Spencer slaps Toby! In this week’s Pretty Little Liars (Season 3, Episode 16: "Misery Loves Company"), Aria (Lucy Hale) gets an unexpected visitor, Hanna(Ashley Benson) loses a fight with a bunch of mannequins, and Meredith proves to be a psycho bitch a bit unhinged.
Aria is still under the weather, so she continues drinking Meredith’s magic tea — because why wouldn’t Aria trust her dad’s woman on the side? Aria tells her friends that the pages from Ali’s journal will stay hidden in a safe place until her dad gets back from his conference. Of course, if we were Aria, we would cross our fingers that Byron (Chad Lowe) stays away permanently.
When Meredith pops in to “check” on Aria, she tries to get her to spill where she hid those journal pages. If only Aria could call her friends... oh, wait, Meredith swiped her phone. Yikes!
Meanwhile, Toby (Keegan Allen) and Mona (Janel Parrish) have an “A”-minions meeting, with Toby saying they’re rushing something that they have planned for tomorrow. However, Mona reminds him neither of them are calling the shots, and someone referred to as “she” is. So does this mean the “A” team’s leader is female?
Back at the Marin residence, Hanna wants Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) to help her pick out an outfit for her job interview at a fashion boutique, even though Caleb would probably prefer to see Hanna out of her clothes rather than in them. She overhears him talking on the phone to someone about Hanna and Mona, and when he won’t come clean about who it was, Hanna gets Emily (Shay Mitchell) to trail him — like that’s normal!
Spencer Had a Little Lamb
Spencer (Troian Bellisario) is planning a surprise dinner for Toby in his apartment for their anniversary, and while she’s setting up in his pad, she spots an I.D. card for Radley with his photo on it — but with the name E. Lamb. Looks like the jig is up, Toby — or should we say, Mr. Lamb.
Meanwhile, Hanna gets all dolled up and heads to her interview, only to end up locked in the boutique with “A”! And here we thought normal job interviews were stressful. Hanna is then attacked by a bunch of evil mannequins before she finds a key with the letter “A” on it. She also gets a text from “A,” warning her she’ll lose her face. But if you ask us, faces are overrated.
Emily tries following Caleb, but when it comes to spying, Em is clearly no James Bond. She bails on Caleb just before we see him meeting up with Paige. Say what?! So this is the so-called therapist whom Paige claimed she was seeing. The two concerned significant others decide they can put a stop to “A” if they can just find the new “A” lair. Easier said than done, you two.
Ali Pops By to Say Hi
Aria wakes up in a hazy fog to see her old pal Alison (Sasha Pieterse) rifling through her things. Crazy! Ali finds Aria’s doll and says she taking back what’s hers.
Then, in true Ali fashion, she drops some major clues: She admits to having blackmailed Byron, says she herself isn’t dead, hints at Toby being “A,” alludes to issues with Ezra’s mom, and warns Aria not to drink Meredith’s elixir. Then, Ali asks Aria if she knows why she picked her — whatever that means.
When she wakes up, Aria discovers she’s locked in her room! Aria can’t get out, so she fashions a makeshift shiv out of a broken mirror and hides it in her bed. Apparently, if the Liars ever get sent to prison, Aria would be able to handle herself just fine.
However, waiting for evil people is tiring, and so Aria dozes off again. When she wakes up, Meredith is standing over her, making her own hand bleed from makeshift shiv. In other words, girlfriend has lost it. Aria runs downstairs and attempts to call 911, but Meredith catches her and knocks her out. Down goes Aria.
The Slap Heard ‘Round the World!
Em and Hanna — who happened to see Meredith loading up on sleeping meds — race back to Aria’s home and find their old pal Mer, who tells them Aria is just hanging out in the basement, like Aria always does. Emily and Hanna find Aria passed out, but before they can protest, Meredith locks them in the basement, too.
Finally, Byron opens the basement door, so Crazy Meredith hits the road. Byron fesses up to blackmailing Ali and seeing her on the day she died. But he says he didn’t kill her, and as he was leaving Ali’s home that night, he saw Melissa walk out of the house while talking on the phone. We wish we could say we’ve missed Melissa, but that would be a big ol’ lie.
Aria tells her dad she believes him, so she drops Ali’s journal in the fire. A sweet moment between the Montgomery family? What are the odds! Then again, we’re not 100% getting rid of those pages was the smartest thing Aria’s ever done.
Meanwhile, Toby sneaks into Spencer’s home when he was supposed to be at his own place, and Spencer catches him, hoodie and all. And then Spencer does what we’ve been dying to do for months: She slaps Toby! Finally! She shows Toby the fake Radley I.D. and explains how she pieced it all together. We knew nothing would get by our Spencer.
Finally, in an emotional final scene (yes, we were bawling!), Spencer tries to get into Toby’s apartment, but the locks have been changed. She tearfully begs Toby to tell her he’s not really on the “A” team, but to no avail. Instead, we see Mona in Toby’s apartment, gleefully pouring the wine that was meant for Spoby’s anniversary dinner. If only Spencer could have slapped Mona, too.
— There were clues galore tonight, especially with Ali’s visit to Aria. For quite some time, PLL fans have suspected Aria might be on the “A” team because she was the only Liar to not yet been visited by Ali in a hallucinatory state. Well, Aria finally got her visit!
— So the big question after Ali’s visit is whether this means Ali is still alive, and if so, whether she might be on the “A” team — or if perhaps her twin is. Plus, how on earth does Ali know about Ezra and his mom? And what does Ali mean by having “picked” Aria? Whatever Ali means, it sounds ominous.
— We can’t help but notice Byron’s smirk when he sees Melissa on the night Ali died. Does he know something is about to go down? And could Meredith have had a substantial role in Ali’s death, given how intent she was on finding those journal pages? She certainly seems crazy enough to have done it. Perhaps Aria was too hasty in burning those pages.
— One more big question: Who is the “A” mastermind who’s calling the shots for Mona and Toby? Mona mentions that “she” is in charge, implying the leader is female. And Mona seems to have more contact with the “A” leader than Toby does, so it’s probably someone Toby wouldn’t know super well. Hmm.
Other Things That Need to Be Discussed:
— We love seeing Emily and Hanna grabbing random blunt objects when Byron comes down the stairs, like a golf club and a pipe. It’s like the Liars are fighting back with weapons from the board game Clue.
— We adored the sweater with stars on it that Hanna was wearing toward the end of the episode. Come to think of it, we’re pretty sure Katy Perry was wearing something very similar during her performance at the Presidential Inauguration this week.
— It’s safe to assume that today’s glimpse at a shirtless Toby just might be the last time we see him sans shirt. That sound you hear is us sobbing uncontrollably.
Catch Pretty Little Liars on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.