PLL s05e18: Recap and Review (2021 Thoughts Added)

Warning: This post contains Pretty Little Liars spoilers. If you haven’t watched the whole show, then proceed with caution.

A little note: In August 2014, I started watching Pretty Little Liars. That November, I started blogging about it until it ended in 2017. I haven’t watched it since, but people are still reading my posts in 2021. So, I’ve decided to add thoughts and comments based on the feelings and opinions I have in 2021. Because you’re reading this now, I want to thank you! Tbh, after the disappointment of the series finale, I felt like I wasted time writing these posts. Because you’re reading this, it doesn’t feel like a waste anymore. So, thanks!

(Unless otherwise noted, parenthesis indicate thoughts from 2021)

**Originally published on February 3, 2015. Republished on March 23, 2021. Yes, on a Tuesday in honor of the show originally airing on Tuesdays.**

What to say about tonight’s episode of Pretty Little Liars… It was extremely interesting. It’s been a while since we’ve seen any of the Liars’ parents. This time, we see Spencer’s mother talking to Alison’s lawyers. She wants to know everything she can about Alison and who may be questioned at the trial. Watching Mrs. Hastings from afar, Emily, Spencer, and Aria also see Holbrook walk into the police station. (So, that answers my 2021 question from past posts. Holbrook did show up again. I forgot. ha, ha.)

Inside The Brew, a random redhead introduces herself as Lesli, Mona’s friend from out of town. (Who the heck is Lesli? I do not remember this person.) At first, they’re intrigued, but quickly grow wary. Why is she talking about Mona as if she were the best friend who knew her better than anyone else? The last time an unknown friend showed up it was CeCe and they still don’t trust CeCe. (As we later find out, this distrust is completely justified on both parts. I do not remember Lesli, but I’m pretty sure she was untrustworthy. And if you’ve watched the entire series, then you know CeCe wasn’t, even though I wanted her to be!)

At the police station, Holbrook gathers his things while yelling at other officers. Caleb and Hanna overhear him.
He looks at them and says, “Perfect. Just perfect.” Then he walks away.
Hanna later tells the girls that Holbrook was suspended for inappropriate behavior. He was in a relationship with Alison and may have helped her cheat on her lie detector test.

Spencer goes through her mother’s papers and finds a list of people who have been visiting Alison in prison. One of the signatures both surprises and terrifies her so she goes to Aria to tell her that the signature was Mike’s. Naturally, Aria refuses to believe that Mike has been visiting Alison. She is the one who allegedly killed his girlfriend, but she agrees to confront him about it anyway.

When Hanna and Lesli go to Mona’s house together, Lesli picks up a book and asks Hanna if Mona ever talked to her about it. Hanna has a flashback of a time when Mona did talk to her about it. In the same flashback, Mona asks Hanna for three wishes. Then, she shares that if she could have any wish, she’d wish for a stopwatch. She would stop time and space so that she was the only one moving or doing anything. She would be able to spy on people without them knowing.
After the flashback, Hanna says, “Mona was always thinking. She just wasn’t thinking what we thought she was thinking.”

Hanna and Lesli walk into The Brew with Mona’s book and Mike is there. He notices that they have the book and gets defensive. He demands they give him the book so he can take it back to her house where it belongs. Hanna manages to calm him down and assure him that she will make sure to it put back where it belongs. After Mike walks away, Lesli tells Hanna that she was on the phone with Mona the night before her murder. She tells her that she heard a man’s voice over the phone telling her to get off the phone and talk to him. She is confident that it was Mike who was talking to Mona.

Hanna has another flashback of that night with Mona. In the flashback, Hanna asks Mona about Alison coming back and wonders if they would even notice her. Mona snaps that of course, they would notice her, even if she cut and colored her hair. They would be the ones she wouldn’t notice. She would be crazy and be locked into Radley “and no one gets out of there.” (I mean… Mona got out of there, so….)

While putting Mona’s book back, Hanna finds an audiotape hidden in the spine. She quickly leaves and someone follows her. While she’s driving, Hanna notices that it’s a cop car following her. She opens the car door, picks up a long tool of some sort, and walks toward the other car. No one is in the car but then Holbrook shows up behind Hanna.
He starts rambling, as if he’s drunk or insane, and asks, “How does a girl like Alison become a girl like Alison?”
He goes on about how, because of her, the career that looked so bright and promising was now ruined. Hanna calls him out and says that a man like him should have been able to resist the advances of a young girl. (Yes, exactly! What is wrong with the twenty-something “men” in Rosewood!? And why did we all act like it was okay!?) He goes on to say something about Tanner and how she knows everything.

The new male character, Jonny, talks to Spencer about something he’s making for The Brew for Ezra. Hw explains that he was “inspired by Rosewood. This whole town is strung together with whispers, secrets, and lies.” (Ain’t that the truth! The only explanation for us letting this show get away with so much is we wanted to know what the secrets and lies were! I know that’s why I was watching it. Still… I can’t believe I condoned so much! Normally, I stop watching something if nothing is redeeming about it. I guess since I binged 4 seasons in 2 days, it sort of all melded together and felt okay? I don’t know… still wrong though!)

The Liars listen to the tape of Bethany and she says, “she’s not the only one who can make plans.” The liars assume that it’s Alison that Bethany is speaking of, but of course, we can’t know for sure. At least, not yet.

Aria notices that Mike is leaving the house and follows him. She follows him to a bridge over a lake. To me, it looks like the one where Spencer confronted Melissa about the masks she had made. Mike takes a bag out of his pocket and leaves it on the railing of the bridge. When he walks away, Aria goes to inspect the bag and it appears to be a bag of gummy candies that he left for someone. Mike turns around and confronts Aria. She tells him not to come back and not to talk to Alison again.
He says, “Nobody’s giving me orders anymore.”
Then, he tells her, “Be careful going home through the woods.”

Mrs. Hastings tells Spencer the blood spot found near the barrel was Alison’s. (Okay… but did we learn what was inside?)

Hanna tells the Liars about her confrontation with Holbrook. They realize he doesn’t know half of the stuff they thought he knew. Both she and Spencer wonder if Mike has been the one helping Alison. Aria still doesn’t want to believe them and tells them that he won’t be seeing her anymore because she told him not to. Of course, Mike doesn’t listen and he does go to see Alison again. Discussing what they heard Bethany say on the recording, the girls suspect what happened in Alison’s back yard “that night,” was a trap… They just don’t know for whom or by whom.

In the final scene, we see that Liars were finally one step ahead of “A.” “A” goes into Mona’s room to find the recording but discovers that it’s gone.

Signed at the top of the list was “Sarah Hernando.” (What list? Did I forget to include that information? I’m so confused…) If you remember, there was a girl named Sarah who seemed to be a lot like Alison. She even disappeared the same day Alison disappeared. When her friends visited the Liars, we learned she was as likable and manipulative as Alison was. This could be nothing because that girl’s name was “Sara Harvey.” However, this could likely be the same girl. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time someone’s name got changed on the show. Wren Kingston’s original last name was “Kim,” and Toby Cavanaugh’s original name was “Marshall.” She might also be visiting with a fake name or it might simply be a random Sarah. It is a common name after all.

In the flashbacks of Hanna and Mona, it feels like we get two potential hints or clues. First, Hanna’s comment about Alison coming back in disguise might be a clue that Hanna knew Alison wasn’t dead. It could also mean Hanna knew about Alison’s “Vivian Darkbloom,” disguise. It wouldn’t be the first time one of the liars knew something about Alison and didn’t find it important enough to mention. Or maybe, Hanna was working with Alison? She could have even been spying on her as “A” or as Mona’s assistant. Who knows? Everything is possible right now. Also in the flashback, Mona talks about stopping time and spying on people. Is she hinting at being “A?”

The clip the liars hear is of Bethany talking about and to someone is quite sinister. The someone she is talking to is supposed to be a psychiatrist or something. The person she is talking about is suspected to be Alison. How can we know that though? We can’t right now. For all we know, she was talking about Jessica. She could have been talking about Mona, or she could have been talking about whoever “A” is. And it is still possible that Mona is still alive and still “A.” (I still think that would have been an epic and far more believable twist!)

When Mike says, “Nobody’s giving me orders anymore” it indicates he had been taking orders from someone. Lately, many things seem to point to the possibility of Mike being A. But what if he was working for “A?” What if he has been doing a sort of “Toby move” where he works for “A” so he can protect Mona? Or Aria even? Anything is possible in Rosewood. (Even the stupidest of things.) Whatever he meant by that statement, it’s clear he is working with someone he doesn’t want Aria to know about. I suspect he knows Mona is still alive and he brings her things that she may want or need. That or he may be working with “A” and brings “A” things. Or Mona and “A” are the same? Who knows?

Here is my best friend’s theory: “Mona isn’t dead. She’s A and never stopped being A. But I think Mike was dating her because he is working for Ali. And Ali was trying to bring Mona down. And now he is visiting Aly in hopes they can still stop Mona.” (Again, I wish this theory had been true. It would have been way more awesome than what did happen.)

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