It's Spencer and Toby's anniversary, and Aria's down for the count with her mysterious flu (also, drugged to the eyeballs on Meredith's Klonopin prescription), so it's up to Hanna and Emily to keep up the sleuthin'. But with only two Liars to focus on, the A-Team manages to pull off some of their scariest and saddest bullshit yet. Any confusion about Mona's allegiances can be set aside: She is still A-Team, and very much a willing participant in Red Jacket's plans. And as for Toby? Oh, Toby.
Despite Hanna's orders to the contrary, Emily fails to catch Caleb in the act of planning an anti-A offensive with Paige McCullers. Hanna gets attacked by A at a job interview, which ends up with Spencer getting possession of one of the keys to the new A Lair. Once Toby sees this, he realizes the big plan to drive Hanna and Spencer crazy is happening right on time -- but Spencer's suspicions are confirmed when he breaks into her house to steal the key back. She ends the episode in a ball at his door, begging for answers now that his secret is out, and pretty much losing it completely. It is so sad.
What is not at all sad is Aria's amazing storyline this week, which involves being trapped in her house and drugged by Meredith in order to look for those diary pages that imply Byron killed Alison. Aria gets a visit from the ghost warning her about the plot, but before she can do anything about it, Meredith chases her around the house with a knife and eventually dumps her -- and then Emily and Hanna -- in the basement.
Byron's story is that he was planning on coming clean to Ella about his affair That Night, but got scared once Ali turned up missing; it's compelling enough that Aria burns the pages in grand Spencer style, warming up their homestead atmosphere a great deal. So I guess that's it for Meredith, which is sad but also satisfying because she went so very fucking crazy by the end.
As did everything, basically. What a fabulous episode. Sad and scary and funny and sad. I don't know that I've ever been this excited for the next episode of a show. I feel like Twitter right now.
Next Week: Spencer begins to transform, it seems, into something not unlike a Jenna Thing. Ezra breaks up with Aria, drawing Spence's ire. Hanna and Emily continue to work on solving both mysteries, while Paige and Caleb presumably continue confusing the issue with their own style of justice. I can't imagine that anything would be as exciting as this week's installment, but given the drastic nature of Spencer's downfall in this episode, and the ramping-up of the A-Team's work implied by tonight's multifaceted disaster, it just became a lot easier.
Paige is melting down and Emily is still in shock from the unending tragedies that befall her at all times. Hanna broke up with Mona permanently, which should definitely turn out well for everybody. Toby is busy trying to run over Lucas whenever he gets a chance, and seems to have remembered he used to be friends with Emily. Spencer is consumed with the spirit of war, having been threatened in her intelligence by the return of supergenius Mona. Aria's flu has put her in Meredith's hands, which probably means she is going to be murdered by her this week.
Emily: "This tea smells like maybe it is poisoned. Take it from me, my girlfriend and I have roofied one another dozens of times."
Spencer: "Whatever herbal secret remedies Meredith is giving you, they're not helping you look any less ratchet."
Aria: "Noted. And actually, I'm just as beautiful without the flu as any other time."
Hanna: "I brought you these DVDs of a show called Saved By The Bell. It was popular before anything was invented."
Liars: "Isn't there anywhere else you could be instead? Like with Ella, or maybe you could call your dad back? It just seems like this Babysitter Meredith thing is the stupidest possible plan."
Aria: "No, because of reasons. And also Meredith is onboard with helping me figure out if my dad killed our best friend that one Labor Day weekend. If so, that would vastly outweigh the time he made me lie about him sleeping around. A psychic scar that I am still working out for myself."
A'S LAIR (3.0)
Toby rocks in a rocking chair for a while, then stares out a hole in the wall. Mona's hacking into something, some security system. They are both wearing all-black ensembles, and by the end of the scene, they are both wearing A hoodies.
Toby: "Whatever we're doing, I think tomorrow is too soon."
Mona: "Spencer's still not telling you A has been active the entire time you were in Radley? That bitch can keep a secret. One of many things I respect about her."
Toby: "I just don't know about all this."
Mona: "Face front, soldier. It's not up to me, it's up to A+. 'Fear cuts deeper than a sword.'"
Toby: "(...In bed.)"
Mona, verbatim: "They need to understand that She's in charge."
Sounds like some shit might go down in this episode, no?