After two eventful episodes to start off Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars, episode three slowed things down a bit. While there were no major, jaw-dropping moments or questions answered, the writers introduced us to the story lines they’ll delve into next — and it involves A targeting members of the girls’ families.
So, let’s recap with 10 of the biggest moments from Tuesday’s episode:
1. Guess who’s back!
Spencer’s (Troian Bellisario) big sis Melissa (Torrey DeVitto), who seems to be connected to just about every story line in this show, is back! After hitting Washington, D.C. for an interview, Melissa is back in town, much to Spencer’s surprise. Even more shocking though, is when Melissa reveals the news that she hopes to get an internship offer in San Francisco or London…so…really far away.
While talking to her little sis, Melissa alludes to the idea that they should both be trying to get away from the small town of Rosewood, but Spencer is just left to wonder why her suspicious sister wants to get out so badly.
2. Will Aria’s mom leave?
While Aria (Lucy Hale) is taking her own love life somewhat slowly, her mom Ella is getting pretty serious with the much younger, coffee shop guy. When he’s offered a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Austria for about a year, he asks Ella to join him. Of course, with two kids (although we haven’t seen Aria’s little bro Mike in ages), Ella can’t exactly ship off and fly across the world for a year.
After spending an evening with her new love interest, Jake, Aria learns that two people don’t have to have a million and one things in common to have a good relationship. Plus, she gets a creepy text from “A” about how the moms are clearly being his/her’s next target. This realization causes Aria to give her mom a speech about passion and she ultimately gives her her blessing to head off to Vienna. Something tells me “A” will make sure there’s a hitch in the plan, though…
3. Caleb to the rescue
Hanna’s (Ashley Benson) man candy is back (although, let’s not forget he’ll be leaving Rosewood for Ravenswood soon. Tear). Anyway, Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) sees how distraught Hanna is over the possibility that her mom, Ashley, killed Detective Wilden, but more importantly, the idea that “A” will frame her to look like she did, even if she’s innocent. Like a knight in shining armor, Caleb tracks down Hanna’s dad (random), who’s been out of the picture for a while now.
Unfortunately, Mr. Marin doesn’t seem all that interested in getting involved with Ashley’s mess. More on that later…
4. Hanna goes snooping
Because Hanna is unaware of Caleb’s plan to find dear old dad, she’s ready to do some digging of her own. She realizes she has to prove her mom was still in New York the night Wilden was killed to get her off the hook, so she grills Ashley some more about the trip. During the Q&A session, Hanna learns her mom was mostly in conferences and hotel rooms for the duration of her NYC trip, although the night Wilden was shot, she was out seeing a play.
But when Hanna goes to drop something off for Ashley at work, she notices a bouquet of flowers on her mom’s desk. Ashley says they’re from the company as a gift to everyone who went to the conference in New York, but of course, Hanna is skeptical. When her mom leaves the room, she finds the flowers’ card in the trash with a note that says: “Hope you’re feeling better, don’t worry about missing the play, it was a dud.”
In a classic teenage moment, Hanna shoves the note in her mom’s face and storms out of her office.
Hanna’s snooping continues, though, later on at the police station, where she comes across a giant cork board of clues connected to Wilden’s murder. The shocking part is that her face is on the board, along with her four friends’, and just about everyone else in town. Including her mom. The new detective assures her that this is the way murder cases are solved…plucking off the suspects until there is only one left. Of course, Hanna knows that with “A” snooping around, it’s her mom’s face that’ll be left at the end, causing her to set even deeper into panic mode.
Oh, and just to add to the confusion…Melissa shows up at the police station, too — for a meeting with the new detective! She later claims that he is simply interviewing everyone connected to Wilden, but come on…it’s Melissa. There’s obviously more to this.
5. Ali’s Mask
While going through a box of Ali’s things, the girls find a mask of their dead friend’s face, similar to the one Hanna saw on the Halloween train. Since there is a sticker on the back indicating the location where the mask was made, Aria, Hanna and Emily (Shay Mitchell) head to the mask shop for details. In the middle of the night…of course, because with all that’s happened to them on this show, that’s definitely the way to do it.
The creepy mask-maker totally remembers Ali coming in to have the masks made, and he’ll spill details to the girls…as long as he can make a mold of Emily’s face. Nope, not creepy at all! Naturally, Emily agrees, and we find out that Ali had the masks made because she wanted her friends to look just like her. Again, not creepy at all, right? And we still don’t know how many of these masks are floating around, but chances are they’ll be popping up a lot more in the weeks to come.
6. Ali’s not the only one with a mask!
While Emily’s getting her face molded and Aria stands guard, Hanna takes her time to snoop around the shop and see what else she can find. Well, it turns out that Ali isn’t the only one who was getting her face replicated — because Hanna found a mask of Melissa’s face!
This whole turn of events is pretty confusing, considering Ali was sneaking around with Melissa’s boyfriend Ian before she died, and the girls hated each other. So, were they getting the masks together? Did Ali follow Melissa to the mask shop…or vice versa? These questions were left unanswered.
7. Targeting Emily’s mom
Ashley isn’t the only mom being targeted by “A!” It’s Emily’s mom, Pam’s, turn now, and it all starts with Emily’s trip to the doctor to get her shoulder checked out. Remember how she took painkillers she wasn’t prescribed in the last episode? Well, the doctor wants to actually prescribe them to her this time around, but Emily slips up and says she’s had a bad reaction to the drug. This confuses the doc, who doesn’t see anything about it in her file, causing Emily to backtrack.
Doc calls Mrs. Fields, who shows up at school to ask Emily about the incident. Emily and Pam get in a fight in the parking lot, where Emily insists that she didn’t take any of her mom’s drugs, but Pam knows there’s way too many missing for her to be telling the truth. She tries to get Emily to leave by tugging on her arm, but that just makes Emily more mad, causing her to yell and run off with her friends.
Of course, “A” saw all of this, and he/she (or maybe someone else? but doubtful) placed a call to Family Services to have Pam checked out. With Pam under fire, Emily’s dad will be coming home from his work in the military to (hopefully) help sort things out. Drama!
8. So, what’s the deal with Toby’s mom?
Spencer and her boyfriend Toby (Keegan Allen) are still obsessively going over his mom’s file, provided to them by “A,” which leads them to Radley to get a better idea of where she was when she allegedly committed suicide. Spencer conveniently knows the override code to the front door, and they walk inside with no issues.
Toby is initially disappointed when they find her room, and he re-hashes her actions as written in the file. There’s not much to it…she went to the window…she jumped…end of story. He believes “A” provided him with nothing, while he gave up the RV with everything incriminating inside.
Spencer, of course, doesn’t give up that easily, and she realizes that with a roof overhang in the way, there’s no way Toby’s mom could’ve made the jump and landed on the ground without help. Hmm…so maybe “A” gave Toby more than he thought. But, wait, are they trying to get at the idea that it was “A” who killed Toby’s mom? Because, I mean, that’s just a little ridiculous.
9. Now Hanna’s dad’s facing trouble, too
With Hanna’s dad back in the picture, don’t think he’s getting off so easy! Mr. Marin apparently has a change of heart and tracks down Caleb, where he tells him that he actually saw Ashley the night Detective Wilden was killed. She allegedly came to his house to get money, although she wouldn’t tell him what for. However, when Mr. Marin goes to tend to a family matter in another room, he comes back to Ashley being gone.
After revealing all of this shocking info, Mr. Marin tells Caleb that this is a perfect time for him to back out of this mess and keep from getting involved, but Caleb insists that he needs to help Hanna. So, Mr. Marin tells him that after their previous chat, he’d done something he’d dreaded doing since Ashley left that night…checked to make sure his gun was still in it’s rightful place. It, of course, was not.
This is a classic case of the show trying to get us to believe Ashley killed Wilden, but I’m sure we’ll find out “A” is involved with this debacle somehow!
10. Melissa keeps it creepy with Spencer
Melissa conveniently walks into Spencer’s room just as she’s inspecting the mask of her big sis, causing Spencer to have to do her best to hide the object from Melissa’s view. Melissa keeps it creepy, as usual, and ends their conversation by asking Spencer the same question Spencer asked her back in Season 1: If you had to choose between me and someone you loved…who would you choose?
So, this clearly means that Melissa knows Spencer is snooping behind her back…and finding incriminating evidence against her. We don’t see Spencer’s response to the question, but she definitely looks a little bit terrified by Melissa’s straight-forward question.
The episode ends with “A’s” mysterious, covered hand looking at Emily’s shoulder x-rays. Again…creepy.
So, no real questions were answered this week, but we’re still left wondering what Ashley Marin was doing the night Wilden died. And also, how exactly is Melissa connected to all of this? And…well, much, much more. Looks like we’ll have to keep tuning in to get some answers!