The game continues this week with Emily going from righteously demanding police involvement to playing the game and blackmailing the latest Sassy/Bitchy teen to taunt her. Hanna struggles over some intellectual property drama with a dress design. Jenna returns to town with a sob story for the cops and some blind minions. And Aria is still hanging out with Holden and trying to plan a wedding that Ezra probably doesn’t know about because he’s with his other fiancée.

 

We kick off this week with Emily ssshhh’ing us

This is the best we’ll see of Emily the whole damn episode. Poor Shay Mitchell. She must be dying inside.

So, this episode is called “these boots are made for stalking” and this is the first shot of the episode.

Who has the red boots? Why, it’s Aria! Maybe another hint hint that she’s totally A.

Whether or not she’s Rosewood’s local psycho killer, she’s got great boots. The zip-up boot with a chunky heel are mod without being totally dated and work great with this week’s adorable outfit. So far, Aria is for two-for-two on cute outfits this season. The tribal print mini is a delight, even when paired with another bold print on her bag. And a damn pompom. Which I should hate, but someone I don’t.

The top I don’t love, though. I mean, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either and I expect more from Aria each week. It is, however, a great outfit to shut down a local reporter from the Exposition Daily who wants to do a story on Ezra being reunited with his long-lost fiancée.

She’s all huffy and, “sorry boring argyle sweater, I don’t understand how this is a story and the man is mine.” For secretly being the genius behind A, Aria seems a little dense on this one because of course some local paper wants this for a human-interest piece. Man reunites with fiancée who was lost in the jungles of South America? That’s gold. Forget Philadelphia Inquirer, that’s 20/20 shit. Too bad for Aria he’s got another lead for that story.

Maybe it’s not the healthiest habit to have Google alerts on your fiancé’s name sent to your phone. It totally sends her into a spiral of using old tricks to sneak into hospitals (how many hospitals have they snuck into over the past seven seasons?) with a bag of saltwater taffy.

Aria, you’re really not thinking straight. No one believes your friend was craving $40 worth of saltwater taffy. Thank god Holden (right. It’s okay that you still don’t remember him. He’ll probably disappear by the next episode) is here to be the Nice Guy.

He’s going to get friend zoned so hard and complain to his friends that he can’t believe she didn’t go for him, a Nice Guy and went back to that ass who illegally dated her in high school. I like Chef Holden, but I really feel that’s where this is going (I’m sure this will one day be the plot of some bad PLL fanfic).

 

Across town, Hanna has freed her boobs and slipped into something a little more cliché comfortable.

The color is great on her, but as a big fan of comfy PJs, I just don’t understand the cute lace and satin matching sets as loungewear or sleepwear. Like, I guess, but how do you curl up on the couch with a coffee in that?

Mona blows in like a hurricane on a mission to help Hanna’s career (if it weren’t for Mona, where the hell would Hanna be? Trust in Mona already) and she’s still working the blazer/shirt combo.

Thank god for those studs at the waist, otherwise this would be a snoozer. Even as a fan of 99% of all striped shirts ever made, there are limits to this look and Mona is treading dangerously close to it. And honestly, I just want more for Mona. (If they had really wanted their spinoff to succeed, they would have hitched that wagon to Mona or Spencer and not deadweight Caleb.)

Instead of giving Mona something interesting to do, their storyline is all about this design of Hanna’s.

I’ve got two problems with this storyline. 1) The ethics and legalities of intellectual property law really don’t make for an exciting plot point. And 2) this dress really isn’t the shit. I mean, check out the white version on the recently returned Jenna as she brings her minions out for a three blind menacing mice moment at the local bar.

Everyone lost their mind when Jenna wore this (in the middle of the afternoon. Could no one tell the blind girl that it was not the time for formal wear?) and I don’t get it. We saw this tutu stuff on Jane by Design and if it couldn’t save that show, it’s not going to save this story. I also have problems with Mona’s suggestion that they pair it with this bag.

We’re serious?

Here’s the thing. Jenna wearing it actually solved Hanna’s intellectual property probs — the Senator’s daughter can’t be seen wearing it after a nobody wore it out for a midday stroll. So let’s just find a new dress and move on. It would have saved Hanna from being trapped in the cobbler’s cage of horrors with a drill and her PTSD flashbacks. I have no good screenshots of this, but at least it didn’t hurt her jacket, which is weird but I like it.

What I don’t love is the jeans she’s wearing with it.

Why is the waist so high? Is this a real thing that someone would want to wear? Having lived through a time when all jeans went to your natural waistline, let me tell you: it should not be. If it doesn’t look good on Hanna, I doubt it’ll look good on anyone.

 

As I mentioned already, Jenna is back and overdressing for just about everything. Although I really did like her outfit for strolling into the police station with a sob story about how Noel Kahn tortured and blackmailed her.

The pale pink and flared trench is straight up adorable and pairs well with dove gray skirt (the blouse looks questionable, but is conveniently hidden). Overall a good choice when you need to play the victim, even though you know no one believes anything you say at this point. Spencer loses her cool over Jenna’s return, but I wonder if she was just mad that Jenna got the better outfit (Spencer could wear the hell out of that trench) because this is not working wonders for Spence.

It’s flowers. It’s plaid. It’s blousy. It’s just not working.

Maybe a belt? It’s great for her legs, but I think any skirt that length would show off those legs. Also of note: the boots. They’re a bit heavy for this dress, but I otherwise dig them. I also note them because she’s the other Liar in this episode wearing boots so I’m taking this as a clue. Because Spencer is my other suspect for A.

We’re now explaining her dad’s absence because he just can’t face Spencer about the truth of who her birth mother is. Her mom is still around and starting to think about doing the work of a state senator. Like getting an office. (Shouldn’t a senator have more to do these days than vacation and casually think about real estate?).

This outfit gives me the sads. That tunic blouse business with a wine cardigan is frumpy as hell. Although the mani is, as one of our readers pointed out, a bit on the bold and sassy side for a politician. And for that outfit.

Apparently the Hastings are selling the house and I weep for the loss of that kitchen. But good for her making plans to get the hell out of town. Everyone should. Even Spencer was all, “good, sell my home with my amazing converted barn apartment!” Veronica’s argument that Spencer should be sad because this was a place where she wanted Spencer to feel safe and nurtured made me do a spit take because HAVE YOU NOT NOTICED ALL THE SHIT THAT HAS GONE DOWN IN YOUR OWN HOME AND NEXT DOOR? Literal bodies have been buried, Veronica. It’s a wonder you got elected with those kinds of scandals. Now, get a condo for yourself and get out.

While we’re on the topic of frumpy, Paige and Emily are bringing nothing to our recaps anymore.

Big old meh there. I do have some advice for them though: Ladies, save it for after classes. Have you learned nothing from seven seasons of being stalked? Apparently no. Which is why your version of locker room talk means you have to deal with sassy teen Addison who overhears you and borrows heavily from the plot of The Children’s Hour when she accuses Emily of being inappropriate.

I do love Sassy Teen’s purple jacket and floral top though. Super cute and reminds me of earlier seasons. Sassy Teen is also meeting with Jenna on the side, because sure. Why not. Sassy Teen is basically every random character that has ever shown up. She’s SydneySaraLesli. Sassy Teen and her cute jacket will be forgotten about by next week. You see, her plan, and therefore her purpose on this show, could never work because this is a school that doesn’t put much stock in teachers behaving appropriately. Just look at swim coach Emily giving her a tongue wagging about being a bully and her own past as a bullied kid.

Super inappropriate and will totally be overlooked by the administration. Carry on and get back to your game of Rosewood Jumanji!

Really valid questions about the game that I spotted over on Vulture: how does this phone keep its charge? Is there a charger built into this game? And is it using Spencer’s wifi or is A paying for the data plan?

Ali is still flirting with Ann Taylor boredom. The big, dark rose print is cute, but it’s also kind of boring.

At least it’s a bit more flattering than some of the other outfits they’ve put her in. (Seriously though. It’s not that hard to dress a girl who isn’t a size 0. It can be done without looking frumpy. The entire premise of What Not to Wear was about this. Can someone get Ali a consult with Stacey and Clinton? They’re free these days, right?).

So who do we think is going to drop the “I can’t believe you gave in and played” routine and be won over by A to play the game next week?