“Pretty Little Liars:” Misery Loves Company

Meredith shows her crazy side in season 3 of Pretty Little Liars.

Meredith shows her crazy side in season 3 of Pretty Little Liars.

Karalyn Kickham

Meredith shows her crazy side in season 3 of Pretty Little Liars.
Meredith shows her crazy side in season 3 of Pretty Little Liars.
So far, the second half of season three of “Pretty Little Liars” has been chaotic to say the least. As per usual, just when the girls think they are starting to figure things out, they are blindsided by a new piece of evidence that steers them in a different direction with a new suspicion of who “A” could be. The most recent episode is no different, as Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer are thrown off track by new discoveries that shocked viewers. This episode, “Misery Loves Company,” aired on Tuesday January 22, 2013 at 8 pm on ABC Family.
In this episode, Aria is very sick.  Meredith stops by frequently to check in on Aria, and Meredith gives her tea to help her feel better. Toby and Mona talk in “A”‘s hideout about how Spencer, Toby’s girlfriend, has been lying to him about “A” leaving them alone.  Spencer and the rest of the girls do not know that Toby and Mona are both working as “A”. Toby later asks Emily if Mona has bothered the girls since she was released from the insane asylum, and Emily lies and says that she has not bothered them, but she will let Toby know if Mona begins to stir trouble again.
Hanna overhears Caleb, her boyfriend, talking about her on the phone and saying that he is going to meet someone after school.  Since Hanna has an interview after school, she asks Emily to follow Caleb and find out who he is meeting and why.  Hanna goes to her interview after school, but when she enters the building, she realizes that no one is there except for a bunch of mannequins.  A hooded figure, “A”, shoves the mannequins at Hanna and runs out of the building, accidentally leaving behind a key that says “A” on it, which Hanna sees and takes with her.  Emily follows Caleb, but just as he enters a restaurant, she gets a text from Spencer about what happened to Hanna, so Emily leaves.  The viewers see that Caleb met with Paige, Emily’s girlfriend, and the two discuss their desire to take down Mona to protect the girls.
It is Spencer and Toby’s one year anniversary, and Spencer wants to surprise Toby with a nice dinner.  In order to ensure that Toby is surprised, Spencer tells him that she has to go to a dinner with her dad and that she will not be able to celebrate with him that night. Spencer talks with Emily and Hanna and decides that Spencer should hang on to the “A” key.  Toby stops by Spencer’s house during the day to drop off flowers because he thinks that he won’t see Spencer at night, and he sees the key on the counter.
Meredith is searching for something when Aria wakes up on the couch, so Meredith tells Aria that she stopped by during her break from teaching to see how she was doing.  Aria can’t find her phone, so she asks Meredith to have Aria’s mom call Aria when she gets back to the school, where both Meredith and Ella work.  Meredith delivers the message, but the viewers soon learn that Meredith is the one who took Aria’s phone.  Aria has a dream that Alison is in her room and finds the diary pages hidden in a doll. Alison tells Aria that she sees “A” everywhere, and so do the girls, but they do not realize it.  Ali warns Aria to stop drinking the tea Meredith makes because Meredith is looking for the diary pages, too. Alison says, “You know why I picked you, right?” and then leaves a confused Aria in her sleep.  When Aria wakes up, she discovers that she has been locked in her room.  For defense, Aria shatters a mirror in her room and goes back to sleep clutching a shard of glass from the mirror.
Emily and Hanna see Meredith buying an excessive amount of sleeping pills at the pharmacy, so they decide that they will go to Aria’s house to see how she is doing, since Aria has not been answering their calls.  Meanwhile, Aria wakes up to a psychotic Meredith standing over her bed, squeezing Aria’s shard of glass so tightly that her hand bleeds.  Meredith admits to putting the sleeping pills in Aria’s tea, and Meredith tells Aria that she has looked everywhere for the diary pages.  Aria runs out of the room, but Meredith sneaks up on her, knocks Aria unconscious, and puts her in the basement.  When Emily and Hanna arrive, they let themselves inside with a spare key and find Meredith in the house.  Meredith says that Aria went to the basement to get flashlights because the power went out, but that the girls should check on her because she has been down there for a while. Meredith locks Hanna and Emily in the basement also. When Byron gets home, Meredith tells him that Aria and her friends know everything about the affair and the bribe with Alison.  Byron is able to convince Aria that he did not hurt Ali and he has nothing to do with her disappearance, so Aria burns the diary pages.  Meredith runs away while Byron talks to the girls, and her current location is unknown.
Toby, as “A”, goes to Spencer’s house to get back the key he dropped during the incident with Hanna because he believes that Spencer is at the dinner with her dad, just as she told him.  Spencer, however, is in her house holding the key, and she knows that Toby is “A”.  Spencer had found a fake ID badge of Toby’s when she was setting up for their surprise dinner in his apartment.  The badge said that Toby worked at the Radley Sanitarium, which meant that he had been helping Mona while she was a patient there. Spencer slaps Toby across the face, and her mother hears the commotion and enters the room just as Toby runs out.
This episode was full of surprises, as the girls and the viewers learned that Meredith is psychotic and is not trying to help the girls in any way.  Spencer’s discovery of Toby being “A” will either help the girls or put them in more danger because Toby will most likely want to ensure that his secret is not revealed.  Viewers are still skeptical of Byron, and they are not sure whether or not Aria should have completely believed him and burned the diary pages. What is going to happen now that Spencer knows Toby is “A”? Find out by watching the next episode of “Pretty Little Liars” on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8 pm on ABC Family.