“Pretty Little Liars” recap (4.13): That midnight train to Ravenswood

Emily is practically assaulted by The Grunwald, who does her whole shtick again about how the Liars need to leave Ravenswood.

pll13.6You are actually in danger of boring me… .TO DEATH.

 And Hanna chases after some twins in red coats, because that is hella creepy and should not be allowed.

The Liars are no sooner reunited than they spot a red-coated figure and give chase. They are led to an empty mausoleum, where Spencer just drops to the floor and starts sniffing like a bloodhound. She catches a whiff of something and urges the Liars to help her move a statue which is covering the entrance to a secret passageway. Try to imagine if one of your friends was like “Hey let’s go into this grave tunnel. I feel like either our dead friend is alive in there, or else the guy who killed her is waiting for us.” But the Liars have been in the mystery business so long, they just urbanely comment about the grave tunnel’s architectural quirks and probable date of construction. They are secret passage connoisseurs. This is really just typical Tuesday shenanigans until the lights go out and Hanna disappears and is replaced by a statue, which is show shorthand for “The rules are different in Ravenswood, bitches.”


As freaked out as the other girls are by the loss of Hanna, Hanna is even more freaked out by the loss of herself. She wanders through the crypt, terrified, and it actually reminds me of Xander’s storyline in “Fear, Itself,” which is to say: her fear of being separated from her friends is very scary. (Her fear of some stock footage of rats is less scary, but whatever.) She runs through a mysterious door and into a mysterious mansion, with the gas-masked villain (oh please let it be Ezra) hot on her trail.

When the bus finally arrives in Ravenswood, Caleb and Miranda part ways, in that awkward, lingering way you do when you meet someone who feels important to you for reasons you can’t quite articulate. She goes off to find her uncle, which isn’t hard, since he lives in the creepiest mansion in town. (Ravenswood side bar: the New Orleans mansion they use as the exterior of Miranda’s uncle’s house is legit one of the creepiest in town, so well done, location scouts).

In the mansion, Hanna’s chief concern is finding a place where her phone can get a signal.

pll13.8New theory: A stands for AT&T.

When she spots an eerily lit phone booth, she is like “Oh rad!  I for sure will not get murdered to death here in this enclosed box.” P.S. I love the way anachronisms are code for “evil” on this show: the diner from Night of a Thousand Nights, Jenna’s car, and now this phone booth. Anyway, of course she gets locked in and of course then the phone starts ringing, and the voice on the other end is singing “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier.” And then lights start flashing all over the place like Tinkerbell’s whole family just arrived, armed to the teeth.  AND THEN Ali’s face appears, and at this point Hanna is just like “DUDE, I CAN SEE YOU” but before she can tag her and finally put an end to the world’s longest game of hide-and-go-seek, Ali is grabbed from behind by Gasmask! It’s totally scary! I mean, it’s no “locked in a coffin on a conveyor belt going toward a circular saw” but it’s some pretty solid peril.

At last the other Liars emerge into the mansion, where it looks like a party was interrupted in 1915. There’s instruments and sheet music sitting out, which, not incidentally, are all for the same song that was playing in the phone booth. So just to do a little Spencer-style free association sleuthing: WWI anti-war song, Ezra is a WWI doughboy, ergo Ezra sees himself as a reluctant soldier?  Maybe? But we don’t have much time to dwell, because Ali’s voice is screaming for help from the next room.

Elsewhere, Hanna is finally released from her antiquated prison by Miranda, and they go off in search of a way out of the mansion. What they find, though, is a room full of coffins, because  Miranda’s uncle is either an undertaker or owns a vampire bed and breakfast.


Hanna is eager to get out of there, but Miranda lingers and has a flashback from her childhood, when both her parents died mysteriously. Hanna just shakes her by the shoulders, screaming “HEY. SAVE THE FLASHBACKS FOR YOUR OWN TIME SLOT, NEW GIRL.” Just kidding, she is really nice about it because she doesn’t know yet that this girl is going to steal her boyfriend.

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