Pretty Little Liars, Season 3, Episode 11: ‘Single Fright Female’

Previous episode recap, in 140 characters:

— Rembert Browne (@rembert) August 22, 2012

We open with Hanna at home with Spencer, trying to find something fashionable to wear — you know, to cover up her self-inflicted stab wound. She picks a long dress that happens to be her costume from Mamma Mia! While this is happening, Spencer throws out a classic line about the Brit, and refers to him as “Downton Grabby.”


After this, Goober comes over, concerned, because he found a flash drive under one of the pews. It’s got video of Hanna and her friends, but it doesn’t look like they know they’re being filmed. He said he wanted to come to Mom before he went to the police. He gives her the flash drive, then leaves. The mom puts the flash drive on the counter and then, immediately, displaying no chill whatsoever, Spencer and Hanna run downstairs, take the drive, and start walking out. Unfortunately for them, Mom sees them and asks them what they’re doing.

Hanna and her mom do that mom-daughter yelling thing that I hear happens and then Mom explains that she’s not giving Hanna the videos, that she’s going to watch them and then decide on the next move by the end of the day. Also, she wants to know why Hanna is wearing her costume from Mamma Mia!

Next Scene: Ezra’s place. Aria wakes him up with flowers (awkward). It’s his birthday (which means he’s older, also awkward). Ezra had a long night, apparently up late thinking about Maggie and his evil mom.

Speaking of awkward, Paige and Emily are having a morning sit-down over a croissant. (Is there not a McDonald’s in this town? I’ve yet to see a single McGriddle on this show.) Paige is obviously waiting to see if Emily’s ever going to come clean about kissing Nate, and after some awkward banter, unprompted, Emily admits it. Paige doesn’t let on that she saw the whole thing happen, but at least initially, seems to be handling it well, saying that she probably missed Maya (which still can’t make her feel too good).

Next, we see Spencer and Aria at school. Spencer’s freaking out because no one seems to be listening to her anymore, and Aria’s freaking out about Maggie. And then she has the worst idea, perhaps ever, on Pretty Little Liars. She wants to find Maggie. And talk to her.

There have been so many bad ideas on this show, but this is no. 1. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

Anyway, Spencer (because she’s my spirit animal) of course agrees that this is the worst idea and begs Aria to stay out of it. Nice try, Spence, but there’s no way she’s going to let some baby-mama stand in the way of her and her man.

Just as this conversation is ending, the two spot that trick CeCe, who’s passing out fliers in the hallway. Spencer follows her and asks what she’s doing. Bad move, Spencer: As we quickly learn from CeCe, she’s putting on a fashion show that Spencer was supposed to help with. But she forgot, because she’s always too busy sneaking and lying and hacking and trying to get Toby to sleep with her but always failing. Spencer promises to help and bring her friends along.

Just as this is happening, CeCe sees this:

She’s disgusted. My immediate thought is “C’mon, CeCe, it’s 2012, let these girls live their best life,” but apparently that wasn’t it. It’s Paige, or as CeCe (and Alison) apparently call(ed) her, “Pigskin” (seems very rude). Sayeth CeCe:

Ali and that wench had it out for each other.


In typical flashback form, Ali is the worst girl ever and the rest of her friends (The Liars) just sit there, meekly, listening to her be the worst girl ever. This time, the flashback is about Paige. Well, they didn’t know Ali was being so rude to Paige, but they listened to her talk horribly about some girl named Pigskin.

So Spencer finally put it together. Ali is the worst. Also: dead.

Flashback over. CeCe leaves, and for a second Spencer and Paige have a stare-down. This is about to get weird.

Not as weird as Hanna’s sneaky Internet sexting in the computer lab.

Who’s she getting all fresh with?

There’s our man, Faux Riggins. I can’t lie, I kinda missed you, dude. With that stupid smile and unverified lace front Riggins wig.

Next we see Emily and Nate. Emily’s obviously got a lot on her mind and seems as if she wants to nip this NATE thing in the bud, but Nate’s not having it. He’s taking that kiss very seriously, and is barely letting her get a word in, because he seems to know her first few words will undoubtedly be “Nate. Back off. You’re a creep.”

Here’s NATE’s guide to hitting on Emily:

Hey there, nice wheels. I bet [Paige] doesn’t look as good as you taking those corners. I hope you haven’t eaten yet, I’m STARVING. Want to grab a slice? What time is your practice over? I’m done at 7. I thought maybe if you wanted to go to Philly, catch a movie, have some dinner after. There’s this place on South Street —


So bad, man. Just the worst.

And then when she finally mentions that she wants to just be friends, he flips out. Compares her to Maya, calls her reckless, and semi-insinuates that she’s kind of a floozy.

Nice, NATE.

And then Emily bikes away.

Well there you go, Nate. Good job.

Next, we see Aria at school, which is usually par for the course, except for there are little children running around. Like, children younger than her. She appears to be at a preschool. When she opens the door of one of the classrooms, a lady sees her says, “You must be Amy?”

And then she introduces herself. It’s Maggie.

Wow, Aria. You’re really outdoing yourself (and everyone else) with this one.

Next, we see Spencer and Emily in the hallway, chatting. Well, it starts off that way, and then it gets quite heated, with Spencer reminding Emily that Ms. Paige might have a dark side. Emily doesn’t take this well, yells at Spencer, and storms off. This is bad. Intra-Liar beef is not good.

After this drama, there’s even more drama as Hanna and Jenna have a discussion that goes sour. Hanna tells Jenna that the flash drive might be taken to the police, but that’s not because the girls did it. It’s because it was found. Jenna, being way too cool for school, doesn’t seem to care and throws back on her shades. Hanna gets pissed and storms off down the stairs.

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of her troubles. Just as she seemed to be in the clear, NATE rushes her and asks about Emily. This dude just won’t go away. He’s asking for locations and whether or not Hanna has seen her. He actually says this line:

Emily and I were in this groove, and then suddenly she pink slipped me.

Those words came out of his mouth. Thankfully for everyone, Hanna (who is occasionally the realest) responded in the best way possible.


But, believe it or not, Nate still won’t quit. He’s still talking to her, which leads to Hanna making a horrible slip-up. As the topic switches from Emily to Jenna, Hanna alludes to her faking her blindness. Nate, having absolutely no chill about him (and still having his feelings crushed, because Jenna’s one of the barrage of girls who have played with his fragile and volatile heart), gets the crazy eyes and starts yelling at Jenna. He doesn’t bring up the faking it, but he most certainly will. The Liars promised not to sell her out, so if Nate goes crazy with this news, it could be bad.

Actually, he will go public with this news and it will be bad. Why pretend like that won’t inevitably happen?

And now we’re back to Maggie and Aria. Aria’s pretending to be inquiring about a teaching position at Maggie’s school. This is so bad. Anyway, they’re chatting, and then a little kid comes over and says “Can we have a playdate with Brian?”

Aria thinks it’s cute because the kids ask Maggie’s permission for everything. Then Maggie smiles, and lets her know that while that’s true, it’s a little different, seeing as THAT’S HER SON A.K.A. THAT’S EZRA’S SON A.K.A. MICHAEL BAY EMOTION EXPLOSIONS.

Next we see Spencer and CeCe. They chat, and then the conversation goes back to Paige. CeCe is the worst, so she tells a flashback story about how Ali used to socially torture and blackmail Paige. Once the flashback is over, CeCe seems pretty pleased with herself by being a bystander in the incident, and then goes on with her life, planning this event. Mean girls are the worst, unless they’re named Lacey Chabert. The conversation ends, and then Spencer goes in a dressing room to get changed. Obviously she’s multitasking between texting, sexting, and —




Luckily, CeCe comes right on time and unlocks the door. So Spencer’s not dead. She’s alive. But someone’s trying to kill her.

Spencer thinks it’s Paige, and by “it’s” I mean “A.” Hanna thinks Spencer is overreacting, and then she gets a call from Emily. She can’t locate Maya’s knife that they found when they were snooping around the Kahnpound, leading Hanna to believe someone broke into her room. And then Spencer says:

“A” might also go by the name of Paige. Why would you sneak in when you’re invited?

Wow. This is crazy. I can’t believe Paige might be “A.”

Back to CeCe’s dumb fashion event. Spencer and Emily are there, pretending to care. Hanna gets a dress, goes into the same haunted dressing room, and then AHHHHHHHHH




They have a sweet talk and apparently Faux Riggins got Hanna’s mom to hold off on giving the tapes to the police. I forget how he did it, mainly because I was trying to figure out whose hair was the most luxurious.

After this steamy scene, we go to the opposite of steam, that being Ezra’s house. His brother and Aria are over, making him birthday dinner. He alerts them that he talked to Maggie and that she’s doing well. He seems relieved. For now, Aria’s not saying anything.

Back to the event, Emily shows up with Paige, and everyone’s pretty cold to her — CeCe because she’s the worst, and Spencer because she thinks Paige put a snake in her dressing room about 90 minutes earlier. Spencer on Paige:

She’s trying to kill us with kindness before she just kills us.

The girl’s got quotables for days. Other things she’s got: BALLZ. Spencer sees Paige’s purse, dives inside, and finds what we think is the knife, further proof (to Spencer) that Paige is “A.” Emily comes out and sees what they’re doing and storms out with Paige. Emily is not a fan of #TeamLiars right now.

And this becomes more true as Paige and Emily sit down and talk. Paige tells Emily that Ali was her biggest bully and eventually begins crying in Emily’s arms. It’s going to be hard for Emily to believe that Paige is anything but good at this point.

Next, we see Hanna and her mom, chatting. About the flash drive with the videos. Hanna wants to know what’s next and the mom destroys it by way of garbage disposal. She says it was for Hanna, but also for herself. Some video of her and the detective had been videotaped, too, and she can’t let that get out now that preacher man is in the picture.

Back to Spencer, and we learn it wasn’t the knife she found. It was the earring that was once buried in Ali’s grave. She brings it to Aria, who has been so busy with Ezra and Maggie that she missed the whole “Paige might be ‘A'” memo.


Emily is out on the stoop alone, because Paige has gone inside to wash her face, and then someone creeps up on her:

Be very careful who you spend time with, Emily. Very, very careful. — Jenna

And then she leaves, once she realizes that Paige was also home. As Jenna leaves, Paige sees Emily’s phone ringing. It’s Spencer. Paige declineds the call. And looks like a creep when she does it.

And then they go inside.



One episode left, people. This will be the television event of the millennium. Brace yourself.

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

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert