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'Pretty Little Liars' recap, 'Shadow Play'

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Spencer, Hanna and Emily are chasing the theory that Ezra is A. But before they can prove it to Aria, Spencer’s sleepless nights (thanks to her excessive Adderall use) and endless clues have to match up.

As the girls search Ezra’s classroom for clues, they find Ali’s journal that was once lost. Fleeing the scene before anyone can find them, they notice Mona walking in after them…and leaving the room with one too many of Ezra’s papers.

According to Hanna, it’s all about the A-ness of things, and Spencer is going to expose it all.

Driving herself crazy, Spencer decides to take some time off from figuring everything out. While taking a break, she decides to watch an old Hitchcock film…when things turn black and white.

It’s all about the feel of film noir, as Spencer wakes up in 1940’s Ravenswood -- where the decade may be different, but the prescription drugs are still coming in handy and everyone looks damn good.

After running into Spencer at the juke joint, Ezra can’t help but apologize for the conversation they had the other day. After a nervous Spencer accepts and politely tries to walk about, Ezra invites her to Hart and Huntsman for a drink. She politely declines.

In the 1940s, Toby is a smooth-talking detective trying to get to the bottom of all things Ali. His first round of questions is for Spencer. Spencer doesn’t seem to have all the answers -- or enough sleep, which results in her almost losing a  hand to the garbage disposal while chasing her pills.  After Spencer declining to say whether Ali is dead or alive, Toby moves on to find the next-best source. 

Spencer isn’t the only one with an addiction. Aria can’t seem to shake things with Ezra. After keeping their romance a secret, Aria wants her friends to know that she and Ezra are seeing each other again. Well aware that her friends are on to the relationship, he informs her that maybe they should keep it a secret, in return for all the secrets her friends are keeping from her.

While Hanna is working the switchboards (and polka-dots), she finds a phone call made from Ali to The Fitzgerald art house. After tracking down the source of the phone calls, Hanna ends up a few steps behind Mona, who leads her to a very familiar apartment.

3B ring any bells?

Spencer receives a phone call from Mona, asking her to come get her blond friend from apartment 3B. When Spencer arrives, it is Hanna. Ezra Aaain warns the girls about chasing clues they know nothing about…and pressures them to keep quiet.

After Hanna and Spencer break free from the B’s in apartment 3B, they regroup with Emily and Aria to chase the suspected lead they have on Ali. The girls end up a separate juke joint, where (of course) Ali has been hiding in plain sight, performing three shows a night.

It doesn't take long for the girls to run into Ali in her dressing room, and for Ali to go into mean-girl mode as a result of her anger towards the girls for finding her. After trying to force the other girls to share their A theory with Aria and blasting them for almost getting her killed for real, a familiar voice lurks behind the corner.

Ezra begins to call out to Aria. As Aria begins to move towards him, the girls fear their fate…and Toby appears in the shadows before them. After knocking Ezra out, he picks up the girls and drives them away from the scene. A confused Aria still doesn’t know why Ezra was knocked out, or why her friends weren’t sharing their latest discovery.

It was all a dream, but the clues add up.

“Don’t look at the book, look at the pages.” Those are the last words 1940’s Toby shares with Spencer before she wakes up from her much-needed nap, in the present decade.

After finding that some of the words in the journal have been altered (thanks to her trusted camera phone that snapped the pics of the original pages of the journal), Spencer, Hanna and Emily believe they have enough evidence to link Ezra to A. When the girls arrive at Aria’s house, Ezra is already there.

The opportunity to tell Aria the truth may have to wait.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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