Do you like my title editing? I try to keep this site pretty clean, and I hope you can appreciate the
very little effort it takes.
So, on to the recap…
The Recap Recap
I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I’ll recap the recap that starts the episode off.
If you’ll remember, the following happened:
- Dead Mother haunted Ali, which caused Ali to break her beloved jewelry box
- Hanna and Emily had some terrible lines (“We’re building a rat trap.” “And you’re the cheese.”) Groan…
- Hanna confessed to killing Charlotte in an effort to…do something (because those types of ideas always work out so well for them)
- Sabrina is absolutely sick of Emily’s sneaking around shiz
- Spencer and Caleb awkwardly hooked up, and Hanna knew about it
- Aria and Ezra not-so-awkwardly hooked up, and the writers want us to completely forget about Ezra’s creepy “I’m writing a book” stalking
- Hanna ran back to Caleb (in the rain, y’all!) after they broke up…but he was so outta there already
- Caleb kisses Hanna and makes the world collectively yell, “Noooooo!!!!! You were the good guy!” (Or maybe that was just me.)
- Ali’s Dead Mother and Dead Wilden return to harass Ali. (It’s interesting to note that, out of all the crap she’s been through, this is what pushes the girl over the edge?)
- Mary Drake was at Radley and had a child named Charles. (Spencer, like, literally says this sentence out loud for us.)
- Elliott and Mary Drake are in cahoots, and Elliott loved Charlotte or some crap.
- As per usual, the plan goes awry and Hanna gets kidnapped EVEN THOUGH CALEB CHECKED ALL THE DOORS! I know…shocker, right?
- Hanna’s bloody, flower-bedecked body is dragged across the floor somewhere.
Onward to Rosewood…
In a random flash-forward (possibly?), we see 3/4 Liars digging a grave and lamenting something to do with Hanna. I think we’re supposed to assume Hanna is in the grave, but this fish ain’t biting. As usual, Spencer is being logical, Aria is wide-eyed and pointing out the obvious as Lucy Hale tries to shed a tear (acting is hard, y’all), and Emily has dissolved into hysterics and is contributing nothing to the task at hand. Nothing new to see here, folks.
Opening credits. In case your’e wondering, Hanna does the “shhh…” I always care to notice who does it, but I’m not sure why.
4 Days Earlier…
All the heroes of this story (plus Aria and Emily), decide to ask Toby for help finding Hanna, because she’s been…misplaced.
During this conversation, Caleb basically accuses Spencer of not caring enough about Hanna, and they all spot Ali’s Dead Mom going into the police station, but they don’t know who she is yet. The next few minutes are just a bunch of terrible Dead Jessica Dilaurentis lines written by the PLL team. (You know, stuff about body snatchers, bad jokes that no one laughs at, etc.)
Oh, and Caleb’s completely flipped his lid. He’s gonna go beat Dead Mom until she explains some crap. And then Toby (the voice of reason?) tells him to cool his jets, bruh, cuz he’s a legit cop who can just, like, ask her without resorting to violence and junk.
That’s a great plan, methinks, until Toby actually tries to execute it. He has absolutely NO chill. He walks up in there like he has a definite purpose in mind, pulls his badge ASAP, gets his info from Dead Jessica, and then exits the scene. She’s probably like, “what just happened here?” That was a great job arousing as much suspicion as you possibly can, Tobes. But I doubt we’ll hear anything else about that.
Turns out, the doppelgänger is Jessica’s twin, aka Mary Drake. (Dun-DUN-DUNNNNNN.)
I think we, as the audience, have already figured that out. But whatevs.
She’s the owner of the Lost Woods, and she’s reporting a break-in or something stupid.
Anyway, the Liars get a text from A.D., and that psychopath says that the bell tolls for Hanna. Creepy, kinda. And then the bell tolls.
Side note for Gilmore girls fans: So, you know how they use the same set for Stars Hollow and Rosewood? Well, that’s totally the church where Luke and Lorelai broke the bells. Sometimes I imagine that Stars Hollow and Rosewood are the same town and PLL/Gilmore girls exist together. Rory and Lorelai know about the PLLs, but they ignore them because they don’t want any part of that crazy crap they’ve got going on. So, while this scene is playing out, the Gg are having a movie night like normal people or something. Anyway…back to this show…
So, everyone’s running towards the bells. As they enter the church, they see Hanna’s body hanging from ropes á la Ian from season 1 or whatever (remember Ian?) They get her down, then realize it’s not Hanna. It is, in fact, a doll with a mask on. Guys, this part was so crazy bizarre that I actually laughed out loud. I mean…this is not scary. Dolls can definitely be creepy, but this scene is just bad. I think it’s the doll’s voice. They pull a string, and the doll mutters some ridiculous threat in a sing-song voice, and it’s all just comical, really. Anyway, they have 24 hours to decide who killed Cece or Hanna dies or something. I was laughing too hard to pay attention.
It’s 4 a.m., and Caleb has 76% battery life on his phone. These details are important. He needs to save Hanna and get to a charger QUICK! Or, he might could actually take his time with that last part. If you don’t watch any videos or use GPS, 76% can last for a while.
23 Hours to Go…
Gotta admit, the video game geek in me loves the countdown effect. I’ve seen it executed much more effectively (Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, anyone?), but it’s cool here, too.
So, all the not-lost Liars plus Caleb, Toby, and Ezra are gathered in Spencer’s living room. I love that they all took one of their precious hours to take showers, change clothes (stylish clothes, complete with jewelry), fix their hair and makeup, and make some coffee. I gotta say, if I knew one of my friends had 24 hours to live, I think I’d be okay with wearing what I already had on. But stress makes you act like an idiot according to PLL, so who am I to judge?
Here’s what goes down in this scene:
- Spencer asks A.D. for proof that Hanna is alive
- Spencer makes her house “command central”
- Ezra’s already given up all hope…but only for a sec
- Mona is just so excited to be included
- Aria points out the creep factor of the whole situation
- Emily tries really hard to think for herself
- Mona agrees with Emily and gets all the recognition for Emily pointing out the obvious
Somehow, they decide that they just need to think really hard to figure out who killed Cece.
Great, so at this point, I’m thinking they’re gonna get together and lay out all the facts, looking for clues and leads, perhaps with flow charts and diagrams….but, no. They’re just gonna vote. ‘Cuz it’s a democracy, y’all. I mean, finding a murderer is not an objective action, based on facts and information. It’s a subjective decision, based on how you feel about certain people and whether they’re creepy or not. So, good plan.
Check-In on Hanna
Turns out, homegirl’s not doing so great. She’s mostly naked for some reason, but thankfully she was wearing a camisole instead of a bra because this is Freeform, not HBO. Her makeup is still perfection, but she has a lot of blood on her face, so she really needs a mirror. Other than that, there’s just a lot of knocking on the walls and yelling at her captor. Moving on…
The Voting Results
Everyone stares awkwardly at each other as Mona reveals the following votes (On slips of paper, like when you’re picking Dirty Santa numbers. You can’t make this crap up.)
- No name
Based on facial expressions, I’m thinking that Emily didn’t vote because that’s so totally her style. Spencer voted for Mona (she couldn’t even look her in the eye). You’d think Mona voted for Spencer, but Mona actually seemed surprised when she read the name aloud. Aria and Ezra both looked unsurprised when Alison’s name was read, which makes me think that’s who they both voted for. That means either Caleb or Toby voted for Spencer. My money’s on Caleb.
So, they decide that Ali definitely had the opportunity to kill Charlotte because Aria and Ezra saw a blonde driving Ali’s car and walking around in a red coat that night. Emily immediately jumps to Ali’s defense because Ali could literally kill someone right in front of her and she still wouldn’t believe it.
But, really, they’re jumping to all sorts of conclusions here. They decide that her motive is either Ali reverting to her old behavior or acting in self-defense.
Also, they conclude that the way to prove that Ali is the murderer is by finding the red coat worn that night. Aria and Ezra are going to Ali’s house for this bit of evidence. (Am I the only one who wouldn’t trust them with any important task?)
Mona and Caleb are going to work together on the Mary Drake lead.
A.D. texts them all a photo of Hanna. It reminds me a lot of the Kate Moss photos that Ashley Benson posts on Instagram all the time. Except she’s bleeding and not addicted to heroin – yet.
Emily’s just gonna straight-up ask Alison if she killed Charlotte. She thinks her love for Ali will save the day. Girl…you got problems.
Spencer and Toby opt to join Caleb and Mona. I mean, that’s the best option, really.
I’m sitting here thinking that this is an awful, awful plan. Like, it’s all dumb. I feel like this is the kind of investigative crap I’d do if my friend weren’t missing. They aren’t nearly anxious enough to find Hanna. Then again, it’s a TV show, so whatever.
First Stop: Lost Woods
So, the Mary Drake crew arrive at the Lost Woods just in time to see M.D. carry some bags into the hotel. She’s really flying under the radar in her gray child-molester van.
They decide to tail her in their Jeep, and Caleb quickly tells Spencer to step off. She’s obviously upset, but Caleb just drives away. Thankfully, Nice Guy Toby asks her for help inspecting the hotel while Mary’s gone.
Side note: Toby has quickly replaced Caleb as my favorite guy on this show. And he used to be in dead last place.
But, he knows how to do stuff like open locks now. Those two hours of police academy really paid off for him.
Second Stop: Welby (spelling?)
Emily’s spilling all of the girls’ secrets to Elliott. Seriously, why is she telling him all this crap? How are they not suspicious of this dude yet?
Elliott hints heavily that Ali is crazy with guilt because she killed Cece. I mean, he doesn’t say it outright, but that’s what he’s implying.
Emily’s so stupid that she falls for it, hook, line, and sinker.
Back to the Lost Woods
Spencer and Toby are investigating. That means they’re pretentiously throwing out random phrases in foreign languages as they look over book titles. Spencer apparently knows French, Italian, German, and some Chinese.
The books are about war, chemistry, and other random crap. Also, M.D.’s got a passport full of stamps for Europe and Latin America.
They decide that Mary Drake could be A.D., for shizzle.
Third Stop: Ali and Elliott’s House
Now we follow the super sleuths, Aria and Ezra, as they fumble an investigation. Just kidding. They do okay, I guess. Aria’s all hung up on the possibility of finding “special” toys, while Ezra’s repeatedly trying to open a chest that’s obviously locked. So, they’re doing better than I expected.
Uh oh! Elliott’s home, and they haven’t found any toys or keys! What are they gonna do?
Well, Aria decides to stand facing the open doorway while Elliott paces the living room, able to see her at any given moment if he just turns around.
Thankfully, she must realize how stupid this is, and they both hide before Elliott comes into the room. But they hide in the…closet? Facing towards the door? Just barely concealed in the place where Elliott is most likely to go when he enters his bedroom? As a viewer, this is super frustrating.
But no! He actually gets the key to the chest and opens it as Aria and Ezra have a perfect view of the situation. This really couldn’t have gone better if they were actually good detectives.
Wow. Elliott has, like, a saw and junk. Wh-where you going with those amputation supplies, Elliott? Not going to amputate anything today, I hope. ::nervous laughter::
Anyway, somehow E & A manage to get out of the house and hide against the siding as Elliott looks for them. Whew. That was a close one.
Fourth Stop: The Hastings Home
Spencer’s done a lot of work today, and she’s getting pretty hungry, y’all. So, she’s gonna make a pickle sandwich. Also, Caleb is a jackass who doesn’t need food or Spencer. He makes that perfectly clear in their 2-second phone call.
Spencer’s gonna drown her sorrows in a pickle jar.
Fifth Stop: The Hardware Store
Mona and Caleb followed Mary Drake to a hardware store, where she’s buying all kinds of weird, murdery supplies: bleach, charcoal, and vinegar. According to Mona, that’s all you need to cover up a murder. You reading this, serial killers? That’s all. you. need.
They decide that she’s planning to kill Hanna, so they’ll just follow her there.
Check-In on Hanna
She’s being sprayed with a water hose, rather violently. Also, she’s being poked with an electric stick (a cattle prod?) Was the water used first so that the electrical shock is worse? That’s pretty dark,
ABC Family Freeform. (I forgot that they changed their name so they can do this now.)
Stop: Driving Down the Road
Mona and Caleb are following Mary Drake very, very badly. They’re literally the only ones on this creepy, secluded dirt road, yet they’re following directly behind her. There’s no way she doesn’t see them. This is what I would call “tailgating.”
She’s pulling in to Ali’s driveway, so they cut the lights off. Gah, they’re idiots! I think she’s going to notice that the car directly behind her just cut its lights off. Also, they just said that they think they’re lost, but they’re at Ali’s house. Are they stupid, or have they never been to her house before? Why does Ali live in the middle of the woods now? I thought it was the same house she’s always lived in?
Oh, wait. Mary Drake is going to Spencer’s. Yeah, they’re definitely idiots. They didn’t realize she was driving back to the place they were at literally hours before? C’mon, guys. You’re 2/3rds of the smart ones!
Caleb still cares about Spencer enough to tell her not to let Mary Drake in, but Spencer didn’t get that message, yo. She thinks this is perfectly chill, so Mary is invited in for tea.
Back to Welby
Has Emily been at Welby all day, just waiting for permission to see Ali? Emily, you really are the weakest link.
Anyway, she goes in to see Alison, who is bat crap crazy at this point. Also, she’s strapped down to the bed? Emily asks Ali if she killed Charlotte, and Ali starts acting a bit like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. She begs God for forgiveness, and Emily looks really upset.
Back to the Hastings House
Spencer and Mary actually have a pretty enlightening conversation here.
I’m surprised that Mary would talk this much, but here’s what’s revealed:
- Spencer’s parents are on a cruise
- Mary thinks Spencer and Melissa look like twins sometimes
- Spencer met Mary when she was young
- Mary knows Spencer’s family and thinks the Hastings are good secret-keepers
- Spencer is inquisitive
- Mary is overly sensitive
- Mary and Jessica didn’t get along, and Mary moved away because of it.
- Everyone hated Mary because of something Jessica did.
- Jessica was jealous of Mary.
- Mary came back because Jessica died.
- Mary likes tea.
- Mary is all alone.
- Mary evaded the question when Spencer asked if she had kids. Hmmm…
- Mary can’t be friends with any of her ex-lovers.
- Mary speaks very basic French.
- And…Mary exits with a creepy message about locking your doors for safety.
Seventh Stop: Ezra’s House
Aria needs a nap. All this “saving your best friend’s life” business is pretty tiring. But instead, she and Ezra decide to figure out their relationship because that’s more important.
Eighth Stop: The Brew (or whatever it’s called now)
Emily lies and tells Aria that she wasn’t allowed to see Ali. She’s gonna go back to Ali’s house. Sabrina checks on Emily. Why do we care about Sabrina, again?
Back to Ali’s Driveway
Mary Drake is pacing the floor as Caleb and Mona watch. She gets a call, and Caleb tracks it with his super hacker skills. Mona listens in with whatever skills that takes. They track the call to a bar called Snookers, and Spencer tells Caleb that she’s “on it,” whatever that means. She sends Aria there to look for the Aussie/British guy on the other end of the line.
Check-In on Hanna
Hanna’s flipped and is now seeing a Spencer dream person who persuades her to find an escape. Except…wait a second! This Spencer has no bangs! Is this really a dream? Dream Spencer seems surprised to learn that Hanna doesn’t know who killed Charlotte. That’s when she convinces her to look for a way out. She stays with Hanna, singing to her until she falls asleep.
Ninth Stop: Snookers
Aria tries to find a British guy at the bar, but the bartender is no help at all and kind of a douche.
Liam calls. She ignores.
Turns out that it’s a very diverse bar, but she finds no British guy. Also, someone plays B-26, because Marlene King loves poignant moments.
Aria abandons the search for Hanna to go hook up with Ezra instead.
The bells of the church ring, but she ignores them.
Back to Ali’s House
Elliott’s asleep as Emily sneaks around the house. The music from The Shining plays, which is absolutely a cool effect. That quickly turns to a bad cover of Every Breath You Take as Emily recalls every sweet/romantic moment between herself and Ali. It’s interesting to note that Ali still has the Anthropologie comforter that she’s had since she was in ninth grade. Hmm.
Emily opens a Goodwill box and finds the red coat. She seems convinced now that Ali killed Charlotte.
Check-In on Hanna
Homegirl wakes up and decides to look for an exit. (Why did she not do this before?)
Thirty-eight minutes to go…
Spencer catches everyone up on Mary, including her history at Radley, where she stayed for hurting a child she was baby-sitting.
Emily comes in and announces what she found. She is convinced now that Ali killed Charlotte, and she’s willing to offer the coat as proof.
They debate turning Ali in to A.D. Doesn’t matter what they decide because Caleb already snatched the coat and left (with Spencer’s phone).
Back to the Lost Woods
Caleb drops the coat off and texts A.D. Then he…leaves? Shouldn’t he stick around or something to see what happens?
Anyway, time is up, and A.D. is scanning Hanna’s shed with night vision goggles, but no luck – she’s escaped!
Hanna’s running through the woods when she sees headlights. She runs towards them for help, and the car thankfully turns around for her. But then we realize that the driver of the vehicle is…dun-DUN-DUNNNN! Mary Drake.
Flash to someone bagging up the coat for evidence.
Back to Command Central
Caleb arrives back at Spencer’s (did everyone else just hang out there as the countdown timer expired?)
No one has heard anything about Hanna or Ali. They’re sure Ali’s safe, though, because Welby is locked up tight. (I guess they completely forgot all about Radley and its subpar security. That was sooooo last season.)
Cut to Welby
Only, it turns out that Elliott is cray. (Also, the PLL writers totally got this idea from Reddit.)
He acts sweet towards Alison before dropping his American accent for a British one, letting her know she’s going to “rot away” in Welby. Then he whispers in her ear, “I know you killed Charlotte” and injects her with something. He says, “Just like you, Alison, karma can be such b—-.”
Tune-in next week to find out if:
- Emily ever makes a good decision
- Hanna is stuck in only her underwear forever
- Caleb remembers that he’s dating Spencer, not Hanna
- Spencer remembers that she’s supposed to be the smart one
- Mona FINALLY makes the scene in the opening credits (spoiler: she probably doesn’t)
- Aria and Ezra stop being so gross and creepy
- Alison turns full-on Silence of the Lambs crazy