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Pretty Little Liars Recap: "Father Knows Best"


This episode should be re-titled, “Daughter Knows Best,” because with the exception of Emily, each girl spent the episode correcting their parents and believing they were right about everything.

Their fathers, and in Hanna’s case her mother, wanted nothing more than to have a nice time at the Father-Daughter dance. Only their kids could have cared less. They snapped. They snarled. They continued lying. They rolled their eyes. Normally, this doesn’t get to me, but tonight it was just too much. While they may be teenage girls dealing with a mysterious stalker and murder mystery, it doesn’t give them the right to be completely awful to their parents who are clearly trying to do the right thing.

Emily was the only one that didn’t annoy me this week, but that’s because between this story with Maya is so awful that I can’t care about it. So what if Maya ran away? She was upset because Emily confronted her about doing drugs and being an all around awful person – Hello, Emily was right. I did appreciate her father trying to help track Maya down even if they didn’t find her. I doubt Emily’s mother would have been as helpful and supportive. By the way, why can’t any of these households ever have the mother and father under the roof at the same time? Are they only allowed to let so many old people work per episode?

Meanwhile, Spencer and Melissa had a heart to heart. Melissa explained that Garrett was Ian’s friend and he’s checked in on her since the funeral. She doesn’t believe that Ian killed Alison, but worries she told Garrett too much. Melissa reminded Spencer about how much their parents were fighting and how it stopped after Alison went missing. In return, Spencer told her the theory about their father blackmailing Ali.

This exchange of information caused Spencer to second guess everything her father had told her, especially when he tried to buy her off with a diamond necklace. Unconvinced of Peter’s innocence, she broke into his study and found check stubs that are equal to the amount of money Alison had. Later at the dance, she confronted Peter and then decided she didn’t want to talk about. Case in point of daughter bitchiness that filled tonight’s episode. The angst with her father was interrupted by a possible Toby sighting on his motorcycle – I can’t deal with her concern for Toby after what happened last week. Or did you already forget, Spencer?

Later back at home, Peter discovered that a gun is missing from his desk drawer. While he called the police, Spencer looked through a folder with pictures of Alison. You know, because these are all signs that Peter had something to do with her disappearance. His explanation is that he hired an investigator to look into her disappearance because he thought Melissa was involved. Apparently in an attempt to get Alison to back off from Ian, Melissa had been sending her threatening text messages. That explains the text messages being sent from the law office, but this is trying too hard to make it seem like Melissa is A. While you can’t trust any character Torrey DeVitto, I believed Melissa when she promised to protect Spencer.

The most frustrating situation award goes to Aria dating an older man. I liked Aria and Ezra from the start. I stood firmly in their corner, shipping them as hard as a shipper can, but the reality of their relationship is that it’s inappropriate. He’s older. She’s a high school student. He’s a colleague of her father’s and used to be her teacher. It may be hot, but it’s wrong.

And last week, Ella gave Ezra and Aria the floor to speak their piece about their relationship. Aria thought this meant she would be in the clear when it came to Ezra, except her mother isn’t sure. Mike questioned his sister’s actions, even though he took it back later on, so it was kind of redundant. I’ll give you points for effort though, Mike.

It also caused Aria to pout and rethink the father-daughter dance. Byron told her that he just wants to take her to the dance, but she’s angry he won’t let her date an older man and spent the dance rolling her eyes and being annoyed with him. How sad was Byron’s face when Aria told him that she wasn’t his little girl anymore? Comments like that aren’t going to help you get your way, Aria. If you want to be in an adult relationship, at least act like you’re an adult and not a five year old who isn’t getting what they want.

Hanna wasn’t much better than Aria. Like any good mother, Ashley was worried about whoever is targeting Hanna and goes to the Cute Yet Scary Detective Wilden for help. Hanna was extremely upset when she sees her mother talking to him and interrogated Ashley like she was her child. When Ashley tried to be open about Wilden wanting to open, Hanna resisted it, going as far as to throw her cell phone into a sink filled with water to keep him from getting it. Are you going to pay for that replacement yourself, Hanna? Your mother has enough money trouble as it is. Hanna, you’re the daughter here. You don’t always know what is best.

Thankfully, Ashley continued to prove that she wasn’t messing around when it came to the girls. When Aria showed up and tried to derail her with the confession that she was A, Ashley went straight to Ella and told her about the lie. Unfortunately, Ella was more hesitant than Ashley because A knows about Byron’s affair with his student and Aria’s with Ezra. Still, she didn’t argue with Ashley, who said they needed to find answers. They had no idea that A was lurking outside the kitchen window.

The episode wound down with Aria receiving a call from Jonah, who told her there was another area that Vivian’s friend was receiving texts from. He gave them a block radius that led the girls to a doll hospital whose windows were filled with dolls like the ones they’d received. Aria suddenly decided she was freezing and Spencer sent her to the car to retrieve a coat. At this point I expected Aria to find something creepy in the trunk, like Maya’s body or a bomb from A, but instead it’s a red jacket. As she pulled it on, someone called out for Vivian from behind and she turned to find a young, jockish guy staring at her. Dun, dun, dun.

The final shot of the show was A opening a Rosewood paper with Maya’s smiling face on the front page. Suddenly her disappearance seems like it might mean something more. I’ve yet to decide if that’s a good thing or not. 

Amber Cunigan
Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.

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