“Pretty Little Liars” recap (5.01): The Rise of the Vanderarmy

Emily isn’t so thrilled that Ali gave up her ticket to safety, or that she’s sneaking around doing secret shenanigans again, but Ali weaves a yarn about them not taking the fall for Cece and Emily is appeased.

When Ezra wakes up again, he whispers something into Aria’s ear and her eyes get so big. Bigger. Even bigger. Bigger than the moon. She runs out of that hospital as fast as her tiny little legs will carry her.

Meanwhile, at Rosewood PD HQ, Holbrook is just Googling away. First, he discovers that Ezra’s been shot. Then he discovers that Ezra is a Fitzgerald. Then he discovers that the Fitzgeralds own a theatre. He calls it up and Alison answers and even though he’s never heard her voice in his life, he’s like, “…Alison?” She slams down the phone like it bit her and the Liars stand around watching it ring for an hour.

A hearty crowd of outcasts has joined Mona and Lucas in their lair. Among them is Paige McCullers, looking like one million literal dollars in her new leather jacket. Mona tries to rally the troops by convincing them that if they’ll follow her, she’ll keep them safe from the kind of ridicule they suffered at Ali’s hands back in her first life. They say all the names she called them and Paige is like, “OK, y’all, but sticks and stones. The names that bitch calls you isn’t who you are.” They look at her like, yeah, easy for you to say, on account of you grew out your Lego man bangs, got a full-ride to Stanford, started boning the hottest girl in school, and took your voice to a heretofore unheard of level of sexinesss — and we’re all still generic looking nerds from an ’80s movie. Paige rolls her eyes, makes for the door, and finds herself face-to-face with Melissa Hastings. They stare at each other for a long minute, a (day) dream (or two) Paige had about Spencer flashing in her mind’s eye. She closes the door, stays put for a minute. Melissa says, “There’s not much time!”


At Fitzgerald Theatre, the lights go out! The Liars panic! And then Shana Costumeshop is standing on-stage in a black hoodie, holding a handgun! The Liars grab onto each other and run around in a pandemonium and finally Ali is like, “Oh, balls. Fine. You’re going to kill me because you fell in love with Jenna, correct?” Shana confirms Ali’s theory, but that’s only part of it. Ali was a real dillhole to everyone in Rosewood, is what Shana found out when she moved to town to work in the Halloween store and do some spying at Ali’s request. And yeah, she fell for Jenna. And yeah, she’s mad as hell that Ali blinded her with a firecracker, and then she got her eyesight back, and now she’s blind again. So now, for justice’s sake,  she is going to off all these guys (like she tried to do with that lodge fire) and Jenna can get on with her life again, playing the flute out on her porch and eating cherries in peace.

Shana aims her gun at Ali, releases the safety, and gets SMASHED IN THE FACE WITH A RIFLE BY ARIA MONTGOMERY.

That is not the thing that kills her. It is the four-foot fall from the stage that kills her.

Emily, familiar with killing a guy, checks her pulse and confirms that she is, in actual fact, dead. Aria, unfamiliar with even being on this show, has a fit. The Liars are like, “Girl, you know the rules. How many seasons can a black person survive on this show? Two, max. She knew what she was getting into when she came back. She should have just kept on driving down to Hilton Head.”


The Liars call in Shana’s death and head on back to the hospital to check on Ezra, each silently pondering the continued mysteries of Jenna Thing’s magical vagina and lying to themselves about how A is really gone and everything is OK again.

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