Pretty Little Liars, Season 3, Episode 2: ‘Blood Is the New Black’

Previous episode recap, in 140 characters:

As the episode begins, we join three of the Liars in class — taught by Aria’s mom — being typical uninterested seniors. As sober Emily digs into her big purse, presumably for a writing utensil, she instead finds a strange necklace. It’s strange in the sense that it doesn’t appear to be hers, but mainly because it contains a threatening message. Oh, and it’s made out of human teeth.

He’s not Ezra-bad, but like Aria and Ezra, I refuse to dignify this relationship with words. Thankfully, Hanna lies to him and cancels their dinner (she has a Mona to visit), which bums him out and will hopefully lead to their breakup by Episode 4.

Back with the other three Liars, Emily is sad because of her lackluster academic performance. Aria steps in, like a true ride-or-die chick, and suggests that Emily get tutored by her unemployed ex-teacher current boyfriend, Ezra. Girl is not only standing by her man, but is getting him some cash flow on the side, which will ultimately lead toward secret dates and presents for her. This talk of Ezra and Emily is short-lived, however, because all HELL is about to break loose. Why?

Because Meredith just walked into the hallway. Who’s Meredith, you ask?

Spencer: Your dad’s Meredith? The skank you and Ali found him lip-locking with in the car?

Why is this a big deal?

Aria: Oh, if my mom sees her here…

Why would Aria’s mom see Meredith here?

Rembert: Duh, I just told you Mom works at the school. Oh, and she’s in the hallway right now. This is bad.

Aria approaches Meredith, Meredith says that she’s applying for an open teaching job, they beef, and then Meredith walks off. The beef is real, people. Lady beef. Family lady beef. This will get ugly.

We next see Aria in a car with Ezra, venting about what just happened. Then they do that kissing thing, so I turn away because it’s just so not cool. I make it through that nonsense, which leads me to Spencer’s visit to Garrett in the county jail. They both have something that the other needs; Garrett needs Spencer’s lawyer mother to prove his innocence, and Spencer needs Garrett’s answers to help solve this mystery. Neither is budging, so Garrett leaves her with this cryptic message as the guards take him away.

Garrett: Someone you know has you completely fooled. People lie, but medical records don’t

Spencer immediately says, “Alison,” but then brings up “Jenna.” Is Spencer thinking that Garrett is giving her a hint that Jenna isn’t blind? Could be.

After Spencer stares frustratedly into the distance, we see a frustrated Hanna trying to have any type of connection with Mona in the institution. Per usual, it’s not working, so Hanna responds by losing her cool, yelling at her, throwing a chair, and being escorted out. Mona’s reaction to all of this:

Cold as ice.

The next scene is horrible, because Ezra is back, but we see him tutoring Emily. While I’m sure he’s not going to go for it, I can’t help but feel like he’s about to try and make out with this poor, grieving, hot, academically troubled, drunk, lesbian teen. He obviously can’t, but I’m not convinced this monster has any limits. The worst, Ezra is. Just the worst. Just look at him.


We go back for a moment to Hanna in the mental institution — now joined by the British guy who works there — and the two trade mental-health stories. Important, but less relevant than the look that he gives Hanna:

And the look she gives him in return:

Faux Riggins: YA DONE, SON. Buh-bye. You haven’t gotten that look from Hanna since the first time y’all met and you told her your older brother’s name was Tim Riggins. Later, bro. You’re toast.

As for the only relationship I support, Toby and Spencer, they are having a conversation in Spencer’s house that I’m not paying attention to. I’m not, because I know all Spencer wants is to make high school love to her man. Last episode, Toby was all like “no,” but once that slow jam came on in the background, Toby began giving Spencer an over-shirt massage, which turned into an under-shirt massage, which turned into a vertical make-out, which turned into a horizontal make-out, which turned into:

Spencer’s mom: Spencer?

Classic frantic teenage unhorizontal maneuver by Toby and Spencer. CLASSIC.

The next day at school, the girls strut down the hallway toward Aria’s locker and find an envelope hanging inside. Inside that envelope, a red earring.

The other three girls start asking Aria what that is, but she doesn’t respond. Instead, we get a flashback:

[Side note: This is one of the better flashbacks I’ve ever witnessed. Just unreal.]

The flashback takes us to then-alive Ali and then-hair-with-red-streaks Aria breaking into her father’s office, where they assume an affair has been taking place between him and Meredith. Aria doesn’t feel comfortable doing this, especially since her dad said the affair was over, but Ali (as we’ve seen over countless flashbacks) has a way of peer-pressuring her friends into doing anything that causes chaos. After a quick janitor scare, they dig through the couch — and what do they find?

Yep. The same earrings from the future. But it gets crazier.

[Side note: I’m actually over discussing the flashback, but know that Ali and Aria proceed to destroy this office. They pour coffee on his stuff, vandalize the walls, pull the feathers out of the pillows, and do any other form of office terrorism they can think of, all to make it look like Meredith did this. But yeah, got to get back to the earring plot. Actually, here’s one image of it. It’s just too good; you’ve got to see Hurricane Aria in action. Girls are cray.]

But back to these earrings. IT GETS CRAZIER.

We’re back at the locker, and the girls are still confused about the significance of the earrings. Not because they are especially nice earrings or anything, but more because Aria put them in Ali’s casket as a keepsake during her funeral. Yeah. So that happened. And just like that, we have the second sign that the gravediggers are communicating with the Liars. Uh-oh.

After that crazy string of drama, back with Ezra tutoring Emily. She’s distracted and isn’t really that into the session, partly because she seems to have some stuff on her mind (human molars, ghost earrings), but also (hopefully) because Ezra is the worst. I hope she fails her test and then blames it on him. And then sues him. For something. Anyway, this scene quickly ends, and the plot picks back up with Aria leaving school, walking by “blind” Jenna, and then Jenna calling for her after hearing Aria’s ringtone go off. They start talking, and Jenna asks Aria if she would come over the next day to help her with a piano recital she has coming up. Aria, noticeably uncomfortable, makes up an excuse and then lies and says her dad is waving at her, so she has to go.

[Side note: Don’t lie to blind people about things you see out in the distance. Yes, it’s extremely rude, but also know they might just not be blind. Case in point:]

[While I would never wish harm upon any of the Liars, the next bad thing to happen to Aria she 100 percent brought on herself. Even I have my limits, and one of those is using my sight to lie to the blind.]

The next few scenes are important, but not sexy. Faux Riggins brings Hanna some food, but Hanna is obviously not interested because she’s got a British man on her mind. Spencer gets yelled at by her mother for visiting the county jail (completely appropriate thing to yell at your child about). Once we get to Aria, however, the episode takes a much-needed turn for the technological. UNKNOWN TEXT TIME.

Daddy needs to know. Or I let the other one go. To the police. ‘Night-night. -A

As soon as Aria gets this text, she jumps as if she saw someone outside of the window. And then when she goes to hide the earring in her drawer, we see a silhouette of something go past a window. Aria. Watch out, girl. There is obviously an evil texter out there who is climbin’ in your windows, snatchin’ your people up, tryin’ to scare ’em with digging up your friend’s grave. So, girl, you probably need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, ’cause they’re sending rude texts to everybody out here.

Or, you know, something like that.

As this episode races through its final third, in classic PLL fashion, many a plot line is thrown our way. Hanna goes to Mona (with Faux Riggins in tow) and brings makeup, which seems to bring the first real sign of life to Mona’s face. Emily begins taking her test, but then has a flashback to her kidnapping, causing her to fail her test. Aria visits Meredith after admitting to her dad what she did to the office to frame her, and apologizes. At the end, Aria gives Meredith her earring, to which Meredith replies:

“That’s not my earring.”


As for Spencer, she (obviously) returns to the county jail, now with the knowledge from Toby that Jenna might not be blind, supporting Garrett’s cryptic claim. Just as she signs in, a woman follows her. It’s her mother. Spencer hides and isn’t spotted, but Mama Spencer does ask for the logs from the past five months of visitors and is told she’ll get them by tomorrow. This probably isn’t good for Spencer.


  • Faux Riggins and British institution man meet, and the boyfriend learns that Hanna is opening up much more to the Brit than him. Is this it for them?
  • Spencer talks to Garrett, but Garrett says he can’t say anything because he has a lawyer, and then implies in his smirk that it’s Spencer’s mother. Why is her mother doing this?
  • Aria’s mom/Emily’s teacher begins grading Emily’s test, gets to the second half, which hasn’t been filled in, and then starts sneakily checking off the right answers. But was someone watching?


But it’s not over. Why? Because Mona just talked. Right as Hanna was about to do her routine guilt-trip-turn-and-storm out, Mona calmly goes:

“You’re getting them again, aren’t you?”

And then, to confuse everyone even more, once Hanna leaves, she pulls out tweezers (that one assumes she stole from Hanna’s bag) and starts slowly grinding them into her finger. Too real.

How does this all-over-the-place episode wrap up? Oh, with a classic “Is She Blind” test. As the girls hang out in the bathroom, they notice that Jenna is about to walk in. As a trap, they place Aria’s earring on the sink ledge and hide in the stalls. As she fills up her water bottle, she notices the earring, picks it up, and:

Sigh. Did the girls finally get their proof?


Once Jenna leaves the bathroom, the girls erupt out the stalls and are furious, especially ride-or-die Aria.

Ride or Die Aria: I’m ready to hang a sign, “Bitch Can See.”

Even though emotions are at an all-time high, Spencer tells them that they can use this knowledge against her if they don’t come out and immediately blow her cover. That’s why she’s the smart one. Sneakiest? Yes. Most sex-crazed? Yes. But also the smartest.

In the final scene, we see someone purchasing gloves and hoodies. Who it is, we don’t know, but as indicated by the seller’s question (“You buying these for a team?”) it looks like an “A” army is forming. Watch out, girls. This could get nasty.

Filed Under: ABC Family, Pretty Little Liars, Recaps

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert