This is the last episode of the third season of Pretty Little Liars, the season that sent the show from popular fad to mini–cultural phenomenon. During this season, real-life Aria graced the cover of Cosmopolitan, real-life Hanna starred in the future cult classic Spring Breakers, and The Atlantic wrote a piece about how the show "reinvented the slasher." Great strides for something that once wasn't even the most popular show on ABC Family.
But this episode also represents the end of something else. These recaps.
Previous episode recap, in less than 140 characters:
spencer is possessed by demons, demons are scary, so is spencer. —Rembert Browne (@rembert) February 20, 2013
We first see our Liars huddled around a table, discussing 'A,' CeCe, the girl in the red coat, and whether they're all the same person. Spencer's technically back in the loop, but is still off in her own world, mentally, and gets called out by her girls for not paying attention.
spencer is cray, spencer is cray, spencer is cray, spencer is cray, spencer is cray, spencer is cray, spencer is cray, spencer is cray, lies — Rembert Browne (@rembert) February 13, 2013
We begin with the Spencer-less Liars (soon to be known as just the Liars, potentially), in the hallway trying to figure out where their fallen soldier is. As they weave their way through school, they overhear an argument between Spencer and her once-trusty Academic Decathlon friend. Sounds like Spencer skipping a practice has cost her a spot on the team. Spencer, hair frizzy and ever losing it, loses it.
It is no surprise the one episode I forced myself to skip a recap for, due to being in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, found a way to be not only the most exciting episode of the season, but also the one in which we finally see EVIL TOBY IN A NOT-SO-EVIL DU-RAG:
cow brains, cow brains, cow brains, cow brains, cow brains, cow brains, cow brains, cow brains, cow brains, hot tub makeouts and GRANDMAAAAA — Rembert Browne (@rembert) January 16, 2013
We begin with Aria at home, watching an old black-and-white film on a television perched uncomfortably high up on the wall. Then Lena's favorite, LORD BYRON, rolls in trying to play it cool. Aria's still mad, because her dad accused her of blowing up his girlfriend. (Literally, not like "blowing up her spot." Like, explosives. Pyrotechnics. Fireballs.) Anyway, he comes in to apologize, because he claims the school found out who did it. She's not really having it, so he walks away creepily, as she creepily watches him walk away, creepily.
On October 24, I began the Adam Lambert–filled Halloween crazy death train episode by saying, "it's been almost two months since we last saw the liars, a break that I'll be the first to say has not been enjoyable." Well, here we are again, two and a half months later, and finally we have another episode. Thankfully, this one — a great one — is followed by 10 more episodes over the span of 10 weeks, so we've officially pushed through the rudest part of the PLL calendar. Congrats to all, even to those who have developed irreversible coping habits in the process.
A word of warning: We're getting to the point in this show where it's beginning to get increasingly difficult for someone to just jump in and follow along.
It's been almost two months since we last saw the Liars, a break that I'll be the first to say has not been enjoyable. My life has taken a turn for football and book reading (both important, but different), while m'gurls have been a little too busy on non PLL-related things for my liking. Lucy Hale (Aria) was on the September issue of Cosmopolitan talking about lady things, Ashley Benson (Hanna) is apparently dating a guy named James Franco, and every other girl on the show probably is sitting at home, hating the fact that Ashley Benson gets to date a guy named James Franco.
Thankfully, instead of making us wait until the official second half of the season (January 8), the show decided to throw us a bone by putting on a Halloween episode. The only three things I knew going into this episode:
HANNA STABBED HERSELF, HANNA STABBED HERSELF, HANNA STABBED HERSELF, HANNA STABBED HERSELF, HANNA STABBED HERSELF, HANNA STABBED HERSELF lol — Rembert Browne (@rembert) August 22, 2012
We open with Hanna at home with Spencer, trying to find something fashionable to wear — you know, to cover up her self-inflicted stab wound. She picks a long dress that happens to be her costume from Mamma Mia! While this is happening, Spencer throws out a classic line about the Brit, and refers to him as "Downton Grabby."
The episode starts with two of our liars, Aria and Spencer, discussing Maya's blog. Aria's freaking out because she saw a picture of Maya with the same sketchy wrist tattoo from The Night. Spencer's hearing her, but not having any of it. Why? She forgot to apply early-admission to Penn and got a B on a test, so her life is collapsing. Oh, and her boyfriend hates her. So she's got other stuff to deal with.
We pick up the episode just where the last one left off, with the Liars trying to break into Maya's blog. They still can't figure out the password, which is frustrating everyone. Finally Emily, who has been uneasy with this blog, steps up and types something.