Pretty Little Liars “New Guys, New Lies” Review (Season 6 Episode 14)

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On the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” I hate to break it to you, “Spaleb” haters, but it’s totally happening! Yes, in a move destined to freak out all Spoby and Haleb ‘shippers everywhere, we had confirmed evidence that Spaleb did the dirty, right up top in “New Guys, New Lies.” Nor was it the only freaking out moment involved in tonight’s episode- well, hello there, Aria!

Let’s break it down. Spencer’s happy morning-after lasted about thirty seconds tops before the madness began again when she finally got word of the text from the new “A.” Have we decided on a name for this one yet? It is still going to be “Über A.”- Or was that just for post-Mona “A.”? How about “A. Squared”? Or “A. ++”? Now with more emojis! Oh, the emojis- so many emojis. Maybe we should call this one “Emoji A.” We’ll go with that, until something better presents itself.

So, it was confirmed that all the girls received the same text from “Emoji A.” and not just Aria, so this “A.” is clearly hedging their bets. The girls meet up at Radley yet again- oh, the irony- and settle upon Sara and Ali as the two mostly likely suspects, while three out of the four girls are still on board with Ezra likely having killed Charlotte. Guess who wasn’t?

Ali is- and I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but someone clearly did- allegedly at the Rollins family farm, as in Dr. Rollins, Charlotte’s doctor; on a so-called “dairy tour.” What the what? No wonder Hanna rolled her eyes. Then Lorenzo came on the TV and announced that they had a list of suspects in the murder and knew what the murder weapon was.

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Cue text #2, as Aria spots her dad Byron walking in with an overnight bag to the Radley and get into the elevator, who might as well be carrying a red herring if you know what I mean and I think that you do. Text # 2 reads: “I found what they’re looking for. Tell me who it belongs to.” Then, a photo attachment arrives, with a pic of a 9-iron golf club. Aria doesn’t want to suspect Ezra but does, and naturally goes straight to the Brew to prove it one way or another, but he’s out of town, and Sabrina is no help, so it’s a bust for the time being.

Meanwhile, at Hastings Campaign Headquarters, Spencer gets a special delivery from Gil (Brandon Firla, “Suits,” whose lone quote on his imdb page is, amusingly enough: “I’m not an a-hole, but I play one on TV.” LOL), her mom’s campaign manager or something. It’s a massive dossier on the competition, as per her request, and the level of details is alarming.

Not only is there plenty of info on Kristine Phillips, the candidate in question, but her entire family, including daughter Yvonne, who turns out to be- drum roll, please- the new lady in ex Toby’s life. Adding to the creep factor- not to mention the “eep” factor- is the fact that it not only says he bought her an engagement ring, but that he plans to propose at a luncheon with her parents sooner than later. That sound you hear is millions of Spoby fans’ hearts breaking in two. Sorry, you all. But, as they say, it ain’t over till it’s over, so we’ll see.

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Caleb vouches for Yvonne, then heads to see Toby to break the news of Spaleb to him personally. Yep, just like a guy to wait until after the deed is done to deliver that blow. Unlike Hanna, Toby does not take it like a champ, but then Toby hasn’t put that ring on his lady’s finger…yet.

Noticeably taken aback, he gives Caleb the go-ahead, but he has to take a minute before heading to that fateful lunch- at which point he ultimately chokes and doesn’t propose after all, sad to say. #PoorToby.

Yvonne seems legit nice and smart, though, and yes, the house-building is for her. My man Toby definitely has good taste in the ladies. And they basically “Netflix & Chill” all the time, no less. Tobonne- they’re just like us!

Well, save the “Green Acres” binge-watching, at least. Definitely not my particular jam, to be sure, but it was good enough for the Beastie Boys, I suppose, so there’s that. But they can have that and Park Avenue, as far as I’m concerned. (Ask your parents- or better yet, just have a listen to this.)

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On other marriage fronts, Hanna admits to Emily that she’s been engaged to Jordan for a year but they haven’t set a date yet. Cold feet? Maybe. She also tells Emily about the Caleb and Spencer sitch and Em is clearly floored- more so than Hanna seemed, actually. But give it a minute.

Telling Em she had yet to lie to Jordan until she snuck out to erase the Aria evidence, she says she wants to rectify that mistake and come clean to both him and her mom. If Jordan is able to forgive her, she’ll look into making that date.

Mama bear Ashley isn’t happy about it, especially since, as she points out, there’s a hard drive out there at security headquarters as a back-up that the police will definitely see, so Hanna’s actions ultimately only served to make her and the girls look guiltier, once they find it- and they will.

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As this is going on, Aria is achieving Level 2 freak-out, which would be more convincing if it didn’t involve the WORST SWEATER EVER. Snuggling zebras? What’s Level 3 involve? Shoulder pads and parachute pants? (Again, ask your parents.) Either way, hard to take Aria- or her stylist- seriously in that outfit. The “Bros Watch PLL Too” guys are gonna have a field day with this one. I used to dig Aria’s completely mental but still kinda cool outfits, but this new designer has gone completely off the D&G and right into the DOA, IMHO. Ugh. Make it stop.

Anyway, she wants Emily to use her considerable feminine wiles to distract Sabrina while she steals the key to Ezra’s loft and sneaks in to have a look-see at his 9-iron, and that is not a metaphor, but it could certainly be a double entendre. Em begrudgingly agrees, and is making out like a bandit with low-fi, low-maintenance, stoner girl but-no-teenage-witch Sabrina. (There you go 90’s kids- slightly more up-to-date references- yr welcome! Hang in there, Millennials- we’ll get to the emojis soon enough!)

Aria makes with the sneaky-sneak as only she can and off she goes in search of evidence to clear her erstwhile Boo. The 9-iron is present-and-accounted for, so Ezra’s off the hook, but alas, nosy Aria can’t resist a listen to his answering machine messages, where she hears a slightly flirty message from a Stephanie from Habitat for Humanity, but then worse still, a call from her dad Byron, of all people. Apparently, Ezra didn’t “see what he thought he saw that night” and they “need to talk.”

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Freak-out mode re-established, Aria completely coochie-blocks Em’s game, which is totes a violation of Girl Code, Aria! Yeesh. Take it down a notch, sweater girl. Amusingly, Sabrina is the one that does so with a harsh to her not-so-mellow: “I used to mellow out with weed. Just saying.” OMG, I would so love to see Aria zonked out of her mind on The Pot. Please make this happen, PLL. Stoner Toby was pretty epic, but we need Stoner Aria, stat. #Rastarian

Back in more level-headed waters, Hanna tells Jordan about what she did, and lo and behold if my heretofore complete and utter lack of regard for Jordan didn’t go up about 100% when he was completely supportive, and not only that, but hopped right on the phone to do what all these girls should have done early on during the OG “A.” days and called a freaking lawyer, if not the cops.

All this and a “Hannibal Hanna” joke. By God, I think I’m starting to like this Aussie d-bag. Consider him officially bumped up to a C-bag. Also, new spin-off idea, to join “Wine Moms” and “Officer Toby and Computer Caleb”- “Hannibal Hanna”- Hanna Marin, food and beverage- she’ll bite you. Stay on her good side or she’ll get Mr. Biscuits after you. “A fashion designer once tried to test me. I ate her liver with some cookies and a nice can of orange concentrate.” Make it happen, Freeform!

Anyway…Hanna gets another text while Jordan calls in a favor from daddy saying: “When the ‘pigs’ (emojis) come calling, you better not squeal about me. ‘Sad/dead bomb’ and ‘broken heart’ (emojis).” Naturally, Hanna doesn’t, but given what we know about Sara, consider this a red flag, right? More on that later, though. Spencer also gets an emoji-laden text around this same time, this one taunting her about Toby and Yvonne- “I guess she is better than you. He will never put a ‘ring’ (emoji) on your finger.” Ooh, sick burn, “Emoji A.”

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Spencer calls Hanna, who snaps at her a bit when she infers that she and Caleb have already slept together, but quickly gets it together, unlike Officer Tobester. Spencer offers to end it right there, but Hanna says no, it’s fine, but is it, really? We’ll see, once Hanna spies them together for the first time, which you know will happen. Indeed, it happens to Spencer shortly thereafter and boy, is it hella awkward. “I was Green Acres and you were Park Avenue,” indeed. Insert broken-heart emoji here for reals, “Emoji A.”

Back to Aria’s insanity, she frantically calls her dad after finding him not at the house, but he brushes her off. He turns to someone unseen and says: “I think she knows,” ominously. Aria flashes back to an overheard convo between Byron and mama Ella in which the latter admitted to visiting Charlotte and feeling sympathy towards her, which Byron shut down immediately, saying he’d see to it that she never got out- and if she did…Katy bar the door, it wasn’t going to end well for her.

Not looking good for Byron’s innocence, except for the fact that the show so clearly wants you to think it’s him that it can’t possibly be. My money’s still on Mona…for now. (Where is she, BTW? I miss my Boo, Mona. Sad-face emoticon.) A more likely suspect that should be arousing suspicion over Byron- um, how about that creepy postal peeper-creeper outside clocking Emily? Yeah, that’s not shady at ALL.

Hanna meets with Jordan’s assigned lawyer, Shari Rosenthal (Liz Burnette, a TV regular most recently on “Ray Donovan”), who says that while Hanna committed serious offenses, she’s the only one official who knows it at this juncture, and what she knows can’t hurt Hanna until it has to, so long as she’s told her everything. Alas, Hanna stays mum on the texts, as per her and Spencer’s agreement.

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Spencer herself tracks down Toby, after noticing that there wasn’t any ring on Yvonne’s finger earlier, and flat-out accuses him of- wait for it- “pulling a Toby” when she sees he’s packed a bunch of stuff and is planning to bail town ASAP. You know you’ve done something bad when your name becomes used as a negative statement for bailing on something. Ouch! Toby does strike back with a “We’re not an ‘us’ anymore” to Spencer, but he also knows she’s right.

Later, Spencer meets up with Caleb to attempt to find “Emoji A.” and they get a lead on the culprit, who is in town, which leads to a storage facility. Even Caleb knows this has been all too easy- and he also calls Spencer on not telling him about the “ring” text, which she deleted before showing him the initial one, but she has her reasons and he accepts them. (She wants things between them to be “easy, not hard.”) Progress all around, people, despite the ep title!

This, naturally, doesn’t stop them from looking inside the storage room, where they find the trash can from the previous episode, complete with black hoodie and gloves, plus a phone that immediately rings. Cue next text: “I don’t lurk in the shadows, I hide in plain sight.” What, no emojis? You’re slipping already “Emoji A.” You could have easily snuck in some ‘eye’ emojis for ‘sight.’ Step it up, playa!

Meanwhile, back at the Brew, to add insult to injury, Aria has Emily do her dirty work- and of course, she’s caught putting Ezra’s key back by Sabrina, who may not be a witch, but had plenty of bitch to spare for Emily and Aria’s shenanigans, which she was already wise to. Guess that means no hip-hip-hippie chick for Em. Too bad. They were cute together. And the sad emoticon rose again over Rosewood.

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Hanna and Jordan head to the precinct to talk to Lorenzo with lawyer in tow, but Lorenzo informs her lawyer that the security company has “lost” the hard drive with the back-up footage from the Radley the night Charlotte was killed. Shari knows when to say when and informs Hanna she’s free to go. Crisis averted! But who has the hard drive? Could it be “Emoji A.”?

Nope, it’s mama Ashley, but Hanna doesn’t know that…yet. Will she ask her to make sure, or will Hanna and the girls fly off the handle on this like they do everything else? We shall see.

Aria certainly gets a full-on case of Aria face when she checks her father’s trunk and finds his 9-iron club missing from his golf bag. Time for Level 2, but at least this time she has a better outfit and we can take her more seriously.

She and Hanna go into super-spy mode, with the two staking out the Radley during Spencer and Yvonne’s meet-and-greet with the press and the public about the importance of Millennial voting and such. (Told you we’d get back around to it!)

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Aria spots Hanna’s mom get into the elevator with an associate and calls Hanna. You’d think Hanna would think twice about taking advantage of her mom’s connections, so soon after the last one went south, but nope, these are not girls who learn from their mistakes, apparently.

She breaks into Ash’s office, cracks the computer password code with an assist from Caleb- it’s her birthday- and looks up the hotel registrar for the deets on everyone. Neither Ezra or Byron are listed- as if they’d check in under their real names, just saying- but Sara has had a “Do not Disturb” sign on her room door for two days while she was away somewhere.

What is she doing in there? Showering excessively, to her heart’s content? I’ll let Hanna take this one, with one of her patented snarky lines: “I’ll take ‘Building a Lair” for $300, Alex.” Ah, the lair- how I’ve missed you. Would Sara be stupid enough to build one in her room, though? Whatever the case, the girls do realize that the photograph of the golf club was taken right there at the Radley, as evidenced by the carpet in the background, which got by them up until this point.

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As Spencer finishes her surprisingly uneventful event- didn’t you expect something to go awry there, too?- she has a quick word with Toby, who confirms he’s staying put. That said, he does confirm that Spencer’s leaving after her mom’s campaign is done in a few weeks. But will she really, or will someone put an emoji-laden stop to that plan? Once again, we shall see.

Byron calls Aria to tell her he needs to talk with her immediately, and alone, to tell her something important. Before she can leave, though, we see that someone else heard it, too, and it’s…creepy postal worker-turned-equally-creepy bellboy! Duh-duh-daa! Cue the dramatic chipmunk or prairie dog, or whatever that thing was.

Thing is, this creepy fellow is awfully thin, and chewing gum, and then steps into a black town car with tinted windows just like the one we saw spying and taking pictures of Spencer earlier in the episode. You know who else did those things and fits that description, beyond the man part? (That we know of- transgender theory #2!) Why none other than Sara Harvey!

We don’t see her just yet, but we do see the person in question take off what is obviously a mask, now that we look at it. Obviously, the bellboy and postal worker outfits are the “uniforms” we saw the new “A.” looking into online at the end of last episode as well, regardless. So, yeah, I’m calling it- it’s Sara. Woman cannot live by shower alone, and all that. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s working with Ali, either, in the slightest. “Dairy tour,” seriously? Nope. Not buying it.

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That is where we leave things, and that is where I will leave you for now, my little droogies, as I wrap this sucker up. It was a fun, old-school style episode, with all the trimmings from the old “A.” days of yore, only with new-fangled embellishments, like wacky outfits and yes, emojis. So many emojis. So many it’s giving my spell-check a nervous breakdown, between that and all the slang I’ve been using. I did it all for you, Millennials! (*Jumps out window, breaks neck “Omen”-style*)

What did you think of the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars”? Are you onboard with “Emoji A.”? Did you like the wacky outfits and freaky mask? Are you shocked at how little the girls have learned from their previous experiences? Or are you still at a Level 3 freak-out over Spaleb? It’s hot-they’re both smart-it just works- damn you, deal with it, people! (This Level 2 freak-out is brought to you by your beloved narrator’s outfit of current choice: sweatpants, and a horrifically yellow t-shirt with my alma mater’s insignia on it, which is still cooler than two zebras French-kissing!) Until next week, then…try to stay away from the emojis, kids! 🙂