'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: 'Who's in the Box?'

By Lauren Wheeler,
The Liars are back!

On the winter premiere of Pretty Little Liars, the girls deal with the fact that their best friend is alive and Ezra continues to be the creepiest dude alive.

Last time we saw Hanna, Aria, Spencer and Emily, we found out that Alison was actually alive. Yes, a 15-year-old girl spent four years on the run with no help at all. Logic aside, Alison is alive. This episode began with the girls just as lost as the viewers. They were asking questions on what to do now that they knew. They decided that they needed to talk to Jason and see if he knew that his sister was alive.

Hanna had a theory. She thought, in order to figure out who was after Ali, they needed to figure out who was in her tomb. Hanna said that she would look into it and get back to them.

There was a time jump of one week later in this episode. It seemed slightly useless but, nevertheless, they did. I am going to assume that Emily is still living in the DiLaurentis house because the first scene after the time jump was Emily with Jessica DiLaurentis.

Jessica was changing the sheets in Ali’s bedroom and Emily was watching. Jessica said that she changed the sheets because it kept the room from getting musty. Also, because she is running for the creepiest character on PLL award. Emily asked her where Jason was and she said that she didn’t know. He needed personal time.

At Hanna’s house, Hanna and her mother are dealing with the aftereffects of being accused of killing Detective Wilden. Ashley is having trouble getting a job because everybody thinks she is a cop killer. It also turns out that Hanna’s father and step-mother invited her to go to Australia. Hanna refused.

She then researched teenage girls that went missing on the same day Alison did. She found one girl named Sarah that the same age, blonde and almost looked like Ali. It seems too easy but, if we don’t question it, then case closed. Sarah is the girl that the girls have decided is in the box.

Paige makes her first appearance in the episode when she’s talking to Emily about how fun swimming is. In case you had forgotten, because Emily saved Mona from being hit by a car, she hurt her shoulder and has been out of the pool for a while. Paige felt guilty for talking about it but Emily said it was fine. Then the two girls argued because Emily wasn’t being completely honest because she didn’t want Paige to worry and Paige was being pushy.

Mona, also in the running for creepiest character, bought Jenna’s car and is driving it around town. In case you forgot, Jenna is no longer using her car because someone tried to kill her and, last we heard, she was in a coma. After Hanna pointed out that it is gruesome that she bought the car, Mona said that it was comeback and was used for a victory lap.

Mona pointed out that the girls were pushing her away. She said that she expected the other girls would but not Hanna. She felt that, because she tried to take the fall for Wilden’s murder, Hanna should forgive her. Hanna said that she didn’t trust her and she wondered why Mona did it in the first place.

So, Ezra was revealed to be A. I can get onboard with that. He is a teacher dating a student. I don’t love that the hottest guy on the show is the bad guy but- I can understand why the writers did that. The one thing that I can’t get behind is how he went from super nice guy to super dark character so quickly. It was like a flip of a switch. Not good.

Ezra is teaching the class Jekyll and Hyde. Even when explaining why he chose the book the girls should have been curious how their cool teacher started talking like a crazy person. At this point, I feel like he is a pen drop away from being a psycho killer. After finishing teaching, Ezra asks to talk to Aria alone.

The other girls go into the computer lab to talk about the girl Hanna thinks is in Ali’s grave. Her name is Sara Harvey. While they were talking, a movie appeared on the wall. It was a black and white film and they didn’t know who had turned it on. Then (with impressive Photoshop skills) someone had written “Ali Ali oxen free, whoever gets her first, keeps her.”

Ezra apologizes to Aria and says that he used up all of his chances but still wants to be with her. This would be nice if a) he wasn’t her teacher again and b) he wasn’t the new A. Aria stays ambiguous about whether or not she forgives him.

Spencer is useless in the A-hunt this episode. She is distracted by Toby and his mama drama. She tries to get her dad to tell her where Jason is and he said that he would look for him but that they needed to stay far away from Jessica DiLaurentis.

Speaking of Toby’s mama drama, that I don’t really care about at all, he has returned and has tons of information about it. He said that he visited Dr. Palmer often and that other people do too. He looked at the visitor’s guide. He found out that everyone knew that she didn’t kill herself and that someone at Radley paid off the police. Radley was also owned by Decladine Healthcare but he couldn’t get an appointment to talk to them. So Spencer stepped in.

Spencer and Toby visited the head of Decladine Healthcare and explained the situation to her. She said that she didn’t know what they were talking about. After Spencer pointed out that Toby’s mother’s case wasn’t the only one and that they could use the internet to spread the information, Decladine caved and said that they would get the record changed that Toby’s mother did not commit suicide.

Toby bragged to Spencer’s dad about how smart Spencer was and Spencer’s dad said that they could use the information to shut down Radley. Toby and Spencer were interested in the idea but were too busy with their little celebration to discuss it more.

In private, Spencer’s dad said that he wanted it shut down because he knew what the place did to her. He said, weirdly, that he would do anything for his family.

Caleb came for a visit! And, if I didn’t watch Ravenswood, I wouldn’t understand a word that he was talking about. All he was telling Hanna was that he couldn’t come back and that it was complicated. Hanna kept pushing for more information but he kept saying that things were complicated. When Hanna asked about Miranda, he was mysterious and that made her question whether or not he had been cheating on her.

For those who don’t know, the complicated situation is that Caleb is caught in a Ravenswood curse where five teens have to die. Miranda, who he was supposed to be watching, died. That is pretty complicated but it left quite a few questions for Hanna and other PLL viewers.

Because Hanna was so confused and believed that Caleb had been unfaithful, the two broke up and Caleb headed back to Ravenswood.

Hanna, Emily and Aria all met with Sara’s friends. They talked about Sara and Ali. Sara’s friends were jealous of the girls because they knew that their friend was dead and they had closure. They said that they had answers. Their hometown believed that Sara wasn’t dead. They thought she ran away with a boy. But her friends knew better.

The Sara they explained sounded exactly like Alison. She was vindictive and a terrible friend. All she cared about was herself and her popularity. Sara and Alison could be twins. However, Alison went mission on Labor Day and Sara was seen the day after. So their dates didn’t match up.

Mona ran into Ezra and they sat together on a sidewalk. Mona says that she is jealous of the four girls because they have Ezra as their mentor. She says that if she had hooked onto him then things would be different. Then she pointed out how interesting his reading choices were. She mentions curiously that she knows that he is hiding big, dark secrets. He threatens her and says that he knows that she has no fears and that she needs them to survive. Well then.

Hanna goes home to find Jessica DiLaurentis in her kitchen. Because Ashley is having such a hard time finding a job, Jessica decided to let her work for her. As Ashley goes to get her license, Jessica tells Hanna that Ali told her to hire Ashley.

Jessica explains that Ali visits her in her dreams and that she said that she should hire Ashley. Jessica explains how nice it is to hear from Ali and that it makes her seem real. Something about Jessica makes me nervous. Spencer’s dad is right, I feel like the girls need to steer clear of her.

Plus, Ali is visiting all of these characters frequently. How has she stayed hidden? She is going into hospitals and homes. She’s pretty recognizable. Again, logic aside, Jessica still acts strangely.

At the coffee shop, Emily is working late and hears a noise outside. It turns out that one of Sara’s friends came back to talk to her. She said that Sara was perfect. She said that she wants her life back. She said she’s tired of being just “Sara’s friend.” She said she felt like a horrible person because she wished Sara was dead before she went missing. Ouch.

Hearing that girl say those things made Emily go to Paige’s and explain that Ali kissed her once. She said that she loved Alison but Alison broke her heart. She believed that Alison couldn’t feel love and didn’t know love. She said that she hated her.

Ezra and Aria decide to go to his friend’s cabin. He says that he wishes that he had a time machine to go back. He said that, when she graduates, he wants to go away and be with her forever. Aria said that she didn’t know what was real. Ezra says that the cabin would be their place. They would go there to be together.

The cabin had no phone service, no internet and no connection to the world. That would make the cabin both romantic and a great place to murder someone.

Also, as Ezra was watching Aria, the camera panned in and showed that there was a trap door in the floor of the murder-cabin. So, maybe there is someone living there or hiding there? Who knows.
The girls have one final scene together at the end. They are all standing next to Ali’s tomb and Hanna admits that she stole Ali’s diary. She said that she didn’t tell anyone because she didn’t want them to know what Ali said about them. But, since she told them, I guess they’re going to find out eventually.

The final “A scene” was someone going into the murder-cabin and opening the trap door.

So, what did you think of the episode? Are you as bored with Toby's mom's story as I am? And who is the creepiest character of the series?

image: ABC Family



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