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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: Mona proves her loyalty in a BIG way!

Photo Credit: ABC Family

Just when the girls were ready to count Mona out, she stepped up and surprised everyone.

In tonight’s episode, “The Guilty Girl’s Handbook,” the girls were struggling with the aftermath of everything from the past couple of episodes. Hanna was left alone and motherless. Spencer continued searching for the truth about Toby’s mother. Emily and her mother acclimated to motel living. And Aria watched her brother make a desperate attempt to get his teammates back on his side after the car incident.

Let’s start with Emily. She and her mother are now living a motel. Her mother can’t figure out where the driver of the car went – you know, the one that drove into their living room last week? So now they’re stuck living in a tiny space where Emily listens into her mother’s phone calls and flashes a fantastic bitchy face when she hears things he doesn’t like. Despite their troubles, her mother wants her to focus on her college applications aka getting the hell out of Rosewood. This leads Emily to contact an old boss, Zoe (guest star Rumer Willis). Zoe offers Emily a volunteer opportunity for the summer. If Emily isn’t going to swim away from all of us, then I’ll take this. Let me know if you need help packing your bags to Venezuela, Em!

Aria’s life was about as exciting as Emily’s. For some reason she was really upset that her brother wanted to spend a lot of time with his teammates and get back in their good graces after being accused of busting up Connor’s car. She was even more perturbed when she found out he was taking classes with Jake. I’m so confused about how we’re supposed to feel about Jake. He has great arms, but seems about as deep as a puddle. WHAT DO YOU SEE IN HIM, ARIA?

Oh, wait. He’s her age, so it makes sense that he’d be this way. Anyway, Aria gets worried when Mike goes out with his friends and she can’t get a hold of him, so she calls Jake to stick in his nose in Mike’s business. I guess since her mother went to the other side of the world, Aria feels like she has to be a parent. Mike finally calls back and everything is settled, so Aria and Jake hang out in the living room and have the most shameless plug of Insidious 2. They make a date to see it next week. This is ridiculous.

Also, I’m secretly offended that they plugged a horror movie because I live my life with a strict no horror movie clause.

Meanwhile, Spencer is trying to figure out the mysterious case of Toby’s mother. She skips school to dig through her father’s files and is basically stuck with her mother’s assistant – I mean Spencer’s new babysitter. She gets the file, goes back to the crazy hospital where she did a recent stint and presents the material to Eddie. Turns out her favorite patient aid worked at the hospital when Toby’s mom died and gave a statement, which Wilden fudged to become a detective. This entire thing was confusing and I’m not sure what to make of it, so I’m going to do what Mrs. Hastings suggest Spencer do and move the hell on.

Mrs. Hastings wasn’t just juggling her daughter’s antics this week, she was dealing with Ashley and Hanna’s as well. Poor Ashley was about to be sent up the river to a woman’s prison where she’d be forced to wear orange, live without designer heels, and never have a bubble bath with a glass of wine again. Ashley’s worried about her daughter, which is perfectly natural, except so many people kept asking about how Hanna was doing. Her mother is going to become a prison bitch for a murder she didn’t commit. How do you think she’s doing?

Ashley calls Caleb to visit her and explains how she’s so worried about her daughter making a stupid decision. So in good parent fashion, she puts the pressure of preventing Hanna from doing anything stupid on a teenage boy. While Caleb’s hair is magical, I don’t think it’s got quite enough power to prevent Hanna from doing something stupid. And as it turns out, Ashley had every reason to worry. As she expressed her concerns to Caleb, Hanna turned to Mona for help because she’s the only one who can live in a lie – what a compliment, Hanna!

Unlike me, Mona isn’t offended and agrees to help Hanna come up with a confession about killing Wilden. What follows is one of the most disturbing set of scenes ever on this show. Mona is so cool and calculated and capable of creating a story and walking Hanna through it that there’s no way to think she’s not psychotic. She was especially upset to hear that the police took all of Ashley and Hanna’s heels!

‘Cause flats are so totally barbaric!

Mona creates a motive, an explanation, and an apology for Hanna and berates her until she memorizes it. Caleb stops Hanna from going straight to the police station to confess, which is a good thing because Mona hightailed it down there and confessed to killing him, shocking Mrs. Hastings and the rest of the liars.

Basically, Mona really is the HBIC in all of this.

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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