In four seasons of chasing Ali and characters dying (or not dying), nothing could prepare viewers for the best reveal in "Pretty Little Liars" history.
The girls are at Spencer’s house when a news brief flashes that an unnamed witness is coming forward with details on Detective Wilden’s death. Hanna knows the fate of her mother is in the hands of Travis. Remaining optimistic, the girls believe that he is telling the truth and not part of the A team.
Did someone say A?
A package addressed to all of the girls arrives at Spencer’s door. When the girls open it, four magic 8-balls convey the message “If she goes free, you’ll hear from me.” - A. Without hesitation, the girls decide it is time to assemble the troops and fight World War A.
In order for Travis' story to make sense, Ashley must participate in a police line-up so he can identify the woman who was at the scene of Detective Wilden’s murder before the shots were fired. While the district attorney meets with Travis, Ashley has a moment with Caleb, thanking him for taking care of Hanna and sticking by her family while everything was going on. She even tells him to call her Ashley, versus Mrs. Merrin. The district attorney then tells Ashley that she has decided to dropped all of the charges against her!
In a moment that hasn’t been seen since season one, Ezra invites “Miss Montgomery” to stay after class, so he can thank her for being there for him. Unlike season one, Aria reveals that she was there as a friend, breaking every viewer’s heart again.
Ezra and Aria are friends, Caleb and Hanna are stronger than ever, Paige and Emily are having sleepovers so they can “protect” each other, and Toby is rejecting all of Spencer’s phone calls. One relationship had to be on the rocks…Why?
At Hanna’s house, the girls see Ashley off on a date with Pastor Ted and receive another mysterious package from A. This time, there is a child’s coffin with a mini Mona inside. Before the girls can piece anything together, the news of the newest suspect breaks in Detective Wilden’s murder investigation…Cece Drake.
Hanna can’t get in contact with Mona (who has been missing for the last three episodes) and soon finds out that she has been released from Radley. Spencer goes to Wren’s house to look for her, but notices Jenna’s car parked outside. Emily and Paige attend French Club Fridays to no avail, and Aria cooks dinner and watches Jake as he sleeps during the movie. Is it me or is he being a little distant?
Mona still hasn’t been located.
During a “poor Toby” moment, we watch him as he goes through a box of his mother’s belongings and cries. Just as he is leaving The Brewm he notices Shana rushing out and dropping some type of document. At last he calls Spencer, and they decide to talk. Toby tells Spencer that the letter Shana’s dropped contained the name of Wren and Mellissa. Why? Spencer shares with Toby how anxious his disappearance and failure to pick up her phone calls made her. Remember the time Toby died?
Caleb and Hanna remain on the lookout for Mona outside of her house. Paige and Emily worry at Paige’s house (with an open door). Aria finds comfort in the arms of Ezra, after kicking Jake out and making her way to The Brew.
All is fine with every couple…almost like the calm before the storm.
The gifts keep on coming! A magic box with a saw that reads “Watch me make a girl disappear” leaves the girls piecing together all of the clues, which leads to a magic show in Ravenswood.
The Great Charlamane uses Aria in his first act. Putting her into a box, he makes her disappear and reappear. When Aria comes back, the girls notice A had a trick up her sleeve, making Emily disappear while all eyes were on Aria.
A phone call to Emily leads to a saw mill. Over Emily’s screams of terror, the girls rush to get her out of the box before she becomes the victim of A’s magic trick and is sawed in half. Before she can become two-part girl, red coat stops the saw and she is freed.
But which red coat is it? Aria runs after one, and Spencer chases down another. After using her self-defense tactics to corner red coat number one (thanks, Jake), red coat flies over the ledge, revealing that she is Cece. As Cece struggles for her life, Aria tries to help her but fails; Cece falls over the ledge and dies.
Just kidding, as soon as the girls turn their heads, she gets away! You’re right, Hanna. “That bitch has nine lives.”
Spencer tells the girls she thinks Ali is the red coat she was chasing, who led her to her lair. When the girls arrive in the den, they notice all of their secrets, a timeline of each major event and computers with cameras documenting every move. After finding blazers and putting together all of the clues, the girls figure out that Ali is still alive (gasp!) and whoever the older gentlemen is in the board shorts, who spent summers with Ali … is A.
As the girls head to the party to get to Ali before A can, they are stopped by Mrs. Grunwald. She informs the girls that she was with Ali the night she disappeared. She says she found her way back to Rosewood and saw Ali bloody and reaching out of the unmarked grave. She then put Ali into her car and took her to the hospital. When she went in to get help, Ali slipped out of the car and she hasn’t seen her since.
Because of her gift, Mrs. Grunwald knows that A is in Ravenswood, looking for Ali. Fearing the girls will lead A to her, she demands they leave, then disappears herself.
The girls decide they are going to dress up and crash the party.
We see A, dressed in black, watching the girls as they go into the town store. A makes his/her way back to the lair, the camera cuts and we see Ezra all dressed in black, with a low black baseball cap.
Yes! Ezra is A, and he is angry!
WHY? The saga of Aria and Ezra has just gotten deeper, our list of questions has grown by 20 and nothing can ever be right in the world again. Hopefully, by the Oct. 22 premiere of the Halloween episode, we will have stopped screaming in shock after the biggest reveal in "Pretty Little Liars" history.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun