'Pretty Little Liars' Ep. 3.19 Recap: Spencer Invents Strip History Trivia
Last week, three fourths of the Liars got a big surprise when Spencer barged into Ali’s memorial service – how many memorial services have there been for Ali anyway? – to let Jason know that his baby sister was preggers when she was murdered. Understandably, at the start of Tuesday night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars, the three currently sane girls discuss Spencer’s meltdown. Considering they haven’t seen her at school, they finally find Spencer arguing with Andrew of the academic decathlon team (aka nerdy Clark Kent). The team, now captained by Mona, apparently voted and decided that Spencer is a little too distracted (read: crazy) to go to their upcoming competition. Convinced that Mona is behind the move, Spencer implores her, “Is there anything else you want to take away from me?”
Attempting to be the voice of reason, Emily goes to talk to Spencer, whom I have just noticed is dressed like someone who owns a lot of cats. Spencer is on the verge of tears and pleads with Emily to leave it alone. As Spence walks away she sees (quite literally) that A has inscribed a message on the inside of her sunglasses: “You rat out T, I take down 1 of your 3 – A”.
Considering we’ve seen far too little of Paige lately, Hanna and Caleb seem to be the most steady couple out of the Liars gang. Hanna, convinced that “Uncle” Jamie is actually Caleb’s father, finds Jamie at his job at the stables. There’s a lot that happens here, but to sum up: he is Caleb’s father; they meet; Hanna makes a crass joke about pee; everyone’s cool… for now.
Meanwhile, Aria receives a phone call from Ezra’s mother. Responding as a teenager would to a call from her boyfriend’s mother, Aria says, “Oh my god, why is she calling me, we’re not friends!” Mrs. Fitz(gerald) asks Aria if she’s heard from Wes, aka Mini Fitz. Even though the two have crossed paths occasionally at Ezra’s apartment (again, totally not weird), Aria covers for Ezra’s little bro.
Clearly the one trying to put out fires in this episode, Emily asks CeCe if she knew whether or not Ali was with Detective Wilden (this guy) in Cape May. CeCe is in a hurry, but says she has never met Wilden and has no idea if he could be the mysterious beach hottie.
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Aca-deca Andrew shows up at the Hastings house to check on Spencer. Convinced the team will suffer without her, Spencer suggests a game of strip historical trivia. Whatever gets ya goin, I guess. Is this still ABC Family? Andrew tells Spencer she’s lost it, and I concur. However, Andrew is a high school boy and agrees to the game. Ok, let’s face it. We would too if Troian Bellisario offered. When Spencer has Andrew down to his skivvies, a knock on the door interrupts them. Rushing to get dressed, Andrew shouts out, “Holy crap, its Emily Fields!” To which Spencer responds, “Relax, you’re not her type.” I knew the Hastings wit was in there somewhere. Clearly not expecting to find a half naked guy in Spencer’s house, Emily is flustered, but then proceeds to give Spencer the wakeup call / tongue-lashing (the other kind) she probably needed. Emily reminds Spencer that she knows a thing or two about loss, but Spencer is unmoved and feels too far gone, saying, “This is the new me.”
Wes and Aria are hanging out at Ezra’s place per usual, where Aria finds out that his mom knew Wes had been crashing at his older brother’s, but when she called, wanted to see if she could get Aria to lie about. Sneaky, sneaky! CeCe rings Aria looking for a photographer to shoot some stills in her store, and Aria and her new assistant, Wes, take on the job.
Again, the only one attempting to solve the A mess this episode, Emily tries to convince Jason that Ali wasn’t pregnant when she died, but he stops her before she even begins. He says he’s tried to contact Wilden already to see if he really is the baby daddy/beach hottie. Jason remembers a picture of Ali on a collage she gave her father, which is still in her father’s office. In the photo, she is on a boat. Could that boat have belonged to Wilden?
Always popping up at awkward times, Wren comes by the Hastings house to check on Spencer, but is greeted by Melissa at the door instead. Melissa is ice cold to her former beau, and finally Spencer is in a room where she is not the one making everyone uncomfortable. Although, to be fair, she is the reason their engagement fell through...
Alone, Wren explains that Mona asked him to check on Spencer. Spencer seems relatively unfazed by this and suggests they catch a dinner and a movie, or maybe the film festival at Bucknell. Since Spencer isn’t usually a seat of her pants kinda gal, I’m wondering what she’s up to.
The new crime fighting duo DiLaurentis and Fields (also a great legal team name) head to the DiLaurentis house to get the key to Jason’s dad’s office, but find the outside of his home with a little extra decoration. The A we saw buying whiskey at the end of last week’s episode left enough bottles it outside Jason’s house to last Hollis’ rush week. Not cool, A. Jason, the recovering alcoholic, proceeds to pour out each individual bottle, and just in case there was any doubt in Emily’s mind, A sends her a nice text about who was behind the cruel joke. Later, Jason tells Emily that it’s just the sort of thing Alison herself would do, while Emily insists it must be Mona still behind these A-happenings.
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Aria and Wes are setting up at CeCe’s shop, where she is busy drinking wine out of paper cups and having girl talk with Aria. Next, the Ali look-alike goes to get some dinner, leaving the two would-be lovebirds alone. Aria and her beau’s bro tap into the wine themselves, but Wes accidentally knocks it over onto CeCe’s white carpet. He goes to get a towel and because he’s a boy who’s apparently never seen a stain bleed before, asks Aria, “Whoa, how’d it get bigger?” Oh well, nothing a little furniture rearrangement won’t cover up.
Inside the office, Jason tells Emily that the collage is in “one of these boxes,” pointing to a room filled with boxes. Thankfully, they guess correctly early and find Ali’s collage. Not only is there a photo of Ali with Wilden, but CeCe, who earlier said she didn’t know Wilden, is in the photo as well, looking very chummy with both of them. Jason recounts a memory from the night of Ali’s murder, one that his aforementioned taste for booze has made a little fuzzy. He recounts mistaking CeCe for Ali, as she had a conversation with Melissa outside of the DiLaurentis house. Still, he can’t be sure he got all the facts right, since after seeing them, he immediately (and drunkenly) passed out in a lawn chair.
Spencer is going through some revamped version of the seven stages of grief, one that has her weirdly chipper as she leads her driver, Wren, to some restaurant hours away from Rosewood. But just when we think fun Spencer is out to party, nerd Spencer kicks in. Turns out, she’s taken him to their Academic Decathlon competition, where Spencer wastes no time walking straight up to Mona and threatening to upload her psychological case study to the internet. Mona, not exactly of stable mind herself, calls Spencer “cray-cray” and then questions whether or not this Ms. Hyde version of Spencer has friends anymore. Mona goes too far, and Spencer leaps over the table like LiLo in Mean Girls, attacking and choking Mona. Wren, Andrew, and others pull her away, but not before they get in a pretty decent girl fight!
Now that Caleb and daddy are on their way to mending fences, Hanna suggests that her mom ask Pastor Ted if he needs a contractor for the church. So Pastor Ted is still a thing? Good to know. The church, while candlelit, is overly dark, thanks to Rosewood’s lack of nighttime power. As Caleb and Hanna do their best to desecrate one of the pews, Mrs. Marin interrupts them to say that Jamie got the job, and they’re headed back to the Marin’s for pizza and beer (for the grownups). Just before leaving the church, Hanna makes a donation in the church box – a five-dollar bill with two distinct dice emblems penned on it.
CeCe is still out to get dinner when she phones the famished Aria and Wes to tell them her car got towed and she won’t be coming back to the shop. Curiously, she made this phone call from her car, which is decidedly not towed. Since Wes’ mom is on his case and he can’t stay at Ezra’s anymore, Aria offers him a night on the Montgomery couch. Back at her house, little Fitz recites poetry just as eloquently as his big brother, impressing Aria. He kisses her, and after lingering just a little too long, she stops the kiss.
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On their way out of Jason’s dad’s office, Emily and Jason find themselves in a faulty elevator, a concept that has terrified me ever since the first time I saw the earthquake/Mrs. Belding labor episode of Saved by the Bell. The elevator gets stuck, but Jason and Emily manage to pry the doors open, revealing a manageable, albeit daunting, gap in between the elevator and floor for them to squeeze through. Jason props the doors open while Emily slides through safely (phew! Good thing Em was sporting sensible boots), but when she turns to help him, the elevator drops. Bye, bye Jason??
Back at the Marin house, the pizza delivery guy has arrived. You guys got delivery when you were all just out at the church? Lazy! No matter, Jamie offers to pay for the ‘za, and Hanna sees he is using the same dice-decorated fiver she put in the church offering. Maybe Jamie isn’t turning into father of the year after all. Hanna is distracted, however, by an S.O.S. text from Emily.
Jason survived the elevator drop, but looks to be in rough shape, and is wearing a neck brace. He tells Emily that he thinks someone is out to get him and the photo of Wilden, Ali and CeCe (the Aryan triad) has been stolen. Hanna and Aria meet Emily outside Jason’s room, and are somewhat surprised to see Spencer has responded to the S.O.S. text as well. After Spence and Emily exchange “I’m sorry,” things seem to be on the way back to normal. That is, of course, until a nurse rushes in demanding to know where Jason is. Um, isn’t it the hospital’s job to keep track of patients? Sure enough, the supposedly beat up Jason has escaped, and left his neck brace behind.
In the final moments, we see two A figures together playing a twisted game of spin the bottle. Four bottles of the Jason whiskey sit in a circle, each having a picture of one of the Liars taped to it. The two As spin a fifth bottle, and after it stops, one deliberately points the empty bottle to Spencer. Opening up her bottle and pouring a glass, they toast each other, but to what? To Spencer’s misery? Her breakdown? Or something more to come? Find out next week 8/7c on ABC Family.