'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: Ali Stages an Attack
'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: Ali Stages an Attack
Megan Cole
Megan Cole
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In last week's episode, Alison lied her way through Mama Fields' awkward dinner party, while Hanna relied on booze to help her survive the evening. In other news, Aria used her first day of volunteering at Radley to steal Bethany's sketchbook, and Spencer borrowed Ezra's stalker-gear to spy on Melissa.

In this week's episode, "Scream for Me," Alison moves in with Hanna, Ella's wedding plans hit a major snag, and Spencer and Emily wind up in a dangerous situation. Read on to find out if the eighth episode of Pretty Little Liars season 5 delivers the mayhem and mystery we have come to expect.

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Another One Bites the Dust

Before we get into the recap, I want to mourn the fact that Rosewood has lost another seemingly decent guy. I remember being so impressed with Zack when he was first introduced. He was sweet and funny and he adored Ella, which automatically made me like him. When Ella announced that they were engaged, I was so happy that things were working out for her. After being married to Byron Montgomery, the woman deserved to be with a good guy. Instead, she is getting ready to marry Rosewood's newest creeper.

It makes me wonder if this was always the plan. If I go back and watch earlier episodes, will Zack's shadiness be more evident? Or did the writers choose to turn Zack into a bad guy because it fit with the story they wanted to tell this season? One of the best things about this show is that, like the Liars, we never know who we can trust. Is Alison a manipulative bully or a traumatized victim? Is Melissa lying to protect her family or to save her own skin?

Yet this latest character twist seems to come out of nowhere and feels like it was only done to cause more problems between Aria and Hanna. If Zack can turn out to be a lecherous sleaze, who is next? All I ask is that the writers leave Papa Fields alone. If they ruin my opinion of Emily's dad -- a guy who, despite his heart condition, scaled a building to save his little girl -- I will be devastated.

Ali vs.Tanner

Alison's dad is going out of town for a few days, and since 'A' will not let Ali leave Rosewood, Ali cannot go with him. So Ali asks if she can stay with Hanna while her dad is gone. Hanna's face screams no as loudly as possible, but Hanna's mouth says she will ask her mom. But Ali just bypasses Hanna altogether and asks Ashley herself. Hanna is not pleased that her mom agrees to let Ali stay with them.

During her stay at the Marin house, Ali tells Mama Marin that she could not sleep because she thought she heard someone outside. Ashley tells Ali to stay home for the day to get some rest. Later that night, Ashley offers to take Alison out to dinner, but their plans are put on hold thanks to a scare.

While Ashley is making dinner reservations, she hears someone creeping around the house. At first, she thinks it might be Hanna or Alison, but that idea flies out the window faster than Tippi the bird when she sees a man's shadow. Ashley and Alison huddle together as they wait for the cops to arrive, and whoever broke in slips away unseen.

When Lt. Tanner takes their statement, she grills Ali about what she saw and Ashley takes offense. Ashley goes all mama bear on Tanner, suggesting that she spend her time looking for the person behind all of this instead of questioning Alison. I love Mama Marin, but I doubt she would be so quick to believe every word out of Alison's mouth were it not for the recent strain in her relationship with Hanna.

Of course, the whole thing was actually a stunt designed by Alison. She tells Spencer and Emily that she asked Noel to break into the Marin home so they would have an adult on their side, backing up Alison's story about her kidnapper still tormenting her. Yet, despite Ashley's insistence that the police catch Alison's abductor before he strikes again, I do not think Tanner bought into Alison's ruse.

Why is Every Guy in Rosewood the Worst?

While Ali is busy manipulating Mama Marin, Hanna vents her frustrations about her new house guest to Caleb. But Caleb is more interested in planning imaginary vacations and drinking all day than hearing about Alison's latest antics. Hanna is also interested in drinking, but she puts the bottle down long enough to stop at the Brew to get some actual food in her stomach. Ella's fiance, Zack, is back running things, and when he realizes Hanna is drunk, he makes a move on her. Hanna gets out of there before anything happens, but his unwanted advances clearly freak her out.

The next day, Hanna tries to talk to Emily and Spencer about what happened, but they wonder if Hanna's drunken state made her read too much into it. To prove to herself that she did not misinterpret things, Hanna heads back to the brew, where Zack lets himself into her car like the obvious creeper he is. He asks if Hanna is feeling the "vibe" between them and Hanna does not answer. But he squeezes her knee and gives her his number anyway because a little thing like consent means nothing to guys like Zack.

Now that she is sure Zack is just like all the other adult men in this town -- Papa Fields withstanding, at least for now -- Hanna goes to Aria's to drop the bombshell that her mom is marrying a guy who makes passes at teenage girls. But Aria, still upset with Hanna for spilling the New York beans to Sydney, does not believe her. She even goes so far as to accuse Hanna of throwing herself at Zack thanks to her new drinking habit. I understand that Aria does not want to believe another man in her life has betrayed her, but it upsets me that she thinks Hanna would lie about this. Booze or no booze, Hanna would never hurt Aria or Ella like that.

Aria Finds More Clues at Radley

Prior to the Zack bombshell, Ella asks Aria to be her maid of honor. Aria is delighted, until she learns that being a maid of honor comes with actual duties like helping your mom at the bridal shop. But even though Ella arranges their appointment around Aria's schedule, Aria ends up forgetting their plans thanks to her shenanigans at Radley.

Speaking of Radley, Aria sneaks back into Rhonda's room to return Bethany's sketchbook, only to have Rhonda catch her in the act. But Rhonda offers to keep quiet about Aria's snooping ways in exchange for a sugary drink and a bag of chips. Rhonda then asks Aria why she is so interested in Bethany's drawings and Aria says anyone would be interested in the life of the girl buried in their friend's backyard. Rhonda tells Aria that some rich lady -- whose name sounded like Mrs. D's -- let Bethany adopt a horse and took her out of Radley for trips to the stables.  

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No More Horse-ing Around

Spencer and Emily decide to follow up on Aria's horse lead by heading to the stables. Once there, Spencer's sleuthing leads the girls to discover Melissa's riding helmet. Did 'A' plant Melissa's helmet there, or did Melissa join Mrs. D and Bethany on their visits?

With a storm approaching, Emily calls it quits on the search for more clues, only to find that she and Spencer have been locked into one of the stalls. The girls eventually break free, but not before one of Spencer's beautiful eyeballs is injured.

In Other Rosewood Happenings...

-- Aside from trying to poke holes in Ali's kidnapping story, Lt. Tanner is still investigating Shana's death. She asks Ali why Shana would move to Rosewood if she thought Alison was dead and if Ali ever tried to contact Shana. The Liars need to watch their backs with this one. Lt. Tanner is as competent as she is determined.

-- Emily tries to undo the damage Hanna did in the last episode by telling Sydney that the Liars were never in New York and Hanna was confused about that because she was drunk. Sydney is not buying it, but she does tell Emily that she has been offered the position of Assistant Coach on the swim team. Sydney clearly got Emily this position because Emily canceled their training sessions and it is harder to spy on someone who is avoiding you.

-- Eddie Lamb is still missing and Aria is getting more panicked by the moment. Upon arriving at Radley, Aria immediately asks after Eddie and is told that Eddie's last day was yesterday. Eddie, I hope you do not turn out to be dead or evil.

-- At first, Spencer is horrified when Toby tells her that he joined the police academy because he wants to become an official member of the Rosewood PD. But she changes her tune after the incident at the stables. This 'A' is not holding anything back, and if Toby can do anything from inside the cop-shop to help them stop this monster, Spencer is all for it. Good luck, Toby. I do not know if you will make a good cop, but you cannot be worse than the ones we already have.

-- "Okay, if I can't spell it or pronounce it, I can't go there." -- Hanna's response to one of Caleb's vacation destination suggestions. Hanna always gets the best one-liners.

What did you think of this week's episode of Pretty Little Liars? Did you suspect Ali had ulterior motives for asking to stay with Hanna instead of Emily? Was Melissa going to the stables to spy on Bethany and Mrs. D? Is 'A' keeping Eddie caged up like poor Tippi, or did the guy just skip town before he became another Radley-related casualty? Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments section.

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC Family.

(Image courtesy of ABC Family)