Pretty Little Liars confirmed everyone’s suspicions about Cece Drake in “Bring Down the Hoe,” revealing her as a member of the "A" team and a potential Red Coat.

Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Aria (Lucy Hale) and Hanna (Ashley Benson) are all scrambling to identify Red Coat before she can ruin their lives completely. With Hanna’s mother already being tried for murder and Emily’s home in shambles, the girls are determined to stop Red Coat. To start, Spencer wants them to inspect the crawlspace underneath the DiLaurentis house that Emily found in last week’s episode.

Hanna has other things on her mind, though, when the police find a muddy shoe in the rubble of Emily’s living room – it’s one of her mother’s heels that she wore on the night of Wilden’s murder. Her friends try to convince her that the best way to help her mother is to get to Red Coat before she can carry out her plan to frame her for murder, but Hanna’s not into it. Still, she agrees to get Mrs. DiLaurentis out of the house after school so the others can snoop. She says she’ll take her shopping, since she needs clothes for the western-themed school dance taking place in a random barn that night anyway.

After school, Aria and Emily head straight for the DiLaurentis house, but Spencer’s late (very unlike her). She’s busy trying to convince Toby (Keegan Allen) not to go chasing after every clue A gives him about his mother’s death. Toby is so desperate to believe everything, says Spencer, and that he is ignoring the possibility that A might be leading him into a trap. Plus, Spencer is finding it increasingly difficult to keep Toby’s mission a secret from her friends.

Still, she promises to keep his secret, and meets up with Aria and Emily in the creepy crawlspace. The girls find a button, supposedly from Red Coat, and are investigating when they hear a sudden noise. Someone’s upstairs. Aria tries to look through the peep holes Red Coat had drilled into the floorboards, but she can’t see anything, and is nearly blinded when the intruder, definitely a member of the A team, pokes a metal rod in one of the holes. The girls scramble, freaked out, and the intruder leaves.

In Alison’s old bedroom, Emily suddenly remembers that Ali (Sasha Pieterse) once told her she would break up with guys for her friends, and one time, a really angry guy pulled a gun out on her when she dumped him. Emily has a theory: what if that guy was Wilden and the girl who asked Ali to break up with him for her was Cece (Vanessa Ray)?

Later, the girls meet up at Spencer’s house, and they convince Spencer to spill whatever she’s been hiding from them about Toby. They don’t buy that it’s just private boyfriend/girlfriend stuff. As Hanna so lovingly points out, they’ve all had boyfriends, even Emily, and they know that’s not it.

Spencer tells them about Toby’s mom, and Toby still gets a text from A leading him to what he believes to be Dr. Palmer’s abandoned, old car. Either A doesn’t know that Spencer spilled the beans, or A doesn’t care. Either way, when Toby finds out Spencer told her friends about his mom at the dance, he’s furious and storms out to chase down the car.

Spencer’s worried, and she convinces Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) to go after Toby in his car and try to keep him from doing something stupid. Caleb jumps into action, conveniently giving Hanna time to get to know this mysterious Rosewood High classmate who claims that he witnessed the interaction between Ashley (Laura Leighton) and Wilden on the night of Wilden’s death. He tells Hanna that he knows Ashley is innocent because he saw her leave that night and then, later, heard gunshots and saw a blond leaving the scene. The next day, he found an envelope of cash in his car – hush money. He tries giving it to Hanna to help in Ashley’s defense, but she convinces him to tell his story to the police instead.

Caleb isn’t wild about trusting this new student, but Hanna tells him she doesn’t have a choice but to trust him. So, she does. Besides, Caleb is occupied saving Toby from getting arrested. Just as Toby reaches the car A led him to, Caleb appears and tells Toby not to do whatever it is he’s doing, which, at the moment, looks like stealing a car. Before Toby can convince Caleb to leave him alone, sirens are heard and the two flee the scene. Spencer was right, it appears it was a set up.

At the dance, Spencer and Emily have a run-in with Red Coat outside on the hay-ride truck. Red Coat disappears before they can see her, but she leaves her coat behind. It’s missing a button. Having survived their confrontation with Red Coat (for now), Emily goes back into the barn and makes up with Paige (Lindsey Shaw).

Aria is having a good time line dancing with her new love interest, Jake (Ryan Guzman), who also bought her blue cowboy boots for the occasion. The two are doing their best to avoid Ezra (Ian Harding), who is acting as chaperone and keeps looking at Aria. He might be looking a little too much, in fact, as Jake goes up to him and asks him to leave them alone. Ezra seems taken aback, but then tries to comply. When Aria finally talks to him about Malcolm being taken away, he brushes her off. He doesn’t have the right to lay all his problems on her; they’re not together anymore.

Later that night, Aria shows up on Ezra’s doorstep. She wants to know what’s going on, and she sent Jake home after the dance. They talk…and Cece is just outside, with her ear pressed up against the door. She was previously seen talking on the phone in A’s lost trailer.

The episode ended with A, in her signature black hoodie/black glove combo, putting out a series of cloth dolls: there’s Aria, Spencer, Emily, Hanna and Mona (Janel Parrish). A raises a hand up, and strikes a metal pole down on one of them.

In conclusion, Pretty Little Liars is going into its summer finale setting up Cece as a prominent member of Team A – whether or not she really is Red Coat remains to be seen.

The Pretty Little Liars summer finale, “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t,” will air Tuesday at 8 P.M. on ABC Family and will serve as a set up for the Ravenswood spin-off.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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