PLL recap, reaction and theories: “Over A Barrel” season 5, episode 16

Quote of the Night: “So she’s either being pickled or dissolved?”- Caleb

On this week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars, viewers met a new one letter enemy, H. Could this be Holbrook or someone new? Also, I’m convinced that Spencer and Caleb are the smartest people in Rosewood. (Warning, spoilers ahead)

Shorts, sleeves, and boots? What is the weather like in Rosewood? Image from: ABC Family

After the kiln incident, Spencer tells the other girls about the bloody knife Toby found. With Ali in jail, everyone is wondering who could have planted the knife in Mona’s backyard. All fingers point to the potentially crooked Det. Holbrook. Even Hanna is starting to doubt his innocence.

It seems like the girls cannot escape Ali’s wrath even though she’s behind bars. Spencer is so ready to get out of Rosewood that she even applied to colleges out west. As she and Toby look over her acceptance package to the University of Hawaii, Johnny comes by to drop off his rent for the guest house. Yes, I still don’t trust Johnny. I get the whole “struggling artist subletting wherever he can” cliché, but to actually go into Spencer’s house and dig through the trash? Gross. Spencer doesn’t seem to mind once he tells her that that he’s actually getting art supplies. The two bond over some artist I’ve never heard of. Spencer seems interested in Johnny and wants to hear more about his travels. That is until she gets an alert from someone she’s not expecting to hear from.

Could Johnny be any nosier? Image from: ABC Family

All the girls get a text alert from Mona saying her laptop has been activated. You remember the laptop that was stolen from Aria? I still think Ali was in on that one. After some investigating, Caleb says that Mona set up that alert to go to the four girls and even made it easy for Caleb to track her laptop’s GPS. So far, Mona’s been the most helpful person (or ghost) this season.

Aria was especially popular because she got two mysterious messages. While complaining about a 50 cent coffee at The Brew, Aria gets a text from H asking to meet her at The Grill. Aria puts little imagination in trying to figure out who the message is from so she just assumes it’s from Holbrook.

Later, Caleb tracks down Mona’s laptop to a storage unit. Too bad not even the bolt cutters Spencer keeps in her car can unlock that lock. Luckily for them, Spencer’s teacher, Mrs. Horowitz, has a unit next to the mystery unit, and her lock is easy to pick. Before they break in, Mrs. Horowitz describes a smell that has been coming from the unit. Spencer asks if she ever talked to the renter about it. Mrs. Horowitz says that she tried talking to a blonde girl but she didn’t do anything about it.

Obligatory Jason photo: Image from: ABC Family

Meanwhile, Aria goes to The Grill to meet her mystery H, but Jason shows up and I am never mad to see Jason. The two talk about Ali’s incarceration. Jason admits that he thinks Ali is capable of anything. He also tells Aria that the police have a theory that Ali had help dumping Mona’s body. In the midst of their chat, Aria gets another text from H telling her to go to a new location. Aria goes to a flower shop, to meet H. Once again, H stands her up but has a delivery for her.

Back in the storage unit, Caleb and Spencer have to crawl through the air conditioning duct to get into the mysterious storage unit. Once inside, they find several things wrapped in plastic wrap. This includes a few bags of bloody clothes. The two think whoever is using that unit is storing evidence to build a case against someone. In another room, they find a scene straight out of “Breaking Bad,” a yellow hazmat suit, a large barrel, and a bunch of substances that I can’t pronounce. Luckily, Spencer is a walking encyclopedia and identifies that when the substances are combined, they can either preserve something or dissolve something. Right as the two go to open the barrel, the light’s cut out. Do these kids not carry flashlights? A little power surge is no reason to stop sleuthing. What’s in the barrel?!

Who knew Walter White rented in Rosewood? Image from: ABC Family

Once they leave the storage unit, Caleb and Spencer think of ways to tie Holbrook to the storage unit. Caleb decides to do some more hacking to find out whose name is on the lease. Spencer goes home to play a relaxing game of Scrabble with Toby. That relaxation is quickly interrupted when Caleb texts Spencer saying he’s found some information. Officer Toby throws a hissy fit about Spencer’s involvement in everything. Once Toby leaves, Spencer has another heart-to-heart with creepy Johnny. Johnny tells her that he dropped out of college and enjoyed himself more when he was able to travel. Spencer was so interested in his stories that she ignores Caleb’s other texts asking her to call him.

Later, Aria delivers the flowers H left for her. The delivery sends her to Hanna’s house. Hanna and Aria open the card to find out that the flowers are from Jason thanking Ashley for “dessert.” Aria has no clue what that’s supposed to mean so Hanna tells her that it’s probably just Ali trying to mess with them. Too bad people aren’t done messing with Hanna. Caleb comes by the house to tell her that they figured out whose name is on the storage unit lease, and it’s Hanna’s! That doesn’t look too good, especially since Mrs. Horowitz already remembers a blonde girl. Maybe Hanna should go back to black?

Slower Moments

  • I would’ve preferred a coupon. Image from: ABC Family

    Aria is still freaked out about finding the bookmark with her letter to Jackie on it. It certainly doesn’t settle her nerves when her Brew receipt prints out with the entire letter on it and a message from A saying this was on her “permanent record.” Could this be an inside job? I don’t think we can trust everyone working at The Brew.

  • Post Jason hook up, Pastor Ted returns to Rosewood to see Ashley. He also came back to pop the big question to her, but before he does that, he asks for Hanna’s permission. Hanna feels bad that her mom didn’t come clean to Ted about her fling with Jason so she worries about what will happen when he proposes. When the moment came, Ted broke a giant peanut butter cookie in half, got down on one knee, and waited for Ashley’s answer. Stunned, Ashley tells Ted that she needs some time to think. I can’t blame her, I’d probably still be mesmerized my Jason too. Ted agrees to give her time, but I really hope she comes to her senses and says yes.
  • At The Brew, Emily still doesn’t like Talia stepping on her turf. Emily is already emotional from having to send Paige back all her stuff. The transition would probably be easier if she didn’t wear Paige’s old, holey T shirt. When Talia asks Emily about the shirt, Emily gets really defensive. It’s then that Talia realizes that the shirt belongs to Emily’s ex. Talia tells some anecdote about some old clothes stew that helps Emily realize that she needs to move on. In the last scene, Talia compliments Emily on her look without the ratty shirt. Then, Talia gives Emily an up and down. Could Emily have a new love interest?


  • Holbrook is helping Ali. That storage unit was either set up by a cop or one of Annalise Keating’s students on How to Get Away With Murder. Things were too clean and well thought out.
  • Don’t trust Johnny. What a coincidence, he and Spencer have the same taste in art. Too bad there are no such things as coincidences in Rosewood. He was literally digging through her trash. One day he won’t just be looking for art supplies.
  • A sent the flowers. I think A made it seem like Jason was sending the flowers to bust Ashley on her relations with Jason. Hanna managed to intervene but I bet Ted’s going to find out about that hook up another way.

Let me know what you thought of last week’s episode and some of your PLL theories.

Watch Pretty Little Liars Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC Family

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