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'A' is for A-L-I-V-E - Recap

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The episode picks up right where season 3's finale left off, with the five Liars opening up the trunk of the previously submerged police car. The girls recoil in horror at the sight of the dead pig inside and, while distracted, Mona slips away. Aria speculates that it was all Mona's doing, until Hanna finds that she is actually in the driver's seat of the car taking the incriminating video of her mother before fleeing.



At the house, the girls turn on Mona to find out how much she actually knows. Mona tells Emily that she was the weakest of the group, but her manipulations have made her much stronger, which only provokes Emily's ire. Mona opens up about what she knows and what she has done -- she claims she didn't get the car out of the lake as the girls think, but only put it in Hanna's garage and had no idea what happened to it after that. She lays out what she knows about the other lingering mysteries, such as that Shanna knew Jenna before coming to Rosewood, and Mona believes she is in love with her. Mona also claims she didn't push Ian from the Bell Tower and isn't sure who did.

The next morning, the girls awaken to find the door open and Mona gone. They are still distrustful of her, as Spencer doesn't recall falling asleep and Aria says she may have drugged them. However, Mona appears with coffee and breakfast for everyone -- like it or not, she says, they are all in the same situation and must find out who Red Coat is. In order to win their trust, the girls demand Mona turn over all the dirt she has on them.

The girls drive past the scene of the dragged police car on the way to Mona's hideout, and find that things are more serious than a dead pig in the trunk. Darren Wilden is lying dead next to the car, the entire scene swarming with police.

At Mona's lair, she shows the Liars footage and photos of everything she has collected on Red Hood. They presume that they have been set up as suspects in Wilden's murder, and one of the videos that Mona shows has Wilden, dressed as the Queen of Hearts in the previous season, talking to an accomplice which Mona alleges is Spencer's sister. However, before the accomplice removes the mask the video cuts out. Someone has hacked into Mona's laptop and is deleting her files. As this happens, the group is startled by the voice of a child outside in the trailer park -- a group of little girls are on a playground playing with dolls that were given to them by Alison, each one named after the Liars as well as Mona.



Emily and Hanna are in their room, Hanna speaking with Mona on the phone about cooperating about covering up the RV. Hanna theorizes it's best to play along with Mona, citing the old adage her mother taught her: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Emily's mother comes in, filling the two in on the ongoing Wilden case. She also tells them that Alison's mother is moving back to the neighborhood, which the girls see as further proof that Allison is the one who removed them from the house fire.

Spencer and Toby exam the ashes of the burned house. Spencer rummages around in the wreckage to find evidence to identify Red Coat. She tries to convince Toby that Allison could possibly be Red Coat, but he isn't buying that she faked her own death. A shadow moves around behind them and they run out of the house to find no one there.

Emily visits Allison's mother at her new house. She helps move some of the boxes inside, finding that her mother has kept all of Allison's things. On the phone later, Emily recounts the 'creepy shrine' to Hanna. She signs off as Hanna arrives to help Mona lock up the RV. Mona sees the whole experience in a positive light, possibly bringing her back into the circle of friends while Hanna seems dubious.

At a coffee shop, Aria runs into Ezra and the two share an awkward post-relationship moment. Ezra lets her know that he has been offered a permanent teaching job that would see him relocate to Rosewood. He sees this as the best thing to help them move on, while Aria is not ready.



The next morning, Toby cooks Spencer breakfast as she reads the newspaper story about Wilden's murder. She remarks how great it is to call Toby her boyfriend again, and is briefly, happily distracted from the investigation before Toby receives a message from 'A': "Bet you miss her every day" with a picture of his deceased mother attached. He does not tell Spencer about the message, lying that it's a message about a possible new job. The two hug as Toby looks on.

Emily has lunch with Aria, who is distracted by and still hung up on Ezra. She is caught staring at him by Vice Principal Hackett, causing Aria to freak out. In the school, Hanna talks to Mona about being stressed out about the murder investigation. The two make plans to meet later, and seem to potentially be moving toward rekindling their friendship.

Aria is called to the Vice Principal's office. He reveals that he received an anonymous letter alerting him to her affair with Ezra, throwing incriminating photos on the desk. He tells Aria that her parents have been notified and Ezra is being arrested for felony sex with a minor. She runs from the office, tears streaming, to see Fitz being lead away in handcuffs. However, it all turns out to be a daydream -- Hackett just needs some papers signed by Aria's mother.

Emily is with Paige, who wants her to come to Stanford with her. Emily agrees, wanting to get as far away from "A" and Rosewood as possible, and tells Paige she loves her. They kiss. Elsewhere, Mona and Hanna return from their shopping trip. They talk their respective relationship issues, but the conversation is forced and Mona reveals that she knows Hanna is just pretending to be her friend. Mona tries to mend fences by giving Hanna the hard drive with the incriminating video of her mother.

Outside Emily's house, she watches as Paige drives off and is startled by Jenna. She tries to talk to Emily, revealing that she was friends with Wilden. She asks Emily to convey to Toby that she is sorry for what she did to him, should anything happen to her.




At Spencer's house, she is startled to notice that Allison's mother is watching her from next door. Spencer receives a package from 'A,' an obituary clipping of Wilden with the note "Closed caskets keep secrets. His is open and exposes yours."

The next morning, there is a big turnout for Detective Wilden's funeral. The liars show up as well, theorizing that 'A' put something in the casket before seeing a mysterious figure in a veiled black dress. The four split up to try to find the casket before the funeral service begins. Spencer finds it in an adjoining room, running into Mona who claims she received the same message from 'A.' The two open the casket to find a ringing cell phone, calling one of the numbers in the memory -- it's Hanna, who asks Spencer why they are calling her on her mother's phone.

The group meets up to talk about what this means. Hanna had spoken with her mother the day before, and now it appears that she could be 'A's next target. They are interrupted by Allison's mother, who invites them to sit next to her, though there isn't enough room for Mona. Again they spot the woman in the thick black veil.

Elsewhere, Toby is driving and receives another message from 'A' telling him that she knows what really happened to his mother. He has a flashback to when Allison was alive, hanging out together in his room. Just as the two are about to kiss, his mother interrupts, clearly confused and not totally self-aware. Allison insults his mother after she leaves, labeling her clear mental illness as laziness. When Toby tells her to leave, she calls him a loser before exiting.

Back in the present day...

Back at the funeral, the girls watch the veiled woman get in her car, still unsure of who she is. A new detective approaches them, investigating the murders of Wilden and the police officer, curious as to why they would attend the funeral of a man who practically stalked them. As he walks away, the group receives a video message from 'A' showing that she had recorded the entire scene of the group finding the police car.



The episode closes with the veiled woman placing a doll amidst a shrine to Allison, with photos of the Liars seen in the reflection on the wall behind her. She lifts the veil to reveal that she is wearing a mask, one side appearing similar to Allison, the other side hideously burned.

Written by: Kale Morgan


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