I always go into these recaps vaguely confident that I will eventually figure out who the killer is, but after tonight’s A reveal I trust literally nothing. Fucking Pretty Little Liars. ANYWAY.
In case you forgot: last episode ended with Will being dragged off by the murderer, alive after he returned the mayor’s blackmail money. Piper layed on the ground, unconscious and relatively useless.
The episode starts with her waking up on the floor of an empty warehouse, bleeding and disoriented, probably with one hell of a headache. She suddenly remembers what went down the night before and looks horrified. She may have been victim to an attempted murder just hours before, but this is honestly a pretty on point depiction of most of my Sunday mornings.
Will wakes up in a Texas Chainsaw-esque room, looking less hungover than Piper but still equally alarmed by his surroundings. The killer tells him to STFU, because his whimpering is really ruining the mood.
Emma and her mother are closer than ever fresh from their heart-to-heart over shared serial stalkers. They talk about how the sheriff is coming over for dinner and bringing his son, making this the weirdest double date since the Brady Bunch. Kieran picks Emma up for school and her mom shoots her a knowing look as if she isn’t totally banging the kid’s dad.
Emma: Mom, we are just friends. We’ve only had sex in an empty field like, ONCE.
Emma and Kieran make out in the parking lot at school where she proceeds to make all the jokes that I would have about the situation, so we can move on. Bottom line: it’s fucking weird and will only get weirder when this kid turns out to be the murderer.
In just 12 hours Noah has managed to make “Save Audrey” shirts, which would be way funnier if he hadn’t been lowkey convinced of her guilt the night before. They don’t really have time to get into his lack of loyalty because they are back on Branson Watch 2015. Turns out the malware that was hacking into people’s webcams from Mr. Branson’s computer has disappeared without a trace. Is this actually possible? Who even fucking knows anymore.
Brooke and Jake arrive at school looking polished as ever, because not even murder, extortion, and child pornography rings can interrupt their team beauty regimen. Emma approaches them to ask about Will, and Jake does his best Joey Tribbiani shrug, as if he doesn’t know exactly where Will is.
Brooke: Will’s been blackmailing my dad, so IDGAF where he’s at. But it’s not like we even know anyway, right Jake?
Jake: Nope. Definitely not. No idea. Will? Who’s Will? Don’t have a crush on him and definitely didn’t kidnap him.
Right at that moment, when Brooke and Emma both realize that Jake is a shady motherfucker, Piper shows up, looking significantly less shitty than the last time we saw her. Someone clearly stopped for Pedialyte on the way to the high school that she can traipse in and out of as she pleases despite not being a teacher or student.
Piper takes Emma, Brooke and Jake back to the warehouse. On the way there Jake seems to have admitted that he was involved in the blackmail scheme, and Brooke is not nearly as pissed as she should be.
Brooke: I can’t believe you tried to blame it all on Will.
Jake: I really think you’re overreacting. Is this going to interfere with our froyo date later?
Piper gives them the lowdown on her and Will’s plan from the night before and what went down afterwards. She also shows them a note left on the wall by the killer: “NO COPS EMMA.” He made a lot of assumptions that Emma would even stumble upon that before the cops, but I guess the killer is just that confident in Piper’s incompetence.
Emma: Everyone go outside and leave me alone in the abandoned warehouse the killer was last seen in. This can’t go wrong.
As soon as everyone leaves Emma’s phone rings. The killer informs her that this episode will be a game of hide and seek to save Will and then calls her mother a lying whore, both of which lead me to believe that he’s actually just a 12-year-old with limited video game access.
Emma runs straight to Noah, who makes some typical and completely misunderstood video game references before Emma informs him that Will’s life is on the line and that they need to track his phone.
Brooke goes to confront her Dad and makes a lot of loud accusations in front of his coworkers which is a bold move considering he’s a very likely murderer with an almost dictatorial power over this town.
Brooke: If you killed mom or Will I will make sure everyone finds out.
The Mayor: If that’s a veiled criticism about me I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it.
Noah manages to trace Will’s phone in a matter of seconds, a skill I’m sure he picked up at this after school classes at Quantico. He, Emma, Brooke and Jake all go to save Will without calling the police. Jake pulls out a skinner and a guthook, and yet still no one accuses him of being the murderer.
Kieran calls Emma from the awkward family dinner she’s supposed to be at, and she asks him to cover for her. Being forced to 3rd wheel his dad and the mom of the girl he is currently hooking up with would be reason enough to become a serial killer in my book.
The fantastic four split up, because everyone clearly wants to die. To Noah’s credit, he points out how bad of an idea that is and is immediately ignored. Perhaps as retribution, he uses this opportunity for another monologue about the killer’s motives which he has a frightening amount of insight into.
Emma: It sounds like you have a fat crush on the murderer
Brooke and Jake are walking around far too casually for this to be a rescue mission from a psychopathic murderer. Jake points out that everyone is putting a lot of blind faith into Noah, the quiet loner who knows a suspicious amount about serial killers.
Brooke: Hey well at least that takes you off the suspect list
Jake: Woah, woah, woah. Let’s not get hasty here.
Team Noah and Emma finally make their way inside the building, something they announce by screaming Will’s name and making as much noise as possible. Brooke and Noah also make it inside, and the four make their way along into a dark and abandoned bowling alley. As soon as the group is reunited, Jake suggests splitting up again. Strike 300 on the “possible murderer” count.
Back at the most uncomfortable family dinner known to man, Emma’s mom and the sheriff stop playing footsie long enough to start talking to Kieran.
Emma’s mom: So do you like Lakewood?
Kieran: Literally four teenagers have been murdered since I got here
In order to keep Emma’s cover, Kieran offers to go pick her up from her fake study date at Audrey’s. Neither parent even pretends to be disappointed that he’s leaving.
Somehow managing to get even creepier than he already was, Jake not so subtly hints that he would be super down to fuck Brooke in the midst of their rescue mission in the supposed lair of a murderer.
Brooke: You were trying to extort $100,000 out of my dad and pin it on your best friend.
Jake: I can’t believe you’re still mad about that.
Noah finally catches up to what I’ve been saying for three weeks now, and points out that Jake is pretty prime suspect material.
Emma: You think the kid with the Norman Bates smile and the motive to keep all of us quiet who also packed a backpack full of knives could possibly be the killer?
Noah: Jesus fucking Christ you people are all so stupid.
In a classic fuckboy move, Jake lashes out at the girl who turns down his sexual advances by revealing he knows about her affair with Mr. Branson. Brooke could not give less of a fuck, and tells him to stop being such a frat boy. Yas queen. Alas, her victory is short lived, because just as Jake disappears to “pee,” the murderer shows up. No one saw that coming.
Noah and Emma find Will, who is bloody and strung up from the ceiling, yet alive. Brooke, fleeing from the murderer, finds them and bars the door shut.
Brooke: The killer is here and also Jake is simultaneously missing.
Everyone: That seems chill.
Audrey calls Noah and he tries to relay this very vital information to her. Even though we can all hear him through the static from her end of the phone, she apparently can’t. No one has attempted to call the police at this point.
Audrey shows up at Emma’s house and completely blows their cover. Being the only sensible person in the show at this point, she lets the sheriff know that someone is bleeding to death in an abandoned bowling alley across town.
Emma and Will share a romantic moment as she duct tapes his wounds shut. Bear Grylls would be proud. The killer has carved a message into Will’s back, which is pretty fucking savage for an MTV show.
Brooke and Noah go from bonding over spear crafting to accusing each other of murder. Brooke, despite her aptitude for weapons building, has yet to recognize the suspiciousness of Jake’s absence and the killer’s appearance coinciding.
Emma follows the clue from Will’s back (Sure. Fuck it. Whatever.) and finds a tape of her dad titled “PTSD Project.” Not ominous at all.
At this moment, “Daisy, Daisy” starts playing over the PA system. Emma runs out by herself to deal with the murderer by herself, and everyone gets their shit together long enough to recognize that this is a terrible idea. Luckily, she finds a boombox to play the tape she found, which is a recording of her dad saying, “How could she sleep with that monster?” Clearly alluding to Emma’s mom and Brandon James. The plot thickens, and Emma’s mom might actually be a lying whore.
Jake starts screaming in the distance, which is definitely not a trap. Noah flings the door open to find the killer standing right behind it, and essentially hands him the spear that Brooke just painstakingly crafted. Brooke and Noah both run off, leaving the very recently tortured Will to hold off the murderer.
Brooke runs out and finds Jake, who has a knife sticking out of his heart. In the face of death, he still manages to speak in third person. Not all heroes wear capes. Brooke proceeds to pull the KNIFE out of his HEART because she has never watched any medical drama ever. Despite this development, I am still 100% confident Jake is on the murder team.
The killer comes at Emma with a knife and Will, who is still bleeding from his multiple wounds, tackles him to the ground just as the police show up. The killer manages to escape with the entire Lakewood Police Department in the room, and in this moment this show becomes almost more frustrating than the season finale of PLL (just kidding, that shit was an absolute joke).
Kieran comes running out of the back of the bowling alley, from the opposite side the police entered. He claims to have been driving by and “heard the sirens.” It is a testament to how fucking sketch this is that even Emma looks suspicious. All 5’ 0” of Brooke is supporting all 6’ 1” of Jake, who is hobbling around with a fucking open heart wound. Everyone makes it out alive against all odds.
Back at home, Emma is receiving a light lecture from the Sheriff about continuously running off into the arms of a serial killer. She is pretty unapologetic about it.
Sheriff: I want you to have a protective detail.
Emma’s Mom: Yeah, like two kids almost died today.
Emma: Oh my god, Jake only suffered a minor flesh wound to the heart you guys are SO DRAMATIC.
Kieran shows up and Emma hightails it to her room with him, further proving that there are no boundaries in this home. Like, I’m pretty sure if I was almost murdered for the 3rd time that week after lying to my mother and the police about my whereabouts, I wouldn’t be allowed to hide in my room with the guy I’m clearly banging, but I guess growing up in Orange County was akin to a Puritanical Amish town compared to fucking Lakewood.
Kieran: Do you still have feelings for your ex?
Emma: You mean the one who almost died in my arms yesterday?
Kieran: I’m asking the goddamn questions here.
Kieran leaves, heartbroken that Emma didn’t trust him enough to invite her on her rescue mission. She is quickly distracted by a phone call from Will. He invites her over and she agrees, as if she’s allowed to go anywhere by herself anytime in the next 20 years.
Audrey and Noah are, you guessed it, in the video game lair cavalierly discussing the situation in which everyone almost died yesterday. Why is no one taking this shit seriously? It’s like their tolerance for horror is so high, unless someone is dismembered and left strewn about town it’s just a regular day in the neighborhood.
Audrey: Well I guess this takes Will and Jake off the suspect list.
Noah: Bitch you thought.
Emma shows up at Will’s farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, with no police detail despite everything that’s JUST happened, at which point she receives a call from the killer. He’s super pissed that Emma forgave Will so quickly and decides to punish her for it. In her search for Will she runs straight into a trip wire that results in him getting his head chainsawed in half, leaving her looking a lot like Carrie post-prom. Hopefully this will teach nice girls every a lesson: don’t go back to boys who treat you like shit.
New Deaths: Will. Nice guys finish last, and apparently get cut in half by their own farm equipment in the process.
Current suspect: I’m thinking Jake and Kieran are two parts of one ridiculously pretty murder squad.