Pretty Little Liars, Season 5 Episode 1 “EscApe From New York” Recap

PLLThroughout the fifth season of Pretty Little Liars, Liars “experts” Vinny Ginardi and Mike Caiola will dish out their thoughts on each episode. Please visit our Pretty Little Liars page for previous recaps.

Annnnnnd we’re back. The whole crew. Aria. Alison. Emily (gag). Hanna. SPENCER. Mona. Pedophile Ezra. Holbrook. Shana. Melissa. CeCe. Noel. Hell, even Lucas is back. Which begs the question the only I am asking: Where the fuck is Wren?

This all of course means that everyone’s favorite PLL recappers are back. Oh, and Mike and I are back too.

Anyway, let’s get to the summer premiere of PLL, which had a little bit of everything: Death, lying, text messages, flashbacks, playgrounds and Hanna talking about ducks.

The premiere picks up right where the finale left off, with Ezra — who knows the identity of ‘A’ — being rushed to the hospital after being shot. The girls follow to the hospital, but as does ‘A’, who has completely given up on subtlety and decides the best way to the hospital is ride on top of the ambulance. Makes sense. That’s how I get from place to place, especially when I’m trying not to be seen (‘A’ keeps the lack of subtlety consistent, later lazily throwing a white lab coat over his/her all black suit). Not before long the girls spot ‘A’ — who wants to ensure Ezra’s death before he can pull down the black hoodie — and devise a plan.

After Ali lures ‘A” out of the hospital and into a footchase through the streets of New York, she ends up on a playground. ‘A’ approaches with the very not-so-clever “wanna play?” which then leads to one of the more bizarre sequences in television history. Emily, Spencer and Hanna proudly pop out thinking that they have ‘A’ cornered, but then ONE MILLION ‘A’s WEARING MASKS COME OUT AND DO SOME SORT OF CHOREOGRAPHED DANCE AROUND THE LIARS. WHAT IS GOING ON?! HOW DID THEY END UP THERE?! DID THEY ALL FOLLOW THE MAIN ‘A’?! OR DID THEY SOMEHOW KNOW EVERYONE WAS GOING TO END UP AT THE PLAYGROUND?! SO CONFUSED. Anyway, a cop car comes by and flashes the lights and breaks up the gathering like it is some sort of frat party.

The Liars decide to go hide somewhere and Ali brings them to an abandoned theater. We learn that Ezra’s rich family owns the theater and he used to bring Ali there to chill and hang out and play GameCube and do pedophile things. The girls relax for a while and Ali gets all sad because faking her death means that she missed some life-changing food show where contestants eat dryer sheets. Eventually, she sneaks out and gives CeCe —who used her superpowers to  escape police custody — her passport so she can flee. We also learned that she killed Wilden. Say whaaaaaaaat. Noel chills.

At the hospital, Shana appears and Aria falls asleep. Aria awakes and stumbles to Ezra’s room. She finds Shana looking over the unconscious Ezra. Ezra awakes, takes one look at Shana, and appears to have some sort of heart attack. SHE’S ‘A’! But Aria doesn’t put the pieces together. Shana leaves. Ezra becomes conscious again and whispers to Aria that Shana is ‘A’!

Eventually, Shana shows up at the theater (huh? how did she know?) and points a gun at Ali. Apparently she was in love with Jenna! And she wants to kill Ali because of what she did to her! I didn’t see that coming, and neither did Jenna (#blindjokes). But Aria isn’t far behind, grabs a rifle and whacks Shana across her head. Shana falls off the stage and remains unconscious. Is she dead? I’m not sure, Emily go put your fingerprints all over her face and find a pulse for us! Yup, she’s dead.

During all of these shenanigans, we continue to not learn Melissa’s secret and Mona puts together some sort of evil version of Dumbledore’s Army. More to come. Oh! And Lucas is a part of it. Ok, now more to come.

Quick thoughts:

– Sooooo what about Ali’s mom being buried?

– I like how Holbrook acts like it’s no big deal that the NYPD is on the line for him. You work for the most inept police department ever, bro. Get over yourself.

PLL got renewed for TWO more seasons. So there will be at least seven. Wowzers.

– Why was ‘pigskin’ considered the worst nickname ever? The way the room went silent I thought someone was going to drop a C-Bomb. Either way, I’m going to add that to my collection of insults to use.

– Emily has the worst ‘nothing to see her’ face I’ve ever seen. Maybe I’m just nitpicking Emily at this point.


So… What the fuck? Did we all watch the same episode or was my version just full of nonsense. I think I said, “What?” aloud 40-50 times. So to summarize, I’m alone in a room watching PLL by myself just saying the word “what” roughly every minute. Now you know where my head is at.

Ok well, nevertheless, let’s review this season premiere. It’s been awhile since we have seen the girls. When did the last season end? Two months ago? But this episode starts off where we left off, NYC with a dying Ezra. Ezra knows who shot him but is too busy dying to tell anyone. Even though the girls know some information, they go out of their way to avoid the cops so they can find out who ‘A’ is from Ezra. ‘A’ at the moment, is currently on top – yes, on top – of the ambulance. What does this accomplish? Absolutely nothing as no one is allowed in surgery. Not family, not friends, not forbidden high school affairs and especially not murderers/stalkers. It’s all right there on the sign – very offical-like.

So yeah, the plan changes from let’s save Ali and get her out of NY to let’s wait around for Ezra to possibly recover and ask him who ‘A’ is. We don’t even know if Ezra actually knows who ‘A’ is! Last we heard, he thought it was Ali’s mom! But sure let’s hedge all our bets on this working out.

But the girls just can’t just wait around they’d be sitting… what’s the word… oh yeah, ducks (thanks Hanna)! So Spencer quotes The Art of War (?) – classic nerd – and decides that some of the girls will be decoys. Not only will this plan leave Aria alone to watch Ezra but it will also allow Ali to be bait and for them to catch ‘A’!

Cut to: Hospital. ‘A’ is walking around in the most suspicious outfit possible. A even manages to steal a lab coat at one point and tosses it right in front of the cops. What does this accomplish? Nothing. But at least we know ‘A’ can do it. Also ‘A’ can type on an iPhone in leather gloves? What kind of sorcery is this?

After some hospital shenanigans happen and Ali runs down dark alley in the city by herself, Ali finds herself in New York City’s famous haunted playground. Here the girls reveal that they set this whole plan up and ‘A’ fell for it. And ‘A’ reveals that he brought 20 other hooded figures to the park with him! Let’s pretend for a second we forgive ‘A’ for somehow knowing he was walking into a trap and continuing to do so anyway for no real reason, but where did he find 20 dudes on such short notice and how did he get them to the park without anyone seeing? It makes no sense! But the cops break them up so it’s probably now a good time to stand in the middle of a dark street and call Aria on speakerphone! Don’t worry Hanna soon points out this very obvious fact with a sitting duck quote that she seems to stumble on – classic Hanna. So they run to the theater that Ezra’s family conveniently owns nearby.

Meanwhile,  Melissa Hastings a secret and it’s pretty juicy. So juicy that her father will not let her go to the cops with it nor tell her mother. Even though this secret “will allow Spencer to come home.” What did she do? Did she kill that other girl we thought was Ali?

Also Detective Holbrook, is on the case again when the NYPD decide he is the guy to call. And after what we can assume was about a minute of Google searches, he comes across the fact Ezra Fitz is really short for Ezra Fitzgerald. A fact that alluding many of the many characters and townsfolk for quite awhile. It took him a minute! Then all he did was search Fitzgerald and NYC and he found the theatre the girls are in. If all you have to do is search the internet like this, I could be a detective! Also he somehow lost CeCe, who apparently knocked out a cop. Don’t worry though because she somehow gets to Ali and uses her fake passport to fly away.

Back at the hospital, Aria is now waiting with Shana, who is being… Shana – classic bitch. Aria hears Ezra’s condition over the phone from the waiting area because yeah, that’s where they make those calls – in earshot of everyone.

In the theatee, the girls are upset that Ali is being Ali and shutting them out. Fine complain, I would too if my best friend I thought was dead wasn’t and, in fact, has been making my life hell and super dangerous for the past couple years. Just don’t do it at full volume, two feet from her. I don’t care if Hanna checked to see if her eyes were closed – it still doesn’t mean she can’t hear you! Also Hanna, we get it, your mom is dating a preacher!

Back to the hospital, Shana, sneaks away from a sleeping Aria, only to stare at Ezra. When Aria walks in, Ezra awakes from his medically induced coma as if love was somehow a cause of that. Don’t worry as soon as Ezra sees Shana, he goes into cardiac arrest and Shana bolts. Not suspicious at all. Aria then tries to call the girls but they won’t pick up because Ali already picked it up earlier and it was my man, Holbrook. Holbrook then calls the NYPD to tell them he has the location of a missing girl. That’s not good! But I’m sure they won’t be there for a good 30 minutes – plenty of time for Ezra to wake up again, whisper something in Aria’s ear and then rush to the theater that she just happens to know the location.

What did Ezra whisper? Well it was probably the fact that Shana is ‘A’! And that she’s going to go kill Ali right now!

Wait. What? That… that makes no sense. Ok let’s see how they explain it.

So the girls are all on the stage and Shauna teleports to the theater, turns off the lights and then pulls a gun on the girls. She then explains that she’s doing this all because she loves Jenna and blah blah blah. What? That’s not a good reason! You just tried to kill Ezra and now are going to shoot all these girls because Jenna? Sure she’s hot and blind (two things I look for in a girl) but that’s no reason to cyberbully a bunch of high school girls, kill people, or frame other people for murder! Well no matter the reason, it looks like this is the end for the girls.

Nope! I was wrong! In the entire minute it took for Shana to explain her reasons, Aria was able to walk down to the theater floor, of what I can now only assume is the Fitzgerald Combination Hospital Theater, and pick up the real gun that is left on the stage. Why do we know it’s real? Because Hanna apparently has an eye for guns and shouted to everyone about it earlier. Talk about plant and payoff! So what does she do with that gun? Uses it to push – you know the things guns were specifically made for – Shana off a 10 foot stage! Boom! Death.

You could almost see that slow smile creep onto Aria’s face as the rush of her first kill takes over her body. Slowly, pulling and tearing at her soul – just begging for one more kill – just to see the life leave one more person’s eyes – just one more chance for that thrill. A feeling too deep and dark to truly understand. She would describe it later as if someone was the puppeteer and she was just going through the motions, slowly cutting and chopping away at a lifeless body that she previously had strangled.

Oh no, I was wrong she was just startled and shaken up. My bad, I misread that situation a little. Either way, Aria is a hero… and essentially a murderer. But good job! Spencer, being the girl scout she is, calls the cops. And at this point the NYPD has received two phone calls – one from a fellow detective – about this place – one the location of a missing girl and the other an “accident” – so maybe it’s about time they shuffle on over there. This leaves the girls plenty of time to get out of there now that “it’s all over”. I’m sure the NYPD won’t find any DNA evidence or or fingerprints or anything else like in the theater. I mean they are just a huge and experienced police department in one of the largest cities in the world.

So now what? They figured out who ‘A’ is (if that really was A) and she’s dead. Well we still don’t know who killed that Grave-Ali (Melissa Hastings). Or what secret Melissa is keeping. Or who killed Ali’s mom, because that happened right? Plus if that is not enough apparently, Mona and her crew of misfits (Lucas, Paige, Pussface, Newt, Lez, Poor and Melissa) seem to be starting up another group to harass Alison. Possibly like ‘A’? Maybe they’ll go by ‘B’, you know short for bitch or bullshit or because-we-need-a-new-story. Also more Melissa? Who asked for that? I mean yes she’s hot and she’s clearly up to something and that’s easily good for a story angle or two, just not all of them! Jeez.

Well I guess we’ll see how this pans out. Maybe they’ll bring back super hot brunette Ali.

Emily’s plot this episode: Follow around friends. Become accessory to a felony. Stand next to friends as they watch a phone ring. Check a dead girl’s pulse.

Heroes of the episode:

  1. Detective Holbrook for using Google correctly and effectively.
  2. Noel for asking the lesbian-kiss question we were just all dying to ask.
  3. Vinny for reminding me the season started up again! You’ll always be my hero, Vinny!