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Pretty Little Liars Wiki
No fun chugging on lake water, is it? Choke on this, Bitch!

Let the Water Hold Me Down is the sixteenth episode in Season 2 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired on January 16th, 2012.



The episode starts out with the four girls sitting in Spencer's house, warming Hanna up by the fire. She is certain that Lucas is still alive and out there, though the other girls say he never came back up to shore. Hanna is about to take a drink of water when the other girls notice it's lake water and stop her. An accompanying text from "A" is sent seconds after Hanna drinks a little bit of the lake water.


Mrs. Marin has a lot of questions for Emily and Hanna the next morning. Ashley is concerned and feels partially responsible for Lucas not coming home last night. Hanna informs her that Lucas called his parents earlier. Ashley tries to comfort Hanna, saying Lucas will talk to her when he is ready. They leave to go to Spencer's, claiming they need to run a group presentation once more.


Spencer has found cell phones and an old receipt up in her attic at the lake house, certain that "A" was up there. The date on the receipt is from around the time that Hanna and Caleb went up to the lake house. The receipt lists an address in Philadelphia. Aria and Spencer agree to check out the place in Philly later this afternoon.


At school, Aria confesses to Spencer that her mom thinks she made a date with Holden when she really called Ezra. Spencer says she thought Holden was still in Europe, and Aria then reveals that her dad threatened to turn Ezra into the police. Just at this moment, Holden walks up and asks Aria if she wants to go out. At first she says no, stating that she's grounded. He says he talked to her parents, who agreed. Spencer is surprised by Holden's good manners. Aria eventually agrees to go out with him, stating she will find something fun for them to do.


Mona confesses to Hanna how she thinks she is losing Noel after Caleb's party, stating that she had to go skinny dipping just to capture his attention away from his phone. Hanna, lost in thought, doesn't really listen, and only snaps to full attention when she sees a guy taking down her homecoming picture, stating that the administration doesn't think that "tiaras and orange jumpsuits" are a good mix. Mona snaps that she is not giving up the crown then returns to discussing her problems. She asks if she's being paranoid, and finds out that Hanna wasn't listening. Hanna explains she has her own problems to deal with, but since she can't explain those problems to Mona, Mona thinks she is just being selfish. Hanna goes into the girls room, locks herself in a stall and starts crying.


Emily gets a strange phone call during school. She is momentarily afraid, then realizes it is Maya playing a practical joke. She called to talk about their date tonight and asks if Emily can help her get a fake ID. During the call Maya suspiciously checks her call waiting, and then states that it can go to voicemail and continues talking to Emily.


Hanna, still crying in the bathroom, suddenly notices that water is flowing into her stall. She walks out to discover an overflowing sink, with a small wooden boat floating in the sink. "A," of course, texts Hanna: Life is but a dream, Hanna. And I'm your worst nightmare. -A


Spencer meets up with Aria outside school as she is buying tickets for a play for her date with Holden, knowing Ezra had made plans to go to this play and hoping fate is on her side. Spencer attempts to pull up the train schedule on her phone, but is experiencing technical difficulties. Aria sees that the next train leaves in 20 minutes, and suggests that they get going.


Hanna and Caleb are in Hanna's kitchen. Caleb wants to go look for Lucas, knowing he isn't at his cousin's house like he told his parents. Hanna says he'll come home when he's ready and Caleb catches on that maybe she doesn't want to find him. This causes a fight between the two, and she says that he can look for Lucas and no one is stopping him. He leaves, then Mona texts Hanna, saying she needs to talk. Hanna ignores it and continues to mope.


Spencer and Aria walk down a street in Philly, looking for the place on the receipt, Smitty's, and find it just to be a newsstand. They figure that must be the place since the receipt is just for gum and magazines, but don't see anything out of the ordinary. They decide it's a bust. Spencer offers to take Aria to coffee, but Aria says she has to meet Holden at 7:30. Aria asks if she is doing the right thing by using Holden, and Spencer says she is; she's taking a chance and being bold and romantic (for Ezra). Aria leaves. As Spencer is crossing the crosswalk, she notices a girl being led by a guide dog to her left, then she notices a guy with a walking cane across the street.

Meanwhile, Emily shows Maya the call center she works at. Emily says she has to get home and change before they go to dinner and the concert. Maya gets a text and Emily notices her expression change. She asks if everything is okay, and Maya says yes, but Emily knows something is wrong. Emily leaves, saying she needs to sign out, and Maya says she will catch up with Emily later.


Spencer discovers the reason for all the blind people in the area: a rehabilitation center for the blind is not far from that newsstand. This is where Jenna went after the accident before moving back to Rosewood. Spencer decides to go in and ask about Jenna, but the lady at the front desk says that she cannot divulge any patient information. As Spencer turns to leave, another patient tells her that he knows Jenna.


Emily walks in on Hanna washing her water bottle for the fourth time. Emily is suspicious about Maya getting those texts and calls. She is starting to worry that "A" is sending her texts, but Hanna says that Maya could be worried for a hundred different reasons that have nothing to do with "A." Hanna then reveals that she and Caleb have been fighting, and that it sucks being the girlfriend who knows too much, leading Emily to say that it also sucks being the girlfriend who doesn't know enough.


Spencer has a talk with the guy who says he knows Jenna. He says he hasn't spoken to her in a while. He impresses Spencer with the tricks that Jenna taught him about how to operate without sight. Spencer claims that she knew Jenna before she moved to Rosewood and lost touch. When Spencer asks, the guy says he was here for a while before Jenna came. He has a genetic condition that has made him slowly go blind since he was born. He said he was depressed until he met Jenna, stating how much determination Jenna had. He guesses she was motivated to get out of rehab. He also says he is out of rehab and helps out with an art class here a few times a week, thanks to Jenna.


Just as Spencer is about to leave, the lady at the front desk says that Spencer still needs to sign in, since she had coffee and talked and is, therefore, a visitor. The lady is then called into back, and Spencer uses the opportunity to steal the patient logbook from 2009. She pretends to have signed in, and leaves.


Emily asks Aria for her fake ID for Maya to use. Aria hands it over even though she and Maya don't look alike. Neither of them are worried since the club is in New Jersey. Hanna locks all the windows and doors, and Emily suggests that she have Mona over, to which Hanna replies that she and Mona are fighting. She also says that Caleb is still out there and she is worried about him. Aria says she can cancel her date with Holden, but Hanna insists she will be fine at home. Aria leaves and Emily goes to go get changed for her date with Maya.


Aria meets Holden outside the theatre. Aria convinced her mom to drop her off at the corner. Holden asks Aria what she did to bring on the "parental wrath." She dodges the question, stating it's a long story. Holden brings her a gift of gummy bears, remembering that she used to smuggle them in to their old play dates when his mom was in her no-sugar phase. When she picks up her tickets, she asks if there are two for Fitz, as well. She then sees Ezra getting out of a cab, and begins walking towards him, thrilled he showed up. Their moment is interrupted by Holden and Mrs. Welch, who mentions that she is here with a friend who had an extra ticket. Ezra walks past them to the ticket booth.

"You're like smart smart."

Spencer runs into Mona outside the train station, who is on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Noel broke up with her, and she went on a major shopping spree in Philadelphia to try to get over it since she couldn't get in touch with Hanna. Spencer says she needs to raise the bar a bit; that she could do a lot better than Noel. Mona says she had to work hard to get Noel to go out with her. Spencer counters by saying if she really is the fabulous Mona that she wants to be, Noel Kahn cannot send her in reverse like this easily. Mona thanks Spencer for the advice and walks away.

After the play, Mrs. Welch, Holden, and Aria regroup. Mrs. Welch mentions that Ezra had to leave about 10 minutes into the play, claiming that he felt sick. Aria is noticeably disappointed.


Hanna calls Caleb a few times, concerned about his safety and whereabouts. She notices the wind blew the door open, and thinks the latch is broken, but really Lucas broke in to the house.

While Emily and Maya are in line at the concert, Maya's cell phone goes off, Emily asks her what's going on. Maya pretends like it's nothing, then decides to tell Emily the truth. While she was at "sober camp," she hooked up with someone else, a "he" apparently, to Emily's surprise.


Outside the theatre, after Mrs. Welch has gone, Holden offers to take Aria for coffee. Aria says sure, casually. He says that maybe she went out with the wrong person tonight. He explains how he picked up on her relationship with Mr. Fitz. He promises to keep it a secret, since he has stuff he wants to hide from his parents too and proposes this might be an opportunity for both of them.


Lucas slips into Hanna's bedroom while she is in the hall talking to her mom. He surprises her there, claiming that he never wanted to hurt her. Hanna asks what he did to Caleb while covertly calling Caleb on her cell. Caleb, who is already downstairs, gets the call and rushes up to Hanna's room, hearing Lucas' threatening voice in the background. Caleb asks what Lucas did and where he has been. Lucas reveals why he was on the hotline: He lost $4,000 in a bet over a basketball game, money which belonged to Caleb. It was a sure thing until the team got disqualified. After the rowboat incident, he drove all over selling his comic books to try to get some of Caleb's money back. Now they're all on good terms again, but Hanna now is unsure of who they met in the greenhouse.


The girls ponder this new information over unopened Chinese food. Spencer shows them the sign-in book from the rehab center. They learn that Garrett visited Jenna there for 20 minutes, then signed her out. They could both have been in Rosewood at the time of Alison's murder. They open the food, and, to their horror, find it was replaced with live earthworms. "A" sends a text about this being what live bait looks like.


"A" is shown to be loosening a bolt connected to scaffolding of some sort at the end of the episode.


  • In the Canadian channel "MuchMusic" promo, it is revealed that Lucas is alive, and he is shown inside Hanna's house, first without her knowing and second inside her bedroom where she is, with Hanna exclaiming, "Don't come any closer!"


  • Aria reminds Emily that they all got their fake IDs at the same time. She could be referring to the fake IDs Alison got them in order to sneak into the frat party in the flashback in "The Badass Seed."
  • Hanna promises not to tell anyone Lucas destroyed Ali's memorial in "Salt Meets Wound."
  • This isn't the first time "A" has messed with their Chinese take-out. "A" replaced the fortunes in their fortune cookies with an ominous message in "There's No Place Like Homecoming."
  • On "A's" receipt, there was a purchase for gum. In the finale, "A" uses a wrapper as a bookmark in Alison's diary.


  • The episode's title, "Let the Water Hold Me Down" is a lyric from a Talking Heads song, "Once in a Lifetime" that was popular in the 80s. Most people agree on the interpretation that the song is about an existential mid-life crisis, but disagree on the meaning of this very lyric.
  • In this episode, Hanna is grieving over what went down on the lake with Lucas. She doesn't know if Lucas ever resurfaced, and she feels like she's underwater herself.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast


  • Jill Holden as Mrs. Welch
  • Anjali Bhimani as Jada Pervis, clerk at the Center for Blind
  • Justin Giddings as Brad

Featured Music

  • "Empty" by Trent Dabbs (Hanna warms up by the fire)
  • "As Long as Our Hearts Are Beating" by Jenny & Tyler (Aria learns Ezra left early)
  • "Fairy Tale" by Mimi and Teft (Emily and Maya wait outside the club)
  • "Boomerangs and Seesaws" by Shannon Curtis (Aria and Holden wait for their ride home)


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Let the Water Hold Me Down has a photo gallery.

Memorable Quotes

Hanna: I still have the taste of lake water in my mouth.

Emily: Hanna, promise me you’ll never get a job at a crisis center

Mona [to Hanna]: Could you be any more selfish?

Holden [about his parent-imposed manners]: Laugh now, but I’ll be sending you a handwritten thank-you note for letting me interrupt your conversation.

Holden [to Aria]: Dinner? A movie? Paste-free, I promise.

Hanna: There is no story.

Emily [to Maya, dodging a phone call]: No need to explain. Whatever it is, just tell me when you’re ready.

Hanna: Em, we were kinda busy.
Spencer: Yeah, you were gettin' busy.

Hanna [to Emily]: Just because we wanna throw up every time our phone rings doesn't mean that everyone else is living in fear.

Mona [to Spencer, post-breakup]: Have you ever seen me in a sweater set? No, because I don’t wear sweater sets. Or blends!

Mona [to Spencer]: You’re, like, smart-smart. I always thought you were just book-smart.