Throughout the second half of the fourth season of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, Vinny Ginardi will do his best to remember to discuss his thoughts and theories on the show following each episode. Please visit our Pretty Little Liars page for previous recaps. Mike Caiola is also back with his thoughts!
When I initially finished watching “A is for Answers”, I was left with somewhat of a bad taste in mouth. I expected to get some big answers in the finale or at some sort of big reveal, and while some questions were answered, I still felt a little less than satisfied once the credits started rolling.
But then the more I started thinking about the episode the more I came away feeling pleased with it. Ali filled in the liars and the audience on a lot of what happened the night of her disappearance. She gave us details about her relationships with Ezra and Ian and even Melissa. We learned that she trusted nobody and took it into her own hands to try and find out who this “A” person was that was harassing her, crossing seemingly everyone off of her list — including shovel-wielding Spencer. Then, of course, when she finally thinks she’s safe, she gets bashed in the back of the head by an unseen assailant and is buried alive by her own mother, who thinks she’s dead. Mrs. D asks the person ‘what have you done?’. Clearly, this is a person she is familiar with and willing to protect. The obvious consideration here is Jason, but this also brings those unknown twin theories into play.
We also saw that Ali has superpowers and can save people’s lives whenever she wants. In the bell tower, before pushing Ian he says “What are you doing here?”. The casualness with which he asks makes me think that he already knew that Ali was alive. Is this important? Maybe, maybe not. In flashbacks we also see that Mona had been pretty crazy all along.
In real time, the episode switches back and forth between showing the girls’ reaction to Ali’s story and the Rosewood Police Department where each member of the Hastings family is being individually questioned. Not all that much goes down here except that we see Melissa whisper something to her father and never find out exactly what she said. Melissa seems to know something about the night of Ali’s disappearance.
Back to the Liars. The episode opened with the audience discovering that it was Noel who was helping Ali. A bit of a disappointment in my mind, but oh well. Noel takes their phones so they can’t be tracked and vanishes. Then, at the end of the episode, things get cray cray. A pistol-wielding hooded figure busts into the hideout and chases the gurlz. The Liars make it to the top of the building but have nowhere to go just as a not-hooded Ezra bursts through the door. Huh? What? How did he know they were there? Moments later, the hooded figure follows. Ezra and HF have a struggle, a shot goes off, HF escapes, yada yada.
It turns out in the struggle that Ezra was shot. And that he knows who “A” is but decides to not say. He says something corny like “it’s so beautiful” instead and collapses to the floor. The Liars don’t have their phones and can’t contact anyone for help. Good, let him die. I hate how the writers have set this up like Ezra isn’t that bad of a guy because he’s not “A”. He’s still a dude who had relationships with multiple high school girls and then stalked the shit out of them and their friends. He’s an awful human being.
Then we flash over and Mrs. D is being buried…WAIT, WHAT? WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!? Was this during a flashback or real time?! Is she really dead?! I just don’t know.
So, the finale sort of did a good job of raising more questions than answering the ones we already had. Who is the hooded figure? And where does he/she work out? Because they are in tremendous shape. Where did Ali get her super powers to rescue her friends in need? I’m banking on the ooze. Is Mrs. D dead? Does someone have a twin? Do multiple characters have twins? Whose in Ali’s coffin? The friend of that girl from the beginning of season 4B, maybe? Where the SHIT is Wren? Why haven’t we seen Toby in what feels like forever? Has Travis gotten another new job yet? What exactly does it mean to run away like a plucked peacock? Is Ezra dead?
I’m hoping we get a few of these things answered in three months.
AAAAAAAAnd my quick thoughts:
– Once again, we see that Aria is the least attractive crier of all-time.
– Dark-haired Ali!
– There should be prop bets on PLL. That would be crazy fun. I’ll start it now by setting an over/under of 2.5 episodes before we see Aria’s brother again.
– As much as I love Spencer, I’m not so sure I’d marry into that family. They’ve got a lot of stuff to work out. Never turn your back on a Hastings.
Mike Caiola’s Review
I’d like to start off by telling everyone that my last two articles were masterpieces but Vinny refused to put them on the site claiming I was “too good” and “too close to perfection”. But I’m back now and just in time for the finale! So cliffhanger from last episode: someone – not Ali – meets the girls and…. it’s Noel? What the fuck? Like he’s a relevant character? Jeez, it’s like the decided to bring back everyone they could think of for this finale. This is already started off bad. I’m pissed.
Ok so the girls are sitting here waiting for who? Alison of course. Hanna says something about geese and Spencer calls her out for a misquote. Really Spencer? After all the stupid cute lines you say? Let Hanna have this! So yeah Alison’s there. People are happy and angry and all that. But then things get real. She tells the girls that she is going to tell about the night she “died” while strategically leaving breaks for commercials, suspense, to move to another room, and to evade questions. And she’s only doing this because she wants to find out who A is. Not only that she NEEDS to find out tonight or she’s leaving forever. So yes, the plan is: Alison will tell the story she knows and has known for quite some time now out loud hoping somehow that will solve the questions that have plagued her these last couple years. Yeah pretty solid plan.
At the same time the police actually did some police work and are working on the case! Let me say that again, the police are doing their jobs! This may be a first in Rosewood history! Detective Holbrook (Did I look up his name? yes. Am I ashamed? Not in the slightest.) seems to be the real deal. That and apparently Cici knows way too much.
So Ali’s story:
Ali is having an affair with Ian but it’s ok because they “never had sex”. Melissa finds out and just tells him to stop – so he does. Ali takes this opportunity to make a copy of all the ridiculously illegal/messed up/blackmailable videos that Ian has for some reason. This, she thinks, will give her leverage over who ever A is. And this old A is serious with death threats left and right. So yeah Ali thinks it must be Jenna so she shuts her up and concludes she is not A. The we flash forward to the night of the killing, to have Ali’s mom super worried on the phone. Mrs. D thinks Spencer is A (i.e. the bully) and tells Ali she cannot go out. Ali, of course, decides with her mom worried and in a panic that this would be the appropriate time to go blackmail everyone else. So she starts with the girls. And deals with that by DRUGGING them all with sleeping pills. Really? Like that is safe. It was sleeping pills in alcohol! Plus Spencer was on other pills – she could have died! Unfortunately the mixture of alcohol, sleeping pills, and adderall only leads to one side effect: sad shovel dragging. So yeah, Ali drugs the girls to rule them out. Then rules out Toby. Then Ezra shows up. So Ali has to explain how she met him. Which is the usual story we’ve all heard – a 14 year old girl talks to the only guy reading a book in a bar and they fall for each other. This makes Emily yell out, “Do we really need to hear this?” Really Emily? Really? You’ve been searching for clues and answers to this night for how long now? And now that you are given a detailed account of what is happening you are upset because your friend might not like it. Shut the fuck up, Emily!
So Ali rules out Ezra. Not only that but Ali tells Aria that he is still into her. So yeah that’s not super weird. I dated him then dumped him and then he got you to get to me and write a story and now he got to me to get to you so you will be with him! Follow? Ok so then Ali meets up with Ian so she threatens him as well. The she goes back to the barn only to find Spencer being super creepy. Like ridiculously creepy. And why? No real reason. They have a fight and then Spencer picks up a shovel that is just chilling there. The apparent weight of the shovel just makes Spencer trip and drop her pills. Ali gives her drug advice and Spencer drags a shovel away while Charlie Brown music plays in the background. Next Ali threatens Byron – why you ask? Literally no reason, she didn’t even think he was A. Also his yard is full of shovels too… weird. Ali then goes home and her mother watches her get in the head with a rock and does what every mother would do in that situation – she buries the body! Yeah fucked up right? Would be worse if Ali woke up during that ordeal. Oh wait she did! In addition to that mindfuck, Mrs. D knows who tried to kill Ali and is now protecting him/her. Which leads to the obvious guess that it must be Jason. But it can’t be that simple right?
Then Ms. Grunward, who occasionally roams through suburban backyards, pulls Ali out of the grave and lets her wander the street to be picked up by the only bat-shit insane sophomore with a drivers license, Mona. Mona creepily takes care of Ali when she is not humming to her “pretty girl” doll. What is going on? Only think Mona does right is give Ali black hair – now that’s a look to kill for! You see what I did there? I could write this show! Meanwhile the police are doing some serious shit! Detective Holbrook knows Spencer did something or is currently doing something. Not only that he knows the Hastings have things to hide. So he puts them all in separate rooms to semi-interrogate them. Do they realize this? Of course not they aren’t lawyers! Eventually Mr. Hasting figures it out. “Figures it out” is the wrong phrase, since he only realizes when he sees his daughter there! Melissa and Mr. Hastings then have a lovely father daughter talk about murder. Mr. Hasting basically thinks Spencer killed a girl but Melissa tells him not to worry and whispers something in his year which is probably something like “No I killed her”. But I’m sure we will never find out. Good thing she did that in a police station by the way – that sounds safe. Also the police get a warrant for Spencer’s car GPS and track it to Philly. When the cops arrive they find nothing because apparently the girls are in NYC now? Maybe? I’m not sure, they are just not there anymore. In fact, the girls think the cops have found them but are relieved to find it’s just A… what? How did A find them? And how did A get a gun? Jeez things got serious.
The girls run to the roof, which is where you’d want to go if you wanted to be corned eventually. Which happens since the only way off the roof is an impossible jump. The girls scream and the door bursts open only to reveal Ezra! Why? Because this somehow proves he loves Aria blah blah blah. It’s not gonna make a difference because A jumps out next and Ezra screams “I know who you are!” Not a particular name or a clue. Just the fact he knows who A is. And in fact, we don;t know if he still thinks it is Mrs. D or not. Nevertheless A shoots him and loses his gun. Hanna picks up and looks super badass as she… let’s A jump to another building and get away. Dumb bitch. Ugh time for Aria to cry over her again love. Why couldn’t you just tell us who A was? Credits.
Oh yeah apparently Mrs D. is now dead too. I don’t know why, maybe because she is the only one who knew A is now. But why would A wait until now? This makes no sense. People on the internet have been claiming someone has a twin and maybe it’s Mrs. D. But really? c’mon that would be so stupid and such a cheap twist. But they might do it – this show pisses me off so much, but I can’t get enough. So I guess we will have to wait until June to see if we can figure out who A is… again! At least Ali will be a main character in the next season (fingers crossed).
I wish I could quit you.
MVP of the week: Detective Holbrook for just being awesome!
Hottie of the week: dark hard Ali.
Emily’s plot line: She listened to Ali tell a story and then halfway through was fed up with it but listened anyway. Pretty exciting! Last night in my anger over why Ezra didn’t say who A was, I vented to Vinny. We then texted back and forth what Ezra should have said. This is a transcript of those messages:
Alternative things Ezra could have said on the roof:
I know it was you Wren!
Stop it Jason!
Dont have to do this Lucas!
Just think about your girlfriend Paige!
Is this what you’ve been up to these past few episodes, Toby?
I guess the score is still love love, Alex Santiago!
Ravenswood wasn’t all you hoped, was it Caleb?
Only Ali can pretend to be dead, Ian!
And to think we thought you were trying to help the kids, Jesse Lindall!
Don’t you have a drug addict to fall asleep on, Dean?
I think you’re missing your MMA nationals, Jake!
I think you are missing you’re secret karate classes, Holden!
Maybe next time you shouldn’t steal all the “stalking for dummies” books from your new library job, Travis!
I guess you learned how to shoot that gun at the police academy, Detective Holbrook!
Looks like you didn’t get into Berkley, Riley!
The only heart problem you have, is a lack of one, Mr. Fields!
You’re gonna shoot your eye out, Jenna!
Note: Just read somewhere that apparently the to that Hanna’s mom found in Mrs.D’s room is the same or is very similar to the one Cece was wearing in the police station… hmm. Does that mean Cece was the one Mrs. D is protecting and gave clothes to the bridal night? Maybe Cece is back to play a big role, instead of just stopping through town mysteriously and being suddenly involved with everything like before.