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

OK, so I think the plan is: Spencer invites Melissa to a movie so the Liars can break into her apartment and rifle through her shit. Of course the Liars don’t wait for Spencer’s signal to break down Melissa’s door with their riot gear, so when Melissa doubles back to get her purse, they’re in big trouble. Trouble made worse by the fact that Hanna keeps bumping into everything and knocking it over. They’re frantically cleaning jelly beans or something off the floor while Melissa slow-mo walks to her door. Clean, walk, clean, walk, clean, walk. It’s very intense. But they get everything cleared away and hide in the closet while Melissa busts in to get her purse and … sling her clothes all around in her closet like she’s investigating something? I don’t know.

She leaves, the Liars find a dress bag from a costume company, and inside is A ROGUE FEATHER. Aria goes, “That bitch stole my whole deal!”

Just so we’re clear, Melissa has been staying at the Hastings’, but she and Spencer drove to Philly to see a movie, and now they’re back at the Hastings’. All in the span of about three minutes. There’s a TARDIS in the barn. Melissa is chopping up vegetables in that sinister way Ian taught her, so Spencer thinks it’s the perfect time to confront her with all sorts of evidence. With the subtlety of a hand grenade, she storms into the kitchen and shouts, “WHEN DID YOU LOSE YOUR BABY IF YOU WERE EVER REALLY PREGNANT AT ALL? WHY WERE YOU DRESSED AS THE BLACK SWAN AT A HIGH SCHOOL DANCE? DO YOU WANT TO PLAY HIDE AND SEEK OR WHAT?”

No time for that, though, because Veronica arrives and would also like an answer to the Black Swan question.


Melissa lost her baby the day after Ian’s body was found in one of Rosewood’s seventeen billion rustic barns, and she was going to tell Spencer, but then she found Ian’s cell phone in Spencer’s bag and thought her own sister had been zombie punking her, so she … kept her miscarriage a secret from everyone.

The  miscarriage was such a secret, and a sustainable one at that, that when “A” threatened to tell the whole world about it, Melissa said she’d do anything to keep people from knowing. Anything included dressing up as a Black Swan and keeping Jenna busy at the masquerade ball. Which is the most interesting revelation of all, I think. More things about The Jenna Thing. Like maybe she really has been a target and all this time she’s been working alone to try to solve the mystery of “A.” Poor Jenna Thing. A hook-up with Emily Thing would probably make all of us her feel better.

Since everyone else is coming clean and talking in complete sentences, Veronica says the reason she agreed to defend Garrett is that one of people on his witness list is the PI Spencer’s dad hired to find out if Melissa killed Alison. Which is almost as sure a sign of guilt as being found with garden tools.

Hanna decides to come clean to Caleb about the new A. She says out loud, “I’m coming clean!” And immediately receives a text that says, “Think again! — A.” Attached to the text is a photo of a car accident being cleaned up by the Montecito police. Caleb comes running in as Hanna is flipping through the photos; he’s like, “My mom from Montecito was just in a car accident that is being cleaned up by the Montecito police! I was almost an orphan again! Anyway, I received your text that said, ‘Caleb, please come over so we can discuss all the lies of been telling you.’ What’s up?” Hanna lies about the lies because she really can’t deal with anymore people getting hit with cars on her watch. So Caleb breaks up with her. It’s very sad. Very, very, very sad. But also, it’s nice to know other relationships besides Emily’s actually have “A” stakes attached to them.

Ella stops by her old place to pick up some things and let Aria know that she’s not torn out of the frame about Byron dating Meredith again. She’s like, “I appreciate your concern, honey, but I want to be by myself and with Ashley Marin for a while. Just to see.”

Nate stops by Rear Window where Emily is working her third shift of the day. He says he’s thinking about leaving town because all everyone talks about around here is dead girls. Emily’s like, “You get used to it. If you decide to stay, you’ve got a friend in me.” And Nate literally goes, “Maya was a lucky girl.” Was she, Nate? WAS SHE? Let us count the ways Maya was lucky: 1) Moved into a dead girl’s house and found her remains buried in the backyard. 2) Was sent to prison for having one and a half joints in her possession. 3) Was traumatically stalked by a stalker during her sentence at said prison. 4) Was kidnapped from a bus station 5) while trying to run away from her parents who were 6) trying to send her back to prison. 7) Was murdered. A lucky duck indeed! Emily, makeout with him and get it over with. He’s pretty, but damn.

Spencer’s out wandering around in the dark when she spots Jason out in the yard. He’s like, “I’m not writing a check for $50,000 to myself on my front porch, if that’s what you’re wondering.” He tells her he’s stopped the hunt for Ali’s skeleton, and Spencer thinks that’s probably a good idea because A has already reanimated it as a ghost corpse to do her bidding anyway.

In an airport in Montecito, “A” pays $50 for a vodka tonic and reinstates Mona’s visitation privileges from her laptop. You may think this “A” is more powerful that original “A,” but this “A” needs a machine to fly, while Mona Vanderwall could just Apparate into thin air. Team Adrenalized Hyperreality forever.

As you know by now, this Nathan storyline has been quite the bee in bonnet for a lot of AfterEllen readers. We’re going to try to provide for all your processing needs, because that’s how we do. If you want to discuss this episode, have at it in the recap comments. If you want to discuss the finer points of things like romantic attraction vs. sexual attraction, or sexual fluidity, or women-identified experience, or the lesbian continuum, or non-gold star lesbian representation on TV, please feel free to do so in this new forum thread.