Though plenty of drama happened within each of the girls’ lives, last night’s Pretty Little Liars did little to further this season’s plot; instead, the episode set up various story strands for each liar that hint at promising developments for incoming episodes. “Turn of the Shoe” wasn’t a bad episode, just a slower-paced one than the show usually offers.
The episode opened with the core four ruminating on A’s intentions when Mona interrupted. The girls immediately went on the defensive–despite Mona’s recent efforts, the girls are still far from trusting. Hanna even blamed Mona for planting her mother’s cell phone on Wilden’s body. In frustration, Mona offered to take the girls back to her trailer lair so they could rifle through her things for more clues. The girls agreed, but unfortunately Mona’s peace offering had vanished. Angry, Spence and Hanna drove off, but Aria and Emily stayed to watch Mona. Within moments after climbing in her car, Mona was attacked by a masked A, hiding in her back seat, and nearly strangled to death. She managed to escape, but A commandeered the car and attempted to run Mona AND Aria down. Luckily, Emily managed to pull them to safety, but poor Emily injured her arm in the process by slamming into a rock.
Ashley returned home from New York, but brought a new secret with her. Hanna found her mother’s best heels hidden in a kitchen cupboard with a toothbrush. When Hanna confronted her, Ashley delivered a flimsy excuse about attempting to clean the shoes herself and jumped to the defensive. Later, she tried to pitch the shoes, but A was watching and scared Ashley by blowing out the porch light. In angry frustration, Hanna confronted Shana with Aria at the coffee shop and demanded answers, to no avail.
After stopping by Emily’s house to check up on her, Hanna ran into Jessica DiLaurentis. Alison’s mom asked Hanna for gardening advice, made yet another reference to Hanna’s previously overweight state, and then presented Hanna with a new pet–a parrot previously owned by Alison’s grandmother that perfectly mimics Alison’s voice.
With her chances at Stanford in the balance, Emily chose to start popping painkillers for her arm rather than risk missing a swim meet and losing her opportunity for a scholarship. After a locker room run-in with Shana, who insisted Stanford’s last open position on the swim team would be hers, Emily swallowed a few too many pills and swam headlong into the pool wall. Ouch. Even when paramedics were wheeling her away to get stitches, Emily was still begging to finish the race. You have to love her determination, reckless and irrational as it is. Later, Emily finally came clean to Paige about the circumstances surrounding her injury–namely that A had returned.
Afraid for her life after A’s latest attack, Aria decided to begin martial arts lessons with attractive newcomer, Jake (who, according to Aria, smells like cinnamon–yum!). In the heat of the moment, Aria (still missing Ezra) kissed Jake and then fled, embarrassed. During her hasty getaway, Aria spotted Mona chatting up a cop. Aria pulled up next to the curb and called Mona to the car. When she questioned her, Mona insisted she’d actually been eavesdropping on the officers at the station; she learned the lake had been cordoned off because two sets of prints had been found at the scene: Wilden’s and a high-heeled woman’s (Hint, hint, Ashley’s, or so the girls believe. Only time will tell, but Ashley’s not looking too innocent right now).
Later, Jake dropped by Aria’s house (how did he know where she lived? Nevermind, doesn’t matter). He correctly assumed she wouldn’t be stopping by for another martial arts lesson, but told her he was definitely interested in seeing her; the two set up a coffee date. So, how long until Ezra spots the two of them together and gets a mad case of the feels? I mean, EVERYONE stops by Rosewood’s coffee shop, so it’s only a matter of time. And how long until A starts threatening Jake? We’ll see. For now, I’m glad Aria’s got a date with such a seemingly nice (and cute!) guy. Also, Aria’s got a seriously specific type–teacher. Oh, Aria.
After realizing Toby’s been lying to her, Spencer forces a confession out of him; Toby tells her he stole the trailer and delivered the lair to A in exchange for a transcript of his mother’s last day (before her alleged suicide) in Radley. However, when the pair read through the transcript, which had never been released to the Cavanaugh family, they suspected something was off with Radley’s story.
Spencer received a letter from UPenn informing her of her rejection (which was somehow more far-fetched than anything else in the episode–how on earth did SPENCER get rejected from a college??). Instead of telling her parents or friends, Spencer confessed to Ezra, who sweetly comforted her and promised to help with the essay for her second-choice school application. Since Ezra and Aria are splitsville for the time being, it’s nice seeing Ezra get some face time with the other liars. Spencer delivered an essay on her mental breakdown to Ezra, who recommended a different approach, as alerting the school to Spencer’s previous mental instability could hurt, rather than help, her chances. Spencer, sick of lying, threw a fit–she wanted to tell the truth for once.
Hanna gave Tippy (the parrot) to Spence for safekeeping, much to the latter’s annoyance. After dialing Hanna several times to complain, Spencer finally realized the song the bird had been singing was actually a phone number. Aria and Hanna stopped by, and Spencer dialed the bird’s number, but no one answered on the other line. When the girls went to check on the bird, they found Spencer’s window open and Tippy had vanished.
In the last shot, A dropped a cooked bird on her plate, but the bird wasn’t Tippy–A offered some of the cooked bird to the still-living Tippy (A endorses bird-cannibalism, the jerk) stuck in a cage.
And, that’s it! Tons of drama but little plot momentum, though still a pretty good episode. Next week’s episode looks like it’ll be heavier on plot movement, so no worries.
P.S. When is Caleb coming back? I’m sure Hanna misses him just as much as we do!