You're already over a barrel, wanna be in one, too?

Bloody Hell
Season 5, Episode 21
Air Date February 24, 2015
Written by Maya Goldsmith
Directed by Arlene Sanford
Episode Guide
Pretty Isn't the Point
To Plea or Not to Plea

Bloody Hell is the twenty-first episode of Season 5 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired on February 24, 2015.


Aria, Emily and Spencer are at Chester Women's Correctional Facility waiting to meet Alison. Aria is unsure whether they should apologize to Alison after all that has happened. Emily and Spencer think that they owe Alison an apology because she in jail because of them. They think that even though Alison is no saint, she’s on trial for a murder she didn’t commit and so they should help her. Alison is bought into the waiting room escorted by guards. Emily tells Alison about how Mike was scared to say anything because he thought Mona was alive and didn’t want to put her in danger. Alison is furious that Mona planned to throw her under the bus but the girls assure Alison that Mona would’ve been back once she found out who ‘A’ was and Alison would’ve been free. The girls promise Alison that they will find a way to get Alison out of jail. Alison then asks them why Hanna hasn’t accompanied them and the girls claim that Hanna really wanted to come but has to spend the day with her mother. Just then, a guard comes in and announces that visiting hours are over. Emily promises that the girls will be back soon. As Emily and Spencer leave, Alison calls Aria back. Alison tells her that she has to tell her lawyers about Mike as his testimony is the only thing that can save her. Aria pleads her to hold off telling her lawyers about Mike so that they can find ‘A’. Alison agrees to wait.

In the hallway at school, the girls ask Hanna why she didn’t show up to visit Alison in jail. Hanna tells them that after she accused Alison of being ‘A’ and a murderer to her face, she didn’t have the courage go back to meet her. Spencer notices that Aria is disturbed and asks her what’s bothering her. Aria is hesitant to reply, but Emily deduces that she must be upset about Mike. Spencer realizes that if they don’t find ‘A’ before Alison’s trial, Alison’s lawyers will make Mike testify. Aria admits that she isn’t worried about Mike getting in trouble with the law, but about the fact that once Mike helps acquit Alison, he’ll become A’s prime target.

After school, Spencer returns home to find Veronica on the phone with Peter. Seeing Spencer come in,
Veronica gets off the phone. Veronica is furious with Spencer for visiting Alison. Spencer says this was the first time she went to visit Alison. Veronica tells her that this visit was also her last one. She then hands Spencer a plane ticket to London. She informs Spencer that she spoke with Wren who got her an interview with a professor at Oxford and that she’ll be staying with Wren and Melissa in London.

Emily is working at The Brew when a woman walks up to her. She introduces herself as Claire Handleman, the contestant coordinator for the beauty pageant Emily is participating in. Claire informs Emily that Emily’s parent’s signature is missing from her application form. Emily tells her that she forgot about it since her mother is visiting her father at his base. With her application form, Emily finds a schedule for the pageant listing various events. Emily is surprised that such time commitment is required but tells the coordinator that she’ll ask her boss to swap shifts. Claire thinks that Emily is a very promising contestant.

Hanna and Aria come to visit Spencer. As Hanna heads upstairs, Aria approaches Veronica telling her she wants to ask her a legal question. Before Aria can continue, Veronica informs her that whatever Aria tells her will not be protected by attorney-client privilege So, Aria hands her a $1 bill and asks Veronica to be her lawyer for an hour.

Back at The Brew, Emily asks Talia if the girl supposed to help Talia in the kitchen can cover Emily’s shifts instead. Talia gives her the cold shoulder and Emily tells her she never intended to hurt Talia. Talia then announces that she has quit her job and it is her last day and leaves.

At the Hastings residence, Aria is talking to Veronica and trying to keep the subject of their conversation anonymous. Veronica asks Aria if the person Aria is talking about was directly involved in the crime but Aria tells her that although he wasn’t, he withheld information that could help the police. Veronica tells her that if he the person knowingly withheld information from the police, he could face charges depending on the severity of the crime. Aria asks her how much trouble would he be in if murder was involved and Veronica, looking worried, replies that he’d be in a lot of trouble.

Aria heads upstairs to join Spencer, Emily and Hanna. The girls are upset that Spencer is leaving. Hanna suggests that Spencer should miss her flight or at least postpone her trip but Spencer knows that mother will not let her. Emily asks her what Toby thinks about her leaving but Spencer replies that she hasn’t told him. Hanna thinks that they should come clean to Veronica and ask her for help and Emily agrees. Aria disagrees, saying that Mike will end up getting in trouble and also points out that Veronica won’t help them find ‘A’. Aria asks the girls if they want to rattle A’s cage by coming clean since they know what happens when they do something like that.

Alison is sitting alone in the laundry room. She writes down “Mona” on the dust-covered table in front of her. A guard comes in and escorts her to the waiting room where she finds Veronica. Veronica demands to know why Spencer and her friends have been visiting Alison in prison since Spencer won’t tell her. Alison says that the girls visited her because they realized that she is telling the truth. Alison tells her that she wants to take the stand in court and tell her side of the story but her lawyers are against it. Veronica thinks that her lawyers are right since she could mistakenly say something incriminating. Alison admits that she wants to tell her side of the story because for once it is the truth but Veronica is skeptical that any juror will believe her after all the lies she has told. As Veronica gets up to leave, Alison asks Veronica’s to help her and coach her on what to stay on the stand.

Aria returns home and Andrew is waiting for her. They had a study session planned and Aria forgot about it. Aria tells him that she is busy with other stuff and so they need to cancel their study sessions for a while. Andrew agrees and suggests that go see a movie together the next day. Aria agrees to come but then asks him will it be a date. Andrew counters by asking her if she thinks it’ll be a date. Aria tells him it can’t be a date as she is still “sort of” seeing Ezra. Andrew suggests that they can go as “just friends” and tells her that the movie is a civics and history lesson anyway. He explains that the movie is about “getting messages from a shadowy figure who knows everybody’s secrets” and leaves.

Spencer arrives in London at Melissa’s apartment and is greeted by Colin, Melissa and Wren’s roommate.
Colin says that Melissa and Wren are out of town and won’t be back until tomorrow. He tries to make small talk but Spencer is distracted, trying to get network on her phone. Back at prison, Alison returns to the laundry room after her meeting with Veronica. She notices someone has scrawled “told everything” below where she had earlier written “Mona.”

Next day at work, Emily runs into Talia who has come to pick up her last check. Emily notices the luggage in the backseat of Talia’s car. Talia admits that she and Eric had a long talk and are now separated. Talia isn’t worried though as she is moving in to a hotel and has booked a catering gig there. Emily feels guilty that she made Talia have a conversation she may not have been ready for and invites Talia to stay at her house because her mother is out of town.

At Hanna’s house, Ashley is stressing, trying to find a new job. Ashley gets a phone call and goes upstairs to take it. Aria arrives in a frenzy and informs Hanna that she found Cyrus. She went back to the dive bar and found out that “Hank Mahoney” was a regular. He worked at a garage nearby. The store manager at the garage told her that Hank got injured while working on a car and is in the hospital. She wants to visit Cyrus as he admitted to Mike that ‘A’ paid him to set Alison up. She thinks that if they pay him, he can give them details on who paid him to lure Alison out of town that day. Although Hanna is hesitant, she agrees to accompany Aria.

The next day, Aria and Hanna arrive at the hospital to meet Cyrus. They claim that they are his cousins and are surprised to learn that Cyrus is in the burn unit since they thought that he had broken an arm or a leg. In jail, Alison hears a noise under her bed. She bends down and finds a tin can that looks like a barrel. She opens the can and inside it is a tiny doll that looks just like her with a note: “You’re already over a barrel, want to be in one too?” Meanwhile in London, Spencer is at her college interview and doing really well, until the professor notices that her bag is leaking, what looks like blood. Spencer digs through her bag and finds a broken blood vial. She then races out of the room saying she needs to wash her hands.

Emily is at the studio, rehearsing her dance for the pageant when Talia arrives. Talia thinks that Emily is a really good dancer and Emily lets her know that she’s just doing this for the cash prize in a pageant. Talia thinks that no one works this hard for just the money and Emily tells her that she’s doing it for a friend. Emily then admits that she may be doing this for herself too. Emily feels that even though she’s not the beauty pageant type, if she wins this, she’ll know that she has it in her to take control of her life. Talia tells her that she understands. Emily invites Talia to dance with her.

At the hospital, Aria and Hanna are escorted into the burn unit. They see that Cyrus is wrapped in bandages and can barely talk. He mumbles that what happened to him was not an accident. He takes a pen and writes on the back of a packet of gauze, “Carjack.” The nurse then kicks them out. Spencer calls Aria and is having a panic attack. Spencer tells her that she disposed the purse but is scared as to what will happen if someone finds it. Aria tries to calm her. Spencer doesn’t want to come home either, terrified thinking about what else ‘A’ would have hidden in her luggage. Aria reveals to Spencer that they just visited Cyrus and it looks like ‘A’ put him in the hospital and made it look like a carjacking, scaring Spencer further. Aria sees Hanna arguing with a nurse and gets off the phone. Spencer receives a text message from ‘A’: “Keep calm but watch your carry-on. There’s plenty more blood where that came from.”

At the dance studio Emily and Talia are having a good time. Talia slips and falls and the two start laughing. Talia’s laugh turns into sobs. Emily helps her up and they slow dance.

In the hospital elevator, Hanna looks at the note that Cyrus gave them and they realize that they read it wrong. He didn’t write “carjack” he wrote “Varjack.” They remember that Alison was obsessed with Breakfast at Tiffany’s and even had a passport with the name Varjak. They deduce that ‘A’ must be going by the name Paul Varjak when they contacted Cyrus to taunt Alison. The girls see that Varjak is spelled wrong and Hanna realizes that means that Cyrus has never seen the name written down which means ‘A’ spoke to him directly and not through texts or e-mails. Back in Cyrus’s room, someone wrapped in bandages and dressed in black get up from the bed opposite to Cyrus’s and walks up to him.

In London, Spencer is going through her luggage in a panic when Colin walks in. She asks for his laptop to change her flight and to call her a cab as she wants to leave. Colin tries to get her to calm down but she tells him get out of her way. He tells her to take a deep breath in and out which finally seems to calm her.

At the studio Claire interrupts Emily and Talia who are taking a break. She tells Emily that all contestants should be of “good moral character” and Emily should have known that her participation would make the Board apprehensive. Emily is angry that she is being forced to drop out, but Claire tells her that they can’t force her to do anything, just “encourage”. Emily and Talia think that she is being forced out because she is gay but Claire reveals that it’s because she is associated to the Alison DiLaurentis murder case and the Board thinks that the sponsors will leave if the pageant is attached to anything negative.

Hanna heads home to find her mother in an unusually cheery mood. Ashley reveals that Ted forgave her and now she and Ted are engaged. Hanna is annoyed that Ted made Ashley wait so long to forgive her but Ashley thinks that it was good that he took his time to think everything out. Ashley tells her that she feels awful about what she did and is glad she apologized because she needed to that for her to forgive herself as well.

As Talia and Emily are leaving, they spot Claire across the street and approach her. Talia tells Emily to follow her lead. Talia tells Claire that Emily understands the board’s position, but she is concerned about what would happen if others came to know that Emily had to drop out because of a friendship she has. Claire tells her that this friend is on trial for murder but Talia counters that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Claire is enraged that Talia is threatening her, but Talia tells her that is just “encouraging” her and suggests that the sponsors could make a “donation” towards Emily’s education. An infuriated Claire gets in her car and leaves.

Aria heads home to find Mike to ask him about Varjak. She goes into his room to find his lacrosse schedule and finds it on a dartboard hanging high on the wall. Aria steps on the weight bench that ‘A’ tampered with previously, to get his schedule. She hears Andrew call her and tells him to come upstairs. Suddenly, the weight bench collapses underneath her. Andrew rushes to check on her. After he helps her up, he picks up a nut and bolt off the floor and realizes that they don’t match. He tells Aria that if Mike had laid on the bench press to work out, the weights would have crushed his skull. Andrew bandages up Aria’s leg and informs her that she has sprained her leg. As Andrew tries to make small talk, Aria looks at the now broken weight bench and thinking about the fact that 'A' tried to kill her brother, starts crying. Andrew tries to comfort her and the two end up kissing.

Meanwhile, Veronica is at home working, when she notices Alison’s case file and picks it up. Going through the file, she realizes something. She calls Spencer frantically and leaves her a voicemail telling Spencer to cancel her flight back home.

Hanna visits Alison in prison. Hanna tries to apologize for what she said earlier, but Alison stops her. Alison admits that she used to love telling Hanna and the girls what to do every day and thought that she was helping them. But in prison no one listens to her, she doesn’t even get to decide what time she takes a shower. Alison breaks down in tears because she realizes how Hanna must have felt when Alison bossed her around the entire time they were friends and apologizes. She asks Hanna if they can start over and Hanna says they can try – but only if Alison is honest with them about everything. Hanna demands to know who Varjak is.

The episode ends with someone dressed in all black placing a $20 bill in each of the bibles at Chester Women’s Correctional Facility.


  • Spencer goes to London for an Oxford interview. While at the interview, Spencer's handbag starts leaking blood from a broken vial planted by 'A'.
  • Veronica agrees to coach Alison for her murder trial.
  • Emily is "encouraged" to drop out of the beauty pageant due to her connection to Alison's murder trial.
  • Hanna and Aria visit Cyrus in hospital and learn that someone named 'Varjack' caused his burns.
  • Ashley and Ted get engaged.
  • Aria and Andrew share a kiss after Aria sprains her ankle in Mike's bedroom.

Title and Background

  • "Bloody Hell" is a British expression of dismay, disgust, anger, surprise, etc.
  • The title may refer to the blood that leaked out of Spencer's bag from a broken vial.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast


  • Filming began October 7, 2014 and wrapped up on October 15, 2014.
  • The episode was watched live by 1.57 million viewers.

Featured Music

  • "Rescue Song" by Mr. Little Jeans - (Outside The Brew, Claire introduced herself to Emily).
  • "Can't Remember to Forget You" by Shakira ft. Rihanna - (Emily practices her dance routine for the pageant; Emily turns back on the music and makes Talia dance with her; Emily shows Talia her dance routine and Talia breaks down).
  • "Call My Name" by HAERTS - (As Talia breaks down Emily pulls her up form the floor and slow dances with her to calm her down).


BTS & Promotional



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