Recap: 'Pretty Little Liars' Episode 15: 'Mona-Mania!'
January 16th, 2013 11:04am EST
Seems these days Bryon is always apologizing for something. And things are no different in “Mona-Mania.” The daddy with the leastest (we’re just going to pretend Hanna’s dad doesn’t exist) apologizes to Aria for accusing her and her friends of arson and attempted murder but she shrugs it off. Nothing is forgiven.
While they are both bemoaning his failure as a father, Em, Hanna and Spence are back at the high school basement (a major location for this half of the season apparently). Hanna is overwhelmed at the thought of having to worry about Aria’s daddy issues on top of her own. Spencer has gone into ‘crazy eye private eye’ mode and can’t be bothered with non-A related issues. And Emily is angry per the norm.
They walk into the Janitor’s room just as a black hooded person is cleaning out all of the incriminating evidence and leaving behind a blank journal for the PLLs (with the message: Move on Ladies nothing to see here). A lot of craziness that makes no sense happens. Spence and Em manage to accomplish nothing and they yell to Hanna to help or get out of the way. She does what any fashion-minded teenager would do: she stares at the hooded fellow’s shoes, so that she can identify them later. You know as opposed to …looking at the person’s face.
The ineffective night and close encounter with a possible A puts a damper on the morning. All of the Liars are having stress dreams. Aria dreams she is exactly who she is: a Liar. Hanna dreams she loses her what she holds most precious: her looks. Spencer’s nightmares consist of her failing at life. And Emily’s is forgettable but no doubt consists of some sort of anger.
Remeber that thing I implied earlier about Hanna being a dumbass for staring at shoes as opposed to a face? I take it back. She was able to identify the shoes and link them up to Lucas. He is all evasive when she corners him at school, but does mention that Mona is still crazy; drinking Kool-Aid is dangerous; and that he set the fire at the marathon in hopes of killing the crazy. Hanna offers to help with whatever issues he is having but he declines. Not like she’s all that good at it anyway.
Paige is acting all skittish. She already had enough on her plate having to maintain a relationship with a hot girl, now she’s got to deal with the hot girl’s psycho team of stalkers. She isn’t Ford tough. She’s cracking at the seams!
Aria attempts to dig into her mother’s memory bank to see if she can find out if her dad really killed Alison. But Byron was plying her with wine that night so Ella isn’t really sure what happened that night. She is just sad that she wasn’t available when Aria needed her early the next morning.
And just as it looks like Spencer is going to get a pass this week, Mona has decided to join the Academic Decathlon and run for captain, a spot Spencer was hoping to get for herself since the previous lead took a mysterious spill last episode and has to have surgery. They’ll have a battle of wits that will be all kinds of epic.
But before we are allowed to witness all that goodness: Mer talks to Ella for no apparent reason. The look Ella gives her afterward “bitch please” is delish. Aria is feeling sick. (My first thought: if this chick is pregnant?! Did anyone else go there? It looks like it’s just the flu though.). The Liar’s look for the missing stolen page from Alison’s diary that Aria apparently put in one of her boots – a hiding place her dad is familiar with. And Aria becomes officially convinced that her dad is Public Enemy No. 1.
Also, later in the night, Lucas tells Hanna (when she shows up to his house unexpectedly) that Mona was blackmailing him into doing bad things (after she found out he was selling test answers). It seems like a cop out. But if him, then who else? Could this help ease backlash from the “hyper-BS” they fed us at the end of the second season? He isn’t going to stick around to suffer anymore though. He is getting out of dodge. Life in the vicinity of Mona is not safe.
At the Montgomery house, Bryon and Meredith fight in the hallway outside Aria's room. He grabs her wounded forearm in anger and Aria witnesses it all in horror. She follows Meredith out of the house to ask her about the fight and gain some insight into her dad’s psyche. Turns out Bryon did steal the missing journal page if Mer is to be believed. She caught him, tried to school him on right and wrong because she’s apparently an expert on such now, and got hurt in the process. She also reveals that Bryon came to her house the night that Ali died because he thought she was behind the request for more blackmail money. After that he left for Alison’s. (Can we talk about how the entire booth went up in flames and somehow her arm was the only thing that caught fire?)
Elsewhere, Emily and Page are travelling to a party that the latter clearly doesn’t want to attend and soon they are forced to pull over because she’s having a panic attack. She can barely hold it together and it’s understandable. What does Em suggest? A walk in the dark forest, which is quite possibly the worst idea ever, when there are people with ill intentions making your life a living hell. By the time they return to the car, a tire has been slit and a hooded Toby is hiding out in watch. Em spots the hood and gives chase nearly catching up with him but she lets Paige convince her to just go back to the car.
Okay. Whew. Now back to Spencer and Mona. Spencer goes SO hard. I think that needs repeating: Spencer goes SO hard. And yet, just as it looks like she is going to wipe the floor with Mona, she fails to answer the last question correctly (a question we saw her going over with Toby) and Mona is now the team leader of the Academic Decathlon. She got cocky, thought she had the advantage and forgot that this game is all of Mona’s design and no one beats the creator. She calls Hanna to come retrieve her and her wounded ego. Hanna uses the time to also distance herself from Mona. She is done with trying to pretend her former bestie has any good left in her.
As all the Liars lie down for the night, we see Meredith walking to Aria’s room to bring her some soothing liquid concoction. I think we’ve gone through enough (esp on the train) to not accept drinks from strange women with questionable morals but Aria does anyway. No way, is she to be trusted.
Last A sighting: Mona watching Bryon while he wraps up some paperwork at his office. When he leaves, she calls someone and lets them know. Mer maybe?
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Photo Credits: ABC Family