Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pretty Little Liars: "Free Fall" (4x20)

I've got a film noir hangover. Shadow Play was A-mazing. That's all I can really say. The fact that we don't get more episodes in black and white is kind of disheartening at the moment. It's like the moment when you finally finish the last book in a series. You go through withdrawal. A totally appropriate feeling considering last night's episode...


We started out the episode with Spencer drooling on Ezra's desk. She was confused when she woke up, and about a second later, Ezra walked in. He warned Spencer again that she was on a really dangerous path. Spencer claimed she was fine, just really tired. The bell rang and she made a dash for the door.


Thankfully, Spencer had a change of clothes in her gym locker, gym shorts, a sharks hoodie, and shower shoes. (Stylish!) Hanna and Emily met her in the bathroom and questioned her appearance. Emily wondered why Spencer called her at 4AM. According to Hanna, the girls had planned on breaking the news to Aria after school that day, but Spencer wanted to tell her immediately. Hanna and Emily disuaded Spencer, convincing her that they needed to break the news gently.


Meanwhile, Ezra saw Aria in the hallway, and he relayed his concerns about Spencer. Aria was doubtful about Ezra's story, until he handed her Spencer's file.


Toby met Spencer for lunch,  and thankfully, Hanna had given her an outfit to wear instead of her gym clothes. Toby thought she was still mad over the Radley Thing, but Spencer claimed she wasn't. Maybe disappointed, but not mad. Toby insisted that his mom would've wanted him to move on and share his life with someone he loved. So, wouldn't Spencer like to share a sandwich? (Swoon! Ohhhh the feels!!!)


Across the school, Hanna and Emily were trying to avoid Aria, but she found them... turns out Spencer wasn't the only one who wants to talk about something likerightnow. Aria raised her concerns about Spencer, complete with a glimpse at her file. Not only is Spencer on drugs, according to Aria (and le file) "...this isn't the first time that it's happened. Two years ago, it was enough of an issue that her parents had to ask the school for help."



Back in Spobyland, Toby invited Spencer over for a romantic dinner that evening, but she declined, so Toby suggested the next evening and Spencer agreed.


After school, the Liars met for what Spencer thought was Aria's intervention, but it quickly turned into her own. Confused and frustrated to tears, she blurted out her accusation about Ezra being A. Thanks to Spencer's drug use, her file, and Ezra's words, Aria didn't believe Spencer, and Emily and Hanna seemed to be having doubts given the new information. Cornered, Spencer tried to convince them that Ezra was doing what he does best... being A, and that threatening her cred was actually a brilliant A tactic. Fully freaking out, Spencer grabbed her purse off the table and the contents fell out... including one of Wren's prescription pads. Hanna wondered if Wren was her hookup, Emily thought she just stole the pad, but Spencer claimed she never saw it before.



At the Grill, Mona and Mike were on an official date when Ezra walked in. She questioned why he was there, and proceeded to tell him that she was done working for him, that it had gotten too complicated. Ezra countered that the situation had always been complicated, and it was a little too late to back out now. He needed her help. The waitress interrupted their conversation with Ezra's order. Before Mona could say anything more, Ezra told her to enjoy her dinner and left.


Hanna and Emily ordered a pizza and continued debating Aria and Spencer. Hanna claimed they both had an addiction... Spencer to her pills, and Aria to Ezra. Emily considered the possibility of Ezra being set up as A, while Hanna claimed there was too much evidence against him for him NOT to be A.

 A knock at the door revealed Spencer, who asked to come in. She gave Emily and Hanna her pill stash, saying, "That's all of them. I don't need them anymore." She said that she still believed Ezra to be A, and she did some research on Ambrose Pavilion. She thought it was a place for Ali and Ezra to meet without being seen, and she found an Ambrose Pavilion at a nearby zoo. Spencer theorized that A knew Ali was alive, and A also knew that Ali didn't get her money from Shana. So, why not set up Ezra to think they're meeting Ali and dropping off the money, and see who shows up?


At Chez Hastings, Veronica was on the phone as Spencer descended the stairs after a nap that ended up lasting longer than planned. Veronica asked her daughter to join her for dinner at the club that evening, but Spencer declined, citing plans with Toby. Emily texted Spencer about the A stakeout, and Spence called Toby and said that she would be late to meet him, citing dinner with her mother at the country club.


In 3B, Aria and Ezra were cleaning up dishes, talking about Spencer's problem. Ezra brings up his teaching certification and learning to deal with confrontation. Aria claimed that Spencer was way out of line. Aria didn't go so far as to say that Spencer thought Ezra was A, but she slipped and let Ezra know that Spencer accused him of something. Ezra continued his "Spencer is crazy and on drugs right now" spiel, suggesting that Aria tell Spencer's parents. He reminded Aria that Spencer's last breakdown was over a motorcycle helmet and a tattoo. Aria found herself agreeing, but then quickly wondered how Ezra knew that. She didn't recall it being in the report, or that she had told him about it. Ezra quickly claimed that Aria must have told him, but Aria still looked skeptical.



At the Brew, Emily asked Ezra if she could top off his coffee. He declined, and she turned around, dropping a whole bunch of dishes onto the sidewalk. As she started to clean up, a call came in. Across the street, we saw Hanna and Spencer watching Emily and Ezra with binoculars. Emily made plans to leave the money for Alison at the Ambrose Pavilion at Norristown Zoo, baiting Ezra to see if he would be the one to show up.



Later at the Hastings Grand Estate, Spencer was feeling the effects of withdrawal from her pills. So, she called the pharmacy pretending to be Mrs. Hastings and began leaving a message for a prescription refill, as we've seen her do before. She started to leave a callback number, but instead told the pharmacy she would call them back. Just as she hung up the phone, Andrew called.


Aria's suspicions got the better of her, so she drove to the cabin to look for clues. Ezra had installed an alarm system, and although it took her a few tries, Aria figured out his password. B26... the song that played on the jukebox when she and Ezra first met.


Across the county, at Chez Hastings, Veronica answered a call on her cell phone from Dr. Griggs/Greggs office. Apparently, the Doctor wanted Spencer to come in for an evaluation before he refilled her prescription again. Veronica was confused, claiming that they hadn't been to see Dr. G in several years... but the secretary tells Mrs. Hastings that she has a record of Veronica calling several times. (Not good Spencer... Not good, and soooooo busted.)


At the Norristown Zoo, Hanna and Emily quickly located the Ambrose Pavilion, but Hanna didn't want to go in. Emily grabbed Hanna's arm and told her there was nothing to be scared of. The two marched into the pavilion as a shadowy head bobbed around the corner, noticing their arrival. (Tried to get a screencap, and I failed. Just watch, I promise you'll see it!)


Inside the pavilion, Em and Hanna wondered where Spencer was. Finally, the two saw Spencer arrive and planted the coffee grounds in the Ambrose Pavilion. A few second later, Spencer showed up late behind them with her wig, so... who did they see come in? Fake Fake Alison took the bag, and some sound and light manipulation occured at the Zoo a la Emily trapped at Rosewood High. Spence, Hanna, and Emily chased after the mystery blonde, but they lost her, and she lost the coffee grounds. Hanna grabbed the bag just in time, as a custodian found them and kicked them out.

Aria opened the door to Ezra's cabin and proceeded to have a look around. She looked a few places before finally finding the trapdoor in cabin's floorboards. She descended the stairs and found...


 ...a basement. Ezra's surveillance equipment was gone. Aria went back upstairs and closed the trapdoor, focusing on the main floor. She noticed a cookbook on the coffeetable, picked it up, and found it was hollowed. Inside was a manuscript...



 ...about the first time Ezra met Alison!


Aria was in the process of reading the manuscript when a car arrived, interrupting her. It was Ezra. Aria put the manuscript in her bag and fled. Ezra entered the seemingly empty cabin, and found Aria's keys next to the door and the open window she left through.


When Aria got to her car, she realized her keys were inside the cabin. She ran into the woods, (so smart!) quickly finding a sign for a ski lodge nearby. Ezra called out to her, and the two played a game of cat and mouse in the woods. Aria hopped on the ski lift, thinking she had finally lost Ezra, only for him to jump in next to her. 

On the ski lift, Ezra confessed that he was writing a true crime novel about Alison DiLaurentis. He had dated Alison in college, she had lied about her age. He knew who she was before they met at the bar. He knew all the Liars. Aria was repulsed. Ezra claimed he lied about a lot of things, but that he never lied about his feelings for her. He stopped writing the book when Ezria got serious, only starting back up when the two had broken up. Ezra claimed he would burn the book, but Aria wanted to read the entire thing. Cover. To. Cover. Ezra made a grab for it, but Aria dropped it and the pages scattered on the ground beneath the lift. (Hope that wasn't your only copy!)


Mike and Mona had moved their date from the restaurant back to the Montgomery house. Mona walked through the front door, and Mike said that he was going to say that she missed the whole movie, but that was like 20 minutes ago. (Mona was gone for half the movie plus 20 minutes.) Mike went to get a refill, and Aria arrived home, looking utterly dejected. Mona asked if Aria was okay, but Aria didn't answer.


Back at L'Estate Hastings, Spencer came home to find Toby in her kitchen. Mrs. Hastings called him because she was worried about the news from Dr. G. Toby was sad that he found out there was a problem from her mom, and not from her directly. Toby left, allowing Veronica to talk to Spencer, but not before giving her a little box.

V: You promised. You promised you would not go back to this again.
S: I don't know what you mean.
V: Spencer, stop it! Dr. Griggs' office called. I know.
S: Mom, I'm sorry.
V: I can't go through this with you, again. I just don't think I have it in me.
S: It's not like last time, thought. I swear...
V: You didn't know what you were doing half the time. And your father and I can't cover for you again, not with Radley on your resume.
S: What's that supposed to mean?
V: I need to call your father and let him know you're okay. Sounds like Toby had a beautiful evening planned. It's too bad you missed it.

Spencer opened the box Toby gave her to find an S Scrabble Charm Necklace. She started crying, finally realizing that she was out of control.


Back at Chez Montgomery, Aria laid in her bed, staring off into space. She picked up a book from her nightstand with a message inside from Ezra. Her emotions got the better of her, and she angrily threw it across the room.


The episode ended as Black Hoodie Black Veil A Someone wearing black gloves picked up the pages to Ezra's manuscript. 
 
My Thoughts

Okay... so Ezra is just writing a novel and he's not A. Thanks for lying to us AGAIN producers. Didn't I say before that we can't trust them? According to this Wetpaint article, I. Marlene King, (executive producer of PLL) told E Online that Ezra is not A. He's just a little liar. LIARS. Honestly. I don't think we can trust anything ANYONE says that is related to the show. All we can go off of is what we know from the episodes. Canon. House of Cards fooled everyone with their marketing of Season 2, why not Pretty Little Liars? As Mad Eye Moody says... "Constant Vigilance." And a healthy dose of skepticism! Alright, Alright, I'm getting off of my soapbox now...

ANYWAY... during my rewatch, Ezra sometimes seemed less sinister, but what he did is still REALLY creepy when you think about it. However, in the beginning of the episode, when he says, "Your friend is a ticking time bomb, and when she explodes, I don't want you to get hit with the shrapnel," to Aria, he seems genuinely concerned. Could it be that while Spencer suspects him of being A, Ezra suspects Spencer of attempting to kill Alison? I mean... we know that he looked through her file, so maybe he knows everything that happened "last time?"


The waitress that delivered Ezra's takeout... what was up with her voice? It sounded unnaturally low to me, and I was wondering if I was the only one who thought that was weird?

Mona wants out... because of Mike? I'm starting to think Ezra brought her onboard for her intelligence gathering skills. Perhaps a more constructive use of her Abilities... Maybe Mona didn't want to work with him anymore because she really likes Mike and knew the truth about Ezra? She didn't look happy at the end of the episode. It was more of a knowing look. Like she had been waiting for it to happen.

Could Mona be the "other" blonde in a wig at Ambrose Pavilion? Was it Black Veil? A? Bueller? While I watched for the first time, I thought it was definitely Mona, but her conversation with Ezra about Ezra needing help occurred before Ezra knew about Ambrose Pavilion. Sooo... I dunno. I've read a couple of theories that it's Mike, and that's honestly kind of brilliant. Could Mike be trying to help Mona get off the A-Team for good? Could he be helping Mona on the A-Team? Could they be on opposite sides and not even know it? Either way... I just hope Mona isn't using him. They're cute together.

Back to the Mona/Fitz connection. If Ezra's just writing a book... why did he need Mona's help? What was she helping him with? Why is she now refusing to help if it's just a book?

Thinking about this a little bit more... Mona approached Ezra about working together in 4x14. Why would she be the one who wanted out? I'm thinking that at some point, she suspected Ezra of being A, and she did some research and found out what he was really up to. I'm not sure if that revelation happened before or after their meeting, but Mona could've been on the hunt for the new A, who stole her lair and all her fun. I'm thinking that Ezra helped Mona with something, I'm not sure what, or how many times... but that's why Ezra was so upset when she turned him down in 4x20. He had already helped her, so she owed him. Maybe it was the group sessions with Jesse, or meeting Mike, but I think Mona was trying to let go of all her anger and just move on with her life.


Is Jill Cosh the editor of his book? Just a thought that I had. I'm guessing all that money in his drawer could've been from a book advance.

Did Ezra really get Alison pregnant? Aria accused him of as much, and he didn't exactly confirm OR deny it. You would think after Maggie he would've learned his lesson... just sayin'.

Was Spencer telling the truth about Wren's prescription pads? I think so. The last we saw, they were in what we thought to be A's lair. So, I'm thinking they were planted in her bag. I'm thinking that A is trying to make Spencer think that she attacked Alison.

And a general Spencer theory that encapsulates a bunch of things...

So, let me just go with this theory for a second. Spencer's drug problem happened around the time of Alison's disappearance. She was in one of her altered states that night and got in a fight with Alison. I'm not sure if Alison had a weapon, too but I think Spencer had the hockey stick from 2x7. Spencer either went to hit Alison and missed, or hit whatever Alison could find in the yard at a moment's notice. Maybe a shovel? I don't think that Spencer dealt the "fatal" blow that led to Ali being buried alive. I think her altercation with Alison happened before that. BUT... I will bet that the show is setting up Spencer as the next would-be A. And I think Spencer might believe it for an episode or so. But ultimately, I think A is still largely an unknown.

I've come back around to the twin theory. Either Alison or Spencer has a twin. But I'm thinking that it's Alison. I know the producers said that they're not going there, but they are LIARS. Seriously.

I'm not sure if it's my Noir Hangover, or that this episode just fell short, but I was a little disappointed. Sure, we got a pretty big reveal, but we didn't really go anywhere with it. I can't wait to see what Aria does next week, because in the previews, it looked like she was TRASHING Ezra's apartment!

-S

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