Pretty Little Liars Recap 322: Will the Circle Jerk Be Unbroken?

Welcome back to Pretty Little Liars, the only show on television specifically devoted to fucking with your head and casting former child stars as parents. This week, Emily meets an olympic swimmer and Spencer reenacts the entire plot line of Girl, Interrupted.

As you might remember, when we last visited Rosewood, Spencer had a borderline offensive “Break with Reality” out in the woods. We open on Rosewood High that very same morning where Spencer, obviously, hasn’t shown up to homeroom or even lunch. MonA spies on the girls, I assume to figure out if they know where Spencer is so she can get back to fucking with her.

AND LATER I’LL USE THIS MIRROR TO LEARN ALL ABOUT MY BODY

Melissa stops by the school to see if the Liars know where Spencer is at, but they’re just as confused as she is! The Liars realize if Melissa doesn’t even know where Spencer is something must seriously be wrong!

ARIA, I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT WANT TO MEET THE NEW ENGLISH TEACHER. ARE YOU INTERESTED?

EVERYTHING EMILY LEARNED ABOUT GIVE BLOWJOBS SHE LEARNED FROM GOOGLING PORN WHILE SORTING OUT HER SEXUAL ORIENTATION

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So where is that rascal Spencer anyways? As it turns out she is in Radley Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Remember, in Rosewood they don’t take sick girls to the ER, they take them to mental hospitals that looks like prisons. She’s playing solitaire because at Radley the only things you’re allowed to do are play cards or speak in riddles.

STRIP POKER FOR ONE

An orderly comes in and changes Spencer’s bandages. It becomes apparent that she’s still being called a Jane Doe. He also explains that Spencer is only in the hospital because there’s a law that lets paramedics take you to the hospital instead of jail. Wait. Why on earth would Spencer go to jail for being out in the woods?

DON’T WORRY, THIS WILL ONLY PINCH FOR A MINUTE.

Either way, the orderly tells Spencer she is going to have a psych evaluation for her amnesia. Spencer moves on to the “riddles” portion of staying at Radley, but it’s still pretty obvious she knows exactly who she is. This girl doesn’t have amnesia for shit. For a moment I was really excited and thought maybe Spencer was just trying to get into Radley to dig up dirt on MonA.

CRAZY ISN’T BEING BROKEN, OR SWALLOWING A DARK SECRET. IT’S YOU, OR ME, AMPLIFIED. IF YOU EVER TOLD A LIE, AND ENJOYED IT. IF YOU EVER WISHED YOU COULD BE A CHILD, FOREVER. THEY WERE NOT PERFECT, BUT THEY WERE MY FRIENDS.

That afternoon at the Marin’s, Hanna and Ashley are still on pins and needles. Hanna’s not so worried, but Ashley won’t even pick up phone calls from her pastor boyfriend because she’s so nervous she could get arrested for murder any day now.

AFTER I’VE TAKEN A THREE HOUR MED SCHOOL EXAM

Over at Ezra’s Annex, Aria does some stressing of her own. The Liars still haven’t found Spencer and Ezra is all stressed out.

LIKE WORLD HUNGER AND PHYSICS PROBLEMS

Ezra is super stressed about money and work. He seems to want to go back to teaching. That would probably be fine right? As long as he only teaches college students. Or puppies. Then this little pearl of total lesbianism happens.

THIS SHIT IS SO GAY IT LEGALLY GOT MARRIED IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS.

Over at the church, Hanna and Ashley meet up with Ashley’s boyfriend Pastor Ted. He is so freaking psyched that Caleb’s dad is rebuilding the steeple so well. But we don’t have time for that plotline because Wilden shows up!

WAIT. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE PLOTLINE TO THIS SHOW AGAIN? START FROM THE BEGINNING

That’s right, the guy who we thought was dead. Just kidding, I don’t believe anyone on this show is dead until I see their face in that ridiculous blue makeup they use for dead people. I’ve never been happier to see Wilden– mostly because I think the Caleb’s Dad Story is boring. Wilden doesn’t have much to say except P.S. I’m not dead.

PROVING YET AGAIN THAT THE BEST PLACE TO HIDE FROM AN EX IS BEHIND YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER.

Back over at Radley, the only therapist in town shows up to do Spencer’s psych eval. No, not Wren, he’s the only doctor in town. It’s Dr. Sullivan again!

AMBIVALENCE SUGGESTS STRONG FEELINGS… IN OPPOSITION. THE PREFIX, AS IN “AMBIDEXTROUS,” MEANS “BOTH.” THE REST OF IT, IN LATIN, MEANS “VIGOR.” THE WORD SUGGESTS THAT YOU ARE TORN… BETWEEN TWO OPPOSING COURSES OF ACTION.

Don’t worry, I’m sure Wren will be by to accidentally fall on Spencer’s mouth or offer her unsolicited medical advice in whatever his specialty is these days. Dr. Sullivan hits the ground running and gets Spencer to admit who she is and even that she saw TobAy’s dead body. That might be the most impressive therapy we’ve ever seen from this woman.

I MEAN A REAL L WORD DOCUMENTARY? WHO DOES THAT?

At Aria’s house she and Byron have a nice little heart to heart. I like how now we don’t suspect him at all. Either way Aria wants Byron to give Ezra a job. Byron is like, “Meh.” I’d probably have the same reaction if my 17 year old daughter wanted help for her 35 year old boyfriend.

OH RIGHT AND COULD I ALSO BORROW LIKE 2K? EZRA AND I WANTED TO GET SOME REALLY HOT STRIPPERS THIS WEEKEND. COOL THANKS!

Starsweep to Radley where Dr. Sullivan has taking a quick T.O. to let Spencer recuperate from all the amazing therapizing she’s getting. Melissa shows up and tries to figure out what the fuck is going on. Melissa sobs explaining that it never occurred to her that Spencer might be in real pain. She just figured she was a huge bitch who needed to get the fuck over herself. Mostly I just want Melissa to fess up about what happened The Night Ali Died Maybe or GTFO.

LOOK SUSANNA, YOU DON’T NEED TO BE IN HERE… I MEAN, YOU DO WANT TO GET OUT DON’T YOU?

Over at the Life Cafe, Emily, Hanna and Aria converge to have a big group think session. Melissa lets them know that Spencer is okay and at Radley, but now what to do about it? They think about hatching a plan to get in to see her, but then they lose interest and wander off.

ALL I DID WAS SHOW HER THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE L WORD. I DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD ROCK HER WOLD SO MUCH, OKAY?!

Oh and then A texts Hanna a screenshot of Wilden pulling her mom’s car over. There was no threat or reason to do it, so I’m guessing it was just so we didn’t go a whole episode without a message from A.

UGH AND I WAS JUST ABOUT TO GET A HIGH SCORE IN ANGRY BIRDS!

Timejump and it’s nightime at Radley. The same male orderly comes to give Spencer some meds. He claims they’re just antibiotics but you just know that Spencer just got slipped tranquilizers. Just before he leaves, Spencer notices that his badge says “E. Lamb” just like TobAy’s did. It’s unclear if this is a coincidence, Lamb just slipped Spencer drugs or if he was sent by Mona to just fucked with her.

SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT EVERYBODY!

At the Marin’s, Hanna tells Ashley all about Spencer.

THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING!

As the most plugged in and the least mature adult in the Liar’s circuit, Ashley decides she wants to cancel her trip to New York. Oh didn’t I mention? Ashley has a big job interview in New York that we’ve never heard about before now. Unfortunately if she gets it she and Hanna will have to move to New York City which would be terrible. And by terrible I mean that’s literally the only good plan for getting away from A anyone has ever come up with.

IN ROSEWOOD THIS OUTFIT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. BUT IN NEW YORK? HELL, I’LL BE FRESH TO DEATH.

Elsewhere, in a random location in the middle of Rosewood, Emily finds Dr. Sullivan outside her office. Emily asks a ton of questions and Dr. Sullivan reveals everything about Spencer’s situation making 1000 HIPAA violations.

EMILY YOUR OVERLY CLOSE FRIENDSHIPS WITH THE GIRLS YOU KNOW MAKES ME WONDER IF YOU MIGHT BE A LESBIAN…

The next day, over in Ella’s Classroom of Language and Love, Byron stops by to discuss The Ezra Situation. Ella thinks Byron should help him because she supports free love and recognizes the importance of teaching, growing, learning and loving. Byron thinks it’s a good idea because if he’s got a big boy job, maybe Ezra will shack-up with Maggie Mack and his son and leave Aria curbside.

YOU WOULD THINK WITH WORKING FULL TIME YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO LIVE IN THIS CLASSROOM

Dr. Sullivan starts off day two of her her evaluation of Spencer by basically telling Spencer she’s crazy and didn’t see TobAy’s dead body in the woods.

ACAMP SOLD OUT AGAIN?! HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO ME?

Dr. Sullivan explains to Spencer that no one can find TobAy’s body. Spencer proceeds to cry and cry and not even consider the idea that this could be A fucking with her.

YOU ARE A LAZY, SELF-INDULGENT, LITTLE GIRL, WHO IS MAKING HERSELF CRAZY.

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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 276 articles for us.

19 Comments

  1. “MonA spies on the girls, I assume to figure out if they know where Spencer is so she can get back to fucking with her.”

    That is exactly what I wanna do. Minus “with”.

    [Disclaimer: I actually don´t watch or care about the show. I just read the recaps because of … reasons … that are cute pics of why-is-her-crazy-hair-so-pretty-Spencer]

  2. I read a comment somewhere that i agree with now that spencer is in radley. We keep waiting for the girls to finally get the upper hand and be able to fight back but they are just running around and still have no idea what the hell is going on. I also think that if this was the I.D.channel emily’s butt would sooo be in jail, what with her and all her dead girlfriends. I would still go out with her but make sure that people know where I am. And I’m convinced now more than ever that Aria is part of the A team. Her telling Mona where spencer was sealed it for me

  3. You know, I first thought you were trying to have your own artistic voice in writing these recaps but it really just seems as if you resent having to watch the show and write its recaps.You don’t have to over analyze/hero worship the characters/actors but the things you write come off as really disrespectful and condescending. I’m not trying to bash you but if this was written by a heterosexual male on a men’s website a lot of people would be picking up pitchforks. You can be snarky while still being respectful.

  4. i really appreciate that girl interrupted quote i just so happen to have memorized

    i have to be honest i’m not as into this show as i used to be — i don’t get the feeling that there’s been an effort to create clues towards a certain end, i feel like there have been so many weird inconsistencies that i don’t really ever expect to learn something new that i wish i’d known all along, but rather something new that is actually brand-new. i’m not sure if that makes sense. the fact that they haven’t learned anything from this so far, like not to go walking through creepy places by themselves, is just dumb!

    i don’t want spencer to turn

    also i am so confused about paige’s situation atm

    • I was thinking about midway through this season that as much as I love the show, they really need to start wrapping it up. IF they keep adding more and more plot points it’s gonna be hard to have a satisfying ending.

      Then I worried that they WOULDN’T (start wrapping things up) and would milk it for as long as possible, and that seems to be what they are doing. Imo they should do like a half season and end it all, reveal everything, have the girls go on with their lives and have a spin-off where Emily goes to a women’s college and deals with therapy and feelings in a real life way and being a young gay swimmer and moving past the past trauma and figuring out how to live a somewhat normal life.

      • Also also, this is a major real life spoiler so don’t read this as it might make you mad re: the writers:

        There was an interview with Marlene or the writers, can’t remember, where they said they didn’t decide to put Toby on the A team until the beginning of last season….. … .. . That made me lose a little (cougha lotcough) or faith in the writers. I still like the show but these kinds of things you need to plan from the beginning if you’re going that deep. I know that isn’t something afforded when writing for a tv show that’s already ongoing but urgh. It frustrates me. I’ve been a writer (serious writer) for many years and when I come up with plot twists like that, I go all the way back to the beginning of the novel and carefully sculpt it in, instead of lazily scribbling it in in a non-nonsensical way. I’m not trying to say I’m better than anyone here, obviously I don’t have a hit tv show (not sure that I’d want one) but I think what’s happening right now (the show kind of falling apart, becoming more random) is a result of such practices. I’m starting to think it can only go downhill from here if they don’t end it soon. If they are going to turn Spencer they need to keep her “bad,” and not all of a sudden be like SURPRISE SHE WAS JUST SPYING LOL, SHE FIGURED OUT A’S SECRETS WE ARE SO SMART AND CRAFTY …ugh.

    • yeah i feel like the Toby is A reveal was the last great twist and then everything that has happened since has been random (even by PLL standards). i don’t want the show to end because it’s still generally entertaining and there have been moments of genius but i’m getting bored of the hapless heroines thing. they really need to wrap this A situation up and bring in a new big bad, a la buffy.

  5. This was such a frustrating episode to watch. I completely tuned out the end scene because I was so fucking fed up with Spencer acting like her world is over because a boy betrayed her, so I missed the fact that she accepted Mona’s offer. Seriously, that woe-is-me act in group therapy was insulting.

  6. I read a few weeks ago that the set they use for the Life Cafe is the same set as Merlots from True Blood. It’s all I can think now. It is barely recognizable but if you look at the entrance that is the giveaway.

    I’m not sure what to think anymore (about the various plots). The show is still engaging and entertaining to an extent, but I’m starting to feel the same way (about the show) as I do about a lot of horror movies. Especially zombie movies. Maybe it’s just me but there’s a point where I would just lay down and be like, “I can’t take this anymore, just turn me into a zombie so I am not living in this hell.” Or like when everyone seems evil and there’s just a handful of people fighting to stay alive and running scared all the time. It gets old. If you keep cutting a head off the hydra, and they continue to grow back…well, nice try but you’re gonna have to do something else obviously. THing is, our heroines don’t seem to be doing anything else. Get out of rosewood, become ninjas, idk…I know from a writing perspective that’s going to take away all the tension but who knows, perhaps pretty little ninja liars would be a hit. They start to become one step ahead of A and instead of waiting around to die and continue to be tortured they slowly ninja their way to A (or all the A’s) and are strong female characters that took matters into their own hands bc obvs the corrupt police and non-realistic mental health system in rosewood don’t work.

    Also I mean…they could take all their evidence to the FBI and be placed in protective custody until stuff works itself out. As powerful as A is in some ways, there’s no way A could infiltrate something like the FBI and I mean, 2 episodes max and shiz would be locked up and done. This is why I obviously don’t write for teevee.

    • SECONDING both Pretty Little Ninja Liars and the FBI. I mean, come ON, a crap ton of people have died in this town in a very short amount of time – surely someone is suspicious?

      I know I have said this before, but I am also an advocate of bringing in the mystery-solving duo Mary-Kate and Ashley. They have some very effective strategies for crime-solving and evidence analysis that could have easily been implemented by the Liars at any given time during the show.

  7. Ok, hold everything! Are you serious about wanting Emily to dump Paige for/cheat with Shauna Lizz?!

    You just broke my heart a little. Paige is my hero. She’s the girl who is self conscious and weird like me. She’s the girl who fucks stuff up and feels things too strongly. Always reading into things too much. She has parents who don’t get her.

    Seeing her now, on the other side of that, holding her head up, embracing her strengths, getting the girl, are so freaking important to me I can’t even begin to properly put into words. She’s Batwoman and she’s the most important queer character on the show.

    Shauna is “cool”. She’s one of those people who everything comes easy to. Fuck that.

    In all seriousness Lizz, I realize that was just an off-hand joke and I’m not actually upset with you or anything. But yeah, I do love Paige.

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