Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 5 of ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," entitled "The Remains Of 'A.'"
Spencer and Hanna are on a mission to swap out Garrett's "April Rose has the proof" note under his mom's hospital bracelet with one they've written, thanks to Hanna's expert forging skills. Their note asks A to meet them by the organ at the deserted church that night and Hanna wants to be the messenger since she's still heartbroken that "this A" broke her and Caleb up.
But when Hanna enters Mrs. Reynolds room and lifts her hand to insert the note, she flatlines and Hanna jets out of there faster than Mrs. Reynolds will ever move again.
They text Aria, who is apparently living at Ezra's and doing an incredibly cheesy photoshoot to motivate her about her new assistant gig. He's also wearing pajama pants. Just so you know. Despite the literally "so happy" lyrics playing in the background as they snap away, I'm still not okay with this student-teacher relationship, former status aloud.
Over in another uncomfortable relationship, Spencer and Toby are at the Parentless Hastings House, where Spencer's googling "April Rose, PA." They start making out, I start to gag, and then, Papa Hastings arrives! (After months.) He's been out going for a run. Apparently, he's Forrest Gump because holy s--- that was a long run. "They make it seem like he's always been there," my mom laments, before asking, "When Spencer was googling April Rose--did it say ob/gyn?" The plot thickens.
Anyway, Toby leaves and Papa Hastings reveals the upsetting information that key evidence from the prosecution in Garrett's case may be dropped, which means Garrett would be free. Upon hearing the news, Spencer quickly leaves in a huff as her dad asks where she's going. "Um Peter, tell me you possibly care when you the most absentee Dad there ever was," my mom scolds. Z snap.
Over at The Brew, Hanna brings a hard-working Emily the pick-up location of the clothing donations that included the jacket she was wearing the night it (and she) went missing. Em wants to go check it out today, but Hanna says they have to focus on Operation A tonight, so they'll go tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Spencer has relocated to a bench and traded her laptop for an iPad, on which she is still googling April Rose. Jason appears and he's just the person Spencer wants to talk to. My mom also notes, "He's bow legged ... or maybe he was just riding a horse through the streets of Rosewood." He confirms the news Papa Hastings shared and she says he's their last hope at saving the case.
She asks if Jason knows April Rose and before we hear his answer, we see Papa Hastings looking -- no, glaring -- at them. Turns out, Jason doesn't remember April Rose, but could have met her with all the girls the NAT Club had hanging around and not even known it. Spencer does her best Chris Hansen and questions Jason about the videos they made. He reveals he thought Ian and Garrett were paying girls to set up their friends, and April Rose could have been one of those employees.
At the church, Hanna is sorting clothing items by season and Ted is talking about wanting to look like Cat Stevens and wanting to hang out with Hanna's mom. ("I liked Cat Stevens too," my mom says. Note the past tense.) For all Hanna's hard work, Ted also invites her to a thank you party, which will be held at the church ... tonight. Looks like there's a glitch with Operation A.
Back at Ezria's, Aria is putting on her totally '90s Doc Martens while Ezra is in the shower. But when she can't find a sock, she checks her boyfriend's sock drawer and finds something far more interesting than an item to separate your foot from your shoe: a bag of cold hard cash. And we're talking Franklins ... not Washingtons. When she hears the shower turn off, she darts out of their no-longer "so happy" abode to meet Spencer and Hanna at Apple Rose Grill.
Before they order cheese fries (which they will likely not eat), Hanna says she's going to hide with Emily to watch who A is at the church and then she'll play her ... oops, she means "their" ... attack. Spencer asks what's up with an obviously distracted Aria. She asks how much money Jason's reward was and wonders if he had the money at his house. And would it be weird if he did. "If you have that much cash lying around, you probably also have a bomb shelter and like, five years worth of dehydrated meat," Spencer replies, eliciting an awkward laugh from Aria. "Or, you're a criminal," Spencer continues.
Peter approaches Jason, telling him he needs to let Spencer focus on her future.
It's finally the end of Hanna's church volunteer day and Ashley comes to pick her up. She wants to talk to Ted (who Hanna calls "Goober"), who also happens to be her date to the hoppin' church soiree. Hanna warns her mom that she's bringing Toby to ward off a fellow volunteer who has a crush on her (and who also doesn't exist).
Over to the practically non-existent Emily this episode, who has gone to the drop-off location by herself. She sees a diner called Sputnik's -- which I hope is a poor "Salute Your Shorts" shout out -- and hazily recognizes it from that ill-fated night.
At Spencer's, Hanna tells Spencer about her Toby plan and the girls get emotional about the thought of life without Alli. "But everytime I go down that road, I have to remind myself that if I hadn't met her then I wouldn't be friends with you," Spencer says to a smiling Hanna. Finally, Spencer agrees to the Toby plan and Operation A is back on.
Back at Sputnik's, Emily is running and jumping and swimming and playing and rowing and going on trips. Just kidding. She's having a burger and fries and some coffee. (What a traitor.) When the waitress clears her plate, Emily looks down at the paper placement that has a maze on it and has another vision of the night she can barely remember. She's writing, "I'm sorry I left you on the paper placemat" and then stares in the jukebox where we can see her reflection and a dark haired man's. He then reaches for her hand and we see his wrist with an interesting "Lost"-like symbol emblazoned on the inside. After the freakish flashback, she pays and leaves looking like a deer in headlights. I'm wondering ... could this be the same diner A (maybe Mona) handed Dr. Sullivan an envelope in the Season 2 summer finale?
Hanna shows up at the dance with a spiffy-looking Toby, who's hair is still so big and now, full of many of Hanna's secrets. "Toby's hair. He looks like crew cut Ken ... the loser one no one ever wanted in the Barbie game," my mom says. A specific, but accurate comparison for those who've never played the aforementioned game. Hanna's surveying the crowd and sees her mom and Ted. They have a very awkward conversation about being "just friends," "grown-up beverages," Jesus and fermenting root bear. When that painful moment passes, Det. Wilden walks in and Hanna ducks with Toby. "Toby's suit is too big on him," my mom says. So is his hair. Also, am I the only one who thinks his chin dimple is crazier than Gaston's from "Beauty and the Beast"?
Meanwhile, Spencer is about to head out her door when Jason enters with the news that he found April Rose, which turns out to be an antique shop, not a girl. They walk into the shop, where they see an old woman, decked in beads and a crocheted sweater, before a man wearing an awesome turquoise bolo tie asks if he can help them. Jason talks to the owner of the shoppe (that's right "pe" due to the old-timey factor) while Spencer searches around until she stumbles upon a familiar gold anklet.
Cue the flashback to a Spencer-Alli girl's night where she asks about the mystery anklet, but gets no straight answers about it or its origin besides that fact that Alli never wants to take it off. In the present, she smartly grabs the anklet with her oh-so waspy scarf, before she goes back in her mind to the rest of the memory, in which Alli ditches Spencer to go out and get some fake IDs. She's wearing some very sexy platform heels, which , might I say, is factually in accurate since those pretty recently became in vogue.
Jason and Spencer ask how much for the anklet, but there's no code or tags, which means it's only for display. Money bags Jason whips out $400 to silence the man and they're off.
Back at the thank you dance, Ashley and Ted try to set up another date. Though he says, "Sunday's kinda a busy day for me," Ashley doesn't get the hint. Finally, Ted reveals he's an associate pastor and Ashley quickly covers up her cleavage while he goes to get them more root beer.
Emily finally walks into the party and she's greeted by Holden (who still exists, I guess) who offers her a cupcake with a strong hand and an outstretched arm (Happy belated Passover). When she looks down, she sees the mark she remembers being on the wrist of the man she was at Sputnik's with on the night that shan't be named.
But, it comes right off with a mere lick of the thumb. He says it's for a party that changes venues and he used to see Maya there sometimes. Suddenly he has to go and Emily gets one more vision of the man from the night she wound up at Alli's empty grave -- and the back of his head sure looks a lot like Holden's. (My mom says it can't be Lucas because it wasn't greasy enough and it can't be Ezra because she likes him too much.) Upon a second viewing, I noticed that Emily's first Sputnik's flashback included her reflection and the unknown person's she was with in a table-top jukebox. And it also -- albeit blurry -- definitely looked like Holden's.
Back on the dance floor, Det. Wilden shames Ashley in front of APT (Associate Pastor Ted) so she says she has a headache and has to go as a song with the repetitive lyrics "the other woman" play in the background. So subtle with the song choices this episode.
Meanwhile, Spencer's outside the police station where Jason told the police he got an anonymous tip about the anklet and they believed him. She asks him for the letters that helped him figure out Papa Hastings was his dad too. He doesn't want her to see them because they'll hurt, which makes her realize how different he is from Alli. Jason wonders if Alli would have lost the 'tude.
At the church party, there is some extremely awful dancing thanks to a girl in a blue sweater who is all over the place, while Hanna sneaks into the very dark, very Jesus-y organ room to complete Operation A. She hears some footsteps and suddenly, two shiny shoes are standing in from of pew she's ducking under. It's Wilden and he has Hanna's note. She tries to talk herself out of it. He asks why she's helping "him," but she doesn't know who he's talking about. Turns out, it's Garrett. I'm pretty sure he almost suggests they have sex, but maybe that's just the whole Ezria thing getting to me.
Speaking of whom, Ezra is sipping on a beer, watching a Western (i.e. guy stuff), when Aria enters. She's wearing a different outfit and that's not the only thing that's off. When they kiss, he sensing something's wrong. She says her first day as Laurel's assistant was awful because she "was distracted by what she found in [his] sock drawer." He quickly comes up with a story about selling a '67 Jaguar his grandfather left him when he lost his job. He didn't tell Aria because he was embarrassed and he says, "I let the guy pay me in cash so he could get a break on taxes."
The story sort of makes sense, but as Aria sinks into the comfy couch with him and he puts his movie back on, Ezra turns to kiss her head and also looks back at said sock drawer. "When you're loyal to man, you're loyal to everything about him ... Even his faults ... Even his son," the cowboy on the screen says. I'm officially creeped out.
The next morning, Papa Hastings tells Spencer the police had been looking for the anklet for two years. It had blood on it and it was Ali's and someone else's ... not Garrett's. The judge threw out the case and Spencer runs upstairs into her room and throws a fit -- a sobbing, panting, screaming into pillows, down on your knees sort of fit.
She goes to make a call and suddenly, she gets a text, the first one from A this episode: "Hey Spence, I have one more surprise for you. Garrett isn't their killer. -A."
Is this supposed to be surprising? Because I'm pretty sure Spencer's dad just said that. But whatever. Cry on, Spencer. Cry on. (PS- I really like your top.)
In our final A scene, we see A eating sherbet, which looks delicious, and searching for a want ad for a room for rent. Looks like A's moving in, bitches.
Quotes of the Night
"You almost tripped over a catheter back there that was still attached to someone."- Spencer
"I have been living there since my mom signed me up to sort through spandex shorts and granny panties."- Hanna
"What happened to the girl who wouldn't get out of her sweats?"- Spencer
"She traded them for fatigues."- Hanna
"Just be careful and wear sensible shoes."- Spencer
"Hey, I wear three inches or I wear nothing. Oh and order me a side salad to soak up the cheese."- Hanna
"I've been in the library so much I'm on a first-name basis with the homeless guy who sleeps next to the microfiche." -Spencer
"Hanna, I've had more exciting naps than this party and so have you."- Toby
"Word of warning: My dance moves start at the Running Man and end with the Roger Rabbit."- Ted