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


Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Emily Fields’ girlfriend Alison DiLaurentis was murdered and buried in her backyard and then discovered by her new girlfriend Maya St. Germain who moved into Ali’s house and was then also murdered in the backyard. Because Ali’s backyard wasn’t just any old backyard. Everyone was always in that yard all the time, brandishing hockey sticks and passing out drunk and getting extorted and hollering into the phone and wearing matching outfits with Ali and making sex tapes and rubbing her DNA all over their sweaters and bracelets and digging holes to bury shovels and digging more holes to bury the shovels that dug the holes that buried the shovels. But what was weird was that even though Ali was super dead, she kept showing up places. The hospital to visit Hanna. Aria and Spencer’s bedrooms to steal stuff out of their bags and closets. An abandoned barn to make out with Emily. And sometimes she sent some text messages: “Hey, girl. Miss you.” “I’m still here and I know everything.” But, like, she was for real dead. So dead. I mean, yeah, her ghost seemed to be aging a little bit, getting older, being taller, looking 17 instead of 15. But that’s probably just a thing ghosts do, right? Because Ali was most certainly not alive.

The Liars are enjoying quite a brunch spread at the Hastings’ breakfast bar while waiting for Spencer to make her post-Radley presence known. Hanna is more than slightly worried that Spencer’s psyche may have been broken in a permanent way, and if it hasn’t snapped yet, it probably will when they tell her about the other dead body the park rangers found in the woods, mutilated beyond identification, except for a torso tattoo declaring the corpse’s independence from incest. Emily is like, “Even if the most we can hope for is half-capacity Spencer, I’ll take it. It’s exhausting keeping you lot alive by myself.”

Spencer flits down the stairs dressed like and talking like and wearing make up like and even assuming the posture of her most WASPy self. It’s terrifying. It’s like Radley reset her to pilot episode Spencer. Hells bells, she even quotes her pilot self: “You know how I feel about hope. It breeds eternal misery.” She invites the Liars to the asylum graduation party her parents are throwing in her honor, and of course they accept, because they will do anything for her, which she knows, which is why she stares out the window and breathes, “I’m counting on it.”

In A’s murdermobile, SpencAr does some hacking while wearing the gloves and the hoodie and listening to Satan on the radio and the whole A deal. Mona comes home and kicks off her combat boots, makes a pot of coffee, shares a mug with her companion. SpencAr pulls up a topographic map of the the place where her asylum graduation party is being held: Thornhill Lodge, which is conveniently situated near Thornhill landing strip, for any parents who are flying to or from Out of Town immediately before or after the celebration. Mona says “they” like SpencAr’s plan, and that she will receive her reward on Friday.

At school, the Liars look past a babysitting job flyer and into the cafeteria where Mona is enjoying some delicious snacks and conversation with the Academic Decathlon team. Spencer goes, “So, speaking of babysitting, was Malcolm ever able to identify the perp that stole him from ninja school and lavished him with delicious treats at the carnival? It must have been a gentle soul to have kidnapped him in such a way. A gentle soul with brass balls. I’d say the person in question wanted to get caught, showing her face in the daylight like that.” Aria says they can’t use Malcom as A-bait (BORING!) but after she walks away, Hanna says that yes, actually, they can (YAY!).

Let me tell you something about the state of Pennsylvania: They are crazy about the sport of swimming. Just absolutely crazy. Take for an example the presence of Shana Costumeshop at Rosewood High before homeroom. She is there in her Red Devil’s swim team warm-up because there’s a big meet this afternoon and her coach didn’t want to give the Sharks a home pool advantage. Shana up-downs Spencer with her eyeballs and then practically has to steady herself against some lockers, because: “Forgive me for staring, but I have a thing for unhinged women. I thought I’d hit the jackpot with Paige McCullers over the summer, but then I found this other girl who even made eating cherries looks insane, but now, Spencer Hastings, you are standing here in front of me with crackpot madness radiating off you in waves. I can practically smell the institution on you. I am going to say the word ‘wet’ about 20 times, OK?” The Liars bid Shana adieu and Hanna starts whining immediately about how Shana never flirts with her, even though it is a proven fact that lesbians want to give her their pinkdrinks.

Ezra is at school for like his tenth interview in the substitute teacher hiring process. He and Aria walk down the hallway, side-by-side, pretending to check their phones and whatever while talking out of the sides of their mouths about how he didn’t get the job.

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