“Pretty Little Liars” recap (3.04) – Cousin Lovin’

I apologize for the lateness and brevity of this recap. I was in Montecito causing car accidents and locking down insane asylum visiting privileges with my mind, and that kind of thing wears a girl out. Just kidding. My laptop died a painful death and after a full day of resuscitation attempts, I had to feed it to the wolves.

The citizens of Rosewood are so happy to have a new establishment for the purposes of eating eats and drinking drinks that everyone in the town has practically moved into Rear Window. The Liars are there debriefing whatever clues they think they pieced together last week, which is to say they’re accusing the usual suspects of being the Black Swan over and over again until Melissa interrupts them to shout, “SPENCER, MOM WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO EAT?” And Spencer’s like, “MOM’S STANDING RIGHT BESIDE YOU; WHY CAN’T SHE JUST ASK ME HERSELF.” And Melissa’s like, “BECAUSE SHE HATES YOU, OBVIOUSLY.”

But not as much as she hates Spencer’s half-brother, Jason DiLaurentis, whose eyes have not bored holes into our heads in quite sometime. He smashes through the front window of Rear Window, flaps around some fliers he’s made about how he’s a Skeleton Seeker now, shouts at Veronica for having the nerve to defend Garrett Reynolds, slaps Melissa in the face just because, and exits to the roof, where he flies away in a Black Hawk helicopter he hired just to make an impression. The Liars whip their heads around to stare at Aria because that girl almost went there one time. She’s like, “What? He said he liked my pink hair!”

Back at home, Spencer asks her mom, hypothetically, what would happen if the police discovered that four known teenage troublemakers were hanging around Alison’s grave the night it was robbed. Veronica’s like, “Depends. How many shovels were there? No shovels? Life in prison. At least one shovel, I’d say, death penalty most likely.”

At school, Hanna and Aria make plans to crawl all over each other like a couple of adorable, weirdly dressed puppies you’d see in a magazine called Posh Paw or something. But first, Aria’s got to do something about the fact that her dad has fallen in love with someone else before her mom has even started dating. And of all the truly unbelievable things that happen in the town of Rosewood, that one takes the cake. Like Ella would have any trouble finding a thousand suitors. Like anyone could ever love Byron Montgomery. Aria invites her mom to a mother-daughter dinner to take her mind off of being divorced, but Ella smiles wanly at her, all, “Honey, I moved out of that house to get away from you and your horrible brother and father. No offense, but no thanks.”

No offense taken, you magnificent creature.

Hanna goes to Radley Sanitorium for Mona’s Morning Storytime — today she’s reading Cosmo‘s “50 Ways to Glam-Up a Hoodie” — but a non-Wren-shaped medical professional tells her Mona’s visitation privileges have been revoked due the way she started flipping tables and screaming her head off last week. Don’t worry about it, Mona. Jesus got kicked out of the temple for doing the same thing.

Because she has no parents and is now living in an abandoned boxcar down by the river, Emily has taken a job to support herself. HGH don’t come cheap. Luckily there’s a new restaurant in town that serves millions of creepy men and soon-to-be dead girls every day of the week. Emily’s boss is fabulous. During the episode, you guys were tweeting that he looks like Jean Ralphio, and at first I didn’t see it but now I totally do and that makes him even better. Anyway, he’s like, “Emily, is that your real name? You can do better than that. I’ma help you out right now. Your new name is ‘Uniqua.’ Uniqua, whip up a batch of our signature gluten-free, sugar-free, low-fat biscotti, OK? Also brew some black eye, black tie, breve, and bombón.” Emily is saved from this coffee wanker talk by Mr. Nathan St. Germain, whose arrival was foretold by wetpaint.com lo those many moons ago, and whose presence we have been anticipating like the apocolypose.

As I have written three thousand times by now, I don’t hate this guy for existing, but he is the woorrrrrrsssst now that I know him. You’re not even going to believe the shit that starts coming out of this guy’s mouth in a few minutes. After meeting him, I’m convinced he was always going to be the gateway through which the writers reintroduced Paige into Emily’s life. Like, say you were on a tropical island that sank into the sea. If you just set up residence on another tropical island right away, that’d seem pretty irreverent, wouldn’t it? But say on your way to your new tropical island you have a layover in an unnaturally handsome apocalyptic wasteland. You’ve paid your mourning dues and then you can move back to paradise without any guilt. Right? That’s always been my experience, at least.

Anyway, Nate’s like, “Are you Emily? I recognized you by the photo my dead cousin Maya/my dead ex-girlfriend Maya whom I’ve been stalking since True North sent to me. I go to Hollis College now, since it’s the only school in the country where you can register for classes any old time during the semester.” Emily’s like, “Maya never mentioned that she had a cousin coming to live here.” And Nate goes, “Well, I hadn’t planned on it, but when she died, a vacancy opened up for a single black resident, so here I am!” Nate starts saying “Dead Maya” like three hundred times but is interrupted by Jean Ralphio hollering, “UNIQUA! CUSTOMERS!”

Caleb has procured some Bon Iver tickets for him and Hanna because it’s been far too long since she’s had a nap. (Just kidding! I love Bon Iver! I recapped all of Skins S4 to Bon Iver! Double depression!) Hanna’s like, “Don’t think I don’t appreciate you trying to do nice things for me, but right now my mind is consumed by this mystery hobo who visited Mona at Radley and made her lose her mind even more than normal. She flipped over a card table, Caleb.” Caleb pulls at his shirt collar and clears his throat and goes, “Er, maybe she was just upset because she lost at Solitaire.” Hanna rolls her eyes, says, “Mona doesn’t lose at anything, dumbass.” And so Caleb confesses that he is the mystery hobo who caused the kerfuffle because he was trying to protect Hanna by trying to outwit Mona. (Which, frankly, is as inconceivable as Byron out-dating Ella.) Hanna’s mad. Caleb’s mad. Mona’s mad, but in the British sense of the word.