Pretty Little Liars Recap 503: Coincidences Happen

Why hello there and welcome to the hour a week we suspend disbelief and go on a campy little ride through a town in Pennsylvania where no one ever tells the truth or wears a coat! Let’s jump right in, shall we?


Ali is feelin’ the feels.

Ali has been unable to get out of bed since she found out her mother is dead. She needs some intense self-care. I’d recommend journaling but you know that shit would turn bad fast once A got ahold of it.


Guys. Guys, hear me out. We need to get a kiddie pool and fill it with pasta and then wear bik–Hanna, why are you looking so skeptical already? I’m not even done explaining it yet!

While Ali gets ready for Mrs. D’s funeral, the other girls wait downstairs.


I know it’s eight am, Jase, but they do this on Mad Men like all the time, it’s fine.

Jason and Mr. D argue about police and reporters. So this seems to be going well.


I’m appalled you think I did something maliciously on purpose.

Ali comes downstairs in the same dress her mother wore to her funeral and oh gosh, Mr. D flies off the handle.


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Emily thinks that Ali wearing the dress is just a coincidence but Spencer seems to be right on the money by suggesting that Ali knew what she was doing.


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I’m with Spence. Alison knows everything that she does. She’s the most calculating person on the show, hands down.


I’m no body language expert but I suspect they’re lying.

After the funeral, the Liars are at school, being lectured by the principal. He’s telling them that he’s trying to keep the press away, but that they have to stay out of the public eye. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha ahhhhh, jokes. That’s cute he thinks that will happen.


We KNOW you prefer Diva Cups, Spencer, but you don’t have to talk to us about how our tampons are bleaching our goddamn vaginas like EVERY time I ask you for an OB.

The Liars discuss how to get the word out that Ali wasn’t kidnapped, but they need to know that Ezra or Mona won’t say anything first.


Fuck that. Get well NOW.

Right on cue, Mona shows up with a Get Well card for Aria to sign for Mr. Fitz. Pssh. Aria learns from Mona that Ezra is back in Rosewood. You know, without telling her. That’s cool, bro.



Elsewhere in those hallowed hallways, Paige and Emily run into one another while Emily is being stalked by a super creepy girl. GIRL PROBS amirite? Basically nothing is worse than running into your ex in a public space where you can’t run away. Paige is definitely still holding a torch for Em, but it doesn’t seem like the feeling is mutual. And can you blame them? My money is on Emily and Alison hooking up this season. Turns out the creepy stalker girl is actually just Emily’s number one fan like, ever, and wants Emily to coach her.


via Teen Girl Squad


If they didn’t want me watching, they’d get thicker curtains. It’s basically just an invite at this point.

Later that night, Melissa finds Spencer watching the DiLaurentis’ house out of her window. Neither of them trusts the other one, that’s for sure. But it’s clear that Melissa really wants to tell Spencer what is going on. She tells Spence not to trust any of the DiLaurentis…es. DiLaurenti. DiLaurentiss. She tells them not to trust any of those people.



If only you knew how mean she really is… You know that I’m not allowed to wear hoop earrings, right? Yeah! Two years ago she told me hoop earrings were her thing and I wasn’t allowed to wear them anymore.

Hanna goes with Ali to the funeral home to pick up the guest book from Mrs. D’s viewing. Ali sees a painting and leaves the room, which is super weird? The funeral director mistakes Hanna for Ali, and Ali makes a snarky remark about how it used to be easier to tell the two of them apart.


Yeah, Hanna, friends totally just hang out in their bras admiring their bodies together in the mirror, it’s soooo normal.


And friends also hold hands like this while fans blow their hair back, Han. It’s fine. I’ll teach you.

We get a lot of flashbacks with Mona in this episode, where we realize that Mona turned Hanna into Ali. She makes Hanna wear Ali’s clothes, lose weight, dye her hair… It’s creepy to watch, honestly, but also in a way, you can tell exactly what bonded them together. It’s almost sad to watch them get so close and have it only be one of Mona’s games.

Oh sorry were you having an emotional moment? Let’s have a strange one, instead!


Gotta be honest, Dad, you’re a total creeper right now and I’m like a master creeper with all my window staring so I would know.

Mr. Hastings wants to sell the house! Spencer is obviously annoyed by this idea, because then how would she stare out her window at Alison’s window all night long?


Oh hey, Aria, did you see my cane? Someone shot me. Did you know someone shot me? Let me talk about how someone shot me and let you feel guilty.

Aria goes to see Fitz under the guise of giving him the Get Well card. She hints around the idea that she’s worried he’ll tell on Alison, but he seems pretty tight-lipped. Honestly, this is the guy who kept a preeeeetty big secret for years, so. He’s now worried that Shana is still on the hunt for them, and Aria’s like “Oh yeah… about that… uhhhhh….” but doesn’t say anything. A less than thrilling meeting.


oh sorry i dropped my pen nbd let me bend down real slow like and grab it

Emily does help the creepy stalker fangirl, Sydney, in the locker room by showing her how to figure out how long her stroke length should be by figuring out her wingspan. This is literally referred to as an ape index. I’m going to be honest with you. I just tried this technique and it turns out I’m a negative two. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I feel really bad for being in the negative.

Regardless of my shortcomings, Paige comes on in and makes the event SO AWKWARD where Paily start a “we’re together” “no we’re not” “we WERE together” “let’s forget about it” kind of convo.


Yeah, Sydney, we know each other. We KNOW each other. We BIBLICALLY KNOW each other. Like LESBIANS. Like we’re LESBIANS. We LESBIAN TOGETHER.

Sydney seems important and I can’t put my finger on why. New betrayal for Emily? New love interest for Emily? She does have a strange obsession already.


No, Aria, it’s Dark Knight fanfiction, it’s not Batman fanfiction, there’s a fucking difference.

In another kind of strange scene out of nowhere, Aria gives Ali Ezra’s manuscript and acts super annoyed about it. Someone’s a little jelly, perhaps?


Hanna’s already bored with this mugging attempt, but she’s trying to appease Emily’s rebel streak.

Hanna and Emily end up back at the Philly apartment they followed Jason to last episode and they speak to the creeper dude outside. Turns out he’s been delivering pizza to people in the building? He confirms Jason was in New York the night Mrs. D was murdered, giving him a pretty solid alibi in not murdering his own mother. But also, what’s going on? Jason went to this place to get clean instead of the rehab place he said he did?


Spencer waltzes on into the DiLaurentis house and talks to Jason, who tells her that he’s skipping town soon. I wouldn’t want to live in that house, either, to be honest.


Everyone knows that you don’t put the sender’s address until the very last second because what if you just hit send and you’re not totally finished proofreading your email and omg that’s really embarrassing.

She shows him the email from Mrs. D and he acts annoyed about it, but makes it clear that it might be for their father. HMMMMM.



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Hanna and Emily road trip back from Philly, and in the car, Hanna asks Emily about coming out. Intern Grace and I were CONVINCED Hanna was about to come out during this part. Emily is really mature in her answer, which was way better than anything I have made up on the spot about coming out. Emily says it isn’t like becoming someone else, it was just who she is. Very well put. Hanna is really working through identity things in this episode, and I like that. She’s over the Queen Bee thing and now she gets to figure out exactly who she is.


Oh hey, Ali, did you see my cane? Someone shot me and it’s your fault, so.

Alison shows up to see Ezra and tell him that Aria gave her a copy of Ezra’s book. You remember that? The tell-all book that Ezra was using everyone to get info on about Alison? Mhmm. Ali thinks Ezra left things out of the manuscript on purpose, and he doesn’t deny doing so. What do you think is still left out?


Biiiiiiiiiiitch, pleeeeeeeeease.

Hanna confronts Mona in the coffee shop, because Mona knew Ali was alive when the two of them were in glamour boot camp. but Mona makes the excuse that she made Hanna memorable and popular. She asks if anyone even remembers the Hefty Hanna era Hanna anymore, even Hanna?


But they look so REAL.

Spencer tells Aria about what Jason told her about trusting their father. She’s still worried that she might have killed the girl in Ali’s grave. She’s not convinced her parents think it wasn’t her. At the same time, she brings up Aria having to see Ezra, which, in reality, would have been kind of miserable. This is the episode of exes, isn’t it? Aria and Fitz, Emily and Paige, Hanna and Mona, Spencer and her memory… it’s awkward feelings all around.

 Elsewhere in Rosewood after dark, Ali is wandering around town like no one’s out to kill her at any given moment.


nope I’m not high on vengeance don’t even worry about it, lil lady

Speaking of, here comes Peter Hastings out of the woodwork! He’s like, “Oh, didn’t know you were wandering ’round these here parts” even though you know that dude is following her. He offers to drive her home. She’s hesitant but of course she accepts. DON’T DO IT ALI NOOOOOO.

Emily arrives at her own home to find Paige hanging out on the porch, waiting for her. Now, full disclosure: I love Paige. I love Paige’s hair in this episode, too. And I love Paige and Emily together. Or, well, let me clarify. I loved Paige and Emily together before Paige got super jealous and ruined everything beautiful in the world. But isn’t that the way it always goes? In reality, Paige was trying to protect Emily from Alison, a girl with a questionable moral compass. Paige gives Emily a kind of heartbreaking speech about how she practiced what she was going to say and she imagined Emily would just forgive her and they’d be happy together again and ugh ugh ugh. Of course this doesn’t work, but Emily tells her, “You deserve to be happy” or a variation on the theme and that’s THE WORST. But it’s a very realistic lez moment, don’t you agree? Do they have queer writers yet?


Damn, Dad, this centerfold shows you used to be a babe but now you’ve kinda let yourself go all revenge-y and it’s not a good look.

Spencer waits up for Mr. Hastings to come on home, and he has some excuse about pretzels or whatever, and she shows him the email from Mrs. D. You know, the one that says I can’t protect you anymore? Maybe it was about Mr. Hastings. Mr. Hastings gets upset that Spencer is still digging (why does he expect anything different?!) and tells her to stop looking for answers. Melissa tries to tell Spencer THE SECRET OMG but Peter stops her, telling them both that Spencer doesn’t have to lie about what she doesn’t know.


All of that fake cane standing must have worn poor Ezra right out.

Aria shows back up at Ezra’s place, where she tells him that she killed Shana. Instead of panicking, he immediately asks what he can do to help. I’m not sure trusting the weird dude who committed statutory rape to get a scoop on a story he is investigating with surveillance all over town is the best idea, but oh, what do I know of the heart?


Not the same shade of blonde. Like one step darker. Just one, though. Like half a step. Like pretty much the same but take my extensions out so I look like it’s totally different, k?

We end the episode with Hanna at the salon. Looks like bye bye blonde. Watching her there is Mona.


This Ladies Only sauna is about to get real hot up in here – get it get it

Someone else shows up behind the curtain with Mona, but who? Ali? My first guess was Paige, tbh. Thoughts?

And thus ends the carnival ride through this magical realism portion of our evening. Here’s the promo for next week (Hanna totally had black streaks under her hair which is super cute):

Aria’s hat, though. Perfection.

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Hansen is the former DIY & Food Editor of and likes to spend most days making and cooking and writing. She teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in her free time.

Hansen has written 189 articles for us.


    • I feel that. I identified pretty hard with The Ugly One. And not in some kind of self-deprecating way? Just in the “I have a crush on eeeeeevery boy!” kind of way.

      Overcompensating much, baby Hansen?

      • That scene in the car was making me squeal in anticipation then disappointment. I was convinced either Hanna was going to come out or be like “I think Mona’s been in love with me this whole time.”

        However, dressing Hanna up as Ali is a good reflection of Mona being obsessed with Ali, too. Both work.

        • Exactly. It’s like Ali role play, or something. No matter what, Mona is definitely queer, bisexual, sexually fluid, label-less, not hetero. Like, I refuse to accept otherwise.

          And I do think all trouble in Rosewood will continue to revolve around dyke drama, and I’m mostly okay with it.

        • Everything about the flashbacks with Mona converting Hanna and then having Hanna bring it up with Emily around “coming out” (plus all the other “Mona is uncomfortably obsessed with Hanna/Ali” moments from past episodes) – it’s way too deliberate to be an accident, so I’m convinced that Mona’s sapphism is canon.

  1. Paige didn’t really get super jealous in my opinion. Just protective of her girl, just like Toby and Caleb have been. I mean Ali is the bully who drove her to self harm and thoughts of suicide and the fact that her GIRLFRIEND is more concerned with Ali’s feelings would be a awful blow to anyone. That said, I still have a lot of hope for their relationship down the road, but Emily needs to take the blinders off for real.

    Oh and about this line Hansen, “Do they have queer writers yet?” They have the showrunner Marlene King who is gay, but more relevant to this episode, they have Joseph Dougherty who is an executive producer, writer and director on the show and he wrote this episode. He’s an amazing ally and one of the biggest supporters of Paige and Emily’s relationship. He even writes AU fanfiction for them in his spare time on Kindle Worlds! How many other shows can say the same of their writers? LOL

      • Yeah, Marlene doesn’t get nearly as much credit for being a succesful lesbian in hollywood as some people do. And I am pretty sure that her being gay is a big reason why this show has avoided so many of the tropes and cliches other TV shows with queer women routinely have. Marlene has no patience for that crap. LOL Also why it has had more queer women over the past five years than any other show on US TV in that time.

    • Loved this recap. I have hope for Emily&Paige as I have liked them from the start . I know it’s crazy but I also like Emison so I would also be stoked if they went a bit down that route. And Hanna and Mona this episode had me freaking out because they sure made it sound a certain way lol. I wonder what they have in store for next week?

    • oh my god i had to pause and rewind to fully process and then when i realized it was not actually headed in that direction i may have yelled at my laptop for a bit. if hanna doesn’t come back with an alternative lifestyle haircut I’m going to be so disappointed though.

  2. It is unfair in some sense because paige broke ONE promise to emily and it turned out to be the most unforgivable criminal offense while every other love interest has done much worse like toby being A and ezra’s flirtatious background with alison.

    “she practiced what she was going to say” You’re not a human being if you have never done and felt this before.

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