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Misery Loves Company - Recap

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The episode begins with Aria on the couch, drinking some of Meredith’s “cure-all” tea to try to kick her illness. Spencer, Emily, and Hanna are on hand to boost Aria up and watch “Saved by the Bell” DVDs. As the girls are discussing the possibility of Byron having been the one responsible for Ali’s disappearance, they don’t realize that they’re being watched through the windows. Toby and Mona are in a new “A” lair, discussing the fact that Toby thinks they’re rushing things, and Mona telling him that she isn’t in charge. The following day, Emily walks into Toby’s apartment carrying a coffee.

Apparently, Emily is going to wait for the plumber while Toby runs some errands and heads to Spencer’s. On the way out, Toby gives Emily the keys and asks him to lock up. When he walks out the door, Emily calls Spencer to tell her that “it worked,” and that Toby is on his way over and Emily has the keys. In the meantime, at Hanna’s house she and Caleb are discussing what Hanna should wear to an interview. When Hanna walks out of the room Caleb picks up the phone and calls someone, telling them that “he’s in” and that he won’t let Mona keep messing with Hanna. When Hanna asks who he was talking to he lies and says his mother. At Spencer’s Toby is getting ready and asking Spencer to hang out that night but Spencer declines; as she’s got a dinner in honor of her father to attend.

When Toby leaves Spencer’s mom walks in to give Spencer a recipe. It turns out; Spencer is planning a surprise for Toby for their one year anniversary. Back at Aria’s house Aria tells Meredith she thinks she needs to head to the doctors as she isn’t feeling well, and asks Meredith to tell her mom to give her a call as soon as she can. Meredith is trying to get information out of Aria about the diary pages, but Aria falls back asleep before she can answer Meredith, much to Meredith’s chagrin. Back at school, however, Meredith tells Ella that Aria is doing “much better”. Later, Emily is in the parking lot of school watching Mona as she gathers with a group of friends at a table. Emily spots Caleb driving out of the lot and follows him.

Emily follows Caleb to a coffee shop, where he appears to be enjoying a cup of coffee. Emily turns around to leave and it is shown that Paige is also in the cafe. It turns out that Caleb and Paige are planning on teaming up to protect the girls. Hanna’s at the studio for her job interview. When she gets there she realizes that the building is empty. She goes in, looking for someone, when suddenly she spots a hooded figure. As she tries to run away she’s cornered and knocked down. When she stands up the figure is gone, but they’ve thrown a key on the ground; Hanna immediately texts Spencer who then texts Emily. When Emily turns to leave the cafe she gets a text from Spencer saying “”A” set Hanna up. Need to speak NOW”. The girls convene at Hanna’s house, minus Aria who is still sick at home.

The girls discuss the possibility that there is an “A” army, and they all agree that “A” needs to be stopped. However, they decide that they’ll need to wait until Aria is better to do anything. Hanna gives Spencer the key, and Spencer puts it in her bag. Aria in the meantime is sleeping in her bed when she wakes up to see Ali rummaging through her room. Turns out, Ali also wants her hands on those diary pages, and she finds them along with a porcelain doll. Aria asks Ali if she was really blackmailing her father, and she says she was, but she says Byron never hurt her. Ali also tells Aria not to drink the tea Meredith’s been giving her, since Meredith is also looking for the diary pages. As Ali leaves the room, she places the doll on a table near the door.

When Aria wakes up she thinks it’s all a dream, until she sees the doll by the door. She tips her tea mug into a plant, and as she goes to leave the room realizes she’s locked in. After trying to get out of her room, Aria breaks a mirror and grabs a piece so she can see around her room while in her bed, or for protection. Emily and Hanna on the other hand spot Meredith in the pharmacy arguing with the pharmacist over a prescription she can’t refill because she already filled it the week before. When the pharmacist says she can’t refill it, she grabs a bunch of boxes of antihistamine and asks the pharmacist to ring her up. Emily and Hanna do an internet search for the drug Meredith was trying to refill and it turns out to be a drug that people use to help control anxiety or sleep.

Back at Aria’s house she wakes up to find Meredith standing over her in bed, holding the piece of mirror that Aria had grabbed, and bleeding onto Aria’s sheets from holding it so hard. Meredith demands to know where the diary pages are, and Aria tells her that her friends know about the pages, so whatever Meredith wants to do with them it won’t work. When Aria tries to get out of bed, Meredith pushes her back down. Suddenly, there’s a knock on the window. When Meredith goes to see what it is Aria jumps out of bed and runs down the stairs. When Aria gets downstairs she grabs the phone but when she turns around Meredith is there. Meredith then hits Aria, knocking her to the ground. Emily and Hanna have arrived at Aria’s house and are knocking on the door with no answer.

Alarmed they find a hidden key and go into the house. The girls don’t see anyone on the first floor, so they head up to Aria’s room. When Hanna picks up her phone to call Aria’s phone they hear it vibrate and turn around to find Meredith behind them. Meredith tells them that Aria went down to the basement to get flashlights, and suggests they go check on her because she’s been down there a while. Meredith then locks the girls in the basement as they go down the stairs. As the girls walk further into the basement they find Aria lying unconscious at the bottom of the steps. Upstairs they can hear Meredith pacing back and forth. A car drives up and its Byron. When he walks into the house, Meredith is sitting creepily in front of the fire and tells Byron that the girls have proof of what happened the night Ali died.

As the girls arm themselves in the basement Byron walks down the stairs. When he gets to the bottom of the steps he asks the girls if they’re okay, and then tells them that he never hurt Ali and recounts what happened on that night. Apparently, he went to see Ali to tell her that he didn’t bring any money with him, and that if she wanted to tell his wife about Meredith then she could. Byron tells the girls that he intended to tell Ella about his affair and Ali blackmailing him, but when Ali went missing he realized it would be incriminating. Over at Spencer’s house Toby walks in, dressed in his “A” costume, and searches through the doors for the “A” key. Spencer walks into the kitchen and holds up the key, asking if that’s what he’s looking for. Spencer throws the key across the room, and Toby comes toward her.

He asks how long she’s known he was “A,” and she hands him the visitor badge of the mental asylum, she found in the drawer earlier. When Spencer’s mom walks into the house, Toby vanishes and Spencer breaks down. Back at Aria’s house she’s trying to process what her father has told her. She asks him why she never told them about Ali blackmailing him and he says that he knew how it would look, since he saw her the night she died. Aria then tells her father that they found the old diary and that Meredith convinced her that her father actually did hurt Ali. Byron asks Aria if she thinks he had anything to do with it, and she says she doesn’t know what to think, so Byron says that he’s going to tell the police everything.

Aria then throws the pieces of paper into the fire, and says she believes that Byron didn’t hurt Ali. Spencer heads over to Toby’s house and begs him, through the door, to tell her that there’s more to the story and that what she saw isn’t real. Unfortunately for Spencer, it isn’t Toby in the apartment it’s Mona. The episode ends at this point.

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Warning: Pretty Little Liars season 3 episode 16 guide may contain spoilers
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