'Pretty Little Liars' Winter Premiere Recap: Caleb And Hanna Say Goodbye, Ezra And Aria Hook Up
Caleb said goodbye to Hanna for Ravenswood, Ezra and Aria rekindled their flame and the liars tried to deal with the reality of Alison being alive in Pretty Little Liars’s winter premiere, “Who’s In The Box?”
How To Get Ali Back To Rosewood
After coming face to face with Ali – the real red coat – in the Halloween special only to have her disappear again, the liars are desperately trying to figure out their next move. Hanna (Ashley Benson) takes the lead and decides that, instead of focusing on trying to track down Ali, the girls should aim for something more attainable, like determining who is buried in Ali’s coffin. Hanna thinks that if they find out whose body was found in Ali’s backyard (identified as Ali, supposedly by ‘A’) and connect this dead girl to someone they suspect or someone they can connect to Alison. That connection could be the person that scared Ali into hiding. If they find that person and eliminate the threat to Ali, then Ali can return to Rosewood and maybe the girls will finally get some answers. Hanna sets the investigation in motion while Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) try to get in touch with Jason (Drew Van Acker). If Alison exposed herself to them, maybe she has also been in touch with her brother.
Getting in touch with Jason turns out to be more difficult than expected. Jason left town to travel the country and Ms. DiLaurentis (Andrea Parker) tells Emily that he doesn’t want to be contacted, but she does have a number in case of emergencies. Ms. DiLauretis also shows up later in the episode to offer Hanna’s mother, Ashley (Laura Leighton) a job, saying that Ali told her to do it in a dream.
Spencer then goes to her father, who strictly encourages her not to go looking for Jason. He says it’s best if Spencer stays away from Ms. DiLaurentis, completely, and reluctantly agrees to find Jason after Spencer pulls the half-brother card.
Hanna has more luck on her end. After researching other disappearances that occurred when Ali went missing in nearby areas, she found a potential candidate for who’s in the box: Sara Harvey. Sara, a blond teen, went missing the same day as Ali from a nearby town and has not been heard from since. Hanna reached out to Sara’s friends through a tribute website and makes plans to meet with them for coffee for a kind of group therapy session.
EzrA Threatens Mona
Hanna brings Emily and Spencer into an abandoned classroom to tell them the news while Aria (Lucy Hale) stays behind in English class to talk to Ezra (Ian Harding). In the classroom, the girls are interrupted by a message from A. A movie starts playing on the projector, and a message pops up, “Whoever finds her gets to keep her,” it says. ‘A’ is daring them to find Ali before he/she does, or is he using them to find Ali for him?
Now that Ezra has (maybe) been exposed to the audience as ‘A,’ it seems Mona (Janel Parrish) might have her suspicions about the English teacher as well. She corners Ezra outside of school and hints at him being ‘A’ based on the books he assigns in class – this week, it’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Ezra offers Mona a thinly veiled threat about the motivational power of fear and how someone without fear, such as herself, could be in danger of underestimating his or her opponent.
Hanna and Emily meet up with Sara’s friends from high school. Sara and Ali are nearly identical in personality: both popular and cruel. They mention that they other friend, Avery, couldn’t be there today because she was ‘busy’ – later it is revealed that Avery has been depressed since Sara’s disappearance. She is on medication, but still spends most of her time in bed. According to the girls, Avery was the last person to see Sara alive, the day after Labor Day riding her bike in a park. It’s a day too late for Sara to be the body found in Ali’s backyard – a dead end.
Soby Goes Up Against Radley
Meanwhile, Spencer helps Toby figure out how to get Radley to admit the truth about his mother’s death. After investigating Radley further, Toby is more certain than ever that his mother did not kill herself, but was murdered. Nobody from the facility is willing to go on the record because of the pharmaceutical company that owns the mental institution. Spencer takes over when Toby hits a brick wall with the company and threatens to take their story public unless the company acknowledges that Radley was responsible for what happened to Toby’s mother. When Spencer’s dad hears about this, he is impressed, and encourages the duo not to settle. If they exposed the company, they could shut down Radley for good. Spencer isn’t so sure that’s the best idea, even after her father suspiciously tells her that he wants Radley closed because of the time Spencer spent there. (Could there be a connection between Sara’s depressed friend Avery and Radley?)
Aria And Ezra Reunite, Hanna And Caleb Separate
Aria was busy getting back together with Ezra. He took her to a secluded cabin, with no cell service, Wi-Fi or, really, any way to communicate with the outside world. If Ezra is ‘A,’ this would be where he would attack and potentially store Aria’s cold, dead body. But, Ezra is saving that trick for another day, and just takes Aria there in the hopes of winning her back. He tells her he’s willing to wait until after she graduates and he leaves Rosewood High, but they get to together anyways (even though Aria is, technically, still dating Jake).
Aria may be happy, but Hanna’s love life took a sad turn when Caleb reappeared only to say goodbye again. Caleb refused to tell Hanna anything about his life in Ravenswood, or why he had to go back, shielding her from his potentially cursed fate on the Pretty Little Liars spin-off, Ravenswood. Hanna thinks he cheated on her, and they fight. Before he leaves, Hanna offers a sort of truce, and the two separate on mostly good terms. Hanna is left on the sidewalk sobbing to herself as Caleb drives off…and then sobs alone in his car.
“Who’s In The Box?” ended with the girls right back where they started, with Hanna finally showing the others Ali's journal she stole from 'A's lair, and a hooded ‘A’ figure going down into the secret basement in Ezra’s creepy cabin.
Pretty Little Liars’ next episode airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
More on Pretty Little Liars:
'Pretty Little Liars' Midseason Finale Recap: Everyone Heads To Ravenswood And Ezra Is Revealed As A
'Pretty Little Liars' Episode Recap: Cece Returns To Rosewood And Spencer Leads The Search For Red Coat
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