You need to be careful of what you're good at, hun, 'cause you'll spend the rest of your life doing it.
Alison to Emily in a flashback

Bring Down the Hoe
Season 4, Episode 11
Air Date August 20, 2013
Written by Oliver Goldstick & Francesca Rollins
Directed by Melanie Mayron
Episode Guide
The Mirror Has Three Faces
Now You See Me, Now You Don't

Bring Down the Hoe is the eleventh episode of Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars. The episode aired on August 20, 2013. 


The four girls sit at lunch, discussing the crawlspace under the DiLaurentis home. They are sure that Cece has been camping out there, and Emily no longer wants to live in the house. They wonder why CeCe has it out for them and Jenna, unsure what Ali may have told her about their involvement in getting her kicked out of college. Hanna arrives and tells the girls that her mom hasn’t had any luck finding a new lawyer. She wishes Veronica could stay on the case.

Lt. Tanner shows up and approaches the girls to tell them they are still investigating who drove into Emilly's house. She tells them that while they were sorting through the wreckage, they found a muddy shoe that matches the print of the shoes found at Wilden’s crime scene. When she mentions being able to test it to identify the owner, Hanna gets upset and walks away.

The girls catch up to her and tell her not to worry, and that "A" probably planted the shoe there because Mona made a false confession. Spencer relays a plan to find out for sure if Cece is back in town and living in the crawlspace, in turn giving Tanner a new suspect to harrass. She tells Hanna to go shopping with Mrs. DiLaurentis while she, Emily and Aria check out the crawlspace. They leave Hanna in the hallway, who notices a strange classmate staring at her.

Emily tells Paige she has a lot going on and probably can't attend the country-themed dance tonight. She shows her the recommendation letter Zoe wrote. Paige reads the letter and thinks that Zoe likes Emily, but Emily isn’t convinced. She gets defensive about it and leaves.

Jake waits for Aria outside after school. He offers her a ride home, which she turns down, and gives her the business card of an attorney he knows to give to Hanna's mom, which she also turns down. Then she invites Jake to the hoedown later that night. Aria is surprised by how easily he said yes.

Emily finds Ezra in his classroom and shows him Zoe’s letter. She asks him if it is too positive. He snaps at her, saying some people have real problems to worry about, but before she can leave, he apologizes and tells her that Maggie is taking Malcom away and to not tell Aria.

Caleb approaches Hanna at her locker and she tells him she is going shopping with Ali's mom that afternoon. He thinks it's strange, but lets it go and asks what time he should pick her up for the dance. Hanna says they don't have to go, but Caleb informs her that Ashley texted him earlier insisting they go and have fun. When Caleb leaves, Hanna opens her locker to find an envelope with hundred dollar bills inside. There is a note that says “Maybe this can help your mother.” Hanna looks around and sees the strange boy again, who, once spotted, quickly walks away.

In Toby's truck, Spencer and Toby discuss the money found in Hanna’s locker, asking why CeCe would put the cash in an envelope from that same place she used to work. They argue about CeCe's motives regarding the cash and the muddy shoe found at Emily's house. Toby turns on the engine and his face turns pale when he hears the music coming out of the stereo. Spencer asks what it is and he says it is a recording of his mom singing. Spencer insists he turn it off because it is making him upset. They remove the CD from the player and find a note on it from "A," teasing that there is more where that came from.

Hanna runs into the strange boy at the Brew again, and tells him to stop stalking her or he'll be sorry.

Meanwhile, Toby tells Spencer that he wants to go see Palmer again to find out where the rest of the recordings might be, but Spencer thinks he isn’t a reliable source. Spencer thinks that these clues from "A" are all a trap and warns Toby to quit accepting "A’s" gifts.

In the crawlspace, Aria and Emily wait for Spencer to arrive. Emily tells Aria that she should call Ezra, but doesn’t say why. They find a black button that they think might belong to Red Coat before Spencer finally arrives. They hear someone upstairs and when Aria looks through one of the drilled holes in the ceiling, a knitting needle almost stabs her in the eye. Someone is repeated jabbing it through the holes, attempting to stab the girls, or at least make sure they don't see them, then the person upstairs leaves.

Because of the incident, Emily decides that she no longer wants to live at the DiLaurentis house and wants to move into Spencer’s house. Spencer, who had been upstairs, hears the question and seems not to want Emily to move in. Aria asks who Spencer was talking to upstairs. She says "Toby. Why? What did I miss?" Aria asks, “What did we miss?” Spencer reluctantly tells them that Toby thinks that his mom was murdered, and that he has been getting messages about it from "A." 

Meanwhile, Toby tries calling Dr. Palmer, but the receptionist won't put his call through. He gets a text message from "A." It is a picture of a car.

At the Brew, Aria sees Ezra at another table. He approaches her and tells her that he has been trying to get a hold of her, but before they can have a conversation, Jake arrives. The two awkwardly greet each other and Ezra leaves. Aria is upset about the meeting, but Jake tells her not to sweat it. He gives her a pair of blue cowgirl boots for the dance that night as a gift.

Later that day, Spencer helps Emily pack up her things in Ali’s old room. Emily gets a text from Paige about the dance that night, but she doesn’t respond. She sees a bottle of blue nail polish, and Emily has a flashback of Ali painting her toenails with that same color.

In the flashback, Ali tells Emily that she needs to break up with Ben because he's a flathead and deep down, Emily knows he is not what she wants. Emily protests, but Ali insists staying with Ben sets a bad precedent for the rest of her life. She offers to break up with Ben for her, adding that she has done it for a lot of people. Ali describes one time when a friend of hers couldn’t break up with a “really scary dude,” so she did it for her. Unfortunately, the guy had a gun and pulled it on her. When Emily, astonished, asks if a boy has a gun in their school, Ali says that the guy doesn't go to their school “anymore.”

After the flashback, Emily tells Spencer that she thinks Ali helped Cece break up with Wilden, who pulled a gun on Ali when she tried to do it. Emily says that she assumed that Wilden had been seeing Ali, but now thinks that Cece was seeing Jason and Wilden, and that when Cece returned to Rosewood, Wilden may have tried to hook up with Cece again, which led to Cece killing him.

In the next scene, Cece, who has been MIA since last season, leaving an angry voicemail for someone over the phone. She is in a room filled with stacks of photos of Ali and the Liars. CeCe is angry this person has been making her wait and she yells, "I sure as hell am not going back to Rosewood." The camera pans past a red trench coat draped over a chair.

Hanna and Caleb arrive at the hoedown, and when Caleb steps away, Hanna is approached by the strange boy, who asks to dance with her. His name is Travis, and he tells her that he knows her mom is innocent. He says that he was at the lake that night because Widen called him and his dad to tow his car out. He saw her mom talking to Wilden and then drive off. He heard gunshots after her mom drove away and saw someone running into the woods. He says he doesn’t know who it was, but that it was a girl.

He and Hanna dance, and Hanna asks why he waited so long. He says that his dad and Wilden had bad blood between them and he was worried that his dad would look guilty if he had said anything. He notes that the girl looked blonde after asked by Hanna. He says that he had left his truck at the lake because he panicked, but it was back at the garage the next day with the envelope full of cash, obviously a bribe to shut him up.

Aria, Jake, Spencer, Toby and Emily arrive. Emily sees Paige with a group of people, but neither of them make any move to talk to each other. Travis and Hanna continue to dance, and Travis says that he isn’t going to tell the police and the he has done everything he is going to do, because he is scared that his dad will get into trouble.

Aria and Jake dance, and Ezra stares at Aria. Jake takes notice of this but continues to dance. Meanwhile, Hanna tells Caleb about what Travis told her. Caleb is weary to trust Travis, but Hanna says that she has to and then she sees Travis leave the hoedown.

A sends Toby a text of the address to Palmer’s old car, and Toby plans on going there. Jake approaches Ezra and tells him to back off Aria and let her move on. Spencer and Toby dance, and Toby tells her that he got the address to Palmer’s old car and hopes that the files of his mom’s sessions are in there. Spencer tries to convince him not to go to the address, and accidentally lets slip that she told the girls. Toby gets mad and storms out of the hoedown, knowing that because Spencer told the girls it will be the last text he gets from "A."

Spencer hurriedly tells Caleb to chase after Toby, and Caleb does so. Meanwhile, we see that someone is watching Emily. Aria approaches Emily and Emily tells her to go talk to Ezra. She tells her that Maggie is taking away Malcom, and Aria quickly goes to talk to Ezra.

Emily looks up at the second floor of the barn and sees Red Coat walking away. Meanwhile, Hanna chased Travis to the garage and pleads with him to tell the police. At the hoedown, Emily tells Spencer that she saw Red Coat. They see her run out of the barn and the girls chase after her. By the time they get outside, they see someone running away ahead of them.

They beg a man to use his truck that is used for hayrides, but he says no. They get inside it anyways and while they try to start up the truck, they see something crawling towards them in the hay behind them. They get out and grab a hoe, and start poking the hay, but no one is there. They recover a red coat, however, one that is missing a button.

Meanwhile, Aria talks to Ezra, but Ezra tells her that he shouldn’t be getting her involved in his life. Toby gets to the old car and tries to break into it, but Caleb gets there and tries to stop him. Just then, the police arrive and Toby and Caleb run away.

At the garage, Lt. Tanner talks to Travis about the night Wilden was killed. Travis tells Lt. Tanner what he knows.

Back at the hoedown, Spencer and Emily look over the red coat but find nothing. Spencer walks off to call Toby while Emily walks over to Paige. She tells her that she wants to dance with her, and the two dance before they shut off the music.

Aria goes to Ezra’s apartment and asks what happened with Malcom. Ezra says that he doesn’t want to drag her into it, but Aria insists that she isn’t leaving. Outside their door, we see a blonde hooded figure in black listening to their conversation. When she turns around, we see that it is Cece Drake.

In the final shot, A knits a tiny sweater, and we see 5 plush dolls, each representing the Liars, plus one for Mona. A takes a knitting needles and forces it down, as if to stab one of the dolls. 

Title and Background

  • The Hoe could refer to many people, such as any of the four liars or their mothers, Mona, A, Red Coat, or Alison going down. "Ho" is a derogatory term used to describe a promiscuous girl or woman, but can also be used to describe just about any female the person dislikes. 
  • It could also refer to the agricultural tool used to move small amounts of soil, similar to a shovel. In the episode, Emily does literally "bring down the hoe" onto a pile of hay, thinking Red Coat was hiding underneath.
  • It could also refer to a western dance called a "Hoedown", it is a type of American folk dance or square dance in duple meter, and also the musical form associated with it.
  • It was originally titled This Hoe is Going Down before it was reportedly changed to Bring Down the Hoe.


  • Spencer and Toby had an argument because Spencer reveals his mother secret to the other Liars.
  • During the girls' visit to Red Coat's crawlspace, Aria almost injures her eye.
  • Jake and Ezra met for the first time in this episode.
  • CeCe is seen with a red coat while she talks to someone on the phone about "not wanting to go back to Rosewood".
  • Hanna has a scene with Travis at the hoedown dance. Travis also says that Ashley is innocent for Wilden's murder.
  • Spencer and Emily find Red Coat at the hoedown and try to pursue her, unsuccessfully.
  • Caleb and Toby had a scene together.
  • At the end of the episode, CeCe is seen in a black hoodie, listening outside Ezra's door. This means she might not be Red Coat. Also, she may exposes Ezra's secret sometime in the season.
  • A few seconds after CeCe is shown another A is knitting a sweater for 5 Liar dolls and A stabs one of the dolls indicating that the target for the next episode is the doll A stabbed which is probably Emily based on the promo. The wall of the room is gray so it means that A is seen in the room in Cicero college.
  • Jake tells Ezra to give him and Aria some space, suggesting that he feels that Ezra is invading their personal space.
  • Spencer and Emily has a red coat with a button missing like Aria found in A's crawlspace.

Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • The read through was on June 18, 2013.
  • Filming began on June 20, 2013 and ended on June 28, 2013. This is assumed since Norman Buckley tweeted "off hiatus till July 8", Joseph Dougherty and Bryan Holdman tweeted that filming "usually takes 7 days".
  • The previous title was "This Hoe is Going Down," and the writer(s) and director was revealed after two months.


  • Go to
  • A's dolls: Aria, Emily, Hanna, Spencer, Mona (or CeCe)



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