Our favorite Liars are back in black (as per usual), as the midseason premiere of Pretty Little Liars opens at Mona Vanderwaal’s funeral. Seriously, it’s uncanny how many funeral-appropriate outfits the fabulous foursome have at their disposal. Then again, these girls know the stages of grief like the back of their hands.
Over the years, they’ve done this song and dance with their actually-not-dead best friend, a corrupt cop, a sister’s ex, said not-dead best friend’s mom, and other disposable Rosewoodians, all of which makes them the perfect candidates to deal with the pretty insane and definitely atypical aftermath of Mona’s death. Much like loyal viewers of Pretty Little Liars, Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily aren’t phased by bumps in the road. And season 5B has set itself up to have a lot of those.
The girls find themselves, three months after Mona’s demise, singing yet another swan song to their high school classmate. Everyone is convinced that Alison is Mona’s killer, which easily explains her absence from the ceremony. So when Ali shows up to assure Mrs. Vanderwaal—at her own daughter’s funeral, mind you—that she definitely didn’t kill Mona, Mrs. V slaps the bejeezus out of her.
By this point, the Liars face the funeral crasher without batting an eyelash, somehow managing to diffuse the situation without mussing a hair on their loosely curled heads. And Alison, if you really wanted to convince people that you didn’t kill someone, you could start by not showing up to confront her mother in a pink floral dress. Apparently she doesn’t have quite the amount of funeral experience as the rest of them.
So, can we talk about that slap? Mrs. Vanderwaal did something we’ve all wanted to do to Ali at some point. Even if you buy into the sympathy that the show occasionally asks you to feel for Alison, she is an undeniably frustrating character. Later in the episode, Aria calls it the “slap heard ’round the world.” I also feel that this could be more symbolic of this newfound pact that the Liars have against Ali. Everyone has lost any patience or, at least, basic-level trust in her, and they seem hell-bent on bringing her down within the remainder of this season.
Anyway, when we last saw the girls, they were at an uncharacteristically carefree Christmas soiree with their significant others, which was basically the gathering of the hottest people in Rosewood. Everything seemed to be going well until perma-Grinch “A” strung a not-so-festive holiday wish into the side of the barn: “Merry Christmas, bitches.” Of course, the holiday bliss needed to end. (Remind me to never do Christmas vacation in suburban Pennsylvania.)
NEXT: Baby, you’re a firework