“Pretty Little Liars” recap (5.4): Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling!

 
 

Emily Fields is spending her morning doing the opposite thing: building people up (instead of blowing people up). She’s training Sydney Driscoll to be a better swimmer. Partly Emily is doing it because she is a precious unicorn in a world of wolves. Partly Emily is doing it because helping out with the swim team any way at all feels familiar and reassuring. Partly Emily is doing it because Pam is driving her nucking futs. I mean, Pam Fields is a woman who makes a habit of counting the pills in the pill bottles in the medicine cabinet just to make sure no one is abusing pain meds to compensate for muscle injuries sustained while rescuing people from being plowed over by cars being driven by maniacs wearing masks of dead girls’ faces, OK? That’s like a Tuesday afternoon for her. And that was before a Chevy drove right into her living room. You better believe the return of Alison DiLaurentis from the grave has got her mama bear senses tingling like some kind of nuclear threat alert.

Emily is like, “Anyway, what a drag, right?” And Sydney, new to this whole town-on-a-Hellmouth thing, is like, “I mean, that seems kind of normal, in terms of parents.”

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On the way out of the locker room, Emily almost bumps into Paige. Emily goes, “Sorry.” And Paige is like, “It’s no problem.” And Emily’s face is like, “Eat a dick.” And Paige’s face is like, “So much for modeling how to accept an apology.” And Emily’s eyes roll so big and Paige’s mouth frowns so hard and Sydney Driscoll is like, “…does anyone know if this ‘Shana Fring’ is going to want any of the stuff she left in her locker?”

Outside, the Liars eat some lunch and talk about how everybody’s gawking at them and whispering about how they’re friends with a zombie and asking intrusive questions. Spencer is dealing with it by drinking as much caffeine as she can get her hands on and reciting pi to the 57th decimal and strategizing a way to literally crawl into Melissa’s ear and extract information from her brain. Hanna is handling it by bonking people on the heads with dodgeballs. Aria is handling it by — just kidding, Aria is not handling anything. She’s a mess and she’s still wearing Winona Ryder’s hat. Emily is handling it it by blaming everything on Paige. They peep Mona peeping them and feel scared about what voodoo she’s cooking up.

They agree vehemently that no one in Spencer’s family killed Jessica D., which of course means it was Veronica, and then their phones ding at the same time. Just when you start to get your hopes up that they’re going to read a threatening text message aloud in unison, it’s just Ali saying they’ve got to wait for her mom’s toxicology report to determine her cause of death. Hanna says it was “murder, duh” and in all my heart I wish that’s what the missing page of Ali’s autopsy report said. Just 72pt font, all: MURDER, DUH.

Ali’s dad tells her she has to go in for a medical exam and she panics full-force about it. I’ve spent a lot of time walking around in circles in my living room and staring at a blank page and trying to figure out what to make of the fact that PLL brings rape into the conversation twice this week — once when Lucas suggests to Mona that Ali must have been raped when she was kidnapped, and once when Ali’s dad suggests the same thing to her right now — and I do want to talk about it because this is a show, at its core, about female agency vs. female victimization, but I don’t have my mindgrapes wrapped around what to say just yet. Plus, the way they’re walking back the Ezra thing is really complicating the show’s ethos, so I need some time to think about it and see how stuff plays out. But know it’s in my thinky-thoughts and know it’s a thing we’ll speak about later, yeah? I think it’s super important.

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Andrew Studypills slides up to Spencer’s locker looking for some friendly banter about drug addiction, so she invites him to come plant flowers on the never-ending grave in her backyard. On one hand he’s got to be thinking that’s creepy as shit but on the other hand he’s got to be thinking Spencer took off her bra in front of him for no actual reason one random afternoon, so he’s all in. Whatever, get out of the way, Studypills! Who is this Kyla and what did she do to achieve “best” status in Spencer’s eyes? TELL ME.

Spencer and Andrew don’t find anymore human bodies in the Hastingses yard, but they do find a dead opossum in the shed. He’s been murdered to death by some rat poison, a type of poison that kills rodents and also humans. Add that to Veronica saying to Spencer in one of their whispered conversations about What is Melissa even doing with her life right now? that “Your dad’s a psycho, dude” and Spencer’s brain is about to do its seasonal snap!

I mean, let’s be real here. Veronica just straight up lays out the reason why she killed Jessica DiLaurentis. Back when Ali got murdered the first time, Jessica swore she saw Spencer do it and she was going to go to the police, but Peter stopped her by saying he was going to tell the truth about being Jason’s dad, but then Ali came back and Mr. D was divorcing her anyway, so what was preventing her from telling the cops Spencer murdered whatever blonde girl they did find in that hole? Amazingly, Veronica turns on Peter and plants that seed in Spencer’s head, but I’m convinced she did the killin’. Wait, or was it Melissa? Tag-team maybe? Veronica did the rat poison, Melissa did the rock? Hastinges, y’all are some Lanisters for real.

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Aria is checking her email in the computer lab when she decides to do a website page search for Shana, which leads her to a video of Shana’s funeral — you heard me — and so she of course clicks on it. At first it’s just a recording of a funeral (“just” a recording of a funeral, from like 12 different camera angles), and then! Shana sits right the hell up in her casket! And turns her head to the side and stares Aria’s ass right down through the camera! Like, “Follow me, end up like me” or something. Like, “Dead girls can smile.” Like, “Mona played with dolls; I play with body parts.” It’s amazing.

Sadly, Aria is only hallucinating.

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