‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: ‘A Kiss Before Lying’

Poor, Hanna. Her boyfriend’s sneaking around behind her back with three other girls and her evil step-sister is enrolling at Rosewood High. But circumstances aren’t quite as dire as they sound, as the girls in question are Hanna’s best friends whom Lucas is helping decrypt video from the night of Alison’s murder, and, as it turns out, step-sister Kate is in a peace-making mood.

As the “Pretty Little Liars” (sans Hanna, obvs) watch, Caleb enhances a new portion of tape, revealing something intriguing: a fake I.D. depicting Alison with dark hair. Why did she need a second fake I.D.? Left out but not forgotten, Hanna calls each of the Liars’ phones without an answer, until Spencer finally takes pity and picks up. Big mistake, Spence, because Hanna overhears the discussion and knows something is up. Family time, shmamily time.

Hanna isn’t the only one being deceived, however. When Spencer asks Aria about her Philadelphia meet-up with Ezra, Aria tells her that he never showed. But we all know he did (hello, rain-drenched make out!). Aria heads to the city to meet up with her man under the guise of hanging out with Holden.

Though she’s been putting up her own good front, Spencer is clearly devastated about the disappearance of Toby, going so far as to wear one of his shirts under her own sweater. But distracted friend Hanna hardly notices because she’s wrapped up in her family reunion with Kate. When the evil step-sister finally shows up in the cafeteria, however, she’s actually, well, nice. Spencer’s pretty sure she’s met Kate before, but it takes a few days to place her: Kate was a camper in big sister/camp counselor Melissa’s bunk and apparently the bugs took a liking to Kate. There’s photographic evidence of Kate in all her ugly, swollen insect-bite glory, and Spencer uses it to ensure Kate’s continued pleasant demeanor towards Hanna.

When Spencer later shows Hanna the image, however, the blond also discovers the picture of Ali’s fake I.D., forcing Spencer to reveal that Caleb’s been helping them. Obviously upset, Hanna storms out. When Caleb finds her later and apologizes, Hanna explains that she’s not just trying to protect him; she’s also watching out for her mom, who you’ll remember is Rosewood’s own John Dillinger, bank robber extraordinaire.

Hanna and Spencer eventually make up too, and Hanna reveals that she once saw Ali in a salon trying on a dark wig and answering to the name Vivian Darkbloom, which Spencer smartly recognizes as an anagram of Vladimir Nabakov, the author of “Lolita.” (Who knew Ali was a member of the literati?) Hanna remembers swiping the novel from Ali and discovers a claim receipt hiding in the pages of the novel. A claim receipt for what, I’m not sure.

While all of the Alison/Vivan Darkbloom drama is unfolding, things continue to heat up for recently reunited couple Emily and Maya. Em’s mom returns to Rosewood, taking the girls out for a lovely dinner, which Maya botches with bizarre discussion topics like marijuana and making out with boys. But don’t worry; the girls patch things up, exchanging “I love you”s and the steamiest girl-on-girl make out ABC Family has ever seen.

Life isn’t so peachy for Aria’s beard, Holden, though. When the two come to the realization that they both don’t have a date but met up anyway, they spend the night playing air hockey and eating pizza. Aria notices a large bruise on Holden’s abdomen (the corner of his shirt had oh-so conveniently been pulled up), and we can’t help but wonder if something bad is happening at home. Something forcing Holden out of his house as many nights as possible.

And having her own domestic drama is Hanna, who’s being framed for sending a naked picture of Kate to the entire school. I’m curious to see how long Kate’s nice-girl act will last now that her body has been revealed to the entire student body.

What did you think of last night’s “Pretty Little Liars”? Why is Holden all bruised? Do you think Ali had a fake I.D. so she could investigate A on her own? Will Ezra accept the associate dean position in Louisiana? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!