Pretty Little Liars Recap: Trauma Queens

Pretty Little Liars Recap

Pretty Little Liars has put its core quartet through hell over the past five years, but the ABC Family drama has never been heavier — or better — than it was Tuesday night.

We may never know exactly what the girls endured during their three weeks in Charles’ compound, but the torture clearly left a few scars, some of which will never fully heal. They’re not the same people they were before the events of last season’s finale; they’re more scared, vulnerable and uncertain than they’ve ever been, despite being closer than ever to finally unmasking their tormentor.

And, frankly, there’s still no way of knowing who that tormentor is. It’s easy to point fingers at Andrew, the only apparent suspect in all of this, but the truth is rarely that simple — especially if the girls are to believe fellow prisoner Sara Harvey.

Let’s take a look at how each of the girls coped — or attempted to cope — with their new normals:

HANNA | Designing the girls’ prison rooms to look like their actual bedrooms was Charles’ most brilliant — and most twisted — act of all. Within minutes of returning home, Hanna was haunted by nightmarish flashbacks from the dollhouse, stripping her house of all former security. And while I would totally tune into the Caleb Replaces Wallpaper spinoff on HGTV, I got no joy out of seeing Hanna succumbing to her fear. I did, however, get all sorts of joy from seeing Ashley comfort her daughter. (More scenes between those two, please!)

Pretty Little Liars RecapEMILY | Unsurprisingly, Emily chose the physical route to recovery, grabbing her father’s gun and heading straight to the firing range. And after seeing her flashback to Charles’ compound — “Choose one, or all will suffer!” — can you really blame her? Pam attempted to talk some sense into her daughter, but it was a surprise visitor (Sara!) who really got through to her: “Are you sure it’s him?” she asked about Andrew after seeing him on TV and not recognizing him. Could he really be innocent, after all?

SPENCER | Addiction once again reared its ugly head, as Spencer’s parents refused to give her the pills prescribed to her at the hospital. Unfortunately, all four of the girls received prescriptions and Spencer looked particularly tempted during a brief visit to Aria’s house. I guess that explains why good ol’ Dean is coming back in a few weeks; Spencer’s in need of a serious sponsor meeting. (Side note: Was anyone else a little put off by Toby’s demand for “five minutes” with Andrew? Sure, he suspected the hot nerd of torturing the girls, but the last thing this town needs is another corrupt cop.)

ARIA | Miz Montgomery took the show’s title to new heights during a meeting with an investigator, telling her she saw Andrew’s face at the compound, a lie Ella saw right through. Speaking of Ella, if anyone can decipher Aria’s mom’s cryptic advice (“Aria, you’re very smart, but please remember, you’re also very wise”), I’d be most appreciative. Mama Montgomery is apparently too deep for this reporter. At least we got a nice scene between Aria and her former flame; Ezria is definitely a language I speak.

ALISON | The most surprising response to the events of the past month came from Alison, and I’m not talking about her suddenly cozying up to Toby’s new partner Lorenzo; Ali flirting with a cop is anything but surprising. I’m talking about her decision to go back to church, one of the only places that make her feel safe. (Side note: It was kind of weird seeing Alison in church, not attending — or being the subject of — a funeral, but I liked it.)

PLL fans: Do you think Andrew is really innocent? Are you worried about Spencer’s addiction getting the best of her? And is there any chance Ali’s new man-in-uniform isn’t a crooked monster? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Laura Hogan says:

    where was Mona?

  2. xx says:

    There are a lot of ridiculous things in PLL, but there’s no way Wayne Fields and Paige aren’t on the first planes back.
    I 100% buy Tom Marin being absent though. Jerk.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Paige *wanted* to come back, but Emily told her not to. :P

      • xx says:

        Wish they would’ve just hand-waved it by saying they visited while the girls were hospitalized, though.

      • Nikki says:

        Wasn’t there something about Wayne Fields not being able to travel because of his illness or treatment? Or did I just infer that because it did seem odd he wouldn’t otherwise return?

        Honestly the parents on this show are always a bit flaky. They’re good when they actually are around though, and it was nice to see all the girls and their mothers coping with the fallout together.

    • xoxo says:

      Totally agree was wondering this myself

  3. Clearly says:

    Lorenzo is Charles

  4. Alyssa says:

    I don’t understand how in the video of Jason and Charles as little kids they are identical. But I’m assuming that they are going to have them at this point in time to end up not being identical twins. I think Lorenzo is a crooked cop but definitely not A. Also, Andrew is way to obvious to be A. I wish the show followed the books because the books had better twists and turns then the show does. Although, I am still a fan of the show

    • Winter says:

      They looked a lot a like but not necessarily identical which is not uncommon for fraternal twins. For instance the Olsen Twins are fraternal and looked enough like each other as kids to play the same character. So Charles and Jason could look very different now.

  5. jessica says:

    I don’t know why but I think A is pretending to be Sara and the real Sara is dead they never showed her mom and she saw Emily address in the hospital where in the hospital would you see someone’s address I don’t trust her

  6. Alyssa says:

    I also wanted to point out, remember the show used to show creepy A things at the end of the episodes? Well, in one of those scenes we actually see Mona’s dead body in the trunk of a car. That was a huge mistake to show that but then say she was after all alive

    • They showed Mona “looking” dead, but she wasn’t necessarily dead.

      • Alyssa says:

        If Mona was faking her death though, why didn’t she just take off? Why did she lay in the trunk of someone’s car and look dead rather than just getting out of there?

        • Rook says:

          Mona death was faked, but A is the one who faked it. Mona thought she was going to fake her death and go to Big A and join the team but A played her. She was attacked and A made it look like she was dead then was probably taken to the dollhouse.

  7. candace says:

    Of course Andrew is innocent. The liars suspect him, therefore it can’t be him.

  8. tommy says:

    could it be that “jason” is not jason. remember when he disappeared from the hospital and was gone for like half a season? what if charles came back and jason’s already dead?

  9. SF74 says:

    Andrew is definitely innocent. It’d be too easy if he were A.

  10. Spence says:

    As someone already said, where the heck was Mona? I would’ve much rather seen her dealing with PTSD rather than Ali’s dumb romance plot.

  11. c says:

    i think what Ella meant by saying “Aria, you’re very smart, but please remember, you’re also very wise.” is that Aria pointing out that she saw Andrews face would be smart, because it could get him locked up. But she’s also wise enough to know that it would be wrong, considering they don’t know for sure that he did it.

  12. Michelle says:

    When Toby found Andrew, it looked like Andrew wanted to give him some information. I think he was out looking for the girls, on the case the entire time, and now he has the answers. We’re going to waste valuable time thinking it’s him and he’s going to be the one to tell us the truth!

    And I DO NOT trust Sara Harvey! That hoodie looked way too familiar, even if it wasn’t black. I felt some of the girls’ PTSD when I saw her standing there! Don’t trust her!

    Emily joining the Army is something I didn’t know I needed, BUT I NEED IT NOW! I can totally see it!

  13. lauri5567 says:

    I agree that I can see Emily joining the Army and would be an interesting twist for 6B.
    At this point, I assume Andrew isn’t A.
    Also, did Alison and Jason never really ask why all those photos were missing out of the albums, but whoever did it forgot to remove the tape? So is this going to be some twisted version of Parent Trap.
    Still think Sarah’s not very trustworthy.
    I don’t think Lorenzo is dirty but I do think Alison’s going to get him to do something he shouldn’t at some point.

  14. yolanda gromerie says:

    When Toby found Andrew and punched him in the stomach and then when Lorenzo came, Toby asked if he could have 5 minutes with Charles. Maybe Toby was going to get some information out of Andrew (also beat him up). But then Lorenzo told Toby to ‘do your job.’ so then Toby and Andrew couldn’t have any alone time. Was it just me, or when Andrew saw Lorenzo- it seemed like he recognised him and he immediately was infuriated. It just seems a bit dodgy how a new cop comes in on a extremely dangerous investigation to be in a good role (out of no-where). Also when Lorenzo was talking to Alison- it seemed like he had been in Rosewood before (a bit fishy) and we all know what happened with Nate, ‘Maya’s cousin’. I think Lorenzo is going to be quite a mysterious character but could help out with the Charles investigation

    • misty says:

      Go back and look at the episode if you have demand….when Toby and Lorenzo were walking toward the police station he said he had found an apartment and Toby said that was fast and Lorenzo say yeah a whole lot better than sleeping on Mrs Grunswald sofa….the pictures on her walls creeped me out…and they both laughed……

      Lorenzo been in Ravenswood, he knows Mrs Grunswalds, I see a connection somewhere…something fishy…..he might know something.

  15. yolanda gromerie says:

    Andrew is definitely not ‘A’- since if he was ‘A’, he would’ve been smarter in getting rid of the evidence. Charles is definitely framing Andrew. It’s a bit suspicious how Aria wanted to get Andrew locked up so badly. Spencer definitely knows something that the others don’t- an example of this is when (at the start of the episode) they are in the hospital room and they are talking about wether Andrew is Charles, Spencer tells the others not to tell the police and she comes up with a weak reason. I’m not sure what i think about ‘Sarah Harvey’ because when Emily asks her if she saw the identity of Charles- Sarah brushes her off and says she ‘is tired’. When Aria and Spencer are in Arias room, Aria says ‘sorry’ out of nowhere- for some reason i believe this is because of the torture the girls went through when they were in their rooms and Aria was apologising for it.

  16. anonymous says:


  17. Kenidy says:

    I never thought Andrew was A I think they were doing that stuff on purpose to make us think he was otherwise that would be to easy

  18. hmmm says:

    Does anyone else feel like some of the other girls picked Spencer when they had to flip the switch? I think that’s why Aria was apologizing. Also Andrew is DEFINITELY not A way too obvious I saw another blog say Lucas but that’s dumb because Lucas is Alison’s age not Jason. Sara Harvey is a bit sketchy to me and her popping up at Emily’s house confirmed it. She was down there the longest she could have empathized with Charles and now works for him against the liars. I totally agree with everyone else they should’ve shown Mona!! Maybe A is Wren that would be a Shocker!

  19. crystal says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Sara might be Charles? Even if she isn’t, she seems pretty shady. It’s obvious that she’s gonna be Emily’s new boo. What I don’t understand however is why the writers would hype Emison last season only for Emily to have a relationship with Ali’s doppelganger.
    And leave it to Ezra to try to make Aria journal her feelings. I was so glad when Aria actually blasted him. I hate the guy and I hope Aria leaves him for good.
    I thought I would see Melissa in this episode. After all her sister had just been rescued but I guess all the moms in one episode was all they budgeted for.
    Also where the hell is Mona? I’d be heartbroken if the Liars shut her out again. Granted it was kinda her fault she was kidnapped in the first place but she did help them. However I’m finding it hard to believe that Mona did not know that Sara was also there.

    • luana says:

      you are NOT alone! I really think that Sara is Charles too. Think about it…there was a boy the DiLaurentis family didn’t want. maybe that boy wanted to be a girl and they couldn’t handle it… and they gave that boy up for adopion and he ended up being raised as a girl, just like he/she wanted.. that girl is Sara. playing the victim down there was the only way of coming out of there and not be arrested. also, look at the scenes last week, where they showed her in the shadows…her face had sooo many features that reminded me of a first I thought that Charles was dressing up as a girl, but “it turned out to be Sara”!!

  20. -A says:

    You’re next

  21. Bananarama says:

    How, as a writer, do you not understand the distinction between intelligence and wisdom?

  22. Toni says:

    What if we are all looking at it wrong. What if Charles was born a girl, and in the video of the kids younger is when he was transitioning into a boy. The dress was for Charlie/Charles cause Mrs dilaurentis didn’t want him to become a boy. And maybe he was sent off because it seemed easier for him to go off and become a boy elsewhere. What if it’s Lucas. That’s why ali calls him “hermie” because he did get a sex-change. She knows about that but She doesn’t know but his actually her sister.

  23. hmmm says:

    Was it just me or did it look like there was a cell phone next to Sara on her bed when they were all in Charles’ lair?

  24. sarah says:

    I think sara Harvey is really Bethany young

  25. pam says:

    weres Nona she not in the show after they all got found where did she go

  26. misty says:

    When New Cop Lorenzo and Toby were walking towards the police station…….Lorenzo said he found an apartment and it is a whole lot better than sleeping on Mrs Grunswald’s sofa…..which the pictures on her walls creeped him out.

  27. KPMom says:

    I would still like to know why Mrs. DiLaurentis made Alison lie when she was a child about the second dress she found in the piano. That has to have something to do with Charles, but why a little girl’s dress? Maybe Charles had some gender confusion going on and Mrs. D was letting him indulge that side of himself by buying him dresses. But maybe Mr. D found out and sent Charles away. Maybe Charles went on to actually become Sara Henry. Hmmm … food for thought.