For starters, this episode was kind of funky – I didn’t love where a lot of the storylines went (Hanna and Aria were given odd personal storylines against Emily’s hunt for clues and Spencer’s big money), but then we got to the final 20ish minutes and everything was magical/scary/sobbing. Let’s set the scene:
Spencer is located on “Planet Freefall,” and Hanna just wants our smartest little Liar to feel better. Spencer loves school, Emily loves cupcakes, Hanna loves Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches (they really are the best), and Aria loves her own big eyeballs. These three Liars with perfect hair run into our favorite downward spiral without a comb: Spencer is getting in a fight with Adam, aka Hot Nerd Football Player, over being kicked off the It’s Academic team. Once again, someone thinks it’s a brilliant idea to get in a dramatic fight in the middle of the courtyard. Once again, it is never cold in Rosewood, PA. Spencer’s hair looks drunk, and it also looks like no amount of screaming in the courtyard is going to get Spencer back on the team. Huge surprise. Spencer flees from school, as now A is blackmailing her into keeping quiet about Toby by scratching the inside of her sunglass lenses. That’s rude, and way more painful than a simply text.
Hanna doesn’t listen to anyone because she’s searching on MapQuest for a nearby stable to track down Uncle/Father Jamie and talk to him about Caleb’s paternity. Does MapQuest still exist… ? Mother Fitzgerald knows Wes is staying in Ezra’s apartment, but Aria blatantly lies to the witch. Oopsie. Emily corners CeCe at the coffee shop, but CeCe is really good at wearing flowing tops with a lot necklaces and calling everyone “love” to distract from the fact that she never actually answers a question directly. Still no Toby. Still no Jenna. Hopefully they’re taking a tropical vacation.
Spencer’s back home, making a crazy smoothie that includes pickles and whole carrots (disgusting), when Hot Nerd Football Adam shows up. Adam starts quoting Winston Churchill while basically comparing Mona to Churchill, but Spencer tells him to shut up. Spencer in charge! Here we go! Spence challenges this strapping young lad to a game of World History Trivial Pursuit. Spencer, recently wronged by a man, decides that it’s the perfect time to become a miniature slut and proposes that the game involves a strip element. If Adam is naked before Spencer, Spencer gets her spot back on the team.
Spencer and Adam make vaguely sexy eyes at one another, and Spencer decides to take her bra off before taking her actual shirt off – this seems to take a lot of skill and maybe Spencer has been practicing? She’s also smart and understands her body! As soon as the bra comes off, Emily shows up at the backdoor with two cupcakes. I’d really like someone to address the layout of Spencer’s home, because I would worry about Spencer’s safety a lot less. Emily wonders if she should have brought a third cupcake for nearly naked Adam, but Adam just runs away without his clothes on like Emily is the Wicked Wick of the West. Emily’s wondering what has happened to Spencer, but Spencer won’t budge: “You don’t have a monopoly on pain, Spencer. We all have our fair share.”
Hanna’s quest for Caleb’s father is boring me. Aria heads over the Ezra’s apartment — Wes is packing up his stuff and talking about moving to Halifax, where he can track whales and train seals. Halifax sounds like the least likely place to go after you’ve been kicked out of prep school, and Wes doesn’t seem smart enough to actually know anything about the globe, but Aria seems to buy it. Emily meets up with Jason in an empty classroom, because all classrooms in Rosewood are empty. Emily reveals the details behind Spencer’s “Ali is pregnant” screams. Jason has a picture of Ali on a boat during the Cape May trip, so he sets out on a quest with Emily to track it down. This quest turns into something as epic as Lord of the Rings, only with one lesbian instead of two homosexuals.
Haleb (Hanna + Caleb, duh) fight in the kitchen, because Caleb does not want to go to coffee with Uncle/Father. Hanna and Caleb get in a screaming match about Caleb’s hunt for A versus Hanna’s attempt to bring Caleb’s father back into the picture, but really everyone is just yelling about how much they love one another. Caleb rather quickly changes his mind and decides that he will come with Hanna to meet Uncle/Father, but these two lovebirds wait 973 minutes for the man finally appears. I sometimes get annoyed in the way that PLL will present a problem and solve the issue in the same episode, but I remember that we’re still twisting around the Ali murder and then I don’t feel so bad.
Spencer’s parents are magically in London, because that’s a logical explanation for not having parents in the house. Wren appears at the door, which comes as a big surprise for me – I had the feeling we would never see Hot British Doctor after his little hospital tryst with Hanna last season. Like, it kind of got to the point where I figured he was a ghost haunting the hospital grounds for the rest of time. It seems that’s not the case. Mona called Wren up about Spencer’s “breakdown,” so Spencer decides to go on a road trip with Wren to visit Mona at the competition. This is going to end well!
Aria and Wes are helping CeCe out with some photography for her boutique’s new website, and I’m very surprised that Aria still works for the town’s photographer after that huge debacle at last year’s Alice in Wonderland Ugly Hat Drunk Lesbian party. CeCe takes a liking to Wes: “Is big brother as yummy as little brother?” However, Aria acts like there’s no possibility of the two ever hooking up. Wink wink, Aria. Wink wink. CeCe runs out to grab dinner, which already seems like a lie because everyone knows that people in the fashion industry would not run out to grab dinner. Even the Rosewood fashion industry. Cece turns into an even bigger liar when pretends she is stranded in the middle of nowhere without a functioning credit card or car. Wes spills a bottle of wine on a white carpet, and Aria thinks that dumping a vase full of water on the carpet will magically fix everything. I can’t believe red wine on a white carpet is an actual plot point on this episode, or on any episode of television in 2013. It’s outrageous. However, the entire CeCe debacle is incredible interesting. She’s a player, and she’s really stepped into the ring this week.
CeCe’s big lie starts pushing the episode into frantic overdrive — it’s like all of the Liars took hard drugs and start wigging out, especially Spencer. Spencer makes it to the academic bowl, and everyone suddenly acts like a murderer has walked into the building. Why is everyone so nonchalant around Mona but so deathly afraid of Spencer? Is it Mona’s sad, weak exterior? That cheap lavender cardigan? Spencer smiles at everyone, until she gets to Mona — Spencer knows that Mona is playing an elaborate game between the Toby manipulations and calling up Wren. Spencer is either about to punch Mona in the nose or kiss her on the lips. Mona hisses, “Who’s looking cray-cray now, Spencer?” I really think Mona’s plea would have been more convincing if she just said “crazy” instead of “cray-cray,” but I guess I’m not a teenage girl practicing for a massive academic face-off. Anyway, Spencer does get convincing – she screams, “DIE!!!!!!!!!” and leaps onto Mona’s face, ready to strangle. It’s basically the wild animal jungle fights from Mean Girls, only not imaginary. It’s awesome. It’s the best thing Spencer has ever done. She officially snapped.
When Uncle/Father arrives at the Hanna-Caleb coffee revelation, he looks incredibly sad — “The trip was… longer than I thought.” That’s literally the saddest line ever on PLL. I cried a single tear in my bathtub like Rihanna at the end of the “Stay” video. Hanna talks about peeing her pants, Uncle/Father calls Hanna a classy girl, and everyone giggles! Hanna knows how to make every situation work. Hanna thinks it’s a brilliant idea to get Uncle Father to rebuild the bell tower on the church — during Uncle/Father’s meeting to discuss figures, Hanna and Caleb make up and make out in the middle of the church. They’re literally sitting on a pew after Hanna lights a votive candle; PornStarMom interrupts the make out sessions and blesses her daughter – “Amen. I see the spirit has moved you.” Happy Lent, everyone!
Emily is still trekking through Mordor to find this fabled picture of Ali. She stops at Jason’s house, where the porch is covered in the whiskey bottles (that Black Hood A bought at the end of last week’s episode); Jason flashes back to being drunk on the night of Ali’s murder, where he drinks for a hose and thinks he sees Melissa fighting with CECE IN ALI’S YELLOW TOP (!!!!!); Jason destroys all the whiskey bottles because he used to have a severe drinking problem (dumb). Our two explorers finally make it to the office building holding the photo, and the picture reveals Ali on a boat with Wilden… and CeCe!!! CECE, YOU BITCH!!! CeCe blatantly lied to Emily about knowing Creepy Detective Wilden; this episode puts a lot of dirt on CeCe’s pretty blonde shoulders, and I’m wondering if we’ll get the reveal that she’s Red Hood. Or, like, maybe CeCe is a ghost? Why am I obsessed with ghosts this week? As Emily and Jason exit the building, the elevator breaks — Emily safety makes it out, but Jason does not. Everyone is screaming and crying. Jason rides the real world Tower of Terror to his death; only he does not die when the elevator hits the ground. Interesting. Remember when Jason and Mona were basically kissing? Something is fishy here.
Hanna put a $5 bill in the church collection box on her way out, probably to atone for her sins and probably to thank the Lord for all the weight she’s lost over the years. At the end of the episode, Uncle/Father pays for pizza using the same $5 bill; we know it’s the same one because we got a close-up before Hanna deposited in the box, and the money had a funky drawing on the back. Same funky drawing that makes its way into the hands of the deliveryman. This is very bad. Hanna has let a devil into the house of God! Out at Chez Aria, Wes and Aria kiss after Wes does an awful job quoting poetry and pretending he’s smart. We could all see this coming from the second Wes dropped himself in the middle of the Rosewood drama, but Aria’s eyeballs are telling me that she’s very surprised.
Emily sends everyone the ultimate text: “S.O.S.” The ladies come running, even Spencer, despite her unwashed hair. Emily explains that Jason fell with the elevator, but that he thankfully survived the crash. The biggest mystery is that the picture of Ali, the picture that would prove CeCe has been lying about a lot of things, is missing. ONLY THAT IS NOT THE BIGGEST MYSTERY. The girls go to check on Jason… when a nurse asks if Jason was moved. Jason is no longer in his bed. Jason is gone. The girls are trapped. I am flabbergasted. I am screaming. There is no justice.
In the cap, two Black Hoods play spin the (whiskey) bottle — four bottles make a square, a picture of each Liar taped to the bottles. Black Hood #2 cheats and turns the bottle to Spencer, and the two share a shot of whiskey. Spencer, you in danger, girl! So much talk of whiskey these past two weeks. I’m thirsty.
[Image Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC Family]
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