‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: Burn Baby Burn, Creepy Inferno

Previously on PLL:
All the Liars were arrested, but kidnapped before making it to the slammer. Mona is alive and is being forced to impersonate Alison. Jason’s newly discovered twin brother, ChArles, is A. But, most importantly, two of the parents (Mr. and Mrs. Hastings) FINALLY figure out their daughter is in danger. All caught up? Good! Now let’s get into that DOOOZZZEYYY of an episodes. And I mean DOOO-ZZZZZZ.

Right off the bat, we were introduced to this young lady.

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Is it a Luna Lovegood? Is it a ghost? Nope, it’s just another girl Charles has kidnapped to impersonate his younger sister. FakeAlison watches as the liars charge through the hallway to make their quick escape. If you remember from last season, their hope of freedom was cut short. They aren’t free, but instead they are entrapped by an electric fence in the middle of the woods. Spencer assures the crew that they are DEFINITELY not being held captive in the Amazon, because that Waning Moon over yonder proves they are most certainly in the Northern Hemisphere.

To make their night even better, Charles pulls his Truman Show card and creates a thunderstorm for the viewers. The girls get even more worried as Emily points out that the fence acts like a giant lightning rod, and they’re gonna fry like eggs. Cue a montage of the Liars surviving the cruelty of Mother Nature throughout the night.

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Is Spencer using her prom dress as a tarp?

And then this dialogue occurs:
Hanna: How long can a person live without food.
Mona: Three weeks.
Spencer: Water’s another story, people can only go a few days.

Okay. Shit. Just. Got. REAL. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully enjoying this episode, but this is super intense. I feel like I am watching a hybrid of Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU with some Vampire Diaries thrown in the mix! These are STILL TEENAGERS here for goodness sake. The mood is lightened though when Emily out-grosses the rest by stating she would drink sweat off a jock strap (also Hanna, you can drink your pee to survive, but you can only do it once before you re-hydrate so save that pee drink!) The next morning the hatch door finally opens.While following the Yellow Light Road into A’s Kidnap Complex the Liars are greeted with sleeping gas, and we learn the reason for Charles’ gas masked gift to Mona last season.

In one of the creepier shots of Pretty Little Liars history, the girls wake up in a morgue, laying on metal slabs.

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Two can keep a secret if four of us are dead

Emily looks under the white sheet and gasps “Thank God.” Phew, now we know they are clothed and were not raped. But no, she is just relieved that Charles did not harvest her organs. I am still hoping that the former didn’t happen either. They follow candy stripper Mona back to their rooms where they learn there is a fate worse than the electric fence, and it is called the Hole (yes we can make a quick reference to how this is an A-Hole and move on).

Three Weeks Later
The newly freed Alison is leading a press conference about the missing Liars and we learn that Andrew is now the sole suspect for this case. Wait hold everything. You are telling me that these girls, these TEENAGE GIRLS, have been held captive for three weeks. THREE WEEKS.

Anyway, Alison’s “heartfelt” speech about her missing besties was really part of an intricate plan to trap Andrew. Mr. D doesn’t want his precious Alison to be put in harm’s way but Det. Tanner assures him that Rosewood’s finest will be by her side. Phew, if Rosewood PD is on the case than no harm can be done. Two seconds later the house goes into high alert as they fear an intruder who turns out to just be Jason with take-out (OR IS IT CHARLES). They can’t relax for long because seconds later Alison receives a call in which only old timey song is on the other end. After keeping the caller on the line long enough to track the call, they discover the call is coming from INSIDE OF THE HOUSE. This gives us the BEST scene EVER of Officer Toby Cavanaugh’s policing skills. In a weak, whiney voice he barges into a room demanding “Show me your hands. Let me see your hands.”

God, it was so entertaining, especially since the suspect was a doll dressed as a pig that just squealed at them. As expected, this was all a ruse. The phone call was really a message from the Scooby Squad, calling Alison to action and the press conference was really a secret message to tell “Andrew” to meet her at the kissing rock. When Ali gets to the kissing rock, there is a car waiting for her with a loaded GPS. Good thing Caleb made those super spy tracking shoes for Alison to wear. Caleb and Ezra trail Ali’s car, and bicker like a very old unhappy married couple and make sure to call Toby when things go south. Oh man, I wish Paige was part of this rag-tag team still.

Ali reaches her destination when she pulls up to Pennsylvania’s Tyler State Park, which in PLL-verse could span from a 10 minute to 4 hours away drive from Rosewood. Upon discovering that her cellphone does not work out in the wilderness, she presses the blue button for OnStar Assistance. For reasons unbeknownst to me, she is surprised that A has hijacked the OnStar Services of this mysterious car she found in the woods that contained a pre-loaded GPS route.

When Caleb arrives at the car he discovers his ingenious idea of a GPS shoe was undermined when Charles forced Alison to change her wardrobe.

Pretty Little Liars

Luckily, Ali left some breadcrumbs for them to follow.

Kidnap Complex
In the Kidnap Complex, the Liars emerge from their respective room wearing outfits circuit Season 1: Spencer is wearing argyle; Aria has pink highlights and is wearing god knows what (she must have been allowed to use product in captivity because those waves are on point); Emily is decked out in Sharks gear; Hanna looks fairly normal. It seems that this is the first time they have been allowed to see each other, or even leave their room in three weeks.

Emily: I would ask if you were okay but, I just …
Aria: Let’s not talk about what we just went through. At least not until we get out of here.
Spencer: I don’t know if I can even find the words.

I can’t figure out how I am supposed to react to their reaction of being held captive for nearly a month. They are obviously emotionally distraught, run down, and scared, but they still look at it as a thing A is putting them through! I just can’t wrap my head around it. Just for a minute imagine all the liars grow up go to college and have kids. How the FUCK are they going to look back at their teenage years. “Remember that time when your girlfriend was killed, and your adult boyfriend was secretly spying on you to write a book and then we were locked in a Kidnap Complex for a month? Haha, those were the good old days.”

I might have to officially pull my Glee card out this season, and remind myself we are in PLL world, not the real world, so if a bedazzled microphone and a full band accompanies a character while singing in the streets of NYC, it is normal.

They follow Big Brother’s orders and proceed to Ali’s room which, as expected, is an exact replica of the Real Ali’s room. Charles even managed to snag memorabilia from Real Life Alison’s room! They use their Scooby powers and deduce that the reasons there is Real Life Alison memorabilia, and that they were forced to sign a “Welcome Home Ali” card is because Real Life Alison will soon be joining them in the Kidnap Complex. They proceed in unpacking Alison’s belonging, and reminisce about the things they let Ali do in their presence (aka Call Lucas Hermey and, you know, The Jenna Thing). Just as Spencer pulls out a toy train with the initials C.D. etched on the side, Aria summons her to the closet:

Aria: Spencer can you come here and help me?
Spencer: I’m busy here sleuthing out on this wooden train. Can’t Hanna help?
Aria: No, but I need my Sparia time!
Spencer: You are right Aria, it has been three weeks.

Turns out, Mona left a message for the liars in the closet, and since it was about Mona being killed and all, Aria thought it was best Hanna didn’t see it first.

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Mona, just this once, I forgive your grammatical error

The girls keep searching the Kidnap Complex and find that Charles has been stealing all of their shit for ages before he kidnapped them. They also find news articles about how their families are dealing with the loss, which apparently they did not even consider until they saw the clipping. Ugh, typical teens! Ashley has been so upset she was even hospitalized (poor Ashley). Next thing you know Spence starts bragging about being the reigning Third Grade Etch-a-Sketch queen. She won for precision, speed, accuracy and even creativity! But really, she is just boasting so she can write a secret message to the other Liars without Charles hearing.

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Spencer, I’m not that impressed…

Now they all know that Charles is a D.

Later that night Spencer wrangles up the other liars and, while escaping, explains that there are 50 hidden anagrams throughout the Kidnap Complex that spell out Charles DiLaurentis. She also discovered how to access Charles private creepy vault/lair. Just as the ear-bleeding alarm goes off, Emily comes to the rescue and finds the secret air vent behind the bookcase to lead them to the vault (climbing through vaults, where is Caleb when need him).

And with that, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Liars have infiltrated A’s Lair! They turn the projector on to show the film of the D twins and baby Ali at the apple farm. Spencer stares into the camera and declares “Game on ChArles,” and proceeds to burn the film reel. The liars must get caught up in the moment, as Aria screams “Let’s torch the place,” and they literally proceed to light all dolls and anything wooden on fire. You guys are in a locked room and you are setting everything on fire. Do you see the issue in this plan? First, fire consumes oxygen. Second fire causes you to burn to death. I stand by my statement last night that this was hands down, the stupidest thing the Liars have ever done. All of them have done dumbass things on their own, like everything Aria had done in Season 4 and Spencer did in Season 5. As a group though, this has to be the dumbest. Dumb-est!

They quickly realize the errors of their ways nonchalantly and go “oh we can find a blanket and/or curtain to stop this raging fire.” They pull down the curtain and…. Dun. Dun. Dun. Charles is behind the curtain.  With this turn of events, Emily decides that they should throw everything Charles could care about into the fire.

Oh Emily, that is exactly how you DON’T stop a fire. I guess killing A’s soul is more important than living. Emily’s plan ended up working because Charles couldn’t stand to see his childhood memories/ creepy lair burn to a crisp and triggered the fire alarm/sprinklers.

The A-Hole
While the Liars are released from their rooms, Mona is still stuck in the dreaded hole. I really hope that she hasn’t been in there for three weeks, especially because I’m not sure if it is indoors or out. Charles visits Mona in the hole and she delivers this heart wrenching speech.

Mona: I’m sorry I upset you. But if you let me out, I promise, I’ll be a good Ali. The best you’ll ever find. Just give me a chance and you’ll see.

Charles doesn’t listen to her plea, and walks away as Mona just screams “Please, no please. Don’t leave me here.” I think I feel worse for Mona than anyone else on the show right now. I mean yeah, the Liars were kidnapped as well, but for a much shorter time than Mona AND they didn’t have to pretend to be a person they hate every day. They cut back to a heartbreaking scene of Mona singing a lullaby to herself.

Being the amazing friends that they are, the Liars refuse to leave the Kidnap Complex without their dear Mona. They find her, save her and run out of the Kidnap Complex where each Liar finds their significant other, sans Emily of course. Instead Emily awkwardly embraces Alison. I am going to put this out here now, I am, nor will ever be an Emisson shipper. Just not my cup of tea. I am Team Paige. Paige should have been there comforting her.

All the hugging and consoling is cut short when Rosewood’s finest discover another random girl wearing a familiar layered yellow shirt in the hatch. The mysterious Ali #2 is a girl named Sarah, who has been kidnapped since Ali went missing (which in our years is 5 years, but in PLL years in maybe 2? I am not sure).

That was something right? This is gonna be one drama filled, creepy summer!

Final Questions/Thoughts:
1) Do the four languages (Bonjour, Good Morning, Guten Morgen, Buenos Dias)  used in the morning greeting have meaning?
2) How many yellow shirts does Charles actually own?

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Seriously, did he buy them in bulk?

3) How ingenious was Caleb’s idea of placing the tracker in heel of Ali’s shoe?
4) Why are Charles’ childhood videos on a film projector? He is the same age of me, they TOTALLY had VHS then!
5) Do we think Charles and Jason are identical, or could Andrew actually be Charles?

Alyssa Berkowitz
Alyssa (TV Editor) likes long walks on the beach, Greek food, talking about television, watching a good sunset, and girls who wear glasses. Wait, this isn't a bio for OKCupid? Alyssa got her start recapping in college when her friends got tired of her constantly talking about TV and suggested she start a blog. The idea was if she wrote about TV she would talk about it less. Well her friends succeeded in one of their goals...she started writing about TV.

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