It's a dark and stormy night. and the sounds of 3OH!3 are playing in the air. Four young girls sit around a warehouse-looking room laughing and giggling. That is, until the power goes out. The door creaks open, and the girls huddle together and move towards it to see what is outside (have they never seen a horror movie?) and they all jumped about five feet in the air when a figure moves towards them. But then they started laughing because it is their friend Alison.
All scariness is immediately forgotten, and Hanna asks Ali if she's downloaded the new Beyoncé yet. She hasn't, but Emily has and she loves the new video. Alison is quick to remark upon that. Aria is given some sort of mystery (presumably alcoholic) beverage by Alison, and the girls cackle that this will make Aria air all her dirty laundry. Alison quickly remarks that friends share secrets, in an effort to remain close-knit. The girls follow suit, as Alison is seemingly the queen bee here, and Aria takes another sip of mystery juice.
The next thing we see is the girls all passed out on various chairs and pillows around the room. The girls slowly rouse, but realize that Ali and Spencer are missing. Spencer comes through the open door and emotionlessly tells them that Ali is gone. She's been looking for her and that she thinks she heard her scream.
Next we know it is one year later and there are Rosewood Observers being delivered with Alison's picture on them, proclaiming her to be still missing. We zoom in on a cute brown-and-yellow house, where Aria is in a room filled with unopened boxes. Holly Marie Combs (who is depressingly playing her mother. Was Charmed that long ago?) comes in to ask her if she's OK. Aria says that it is weird to be home. Holly Marie Mom says that, at 16, a year can seem like a long time. Profound. Aria says that she thinks about Alison every day, and Holly Marie Mom says that she should call her friends and let her know that she's returned from her father's sabbatical. It's the anniversary of Alison's disappearance, and Aria doesn't particularly cotton to the idea of it being celebrated like a party.
This riveting conversation is interrupted by Aria's brother, who nasally informs Holly Marie Mom and Aria that he needs a ride to lacrosse. Guess someone had no trouble jumping back into society. It's the first tryout and he can't find any of his stuff. Chad Lowe wants to make sure that Aria's OK, she tells him she's still keeping his secret. Ooh, juicy! Tell me more. But for the moment he just wants to make sure she's OK about Alison. And, I'm so sure, wanting to keep his secret a secret. Then the kids take off, and Holly Marie Mom and Chad Dad stand by the door and watch them and say they're happy to be home. Aren't they just picture-perfect?