The “Pretty Little Liars” Guide to Rosewood


Hi y’all and welcome to the recap of the recap episode of Pretty Little Liars (recap of this recap to come). I’m filling in for Heather because she’s busy saving Gotham running Wayne Industries, so join me as we relive the magic of the past three seasons. Recap episodes have a tendency to be sort of a drag, but so much has gone down on this show that it’s easy to forget some of the truly amazing stuff. For example: that time when Emily’s little cardboard box of alphabet cereal only contained the letter “A,” which speaks not only to A’s meticulousness and omnipotence, but also a heartwarming knowledge of the Liars’ breakfast preferences/desire to maintain a heart healthy diet. The episode is narrated by the one and only Mona Vanderwall, who tells of the five pretty girls as if it’s a bedtime story she’s using to tuck in her fellow patients at Radley. So lock the doors, clutch your evil doll doppelganger to your bosom, and away we go.

Once upon a time (according to Mona), there were five girls, born into enviable talent, beauty, brains, and privilege. Their lives might have been quite boring, had it not been for the ambition of their Queen Bee, Alison DiLaurentis, to make things interesting, chiefly through the use of psychological warfare. This she waged by learning at least one life-breaking secret about each of her best friends, and the entire rest of the town of Rosewood, PA. So when she went missing one night in the middle of a party with her best friends, the number of people actually missing her was quite low. Without Alison to provide a constant level of fear/suspicion/shame to keep them together, the girls difted apart until, one year after her disappearance, Alison DiLaurentis turned up dead. Probably. There’s some debate on that point.

You see, around the time when Alison’s body was discovered in the evidence-strewn lawn of Emily Fields, the remaining Liars started to get some very disturbing texts from a sender identified only as “A.” All the texts had the “watch your back, bitch. JK JK LOVE YOU LIKE A SISTER! KISSES!” tone that was Alison’s signature style.

Things That Happened: Season 1

Hanna Marin met Caleb while he was sleeping in the air ducts as school like the monkey in Community, and, as Mona LITERALLY PUTS IT “decided to take in a stray.”

Spencer Hastings chose to look past his season one hair/her suspicion that he was a murderer and fall very much in love with Toby Cavanaugh and his abs.

Aria Montgomery met a boy with rumpled writer’s hair at a bar and fell in love with him too, even though he turned out to be her English teacher, Ezra Fitch. (And this love had nothing to do with her unresolved feelings over her teacher dad having an affair with one of his pupils, OK? No. It didn’t.)

And Emily Fields, who was the most torn up over Alison’s death, because of the Olympic-sized torch she had carried for her, found love and part of an old joint in the arms of Maya St. Germain.

All signs seemed to point to Spencer’s sister’s husband Ian being the murderer back in season one, but he died in a belfry and the “A” texts kept coming, so the Liars were forced to continue in their quest for justice (with the exception of Aria, who was forced to continue in her quest for a wardrobe made entirely of spiderwebs).

Meanwhile, prowling at the edges of all the action were Jenna Marshall, the girl who the Liars accidentally blinded, and who managed to exude an air of menace like it was expensive perfume. And of course there was Mona, who just wanted Hanna’s attention, a little love, and to be part of the gang. Well if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em.

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