Heads up, BFFs. It's open season on liars and I'm hunting...

To Kill a Mocking Girl
Season 1, Episode 3
Air Date June 22, 2010
Written by Oliver Goldstick
Directed by Elodie Keene
Episode Guide
The Jenna Thing
Can You Hear Me Now?

To Kill a Mocking Girl is the third episode in Season 1 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired June 22, 2010 and it is the 3rd episode overall.


The girls feel an uneasy obligation set by their parents (namely Pam) and the people of Rosewood to erect a memorial for Alison. They decide to erect the memorial in the woods, near The Kissing Rock, where they used to hang out with Ali. When Emily and Spencer bring up Darren Wilden, that creepy detective, Hanna goes silent, clearly upset. The girls don't pick up on that though, but they think Hanna is crazy when she mentions that she thinks Ali is still alive. Just then they hear someone in the forest and a few seconds later, all four phones buzz with a new text from "A" telling them she's hunting them.


Rosewood's finest

At the Marins', Hanna is sickened to find Detective Wilden opening her fridge shirtless, with only a towel wrapped around his waist. Ashley comes downstairs, offers to make breakfast, and send Darren upstairs to put clothes on. Hanna is upset that her mother is pandering to Darren, when they don't even eat breakfast, but Ashley points out that the police have not dropped the charges yet, so she can't kick Darren out yet. Hanna leaves, and the camera moves to show that Darren has overheard their entire conversation.


Breakfast with parents, unwanted guests

Meanwhile, Aria is enjoying breakfast with her parents at a cafe, discussing the book she is reading for school, "To Kill a Mockingbird." They tell her to read the author's biography next, and Ella goes inside to order more food. Alone, Byron unwittingly asks if Aria likes her teacher. Just then, Meredith, the student Byron had an affair with, shows up, and Aria flashes back to the two of them making out in her father's car; the two of them had noticed that they were being watched. Byron flounders a little, before introducing Aria and Meredith to each other, and Meredith asks in a chipper voice if Byron received her message. Meredith wants a referral from Byron, and he seems to want to comply to her wish as soon as possible. Meredith tries to make conversation with Aria, but Aria coldly cuts her short. Meredith smiles intensely at Byron, and Byron smiles back, to Aria's chagrin.

At the Hastings', Veronica is trying to comfort her miserable and bitter daughter, Melissa. Spencer stands in the doorway, tentative about whether to enter or not. She walks in to get breakfast, and Melissa pushes past her, scathingly dumping every wedding magazine individually in the trash besides Spencer. Melissa and Spencer easily slip into an argument, with Spencer pressing the point that Wren kissed her. She is about to bring up the fact that Melissa should be wondering why her fiancé would feel the need to cheat in the first place, but her mother sends her a warning look, clearly siding with her eldest daughter. Spencer throws her breakfast in the garbage and leaves.

At school, Mona and Hanna discuss their recent shoplifts, when Sean and Noel walk over. They announce Noel's blowout cabin party planned for the next night. After they leave, Mona questions Hanna about when she is going to have sex with Sean, and Hanna reacts frustrated. Meanwhile, Emily ties up her bike, and Maya walks over to say hi. Ben then comes over, forcefully kissing Emily, who tries to push him away. Ben mentions Noel's party, and Emily invites Maya to come; she accepts.

Ezra bids Aria good morning before the contents of Spencer's locker come spilling out. Apparently Spencer is taking a lot of AP classes, including AP Russian History, in which she claims she is drowning.

Just then, Jenna walks by with her brother Toby, the intended target of the girls’ prank that left Jenna blind; his reappearance at Rosewood High comes after a mysterious, yearlong absence – leaving the girls to wonder whether he had anything to do with Alison’s disappearance, or if he is in fact the omnipresent "A." Maya asks about Toby, and Emily is forced to guiltily give the accepted story, which is that he got sent away to reform school after setting fire to the garage his sister was in.


Who can say 'no' to these two?

Then, Detective Wilden appears to talk to Hanna. She tries to protest that she has class, but he has already taken care of that. Jenna makes a mocking comment to the girls about their whispering. In the office, Darren brings up Hanna's ugly duckling past and the fact that Hanna started to dress more like Alison. Hanna argues that Alison helped her make those changes, but Darren is trying to portray her as the jealous fat girl who bumped off Alison to get ahead. Hanna flashbacks to the time in her chubby days when she asked Sean out to a party; he had accepted after pressure from Alison. Darren says he needs information about the past, so Hanna brings up his party boy drinking past as a comeback. She then accuses Darren of getting his information from her living room while he was half-naked and walks out.


Taking risks at school

Apparently, their meeting took a whole hour. Hanna returns to her worried friends, but brushes off their desire for an explanation. Aria then corners Ezra in his classroom and asks him out on a date, making plans to hang out after the opening at the gallery and to tell her parents that she is at Noel's party. Ezra feels a little awkward, but reciprocates somewhat when Aria tries to touch him. Mrs. Welch walks in, cueing Aria's turn to exit.


Spencer and Wren talk.

Spencer meets Wren in Philadelphia, where he is crashing after being kicked out of the barn. She asks Wren to tell her family that she didn't initiate the kiss, and Wren says that he tried, but Melissa isn't answering her calls. Wren assures her that this will blow over and goes as far to say that he thinks he met the wrong sister first. Spencer leaves in a hurry.

Meanwhile, back at Rosewood High, Ben sneaks up on Emily in the girls locker room and tries to assault her. She tries to push him off nicely, but he gets aggressive, almost violent. Just then, Toby barges in and wordlessly pushes Ben off of Emily. He pounds Ben into the locker until he bleeds, while Emily screams for him to stop. When Ben asks if Toby is the reason she's not into him as much, she tells him to get over himself; it's over.


Stay away, Homewrecker

Aria then arrives at her mom's gallery to find unsuspecting Ella chatting and laughing with Meredith. Ella then announces that Meredith is invited to the gallery opening the next night, and Aria is horrified. As soon as Ella is out of earshot, Aria tells her to get lost and find someone who's available, unlike her father.

At the Marins', Hanna gets ready for Noel's party, while Ashley prepares dinner for Darren. They charges against Hanna have yet to be dropped. After Hanna leaves, Darren sifts out Hanna's friendship bracelet from her purse and questions Ashley about it. Ashley calls Darren out for searching through her daughter's purse without a search warrant. She also blasts him for unnecessarily interrogating her daughter twice about the same story and not trusting her. She zips up the bag and puts it aside, then shoves a pizza box into Darren's hands, telling him to eat dinner and breakfast somewhere else.

At Noel's party, Sean is playing foosball with his friends, including Ben. Hanna is totally annoyed by how much she feels Sean is ignoring her. Just then, Emily arrives with Maya. When Ben hears Hanna call out to Emily, he shoots up his bruised head and expresses his surprise at her coming. She replies that she didn't come for him, totally dissing him, and walks away.

In the Hastings' kitchen, Spencer agonizes over her unwritten Russian History paper until an idea hits her. She plugs a flashdrive into Melissa's computer, steals her old A-grade paper, and puts it into her own computer. She changes the name and date on the paper and straightens the laptops out back to the way they were just in time for Veronica and Melissa to come home from the club. Melissa makes rude comments to Spencer and when Veronica goes upstairs, she lets her know that Wren called and that she can see that the two of them are just covering their tracks. She calls them pathetic and walks away.

Back at the party, Sean is still playing foosball with his friends, and Hanna feels even more neglected by her boyfriend. Having her Russian History paper out of the way, Spencer joins the party, where the other Pretty Little Liars are in attendance. The four girls discuss Toby's return and his saving Emily. They make it clear that they don't trust him, and then they break, as Maya pulls Emily away to check out the photo booth, and Hanna goes back to Sean. Aria leaves for her mother's gallery opening, and Spencer is left standing alone, mulling over the events. She sees a guy standing alone in the distance, and flashes back to the night of "The Jenna Thing." Alison had been blackmailing Toby with something to get him to take the blame for the fire in the garage. Spencer had walked over to listen, and Alison had angrily pushed her back, angry that she ignored her orders to stay out of it. Hanna had expressed her desire to come clean to the police and explain it was an accident, but Alison had railed on Hanna, basically calling her a fat loser until Aria scolded her, forcing her to apologize. But Alison had made sure to get her way and to make the girls flee the scene, letting Toby take the fall. Spencer remembers seeing Toby before he was taken away in the cop car to the police station. Back at the party, Spencer is paranoid that the guy watching her is Toby, and she freezes. But it is someone else, and he smiles and half waves at her, interpreting her staring as personal interest.


Emily and Maya share a kiss.

Hanna takes Sean to a private cabin room, where she starts passionately kissing him. Meanwhile, Emily and Maya slip into the photo booth and pose in fun, then sexual poses for the camera, eventually sharing a lip-lock. Someone takes the printed photos before they can get to it, though, and Emily is worried, while Maya just shrugs.

Back in the cabin room, Sean and Hanna kiss steamily. Hanna starts rummaging through her purse for a condom, but when Sean catches sight of it, he gets up, and the two start arguing. Sean says he doesn't want to have sex with her and calls Hanna desperate to prove something. Hanna is totally hurt and turns away. Sean tries to comfort her by giving her his jacket, but she snaps at him, not wanting him to see her tears. He leaves, and she falls to the floor crying.

At the gallery opening, Ella and Byron talk and laugh happily as they stand together entertaining guests. Suddenly Meredith shows and Aria walks up to her to kick her out of the party. But Meredith just shrugs when Aria brings up the previous day's conversation, saying she can do what she wants, and takes Aria's glass from her hands.

Back at the party, Sean resumes his place at the foosball table, and Hanna gets a text from "A" mocking her for being a loser that can't score a guy. The anger and embarrassment builds to a crescendo, and Hanna grabs Sean's keys and heads for his car. Mona sees her friend angrily marching across the lawn and getting into Sean's car; she tries to stop her, but Hanna doesn't even turn her head. She speeds off with Sean's black sports car. She later climbs out of the crashed car, which won't stop beeping.

Meanwhile, Aria knocks on Ezra's apartment door (3B), and he opens it, happy to see her. She asks to come in, clearly upset, but Ezra says it isn't a good idea. She apologizes, but before she leaves, Ezra asks if she is okay and offers to drive her home. She reveals that home is the last place she wants to be, and he holds her close, there in the hallway, while Aria is badly in need of comforting.

After the party, Maya drives Emily home to her house, where she spots Toby sitting on his porch steps alone. She sees him fiddling with motorcycle parts and approaches him. Not quite sure how to state it, she thanks him for saving her in the locker room from Ben. Toby smiles back silently. Then, Jenna's voice is heard from the corner of the porch; Emily hadn't seen her at all. She roughly asks why Emily had thanked Toby twice, but he answers vaguely, leaving Jenna completely dissatisfied.


Alison's friendship bracelet.

The next day, the girls reconvene in the woods to memorialize Alison in the shed they used to play in. Spencer lets the other girls know that Alison had something on Toby, besides him being a supposed Peeping Tom. The other girls are surprised to find this information out from her so much after the fact. The girls change their minds and decide to pick a more public place for the memorial. They hear something with them in the forest, again, and this time they all run as soon as they hear it. The person gets away, but they do find the same friendship bracelet Alison was wearing the night she disappeared, perhaps planted by whoever was in the forest with them.

"A" is then seen listening to jazz music as he/she prints copies upon copies of the pictures of Maya and Emily kissing at the party...


  • Both Spencer and Melissa use laptops that resemble Apple MacBook Pros, but the apple logo is covered with decals.
  • The date on Melissa's Russian Revolution paper is 3/24/04, while the date on Spencer's paper is 9/24/10. This leads us to believe that the two are around six years apart in age.
  • When Spencer is copying her sister's essay from her computer, you can see a picture of Torrey DeVitto (who plays Spencer's sister Melissa) and Jessie Baylin (the blond on the right side of the picture), who is a singer and wife of Nathan Followill from Kings of Leon.


  • The episode title, "To Kill a Mocking Girl" is an allusion to the assigned reading book in Mr. Fitz' English class: "To Kill a Mockingbird." In addition, Spencer's in-class defense of the book's mysterious character, "Boo Radley," a silent-type recluse unjustly accused of criminal activity in his adolescence, sounds a lot like a defense of Toby. A further parallel is the way Toby and Boo become silent heroes, unexpectedly appearing to save the protagonists from a male attacker. What is unclear is whether Toby has been watching the Pretty Little Liars to a similar extent that Boo had watched the children.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast


Featured Music

  • "One Kiss Don't Make A Summer" by Lucky Soul (Mona and Hanna talk about Noel's party)
  • "The One" by Black Mustang (Emily and Maya pull up)
  • "Cool Enough" by Nicole Atkins (Spencer steals Melissa's paper)
  • "Tom Cats" by The Filthy Souls (Hanna watches Sean play foosball)
  • "Two Hands" by Chew Lips (Emily and Maya take photos in photobooth)
  • "What You Wanted Me To Do" by S.O.Stereo (Sean rejects Hanna)
  • "Let Me In" by Evolove (Hanna steals Sean's car)
  • "Closer To You" by Jaylene Johnson (Aria shows up at Ezra's apartment)
  • "Just Like Heaven" by Catte Adams ("A" makes copies of Emily and Maya's photos)