Credit: Eric McCandless/ ABC    
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Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Season 3, Episode 4 Recap: Melissa Is the Black Swan!

Trapped in the closet! (Remember that crazy song?) In this week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars (Season 3, Episode 4: “Birds of a Feather”), Aria is her mom’s new wingwoman; Jason is offering up more than just pocket change; and “A” is now responsible for almost as many car crashes as Lindsay Lohan.

Wherein Aria Puts False Info on an Online Dating Profile. (First Time That’s Been Done Before, Right?)

Remember the movie Sleepless in Seattle, in which a kid tries to get his dad a date by giving out his info on the radio? Well, Aria creating an online profile for her “hot mama” is basically the same thing, although slightly more contemporary and slightly creepier. (R.I.P. Nora Ephron.) Plus, Meg Ryan’s got nothing on our Ella.

And while Aria and her dad are about as tight as Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight (translation: they’re not that tight), it’s nice to see how close Aria and her mom are getting, even if Ella wasn’t thrilled about the dating profile. Ella was like, “Aria, I’m not looking for a man right now. Plus, I just picked up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey, so I’m all set if you know what I mean. [Ella winks.]”

And as it turns out, Hanna’s mom is a pro at online dating. In fact, while she and Ella are talking, Ms. Marin gets a message from a dude named Frankie D. with a red Corvette. He sounds uber-sleazy, but whoever he is, we’re sure he’s a million times better than dating Detective Wilden. But just to be on the safe side: When’s the last time you were in Montecito, Frankie D.? (You never can be too sure who’s on the “A” team these days. We want answers, Frankie!)

Wherein Spencer Confronts Melissa While Melissa’s Holding a Knife. (Bad Idea.)

So does anyone think there’s even a 5% chance that Melissa was telling the truth, when she claimed that she was blackmailed into showing up at the masquerade ball in the Black Swan outfit? We don’t think so either. And then why did Melissa suddenly need to take a nap as she was talking to Spencer? The only excuse for possibly getting tired that suddenly is if you were watching televised golf.

And if Spencer thought she only had one sibling she couldn’t trust, she should think again. For some reason, Jason doesn’t want her to know that he’s giving someone the $50K reward for info about Ali’s remains. All Jason would tell her is that he’d gotten plenty of prank calls about the incident, including one call blaming it on Obama. (We’re guessing that call came from someone with the last name of Romney.)

We’ve now learned that Spencer’s mom says she agreed to represent Garrett in order to keep anyone from knowing that the family hired a private investigator to follow Melissa. And Mrs. Hastings also had no idea that Melissa had attended the masquerade ball dressed as the Black Swan. Frankly, the lack of communication in that household is astonishing.

Credit: Eric McCandless/ ABC    

Wherein Emily Learns You Can’t Take a Break During Your First 5 Minutes of a New Job

Is Emily finally on the path toward coping with Maya’s death? Emily’s cousin Nate helps her deal with her feelings by getting her to write a thank-you note to Maya’s parents. Granted, it’s hard for us to imagine a world in which writing a thank-you note is a pleasant experience, but that’s just us.

Nate also passes along a gift that Maya had intended to give Emily, which was a T-shirt of the movie they saw on their first date. So let’s get this straight: We’re being shown a shirt with the word “zombie” on it, along with the fact that Maya was seemingly killed for knowing something about Ali? If we didn’t know any better, we’d think this T-shirt was a big ‘ol fat clue from Maya! (More on that in a moment. Be patient, people.)

Wherein Hanna Is No Longer Permitted to See Mona Or Caleb

Sadness alert! Haleb’s relationship is now as intact as a cookie that someone tried to send through the mail. (And yes, that’s a subliminal hint: Please send us care packages full of cookies. But no oatmeal raisin we’re not deranged.) Seriously how heartbreaking was it to see Caleb end things after Hanna clammed up about “A,” realizing that his mom’s safety was at risk? Plus, it didn’t help matters that Caleb contributed to Mona losing her visitation rights.

But how long will Haleb stay broken up? We doubt it’s for very long, since Caleb doesn’t have much else to do on the show. And speaking of which, what is Wren up to? Is he trying to swoop in on Hanna, or does he have “A”-related business to attend to? Let’s just hope that Caleb and Wren don’t come face-to-face anytime soon, because we assume those two will get along about as well as Chris Brown and Drake did. (In other words, look out for flying bottles.)


- The big reveal this week (although not entirely shocking) was the news that Melissa was blackmailed into dressing as the Black Swan. Uh... or was she? Because if you believed what Melissa said about not knowing who asked her to dress as the Black Swan and about not actually saying anything to Jenna at the ball then we know a Nigerian prince who will help you triple your money. Just send us a check and we’ll pass it along to him.

Credit: Eric McCandless/ ABC    

- There’s a growing group of PLL fans who are convinced that Aria is working with the “A” group. So what’s the sign this week that she might be “A”-affiliated? Well, after the girls have all popped out from hiding in Melissa’s closet, Aria is the one who spots the feather in Melissa’s costume-shop garment bag and pulls it out. Did Aria have something to do with it getting there? We’re not saying it’s likely we’re just saying it’s intriguing.

- Detective Wilden was spotted twice in this episode first at Radley, where he spent over an hour with Mona, and then later in his car, where he asks Spencer how far away her parents’ lake house is. It seems as if Mona told him about something that went down at the lake house, or that she implied that the girls weren’t actually there when Ali’s remains were stolen, and now Wilden is off to investigate. Or maybe he just felt like going for a dip in the lake.

- Speaking of the lake house, we couldn’t help but interpret Nate’s comments about Maya’s rowing skills when she would canoe alongside the male swimmers as some kind of hint that perhaps ties Maya to the lake house. Is the show telling us that Maya’s death was due to something she saw at the lake house? (Okay, maybe it’s a stretch, but why else would the show make such a big deal this week about Maya loving to row?)

- Who is about to receive that fat $50K check from Jason? Judging from the fact that he’s keeping it a secret from Spencer, we can only assume that the person receiving the money or the person being accused of the crime is someone who Spencer is close witih.

- At the end of the episode, we see a gloved person at the Montecito airport who’s drinking a mixed drink and fiddling with the Radley website, so that Mona is now allowed to have visitors. The main person we can think of who would have access to the Radley site is Wren, and we know that he also likes to drink. (In fact, does the mixed drink mean that this mysterious person is probably over 21?)

- Do you believe Mrs. Hastings that she’s helping Garrett so that the info about their private investigator won’t get out, or is there a juicier reason why Mrs. Hastings is working with him? Somehow, the reason that Mrs. Hastings gives doesn’t quite seem convincing enough to us.

- As we alluded to earlier, we can’t help but think that the shirt with “I Walked With a Zombie” on it was intended as a sneaky clue from Maya to Emily, to let Emily know that Maya has talked to Alison and that Alison is still alive. And perhaps that’s exactly the information that got Maya killed. Or else Maya just really likes movie memorabilia.

Other Things That Need to be Discussed:

- We didn’t hate Spencer’s ultra-shiny silver top that she wore in the episode, but it did seem to have been made out of a disco ball. We felt like someone was going to turn on a disco anthem like “I Will Survive” at any moment. (Plus, that song could probably be these girls’ theme song, considering how many times they’ve narrowly escaped death.)

- And speaking of offbeat fashions, Aria’s ‘80s-esque leopard-print dress earlier in the episode made us wonder when she was going to start dancing on the hood of a car to a Whitesnake song.

- We don’t care how stressed out we were if a cute guy invited us to a Bon Iver concert, we would be freakin’ going. (By the way, can we take a crack at Caleb, now that he’s back on the market? What too soon?)

Catch an all-new episode of PLL on Tuesday, July 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.

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