Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 2, Episode 20 of ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," titled "Hot Water."
After Jason went missing from the hospital, the girls need a drink ... but don't worry; not a Hastings-style beverage. The Little Liars have gathered at the Rear Window Brew, which is apparently what The Brew is called after hours or it's just another opportunity to make this show seem Hitchcockian.
Emily hasn't heard from Jason since she went to get him water at the hospital and proclaims, "I don't think I'll be taking an elevator anytime soon." Sure, Em -- of all things to be scared of, go with the elevators.
"OK. So now that the whole NAT club's out of Rosewood, do you think A will retire," Hanna asks. Spencer thinks the A Team just "has more time for [them]."
As Hanna, Aria and Emily try to figure out who "Red Coat" is (their money's on Cece) and Spencer looks at a slightly-less-daunting text message than usual (this one's from Wren), someone's looking on outside.
Spencer -- whose brain is not "firing on all cylinders" -- leaves her phone face up on the table and Hanna sees the text: "Can we talk about what happened tonight?" Spence dismisses it as him seeing a "moment" between her and MonA, but before the conversation can continue, there's a knock on the Rear Window Brew's door. It's Wilden.
He barges in and point blank asks them if they have anything to do with the nasty things Jason DiLaurentis has been saying about him. "Why don't you ask CeCe Drake?" Hanna blurts. "We know about the little boat ride you two took with Alison." Wilden is tongue-tied and asks them if they'd like a ride because "it's not safe this time of night." This man could not play "I'm shady" any more blatantly.
"Oh, and Hanna, see you around," he says as he walks out the door.
Mom: "Wait a second. Was that The Brew? They were at Pan Quotidien tables."
Aria's loosened her neck tie from a long day of sleuthing and sees the blankets and book Wes borrowed tidily organized atop the Montgomery couch. She touches it ever-so gently and longingly. Girl, this isn't "The Vampire Diaries" (despite the renewed presence of Melissa/Meredith on both shows in recent weeks). Pick a Fitz!
My sister and "Voice" co-capper (Note: In a rare happenstance, the three of us watched this episode in the same room) notes that on "Pretty Little Liars," "British people all have W names."
The next day, Hanna and her mom are walking down the street
s of Rosewood when they see Wilden shove CeCe into a black town car and then toss not one, but two awesome bitch looks Hanna's way.
Mom: "He wears skinny ties like what's that cop. Dick Tracy"
Ashley asks Hanna what that was about and she says, "Wilden's a freak. He hates us," before finally admitting, "We just want to figure why he's always after us." She says the Liars think he and Ali had a relationship and Ashley refuses to believe that the most slimy police officer to exist since "The Wire" would do such a thing. "No wonder he's upset," she tells her daughter. "You can't go around saying those things about people. No matter how much you don't like them." And with that, the conversation is over.
Mom: "She didn't kiss her mom goodbye."
Meanwhile, at the PHH, the younger Hastings is laying motionless in a bed of so much toile and damask that would lead one to call her Lady Spencer. "Oh my God," newly crop-topped Melissa says as she sees her little sister in such a state. OMG is right. She says she's been covering for her with their parents, but if they call again, "I'm telling them the truth." Spencer says nothing. Someone get her that lowball she left on the stairs!
At school, Hanna recounts the Wilden run-in to Emily, who is shocked mostly that one of the PLL's was actually half-way honest with a parent. Then onto the less important topic of Cece. "He wouldn't grab her in broad daylight if he was going to hurt her ... probably," Em says. She then reveals -- in instance No. 4329087540239857 of the writers telling and not showing us a big moment -- that Jason texted and said he's "laying low at a friend's place in Virginia." Hanna decides to come out with something too: She tells Emily about the dice-doodled $5 bill and Emily is mostly just stunned that Hanna "gave money to a church." She really missing the points of Hanna's stories today. Anyway, with Caleb at
Uncle Jamie's, Em and Hanna decide to ask Paige if they found out anything in their sleuthing, but only "after school," Emily says. Because suddenly someone cares about learning.
But don't worry ... not everyone: Aria walks into Ezra's apartment on the phone, wearing horrible metallic red leggings and an awesome studded bag. You win some, you lose some, "PLL" wardrobe department. "Hey Wes. Look, I think that we should talk ... " Then, she turns around to see Big Fitz. #EzrasBack. (We get it.) Aria's simultaneously relieved and horrified. She wants to know why he never called. "I was trying to be fair to you and not drag you into the middle of this ... This isn't what you signed up for," he says. But with one plea for Aria, he apologizes for shutting her out and admits he was wrong. Hit your Staples "that was easy" button right now, folks.
Then, he waxes poetic about how awesome Malcolm is and Aria asks if Maggie ever explained why she kept him from Ezra. "My mother paid her to keep quiet," he says. Without missing a beat, she replies, "That's disgusting." He raises an eyebrow and she offers an insincere "sorry." Again, "that was easy." Also, didn't Aria already know about the bribery? Either way, Lucy Hale's reaction and delivery is so awesome, I really don't care.
Ezra walks up to her and says he's craving vegan takeout, which is the way back into Aria's hear. "I want you in my life, Aria. Every part of it. If you're willing," he says. They embrace and I bet most of those viewers who endorse pedophilia and teacher-student relationships "aw."
Mom: "Aria, you're closer in age to Malcolm."
"What happened with Wes?" he asks referring to her phone conversation. OK, so that wasn't that easy. "It was nothing," she says and then decides she's going to be late for school. Education: A Little Liar's ultimate excuse. He watches as her shiny red pants walk out the door.
Unraveling Spencer is wearing another outfit I definitely wore the other day as she lays motionless on a far less plush surface: a desk in Mrs. Montgomery's empty (of course) classroom. "Bad week," she says matter-of-factly. She offers to leave, but Ella would rather talk. "Well, I guess you've heard ... about Mona," Spencer says. "Mrs. Horowitz wanted you suspended, but Mona said it was just a misunderstanding," Ella says. Spencer silently chuckles and smirks. It's glorious and I need a gif of it stat.
Mom: "Ella actually looks pretty."
"I've never seen you this down," Ella tells her. "Yeah, well, people change," poor disturbed Spencer replies. Ella tries to commiserate about bad breaks up. Normal thing for a parent/teacher to do with a high school student. Anyway, Spencer is not having it. She's out the door to go find another cold desk to lay her weary head upon.
Out in the school parking lot, Paige is using the handy Bing feature on her car navigation system to locate some mysterious address when Emily and Hanna stop by. Paige says she's heading home, but when "Rosewood Costume Shop" pops up on the screen, the girls call her out (unfortunately, not about the fact that she doesn't know how to get to a place she's A) been to before and B) is likely on the .25 mile stretch of town that is commercial Rosewood). Paige explains she's just checking in with Shana about those Queen of Hearts costumes since she said the inventory can take a few weeks. At this point, I'm not sure whether she's lying because she's cheating on Emily or because she's genuinely trying to protect her. The girls hop in the car and they're off to an awkward costume shop run-in we go!
Speaking of awkward, in the hallways of Rosewood High, Aria has shown up just in time to catch Spencer's eye, causing Spencer to turn in the other direction and darts into the bathroom. No little lies: I'm genuinely sad to see what's become of these former best friends. Aria walks right into the "Girls" room after Spencer, who's now locked herself in a stall. "I know that you're in there," she says, knocking on the door. Spence simply says she's fine and ignores Aria's sincere pleas to open up, both figuratively and literally. "You're not the only one who could use a little Team Sparia," Aria says, soul-crushingly. Despite the lack of response, Aria continues: "Spencer, I know that you don't want a friend right now, but that doesn't mean your friends don't need you." Both girls look at the ground with despair in their eyes on the opposites sides of the aluminum bathroom stall door. When she doesn't get an answer, Aria leaves as Spencer stares through the solid door like a deer in headlights.
Over at the Rosewood Costume Shop, Paige, Emily and Spencer are standing in a line a solid five feet from Shana, who introduces herself because "Paige forgot her manners." She and Emily silently spar ... or really, just Shana does. Mannerless Paige presses Shana about the Queen of Hearts costumes. "I checked. We can't give out that information. It'd be my ass," Shana replies. This is TV-14, people! While Emily
goes to the bathroom checks the snazzy Psycho-themed iPad for purchase history, Hanna distracts Shana by asking inane questions about Little Boy Blue costumes. Tech-savvy Emily (a.k.a. Spencer 2.0) gets the info transferred to her phone just in time and they're out. Paige gives Shana a strange look and I'm still not sure what their "relationship" is.
While Aria does her homework at the Regular Ol' Window Brew, Mrs. Fitzgerald walks in to thank her for whatever she said to Wes that brought him back to Dillard. I've decided this woman both looks and sounds like young Ellen Burstyn -- haircut and all, she just needs a scarf. Anyway, Mrs. Fitzgerald thanks Aria for her "generosity towards [her] son." "Wes needed a place to stay. I wasn't gonna leave him out on the street," Aria replies. After a long pause, Mrs. Fitzgerald says, "I meant Ezra" with a shocked expression on her face and tone in her voice. "Wes stayed with you?" Aria explains she doesn't want to get in the middle of things, but Mrs. Fitzgerald says she was just trying to do what's best for Ezra. Aria stays silent as Mrs. F------ B---- goes on about how brave Aria is for staying with Ezra while Malcolm and Maggie become the center of his life. This woman knows how to give a shitty compliment.
Over at Hanna's, Caleb (via phone) says he'll try to ID the credit card numbers from the costume shop's history when he gets back. Aw, throwback to hacker Caleb. Emily's too distracted to be excited and out of nowhere, she asks "Do you think Toby would ever cheat on Spencer?" Hanna doesn't think he would and "neither would Paige." "Who said anything about Paige?" Emily says defensively. "Uh, your face," which I hope to use as often as possible. Anyway, Hanna doesn't think Shana's gay because "she barely looked at me." As Emily rolls her eyes, Aria walks in, sits on the bed and hugs a pillow. "Ezra's back," she says with feigned cheer. "And so is Mrs. Fitz-scary."
Over at a very fancy restaurant, Wilden walks over to Ashley's table-for-one with a glass of white wine. "I'm here as a friend," he says. "But we're not friends," Ashley clarifies. Wilden admits his "record isn't spotless," but he doesn't want something "outrageous" to ruin his career. "If it's outrageous, why do you seem so nervous?" Ashley asks before straight-up asking if there's any truth to said "outrageous" rumor. "Of course not. What do you think?" he asks. Ashley says nothing with her collagen-filled lips, but her face says it all. "I think you bought a glass of wine for the wrong person," she replies, pushing the glass in his direction and prompting him to get up from the table.
Meanwhile, Wren, a not-so-unwanted guest shows up at The Brew, and asks Spencer if he can join her. "I was hopping we could discuss that little road trip," he says nervously. She obliges and admits she was wrong. "You wanted to help me and I used you to get at Mona. I'm sorry," Spencer says sounding the most sane she has in a while. "You shouldn't be. I deserve to be used," he replies, admitting that he had ulterior motives after finding out she and TobAy had broken up. "It was wrong of me to try to swoop in so quickly," he says before apologizing. "It was nice ... being with you," she admits. "I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought so," he replies shyly and then asks her to dinner. She chortles. Is that a yes or a no?
Apparently, it's a yes as we later see them walking down the street talking about Spencer's early days as a klepto. "I had a lovely night," Wren says, cutting the night short due to work. Then, he goes in for a kiss, catching Spencer off guard and causing her to back away. (Yes!) "I'm sorry," he mutters. Then, she goes in for the kiss (No!) as someone else looks on from across the street.
Mom: "Spencer's turning into such a slut."
As Spencer walks away, she sees (or thinks she sees) a blonde in a red coat. But as she follows Red Coat around the corner, there's only a man there.
Meanwhile, Aria finally finds the courage -- thanks to Emily and Aria -- to talk to Ezra and when she barges into his apartment, Mrs. Fitz-scary is fighting with Ezra. He makes "[his] feelings perfectly clear" and with that, Mrs. F------ B----. "I'm so sorry that you had to see that," he tells Aria, causing her to run up and give him a kiss.
In a far less cozy setting, Paige is in Emily's bedroom, chastising her for stealing that information from the Rosewood Costume Shop, which led Shana to get in trouble. Emily calls her out. "We can't be half-honest," she tells Paige. "I saw the way you two looked at each other." Paige admits they dated for three weeks over the summer while Em was "working in Haiti." (WHAT?! Is that what people do after they accidentally kill their ex-girlfriend's stalker). "Emily, believe me. It's over. She was a substitute at a time when I never thought I'd get the real thing. I love you," Paige says sweetly, perhaps leading me to audibly "aw" and leading Em and Paige to kiss.
Ashley finally leaves the mysterious restaurant and calls Hanna, who's too busy listening to Rebecca Ferguson's "Glitter & Gold" to answer her. Something tells me this will be a huge mistake. Anyone else? Ashley leaves a message: "Hey Hanna. It's me. I just saw Wilden. We need to talk about what you told me earlier, OK? Call me as soon as you get this. Love you. Bye." As she gets in her car, we see Wilden follows. This can't be good.
In a perhaps less good situation, Spencer gets home from her date and Melissa (a.k.a Dream Crusher) tells her, "No company is better than bad company" after smelling the cologne she bought Wren on her little sister. I really wish she pounced on Melissa like she did MonA. I miss animal world.
While Ezra and Aria cuddle up for popcorn and movie, Ezra gets a call from Maggie. Apparently, Mrs. Fitz-Scary has made a move: "She owns Maggie's condo and she's selling it," Ezra whispers to Aria.
Over on a desolate road, Wilden had picked his time to strike. He pulls Ashley over and shines a flashlight in her eyes so she opens the window before realizing it's him. He accuses her of drinking and driving and asks her step of out of the car. "We need to talk about Hanna. Can you keep Hanna quiet or not?" He threatens to "talk" if she "talks." There's a whole lotta talk of the word "talk." He grabs her arm and says, "This is nothing compared to what I'll do if Hanna talks." Ashley threatens to tell his lieutenant and gets back in her car. Not only does he refuse to get out of her way, but he seemingly reaches for his gun as he tells her, "Either you shut Hanna up or I will." In a breathy panic, Ashley stomps on her gas and hits Wilden. And wouldn't you know? This whole thing is being taped with some hi-tech video camera in Wilden's undercover cop car.
Despite the fact that Emily and co. think Cece may be Red Coat, she seemingly has no problem showing up at her apartment alone. Cece is frantically packing to go "anywhere ... fast" and accusing Emily of opening her mouth about Ali and the boat. "Why lie about it?" Emily asks. "I don't have time for this," Cece says, admitting she thought Wilden got Ali pregnant and killed her. Then ballsy, but arguably stupid Emily tells Cece that Jason saw her at the DiLaurentis house the night Ali died. "He told you that?" she asks with pursed lips. "God, this is so messed up ... Ali called. She was freaking out about some videos. Everyone wanted them, Spencer's big sister more than anyone. When I showed up, she begged me to talk to Ali so I did. Then Ali left to go get them. Next day ... she was missing." Emily throws in her last question as Cece walks out the door with her suitcase: Who took that picture? "Melissa Hastings," Cece replies. And with that, she's gone.
In a far less frenzied abode, Spencer turns on the sauna feature in her shower and sits down to decompress as we see a hooded figure walk though the house outside the foggy bathroom.
When she gets up and goes to turn off the steam, there's a system error and the temperature starts climbing. Spencer panics and tries to get out of the shower, but there's a plunger blocking the door handle. Then, she sees a message in the bathroom mirror:
"Steamy with Wren
Steamy with me -A"
She calls for Melissa, but the house is empty (or Melissa is the one who wrote the message/locked her in there) and then, just her luck, Aria arrives. She's really just popping up in people's unlocked houses all over the place. After catching her breath, Spencer tells Aria: "This is revenge ... For hooking up with Wren ... Can you call Hanna and Emily? I need them to come over. I know who's helping Mona." Finally! If we do not get to see this conversation, I'm taking out my shovel.
Well, we definitely won't see it in this episode because Hanna is too busy going to the sight of the hit and run with Ashley, who dramatically told her in the Marin's dark kitchen, "I think I killed Detective Wilden." When they get there, Wilden's door is still ajar and his light is still flashing. Ashley doesn't want Hanna to have to see this, but Hanna's seen worse. Besides, she tells her mom, "I'm not letting you do this alone."
As they slowly -- painfully, slowly -- approach, there's no body on the ground. "Mom, where's Detective Wilden," Hanna asks. "I. Don't. Know." Ashley replies.
Over in A's new lair, one of the hooded/gloved figures is listening to "Steam Heat" -- because s/he likes that 1950s musicals and/or not-so-subtle allusions to something we've already seen -- and chops off the stems of some roses, placing them in a wreath with a sash that reads, "With Deepest Sympathy."
Sadly, A doesn't proceed to turn on Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust."
Quotes of the Night
"I just doubt suddenly everything's going to be lilac and daffodils." - Spencer
"Pay attention. OK? We need this brain trust firing on all cylinders." - Aria
"She's a one-woman rumor factory." - Hanna
"Did you tell Paige that she almost got two Emilys for the price of one?" - Hanna
"George Washington has dreadlocks on like half my tips." -Hanna
"Uh, your face." -Hanna (I couldn't resist.)
"You should've seen those chicks fighting over me at the bar." -Hanna
"Since when do you care what that hose-beats thinks?" -Hanna
"Pretty Little Liars" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC Family.