Where there's smoke, there's payback.

Eye Of The Beholder
Season 2, Episode 23
Air Date March 5, 2012
Written by Joseph Dougherty
Directed by Melanie Mayron
Episode Guide
Father Knows Best
If These Dolls Could Talk

Eye Of The Beholder is the twenty-third episode in the Season 2 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired on March 5th, 2012.


PLL223 (1)

Talking about Duncan

Sitting outside Lucky Leon's, Aria tells the others about Duncan Albert, the boy who thought she was Vivian at the end of the previous episode. She told him she was a friend of Vivian's and hasn't seen her since she gave her the coat. He doesn't know Alison/Vivian is dead because he has been in Florida the past year. Aria shows Spencer Duncan's number and tells her he met Vivian in a bookstore a few doors down from the creepy doll hospital Jonah sent them to. Emily questions if Duncan is just a random guy Alison flirted with, but Spencer is sure Ali wouldn't have wasted time flirting while trying to track down "A." Aria decides to call him. Just then, a car pulls up and Jenna and Toby emerge, Jenna's eye bandaged post-surgery. Spencer stands up and stares.

PLL223 (2)

Hanna wants a new phone

In the morning, Hanna argues with her mom about getting a replacement phone. Ashley won't get her a new one since Hanna purposefully destroyed the old one. She assures Hanna that Emily would allow her to use her phone in an emergency, which Emily can't argue with. Hanna is not satisfied with this solution. Ashley says when Hanna is willing to share more about what is going on in her life, they can talk about a new phone.

PLL223 (3)

Text from Maya

In the hall at school, Mona hands Hanna an old cell phone which will bill to her account and stay off her mom's radar. When she leaves, Spencer makes a joke about Mona's sense of entitlement. Hanna is grateful she didn't need to ask Caleb to help with the phone situation, still worried about "A" hurting him. Aria tells the others she is going to meet Duncan in the courtyard at school, a safe, public location. They disperse when the bell rings and Emily gets a text from Maya telling her she is alright and not to tell anyone she has heard from her.

PLL223 (4)

Toby is cold toward Spencer

Spencer sees Toby in the hallway helping Jenna through into the office. Spencer seems happy to see him, but he is cold toward her. She asks about the eye surgery. He says they don't know the results yet. Spencer admits she is surprised to see him with Jenna like that. Toby reminds her she is his sister and has been through a lot. When Spencer tells Toby she has been thinking about him a lot, he tells her it's a little late for that. Jenna returns and acknowledges Spencer as she takes Toby's arm and walks past. Hanna takes a step back when she sees them coming, and watches Spencer lean against the wall, upset.

PLL223 (5)

Talking to Duncan

Outside, Duncan questions whether Aria has told him her real name, because he knew Vivian was not Vivian's real name. Taken aback, Aria considers this, and finally tells him Vivian's name was Alison. Then she has to deliver the unfortunate news that Alison is dead. Duncan is clearly upset to hear she was killed over a year ago and that they haven't found the killer. He realizes Aria must be Alison's writer friend and tells her Ali talked about her 4 best friends a lot. Aria asks Duncan if Ali ever mentioned someone she was afraid of, but Duncan isn't keen on talking about it there. He admits he didn't meet Ali at the bookstore in Brookhaven, but somewhere nearby. Aria offers to meet him there if he would be more comfortable. He isn't sure and agrees to call her. Before leaving, Duncan admits to seeing Alison the weekend she disappeared.

PLL223 (6)

Speaking to the fire department

Spencer is surprised to hear this and Hanna doubts if Duncan is telling the truth, but Aria believes his reaction to hearing Ali is dead was real. Garrett pulls away from the curb in a big hurry and the girls, besides Hanna, all receive a text from "A." They see Toby and Jenna across the street discussing something with the fire department. The girls all wonder if Toby is telling them about the night of the Jenna Thing.

PLL223 (7)

Wren checks on Toby

Jenna and Toby sit together at the hospital. She talks about an old movie in which the old lady surrounds herself with things that she loves in preparation for getting her sight back. Jenna wants to do the same thing and tries to take Toby's hand to convey she includes Toby on that list, but he reminds her the old lady in that film was a bitch. Wren walks over to check how Toby has been recovering since the accident. Jenna introduces herself and thanks Wren for looking after her brother, then makes a comment to Toby about him being Spencer's personal physician.

PLL223 (8)

Emily tells Spencer about Maya

Emily finds Spencer reading a book on a bench and asks her if she's still thinking about Toby. Spencer is worried she caused him to run back to Jenna. They change the subject to Emily's dad, who emailed her during a layover in Germany. She says she'll never get used to him being in a war. Her mom will be back next week. Spencer asks about Maya. Emily admits to having heard from her and isn't sure if she should tell Maya's parents.

PLL223 (9)

Jason has a bunch of Ali's things

Jason catches up with Spencer and Emily in the hallway. Spencer starts apologizing for not returning his calls because her "reserves have been depleted," but, eying Emily, he says that's not what he wanted to talk about. He has a bag of Ali's things that got packed up when Maya's family moved out. Maya dropped them off on the porch. Emily hopes he had spoken to Maya, but he hasn't seen her and is surprised to hear she is missing. Jason thought Spencer and her friends would like to see the things from Ali's room.

PLL223 (10)

Ella is not an ally

Ella shows up to Ezra's office while he is reading papers. He hops up and offers her a refreshment even though all he has is chocolate milk and an apple. She makes it clear that this isn't a social call and the fact that she is willing to talk about his relationship with Aria doesn't make her an ally. Compared to Byron, she may seem that way, but the only person she cares about is Aria. Ezra asks if she wants him gone too. Ella pretends not to have an opinion on the matter, but he calls her out on it, and she implies she would like him to take the job in New Orleans as well. Ezra tells her it does actually matter what she thinks of him. Before exiting, she asks if he knows of anyone ever bullying Aria, or using their secret relationship against her. He says no, so she asks if anyone would try to hurt him intentionally. He says there might have been, but not anymore.

PLL223 (11)

Mona is mad at Jenna

Mona makes some jokes (and threats) about Jenna to Hanna, unhappy about how she poached Noel Kahn right out from under her. She expresses that Spencer should be grateful she's not with Toby anymore, but Hanna knows how much Spencer has been hurting, she isn't so sure. Mona tells Hanna that Spencer is really smart and helped her through a tough breakup. Hanna wishes she could get Toby away from Jenna for 5 minutes to talk some sense into him. Mona immediately formulates a plan.

PLL223 (12)

"You can't let Jenna back in your life."

She texts Toby and meets him in an empty classroom, pretending to be looking for a truck for her cousin. Hanna enters the room and Toby picks up on the scheme. Hanna tells him he can't let Jenna back into his life just because he's angry with Spencer. Toby tells her she has no idea what he's doing or why he's doing it and defends Jenna, his sister. Hanna asks if he's forgotten everything Jenna did to him. Toby pointedly asks if Hanna's forgotten what she did to Jenna, then walks out.

PLL223 (13)

What's in the bag?

In Spencer's kitchen, Jason tells Spencer and Emily that Maya said the bag of Ali's things was hidden in the attic. (Is that what they were talking about by the fruit stand?) Aria knocks at the door and enters, and lets Spencer know Duncan called back and she's going to meet him someplace he used to go with Alison. Emily unwraps a musical jewelry box with a ballerina that spins while the lid is up; it belonged to Ali as a kid. Veronica enters the room and gives Jason an unwelcoming look. Jason tells the girls to keep anything they'd like and bring back the rest. Spencer walks him out. Veronica scolds Spencer for complicating things by inviting Jason over to the house. Spencer tells her she is trying to uncomplicate things, but Veronica would like things to go back to the way they were.

PLL223 (14)


Aria meets Duncan at an air field and is surprised to hear he used to take Ali flying. He's had his flying license since he was 16. Duncan asks if Aria is ready to talk about Alison and heads toward the airplanes. She hesitates, then follows.

Spencer and Emily sit in the living room disappointed that the stuff from Ali's room doesn't have any connection or significance. They don't realize the burlap voodoo doll was sent to Ali by "A" at Halloween.

PLL223 (15)

"I flew her from Hilton Head."

Duncan pilots a very small aircraft with Aria sitting next to him in the cockpit. They look down at Pennsylvania, all lit up below them. Aria asks how often he would take Ali flying. He says as often as he could. Guessing Aria's next question, he says he could have been in love with Ali had someone, another boy, not gotten in the way. Duncan says flying made Alison feel safe and in control. He tells Aria to take the yoke, which controls the plane. When she declines, he tells her she will never understand her friend if she doesn't try. Aria takes hold, and Duncan lets go. He says Alison's face would change when she was up there, and no one could get to her. He didn't know who was after her - a stranger, a boy she knew, or a friend. The plane shakes and Aria wants to let go, but Duncan makes her hold on. He asks why Aria said they never caught Ali's killer if Ian Thomas confessed in his suicide note. Aria discloses that she and her friends think the note was fake and Ian was protecting someone. Duncan finally takes back control of the plane and reveals he picked up Alison from Hilton Head Sunday morning of Labor Day weekend and flew her to Philadelphia. He said she was different that day; she figured something out. Aria realizes Ali was in town 6 or 7 hours earlier than they previously thought.

PLL223 (16)

Ezra is not moving

Byron shows up to Ezra's office, responding to a message that he wanted to see him. Ezra says Professor Schaefer wants a decision about the job in New Orleans. Byron encourages him to take the position, but is not sure why Ezra wants to talk to him. Ezra explains that since he was so instrumental in getting him the position, he should be the first to know his decision. Byron tries to downplay his involvement, but Ezra thanks him for his generosity anyway, then informs him he will not be taking the job. When Byron tells him it is a mistake, Ezra concedes maybe, but not the mistake Byron thinks. Ezra won't reconsider and explains if he took the job, as incredible as it may be, he would never be sure why he did it he doesn't want Byron to have that much power over him. Byron is appalled Ezra would speak to him that way after what he's done to his family. Ezra apologizes, but Byron doesn't accept and tells him once again to leave. Ezra says he is not the kind of man who would take this way out and maybe Byron's ego is getting in the way of everyone moving on. Byron exits without another word and Ezra takes a deep breath. He calls Aria and tells her he loves her.

PLL223 (17)

Email from Maya

Emily checks her inbox and finds an email from Maya. Maya tells Emily how brave she is and how she admires her ability to deal with pressure. She says she shouldn't have come back because their last goodbye was perfect and not to tell her parents she has been in contact. Emily sighs and closes the laptop.

PLL223 (18)

Veronica does not like Jason

While Spencer packs up Ali's things, her mom walks in and warns her not to go in to Jason's house. Spencer says she has to deal with what's happened, but Veronica would prefer to ignore it. Spencer warns that if they don't deal with the truth, it will all fall apart, rather, blow apart. Veronica insists it is Jason and his family who would like to blow things apart while she and Peter have kept things together. Spencer asks if she knows Ali may have been blackmailing Peter. She explains everything about the money Jason found, Peter denying being blackmailed, the check stub, and Peter admitting to hiring a detective. Veronica admits it was her idea they hire a detective.

PLL223 (19)

Highlighted passages

Hanna shows up to Spencer's house while she was returning the bag to Jason's back porch. They prepare a snack and Hanna hopes she didn't make things worse with Toby. Hanna accidentally sits on some newspaper and recognizes the First Lady's outfit as something she wore 2 years ago. Spencer realizes the paper Ali's trinkets were wrapped in was from over a month before her disappearance indicating Ali packed that stuff up herself well before her disappearance. They find certain passages within the newspaper to be highlighted. Spencer instructs Hanna to get the bag back off Jason's porch while she calls Aria and Emily. She pulls the other newspaper pages out of the trash.

PLL223 (20)


Ella reproaches Byron for trying to buy off Fitz. Byron accuses her of defending him and is not happy to hear she went to speak to him, thinking she was sending mixed signals. He thinks the solution is very simple, but Ella disagrees. She is worried Aria might run away or elope and neither of them want that.

PLL223 (21)

Jason's house explodes

When Hanna picks up the bag off Jason's porch, she hears a noise come from inside. She looks in the window and sees Jenna collapse to the floor. Hanna runs inside and drags Jenna out as Spencer arrives to help. Smoke pours out the windows then an explosion rocks the house. Hanna and Spencer stare in shock.

PLL223 (22)

Jenna in the hospital

Jenna wakes up in the hospital and Toby hands her her glasses. He asks if she remembers what happened. She remembers she got a text from Jason asking her to come over to talk. She took a cab and someone opened the front door. When she woke up the house was on fire. Jenna is distressed to hear Hanna got her out.

Aria fills in Emily and Hanna about Duncan flying Alison back to Philly Labor Day weekend and she didn't take the bus like they thought. Hanna's mom arrives and gives Hanna a hug.

PLL223 (23)

"I wouldn't take back anything."

Wren removes a piece of glass from Spencer's hand and asks if she got it in the fire. She says she had to get something off the porch. He cleans the wound and tries to make small talk. Wren asks about Toby and Jenna and tells Spencer she has a very complicated life. They joke around and he makes a comment about fate always bringing them together. She tells him not to confuse fate with really bad luck. Wren asks her if she would like to forget about anything that has ever happened between them. Spencer answers no; she wouldn't take back anything.

PLL223 (24)

Jason did not text Jenna

Jason sits next to Aria and asks her what Jenna was doing in his house. He was out of town when he heard about the fire. She asks how bad the damage is, but he won't know until it has been assessed in the morning. Aria says she is sorry before getting up to talk to Spencer's mom. Jason looks at Veronica from across the room.

Emily calls Maya's mother to tell her she thinks Maya is okay. Spencer sees Jason sit next to Veronica in the waiting room, then Toby comes to get her and the other girls because Jenna wants to see them. He checks if Spencer is alright.

PLL223 (25)

Talking to Jenna

Spencer and Emily think Jenna is going to accuse them of sending the text luring her to the house since Jason didn't send it. Jenna starts crying and says she doesn't blame them. She asks Hanna why she dragged her out. Hanna simply replies, 'You're welcome."

PLL223 (26)

Was Ali at this concert?

The girls gather in Spencer's bedroom to reexamine Ali's items. Hanna says they are the key to solving the mystery. They assume "A" must have lured Jenna into that house with the intention of killing her. At the bottom of the bag, Emily finds a torn postcard and Hanna finds a newspaper dated August filled with advertisements for events Labor Day weekend. An event in Rosewood is circled in red ink - a concert at the gazebo. The music box creepily starts playing on its own, startling the girls.

PLL223 (27)

Planting the badge

"A" steps through the wreckage in Jason's yard, touching the leaves as they pass, and plants a police badge in the dirt.



  • The name of this episode comes from the old adage: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," which means that the beauty or value of something depends on who is looking at it.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Featured Music

  • "Nightflyers" by Elizaveta (The girls discuss Duncan outside the coffee shop)
  • "Come Home" by Bess Rogers (Mona gives Hanna a new phone)
  • "This Time Tomorrow" by Trent Dabbs (Emily gets an email from Maya)
  • "Our Story (One Day at a Time)" by Graham Colton (Everyone is at the hospital)


Promotional & BTS

Memorable Quotes

Hanna [about Duncan]: He was cute from the back.
Aria: And so was his front!... under different circumstances.

Hanna: I can't go around without a phone. That's like going around without a brain.. or shoes.

Ashley: I'm sure Emily would let you use her phone in an emergency.
Emily: Sure... I mean... well, yeah.

Spencer [about Mona]: If we could only harness her sense of entitlement, we could light the eastern seaboard.

Mona [about Jenna]: Frankly, I’d love to take that cane and whack her like a piñata.

Jenna: Remember that old movie about the blind lady that got her sight back?
Toby: I don't remember.
Jenna: She filled her room with all the beautiful things she owned so she could see them when she opened her eyes. I'm gonna do that. Before they take the bandages off, I'm gonna fill the room with the things that I love. You'll be there too.
Toby: That woman in the movie was a mean old bitch.
Jenna: I thought you said you didn't remember.

Hanna: Did you forget everything Jenna did to you?
Toby: No. Did you forget what you did to her?

Ezra [to Ella]: I can offer you chocolate milk. Or an apple.

Spencer: What? We're just supposed to go back to the way it was before we all knew?
Veronica: Further, if possible.

Ezra: I know it is a spectacular job, it will put my career years ahead of schedule, but if I took it, I'd never be completely sure why I took it and I don't want you to have that kind of power over me.
Byron: Where do you get the nerve to talk to me this way?
Byron: For the sake of everyone involved, you should simply leave.
Ezra: It's like this, Byron. You think I'm the kind of man who would take this way out, and I know I'm not.
Byron: Well, we could have resolved this and moved on, but apparently ego is gonna get in the way.
Ezra (nods): Whose ego are we talking about?

Spencer [to Hanna]: And then I came back here, and I found you lurking in the hydrangeas.

Ella [to Byron]: This family invented mixed signals.


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