Eric McCandless/Freeform
March 09, 2016 at 01:07 PM EST

In the lead-up to the spring finale, the PLL team tried some weird, experimental stuff this week — namely a few “artistic” shots I’ll get into later — that didn’t quite land. But luckily, we have a couple of answers (who called Charlotte from the Two Crows Diner) and a revenge plan that may or may not succeed. But given the cluelessness of Evil Emoji, my hopes are high. 

So let’s get to it: Last week, Emily noticed Mona’s pink dice keychain and made the connection between our sporadically trustworthy pal and the person who was seen calling Charlotte from the Two Crows Diner — which happens to be the scene of Emily’s awfully cheesy near-death battle with a mysterious SUV. This week, Emily confronts Mona, who admits to calling Charlotte the night she was killed, asking her to meet at the Two Crows, but after Mona waited two hours, Charlotte never showed.

Emily obviously questions Mona’s motives, but Mona swears that she was just trying to talk to Charlotte — basically to figure out what she planned to do with all the information she’d learned about the Liars and never shared all those years. Emily is convinced Mona was going to kill her (a little dramatic, honey), but Mona flips the tables, her greatest skill: “What if you called and she showed up? What would you have done?” Of course, before Emily can pretend like she wouldn’t have done anything (but let’s be real, she probably would have run straight into whatever knife Charlotte was holding up), there’s a commotion. Was someone listening? Later, when she shares the information with Spencer and Aria, they decide to let Mona think they believe her. “A free-range Mona is more likely to lead us someplace,” Spencer says. 

Checking in with our other disaster magnet: Ali and Rollins are on their honeymoon, making thinly veiled allusions to how much newlywed love they’re making, when Ali twists her ankle on the carpet at the top of the stairs at their bed and breakfast, then promptly tumbles down and gets a concussion. For the rest of the episode, everyone will swear this wasn’t an accident, and sure, when Hanna comes to visit, she finds a card with a staircase on the front and the emoji versions of all the Liars’ faces (cute) with Xs over a couple of them — but didn’t they put the camera on Ali’s foot during this scene? Wasn’t it kind of obvious that she fell because she’s wearing 5-inch stilettos to breakfast? Do the writers think we’re idiots? If you want us to think it’s not an accident, maybe don’t show us that it literally looked like an accident? Also, Elliott sent Ali like 20 bouquets of flowers (except the one from Evil Emoji), which is really fishy and, frankly, a huge waste of money.

In other news, Aria and Ezra are hard at work on their book but having trouble with the section where the Ezra character and the Nicole character part ways. As Aria reads it over on Ezra’s couch, the scene splits in this weird way to show the flashback, so it looks like Ezra and Nicole are performing a sad little play behind Aria on the couch. The show used the slightly faded, de-saturated lighting it’s been using for all the flashbacks, but Ezra and Nicole are way over-acting. It’s very weird and, to be completely honest, really distracted me from the actual content of their conversation, which was basically like, Ezra: “Don’t leave.” Nicole: “I have to.” Ezra: “No!” Nicole: “Don’t be mad at me.” Ezra: “I’m not. But I am.” 

Aria and Ezra have to decide whether to write the scene like it actually happened (the play) or like it should have happened. They decide it should be “what’s best for the story,” because duh. Jillian the editor takes them to dinner and tells Aria that she can contact Jillian about the project directly now and says she knows she and Liam “used to be” an item. Did they break up? Did Jillian force them on a break? Aria is a little bit distraught but not really.

Meanwhile, Emily and Spencer are all in on spying on Mona. Emily sits outside a cafe and videochats Spencer when she sees Mona talking to Sara Harvey’s bland male escort. Then, when Mona leaves him sitting on the bench, he walks into a building and comes out holding a cardboard poster tube. Emily and Spencer waste no time in following him, and Emily is incredibly quick on her feet (maybe I take back what I said earlier) — she knocks her car into his just slightly, and then she and Spencer pretend they’re ditzy girls who are like soooo sorry for what they did. While Emily fakes apologies and begs him to look and make sure his car isn’t damaged, Spencer takes the tube out of his hands, crouches down on the sidewalk out of his line of sight, and opens the tube.

I honestly don’t know how she could have TAKEN THE TUBE from him and then HID AND OPENED IT without him really noticing (especially if he fetched the tube on an important errand??), but okay. In it, she finds the Radley’s floorplan, and a Radley room key falls out. They follow him to an ice cream truck, where he very creepily licks an ice cream cone; then Sara Harvey drives by, and he throws the tube in her car.

While Emily and Spencer are playing James Bond (or maybe Veronica Mars), Hanna and Caleb are hatching a plan. After Hanna tells Caleb he’s the only one who can help her with this, she explains that if Evil Emoji wants the killer, she’s going to give them the killer. When Spencer comes home (with the news that Sara is back at the Radley and has checked in under a fake name — which must be the thing that fell out of the tube), Hanna tells her she needs to confess something. She tells the whole story: She followed Aria and Ezra to the square, then saw Charlotte go into the church, picked up a candlestick (is this Clue?) stabbed her in the back of the neck, then threw her off the bell tower. She tells the story slowly and deliberately, her eyes pooling with tears. “I murdered Charlotte,” she says, crying.


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Four little liars and a being named “A” (who may or may not be the fifth little liar) try to live their lives in Rosewood. It’s complicated.
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