Mona showed up looking like something out of a Tim Burton movie, just in time to show Ali her past, present and future. It all looked pretty bleak, to be honest, especially the scene where all of Ali’s (happily coupled) friends had Christmas dinner together as she stared on through from a frosted window.
We did get a glimpse of the Ali of yore at an Ice Ball that Ali inexplicably threw for all her frenemies. I get that the teenagers in Rosewood have a lot of disposable income, but really? A ball?
Mona appeared only to Ali in this episode, but she did give the Liars a gift — blueprints to Ali’s house. A lawyer presented them to Hanna, having been instructed to give them to her 30 days after Mona’s death. Leave it to Mona to be Type A, even in death.
Clad in their character-appropriate formal wear (Aria wore tulle and edgy earrings gifted to her by Ezra), the Liars hit their former friend’s party. Spencer and Hanna left early to break into Ali’s house and find proof that Ali killed Bethany. This proof would exonerate Spencer, who is out on a pretty relaxed bail.
Mona made it a little easier for Ali, showing her a flashback in which Jessica DiLaurentis convinces a young Alison to pretend she didn’t find identical dresses wrapped sweetly and hidden in the family piano. “I don’t want daddy to leave us and he will if you tell him about the dresses.” In Jessica’s world, there is only one dress. It’s pretty clear that the duplicate is for Bethany and also that Jessica is not very good at giving gifts.
All said, PLL’s Christmas special bestowed many gifts upon us. Here’s a list of my favorites in semi-chronological order:
- In the aforementioned flashback, Ali proved that she’s always been, well, Ali. Jessica: “There are not two dresses.” Ali: “I think you need glasses.”
- Mona’s take: “And the monster was born.”
- The opening sequence got a yuletide upgrade — a red and green mani for the girl in the casket and a ghastly Mona reflected in the close-up of the eye (which is totally Aria’s eye, right?)
- Hanna lectured a group of tweens — with a clear Ali-in-training in their midst — and schooled them on social etiquette their hometown. “In Rosewood, bitches get buried.”
- Emily and Paige are reunited! They held hands as they sang Christmas carols to senior citizens.
- The nursing home in Rosewood is called “Shady Days”
- Ezra revealed what Christmas as a Fitzgerald is like: “I got two ponies, but I only asked for one.”
- Lucas dressed as Santa at the ball. Actually, a lot of people did. Including Detective Holbrooke, who possibly has a thing with Ali.
- FASHION. All of the Liars looked flawless at the ball.
- CeCe made a cameo and presented Ali with a personalized perfume that she made in a little boutique in Paris.
- Ali set up her former BFFs and gave Alison masks to her twin minions so they’d lose track of her.
- Toby hasn’t yet recovered from his leg injury, so he played lookout as Spencer and Hanna looked for clues in Ali’s house. He went to great lengths to warn Hanna and Spencer about the dark hooded figure he saw walking through the house.
- Hanna left her phone unattended while she was trespassing, so she didn’t get Toby’s text or light signals. Instead, she played the obligatory part of the girl who goes to find out exactly where that noise is coming from.
- It was coming from “A,” presumably, who scared Hanna so much that she passed out. The good news? Despite having a very sharp knife, “A” did not actually stab anyone.
- After catching a supernatural glimpse of herself in a casket with her mother weeping over her dead body, Ali feels spirits descend upon her and asks “Am I going to hell?”
- Mona really got into the ghost thing. “Wake up Bitch, it’s Christmas! And I promise, you don’t want to miss it.”
- Hanna found proof that Ali knew Bethany (they were pen pals!) and that Ali knew Bethany was coming to Rosewood before she showed up.
- As a result, Toby made this awesome ‘Grinch’ reference: “And her heart grew three sizes that day.”
- Toby, Ezra, Spencer and Paige randomly decided to dress in Santa shorts (and little else) and stand in formation on the Hastings’ staircase.
- The group found a beautifully decorated tree outside of Spencer’s house. “A” gave them just enough time to enjoy it before lighting up a message that read: “Merry Christmas, Bitches — A”
It was such an “A” move: Everyone’s having the time of their lives and “A” goes and makes everybody uncomfortable. Better luck next year.