After a couple weeks of almost normal episodes, I am shocked—SHOCKED!—at how much I missed crazy, nonsensical, terror-around-every-corner PLL. Spencer might have killed someone or something in the dollhouse? Bring it on! (Though it will probably end up being just as fake as the “torture.”) Aria is locked inside the darkroom at Hollis? Home sweet home! Before I make more references to things we haven’t covered yet, we do get more answers about Charles DiLaurentis this week, including an example of what kind of demented, terrifying thing he could have done to make his family virtually erase his existence. Yay!
“Don’t Look Now” opens like a busted piñata, just hurling information about Charles out like candy I can’t wait to eat. “Charles is my brother,” Ali tells the girls, as we flash back to her conversation with Mr. D and Jason. Charles was born 15 months before Jason—so they’re not twins—and, Mr. D says, “Your mother and I knew he was trouble from an early age.” By the time Ali turned 1, they knew it was too dangerous to keep Charlie in the house, so they had him institutionalized. You have a question? Ali’s there first: How could no one in Rosewood know there was a third DiLaurentis kid? They moved to town after he was sent to Radley. (Oh. Easy one.) Why didn’t Mr. and Mrs. D tell Ali and Jason? They wanted the kids to have a “normal childhood” (LOL) without Charlie’s antics as a distraction. “He would have consumed our lives,” Mr. D says.
But Radley didn’t give him the help he needed—instead, Charlie got worse. When Ali says Charlie must be the one who set her up for Mona’s (non)murder and kidnapped and (sort of) tortured her friends, Mr. D shuts it down quick: Charles is dead. He killed himself at 16, allegedly, with pills. Hanna takes the words right out of my head when she stops Ali there: “He’s lying…. No body, no grave, no proof.” Ali, always the rope in a tug-of-war between her family and her friends, is on her dad’s side at the moment. “He was ashamed of what he did,” she says. Mr. D tells her he was cremated, and Mrs. D took care of sprinkling the ashes without her husband since he was out of the country.
But Spencer has another great point, as she always does: “He responds to the name Charles,” and that home movie she burned obviously meant a lot to him. So what’s the logical conclusion the Liars draw? They need to find proof of Charles’s death. Isn’t it always like this? Oh, we just need this ONE piece of information, then it’s all solved. Oh, we just need to prove Andrew is A, then we’re good. We just need to figure out who killed Ali, then we’re fine. Yeah… not so fast.
Aria starts googling “Charles DiLaurentis death,” as if a notarized death certificate or New York Times obituary would just pop right up. Byron is home from wherever he is, but now Ella and Mike are nowhere to be found, because apparently there’s some cosmic rule now that no more than two Montgomerys can be in the house at the same time. Byron tries to talk to Aria about her torture and all that jazz, but she tells him she needs to go to the darkroom at Hollis. Alone.
Hanna is at home with Caleb, who’s been sleeping over (I guess when you’re the most present parent like Ashley is, you’re allowed to be the most lenient?). But “sleeping” isn’t really the right word—he just stays up all night to watch the cops change shifts.
Spencer is doing her own research at the Brew, when she finds out that an investment firm is buying Radley, and all the medical records are being sent away… to be shredded (because that is the logical thing to do with hundreds of peoples’ medical records, especially when a handful of them have either been murdered, died mysteriously, or disappeared). Then Spencer has a creepy flashback of the dollhouse: She’s covered in blood. It’s on her hands; it’s on her stomach, but she isn’t wounded. Throughout the episode, she continues to have flashbacks, and we see a bit more each time. Underneath the closet door in her dollhouse room, there’s a pool of blood that’s smeared all the way across the carpet in the room, as if a body were dragged.
Given that this is what’s going on in Spencer’s mind, it’s not that much of a surprise when Aria mentions she threw her anxiety meds away, and Spencer immediately finds an excuse to leave and start digging through Aria’s trash. If this isn’t the sign of a real addiction—or at least a real problem—I’m not sure what is. Covered in nasty garbage, she finds nothing but an empty bottle. Darn.
The girls meet up to find the Radley files, which are in a gigantic building with rows and rows of boxes labeled “FOR DESTRUCTION.” Emily and Hanna have a really weird conversation in the stacks.
Emily: I went to see Dr. Sullivan today. She asked if everything is okay between the four of us. Did you say something?
Hanna: I might have. So, is it?
Emily: We’ll get there.
I thought they already got there when they talked about the fake torture, etc.? No? Ugh. Anyway, Aria finds the Charles files just as easily as she found that photo of him in the button jar last week, but there’s no paperwork past his 16th birthday. Actually, there’s nothing before age 13 either, so we have a slim three years to work with here. His doctor recommended an increase in “Zylotrol,” which Spencer the drug whiz says is for severe depression. There are two visitors on Charles’ log: Mrs. D and Carol Ward, Ali’s great aunt … who died when they were sophomores.
Pause for a quick question: If there were files in Radley labeled “DiLAURENTIS” this whole time—the whole time Mona was in Radley, Spencer was in Radley, Toby was snooping around Radley, DON’T YOU THINK SOMEONE WOULD HAVE FOUND THEM? Please, for the love of Pete, somebody explain this to me.
Caleb meets the girls outside the building—uninvited. “What did you do, follow me?” Hanna asks. “No,” Caleb says. “I put a tracker on your car.” Okay, Hanna thinks this seems a little controlling, but let’s be honest here. If I were just kidnapped and tortured, you better believe every single person I know would have a tracking device hooked onto me, implanted in my scalp, my tooth, anything. Everyone I know would have to know where I was at all times. That’s the only way I’d feel safe. I’ll be honest with you, my mom has a GPS tracker on my cell phone as I type this, and I really don’t mind it. It’s nice to know someone out there would know where I was if someone took me (well, and my phone) off to a remote torture dollhouse on a farm. This is the same question I have with Aria not wanting her dad to drive her to the darkroom. Wouldn’t you want your parent or significant other to know where you were at all times?
Here we have a little montage, shuffling back and forth among Aria and her dad, Caleb and Hanna, and Emily and her mom. Dad and Caleb want to know where their girls were, Mrs. Fields tells Emily that she found
Miley Cyrus Sara standing on the roof staring at the sky. “I think we acted too hastily in having her stay with us,” Mrs. Fields says, in what might as well be one of those Captain Obvious commercials. Also, no one apparently cares about Spencer, who isn’t included in this little montage. Instead, she goes to the Brew to ask the new bakery girl for some pot brownies to take the edge off. Better than trash-covered anxiety meds, I think. Stoned Spencer could end up being hilarious.
NEXT: Jason’s mysterious memory