Warning: This recap contains spoilers.
Thing we learned this episode: Mona has been having panic attacks since Ali’s return. She confessed this to Hanna after passing out in the choir room (remember to breathe during those vocal runs, girl). Mona is cold and calculating, but I totally believed her when she explained why she teamed up with her army against Ali: “She scares me. I just didn’t want to have to face her alone.”
Maybe the Liars have something in common with Mona after all. They, unlike Ali, understand the concept of strength in numbers. The only number that Ali seems to get is one.
Other thing we learned this episode: Ali knows Cyrus Petrillo, the mystery man who showed up in last week’s episode, claiming to be Ali’s kidnapper. Of course, she waits until mid-episode to divulge this, to Emily, who — as reasoned by Spencer — is the hardest to disappoint because of her eyes or something. She’s also the most easily manipulated by Ali. After telling Lt. Tanner (and everyone else) that she doesn’t know if Cyrus was her kidnapper because, you know, she was blindfolded, Ali tells Emily that Cyrus is the one who gave her that horrific scar on her thigh, the one Hanna spotted during Ali’s medical exam.
There’s a pretty terrifying flashback of Ali getting attacked by Cyrus in a dark and empty basement. Ali tells Emily that Cyrus just wanted her money and remembers him running off with her bag. This story keeps Emily on team Ali for much of the episode, while Spencer is ready to channel Noel Kahn and show the photos of Ali, “alive and decidedly unkidnapped,” to the police.
We don’t know much about Cyrus, but we do know that the Liars want him gone from Rosewood. They encourage Ali to let the 48-hour policy custody hold expire since Cyrus couldn’t possibly be Ali’s kidnapper since she wasn’t actually kidnapped. Ali has other plans: She tells the girls that she figures Cyrus can lead her to A.
Surely, there are other people in Rosewood, who could lead us to A. One of these people is Melissa Hastings, who tells Spencer that neither one of them are safe there. At the end of the episode, we see Melissa begin to record “the truth” in a videotape for her Spencer. Of course, she’s filming in the Hastings’ dark kitchen. I half expect A to dance across the frame.
Mona also has some ties to A. She embarks on a stakeout outside the police station, where Cyrus waits to learn his fate, while Tanner, Ali and Mr. DiLaurentis recreate the events leading up to Ali’s fake kidnapping. Mona’s tracking everything. Hanna is smart enough to identify Mona as a possible path to A. “We both know that Ali brings out the A in you,” she tells Mona. She then accuses Mona of “blue-scarfing the whole scoop.” She means bluesnarfing. That was adorable, Han. Hanna tells Mona she found Cyrus’s mugshot in her purse.
It was good to see Hanna back to herself (at least the reverse ombre version of herself), mothering Caleb and pledging to eat healthfully. “When was the last time we ate a vegetable that wasn’t battered and fried?” At one point, she convinces Caleb to go running. Spencer, having just discovered that A stole her hidden tape of Ali’s medical exam, tracks Hanna down in her car and delivers this gem. “Your mom said you went out on a run, I thought she was joking.”
In addition to reminding me that Hanna and Mona were actually best friends and that Mona is basically a professional hacker Hanna, Mona’s heart-to-heart, reminded me that Mike Montgomery exists! Mona’s erstwhile boyfriend and Aria’s kid brother was referenced exactly twice tonight. Will we see him in #FATALFINALE?
Mike was reportedly the one who told Aria that their mother hadn’t eaten since learning her fiance Zack was an awful person. Aria and her mom had a couple really sweet exchanges, wondering aloud if people can truly change. Aria is optimistic until Fitz betrays her trust by talking to Ali despite Aria’s asking him not to. Ezra’s got his stitches out, but Aria worries their covers will be blown if Tanner picks up any connection between him and Ali. Ezra approaches Ali anyway and warns her that if she IDs Cyrus as her “kidnapper,” it will affect others, namely him and the Liars. Ali’s father swoops in, mistaking Ezra for a curious townie. Ezra reminds us that he, too, can be creepy. “Is this a threat?” Ali asks. “No,” Fitz replies. “Right now it’s an observation.” Aria doesn’t trust Ezra and I’m not sure I do either.
Ali ends up doing what Spencer knew she would do along: after a trip to the old basement, she tells Tanner that Cyrus is her kidnapper. It’s too late — he was released before Tanner to make the call to hold him. This doesn’t save Ali from Emily’s wrath. Em confronts Ali at her house. “The past several years haven’t been easy for any of us,” she tells her. “I stuck up for you — against Paige, against Spencer, against everyone.”
Ali mumbles half-heartedly about “making it right,” but Emily drops the mic. “I am done Ali, I am so done with you.”
And, it would appear, with good reason. We see Ali meeting up with Cyrus in the woods. She’s wearing a wig she must have borrowed from Vivian Darkbloom. “I should have left you for dead when I found you,” she tells him, before handing him presumed flight arrangements. Ali’s in on whatever Cyrus’s game is. And it doesn’t look like he robbed her. So my question is — does Ali lie to us even in her flashbacks?
Lingering questions: Doohickey. Really, Hanna? How did Ali really meet Cyrus? Who drove Cyrus’s getaway car? What’s Melissa’s secret?