Monday, March 24, 2014

Pretty Little Liars: "A is for Answers" (4x24) RECAP

It's officially over. Season 4... the season of "answers" has come to an end. But did we really get that many answers? The finale picked up right where Unbridled left us hanging... with Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily surprised to see...

PLL 4x24 Noel Kahn
c/o SoYoureALiar on pretty-little-liars.wikia.com (henceforth, PLL Wiki)

Noel Kahn! Apparently he had been helping Alison this whole time. He relieved the girls of their phones, then drove them to New York to meet Alison. Hanna wasn't sure whether to hug her or smack Alison when she saw her, and the Liars collectively wondered why Ali trusted Noel all this time. Turned out... Noel had secrets too.

PLL 4x24 Alison DiLaurentis
c/o RedCoatKatrina on PLL Wiki

In a quick information download, the Liars told Alison that they thought her mother, Jessica DiLaurentis could be A. Alison didn't seem too surprised. The episode really got going and Alison told the girls she was ready to tell them everything. But... if they couldn't figure out who A was that night, she would have to disappear for good.

PLL 4x24 CeCe Drake
c/o Alietta on PLL Wiki

While the girls were with Alison in New York, Detective Holbrook was questioning CeCe Drake. He gave her a chance to confess to Wilden's murder and tell her side of the story, but CeCe didn't bite. Instead, she wanted to bargain. She told Holbrook that she knew about the girl in Alison's grave, and she knew who killed her. Oh, and about Alison being alive? She can prove that, too.

Alison began telling the story of what happened the day/night of her disappearance. She started off that morning in Hilton Head with Ian. Turns out, she just wanted to be able to get away from A, who had been tormenting her since Halloween (PLL 2x13: The First Secret). Melissa drove down to confront Ian about his relationship with Ali, and he claimed he was just biding his time until Melissa came back to him. Alison overheard his harsh words and proceeded to copy a bunch of N.A.T. files from his computer onto a memory stick. She left Ian in Hilton Head with Melissa.

Later, Alison confronted Jenna at the hospital, where she was still recovering from The Jenna Thing. Alison blackmailed Jenna with the video of Toby and Jenna from Ian's computer. Alison admitted to the girls that Jenna was her top suspect as A. After Ali played the video for Jenna, she told her to stop harassing her and never come back to Rosewood or Alison would bury her. As she walked out of the room, Ali got another text from A, eliminating Jenna from her list.

PLL 4x24 Text from A to Alison
c/o FabCassandra on PLL Wiki

Back in Rosewood, Veronica Hastings was on the phone with Pam Fields, and then Ashley Marin. None of them could find their girls. We saw Detective Holbrook walk down the stairs, and Veronica told him that she was more than happy to cooperate, if he could just tell her what he was looking for. Holbrook tells Veronica that the girls are suspected to have information about a missing person. He showed Veronica a picture of Alison talking to the Liars just after their trip to Ravenswood. She seeemed surprised that Alison was alive, even more surprised when Melissa walked into the kitchen. Turns out, Toby went to get her and she came home because of Spencer's relapse. (Great timing, btw.)

PLL 4x24 Mirror Message from A to Alison
c/o FabCassandra on PLL Wiki

Flashback to the night of Ali's disappearance, she arrived home to find a top that her mother had picked out for her. Alison pulled the infamous yellow top on, and turned around, horrified to find a message from A written on her mirror in lipstick.

PLL 4x24 Mrs. D. talks to Alison
c/o RedCoatKatrina on PLL Wiki

A few moments later, Alison went downstairs and got in an argument with her mother. Mrs. D. didn't want Alison going out that night. She sounded concerned as she was on the phone talking to someone, but we don't know who she was talking to. While Jessica continued to talk on the phone, Alison acted like she was going back to her room. Rather than head back to her room, she stole a few sleeping pills from her mother's bag and sneaked over to Spencer's barn.

Ali mixed her mom's sleeping pills with the alcohol the girls drank. She figured that if she got another text from A while the girls were out, she could cross them off the list too.

At Rosewood PD, Veronica, Melissa, and Peter were all being questioned. Detective Holbrook didn't let Peter or Veronica know that the other one was there. As Melissa was questioned, she claimed that she returned because Toby told her that Spencer missed her.

PLL 4x24 Alison talks to Ezra
SoYoureALiar on PLL Wiki

Alison continued to explain... now addressing her relationship with Ezra. She and CeCe went to a bar together, and that's where she met Ezra. She lied about her age and acted like she was into literature like he was. Ezra came to see Alison the night she disappeared, because he had figured out how old she really was. He broke things off with her, telling her she wouldn't see him again.

PLL 4x24 IAlison confronts Ian
SoYoureALiar on PLL Wiki

Ali continued on her way to meet Ian at the kissing rock. Thinking Ian could be A, Alison threatened him with the videos from his computer, but Ian warned her about doing so. He claimed that there was stuff on the videos that would bring everyone down, including her family. Alison returned to the barn, and found Spencer waiting for her.

Back at the station, Detective Holbrook questioned Peter about hiring a private investigator to tail Spencer. Peter played dumb, but Holbrook slid a large folder over to him, claiming that Spencer's name was all over the place inside the file. Outside of interrogation, Holbrook learned that the GPS information placed the girls in Philadelphia. As Peter was outside of his interrogation room, Melissa spotted him. Peter realized that he, and likely his wife, had been duped by Holbrook. Melissa wanted to know what was going on.

PLL 4x24 Alison keeps Spencer's secret
c/o RedCoatKatrina on PLL Wiki

In the barn the night of Alison's disappearance, Alison and Spencer argued, but Spencer didn't hit Ali. She chased after her and fell. Spencer's pills fell out, and Alison learned another secret. Spencer begged her not to tell the others, and Alison claimed she would keep her secret, because that's what friends do. Alison warned Spencer about mixing the pills with alcohol, and told her to go back to the barn and sleep it off. While Spencer headed back to the barn, Alison met with Byron, in an attempt to get more money out of him. She threatened him with the N.A.T. videos. He didn't bite, instead, he acted like he was defeated and ready to tell Ella the truth.

PLL 4x24 Mrs. D. sees someone hit Alison with a rock
LM Perfection on PLL Wiki

Alison walked back to her house. Having not received any more texts from A, she thought it was finally over and she was safe. She spotted her mother through a window, staring at her. Jessica's expressions changed as Alison was hit in the head with a rock, and fell down, unconscious. Alison gained consciousness as her mother was burying her alive, but she couldn't move or say anything to make her stop. According to Alison, her mother was upset and kept saying "What have you done?" to someone, but Alison couldn't see who. At some point after Mrs. D. finished burying her, Alison was pulled out of her grave by Grunwald and taken to the hospital.

Too scared to go to the hospital, Alison hightailed it out of Grunwald's backseat. As she was walking alongside the road, Mona pulled up beside her and took her to the Lost Woods Resort. Mona cleaned her up, and suggested that Alison let A think that she had died that night, and leave Rosewood. Mona put Alison to bed, and went nextdoor to her hideout, proceeding to brush a blonde doll's hair, telling the doll that it was such a pretty, pretty, girl. (creeeeepy. sooooo very creepy.) In the present day, Alison claimed that Mona played her like a fool.

PLL 4x24 Mona's Lair
c/o RedCoatKatrina on PLL Wiki

Back at Rosewood PD, Melissa told her father that Spencer didn't kill "that girl" and whispered something in her father's ear that we couldn't hear. Peter looked shocked.

Time was ticking by in New York, and Alison and the Liars were no closer to finding out the identity of A, but the girls asked Alison not to leave. Alison then told them that she was the one who pushed Ian from the bell tower, and she was at the lodge to make sure they were safe, but she only pulled Hanna out. She didn't know who saved Emily, Aria, Spencer, or Mona. As the girls were talking, a hooded figure armed with a gun appeared.

PLL 4x24 5 Little Liars
c/o SoYoureALiar on PLL Wiki

The girls fled to the roof (always a good idea...) and Ezra (rather suddenly) came out of one of the doors, enjoying a brief scuffle with the masked black hoodie. Shots were fired, and Hanna grabbed the gun after it fell onto the ground, holding A at gunpoint. The girls yelled at "A" to take off his/her mask, but instead, A jumped onto the roof of the next building, almost falling in the process. As the hooded figure escaped, the Liars told Ali there's no way that could've been her mother. Aria walked over to Ezra to thank him for interfering, and realized he had been shot. He passed out as Aria begged for him to hold on, and the other girls yelled for help. (Noel took their phones while they were in Philly.)

At the end of the episode, in the spot usually reserved for A shenanigans, we see someone dragging Jessica DiLaurentis to a grave, and begin to bury her.

PLL 4x24 Mrs. D. is buried
c/o RedCoatKatrina on PLL Wiki

Initial Thoughts

Okay, so just like last time, I plan on doing a completely separate "Theories" post for the Season Finale. But I couldn't resist commenting at least a liiiiiiittle bit with the recap. :)

Noel
He has secrets, too. What secrets, I wonder? You know, other than harboring girls in distress?

Mrs. DiLaurentis
So, while first contemplating theories, I made one based on something Marlene said. (which I should know by now not to believe her...) She pointed out that the fade to black before Mrs. D. being buried could suggest ambiguity in the timeline. I posted a theory on my tumblr before I really thought about it too hard, and kudos to viviandarkbloomesque for pointing out that Mrs. D. is wearing the same clothes as she was in the police station. So, I guess this has to have happened around the same time as Mrs. D. visiting the police station during the finale. So much for my idea, right?

"That Girl"
An awful lot of people seem to be referring to the girl in Alison's grave like they know it's not Alison. CeCe is understandable, but Peter, Veronica, and Melissa? I mean, the Hastings act like Spencer was responsible for killing a girl, specifically, "that girl." Did they always know that it wasn't Alison? Did they suspect it was Alison at one point? Was Melissa whispering into her dad's ear that she killed "that girl," not Spencer? Always so many more questions than answers, in true PLL fashion!

Jason as A
I feel like the show is pushing us to believe that Jason attacked his sister that night, and that's who Mrs. D. was protecting. But I don't think that's the case. Mrs. DiLaurentis saw who attacked Alison. I think that person is who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis. She covered for this person once, believing that they had killed Alison. She covered for them again, in her attempt to pin Ali's death on Spencer.

Twin Theories
Could Jason be the one with a twin? Maybe CeCe has a twin? Mrs. D. has a twin? Or maybe Alison really does have a twin. Or perhaps there's a sibling between Ali and Jason that sorta lived in Radley and got out the night of Ali's disappearance. Mrs. DiLaurentis was concerned about something that evening, and if she had a child who stayed at Radley and got out, she'd probably be worried.

I've read theories that Mrs. D. has the crazy twin, and that her twin's daughter was Sara Harvey. There's a whole lot of speculation that Sara Harvey is the body in Alison's grave. Honestly, it's not that far off of an idea, BUT it was practically handed to us by the producers. So... I dont know. Could Sara have been wandering around Rosewood that evening?

I keep coming back to the Alison has a twin theory. I know, I know... the producers say they're not doing that, but they LIE. After watching the Season Finale, I'm reminded of a part in the books. We've been wondering why Alison didn't mention certain things from that night that we already know, or think we know. Like, Garrett whacking Ali with a field hockey stick and Jenna thinking she was dead, or Jason seeing Melissa talking to CeCe, or one little thing about why CeCe was dressed as Alison. In the books, the girls realize that Ali wasn't their Ali, because she didn't know about certain things that Courtney was present for, while real Ali was in the Preserve. Could it be that Alison didn't mention a couple of things about that night, because there are things that didn't happen to her, per se... they happened to her twin? I'm hoping that's not the case, because I actually like that Alison is back, and that she has changed. I want to see if she can be redeemed. 

Ezra
Ezra took a bullet for Aria... does this redeem him? In my eyes, no. No it does not. I wasn't opposed to their relationship until he turned out to be a serious creeper. Ezria just doesn't have the magic that it used to after all the truth has been revealed. Will that gunshot wound be fatal? Producers have already confirmed that Ezra will live... Talk about a two-second cliffhanger!

And lastly... Season 5 premieres on Tuesday, June 10th with EscApe from New York... 77 Days and counting!

-S

*Pictures are all c/o the PLL Wiki, thanks to some technical issues. 

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