Pretty Little Liars Recap 314: She’s Better Now, Or At Least Back For The Winter Premiere

Hooray! Pretty Little Liars is back! I missed it so much during its hiatus I had to do lame things like spend my time getting good grades and keeping up with my classes!

We return to Rosewood just a few days? Weeks? Months? after the super scary Halloween episode. I’m still unclear about the timeline, but I can tell you there’s still no snow in Pennsylvania.

IS LESBIAN SKATEBOARDING A THING? I THINK IT SHOULD BE A THING

IS LESBIAN SKATEBOARDING A THING? I THINK IT SHOULD BE A THING

On this week’s episode nothing happened. I mean, yes, people talked, people went places, but nothing was revealed, discovered or particularly shocking. It’s like the writers busted their cannons on the last few episodes and now the show has about as much plot line as this season’s Christmas episode of Glee. Or any episode of Glee.

We open on Mona playing cuddle bunnies with Hanna in the middle of the night.

NOW WAIT I WANT TO BE LITTLE SPOON!

NOW WAIT I WANT TO BE LITTLE SPOON!

That’s right, Mona is back. Like back back. Just like when Brock came back to Pokemon!

Mona’s been released from Arkham Insane Asylum without any consequences or jail time and now she’s free to frolic unsupervised all over Rosewood. Supposedly she’s better, which is totally possible in the real world. People really do get better. Except this isn’t the real world. It’s Liar World.

IN LIAR WORLD EVERYONE HAS IPHONES. IT'S JUST LIKE COLLEGE, OR BROOKLYN

IN LIAR WORLD EVERYONE HAS IPHONES. IT’S JUST LIKE COLLEGE, OR BROOKLYN

Mona announces she has to go back to school the next day and while baby face mask and talking dolls are scary, nothing is scarier than high school. Hanna opts not to call the police and tells Mona she’ll think about it.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T WANT TO GET MATCHING TATTOOS?!

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T WANT TO GET MATCHING TATTOOS?!

Elsewhere, TobAy tries to run over some skateboarder with his car.

RUINING HOODIES FOR ALL OF US

RUINING HOODIES FOR ALL OF US

Starsweep to our favorite lesbian’s bedroom where Sargent Papa Fields is back in town and he’s decided to put Emily on lockdown.

OH GIRL. THOSE DRAPES WITH THOSE PILLOWS? NUH UH.

OH GIRL. THOSE DRAPES WITH THOSE PILLOWS? NUH UH.

Not because of the gay thing, Sargent Papa Fields specifies that Paige can come over to scissor whenever Emily wants. Emily just can’t leave after dark. Like the house’s alarm system will go off and everything will explode Mission Impossible IV style. Gosh what kind of parent won’t let his teenage daughter go out after dark? Oh yeah, they kind whose kid keeps almost getting dead. Parents just don’t understand.

IS FARTING

IS FARTING

Emily is super bummed about her new electronically instated curfew because this week’s Big Event is some sort of after dark charity run. Or maybe it’s a marathon. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t seen the inside of a pair of sneakers since Borat was popular.

OH COME ON LIZZ. BORAT WAS NEVER POPULAR.

OH COME ON LIZZ. BORAT WAS NEVER POPULAR.

Starsweep to daytime where Hanna’s Grandma Paula Deen is babysitting for unknown reasons. In case you don’t have a keen an eye as Intern Grace, that’s Betty Buckley. You probably know her from when you saw her star in Cats on Broadway in 1970. Or maybe when she played Mrs. White in Stephen King’s Carrie: The Musical. Okay I guess she started in Eight is Enough. Honestly I have no idea who Betty Buckley is but everyone else seems to know.

TEACHES FISTING CLASSES ON THE SIDE

TEACHES FISTING CLASSES ON THE SIDE

Either way, Grandma Paula Deen encourages Hanna to forgive Mona. I mean, Mona even sends her a muffin basket. I personally would totally forgive Mona. But then again we all know how I feel about a good muffin basket.

SERIOUSLY IF NO ONE WANTS THEM I WILL BE ALL UP ON THOSE MUFFINS

SERIOUSLY IF NO ONE WANTS THEM I WILL BE ALL UP ON THOSE MUFFINS

At school, Mona is there and it’s weird.

DON'T JUDGE ME JUST BECAUSE I STOLE THIS OUTFIT FROM CHER IN CLUELESS

DON’T JUDGE ME JUST BECAUSE I STOLE THIS OUTFIT FROM CHER IN CLUELESS

The Liars also remind Aria about what Garret said about her dad, Byron, on Halloween. Aria throws a hissy fit and then reminds her friends/the audience that Ezra has a son he doesn’t know about. Basically the girls recap what happened the last two episodes.

THAT'S RIGHT LADIES. WE TOOK PARTS FROM HER BIKE AND PARTS FROM MY BIKE AND SWAPPED THEM. THATS HOW LESBIANS HAVE SEX.

THAT’S RIGHT LADIES. WE TOOK PARTS FROM HER BIKE AND PARTS FROM MY BIKE AND SWAPPED THEM. THATS HOW LESBIANS HAVE SEX.

The proceed on to social studies class where they are confronted by Meredith as their new teacher. At first I couldn’t remember who the hell Meredith was, but then I realized she’s the former student Byron slept with. You know, the reason for Aria’s parents’ divorce. Awkward sauce. And the end of class the four try to have a Jets and Sharks style face off with Meredith, but instead it’s just awkward and no one knows the dance routine. You’d think Meredith would be remotely the adult in the situation and explain things to the principal to have Aria excused from the requirement or transferred to some other class.

TAYLOR SWIFT IMPERSONATION

TAYLOR SWIFT IMPERSONATION

In the halls, Hanna tries to comfort Mona who is getting the stare-down from everyone in school.

THAT'S A PENIS?!

THAT’S A PENIS?!

Mona opens her locker and it looks like brain is for lunch! I’m not going to lie to you, I gasped. Still, I’m pretty disappointed in whoever pulled that prank. Someone worked really hard to carefully remove that brain completely intact from a cow skull and now it’s just been trashed. Preserved tissue doesn’t come cheap in this economy you know!

THIS IS NOT WHAT DURA MATTER ON A BRAIN LOOKS LIKE!

THIS IS NOT WHAT DURA MATTER ON A BRAIN LOOKS LIKE!

After trashing the brain Mona walks parted red sea style back to her locker, stopping to whisper to Lucas. Remember Lucas? He used to be another male character we didn’t care about.

INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE

INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE

MOST REALISTIC SHOT OF TEENAGERS EVER FEATURED ON PLL

MOST REALISTIC SHOT OF TEENAGERS EVER FEATURED ON PLL

Post brain situation, The Liars convene in their office aka the girls bathroom to smoke cigarettes and take uppers. Mona wanders in and tells them she knows they didn’t put the brain in there because she totally helped Emily “figure out who killed her girlfriend.” Um. Says the chick who tried to pin Maya’s death on Emily’s current girlfriend.

DOES THIS LIPGLOSS LOOK POPPIN' ENOUGH TO YOU?

DOES THIS LIPGLOSS LOOK POPPIN’ ENOUGH TO YOU?

At lunch, Caleb and Hanna rehash the situation. I’m so proud the writers even thought to have someone ask, “Do you think Mona did that herself?” It insults my intelligence when the main characters don’t ask the obvious questions. I assume they’ve been reading these recaps and altering the dialoge accordingly. Hanna comments that Lucas has been limping and reminds Caleb/the audience that Aria stabbed someone in the leg on Halloween.

SHIT. I THINK SOMEONE SEES ME ORDERING THE IPHONE FIVE. QUICK, TELL THEM ALL I HAVE A NEXUS FOUR.

SHIT. I THINK SOMEONE SEES ME ORDERING THE IPHONE FIVE. QUICK, TELL THEM ALL I HAVE A NEXUS 4.

Over at another table, Spencer and TobAy watch as Jason and Mona canoodle. Spencer is generally just grossed out about the fact that Mona looks about 12 and Jason not a day over 45. She then changes the subject to Jenna supposedly leaving town. Spencer muses that maybe Jenna thought she was next to get whacked. TobAy pointed out that Tammin Sursok was probably just off filming Sleeping Around with Jesse Bradford and she’ll be back next episode. Maybe then she’ll get whacked. It’s hard to say who will get whacked next.

SPENCER DEMONSTRATES ALL THESE CHARACTERS GETTING WHACKED OFF.

SPENCER DEMONSTRATES ALL THESE CHARACTERS GETTING WHACKED OFF.

Starsweep inside of the school where Emily is checking in with her totally paranoid dad. Just then, she notices that the creepy guy working reception at the Lost Woods Psycho Terror Resort is working as the school janitor and chatting up Mona.

OOOOHHHHMMMMM

OOOOHHHHMMMMM

Emily grabs Hanna and the two sneak down to the basement of the school, which we’ve never seen, to scope the janitor’s office.

OH FACE.

OH FACE.

He has a big box of Mona’s stuff including the creepy baby face costume I hate so much.

THIS SHIT HAUNTS MY NIGHTMARES

THIS SHIT HAUNTS MY NIGHTMARES

Starsweep to Ezria land. Aria also makes an incredible discovery over at Ezra’s apartment when– just kidding. Got you! Nothing happens. Aria just gets a mocking jay pin for good luck from Ezra.

IT'S A SYMBOL

IT’S A SYMBOL

THE BIRD IS CONNECTED TO THE RING ONLY BY ITS WING TIPS. I SUDDENLY RECOGNIZE IT. A MOCKINGJAY.

THE BIRD IS CONNECTED TO THE RING ONLY BY ITS WING TIPS. I SUDDENLY RECOGNIZE IT. A MOCKINGJAY.

Aria also gets another gift. This one is a threat from A telling her to tell Ezra about his son.

OR MAYBE IT'S JUST A REALLY THOUGHTFUL GIFT

OR MAYBE IT’S JUST A REALLY THOUGHTFUL GIFT

Elsewhere Spencer and TobAy go out for a run in prep for the aforementioned nighttime charity 100K. The two see Jason, and Spencer warns him not to cozy up to Mona. Jason is unimpressed. He insists it’s his right to hug whatever potentially unbalanced teen girl he wants. I suppose, constitutionally, it is.

SORRY SPENCER, I PUT ALL MY FUCKS IN THIS BOX. NOW I DON'T HAVE ANY FUCKS TO GIVE.

SORRY SPENCER, I PUT ALL MY FUCKS IN THIS BOX. NOW I DON’T HAVE ANY FUCKS TO GIVE.

Starsweep to the Life Cafe where Emily is working and Hanna and Aria are crime solving. Caleb is, for once, actually acting like a high school boy and hitting Emily up to feed him some free food. The scoobies muse over the fact that, according to a file Caleb stole, Mona actually insisted she go back to Rosewood High. In retrospect, I’m sort of shocked the school doesn’t have any sort of anti-bullying zero tolerance policy. So Mona’s up to no good at the school. Riveting.

I HAVE A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY ON TYING YOUR SWEATSHIRT PULLS UP LIKE THAT.

I HAVE A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY ON TYING YOUR SWEATSHIRT PULLS UP LIKE THAT.

Back at the Hasting’s ranch, TobAy and Spencer catch a little tubbin’. Not to be overly observant, but is it just me or are hot tubs kind of weirdly back in style?

OH THOSE JETS.

OH THOSE JETS.

I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot of pro-tubbing talk going on these days. For the record, however, there are literally infinity people I would rather see Troian Bellisario in a hot tub with.

+ Spencer and Emily
+ Spencer and Paige
+ Spencer and Samara
+ Spencer and Santana
+ Spencer and the Kool-Aid Guy

You get the idea.

As the two are tubbin’, Spencer starts to hear some rustling in the bushes. She gets up in the tub to investigate calling out to the big great wooded unknown. Spencer turns her back to TobAy as she leans over the edge of the hot tub towards the woods.

THE BEGINNING OF A CHEESY PORN AND/OR SLASHER FLICK

THE BEGINNING OF A CHEESY PORN AND/OR SLASHER FLICK

Just then TobAy tries to– Ha! Got you again! Nothing happened there either. Spencer just looked a bit crazy and ominous music reminded us that TobAy is bad. Okay, so my theory is that while obviously TobAy is on the A team, his job is basically just to divert Spencer and slowly drive her mad. And maybe get some booty.

FARTING IN THE HOTTUB

USING THAT BOOTY FOR FARTING IN THE HOTTUB

While TobAy and Spencer get hot and wet, Aria sits at home dreaming about her older manfriend. Her father walks in and tells Aria that Meredith, lying, said that class had gone very well. Just as he’s about to leave the room, Aria asks her dad what he thought of Ali. Byron’s all, “I think all your friends are lovely amazing young women who will make incredible future leaders of America.”

YOU SEE. UM. EXPERIMENTING IS NORMAL. I'M GLAD WE HAD THIS TALK

YOU SEE. UM. EXPERIMENTING IS NORMAL. I’M GLAD WE HAD THIS TALK

This would have been a really good time for Aria to say, “Okay, but I heard a rumor that Ali was fighting with you before her death. Is this true? I just need to know.” Instead, she just acts like she still misses her friend a lot.

WEIRD BUTTPLUG

THIS IS LITERALLY THE WEIRDEST BUTTPLUG I’VE EVER SEEN

Starsweep to the Marin residence where Hanna watches the hit new Youtube video “Mona’s Apology” over and over again.

DON'T CRY OUTLOUD

DON’T CRY OUTLOUD

Basically Mona says that because she was bullied and thought she was ugly, she lashed out and became a psychopath trying to kill people. Grandma Paula Deen points out that anyone who wants to be forgiven that badly is probably a creepy weirdo.

THAT'S THE TWO GIRLS ONE CUP VIDEO!?

THAT’S THE TWO GIRLS ONE CUP VIDEO!?

Speaking of creepy weirdos, Lucas shows up at Hanna’s door. He has the last of Caleb’s money, reminding us/the audience that he borrowed some to pay off debt last season. He reveals to Hanna/reminds the audience that Mona has been sneaking out of Arkham Insane Asylum all season. We’re obviously not shocked since we saw it go down, but you think Hanna would have been a little a little surprised. Nope.

OKAY. I HAVE THE LAST SEASON OF THE L WORD IN HERE. BUT YOU DIDN'T GET IT FROM ME.

OKAY. I HAVE THE LAST SEASON OF THE L WORD IN HERE. BUT YOU DIDN’T GET IT FROM ME.

Hanna confronts Lucas about his leg injury and he says it happened in a skateboarding accident. Hanna assumes this is a lie and that he was just stabbed by Aria. Obviously we’re supposed to think he was run off the road by TobAy. I think this is just total misdirection and Lucas was actually just hurt in an unrelated freak masturbating incident.

SANDPAPER GONE TERRIBLY TERRIBLY WRONG

SANDPAPER GONE TERRIBLY TERRIBLY WRONG

Are we ever going to get to this stupid night race? Is this thing really happening? Let’s take a bathroom break and a page break.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.

20 Comments

  1. Yeah, this episode left me feeling a bit disappointed mostly because nothing really did happen. However, there was something else bothering me about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on until I read your recap. There was no Paige!

    • I know! There were definitely some ups and downs in there but all I would have really needed to be like BEST EPISODE EVER would have been a 15 second scene of Paige trying not to convince Emily to sneak out and instead stay in a play scrabble.

  2. The lack of Paige was disappointing when you consider that all of the other couples got screentime, but I guess it’s okay since she’s back next week (with her cute braids! Yay for cute braids!) and Lindsey Shaw is doing a pre-show live-chat over on the ABCFamily website (y’all should totally go ask questions).

    OH AND Hanna’s grandma is literally my favourite character on this show and should be a key feature in every episode.

  3. This episode was kind of meh. But I did have two questions.

    1. Could Emily and Hanna possibly have talked just a bit louder when scoping out the janitor’s office?

    “OH MY GOD! WHERE DO YOU THINK HE GOT MONA’S STUFF? WHY DOES HE HAVE MONA’S STUFF?”

    2. How many boxes of shit did Ali have? Seriously, every time we see Jason at the house he’s carrying another box of stuff. They need to send the Hoarders crew to that house.

    Also, I greatly appreciated the inclusion of the Pokemon clip. Right in the childhood!

  4. Spencer and Toby were gonna hot-tub it after their run and boom, they’re in and it’s night alright. It’s like they spent 6 hours in there. Not healthy. Glee taught me you can get pregnant that way.

    • I feel like they’re taking a lot of tips from Glee. Like introducing a lesbian character, having a dramatic big coming out, have her find love and then go episode after episode without showing them in a relationship.

      • the relationships are all so disturbingly stable. i mean, they are sitting side by side in a hot tub and then one of them is like ‘oh sorry gotta go’ while ominous music plays. it’s like a play about middle-aged malaise. prediction: paige was on wine tour, will return with grown-up jewelry for emily, they will hug politely and then attend a lecture about public health safety. caleb will reupholster mona’s couch without the liars’ permission, setting off a competitive string of competitive mini-renos, culminating in A pursuing them through a craft fair texting them menacing quotes attributed to Hafiz. the end.

  5. I’m stunned that nobody has mentioned how the first convo between Hanna and Grandma Broadway was one of the gayest exchanges I’ve ever heard on PLL. That, with the muffin basket, alone reignited my Mona Is In Lesbian With Hanna senses.

  6. But where do we find Aria’s studded sweatshirt, Lizz? …Unless I take some studs to my old black hoodie.

    That weird question mark looks like it’s a “2” footnote.

    aaaand Hanna’s grandmother is obvs Paula Deen.

  7. I have a weird confession and Lizz I love you so I’m going to use this thread to make it. I haven’t been reading autostraddle much for the past few months. Really the past 6 months. I still check it everyday, but I’ve just been…I dunno. Really let down and discouraged from the majority of the content. It could be a personal thing, idk. This is fucked up to say I guess, but it’s honest, and that is – Autostraddle seems to be becoming a lot of what I dislike about a lot of other queer publications. It’d take too long and be inappropriate to use this thread to go into details.

    My point here isn’t really a valid point, just an expression of frustration again. But I love your writing (you should write for cracked too! You’d do great there), and riese’s and this recap held me in it’s soft, smooth arms and cuddled me back into happy autostraddle land and so I thank you for that. I hope you kick schools’ ass Miss Lizz!

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