This was a pretty interesting episode overall, although they’re definitely setting Aria up for some sort of reveal or trap, and I just don’t think Noel Kahn is anything but a red herring like he’s always been… Right?
We begin with brunch at the Radley, the Liars’ new favorite mimosa-filled pastime. (Hey, if anyone deserves a boozy breakfast, it’s people who have been dodging torture-prone murderers for seven years!) Spencer passes out necklaces with the girls’ names on them (my morbid first thought? I guess it’ll help identify any bodies A.D. decides to burn to a crisp?), they toast to Aria’s engagement, and all is well until they get the check. Inside it’s a note — nay, a poem! — from A.D. that reads “Roses are red, violets are blue, you killed Elliot, and I could have killed you. —A.D.” So, does A.D. not know Elliot was a stolen identity? Or are they just using terms we understand to avoid confusion?
Oh yeah, the other thing that happens at brunch? The cops come by, but they’re not looking for the Liars: They’re investigating Sara Harvey’s murder. So it was real, after all! Jenna is quietly sniffling in the corner and they applaud her (privately) for pretending to be Sara’s best friend. Jenna seems to make eye contact with Aria, sans sunglasses, and puts them back on. Slightly freaky, but what do you think? Can she secretly see again, or was that just a coincidence? Anyway, Emily tells the Liars she saw a folder labeled “Charlotte DiLaurentis” on Jenna’s computer, so they decide to try and find it later.
Speaking of Jenna, remember when she told the Liars she was in town for Toby’s engagement party? According to Toby, she came back to ask for forgiveness. We’re treated to a flashback of the two step-siblings on a porch watching fireworks. Jenna’s crying because she’s starting to lose the ability to see things in her mind, like her one-time lover Toby’s face. (Anyone else always forget about their “relationship”?) Toby puts her hands on his face so she can “see” him, and then she tries to make a move but gets swiftly denied. Honestly, Toby, I do think you were kind of giving her signs there. She didn’t exactly misread the moment, right?
Over at the DiLaurentis-Drake home, there’s a gorgeous, familiar face back in town: Jason DiLaurentis! And boy, has the time jump done him good — with long hair, a scruffy beard, and an outfit Ali says is just missing some Warby Parker frames, Jason is looking better than ever. And pretty Jesus-like, if you ask me. Symbolism?
He’s been appointed Ali’s court-ordered caretaker, which is good for him because he doesn’t trust Mary Drake in the least. He scolds Ali for getting married without telling him, and she reminds him that he and Mr. D have not exactly been present for Friday dinners. Oh, the other fun thing? Elliot didn’t just clear Ali’s accounts — he cleared out the whole Carissimi Group! So Jason has more than a few reasons to dislike this dude.
Next up: Apparently Yvonne’s in the hospital because she got…beat up? Got into a car accident? Am I an idiot? I have no idea what happened to her, nor do I remember her going to the hospital — and according to Twitter, at least some people are with me. Is this a thread from a previous episode they’re just tying up really late, or did they cut a scene or something? Anyway, yeah, Yvonne is in the hospital.
Ezra and Aria, meanwhile, have wasted no time in starting their wedding planning. But even though it was all Ezra’s idea, the thought of choosing colors is making him hyperventilate, and he asks Aria if she wants to just elope. But not in Vegas — in Italy! Aria’s unconvinced, and even in the rest of the episode, I can’t tell if she wants to go, or if she just wants to make him happy. Doesn’t that fashionista want to show off her dress in front of everyone?
Hanna’s at the Radley investigating Sara’s hotel room. Caleb, apparently, has been hired by Hanna’s mom for hotel security. Makes sense… But also, come on. In a move that’s pretty evil for Caleb, he poses as a masseuse for poor blind Jenna so Hanna and Spencer can swipe (from Jenna’s purse) the keys to the lockbox in Sara’s room.
Emily is bartending downstairs, and creepy Noel Kahn waves a hundred-dollar bill to get her attention before verbally slapping her in the face: “I always knew you’d never get out of Rosewood.” Jeez, Noel!
But then, as Spencer and Hanna unlock the box and discover some files, Noel comes into the room — and he’s not happy. They hide under the bed and remain unseen, despite Noel crouching down to open the lock box and place a burned file in it, then kick a table because he’s so angry. “Tell her I’m running out of time and patience,” he says to someone on the phone. I think he’s also running out of brain cells, because there is no way he wouldn’t have seen Spencer and Hanna. I cannot suspend my disbelief this far, I’m sorry. I buy the twin ghosts that once visited Ashley Marin more than I buy Noel not seeing the girls under the bed. Turns out one of the files contains Mary Drake’s DNA sequence? So that should be interesting, especially given something we learn later (but more on that in a bit). Also, Hanna tells Caleb she and Jordan broke up. Then she compares losing someone to losing a limb… But she’s not talking about Jordan; she’s talking about Caleb. She asks if they’re still friends, and Caleb says, “Always.” I’m seeing another reunion in the near future.
In the middle of her elopement conversation, Aria gets an unexpected text from Jason. Turns out she and Jason secretly dated during the time jump — I am loooooving this!!!! — but he doesn’t seem to want her back, exactly. He just wants Aria to help him convince Ali that Aunt Mary probably isn’t the reformed villain she’s making herself out to be.
At dinner that night, where Jason is supposed to be giving Mary a chance, he brings a surprise of his own: Aria! Ali is very suspicious — as she has a right to be, I think. Jason freaks out because Mary says her specialty is Beef Wellington, which apparently was Jessica’s specialty, too. (This is actually not that surprising, Jason. They’re sisters.) Then there’s that whole thing about the necklace Mary has that Jessica apparently stole. Necklaces were big tonight, guys. I think they’re going to mean something soon.
Anyway, Mary shares a flashback of seeing Jason years ago at Aunt Carol’s house (so wait, was Aunt Carol always Mary? Or was Aunt Carol actually a third sister? Or someone else?) right after Charlotte apparently died. Mary is furious Charles is dead and Jessica didn’t say anything, but Jessica says, “You are not the victim here. You gave birth, but he was my son. Don’t ever forget that.” I wonder… Do you think Mary was a surrogate for Jessica? Especially since she would have been pregnant in Radley and people wouldn’t have really known? That would explain some of the complexity. Anyway, after that fight, Jessica apparently went to her storm cellar for a few hours. To which Ali says, “Aunt Carol had a storm cellar?” Looks like a clue!
So Emily and Aria are talking, and Emily doesn’t want to do the storm-cellar exploration tonight because it’s her mom’s birthday, and Aria doesn’t want to do it tomorrow because she’s supposed to be eloping with Ezra. She still isn’t sure it’s the right choice, but when Emily tells her she’ll remember getting married a lot more than she’ll remember not breaking into a storm cellar, that’s all the convincing Aria needs.
This episode couldn’t end without Spencer getting her heart ripped open once more. During a conversation with Toby, she urges him to take Yvonne and get out of Rosewood, which makes Toby ask her to confess what else she knows that he doesn’t.
Then later, he comes to Spencer’s and confesses he didn’t start building that house like in The Notebook for Yvonne — it was actually for Spencer. BUT, Yvonne’s hospital scare made him realize he couldn’t live without her, so they’re moving to Maine to get away from Rosewood (and Spencer) and start a family! I wonder how this will affect Spencer in the episodes to come… Personally, I vote for some rebounding with Det. Marco Furey. Plus, the Liars need another source at the police station, you know?
That night, the Liars (plus Ali, minus Aria) go to the storm cellar. And, of course, it’s a gold mine. Looks like Jessica had a file on every single one of them — except Aria. What does it mean?! Is Ezra bad again? Is “A” going to finally be “Aria” like so many people initially thought? The files — and photos on the walls — seem to mean Jessica was investigating Ali’s disappearance.
Anyway, they also find Mary’s medical files in there, because Jessica was in charge of her care. And then they find a bombshell: Apparently Mary had a second child who would be the Liars’ age now. To which someone rightfully says to Ali, “Well, that’s great. Now you have another cousin who wants to kill us.” Unless that other baby is Ali! Which, again, would explain so much…
Quickly, back at Ezra’s, the lovebirds are about to head out for Italy when the FBI shows up at Ezra’s door. “We have reason to believe Nicole may be alive,” they tell him. Of. Course. I knew she was going to be alive. Of course the only thing that could derail an Ezria wedding might be happening. The question is… Is she actually alive? And who does Ezra love more? To be honest, Aria has a lot of pretty solid backup plans if the Ezra thing falls through…*cough* JASON *cough*
Back at the storm cellar, the girls have to run outside because Spencer’s car alarm is going off and all the doors are open. The keys are gone, and yet Spencer says the only way to stop the alarm is to get inside and shut the doors. The doors then lock from the outside, of course, and a screen lights up and counts down to 20. The girls try and fail to escape, so they brace themselves for the car’s explosion… But it doesn’t happen. A note flashes onto the screen: “If you find out who I am before I find out who killed Charlotte, you die.” GREAT! What a fun game! This must mean they were getting pretty close… Especially because, seconds later, it’s Jessica’s lair that explodes into a cloud of fire and dust. Hope they took some cell-phone photos down there? As if that weren’t bad enough, the person takes advantage of the dust on the back windshield to write with their finger, really, really slowly: “I SEE YOU.” Hanna turns around mid-sentence and whispers to the others. They are freaked out. This is very scary. Also, did A.D. return the keys, or…? How do they get home after this?
In the last scene, in A.D.’s lair, we see more boxes of Charlotte’s books. And there it is: Aria’s file. But before we can theorize even more about that (now I feel like maybe Aria’s being targeted), A.D. whips out Noel Kahn’s file — and then throws it in the garbage, pours liquor on it, takes a match out of the upside-down doll-head where they store their matches (is that an organization idea from a special Pinterest for Demented Villains Only?), and lights it on fire. So, more information lost before we ever get to see it.
Guys, what is the deal with Noel? Do you buy any of this? Is he really evil, or is he just a distraction with very straight teeth and hundred-dollar bills? I don’t know about you, but I would take Jenna and Sara Harvey over Noel any day. Noel… I just don’t get his motives. Plus, you can’t just walk around with the same name Scott Foley had in Felicity and expect me to like you. There is only one Noel! And he’s not evil! Though, he does have pretty good teeth.