I was going to focus on the entirety of season 4, but I realized that I just can’t. The show is too confusing! It’s one of those that you have to watch from the beginning, or you’re just doomed. DOOMED. So, instead, here is a recap of the episode that aired on March 4th, because man, it’s a doozy. There may be another recap of this show at the end of the season. Because we are owed some information!
Okay, so here we go! And get ready for some major end notes, because there’s so much backstory that it’s insane.
Spencer is just home from rehab.[i] She learns that she will not be allowed to return to school, because her parents don’t trust her. They take her phone and all other electronics and tell her that she can’t see her friends either. Instead, they hired a live-in abuse counselor who is going to be sleeping in the demon barn where her sister and former brother-in-law (who may have been on the A-team[ii]) used to live. Awesome. Just… awesome. Great start.
We first see Aria making out with some random guy at a college party.[iii] Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat are you doing, Aria?? Yes, granted, you just learned that your long-time boyfriend was just using you as a source for his true-crime book about your not-dead best friend, but still! Get that guy’s tongue out of your mouth! You don’t know where it’s been!
Mike and Mona[iv] are fighting in the hallway of Rosewood high school.[v] For some reason, Emily and Hanna jump right to the conclusion that it must have been Ezra who wanted them broken up, and this makes Emily just pissed. So she goes into Ezra’s classroom with gigantic, crazy, mad-as-hell eyes and hands in her homework, but she’s not going to be in class today, because he’s a d-hole who broke her friend. And spied on them for years. But mostly broke her friend.
Gosh, I almost forgot that Hanna kissed the new not-shady detective in town in the last episode.[vi] Well, she runs into him at the coffee shop and apologizes, but he doesn’t seem to care, because he has other things on his mind. Like an anonymous note that was left in his car that told him that Alison DiLaurentis is alive and well and to look for her at this address. Hanna has never seen this note before, but the handwriting is distinctive. We, of course, know that it was Paige who put the note in the detective’s cop car. But the liars don’t know that yet.
Aria wakes up, hungover and mostly naked. And her man friend is just sitting there, playing the guitar and drinking all the mini-bar liquor. Imagine the hotel bill that Aria’s dad is going to be faced with! Man, I’d be pissed if I was Aria.
Meanwhile, Spencer is crawling into bed, and there is a big pile of dirt at the foot of her bed with a note from A. Yikes. She looks pretty terrified, because A was in her room??
The next day, Hanna and Travis (that guy with the tow truck and the information that freed Hanna’s mom from jail[vii]) decide that they need to go on a date.[viii] Emily is watching and thinks that it’s too soon after Caleb for Hanna to go dating guys with tow trucks, but Hanna just shrugs her off. She admits the timing is weird, at least. You have to give her that. And a liar can’t be without a significant other for long.
Back in lock down, Spencer just wants to talk to Toby and not talk to her drug counselor man. But he wants to know about her dreams and stuff, so she plays coy and says that yes, she is having dreams, but no, she’s not going to tell him about them. Then she lies about needing a shower and tries to call Toby on the land line. But drug counselor man catches her. Jerk.
The two competent detectives in town run into Hanna and tell her that they know she left the note in the cop car. She rolls her eyes[ix] and says “good luck with that one” and struts away. Gosh, I love Hanna.
Aria, meanwhile, is hanging out with her new man friend, and they start talking about her broken heart. She said she needed to get away, and he makes a very good point in saying that the guy who did the heart breaking should be the one who has to leave town. True, perhaps. And maybe Aria is mad enough at Ezra to actually make that happen.
Spencer and her mom are hanging out in the kitchen when who decides to come right over? Mrs. DiLaurentis, who not only mothered Alison, the she-devil, but also had an illicit affair with Spencer’s dad, resulting in Jason.[x] She is hosting some sort of charity something or other and was wondering if the Hastings family received her invitation. Because I’m sure Spencer’s mom doesn’t want to be anywhere near The Other Woman, she runs off to write a donation check, because ain’t nobody got time for charity functions in Rosewood. But Spencer is feeling all guilty, because in the last episode, she started remembering that she may or may not have chased after Ali while holding a shovel. She doesn’t know if it’s real, because she was high on Adderall at the time.
Aria’s man friend stops by her hotel room because he has decided to go to the Berkeley College of Music instead of Syracuse. Follow your dreams, and all that. OH. And kick your ex out of town, because seriously, he’s a drag. This is going to go very well for us all…
Mike starts yelling at Emily at the coffee shop because he can’t find his sister but he’s so sure that she broke up his relationship with Mona. Emily rolls her eyes at him, because we’re they just dating a second ago? So high school, amirite? She says that Aria is still elsewhere, and Mike storms off to yell at someone else.
Spencer and counselor man go for a run in the Dark Forest. She wants to quit after three miles, but he insists on going another, because she defied him by trying to call Toby from the land-line. So she keeps trudging along after him. They pass a random shovel in the woods, and all of a sudden, Spencer is back in her memory/hallucination. I’m not sure which.[xi] Anyway, she’s running through the woods with a shovel, chasing after Ali, and then we see blood spatter on her face. Yes, you read that right. BLOOD SPATTER ON HER FACE. Yikes.
Counselor man isn’t very helpful when it comes to her flashbacks/hallucinations, but he does have a hand-written letter from Toby. Who is in London? Did I hear that right? And WE DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IN THE LETTER BECAUSE THEY DON’T SHOW US AND SHE DOESN’T TALK ABOUT IT GOSH DARN IT ABC FAMILY WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME???
Hanna is dating Travis, and it’s going well, but then she sees creepy Mrs. DiLaurentis, and she gets distracted. She starts texting the other liars, and stops paying attention to Travis. Poor Travis. I guess Mrs. D is going to talk to the cops about that anonymous note about Ali being alive. GULP.
Emily confronts Mona/almost gets run over by her car. She wants to know about Mike, and whether or not Mona is in a league with Ezra. Turns out, Mona found out about the True Crime novel and agreed to help Ezra with some stuff if he cut all of her illegal dealings out of the book. But things got weird when she actually started to fall for Mike, so she dumped him to protect him. And GASP! Apparently, Mr. Fitz knows who stole the board game from her when she was in Radley![xii]
Meanwhile, Aria is showing up at Ezra’s apartment in a rage. She tells him to get the eff out of Rosewood, because it’s her home, not his. Or something like that. He, passive as ever, says okay, sure, I’ll leave. Also, I’m not publishing my book. But here. Read it.
She does read it. OH, does she read it. And then she texts SOS to all of the other liars for a meeting. Which, by the way, Spencer should not have been able to attend, but her parents obviously don’t know about her 4.0 at sleuthing school, because she gets her cell out of the locked desk drawer before it even stops ringing. Atta girl.
Everyone has some truthy word vomit to get out in the open, and because they have proper SOS meeting etiquette, Aria gets to go first.
Aria: Mrs. DiLaurentis has been A since Mona went to Radley.
Spencer: Mrs. DiLaurentis and CeCe saw me attack Ali with a shovel, and I’m just remembering it because drugs.
Emily: Mona broke up with Mike.[xiii]
Hanna (to Emily only): Paige tipped off the police that Ali is alive.
Well, hot damn, the next couple of episodes are going to be doozies with all of that information out there!
Aria arrives back at home, and she and Mike bond over the d-bags they decide to date. Must be genetic, because their dad is a bit of a d-bag himself.
Spencer, meanwhile, is busted sneaking back into her house, although, let’s be real, she wasn’t being very sneaky. The drugs have messed up her ninja skills. Her mom freaks the freak out, assuming that she was out getting more drugs. Spencer even tries to explain, but I don’t think anyone in this family has ever trusted anyone else, so that didn’t go over so well. Then Spencer tries to get information about the summer she can’t remember, but her mom shuts her mouth tight. Something good must have happened, guys. Something real good.
In her bedroom, Spencer notices that Ali’s bedroom light is on.[xiv] She goes to the window to investigate, and MRS. DILAURENTIS IS BEHIND HER, CREEPING IN THE SHADOWS. Dear lord, I wasn’t expecting that. Terrifying! And then Spencer’s mom shows up at the door, sees Spencer up, and then Mrs. D sneaks out the door and into the night. Like, whaaaaaaaaaat???
And then we see A putting the finishing touches on a white dress. Wedding dress? WEDDING DRESS?? And, naturally, A stores wedding dresses in body bags. Because, convenience, or something. YIKES.
The next episode is going to be amazing!
[i] Why was Spencer in rehab? Well, she was abusing Adderall, and it was making her go crazy and lose her memories. So her parents sent her to detox.
[ii] Don’t know what the A-team is? Stop reading and get on Netflix and watch from the beginning. Seriously.
[iii] Her dad sometimes (most of the time? I’m not clear on that part of it) teaches at Syracuse, so that’s where Aria is on this particular weekend, because she needed to get out of Rosewood.
[iv] Mike = Aria’s little brother. Mona = Hanna’s former bestie who was the first person we found out was on the A-team.
[v] I feel like they should have a TV show – The Adventures of Mike and Mona.
[vi] She’s really just been kissing everyone since Caleb left town.
[vii] Hanna’s mom was in jail for killing Wilden, the shady detective. But she didn’t actually kill Wilden, and Travis’s information about how shady of a cop Wilden was set her free.
[viii] I remember being so pissed when they introduced Travis last season, because it was easy to see that Hanna had some googly-eyed feelings for him, even though she was dating Caleb. I should have known that it was a plot device to ease us into life without Caleb. Le sigh.
[ix] And so do we, because it was Paige! And you guys call yourselves detectives.
[x] Drama, drama, drama.
[xi] And we know Spencer can hallucinate, because she dreamed up an entire black and white episode, like, three weeks ago.
[xii] Oh, Radley. The sanitarium where both Mona and Spencer were patients for a while, and where Toby’s mom was murdered/committed suicide. Such lovely memories. The game thing is something I hardly even remember, which just goes to show how flawless the plot development and writing of this show are. They make me need to watch it all over again!
[xiii] They all gloss over that one – ain’t nobody got time for matters of the heart right now, Em!
[xiv] Have I mentioned that Spencer and Ali were neighbors? Because they are.
[xv] Have you noticed that I sign all of my blog posts “A?” I took that straight from PLL. Because my name starts with A, and I can. Ha!