‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: Spencer, Aria, Hanna And Emily Struggle To Let Go Of The Dollhouse
Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily struggled to adjust to being home after their abduction in Pretty Little Liars’ “Songs of Innocence.”
Pretty Little Liars 6×02 Recap
After over three weeks of being held in A’s creepy dollhouse dungeon, the girls have finally been rescued and returned home to their parents. In the hospital, they gather to discuss Andrew (Brandon Jones) being the police’s main suspect. Is he really Charles (or A)? Aria (Lucy Hale) seems to think so, noting how he was always around, but just out of reach, but Spencer (Troian Bellisario) seems skeptical. Spencer informs everyone that they will not be telling the police about Charles, let them figure it out for themselves. Especially considering Ali (Sasha Pieterse) seemed to have no clue who or what Charles DiLaurentis was – and when confronted, her father flat out denied any existence of a ‘Charles DiLaurentis.’
After the girls are discharged, Ali pays Spencer a visit to talk about this ‘Charles DiLaurentis.’ She wants to trust her dad, but Spencer accurately points out that maybe her dad was too quick to answer, and that he’s lied about their family before. (Case in point: Jason DiLaurentis being Spencer’s half brother.) Regardless, Spencer doesn’t want to go to the police with any more crazy theories, and, for once, seems willing to let them do their work, no matter how incompetent they have proved in the past (I’m looking at you, Detective Wilden).
It’s clear that Spencer is not herself, but then neither are any of the girls. They were each sent home with a handful of medications, including supplements, antibiotics and anti anxiety medication. Unfortunately for Spencer, she can’t have those anti-anxiety pills. Spencer’s mother, Veronica (Lesley Fera), refused to take the anti-anxiety meds, even though they allowed Spencer to have one good night’s sleep at the hospital. She doesn’t want Spencer to become addicted to the pills like she has in the past. Spencer is livid, and is left lying in bed, alone, for one long and sleepless night. When she does manage to sleep, she dreams of her time in the dollhouse.
In flashbacks, we see Spencer sitting at a desk, forced to press a buzzer and hurt one of her friends – she can’t see them, but she can hear them screaming. Emily (Shay Mitchell) has the same flashbacks, only a bit clearer. We see three separate buttons, each with a creepy polaroid of another friend, as A forces Emily to pick which one will get tortured – “Choose one, or all will suffer.”
While Spencer wishes she could turn to meds to ease these terrorizing dreams, Emily chooses a more active approach: guns. She manages to open her dad’s safe in the attic and takes one of guns to the gun range. She’s angry and scared, convinced she needs to be able to protect herself. Her mother (Nia Peeples), however, is not pleased and forbids Emily from taking out her father’s guns again. So, she rents a gun at the shooting range, which only serves to confuse her mother even more. At home, Emily wraps herself in her father’s army jacket to feel safe – could this be a hint as to what Emily’s future holds post-graduation?
Hanna (Ashley Benson) is also having difficultly coping with being home. Her room doesn’t feel like hers anymore, it feels tainted, ruined. She rips off the wallpaper and enlists Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) to help her empty out her room. She just wants a change, she says, but Caleb and her mother are concerned. In her bare and empty room, Hanna tells Ashley (Laura Leighton) that they had been forced to play games, lots of games. A would go to them in turn and ask them which one of them deserved water that day, or food, or pain: “He just played games with us. Truth or dare. Who do you love more, me or her? Who deserves water today, me or someone else?”
Ashley promises Hanna that she can get whatever she wants for her room, and even suggests a shopping trip with Aria, Spencer and Emily, but Hanna turns it down. They haven’t seen each other since the hospital, and they’re clearly all terrified of what might happen if and when they face each other.
Meanwhile, Toby (Keegan Allen) and his new partner, Lorenzo (Travis Winfrey), caught Andrew and he’s sitting pretty behind bars. According to Toby, the police have a mountain of evidence against him: the police van was found on Andrew’s uncle’s farm, all the electronic equipment used to spy on them was traced back to him, as was the construction of the dollhouse where they were being kept. “They found a journal about how he hated Mona and how he thought Alison and the rest of you represented the ‘feminization’ of society. It’s a regular manifesto,” Toby tells Spencer.
Finally, Aria wants desperately to ignore what happened, put it in a box and push it away. All she wants, apparently, is to take pictures, but she also wants to keep Andrew locked up. She goes to the police with her mother to give a statement and investigators reveal to Aria and Ella (Holly Marie Combs) that the evidence might not be all that iron clad – it’s all circumstantial. What they need to ensure Andrew’s conviction is an eyewitness, and Sara Harvey – the girl who was kidnapped and kept down there for two years – apparently isn’t talking or never saw his face. In a moment of panic, Aria blurts out that she saw Andrew’s face once, but it’s obvious neither her mother nor the investigator believe her.
After her panic at the police station, Aria calls Spencer – the first one to reach out to a friend since they returned home. Spencer calms Aria’s nerves, and uses the opportunity of their get together to steal one of her anti-anxiety pills. Later that night, lying restless in bed, she almost takes one.
Of course, the #SummerofAnswers must go on, and Sara Harvey (Dre Davis) is back and might have a few answers to give the girls. She left the hospital without giving the girls much, if any, information on who kidnapped her. At the hospital, she only tells Emily that she remembers running away fro home, getting hit on the head and then waking up in the dungeon. “And I was down there, and I thought, well now I know what happens to bad little girls,” Sara says before being whisked away by a woman, supposedly her mother.
Later in the episode, Sara returns to Emily’s. She ran away again, claiming her mother liked the attention she got when her daughter was missing. Emily’s mom insists that Sara spend the night, but tells her that she will be calling her mother. When Emily’s mom leaves, Sara tells Emily that she saw that Andrew was arrested on TV. “Are you sure it’s him?” she asks. Uh-oh.
Just like that, the girls are together again, via cell phone, learning that the man in jail for their kidnapping may not be responsible after all. Charles DiLaurentis, whoever he is, could still be out there.
In less interesting news, Alison hit it off with the new cop, Lorenzo, who meets her when she approaches Toby to exchange some meaningless and awkwardly charged words, and later sees her in church. Lorenzo is ‘sort of’ new in town, which could either mean he really is just new in town, or he has some kind of past with Ali that he wants to hide. I don’t trust Ali, so I’m not about to trust her judgment and accept Lorenzo as an ally.
Pretty Little Liars didn’t really give us any answers in the second episode of season six, other than suggesting Andrew isn’t Charles, but it did remind us that these girls are just that: girls. Hanna, Aria, Spencer and Emily all cope with their abduction in different ways, and it’s both realistic and tragic to see them deal with the aftermath of their torture without each other. After all, they have all been tortured and forced to torture each other. Their friendship has been altered, for better or for worse, and it’s nice to know the Pretty Little Liars writers have no intention of sweeping all that trauma under the rug as the season progresses.
Next week: Will we finally find out who Charles is? What is up with Sara Harvey and her mother? Is Andrew innocent or just not as guilty as we thought he was?
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.