Here’s the thing about Pretty Little Liars: The best thing it can do in any given episode is wholeheartedly accept what it is as a show and then try and have a little fun with it. And the show’s first ever special Christmas episode did just that. There were fancy dresses, a big reveal, and because it’s Rosewood, Mona’s ghost gave us a Ghost of Christmas Past that would alarm Helena Bonham Carter.
For those of you who need a brief refresher: Toby got in a car accident; Spencer was arrested for murdering Bethany, Mona was killed (probably by Ali), and Paige and Emily kissed. And now we are ready for Christmastime in Rosewood…
Spencer is out on bail for Bethany’s murder. Talk about Christmas miracles! However, as a result of her predicament, she and Toby agreed not to do presents this year, but rather give each other “gestures,” which sounds dirty—and definitely is—but that’s not important. Walking down the street, the Liars clue us in on a few things, such as the fact that Mona’s body still hasn’t been found and Ali is throwing a ball, which Aria doesn’t want to attend. Specifically, she’d rather “dance on dead monkeys.” (?) Yeah, I didn’t get it either. But when Mona’s lawyer shows up with a package for Hanna, the Liars get an idea. In the package is a map of Ali’s house with all of her hiding spots marked. And because Ali is a big fan of souvenirs, this could be just what they need to take her down.
But first, the Salvation Army Santa gives Aria a snow globe—yeah, those guys don’t give gifts for donating, but whatever—from “A.” Apparently, “A” wants the girls to take a holiday. In other words, she wants them to let their guards down so she can kill them. Okay, so I don’t know that … but don’t I?
Cut to Ali trying to sleep when she’s visited by her dead mother, who’s really just the opening act for the main attraction: Mona’s super glam corpse. (Did she get confused and think this was the Halloween special again?) Everyone, meet the Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes Ali back to a Christmas when, as a young girl, she found two identical presents. Both boxes held yellow dresses and when Mrs. D found Ali, she convinced her to lie to her father and say she only found one dress, or else daddy would leave them. Ah yes, Mrs. D was as good at hiding things as she was at parenting.
Back in Christmas Present, Toby’s cast wins the episode, reading: “Here lie the broken bones of Toby Cavanaugh.” Confined to a wheelchair with his broken leg, Toby’s role in the Liars’ plan involves channeling his inner Jimmy Stewart and Rear Window-ing Ali’s house. According to Spencer, he needs to keep watch later tonight when she and Hanna sneak in. But for now, she’s ready to give him his “gesture.” Spoiler: It’s Spencer in a slutty Santa costume.
So while Spencer and Toby enjoy her gesture, Caleb and Hanna spend their day handing out toys and occasionally threatening a 10-year-old. As Hanna tells the mini-Alison she runs into, “Bitches get buried.” Yes, and children get scarred.
Now which couple are we missing? Right. While Paige and Emily sing for Shady Days Nursing Home—don’t get me started on that name—Ezra gives Aria her “low-key” gifts, which include earrings and a dress for the ball. Hey, for a Fitzgerald, that is a “low-key” present, especially when you consider that the one Christmas he asked for a pony, he got two.
NEXT: Who’s ready for a party?