“Pretty Little Liars” Recap (2.21) – A Ravenclaw walks into a bar


I want to kick off this recap with an ardent plea aimed at the voracious shippers among us, just some simple on-my-knees begging for the Emayans and Paileyans to please not rip each other (or me) apart. Because, see, I know shipping is as fun as any sport, but it’s kind of the opposite of story. Narrative wants conflict, conflict, conflict. And shippers want unimpeded bliss. But let’s be honest: Does Emily Fields not deserve to have more than one girl fighting for her affections at all times? Answer: Yes. I mean, you’ve met Emily Fields, right? I just want everyone to be cool. We’re more than 40 episodes into this show and it’s been such a joy so far. Let’s not sully it with asshole-y shenanigans. Like who you like, ship who you ship, write enough fan fiction to fill an Ezbian-sized feelings journal. But please, please, please play nice. OK? ‘Cause I’ve still got GLASS IN MY HAIR from the last shipping war I had to live through.

Apparently Jason likes new sister Spencer better than he ever liked old sister Alison, because not only has he avoided clubbing her over the head with a hockey stick; he has also happily handed over two grand of Alison’s blood money without any real explanation from Spencer about why she needs it. Aria and Spencer explain to Hanna and Emily that they’ll be doing the Vivian Darkbloom dollar exchange alone because they don’t want to scare off their informant. Emily is offended at first, but soon realizes they’re right: Spencer and Aria and whatever evil combination of clothes Aria will be wearing will most certainly look like a terror cocktail to the untrained eye. Even weathered soldiers have been known to run screaming at the sight of some of Aria’s pants.

Mona wanders by, all, “Heyyy, Liars!” And they respond with unacceptable apathy. Mona pulls Hanna aside to make plans for an afternoon of shoplifting, but Hanna’s like, “Aw, man. Between the trips to the police station to account for the gardening utensils in my possession and learning the ways of the cyberhacker and celebrating 1105! every time my mom leaves the house, I totally forgot about our plans of petty thievery.” Mona’s feelings are hurt, but she plays it off like a champ. And then she gets a text from “A”(!) talking about, “Hope your mom likes police boners too!”

Such a boner wanders in off the street and into the Marin’s kitchen. Ashley hears someone at the back door and is all, “Look, this isn’t a soup kitchen. We housed one hobo for a — oh, it’s you.” Detective Snape is like, “Of course it’s me. Afternoon delight, or …?” Ashley kicks him out and then calmly asks Hanna for the one billionth time if she’s come clean about all the things that could send her to prison for the rest of her life. Hanna’s like, “Except for the part where I ran over a ninja with my car, drowned Caleb’s boyfriend in the River Hastings, slapped a blind girl in the face, ruined Dad’s wedding to keep my therapist from being buried alive, and made it to the eleventh grade without knowing the word ‘spigot’ — yeah, I’ve told you everything.”

It is a day of coming clean! Melissa is back from the pits of hell, sipping blood from a thermos and knitting a horn-shaped bonnet for that satan in her belly. She’s also acting oh so very shocked to learn that that former makeout buddy Jason DiLaurentis is also her half-brother. Actually, she mostly seems shocked that Spencer knows. She’s like, “No one else knows, right? If anyone else knows, please just write their names and addresses on this piece of paper while I go downstairs and retrieve my nunchucks from the coat closet.” Spencer thinks how it seems like just yesterday when Melissa’s husband was trying to push her off the bell tower and Jason was trying to bash Ali’s brains in, and now look at them, the most loving older siblings since Jane Bennet and Jo March. Spencer gives herself a hug and imagines the three of them in matching feety pajamas come Christmas morning.

Maya is not returning Emily’s calls, which Emily takes as a clear indication that she should keep calling. She’s leaving a message: “I had Caleb remotely reverse engineer your phone last time you were at Jesus Camp, don’t think I won’t have him —” But: BEEEEEP! Standing watch over lonesome Emily’s lonesomeness is Paige McCullers, one zillion smiles and zero bangs. A winning formula. OK, and Paige’s mouth goes, “I’m interested in you joining me this afternoon in the capacity of two teammates doing official swim team business.” But her voice goes all gentle and flirty about, “Please don’t say no to me because what girl in the world could say no to you.” Emily’s eyebrow is intrigued.

Mona preens around Hanna’s bedroom, a flock of bluebirds dressing and undressing her in an array of stolen party frocks. Because she is a princess; yes, that is what I am saying. (I am correct. Don’t argue.) “A” busts up the party with a text and Mona just rolls her eyes about how lame it is to get get extorted. The Liars have been dealing with this for how long now? Months? Years? Mona’s done with it in an afternoon. Instead of hiding in the bathroom and crying, she’s like, “At least Gossip Girl keeps it real with thematic bon mots. This omniscient stalker is so borrrrring.” Hanna gets super nervous super fast, and rightly so: “A” sent Mona a photo of her mom letting Detective Snape slither in. Hanna’s like, “Are you really OK, Mona?” And Mona is all, “You remember the apocalyptic wasteland we lived in when Alison was alive, right? Relative to that, I’d be OK getting eaten alive by literal wolves.”

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