Pretty Little Liars, “A is for Answers”

For those of you who know Pretty Little Liars, you know that season finale episodes are a big deal.  They’re usually completely crazy, actually.  People have the tendency to die.  There are sometimes mysteries in trunks of police cars.  It’s really a free-for-all, and I love every minute of it.  And this season wasn’t any different.

How do we get here?  Keep reading.
How do we get here? Keep reading.

So, at the end of last week’s episode, the four Liars were meeting up with Alison when someone opens a door behind the camera, and Spencer says, “What are you doing here?”  Remember?  That’s where we’re starting off in this final episode of Season Four.  And it’s basically a PLL reunion episode, so have a good time with the end notes!

Spencer is playing with that toy with the marbles on a string.[i]  Aria tells her to stop.  And then!  We finally see who the mystery person is.  It’s… NOLE KAHN??  What??  We haven’t seen him since he and Mona dated… or maybe he and Jenna dated?  In any case, we haven’t seen him in a while.  Possibly since Maya died?[ii]  Anyway!  Nole gets a phone call and leaves the room, and the liars are trying to figure out why Alison would trust Nole, since no one else does.  And then!  Alison says, “because he has secrets, too.”  She’s back!  And she hugs all of them except Spencer, which is interesting.

Alison knows that the police are looking for her again, thanks to the tip-off from the other Liars in the last episode.  She says she wants to come home, but can’t until she figures out who A is, and she needs their help.  She says she’s finally ready to tell them exactly what went down that night, and they have to figure out who A is tonight, or she’s disappearing for good.

Flash to the Rosewood Police Station.  Detective Man is questioning CeCe about Wilden’s murder.[iii]  CeCe’s been on the run for a long time – she was Red Coat back in the Ravenswood crossover episode earlier in the season.  She’s acting all tough with Detective Man until he says they have an eyewitness who can put her at the scene.  Then she says “If I did do it, maybe I had a good reason.  And you’re going to need more than coffee if you want to hear what happened.”  I’m so glad they’re finally tying up this loose end!  I want Wilden out of my life forever, and CeCe, too.  Put her in a nunnery![iv]

As a side note, during this scene, we see the guest stars’ names flashing along the bottom.  Torrey DeVitto is back!  And Ryan Merriman!  Oh, MAN, this is going to be good.[v]

Okay, back to CeCe and Detective Man.  CeCe plays her bargaining card – she says she knows who killed “’that girl,’ the one you thought was Alison DiLaurentis.”  Then, she confirms to the detective that Alison is not only alive, but she has seen her more than once.  OH MY GOODNESS.

Back to the Liars in Philadelphia.  Alison starts her story with going to Hilton Head with Ian for the weekend.[vi]  She said that A had been threatening her since the previous Halloween, and she thought a weekend away was just what she needed.  Then Melissa shows up, and she and Ian get back together, and Ali knows she better get the heck out of there.  She goes to Ian’s computer, finds all of the home videos she needs to blackmail a whole bunch of her A candidates, and then leaves with the videos on a flash drive.

Ali says she was sure A was Jenna, because Jenna had every reason to hate her.  So she went to the special school where newly-blind Jenna was learning how to be blind and played the tape for her.[vii]  Alison was sure that that would be enough to stop the A texts… but then she got another one when she was leaving, and she was sure it wasn’t from Jenna, who was basically crying in the corner, by that point.  Not only that, but the text rhymed.  That probably means something, right?

Back in Rosewood, Spencer’s mom is on the phone with Aria’s mom – no one knows where the Liars are.  Were they reported missing, or what’s going on?  Why are the police searching Spencer’s room?  OH.  It becomes pretty clear, after Detective Man takes some “evidence” from Spencer’s room, that CeCe told him that Spencer killed that other girl.  Did she?  We don’t know!  All of the Liars’ moms are talking to each other, and they’re all worried and pissed because their girls are all missing.  After Spencer’s mom gets all up in Detective Man’s face,[viii] he says that they have probable cause to believe that the girls know the whereabouts of a missing person.  And he produces a picture of Alison talking to the girls that night that Spencer’s lodge started on fire!  And then!  Melissa walks through the door!  Everything is happening at once!

Back to Alison’s story.  She says that, when she got home, A made it clear that this wasn’t a game.  There was a red lipstick message on Alison’s bedroom mirror as she put on the yellow tank top that has become so infamous in this show.  We see her mom talking to someone on the phone – she’s really worried about something.  She and Alison argue, and her mom says (for the second time) that Alison has to be careful around Spencer’s family.  Huh?  What does that have to do with anything right now?  We hear Mrs. D talking on the phone some more while Alison steals some sleeping pills and sneaks off to Spencer’s barn to hang out with the other Liars.

We now see that Alison drugged the girls that night with the sleeping pills.  That’s how they slept through everything that happened.  The girls are understandably upset about this, but Ali says she needed to cross them off her A list, and that’s how she decided to go about it.  So.  First, Alison sneaks off to meet up with Toby.  She tells Spencer that she understands what she sees in Toby, and that Toby told Alison that he was grateful for his time in juvy because it got him away from Jenna.  So Alison crossed Toby off her A list, as well.

So then she walks across the yard, texting Ian to meet her at the Kissing Rock.  Then, a car pulls up in front of her house, and she gets in.  It’s Ezra!  And he’s super pissed at Alison for lying to him.

At the police station again, Detective Man is questioning Spencer’s mom about where Spencer was last week, and Veronica refuses to tell him about the detox Spencer had to participate in.  He manipulates her into staying longer, saying there are reporters outside, but there’s no cell phone service inside.  DM leaves the room, and a random beat cop says that he got a warrant to track the GPS in the Liars’ phones and on Spencer’s car.[ix]  So then Detective Man goes to the next interrogation room, where Melissa is.  She says that she saw Toby in London, and she decided to come home to be with her sister.[x]  Then, we see that Mr. Hastings is in a third interrogation room!  Peter and Veronica have no idea the other is at the police station.  Sneaky Detective Man…

Back in Philly, Nole has cash, a passport, and a boarding pass for Alison, and he says they need to leave in an hour.  The Liars are trying to figure it all out, but they still don’t seem to have enough information to figure out who A is.

Aria asks Alison about Ezra, so Ali tells the story of how she met Ezra at a pub.  He was reading!  Typical Ezra.  Alison pretends that she’s all worldly and reads all the time and is smart, and he falls for it.  She tells the other Liars that Ezra told her that she reminded him of Holly Golightly, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and that he wanted to write a story about her.  Alison apologizes for effing up Aria’s relationship with Mr. Fitz.  And then we’re back to that night.

Ezra is yelling at Alison in the car, and Ali says that he shouldn’t be freaking out, because they never did anything.[xi]  She says, “See you around,” and Ezra responds with, “No, you won’t.”  She gets out of the car, but leans back in the window and says, “If you ever get your story published, you better spell my name right.”  Weird threat…?

Then, Alison goes to meet Ian at the Kissing Rock.  She throws his reunion with Melissa in his face, and says that he’s going to jail.  He counters by saying that he WON’T go to jail, because they never had sex,[xii] but then Alison says that she found his home movies.  And he gets just pissed, saying, “You’re not going to blackmail me into staying with you!”  Ali tells Ian about A indirectly, and Ian doesn’t say much that is useful.  Alison tells him that she’s pretty sure he and his buddies are A (without directly mentioning A).

The story is interrupted by Hanna dropping something while she goes to get cookies.  HAHAHAHA.  Hanna.  Oh, Hanna.

Alison says that Ezra is still looking for her, but it’s no longer about his book.  It’s about Aria now.  He thinks that if he saves Alison, he will be able to win Aria back.  Ali says tearfully that, while she knows how she treated people, she thinks she deserves a second chance.

After all of this took place on that night, Alison went back to the barn.  And Spencer is waiting for her.  Literally.  That’s what Spencer says when Alison gets back.  She is just wired.

At the police station again, Mr. Hastings wants to know if his wife is there yet.  This is so stupid.  Detective Man, I thought I liked you.  DM asks Peter about the Private Investigator that he hired way back when, and then produces the file (which he probably found at the Hastings house).  DM asks about Spencer and the drugs, and Mr. Hastings says he’s calling his lawyer.  But!  Still no cell reception.  Also, does that mean he’s calling himself?  Or his wife?  Do lawyers have lawyers?

Out in the hallway, the police are leading CeCe somewhere in handcuffs while Detective Man assures Mrs. D that they have all of their resources out looking for Alison.  And then the beat cop returns and says they found Spencer’s car.  Mr. Hastings sees Mrs. D, and he says, “Police are asking pointed questions about Spencer.  Do we still have an understanding?”  WHAT IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN IS HE TALKING ABOUT???  She says she just found out that Alison is still alive, and that’s all she’s thinking about.  She is called to an interrogation room.  Then Melissa shows up!  Since Mr. Hastings didn’t know they were already at the police station, he didn’t know she was home.  But once he realizes that they are all being questioned separately, he understands that the police know something.  He’s mumbling about doing all he could to protect her, and then Melissa starts wailing “Oh my God!  You think Spencer killed that girl!”  Pipe down, Chachi![xiii]  Sheesh!

In Philadelphia, Spencer and Alison rehash what Spencer remembers about that summer.  Ali says that she was pushing Spencer to tell Melissa about Ian’s skeeviness so that Ian and Melissa would break up.  Spencer remembers their fight in the kitchen, but she doesn’t remember it continuing outside.  Alison said that it was like Spencer bottled up every fight they ever had and exploded that night.  Outside, Spencer does grab a shovel and lunge at Alison, but she trips, and her bottle of pills falls to the ground.  So now Alison knows about Spencer’s addiction, and also knows why the sleeping pills didn’t work on Spencer.  Spencer is walking away, dragging the shovel, hysterical.  Alison catches up with her, and Spencer is groveling, begging Ali not to tell anyone.  And then, Alison says the words that have become her catchphrase – “It’ll be our secret.”  She then directs Spencer to go back to the barn and sleep it off.

The last person that Alison had to see that night was Aria’s dad.  She specifically says that she didn’t suspect him as being A, but she needed him to know about the tapes.  Wait.  WAIT.  Was Mr. Montgomery in the tapes??  Doing what?  Is there a tape of he and his secret girlfriend that ended his marriage?  I CAN’T REMEMBER NOW.

Then, Alison went back to the barn to wait for another A text.  She didn’t get one, so she thought it was over.  She headed home, but then saw her mom looking at her through the window.  Mrs. D watches as Ali is bashed over the head with a rock!

Ali makes one thing clear during this part of the story.  Spencer didn’t do it.  And the girls reassure her that she was asleep.  She couldn’t have killed that other girl.

All of the Liars are crying at this point in the story.  Alison is talking about getting buried alive.  And it was Mrs. D who buried her!  She kept moaning, “What have you done?  What have you done?”  WHO IS SHE PROTECTING??[xiv]

Mrs. Grunwald, the creepy lady from Ravenswood, did indeed pull Alison out of the grave and take her to the hospital.  But since Ali didn’t know who hit her over the head, she ran.  She’s wandering down the street when… Mona shows up.  MONA??  I knew she was the first A, but I had no idea she was this involved in the story.  Mona takes Alison to the Lost Woods Creepy Motel,[xv] and proceeds to help her run away with a new identity.[xvi]  It was Mona who suggested that Ali pretend she was dead.  Whoa.  This is creeping me out.  While Alison sleeps, Mona’s just next door in A’s lair, brushing a doll’s hair.  She was already A.  Right?  She had to be!

The next morning, Mona helps Alison escape as Vivian Darkbloom, and Alison suggests that Mona get a makeover.  In telling the story, Alison admits that Mona played her.  But she’s doesn’t seem convinced that Mona is the A that is still bother them.  Hmm.

Back at the police station, Melissa returns to sit next to her father after talking to someone else in the department.  Then, oh my gosh, this is just the best.  Melissa admits that she KNOWS Spencer didn’t kill that girl.  She whispers something to Mr. Hastings, whose face says it all.  Whatever Melissa knows, it changes everything.  WE BETTER LEARN WHAT THAT INFORMATION IS, ABC FAMILY, OR I’M GOING TO BE VERY, VERY UPSET.

Detective Man then tells the Hastings family that the Philadelphia police are closing in on the Liars.  Completely unaware, the Liars keep trying to put the pieces together.  They can’t figure out who A is, but they try to convince Alison to stay anyway.  But Ali says she can’t come back until she figures out why her mom tried to bury her alive.  And, I mean, she has a point there.

She says it was surprisingly easy to stay gone until Hanna got hurt.  Then she admits to being in all of the places where the girls thought they saw her!  So those weren’t hallucinations – they were real!  Whoa!  She also tells them that she pushed Ian off the belltower, but he was alive when she left.  She also pulled Hanna out of the lodge during the fire, but the rest of the girls were already out.  Someone else saved them!  So there is someone who is also on their side, but they don’t know who it is yet.  OH MY GOSH THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER.

Suddenly, a flashlight is shining into their little shop.  We also see the police finding Spencer’s car, but the two things are unrelated!  It’s not the police who found the Liars – it’s A!  With a gun!  He’s shooting, and Spencer suggests the fire escape.  Yeah… smart.  So you can get trapped on the roof.  Sigh.

Emily suggests that they try to jump to the next building, but the other four shoot that idea down.  Then… Ezra shows up!  And A is also there!  So Ezra isn’t A either!  He tries to reason with A, saying that he knows who he is, and the police are on their way.  So he knows who A is!  OH MY GOSH!  But A is still pointing the gun at the girls, and he shoots and misses.  Ezra fights with him, the gun goes off a couple more times, and then A drops the gun.  Hanna, of all people, picks it up and does not look afraid of that thing at all.  Go girl!  They all yell at A to take off his mask, but he jumps to the next building instead, barely making it.  The Liars conclude that A can’t be Mrs. D, because seriously, it would take a very athletic person to make that leap.  Aria walks up to Ezra, and he mumbles something about everything being beautiful before revealing that A shot him.  He falls in Aria’s arms, and they’re all screaming, and Ezra passes out.  There are sirens everywhere.  Everything is a mess.

And then!  We end with A dragging Mrs. D’s body through the grass, and then burying her.  It’s very reminiscent of the “burying Alison” scene, which makes me think that A is the person who hit Alison over the head, and Mrs. D knew who it was all along.  GOOD LORD.  Is it June yet??  I want some answers!

Okay, so here’s what we learned.  Spencer didn’t do anything.  Melissa knows something.  CeCe killed Wilden.  Alison is back.  Ezra might be dead.  And A is most definitely a very athletic male… or manly looking female.  Marlene King has said more than once that nothing is a coincidence on this show, so I can only guess that they are having the person who actually is A play A.  So A has to be a guy, after looking at the build.  What does Ezra know?  Does CeCe know everything?  IS IT FREAKING JUNE YET???

I don’t know nearly enough to be satisfied, but that was a KILLER episode.



[i] I just looked it up.  Apparently this is called Newton’s Cradle.  Naturally.  Newton may have discovered gravity and all that, but I’m still upset with him for inventing calculus.

[ii] Okay!  That was a lot of names.  Here’s a refresher, for anyone who needs it.  Nole Kahn = shady guy who the liars thought was A for a while.  He also briefly dated Aria, along with everyone else in the school.  Jenna Marshall is Toby Kavanaugh’s step sister.  She was blinded when Alison threw a firework into Toby’s shed.  Toby Kavanaugh, remember, is now Spencer’s boyfriend.  And Maya St. James was Emily’s first lesbian love.  She was killed by this random guy who was in love with her at no-marijuana camp, because she rejected him (because she was gay).  So he pretended to be her cousin to stalk Emily and then held Paige hostage in a barn and eventually was killed by a knife that Emily stabbed him with.  I think.  Whew.

[iii] CeCe Drake was a friend of Alison’s who the girls didn’t know until after Ali disappeared.  And Wilden was the shady detective who died at the end of last season.  That was the murder that Ashley Marin was arrested for, even though she obviously didn’t do it.

[iv] Oh, wait, that was Ophelia.  My bad.

[v] Torrey DeVitto plays Melissa, Spencer’s older sister.  Ryan Merriman plays the Irish kid who turns into a leprechaun in Luck of the Irish.  And Ian Thomas, the demon spawn who married Melissa and tried to push Spencer off a belltower in the first or second season.  He has since died, and Melissa went to London.

[vi] Ian and Melissa were broken up at the time, and he was seeing Alison.  And flirting with Spencer.  And being a general devil spawn by secretly recording everyone in the neighborhood.

[vii] Jenna and Toby were sleeping together, because Jenna was basically threatening Toby.  It was disturbing.

[viii] Remember, Spencer’s parents are both lawyers.

[ix] Uhh.  Didn’t Aria drive?  Am I misremembering?

[x] J2!  Toby was in London!

[xi] All together now… *SIGH OF RELIEF*

[xii] Again… *SIGH OF RELIEF*

[xiii] Please, someone get this movie reference… please…


[xv] Which is where the first A lair was found – it already existed.  Mona was already A??  Is that what we’re getting from this??

[xvi] Vivian Darkbloom, Alison’s brunette alter ego.


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