Goodness! What a jam-packed, emotional, frightening hour. Officer Popular (last seen boning Ashley Marin to get Hanna out of her shoplifting charges) suddenly back on the force and showing "conclusive" evidence that the PLL's killed Alison with this shovel, which is apparently the only murder weapon that ever could have killed Alison, if you ignore the fifty other murder weapons that are also the only weapons that could have killed Alison. It's pretty flimsy, especially considering the case has already been closed, but really this is just a framing device for the events of the day themselves, and some pretty shocking twists at the end. Mostly, it's about how the girls look insanely hot covered in dirt.
After a seriously weird conversation with Toby about their future children, Spencer discovers a scary crate in her living room that contains -- no, Emily, not a hacked-up Dr. Sullivan -- creepy talking dolls, one for each Liar, with tasks that they must complete over the course of the day to keep Dr. Sullivan from dying. Then each Liar takes an act and we see how their day went, and it's tremendous.
First up is Aria, who is presented with materials to blackmail Jackie Molina into leaving Hollis College. Feeling horrific about it, she tells Jackie to leave town, and of course Jackie shows up later threatening to take everybody down with her -- she'd rather see Ezra destroyed for sleeping with students than leave him with Aria. In the present hour, Aria is compellingly sad and self-hating when she calls Ezra from the police station, but then he accidentally confesses to Ella (that he's been sleeping with Spencer, which isn't even true). Speaking of Ella, she's wonderful as usual, and Mikey's doing better in therapy.
Next we get Spencer MF Hastings, whose task is simple: "Keep Toby safe." His brakelines having been cut this morning, Spencer interprets this to mean breaking up with him, which provides even more terribly sad emotions for everybody. (Wren randomly appears to squeak back in there, but Spencer never makes the same mistake twice. She makes them hundreds of times.) Present-day Spencer stares terrifyingly into the one-way glass looking quite capable of murder, and the iffiness of Jason DiLaurentis's relationship to her family gets deep enough that it's starting to seem like Mr. Hastings is Jason's real dad, which is crazed.
While all of this is going on Emily discovers her doll in a different place: The backseat of the car on the way to Mr. Marin's wedding, which has a GPS that A has hacked, and apparently it's her job to go find the good doctor. Instead, what she finds is a barn full of carbon monoxide, a near-death Sapphic dream of Alison in heaven (OR IS IT A DREAM), and eventually a shovel for the girls to dig up Dr. Sullivan's near-death self (OR DO THEY).
Hanna's day is the most publicly humiliating, as she's tasked with calling off the wedding. With Dr. Sullivan and now Emily MIA and tick-tocking away, she abruptly takes Dad's fiancée Isabel aside in the middle of the vows to tell her that her parents hooked back up before the wedding. It's pretty gross, but at least it gets Hanna out of there. The girls head out to find Emily, having each ruined their own lives, leaving Caleb all alone to trade catty insults with stepsister-to-be (OR IS SHE) Kate.
Emily's outside the barn, all woozy from having visited heaven, but eventually they find the location of Sullivan's burial-alive... Or at least those Tory Burches A bought online a few weeks ago to make the girls think that they're digging up something other than a mannequin. At this point, the police take them in for questioning and everybody tries to keep it together, while behind the mirrors we see Jenna and Garrett celebrating not only their (OR IS IT) successful (OR WAS IT) murder of Alison (OR IS SHE) but their successful (OR OR OR) framing of the Liars for it. Implying that -- whether (OR NOT) they are A -- they're at least behind this most theatrical of all her little games.
In the A-Tag, somebody once again compliments A on his/her eyes after s/he hands over whatever evidence was being used to blackmail Dr. Sullivan into going along with this whole kidnapping/burial plot in the first place. Poor old Therapy Anne. She sure did get PLL'd, didn't she? I wonder what her secret was, or if we will ever find it out. Maybe she is a boot smuggler. A boot-bootlegger. Maybe she is Jason DiLaurentis's father. Maybe she killed Alison after one too many bullying assemblies failed to have the desired effect. We may never know.
Next episode: Is the Halloween special, October 19th, which is a Wednesday. Then the real break starts, and we officially come back to Rosewood in what, like January? That's a little long for me. But the Halloween thing looks totally amazing -- Jenna with eyeballs, scary doll-people, Noel Kahn dressed as a doctor -- so I'll definitely see you then. Come back tomorrow for the full recap, and remember: You're only as sick as your secrets. Or however much carbon monoxide you've inhaled.
Welcome to your framing sequence! Everybody is wearing gorgeous dresses and they look like they got exploded, like the end of Heathers. The upside to that is, they look amazing and where sometimes you get bored in a framing sequence/flashback setup like this, you won't, because you get to look at them. Each of them a prettier little liar than the last. The downside is: Surprise! There is not one.
Garrett, to a Mysterious Cop's Jawline: "They won't talk! Probably you will get promoted."
Mysterious Cop: Is my beloved and awesome Officer Josh that was boffing Ashley before the days of wine and lasagna! Awesome, show!
Wilden: "Hi girls, did you miss me? I have come to put you all in jail. You will find out why at the end of this episode."
12 HOURS AGO: ANNE'S HOUSE OF THERAPY
Liars: "Well, she didn't answer her phone, and her voicemail is some mess about a family emergency, so let's go to her house. She is the person in America who still gets her newspapers and they are piling up. In the olden days that meant a person was missing."
Spencer: "We absolutely cannot tell a grownup about this. Probably Jason killed her. Or Ian. Or Jenna and Garrett. Or my dad or my boyfriend. My conspiracies are having conspiracy kittens and they need good homes you guys."
Aria: "The last time somebody said 'I know who A is and I will tell you right after my murder,' in that same infuriating way, they got hit by a car."
Hanna: "Oh my God, somebody we know? Is she okay?"
Liars, looking at each other: "Yeah, Hanna. She's basically fine."
Emily: Abruptly stops caring about their dead therapist and runs over to hang out with Maya in Hanna's bedroom.
Hanna, verbatim: "So was it, like, nonstop Just Say No and sunset sing-alongs?"
Maya: "Sometimes the people you meet in gay internment camps are pretty cool."
Maya: "Yeah, think about it for like one second."
Hanna: "Did they attach a car battery to your testicles and make you look at pictures of shirtless Ryan Reynolds? Because I heard they do some really bad shit to you. I heard that's why Marcus Bachmann is like this, and that inside him is a scared little boy who still can't figure out what's wrong with being in love with..."
Emily: "-- Hanna, this can wait. I have to stare insanely at my ex-girlfriend until we become one person."
Hanna: "Okay. But I have one important thing to ask before I leave the room, and that is about shoes."
Hanna: "Okay, I'm leaving. I just have one more question. And it is about clothes."