'Pretty Little Liars' Season 4, Episode 17 Recap: A Tooth for A's Tooth


(ABC Family)

Hello, there, LiArs! ‘Tis I, your noble recapper, Lindsay. Jess got so scared of the Pretty Little Liars dolls that she is now in hiding, preferring to sit this week out. You’re stuck with just me. So what was the last thing we saw in Rosewood? Hanna smooched #TravisTripp and then broke some plates, Spencer fought with her dad and Emily, Aria kissed #DojoHottie goodbye (much to our chagrin), and Emily met up with Ali. What’s next for the liArs? Let’s press on, shall we?

We open on Aria (in a very bright outfit) and Emily (in a Shay jacket) coming home from a movie. As they walk into Aria’s house, Sweet Baby Brother Mike is having a bit of a rager inside. Well, not really a rager, but there is a lot of pepperoni pizza, and that’s my idea of a good time. They kick everyone out, but find MonA upstairs, dressed for a party. Because she was invited to Mike’s party. Good lord. Here’s a question: when did Mike get hot? And why is he with Mona? Mike, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself. Aria confronts MonA about her love connection with Mike, and MonA cites her the new guidance counselor, Jesse, as being the change she wants to see in the world or whatever. Aria goes to visit this Jesse, she inquires about Mike’s new “group” (she sounds like a lame parent, but since they don’t really have parents, I guess she has to be), and she warns Jesse that a member of the group is “bad news” and that #MonaIsTheDevil (thanks, ABC Family social media!).

Flash to Spencer and Hanna on the phone. Spencer keeps deciphering Ali’s journal, which sort of sounds like a Thought Catalog piece now that I think about it. Hanna isn’t really listening to her, instead choosing to read her James Patterson because he “really gets the criminal mind”. She stayed home to read instead of hanging with #TravisTripp, which is very “Reese Witherspoon in Pleasantville” of her. Spencer deduces that Ali’s older guy takes her to a Hollis bar called The Hart & The Huntsman, and he riffs on her literature like a Kafka-specializing undergrad. Sure sounds like EzrA. He eats boysenberry pie with beer, and Ali mocks him for it. Spencer goes to The Hart & The Huntsman to investigate (of course she does), and sees who but EzrA, eating guess what: boysenberry pie and beer. Well.

Spencer’s investigating is taking a toll, though. The next day at school, she is talking to some guy who looks kind of like Anders from Workaholics (his name is Andrew but I don’t care because I am going to call him #StudyBuddy from here on out) and learns she is about to seriously miss a physics test, which is so un-Spencer. Anyway, she and #StudyBuddy reconvene later in her room to well, study, and she asks how many hours in a row he hit the books for. When he says “seven”, you say “Adderall” (“Seven!” “Adderall! “Seven!” “Adderall!”). Are we to think that Spencer didn’t know this notorious study aid prior to #StudyBuddy? Come on. He slips her a pill and comes onto her at the same time. They don’t really tie this plotline up, but I bet these convenient pills will come back to bite her.

On the pretty hair front, Emily’s dad gets her car (the one that broke down in the middle of the woods) checked out and the mechanic deems it fine, saying maybe it was shut down from a remote location by accident. She realizes what this means (that A pulled the plug on her car from afar), and she opts to take her bike to school instead. Why, so A can run her over? #SoldierDad means well, but he really has no idea what’s going on. Emily’s acting like she’s on drugs again, so that is where my mind as a parent would go, right? I mean, Emily almost stabs him with a scissor when she hears someone trying to come into her room at night. Homegirl is jumpy.

Mr. Fields goes to visit EzrA and he tells EzrA that Emily slept in her dead friend’s bedroom (that’s Ali, for those playing at home) and it screwed her up. Mr. Fields says that Emily trusts EzrA, and he suggests giving her a project. Like killing her? ‘Cause that’s what it sounds like. Instead, she’ll be co-directing the spring play. Emily is using the copier after school for the project with EzrA, and of course, she gets locked in EzrA’s classroom. And heavy metal starts playing through the loudspeakers. Emily barricades herself in the copy room as a hooded figure tries to get in the room, screaming for her dad, who is here to pick her up. #SoldierDad ascends the drain pipe (now that’s a man), saves Emily, and collapses when he hits the ground. Turns out #SoldierDad came home not because he was coming to check on Emily and her mother (where is Mrs. Fields, btw?), but because he has a bad ticker. The plus of this, though, is that it forces Ems and Spencer to wave their collective white flags. Friends again. They’re going to need each other.

Hanna is knee-deep in crime novels, when #HotCop sees her on the street (PRAISE BE, #HotCop is back!). He apologizes for torturing her about her mother’s investigation, or he said something maybe like that: I was too busy staring at his toned biceps. He recommends a book to Hanna, and if this were Mad Men, I would go research that book to see what it meant, but hey, this is PLL we’re talking about and I. Marlene King doesn’t go that deep.

#HotCop is flirting (maybe?) hard with Hanna, and girl, when it rains, it pours. “It always comes down to teeth, doesn’t it?”, he says to her. Is he warning Hanna to check Ali’s dental records to see who actually went in the ground in her place (since we know that Ali is still alive)? Hanna hits the dentist for a little check-up and to snoop through the file cabinets. While in the file room, Hanna finds the sign-in pages in question and rips them out, hoping to see something Ali-related in there. But the victory is fleeting: back in the dentist chair, A puts her to sleep with laughing gas and brandishes a big needle to stick in her face. Zoinks. When she wakes up, the files are all missing, and the liArs discover a message stuck in Hanna’s teeth. “Dead girls can’t smile. Stop looking”, it says. Welp, that would be enough for me to rip out all of my teeth and just go through the rest of my life gummin’.

LiArs & Bits
  • Aria’s blue-and-white zigzag dress is everything.
  • EzrA drinks “Board Shorts” Ale. I love it.
  • Aria’s floral pants are everything else.
  • Gypsy from Gilmore Girls is the dental hygienist.
  • “You’re lucky my mom finished her box of Chardonnay,” says Hanna to Spencer. This is perfection because you know that Ashley has champagne tastes, but she’s on a beer budget.
  • EzrA invites MonA into his classroom and closes the door, but we don’t learn what happens behind it.
  • Aria and #AlexMack fight, but I really don’t care. So tired of this Malcolm storyline.

Well, this has been quite a week for the liArs. No sign of Ali, since I reckon she’s been spooked for a bit, but at least the girls are friends again. They’re really setting up the scene for a big EzrA/Aria showdown, and since you all know how I (and Jess) feel about Ezria, I can’t wait for the blow out. Jess will be back next week to help deduce what’s going on in Rosewood, so we’ll see you then for more Pretty Little Liars.
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