I feel like every episode this season has opened with the full Liars crew whispering about the latest life-ending drama, but this episode starts with Hanna alone, talking to her mother on the phone and drinking skim milk. I miss Caleb. Evil Detective then shows up at the patio door instead of ringing the doorbell (everyone on this show loves a patio door sneak attack!), where he again threatens Hanna but pretends like he is not threatening her directly. Not entirely sure how that works on the legal spectrum, Evil Detective. Everyone is talking about the blood found on Ali’s anklet, and it is starting to sound a little like Vampire Diaries. Also, Hanna is surprised that the police knew she snuck into Garrett’s Mom’s hospital room, but she should know that people tend to recognize you when you sprint out of a hospital room and scream at your best friend while the patient is having a seizure.
The Liars all chat about how Hanna will basically be in jail forever and ever. Emily looks really great, especially with her cute lightweight summer scarf. Ari is wearing scary earrings, so everything seems pretty normal to me. Later, Hanna goes to school or something while everyone else goes to the coffee shop. Some blonde fake Ali appears… CECE!!! A NEW FACE!!! She is like Ali, only she does not look like a 32-year-old woman trapped in a 16-year-old body. Allegedly Cece had an amazingly “intense” summer with Ali, but none of the Liars had heard a thing about her. Cece knows everything about the Liars. She looks normal, only the kind of hot normal where she just walked off the set of Gossip Girl for a smoke break and ended up in the middle of Rosewood on accident. Oops. Cece proves that she knows all the girls by telling them Hanna is allowed to shoplift from the new boutique across the street where she works. Ali’s Dad is also back in Rosewood, and he looks albino.
The blood on Ali’s anklet is a big thing in this episode, because everyone likes to have a conversation about it. Toby and Spencer have a fight about the blood; these two are always either fighting or almost having sex! Fifty Shades of Grey for the tween set! We also get the name of the new hot coffee shop (unless I missed that establishing shot in previous weeks), and it is called REAR WINDOW BREW. PLL loves a blatantly obvious Hitchcock reference, and I love PLL. I also love Hitchcock. Everything is perfect. Nate is going on a date with Jenna after they made flirty during Jenna’s ugly Alice in Wonderland hat party. Nate buys Jenna a scented candle as a present, and Emily says it will make a good gift because Jenna has “a highly developed sense of smell.” I laughed for a full four minutes. Like, I actually paused the show because I was laughing too hard.
NEXT: “Hey, can you cheat on a blood test?
The police are coming to take Hanna’s blood (eventually), and she asks, “Hey, can you cheat on a blood test?” I believe the answer is NO, but I would love to see that scene in an upcoming episode. PLL writing room, deliver the goods! Hanna, spending the afternoon with Aria, finds an Ouija board on her kitchen table. I have never been allowed to use an Ouija board, and I find them really scary/hilarious. A has altered the board, where she circles the A (obvious choice, darling) and messes with the Ouija magnifying hand contraption to Hanna’s finger bleed. BLOOD. Hanna’s blood is everywhere — this is a vampire show now. So here’s the scary thing about this particular Ouija board: Hanna buried the hand piece of the board with Ali. GRAVE ROBBER. Hanna and Mona played the board after Ali’s murder, but just days before the body was found. The board said a lot of eerie stuff when Hanna and Mona played, as Ouija boards tend to do under the hands of potential lesbian lovers. Hanna thought she saw Ali on her patio that night. We get a flashback where Hanna rocks some Daryl-Hannah-in-Splash extensions. This felt a lot like that weird flashback Halloween episode.
We’re back in Cece’s world, where she is just acting super sleazy and weird. Cece clearly wants to sleep with Nate, and since she keeps talking about her crazy time with Ali, I feel like she is also addicted to hard drugs. Cece has so many questions and kind of feels like one of those characters where everything is explained out loud so the slow viewers can catch up. But Cece wants to have sex with Nate! Nate wishes he could have sex with Emily! Confusing!
Aria’s Mom is having her date at the bizarre popular coffee home we love so much.
Aria’s Mom is flirting with the guy that owns that café. I was always under the assumption that Café Owner hired Emily because of their sexual preference kinship, but it seems he is into older women. He always owns a nice motorcycle jacket. Bottom line: Aria’s Mom found Ted on her dating site, her intended date. Ted. TED, the wonky pastor that PornStarMom wants to have babies with. Luckily for all parties involved, the church e-date does not go well (Ted eats his ice cream like a freakshow) and Aria’s Mom has a date immediately after her first date with the coffee shop owner. Aria rightfully calls her mother a slut over the phone when she finds out. Café Owner also compares first dates with job interviews, which matches up with PornStarMom’s thought process that you need to bring a resume to a date. The PLL writers must have some romantic beef with the one percent.
There’s this one great scene in which Hanna and Spencer pretend to talk on the phone while Hanna walks up to some outdoor table to meet Spencer. The girls literally switch from talking on the phone to immediately continuing their conversation in person. Not a second hesitation. I have no idea why this scene existed or why it was necessary but it made me really happy. This has happened to me in real life before, but it usually revolves around meeting to find food. That’s all I’ve got there.
NEXT: Yes, the girl that leaked her own nudes and made Hanna vomit.
The big jolt in this episode comes from bringing Mona back into the fold, as Hanna asks Aria to visit Mona. Brief rewind: Hanna was banned from seeing Mona after Mona’s outburst, but A hacked into the hospital’s server and turned Mona’s visitation hours back on. Yikes. PLL finally decides to go full horror movie with this psych ward, with crazy screams and a creepy old grandmother (she looks like Mother, Norman Bates’ umm Mom) brushing her hair on the couch of the rec room. Mona asks Aria if she wants to play a game, which is followed by Mona building a house of cards herself. I think I like the blatantly obviously metaphor, but I really wouldn’t call a solo building exercise with a deck of cards a “game,” per se. I kept thinking that it must be really hard for Lucy Hale to deliver her rushed whisper lines without blowing down the house of cards, so I commend her for every single acting choice in this scene. Mona says that she doesn’t know who planted the Ouija board in Hanna’s house, which would make sense because she’s locked up. Duh.
Emily received two full weeks of crazy drama, so this week she is basically cleaning up the aftermath of everyone around her or low-key dealing with the mentally insane that are still loose in Rosewood. Cece reveals her plan to seduce Nate when she steals Jenna’s phone number from Emily and threatens Jenna. Like, Cece threatens to scratch out Jenna’s eyes. I would have loved to see Jenna this episode, but all the eyeball jokes themselves were fantastic. Jenna doesn’t show up to her date with Nate later that night, which either shows that Cece was successful or that Jenna is in hiding or that Jenna is smarter than everyone else in the world. I feel like Cece would be good friends with Hanna’s sister-in-law, Kate. Yes, the girl that leaked her own nudes and made Hanna vomit.
Spencer, meanwhile, rescues Jason from getting arrested after he gets drunk and crashes his car. All of the car scenes are shot like a different television show, which made me uncomfortable because I was expecting an elaborate car chase sequence? Toby has a meltdown. Toby has a fight with Spencer. Toby does not have sex with Spencer. I know these two will figure out the algorithm eventually.
Hanna and Aria decide to sneak back inside the asylum after visiting hours, which is dumb but also pretty badass. Hanna is getting really resourceful this season and I definitely respect that kind of power in a woman. Hanna explains that Ali’s Dad hates her because Hanna called their family and said she saw Ali the night of Ouija board insanity; a few days later, Ali’s body finally turned up. Oh no. While Hanna and Aria make small talk over this incident, Mona escapes! Okay, she doesn’t escape, but she does sneak into the Children’s Ward at the end of the hall. The Children’s Ward is the most horrifying place ever, and Mona was able to crack the lock using Hanna’s tweezers from the beginning of the season. Aria freaks out over giving “TWEEZERS TO A MENTAL PATIENT,” which is an unbeatable quote. Also, we get the nice detail that the childhood horror room was built in 1831, which is probably super necessary for all the dense mythology this show offers.
NEXT: “No one to save Ali from evil.”
Inside this ward, Mona is combing the hair of a random doll. I think the doll is wearing a hat and Mona is actually combing the doll’s face, but I am not going to argue with Mona. Mona then starts saying bonkers poetry: “Miss Aria, you’re a killer not Ezra’s wife;” “Where were we? Maya’s away sleeping sweet, until Garrett’s all rosy count on me;” “No one to save Ali from evil.” You can imagine how I felt during this scene. No, I will tell you: I was crying.
Hanna goes home and has a sleepover with Aria while sleeping next to the creepiest doll ever manufactured. It actually might not be as creepy as one of the 917 creepy dolls that this show has utilized, but it is at least close. In a flashback this episode, we learn that Mona and Hanna had a secret code. Obviously, no one has mentioned this secret code before, and we will only need it this one episode, because that is how PLL devises its flashbacks! Need to know basis. All the Liars gather after Hanna remembers the code, and Spencer is pissed because she has a French test the next morning. The code uses the first letter of every word to create new messages; this code is just a mnemonic device and therefore not that clever. The first clue is, “Maya knew;” the third clue is, “Not safe.” The middle clue is the doozy, because it leads to a website: www.massugar.com; “Where were we? Maya’s always sleeping sweet, until Garret’s all rosy. Count on me.” Maya’s initials were MAS, and the website Mona lead the Liars to shows a picture of Maya and asks WHAT’S THE MAGIC WORD? No one knows that password, but clearly this is the craziest!
In case you were wondering, I did go to www.massugar.com myself. It did not yield the same results as the Liars; instead, the site takes you to some video on the ABC Family site where people lip-synch to some awful pop song. Nothing makes sense and all of the people in the video look dumb. The final A clue involves A sneaking into the awful children’s ward, strangling a doll, and taking out a recording device from the doll’s cracked neck. NOT SAFE. I hope I never see a children’s ward again because that was the worst place I have ever seen. I would love to try an Americano from the Rear Window Brew, and I would love for Emily to brew it for me once she’s less caught up in her distracting Cece-Nate-Jenna love drama. I would also like to say that I officially prefer Hanna (I guess this compliment should go to Ashley Benson, but Hanna is also a real person as well, right?) with short hair, now that I’ve seen those weird extensions in the Ouija flashback. Final note: PLL won approximately 39 Teen Choice Awards over the weekend, which equals a lot of surfboards; I am so proud! I am not proud of the Teen Choice Awards, however, as I was barred from voting on the website because I am “too old” at the age of 22. I’m currently working on my plan to break Mona out of her cell to seek vengeance. Stay tuned.
[Image Credit: ABC Family]