Misery Loves Company- This was a big one. The end of Spoby, Meredith losing it epically, and answers about Byron. But let's back up. Aria is sick on the couch, looking "terrible" in Spencer's opinion. She just doesn't have any pink makeup on. The staff at PLL has been generous with the foundation, trying to make her look pale and shiny. It doesn't work at all, because she's still gorgeous. When we normal people are sick, we're splotchy, our hair sticks up everywhere, there are little crusty things under our noses, we have a giant onesie on, and our eyes look like dead marbles. Ultra-terrible.
It's starting to bother us that the girls on PLL are using the vocal fry. We've caught ourselves doing it too. It's where girls take their voices so low that half of what they say is said in a "creak." Emily and Spencer don't do it as much as the other two. It's realistic, since that's the way young women talk now. Good acting or the decline of society? We love that Aria knows she can't keep her dad's secret if he killed Ali.
Cut to Toby and Mona working together, setting something up for tomorrow. Toby thinks they are rushing things, but Mona says she is not the one calling the shots. Of course she's not. And the big boss is a SHE. Well, that's not a surprise. Emily visits Toby, who actually seems to have his feelings hurt that Spencer and the girls aren't telling him that A is active again. Pshawww. Emily's visit was just a ruse to get Toby's keys. That worked unrealistically well.
The next scene is Hanna and Caleb being adorable and picking out clothes. Hanna hears Caleb take a call and say, "I thought about it. I'm in. I'm not gonna let her do anything else to Hanna." Uh oh. Our first thought was that Caleb was talking to Lucas. Hanna actually calls her on it. Right on. We get to see a shirtless Toby for what feels like the last time, since he won't be visiting Spencer as much anymore. Sad days are upon us. Spencer and her mom are planning an anniversary surprise for Toby.
After a seemingly useless scene of Meredith visiting Aria and trying to get the diary pages, we see Emily and Paige grabbing a bite. Paige tells Emily that she has a new therapist. Hanna interrupts to ask Emily to follow Caleb. Emily is hesitant, but we would be SO DOWN to follow someone for a friend. One of us really wants to be a PI but will probably never be a PI. We find out that Meredith stole Aria's cell phone. Dude, why? We have yet another crazy girl on this show, it looks like.
Hanna goes to interview for a new job, but there is no one there except for dozens of naked, faceless mannequins. She is, of course, attacked by a hooded figure who just chases her around for a while and then leaves. Hanna gets a text saying, "Next time you'll be left faceless." This is all clearly to scare her, but she finds a key on the floor. Emily follows Caleb to a coffee shop, but she goes off to talk to Spencer before she can see PAIGE meeting with him.
Then comes the Aria/Ali scene. Ali says it isn't a dream and that she is real. Aria asks if Ali really blackmailed Byron. She admits it. Then Aria asks, "Did my dad really kill you?" Ali says, "Do I look dead to you?" We already subscribe to "twin theory" and think Ali is still alive, but we also loved the idea that Aria might be A. This scene throws a wrench in that second theory, but everything can be explained away by "insanity," so we aren't giving it up yet. Then Aria wakes up. This doesn't mean that was definitely a dream. We bet it isn't. Aria finds she is locked in her room.
Emily and Hanna run into Meredith at the pharmacy trying to get Clonozepam refilled without a prescription. It is immediately obvious that Meredith is drugging Aria to keep her asleep. Aria, meanwhile, can't get out of her room, so she breaks a mirror and takes a shard back to bed with her, as a weapon. We love how all of these girls are slowly turning into Spencer. Speaking of, Toby stops by to bring Spencer flowers and sees the key Hanna found.
The next thing we see is Meredith standing over Aria's bed holding the mirror shard. Aria wakes, weaponless. Meredith has been looking for the diary pages this entire time, because she doesn't want Aria to give them to the police. Aria tells Meredith that her friends know about the pages, implying that killing her won't help Meredith hide the truth. Aria takes an opportunity to run out of her room and downstairs, grabbing the phone. As she turns around, Meredith hits her in the face.
Fortunately, Emily and Hanna are intelligent and go to Aria's to check on her. Unfortunately, they aren't THAT intelligent, so Meredith is able to trick them into going down in the basement so that she can lock them in. They find Aria unconscious on the floor, still looking fly, by the way. Aria wakes up and notes that Meredith is crazy. Accurate, but super obvious by now, Aria. Emily, who is not afraid of action since she killed cousin Nate, suggests they give Meredith the pages and then take her down. We love Emily like this. Hanna offers to contribute her "can of whoop ass."
Byron comes home early and goes down into the basement. Emily and Hanna arm themselves, but Byron assures them that he didn't hurt Alison and they don't need to be afraid. He tells them that he didn't pay Ali, and as he was leaving, he saw Melissa on the phone saying, "Do I have to call 911 to get your attention?" Melissa, spill your secrets already! Byron said that he was prepared to Ella the truth, but then Ali went missing and he lost his nerve.
Meanwhile, thinking the Hastings family is gone for the night, Toby breaks into their house wearing the A Team uniform to get the key back. Spencer comes into the room he is searching and says, "Is this what you're looking for?" Toby's back is turned to her, so we thought she wouldn't find out that he was with the A Team, but he turns around. She does the totally justified thing and smacks him.
Veronica Hastings calls for her daughter, giving Toby a chance to run away. Spencer cries in her mother's arms. Our Wren dreams are closer than ever before. Back at Aria's, Byron tells Aria that he is going to tell the police everything so that he can prove to Aria that he didn't kill her friend. This is the only time we've ever liked him. Aria throws the diary pages in the fire, saying she believes Byron.
Spencer knocks on a door, hearing classical piano from inside. Wren? Wren?! Ugh, no. When Spencer inserts the A key into the lock, we know it's Toby's door. Spencer cries, wanting to know if there is more to the story. Poor baby! Inside, a fancy table is set and Mona drinks wine. Who is playing the piano? It can't be Toby, right?
A lot went down, we enjoyed crazy Meredith, and we liked seeing Byron be bearable for a change. The only thing that could have improved this for us is if Emily and Hanna had gotten to fight Meredith. She's pretty much gone anyway, so why not let her go out after a well-deserved beating?
Episode grade: A-
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