'Pretty Little Liars' 5.16 Recap: On Your PermAnent Record

'Pretty Little Liars' 5.16 Recap: On Your PermAnent Record
(ABC Family)

Last week’s PLL episode had Ashley Marin getting her groove back, Emily fancying herself an amateur chef, and Aria wrapping herself in one very, very big lie. What’s in store for this week? Let’s find out.

Lindsay: We open on the liArs, once again, talking about very private things in a very public place: the knife, murder, intrigue, breakups, etc., all at the coffee shop. While they don’t necessarily land on a plan for...anything, they do trade quips about borrowing each other’s clothing. Then, Aria orders a coffee, and her receipt comes up as the entire letter she wrote to Jackie that’s all like “hey I hate that I dated an older dude please let me into school.” YIKES. A is forcing Aria’s hand, but when Aria tries to talk to Ezra about it, he is too involved in yelling at a contractor (you know that’s how his rich mom yelled at the help, let’s be honest) to listen. None of this is going to land well. Later, still at the coffee shop (reminds me of my teenage days hanging out at Starbucks), Aria gets a message from “H.” Is it Holbrook? Aria seems to think so. The texter wants to meet, so against all advice (including Emily’s), she says yes. It’s your funeral, Aria.

'Pretty Little Liars' 5.16 Recap: On Your PermAnent Record
When Hanna gets home after the liAr download the the EZ-Brew, she finds her mom and Pastor Ted in the kitchen — but at first, she thinks it’s going to be Mama Ash and Jason, and she reacts like it’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to her. Even though she’s been stalked by A for like, 10 years at this point, and has had more than one sociopathic ex-best friend. The soundtrack plays creepy music and everything. It’s hilarious. But amazingly, she does the thing that never, ever happens on TV — she calls her mom out on “what she saw” aka Jason coming down the stairs late at night buttoning his denim shirt. Quelle scandale! Hanna wants to understand why but Ash shuts her down and drinks lemonade on the patio with Pastor Ted. Or something equally as vanilla and boring. Later, once Pastor Ted asks Hanna’s permission to propose to Ashley, she sits her mom down for an old school wtf-are-you-doing talk. Ash admits she doesn’t know. And then it’s super awk when #PastorProposes. O-kay then.

And speaking of Ashley’s younger man candy, Jason and Aria, or the pair I like to call “ahh, what could’ve been,” run into each other at The Grill(e) and decide to have a casual lunch when both their “dates” cancel (H aka Holbrook(?) for Aria; Ashley for Jason). Remember when Aria and Jason kissed? Because I sure do. Unfortunately, they don’t repeat that once-upon-a-time moment at lunch. They discuss Ali and Aria tells Jason that the liArs think Holbrook is Ali’s inside help — Jason sees the merit to that theory. But turns out Aria’s meeting with “H” was a wild goose chase to get her to bring a bouquet of roses to Ashley from “Jason” (not really), which Hanna promptly squashes while also spilling the beans that she visited Ali in jail.

Lindsay: In other realms, Spencer stresses about colleges while Toby is all “sorry we yelled about the knife.” Whatever, their storyline is a boring one. It’s not like they’re going to break up. What is interesting is that Weirdo Jonny, the guy who is now staying in the Hastings’ barn, comes in to gather garbage for pigments (he’s a painter/drifter/probably con artist), and when he asks to borrow an egg, Spencer gets a text at that exact moment from… MonA!. And so does the rest of the gang. It turns out that it was a security alert (MonA is so sage, even in death) related to her now-stolen laptop, and Spencer and Caleb (aka the best team that ever lived on this show, even better than Toby and Caleb) trace it to a storage locker. At the storage place, they see an old teacher who complains about the smell coming from another locker… the one a blonde girl visits. Is it the smell of a decaying body, Mrs. Teacher Lady? Is it? Then S&C break into one of the air ducts, Winning London-style.

'Pretty Little Liars' 5.16 Recap: On Your PermAnent Record
And once they hop from the air duct into the mysterious storage locker, they find: MonA’s laptop; neatly organized plastic bags filled with bloody clothes; a hazmat suit and goggles; a barrel; and lots of mixins to either preserve or dissolve a body. Ew ew ew. So Caleb and Spencer’s theory is that MonA is inside the barrel and that the keeper of the locker (Holbrook, they assume) is building some kind of case with all this ev-i-dence. A case against one of the liArs, perhaps (see below)? Once they get home, having wiped down every surface they touched at the storage site, Spencer stresses and Caleb erases the security footage remotely. But what about the teacher, the one witness? says no one. They brainstorm how to get the cops to the locker; neither one are comfortable using Toby since he blew up last week (rightly so?). And he blows up again this week, just as he and Spencer are having a nice moment playing Scrabble and dreaming about the future. Why? Because Spencer gets a text from Caleb saying he “found something” and she refuses to tell Toby what they spent all day doing. So he freaks, because they keep doing stupid things that will get everyone in serious trouble. She smarms back at him, calling him “Officer” in a super snarky way. Trouble in about-to-move-to-Hawaii paradise, methinks. Trouble that might be even more stirred up by new Hastings roomie slash artist Jonny.

Pretty Little Postscript:
  • “Are you mad that I bailed or that I walked in on your wild college weekend?” - Hanna, to Ashley
  • “Obviously, ghosts don’t have fingers.” - Hanna, shining in brilliance.
  • “If you see anything suspicious, don’t pick it up.” - Hanna, once again, proving that at least ONE liAr has learned something over the past few years.
  • Key line from Spencer, who doesn’t want to go to college in Hawaii just to get away from Ali: “How is she still controlling where I go and what I do?!” Preach, girl.
  • “God, what is it with the cops in this town?” THANK YOU, JASON.
  • Talia, stop trying to make fetch happen with the EZ-Brew and Emily. It’s not going to happen (actually, it probably is, but your life lessons as told by beef stew stories aren’t helping). Her idea of wiping Emily’s slate clean from Paige was a good one, though.

We end with a bomb dropped on Hanna by Caleb — he’s discovered that the storage unit is rented in her name, and he’s pretty sure MonA’s body is in there. Dunh, dunh, dunh! Since the A-tag this week features a hooded figure eating caramels and logging onto Holbrook’s computer, and the scenes from next week show #BadCop and Toby opening the MonA barrel, things aren’t looking too good for the liArs. But are they ever? Leave your comments and theories and questions below, and we’ll see you next week!