Grantland logo

Pretty Little Liars Season 3, Episode 21: ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’

Previous episode recap, in less than 140 characters:

I am -A, shhhh don’t tell Spencer, I’m gonna date her first.
—Rembert Browne (@rembert) February 27, 2013

We begin with Spencer, finally, telling her girls that Toby is “A.” Finally.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 3.35.51 PM

After this, we see that Hanna and her mom are back from their hit-and-run-and-cover-up mother-daughter outing. Mom tries to be an adult and call the cops, but Hanna convinces her to act as a Liar would and hide it as long as possible. AND MOM LISTENS.

Back with the non-Hannas: Some of the Liars seem to believe Spencer, but Emily is extremely reluctant to accept Toby as evil. Spencer and Emily begin yelling at one another. It’s all very sad, you know — a friendship ending and all.

What’s not sad:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 3.43.53 PM


I swear, this is the first time in my history of watching this show that I have positive feelings about this relationship. Aria, a phenomenal step-girlfriend, and Ezra, not the worst “Hi, I’m dad” on earth. Wow. I can’t believe these words are coming out of my fingers.

Back to Tobygate: Emily is hunting for clues behind Spencer’s back. Hanna tries to get her to stop, but is distracted because all she can really think about is how her mom hit a cop and then they tried to cover it up.

While this is happening, at Spencer’s house, someone knocks on her door. When she answers, they’re gone. (People in Rosewood are really good at the drop-off-and-dash.) What’s on her stoop? You know, just a wreath and a death threat:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 3.46.02 PM


Then the Liars run into Mona. And, without outright saying it, after being approached by Spencer, Mona warns them that someone needs to watch their back. And she leaves, but not before giving Emily a long stare.


After that, we get Spencer, who quickly goes from sulker Liar to smartest Liar by realizing there’s a clue in the wreath. Two of the letters seem to be customized, the “E” and the “M,” which Spencer thinks is code for “Emily.”

Spencer’s 100 percent correct, but when she tells Emily, the warning is dismissed. This isn’t good.

After this, Hanna’s mom spots the detective (BAD), Ezra’s son falls off the bed and hurts himself under Aria’s watch (BAD, even though that’s what kids do), and then Emily starts Tobysnooping in the police database (SO, SO BAD). After a few attempts, however:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.06.10 PM

Well then.

This is the point of the episode when the real stars of the show are cars. Spencer’s car follows Mona’s car into the woods, Emily parks her car at the location that Toby indicated, and then, most bizarrely, this car is sitting in Hanna’s garage:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.11.11 PM

And the video of her mom hitting the cop is looping in the car. Very bad. Very, very bad.

Next, at the hospital, AlexMaggie shows up to find her wounded son, causing Aria to, again, feel like the third wheel (which she absolutely is), but this doesn’t matter because Spencer is now following Mona, which leads her deeper into the woods, which leads her to a seemingly dead body, which NO NO NO NO NO —

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.15.09 PM


Wait, Toby’s dead? What? This is fishy. This can’t be Toby. Is it Toby? Wait, what? I don’t know.

Before Spencer goes to take off his motorcycle helmet, however, Mona says aloud, “He’s dead,” sending Spencer and Mona into a low-speed chase through the woods. This ends with Mona disappearing (of course) and Spencer losing it.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.16.26 PM

Next, we take a trip back to a stood-up Emily, who is still waiting on Toby. He’s 15 minutes late, potentially because he’s dead. About to pull off, realizing maybe Toby maybe isn’t an angel, she sees someone in the rearview:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.20.35 PM

Oh, hello there. It’s our favorite red hoodie Communist and/or British killer.

Emily follows her into a factory, and then runs into one of Toby’s former coworkers for a second time. After a conversation, one in which Emily asks questions about Toby and red-hooded figures, he says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about, then he accidentally calls her “Emily,” a name he shouldn’t have known. Because he never told him her name.

Just great. More killers. FANTASTIC.

Emily goes back to her car, creeped out, and then finds her car window smashed in (what else could she have expected?) and a giant red package titled “EMILY.”

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.23.35 PM

Without hesitation, she opens this could-be bomb to find a miniature coffin with a note:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.24.01 PM


Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.24.18 PM

“A”‘s going through a lot of trouble to make it seem like Toby’s dead. That is, unless Toby’s dead. I don’t think Toby’s dead, though. They can’t kill Toby. I think DETECTIVE is dead, personally, but what do I know, I am simply a grown man who watches this show every single week, voluntarily, and maybe knows what he’s talking about.

In case you were wondering what horrible thing happens next, yes, ARIA AND HANNA DROVE THE POLICE CAR TO A RIVER AND THEN PUSHED IT INTO THE RIVER.

This is easily the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen our Liars do on this show. Ever. And all they do is dumb stuff. This is No. 1. Forever. Amen.

Our antepenultimate scene gives us some form of police/fish and game authority calling in a report for a person found stumbling in the woods. The person:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.37.43 PM

Jesus, Spencer.

After the police requested that the “Jane Doe” receive a psychiatric evaluation, we get three of our Liars discussing Toby’s “death,” and then a “Where is Spencer?”

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.39.09 PM


Our final scene involves a fisherman whose line catches on something. What does he find?

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 4.39.43 PM

Either DETECTIVE is dead or he’s about to reel in a police car.