Pretty Little Liars kicked off Season 4 tonight with a premiere episode loaded with death, destruction, and designer duds. Watch in awe as Hanna Marin’s (Ashley Benson) hair grows by the inch as the hour-long episode, “‘A’ is for A-l-i-v-e,” passes by! He is a teacher, so it would make sense that Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) could learn to throw icy shade with the best of them by the close of the premiere. It seemed all Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) needed to put a smile back on her face and some pep in her step was to get laid on the previous season finale. Then again, maybe without Toby (Keegan Allen) in tow, there was no one left in Hastings Manor to brew her special roast of champions. Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Paige (Lindsey Shaw) certainly look happy heading into Season 4. They also looked a bit blurry for one scene there, as we caught a glimpse from behind the eyes of Jenna Marshall (Tammin Surscok), whose post-surgery eyesight seems to work just like an Instagram filter. News Flash: Everyone in town is afraid of Melissa Hastings because, let’s be honest, she’s a generally scary human being. Let’s begin the Recap and Review of PLL Season 4 Episode 1:
Episode 1 opened just where the Season 3 finale had left off; with a dirtied up group of Liars, save for Spencer who doesn’t allow dirt to touch her face, opening up the trunk of Wilden’s (Bryce Johnson) police car. What’s in the trunk? How many times has Pretty Little Liars been prompted to guess what’s in the trunk since the unanimous *gasp* that closed out the prior episode? R.I.P. Pig! No, I’m not referring to a dead police officer. Not yet, anyway. The mysterious body was that of an actual swine. Well, I for one knew that all along. That’s why I’m paid to do this.
It seemed as though crafty Mona (Janel Parrish) had used the distraction in the trunk to bolt, but instead she planted herself in the driver’s seat in order to finagle the chip, containing the footage of Hanna’s mother running over Wilden, out of the car’s system. Mission accomplished! After making their way back to Hastings Manor, Mona was rewarded with leering glares of death and a near pummeling from Emily. In order to prove herself, the original A decided to spill her information. Lucas gave Emily the massage of doom. Jenna and Shawna are terrified of Melissa. Mona didn’t kill Ian or set up the car scheme. The next morning, Mona returned with coffees and scones. Who else was fascinated by the writers’ attempts at matching the girls to complex coffee choices? The Liars still refused to buy Mona’s routine. Me, on the other hand, I’m the kind of moron who would have forgiven everything on the spot for a free iced grande americano.
Mona: “Mi casa es su casa.”
Hanna: “In English.”
From one dead pig to another, A had left Wilden lying cold in the street. Apparently having been riddled with bullet holes, the Liars began to realize that the original trunk set-up was merely a means of getting them to the scene of the future crime. Were the Liars being pegged for Wilden’s death? Of course they were! They always fall for that trick! Mona knew to wear her gloves before lifting the trunk open. Could she be trusted? Again, she bought you scones, Liars, and multigrain ones at that.
Mona’s Winnebago lair contained even more secrets. For example, footage of Wilden looking absolutely bizarre as he stuffed Aria (Lucy Hale) into that crate on the Halloween A-Train. Yep, Officer Wilden was the Queen of Hearts. What a way to go, Bryce Johnson. Unfortunately, Mona’s hard drive was wiped clean before she could reveal Wilden’s partner in crime to be Melissa Hastings. Outside, the Liars were drawn to a playground where little girls, girls who freakishly resembled themselves, played with dolls… named Aria, Emily, Spencer, Hanna, and Steve. No, of course not. Even Mona had a matching dorky mini-self and doll. Gifts from their friend, Alison (Sasha Pieterse), allegedly. Wow, kids sure love Alison, so would I if she bought me presents.
Knowing the location to now be unsafe, Hanna agreed to accompany Mona to lock up the Winnebago that night, much to Emily’s disappointment. Emily remained firmly against Mona, while Hanna thought it wise to keep her friends close but her frenemies closer. Still, there was a always little something to Hanna that clued us in to her desire to trust and believe her former friend. Maybe these other girls are just poor shopping buddies. Spencer has never heard of shoplifting, obviously. The two would spend the day together shopping for Chanel, while Hanna continued to attempt to fool Mona into complacent comfort. Hanna needed that police car chip. Funny enough, Mona used the chip to prove her loyalty to her old friend, handing it over selflessly. Well, who knows really? It could all be part of some elaborate scheme, although I really do believe discovering Red Coat’s identity is Mona’s priority for now. Bullying the Liars again just doesn’t seem like it would make sense.
Emily had her own hands full, quite literally, as Alison’s mother decided to replant her life, yet again, in Rosewood. Emily dropped by and was immediately put to work lifting boxes and helping the woman move in. Question: Is it bad that I would have made up some excuse to not have to do any lifting, while still finding a way to snoop inside said boxes? Basically, Emily discovered that Alison’s mother was planning on rebuilding Alison’s room. A shrine to Ali, and our first taste of crazy from Mrs. Dilaurentis. Later, Spencer would catch a glimpse of the woman staring like a lunatic from her window next door. See:
Scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Doesn’t she know that classic “get caught glaring and flinch away” move? Another nutjob for these poor Liars to deal with, as though fifty or so weren’t enough already.
On the positive side of things, Emily and Paige seem to be doing amazingly well. Paige, first off, has never looked better. Lindsey Shaw has finally fully grown out the coconut hairdo from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. Also, Paige has the opportunity to swim for Stanford, and tell me you weren’t set on driving across the country with her? She should study to work as a travel agent because her attempt to convince Emily to follow her to California basically turned me into a lesbian. I want to study on the beach with Paige! Outside, Emily sent Paige off with a kiss following her decision to shoot for Stanford as well. From across the street, Jenna stood watching before complimenting the cute couple. More importantly, Emily noticed a burn on her arm. I can’t place Jenna. Maybe that’s the point, but I think I want her to be somehow on their side? Wilden’s name is Darren, by the way. Thanks for the information, Jenna. Jenna, fearing she’d be the next to turn up dead in the street, asked Emily to pass on her apologies to Toby for ever hurting him.
While Emily and Paige seemed to be doing better than ever, Aria and Ezra were all but completely over. A surprise Ezria encounter happened at the coffee shop. We learned of Ezra’s decision to take a full-time job at Rosewood High, aggravating Aria who’d been trying to forget him entirely. Ezra was Ezra no more. We are now looking at a Mr. Fitz. By the way, Mr. Fitz, invest in a personal steamer because that shirt looked like it came out of a dumpster. At school, Aria watched as Ezra chatted up the students before noticing that the Vice Principal caught a glimpse of her googly eyes. A call down to his office proved to set the nightmare Aria had always feared into motion. Ezra Fitz was being arrested and charged with the felony of sleeping with a student thanks to an anonymous tip from “someone” with pictures of the two in bed. Aria scampered down the hallway, bawling her eyes out, only to watch Mr. Fitz getting taken away in cuffs. That’s it for Mr. Fitz, folks! Prison forever! No, not really, it was all just a daydream. Aria was simply asked to take some stuff home to her mother; however, the scare was enough to write Ezra off for good.
It’s nice to see Spencer combing her hair again, right? Toby cooked her breakfast as she continued to sift through information surrounding the murder and the fire at the lodge. The two had previously scoured the grounds of the rubble, only to come up short. Toby had seen workers handling the red coat, but someone must have swiped it. Perhaps it was the same someone who ran for the hills at the sight of the two of them digging for dirt. While Pretty Little Liars decided to give Hastings a bit of a break heading into Season 4, Episode 1 surely set things in motion for a troubled Toby. Toby had been getting his own series of A texts surrounding his dead mother. A has information that Toby wants. A flashback featured Toby and Alison about to get hot and heavy before his sick mother stumbled in, completely out of it. Alison cracked a joke once she left the room, prompting a very nerdy pre-show Toby to kick her out.
Spencer had received her own iPad version of an A text, warning her that Wilden’s casket would contain some incriminating clue. By the way, this new A is crafty. Literally, the woman/ man knows how to create a beautiful collage of colors and images for her evil messages. Before Wilden’s funeral, Spencer would sneak into a back room to creep inside his casket. Mona, having received the same text, leant her a helping hand. A phone rang from inside, and after finding the cell, the two dialed a previous caller named “kisses.” Hanna answered. It was her mother’s phone.
Something to note: We have a new creeptastic and cloaked adversary heading into Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars. Who is the mysterious woman in black that attended Wilden’s funeral? Was that costume not a bit much? These enemies love to be defined by crazy clothing. Toby, at the request of whoever is in charge now, drove the entire Winnebago into the woods. Apparently, information on his mother’s death was worth it. Remember when Spencer defiled her grave? Fun times in Rosewood!
Fitz Foto Bomb!
Meanwhile, Ezra transformed himself into DC super-villainess Killer Frost to ensure that Aria kept her distance. One icy glance and snub sent Aria far far away. Fitz, piece of advice, you don’t have to go to every funeral. The Liars managed to squeeze into a pew together, reminding us of the scene from Ali’s memorial service way back during the PLL premiere episode. They refused to scooch over for poor Mona, though. After the service, the Liars were introduced to Officer Holbrook, a transfer from somewhere in Pennsylvania who was recruited to cover the murders of Garret and Wilden. Strangely, he seems downright great. He was nice, polite, and referred to Wilden’s handling of their cases as inappropriately personal. The episode ended, however, with one last A text… a video of the girls at the scene of Wilden’s death the night prior.
What did you think of the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Premiere, “‘A’ is for A-l-i-v-e”? Based off of episode 1, do you think this will be the best season yet? Will you miss Wilden? Is Hanna’s mom, Ms. M, in trouble? Did Toby make a huge mistake? Is Ezria really over forever? Does Alison’s mom have some insane agenda? Did you catch all of the references to the pilot?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Pretty Little Liars, Season 4 Premiere, Episode 1, “‘A’ is for A-l-i-v-e”!