Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Hanna and Spencer and Aria broke into the lab where Lesli Stone works and set all the animals free. As a reward, Mona descended from her throne to tell them some more clues: Charles and Bethany were BFFs who broke out of Radley the same night, Lesli is just another in a neverending psychotic clown parade of red herrings, and also Lesli is Bethany’s archnemesis. Also they realized Charles chipped ’em in the neck with tracker jackers. Sara Eeyore-ed around town in the sketchiest possible way and then made out with Emily. And Charles sent Vernon a birthday card that finally severed the last thread that was tethering him to reality, and so he drove to Aunt Carol’s and dug his own grave.
Spencer and Aria are enjoying a romantic evening at home in front of the fire, reading up on how to remove the GPS chips Charles (…or Spencer) planted inside their heads. It seems to be a simple neurological surgery, no big deal. It’s not like they’re installing new eyeballs like what Jenna got that time from Wren. It’s not like anyone’s getting a head transplant. Aria beeps; she thinks it’s her tracker, but actually it’s her phone. Mona is texting to say Lesli has agreed to meet up with them and answer all their questions about her time in Radley. How close were Charles and Bethany? Did he ever try to boil her alive in a bathtub? Did she ever call him Freddie? Did he ever call her Bebe Drake?
Aria goes: “Ali needs to be there; where the hell is she?”
That’s my main question this season, too, Aria Featherears.
Where Alison is today is: being kidnapped by her father, who is no joke covered in dirt from when he was digging up Charles’ grave about ten minutes ago. Ali tries to get him to tell her what the actual fuck is going on, but, as usual, grown men on this show are worthless at knowing or explaining things. So Ali snags the birthday card Vernon’s got tucked between the seats and she’s like, “HE’S ALIVE?!?!” And then, “He’s coming for us, isn’t he?!?”
Remember that scene in Order of the Phoenix — the movie; not the book, obviously — when Hermione stares out the stormy window in the Gryffindor common room thinking about Voldemort, and really dramatically, like even her eyebrows are involved, she goes, “He really is out there … isn’t he?” Uh. Yeah. Yeah, he’s out there. This is movie five. You’ve known he was out there since the end of movie one. Remember 100 pages ago when he murdered Cedric Diggory and tried to do the same to Harry?
That’s what this scene with Ali made me think of: “He’s alive?!!! He’s coming for us, ISN’T HE?”
Y’all are the brightest witches of your age. What in the chocolate frog hell kind of questions are those? Yes, the main villain of your story is still after you. COME ON.
So many things people say in this episode make me feel like my brain is scrambled eggs. This show is always bonkers and I love it, but usually the things the Liars say about the bonkers-ness make sense. In twenty minutes, Spencer is going to legit go, “He has a badge and gun; he can keep us safe” and my scrambled egg brain is going to shatter inside my head and Spencer and Hanna are going to have to watch a YouTube video about how to glue it back together.
Hanna is beboppin’ on out the door to meet the Liars at Mona’s to interrogate Lesli when Ashley stops her with the good news that she has received a scholarship and can take her genius brain to college and away from this homicidal shitshow of a town. Ashley is crying. She hasn’t been this happy since she robbed that bank and murdered that fake architect. The scholarship is from the Carissimi Group, which is a word you’ll remember seeing spray painted on the wall at Radley when Hanna and Spencer were creeping around in the basement with Maddie Ziegler.
At the Brew, Emily runs into a girl named Claire who has been looking for her. Emily assumes that Claire is like every other girl who shows up at this coffee shop saying her name, meaning: a) a lesbian, who b) wants to take Emily’s masterclass class on finger banging. Claire is here to see Sara, though, which pleases Emily not one single bit. Because you remember this Claire, right? She showed up in the middle of season four after the Liars found out Sara Harvey was another blonde teenager who wore a yellow tanktop and got assassinated in Alison’s backyard on Labor Day. The Liars tracked the Alternate Liars down in Luck Stop, PA or wherever and Claire was one of them. And then later on, Claire came to the Brew and told Emily she spent a lot of time wishing Sara was dead before Sara died.
So it’s understandable that Emily feels a little uneasy about producing Sara for Claire, especially after Claire fully guffaws at the idea of Sara having a job/the ability to read.
Spencer also is getting ready to head over to Mona’s, when someone knocks on her back door. She sighs the biggest, most annoyed huff and rolls her eyes, and who can blame her? Nine out of ten times it’s another riffraff at this back door, come to act like a patronizing prick about every choice she makes for herself. It is not that this time, though. It is Toby. He lifts her up and smooches her face and asks her to stay and bone him, but Ariabae is texting about how Spencer needs to hurry up and get to her, so Spencer lies about having to write her valedictorian speech and bounces.
When Spencer arrives at Mona’s, Aria is mutilating the dolls on her shelf, ripping their heads off and pressing them back onto their little doll bodies backwards.
Mona: Well, Lesli’s not coming, y’all. She’s afraid that talking about Radley is going to make her relapse into being a crazy person.
Hanna: She never achieved un-crazy person status to begin with.
Mona: True. Oh well! But she doesn’t know anything more than what I know, obviously, so this is kind of a waste of time. Like I get wanting to menace her face-to-face, but stop freaking out like she’s the key to this convoluted Radley scenario.
Aria: I miss Big Rhonda.
Hanna: Anyway, all that stuff you told us when you were driving around your mobile lair and we were burning alive in that lodge, like about the game getting stolen from you in Radley, basically the entire last three seasons of this show, what was that about?
Mona: Oh, I was on drugs.
Spencer: FOR SHAME.
Hanna: Did you kiss Ali the night you rescued her from the side of the road, after the Grunwald pulled her from the earth and two psychos broke out of the local asylum?
Mona: Did I kiss her?
Hanna: You heard me.
Mona: A little, yeah. But mostly we finally just acknowledged that we made each other, like Batman and the Joker did, and then she got in her plane and flew away.
Emily has been isolated from the group by her shady love interest like an early seasons Aria Montgomery. Sara returns from therapy and Emily is telling her she doesn’t have to go meet up with Claire, but if she wants to meet up with Claire, Emily will be happy to come along and chaperone. They talk about the nightmare of kissing each other and Emily says they need to take a real think on it before they continue down that path of inevitable lighthouse gizzard-stabbing.
Have you noticed every time these two are in a scene together, the music is sun-dappled hazy-days, like, “Shhh, just relax, viewer, there’s nothing going on here but some chill lesbian times that make total sense.” I always notice it because sun-dappled hazy-days playlists are my lifeblood and also because every time a TV show or movie tries to make me feel a thing I’m not feeling, over and over, with music, it makes me paranoid and suspicious. It makes me feel like a Hastings on any given Thursday.
Lorenzo arrives in his civvies to talk to Alison, but she is not home, of course, because she has been captured by her father. Lorenzo wants to know where she is and where she’s going and why she hasn’t returned his calls, because usually he leaves a message telling her how to feel and think, and she calls him right back to confirm what he wants from her. Not today, though. He’s left at least three messages telling her the police are her friends and she hasn’t even texted back with a police car emoji and a heart. Jason tells Lorenzo to skedaddle, and to tell the police guarding the house to skedaddle, and then he wanders over to the side-porch where someone has left a balloon and a birthday invitation. It is Charles. It is Charles’ birthday. Jason is invited to the party!