Yes I know, you saw the byline, you’re freaking out. But Officer Hogan is on a very important mission, tracking down the whereabouts of Tippi The Bird, and she can’t come down from the top of the tallest tree in the forest, where she is whistling the entire phone book. In the meantime, please allow me to be your guide to an episode which is itself told differently than usual, because it is in a different town in a different show in a different universe. I promise to be an enthusiastic narrator, given that I have literally been dreaming of this episode (my dream, btw, involved Hanna and Spencer making out but really it was Ali with a Hanna face on, and I will gladly write it up as fic for any interested parties).
So. Previously on Pretty Little Liars, the girls took a day trip to Ravenswood, where ne’er a golden ray of light did shine. While there, Emily was very nearly sawed in two, Aria switched from egregiously showing off her line-dancing to egregiously showing off her kung fu and accidentallyonpurpose kicked CeCe Drake off a balcony. But CeCe Drake died, has risen, and will come again to judge everyone for their outfits. The most important development was the discovery of the A lair to end all A lairs, which had all the dirt on the Liars (and Alison, hey girl) laid out on white boards like it was been put together by a slightly less-unhinged Glenn Beck. But the actual proprietor of said lair turned out to be none other than Boardshorts, a.k.a. Lesbovest.
America was shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, to discover that the man who had spent three and a half seasons seducing his high school student might not be such a standup fella after all. Of course, as with all PLL reveals, this one must be taken with an ocean’s worth of salt, but in my heart of hearts I hope they stick with it and make the take-home message about the wrongness of relationships between adults and teenagers. (The luxury of only recapping this one episode is that I can say stuff like that.)
Now, the most important feature of any PLL halloween episode is the costumes, and this one does not disappoint.
We’ve got Spencer as Virginia Woolf, Hanna as “prom night on the Titanic,” Aria as the tiny ringmaster of a flea circus in hell, and Emily as god’s gift to the lesbians of earth. They approach the Ravenswood party with caution, seeing as how it’s taking in a cemetery. They even have the nerve to be like “Um, graveyard party? Tacky much?” Yeah, because graveyards are for endless disinterments of your friends and screenings of their porn. God, Ravenswood, have some respect. But whatever, they didn’t get dressed up for nothing, so they charge into the party. All except for Emily, who says in a very small voice that she might not actually be ready to see Ali again. And I love the way the show always reminds you of just what Ali meant to Emily. But Aria is like, “Look on the bright side, Em: crushes on a sociopath and your best friend are indispensable parts of the lesbian experience, and you managed to get them both out of the way in one go.”
Before they enter the actual party, Aria gets a call from EzrA, who advises her to be on the lookout for Big Bad Wolves. Aria is like “Sure babe, now go back reading ‘The Raven’ to your teddy bears as a bedtime story.” BUT ACTUALLY Ezra is at the cemetery too, bedecked in his WWI doughboy outfit and also the Poe poem he secretly prefers is “Annabelle Lee.”
Outside town, on the Ravenswood Ghost Bus, Caleb is accosted by a fellow traveller named Miranda.
Caleb: Look, chick, I don’t know who you are and I have a girlfriend, so I can’t be your bus romance.
Miranda: Actually, I wanted something else from you.
Caleb: Ohmygod this happens to me everywhere. It’s horse shampoo, okay? That’s my hair secret.
Miranda: Duly noted, but I was really just going to see if you have some food. I’m a hobo, you see, on a way to visit a mysterious uncle after a childhood spent in the system (both foster care and ventilation).
Caleb: Oh puppy, let me take care of you.
And I know this may sound creepy, in light of their future hookup potential, but I actually think Miranda is a little like what the daughter of Caleb and Hanna would be: spunky, pragmatic, and with a slight tendency to kleptomania.
Back at the party, all the Liars scatter in pursuit of a school of red herrings. Aria chases after a brooding dude who is also in a WWI outfit (HI, BRETT DIER) because apparently the most depressing war in history is super stylish this year. This girl he’s with falls into an open grave and Brett Dier is all “it’s not safe here” but, as always happens when Aria is confronted with a problem that does not relate to her love life, her eyes swim out of focus, her attention wavers, and she reports back to the Liars that nothing seems amiss.