January 15, 2013 7:07pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars': Mona and Spencer's Battle of the Brains
[Warning: Spoilers from Tuesday's episode, "Mona-Mania!"]
Answers were given and, as is often the case with Pretty Little Liars, more questions were posed in the latest installment, appropriately titled "Mona-Mania!"
Much of the episode centered on the girls' separate storylines and investigations, which included Aria's (Lucy Hale) personal investigation into her father; Mona (Janel Parrish) and Spencer's (Troian Bellisario) battle of the wits; and the mystery of Byron (Chad Lowe). THR highlights the biggest storylines of Tuesday's episode:
Byron Becomes Creepier and Creepier: Forget Toby (Keegan Allen), Byron may have taken over as the creepiest Rosewood resident yet. Not only is he snooping around his daughter Aria's stuff for those precious pages from Alison's diary, but he's also physically threatening his ex Meredith (Amanda Schull). After finding out that Byron may not be as innocent as she originally thought, Aria fishes for information from her mother and Meredith, comparing notes with the rest of the girls to make sure the stories/timelines add up. In one of Byron's particularly unsettling scenes of the hour, he swoops in just as Aria, Hanna and Emily desperately search her boot collection for those diary pages. "He knows!" Aria exclaims, after he hints that he knows exactly what's going on with a few choice words.
Meredith May Not Be So Bad: Meredith and Aria have a meet-up to again discuss Byron and his shady acts (including his physical altercation with Meredith), and it's there that Aria may be warming up to her -- because, as Meredith reveals, the night of Alison's disappearance, Byron went to see her before meeting with the ill-fated teen.
Emily and Paige Almost Get "A": Considering everything that has taken place in Rosewood (kidnappings, murders, fires, shootings, etc.), Paige (Lindsay Shaw) has the most appropriate response (see: hyperventilating) to the chaos by being suspicious and closed-off from everything and everyone. So it's understandable when she's shocked by Emily's (Shay Mitchell) lack of worry about the danger that lurks. It's also a familiar sight to see the girls in the middle of the night on a deserted road heading to a party. (Don't they ever learn?) After Paige has a momentary nervous breakdown, Emily proposes they take a walk -- in the middle of the night -- because that's normal. Developments take place before Emily finds herself #ChasingA. Again, always smart. Unfortunately, she doesn't get very close.
Mona and Spencer Battle It Out: In one of the lighter storylines of the episode, the two go head-to-head to determine who will be team captain for the academic decathlon team. Of course, the first vote ends in a tie, prompting a "quiz-off." Spencer, a bit cocky that she'll ultimately prevail, isn't so successful, with Mona crowned captain. Spencer continues to be suspicious of Mona, believing that she was showing her "weaker" side to gain an upper hand. (Likely.)
Who is Toby's 'Boss'?: Toby was in and out of the episode, and if viewers didn't know the key piece of informAtion -- that he's part of the "A" team -- it likely wouldn't be a big point of conversation. So when Toby gets a perfectly timed phone call just as Spencer's about to compete for the quiz-off against Mona, one must wonder who was on the other end.
Is Lucas Really Leaving Rosewood High?: At the moment, it seems Lucas (Brendan Robinson) is entertaining leaving Rosewood High because Mona and her minions are just that dangerous. (If Jenna transferred schools because of all the shenanigans, then it makes sense that Lucas would follow.) It's also revealed right off the bat that it was Lucas who caused the school shed fire that injured Meredith ... only her arm, though. Lucas also believes that it was Mona -- who has been blackmailing him since the masquerade ball -- who drove him off the road at the beginning of last week's episode. (It was really Toby.)
Pretty Little Liars airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC Family.