It is with the fullest heart and greatest joy that I welcome you to the season premiere of my absolute favorite show on television: Pretty Little Liars. In case you’re just joining us, Pretty Little Liars is a romantic comedy drama that follows five girls as they try to find love and fight evil all while maintaining the shiniest hair of all time.
As you may not remember, we left our Liars in last season’s finale as they FINALLY FOUND ALISON. We expected Alison to explain everything and then we would know all about what the hell has been going on for the past million billion years. Instead we were more confused than ever. And then Ezra totally got shot by A and instead of screaming in pain or collapsing he looks off at the New York skyline. As usual A gets away and, just for good measure, someone buries Jessica Dilaurentis. So a lot.
But that’s okay because for every cliff hanger there’s a cliff shelf, right? Wrong. I am just as confused if not more confused than ever. While my tragically adorable girlfriend always turns to me and asks (while she simultaneously plays on her iPhone) “What the hell is going on?,” this is the first time that instead of pausing the DVR, sighing dramatically and explaining the return of subtle plot elements from previous seasons, I had to just throw my arms up in the air and say “Fuck if I know!”
So it was confusing. Let’s do our best.
We open on Ezra being taken away by the paramedics while Noel answers questions and the Liars hang back. You would think at this point the cops probably would have thought four teen girls without their parents are suspicious hauled them in, but oh well.
The Liars have their first smart idea all season and call the fucking police. Children, if you’re reading this I hope you’ve finally learned that you should call the police if you’re in trouble.
Oh. They just call to tell the police Ezra is in the hospital and there was foul play in his death. Womp. Regardless Hanna hands Aria the gun (totally bad idea) and the group splits up (another bad idea).
Back in Rosewood, the remaining Hastings are in turmoil. It’s unclear if the tension within the family is from whatever Melissa said to her dad or if it’s from the obvious constipation plaguing the family.
They should really see a GI specialist.
Melissa says she wants to tell her mother something, but before she can she get the words out, they are stormed by good old Detective
Wilden Reynolds Holbrook. H0lbrook announces that Cece has escaped custody. Does that make sense? No. She was in a room with only one door inside a police station filled with people. Rosewood PD: Work harder. Do more.
Melissa tries to tell Holbrook whatever her secret is but her father cuts her off. Hastings are not known for their truth.
Later, Papa Hastings tells Melissa she can never ever ever ever tell anyone what she told him. Ugh I hope that doesn’t include us.
Elsewhere, we discover a news break reporting that the girls are missing. These aren’t the best school photographs of all time. I guess the biggest thing Alison missed while she was “dead” was when the girls did a group passport photo friend date.
But wait! Who is that raven-haired beauty reflecting in the TV?! It’s Mona! And what does she have planned for tonight? I don’t know but like all other good plans she needs a leather jacket to do it.
Over at Saint Nowhere Hospital, Ezra is being taken into surgery and we get to have a little mini Grey’s Anatomy moment. Maybe someone will have sex with A in the on call room!
A tries to sneak into Ezra’s OR but for once there are police officers in the way! Although, as a side note, you can’t just walk around a hospital without an ID badge without people questioning you. Like you can be in the patient waiting area but you can’t be over by patients room and stuff. Seriously. I wear a white coat with my name embroidered on it and I get asked for ID all the time. And security would definitely notice anyone wearing all black including a black face mask.
Emily, Spencer and Hanna make their way towards the OR but notice A on the way and just decide to hang out in a stairwell instead. Stairwells are, as you well know, the best place to take a pause and have a convo.
Meanwhile, Ali and Aria run to the nurses station to find out any news about Ezra. She can’t tell them anything because of HIPAA, but tells them he’s in surgery and stuff. Just then, Ali gets paged which is so funny because I didn’t even know she was in medical school!
Okay so A spots the girls and sends a text to someone — probably either her minions or her mom. I mean she’s out really late she’s supposed to check in by 11pm! Anyways the text says “It’s happening. Follow the leader.” My question is how the hell did A get her texts to show up in black?!
So A leaves.
And then Ali leaves.
And then Aria stands near some chairs.
I know this sounds boring when I say it like that but there was creepy dramatic music and stuff so actually it was all really exciting.
Anyways so A chases Alison through the streets of New York City.
One thing I know for certain is that if you’re being chased by a hooded killer you should run to a well lit area where there are tons of people. You can’t just kill people in front of people. That’s not a thing you can just do.
But oh well Alison runs into a dark abandoned playground. A grabs her and asks her “Wanna play?” which is so fucking creepy.
But SURPRISE! Spencer, Emily and Hanna are there to save the day.
Just when you thought the Liars finally, yes finally, had A busted, a whole bunch more As show up! It’s an A flash mob! And instead of just being adorable and hopefully ending up on Youtube, it’s terrifying and the worst.
Eventually the police show up and disperse the crowd but as usual A wins and you lose. Duh. This is the way it works.
Back at the hospital Aria is still sleuthing for details about Ezra’s condition. Even though you might think things like “confidentiality” exist in this world, Aria overhears a member of Ezra’s care team reporting on his condition to his mother. He survived surgery but is doing medium bad.
Across the universe Mona’s first guest arrives. It’s Lucas and he looks pissed. I look surprised because it’s been so long since I’ve seen Lucas. Like so long that I can’t even remember why he left.
Meanwhile, Holbrook gets a call from the NYPD station and starts looking into Ezra. He is shocked to discover he is a human person. And here he thought Ezra Fitz was just an extremely well dressed chimp! Imagine that. Rosewood’s finest folks.
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I can’t even with this episode!! The only thing that sort of made sense was Mona’s Army, because Mona should always be the ruler of a thing. And Paige should always wear leather.
Agreed r.e. Paige.
I’ve been watching PLL since it first premiered in the summer of ’09 and I think this is the first episode where I finally felt like I was done. Done forever with PLL. I’ve been strung along for what seems like 500 episodes already and I think my heart has realized it will never know who A is and will never know how this story line makes any sense.
But I will keep reading these recaps because they’re so awesome and hilarious!
Yay Lizz! Great to see you back on PLL duty! Holy crap was Paige looking good! <3
I'm actually really upset about Shana. Losing another lesbian woc really hurts. PLL has such great lesbian and queer representation compared to most shows, so it doesn't stand out as much, but with Shana gone it really hurts. And isn't her story pretty tragic now? :'(
I understand the feeling some people have of being tired of the continuing mysteries and wanting answers but personally, I don’t watch this show that way. But I just love this show so much still. I love the atmosphere. The feeling like it’s always close to Halloween time. LOL The noir and the shifting loyalties. I watch it without worrying too much about the mystery. I just love the ride.
And also the fact that it’s had more lesbian/queer women in four seasons than any other show on TV during it’s run makes me love it even more. That’s also why I think it deserves support from all of us who want to see more TV shows where lesbian and bi women can be on it with out it being any kind of big deal.
There was just sooooooooooo much wrong with this episode that my bungee cord of “suspended disbelief” snapped and I’m plunging to my death, total free-fall. The hospital nonsense, Shana being psychotic for Jenna’s sake (please remind me WTF happened to Jenna after she was found floating in the lake!?), Shana dying after that short fall. Just. This was a bad Tuesday for queer-led TV.
The only reason I watch PLL anymore is because I want ANSWERS and for these recaps. Nice to know I have one of those things.
Also oh my god I was pissed at Shana’s death. I’ve seen to many people of color & queer characters die to deal with this shit.
Welcome Back Lizz!!! We missed you.
I am so confused. I feel like it would be impossible for the writers to craft an explanation that ties in all of the things that have happened. How can they possibly remember what has happened?! Like I can’t even keep all the minor characters straight anymore. Lucas showed up and I thought for sure he was one of the guys from Faking It.
Agreed! It’s gotten way more confusing than ever before. I don’t understand why they renewed this show for two more seasons! They definitely should just finish this year. It’s just going to get more fucked.
I just want to point out that, not only is there no security in the hospital, the airport security is also awful. Like, how the hell does Cece get through wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a huge coat?! That makes absolutely no sense. Not that the Shana thing made sense…
Also what happened to Ali’s mom?! Is she buried alive? What’s going on with that? Why are Lucas and Noel back? Is Melissa good or bad? Why is Mona’s outfit so terrible? Why did the girls decide to just go home after Shana died? How could they think she is A? Obviously this episode answered all my questions and I’m not confused at all.
Yo after 4 seasons and this episode I think I am 100% with this show!! I’m entirely confused and not convinced that the writers aren’t either. I feel like they’re just making shit as they go along. I forget characters all the time and their tiny significance to the story. Honestly I don’t really know what we’re trying to figure out anymore.
I love it more and more every episode. I understand others’ frustrations. It DOES require a certain commitment to know what is going on (which I’ve come to admire). I myself went through a brief “dunno how I feel about this anymore” time towards the end of S2/early S3. That’s when I went back and started doing all my own research and compiling, re-watching etc. It DOES make sense. There’s a LOT of things that are so tied together yet invisible at the same time. It’s really impressive tbh.
I think something that gets a lot of people is that even though it’s a fantasy/fiction story, it DOES try to tie things into actual human reality possibilities (which is great, and hard) so when something does go way off, ie hospital/airport security, the way some are superhuman in the face of death, others are like, just served up on a platter. I’ve been putting together my own site actually for all this info bc the available ones get way too mixed up with
1. The books (irrelevant to the show, but similar)
2. The things (hints) that the cast and crew say in social media/interviews (they’ve been wrong, and often misleading).
3. That there is just ONE A and when sources of information try to go on that tip, which is invalid, things get messy really quickly. PLUS
4. When you source from anyone and everyone, things just turn into a cluster of “are you sure about that?”
I knew Shana was responsible for the latest drama, and knew she was gonna be “the one” in NYC, though I will freely admit I did not see her dying this soon (i knew she’d be killed off or sent away forever eventually though). But I still def felt “yay another queer girl dies on tv…hurrah” *sarcasm*
I like though, for this show at least, that queer topics are just a PART of the story and not THE WHOLE story. I enjoy that kinda thing, and also enjoy other shows/books/whatever where it IS the main part of the story. But I feel like it’s good to have just casual queer characters and story-lines here and there. The downside to this though, as I and I’m sure many on this site feel as well, Queer topics are still a very fragile thing and it’s just really damned if you do and damned if you don’t sometimes.
Jenna is in a coma, following her near drowning at Emily’s b-day party
Shana was hit HARD in the head, twice with the butt of a real gun, which is enough to kill someone in itself, and falling in a dazed state, even a short distance when you aren’t aware enough to brace for impact is just icing on the cake. Ridiculous?! YES! Possible, yeah…but in PLL not the most dramatic/believable death.
People that haven’t figured it out, or don’t follow all the details will be shocked when they finally reveal who the “real” A is. I myself am 95% sure of it, and if they twist at the end and it is not then unless it’s something I am really impressed with, I’ll be super disappointed.
There are many different “groups” that are against this person and that, these other groups vs other groups etc etc, so it adds to the confusion when people stick with the whole “A mastermind” thing, but the actual A has to deal with these other things that come out of the blue too. I think that’s the #1 that helps people kind of suspend their beliefs is that it’s just a bunch of nonsense, but entertaining nonsense that will somehow make sense in the end (it will!), and a lot of people have just ended up going all out for themselves, whether joined by others or not.
This is a great post and I completely agree. My memory is such that I remember basically everything that ever happens on a show and so I don’t get confused by PLL nearly as much as it seems other people do. And I agree that the writers have done an impressive job of tying things together going back to the beginning of the show. And it’s frustrating to me (and I’m sure to them as well) when people miss connections and then blame the writers for screwing up rather than their own forgetfullness.
Thx :) And yeah, the writing being blamed for discrepancies is a bummer sometimes. If someone feels they HAVE to point a finger, I feel the writers would be at the bottom of the well for actual responsibility. A big downside of such a complex story, is that this incarnation of PLL is “for TV” (not to mention ABC family of all places) so when you go from the writing room, to producers, network people, censors, etc etc — there’s gonna be a LOT of compromise.
Not to mention that even though the show is unrelated to the books, it is in the same universe, and has many similarities, and as they’ve been blessed with Sara Shepard’s permission, there’s certainly got to be an anchor in there somewhere in which they can’t go TOO FAR out of the “PLLverse” *coughravenswoodcough* yet have to keep it exciting, visually entertaining, the plot and editing tie in with each other (you can’t exactly leave an edit decision up to one or two people when such a deep story is concerned!), not to mention that there’s a time limit per episode, per season, actors schedules, etc etc.
So yes, overall I find it extremely impressive and imo one of the best non HBO, Showtime, etc mainstream tv series currently on air as far as the actual writing and plot go. One could compare and contrast acting, casting, visual aspects, locations, any manner of production in a whole different conversation, but the bottom line of keeping the core of the story intact has got to be near impossible with so many people involved, so they get massive respect from me.
Thanks for your post. I sense that PLL would be a much more amazing show if one could marathon everything at once, but having it spread over 5 years has been kind of exhausting.
I really want to know who you think A is!!!
If you search for “The Alliance (or The B-Team)” it may help some fill in some gaps in relation to Jenna, Shana, Melissa – BE WARNED though that there’s a lot of misinformation and speculation out there. But it at least can help tie together events that have actually taken place in relation to them.
Wait, so I am really intrigued that you feel 95% sure who A is… do you mind sharing your theory? Thank you so much!
Oh I thought it was just me who thought this episode was pretty ridiculous even for PLL, still I’ve come to realize I don’t think we’ll ever get the answers we want so I might as well just watch it cause it’s fun and has quite a bit of ladies and lgbt characters in it.
Also this recap was great and the captions were A+++
This recap is awesome and hilarious . I finally register an account here because of Lizz’s awesome recaps . The very weird part is I’m straight (I think) but I keep coming back to this website just to read PLL’s recap when there’s a bunch of other website I could read . Confused much ? Is there any forum here for a confused – not sure girl like me ? lol , the caption is very funny .
Many of us have come to this site in the same state as you, so just take your time and enjoy the community =)
I don’t like the story anymore. Like the other one said, the only reason i sometimes still watch is because there are queer characters in it. By the way uh…. Hey there Paige McCullers! ;)
PLL is that place where attractive black queer women go to die.