“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.22: Hastings, Interrupted


The Liars debrief the latest Spencer news in the bathroom at school and Aria literally says, “Turns out you weren’t the weak link after all, Em! Congratulations!” Like. Just. Right out loud Aria Montgomery said those words to a girl who has lost multiple girlfriends and now her best friend to the A-team. Mona wanders in to check her makeupand Aria very nearly redeems herself by launching her tiny body at Mona’s tiny body. She says if Spencer doesn’t make it out of Radley she’s gonna throw Mona over that cliff again, and this time it’ll stick. No sooner have the words left her mouth than the principal pages her to his office. Aria’s face is great. She gawks at Mona slack-jawed, like, “How did you make that happen so fast?!” And Mona just hums her approval.

The principal wants to know if Aria is seeing Ezra Fitz, in the biblical way, anymore. Because they can’t hire him to be a substitute teacher if they’re doing sexes to each other. I don’t know why people keep acting like there have ever been any competent adults at this school except for Ella and Coachprah. I mean, clearly this place doesn’t have hiring standards. Even Jason DiLaurentis is on the payroll and he only lives In Town ten days a year. Anyway, Aria says she and Ezra are not a couple, even though none of this matters because Malcom is going to kill Ezra in his sleep before the week is up.

After Eddie Lamb leaves Spencer, another visitor appears, bearing the gift of cookies in a red tin. It’s a Mona-shaped visitor. She’s like, “Nice hair, Hastings.” And Spencer is like, “Nice throat I’m about to choke again, bitch.”

God, these two are so good together. And this writing is so tight. I can’t do this scene justice. Spencer’s rasps, “Why did you kill Toby?” And Mona’s eyes are the only thing that acknowledge the question. She says if she killed Toby, and oh, she’s so blase about the whole murder thing, but if she killed Toby, it is Spencer’s fault for not accepting her A-team invitation months ago. Oh, and P.S. Ali wasn’t pregnant. Oh, and P.P.S. Mona has all of Ali’s old diaries, scanned and ready for reading on her iPad. Oh, and P.P.P.S. She’s got answers to questions Spencer has never even thought of. It’s like the ultimate Ravenclaw face-slap!

She follows Spencer over to the piano and goes, “You know puzzles? I’ve been thinking: You’ve got bits and pieces. I’ve got bits and pieces. Let’s get together and make our bits and pieces feel all right.”

Then she fully quotes Luna Lovegood, talking about, “Don’t worry, Spence, you’re just as sane as I am.”

Ashley drops Hanna off at Emily’s house with seventeen pieces of luggage for a three-day weekend, and as soon as she pulls away (please don’t die, Ashley!) Wilden comes driving up. I really like the way this is filmed and edited. Emily tells Hanna not to take the bait and Hanna goes, “Sometimes you poke the bear and sometimes the bear pokes you.” Emily’s face goes, “Whaaaat?” And Hanna huffs, “It’s from a movie” and walks right out of the frame.

All Wilden wants is his car back. Hanna’s like, “You said you had some fishing equipment?”

In group therapy, Spencer — nah, I actually can’t recap this. It’s too good. I’m just going to transcribe it:

Spencer: I knew who I was when they found me. I knew that my family and friends would be worried. I just — I wanted to fold up and stop. I didn’t want to think anymore. I wasn’t Spencer Hastings for a whole day and nobody else showed up to take the job, so, I guess I’m stuck with it.
Dr. Sullivan: Because you’re the only person in the world that can be you.
Spencer: You don’t have to rub it in. I’m sorry, this can’t be entertaining. There are people here with real problems.
Dr. Sullivan: Just like you.
Spencer: Yeah. Just like me. I, um. I fell down. In the woods. When I was running, I fell down and I looked at the ground and I saw my hand and my sleeve and the little button on my sleeve and some dirt and an old acorn, and I said to myself, “OK, if this is the last thing I ever see, I can handle that. I’m done. I’ve had enough.” But it wasn’t the last thing that I saw. I just kept going. How do you keep going when the worst thing has happened? What do you have to change, inside, to survive? Who do you have to become? I’m sorry. I don’t expect you guys to understand. You don’t know me.

And then. AND THEN. She hallucinates Aria and Hanna and Emily sitting across the room from her, and she breaks up with them: “I’m sorry, but that’s true. You don’t know who I am anymore. And you can’t count on me.” Her face, when she says it out loud: shock, relief, the loss of all hope. It’s breathtaking. Bellisario + Dougherty: stealing the breath from your actual body. Listen, if you don’t watch this show, like if you’re only in it for the recaps, do yourself a favor and pull up this scene on Hulu. Even the way Troian punctuates her words with her body is mesmerizing.

The Risen Mitten books some tickets for a carnival and then hops into the driver’s seat in his/her brand new Murdermobile and drives on down the road. A portable lair. Of course. Of course. Genius.

A badrillion thank yous to my screencapping partner Maggie (@MargaretRosey) who has some real photographic goodies coming your way in the next few weeks.

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