Pretty Little Liars Season 3, Episode 12: ‘The Lady Killer’

Previous episode recap, in 140 characters:

I don’t know I’m scared who cares about last episode this is the finale I’m so scared what if I’m the killer or what if it’s my roommate????
— Rembert Browne (@rembert) August 29, 2012

Tonight’s episode starts off with everyone crying. Why is everyone crying? What happened? Nothing horrible happened at the end of last episode. WHAT IS GOING ON?

Oh, OK. Complicated, Pretty Little Liars, but I like it. Got to pull out all the stops for the most awaited semi-finale in history. Anyway, the girls are sitting around, trying to figure out how to break the “Paige Is Evil” news to Emily. This is a very important thing, but for a second, just pay closer attention to Spencer’s shirt.

LOOK. AT. THOSE. PONIES.

Back to the plot: Emily shows up. She’s mad. They tell her about the earring they found while rummaging in Paige’s bag like the creeps that they are. She’s even more mad. They try to get Emily to listen. She storms out. Great talk, ladies.

After this, we’re with Aria, who is telling Hanna about all her Ezra-related baby-mama drama. Ezra still doesn’t know that Aria made a classroom visit to Maggie, a.k.a. Larisa Oleynik, a.k.a. ALEX MACK.

(Note: I’d like to take this time to apologize for not spending 500-1,000 words last episode dedicated to the fact that Alex Mack is now on Pretty Little Liars. I was so engulfed in the plot of the show, I didn’t even realize that it was her. My sincerest apologies, especially to you, Larisa, for continuing to call you Alex Mack in 2012.)

Back to the drama: Spencer and Paige just had a showdown in the hallway. Both of these girls are not to be messed with, Paige physically because she’s got that strength to her, and Spencer because she is Lara Croft. Again, this is important, but:

THAT HORSEY DRESS, THO

Back to Emily and Paige, this is bad. These secrets and lies are tearing the Liars apart. Emily is talking to Paige, using the word “they” to describe her ex-friends. She just said, “They think they know you.” This is not good. More:

Paige: “Do they just not want you to be happy?”
Emily: “THEY DON’T TRUST ANYONE.”

This is code red territory. MORE:

Emily to Paige: “If I tell you something, PROMISE ME it doesn’t leave this room.”

This is such a Season 1 pilot-episode mistake, Em. Paige is about to kill everyone. Are you cray?

Emily proceeds to tells Paige that the Liars think there’s another “A” in addition to Mona. And that it’s Paige. Paige looks shocked and appalled, Emily assures her that everything will pass over once they realize she’s innocent, and then Paige’s phone rings:

Paige: “I have some family stuff to take care of.”

Ha. Unreal. They kiss and whatnot, causing Emily to miss another call from her ex-girls, this time from Spencer.

Back to the Liars, and Hanna has something to say:

“Things just went from worse to worser.”

WHY, HANNA? WHY?

Both Paige and Emily cut class. How Hanna found out, who knows, but she’s not wrong. The girls are freaking out, because they’re worried Paige my be #seducekilling Emily at this very moment, but instead of calling the cops (which will never actually happen) they decide to do the unthinkable.

“LET’S TELL OUR PARENTS. EVERYTHING.”

You have to be kidding me, right? Everything? That’s insane. Just as they tentatively agree to do this, whaddya know, EVIL SEXT TIME.

Is this in reference to telling the moms? Are they all bugged? Maybe oxygen is “A.” Or pavement. Who knows at this point? That was a response threat in four seconds.

(Note: I’m talking about oxygen, the element, not Oxygen, the cable channel that gave us The Bad Girls Club, even though that would be crazy. WHAT IF THE BAD GIRLS CLUB WAS “A.”)

Sorry.

We leave them and see someone walking:

Who is that?

MONA JUST BOUNCED ON THESE FOOLS. YES.

We leave her to go back to the Liars, who have smartly put the parent chat on hold. Then:

Of COURSE Spencer has a clean inbox. I knew we were soul mates.

But yeah, important message. And there’s an attachment, proving that “A” is not above the age of 36. The attachments: pictures from that night. From the grave.

And then she sends another picture.

“A” must have incredible 4G. And she annotated it with a message. Can’t lie, I’m impressed. I wonder how her PowerPoint docks are. I bet he/she/it/they crush Excel shortcuts. But arguably more important than the technological prowess is that THAT’S A BODY BAG. It’s either Ali inside, or Ezra’s drug money. Either way, not good.

And then, out of nowhere, noise from downstairs. Someone’s in the house. Death is looming. Who’s going to die?

Ha. It’s Riggins. Just chillin’. They show him the e-mail from “A” and he assures them that they aren’t showing up alone. He’s a hero. What a turnaround. I love this guy now.

Next, we see Emily’s phone ring. It’s Hanna. They see what Em’s up to and she tells them that she’s going out of town for the weekend. With NATE. This guy just won’t quit. Hanna’s trying desperately to make a connection with her, and Emily hangs up the phone. What a girl she’s turning out to be. I never thought I’d say this, but she’s getting less hot. I can’t believe I just said that.

Mom comes into Emily’s room and says that maybe she should stay and be with family this weekend. Emily assures her that she will be with family, Nate’s family, and that his parents were going to be at the lake house.

(Note: $5,000 cash that Nate’s parents are nowhere to be found. This is his last chance to holler at his dead cousin’s girlfriend. It’s now or never for Nate.)

Spencer and Hanna go their separate ways, planning to meet up later, and then when Spencer walks away, she catches someone in a reflection:

TOBY. The greatest man on this place we call Earth. They slow-motion embrace. This is beautiful. Circle shot. I’m dizzy, but it’s still beautiful. Make out. I’m weeping.

Back to Ezra and Aria, who are just whatever. Then someone rings the doorbell.

MACK BACK.

“I WAS JUST IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.” — ALEX MACK

Holy moly, this is going to be awkward. Actually, I bet Aria wishes she could Alex Mack under the rug and get the heck out of there. She never told Ezra that she’s a crazy and stalked the baby mama.

Luckily, Maggie Mack saves the day and doesn’t rat her out by pretending that she’s never seen Aria before. Phew.

Doorbell rings again. Please be another baby mama. IS IT CLARISSA?

Nope. Not Sabrina either. Just some lady bringing Ezra a cake. While this is happening, Maggie and Aria are going back and forth about what the hell is going on. Maggie wants to tell Ezra about the kid, Aria just doesn’t want Ezra to know she’s been lying. This is tricky, especially when Maggie says, “There’s more to the story than you know.”

Maybe Ezra’s son is “A.”

OR WHAT IF IT’S SABRINA’S CAT, SALEM?

Pause that thought, because RIGGINS

HAS A GUN.

Hanna’s all mad because there’s a gun in the house, but if you ask me she needs to strap up herself. There is about to be a small-town war in a few hours.

We leave Bonnie and Clyde and then get Ms. Thuglife herself:

There she is. Hoodie up, ready to go. This is crazy. After staring at that evil but gorgeous face for a few seconds, she gets a call and says, “I’m here.” But then something happens on the other line and her face goes sour. Scared, even. After a few seconds, she says, “I understand.”

She’s going to have to off someone. Wow. WHO IS ON THE OTHER LINE.

(Note: I don’t really think this is true, but that cat Salem from Sabrina could talk. So, you know. Just saying.)

And just like that, nothing else matters, because Toby and Spencer are on a couch, going at it. They’re practically eating each other’s faces, it’s so intense. This is the bath-saltiest teenage necking session I’ve ever seen.

Toby: “You sure?”
Spencer: “Yes.”

I DON’T THINK THIS CONVERSATION WAS ABOUT SEAMLESS.

And just like that, it’s happening.

In the opposite scenario, NATE just put a blankie over Emily. He’s definitely not getting his Toby on tonight. Classic NATE.

BACK TO TOBY GET IT TOBY BACK TO SPENCER GET IT SPENCER BOW BOW BOW

Caleb just picked up his gun. Not important.

Maggie and Ezra are chatting. Not important.

Why?

Done.

And then they both just said they love each other I REALLY CAN’T WHERE’S WATER.

Post-sexfest, we’re back with Mona, who is with another hooded creature. She says there’s been a change of plans. WHAT PLANS. MORE DEATHS? LESS DEATHS?

Back to the Liars, they’re in a graveyard, waiting for “A.” Nothing’s happening.

Then back to Emily, who is awakened by the ringing phone. (It’s a rotary, so something bad is about to happen.)

“YOU HAVE ONE MINUTE. GET OUT.”

Told you. She hangs up, way too casually, and yells for NATE. No answer. That was about 15 seconds. Not good. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PICK PEOPLE YOU MAKE OUT WITH OVER YOUR LYING BFFS, EMILY.

The Liars are still out in the graveyard, but no one has shown up yet. I guess this was the CHANGE OF PLANS that Mona was speaking of. I’m guessing they’re either going to attack from the air or come out from the ground.

Back to the creepy NATE house (haven’t seen a single parent; what did I say?). Emily is rightfully creeped out, starts digging through NATE’s bag and sees an envelope with her name on it. Right as she was about to open it, NATE walks in. With wood.

Firewood.

He says there’s a storm a-coming. Emily nods, but then notices his shoes. They appear to be covered in yellow paint. What’s the deal, Em?

Who doesn’t have paint on their shoes?

OH. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, BUT OH.

Back to the Liars and Riggins. He thinks this is the wrong location, so they’re splitting up. Great idea, guys. Always works.

Emily’s freaked out by NATE, of course, and needs to go outside because she doesn’t have service. NATE, obviously, tries to follow, but she manages to talk her way out of it. So she walks outside, then turns around, and AHHH IT’S NATE.

Emily: “YOU SCARED ME HALF TO DEATH.”
NATE: “NOT REALLY, BUT I WILL.”

This is so bad I can’t stand it.

(Fresh air break. That was too intense.)

Back to the cabin, and Emily is watching a video recorded by Maya, while Nate stands behind her with a knife. Seems horrible.

Oh, OK. Infinitely more horrible. Nate has a knife to her neck and says that Emily took Maya away from him, so now he’s going to take something away from her. Oh, this is bad. Please don’t cut out her kidney.

AHHH, IT’S PAIGE, THAT’S SO MUCH WORSE, NATE HOLY BALLS YOU ARE EVIL, JUST TAKE HER KIDNEY AND LET THEM LIVE.

Emily tries to bargain, but Nate says he’s been planing this for months and that “they [meaning friends and family] think you’re up here with Nate St. Germain. But he doesn’t exist.”

This dude is a villain.

Emily: Who are you? Who are you really?
BLACK VILLAIN MAN: “I’m LYNDON. Lyndon James.”

Wow. This is crazy. And there are only 10 more minutes left. I have just developed asthma.

Then Nate, ahem, LBJ, hears something and looks outside. EMILY RUNS — GO EMILY GO! Just at this moment, the other three walk into a similarly wooded cabin. Is it the same one? Everything looks equally sketchy and rural.

Emily’s on foot running through the trees, the evil black man is after her, and the cabin the three girls went to is empty.

(Note: My prediction: I don’t know how, but I think Caleb’s going to shoot Nate.)

Emily finds a lighthouse and runs inside. Tough call; there’s really nowhere to run once you’re at the top of a lighthouse. I also think this is the same place Caleb is heading. And LYNDON is on her trail there. And the three girls are going to find Caleb. And “A” has yet to be located.

IT’S ALL ABOUT TO GO DOWN AT LOCATION 3. There are so many horrible things going through my mind about Lyndon/Nate. Despicable things. Wow, I hate that guy.

Emily’s up top, trying to get service, and then she hears a door open. This is so bad. I need my new inhaler, hold up.

[Five-minute break]

Finally, Em gets service. Which friend is she trying to call now?

Oh. THAT friend. Probably a wise move, Em.

WHAT IF 911 is ‘A’?

AHHHHHHHH NATE FOUND HER.

THERE IS A STRUGGLE AND NATE’S TRYING TO STAB HER BUT EMILY HAS THAT DIVISION 1 SWIMMER’S STRENGTH AND PREVENTS HIM FROM STABBING HER IN THE FACE AND THEY’RE FIGHTING AND THEN STAB.

DING-DONG, THE NATE IS DEAD. EMILY KILLED NATE.

Right after, Riggins finds her (doesn’t even have to use his gun) and consoles a now forever-scarred Emily. Props to her, though, for not dying. That was amazing. But then, at the last second, a bang goes off. How? The gun was placed on the ledge?

[Last commercial break of the half-season]

We’re back to the beginning. Hanna is hysterically crying. Why? What happ—

NO NO NO NO NO. HOW?

Emily’s being questioned by police, but isn’t answering because she’s in shock.

Paige’s being questioned and tells them about the anonymous text. Ah, it was from NATE. It said to show up or Emily gets hurt. I get it now. Sorry, Paige. You’re ride or die, not evil. My bad (also apologizing on behalf of Spencer).

All four of the Liars embrace, “Sorry”s go around (Emily, this is all your fault, let’s be CLEAR about that), and then we see them at the hospital, waiting on Caleb to get out of surgery.

AND THEN THEY ALL GET A CALL (what technology lets you call four people? That’s amazing).

Same sketchy voice: “Emily, I owe you one.”

And then Spencer’s horrible fake Hargitay-looking mom walks in. With Garrett. Instead of consoling, she says that she helped clear Garrett’s name.

He’s free.

Last scene of the season, we see Mona talking to someone. Someone in a hood. Talking about how the plans went awry, but whatever. And then she walks back inside in her little outfit. Are they going to show us her partner in crime, or just leave us hanging?

And then at the last moment, “A” no. 2 turns around.

NOPE. THAT’S NOT TOBY. IT CAN’T BE. NOPE. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT.

THAT’S NOT TOBY

omg it’s toby.

I need a drink.

SEE EVERYONE OCTOBER 23.

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

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert