Well, welcome back to the madness! The season 5 premiere of Pretty Little Liars aired last night, and I was so excited that I decided not to wait a week to tell you about it! I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep it up, but I can’t guarantee anything. Summertime is a busy time, you know. Anyway! I have much to say about this episode, so here we go!
In last season’s finale, we ended with the five Liars in a confrontation on a roof with A, and then Ezra Fitz showed up and saved them, getting shot in the process. We see A jump off the roof to the neighboring building and get away. And the ending was A burying Alison DiLaurentis’ mom in a grave.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there’s a chance you should catch up before reading on.
This season opens with Ezra being loaded into an ambulance. Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, and Emily Fields are holding Aria Montgomery back, because she is trying to get into the ambulance with Ezra. At this point, Ezra and Aria are still broken up, but I’m not convinced that will last. The other girls tell Aria that it would look too suspicious if she jumped in the ambulance, but they will get her to the hospital. Nole Kahn is getting interviewed by police – he apparently found the scene after the shooting. He looks genuinely concerned for Aria, which is odd, since up until the season finale of last season, everyone thought he was bad. Alison is standing up above everything on a fire escape and watches A ride away to the hospital on top of the ambulance, but she can’t do anything about it.
The opening credits roll. I’m already on the edge of my seat.
At the hospital, Ezra is herniating, and they take him into surgery. A stands by, watching.
Outside of a convenience store, Spencer hands Hanna a burn phone and tells her that she knows what she has to do. Emily buys something in an aerosol can and hands it to Alison, saying it’s the strongest they have. Mace, perhaps? The girls are theorizing about A, and they all agree that it can’t be Alison’s mom (they don’t know yet that she’s dead and buried). Emily doesn’t like their plan, but since Ezra saved their lives, they agree that they have to do something. Ezra knows who A is, and as soon as he wakes up, he’s going to lead them to A.
Hanna makes a call to the police, telling them Ezra’s name and warning them that he is in danger. She suspects they’ll have someone posted outside of his door after that. Spencer then explains that they have to split up, quoting Sun Zhu in The Art of War. Typical Spencer. Alison, of all people, recognizes the quote and says that there is no art in this war. Then, Alison and Aria run in one direction. After a quick discussion about how A is always one step ahead of the Liars, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily run in the other direction, even though Emily is hesitant about whether their plan will work.
Spencer’s family, meanwhile, discusses the secrets that Spencer was keeping from them, most importantly being that her dead friend was no longer dead. Spencer’s older sister, Melissa, in typical style, blames Alison for all of Spencer’s problems, because Alison is a time bomb, but everyone else explodes. In last season’s finale, we learned that Melissa has a secret, which she shared with her dad. She’s about to tell her mom, but is stopped by the look on Mr. Hastings’ face. The police then arrive at the Hastings house.
Alison and Aria are exiting a subway station (they’re in New York, in case the title didn’t give that away). They discuss how A found Ali, and Aria knows it was the Liars’ faults. Alison says that she knows that the only reason Ezra was still looking for her was because he was hoping he’d be able to win Aria back. Aria says she doesn’t know if that’s possible yet, since she isn’t sure yet if he’s even still alive.
Detective Man (aka Holbrook) is at the Hastings’ house to let them know that CeCe Drake, who had been arrested for the murder of Detective Wilden last season, has escaped police custody. What? How? Who? What is this, Psych? The police should be more competent than this! Detective Man is worried for the safety of Spencer and the other girls, and Melissa almost tells him the secret. But her dad stops her again.
On the news, the girls are listed as missing, and Alison is noted as being alive. Mona VanderWaal is watching the television, and there is a guy behind her, barely in the shot. She says, “This changes everything.”
A is still at the hospital, this time dressed in a doctor’s coat. He throws it away when he sees police officers posted outside the doors to the surgical ward. On the other side of the doors, the surgeon says that Ezra has a “ton of debris” in his abdomen. He starts crashing.
Hanna, Emily, and Spencer arrive at the hospital. They see A, and they say that all that’s left to do is wait. So they sit down and awkward try to pretend to read waiting room magazines. Separately, Aria and Alison arrive and ask about Ezra. The other three are spotted by A from around a corner, and A backs away. Alison is paged to the Emergency Room. A sends a group text (although the recipients remain unknown to us as viewers) that says “It’s happening. Follow the leader.” Aria sends Alison off to the ER, and A follows her. Hanna, Emily, and Spencer follow A. Alison takes to the streets, walking as fast as she can to keep ahead of A. Aria stays at the hospital to wait for news about Ezra.
Alison walks for a while, almost gets hit by a taxi, listens to some sweet, sweet saxophone playing, and then sees A. A chases her to a park with a playground, where she tries to hide. There’s a creepy moving swing, and then a moving merry-go-round, and then BAM! There’s A! A says, “Want to play? It’s over.” And Ali, looking remarkably calm, says, “No, it’s not.” The other three girls show up, saying that they would have never let her come alone, silly. They paged her to the ER so that A would know she was there. Once A is surrounded, Ali gets out the mace, temporarily blinding A. But then a different A says, “Are you sure that’s A? Maybe I’m A.” And a whole bunch of other A’s in masks show up and start swarming around the girls. The cops are trolling and scatter all of the A’s. The Liars run.
While pacing the hospital, Aria overhears the surgeon call Mrs. Fitzgerald with an update about Ezra’s condition.
Then we’re with Mona again, who is lecturing someone on the phone about staying on top of things, and that they’re mobilizing. Mona updates her man-friend about the Liars’ location – NYC instead of Philly. Her man-friend is Lucas Gottesman! We haven’t seen him in a very long time! He thought that more people would be there. What is Mona planning…?
Melissa sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night and is startled by her father, who has been drinking this entire episode. She says she wants to tell Detective Man her secret, and her dad doesn’t answer. He just keeps drinking, and probably wishes she hadn’t turned on the light. She flinches when he gets up – she’s afraid of him? Interesting. He says, “Your mother can never know what you told me.” Whaaaaat the heck??
A detective from the NYPD calls Detective Man, who is holed up in a conference room with all of the stuff he could find that relates to Alison. The NYPD guy tells him about Ezra’s gunshot wound. Detective Man then starts the standard police search into Ezra’s history – why does Ezra have a mug shot and prints in the system? Did I forget about something?
Aria updates the girls on Ezra’s condition via speakerphone in the dark park. Yeah… great idea, guys. They also update her on the A situation. Emily, acting as Spencer for the moment, tells the girls that surgeries take a while to wake up from. Excellent insight. Aria tells them not to come to the hospital, so they have to find somewhere else to wait. Alison takes them to a safer location, which turns out to be a theater.
Then we flash back to Ezra taking Alison there for the first time, back before everything else happened. She says she wants to be an actress, and that she wants to know what it feels like for an audience to love her. Ezra points out that that’s adoration, not love, and says that she’s already an actress. He marvels that she seems to almost believe her own lies. She remarks that you can’t convince anyone else of anything if you don’t believe it yourself. He calls her Holly Golightly (again), and she pretends not to know who that is. He gets some sandwiches out of his backpack, and a custodian walks by. Recognizing Ezra, he says that he was just about to lock up. That’s when Alison realized that Ezra was actually a rich kid. She said that she liked him more, because he was able to fool her. Which… what? Alison, that’s messed up.
Spencer sits in a chair, looking sick. Hanna plays with a prop shotgun. They decide to stay for the night. Then Spencer’s stomach makes the most obnoxious noise, and they decide to raid the concession stand for something to eat. They start talking about a TV show that sounds a lot like My Strange Addiciton, except that it’s only about people who eat weird things, and we, as the audience, can tell that Ali’s years on the run are making her sad, because she missed out on this kind of stuff. She can’t relate to them. She tells them that she needs to make some phone calls. The other girls are suspicious, so Hanna follows her. But she can’t hear anything, so the other girls just keep not completely trusting Alison and her constant assortment of secrets.
Police are still patrolling outside of Ezra’s room. Shana Cruz shows up at the hospital to sit with Aria, apparently on Alison’s orders. Aria is very blatant in her distrust of Shana, and basically tells her where to go.
After Alison falls asleep, Spencer says that she thinks Alison is shutting them out again. She says that it’s not fair that Alison won’t tell them everything, since they are risking it all to help her right now. Emily, because she still loves Ali, says that they only have to wait a few more hours for Ezra to tell them who A is. Hanna responds with, “From your lips to God’s ears.” Spencer questions Hanna’s sudden turn to God, and Hanna says, “My mom’s dating a preacher, remember?” Oh, yeah. I forgot. Thanks for the reminder, Hanna. The girls discuss hobbies they missed out on because of A. Hanna wishes she could play a sport, then says that she has always liked Spencer’s field hockey skirt. Oh, Hanna. Spencer says that she wouldn’t want to go back to the person she was before – she used to only care about winning, and now she just wants to be happy.
Aria falls asleep at the hospital, and Shana covers her with her jacket, then sneaks off.
All of the other girls are asleep at the theater, and A sneaks into the theater. She wakes Alison up by covering her mouth with a gloved hand. Except it’s not A! It’s CeCe. And she needs Ali’s help.
Detective Man is still Googling Ezra. He learns that Fitz is actually a Fitzgerald. Is that important right now?
Nole meets up with Ali and CeCe at a 24-hour diner, and Alison gives CeCe her passport and plane ticket. Alison says that she keeps thinking it miht be the last time they see each other. CeCe says, “Don’t be so dramatic, Ali. It’s us.” Ominous? Nole, for his part, says, “Is this the part where you guys kiss?” The girls give him a look and then say their goodbyes to each other. CeCe walks away, out the door.
Aria wakes up and realizes that Shana is gone. She asks a nurse about Ezra’s condition, and it turns out that he’s in recovery. Aria finds Shana in the room with him – he is unconscious, but stable. His eyes open, and when he sees the two girls, he starts freaking out, his heart rate goes through the roof, and Aria calls for help. Shana slips out, and Aria is pulled from the room.
When Alison returns to the theater, Emily is awake and waiting for her. Emily says that she doesn’t trust Alison, because Ali is still keeping secrets from them.
Mona, it appears, is forming an army against Alison, and both Lucas and Paige are at the meeting. Paige tries to point out that all of Alison’s name-calling was just “sticks and stones, Mona.” Mona points out that Alison has already managed to break up Emily and Paige. But no matter, Paige doesn’t want to be any part of taking Alison down. After saying that she can’t protect Paige if she leaves, Paige walks away… right into Melissa, who is coming in the door. Ohhh, Paige is still on the Liars’ team, whether she knows it or not. Melissa says, “We don’t have much time.” Time for what??
Alison tells Emily that Ezra was paying CeCe for information. (Wow, was that confusing enough?) CeCe was never really Red Coat – Alison asked CeCe to wear that coat in Ravenswood as a decoy so she could get Emily away from the saw. CeCe helped save Emily’s life. Alison doesn’t want to tell the other girls because CeCe killed Wilden, and she doesn’t want to implicate anyone else. Since CeCe escaped using Alison’s passport and plane ticket, Alison is an accessory, and she is willing to take the blame on her own. Spencer and Hanna show up, because Aria is on the phone, but they keep losing her. Alison tells them to tell Aria to call the house line at the theater.
It turns out that the theater is called the Fitzgerald Theater, and Detective Man just figured it out. He calls the house line.
Aria tries to update them on Ezra, but her phone keeps dropping the call. Alison hangs up, the phone rings again, and she picks it back up. But it’s not Aria this time – it’s a male voice. Detective Man! He asks if she’s Alison, and her silence gives herself away. She hangs up, looking very shaken up.
Detective Man sends the NYPD to the Fitzgerald Theater. Aria tries to call the theater back, but no one will answer now. Alison tells the others that she didn’t recognize the male voice, which would make sense, since Detective Man replaced Wilden. Aria’s call just rings and rings, and the girls watch.
After everyone leaves Ezra’s room again, Aria walks back in. Is there no real security in the hospitals these girls go to? She takes Ezra’s hand, and he opens his eyes again, calmed by the sight of her alone. He’s trying to tell her something.
The girls are arguing, trying to get Alison to use the passport and ticket that Nole got for her. But now she can’t use it, even though it’s only Emily who knows why.
Ezra whispers something to Aria, whose eyes get super wide. She runs out into the waiting room, but it’s empty. Ohhhh… Methinks I’m catching on!
Alison tells the girls that she doesn’t have the ticket anymore. Spencer and Hanna start yelling at her about keeping too many secrets. Emily says they can argue in the cab as they leave, but they need to leave. Peacemaker Emily, as usual.
As they gather their stuff from the stage, someone turns the house lights off and switches it to just the spotlights. It’s A… who turns out to be Shana! Yes, I had caught on correctly! Shana admits to locking them in the lodge and setting the place on fire. Alison is so confused, because she trusted Shana. Then Shana has this brilliant line – “You once told me that trusting someone means not asking too many questions. And then you sent to me Rosewood to ask questions.” Shana is waving a gun at them this entire time, saying it’s not a game, it’s real. She’s doing it for Jenna, because she fell in love with Jenna. Alison tries to tell Shana that Jenna is just playing her, but Shana doesn’t believe her. Aria shows up and hits Shana in the back of the head with the prop shotgun, then knocks her off the stage. Woo! Little girls are always the scrappiest! Shana hits the ground hard. Emily goes to check on her… and she’s dead? Really? Huh. Spencer talks Aria through the fact that it’s okay, it was self defense, you only killed a guy (or girl, in this case) because you had to. They all hug and cry, because they think it’s finally over. They decide to go home, but Alison says that they can’t just leave Shana. So Spencer calls the police.
Flash to CeCe, boarding a flight to Paris. She answers all questions in French.
Then the police show up to the Fitzgerald Theater and search it. They find Shana’s body. End of episode.
Whew! Wow! What an opener! I’m running out of steam here, so here are my remaining questions (some old and some just brought up in this episode):
- Was Shana the original A? Does that make sense? Or did she take over from Mona? Is she Red Coat?
- What the heck is Melissa’s secret?
- What exactly is Mona planning?
- Who are all of the other A’s?
- Is Alison going to return to school in Rosewood? Awkward… And what about her dead mom?
- What was in Toby’s letter to Spencer?
- When is Caleb coming back??
- What about Paily? When is Paige going to tell them about Melissa and the Meeting of the Evil Minds?
- What about the millions of other loose ends???
I guess we have a whole season to figure some of it out! Until next time.