Previously on Pretty Little Liars, the Liars got themselves wrapped up in a new lie about how Ali was abducted and held hostage for two years. Through a series of shiveringly sapphic flashbacks, Hanna discovered that Mona made her in Ali’s image. Paige was like “fuck this noise” and ramped up her hotness to fifty-eleven, making no sorries about protecting Emily but making a lot of sad faces about how it means Emily hates her now. Spencer shouted from the top of the belfry (you know the one) that Mrs. D sent an email about how she couldn’t protect someone anymore for being a murderer before she was murdered. And Pepe the Dog and Tippi the Bird were married in a small ceremony in the park before setting sail on a cruise around the world.
Here’s what you know about Aria Montgomery: If she kills a girl, she’s going to start playing it out in real life like a classic film, and since Spence has the noir hallucinations well and fully covered, Aria decides to go the route of Heathers. She’s got the hat, she finds meaningful passages underlined in Shana’s old copy of The Scarlet Letter, and you 100 percent know she’s writing in her feelings journal about: “Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count.” Mona appears beside her and Hanna at a book fair, like Apparates right onto the scene, sing-songing about how she loves the The Scarlet Letter, the themes of identities thrust upon us by society, the subjective nature of evil. And that giant red A. Mmm boy, does she ever love that A.
She encourages the Liars to buy a copy for Ali since she’ll be returning to school soon, and smiles about the sweet interchangeability of all the teenage girls in this town. “One goes in the hole, another one pops out of the ground like the spring of tender flesh.” (SYDNEY DRISCOLL, RUN!) Mona’s all “nice hair” to Hanna before she bounces away to whatever underground bunker she’s using to store all her dolls and masks and cardigans these days. Hanna’s new hair is awesome, p.s.
At home, Alison is manically cleaning out her closet and presenting her dad with a list of school supplies she needs to return to Rosewood High and shaking and refusing to make eye contact and generally just about to come out of the frame. Her dad wants her to calm down and eat some waffles and never leave the house again, but she points out that sitting in her room thinking about how her mom was found dead in the hole she used to bury her only(?) daughter two summers ago isn’t doing much for her mental health. Mr. D thinks the best possible thing is to move the heck away from their cursed backyard, but Alison won’t hear it. She needs Emily’s heart and Spencer’s brain and Hanna’s courage and Aria’s … um … well … Ali just needs her friends right now, OK?
You think that’s the most frantic thing happening on the block this morning, but whoo boy, no. Veronica Hastings has been hitting Spencer’s Adderall hard core. No sleeping. Just drinking coffee and popping pills and staring out the window at the graveyard they share with the DiLaurentises. She keeps saying how surreal it is that they found that body back there and like — why is everyone getting so butt-town bonkers about all the dead bodies lying around in the Hastinges backyard? They’re acting like it’s the first corpse anyone has ever dug up in their hydrangea bushes. It’s not. It’s the third corpse. What it’s the first of is: The first time one of Emily’s girlfriends wasn’t in that hole.
Even Aria is teetering near the edge of the rails about dead bodies, which is a little more understandable because she’s Aria, but also: She spent a full night almost getting tossed from a train in a box with Officer Garrett’s wide-eyed corpse, so she’s not exactly a noob re: cadavers.
Veronica wants Toby to come do some yard work this weekend and Spencer laughs at that because he is the most successful teenage handyman in the United States of America, and he’s got a job booked at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this weekend, maybe you’ve heard of it. But Spencer doesn’t want to talk about that. She wants to talk about how Melissa and Peter have the same secret and only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead and that’s not good odds for this family, mathematically. Peter comes downstairs and tells them both to calm down, which is like trying to sing a rattlesnake to sleep, so sure thing, buddy.
Mona and Lucas meet up in the computer lab to try to decide whether or not to move forward with Operation Crack Gretchen Weiners. Lucas is feeling a little uneasy about launching a full scale attack on a girl who was kidnapped and tied up in someone’s basement for two years, a thing that makes Mona even more determined to destroy Alison because Mona knows she’s lying and she’s got proof. What kind of proof? Well, for starters, if you don’t think Mona implanted a tracking chip in Ali’s skull the night she kissed her and tucked her in at Lost Woods resort, the night she was pulled from her own grave by the steady hand of The Grunwald, you don’t know shit about Mona Vanderwall. Plus with her hyperadrenalized superpowers, you can be sure she’s uncovered two years’ worth of photos and videos and audio recordings and flight logs of Ali traipsing up and down the eastern seaboard, pulling people from lodge fires and carbon monoxide-filled barns, visiting people in hospitals, trying on new souls with Cece Drake. #MonaKnows, folks. #MonaKnows.