We open on Alison telling the Girls about how that creepy home movie (which we saw at the end of the last episode) was from a birthday celebration in which Charles gave her the frosting off his birthday cake.
“How does that turn vicious?” Alison laments. Hanna is the best because this is how she replies: “You played skee ball once! I wouldn’t call that family bonding.” Dropping truth bombs!
Next we see Hanna and her mom trying to talk to Mr. DiLaurentis (Alison’s dad) about the mystery $30k scholarship. Hanna wants to get rid of it, because “‘A’ gives so ‘A’ can take away,” but her mom doesn’t want to give it back since they do need the money.
Ezra is pretending to dust or something while he eavesdrops on Aria’s conversation with photography-pal, Clark. She’s not going to the show they’re both finalists in because it’s TOO DANGEROUS, so he brought her a postcard advertising the show. (Aww.) He leaves, so Ezra swoops in and points out that Clark sure does ask a lot of Questions About ‘A’ and ISN’T THAT WEIRD?!
Remember how Alison is a high school senior and is dating an adult man who is a police officer? (Like, how young am I supposed to think this dude is? COME ON.) She’s over at his place doing his laundry and washing the dishes. She also made him homemade soup, and listen: She was “dead” for a while, is only 17, and has never displayed any interest in cooking. Where did she get this soup recipe? DID I MISS THE TIME JUMP? Is she actually a 25-year-old housewife now? Because girrrrrrl, bye. He can wash his own clothes.
Anyway! Later she steals his police access keycard and goes to snoop around in the PD in the room with all of the Charles/’A’ case info. The Detective catches her and tells her they’ll use “lethal force if need be” when they find Charles and Alison seems too upset about that considering who he is and what he’s done. (Kidnapped and locked up her friends. Years of harassment. Killed her mom?) Boyfriend-cop is pisssssssed and in trouble, since she got caught, so maybe she won’t be washing his clothes anymore. 😉
And YES! More Hanna & Spencer teaming up! (I must not be the only one who loves them together, because it’s happening so often now!) They’re trying to figure out how to get into the office that sent the scholarship check to INVESTIGATE. They got into some dude’s office and they’re sneaking around when he walks in and WTF he looks A LOT like Jason DiLaurentis… so maybe he’s Charles? It’s clear they both think that right away, but what’s not clear is why they don’t run screaming from the room. Faux-Jason/Charles/”Rhys” won’t tell them who his “boss” is but says that’s who sends out the scholarship checks.
Meanwhile, the detective is critiquing Aria’s photos in the most awkward THIS MAKES NO SENSE SHE’S POLICE NOT AN ARTIST moment ever. Like, why are you telling her about your ~artistic~ process, Aria? Basically they both want Aria to go to the art show, while Aria’s mom is a no vote (but of course, gets convinced otherwise).
When Aria’s getting ready for the art show, she talks prom with Emily. (I guess they’re finally graduating soon so that’s coming up.) She says she put her “own spin” on the dress she has hidden in her closet for prom and won’t let Emily see it. I imagine she’ll wear the formal version of this gem of an outfit:
Maybe it won’t matter since the moms all got an email saying the school board might not let the girls attend prom. (How rude!)
Later the art gallery is “crawling with police” for Aria’s showing. Hanna’s wearing a tough girl leather jacket and Spencer is in a dress made from an old lady’s curtains (😍).
Aria chats with Clark at the gallery. He says he’s so nervous. She seems confused and says she figured he’d be super chill since he’s done this before. He gets shifty and is like, “Oh RIIIIIIIGHT. I have.” (What a liar!)
The art show doesn’t go as planned, of course. Instead of the creepy doll photos Aria expected to see displayed on the wall, her space has photos of the four girls when they were in the locked in the bunker, drugged and naked on those autopsy/morgue metal tables. ‘A’ is a real jerk. And Aria’s mom is real mad. Detective is super nonchalant about it and basically DGAF.
Forget all that though because Ezra showed up to the gallery wearing this shirt:
Quick PSA: Kids! Feeling lonely? You are so lucky because you can literally have a random thought and instantly go find people who are thinking the same thing all over the internet right away. I COULD NOT deal with Ezra’s palm tree/spider shirt, so I searched “Ezra’s shirt” on Twitter & oh hey! SO MANY TWEETS ABOUT HOW RIDICULOUS THAT SHIRT IS!
(The shirt is currently for sale at J.Crew which is a whole other issue.)
Also, the actor is on Twitter so people couldn’t resist asking him about the shirt.
Melissa (@LucyHaleYeah) July 29, 2015
While Ezra is wearing that ridiculous shirt, Aria somehow still manages to take him seriously and confides in him that when she woke up on that metal table in the bunker, for a minute, she thought she was “back in Iceland”… Remember how when the show started she was just moving back from there?! (This random mention makes me wonder if those theories about her never having been in Iceland, but really having been in a mental institution, are on the right path. It seems really out of nowhere to mention that. DOES ‘A’ STAND FOR ARIA?!)
Back to Ezra & his dumb shirt: Aria tells him she’s “still cold” like she was back on the morgue table and back in Iceland. Brrrrrrr. (Related: I’m not a fan of people describing their emotional trauma as feeling ‘cold’ or some other pointless descriptor… like, no you’re not. You’re sitting outside wearing a short skirt and I don’t see any shivering. Improve your vocab, please.)
Post-art show: Aria’s mom goes to see Hanna’s mom. She’s pissed! I bet it wasn’t cool seeing her daughter looking dead on that metal table. “WE HAVE TO PROTECT THEM!” she says. Meanwhile, Red Coat is spying on them from right outside of the window. RED! COAT! (Remember her? Where has she beeeeeen and who is sheeeeeeee?)
Spencer, Hanna, and Emily head to Aria’s house to tell them they spotted photo-pal Clark looking shady and going into the abandoned doll factory right after they spotted faux-Jason/Charles/”Rys” went in there. Something’s fishy!
The final cheeseball ‘A’ scene didn’t have a tennis ball wearing a wig (ahem: tennisballwearingawig.com), but it did have: rope, duct tape, syringes full of a mystery liquid, and a tux waiting for prom. DUN DUN DUNNNNN.
Two more eps until the mid-season break & the time jump!
See this Pretty Little Liars page for links to each recap for season six.