Pretty Little Liars Recap Episode 422: Let’s Just Randomly Make Up Who “A” Is

Welcome to the latest installment of the world’s favorite show about teenage girls finding love and also murderers in the dark, dark world of small town, upper-class Pennsylvania. Also, we find out who A might be, like we’ve found out ten times before. Only this time, the answer makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. In the eternal words of Forever Intern Grace, “if after all that Ezra turns out to be right about A, I’m going to scream.”


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They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, n-… okay, but only for three days.

We begin with Spencer after her three day rehab stint, which seems pretty short but I don’t know how amphetamine rehab works, I only know how Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab works and also I saw 28 Days once so I feel confident that I know nothing about rehabilitation facilities. Spencer begins having more flashbacks about what happened the night of Ali’s fake-murder, which will definitely get more interesting as the episode progresses.

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Hey guys, who’s into watersports?

We also find out that Spencer gets a life and sobriety coach who is a twenty-something male staying in the barn so I give it like one episode until he’s in love with her. Spencer also has to give up all of her electronics, can’t go to school and can’t see the other Liars. Oh, and pee tests.

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Oh girl, we’ve all had these nights in Klub Deer.

Meanwhile, in Syracuse under the guise of prospective student week, Aria’s living the sweet life at some frat parties, making out with random men she has no on-screen chemistry with.

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Sorry, I have a legit role on this show, see my badge? You don’t get one.

Instead of going on a tour, Riley, the new guy who will only last twenty minutes of this episode, takes her out for a day on the town which will later just turn into them having sex and then sitting on a dock, but we’ll get to that more in a minute.


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When Mike said he wanted Mona to get a RodeoH, she greatly misinterpreted his meaning.

Emily and Hanna are at school and they witness Mike and Mona having a fight. Guess who else witnesses this?

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Oh shit, forgot my line. Let me just stand here and look pensive. That’ll do.

Ezra, looking so creepy I can’t take it anymore. Emily’s like, “I’m going to go murder Ezra, wanna come?” and Hanna’s like:

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THEN, in the most badass move ever, Emily goes into Ezra’s classroom and tells him off in the best possible way, asking him what he got out of tutoring her and being there for her.

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It’s like that speech your parents give you about not being angry, but disappointed, and it makes you feel about two inches tall. It’s perfect.


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What, no hearts over the i in Attention and Officer?

At the brew, Hanna runs into Officer Holbrook, who asks her if she has seen the envelope Paige gave him about Alison being alive. Dammit, Paige.

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Hanna just can’t believe that her one-time love interest is now doing his job and acting like every other bullying adult on the show!

She’s never seen it before, but he doesn’t believe her. Why is he so convinced it was her?


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Aria, unsatisfied by Riley’s leather pants and guitar performance, decides to bust out her magic wand and just get the job done herself.

Aria’s in a room with Riley and they talk about actually nothing except how drunk they got last night and how hungover they are, which you think is a cool thing to talk about when you’re underage but actually it’s kind of annoying.

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Shooters from the minibar = how 17-year-olds get “like, totally wasted”

Granted, Aria’s really hungover at 4pm, which is just super impressive to me.

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Riley sums up with one expression how I feel about his presence in this episode.


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I can’t even think of a snarky comment about how upset this much dirt in my bed would make me. Brb washing my sheets just thinking about this.

Spencer climbs into bed at night and finds a pile of dirt at her feet with a note from A.

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Kisses: because “Just a middle-aged woman trying to kill you,” just wouldn’t fit.

This is one of my favorite A moves to date and also really fucking scared me to the point where I was entirely convinced there’d be something just like this at the foot of my bed. I was safe, but ugh.


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Sorry Buzzcut, I’d actually rather just have a night in with my right hand.

Hanna asks Emily about the letter Holbrook showed them. Emily has no idea who would give it to the police. Dammit, Paige. Oh and Buzzcut asks Hanna out on a date.

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Inappropriate questioning and pestering of a minor: check!

Later, Officer Holbrook and Lt. Tanner corner Hanna on the street to harrass her a little more but she doesn’t give in. For once, Hanna’s not lying to the police! I know, it’s surprising, for sure. Lt. Tanner doesn’t believe the glue, but Gabe — I’m sorry, Officer Holbrook — does.


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I’m not sure juicing is the answer to EVERYTHING, Dean.

Back at Spencer’s house of sobriety, Dean the life coach is making her drink green juice, which is also a nightmare of mine. Poor Spencer. He gives her a talk about healthy body, healthy mind blah blah blah.

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You hurt my feelings and my sweater’s feelings when you doubted my green juice.

She seizes the opportunity to steal the phone and call Toby, but he’s not answering. Also, she gets caught. Nice job.

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Sitting on the dock of the bay, waaaatching the tiiiide roll away.

Aria and Riley sit on a dock and talk about why they’re at Syracuse. Aria says a guy broke her heart into a million pieces. Riley also speaks but no one listens/cares.

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Ugh, never trust someone who gives you a wet forehead kiss. It means they hate you.

Later in her hotel room, as they’re both leaving prospective students week early, he gives her a coupon to beat up the man who broke her heart.

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Pro tip: love coupons suck.

Awww unnecessary violence just hits you right in the feels, doesn’t it? This makes Aria realize that she can just go beat up Ezra herself. Okaaaaaay…. we’ll see where this goes.


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No one suspects Mrs. D because she wears a nice button-up and a cardigan. You’d never see this woman in a black hoodie.

At the Hastings, Mrs. D stops by to ask Mrs. Hastings if she can come to her little party, a wedding charity event thing. Mrs. Hastings dodges that bullet, but Mrs. D makes a remark about Spencer’s nice, clean sheets. Creepy, but not murderous, right? Or so you may think. This feels like the very first instance where Mrs. D is anything dangerous, anything above being a grieving mother who has gone a little strange in her sorrow.


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Did you just call my sweater ugly?! Come at me, bro!

Mike comes into the Brew and asks Emily where Aria is, because she mos’def broke up Mike and Mona. Ah, the dramatic inner-workings of teen angst. I just love it.


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So then it’s just a skip, jump, kick-ball-change, pirouette, pirouette 2-3-4.

Spencer is off running with Dean because she can’t go to school, so she might as well exercise. I mean, this doesn’t sound too bad, but having to spend any kind of time at all with Dean seems like Spencer’s personal hell.

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Sooooo…. this can’t be good.

As she runs, something triggers a flashback and we see her chasing Ali through the woods with a shovel. Ali trips and falls, the shovel comes down, blood spatters on Spence’s face. What the fuck? Did Spencer fake-kill Ali? This freaks her and the rest of us out and she talks about it later with Dean, and by “talks about it”, I mean ambiguously cries and vaguely hints that she has some regrets in life.

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He gives her a letter from Toby, postmarked from London. LONDON?! That is not in Pennsylvania, I’m pretty sure. We get to see Spencer reading the letter, but we don’t know what it says. Any guesses? Think it’s a Dear John?


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I’m only on a date with you so that everyone can see how great my hair looks tonight, jsyk.

On Hanna’s date (can we just all agree that Hanna’s hair looks amazing in this episode, what is her secret? I just love it so much), Buzzcut actually seems like an okay guy, so naturally let’s all take bets on how many episodes we have to go until we believe that he might be A or on A’s team. One? Two?

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Sorry I’m creepin’ on every scene tonight, just gotta stay relevant enough for the writers to act like I’m A.

Mrs. D comes by and is super duper sketch, asking Hanna how she’s doing and speaking slowly and with maximum seediness.

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Aw shucks, Mrs. D, this tie was just somethin’ I had laying around.

Mrs. D walks off and Hanna watches as the cops step out of nowhere to question her.

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Ever noticed how the Liars never save any messages on their phones? It doesn’t pop up with anything recent, really? Not even a “Check out this cat pic I found” like all of my messages to my friends are?

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Emily: Making the name Rear Window Brew relevant since 2014.

Speaking of Emily, she finds Mona, who tells her that Ezra blackmailed her about her A-ness to get details for his book. Mona doesn’t know Ali is still alive, it would seem.  I do feel kind of bad for Mona, but it’s weird that she says Mike was a great guy the evening after he yelled at her in school.

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Thanks Mona, I had a really great time, too. Do you want to come in for a coffee?

There’s just one thing Mona doesn’t know, and that’s who stole her game at Radley. Apparently Ezra knows, though. Hmmmm, who is on the board at Radley, let’s see…


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No, Ezra, we will NOT be having make-up sex tonight. If anything, it will be revenge sex and/or angry sex and/or I never want to see you again but the sex was pretty good so maybe one last time but NO kissing sex.

Over at Murderville, I mean Ezra’s apartment, Aria shows up to tell him he has to leave. And by leave, she means get the fuck out of town because she never wants to see her face again. Ezra seems like he wants to get back together? He says he was in New York to cancel the contract. Why should she believe him? Aren’t you glad she doesn’t?

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I’d be honored if you read my new Monanna story.

He gives her a copy of the manuscript and tells her she should read it for her own safety.

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“Mona trembled under Hanna’s touch. ‘I… I think I love you,’ she said.” Ugh Ezra, you need to get to the sex faster.

She begins to do so, then sends an S.O.S. message out.


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great now I have Rihanna stuck in my head.

Spencer picks the lock of her parent’s desk and gets her cell phone back in time to get the S.O.S. message Aria just sent. Emily sends out a text to meet at her place. Hanna ditches out of her date early, but not before kissing Buzzcut because that’s how Hanna shows affection now apparently and they all meet up at Emily’s.

Emily tells Aria that Mike thinks Aria broke up him and Mona but it’s not true.

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Who leaves their love notes in the envelopes when they pin them on their bulletin board? Unless it’s THAT kind of love note…

Hanna finds a note from Paige to Emily in the handwriting of the note given to Officer Holbrook. Dammit, Paige.

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Listen, Spencer, this needs to be a safe space if we’re going to have a foursome. I don’t need your negativity about how you think you’re not bendy enough for that position.

Aria tells them that Ezra believes A is Mrs. DiLaurentis. The Liars are just as confused as we are.

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Spencer realizes that A wants them to stop looking for Alison because she wants her to come home. Spencer fesses up to the dirt she found in her bed and the cryptic comment about it. Spencer also tells the Liars that she really believes that she killed Ali. But Ali isn’t dead, so why is Spencer freaking out?

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Hanna wins rationale of the night.

After, Hanna corners Emily to tell her that she knows Paige knows Ali is alive. Now everyone knows. Dammit, Paige.


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NOPE

Spencer tries to sneak back in, only to be caught by Mrs. Hastings, because duh. You didn’t think she’d notice? Come on, Spencer.

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The pic that launched a thousand Jessica DiLaurentis/Spencer Hasting shippers.

When Spence goes up to her room, she notices a light goes on in Alison’s bedroom. She goes to the window and we see a shape come in, then Mrs. D is illuminated with the most terrifying face ever and I actually rewound this scene about four times because I couldn’t believe it. It actually was Mrs. DiLaurentis in Spencer’s room, looking murderous. So who is in the DiLaurentis house turning on lights? ALISON?!

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No one is noticing the grown woman in the shadows? No? Oh okay.

Spencer’s mom comes up and we see Mrs. D creep back into the shadows.


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Congrats, PLL, for jumping the shark and making the Liars wear wedding dresses to be murdered in.

In our ending A scene, A is zipping up a wedding dress in a garment bag. As in a wedding dress for a wedding charity event.

In next week’s promo, we watch as Spencer wears that exact dress and walks out into the woods, then presumably gets stabbed? STABBED? I can’t.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq1ws8gEj6I


Let’s talk about Mrs. DiLaurentis being A. I just can’t/won’t believe it. I don’t like it. I don’t. The writers are just making this shit up haphazardly at this point and I don’t like it. They better make the next two episodes amazing with details we “missed.” And who was in the DiLaurentis house turning on lights?

Do you guys think Spencer hit Ali with a shovel? Obviously we know Ali is alive, but she could have been pretty badly hurt by that. Thoughts?

Who stole the game from Mona? Mrs. DiLaurentis? Ezra? Toby’s mom? Wren? Hanna? Ali? Spencer? I’m just naming anyone I know associated with Radley at this point, to be honest.

This episode. Ugh. Lots of filler, but then a really random A set-up. What’d you guys think?

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Hansen

Hansen is the former DIY & Food Editor of Autostraddle.com 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.

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16 Comments

  1. Okay, what the fuck with Jessica being A. WHAT THE FUCK. NO. WHY. EZRA MADE SUCH A GOOD CREEPY VILLAIN. WHY CAN’T WE HAVE A VILLAIN WHO HAS NO ULTERIOR PLANS OR BACKSIES OR REDEEMING STORIES. FUCK. WHY. JUST. UGH.

    I’m incensed that they backtracked Ezra as A.

  2. A is clearly Ali. It’s not just me who sees that right? I don’t watch the show a lot (I sorta keep up with it bc my little sister watches it and it gives us something to talk about) but I don’t get why the writers keep trying to lead people on as to who A is. It has to be Ali.

    • I think it’s Ali, too. She’s kind of awful and pathologically manipulative and thrives on drama. She may have gotten caught up in some scheme of hers where it was in her best interest to fake her own death to escape consequences, but I would still totally believe she’s hanging around fucking with her friends just because she can.

  3. i hate it that ezra isn’t A. There are all these older men preying on young girls and i remember from the train episode, the one with adam lambert, when ezra burst in from nowhere and he was supposed to have been out of town for a job interview that he was all kinds of suspect. him being A i thought had been set since then and i thought it made a heck of a lot more sense than this journalist crap. as far as mrs. d,…i mean when emily stayed over at her place the sense of how unstable she was was so clear, her being dangerous is not a big leap. but my problem with the show are all these stupid red herrings, we’ll come to the end of another season and mrs.d will claim to have been spying on the girls to make sure they ate all their vegetables or something.

  4. I’m still wondering if they’re eventually going to go the way of the books, and have the ‘Ali’ who was killed actually be Alison’s identical twin sister Courtney, and A be the real Ali, who blamed Courtney and the liars for ruining her life.
    Sometimes the books were weirder than the show.

  5. is anyone else really really enjoying the enlightened way they are portraying addiction as something that makes ppl crazy and violent? just because pills. and the spencer is back to normal what a trip! that time i accidentally maybe killed somebody! THANKS PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

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