Pretty Little Liars Recap: Season 4, Episode 16 — Emily Meets Ali!
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC Family    

Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Recap: Season 4, Episode 16 — Emily Meets Ali!

Trouble is afoot! In this week's Pretty Little Liars Season 4, Episode 16 (“Close Encounters”), Aria bakes brownies for the wrong guy, Emily and Spencer have a difference of opinion, and Hanna shoots pool and scores (so to speak).

Wherein Aria's Bad Life Choices Continue

Do you sometimes wonder that, if you just shouted at your TV loud enough, Aria would finally hear you and realize that she keeps making terrible decision after terrible decision? We’ve definitely tried. And yet Aria still keeps letting us all down, as she dumps Jake who’s a total catch, by the way and instead let’s Ezra lick whipped cream off of her, not unlike the whipped-cream bikini scene in Varsity Blues.

By the way, is Aria even concerned at all about Ali and “A” at this point? Once again, Aria was in her own little boy-crazy, ginormous earring-filled world, as she ignores Jake’s advice that Ezra is dangerous. But do we believe Ezra’s story about yelling at Maggie’s lawyer? And did Ezra put those knives into Jake’s punching bag that cuts his foot — or could it have been Aria? Either way, Ezria is one couple to not mess with.

Wherein Hanna and Her Mom Have a Lot on Their Plates

At least Hanna and Travis weren’t lying on top of each other on the pool table when Hanna’s mom walked in, right? Still, we’re pretty bummed that Hanna is so quick to move on from Caleb. Perhaps we loved Caleb more than Hanna did? And by the way, we wish there were an actual place where you could go and smash plates. In fact, we'd probably just bring our own to avoid doing the dishes.

Pretty Little Liars Recap: Season 4, Episode 16 — Emily Meets Ali!
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC Family    

Wherein Spencer Proves She’s Not Above Snooping in Briefcases

The “Toby’s mom” storyline just isn’t going away, isn’t it? Still, we appear to have gotten a bit of a twist this week, with Mrs. DiLaurentis being on the Radley board of trustees. Perhaps something happened at Radley involving one of Mrs. D’s own kids? Plus, we really need Spoby to make up, since there aren’t many couples left on the show at this point. Patch things up already, you two!

Wherein Emily Connects With Alison — For About 12 Seconds

So who’s side are you on: Team Emily or Team Spencer? Frankly, we respect Spencer for wanting to protect Emily, although we can understand why Em wasn’t pleased that Spencer can never take a hint. And can we believe what Ali’s saying, or is she playing Emily like a fiddle? (And no, “like a fiddle” isn’t a reference to Shana and her violin-playing prowess.)


— The big clue of the night is the fact that Mrs. DiLaurentis is on the Radley board. So what does this mean? If you ask us, we’d say this is a sign that Ali or Ali’s twin was the person who seemingly pushed Toby’s mom off the roof. That would explain why Mrs. D would want Toby to accept the settlement.

Pretty Little Liars Recap: Season 4, Episode 16 — Emily Meets Ali!
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC Family    

— That Ali-Emily meeting was quite mysterious. So why did Ali really choose Emily to meet? Does Ali really not trust Aria and Spencer - cue the “Aria is ‘A’” conspiracy theories! - or is Ali just trying to split up the group? And who confronted Ali at the Busy Bee Inn?

— Shana reveals that she’s known Ali since childhood. She claims to now be chatting with Ali and drives Emily to her meet-and-greet with Ali before speeding away. So can Shana be trusted? And is her photo getting burned at the end of the episode a sign that Jenna — who may feel betrayed by Shana — is “A”? By the way, if we were Shana, we would have just snuck into the church in order to snag some of those baked goods.

— Okay, we definitely think Ezra is shady. But would he really have put those knives in Jake’s punching bag? C’mon, that’s downright murderous. And if Jake is leaving the show — meaning that today is the last time we’ll get to see him in a tank top — then it really is a sad day indeed.

— Are Hanna and Travis going to become a thing? We want to be happy about this, but we still don’t know what to think about him, especially given his startling appearance at the cabin last week, not to mention the cut on his hand. Please don’t rush into anything, Hanna!

Pretty Little Liars Recap: Season 4, Episode 16 — Emily Meets Ali!
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC Family    

Other Things That Need to Be Discussed:

— There were many strong fashion choices this week, including Spencer’s giraffe sweater — what’s not to like about a giraffe sweater?! — and Hanna’s lipstick-print top that she wore in bed. But our favorite item was the “Creeping” T-shirt that Hanna wore early on, since that one word perfectly sums up the show. We just hope that Hanna wears a shirt next week that says, “Note to Aria: Don’t Trust Ezra.”

— We loved how, when the Liars snuck into the Busy Bee Inn, Emily was holding a hammer to defend herself. Was Emily really planning on kicking some serious ass with that hammer? If so, it kinda gives new meaning to the ‘60s folk song, “If I Had a Hammer.”

Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.

01.21.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Ryan Gajewski
Related: Pretty Little Liars, Features, Recaps, TV, Pretty Little Liars Season 4

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