The first half of the episode is in Rosewood, and ends sweetly with everybody in the arms of their honeys: Homeless Emily is staying with Paige as we wrap up the search for A, Aria is feeling her way towards a reunion with Ezra and thus has all the boyfriends, Spencer and Toby have a frank and healing discussion about his latest disappearing act (slash tantrum), and Hanna and Caleb are sacked out in a car so sweetly, like little werewolf angels.
Of course, the reason for that last is because of A drama: Thanks to Travis's testimony, the case against Ashley has been dropped and CeCe is the new prime suspect. For one or both of these reasons, A has gone insane and kidnapped Mona -- or is Mona, and has kidnapped herself -- and is now sending the Liars creepy theme packages about how to get her back. Their response to these fevered demands is a hearty "whatever," because they hate Mona and are fairly awful young ladies, but eventually the threat of being framed for her murder gets their asses off the couch and back to Ravenswood.
While a mime wizard (!) named Charlemagne is disappearing Aria -- and then bringing her ass right back again -- the real Redcoat or A takes off with Emily, who wakes up in a coffin, which sucks because in Ravenswood everything is made out of coffins. So the Liars finally find her, strapped to a literal motherfucking James Bond conveyor belt and about to get sliced up the middle, but then a second Redcoat saves her, and Aria and Spencer chase the Redcoats around.
(The only other thing that is going on at this point, since the Liars are all together now in Ravenswood, is that Toby chases Shana in Caleb's car to a B&B past Ravenswood, where she meets with Mona, who is fine and apparently just needed some time away. But that's not the whole story either, because we know from an amazing sequence when Paige and Emily crash her French Club party that Mona wasn't intending to go straight from the mental institution to this B&B in rural Pennsylvania, but probably wanted to at least visit the French Club party first, because it was in her honor. I'm just glad she's okay.)
Aria's Redcoat is CeCe Drake, whom she subdues with her Tang Soo Do training but eventually drops into a Hitchcock reference that kills her for a second, but of course she ends up fine and runs off. Meanwhile, Spencer's Redcoat -- whom we're led to believe is Alison -- leads the shaken Liars to the Ravenswood Lair of A+, a wonderful place covered in creepy pictures, computers that can hack the whole internet, mysterious timelines on whiteboards of their entire lives, and a bunch of... Men's clothing?
Yeah, apparently A is a dude, and he believes that Alison is alive and living in Ravenswood, and he plans to find and finally murder her after all this time while wearing a gasmask. The Liars are all excited to find Ali and warn her about the plot (even though Ali/Redcoat's the person who led them to the Lair in the first place) but they run into The Grunwald! Who says a bunch of magical crazy shit at them!
To wit: Alison was using the Grunwald's psychic powers to help her psychically find out who and the what and why of the person who was torturing her, but it didn't really work, but it kind of worked because later the Grunwald was able to get an ESP about Alison getting buried in her yard, drove the many miles to Rosewood just in time to save her life, but then lost her on the way to the hospital, but now she psychically knows that Alison is hanging around in Rosewood and wants the Liars to leave so they don't accidentally lead Gasmask to her.
The Liars are like, "Whatever, that made no sense" and completely blow her off, which is where the episode ends: With them getting suited up in WWI gear for this big Ravenswood party in a cemetery... Watched by a black-hoodied Ezra, who -- by the way he flips out back in the jumbled-up A-Lair -- might very well be the A+ we've been looking for all along.
But I doubt it. So to review, the big revelations this week are that CeCe is Redcoat (but probably that's not really true, or maybe A was paying her to impersonate Redcoat?), Alison is alive and she's also Redcoat (slightly more likely), and Ezra Fitz is A. Lots of clues both ways, but I'm sure it'll be amazing either way come 22 Oct, on the occasion of the two-hour crossover special thing.
I mean it's like, yeah, Toby wasn't "really" A, except that he actually pretty much was, and kind of still is. Toby wasn't "really" dead, except it doesn't matter because the real world effect was that Spencer lost her mind, her future, and pretty much everything that mattered to her, etc. So maybe these things are true, maybe they're not, but I loved it and Ezra is an everyday monster and I'm very into whatever happens next, whatever it is.
(Especially if it has to do with Ravenswood, which is just like... the fucking ... best, like I don't even have words for how great Ravenswood is. I have words for things I love as much as Ravenswood, but if you put 'em together it wouldn't even make sense: Megatron, Diet Coke, Christopher Robin, Pumpkin from Honey Boo-Boo. I mean, never mind, I can't deal with its infinite nature: They got clowns, everything's a cemetery, it's a cult maybe, gasmasks and druid cloaks are de rigeur party attire, Grunwald's always up your ass about something mystical, they got curses, ravens, roses, weird PA system singing at you like Bioshock, they got a whole A Lair that looks like fucking Anthropologie, I mean it's amazing over there.)
Spencer and Toby visited The Grunwald in Ravenswood to ask about her connection to Alison back in her GZX days, but the Grunwald was too busy being creepy to help much. Later, Tobes got mad when Spencer -- bored with being in his storyline about his dumb dead mom -- finally spilled the beans to the Liars about how he basically never left the A-Team.
Wren Kingston hit an impasse when Mona (correctly) deduced that he is a Redcoat minion -- and in fact, the same one that got Veronica Hastings thrown off Ashley's defense in the Wilden murder, and Mona herself tossed back in Radley. Meanwhile, Ashley got out on bail thanks to Pastor Ted, but is probably on her way back in. Hanna's been going nuts about all this -- and has no idea Caleb is leaving for Ravenswood. (She did, however, meet a dreamboat new boy from the blue-collar world of gas stations.)
CeCe Drake maybe tried to murder Jenna and is definitely spying on everybody wearing both the red and, at times, the black. When a homeless Emily was temporarily relocated to Alison's old bedroom, she discovered Redcoat's shivery crawlspace hiding spot, and the Liars learned that Ali and CeCe shared quite an intimate bond. Emily and Paige decided to wait out the clock in bliss, rather than worrying about the messiness of their impending breakup.
Meanwhile: Aria has so many boyfriends! Whatever will she do.
Hanna: "If they're announcing Travis on the news as a witness in the murder, they must believe him. So then why bring in my mom for a lineup?"
Aria: "I guess like procedures?"
Hanna: "Yeah, but what if A gets to him and shuts him up?"
Aria: "Come on! Nobody is that unlucky. Except, I guess, all of you."
A package has arrived, addressed to all the Liars: Four Magic Eight-Balls in a satin-lined case, with a customized message. "If she goes free, you'll hear from me. Kisses -- A." Aria's is just the last letter, which seems fitting. She actually seems kind of bored by all this, which I love. More so, I love the fact that A is just blatantly admitting that she's culpable for the murder and needs the Liars to make sure Ashley stays framed. Isn't that what A is saying? It's not, "Because fucking with your mom is funny" or anything like that, it's straight-up: "If you foul this up for me, there will be consequences."
Aria: "So. CeCe's coming for us?"