'Pretty Little Liars' recap: 'The little girl who cried Ian'
We’re just two episodes away from the "Pretty Little Liars" finale, but, as we found out this week, not much closer to the truth of who’s been torturing the Rosewood High gang. After last week’s whiplash-inducing pace, it was inevitable -- and, frankly, a bit of a relief -- to have things slow down. Nonetheless, this week’s installment felt like filler: more clues, more misdirection, more feinting and logical loop-the-loops. Will we ever figure out what happened to Alison?
One thing’s for sure: Spencer’s in trouble. After leaving her last week in the hands of the police, we started this week with the police combing her house for clues to her connection to Alison’s murder. Spencer’s mom, a dead ringer for Mariska Hargitay, does her best to lawyer the cops away, but to no avail. They find that Spencer’s name bracelet had fibers matching the bloodied sweater Alison was wearing the night of her death. Was Spencer being framed, or is there some simpler explanation?
Meanwhile, back at Hanna’s house, things went sour just as quickly as they started up. Hanna finds an owl pendant in Caleb’s backpack, assumes that it’s a gift that somehow symbolizes their stay in the woods together, and is already midway through practicing her surprised face when she sees — gasp! — Jenna wearing the owl on a chain. Add this to a mysterious phone call Aria and Emily overhear from Caleb and you get trouble in paradise. The owl, as it turns out, is a super-swish flash drive that Caleb’s been using to pass Jenna information. And the number 214? Merely Caleb’s confusingly simple locker combination.
Hanna confronts Caleb, he leaves, and she’s heartbroken. I can’t really blame her for being overly cautious these days, but I wish that she would have asked some more questions -- like what information Caleb was supposed to hand over, aside from the phone logs.
The payoff here is that any notions of Jenna faking her blindness have been pretty much laid to rest. How do we know? Oh, because Hanna slapped her in the bathroom and sent her glasses flying, leaving Jenna with tears streaming down her face. Not cool, Hanna. Questions first, hitting later.
Aria’s parents are dealing with some drama, some of it caused over the age-old parenting question: to snoop or not to snoop? Aria accidentally sends a breathy text to her mom instead of Ezra, so now they’re on the lookout for her new romantic dalliance. It gets in the way of their incredibly boring will-they-or-won’t-they-get-back-together drama. The show is at its weakest when it focuses on the parents instead of the kids. Enough already. I preferred Emily’s slow suffering while watching Paige pretend to be straight. It seems like one of the most honest moments of the show, and the coming-out scene at the end of the episode was -- I’ll admit it -- a little bit wrenching. "Pretty Little Liars" sometimes makes the mistake of throwing in too many trapdoors and whistles; it’s at its best in moments like these that illustrate how lame being a teenager can be sometimes.
Any hints? What's Jenna's game? Why is Ian trying to get Spencer to leave town? And do you think we’ll be any closer to figuring out what’s going on in this town in two weeks?
-- Margaret Eby
Photo: Hanna and Caleb, before the breakup. Credit: ABC Family