I Recap Pretty Little Liar’s season finale after not watching all season

So, like most people, when I started watching Pretty Little Liars, I thought I’d discovered a wonderful candy-colored guilty pleasure to scarf down.

It’s a combination of teen drama and Hitchcockian mystery (and in case you think I’m being too high-falutin’, the show is full of Hitchcock references galore: the coffee shop they go to is called REAR WINDOW BREW) — and I’m of the opinion that teen drama mixed with gore/mystery is pretty much the best thing ever. If all teen dramas were like that, I’D WATCH THEM ALL. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I REJECT ALL TEEN DRAMAS WITH NO MURDER. Regular teen soaps? No thanks. TEEN SOAPS WITH DEAD BODIES? Yes, please!

Moving on.

Plus, PLL has got some bonus comedy, particularly from Ashley Benson who plays Hanna…some bonkers fashions, largely courtesy of Lucy Hale’s Aria…a hot “nerd” by Troian Besario’s Spencer…and a pretty great lesbian character from Shay Mitchell’s Emily (Sadly, all Emily’s girlfriends either die or try to drown her). 

Spencer, Aria, Hanna, Emily
Image via ABC Family

The show was pretty good for several seasons at balancing the mystery-storyline with regular teen drama and giving us SOME answers while continuing to deepen the mystery. Who killed the Alison? Who was this mysterious “A” that kept tormenting them? 

But somewhere in season three, it started to lose me. Buzzfeed’s list of 65 Unanswered Questions about Pretty Little Liars kind of sums it up. I got the sense the show had bitten off more than it could chew in terms of storylines and wasn’t clear on how to wrap up and give satisfactory answers. Basically The Age Old Problem of Mysteries on Television, or Perhaps Television in General. 

So I TRIED to watch the first part of season four this summer (The show airs in two parts: summer and fall), but just couldn’t do it. I followed a little on After Ellen’s recaps, which are awesome, but I couldn’t summon much enthusiasm. 

So, here I am, a little spoiled, but not completely, trying to watch the summer finale. We’ll see how it goes. 


Which ad experience do I prefer, Hulu? None. I prefer no ads. 

Fine, I’ll take the Listerine ads over Jennifer Aniston hawking lotion. Plus, I actually use Listerine — it makes me feel very clean and moral after using it, like all the germs and sins of my mouth have been burned away. Feel free to contact me with advertising money, Listerine. Check out that amazing ad copy I just wrote you. 

Previously: Okay, they’ve been setting up a new storyline for their spin-off, Ravenswood. Something about Toby’s dead mom. A new mystery…yay. Officially don’t care.

Awwwww, they went to a hoedown! They’re all wearing cowboy hats! I’m sorry I missed that.

Aria FINALLY ended her creepy relationship with her HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER, Ezra, and is trying to move on in an obviously doomed fashioned with some guy called Jake. And Ezra is bummed because the son he thought was his son isn’t his son.

Hanna’s mom, Ashley, got accused of killing Wilden the Cop. I’m not worried because everyone gets accused of murder on this show and no one ever gets convicted or even brought to trial. Wilden’s now the –fourth? —  unsolved murder (Alison, Ian, Garrett, Wilden) and as far as I can tell, it’s all destined to remain unsolved (Maya’s murder was solved, but not by the police…by MORE MURDER. Emily stabbed him. It was self-defense). Rosewood’s police force sucks, largely because they keep getting murdered.

Blind-again Jenna’s girlfriend Shana confirms Jenna’s afraid of CeCe Drake, who apparently the show is setting up as uber-tormenter-A.



Which means she’s not actually A. The show has already revealed a bunch of “almost” A’s: Lucas, Mona, Toby…they all end up working for someone higher-up, or not actually being on the “A team,” or they did SOME stuff but not ALL OF IT…

And then it wasn’t “A” that was the problem, it was “Red Coat,” so I guess CeCe is Red Coat but it’ll turn out she’s NOT the ACTUAL  Red Coat/A, but working for someone else, so I can’t get too excited. Blah blah blah blah.

Show starts! The Liars are in the kitchen, sans parents of course — their parents are all in jail, in Austria, or simply never around.

A new witness, Travis, has come forward in the Wilden murder, but Hannah’s mom isn’t off the hook yet.

The Liars tell Hanna to trust the witness, Travis, because he’s cute. And cute guys never spell trouble on this show. They are always 100% who they say they are.

liars coffee

Mmmmm. The liars are drinking coffee. I want coffee. FOCUS! YOU ARE THIRTY SECONDS INTO THIS!

Hey, they got a package!

Awww, A sent them a present! It’s four matching eightballs. No, not THAT kind of eightball: the MAGIC kind (MAGIC is kind of a theme this episode).



A is so thoughtful. Like as has happened in EVERY season finale as far as I can tell, A has sent them creepy matching presents with instructions. Aren’t they blasé about it at this point? Like, “Oh yeah, A sent us matching dioramas of each of our houses made entirely out of matchsticks made of bone…YAWN! Try harder.”

The eightballs spell out “If she goes free, you’ll hear from me.” Meaning, presumably, Hannah’s mom Ashley.

They are all assuming that A is CeCe Drake, which means it’s DEFINITELY not CeCe Drake.

CREDITS. This show has the best credits of all time. It’s nice to know that however much my appreciation for the show dims, the credits will remain forever perfect.

This are the Halloween credits, but you get the idea:

Hannah’s mom, Ashley, is in a line-up. Witness Travis is looking at the lineup. He IS cute! Pretty eyes. I know I’ve seen him somewhere before but I can’t be bothered to look it up.

OH, I JUST GOT IT. He’s the Redneck Squintern on Bones


In Pedotastic Ezra’s PEDOTASTIC ENGLISH HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM, he is talking about Shakespeare’s The Tempest and how the play shows the “magic” (there’s magic again) of “love at first sight” because of the “force of nature” love between Miranda and Ferdinand.

He directs all of this with googly eyes at his HIGH SCHOOL EX-GIRLFRIEND. Aria looks uncomfortable.



This is all a thinly veiled excuse to be pedotastic/inappropriate teacher and I am filled with dislike for you Ezra.

 ezra class


He asks Aria to “stay after class” and thanks her for being there for him during the whole “my son is not my son” thing. She says she’s glad to be there “as a friend.” I’m glad you’re clarifying that your high school teacher can ONLY be your friend, Aria. Boundaries are important!

 contemporary POE

After class, Aria gets a call from Jake. She wants him to go a poetry reading, and says, “They’re calling [the poet] a contemporary Poe–” she gets cut off but all I can think of is …


Eeek. Okay, I go to a lot of poetry readings and I’ve NEVER come across or heard of someone who could REMOTELY be described that way. It’s just — I feel like, whoever wrote that line doesn’t go to a lot of actual contemporary poetry readings. Possibly has never been to a contemporary poetry reading. Ever. 

I mean, my mind is boggling a little. What would a contemporary Edgar Allan Poe be like? I FEEL LIKE IT COULD BE AWESOME. I suddenly want to run and ask all of my poet friends to weigh in and write contemporary versions of Poe poetry.

[Edit to add: I asked my poet friends about this on facebook and was told Edgar Oliver was a good contender. Ai for subject matter, and maybe Frank Stanford, but not really]

The whole thing is basically a thinly veiled excuse to get a reference to Poe in there (since the show loves its references to horror writers) and it was a throwaway line and I shouldn’t get distracted but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I really want coffee.

Jake has exactly my reaction to Aria’s statement and cancels their plans to go write parodies of Poe poems in the style of contemporary poets.

In the police station, Ashley and Caleb talk and it’s sort of weirdly intimate/flirtatious considering this is his girlfriend’s mom. But I think I’m not supposed to see it that way, because they’re mostly talking about how awesome Hanna is and she’s standing RIGHT THERE.  I just automatically want Caleb to make out with everyone.  I am a perv. I am no better than Ezra. And I think I read somewhere the actor who plays Caleb is, like, older or the same age as the actor playing Ezra, making the whole thing very morally confusing. 


Ashley and caleb

Morally confusing 


Cute Witness Travis emerges with the District Attorney, who tells Ashley that they’re dropping the charges against her, because they are not actually allowed to convict anyone in this town. It’s a law.

Everyone is happy! Caleb and Cute Witness Travis exchange a curt nod. I have no idea if there’s backstory there, or if the show is setting up Cute Witness Travis to be Hannah’s new love interest when Caleb goes to the Ravenswood spin-off. 


murder is almost over, paige!

Emily and her girlfriend Paige talk, and Paige continues to be from this other show where she actually worries about people’s safety rather than just playing through the pain of being tormented all the time and in a town full of MURDER. Emily is all, hey we know who’s behind all of this now! It’s CeCe! (NOTE: IT IS DEFINITELY NOT CECE) and “we’re so close to putting an end to this game, I can feel it” which makes me go



Spencer leaves a message for Toby who isn’t speaking to her because of his dead mom/Ravenswood spinoff plot that I refuse to care about.

Back at Hanna’s home, Ashley spends two seconds with her kid before going off to have sex with her Pastor boyfriend, leaving the Liars alone for another package to arrive. Obviously.

A is back to A’s old standbys, creepy doll. It’s a creepy Mona doll in a styrofoam coffin.

mona coffin

Texts to the Liars says that now, as punishment for not making Hanna’s mom stay in jail, Mona will die and the police will think the Liars killed her. BUT IT WON’T MATTER GUYS! HOW MANY MURDERS HAVE YOU BEEN SUSPECTED OF? YOU WILL NOT GET CONVICTED!

Also, I haven’t been watching this season, but wasn’t Mona a chief tormenter? I get that she’s crazy and was being given orders by Red Coat (actually, I’m not entirely clear on that…that’s always been confusing to me). But why is threatening Mona suddenly the Bad Thing? Mona did a lot of bad ish. I’m not saying let her die, but sometimes the degrees to which the people are allies/enemies on this show is whiplash confusing, and not always in a good way. It’s exhausting.

And like I said, if the threat is that the police will think the Liars did it, then no threat there. The entire police force will get murdered and no one will get convicted or even sent to trial. Lots of angsty arrests but no convictions.

The news says that CeCe is a suspect in Wilden’s murder.

cece drake wanted


And Mona is now gone from the insane asylum, and no one knows where or why. So the hunt is on to find Mona before “nothing to lose” CeCe kills her.

Caleb, who has appeared somehow, stands in for me and says, “How do we know this isn’t your ex-BFF messing with us?” and suggests Mona’s sitting around eating popcorn and watching them play “Desperately seeking Mona.” I’m glad someone shares my Mona-doubts. The Liars always take the situation at face value and assume if they play “the game” set up for them, they’ll get answers. FOOLS!



Spencer goes to see also-pedotastic Dr. Wren, The Only Doctor in the World, who has been treating Mona. His house is cleared out and Shana is hiding in there? I don’t know, and, more importantly, I don’t care.

There’s a painfully unfunny scene where Paige and Emily go to French club and try to speak in French and find out Mona hasn’t shown up to French club which was supposed to be her “Welcome back from the Insane Asylum (Again!)” party.

Angtsy music plays as Toby looks through a book of his dead mom’s old things and I DON’T CARE



Toby sees Shana writing a letter (where are they? Is Shana in his basement? Oh right, they’re in the REAR WINDOW BREW coffee shop. Where I always look at boxes of my dead mom’s things).


Sneaky Shana is sneaky

Sneaky Shana is sneaky


Shana is writing something Super-Secret and conveniently drops a page of it for Toby to pick up. It’s the packing slip for a package to be delivered to Dr. Wren, via Melissa Hasting.

This makes Toby finally call Spencer back. Super-scret packages to your girlfriend’s sister will do that.


 address for melissa


Toby and Spencer have a conversation I don’t entirely follow or care about. He also calls Dr. Wren Spencer’s “ex-boyfriend” which doesn’t seem entirely accurate to me. Didn’t they just make out a few times?

Though it would be kind of strangely full-circle if Wren and Melissa are getting back together, seeing as making out with Wren (her sister’s then-fiance) was one of Spencer’s first major plots on the show. But the show has done SO MUCH with Melissa (she’s evil! she’s good! she’s pregnant! she’s not! she knows her fiance is dead! she doesn’t! she was in that spying club with Ian and Garrett and Jenna that I guess we’re supposed to forget about! she’s just protecting Spencer!) that it’s just hard to care. But I do feel sorry for Melissa as arguably the one of the show who’s love life is the worst. Wren-Ian-Garret? Pedophile sister-kisser, Pedophile sister-kisser and Dead, Dead.


spencer and toby


Blah blah blah angsty Toby. Spencer points out that he can’t keep disappearing on her/pretending to be A on her, etc. Reasonable.

Jake falls asleep during Black and White movie night and Aria is sad because EZRA WOULD NEVER DO THAT. Because it’s completely reasonable to expect your new partner to like all the things your old partner did. That’s the way to happiness.


Ezra never sleepsEzra never sleeps! 


Caleb and Hanna are staking out Mona’s house. Hanna apparently is defending Mona because she tried to help get Hanna’s mother off the murder charges by confessing to killing Wilden. Ahhh, that’s why we like Mona again.

Emily is with Paige and  is also worried about Mona. We like Mona now! Surely, she will die.

 we like mona now, paige


Paige once again stands in for me and is like, “…Didn’t Mona try to kill you, tho…?” What is up with all the significant others being the voice of reason?




Emily feels responsible for Mona because the Liars let Ali tease Mona back in the day, “creating the monster.”  Whoa, Dude. Feeling guilty because your friend was a bullying monster is legit, but not all victims of bullying turn into stalkers/attempted murderers. Taking on too much responsibility, there.

I do like the little detail that Paige has to keep her bedroom door open while Emily’s there and Emily is fine with it because “it would be the same if I was a guy”.  a) Awwwww! b) Wasn’t Paige’s dad kind of  a homophobic jerk back in the good old days when Paige was trying to drown Emily in the swimming pool? I guess their family has really grown. Good for them! I mean that. If Emily can get over Paige trying to drown her, then maybe Paige’s dad can get over his homophobia c) Maybe the fact that Paige’s parents actually seem to have “rules” and to be “around,” is why she’s so strangely worried about “safety” and doesn’t just take this A thing for grated. 


He says the reading was “Intense” — I BET IT WAS!!!


It was intense

He says “Contemporary Poe” reminded him of Aria’s short story “Found, But Lost” which was “about the cat”. (!)

So…Aria’s fiction-writing is like the poetry of a Contemporary Poe? DARK! Apparently, Aria’s short story “about the cat” was a metaphor for Ali’s murder.


They stop their conversation for Aria to get a cappuccino and for Ezra to get a refill. Okay, I am DEFINITELY pausing to go get coffee now.

Basically taunting me at this point.

Basically taunting me at this point.

<Pause for coffee break>

As Aria and Ezra have a Way Deep Conversation about Writing, there is a COUPLES MONTAGE of Hannah/Caleb, Toby/Spencer, and Emily/Paige. Awwwwww!


Surely, someone will die.

As Aria plants a kiss on Pedophile Ezra, to the surprise of precisely no one, we see someone who seems like it’s A/Cece Drake, so it’s probably neither.

Next morning, we see Liar’s conference at Somebody’s House with No Parents Around!

They wonder what’s up with Cece and if Mona be dead.

 magic box


Another package from A! It’s a box and Spencer figures out it’s a Secret Box with a Surprise inside because “I took first prize for my magic act at Performing Arts Camp.” Hannah: “Of course you did.” Legitimate laugh there, show.  Well done.



There’s a saw inside.

saw warning!!!

“A’s not playing a game, she’s putting on a magic show!” A has to stop switching up her metaphors. 

Also, is it just me, but has not much really happened in this episode? Let’s see…A’s threatened them with no follow through several times…Nothing’s actually happened to Mona…Paige is worried about Emily…Aria still pines for Pedophile Ezra…Blah blah blah blah stuff with Toby and Shana. Pretty status quo.

Toby and Caleb are at Stakeout at Mona’s place. 

toby and caleb

They actually have this conversation: “But if Mona’s missing, wouldn’t her parents have called the police?” “Maybe they don’t know. It looks like they’re out of town!”

Like anyone’s parents in this town would ever NOTICE THEY WERE MISSING  or CALL THE POLICE


Plus, I love how characters who are inconvenient are always going “out of town” and this is just a blanket explanation for anyone disappearing.

Caleb smiles at Toby because they have to be friends if they are going to be on the Ravenswood spinoff together and if they make out I won’t be mad at them. I’M SORRY.

Back at a parent-less house, Spencer lectures the other Liars on magic, which is hot in a nerdy way. Hannahsnaps at her to stop it, and you can see Spencer is sad that no one wants to listen to her Fun Facts.


Also, Spencer’s shirt has keys on it, which is a nice touch considering the magic box and Spencer’s love of clues.



Sorry, I got distracted.

No need to look at me in alarm and roll your eyes, ladies. 

No need to look alarmed and roll your eyes at me, ladies


The Liars discover that there’s a magic show in Ravenswood because of Necessary Spinoff Reasons.

 sparkles out of a toiletAt first, I thought this was sparkles coming out of a toilet. 

The Liars go to Ravenswood and it’s shot in such a dark tones that for a second I think we’re in some sort of flashback.

Instead, they go to the magic show run by a Creepy Mime.

The Mime insists Aria participate in the disappearing trick. You can see her shock at actually being put in danger on for once, rather than the others, and she rather ungraciously offers Spencer instead. The Mime insists, and while Aria says “I don’t do boxes,” THAT IS WHAT THEY ALL SAY AT FIRST.



The Mime gets its creepy way.


And in a rather nifty twist, while Aria is participating in the trick SOMEONE SNATCHES EMILY. IT WAS ALL A DOUBLE BLUFF! FOOLS!



The Liars get a text reading “slight of hand” in French, making me wonder if that French club scene was important?

Anyway, they manage to get Emily on a cell phone EVEN THOUGH SHE IS LOCKED IN A COFFIN! Great service.

I'm almost out of minutes! I’m almost out of minutes! 


They are all weirdly calm about the situation, I guess from practice, even when Emily tells them she hears the sound of sawing. AS IN A GIRL IN A BOX GETTING SAWED IN HALF.

Spencer says that “someone I don’t know about as I wasn’t watching the show” used to live in on Sawmill Road and calmly google maps directions.

Emily in a coffin didn’t get them fired up, but they all get excited when they see a flash of Red Coat, and go charging after it.

They find Emily in five seconds, which is a bit anti-climatic. There’s a bit of nifty danger, as Emily’s coffin is sent TOWARDS A MOVING SAW.


But then we Red Coat stop the saw and run away. Because of course. Red Coat always goes to a lot of trouble to put them in danger (fire, etc.) and then rescues them. It’s getting a little anti-climatic. “Oh Noes! Red Coat/A might put us in a dangerous situation…AND THEN GET US OUT OF IT!”

Turns out there are TWO RED COATS. Twist! Both wearing Alison masks? A little confused here.

Spencer and Aria each go charging off after Red Coat, while Hanna gets Emily Out of the Box

Then the most amazing thing happens.

Aria corners one Red-Coat-in-Mask on top of a platform AND THEY HAVE A KUNG-FU FIGHT!

I watched with my mouth gaping open as Aria awkwardly kung-fu kicked. Then I remembered something about her dating a martial arts guy this season or something? So not quite THAT random.  Still. Amazing.



A kung-fu kick knocks off the mask and reveals that Red Coat IS Cece Drake, so okay I was a LITTLE wrong.

Then of course Cece trips, and fall off the platform.

Aria tries to save her, but it is of no use. Cece plummets to her death. Oh, god, it’s Ian and the Clock Tower all over again.

 cece dead

So there. Clearly, since there are eleven minutes left in the episode, it’s going to turn out that someone was pulling Cece’s strings or paid her to be there wearing a red coat or something.

The Liars comfort Aria and forget the NUMBER ONE HORROR MOVIE RULE: check the body.

Instead, they’re busy telling Aria “It’s not your fault” (this from Emily, who actually had to stab a guy in self-defense, so she should know) and being like “Let’s call the police” (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) when Cece’s HAND TWITCHES and SHE DISAPPEARS.


Meanwhile, Spencer says HER Red Coat might have been Ali (I’m glad we’re at least acknowledging Ali mights still be alive? After four seasons of hints?) and that Ali led her somewhere while Aria was kung-fu-kicking CeCe.

It’s an apartment in an old Ravenswood building — turns out it’s “A’s Lair”.

We see creepy shots of Alison, and a timeline for each of the Liars.



I don’t know, guys. That’s the danger of having shocking twists season after season about the same mystery. We’ve ALREADY SEEN “Mona’s creepy hotel room dedicated to Ali and the Liars” and “Mona and Toby’s creepy stalking RV dedicated to Ali and the Liars” and more that I’m forgetting…at this point “Creepy shrine to Ali/the Liars” seems a little blasé. Everyone’s got one. Like, every other room in Rosewood/Ravenswood is a creepy shrine.

The SHOCKING TWIST is supposed to be that there’s a computer set-up. “That’s how A knows all our secrets” the Liars say. BECAUSE OF COMPUTERS.


[Oh, yeah, also Toby followed Mona’s car to a bed and breakfast where she’s meeting with Shana and blah blah blah Mona’s not dead]

The Liars spend some time going through A’s stuff. Yeah, you’d better guys cause YOU KNOW all that stuff’s gonna disappear mysteriously in a few episodes the WAY ALL EVIDENCE DOES.

Hanna tries to break into the computer system and gets Caleb on the phone. He asks if she tried turning the computer off and then turning it on again. Then he gets on a bus and we see the destination change to RAVENSWOOD which is SYMBOLIC for SPINOFF REASONS.

Spencer finds a sheet of paper that shows that A apparently created a corporation. HA! I find that funny, and somewhat apropos, given that A “employs” so many people (Mona, Lucas, Toby, Melissa etc.). Turns out Cece was “on the payroll”.



“Maybe A paid her to dress up as Red Coat?” suggests Emily… “to lead us away from Ali,” adds Aria.

DID YOU SEE THAT I JUST GUESSED THAT? I quote MYSELF: “it’s going to turn out that someone was pulling Cece’s strings or paid her to be there wearing a red coat or something.” THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED.

Then Hannah goes to the closet and finds lots of leather jackets and shoes. “I think A is a guy,” says Hannah.

There’s also a super-creepy shot of an eye watching them through one of Alison’s eyes.

They find a scrap book full of a pictures of Ali. Conveniently, Hannah remembers the shirt Ali was wearing in the pictures and is like “Oh yeah, she told me she was going to wear that shirt on a date with an older guy.” CONVENIENT THAT THIS MEMORY JUST CAME TO YOU.

But the Liars are like, “UM, which older guy? EVERY guy in town hooks up with teenagers and most of them hooked up with Ali. Could it be Ian, Wren, Wilden….?”  (not to mention Byron or Garrett). Apparently there’s a new clue in the nickname “Board shorts” (I don’t get this, I haven’t been watching).

There’s a letter in the scrapbook from Ali to this new older guy. WHEN DID ALI HAVE THE TIME??? For real: she hooked up with Ian and Wilden (I think) and this new Older Guy and blackmailed Byron and messed with Jenna and Garrett’s heads…Girl is an amazing multi-tasker and I need her advice.

Aria, looking at all the creepy wall stuff, says that she thinks A or “Board shorts” wasn’t just following them, but Ali. There’s a trail of clues following Ali to Ravenswood posted on a board.

“But if Ali’s been alive this whole time, whose body did we bury?” (and then get delivered bits of) asks Emily. True. Awkward.

NEVER FEAR! There’s a Creepy Costume Party in Ravenswood tonight and Ali’s coming! Nothing like an excuse to wear costumes and masks in a cemetery, amirite, show? COULD THIS BE A SET-UP FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN SPECIAL?

 Nothing like a costume party in a cemetary, amirite? Whoever designed this loves Edward Gorey, and I approve. 

No sooner do they leave Creepy Lair then they run into Mrs. G_____, who…I don’t know who that is. She’s all YOU HAVE TO LEAVE RAVENSWOOD. NONE SHALL PASS!


None shall pass!

And then the show gets full-on supernatural, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Apparently Mrs. G_____ has a “gift” for “insight” and Alison was coming to her for help, trying to find out who was tormenting her.

The night Ali disappeared, Mrs. G just “felt” something “terrible” and followed this great disturbance in the force to Ali’s backyard, where Ali had BEEN BURIED ALIVE.

 hand from grave!


Yep. Ali’s killer conked her in the head and buried her, but SHE WASN’T DEAD.

Mrs. G____ helped her out of her dirt grave, then drove her somewhere, and just…let her go.

 from the grave



 accidental screencpaThis screencap accidentally captures a transition and looks appropriately supernatural. 

And why didn’t Mrs. G____ an adult, try to help Ali or tell people what was going on? Mrs. G’s explanation is “Ali doesn’t want to be found.” Oh, okay then, Mrs. Deus Ex Psychic. You “just felt” something was wrong, “just” saved Ali’s life after someone tried to kill her, and “just” let her go. And “just” accepted the fact that a traumatized teenage girl could disappear on her own and be fine. BECAUSE OF INTUITION REASONS.

 Where can I drop you off, dirty kid?Where can I drop you, dirty almost-murdered kid? 

THEN WE HEAR A CREEPY LAUGH and Mrs. G is like “he’s here,” as if A is some B-movie monster or spirit.

Not sure how I feel about this full-on plunge into bad psychic juju, you guys. The show has been hinting at forever, but….I think it’s lame. Oh, well.

Also, this whole “Ali is allliiiiiiiivvvveeee! alliiiiiiiiiiiiiive!” thing would have been much more effective, like, two seasons ago. They’ve hinted at it SO MUCH SO MANY TIMES that the reveal loses its ooooomph.

Anyway, Bad Psychic Juju lady says they should leave because apparently A is following them, hoping they’ll lead him to Ali. Because A, super-spy computer guy, couldn’t find Ali on his own, despite apparently devoting his life to just that. Then Bad Psychic Lady leaves them, even though they are supposedly in danger, because that’s just how she rolls. 

Aria suggests maybe they should leave, and Emily responds, “So we’re supposed to pack it in just cause a soothsayer tells us to?” LEGIT LAUGH, EMILY. They go back and forth about whether they are actually being told the truth, or if the Soothsayer is on A’s payroll. But…of course they ultimately decide to stay for the party. Luckily, A COSTUME SHOP IS RIGHT THERE. LITERALLY THEY ARE STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF A COSTUME SHOP WHEN THEY MAKE THIS DECISION. I know you like the girls in costume, show, but…wow.


costume shope right there

Then, we see a shadowy figure watching them and going to A’s lair, where A sees someone has been there. We pan around to see…it’s EZRA!

Holy shit, guys. It’s Pedophile Ezra!



Ezra, who’s never had ANY real role in the A stuff, and always seemed to be Aria’s separate, if totally inappropriate, Love Plot.





We end with SOMEONE putting on the freaky gas mask suit we saw in the lair. Whether it’s Ezra or not is unclear.

 gas mask!


Okay, way back in Season One when I had faith that reveals would actually come, I had this whole moment where I was like, “A IS EZRA! A IS EZRA!” because the Liar’s got typewritten notes and Ezra has a typewriter (and has sex with his student). But it was such a little thing and never referred to again, so I dropped it. IF IT REALLY IS EZRA I WILL LOVE THIS SHOW FOREVER!!!

It’s a legitimate surprise and helps make the Aria plot less gross if it turns out he had an obsession with Ali and underage girls. Less “TWU LOVE FOREVER!” and more “Um, that’s a problem, dude.”  Plus, Aria’s had a comparatively easy ride on this show compared to some of the other Liars (no dead girlfriends, or stabbing people in self-defense, or getting hit by a car, or parents arrested, or getting arrested herself) and to suddenly have her love interest be A makes me wonder if that’s been done on purpose — lulling us into a false sense of security about Aria/Ezra before pulling out the rug.

IF all that is true, I will love the show forever.

However, I’ve been burned before, and I’m a little skeptical. Remember how the LAST season ended with the–then very shocking–“Toby is A!!!!” reveal. And obviously, now Toby and Spencer are back together, and it turns out Toby was just a double-agent the whole time, and gets his own show and dead mom and blah blah blah blah.  The show has pulled this kind of thing before. If this a repeat of Toby and Spencer, I’m gonna be mad because that will be shengagins.

And that’s totally possible…Ezra could have just followed them there out of worry, or he could be just on “A’s payroll” or being blackmailed, etc. Heck, with the way the Mona and Toby reveals went, in a season or two the plot could be all, “Oh noes! A is trying to kill Ezra! I know Ezra was stalking us in that creepy lair but only because of hyperreality and bullying and cause A paid him to and anyway that was before but since then he did something nice!” “Maybe if we save Ezra we’ll find out who A really is! We’re coming to the end of this, I can feel it!”  

In defense of it not being Ezra: He is pictured on Aria’s timeline, and the Liar’s have already discounted people because it doesn’t make sense A would be following them if A…was them.

picture of Ezra on timeline

Boo. I want it to be Ezra.

In conclusion, it’s probably telling that I really didn’t have to watch the rest of the season to follow this episode pretty well (I guess I had some spoilers from the Internet, but still). For all that Lots of Shit Happens, things actually move preeeetttty slowly in some ways. 

However…you got me show, with that Ezra stunt. You pulled me back in. When you return in the fall for your Halloween special, I’ll totally watch to see the girls in costume and how you get Toby and Caleb into a spin-off and if you answer the Ezra-is-A stuff (you won’t). Damn it. Damn it. Well played, show. Well played, indeed.

Overall Grade: A+++++++ for the Ezra stuff and Aria’s kung-fu fight and Emily’s lacy bra. B-/C+ for the rest.