“Pretty Little Liars” recap (4.24): You ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?


What you know: The Liars had a sleepover in Spencer’s barn the night Ali died. Beyonce was discussed at too much length by a young, closeted Emily Fields. Aria’s hair had the pink stripe.

The whole story: After explaining to Emily that every person likes Beyonce, but when you’re fixated on Beyonce’s boobs enough to sl0w-mo her videos on repeat, probably there is something gayer going on with you, Ali drugged the Liars with her mom’s sleeping pills. She rejected a couple of calls from Toby during the roofie-ing process, but once the Liars were all tuckered out, she met him outside the barn where he told her there were no hard feelings for getting him sent off to juvie because, for one thing, it introduced him to do-rags, and for another, it stopped him getting raped by his sister. Ali was happy he was happy. Getting to blind someone with fire was just a bonus. A side-dream, really.


What you know: Ali was boning Ezra.

The whole story: LOL, JK. They were not boning.* They met at the Hart and the Huntsman where she ordered a gin and tonic in Ezra’s peripheral vision with a fake ID and so he definitely thought she was at least 21, OK? He was of course reading Tender is the Night — “You’re the only girl I’ve seen for a long time that actually did look like something blooming” / “I am a woman and my business is to hold things together” — which she Website Paged on her phone and chatted him up about. They had a relationship that did not include sex, which she reminded him of the night she died. He zoomed on up to her door in his Prius talking about, “15?! Are you effing kidding me?” She shrugged it off. She told him when she met him that lies were more fun than the truth. When she left him that night, he said he’d never see her again, and she said, “S’cool, but you better spell my name correctly in your book.”


What you know: Ali was boning Ian.

The whole story: LOL, JK some more. They also were not boning.* They were courting in a celibate way, despite what the homemade mausoleum porn would have you believe, a thing he reiterated aloud to her at the kissing rock the night she died. She was in survival mode by then, and honestly didn’t give two poops about the romance, but she did tell him to tell Melissa to back the heck off of her or all his NAT Club videos were going to the po-lice and the You-Tubes. He didn’t take that news very well. He tried to reason with her that releasing the videos would ruin her family, but Jason already almost clubbed her in the head with a hockey stick once that summer, so she had a hard time summoning some fucks to give about his hypothetical demise.

(*If this finale has one failing, in my eyes, it’s that it went out of its way to shoehorn in the idea that Ali is a virgin. And the reason that rubs me the wrong way is that it plays into the idea that a woman can’t be innocent unless she’s innocent. Like, how gross is it that “innocent” means “not sexually active” in our society? Real gross, is how gross. I had hoped we might see Ali challenging that virgin/whore complex that permeates nearly every pop culture conversation we have about women these days. There was this article in TV Guide a couple of weeks ago that said, no lie, “Viewers recently learned that Ali, an overly sexual instigator” blah blah blah.  And while it didn’t come right out and say it, the intimation was that she kind of got what was coming to her because she was a fifteen year old who wasn’t ashamed of wanting to fuck. It’s not fair to want Pretty Little Liars to be everything, but it’s so good so I do!)


What you know: Spencer picked up a shovel and hollered at Ali in her backyard.

The whole story: The reason Ali’s roofies didn’t work on Spencer is because she was “speeding” on her ADHD meds. So, when she woke up from her little cat nap in the barn, she went looking for Ali to finish the fight they were having about how she needed to come clean to Melissa about snogging Ian. When Spencer made to swing the shovel at Ali’s head, her pill bottle fell out of somewhere and Ali was like, “Dude, come on. I know you watched Saved By the Bell.” Two amazing things in succession: 1) Spencer followed along behind Ali, dragging a shovel with her like how Charlie Brown would do. The sound mix in this scene is so awesome. 2) She knelt down in front of Ali to beg her not to tell Veronica and Peter about the drug thing, which caused Dana Piccoli and Valerie Anne and I to jump out of our chairs. The way it was filmed, Spencer slipping down out of the frame and Ali’s face, was some straight up AO3 tomfoolery. Spencer went back to the barn and went back to sleep, meaning she neither clubbed Ali nor one of the fifty Ali lookalikes in masks and yellow tank tops running around Rosewood on Labor Day night.

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