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

It is at that exact moment that the sisters of Alpha Gamma Something burst forth onto the porch and break into song about how Emily and Spencer are god’s chosen apples. As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Spemily. I think that’s how the hymn goes.


Inside the sorority party, Emily chats with a sister who gives her the download on the ol’ sorority matron that used to run this place. Her name was Ms. Grunwald. She knew if you were going to try to sneak out before you ever even thought about sneaking out. She was everywhere and nowhere. And she had a hazing paddle that she beat the shit out of you with if you stepped out of line. But never mind all that, or the shrine they’ve built to her, these ladies gots themselves a new flatscreen in the den! Emily wanders off alone with Brenden, who is off-duty and looking only for her and carrying an engagement ring in his pocket.

Spencer’s plan of glowering at people and asking them if they know Ali isn’t working, and she’s just about ready to change tactics when Hanna shows up with that bag and that gun. Spencer’s face. She rolls her eyes at herself. She and Emily can’t both leave town at the same time. Of course Hanna would get herself a gun and walk up into a sorority party waving it around. And of course Aria wouldn’t be around to stop her because of course she’d be playing Monopoly and eating popcorn in front of the fire in her living room. Spencer tells Hanna to stay put, so she curls herself up into a chair an armchair and looks as unimpressed as possible.


Spencer goes searching for Emily, and the way it’s filmed, you think Emily’s going to be getting bad-touched by Brenden or something, but it’s nothing evil like that. Instead, Spencer stumbles into a panic room behind a hidden panel in the wall. Inside the room is a pink phone that Spencer knows immediately is attached to the phone number they’ve been tracking, but she can’t really count it as a win unless she does the weirdest thing possible to seal the reveal, so she calls up Aria who answers like, “Who is this?” And in this totally dead voice Spencer goes, “Well, it ain’t Tippi the Bird.”

Amazing. So amazing. Jesus Christ. This show is everything.


“Who is this unknown person calling my phone?” “Well, it ain’t the parrot into which your dead best sewed her own voice box and programmed to sing the phone number of the person she was stalking the whole summer before she got her brains bashed in by a shovel.”

“Who is this?” “Well, it ain’t the bird your friend stole from the lady who’s building a shrine to her dead daughter’s omnipresent terrorist ghost.”

“Who’s calling me?” “Well, it ain’t Tippi the Bird.

Who lived inside this panic room and why was Ali calling him/her a thousand million times that summer? Spencer doesn’t know, but there are definite werewolf claw marks all over the walls, Shrieking Shack-style, so that’s going to spice things up.

Outside of the party, Brenden makes a move on Emily and she smiles at him like he is the stupidest human on the planet. She says she’s taken, not available, got her future all planned out. She’s going to live inside the computer with the love of her life. Brenden goes, “Well, but maybe he’s not making you really happy.” Emily quirks her eyebrow, says, “He’s a she and she shines so bright in my heart and in my mind that I can barely even register your face.”


Spencer interrupts them to drop the bomb about how Hanna is carrying a literal bomb around in her purse. She and Emily run like rabbits through the forest surrounding the sorority houses because Hanan didn’t have time to wait for them. No, she just scooped an empty beer mug off the coffee table and took five or six steps out into the woods and started digging up the ground with that beer vessel so she could bury the gun. A dozen police apparate onto the scene, shooting stunning spells in every direction. They handcuff her and haul her away in the back of a police car.

As Emily and Spencer watch her go, A gives them a little ping: “Hope Veronica has two-for-one murder trial specials on Wednesdays!”

The Risen Mitten enjoys a hot cup of tea with some honey from the bee farm where she trains her Tracker Jackers. She dusts off a photo of Mrs. Grunwald, whose eyes make Spencer’s look 100 percent normal.

My deepest and most heartfelt thanks as always to my screencapping partner Maggie (@margaretrosey), who sent over this week’s caps with a note that said: “You’ll see a lot of pictures of Spencer’s face – because I knew you wouldn’t mind and it’s amazeballs.”

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