This week on Pretty Little Liars
, Spencer finally finds out Toby has been on the 'A' Team this whole time. It's heartbreaking and actress Troian Bellisario nails it just like you would expect. Poor Spencer, who is usually the first to suspect everyone, certainly didn't expect to get played like she did.
"Tell me there's more to the story," she cries while pounding on Toby's door later that night. It's what many fans of the couple (affectionately called Spoby) were certainly hoping for. Maybe Toby was a double agent, using his abs for great justice and finding out intel on the inside?
But that was always just a pipe dream. Just like we the audience couldn't initially accept kindhearted Toby as a hoodie-wearing creep about town, Spencer can't initially accept what she knows to be true.
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Part of growing up is accepting that the
people we let into our lives have the ability to hurt us. That by
opening ourselves up to trust, by throwing our creepy dad's murder
implication papers into the fire, we're also opening ourselves up to
All the girls are learning this lesson the hard way, the
Rosewood way, which usually involves mannequins hanging from the ceiling
and getting Flowers in the Attic
'd by your dad's girlfriend.
Still, if we've learned nothing else from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
we should have learned that when you sleep with your high school
boyfriend he will eventually try to kill you. Maybe Spencer should have
spent less time sewing replicas of Mary Queen of Scott's execution gown
and more time watching the oeuvre of Joss Whedon. She could have
avoided some of this heartbreak.
This week's episode, "Misery Loves Company" directed by showrunner Marlene King, was more horror story than even the Halloween episode
. It was all slow build and creepy camera angles, shots up dark basement stairs and tiny pieces of evidence gone unnoticed until the very last second.
While Aria's Rosewood horror story might have been more conventionally scary, Spencer's was more psychologically damaging. She realized that the boy she had given her heart has always been out to break it.
For premium heartbreak, Spencer is excitedly concocting a surprise scenario for Toby's anniversary involving Scrabble and her Nana's secret recipe. It's exactly the kind of sexy, weird, adorable surprise Spencer would plan.
She enlists her mom and Emily's help in the scheme, making this the second time in the episode that someone enlists Emily in some field wetwork like she is being put into spy training.
I hope when Pretty Little Liars finally ends, there's a spin off where they all go into the CIA. Spencer would obviously be great at everything, Hanna would teach stalking, Emily would teach a very specific course called iPhone case switching, and Aria would teach new recruits how to turn household objects into shivs. They would be the best recruits Langley had ever seen.
While putting this whole plan together, Spencer manages to find Toby's Radley badge he just randomly kept non-hidden in an obvious drawer. Why not just proudly display it next to your hoodie collection and assortment of alphabet cereal missing the letter A? This is like the level Aria operates on, not Toby. Still, maybe the upcoming anniversary made him sloppy.
He opens the episode questioning Mona, who slaps him into place by mentioning that she's not the one calling the shots. We've always known, but now we have confirmation, that someone else is heading the operation and she has a very specific game plan.
Spencer finds him in her house complete with 'A' hoodie and gives him a justified slap. Before she can find out the reason why, Toby disappears in a cloud of spoke and naked abs like if all the strippers in Magic Mike were also magicians.
Spencer shows up to pound helplessly on his door and cry while asking the only question we've all been asking since the summer finale: Why? But there is no answer, just piano music and the sound of Spencer's crying.
Inside, Mona is enjoying the anniversary dinner Spencer prepared for Toby to the sounds of some Silence of the Lambs piano music. She'll enjoy your betrayed sorrow with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
If A Crazy Person Directs You to the Basement, Do Not Follow
While Spencer and the rest of the girls are in an episode of Pretty Little Liars
, Aria is off in a horror movie called 'I Know What Your Dad Did Last Summer'. Her case of the sniffles has turned into a full blown flu, which is surprisingly good timing for this episode given the recent influenza outbreak. The flu, everyone's got it!
Of course Meredith is there, helpfully taking care of her and making her special blend of herbal roofie tea. "This tastes like horse tranquilizers, are you sure this is good for my cold?" Aria wonders. "Don't worry, I only use organic GHB!" Meredith says, eyes full of crazy. "Oh well in that case I'm sure it's fine!" Aria muses as she chugs another cup full of sleepytime roofie tea.
Shouldn't all these girls have a better meter for picking out people who are absolutely insane? I get that in Rosewood this is hard, but Meredith is several different flavors of obvious unhinged madness and yet everyone is willing to drink her poisoned tea and follow her into murder dungeons, no questions asked.
Aria eventually hallucinates Alison, which I think means that Alison has officially visited each one of the liars. Also this means that literally all of the liars were doped up at some point on this show, which is pretty funny.
Alison explains about her blackmail of Byron but how she was just desperate for the money and would never have actually told Aria's mom. We've seen before that Alison was certainly in over her head with something, but still don't know what. "You know why I picked you right?" Alison asks, pointing out the doll full of secrets she gave Aria.
When Aria realizes she's locked in her room, she starts to seriously freak out. Thankfully, her years of turning spikes and feathers into wacky and individualistic fashion accessories have taught her the necessary skills to make a shiv out of any household item. Unfortunately, she's still Aria, which means she falls asleep while waiting for a crazy woman to come kill her. That's so Aria.
Coming to see what's up with Aria after listening to crazy Meredith have a mental breakdown about her roofie ingredients in the drug store, Hanna and Emily still blindly follow Meredith into the dark basement. Come on guys! People are trying to kill you at all times! No one has ever tried to run me over with a car and I still wouldn't go into a creepy basement lair.
Also did Meredith take their phones? Did I miss that? Does 911 just not exist in Rosewood? I realize the Rosewood police aren't much better than anyone else living in the murder capital of Pennsylvania, but it's still better than getting boiled like a bunny by Meredith!
Of course, Byron comes home just in time to be suspicious and menacing some more, and then let the psychopath who drugged his daughter and left her for dead in the basement prance out of the house.
Oh Byron, even when you're no longer the number one murder suspect
, you're still the worst. Aria burns the diary pages when Byron spins his tale of woe because...you know... it's Aria.
But the one pertinent detail is what happens in the background of the flashback with Alison: Melissa appears on the scene behind Alison as Byron walks away. Time for Melissa to come back on the scene, just when Spencer is already having such a bad run of luck.
Elsewhere in Rosewood
- Caleb and Paige join forces to activate their powers of awesome and take down Mona from the outside. This is sure to go well!
- Ella briefly wonders if her daugther is being murdered by her exhusband's old mistress and then remembers it's not her time in the narrative to parent. So she goes back to hanging out with Ashley Marin stuffing money in pasta boxes in off-screen-landia.
- Toby takes off his shirt, as he is contractually obliged to do once per episode.
What did you think of this week's episode? Do you still suspect Byron? How crushed were you when Spencer found out about Toby? Share your theories and your tears in the comments!You don't need A to keep up with all the lies. Just add Pretty Little Liars to your very own watch-list so you can keep up with all the suspects in Rosewood. Download the BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.