*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
If no stone was left unturned, it is because Hanna frightened them all into action. No, I don’t mean the Liars. Hanna quite literally put the fear of God into the stones and they turned themselves over. I’m scared but I don’t blame her; Emily is too love-stricken to be of much use, Aria is just Aria and Spencer’s rationality goes out the window when they think they’ve found a lead.
Trying to convince Emily of Leslie’s guilt, and aggressively I might add, Spencer appealed to A’s preferential treatment of Mona in the dollhouse. “Let’s not forget that Mona got a gas mask, and she was passing out juice boxes while the rest of us were making sure we still had kidneys”. Let’s also not forget this little gem; “There was something that was really familiar, like when you meet a penpal or a cousin, or somebody that you knew when you were really little”. I don’t have the stamina to A-train hop with you anymore Spence, so the next time you decide to jump on board, please base it on stronger evidence. And by stronger evidence, I don’t mean “People can surprise you”. If sobriety is going to make you suggest cliché theories, then please, I beg of you, get some pot brownies and stop testing my patience.
Speaking of surprises, Kenneth received one in the form of a card. What it said or who it was from we do not know, but it cranked up his crazy a few dials. He questioned Emily as to sender but came away no more knowledgeable. Some think it could be the very same card Mona left for Ali last episode. I, on the other hand, blame Sara for everything, so I think she left the card. I can tolerate her character inasmuch as she has a role in the A storyline, but I refuse to condone a romantic relationship between her and Emily. It is worth mentioning that for a show that does suspense and mystery so well, it sure is forcefully shoving the impending romance in our faces. Did we really need a scene dedicated to Emily awkwardly rubbing ointment on Sara’s tattoo? Could we not have cut straight to her first day working for Caleb? Not that that was any better. Sara asked Caleb what he knew about Alison and if he thought she knew who imprisoned the girls, to which he replied “If she does, that persons not long for this world”. Get off her back Caleb, she is trying to change. And stop bonding with the enemy!
As for you Spencer, stop sending guys mixed signals. You can either be a Spoby or a Spean but not both. I do love Spoby but Dean came bearing books and brownies in this episode. Books and brownies! The guy is speaking directly to my heart. She confided in Dean about her apprehension at being Rosewood High’s “poster girl for trauma”, telling him “I’m not ready to talk about it as if it’s over when it’s not over”. His advice was to just say no; “I think walking across that stage and accepting a diploma is a pretty impressive accomplishment”. Truth be told, keeping her lips to herself during that conversation was a pretty impressive accomplishment for Spence.
Even Hanna has set the ‘Spencer fidelity’ bar quite low. Her reaction to ‘drug free Dean’s’ gift giving was “Wow, Toby better hurry back to Rosewood”. Jokes aside, he really better hurry back. With Spencer delayed by Dean’s impromptu visit, Hanna took the plan of action into her own hands and adopted the role of ditzy blonde to steal Leslie’s car keys. Oops, I mean borrow. Spencer said steal and was told “don’t get all preachy with me puff and stuff” (love it). They searched the car and found a box of Leslie’s non-prescription glasses (that’s right, the faker), a key-card to her office and four extra-large animal cages. Spencer’s reaction to the cages was “They’re not for gerbils Hanna. There are four of them and each one is big enough for us”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure gerbils aren’t the only animal you can put in a cage. Seriously Hastings, get your head in the game – we don’t have time for drama-queens.
Meanwhile, Aria and Emily were hunting for clues at the junkyard. Well, that was the intention. Upon hearing of her friend Nicole’s arrival, Emily left – Nicole being someone she worked with in Haiti. In one of Ezra’s lesser moments (I didn’t know he had them either), he disclosed the last few months of Emily’s life with only a name from the stranger to prompt him. Again, a Sara free future flashed before my eyes when Nicole invited Emily on an eight week project in Thailand; and again, Emily ruined it in a particularly tortuous fashion. She said no because she couldn’t leave Sara, then she said yes if she could bring Sara with her, then Sara’s instability rained on everyone’s parade and she said no again. What’s more, Sara was ‘followed’ on the way home by a dark car. She was injured in the pursuit and identified the car as Leslie’s when Emily showed her a picture. How very convenient.
Aria didn’t find any clues, but she did find a very clingy Clark and an Aria doll with a knife in her eye from A. In another lesser moment, Ezra saw the doll and accepted without question Aria’s assertion that she did it for her photography. Perhaps he was embarrassed by the unrequested letter of recommendation he wrote for her photo competition. Or maybe it was his admission that he has her self-portrait hanging above his desk. He is so cute when he is flustered.
While we’re on the subject of Rosewood’s couples, Spean is over before it even began. The straw that broke this camel’s back was not Spencer’s failure to attend the drugs anonymous meeting, but his feelings for her. “Every time you’re near me, I just want to grab you and kiss you. And the fact that you have a boyfriend isn’t the problem. The problem is I don’t care”. Why is it when I choose to lower my morals for one of Spencer’s sidepieces, she decides to control herself? As if that wasn’t bad enough, Sara, of all people, talked her into giving the valedictorian speech. What the hell is going on with my favourite characters?
Now for Haleb or is it Hanna and Caleb? I don’t know! I think the best way to sum up their relationship status is this: Caleb wants to cut Hanna’s meat but Hanna can and wants to cut her own meat. Ashley caught him flicking through a ‘When Love Goes Toxic’ book at the brew and gave him a motherly talk. Mama Marin assured him that Hanna is still in there and insinuated with an anecdote that she is just craving normality. What he took away from the conversation is that they should rekindle the physical part of their relationship.
Back to A/Leslie/Who knows. In the hope of finding proof of Leslie’s guilt, Spencer got Caleb to replicate her key card so that she, Hanna and Aria could break into her place of work. They found no incriminating evidence, but they did find the tracking devices in their necks. A scanning wand in the proximity beeped at the movement of their heads, causing Spencer to realise that “Bitch chipped us”. To make matters worse, Hanna went rogue at the sight of the caged animals and released a racoon and some rats. Her justification was “She doesn’t get to keep anyone in cages anymore”. Very noble of you Han, but I think drugged animals are best left locked up.
Mona, the only capable criminal of the group, arrived at this point to save the girls from themselves. They proceeded to engage in a game of back and forth, which Mona won with ease. The girls accused Leslie of being friends with Bethany, to which Mona replied “Where did it say in Leslie’s file that she was friends with Bethany Young? She hated that girl”. They accused Leslie of pretending to be Charles. Mona retorted that she was pretending to be stable. They referenced Leslie’s and Charles’s shared time at Radley. Mona said that Leslie had only heard his name once, “The night Bethany snuck out of Radley and never came back. Charles snuck out that night too”. At her confidence that he is still alive, they showed her his donation form. She took one glance at it and said “This donation form is a sham. Look at the medications Charles was taking. Nobody would want his liver. He’s not an eligible donor”. Finally, they told her they caught A in a photo, and she informed them that if they did, it’s because A wanted them to catch him. SILENCED.
Due to her babysitting commitments, Emily was absent from the search party; but Hanna filled her in on the revelations of the night. Spencer attended a drugs anonymous meeting, though Dean was nowhere to be seen. Aria went to see Ezra but Ezra was with Nicole, so she just gazed longingly through the window instead. Sara kissed Emily (that was just as hard to type as it was to watch), and papa DiLaurentis was busy digging up Charles’s grave, with the card thrown on the ground beside him. It read, ‘Dear daddy, coming home for my birthday. You should plan a party to die for. Just you. Love Charles’. Ohhh, drama is a-coming! Yay!