Everyone loves the return of an old face in Rosewood – which is why I was overly excited when Jason graced our screens. Even if he is looking a little rougher, it’s definitely working for him. So not only is he back, but he’s back with a court order as Ali’s guardian, and is straight to business trying to kick Mary out of his house. Go Jason! He can’t quite get his head around why Ali is so reluctant to see that his aunt is trouble, and he’s enlisted the help of sweet and innocent Aria to help give Ali the nudge she needs to bin Mary D.
But Aria isn’t as sweet and innocent as she seems. It sounds to me like her and Jason have some secrets that the other girls and Ezra don’t know about. But when Jason invites Aria for dinner with Ali and Mary, he gets a little irate and Aria calms him with the touch of her hand. Naturally Ali notices this; of course she’d find it odd that her brother invites her engaged friend over as his guest.
Another clue as to why Mary actually is Jessica – she made Beef Wellington for dinner, the dish that Jessica would make her kids on their birthdays. But of course the ever-witty Mary points out it must be a family recipe. Except, how would she know? She spent most of her life locked away in Radley…didn’t she?The episode opens with a soppy spiel from Spencer about how her girls are her family, giving the girls each a necklace with their names on. A little classier than the friendship bracelets Ali made for them in high school. Could Spencer be marking her territory as the new queen bee? The cops arrive and, after receiving a chilling note from AD claiming he knows they killed Elliot, the girls immediately think they’re done for. But when they enter the lift and head to floor 3, Emily tells them about Sarah’s death.
We see Jenna crying and her glasses are off. She looks directly at the girls before putting them back on. I’m still voting she has the use of her sight again. Are her tears for real though? She obviously wasn’t as scared as Sarah was about “he who hasn’t yet been named” because if she knew he was dangerous, surely she would have warned her new chum.
Meanwhile, secret detective Hanna has been making use of her Radley connections and breaks into Jenna’s room, only to be caught by the new security – Caleb. Ever her hero, he agrees to help. He gives Jenna a complimentary spa pass and steals her safe key from her handbag, passing it to Spencer and Hanna to go investigate. They find files with Mary Drake’s DNA codes on them but not the laptop they were after. They have to hide under the bed when Noel Khan arrives and drops Mary Drake’s Radley file to the floor before putting it in the safe. He then makes an angry phone call to a doctor saying he’s running out of time. WHAT IS HIS DEAL? He seems too obvious to be AD but I’m still keeping him on the list of suspects for now.Seeing that file sets bells ringing for Spencer. Earlier in the episode Toby was called to a break in at his house, which hospitalised Yvonne. That same file was in Toby’s house – which means Noel is on to Toby too. Spencer warns Toby that it’s never safe in Rosewood, and that he should get away. Later he comes to tell Spencer he’s leaving for Maine with Yvonne and they’re going to start their family there, after revealing that the person he was building the house for was actually her! Way to rip a girl’s heart out Toby. It was a simple but emotional farewell, but I don’t think Toby will be off our screens for too long.
Later – Hanna and Caleb work on the Mary Drake DNA files together, where Hanna FINALLY tells him that she and Jordan broke up. She explains how hard it is to move on and cut someone out of your life for good, that it’s like losing a limb, and he sympathetically tells her it will get better. Her response…she wasn’t talking about Jordan. There’s still that spark between Hanna and Caleb – so there’s hope for them yet!
Back to the dinner with Mary and family – Mary lets slip that her Aunt Carol used to have a storm shelter, one that Alison and Jason were unaware of. Aria wants to see it but, after telling Emily of Ezra’s plans to elope, she’s encouraged to go and get hitched. I have to admit that it was nice to see how giddy she got at the thought of finally marrying her man.
But who likes a happy ending? Obviously Aria and Ezra can’t fly off into the sunset because there’s always Nicole’s phone call lingering over everyone’s heads. And going by the look on Ezra’s face when the FBI turn up at his door stating they have reason to believe she’s still alive, Aria didn’t tell him about it. Is it now going to look like Ezra is involved? Especially since the call from Nicole’s phone has been deleted from his call list.Meanwhile, the other girls make a trip to Aunt Carol’s, where they find the storm shelter that appears to be Jessica’s old lair. It’s a nice moment when Ali realises that her mom knew she hadn’t died, and that she never stopped looking for her. In the lair there’s a filing cabinet labelled LEADS, with a file for each of the girls apart from Aria. Ali has a look on her face that says she’s onto something; she’s going to think Jason beat them to it and took Aria’s file to protect her. But protect her from what?
At the end of the episode, after a tense countdown, the girls get another message: “If you find out who I am before I find out who killed Charlotte – YOU DIE”. And at that moment – BOOM! The lair explodes. It’s another close call for the girls and, as they’re taking in what’s happened, a shadow appears at the back screen window writing, “I SEE YOU”. If that doesn’t spell Noel Khan (remember Aria and Ezra getting caught by him at Mona’s glamping party?), I don’t know what does.
P.S. I’m loving the AD snap shots at the end – especially when we see that it’s actually AD that has Aria’s file – meaning he has something on her. But not only does he have Aria’s, he also Noel’s too. Except, he burns Noel’s… I guess there’s a new game in play, and so far, Noel’s winning.
The next episode of PLL will be on Netflix on 17 August.