Throughout the fifth season of Pretty Little Liars, Liars “experts” Vinny Ginardi and Mike Caiola will dish out their thoughts on each episode. Please note, we write these recaps independently, so if there are any repeat thoughts or jokes, we apologize. Please visit our Pretty Little Liars page for previous recaps.
The 100th episode of PLL everybody! We made it! In celebration, this episode was rightly entitled “Miss Me x 100” but easily could have been called “The One Where Everybody But Wren Returns” or “The Soft Porn”.
The episode kicks off with Hanna and Travis studying the night sky, because apparently astronomy is a class in high school now. They have a real Fault In Our Stars moment and then talk about Ali.
Ezra and Aria walk down the street and see Ali talking to someone in a car. The car leaves and then Ali probably lies about why she’s there. But then a bus pulls up! Who is going to get out?! It better be Wren! Nope, just Jenna, looking as blind as ever.
Fast forward to what the season has been building up to: Ali’s first day returning to school. It goes just as expected, with the five girls roaming the halls in slow motion. We also learned that Ali once coined the term “Gayrons” (or maybe it was “Gorons”), a clever combination of “gay” and “moron” to insult people. Say what you want about Ali, but she clearly has a way with words.
Spencer then gets called over the P.A. system to go to the principal’s office. Oh, shit. Trust me, this is NEVER good. I was called to the principal’s office twice in my high school days. Once I was accused of being a part of a drug deal and the other I was accused of gambling after school. Neither were true (high school Vinny didn’t even really use curse words, let alone participate in illegal activities). So this is not looking good for Spencer. But she arrives and we don’t even see the principal. Instead, Mrs. Hastings is having a meltdown and tells Spencer that she is leaving her father and they need to flee RIGHT NOW.
Hanna sees Lucas in the hall. They decide to not talk about Ali and instead discuss how Lucas is absolutely crushing it with this ‘girlfriend’ of his. Lucas is also throwing a party that night, which is the final stage in his Toby transformation. You know, when you go from being that weird, goofy kid that nobody likes to being a stud and cool kid overnight. But as soon as Hanna leaves, Lucas places a call to someone like he’s some sort of evil two-faced super villain. This smells of trouble.
Things are still awkward between Emily and Paige. But she seems to have made a friend with new swimmer girl, whose name I cannot remember and we will from now on call Swimmer McGavin. I thought I couldn’t despise Emily any more, but then we get one of the biggest teases in television history. Emily, McGavin and Paige talk up a Frozen sing-a-long all episode and we don’t see any of it! Are you kidding me? How symbolic would have been to see Mona and Ali sing “Let It Go” to one another? Seriously ABC Family, this was a missed opportunity. I mean, Disney owns you, so it’s not like this would have even cost any money. And we already know that you aren’t passed shameless product placement. Yes, I am talking about the time we literally saw an Insidious 2 trailer within an episode last year.
PLL is behind on its coffee quota this season, so Hanna hits up the coffee shop. She orders two coffees and runs into Caleb! Caleb’s back! Hanna asks Caleb what he’s doing back in town and Caleb says something about how he tried to be the lead on some stupid spin-off that was doomed to fail from its inception and now he’s out of a job so he figured he’d rejoin the cast. Does he realize this is like leaving your girlfriend/boyfriend for someone hotter only to come crawling back when it ultimately fails? This is exactly what LeBron James is doing right now with Cleveland, too, by the way. LeBRON IS A!
Aria still feels guilty about killing Shana. Yawn. She goes to visit Jenna but then bails when she sees Jenna crying. Jenna knows that it was Aria, shows up at her house and they have tea with one another.
Ali goes for a walk in the middle of the night because, you know, that’s worked out so well for her in the past. She ends up at a church and Mona is there. They exchange threats and slaps. Remind me never to get slapped by Ali, she somehow broke skin on Mona’s face. Just brutal. We find out the next day that Mona sort of set Ali up and video taped the slap. That’s soooo Mona.
But back to the night before. Aria sees Ezra’s gash and is immediately turned on. Huh? I hope I run into Lucy Hale someday because I have a very faint scar in the same place and it really seems to get her going. PLL then really impresses me and plays “Every Breath You Take” (my favorite cover of this song, because you all were wondering) during their hookup session. This has to be the best song option for this scene, right? I mean that song is about a dude being a crazy stalker and Ezra has been the craziest stalker ever. But then we cut over to Ali and Emily and they start hooking up! And then to Spencer and Toby and they start hooking up! When did ABC Family turn into late-night Cinemax?
Then things start to get crazy. Everybody — and I mean everybody — gathers to watch a news announcement that details just exactly who is actually in Ali’s grave. Her name was Bethany or something, and she escaped from Radley the night Ali went missing. But really, is Jenna the security guard at Radley? It seems like patients can just come and go as they please there.
Anyway, just as the news conference ends there’s a massive EXPLOSION. Everyone runs outside and sees that Toby’s house is in flames. Is Jenna inside? Toby runs inside to find out, which kind of upsets me. If we were going to risk anyone’s life, it should be Emily’s.
The end tag is “A” (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) moving into a new place. LET’S GO! “A” is BACK! And NOT messing around.
Oh, somewhere in there Hanna got drunk and it became even more apparent that Lucas is definitely pulling a Manti Te’o and making up his girlfriend.
– Hanna claims she needs a hobby. I thought she picked one up last week in shoplifting? Maybe it can be getting drunk. She seems pretty good at that.
– Not enough Spencer this episode.
– Shouldn’t these girls be more concerned about where they are going to college?
– I’m starting to like Swimmer McGavin. She seems pretty normal and innocent and free from drama. Which definitely means she’s “A”. Especially since she’s working with Jenna.
MIKE CAIOLA’S REVIEW
So 100th episode, this is it! From what I’ve heard this is supposed to be an amazing episode.
Episode 100: Miss Me X or Everyone is back and Shit goes Boom.
Ok so I guess the pressure was on from studio executives because the writers threw every fucking thing they could think of in this episode. Remember the past four or so episodes where nothing really happened? That’s because they saved all those plot points for this episode. I bet on the DVD version of this they’ll be a Now with 300% more plot sticker next to this episode.
Ok onto the episode.
So Jenna is back. And not only that but she was in New York and she was apparently with Shana (romantically) and she knows she was murdered AND apparently everyone knew they were a couple. What? Why was that not on the girls’ radar? Like that would have been a great clue!
So now that Jenna is back the girls think (with almost no evidence) that she must be after them. It’s not all about you girls! Even though you are absolutely correct in this case.
Yeah Jenna’s lover is gone and she’s constantly crying now but let’s focus on a more important plot – Ali is going to school! And even though she’s been dead for years, she seems to still be in the allowed amount of excused absences, so she can just jump right back in without missing a beat. So Ali walks up to the school. Just up to it. You know that area right in front of the school where apparently 90% of the student body just chills before school starts? Yeah she’s there. And everyone just stops what they are doing. And I don’t mean they give Ali a glance and go about their business. No they physically stop mid motion as if they were frozen. The ENTIRE school stops! How ridiculous is that? Ok anyway, there is some murmurs from the motionless crowd but the girl’s cannot distinguish if they are friendly. We do see a couple interactions, Big-Nose Betsy gives her a nod, and the Gay Twins say hi to her. As this goes on, Mona (as expected) stares evilly at Ali’s growing interest.
So if Ali’s entrance wasn’t enough for you, all you had to do was wait a minute to see as the hallway stares as the five girls walk down the hall in slow motion. Ok we get it, you’re back at school but move a little faster, people are trying to get to class before the bell!
As the slow-motion stroll comes to the end, Spencer’s mother picks up Spencer from school and informs her that they will be moving out because she is leaving Mr. Hastings. Spencer asks why and is given some crap about not following her mother’s irrational life decisions without question. But after Spencer asks a total of two times, she breaks down her mother’s walls and we find out that with the help of a PI, she found out that her husband lied about being at a diner with Melissa when Mrs. D died…. so he must have killed her!
Meanwhile, we find out Lucas is having a party later that night where Hanna can meet his girlfriend (yeah ok). However, this plot goes no where. We find out that Lucas is having sex with someone and that Hanna gets drunk over some blue shit. Both of those are not super important facts and don’t lead to anything in the episode besides Hanna wearing sunglasses later and her mom being “as mad as a skunk”.
Emily has to talk to Paige about how cruel Ali was to her. This leads to a peer mediation session between the three of them. Now everyone is happy. Just in time for some Frozen event. Really ABC Family shamelessly plugging a Disney movie, didn’t see that coming. At least it gives Emily something to do with her new best friend, Swimmer McGavin, and ex girlfriend, Paige. Also we get our weekly reminder that Emily’s mom exists but will still not be seen. Aquagirl also asks some pretty obvious and important questions about Jenna and they are kind of waved off. How dare she ask simple questions! If we can’t get answers neither can she!
Since Jenna is still crying and Aria is still tremendously guilty, Aria attempts to cheer Jenna up somehow so she goes to her house. Aria sees the crying Jenna and bails. Later Jenna comes over and tells Aria she knew she smelled her at the house earlier (I’m paraphrasing) and they talk. How cute. Though Aria should know this is probably bad news.
Hanna is getting coffee for her bald (is he bald though, if he still has hair?) beau when she runs into no other than Caleb! Whaaat? He leaves mysteriously when he sees that Hanna is getting two coffees and one has Travis’s name on it. Which begs the more important question, when has a coffee place grouped together coffee purchases instead of just yelling out the names on the coffee. And did Hanna buy two coffees and tell them to label them separately? What I’m getting at is that they should have been shouting, “Coffees for Hanna and Travis!” not “Two coffees for Hanna!”. Barista mystery and Biff fight aside, what is Caleb doing back here? Before Hanna gets to ask, he disappears. Not well enough though as Hanna finds him later on some swings. There he tells her that Ravenswood never happened and we shouldn’t ever think about it.
On the other side of town, Ali is being chased by a car… so she runs to a church. There she runs into a breezy window and Mona. They exchange some words and Ali actually catches Mona off guard saying that Mona was as bad as her at one point. Then Ali takes it too far and says she will destroy Loser Mona! Then slaps ensue! Ali slaps harder of course and cuts Mona’s face! But it’s probably because Mona was too busy taping Ali being a bitch. That’s right now she can show everyone that she is better than Ali and play the innocent one who is being bullied. Doesn’t help that Ali lies to the girls and says she didn’t even hit Mona! You cut the bitch, you can’t lie about it!
All of a sudden, a weird cover of Every Breath You Take begins to play and that only means one thing: Makeout Sesh! So Aria and Ezra finally make out! Jeez so much sexual tension, right? And and and and and guess who else? Emily and Ali! That’s right Ali told Emily those kisses back in the day, were not “just for practice”. That’s a pick up line if I’ve ever heard of one! Also Spencer makes out with Toby because, why not?
So there’s only 10 minutes left of the episode, so the writers decide to throw in some big hits. First, we find out that Natalie Coughlin and Jenna have been secretly spying for Mona! What? I mean Jenna was never to be trusted but this new girl could have went either way. Was anyone else kind of confused when they were all were wearing sunglasses? I was like did everyone become blind?
Next, the police release the name of the body that was in Ali’s grave. But the police stall until all the couples: Aria & Ezra, Emily & Ali, Hanna & Caleb, and Spencer & Toby can be happy and comfortable in a room together. The name is Bethany Young from Radley. What the fuck Radley? Get your shit together! As the girls hear the news, they are allowed one moment to let out a breath of relief (it wasn’t anyone they knew this time) before an EXPLOSION rocks the house! That’s right there was a mother fucking explosion right outside! Looks like a car exploded and is that Toby’s house? Honestly, I don’t know. But as the girls all stood there in the light of the flames, all of their phones begin to buzz, beep, chirp and ring… bum bum bum. Look’s like A is back!
So does this mean that all the boyfriends will be involved with this new A game? Or are all the girls going to lie immediately about it? I really want to see Ezra use his powers for good.
Emily’s plot for the episode: She makes out with Ali and then gets mad at her for lying. Easily Emily’s best plot yet!
Other things to note: I just read they are going to do a time jump after they graduate high school! What? That’s kind of weird. I understand they have been in the first week of Senior year for the past 5 years and the actors look in their mid 20’s but skipping out on PLL: The College Years may be a huge mistake!