'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: 'These Are A's Confessions'

Pretty Little Liars 5.9: "These Are A&squot;s Confessions"
(ABC Family)

Hi, liArs! Last week, Hanna got hit on by Ella’s fiance, Sydney set up Emily for an assistant swim coach job, and Ali got caught in another lie. Par for the course, right? This week, we see a continuation and culmination of some of those storylines, and, for the record, we preempted what the script said at least three times. Are we writing for the show or just living it? We’ll never tell. Anyway, let’s press on...

Pretty Little Liars 5.9: "These Are A&squot;s Confessions"Jess: How quickly does Ali turn around her friends’ indignation at her Noel Kahn stunt to yell at them for spying on her (Spencer), ignoring her S.O.S. (Aria), or just plain ignoring her (Hanna)? So freaking quickly, because she is a mastermind mean girl. She plays the guilt card by saying that Noel is clearly the only one who has her back, to which we say: Ali, shut up. No one feels bad for you, except maybe Emily. Later, Ali frets about the group falling apart, but as always, it’s impossible to tell how she really feels. Is she sad because she doesn’t want to lose her friends? Because she thought everything would go back to pre-dead-Ali after she came back? Or because she’s worried about her cover story?

Lindsay: Hanna carries around a flask in her school bag, which her mom finds because obviously. Ashley takes not the “hey, it’s illegal for you to drink since you’re 16” route, but the “hey, you need to keep a clear head because there are murders around here” route. True, but crap parenting.

Jess: Speaking of Hanna and her descent into teen alcoholism and horrible experience with victim-blame last week, let’s catch up with her. After too much of Hanna drinking and not sleeping and generally biting everyone’s heads off, Spencer heads up to Casa Caleb to confront him about how he and Hanna used to be good for each other but have, of late, been flushing one another down the booze toilet (she’s slightly more eloquent than I am). After she accidentally mentions Zack, Caleb drags the story from Hanna, and their ensuing conversation includes Caleb comforting her, assuring her he believes everything, and telling her that Zack is the one who should be embarrassed - not her, not at all. LiArs, take note: this is how you should’ve reacted last week. Then Caleb proceeds to confront and punch Zack, which was great to watch, but not-so great in that it seems A tampered with this sexual harassment plot via a note “from Hanna” to Zack. Because of course he/she/it did. By the end of the episode, Caleb and Hanna are cleaning up their acts, Hanna’s feeling of self-worth is on the rise, and Aria’s apologized (in a really sweet scene) and received Hanna’s forgiveness. Spencer and Emily? Still waiting for you to atone.

Pretty Little Liars 5.9: "These Are A&squot;s Confessions"Lindsay: In other news, Tom, the Secret Service agent from Scandal, is the swim coach to Emily’s assistant swim coach, and she leaves her phone in his office so she can swipe the boy’s locker room assignments. Why? To get a peep in Noel Kahn’s locker. Crafty, Ems. And it all goes perfectly to plan. HAHA JK there was someone watching her, as there always is in PLL land. She breaks into Noel’s Kar, stealing some photos that Noel must have taken when Ali was still missing. Spencer takes these photos and hides them in her lake house. Noel follows her there and tells her that he kept those photos as insurance in case Ali dumps him, too. Spencer slashes him with a fireplace poker because, and tells him to get lost. Bravo.

The best part of this episode, in my opinion? Emily laying the effing SMACKDOWN onto Sydney. Spencer goes to the doctor to get her eyes dilated because of when she got hit in the face, and she sees two Jennas. But it’s not Jenna times dos! It’s Sydney (#Swimfan) and Jenna, dressed for some strange reason (maybe it was intentional, I guess) identically. Spencer calls Emily to the scene, and the duo has a stand-off. Later, Sydney reaches out to Emily before she goes to Ella’s party, and she’s all, Jenna hired me to keep an eye on all of you. Emily, in certain words, tells Sydney that she did not pursue her, that Sydney was the one giving the sob stories, and that Emily is taking the assistant coaching job just to watch Sydney squirm, “to know what its like to be sucker-punched.” Boom. Fields out.

Jess: And on the Jenna front, can we discuss how - if she’s not A - she’s totally righteous in her quaking fear of Ali and the liArs? They blinded her, and no one ever seems to remember that, except Aria, sometimes (like when she and Jenna re-enacted Ghost in pottery class together). Look, we know Jenna’s up to something with MonA, Sydney, and an unidentified human, but who’s to say she’s not kinda sorta justified in her scheming? Ali’s a monster and even the liArs aren’t totally on her side now that she’s returned. I know there’s always more below the surface with Jenna - and homegirl is hardly innocent; remember the Toby situation? - but I usually do believe her when she talks about being scared of Ali. At the eye doc, she tells Em and Spencer, “You’re nervous around the wrong person. I’m not Alison.” I’d still be nervous around Jenna, but the liArs have to watch their backs around their BFF, too.

Pretty Little Liars 5.9: "These Are A&squot;s Confessions"Case in point? Ashley and Alison head down to the RPD at the end of the episode, since #BadCop’s questioning the guy who broke into the Marin’s (not true) and kidnapped Ali (also not true). As Ali watches the man confess in alarmingly specific detail (his story matches the one she recorded herself telling for the liArs to memorize), she looks like she recognizes him, then looks shocked, then looks like she may have orchestrated the whole thing. The preview for next week makes it seem like A’s behind the faux-confession, but Ali’s range of reactions prove to me that she’s still got some aces up her sleeve.

Other Things to Mention:
  • You guys, #DojoHottie is in that new Step Up movie! He looks so good! We miss him. I guess that kicking a punching bag full of metal and glass shards didn’t hurt him as much as we thought it did. #DancingDojoHottie
  • “When it comes to fashion, you are my guru.” - Ella, to Aria. But you’re not wearing stripes or fishnets, Ella...
  • A writes a note in the eye test at the ophthalmologist, and Noel hides for what was presumably days (okay, it was probably hours) under a sheet on a chair in Spencer’s lake house. This stuff is just getting creepier and creepier, amirite?
  • “Aria has the worst luck with step parents.” - Jess, bringing up the Meredith days. #NeverForget
  • Aria jumped all over #BadCop when the detective insinuated that EzrA may have had intimate relationships with other students. She’s ostensibly concerned that he might be linked to Shauna/Shauna’s murder, but you know she’s really thinking, I AM HIS ONLY SPECIAL FLOWER, BITCH.
  • Bye, bye #MuffinMan! We are not sad to see you and your b.s. excuse of “I was just joking” hit the road. And we’re totally ‘shipping an Ella-Byron reconciliation now.

That’s all we wrote for this week, folks. As we head toward the #fAtalfinale, it looks like things are about to get bonkers in Rosewood, and we’re particularly excited that A has somehow found a fall guy for Ali’s kidnapping. Who would agree to confess to something like that? Here’s hoping we find out! Leave your thoughts, theories, and questions in the comments and we’ll see you soon (through our one eyehole in our chair-covering white sheet).