‘Pretty Little Liars’ 6.01 Recap: Spencer, Aria, Hanna And Emily Fight Back Against Charles, Ali Sets A Trap For ‘A’
Pretty Little Liars is back and crazier than ever, kicking off its #SummerofAnswers with “Game On, Charles.”
Pretty Little Liars: Who Is Charles DiLaurentis?
The episode picked up right where the winter finale left off, with our girls Aria (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Mona (Janel Parrish) making a break for it after putting on a fake prom for their mysterious captor, Charles (aka ‘A’). This time around, we see the girls running through the underground hallways of the dungeon Dollhouse from a completely different point of view: a dirty, emaciated girl watches them from inside a cell. She’s blond and dressed in the same clothes Ali was wearing the night she disappeared – the yellow ruffled shirt Mona was also wearing when she was forced to be Ali in the Dollhouse. She watches the girls run up and away, only to find themselves enclosed by an electric fence. The metal doors to the dungeon slam shut behind them, and ChArles leaves them outside in the rain as punishment. He keeps them there for a few days, without food or water, before allowing them back inside.
Inside, ChArles gases the girls, and they wake up, without Mona, lying down on metal slabs in a makeshift morgue. Spencer thinks that A wanted them there to send a message to their parents, make them believe the girls are dead. Mona appears, as Ali, to give them juice and aspirin. She doesn’t break character, afraid of what A/ChArles will do to her, but she lets them know they’ve only been unconscious for a few hours. A voice over the loud speaker tells the girls to return to their rooms for “your surprises.” Mona refuses at first, but changes her mind after hearing three chimes. Three chimes means that if you don’t obey “’It’ steals you in the night and puts you in the hole.” The girls return to their rooms, doors slamming shut behind them, screaming.
Three weeks later, the girls are still missing. Ali (Sasha Pieterse) has been released from jail. Now that the police know Mona is alive (they found A’s security camera lair in the winter finale), her conviction for killing Mona was overturned. Marking the almost one month anniversary of her friends’ abduction, Ali decides to make a public statement. From the press, we learn that the main suspect in their disappearance is Andrew Campbell (Brandon Jones), who had recently begun romancing Aria and is now missing. Ali’s statement to the press, it turns out, is less of a public plea to her friends’ kidnapper and more of a trap set by Ali and the police, who is camped out in her living room. They know the kidnapper is really after Ali, so they hope that if she publicly renounces police security, he’ll come for her.
Ali gets a call from a blocked number, but instead of a person on the other line, they hear a song Toby (Keegan Allen) recognizes as “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” Detective Tanner (Roma Maffia) thinks it means that the kidnapper has returned to the Campbell Apple Farm, and that Ali figured it out before them and ran off to meet the kidnapper without them. Tanner sends the police to the Apple Farm, but that’s not where Ali went. The entire call was actually part of a massive plan created by Ezra (Ian Harding), Caleb (Tyler Blackburn), Ali and Toby. They called Ali and planted the fake clue to distract the police so that they could try to catch A/Andrew/Charles themselves. They know he’s too smart to go after Ali with all the police presence, so, in her statement to the press, Ali sent a message to A to meet her at the Kissing Rock in the woods. Ali meets up with Caleb and Ezra, who provide her with cute boots complete with a tracking device, and drop her off at the Kissing Rock.
Meanwhile, Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna are finally released from their rooms and reunited with each other. A has dressed them up as their freshman selves – Aria’s pink streaks have returned, as have Spencer’s argyle cardigans and Emily’s swim team sweats. A tasks them with preparing Ali’s room for her arrival. A has boxes of Ali’s things, as well as some of their things. Hanna is particularly shaken, reading in the local newspaper that her mom has fallen ill in her absence. Meanwhile, Spencer is busy looking through the box of Ali’s things. She finds an old toy boat with the initials ‘C.D.’ carved into the side – Charles DiLaurentis.
A wants to keep them all there, forever, they realize, but what does that mean for Mona? If A gets the real Ali, what use will he have for her? Mona is missing, but she managed to leave them a message in Ali’s room: scratched into the back wall of the closet, Mona wrote, “He’s Going To Kill Me – M.” She’s stuck in the hole, a dark, empty well deep underground, but they don’t know where she is. Spencer decides they are going to break out, tonight.
At the Kissing Rock, A has left Ali an empty car. Ali gets in, and follows the GPS, with Ezra and Caleb trailing from behind. The car comes to a halt outside of Tyler State Park, and Ali is forced to change clothes and leave everything behind, including her tracking device boots. Dressed in that yellow top and jeans from all those years ago, Ali enters into the forest alone. But, she does leave Caleb and Ezra with some way of tracking her, placing one of her boots pointing in the direction she went. The guys try to follow, and, luckily, the police are on their way. Going through press footage, they were able to trace someone they think is Andrew to a car – the same car Ali drove to Tyler State Park.
When the generator stops for three minutes that night, Spencer leads Aria, Emily and Hanna to ChArles’ vault, where she found the old video of Mrs. DiLaurentis and two blond boys. She thinks ChArles is a DiLaurentis, and, if she’s right, then they can use whatever other family memorabilia is inside the vault to bargain their way out. Spencer is not playing games, and starts by setting his precious home video on fire. The fire grows just as Ali approaches in the woods, and ChArles must make a choice: either stop the girls or grab Ali.
The girls throw more keepsakes into the fire, but soon find themselves trapped inside with no way out. Luckily, ChArles cares more about his things than getting Allison for himself, and he pulls the fire alarm. Sprinklers come on, and the girls run and find Mona before trying, again, to make their way out. In the woods, Ali, Ezra and Caleb hear the fire alarm, and they help the girls get out safely.
Caleb is reunited with Hanna, Ezra with Aria, Toby with Spencer, and the girls with Ali. “We know who it is. We have a name,” Spencer tells Toby when he arrives with the rest of Rosewood P.D.
“It’s Andrew,” Toby responds.
Meanwhile, Emily approaches Ali, thanking her for risking herself to find them, before getting straight to the point: “Who is Charles DiLaurentis?”
Finally, the police search the Dollhouse and find the other girl, the one who was watching them in the beginning of the episode. It’s Sarah Harvey, the girl who went missing from a town over around the same time Ali went missing. She may have been held there the entire time!
Do we really think Andrew Campbell is Charles DiLaurentis? Is Charles Jason DiLaurentis’ twin, and therefore Spencer’s other half brother? What do the police know about Andrew that made him the prime suspect (other than his creepy diary seen for a split second in this episode)? And will we ever really find out what happened to the girls during those missing three weeks? (Do we even want to?)
Pretty Little Liars will be back with more questions and answers next Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.