Gloomy Thanksgiving

Pretty Little Liars
Season 5, Episode 12 – “Taking This One to the Grave”
Original Airdate: August 26, 2014
Contains spoilers if you have not watched the episode


“You saw all of the blood, no one could have lived through that.” – Aria
“It’s all your fault.” – A
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” – Spencer (quoting Winston Churchill)
“Because you’re Mona.” – Aria
“I took all my Ali anger out on you guys and I’m sorry for that.” – Mona
“Is it starting again?” – Mrs. Vanderwaal (Mona’s mother)
“Send out a code A. She is plotting something big.” – Mona
“Lock the door, someone is following me.” – Mona
“You think you can be crazy and not know it.” – Mona
“She assembled the perfect group: smart, loyal, admiring and compassionate.” – Mona
“I don’t want to hold your hand in the hallway, Emily.” – Mona
“Read her boobs, the girl loves Christmas.” – Hanna
“I didn’t have anything to do with Bethany Young’s murder.” – Ali
“I’m sorry. Could you lie to this face?” – Hanna
“Not to poke where I don’t belong, but if I were graduating from po-po school, I wouldn’t want to know my girlfriend just broke into Radley.” – Mona
“I’m A, right?” – Ali to Emily “I don’t know, are you?” – Emily to Ali
“It must hurt when the loyal one betrays you.” – Emily
“Game over, Alison. I win.” – Mona

It is a gloomy Thanksgiving Day in Rosewood, PA, but it’s not because of the weather. Ezra, Emily, Aria and Hanna are outside a house, I don’t want to say to whom it belongs. Hanna is more upset than the others. A police comes over to take their statements, Hanna first. Hanna doesn’t want to go on the porch and see “that” again. Aria tells Ezra that no one could have lived through what they saw. A texts them and tells them one of the worst things possible, “It’s all your fault.”

The show then flashbacks to thirty-six hours earlier. Ali is being hooked up to a lie detector machine. Holbrook is there, not waiting for his partner, Tanner. Ali begins by stating her full name.

For the first time, we get a glimpse of Mona’s room. It is filled with dolls, of course. She’s not playing games with the dolls, she is in her bed reading a book in French while listening to a record in French. Her mother interrupts and says she has company. Mona’s mother is played by Sydney Penny, who played Julia Santos on All My Children, in case you were wondering. Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are waiting downstairs for Mona. Mona asks them if someone died based on the look on their faces. They are there because they need Mona’s help. When Mona’s mother leaves the room, Mona asks what she did to them. She is Ali, of course. Hanna says she hasn’t done anything yet and Aria adds that this is about what Ali is about to do.

Spencer quotes Winston Churchill to explain the catastrophic nature of Ali’s lies and Hanna asks if Ali said that. Both Mona and Spencer say it was Churchill. Hanna says they want to know what lies Ali is telling the police. Mona wants to know why they think she can help and Aria explains, “because you’re Mona.” Mona smiles because she cannot deny this. Like I said in my last post, Mona gets things done.

Meanwhile, the biggest liar of them all (she has Aria beat), Ali, tells who was in the barn the night she disappeared. She says Aria, Emily and Hanna. The interviewer asks where she last saw Spencer.

Mona says that Ali stole her life when Ali crowned her Rosewood’s biggest loser. Mona says she was so convincing that even Mona started to believe it. Sometimes the psychological scars of a bully are worse than the physical ones. Mona still fears Ali and Spencer asks if she is really that afraid of Ali. Mona asks if Spencer is afraid of Ali too, considering she is there, asking for help. Spencer doesn’t answer as Mona’s mom comes in the room with a tray of cookies and asks Hanna if chocolate chip is still her favorite. Hanna says they are, but they have to go. It makes me a little sad to be reminded of Hanna and Mona’s friendship.

While her mom is packing up the cookies, Mona admits that she took her “Ali anger” out on the other girls and she apologizes for it. The girls just sort of nod, so I guess they aren’t ready to hug and forgive. Emily, Spencer and Aria head for the door, while Hanna waits for the cookies. Hanna cannot turn down a snack or a moment to spend with the friend she has never gotten over.

On their way out, Aria asks Spencer about what she plans to do with Melissa’s confession. Spencer says it doesn’t help them. Plus, she would be an accessory to murder, at best.

Mrs. V comes back in with the cookies and Mona pretends to go to her room. Mrs. V asks if it is starting again, meaning is Ali bullying Mona again. Hanna says she is not friends with Ali anymore, so she doesn’t know what Ali is doing. Hanna adds that Mona is afraid of Ali, they all are. It amazes me how much terror Ali can bring at her age. I imagine she will become more dangerous as time moves along.

Mona goes into her room and calling someone saying to send out a code A because she is plotting something big. Mona shows up at The Brew and tells the guy working to lock the door because she thinks someone is following her. Mona, you in danger, girl. Only Lucas has shown up for the meeting and tells her everyone is convinced she is “Crazy Mona.” She asks Lucas if you can be crazy and not know it. She’s not talking about herself, she is talking about Ali. She thinks Ali has gone full on “socio.” Is this a tribute to the fallen show, Twisted? Remember, the kids at school nicknamed Danny, Socio. Man, I going to miss that show.

The next day at school, Mona talks to Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily in the restroom. Mona found out that Ali volunteered to take the polygraph test. Mona says Ali took the lie detector test because she is not having fun because she can’t play with her “dolls” anymore. Mona thinks Ali stole the game from her and that Ali is A. It makes sense, but knowing this show, it might not be true. Mona says Ali assembled the perfect group smart (Spencer), loyal (Emily), admiring (Hanna) and compassionate (Aria, but I might argue with that one.) Spencer adds this is the perfect group for a sociopath to manipulate.

Mona tells them that Ali would have gotten bored with one of them, but all together, they are a challenge to her. Aria always wondered why Ali chose her and Mona explains that Ali liked playing with someone who feels so deeply, because Ali cannot feel anything. Emily says Ali never loved her and Aria says she never loved any of them.

Spencer figures out that Ali will convince the cops they are guilty, of everything, according to Mona. Mona will find out what Ali said to the police. When asked of her motivation, Mona explains that she received early acceptance to three colleges, but she still has to survive senior year. Emily tells Mona that helping them will not make her one of their besties. Mona tells Emily she doesn’t want to hold Emily’s hand in the hallway. Mona doesn’t want anyone to know she is helping them, including their bed buddies. Mindy and Cindy, the twins Ali used to torture, come in and everyone scatters.

Emily is at her locker when Paige approaches. Paige offers to help put up Christmas decorations at Emily’s house. Paige essentially tells Emily that her date didn’t work out, and instead of talking, Paige kisses Emily.

Mrs. V comes out of the principal’s office at school. Mona sees her and Mrs. V says she was dropping off the food donation that Mona left behind. She was really there to complain about Ali because Ali is called to the principal’s office. Ali is with a group of girls that look like the liars. I guess she is auditioning a new group of dolls.

Aria is helping Ezra make pumpkin pie. He has been invited to the Montgomery’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t know what to say about that. She is still in high school and their relationship is not okay.

Spencer is at home looking through a photo album. She sees a picture of all the girls together where Ali has written “My Four Besties – Kisses, Ali.” Remember when the A text used to be signed, “Kisses.” Before Spencer can think of it too much, Toby comes in and tells her to put her hands on her head and turn around. Spencer doesn’t put her hands on her head and says she has trouble with authority. Then, they have this semi-kinky conversation that I sort of tune out. Toby’s police graduation ceremony is tonight. Is it just me or he was in the police academy for like 2 days? I guess that’s why the Rosewood police officers are so inept.

Spencer gives Toby an engraved pocket watch, which says, “You are my once upon a time.” We’re lucky that Toby doesn’t cry.

Lucas goes to the police station pretending he is applying for some program. When the officer leaves to get an application, Lucas plugs something into the officer’s computer, then he texts Mona. Mona clones the officer’s computer in a matter of seconds. Caution: evil genius at work.

Hanna, Caleb and Paige are helping Emily put up Christmas decorations and Emily is extra jolly. She is wearing a shirt that says this girl loves Christmas. Caleb asks Hanna what is up with Emily and Hanna tells Caleb to read Emily’s boobs, she loves Christmas. Hanna gets a call from Mona that she pretends is from her mom.

Emily chats with Caleb as she adds Baby Jesus to the manger. Emily explains that her dad usually makes it home for Christmas, so she and her mom decorate for Christmas, as a way of welcoming him home.

Mona and the girls gather to watch the video of Ali’s lie detector test. We get to see the rest of what she said. Ali says that Spencer came into her house that night. Ali says she pushed Spencer to that place and she knew Spencer was on drugs. The interviewer asks if Spencer was desperate and would do anything to keep Ali from talking. Ali doesn’t implicate her, but she does add that she did not have anything to do with Bethany Young’s murder. I think she is slyly trying to implicate Spencer by making herself seem innocent.

Holbrook comes over Ali’s house to talk to her. He says he shouldn’t be there without Tanner, but he wanted to tell her something in person. They sit down and we cannot hear what he says. Given that this is the second move he has made without his partner, I really do not trust his motives and methods.

Mona figures out that the questions asked during Ali’s lie detector test mean more than the answers Ali gave them. Caleb comes in and says the cops think Spencer killed Bethany. Mona knew Hanna would tell Caleb what they were up to, so she asked for his help. Emily asks if anyone else will be coming, but no one else told their bed buddy. Hanna apologizes, but says she couldn’t lie to that face.

Caleb says that the cops gained access to Bethany’s Radley files. Also, according to another file he accessed, Ali is off the hook and Spencer is on it. The police think that Spencer killed Bethany as a favor to Ali. I don’t think Spencer ever cared about impressing Ali that much. Mona says there must be something in the Radley files that ties Ali to Bethany. Spencer says this is on her, but the girls say they are in this together. Anyone else notice the repetition of this phrase. Mona is left out of the group hug, but Spencer includes her by saying they should go back to Radley together.

Mona and Spencer dress up as nurses. Caleb taps into Radley’s system so that Mona and Spencer can be buzzed in. Caleb and Hanna are in the car as look outs. Spencer thinks she should have told Toby about this, but Mona points out someone about to graduate from “po-po school” wouldn’t want to know that. That line really cracked me up.

Emily is in her room talking to Paige on the phone. Emily says she is not feeling well and is going to bed. Ali shows up and startles Emily. Emily texts Hanna to say A is there. Ali wants to know why she is here and Emily says it bothers her that they weren’t speaking. Ali acts like she is leaving and Emily says she doesn’t want things to be like this. Ali smiles, but her back is to Emily, so Emily cannot see it. There’s that manipulative demon of an Ali.

Aria is at the art class in Radley when she sees Mona and Spencer. She spills some paint and causes a distraction while Spencer and Mona steal a set of keys.

Caleb and Hanna see Holbrook going into Radley. I really don’t trust him now. What is he doing there? Aria is cleaning up the paint when Holbrook approaches. He insinuates that Aria began volunteering after Bethany was identified and that it was Spencer’s idea that she volunteers (both of which are true). Aria lies, like she always does.

Caleb sees a list of impressive colleges in Hanna’s car and she says her “SCT score” (which I think may be a Hanna-ized combination of the SATS and ACTS) was so impressive that her guidance counselor thinks she cheated. I guess the “dumb” one was the smart one all along.

Ali acts like she needs a cup of tea, so that she can look at Emily’s phone. Ali asks Emily if Emily thinks she is A and Emily sassily questions, “I don’t know, are you?” You have to love sassy Emily. Ali is angry and Emily says that it must hurt when the loyal one betrays you. Ali storms out, bumping into Emily as she goes. She tells Emily it was a nice performance.

Paige is coming over Emily’s house when she sees Ali get into a car with the twins from school. Paige follows them.

Spencer and Mona go through a box labeled “Bethany Young.” All her sessions with a therapist were recorded. Spencer asks Mona which schools she was accepted into and Mona says Yale, Harvard and Dartmouth, but she is turning them down because they are not full rides. Spencer has not heard from any of the schools she applied to. Mona says they are borrowing the Bethany files and begins packing them up. They listen to one of the tapes and Bethany says she didn’t trust Mrs. D. Smart girl. Spencer reads on the file that Mrs. D had an affair with Bethany’s dad. I wonder if Bethany’s father is also Peter Hastings.

Mona and Spencer get ready to leave when they see Holbrook. Hanna tells them to take the back staircase. Toby is driving and talking to Spencer on his cell phone. Doesn’t he know that’s how Adam from Degrassi died? Spencer was supposed to meet him to go to his graduation. Toby looks down at his phone and gets into a car accident.

We are now back at the horrible Thanksgiving Day. The girls are at The Brew and Emily has to work until noon. Spencer feels guilty about Toby’s accident, but he will be fine. Spencer is drinking from an empty cup, by the way. Toby has a broken leg and is texting on his phone. Paige comes in to tell Emily that she followed Cindy, Mindy and Ali to an abandoned farmhouse. Ali is building her own army. Holbrook barges into The Brew and arrests Spencer for the murder of Bethany Young. Someone needs to shut down these incompetent Rosewood police.

Mona is at home going through all the Bethany files. She receives a text from Hanna about Spencer. Mona then goes downstairs to help her mother pack her SUV and air kisses her goodbye. Mona is supposed to leave within the hour to meet her mom wherever they are going for Thanksgiving dinner. Someone is outside Mona’s house with blonde hair and a hoodie. The hair looks like Ali’s at first, but wait a minute. Mona goes in the house and locks herself inside.

Ezra arrives at Aria’s house with the pies. Aria gets a call from Mona. Mona says that Ali lured Bethany to Rosewood. She knew about her mother’s affair and was jealous of Bethany and wanted Bethany dead. A gloved hand picks his / her way into Mona’s house. The person comes in and takes off the hood and is wearing an obvious blonde wig. The reason I am not sure this was a female was the broadness of the torso and the largeness of the feet. The person creeps up the stairs as Mona tells Aria she can prove Ali is A. Aria tells Ezra to grab his coat because Mona found proof. Mona talks to the mirror and says, “Game over, Alison. I win.” Famous last words, literally. Mona hears a person entering her room and turns around and gasps.

Aria, Hanna and Emily show up at Mona’s house. There is blood smeared on the walls and a lot of things are broken. Emily and Hanna rush upstairs as Ezra calls 911. Hanna screams. In the next shot we see, the police have taped off the house. We luckily did not have to see what made Hanna scream, but they have a disturbing image waiting for us. More people have gathered outside, including Caleb, Paige and Mrs. V. Ali stands back observing it all and I really want to strangle her because I really think she was behind this.

Holbrook comes out and makes the following speech to the press. “The investigation is ongoing, but we have ruled this a homicide. Although we did not find a body, the amount of blood in the house would indicate that the victim’s wounds were fatal. Mona Vanderwaal was murdered.” Mrs. V screams out, “no.” I hope Holbrook’s crooked self told her before he made the announcement to the press. Lucas has shown up and looks shocked. Everyone cries harder. Ali smirks before turning away.

At Emily’s house that night, someone takes Baby Jesus out the manger and places the Mona doll in there. I assume this is the same person that murdered Mona. The person takes Baby Jesus and places him in the trunk next to Mona’s body. Yep, I started crying there. I thought Mona would somehow get out of this. Mona is wrapped in blanket with her eyes open and blood smeared on her face. The light is gone out in her eyes and she does not blink for anyone that may say she is still alive. Yes, Mona Vanderwaal was murdered. I am way sadder about this than I imagined I would be. I am also afraid to see what this person will do with Mona’s body. This is the A that “plays with body parts” after all. Remember all that was done to Bethany’s body.

In the final scene, gloved hands cuts out a picture of the girls and places it in a snow globe. I guess A has terrible things in store for Christmas.

Even though this episode made me sad, it was one of the most amazing episodes of this show, period. Janelle Parrish did an awesome job and she pretty much carried this episode. The Halloween special looks like it is a recap, fan appreciation type thing, but I cannot wait for the Christmas episode. I don’t think they announced the airdate yet. I want to know who killed Mona, but I also want to see everyone’s reactions to her death.

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