When we last left our haunted heroine foursome, things on “Pretty Little Liars” were about to get really interesting: Hannah had just figured out A’s identity was about to clue Emily and Spencer in when — whammo! — a rogue sedan left her unconscious on the ground. Monday’s premiere started right where we left, with a black-clad figure dashing off into the woods and EMTs loading Hannah’s lifeless-looking body into the back of an ambulance. (Not to mention Noel watching creepily from the surrounding crowd.) Toby’s in police custody, and Ian, from his shirtlessness, looks to have been preoccupied with his reunion with Melissa. So who, oh who, could the hit-and-run culprit be?
Those who came to Monday’s episode looking for A’s identity once and for all must be disappointed. The plot, as they say, merely thickened, and the few clues that we got only complicated things further. But “Pretty Little Liars’” particular brand of twisted teen drama was in full glorious swing. The secrets are starting to ebb out, and it just keeps getting darker.
When she awakes in the hospital bed — one broken leg and a ruptured spleen later — Hannah finally divulges that she saw Noel scrawling on Ezra’s car (I confess, I feared that there might be an amnesia plotline). This leaves Aria in a pickle: The rest of the girls plus Noel now are in on her rocky relationship with Ezra, and her appropriately aged boy toy is possibly responsible for the torment of her friends and Alison. But Hannah’s sighting doesn’t prove that Noel has anything to do with A. For one thing, the message on the back of the car, though disconcerting, wasn’t written in A’s signature red, nor was it signed. Noel confesses that he was trying to scare the girls in the woods — should we trust him? While Aria goes to have another unwise meeting with Ezra, Hannah entertains a stream of visitors: Lucas, who sneaks in to kiss her on the forehead while he thinks she’s asleep, and Mona, who comes bearing the white La Perla bra of peace (plus makeup). “That won’t keep you from wearing heels, will it?” she asks when she sees Hannah’s cast.
Not to mention Hannah’s dream-tinged recollection of Alison dressed in a pinstriper uniform and telling her that “you remember more about that night than you think you do.” Alison’s takeaway message is this: Honesty is for suckers. “Telling the truth to the wrong person is the reason I’m here,” Alison says before moving outside again. And maybe she’s right. These girls are good at lying for a reason: It keeps them out of much bigger trouble.
Take Emily, for example, who decided to come out to her hard-line military father and her less-than-understanding mother. Her father seemed shocked but moving toward grudging acceptance; her mother, however, seems to think that Maya is a corrupting agent. And then there’s Aria, who came clean to Noel only for us to see him tailing Ezra after class hours. And then, of course, there’s Hannah, who confessed to Lucas that she knew about the kiss and wasn’t into it. He stormed out after pleading “Couldn’t you just lie for old times' sake?” Yeesh. How can anyone find anything out around here?
Though A had been fairly quiet since Hannah’s injury, there were a few ominous clues at the end. Hannah awoke from a drug-induced stupor to see a message from A on her cast, and that tree with Ian and Alison’s name in it was mysteriously chopped down “lock, stock and bird’s nest.” Spencer returned home distraught to find Ian double-fisting bottles of Dom with — surprise! — his new bride, Melissa. Could he have married her for an alibi? Who could A be if not Alison’s killer? Should we start suspecting Lucas? Whose elegantly terrifying lair was that at the end? And weren’t those teddy bear eyes definitely some sort of surveillance equipment? The rest of this season looks promising indeed, particularly according to this chat with the cast. Tune in next time for more clues and more ridiculously lush hairstyles.
-- Margaret Eby
Photo: Emily, Aria and Spencer gather around Hannah's hospital bed.
Credit: ABC Family