“Pretty Little Liars” recap (4.05): “It ain’t Tippi the Bird”


Spencer bitches some more about how her mother loves her enough to hire a professional to  help her get into college and Emily’s like, “Oh, wow. How much does one of those guys cost? Do you know any that would barter their services for Americanos, or set up some kind of denim jacket/vest payment plan?” But Spencer has just remembered that the phone number Tippi the Bird — this part is amazing: they’ve officially given that thing the last name “the Bird” — was singing is in York County and there’s a college in York County. It’s Cicero College. Probably the writers named Cicero College after the Roman philosopher, but I’m going to pretend they named him after the deranged character in Skyrim that wears a jester’s costume and drives around from town to town with the Night Mother’s coffin in his wagon. Because that’s just about as PLL as it gets. Aria cracks like her third clue in three weeks. The phone number Tippi the Bird was singing is the same area code and exchange as Cicero College’s official digits. Girl is on a sleuthing roll.


Outside, Aria tries to chat with Ella about the big move to Donut Castle, but Ella tells her she’s decided not to go. So Aria, of course, hops into her mom’s car and begs her to please get the eff out of town. Ella’s like, “Your brother—” And Aria goes, “Brother? Did you have a baby?” Ella rolls her eyes. “Just because you haven’t seen your brother in two years doesn’t mean he stopped existing. Look at Spencer’s parents. Shit, girl. Look at Ali. Anyway, your brother doesn’t want me to go.” Aria’s bamboozlement is interrupted by a bee crawling its way out of the car’s air conditioner vents.

You’re looking at that thing thinking maybe it’s like Ali as an Animagus, or there’s a tiny camera or audio recorder taped to it’s little bee back or something — but no! When Aria gets out of the car, Ella gets swarmed by an entire hive of goddamn bees! BEES! Flying out of the vents and stinging and stinging her and she’s just swatting and swatting at them and they’re even poisoning her brain with their horrible bee venom because she can’t even register the fact that she needs to open the door and get out of the car. Aria doesn’t help; she’s too busy reading her text messages: “Bee team! love, A team.”


Aria is wearing her best outfit today. It’s so good they don’t take her out of it and also the camera gives it to you from every angle in like six different scenes. Like, did you get a load of this thing? No, seriously, did you? It is the top half of an admiral’s uniform jacket over a silk cheetah-print blouse paired with a skirt made entirely of neckties, knee-high black socks and boots with heels as tall as the moon. It’s like the answer to the question: What if you fell overboard an aircraft carrier while changing from your Father’s Day brunch costume to your wildlife safari photographer costume and the sailors had to fish you out of the sea and fashion a tiny jacket out of their own uniforms to keep you safe from hypothermia? Aria’s outfit, that is what would happen in that scenario.


Emily Fields is the crowning achievement of human creation, but she is pretty terrible at her job. Today, for example, she spends half the time chatting to Aria on the phone about Ella’s bee attack and half the time accidentally flirting with Spencer’s college pimp who is just hanging out in the Brew looking like he’s made up of at least one-half Wilden genes. Where does this show keep finding these dudes that look like the half-brothers of the dudes they’ve killed? Garrett and Kung Fu Jake, Wilden and this guy. Anyway, Emily spies him and his gigantic scary binder of admissions secrets and auto-charms her way into some free advice about rebranding herself into the kind of young woman who never even once entered into a time-traveling roofie loop with her girlfriend.

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