“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.24: A Psycho By Any Other Name

The Liars meet to debrief their nightly findings and Aria, who has never actually participated in a finale before, has the look of someone whose mind is getting well and truly blown for the very first time. She’s like, “So, Jenna: a) came back from Out of Town to b) meet up with her c) lesbian girlfriend d) Shana, and e) Melissa to make plans to f) kill all of us? My god, our lives really are a shitshow.” Of course, she can’t maintain that train of thought very long before her brain derails itself back into Ezria territory, and before you know it, she’s screeching about how the most tragic thing of all is that Spencer, as A, is ruining all of their love lives. Hanna and Emily pat her wittle head and hatch a plan to find out the true nature of Spencer’s A-ness, while also drowning out their plot with loud music for the first time ever. Aria, though: “I’m not really in the mood to dance right now, Hanna, can you turn down that down, please?”

At the Motel. (Motel, Motel, Motel) (I know it is a Motel because the camera keeps telling me it’s a capital “M” Motel.) (Mona?) Spencer and Toby do them some sexes. And I mean, Toby’s body is kind of like an Imperius curse, right? Take off that shirt and Obliviate! But I’m both very gay and very skilled at Defense Against the Dark Arts, so I’m not quite ready to forgive his or Spencer’s transgres—oh, hey, it’s Troian’s legs. Hey, legs. Hey.

Lana del Rey sings about how it’s hard not to get into trouble when you’ve got a war in your mind, so just ride, ride, ride. And they do, do, do.

At the Sharks/Red Devils swim meet — which is the hottest ticket in the tri-state area — Aria and Ezra break up AGAIN, but I’m going to forgive it because I am a sucker for nostalgia and this episode has so many delicious pilot throwbacks, including this window scene mirroring the window scene at Ali’s funeral when they decide to stop seeing each other, right down to the song and the walk-away-arm-grab thing Ezra does to signal that they are only slightly on a break, per the usual.

On her way into the swim meet, Spencer spots Red Coat and zooms after her like lightning. The chase music is awesome, especially when it goes cuckoo when Spencer walks into the courtyard and there are like 20 Red Coats milling around because that’s what these Red Devils wear to cheer on their swim team at away meets. Spencer does a frantic search and finds real Red Coat again. She follows her through the cafeteria, down the hallway, into the bathroom, where she just stands there with her back to Spencer and waits. Spencer spins her around and it’s — Hanna Marin!

I was as shocked as a finale Aria by this psych-out. All those weeks of looking at that Red Coat photo ABC Family released, speculating and arguing and enlarging, and I got played just like Spencer got played. TV never surprises me, but this show always gets me so good. Aria and Emily do their patented synchronized launches from the bathroom stalls. Hanna goes, “Well, you Spener-ed right in here, which means you haven’t fully transformed into an A-teamer yet.” And Emily’s little face is like a puppy. She says, “Which means you still love us!” Aria is like, “I broke up with Ezra because it feels so good to be a part of these highjnks! It was the correct decision!”

Spencer tells them the whole deal: That Mona cracked her open like an egg so she could glue her back together like some blind girl craft fair pottery, but Spencer did not wait for her reward, instead she sought it out last night and fucked it, twice, because he reward was Toby, who is alive, and also who is a double agent. Emily claps because she loves him. Aria claps because she’s faking understanding how these things work until she gets the hang of it. But Hanna goes, “Fine, Nikkita, but when were you planning to tell us?” Spencer says she was only going to keep it a secret until tonight, when they were all burning to a crisp in a home explosion.

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