'Pretty Little Liars' Ep. 3.20 Recap - Lesbian Love Triangle in a Costume Shop

'Pretty Little Liars' Ep. 3.20 Recap - Lesbian Love Triangle in a Costume Shop

If you like drama, then you’ll love Tuesday night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars. If you don’t like drama, then you probably shouldn’t be watching PLL to begin with.

CAUTION: Spoilers are coming!           

The episode opens as the Liars discuss the missing very blonde photo of CeCe, Wilden (Detective This Guy!) and Ali in Cape Cod. It looks as if Spencer is almost back to normal, which is good for the show, but bad for our chances of more impromptu strip trivia games. She’s thrown back into her comatose state, however, after receiving a text from Wren asking to talk about that tiny incident where Spencer basically overturned a table to get her hands around Mona’s neck. Just then, Wilden enters, looking as wonderfully slimy as ever. Hanna, who seems to not really have an on deck circle for her thoughts lately, blurts out that they know he was with Ali and CeCe in Cape Cod the summer before Ali disappeared. Wilden is clearly flustered, but quickly reverts back to his more comfortable creepster persona, spouting out a couple cryptic lines before he leaves.

Later, while walking with her mom, Hanna spots Wilden attempting to clear his name from having behaved suspiciously around young girls by forcefully pushing CeCe into the backseat of his car. Before getting in the driver’s seat, he spots Hanna and looks at her angrily... twice. Hanna’s mom is not blind (probably because she avoids Rosewood fires) and asks Hanna what all that was about. The active geyser that is Hanna’s mouth spews out the girls’ theory that Wilden’s relationship with Ali went far past their similar hair colors. Ashley, understandably, is worried about Hanna making such strong accusations and tells her not to talk to CeCe anymore.

Over at the Hastings house, Melissa walks into Spencer’s bedroom, acting like we’re listening to what she is saying and not focusing on the fact that she Felicity-ed her hair. Melissa has been covering for Spencer, who is back to being a zombie and skipping school. She tells Spencer she won’t lie to their parents about it anymore. Considering they seem to be permanently out of town, they might not care.

Speaking of school, Emily and Hanna are in the courtyard of Rosewood High, and Emily is clearly not happy that Hanna revealed a pretty significant piece of their investigation to her mother. This argument about a potential murderer subsides in seconds, and the girls go on talk about more important things – like their love lives. Hanna tells Emily about the five-dollar bill she donated to the church, and her suspicion that Caleb’s dad stole it from the offering. Emily shoots this idea down pretty quick, as she’s more surprised that Hanna donated to a church.

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Meanwhile, the girls wonder what Paige and Caleb discovered in their worried sleuthing, and they agree to talk to Paige after school.

On the phone with Wesley, Aria walks into to Ezra’s apartment to find that Wesley’s father big brother Ezra is there. Aria quickly hangs up with Wesley and allows Ezra to vent for a second, and then berates him for not calling her, saying she “fear[ed] the worst... that you’d moved on.” Really? That’s the worst? How about finding out you had a 7-year-old son you didn’t know existed. No matter, he apologizes, and she reluctantly accepts. Ezra tells Aria that baby mama Maggie came clean about the fact that Ezra’s mom paid her off to keep Malcolm, his son, a secret, which Aria already knew. All seems to be well in Fitzgomery world, but last episode’s illicit kiss with her boyfriend’s younger brother is clearly on Aria’s mind.

Having decided to get out of bed and off to school (sort of), Spencer is alone in Ella Montgomery’s classroom, resting her head on a desk. Ella finds Spencer and tries to have a heart-to-heart saying, “I’ve never seen you this down.” Back on a short fuse, Spencer snaps back that “people change,” but quickly apologizes. Before Spencer leaves, Ella tells her that she’s welcome to spend any free period there because, like all the classrooms in Rosewood, it’s always empty.

After school, Emily and Hanna confront Paige, who is acting incredibly shady. Emily sees on Paige’s GPS that she is headed to the costume shop, where the girl she was speaking to at the lesbian bar works. She says she’s going to see if the Queen of Hearts costume is the same one from Halloween night. I’m about as convinced by that story as I am that Kristen Stewart is into the dudes she dates. Much to Paige’s chagrin, the girls get in the car with her, not wanting her to go on an A hunt alone.

Over at the costume shop, the tension is palpable. Paige introduces Hanna and Emily to the lesbian bar girl, Shana, who is apparently taking night classes on passive aggressiveness.

When introduced to Emily, she forgets her manners saying, “Oh... it’s you in the flesh,” and later tells Paige, “Didn’t know you’d be bringing your girlfriends.” Reeeeearrr! Hanna asks to see the Queen of Hearts costume while Emily searches the computer and emails the costume’s rental information to herself.


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Despite Hanna’s not-so subtle stalling, the email goes through in time. Paige, Emily and Hanna leave the shop, but not before Paige can shoot an “I’m sorry my girlfriend is here because there’s clearly something going on between us” look in Shana’s direction.

For some reason, Aria has agreed to have a nice little sit-down with Ezra’s mom. Since dating brothers can get confusing, especially when their mother uses only pronouns, a “him” mix-up leads Aria to spill the beans about Wesley crashing on her couch. Knowing Ezra isn’t aware of the slumber party it’s safe to say Mrs. Fitzgerald will be using this information to her advantage in the future. Adding in an extra turn of the knife, Mrs. Fitzgerald brings up what a wonderful father Ezra will be to Malcolm and how nice it is to have Maggie back in his life. Aria’s already anime-sized eyes look like they are about to pop out of her head.

Back at Emily’s, Hanna calls out her friend for being suspicious of Paige’s fidelity. Either trying to calm Emily’s nerves or just that oblivious to lesbian drama, Hanna says she doesn’t think anything is going on between Paige and Shana. It must be the latter because Hanna asks, “Are you even sure Shana’s gay? She barely even looked at me.”

Emily inquires if checking out Hanna is the standard for figuring out whether or not someone is gay. “I’m just saying you should have seen those chicks fighting over me at the bar,” Hanna explains. Their conversation is cut short when Aria runs into Emily’s room, and sums up her day curtly, but completely: “Ezra’s back. And so is Mrs. Fitz-scary.”

Eating dinner alone, Hanna’s mom gets sent a glass of wine from an unknown man in the restaurant. I have a sneaking suspicion of who may have sent the drink, and sure enough, this guy! walks up and sits down across from her. Having history of their own, Ashley and Wilden are competing against Emily, Paige and Shana for the awkward tension award this episode, and winning. He demands Ashley shut Hanna up about the rumor that he had an affair with Ali. When he insists he is innocent and asks her what she thinks, she answers, “I think you bought a glass of wine for the wrong person.” Double Reeeeearrr!”


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Wren finds Spencer reading at the coffee shop, where she apologizes for using him to get a ride to see Mona. He has an incredibly healthy self-image, and responds, “I deserve to be used.” It’s clear there’s some sexual tension, which is practically its own character this episode. As he tends to do, Wren gets super British and asks Spencer, “Do you fancy taking another stab at dinner?” She fancies, so off they go! After dinner, Wren totally wusses out on giving Spencer a goodnight kiss, but Spencer’s screw-it attitude of late prompts her to move in herself. Gotta love a girl who takes initiative! The lip-lockers aren’t alone, however, as someone (Toby?) is watching them from the bushes. Later, back at the Hastings house, Melissa and Spencer exchange words about the company Spencer has been keeping as of late. Melissa’s new haircut has given her a super sense of smell, as she tells Spencer, “I bought Wren that cologne.” Look out, Spencer!

After Hanna and Emily convince Aria to go talk to Fitz about her drama with his family, she walks in on a blowout fight between Ezra and his mom. Afraid that Mrs. Fitz-scary might spill about Aria and Wesley’s PJ party, Aria tries her best to quell the situation. Fitz tells his mom he doesn’t want her anywhere near Malcolm and asks for her key to his apartment back. After she leaves, Aria decides it’s probably not the best time to tell Ezra about the smooch with Mini-Ezra, and kisses him instead. Their evening takes another turn, however, when Ezra gets a phone call from Maggie. Fitz-scary has taken her revenge on Ezra’s baby mama by putting her condo, which Scary owns, up for sale. Ezra rushes to her rescue, much to Aria’s disappointment.

In case you forgot that Emily’s a lesbian, she kindly reminds us by wearing a flannel vest and fighting with her girlfriend. Shana told Paige she got in trouble at work for emailing confidential material, and it’s pretty apparent that Emily had something to do with it. Emily comes clean and tells Paige about Red Coat – that there is someone on the A team bigger than Mona. Playing “I told you mine, now you tell me yours,” Emily asks Paige about Shana, saying, “I saw how you two looked at each other.” Paige admits they had a fling over the summer, but denies any lingering feelings. The girls each say “I love you,” and share a kiss in the window. But we Emily fans have our eye on this Shana girl!

Finished with her dinner (sans her free glass of wine), Ashley leaves the restaurant, followed closely by an always up-to-no-good Detective This Guy. Wilden pulls Ashley over, and gives her a hard time, accusing her of drinking (even though she shot down his wine) and asking her to step out of the car.

Spencer seems to be unable to keep her clothes on lately. I go back and forth about what is more distracting – Spencer in a towel, or the robot shower/steamer the Hastings have installed. Ok, it’s Spencer. Entering a confined space (always a good idea on this show), Spencer settles in for a steam, and we see the iconic A hoodie go running by.

Now out of the car, Ashley is getting a nice little dose of Wilden’s charm, aka emotional blackmail. He threatens to tell the authorities about how Ashley seduced Wilden to get Hanna’s shoplifting charges dropped if she tells anyone about his relationship with Ali. Done putting up with Wilden’s personality (or just tired of squinting because of his blindingly blonde hair), Ashley gets back in her car. As she prepares to drive off, Wilden tells her, “Either you shut Hanna up, or I will.” Ashley turns into mama bear (and a much more badass one than a certain former vice presidential nominee), and floors the gas, running her car straight into Wilden. She leaves him lying on the ground, assuming for dead. Has this guy! become this dead guy!?


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Emily arrives at CeCe’s house, where conveniently, someone has left the door open. Clearly spooked by whatever Wilden said to her, CeCe is looking to leave Rosewood as fast as she can. It seems the Liars aren’t the only ones who don’t trust Wilden. CeCe reveals to Emily that she thought Wilden was the one who got Ali pregnant and killed her to keep it a secret. When Em asks her about Jason (who no one seems to care is still missing) and his revelation that she was at his house the night of Ali’s death, CeCe explains she was there because Ali called her. Ali was upset about some videos – presumably those shot by the N.A.T. club – and said that everyone, especially Melissa, was looking for them. When CeCe got there, Melissa begged her to talk to Ali, and after a brief convo, Ali went to find the videos. The next day, as we know, Ali was gone. The plot thickens when CeCe tells Emily who took the mysterious Cape Cod photo: Melissa Hastings.

Meanwhile, Spencer is taking what I presume will become the least relaxing steam ever. Suddenly, the steamer turns into HAL 9000 Sauna Edition, as the temperature begins to increase rapidly. Trying to get out, Spencer sees a plunger blocking the door. While pounding on the door and screaming for uber-sketchy Melissa to help her, Spence notices an A message written on the steam covered mirror: “Steamy with Wren, Steamy with me – A.” When Spencer is about to succumb to heat exhaustion, Aria, responding to an earlier text from Spence, walks in just in time, and literally gives her some air.

Finally realizing she can’t battle the A Team on her own, Spencer tells Aria to call Hanna and Emily. It seems she is ready to come clean about Toby, adding, “I know who’s helping Mona.”

The Marin house is darker than usual when Hanna gets home, and she gets startled by her mom enjoying a stiff drink at the kitchen table. She’s in for a bigger surprise when Ashley drops the proverbial blonde bombshell: “I think I may have killed Detective Wilden.” When they get to the scene of the crime (and the abandoned cop car that no one seems to care about), however, they find no sign of this guy!’s body. They stand in front of the car in disbelief, all the while being recorded by the police vehicle camera.

In one of the most eerily foreshadowing A-endings in recent memory, the hooded figure decorates an ironic funeral wreath with a ribbon saying “With Sympathy.” Is the deceased in question Detective Wilden? Is one of the Liars the next to go? We’ll have to wait until next Tuesday, at 8/7c on ABC Family. 

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