Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Pretty Little Liars. To catch up on the previous episode, click here.
After last week’s exhilarating episode, Pretty Little Liars was more low key this time around but had its share of great set-ups for upcoming episodes. We open with Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), and Alison (Sasha Pieterse) watching a newscast about the hunt for Charles, who is now the main suspect in Jessica DiLaurentis’s murder. Ali reminisces about the birthday party and how happy “Freddie” was. She wonders how someone like that can turn out to be so vicious while Hanna tries to keep everyone else’s priorities in order. Charles is out for blood, after all!
The secret DiLaurentis sibling
Spencer tells Hanna she should attempt to give her scholarship money back to the Carissimi Group in an effort to find out where the funds are coming from. They end up meeting a man named Rhys Matthews (Caleb Lane), who has an uncanny resemblance to Jason. He seemingly came out of nowhere. So, he must be A, right?
Hanna and Spencer dig for information by asking what type of people are eligible for the scholarship, since Hanna hopes someone else can eventually get it. Rhys tells them that he will discuss it with his “boss” during their next conference call.
Rhys’s secretiveness and resemblance to the DiLaurentis family make Hanna and Spencer believe he is Charles. Later on, after seeing a photo Hanna secretly snapped on her phone, Emily even asks why Hanna has a picture of Jason.
If “Donna Martin graduates,” then we must have “Liars go to prom!”
It turns out that after everything the girls went through, the school plans on banning them from prom due to the potential safety issues of the other students. This makes Emily’s dreams of asking Sara to the dance to be very difficult, in addition to the other potential first date pressures. Meanwhile, Aria doesn’t even have a date and Emily encourages her to ask a guy, herself. After all, it’s not 1912!
After the debacle on last week’s episode where the girls attempted to hunt down Charles, Ella (Holly Marie Combs) refuses to let Aria go anywhere, not even to her big art gallery exhibition where her work for the Cardillo Fellowship will be showcased. While discussing the exhibit at the Brew, Clark (Titus Makin Jr.) asks a lot of questions about the girls’ story, such as how the girls knew Charles was going to be at Wallaby Avenue. But Aria wants to drop it. After Clark leaves, Ezra (Ian Harding) voices his suspicions of Clark, but Aria assures him that Clark is not the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Charles.
Meanwhile, Aria comes up with the idea to have cops follow her to the exhibit so her mother doesn’t have to worry. After seeing Aria’s photos, Tanner (Roma Maffia) compliments her and assures Ella that her daughter will be kept safe. However, right under Tanner’s nose, A (clad in black hoodie) and Red Coat watch as the gallery is prepared for the big night.
At the gallery, Aria asks Ezra to the prom, but he doesn’t give her a straight answer before being interrupted by Nicole (Rebecca Breeds). However, she is saved from the awkwardness when she sees Clark from afar. Clark gives non-answers when Aria asks about why his family didn’t attend the exhibit. In addition, he says that this is his first big gallery, despite him winning a governor’s award–or at least, that’s what Aria thought. Something is not adding up here.
But the big reveal comes when the announcer opens the floor to the winners of the Cardillo Fellowship. In place of Aria’s original work are photos of the four girls sleeping on their slabs as seen in the season premiere. It looks like A had a reason for filming them after all!
Tanner closes off the exhibit as a crime scene and notices that A named the photos “Stolen Dolls” with the text “No son lindas.” This could either represent the Spanish translation, “they aren’t pretty,” or it could mean “they aren’t Linda’s,” with the quote referencing Tanner’s first name, Linda, directly.
Later on, Aria talks to Ezra outside of the gallery and learns that Ezra was meeting with Nicole to learn more information about Habitat for Humanity so he can participate. This is a little random, but at least Ezra is feeling charitable! Aria tells Ezra about what it was like to be on those slabs. Before waking up, she had a dream about being back in Iceland before all of the A drama happened. She said she was always cold but she enjoyed it there. Then, when she woke up and felt the cold metal of the slabs, she entered a nightmare where horrible things kept happening.
Outside of the gallery, Emily, Hanna and Spencer spot Rhys talking on the phone in his car. They decide to follow him and see him walk into the abandoned doll factory, and, not far behind, Clark joins him.
Meanwhile, Ali takes care of Lorenzo (Travis Winfrey), who was hurt in the previous episode during the fight with Charles, by re-heating some home-made soup for him and doing his laundry. But it looks like Ali may be using the injured cop for information. She learns from him that Tanner has been recording interrogations with her father. After Lorenzo’s medication makes him fall asleep, Ali steals his badge to gain access to the police evidence.
Ali stumbles upon a baby rattle at the police station as Tanner catches her snooping. Tanner says they found the rattle along with a few personal effects at the bunker. Ali instantly recognizes the rattle as her own, since she remembers it being part of a christening set. Ali thinks Charles wants to somehow stay connected to his family, while Tanner believes murderers can be just as sentimental as mothers. That rattle is a piece of Ali, which is just as intimate as hair or skin. When Ali asks what will happen to Charles once he’s caught, Tanner says he will be brought to justice and that the police will use lethal force if they have to.
Lorenzo confronts Ali and tells her he has to report to the disciplinary committee due to her actions. When Lorenzo says he doesn’t understand why she didn’t just ask him, Ali says he would’ve said no and she would’ve done the same thing either way. While it was messed up for Ali to manipulate him, it’s kind of fun to see the old vindictive, brutal Ali come back!
Ashley and Ella are going to riot!
Upset by what happened at the gallery, Ella meets up with Ashley (Laura Leighton) and tells her that the police aren’t doing enough and that they need to protect their girls. Ashley asks Ella to tell her everything as Red Coat watches them from the window.
This particular scene seems like it will be a great set-up for what’s to come. How far will the liars’ parents go to protect them?
While Emily, Hanna and Spencer are busy telling Aria about what happened with Clark, Tanner is analyzing security footage from the gallery. She zooms in on one male who is setting up Aria’s exhibit, but we can’t make out who it’s supposed to be.
Creepy “A” epilogue: A (at least, the one in the black hoodie) puts items in the trunk of a black car. We see glimpses of duct tape, a tool, and six needles. After getting in the limo, A knocks on the window from the back seat, which leads to the front. In the driver’s seat is Red Coat, who hands A two prom tickets.
Current A suspect: Rhys and Clark, but that will likely change next week.
What do you think of Rhys and Clark? Could one of them be Red Coat?