Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Pretty Little Liars. To catch up on the previous episode, click here.
This week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars featured a fun prom theme, the truth about the mysterious Clark (Titus Makin, Jr.), and a PLL adventure we didn’t know we needed featuring the main characters’ moms.
After learning their daughters can’t participate in prom or graduation due to the safety issues the school fears, Veronica (Lesley Fera), with help from Ashley (Laura Leighton), Ella (Holly Marie Combs) and Pam (Nia Peeples), decides to host a private prom in the Hastings barn.
At the Brew, Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), and Ali (Sasha Pieterse) discuss how Aria has been trying to contact Clark with no success. Meanwhile, Ali is distracted by Lorenzo’s (Travis Winfrey) presence as he walks in the room, since she still feels guilty about getting him suspended from the force.
To avoid Lorenzo, Ali goes to the bathroom but is distracted by a text message: “Better be at prom. It’s our last chance to dance. Come alone. xo Charles.”
Before the big night!
With prom fast approaching, the girls may not have a ton of hair and makeup to do (since they practically wake up looking perfect), but they still have their share of drama prior to the big day. Ella tells Aria that she won the cash prize and the Los Angeles internship as part of the Cardillo Fellowship. And the Ezria shippers get excited as Ezra (Ian Harding) asks Aria to prom-ette.
Meanwhile, Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) heads off to New York, but Hanna is suspicious of an industrial-strength laptop she notices in the trunk of his car. Why would Caleb need that just for a simple trip to see his dad?
In other couple news, Emily asks Sara to prom-ette, only to get rejected since the prom at Sara’s old school is the same night, and Spencer begs Toby (Keegan Allen) for the opportunity to say something at the hearing for his pot-related incident.
After Hanna voices her suspicions to Emily about Caleb, she leaves the kitchen to call Caleb’s father. Emily gets company from Ashley and ends up having a heart-to-heart. Ashley tells Emily about her plans to give Hanna her great-grandmother’s necklace as a prom accessory, but Emily says that Hanna is likely going to wear sweatpants because of the unplanned laid-back nature of their prom. However, mama Marin gives Emily some great advice: no matter how bummed out they are, prom only comes once. They’ve been robbed of so much and should put on dresses, dance, and feel beautiful.
When Hanna returns, she tells Emily that Caleb is not heading to New York to meet his father. She’s angry because she thinks he’s trying to track down A.
Spencer fights for Ali’s honor
Spencer tries to convince Lorenzo to give Ali another chance. She says Ali needs him and has never had anyone like him in her life. And even though Spencer has been used and abused by Ali, she affirms to Lorenzo that her friend has changed. While he says he can’t forgive her just yet, Spencer suggests for him to surprise her at prom.
While at their fancy prom-ette, the girls and their dates check out photos on social media from their classmates’ prom. We learn Lucas was holding hands with Jenna and Noel Kahn went with a girl named Bridget Woo who is 85% tequila and her dress is on backwards. Hopefully the Jenna/Lucas thing gets explored more this season!
Meanwhile, Aria accidentally sees a flight confirmation on Ezra’s phone. He’s heading to Los Angeles as well! Is he following Aria?
As the the girls and their dates realize prom-ette isn’t so bad, they catch a glimpse of Ali in one of the prom photos. Fearful she’s trying to reach out to Charles, they decide to track her down Rosewood High’s prom.
The girls head to prom and have reunions with their significant others. These moments provide a cute distraction that furthers the couples’ stories but doesn’t overpower the overall narrative.
Spoby: As they share a dance, Spencer shares the idea of what would have been her valedictorian speech at graduation. She wrote about what it means to support someone despite his or her flaws. Spencer says that Toby inspired this speech before they kiss.
Haleb: Caleb returns to Rosewood just to have one dance with Hanna despite her being angry at him for supposedly tracking down A. However, it turns out he is now an information risk analyst (whatever that means) for some anonymous company. The job pays enough for Hanna’s tuition and for them to move to New York together. Meanwhile, after being long out of college, I am still trying to pay for my tuition! But I’ll let that go for now.
Smily (that’s the best couple name I can come up with): Sara goes to the barn to see Emily, but after not finding her there, decides to track her down at Rosewood’s prom. She doesn’t want the night to pass without one dance with Emily. Sara says that no matter what happens, Emily means a lot to her.
Ezria: While dancing, Aria tells Ezra that she doesn’t want him to follow her to Los Angeles. She wants to go alone. It turns out his flight to LAX was just a layover to Thailand, where Ezra will join Habitat for Humanity. While they try to be positive about giving each other some space once and for all, it seems doubtful that this is what they really want.
The Pretty Little Mamas backdoor pilot we didn’t know we needed!
The most exciting moments of this episode are the scenes serving as a backdoor pilot for Pretty Little Mamas, premiering in March 2016. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for. It was phenomenal to see four talented actresses work together on a rare occasion and actually be in their own daughters’ shoes.
What starts off as a small get-together where the moms stay within walking distance of their daughters’ prom-ette quickly turns into a booze-filled celebration. Veronica vents about her husband having an affair with Jessica DiLaurentis (to which Ella adds a “been there, done that” comment), how they kept a family secret, and Charles murdering his mother. However, Pam starts to wonder if someone else buried Jessica. Perhaps her husband, Kenneth, who could have wanted revenge for keeping Radley visits with Charles a secret?
Veronica quickly rushes over to the DiLaurentis house to get some answers while accompanied by her new BFFs. They discover the door wide open and head to the living room, where Veronica calls Kenneth’s name, with no luck. In the living room, they find a police evidence envelope with a DiLaurentis family photo featuring Charles inside. They’re startled by the presence of Rhys Matthews (Caleb Lane) in the room.
Rhys gets confrontational with the moms when he asks what they are doing in the house, but while the rest of them get nervous, Veronica says she’s the neighbor and throws the same question back at him. He says he is part of the Carissimi Group and has a few questions for Kenneth. After Rhys walks out and decides to come back at a later time, the moms believe they just met Charles DiLaurentis.
After hearing a sound from the basement, the moms quickly follow it and get locked in. They try to find another way out as Veronica wonders why none of them brought phones.
Ashley takes a moment to reflect and wonders how their daughters got through everything. They went through much worse situations than this, and the rest of the moms have pained looks on their faces as they realize the torment their girls went through.
But take notes, ABC Family! We’d love to watch a spinoff based on the PLL moms.
The hunt for Little Red Riding Hood
Spencer spots Ali at prom and tries to prevent her from meeting with Charles. Ali says that Spencer never understood her. She wants to know what she did to make her own brother hate her.
Throughout the episode, someone in a red cape pursues Ali as she gets threatening text messages in red lettering featuring references to a classic story (“Don’t look for a wolf; seeing red is enough. Time is slipping away…” and “My, what big eyes you have. Use them. Time’s almost up.”), which is fitting for the prom’s fairytale theme.
The truth about Clark
At prom, Aria runs into Clark, whom the school hired to take photos. She tells him that her friends saw him at the doll factory but is interrupted by a teacher who tries to kick her out of the school.
Later on, after Clark spots Ali running after the mystery guest in the red cape, we see him pull the safety off of a gun in his pocket. After everyone ambushes him, they learn he is an undercover cop who has been posing as a photographer since he met Aria.
Oh my God
While Ali is on the hunt for Charles, she has no idea that Lorenzo came to surprise her, which Spencer thanks him for.
But Ali has bigger things to worry about. When she walks into an area decorated like a forest, she receives a creepy text (“Now it’s just the two of us…”) before having a hand held over her mouth. The girls find Ali’s smashed phone soon after. Charles (if that’s who we believe it is) takes Ali through a hallway before releasing her from his/her grasp. Ali asks Charles to talk to her. That’s when the figure removes the mask and hood to reveal his/her identity to Ali. All we see is Ali’s reaction: “Oh my God.”
This was probably one of the more effective cliffhangers of the show in recent episodes. Finally, after so many “almost” A reveals, we will finally know the truth in next week’s summer finale!
It’s almost time for the summer finale! Comment below with your theories!