“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.16: Girl-on-Girl Talk

While Aria drifts ever closer toward heaven — where, make no mistake, she will account for the life of every baby bird she slaughtered in pursuit of “fashion” — a blondie burglarizes her room. You think it’s Meredith until she pulls open a hidden panel in the back of Aria’s closet to reveal a porcelain doll. The only person who would know to look inside a doll skull inside a secret compartment is the person who taught Aria that shit to begin with: Alison DiLaurentis.

It’s always fun to watch these actresses play their pre-Ali’s death selves, all timid and awkward and naive, and that’s exactly the place Aria lands when she wakes up and realizes the ghost of her dead best friend is in her bedroom. It works because Lucy Hale is a fine actress, indeed, and also she isn’t wearing any makeup, so she looks about seven years younger. She wants to know what heaven is like, what Ali knows about “A,” whether or not her dad actually offed Ali. Ali gives her the look she always gives all the Liars, like she loves them even though they’re the most pathetic, and then she goes, “Do I look dead to you?”

I’ve never bought into all those theories that Ali is still alive and running the show, but I have never wanted it to be more true that I do in this episode. Maybe No One [Had] To Save Ali From Evil; maybe she saved herself!

She advises Aria to stop drinking Meredith’s poison, wonders aloud how come Spencer, of all people, hasn’t figured out yet who A is, and tosses out a riddle about why she chose Aria. She smiles, she winks, she vanishes into the night.

When Aria wakes up, her room is not bathed in Ali’s ethereal glow, but her shit has been pillaged. She reaches for the tea, thinks better of it, tries to leave her room, realizes Meredith has locked her inside. Aria may not have spent much time getting harassed by A, but she certainly has been paying attention to Spencer’s lessons. The first thing she does is smash her mirror to make a shiv, which she, of course, wraps up in a doily.

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