Happy new year and happy new half-season of Pretty Little Liars! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, is it not? The back half of season 5 kicks off with a bit of a time jump and throws a lot of action at us, so let’s get to recappin’!
Lindsay: We open three months after the finale at MonA’s funeral...except we still have no body. The family is just burying an empty casket in order to have a goodbye, some sort of closure. Everyone is sad (and the girls are actually appropriately dressed, which, if you’ve seen their funeral gear prior to this, is surprising), and, of course, Ali shows up, dolled up for a luau. When she offers her condolences to MonA’s mom, Mrs. Van Der Waal slaps the bejesus out of her, shrieking to give her back her baby. Shocking? Yes. Warranted? Maybe.
Jess: Can we talk about how MonA had a ton of creepy dolls in her room even after she’s given up the A game? Oy vey. I know this because Hanna spends a lot of time in MonA’s bedroom this episode. First, she comforts Mom MonA after the funeral, then, she comes by later to tell her about the hidden vent cameras (in a roundabout way) Spencer and Em spied when they were trying to plant a strand of Ali’s hair at MonA’s house. It’s really sad every time Hanna and Mom MonA are together, because they’re both just trying to DEAL and it’s clearly not easy. Hanna also has a flashback to when she and MonA were besties and MonA was her confidence booster supreme. Sigh. RIP MonA. Also, P.S. no cops know who killed MonA or where her body is but they do still think Spencer killed Bethany. At least, they do at the start of the episode...
Lindsay: Bethany’s parents are trying to get Spencer’s bail revoked (if you remember, she was arrested in the final episode of the summer season for Bethany’s murder), and apparently, they’ve done it before. But, according to Mr. Hastings, the judge handling Spencer’s bail may consider it now. Why? New evidence has come to light! The late Mrs. DiLaurentis told Detective Wilden that she saw Spencer in her backyard the night Ali went missing, but Wilden hid it. Why? We don’t know, but #BadCop didn’t find it until now, and this is evidence that could put Spencer in Orange is the New Black territory. Later, #BadCop comes to tell Spencer that the charges against her are being dropped: They think that Ali set her up and that Bethany was her first victim. Um, duh. Glad you’ve caught up with the rest of us, Rosewood Police Department.
Jess: So many familiar faces are back in the hood! JASON “ERIK VON DETTEN” DILAURENTIS and The Grunwald and Lt. Tanner aka #BadCop. I’m most excited about Jason, obviously, but it’s nice to have a psychic and a cop who actually does her job around, too. Jason is key because Spencer’s meditations on the importance of truth and brother/sister bonding get him to admit he lied about Ali’s alibi for the day MonA was killed. #BadCop shows him the video footage from MonA’s hidden cameras, which show a blonde girl attacking MonA, and he says it could most def be Ali on the tape. So guess what, bitches? Ali’s arrested for MonA’s murder! She tries to run before she’s taken, and the liArs stop her. Of course she has some choice farewell words for her former BFFs: “A set me up. You're letting A win. Who's gonna protect you when I'm gone? If you do this, you'll all be next!” The liArs are skeptical, but a fireworks display from A at the end of the episode has them running for the hills.
And The Grunwald, oh The Grunwald! Hanna asks her to find MonA’s body (by sniffing a stuffed animal of MonA’s for a psychic vision) and TG pretty much confirms that MonA’s six feet under with the worms - and her soul is in limbo, NBD. She also gets all spooky, as she is wont to do, and says, “Each one hated the other because each one feared the other because each one knew something about the other.” MonA and Ali? Ali and Bethany? Or two entirely different folks? Only time will tell. But lemme lay this down: I think there’s some mystery sibling/twin stuff going on (similar to what happened in the PLL books) for sure. The Grunwald meets Ali inthe street, and after a pleasant enough convo, grabs her arm, has a vision, and calls her “Alison” in a suspiciously emphatic way that suggests, to me, that she’s not the REAL Alison. And Jason mentions that he and Ali always seem to “remember things differently” about their childhood - also, she has three full albums of baby pics while he has...less than three. Ali had that same “memory issue” when The Ghost of MonAs Past showed her a Christmas of yore in the #XmasSpecial. I’m watching you, Ali.
Lindsay: One other casualty in this MonA affair? Mike Montgomery. As Ezra says to Aria, “MonA was a lot of things to a lot of people, but she was only one thing to Mike.” He did love her. Ezra says he’ll talk to Mike and act as a shoulder to cry on, but only while he conscripts Mike to help put the bookshelves up in his new bookshop (guess teaching finally fell through). Ezra talks to Mike like a dad fumbling through the birds and the bees talk with his son, but he also makes the tone deaf and possibly true statement that Mike isn’t acting like someone who lost someone. Um, people grieve in different ways, jerk. For instance, you become a cliché and open a bookshop. Later, Mike tells Aria that he hates that everyone is talking about how great MonA was without really knowing her. He knew her. And then he sobs hard sobs and breaks my heart. Oh, Mike.
Pretty Little P.S.:
- Of course Aria applied to Oberlin and Brown.
- Ali’s tone-deaf floral dress at MonA’s funeral was obviously completely inappropriate, but really pretty and really blended in well with the scene.
- HILARIOUS when Aria blows her rape whistle at Ali.
- When Hanna gives the Grunwald MonA’s stuffed dog with which to track her by, we weren’t sure if she was asking Grunwald to find MonA by scent.
- The “they don’t let you have fireworks in prison” is the new “they don’t allow you to have bees in here.”
- I really enjoy Aria’s confrontation of Ali, which involves this barb: “You killed Bethany because you were jealous of a mental patient, that's how crazy you are!" Of course, Ali/A’s retaliation confrontation of Aria involves a terrifying staple gun, a plastic tarp, and the stealing of MonA’s Very Important laptop (which Aria was borrowing from Caleb for Hacking 101).
- Can’t say I blame Paige’s parents for wanting her as far away from Rosewood as possible. Even if Ali’s in jail, there are hella predators running around. One of them is named Ezra Fitz. So Paige is off to Cali and Em is sad.
- No one at the RPD seems to think it’s much of a conflict of interest that Toby’s on the case in which his gf is suspect #1. I’m not surprised, but still, come on guys.
Ali’s in the slammer, and A’s still on the loose, so whatever relief the liArs had was certainly (and predictably) short-lived. Next episode, Toby does some policing on MonA’s trailer property, Spencer is ready to snoop, and Hanna looks like a target: Are they closer to finding MonA’s body? We’ll see you here next week to find out.