By Karen Malmquist
MONA IS MISSING AND ZACH IS BACK as the girls let Emily turn into Medusa. Yep, it’s a weird one!
The Pretty Little Liars head to The Brew and go through a box of toys taken from Jessica DiLaurentis. For some reason Mrs. D held onto Alison’s Legos, seemingly because they hold some kind of significance. Knowing Ali, she must’ve been really good at making model torture chambers out of them or something.
Ella’s boyfriend Zach has returned from the black hole he fell into last season, and the two are canoodling together over the cash register.
Aria lovingly watches her mom make out with her cougar cub as she tells the girls about Jake, because that’s the only thing going on in her life right now. Nobody seems remotely interested. Aria could at least pretend that her whole world does not revolve around student-teacher relationships.
Zach tells Ella about an amazing job opportunity he has in Austria. Only five Americans were picked to work at some fancy pastry spot overseas, and they went with a guy who makes cinnamon rolls at a coffee shop in a small Pennsylvania town. Interesting. He asks her if she could come with him. She says she can’t. You know, her being a parent and all. Still, it’s not as weird as the Montgomery family moving to ICELAND for a whole year immediately after Ali’s disappearance.
Underneath the seemingly important Legos, Hanna uncovers a creepy white mask from the box. It’s sort of similar to the Queen of Hearts mask from Halloween. The girls note that it’s a strange discovery, but move on when Melissa walks into The Brew. This is conveniently the busiest the shop has ever been. Hanna believes that Melissa really was on the Halloween train, but Spencer isn’t ready to believe that just yet.
For some reason, Spencer still thinks Melissa has real things going on in her life. Just in case she doesn’t, she approaches Melissa and asks how Washington, DC was. Melissa says it was great and they might offer her an internship in San Francisco or London. What the hell kind of company is this? Always the sweet and compassionate older sister, Melissa warns that Spencer might want to leave town if she knows what’s best for her. Is that a threat? Wait, of course it is. Melissa could say “happy birthday” to Spencer and secretly mean she’s going to drug her, throw her in a crate and try to push her off a train. Too soon? Oh, and she seems strangely unshaken by the news of Wilden’s death.
Later, on some nondescript stairs, Caleb tells Hanna that pastor Ted found out that someone at the foundry switched the bell from the tower. He and his dad are good again, and he assures Hanna that her mom will be proven innocent.
Toby is frustrated with what he’s learned about his mother’s death from the papers A gave him. He and Spencer are worried that people will find out about his involvement with A and the stuff in the RV. Spencer says they should go to Radley and try to see if her “suicide” story checks out. Something tells me it’s not going to be that easy. One does not simply walk into Radley.
Because the sun never shines on the Marin house, Hanna is once again having a deep and meaningful conversation in the middle of the night in her kitchen. She asks her mom more questions about New York, and Ashley insists that all she did, besides attend a conference, was go see Anything Goes on Broadway. Aha! She’s lying! Anything Goes is currently on tour, and not in New York. Don’t ask me how I know that. Anyway, she’s totes lying. And why exactly?
She killed Widlen, that’s why.
Aria invites Jake over to watch an old movie, because there’s nothing that a young guy wants to do more than watch 1930’s noir with a girl he just met. She looks very upset when he says he’s not as into black and white movies as she is. Yawn. What a storyline this girl has.
Emily sees her doctor, who tries to prescribe her with pain meds. She nervously says she has a bad reaction to whatever it is he wants to put her on, and then runs away.
Hanna visits mom at work and notices flowers on her desk. Ashley says everyone who went to New York got flowers, and her daughter pretends to believe her. When Ashley steps out, Hanna discovers a “thank you” note in the trash can, saying “The show was a dud. You didn’t miss a thing! xx.” Okay, so maybe on the show’s timeline, the musical really is still in New York. When Ashley returns, Hanna shows her the note and angrily walks away. However, no one could be as mad as the people in Anything Goes right now.
Outside of the school, Spencer tells Emily and Aria that she’s struggling with the phone number Tippy was singing. Emily says she has Ali’s diaries and needs to go over them. Aria, having nothing else to do, offers to help out. Spencer, however, says she’s helping Toby with something.
Suddenly Mrs. Fields shows up and pulls Emily aside, demanding to know where her pills went, because she got a call from the doctor about Emily’s “reaction,” despite them never being prescribed to her. Once Emily gets into the car, Aria gets a text from A, saying that she’s “cleaning up Rosewood, one mean mommy at a time.” Again, how do all their phones get red font?!
Hanna goes to the police station and magically sneaks into a conference room without anyone noticing. There’s a giant board of clues and pictures surrounding Wilden’s picture. As she takes out her phone, officer Holbrook walks in and asks what she’s doing. She says she’s looking for Mrs. Fields, and then asks why her picture is on the board. He assures her that it’s just because she’s someone who was linked to him. Her picture will only stay up there if she turns into a suspect. Also, note that Wren made it to the murder board, with the word “Doctor” by his name. He’s always been a suspicious guy. Why would a hot British doctor choose Rosewood of all places to practice medicine?
Melissa walks into the station, and Holbrook leaves to greet her.
Caleb approaches Mr. Marin after work, saying that Hanna is worried Wilden’s death will be blamed on Ashley. He says Ashley needs a lawyer, and Hanna needs to know that her dad is gonna be there for her.
While going through Ali’s stuff with Emily, Aria notices that the white mask has an Ali mask underneath it. She and Emily speculate that Ali modeled for the mask, and examine the label on the back of it.
Ashley comes into Hanna’s room and asks her to not say anything about the musical. Hanna barely gets a word in before Ashley hurries away.
Spencer and Toby sneak into Radley, only punching in a 3-number code to get in. Apparently one does simply walk into Radley.
Hanna goes to see Emily and Aria and when they tell her the info on the mask about who made it, she insists they leave now to find out more. Aria thinks they should wait for Spencer, but Hanna says there’s no time to wait for Nancy Drew. They can do this on their own.
The girls go to the shadiest place in Torch Lake to meet their maker. I mean, meet the mask maker. A guy who makes masks and such things for horror movies out of a scary cabin in the middle of nowhere could probably kill them, so meeting their maker is entirely possible. After mildly freaking out over the very life-like mannequin hanging out on the front porch, the guy comes outside and says he wishes they would’ve called first. Not once considering just running back to the car, they decide to follow the guy when he creepily lets them come inside. This has “the beginning of The Human Centipede written all over it. It’d be a miracle if within the next two seconds they don’t wake up surgically attached to each other.
See, this is why I’m not one of the Liars. I’d be the girl who runs away crying from places like this.
Back at Radley, which is now the second scariest place the Liars visit tonight, Toby and Spencer go to the room where his mom allegedly jumped. No one ever thought to hire security guards at a mental hospital to keep people safe, so it was easy for them to get in. Toby looks out the window and gets upset that he gave the RV to A for nothing.
The mask guy tells the girls about how he and Ali met when he put an ad online saying he needed a model for a Joan of Arc mask. He then tells Emily that she’d make a great Medusa, which makes her even more nervous. Doesn’t every girl want to hear that she looks like Medusa? He offers them Ali info in exchange for Emily’s face. Without asking to see a permit or something, the girls agree to the trade.
Spencer looks out the window and sees an awning, realizing there’s no way she could’ve jumped and died from there. Maybe those papers from A really do mean something.
Emily’s face is now fully covered in plaster as Hanna goes looking for clues in the back room. The guy tells Aria that Ali mysteriously asked for him to destroy the mold of her face. Meanwhile, Aria is holding a hammer behind her back in case anything happens. After the mold is finished, (“Perrrrfect!” was the guy’s exact whisper-y word to describe it) the girls leave. Outside, Hanna shows them something in her bag as they hear a noise in the distance. God, please let it be an adorable raccoon or something.
Mr. Marin tells Caleb that he knew Ashley was in Rosewood the night Wilden was shot and killed. He says that after his first talk with Caleb he went back to the office and while looked for the gun he had locked in his desk, in case Ashley might’ve gotten to it. He tells Caleb that the gun was gone. Making Mr. Marin suspicious about his ex-wife’s involvement in the murder is the opposite of what Caleb had in mind for their first chat earlier that day, but at least they have some kind of proof now.
Mrs. Fields goes into Emily’s room and says that family services wants to interview her about her relationship with Emily. They think there’s a pattern that makes her suspicious about her daughter’s incident in the pool, the whole stabbing-in-the-lighthouse thing, the ulcer she got a while back, Maya’s death, the way they acted outside the school… that kinda stuff. Family services thinks all of this has to do with her and her father’s parenting. She apologizes for yelling at Emily outside of the school, and Emily says she knows her mom was just worried about her. If only they knew A was behind everything.
Aria has forced Jake to hang out with her again, and they get hot chocolate at The Brew. Her mom is there again, so she goes and tells her to “follow her bliss” and go on this year-long trip to Vienna with Zach. I hope Aria and Ella at least carpooled there, because taking separate cars to the same place in town is kind of irresponsible.
Spencer goes to Hanna’s, and Hanna shows her the red Melissa mask the guy made. They need to know why both of them had personalized masks made, and wonder if Ali followed Melissa there or vice-versa. Maybe the white mask that was put over the Ali face was worn by the very prominent blonde extra in the red dress at the masquerade party at the end of season two? Red Coat is Ali! Okay, I’m getting way too ahead of myself here.
Hanna comes home and hears the water running upstairs. She knocks on the door and Ashley stiffly says she’s fine. Inside, Ashley is just standing there fully clothed, staring at the running water in the tub. Maybe she’s trying to drown the muddy Manolos she wore when she killed Wilden?
Melissa calmly asks Spencer if Hanna told her about seeing each other at the station. Spencer coolly says yes, while trying to subtly throw a blanket on the Melissa mask by her feet. Melissa then asks Spencer the same question she asked Melissa years before: If you had to choose between saving your sister or the one you love, who would you pick? God, Melissa could not be more terrifying. But admit it, you’d be kind of disappointed if she came into Spencer’s room to ask if she wanted to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians together downstairs.
While trying to sleep, Emily gets a text from A, with a picture of her mom with jail bars in front of her. Mrs. Fields comes in and says that her dad is coming home. Family services called him, too. They’re both under investigation. This is really bad but on the bright side, Mrs. Fields would be the most liked inmate at Rosewood Jail. Or whatever it’s called.
Meanwhile, A is seen in a black hoodie and gloves, listening to that “the leg bone’s connected to the knee bone” song on her very hipster-friendly record player. She hangs up Emily’s x-ray on the wall, and based on how high she had to reach to hang it up, it could be Mona again. Or maybe I’m just saying that because the cutest person to don the famous A attire was sadly absent this week, and just the idea that those could be Mona’s wrists makes everything a little better.
Next week, a curly-haired lady in a car wonders out loud why the Liars attract so many corpses, and Aria is in a dark room holding a flashlight. We can only hope this means she’s ditched the karate kid and will actually do something relating to the premise of the show this time. Prayer circle that that they don’t turn Jaria into a thing, anyone?