‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: ‘Dead To Me’

Pretty Little Liars” executive producer I. Marlene King made us a promise late last year: We would soon learn the significance behind “red is the new black.” And she made good on her word with last night’s twisty “Dead to Me.”

Spencer had been coming undone ever since she learned that Toby was part of the A Team, and her downward spiral continued, as she gruffly turned down Jason’s request to attend Ali’s re-interring ceremony. The other liars obliged, albeit apprehensively. You see, Jason had been talking to the police, who said the the trinkets Ali was buried with were still missing; find the items and find the grave-robber. Except, we know A returned several of the pieces (including Aria’s earrings and Hanna’s Ouija board planchette) already, setting the girls up to take the fall. In fact, A had 25 chances to frame Emily, seeing as she left more than two dozen post cards in Ali’s coffin. One just happened to turn up among Emily’s mom’s things. (I still can’t get over how weird it is that Mrs. Fields got a job a the police station.)

Meanwhile, Spencer met with Miles Corwin, the private investigator she hired to tail Toby. Apparently her ex hadn’t been up to much of anything except buying hydrangeas. Spencer left the meeting and went home to rifle through her Toby Trinkets, which included several impressive handmade cards that could earn the handyman a job at Hallmark. Or his own crafting show on HGTV. After a bit more hemming and hawing, Spencer called up Miles and told him to keep digging.

Emily, feeling guilty about killing Nate, returned to Dr. Sullivan, who was setting up temporary shop while looking for a permanent office space. The good doctor recommended Em undergo hypnotherapy to “reframe” her memories. While in a trance—instead of recalling the night at the lighthouse as she was instructed—Emily went back to Ali’s murder, remembering that it was she who walloped the blonde with the business end of a shovel. Emily really is a murderer!

Spencer’s hired gun finally discovered that the key in question opened a small apartment on Mayflower Hill. Spencer explained that what she found there would determine if Toby kept her secret or not. And I’ll admit, guys, I was confused. What sort of message was Spencer hoping to find in the unit? Did I miss a vital clue? Either way, all she found in the dumpy abode was the remains of an A Team lair. And she was clearly not happy about it.

In fact, she became so unhinged that she marched to Ali’s ceremony and told Jason the awful truth: Ali was most likely pregnant when she died—and with Detective Wilden’s baby! After dropping that bomb, Spencer then made her way to Toby’s mom’s marker in the mausoleum and defaced it by carving Toby’s name into the marble. Okay…

As the liars left, memories flooded back to Emily—memories she confused with the night of the murder. As it turned out, she didn’t murder her friend at all but was instead remembering the night Ali’s body was exhumed, with a blonde in a red coat supervising. Could Ali actually be alive? Or, perhaps more likely, is it CeCe Drake posing as Vivian Darkbloom? Either way, it looks like the Girl With The Scarlet Trench is in charge of the A Team.

There were a few other subplots that probably bear mentioning as they’ll likely come into play in later episodes. First, Ezra’s brother Wesley returned, having gotten himself put on academic probation after making moves on his intellectually attractive physics professor. (Do we sense a bit of chemistry between him and Aria?) Second, Caleb spent the majority of the episode cleaning out his aunt’s garage, and questions were raised as to when Caleb’s uncle first came into his life. (Are the writers trying to insinuate that perhaps his uncle is actually his father? Once again, I felt lost during this episode…)

All right, “Pretty Little Liars” fans. What did you think of last night’s ep? What was Spencer hoping to find in the apartment? Is Caleb about to get some surprising paternity news? Who’s the mysterious lady in red? How will Wesley figure into Aria’s situation? Is the orchid Mona gave Dr. Sullivan bugged…or poisoned? How will Spencer get out of her funk? Tell us all your thoughts and theories in the comments and on Twitter!