Pretty Little Liars Recap: "Blood is the New Black"

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This week’s Pretty Little Liars revisited the past and revealed a surprising misdeed about one of our favorite characters. After Alison and Aria (Lucy Hale) discovered her dad was having an affair, Aria made him promise to break it off, which he did.  That’s what viewers had learned, but what was revealed last night probably included Aria’s first time breaking the law.

In flashbacks we saw Alison and Aria breaking into her dad’s office, looking for clues to see if Byron ended the affair. After Alison showed Aria a pair of earrings she found, she said they needed to make it look like his mistress, Meredith, was Glenn-Close-in-Fatal Attraction-crazy.  They wrecked his office and Meredith got the blame.

Now, Alison was a master manipulator so I wouldn’t be surprised if she orchestrated this whole thing just to push Aria’s buttons. On the other hand, it could also mean Byron has more than one skeleton in his closet. Regardless, Meredith later told Aria the earrings didn't belong to her, but who knows what her word’s worth? 

Even though it’s been two years, Aria confessed all to her dad.  Aria said seeing Meredith at school, where she was interviewing for a job, made her want to come clean. Her real reasons had more to do with A.  Since Meredith’s trying to work at a school where the wife of her married lover works—there’s no question this harlot is definitely a villain!  Byron insisted Aria apologize to Meredith.  Afterwards, Meredith proceeded to thank Aria for helping them get back together.  From the look on Aria’s face, I think she threw up a little in her mouth. 

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Emily (Shay Mitchell) was in class trying to focus on school—and not her dead girlfriend—when she found a morbid present from A in her bag.  It was a bracelet with a creepy message, made of (possibly human) teeth. Gross! 

The girls headed to the bathroom and debated if the teeth could belong to Alison, since her body is missing, and what they should do with it next. For once, one of them had an intelligent, well-reasoned, normal, rational response — and it was Aria.  She wanted to take it to the police immediately so they could check it for fingerprints. Aria also felt they should just come clean about the new A's torture and lying about their previous alibis.  The other girls started freaking out about the best idea any of them have ever had to deal with A this, but before they could fight it out, the bracelet fell into a toilet, and the flushing censor made it a nonissue. 



Later, Aria also received a present from A/Alison’s body snatcher.  It was an earring from the night she and Alison committed vandalism.  Aria told her friends the story, confessing she always regretted her actions. When they put tokens into Alison’s coffin at the funeral, Aria had placed the earring in it, trying to bury her shameful secret for good. 

I loved that Aria finally came clean to her friends, father and Meredith once she’d been found out.  Usually, when A has dirt on them, they let themselves get blackmailed. It showed the girls are growing. I hope the trend of letting the girls learn from their mistakes continues. 

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Spencer (Troian Bellisario) was still visiting Garrett in lockup. He wouldn’t really reveal anything until Spencer secured him her mother’s legal representation. He did hint that someone close to her was lying, and could be exposed through their medical history. Garrett would get what he wanted, but Spencer never got any more clues or answers. When Mrs. Hastings found out about Spencer’s secret visits, she forbade her from going back to Garrett, to keep her safe. She then took his case so Garrett would stop talking to Spencer, since she knew her daughter wouldn’t listen. 



Spencer began investigating Jenna’s summer vacation. Toby joined in, and they started finding evidence that Jenna’s eye surgery had actually been a success.  Eventually, the girls set a trap to see once and for all if Jenna was faking. They placed the earring A sent on the bathroom sink, to see if she’d notice when she thought she was alone. She did, and picked it up, but you couldn’t tell if there was any special recognition there, by the look on her face.  Regardless, our Little Liars knew for certain Jenna had rejoined the sighted. 

Hanna and Emily wanted to throw down, while Aria was ready to hang a sign reading, “BITCH CAN SEE!”  However, it was the level-headed Spencer who convinced them to keep their discovery secret from Jenna, and use it to their advantage. 

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Because she missed so much school last year, Emily was in danger of having to repeat the year. It all depended on her passing several makeup tests, which was a problem since she’s still having a hard time dealing with Maya’s death, Alison missing body and her probable kidnapping. 

Aria decided to do some friendship matchmaking and set up the floundering Emily with her unemployed teacher boyfriend. It was kind of hilarious and pretty natural-seeming, how Emily was horrified at the idea — mainly because she couldn’t bear to call Mr. Fitz by his first name, especially since she’s seen his underwear drawer.  However, they did meet up and Ezra helped get Emily her academic confidence back.  

Just as it looked like she was going to ace her English exam, Emily had a memory of the night she woke up at Alison’s grave.  She was in the backseat of the blue convertible, which was being driven by a woman.  At first the woman looked like Alison in her red coat, but then Emily clearly saw it was “blind” Jenna! 

Too shaken at this new revelation, Emily left half the test blank.  Ella was very dismayed, but she knew what Emily had been going through and was sympathetic. That’s why she filled in the rest of the answers, ensuring Emily would pass!  Well, pass English at least.  If A was lurking, how soon before they uses this damaging information against the Montgomery girls or Emily? 

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Hanna (Ashley Benson) continued seeing Catatonic Mona, and lying to Caleb about it.  He’d finally had enough and demanded to know why Hanna was lying to him. She came clean, and although he wasn’t happy Hanna was visiting the violent serial stalker, he agreed to support her. Although, he looked pissed when he caught Hanna in a another lie—this time about getting chummy with Mona’s cute, British doctor—Wren. 

Hanna was still pretty devastated by her friend’s betrayal, but didn’t feel like she could realy talk about it with anyone.  After screaming at Mona for everything she did, and now getting ignored during visits, she and Wren bonded. He helped her realize that she was actually grieving the death of the friend she’d known, and decided to keep visiting. 

On the next trip, Mona finally spoke to Hanna.  Right before they were interrupted she asked, “You’re getting them again, aren’t you?” she asked about A’s texts, then quickly faded away again. Did Mona just guess, or did she know because she’s still part of the A group?  

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More than ever I’m convinced of Melissa’s involvement in all of this. She has often demonstrated vindictive, crazy behavior in the past, which drew suspicion. Combined with a “miscarriage,” her involvement with the N.A.T. club (members) and her grudge against Alison, she seems like the perfect fit for an A.  This goes for the literal sense as well, since minus the baby bump she would perfectly match the “Tall, size 2” brunette in the Black Swan costume from last season. Garrett’s ominous clue could match her just as much as Jenna, especially since he supposedly used to go with her to the doctor’s.  Plus, Mrs. Hastings might have taken Garrett’s case to keep Melissa’s name out of things, if he knows something.  Although they’ve had their differences, Spencer has never been able to believe that her sister could be their tormentor. 

The last scene of the night showed (presumably) A at a store buying enough black hoodies and gloves to clothe a football team. Just throwing it out there, but in the interim, this person was wearing a red hoodie, the color of Alison/Vivian’s now infamous coat, and like what Jenna wore in Emily’s flashback.  Maybe red is Team A’s off-duty color?  Or maybe the color of blood really just is “the new black?”



Until next week, Liar fans!





Photo credit: ABC Family