Season 3, Episode 17 Out Of The Frying Pan, Into The Inferno

The idiomatic expression used as the title means: escaping a bad situation for a worse one. Does this refer to Ali escaping a “situation” but still eventually led her to her demise?

Recap time.

Note: Some Photos are piled up there instead of inserting them here. Some are still inserted. If you should take notice of one, there’ll be a note saying See Photo.

Previously on PLL:

  • Mona & Toby: I’m not the one calling the shots (Urrr..just pulling the trigger).
  • My name is Lyndon James.
  • Team Paileb wants revenge.
  • Maggie, Malcolm, and Ezria.
  • A-Key.
  • MereDeath.
  • Byron Flashback. Ali needs money.
  • Spoby Breakup.

I’ve noticed that the “Previously…” section tends to cover topics covered in the current episode.


  • The scene opens with a Spoby Sex Scene, one of which we don’t remember and ends up being Spencer’s nightmare. (Folks, prepare for heartbreak when you watch this episode.)
  • The A-Key is still with her.


  • Em is on the phone with Aria, talking about Spencer. They want her to talk to Melissa since she was “in Byron’s flashback.” They haven’t spoken to her since “the anniversary.”
  • Pam enters Em’s room, hesitantly handing her a package. It’s from The James Family. Lyndon James’ family. Pam wants to take it to the cops but Em says she doesn’t want to be questioned anymore.
  • Em opens the box and finds stuff from her, for Ali. A few birthday cards were opened. (These were obviously taken from the box Maya found.) Pam now works at the Police Station. When Pam leaves her room, she finds her Biology Notebook.


  • Anna is icing her wrist while on the computer in the kitchen.
  • Ashley’s back! With vino. They are having a mother-daughter moment, talking about Mona and a Caped Crusader (I guess The Phantom counts). Hanna doesn’t want to be “protected.” She has more than once uttered the words, “Why do you think I need protection?” (Uh, because someone has tried to kill you & has been torturing you.)


  • Byron is on the phone with MereDeath’s Dad. She is “recovering”. Byron tells Aria that Meredith has a long history of issues (And he means mental illness right). Her meds were mentioned since Aria has been taking them for her. Byron says that he will not let Meredith near his family and he shouldn’t have let her in the first place. Aria is sympathetic.
  • Byron starts reminiscing. (Someone just had a wakeup call, but it’s nice that they are turning him into a likeable character.)

Outside, on their way to The Brew

  • Spencer, Aria, and Hanna are catching up with relationship woes. Spencer is distant. Hanna tells them that Caleb has been acting weird. Aria tells them that she plans to tell Ezra about Malcolm today.
  • They are sensing Spencer’s indifference but she dismisses them and excuses herself from the group.
  • At The Brew, they meet Em, asking if they—Aria and Hanna—may see the package contents she received. They all agree that they are not ready to tell the police about A.
  • Em hands her Biology notebook to Hanna, who starts perusing it. They find chat conversations between Ali and a mysterious person. Keyword: Beach Hottie. Then, Aria asks why Alison was writing about Toby.
  • (See Photos for notebook contents in photoset. The other person ‘sounds’ like Cece.)


  • Aria calls to ask Ezra if they can meet at lunch. Hanna tells her that she should leave early.
  • Hanna witnesses Paige on the phone talking to the same person who placed the Mad Cow note and Brain in Mona’s locker. It’s Caleb (10,000 points for Caleb!). Team Paileb have another action plan which Paige is attending to at 7pm that night.
  • LGR. Spencer looks depressed and angry. Em walks in and checks that the stalls are empty. She tries to show Spencer the Biology notebook but she ignores it. Em tries to explain its importance, which angers Spencer, causing her to have an outburst. “Why should we care with what happened to Ali?” (If I were these girls, I would probably be angry too. She wasn’t the world’s greatest friend.) Em hands the notebook to Spencer and tells her to read it. (See Photos of notebook in photoset.)
  • Flashback to Juvy Toby in a Do-Rag: Ali visited Toby while he was in Juvy, accusing him of sending the A Notes. Toby claims innocence. He also knows the truth behind the fire, who were involved. (Ali is acting so full of herself.)
  • Back to the LGR. Spencer is upset and starts crying. She tells Em that she and Toby have broken up but refuses to talk about the details because she’s not ready to talk about it. (And, we know from that that the liars are not going to find out in this episode. I hope it doesn’t make things worse. Hmmm.)
  • At her study group, Spencer is acting a bit…scary.
    They are discussing Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. (The story covers The Chronicles of Sarah Good, and the Salem Witch Trials.) Key phrases: She became part of the group. She started believing her own lies. (So apropos with what I am reading right now.)
  • Spencer gets a text from Aria, asking her to meet at the park because Ezra broke up with her. Ironically, Ella steps into the classroom. Spencer dashes out, as Ella tries to stop her. Spencer snaps.


  • Spencer confronts Ezra about breaking up with Aria. She explodes, defending her friend saying that he should be angry with Maggie for keeping the baby a secret from him. Ezra is surprised. Apparently, Ezria haven’t discussed any of this yet. (Oooops and holy ____!) Spencer leaves.

Police Station

  • Pam is asking a police officer for advice about Em’s unexpected package when creepy Wilden interrupts and offers to help.


  • Em is reading her Biology notebook when she notices a photo. Bingo! It’s a photo of Ali and Cece in Cape May (See Photo sample in photoset).
  • At the Cafeteria, Aria is looking for Spencer when she is joined by Em & Hanna. A frazzled Ezra arrives and asks to talk to her. About Spencer. About what Spencer said. About Maggie. And his son. Ezra is having a fit. They walk out and he asks her why she kept it a secret. He leaves. She cries. Then, she gets a text from A.

Police Station

  • Pam is working and Wilden tries to make conversation. He brings up the Lighthouse incident. Then, he tells her a story about himself. He says he understands what Em is going through. (He is suspiciously trying hard to be nice here.)


  • Spencer heats up her microwave dinner. Aria arrives. They talk about Fitz…in fast forward. Aria knew Spencer was set up because of the text. But instead of feeling relieved, Spencer starts getting angry saying that they need to stop blaming A for everything that’s going wrong in their lives. (Obviously, she is trying to defend A…Toby. Aria starts arguing about A. (I’m sorry Aria-Is-A fans, but I really don’t think she is part of the A Team, nor is she the uber A.)


  • Cece is back! And talking to Em who shows her the photo she found. Em asks her who the Beach Hottie was but she doesn’t know. (Remember, you’re always better off with a really good lie.) Em asks if Jason knew. Cece says that if Jason knew, he would make him sorry he ever looked at his sister.
  • Flashback to Cape May: Cece is at Annie’s Crabshack and Ali is peering behind the tree. Cece sees and goes to her. Ali is crying telling Cece that she is in trouble. She is late and might be pregnant. (Might) She hasn’t told ‘him’ either.
  • Back to the present, Cece tells Em that “Ali thought she was” pregnant (thought, was).


  • Aria calls Hanna, who is following Paige to a bar.

Rainbow Bar

  • Hanna arrives at the bar and spots Paige having drinks with Shana.


  • Spencer is texting someone to meet with someone.

Rainbow Bar

  • Hanna continues to watch Paige, and gets hit-on at the bar. (Golden.)


  • Aria texts Ezra if they can talk.
  • Byron is making amends, grilled cheese et al.
  • Knock, knock. Emily. They talk about Ali possibly being pregnant. They decide to take the evidence to the police. Em will.
  • Aria gets a text response.

Rainbow Bar

  • Hanna keeps getting hit-on by the same chick. They start to dance, pink drink in hand. Then, someone comes at her and throws her drink at Hanna. She gets carded.

Police Station

  • Pam and Em are talking about the notebook.

In the car

  • Spencer is struggling, trying to keep herself together.

Police Station

  • Hanna arrives. Em sees her. Hanna tells her she got busted at the bar…no club…no bar.
  • Wilden arrives. Em hands him the notebook. Wilden is still acting really strange.
  • Hanna tells Em that she shouldn’t have given it to him.
  • While getting coffee, Emily spots a photo of Wilden at Cape May. (See Photo of Wilden at Cape May in photoset.)


  • Spencer meets with a new character. He hands him the A-Key and a torn photo of Toby. (Is he the same PI her dad hired? If I had the A-Key, I would definitely try and find where it is and what is in there. Spencer did the smart thing and hired a PI to cover her tracks.)


  • The Marins get home. Ashley wants answers and she mostly gets them. (These two have the best lines, ever.)

Fitz Apartment

  • Fitz is leaving. Aria arrives. He has spoken to Maggie who explained that she unfairly asked Aria to keep the secret. They’re okay. (Whuuut?!)
  • He’s leaving to meet his son. He’ll be staying at a friend’s house and/or a motel. Aria asks if she can call him and he stifles a cry. (His world is about to change. But that ‘breakup’ was meh. Again, nothing happens to Ezria. Meh.)

A’s Antics

  • Dolls and a Torch. Gee what’s next? But why does Hanna get it?
  • Note Red Polish. In the preview, hands look similar to Mona’s.

My Thoughts

  • I would rant about the Ezria non-breakup but I would be wasting time and web space.
  • I can see why there might be a misconception about the pregnancy. If she indeed was pregnant, she might have needed the money from Byron so she could take care of it. I’m just surprised this has never come up in any of their meetups with Cece.
  • Next week’s preview is scary. You need to see it.