pretty-little-liars-close-encounters-ABCFamily.jpgOn the latest “Pretty Little Liars,” Shana is revealed to possibly have been on Alison’s side all along, which … what?!

Alison/A, Emily and Shana (the spy)

Shana spins a tail to Emily about
growing up in George next door to Alison’s grandparents and that Ali
asked Shana to come to Rosewood to look into who killed her (hence why
she’s friends with Jenna, since Jenna is on Ali’s list). Shana says that
Alison wants the girls to stop looking for her and also drops some pretty intimate knowledge about Alison/Emily’s relationship, which means Emily believes her.

rest of the Liars don’t buy it — why would they? — figuring that “A”
sent Shana to tell this story so the Liars will back off the search for
Alison so that “A” can find her first.

Shana tells Emily Alison wants to meet her and Emily goes, not only because of the mystery but also because she has some majorly unresolved feelings for her not-dead-anymore friend. Spencer thinks it’s a terrible idea, but Emily has to see for herself.

Ali’s there and tearfully tells Emily how much she’s missed her — “You have no idea how hard it’s been to stay away.” Alison also says she’s not sure she can trust the other Liars. Hmm. When Spencer shows up, Alison runs for it.

Spencer tells Emily that Alison is manipulating her in order to divide the Liars, but Emily wants to believe that Alison loves her and is livid with Spencer.

Aria and Ezra (and Jake)

Aria breaks up with Jake because Ezra is the only one for her, always has been. Jake takes it like a champ. But then later, he sees Ezra yelling at a blonde woman in a car (it kind of looks like CeCe Drake, but we can’t swear to it). Jake tells Aria about what he saw and wonders if Ezra is the person Aria has been afraid of all this time.

“The Ezra that [she] knows doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” says Aria. But the first half of that sentence is very telling. Plus, Ezra lied to her about being in Philadelphia to see an old college buddy.

When she confronts him, Ezra says it was Maggie’s lawyer, since Maggie is trying to keep Ezra from seeing Malcolm. Aria is upset he lied to her, but he says he didn’t want Maggie to screw things up again for them. Aria buys it and hugs him.

It’s a good story, but what Ezra was yelling at the woman is not really what you would yell at the opposition’s lawyer: “I don’t understand how you could make such a colossal mistake. Do you understand? Do you see how this is difficult? Look at me when I’m talking to you! This doesn’t make sense, you have really screwed up. … This isn’t over!”

Hmm. This definitely smells fishy.

At the end of the episode, Jake kicks a heavy bag and it slices his foot because someone put knives inside. But how would that be Ezra? He didn’t see Jake see him yelling at the woman, and this is happening to Jake while Ezra is eating cake and making out with Aria, so he didn’t yet know that Jake ratted him out.

Hanna and Travis

Hanna is trying to get over Caleb by cleaning out her closet and kissing hot Cowboy Travis. You know what they say — the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. But her mom catches them and is naturally concerned that Hanna is just using Travis as a rebound (which she is).

Mrs. Marin decides that instead of making out with random boys, Hanna should have a girls night out at Cracked Up. It’s like a diner where you can throw plates against the wall? Or maybe it doesn’t serve food, maybe it’s just a place where you throw plates against the wall. Rosewood is the most interesting town ever.

After she works out her anger, Hanna calls Caleb to tell him being with him was the best year of her life. Awww.

Spencer and Toby

Radley offers Toby and his family a settlement in his mom’s case, which Mr. Hastings advises them to take because the case against the sanitarium is weak. The settlement has a gag order attached — Toby will forfeit the money plus pay a huge penalty if he ever talks about his mom’s case.

Mr. Hastings also comes clean to Spencer about what he’s been doing with Mrs. DiLaurentis: He’s helping her get Jason into rehab because Jason got drunk, started a bar fight and got arrested. But Mr. H. doesn’t want to tell his wife because anything to do with his affair with Mrs. D. and his illegitimate son will understandably upset her. Spencer seems to accept this and we’ll give Mr. H. the benefit of the doubt, his story doesn’t register on our B.S. meter just yet.

But what does register on her (and our) B.S. meter is that her dad is encouraging Toby to take the settlement, when Spencer thinks they should be investigating more before they agree not to pursue Toby’s mom’s death anymore.

Spencer does her Spencer thing and snoops in her father’s briefcase, discovering that Jessica DiLaurentis is on the board of trustees at Radley. Her dad denies that it has anything to do with the settlement, but we all know better.

Toby signs the settlement anyway because he and his dad just want to drop it, but Spencer is like a dog with a bone — she wants to know who the disturbed patient was on the roof when Mrs. Cavanagh fell. So do we, but we trust Spencer will find out.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • Mr. Hastings showing up at Toby’s and finding Spencer plus Toby in a towel was amazing. Hilariously well done.
  • As far as Alison is concerned, we’re with Spencer. Alison has to earn our trust and the benefit of the doubt and so far, she has not done so. She’s trying to divide the Liars. To what end, we do not yet know.
  • The “A” tag shows “A” ripping up a picture of (presumably) Shana and Alison as kids and burning the Shana half.
  • Who do you think Shana is working for? Alison or “A”? We kind of like the twist that Shana is part of Alison’s underground network of spies.

Best Lines:

Mr. Hastings: “Put some pants on, we need to talk about Radley.”

Hanna: “OK, Spence, the last thing I want to do is discuss my feelings over a tub of Chunky Monkey.”

Mrs. Marin: “What in the world is happening in here?”
Hanna: “You’ve never seen someone clean out their closet?”
Mrs. Marin: “Not in this house.”

What did you think of “Close Encounters”?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."