Wherein No One Believes #PoorHanna. Hanna’s storyline in tonight’s episode was straight out of Aesop’s Fables. In this cautionary tale, Hanna was The Boy Who Cried Wolf — or, more accurately, The Drunk Who Called Drama. When Hanna is hit on not once, but twice by Ella Montgomery’s husband-to-be Zack, she goes to the Liars with the uncomfortable news. The reactions from Emily, Spencer, and Aria are various degrees of disappointing. While Spence and Em question whether Hanna read too much into the situation (she didn’t!), Aria all-out accuses her BFF of making up stories to pull her mother into her spiral of self-destruction. Not cool, Liars. Not cool.
Wherein Ali Pulls a Kahn. Meanwhile, back at the Marin Homestead, Alison is staying with Ashley and Hanna while her father is out of town. Well, really, she’s staying with Ashley because Hanna is avoiding the place altogether, instead spending her time drinking and napping with Caleb. Ashley and Alison get some mother-daughter-like bonding in, most intensely when a man breaks into the house, wields a kitchen knife, and casts creepy shadows all over the place before absconding. But before you get too concerned for the Marins’ cutlery, know that the culprit in question was Noel Kahn and Ali asked him to stage the faux-attack. She later tells the Liars that she staged the break in so that at least one grown-up would believe her kidnapping story. Well played, Ali, but your friends are totally judging you. (And so are we.)
Wherein Aria Finds a Custard Clue. After Rhonda catches Aria trying to slip Bethany’s sketchbook back under Rhonda’s bed, the two come to an understanding: Aria will give Rhonda junk food and Rhonda will give Aria information. It turns out that Mrs. DiLaurentis used to take Bethany on trips outside of Radley. Mrs. D. once even adopted a horse named Custard at a nearby stable for Bethany. With Ella and Creeper Zack back from Europe, Aria doesn’t have time to follow up on the Custard clue herself. You see, Ella has asked Aria to be her maid of honor (yay!), which means family movie nights and wedding planning sessions from here on out. This would be acceptably adorable if not for the heartbreaking news that Creeper Zach is a creeper.
Wherein Emily and Spencer Nearly Get Put Out to Pasture. That was a close one! Spencer and Emily head over to the horse farm where Mrs. DiLaurentis used to bring Bethany to look for clues. They find a helmet belonging to Melissa. They are also reminded just how easy it is for “A” to strike at any time in any place. During a passing thunderstorm, “A” traps the girls in a stall with a kicking horse. The two make it out alive, but Spencer’s eye gets injured in the process. Talk about a nightmare!
— Should we assume that “A” knows her way around a stable? This could narrow down the list of suspects. Melissa seems a likely candidate, especially given the helmet-sighting, but she tends to avoid hurting her little sis. Who else knows their stable manners?
— We keep forgetting Sydney is working for Mona’s Army because she is so gosh darn friendly. In tonight’s episode, she was trying really hard to convince Emily to return to the swim team as an assistant coach. Is this part of a ploy to get closer to Emily or does Mona’s Army want Em back on the swim team for some other reason?
— The farm hand spoke of a nasty fight between Mrs. D. and Bethany. Apparently, Bethany responded to Mrs. D. asking her to call her Aunt Jessie by throwing a bucket at her head. Was Mrs. DiLaurentis really Bethany’s aunt?
— Seriously, though, how did Noel Kahn become Ali’s most trusted minion? And what else has she staged in her efforts to get others to believe her tall tales?
Other Things To Be Discussed:
— One of the biggest bummers of this episode was the about-face for Zack’s character. Up until this point, Ella’s story of finding love after her divorce with a younger gentlemen was totally heartwarming. And Zach had never been anything but sweet, respectful, and seemingly totally in love with Ella — until he hit on Hanna. What a bummer.
— Toby wants to be a cop? We have to admit: his reasoning that Rosewood could do with a non-corrupt copper is sound. And we kind of loved how Spencer’s opinion on the matter changed when Toby pointed out how useful his being on the force could be for her sleuthing. Totally realistic.
— Should we start a #SaveEddieLamb campaign on Twitter or is it already too late?
— We’re not sold on the physics of Spencer using a ladder and the horse’s kick to break her way out of a locked stall, but we’re letting it slide because it made Spencer seem like the total brainiac badass that she is. Can we please get a reimagined Nancy Drew film series starring Troian Bellisario? Thanks.
— Aria is totally fired from Radley for giving a diabetic sugar, right? These kids are never getting into college.
What did you think of Season 5, Episode 8? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on August 5, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!