Aria continues her walk on the dark side, while Hanna and Caleb try to protect Spencer.
Credit: Ron Tom/Freeform

This week’s episode is solidly medium: We get a bit of new information, characters push their limits, but overall? Nothing that revelatory.

We open on Spencer getting interrogated at the police station by a colleague of Marco’s. She’s ostensibly been there for a while, and she’s getting sassy. “Do you remember a joke you made to Detective Furey about burying a body?” he asks.

“No, but I do remember unbuckling his belt in the elevator,” she shoots back. Finally, he starts badgering her about the credit card she paid for their drinks with (which… was probably Archer’s), and she starts repeating, “I don’t recall! I don’t recall!” The cop quips that she might want to wait ’til he asks the questions first. Of course, then Marco comes in to play good cop, asking her if she’s okay. “That’s sort of like setting fire to my house and asking if I’m too warm,” Spencer says. Marco says he’s just trying to help, but when Spencer keeps her lips sealed, he gets cold. “Do yourself a favor and get a lawyer,” he advises. He’ll have that credit card receipt in two days, and if her signature is on it, he’ll have a warrant for her arrest.

Things are slightly happier in Emsion land, where Emily has channeled all of her nervousness and energy into setting up a nursery in Ali’s house, complete with furnishings she found in the DiLaurentises’ attic. Nothing of note here, except a creepy pair of ballerina lamps… representing Mary and Jessica? Or another set of twins we might have yet to meet?

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The Liars meet to discuss Spencer’s, er, predicament, and understandably, they’re pretty freaked out. Hanna and Caleb make a plan to steal the receipt back while Caleb disables the security cameras during the Radley’s weekly staff meeting, but as everyone’s nailing down the details, the game activates. Still Hanna’s turn. “Pick up my homework or go to detention,” the cell phone reads. “Remember, prison food makes you fat!” I hate that thing! As the phone gives Hanna the address of a computer shop where she’s supposed to pick up a hard drive, Aria gets a text. “Hanna thinks it’s her turn, but you’re playing for me.” Gulp.

Privately, Caleb tells Hanna he has to come with her on her devil’s errand, but Hanna tries to tell him she’ll be fine. “It’s a computer shop; the only danger I’ll be in is being bored to death,” she says. UM HANNA, it was literally like two weeks ago that you were almost killed in a cobbler’s shop — which Caleb, like the brilliant angel he is, reminds her right away. Still, she adds that the real reason she feels so compelled to help Spencer right now is because, well, she wouldn’t have gotten drunk enough to make a sloppy mistake like using their murder victim’s credit card if Hanna and Caleb hadn’t gotten back together and killed their love triangle.

Speaking of love triangles… Ezra has gotten back to normal quite quickly (suspiciously quickly?), and suddenly he’s back into wedding planning, even wanting to sign up for dance lessons with Aria to make their first dance great. Unfortunately, not only is Aria a bit aloof with the whole being-A.D.’s-sidekick business, but Jillian from the book publisher also wants Ezra to do the press tour for their book — alone. The book is about Nicole, and even though Aria wrote Nicole’s parts, Jillian wants the audience to pretend Ezra and Nicole might still live happily ever after. Aria is fine with this, though: She wants to be out of the spotlight right now (I’ll say!) and if they sell the book, it just means they’ll have a more successful life together.

Hanna gets A.D.’s hard drive, but there’s just one thing on it — a Patsy Cline song. Caleb is confused, but Hanna gets it: A played Patsy Cline when they were in the Dollhouse. Caleb pushes for a connection to Lucas, but Hanna stays firm in believing his innocence. “He saved me,” she says. “He gave us an alibi the night of the murder.”

Unfortunately, not all alibis succeed, as Spencer has found out. She goes to Marco’s apartment to plead her case, but he isn’t happy to see her. She tries to appeal to him on a human level, not as a cop: Archer was a monster who preyed on people. “Why wouldn’t he die the same disgusting way that he lived?” she says. He says something about the justice system, and she counters that justice means people should get what they deserve. I mean, yeah, in an ideal world! But… this is Rosewood. She begs him to let this one “slip through the cracks” but it doesn’t work. He kicks her out, coldly. “I guess you didn’t know me as well as you thought,” he says. Marco, I was rooting for you! Come on!

Before she leaves, though, Spencer snatches a flash drive she sees with Lucas’ name on it and takes it back to the Liars. They plug it into the computer, and a video interview of Lucas starts playing. It’s not super recent, though — Hanna realizes it’s from the night of Charlotte’s death, when Lucas went into the station with her and served as her alibi. Apparently, as seen in this new video, he went back alone and admitted that he lied. He has no idea where Hanna was that night, he tells the cop. He lied because she asked for his help, and because he really doesn’t think she had anything to do with it. Her friends, though? He’s seen too many things that they’re capable of. Does he think they did it, the cop asks? “Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised,” he says.

Obviously, the Liars are furious watching this, but Hanna (weirdly?) continues to defend him. “No matter how shady you guys looked, I know in my heart you’d never hurt me,” she says. This strikes a nerve on Aria, who sulks guiltily in the corner during every group scene this week. “That’s not true,” Aria says. “Once, you were so scared of Lucas you pushed him out of a rowboat.” Aria suggests they stake out the locker where Hanna is supposed to drop the drive (no one told Aria it was a locker, but they let it pass).

Back at the DiLaurentis house, Emily and Ali get into a little tiff because Ali hasn’t eaten breakfast or taken her prenatal vitamins. “I can’t believe you’re already flaking out on me!” Emily says. She’s extra sensitive because Spencer had questioned her intentions and plans earlier in the day. Ali throws the vitamins into her mouth and heads to work. “I knew pregnancy would come with some drastic mood swings; I just didn’t know they’d be yours,” she says to Emily. Harsh.

Another scuffle happens when Hanna heads out of her apartment only to find Mona at the door. “I’m ready to play the game, but I can’t help you if I’m kept in the dark,” she tells Hanna, angrily. Hanna doesn’t seem to want her help anymore, but says maybe she can scope out the lockers at school where Emily and Ali will be watching for A.D. Still, they can’t know Mona’s involved. “You didn’t tell them I know?” Mona says. “Fine, I’ll help you and your friends like I always do, and then crawl back under a rock. How many times do I have to save all of you until I’m finally part of the group?”

This scene was funny for a few reasons: (1) I love that there’s in-group drama in this scenario where people are in danger of being murdered or imprisoned at all times. (2) It’s true, Mona saves them all the freaking time and no one gives her any credit. (3) But what’s also true is Mona was Original A, so the lack of trust is pretty understandable here, I think.

Speaking of a lack of trust…
(Recap continues on page 2)

We cut to a scene of A.D. replacing the baby mobile in the nursery with a brilliant but very creepy one: Black gloves hold the strings on a set of Barbie-marionettes that look like all the Liars. Of course, this isn’t A.D. — it’s Aria, looking extremely A-ish in her black hoodie. She doesn’t just hang the mobile: She splashes blood all over the nursery and tears things apart, generally wreaking havoc all over the place. Aria, don’t you feel bad? Couldn’t you have gone a little easier on them, knowing A.D. wasn’t around to like, check your work? (Or are they?)

Either way, her luck (if you can call it that) nearly runs out when Emily and Ali come home early, after someone pushes Ali on the stairs at the school. (No, of course she doesn’t get a glimpse.) Aria’s still in the house when they come home, and she’s stumbling, having a hard time escaping the room as Emily gets closer and closer brandishing a candlestick as a weapon. Of course, Aria gets out just fine — but obviously, Emily and Ali are sickened at the sight of the nursery.

Spencer and Aria head to the room, and they decide Lucas isn’t this disgusting — he’d never do something like this. Aria timidly asks if they caught a glimpse of “him,” but they say it couldn’t have been the same A.D. because there was no way A.D. could have beat them home. So they know there’s a co-conspirator. Then, Spencer finds an earring on the ground… that matches the one in Aria’s other ear. She mumbles an excuse, and Spencer doesn’t seem to catch the suspicion, but who knows what’s going through her mind? Aria must feel sick watching Emily and Ali so upset at the nursery’s scary destruction… but she doesn’t come clean. Is this her choosing Ezra over her friends, once and for all?

At the Radley, Hanna digs through boxes of credit card receipts, with no luck. The Spencer Hastings/Archer Dunhill receipt isn’t where it should be, and they’re running out of time. Caleb rushes in with a new plan, and they dump all the receipts onto the ground, bust a pipe, and soak them in water. “There will be nothing left to find,” he says. Decent (if destructive) plan, but uh, shouldn’t you guys be more worried that someone already has the receipt? It’s definitely going to show up in an envelope spit out by the game or on an A.D. video call sometime soon, right?

Then, while Hanna is watching the security footage at the Radley, two things happen: She gets a call from Mona saying Uber A never showed and that Ali and Emily mistook her for A at the school. (So did Mona push Ali down the stairs? Did Ali make herself fall because she’s trying to get rid of the baby?) Then, Hanna sees Lucas on the security cameras, in the hallway at the Radley. Who is he going to see?

Spencer is home alone when Marco calls. She picks up, maybe thinking he’s changed his mind, but he launches into, “You took something from me, and if I don’t get it back…” At first she either forgets or plays dumb, but then he mentions the thumb drive. “If I had the thumb drive, that would mean I was in your apartment, alone with you, at night,” she says. “I wonder if people would think that was strange…” Vaguely threatening a cop! Is this new?

Back at the loft, Lucas is rifling through his papers, searching for something. But earlier, we saw a quick cut of him reading the comic he wrote with Charles in a car, so we know he already has it. What could he be looking for?

The Liars come in and corner him (that’s what happens when you let one of them live in your loft, Lucas), and he explains that while he did stay in touch with Charles, he didn’t know Charles was… Charlotte. They only communicated by email. But he also felt responsible for them being tortured, because most of the emails he sent Charles in high school were about mean queen bee Alison and her loyal followers.

Turns out, the comic book was given back to him with a note that said, “Want to keep your friendship a secret? Meet me at the Radley.” But no one ever showed up. At home, though, he was looking for something else: a second comic (though he calls it a graphic novel). This one was done much later than the first, and “turned the idea of vengeance into a game.” Hmm, sounds familiar. They ask Lucas how it ended, and he says he doesn’t know. “It was never finished.” Comforting!

Later, when they’re alone, Hanna tells Lucas she always believed him, but asks why the factory is for sale. “Was our business partnership ever real?” she asks. Turns out he thinks she’s talented, but had a hard time getting any investors to agree… and he sank all his money into her failed project. He says he’ll make it back and that it was worth it… Hanna is worth it. This is really, really depressing to me. It’s been like 10 years and poor Lucas is still ruining his life for Hanna? You’ve got to move on, dude!

Spencer and Marco sure are. He’s the one conducting her second police interview, but there’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. He tells her about the flood and that she got lucky, but that he’ll have to broaden his homicide investigation now, and look into… her friends.

Then, another Emison moment: Ali talks to Emily about how Emily is always protecting her, and always has since high school. Emily asks why Ali pushes her away. “I don’t know,” Ali says. “But I’m ready to stop.” She walks toward her and says she wants “to do this, together.” (Which is exactly what she said last week, sooo…?) She talks about how she’s had all these failed relationships over the years, but now she’s finally ready… for Emily. They kiss, and it’s sort of sweet but I still do not buy it!!!! How does Emily not feel like a consolation prize? Have a seance and talk to Maya! I even liked her better with pot brownie girl from the Brew.

Back at the apartment, Aria waits for Ezra, who doesn’t tell her that he told his whole book tour audience that he’s engaged to Aria, much to his publicist’s chagrin. Aria’s exhausted by all her sabotage, alone, and realizes she has a giant scratch on her arm that she’s now going to have to lie about, too. She settles onto the couch and starts to cry. How long can she keep this up?

And for the final scene: A.D., obviously, has that unfinished comic, and turns to the final, blank page. They draw a tree, and then a tombstone, writing, “HERE LIES” — but we don’t see them finish it. Um, this person can’t possibly care about Charlotte like they pretend to, because why would they put such a crappy, ugly ending on such a carefully crafted piece of work? You can’t just draw a scribble tree on the last page of a slick comic! Ugh!

I don’t even have that many burning questions this week. I’m just tired. I hope next week has a few more answers for us, because this week was just a little bit too much filler for my liking.

Episode Recaps

Pretty Little Liars

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.

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