“Pretty Little Liars” recap (5.12): The Nightmare Before Christmas


And it came to pass in those days, the Grunwald issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire celestial world. (This was the first census that took place while Tippi was chancellor of Philadelphia.) And everyone went to the earth to register. So Ares also went down from Olympus to Pennsylvania, to the town of Rosewood, because he belonged to the house and line of Zeus. He was there with Aphrodite, who was pledged to be married to him and expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a daughter. She wrapped her in a hoodie and placed her in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.

And there were shepherds living out on that one street in town, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of war and an angel of love appeared to them, and the glory of time and space shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angels said to them, “Relax, man. We bring you great joy for the people. For today in Rosewood, a Savior has been born to you; she is Mona, the Vanderjesus. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in a hoodie lying in a manger outfitting her MacBook with some sick hacker software.”

Suddenly a great company of war angels and love angels appeared, praising Vanderjesus and saying:

“Glory to god in the highest, and on earth adrenalized hyperreality, a reckoning for men.”


There has been a murder in Rosewood, which you know because this is the summer finale of Pretty Little Liars and everyone is crying and there’s sadsack music and Marlene King, who has the most lovable face and cheerful disposition to be such a ruthless killer, has written this episode. The worst fucking police officers on the goddamn planet would like Hanna to accompany them back into the murder house, which is just covered in blood, to give them a statement. Die in a house explosion that won’t stop exploding, all you stupid Rosewood cops. You’re awful. Just awful in every conceivable way.

For example, 36 hours earlier:

Alison is at RPDHQ taking a polygraph test and the guy administering it isn’t asking yes/no questions; he’s asking her to do verbal essays of various events from her past while telling her he can distinguish between what’s a real memory and what bullshit she’s weaving from her imagination, which: ha! Hahahaha! If any of us could do that, including Alison, we’d have cracked this case wide open by now. Or at least we’d have a seed of an idea to plant and water and nurture and maybe that would grow into a tree that would bear the fruit of knowledge.

Mostly the cops don’t care about Ali’s story; they just ask a zillion questions about Spencer.


Mona is in her bedroom listening to French records while her collection of terrifying dolls stare at her with their soulless eyeballs as she reads Le Grand Meaulnes for fun, because of course she reads Le Grand Meaulnes for fun. (“Who can say what obscure forces were then at work in a heart that had never been tamed?”) Her mom peeks her head in to say Mona has visitors, and she is so pleased to find out her daughter made friends, she offers to bake cookies in the middle of the night.


The Liars have come to ask Mona for help. As soon as the words are out of Hanna’s mouth, Mona snaps, “What did Ali do to you?” They tell her nothing — yet. So Mona and Spencer quote Winston Churchill together, verbatim, and stare at each other like a mirror for a second, just long enough that you can see Spencer register that fact that she could have been Mona and Mona could have been her, if Spencer didn’t always have the promise of a blanket fort to crawl into with Hanna and Emily and Aria. Mona goes, “Why, suddenly, have you acknowledged my boss ass bitchness? Aria, you say it, out loud.” And Aria says the truth: Because you’re Mona Motherfucking Vanderwaal.

Mona: Just in terms of the hundreds of hours I spent sending y’all Chinese food with worms in it and tricking Emily into getting massaged by Lucas, I guess I kind of owe you, but Ali might actually murder me if I help you out.
Spencer: Are you for real scared of her?
Mona: Yes, and so are you, bitch, or you wouldn’t be here.
Hanna: Did your mom say something about cookies?
Mona: Actually. I really am sorry for all the weird shit I did to you guys because I couldn’t handle all the weird shit Ali did to me.
Hanna: But like chocolate chip ones, right?
Mona: OK, I will help you.
Liars: Thanks, we have to go.
Hanna: Not me, I’m waiting on the cookies.

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