Aria got the brunt of A’s handiwork this episode. She’s still being haunted by the desperate letter she wrote to Jackie, the one that will crush Ezra if he ever reads it. And he might because A is leaving pieces of it everywhere. When Aria orders a coffee, the letter is on the receipt, with a note from A: “This kind of lie will stay on your permanent record.”
Aria also received a text from an “H,” who she assumes is Holbrook. She reasons that he might be tired of trying to help Ali and is reaching out to come clean. “H” stands her up at The Grill and she ends up sharing lunch with Jason, during which they discuss Ali and what she’s capable of (read: anything, basically).
“H” then tells Aria to meet him at the flower shop, but the only person there is the florist who instructs Aria to deliver a bouquet to Hanna’s mother. Hanna, who is rightfully freaking out about Ashley’s dalliance with Jason, intercepts the delivery. Aria realizes that Holbrook or not, the person who texted her is just playing A’s game.
The card on the bouquet indicates that it’s a gift from Jason, who is glad he “stayed for dessert.” But Hanna knows it’s really from A, who has gone after Ashley before. It’s really bad timing — Pastor Ted is back from a trip to Peru and he proposes to Ashley in an adorable nod to their first date. Consumed with guilt over what happened with Jason, she tells him she needs time to think about it. Poor Pastor Ted.
Amid all of the mischief, let’s not forget that there are two interesting strangers in Rosewood. Talia, hired to work at The Brew under Ezra’s ownership, has been a thorn in Emily’s side, offering up unsolicited culinary, sartorial and relationship advice. I felt bad enough for Emily, who spent much of the episode toting around a
please remember me here’s your stuff package for Paige, while wearing a T-shirt she’d given her as a gift. Then it got worse. Talia went all sorts of cringe-worthy with her new co-worker. “What do you think about that? Cute buns on the boss, right?”
Then there’s Johnny, the talkative guy renting the Hastings barn. He’s a college dropout who makes paint out of garbage, apparently. I’d like to point out that he turned up out of nowhere, which seems lost on Spencer.
She’s clearly intrigued by his time spent in Italy and his assertion that college is “just a bunch of kids sitting on bunk beds trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.” (100 percent true, by the way.) In her quest to get way out of Rosewood, Spencer is considering abandoning her Ivy League dreams, even as she turns her nose up at the University of Hawaii.
In other Spencer news, she and Caleb were tasked with tracking down Mona’s stolen laptop. The group somehow received a text from Mona, leading them to a storage unit. “Obviously, ghosts don’t have fingers,” Hanna deadpanned, but I think Caleb and the residents of Ravenswood would argue differently. Sorry, I just can’t let Ravenswood go.
Getting into the storage unit proves to be a complicated (and illegal) endeavor. They ran into a teacher from Rosewood High, who confirmed that a nondescript blonde was the owner of said storage unit. Oh, and the storage unit emits an awful, “unsanitary” smell.
Caleb made a shim out of a soda can, broke into the aforementioned teacher’s storage space and then he and Spencer traveled through the air duct to get to Mona’s laptop. Television. The laptop was surrounded by bloody clothes packed neatly into evidence bags, an assortment of chemicals and a barrel that they assume is holding Mona’s body. After a quick chemistry lesson, Caleb abandoned all tact and just said the first thing that came to his mind. “So she’s either been pickled or dissolved?”
In addition to wondering whether her she’d found Mona’s body, Spencer had to deal with more fallout from Toby, who — like any good cop/boyfriend — wants her to stop doing illegal things. It’s unlikely that Spencer will back down after she hears what Caleb found out about the storage unit. The storage locker isn’t in Holbrook or Ali’s name. It’s in Hanna’s.
Now might be a good time to get your free annual credit report, Han. You never know what else A is up to.
Lingering questions: Are Paige and Emily over for good? What is Talia’s deal? Will Ashley (or A) tell Pastor Ted about Jason? Who rented the storage locker? And why are they framing Hanna?