Hello you pretty little readers. Rosemary here! Alexis and Catie are on the road, heading across the U.S. of A. today so you’re mostly stuck with me, I’m afraid, with Alexis tagging in from her mobile phone to attempt to curb my Ezra abuse, so hold on to your butts.
THIS WEEK’S MVP
We know that in Rosewood, “parenting” mostly means sitting on the back patio and murmuring “where are my kids lol” and “jk i don’t care more wine plz,” but Ella Montgomery really showed up for the game this week. She was protective and worried and sensitive to what Aria wanted and yelled at Tanner when Tanner inevitably failed at police work.
THIS WEEK’S LVP
Ali, oh man, ALI. For getting caught not once, but TWICE; for letting everyone talk down to her; for just completely forgetting how to Ali in the first place.
BIGGEST SHOCK/BEST SURPRISE
RED COAT IS BACK.
A replacing Aria’s photographs at the gallery opening with shots of the Liars in the dollhouse morgue. While the overall effect made us gasp a little, none of actually expected A not to intervene on Aria’s behalf that evening.
THAT’S ALI, FOLKS
We gagged when Ali made Lorenzo soup and folded his laundry (ick) but our girl saved face when she waited until he passed out and stole his police ID badge to sneak into the station.
PREVIOUSLY ON PLL
Jason goes to meet Charles and the Liars track him to an arcade shit show. Hanna got a sketchy scholarship from someplace called the Carissimi Group, which is somehow connected to the DiLaurentis family. Emily and Sara do a thing but we only see flames. Ezra flirted with an Australian named Nicole who works for Habitat for Humanity. Clark got Aria to enter a photography arts scholarship contest. And Ali actually called 911 and told them A was Charles.
This Liars Summit Just In
The Liars and Alison watch as a newscaster announces that Charles DiLaurentis is the top suspect in the kidnapping of four local liars+one weird pseudo lesbian, amongst other crimes. In addition to all of this, the newscaster also mentions that Charles is rumored to be the top suspect in Jessica DiLaurentis’s murder. The girls are scandalized. She was the only one who visited him at Radley! How could he do something so terrible?! “Are you effing kidding me?” Hanna interjects. “That dude is vicious!”
The girls glance awkwardly at Allison, who recalls Charles/Freddie sharing his birthday cake frosting with her during his birthday party, so no, Hanna, he couldn’t be vicious. “Bitch plz,” Hanna retorts. “You played skeeball like one time, do NOT start pitying this dude.” The other Liars accuse her of being too harsh in front of Allison, but Hanna DNGAF. She isn’t going to give him the benefit of the doubt, and she hopes he gets caught. Then she is the personification of snapping in a Z formation as she stomps out of the room.
Be-gloved Son Group
On Rosewood’s only street, Hanna cannot get it through Ashley’s hair-dyed skull that the Carissimi Group is what Jessica D used to pacify her guilt/give money to Charles for being abandoned by his family, and Hanna’s pretty sure Charles turned around and used that money to give Hanna a scholarship. And sweet, clueless Ashley doesn’t understand why, if someone dangles a carrot in front of your face, they might not have your best interests at heart.
Kenneth DiLaurentis isn’t answering their questions so they’re tracking him down to talk mean mug a mean mug. But when they get to his office, journalists are swarming the doors, and Ashley doesn’t want cameras on Hanna. Hanna just wants to give up, but Ashley wants to find another way to get to Kenneth. “You deserve to be able to go to college after all you’ve been through,” Ashley says.
Later, Hanna meets up with Spencer, who is wearing an oversized beanie because that’s what Spencer wears in episodes where art gets stolen (omg SPOILER ALERT sry guys). Hanna tells her that Ashley refuses to go to the police until they talk to Kenneth, but the important point they’re all missing is that SHE DOESN’T WANT THE MONEY. Spencer thinks that they need to find out if Charles is actually the one signing those checks by applying for a summer internship at Carissimi Group. Unfortunately, she missed the deadline AND the internship is only for college credit anyway, a concept that Hanna isn’t too clear on to begin with.
But Hanna’s ridiculousness gives Spencer an idea. They can close Hanna’s college account and take the money back themselves, which would get them in the front door of Carrismi Group to check out what’s going on inside that place.
Apparently that plan works swimmingly, because next we see our Truest Detectives, they’re being ushered into a posh office by a secretary and Hanna is ordering a bubbly water like a real bad bitch. Spencer immediately starts snooping, but Hanna scribbles on a notepad that the mirror on the wall is two-way glass, then she starts crumpling her paper loudly in case the room is bugged. They’re joined by a Christian Grey imposter/Jason-Wren hybrid of a guy who introduces himself as Rhys Matthews. And, even despite our RIGWBFB, we will admit – he looks exactly like Jason.
Spencer goes directly into interrigation mode. Carissimi gives away multiple scholarships, right? Because she has a friend who is interested and she couldn’t find any good information on their website so…Rhys explains that recipients are chosen “by his employer” but this employer has a private trust for discretion, so no, Hanna, put your phone away because Rhys won’t be giving you Mr. Carissimi’s email address. But we all know Hanna doesn’t give two flips about getting an email address:
Seeing that this meeting is done, Rhys buzzes his secretary and says a business-y word salad into his intercom. “Daphne, get me the holdings report buy sell buy sell funny money boobah!” Then he ushers them out.
Ali and Lorenzo are having a Worst Outfit contest at Lorenzo’s apartment. Ali’s mom dress game is strong (especially as she unpacks casseroles from one of those insulated Vera Bradley bags), but men hanging out with underage girls while wearing sweatpants will pretty much always take the gold in this situation (hand over that trophy, Ezra!). Daddy D is shutting Allison out, and only talking to Tanner about Charles. Lorenzo just wishes he could’ve stopped Charles and made him answer for what he’d done and really be the hero in this situation so he can get the girl in the end, you know? But he does have a friend on the force who could help them get some info about what Kenneth is telling Tanner.
Lorenzo gets off the phone with his buddy and tells Ali that Tanner’s been recording her meetings with Kenneth and she’s called in a profiler to fill in the blanks and figure out who Charles has become. Lorenzo’s phone beeps a reminder for him to take his meds, and he asks Ali to get him water, then tells her to leave while he naps. Ali is so charmed by this that she offers to do dishes and laundry instead, which made us gag at first, until we realized that this is Ali, and regardless of whether she has to drug them or they drug themselves, Ali loves to wait until people are passed out then steal their shit and leave. And so, while Lorenzo naps, Ali pockets his ID card to get into the police station and sneaks out.
At the precinct, Ali snoops until she finds the secret room where the police keep all their evidence and files on the Charles DiLaurentis case. But just as Ali holds up an evidence bag containing a baby rattle, the lights flip on and Tanner appears in the doorway. “We figured out what was in the barrel,” Tanner says. J/K she totally doesn’t (#SummerofAnswers). Instead she’s like “How dare you! This is the one place you are not supposed to be so I am shocked, SHOCKED, that you are here.” Which makes her, quite possibly, the worst detective of all time.
Ali wants answers though (join the club), and she doesn’t understand why Charles would have all of that family memorabilia if he just wanted to kill them. Tanner says murderers can be as sentimental as mothers. They like things that are as intimate as hair, teeth, skin. The Rosewood PD is gonna try their durndest to bring him to justice – even if it requires lethal force. He’s a predator, she says, and that is a word that we all know people don’t throw around lightly (or at all) in Rosewood.
Ali goes back to Lorenzo’s apartment to return his ID, but as she sneaks to the shelf in the dark, he appears behind her, and he is MANGRY. “The disciplinary council is NOT going to be happy with you for making me kiss you and eat your soup and stalk you even though you are a minor on a case I’m working. How dare you?” And Ali’s like “Honey bear, have you met me? This was bound to happen eventually.”
A is for Art show
Aria is chilling with Clark at the Brew, or at least being as chill as possible with someone who is badgering her with questions about her recent kidnapping. Aria interrupts his ongoing string of questions with an “Um can you not?” so Clark changes the subject: turns out the scholarship group used one of Aria’s creepy doll photos to advertise the exhibit opening that evening. Too bad though, because Aria’s not going. She wishes Clark luck nonetheless, and he skedaddles.
Do you feel that? It’s the weight of the male gaze, as Ezra watches them suspiciously from his cappuccino machine. As soon as Clark leaves, Ezra creeps over and pouts that Aria still hasn’t introduced him to her new friend. “Is that why you were you eavesdropping?” she asks. Listen, Aria, Ezra is a man who deigns to care about her so he will be suspicious and overbearing of all other men in her life. Then he mansplains that they could’ve gotten seriously hurt with that arcade stunt. You know, like all those times they could’ve gotten seriously hurt when he knew they were being tortured by an anonymous psychopath and didn’t do anything about it because of journalistic integrity or whatever. Ella, apparently, is also a bit worried about Aria’s well-being, and the Montgomery family is skipping her art show in favor of Mike’s sports banquet because the sports banquet is in Rosewood, and being “close to home” in this murderous town is somehow preferable to getting the hell out of it. Ezra offers to be her personal bodyguard, which gives Aria an idea!
She invites Detective Tanner over to show her the doll photos and explain that she’s being featured in an art show, but Ella’s unsure about their safety leaving town. So Tanner offers to have officers there in unmarked cars and undercover inside the gallery. Aria really wants to go, and you can tell it’s a big deal to her. Ella is clearly worried, but Tanner feels confident things will be fine for Aria with enough manpower there.
Cut to security cam footage of the gallery being set up for tonight’s party, and there is black hoodie A, keeping an eye on things from some secret room. A buzzer rings, he/she presses a button, and RED COAT SHOWS UP.
Back at Aria’s house, Emily’s helping Aria pick out a dress that screams “downtown arts scene,” which can be difficult when every item of clothing in Aria’s closet is screaming that at once. “Should I wear this dress that’s covered in black swan ballerinas or a plaid dress?” Aria murmurs. “Definitely plaid. I love plaid. Maybe pair it with leather and a sports jersey? That’s my favorite combo,” Emily says. Aria’s not sure though, so Emily starts digging through her closet to find something with skulls on it instead, when she stumbles across a mysterious dress bag.
Emily: “What’s this?”
Aria: “Prom dress.”
Emily: “Can I see?” ::starts to unzip::
Aria: “Don’t touch it or you’ll take away it’s magical vintage store powers of uniqueness!” ::tackles Emily to ground for sake of pretentiousness::
But Aria’s Project Runway prom dress might be premature. According to Emily, the Liars parents all received emails from the administration letting them know that they have safety concerns about the girls going to prom. But Emily’s going to fight it. She has high hopes of a night riding around in a limo and eating dinner under twinkle lights. Aria admits she’d look really good under twinkle lights.
Then in a v. cute moment, Aria asks Emily to be her single girl prom buddy. But Emily ruins the moment when she’s like “Um so this is awkward but sometimes I make out with Sara Harvey and I’d like to slow dance with her instead of you.” Aria’s cool with this though, and lets Emily fill her in on all things Sara. Aria suggests they do a group thing so Sara won’t feel too much pressure on her first date with Emily. Sara was down in that dollhouse for a really long time, you know? Was prom even invented yet? Aria wonders. As for Aria, she’s going stag because she can’t think of one guy who would say yes if she asked them, even though Ezra’s written about literally nothing else in his diary all year.
Emily: “God, can you even imagine what it must be like to live in a town where all boys aren’t creeps and all girls I love don’t end up dead or in jail or trying to kill me?”
Aria: “So dreamy…”
Light jazz plays as Spencer and Hanna arrive late to the gallery opening. Hanna is itching to show Aria the picture of Freaky Rhys, but Spencer tells her to keep that shit in check because this is Aria’s night. Emily appears, and they show her the photo. Emily must also have RIGWBFB, because she assumes it’s a photo of Jason, even after looking at if a few times.
Across the room, Aria is chatting up Ezra, who has spiders all over his shirt as a symbol of how we feel every time he’s on screen. Aria realizes that spiders would really complement her skull dress so she asks him to prom, then immediately is like “Oh weird gross, no, why would you want to go to prom at a high school where you used to be a teacher that would be weird and awkward and seriously inappropriate. Oh hi Nicole? You’re here as Ezra’s date? Okay cool cool, there’s Clark gotta go byeeee.” She bolts toward Clark, who says this is his first show, which confuses Aria because the program says he won a governor’s award? “Oh right,” he stumbles, “I mean the first that’s this big I mean like what that’s what I meant yeah.” OH-KAY, it’s weird, but it’s definitely not the weirdest thing that’s happened tonight, so Aria ignores it.
They’re interrupted by the emcee announcing the opening of the exhibit. But when they open the gallery, Aria’s creepy doll photographs have been replaced with even creepier photographs of the Liars in the dollhouse morgue.
Tanner is on the scene quickly, plucking the title card off the wall from underneath the photographs. “STOLEN DOLLS. NO SON LINDAS,” it says, which Tanner explains translates to “they aren’t pretty” or it could be a play on words and mean “they aren’t Linda’s.” Because Linda is apparently Tanner’s first name (#SummerofAnswers). Ella puts two and two together: Charles is saying that when Tanner rescued the girls from the dollhouse, she took something from him and he can uncover details about Tanner’s past if he so chooses, which makes us wonder: what details does he have on Tanner? Regardless, Ella is pissed. He did this horrible thing to the girls then put it up on a wall to display it. Tanner tells her they’re dusting for prints (LOL) and combing through security footage (LOL) and she’s gotta bolt. Give your statements to the cops, ladies. Peace out.
Outside, Spencer, Emily and Hanna are waiting for the valet when they spy Rhys across the street in a fancy black car and decide to follow him. Emily says “I told my mom we were on our way home,” and Spencer’s like “LIE TO HER DAMMIT.” They track Rhys to a sketchy nondescript urban concrete location where he disappears through a doorway. Someone pulls up while they wait – and Clark, CLARK WE TRUSTED YOU, gets out of the car and goes inside. Neither of them seem to notice the Toyota full of girls parked close by.
Back at the gallery, Ezra offers Aria a ride home. “Nicole seems nice,” she offers. Ezra insists it wasn’t a date – he just had some questions about Habitat for Humanity for his next true crime novel because he might be interested in doing something good for a change. She apologies for prying, she was just trying to get her mind off what happened tonight. Ezra assures her tonight’s stunt reeks of desperation, because Charles is so close (two episodes) to being caught. Aria shivers. “We were drugged when Charles took our clothes and posed us for those pictures,” she says. When Aria was coming out of that drugged up state she thought she’d wake up in Iceland before all this happened. But when she opened her eyes, not only was she not in Iceland, she was on a cold metal table, and she is still cold, to this day. And those horrible things? They’re still. Freaking. Happening. This, by the way, is a beautifully moving scene, and to his credit, Ezra sits quietly and lets Aria deliver it uninterrupted. To which we say:
Ella shows up at Marin Mansion and splits a bottle of pinot with Ashley. She’s upset about having to break the news to Aria about prom, but also the gallery. “We need to do something,” she insists through tears. “The police aren’t doing enough. WE have to protect our girls.” VIGILANTE MOM JUSTICE. ELLA FOR MVP. But as the camera zooms out, we catch a glimpse of Red Coat, watching them from outside the window.
The Liars convene at Aria’s house to tell her about seeing Clark with Rhys. As they talk about it, the camera cuts to Tanner watching security footage across town, where she sees the back of a white man with a swank haircut, switching out Aria’s photographs at the gallery. Charles? Rhys? Jason?
Our gloved A packs a car trunk full of jumper cables, rope, duct tape, a TUXEDO, and six syringes – everything you’d need to kidnap six girls while wearing a tux. But which six? The Liars + Ali + Sara? The Liars + Ali + Mona? The Liars + Mona + Sara? A slams the trunk and gets into the backseat of a v. snazzy black car. He taps on the partition and when the driver rolls it down, we see Red Coat behind the wheel. She hands A an envelope containing two tickets to the Rosewood High School fairy-tale themed “Enchanted Forest” prom.
It’s prom night at Rosewood High, and our Liars are back in action in prom dresses they (thankfully) chose themselves. Our girls just wanna dance with somebody, but of course, A has other plans…
See you bitches at the PROM!
RosemAry (and Alexis)