Pretty Little Liars Recap: Emily Avoids Ali As Her Abduction Story Gets More Twisted
On Tuesday’s “Pretty Little Liars,” Alison felt isolated from the girls as her enemies made plans to ensure her Rosewood High homecoming would be anything but welcomed, while Aria tortured herself over Shauna’s death, and the mystery of Mrs. D‘s murder grew deeper.
The fifth season’s fourth episode, titled “Thrown From the Ride,” kicked off with Hanna revealing her new anti-Ali-lookalike locks — blonde with black streaks — and disturbingly noticing she had Shauna’s copy of The Scarlett Letter. Cue Mona interrupting to taunt her and a guilt-ridden Aria: “People come and go so quickly around here. Shauna gone, Ali back. One girl checks out, and another one checks in.”
Ali, wanting a “clean slate” before returning to school, gathered clothing to donate to Goodwill, telling her dad, “I’m not the same person I was two years ago.” Kenneth didn’t see how she could have a “fresh start” in Rosewood, but Ali tearfully pleaded that she couldn’t move and leave her friends, especially after her mom’s death. Next door at the Hastings’, Spencer’s mom fretted about their shared yard still being a “crime scene” and getting dug up by the cops in the wake of Mrs. DiLaurentis being uncovered. Spence asked her mom about sister Melissa seemingly keeping secrets, but, naturally, her dad interrupted just as things started getting heated.
Meanwhile, Lucas told Mona he was having “second thoughts” about mobilizing against Ali, believing that she didn’t deserve such treatment after being abducted and held in a basement for two years. “Hasn’t the universe punished her enough?” he asked, to which Mona replied, “What we’re doing isn’t punishment — it’s preventative measure.” She then revealed to him that Ali’s “abduction story was just that… a story,” and vowed to prove it.
Emily continued to help new girl Sydney train, and opened up about her mom being more over-protective than ever since Ali’s return. She then ignored a call from Ali, and awkwardly bumped into Paige while leaving the locker room. At lunch, the Liars’ fellow students continued to look at them like they were a “freak show,” and Aria fretted about Mona staring at them, worrying that she knew the truth about Shauna. “You’re letting your paranoia get the better of you,” Spencer told her, saying that Mona is more fixated on Ali than anything. Just then, a text from Ali to the group revealed that with “no obvious signs of struggle,” they now had to wait for a toxicology reports to determine her mom’s cause of death.
Ali’s dad told her that Detective Holbrook is requiring her to get a medical exam, and he was clearly worried she had been raped during her supposed kidnapping. “Nothing like that happened, dad,” she told Kenneth through tears.
Study partner Andrew stopped at Spencer’s locker, clearly worried that Ali’s traumatic return might have led her to take pills again, and she enlisted him to help clean up their yard. In a computer lab, Aria was disturbed by an IM from “Theatregirl,” who wrote, “If it was me I could never forget. It would haunt me for the rest of my life.” It turned out to be a classmate just talking about Ali’s abduction, but the fright prompted Aria to search for information on Shauna online. She found a moving video from Shauna’s funeral, and silently cried as she watched — and then imagined Shauna looking at her menacingly from the casket.
At the café, Travis texted Hanna just as Lucas approached, saying “Long time no see,” and he quickly started inquiring about Ali and whether she’s coming back to Rosewood. A phone call from Ali herself interrupted the conversation, and she questioned why Hanna was the only one to take her call. Clearly panicked, she asked Hanna to accompany her to the medical exam.
The next day, Emily had another run-in with Paige, who commended her for working with Sydney, and Paige asking how Ali was doing. Emily surprised her by asking her to join their workout. At the same time, Andrew flirted with Spencer as they worked around her house, but she reminded him she’s “still with the carpenter.” Spence went on to open up about her mom being a wreck since the discovery of Mrs. D, and was startled to find a rat dead in their garage, having been poisoned by rodenticide. Spencer wondered where the bait came from, and Andrew uncovered a tag revealing it was purchased just last week.
The trio of Emily, Paige and Sydney went to lunch, and the group had plenty of laughs until Mona started staring at Paige from another table. Emily later told Aria and Spencer that Paige seemingly “shut down” mid-outing, and Aria wondered why Emily hasn’t spent much time with Ali since her return. “Do you still have feelings for her?” inquired Aria. Emily replied, “I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s crazy, isn’t it? We wanted this for so long — a life without A and Ali back. I thought everything would feel like it did before, but it doesn’t.”
At the medical office, the doctor told Ali she would need to get an x-ray to look at her head injury, and then uncovered a scar that wasn’t listed in her police report, and Ali claimed to have cut her thigh on a rock when she escaped last month. But the doctor said the scarring was more consistent with a knife wound, and Ali angrily tried to shut down the line of questioning.
Spencer again pleaded with her clearly-distressed mom to talk to her, and Mrs. Hastings revealed she had a “sick feeling” — and confessed that after Ali disappeared two years ago, Mrs. D thought Spencer was involved and threatened to go to the police, but Mr. Hastings threatened to tell Kenneth about their affair if she did. With Ali’s return meaning that another girl was the one killed, Mrs. Hastings speculated that Mrs. D might’ve again planned to go to the police blaming Spencer — but was killed before she could. “I don’t know if your father had anything to do with this. I want to believe that he didn’t,” she told Spencer.
After the appointment, Ali revealed she recorded her entire meeting with the doctor for the girls to listen to because they need to “keep [the] stories straight.” Hanna was shocked and tried to protest, but reluctantly took the recorder before asking Ali about the scar. “I wish I was blindfolded when I got that scar,” Ali cryptically said. “Hanna, once you know something, you can’t un-know it. Believe me, I wish I could.”
Mona confronted Paige about not joining her anti-Ali army, and told her, “Just so we’re clear: you don’t get to be some social Switzerland here. If you’re not with me, you’re against me.” She went on to tell Paige that “Emily is with Ali,” but didn’t get the desired response. “Mona, I’m just curious — do you ever wonder when you became the very thing you’re afraid of?” Paige shot back.
Aria continued to punish herself with the video from Shauna’s funeral as Spencer went to visit Ali, who was also punishing herself by looking at a blog celebrating her apparent demise. “Maybe I should leave. I’m stupid to think I can just get a new life from coming back from the dead,” she said. She went on to reveal that the toxicology report showed “someone” messed with her mom’s blood pressure pills, and the swapped drug stopped her heart. Spencer had as strong, emotional reaction, and Ali quickly surmised it was because she had feared her dad was involved.
“It’s hard, isn’t it?” Ali asked. “Thinking your parent could be capable of something like that. I know. I keep trying to find a good enough reason my mom could watch someone kill me and walk away.” Spencer cried, “Just there’s been monsters under my bed for so long. Now that they’re not there, I feel like I have to create them.” “There’s still monsters out there, Spence. They just may not be under our beds,” replied Ali.
Aria surprised Ezra by stopping by his apartment, and she confessed to having a hard time dealing with Shauna’s death, and the pain she caused their family. “You’re just gonna have to find a way to forgive yourself,” he told her. Paige also surprised Emily by stopping by her home, but it wasn’t a friendly visit. She told Em to keep her distance from Ali when she returns to school. “People are preparing for Ali’s return and it’s not with flowers and welcome home banners,” Paige warned, explaining that “your friend hurt a lot of people, me included.” Paige hinted that there are people planning to protect themselves, and she’s not going to “out” who they are. As she walked away, Emily heard rustling in the bushes and hurried back in her house.
Aria, still at Ezra’s, tried to make an anonymous donation in Shauna’s name, but he interrupted and made her stop, telling her she was being misguided. Ezra recalled that he “would’ve done anything” to get her to forgive him when she found out about the book he had written, but he had to accept that that might never happen. Aria understood his point, and was touched when Ezra brought out games to keep her mind off things.
At a clothing store, Hanna tried to continue to reinvent herself with a new wardrobe, and was creeped out by booted feet outside her dressing room. Spencer called her to talk about the recording that Ali made, and complained that it was “nuts” to add lies on top of lies. Hanna got pissed off, and snapped, “If you wanna yell at someone, call Ali!” snapped Hanna. “I’m sick of being the messenger.” Then, returning to old habits, she ripped the tag off the shirt she tried on and hit it under her clothing.
During dinner at her home with Andrew, an angry Spencer sliced her hand on a knife. As she searched the cabinet for bandages, she found a bottle of Losartin… the very same medication that was found in Mrs. D’s system. Ezra and Aria playfully flirted, but, still recovering from his gunshot, he asked to call it an early night. Aria then surprised him by asking to stay over, on the couch, saying with her dad out of town, she felt uncomfortable about spending the night. Ezra accepted, but then seemed disappointed when Aria abruptly changed her mind.
Emily finally went to see Ali, and made the case for the DiLaurentises to move, urging her to leave town. Ali was shocked, upset, and angry, reminding her that she is the one who convinced her to come back home and go to the police. “I’m going back to school. And if we just stick together, everything’s going to be fine,” she told Emily, asking her if she had the recording to memorize. Emily agreed but insisted, “This is the last time Ali. I mean it.”
Aria went to Spencer’s to sleep there, and Spence confessed her theory that her dad is the one who killed Mrs. D. They were interrupted by none other than Mr. Hastings, who said that her mom wasn’t coming home tonight and instead went to a spa. Spencer was disturbed and pressed her dad for more info, and he said that when the police came by to finish up their investigation, she “snapped.” “Don’t worry,” he told her. “This will all blow over soon.”
Ali, looking at the mean blog made in the wake of her disappearance, smiled as she found other messages that expressed how much she was missed. Next week is the 100th episode, and there are a lot of twists in store. What was your favorite part of tonight’s episode, and what do you hope will happen on #PLL100?