“Pretty Little Liars” recap 3.13: The Dark Knight Rises

Emily decides it’s time to tell Paige every “A” thing, which takes like ten hours during which Spencer and Hanna talk about how bummed out Hanna is that she and Caleb are going to have to be more careful with their sneaking around. Meanwhile Aria is trapped inside that box with Garrett’s body, having a justifiable panic attack (unlike that time she got locked in the bathroom stall at school) and trying to break free from her duct tape handcuffs with a rusty nail. When the “A” story has been told in all its glorious fullness, Paige agrees to join the Boyfriend Legion on one end of the train while the Liars work from the other end of the train to find Aria. As they are going their separate ways, Spencer looks back, flips her hair, says, “Paige McCullers, I honor you.” Paige tips her top hat in Spencer’s direction, smiles gently, says, “Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are. You can’t fight fate and you can’t survive alone. Trust me, there was a time when I, too, tried to do both.”

On her quest to find Aria, Paige runs into JennaBot, who not only eye-f–ks her right into the ground, but also drops the second best line of the night: “[If you’re looking for Aria], she has a thing for authority figures, so she’s probably up with the engineer.”

One guy and one gal work together to try to push Aria and Garrett from the train. It is the most harrowing three minutes this show has ever put us though and I’m including Aria’s feather phase. They shove and pull and push and bicker with each other while Aria tries and tries to free herself. Finally, she cuts herself loose on the nail and uses a screwdriver to stab whomever is hovering over the box. She hits her target and her foes flee, but not before the box tips toward the ground. The Liars find her just in time. They free her and pull her close and nearly vomit when they see Garrett’s body.

The police pile all of the usual suspects in one car. The Boyfriend Legion shuffles their feet and looks on helplessly as their girlfriends run down the day’s clues: Garrett was murdered, definitely by “A.” So was Ian. Two members of the NAT Club are now dead. Two people who were in Ali’s room the night she died are now dead. “A” wanted the Liars to free Garrett last season so s/he could kill Garrett. Their unusually adept problem-solving session is cut short when Ezra shows up saying some malarkey about how he was waiting in Philly for Aria, but when he heard someone was hurt he drove along the tracks until he found her. The camera wants us to believe he was doing some “A” things, but it’s probably something as innocuous as, like, he was sneaking a visit to his lesbian boy-child.

Noel has had just about enough of not being the center of attention, so he picks a fight with Spencer, which leads to a fight with Toby, which leads to the coffin cooler getting knocked over, which leads to Ali’s body bag spilling out onto the floor. It was on ice in the drink bin the whole entire time. Ali’s corpse in the drink bin the whole entire time. 

Mona’s nurse peeks in on her through the window of her padded room, and there she is, snug as a bug in a Radley rug, with that Ali mask that was under the Phantom of the Opera mask resting beside her bed.

OK, and now for the B-story, which was the scariest friggin part of this episode, real quick: Ashley Marin is dressed like a sexy (yet, not slutty!) nurse and Pastor Ted is dressed like a surgeon, and they are handing out candy to the children who are — ridiculously — allowed not only to trick-or-treat in the children’s murder capital of the world, but also allowed to just walk into anyone’s house to get their hands on some candy. Ashley finds an ethereal blonde child floating around in her kitchen. The girl says she’s lost and can she please call her mom, and so Ashley is like, “Sure, of course, creeper.” Later, Ashley finds the little girl just hanging around in one of the spare bedrooms. She’s asks if the girl got in touch with her mom, and the girl says that she did, but her mom freaked out, probably because her twin sister told her mom something that upset her. Her twin sister, see, is always trying to get her in trouble and pick fights and basically she’s been trying to kill her since she fashioned a shiv out of amino acids in the womb. Ashley tries to comfort the little girl, but she is as cold as ice. (Ice! Like how Ali’s body was also as cold as ice!) The girl disappears and Ashley doesn’t know what she doesn’t know, but what she does know is that she saw a ghost.

And she’s right, because that little girl is the girl who was killed at the beginning of last year’s Halloween episode.

Flashback: Ali’s yard. The gazebo outline is in place. And from the middle of the impending structure, the earth begins to move. First a little, then a lot. Something is digging a hole from inside the ground. It is a hand. A hand that has come back from the dead. It is … THE ORIGINAL RISEN MITTEN.

An enormous thank you, as always, to my wonderful screencapping partner Maggie. Follow her on Twitter (@margaretrosey) and give her some love.