Hanna and Spencer have hatched a plan. Step one) Remove the trackers from the Liars’ spinal cords with a scalpel and some plastic tongs from the game of Operation and some Neosporin. Step two) Use one of Caleb’s trackers to stalk Jason to the location of Charles’ birthday bash. Step three) Ambush Charles. Step four) Live free. When Aria pushes back because what does “ambush Charles” even mean? Dogpile him? The only person who’s ever managed to get close enough to do that was Spencer and she just stared straight ahead and whispered his name and didn’t even turn to look at his face. Hanna snaps, “I’m not going to live like this anymore!” Which makes perfect sense. Spencer says they’ll invite Toby to come along because “he has a badge and a gun; he’ll keep us safe.” Which is the most senseless thing that has ever come out of her mouth or anyone’s mouth in all of history on every plane of the space-time continuum.
Alas, she does invite Toby. He comes over and she explains the whole Charles thing to him while Emily and Aria are yelping upstairs and Hanna is chiding them to relax. Hanna’s disembodied voice going “HOLD STILL!” made me laugh so hard. So Spencer gives Toby the shakedown of everything they’ve learned in season six, and he’s halfway out the door to drop this information at Tanner’s feet like a cat with a dead rat, pleased as punch with its own competency, when Spencer stops him and begs him to help them “fly under the radar” this one time.
Toby literally goes, “Spencer, this information could have helped us!” And, “Nobody’s going anywhere!” And, “You want my help, you’re doing it my way!” And then when she goes upstairs, he reaches into her bag and pulls out her gummy bears and reads the private note attached to them and steals them!
Alison’s dad slithers into the hotel bathroom and says, “GOING SOMEWHERE?!” at Ali. This guy honestly makes Byron Montgomery look like the world’s best dad. “Are you seriously about to get molested by another police officer, Alison? God, you’re such a whore!” “Where do you think you’re going? To get kidnapped?” “Your face is dirty, asshole. Been out letting your mother bury you alive again?” Whatever, though. She says she’s going to bed but really she has laced his coffee with sleeping pills.
Toby’s jawin’ on them gummy bears like his abs depend on it while Lorenzo mother hens him about eating some protein. Toby says maybe he could stop that shit for a second and man up and get in their squad car so they can swing on down to 42 Wallaby Way and see if anything dodgy’s going on. It is out of their jurisdiction and does Lorenzo doesn’t really want to leave their beat and do it without letting command know. Toby tells Lorenzo to just get in the car and stop acting like he’s so much better than Toby just because he went through a “training program” and knows police words.
Luckily Hanna has not shut off her brain for this episode like everyone else (except, weirdly, Aria?), and so she has a backup phone she’s using to track Jason’s car. Once it’s been sitting still for ten minutes, she sounds the alarm and the Liars make a beeline for the BEAUTIFUL TOYOTA to begin Operation: He’s Not After You This Time. Aria hovers her fingers over 911, but decides against it because that’s a season one move, to even pretend to want to involve the police.
Jason shows up at some abandoned building and goes inside. Charles peeps him from behind a fence, and pulls out his phone to make sure the Liars’ trackers are all still at Spencer’s house. They are. Also his phone is making the loudest, most amazing BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! sound. Super incognito.
Hampton Inn, Out of Town
Alison: Thank you for coming to get me. I couldn’t find my dad’s car keys after I drugged him, and you were the only one who answered my call.
Mona: No worries. Do you want to go unleash some hell on your brother(s)?
Alison: No, I have a stupider idea. [Dials 911]
RPD Dispatch: Hello, Rosewood Police Department and Little Caesar’s Pizza. How may I direct your call?
Alison: This is Alison. I know who A is.
RPD Dispatch: I’m sorry, honey, did you say you’re a gay whiz?
Alison: I KNOW WHO A IS.
RPD Dispatch: You’re in the sleigh biz?
Alison: This is AL-I-SON. Dilaurentis?
RPD Dispatch: Ohhh. The one who was preyed on by Wilden? Or Garrett? Or, wait, was it Holbrook? No, Lorenzo’s girlfriend, right?
Alison: [to Mona] They’re on their way.
The cops bust into Ali’s house. No one is there, but that balloon and birthday invitation are still floating around.
At Charles’ birthday party, Jason wanders around in the dark hollering, “Charlie? Hey, Charlie! It’s me, I came alone! Remember that time you tried to fry Alison like a dumb little fish? Hahaha! I’m here to celebrate your birthday!” Well, Charles doesn’t even come out for some cake because Lorenzo and Toby bust up in there, guns and badges blazing, and then the Liars, and then all the whole rest of the Rosewood Police Department, some clowns, the caterers, the people who are there to set up the bouncy castle, a plumber.
Toby is tripping balls and can’t get a lock on invisible Charles, who runs around and drops a bunch of pipes on everyone’s heads and then starts shooting them all with tennis balls out of a t-shirt cannon. The sound effect of those balls coming out that thing is fantastic. Thwomp! Thwomp! Everyone is dead from tennis ball shrapnel, except for Toby and the Liars. Spencer rushes over to Toby and dusts all the metal pipes off his head and she’s like, “You were aiming right at Charles’ unseeable face! What happened?” And he’s like, “Are these my HANDS? Does it smell purple in here? Oh, Spence, don’t wrap me up like a burrito when I die.”
And then everyone gets arrested.
The Liars return home to their misery. Ashley won’t entertain the idea of Hanna not using the Charles, Beloved Son Fund to go to college. Aria cries because she gave all her dolls away without checking to see if there were millions of dollars stashed in their skulls. Spencer apologizes to Toby for getting him high, but he just is green-colored and doesn’t want to hear it. Emily smells Sara’s pillow and then foolishly smashes her tracker, so now Charles will know they know he knows they know he chipped them.
DiLaurentis House of Horrors
Jason: Despite the fact that Charles has been trying to destroy your life and the lives of your friends from the moment you were born, I am going to make this all about me.
Jason: I was going to ask him to turn himself in, you know. I was going to drive him to the police station.
Alison: That would have worked, for sure. You’re a goddamn genius.
Jason: I just wanted one moment alone with my brother!
Alison: See, I’ve never wanted that, due to the way he has been murdering me every time I am alone with him for my whole life.
They hear a kid screaming for Jason to come play with him, and so they walk into the den and Charles has converted what was surely a VHS tape into another old-timey video situation to project onto the wall. Jason says it’s a video of a birthday party his imaginary friend had in the middle of the day on a Wednesday one time, and so their mom checked them out of school but made them promise not to tell Vernon about it. The kid on the video is like, “Mommy, when do I have to go back to the asylum.” And Jessica D’s voice is like, “Not for a while, Freddie. Go eat some cake and don’t stab your sister in the eye with your fork.”
The Risen Mitten gets a gift from “an ally.” It’s a giant poster of Freddie’s birthday party. The frame is made from the finger bones of a dozen blonde-haired virgins.
Thank you to Nicole (@PLLBigA), always and forever, for these screencaps. Most especially for Cooper the Raccoon, who shall live in infamy for all eternity. You should follow her on Twitter. She’s been creeping on the Pretty Little Prom.