Last Night’s Lies: PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, “It Happened That Night”

Pretty Little Liars returned last night and—surprise, surprise—many new secrets and lies abound.

It’s been 5 months in Liar-land since Mona was ‘revealed’ to be the mysterious and omnipresent ‘A’. The Liars welcome Emily home from her summer in Haiti with an adult slumber party (i.e., a sleepover with cocktails) at Spencer’s house. Over the summer, Aria took a prestigious photography class, Spencer opted for a full course load of college classes, and Hanna took a cooking class with Caleb (super cute!), while Emily built houses…and tried to drown her sorrows over Maya with copious amounts of alcohol. As they toast to their upcoming senior year, the Liars simultaneously receive and laugh off a mysterious text: “Show me your boobs.”

Late into the night, as their hangovers begin to set in, Aria, Hanna, and Spencer awake to find that the house doors are wide open and Emily is no longer with them. Where is Em? Standing over Ali’s open and empty grave, shovel in hand, looking dazed. Joined shortly thereafter by the rest of the crew, Emily tells the others that she remembers nothing since she fell asleep at Spencer’s house. Emily’s phone shows two received calls: one at 11pm from a blocked number; and the second from Spencer’s cell at midnight…while Spencer was fast asleep. Despite being freaked out by the possibility that someone else used her phone to call Em, Spencer takes charge of the group’s alibi: Aria and Hanna bury the shovel, while Spencer and Emily head back to Spencer’s house to burn Emily’s clothes. En route back to Spencer’s, Aria and Hanna see Lucas surreptitiously sneaking around in town. He takes off in his car, and Aria and Hanna continue onward. Meanwhile, Emily and Spencer theorize that the mystery caller must somehow be connected to Garrett. As his identifiable potential allies (Mona, Jenna, and Melissa) are all unavailable to him, Em and Spencer can’t quite figure out who the caller could be. To solidify their alibi, Spencer leaves a note for her mother implying that the Liars left for the Hastings’ country house that afternoon, and they head out to the lake. Later that morning, Spencer’s mom calls to share the news about Ali’s empty grave and the fact that the Police have no witnesses and no leads. Heartened by this revelation, the Liars decide to pretend that the night before never happened.

Exhausted from the night-that-never-happened, Aria fell asleep during Ezria quality time. Waking suddenly from a nightmare, Ezra comforts Aria by reminding her that A can’t hurt her any more. In related news, Ezra’s newspaper suggests that Maya may have kept something of Ali’s that implicated Garrett, causing him to kill her to hide the evidence. Switching to more positive topics, Ezra suggests that he and Aria celebrate their anniversary by recreating their first meeting (i.e., their bar bathroom make-out session). Not wanting to wait, Aria pulls Ezra into a steamy embrace in his kitchen.

During some retail therapy, Hanna and her mom run into Spencer and Mrs. Hastings. Spencer’s mom tells Hanna’s mom that the prosecution in Garrett’s case had moved to exhume Ali’s body, but it had disappeared from her grave before the judge could rule on the motion. While perusing the racks, Spencer receives a phone call from an unknown number and ignores it (Mysterious Call #1). Spencer asks Hanna to see a movie with her, but Hanna declines, citing a prior obligation: a therapy session. Hanna remembers at the last minute to remove the necklace she had been trying on, and leaves it in the store as the clerk watches her like a hawk.

Under the guise of continuing to see Dr. Sullivan, Hanna has actually been visiting Mona…and LYING to the Liars and Caleb about it. Her visits have yet to yield any response from Mona, and this visit is no exception. Having tried (and failed) to lure Mona into fashion talk, Hanna exclaims that she doesn’t visit for Mona’s benefit, but rather for her own—she’s desperate to know why Mona hates her enough to do what A did to her and the other Liars. Receiving no reply, Hanna leaves. On her way out, Hanna runs into and is recognized by Wren. Turns out, Hanna has been visiting Mona under a pseudonym: Ms. Rivers. Wren warns Hanna about the severity of Mona’s condition. Despite her stony silence in Hanna’s presence, Mona has gotten up from her bed to watch Hanna and Wren’s conversation through the crack created by her room’s open door.

In Spencer’s room, Spencer and Toby (a.k.a. Spoby) discuss Toby’s new loft. As he’s still working on the plumbing, Toby has been showering at Spencer’s—something Spencer minds not in the least. Spencer receives and ignores Mysterious Call #2 from Unknown. The mere sight of shirtless Toby has Spencer questioning why they decided to wait…but they deny their momentary bout of lust and Toby puts his shirt back on. Toby expresses his relief that the Liars were at the Hastings’ lake house the night Ali’s body disappeared, Spencer dodges the topic, and they part ways.

At school, Hanna and Caleb discuss their next cooking endeavor. Caleb asks Hanna to go food shopping with him, but she declines, once again citing a therapy session. Hanna joins Spencer and Aria as they wait to register for classes. The three say hi to Lucas as he walks by, but he ignores them. Instead, he talks to a tall brunette across the room, causing the Liars to speculate about the still-unknown identity of the Black Swan. Meanwhile, Emily forlornly stares at the other three through the window from the outside courtyard.

Leaving the safety of the group for a minute, Aria heads to the girls bathroom. Thanks to a faulty stall lock, Aria gets locked in. Looking through the crack between the stall wall and door, Aria sees a figure clad in A’s signature black ensemble. This causes her to panic and scream for help. Spencer and Hanna find Aria curled up in a ball in the bathroom corner, and attempt to calm her via reminders that Mona remains locked up in the loony bin because, as Spencer puts it, “Bitch crazy.”

Aria and her mom discuss current evens as they do some cleaning at their house. Not wanting to talk about Ali’s missing body, Aria turns the conversation to the new rift between her parents: i.e., her relationship with Ezra. The conversation implies, if it does not state outright, that Aria’s parents have separated. They discuss her mom and dad’s different responses to Ezra, and Aria’s mom resolves to try a little harder to be open-minded.

Staring at a picture of a Black Swan mask on her computer screen, Spencer begs off a mom-and-Melissa trip to the city, claiming she needs to study for her last summer final. Spencer receives and ignores Mysterious Call #3 and leaves the house. Her destination: Room 1 at the Lost Woods Resort. As she gets out of her car, Spencer thinks she is being watched. She can’t see her watcher (…but we can). In Room 1, all evidence of A is gone. As she stares at her laptop, Spencer receives Mysterious Call #4 from Unknown. This time, she answers and says: “I’m listening.”

Emily and Toby, old friends once again on goods terms, meet for coffee to discuss Toby’s loft, Jenna (to whom Toby has not spoken since she left town), Ali’s missing body, and Emily’s Maya-related grief and new drinking habits. Emily admits that she even blacked out once. (Gasp!) Toby attempts to comfort her and assuage her fears that her friends will be disappointed in her or abandon her.

While cooking the meal discussed at school, Caleb asks Hanna how therapy went and whether Hanna talks about them. Hanna says no, and asks why she would, to which Caleb replies that they are “intimate.” (Prompting Hanna to respond: “You said the I-word!”) Their playful banter is interrupted by a phone call from “R.S.” that turns out to be Wren calling to tell Hanna that he thinks Hanna’s visits help Mona make progress and that he thinks Hanna should visit again the next day.

The Police summon all the Liars for ‘routine’ questioning about the night Ali’s body disappeared (as part of their ‘on-going’ investigation). Each Liar sticks to the agreed-upon alibi. Ezra shows up at the Police station and is confronted by Aria’s mom. She tells him that she understands why he’s there, but that he needs to leave because the Police catching wind of an inappropriate relationship between a teenager and her former teacher would be the last thing anyone needs. Ezra, however, gently refuses to leave. Aria exits the station to find her mom and Ezra waiting, and they all go off in search of dinner together.

Visiting Mona’s room at the loony bin once more, Hanna tells Mona about Wren’s call and his theory that Hanna’s visits are helping Mona. Hanna offers to continue visiting, if Mona wants her to do so. Finally, Mona moves and, at first, appears to smile at Hanna…but really is looking and smiling at something else: Mona sees Ali, clad in her red coat, sitting in a chair on the other side of the room; Hanna sees an empty chair.

Revelation at last: the Unknown number making the Mysterious Calls to Spencer is Garrett! During their jailhouse visit, Garrett attempts to convince Spencer that: (1) he’s being set up; (2) he knows nothing about Maya’s disappearance; and (3) he may know who killed Ali. In exchange for the ‘truth,’ Garrett wants Spencer’s mom to represent him. Spencer refuses and turns to leave, causing Garrett to frantically tell her that he knows who took Ali’s body and that the Liars are still not safe.

As she finishes a run, Emily sees a light blue car parked across a street, almost immediately receives an unsigned text: “I bet you remember me.” The car then speeds away. Returning to Spencer’s house, Em is greeted by Spencer, Hanna, and Aria. She assures them that she stuck to their alibi story when she spoke to the Police. Emily also tells them about the light blue car, the unsigned text, and some odd flashbacks she’s having about being in that car on the night-that-never-happened. (Though it’s not clear to us from the flashes whether she was inside the car as a voluntary passenger, or involuntarily in the trunk….) Hanna decides to come clean, and tells the Liars about her visits with Mona and that Mona knows about that night too.

Returning to the Lost Woods Resort, Spencer and Hanna reveal that all evidence of A was gone the morning after ‘A Day.’ As an additional summer project, however, Spencer recreated A’s Room 1 in 360º-detail on her laptop. The Liars decide that their evidence doesn’t quite add up and that the Black Swan must be part of the A team. Suddenly, Spencer’s car alarm goes off and the Liars rush outside (leaving Spencer’s laptop unattended in Room 1) to find that all the car doors have been opened. They look around, but see no one. Inside, the car is littered with pictures of the Liars at Ali’s empty grave on the night-that-never-happened. Simultaneously, the Liars receive a new text: “Mona played with dolls. I play with body parts. Game on, bitches.” – A

Next week: the Liars will attempt to use Mona’s knowledge of A’s inner-workings against their ‘new’/as-yet unidentified foe.

Some questions to ponder this week:

  • Who took Ali’s body (and why)?
  • Agree or disagree: Toby should NEVER wear a shirt again.
  • Who cleaned out Room 1?
  • Was there really someone in Mona’s room at the end of the season finale? Or, was Mona having a hallucination of Ali?
  • Who is the Black Swan?
  • If Garrett was NOT involved in Maya’s disappearance, who had a motive to take her out?
  • Does Garrett really know the truth about Ali’s murder or who has her body?
  • To whom does the light blue car belong?
  • How did Ali figure everything out on her own, while the four Liars haven’t managed to get there yet?

Post your Answers, conspirAcy theories, or other questions below … or tweet them to me (@SarahDKatz) using the hashtag “#LastNightsLies” and I’ll reply with my thoughts (or, if more than 140 characters are necessary, I’ll post the question and answer below and tweet you a link).

Worried that you’ve forgotten some key facts in the 3 months since ‘A Day’? Check out ABC Family’s Season 2 photo recap and follow PLL on Twitter (@ABCFpll) for pics, clips, updates, & cryptic hints.


Stay tuned to Screen Invasion via Twitter and Facebook for weekly PLL Recaps (a.k.a. “Last Night’s Lies”) and follow Sarah Katz on Twitter!


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The Author

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Born-and-bred New Yorker. Lifelong film & TV lover—from chick flicks, rom-coms, rom-droms, rom-drams, and tweentertainment, to Shakespeare, period pieces, James Bond, fairy tales, and mafia movies.