Pretty Little Liars recap: New Guys, New Lies
More suspects arise, we meet Toby's girlfriend, and "A" is still loving those emojis :(
Okay, this Season 6B “A” — can we call them “A”? — is getting to be a very strange mix of old and new. Old: Still texts, still knows way too much (and knows it way too fast) about the Liars, and still loves a good disguise. New: Has a disturbing penchant for off-brand emojis, texts back when the Liars respond, and has traded in the black hoodie and leather gloves outfit for some other garb (now we understand why they were searching “uniforms” at the end of last week). Character traits aside, this week we see relationships get more complicated, meet some new characters…and some new suspects.
We open with Spencer and Caleb waking up in a blissfully sun-soaked bedroom after their night of passion. But the haze wears off quickly when Spencer picks up her phone, sees the new “A” text (with devil emoji), and realizes that not only has everyone been freaking out all night while she was…getting freaky (sorry), but they’re all waiting for her at Chateau Radley. It’s not called that, but I refuse to call it “The Radley.” The Liars discuss who this new texter might be and seem convinced it’s Sara Harvey because a) she’s the worst and it’s probably her and b) Ali is on some dairy farm with Dr. Rollins (will she be Mrs. Rollins when she comes back, or is that still later? Hmm). Hanna decides to get really crazy and REPLY TO “A”. “Do I know you?” she writes. And in a bizarre turn of events, “A” replies: “Yes.” (But sans emoji. I sort of wish “A” would just commit to signing off each text with that devil face like old “A” signed with the initial.)
Another reason this “A” is weird: They seem less threatening and more…asking for help? After Hot Adult Lorenzo gives a press conference about Charlotte’s case from what looks like the White House (it’s not, but what was that?!), “A” texts the girls a picture of a 9-iron golf club and says, “I found what they’re looking for. Tell me who it belongs to.”
Since shifty Ezra exploded on the girls last week — and forgot to preface his rage with a simple “I didn’t kill Charlotte” — he’s the No. 1 suspect. And white guys do play golf, so Aria enlists Emily to help her investigate. While Aria gets the keys to Ezra’s vacant apartment (he’s gone because his new thing is to get depressed and leave town for a few days every so often), Emily has to distract Stoner Sabrina at the Brew. Emily doesn’t want to do it: “Breaking and entering,” she says. “It’s a crime.” Aria says, “It’s not like we’re stealing anything.” Aria, she literally just said the crime is just BREAKING in and ENTERING the apartment. That IS the crime. But okay, do it. They’re not really sure what to do when Aria gets inside — “Do we text a photo to Sara Harvey?” — but that question quickly becomes irrelevant when Aria hears a voicemail on Ezra’s machine from her dad. “I have to talk to you about…what you think you saw last night,” Byron says. Woof. Just when you forget someone exists on this show, here they come a-murderin’.
Spencer and Caleb are cute and awkward in the Hastings campaign office, but the mood changes when a minion sets a stack of papers down in front of Spencer about the opposition (a.k.a. Mona’s employer). Here’s a fun twist: Not only is this the other candidate running against Spencer’s mom, but she has a perfect daughter named Yvonne Phillips, who is gorgeous, is pals with Caleb, and is dating Toby! Not only that, but Spencer reads in this top-secret info packet that Toby has purchased a ring and is planning to propose to Yvonne at a family lunch. New relationship not feeling so light and fun anymore, is it? AND ALSO: While Spencer is outside reading the packet, someone takes photos of her — with the flash on — from inside a town car with tinted windows. Putting aside the fact that using the flash inside the car would prevent the photos from actually turning out…this is creepy.
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Caleb, with Spencer’s permission, decides to go out and visit Toby (and confess his sins). Yvonne shows up, too, and she and Toby giggle about watching old reruns of The Tonight Show (like, really old). Caleb mentions that when he likes a girl, he cooks her dinner, but when Toby likes a girl, he builds her a house. Ah, so the house wasn’t a Ryan-Gosling-in-The Notebook-like project to win Spencer back — it’s actually for Yvonne? You’d think, given the fact of this house and that engagement ring, that Toby might not be upset when Caleb eventually tells him about Spencer, but he is. Toby even takes one long, heartbroken glance at Caleb as he walks back into his trailer.
Hanna, the other side of this love hexagon, is talking to Emily about her nuptials, which still don’t have a date set. Does Hanna really want to marry Jordan if she hasn’t set a date? Hanna assures Emily that she does, but that she needs to tell Jordan and her mother about erasing the Chateau Radley footage and see if Jordan still wants to marry her after.
When Hanna tells Ashley what she’s done, Ashley is understandably horrified because the server farm that hosts the backup security footage will obviously have a copy — and not only will Aria show up on the tape, but the fact that Hanna erased it will come back to them, too. Hanna asks if they can go to the farm and get the tape, but Ashley tells her it’s not possible.
Jordan arrives (Hanna picks him up in Lucas’s Jag. This is not real life!), Hanna confesses, and he isn’t mad at all — in fact, he loves that she’s such a loyal friend she’d go to these lengths to protect her girls. Yeah, that’s sort of the way to look at it, Jordan. He calls the family lawyer to come save the day, but as Hanna is sharing her story, she gets a text from new “A,” warning her not to squeal to the “pig emoji, pig emoji” (cops, get it? “A” is funny…sort of) about the texts, or she’ll get blown up and broken hearted and — so many emojis, so little time to translate, you know? (I am really, really loving the onscreen texts, though.) Talking about the situation to Spencer, Hanna says my favorite line of the night — which sort of sums up the whole show — “My brain is telling me to be honest, but my PTSD is telling me to shut the hell up.”
When Jordan, Hanna, and Lawyer go to see Hot Lorenzo at the police station, Hanna is worried he’ll know she’s lying. But it turns out she doesn’t even need to speak to him (or gaze into those deep, brown eyes) — the server farm can’t find the footage, so Hanna’s safe for now. No one can figure out what happened, but then we cut to Ashley Marin, drinking scotch alone in her kitchen and holding the backup hard drive in her hand. She’s the most ferocious mama of them all — I would even call her an Honorary Liar, though that’s not a badge I imagine many people would want.
NEXT: Spencer meets Yvonne
Back in the land of politics, Spencer is finally meeting Yvonne for the first time before they have to run an event together later that evening — some kind of info session for millennial voters. Did FREEFORM put them up to this? They’re really hitting us over the head with this “millennials don’t vote but they should” thing. Anyway, Spencer saw Toby with Yvonne’s ring in a box earlier, but now that she sees Yvonne’s bare finger, she realizes Toby didn’t actually propose. Yvonne is sweet — in a way that doesn’t even seem fake — and gives Spencer a hug when they meet. “Sorry, I come from a family of huggers!” she says. So, the polar opposite of the Hastings house? A “hug” for a Hastings is burying someone you think your loved one might have killed and not telling them about it for four years. When Yvonne goes to deal with a parking ticket, Spencer and Toby catch up quickly. They agree they’ve been trying to be friends, but Toby says it was easier to be friends when Spencer was living in D.C. and asks if she’s actually going back. Spencer assures him that she is. Later, she gets an “A” text: “You know who did it, and I’m going to make you talk.”
Meanwhile, Aria and Emily are trying to figure out what to do about Aria’s dad. Aria calls him and says, “This can’t wait,” and still, he hangs up on her. Good to know you can count on your dad in a crisis. Cut to Byron in a town car, saying to the person next to him, “I think she knows.” Then, cut back to Aria and Emily, where there’s a creepy postman watching them very, very obviously through the window, but of course they don’t see it. He has glasses and an old face. This is not good. None of this is good.
Aria has a flashback from a few weeks ago, before Charlotte’s release, of her parents fighting in the kitchen. Ella apparently went to see Charlotte (AND talked to her doctors, which seems weird and not totally legal) because she wanted to find out what went wrong. She was sympathetic, but when Byron heard Charlotte might get out, he was furious: “Charlotte DiLaurentis will walk the streets of Rosewood over my dead body.” That’s not suspicious at all! When Aria recounts this to Emily, Emily has one reaction: “Where does your dad keep his golf clubs?” Aria checks, and Byron doesn’t have lucky No. 9. Uh-oh.
Caleb and Spencer are in the car, trying to track “A’s” cell signal, which Caleb says has been suspiciously easy. “A” clearly wants to be found or doesn’t care about being found. They end up at an unlocked storage unit, where there’s just a garbage can sitting in the middle of the empty room. Ah, it’s the same can we saw last week, where “A” threw out the black hoodie and gloves! On top of the clothes, there’s a cell phone with a text: “I don’t lurk in the shadows. I hide in plain sight.” AHHH. Okay, so between this text and the “Yes” answer to “Do I know you?” it seems like we should know who “A” is now, right?
That evening, everyone’s at Radley for the young voter event with Spencer and Yvonne, but while the Daughters of Rosewood have a friendly chat, everyone else is trying to figure out the deal with our trifecta of suspects: Ezra, Byron, and Sara. Are Ezra and Byron hiding out together? Hanna gets into her mom’s computer to check but finds nothing about them having a room at Radley, even though we saw Byron get into an elevator. Sara, on the other hand, has been gone for days but left a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her door. “What’s she doing in there?” Emily asks. “Uh, I’ll take ‘Building a Lair’ for $300, Alex,” Hanna says. I don’t think she’s wrong.
They also realize they were so busy looking at the golf club, they didn’t bother looking at the carpet in the background of the photo: It’s the exact carpet they have in the rooms at Rosewood.
Just as they notice that, Aria gets a call from Byron: “Hey Aria, I know you’re with your friends right now, but I need to see you — alone. There’s something that I need to tell you.” I’m betting that this will be a false alarm because this is still so early in the season, but I’m still nervous for what he has to say. Also: ALERT!! The creepy postman is back, but now he’s wearing a creepy bellhop uniform, and still has that weird old face and glasses. He walks by, clearly hearing Aria’s conversation. I am disturbed.
Creepy bellhop goes outside, gets into a town car, takes off his glasses and hat and… Peels. Off. His. Face! Okay, I know it’s a mask, but the peeling rubber kind are so disgusting. And this person really gives me the creeps. As you know because I’ve said “creep” 17 times.
So, guys! Who killed Charlotte? Who’s the texter? What app did they use to get these bootleg emojis? Are the real ones too cute or something? And what’s scarier: a doll mask or a peeling old man face mask?