|“||Have you forgotten what it feels like to be in a cage for something you didn't do?||”|
|Season 5, Episode 15|
|Air Date||January 13, 2015|
|Written by||Oliver Goldstick & Maya Goldsmith|
|Directed by||Zetna Fuentes|
Through a Glass, Darkly
Over a Barrel
The episode kicks off with Toby at the Chester Women's Correctional Facility, to drop off some paperwork, where he runs in to Alison. She tells him that the girls need to see her. Alison looks like crap and has clearly been beaten up in jail and so has been moved here. She insists that she is innocent and reminds Toby that that he of all people should know what it feels like to be in prison for something he didn’t do. But Toby retorts that it was her words that put him in jail in the first place. She tells Toby that Spencer and the other liars are next and they’ll be in jail soon too – unless “A” kills them first.
At school Toby fills the liars in on what Alison said. They think that someone on the outside is helping Alison – Aria is convinced that it is Holbrook. Hanna disagrees, pointing out that according to Tanner; Holbrook has been assigned a case in Pittsburgh. Toby says that Holbrook is MIA, and he took time off from work to take care of his sick dad. They want Toby to see if Holbrook has been visiting Alison in jail – but Spencer says they aren’t getting him involved anymore than he already is. Toby gets called on duty and leaves.
The girls are walking to their classes when Emily suggests that they can come up with a plan that weekend but Hanna can’t make it as she is going to Ballard College for a college visit. This surprises Spencer who asks her how many colleges did she get into. Aria, who is clearly uncomfortable with the topic of colleges, tries to change it, asking what should they do about Holbrook. Hanna says he isn’t that bad of a cop, just a bad kisser, shocking everyone. She admits to kissing Holbrook to thank him for helping her mom with the Wilden murder case and for sticking up for Travis’s dad in court. Hanna is convinced that if Holbrook is helping Alison, she must have manipulated him into thinking that she’s the victim.
Aria heads to class and Emily chases after her. Aria gets a text from Ezra telling her that the opening of The Brew is turning into a full-blown event. When she tells Emily about this, Emily is disappointed as she wanted to ask Ezra for a raise because she wants to buy plane tickets to visit Paige. Aria fills Emily in on her debacle, and reveals that she has been rejected to every college she has applied to and has been wait-listed by Talmadge. Aria is certain that Alison is behind her rejections. Emily encourages Aria to write a letter to Talmadge and change her wait-list into an acceptance.
Ashley Marin is organizing the DiLaurentis’s office. Jason is also there. He knows she is looking for another job and doesn’t want her to leave as he’ll be stuck working with someone new who’ll have a lot of questions about him and his family. He begs her to stay for another month until he gets the office back up and running.
Spencer calls Toby – but he can’t talk. He and the rest of the Rosewood police are searching the woods behind Mona’s house once again, looking for her body. He hangs up and finds a bloody knife hidden in a pile of leaves. He leaves it there and tells the other cops that he didn’t find
anything. At Spencer’s, he tells Spencer and Caleb about the knife. He tells them that it is his knife from his family cabin where Caleb was staying. He wants to turn it in to the police, and thinks it could be the smoking gun to pin Mona’s murder on Alison. Caleb and Spencer tell Toby that he can’t tell the police because Alison probably planted the knife there and put their prints on it. They all promise each other that they won’t tell anyone about the knife or touch it.
At The Brew, Ezra is stressed out planning his store’s grand opening. His caterer quits at the last minute, and Emily volunteers to cover the dinner for him as she needs the extra cash. He is skeptical, but agrees.
At the DiLaurentis office, Ashley gets a call from the Chester Women's Correctional Facility- its Alison. Alison wants to talk to Jason but he refuses to take her call. Ashley tells Alison that Jason can’t take her call right now. Ashley tells Jason to never make her do this again. When Ashley asks Jason is he has visited Alison in prison yet, he replies that he has only visited her once. He admits to her that he can’t stand to look at Alison without thinking that she has something to do with their mother’s murder.
Meanwhile, Hanna heads to Ballard for the college tour. She is bored out of her mind as her tour guide has ‘verbal diarrhea’ and can’t seem to stop talking. She calls Caleb and he fills her in on the knife that Toby found. Hanna wants to come home, but Caleb tells her to stay on her college tour.
In Rosewood, Aria is trying to write a letter to Talmadge to make them accept her. She shows Emily her letter, who tells her to make the letter more personal. Ezra overhears Aria and Emily arguing over the waitlist. She admits to him that she has been rejected by every college she has applied to and tells him that she’ll write a better letter to Talmadge to get accepted. He reveals to her that the reason Talmadge wait-listed her is because his ex-girlfriend Jackie Molena is working in the admissions office.
Spencer shows up at Caleb’s house and is not happy that he told Hanna about the knife. She sees a diagram on Caleb’s bed and realizes that he is going back to the woods to get the knife. He is paranoid that it might have his fingerprints on it. He confesses that before he came to Rosewood there was an incident and he was a suspect in a murder. In Allentown, he helped some people in a credit card scam and when one of the guys turned up dead, the other one pointed the finger at Caleb as he was an easy target. But one of the detectives realized that he was just a kid who made some bad choices and cut him loose. Spencer sympathizes with him, and says that she is coming with him to get the knife from the woods.
In her room, Aria is deliberating on what to do about the Talmadge wait-list. Finally, she writes a long-winded letter to Jackie explaining that she regrets wasting her high school career with Ezra, in hopes that it will make her change her mind and let Aria in to college. Meanwhile at The Brew, Emily is struggling with the dishes.
She is unable to make anything properly and gets frustrated. She is on the phone with her mom, asking her for a recipe, when Ezra walks in. He tells her that he was unable to sleep as he is panicking about the opening tomorrow. Ezra, still not sure about Emily’s cooking prowess offers to hire someone to help but she declines, saying that she will manage everything on her own.
Hanna shows up at a creepy trailer park and is trying to track down Holbrook at his father’s house where he is supposedly taking care of his dad. Her mother calls her asking about the college visits. She lies, telling her she’s in the library and can’t talk right now and hangs up. She finds Holbrook’s dad, and he says that he hasn’t seen Detective Holbrook in weeks. Holbrook’s dad mistakes Hanna for Alison, and says that if anyone should know where his son is – it is her. Hanna heads back to her car and realizes that someone was in her car. Her Ballard college teddy bear is in her front seat, she pulls a string on the teddy bear and its stomach opens and bloody guts fall out on the ground.
Meanwhile, back in Rosewood, Spencer and Caleb are searching the woods in the dark for the bloody knife. They finally find it in the pile of leaves where Toby left it and pick it up and put it in their bag.
The next morning, Aria is in Emily’s room. Emily tells her that she came home just three hours ago. Emily is upset that Paige still hasn’t written her back. Aria shows her the e-mail she wrote to Jackie. Emily is shocked on reading it as it says how Aria regrets being involved with Ezra- "I regret that I squandered my high school career, getting involved with an older guy. I was robbed of all the rituals that my classmates enjoyed. This secret relationship kept me in a fishbowl, separating me from my family, my friends, even myself." Aria tries to convince Emily that this is exactly what Jackie wants to hear and that Ezra would understand that. She also admits that she has already sent the e-mail.
Emily races back to Ezra’s opening to finish making the food for the party. When she arrives she is upset to see that Ezra has hired a professional chef, Talia, to finish the job– he tries to explain that it wasn’t personal and that Emily will get paid for the job. Back in the kitchen, when Talia tries to give Emily some cooking advice, Emily rebuffs her.
Meanwhile, Caleb shows up at Spencer’s house, telling her he couldn’t throw the knife into the lake as he felt that someone was following him. Spencer and Caleb conclude that as long as the knife exists, ‘A’ will find it try to frame them for Mona’s murder and that they have to destroy it. They head to the high school and plan to put the knife in the huge walk-in furnace to destroy it. Spencer hears some noise and heads upstairs. Caleb steps inside the furnace to place the knife there and someone locks him in the furnace and turns it on.
Aria panics about the letter she sent to Jackie, sure that Jackie will share it with Ezra to destroy their relationship and rushes to the university to get rid of it before Jackie sees it. She’s too late as Jackie has already read it. But surprisingly, Jackie sympathizes with Aria and promises she won’t tell Ezra about it. Jackie admits that she knows what it feels like to fall for the wrong guy and says that she wishes she never met Ezra too.
At the school, after finding nothing upstairs, Spencer heads back down to the basement when she can’t find Caleb. She peeks inside the furnace to find Caleb inside. She opens the door to the furnace and saves him just before he passes out from the heat. He tells her that the knife is still inside the furnace – so she shuts the door and cranks the heat up.
Hanna visits Alison in jail to tell her to give up acting innocent and trying to scare them, accept what she has done and endure the punishment for it. Alison tells her that she has given up. She reminds Hanna that she could taken them all down with her, but she hasn’t. When Hanna mentions the knife in Mona’s backyard, Alison doesn’t seem to understand what she’s talking about. Alison finally admits to Hanna that on Thanksgiving day when Mona was murdered, she was waiting for Cyrus.
She tells Hanna that she had gotten a message, seemingly from Cyrus, who was freaked out. Alison was afraid that he was going to expose their set-up and so went to meet him. She waited for hours but he never showed. Alison realized too late that it was all A’s plan to frame her. She couldn’t admit this to the police because then her kidnapping story would fall apart. But Hanna doesn’t believe her and leaves, telling her to not count on the little shred of her that still cares about Alison.
Spencer arrives at Ezra’s grand opening. Emily is disappointed that no one likes her food compared to Talia’s. Spencer tells her that Caleb didn’t show as he wasn’t feeling up to it. A guy named Johnny introduces himself to Spencer, mistaking her for Melissa. She tells him that she is Melissa’s sister. He informs her that her mother is renting him their guest house and he wasn’t looking for a roommate and so is relieved that Melissa isn’t around. Spencer tries to scare him off, telling him that he wouldn’t want to live in her backyard as a body was buried there. Meanwhile in the kitchen, Emily has a meltdown in front of Talia because Paige won’t return her phone calls or e-mails. Talia tries to comfort her by salvaging Emily’s dish.
Jason stops by Ashley’s house with a file. He is confused because the tenant’s lease expired three years ago and his mother never evicted them. When Jason admits to her that he is staying in a hotel after his father kicked him out for turning Alison in, Ashley, feeling bad for him, invites him to have dinner with her and they go over the file.
Aria arrives at The Brew and receives an email from Jackie informing her that she has been accepted into Talmadge. Ezra introduces her to a friend of his who teaches at Vassar in hopes of helping her get in there and Aria looks on guiltily. Meanwhile, Toby arrives and freaks out on Spencer because he knows she and Caleb took the knife from the woods. Spencer confronts him, telling him that the only way he could know this is if he went back for it himself. He admits that he went back to get the knife and turn it in to the police. Spencer tells him that they needed to protect themselves and that meant destroying it. Toby tells her to not him anything else as he is a cop and his duty comes first and leaves.
After dinner, Ashley admits to Jason that she is afraid live all alone once Hanna leaves for college and that she doesn’t enjoy her own company as much as she used to and Jason can relate to it. Jason kisses Ashley and then apologizes. But Ashley tells him that she didn’t mind it, so they kiss some more and one thing leads to another.
As The Brew is closing, Aria tells Emily that although Jackie read the letter, she didn’t forward it to Ezra and that she got into Talmadge. Emily encourages Ezra to hire Talia as she a good cook. As Aria is leaving, she finds a college guide with Talmadge bookmarked. On the bookmark, she finds a line about how she regrets dating Ezra from her letter to Jackie.
Hanna gets home later that night and finds two plates on the dining table. As she is cleaning up, she sees Jason sneaking downstairs from her mom’s room.
In prison, Alison recieves a new set of uniform and inside it finds a note saying- “Your friends will see you soon.”
- Toby finds a knife from his family cabin on the Vanderwaal property. Spencer and Caleb think that Alison/'A' planted it there to frame them. Although they all agree not to touch the knife, Spencer and Caleb get it back and destroy it, leading to an argument between Spencer and Toby.
- Ezra hires a new chef, Talia at The Brew and she and Emily do not get off on the right foot.
- Jason and Ashley have a one night stand.
- Jackie makes an appearance. She is the admissions officer at Talmadge where Aria is wait-listed. After Aria convinces Jackie that she regrets dating Ezra, Jackie gets her into Talmadge.
- A new character, Jonny Raymond is introduced. Spencer's mother has rented him their guesthouse.
Title and Background
- Fresh Meat refers to either a newcomer in an environment. It is usually a term associated with attractive women.
- Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings
- Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin
- Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery
- Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields
- Sasha Pieterse as Alison DiLaurentis
- Ian Harding as Ezra Fitz
- Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers
- Keegan Allen as Toby Cavanaugh
- Laura Leighton as Ashley Marin
- Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis
- Paloma Guzmán as Jackie Molina
- Miranda Rae Mayo as Talia Sandoval
- Will Bradley as Jonny Raymond
- The table read was on July 31, 2014.
- Filming began August 5, 2014 and wrapped August 12, 2014.
- The episode was watched live by 2.02 million viewers.
- "Yadnus" by !!! - (Aria talks with Jonny Raymond; Emily offers to help out with catering).
- "Partypocalypse" by Djoir Jordan - (Bored by her tour guide Hanna asks for a break and calls Caleb).
- "Burn Your Life Down" by Tegan and Sara - (Aria rewrites her college application letter; Emily attempts make food for The Brew's relaunch).
- "My Love Is With You" by Fort Atlantic - (Ezra informs Emily that he has hired Talia to help cater the food for the party).
- "Tough Love" by Jessie Ware - (Spencer and Toby argue over what happened to the knife).
- "No Rest For the Wicked" by Lykke Li - (Hanna comes home and sees Jason leaving from upstairs; Alison is delivered a note from 'A').
Fresh Meat has a photo gallery.