TV Recap: Pretty Little Liars, ‘Bring the Hoe Down’

Written By Kelly Duncan

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Yee-haw! Hike up your cowboy boots, we’re headed to a Hoe Down!

In typical Pretty Little Liars style we start off with all of the girls having a little pow-wow. This week, the main topic of conversation is whether or not Hanna’s mom has found a new lawyer now that Mrs. Hastings has been forced to step down. She hasn’t. As if the conversation wasn’t already a bummer, it is interrupted by Detective Tanner. She stops by just to let the girls know that while police were combing through the rubble at Emily’s house they found a muddy shoe that matches the prints at Wilden’s murder. Hanna, of course freaks out when Detective Tanner follows it up by telling them that they will be able to find out who the shoes belong to after they check on DNA. Hanna gets up to leave, which makes it look like her mom must be guilty. She should have a better game face by now.

When she’s back in school, she realizes there’s a strange boy staring at her. She shrugs it off and goes to her locker. Inside she finds an envelope filled with one-hundred dollar bills with a note saying that she should use the money to help her mom. She freaks and notices the same boy staring at her again. Hanna has a new stalker friend and she is not ok with it. I, however am. The “stalker” is played by Luke Kleintank, who plays Finn Abernathy on Bones. He’s pretty awesome, so I don’t mind him sticking around for a bit. Hanna goes to the Brew and low and behold, the stalker is back. Hanna, feisty as she is, approaches him and tells him to back off. He is speechless. That is, until the Hoe Down.

While Caleb goes to get drinks for him and Hanna, the stalker tells Hanna that he is the one who put the money in her locker. Piquing her interest, she goes to dance with him to hear his story. We find out his name is Travis and that he knows Ashley didn’t kill Wilden. Turns out he was at the lake that night and saw Ashley fighting with Wilden. He also saw Ashley drive away, then he heard gun-shots and a girl run off into the woods. A few days later, he found the very envelope he gave to Hanna in his truck. He assumed someone was hoping to buy his silence. And up until now it worked.

Back it up to pre-dance for a second and Spencer, Aria, and Emily all meet up in the crawl space under the DiLaurentis house to see if they can find proof that Cece has been there. They know that Mrs. D isn’t around, because Hanna is keeping her busy by going out shopping with her. They hear heavy footsteps upstairs and decide to take a peek through the creepy holes in the ceiling. That’s when the knitting needle start popping through the holes and nearly take out Aria’s eye. Clearly, someone from the A-team is upstairs, but we’re not quite sure who.

Aria’s love life gets a little more complicated in this episode. It all begins when Jake shows up at school and wants to take Aria out for coffee. At this point she’s already planning to meet up with the girls at the DiLaurentis house. He looks so rejected that Aria invites him to the Hoe Down. With no hesitation he accepts and they make plans to go out for coffee when she’s done snooping for Redcoat. When she gets to the Brew, Ezra is there working and he makes a sad attempt at getting her to talk to him. She gets incredibly nervous knowing that Jake will be there any moment. Thus, Jake and Ezra have the most awkward meeting ever. Jake comes in acting like an incredibly over-protective jealous boyfriend, and poor Ezra backs off and leaves looking like a wounded puppy.

Jake doesn’t come to the coffee shop empty-handed. He brings Aria a pair of aqua cowboy boots that are the perfect size. She asks him how he knew her size and he brushes it off as a gift. We have never had any reason not to trust him before, but in Rosewood knowing your shoe size just seems more than a good guess. He puts the shoe on her foot Cinderella style in the coffee shop and asks her how it fits. She proclaims, “It’s a perfect fit.” I am a huge fan of corny things, but even I had to roll my eyes at that one.

Flash forward to the Hoe Down. At first, we see Aria and Jake and think, I suppose if it couldn’t be Ezra on her arm, Jake isn’t half bad. He looks good in a cowboy hat and can line dance with the best of them. That is until, he notices Ezra is chaperoning. The first second he gets alone, he approaches Ezra, threatens him and tells him to back off of Aria and to let her move on. This is fair enough, except for the fact that it’s not Jake’s place to say anything, and bumping into them at the town coffee shop and a school dance aren’t exactly signs of an obsessed ex. Just when I was starting to like Jake, he crashed and burned for being a giant jealous ass.

Emily doesn’t have much going on this episode except for one of her Ali flashbacks. She remembers the two of them talking about how Ali sometimes breaks up with her friends’ boyfriends for them when her friends just can’t handle it. One time in particular, she supposedly had a gun pulled on her by a guy with anger issues. Emily wanted to know who it was, but Ali said he didn’t go to Rosewood High. At least “not anymore.” This gets Emily thinking, maybe it was Cece and Wilden. Then, when Cece came back to Rosewood, if Wilden pursued her again and he was still crazy, it could be the perfect motive for Cece to kill him. It’s a decent theory and Spencer agrees. In other news, Emily and Paige are no longer on the outs.

Spencer is in hot water with Toby, because she finally tells everyone about his involvement with “A”. Toby is an idiot. Yes, I realize he’s concerned about his mother. But, he doesn’t want anyone else to know, because if he tells, “A” will stop giving him clues. Well, guess what jerk-face, Hanna’s mom is on the verge of going to jail, someone drove a car into Emily’s house, Aria’s mom had to move to Europe to escape the wrath of “A,” and Spencer’s mom, well she’s ok for now. Maybe, just maybe dealing with those things is slightly more important than finding out if you’re mother, who has been dead for the past 10 years was murdered or committed suicide. The last clue he received from “A” was a CD of his mom singing from one of her sessions with Dr. Palmer and a photo of the good doctors’ car with an address on it. Spencer begs him not to go, but he runs off anyway. Caleb pops up just as he is trying to break in and tells him that he needs a reality check when they’re dealing with “A.” Leave it to Caleb to be the voice of reason. Toby, still stubborn as ever, refuses to leave. That is, until the cops show up. Looks like maybe Spencer was right and it was all just a set up after all.
This whole season the girls have been in pursuit of Redcoat. It has been assumed that she was running the show and they conclude that, Redcoat is Cece. Cue random scene with Cece in a room filled with photos of the girls and newspapers about Wilden and everything else the girls are involved with, and, of course, a Redcoat. Sure this would make it seem pretty likely that Cece is in fact the elusive Redcoat, but seriously, what a lame reveal.

The dance is almost over and it’s time to take care of business. Hanna tracks down Travis at his family’s auto-repair shop/towing company. Even though he says he doesn’t want to go to the cops because of the bad blood between his dad and Wilden’s family, Hanna convinces him to go to the police with his story. Detective Tanner doesn’t look too happy hearing that her prime suspect is innocent.

Emily tells Aria that she has to talk to Ezra regardless of what Jake thinks, because he’s about to lose Malcolm. At this point, I understand Ezra being devastated about losing his kid, but we now know that he isn’t actually Malcolm’s dad. Another devastating truth, but this is when he should be furious with Maggie. He should try to forget about both of them and move on with his life. The kid is not yours, period. Erza didn’t raise Malcolm; he’s only known him for a few months. Regardless, Aria shows up at Ezra’s apartment after the dance. Ezra makes sure that Jake isn’t there and tells Aria everything. Little do they know that just on the other side of his door, Cece is listening to everything they say.

Back at the Hoe Down, we have one last bit of excitement. Emily spots Redcoat, grabs Spencer and they run after her. They see her shadow move down the street and they attempt to steal the hayride truck to give chase. Unfortunately for them, they don’t drive a manual. While they’re struggling with first gear, Redcoat jumps in the pile of hay in the truck bed. They jump out of the truck, grab a spade and start stabbing at the hay bales. Somehow, Redcoat got out unharmed and without their coat. So close, yet so far.

Next week is the summer finale and now that we have Cece, I’m sure we’ll have a serious showdown on hands.

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