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'Pretty Little Liars' recap: 'Love ShAck, Baby'

Was it all about the creative non-fiction or all of the secrets that Ali’s mysterious journal kept from the girls … and A?  

After the girls confront Hanna about keeping the journal a secret since Ravenswood, they decide it’s time for them to take turns and see what Ali had to share about them.

Emily is the first. While reading the journal at home, Emily falls asleep and wakes up to Ali asking her to meet her at the kissing rock. A confused Emily can’t tell if she is dreaming or if Ali is visiting her in real life, but still finds time to confront her about all of the things she said about her in the journal -- oh yeah, and about how she failed to share with her that she was never dead. After a brief moment of anger, Ali tells Emily how much she needs her, and Emily agrees to meet her.

Aria tries to play it cool when she visits Mr. Fitz's empty classroom to “return a pen.” An always-inquisitive Spencer realizes that she is putting more than a pen in Mr. Fitz's desk and, in true Hasting’s fashion, tries to get to the bottom of the situation. Of course Aria is mum about her feelings for Jake, because it is still evident that she is in love with Ezra. (Why?) Of course, Spencer puts everything in perspective for Aria when she tells her “you like Jake…you love Ezra.”

Thanks for keeping it real for us, Spence!

Time for Emily to give up the journal, but only after color-coordinating the pages so each girl would know exactly who it is they were reading about. After it's offered to Aria, Hanna snatches it away and hands it to Spencer.  (Why so sneaky, Hanna)? The girls notice that something is off with their friend and ask her if everything is OK.  Hanna acts as though everything is fine, when it is obvious that she is still dealing with her breakup from Caleb.

The girls also notice that Ali begins to talk about the place she used to frequent to stay away from the trouble she was getting into in Rosewood. The girls decide they are going to take a trip to this Busy Bee Inn, and see if that is where Ali has been hiding this entire time.

Road trip time!

After seeing the girls together in school with the journal, Ezra has to find a way to get the book back into his possession. After Aria tells him that she can’t hang out with him, he begins to figure out that something is going on and tries to get Aria to tell where she and her friends are going. But she keeps the details of the trip short and sweet, leaving Ezra without a clue.

Emily goes to the kissing rock to wait for Ali. After sitting there for a few minutes, she realizes that Ali isn’t going to show up. Emily removes her bracelet and leaves it on the rock for her friend, to show that she was there. But again, Ali let Emily down.

Did everyone see the mysterious red spray paint that read “EF + AD”?

Spencer arrives home from school to see her father talking to Mrs. DiLaurentis. Mrs. D is telling her former lover how she wants to be the one to share with Jason that she and her husband are getting a divorce. Spencer is no fan of her father keeping secrets from her or her mother, so she decides to confront him about speaking so closely to the woman he fathered a child with.

Mr. Hastings warns Spencer not to speak to Mrs. D at all. After reluctantly agreeing, she asks the real question: Why hasn’t her father contacted Toby? Mr. Hastings says that Toby’s mother’s death was an actual accident. The real story was covered up because there was a second person on the roof with her at the time of her death.

But who?

Before leaving for the road trip, Spencer decides to pay Mrs. D a visit. After telling her to stay out of her family’s lives, and to leave her father alone, a speechless Mrs. D can’t believe what she just witnessed.

We can’t either!

The girls travel to the Busy Bee Inn to look for more clues that could lead them to Ali. The car ride turns sour when the conversation is directed towards Hanna. The girls ask her about her visit with Caleb, but after she begins snapping at them, they all agree to leave it alone.

Aria finally gets the  book in her hands (after Hanna again tries and fails to keep it from her), she begins reading about “Suzie Clueless” and tries to determine who that is. After reading on about the pink hair and good fashion-sense, she realizes Ali is talking about her.

Back in Rosewood, Ezra or “Mr. Fitz” decides to pay Hanna’s mom a visit. Ashley is eager to learn of her daughter’s progress in school, until her work phone rings. As she excuses herself, Ezra invites himself upstairs to Hanna’s room. After looking for the journal, he realizes that wherever Hanna is, that’s where he needs to be. Looking at her computer, he sees the directions to the Busy Bee Inn.

He makes it downstairs without Ashley knowing he's gone.

The girls run into engine trouble and break down in the middle of nowhere. Aria tells the girls that her uncle (aka Ezra) has a cabin not too far away, where the girls can sit and wait for Travis to arrive with the tow truck.

On the walk to the cabin, Spencer gets the book, and notices an entire page has been torn out. After confronting Hanna about it, Hanna tells her that she didn’t do it, and that the entire situation should just be dropped.

The girls arrive at the cabin and notice that Hanna is still upset. Spencer begins reading a passage from the journal about a “cradle robber” and the girls try to figure out who it can be. Hanna breaks down and shares with the girls that she is the “cradle robber,” because she hooked up with Aria’s brother, and Ali knew about it. Hanna apologizes to Aria, who replies that there is nothing that would ruin their friendship. *sign of relif.*

Emily and Hanna decide to take a walk to find cell service to contact Travis. While alone in the cabin, Spencer and Aria are locked in a closet … by A. After the girls scream for help, Emily and Hanna rush back to the cabin. After finding their friends locked in the closet, Spencer and Aria share that they saw A.

The girls also notice the journal is now missing, and they are back at square one.

Travis picks up the girls and they all make it home. Spencer arrives to see her father lying to her mother on the phone. After he confronts her about her run-in with Mrs. D, Spencer leaves and heads to Toby’s house. Travis, after being offered payment for the ride home, assures Hanna that he is her friend and that is what friends do. Hanna breaks down and cries in front of him, finally letting out her tears for Caleb.

Ezra calls Aria, to make sure she made it home OK after their postponed date. He tells Aria he loves her as he is on the opposite side of the phone line … dressed like A.

Only two episodes in and there are already numerous secrets coming out that we can’t possibly take. How many more things will be revealed this season? How close will A and the girls get to Ali?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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