'Pretty Little Liars' recap: 'Bring Down the Hoe'

For The Baltimore Sun

Everyone just had so much to do today.

The best advice the girls can give Emily as she deals with the visitor in the crawl space at Mrs. DiLaurentis' house is to always wear underwear. Thanks, Spencer. While the girls spend lunch trying to piece together the suspects that could possibly live in the infamous crawlspace, Lieutenant Tanner tries to line up some suspects of her own. During her brief lunch visit with the girls, LT. Tanner mentions the shoe that matches the prints found at Detective Wilden’s murder scene and its appearance at Emily’s house.

PS: Lieutenant, even though Hanna stepped away, I’m sure you ruined everyone’s lunch.

The girls figure it is time to put Cece Drake on the police radar. They agree to send Hanna on a shopping trip with Mrs. DiLaurentis, then meet in the crawlspace, to find out who was sleeping over uninvited.

Hello creepy guy in the black shirt, who are you and why are you stalking Hanna?

If worrying about the shoe that resurfaced in Emily’s house wasn’t enough. Hanna has to find another lawyer -- other than Mrs. Hastings -- who will get her mother a fair trial.

When Emily gets a letter from her boss in Haiti, she can’t wait to share the news with Paige. After mentioning how it seems that her boss is “gushing” over her more than recommending her to college, she goes to get a second opinion from Ezra. A bearded Ezra takes a look at the letter and informs Emily that there are people dealing with bigger problems than glowing recommendation letters. Ouch! After apologizing for his outburst (maybe it was the beard that sent him over the edge), Ezra tells Emily that his issue isn’t with her or her letter, but with Maggie moving away Malcolm, something he would rather get into with Aria.

Meanwhile, Aria finds out that Jake can two-step, and invites him to the cowboy-themed dance. This is the first time in "Pretty Little Liars" history that Aria can attend a dance with someone she is dating. Before the dance, Jake has a gift for Aria, a new pair of cowboy boots. Aria’s gift in return? An introduction to Ezra, who faced rejection as he tried to talk to Aria before the arrival of her new beau. 

Aria wasn’t the only one getting gifts. In the process of finding out more about his mother’s mysterious death, Toby tells Spencer that he is going to speak with Dr. Palmer again. After much disagreement, Toby decides to go. When he turns on his car, A has left the gift of music in his radio -- a CD with his mother showcasing her talents, this time with her singing voice and not the piano.

Again, who is the creepy guy following Hanna? Why is there money in her locker in the Diva Dish envelope?

After a text conversation with her mother, Caleb convinces Hanna to go to the dance. In the process of pulling her life together, Hanna runs into her stalker at the coffee shop (who, at this particular moment, manages to look a little less creepy and more like a regular resident of Rosewood). Hanna doesn’t get why he finds her so interesting, and tells him to, of course, leave her alone.

Meanwhile in the crawlspace, Emily and Aria find a mysterious missing button that quite possibly could have come off of a coat, and Emily tell Aria about her angry encounter with Ezra.  When Spencer finally makes her arrival, she seems preoccupied with other things, until the girls are nearly poked to death with knitting needles coming through the holes drilled above the crawlspace. Who was there with the girls?

After escaping the great knitting-needle horror in the crawl space, Emily decides it’s time to move in with Spencer, and the girls collectively decide to confront Spencer about her double life. Spencer tries to dodge all questions, but the girls aren’t having it. After running out of excuses, she finally tells the girls that Toby is trying to figure out who could have possibly killed his mother. Secret's out!

Sidebar: Thank you, Hanna, for bringing memories of Emily’s ex-boyfriend back to us, and for checking to see if Spencer is pregnant.  Thanks, Cece, for being that-much creepy in the black hoodie, while making secret phone calls.

Emily and Spencer begin to pack up all of Emily’s belongings from casa DiLaurentis. A mint-green nail polish reminds her of a conversation between her and Ali. In a flashback scene, Ali tells Emily that her boyfriend Ben is no good. Ali also shares with her that a friend’s boyfriend pulled a gun on her once, but she won’t say who. Was it Wilden?

We can tell that this wasn’t any of the liars' first time at the rodeo. Aria is impressed by Jake’s two-stepping abilities. Emily runs into Paige, after telling her she didn’t plan on attending the dance. Toby doesn’t really feel like being there. Hanna meets her stalker again. Jake confronts Mr. Fitz.

After getting pulled to the side, Hanna formally meets Travis, the mysterious guy who has been following her around, leaving money in her locker, and who was at the crime scene the night Detective Wilden was killed. Travis tells Hanna that his family tow truck service was called to the scene the night Wilden was shot, and that he saw her mom there, but heard the gun shots after she left. Travis is nervous about telling the police, because he doesn’t want to get himself or his family involved. Hanna gets him to change his mind.

Spencer tells Toby that she shared their secret with the girls. Spencer enlists the help of Caleb to keep him from making a big mistake and getting set up by A. As soon as Toby begins to break into Dr. Palmer's abandoned car, Caleb arrives and so do the police. The boys split just in time.

After thinking they finally caught red coat, Emily and Spencer have no luck. All they have is a pile of hay and the red coat, with a missing button.

Aria makes her way to Ezra’s apartment to finally hear his story. She assures him that she did it on her own, and that Jake isn’t close by. A reluctant Ezra has been waiting for this moment (and we have been, too). In the final scene, Cece Drake is lurking outside of apartment 3B, wearing the suspicious black hoodie. Why?

Maybe she is preparing for World War A. I know I am.

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