Pretty Little Liars Wiki
Pretty Little Liars Wiki
How does a girl like Alison, become a girl like Alison?

Oh, What Hard Luck Stories They All Hand Me is the eighteenth episode of Season 5 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired on February 3, 2015.



Spencer, Aria, and Emily are talking outside The Brew. Emily asks Spencer if Toby has told her whether the remains in the barrel were human. Spencer admits to Aria and Emily that she and Toby are not in a good place. They spot Veronica standing outside the police station talking to Alison’s defense team. Spencer informs them that her mom is working with them as a consultant. The girls are shocked that her mom is helping Alison’s defense but Spencer reveals that her mom took the job because she wants to know what they know – like who will get called to testify during Alison’s trial. They see Alison’s lawyer handing Veronica a file. Spencer spots Hanna and runs off to talk to her. Aria asks Emily if Ezra is inside and Emily tells her he is in Harrisburg for the weekend. Emily asks her if Ezra didn’t tell her about it but Aria replies that she just forgot about it.


Spencer brings up the fight she and Hanna had but Hanna tells her that she knows now that Spencer was right. She apologizes for panicking and trying to get the things out of the storage locker and they make up. While they are talking they see Holbrook pull up to the police station. He stops and talks to Spencer’s mom. The girls are surprised that Alison has brought him out in the open even though he was doing a good job tormenting them in hiding and think that Alison probably wanted him to torture them in close range.


The liars head inside The Brew. They think Alison has brought Holbrook out in the open because she wants people in the courthouse for inside information. Emily spots Talia and leaves. The girls are afraid that the closer they get to Ali’s trial, the more dangerous and desperate Alison is going to get. Hanna gets a call from Caleb and goes to take it. Spencer spots Jonny building something and leaves to talk to him. Jonny tells her that Ezra hired


him to build something for The Brew. Spencer is obviously interested in whatever he is building and Jonny asks Spencer if she wants to help him but she says that she is busy. Hanna pulls her aside to tell her something important. Emily heads into the kitchen and sees Talia doing some paperwork. Emily asks her if she is feeling better since she didn’t come to work yesterday. She tells Emily that she wasn’t sick, she just had to “take care of something.”


Meanwhile, Hanna, Spencer and Aria are panicking since Hanna informs them that the police want to re-interview Caleb about the storage unit and whether he saw someone suspicious there. A girl, Leslie shows up at The Brew searching for Hanna. She claims that she was friends with Mona and Mrs.Vanderwaal told her to find Hanna there. Leslie sits down with the liars and reveals that she met Mona a couple of summers ago at her grandparent’s house. She tells them that she wasn’t at Mona’s funeral because she had exams. She is in town for the weekend to support Leona, since Alison’s trial is coming up. Leslie tells the girls that she just wanted to meet them and thank them for taking care of Mona and Leona.


Spencer arrives home and is on the phone with Hanna, who is at the police station. They think that they should be cautious and keep an eye on Leslie. Spencer tells Hanna to go talk to Mona’s mom and see if she is the real deal after she is done at the police station. Spencer gets off the phone and sees her mom’s briefcase lying on the counter. Inside, she finds Alison’s case file and snaps photos of the visitor’s list. Before she can do more, she hears her mom come in and replaces everything. Veronica comes in and Spencer tries to ask her about Holbrook. Her mom doesn’t want to discuss it though, she wants to discuss college. She found all of Spencer’s


acceptance letters that she threw away and is furious since she didn’t know Spencer even wanted to apply to these colleges. Spencer explains that she just applied to those colleges so that she’d have options, but then she changed her mind. Spencer admits that she isn’t sure she wants to go to college anymore. Veronica snaps that she should stay on course to college if she doesn’t want to get dragged into Alison’s trial.


Hanna and Caleb are sitting at the police station waiting for Caleb’s interview. Hanna tells Caleb that her mom is on the way. Caleb asks her whether she thinks Ashley is going to marry Ted and Hanna tells him that it doesn’t depends on what Hanna thinks, but what Ashley wants. Hanna is scared that the cops will get hold of the video of them talking about breaking into the storage space. Caleb assures her that it won’t happen again since he has locked out remote access to all of their computers. Just then, they hear someone arguing and Holbrook storms out of an office. He angrily packs up his things and stomps out. On his way out, he spots Hanna and Caleb, glares at them and leaves.


Spencer pays Aria a visit and shows her the photo of the visitor log in her mom’s file which reveals that Mike has been to visit Alison. Aria is sure that there must be a good explanation and he must have gone to see Alison to confront her since Mona was his girlfriend. Spencer convinces her that whatever be the explanation for Mike visiting Alison, Aria is the only one who can find out the reason.


Hanna heads to The Brew and informs Emily that Holbrook got suspended from the police force for “inappropriate behavior.” She tells Emily that Caleb overheard some cops talking about how Holbrook tampered with Alison’s polygraph test. Although Emily is relieved that now that the cops are onto him, they have one less thing to worry about but Hanna tells her that the way Holbrook looked at her, he probably blames them for what happened to him. Hanna leaves to keep an eye on Leslie and Emily calls Aria and Spencer to tell them about Holbrook’s suspension.

At Aria’s house, she finds Mike’s watching a black-and-white movie. He tells her that he is watching the list of movies Mona wanted him to watch. Mike remarks how Mona remembered every small detail about every movie she saw. Aria agrees that Mona was very smart, to which Mike replies that she was too smart.


In Mona’s room, Leslie sees a book on Mona’s bookshelf and tells her how Mona’s grandfather used to read to her from it and scare her. Hanna asks her why she was searching for her at The Brew and Leslie tells her that she wasn’t just searching for Hanna specifically, but all four of them since they were Mona’s “friends”. Hanna tells Leslie that if she really knew Mona she would know that their relationship was much more complicated. Leslie tells her that in spite of whatever went between them, they were very precious to Mona to which Hanna replies that there were “more than one Mona” inside her. Leslie says that that was what she liked about Mona – she


was always thinking. Hanna has a flashback of Mona sitting in her room reading her an excerpt out the same book. Mona asks Hanna that if she has three what would she wish for. Hanna says she doesn’t like such games since they remind you of what you don’t have and asks Mona her wishes. Mona wishes she had a stopwatch to freeze time so that she could spy on people. That way, she could control them without them ever knowing.

At The Brew, Emily is taking something from the top of the rack when her apron unties. Talia sneaks up behind her ties it up for her, lingering close to Emily for a few moments. Emily thanks her and Talia leaves.


Hanna and Leslie head to The Brew and Leslie is carrying Mona’s book. Mike sees them walk in and notices the book. He freaks out on them and tells them to give it to him so that he can keep it back. He yells that they can’t just take Mona’s stuff out of her room. Hanna tries to calm him down and reassures him that they will put the book back and Mike storms out. Leslie reveals to Hanna that she was talking to Mona on the phone the night before she was killed when a guy asked her to get off the phone and talk to him and that he sounded pretty upset. Hanna is shocked when Leslie insists that the guy was Mike.


Outside The Brew, Emily sees Caleb doing schoolwork. He tells her that after seeing Hanna’s hidden smartness, he doesn’t want to be left behind. Emily confides in him that Alison is going on trial for murder and all she can think about is whether Talia is flirting with her or not. She says she has no idea what she wants.


Hanna fills Aria in on what Leslie told her about Mike and that Mrs.Vanderwaal confirmed that Mona did speak to Leslie that night. Aria admits to Hanna that Mike visited Alison in jail. Hanna is annoyed when Aria says she still didn’t ask Mike about it and tells Aria that she has to figure out what is going on. Meanwhile, inside The Brew, Spencer is helping Jonny with his project and he still won’t tell her what it is. She picks up his diagram, and realizes that he drew it on the back of Alison’s missing poster. He tells her that he is intrigued by Alison and asks Spencer how one goes from being someone so “mythic” to sitting in jail for killing someone. Spencer thinks that it’s complicated, or maybe it’s simple and they are the ones complicating it.


Back at Mona’s house, Leslie thinks that Hanna shouldn’t have told Aria about Mike. But Hanna tells her that Mike is a good guy and he’ll be fine. Leslie leaves to help Leona and Hanna has another flashback. She and Mona are lying in bed. Hanna asks Mona that if she used the stopwatch, she’d get older faster than the others but Mona tells her she’d fix it so that she’d stay young while others got old and if someone noticed it, it would be their problem. She asks Mona if Alison came back after a long time, in disguise, would they be able to recognize her. Mona snaps that even if Alison does come back, no one would recognize her or care about


her so Alison would go crazy wind up in Radley forever. Back in the present, Hanna picks up Mona’s book to keep it back but hears a sound. She realizes that there is something in the book and pulls on the binding and a cassette tape falls out. Hanna rushes to her car and takes the tape with her but little does she know someone is following her.

Aria is sitting in her room and writing in her diary when she hears a noise. She sees that Mike is leaving and she decides to follow him.

At The Brew, Jonny is finally done with his project. He demonstrates how it works to Spencer who is fascinated by it.

Hanna meets up with Caleb and they play the tape. They realize that it is one of Bethany’s session tapes from Radley. Bethany is ranting about some “evil bitch” who gets people to do whatever she wants.


Aria follows Mike down to a pond where he is standing on the dock in the dark. He takes something out of his pocket and then leaves it on the dock and walks away. Aria sneaks out to the dock after he leaves to investigate. It’s a Ziploc bag full of gumdrops. She turns to leave and Mike is standing there. Mike demands to know why Aria followed him. Aria asks why he has been visiting Alison in jail. She yells at him not to go back there again since Alison is dangerous. Mike snaps that he isn’t taking orders from anyone anymore. He tells her to stop following him and that he doesn’t want to see here again. Aria realizes that he has been here more than once and demands to know who he has been leaving the gumdrops for but Mike eerily tells her to “be careful going home through the woods,” and storms off.


Spencer arrives home to find her mother working. Spencer tells her that she was helping Jonny. But Veronica thinks that Jonny is squandering his potential since he hasn’t been to college. Spencer asks her mother to understand her plight and remember what it felt like to be a teenager and not know what to do with her life. Just then, Veronica receives a phone call. She explains to Spencer that there has been a leak from the prosecutor’s office. Although the contents of the barrel are still being analyzed, the blood drops found on the floor near the barrel are not Mona’s blood but Alison’s.


Hanna is driving home when she gets pulled over by a cop. She gets out to find that the cop car is empty. Suddenly Holbrook grabs her by her arm. Holbrook snaps at her, “How does a girl like Alison become a girl like Alison?” He tells her that he was at the start of a successful career but now it’s all ruined because of Alison. Hanna tells him that he brought it all upon himself by doing Alison’s dirty work for her like cleaning out the storage space and trying to kill Spencer, Aria and Caleb. Holbrook says that Alison cut him off and that Hanna must


have mixed him up with the wrong fall guy. He claims that he was in an Internal Affairs hearing for the past few days. Hanna hits him with a tire iron and yells that he doesn’t get to play the victim since he was the grown police officer and Alison’s just a teenager. She hops back in her car and leaves.


At The Brew, Emily demonstrates to Talia how Jonny’s machine works. Emily admits to Talia that she has been thinking about what Talia said since that night. She tells Talia that she couldn’t decide then, at that very moment, what she wanted. Emily thinks that she reads too much into situations but Talia thinks that Emily is a good judge. Talia confesses that it took her a lot of courage to say what she said to Emily and gets up to leave but Emily kisses her. After a moment, Talia kisses her back.


Hanna fills Spencer and Aria in on her encounter with Holbrook. She explains that there is no way that Holbrook was helping Alison since he didn’t know half the things Hanna was talking about. Spencer and Hanna think that Mike is the guy that has been helping Alison. Aria says it is not possible and insists that Mike won’t visit Alison again because she told him not to. Hanna is confused about what Bethany meant when she talked about people making plans and Spencer tells her that it meant that whatever happened in Alison’s backyard was a trap, but for who, they don’t know.

Meanwhile, Mike is signing in to the prison to see Alison.


The episode ends with someone dressed in black entering Mona’s room and finding the book in which Hanna found Bethany’s tape. They pull on the binding, but there’s nothing inside. The person gets annoyed and slams the book hard on the table.


  • Mona's friend, Lesli shows up in Rosewood to support Leona during Alison's trial.
  • Holbrook is suspended from the police force for manipulating Alison's polygraph test.
  • Holbrook is revealed to have been helping Alison, but admits to Hanna that Alison cut him loose long ago and he's been in an Internal Affairs hearing the past few days for his "inappropriate behaviour".
  • It is revealed that Mike visited Alison in jail. He also revisits her at the end of the episode.
  • In a flashback, Mona tells Hanna that she wishes she could have a stopwatch that stops all time and she'd be able to go into people's houses, even when they're there, and spy on them.
  • Lesli tells Hanna that Mona and Mike got into a fight the night before Mona's murder.
  • Mona hid one of Bethany's session tapes that she and Spencer stole from Radley in one of her books. Bethany refers to someone as an "evil bitch" who can convince anyone to do anything for them.
  • The blood spots found near the barrel match Alison's blood.
  • Emily and Talia share a kiss.

Title and Background

  • "Oh, What Hard Luck Stories They All Hand Me" is a song lyric from the 1926 song 'Bye Bye Blackbird' originally composed by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon and recorded by Gene Austin.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast


  • Filming began September 8, 2014 and wrapped September 16.
  • The episode was watched live by 1.79 million viewers.

Featured Music

  • "Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson - (Spencer asks Jonny what he's building for Ezra; Emily asks Talia if she's feeling better after she called in sick).
  • "Afloat" by Storyman - (Lesli looks for Hanna).
  • "I Can Just Imagine” by Zach Sofine - (Hanna and Emily talk about Holbrook’s suspension from the police force).
  • "Harlot" by Misun - (Flashback: Mona tells Hanna what she would wish for if she have three wishes).
  • "Falling Down" by Xavier & Ophelia - (Mike and Leslie are introduced).
  • "Whatever You Want" by The Preatures - (Emily and Caleb talked about Holbrook, and Alison’s trial).
  • "Fever" by Young Galaxy - (Spencer helps Jonny with his building project).
  • "Evermore" by Barcelona - (Jonny shows Spencer his finished invention).
  • "Rebel" by The Unknown - (Hanna hears a police siren and is pulled over).


Mona: It’s just another scary story, Hanna.

Mike: She remembered… details, all these little details, it was amazing.
Aria: She was very smart.
Mike: Too smart.

Caleb: What answer do you want to hear? Flirting or non-flirting?


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