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'Pretty Little Liars' recap: 'Blood is the new Black' isn't so bloody

Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer are on edge

Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer are on edge with the arrival of a new message from "A," and quickly this tormentor shows that they mean business in "Blood Is the New Black." Credit: ABC FAMILY

“Is it just me or is she blinder than last year?” Aria asked the PLLs, referring to Jenna. And for the remainder of the episode, that couldn't be any further from the truth. For once, rather than ending with our hands in our hair, threatening to pull it all out, we actually got some answers (a new trend for a new season?).

Moreover, the episode started with something that's music to my ears: Aria tells the other Liars that not going to the police about last week's graveside incident was an all-around-bad choice. You don't say?! What dusty lightbulb turned itself on to help her  come to that epiphany? Maybe there is still a sliver of hope for these girls' moral compasses, or at least Aria's.

But just as soon as that brilliant moment of clarity enters the scene, it's flushed away. Literally. The “Dead Girls Can't Smile” teeth necklace that Emily pulled from her bag, a clearly important piece of evidence that, say, the police might like to see, gets flushed down the girls' bathroom toilet in a struggle between the varied personalities passing it around. One more thing that could have helped to set these girls free has been lost as easily as it was found. Maybe one day things will be different, though that wouldn't make for very interesting television, would it?

More yummy Garrett in Tuesday night's episode -- is it just me or does he look better in jail than in his former cop role in previous seasons? Tousled hair, dark brooding complexion -- mmm, that's what I thought. It appears that he's been written the “I've been misunderstood, but now I'll cryptically feed you bits of information to help these plot lines along” role so far this season, and somehow I am completely OK with that.

Though his request to have Spencer's mother represent him seems completely outlandish, it's clear that if she did (which she later does), Spencer would feasibly have access to all of Garrett's files -- and could find some useful nuggets.

Speaking of nuggets -- Garrett dishes to Spencer that someone the Liars know has been lying to them. While seemingly foreshadowing a greater plot line (I'm thinking Melissa), this also leads to the realization that maybe Jenna's been faking her blindness since her surgery.

This discovery is reinforced when Emily has a flashback from her trip to the grave. She clearly recalls Jenna driving the car in which she was taken away. Ahh, that Jenna is a busy girl, kidnapping and controlling an army of minions. 

In another flashback, Aria and Ali break into Byron's office, and the pair find a set of earrings presumed to be -- though evidently not -- Meredith's, and then trash the place. Back in the present, A threatens Aria into 'fessing up, and Daddy is clearly shaken. Can't say I blame her – not really sure what he expected from a teenager he had been forcing into silence.

The whole Hanna-Mona subplot is still a bit foggy to me in terms of purpose -- Mona finally speaks, though, and asks if the texts are happening again. Hanna presses about what texts Mona's referring to, and all I can think is -- REALLY? ARE YOU THAT DUMB?

I have to admit that my favorite scene this episode is what I'll refer to as the question scene. Jenna just asked Aria to be her accompanist -- weird and seemingly unimportant -- and the girls gather in the all-important girls' bathroom hurriedly asking every single question out loud that is going through our heads (or at least mine). Just makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one in the dark with a million questions and so few answers.

And finally,  the climax of the entire episode: Jenna enters the bathroom as the Liars leave the Meredith earring on the counter and scurry into stalls to silently test Jenna's blindness.

She picks up the earring, then places it back down and wouldn't you know it -- oh wait, we already did . . .oh well, I'll oblige them -- Jenna CAN see. Tricky, tricky girl.

Ignoring her overzealous friends who want to spill the beans, Spencer reveals that this information can be used against Jenna. “We can use this, and we will,” she promises ominously.

My favorite A-scenes are back to cap up episodes -- I am legitimately excited by this -- and I couldn't be happier with the turnout. Dressed in an all-too-familiar red trench coat, A is at some sort of clothing/hunting shop and picks up a pair of gloves and a stack of hoodies. The clerk asks if he or she is buying the hoodies for “a team,” and Garrett's warning from last episode about the Liars still not being safe because “this isn't over” could not seem any more prophetic.

Now, my next question -- who's next up at bat for the A-Team?

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