Aria, as usual, spends the episode dealing with Ezra stuff and missing out on all the insanity: Turns out Byron is thinking about sending her to boarding school since the New Orleans plan didn't work out. The twist is that Ella's onboard, now that she's beginning to see just how often A messes with Aria's entire situation. Aria lunges into full-on crazy mode, threatening to out Byron's affair with a student and doing everything she can to make Ella cry, and then once Ella tells her how horrible she's being, runs off to finally have sex with Ezra.
It's all pretty much awesome, containing as it does the opportunity for Aria to show us about five personalities we've never seen before -- Enraged Aria, Doing-It Aria -- as well as Ella doing her usual wonderful deal and even Ezra being pretty excellent. One finds oneself interested in seeing what happens next, rather than experiencing Ezria as a low powerline hum unrelated to the rest of the show.
As for the rest of the episode, it is utterly insane. Just batshit crazy. It begins with Alison sneaking into Spencer's bedroom to say her usual cryptic things and tell Spencer she's on the right track -- meaning once again Aria's been left out, as everybody has now hallucinated Ali at least once -- and Spencer experiencing her usual-of-late mixture of terror of and protectiveness toward her sister. Who is, of course, dating Garrett and maybe even having his baby... Which matters more now that he's been arrested for the murder of Alison!
Yeah, because here's what Jenna's up to: Pretending the surgery was a failure, promising the Liars she has turned a grudge corner and no longer wants them destroyed, and giving Toby the missing page of Ali's autopsy report to incriminate Garrett. In the end, after spending the hour weeping and being a destroyed damsel, she smashes a housefly with exceeding accuracy and then grins the grin of a person who is about to kill everybody.
Of course, Melissa continues to act crazier and crazier, so that by the time the arrest happens she's making her scariest faces of all time at Spencer. Not a safe situation -- and much less so when Mona gets her next A Task: Breaking up Caleb and Hanna. It takes some convincing, but Caleb eventually agrees to getting caught (by Melissa, and/or the omniscient A) making out with her in a car. Considering how much he still hates Mona, this is super gross for all three of them, but it does the trick: The girls get yet more confirmation that Melissa is trouble.
But that's comparatively small potatoes when you consider that we finally meet the staff at the Brookhaven Doll Hospital, a terrifyingly inbred grandma and her spooky psychic son Seth, who tells the girls that he knows how Alison died and then describes Melissa and Ian perfectly. When the girls return to the shop -- having themselves determined to turn over all their evidence to any cop not named Garrett or Wilden -- they are treated to absolutely the most fucked up thing that has ever happened on this show.
The dolls have people faces inside them, there's a cymbal monkey, burlap voodoo dolls in secret places... and just when it's getting to Hellraiser amounts of creepy, the scariest robot baby voice summons them to a cupboard in which the Alison Chuckie is finally revealed: A blood-covered blonde girl, half-buried in diorama dirt, waving a shovel around giggling about, "Follow me, end up like me!" Then the dolls start attacking, shelves are crashing down around their ears, and the Liars get the hell out of there. It is a peak moment.
Of course, it's revealed in the A-Tag that the whole thing was part of A's master plan, and that the inbreds were working for her the whole time -- psychic kids and staring dolls don't really exist -- but that doesn't change the sheer awesomeness of anything that went down. Between Aria losing her virginity, now-sighted Jenna playing everybody for a massive fool, Garrett getting arrested and Melissa going 'round the bend, it was a pretty big night: Alison is still bopping around being weird in people's dreams. A little psychic boy knows details of the murder. And dolls can see you.
Ugh! Next week, it all goes down. A is revealed, there's some sort of amazing masked ball, and some idiot lets Hanna get behind the wheel of another car, which can only end in tragedy.
This latest shell game with Vivian produced a terrifying doll hospital in damned, doomed Brookhaven, as well as an invigorating night flight for old Aria. Ella forced a very temporary stalemate in Byron's ongoing pissing match with his own hypocrisy, not that anybody was grateful. Emily's mom is coming to town, and (somebody claiming to be) Maya was busily leaving (or not leaving) a place for Paige in her life. Hanna saved Jenna's life after somebody attempted to blow her up again, while Spencer was becoming more and more convinced that every single person in her family was a murderer -- but then, every single person not in her family was probably a relative anyway. Ella and Ashley, meanwhile, were proceeding merrily down the wine-fueled primrose path into Hell formerly walked by sympathetic cannon fodder such as our dear Therapy Anne, whose Tory Burch boots turned out to be made for getting the eff out of Rosewood.
HOLD UP, WHAT?
Because each part of the Hastings house is as scary as every other part, and because Spencer was recently exploded, she's sleeping on the downstairs couch. But who's that going through her shit? Including a duffle bag and her bottles of pain meds?
Alison DiLaurentis: "Oh, did I wake you? Sorry. Randomly breaking into people's houses can weird them out, especially if you do this from beyond the grave."
Spencer: "What's going on now?"
Ali: "I needed to steal something from my duffle bag you have here near the couch. And also gank some painkillers. You know, it's funny about Jason. Sharing him as a brother almost makes us sisters, don't you think?"
Spencer: "Not technically, but I know what you... Hey, hold up."
Ali: "You deserve at least one decent sister. Nobody else gets to have one. Anyway, cryptic nonsense."
Spencer: "Are you dead or what?"
Ali: "I've missed you! That fierce look you get in your eyes when you have to know the answer."
Spencer: "It's universally acknowledged as my best feature."
Ali: "It's not going to save you this time. Keep going, though. You're getting warmer."
The front door slams, she wakes up, it's morning, and even though the front door slammed and the whole thing was a dream, when Melissa enters the door has been hanging open wide all night, and even more mysteriously, the bottles of painkillers have been messed with, and are still open.
This is so amazing. Will Spencer Hastings finally be losing her shit?