*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
“He’s alive and he’s coming for us isn’t he?” Alison, oh Alison, where art thou brain? Is this what you have become? One who states the obvious? I mean, Aria mistaking a phone ring for the chip in her neck is about right, but you? This? It’s official - you are your father’s child. You are the reincarnation of a man who refuses to answer a question, but leaves the answer beside him ready for anyone to read. Oh, the stupidity. The utter stupidity. A party pooper in the truest sense of the word, Kenneth fled Rosewood, leaving Jason to celebrate Charles’s birthday alone. At least Jason got an invite to the birthday boy’s party. Everyone else had to gate crash. But before I inform you of those festivities, let us toast Sarah’s departure from the Field’s household. That’s right; I know you have a drink at the ready for when she is on the screen.
Do you remember Claire? Sara’s friend who told Emily many an episode ago that “everything she gave you, she took two things away. I wished Sara was dead before she disappeared”? Firstly, #Friendshipgoals, and secondly, she changed her tune. It was less emo and more Taylor Swift. Emily still remembered the former, and so she greeted Claire with uncharacteristic bitchiness. When Claire expressed disbelief at Sara’s employment, saying “If I went through what she did, I don’t think I’d remember how to read”, Emily shot back with “We all remember how to read”. Uh hello badass, and why don’t we see more of you? Don’t get me wrong; I love nice Emily but this one… this one could be of more use (hint, hint). Back at home, she told Sara about Claire’s desire to see her, offering to act as a buffer between the two. And right there is where the scene should have ended. Instead, we had to endure this;
Sara: Last night… I’m not sure whether I dreamed something or it actually happened.
Emily: It happened, unless you want it to be a dream, then we can pretend. (YES. I do want it to be a dream. I really, really do)
Sara: No! Please… I’ve had enough pretend kisses. This was my first real kiss in three years, and I can’t believe I was half asleep for it. (I can’t believe I was fully awake for it)
As it was, Claire and Sara didn’t need a buffer. The get-together went so well, that Claire invited Sara to stay at her house indefinitely. The offer transformed Emily from a third-wheel into a green-eyed monster and she rejected it out rightly, informing Claire that Sara was safer with her. Sara remained quiet at the time, but later told Emily she was going to stay with her old friend. Emonster tried to dissuade her, telling her that Claire only had unpleasant things to say about her in the past. This prompted Sara to confess, “Honestly Emily, I didn’t like me that much back then either”. Honestly, Sara, you’re still not very likeable. And don’t think you have me fooled. Leaving right before Charles’s birthday party? I’m on to you lady.
Also deserving of a toast is Mama Marin, who applied to every scholarship programme she could find whilst Hanna was missing. “One of the applications actually paid off, literally” and she got her daughter her $30,000 tuition. In a moment so emotional that my tears were too traumatised to fall, Ashley told Hanna that “It helped; planning for your future, believing you still had one”. So what if this money tree was recommended by Jason and most likely planted by Mrs. DiLaurentis? Upon hearing that Mama D donated to the Carissimi group all the time, Hanna and Spencer researched the company and discovered it was connected to Radley. Branching into the field of translation this episode, Spencer told her that ‘Carissimi’ is Latin for beloved. “As in, Charles – Beloved Son”? Yes, Hanna, the word ‘beloved’ came into existence solely for A and will most likely fade out again once you discover his identity. I was too focused on the idiocy of Hanna’s remark to notice Spencer’s reason leave the conversation, and only realised when she said “What if Mrs D’s favourite charity was also her oldest son’s bank account?”. I’m pretty sure this is not how connect the dots works.
Luckily we have the Montgomery’s to play by the rules. It was Mike’s turn on the ‘Montgomery – Making an appearance’ rota, and in keeping with family tradition, his resurfacing was of little value. I must say, the writers did well to condense the emotions of a break-up/make-up in his short time on screen. We got broken-hearted, whiny, desperate, “pissed as hell”, cheesy and loved up all in three scenes. Let Mike and Mona’s relationship be a lesson to us all – don’t take the hint. If a guy/girl ignores our messages ‘one hundred times’ and doesn’t want to see us, just go wait in their room, have an overly sentimental dialogue and all will be well again.
Now for the birthday boy. In a fitting tribute to her eldest brother’s insanity, the Ali of old came out to play.
With a concoction of decaf coffee and sleeping pills, she put Kenneth into a slumber and made an escape from his grip. I suppose I could just say she drugged him, but the former makes it sound less immoral. Enlisting Mona as a getaway driver, she made her way to the celebrations, but not before reverting back to dull DiLaurentis and calling the police. What a wet blanket.
Do you know what is worse than one killjoy? Three more. All we wanted to do was gate crash A’s party, but no. Emily, Aria and Toby had to ruin it all, especially the latter. The GPS tracker planted on Jason’s car and the removal of their microchips were nullified by Toby and his morals. I thought we corrupted those damn things!
Aria and Emily were to blame for his interference. Of all the nights not to wear their big girl pants, they chose A’s birthday. Thank you very much you two. Not only did Toby agree to help on the condition that the girls stay at home, he stole and ate the pot gummy bears Spencer’s stoner friend left in her bag.
So, take one stoned Toby, add a hot but useless Lorenzo and what do you get? Nothing. Now add a group of impatient Liars. What do you get? Yeah, still nothing. I’m not team A, but if you’re going to ruin the poor guy’s birthday, at least make it worth it. A quick piece of advice for the writers – If you wanted Charles’s escape to be more surprising, you probably shouldn’t have tweeted that his identity is only going to be revealed in three weeks. Anyway, Toby and Lorenzo burst in just as Charles revealed his silhouette to Jason. A got his revenge for the untimely interruption by weaponizing his surroundings and flooring the cops. The girls came in during the action, but chose to stand and look pretty rather than do anything helpful. And we wonder why we still don’t know who A is six seasons later.
The only parent present to reprimand their child for the events of the night was Mama Marin. She scolded Hanna for playing cop, saying “Your job is to cash in that scholarship, go to a good college and get yourself away from this mess”. At the mention of the shady money, Hanna told her Mom that she had a really bad feeling about the source of the scholarship. Slightly cuckoo by this point, Ashley replied “With everything that that family has put you through, you deserve every last cent of that money, which is why I already deposited the check. And believe me, that felt really great”. Abort conversation Hanna. Abort, abort!
Reaffirming my earlier comment that a Montgomery appearance is of little value, Mike tried to… I want to say comfort Aria but I really don’t know what his intention was. He told her that he and Mona were going to try and work things out, and when she said that she feels scared all the time, his response was “I’ll leave you alone”. Why did you even come in the room Mike? Oh that’s right, to give Aria a letter. Guess who is a finalist in the photo competition!
Weather forecast for Spoby Island – Prepare for trouble in paradise. Prepare for storms in Rosewood as well. Charles is sure to know that the girls removed their microchips, and Emily crushed her chip with a book in a sudden burst of anger.
Finally for Jason, poor sweet Jason. “All I wanted was one moment Al. One moment alone with my brother”. I know Jase; I wanted the same thing for you. But you won’t find solace in Scotch. Nor will he find it in comments like “He’s not worth ruining your life for”, so be quiet Ali. Luckily Charles intervened before he drank his doom. Awaiting him upstairs was a home video of the three DiLaurentis siblings. When Ali and Jason were younger, Mama D took them out of school for a second cousin’s birthday. The party was at the very same arcade where all hell broke loose in this episode. Jessica referred to the boy in video as Freddie, but it was of course Charles. When Mama D asked Charles if he was having a good birthday, he said “Yeah! When do I have to go back?”, suggesting she took him out of Radley for the day. I apologise for pulling an Alison and stating the obvious – twice. Apparently it’s contagious. Left atop the projector was a heart-breaking note from Charles, ‘I wAnted to trust you’. Only my heart is breaking? Okay, moving on.
Update on the status of A – He has a friend! This mysterious friend got him a picture of the siblings from the home video, with a card saying ‘Happy Birthday – your friend and ally’. If Sara isn’t A, she is definitely A’s friend! And no, I’m not being fickle. I’m just not putting all my eggs into one basket!