Pretty Little Liars Season 3, Episode 10: ‘What Lies Beneath’

Previous episode recap, in 140 characters:

Make out city, TRUTH OR TRUTH. Ezra sketchball, Ezra brother big mouth, EZRA HAS BABY. Fake tattoos, secret blogz, Pastor Goober is BACK lol

— Rembert Browne (@rembert) August 15, 2012

In a hilarious opening scene, Hanna and her mom are moving around flower pots, one of which happens to contain a secret note.


She takes the note to the Liars and we find out it’s to Emily from Maya. The note never made it to Emily, obviously, but it says to meet her somewhere. Only problem is the end of the note is washed away and they can’t read what it says. What they can make out, however, is the date on top of the letter. Is the date important? Of course it is; it’s the day that Maya died.

After this blockbuster opening, we find Aria, who’s still hung up on that whole “Ezra, you had a baby and then didn’t tell me and then your mom paid the girl to disappear off the face of the earth and now they’re trying to do the same to me” thing like such a teenage girl. It’s Rocky Mountains for them right now, and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.

Following this bag of awkwardness, we find Emily and Hanna chatting about Maya’s blog. After a few seconds, the Brit walks into the coffee shop (obviously, because there’s no other place to get coffee). Emily leaves, and he and Hanna begin talking. He wonders where she’s been. She breaks the news that they can’t be together, causing him to hit her with the ol’ “if you change your mind you know where to find me” line, followed by the slow walk away. That move has never worked in America, man. Sorry. You lost it for yourself. The Brit leaves, and Emily’s looking out into the distance, all forlorn and whatnot.

(At this point, there’s some heavy emo folksy duet playing in the background. I tried to Shazam the song, but then my phone just started crying.)

After the song is over, a slight change of pace, by way of Aria’s mom having a super-casual lunch date, in her classroom, with the young guy who owns the coffee shop.

To answer your questions:

    • Did he grill those tomatoes in his backyard? CHECK.
    • Did he put flowers in a water bottle? YEP.
    • Did he try to whip out a bottle of prosecco in the middle of a high-school classroom? 100 PERCENT.

Mom’s response to the prosecco?

“I don’t think I should be slurring my way through the Iambic Pentameter.”

And then, just when they start kissing (don’t forget, this is at lunch in her classroom), Aria walks in and RUINS EVERYTHING. HOW WOULD SHE LIKE IT IF HER MOM WALKED IN ON HER AND EZRA, OH I DON’T KNOW, DOING EVERYTHING, ALWAYS?

After Aria completely halts her mother from getting her groove back, we find Hanna, who blew up all the pictures from Maya’s blog, because she’s crazy. Emily walks in, sees the scene, and then agrees with me that Hanna is crazy. Oh, and then Hanna tells Emily that Caleb now knows about ‘A’. Not good. Also: Hanna is crazy. They start looking through pictures and then Emily says:

“Leave it to Maya to make even pajamas look sexy.”

Poor Paige. She’s got no chance.

They continue to look through more, and then stumble on two interesting ones.

Oh, no.

The most recent photos from Maya’s blog were taken, in the daytime, from Noel Kahn’s cabin. You remember, Jenna’s boyfriend Noel. And the cabin, the site of last episode’s truth-or-truth beef Olympics. This is bad.

They call Spencer and tell her the news, and, like clockwork, she runs right into Noel in the hallway. They spar (verbally) and Spencer wants to know the extent of his relationship with Jenna, seeing as those pictures of Maya suggest she was more than simply a partygoer.

And then Noel drops the BOMB.


Oh snap, ABC Family, you’ve gone too far this time. There are officially no limits. High school kids drinking alcohol and smoking weed? It’s almost as if they’re trying to depict high school in a shockingly realistic way. For SHAME.

Anyway, Noel’s a creeper and tells Spencer “It’s kind of hot that you think I’m capable of murder.” Yeah bro, that’s not sexy. I don’t think so, at least. Wait, is murder sexy? I need to do a straw poll. Later. Not now.

BACK TO THE COFFEE SHOP (this place is really becoming the epicenter of daytime drama), where Emily is chatting with NATE. Nate, still trying to holler at anything, asks Emily if she wants to go to a show, and then looks over and sees his ex-boo Jenna holding hands and kissing Noel. Nate’s still hurt, so he’s taking it personally, but Emily tells him that it’s better this way. But, in classic “NATE being NATE” form, he can’t keep his cool and confronts her.

He tells her he has a gift for her and that he never got to give it to her, because she stood him up. Jenna doesn’t care and wants him to go away, but NATE keeps pressing the issue. Finally, the Ice Queen has enough and gets the last word with “Please. Get Out. Of My Way.” NATE listens and walks out. He’s not all there in the ol’ noggin. He worries me. He might snap and just burn the whole town down.

Back to my new favorite story line of the show: Aria’s mom’s online love life. She is explaining to her daughter about how she has a series of coffee dates lined up with a bunch of dudes that sound like they’re on the UCLA Water Polo Team (Zack, Luke, Jim, and I think I heard a Shane, Brett, and Cullen VII). Aria is concerned that her mom is getting a bit caught up (and is maybe a wee tad jealous because her mom’s having fun while she’s stuck with a lying, drug-dealing dude that has kids by women that evaporate), but mom assures her that it’s all good.

Next, Paige and Emily. Paige is all worked up because her swim coach won’t let her be in the big race because of her low trigonometry grades. Emily, being the supportive gal pal, says, “How is knowing cosines going to help you with your backstroke?” which, if I may note, shows an amazing grasp of both trig and swimming. Anyway, Paige is bummed. Well, until this happens:

And then she’s all giggly.

Which brings us to the next scene, which will undoubtedly end horribly. Spencer is sneaking around the boys’ locker room, looking for something because Noel is at LAX practice. She finds his locker, but there’s a lock on it.

Huge bummer. Poor Spencer. What now? I guess it’s time to turn around, and … I’M JUST KIDDING THIS IS SPENCER WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.

Four seconds later, she’s picked the lock and is in the locker. Unreal. She’s such a catch. She find what she wants (his phone) and then, to be expected, the boys start filing into the locker room. She hides, which means one of two things:

1) She’s going to see everyone’s balls and get away with it, or

2) She’s going to see everyone’s balls and then get caught.


More sneaking around, by way of Hanna and Emily, who have successfully broken into the Noel Kahn estate, trying to match Maya’s picture with the actual location. And then they hear something. Hanna says it’s nothing, so they walk in. OH REALLY, HANNA? NOTHING?

Back to the OG snooper, Spencer. She’s texting away while she’s crouched in front of a laundry basket. Just a word to the wise, Spencer. I know you’re an old pro at this, but why not mute the key clicks when you’re trying to be stealthy. You’re not actually invisible. Anyway, she types “Maya” into his e-mail, but gets hit with the “No Results on this Server.” That’s the worst, Spence, we’ve all been there. Happens every time I type in “direct deposit received.” After a few moments, the coast appears to be clear, so she runs out of hiding, puts his phone back, and—


She’s freezes, but as the rest of his Noel’s team files into the locker room, she simply runs away. Interesting. I guess it’s awkward if he attacks and murders her in the middle of the locker room. Nice play, Spencer.

Back to the coffee shop, again, where Aria and Ezra have turned into that old couple that wears trifocals and reads the Financial Times and don’t speak to each other, hoping that the other dies first. After a stint of no words, Aria notices her mom’s young beau Zack behind the counter and Ezra tells her to go talk to him.

Classic conversation:

Aria: That’s a cool shirt.
Zack: Ah, I love the Clash.
Aria: Me too.

Bonding over an Urban Outfitters shirt. It’s just so beautiful.

After some real one-on-one time, Zack seems to win Aria’s approval, but she wraps up the conversation with “for the record, if you hurt her I will crush your scones.” It was funny, because during the conversation HE WAS STACKING SCONES. Ha. I think she wasn’t actually talking about scones, though.

Back to creeper Emily and crazy creeper Hanna, they are still sneaking around the Kahn Compound (Kahnpound). They find a secret room that has a secret door that has a hidden area that has MAYA’S BAG. There’s stuff in it that doesn’t make any sense. And then they find something of great interest.

Maya never left Rosewood, which leads one to believe she had been living in the Kahnpound. Interesting. They keep digging through the bag, looking for more clues, and then:






(Scene was super-intense. Had to take a water break.)

Next we find Spencer finally in the comfort of her own home, snooping away on her iPad. Then, out of nowhere, she gets an e-mail. It’s from Noel Kahn. It’s a video, security footage from the Kahnpound, which Spencer quickly realizes is from the night Maya died.

Why would he send this? Is he that cocky or is this video about to clear him of any blame?

Back to Aria and her mom, who just got done with yoga (probably Bikram) and are talking about her new man. It’s a really touching scene, and it seems like their bond—


In a panic, Emily wraps up her girl’s leg, and then finds a baseball bat and blasts her way out of the locked room. They’re FREE. Thank god. As they make their escape, however, they stumble on a note that was left for them. Spoiler alert: IT’S NOT NICE.

This isn’t good. Also, Hanna’s pink jeans are completely ruined.

Emily wants to call faux-Riggins for help, but Hanna says no. So Emily calls someone else. Next thing you know, the BRIT is making a house call, giving his girl stitches. He’s sprung. I love it.

Emily leaves Hanna and the Brit, runs into Nate, and shows him Maya’s bag. Well, first, Nate apologizes for being NATE earlier, and then she shows him the bag. Nate looks through the contents, recognizes an article of clothing and starts crying.



Oh, here comes Paige. This is so bad. I can’t watch this, I’m about to start crying and then make out with someone.

(Pausing episode for 10 minutes.)


(Pausing for two more minutes. I just can’t handle this.)



I wasn’t built for this show. I’m a wreck. This is the worst.

Nate’s first line, post-kiss: “I’ve wanted to kiss you for a while.” Not smooth, Nate. Not smooth at all. Emily doesn’t respond, but then gets a text. It’s definitely from Paige, who has turned around and left (but not after knocking over a few trash cans). Hundred bucks it says, “Tell Nate he has seven minutes to live.” Hundred dollars. All singles.


“Sorry, not feeling well. Need to cancel.”

I owe so many people $100.

Back to Ezra and Aria, who pretty much hate the sight of one another at this point. More not talking. So bad. Painful, even. After a block of silence, Aria finally speaks up and Ezra cuts her off with “I found Maggie. She lives in Delaware.” That’s it. I’m completely over them this episode.

Back to Spencer, who is still watching the video feed. She calls Aria over because the clip shows Maya at the house after 10 p.m. This is important, because, according to the police report, Garrett was the last to see her at 9 o’clock that night.

Coffee shop: Mom and boy toy. She tells him about other Internet guys she’s talking to. He tells her he’s not seeing anyone else and wants to give it a try. She seems convinced and they kiss. It’s awfully cute.

Back to the Brit, who’s done stitching up Emily, but hanging around, hoping to get a kiss, since he saved her leg and all. After some hesitation, she kind of kicks him out. Again, he gives the “Anytime” and walks out. WHAT DID I SAY, BRIT? It ain’t happening.

Next is another locker room scene, but this time with Emily and Paige. I hope this doesn’t get ugly. Paige plays coy and asks her about the night:

Paige (referring to Nate): What’d you guys do?
Emily: Talk, mostly.
Paige: Mostly?

I need air. This is too intense.


Hanna, Spencer, and Aria watch the video, and here is the sequence of events:

    • Maya rides bike to the Kahnpound and goes behind the house.
    • Blind Jenna and Noel show up in a convertible.
    • Blind Jenna and Noel go inside the Kahnpound.
    • Maya runs back outside, as if she’s running away.
    • Maya is snatched by an unidentified person off-screen.

What does it all mean?

Not Garrett, Jenna, or Noel could have been the one who killed Maya. It’s SOMEONE ELSE.



Filed Under: ABC Family, Lies, Pretty Little Liars, Recaps, Secrets, TV

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert