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As the episode began, the girls were watching TV, wondering if the police could do an age progression drawing of Charles from the home movies Ali and Jason turned in. Spencer told the girls that the state police had set up checkpoints at state borders. The girls turned off the news and Alison entered the room. She was having a hard time believing that Charles could be a monster, but Hanna didn't care. She tried to remind Alison and the other girls of all the pain Charles put them through. Hanna told them that she hoped the police caught him and stormed out.
Later, Hanna and Ashley were heading to see Kenneth DiLaurentis about the Carissimi Group check. The reporters out front scared them away. Ashley promised Hanna they would find another way to contact him.
At the Brew, Aria and Clark were talking over coffee. He asked about the girls going after Charles, but Aria cut him off, saying she didn't want to talk about it anymore. Clark agreed and gave her a flyer for the contest she had entered. On it was a photo Aria had taken. After telling Clark that she wasn't going that evening, Aria wished him good luck and he left. Ezra came over almost immediately to talk to her. He pointed out that clark had asked a lot of questions. Aria reminded him that there was no possible way Clark could be Charles, so there wasn't any reason to be suspicious. As they talked, Ezra lamented Aria missing her show. He was about to offer to take her when Aria realized that she could go to Tanner and ask for a police escort.
Over at Lorenzo's place, Alison was helping with chores and making him dinner. He listened as she talked about equating a monster with the little boy in the video. He told her he could make a call and see what Mr. DiLaurentis had been talking about.
Spencer and Hanna were still in full investigation mode, trying to figure out who was behind the Carissimi Group. They hatched a plan to close Hanna's college account and return the check in person.
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Meanwhile, Aria and Ella talked with Tanner as she looked over Aria's work. Tanner agreed to provide backup in order for Aria to attend the show.
At the gallery, preparations were in full screen. The picture pulled back, faded to black and white, and we realized that A was watching everything on a monitor. A buzzer sounded and he pressed a button, opening a door for someone. Red Coat entered and sat down beside him.
Back at Aria's house, Emily was helping her pick an outfit for that evening while they talked about prom. The girls talked about a memo that was circulating, voicing concern over the Liars attending prom. Aria asked Em to go with her as friends, but Em already had plans to ask Sara.
At the Carissimi Group office, Hanna and Spencer wait to talk to Rhys Matthews, the signature on Hanna's check. While waiting, the girls looked over the office and Hanna tried to keep any potential eavesdroppers from hearing their conversation. Rhys entered the room mid-conversation, surprising the girls.
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Across town, Lorenzo got off the phone with his friend with little to share. He told Alison that her father was cooperating and telling Tanner about Charles. He also told her that Tanner had called in a profiler. He told Alison that all the evidence was off limits to him, so he couldn't really help with specifics. He was about to take his pain killers and suggested that Alison should go, but offered up a spare key to his place. She told him that she would stick around to wash the dishes and help with his laundry before she went.
Back at the Montgomery household, Emily told Aria about Sara. Aria asked about a tracking chip, but Em confirms that she didn't feel one on her, so she didn't say anything. The two talked about prom some more, and decided they'd all go as a group. Aria was okay with going solo.
Hanna and Spencer talked further with Rhys Matthews, who wouldn't give up much information at all. He took the check back from Hanna. When she asked if she could offer her thanks in person, he claimed that the "private trust exists to provide him with discretion." Hanna pretended to ask for an e-mail address, snapping a picture of Rhys while waiting for him to respond. He told the girls he would mention their meeting during his weekly conference call and they would go from there. Spanna to that as their cue to leave. While leaving, they noticed the high security and talked about how Rhys looked like a DiLaurentis.
Later, at the art show, Hanna and Spencer try to hide their meeting with Rhys, but can't lie to Emily. They show her the picture and she immediately mistook it for a picture of Jason.
Ezra showed up for Aria's show, and the two talked. She was in the middle of asking him to prom when Nicole, Emily's Habitat for Humanity friend showed up. Embarrassed, Aria quickly went over to see what Clark was doing. While talking, Clark mentions that it's his first show too, but recovers when Aria mentioned his bio. She asked a few questions about his parents, wondering why they didn't come up for the show. Their conversation was interrupted when the finalists of the show were announced. When the spots came up on the finalists work, Aria's photos had been replaced with large photos of Her, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer on the morgue tables of the Dollhouse.
Meanwhile, Alison was on her way out of Lorenzo's place when she spotted his Rosewood PD passkey. She pocketed it, along with the extra set of keys he told her about.
As the police began their investigation, Ella flipped out on Tanner, questioning how it could've happened. Tanner remained calm, explaining that not only was Charles singling out the girls, he was now taunting the lead in the investigation with the caption on the switched artwork.
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Alison made her way into the police evidence room and looked over the investigation boards and boxes of evidence.
Later, Hanna was transfixed by the photos, while Emily and Spencer couldn't believe she could look at them. Spencer reminded Em that everyone handles trauma differently. About to head home, the liars spot Rhys Matthews getting into his car and decided to follow him.
Aria opened up a little more to Ezra. She told him about her time in Iceland, and how she wished she could go back to that time before A ever existed. She told him that despite her best efforts, she was having a hard time moving past what happened in the Dollhouse.
Back at Rosewood PD, Tanner busted Alison for being in the evidence room, telling her that crossed a line. Tanner talked to Alison about some of the things they found. She told her that the baby rattle was hers. Tanner told her they found it in the bunker. Alison was still having a hard time equating A the monster with Freddy/Charles, the sweet little boy from the videos. She thought that him holding on to it meant that he was trying to stay connected to his family. Tanner offered her a different insight into the criminal mind. She explained that personal items help murderers focus on their victims, commemorate what they've done. Tanner told Alison that to Charles, the baby rattle was a piece of Alison. Just like hair, teeth, or skin. She told Alison that Rosewood PD planned to bring Charles to justice, with lethal force, if necessary.
Spencer, Emily, and Hanna followed Rhys to the abandoned doll factory. They sat in their car, watching him, when another car pulled up and Clark stepped out. The Liars watched him enter the building, but left before either of them came out.
Alison returned to Lorenzo's apartment and was caught red-handed. Tanner had called him to fill him in on what happened. He was expected to appear before a disciplinary committee. He expressed his disbelief that Alison had used him. He told her that she could've just asked, but Alison told him that he would've said no, and she would've done it anyway.
Over at the Marin household, Ella arrived to talk to Ashley, obviously distressed about what had happened at the art gallery. The two began to talk, and as the camera pulled away, Red Coat was outside the window listening to every word.
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Back at Aria's house, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna showed up to warn Aria about Clark. Hanna told Aria about Rhys too, about how he looked just like Jason, and how there might be a chance that Rhys Matthews was actually Charles DiLaurentis. During her voiceover, Tanner looked at the surveillance footage and caught someone switching Aria's prints.
The episode ended as A seemingly got ready for prom. A tuxedo bag, tickets, and 6 vials of probably tranquilizer. A got in the back of a limousine and knocked on the divider. It rolled down to reveal Red Coat, who gave A the returned check from Hanna.
Thoughts, Theories, and Random Facts
Hanna is really coming into her own. Not just this Season, it's really been a journey for her. I love that she can stand up to Alison now, and she does it quite frequently. I'm also really enjoying that she and Spencer are teaming up to investigate clues.
This whole Carissimi Group check seems sloppy on A's part. I'm not sure if that's because of his minions, or underestimating the Liars, or what. I have a hard time believing that he wants to be caught. Maybe he's getting bigger and bolder because he knows the police are closing in?
Clark has been really strange this whole time, but I guess it all comes back to the fact that it was a way to get at Aria. I mean, Clark is the one who told her about the contest in the first place. I'm thinking his meeting with Rhys was all about getting paid and possibly taking that scholarship money. He even told Aria that the show was his first, when he's been all about photography and working for National Geographic since we met him. Someone's having a hard time remembering his lies...
Lorenzo and Alison were over before they started. I don't think it was Ali's intention to use Lorenzo. It just sort of happened. She's definitely an opportunist. Maybe their breakup will pave the way for Emison to be a thing? But then... what about Sara?
Sara was oddly absent this week, along with Caleb, Mona, and Toby. Boo.
Red Coat and Charles working together? This was called a while ago by many, many fans. We just haven't seen Red Coat for a long time. We're all thinking that she's the Black Hoodie from Aria's photo... unless that was Black Widow. The real question is... which one is in charge?
Rhys Matthews looks like Jason DiLaurentis and talks with a British accent like Wren. I guess that's supposed to keep us guessing about the two of them. I have a hard time believe that Rhys is Charles. Mainly because I don't think the writers would make the reveAl that anticlimactic.
But he does make a good red herring. I'm thinking that he's being set up to be the grown up face of Charles DiLaurentis without realizing it. And the fact that he looks so much like Jason... well, that gives Rosewood PD ample room to mistake Jason for Rhys and shoot him instead. With A, there's always a fall guy. And if it suits his needs, that person could very well be on his own team.
According to the Police Board, the murders being attributed to Charles include Bethany Young, Ian Thomas, Darren Wilden, Maya St. Germain, Garret Reynolds, and Jessica DiLaurentis. It's interesting that they're attributing Maya to Charles. So... Lyndon just transferred his obsession to Emily without actually doing anything to her?
Switching the artwork at the gallery opening that was an all-along plot by Charles was really sadistic. He's doing everything in his power to go after Aria right now. Seemingly more so than the other Liars, and I wonder if the intention was to frame Jason. Then, when that didn't work out, Rhys was Plan B to take the fall.
Judging by the end of the episode, I'm guessing that Ella and Ashley are talking about proactively hosting prom for their kiddos. I'm guessing that Red Coat will then inform A, and he'll change his plans accordingly. Because as of right now, they've got tickets to the official Rosewood High Prom.
So... now that Red Coat is back, it has me wondering about Black Widow. Are they the same person? Are they two different girls? I mean, Red Coat was definitely burned in the Lodge Fire and lost her coat, so then the Black Widow disguise evolved from there. Could they be one and the same, or are they two different people? When we saw her, she was at Wilden's funeral, sitting behind Jenna. We haven't seen her since.
I've been trying to make sense of a lot of what's been going on in Rosewood with little bitty reveals here and there. I'm going to try my best to have a complete theory out in the next week, before the next episode airs. At that point, I'm guessing that we'll have enough information to correctly guess the who, but the why is going to be all over the place.
This Week's Suspects
I figured since Red Coat is obviously being brought back into relevancy, it would be fun to start speculating about her identity and the identity of Black Widow. You know, since we have a whole one episode left before we actually find out for ourselves!
3. Charles portrayed by Drew Van Acker in different makeup/clothing
I'm really split on who I think Charles actually is. I would equally enjoy either Wren or Wilden being the masked villain. With the addition of Rhys as a Jason lookalike, I'm beginning to think they're not going to use Drew Van Acker in different makeup/clothing. But maybe I'm wrong. Wren still has perfect potential for being A. While other guys his age have been discounted, he's still hanging on as a potential suspect. Wilden was almost at the number one spot, because in the preview for next week, Alison sounded like she recognized her attacker. I can't recall that she has ever had any interaction with Wren. But she definitely knew Wilden from Cape May. However, I know that promos can be misleading. When it comes to the motives of Charles/A... I'm really not sure. That's one I have to really think through. I get the Alison hate. I don't get the obsession with the other Liars.
It's been a while since Red Coat was actually relevant. First it was Alison, then CeCe, then the network didn't like the storyline, but now she's back. CeCe is the number one contender because there's a lot of conflicting information around her. Talk to Alison and they're best friends. Talk to her old roommate and the Liars and Alison were little she-devils. CeCe Drake could be carrying out her revenge from being kicked out of UPenn, or maybe it goes a little bit deeper than that. Maybe CeCe Drake isn't really who she says she is. Maybe, she's actually Bethany Young hiding in plain sight. And if that's the case, Bethany and CeCe are total twinnies. The only problem with CeCe as Red Coat, is again... she's including the Liars in something that Alison did all on her own.
Jenna on the other hand, has a more solid reason to go after all of the girls. I could really see her being Red Coat to get back at the girls for blinding her and taking Toby and Shana away from her. As a group, they've caused her a lot of pain. Jenna was definitely in on the plan to send Alison to prison, so being Red Coat doesn't seem like that big of a stretch further.
Black Widow (if she and Red Coat aren't the same person)
So, here's the thing... in addition to Red Coat cropping up, so is Black Widow. For a while, we all thought Red Coat and Black Widow were the same person, but what if they're not? Black Widow was at Wilden's funeral and definitely had everything from Mona's Lair. But other than that one sighting, Black Widow hasn't really done much. In fact, a lot of people theorize that she's someone running game against Charles and Red Coat while trying to stay hidden from the Liars. I'm not really sure. I kind of think that if someone was helping the Liars, it would be a little more obvious.
CeCe paying her respects to Wilden would be a little odd, considering that she's wanted for his murder. Unless she really didn't murder him. But if she's working with A, she might've been there to listen in. Maybe she helped plant the phone in Wilden's casket.
Bethany... whether it's really Bethany, or Bethany pretending to be CeCe, obviously you would keep yourself hidden if you were considered to have gone missing.
Melissa is always a possibility, but I don't want her to be bad. At all. I feel like that would be a little bit much for Spencer to handle. So... yeah.
In all honesty, I could see them making us think that there are 3 members of the A-Team... Black Widow, Red Coat, and Charles. I think they're going to bait and switch a lot with this reveal. I could see us thinking we're getting Charles and then getting either Red Coat or Black Widow. Instead, they reveal Black Widow or Red Coat. Then, the writers could make us think that Charles/A is the next reveal, but instead, we find out that Black Widow and Red Coat are the same person. Then, finally, we get to see Charles. Whether he lives after that moment or not, I'm not sure. I just can see them playing around with us a little bit while revealing some answers.
Do I think we're going to get all of the answers? Hahahahaha... No. No I do not. The thing is, there are so many unanswered questions. So many. There have been rumors that "Game Over Charles" will be 90 minutes rather than the typical 60, but still. 120-150 minutes to flesh out every single question? It's just not gonna happen. I'm hoping that we're going to be able to piece it all together from what we learned when we go back and rewatch.
All in all, we're getting to that super frustrating time of the Season where everyone wants to try to spoil the show for fans. There are also a lot of theorists who are just ready to sit back and enjoy the ride. Like I said, I'll try to post an all-inclusive theory in the next week, hopefully before seeing "Last Dance," the penultimate episode of Season 6A. Gosh, it's kind of hard to believe we're here already. I'm so much more used to 12/13 episode seasons. Can we make that a thing going forward? Please and Thank You!