'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: EzrA Steals Ali's Journal Back, Hanna Is In Denial About Her Breakup
Pretty Little Liars’ “Love ShAck Baby” had Hanna put on a brave face in light of her break-up with Caleb, while the girls go on an adventure to track down Ali based on clues found in her journal.
This week’s episode began with Hanna (Ashley Benson), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Aria (Lucy Hale) agreeing to take turns reading Ali’s journal and marking which entries were about themselves. Ali (Sasha Pieterse), always crafty, gave everyone pseudonyms and wrote parts of her journal in code. To make matters even more complicated, the girls all have stories in the journal they’d like to keep hidden from each other. Emily takes the first turn and spends her night examining the journal, presumably reading about Ali’s flirtation with her and the kiss they shared before Emily came out to her friends. That night, Emily dreams that Ali comes to visit her and tells her that she doesn’t know who she’s afraid of, but she does know that she needs them, Emily especially. When Emily wakes up, her window is open.
At school, Spencer confronts Aria about her lingering feelings for Ezra (Ian Harding) after acting as her lookout while Aria leaves a note for Ezra on his desk. Aria insists that she’s with Jake now, but Spencer doesn’t buy it.
The Girls Try To Track Down Ali
Hanna tells the girls that she and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) broke up, but doesn’t tell them why. She says that it was a mutual decision and they simply parted ways when he went back to Ravenswood. The girls can tell she’s not alright, but they go along with her act and make plans to go on a road trip to the Busy Bee Inn based on a poem they found in Ali’s journal. In the poem, Ali described a Bee as the perfect place to hide. In fact, after doing a bit of research, the girls discover that the Inn has been closed for years, but the building still stands, vacant of any tenants. Of course, to go on the trip means Aria has to cancel plans with Ezra. She fibs and tells him that they are going out to dinner to get Hanna’s mind off Caleb, and Ezra acts as the loving, caring boyfriend perfectly.
Emily finds a strange note in her backpack that looks to be from Ali, asking her to meet her at ‘their spot’ (the kissing rock). Emily cuts out of work early to go meet Ali, but she never shows up. Meanwhile, Hanna is waiting for her at the café, where she runs into Travis (Luke Kleintank). Travis and Hanna talk about Cece, who is still at large and running from the police after allegedly killing Detective Wilden. Travis says that it looks like Cece received a great sum of money before Detective Wilden’s death, suggesting that someone paid her to kill him and possibly frame Ashley.
EzrA Searches Hanna's Room For Ali's Journal
Knowing that Hanna won’t be home that night, Ezra decides to pay Ashley (Laura Leighton) a visit. He saw the girls fiddling with Ali’s journal at school and watched as Hanna put it away in her purse. At Hanna’s house, Ezra tells Ashley that Hanna is behind on schoolwork, and their conversation is interrupted when Ashley receives a work call – a tenant at one of the DiLaurentis buildings. EzrA, who seems to be behind the call somehow, takes his opportunity and goes up to Hanna’s room to search for the journal. He comes up empty handed, but does do something on Hanna’s computer while he’s there. The girls took the journal with them on their road trip and Aria and Spencer take turns taking pictures of the journal in the backseat while Emily tries to get Hanna to open up about Caleb.
It doesn’t take long for the girls to get lost in the middle of nowhere after the GPS leads them astray and the car breaks down. Using their phones, Aria leads them to Ezra’s secluded cabin nearby, telling them that it’s her uncle’s cabin. The girls make their way there and call Travis, who works at a rest stop and has a tow truck, to come get them. It’s going to take him two hours, Hanna says, so the girls start a fire and settle down with Ali’s journal.
'A' Tracks The Liars Down And Takes Ali's Journal
Aria floats a theory based on a journal entry titled ‘Craddle Robber’ about hooking up with a younger man: what if Board Shorts, the man they still believe plays a big role in what drove Ali to fake her own death, is a younger guy instead of a college man like they always assumed. Hanna, who had been acting strange all day, finally breaks down and reveals that the story isn’t about Ali, it’s about her. One night, back before Hanna’s big makeover and transition into the ‘it’ girl, she briefly hooked up with Mike, Aria’s younger brother, and Ali caught them. Ali told her that if Aria found out, she would never forgive her and shamed Hanna for stooping so low as to get with a younger guy. Aria brushes it off, promising that she doesn’t hold anything against Hanna and would never hate her for kissing her brother. Besides, she says, Mike had a huge crush on Hanna back then, and Hanna deserved a little love. Revealing the story brings out Hanna’s insecurities, and she tells the girls the real reason why she and Caleb broke up: he found someone else. Emily, Spencer and Aria try to comfort her, but Hanna doesn’t want to talk about it anymore and walks out to try to get a cell signal and call Travis. Emily follows her, leaving Aria and Spencer in the cabin with Ali’s journal. EzrA, dressed in full ‘A’ mode, sneaks in and locks Aria and Spencer in a closet and grabs the journal, leaving before Emily and Hanna can intercept him at the cabin. Freaked after seeing ‘A’ and having the notebook taken from them, the girls are startled when Travis arrives to give them a ride home.
Later that night, the girls get a text from ‘A’ thanking them for the clues. The notes they made in Ali’s journal led ‘A’ straight to the Busy Bee Inn.
Spencer’s night gets even worse when she argues with her father over his secret involvement with Mrs. DiLaurentis and her divorce proceedings and ends up packing a bag and going to stay with Toby (Keegan Allen).
At the end of the episode, ‘A’ is seen running a computer program changing GPS directions. Did ‘A’ purposefully lead Emily off track so that the girls would be lost near Ezra’s secret cabin?
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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