TV Recaps

Pretty Little Liars Season Premiere Recap: "It Happened Last Night"

Pretty Little Liars kicked off its third season last night with, “It Happened That Night.” It’s been five months since we last left Rosewood and A was revealed to be Mona, Garrett was arrested for Allison’s murder and Maya’s body was discovered. Summer is coming to an end and the girls are hanging out at Spencer’s, catching up and proving that they’ve learned absolutely nothing.

Pretty Little Liars kicked off its third season last night with, “It Happened That Night.” It’s been five months since we last left Rosewood and A was revealed to be Mona, Garrett was arrested for Allison’s murder and Maya’s body was discovered. Summer is coming to an end and the girls are hanging out at Spencer’s, catching up and proving that they’ve learned absolutely nothing.

As each girl talks about her summer, Emily continues to drink and be bitter and sad. (I know we’re supposed to feel bad for her, but Emily is sort of the worst so it’s hard). The girls fall asleep and when they wake up, the door is open and Emily is gone in a scene eerily reminiscent of the night Allison disappeared. The girls track down Emily in the cemetery where she is standing over Allison’s open grave and the body is gone. Spencer quickly deduces that someone set them up because there’s no way Emily was able to do that herself given how drunk she’d been. The smart thing to do would have been to call the cops, but instead, Spencer takes Emily back to her place while Hanna and Aria bury the shovel. (Really, girls)? Then Spencer brings everyone to the lake house so they can pretend they were there the entire time.

The next morning, Spencer’s mom calls them and lets them know that a caretaker discovered that Allison’s body was missing and she’s relieved the girls were at the lake house so no one can blame them for what happened. Later, Aria is at Ezra’s and she has a nightmare and he reminds her that everything is okay now. He suggests making the anniversary weekend their thing since they met at the bar a year earlier instead of focusing on Allison’s death. I suppose it would have been a sweet gesture if he wasn’t a teacher who was sleeping with his former student. (I’m sorry fans, it’s creepy).

Hanna and Spencer are shopping with their moms and Spencer’s mom tells Ashley that the police were planning on exhuming Allison’s body, but that hadn’t become public knowledge yet. Hanna and Spencer don’t like that people are still staring at them and Spencer suggests they go hang out somewhere else, but Hanna says she has an appointment with Dr. Sullivan. After she assures Spencer that she’s not going to tell the therapist about their latest secret, Hanna checks in under a false name to see Mona at the institution.

She’s been visiting her all summer without telling anyone. Mona is in a catatonic state and just stares at the wall why Hanna talks to her. Hanna makes it clear that she’s not there for Mona; she’s there for herself. She wants to know what she did to make Mona hate her so much. (Aw, Hanna). As she’s leaving, Hanna runs into Wren, who is volunteering there (Convenient or Coincidence?). While the two talk, Mona watches them from behind her door, proving that she’s not as out of it as she wants people to think she is.

There were some cute couple moments between Spencer and Toby and Hanna and Caleb. Toby has been showering at Spencer’s since the place he’s staying has bad plumbing and Spencer is enjoying having a shirtless Toby around. (Who could blame her)? But Spencer wants to wait to have sex and Toby respects that which is adorable. Not adorable? Spencer lies to Toby about unknown calls that she’s getting. Hanna is lying to Caleb too. They’re supposed to be cooking together, (how cute are they?) but she’s sneaking off to see Mona instead. Seriously, when are these girls going to learn to stop lying? (Yes, I know it’s in the title).

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At school, the girls are suspicious of Lucas and they mention that Jenna has yet to return to town. (Melissa Hastings is still out of town too and Jason DiLaurentis was not around either, just in case you’re keeping track of the other ‘A’ suspects at home). The girls are worried about Emily and maybe they should be since she’s creepily watching them from behind a wall. (What the hell, Emily)? Then Aria had a weird moment where she freaked out in the bathroom, couldn’t figure out how to lock the door and then started screaming when someone else was in there. It seemed like an overreaction to me and when Spencer and Hanna found her, she admitted she’d had a panic attack.

Spencer lies to her mom and Toby and tells them she’s studying. Instead, she heads out to the creepy stalker motel A was using and sets up her computer in an empty room. Her phone rings with the unknown caller again and Spencer finally answers and says, “I’m listening.” Meanwhile, Emily and Toby are talking and she tells him she’s been out of control and her friends wouldn’t understand. Toby points out friends accept you for who you are. (He’s the best). Hanna and Caleb are finally cooking together when Wren calls and lets Hanna know that Mona is making progress and he thinks it’s because of her visits and asks her to come back. When she does, Mona starts to pay attention, but she also has a flash of Allison sitting in the empty chair beside Hanna. (Maybe Mona really is crazy)?

The girls are questioned by the police while their nervous moms and Ezra (Who told him?) wait outside. Spencer, Hanna and Aria give the story they practiced and the cops let them go. Aria and Ezra end up bringing Ella on their date with them. (That’s not awkward or anything). Spencer sticks around the station and visits Garrett. He’s the one who has been calling her and insists that there’s more that they don’t know. He doesn’t know anything about Maya, but he says he knows who killed Allison. He wants Spencer’s mom to be his lawyer, but Spencer is not having that. She starts to leave and Garrett shouts out that he knows who took the body.

Emily is out for a jog and sees a blue car. She freaks out and runs to Spencer’s, where the other three girls have gathered. They’re worried Emily told the police the truth, but she insists she would never do that. She had some kind of flash of being in the trunk of that car. The girls suspect Mona, but Hanna sets them straight when she admits that she’s been visiting her. Spencer brings everyone to the motel and shows them pictures on her laptop. Apparently, she’s been recreating A’s creepy lair. The girls confess that they’ve been keeping a secret from Emily. The morning after Maya’s body was found, they went back to the motel and all A’s stuff was gone, meaning someone else knows their secrets.

Spencer’s car alarm starts going off so the girls go to check it out and find all four doors and the trunk open. Windows are broken and the inside of the car is littered with pictures of them at the cemetery, standing over Allison’s open grave. (Who saw that coming)? As they panic that it’s starting again, all four of their phones buzz with a new message. “Mona played with dolls. I play with body parts. Game on, bitches. A.”

I didn’t love the episode by any means, but I do like that the Team A angle still seems to be in play. I’m curious who took Allison’s body, how Garrett knew about it and I’m wondering what’s going to happen when Jenna, Jason and Melissa resurface. Did you enjoy the premiere? Which mystery are you most looking forward to getting answers to? Sound off below!

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About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.