So, what was in the trunk?
A dead pig, bitches.
Though not a dead cop (yet), the animal served as warning, foreshadowing Officer Wilden’s impending death later in the episode. The girls understandably freaked and made to leave, but first Mona retrieved the chip with video of Ashley’s deliberate hit-and-run. And, with that charming cold open, Pretty Little Liars returned! I’m going to keep this recap quick, because it’s just a refresher for tonight’s new episode, by simply highlighting the big plot points that went down.
1. Mona Spills (Mostly) All
Now a nearly full-fledged member of the PLL’s team, Mona offered a few truths to gain the girls’ trust: she put the cop car in Hanna’s garage but doesn’t know who pulled it from the lake, Jenna knew Shana pre-Rosewood; both fear Melissa, CeCe visited Mona in Radley, but Mona thought she was Alison, Lucas was the one who gave Emily her massage, Mona recruited Toby after he got his out-of-town job, and Mona doesn’t know who pushed Ian off the bell tower but wishes she did. Phew. This was a nice set of truth bombs for a show that likes to skimp on answers. Also, this allowed several previous mysteries to be pushed aside in favor of new ones–a good and promising move for the rest of season 4. Oh, and Mona wasn’t quite finished. She took the PLLs to her trailer lair to drop another truth bomb: Officer Wilden was the Queen of Hearts on the Halloween train. Allegedly, Melissa was the second Queen, but someone erased Mona’s video proof before the second queen unmasked.
2. Alison’s Alive?
Toby spotted Red Coat’s namesake at the scene of the fire. When he went to retrieve it later with Spencer, the coat was missing. So, is red coat Alison? Half the liars (Mona, Hanna, Spencer) believe so, but the other half (Aria, Emily) are decidedly on the fence. Alison’s mom Jessica moves back into town with all of Alison’s things, then proceeds to set up Alison’s bedroom, prompting the PLL’s suspicion, but we have no solid answers yet. Also, Jason’s apparently down south renovating his grandmother’s place, so he’s out of the picture for now.
3. Relationship Statuses
Caleb’s still out-of-town, so Hanna’s on her own for a while. Toby and Spencer are good (for now); he’s even cooking her breakfast and monitoring her caffeine intake, though he’s already hiding A texts about his mom from her. Emily and Paige are still going strong, and even planning a collegiate future together at Stanford. Lastly, Ezra and Aria are officially done. After a semi-awkward coffee shop run-in, Aria learns Ezra’s accepted a full-time teaching position at Rosewood again, and Ezra suggests she see other people to ease the break-up. Though Aria initially denies his suggestion, she changes her tune after imagining the principal having Fitz arrested for having sex with a minor. (By the way, thanks for the minor heart attack, Pretty Little Liars.)
4. The Funeral
After Officer Wilden’s body is found, the girls attend his funeral to retrieve false evidence of their involvement of his murder by A. They find Hanna’s mother’s cell phone planted on Wilden’s body and realize Ashley’s probably a target. Also, a veiled stranger attends the funeral, Jenna has a new man on her arm, and the liar’s meet new cop Gabriel Holbrook (Sean Faris!), who seems like a good guy (for now). Oh, and Jenna later has a conversation with Emily highlighting her fear for her own safety, as well as a mysterious burn on her hand.
Last but definitely not least,
After dropping a few dead pigs (an animal AND an actual cop) and a threat to frame them for murder in the PLL’s’ laps, A proceeds to manipulate Toby into delivering Mona’s lair to him/her by holding information about his sick (and dead? or missing?) mother over his head. The veiled stranger at the funeral turns out to be A, who, once alone, lifts the veil to reveal a burned face mask. Lastly, A sends the PLL’s (including Mona) video of them discovering the dead pig and taking the video chip, along with this text: “The truth won’t set you free, bitches. I’m gonna bury you with it. -Kisses, A.”
With Mona on the PLL team and a new cop in town, Pretty Little Liar‘s has managed to feel fresh and new again. Even Ezra and Aria are back at the beginning, in their off-limits student/teacher relationship. Also, the episode finished with the girls huddled together post-funeral, receiving an A text with no lead on who’s watching them–a nice nod to the end of the show’s very first episode.