“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.21: Dead, Deader, Deadest


Emily visits her mom at work to check out the bulletin board to see if there were any more beach hotties in Cape May that one summer and also to infiltrate the police database to search for E. Lamb. Pam is like, “Honey, if you’re looking for Toby, why don’t you send him one of those text mail thingies on his phone or FaceSpace him or something. Or, you know, don’t. I’ve had a weird feeling about him ever since he took you to prom and tried to murder you in that chemistry classroom and then dumped your limp body on the steps of the emergency room.” She leaves Emily alone with her computer so she can fetch them some corn nuts and Emily tries twice to look up “E. Lamb,” but gets foiled again and again. The second foil is a text from Toby, who tells her to stop looking for him and that he’ll meet her.

Hanna returns home to find Wilden’s police car in her garage playing the tape of Ashley murdering him on loop at top volume on an indestructible video monitor.

Spencer stalks Mona from the Brew to the woods, at night, and what she finds is not pretty. Or little. But it is a liar. It is the liar of Toby Cavanaugh and he is dead. Or, well, it is a body in Toby’s biking clothes with Toby’s tattoo but we never get to see his face or pecs because as soon as Spencer reaches for his helmet, Mona wails, “HE’S DEAD!” and runs off and Spencer chases after her.

For one thing, I don’t think Toby is dead, because: a) There’s no reason not to show us his face if he’s really dead, and b) Hanna literally says the words “Does A have Wilden’s body?” right out loud in a few minutes, and c) Keegan Allen’s nakedness is a series regular, if I am not terribly mistaken.

And for another thing, ABC Family, please stop suggesting Twitter hashtags to us at climactic moments. It’s driving us bonkers. You spoiled the A lair reveal and you took us out of the moment on this one, flashing up #TobysDead before the emotional punch had even really landed. There is an art to writing and editing suspense and I know ABC Family is proud of its social media success, but PLL owns Twitter because all the writers and producers and actors are involved and the fans love to talk about it in real-time. Please let us #BooRadleyVanCullen without dragging us out of the moment, ABC Family. Pretty please? With Lucky Leon’s coconut cupcakes on top?

Emily has been sitting in her car for hours waiting for Toby, just outside the 24-hour wood-sawing shop. She’s getting ready to leave when she sees Red Coat wander by. So, of course she completely disregards her own advice about using the damn buddy system, and goes chasing Red Coat inside. She is not there. But you know who is there? New guy who drives Toby’s truck. He name-checks her, tells her there’s no Tobys or Red Coats around, and she finally — finally — vibes his Cousin Nate-ness and leaves. Oh, but guess what? A or Red Coat has smashed her window and left her a funeral announcement for Toby.

It can’t be Mona who did that because she’s in the woods with Spencer, so it either has to be Toby or Red Coat or a third A we don’t know about yet, right? Or, I mean, could Toby be Red Coat? That would be too amazing for me to even wrap my mind around. There are only three episodes left and going by previous reveal patterns, Red Coat has to be someone who’s been in our visual consciousness this season. I highly doubt, but would love(!), the cross-dressing thing, so that leaves CeCe Drake or Melissa Hastings, right? Because we haven’t seen Jenna once in 3B and the only other girls the Liars have really interacted with have been Paige and Shana and all those PinkDrinkers. I mean, I guess it could be Shana, but she seems way too peripheral for that reveal to mean anything. But I also feel like it needs to be someone the Liars/the audience trusts for it to really matter, and none of us trust CeCe or Melissa. I don’t know. Veronica Hastings? That little hobbit Holden? Could it be Lucas? Byron? Oh Gods, if it was Byron!

Anyway, you think the height of insanity was Emily going to Saw Town alone at night, but wait’ll you get a load of this:

Yeah, that’s right. Hanna and Aria have driven Wilden’s car to some kind of man made fishing pond where they push it right into the water and wait like half an hour for it to sink. Girls. What in the world. What in the world. The best part isn’t that they just tried to dispose of a federal vehicle that contains evidence of one of their mothers murdering a police officer; the best part is how Hanna has totally checked out of the whole thing, emotionally. Aria is biting her fingernails and furrowing her brow and nattering on and Hanna just kind of sighs and shrugs. At this point a kraken could come bubbling up from the water brandishing every bit of evidence the Liars have ever tried to dispose of and Hanna would just roll her eyes and wear her overalls. She’s pretty done.

At home, Ashley has a new theory about the murder. It’s such an amazing line reading. She goes, “Maybe I didn’t hit Wilden [beat] [beat] as hard as I thought.” She explains about seeing his ghost and his police car being gone from the crime scene and Hanna is like, “My main worry used to be the naked hobo in my shower. What a life.”

The Liars reconvene to discuss their daily death experiences. Hanna tells about the video of her mother kiling a cop, Emily tells about A smashing her BEAUTIFUL TOYOTA and maybe killing Toby, Aria tells how Ella says it’s OK if she breaks up with Ezra even though she loves him.

Back out in the woods, a park ranger says “Jane Doe” and I swear to God I thought Mona had killed Spencer. Like, I rocketed out of my chair and rushed the TV to see what the fuck. It worked out OK, though, because it got me close enough to stoke Spencer’s bloody, broken face while she stared at the treetops and murmured PTSD nonsense at the sky. The cops suggest a psych evaluation since she doesn’t have any ID and can’t form words and hasn’t been arrested/interrogated enough times at the police station that literally every beat cop in the county would know her name. And so off she goes to — wait for it — Radley Asylum for the Criminally Insane!


Holy cow.


You win going crazy, Spence. Congratulations. You beat Mona, after all.

An old fisherman reels in a Rosewood PD hat from the man made pond with the cop car at the bottom. I hope he’s got some heavy-duty lures. Who knows how many shovels he’s gonna find down there.

Forever shouting out my screencapping partner Maggie, who says that every time Emily Fields makes this face, an angel dies. Follow Maggie on Twitter (@MargaretRosey)

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