“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.22: Hastings, Interrupted

Spencer is still playing cards at Radley. She pulls the Joker from the deck, stares at his face, stares at his bike, wonders if her ever carved a rocking chair for the girl he loved, plays it on the Queen of Hearts.

Over carrot sticks and talk of pretzels, Ashley and Hanna discuss the still-missing body of Detective Wilden. Ashely is getting more distraught by the second that news of his demise has not yet reached the local paper, but Hanna helpfully suggests that she’ll know about his death long before the Rosewood Gazette does, because they’ll only find out after the cops have handcuffed Ashley and carted her away to prison. The phone rings; it’s Pastor Ted. He wants to go for coffee, but Ashley can’t even consider consuming caffeine with a man of the cloth while she’s got murder written all over her face. Hanna is like, “Of course she’ll meet you, Pastor Ted!”

Aria looked for Spencer at the bookstore for a whopping 30 seconds before rushing over to Ezra’s to see if maybe she was hiding under his bed. Poor Ezra is not having a very good day either. His enemy, and, in fact, everyone’s enemy is: math. He smashes away on a calculator, all, “It’s like no amount of writing poetry prepares you for the Pythagorean theorem!” Aria caresses his back and says, “Honey, just tell those hypotenuses how you feel.” The main thing he is stressed out about is money because being a freelance writer means you have to choose between buying peanut butter and bread most weeks and that’s no way to raise a child. Aria’s like, “You think that’s a handful? You should have seen the way I had to contort the toothpaste tube to get any toothpaste out this morning. My life is a disaster right now.”

The guests of Radley Institute’s day room are enjoying a piano concerto, which is of course being presented by Spencer Hastings. One of the girls is hilariously playing a half-assed game of checkers with her head resting on the table, bored out of her mind, like they probably all are since Mona stopped doing her makeup seminars. A lady creeps up behind Spencer and says her name and you’re hoping with all your heart that it’s Wren dressed in drag doing his morning rounds at the mental health care clinic before rushing over to Rosewood General for an afternoon of neurosurgery — but no, it is Dr. Sullivan. Spencer turns around on her piano stool, blinks, goes, “Ollie ollie oxen free!”

Pastor Ted quotes some Emerson on the church’s marquee while Jamie Doyle climbs around on the roof and refinishes the steeple and prepares for the delivery of the new church bell and also cuts down a whole bunch of rogue nooses. It’s all, “Hey, Hanna.” “Hi, Ted.” “Good to see you, Ashley.” “‘Sup, Wilden.”

Whaaaat? Yes, Wilden. Sadly, he is not dead on the forest floor stuffed into Toby’s motorcycle helmet and tatted up with Toby’s signature ink. He’s walking around in broad daylight with that smarm on his face, looking exactly the same as he did before he got run under. The way he reappears is so amazing. Hanna and Ashley and Ted are in the churchyard just exchanging salutations when he walks up and goes, “Hello, everyone. I have returned from a fishing excursion. It was not quite as successful or satisfying as my police work, although I have found that both hobbies are quite similar. Goodbye.” And then he walks away.

Pastor Ted’s Emerson quote: “Commit a crime and the world is made of glass.”

Emerson also famously said: “The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” Which, when translated into Rosewoodese, means: “The creepiest tunes are played on the blindest flutes.”

At Radley, Dr. Sullivan is trying to understand why Spencer crawled around in the woods eating bugs and faked her own amnesia, and Spencer goes, “Have you ever not been Spencer Hastings for a full 24 hours? It’s actually kind of orgasmic.” Why doesn’t she want to be Spencer Hastings? Oh, because she fell in love with someone who was secretly torturing her and her best friends and even though she hates him for it she also loves him for who she thought he was and now he’s dead and according to the orchids that arrived at her door last week so is Emily and God only knows what fresh hell Hanna and Aria have managed to create for themselves while Spencer has lost focus. Dr. Sullivan goes, “OK, I’m going to call your parents and then I’m going to call the police. Savvy?” Spencer laughs, raw and high, and goes, “I may be crazy, but even I know I don’t have parents.”

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