‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: The (Lesbian) Coy Mistress

ALTMASSUGAR.COM is still the big secret this episode of Pretty Little Liars, and I’m aggressively mad at ABC Family for not setting up a viral marketing campaign for this whole thing with real Maya videos and secret passwords and crying. Spencer decides she is going to break into the site, but everyone agrees that Emily is in charge; Emily tries to enter a password but fails miserably: “Guess I don’t know her as well as I thought I did.” Well. We can all agree on that sentiment, Emily. MASSUGAR hangs over this entire episode, and I’m guessing it will unleash a lot of crazed treasures throughout the rest of the summer season.

I have to be really honest with everyone and say that this episode was really boring. It was really important, but kind of also borderline Snorefest 2012. Last week was really incredibly and really creepy, but this week had to put together a bunch of awkward building blocks on the romantic front. Aria meets Ezra’s MOTHER, but unfortunately begins the scene by yelling at Ezra while she walks through the door: “Okay, marine, stop and give me twenty!” EXCUSE ME, ARIA? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Ezra does not look like a marine and the two do not share weird military jokes. Ezra’s Mother is a crazy rich old woman that kind of looks like Julia Ormond. The B-rate Julia Ormond? Julia Ormond was busy filming >Mad Men. Mom calls Aria the “mysterious girl with the lyrical name,” invites our favorite inappropriate couple to a museum function, and reveals that Fitz’s full name is Fitzgerald! Everything makes sense! Ezra is so hip.

Nate and Emily decide to go on a hike to this creepy cabin in the woods; allegedly Emily and Maya loved this cabin, but I don’t have any memories of this place. Nate and Emily begin talking about how much Maya loved the elements (naturally: fire, water, and wind), which means that she is not dead but is instead now a character on Avatar. I speak of Avatar the animated Nick show for tweens, not that she is hanging around with the Na’vi. Nate says that he would murder Garrett if he had the chance, which means that Nate will 100 percent murder someone because everyone likes to do that in Rosewood if the feeling bubbles up.

Spencer continues to try to her non-existent skills to hack into Maya’s site, and Hanna is really impatient. I feel like this site should shut down after Spencer tries 783 different passwords, but it continues to let Spencer try random whatevers. Spencer keeps saying that she has password cracking skills, which I think she is lying about. AND THEN SPENCER SAYS SHE NEEDS CALEB’S HELP. Caleb is coming back, and Hanna is trying to keep her face stone cold but we all know what is going on behind her beautiful eyes. Caleb. Caleb! CALEB.

NEXT: Paige and blacked-out Emily, sitting in a tree…Wren (aka Hot British Doctor, aka HBD) texts Hanna, and she meets him at the good ol’ brand new coffee shop — Mona is going to be moved to a more intense treatment facility in Saratoga, NY. Mona has been smuggling her meds out to one of her visitors, which we can all guess is Lucas because of the drugs he slipped into Emily’s flask. I don’t think the Liars have connected all the dots regarding Lucas, but they should very soon. Caleb walks into the coffee shop, sees Wren, and freaks out. My biggest question: Why does Caleb go to the cute date-y coffee shop alone at night?

At school: Spencer corners Caleb and Caleb will not help with the password. Spencer explains the details of the website and Caleb will help Spencer. That was easy. A sends Spencer another lame text, so all of the Liars know that Mona is getting shipped out of Rosewood. A needs to step up the text game. When Spencer returns home, Mariska left out her top-secret court briefcase; Spencer grabs Aria for her illegal help, and the two begin taking pictures of all the documents. Fortunately, Mariska is submerged in the bathtub or something and can’t hear a thing, even the noise of a Blackberry flash clicking. Spencer and Aria say a bunch of weird legal jargon, but they do find that there is definitely a link between Maya and Garrett. Bart Comstock is an important name to track down in Rosewood, according to the secret file, and Aria will track down that man.

Paige and Emily have stared hanging out, mainly because Emily has finally decided to tell Paige about the drugged flask. Paige and Emily decide to go on a run through the woods; the running trail in the woods was not a running trail as much as just space between trees, and Emily sprints after Paige the entire time. I don’t understand why you would need to run in a hoodie in the middle of the summer, but maybe Emily likes that sort of thing. Paige has a big reveal: Emily spent her blackout drug night with Paige. This is serious.

At 11pm on the night of the grave robbing incident, Emily showed up on Paige’s doorstop. Paige took Emily into the house. Emily took Paige into her arms. The rest is lesbian history. I feel like Paige indulging in this sexual glory is kind of almost rape? What do we think? That’s sort of along the guidelines I learned as a freshman in college, but Emily doesn’t seem worried about those rape-y details. Paige realized after bringing the flask to Jenna’s Ugly Hat party the full extent of what happened that night, the drugs and everything. Emily isn’t saying much, so Emily leaves the woods. This episode is severe.

Aria still hasn’t gone to the museum function with Ezra’s Mother, as Aria has time to stalk the Bart character in connection to Maya’s disappearance. We learn that Bart works in a movie theater, and the director of the episode sets up a lot of off-kilter frames to show to us that we should be extra wary. It turns out that Bart probably lives in a movie theater and that Bart definitely saw Maya get into Garrett’s cop car the night of her death. Garrett! Not a good look.

NEXT: Lesbians talking about “To His Coy Mistress”? It doesn’t get better.Caleb and Spencer set up their Hacker Camp, where Spencer hangs around for moral support and Caleb tries to find a back route into the Maya site. Caleb shows up with a $400 sweater from his mother, and Spencer basically flirts with Caleb while explaining that the sweater needs to be dry-cleaned. Caleb and Spencer will have secret sex soon. Caleb says he doesn’t do dry cleaning, but he is still rocking that haircut, so anything is game. Spencer eats a lot of pretzels to the point of reaching her “carb limit,” and Caleb makes his way into the site! Maya’s site is real, and holds a bunch of videos. The first video up shows Maya quoting Andrew Marvell and cursing everyone with her site. Maya is a metaphysical voodoo goddess from the 17th century. Lesbians talking about “To His Coy Mistress”? It doesn’t get better.

Aria finally makes it to the museum formal, and she has her hair spun to the side while wearing a very beautiful white dress. Emily joked that Aria should wear a Hello Kitty shirt, and I was worried that Aria would actually do that. Aria would definitely do that. Ezra reveals that the museum is showing paintings from his family’s collection, as his grandparents are crazy rich and famous in the art world. Ezra is secret loaded, and Aria wants a fancy dinner instead of more Ramen noodles, dammit. All of this unravels when Aria and Ezra’s Mother get into a low-key passive-aggressive bitch-off in the middle of a museum, which is some classy fighting. It all wraps up with Ezra’s Mother saying Aria ruined her son’s life, asking him to sacrifice too much. Ezra’s Mother also offers to cut a check if Aria will leave Ezra alone. Aria decided not to throw her soda in Mom’s face, and instead dumps it in a tree as she stalks off. Aria is at a low.

Aria runs home instead of toughing it out with Ezra in the middle of that cold museum, where she sits in her dress but ditches the heels. This is a crucial existential moment for Aria, because she can never be happily in love with Ezra for more than two episodes. Aria decides to have a chat with her disapproving father, and her father reveals that Aria is perfect and having Aria in your life makes everything better. I’m not sure exactly where Aria’s Father came from, but he has returned to the show. I hope everyone has noticed that I hate using the real names of these parents. I can’t explain that aversion, but it always happens.

Nate and Emily accidentally meet up at the cabin in the middle of the night, and they have a really ambiguous conversation about the choices you make when you’re been drugged and are experiencing a blackout. Nate gives Emily his jacket because she seems cold, and I don’t like their creepy bonding. Their creepy hetero bonding is wrong. Back near civilization, Hanna is petitioning to the board of medical officials about why Mona needs to stay in Rosewood. Hanna reads her speech from some notecards and overall it seems like she knows a lot about medicine and science. (I am sure she knows nothing about these things.) Hanna wins, and Wren kisses her! It is a magical British moment! Anything can happen now that the Olympics are in London. I hate saying this, but Hanna should get over Caleb with Wren. I said it.

Emily shows up next to Paige while Paige gazes out over her random outdoor pool, and Emily basically says that the things she did on those drugs are what she wanted to do in real life. Emily is in love with Paige. Emily is making out with Paige. Emily is not making out with Nate. This is absolutely fantastic. Emily is moving on from the Maya nightmare and living a happy lesbian dream. The other Liars are not having as much fun, as they are watching random videos of Emily and Maya from MASSUGAR.COM; Emily eats Baskin Robbins and sounds super drunk, Maya says creepy stuff. Maya’s website has zero organization and looks like a bunch of junk, something Spencer points out. Suddenly, Hanna pulls up a pivotal Maya video: “I have to face my fears. I can’t hide forever. I can’t keep being afraid.” Maya is crying. Aria and Spencer say they cannot continue watching until Emily arrives, but Emily… is naked swimming in Paige’s pool? They are swimming laps together? That might be an allusion for crazy sex or it is not an allusion and swimming is their eternal connection. Either way, I’m into it.

That is how the episode ends. No big twist, but two lesbians swimming in slow motion. Kind of weird, considering how this season has ended all of its episodes. Also, kind of beautiful, in a classic PLL way. We do get our standard A “clue,” where a banker woman with red nail polish counts a bunch of money for A. A takes a mint from the bank, takes the money, and is still wearing that awful black hoodie. My latest guess for A is Pastor Ted, because I hate him and I want him to be a crazed villain. My guess is definitely incorrect, but I am going to try and make it work from here on out. We’ll see what happens. This show is getting less concerned with Ali/A and more concerned with having sex, which isn’t a bad thing as much as a different thing. A needs to start writing scarier texts to get everyone back in line! That is the key. Hope everyone enjoyed Caleb’s return to town, and hope you all get to kiss a hot British doctor in the hallway of a dark psych ward tonight.

[Image Credit: ABC Family]


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