Holbrook returned to stir up trouble for Hanna and an old friend from Mona’s past came to visit the girls in Pretty Little Liars’ “Oh, What Hard Luck Stories They All Hand Me.”

PLL 5×18 Recap

What begins as a slow day in Rosewood gets turned upside down with the arrival of Lesli (Elizabeth McLaughlin), who shows up at the Brew asking for Hanna (Ashley Benson). She tells the girls that she was friends with Mona (Janel Parrish), and was actually supposed to see her for Thanksgiving – the day she was killed. She was with Mona’s mom when the police called with the news, and she’s come to lend Mrs. Vanderwaal some support as Ali’s trial approaches. Spencer (Troian Bellisario) is, of course, suspicious of her story and convinces Hanna to talk to Mrs. V and keep an eye on Lesli to make sure she is who she says she is.

Meanwhile, romance is in the air at the Brew, where Talia (Miranda Rae Mayo) is ignoring Emily (Shay Mitchell) after she told her she had feelings for her and Emily didn’t respond. Talia giving Emily the cold shoulder should be the least of her problems, but it’s all Emily can think about. As for the other girls, Ezra (Ian Harding) and Aria (Lucy Hale) appear to be on the outs, as are Spencer and Toby (Keegan Allen). While Toby is busy cozying up to the law, Spencer continues to bond with Johnny, the artist/college dropout living in the Hastings barn. Jonny (Will Bradley) is working on an art installation for the Brew, per Ezra’s request, and recruits Spencer to be his helper. He’s making a sort of secret telling device, where a person can whisper a secret into a microphone across the room where it will be recorded and then played for a person sitting at a desk far away. The idea is for people to tell their secrets to strangers. Later in the episode, Emily uses Jonny’s finished project to tell Talia that she likes her.

Holbrook Returns

Hanna and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) get dragged down to the police station to answer questions about the storage unit, but instead of being interrogated by Holbrook, who has just returned to town, they see him get thrown out of the building. Detective Holbrook (Sean Faris) has been put on suspension for inappropriate behavior and he marches out of the station in anger, stopping only to gather a few things from his desk and give Hanna a threatening stare.

Later, as Hanna leaves Caleb’s house to meet up with her friends, she’s pulled over by a police car. It’s Holbrook – he hasn’t returned his official vehicle yet – and he’s angry. He confronts Hanna, seemingly blaming her for getting mixed up with Alison (Sasha Pieterse). He thinks they’re working together, and wonders how Ali could betray him like this. Hanna reminds him that nobody forced him to help Ali pass the lie detector test, and nobody was making him act as Ali’s little ‘A’ helper either. Holbrook denies acting as ‘A’ for the past two weeks. He wasn’t doing Ali’s bidding while he was away, he was being interrogated by Internal Affairs.

Bethany Young

Taking Spencer’s advice, Hanna spends some time with Lesli to learn more about her relationship with Mona. While visiting Mona’s room, Lesli points out an old book, full of scary stories Mona adored. It was one of her favorites, and Lesli takes it with her to the Brew, only to get yelled at by Mike (Cody Christian), Aria’s brother. Mike, who is still pinning over Mona, recognizes the book and loses it. He’s angry that the girls disturbed Mona’s room and tries to take the book out of Lesli’s hands. Hanna talks him down and promises to put the book back where it belongs. Mike leaves, but Lesli is shaken up. She tells Hanna that the last time she spoke with Mona – on the night before she was killed – she heard a man on the other end of the line yelling at Mona, forcing her to hang up. She thinks it was Mike. Later, when Hanna returns the book to Mona’s room, she finds a secret pocket in the spine and discovers small tapes hidden inside. They’re recordings of Bethany Young’s therapy sessions at Radley. In the tapes, Bethany rants to her therapist about a girl who thinks she has all the power, but she’s not the only one who can make plans, Bethany says. Was Bethany planning Ali’s murder? Or was the night of Ali’s disappearance all orchestrated by Ali?

Is Mike Working With Ali?

If Holbrook isn’t Ali’s ‘A’ helper, than who is? Spencer’s mom is working as a consultant for Ali’s defense team and she brings home a copy of the jail visiting logs, so, of course, Spencer finds it. One name stood out to her: Mike Montgomery. Mike visited Ali once, according to the logs, but why? Aria tries to breach the subject with Mike, but he just wants to talk about Mona, so she leaves him be. But, after hearing about his angry conversation with Mona before she died, Aria decides to follow him when he leaves the house at night. He goes to the docks and leaves a bag of candy there. When Aria goes to see what exactly it is he left, Mike returns, catching her in the act. He’s furious and refuses to tell her anything about his visits to Ali.

The episode ended with an ‘A’ figure in a black hoodie standing in Mona’s room, looking for the tapes in the hidden compartment of Mona’s book, and finding it empty. Meanwhile, Mike checks in for another visit with Ali.

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.