'Pretty Little Liars' 5.20 Recap: Pretty Hurts

'Pretty Little Liars' 5.20 Recap: Pretty Hurts
(ABC Family)

Another week, another bananas episode, PLL fans. Things are certainly getting hairy in Rosewood, so let’s get to detangling all these knots.

Jess: Things really start off with a bang (not literally, you have to specify that on this show) this week. The liArs are searching Mike’s room as the episode opens, and after railroading Aria’s half-hearted guilt about snooping and nearly discovering the fake muscle milk cans in Mike’s fridge, they find a silver necklace that spells out “I’m with you” in Morse code (with beads). They assume it’s for Ali, but I’m not so sure. Also on the Aria front, she’s still having tutoring sessions with Andrew (how much school did you miss, girl?) and just after she asks him to follow her brother to the gym, Mike runs into the room to FLIP out on her for going into his room. He throws in a threat for good measure, of course. And the ballad of the Montgomery clan gets ever more complex. As does the ballad of Emily’s love life. Things are not looking good for her and Talia, whose husband, by the way, thinks she’s just “experimenting.” As Ashley warns Em in a sweet scene, no one should start a relationship with the intention of being hurt or disappointed. So Em does something awesome and actually just calls Talia on her b.s., telling her she’s not into being in a three-person relationship. BYE TALIA (for now?).

'Pretty Little Liars' 5.20 Recap: Pretty HurtsLindsay: We finally have a Spoby sighting! Spencer and Painter Jonny are having coffee at Hollis College and Toby just pops up. Needless to say, it’s hella awkward. Toby’s not free to hang, and Spencer is #sadspencer. Jonny is every guy I went to graduate school with. Take off that hat, hippie. Anyway, Jonny and Spencer are walking and see some more of his beautiful vandal art in a gallery at Hollis. Someone took his vandalized mural down, piece by piece, and gave it to a gallery owner. Um, what? Later, Jonny asks for a toolbox so he could break into the gallery, and that he does, with Spencer in tow. When they steal all the paintings, Jonny trips the alarm, and who is the cop that arrests Jonny? Toby, of course! He tells Spencer that Tanner still has her on her radar and that they need to stay away from each other for a while.

Jess: Continuing on the trend of awesome ABC Fam hashtags, we’re treated to #GoodCopBadBF when Toby shows up to bust Jonny (and Spencer/not really) for stealing the paintings. Greatness in action, folks. While the other liArs are breaking the law (see above) and dancing (see below), Aria continues trying to prove her brother innocent. Andrew follows Mike to “the woods behind MonA’s house” and sees him put something in a hollow tree. He reports as much to Aria, and expresses some “I’m super into you, can’t you tell?” concern about her going back to the woods by herself and being alone with Mike at home. I could get on board for Andrew + Aria, just puttin’ that out there.

'Pretty Little Liars' 5.20 Recap: Pretty HurtsLindsay: Hanna is having a wee bit of a crisis: Her dad won’t pay for college, so she’s going to enter herself into a pageant with a $20,000 prize to pay for college. What college is that? No private college I’ve ever heard. Anyway, Caleb tries to talk her out of it, saying he can get a loan from his mom and stepdad, and Hanna vehemently says “hell-to-the-no.” Hanna preps with a pageant coach and tells her that she dances. That will be her talent. Um, you dance? I don’t think so, Hanna. Guess who else is joining the pageant also? Hanna’s stepsister, Kate, whom is already getting school paid for by Hanna’s daddy (hence why Hanna is joining the pageant). I’m hoping for some Carrie-style pig’s-blood action here. Hanna’s like, really into the dancing — it’s the only way she can win, you guys! This is a Jessie Spano-level of excitement. The pageant coach tells Hanna that she’s not cut out for pageants because she is too slutty? Or something? She “doesn’t have what it takes to go the distance.” But the pageant coach says that Emily does, and if I were Emily, I would just enter it and give the money to Hanna if I win (which she decides to do). Kate isn’t even going to be in Pennsylvania the weekend of the pageant, so this is obvs all A’s doing.

Jess: Speaking of blood, Aria heads into the woods all alone (seriously, these girls are always texting each SOS for everything, she didn’t think this mission demanded some of those texts?) to check out Mike’s hiding spot, and she finds...a vial of blood just like the ones from the donation drive! Mike catches her but she immediately confronts him (since she’s caught red-handed). Apparently it’s MonA’s blood, but when he lunges for it, the vial shatters and Aria runs away. Mike follows, and obviously Daddy Montgomery is nowhere to be found, so Mike gets chatty. Cue MonA flashback! Turns out she had a mini-fridge full of blood, too. Her. Own. Blood. She told Mike about exposing A and HER PLAN TO FAKE HER OWN DEATH, which was really A’s plan. A wanted Ali in jail, so once MonA helped achieve that, she could find out who A is, come back, and the liArs would be safe, and MonA’d be a hero. OMG MONA WHERE ARE YOU COME HOME. In the present, Mike admits that MonA hasn’t shown up for any of their planned meetings. He thinks A double-crossed MonA and killed her, so he’s been trying to find out if Ali knows anything about A (turns out Ali really was out of the way the day MonA died). Mike weeps in his sister’s arms. It’s really sad. And then Aria fills the liArs in, so they make a new plan: apologize to Ali and get her up to speed.

Pretty Little Extras:
  • Em is so in over her head with this “dating an older, married woman” thing. Leave the age-illegal relationships to the pros, Em - meaning, Ali, Aria, and Spencer.
  • At least Jonny knows he’s pretentious. (Sidenote: Jess thinks Jonny got cuter somehow this week, but Lindsay disagrees. He was cute when he kissed Spencer, though.)
  • Caleb on the beauty pageant: “Last week you were modeling a hazmat suit and pushing around a barrel with a liquified friend in it.” Best PLL dialogue ever?
  • Emily meets Talia’s husband, who thinks her lesbianism is just a phase. Well, someone’s going to get a rude awakening in that situation, eh?
  • A is a little more cruel than usual this week, taking the mental torture to a new level by taunting Hanna with Kate’s presence in her father’s life and her (fake) entering the pageant.
  • While it’s totally creepy that Mike held onto a vial of MonA’s blood to stay close to her, it’s also kind of sweet.
  • If MonA is alive, who is in the drum?

Well, that was a nice and twisty ending! There are only four episodes left in the season, and it seems like we’re going all out from now on. Will the liArs really make amends with Ali? Even if she’s not A and didn’t kill MonA, she’s still sketchy as hell and possibly lured Bethany to Rosewood to kill her. Is MonA alive? Will Mike becomes a vampire, just to get more of MonA’s sweet sweet blood? Will anyone ever get to go to college? Leave your answers and theories in the comments, and we’ll see you here next week!
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