'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: 'Shadow Play'

By Lauren Wheeler,
Black and white and A all over

On this week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars, the plot wasn’t moved along and nothing really happened, but everybody looked really pretty.

I’m going to assume that this episode was to be considered a stand-alone, because nothing really happened to move the story along. Actually, I’m not really sure what was real and what was just from Spencer’s head, but other than that it was okay.

Real Life: Emily, Spencer and Hanna are breaking into Fitz’s classroom as the episode starts. Before telling Aria about Ezra’s A-business, they’re hoping to find evidence to pin the crime on him. As they search, they find the journal in his desk. When they hear a sound, they hide in a hallway and find Mona walking into the classroom and grabbing a big stack of files.

After finding the journal, they head to Spencer’s house to understand why Ezra would have it. They come up empty-handed. They decide that they’re going to look for Alison again. With Shana missing, they conclude that the only person that would know anything about Alison is Emily’s girlfriend Paige.

Aria and Ezra are driving back from the murder cabin. As Aria sits silently, Ezra asks what she is thinking about. She says that she is doing creative writing and has found an interest in villains. Both she and Ezra decide that sometimes the villain wins.

Again, I’m not hiding the fact that I want Aria and Ezra to be A. They’d be the perfect pair, but after seeing the promo for next week, it seems like that is becoming more and more unlikely.

Spencer is home alone and taking her “study aid” pills. She takes them with alcohol (look at the bottle, dummy) and starts seeing her life as a 1940’s black and white noir.

A noir film, for those who don’t know, is a stylish crime drama. The noir films were very popular from the 1940’s to the 1950’s. The language within the films is glamorous, old Hollywood-style.

Noir: Spencer finds herself in a black and white world- literally. The first character she sees is Toby. Toby questions Spencer on what she knows about Alison and Spencer asks him to trust her, but Toby knows that she is popping pills.

Spencer heads to the super old fashioned brew and runs into Ezra. They apologize for their actions and he buys her a 15-cent coffee and offers to take her to the Hart and Huntsman again. He’s probably going to murder her, but hey, at least it will be in beautiful black and white.

Mona and Paige are at the brew and Emily questions her about Shana. Paige told Emily that the entire time she was with Shana she was thinking about Emily, however she doesn’t give up any dirt on Shana.

Hanna, who is a sudden genius, is walking down the street following Mona when Mona catches her. She calls Spencer and tells Spencer to meet her at Apartment 3B (Ezra’s place) to pick up a blonde package while she’s still alive.

When Spencer arrives, Ezra tells her that she is in over her head. He tells her that she won’t tell Aria about him because she isn’t sure if she really knows. As they leave, Spencer tells Hanna that the number that Ali had with the money is to the Fitzgerald Art Institute.

It was at this point that I was confused about whether or not this was real. Was it really Fitz’ family business or was this just Spencer projecting into the dream? Did Ezra really know that Spencer knew or was this just her best guess?

Ezra meets up with Toby and tells him that Alison is alive and Spencer knows about it and he knows how to find her.

Spencer is shocked to find Alison in her living room staring at the giant Alison painting on the wall. Alison says that she is jealous of the painting. Spencer finally asks her if she is afraid of Ezra. Alison says that maybe she should be scared of Spencer.

Spencer, offended, accidentally dumps the rest of the pills down her sink. Toby catches her and says that he knows Alison is alive and thinks that Spencer helped her fake her death.

Aria is at Ezra’s apartment. Not sure where she was when Ezra and Mona were threatening Spencer, but whatever, this is Pretty Little Liars and plot holes don’t matter. She tells Ezra that she wants to tell her friends. He says that they can’t trust him and that they keep secrets. He also tells Aria that he knows that Alison is alive.

Again, is this real or another Spencer fictional tale?

Aria leaves and meets Spencer at the brew. She tells Spencer that she is with Ezra again because she loves Ezra and likes Jake. Spencer is about to spill the beans about Ezra but is cut off by Hanna with news on where Alison is hiding.

The girls rush to a club to find Alison where apparently, she is a 1940’s stripper. She tells them to leave and that she wants them to stop looking. Instead of sweet Alison that talked to Emily, it is super-jerk Alison. She insults them all. Spencer calls her out and says that Alison only tells half-truths. Alison taunts the girls about not telling Aria about Ezra.

Before anyone can say anything, there is a gunshot and someone almost shoots the girls. They run together and end up in the corner of a warehouse.

Before the girls can tell Aria about Ezra, Ezra yells that it is safe for Aria to come out. She leaves her friends and walks to Ezra, but it turns out that Toby knocked him in the head. They pile into Toby’s car and drive away.

On the way, they tell Spencer to figure it out and look at the pages.

Real Life: Spencer wakes up to see herself staring out the window. She is pulled out of her black-and-white dream. She looks at the page again and realizes that the journal had been tampered with. She tells Hanna and Emily. They have enough proof to tell Aria the truth.

As they run to Aria’s house to tell her the truth, they find her kissing Ezra.

Side thoughts: The girls looked beautiful in their glamorous 1940’s outfits and black and white settings, but normally extra-sexy Ezra lost his charm.

I didn’t like this episode but next week’s episode looks exciting. What did you think about the black and white story?

image courtesy of ABC FAMILY/ANDREW ECCLES



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