When we last left the “Pretty Little Liars,” Emily was being people-under-the-stairs’d and her mom was maybe being framed for helping Ashley kill Det. Wilden. Get excited, it’s time for one of the most bizarre episodes ever.
For the last one-third of the episode, everything happening is juxtaposed with a good ol’ fashioned Rosewood hoedown, which means interspersed with all the usual craziness is line dancing, country songs and two-stepping.
In fact, there’s a solid two minutes devoted to Aria and Jake boot-scoot-boogie-ing, which just underscores the fact that she’s off in her own little world with her little boy problems while the grown-ups fight for their lives.
Did you notice that when Aria spouts off problems that rank on the “serious chart,” she names serious problems for both Emily and Hanna, but her problem is a knitting needle that both Spencer and Emily were there for as well? Aria doesn’t even have her own problem, now that Ella is safely tucked away in magic Vienna pastry school. #AriasucksbooAria.
Det. Tanner informs the Liars that a muddy Manolo was found at the Fields house that matches the prints at Wilden’s crime scene, but that’ll be a moot point by episode’s end. Spencer figures they need to put Cece on Tanner’s radar as a culpable suspect in Wilden’s death, so they venture into the crawlspace and suddenly THE FOOTSTEPS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. A and/or Red Coat is there trying to stab them through the peepholes with a knitting needle that is making such loud slashing sounds it might as well be a broadsword.
Also in the crawlspace, there’s a button, button, Emily’s got the button.
Cece makes her reappearance in Rosewood, first in her own little Alison-obsessed lair and then outside Ezra’s door, listening in as he tells Aria about Malcolm and Maggie. She is also conspicuously wearing a black coat, not a red one. Did she lose her red coat at the hoedown? We saw a red coat in her lair earlier.
Because, you see, Red Coat is at the hoedown, watching Emily. Em and Spencer give chase and this is where the episode has maybe the five most glorious minutes the show has ever done.
When Red Coat runs off down the road, instead of just chasing after her at top speed, Em and Spencer waste time talking to a Scooby-Doo villain about borrowing his hayride truck. When he says no, they try to steal the pickup truck that has a trailer of hay attached, wasting even more time that they could be chasing Red Coat.
THEN. Then Red Coat either doubles back or there is a second Red Coat, who hops into the trailer of hay and starts to crawl through it like some kind of hay-shark. So THEN Emily jumps out of the truck and like the total [expletive] bad-mofo that she is, starts blindly stabbing the hay with the business end of a hoe. “Bring Down the Hoe,” indeed.
It’s totally amazing. I need like a five-minute GIF of that entire thing.
In the end, Red Coat manages to exit the hay trailer sans coat and scamper off into the woods? Because Em and Spence only find said coat, but it’s missing a button. You know what they say — the button introduced in Act I has to go off in Act III.
There is also an Alison flashback, which is always welcome because Sasha Pieterse is one of the best things about this show, that reveals Alison liked to break-up with people for the person who needed to do it (sometimes even if they didn’t want her to). Emily posits that maybe Wilden was dating Cece and Alison broke up with him for her, so … maybe Wilden killed Ali? And then tried to get back together with Cece and Cece killed him?
It’s all a little tenuous, but hey — Pieterse, so we’ll allow it.
We’ve already mostly covered Aria’s silly boy problems. To recap — Ezra’s rocking the I-have-problems scruff and blurts out to Emily that Malcolm is being taken away from him, so Emily finally tells Aria so she’ll stop ignoring Ezra, who is desperately crying out for both someone to talk to and a chance to tell Aria that no more family means they can keep doin’ it.
Meanwhile, Jake presents Cinder-Aria with some white cowboy boots and it is unfortunately not some kind of Ronald McDonald Miller scam to force her to go out with him, but actually just a demonstration of his super power of knowing people’s shoe sizes. Frankly, we think we could buy shoes for Aria — “Do you have anything in a ‘wee’?” “Let me check in the back.”
We’ve also pretty much covered Emily’s awesomeness already, but it was nice that she and Paige danced together, before Paige frollicks off to the land of Stanford, filled with big blonde men who eat ivy and row boats.
Has the show decided to introduce Hanna’s new love interest before Caleb goes gallivanting off to Ravenswood? That’s what we’re guessing. But anyway, so Travis is a guy who was at the lake the night Wilden was shot. He saw Ashley Marin drive away before he heard the gunshots and then saw a girl running through the woods. Travis panicked, because his dad and Wilden have “bad blood” (?), so he ran off and left his truck there, then later his truck showed up at his house with an envelope full of cash inside.
Instead of going to the police, Travis kept quiet and decided to give the money to Hanna in a Diva Dish envelope to … help Ashley? OK. Of course, once Hanna wangles the truth out of him (which took, like, five seconds, after he stopped just weirdly following her around town), she gets him to go to the police and tell them what he saw.
No word as to what has become of the money, but we’d like to think a certain lasagna box is looking a little fuller tonight.
Spencer/Toby/Toby’s dead mom
A plants a CD of Marion Cavanaugh singing in Toby’s truck, then texts him a picture and address of Dr. Palmer’s old car. Spencer and Caleb both advise him to stay away, but he decides to try to jimmy it open — just as a cop car pulls up and Toby then must escape into the woods. Because of course. Silly Toby.
Also, he’s all butt-hurt that Spencer told the Liars about his mom and A, but c’mon — why wouldn’t you want the L-Team to help you? Sure, you’ve got the MVP on your side with Spencer, but the others aren’t totally worthless. Well, not Emily and Hanna, anyway.
Thoughts & Tidbits
- “What are we gonna do, invite her into the crawlspace?” — Heh. Yes, please, please invite Det. Tanner into the crawlspace.
- Love Alison’s sage advice for Emily in re: her love life and being gay — “You need to be careful at what you’re good at, hon. ‘Cause you’ll spend the rest of your life doing it.”
- Of course Spencer has the best flashlight. Of all the flashlights they collectively own, Spencer’s probably rank one, two and three.
- “Palmer’s not a reliable source,” says the girl who took orders from a bird for a while.
Seriously, was this not the most insane episode on several levels? The only thing missing was Mona getting her hoedown on. If Mona isn’t in next week’s finale, we’re going to be very upset. Speaking of which, can you believe there’s only one episode left?! Gah!