It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rosewood!
The Pretty Little Liars came back together – after a shocking summer finale that culminated in beloved villain Mona Vanderwaal’s (Janel Parrish) demise – for a special Christmas episode Tuesday night.
The glistening, snowy streets and festive decor were a sharp contrast to the usual Halloween special viewers are used to. But despite the change of holiday, the episode gave fans legitimate scares peppered with some answers, and in true PLL style – even more questions. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Spencer (Troian Bellisario) is out on bail for the murder of Bethany Young – a crime she didn’t commit – and is strolling the streets with Hanna (Ashley Benson), Aria (Lucy Hale) and Emily (Shay Mitchell). The girls all make wishes on snowflakes at a storefront window, and Hanna has a touching shoplifting memory – the two friends’ favorite pastime – of dearly departed Mona.
Suddenly, a lawyer approaches Hanna with documents Mona requested she receive 30 days after her death – typical for a teen to prepare. The papers contain a map of Alison’s (Sasha Pieterse) house and a letter urging Hanna to keep fighting.
The scene ends with the girls attempting to be charitable by putting a donation into Santa’s bucket, only to reveal a snow globe message from their nemesis “A”: “A Takes a Holiday, You Should Too.” Who knows what that means? We still don’t!
The scene shifts to Ali sleeping at her house when she is visited by her late mother “Mrs. D” in the role of Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol, warning Ali (or, Scrooge) to listen. Ali is then haunted by Mona as the Ghost of Christmas Past, who reveals to Ali a memory of her as a little girl playing the piano. When Ali finds two presents each containing identical yellow dresses, her mother instructs (in the creepiest way possible) her to lie to her father about the discovery.
“Who was the other dress for?” Ali asks Mona in the flashback. “Was it Bethany?”
“It’s not gonna be that easy, bitch,” Mona retorts.
The girls soon arrive at Ali’s Ice Ball party, where the Queen Bee makes a grand entrance with four masked girls, who are eventually revealed to be Sydney, Jenna (Tammin Sursok) and the nerdy twins (with matching makeovers).
With Ali occupied celebrating and kissing Santa Clause (who we suspect is Detective Holbrook), Spencer and Hanna jump at the chance to use Mona’s map and break into Ali’s home – smart move for Spencer, who’s out on bail. Emily and Aria stay behind to make sure Ali stays put.
Surprise! CeCe’s (Vanessa Ray) back! Ali’s confidant shocks the original mean girl by appearing in a white hooded cloak and gifting her with a personalized perfume, while warning her to “not let her guard down.”
Toby, in a scene ripped right out of Alfred Hitchock’s Rear Window, is planted at Spencer’s house keeping watch over Hanna and his girlfriend through a window as they case the joint. Spencer finds clippings of personal ads that reveal Ali had been communicating with someone the same way she used to with Mona. Hanna discovers a passport with Ali’s picture and the name Holly Varjak – a reference to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Good thing Toby is on the case, because “A” shows up dressed all in black with a big, shiny knife. Unfortunately, Hanna is in the attic and misses Spencer’s warning about “A” because she doesn’t have her phone. Toby tries to get her attention by setting off the camera’s flash bulbs, but oblivious Hanna keeps digging.
She finds a jack-in-the-box toy that somehow startles her when it pops up as the toy is designed to do. The name of the toy – Mad Hatter – causes her to look in a nearby stack of hat boxes, which contain letters from the deceased Bethany to Ali referencing a Labor Day visit, proving Ali knew the dead girl. This could be just the thing to clear Spencer’s name.
All of a sudden, “A” appears, and Hanna screams. Spencer finds her passed out on the floor, alive, but with the window to the attic wide open. The camera then pans to a creepy array of masks, and somebody is wearing one of them.
Now that everyone is safe and sound, the gang gathers to celebrate Christmas, while Ali is visited yet again by Mona, this time as the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come. Ali is shown a casket with her body in it and no legs! Momma D appears again warning her daughter, “They’ll be coming for you soon. I’m sorry.”
Ghostly visions surround Ali as she asks “Am I going to hell?” She then abruptly wakes up on Christmas morning.
Now for some comic relief! The girls’ significant others – Toby, Caleb, Ezra and Paige – are shown shirtless (except for Paige) and in boxers. The Chippendales have come to Rosewood!
After everyone puts their clothes on, the group shares a nostalgic Christmas dinner, where Ezra serves what looks like a burnt chicken as Ali’s peers longingly through the window. Like Scrooge, has she learned the error of her ways?
And, of course, “A” can’t let the holiday end without a little Christmas cheer in the form of the lighted up words: “Merry Christmas, Bitches, -A.”
An all new season of Pretty Little Liars returns Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.
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