Photo Credit: ABC Family
“Shadow Play” – original airdate 2/11/2014
“This is all about the A-ness of things.” – Hanna
Spencer, Hanna and Emily are using part of their weekend to search Ezra’s classroom for clues. They find Ali’s journal in the drawer. How convenient. As they leave the classroom, they see Mona. There are sounds of her digging like a raccoon, and then she comes out with a stack of papers. Suspicious.
Spencer’s parents are out of town being lawyers (and absent parents). Spencer and Hanna are trying to figure out who Shana is and they want Emily to ask Paige about her. Emily doesn’t want to. Emily thinks they found the diary too easily and I think so also.
Ezra and Aria are driving home from the cabin. She tells him about a creative writing assignment she is writing and she is fascinated with the villain, not the hero. She is in real life, too. She says sometimes the villain wins and Ezra gets one of his weird looks on his face.
Spencer is pill popping and watching a black and white movie when the show turns to black and white. Spencer is tripping hard. Even the set and the costumes are 1940s style. Toby appears and says Spencer is holding out on him. He asks about Ali and says Spencer is not leveling with him. He also says that Spencer is spread so thin he can see through her. Ha, classic movie like dialogue.
Spencer is in the old-timey Brew when Ezra comes in and buys Spencer’s coffee. He apologizes for his behavior on last week’s episode and Spencer says she can’t take constructive criticism. He says he can’t either. He offers to buy Spencer dinner and Spencer says yes, to which he replies, “Cross your heart and hope to die.” Was that a death threat, Ezra?
Spencer thinks that Aria is back with Ezra. Aria appears and is evasive about her weekend. Yeah, she can’t say she was bonking her teacher the whole weekend.
Spencer is at home, wearing the most gorgeous robe. She is pill popping again and Toby appears again. He says you can learn more about people by sneaking up on them. That is probably true, but it’s still creepy. He tells Spencer that she already has most of the pieces. Haven’t they been saying that since the bloody beginning of the show. Four seasons later, I still have no idea what’s going on. Anyway, there is now a huge portrait of Ali on the wall. Toby says it is so realistic; it looks like she could step out of the painting.
Hanna is spying and sees Ezra and Mona together. The coyotes and wolves are cooperating like they were on an episode of The Simpsons.
Emily talks to Paige about Shana. She says she thought about Emily the whole time she was with Shana. Okay, that doesn’t make it right. Also, Paige’s hair is incredibly wrong. Everyone else had 1940’s style hair, but Paige’s hair looked like one those women from the late 1800s/ early 1900s who poisoned her whole family on an episode of Deadly Women. It really confused me.
Hanna follows Mona. Mona disappears and reappears saying, “You need something honey.” Mona calls Spencer and tells her she has a blonde package for Spencer. She tells Spencer to “hurry up, while she’s still breathing.” Okay, that was definitely a death threat. Spencer arrives at Ezra’s apartment and Ezra tells Spencer she shouldn’t use an amateur to follow someone. Hanna retorts that she is “not as used to walking the streets as Mona is.” Burn, that was one of the best lines of the episode. Spencer tells Ezra to leave Aria alone, but Ezra plays mind games and says Spencer is unsure of what she knows. He also says that Spencer is cracking up. Maybe it is true, but I don’t like him saying it.
Hanna asks Spencer why men turn on them. Spencer is smart, but I don’t think even she knows the answer.
The number on Ali’s list is for the Fitzgerald Art Foundation. I don’t know if this is a real clue, or if it only exists in the realm of this episode.
Paige and Aria share a scene. I don’t know if they have ever shared a scene before. Not knowing that 1940s Paige and Emily are gay, Aria says she used to be a tomboy, until she fell in love for the first time.
The next scene is with another pair I don’t think ever shared a scene together before: Toby and Ezra. I know who would win in a fight here. Okay, I’ll admit it. I really want someone to punch Ezra, but it won’t be Toby. Ezra is just playing mind games with him. Ezra tells Toby that Ali is alive and Spencer knows how to find her. The first thing is true, the second, not so much.
Ali appears at Spencer’s house and says she will always be the girl in the painting, since she disappeared. Ali says she can’t warn Aria about Ezra because no woman has ever been able to warn another woman about a man. That’s probably, unfortunately true. Spencer is tired of Ali’s aloofness and snaps at her. Ali says maybe Spencer is the one she should be afraid of. Spencer goes to grab her pills and knocks them down the drain. Toby shows up and Ali is nowhere to be seen. Spencer becomes hysterical and Toby comforts her.
Aria tells Ezra that she wants to tell her friends about them. He plays his third mind game of the night and asks if her friends trust her. Ezra flips the script and whispers in Aria’s ear that Ali is alive.
Paige tells Emily that she is afraid of being alone. Emily tells her she won’t let her be alone, and then they make out, like seriously make out.
Hanna tracks down an answering service to get the number Ali called.
Spencer tells Toby that Ali created A by feeding the beast with every dirty trick. Whoa, that’s kind of powerful right there. Toby tells her to look at the diary closely because “Since when does the devil give out free samples.” I think this was my second favorite line of the episode.
Spencer and Aria meet at the old-timey Brew and Aria tells Spencer she’s been really seeing Ezra. Ew. Aria seems like she has doubts now because she said their relationship seemed like a story, but now the story is changing. Spencer is about to tell Aria about Ezra when Hanna comes in and says she found Ali.
Ali is working at a nightclub and hiding in plain sight and doing three shows a night. Ali comes in the dressing room and she is upset that they found her. Aria says she wants Ali back, but Ali asks if she is sure. Spencer thinks that Ali is setting them up and making them decoys. Ali asks if Spencer told yet. Just then, a shot rings out and the girls, including Ali take off running. Spencer sasses Ali and Ali tries to slap Spencer, but Hanna grabs her hand. Ezra calls out for Aria and Spencer tells Aria not to trust him. Spencer still doesn’t tell Aria why and Ali says she has no guts. Aria says she liked Ali better when she was dead. Ouch, that was the burn of the episode. Aria goes towards Ezra, but it is Toby standing there holding a lighter. He knocked Ezra out and I didn’t get to see it. Epic fail.
The girls jump in the car and Toby speeds away. Aria wants to know why Toby hit Ezra. Maybe Toby doesn’t like his face. No one tells Aria why and Emily says none of them have any guts. Everyone puts pressure on Spencer to figure out the mystery. Toby tells her to look at the pages, not the book.
Spencer comes to in the same spot she was standing in and the show is in color again. She realizes that the pages in Ali’s diary have been altered. Ezra knows that they know about him. The girls head over to Aria’s house to tell and see her kissing Ezra. I’m surprised all of them didn’t throw up. I wanted to.
The final scene is in black and white and shows a telegram from old timey A that says to break a leg. A would probably send threatening messages via Pony Express, if necessary.
I enjoyed this episode. I am a fan of classic movies, so I enjoyed this tribute to them. I actually fangirled when I saw the preview for next week’s episode when Aria finds out about Ezra. I’ve been waiting for this.