“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.23: I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good

Aria runs to the carnival as fast as she can in her Leviathan-skin boots, looking everywhere for Malcolm, but finding only evil-er and evil-er masks. Ella is there, just wandering around eating some cotton candy, trying to remember if she one time had a son who would have been into this kind of tomfoolery. She dispenses some love advice to her daughter, but Aria spots A buying a balloon for Malcolm, so she tosses her mom aside like an old pair of dreamcatcher earrings and barrells after Ezra’s kidnapped kid.

She loses them in the crowd, and so she calls up Emily to ask if she should call up the police, and Emily is like, “Yes! No! I don’t know! Why is A targeting you all of a sudden? I thought she didn’t know you exist!” The camera swirls and swirls and swirls around Aria as she contemplates what kind of cake you buy for a person to apologize for accidentally selling his kid into carnie-folk slavery. She finally spots the Faust puppet tent, where Malcolm is just sitting inside eating an ice cream cone, waiting for the second show to start. Aria slaps that cone out of his hand like she’s Spencer and it’s a blazer, all, “The fuck, Malcolm? You knew I was supposed to pick you up, right?” And he’s all, “Yeah, but your friend Alison picked me up instead. You know? Alison? Wild eyes. Electric shock hair. Kept quoting this book about the guy this puppet show is based on: ‘I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.’ She’s your friend, right?” Aria drags his tiny ass out of the tent and home to Alex Mack.

Wren and Eddie Lamb get into a scuffle about whether or not Eddie can visit Spencer and give her a book to read. Wren is adamant that he stay away from Spencer’s room tonight. Eddie doesn’t need to know what she’s doing (or — spoiler alert! — not doing!) in there. He hands over the book and glares at Wren, and Wren glares back and says he hopes they’re not having the same problems they’ve already had once before.

Uncle Jamie stops by Hanna’s and Caleb tells him to beat it because they know he stole that bell and that fiver, and Uncle Jamie gets so gross so fast it makes me want to punch him right in the nuts. He’s like, “Oh, ho! I see how it is! You can forgive your mom for abandoning you because she gave you a Mercedes, but you can’t forgive me because I only drive a pick-up truck!” Caleb breaks down in tears and says he spent his whole life sleeping in the school ventilation system and the only reason he survived his because he learned how hot spots work, and so he made money for food by unlocking phones for people whose girlfriends were in drug prison. For a time, he even shared a Star Wars sleeping bag with a guy who stole his whole life savings to buy tickets to Comic-Con! Uncle Jamie leaves in a huff. FINE BY US, ASSHOLE! AND STAY OUT!

Over at RPD HQ, Pam is toting around a Missing Persons box when Emily arrives to inquire after the John Doe down in the morgue. Pam tells her to scurry on home and she’ll be there later to debrief her.

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