Cat's Cradle - Recap
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The Liars have gathered to discuss Ali's parrot that was taken to close out last episode. Hanna defends her mother both in the case of the missing pet and regarding Wilden's murder. Emily's shoulder is still bothering her, and she will be visiting a doctor later that week. They go over journals that Emily took from Ali's home, and then spy Aria's mother and her boyfriend across the room. Aria comments that she is jealous of her mother's love life. Her mother Ella is meanwhile learning that her boyfriend has gotten a great opportunity to work in Vienna for six months, and he invites her to come along. Ella considers it, though she is torn about leaving her daughter to fend for herself.
Back at the Liars table, Emily agrees to stash the journals so as to keep Mona from finding out about them, and they comment that no one has seen her that day. At the bottom of the box, Spencer finds an ornate mask. Just then, Spencer's sister unexpectedly arrives, Hanna confused since Mona had told them of her involvement with Wilden. Spencer inquires how Melissa's internship interview went in Washington and she seems positive -- the opportunity could send her abroad, and Spencer insinuates that the interview was the perfect alibi and this would be the perfect getaway from the Wilden investigation. Melissa states that it might be time for them both to get out of Rosewood.
Hanna catches up with Caleb about his recent encounter with his father. Caleb attempted to apologize for not backing his father up following the now dismissed allegations that he stole church money. Evidently the hatchet was buried over father/son fishing, and while Caleb is relieved he notices his girlfriend is still vexed over her mother's possible involvement in Wilden's murder. Elsewhere, Ella reveals Zack's offer to her daughter. Aria can tell her mother wants to go, but is realistic about how long she would have to be away from her daughter.
At her house, Spencer attempts to look up the mystery phone number which the girls discovered in the last episode to no avail. Toby is still hung up on his mother's medical record transcripts which A provided him with, convinced that something is amiss with her apparent suicide. Spencer is more concerned that the girls will find out that he moved the RV in order to get the records. Toby notes that "A" always seems to know when a person is at their weakest point, noting that "A" has always felt like a "she" even though the gender has never been confirmed. Spencer pledges to go back to Radley Sanitarium if it would help him in his investigation. Meanwhile, Hanna continues to grill her mother about her New York trip, prodding to see if she has any amount of proof of her time in the city. Her mother reveals that it was mostly business meetings, but that they saw a showing of "Anything Goes" at one point.
Aria and Jake watch a movie at her house. The two discuss the intricacies of film noir, Aria revealing that she loves black and white movies. Jake comments that he's never been a big fan -- he thinks that if a couple are too alike, there are no surprises, and the relationship can get dull. Aria agrees. The next morning, Emily is finishing up her visit with the doctor. The x-ray has been sent for examination, and when the doctor attempts to write Emily a prescription for hydrocodone, she lets slip that she had a bad reaction to it. At her mother's office, Hanna notices an elaborate bouquet of flowers on her mother's desk, which Ashley claims were given by the bank to anyone who went on the New York trip. Hanna sees a note in the trash that suggests her mother left New York and the theater show early. She storms out, furious with her mother for lying to her.
At school, Aria tells Spencer and Emily of her mother's possible trip. Spencer updates the two that the phone look-up is not going well. Emily asks for help in going through Ali's notebooks. Her mother arrives, angry with her daughter after the doctor called her regarding taking her painkillers. Emily denies taking them. As Emily leaves with her mother, Aria receives a text from "A" relating to "getting rid of the mean mommies" in Rosewood. In class, Hanna reveals her mother's lies to Caleb. He suggests contacting an attorney just in case. Hanna goes to the police station and spots a pegboard relating to Wilden's murder. All of the Liars are indicated as persons of interest, including her mother. She attempts to snap a photo of the board but is interrupted by the detective in charge. He ushers her out of the room, assuring her that it is all part of the process. The detective spots Melissa across the room and excuses himself to go speak with her.
Outside the station, Caleb confronts Hanna's father regarding Wilden's murder. He relates that Hanna is concerned that her mother will get blamed, and he is hoping Tom will be there to help Ashley and his daughter. Tom thanks him coldly for bringing it to his attention before leaving. At Emily's house, Aria asks about the hydrocodone she took from her mother. Aria is fiddling with the mask and begins to take it apart, revealing an Ali mask underneath, as well as a mark stamped on the back revealing where it was made.
Ashley confronts her daughter about her attitude at her office that day. Hanna is upset that her mother lied and Ashley insists that she drop it. She tells Hanna if anyone asks her about the New York trip to say nothing. Later, Aria and Emily bring the mask over to get her thoughts. They have learned that the masks were cast by a maker of horror costumes, and that countless Ali masks could be out there. Hanna moves to investigate despite Spencer not being around, concerned that time is of the essence with the police closing in on her mother.
Meanwhile, Spencer and Toby sneak into the sanitarium to check out the window his mother supposedly jumped from. Toby is overcome, thinking the facts seem to confirm suicide. Spencer notices a section of the roof which stretches just under the building, suggesting that Toby's mother could not have jumped to her death.
The other three Liars visit the mask maker, and he recalls how he and Ali met through an online ad for a Joan of Arc mask. He proposes to tell them all he knows, but only if they agree to let him cast Emily's face. As he is working, he reveals that Ali wanted copies of the mask so "all her friends could look like her." He claims he broke the mold after finishing on Ali's request. Hanna sneaks around his storeroom as the mask maker works, spying something curious on the shelf and stuffing it in her bag.
Elsewhere, Tom confronts Caleb by the side of the road. Caleb surmises that Tom saw Ashley in Rosewood the night of Wilden's murder. Ashley asked for a sum of money that was more than Tom could give, leaving abruptly when it was apparent he couldn't come up with it. Caleb presses further and Tom reveals that the gun he keeps locked in his desk is missing, implying that Ashley may have taken it that night. At Emily's house, her mother is upset that she left in the middle of the night. Pam reveals that Family Services called when someone notified them she was abusive toward Emily outside of the school that afternoon. The social worker has digging into their background and seems to think that Pam might be abusive, but she tells Emily not to worry about it before leaving.
Aria meets Jake at the coffee shop, but is distracted by her mother seemingly dumping Zack across the room. Aria implores her to go to Vienna, assuring her that she will be alright, and her mother relents. At Spencer's house, Hanna shows up with what she took from the mask maker's storeroom: a cast of Melissa's face. Spencer wonders whether Melissa followed Ali or vice versa, and Hanna counters that perhaps they went together.
Hanna returns home. She goes to her mother's door to let her know she is back, and Ashley apologizes through the door about her behavior of late. Hanna asks if she is okay and Ashley quickly replies that she is fine, but inside appears anxious. Back at Spencer's, Melissa asks her sister about Hanna's appearance at the police station. She reveals that she spoke to the detective about Wilden, but that she couldn't be much help. She reminds Spencer about a question she asked her some time ago: if it came between protecting herself or protecting someone she loved, which would she pick? She asks Spencer the same question, but she doesn't respond.
Emily receives a text from "A" -- a picture of her mother with prison bars Photoshopped over her. Just then, Pam walks in to let her daughter know that her father is coming home, having just spoken with Family Services himself. Elsewhere, "A" examines Emily's recent x-ray.