Warning: This recap contains spoilers.
Ah, nothing like some time away to put things into perspective. The Liars stayed in Ravenswood, but Ali skipped town with her dad, who is concerned for her safety. Mr. DiLaurentis should probably be concerned for his own safety. Because, as Emily put it in the teaser for next week’s #FATALFINALE, it appears that his daughter has “gone full on socio.”
There was a lot to take away from this week’s episode and I’m not just talking about a desire to see the Ouija movie they plugged so conspicuously in that Haleb scene. Ravenswood: the gift that keeps on giving.
The biggest revelation came courtesy of Melissa, who was apparently forced to the airport by her dear old dad. She was London-bound when she sent Spencer her videotaped confession: the night Ali disappeared, Melissa saw Spencer dragging a shovel. She then saw Ali laying on the ground, thought that Spencer killed her and buried her in an effort to “protect” Spencer. Only it wasn’t Ali, Melissa now realizes. It was Bethany Young. And she didn’t just bury her. She buried her alive.
This is what Melissa whispered to her father while waiting for Spencer in the police station last season and it’s why Mr. Hastings wants her far away from Rosewood. The Melissa-Spencer scenes were really beautiful — Spencer imagining herself face-to-face with her sister as she tells her the truth and later, talking back to the video as she watches it again. “What’s the line from ‘The Tempest’?” Melissa asks. “This island is full of noises.” Only the Hastings sisters could turn what essentially amounts to a murder confession into Shakespearean CliffsNotes.
Spencer, Aria and Emily deduce that Bethany was wearing the same clothes as Ali that night. “Are you saying that it was always someone’s idea to have Bethany take Ali’s place?” Aria asks. Good question. Emily, fresh off of the detective beat with Ezra, has an interesting answer: “Well, you figure out a way around that picture of A at the hospital.” She means, Ali, of course, but the slip was noted by both Aria and Spencer. And Hanna, who kept having “bad thoughts” that translated to Ali being someone they should not trust.
At the beginning of the episode, the Liars were ready to present a united front at the police station and tell the truth about Ali and how she was very much not kidnapped. That was, until A took over the televisions in a local storefront and warned the Liars to “Act normal, bitches.” Yup, sounds a lot like Ali. I mean A.
That didn’t stop the police — namely Lt. Tanner — from tracking them. She cornered the girls while out and about in Rosewood and rattled them with implications that they had something to do with Bethany’s death. Later, she visited the Montgomery house for a chat with Byron, who stood up for his daughter and her friends. Through eavesdropping, Aria learned that someone is ready to talk to Tanner. It doesn’t take long to figure out that that someone is Ali.
As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, Hanna also dealt with Caleb’s continued drinking. She looked to Spencer for help. Spence enlisted Toby to play sober coach, which didn’t go over so well, what with Toby asking tough questions about Ravenswood and why Caleb would want to hurt Hanna.
It only got weirder from there. Caleb flees the intervention, but Hanna manages to catch him before he can leave Rosewood. After Caleb recounted Miranda’s death and how fireflies (really) helped end Ravenswood’s “contract” with evil forces, Hanna made an impassioned speech, worthy of a rom-com. It was a bit overshadowed by the #WatchOuija hashtag in the corner. To quote Emily Blunt: No, shan’t.
As things got more romantic for Haleb, the ouija board that Caleb happened to have on hand pointed to the words GoodBye. And as Caleb slept, fireflies (and maybe something or someone else) lingered outside of his window, watching him. What does it all mean?
Equally confounding: Mona apparently has a heart. Huh. She’s back in Mike Montgomery’s life, which worries Aria, especially when she arrives to a play expecting to see her family there and she instead sees Mona, Mike and Byron, wearing a fedora. Mona, who came because Ella couldn’t make it, rushes out of the theater after Aria whispers something into her ear.
Aria finds her crying in the powder room. “Maybe I should have just died when I fell off that stupid cliff.” And here I thought the Spencer-Melissa heart-to-heart was unlikely. Aria urges Mona to never say that again and listens to her as she explains that she is straight-up terrified of Ali. Mona warns Aria that “when she finishes with me, she’ll come after you and the others.” Mona alludes to what happened in New York and to Cyrus Petrillo, Ali’s “kidnapper,” with whom she is apparently on a first-name basis. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Mona shows her most vulnerable card yet: “Do you think Mike really likes me?”
The answer, of course, is yes. Aria seems to buy what Mona is selling even if she isn’t 100 percent ready to trust her. Can you trust anyone in Rosewood? Probably not, but just remember: We’re in this together*.
Lingering questions: Why was Bethany wearing Ali’s clothes? Did Melissa leave anything out of her confession? Are we done talking about Ravenswood?
*Unless you’re playing with the ouija board. In that case, you’re on your own.