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Pretty Little Liars Recap: New Guys, New Lies

Freeform, Hulu
Freeform, Hulu

Previously on Pretty Little LiarsSara Harvey is the new Jenna, Spaleb hooked up (ugh), and there’s a new A in town. Warning: spoilers ahead!

Spencer’s in bed with Caleb in the Hastings barn, where he’s been staying. She’s basking in the sunny morning after, while I’m still finding this weird and not romantic. She finally sees New A’s “I know what you did” text followed by a flurry of frantic messages from the other Liars, and she books it to the Radley Hotel for a mimosa conference.

They all think Sara Harvey’s the new A, which is viable, but they question her technical skills. You know who’s a techie? Lucas! Just saying. Hanna’s phantom scary boss continues to be the biggest source of humor this season: “God, I miss New York. I’m addicted to Blue Bottle coffee. One cup and you can handle anything your boss throws at you: Staplers, her phone…” Then she texts New A to ask if they know her/him: Yes.

While Lorenzo holds a Charlotte update press conference on TV, the Liars see Aria’s ever-shadyish dad headed to a hotel room. Then New A sends them a photo of a golf club. Did it kill Charlotte?

At the Brew, Barista Sabrina tells Aria that Ezra blew out of town, saying his morbidly depressed ass actually does that a lot. She asks Sabrina to let her in to Ezra’s place upstairs, she nopes Aria right out of there.

Caleb finds Spencer at Hastings campaign headquarters, where she’s sifting through a binder on the opponent’s family — and it seems like Caleb might be dating the opponent’s daughter? Oh lord. To pile awkward on top of awkward, saying he’s probs gonna chill with her ex Toby later.

After Hanna gets off the phone with her rich, square-jawed British boyfriend, Emily asks her why she hasn’t set a wedding date. Hanna says she’s finally ready to, now that she sees Caleb’s moved on…with Spencer. Emily is the FIRST person to react appropriately to this news.

Hulu/Freeform
Hulu/Freeform

Spencer and Toby are in the Bro-Down Chillzone, clankin’ beers, when a girl runs out of Toby’s cool Airstream trailer. Oooohhhh, Toby is dating the opponent’s daughter Yvonne, not Caleb. She’s very hot, and it turns out Toby’s house-in-progress is for her. Yvonne and Caleb bond over Fargo jokes, and when Yvonne leaves, Caleb tells Toby about how he loves Spencer now and we’re all expected to be cool with it, including Toby. Toby pretends he is.

Aria, like Hanna, is missing her new adult life back in Boston, and freaking out about Ezra’s absence. She convinces Emily to distract Sabrina while Aria breaks into Ezra’s to see if he’s missing a golf club. Meanwhile, Spencer’s sitting outside the Brew and spots a flashing camera bulb behind the window of a black car — it’s daytime and also, subtle much? New A is a rookie.

Hanna approaches her busy mom, and gets right to it: Hanna admits she erased the hotel lobby surveillance footage from the night of Charlotte’s death. They mutually agree that was really dumb — especially because all security footage is backed up on a server at “the farm.” A data farm? The Campbell Farm? It’s never clear.

A campaign advisor preps Spencer for a Q&A she’d NEVER be asked to hold in real life, given her past as a criminal suspect and former Radley patient. Back at Ezra’s, Aria finds his golf clubs intact (not a euphemism), and then hears a message on his answering machine from her own dad, who says they “need to talk about what [Ezra] thinks he saw that night.

Hanna’s so-far-perfect fiancé tells her his rich dad will take care of this whole “deleting evidence” thing, and she immediately gets a text from New A saying she better not squeal to the cops. That means she’s being surveilled…in LUCAS’S apartment. Where he installed her, keep in mind. Spencer calls Hanna to talk New A biz, and they immediately get into weirdness over Spaleb, until Hanna backtracks (boooo). Then Spencer gets a second text from New A: “I guess she is better than you. He will never put a [ring emoji] on your finger.” Harsh, but also, Spencer’s only 22. Stop being a worried auntie about her marriage prospects, NEW A. This penchant for poking at people’s sore spots makes me suspect Ali more?

Spencer shows Caleb the New A texts to put him on the case, as she just told Hanna she would. This new era of relative transparency is my favorite thing about the #5YearsForward season — guess they really did grow up.

Rosewood town center. Spencer runs into Toby and Yvonne, and as she sees them coming does an adorable rehearsal under her breath: “SogoodtoseeyouCongratulationsonyourengagement.” They’re engaged?! When they do meet, Yvonne is sweet to her — and Spencer notices Yvonne’s missing a [ring emoji] on her finger. When Y takes a call, Toby tells Spencer he hasn’t proposed yet. Will everyone but Aria and Ezra get back together already?

Emily’s waiting for Aria, as the world’s creepiest mailman watches her through the window. The fuck?

Hulu/Freeform
Hulu/Freeform

I love it, though. Rosewood’s unrelenting noir spookiness and the Liars friendship are the twin pillars that keep my PLL love from crashing down, despite all of this show’s absurdities, McGuffins and plot dead ends.

Aria calls her dad, and he’s being shifty— his default setting — and then we see him talking to someone in a car: “I think she knows.” Then Aria flashes back to a conversation she overheard between her parents before Charlotte’s death, (HI ELLA! COME BACK TO US) in which Ella said she’d visited Charlotte, feels bad that she was abandoned at Radley as a child, and forgives her for kidnapping and torturing their daughter. Ella’s even cool with Charlotte’s possible release. Aria’s dad strongly disagrees (I think I might too) and says she’ll be free over HIS dead body. Yikes. Oh, and that’s when Aria remembers she forgot to return Ezra’s apartment key.

As Hanna assures/lies to her fiancé and the lawyer he hired for her, saying she’s been totally honest with them, Spencer visits Toby at his house-in-progress. 

Smiley Toby has been replaced with the much more familiar Mopey Toby, who tells Spencer “it was a lot easier being your friend when you lived in D.C.” He’s a-not cool with Spaleb (nor am I, in case it isn’t clear).

After the commercial break it’s suddenly nighttime, and Spencer and Caleb are tracking the texts. Meanwhile, Emily fails to sneak Ezra’s key past Barista Sabrina (Sabrista), who says to “save your lies for someone who has time to hear them.” A. Who says that, and B. Has anyone noticed an uptick in the use of the actual word “lie” this season? They’re Liars. We get it!

Hanna’s lawyer says the surveillance backup’s been magically lost — we soon learn her mom nabbed the hotel surveillance backup, like the boss she is. Aria packs suitcases and checks her Dad’s trunk. Guess who’s missing a golf club? Meanwhile, Spencer and Caleb have arrived at their destination: A mysterious, conveniently unlocked storage space. Inside, they find the trashcan from the end of the previous ep, stuffed with A’s old uniforms and a buzzing phone, which texts with “I don’t lurk in the shadows, I hide in plain sight.”

At the campaign daughters’ Q&A, Spencer and Yvonne get along famously, while Hanna sneaks into her mom’s office because these people NEVER LEARN. The Liars and Caleb convene at the Q&A, where Hanna says the guest book told her Sara’s keeping hotel staff out of her room (lair stuff, they think). Toby finds Spencer after the Q&A, which somehow contained zero hardballs for Spence, and he says he’s cool with her — so long as she’s really returning to D.C. eventually. Oh, Toby.

The Liars reexamine New A’s golf club photo and realize the background is a Radley hotel room. Aria gets a call from her dad, who says he needs to tell her something immediately, and that’s when we see Ol’ Creepy Mailman again. Except now he’s in a bellhop uniform and climbing into the back of the black town car! He unmasks himself — it’s clearly prosthetic makeup — but we don’t see the face. Is Sara a master of disguise?

Next: Interview - Brandon Jones on Playing Andrew Campbell on 'Pretty Little Liars'

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