Tuesday night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars brought us do-rags, pink drinks and a trip to the lesbian bar.
Pretty Little Liars, Episode 3.17: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno.
My remote suddenly jumped to Cinemax at the beginning of this episode.
Oh wait, nope, still PLL. Spencer and Toby are pretty much going at it, killing two birds with one stone, since the show also gets in its episodic shirtless Toby requirement off the bat. Suddenly, Toby is replaced by a hooded A-team member, presumably Toby, who begins to choke Spencer. Clearly dreaming, Spencer wakes with a start and looks at the key marked “A,” the object that’s been haunting her.
Meanwhile, in Emily world, Emily’s mom (yay to Nia Peeples’ return) brings her a package, sent by the “James” family.
You would think Emily would have a good memory of the people she, you know, killed, but she doesn’t recall knowing someone with that last name. Emily’s mom reminds her that Not-Nate’s real name was Lyndon James, and suggests they bring the package to the police station, where she now works. Defiantly avoiding the police--per usual--Emily opens the box to find a collection of things she once gave to Ali, which she presumes Maya must have found in Ali’s old house. Also included in the box is a biology notebook. Apparently Emily is really into Punnett squares because she is super intrigued by this notebook.
Over at the Marin household Hanna’s mom comes into their kitchen questioning what her daughter is doing sitting in the dark (you’re asking this, now?). The two discuss Mona, with her mom logically assuming that it would be difficult for Hanna to see her former best friend every day after she tried to run her over and stuff. Hanna, already feeling like Caleb is overly trying to protect her, tells her mom that Caleb doesn’t trust Mona and it’s put her on edge. Great strategy to get your mom off your back, Han.
At the Montgomery’s Aria lounges in front of the fire while Byron speaks with Meredith’s father. He learns that his former student / piece has a long history of “issues.” Really? Because I was under the impression that girls who try to break up marriages are totally stable. In a long rambling speech about furnaces and warmth and protection Byron recounts how, when Aria was a baby, “We never used the fireplace because I was scared that I would turn my back, and you would get burned.” To be fair, living in a town like Rosewood, full of people who like to set buildings on fire just to spook people, I’d be pretty cautious around fires, too. The diatribe concludes with Byron’s revelation that he may have been a less than perfect father. Shocking.
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Next up, Hanna, Aria and Spencer discuss their respective boyfriends – well, Hanna and Aria talk, while Spencer impersonates the cast of The Walking Dead.
After meeting Emily at The Brew, the girls check out Ali’s notebook. Hanna is bored with the idea of skimming a notebook about biology.” “Who cares how a cell divides? It just does,” she says. Kinda gotta agree with her on this one. Clearly, Ali didn’t take great bio notes considering the liars discover a back and forth note-versation between Ali and another penman, about a “beach hottie,” who Ali seems uncharacteristically afraid of. Now it’s time for the liars to find that hottie!
Back at “school,” Aria is trying to get in touch with Fitz, having finally built up the courage to tell him he’s
Alex Mack’s Maggie’s, baby daddy. Meanwhile, since this is the class at Rosewood where everyone gets to be on their cell phones, Hanna overhears Paige on the phone talking to the person who she identifies as having put a wet brain in Mona’s locker.
Hanna gets a big surprise when she learns that Paige is on the phone with Caleb.
While Hanna and Aria are in Cell Phone Time 101, Emily and Spencer are in Linger in the Bathroom and Talk About Stuff-ology. Emily shows Spencer Ali’s Biology notebook, and wonders if Spencer thinks Toby could be the “beach hottie.” Under a tad bit of stress, hiding the fact that the guy she’s in love with has links to A, Spencer questions what the purpose of trying to figure out the A mystery is. “Ali wasn’t loyal to any of us, so why do we continue to be loyal to her? Why should we care what happens to her?” Spencer asks, correcting herself, “...happened to her.” Does Spencer know something the girls don’t?
Emily convinces Spencer to read the notebook in which Ali writes about a conversation with Toby that took place while he was in juvenile detention. I am questioning whether or not this is a real prison since young girls are allowed to visit convicts in their cells but when I see Toby is wearing a do-rag I realize he must be in jail after all. Oh, and he’s shirtless again. Ali thinks Toby has been sending her notes under the A guise. Denying it, Toby tells Ali that she and her “posse deserve a lot worse.” Posse is prison (juvie) talk for friends. Ali responds by saying, “I bet you wish you kissed me when you had the chance.” Ya burnt.
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Back in the present Spencer nearly confesses to Emily about Toby’s involvement on the A-team, but instead just tells her that they broke up. Emily consoles her friend unaware that Spencer may be plotting against her former beau.
In an actual class Spencer ignores Ella Montgomery’s lesson and reads a supposed text from Aria that essentially says Aria’s in the park after telling Ezra about the baby and that he freaked and dumped her. Yep, it’s the middle of the school day. Aria must be in the park. On a slow progression towards a Carrie-like rampage Spencer storms out of class, barking at Ella in the process.
Spencer finds Ezra in the park working on his laptop. Despite the fact that anyone with eyes (no offense, Jenna) can clearly see Ezra has no idea what she’s talking about, Spencer lashes out at him. An enraged Spencer blows the secret about his seven-year-old son. Something tells me this might come up later.
Over at her new police station gig Emily’s mom asks one of the officers how she should handle the package sent from the James family. Enter Detective Wilden, or as I like to call him, “this guy!” I giggle out loud when one of the cops actually refers to Wilden as “this guy,” but Emily’s mom doesn’t seem as excited to see the always cryptic Wilden.
Oh hey, what’s wrong, Ezra? Back at Rosewood High, Fitz looks incredibly tense, making a beeline for Aria to clearly have a very serious conversation in the middle of the school where he used to teach and date a student. He’s talking in an unusually low voice that either implies he is angry or he is auditioning to be the next Batman. He tells Aria about what Spencer said and leaves in a huff. Aria soon realizes Spencer was played when she receives a text from A that reads, “Thought you needed a push, so I pushed ‘send’ for you.”
Back at the police station, “this guy!”
is attempting to comfort Pam Fields, who has been worried about her daughter ever since she killed a man in self defense. Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. Wilden says he knows exactly what Emily is going through, explaining that early in his career, he too once killed someone in self defense. That’s what we call consoling words, “this guy!” style.
Spencer is opening a microwavable dinner totally normally by stabbing it with scissors. Aria enters the Hastings house and does a pretty good job of keeping her cool around her friend who just wigged out at her mother and her boyfriend. They gloss over that subject and move on to Ezra’s baby drama with Spencer acting boldly defensive despite the fact Aria knows A tricked her. Aria is floored when her friend suggests they deserve all the horrible things A has sent their way, and leaves, saying, “Thanks for your concern, by the way, I’m doing just fine.”
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Emily finds a photo of Ali with CeCe Drake (the Ali look-alike) in Ali’s notebook and shows the photo to CeCe. CeCe says that she is Ali’s biology pen pal but doesn’t know the identity of the “beach hottie.” She does reveal via flashback that, at a Cape May party, a tearful Ali told CeCe that she suspected she was pregnant. “If he finds out, he’s gonna kill me,” Ali said tearfully.
A stunned Emily can do nothing but absorb this news.
Attempting to discover what Paige and Caleb have been crafting Hanna follows Paige, suspecting she’s meeting up with Caleb. Instead, Hanna enters Rosewood’s version of Truck Stop. Unfazed and clearly being cruised, Hanna spies Paige all but cheating on our girl Emily with some hottie (albeit, never as hot as Shay Mitchell).
Before long Hanna receives a drink from an admirer (another hottie), and while awkwardly dancing with the girl to keep her cover in front of Paige, inadvertently makes the drink buyer’s girlfriend jealous. It’s just like lesbians – drama, drama, drama. After the jealous gf douses Hanna with a cocktail the bouncer adds insult to injury by carding the clearly under-aged Hannah.
Aria texts Fitz hoping for some sort of resolution. Her dad attempts to comfort her by offering to make his “fancy grilled cheese.” Byron, you are just awful. Emily drops by to visit Aria and tells her about the Ali baby news. In a SHOCKING turn of events the girls actually decide to go to the cops!
Meanwhile, Spencer sends a text asking someone to meet her in secret. Having reached her breaking point Spencer can barely hold it together while applying make-up in her car. Could Spencer be ready to confront Toby?
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Emily heads to the police station to drop the bio notebook off to her mom who intends to put it in the right hands (we’ll see about that). Em spots Hanna at the station. Poor Han has been escorted from the lesbian bar to jail -- a different kind of ladies’ night.
Sure enough, Detective Wilden confiscates Ali’s notebook, leaving Hanna wondering what Emily was thinking giving it to him. If that weren’t enough, they notice a photo on Wilden’s desk that reveals he was in Cape May at the same time Ali was. Is he the beach hottie? Can we finally find out who it is, so I can stop typing that ridiculous pseudonym?
Spencer walks into a bar (seriously, Rosewood, with the lack of carding). No, actually it’s a diner. It turns out she’s not there to meet Toby. She sits down across from a strange man who asks if she’s 18 and says things like, “this works whatever way you want it to work.” Umm...what? Thankfully, they’re not talking about what I think they are. Spencer gives him the A key and implores him to find out what it belongs to. She holds out a picture and instructs him to follow the man in the photo. Before handing it to him, she rips the photo in half, keeping the image of herself and handing him the Toby half.
Thankfully, the next scene involves Hanna and her mother who are rapidly becoming my favorite inadvertent comic relief. Ashley is naturally curious about what Hanna was doing at a gay bar, being the accepting mom and asking if Hanna was there to explore new feelings. Mrs. Marin is even more confused when Hanna says she was just keeping tabs on Caleb.
She explains that he and Paige have been trying to keep Mona away from the girls and she was sure Paleb--or is it Caige? -- was meeting up. Still, Ashley’s not too thrilled with Hanna for drinking a “pink drink,” a term she’s never heard. She inquires, “Is that code for something gay?” Hanna, also tells her mom about Paige’s apparent infidelity, and her mom, overwhelmed with sensitivity, tells Hanna to stay out of it. But like every good, image-conscious mother should she ends the convo by adding that Hanna should use hot oil treatment on her hair vodka-soaked hair.
Aria and Ezra meet outside his apartment. He’s surprisingly understanding about the baby drama, although he’s also curiously placing bags into the trunk of his car. He informs Aria that he needs to go away to spend time with his son and breaks down when she asks him if she could call him. He hugs her and says they’ll talk soon -- a tearful and unspoken denial.
Because Rosewood is full of pyromaniacs the episode ends with a member of the A-Team setting a Hanna look-alike doll’s head on fire.
Or, it could be that the pink drink girl’s girlfriend. Who knows? Either way, Miss Marin better watch her back. Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars next Tuesday at 8/7c.