV and laughed and gasped and clapped (when Lucas’ house came to life to murder everyone, obviously) and swooned about the only thing in Rosewood that has always been consistently great: Mona Vanderjesus Vanerwaal. More Mona, more excellence. If PLL doesn’t pull out of this nose dive, I’ll only be recapping through the end of this season (two more episodes!), and this is the first episode since the first two of season 6A that reminded how much I used to love this show.
The theme today is weddings: Alison, for example, has gotten married of to Dr. Rollins, a thing Emily correctly surmises is a desperate plea for a family. And also it is time for Hanna’s bridal shower, which she could not give less of a fuck about. Ashley honestly doesn’t care, either, because of all the contrived cardboard cutouts keeping the Liars from their romantic endgames, Jordan is the cardboardiest.
Ashley’s main plan to keep from having to throw the shower is to break up Hanna and Jordan, so she goes ahead and invites Caleb to move back into her bathroom shower where he was when Hanna saw him nekkid that first time and forgot Sean existed. Caleb demurs, and when Hanna finds out about it, she is livid. She says Ashley likes Caleb more than she likes Jordan. Ashley says she’s known Caleb for six seasons and it’s hard to get invested in her no-stakes relationship with a guy who somehow has less personality than Sara Harvey. Always the voice of the people, that Ashley Marin.
Until time for the bridal shower, though, everybody’s got things to do.
Spencer’s dad has been Out of Town so long I can’t even remember his name. Paul? Patrick? Oh! It’s Peter! Peter is back and his first order of business is to remind Spencer that she continues to be a constant disappointment and will never be as loved as his favorite daughter, Melissa. He wants Spencer to “release a statement” to “distance herself from Caleb,” as if the voters of the great state of Pennsylvania care about whether or not the boyfriend of the ex-girlfriend of the boyfriend of their congressional candidate’s daughter released information about her abortion. Spencer realizes this is some baloney, just her asshole dad bossing her around about inconsequential shit, as per usual, so she asks him to please talk to her about what really matters: Where is Melissa?
Peter: She went back to London.
Spencer: Seriously?! Without answering for the her missing luggage handle!?
Peter: Her what now?
Spencer: The long hollow piece with the rectangle piece attached at the end. Such a thing murdered Charlotte DiLaurentis!
Peter: Oh, whatever. Melissa didn’t murder Charlotte. I mean, look, yes, Charlotte did die the night Melissa stopped making blackmail payments to someone who knew she buried Bethany in that hole Ali crawled out of, but that’s all.
Spencer: Why didn’t you go to the police with that information?
Peter: Because of the part where your sister entombed a girl in our yard.
Spencer harrumphs away from there, but then harrumphs back after her dad leaves, and just in time, too, because Toby stops by to join in the harrumphing. He wants to know where Caleb is because he’s just so mad that he leaked that information about Yvonne, despite the fact that behavior like that is completely out of character for Caleb, and, in fact, sounds more like the omnipotent cyberterrorist he spent twenty years trying to help the Liars apprehend in high school. But whatever. Caleb walks into the kitchen, looking innocent as the sunrise, and when Toby asks him to deny doing the deed, he refuses, and Caleb wallops him in the face with his fist.
Obviously, Spencer and Caleb then drive to the town square to sit in the middle of the park while Spencer holds ice to Caleb’s face. Spencer still can’t understand why he won’t just tell people he didn’t leak the information, but Caleb has his reasons. Apparently. He doesn’t say them. But I’m sure they make perfect sense. Anyway, somebody peeps them and word gets back to Peter and he is torn out of the frame. What will the voters say?! Spencer is like, “Dude, half the country is voting for an actual Nazi to be president; I think maybe you’re slightly overestimating the gravity of me sitting on a bench with a boy.”
The other person who is mad at Spencer today is Mona Vanderwaal. She bumps into Spencer at the Rosewood Grille and lights into her about leaking the Yvonne thing. When the IT team went digging into the server, they also discovered that Caleb had been crawling around in there via Yvonne’s iPhone which Mona told her to “accidentally” leave at the restaurant to bait Spencer into stealing it. And now Mona’s out of a job! Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal; she did rise from the dead after three days, just a few years ago, and getting a gig on the Hill is cake compared to getting immortal. It’s honestly just the principal of the thing. Spencer can’t decide if this is all one of those convoluted Mona ploys that she pulls for fun when she’s waiting for new levels of Candy Crush to be released.
Spencer finally goes to meet Toby at the Brew to explain about Caleb. When she sees him sitting there, she remembers how they broke up. It was at Georgetown. She was maybe pregnant.
Toby: I think now would be a good time to have a referendum on our relationship.
Spencer: I heartily disagree.
Toby: Would having a baby be the worst thing in the world?
Spencer: Right now? When I am 20 years old and only halfway through college? Um, yeah.
Toby: This is about you not loving me.
Spencer: Actually, it’s about the fact that a baby would wreck my life and cut off my path to my career goals.
Toby: We used to want the same things.
Spencer: Yeah, when we were deciding which toppings to get on our pizza and what to watch on Netflix. We’re talking about a human baby, man.
Toby: Oh, well. It was nice when you cared about me, back in high school.
The memory softens Spencer so she confesses to Toby that A is back and that’s who leaked Yvonne’s abortion history.
Emily’s day is more weird but less dramatic. She stands around in the middle of town waiting to see if she hears any of that whirring, like what chased her around the forest last night, and finally she does. Luckily Ezra is there to explain to her that it’s this thing you can get installed on your car to draw attention to yourself if you’re desperate and like to set money on fire. So Emily frolics off to the bizarro alternate universe Rosewood that only she seems to have access to, seeking answers to her car chase.
Her first stop is a seedy car garage where about a hundred guys who look like extras in a pirate movie are standing around and cracking their knuckles at her. She asks the head mechanic if anybody came in to get the whirrers installed on their car in the last few weeks, anyone out of the ordinary, so like not a dude wearing beach day tank top, but potentially a handless girl or a brunette girl wearing a blazer, and like maybe she paid with suitcase handles. The mechanic tells Emily to skedaddle, she shouldn’t be here, this isn’t the place for her, get lost, she’s barking up the wrong tree, she’s asking questions she doesn’t want the answers to, she could tell you but then she’d have to kill you, it’s gonna blow, it’s not what it looks like, she just doesn’t get it does she, there’s a storm coming, etc.
So, Emily leaves and goes back through the wardrobe to real Rosewood to attend to Hanna in her hour of bridal need. (P.S. That head mechanic totally installed the whirrers on Devil Emoji’s jeep.)
Ezra: Good news, I told your boss about you writing my book for me and she agreed that you can co-write my book with me.
Ezra: I’m a rich white man who asked for a thing. What do you mean “how”? Anyway, we both agreed you could add a feminine voice to my work.
Aria: That’s definitely not the most condescending thing I’ve ever heard.
Aria talks to whatever her Jordan’s name is about co-writing the book and he kisses her on the head and says, “You’re going to be a published author!” I mean. I guess “Written by Ezra Fitz. Feminine voice consultant: Aria Montgomery” is kind of like being a published author.
That’s not the worst part of her day, though. The worst part of her day is Tanner shows up talking about how an eyewitness saw “an attractive brunette” placing a call from the Two Crows Diner to the DiLaurentis house the night Charlotte was killed. So I guess she’s going in order of height of the six thousand “attractive brunettes” in this town and Aria is up first.
Aria goes down to the station and stands in one of those police line-ups, and then once she’s free to leave, she sneaks into the bushes and sees Sara Harvey exiting through the back door. And that is enough! Aria stomps back inside and tells Tanner she wants to file a harassment complaint against Sara, which makes sense considering the fact that she was literally every single non-A bad guy on this entire show, but Tanner just blows her off. Before she does, Aria sneaky-peeks at the Two Crows file and finds out that the second attribute of the “attractive brunette” is that she carries a keychain made of pink dice.
It’s bridal shower time! Hanna and the Liars and a bunch of nondescript “New York friends” descend on Lucas’ loft to drink free booze and pretend Jordan is not an Australian robot. Ashley wants them to play a party game of who knows the bride and groom best, which is amazing because no one knows anything about them because Hanna’s never talked about him to any of them. Emily guesses they met “at a work function,” indicating that she does not, in fact, know where they met, or what this motherfucker even does for a living. Amazing.
Even more amazing: Mona shows up halfway through the shower with this wedding scrapbook Hanna made when she was just a middle schooler. Hanna can’t believe Mona kept it, which is just about the most hilarious thing I have ever heard in my entire life, and invites her in to have some champagne. Not ten minutes after her arrival, my all-time favorite thing of: a room gaining consciousness and attempting to murder everyone inside it happens. Death metal like from when A hijacked the fashion show plays, and the air conditioner starts blowing everything everywhere, and the lights go off — and then the fire place explodes Aria in half!
JK, JK, Aria’s only TV hurt. She’s got a little burn on her arm.
Ezra goes to the hospital to sit with her while she recovers. He reads her a fashion magazine. Soon enough, Aria’s Jordan arrives and kisses her face and takes over reading the magazine. I guess Byron and Ella are still on their honeymoon. Or maybe, like Mike, they have been magicked away from this mortal realm.
In the waiting room, Hanna confesses to Ashley that she also hates Jordan. At her house, Spencer calls Yvonne to apologize and offer a sympathetic ear. And in some alley somewhere, Emily and Mona are cleaning up the remains of Lucas’ apartment, when Emily spots Mona’s pink dice keychain.
Emily: Was it you?
Mona: Bitch, it is literally always me. Whatever the question, I’m the answer. Get in the car.
Thank you to Nicole (@PLLBigA) for the screencaps!