pretty little recap: a bArrel of fun

5.16 Over a Barrel
One of the things I love about PLL is how, for an ABC Family show, they aren't afraid to push the boundaries of all things creepy and sometimes downright horrific. It's gonna be a while before I stop envisioning Mona sludge... let's recap!

Haleb can handle the drama. I hope. Photo credit: ABC Family

Pretty Little Highlights

1. Hot Caleb the Hacker is always amazing, but Hot Caleb the MacGyver is on a whole other level! If loving someone more because they can pick a lock with a soda can is wrong, then I don't want to be right. Is there anything this boy can't do?

2. Team Spencer and Hot Caleb. Again, I don't want to see Hot Caleb linked romantically to anyone but Hanna, but I am definitely loving the fact that we're getting to see him interact with some of the other liars in interesting ways. This particular pairing is all win when it comes to detective work, but seriously, let's keep it to that, cause I don't wanna see the love quadrangle drama/fallout that would result from a Spencer/Hot Caleb hook-up. 

3. Hanna standing up for her man! It's nice to see Hanna have a solid reason for some of the not-so-wise things she does. Who can argue with a girl driven to protect her hottie boyfriend from being framed? Hanna is often portrayed as so flighty (which we love about her) so it's nice to see her acting strong here, both with protecting Hot Caleb and dealing with her Mom (which we'll discuss below...).

4. I hesitate to include this, but okay, Copper Toby and Spencer are actually kinda cute playing Scrabble. Until they start fighting.Which I'd have been loving a year ago. Oh, this show...

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. Said it before and will said it again, the liars need to stop committing incriminating acts in writing. Yes, Aria really shouldn't have written that letter, but am I the only one who thinks the whole receipt thing was a little too ridiculous? I mean, this show constantly knocks against the limit of suspending your disbelief, but am I really supposed to believe that A somehow hacked into what appears to be a fairly basic, probably not too customizable, cash resister and programmed it to print out that receipt at the exact moment Aria was there waiting to be devastated by it? Yeah, that's a bit of a stretch. Even for PLL.

2. Okay, let's talk about the adulterous elephant in the room. Pastor Ted is back. Did you guys conveniently forget about him too? Cause I definitely did when Ashley and Jason hooked up last week, but yeah, now we're in a bit of a mess. Ashley, what were you thinking? I realized this week that she and Hanna have a bit of a Lorelai-Rory dynamic going on sometimes--except that Hanna has very little in common with Rory and Ashley isn't nearly as funny as Lorelai. Cause there's nothing funny about cheating on your boyfriend and then keeping him dangling on the line after he proposes, Ashley. Nothing funny about that at all.

3. I like Emily, I really do, but her storylines are sometimes the worst. This new chick at The Brew is beyond weird, which isn't helping Emily's case, but can we please get Emily back into an interesting storyline? We finally got rid of Paige (at least for now), so now is the time for her to get out there and do something exciting! Please, PLL, give her some juicy secret from her past or SOMETHING.

4. Why are the liars continuing to assume Ali is behind everything when she'd clearly be so limited from prison? At the very lease they should be assuming she has a network of people doing her dirty work for her, and in that case, why aren't they doing more to track these people down? Hacking into cash registers? Planting incriminating evidence? If Ali is doing all this from prison, the correctional facility she's in really needs to tighten their restrictions... 

5. Johnny. Yeah, what's up with that dude. I don't know what else to say about him yet--but was he hitting on Spencer? I don't like assuming that any opposite-sex pairing on this show (or same-sex in Emily's case) spells potential love interest, but that's how these shows seem to always go. I see Spencer with Hot Caleb and I think, "hells no!"I see Spencer with Johnny and I think, "what is going on here?" So yeah, what is going on here, Johnny? I don't trust you and your delightful homemade paints!

Pretty Little ZOMG WTF?!

1. Okay, that scene in the storage locker was tense. I could immediately tell the hazmat suit was empty, but Tyler Blackburn's delivery of the line about there being someone in there with them had me convinced there was someone there. Maybe it's just that part of my brain that convinces me someone is chasing me up the basement stairs at night, or is looking back in at me through a darkened window (ahh!), but the whole "there's someone inside the house!" thing totally freaks me out every time. Well played, PLL

2. Is Mona in the barrel? I don't know if I believe it.  Or maybe I just don't want to, but I know PLL would go there. "Should we open it?" No. No, you don't open barrels that might have sludge bodies in them. How would anybody be better off if you did that? Thankfully, Spencer and Hot Caleb, private eyes, decided to leave the barrel as is, but reporting it to the police is starting to not look like an option because...

3. The storage locker is in Hanna's name. And based on her reaction, she had nothing to do with it (which, I think we knew). Another plot by A to frame the liars? Or something else entirely? The safeguards on Mona's laptop have me wondering what else Miss Vanderwaal set up prior to her death. I have a feeling we're going to be hearing from Mona from beyond the grave for a while to come...