Pretty Little Liars Season 3, Episode 22: ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken?’

Previous episode recap, in less than 140 characters:

— Rembert Browne (@rembert) March 6, 2013

We first see our Liars at school, wondering where Spencer is. Chalking it up to her being a newfound school skipper, they brush it off, at least until Melissa walks in with a principal-looking figure, wondering where her sister is. They plead innocent (actually telling the truth for once) because they genuinely don’t know her location.

And then we go to Spencer:

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“Jane Doe” is sitting in the psychiatric ward, playing cards. After chatting with her attendant and asking him, “What’s wrong with me?” he alerts her that apparently, she has amnesia.

We watch Spencer play some solitaire, then go to the Liars on the hunt for Spencer, and then Hanna’s mom, who’s still worried about DETECTIVE and whether or not he’s alive, and then this:

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Every woman should own a skull blouse. This is the flyest Aria’s ever looked. Congrats to her.

Back to Spencer, who is playing piano in the psychiatric ward recess area. After being referred to as “Jane Doe” since the incident, someone finally says “Spencer”:

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It’s the Liars’ therapist. Spencer’s response:

“Olly olly oxen free.”

This is easily one of the most puzzling moments in this show’s history. Really, Marlene? Of all the ways that exist for cray-Spencer to respond and you pick “OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE?” I don’t get this one. Never will.

Next, we take a trip to Pastor Ted’s church. Hanna and Mom show up, and they prep to go take a quaint little family coffee trip. So sweet. Maybe this will be a turn —

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So DETECTIVE is back and now Hanna and Mom are royally screwed. This couldn’t be worse (a statement I’ve said about Hanna and Mom the past three episodes).

Following this horrible turn of events, we go back to Spencer and the therapist, where we learn Spencer was faking her amnesia. On her Jane Doe–ness:

“It’s been nice not being Spencer Hasting, even if for a couple hours.”

Super real. This show cuts so deep sometimes.

FakeCraySpence tells the therapist that Toby is dead and that it’s her fault. The therapist responds that she’s calling her family, and then calling the police. Spencer obliges.

Back to Chez Montgomery, where Aria goes to her dad to have a chat about Ezra.


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Aria asks LORD BYRON if he’ll consider giving Ezra a job (doesn’t go well), Melissa visits Spencer in the ward (doesn’t go well), and then the remaining Liars try to think of a way to get into Radley, where Spencer’s being held. Before they devise a plan, however, Hanna gets a postcard from “A”:

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Awwwww. “Season’s Greetings,” indeed.

Back to the ward, again, where the man attending to Spencer gives her some pills to take. Nothing seems fishy — that is, until she notices his name tag.

“E. Lamb.”

That’s the name tag Toby used to get in and out of Radley. As of now, I can’t explain this one, but this seems weird/bad/like someone’s going to die.

Wandering around town, looking for clues, Emily runs into the therapist. She tells Emily what Spencer said (about finding a body and thinking that body was Toby), causing Emily to get freaked out. The therapist asks her if she knows anything, mainly about the whereabouts of Toby, but Emily doesn’t.

Wait, is Toby really dead?

Speaking of Toby, back to Spencer, now with the therapist (she’s really making the rounds in this episode), and she’s distraught that no one seems to be believing her.

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Ms. Bellisario’s out here trying to win an Emmy. Phenomenal stuff.

Back to the coffee shop, where we see Emily.


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Is Olympic champion Missy Franklin here to stay, or is this simply a swimming-related mentor for Emily to meet? Either way, this cameo makes the Adam Lambert/Halloween episode role seem highly laughable.

Post-Missygate, we return to the ward, with Spencer and the real “E. Lamb,” who are now telling each other secrets. He tells Spencer that Radley had to get new name tags, because of people coming in and out unauthorized, and then when she asks him if he remembered a patient named Mona, he tells her Spencer’s room was once Mona’s room.

And then Spencer finds this:

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The meaning: Apparently Ali made fun of Mona singing “Let the Circle Be Unbroken” at church once, while Spencer was by her side.

Wait, is this why Mona’s killing everyone? It better be bigger than some church-time bullying. WHO DOESN’T BULLY SOMEONE AT CHURCH?

After another conversation between “E. Lamb” and Spencer, involving Toby, and then Mona vs. the non-cray Liars in the always-beef-filled girls’ bathroom, Aria gets called into the principal’s office. Why? The principal alerts her that the school system is considering a teaching application for a certain “Ezra Fitz” and he needs to know whether Aria and Ezra are still a thing.

Aria says they aren’t. Because she loves Ezra that much.

Wow. That’s perhaps the most ride-or-die temporary breakup move I’ve ever seen on ABC Family this month. Between this and Aria’s skull blouse, she’s racing up the ranks in my book.

Back at the ward, we see Spencer scribbling in a notebook, and then:

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Great. Just great.

The following three minutes are a showdown of epic proportions. These two young women hate each other so much, with Mona wanting to mentally torture and Spencer always a step away from choking her out. What we do learn is that Mona has most of Ali’s diaries, SHE DIGITIZED THEM FOR HER IPAD, Ali was allegedly never pregnant, and that Mona’s never going away and going to torture Spencer until the end of time.

Poor Spencer. Just when it looks as if she couldn’t lose it any more, she reveals another layer of “losing it.” Poor baby.

Next, we see Hanna get dropped off at Emily’s house, since Mom is fleeing to New York City. Right behind them:


He wants to know where his car is. Hanna doesn’t say anything. He probably is going to be semi-upset when he learns it’s at the bottom of the Rosewood Ocean.


Spencer, in a room with the therapist and a few other patients.

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She starts getting into some heavy stuff, ending with, “You don’t know who I am anymore. And you can’t count on me.” While she’s saying it, though, she sees a different set of people in the room:

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Well, that’s just sad. I’m depressed. I hate you, Pretty Little Liars.

Filed Under: Pretty Little Liars, Recaps

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert