Pretty Little Liars recap: No Stone Unturned
Well, it was fun thinking Lesli was “A” for a hot second, but now we’re back in Crazytown, with a capital-C for Charles… more on that soon. (Also did NOT realize Lesli’s name was spelled like that. Makes me hate her more.)
I’m starting to think we need to have a Craziest Liar of the Week—and this week, it is most definitely Hanna. Not only does she commit a casual bout of grand theft auto (using the ditzy blonde stereotype expertly, I might add), but also goes on a little spree that reminded me a lot of Heather from Goodburger (see here).
We begin the episode with all signs still pointing to Lesli, as the Liars make their plan of attack. Just like the brief flash of time when all signs were pointing to Andrew, the Liars have a powwow where they explain to one another how this new suspect actually makes total sense as “A.” Like, “A” gave Mona that gas mask—which only a friend of Mona’s would do, right? In response to the point that “‘A’ set up an underground bunker with more spy equipment than the C.I.A.,” we get a “People can surprise you.” I guess that’s true because these people literally surprise me for all 59 minutes of this show (or 43 if you take out all the Stitchers commercials).
As Emily bikes home to her blonde hostage lover pal, Mr. DiLaurentis stops her, but he doesn’t ask what I wanted him to (where did she get those amazing perforated leather overalls?). Instead, he’s all shaken up, asking if she saw anyone put a card on the windshield of his car. Emily didn’t… but we saw Mona put something in the DiLaurentis mailbox for Ali a couple weeks ago. Could this be that thing, somehow?
At home, she helps Sara pick out an outfit for her first day of “work” at Caleb’s “office,” then rubs ointment on Sara’s stupid, not-caged bird tattoo, which is a definite sign that—SPOILER ALERT—they are finally going to hook up later. When Sara gets to work, Caleb teaches her about “building a CMS interface” and then says, “I promise that’s not as complicated as I just made it seem.” Given that he only said two words that weren’t “building” and “a,” I found this insulting. But I also hate Sara, so it evens out. And now I hate Caleb, too, because he makes a Kimye reference, which Sara doesn’t get because she’s been underground for two years, and then he says she doesn’t actually need to know who Kimye is. I beg to differ. Sara asks Caleb about Alison, and they bond about being on the outside of the Liars’ thing all the time, which is yet another sign that Sara is definitely being initiated into the significant others club.
Someone who wants to be a member of that club, but isn’t? Spencer’s AA buddy “Drug-free Dean,” as Hanna calls him. He stops by and brings her pot-less brownies, then tells her not to make the valedictorian speech she’s been asked to make if she doesn’t want to. Spencer doesn’t want to talk about her trauma onstage. Later, Spencer stands him up for their meeting and he freaks out on her, explaining that in his life, when people don’t show up it means they’re dead. She doesn’t say the same even though she probably could, but then he’s all, “I want to kiss you, but you have a Toby, but I also don’t care.” She seems to want to kiss him, but doesn’t. He says he doesn’t want to talk to her anymore. Sidenote: Has Spencer cheated on the most people, out of all the Liars? Or do she and Toby, like Aria and Ezra, and Caleb and Hanna, just have some sort of fluid relationship where there are boundaries only when it’s convenient?
Speaking of Hanna—girl is on a mission to find out more about Lesli, whether the others are into this idea or not. She might be getting crazier, but at least she’s doing something productive. She is definitely still in “I don’t give a f—, I will dig up this fake grave” mode when she finds out Lesli is a T.A. at a nearby college, then stalks her as she goes into a sushi place with valet parking, and uses her feminine wiles to trick the valet into giving her Lesli’s car keys. Just some casual theft—it’s not stealing if you’re just borrowing it, right?
Inside the car: A hairbrush that apparently smells like a cat’s litterbox, a shoebox full of fake glasses (so lame, Lesli), and four unassembled cages in the trunk that are big enough for dogs… or Liars. Hanna and Spencer also find Lesli’s work I.D.—and since Caleb apparently has the same tech budget as every single “A” incarnation, they can just get him to make a copy of it.
I love Haleb but let’s get their story line over with: Hanna has been really snippy with him for weeks, even putting them on some sort of break. But Caleb is still lingering around the house. “My mom keeps letting him in,” Hanna scoffs. “They eat meals together because I won’t let him cut my meat for me. … He thinks I’m weak.” Every time he walks in the room it’s “GOD, CALEB!” and she’s just as snippy with Ashley. Ashley and Caleb bond at the Brew after she catches him flipping through a book called When Loves Goes Toxic (awww, Caleb!). For a split second I thought there was going to be a repeat of Ashley/Jason, but I underestimated them. Ashley convinces him their Hanna is still under that cold, crazy shell, and later, Caleb pulls Hanna in for a steamy kiss. So they’re back on, probably.
Another weird thing at the Brew: A pretty Australian lady comes in asking for Emily, and it turns out she worked with Emily in Haiti on that Habitat trip. She’s tried to contact Emily, but Emily changed her number. That’s essentially the only identifying information she gives before Ezra is like, “I mean… She had to change everything… after the trial… Wait you didn’t hear about this?” EZRA! YOU, OF ALL PEOPLE, SHOULD KNOW NOT TO JUST GO TELLING STRANGERS INFORMATION! Sure, Nicole turns out to be harmless, and just wants Emily to go on another service trip to Thailand (Emily says no, then says yes and wants to bring Sara, then says no again because Sara can’t go). But still—this is like Rosewood 101, dude: Don’t talk to strangers! They will always try to murder you later.
Aria might need to heed that warning, too. I think she’s finally getting a little freaked out by Clark, who keeps asking her to get bagels, and shows up at that junkyard again when Aria and Emily go looking for signs of “A.” Emily, whose brain has clearly turned to liquid with Sara around, finds out that Nicole is at the Brew and promptly leaves after Clark offers to drive Aria home. Then, Aria finds that exquisite Aria-headed doll “A” was working on at the end of the last episode. It has a pin or a stick jammed into its eye; hopefully that’s not a harbinger of things to come.
When Aria gets home, her non-boyfriend Ezra brings over her photography fellowship application, and they have a love-y moment after he tells her he wrote her a recommendation letter and still has—or had, he corrects—her self-portrait hanging above his desk. Then he notices the poked-eye doll hanging out of her bag. “I did that,” Aria covers. “For my photos.”
“Well, it certainly is disturbing,” Ezra says. Finally, his brain works again, but not enough to question what she says. Again, Ezra… haven’t you been around long enough to know a lie when it’s poking you right in the eye?
Emily, on the other hand, tells a lie of her own when she tells Sara, “You’re safe in this house!” Danielle Vega said it best: “Uhm, except for that time when a car drove through my living room.” The only thing we know to be true about Rosewood is that you are literally never safe. Sometimes I wonder if they were safest when they were in the dollhouse. At least then, they knew “A” was around. Yes, I’m stalling getting to the part where Sara gets hurt, because I just do not care. Sara is bleeding from the forehead and all up her arm because when she was on her way home, a car was following her, driving really slowly, until it sped up and smashed into her elbow. Emily shows her a picture of Lesli’s car and asked if it was the same one. “I think so,” Sara says.
NEXT: The truth about the tracking
Now to the good stuff: Aria, Hanna, and Spencer are exploring Lesli’s office/lab, which turns out to be full of animals in cages. Rats, raccoons, and a whole horde of other squealing, scratchy critters. (Question: How could somebody who was in an asylum get a research job at a college? They don’t, like… screen for that?) Hanna hears a non-animal-sounding squeak, and traces the sound… to her own body, as she beeps when walking by a scanning wand. “Bitch chipped us!” she realizes. So that’s why they were lying on those medical tables in the dollhouse…
They keep searching around the lab for clues, until Hanna flips out. “She doesn’t get to keep anybody in cages anymore,” she says, and walks around letting animals out of their cages, including a rat and a raccoon, which could definitely have rabies. As the girls realize they need to subdue the animals (with Cheetos), Mona appears out of thin air: “Have you guys lost your minds?”
They confront Mona, saying they knew Lesli and Bethany were friends because they read the file, and they know she’s pretending to be Charles. Mona swiftly, easily bats these assertions away: “Where did it say in Lesli’s file that she was friends with Bethany Young?” she says. “She hated her.” She continued. “She’s not pretending to be Charles—she’s pretending to be stable.” Pause here: This could be a clue that Sara isn’t really Sara Harvey and is actually Bethany Young. If she is Bethany, maybe that explains why Lesli would try to hit her with a car? Unpause. Lesli apparently, Mona says, only heard Charles’ name once: The night Bethany left and never came back, it turns out Charles left, too.
The Liars protest: According to that organ donation receipt, Charles was already dead by then! Mona takes one look and throws that theory out the window. “Look at the drugs he was on,” she explains. His liver would have been so screwed up, it couldn’t be donated. Um, I think the Liars need to keep Mona a little bit closer. Especially when they bring up Aria’s Bigfoot-esque “A” photo: “If you caught ‘A’ in a photo,” Mona says, “it’s because ‘A’ wanted to be caught.” UGH SHE IS SO RIGHT and I’m terrified. But also, how did she know they were in Lesli’s lab, unless… she can read those tracking chips? Hmm.
“He never was dead and I knew it!” Hanna says. We knew you knew it, honey! They realize the only reason Charles gave his name up was because he thought they would never get out of the dollhouse. Real quick: Where has Ali been this whole episode? Just hanging out with Lorenzo, or what?
A quick little relationship montage before the big final scene: Emily goes home to Sara, and while she’s checking Sara’s neck for a chip, Sara sits up and kisses her. Our suspicions came true! This was a long time coming. Now the question is, is Sara (/Bethany?) evil, or just annoying? Aria goes by the Brew and sees Ezra and Emily’s Australian friend Nicole chatting animatedly about books. Spencer told Aria earlier that it wasn’t fair for her to string Ezra along and keep confiding in him if they weren’t together—maybe this scene will be a wake-up call to get back together with him? Spencer, on the other hand, gazes longingly at Dean’s empty folding chair at AA. You literally barely know him, and he’s whiny. I don’t love Toby, but Spencer latches on to any guy who pays attention to her! You’re a strong, smart woman, Spencer! Stop pining after every guy who brings you a brownie!
THE FINALE: Mr. D. is digging, feverishly, at the earth in front of Charles’ grave. Beside him is the greeting card he barked at Emily about. It says, in red marker:
Coming home for my birthday. You should plan a party to die for. Just you.
Is this the card Mona delivered?! Is she still working for “A”?! Where is Ali?! We need more answers!!!!
Four little liars and a being named “A” (who may or may not be the fifth little liar) try to live their lives in Rosewood. It’s complicated.