Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Tippi the Bird led Toby and Spencer to the monochrome village of Ravenswood, where Shana Costumeshop and Jenna Marshall work as zombie reapers, ferrying dead people back and forth between Rosewood in Jenna’s time machine/classic Mustang convertible. The Grunwald lived on Sawmill Rd, which was a nice change of pace from the minimalist lair where she used to live, wedged behind a wall of the Shut Your Pi Hole sorority at Cicero College, accepting calls day and night from panicked teenage girls who were constantly being hunted like wild game. Emily’s shoulder and house both got busted, thanks to A’s fleet of kamikaze chauffeurs, and she almost lost Paige too, but had a mushy squash realization at a hoedown right before the lights went out.
Ashley’s near-brush with the death penalty for the first degree murder of a cop caused Hanna to brainwash Mona into brainwashing her, but a ranch hand named Travis finally came forward with evidence to clear Ms. Marin’s name. And Toby’s mom was super dead and remained super dead and he ran in circles and sold out the Liars and rejoined the A-Team and cried and flashed back and acted eleven kinds of cagey, the end result of which was: His mom is still dead. Oh, and Cece Drake rooted around under the DiLaurentis porch, just bunkin’ with Mike Montgomery, eatin’ Cheetos, drillin’ holes in the floor, wearin’ a fancy coat, learnin’ Tang Soo Do from Little Mikey’s kung fu books.
In Rosewood, MTV is Murder Television and it’s 24-hour coverage of whatever current homicide investigations are going on in town. Saturday morning it’s cartoons for the kids so basically The Smurfs, only Gargamel is wearing a mask of his own face and only always going after Smurfette and sometimes British Smurf and Cop Smurf are in cahoots with him. Today the Liars are watching MTV and reporters are saying a witness has come forward who can corroborate Ashley Marin’s story that Wilden was still alive when she left him in the woods. (Un?)fortunately when the doorbell rings, it is not the good news that Ashley’s charges have been dropped, but is instead a special delivery from A: Four Magic 8 balls, customized to spell out a warning: “If she goes free, you’ll hear from me. Kisses! -A”
Aria goes, “Man, so Cece is coming after you guys because Ashley isn’t going to fry for Wilden’s murder? What a shitshow your lives are.” And Spencer is like, “If I were going to tweet this, I’d probably call it #WorldWarA.”
Rosewood High. Mr. Fitz is lecturing on The Tempest, talking about, “Prospero was overthrown as the Queen Bee of Milan, so he went to an island and developed adreanalized hyperreality and commanded a whole army of spirits that sometimes wore masks and sometimes didn’t wear masks when doing Prospero’s mischief, like playing the flute real creepy and shape-shifting and causing these best friends to lose their minds, running all around the island where they were shipwrecked, fighting off invisible ninjas.”
After Ezra’s little speech, in which he casts himself as Ferdinand and not Prospero, note, he asks Aria to stay after class to thank her for letting him cry on her shoulder post-hoedown. She smiles sweetly, says, “Oh, it was my pleasure. Knowing Malcolm isn’t your son makes me feel a lot less guilty for letting him get kidnapped. As your friend, I feel that way, I mean.” She rushes out into the hallway to call Jake (as a boyfriend) to see if he wants to go to The Brew tonight to listen to a poetry reading from the next Poe (who absolutely positively of course resides in Rosewood, PA and is no doubt dating the next Emily Dickinson, who also was born and bred here), and as soon as those words are out of her mouth, Jake hangs up on her. Just kidding. They make plans to have dinner and see Insidious 2.
Down at the precinct, Hoedown Travis balks at identifying Ashley as the person who nearly killed Det. Wilden but didn’t kill Det. Wilden, but then he remembers the way Hanna looked at him like a hero and mans up and does it.