Breaking news! Garrett Reynolds has pled not guilty to the murder of Alison DiLaurentis! I know because it’s on TV in Spencer’s house and all the girls are watching it! Did Garrett become a cop just to destroy evidence? Probably. They’re talking about “page 5″ and Spencer knows that Jenna gave the page to the police because her mom said so. Don’t hire Spencer’s mom as your lawyer if you don’t want her blabbing about your biz all over town, people. And then Melissa shows up and is all, Ian didn’t kill Alison . . . And “I know how Jenna went blind and so does Garrett. If he killed Alison, it’s because she deserved it.”
“Meh. Whaddaya gonna do?”
Melissa sure is acting strange, but I’m digging it. As soon as Melissa leaves, everyone gets a text from “A,” saying that if they don’t give back what they have, one of them will die. And then Spencer answers the door — it was a messenger with invitations to the Rosewood Junior Society Masquerade Ball. Oh, good. We haven’t had a dance in about 2 episodes. I was beginning to wonder. “A” wants them to be there at midnight. And then Spencer’s all, Hide and seek was my favorite game with Melissa because I always won. Oy. Buckle up, kids. I think this is gonna be a bumpy one.
Got a secret. Can you keep it? Here’s a secret: This song is dumb. There. I said it.
Before school (of course), Aria, Hanna, and Emily are talking about how Melissa is totes “A.” But maybe Jenna is too. Spencer comes up and says that they are going to look through the bag of Alison’s stuff, find some clues, and smoke “A” out like the smoking . . . thing . . . she is. Mona arrives and wants everyone to go shopping for costumes with her, but everyone has excuses.
So now that Ezra’s gone, Aria thinks it’s cool to have all the girls over at his place. Aria says that she and Ezra might be over this time. Like, over, over. Like, We’re so over, we need a new word for over. God, this is a wordy episode. It’s gonna be a bitch to recap. Hanna’s sick of lying to everyone she cares about and then Aria tells her to get off Ezra’s bed because it’s “sacred ground.” Barf. Luckily, they don’t discuss it any further. Thank god. Spencer finds a pen with the name “Dougherty’s Landing” on it and thanks to the internet, they find out that it’s an airstrip outside of town and there’s also a resort close by, which matches up to a postcard found in Alison’s bag. Since Duncan flew Alison to an airstrip, maybe she stayed in the resort. Okay — why are they just now getting to this crap when they’ve had the bag for days/weeks?
Later that windy, dark night, they’re on their way to the resort, when something runs out in front of Spencer’s car, scaring everyone. Fine, me included. They pull up to the Lost Woods Resort, where Norman Bates Lite checks them in for the night.
“We have 12 vacancies. Twelve cabins, twelve vacancies. Would you like to reserve a wake-up stabbing?”
Spencer signs the ledger as “Mary Smith” and then asks about room 1 and says their friend “Vivian Darkbloom” stayed in that room and said it kicked ass. Norman Bates Lite says he doesn’t talk about the people who stay at the Lost Woods Resort. Mostly because he stabs all of them in the shower while dressed as his dead mother and that doesn’t make for polite conversation. Oh, you guys, I really want to watch “Psycho” now. I heart that movie. Hanna trips and falls down in a puddle outside. I don’t know if that’s supposed to mean anything, but it was pretty funny.
They enter the room and Emily says she’s not sure what they’re looking for.
A new decorator, perhaps?
It’s like Grandma’s House of Dusty Crap From the 50s, and the blankets are probably The Itchiest Blankets Ever From the 60s. I miss staying at my grandma’s house . . . The girls wonder if Alison was alone or with someone when she was there. Aria and Spencer decide to go to the office to snoop around. The office is complete with taxidermied (taxidermed? taxidermized?) animals and what’s probably a portrait of Norman Bates Lite’s mother. And back in the room, Hanna’s about to take a shower. Come on, PLL — if it’s this effing blatant, at least make a sarcastic or flippant comment about it. Oh, wait, I think I see the famous Alfred Hitchcock cameo!
Blink and you’ll miss it.
Emily gets a phone call and is all, “Maya?! Can you hear me?” She goes outside, but she can’t get a signal. More “Psycho” references as the cool Hitchcock Blonde (Hanna) takes a shower. Aria and Spencer find the guest register and find out that Alison/Vivian checked into the lodge the day before she went missing. And then a person in a black hoodie runs outside! And then the hooded person is outside the shower! And then Hanna gets out of the shower to find the room’s door open!
Well, that’s enough suspense for now, kids, because it’s the next morning and Spencer is telling the others that Alison stayed at the lodge twice — the first time was when she was supposed to meet “A” in Brookhaven. And then the hooded person removes a photo and watches the girls from a peephole. This has passed homage and entered the realm of blatant rip-off, people.
Exhibit “A.” (Haha — get it?)
Aria and Spencer (or “Team Sparia” as Spencer cutely calls them) go to put back the guest register. In broad daylight. That’s a great idea. Hanna comes back in all bummed because Caleb can’t take her to the ball (his mom is coming in town. Or he’s finally going to Mastercuts. I don’t know) and she wanted him to be Romeo to her Juliet. Hanna’s wanted to be Juliet ever since some other chick beat her for the role in a sixth grade play. Sixth graders performing Shakespeare? That is some legitimate theatre. Emily says that she’ll go to the ball with Hanna (awwww), but she’s “not dressing like a dude.” She’s such a Portia. Spencer and Aria run in and say they have to leave because Norman Bates Lite is back and he’ll find out they touched his stuff and everyone grabs their bags and runs because it’s so exciting supposedly!
When did a robot move to Rosewood? Oh, it’s just Toby. I thought it was a sophisticated cyborg who’d been programmed for everything but love . . . and any other emotion, for that matter. He’s throwing some burned stuff away. Spencer asks him about the fire and Jenna, who seems fine, according to Toby. Spencer says that if Jenna can forgive her (um, you should look into that, Spence) then Toby should be able to.
“Forgive: To give up resentment or claim requital for — SYSTEM ERROR 404. SHUTTING DOWN.”
Oh no! The Tobot has crashed! Someone bring in the backup Tobot 2.0. Toby says he has work to do. Oh, cyborgs are cold, y’all. Spencer says that Toby doesn’t have to be the guy that won’t let anybody in. Burn! Toby gets a call as Spencer drives off and he’s all, “Dr. Sullivan?” What? This is a strange turn of events . . .
Jenna’s putting on some whore red lipstick in a car, looking at herself in the mirror. She’s in a park and meets someone, taking off her sunglasses to reveal her miracle eyes. She says she wondered about this moment, about meeting the person again. She hands him/her a costume or a blanket or something and is all, They’ll be at the ball; you know what you have to do.
Time for the ball. What the hell kind of party budget does this town have? There are like, real trees at the dance. Maybe if they focused less on having a dance every other day, they could, like, solve murders and junk. Our gals arrive at the masquerade ball, wearing eye masks. This is what bugs me about masquerade balls on TV shows (besides the fact that out of the hundreds of people I know, no one has ever actually gone to a masquerade ball): People always wear stupid eye masks that really don’t hide who they are at all. It’d be so easy to tell who they are. They decide to split up and look around for “A” or Melissa or Jenna or cupcakes. Caleb’s at the dance, it turns out. But how did he know it was Hanna?! I mean, you can’t see her cheekbones! Turns out Mona set the whole thing up and Hanna’s all, I love you, Mona and Mona loves her too.
Spencer tells Mona that even though she hides behind a facade of “superficial bitch” she’s a great friend to Hanna. Well, sure, NOW. Last season? Not so much. They talk about Alison and Spencer says she’s sorry for not sticking up for Mona when Alison treated her like shit. Then Mona says she went to Brookhaven for her costume and says she saw Alison there last year. Who wants a flashback? You do. Past Dorky Mona sees Alison at the shop and Alison tells Mona that she’s watching someone from a window and “it’s not a game.” Mona says she’ll keep her mouth shut if she can be popular. Alison writes her phone number down on the part of the Lodge postcard. Annnnnnnd we’re back to the ball. Spencer asks if Mona saw who Alison was watching and then realizes that Alison checked into the Lodge not to get away from “A,” but to follow her. Or him. Whatever.
Aria wonders away into some dark corridor (this is the most poorly lit and confusing dance ever) and then someone in a mask follows her and it turns out to be Jenna. The music says we’re supposed to be surprised and thrilled, but no, music. Just . . . just no.
Where the eff is Aria? Is there a hall of mirrors at this dance? Oh, and then Ezra shows up in an eye mask and says he can’t stay away from her. Well, I have a court order that says different, Ezra. Spencer calls Emily and says she’s on her way back to the Lodge. Room 2, she says, is never available because (wait for it, wait for it) room 2 is rented, which means (I guess) that “A” is staying in room 2 and Alison rented room 1 to spy on “A.” Emily tells her not to go alone, but it’s cool — Spencer’s with Mona.
“I’m gonna have to stop for some beef jerky and b.q. CornNuts, just FYI. And we’ll be listening to Nickelback the entire way there.”
That’s just mean, Mona. It’s 10:00, meaning Spencer has two hours to get back. Emily thinks she sees Jenna. Back at the Bates Motel (why even bother at this point?), Spencer is drinking tea with Norman Bates Lite and Mona waves to her, signaling that she’s got the key to room 2. So they unlock the door and *GASP!*
“Wow. That is A LOT of Twilight posters.”
But first, let’s return to the dance so we can focus on things that matter. Which includes anything but Ezra and Aria, but here we go anyway. They’re dancing and Ezra’s all, “This is our first dance. I want to see you.” Ugh. They dramatically take off their masks as some song by Lady Antebellum or similar plays. Maybe it’s the fact that this episode is almost over and I’m giddy, but Ezra looks kind of handsome in this lighting. Blah blah blah statutory kiss blah. It’s 10:45 and Paige (NOT Samara. I figured it out.) taps Emily on the shoulder.
Back at the Bates Motel, Mona and Spencer enter room 2, which is COVERED with photos and clippings of Alison and doll masks and shit. Okay, this? Was kind of creepy. Spencer tells Mona that it’s “A’s” lair.
Paige tells Emily that she’s sorry for kissing her and they had a special connection, but she messed it up. Emily says it was okay that Paige wasn’t ready and Paige (who is looking very, very pretty, by the way) says that she wants to be honest and she cares about Emily and will be there for her. Emily says that what she needs now is a friend. Dammit, Emily, just date Paige. Sure, she tried to drown you, but even knowing that, she’s 1000% better than Maya (who I hope is dead. Sorry, folks, but I do. I hope Maya’s dead and can never return).
Back at “A’s” room, Spencer and Mona are going through stuff and Spencer sees some Bratz dolls that represent she and her friends.
Apparently “A” couldn’t find a doll of indiscriminate racial origin and had to settle on the black one to represent Emily.
I think Emily’s latina, right? He dad looks kind of Asian, though, so I’m not sure. Maybe she’s Native American. Not that it matters to me! I don’t care about the color of someone’s skin. I only care that they worship Jesus. Anyway, let’s get back to what’s important: Finishing this recap so I can have a break from this show. Spencer and Mona find some drawings of “A’s” costume that “A” just conveniently left lying around. It’s a swan costume. Well, they’ve already ripped “Psycho” to shreds, so let’s get started on “Black Swan.” You know, considering it was so easy to find “A’s” hiding place and break into his/her room, I think “A” wants to get caught.
At the ball, Hanna wonders who the girl is in the swan costume. Back at the Bates Motel, Mona offers Spencer some gum!! OHMIGOD!! Then Spencer finds Alison’s diary with a gum wrapper in it as a bookmark, she tells Mona that Melissa was the black swan for some party, then she tells Mona that she does want some gum (because she’s suspicious of anyone who chews spearmint gum) and Mona goes to her car to get some more.
Back at the ball, the other girls are trying to figure out who the girl in the swan costume is. They don’t know, but she’s talking with Lucas (Yay!) and Jenna.
Bates Motel time again. Mona comes back in with the gum.
Oh, and Mona is “A.”
DAMMIT, DAMMIT, DAMMIT. Well, I can’t say I was surprised, but I am disappointed. It’d be nice if Mona comes back as a regular next season, but I’d rather her be superficial bitch Mona than crazy “A” Mona. Also, if you’ve read the books, how pissed are you right now? Because this is pretty much the same. And the people at PLL lied to us because they said they were going in a “different direction.” If by “different” you mean “being lazy and copying the book,” then yeah. “Different.” Anyway, Mona is A and she punches Spencer really hard.
At the ball, Black Swan runs out of the building but the girls can’t catch up with her. Hanna finds one of her feathers on the floor. Spencer comes to — Mona’s driving them somewhere really really fast. The other girls try to call Spencer, but Hanna’s phone is a p.o.s. And Emily finds out that Hanna’s phone is set to record every time it’s turned on. Okay. Sure. Fine. We’ll go with that.
Spencer realizes that Mona just made up the flashback to Brookhaven — Alison actually spied Mona. Ooh, a false protagonist/antagonist, where have I seen that before? Oh, right, “Stage Fright.” Another Hitchcock movie. Mona says that she admires Spencer, so she’s giving her a choice: She can “join the A-Team, or [she] can disappear.” And then Spencer covertly Skypes Aria on her phone (or something, I don’t have a fancy phone) and the other girls figure out that Mona is A (I’m not putting “A” in quotes anymore now that I know who she is. It’s kind of freeing.) Spencer says that Mona almost killed Hanna — how could she do that? Mona says it’s easier to forgive an enemy than it is to forgive a friend. I don’t know what she means by that, but fine. Spencer wonders how Mona could be everywhere and Mona says “You bitches underestimated me.” I’ll say. Spencer mentions Look Out Point (oh, is that next to the Kissing Rock?) and Aria says she knows a shortcut (of course).
More Mona driving fast down the road. Mona tells Spencer that this ENTIRE A thing has been about Aria, Emily, and Spencer stealing Hanna as a friend. Seriously? There’s no other motive? Lame. Jenna, Melissa, Garrett — they all have much better motives. Oh, hold on, I think I just saw something:
Mona says that she has Spencer’s dad’s gun and then Spencer pulls the parking brake, causing them to, you know, park the car quickly and violently. Then Spencer gets out of the car, the other girls pull up, Mona screams and runs after Spencer, tackling her and fighting with her, and then Mona trips. Spencer tries to save her from falling off Look Out Point, but Mona falls anyway. God, Mona, it’s called Look Out Point for a reason — look out, bitch! The ambulance and cops arrive and here comes Dr. Sullivan. Mona threatened Dr. Sullivan’s son, so she had to split, but now she’s back. Hanna is crying, then all the other girls are crying, then someone yells, “She’s alive!” and we see Mona on the ground . . .
And then we see Mona in a mental institution, just like Norman Bates, and Dr. Sullivan gives us a diagnosis, just like the dude at the end of “Psycho.” Dr. Sullivan says Mona was “living in a perpetual state of hyper-reality.” She got adrenaline rushes and this, combined with her intelligence, made Mona “seem all-knowing.” Sure, doc. Sure. Dr. Sullivan says that with therapy and the right medications, Mona might be okay. And then, because whoever wrote this episode wants to beat us over the head with the fact that this episode is JUST LIKE PSYCHO, Mona gives a voice-over, so we can hear what’s going on in her head, and maybe she has multiple personalities or something.
Dr. Sullivan says that one of the girls’ friends helped her out. That friend was Toby, who’s at the hospital. Toby tells Spencer that “pretending not to love [her] was the hardest thing [he's] ever done.” Harder than emoting, Tobot? I’m not so sure. They kiss. The girls all head home and they agree to all stay at Emily’s house. But when they get there, there’s an ambulance and police and junk. Pam’s okay, you guys. But she tells Emily that the police found a body, and . . . they think it’s Maya! Hahahahahaha! LOVE. LOVE. IT. Emily’s crying and junk, which, whatever, I guess it’s sad for her. But not for me!!
Back at the institution, Mona has a visitor, but we don’t see him/her. Mona: “I did everything you asked me to.” Oh, geez.
If you haven’t seen “Psycho,” you really should. It’s still an amazing piece of cinema. They probably have it at your library for free, so go get on that shit.
Well, that’s it. This finale kind of sucked, right? To be honest, this was going to be the crux of the decision of whether I keep recapping or not. If the episode was great, I’d stay. If it sucked, I’d stop recapping. It was mostly suck. So. What’s my decision?
I’ll let you know in my recap of next season’s premiere. See you in June, my little cupcakes.
To get the funniest quotes from TVgasm recaps as they’re posted, follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page! You can post your favorite lines right back at us. Thanks for being here!
To follow my personal tweets, click here.