Pretty Little Liars: "Who's in the Box?" (4x14)

by - 1/09/2014

Pretty Little Liars is finally back! Thanks to Grave New World, we know that Ezra is A and Ali's alive... so that leaves us with a very important question...

WHO did the Liars bury... TWICE?

You know, that, and like a million other things. But this is PLL, and if you've watched from the beginning, you should totally be used to unanswered questions, right? Right. So let's just jump on in...

When we last left our Liars, they had just found out that Alison was indeed alive AND one of the Red Coats. So naturally, as the episode started, they were going over what they know and Aria mentioned that "Grunwald pulled her out," and Hanna hilariously added, "yeah, like a carrot." Is it just me, or does she get some of the best lines?

So, the Liars continued to hash out what they know for sure, and we got a good deal of exposition, in case some things weren't already clear. Shana sold Jenna's car to Mona and CeCe went on the run because she killed Wilden. The girls were puzzled as to how the body in the grave was identified as Alison, but someone sure went to a lot of trouble to make them (and everyone else) believe that it was truly Alison. None of the Liars seemed especially ecstatic that Alison has been alive all this time, and Spencer assured them they could figure out how they all felt about it later. Leave it to good old Spence to keep everyone on track as she reminded them that they needed to make it safe for Alison to come back, but once she was back, THEN they'd sit her down and GRILL her.

The four Liars visited "Alison" in the mausoleum and continued to theorize. Hanna is turning into quite the sleuth, and came up with a pretty good theory. If the girls can find out who's in the box, they might find a connection to Alison, and find out what really happened. Also, Hanna figured that whoever took Ali's place in the gazebo grave did so AFTER Alison was pulled out "like a carrot" by Grunwald, but BEFORE the cement was poured. Hannakins, you've come so far! (I really enjoy this new side of Hanna!)

And in other Marin news, Hanna's mom wasn't having much luck finding a job, and Toby came back to Rosewood, which made for a super-excited gonna explode Spencer, and Mona beeped at the two as she pulled past them in the Jenna mobile.

Inside Rosewood High, Hanna was back to shutting out Mona, because she wasn't quite sure what Mona's motives were in confessing to killing Officer Wilden.

During English class, Mr. Fitz talked about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Incredibly fitting, given the fact that he was recently exposed as A, possibly Uber A... After class, he asked Ms. Montgomery to stay and talk to him. It's now slightly creepy to hear him say that. Actually, pretty much everything he does seems creepy now... Oo

In another classroom down the hall, Hanna presented Emily and Spencer with her theory that Sara Harvey, a girl missing from Cortland, could be the body in Ali's grave. She went missing around the same time, and she's the same height and build. While Hanna explained, a projector turned on in the classroom, and presented the girls with this challenge:

After the double-dog dare from A, we flashed to Aria and Ezra, still talking in his classroom. He apologized for putting her in the middle of the Malcolm situation. He said, "One way or another, I think my days are numbered here..." and Aria agrees, saying "yeah, mine too." Ezra then asked if she would be willing to give their relationship a real shot once she's graduated.

Over at the Hastings residence, Spencer asked her father about Jason's whereabouts, and he got really defensive. For whatever reason, he really wants Spencer to leave the entire DiLaurentis family alone... not just Jason, but Mrs. D, too. But he agreed to find out what Jason's been up to, just so Spencer knows he's okay.

Toby's back in town and we learned what he was up to while he was gone. He's been digging into the circumstances surrounding his mother's death, found a list of people who all knew that his mother's death was NOT a suicide. Turns out, Radley is part of a bigger corporation, Declodyne. That parent company just happens to pay each and every pension of the person on his list. Spencer deduces that Radley must be a "problem child" of the Declodyne family, and figures that she and Toby can strong-arm them with the information they've found.

Meanwhile, Hanna set up a coffee meeting with the "Harvey Girls." There were a lot of parallels between Alison and Sara's story... including friends who were set adrift once their leader went missing. When the Liars learned that someone saw Sara the day after Labor Day, they realized she couldn't possibly be the body inside Ali's grave. While the support group was simply a ruse to find out more information, it actually worked both ways. The girls found the information they were looking for, and Emily finally confronted her feelings about Alison. She realized that she had built up an ideal Alison in her head. She confessed to Paige that she had been in love with Alison, and told her about the kiss. Emily also explained that Alison had never loved her back. She wasn't even sure that Alison knew how to love. Ouch.

Hanna came home to find Mrs. DiLaurentis and her mother talking in the kitchen. Mrs. D. offered Ashley a job in her real estate office, and Mrs. Marin happily accepted. As Ashley dashed off to retrieve her license, Hanna sincerely thanked Mrs. D, who responds that it was actually Alison's idea. Hanna pauses for a moment, (probably wondering if Mrs. D knows the truth), but then Mama DiLaurentis admits that Alison visits her in her dreams. 

Across town, it was a showdown between two A's as Mona and Ezra chatted over coffee. Mona seemed to be fishing for answers, with the idea that Fitzy is up to no good.  Oh, yeah... in addition to that whole "pound of flesh" thing from the Count of Monte Cristo. Ezra wasn't scared, and he actually wondered if Mona was entitled to that. He also warned that fear could be a healthy thing. According to him, it lets people know just how far they can push before others push back. Mona seemed a bit taken aback by this answer, and cut the conversation short, saying, "I knew I could count on you for good advice." Ezra shot back, "Oh, feel free to talk to me anytime," sarcastically and curtly.

Back at Chez Hastings, Toby and Spencer celebrated the letter from Decladyne officially stating that Toby's mother's death was NOT a suicide. Mr. Hasting interrupted, and Toby shares the good news, praising Spencer's intelligence. Peter admits that his daughter is smart, but a real lawyer would've gone the extra mile and had Radley shut down for good. Toby seemed to like that idea, but Spencer was suspicious. In a later scene, she confronted her dad on those suspicions, and he claimed to be acting in the best interest of his family... and wouldn't Spencer love to see Radley bulldozed?

Aria called Ezra to come and pick her up, asking if they could go someplace and talk. He took her to a cabin that's not too close to town, not too far away, with no cell service or internet. He also claimed to be watching it for a friend while he's out of the country. The two talked about a lot of things, and Ezra gave Aria a key to the cabin, suggesting it could be their secret. They shared a kiss, but nothing more happened between the two. The scene ended with Aria staring wistfully out of a window, and Ezra alternating between creepy glances in her direction AND at a trapdoor in the floorboards next to his bed.

Caleb and Hanna finally had their no-good, horrible, awful, "it's complicated," breakup goodbye that ended with Hanna sobbing into her Mom's arms, asking if that's how it always works. She managed to pull it together a few scenes later in the episode, giving Caleb a proper, non-hysterical sendoff, suggesting that the two can always reunite later. (You know, when he figures out that whole curse thing.)

Finally, the Liars make another visit to the mausoleum to pay their respects to Jane Doe. Hanna was teary-eyed as she told the others about the diary she found in A's Ravenswood lair. She read through it, so she knows that Alison wrote it... and she didn't write kindly about any of them. Alison wrote it in code, so it's not easy to tell who she was referring to as she wrote. Spencer grabbed it and began flipping through the pages, while the episode cut to our friendly neighborhood fiend, opening the trapdoor in the cabin of Ezra's "friend."

Duh Duh Duh.

My Thoughts:

Oh, there are so many questions I've got. I love how the producers give us a side of 5 more questions with every order of answer. They keep claiming that 4B is the season of answers, but I'm not sure that I'm buying it. We didn't learn a whole lot at all in this episode. So here's what I'm thinking...

The visits to the mausoleum are a bit comical. It's like the girls think they can solve the mystery if they're in proximity to the body. Pretty sure that's not the way it works, ladies... but it's nice that they care about Jane Doe's identity. Sort of. You know, as long as it leads to answers. About Alison.

The whole Sara Harvey thing reminds me of the Leah Zook plotline from the books. That was an incorrect theory A fed to Emily involving Wilden and his Amish roots. (It also went nowhere.)

I know that the producers have said they're not going to explore the twin thing, but that would be a great explanation as to who's in the grave AND how they were ID'd as Ali. Of course, they could switch it up from the books and have it be that the evil twin died, and the good twin went on the run. Or, they could mirror the books exactly, and just be lying to us.

The Liars acknowledge that someone went to a lot of trouble to make everyone think that the body found under the gazebo was Ali D. Paging Dr. Wren, Paging Dr. Wren! He's kind of the only Doctor we know, other than Dr. Palmer... and I'm pretty sure Doc Palmer hasn't been performing autopsies for quite some time!

Does Radley play a part into the whole Alison mystery? I really want this Declodyne/Mama Cavanaugh line to be leading somewhere. As far as Peter Hastings agreeing to help shut the place down... I think it's possible that he is telling the truth about protecting his family... Could he possibly be Ali's dad too? 

Ezra is really starting to look like quite the creeper. When he gave Aria the key, all I could think is that he was hoping that Aria would let Ali stay at the cabin, and he could easily find/kidnap/kill her. I'm still not exactly sure what he really wants with Alison, or why exactly he's A.

The message on the chalkboard... If Ezra is A, was this a message from him, or Old A, Mona? The show made it a point to cut immediately back to Ezra's classroom, where the two were still talking... so I'm a little confused.

Mona and Ezra... working together? Eh. Mona certainly seemed to be fishing for something when she was talking to him. I'm not really sure of what, though. If she suspected him of being Uber A, she shouldn't have seemed so surprised by his comments. Maybe she was following through on a hunch that she didn't really believe? Either way, if she didn't know that Fitz was shady before, she certainly does now!

Mrs. DiLaurentis gets more and more interesting as the show goes on. She mentioned that Ali visits her in her dreams, and well... that just makes me think that Alison has been appearing to her mother just like she appeared to each of the Liars. And is it just me, or is it really convenient that Mrs. D. sells real estate? Ali could easily camp out at the houses her Mom's been showing/staging/selling. It would certainly explain how she's survived and where she's been staying all this time. You know, other than in the crawl space.

Ali's diary has been mentioned before, by Alison and Mona, so I'm not surprised that Spencer grabbed it out of Hanna's hands. Alison claimed that she was writing them for Spencer when she was gone. Mona bribed Spencer with them, causing her to become a member of the A team in order to gain access to them. In the books, Courtney kept journals to keep all her facts straight, so she didn't slip up while playing Alison. For now, it seems like the journal is where Ali recorded all the secrets she learned. It'll be interesting to see the new information we learn as the Liars attempt to figure out who Alison was writing about.

And as far as the secret that Spencer has been keeping from all the Liars... I can't seem to recall if the other girls know that Spencer fought with Alison that night? Is that her secret? Or could it be that she's had access to a copy of Ali's journal since her stint on the A team?

Next week's episode is titled, "Love ShAck, Baby," and looks to be set at Ezra and Aria's notsosecret secret cabin.


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