“Pretty Little Liars” recap (4.01): Unicorn Planet

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Alison DiLaurentis flew her airplane around town all day wearing a mask of her own face, before finally landing in a meadow to rescue her pals from a fire that she set with her mind. The Liars returned to Rosewood covered in soot and shame to find Detective Wilden’s police car covered in swamp goop and playing a video of Ashley Marin running under him with her car on an indestructible loop. A thing in Wilden’s trunk grossed them out real bad, which was saying something for a group of girls who had already come in contact with a necklace made of human teeth, a homemade porno of their dead best friend that revealed itself frame-by-frame over the course of an entire year, live earthworms in their chow mein, a blood-soaked doll-sized replica of their dead best friend crowing, “Follow me, end up like me!”, half a dozen corpses of people they’d made out with at some point or another, and the brain of a dead cow stuck to a kitchen knife.

Rosewood town square. The Liars open the trunk of Wilden’s car to reveal a whole dead pig. It’s A at her very best, not only because she somehow managed to get her hands on a whole dead pig, but also because of the triple-whammy metaphor she’s dropping on them: dead cop, Animal Farm, and Lord of the Flies, obviously. Rather than marveling at A’s continued ingenuity and literary prowess, the Liars freak out about fleeing the scene because some random Rosewoodians are wandering around after dark like they’re brand new to this town. Mona calmly hops into the driver’s seat and does her adrenalized hyperreality voodoo to steal the hard drive that has the footage that implicates Ashley Marin.

At Spencer’s, the Liars scamper around in a frenzy, flipping around to different news channels and staring out the window and chewing on their fingernails, while Mona rolls her eyes and sips some wine and reads Dante’s Divine Comedy in the original Italian on her iPhone. Finally, she’s like, “Hey, amatuer hour, why don’t y’all have a seat so we can talk about the best way for me to keep us all alive?” The Liars want answers to the riddles they still haven’t solved — which, basically, is all the riddles — and Emily also wants to smash up Mona’s face a little bit.

Mona doesn’t understand why Emily is so mad. Two years ago, she couldn’t have survived carbon monoxide poisoning, or catching on fire, or getting GLASS IN HER HAIR, or time travel. She barely made it through Ali’s death. Mona goes, “When I met you, the Night of a Thousand Nights would have killed you, but would you look at yourself now? Threatening to beat my ass, surviving the death of not one but two girlfriends, and I’ll bet you one hundred dollars if I lathered you up in poison sports cream right now, you wouldn’t even feel a thing. I suppose my thank you card got lost in the mail.”

She then sits them down for a fireside chat to explain the intricacies of the psychological warfare she so graciously bestowed upon them. Highlights: Shana’s in love with Jenna, they’re both scared of Melissa, Mona thought CeCe was Ali when she came to visit her at Radley, she wishes she could have been the one to murder Ian but a different hero completed that task, Toby started working for her right after he made his first million as a teenage carpenter in Bucks County, and Lucas gave Emily that gloved massage because he knew Emily had petted Hanna and Hanna had petted Caleb and being three degrees from caressing that lovely hobo was better than nothing. The Liars fall asleep to the sweet sound of Mona weaving her tale of benevolence around them, and wake to find that she’s made a coffee run. Pink Americano for Emily, skinny latte for Hanna, non-fat half-caf extra-hot soy chai latte with a one-third shot of espresso and no foam for Aria, and a five-gallon straight black big gulp for Spencer. She even got Ezra’a favorite for Aria to take to him: whole milk in an Adventure Time cup with a bendy straw.

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