“Pretty Little Liars” recap (3.08) – Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized


Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Mona Vanderwall exceeded every expectation leveled at her by God and men by dusting off a three-year-old Mean Girls code and communicating to the Liars that Maya made a deathbed website for the purpose of Instagram-ing her adventures in being murdered. Ezra walked into a bank and asked for a million dollars cash and the teller just handed it over due to his face. Spencer rescued Jason from a drunk driving crash, but left her car at the scene of the crime, a brass-balled move that made Detective Snape spit and Toby’s eyes bug out of his head. Hanna came under scrutiny for having blood. And Emily accidentally roofied Paige.

The Liars have called a meeting at Emily’s to try to break into Maya’s website page some more, and Hanna is adamant that Spencer admit Mona is trying to help them. Spencer goes, “I don’t know …” And Hanna is like, “That’s right! You don’t know!” She explains that Mona is afraid like they are afraid, and they’re all in this together, and just back off, OK? I’ll be honest: I had Hanna pegged as a Hufflepuff for the first two seasons of this show, but her relentless loyalty to Mona and all-around courageousness this season have led me to believe she is a Gryffindor through and through. Maybe Dumbledore was right. Maybe we do sort too soon.

When Emily returns from a phone call with Cousin Nate, the Liars ask her if it’s OK if they really get to hacking. Emily’s like, “I got this.” She rolls up her sleeves, tries any old password, then concludes she didn’t even know Maya at all since she couldn’t guess the super secret password to her super hidden website page on the first try. (Dear my girlfriend, if you can’t break into my Gmail after I die, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love you.)

At the Montgomery’s, Byron pops his head into Aria’s room, says, “How long has it been since I was last extradimensionally horrible to you? More than a day? OK, here goes: Meredith got that job at your school, but don’t worry about telling your mom. That’s all me.” Aria doesn’t have the heart to tell Byron that Ella doesn’t even remember his name anymore. She just smiles sympathetically and pats his terrible head and bounces up out of there.

Emily takes Nate up to a boathouse we’ve never heard of because apparently it was one of her favorite places to take Maya. Emily fondly tells about how she and Maya used to come up here to do some sex, and float little origami boats out onto the water like a thousand candlelit Lucases washing out to sea. Nate goes, “Us too. We did that too, me and Maya. But, like, instead of boats, it was me telling her if I couldn’t be with her no one could be with her, and then I would hold her head under water and be like, ‘Do you understand me?’ It was this game we played. When we were kids. Cousin kids. She liked it.”

Then, out of nowhere, he goes, “I’ve never understood how you kill someone, rhetorically speaking. Do you have any ideas? Like would you use a knife or poison? Should I get a gun? Do you ever come up here by yourself at night, unarmed?” Emily doesn’t answer because she’s accidentally caught a glimpse of her reflection in the water and taken her own breath away.

Aria bursts into Ezra’s apartment demanding that he strip down and do some push-ups — which: if that were a spin-off show, Lucy Hale just shouting while Ian Harding exercised for an hour, 70 percent of this PLL audience would never miss an episode — but she’s stopped short by the site of a fancy lady standing in the middle of the loft sipping tea with her pinky out and pronouncing “croissant” like “kwahsaangh.” The fancy lady is Ezra’s mom, Mrs. Fitzgerald, and her very existence answers the question: What would happen if Lily van der Woodsen and Ashley Marin gave birth to a child who was raised by Emily Gilmore in a palace made of crystallized peasant tears? She requests the presence of Aria and Ezra at a gala, then breezes out of the room in a cloud of Chanel.

Hastings House of Horrors. Hanna is crawling all over Spencer like a spider-monkey, going, “Are we in yet? Are we in yet? Did you crack Maya’s code yet?” Spencer says, “It’s not a pinata; I can’t just WHACK IT with a stick!” But before she can explain the finer points of password protection to a girl who stashes millions of dollars in cash in spaghetti noodle boxes, Toby storms — and I mean storms! — into the house and demands an audience with his beloved. Now that she knows who he is, Hanna tries to greet him, but he literally throws his hand out at Hanna like when people used to say “talk to the hand!” and it is maybe the most amazing thing he has ever done. “Hanna.” he says. Just like that with the period at the end of her name: “Hanna.” Spencer’s like, “Ohhhkay. Han, you want to take this evidence box upstairs and I’ll be there in a second?”

Toby is positively incandescent with rage. He’s like, “Jason has ‘gone across the state line’ to ‘pay cash’ to have his car fixed! And so now I have lied to the cops about evidence, thanks to you!” Spencer goes, “Another idea is that maybe he’s at the grocery sto—” But Toby throws that hand out again and says, “EVIDENCE.” Spencer’s like, “Look, calm down. There’s a whole fireplace full of evidence over there if you want some.” But Toby will not calm down! He says he’s going rogue! He’s going to become his own private eye, probably get one of those Dick Tracy hats and everything. A trench coat. A magnifying glass. He leaves the way he entered, in a huff of chin and weird hair. It’s spectacular.

At her mansion(!), Paige is outside giving her bike a tune-up because it’s like they always say: You never know when you’ll need to pedal off into a thunderstorm during the witching hour like wackadoodle. Emily scuffs the ground with her shoe, says, “Haven’t seen you around since I accidentally roofied you.” Paige is like, “Yeah, since school is apparently optional in Rosewood, I took a couple of days off.” She gets really squirrelly when Emily tries to discuss the details of the magically poisoned flask, but Emily goes, “Look, Paige, if we’re going to be lesbians together, you have to tell me every one of your feelings.” They make plans to meet up tomorrow after school for a process fest.

Rear Window Brew. Dr. Wren is taking a break from being the only medical professional in the greater Philadelphia area so he can meet with Hanna. It seems Radley is not equipped to deal with the kind of prolonged adrenalized hyperreality Mona is throwing at them, so they want to ship her out to Saratoga — “Saratoga, New York,” explains Wren helpfully — at the same mental hospital where they keep Lex Luthor and The Joker. “This is unacceptable information!” Hanna Spencers, “And so IT CANNOT BE TRUE!” Caleb chooses that moment to return from California. He scowls at the two of them because he knows they’re plotting about Mona, which means he’s still in the losing bracket when it comes to the game of Hanna.

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