Pretty Little Liars Season 3, Episode 5: ‘That Girl Is Poison’

Previous Episode Recap, in 140 Characters

Before getting into the episode, let’s not gloss over the fact that this episode is called “That Girl Is Poison,” which has to be a Bell Biv DeVoe reference, right? Right? If so, that’s awesome. Will there, perhaps, be a cameo? Dance break? Donald Faison reprise, maybe? I’m excited.

We open with three of our liars (no Hannah, she’s sulking after her breakup with Faux Riggins) getting paranoid about pretty much everything. As they talk, police and fire trucks roll up. To Garrett’s house. His mom is getting taken out on stretcher. They’re confused, trying to figure out what’s up, and then Aria sees something on the side of the house.

Oh snap, is it “A”? Aria seems to think so. But what does this shadowy figure want? I feel like they’re going to try to find out.

Later, Aria and Ezra hang and Aria buys him a big lunch. He doesn’t seem to like it, because it makes him seem poor in comparison to this child he’s started to date. He walks off and Aria is confused, because she hasn’t racked up enough life experience to understand that grown males usually don’t enjoy being emasculated by their tween girlfriends. As this scene ends, Aria is startled out of her love confusion by a loud, angry Lucas knocking on the door of some building. He keeps saying, “I just want my stuff back.”


We thankfully leave that couple and Lucas and move to Emily, who runs into Paige. It’s immediately obvious that these two have history and some of it isn’t so positive. In an attempt to extend the olive branch, Emily asks Paige if she wants to go see the Katie Perry movie. How does she pitch it?

It’s a behind-the-scenes look at Mrs. Firework.

None of this matters, however, because JENNA’S BACK AND CAN SEE AND ISN’T HIDING IT. Apparently she’s telling people she got more surgery and it finally worked. People are happy. Emily is not. They exchange a stare. It’s not a nice one. As she (and Spencer) saltily watch Jenna, they notice she’s passing something around. While this is happening, Spencer tells Emily that she found something on her mom’s tablet: the bomb that Garrett is temporarily getting out of jail because his mom is sick. Spencer thinks this might be a ploy by “A” (somehow mom getting sick = Garrett gets to leave = “A” can contact Garrett) or something like that. They also talk about the text they got from Aria regarding Lucas banging on the photography studio. They think maybe it was HIM that took all the pictures of them at the grave site. Anyway, once they finish discussing all of these side plots, Jenna walks over with envelopes that Spencer thinks are filled with anthrax (too soon? Nope).


After this news, we go over to Emily’s coffee shop, where she learns she has a shift for a special event the night she’s supposed to go see Katy Perry with Paige. That event:


Jenna is in the corner with a frazzled photographer who is documenting the event. After some small talk, she starts telling Jenna that she used to have an assistant, but he’s a thief and was developing his own photographs there. They never outright say who it is, but sounds pretty Lucas-y to me.

HOW SMALL IS THIS TOWN? You can’t not be in someone’s murder plot.

At this moment, guess who walks in?

He’s furious that Garrett is out of jail and is pretty emotional. While he’s sitting, Jenna flashes a smile at him. Uh-oh.

The next scene involves Aria telling Spencer that Ezra got invited to Jenna’s party and Spencer attempting to break into her mother’s e-mail to find out when Garrett was being released. Both are important, but both are overshadowed by what Spencer said in response to Aria complaining about her Ezra situation:

Every time you baby squirrel Ezra, you’re taking away his nuts.

Just too good. A$AP Spencer, at it again.

After Spencer is finished dropping nuts knowledge, we find Emily and Paige in her room. Emily is complaining that she’s got to put on her work outfit for the party, which includes a clip-on tie. She asks for help from Paige because, allegedly:

It’s harder than it looks.

Not it’s not, Emily. I promise it’s not. You’re just trying to get Paige right up in your face so you can maybe put your faces on each other. I respect that, but never say “this clip-on tie is difficult” ever again. While they’re talking, Paige finds a flask and asks Emily about it, which causes Emily to have a flask flashback (who hasn’t had a flaskback?) to the night she got kidnapped and maybe dug up her ex-best friend’s grave.

Back to the coffee shop: Nate is there again and so is Jenna. She is flirting with him:

And he is loving it and giving it in return. This is so bad. So, so bad.

Back to the liars: We get Spencer, Emily, and Aria in a room, trying desperately to figure out how Garrett, “A,” Jenna, and Lucas are all semi-involved. And this birthday party, is this just an intricate ploy to get everyone in the same room so some stuff can go down? I guess we’ll see SO SOON.

And then there’s Hanna, who has all but disappeared from this episode. She’s still grieving and now has to work at the church thrift store drive because she cut school. This scene is pretty useless, except for the fact that, just an episode after the inaugural mommy Internet dating episode, Hanna’s mom flirts with a nice man at the rummage sale.

Not enough sneaky stuff has happened so far this episode, so Spencer sneaking into the hospital was a huge relief. She watches Garrett as he arrives, picks out flowers, and then writes note to his mom. In typical Spencer fashion, she wants to know what is on that note, so she turns around as if she’s headed to the room, and ends up running into the detective. He questions her, she lies, he knows she lies, and then they go on with their merry lives. Extremely standard.

After this, finally, we get Jenna’s rager party. Looks like a pretty good scene, especially for Paige, who apparently took that flask and is trying to make some memories this night:

In a brief break from the party, we go back to Hanna, who is unhappily folding clothes. After going through a stack, she recognizes a jacket. It’s Emily’s jacket. The one she was wearing the day she somehow ended up by a dug-up grave. They were supposed to burn all of these clothes — what happened? How? Uh-oh. This, again, is very bad.

Back to the party: We have working Emily, drunk Paige, “in love with Jenna” Nate, non-blind Jenna, and Ezra/Aria. It’s a PARTY. After talking to Jenna, Aria leaves Ezra for a moment and talks to the photographer lady (from whom she’s taken a class in the past). She tells Aria about her bad assistant and that she’s holding his bag hostage until his parents write her a check. She also says she’s in the market for a new assistant, to which Aria quickly says “YES.” Lady says call her on Monday. This is Aria’s ticket into the studio, eventually. But she’s not satisfied. She wants in, tonight.

So she goes and finds the lady’s camera bag, pours a drink on it, and says, “I’m getting into her studio tonight.” I’m confused how she’s going to pull this off, but I feel like this is going to get Emily fired. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Paige is back there, drunk and about to get emotional. I can tell. She’s definitely going to cause a scene. 100 percent. Can’t wait.

Back at Spencer’s for a moment: Guess who shows up. MY MAN TOBY. Where you been, big homie? Is it finally “sex Spencer, girl who wants all the sex” time?



Spencer’s all trying to talk about Jenna and her eyesight and how —


Back to the party and Paige is drunk. She’s putting her fingers in the coconut cupcakes, talking smack to Jenna, yelling at Emily, and then BOOM —

Falls down, hits her head, and is bleeding. Emily and NATE take her out, presumably to the hospital.

At the hospital, Nate and Emily are there, and then ghost Hanna shows up with the jacket from the rummage sale. It is for sure Emily’s, but as per usual, she can’t remember anything beyond wearing it to the house. They know, however, that she didn’t have it when they found her at the grave. Emily is sure “A” is somehow behind this. So is Hanna. So am I.

Leaving the hospital for a moment, it’s important to note that Aria’s crazy plan has worked. The photographer came back, saw her stuff messed up, and Aria offered to run by the studio and get some new equipment for her. It’s around the corner (obviously), so she says she’ll be right back. Ezra’s all mad because they had dinner reservations and he wanted to celebrate getting a new job, but no one cares about that, especially me and Aria. Also, he’s kind of salty because he just bought her a really nice camera. Too bad, man. I guess this is what happens when you date a high school senior. Doofus.

So Aria leaves and heads to the studio by herself. At night. In the dark. Yep, something bad is going to happen. My guess: Lucas has a machete. She goes in, immediately finds his bags, goes through his stuff, gets what she needs, and is out. She locks the door, and:


Lucas won’t let her by, is saying he needs to get in, and it’s getting tense. Then, like the hero that he is, Ezra drives up and saves the day, causing Lucas to run away because he’s a coward.

Back to the hospital, Nate and Emily are talking about Paige and she tells him they had a little history, not before or after Maya, but kinda in between. At that point, Spencer runs in and is all like, “we have to go upstairs to check out the Garrett thing” (I love the fact there’s only one hospital. Of course. All hospital drama takes place in one building. Of course).

And then Garrett walks out of the elevator. When this happens, Nate (still very angry) sees him and it turns into a Maury Povich clip. He rushes Garrett, and while the security guards break them apart, Spencer does one of the smoother moves in her already impressive catalog of Bawse Spencer Moves:

While the scuffle diversion is taking place, she calmly slides into the open elevator, hits the door close button, and is gone. She’s perfect.

Paige comes out and tells Emily that they ran tests because she had relatively little to drink to be behaving the way she did. When they tested her, they found something in her system, and said that maybe someone slipped her something if she sat her cup down. But she doesn’t remember doing that, because everything’s blurry.

Emily seems to think the same thing happened to her. IS IT THE FLASK? IS IT THE JENNA?

Spencer is now upstairs, and has sneaked into Garrett’s mom’s room. This is bad. You can’t do this, Spencer. If anyone finds you in here, they’re going to think you’re trying to kill her. Ugh, don’t kill her, Spencer. Anyway, she finds the note that she was looking for:

Seems pretty harmless. As she’s about to leave, however, she sees something else attached to her arm.


Later that evening, Emily is on her computer looking up the drug while talking to Emily, who is going through Lucas’s bag. She tells Aria that the drug in Paige’s system is:

A strong sedative prescribed for sleeping disorders. Also used to subdue aggressive patients and inmates. Side effects: memory loss

At that very moment, Aria is going through Lucas’s film and finds three pills. She asks Emily what the pills look like and they’re the exact ones that Aria found in Lucas’s stuff.

Memory-loss drugs. Uh-oh. This is real bad. Very bad. That kid Lucas is a snitch.

In the final scene, we see our hooded, still-anonymous villain rifling through someone’s bag. What do they pull out? A wallet, a picture of Emily, and a medicine bottle. Who’s is it?

Maya St. Germaine.


Next week. More lies, secrets, and lies.


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

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert