PLL: "Surfing the Aftershocks" (5x3)

by - 6/30/2014

The saga that is Pretty Little Liars continued last night, but the Whirly Girly ride is slow-i-n-g d-o-w-n... I'm not the only one feeling it, right? But it's not a bad thing... it's just... different.

Alison DiLaurentis Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Surfing the Aftershocks began with Alison in her bedroom, mourning the death of her mother. The girls helped pick out a dress for Alison to wear to the funeral, but she came downstairs wearing something completely different. Alison wanted to feel close to her mother, so she chose something from Jessica's closet. In a darkly ironic twist... she chose the dress her mother wore to her own funeral back in Season 1.

Skipping over the events of the funeral, the Liars found themselves back at Rosewood High, being "briefed" by Principal Hackett. The girls assured him that they'll try to keep the disturbances to a minimum. After the meeting, the Liars talked about keeping up appearances and wondered how long Ali's lie could possibly last. If they could only figure out who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis, they could give that information to Detective Holbrook...

Pretty Little Liars Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

After their conversation, Mona approached Aria, asking her to sign the card for Ezra... to "keep up appearances." Hanna walked over to intervene between the two when Aria got a little testy with Mona. Mona admitted to knowing that the girls were in New York, and we definitely got the feeling that she knew about more than just Ezra being shot. Aria was afraid Mona knew about Shana, too.

Sydney Driscoll PLL Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Emily met new girl Sydney Driscoll who seemed to be an Emily Fields fangirl. After mentioning all the trophies bearing Em's name, Sydney asked Emily to watch her in the pool and give her some pointers and tips. Emily misses swimming, so she agreed.

Melissa & Spencer Hastings Pretty Little Liars Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Back at Chez Hastings, Spencer stared off into Alison's bedroom window, as Melissa entered her room. The sisters discussed their relationship with the DiLaurentis family. Melissa suggestsed that Spencer stay away from all things DiLaurentis, but Spencer reminded her that they are all related because of Jason. Melissa didn't seem to care, pointing the finger at Jason for Jessica's murder while expressing her disdain for Alison and the entire DiLaurentis family.

Alison & Hanna Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Across town at the Funeral Home, Alison and Hanna went to pick up the guest book from Jessica's funeral. Alison saw a painting, freaked out, and left the room. The funeral director walked in, mistook Hanna for Alison and gave her the registrar. When Alison came back into the room and cleared up the confusion, she claimed that it used to be a lot easier to tell the two apart.

Mona Flashback Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Hanna flashed back to roughly two months after Alison's disappearance. She was sitting outside Lucky Leon's, and had just polished off at least 3 cupcakes. Mona approached Hanna, suggesting that someone had to take Alison's place. Why not the two of them? In a slightly Snape-ish revelation, she claimed she could teach Hanna the secret to being unforgettable.

At Chez Hastings, Peter asked Spencer's opinion on selling the house. Spencer sarcastically traded quips with her father. Continuing to stick up for Jason, she asked Peter to make Melissa stop pointing the finger towards her half-brother. Spencer's dad disagreed, telling his daughter that it wouldn't do any good.

Across town and outside 3B, Aria contemplated knocking on Ezra's door and decided against it, for him only to hobble out into the hallway and catch her. He assured her that he'll keep the New York Thing a secret, but was still worried about Shana. Aria claimed the girls didn't have to worry about that so much, thanks to Alison's story and the heightened level of police protection. She failed to mention that Shana is actually dead, or that she was responsible for killing her.

Ezra and Aria Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Emily and Sydney were walking back from the pool to the locker room, with Sydney asking all kinds of questions about her stroke, form, technique... Paige interrupted the two and tried to compliment Emily, but her attempts backfired and the two come across as extremely awkward in front of the new girl.

Hanna saw Mona at school and flashed back again to their budding friendship. Hanna had lost weight, and Mona suggested a new wardrobe to go with her new figure. She pulled a top out of the closet that Alison left at Hanna's house after a sleepover. Claiming it would never fit, Hanna was still insecure about her appearance. Mona urged her to try it on, and when it fit, Hanna was happily surprised.

Mona and Hanna flashback Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Alison and Aria met at Ali's cabin in the woods, as Ali requested Ezra's manuscript. Aria assured Ali that Ezra would keep the New York Thing a secret. She seemed agitated towards Alison, and quickly left.

Back in Philly, Emily and Hanna played detective more succesfully this time around, and ran into the same guy outside of the apartment building Jason was visiting last week. The girls were honest with him, and he tells them that the building is a sober house. Jason wasn't recovering in some swanky facility, he was living there, recovering.

In Rosewood, Spencer finally told Jason about the email his mother drafted on the night she disappeared. He didn't seem surprised, acknowledging that his mother had plenty of secrets. He warned Spencer to get out while she still could, but Spencer refused.

Hanna & Mona PLL Hallway Flashback
c/o PLL Wiki

Hanna and Emily were in Emily's car, driving back to Rosewood from Philly while Hanna flashed back yet again. Mona and Hanna's makeovers were complete and we saw the two take their first steps down the halls of Rosewood High. The memory caused Hanna to question what it was like for Emily to come out. Emily claimed that she was just becoming who she really is, while Hanna mused that she never had any clue who she was.

Hanna & Emily PLL Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Alison paid Ezra a visit, returning the manuscript Aria had just given her. Alison seemed to be looking for something in his manuscript... something that she thought he knew that could help her and the girls.
When she called Ezra out for forgetting a few details, he claimed that he had other information that he was holding on to just for Aria. He claimed he would only tell her when she was ready to accept his help.

Ezra & Ali PLL Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Back from Philly, Em and Hanna made a pit-stop at the Brew. Hanna saw Mona and confronted her about the makeover. She asked if Mona knew Alison was really alive at the time, why she insisted Hanna get an Alison-esque makeover. Mona reminded Hanna that she was just as into the makeover as Mona had been. Mona asked Hanna who she would've been if it weren't for the Alison upgrade, and Hanna claimed she would've still been herself. Mona laughed, telling her that Hanna doesn't even remember who she used to be.

Mona at the Brew PLL Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Spencer and Aria shared a moment where Aria understood Spencer defending her brother, and Spencer comforted Aria over killing Shana. Spencer reiterated what she told Aria moments after Shana's death... that if Aria wouldn't have killed Shana, Shana would've killed one or all of them.

Sparia PLL Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Outside of Ezra's apartment, Alison ran into Peter Hastings, who insisted upon giving her a ride home.

When Emily got to her house, Paige was waiting on her porch. Paige attempted to reconcile, telling Emily that she loved her, but it didn't change Emily's mind. She said that the two might be able to be friends at some point and that Paige deserved "the best of everything." Paige claimed that's what she thought she had with Emily and walked away.

Paige McCullers Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

At Chez Hastings, Peter arrived home, blaming his absence on a soft pretzel run. Spencer confronted him with the email and outlined her opinion of what happened that night. Melissa walked in as the two were talking, ripped up printout of the email, but suggested to her father that they tell Spencer what's going on. Mr. Hastings quickly ended the discussion, sending Spencer to bed and shutting down Melissa at the same time.

Hastings Meeting Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Aria went to see Ezra again and told him the truth. Shana was dead and Aria had killed her. Ezra asked how he could help and the camera cut away.

Hanna makeover Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

At a salon, Hanna was headed to the shampoo bowl when the stylist asked if she wanted the same shade of blonde. Hanna told her that it's time for a change. Behind a frosted partition, we saw Mona's face. Beside her stood the silhouette of a girl, with what looked to be long, wavy hair. Although Mona's face was recognizable, we couldn't make out any details on the face of the silhouetted girl. (Black Widow?)

Frosty Mona Surfing the Aftershocks
c/o PLL Wiki

Black Widow is Frosty Silhouette?
c/o PLL Wiki

My Thoughts

I loved everything about the Hanna and Mona flashback scenes. Finally! I can't be the only one who has seriously missed the friendship between these two! That being said... these little reveals did raise a few questions. When Hanna asked Mona why she made her into Alison 2.0 when she knew Ali was still alive... I think a lot of us were wondering the same thing! But more than that...

Why did Mona "pick" Hanna? Did Alison tell her to do that? Was she trying to make duplicates of Vivian Darkbloom and Alison DiLaurentis? Mona would become Vivian, Hanna would become Ali?

Did Hanna regularly pig out on cupcakes at Lucky Leon's? If that was an isolated incident, shouldn't she have realized a little sooner that Mona was A?

Furthermore... why all the juiciness about Mona now? Not that I don't like it... I'm allllll about good character defining backstory... it's just... it feels like the moment in the movies when the old man starts spilling all his secrets, and you know it's because he's going to die. I'm kinda concerned that Mona might be the next character to wind up in the Rosewood morgue.

Backing up that theory... I've heard rumors that we're going to meet Mona's mom in 5x12. The title? Taking This One To The Grave. Yikes. Sounds like Mona could very well be the next PLL casualty.

Or could Mona's mom be Jessica's twin? Maybe Marion's twin? That would explain a little more about Toby helping Mona...

The Hastings continued their shady antics last night. I'm not sure who is acting stranger, Melissa, or Peter? You'd think that for being so smart, they'd do a little bit better of a job of lying and hiding what's going on. Is the next step buying a billboard?

Spencer tried to confront them and Jason about their general shadiness... but, nothing. Melissa acts like she wants to tell, but according to Peter, no one can know... not even Mrs. Hastings, so that makes me really wonder what the two of them are hiding.

Emily and Paige had more of a concrete breakup last night, which almost felt like it was more about taking up time in the episode than anything. I feel like they had already covered that, but perhaps they're at a loss for an Emily story?

Speaking of Emily... what's the deal with Sydney? She came out of nowhere acting all chummy and fangirling all over Em. Can we trust her? Has she been sent by A? She seems likeable enough, but you really never know in Rosewood. I'm honestly surprised that Emily was so quick to befriend her. What I do like about this particular storyline, is that we're finally addressing Emily and swimming. It was such a huge part of her life, and that future was taken away when she was mowed down by A.

Watching Hanna's transformation was really fun. I never imagine that Mona brought Hanna under her wing. I just assumed that the two of them met, realized they had common interests, and were inseperable ever since. The more I think about Mona offering Hanna the Ali upgrade... the more I feel like Mona was deliberately trying to one-up Alison. Ali had all the secrets of being an It Girl, but she was also pretty rotten to her friends. Rather than surround herself with a group of follower, Mona befriended Hanna and treated her as an equal. I think that speaks a lot about Mona's character. At the end, she watched Hanna from behind a frosted partition in the salon, with a rather ambiguous and indifferent look on her face. There's little love lost between Mona and the other girls, but I think she genuinely has a soft spot when it comes to Hanna.

Being mistaken for Alison in the funeral home made Hanna realize just how much she had stepped into Alison's shoes... but it also gave us the opportunity for Alison to comment on it. The tone of her voice was slightly sad, if not completely indifferent, but she couldn't resist the urge to throw some snark into the conversation. It's led a lot of people to wonder if Alison has really changed at all? I don't know that Ali meant it as being mean... it almost sounded like she was sad that she missed the transformation and all the time that went along with it.

Aria and Ezra are at least back on speaking terms, and I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I get that he took a bullet for her and everything, I just don't really see the appeal anymore. The Novel Thing really made me look at Ezra in a whole new light.

Jason has been painted as suspect #1 lately, with even Melissa accusing him of matricide. I think there's a chance he might know a few things he's not telling, but I don't think he killed Mrs. D. At this point, Melissa and Peter are looking very guilty in that regard, but their issue could turn out to be something completely different. Although, that family meeting did remind me of that time in the books when Melissa wanted to tell Spencer about Alison having a twin and warned her to stay away from the DiLaurentis family... coincidence? Rarely is there such a thing in Rosewood, PA!

Oh, and don't think that I've forgotten about that shady figure behind the frosted glass that looked like she was in cahoots with Miss Mona. I mean... Black Widow? Is that really you?!? If Black Widow really is the "twin" of legend... this suggests that twinnie belongs to someone around the age of the girls, nawt the parents. So, is my Leona Vanderwaal the sister of Jessica or Marion theory squashed? Well, it could very well be. A lot of people have pointed out that Frosty Silhouette might simply be one of the members of Mona's army... guess we'll have to wait and see.

In the next episode, Thrown From The Ride... we should see the results of Hanna's makeover, learn more about Sydney Driscoll, and see more of Rosewood's reaction to Alison returning from the grave!


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