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Red Coats and Mayhem

Girls Finale

Photo Credit: ABC Family

Contains spoilers if you have not watched the 8/27/2013 episode
Some people have said that there were too many slow moments on the midseason finale of Pretty Little Liars, but I needed those moments to catch my breath, literally at one point, but I’ll get to that later. A lot happened, including two shockers that were worth waiting this slow burning half season for.

In Spencer’s kitchen, the girls gather watching the news. A witness has stepped forward in the Wilden case. I don’t think this was necessarily Travis because of what develops later. Spencer steps outside and retrieves a package addressed to all the girls. There is a message inside four eight balls, which says “If she goes free, you’ll hear from me.” Spencer thinks this is the declaration of World War A. Emily is ready for it, but I’m not sure about the others.

Travis is shown viewing a police line-up. He says he is not sure he can do this. Waiting outside are Ashley, Hanna and Caleb. Ashley thanks Caleb for taking care of Hanna. Caleb tells Ashley that she doesn’t deserve any of this and observed how she didn’t break. The DA comes out and says that the charges against Ashley have been dropped. Caleb and Travis share eye contact and a nod. That makes me wonder if Caleb had a hand in Travis coming forward.

In English class, Ezra is talking about The Tempest and being creepy. He asks to talk to Aria after class. She says she is glad to be there as a friend. Aria is wearing the cutest sweater and dress, by the way. Aria walks out of class and talks to Jake on her cell phone. He doesn’t want to go to a poetry slam, but makes dinner plans with Aria. Ezra lurks in the background.

Paige wants Emily to stay at her house. I guess they’re not breaking up right now.

A desperate Spencer makes a call to a missing Toby and leaves a message to for him to check in with Emily or Caleb. Please don’t send Spencer back to Radley, Toby. This scene made me think of Spencer’s reunion with Toby after thinking he was dead. Lana Del Rey’s “Ride” was featured. Some of the lyrics include “Don’t break me down / I’ve been traveling too long / I’ve been trying too hard.” After all that Spencer has been through, Toby is the one person that can break Spencer. I don’t want to see that happen again.

Ashley heads out for a date with Pastor Ted, while the girls stay behind to have a smorgasbord. A package is delivered to the house. This time, it is a child’s casket with a Mona doll in it. The message says that they have to find Mona before A kills her and blames it on them.

A sketch of CeCe is shown on the news. She is a suspect in Wilden’s murder. The girls go into panic mode and try to locate Mona. Mona is no longer at Radley. Caleb thinks Mona is playing a game of “Desperately Seeking Mona.”

Spencer goes over to Wren’s house, but no one answers the door. Shauna peeks through the blinds, but Spencer doesn’t see her. She does see Jenna car parked outside. Jenna’s car has made more appearances than the girl herself recently.

Paige and Emily go to a French club meeting at school to try to find Mona. This snobby girl refuses to speak English, at first, then tells them Mona was supposed to show up, but didn’t.

Toby is shown looking at a box of mementos, including a handmade birthday card that he gave to his mother. He gets a call from Spencer, but ignores it. He leaves his loft and goes downstairs to The Brew. Toby sees Shauna drop something, and then leave. He picks up the piece of paper and sees that it is a packing slip addressed to Wren in care of Melissa Hastings in London. They’re back together?!? I can’t keep up with these twists.

Toby tells Spencer about the packing slip and Spencer wants to know why this was kept a secret. Toby snarkily explains that it is because it is her sister and her ex-boyfriend. You can tell Toby is not happy about Wren being Spencer’s ex. Spencer changes the subject and says that Toby should have at least texted her. He says he can’t disappear, not after what happened last time. She says she has a real image of what A could do to him (she is referencing when she thought she saw Toby’s body in the woods). Toby says when he used to feel like the walls were closing in on him, he would run. This time, however, he stayed for her. I think this is one of my favorite moments between Toby and Spencer.

Toby also says that he is dropping the investigation into his mother’s death. He doesn’t want A’s version of the truth. I hope the writers will tell us anyway what really happened for Toby’s sake and the sake of all the people that spent months watching Toby investigate and get nowhere.

At the Montgomery house, Jake has nodded off in the middle of his date with Aria. Black and white movies can do that sometimes. Aria offers to make him coffee (Clueless flashback), but Jake declines, saying something about an ulcer. (Okay, he didn’t say that.)

Hanna and Caleb sit outside Mona’s house. He thinks he saw someone in the upstairs window. He thinks Mona is twisted enough to sit there in the dark. He sure doesn’t like Mona. Does this have anything to do with the time Mona said he was a bad kisser?

At Paige’s house a male voice tells her to keep the door open. Ha-ha. She brushes off Emily’s concern for Mona and reminds Emily that Mona tried to kill her. I want to remind Paige that she tried to kill Emily once also. I understand Emily’s conflicted emotions about Mona. As a viewer, my opinion of Mona varies from hating her to believing she could possibly have some good in her.

Aria runs into Ezra at The Brew. He says something stalky about a story Aria once wrote. There is a montage of the various couples cuddling and the first thing that made me yell at the TV happened. Aria kissed Ezra! I am still angry about it. They threw Jake under the bus to make it look like he was no longer interested in order to put those two back together. Disgusting. I will never get the appeal of Aria and Ezra. He just creeps me out. Anyway, a blonde watches Aria and Ezra through the window.

At Spencer’s house, Emily and Hanna are worried about Mona. They receive yet another package. Inside is a magic box with a saw and a message that says “Watch me make a girl disappear.” Spencer’s key print is so cute it temporally distracts me. Hanna tries to open the box like Spencer did and Spencer tells her to try again. They research magic shows and find that there is one in Ravenswood on that very day. I guess A is into social media or something.

Toby goes to talk to Caleb, who is still parked in front of Mona’s house. Caleb thinks Mona is missing because of Mona, not because of A. Toby offers to keep watch while Caleb gets some sleep. Jenna’s car pulls out with Shauna driving. Toby follows her.

The girls arrive at the magic show (The Great Charlemagne, which means nothing to me yet, but it may be a clue). The magician and this tall creepy guy are watching the girls. The magician tries to get Aria to go in the box, but Aria doesn’t do boxes. This is probably because her alone time spent with Garrett’s corpse on Halloween. Spencer tells her to do it. Aria reappears, but Emily is gone. They receive a text from A that says “Leger de main,” which means slight of the hand. There is a lot of French in this episode, which is probably a clue.

Aria calls Emily. Emily thinks she is trapped in a coffin and she hears a saw. Spencer finds that there is a saw mill nearby. The girls run before Emily is turned into sawdust. Red Coat runs by them. It is just a quick flash that I didn’t notice the first time. I guess that is why Marlene King said not to blink during this episode. Inside the saw mill, the box containing Emily is heading towards a giant saw and the girls try to unchain the box from the conveyor belt. Red Coat stops the saw. Suddenly, there are two Red Coats. Aria chases Red Coat #1 and Spencer chases Red Coat # 2. I start yelling at the TV for at least one of them to be catch and preferably have the snot beaten out of them. Meanwhile, Aria gets Emily out of the box.

Red Coat #2 leads Spencer into a building, while Aria starts using her martial arts skills to kick Red Coat #1’s butt. They struggle and Aria kicks the mask off Red Coat #1 face. It’s CeCe. I’ve been waiting for one of these hags to be revealed. I want Aria to see it’s CeCe and continue the butt kicking, but CeCe tries to get away by grabbing onto a rope, like she’s a freaking super hero or something. The rope breaks and Aria tries to keep CeCe from falling. CeCe’s sleeve rips and she plummets to the concrete floor below. The girls gather in a huddle and I yell at them to watch the “body.” CeCe fingers twitch, then next thing you know, she’s gone. Hanna says that “That b*tch has seven lives” and I completely agree with her.

BTW, the Red Coat that stopped the saw was the one Spencer followed.

The Red Coat that Spencer followed may have been Ali. She led Spencer to the new lair. While inside, sticky fingers Hanna steals a diary. A has elaborate outlines for each of the girls, including surveillance style photos. A has been monitoring the police and the alarm systems to each of the girls’ homes. I figured the A team had access to all their homes, considering Mona has a key to Emily’s car.

Toby follows Shauna to her destination: an inn where she meets with Mona. Say what? I cannot begin to understand this alliance. I need time to marinate on this one.

Back at the new lair, Hanna tries to use Caleb’s instructions to hack into the computer. Spencer finds that A has formed a corporation. What? How involved can all of this be and will the writers ever be able to make sense of how far these people have gone for revenge or whatever their motivations are? There is a closet full of men’s suits. They say A is a man, but actually this means there is male on the A team. They think this all leads back to Board Shorts. They are seriously underestimating this, considering they already figured it was team of people working against them. There is a party tonight and the girls think Ali might be there. A blue eye watches them though a hole in the wall. Ali maybe?

A has also been tracking Ali and have pictures of her at the lodge the night of the fire. The trail has led to Ravenswood. The girls go outside and run into Mrs. Grunewald (the creepy wolf lady). She tries to tell them to leave. She begins to talk about how Ali was afraid and she contacted Mrs. Grunewald, who is a psychic, to try to find out who was threatening her. Mrs. Grunewald went to Rosewood on the night Ali disappeared. She pulled Ali out of the ground and took her to a hospital. While Mrs. Grunewald was inside, Ali vanished. Mrs. Grunewald says that Ali was never really gone, but she won’t come back because she doesn’t know who she can trust. Mrs. Grunewald says she isn’t sure Ali can trust the girls and notably gives Aria the stink eye. Mrs. Grunewald also says that they are being watched and “he” is hoping the girls will lead him to Ali. They hear a giggle in the background. Creepytown in full effect.

Caleb gets on a bus to Ravenswood because Toby still has his car. The sign switches from Rosewood to Ravenswood symbolically transitioning Caleb to his new town (and show).

Back in Ravenswood, Aria is skeptical about what Mrs. Grunewald told them, but the others believe. They eye some old timey costumes in a store window and say they are crashing a party. They are being watched by a male figure in a black outfit. Ezra, seemingly the person who was watching them outside, comes into the lair and he is angry. #EzrA is shown the screen. Even though I had my suspicions, this was shocking. I gasped so hard that I triggered an asthma attack and had to use my inhaler. That’s some good television watching right there when a show can impact you physically. In the end, someone is shown wearing an old fashioned gas mask and soldiers uniform. That’s a very creepy way to end this half season.

I still have a ton of questions, but I loved this episode. It had me completely engrossed. I cannot wait for the Halloween episode on October 22nd. I will be posting blogs between now and then with some theories and questions that I have.
Until then.
Kisses,
Pretty Little Maniac

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