Apologies for the late post! The website went down for awhile yesterday/last night. THANKS, A.
Anwyay, Catie and Alexis on call this week, with Rosemary pinch-hitting in Act 3. Rosemary also tweeted for us geniusly this week, although from her personal account since SOMEONE (Alexis) forgot the password to the Poptics twitter and we were locked out until well after the episode started. We’re as good at making plans as our favorite Liars!
THIS WEEK’S MVP
Mike! Alexis wasn’t sure if he really did prove himself the most clear-headed and supportive, or if she’d just been brainwashed by his Teen Wolf bod (WHICH SHOULD BE ILLEGAL), but either way: MVP.
Runner-up to DoppelHänna for being such a determined, good friend to Sara and not screaming or even making faces at Emily’s terrible trauma-victim-possessiveness.
THIS WEEK’S LVP
Jason, the dummy. Also Emily. The dummy.
One risked his neck on the hubristic off-chance (NON-chance) that in spite of an elevator’s shaft of proof to the contrary, he might be the one to finally be able to get through to A/Charles and talk him into turning himself in; the other is risking all the good will she’s built up with us over the years chasing the high of another girl’s trauma. Both of you staahhhhp.
BIGGEST SHOCK/BEST SURPRISE
A tie! Ali calling Mona and Mona coming, and Ali calling 911. Who are these responsible young women and what have they done with our petty, vengeful villainesses?
Oh, the nice thing that happened to the Marin women is actually a snAke in the grAss? Gee, really?
THAT’S ALI, FOLKS
She stole her dad’s phone to make trouble for the Liars, then sassed him hard about how he is 2 paranoid 2 live and obvi she is staying right there in the hotel where it is safe, tyvm…while simultaneously spiking his secretly decaf coffee with sleeping pills so she could make her escape. That’s Ali!
PREVIOUSLY ON PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
Ken Dad lied to Jason and threatened Ali, all because he couldn’t handle the responsibility of a mentally unstable son a decade ago; Lesli was in Radley long enough to Mona (later) and Charles (earlier), but Mona claims Lesli never actually KNEW Charles, just that she heard his name once, the night Bethany and him snuck out of Radley and never came back; Hanna and Emily met up with DoppelHänna and DoppelEmïly to talk about their missing-presumed-dead-best-blonde-frenemies, and how they all wished the girls were dead long before they actually died…only neither blonde frenemy DID actually die, and now Emily has managed to kiss both of them; Spencer’s Major Pill Problem turned into a Major Pot Problem when Ezra’s new cool girl baker supplied her with some killer cookies and sent her down a long, dangerous drug spiral that ended in…well, ended in those cookies, eaten in incredibly small doses parceled out over a long time. But also ended in NA meetings. Because DRUGS.
Oh, and also A BITCH CHIPPED THEM. Like dogs. Or precious, four-of-a-kind dolls that you don’t want to lose in case someday, just someday maybe you can sell them off on Creepster eBay for a small fortune.
The Call Is Coming From Inside Your Soul
Sitting by a roaring springtime fire, Spencer and Aria spiral down a YouTube DIY spytech rabbit hole in an effort to understand how A chipped them, and how they possibly might un-chip themselves, like some regular old PLL superfans/conspiracy theorists. Next they’re going to start making some 40-minute “PROOF THAT CALEB IS A” wacko videos and honestly, we can’t wait. Anyway, while Spencer is mad (and madcap) enough to consider amateur home surgery, Aria’s unbridled fury at all of A’s intrusions on her physical agency have somehow become re-bridled—though whether that is in spite or because of the fact that she is the one most aggressively being stAlked still is impossible to say—and she is a bit more hesitant to let one of her best friends take a knife to the back of her neck just on the off chance that it might give A one less tool with which to terrorize her.
This important discussion is put on hold when a text alarm rings, and Aria—bless her —immediately reaches to the back of her neck. “It’s your phone, Aria,” Spencer deadpans, “You know, the regular external object that A has been using to track and harass us for seventyteen years now.”
We mean…she’s not CRAZY. A’s done much more invasively tech-savvy things. These girls live in a nightmare!
Speaking of nightmares, the text was about just that. From Mona! Wait—did we say nightmares? We meant actual dreams. And this actual dream has worked her Mona Magic with Lesli Crazypants Stone, getting her to agree to a meeting with the Liars to come clean about everything she knows about Bethany, Radley, Charles, A, Jessica DiLaurentis, E. Lamb, “Dr” Wren Kingston, DECLODYNE, the Carissimi Group, fake Buddy Holly glasses, and ghost girls dancing in dirty basement bathtubs filled with black water and everyone’s personal secrets. But not statement necklaces; Aria’s already got that concept on lockdown.
Regardless, if Charles is alive and Lesli is going to talk to them about it, Spencer and Aria can at least agree that Alison had better be there.
“Hello, this is Ali, I can’t take your call right now, leave a message and—” her phone says when they call her for the billionth time, while a hundred feet away outside the house that literally shares a backyard with Spencer and her springtime fire Ali is loudly objecting to being packed into the front seat of Ken Dad’s luxury sedan as one more adult tries to use lies and subterfuge and running away to solve the Major Problems that he is responsible for in the first place, i.e., Charles’ birthday card promise to eradicate all DiLaurentis blood from the face of the earth.
Sounds fun! Count us in.
Emily’s Pretty Little Trauma
Emily is stopped at the Brew on her way to the Lesli Summit by the exact blast from the past we have been waiting for ever since Sara Harvey made her dazed way out of Charles’ dollhouse: DoppelHänna!
DoppelHänna, AKA Claire, has apparently been trying to track Sara down for awhile now. Unfortunately Sara’s mom was keeping mum, and thanks to Em’s Australian friend from last week we know that any number or email Claire might had for the Liars is completely useless. But Claire did remember her great heart-to-heart with Emily about the monsters that were the blonde queen bees they had each been half in love with before they disappeared at that cafe Emily worked at, so sought her out there. And what luck! Here Emily is, despite no longer working there!
It’s not luck, Claire: it’s the fact that Rosewood has three places to eat, and only one of them serves coffee and not pig-faced cupcakes or G&Ts. Also you represent the possibility of someone caring for Sara in a real and healthy way outside of the Fields family and outside of Emily’s and Sara’s shared (ish) trauma, so pro tip? You are not welcome here. Take the fact that Emily can’t look you in the collarbone, let alone the eye, as a hint, and get out.
JK don’t get out. Emily is in a really unhealthy holding pattern with Sarah and her trauma that reflects/distorts/compounds/minimizes/maximizes/keeps Emily completely immersed within her own. She needs someone to break the cycle.
The Emily we know and love does make an appearance briefly, at least, when she realizes how completely rude she is being to Claire, who just wants to be there for the best friend she’d thought she’d lost, and invites her to meet up with Sara AND Emily later than night. Claire is ecstatic; Sara, when she learns of Emily’s plan later that day after she is done with therapy, is cautious. She remembers the utter horror she was before she ran away, and isn’t sure she’s ready to face the ghost of that former self. But then Emily dangles the prospect of cookies at the weirdly specific? “cute little dessert place halfway between Rosewood and Cortland” that is nice and chill, and Sara is IN. Also they both acknowledged the kiss from the night before, and while they agree they are neither of them in the place to pursue something like that, both seem to have liked it, so there’s some good vibes they’re riding.
The dessert date is, as you would imagine, terrible. Not because the cookies are bad (they’re not) or because Sara and Claire can’t find common ground (they can!), but because Emily has become aggressively and uncomfortably possessive of all of Sara’s interactions with the world/freedom that aren’t mediated through her. She basically drags Sara away the moment it becomes clear that Claire is ready and willing to be available on more than just a one-time cookie date basis, going on and on about how Sara really will be safer at Em’s house, where there’s police protection, and how probably Lt. Tanner won’t even want her outside Rosewood city limits anyway, and and and and and…
“Claire’s dad is picking me up in a couple hours,” Sara interrupts Emily’s studying/spiraling later that evening. “It’s for the best, and also, if we’re not living together, maybe then we could go on a real date, maybe eat a meal that your mom didn’t cook for us.” But Sara! That is the most appealing thing about you, as far as Emily is concerned—your need for a roof over your head and someone around 24/7 to obsess over your trauma and chasms of need!
Then Sara kisses her.
How Emily feels about the prospect of a real, healthy relationship, it is impossible for these two viewers to say. But at least the “Sara is everywhere all the time sucking all the energy from the room and also Emily” state of affairs is finally DONE. Bye, Sara! We already don’t miss your effect on Emily!
Lies-li’s Pretty Little Summit
So now Ali’s been kidnapped, and Emily is too lost in her sea of Sara’s Trauma feels to do anything but wallow the rest of the day, but the rest of the Liars at least are on board for this tell-all. And Mona! Mona will be there, being fierce. And Lesli Stone, of course. Lesli Stone, the girl who has established such a strong track record of swooping into the Liars’ lives right when they need her most. She will definitely be there, all the answers they need in hand.
Hahahahhahahahhh…nope. It will surprise no one to learn that at the last minute Lesli backed out of her already last-minute promise, in a TEXT, no less. Her stability is just too shaky to risk for the likes of them and their actual lives, tbph—and Mona agrees. Lesli isn’t stable, and Mona won’t let the Liars text or call or drive straight to her lab to badger her (get it? animal pun). Lesli had nothing to do with Charles, only ever heard his name mentioned once, the night he and Bethany escaped Radley, and that’s it. Lesli wouldn’t lie! So no, Hanna, you can’t bonk her over the head, and no Spencer, you can’t threaten her with pot-laced desserts, and no, Aria, you can’t—Aria! Aria! Stop spinning Mona’s antique dolls’ heads around like they’re possessed!
Mona! You’re supposed to be fierce! Not this little bunny too nervous to poke anyone too hard. You had better have a PRETTY good explanation for your behavior!
Aria’s Pretty Little Dolls
It is Aria, of all people, who trips over that explanation—at least, by extension of blood relations. She is in the middle of sorting through and boxing most of her wall of creepy antique dolls when a wild Mike Montgomery appears! He is there both to ask how she is/why she is so weird, and to ask if mayyyybe she told Mona not to talk to him? For some reason?
One, Aria is fine, thanks; just doing some creep spring cleaning while she shifts to a new subject matter for her photography (no word yet on that art show competition, btw).
Two, of course she didn’t tell Mona to do or not do anything! Mona is a force of nature; one does not tell a force of nature how live. So if Mona has been icing him out, that’s all her choice.
We are heartened to see that Aria looks genuinely stricken at this development, at least—obviously Mona is our favorite, and a wild Mike Montgomery! has certainly grown on us since he started being so interesting last season (or maybe that’s just his uncomfortably cut new Teen Wolf body)(or both)—and Aria feeling so deeply for Mona for the love and support she is purposefully keeping out of her life shows a lot of growth on the part of everyone involved.
Also the doll thing. Good choice, Aria. Burn them all.
Mona’s Pretty Little Guilt Complex
Armed with the knowledge that it is Mona alone standing in the way of them reuniting, Mike packs up Aria’s discarded dolls as a peace offering and drives straight over to the Vanderwaal stronghold. Mona’s mom must love him, because she lets him go right up to Mona’s room to wait for her to come back (a trick he learned from one Caleb Rivers, you might recall).
At first Mona is not happy to see him, but not because she is afraid of him/men—because she is afraid of the self she was, and all the horror that her first A game wrought on the Liars + Ali + most importantly, Mike. She is touched by the gift of the dolls, but her sense of guilt balloons when she picks one up and finds its wrists bound in twine at its waist. “She was taking pictures of what happened to us down there?!” she spits, disgusted. But not at Aria, like the Mona of old would have been—at herself.
“You’ve got to forgive yourself sometime,” Mike says gently as she unwinds the twine from the poor doll’s wrists. She’s not convinced, claims that “hell is a very lonely hole in A’s dollhouse” and maybe she deserves to be there, but Mike is insistent. He is not mad at her; he is not mad at anything that happened to him; he does not think she deserves any unhappiness ever; he is just happy she is alive. It is all that matters.
And we don’t know if its his new werewolf pheromones working on overtime or what, but between that speech and his face? Mona is won over, and under the watchful gaze of a billion creepy dolls, they kiss. And Mona+Mike are once again a Thing.
Hanna’s Pretty Little Paranoia
On her way to meet up with her friends, Hanna is blindsided by her mom wielding an envelope. “Now, I know this may confuse you, because it is not a box of pasta,” Ashley says, “but this paper container is full of MONEY.” Turns out while Hanna’s been busy surviving her kidnapping and redecorating her room, her mom has been leveraging her trauma for scholarship dollars.
And that’s how she got her hands on this $30,000 check—from the Carissimi Group, which you may remember as the name spray-painted on the wall in the creepy Radley basement (!). Apparently Jason recommended the scholarship (!), because Jessica used to donate to the group all the time (!).
Props to Hanna, because the (!) (!) (!) alarm bells are sounding in her head as well, and she turns her sleuth powers up to 11. She can’t find any concrete evidence of the Carissimi scholarship anywhere online, only a stock image and corporate lingo-filled generic website. She also remembers seeing Carissimi spraypainted on the wall in Radley. Spencer jumps in to tell her that “Carissimi” means “beloved” (we’d be remiss if we didn’t jump in as well to point out that it’s the MASCULINE PLURAL), as in “CHARLES BELOVED SON DILAURENTIS,” and suggest that maybe the Beloved Sons Money Group was really code for “Charles’s bank account.”
So Hanna tells her mom that she doesn’t want to accept this scholarship. She may be willing to do a lot of things for college money—see: pageant—but taking DiLaurentis cover-up cash truly squicks her out. Too late, though, Mama Marin says; the DiLaurentis family owes Hanna basically the moon at this point, and anyway, she’s already cooked the pasta (uh, deposited the check). And it was DELICIOUS.
Spencer’s Pretty Little Plans
After three-quarters of an episode trying to reach this point, the four Liars are finally all in a room together. Spencer passes out water bottles in such a weirdly ritualistic way that we still can’t believe that they weren’t dosed by A with like, microscopic biokinetic magic GPS tracking particles or something, fully negating the surgical amateur hour about to take place right upstairs. Because yes, that is Spencer’s master plan: take out each other’s tracking chips, go find Charles.
Emily is convinced no matter what they do, it’ll turn out to be a trap (correct! don’t drink that water!); Aria wants nothing more than to just call the police (she says, SIX SEASONS INTO THE SHOW) and let their long history of responsibility and efficiency take care of things. But Spencer is like NO WE CAN WIN WITH OUR BRAINS THIS ONE TIME, because in Spencer Land, if she never is actually able to outsmart A, what has been the purpose of all of this tragedy? Hanna, for her part, just wants stuff to happen already so she can get back to a normal life. And anyway, like she’s afraid of a measly little scalpel?? As if.
“What about Sara?” Aria asks. “What ABOUT Sara?” the entire audience screams at their television. Who but Emily gives a flying Tippi about freaking Sara? But Spencer assures them that this will work, they will catch Charles, and they will be able to move on with their lives. The way Spencer continues to insist that each half-baked (Spencer joke!) plan will free them of this hell they’ve been living makes us think she’s either high or needs another stint in Radley. Isn’t the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result?
The rest of the plan involves Toby and his badge and gun somehow keeping them all safe. Emily’s worried that Charles will target Sara in retaliation, but Spencer assures them all that there’s no possible way they need to make any contingency plans at all, because this will definitely 100% work and thus there will be no fallout.
Now for the good part: neck chip removal. Hanna swans in carrying a tray of pseudo-surgical equipment and we really wish we could’ve seen what came next.
Toby’s Pretty Little Edibles
Important backstory: Toby, with his magic chimaera hair, is back from his longer-than-academy police seminar! Spencer has been lying to him! While Spencer and Hanna were sleuthing at the BrewTown Square, Spence got up to take a call and while she was gone, Pot Princess Sabrina left Spencer a baggie of pot gummy bears in her bag!
Back to the present: As the girls finish up their foray into amateur surgery, Toby shows up at the Hastingses’. Spencer ducks downstairs to finally tell him the truth about EVERYTHING, starting with, “His name is Charles DiLaurentis.” Toby’s pissed, because actually having information could have helped the police several weeks ago, but Spence is like “Solve your own anagrams!” Anyway, they work out some confusing arrangement where Toby will go try to find Jason (who is… finding Charles? Unclear), but he’s going alone because Spence won’t let him tell Tanner and he won’t take her. As Toby takes his leave, he spies the bag of gummies labeled “Something sweet! –S”, assumes they’re for him, and grabs them to go.
Toby finagles Lorenzo into coming with him as backup, although he is very secretive about the whole thing. “We have a case but I can’t tell you where or why and also you can’t tell anyone else, let’s go right now.” Then he tips his head back, pours in about seventeen gummy bears (aka like 42 times a normal dose for those things), and heads on his way. This will end well!!!!!
The DiLaurentises’ Pretty Little Lies
Did everyone else LOL at Ken Dad hauling Ali off “for her own good,” but just leaving Jason behind to survive or not survive, whatever dude? Because we did. UNFORTUNATELY it turns out that Ken Dad isn’t so callous—it was Jason who chose to stay behind. Because he is mad at Ken Dad for all those decades of life-altering lies, and also because he is stubborn as duck fluff and is convinced that being ChArles’ bait will give him the chance to finally see his brother again, alone, when he can maybe make things right.
All of that to say, when Lorenzo shows up on Ali’s porch the next afternoon, frantic to know why she hasn’t been responding to the seven thousand messages he’s blown up her phone with, it’s Jason who answers. He sees the single, sinister red balloon tied to the porch railing; Lorenzo, being a member of the Rosewood PD, totally misses it. He just wants to know if Ali’s around, where she is if she’s not, and when she will be back. “Lorenzo, Jesus just chill bro,” Jason exclaims. “Also, since when are you and my sister phone stalking buds? Also, tell your police cronies to scram; Ali won’t be back for a few days. KTHXBYE.”
As soon as Lorenzo leaves, Jason races across the porch to check out the balloon, which, it turns out, is accompanied by one of those cheap plastic frog flip toys, and also a child’s birthday invitation for a birthday party. Tonight. The next town over. Come stAg…OR ELSE.
So why, pray tell, has Ali not been responding to Officer Lorenzo’s many worried texts? Because Ken Dad, in all his wisdom, took her phone! And computer and keys and calling cards and sage smudge stick for smoke signaling, of course. And, not being in the DiLaurentis household, Ali doesn’t know a single hidey-hole in which to look. So what’s a teen evil genius to do? Steal dad’s phone, obvs! And so she does, she finally manages to get ahold of Spencer and Hanna as they BrewSleuth the Carissimi Group, at which point Spencer and Ali simultaneously alert each other to the nightmare fact that Charles is alive.
“He knew Bethany!” Spencer exclaims. “He’s planning the world’s most horrifying birthday party!” Ali whisper-shouts. “For HIMSELF!” Bless. (But to be fair, we get a little psychotic when we have to plan our own birthday parties, too). Spencer’s a little miffed that Ken Dad didn’t bother warning everyone else that Charles is back and ready to par-tay, but Ali assures her he’s only after Jason this time, because LiarLogic™. But that’s all the logic Ali has time to share, because Ken Dad has discovered her phone scheme and is banging at the bathroom door like a real freaking gentleman. Ali begs her dad to tell someone, anyone, EVEN THE ROSEWOOD PD is how desperate she is, that Charles may be after Jason, but Ken Dad’s been lying about this dude for twenty years! He can’t come clean NOW.
Yeah, Ali. GOD. It’s like you don’t understand lives woven entirely out of insidious lies at all.
At least Spencer heeds Ali’s advice to warn Jason about Charles, so while Emily is doing something unspeakable that involves lip-to-lip contact with She Who Shall Not Be Named, she, Hanna and Aria try to smoke Jason out of the DiLaurentis house. Apparently murder, espionage, extortion and kidnapping are nothing to shake a stick at in Rosewood, but knocking on your neighbor’s door? THAT gets the attention of the on-duty guard officer, who not so kindly suggests that maybe Jason doesn’t want to be bothered right now, ladies? You ever think of that? HUH? As he shoos them along, Spencer notices a red balloon in the window, and you just know what she’s going to do about that (break in, get the info, follow Jason into certain doom, is what).
Back at Motel California, Ali is doing her best Pissed Teen routine, all pajamas and bare feet and teeth brushing sass. “Going somewhere?” Ken Dad ultra densely (if actually acutely) asks when he comes into the bathroom for another cup of coffee. “God, Dad, NO. OBVIOUSLY. Because you’re RUINING MY LIFE with your LIFE RUINING ALL-NIGHT VIGIL,” she says, pocketing the packet of decaf coffee and bottle of sleeping pills she just brewed. Minutes later, she’s out the door.
…and into the passenger seat of one MONA VANDERWAAL’S CAR. That Mona, always there to give Ali a lift in her hours of direst need.
If Ali calling Mona and Mona actually coming to help weren’t shocking enough, Ali follows up by calling the cops. Ali! Of all people! Doesn’t even hesitate (although she maybe should have called Spencer first to at least TRY to get some intel on any poorly conceived scheme they might have launched?), just dials 911.
And with that, all the players in this game of cAt and teen girl mice (et beaux) are in play.
ChArles’ Pretty Little Party
Jason is the first to reach ChArles’ abandoned murder arcade, even before ChArles himself. Glancing around the trash-strewn alley like some kind of creeper, Jason slowly makes his way inside. When he catches sight of ChArles’ hoodied shadow looming like some night terror across the far wall, he looks like he’s actually seeing a truckload of puppies being loaded into the room. His brother is here, at last! Not imaginary, not dead—here!
Unfortunately, it isn’t long before Tokin’ Toby and Officer Lorenzo are on the scene, too, followed quickly by Spencer and the Liars, who couldn’t stand to watch Toby’s GPS tracker sit in one spot for so long and not do anything about it—not like calling 911, as Aria is barely stopped from doing, but like going and unmAsking A once and for all (rofl).
As soon as ChArles realizes he’s thrown an actual birthday party with actual guests anxious to see him, he freaks. Old arcade games start buzzing and binging, pinball machines light up, and ChArles gets his hands on an automatic baseball pitching machine that definitely makes all the sense in the world as an indoor arcade’s centerpiece, and soon Lorenzo is taking balls to the stomach.
Meanwhile, those happy gummies Toby downed earlier have finally taken effect; right when he had ChArles in his sights, dead to rights, his vision crosses and he collapses and ChArles, obviously, gets away. And then Ali’s phalanx of cops are on the scene and the Liars have their hands behind their heads and once again, their bust was a complete bust. And also once again, Jason blames Spencer for all of it.
It’s like a Chuck E Cheese horror movie set. This is a great idea.
After the bust, we see Aria alone in her room, crying over the travesty that is her jacket probably. When someone knocks on the door, she yells that she doesn’t want to talk, but a Werewolf Mike Montgomery! pokes his head in anyway. Her parents are pissed because she scared them, Aria’s pissed because she can’t stop scaring herself, but Mike tells her she’s really brave. It’s a really nice parallel to when Mike felt comfortable enough to break down in front of Aria about Mona. Sibling love! Still, Aria isn’t feeling super conversational r/n, so Mike takes a hint and stands to leave, but not before handing her an envelope from the Cardillo Arts Foundation: she and her creepy tortured dolls are finalists for that photography show!
At the precinct, Spencer finds Toby alone in a dark room, trying to come down from his accidentally gummy high. She tearfully apologizes, and swears she didn’t know that a month’s supply of medical grade edibles were stashed in her bag. When Toby doesn’t respond, Spencer keeps going, telling him that she should’ve been open with him about the resurgence (really) of her drug problem. “We were so close,” she finishes weakly. At first, we think this is a comment on the crumbling status of Spoby’s relationship, then we realize she means “to catching A” because she finishes it with “If you hadn’t eaten…” Like, this whole kerfuffle is definitely on Toby. Meanwhile, Toby’s like “Do you think the moon has feelings? Also please leave me with my thoughts. I don’t want anyone to find me like this.” Which is fair! It would terrible for Toby to have to leave his poorly paying civil servant job with the worst police force in the fictional world and have to return to the highly lucrative and eminently flexible field of teen genius freelance carpentry!
Spencer leaves in tears.
Also crying? Emily. Back at home, in her empty, Sara-less room, she hugs Sara’s pillow and gives it a little sniff for all the tears Sara might have left behind before picking up a hardcover copy of Greek Tragedies and How to Survive Them and uses it to cathartically smash her removed tracking chip into a million tiny pieces, the way Sara crushed her heart probably.
Over at the DiLaurentises’, Ali runs inside just in time to find Jason staring down a tumbler of gold. “I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch,” his unblinking glare shouts. “Don’t do it!” Ali’s actual voice shouts back, dramatically, because Jason is a recovering alcoholic in case you forgot! Fun fact: 1 out of 3 of your recappers will have forgotten major character backstories at any given time; it’s scientifically proven. Ali tries to convince Jason that Charles isn’t worth a downward spiral, that he isn’t the little imaginary boy Jason so fondly remembers shutting a mental door on all those years ago. But you don’t know WHAT Jason remembers, Ali! Because you know what Jason remembers? Jason remembers his screwed up parents trying to erase all his memories of his brother, the brother he wanted just one moment with tonight at the abandoned murder arcade, before he, somehow magically, would have convinced said brother who has been secretly terrorizing half of Rosewood for multiple years and probably killed their mother, to turn himself in. “And I would have done it, too, it if weren’t for you pesky kids and your dumb dog! Er, Toby!”
This lovely battle of DiLaurentis Delusion is interrupted, then, by the clarion call of a little boy’s laugh from upstairs. “Jason! Ali! Come play!” the little boy calls, while we walk through our homes and methodically burn each room to the ground. “Come play with me, Jason!” Giggle giggle giggle. AND JASON AND ALI GO. And immediately get murdered by the ghosts of Halloweens past, obviously.
Okay, not actually. ACTUALLY they find another drive-by drive-in walk-in home movie playing on the wall of the attic, this one of a “distant cousin’s” birthday party that Ali remembers Jessica taking them out of school for when they were in grade school. “She made us promise not to tell Dad,” Ali trails off, as on the screen two blonde DiLaurentises sing Happy Birthday to a third blonde DiLaurentis that everyone is calling Freddie. “Are you having a nice birthday, Freddie?” Jessica asks when she calls the boy closer to the camera. “When do I have to go back?” he asks after nodding. “Not yet, Freddie,” Jessica says. “Now go play.”
Okay, Jessie D. We are totally behind you changing your psycho son’s name so that it would no longer be the same as the famed hippie era serial killer. But maybe the right move would have been…not to change it to the name of another, now fictional, famous serial killer? It’s enough to give a kid a complex!
Like maybe the one that forced ChArles Freddie Krueger DiLaurentis to pen the note that Jason and Ali find next to the film projector. “I wAnted to trust you.” And we wAnted to sleep at night. Gotta learn to live with disappointment!
On the wall, Babies Jason and Ali finish singing, and “Freddie” blows out his candles.
So maybe no one planned ChArles a birthday party, but he did get at least one present!
A box appears with a red ribbon tied around it and a note that says “Happy Birthday from Your Friend and Ally.” The gift? An oil painting of “Freddie” blowing out his candles.
…is an episode with a capital A in the title, which we seem to recall having read Marlene King say means that there is a true A-sighting. HMMMMMMM.
Until then, we guess!
A(lexis and Catie and Rosemary)
About the Contributor:
Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibliophile. A Wyoming expat, she now lives in Maryland, where she runs the DC chapter of the FYA Book Club. She can be found talking about Teen TV on Twitter, and her longform criticism can be found on Authory.