'Pretty Little Liars' recap, 'Grave New World'

For The Baltimore Sun

Nothing says Halloween like a party in a graveyard in one of television's scariest cities.

Coming off of the best reveal in "Pretty Little Liars" history during the summer finale, it was time for a special hour dedicated to picking up where the show left off in…


The girls dress up for the Halloween party of their lives, complete with a few scary twins, an eerie warning from the mean Mrs. Grunwald, a house that seems a little more than haunted and a mysterious man (who is Ezra) chasing Ali.

As the girls begin to look for clues for mysterious men who could possibly be A, Aria receives a call from a worried Ezra. After telling him not to worry, that she is safe in a graveyard in a scary city…he takes a hint, hangs up the phone and vanishes into the Ravenswood night.

At first glance, the girls are convinced that the handsome man in the vintage uniform is “Board Shorts,” but soon find out from his cousin in the white dress that he is just another party guest.

While the girls are spending their Halloween in a cemetery, Caleb is on a bus en route to Ravenswood, with the creepy guy (held up in the back) and Miranda, an interesting runaway who is going to her uncle's house, after being inbetween foster homes. (This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship).

After Caleb and Miranda share how hungry they are, as well as their plans in the creepy town, the two finally make it -- and, of course, separate.

Separating is the theme of the evening, as Hana, Aria, Spencer and Emily venture off into the abandoned house, which turns into a mysterious maze of rooms. Hana is the first one to drop off of the group, going on her own to look for Ali and leaving Aria, Spencer and Emily to search for Hana.

As Hana enters a room occupied by nothing but a piano, she hears Ali screaming for help! Of course Hana follows the screams, which leads her into a phone booth, which A manages to lock her in.

Did anyone else catch that creepy soldier tune and mysterious vision of Ali?

While Emily, Spencer and Aria search for their friends, Spencer manages to vanish from the group and end up in a battle with A. After knocking him out, Spencer attempts to remove the gas mask that covers A’s face, but fails. A wakes up and causes her to knock herself out on a nearby table.

Meanwhile, Ali is nowhere to be found.

Question of the night; How did Spencer wake up without having a splitting headache?

Of course A manages to get away from Spencer and vanish into the night, as Emily and Aria find Spencer lying in the spot where he left her.

Caleb and Miranda finally make it to Ravenswood, and Miranda makes another new friend…Hana!

Miranda comes to the rescue and breaks Hana free from the phone booth; the two establish that it wasn’t Miranda who locked her in there, and that they are lost in Miranda’s uncle's funeral home. In a room where the girls find two coffins, Miranda recalls an unidentified man speaking to her as a child about her parents' death.

Caleb finds a coffin with his name and face on it. Then Miranda finds a coffin with her face on it, and we are introduced to the "Ravenswood" series storyline.

After several unsuccessful attempts to find Ali, finding only a recording of her voice, the girls re-group  and find out that Mrs. Grunwald was the one sending them on the chase the entire time. After speaking with the girls, she can sense that one girl has had contact with the one that Ali fears the most, and advises them to really leave this time.

Before leaving, Hana convinces Caleb to stay in Ravenswood and help their new friend Miranda out (and the best boyfriend award goes to…).  In their attempt to make it home, Spencer notices her slashed tires and lack of spare.  Out of the blue, Ezra comes to save the day.

Just like last season’s Halloween special, when he appeared on the Halloween train without a phone call or warning...

Finally making it back to Rosewood, the girls notice red coat running into the backyard. Of course they follow her, and after a brief pause she turns around and reveals that she is Ali!

She’s alive!

Just as the girls get over the initial shock of seeing their dead best friend, Ezra arrives to give Aria her phone and Ali vanishes.

Leaving us all hopeful and confused and of course counting down the days until the Jan. 7 winter premiere.

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