Pretty Little Liars Recap for 3.22 - Will the Circle Be Unbroken
1) Mona is applying gloss to her demon lips that clearly became full and luscious when she accumulated so many secrets. Spencer’s hair gets bigger, Mona’s lips get fuller. She’s watching the liars in her compact mirror, but the liars take no notice because they’re missing their Spencer. After deciding to go to her house after school, Rosewood’s principal and Melissa Hastings approach. First and most importantly, ROSEWOOD STILL HAS A PRINCIPAL!?! AND IT’S NOT CHRISTOPHER WALKEN! Seriously though, why is Christopher Walken not the principal? He is the only person who could put up with Rosewood shenanigans adequately. Walken, you need to fire your agent for not coming up with this. Secondly, Melissa hasn’t seen Spencer either. Mona watches with a satisfied smile as the liars give provide no information for devil-spawn Hastings and the principal diminishes Spencer’s psychological anguish by calling her “distracted.”
And I am freaking out right now because nobody knows that poor Spencer is in Radley, and she really needs a best friend and a hug. Stop breaking my Spencer. It hurts.
2) Spencer is playing cards and in walks a nurse(?) named Eddie. I’m just going to say upfront that I like this guy, which means he’s probably going to die soon. Spencer is still labeled a Jane Doe, and Eddie tells her that her status as 302 means the paramedics were able to ask for a psych evaluation instead of taking her to jail. Just out of curiosity, what did Spencer do to warrant going to jail? Ignoring that detail for now (because I will dwell on it for hours if you let me), Eddie tells her that the county psych ward was full, so she was sent to Radley, which is apparently Vegas compared to county. I’m fairly certain every casino in Vegas has a better security system than Radley. Before leaving, he tells Spencer she’s supposed to have amnesia and offers to get her some extra tapioca pudding. I like this man because he understands that Spencer is worth all the extra pudding.
3) The liars decide that waiting for the police to find Spencer is a really stupid idea, probably because all of the cops in Rosewood have threatened to murder them at some point. They’re going to look for her themselves.
But they probably aren’t going to check Radley Sanitarium where Spencer is still playing cards in her room. This is Paige’s only scene in tonight’s episode, and by that I mean Spencer stops to stare at a Joker card that has a King riding a bicycle on it. This King is clearly symbolic of our favorite coconut cupcake-loving caped crusader cyclist. Paige rides a bike. Paige is Batman; therefore, she defeated the Joker and kicked his image off of his own playing card. And, just for the Harry Potter reference, McCullers is our King. My logic is flawless, and you know that’s what this card is supposed to be.
4) Mama Marin is still checking the newspaper and dwelling on Detective Dickwad’s disappearance. Hanna rolls her eyes and tells her that cops or phantom police cars would’ve been at their door or in their garage long before it would show up in the paper. Everything will be ok if they act like it is. Most parents would probably get really concerned if their teenage daughter gave them advice like this, but these are the Marins. They bond over missing bodies and carrot sticks.
5) Spencer is not at the bookstore, or at least that’s what Aria texts while lounging on Ezra’s couch. I knew Ezra was getting desperate for some money, but it would’ve been really nice if we had been told his apartment was now doubling as Spencer’s favorite book store. Too much of Aria’s day has been taken up with worrying about her missing friend, so we go back to worrying about Ezra’s problems. He can’t charm his way through math, but he can solve his problems with coffee. Apparently, Radley doesn’t have coffee or Spencer would’ve broken out by now…And I just made myself really sad by typing that. Eddie, forget the extra pudding. Sneak her in some coffee. It will activate her Hastings powers. Anyway, Fitz is thinking about teaching again, and somewhere in the distance, Byron Montgomery is howling and scratching his body like he has fleas.
6) Spencer is playing the piano and in walks Dr. Sullivan because we all know there are only two mental health professionals in all of Rosewood. One actively tried to make out with Spencer while she was having a mental breakdown and the other was directly involved in one of A’s scenarios of horror. This is promising.
7) Ashley and Hanna meet Pastor Ted outside the church for coffee. Ted’s gushing over how wonderful Caleb’s dad is when in swoops Detective Dickwad back from the dead. He says he’s been off for a few days fishing. Unless A kept him knocked out, we now know that the body in the woods wasn’t Wilden’s. My money is now on Jason because Keegan Allen is still having friendly lunches with Marlene King. Friends don’t kill off friends on their TV shows. They just don’t. Wilden walks away with bodily motions that would make anyone think that he hadn’t just been hit by a car and possibly kidnapped. The camera pans to the quote, “Commit a crime and the world is made of glass.” Someone get Emily Fields some protective head gear. She doesn’t need anymore of that stuff in her hair.
8) Dr. Sullivan is explaining to Spencer how she was found in the woods. It turns out Spencer didn’t tell anyone who she was because she just didn’t want to be Spencer Hastings for awhile. Toby’s dead because of her, and she didn’t want to be the person responsible for awhile. Dr. Sullivan gets up to phone Spencer’s family and the police. The doctor tells her to stay put. Staring blankly at a pile of puzzle pieces, Spencer says defeatedly, “Where have I got to go?”
Along with Spencer’s mind, my heart completely cracked in this scene. Spencer has been pushing everyone away for weeks to keep them safe and to isolate the pain to keep it from spreading. The minute she let her friends in, A threw it back in her face. Trying to be Jane Doe for a few hours didn’t work. She still had to be with her pain, and being identified by Dr. Sullivan forced that pain to spread. She is now acutely aware of how alone she is and how much blame she’s placing on herself. She is alone with so many pieces of puzzle that she can’t fit together, and she can’t escape it. TROIAN. EMMY NOMINATION. NOW.
9) Aria decides that it would be a good idea to ask her dad to check out jobs for Ezra because he could really use the money. Byron gives the most infuriating sigh. I seriously wanted to slap him. It was one of those, “I can’t believe you’re asking this of me” sighs. Maybe if you hadn’t gotten Ezra fired in the first place, your daughter wouldn’t have to ask you for this. Byron, why couldn’t it have been your body in the woods?
10) Melissa is freaking out about Spencer’s 72 hour evaluation, while Spencer is rather flippant about the whole thing. Melissa somehow manages to make this whole thing about herself, so, when Spencer apologizes for a sarcastic comment, I really want to scream. She throws out the word “cruel” to describe her interpretation of Spencer’s behavior prior to being in Radley, and I really want Batman to show up and take her down. Really, Melissa? You thought your sister who was so depressed she couldn’t get herself out of bed to go to school was being cruel? That word does not mean what I think you think it means.
11) When Emily was giving Aria and Hanna the breakdown of what Melissa told her and Aria asks if Spencer was wandering around the woods looking for Toby, I may or may not have burst out laughing. The way she said it implied that Toby just hangs out in the woods all the time. He spends his days chopping trees and making rocking chains, so it would be natural for Spencer to just run around all night looking for him there. A interrupts their chat by texting Hanna a lovely screencap of the police tape. I don’t understand how there’s so much Ezria in this episode when we have a zombie detective on the loose, a police car at the bottom of a lake, and dead body that may or may not belong to Toby out there somewhere.
12) Eddie is giving Spencer some antibiotics when she notices his Radley badge bearing the name E. Lamb. I have no idea what’s going, but now I’m really concerned about the security at this place. Did they think this guy got a body transplant when Toby would walk in with that badge on?
13) Seriously, what is up with the adults on this show? Mama Marin wants to give up a promotion that would relocate her and Hanna to New York and get them out of this Wilden debacle. Dr. Sullivan basically violates the therapist-patient confidentiality agreement and tells Emily what’s going on with Spencer. And Byron legitimately suggests helping Ezra and his family so that it puts him in a position to potentially break up with Aria. Then he has the nerve to ask Ezra about his son later on. Byron, you have your own children to terrorize. Leave Ezra’s alone.
14) “I want to see my friends. Please. When can I see my friends…Just tell them that I miss them.”
Remember when I said my heart cracked earlier? Well, the writers just took the remains and have smashed them into dust with a cartoonishly large mallet. With the new E. Lamb development, she’s even more isolated with her A puzzle pieces. Spencer needs her girls because they get through everything together, and she doesn’t even have that option. The only people who could truly understand what’s going on can’t save her. She can’t save herself. She’s scared, and she’s panicking. TROIAN. ALL THE AWARDS. ALL OF THEM. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.
15) There’s a really random scene where Shana introduces Emily to the Olympic gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin. Firstly, can we just appreciate how Shay delivered, “Hello. Yes. I swim”? It was adorable. I actually had to pause the scene so I could make repetitive comments on how precious Emily Fields is. Secondly, why is Paige not here? If Emily is this star-struck, could you imagine Paige’s face? Shana, I thought you wanted to be in Batman’s pants? Why is she not there? There’s never enough Lindsey Shaw on this show. Lastly, EMILY, ARIA CALLED. SHE WANTS HER PANTS BACK. Aria’s Shiny Pants Syndrome is spreading. We need a cure. Now. I can’t handle this.
16) Spencer is asking E. Lamb about the name badges, and this scene just proves that she’s going to have her Hastings face on through all of this. I know she is. I don’t care what the last scene says. This also fuels my theory that she could have purposely landed herself in Radley to look for clues. In which case, Troian Bellisario would have given a performance that made the audience believe she’s having a psychological breakdown when she was only pretending to have one to continue on her path to A annihilation. Top. Notch. Acting. But it’s top notch no matter how this plays out. You can get through this Spencer. You may not be able to get yourself out, but you can pull through.
She bites the bullet and tells Eddie about Toby using his badge. He tells her that the badges weren’t the only problem. They traced issues with visitor passes back to someone on the staff. In other words, Wren is probably on the murder team too. Before leaving, Eddie announces, “You’re sleeping in Mona Vanderwaal’s room. You may actually want to check for monsters under your bed. Also, eat your pudding.” I’m starting to think this pudding might have human growth hormone in it.
Spencer notices a carving in the desk asking, “Will the circle be unbroken?” and it sends us into a fuzzy-cornered Ali flashback. Somehow Ali has managed to sit down in a church without bursting into flames. The pastor is clearly on the A team because holy water is supposed to burn demons, not enable them to make fun of precious nerdy Mona. Ali drops a lot of prophetic talk, and I am all sorts of confused. What the hell is Spencer supposed to continue to do when Ali’s gone? Was she supposed to be part of the A team? I know Mona offered, but is there more background to that offer?
Later, Eddie drops another information bomb on Spencer and discloses that Toby’s mother was once a patient at Radley. This guy is turning into that kid in Prisoner of Azkaban who drops those really great lines and then disappears.
17) I have no idea what Aria ate for breakfast, but I’m really appreciating her in this episode. She manages to talk to Hanna about Spencer and the Wilden debacle without mentioning Ezra at all. Then she verbally bitch slaps Mona with “If Spencer doesn’t get better and she doesn’t get out of Radley, then you’re going to wish you broke your neck when you fell off that cliff!” But Mona’s too quick for Aria’s newfound concern for non-Ezra things. She gets called to the principal’s office before the metaphorical sting has fully settled in Mona’s cheek. The principal who isn’t Christopher Walken asks her if she’s seeing Mr. Fitz “socially”. She says, “no.” And I say, “WHY!?!” Why are we complicating this storyline even more with just a few episodes left?
18) Mona shows up at Radley with poisonous cookies because the flowers in the funeral wreath didn’t shoot out the venomous darts like they were supposed to. This is how we know Mona is insane. If Spencer Hastings looked at any other person like that, they’d run away screaming. But Mona just pulls out Ali’s diaries and gives her a small bit of information just to be a tease. Spencer does her best to resist, but Mona is a relentless bitch. She lays down a Harry Potter references with, “You’re just as sane as I am,” and departs. I was really hoping Luna Lovegood was going to apparate, say, “Not my line, you bitch!”, slap her, and disapparate. But this could be a clue. Mona could be saying Red Coat is actually Luna. Or she could be saying Red Coat is blonde.
19) Emily sarcastically asks if Hanna packed enough for a three-day stay at casa de Fields, but Hanna totally doesn’t pick up on the sarcasm and responds with, “If I forgot something, I can always go back.” Hanna, I love you. Never change. This scene just gets better when Detective Dickwad pulls up and my favorite blonde character goes up to confront him after telling Emily, “Sometimes you poke the bear, and sometimes the bear pokes you…It’s from a movie.” All Dickwad wants is his car back. He should’ve extended his fishing trip then.
20) Spencer is in group therapy giving Dr. Sullivan some sarcastic answers. She apologizes for not being entertaining enough while there are people in the room with actual problems. “Like you,” the doctor says. And it hits Spencer that she does indeed have real problems. But her real problems aren’t shared by other people in the room. Those problems were shared with her friends, but she doesn’t even feel that connection anymore. She delivers this monologue:
"How do you keep going when the worst thing has happened? What do you have to change inside to survive? Who do you have to become? I’m sorry. I don’t expect you guys to understand. You don’t know me. I’m sorry, but that’s true. You don’t know who I am anymore. And you can’t count on me."
And the camera pans out to show the other liars sitting in front of her. Spencer is broken, and she’s finally convinced herself of what’s she’s been telling everyone for weeks - she’s changed.
I AM NOT OK RIGHT NOW. Troian, I’m sorry no one wants to acknowledge that you are throwing down Emmy-worthy performances week after week.
21) A has a mobile lair. This is an actual thing. If all of the Rosewood Police Department weren’t on the A team, I’d be really interested to see what would happen if they were ever pulled over for a traffic violation.