“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.17: Code For Something Gay

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, you thought this was the craziest thing you were ever going to see on Toby’s head:

(Spoiler alert: You were wrong.)

Spencer is groping shirtless Toby in the dark and he’s kissing her neck and caressing her neck and wrapping his hands around her neck and choking the literal life out of her neck and wearing a hoodie and being A. She wakes up from her nightmare gasping for breath and staring at the A-key on her desk and wondering how everything went tits up so fast. Wasn’t it just yesterday that Toby was crying alone in that abandoned alley because those adorable kids wouldn’t share their ice creams with him? And now he’s — what? Ordering chinese food with worms in it and sneaky-massaging Emily’s naked back with his Risen Mittens? Carving Bratz dolls in the likeness of the Liars from the same tree he felled to build Spencer’s rocking chair? Burying Tory Burch boots in the mud? Cavorting with the only person on earth who could beat Spencer in an academic decathlon?

Who can fathom the depths of his betrayal? On the other hand, we’ve been waiting three and a half seasons to see Dark Spencer emerge from the ashes of her own anguish. Arise, Shadow Phoenix! Have your batshit crazy way with us all!

Emily is doing whatever Emily does on a quiet night at home. Soliciting donations to save homeless kittens, writing letters to her Congressional representatives to ask for clean air and nicer parks and equality, researching coconut cupcake recipes, packing up a care package to send to the Sudanese children she’s been sponsoring since she first started getting an allowance, smiling at herself in the mirror and looking away bashfully because sometimes it’s embarrassing to remember how God gave you the best one of every facial feature. Pam(!) comes in with a giant box of stuff from the Lyndon James family, talking about, “I guess they were feeling shitty about how their son murdered your one girlfriend and kidnapped your other girlfriend and forced you to stab him in the gut, so they thought they’d send along a bottle of wine or a cheese sampler or … every bit of correspondence you ever shared with Alison DiLaurentis.”

There’s a lot of closeted teenage lesbianism in the box. Cards and letters and bookmarks and and jewelry and porcelain figurines and whatever else all of us have given to our best friends and some point in our lives, because nothing says, “I want to touch your boobs with my boobs” like some Precious Moments statues. Also, there is a biology notebook full of chemistry notes and lots of Ali’s handwriting. Pam offers to take the stuff to the police station, where she works now, but Emily learned her lesson about the Rosewood PD the last time she picked up a shovel.

Ashley(!!) would like to know if Hanna needs some help with her homework or if she’d like to talk about why she’s being even cagier than usual or if Mona has tried to kill her anymore times since she’s been back at school. Hanna explains that she’s already playing the Penny to Paige and Caleb’s Inspector Gadget and she doesn’t have time to rescue anyone else who’s trying to rescue her. Ashley shakes her head and sips her wine and wonders aloud what the deal is with lesbians and capes.

Over at the Montgomery’s, Byron tells Aria that she’s safe from Meredith now. Apparently Mer has a long history of psychotic breaks and so her parents have locked her in her bedroom for a while (after encouraging her to pursue a career in early childhood education, apparently). He tries to think back to the last time he actually gave a single shit about being a good parent and lands on a story about how he used to wrap up Aria in yarn because it was cold and he wouldn’t let Ella turn on the heater. And he would, like, roll her around the house inside her yarn ball and smash her head into door frames and stuff and then blame her for the brain damage, like, “Oh, way to go, Aria. Way to get a concussion because I crashed your tiny head into the wall.” Geez, this asshole. Even when he was trying to be a good guy, he was still the worst guy.