‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: Can You Spike the Punch At Church?

Comic-ConWe’re back in the hospital at the top of this episode of Pretty Little Liars. I am getting sick of this damn hospital, but I guess the Liars have a lot of sick/hurt/dead people around them. Spencer and Hanna have decided to swap the APRIL ROSE note that Spencer found at the end of last episode to lure A into a trap; the trap here is to bring A into Rosewood Church, while Hanna hides behind the church’s organ and gets a glimpse of the new omnipresent bully-slash-murderer. Hanna slips the new note under Garrett’s Mother’s hospital bracelet, but the Mother of Garrett immediately goes into really violent seizures. Essentially, Hanna almost kills Garrett’s Mother and decides that the best plan of action is to run away as fast as possible and yell at Spencer.

Aria is texting away like a little high schooler while her boyfriend talks about worthless things like highway exits or something; Aria is texting the other Liars to tell them that Garrett’s Mother has stabilized and is not actually dead. Aria also asks Ezra if she would be able to cancel her first day of work as Laurel’s photography assistant, which you can never do because then you get fired immediately; however, Rosewood is a weird place in an alternate dimension and Laurel might actually appreciate that kind of wonky worth ethic. Who knows. Aria and Ezra then dissolve into take goofy pictures of each other that would have 100 percent resulted in naked foreplay if this show aired on HBO. Oh well, missed opportunity for HBO.

The show has a nice switch where Spencer is seen ignoring Toby because she is searching for April Rose on her laptop! Go, Aria and Spencer and technology and bad boyfriend conversations! The images in Spencer’s search look like flowers and child pornography, so Spencer should probably clear her browsing history. Toby talks about weird carpenter stuff, tells Spencer he will stare at her while she types, and looks like a creepy serial killer. A creepy serial werewolf Frankenstein killer. Our Liars do a lot of literal lying in this episode, which we can all appreciate.

Spencer’s Father appears sporadically throughout this episode, and Spencer pays no mind to his rather lengthy absence. No one cares where Spencer’s Father has been, and no one really asks him how anything is going. Spencer’s Father likes to drop tidbits about how Garrett’s case might get thrown out due to lack of evidence, probably because Mariska is on vacation from acting as Spencer’s rude mother and instead has to shoot a couple of scenes for Law & Order. Spencer is a mess.The best plot of this episode is all of the crazy Emily deals with, which is kind of unfair because she also had the best drama last week. Hanna finds out where the jackets came from that were delivered to the church clothing drive, so Hanna decides to give Emily the address in case Emily can bring something back from her drunken swirly memories. Hanna’s “address” says Riverside and State Street, which is actually an intersection. Umm. Okay. Emily isn’t really able to participate in a lot of group conversations this episode because of her busy café gig.

NEXT: April Rose is not a person!

Aria has some drama with Ezra after their flirty camera shenanigans, because Aria finds a lot of cash in the bottom of Ezra’s sock drawer. A LOT OF MONEY. More than the money that PornStarMom hid in that lasagna box. I am kind of distracted during this scene because I really like Aria’s floral Doc Martens! My roommate just bought new Doc Martens this weekend and I am jealous. I will break the suspense on this “drama” – Ezra says that the money came from selling his grandfather’s old car. However, Ezra gives the sock drawer a creepy eyeball post-Aria’s interrogation, so clearly this drama is not over. I really like this; Aria and Ezra usually resolve all of their drama in a single episode, and I enjoy the promise of tense arc. Also, I THINK Aria went to her photography job and I THINK she sucks at it.

Hanna, Spencer, and Aria meet up to discuss the hiding behind the organ to catch A. I would not talk about this sequence except to note that Hanna does NOT want to split cheese fries with Spencer, and instead would like her own order. She wants her own! Take charge! Hanna has come a long way from the temptation of those pig cupcakes. Hanna also believes that a sensible shoe is a three-inch heel. Get it, Hanna. Personal aside: I always have problems typing Hanna because I like the Hannah spelling better, which makes me think of Hannah Horvath, a.k.a. Lena Dunham on Girls, which makes me flip between Ashley Benson’s Twitter (@AshBenzo) and Lena Dunahm’s (@lenadunham). I have issues.

There are a couple of weird plots lingering around: PornStarMom (Hanna’s Mom, hopefully you know that by now) attempts to seduce Ted from Church, only to find that Ted is a pastor. PornStarMom gets embarrassed about her blatant cleavage and talking about drinking in church; she also says that it only takes “one glance at my resume to know that I am no angel.” I did not realize that you were supposed to bring your resume on a date, or that your previous sex life deserved a resume. I am still convinced she was a porn star before Hanna was born, I’m sorry. Another weirdo is Jason, still being weird about his sister and weird about his nearly discovered half-sister, Spencer. All of the Jason and Spencer scenes sucked.

However, Jason and Spencer had one moment! Because Jason discovered that April Rose is not a person, but rather an antique shop. This definitely would have shown up in an April Rose Google search near Rosewood, but Spencer was probably having a rough day and probably decided to search with Bing. The April Rose antique shop brings me back to that awfully terrifying doll store at the end of the second season. Like, creepy antique knives plus a woman that looks like a puppet that is actually a wooden puppet or maybe a stuffed human being or maybe a zombie. Every single creepy person running a creepy store around Rosewood deserves a reality show on A&E or TLC. Spencer notices a gold anklet that Ali got from “no one special, just a friend” on a night where Ali wants to “mix it up on futons with frat boys,” which Spencer is 100 percent against forever and always. Jason pays the antique man $400 for the anklet, which is too much money. I would love to sell Jason my old beach ankle bracelet for $400. Thanks.

NEXT: PLL MAKES AN EDWARD. HOPPER. REFERENCE.Emily decides to go to Hanna’s intersection to continue piecing together her drunk mystery. I thought Emily was looking in a random mailbox for clues when she arrived, but now I am guessing that this mailbox was actually the dropbox for the church clothes. That would make more sense, and would make Emily a little more intelligent, so there. Also, she was being sensible and looking for a bomb planted by A. Emily spots a diner across the street that she recognizes… AND PLL MAKES AN EDWARD. HOPPER. REFERENCE. Like, the people from Nighthawks are legit eating in the diner during Emily’s drunken flashback. I started crying because I was so happy/startled/obliterated. I am in love. Emily enters the diner and things get super Twin Peaks-ish; I kept asking Emily to order pie (out loud, to my television), but she did not. I hope some Twin Peaks fans are reading this right now and watched and geeked out like me. Emily flashes back again when she recognizes the maze placements, and remembers the person sitting with her had a weird eye tattoo on his/her wrist. Emily is living a Twins Peaks mystery — where’s Kyle MacLachlan?

A big chunk of the episode, the big party this episode, takes place in the basement of the church. Actually, this is the Thank You Dance for all the people that worked on the clothing drive. I went to Catholic school for 12 years and I can tell everyone that all church basements smell awful and there is no way that dance smelled enjoyable. Hanna brings Toby to the dance because she made up some crazy lie and had to follow through; the lie is obviously far too elaborate and unnecessary for this super concise recap. Hanna’s lie wasn’t plausible at all, but once again, everyone bought the story. Hanna is a great liar. All the girls are great liars. All of Rosewood should be smarter at this point. Toby says that he has had “naps more exciting than this party.”

The Evil Detective shows up at the church basement dance, which doesn’t make sense at the moment; Hanna is freaking out, and thankfully trusty Emily shows up! Emily, however, is distracted because Holden shows up and offers Emily a cupcake. Why would Holden do that? Why would Emily want a cupcake? PLL loves cupcakes. To refresh, Holden is Aria’s friend from earlier in season that was maybe gay but actually just going to dangerous karate class or something; Holden is not friends with Emily and Holden has not been around this church ever. PLL is best when character just suddenly show up. Holden has the creepy eye tattoo on his wrist, which is actually a stamp from a rave. A Rosewood rave. Just think about it. Horrifying. Holden says that he used to see Emily’s “girlfriend” all the time at the party, but runs away when Emily asks questions about Maya. The girl in the flashback is still blurry. This feels very Eyes Wide Shut.

Hanna is hiding in the church, as her entire thing with the dance was an excuse to get in church and hide behind the organ. Can you hide behind organs? Organs have all of those golden pipes and you cannot see through them. Evil Detective is the one that sneaks up on Hanna in the church, not A, as the note Hanna planted on Garrett’s Mom was found by the nurse during the scary seizure and passed off to the police. Evil Detective says a lot of cryptic stuff to Hanna, and essentially threatens a young teenage girl in the middle of a dark church. I am relatively sure that Evil Detective could get arrested for that, as this looked and sounded like borderline rapist activity to any sane person. They were also in a church. Evil Detective needs to realize that none of the Liars like Garrett, and that he is going to Hell. This is getting complicated.

The episode ends when Spencer’s Dad tells Spencer that Garrett’s blood was not found on the evidence that Garrett is innocent and his entire case is being thrown out. Spencer has a giant breakdown, during which she gets a lame text from A doing a boring reiteration of the known fact that Garrett is innocent. Clearly Spencer just found that out because Spencer is screaming into her pillow and crying. Ugh, Poor Spencer! I kept thinking Spencer was going to vomit because that was the way her face was moving… The obligatory credits clue about New A shows that New A likes rainbow sherbet, is looking through the classified ads to rent a new apartment, and owns an iPhone. Not great clues, but we should take those clues and run with them. It looks like New A is just a poor college student with OCD that bought cheap sherbet instead of expensive ice cream and needs to move out of his/her dorm? That doesn’t seem very threatening. I feel like every episode of PLL follows the same template, but maybe you could also say that about my recaps so I’m not going to complain too vocally at the end here. Also, the formal title for this episode wonderfully references Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel The Remains of the Day, which is very intelligent a book you should read and/or pretend to read in between Fifty Shades of Grey installments. Alright, I’m off to find a $400 charm anklet at a creepy antique shop.

[Image Credit: ABC Family]


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