Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Review “Hot Water”

Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Episode 20 Hot Water (10)

On the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” Spencer finally started to let people in for a change, though it took some doing- not to mention the titular “Hot Water.” It was a relief to see after the downward spiral she’s been on as of late, but I actually applaud the show for not doing the typical TV thing and having her rebound just like that. Okay, granted, there was some definite rebounding happening here, but it was pretty well-earned, if you ask me- even if it did acerbate some things…or people.

But first, we started with the girls trying to puzzle out who the girl in the red coat could be. They knew it wasn’t Mona- she was busy getting the beat down from Spencer in quite possibly the most awesome “PLL” moment ever last week. Cece has moved to the top of their list, given the whole “I’m on a Boat”-with Wilden and Alison thing, and the fact that someone clearly didn’t want them to see that picture, and almost killed Emily over it, not to mention Jason.

Wilden showed up and he wasn’t happy. Apparently, Jason had said some things to the authorities about him, though he didn’t specify what. Hanna didn’t exactly help matters when she told him they knew about the pic and his possible relationship with Ali. He was clearly not amused and only got crazier as the episode progressed, making himself look awfully guilty in the process. Apparently Hanna thought so, too, because she actually let her mom in and told her what was going on with him, after they witnessed him angrily dragging Cece into his car.

Only there was one problem. If Cece was in on the “A”-Team, why was Wilden flipping out so publically? Maybe there was more going on there than met the eye, which was somewhat confirmed later in the show when Emily confronted her. (More on that in a minute.) In the meantime, Ashley told her daughter to steer clear of Wilden- and this from someone who dated the guy.

Hanna tells Emily about the situation, and though she isn’t crazy that Hanna told her mom, she’s at least relieved to hear that Jason got out of town safely and is lying low in Virginia…or so he says, at least. Hanna also tells Em about the whole Caleb’s dad stealing from the church sitch, but Em thinks she should give him the benefit of the doubt, because why would he steal from someone that just hired him? True, but I think Hanna’s right to be suspicious.

We also got the return of several long-absent regulars: first up, Ezra, who finally returned, and thankfully has decided to maintain things with Aria. Hey, someone should have a little happiness in their lives, and I like these two as a couple, even if the nature of the show makes you suspect Ezra a bit. Okay, more than a little bit, but still. He seems like a good guy, and if anybody’s potentially in on things in the Fitzgerald clan, it’s Mama Bear, aka Miss Fitz Scary.

Yep, the old ‘hose-beast’ (big LOL on that one) is back and just as nasty, passive-aggressive and manipulative as ever. You could practically taste the bile when she talked to Aria to “thank her” for getting Wes to come back to school at Dillard- and of course, rub salt in her wounds about the way things were going to change for her now that Ezra was a baby daddy. Man, she really makes my skin crawl- she might just be the most evil person on the show that we actually know of, as opposed to the ones we don’t know about. (And yes, that includes Mona- who’s just crazy, not that that’s any excuse for her own demented scheming.)

Thankfully, Ezra finally tells the old witch off, telling her it’s a little too late to be trying to weasel her way into his son’s life when she brings him a toy for Malcolm. Especially what with her being the reason he didn’t know in the first place, having paid Maggie off and all. You had to laugh when he said he was going to trash the toy, as it probably had a tracking device in it. What a family. Unfortunately, Miss Fitz does not take this turn in events lying down and immediately gives Maggie an eviction notice, being as she’s paying for her condo as part of their agreement in exchange for her silence.

Also making a long-in-the-coming reappearance was Aria’s mom, who you have to wonder why wasn’t around when, I don’t know, her daughter was almost killed by her hubby’s wacky ex. Nice parenting, Piper! Um, Ella, I mean.

Anyway, she talked to Spencer, who almost talked back…but not quite. Maybe she’ll actually talk to her own daughter next week. Aria also took a stab at having a heart-to-heart with Spencer, also to no avail, though she came a bit closer when she pointed out that the girls need her as much as she needs them right now.

After catching Paige dialing up the costume shop, she insists they pay Shana a visit, in hopes of finding out more about who ordered the Queen of Hearts costume from the Halloween train ride from Hell. Shana acts a bit overtly familiar with Paige- with good reason, as we discover later the two used to date. The girls try to get her to give up the info they need, but she refuses, so Em ducks out for a minute while Hanna keeps Shana busy and then sneaks in and gets the info off the computer anyway, which almost gets Shana fired later.

Caleb’s on the case, but no info as of yet, so we’ll have to wait until next week for that bit of info. I loved the scene after where Hanna talks to Em about Shana, unconvinced she’s even gay, on account of the fact that “she barely looked at me.” Pointing out that she caused a near-riot at the lesbian bar, Em can’t help but laugh. I must say, Hanna has really grown on me. In the absence of Spencer being Spencer, she’s the character I find myself the most amused by as of late. I also like that she has such a great relationship with her mom, who is equally awesome, and I’m guessing probably inspired a few catfights in her time as well.

In the end, it’s Wren that finally thaws Spencer’s tough façade, when he admits he always liked her but never felt he stood a chance with Toby around. Well, guess what? Toby’s out of the picture now, so Wren makes his move, asking her out. Remarkably enough, she accepts and even- gasp!- smiles and kisses him. Will wonders never cease? Alas, someone else sees the smoochy twosome- could it be a jealous Toby? Or the red-coat girl, who Spencer spots walking hastily away?

Or maybe it’s another returning familiar face- Melissa, who shows her hand a bit when she warns Spencer away from Wren later. She claims it’s because she gave Wren the cologne Spencer reeks of, but was it actually because she followed them? Whatever the case, someone attacks Spencer later on, in a tense scene set in what would be the most bad-ass shower/sauna I’ve ever seen, if it wasn’t for the whole becoming a death trap thing. Okay, it was still pretty cool, and I totes want one.

Aria comes to Spencer’s rescue in just the nick of time, which almost seemed suspicious to me before she mentioned a text Spencer sent, telling her to come over. That’s probably the first (and last) time I ever suspected Aria as being in on it, which just goes to show you how paranoid about everyone’s motives this show makes you.

Speaking of paranoia, Wilden’s got a major case of it. After confronting Ashley about keeping Hanna quiet, lest it ruin his reputation, he serendipitously tries to get her to drink some liquor, which she refuses, wisely. Still, the damage is done, and when she leaves, he follows, obstensibly pulling her over for ‘drunk’ driving. Ashley rightfully balks, but Wilden is on a tear and gets bit too rough with her, causing her to bolt for her car. Then he actually makes as if to draw his gun on her, and she puts the pedal to the metal, taking Wilden out.

Fearing she’s killed him, Ashley goes home to figure out her next move, finally taking a well-earned drink. Hanna confronts her and the two opt to go check out the somewhat isolated scene of the crime. Wilden’s car is still there, lights flashing…but he isn’t. Also present is a laptop recording everything, from the incident to Ashley and Hanna’s return. Will they think to grab it and save themselves from a big honking mess? Only time will tell, as we never see.

Last but not least, we got a juicy bit of business from Cece, who Em confronted just as she was about to get the frak out of Dodge. She admits that, yes, she thought it was Wilden who got Ali pregnant and subsequently killed her, but she has no proof. Besides, as Wilden is a cop, who was going to believe her? Em asks her about her conversation with Ali the night before she disappeared, and Cece says that Melissa and others were all hopped up about a video Ali had, with Melissa particularly keen on getting it back. Ali agrees to do so, but then she vanishes.

Cece also confirms that she was on the boat but didn’t really know Wilden. She claims he took her and Ali for a ride, and it was later on that she put the pieces together and began to suspect Wilden was involved in her death. She also confirms who took the photo: Melissa. Of course, this could all be BS, but it does ring true at least. Still, only a fool would just blindly accept the word of a character that has behaved the way Cece has on the whole- remember when she lied on the previous episode about her car being messed up?

The episode ends on one positive note and one shadowy one. First up, Spencer finally breaks down and agrees to tell the girls everything, telling Aria to invite the others over after calming down a little after the attack. It’s clear she thinks Toby is responsible for the message in the mirror, and she may well be right. It certainly would make the most sense…but that may be exactly what they want us to think. What does seem to be the case, though, is that a member of the “A”-Team either thinks Spencer is actually dead or at the very least wants to taunt her about it, what with the funeral wreath and all ready to go. And how creepy- and appropriate- was that song playing?

So, what did you think of “Pretty Little Liars” this week? Who do you think attacked Spencer? Who is the lady in red? Did you believe Cece’s story? How about Wilden’s claims of innocence? Are you glad I finally spelled Hanna’s name right? Are you aware that Aly is a perfectly valid spelling of the nickname of Alison? Have we never heard of Aly & AJ, people?

I kid, I kid. Your comments are most appreciated. Sound off below about anything else I might have screwed up below!